5.02.2016

New IDW M.A.S.K. Comic Will Debut This Fall, First Images and Story Details

We've known for awhile that Hasbro was bringing back M.A.S.K. into it's cinematic universe and also reportedly in a new IDW comic book series. We also got the pleasure of trying to help fellow fan Mike Quackenbush to be the one to write the comics series, but it appears IDW has made it's decision. USA Today is reporting today that writer Brandon Easton (Shadowlaw, Transformers: Deviations) and artist Tony Vargas (Rot & Ruin) will team up for the new M.A.S.K. comic series that will debut November 2016.

The article goes on that the new series will be a "Fast and Furious spin on the mid-1980s franchise" and "won’t be a cookie-cutter retread of the TV show." Writer Easton says:

This is a M.A.S.K. for the 21st century with a diverse team of specialists who are chosen for a top-secret program with a painful learning curve. Ultimately, each participant will have to choose a side — and no matter which side they choose, the consequences will be great.We won't be going too grim, gritty or dark. However you're not going to see a teenage kid riding a cowardly robot across the battlefield.

Artist Vargas says they'll be keeping “color combinations and vital identifiable components” for the main characters but also expect modernized takes on vehicles like Thunderhawk and Condor.

In the article, Easton also explains a little about the relationship between Matt Trakker and Miles "Mayhem" Manheim:

This Matt Trakker is a cross between Elon Musk and Idris Elba — Easton describes him as “an engineering genius and intellectual bad boy who has been in search of stability since the loss of his father at an early age.” Matt’s had a troubled adolescence, and as an adult, “he's given one last chance at redemption: going through the M.A.S.K. boot camp.” And instead of being a bumbling villain, Miles "Mayhem" Manheim is a master manipulator, brilliant military strategist and control freak whose plans to rule the world are extremely close to fruition. “V.E.N.O.M. will be a true force. They don't lose often nor do they accept defeat with grace,” says Easton, promising that the group and its leader will be deadlier than portrayed in the past. Matt and Miles have almost a father-son bond, the writer adds, but when Matt learns what the older man has done for power, “it provides the catalyst for Matt to stop searching for a ‘role model’ and figure out what it means to follow his own heart and soul.”

The article finishes with a report on the supporting cast with some getting a new identity like Sly Rax. Easton promises readers will like what he's done with female leads Vanessa Warfield and Gloria Baker. Plus many agents will be getting "mask upgrades" and the vehicles adding "state-of-the-art weapons systems and other cutting-edge technology."

So far this looks pretty close to the results of our recent comic poll. We asked fans "What's the minimum percentage of original content that should be included a new M.A.S.K. comic series?" with 72% of voters wanting at least 75% carry-over from the TV series. Sound like IDW is in that realm, but I still have questions. For instance, the artwork shows classic M.A.S.K. vehicles (except for Firecracker or Gator being a Hummer?) but the article states Thunder Hawk and Condor will be modernize versions. So, the teaser image above may not be a true example of what we will see.

It's still VERY exciting that we are finally talking about a multi-media M.A.S.K. comeback. 2016 continues to bring good news for fans and I only expect more! Look for more reaction on an upcoming MASKast Chat podcast.

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