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The Masked Warrior. The Masked Warrior was created by the Spanish creator Manuel Gago (Alberto Espana, Fred Hood, Salto Mortale (II), Carlos Ray, Spirit of the Forest, Bob Tayler, Viriato) and appeared in the comic strip “Guerrero del Antifaz” (1944-1966).

The Masked Warrior is a Costumed Avenger. In the years in which the Spanish and the Saracens were warring in Spain, a young man is raised by his father, the Alí Khan, to hate all Christians. But when the young man turns eighteen he is told by his Christian mother that Khan kidnaped the young man’s mother from Spain, and that the young man’s real father is the Conde de Roca, a Christian. The young man is shocked by this news and suffers a change of heart, vowing to fight the Muslims.

So as not to endanger his mother, the young man puts on a black mask and becomes the Masked Warrior, the implacable enemy of the Saracens. (This does not stop Khan from murdering the Masked Warrior’s mother). Eventually two Muslim women, Zoraida and Aixa, help change his heart, and he stops warring on the Muslims and begins traveling around the world, finding adventure and fighting for good. He ends up fighting Chinese and Indian Yellow Perils, evil Egyptians, and evil Bantu.

* I'm including “Guerrero del Antifaz” in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because the strip is a fun read and because the strip eventually became historically important. "Guerrero del Antifaz" is quite enjoyable medieval adventure (Christians vs. Muslims variety); Gago is fairly talented as far as the Spanish comic artists of the time go, and he knew how to write a fun adventure story--especially when he finally removed the Masked Warrior from the Christians-vs-Saracens conflict and sent him around the world. Historically, "Guerrero del Antfaz" is important because it ran for twenty-two years through the heart of the Franco dictatorship, which is not something many Spanish adventure comic strips were allowed to do. Because of this, "Guerrero del Antifaz" assumed a certain importance in the eyes of its audience, and its messages ("don't hate Muslims," "be racist toward Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, and Bantu") resounded loudly in its audience's ears. 

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