Monday, 17 October 2016

IDW's Revolution #2 - a M.A.S.K. Comics Review

After an initial good service in regards to my purchase of the IDW comics - there now seems to be a delay in the comics arriving.  I have eventually received Issue #2 of IDW's Revolution comic at the tail end of last week - issue 3 arrived today.

I'm not going to read issue 3 until I've done this review as I don't want it to influence my thoughts.

I also have some personal challenges in the way of my reviews at the present time.  We are refurbishing our home and have had to move out for approx 4-5 weeks, we are already one week into the upheaval with the work starting on our house today.  This is presenting some time restrictions with access to my laptop to review the comics - so I may be a bit behind everyone else.

What this does do, however, is allow me to consider and digest the comic and give a more balanced opinion.  Had I been in a position to have written a review straight away, I feel it would've been more of a knee-jerk reaction and I may have come across as being a bit of dick in relation to my comments.

Again, I have ordered some of the various covers to include the M.A.S.K. characters as that's really all I'm interested in.  The covers that I purchased, are their normal fantastic standard.

The Regular Issue cover has three transformers - Soundwave, Optimus Prime and Kup, standing behind our M.A.S.K. team.

Buddie Hawks wearing Penetrator, Gloria Baker with Aura, Brad Turner with Hocus Pocus, Bruce Sato with Lifter and Matt Trakker with his Spectrum Mask and Flight Suit.  Vehicles - we have Condor, Gator, Thunder Hawk, Rhino and Hurricane.

This is an awesome cover and truly captures the characters and vehicles very well.

I also have Subscription Variant B.  This has all manor of mix of characters on a wraparound cover - I'm not even going to guess as to who they all are as I don't have a clue, nor do I really care.  All I'm interested in is Julio Lopez on the back cover.

This cover fits in with a similar cover from issue one with all the characters cheerily running or flying from left to right.  Again, this is drawn very well and looks great.

As with my previous posts on these IDW comics, there is always a problem with them.  The first problem being that these are the 80's versions of the characters - the real versions of the characters.  To lure you into buying this comic - then once inside you have to suffer the modern versions of these characters.

The second issue is that some of these characters and vehicles don't even appear in this comic.

The company I work for prides itself on it's founding values - including "honesty and integrity" - Business Ethics are at the core of those values.  The question I'd like to ask my readers and IDW is - 

Is it dishonest and unethical to continually sell comics where the covers aren't representative of the comic inside?

I'd like to hear your own views and opinions below in the comments section and over at my M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page.

Once inside the comic, we have a roll call of some of the characters who are going to appear in this comic, I skip past all of the G.I Joe, Transformers and Rom characters - as I'm not really interested.

Then I get to M.A.S.K. and that's when it starts to fall to pieces.  Their are 5 characters shown - Miles Mayhem (thought his name was now Miles Manheim?), Matt Trakker, Vanessa Warfield, Bruno Sheppard and Brad Turner.

Except, two of the characters are wrong.  The postage size pictures are taken from the comic itself and the image of Vanessa is actually Gloria Baker and the image of Bruno is actually Sly Rax.

Seriously?  We're going to take a great product, bastardize it and now can't even get it right?  Come on IDW, what kind of amateurs are you?

I'm thinking that you need an expert to read your comics before you print them to fix your mistakes for you.  Please feel free to e-mail over your comic in advance to and I'll review each copy for you so you don't make even more mistakes.

Getting into the comic proper - it is well drawn and coloured - and I wouldn't take anything away from the comic in that respect. There is an issue with the designs - but I'll come to that later on.

The comic itself is very modular -

  • G. I. Joe versus Transformers
  • Transformers versus ROM
  • G. I. Joe & M.A.S.K.
  • M.A.S.K. versus Transformers
  • Some robot looking guy - haven't got a clue who he is
And this highlights the issues of having this mixed universe.  There are far too many characters in each property to fit in a comic of their own, let alone mixing them up with other properties.

We only see a maximum of two properties at a time in this issue - last issue, ROM made a brief appearance in the midst of a G. I. Joe versus Transformers battle.  Is there actually enough room in such a small comic for all of these properties to fit?  I think not.

For the M.A.S.K. section of the comic - which is what I'm interested in - we have Miles Mayhem introducing Scarlett from G.I. Joe to the team.  The revolution comics are all meant to piece together in one seamless universe.  However, at the end of the M.A.S.K. Revolution comic, Scarlett had already been introduced to the team, and this just confuses the comics as the introductions are different.

We are told by Miles that the M.A.S.K. vehicles emulate Cybertronian Strategies - ruining M.A.S.K. ethos yet again by diluting it into the Transformers universe.

The next issue we have is over code/mask names.  In the M.A.S.K. Revolution comic, we had the term Project Spectrum and at the end of the comic, Matt was introduced as code name Spectrum.

In this Comic, Matt addresses the team by the code name Spectrum but later Mayhem tells him to use Spectrum (Mask).  So, it would appear that the code name of the character is the Mask name and vice versa?

How confusing!  How sad!

At least the ability of Spectrum fits in with the original toy - so they managed to get one thing right!

There were many concerns over the re-imagining of M.A.S.K.  Many people wanted the original 80's M.A.S.K.  Others wanted a modern 2016 M.A.S.K.  Instead, what we have is a futuristic 2085 vision of M.A.S.K. vehicles based on Transformers?!?  Awful.

The vehicles are vile, grotesque, and just guns & wings.  Manta, as an example, has wings everywhere - just overkill.

Shark has guns on top of guns.  If you are a redneck, Donald Trump supporter you will love this new M.A.S.K.  If you are an intelligent person, you will loathe it.

Then we come to Vanessa's Mask/Code Name - "Ice Queen".  Wow!  Who the hell came up with that?

Ice Queen?  Instead of going back to 1985, we've gone all the way back to the 70's and given Vanessa a Porn Name.

I criticised the last issue of Revolution for not having any M.A.S.K. in it - and unfortunately, in this issue it's ruined because of M.A.S.K. - Mobile Armored Strike Kommand.

For that, I'd like to apologise to fans of Transformers, G. I. Joe and ROM who purchased this comic. However, this isn't the real M.A.S.K.  This is just a poor bastardised version of what M.A.S.K. used to be.

I'm afraid that neither Hasbro nor IDW have the history of M.A.S.K. nor the rights to make it as it once was - so they have chosen to ruin it.

Sad, very sad.

#assembleMASK #MASKComics #Hasbro
#MASKcrusade #DIC

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