"Okay, but when is MASK coming back?"

If you're the kind of person who pays attention to conversations about GI JoeJem 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.

The news comes courtesy of Newsarama, and while it remains unconfirmed by IDW at the time of this writing, it makes a lot of sense. Licensed comics like Jem and Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye have been critical darlings for IDW since their launch, and while MASK doesn't quite have the nostalgia that you get from the larger Hasbro properties, it certainly remains an untapped resource.

On top of that, Hasbro announced a few months back that it plans to incorporate MASK into its GI Joe Cinematic Universe, which is mostly amazing because we are living in a world where there is somehow a GI Joe Cinematic Universe.

The groundwork for that move was actually laid down years ago, when "Specialist Matt Trakker" was released as part of the GI Joe toy line, officially bringing MASK and their adversaries, VENOM (Vicious Evil Network Of Mayhem) (really) into Joe canon as divisions of GI Joe and Cobra, respectively.

For those of you who weren't obsessed with these toys as kids, the basic idea is that there are like three gimmicks in play all at once: MASK is a secret organization whose members all have secret identities, and thus wear super-powered masks (get it?) when they go into battle in cars that can transform into other vehicles. Like, say, a motorcycle that becomes a helicopter, a sports car that becomes an airplane, and a semi-truck that becomes a semi-truck with a whole lot of guns on it:


MASK toy ad


The toys and television show were originally produced by Kenner, but became one of Hasbro's brands when it acquired Kenner back in 1991. As a result, the show was never a part of that larger Transformers/GI Joe/Jem/Inhumanoids continuity. That said, the toys are pretty obviously --- and intentionally --- a midpoint between the Joes and the Transformers, so fitting them into a larger universe wouldn't be that difficult.


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