Sunday, 26 June 2016

M.A.S.K. 1985-2016 - RIP Part 2

Like all M.A.S.K. fans, when I heard of it's upcoming return, I was excited.  That excitement has wavered as more information has come to light about the new comic.

One piece of information that has come out is that the new M.A.S.K. is going to have a "Fast & Furious Spin" with the writer going on to say that F&F is a highly successful movie franchise.  I'd agree that F&F is successful, yes, but are they the greatest movies ever made and that's why the are successful?  Should we be using this as a template for M.A.S.K.?

There is a car made by Ford called the Focus.  One of the best selling cars in the markets it sells in.  Is it one of the best selling cars because it's the best or cheapest or fastest or most economical or largest, etc. - No.  There are plenty of other cars that beat it on one or more of these categories.

It's one of the best selling cars because it's an Average - an average of what most people look for in a car therefore meeting the demands of many.  F&F is the same - it's by no means the best series of movies in the world (for die hard fans, of course, it will be.  I mean no disrespect) but it is an average of what people expect in a movie - action, adventure, fast cars and a bit of romance (ok - hot, scantily clad women).

For most M.A.S.K. fans, looking at the characters and plot lines in F&F there is very little in the way of a connection that would link F&F with M.A.S.K.  I mean, can the cars in F&F convert into fighting machines?  Do they have cool Masks that gives them abilities?


So why are we putting a F&F spin on M.A.S.K.?  I have a theory.....

....There were these two dudes who found out that M.A.S.K. was making a comeback.  They needed a job and when they were asked; they lied and said they were the biggest M.A.S.K. fans in the whole world - believing they could bluff their way through and learn all about M.A.S.K.

DUDE- 1 - "So, what do you know about M.A.S.K.?
DUDE - 2 -   "Nothing, I thought you knew all about M.A.S.K.!"
DUDE- 1 -  "Nah, I think I watched a couple of episodes when I was a kid...."
DUDE - 2 -   "So, what do we do now?
DUDE- 1 -  "I guess we could watch the old cartoons - get a feel for it?"
DUDE - 2 -   "Cool.  How many episodes are there?"
DUDE- 1 -  "75...  I think...."
DUDE - 2 -   "Hmmm...  How about we just watch the last ten?  Save a bit of time"
DUDE- 1 -  "Sounds good."

Ten Racing episodes later....

DUDE - 2 -  "So....  Basically, it's just about two teams who race each other?  I thought there was more to than that."
DUDE- 1 -  "Yeah.  Me too.  It was just really The Fast and The Furious.  There didn't even seem to be any African-Americans in it - not very diverse."
DUDE - 2 -    "I'm sure we could change the leader - no one will notice!"
DUDE- 1 -  "Anyway...  why did they call it M.A.S.K. - they all wear Helmets?"
DUDE - 2 -   "Who knows!"

Ok, I jest of course.  But going down the whole F&F route, does sound like the comics are being based on the 10 racing series episodes - the least favourite of all M.A.S.K. fans.

It is true that F&F is all about the characters and the vehicles.  M.A.S.K. has great Characters and even better vehicles - because the can convert into fighting machines.  So, there may be some similarities - but surely if you are a F&F fan, wouldn't you rather have an F&F comic?

Surely, F&F should be it's own thing and let M.A.S.K. be M.A.S.K.!  To attempt to merge the two into one comic, seems a bit foolhardy.

I mean, it's bad enough that M.A.S.K. is being shoehorned into the same universe as The Transformers, G.I. Joe, ROM, Octonaughts and Action Man, without having F&F similarities thrown into the mix.

Speaking of G.I. Joe and Action Man.....

I've said in my blog many times now, that in their 12" forms, G.I. Joe and Action Man were the same toy - just made for different markets.  When G.I. Joe was made into the smaller scale toys, my understanding is that Duke was the scaled down G.I. Joe/Action Man.

Why would I say that?  Well, Action Man/Joe was famous for having a trademarked scar on his face and guess which of the Joe's had that same scar?  So surely Duke is Action Man?  How can you have a crossover between the Joe's and Action Man when Action Man is a Joe?  (I'm starting to get a headache just writing this - I hate to thing what you as the reader are thinking about).

Someone who read my script said that the story line was a bit contrived in order to make it work.  I'm thinking that using the word contrived to describe Revolutions is somewhat of an understatement.

Action Man was originally made by Palitoy when I was growing up - as were Star Wars Figures (in the UK).
Palitoy became a subsidiary of the same company that owned Kenner Parker - as we know, Kenner was later acquired by Hasbro through their purchase of Tonka.  In the 90's, Hasbro reintroduced the Action Man range of toys - more as an Adventurer.  Eventually he would be given the the name of Alex Mann.

Hasbro have already made a success of the reintroduction of Action Man - despite being completely different from the original - this is mostly due to the fact that 90's and 00's kids wouldn't know any different from the classic age of Action Man.

I fear that the same treatment will happen to M.A.S.K.

Which is a shame.  From what I've seen so far, I'm more interested in Mike Quakenbush's vision of a M.A.S.K. Comic that the one coming from IDW.

Feel free to leave comments below or over at my M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page.  Remember to like and share everything and hashtag -

#assembleMASK #MASKComics #DIC #IDW
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