Sunday, 17 March 2013

M.A.S.K. Issue 9

Issue 9 of M.A.S.K. UK fortnightly comic dated 14th-27th of February, 1987.

Table of contents -
  • Front and Back Wraparound Cover
  • Five Pages - "Project Dinosaur" Part 2 (B&W with Pink Tint First Cell)
  • Four Pages - "Amazon Mystery" Conclusion (Colour)
  • Five Pages - "Attack on Boulder Hill" (B&W)
  • Centre Page Spread - Firefly
  • Five Pages - "Kamikaze" Part 5 (B&W with Pink Tint First Cell)
  • Single Page - Advertisement
  • Single Page - MASK Art
  • Single Page - Letters Page
  • Single Page - Stiletto Mask Cut Out
  • Four Pages - "Double Trouble" Part 4 (B&W)
  • Single Page - Preview of next issue/advertisement

With it's striking red colour, this issue of M.A.S.K. has one of the best covers to date.  Or, should I say, V.E.N.O.M.?

Miles Mayhem and another V.E.N.O.M. agent attempt to switch the M.A.S.K. banner for their own.  This type of cover is typical of our favourite comic to have a bit of humour and not take itself overly serious - but at the same time giving us some of the best Artwork of any comic in the newsagents!

Bold; Striking; Vibrant - just some of the words to describe this cover.

But who, you might ask, is this mysterious V.E.N.O.M agent helping the V.E.N.O.M. Leader, Miles Mayhem, in taking over this cover?

I didn't collect the M.A.S.K. toys (I did manage to get some later) and the cartoon series was only in it's infancy on the TV.  Therefore, I had never seen this agent before and I was intrigued and excited - in equal measures!

I read through the comic from cover to cover and still never managed to find out who this was.  This was my first glance at a new agent since the comics began - I guess I'll have to wait to until issue 10 before I find out who he is.

Carrying on from last weeks issue, Matt Trakker in Thunderhawk is plummeting towards the ground at breakneck speed after being hit by Miles Mayhem in Switchblade in "Project Dinosaur".

Miles Mayhem gets a nasty surprise as he attempts to follow Thunderhawk to finish the job off as Cliff Dagger on the ground in Jackhammer opens fire nearly hitting his leader by mistake.  Matt Manages to pull up in Thunderhawk and nurses her back to Boulder Hill for repairs after a job well done in preventing Mayhem from stealing the precious Dinosaur Eggs.

On his return he is greeted by his adopted son, Scott, T-Bob and Bruce Sato.  It's not long before Alex Sector, Buddie Hawks and Brad Turner are on the scene.  It is decided that the team have go to Russia as they believe Mayhem's next play will be to go after the Eggs again.  

Sure enough, we cut to Miles Mayhem flying to Archangel Naval Base in pursuit of the precious Cargo.  As he comes under fire from the full might of the Russian Navy, the Dinosaur Eggs have already been loaded onto a Freight Train and on the move.  His minions Dagger and Rax attack the Train...

Matt Trakker in Thunderhawk and Miles Mayhem in Switchblade are locked in a deadly dogfight as the conclusion of "Amazon Mystery" starts.  As Sly Rax is about to fire the Disintegrator at the City of London, Matt Drops a Magnetic Bomb and blows it up saving the day yet again!

The Artist for this strip, Carlos Pino, has signed his name on one of the cells.  A Spanish Artist who worked on M.A.S.K. and many of it's stable mates.  For more information on this great artist click here.

Brad Turner is out for a test drive on Condor but unknown to him, plans are afoot for an "Attack on Boulder Hill".

Buddie has done an overhaul on Condor and as Brad takes her out he feels this is a bit of a mundane task.  To liven up his test drive, he uses his Hocus Pocus Mask to project images of a racetrack to allow him to drive against some well known Bikers in a Grand Prix.

All of a sudden, an alarm sounds as a Fuel Tanker is on collision course with Brad!  As he swerves to avoid it, he drives over a cliff - luckily his Motorcycle can convert into a helicopter!  As he comes into land, he is ambushed by Sly Rax and knocked unconscious.

The tanker rolls up to Boulder Hill and as Buddie Hawks advises the driver he hasn't ordered a delivery of fuel, the driver turns out to be none other than Cliff Dagger - he subdues Buddie with his Torch Mask and starts pumping 500 gallons of Nitro-Glycerine into Boulder Hill's Tanks.

As Mayhem lands in Swtichblade, Matt and his team head out to confront him.  Mayhem uses a detonator to blow up the Nitro-Glycerine and Boulder Hill with it - only to find that although stricken, Brad Turner has managed to use his Hocus Pocus Mask to create a Holographic Replica of Boulder Hill.

As Mayhem flees from the scene, Buddie Hawks in the turret of the real Boulder Hill manages to blow up Switchblade.  We then find out that the plan was Cliff Daggers and Mayhem didn't trust that it would work and sent in a doppelgänger in his place!

After last issues 4 page wraparound cover/centre page spread, we are back to normal service with a centre page Vehicle Spread.

Firefly, a new vehicle with a new Pilot, Julio Lopez and his Streamer Mask.  Like the mysterious figure on the front cover, this combo don't appear in any of the stories in this issue but it gives us a good insight into what we can expect over the next few issues.

UK M.A.S.K. fans had a brief encounter with Dr Julio Lopez and Firefly in the M.A.S.K. Annual at Christmas time see my review here.

On this page we have the name Campion as being the Artist.  The Wiki Page has more information on the artist who created this great image.

In part five of "Kamikaze", Matt Trakker and Bruce Sato are in the Hidetadi's arena fighting for their lives - and the lives of their team mates.  A long battle ensues and Bruce sustains a serious injury to his leg, preventing him from continuing in the fight.

Using his  Spectrum Mask, Matt discovers a weak point in his advisory - an artificial nerve centre at the base of his neck.

As the behemoth lifts Matt high above his head, Matt manages to use Spectrum on his Achilles Heal, causing the beast to go on a rampage; knocking himself out.  Miles Mayhem enters the fight piloting Switchblade - how will it end?

Not only have V.E.N.O.M. attempted a coup on the front cover, they have managed to take over the letters page and MASK Art page.

In MASK Art, we have a collection of drawings - one in particular by Kirk Wilshaw of Birches Head of a vehicle called Vampire.  It wouldn't be until the next issue I would find the link between this vehicle and the mystery man on the cover.

Sly Rax's Stiletto Mask is this weeks cut out.

In the Conclusion of Double Trouble, Miles Mayhem is using the disguised Buddie Hawks for protection.  As Mayhem orders Dagger to get their hostage into Switchblade, Brad Turner uses his Hocus Pocus Mask to create numerous images of Miles Mayhem to hide Buddie from harm.

V.E.N.O.M. escape - but at least Buddie is unharmed.

This is one of the best issues to date.  A lot of it is down to the tremendous cover but I think the main reason I enjoyed it so much was the introduction of some new characters - although not used in any of the stories it was great to see.  Left me looking forward to the next issue!

Remember and leave your own feedback and join my Facebook Page.

No comments:

Post a Comment