Trying to do a book that features a regular guy living up to a grand legacy, I tend to create the character first and then come up with a masked double identity second. Luckily as I develop the person, it makes it easier to see what type of mask they’d wear.
I wanted Tommy to have a lifelong friend, a soulmate so to speak to grow up with. Bianca Curry became that soulmate. Loosely based on my wonderful and beautiful wife, it was pretty easy coming up with the type of hero I needed. It just made sense she’d be the “super” character of my world without peer. Her secret identity of Dynama is just an extension of Bianca’s natural instinct. She’s smart, positive and beyond witty. And the ability to pick up a building is just a side note. She’s Tommy’s voice of reason and is constantly zipping around the world helping out where she can. She’s more in the mode of “I have these powers, I want to help. It would be a waste of these blessings to do otherwise.” It allows me to give Tommy a real grounding by having a secure relationship.
As I’ve stated many times, MAN IN THE MASK has been with me for 20 years or so. Bianca and Dynama have been around as long. But one new thing I came up with for this version of the book, was the fact that Bianca’s adopted mother was a masked mystery woman herself. The Midnight Rose. And it was through that, We learn before her powers started showing up, Bianca was training to take over for her mom. This allowed me to show that Bianca chose being a selfless protector before she could fly. I had some fun showing some of that in the Halloween special. In doing so, I have gotten the bug to do a little more story on Bianca’s mom. So expect to see a origin story for the Midnight Rose, that will also lean into an origin of Bianca.
Design wise, Bianca has a ponytail. As a husband of a wife that has long hair, I’ve seen first hand how annoying she finds her locks when she’s working around the house. Made sense Bianca would want to put her hair up and out of her face. Costume wise I tried to go simple like I do with all designs. The color scheme just came to me. With the Midnight Rose, I did some research on girls in the 1960s with leather jackets and general clothing. Her costume is kind of thrown together but with a theme. It surprises me how fast I’ve really gotten attached to her and different things I can tell about her.
they really are a fun legacy that snuck up on me and I can’t wait to show you what I’ve worked up for them.
A lifelong comics fan, Mike W. Belcher is the writer/artist of MAN IN THE MASK. A story he's had with him for over 20 years.