IDW Publishing 2016
Written by Brandon Easton
Illustrated by Tony Vargas
Coloured by Jordi Escuin
Lettered by Gilberto Lazcano
M.A.S.K. vs. V.E.N.O.M. for the very first time! After being lured into a trap, Matt Trakker and the M.A.S.K. team must survive in order to stop Miles Mayhem from leaking their secret technology to terrorist cells around the world. Matt and Gloria Baker go undercover to infiltrate a black market weapons ring but what they discover will change Matt's life forever!
Well I’ll hand it to Brandon here he really started this series off with a bang. Taking everything we’ve seen in the Revolution story arc he didn’t waste any time in throwing the members of the Mask team up against Venom letting them know that their former boss and partners are now their mortal enemies. What is equally as impressive is that all these reveals to the team come chock full of excellent characterisation.
That the beginning of this series is very much an exploration of their current situation and how they deal with the ramifications of what’s already come has all the drama we could possibly want wrapped up in some great action sequences. I’m very appreciative that Brandon takes the characterisation and personalities that made a natural division in the entire team and keeps that going here. When Miles assembled the team we saw the potential for this division so seeing it come to fruition so fully and quickly is a great way to start.
Tony and Jordi do some amazing work on the interiors here. I love seeing this amount of attention to detail in the work. The use of page layouts through angles, perspective and backgrounds do an excellent job drawing the reader into the story. The work has this level of excitement and thrill to it that keeps you on the edge waiting to see what’s going to happen next.
Now that the lines have been drawn and everyone pretty much knows the score of who’s who and with whom it’s time for the next phase to begin. The pacing here is incredible to see as it feels like so much more is happening that we anticipated. It almost feels like we’re getting an oversized issue here instead of a “regular” one.
Also I like that Venom have their reasons, manipulated or natural, for hating the Mask team and that Matt and company have a misguided feeling they can “rescue” their former teammates from Miles control. Until that can be fully realised however they are going to need to really procure a base of operations. That won’t be easy because of all the revelations that we see here, some of which have profound implications.
This creative team has taken a toy/cartoon franchise and transformed it into pretty much a near perfect comic book series. For people like myself that only new of them by name this is a fresh, new and exciting series and for those that already liked the franchise it’s a chance to reconnect and discover it all over again.
With excellent writing, characterisation and strong interiors this is the definition of action/adventure series!