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.

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