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Black Mask (III). Black Mask (III) was created by the Canadian author Michel Darien and appeared in Les Exploits Policiers du Domino Noir #1-62 (1944-1947), Éditions Montréal Détective #1-42 (1944-1949), and Les Exploits Policiers du Domino Noir #1-966 (1948-1965).
Black Mask (III) is a Costumed Avenger. He is Alain de Guise, a Québécois adventurer who is passionately devoted to seeing justice done. (In his first appearance he is the wealthy young rogue Simon Antoine, but that changed with the second issue). Toward that end he puts on a black domino mask and goes after criminals and evil men. The only man who knows his identity is Benoit Auger, a journalist who sometimes helps de Guise on cases.
Black Mask (III)’s stories often verge on the fantastic: he fights Thievery, Incorporated, “the Wizards of Hell,” Femme Fatale assassins and belly dancers, vampires, a werewolves, the Society of Hunchbacks, the Faceless Men, the Headless Men, the Devil’s Horse, the Brotherhood of Blood, a Superhuman mesmerist, Mad Scientists who kill with radioactivity or bio-engineered giant mosquitoes, a museum of horrors, The Pirates Club, the Red Devil, an Evil Surgeon, a haunted house, a crooked doppelganger, Yellow Peril crimelords in Montreal’s Chinatown, voodoo priests, the Mummy Millionaire, a Canadian Bluebeard, cursed Indian gems, murderous native Canadians who use tomahawks to kill whites, Hugo Scarface, an android crimelord called “the Automatic Professor,” a murderer called “Satan,” a yogi criminal mastermind, gigolos, orgies, and the Golden Lizards. The Black Mask (III) is also notable for taking on a killer focusing on gays, which may be a first for the pulps of any nation.
He appears in stories with titles like “The Dance of the Skeletons,” “Cigarettes, Whiskey, and a Colt .45,” and “Night of the Sadist.”
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