M.A.S.K. is the latest in a long string of comic books based on properties that were created in the late '80s, early '90s. IDW has been making it look as easy as hair being peasy and foreheads being greasy the way they have been putting it down over the years.
The publisher pushed all its chips to the center of the table with its Revolution venture. Launched in June, the Revolution story arc combined the G.I. Joe, Transformers, Rom: Space Knight, the Micronauts and M.A.S.K. into the same action-packed IDW universe with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance.
Written by Brandon Easton, and drawn by Tony Vargas, M.A.S.K. Revolution #1 picks up in that same militaristic environment. The Transformers are being referred to as "The Cybertronian Problem" and the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand is being pieced together by General Miles "Mayhem" Manheim to answer that "threat" head on, and on its terms. At least that's the story Mayhem is telling recruits.
The story is more of a one-shot to give some history to the recruiting process behind the team. For those who grew up watching the M.A.S.K. cartoon back in the day, this version of the Strike Force has been altered to properly reflect the times we live in.
But I can still remember the theme song from the show. "...and Trakker's gonna lead the mission, and Spectrum's got his super vision.."
But what we never learned was exactly why Trakker was chosen to lead the mission, or why the arch-villainous organization V.E.N.O.M. was formed. However, judging by the manipulative, psychopathic tendencies exhibited by Mayhem in this prelude, it's obvious how and why he's the villain. The artwork of Tony Vargas adds great depth and dimension.
I also like that the vehicles themselves haven't been altered much from their original '80s form, which adds to the camouflage effect. Who would suspect that an old, dilapidated Chevy IROC Z-28 would transform and fly? Well, besides people familiar with the show, I mean.
Another change from the old cartoon series, as well as other comic book renditions, is that Matthew Trakker is a black man. Hey, a black man who is arguably one of the most successful presidents in U.S. history is sitting in the White House. So, I got no qualms about changing the race of a fictional character in this circumstance.
All and all, M.A.S.K. Revolution #1 serves as a great jumping off point for a self-contained title and could even act as a great introduction point into the greater IDW universe for readers who may not be familiar with their particular type of funk.
M.A.S.K. Revolution #1 was released September 29th as is currently on sale at a major comic book distributor near you, as well as online.