Sunday, 30 December 2012

M.A.S.K. Annual

British Tradition dictates that if anything is popular - comics, toys, cartoons, movies, etc. - then an Annual will be produced at Christmas time.  M.A.S.K. falls into a number of these categories what with a successful Toyline, Comic and Cartoon.

Table of Contents -

  • Front Cover
  • Single Page - M.A.S.K. Emblem (Colour)
  • Twenty Three Pages - "When Opportunity Knox!" (Colour)
  • Four Pages - "Inside Job" (Text Based Story)
  • Eight Pages - Character Profiles (Colour)
  • Four Pages - "Black Gold" (Text Based Story)
  • Twenty Two Pages - "The Domain of the Dead" (Colour)
The front cover of the first ever M.A.S.K. Annual features Switchblade and Rhino in Battle with head shots of the Opposing Team leaders - Matt Trakker and Miles Mayhem.

"When Opportunity Knox" Starts off with Matt Trakker aboard an American Aircraft Carrier preparing to Dive to retrieve a Malfunctioning Strategic Defense Satellite.  As he is rescuing it, a V.E.N.O.M. Submersible arrives too late!

Once back onboard the Aircraft Carrier, the Satellite is loaded into the boot of Thunderhawk and Matt flies back to Boulder Hill to examine the Satellite.  As he, Alex Sector and Buddie Hawkes are about to inspect the Satellite, Miles Mayhem in Switchblade, Cliff Dagger in Jackhammer and Sly Rax on Piranha attack Boulder Hill allowing us to see Boulder Hills Array of Weaponry.

We cut to Duane Kennedy of the Peaceful Nations Alliance receiving a Snake Shaped Balloon.  Back to the main action and our heroes manage to overcome their attackers.

After all of that action, Matt heads off to take his adopted son, Scott, and his faithful sidekick, T-Bob, on a vacation.  Matt receives a priority message from Duane, just as Scott buys a Snake Balloon the same as the one delivered to Duane's office.  Scott and T-Bob are ordered back to the Hotel to wait on Matt's return.

Duane informs Matt that all of the Gold reserves at Fort Knox have been stolen - he summons the team -  Bruce Sato in Rhino; Brad Turner on Condor and Dusty Hayes in Gator.  When they arrive at Fort Knox, Matt's Spectrum Mask detects a hidden tunnel under the floor - Dusty's Backlash Mask makes an entrance to the tunnel.  As Dusty and Brad follow the tunnel, Matt and Bruce follow above in Rhino until they come across the Tunnelling Mole and the stolen Gold Bullion being loaded into a Hovercraft - only Sly Rax and Cliff Dagger are present.

At the same time sleeping gas, from the Snake Balloon, knocks out Scott Trakker as Miles Mayhem and two henchmen Kidnap him and T-Bob leaving behind an Egyptian symbol on the wall to be continued...

Miles Mayhem and his team attack Melville Penitentiary looking for Fernando Rosch in "Inside Job".  As they make off with him, 800 prisoners make their escape via a whole in the wall created by V.E.N.O.M.

When the M.A.S.K. team arrive, some of them go after the missing prisoners whilst Matt Trakker tries to figure out Mayhems devious plan.  He discovers that Rosch used to work for the Peaceful Nations Alliance as a Computer Expert before going into the private sector and was caught selling PNA secrets to Contraworld.

Mayhem explains his plan to Rosch and the rest of the team - he is being paid, in foreign currency, to bring down the US economy.

Matt Trakker deduces that whatever Mayhem is up to, Rosch will need specialist equipment from his old company - so they lay a trap.  After a battle, Rosch is captured and delivered back to the Penitentiary.

We then move onto eight pages of character profiles.

Giving us an insight into some of our favourite characters - their Codename, Age, Civilian Activities, MASK/VENOM role, their Masks & vehicles and their Special traits.

This is a great insight into the world of illusion that is M.A.S.K.

Matt Trakker is on his way to join up with his M.A.S.K. team in the Gulf of Mexico at the start of "Black Gold" when he receives a call from Duane Kennedy.  He informs Matt that Sheikh Mustapha, the High Potentate of Sharam, has come to America to buy some Racing cars and is carrying with him 27 million dollars in Gold Bullion.

Matt agrees to allow Brad Turner to shadow the Sheikh to make sure V.E.N.O.M. don't attempt to rob him.  As Matt Rendezvous with the rest of team when Switchblade and Piranha strike at oil rig - as M.A.S.K. intervene - the V.E.N.O.M. agents turn tail and run.

Matt then receives a call from Brad that a V.E.N.O.M. team have managed to capture the Sheikh.  Sensing that his team had been set up, Matt returns with the team leaving only Gloria and Calhoun in the Gulf in case he's wrong.

As they arrive back, a ransom demand has been sent to the PNA for the Gold Bullion - Trakker puts a plan into action and manages to rescue the Sheikh.

"The Domain of the Dead" continues where "When Opportunity Knox!" left off.  Matt and Bruce fly to Cairo in Thunderhawk to meet up with Professor Ginsburg to see if he can help him find the kidnapped Scott Trakker and T-Bob.

Unfortunately, Ginsburg and his team fall through a trap door within a Pyramid and come across "Anubis" and three "Mummies"...

As Matt and Bruce arrive at the museum for their meeting they are advised that Prof Ginsburg is unusually late when they hear a commotion and discover "Anubis" and the "Mummies" robbing the museum.  Despite Matt and Bruce's valiant efforts, the robbers escape.

As Matt is about to call up the M.A.S.K. team, he receives a call from Duane to advise he is sending a new member of the team to help out - Nash Gorey - an Egyptian Expert.  Jaques LeFluer in Volcano; Hondo MacLean in Firecracker (NB although text mentions Firecracker, the images are of Hurricane) and Julio Lopez in Firefly.

We then cut away to discover that "Anubis" is actually Miles Mayhem and his Mummies are actually Cliff Dagger, Bruno Sheppard and Sly Rax.

Nash Gorey arrives at the same time as the rest of the M.A.S.K. team and they set off after Anubis and the captives!  They encounter the V.E.N.O.M. agents and a battle ensues; firstly outside in the vehicles and then continues inside and the M.A.S.K. team manage to prevail over V.E.N.O.M.

As a collector of the comics, I had mixed feelings about the Annual.  It was exciting to see some new characters and vehicles as up until this point, the comic only centred on a core section for the first eight issues - we were only at issue number 5 at Christmas time - so would be another 4 issues before some "new blood" would appear in the comics.

The art in the comic is completely different from the comic and has a different feel to it.  Reading through it a number of times I got the impression that somethings weren't quite right - for example in "The Domain of the Dead" it refers to and incident that happened "last issue".

In the last page below, we only have a half page and Julio Lopez is making a comment that doesn't seem to fit -

Everyone around him is enjoying their success yet he is exclaiming "Hey you Guys!"

It wouldn't be until a few years later when I managed to get a hold of the American Four Part Mini-Series that I would find out my suspicions were correct and that the two story's were in fact the first two issues of the comic and there are a couple of missing Cells that would lead us into issue three.

As said before there is confusion over Firecracker/Hurricane and in the text story's vehicles are referred to as "The" Thunderhawk or "The" Switchblade as an example which I don't like.

Bruno's vehicle is called Stinger in the UK but is called Scorpion in the Annual (again I would find this out later on in the UK Comic run when this vehicle is introduced) along with some other errors - to many to list or be picky over.

Nevertheless, this Annual is pride of place in my collection!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

M.A.S.K. Issue 5

The Festive Issue 5 of M.A.S.K. UK available for sale the 20th of December 1986 - 2nd of January 1987.

Table of contents -
  • Front and Back Wraparound Cover
  • Five Pages - "Crisis at Christmas" (B&W with Pink Tint First Cell)
  • Four Pages - "The Great Head Robbery" Conclusion (Colour)
  • Five Pages - "Kamikaze" Part One (B&W)
  • Centre Page Spread - Gator
  • Five Pages - "Monster Mountain" Part Four (B&W with Blue Tint First Cell)
  • Single Page - Advertisement
  • Single Page - Letters Page
  • Single Page - Torch MASK Cutout
  • Five Pages - "Android Assault" (B&W with Blue Tint First Cell)
  • Single Page - preview of next issue
After my disappointment of last issues cover, my faith is restored in this issue.

Promising a "Power-Packed Christmas", we have a sneak peek of the first story as we see Miles Mayhem, Sly Rax and Cliff Dagger hijacking a Concorde aircraft.  Wearing Santa Outfits over their respective Viper, Stiletto and Torch Masks - Mayhem has the captain of the aircraft in a wrestling hold as Dagger and Rax assume a threatening posture.

The word "Venom" is burned into the side of the aircraft and unusually there is no issue number on the cover - this is the only issue that this happens.  Vibrate colours and action are the order of the day in this Venomous cover which leads us swiftly to...

..."Crisis at Christmas" sees a Concorde jet full of American tourists landing at Lapland for a Christmas lunch with Santa.  On it's return to London's Heathrow Airport, we discovered an empty plane except for the Pilot and Co-pilot bound and gagged in the Flight Deck.  The pilot tells the story of how three Santa's wore "horrible Masks" and took the passengers captive - one of them used their Mask to burn the word "Venom" with acid into the side of the plane - a message to the PNA that M.A.S.K. need to surrender to V.E.N.O.M.

Using Brad Turner's Hocus Pocus Mask, the team fool V.E.N.O.M. on Frozen Straits - then a PNA submarine, Nautilus, surfaces from under the ice between the M.A.S.K. and V.E.N.O.M. agents.  The submarine off loads Thunderhawk, Condor and Gator.

Meanwhile, Mayhem uses a detonator to try and blow up the cabin with the hostages, but it's signal is jammed by Nautilus.  A battle ensues and our heroes manage to free the hostages and have a party as Mayhem and his team end up near the North Pole with a frozen Switchblade and the prospect of a ruined Christmas.

Matt Trakker and Cliff Dagger in a deadly battle with their Masks in the conclusion of "The Great Head Robbery".  Conveniently, Matt has taken along both Spectrum and Ultraflash and puts the latter on to blind his opponnet and then runs at him head butting him in the stomach.  As Dagger falls back he knocks himself unconscious.  Matt picks dagger up and as they flee from the Head of The Statue of Liberty, he orders Brad Turner, who is circling in Condor, to blow up the head as they are exiting.

Buddie Hawkes has repaired Thunderhawk in time for Matt to go after V.E.N.O.M. and Contraworld agents who are fleeing with stolen cash and bullion on a Cargo Ship.  He fires a magnetic bomb that disables the ship allowing the police to intervene and capture the Contraworld agents but Mayhem and his mob manage to escape.

Three days later, looking for spare parts for T-Bob, Scott Trakker finds the original head of The Statue of Liberty and the great lady is restored to all of her beauty and splendour!

American Businessman "Brett Miller" is being given a guided tour of a Car Factory near Tokyo in Japan when all of a sudden a gang called The Savage Sumos sweep through destroying everything in their path.

When Matt Trakker and Bruce Sato arrive to investigate they are quickly called away to the heart of Tokyo where The Savage Sumos are creating havoc!  Using their Masks they quickly help contain the situation as the gang are herded into the back of awaiting police vans.

We then cut away to a meeting between Miles Mayhem and a mysterious Japanese Gentleman called Hidetadi - we discover that plans are afoot to destroy the corrupt society - does Hidetadi know who he is working with as he unveils his adopted "son" Kamikaze!

We then move onto the Centre Page Spread - one the highlights of every issue.  This weeks issue Features Gator - M.A.S.K.s jeep that turns into a Hydroplane.

In the UK comic, Hondo MacLean didn't get his own vehicle until later on in the run so until then he was always Co-Pilot of Gator whilst Dusty Hayes is it's Pilot. 

If you take a look at this picture and compare it to the box for the Gator toy on Albert Penello's website (click here) it looks like the artist has almost copied the image from the box, just putting their own look to it.

The Giant of Geissmuhl awakens from it's slumber from under the ice in the Bavarian Alps as the fourth instalment of "Monster Mountain" kicks off.

Miles Mayhem uses his Viper Mask and a new Telepathic function learnt from Ancient Papyrus Script to control the beast to do his bidding.  The Assembled M.A.S.K. team go after both the beast and V.E.N.O.M. and a battle ensues - who will win the day?  The story continues.

Our last story this issue, "Android Assault", is a continuation from Issue two's story "Snake Farm"!  After stealing Agricultural Worker Robots, Mayhem has converted them for use as weapons as they attack Boulder Hill - Headquarters of our M.A.S.K. team.

Despite all of their weaponry and technology, the M.A.S.K. team resort to using Scott Trakker's trusted Sidekick T-Bob to save the day.  He exits Boulder Hill and goes into the battlefield and reprogrammes one of the robots so that it turns against its master, Miles Mayhem in the process destroying his remote controlling the robots.

I'm not too sure if it was just because it was a Christmas issue or not, but I always liked this issue of MASK when I was a kid.  It has one of the most recognisable covers of any issue and was a change to NOT see Matt Trakker on the cover.

The Kamikaze storyline stuck in my head for a while afterwards as well.

I'm not too keen on the idea of Viper getting the "Telepathic Function" to control the beast in "Monster Mania" but apart from that, a very good issue.

Anyway, I hope that you all have a great Christmas and New Year.  I check my stats most days and see that I have had a lot of interest from around the world - UK, USA, Canada, Indonesia, Germany, France, Malaysia, Ireland, Netherlands, Austria, Australia, China, Korea, etc.  Feel free to leave some comments and let me know what you think of my site.

Thank you,


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Interview with Erik -

As many of you will know by now, there are many M.A.S.K. sites on the web. is one such site that has an array of information on the world of Mobile Armored Strike Kommand.

Recently, I was interviewed for this great site and thought that I would return the favour -

maskcomics:  Who are you?  My name is Erik, and I’m from Southern California, in the good old U.S. of A. Next year, sadly, I’ll be turning 30 years young. Oh yeah, I run

maskcomics:  Did you collect the DC M.A.S.K. comics growing up?  Funny enough, I didn’t. I say it’s funny because I was (and am) totally in love with M.A.S.K. and I’ve been a big comic collector since I was about 6 or 7 years old. I even worked in a comic book store for a number of years. It wasn’t until I had been working at the comic book store that I even learned M.A.S.K. had a comic book adaptation. Of course now I own all the issues (actually if you want to be technical I own two copies of each issue).

maskcomics:  Do you own the Toy Insert Comics Featured on  your website?  I do. Like almost everything else on my site, if you see it, I own it, with a couple exceptions. I scanned those toy comics and posted them up hoping to let some people relive the fun they had with M.A.S.K. as a kid.

maskcomics:  Did you ever collect any other variants such as from the UK or Germany?  I don’t spend a lot of effort on non American versions of toys. Not because I don’t want them, but because I want to finish my US collection first. That being said, I do have a few variants figures that I’ve picked up. I love the crazy repaint jobs on them. The one UK variant that I did track down on purpose was T-Bob. I think it’s really cool that he came in his own box for the UK release. In the US Scott and T-Bob were just put out on a blister card, like an Adventure Pack. Hopefully down the line I can pursue more of the non-US versions and add them to my collection.

maskcomics:  Which was your favourite issue of the comic?  It’s kind of funny. My favorite issue is one I don’t own. A friend of mine in the UK sent me some scans of issues he had. One in particular I loved, The Adventures of Cliff Dagger. It’s just a silly one page thing where Dagger ends up in the mud, but I love it. It’s also one of the few things on my website I don’t actually own!

maskcomics:  The Adventures of Cliff Dagger appeared later on in the run of comics so my blog readers can look forward to more on that in the future.  Will you be featuring more information about the comics on your website?  I definitely hope to. The friend who sent me that Cliff Dagger page sent me some others as well, so hopefully I can get those posted up. Unfortunately it’s pretty difficult to get any of the UK comics over here, so I’m mostly limited to the American releases. I do hope to get the DC series up on my site. At least the covers if nothing else.

maskcomics:  Any other information to end with?  Well I want to say thanks for showing interest in my site and I’m flattered you wanted to talk to me. For any readers out there I’d love to see your comments on my site. It lets me know what I’m doing right (and wrong) or just to know you’re out there. A couple personal M.A.S.K. bits of info regarding myself, for anyone interested; my favorite character is Brad Turner with Buddy ‘Clutch’ Hawks a close second, my favorite vehicle is Condor, and my favorite episode is The Magma Mole. Anyone who wants to contact me can reach me through my email: and if for some lucky reason Seth Green reads this, I’d love to do a Q&A about M.A.S.K.!

maskcomics:  I'm sure that if Seth is reading they'll get in touch with you soon.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

M.A.S.K. Issue 4

Issue four of the 35p M.A.S.K. comic is dated 6th-19th December 1986 (not long until Christmas kids).

Table of contents -
  • Front and Back Wraparound Cover
  • Five Pages - "Monster Mountain" Part 3 (B&W with Pink Tint First Cell)
  • Four Pages - "The Great Head Robbery" Part 4 (Colour)
  • Five Pages - "Battle in the Alps" (B&W)
  • Centre Page Spread - Condor
  • Five Pages  -"War of Venom" Conclusion (B&W with Pink Tint First Cell)
  • Single Page - Advertisement
  • Single Page - Letters Page
  • Single Page - Lifter MASK Cutout
  • Single Page - Advertisement
  • Four Pages - "Key of Solomon" Conclusion (B&W)
  • Single Page - preview of next issue
Matt Trakker, Scott Trakker and T-Bob are present in Thunderhawk on this week's cover being shot at from Cliff Dagger in Jackhammer on the back cover.  Three images of Thunderhawk to show "movement" as it flies across the front page.  Dusty Hayes and Hondo MacLean Headshots on the back cover discussing their predicament.

I'm afraid to say that I'm not impressed with the front cover of this issue.  I appreciate what they were doing with this cover, but it just doesn't feel right to me - the inside I'm afraid doesn't really get much better.

Scott Trakker calls for "M.A.S.K." reinforcements on Matt's instructions as Part Three of "Monster Mountain" kicks off.  The reinforcements arrive in the nick of time, in the shape of Hondo MacLean and Dusty Hayes, as Dagger uses Jackhammer on Thunderhawk causing her to plummet.  Dusty uses a shockwave from Backlash to prevent Thunderhawk hitting the ground whilst Hondo's Blaster Mask takes control of her guidance system.

Meanwhile, a one eyed giant is stirring from below the ice.

Three comments I have with this story are this -

  1. How did Hondo and Dusty arrive on the scene so quickly
  2. Why do they have Condor and not have Gator?  (Firecracker isn't introduced until a few issues down the road - until then Hondo acts as Gator's co-pilot)
  3. Blaster fires lasers so how does it manage to control Thunderhawk?
Manhattan is still under fire from Jackhammer hidden within the head of The Statue of Liberty in Part Four of  "The Great Head Robbery" whilst Armoured Bulldozers with Venom Livery crash into Banks allowing Contraworld agents to rob Cash, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

As Rhino is lying in a water grave from last issue, Matt Trakker Hitches a ride from Brad Turner on the back of Condor to drop in on Cliff Dagger in the Statue and immediately comes under "fire" from his Torch Mask...   Will he survive to save the day?

"Battle of the Alps" sees Venom attack a Swiss Bank as a transfer of Bullion is taking place via an armoured car. - Miles Mayhem in Switchblade, Sly Rax and Cliff Dagger in Piranha.  As they make their getaway - Dagger driving the Armoured Car full of Bullion - Matt and Bruce in Rhino foil their plans.

A nice simple story with probably the best artwork of the issue - as can be seen by the image of Rhino above.

Brad Turner and Condor adorn the centre page spread this week.  I have to admit that Condor was always one of my Favourite vehicles when I was collecting the comics and in fact was the first toy that I ever purchased.  Judging by the images, the artist must also have had the toy of Condor - they are almost technical drawings of the toy.

Due to this, you don't get the same sense of Action that the other centre page spreads convey. 

Buddie Hawkes uses Penetrator in combination with Rhino's ATV to rescue the stricken Dusty Hayes in the Conclusion of the "War of Venom".  Brad Turner uses his Hocus Pocus Mask to create an image of an army whilst Matt Trakker and Bruce Sato in Thunderhawk fend off a squadron of jets to help win the war.

Buddie Hawkes, Master of Disguise, has been kidnapped by Miles Mayhem and his cohorts.  He uses his MASK watch to signal is location to the rest of the troops - they arrive just in time but VENOM manage to escape to live another day.

Despite not to keen on the artistry of this issue, there was a sense of completion with two of the serial story's coming to their respective conclusions.  This gave me a sense of anticipation for the next issue as we would have some new and exciting story's to come.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Script Finished

Finished my M.A.S.K. Script at last. Will go through it with a couple of people before going to Producers.

Fingers crossed.

Will be about a week before my normal blog resumes.


Sent from my Windows Phone

Monday, 5 November 2012

M.A.S.K. US Issue 1 V's M.A.S.K. UK Issue 1

In a change from my usual blog, I thought I'd take the time to compare Issue 1 of M.A.S.K. UK against Issue 1 of 4 from the M.A.S.K. US Mini Series.

Published 1 year before the UK version, the American series started in DC Comics 50th Anniversary year of 1985 - the same year as the Cartoon and toys.  The first striking difference between the two comics is the size - the US comic sticks to the standard American format of comics, whereas the UK comic is a large format - slightly bigger than even other UK comics of it's time such as The Eagle.

To ensure the Headmast stands out in the Newsagents, both comics have the "MASK" lettering in a large font.  The UK comic has removed Rhino from the overall logo to save on space.  The US comic has Rhino and the Mask symbol reduced in size so that the full logo doesn't take up half of the front cover.

As there is a full page advert on the back of the US version, there is no wraparound cover unlike the UK version.  The size of the comic combined with the full wraparound cover allows the UK cover to exhibit grandeur over his American relation whose cover art doesn't have the depth of realism that the UK version has.

Once you open up the comic, there are more differences abound.  The US Version is in full colour throughout.  On the other hand, the UK version is mainly Black and White with only a few pages in Colour.  That being said, the artwork in the UK comic is generally of a higher standard and with it's shiny good quality paper feels more luxuriant over the poor quality of American version.

The next big difference is the layout.  The US version has one strip that feels like it could be an episode of the cartoon.  The story ends with a thread that continues into the next issue.

The UK comic, however, generally has 5 strips per issue - some are one off story's and some continue into the next issue.  The benefit of this format becomes more apparent once more Characters and Vehicles are introduced.  In the US version, if your favourite Character or Vehicle isn't in the story then they're not in the strip.  With the UK Version having 5 strips there is a better chance of your favourite appearing in at least one of the strips.

As well has having it's famous wraparound covers, the UK comic also had a centrepage poster every week.  In stark contrast, the US versions centrepage is filled with an advert featuring NBC's children's TV lineup.  In fact, the US version has eleven pages of advertising in comparison to only one and half in the UK version.

To sum up, the cost of each comic is 35p and in my opinion, the UK comic offered far better value for money.  The UK comic lasted 80 issues plus a preview issue and various holiday specials before merging with the Eagle for around 20 or so issues.  The American version - a 4-part mini-series followed by a monthly that managed only 9 issues, need I say more?

Perhaps M.A.S.K. was just a bigger phenomenon in the UK but if it was, I would say that the IPC/FLEETWAY comic helped it along.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

M.A.S.K. Issue 3

Dated 22nd November - 5th December 1986, saw the third issue of M.A.S.K. hit the UK Newsagent Shelves.

Table of contents -
  • Front and back wraparound cover
  • Five pages - "Monster Mountain" Part 2 (B&W with red tint first cell)
  • Four pages - "The Great Head Robbery" (Colour)
  • Five pages - "Operation Sea Dog!" (B&W)
  • Centrepage spread - Rhino
  • Five pages - "The Key of Solomon" Part 3 (B&W with blue tint first cell)
  • Single page - Advertisement
  • Single page - Letters page
  • Single page - Spectrum MASK cutout
  • Five pages - "War of Venom" Part 3 (B&W with blue tint first cell)
  • Single page - preview of next issue
Starting off with the boast of "Too big for just a cover" we see Rhino in action - an unsuspecting baddie is dispatched from Rhino courtesy of her Ejection Seat as Bruce Sato wearing his Rhino Mask follows behind.

Like so many covers, this issue 3's is full of action and suspense and draws you into the comic.  The UK MASK comic was a larger size than most comics of it's day and lends itself well this type of cover.

In Part 2 of "Monster Mountain", Matt, Scott and T-Bob have to flee a Volcanic Eruption in Thunderhawk.  Matt attempts to use various weapons in order to protect the locals and tourists from the Molten Lava and then comes to the realisation that this eruption is the work of VENOM.

We then cut to Miles Mayhem as he and Sly Rax explain the devious plan to the dimwitted Cliff Dagger that they are trying to melt a Glacier to free the Giant of Geissmuhl.

Shells rain down in Lower Manhattan as Jackhammer fires from her hiding place with the head of The Statue of Liberty in "The Great Head Robbery" part three.  Buildings collapse and come down on unsuspecting members of the public.  As Buddie Hawkes and a repair crew work to get Thunderhawk back in working order, Matt, Bruce and Alex take Rhino out onto a Jetty and use her missile launcher to fire at the Statue - but miss.

This alerts VENOM to their presence and Sly Rax is dispatched in Piranha to deal with them, destroying the Jetty legs, Rhino and crew fall into the water...

Miles Mayhem lands Switchblade on the deck of an Oil Platform in "Operation Seadog!" and uses his Viper Mask to stamp his authority to take it over.  Meanwhile, Matt Trakker is alerted to the situation by Duane Kennedy of the Peaceful Nations Alliance so he and Buddie head off in Thunderhawk to investigate.

Mayhem has place explosives all around the Platform and threatens to blow it up if MASK interfere in his business and gives chase of Thunderhawk in Switchblade.  Matt decides to land on a passing Oil Tanker to abate the confrontation - however, Cliff Dagger and Sly Rax are on the Oil Tanker and Rax uses his Stiletto Mask to pin Matt and Buddie to some crates.  We find out that Rax is about to go after sunken treasure in Piranha.

Everything works out ok for the MASK team, however, as Brad Turner in Condor and Hondo MacLean in Gator, not to mention the Russian Navy, come to their aid.

Piloted by Matt Trakker when wearing his Ultraflash Mask and Bruce Sato with Lifter, Rhino is the focus of this weeks centrepage spread.  We see her in all of her glory in mid battle.  As previously mentioned, the larger format of the MASK comic allows this to be a great spectacle and as can be seen by the image above the artwork is immense.

Buddie Hawkes is in disguise as Blaire "The Toff" Dickins in the "The Key of Solomon" part three as he meets with Miles Mayhem.  He is told that "The Toff" must deliver "The False Kali of Kush" to Mayhem in one week.  We discover that this contains the last piece of "The Key of Solomon" - an ancient book that details how to summon Demons to find Hidden Treasure.

Unbeknownst to the MASK team, Buddie is walking into a trap when he takes the Kali to Mayhem as his disguise didn't full "The Toff's" former Cell Mate Steady Jones and his taken captive.

The first two issues of the MASK comic came with free Cardboard Cutout Mask's - this issue, however, we have a page dedicated to Spectrum that you can cut out yourself to use as a Mask - imagine tempting kids into wrecking this great comic by doing such a thing!

Alex Sector using his Jackrabbit Mask faces off against the might of a Jet Fighter in part three of "War of Venom".  Luckily, Brad Turner comes to his aid in Condor.  They then have to go to the aid of Hondo MacLean and Dusty Hayes as they face off against some tanks.

During the battle, Gator is hit throwing Dusty clear.  Buddie Hawkes using Rhino's ATV in combination with his Penetrator Mask, heads out to recover Dusty who has been left dazed and confused by his ordeal.

This is another great issue from IPC Magzines.  By now, it is becoming clear that the Covers, Centrepages and Black and White strips contain the best of the Artwork.  The images of Thunderhawk taking flight and Sly Rax using his Stiletto Mask in Operation Seadog! are amazing.

The storylines are good and we see great use of all the characters, vehicles and Masks.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Links Page Added

Above you will find a tab full of other M.A.S.K. content related website.

Please take a look at these great sites.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Update Soon

I've been spending time working on my M.A.S.K. script so will have the next update on this site very soon.

Currently at 113 pages - still around 30 pages to do then I need to trim it back down to around 120ish pages.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

M.A.S.K. Issue 2

Mask Issue 2, dated 8th-21st of November 1986.  Again came in a sealed poly bag - this weeks gift a cardboard cutout of Miles Mayhem's Viper Mask.

Table of Contents -
  • Front and back wraparound cover
  • Five pages - "Monster Mountain" Part 1 (B&W with red tint first cell)
  • Four pages - "The Great Head Robbery" Part 2 (Colour)
  • Five pages - "Snake Farm" (B&W)
  • Centrepage spread - Switchblade
  • Five pages - "War of Venom" Part 2 (B&W with Green tint first cell)
  • Single page advert
  • Single page - Letters Page
  • Single page advert
  • Five pages - "The Key of Solomon" Part 2 (B&W with Blue tint first cell)
  • Preview of next issue
With the UK MASK comic there were generally two types of covers.  The "Serious" style that relates to one of the storys within that issue - as was the case with Issue 1.  We also had the more "Lighthearted" covers that would generally involve members of MASK and/or VENOM speaking directly to the reader - as with Issue 2.

On this cover, Miles Mayhem is gloating that you'll enjoy the Centrepage spread of Switchblade, when Bruce Sato and Matt Trakker use there Masks on him.

In our first story, "Monster Mountain", Matt Trakker is on holiday with his son, Scott and robot, T-Bob Visiting a Frankenstein Museum.  Unbeknown to them, VENOM are in the vacinity who set off a warhead causing a Volcano to erupt.

In "The Great Head Robbery", the Statue of Liberty's head is put back but it's not long until Lady Liberty shows a darker side as weapons start firing from her mouth and eyes, can our MASK team rise to the challenge.

Matt Trakker has developed Robots for Agricultural use, with Robot Guards to look after security of the factory.  Miles Mayhem and Cliff Dagger attack and steal the robots and Matt Trakker eventually catches up with Miles Mayhem at his "Snake Farm".  Unfortunately, Mayhem escapes unscathed.

The Artwork in this story is so good that I have taken two images from it for this blog.  The detailing is absolutely amazing and stands out from it's American Counterpart from DC Comics - this might be the reason for the US comic having such a short run in comparison.

From the image of Jackhammer crashing through the Front Doors above all guns blazing to Miles Mayhem with his Viper Mask in full flow below, the action is realistic and believable.

Miles Mayhem's Switchblade Helicopter/Jet Fighter adorns the centre pages of this fortnights offering.

Matt Trakker and his team are caught in the middle of the "War of Venom" part two.  Miles Mayhem as the small Central American States of Tigmuala and Sanduria lock in battle with our M.A.S.K. team intervening to prevent anymore bloodshed.

VENOM's carnage of London causes our MASK team to help the public whilst trying to protect a convoy of Priceless Treasures in "Key of Solomon" Part Two. Buddie Hawkes, MASK's Master of Disguise, goes under cover.

Another Great issue in the fledgling series.  As the images above show, some of the best artwork in the comic series was always the Black and White Comic strips. 

Monday, 24 September 2012

M.A.S.K. Issue 1

The first fortnightly issue of MASK dated 25th of October to 7th of November 1986 hit our Newsagents in the UK.  Wrapped in a sealed poly bag, it came with a free Ultraflash cardboard cut out Mask. Like the Preview Issue, this item is readily available on Ebay, however, you may find it difficult to find one sealed in it's original wrapper.

This issue reintroduces the war between MASK and VENOM with an updated reprint of the "The Beginning" - just in case you missed out on one of the thousands of free copies of the Preview Issue.

Table of Contents -
  • Front and back wrap around cover (imaged above).
  • Two page welcome to MASK
  • Six pages - "The Beginning" (half B&W, half colour)
  • Five pages - "Testing Time at Boulder Hill" (B&W with red tint on first page)
  • Advert
  • Thunderhawk Centre Page
  • Four pages - "The Great Head Robbery" part one (B&W with blue tint on first page)
  • Single page Guide to Masks
  • Three pages - "War of Venom" part one (B&W with red tint on all pages)
  • Five pages - "The Key of Solomon" part one (B&W with red tint on first page
  • Preview of next issue
Like the MASK toy boxes, the comic covers were vibrant, dynamic and helped to tell a story.  The first cover is very much a VENOM cover of "Mayhem" and destruction.  Great care has been taken to ensure that the vehicles have every detail of their respective toy.

Rhino is Excluded from the MASK banner (as it is on all issues of the comic) to make way for all of the action.

In "The Beginning", Matt Trakker is approached by Miles Mayhem, Intelligence Commander for the Peaceful Nations Alliance, to build weapons in the fight against Contraworld Terrorists.  Along the journey, Matt's Brother, Joe, and the rest of the original MASK team are betrayed and killed by Mayhem.

Matt froms a new team to go against his former ally in arms.

Matt and Miles are the only identifiable members of their respective teams - we do see all the original vehicles in action, so the other members of the teams are more "implied" than visible.

In stark contrast, "Testing Time at Boulder Hill" introduces us to the rest of the MASK team - playing homage to the Cartoon of the same name, each member of the team receives a signal on their watches notifying them they are needed as Boulder Hill is under threat.  We are introduced to each character and their MASK in the Energiser Room.  The threat to Boulder Hill is only a false alarm.

Matt Trakker's Chevrolet Camaro/Jet Fighter is the centrespread in this first issue.  One of the icons of it's era, Matt wears his Spectrum Mask when he pilots "Thunderhawk".

Matt Trakker, Scott Trakker and T-Bob feature as Miles Mayhem and Cliff Dagger in Switchblade steal the head of the Statue of Liberty in "The Great Head Robbery".

The "War of Venom" is the Cover Story of the issue as Venom agents Miles Mayhem, Cliff Dagger and Sly Rax attack the Central American Sate of Tigmula.

Matt and his team are glorified Security in "The Key of Solomon" charged with protecting a collection of ancient treasures on their way through London to the British Museum.  Miles Mayhem, of course, wants to make sure they don't succeed.

A great introduction to the series whether you had read the Preview Issue or not.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Preview Issue

Although not titled "Issue 1" the "Free Super Preview Issue!" was the premiere of M.A.S.K. comic in the UK.

Published by IPC Magazines, the comic was given away free with every "Boys" Comic at the time from the IPC stable.  This included The Eagle, Battle Action Force and Roy of the Rovers to name but a few.

So, whether you went on to collect this comic or not, most comic collectors in UK would've had this comic in their collection.

This opened the door to "A great new world of adventure!" for many of us with it's great format - from the colourful front and back covers to the centre page poster, this format would last for a regular run of 80 issues.

On the front cover of this issue, we have almost all of the main characters that were introduced first into the UK.  Matt Trakker with his Ultraflash MASK and his team - Dusty Hayes (Backlash Mask), Brad Turner (Hocus Pocus Mask), Alex Sector (Jackrabbit Mask) and Bruce Sato (Lifter Mask).  Hondo MacLean (Blaster Mask) for some reason is missing.  We also don't see Matt Trakker's more popular Spectrum Mask.

V.E.N.O.M. Leader Miles Mayhem with his Viper Mask is backed up by Cliff Dagger (Torch Mask) and Sly Rax (Stiletto Mask).

The back cover shows the original 7 vehicles brought to the UK comic - for MASK - Rhino, Thunderhawk, Gator and Condor and VENOM - Switchblade, Jackhammer and Pirhana.

The inside cover gives us a little background on the struggle between MASK and VENOM before throwing us into the action in the first Strip entitled "The Beginning".  Somehow, we manage to fit a whole back story of how MASK and VENOM were born within a 6 page black and white strip.

The story of Miles Mayhem and Matt Trakker setting up MASK together share it's roots with the Mini Comics that came with the toys, however, in this Preview comic Matt's brother is called Joe, not  Andy.

On the hunt of a secret parchment, the next 5 page story "Secret of the Tomb" sees Miles Mayhem and Cliff Dagger venturing to Egypt and the the Great Pyramid of Ra.  The first of these pages is Black and White with a hint of yellow - this sets the tone for the rest of the series where a mono colour is quite often found of the first page of a story.

After a full page Advert, we then get to one of the defining parts of every issue - the Centre Page Poster!  From the illusion of an innocent Gas Station, Boulder Hill quickly converts to MASK's head quarters.

Four pages of  "The day it rained money!" then followed by an Advert and three pages of "Mask of Evil".  One more advert page followed by four pages of "Royal Robbery" leads us to the inside of the back cover and preview of what we can expect from the first issue.

Overall, this was a spectacular start, despite being Black and White with splashes of colour here and there.


October 1986 was a defining moment for me.

I bought two of my normal comics, The Eagle and Battle Action Force, to find a free gift of a "Free Super Preview Issue!" of M.A.S.K.  I was intrigued and read it several times before the first issue of the comic eventually came out and this started my collection.

From all 80 issues, to the merger with Eagle and various Holiday Specials and Annuals - I collected them all.

Three years ago, I had just finished the rewrite of a script when i decided that it was about time for a M.A.S.K. movie - so I started writing a script.  A few months after I started it, my little boy Reece was Born and took up much of my time as did my Father's failing health until he passed away in May this year.

I am now keen to share my love of the comics with everyone, whilst I continue my journey to complete my script.