Sunday, 10 March 2013

M.A.S.K. Issue 8

M.A.S.K. Issue 8 dated 31st of January - 13th of February 1987 - still only 35p.

Table of contents -
  • Front and Back Wraparound Cover
  • Five Pages - "Kamikaze" Part 4 (B&W with Blue Tint First Cell)
  • Four Pages - "Amazon Mystery" Part 3 (Colour)
  • Five Pages - "Oil Strike" (B&W)
  • Centre Page Spread
  • Five Pages - "Project Dinosaur" Part 1 (B&W with Pink Tint First Cell)
  • Single Page - Advertisement
  • Single Page - Letters Page
  • Single Page - MASK Art
  • Single Page - Penetrator Mask Cut Out
  • Four Pages - "Double Trouble" Part 3 (B&W)
  • Single Page - Preview of next issue/advertisement

This issue of M.A.S.K. broke from the normal format.  The Centre Page Spread is normally set aside to give us cool pull out poster of a vehicle with technical specs on the weapons, the pilot/co-pilot and their Masks.

So far, seven issues and seven vehicles featured in the comic - for M.A.S.K. we have Thunderhawk (there has been debate on another website as to whether it is Thunderhawk or Thunder Hawk - can anyone help??), Rhino, Gator and Condor.  For V.E.N.O.M. there has been Switchblade, Jackhammer and Piranha.

All of that means no more vehicles to be featured in our Centre Page Spread (or does it?) - so this issue features a 4 page giant wall poster!  The idea is that you take off the front cover and the centre pages and join them together to make a large poster for your wall.

So the Front cover the of comic forms the right hand side of the 4 pages and features many of our favourites - the rest are on the Centre Page that joins on to the left of the above.

So, all of our vehicles are present and although we don't see Bruce, Buddie and Alex, I assume they are all hiding away somewhere in Rhino.  These images are great examples of the Artwork that we've come to expect from our favourite comic.  I especially like the detailing on Rhino and Thunderhawk - I wish I could draw as good as the artist behind these fantastic images.

That being said, I was slightly disappointed at not having my usual "fix" in the centre pages.

Matt Trakker and Bruce Sato are surrounded by the Savage Sumos as part four of "Kamikaze kicks off this weeks issue.  Using Spectrum and Lifter, they do their best to fend off the hordes of Sumos as they make their attack.

As it looks like they are making an impact on their foe, there is a sudden explosion as Miles Mayhem attacks from above in Switchblade.  As they are being overrun in their attempt to get back to Thunderhawk, the cavalry arrive in the form of Brad Turner on Condor, Buddie Hawks in Rhino and Hondo MacLean & Dusty Hayes in Gator with Alex Sector flying overhead using Jackrabbit.

During the conflict that follows, Hondo and Dusty are captured and the rest of our M.A.S.K. heroes have to give themselves up.

In the Court of Hidetadi, it is decreed that as Matt and Bruce are brave warriors, instead of being killed they are allowed to fight Kamikaze to the death - the survival of their friends depends on them!

The "Amazon Mystery" starts to make more sense as the captive Cliff Dagger informs the M.A.S.K. team that the weapon he is guarding is only a mock up - the real weapon is smaller and portable - and there are six of them.

Hondo MacLean is left in charge of the prisoners as his colleagues head out after the weapons.  Brad Turner on Condor is the first to strike it lucky as he comes across a convoy of two of the weapons and quickly takes care of them.

Dusty Hayes in Gator then manages to dispatch another of the weapons as Matt Trakker zeroes in on a fourth weapon making short work of it.  The M.A.S.K. team are in luck as Brad Turner finds one of the weapons has taken a wrong turn into a swamp.

Leaving the last weapon to be found, Matt finds it but before he can strike against it, Miles Mayhem in Switchblade finds him and engages - who will win the aerial battle?

Cliff Dagger and Sly Rax in Jackhammer manage to overrun the guards of an oil well in North Africa in the one off story "Oil Strike!"  As V.E.N.O.M. minions fill up oil tankers with the precious black gold, Dusty Hayes and Hondo MacLean are close by in Gator.  Before they can make their assault, they are attacked from behind by Jackhammer.

Unfortunately for Rax and Dagger, their attack comes to a disastrous end as Jackhammer comes a cropper upside down.

Miles Mayhem is overseeing the oil being loaded into the tankers as Gator comes crashing in to thwart their plans.  During the battle, oil is spilt everywhere and as our heroes are about to take Miles Mayhem captive, Rax and Dagger turn up.  The dimwitted Dagger uses his Torch Mask which ignites the oil almost killing Mayhem but the fire is between them and M.A.S.K. allowing them to escape.

Russian Scientists on the Arctic Ice Cap are busy loading dinosaur eggs they have found preserved in the ice as part of "Project Dinosaur".  Miles Mayhem in Switchblade and Cliff Dagger in Jackhammer make their attack to steal the eggs - just as Matt Trakker in Thunderhawk intervenes.

As the V.E.N.O.M. agents pursue Thunderhawk, a Russian Submarine breaks through the ice and manages to rescue the scientists and the eggs.  However, Thunderhawk stalls mid-air - will Matt Trakker survive?

One of the Adverts that featured regularly in M.A.S.K. UK.

Below, reader Peter Freeth's vision of a new vehicle called Sea Hawk.

Below is the cut out of Buddie Hawks' Penetrator Mask.

One of the reasons why you have to be careful when buying second hand copies of the comics as some people will have cut this out.  What a waste of a great comic!

In part three of "Double Trouble" Miles Mayhem unmasks Buddie Hawks as his doppelganger.  Mayhem commands Dagger to attack Rhino as he hypnotises Buddie into taking orders only from him - what will the outcome be?

All in all, another great issue.  Like I say, disappointed at no centre page vehicle but the artwork on the 4 page poster is amazing.  There is something that confuses me on the cover, however.  Sly Rax is riding his Motorcycle but the sidecar sub is in the water firing at Gator - so who is piloting the sub?

Feel free to add your own comments below on your own thoughts and remember you can catch more chat and information on the Facebook page -

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