I picked up issue one of Bunny Mask based solely on its intriguing cover, which hinted that it was probably going to be creepy, bloody, and a little strange. Which is just how I like my (non-mainstream) comics.
I wasn’t disappointed.
The issue, titled “The Chipping of the Teeth” and published by AfterShock Comics, begins fourteen years ago with a bizarre opening sequence that only gets more bizarre the deeper you read into it. In the first couple of panels, a young girl named Bee Foster looks trustingly up at her father as he takes a hammer and a chisel to her previously perfect-looking teeth. We’re not told why, only that her father claims “It needs to be done”. This is the beginning of the mystery that is Bunny Mask.
Shortly thereafter, a social worker and a child health nurse are dispatched to the Foster residence to check up on Bee, whom has been absent from school for two weeks. They encounter Bee’s father, who immediately meets them with unexpected violence, telling them that “the snitch” told him that they’d be coming.
The nurse, Tyler Severin, is knocked unconscious by Bee’s father and awakens in a cave, where he is tasked with chiseling away to deepen the cave to fulfill what seems a madman’s charge of digging a path through the mountain. Bee’s father has started the path, chiseling an impressive two hundred and seventy-four feet. What exactly he’s trying to reach isn’t clear as the man speaks in riddles, but what is clear is his threat to kill Tyler if he tries to leave.
At first, Tyler is joined by Bee as they toil away at the cave. They converse for a while but, eventually, Tyler is told by Bee’s father that she won’t be helping dig any more because “the snitch needed her”.
It seems likely that Bee’s father is crazy, delusional, and abusive. There’s no evidence of this “snitch” character; however, when Tyler finally breaks through to discover a true, naturally formed cave within the mountain, there’s a strange creature that lurks there that seems even more terrifying than Bee’s father. The creature appears to be a dark-haired girl in a bunny mask, but the truth is both more alarming and more mysterious than her appearance suggests.
When Tyler awakens a second time, he’s been missing and presumed dead for more than a month, and there’s no evidence to back up or explain the story of where he’s been and what’s happened to him.
Until fourteen years later, when he happens to pass by an art gallery that’s filled with artwork of that same, mysterious bunny mask-wearing girl from the cave. When he stumbles inside, he meets the artist, a young woman named Bee Good whom, after a moment, remembers Tyler from the cave. Bee, whom Tyler has believed was dead all these years, tells him that she calls the creature Bunny Mask, and that she haunts her subconscious.
Steeped in mystery, Bunny Mask teases a much deeper story. Written by Paul Tobin and with impeccable art by Andrea Mutti, the events in the first issue set up a horrifying backstory that leaves the reader wanting to know more. As someone who reads a lot of horror comics, I feel that this one is unique in that there’s multiple levels of intrigue. There isn’t just one “big bad guy” here; there’s the Bunny Mask girl and “the snitch”. Are they one in the same, are they adversaries? And where has Bee been these past fourteen years?
Pick up issue one of Bunny Mask at your local comic book shop, and the grab issue two on July 14th to delve into this singular, creepy world and hopefully learn the answers to these questions, and more.
Angela “LaLa” Rairden is an avid fan of comic books, Star Wars, and most things nerdy. A cosplayer, she loves to attend comic cons dressed as her favorite fictional characters, particularly Harley Quinn. Although her day job is at a grocery store, writing has always been her true calling. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is currently writing her first novel.