M.A.S.K. issue 5
|Publisher||IDW Publishing, Ted Adams|
|First published||April 19, 2017|
|Cover date||March 2017|
|Written by||Brandon Easton|
|Art by||Tony Vargas|
|Colors by||Jordi Escuin|
|Letters by||Gilberto Lazcano|
|Editorial assistant||David Mariotte|
The first confrontation with V.E.N.O.M. comes to a conclusion.
With V.E.N.O.M. surrounded by M.A.S.K., Matt Trakker orders their foes to surrender, but Miles Mayhem is unimpressed with his bravado. With a button on his belt, Mayhem summons his Switchblade helicopter to burst through the roof, guns blazing; he orders his underlings to run for their own vehicles while he sees their foes eliminated, but at the last moment, Matt manages to save his friends from death with a scattering field projected from his "Spectrum" mask, which harmlessly detonates the missiles fired by the Switchblade. While Mayhem escapes in his vehicle, Gloria Baker realises a new issue - she's detected a massive Ore-13 battery on a subterranean level of the facility, but Matt decides to prioritise the escaping V.E.N.O.M. team, not wanting them to get away.
Gloria chases after Sly Rax, who has been charged by Mayhem with escaping with the data on "Project Slither". Though she is forced to make a detour when Rax uses his "Stiletto" mask to create a barricade across the street, she manages to pursue him off the Toronto docks in the Shark's submarine mode... but as soon as she does, Rax's Piranha fires a missile salvo that tears the Shark apart. Matt is horrified to see Gloria's communications go dark, but as he tells Brad Turner to convert to copter mode to find her, the team is attacked by Bruno Sheppard and Vanessa Warfield. Bruno seemingly grabs Brad off the Condor and tears his mask off, only to find that the face underneath is his own -- moments before the real Brad flies through the illusion he created, grabbing Bruno's remote-control belt and causing the Rhino to crash! Meanwhile, Vanessa has cornered Julio Lopez, forcing him out of the Jackhammer. Vanessa threatens to use her "Ice Queen" mask to freeze Julio to death, but he warns against it, revealing that he's used his own to increase the size of dust mites in the mask and damage the moisture regulator; if she fires a freeze beam, it'll kill her. Vanessa reluctantly removes her mask... and Julio knocks her out, having been bluffing the whole time.
Sly's delight at his destruction of the Shark is cut short when Gloria rockets out of her vehicle using the Caterpillar Propulsion Drive, attaching an explosive device to the Piranha and dragging the unconscious Rax to the surface. Her teammates have a bigger problem, however: Mayhem is using the Switchblade to airlift away the Ore-13 battery, which has turned unstable and is ready to detonate. A ranting Mayhem uses his "Viper" mask to slice off a wing of the Thunderhawk, but Matt takes the opportunity to test a function of his mask: using Spectrum to heat and cushion the air around him, he glides through the air to the battery and cuts it free of the helicopter! The battery drops out of the sky, with Julio using his mask to shrink it to a more manageable size, while Matt is caught by Brad; however, the two are still under fire from Mayhem. To take their foe down, Matt attempts a desperate final gambit, siphoning power from Brad's mask to overload his own and fire an energy beam that tears Switchblade apart, though Mayhem launches a rocket-powered ejector seat at the last moment. His mask's power spent, Matt falls from the sky, but Brad uses the last of his "Eclipse" mask's energy to create a net that catches Matt before he lands.
Later, M.A.S.K. stand by as G.I. Joe take V.E.N.O.M. into custody. Despite Mayhem's escape, the team's leader Scarlett congratulates them on their work, and assures them they will have the Joes' full support in the future. Brad is happy to note that his bike is the only vehicle that got out unscathed — but Julio quips that nothing will fix his teammate's hairdo.
Some weeks later still, the M.A.S.K. team visits a Miami Beach nightclub to unwind. While Gloria persuades Matt to drop his "brooding hero" act and come dance, Brad gets a call from someone claiming to be an "old friend", who asks to meet him across the street from the club. Venturing across the street and into the alleyway, Brad looks for his mysterious caller... only to see, and be knocked out by, himself. As his minions drag the unconscious Brad away, his duplicate's face changes to that of the shapeshifting Zartan, who has decided to keep an eye on the newest players in the game...
Characters in italic text appear only in flashbacks.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- Zartan! Cobra's resident shapeshifter hasn't been seen since G.I. Joe: Special Missions #7. He makes a vague allusion to his "colleagues"; this might be a reference to Cobra, though the concurrent G.I. Joe title establishes Cobra to be defunct — but, well, M.A.S.K. isn't exactly big on continuity.
- And thus all of V.E.N.O.M. except Miles Mayhem is captured, but as evidenced by the 2017 M.A.S.K. Annual story, they won't be in jail for long.
- Miles' mask, based on the classic "Viper", was previously named as "Python", the name of his other classic mask; however, in this issue, its name is given as "Viper".
- Why does Brad describe his theft of Bruno's remote control in the past tense in a panel where he's in the process of stealing it?
- If Matt has never tested his mask's anti-gravity capabilities before, why does it have an "anti-grav" command phrase?
- oh god that line about not thinking of Gloria as a "sister" is creepy as hell, why
- Solicited for release in March, this issue arrives a month late in April.
- Regular cover:
- Subscription cover A:
- Subscription cover B:
- Retailer incentive cover: