The Mobile Armored Strike Kommand is back and getting involved in IDW’s Revolution event. Major Spoilers takes a look at M.A.S.K. Revolution #1 to see if this eighties franchise translates well in 2016.
Previously in M.A.S.K. Revolution: Optimus Prime has official made the presence of Transformers known to the world. Though he has promised to help and protect citizens of Earth, some organizations have taken it as a threat. Specifically, Miles Mayhem, who has plans to put his own program to use.
TWO PROPERTIES TOGETHER AT LAST
M.A.S.K. was always the stepchild of the eighties toy properties to me. A mix between Transformers and G.I. Joe, it appealed to me but was never something I actively sought out. I never had any of the toys and would occasionally watch the cartoon but I just felt like I already had cartoons and toys like it. But that was eight year old Wilson. Thirty-three year old Wilson wants to see as many of his childhood memories mashed together as possible. IDW’s Revolution event seems to be attempting just that.
What works well for M.A.S.K. Revolution #1 is that it has the other Hasbro properties to interact with. Both Scarlett and Dr. Mindbender make an appearance and it doesn’t feel out-of-place. This is a comic property that mixes extremely well with G.I. Joe and I’m excited to see more of how they interact with each other. Miles Mayhem (who was actually the villain in the cartoon) is assembling a group of pilots to fight the Cybertronian aliens. The whole issue is basically a recruitment and introduction of the characters that will play a role in the series. While Brandon Easton does a good job at characterization, it seems like the concept of M.A.S.K. is a bit underused. We barely get a glimpse of the vehicles and the masks themselves briefly show some abilities. I understand it’s a first issue but for a reader unfamiliar with the property, it might have better to get the concept across more clearly. On an extremely popular note, Matt Trakker, the hero from the cartoon who used to be a white blonde hair blue-eyed (almost Nazi poster child) man is now African-American. It’s good to see a modern update like this and for a person of color to get the spotlight.
AGAIN, SIMILAR TO G.I. JOE.
Hilariously enough, the artwork from Tony Vargas looks much like artwork I’ve seen on past G.I. Joe comics from IDW. From what I can tell/remember, he’s never worked on the title. Vargas gets the job done well but I’m not too keen on how he draws human faces. Other than Miles Mayhem, they look strange and weirdly positioned at times. That’s not to say it is drawn badly, it’s just similar to how I feel about Mark Bagley’s art, something just doesn’t look right to me. When Vargas is drawing the vehicles and characters in their M.A.S.K. suits, that’s when he shines. The details in the suits on the first page look great with the multiple panels and pieces interlocking. It’s a great update to the jumpsuit look of the cartoon and again, blends nicely with the G.I. Joe universe. Unfortunately, the masks and vehicle’s appearance are all too brief but I look forward to more in the coming issues.
BOTTOM LINE: GOOD INTRO BUT A BIT BLAND
M.A.S.K. Revolution #1 is a decent start to introducing M.A.S.K. to the new generation but falls a bit short of its potential. The “gimmick” of the property is barely seen and the issue is one long character introduction. While it’s not bad, the “military soldiers trying to make the cut” trope has been done before. There is promise though, with lead hero Matt Trakker now African-American and the updated suit designs by artist Tony Varas looking sleek and cool. I’m dying to see M.A.S.K. make its return and interact with all the Hasbro properties, making the eight year old Wilson jump for joy.