Saturday, 29 June 2013
M.A.S.K. Movie V's M.A.S.K. lore
My last post was interview with the very talented RetroBlasting.com and I thought I'd follow on from that post regarding some points raised by Michael as I think that we both have a similar thoughts.
During the interview, Michael mentioned that as much as he likes the toys and cartoons, the comics are where the real back story starts and then continues to develop and grow through time - I agree. If you are a regular of my blog then you'll know that I collected the UK M.A.S.K. comics and then later on collected the US version. Of course, I also watched the cartoons and although not a real collector of the toys, I do have a few in my collection.
From the comics, we have the back story of Matt Trakker and his brother working with Miles Mayhem to develop the vehicles and Masks and then the eventual betrayal. We also have far more stories than the TV series covered.
Ok, many of the stories were in black and white, but the Artwork brought the characters and their vehicles to life.
When I was writing my script, I didn't want to use just the lore established in the cartoon; to do so would be very naive. Yes, every M.A.S.K. fan will have seen and enjoyed most, if not all, of the cartoons but the cartoons are flawed in many respects.
Firstly, there is no connection between Matt Trakker and Miles Mayhem as there is in the free comics with the toys and the origin story from the UK comic. Apart, that is, for one episode from the racing series where Matt suggests to Miles that they should work together like old times - this doesn't fit in with the lore of the cartoons.
This changes the dynamic of the story lines - significantly. The betrayal in the comics sets out the tone and ethos; the conflict for the rest of the run of the comics. I'm not saying that there isn't conflict in the cartoons, but it's more defined in the comics and this shows in each and every image and piece of dialogue.
There are also no hard and fast rules regarding the weapons or Masks. According to the theme tune, "Spectrum's got such Supervision". Err... No it doesn't! At least, not according to the toy packaging. Nor does it have lasers, freefall capabilities, etc., etc.
The writers of the cartoon, and in some respects the comics also, felt the need to create functions for Masks or Weapons on the vehicles that simply weren't part of the description on the toy.
In one episode we see our adventurous M.A.S.K. team stuck on one side of a ravine and they need to be on the other. This is fine for Thunderhawk and Condor as they can fly, but what of the rest of the vehicles?
To my dismay, they used Rhino's Gravity Cannons! What Gravity Cannons you ask... I asked the same question as the cartoon showed Rhino's "Smokestack Cannons" being used as the aforementioned Gravity Cannons - lifting and propelling all of the vehicles across the ravine. It then turned the cannons backwards to lift itself across.
A function that was used for the first time in this episode and never to be seen again in a Knight Rider-esque "let's introduce a new weapon or function for this storyline and we'll then never use it again" scenario.
How might our team have managed across then, I hear you ask? Simple - Bruce Sato uses his Lifter Mask to lift the vehicles and M.A.S.K. agents one-by-one over the ravine then Alex Sector uses Jackrabbit to lift himself and Bruce across. Simple!
For me, Kenner put a lot of time and effort into creating this fabulous world of M.A.S.K. and I think that the cartoons and comics should have worked with what they were given and not tried to rewrite the great work done by Kenner.
As I've mentioned before, in my script I have used the weapons and Mask functions as set down by the toys as my bible. Each Mask only has one function and no "Swiss Army Knife-style" multifunction tool Masks as Spectrum was made out to be in the cartoon.
I know that there are some random weapons out there in the M.A.S.K. world - such as concrete cannons on Wildcat. But then, consider this - Buddie Hawks' Ditcher Mask can dig trenches so to have a "weapon", if you can call it a weapon, that can counteract his Mask I think is a great idea.
With the comics, comes the infamous centre-page posters. The wealth of knowledge that this provides is invaluable if you are a M.A.S.K. fan - especially if you wish to resurrect this great "World of Illusion"!
If you only collected the toys or watched the cartoons, you have missed out. Through my blog I am trying to give you a better insight into the "Complete" M.A.S.K. world.
Through my script, I have brought life back to these incredible characters and their world into this century. There are or course references to the 1980's, I mean where would Matt Trakker be without his trusty Camaro?