Every time I'm reminded that one of the year's most hotly anticipated, high-profile launches is a brand-new MASK: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand series that exists completely apart from any toy line or TV show, I kinda feel like I need to start looking around for an eternally spinning top or something that will prove I am living in a dream world. I mean, this is something I've wanted for so long that I'm probably not going to be sure it's actually happening until that comic is in my hands.
Now, though, we are one step closer to the reality. Today, IDW released the covers and solicitation for Brandon Easton, Tony Vargas, and Tommy Lee Edwards' MASK #1, giving us our first good look at the new designs for Matt Trakker and Miles Mayhem.
Here's a fun fact about me: My dad once told me that he was late for work every day for a year because I refused to leave the house until MASK was over. Clearly, that show was my entire, all-consuming jam circa 1986, and even though I'm pretty excited about seeing a rebuilt IDW universe that involves GI Joe, Transformers, Micronauts, Action Man and ROM The Space Knight all coming together, the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand is the one that's really got me hooked.
And now, we're finally starting to see it come together --- and folks attending September's Granite State Comic Con in Manchester, New Hampshire are going to get a pretty awesome look at it in the form of Ben Bishop's awesome variant cover for Revolution #1.
In all honesty, I don't know if there's anything going on in comics right now that's more exciting to me than IDW's Revolution event. It's the unification of most of the Hasbro properties into a single universe that finds the Transformers, GI Joe, ROM the Space Knight, MASK and more being thrown together into a unified story, and for someone like me, it's a pop cultural dream come true. But the one big question I've had since it was announced is "okay, but how's it going to work?"
We have, after all, been assured that this wasn't a rebooting of the continuity for Transformers or GI Joe, but since one of those book is about giant robots from space coming to Earth and the other isn't, it seems like that would be something of a game-changer when it comes to world-building. But now, we have an exclusive video from IDW where John Barber, the editor and writer spearheading the new direction, explains it --- and it sounds pretty awesome.
The thing about doing comics based on toy properties is that eventually you're going to want to play with all the toys, and today, it looks like that's exactly what IDW has set out to do. After years of keeping them separated into their own universes --- with exceptions like the senses-shattering, soon-to-be-finished Transformers vs. GI Joe --- IDW is combining almost all of its Hasbro toy properties into a single universe.
The shakeup comes in a biweekly event called Revolution, co-written by Cullen Bunn and John Barber, with art by Fico Ossio, which will combine GI Joe, Transformers, MASK, ROM the Space Knight, Action Man and Micronauts into one permanent shared universe.
IDW has become the place to go for ultra-modern, relevant and exciting comic book adaptations of your favorite childhood franchises. Whether it's Transformers, Jem and the Holograms or Teenage Mutant Ninjas Turtles, IDW has been on a roll with titles that go way beyond nostalgia-grabs, and in some cases are some of the very best comics on the stands.
This is a trend the publisher hopes to continue with the announcement, via USA Today, that Brandon Easton and Tony Vargas will work on a new comic featuring MASK, the 1980s cartoon about a vehicle-based law enforcement agency that was kind of Transformers and GI Joe at the same time.
If you're the kind of person who pays attention to conversations about GI Joe, Jem and the Holograms and Transformers comics --- and I think the record will show that I am --- then you end up seeing that question a lot. Over the years, we've seen revivals for virtually every '80s toy property, but for some reason, the masked heroes of the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand have managed to avoid a comeback. Now, though, it seems that IDW's partnership with Hasbro will finally generate a revival for Matt Trakker and his crew for a new comic book series.
In the spirit of the season, Tim Leong and the Ghost of Comic Foundry magazine have released a printable Halloween mask that is guaranteed to terrify. As Tim explains: With Halloween just a few days away, everyone is scrambling to come up with some sort of costume (and no, "Sexy Gollum" does not count)...
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