Sunday, 23 April 2017

IDW's Revolution #4 & #5 - a M.A.S.K. Comics Review

I've eventually gotten round to reading Revolution #5.  The more observant of you will have realised I've not yet written a review of Revolution #4 - there was very little that I could say about that issue that I've not already said about previous issues, so I thought I'd combine #4 & #5.

Starting off with the covers for #4 - there are 8 in total.  Overkill, yet again.  How much money does IDW want from each of their readers?

Anyway,the regular cover features Jazz, Arcee and Snake Eyes - nothing really special about it.  Subscription Cover A has some dude - even after reading the comic I'm still not sure who he's meant to be - with some teeth round about him - awful; just awful.

Subscription Cover B has various characters from the various properties all walking/running quite merrily to the right - this is a full wraparound cover and I think is meant to join on with the other issues.  It's ok.

Subscription Cover C is red and black with a Micornauts character in silhouette.  Ok, but not relevant to M.A.S.K. so not interested.  Subscription Cover D - another one of the toy figure carded box style with Arcee and Snake Eyes - probably the best cover of the lot.

Retailer Incentive Cover A - has Snake Eyes fighting off Micronauts.  This is very "computerised" in it's design and I'm not overly fond of it.

Retailer Incentive Cover B - another red/black cover with Optimus Prime - on a par with Subscription Cover D.

Retailer Incentive Cover C - what the actual....  designed for 5 year olds....  Awful!

When we get into the comic itself, M.A.S.K. doesn't make much of an appearance in it.  Miles Mayhem is seen to be pivotal to the story line and we, yet again, have Matt Trakker whinging like a 5 year old child as it's becoming apparent that he and Miles Mayhem have different agendas.

As expected, with the Revolution 5 part series is linked to the other Revolution comics there are references all over the place that refer to other comics in the series.

This "suggestive selling" is pretty poor.  If you want to make a 5 part series - make a 5 part series and don't go on off shoots in a poor attempt to sell more of your comics.  Few of us are interested.

Moving onto #5 - the best thing I could say about it is - thank fuck it's finished!

Again, we have another 8 covers.....  This time I bought more of the comics as there was more "M.A.S.K." featured on them.

The Regular Cover features various characters including Matt Trakker and Miles Mayhem wearing Spectrum and Viper respectively.  It's an ok cover, as it's the original versions of the characters and not the new and unimproved versions.

Subscription Cover A has the same dude as on Issue #4.  Don't really get it...

Subscription Cover B is another of the walking to the right wraparound covers - has Matt Trakker and Bruno Sheppard on it.  Again, not a bad cover.

Subscription Cover C has the original Viper Mask floating above a decapitated body.  I'm guessing it's meant to be artistic - just looks terrible.

Subscription Cover D is another of the Toy Box Covers with Miles Mayhem on it along with Baron Karza.  Not as good as some of the other issues covers, but ok.

Retailer Incentive Cover A looks like another computer designed cover - has Viper on the front - again, I'm not a big fan of it.

Retailer Incentive Cover B - from the thumb print image in the inside back cover of the comics I have, I can't actually make out what/who is meant to be on this.

And, finally, we have Retailer Incentive Cover C.  Another one for the 5 year olds.  Has Matt Trakker and Bruce Sato on it.  Which is pointless as Bruce Sato isn't even in the comic.

M.A.S.K. plays more of a role in this issue and it's the first time that all of the properties are in the comics as part of the same action.  Up until now, the first four issues only really cover parts of stories featuring some of the characters from some of the properties.  It was very disjointed as they all seemed to be doing their own thing and had their own story lines.

Issue 5 brought them together - but was still an extremely disjointed story and I was left scratching my head so many times as the story just didn't sit right or make any sense whatsoever.

When the news about the new M.A.S.K. Comic first filtered out - I set an expectation bar of what I wanted to see and what I hoped to see.  As more and more information started filtering through - including the news of throwing all of the properties into the mix and see what happens, the bar of expectation got lower and lower.

Despite my bar of expectation being so low, some how, IDW managed to Limbo right under that bar without event touching it.

As a M.A.S.K. fan, I'm sorry, but this whole Revolution Series was a mistake.  We now have M.A.S.K. vehicles that look nothing like the originals nor modern vehicles - they are simply Cybertronian Clone vehicles.

I have nothing against Transformers, but they are two separate and unique entities and should remain so.  M.A.S.K. was popular because it was believable - we've seen James Bond Movies, it's easy to accept a car that can turn into a submarine or a motor bike that can turn into a chopper.

Mixing M.A.S.K. with aliens and giving them futuristic looking alien tech - that's so far removed from M.A.S.K. that it doesn't work.

I'm afraid that,overall, the Revolution Series didn't do justice to any of the properties and reading it I actually felt embarrassed to call myself a M.A.S.K. fan.  If this is what IDW have done in the Cartoon, I had to see what goddamn monstrosity Paramount are going to make for the big screen.

What are your thoughts?  Please leave a comment below or over and my M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page.

#assembleMASK #MASKcomics #DIC

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

100k Page Views - Thank you

I've been looking over my page stats the past few days as I was getting close to a milestone.  Tonight, I've reached a tremendous milestone -

100k Page Views!!

Thank you very much for all of your support over the past few years.

When I first started my blog back in 2012, I didn't think I'd ever reach as many of you.  I've managed to get to know some of you via my M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page and it's been great to chat.  Please feel free to contact me via the comments below, over on Facebook or even via e-mail.

I've even gotten to know some of the Voice Actors from the M.A.S.K. Cartoon Series.

I look forward to the next 100k Page Views.

Thank you,

W. Scott Crawford.

#MASKcomics #assembleMASK #DIC

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Another Cover - more mistakes....

A new cover was recently posted over on the M.A.S.K. PNA Facebook Page.  There is no head mast, so I can't say which issue this will feature on - if at all - and can't confirm the artist's name as can't quite make out the signature.

However, Tommy Lee Edwards (TLE) has taken credit for it, so I can assume he drew it.  I'm not going to share it as I have not sought out permission to do so.

We have Vanessa squat down on the roof of what, at first sight, appears to be Manta with Sly Rax, sporting a "Flock of Seagulls-esque" hairstyle, leaning against the door.  There is a shape behind in the familiar colours of Piranha,

The art is great and one of the comments on the page likens it to a scene from Miami Vice.  It's only when you look closer that you start to see the flaws.

Ok, I can let Rax's hair style slide and I can only question why Vanessa is squat down on the roof...

The first mistake I noticed is the decals on the side of the car.  Below is an image of the toy from the 80's - 

If you check the image over at the M.A.S.K. PNA Facebook Page you can compare the difference.  We're used to there being issues with the decals on the vehicles in the past - one of the memorable ones being Outlaw.  In the Cartoon and the DC Comics, Outlaw's decals were simplified.  Understandable for the cartoon with the number of frames that had to be drawn, but just downright lazy in the DC Comic.

Yes, ok, it kept some semblance of consistency having both the same but I would've preferred the comic to have had the Snake Oil Livery of the toy.

Even on the toy box, the art for the Cab of the tanker were wrong - with a small image of the toy beside it showing the correct decal placement.

Getting back to my original point re this new cover, why are the decals wrong and why does it matter?  Manta is a Nissan 300ZX.  The decals on the side of her subtlety read the initials "ZX".  Simple; effective!

On the new comic image, we now have "XZ" written on it.  Not sure why and it doesn't really work.  There could be legal reasons for the change, who knows.  The original box for Manta does have the Trademark "TM" symbol beside the wording "Nissan 300ZX".

The new IDW comics are a confusing mixture of the new M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand and the, now, classic M.A.S.K.  Thrown into the mix is something which is neither.

TLE's image of "Manta" is so impressive that it has many M.A.S.K. fans fooled into thinking it's the real deal.

However, TLE has drawn "Manta" as a Datsun 280ZX.  If you are unsure of the difference please see my Blog Post from 25/04/2015.  It's overly confusing to say the least.  We now have new, old and, well, whatever!

Now, I'm not dissing TLE's artwork - I think his cover is amazing - but does it fit with the rest of the comic?  If you were a new reader, unfamiliar with M.A.S.K. would you really know what's going on?  I'm a long term fan, and I can't understand it.

If TLE's vision of Manta was the same one as on the inside of the comic, I'd be cool with that.  His version is better than what I've seen of the new Manta.  Maybe we should start a campaign to have TLE redesign all of the vehicles.

Please share your thoughts below or over at my M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page.


#assembleMASK #MASKcomics #DIC

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

M.A.S.K. - Buddie Hawks or Buddy Hawkes, who cares?

Early this morning, there was a post on the M.A.S.K. PNA Facebook page.  It showed a concept cover by IDW artist Tommy Lee Edwards - one that won't be published in the comic.

It depicted a picture of Buddie Hawks with his name shown as "Buddy".  I made a comment about said picture concerning the incorrect spelling of his name.  We are becoming accustomed to mistakes in the comic and, even though this image isn't going to grace the cover of any of the comics, I felt it was the right to point out this error.

Another FB user then made a comment that I should check my facts as his name is Buddy.  I suitably replied with images of the boxes of Boulder Hill, the Buddie Hawks figure and the Trademark registration for the correct spelling of the name.

Myself and this other user, got into a "heated" discussion, but have since discussed via Private Message and I believe we have settled our differences.  He has since removed some of his posts - which inadvertently makes me look like a bit of dick and just ranting for no reason at no particular person.

Since then, a few other people, including the artist Tommy Lee Edwards, have made comments on the post.  I encourage everyone to have their own opinion and share it whether in public or private.  As BT used to say "it's good to talk!"

You can discuss in the comments below, over at my M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page or even e-mail me if you like.

There is, however, a difference between opinion and fact.  My stating his name is Buddie isn't an opinion, it's a fact.  Yes, people have been getting his name wrong for years and for quite a while I believed his surname was spelt "Hawkes" - mistakes do happen.

One question that was raised by Jason Gross of Agents of M.A.S.K. is, "Who Cares?" 

"Who Cares?"

Wow, now that is a question that needs to be answered.

Back in the day, Kenner cared about their products.  In M.A.S.K. they gave all of us kids some of the greatest toys ever made that spawned a great cartoon series, comics and merchandise.

As fans of the series, don't we care?  Shouldn't we care?  Why have blogs, podcasts, Facebook Pages or even discuss M.A.S.K. if we don't care?

I care!

When I wrote my M.A.S.K. script, I took as much care and detail to attention as I could to ensure the characters were right, that the M.A.S.K.'s had the correct functions, that the story was modern yet in keeping with the M.A.S.K. that we all cared about.

If we don't care, then lets all agree to give up.  Lets not share our stories, our pictures or our memories.  Let's stop buying IDW's Comic and just call it a day.

So, let me ask the question - Buddie Hawks or Buddy Hawkes, who cares?

Sunday, 22 January 2017

IDW's M.A.S.K. Annual - Buyers Beware!!

I've been silent for a while.  I've moved back into the house and been busy with Christmas, New Year, My son's birthday and my birthday,

So, been very busy.

In fact, I've not even read the last issue of Revolutions or any of the new M.A.S.K. Comics - but, rest assured, I'll get round to it sometime and will give you a review.

I had set up a subscription for M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand via but to my work address - unsure of when I'd be back in the house when I set it up.  So, I thought I'd go online during the past week and change my postal address and order the variant covers that are being thrust upon us.

I couldn't find my subscription details, so I had to call their customer services and whilst on the phone I decided to discuss another couple of matters with them.

So, apparently, I had cancelled my subscription just a few minutes after I set it.  Not sure how that would've happened.

After the problems with the issue 3 cover mix-up - The ROM cover being sent out rather than the one I'd ordered - I discussed this with the guy on the phone.  He didn't seem too bothered by the mistake.  His response was that the actual comic is the same - just a different cover so doesn't really matter.

And yet, IDW make these various covers and sell these issues - but it's ok if someone makes a mistake?  I don't blame as my understanding is that this was an issue caused by IDW.

Whilst on their site, I'd remembered someone sharing on Facebook that there was going to be a M.A.S.K. Annual out at the beginning of the year, so I had a look for that as well.  And sure enough, and true to form to make more money, there are at least two variant covers.

So, like most M.A.S.K. fans, I'm now forced into buying not one but two copies of this comic - that probably won't be that good anyway.

There are two things that I noticed about the cover on the right.  The first may only be my imagination playing tricks on me, but in that small thumbprint image, doesn't the Mask that the person is wearing look a bit like the side profile of Rhino?

The image above is maybe a little bit clearer.

I'd be interested to see what my readers think?  Please comment below or over at my M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page.

The second thing that caught my eye, is the information to the left of the masthead....

This is being advertised as the "M.A.S.K. Mobile Armored Strike Kommand: Annual #1 (Subscription Variant)".  However, clearly states on the image that this is "Issue 4".

So what is going on?

I asked the guy at about it.  He wasn't really bothered.  It's just the image that he claims that IDW send them to advertise the comics.  The image may or may not be the cover of the comic that you are actually buying with your hard earned cash.

I used the EAN number provided on their page and found another online retailer using the exact same cover for their advert -

So, I do believe that this might be the case.  If it is, why are IDW sending out misleading information and why aren't these sites confirming these details before uploading them onto their sites?

It's not as if it's hard to see it quite clearly states Issue 4 on it.

I seriously don't know how problems like this keep happening!  It's an absolute disgrace and for people like me who have to rely on online shopping as I live in a rural area I have to trust that the information I'm being provided with is correct.

So, Caveat emptor people, Caveat emptor - you may not be buying what you think you are buying.

#MASKComics #AssembleMask #MASKCrusade #DIC #IDWgetitfuckingright