The Mask (or the Mask of Loki in the film) is a supernatural arcifact that is held by Stanley Ipkiss in the film and many other wearers in the comics. In reality, The Mask itself is an object surrounded by darkness and mystery. No one knows who made it, or why it even exists in the first place.
It is uncontrollable, and it unleashes something equally uncontrollable on the wearers themselves.
In the original comics, the mask was apparently created by an unknown tribe in Africa, using ancient African techniques that use a type of magic which, when one wears the mask, gains physical imperviousness and abilities similar to that of a cartoon character, such as being able to pull random objects out of nowhere and stretch far beyond human limits.
In the film, the mask was created around the end of the fourth century and the beginning of the fifth century by Loki, the Norse god of mischief, in the northern lands of Europe in Asgard and supposedly of Scandinavian origin. Some texts of Loki describe him as a night god, which matches the Mask perfectly as it only works at night and stops with the dawning of the sun. However the mythical story behind its creation in movie appears to be open to interpretation. Some say Loki was banished into the Mask and it is he who is let loose when the Mask is worn. This theory, however, has its problems as each Mask transformation is unique as the person wearing it and follows their own personal desires rather than those of Loki’s.
Another theory is that Loki created the Mask himself and imbued it with his own powers; he tossed it down to Earth to cause terror and chaos among the humans. This theory too has its problems, such as why Loki would allow the humans to gain equal footing against him or other gods, and why one who wears the Mask gains far more than shape shifting abilities and other powers than Loki is capable of understanding. No texts describe Loki as being able to pull objects from nowhere, nor the ability to warp reality to his will. If he had those powers, Odin could not easily have exiled him from the godly realm in Asgard. So there appears to be no satisfactory, sound theory behind its creation and the point is still up for debate. As such, the powers demonstrated by the Mask in the movie should be more basic and simple powers of Loki since he has more power than the Mask itself.
In the animated series, the Mask was supposedly created around the eleventh century in Nordic lands of Europe, but the creator of it is actually unknown, and this version of the Mask is considered one of the world's most powerful objects.
The appearance and the design of the mask are in fact quite different in the original comics, in the movie and in the animated series.
In the original comics, it is a voodoo mask made of jade with cracks of oval shape with red eyes, nose and mouth closed.
In the film, it is an old wooden mask of Viking type and Scandinavian origin, having the top straight horizontal line with wide vertical stripes on the surface and cracks of dull dark green wood (in official movie version adapted for the comics, the color is light brown), having three small holes (two for the eyes and one for the mouth) and with a piece of metal painted brass with dark green and lies between the nose and the eye holes with four metal spherical points and a fifth spherical spot with a letter "L" in the Center, located at the top of the metal part where stand the forehead (in the official film version adapted for the comics, is replaced by one more simple metal spherical point instead of the letter "L").
In the animated series, the mask is a combination of the two designs of the original comics and the film, having a more oval and being made of wood with vertical stripes and light brown color (the same common color of good quality wood), with three small holes (two for the eyes and one for the mouth) and with a piece of metal painted in grey color, getting between the nose and the eyes and having five small metal spherical points).
The three versions have symbiotic characteristics and usually produce small tentacles from the edges of the mask when it is placed on the face or is close enough to the face of the user (whether human or animal) and covers his or her head completely, connecting with the facial features (eyes, nose and mouth), distorting, deforming and tightening the face and head during the transformation, causing pain in the user (both during the transformation and when the mask is removed from the face). The transformation is initiated in the film and animated series with the wearer usually becoming a mini tornado, identical to the character Taz Mania of Looney Tunes or cover the wearer's body in a cloud of black smoke in the case of bad people, and the transformations are always accompanied by loud noises and flashes of thunder and lightning, sometimes showing the skeleton. After the transformation he or she shall have their head and face completely in bright green color (certain users can be transformed with the whole hair covered or not by the material of the mask), ears covered by the material of the mask, along with a set of large teeth, completely white and shiny, as well as a change of the basic clothing according to the personality of each, in order to appear more suitable for the desired personality and love interest of the user.
In the original Comic's the Transformation of Big-Head is not very spectacular, allowing the wearer to change without attention. The Mask is also shown to completely change whatever clothes the wearer has on at the time, Stanley Ipkiss being an example. In the film, cartoon and comics based on the cartoon the transformation happens in a tornado, this can however attract the attention of people nearby as it's not as stealthy as the original comic Mask.
The mask by itself has no will, soul, spirit or even its own personality (in the original comics version, it has a will of its own, so much so that those who use it wearing it will sometimes actually converse with the Mask itself). However, once it is placed on, being a magical object, the mask turns whoever uses it according to the ulterior motives of the mind and the deepest feelings of the heart that the user even does not know or has normally.
The mask transforms him or her into an alter ego (both the body and the soul), based on the desired personality within that person's subconscious, bringing out their desires, dreams, joys, repressed feelings, deepest needs and interiors, amplifying them and finally putting the user's alter ego in control of decision-making with absolutely no high control or possible psychological inhibitions imposed by society, seeking pleasure without personal pain in a manner very exaggerated or aggressive and reach goals most desired without fear of the consequences. These vary from person to person and how the personality he or she currently is at the moment, as well as if that person is even good or bad in both mind and heart. This is always dangerous, as the user rarely keeps their morale or even basic decency by using the mask and is affected by its influence (either for good or for evil), which can lead even to deaths as a result of the desires of the user (mainly with bad people by using the mask, as these people are evil by nature and have no social inhibitions or do not comply with the laws and authorities, having more control over their actions). It also feeds off of the darker impulses in a person’s psyche, like rage, anger, mischief, jealousy, lust and others, and the Mask makes the person act on them. They become a personification and also a slave of their inner, primitive desires.
The engine that makes the mask work is the most basic desires of a person (not confuse inner desires of the mind with desires of the heart), which are the need to eat, drink, play, defend yourself, and so on. In other words, the wishes and feelings of the user that is currently wearing the mask are more specifically the selfish desires of each one.
There are several differences in the three versions:
In the original comics, along with other powers and abilities The Mask also gives the wear high intelligence, however in return it also turns the wearer insane, causing the wearer to turn into dangerous and cruel antiheroes with ultra-violent tendencies, even if this is not the original intention of the user, for example, upon discovering the Mask had granted him powers, Stanley Ipkiss declared he would become a superhero and protect the innocent, but not before he kills the bikers that had harassed him earlier in the day. Ironically he started killing innocent people who had caused him personal grief, slowly giving in to his more violent desires. The reason for this drastic change in the wearer is because this version of the mask has it's own will and controls the user, combining their will with the personality of the users that are using this version of mask.
In the movie and in the animated version, the user is only in fact violent due to their own current personality is very bad, the nature of the thoughts and feelings of the person, if he or she is as good or bad with other people on a daily basis and always varying the degree of dangerousness that he or she usually has, since these two versions of the mask has no will of their own. In the animated series, the alter ego of the user almost always refers to himself in the third person, as if it were a separate personality from the original, which varies from person to person and is almost always on the basis of mischief (except in the case of the villains and bad people). The Mask will also act on a person's desires whether the wearer wants it to or not. In the episode "The Aceman Cometh" Milo is abducted and Stanley prepares to search for him with the Mask, but sees a commercial for a limbo tournament at the Coco Bongo club, and knows that if he puts the mask on he will go to the party instead of find Milo.
In addition to being self-aware, the Mask has it's own mind and thinks of itself as an independent entity. In the episode "Split Personality" the mask is broken in half and when Stanley wears it transforms his left side into The Mask, who asks Stanley "What are you doing here?" As Stanley observes the antics of his alter ego he remarks "So this is what I do during the day as you". In another case where the Mask was shown having some agency in it's actions is in the episode "Fantashtick Voyage", wherein Milo is made ill by a virus partly due to the Mask. Desperate, Stanley leaves a video message for The Mask telling it if Milo isn't cured, Stanley will throw the mask away forever. Convinced, the Mask drives off saying it had "grown accustomed to (Stanley's) face!"
Powers and AbilitesEdit
The mask gives the wearer various powers and abilities, increased skills of those that the user already has naturally and they are all just limited to the mind and the imagination of the user, being the main source of the powers of the mask all based on manipulation of the manufactures of reality in the style Toonforce.
The Toonforce is the term for a kind of power generally used for comedy. Due to that the mask makes the minds of users, he or she act as wacky characters of cartoons, of the type that are not meant to be taken seriously (at least, far less seriously than other characters who act with integrity and in accordance with their personalities and their current ideas, thoughts, and feelings) and his skills are often inconsistent to the point of being able to do what he or she wants, however, that is funny or weird. Examples are walking in midair and not fall until you look down, or paint a tunnel on a wall or fence or mountain and then pass through the tunnel painted even though it is not really there. And even ridiculous things well as sending someone to the real and physical world or stop a show, movie, or entire cartoon series by destroying the film. This force is also known as the Kingdom of Animation, which uses the principles of animation, the Acme Law (used in cartoons with characters from Looney Tunes, for example), the logic of caricature, cartoon physics and physics Toon.
So, the powers that have the mask are basically all these here:
- Manipulation of the Manufactures of Reality (Reality Warping) in Toonforce Style - The Main Source of the Powers of the Mask (Comic Cartoon Level: Change the reality around you with manifestation of objects that appear mysteriously, meaning "out of nowhere", change of clothes, handling the physical form of the user and the world around them in a superhuman extension, but for comic effects, funny, weird, fun, humorous and exaggerated);
- Increased Speed (Supersonic Level: Leaving a blur when it moves in this speed, reaction time to dodge bullets from firearms or attacks using the speed of sound and run at a speed of approximately 344 meters per second or 123.84 kilometers per hour);
- Increased Strength (Class 100 Level II: Being able to lift 100 tons or more on their heads and varies of user-to-user);
- Increased Durability (City-Block Level: Able to survive an explosion powerful enough to destroy a block an entire city and being almost completely immune to attacks from enemies);
- Increased Stamina (Very High Level: The user never shows fatigue or getting breathless);
- Regeneration (Dimensional Level: Making him or her effectively indestructible and able to regenerate while your consciousness exists in the physical world, regenerating from even other dimensions);
- Increased Intelligence (Insane Level: With the loss of sanity, inhibitions and self-control. Depending on the personality, ideas, thoughts of mind and the heart of user);
- Transformation and Metamorphosis (Imaginary Level: Including elasticity, self-transmutation, duplication, biological manipulation and change of size, in addition to having the ability to turn others to disguise);
- Amplification and Increased Natural Powers and Abilities (Varied Depending on the Individual Level: Negative and neutralize many or almost all negative effects of any kind of power or natural ability that the user has due the effects of regenerative abilities in the mask and increase the benefits of these same natural powers and abilities in up to ten times more than normal);
- Energy Manipulation (Dimensional Level: Being able to use any type of energy attack, imaginary power, techniques or any other type of energy by the rules imposed by the unusual sense, limited only by the mind and the imagination of the thoughts of the user)
Despite all this, The Mask does have weaknesses, which are when it is removed by the user or by other factors, circumstances or other people or events that remove the face of someone or having the user been unconscious with an impact or attack strong enough to make loses the senses and making the mask face go out alone, he or she come back to normal, without the powers of the mask. Also almost never used all the total maximum capacity of the powers of the mask, since that it depends and varies of user-to-user.
In the version of the film, the mask is useless and dead during the daylight and comic versions or in the animated series, it can be used at any time, either during the day or at night. When it is removed, the user may or may not have some memories or almost none of the things that his or her alter ego did when they used the mask, or think that it was all a dream. Due to the time that the user was using the mask, he or she can get very tired and exhausted after using the power of manipulation of reality of the Toonforce type as a side effect, since the mask uses the user's mental energy to operate this kind of power.
In the animated series, if the user stops acting as his alter ego and releases many of their emotions, feelings and repressed thoughts of your subconscious and combines with his current personality, the mask only works for a few minutes and it melts on its own, leaving the user's face, since the deeper parts and suppressed the subconscious are needed to make the mask work in this individual, thus it does stop working in this person, even when putting the mask on the face of him or her again. If the user decides to crack down on those repressed parts back into your subconscious, the mask return running in this individual again.
- Since Loki was a night god, The Mask only works at night.
- This rule was created only for the film, and does not exist in either comics or the animated series.
- Hence the name, the mask was created by Loki in the film canon.
- In the film canon it's shown that if a child is conceived while the father is wearing the mask, the child will gain Loki's powers.
- The Mask is worn by many people in the comics, in the movie there is normally one Protagonist and Antagonist, but it also works on animals.
- The mask has only shown to be ineffective on Walter in the animated series. Perhaps this is because he lacks a personality or soul.
- One of the only powers not adapted into the films (only appearing in the comics and cartoon) is the mask's ability to create a second 'face' on top of the mask itself, disguising the wearer as a normal person even with the mask on.
- In the episode "Fantashtick Voyage" Stanley threatens the Mask by leaving a video promising to throw it away if his alter ego can't save Milo. Curiously, in the video he puts the mask on to affirm his promise and the Mask says "Listen to him joe! HE MEANS IT!" This seems to imply the Mask is not aware of some instances when it is worn by Stanley, but is of others.
- It appears that several mask props were made for the original film, as the color seems to change from scene to scene. For example, the scene where the mask rises from the water it seems to be made of bright green wood, while in the scene in Dr. Neuman's lab, it seems to be brown.