IDW Publishing (November, 2016)
WRITER: Brandon Easton
ARTIST: Tony Vargas
COLORIST: Jordi Escuin
SELECTED COVER ART: Tommy Lee Edwards
LETTERER: Gilbert Lazcano
EDITOR: David Hedgecock
Successfully framing Trakker’s group for his thefts, Mayhem sets his sights on destroying all Cybertronians so he can (mis)use their technology. The MASK team evades authorities and tries to find a base of operations to strike back against Mayhem’s team as well as looking into secret labs owned by Matt’s father Cornelius, who was studying Ore 13 (the IDW Transformers Earth name for Energon). However it turns out to be a trap, and Mayhem’s new team, VENOM, has MASK right where they want them.
It’s the same story as last time. The art is good and story interesting, except that at some point between Revolution: MASK and this issue things have been happening we aren’t privy to. There’s a previously that covers Revolution: MASK but not the rest of the crossover event so who knows where the events leading to this comic came from? Unless you’ve been reading the event I haven’t.
But it’s here that tying this into the Transformers just feels odd to me. Like I said, in IDW comic Ore 13 is Energon. We’ll be getting to that as we go into the older IDW comics as soon as I’m done with either Beast Wars or comparing the movie adaptations. I suppose there’s some sense in having the MASK and VENOM gear powered by Energon since they’re creating a Hasbro Universe as they call it but I don’t need them to share a universe. I also don’t need MASK being hunted heroes, a plot I’m not into, at least as a series concept. It’s why I never bothered with GI Joe Renegades for example. Nor do I like the idea of VENOM (or at least Miles) pretending to be a good soldier while secretly being behind stuff. Good story idea? Maybe, but it’s not what I come to MASK to see. And Julio is still wearing the wrong mask.
Interestingly, Doug Stone, one of the voice actors for the cartoon, is interviewed and discusses having a large multi-ethnic cast and the cover artist talks about getting to draw the classic characters (he didn’t fully transform Firefly but that’s a nitpick) and yet neither of those things are in this comic. Edwards even has Gator and Hurricane, two vehicles and drivers (I misspelled Hondo’s last name last week–it’s McLean, not McClain) who are not in this comic.
This might be a good comic if you aren’t nostalgic for the original show, toys, or DC Comics adaptation, but since I am I just can’t get into this comic, good as it is. I have one more issue to look at so maybe that will win me over but right now I don’t see me looking to get any more issues.