BACK
LinkExchange FORWARD

Gillin
with the
Homeboys
By Mark "The Shark" Gillins
The Top 12 Head Pieces
Well, it's Joker's Wild!  Not much of a difference here, though, since I decide the topic anyway.  I guess the difference would be that I don't have a theme that I'm trying to follow, so it's one more month of me thinking of something entirely unique.  I think I'm starting to babble.  Maybe I should shut up and let you read the Top 12 Head Pieces (that would be anything involving hats, helmets, hoods, masks, etc.)…
HONORABLE MENTION: 
Catwoman - Like Batman, Catwoman pulls off the animal look-alike thing pretty well.  I like how her latest costume lets her hair run out the back, though who knows how many times all that hair gets in the way during a fight.
Hawkman (Kingdom Come) - It was interesting to see Hawkman actually become more of a Hawkman by having a hawk's head and mouth, and Alex Ross did an awesome job of illustrating it.
Bane - The mask is probably the only truly significant part of Bane, other than the cords that feed venom into his bloodstream.  The only time I don't like seeing Bane in his mask is in the Batman Animated Series, in which he looks ridiculous with his mouth and nose sticking out, and later his eyes showing.
Argus -Just plain smooth!  Mixing that metallic look with sort of a Batman-darkness, Argus looks like he's ready for combat!
Flash: John Fox (pre-One Million)- The holo-lightning ear pieces added a really nice effect to his dark blue mask.
Flash III (his first speed force costume)- I really liked the look the goggles and the goldness gave him, and (like Impulse) the orange hair flowing out the top allowed old-timers to look back on the days when Wally was Kid Flash.
Batman (Azrael)- The temp-Bats did some neat things with the costume, and the mask covering the mouth, along with the red eyes, gave the Batman an evil ninja look that matched the evil Batman.
 
The Top Twelve 
12  Steel - While I admit that my opinion of Steel has lowered since he got his own series, I confess that Steel's helmet is pure genius.  I didn't even understand completely how it worked until I read The Death and Life of Superman, in which I discovered that whenever he speaks he has to flip a little switch with his tongue so his voice can be projected through a small speaker system.  Somehow the metal is flexible enough so the lips move whenever he screams or talks (I don't know if that's a constant or if the penciller decides whether or not it happens), and the helmet is the control center that commands the rest of Steel's suit.
11  Mister Miracle - To tell you the truth, I've never read a storyline that focused a whole lot on Mister Miracle.  The biggest thing I've ever read of his is probably Kingdom Come!  But from what I've seen, his mask looks really good and gives him that New Gods look (well, the GOOD New Gods look), and it also brings out his personality (remember.. this is from what I've seen).
10  The Cyborg (during the Reign of the Supermen storyline) - He wasn't wearing a mask or a hat, so maybe this doesn't count, but he technically isn't biological at all, so maybe it does.  I just thought that it was cool how a quarter of his face looked like Superman and had hair and everything, while the rest of his face was like a robot.  I just like his head, ok? 
9  Elseworlds Superman (Speeding Bullets)
Supes doesn't become Supes until the very end of this story, in which baby Kal-El is discovered by the Waynes of Gotham City rather than the Kents of Smallville.  Once Lois softens up the Super-Batman, Supes is born, but with a different costume that has a head piece that is reminiscent of the Electric Superman's, but it's blue instead of white.
8  Aztek - Upon first glance, I thought Aztek looked like a total chump.  All of the sun-rays that shot out from his helmet seemed a little too freaky to me, but I got used to it as I saw different artists draw him and I grew to like the helmet even more when I realized that Aztek's powers are pretty much contained within the helmet.  So in other words, Aztek IS the helmet.
7  The Ray - I really like the fin-look here.  At first his entire costume takes a little getting used to, but the helmet helps to warm up the eyes and take a shine to Ray's appearance.  Too bad we don't see much of him anymore.
6  Impulse - Great work here.  The goggles look great, and the way the hair goes through the top of the mask gives it a Kid Flash-like look that brings nostalgia to old fans (the nostalgia probably fades away, however, when Bart starts working up!).
5  Joker - He doesn't wear a hat on a normal basis, but whenever he does, it matches his personality rather well.
4  Hourman III - The hood and the mask separately are merely ok.  But together, I think they make one of the best head pieces ever!  Sometimes it depends on the penciller, though.  In the new series, for example, I think the cover artist does a horrible job of making Hourman look good.  Howard Porter gave him that effect that was needed to make his mask compatible with the hood and gave him that mysterious look that I think they were going for.
3  Flash III (pre-Speed Force costume) - Many people may disagree with me, but I thought Wally's older costume was much better.  I think that the fact that his pupils didn't show (he stated that they were too much like Batman's) brought a sense of individuality -- it's what made him look different than Barry, apart from the glossiness.  Now I just can't get used to his eyes popping out, especially since different artists draw his eyes differently.
2  Batman - The mask comes with it all -- including the pointy ears!  You don't see many animal-based heroes out there that actually LOOK like their namesakes (with the exception of mutants, etc.).  And even if they do, how often do they pull off a good look?  Batman's mask helps his ability to bring fear into men's hearts, especially with the no-pupil-eyes.
1 Flash I - This neat upside-down bowl is the same helmet that Hermes, Greek mythical God of Speed and Messenger of the Gods, wore, so the symbolism isn't hard to see.  Kingdom Come Flash also wears this helmet, and so did the Flash in JLA #8-9 where the Key sends the JLA into different realities within their dreams.  It's simple, it's symbolic, and it shows that Jay Garrick's got nothing to hide!
 
Runner Ups: 
Zauriel - I really like his helmet, but sometimes I think it depends on the artist.  Sometimes the beak is way too big and covers his whole face, but sometimes it's waaaay too small and makes him look like a dork.  I think he should go without the helmet altogether just to save the trouble.

Wonder Woman - The tiara looks good on her.. it's just so small that it's not hugely significant (remember how she went a few issues without her crown a while ago?  She looked just fine to me.).

Ferro Man- I think he didn't make it very high because the mask doesn't fit his physique.  He's a little too scrawny to look good in it.

The Atom - It's rather plain, but it's a classic and recognizable anywhere.

Low on the Totem Pole: 
Max Mercury- No offense, but I still think that his mask kind of looks dorky.  Sometimes it looks ok, but (as is the case I've mentioned several times) different artists make it look better or worse.  I think he looks just awful in Impulse, especially his eyes!

OceanMaster- Ugh!  How does he walk straight?  How does he fit through a doorway?  You'd think he'd be easy enough to get rid of because his head is such an easy target!

Green Lantern V- I think this is the only time that I'm mentioning a piece that only covers the eyes, but Kyle's mask looks pretty bad.  It's great that they tried doing something different, but they could have tried something that looks good.

Losers: 
Crimson Fox- That big thing on her head (I don't even know if it has a name, but it was supposed to be a tail) was ridiculous.. You'd think she'd fall over from all that weight!

Dr. Light- This member of the JLE also looked horrible.  Her bright, big, yellow tiara didn't look good at all.  I think her entire costume needed a change.

THIS ISSUE: