Children of the '80s, rejoice! Cinematic Universes are all the rage nowadays, and even Hasbro is getting in on the act! Hasbro and Paramount are combining a range of properties - from G. I. Joe to the Micronauts - into a single cinematic universe. One of those properties is M.A.S.K. - the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand! But this week, we're seeing the launch of the tie-in comic that will give us a sense of just what a modern take on M.A.S.K. will look like!
WHO ARE M.A.S.K.?
M.A.S.K. - the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand - is an organisation dedicated to protecting the world from the terrorist Miles Mayhem and his VENOM team! The animated series is a curious mix of different styles - you can see a sense of Fast and Furious, there's the James-Bond-esque Matt Trakker, transforming fun (of a similar kind associated with another Hasbro brand), and even a dash of childish exuberance with Matt Trakker's teenage son and robot companion! Naturally, as with all Hasbro properties, the series was in part smart advertising for a tremendous range of action figures.
How do you adapt such a strange concept for the modern age? Well, today Newsarama got an interview with comic book team Brandon Easton and Tony Vargas, who are bringing M.A.S.K. back into the limelight with a comic book that ties in with the forthcoming film franchise. Brandon Easton - who's been associated with fan-favorites such as Agent Carter - is honest about the problems adapting the franchise:
"This version of Mobile Armored Strike Kommand is contemporary with a slight touch of nostalgia to satisfy the original fans of the 1980s series. I'd describe it as a vehicle-based action adventure sci-fi thriller comic book with updated versions of the classic characters. Unlike your average comic book that has a singular emphasis, M.A.S.K. is unique in the sense that it combines military action, vehicle combat, changeable weapons and helmets that grant superpowers. If the balance isn't right, it falls apart so I've been working hard to incorporate all those elements in a logical, but extremely exciting storyline."
The comic is going to tell the story before the film - the origin of Matt Trakker! In the cartoon, Matt was fairly one-dimensional; his relationship with his son Scott was the humanizing factor. The comic, however, is starting out with Matt Trakker as a rebellious teenager who falls in with the M.A.S.K. crew. Rather than jump straight in with moustache-twirling Miles Mayhem, we'll be introduced to Mayhew as Trakker's ally and even mentor. We'll then see how the two go their separate ways...
Check out the outstanding concept art for four of M.A.S.K.'s key personnel! Eagle-eyes viewers will note one key fact straight away; this new version of Matt Trakker has had his race swapped, giving the M.A.S.K. team an even greater sense of diversity. Given that M.A.S.K. was always an international outfit (does anyone remember Bruce Sato?), that makes sense!
So do you want to get a sense of tomorrow's film franchise? Check out the full Newsarama interview - and pick up those comics! I freely admit that this '80s child could not be more excited to see a part of his childhood brought back to life.