|Well, it's Joker's Wild! Not much of a difference here, though,
since I decide the topic anyway. I guess the difference would be
that I don't have a theme that I'm trying to follow, so it's one more month
of me thinking of something entirely unique. I think I'm starting
to babble. Maybe I should shut up and let you read the Top 12 Head
Pieces (that would be anything involving hats, helmets, hoods, masks, etc.)
Catwoman - Like Batman, Catwoman pulls off the animal
look-alike thing pretty well. I like how her latest costume lets
her hair run out the back, though who knows how many times all that hair
gets in the way during a fight.
Hawkman (Kingdom Come) - It was interesting
to see Hawkman actually become more of a Hawkman by having a hawk's head
and mouth, and Alex Ross did an awesome job of illustrating it.
Bane - The mask is probably the only truly significant
part of Bane, other than the cords that feed venom into his bloodstream.
The only time I don't like seeing Bane in his mask is in the Batman Animated
Series, in which he looks ridiculous with his mouth and nose sticking out,
and later his eyes showing.
Argus -Just plain smooth! Mixing that
metallic look with sort of a Batman-darkness, Argus looks like he's ready
Flash: John Fox (pre-One Million)- The holo-lightning
ear pieces added a really nice effect to his dark blue mask.
Flash III (his first speed force costume)-
I really liked the look the goggles and the goldness gave him, and (like Impulse)
the orange hair flowing out the top allowed old-timers to look back on
the days when Wally was Kid Flash.
Batman (Azrael)- The temp-Bats did some neat
things with the costume, and the mask covering the mouth, along with the
red eyes, gave the Batman an evil ninja look that matched the evil Batman.
Steel - While I admit that my opinion of Steel has lowered since
he got his own series, I confess that Steel's helmet is pure genius.
I didn't even understand completely how it worked until I read The Death
and Life of Superman, in which I discovered that whenever he speaks
he has to flip a little switch with his tongue so his voice can be projected
through a small speaker system. Somehow the metal is flexible enough
so the lips move whenever he screams or talks (I don't know if that's a
constant or if the penciller decides whether or not it happens), and the
helmet is the control center that commands the rest of Steel's suit.
Mister Miracle - To tell you the truth, I've never read a storyline
that focused a whole lot on Mister Miracle. The biggest thing I've
ever read of his is probably Kingdom Come! But from what I've seen,
his mask looks really good and gives him that New Gods look (well, the
GOOD New Gods look), and it also brings out his personality (remember..
this is from what I've seen).
The Cyborg (during the Reign of the Supermen storyline) - He wasn't
wearing a mask or a hat, so maybe this doesn't count, but he technically
isn't biological at all, so maybe it does. I just thought that it
was cool how a quarter of his face looked like Superman and had hair and
everything, while the rest of his face was like a robot. I just like
his head, ok?
Elseworlds Superman (Speeding Bullets) -
Supes doesn't become Supes until the very end of this story, in which
baby Kal-El is discovered by the Waynes of Gotham City rather than the
Kents of Smallville. Once Lois softens up the Super-Batman, Supes
is born, but with a different costume that has a head piece that is reminiscent
of the Electric Superman's, but it's blue instead of white.
Aztek - Upon first glance, I thought Aztek looked like a total chump.
All of the sun-rays that shot out from his helmet seemed a little too freaky
to me, but I got used to it as I saw different artists draw him and I grew
to like the helmet even more when I realized that Aztek's powers are pretty
much contained within the helmet. So in other words, Aztek IS the
The Ray - I really like the fin-look here. At first his entire
costume takes a little getting used to, but the helmet helps to warm up
the eyes and take a shine to Ray's appearance. Too bad we don't see
much of him anymore.
Impulse - Great work here. The goggles look great, and the
way the hair goes through the top of the mask gives it a Kid Flash-like
look that brings nostalgia to old fans (the nostalgia probably fades away,
however, when Bart starts working up!).
Joker - He doesn't wear a hat on a normal basis, but whenever he
does, it matches his personality rather well.
Hourman III - The hood and the mask separately are merely ok.
But together, I think they make one of the best head pieces ever!
Sometimes it depends on the penciller, though. In the new series,
for example, I think the cover artist does a horrible job of making Hourman
look good. Howard Porter gave him that effect that was needed to
make his mask compatible with the hood and gave him that mysterious look
that I think they were going for.
Flash III (pre-Speed Force costume) - Many people may disagree with
me, but I thought Wally's older costume was much better. I think
that the fact that his pupils didn't show (he stated that they were too
much like Batman's) brought a sense of individuality -- it's what made
him look different than Barry, apart from the glossiness. Now I just
can't get used to his eyes popping out, especially since different artists
draw his eyes differently.
Batman - The mask comes with it all -- including the pointy ears!
You don't see many animal-based heroes out there that actually LOOK like
their namesakes (with the exception of mutants, etc.). And even if
they do, how often do they pull off a good look? Batman's mask helps
his ability to bring fear into men's hearts, especially with the no-pupil-eyes.
Flash I - This neat upside-down bowl is the same helmet that Hermes,
Greek mythical God of Speed and Messenger of the Gods, wore, so the symbolism
isn't hard to see. Kingdom Come Flash also wears this helmet, and
so did the Flash in JLA #8-9 where the Key sends the JLA into different
realities within their dreams. It's simple, it's symbolic, and it
shows that Jay Garrick's got nothing to hide!
on the Totem Pole:
Max Mercury- No offense, but I still think that
his mask kind of looks dorky. Sometimes it looks ok, but (as is the
case I've mentioned several times) different artists make it look better
or worse. I think he looks just awful in Impulse, especially his
OceanMaster- Ugh! How does he walk straight?
How does he fit through a doorway? You'd think he'd be easy enough
to get rid of because his head is such an easy target!
Green Lantern V- I think this is the only time
that I'm mentioning a piece that only covers the eyes, but Kyle's mask
looks pretty bad. It's great that they tried doing something different,
but they could have tried something that looks good.