Sunday, 24 February 2013

M.A.S.K. Issue 7

"MASK v VENOM - the battle continues" in issue 7 of M.A.S.K. UK.  Dated 17th-30th of January 1987, I turned 14 during this period - and now I'm 40!!

Table of contents -
  • Front and Back Wraparound Cover
  • Five Pages - "Monster Mountain" Conclusion (B&W with Pink Tint First Cell)
  • Four Pages - "Amazon Mystery" Part 2 (Colour)
  • Five Pages - "Kamikaze" Part 3 (B&W)
  • Centre Page Spread - Piranha
  • Five Pages - "The Ultimate Weapon" (B&W with Blue Tint First Cell)
  • Single Page - Advertisement
  • Single Page - Letters Page
  • Single Page - MASK Art (T-Bob Special!)
  • Single Page - Advertisement
  • Four Pages - "Double Trouble" Part 2 (B&W)
  • Single Page - Preview of next issue/advertisement
This issues cover, drawn by Ron Smith, features Matt and Scott Trakker as "T-Bob meets   - Frankenstein's Monster!"  Ron Smith is a veteran artist famed for his work on M.A.S.K.'s stablemates 2000 AD and Judge Dredd.

With the images of an Iron Maiden and a Guillotine on the back of the cover gives the tone that the M.A.S.K. UK is definitely geared toward an older, teenage market. 

The boys over at M.A.S.K. Movie Blogspot have recently reviewed episode 21 of the M.A.S.K. Cartoon in which T-Bob also has a somewhat brief encounter with Frankenstein's Monster.

We swiftly move onto the first story which is the Conclusion of "Monster Mountain".  Upset at M.A.S.K. thwarting his plans, Miles Mayhem in Switchblade gives chase after Matt Trakker, Scott Trakker and T-Bob in Thunderhawk.  Issues with it's steering, Matt is forced to land Thunderhawk.

Meanwhile, Sly Rax and Cliff Dagger fighting with each other as Hondo and Dusty look on and laugh!

Matt, Scott and T-Bob enter a museum that has been partially destroyed after Mayhem's devious plan.  This is where T-Bob has his encounter with Frankenstein's Monster as intimated on the cover.

Miles Mayhem follows them in.

Matt uses his Spectrum Mask to disorientate Miles Mayhem but Scott and T-Bob get in his way and Miles Mayhem escapes to fight another day...

Matt Trakker in Thunderhawk surveys the scene below in "Amazon Mystery" part two as he flies over a large gun in a clearing.  He spies Cliff Dagger and another henchman talking and lands to get a closer look.  As he does so, Miles Mayhem sneaks up on him - until we realise it's a hologram from Brad Turner's Hocus Pocus Mask as he is the first of Matt's backup as soon Dusty Hayes and Hondo MacLean arrive in Gator.

Using his Mask again, Brad creates an image of a dinosaur to help him and his team infiltrate and take over the gun - but it's not only M.A.S.K. that use illusion on their side as Cliff Dagger explains this gun is just a Mock Up.

Hitetadi's Savage Sumo's are still wrecking havoc in Japan in part three of "Kamikaze".  Brad Turner on Condor uses his Hocus Pocus Mask to confuse the Savages as Dusty Hayes uses his Backlash Mask to attack them.

Meanwhile, Buddie Hawks uses the full force of Rhino on the Sumos.  Unfortunately, some of them manage to cling onto Rhino in an effort to stop him.  To get rid of his hitchhikers, Buddie calls on his Penetrator Mask to allow him and rhino to pass through a brick wall whilst his attackers smash into the wall.

Kamikaze is unleashed into the foray and forces of a multistory office block.  Matt and Bruce in Thunderhawk come to the rescue as Lifter is put to good use saving the people falling out of the building and Matt uses Spectrum's Free-fall ability to help others.

As Jackhammer flees from the scene; Matt and Bruce give chase in Thunderhawk, only to find themselves surrounded by the Savage Sumo's - will they live to tell the tale?

Sly Rax and his Piranha Motorcycle and Sidecar/Submarine are this issues Pin Ups!

A fearsome combination of man and machine, the devious Sly certainly lives up to his name.  I sometimes thought that Piranha should have a co-pilot to use the Motorcycle whilst the sub is in the water and also wondered how the sub joins back up with the bike?

In the new PNA (Peaceful Nations Alliance) Research and Development HQ on the shores of Lake Geneva, Matt Trakker and his M.A.S.K. team are unaware that Miles Mayhem is about the fire "The Ultimate Weapon" at them.  Causing all glass to shatter, shards of glass cause havoc and the M.A.S.K. vehicles are left inoperable as their tyres are shredded in the ensuing chaos.

Brad Turner heads out on Condor but his weapons fail to bring down Mayhem's weapon of destruction.  Dusty Hayes and Hondo MacLean manage to get Gator's Hydroplane in the water.  Using her water cannon to boil the water in front of them, the rising steam creates a shroud allowing them to get close to Mayhem.  Firing Gator's Depth Charge, they cause a small tidal wave that engulfs Mayhem and his weapon.

Mayhem manages to escape.

After and Add and the letters page, we then have a T-Bob Special Art Page.

Bill over at Matt this one is specially for you as I believe you are doing a little T-Bob project just now?

MASK Art is a feature of most of the issues of M.A.S.K. and in this issue we have various images of everyone's favourite rotund robot, T-Bob.

Buddie Hawks, M.A.S.K.'s Master of Disguise, is posing as the captive Miles Mayhem - a lure to the real Miles Mayhem.

As M.A.S.K. forces sit in wait above ground to capture the real Mayhem, V.E.N.O.M. agents infiltrate the building from below.  How will this end?

Another great issue of M.A.S.K. and it's nice to be able to put a name to one of the talented artists who contributed to making this one of, if not the, best comics of a generation.

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  1. Love the Piranha centerfold and the T-Bob special art!!

    And happy belated 40th!

    1. Hey Jason,

      Thank you very much for your comments. Apologies for the delay in getting back to you - not had access to my laptop and we've been busy - had our son down in England for his first ever time last weekend and he seemed to enjoy it.

      Hope all is well with you? Been listening to your blog, keep up the good work!

  2. I'm very much enjoying your reviews. I bought all the issues as a child. In fact I think I still have them all somewhere in my parent's attic although they're certainly in nowhere near as good a condition as yours!

    Like you I've always really liked the artwork of David Pugh, particularly on the Kamikaze story but all his stuff is good. On the other hand I've never been a fan of Ron Smith's artwork. I'm not sure why, it's just never really worked for me.

    Also, the only thing I remember was that the colours were so bright. Everyone looked incredibly tanned.

    1. Thank you for your comments Mark. You seem to know a lot about M.A.S.K. comics, feel free to make more comments.

      I've been struggling to find out info about the writers and artits so any information you have that can add to the blog would be great.

      Have you been on my Facebook page?

      Always interested to hear what like minded people have to say!


    2. Thanks for your comments too. Your reviews are certainly bringing back a lot memories. I partuclarly enjoyed these early issues. If I do find out anything about writers or artists I'll certainly let you know. I think artists might be easier to find out about than writers though

      Incidentally I don't know if you know this but according to Wikipedia, David Pugh worked with Peter Milligan on MASK and Milligan has gone on to do a lot of writing for Marvel and DC in the past few years. I've no idea which stories they worked together on though

      I'm now following your Facebook page too so I may well make some comments on there too.

    3. Thanks very much Mark. In a previous post I did an interview with Erik from andI was thinking about doing a few more of these so I'll maybe get in touch with you at some point if your up for it?

  3. Sure, that sounds like it might be interesting!

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