Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Black Mask Plan?

The solicits for December gave us a better idea what he has in mind so this is just me trying to piece it all together. Lots of speculation and talking about the story so far.


The mayor was infected with the Techno-Organic Virus. At first I was uncertain if this would be more than an attempt to kill the mayor since the TOV is something from X-Men lore. It's the virus Cable has had since he was a baby that he's used his powers to keep in check to prevent it from killing him. Lobdell has had in jokes referencing his time as an X-writer before so I wondered if this was another. The solicits for December say Black Mask is using the TOV to mind control others. It might work different in the DC universe or Black Mask found a way to do this.

Step one was to infect the mayor as he has power that can be exploited. Okay makes sense but Jason stops the whole thing by curing him. It also begs a few questions:

  1. Has Black Mask infected anyone else?
  2. How much power and influence does Black Mask currently have?
  3. How does one become infected?
  4. Why is Black Mask giving Red Hood so much slack?

Here's where things get interesting. If BM has infected anyone else it would have to be someone with power like the mayor or someone he needed but couldn't control by other means. His minions have no idea what he doing so he wouldn't bother with them. BM has recently become a power player but it's uncertain if the virus played a part. At present I'd say he commands some respect in Gotham and is a crime boss on the rise. It's hard to say how powerful he is at this point. He controls the restaurant he dines at with Gunn for example.

The only thing I can think of for number three is that those infected drink the virus. Why do I think that? Well there are two potential times for him to infect others since RHATO Rebirth began. Remember when Jason shot (cured) the mayor on tv? That got him a lot of positive attention in the underworld but remember the mayor is part of Black Masks' plan. Jason screwed him over and if BM has #1 and #2 he might know that the mayor was actually cured. At the super villain bar Jason is offered a drink (artist choice?) We don't see him drink it and given the fact he no longer wears a mask under his helmet it's unlikely he would risk it anyway.

BM does know Red Hood is there but I admit it's a stretch to assume he'd try to control him like that. The bartender warns him about Joker not against pissing off Black Mask. This however made me question if he attempted this with Ma Gunn when they share a drink. Wouldn't her operation help his out if she was training new henchmen for him? Sure there's some holes in this idea too since he blows up her place and Jason was only there on a whim. But let's put a pin in this for now and come back to it.

So Jason got in the way of Black Masks' plot and BM might know Jason cured the mayor. Yet he instantly sends a lackey with an invite. Unlike Gunn he can't really intimidate Red Hood but maybe he was going to kill him. There's a week between the invite and Jason accepting. Gunn doesn't think BM could know about her licence being delayed which is iffy since we don't know how much he controls. While she could be a great help to BM she could also harm him since it's revealed that she knows Roman pretty well.

Now to take the pin out for why I think it's possible that Gunn might have been infected. Maybe it takes awhile for the virus to work and Gunn was becoming too much of a problem to wait. Maybe it was just to scare her and his henchmen thought otherwise. Or the TOV might be triggered faster with an increased amount of adrenaline. The lackeys claim they wanted to kill her at the restaurant yet didn't and just assumed she'd die in the explosion they didn't stick around for. Jason saves Gunn giving her a good enough look at his face that she recognizes him before dismissing it.

What if she told Black Mask before Jason meet with him?

BM is VERY pleased to see Red Hood and if he knows Jason is under cover he knew he'd have to accept his invite. Why BM would act buddy buddy is up to whatever backstory Lobdell choses to do. Whether it's a way to get back at Jason or get to Bruce, etc. I have my own theory. Anyway BM actually makes a point to test Jason and doesn't seem upset when he refuses to obey orders. He also makes big deal about his plans and not telling Jason what they are despite making him the second in command. BM claims that there will be no more secrets between them once they look at the cargo. I'm not too sure about that.

With Bizarro as the muscle and the TOV infecting Gotham or at least the higher ups Black Mask has total control over the city. The only thing that can possibly threaten him is the bat family. Not so much if he can get to them, which he could if he knows who they are.

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