|~ One of The Mask's most famous quotes.|
|“||It's party time! P-A-R-T-why? Because I GOTTA!||„|
|~ The Mask|
The Mask, also known as Big Head in the comics, is the titular protagonist villain of The Mask media. He is the manifestation of the infamous Mask of Loki's magical powers once worn by anyone who places it on their face. The Mask is powerful but causes the wearer to lose their sanity.
In the 1994 film adaptation, the Stanley Ipkiss incarnation of The Mask was portrayed by Jim Carrey, who also portrayed Count Olaf in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Grinch in Dr Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Cable Guy in the movie of the same name, and The Riddler in Batman Forever. In the 2005 sequel, Son of the Mask, the Tim Avery incarnation of The Mask is portrayed by Jamie Kennedy, who also played as Danno Wolfe in Curious George 2: Follow that Monkey.
In the comics, all that is known about the Mask's origin is that it once belonged to an ancient tribe that placed curses and hexes on it. However, in the film adaptation, the Mask was given a connection with the norse god Loki and is referred to as "the Mask of Loki". Also, unlike all other versions, the Mask in the film can only work at night.
Villainous Wearers of The Mask
The first incarnation of the character, Stanley Ipkiss was a weak, neurotic man who purchased the Mask as a gift for his girlfriend Kathy. After it was purchased, the Mask began to speak to Stanley and urged him to put it on and transformed him into a superhuman. After gaining his new powers, Stanley promptly went on a killing spree by murdering the people who had bullied and taken advantage of him, eventually being nicknamed the "Big Head Killer" by the police.
After removing the Mask, Stanley's actions took an emotional toll on him, causing him to become verbally abusive towards Kathy and get kicked out of their apartment as a result. Stanley later breaks into Kathy's apartment and both retrieves the Mask and kills eleven police officers on his way back to his house. Upon returning to his house, Stanley removes the Mask and is shot in the back and killed by Kathy, who had figured out his identity.
Lieutenant Mitch Kellaway
The second incarnation of The Mask, Lieutenant Kellaway was an honest cop who Kathy gave the Mask to for safe keeping. Stressed by the Big Head killings and organized crime lords slowly taking over the city, Kellaway disregards Kathy's warnings about the Mask and puts it on. After gaining the powers of the Mask, Kellaway tries to use his new powers and identity for good by murdering Edge City's mob bosses, although his methods become increasingly violent. While fighting Walter, a mute and immensely powerful mob muscle-man, Kellaway is targeted by a police squadron and nearly ends up killing his friend and partner, causing him to flee and bury the Mask in a cement filled hole in his basement.
The third incarnation of the Mask, Nunzio was a wimpy mob driver who had the Mask forcibly put on him after several mobsters ended up stealing it from Lieutenant Kellaway. After becoming the new Big Head, Nunzio killed his former companions and slaughtered all of Edge City's remaining crime lords in order to become the city's only mob boss. After learning of the new Big Head, Kathy dressed up as a hooker and wooed Nunzio into removing the Mask, pulling out a gun and killing him immediately afterwards.
In Lobo vs. The Mask, after Lobo fights and subsequently teams up with the new Big Head to search the galaxy for the "Ultimate Bastich", a former Mask wearer who racked up a large bounty after decimating a number of planets, they stop at a truck stop where Lobo ends up winning the Mask. After putting the Mask on, Lobo causes even more destruction until he ends up being sucked into a black hole and sent back in time by a month. Upon ending up in the past, Lobo realizes that he was actually the "Ultimate Bastich", removes the Mask and tosses it to where the wearer he won it from found it at the start of the story. Lobo then breaks the time loop by apprehending his past self and turning him in for the reward money.
In Joker/Mask, the Joker gets his hands on the Mask upon finding it in a museum in Gotham City. After putting the Mask on, Joker is transformed into the new Big Head, although, unlike other Mask wearers, the Mask didn't bring out his inner most desires (as Joker never repressed or hid them) and only made him unstoppable. With his new powers, Joker rejuvenates his criminal career by nearly killing Batman, destroying the Batmobile and taking over Gotham, resulting in Commissioner Gordon calling Lieutenant Kellaway over from Edge City to help deal with the new Joker.
Joker, with help from Harley Quinn, then takes over Gotham TV and begins airing his own shows, all of which consist of senseless violence. After a series of events, Batman recovers from his injuries and tells Joker that, with the Mask on, he is no longer funny and has degraded himself to reusing the same material over and over again. As Joker begins beating Batman, the original Joker's head sprouts from his shoulders and tells him that he really isn't funny before taking control of his body, removing the Mask and turning himself back to normal. Soon afterwards, Joker is apprehended by the police and taken to Arkham Asylum.
In Other Media
The Mask (film)
In the film adaptation, which is loosely based on the first few issues of the comics, a significantly different, yet somewhat accurate version of the Stanley Ipkiss incarnation appears as the titular protagonist. In the film, Stanley Ipkiss discovered the Mask of Loki after it rose from a chest in the ocean and, upon putting it on, was turned into a superhuman who operates on cartoon logic.
Unlike in the comics, this version of The Mask is mostly a heroic character, despite committing multiple crimes such as nearly destroying a man's car, attempting to murder a gang of thugs with a Tommy gun, heavily injuring the mechanics who had ripped him off (unlike in the comic, where he actually killed them) and most notably robbing the bank he worked at, resulting in the death of Freeze.
Towards the end of the film, Dorian Tyrell steals the Mask of Loki from Stanley and puts it on, bringing out his inner desire for power, turning himself into a hulking, monstrous version of The Mask, although he is defeated and killed once the Mask gets back into Stanley's hands.
The Mask: The Animated Series
In the animated series, which takes place after the film, Stanley still uses the Mask of Loki to protect Edge City, although it is stated that he would prefer not to, as The Mask's chaotic antics and lack of responsibility can end up causing destruction, as well as him constantly being hounded by Lieutenant Kellaway, who believes him to be a threat. In various episodes, the Mask has gotten into the hands of several antagonists, most notably Pretorius, Fish Guy, Government Guy, and Walter (although, like in the comics, wearing the Mask of Loki does not affect him).
Son of the Mask
In the sequel, a cartoonist named Tim Avery becomes the new wearer of the Mask after his dog Otis found it in a river and brought it before him. He first tries on the mask at a party he goes to and becomes the host of it after it was starting to turn out as a drag. Tim Avery later had a baby born with the same powers as the mask.
Odin confronts his son Loki, who is in search of the Mask, and tells him about a baby born with its powers as a clue to find it. Otis begins to feel left out as Tim is spending more time with his baby so he takes the Mask for himself.
However, Tim's time with his son Alvey turned out to be a nightmare for him as he discovers his son's powers. As Loki eventually found them, he goes after Tim and threatens him to hand over his mask. As Tim tells him he doesn't have it, Loki attempts to kill him, but is then stopped by Odin, who possesses Tim's body and strips him of his powers.
Later that night, Loki sneaks into Alvey's room, where Alvey is sleeping, and contacts Odin, begging him to return his powers as he explains how close he was at reclaiming his mask. Odin complies as he gives Loki a second chance, but has him set on a timer.
Once his powers return to him, Loki approaches Tim and demands him to hand over the Mask or he will take Alvey away from him, before leaving with the baby. Tim and his wife encounters Loki at a dark alley and gives him his mask. However, Loki refuses to return Alvey as he grew fond of him during his wait. Otis suddenly bites Loki, causing him to drop the mask and allowing Tim to wear it. Loki makes a run for it with Alvey in his car, prompting Tim and Tonya to drive after him to a wrestling arena, where he and Loki fight over Alvey. Loki then decides to give Alvey the choice between the two of them.
At first, Loki draws Alvey over to him, but then Tim takes off the mask and tells Alvey about how he wants to raise him and that he loves him, making Alvey choose him instead. However, Loki refuses to give u, as he now attempts to kill the entire family until his timer went up. Odin soon appears before Loki and scolds him for his failure. He is then about to strike at him until Tim interrupts as he tells him that nothing is more important in life than the relationship of your family. Tim then gives back the Mask and Loki and Odin return home.
Powers and Abilities
The Mask has various powers such as super-strength, speed, intelligence, and durability. He also has the ability to warp reality. He is also super agile and has a strong healing factor. Other abilities of The Mask are immortality, duplication, shapeshifting, creation, summoning, transfiguration, size manipulation, creating tornadoes and the ability to stretch his limbs.
- The Mask is never referred to as Big Head in the film or in the animated series.
- Likewise, the Mask itself is not referred as the Mask of Loki in the comics, since it doesn't share the same origin as the film version.
- In The Mask: The Animated Series, Nimrel and Skillit have mentioned knowing every person who ever wore The Mask.