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,


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