Tuesday, 12 November 2013

M.A.S.K. Comic UK Issue 17

The 6th to the 19th of June saw Issue 17 of M.A.S.K. Comic UK.

Table of Contents -

  • Front and Back Wraparound Cover
  • Five Pages - "Inside the Volcano" Part 1 (B&W with Pink Tint First Cell)
  • Four Pages - "Royal Rescue" Part 1 (Colour)
  • Five Pages - "T-Bob the Hero!" (B&W)
  • Centre Page Spread - Bruce Sato with Lifter
  • Five Pages - "Operation Vandal" Part 1 (B&W with Pink Tint First Cell)
  • Single Page - Advertisement
  • Single Page - Letters Page
  • Single Page - MASK Art
  • Single Page - Advertisement
  • Four Pages - "Young at Heart" Part 3 (B&W)
  • Single Page - preview of next issue, adverts, info on this weeks free gift

In the Battle of M.A.S.K. versus V.E.N.O.M. - this weeks front cover deals with that age old issue - whose free sticker is the best?

Sly Rax's or Dusty Hayes'?

The front cover of this issue doesn't disappoint as we see Dusty Hayes in Gator and Sly Rax battling it out re the free stickers to complete the poster given away free with issue 15.

T-Bob is on the front cover directing you to a full page back cover featuring our rotund robot that he suggests you could cut out and make your own sticker - thanks for the offer; but no thanks, T-Bob!

You may notice a couple of things from the Table of contents above -

Firstly, after the conclusion of so many stories last week, we have the start of three new serial stories this week, so that should be good.

Secondly, despite one story titled "Inside the Volcano" and another "Operation Vandal", neither of them feature the vehicles that have their names in the titles - bit of a disappointment!  Volcano hasn't been introduced in the comics yet and the Split Seconds toys don't actually make their way into the comic (thankfully, as they're not really that good)!

As we start "Inside the Volcano" we have a full page dedicated to Matt Trakker's exploits as a Narrator shows what a Great Hero Trakker is.  On the next page, there is narration over three cells discussing who much of an evil Genius Miles Mayhem is.

The Narrator? J.J. Kinsale - sitting on the floor with two of his henchmen looking on.

I'd say that this artist is one of my favourites, however, when I was reading these when I was a kid, I never liked the character of J.J. Kinsale and his henchmen.  The same artist created Kamikaze that featured in earlier issues, and I feel that these characters are very "2000 A.D.esque"

Don't get me wrong, the artistry is amazing - it's just that I never felt that these characters fitted in the M.A.S.K. world.  

This character has respect for Trakker and Mayhem but he wants to prove to the world that he his the most powerful man in the world - and he has a plan!

He sends his henchmen to kidnap Scott and T-Bob - four huge henchmen to kidnap a 10 year old kid and his robot?  Really?

Anyway, Kinsale calls Matt to inform him he has Scott and that he's to come alone to his Island free him.  He then makes a call to Mayhem to "sell" his captive to him.

Both Trakker and Mayhem take the bait, and end up trapped in Kinsale's Artificial Jungle "Inside the Volcano" and they face off against each other as Kinsale watches on on a large screen!

Prince Sabana, heir to the throne of Melina, is at the top of a ski jump as we start our "Royal Rescue".  His Security Officer, Hakin, advises that he cannot protect the young Prince if he goes down the ski jump.

As he leaves the jump, he is confronted by Switchblade with a net underneath it and the young Prince is taken captive!

Back in the capital city of Melina, the people are out in protest as they hear about the capture of Prince Sabana.  His father, King Hazan, feels under pressure to abdicate but our M.A.S.K. team of Matt Trakker, Bruce Sato and Brad Turner come to his aid and persuade him not to.

The King's trusted aide, Hamed, draws a pistol on the King and our M.A.S.K. team but Bruce Sato is on hand with his Lifter Mask to take care of the problem.  We find out from Hamed that he is loyal only to Miles Mayhem and is forced into giving our M.A.S.K. team information that the young Prince is being held captive only ten miles from where he was taken.

Hamed is turned over to the King's Guards, however, as our M.A.S.K. team leave, we discover that the Guards are loyal to Hamed and we are left with the King being thrown over a balcony and killed!

In an unlikely turn of events, we now have "T-Bob the Hero!"

In each issue of M.A.S.K. there are normally 5 stories - each drawn by a different artist and each with their own unique style and vision of M.A.S.K.  

Normally, T-Bob is depicted as a bipedal robot who can turn into a Motorscooter!  In this strip, however, he his a three wheeled Motorscooter/robot as he appears in toy form.  As mentioned on my review of issue 16, there is one image of him in this strip whereby he looks like Old B.O.B. from Disney's The Black Hole!

On a holiday in the South of France are Matt & Scott Trakker and our Hero, T-Bob.  As they drive along a country road in Thunderhawk, T-Bob accidentally knocks Thunderhawk into full speed and it's not long before some Gendarmes take notice of the speeding car and chase after them.

As Matt pulls over, he is confronted by Cliff Dagger and Sly Rax dressed up in Gendarme uniforms with the intent of stealing Thunderhawk.  As Rax and Dagger take off in Thunderhawk, Matt and Scott are left stranded in the French Countryside - when Scott realises that T-Bob is still in the back seat of Thunderhawk!

Not to worry, though, as T-Bob attacks the dim-witted car jackers and soon dispatches Cliff Dagger out of the vehicle.  As Dagger lands in a Duck Pond, he is soon being pursued by some real Gendarmes who happen to be close by.

Meanwhile, T-Bob is in a struggle with Sly Rax up above in Thunderhawk.  Rax is soon defeated and knocked out of Thunderhawk and is left hanging from a tree branch.  T-Bob assumes control of Thunderhawk and manages to crash land her into a haystack near Matt and Scott - saving the day!

Bruce Sato and his Lifter Mask are this issues centre page pin ups!  We see an image of Bruce demonstrating Lifter on Sly Rax and Cliff Dagger in Piranha.

Floyd Malloy on Vampire flies out of a ventilator grille for the London Underground system, right into the heart of Trafalgar Square in "Operation Vandal".  For no apparent reason, his sole purpose is to blow up Nelson's Column!

Unfortunately for Floyd, Matt Trakker just happens to be flying around in Thunderhawk and engages the V.E.N.O.M. agent.  During the struggle, Vampire is damaged and has to make an emergency landing just outside of a new V.E.N.O.M. base and Cliff Dagger comes to his aid.

Thunderhawks alarm goes off to let Matt know that he must've detected a V.E.N.O.M. base but above the cloud cover - he doesn't see it and heads back to an airstrip 20 miles away to rendezvous with Alex Sector, Scott and T-Bob at a temporary M.A.S.K. base.

We are left with Miles Mayhem giving orders for the destruction of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Arc De Triomphe.

Miles Mayhem and Floyd Malloy are continuing to spread an "Anti-Maturity Gas" as we see the next instalment of "Young at Heart".  As the citizens of London revert back to a childlike state, Mayhem and Malloy land Switchblade and Vampire and put up a V.E.N.O.M. flag and pronounce that London is now theirs!

Back in Germany, are our M.A.S.K. team surveying the effects of Mayhem's Gas on the P.N.A.'s gathered troops in what was meant to be an army exercise.

Our heroes head out to London to chase after Mayhem to find him in a horse-drawn carriage on the The Mall in London - Rax is on the reigns of the horses as Malloy and Dagger stand on the back like footmen!

A couple of Sonic Disruption Bombs from Thunderhawk soon shakes things up for the Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem!  As our M.A.S.K. team land to fight on foot, a blast of corrosive poison from Viper knocks Bruce off of his feet and his Lifter Mask from his head!  We are left with Mayhem tossing a canister of the Gas at him.

Not really one of my favourite issues of M.A.S.K.  There are some good points such as the front cover and the centre pages and the artwork of "Inside the Volcano" but I didn't really feel the love for this issue!

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