Saturday, 3 September 2016

IDW M.A.S.K. Issue 1 Covers

Over the past few weeks, we've seen more images of the covers of both Revolutions and M.A.S.K. - Mobile Armored Strike Kommand.  So far, I've seen two M.A.S.K. Issue 1 Covers, whether more have still to be released, I'm not sure, but given the number of Revolution Variations I've seen - it's more than likely.

The first of these covers show our M.A.S.K. team racing into action.

As a 1st issue cover, this is awesome.  Vibrant and Colourful. Great Detail.  Plenty of Motion and Action on the front cover and I would hope that this continues on the inside of the comic.  If you are an original M.A.S.K. fan, like myself, this image, although not 100% Classic M.A.S.K., is easily recognisable as being M.A.S.K. and takes me straight back to my childhood.

As ever with my blog, I'd like to dissect this image further and discuss the individual components - starting with the Masthead.

Clearly, Comics, Magazines and Newspapers have to be easily Identifiable in the newspaper stands or comic book shelves.  The Standard M.A.S.K. Logo creates an issue for publications.


As M.A.S.K. is now dead, I'll use the one of the new M.A.S.K. - Mobile Armored Strike Kommand Logo's to help explain.

For all intents and purposes, the logo is a square.  It may not look like a square with the sweeping arc around Rhino, the M.A.S.K. text and the now famous mystery Mask not seen anywhere other than in the logo (maybe IDW will write a story where this is the original Mask.....  Just saying!)!  But, it takes up the space of a square.

Back in the day of TV's having an aspect ratio of 4:3 - this had a dramatic impact during the opening titles of the cartoon as everyone remembers the M.A.S.K. logo coming right at you from your screen!

The Challenge with this shape, is that it would either take up half of the cover of a comic or would be that small it wouldn't be seen on the shelves in amongst the other IDW, DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Archie, Etc. etc. comics available.

Back in the 80's, DC Comics take on the M.A.S.K. logo was to reduce the size of Rhino and the MASK.

By doing so, it made it easier to fit on the cover of the comic.

It was easy to see the title name of the comic and the text remained in the same recognisable Font but the overall, in my opinion, isn't that great.

Yes, you have all of the elements of the original logo - but being out of proportion, ruins the overall effect and brand image of the product.

Over here in the UK, IPC/Fleetway's take on the cover was completely different.

By removing Rhino from the Logo allowed them to keep the proportions the same on the rest of the logo.  In doing so, not only does the Text stand out from the crowd, we can also recognise the Mask picture as well.

One of the advantages of M.A.S.K. is it's short title name - meaning that, even in the crowds of other comics, it's easy to spot those four letters.

I'm glad, therefore, that IDW have made the correct choice and followed in the footsteps of the UK Comic and using a similar style logo.

Working down from the logo, we then have Matt Trakker wearing his infamous Spectrum Mask in Thunder Hawk.  What can we say except classic M.A.S.K.

To the right of Thunder Hawk's steering wheel, we have Julio Lopez in Firefly.  Again, this is an iconic shot of Firefly - viewing it from above so we can easily recognise it.  One little niggle, though, and that is that the front wings aren't deployed.  Has firefly changed since the good old days, or is this an oversight on the part of the artist?

Rhino....  In action mode.  What more would we expect from the cover of the comic?  Looking at the front of the rig, it looks like the squareish front of the 80's Big Rig has made way for a more modern and rounded Big Rig.  If we have an updated Rhino, might this partly explain why we don't have our original Logo featuring a more classic design?

Hurricane.  The colours and design are classic Hurricane straight from the original.  When you look at most of the vehicles in the M.A.S.K. Series, they are based on vehicles of the time - mid 80's design.  With Hurricane being from the 50's, I guess it was easier to keep the design in the mix and not change the style of the car mode and it still fits in.

However, there are some guns that appear to be coming out of the front wings.  Does this mean that the alternate, battle/defense mode of Hurricane may be different from the original design?  I guess we'll need to wait and see.

Gator has been updated somewhat - looking more like a speedboat than a hydroplane.  I'm looking forward to seeing it in action.

Finally, Condor.  We have the original green colour and what appears to be its patented Anti-matter gun coming from the light unit at the front.  The artist has put plenty of detail into this vehicle to the point we can make out the chain links.

There is a question/niggle that I have with this image of Condor.  With all of the original vehicle designs, they were done in a way that our imaginations made the vehicles plausible in real life.  Rhino, as an example, if you had the time and money wouldn't actually be that difficult to build and make work.  Could Piranha's sidecar turn into a submarine - with today's technology, I believe so, yes.

However, this design for Condor only seems to have one set of rotor blades.  In the original version, the rear wheel raised up and away from the rider, creating the tail rotor.  This new design doesn't seem to do this.  So, although looking awesome, I can't get round the fact that I don't think this design would fly.  I know that may not make sense to a lot of people when we have a Camaro that turns into a plane or a Nissan ZX that turns into a plane - but these toys/vehicles were designed in such away that your imagination gave you a sense that they could fly.

This design doesn't.

Overall, a great cover.

The second variation release so far is a more simple affair.

Matt Trakker standing back to back with Miles Mayhem.  A more poignant image - perhaps depicting the inevitable turning their backs on each other and going their separate ways?

Yes, Matt has changed a lot, most notably his race, but I like the detail in his flight suit.  What I don't like is his Mask.  And this is where IDW are complicating matters for fans - there may be a simple answer once the comic comes out.  But, why is Matt's Spectrum Mask in this image completely different from the other cover?

This is a variation cover of the same comic - does that mean that somewhere in the plot line Spectrum changes?

Miles looks ok but his new Viper Mask is awful.  Other cover images from Revolutions show Viper being more like the original.

It's almost as if these Masks are designed based on faces of Transformer Robots.  Just doesn't work for me.

Anyway, got a couple of months to wait on the actual realise of the new comic before we'll get some questions answered.  In the meantime, head over to my M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page and Like, Comment and Share. 

#assembleMASK #MASKComics #DIC


  1. Nice article, totally agree with it all, the 2nd ones masks do look awful though. They look like the original toy ones without the shoulder rests before health and safety got involved and made them larger and safer.

    1. Thanks for the compliment. My last few posts may have come across as a bit negative about the whole new world of illusion we are about to enter so it was nice to write this post as more positive.

      I think that I have to be true to my opinions and if there is something that I like - and both of these images are amazing - then I'm going to say.

      I do have issues with the designs of the Masks, although, I would say that Spectrum looks marginally better than Viper. I do think they are trying to make the Masks look like Transformers - I guess this will give some familiarity to people who will be new to M.A.S.K. - or should I say M.A.S.K. - Mobile Armored Strike Kommand!