Strange Things are Happening in Paris–Masked: Anomalies

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Masked Vol 1 CoverStrange things are happening in Paris.

Sergeant Frank Braffort has just returned home to find that Paris has changed in the six years he’s been away. There’s a giant hologram of Fantoma being projected over Montmartre by unknown forces, a mysterious news network that can beam itself into everyone’s homes at any time, and, of course, there are the anomalies.

“Anomaly” seems to be kind of a catch-all term here. An anomaly could be a metal “trinket” that grew overnight on a balcony, a behemoth found in the Seine, or a ghostly figure that “surfs” through the skies. The only thing they have in common is that no one knows what’s causing them.

Of course, Braffort has secrets of his own. Like the way, on his last mission, his life was saved by a caped figure who could shoot twin beams of lasers… and fly. Then there’s the fact that he has some kind of connection to the source of the anomalies, which quickly brings him to the attention of the Prefect of Paris.

And just what is up with the spirals that are all over the place in this comic? From the snails in the beginning, to the elevator button, to the clouds, and more – there are spirals everywhere! Even the fact that the comic takes place in Paris lends itself to another spiral, as the arrondisements of Paris form a spiral shape. Is it a metaphor for Paris? For getting deeper and deeper into the mysteries of the comic? Is it just because they look cool?

Masked: Anomalies is one of those books that makes it hard to put a finger on what kind of a story it is. Is it a superhero story? Paranormal? Alternate world? Maybe yes to all three. Writer Serge Lehman has previously created The Chimera Brigade, which is another excellent out-of-the-box kind-of-a-superhero-story-but-not-exactly comic. Just as with that book, this one is off to a very strong start, and I look forward to seeing how things play out.

The artwork, by Stéphane Créty, is just right, from the character expressions to the cityscape shots strewn throughout the book. Be aware that there is some swearing in this comic, as well as a topless woman at one point (hey, it is a French comic, after all), but this all fits well within the scope of the comic and doesn’t feel gratuitous.

It’s hard to say where this comic is going, but the mysteries presented in this first issue are intriguing, and the concept itself is a unique twist on a few different concepts. If you like peculiar mysteries, things that are a touch bizarre, or are just looking for something different from the usual fare, definitely give Masked: Anomalies a try.

Masked: Anomalies is out March 25, 2015 from Titan Comics.

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