Hasbro’s Mobile Armored Strike Kommand (M.A.S.K.) is returning in a new ongoing comic. Joining other recent Hasbro additions to the IDW Publishing slate, ROM and Micronauts, M.A.S.K. will become the latest property to receive its own comic series.
Mobile • Armored • Strike • Kommand was a hit cartoon in the 1980s, based on the famous toyline M. A. S. K. The original animated show centred on the ongoing battle between the task force M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armoured Strike Kommand) and a criminal organization called V.E.N.O.M. (Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem). Like other 1980s animated shows and toylines, the show featured some special vehicles – and those in the series had the ability to transform into combat, armoured vehicles, developed by US toy maker Kenner. Most of them came with one or two drivers, and each character had a mask with a certain ability.
This isn’t the first time M.A.S.K. has appeared in comics, of course. US publisher DC Comics published a nine-issue tie-in title – and Britain had its own M.A.S.K. weekly comic, publishing original stories for the UK market from the start. It lasted for 80 issues before merging into the 1980s revival of Eagle and featured strips drawn by Ian Kennedy, John Cooper, Geoff Senior, Ron Smith among others.
There’s no information, as yet, on whether IDW plans to collect these strips, as it has done with other archive material from the UK, particularly Transformers and, more recently, the British Star Trek comics. “Our main focus right now is making the new series awesome and getting it out there,” an IDW spokesperson told downthetubes.
IDW’s M.A.S.K. comic will be written by Brandon Easton (Marvel’s Agent Carter, Transformers: Deviations) and artist Tony Vargas (Rot & Ruin, TMNT: Shadows of the Past Board Game).
“We are so proud to be able to continue growing the impressive relationship between IDW Publishing and Hasbro with this new M.A.S.K.comic series,” said IDW Managing Editor David Hedgecock. “We can’t wait to bring the high-octane, unique, brand of storytelling to this book that we know fans of M.A.S.K. will expect!”
While being mindful and respectful of the source material, the main drive behind bringing this beloved property into the new century is to preserve the old school qualities fans loved growing up, while also consciously infusing it with slightly more modern sensibilities. This is where sophisticated stories meet cutting edge designs while not afraid to look in the rearview mirror and pay tribute to its origins. It is the editorial and creative team’s intention to focus attention on the multi-cultural heritage of the show, presenting a contemporary M.A.S.K. to fans in a unique, yet familiar, way.
“We’ve had tremendous success with IDW over the years in re-launching classic brands for a contemporary audience, while still paying appropriate homage to their origins,” said Michael Kelly, Head of Global Publishing at Hasbro. “We are thrilled to welcome a new team to this library of heroes, as M.A.S.K. joins the ranks of Jem & The Holograms, Micronauts and Transformers.”
M.A.S.K. launches this November as an ongoing series featuring cover art by the multi-talented Tommy Lee Edwards. To hold you over until then, this new era of Hasbro titles has already begun with Micronauts #1 on sale now and ROM #0 kicking off on Free Comic Book Day on 7th May 2016.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.