As far as small investigations linked around criminal ghosts within crowds of normal people just following state and national guidelines against COVID-19, masks and criminality are mostly linked to comic books and fictional elements within film and television industries. Most notably movies like Deadpool, V for Vendetta, Friday the 13th (Jason), Halloween (Michael Myers) and television shows such as Money Heist on Netflix.
The above movies and television shows are mostly based on fictional elements meant to entertain specific audiences, inspiration of mask usage spans not only within criminal interest and protecting their identities, but fandoms that interact with conventions such as cosplay. Also, masks that form out of movies such as these make for great Halloween costumes. Children might wear them on October 31 to run around neighborhoods and receive candy from their neighbors. Teenagers might mess around and tp and egg houses and terrorize little kids in Jason and Michael Myers masks. I’m only giving these examples because I’ve seen it happen.
Usually, these movies or any movie or television show that depicts a form of disguise or mask is turned into a product in which others will wear on occasions that are most appropriate. For Halloween as their favorite character, for a themed party, or for committing a crime without seeming suspicious when purchasing one of these mass produced, movie or television based mask in a department store.
The reality of these fictional and made up stories have to originate from somewhere. Most fictional elements are based on real events.
“Superhero comics, like so many other genres of popular culture may not depict the real world, but they do mediate it; that is, they respond to, comment on, the world around us.”Stromberg, 2011
In Spider-Man Homecoming released in 2017, starring Tom Holland, one of the beginning scenes depict four robbers with plastic masks the four Avengers: Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, and Thor. Of course, the fictional element within this scene is the outer space technology they received from the first Avenger’s movie released back in 2012. However, this scene might as well depict how some robbers disguise themselves in real life.
Stromberg, F. (2011). “Yo, rag-head!”: Arab and Muslim Superheroes in American Comic Books after 9/11. Amerikastudien / American Studies, 56(4), 573-601. Retrieved April 15, 2021, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23509430