DC Comics (February, 1986)
“The Family Jewels”
WRITER: Michael Fleisher
PENCILER: Mike Chen
INKER: Joe Delbeato
COLORIST: Shelley Eiber
LETTERER: D.C. Weiss
EDITOR: Andy Helfer
Continuing from last issue, Nash uses his Outlaw rig to push a boulder against the temple doors, locking MASK, Scott, T-Bob, and the archaeological party inside. However, Hondo’s “Blaster” mask is able to break through the large rock and everyone is freed. Matt gives Dwayne the riot act, except that he’s actually a VENOM agent in disguise. (Guess that snake balloon he got was the same sleeping gas balloon Scott got in issue #1.) Then a new mission begins for MASK when VENOM travels to England and breaks out a lunatic who believes himself to be Guy Fawkes in order to use him to attempt to bomb Parliament a second time. While MASK is able to stop the bombing and recapture the escaped crazy guy, they learn VENOM has other targets, including the Tower Of London. MASK’s reluctant liaison at Scotland Yard has the Crown Jewels moved, which VENOM intercepts. MASK and the Inspector manage to save the Crown Jewels but VENOM escapes. Back in America Buddy is about to fill an oil rig’s gas tank, but that rig is Outlaw, and Buddy finds a gun to his head courtesy of Nash.
What they got right: Something that was interesting about the old show is how on occasion they were tap history as part of VENOM’s schemes (although there were also times where they made it up). This might encourage kids to look it up in the school or local library encyclopedia (unless they had a set of their own) in those pre-internet days. So here’s a bit of history from England. It works nice. There are also cliffhangers to draw you into checking out the previous and next issues, but the main story could stand on its own.
What they got wrong: Inspector Carruthers’s not believing they needed MASK’s help is a plot point that really doesn’t factor into the story as he has no problem actually working with them when the time comes. And some of you more “realism” minded types might point out that flying a World War II fighter plane is a bit different from flying a car that turns into a jet plane, but you’re no fun and shouldn’t be reading kids entertainment from the 1980s.
Recommendation: Still a good miniseries that’s worth checking out. Next week is the final issue and then we get into the few issues of the ongoing that I own.