Previously we have looked at the first and (on my other site since it’s the one I don’t own) second MASK mini-comics. Well, there’s one more and it’s high time I took a look at it. For the forgetful, MASK was a TV show and toyline featuring the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand (because we can’t let a little thing like spelling ruin a perfectly good acronym) as they battled the Vicious Evil Network Of Mayhem. The vehicles could convert to battle modes to fight each other and have other talents, like letting the car or bike fly and the helicopter turn into a fighter jet, and they wore masks that had special powers attached to them.

In the first mini-comic we learned Miles Mayhem, VENOM’s leader, stole the plans for weaponized masks and transforming vehicles from Matt Trakker’s (MASK’s leader) little brother, who died during the theft. In the mini-comics and DC’s comics VENOM are well aware who the members of MASK are and where their headquarters was. This makes continuing to disguise it as a gas station a bit odd, but we need a transforming headquarters and “illusion is the ultimate weapon” is the tagline here. In this issue VENOM takes the fight to the Boulder Hill playset I didn’t own headquarters of MASK. Let’s see how the final story went.

MASK Mini #3

At least they didn’t ask for the anti-freeze. I hear those are napalm grenades.

MASK: Assault On Boulder Hill

produced by DC Comics for Kenner (at the time a CPG Production Corp company, now fully absorbed by Hasbro)

again, no credits given. At least Mattel let the Masters Of The Universe comics have credits

I have to give Mayhem credit for making the most ridiculous schemes possible almost work. The first time he dropped a robot with a bomb on their front doorstep and if he hadn’t been waiting until after storyhour he might have succeeded in blowing them up. Then he drops the Loch Ness Monster on them during a boating trip. This time his plan is to set a tanker truck on fire as it goes past the gas station, hoping the driver doesn’t see it and stop to put them out, and have the MASK agents attending the station race off to stop them while the rest of the team are donating blood. (Alex Sector and Buddy Hawks, both of whom came with the playset, are the only ones on duty), and it totally works. The man’s a miracle worker, that Mayhem.

The plan is to break in using a signal device that somehow matches the frequency that opens the security shield and steal all the masks. Then he and Cliff Dagger can use their own masks against them. There’s are a couple of flaws in this plan. One, the masks are booby-trapped so non-MASK members can’t use them without a mild electric shock.

And then Nessie ate them.

I think Matt’s definition of “mild” is open to debate.

Why he didn’t think they wouldn’t be prepared if they were lost in the field I can’t say. The other thing is that there are only two of them. Vanessa Warfield never had a toy and matching vehicle (although a prototype was made I hear, possibly for the racing series) and Sly Rax doesn’t show up in this comic. It’s Miles and Cliff alone against at least three agents, since Matt is in every story. Remember, this is a gas station that turns into a heavily armed bunker and MASK has VENOM outnumbered two-to-one. Even Miracle Miles isn’t that lucky.

The other is that Matt has a way to recall all of the masks, so they all fly out of the lake and back to the gas station. So that was really a waste of time, wasn’t it? Matt takes off in Thunderhawk to do recon and Alex mans the gas pump freeze ray cannons. That must make it tough to pump gas in the winter, but it’s Nevada and not New England. Dagger is convinced that VENOM will win because he doesn’t know MASK has their masks back. Note that the only time the mask powers in this comic is Cliff’s setting the truck on fire earlier and Buddy phasing through the wall to warn Alex he’s activating another of their deterrents. Once again, pointless robbery. Then again, Cliff tries to shoot the station and is surprised by “some kind of shield” we can see transforming into place just as he fires. Cliff Dagger really is the dumb one on this team.

As that goes on, Thunderhawk and VENOM’s Switchblade helicopter (I still smile remembering when I asked my parents for that and they thought I wanted an actual switchblade…luckily that was translated in a hurry) have an aerial dogfight, with the station’s sign turning into a stun ray cannon. Meanwhile Buddy launches that deterrent I mentioned, a giant boulder on top of the small mountain behind the station. This send Cliff and his battle tank 4X4 running because it’s still a 4X4 and not a full tank while Matt chases off Mayhem, and the day is saved.

This was obviously meant to show off all of the gimmicks of the Boulder Hill playset and it does that well. As a story it falls a little short. DC did not do their best work for the MASK or Super Powers Collection mini-comics and that’s too bad. Their Masters Of The Universe mini-comics are the best of the pack-in mini-comics I’ve read. Guess it helps to have the right writer, but we have no credits here to judge. But that’s all three MASK mini-comics. There are still plenty Masters Of The Universe to go, plus more Transformers Armada and Energon and the second Marvel Drakes Snack Cakes. That’s all I have available in my collection so if you guys know where I can find something from a toyline or promotional offer I haven’t reviewed yet (if it’s online I can still review it at the other site), please let me know. I’m willing to add some variety to this series.

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