Mini-Comic Report: Transformers Armada vol. 3

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I was supposed to review a toy today, which was written on Saturday. The problem is I was so tired all I wanted to do was sleep and I don’t know why. So here’s another mini-comic review from my other site, BW Media Spotlight, that at least stays with the Transformer and Mini-Con theme of this month. I wish I could have done more.


 

 

With last week’s Mini-Con article over at The Clutter Reports, I thought for this month’s Free Comic Inside I’d take a look at what the Mini-Cons are up to. Plus I said in the last one I would be going back to this series. Hey, I remembered! This is when Dreamwave was still making minicomics for Hasbro, which would continue into the Energon toys before Dreamwave crashed. There is one good thing this round: no more trying to fit three translations of the same sentence into the word balloons.

“Maybe my bad donkey impersonation will stop them!”

No, this time it’s all one language, and luckily for me I got the English one. Let’s see what happens this time.

What are the odds we could get a Star Saber for “Man At Arms: Reforged”?

Transformers Armada vol 3

CREATED BY: Dreamwave

FOR: Hasbro

WRITER: Chris Sarracini

ARTIST: Guido Guidi

COLORISTS: Shaun Curtis, Gary Yeung, & Rob Ruffolo

COVER COLORIST: Ramil Sunga

(geez, even in a mini-comic they can’t have just one colorist)

LETTERING: Dreamer Design

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Mini-Comic Report: MASK – “Assault On Boulder Hill”

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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

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Mini-Comic Report: He-Man Vs. Ram-Man

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There’s a reason why He-Man Meets Ram-Man is one of my two favorite Masters of the Universe mini-comics and it’s all personal. Oh, the story is good ,but there’s a more personal connection to this one and the one that came with Man-E-Faces. I received both figures, and naturally the comics that came with them, from my grandparents the same Christmas that my grandmother was in the hospital. Now she lived through a few more Christmases but in some way they help connect me to her.

As for the story itself, I seem to recall the events actually showed up later in the show but I don’t remember the episode and all attempts to find it met with a dead end so maybe I dreamed it. And before anyone asks, yes I know “The Dragon’s Gift” was adapted into the mini-comics but that’s not what I’m thinking of. I think Ram-Man was telling the story to someone as an example or parable or something.

Like the other images, this comes from He-Man.org. Because my copy is VERY well-read.

Like the other images, this comes from He-Man.org. Because my copy is VERY well-read.

Masters Of The Universe: “He-Man Meets Ram-Man”

DC Comics/Mattel (1982)

PACKAGED WITH: Ram-Man
WRITER: Gary Cohn
PENCILER: Mark Texeri
INKER: Tod Smith
COLORIST: Anthony Tolin
no credits given for letter or editor

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Mini-Comic report: MASK – “Flaiming Beginnings”

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I mentioned in this article how much I enjoy mini-comics. (By the way I still need a good storage method.) Not the kind some cartoonists make, although I love a good story of any format and size. If you’re a Masters of the Universe fan you know exactly which ones I mean. These mini-comics used to be the only way to sell the world of the toys until the FCC, pushed by Ronald Reagan, allowed for animated series, like He-Man & The Masters of the Universe or Transformers. Even after that, Masters of the Universe continued to add comics in their toys, which continued in the “He-Man” spin off line.

However, it isn’t just toys that contained these comics. Drake’s Snack Cakes had two different series of Marvel Comics and DC has partnered with General Mills cereals on more than one occasion. (They even have a cross-promotion now, but not in either of the cereals I eat. Donations welcome.) I even remember a pair of sneakers I had as a kid had a mini-comic strip that told you how cool the shoes you just bought were. That’s long since disappeared by the way.

Since I need a little time and I’ve started reviewing mini-comics on my site, I thought I’d transport one over here so I at least have something to post. You might think I’d be starting with Masters Of The Universe, arguably the king of the pack-in promo mini-comics. This is not the case, as I was prompted to officially start this series after listening to the first episode of MASKast, a podcast reviewing the 80’s animated series M.A.S.K. (short for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand–no wonder Johnny can’t read). In it they mentioned that one of the three mini-comics, produced for Kenner by DC Comics–who later produced a mini and ongoing series–told the origin of M.A.S.K. and V.E.N.O.M. (the Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem), but they didn’t seem to know a lot about it. Since this was later made canon for the cartoon during the “racing” series of the show (where the two groups dropped crimefighting and crimedoing to take part in cross-country races–yeah, I don’t get it either), I thought it was a good one to start with, even if most of the Clutter Reports readers may not have seen either.

This whole thing started over choosing pizza toppings.

MASK comic #1: Flaming Beginnings
PACKED WITH: Not sure. I do know that only the first series of MASK vehicles came with this. I’m thinking my copy came with either Switchblade or Thunderhawk, both of which I still own. Note that not every comic I’ll review in this section is one I own. Some will be downloaded from the internet because the odds of reprinting them are rather low. (That’s why this is part of Comic Spotlight and not a “Scanning My Collection” series.) When I do know which specific toys or products these comics came in I will list them.
PRODUCED BY: DC Comics. Granted I only know this because there’s an ad on the inside cover to subscribe to DC Comics titles and they worked on the sold-in-stores issues. Some mini-comics were produced by the company themselves but like this one and MOTU the toy company would outsource to regular comic producers.
CREDITS: For this comic there were no writer/artist credits. I just want to have a layout for the review.

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