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The Kambal masks are two artifacts that are currently bonded to the Kambal, manifesting every time they enter battle. They serve to conceal identities as well as to mitigate the bloodlust and anger of the user, staying bonded to them until death.

Creation and conception[]

In June 2005, Budjette wrote the first issue of the series at Kajo Baldisimo's request, basing it on an old draft he worked on in the early 2000s.[1] As a result, he developed the early ideas for Alexandra Trese and her two bodyguards, which initially wore masks to hide their true identity as aswang.[2] Budjette's early notes show that he had been considering giving them theater masks based on Moriones masks or Sto. Nino masks.[3] Kajo eventually gave them stylized theater masks based on a manananggal mask he made for The Last Datu.[4] He intentionally made their masks distinct from each other as this allowed them to be differentiated from the other even when as silhouettes or viewed from behind.[5]

Appearance[]

The Mask of Tragedy (Melpomene mask) is more angular and pentagonal in shape. Its sides are only slightly curved, meeting at sharp vertices except for its flat chin. The eye curves on it are slightly angled, with their concave side pointing towards the center.

The Mask of Comedy (Thalia mask) is more rounded and rhombic in shape. All of its vertices are smooth curves, with all sides curving inward. Its eye curves are aligned parallel, the concave sides evenly pointing upwards.

History[]

The masks are the quintessential tragedy and comedy masks that came from the Theater of Doom. During that time, they were bonded to two female aswang, mitigating their bloodlust. Their ringmaster, the owner of the masks, forced them to fight for their lives every night for entertainment. After multiple nights of fighting various supernatural creatures, they were made to fight against each other. Tired of everything they've been through, the two of them decide to rebel against the ringmaster.[6] Anton Trese and Alexander Trese shut down the theater and set them free, but the two aswang chose to stay with them out of gratitude.[7]

Eventually, they both died defending Alexander from the hands of the Maligno Horde. The masks unbonded from them, and were kept by Alexander in a box for a period of time.[7]

Some time later, Anton asked Alexander to bring the masks back. They were bonded to the Kambal in order to control their raging bloodlust and hunger. They then became a valuable asset to the Trese family, using their powers to assist Alexandra Trese when needed.[7] However, unbonding them from their masks in some way might reintroduce their bloodlust, turning them against those close to them.[8]

References[]

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