For this superhero-crazed world Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of B.C. Boyer’s neglected 1980s superhero the Masked Man. For Part One click HERE
ECLIPSE MONTHLY Vol 1 #2 (September 1983)
Villain: The enigmatic crimelord known only as “Frankie.”
Synopsis: A mentally challenged street informant named Herbie gets caught in the middle of the feud between our favorite masked vigilante and his archenemy, who is part Professor Moriarty, part Kingpin and part Octopus from The Spirit.
This fourth Masked Man story, written AND drawn by B.C. Boyer, featured the return of the hero’s mysterious crimelord nemesis known only as “Frankie” on the streets. The former boxer worked and killed his way to the top of one of the Five Families and he’s determined to stop the Masked Man’s interference with his criminal empire.
(I’d be obliged if anyone could tell me if Boyer named the crimelord “Frankie” as a shoutout to Frank Miller, who by 1983 was two years into his legendary run on Daredevil. The Masked Man’s adventures have a certain air of urban danger that often reminds me of Miller’s work. And Miller DID do some free-lance artwork for Eclipse Comics in the early 80s.)
In this issue of Eclipse Monthly, the Masked Man (Dick Carstairs) once again shared the large book with stories featuring Steve Ditko’s superhero Static and other Eclipse characters. Our hero’s friend, newspaper reporter Barney McAlister relates another of the superhero’s adventures, like Watson did with Sherlock Holmes.
Running low on leads regarding the next big cocaine shipment rumored to be hitting town soon, the Masked Man sought information from 28 year old Herbie Wilcox, a big, blonde, mentally challenged inner-city figure with a Rain Man ability to pick up on the criminal meaning of conversations taking place around him on the street. After all, why watch your mouth around such an obvious non-threat, the criminal element apparently feels. Continue reading