Tuesday, 31 March 2015

M.A.S.K. Comic UK Issue 18

Issue 18 of M.A.S.K. Comic UK came out the 20th of June to the 3rd of July way back in 1987.  The front cover of our favourite comic has Sly Rax and Cliff Dagger hanging on to the skids of Switchblade for dear life!

On the back cover we see an erupting volcano from which our V.E.N.O.M. Rogues are trying to escape.

This is another great example of the excellent artwork found on the UK version of the M.A.S.K. comic - vibrant and strong.  Twenty Eight years later and this issue looks as vibrant and fresh as the day it was printed.

Table of Contents -
  • Front and Back Wraparound Cover
  • Five Pages - "Operation Vandal" Part 2 (B&W with Pink Tint First Cell)
  • Four Pages - "Royal Rescue" Part 2 (Colour)
  • Five Pages - "Island of Death" (B&W)
  • Centre Page Spread - Floyd Malloy with Buckshot
  • Single Page - Advertisement
  • Four Pages - "Young at Heart" Part 4 (B&W)
  • Single Page - Half Advertisement, Half V.E.N.O.M. Letters Page
  • Two Pages - Half Advertisement, Half MASK Art
  • Five Pages - "Inside the Volcano" Part 2 (B&W with Blue Tint First Cell)
  • Single Page - Advertisement

Floyd Malloy on Vampire is causing carnage in London - destroying all sorts of Historical and Cultural Monuments - including Tower Bridge - as we start Part 2 of "Operation Vandal".

Meanwhile, Sly Rax surfaces in Copenhagen using his Piranha Sub to blow up "The Little Mermaid".

Matt Trakker and his team have set up at temporary base of operations in a disused Airfield in East Anglia, England.  Alex Sector believes he has intel on a V.E.N.O.M. base not 20 miles away.

As Alex is left to babysit Scott and T-Bob - Matt heads off in Thunderhawk with Dusty Hayes and Hondo MacLean in Gator.  Our M.A.S.K. team make a dramatic entrance to V.E.N.O.M.'s secret hideout - but they are long gone.  Conveniently, there is a map showing Mayhem's trail of destruction with a clue to another base located in France.

As more monuments across Europe are destroyed, we find out the true nature of Mayhem's plan - to blackmail the US for $10 Million - or they'll move their operations to America and destroy National Monuments.

Matt Trakker makes his way to France flying Thunderhawk - unknown to him, Miles Mayhem is also in the air in Switchblade - behind him!

Attempting a "Royal Rescue" of the kidnapped Prince Sabana, Matt Trakker and Bruce Sato in Thunder hawk with Brad Turner on Condor make their way to Switzerland.  They soon come under fire from Cliff Dagger and Sly Rax in Jack hammer.

Thunder hawk swoops down and fires an aerial bomb - causing an avalanche behind Jackhammer.  As Jackhammer lies engulfed in snow and ice, Matt decides they should land and take Rax and Dagger prisoner.

However, Brad notices they are heading into a trap as V.E.N.O.M. soldiers come out of the snow to ambush them - out heroes withdraw from the fight.

They make their way to the town of Alpdorf which is going to play host for the rest of their mission.  All of the residents have been evacuated from the town.

Unbeknownst to our team, a single V.E.N.O.M. agent is lurking in the town and aims an RPG at Thunderhawk and Condor as they come into land.  Luckily, Buddie Hawks is on hand - he uses his Pentrator Mask to come through a wall and take the agent by surprise.

Matt enters the fray and uses his Spectrum Mask to disorientate the enemy.

A plan is hatched and M.A.S.K.'s Master of Disguise, Buddie Hawks, is sent undercover as a V.E.N.O.M. agent to the still stricken Jackhammer.  The two agents guarding Jackhammer let it slip that Prince Sabana is being held in the castle.

Miles Mayhem and Sly Rax turn up and see through Buddie's ruse.  A couple of darts from Rax's Stiletto mask coated with a Knockout Solution disable our hero....

A Witch Doctor has summoned all of the residents of the Tropical Island of San Justo to a ceremony at the base of an Extinct Volcano in our next story "Island of Death".  He tells them that the Volcano Gods have been angered and points out a man in the crowd responsible.

He pulls out a Voodoo doll and puts a pin through the chest.  As he does so, the man collapses and dies.  The Witch Doctor then demands the residents brings him gifts the following day to prevent the Gods further anger.

The Witch Doctor is greeted back at his hut by Cliff Dagger and Sly Rax.  As he removes his mask, we discover the Witch Doctor is none other than V.E.N.O.M. Leader, Miles Mayhem.  

We discover that the Voodoo doll was all a trick to instil fear in the residents, as a man comes to the door of the hut looking for payment for poisoning the victim!  He won't live long enough to spill the beans on Mayhem's plans as a venomous Marsh Snake has been hidden with his payment.

V.E.N.O.M. soldiers stand guard at island's quay as a small fishing boat heads their way.  All of a sudden a car drives through the cabin and quickly converts into a jet as Thunderhawk takes flight.  The soldiers surrender as Matt fires upon them.

However, Mayhem and his team are made aware of M.A.S.K.'s presence just moments before Brad Turner on Condor makes his attack.  As he flies over the mouth of the Extinct Volcano, we discover V.E.N.O.M. have been busy and built a base.  Heavily manned with various weapons and vehicles visible.  Condor and Thunderhawk make their attack.

Unfortunately for heroes, they come under heavy fire and both vehicles take hits and are forced to land.  Mayhem and his assembled minions make their way to victory over M.A.S.K.

However, it appears that the volcano isn't quite as extinct as first thought and starts to erupt.  The V.E.N.O.M. agents flee as we see Dagger and Rax cling onto Switchblades skids - the scene from the front cover.

V.E.N.OM. Agent Floyd Malloy takes pride of place in this fortnight's issue.

A man with hair so big his mask comes with a sunroof to let it all out!  But, seriously, Floyd is a fantastic character.

His black and red fatigues and mask are just simply stunning.  His wild hair suits his wild personality.

Buckshot is a well designed mask - one of my all time favourites - and suits Floyd so much.

I used to have to travel about 10 miles each day on a bus to high school.  One of the bus drivers we used to get reminded me so much of Floyd.  From the blonde hair and strange ears he is sometimes shown with.

Even back then I had dreams of a M.A.S.K. movie and hoped that someone that looked like this guy could play Malloy!

Part four of "Young at Heart" sees Matt Trakker being chased by Miles Mayhem, Sly Rax, Cliff Dagger and Floyd Malloy as he tries to rescue the stricken Bruce Sato.  Bruce has succumbed to V.E.N.O.M.'s gas and his mind has reverted back to that of a small, helpless child.

High above the scene, Brad Turner in Condor and Julio Lopez in Firefly provide support for our heroes below.  They cause a tree to fall on top the V.E.N.O.M. troupe, giving Matt precious time to reach Bruce.

Trying to get Bruce's Lifter mask back on to protect him from the gas, Matt realises he's far too late as Bruce sits sucking his thumb and talking childish gibberish.

The four V.E.N.O.M. agents, now free of the tree, use all of their masks - Stiletto, Torch, Buckshot and Viper - to unleash their combined fire power on Matt Trakker.  Julio drops a "Superstun Atomiser" bomb that soon sends the villains fleeing into the sewers.

Mayhem makes plans to grab a stockpile of his dreaded gas and unleash terror on mainland Europe.  We see Mayhem in Switchblade and Malloy on Vampire flying over the English Channel towards France.

Meanwhile, Alex Sector contacts Matt to inform him that he has made an antidote.  He his using his Jackrabbit mask to make his way to Matt's location from Germany.  Halfway over the English Channel, he runs into trouble as he comes under fire from Vampire and Switchblade - will he survive?

We have an unusual double page spread this issue -

As an advert for a water pistol takes up the bottom half of the two pages - I guess to highlight the distance that it can fire water - the top half of the two pages is reserved for MASK Art.

The Leaders of both M.A.S.K. and V.E.N.OM have been lured into a trap by J. J. Kinsale and have been thrown together in a battle to the death - mano a mano.

As Mayhem uses his Viper mask to fight Trakker; Matt fights back with his Spectrum mask.

Neither of them willing to give nor gives no quarter.

All the time J. J. Kinsale sits and watches as flying cameras transmit all of the action back to him on large screens.

There is a brief interlude in the fight as Trakker and Mayhem exchange "pleasantries".

Matt then hears a distant rumbling as over-sized robotic elephants with robotic hunters enter the fray.  Slowly, Matt and Miles have to start working together to fend off a common enemy.

Mayhem uses his Viper mask to spit venom at the leg of one of the elephant causing it to topple over.

Matt then shows what he is made of as he uses his Spectrum mask to disrupt the marauding attackers.

However, there are too many of them and Matt and Miles are forced towards the rocks surrounding them to flee their impending doom.

As they do so, a truce is formed between to two enemies - who were once such close friends and colleagues.

We close off this issue with Matt and Miles surrounded by guns - what is their fate going to be?

As expected from the UK M.A.S.K. Comic this is another great comic.  Plenty of action, great stories and artwork.

#assembleMASK #Hasbro #MASKComics

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