Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Revolution Prelude - a M.A.S.K. Comics Review

The Revolution Prelude comic has been made available on the internet for free from IDW - a nice little to touch to help promote the release of the 5 part Revolution series.  I did read it online and didn't think that I would ever have a copy of the comic in my hands.

Luckily, Jose over at the M.A.S.K.- Peaceful Nations Alliance Facebook Page managed to get his hands on 10 copies of the comic.  He's been running competitions with M.A.S.K. related questions.

Prior to each competition, he posted information about the time and date the competition would start - along with the competition rules.  I sat with his Facebook page open constantly refreshing with F5 to make sure I caught one of his competitions.  The particular competition that night was a blacked out image of a character from the world of M.A.S.K.

It was part guess and part luck.  I could vaguely make out glasses and a moustache - didn't seem to fit with any of the M.A.S.K. or V.E.N.O.M. agents.  Then it struck me - Duane Kennedy - leader of the P.N.A. - seemed fitting for the page!

I think I had my answer in within a minute of Jose posing the question.  I don't think he expected anyone to answer quite that quickly!

Anyway, the comic arrived today.  I know that it's been available online for a while, and I could've reviewed it well before now, but seems more fitting to review now that have a tangible, paper, traditional comic in my hands.

So, I read it to my 6 year old son as part of his Bedtime Story Routine tonight.  Although I'm only on the prelude issue, I think, going from what I've already seen of future comics, that part of my reviews for all the issues may have similar gripes.



Before I do any further, I'm going to be as honest as I can be.  I will have some positives and negatives.  I'm not going to apologise for my frank opinion - and it is just that; an opinion!

First things first, I have mentioned before in previous posts about the size difference between UK and US Comics.  In America, everything seems like they have to be large - cars, food portions, houses, egos, etc.  

However, American Comics are small.  Very Small.  Fit in a ladies handbag kind of small.  Kid size small.  Put it down for two minutes and you can't find it again small.

Ok, I think I've made my point, your comics are small.  However, there is no scrimping on action.  The Artwork in this comic is amazing!  It's vibrant, colourful, explosive and truly draws you in.

Like the UK Comics from the 80's, we have a fantastic wraparound cover and every inch delivers.  Now, imagine if this comic was the size of a UK Comic - how much more impactful the cover would be?

The black banner along the top of the page, with the now familiar Revolution text is crisp, clean, modern and well....  Just looks amazing.

But, we do have a couple of problems.  Although Switchblade on the back cover (not pictured above) resembles every inch the iconic vehicle from the 80's, Thunder Hawk and Rhino on the front cover are somewhat different.

They are more rounded... and more like Caricatures of the originals.  The ramp and missile within Rhino are also opening up from the wrong side - based on the toy of the 80's.

But that isn't the biggest issue with the cover.

In my opinion, the cover of a comic or magazine should have some relevance to the comic within.  Let's say you were buying a TV - if, on the box, it showed a picture of a 55", 4k, 3D, top of the range Smart TV - that is what you would expect to find when you open the box.  If you opened the box and found an outdated, 32" standard definition TV - you would feel completely short changed.

So, why shouldn't a comic cover be any different?  If I have a comic that is tempting me in with images of Switchblade, Rhino and Thunder Hawk, I would be expecting them to be on the inside of the comic as part of the story or at least a vehicle profile - like the old UK Comics.

Instead, the only link to M.A.S.K. within the story, is the character Miles Manheim - known as Miles Mayhem.  With the variation covers I've seem so far for some of the comics - see my Blogpost on the Issue 1 covers as an example - there seem to be some discrepancies in styles of Masks, vehicles, outfits, etc.  I think that we are going to be sold comics with great looking covers that bare no resemblance or connection with the stories within.  That would be a shame.

It would also be a false way of selling comics if that is also the case.

The actual story itself is very basic.  It centres mainly on G.I. Joe characters talking about the history of The Transformers and their impact on Earth - with a little of input from Miles Mayhem.

It is a prelude comic, I understand that.  It has to set things up.  If I were to compare it to the Preview issue of the UK M.A.S.K. Comics, I would say the positive is the great full colour art.  However, lacks in size and story.  But mainly, it lacks M.A.S.K.

I've order the first few issues of Revolution and I believe that the first issue should be with me soon so I'm hoping to review that for you as soon as I can.

Feel free to pop over to my M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page, like and share and leave your comments below.


#assembleMASK #MASKComics #Hasbro
#MASKcrusade #DIC #IDW

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Transformers Trailcutter Versus M.A.S.K.'s Jackhammer

I was doing a search on Google the other day there when I came across this Picture...


It kind of took me by surprise!  At first glance, in small preview, I thought it was some kind of Jackhammer toy that may have been part of some giveaway back in the day.  When I clicked on the picture to enlarge, the Autobot symbol became more noticeable.

I clicked onto the page featuring this image and came across a great blog - Transfromers4Collection and in particular a page all about the Autobot, Trailcutter.  You should pop over for a look - there are great reviews on M.A.S.K. toys and others as well!

In this partially transformed state, there is no denying there is a resemblance to our beloved Jackhammer.


And judging by the fact the picture came up whilst doing a search for M.A.S.K., in particular Outlaw, the search engine Google must also agree with me how much it resembles Jackhammer.

What do you think?  Is this part of Hasbro's great plan to bring M.A.S.K. and Transfromers toys closer together?

Perhaps we'll never know.

Share your comments below or over at the M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page.

Thank you,

Scott.

#assembleMASK #MASKComics #Hasbro
#MASKcrusade #DIC #Transformers


Monday, 12 September 2016

Sly Rax and Vanessa Warfield on the cover of Action Man?

The boys over at Agents of M.A.S.K. have posted about the new cover of Action Man.  It would appear to depict Sly Rax and Vanessa Warfield.

It is a great image and shows our two V.E.N.O.M. agents fighting alongside Action man and a Transformer.  I'm not even going to guess at which Transformer, my knowledge in that field is lacking these days.

It's well drawn and certainly draws you in.

Despite being a fantastic image, there are two issues that I have with this picture.

The first being that this hints to M.A.S.K. related characters being in this Action Man Comic.  This is where having a share universe gets messy.  We don't even have Revolutions or our standalone M.A.S.K. Comic yet and already we're being drawn in to buy other IDW Comics.

I'm sure that Action Man will be a great comic, but I'm not interested in buying it.  I want M.A.S.K. - plain and simple.

The next issue that I have with this cover is guns.

IDW are missing the point of why M.A.S.K. is called what it is.  Vanessa and Rax (if that definitely is who we're looking at) are wearing their Whip and Stiletto masks.  So, why do they need guns?

Surely, if we are bringing all of these teams together - Transformers, M.A.S.K., G.I. Joe, Action Man, etc. - shouldn't we at least see their unique differences?  Isn't the point that M.A.S.K. have different weapons to G.I. Joe to Transformers to Action Man?

If you are just going to give them guns - just call them Joes.

It may seem like I'm being harsh - but IDW really need to step up their game and bring people what they want - and that is M.A.S.K.

I was in a comic store recently to find out about ordering the new comics.  Not a single comic on the shelves was IDW.  The store owner told me that people aren't as interested in IDW titles as they are Marvel or DC Comics.  In fact, the regulars who order IDW's Transformers comics may not last once the Revolution begins.

IDW - setting M.A.S.K. up to fail before it's started.

M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page.

#assembleMASK #MASKComics #Hasbro
#MASKcrusade #DIC

Saturday, 3 September 2016

IDW M.A.S.K. Issue 1 Covers

Over the past few weeks, we've seen more images of the covers of both Revolutions and M.A.S.K. - Mobile Armored Strike Kommand.  So far, I've seen two M.A.S.K. Issue 1 Covers, whether more have still to be released, I'm not sure, but given the number of Revolution Variations I've seen - it's more than likely.

The first of these covers show our M.A.S.K. team racing into action.


As a 1st issue cover, this is awesome.  Vibrant and Colourful. Great Detail.  Plenty of Motion and Action on the front cover and I would hope that this continues on the inside of the comic.  If you are an original M.A.S.K. fan, like myself, this image, although not 100% Classic M.A.S.K., is easily recognisable as being M.A.S.K. and takes me straight back to my childhood.

As ever with my blog, I'd like to dissect this image further and discuss the individual components - starting with the Masthead.

Clearly, Comics, Magazines and Newspapers have to be easily Identifiable in the newspaper stands or comic book shelves.  The Standard M.A.S.K. Logo creates an issue for publications.

Why?

As M.A.S.K. is now dead, I'll use the one of the new M.A.S.K. - Mobile Armored Strike Kommand Logo's to help explain.



For all intents and purposes, the logo is a square.  It may not look like a square with the sweeping arc around Rhino, the M.A.S.K. text and the now famous mystery Mask not seen anywhere other than in the logo (maybe IDW will write a story where this is the original Mask.....  Just saying!)!  But, it takes up the space of a square.

Back in the day of TV's having an aspect ratio of 4:3 - this had a dramatic impact during the opening titles of the cartoon as everyone remembers the M.A.S.K. logo coming right at you from your screen!

The Challenge with this shape, is that it would either take up half of the cover of a comic or would be that small it wouldn't be seen on the shelves in amongst the other IDW, DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Archie, Etc. etc. comics available.

Back in the 80's, DC Comics take on the M.A.S.K. logo was to reduce the size of Rhino and the MASK.

By doing so, it made it easier to fit on the cover of the comic.


It was easy to see the title name of the comic and the text remained in the same recognisable Font but the overall, in my opinion, isn't that great.

Yes, you have all of the elements of the original logo - but being out of proportion, ruins the overall effect and brand image of the product.

Over here in the UK, IPC/Fleetway's take on the cover was completely different.


By removing Rhino from the Logo allowed them to keep the proportions the same on the rest of the logo.  In doing so, not only does the Text stand out from the crowd, we can also recognise the Mask picture as well.

One of the advantages of M.A.S.K. is it's short title name - meaning that, even in the crowds of other comics, it's easy to spot those four letters.

I'm glad, therefore, that IDW have made the correct choice and followed in the footsteps of the UK Comic and using a similar style logo.

Working down from the logo, we then have Matt Trakker wearing his infamous Spectrum Mask in Thunder Hawk.  What can we say except classic M.A.S.K.

To the right of Thunder Hawk's steering wheel, we have Julio Lopez in Firefly.  Again, this is an iconic shot of Firefly - viewing it from above so we can easily recognise it.  One little niggle, though, and that is that the front wings aren't deployed.  Has firefly changed since the good old days, or is this an oversight on the part of the artist?

Rhino....  In action mode.  What more would we expect from the cover of the comic?  Looking at the front of the rig, it looks like the squareish front of the 80's Big Rig has made way for a more modern and rounded Big Rig.  If we have an updated Rhino, might this partly explain why we don't have our original Logo featuring a more classic design?

Hurricane.  The colours and design are classic Hurricane straight from the original.  When you look at most of the vehicles in the M.A.S.K. Series, they are based on vehicles of the time - mid 80's design.  With Hurricane being from the 50's, I guess it was easier to keep the design in the mix and not change the style of the car mode and it still fits in.

However, there are some guns that appear to be coming out of the front wings.  Does this mean that the alternate, battle/defense mode of Hurricane may be different from the original design?  I guess we'll need to wait and see.

Gator has been updated somewhat - looking more like a speedboat than a hydroplane.  I'm looking forward to seeing it in action.

Finally, Condor.  We have the original green colour and what appears to be its patented Anti-matter gun coming from the light unit at the front.  The artist has put plenty of detail into this vehicle to the point we can make out the chain links.

There is a question/niggle that I have with this image of Condor.  With all of the original vehicle designs, they were done in a way that our imaginations made the vehicles plausible in real life.  Rhino, as an example, if you had the time and money wouldn't actually be that difficult to build and make work.  Could Piranha's sidecar turn into a submarine - with today's technology, I believe so, yes.

However, this design for Condor only seems to have one set of rotor blades.  In the original version, the rear wheel raised up and away from the rider, creating the tail rotor.  This new design doesn't seem to do this.  So, although looking awesome, I can't get round the fact that I don't think this design would fly.  I know that may not make sense to a lot of people when we have a Camaro that turns into a plane or a Nissan ZX that turns into a plane - but these toys/vehicles were designed in such away that your imagination gave you a sense that they could fly.

This design doesn't.

Overall, a great cover.

The second variation release so far is a more simple affair.


Matt Trakker standing back to back with Miles Mayhem.  A more poignant image - perhaps depicting the inevitable turning their backs on each other and going their separate ways?

Yes, Matt has changed a lot, most notably his race, but I like the detail in his flight suit.  What I don't like is his Mask.  And this is where IDW are complicating matters for fans - there may be a simple answer once the comic comes out.  But, why is Matt's Spectrum Mask in this image completely different from the other cover?

This is a variation cover of the same comic - does that mean that somewhere in the plot line Spectrum changes?

Miles looks ok but his new Viper Mask is awful.  Other cover images from Revolutions show Viper being more like the original.

It's almost as if these Masks are designed based on faces of Transformer Robots.  Just doesn't work for me.

Anyway, got a couple of months to wait on the actual realise of the new comic before we'll get some questions answered.  In the meantime, head over to my M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page and Like, Comment and Share. 

#assembleMASK #MASKComics #DIC
#MASKcrusade



Saturday, 30 July 2016

M.A.S.K. 1985-2016 - RIP Final Part

IDW are the Guinea Pigs.

A lot rests on them now - the success or failure of their new M.A.S.K. Comic will have repercussions for years to come.  Brandon Easton, the writer of the new comic, has stated that he hopes his vision of the comic will be the foundations for what has to follow.

Get it right - and it could be.  Get it wrong and Hasbro will need to rethink the re-imagining of M.A.S.K.  And I believe that this is Hasbro's plan.  Get IDW to produce the comic and test the waters before investing in the Movies' and toys.

Reading other posts and listening to various Pod Casts, there is no doubt that there are many M.A.S.K. fans out there - each with their own point of view.  There has been some division recently as some fans aren't happy with the new M.A.S.K. and many are looking forward to it.

There have been a few people who have attacked others for their own point of view.  That is wrong.

Everyone is entitled to their own point of view.  Everyone is entitled to express that point of view without any "Backlash" directed towards them.

Some people are coming out and stating that people can't be "Real Fans" just because they have a differing view and don't want to buy into the new M.A.S.K. coming out.  Some people judge their "Fan Status" by the amount of toys in their collection.

We are all fans.  We are all the same.  Let's just stop the fighting.

But, what I want to explore in this Blog Post is - What is M.A.S.K.?  And why MUST the new M.A.S.K. be different.



You have Albert Penello's M.A.S.K. page which is all about the toys.  Unfortunately, despite being one of the oldest sites and a great reference page for M.A.S.K. fans, there haven't been any updates on this page in years.  Come on Albert, I want to hear from you!

You have Jason and Wyatt's Agents of M.A.S.K. page that reviews the Cartoons.  Initially set up to promote their movie - they do reviews of the Cartoons and have widened up their approach to encompass all aspects of M.A.S.K.

Then you have my M.A.S.K. Comics Blog Post that you are reading now and my M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page.  I guess, like Wyatt and Jason, I also needed way of getting my Script to people.

When it comes to M.A.S.K., we have the following components -
  • Toys
  • Cartoons
  • UK Comics
  • US Comics
  • Books
  • Other Merchandise
Much of the emphasis on the internet clearly relates to the first two items in the above - the toys and the Cartoons.  But, for most, it is the culmination of everything that defines M.A.S.K.

The Toys, by Kenner, were the starting blocks; the foundation of M.A.S.K.  From the toys we know what the characters, vehicles and Masks are called and what they look like.  We know what weapons the vehicles have and what abilities the Masks have.

The Cartoons, by DIC, then add the voice, the character, the personalities, the backgrounds and stories that we have come to love about M.A.S.K.  

We all know that Brad is a Musician by day; Buddie is a master mechanic; Bruce designs Toys whilst Dusty makes Pizzas - but, who owns these backgrounds?

If you look on the back packaging of any M.A.S.K. figure, is this information there?

Or, are these the back stories that were created by DIC for the cartoons.  If they are and DIC (or whomever owns them now) are not part of the revival, then can these backgrounds be used.

I would've thought not.

Then you have Duane Kennedy and the P.N.A. (Peaceful Nations Alliance). They played a prominent part in the US DC Comics - who created them?  Was it DC Comics and if so, then they can't appear in the IDW comics.

Although many people are familiar with the backgrounds of our favourite Cartoon Characters, the UK Comics didn't share the same backgrounds.

M.A.S.K. agents were M.A.S.K. agents.  We had no alter-egos.

So, whilst we are being told that we are getting a reinvention of M.A.S.K. for a new generation, M.A.S.K. is having to evolve because everything that was M.A.S.K. can no longer exist.

Which is a shame.  Apart from the DC Comics, that didn't last very long, the rest of M.A.S.K. succeeded very well - especially outside of the USA.

Brandon Easton has eluded a number of times to why M.A.S.K. was successful - you have the characters, you have vehicles and then the masks that give each agent a special power.  He likens these powers to superheroes.

But what does every superhero need?  An Alter-ego - a secret identity.  That is part of what the original M.A.S.K. did well with each M.A.S.K. character have a life and job outside of M.A.S.K.

But then, if the UK Comics didn't need the alter-egos, maybe, just maybe....

Instead of these backgrounds, our M.A.S.K. team are now being referred to as "drivers and pilots" in a "Fast and Furious" style comic!  What does that even mean?  We don't want the return of the Racing Series.

One of my concerns still surrounds the Trademarks and whether Hasbro have enough protection of the property.

We all know that the Trademarks all cancelled Circa 1991.  I have contacted Hasbro on numerous occasions to see if they are interested in my suggestions - no response.

So, where does this leave Hasbro, IDW and Paramount?  Not in a very good position, in my opinion.

If I have come up for a solution to the Trademark problem, I'm sure there are many other people out there who would be able to come up with the same or a similar solution.

What would happen if I or someone else Trademarked all the characters, masks and vehicles?  This is very much a concern. 

Would all the plans that Hasbro have go into meltdown?  Let's not forget, it was a Former Hasbro Employee who set the ball rolling by Trademarking "M.A.S.K. - Mobile Armored Strike Kommand".  Yes, Hasbro have since acquire that Mark, but what about the rest?

Maybe I should start a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds so that I can buy all of the Trademarks?  Maybe then, would Hasbro would sit up and take notice?

One thing is for certain, the M.A.S.K. that we knew and loved is truly dead - replaced with "M.A.S.K. - Mobile Armored Strike Kommand".  Even the ideas I have for the knew Trademarks would change the way we look at M.A.S.K. - slightly.

We will never get M.A.S.K. back - it will just live on in our childhood memories; our collections and, more importantly, in our hearts!

#assembleMASK #MASKComics #Hasbro
#MASKCrusade #DIC

Sunday, 26 June 2016

M.A.S.K. 1985-2016 - RIP Part 2

Like all M.A.S.K. fans, when I heard of it's upcoming return, I was excited.  That excitement has wavered as more information has come to light about the new comic.

One piece of information that has come out is that the new M.A.S.K. is going to have a "Fast & Furious Spin" with the writer going on to say that F&F is a highly successful movie franchise.  I'd agree that F&F is successful, yes, but are they the greatest movies ever made and that's why the are successful?  Should we be using this as a template for M.A.S.K.?




There is a car made by Ford called the Focus.  One of the best selling cars in the markets it sells in.  Is it one of the best selling cars because it's the best or cheapest or fastest or most economical or largest, etc. - No.  There are plenty of other cars that beat it on one or more of these categories.

It's one of the best selling cars because it's an Average - an average of what most people look for in a car therefore meeting the demands of many.  F&F is the same - it's by no means the best series of movies in the world (for die hard fans, of course, it will be.  I mean no disrespect) but it is an average of what people expect in a movie - action, adventure, fast cars and a bit of romance (ok - hot, scantily clad women).

For most M.A.S.K. fans, looking at the characters and plot lines in F&F there is very little in the way of a connection that would link F&F with M.A.S.K.  I mean, can the cars in F&F convert into fighting machines?  Do they have cool Masks that gives them abilities?

No.

So why are we putting a F&F spin on M.A.S.K.?  I have a theory.....

....There were these two dudes who found out that M.A.S.K. was making a comeback.  They needed a job and when they were asked; they lied and said they were the biggest M.A.S.K. fans in the whole world - believing they could bluff their way through and learn all about M.A.S.K.

DUDE- 1 - "So, what do you know about M.A.S.K.?
DUDE - 2 -   "Nothing, I thought you knew all about M.A.S.K.!"
DUDE- 1 -  "Nah, I think I watched a couple of episodes when I was a kid...."
DUDE - 2 -   "So, what do we do now?
DUDE- 1 -  "I guess we could watch the old cartoons - get a feel for it?"
DUDE - 2 -   "Cool.  How many episodes are there?"
DUDE- 1 -  "75...  I think...."
DUDE - 2 -   "Hmmm...  How about we just watch the last ten?  Save a bit of time"
DUDE- 1 -  "Sounds good."

Ten Racing episodes later....

DUDE - 2 -  "So....  Basically, it's just about two teams who race each other?  I thought there was more to than that."
DUDE- 1 -  "Yeah.  Me too.  It was just really The Fast and The Furious.  There didn't even seem to be any African-Americans in it - not very diverse."
DUDE - 2 -    "I'm sure we could change the leader - no one will notice!"
DUDE- 1 -  "Anyway...  why did they call it M.A.S.K. - they all wear Helmets?"
DUDE - 2 -   "Who knows!"

Ok, I jest of course.  But going down the whole F&F route, does sound like the comics are being based on the 10 racing series episodes - the least favourite of all M.A.S.K. fans.

It is true that F&F is all about the characters and the vehicles.  M.A.S.K. has great Characters and even better vehicles - because the can convert into fighting machines.  So, there may be some similarities - but surely if you are a F&F fan, wouldn't you rather have an F&F comic?

Surely, F&F should be it's own thing and let M.A.S.K. be M.A.S.K.!  To attempt to merge the two into one comic, seems a bit foolhardy.

I mean, it's bad enough that M.A.S.K. is being shoehorned into the same universe as The Transformers, G.I. Joe, ROM, Octonaughts and Action Man, without having F&F similarities thrown into the mix.

Speaking of G.I. Joe and Action Man.....

I've said in my blog many times now, that in their 12" forms, G.I. Joe and Action Man were the same toy - just made for different markets.  When G.I. Joe was made into the smaller scale toys, my understanding is that Duke was the scaled down G.I. Joe/Action Man.





Why would I say that?  Well, Action Man/Joe was famous for having a trademarked scar on his face and guess which of the Joe's had that same scar?  So surely Duke is Action Man?  How can you have a crossover between the Joe's and Action Man when Action Man is a Joe?  (I'm starting to get a headache just writing this - I hate to thing what you as the reader are thinking about).

Someone who read my script said that the story line was a bit contrived in order to make it work.  I'm thinking that using the word contrived to describe Revolutions is somewhat of an understatement.

Action Man was originally made by Palitoy when I was growing up - as were Star Wars Figures (in the UK).
Palitoy became a subsidiary of the same company that owned Kenner Parker - as we know, Kenner was later acquired by Hasbro through their purchase of Tonka.  In the 90's, Hasbro reintroduced the Action Man range of toys - more as an Adventurer.  Eventually he would be given the the name of Alex Mann.

Hasbro have already made a success of the reintroduction of Action Man - despite being completely different from the original - this is mostly due to the fact that 90's and 00's kids wouldn't know any different from the classic age of Action Man.

I fear that the same treatment will happen to M.A.S.K.

Which is a shame.  From what I've seen so far, I'm more interested in Mike Quakenbush's vision of a M.A.S.K. Comic that the one coming from IDW.

Feel free to leave comments below or over at my M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page.  Remember to like and share everything and hashtag -


#assembleMASK #MASKComics #DIC #IDW
#MASKCrusade #Hasbro

Monday, 20 June 2016

M.A.S.K. Revolutions - the real Revolution has begun

When IDW decided to call the reboot of their Hasbro Comics “Revolutions”, I wonder if they knew they would have a real Revolution on their hands….



When the initial details came out about IDW’s new M.A.S.K. Comic – the M.A.S.K. Community went into meltdown with excitement. Then the details about Revolutions and the Community started to split. The feelings were mixed about having M.A.S.K. as part of a larger Hasbro Multiverse.

With the last information and images emerging, many of the fans are enraged at the prospect of some the changes – the main one being the change in Race of beloved M.A.S.K. Leader, Matt Trakker.

We don’t know as yet whether the images provided are just concept drawings or whether these are the finished article.  The reason for this uncertainty is due to a difference in uniforms in various pictures.

In the example cover art that has come out, the uniforms are very similar to the M.A.S.K. we all know and love.  In the new images, they are significantly different.

This could be part of the plot line, however, the Revolutions story line is based on a seed from 2005 when IDW started The Transformers comics.  Will part of the story start off in 2005 and then bring us forward in time?  Do we start off with one vision of M.A.S.K. based on the "Real" M.A.S.K. and on on the new vision from IDW?

One thing is for certain, the revelation that Matt Trakker is now an African-American has caused some anger within the M.A.S.K. Community.  Please refer to my Blog Post "M.A.S.K. 1985-2016 - RIP Part 1" for my thoughts on the matter.

One M.A.S.K. fan, Brett Slakoff, has taken things into his own hands and started his own revolution.  He's started a Change.org Campaign to petition IDW to bring back the Matt Trakker we know and love.

So, what are your thoughts on the issue?  Feel free to leave comments below or over on my M.A.S.K. Facebook Page to vent or share your thoughts.

Whilst I'm here - the only chatter I've heard so far is from M.A.S.K. fans.  What do Transformers, G. I. Joe, Action Man, ROM and Micronauts fans think about the whole shared Multiverse and the rebirth of all the comics?


#assembleMASK #MASKComics

 #MASKCrusade #IDW #Transformers #ROM

#Micronauts #actionman #GIJoe



Tuesday, 14 June 2016

M.A.S.K. 1985-2016 - RIP Part 1

On my way to bed last night (I'd already fallen asleep on the couch so was half asleep) I checked my phone to see that I'd been tagged by Jose Manuel Rosario Rodriguez in a Facebook Post regarding IDW's new M.A.S.K. Comic.

It's an interview with the new writer and artist of IDW's re-imagining of M.A.S.K. on the Newsrama Website.  This gives us more information on their vision and some images of the characters to come.

There are a few issues that I have with this article and what is being said - EG they are called "Masks".  Yes, we know they look like helmets and you wear them like a helmet - but the property is called "M.A.S.K." and they wear "Masks" - so please use the correct terminology!  I thought you were both big M.A.S.K. fans?

As much as the characters look great - they look more Slugterra than M.A.S.K.  The artist has taken time to develop them and I think the only one that isn't to my liking is Miles Mayhem; sorry, Manheim.  He doesn't look as well thought out or as polished as the rest of the characters - but we'll discuss him more soon.

Their fatigues certainly have the colour schemes from M.A.S.K. - but, they aren't M.A.S.K.

Ok, it's difficult to make a judgement from a few images, and the new Ghostbusters has lost a lot of interest due to it's crap first trailer.  But, it may yet redeem itself.

However, there is one big problem that I have with this new M.A.S.K. that can't be overlooked - Matt Trakker is now an African-American.

Why is this a problem?

M.A.S.K. has always been very diverse.  We already have the African-American Hondo MacLean and various other diverse characters such as Bruce Sato, Julio Lopez and even, during the cold war of the 80's, Boris Bushkin.

There has been a lot of chatter recently about whether we will see characters such as Ali Bombay or Nevada Rushmore.  Back in the 80's, these characters were introduced to make M.A.S.K. diverse - even before diversity was even a thing.

Looking at these characters now, they could be taken the wrong way.  80's diversity was in its infancy and it was great to see these characters, but their names now may cause some offence.  Of course, this was the naivety of the 80's - no malice intended.

Fast forward to 2016 and we have a new Bio for M.A.S.K. leader Matt Trakker - who seems to have had an experiment go wrong that has merged him with Hondo MacLean.  So, as Miles Mayhem has been given the new name of Miles Manheim, shouldn't this Matt/Hondo hybrid be given a new name?  Matt MacLean or Hondo Trakker Perhaps?



When Matt was white - he was rich, well adjusted, a philanthropist and a loving father.

According to this new Bio, Matt MacLean/Hondo Trakker is a "delinquent" who "gets himself into some serious trouble" and is black.



Is this the intention?  Racial Stereotyping?  Hondo Trakker is now a delinquent and troublemaker and therefore black?  I really hope that this is just an unfortunate coincidence and not a deliberate act.

I know that I certainly wouldn't want anything to do with a comic, cartoon or toy series that would do such a thing.

But enough about Matt MacLean, I mentioned earlier I'd discuss Miles Manheim, so I will.



First of all, we have to discuss his name change - Manheim.  Why?

Many of you will know that I wrote a script based on M.A.S.K. that I was hoping to get to Hasbro with the intentions of making it into a movie.  I considered for quite a while about Miles surname of Mayhem.  Should he have another name at the start then change to Mayhem as he turns into the evil character that we know?  Should I consider using his surname as a device during the story line that maybe his name is French (or similar) and he has to explain that it isn't pronounced Mayhem and he has to keep repeating himself?

Instead, I just accepted - that is his name.  Many superheroes alter-egos and other charcters have strange names and it is just accepted, so why not Miles Mayhem?

Based on the name they have chosen to replace Mayhem with, I'm guessing that he is now of German decent.  I'm not sure if this is Hasbro's or IDW's decision.  This is echoed in style of the uniform - especially the trousers (pants).


Clearly, the design of his trousers (pants) is similar to those worn by the Nazi's of World War II.  Is this really the direction that we want our V.E.N.O.M. Leader to be going down?

I have mixed feelings about the new comic and what's to come in future movies and the toys that Hasbro are planning.  I know that it will be popular, maybe for the wrong reasons, but I think the real M.A.S.K. is well and truly dead.

Such a pity.  Such a waste.  You were well loved, RIP.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Confirmed Brandon Easton and Tony Vargas - at helm of new M.A.S.K. Comic

There has been a lot of speculation on the new incarnation of the M.A.S.K. Comic from IDW Publishing.  A recent #MASKcrusade by Mike Quakenbush to reinvent M.A.S.K. was a great insight into how popular M.A.S.K. still is - some 31 years later.

Back on the 7th of April I noticed someone liking my M.A.S.K. Facebook Page who caught my eye - Brandon Easton.  It was due to his job as Freelance Writer for IDW, Marvel and various others.

This piqued my interest.  A writer for IDW Publishing liking a M.A.S.K  Comics Page not long after IDW is earmarked to remake M.A.S.K.?

I had tried, without much success, to contact Brandon to find out more.  My hope was that I'd get the inside scoop once he was able to speak about the project.  Brandon is on Twitter but doesn't have an option to Private Message him and I didn't want to discuss in an open forum on Twitter itself.  I had given him a few nudges in the hope that he would contact me.


Today, is a Bank Holiday and had the day off work.  I was in a shop and thought I check for updates on pages when I see this gem on my Page -



Brandon shared this direct to my page.  After almost a month of not knowing for 100% whether I was right about Brandon writing the next incarnation of M.A.S.K. - and there was the proof - straight from the "Horse's Mouth" as they say!

This is great news.  For too long M.A.S.K. fans have been looking for a return of their favourite characters and vehicles and now have something solid - something to not only look forward to - but to share and enjoy with our children.

To read the full article - please click here.

In short, Brandon is writing the new comic with Tony Vargas working as artist.  UPDATE - from what I've just discovered, Tommy Lee Edwards is working on the covers.  There seems to be some familiarity coming through but on the main, the story and vehicles will be new versions from what we have come to know and love.



From the image above, Thunderhawk and Condor look very much the same.  Hurricane appears to be black with her trademarked fire paint job instead of the original Blue.

If that is Gator to the left middle, she seems to have a roof - is she still a Jeep?

Looking at Matt's Spectrum Mask, the red section round his neck looks like cloth - almost like a scarf.  This would give fluidity and movement.

All-in-all this image is amazing and I can't wait to see more.

I am worried, though.  Will it live up to what M.A.S.K. used to be?  We know it's going to be different, but will this ruin or make it better?

I also worry that it may not be available in the UK except in specialist shops.  May make it hard to find.

Speaking of Specialist, one thing of note in the article is the section that reads "This is a M.A.S.K. for the 21st century with a diverse team of specialists who are chosen for a top-secret program with a painful learning curve".  Notice the word "Specialists"
.



We know that there was an incarnation of Matt Trakker as "Specialist Trakker" for the G.I. Joe toy line.  We also know that the original Trademarks for the M.A.S.K. Characters are all lost.  Are Hasbro getting round this by using the word "Specialist" in each of the characters names?  Just a thought.

And Brandon, if you are reading this, can you please that the Powers that Be know that I know how they can reacquire Trademarks for M.A.S.K.?  Thank you!  Feel free to E-mail me to discuss!

Anyway, I hope that Brandon will get back to me and that my next post will hopefully be a Q&A session so that we can find out more!

Please remember to like, follow, share and discuss as much as you can.  Let's show these folks at IDW that we are keen for this new M.A.S.K. comic to come out and wish it all the success and best of future!


#assembleMASK #MASKComics #IDW
#DIC #MASKcrusade

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

MASKart - Rob Addison

I was going through Facebook the other day when something caught my eye...


An ardent M.A.S.K. fan, Rob Addison, shared some of his drawings.  Not all were of M.A.S.K., some featured Transformers, He-Man and Scooby Doo to name but a small few.

The Picture above was the first one that I saw and I was impressed.  Many people may not remember Matt Trakker's "Jungle Challenge" Adventure Pack - it came with his Arrow Mask, crossbow, grappling hooks and various other accessories.

Although not featured in either the cartoons or the US DC Comics - this was released after their demise - this pack did feature in the UK Comics.  The figure was a repaint of Matt Trakker's Thunderhawk/Spectrum Flight Suit.

The Adventure Packs were amazing.  Rob has truly managed to capture the essence of this figure in the image above complimented by his great work on Matt Trakker wearing his Spectrum Fatigues and Buddie Hawks.

In Rob's next image - 


We realise that the first picture is part of something larger as we now see Brad Turner on Condor and Jaques La Fleur manning Volcano's cannon.

His depiction of Volcano is amazing - on par with many of the images in the UK Comics.  Once I saw these images, I wanted to see more....


I'm guessing that this picture is also part of something larger as we see various vehicles in action mode with a couple of Masks thrown in for good measure.

I would like to say there is a particular part of this image that I like the best - but the whole thing is great.  I would love to see Rob Addison do a storyboard for my script - what do you think, Rob?

And the last image that I'm going to share....


There are no prizes - but I'm going to throw it out there, can you guess all of the characters/vehicles/movies/etc.???

Rob Addison, you are a LegEnd!!!

#assembleMASK #DIC #MASKComics
#MASKday #MASKcrusade