Detective Comics Annual # 1
The Detective Comics Annual is coming up, and it appears that will be Tony's final foray into the world of Batman writing, as I believe its published after 'Tec 12. So the rundown is that Roman Sionis has escaped from Arkham and he's after Batman and that, Roman "The Black Mask" Sionis, is always a good plot. I mean, when Tony did Jeremiah as Black Mask, it was very good as well. Tony does a good Black Mask, but now that the Mask has powers to do mind control, still a step up from latching it on to his face, how will things be different? I was against mind control at first, but then I thought about it, and it could work.
Why? Because it would explain a lot of plot holes in the story, what if Roman was controlling Jeremiah all along? What if the Mask is its own entity and, like Charon's Claw, it can either control you or you control it (Roman finds Mask; Roman controls Mask; Jeremiah finds Mask; Mask controls Jeremiah; Dini comes along and has Zatanna free Jeremiah; Roman finds Mask again). That second option would bring magic into the Batman universe, something that has not been done properly since Batman vs Etrigan. A lot of people say, magic and Batman: I HATE IT! I'LL KILL YOUR MOTHER DANIEL! But think about it, magic is the only thing that the Worlds Finest are cautious of. That is why a lot of Black Mask stories can stay canon and keep the character as vicious as before, as well as Batman actually putting thought into defeating Sionis, I mean we all loved the blood loving Sionis.
And one of the problems I noted with Daniel was that he compressed his stories all into one, this was good for money but bad for quality, with an annual and the time and space needed to tell the story of Roman Sionis (or is it the story of the Mask?), Daniel can craft a wonderful story. I mean look at it, Daniel's good streak is when he has room for stories (Long Shadows; Eye of the Beholder; Faces of Death) and everybody hates him when he does smaller stories (Two-Face Batman arc; Riddler Batman arc; Penguin Arc; Mr. Toxic Arc [This one is okay, I guess: 7/10 scale]; Detective Two-Face backup feature) and his one shots are wonderfully crafted (Scarecrow [I said this could be better as a longer arc and I stand by that, but that doesn't mean its bad] and Night of Owls).
To me, Black Mask, is mostly the old fedora-wearing Roman Sionis, mostly done by Doug Moench and Chuck Dixon throughout the mid eighties-nineties, who ran a gang, with his philosophy "One Mask Destroys One Identity While Creating Another". And his gang: "False-Facers", basic punks, crooks, and I guess cult-like followers, in a random assortment of Halloween masks!
And, there was also Circe, the Red Witch, former model / flame of his back when he ran Sionis Cosmetics, before toxic makeup ruined him, leaving Bruce Wayne to buy out whatever was left. Even when perhaps she wanted to move on with her career, life, Black Mask won't let her go, even if it meant forceful kidnapping, disfigurement of her beautiful face with a slightly dilluted compound of his makeup (as fuller doses kills people), and eventual bending to his will, in company of him and his gang, to, "suicide"??? I know, something musta happened when Mask eventually replaced her as a human, with a manequin, but I always feel that the "suicide" part always started by wikipedia, because there is absolutely NO "suicide" I've read about her, on-panel or off.
Leave the mystics to the Demon, Zatanna, Doctor Fate, Spectre, Phantom Stranger, and their ilk; if Black Mask is all totally "Everything I knew about him was wrong", or basically kept only his messed-up sadistic early-mid 00s side, I won't buy it.
Daniel's Black Mask has never really worked for me, especially now with the implications that the mask itself somehow gives power and/or madness. I mean, it's not even supposed to be able to come on and off that easily since it's burned into Sinonis' face... I didn't mind the rebooted, torture-nut Black Mask written mostly by Brubaker and Winick in the early 00's, but the best version would probably be some kind of mixture between that and Moench's original creation, the fedora-wearing gangster with a mask fetisch and a hatred for Bruce Wayne who controls a cult-like gang. We haven't seen much of the post-Flashpoint Black Mask (atleast he's Sionis again!) but I'm still somewhat worried over this implied new direction.