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The Mask #0
Part of: The Mask
Issue number(s): 0
Page count: 52
Writer: John Arcudi
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Doug Mahnke
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Cover artist(s): Doug Mahnke
Editor: Mike Richardson
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Publication date: December 1991

The Mask Issue #0 was first published in December 1991 after the initial four part The Mask series had concluded. It collected the four issues of Mayhem as a prologue to the story.

Plot Summary[]

Stanley Ipkiss buys a mask from an oddities store for his girlfriend, Katherine. On his way out, he is accosted and attacked by a biker gang known as "The Butchers". As Stanley drives home after the attack, he fantasises about getting even with the gang in various brutal ways. The mask starts talking to him telling him to "waste" the biker gang. Stanley puts this off to feeling upset after the attack. He gives the mask to Katherine and goes to bed.

During the night, Ipkiss wakes to use the bathroom. When he enters, he sees the mask on the toilet. Thinking it was a prank to scare him, he puts on the mask to give Katherine a taste of her own medicine... and for the first time, this changes him into Big Head and, feeling pretty good, he shimmies out the apartment window nd down the drainpipe and murders the biker gang that attacked him earlier that day. After a while Stanley starts to become irritable and almost hits Katherine, he manages to stop himself, then takes the mask and goes out to kill more people who have wronged him, this time two mechanics at Yorky's Mufflers and his old school teacher.

After killing everyone on his list, he decides to become a superhero... however, Katherine throws the mask in the trash, thinking that Stanley is obsessed. She was right: Ipkiss overreacts to the mask being thrown out but decides it will be fine, seeing as he has already killed everyone on his list. He laughs at the deaths of his victims which are on the news and is subsequently thrown out of Katherine's apartment.

Stanley then realises that Katherine must have gotten the mask out of the garbage and climbs in to her apartment through a window, he wakes Katherine whilst doing this and she calls the police. Because the police take too long to arrive she waits for the "Burglar" to come through the door and quite literally lamps him (she smashes a lamp over his head). She realises it was Stanley and when the police arrive she tries to get rid of them but Stanley who had found the mask kills the police and then goes on a rampage, murdering police officers. Lt. Kellaway, who has been investigating the Big Head murders, manages to corner Ipkiss on the roof and shoots him (again). Stanley falls off the roof and manages to steal a police car. Meanwhile, Katherine has figured out that Stanley is actually Big Head. When Stanley goes back to his apartment Katherine is waiting for him. When he takes off the mask, Kathy sneakily grabs it, puts it on and shoots Stanley, much to her horror later.