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.

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