In honor of our society selflessly donning the masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, I bring you my top 10 masked men *not named CZARFACE.*
1. Danny Seagren - Danny played Spider-Man on the Electric Company in the mid-70's and he only spoke in word balloons. No audible words at all, just going straight mime-time during his segment "Spidey Super Stories." He was almost certainly my first exposure to the greatest superhero of all-time, the Amazing Spider-Man. I should also add Fred Waugh, who played the live action TV Spider-Man to Peter Parker's Nicholas Hammond....also an icon...he is 1A. Much like the wallcrawler's iconic suit, these memories associated with Spidey will never fade.
2. Hugo Weaving (V in the Guy Fawkes masks) - Everyone up for a little political subversion? V from V for Vendetta sure was. Wait...Hugo Weaving played the Red Skull too? What a complex legacy. I am pretty sure I called myself "Guy Fawkes in hi-tops" in a verse at one point but I can't remember where...picture the actual Guy Fawkes from the 1600's in a pair of Nike uptowns, trotting off to bomb Parliament. Terrible.
3. Reb Brown - Reb played Captain America in the made for TV series in '79. Technically he only wore blue-tinted shades and a helmet with an "A" on it, but I wanted him in here because this is what a 2020 mask-denier might wear while Harley-ing through a Trump rally or lockdown protest. That'd be another case of Marvel symbolism gone wrong, like the misappropriation of the Punisher logo, adopted by the likes of Blue Lives Matter. This was supposed to be a fun writing exercise, what am I doing here?
4. Mil Mascaras - Mascaras makes this list for his commitment to staying masked in public, being a Lucha Libre legend, an egocentric movie star, and...louder for the people in the back: his commitment to staying masked in public. Mr. Wrestling II should be here as well, since Tony Atlas reported that he'd wear his mask in public so often that he could cash checks with it on.
5. Kyrie Irving (2017 Version) - Kyrie was playing with a mask on for part of the 2017 Boston Celtics season. What else could you want? I thought this gave the gifted baller a mysterious edge on the court, much like his predecessor Rip Hamilton. Unlike the people I mentioned earlier, I don't care for Kyrie in 2020....but I do think every player should wear a mask (breathable one like Kyrie's, just for looks). Another suggestion: Move the three point line back 5 feet.
6. Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett) - If he didn't die so quickly in Return of the Jedi he'd be number 1 one this list. Stop me if you heard this before, but he is hands-down the most underused character in any galaxy or starscape. Let us pray to Emperor Favreau that Mandalorian season 2 changes all that. The actual MANDO himself deserves a spot on this list as well. He can be 6 B.
7. Lazer Tron - Secretly Hector Guerrero, his Lazer-Tron persona made Jim Crockett Promotions and NWA wrestling must-see TV in the mid-80's. Nobody since the Road Warriors captured my attention like Lazer-Tron...his silver suit and ridiculous mask, jumping around that crummy NWA ring was just magic.
8. Kim Chee - Kim Chee was Kamala the Ugandan Giant's handler in the WWF. Later in life I learned that it was actually Steve Lombardi aka the Brooklyn Brawler under the mask. You got me, Steve. When I was a young boy, I believed wholeheartedly that aliens were going to abduct me, so it wasn't a stretch to believe that Kim Chee was just a guy named Kim Chee who dedicated his life to taking care of Kamala. I was a sap. Even Ax from Demolition had me fooled when he was Masked Superstar and Super Machine. I never knew. If I knew then, I might have respected Demolition a bit more.
9. David Prowse (Darth Vader) - Famously voiced by James Earl Jones, I feel like the actual actor inside the suit of the greatest villain of all time doesn't get enough credit. Was that him recklessly piloting the TIE fighter too? Back in black, David Prowse comes in at number 9.
10. MF DOOM - I certainly wouldn't recommend wearing this mask to stop the spread of COVID-19, but alas, it's still a mask. A maniacal tyrant, DOOM takes the 10 spot for his lyricism, mystique, genius rebirth, and of course teaming up with CZARFACE for the first Hero & Villain team-up in hip-hop history.
Art by Tom De Geeter