M.A.S.K. issue 4
|Publisher||IDW Publishing, Ted Adams|
|First published||March 29, 2017|
|Cover date||February 2017|
|Written by||Brandon Easton|
|Art by||Tony Vargas|
|Colors by||Jordi Escuin|
|Letters by||Gilberto Lazcano|
|Editorial assistant||David Mariotte|
Miles Mayhem fills the captured Matt Trakker in on his evil schemes for world domination.
A young Matt Trakker's playtime is interrupted by a knock at the door, and when his mother answers it, she recieves some horrific news: Matt's father is dead. But as she tells her son this, she morphs before his eyes into the masked Miles Mayhem, who taunts the young Trakker that he will be joining his father in death soon...
...and Matt awakens with a start, shackled to the walls of Mayhem's base next to Gloria Baker with his mother's body on the floor before him. Matt is disgusted with Mayhem's casual murder of his mother, but Miles — scoffing at his description of her as an "innocent woman" — dismisses the body, revealing it to be a hard-light hologram created with remote access to Brad Turner's "Eclipse" mask. As Vanessa Warfield leaves for their auction of the Project Spectrum technology, Matt asks whether the older man ever considered him a friend — to which Mayhem merely sneers at his stupidity.
Aboard M.A.S.K.'s borrowed yacht, the still-injured Brad teleconferences with Julio Lopez, who has seen Matt and Gloria's communications go dead. As Brad notes in confusion that his mask's battery has seemingly been drained, Julio examines a spike of Ore-13-based transmissions detected by Jackhammer's systems — but no sooner has he done so than the armored vehicle is thrown off-balance by an outside force! With the communications line going dead, Brad dons his mask ready for action...
V.E.N.O.M. strongman Bruno Sheppard's attempt to overturn the Jackhammer is stopped when Julio converts the vehicle to battle mode, catching Bruno in the face and sending him flying. Jumping out of the vehicle and setting it on autopilot, Julio faces off with Bruno and Sly Rax on foot; when Bruno tears a chunk out of the ground to throw at Julio, the M.A.S.K. agent uses his "Gulliver" mask to massively increase the size of the rubble, causing the ground to collapse below his foe. Sly takes matters into his own hands, using his "Stiletto" mask to fire metal javelins, but Julio merely shrinks them back and allows them to fall harmlessly to the ground.
With their powers at a stalemate, Julio offers a more traditional fight, and the two engage in a fist-to-fist battle. Sly, accusing M.A.S.K. of betraying them, takes the upper hand, but is stopped from killing Julio when Brad arrives to intervene — and, despite his injured arms, takes Sly down with the leg-based Muay Thai and tae kwon do. Though the M.A.S.K. agents intend to take Rax to the local police, they are blindsided by Bruno, who grabs his unconscious teammate and flees into a sewer.
Matt demands to know what Miles wants — after all, he seemingly has everything he could ever ask for — and the V.E.N.O.M. leader is happy to oblige: he wants to be humanity's "lord and savior", controlling the path of its evolution through economic domination and psychological expertise, granted by the thousands of test subjects he will obtain by selling the high-tech masks. Gloria doubts his ability to plan for a potential counter-insurgency against him, but Mayhem brags that any "clients" that go against him will just find themselves dying of Ore-13 radiation poisoning — against which, as Gloria surmises, Mayhem and the rest of V.E.N.O.M. are innoculated.
Mayhem's boasting was ill-advised, however, as a code word from Gloria shocks him and Vanessa into submission, her "Aura" mask havin used that time to hack into their hardware! Remotely using blasts from his "Spectrum" mask to free them, Matt mocks Mayhem's stupidity as he places him under arrest. Miles furiously has Vanessa self-destruct their prototype masks as a distraction while the two run, only for the Jackhammer to smash through the wall in front of them, preventing their escape. Using Julio's "Gulliver" mask to resize the miniaturized Thunderhawk and Shark to full scale, as Bruno and Sly arrive, the M.A.S.K. team stands reunited and ready to take down V.E.N.O.M. once and for all!
Characters in italic text appear only in flashbacks.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"So all those years of being a confidant... it was all a lie? Did you ever consider me to be your friend?"
"Not even you could be that stupid."
- —Matt Trakker and Miles Mayhem
"Your arrogance blinded you to the fact that M.A.S.K. was forcing V.E.N.O.M. into the light. I never assumed that you could be that stupid."
- —Matt turns the tables on Mayhem
- Vanessa Warfield notes that Extensive Enterprises, the corporation owned by Tomax Paoli, is among the purchasers for the masks.
- Gloria's "code word: Boulder" references the Boulder Hill base of the M.A.S.K. team from the original cartoon and toyline.
Other Hasbro franchise references
- Two of the toys in Matt's flashback/nightmare appear to be Optimus Prime and Bumblebee from the 2015 Robots in Disguise toyline.
- Why would Alessandra Trakker be wearing high heels while she's indoors?
- In what possible way has Mayhem "plunged the world into an endless conflict with Cybertronians"? Not only was human-Transformer conflict around for years prior to Mayhem's schemes coming into play, but the "Revolution" event that he was responsible for led to a thawing of relations between human governments and Autobot City.
- Why is Gloria's first thought automatically that V.E.N.O.M. have been dosed with a serum, rather than any other protection from Ore-13 radiation?
- Solicited for release in February, this issue arrives a month late in the last week of March.
- Regular cover:
- Subscription cover A:
- Subscription cover B:
- Retailer incentive cover:
- "The Hasbro Tribune" editorial page promoting February's Hasbro Universe titles, including G.I. Joe #3, this issue, Lost Light #3, Optimus Prime #4, Till All Are One #8, Transformers Annual 2017, M.A.S.K. Annual 2017, Revolutionaries #3, Micronauts #10, and ROM #8.