|The name or term "Mask" refers to more than one character or idea. For a list of other meanings, see Mask (disambiguation).|
M.A.S.K. was a toyline created by Kenner in 1985, and currently owned by Hasbro. The series followed a team of specially trained individuals called M.A.S.K. (the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand), led by wealthy philanthropist Matt Trakker, facing off against the evil organization V.E.N.O.M. (the Vicious Evil Network Of Mayhem), led by Miles Mayhem. Each faction had different masks that their members would wear that granted them special abilities, while also commanding a series of vehicles that could transform from one mode to another. Since 2016, the characters have been appearing in comics published by IDW Publishing.
Like most 80s toylines, M.A.S.K. soon developed into a full franchise, with an animated series developed along with the toys, as well as several tie-in comic books. The cartoon ran for two seasons, from 1985 to 1986, while the toys continued for another two years, moving more towards a racing theme than the original crime-fighting motif, with M.A.S.K. and V.E.N.O.M. each being teams competing against one another.
M.A.S.K. remained dormant from 1988 to 2008, when Hasbro (who by this time had purchased Kenner) introduced Matt Trakker (under the name “Specialist Trakker”) into the G.I. Joe universe as a figure. His on-package bio also established M.A.S.K. and V.E.N.O.M. as being sub-divisions of G.I. Joe and Cobra, respectively. Trakker has also been rumored to appear in the third entry of Paramount's G.I. Joe film series.
Hasbro later tried to revive the series in 2011 as part of their Unit:E crossover, which saw several Hasbro brands united (get it?) into a single universe. In this version, M.A.S.K. is a group of rescue workers (consisting of all new characters save for Matt Trakker) who use advanced technology to upgrade their vehicles in order to protect the citizens of a war-torn Detroit. M.A.S.K. was also mentioned in Transformers: Prime, as a government division from which Agent Fowler obtains Optimus Prime’s Beast Hunters alternate mode. Prime, like Unit:E, was intended to work as a backdoor to several other properties, including M.A.S.K., but nothing ever happened. In 2015, Hasbro announced plans for a live-action M.A.S.K. film as part of their shared cinematic universe with G.I. Joe, ROM, Micronauts, and Visionaries.
In 2016, IDW Publishing announced that they had obtained the M.A.S.K. license from Hasbro and would be introducing them as part of their Revolution event, uniting all their Hasbro titles into a single Hasbro Universe. As had been done with Specialist Trakker and Unit:E, IDW brought the M.A.S.K. characters into the previously established Transformers and G.I. Joe comics by introducing Miles Mayhem (now called Miles Manheim) in the Secret Raiders prelude story. Here, Mayhem is a former member of Joe Colton's Adventure Team who also has connections to the Earth Defense Command and develops the M.A.S.K. vehicles by reverse-engineering technology from the Triple Changer Transformer Blitzwing.