|This article is about the M.A.S.K./G.I. Joe member codenamed Spectrum. For the anti-Cybertronian weapons project, see Project Spectrum.|
Matthew "Matt" Trakker, codenamed Spectrum, is the leader of the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand. Matt is an engineering genius, but he's had a rebellious and troubled history ever since the death of his father, Cornelius Trakker. As the inexperienced leader of M.A.S.K., he's had to face the betrayal of his mentor, Miles Mayhem, and the loss of several teammates under his which, two events which have haunted Matt and led to insecurity about his own abilities. Luckily, he has friends, like his M.A.S.K. teammates and G.I. Joe leader Scarlett, to catch him when he falls. In the field, Trakker drives the Thunderhawk vehicle and wears the powerful Spectrum Mask.
Born in Long Island, New York, Matt Trakker was the son of Cornelius and Alessandra Trakker. Matt idolized his father, a government scientist, wanting to be just like him. By age 10, Matt had proved himself to be he a genius when it came to engineering and physics. Due to his father's long absence, Matt built his mother a series of droids to help out around the house. When Cornelius was found murdered, Matt took his death incredibly hard and became more withdrawn. He turned to illegal street racing as an outlet for his emotions, using his engineering skills to win races. As Matt traveled the world competing in street races, he also took note of economic and environmental injustices in certain cities, becoming an "engineering Robin Hood" by illegally fixing city infrastructure for those who couldn't afford it.
By his later life, Matt had made it onto numerous most-wanted lists and was constantly on the run. Wanting to help her son, Alessandra reached out to family friend Miles "Mayhem" Manheim, whom Matt had always held in high regard. Manheim was able to pull some strings, in exchange for Matt joining a special program of his. Matt reluctantly agreed.
Matt was one of the recruits to Project Spectrum. After the recruits' first meeting, he thanked Manheim once more for getting him out of hot water with the law, promising to do his best to not let Manheim down. During a sparring round with Brad Turner, Matt held back. Manheim later chewed him out, reminding Matt of a time when he climbed a burning tree to save his mother's cat when he was five.
During a test drive for a couple of prototype vehicles, two fellow recruits, William Evans and Marcia Watkins, began to lose control of the vehicles. After Marcia's vehicle blew up, Matt tried to save William's, but failed to reach him in time. Matt was visibly shaken by the event and confronted Manheim about it, but Manheim made it clear that two recruits who willingly joined the program was collateral damage when it came to saving the world.
When Manheim presented the recruits with prototype Masks, Matt tested out the Spectrum Mask, using its power to destroy a harpoon Sly Rax had accidentally fired at Gloria Baker. Later, during a field test involving a train in the Canadian Rockies, Matt tried to rescue a group a civilians from the train before it exploded, but the rest of the team stopped him so that he wouldn't die in the process. The test left him demoralized.
Over the course of their training, Matt became close with Bruno Sheppard, who was also angry with Manheim about the train car test. The two shared an engineering background and bonded over their love of mechanics, with Bruno doing some work on the Tunderhawk for him. When Manheim unveiled Bruno's Rhino vehicle and warned that it wasn't ready yet, Matt believed the warning to be a dare in disguise. While Bruno was hesitant, Matt assured him that in their line of work, they had to take risks.
Once their training had been completed, Matt, Gloria, Brad, and Julio Lopez were eventually deployed to Governor's Island, headquarters of G.I. Joe, where Manheim presented them to Scarlett as the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand!
Leading the Mission
The team soon set up shop in the base, maintaining their vehicles should they need to be deployed. Miles then formally introduced Scarlett to Matt, who explained to the G.I. Joe commander how the M.A.S.K. vehicles operated.
Matt served as field leader for M.A.S.K. on their first mission to neutralize the Autobots Kup and Aileron in Greece. Trakker was the first to engage them in the Thunderhawk, using its flight mode to take on Aileron. During the fight, Matt was surprised to see how the Cybertronians behaved, having believed them to be mere machines. Mayhem soon arrived, capturing Kup and ordering Trakker to use Spectrum to take out Aileron's communications before she escaped. After the battle, he noticed Kup was in pain and realized the Cybertronians were living beings. He confronted Scarlett and Mayhem about this fact, saying that he didn't sign up to be a killer. However, Mayhem reminded Trakker that they were Earth's only defense against these invaders, and to trust him, just like Matt's father did.
When Action Man helped Kup break out of captivity on Governor's Island, Mayhem ordered Trakker to fire the Thunderhawk's weapons at maximum on Kup. However, Trakker hesitated over comms to Mainframe, who then ordered a laser satellite firing array that allowed Kup and Action man to escape.
The next day, Matt (unknowingly) interrupted a call between Miles and his "reinforcements", discussing plans to attack Autobot City and take their cache of Ore-13. As M.A.S.K. prepared to attack, Matt once more expressed his misgivings about the situation. Nevertheless, Mayhem led the charge, breaking through the Autobots' defenses with the aid of his reinforcements: a squadron of flying Dire Wraiths! Matt was shocked to see Mayhem's allies were monsters, saying that this isn't what his team signed up for. When Mayhem gloated about his eventual ruling of Earth, the Wraiths turned on M.A.S.K., attacking the Thunderhawk and forcing it to the ground. Matt began to chastise his mentor for his actions, but Miles wasn't done yet, using a remote activation from his Switchblade to power the Autobot City spacebridge. Through the bridge stepped Mayhem's other ally: the Microspace ruler Baron Karza, who proceeded to Enerchange with the Dire Wraiths to become a monstrous giant.
As the Karza-Wraith began to lay waste to everything around him, Matt blamed Miles for creating the monster. Mayhem, however, feigned ignorance, saying he merely revealed what was inevitably going to happen with aliens on Earth, ordering Matt back to action. As M.A.S.K. continued to fire on the Transformers, who had joined forces with Rom the Space Knight and the Micronauts, Acroyear smashed through the Thunderhawk's windshield as Snake Eyes saved Trakker from an attack by Rom. As each side started devolving into chaos, Optimus Prime told them that they weren't enemies, Karza was. Seeing that Karza posed the more immediate threat, Matt ordered M.A.S.K. to focus fire on the giant. However, he soon found himself grounded when Karza sliced Thunderhawk in half. When Oziron Rael, Soundwave, and Rom discussed their plan to stop Karza's use of the spacebridge, Matt and Mainframe volunteered to help, using Spectrum to create the proper counter-resonance to the Ore-13. Just as the bridge was about explode, Rom saved Matt, flying him out of the blast zone. When Matt asked if Miles had made it out, Scarlett confirmed that he hadn't. Julio Lopez mentioned that he didn't see Vanessa Warfield, Sly Rax, or Bruno Sheppard make it either.
After the battle, M.A.S.K. returned to Governor's Island. When Scarlett asked what he planned to do next, Matt admitted he was not sure. She then presented him with the remains of Thunderhawk, and told him that since G.I. Joe did not work for the government anymore, neither did his team. Matt then noticed a note on the windshield that told him "illusion is the ultimate weapon."
Vanessa, Sly, and Bruno turned out to be alive and, following the "Revolution" event, the M.A.S.K. agents returned to Project Spectrum HQ to recuperate. The team speculated on whether Mayhem was actually dead or not. Matt believed he wasn't, and posited that he may be working with the Cybertronians, something Vanessa balked at. Matt later convinced Bruno to take the Rhino for a test drive. Bruno had reservations, but ultimately agreed, wanting to save face in front of the others. However, as he was driving, the Ore-13 in the vehicle overloaded, causing it to combust. Matt tried to save Bruno, but he was unable to get close enough due to his Mask causing a reaction with the truck's power cells. Ultimately, the Rhino exploded, seemingly taking Bruno, Vanessa, and Sly with it.
Hunt for Mayhem
Sometime after the Revolution incident, Matt discovered an old prototype helmet of Mayhem's that contained a record of all his illicit activities. However, before they could start uncovering his secrets, M.A.S.K. was framed for a series of crimes they did not commit and they were forced to go on the run. After escaping their old Project Spectrum HQ, the team relocated to an old laboratory that belonged to Matt's father. While exploring the lab, Matt confided in Gloria about his past. Gloria told him that she had found a series of video files on Mayhem's Mask called "C. Trakker", presumably videos of his father. While they were talking, Julio informed Matt that he had detected a massive Ore-13 energy spike in Barbados, and the team went to investigate. While searching for the mineral in Harrison's Cave, the team were attacked a blue jet. Matt drove everyone into the cave in Thunderhawk for cover, only for them to be ambushed by V.E.N.O.M., injuring Brad in the process. Wondering who this team was, V.E.N.O.M. revealed themselves to be M.A.S.K.'s presumed dead comrades, including a now-cybernetic enhanced Bruno, who angrily blamed Matt for his condition. Vanessa chastised Matt over his failures and Mayhem condemned him, comparing him to his father. Before V.E.N.O.M. could finish them off, Matt used Spectrum to create a blackout effect, allowing his teammates to escape the cave. Matt ordered Gloria to take Brad back to the yacht while he and Julio ran interference, with Matt engaging Mayhem in aerial combat. During the fight, Matt began to feel sick as purple energy oozed out of his Mask. He managed to take out Mayhem's Switchblade, but was ultimately forced to land and passed out on the ground.
The next morning, Matt and Gloria reflected on the previous night's events. Julio reported that while he was treating Brad, he noticed a low-level radiation signature in his blood that matched the Ore-13 that powered their equipment. It was this radiation poisoning that caused Matt's sickness last night, and which was slowly killing each of them. When Julio asked what they were going to do about the more pressing issue of V.E.N.O.M., Matt assured them that they were unprepared this time, but that they would be ready to face V.E.N.O.M. again. Just then, Gloria's laptop alerted her that her decryption of Mayhem's video files had finished. She showed the videos to Matt, which showed Miles murdering Matt's father. Tee-Bawb, Brad revealed that the boat was borrowed from the smugglers, having used his connections from his time as a DEA infiltration specialist. Learning that Brad’s work for the DEA was less than clean and the fact that he didn’t tell the team about who owned the boat, Matt questioned whether Brad could be trusted. Thanks to files aboard the Tee-Bawb, M.A.S.K. learned that Mayhem was planning a meeting with several underworld factions in Toronto.Upon learning of his father's fate, Matt retreated to the end of the boat to take in the revelation of his father’s fate. Gloria comforted him and the two shared a moment... which was soon interrupted by an attack on the boat by a group of drug smugglers. After Gloria took down their ship, the
The team arrived in Toronto a week later, where Matt and Gloria infiltrated the meeting, while Julio waited outside as backup and Brad remained on the ship to recover from his injuries, though Julio wondered if it was because Matt still didn't trust Brad. Inside, they discovered why Mayhem called this meeting: to auction off a series of prototype Masks to various criminals. This enraged Matt, as he saw it as a perversion of his father's work. The two leapt into action, activating their Masks and attacking Mayhem. However, they were interrupted by Bruno Sheppard and Vanessa Warfield, who protected their leader. After taking out the minions, Matt cornered Mayhem and prepared to kill him. However, he was interrupted by the arrival of his mother, Alessandra, urging Matt to spare Miles. This provided Mayhem with the distraction he needed, pulling a gun out and taking Alessandra hostage. Miles lectured Matt that he makes far too many empty threats and pulled the trigger on the gun.
Mayhem captured Matt and revealed that his mother was nothing more than a holographic simulation meant to trick him. Matt questioned what Mayhem was planning. Mayhem revealed he planned to sell the prototype Masks as weapons across the world in a bid to control humanity. Mayhem also revealed that he had been using the M.A.S.K. agents to study the effects of Ore-13 radiation on human physiology, which allowed him to create a cure for the radiation poisoning. With Mayhem ranting, Gloria activated a remote attack from her Mask to electrocute Mayhem and Warfield, allowing Matt to use his Mask to free them from their bonds. Warfield activated a remote detonation of the prototype Masks to distract the heroes, but their escape was halted by the arrival of Brad and Julio, who used his Gulliver Mask to enlarge the pre-shrunken Thunderhawk and Shark.Matt ordered Mayhem to surrender, but the villain used a remote control to summon his Switchblade, blasting the M.A.S.K. team and allowing V.E.N.O.M. to escape in their vehicles. M.A.S.K. pursued, with Matt once more taking on his old mentor in the air. However, the fight was short-lived, Mayhem used his Mask power to slice off the Thunderhawk's door-wings and forcefully ejecting Matt. However, to the amazement of the others, Matt used his Mask's anti-gravity powers to fly. Matt then blasted the Switchblade, allowing the team to recover a batch of prototype Masks. Save for Mayhem, V.E.N.O.M. was then taken into custody by G.I. Joe. Scarlett thanked Matt, assuring him that G.I. Joe will be happy to lend M.A.S.K. support whenever they needed it.
With V.E.N.O.M. defeated, the M.A.S.K. team took some much needed R&R at a local club in Miami, where Matt and Gloria danced together.
Matt led his team to Ferren Woods, Kentucky after Brad got word that somebody was trying to auction off a stash of Ore-13 in the area. Pulling into a gas station, Matt asked the attendant about how to find the man they were looking for but discovered the small town local hadn't heard of him. Concluding that Brad's source had misled them, Matt and the others climbed back into their vehicles but discovered that their Masks and cars weren't syncing up. Unbeknownst to them, this was the result of Membros and his crew having tampered with their equipment to neutralize the threat they posed to Baron Karza's invasion of Earth.
Following their victory over V.E.N.O.M., Matt decided it would be good to expand the ranks of M.A.S.K. with some new members. Wishing to determine what kinds of people to look for (and avoid), Matt traveled to a secure facility to locate the psychologist Dr. Verstal Bender, who helped Miles Manheim with the original Project Spectrum recruitment. Bender deduced Matt's motives for contacting him, alluding to an upcoming conflict that the M.A.S.K. leader would need more soldiers for. Matt asked Bender to show him the files on the recruits that formed V.E.N.O.M. During their conversation, Matt revealed his guilt over the Rhino incident and thanked Bender for showing him the files. Bender told Trakker to consider this a payment of debt, and warned him not to barge into his sanctum again.
Upon returning to base, Matt revealed to Gloria that he ripped all the personnel data from Bender's computers. Gloria and Matt discussed the future of both themselves and the team, and Matt reassured her that he was dedicated to M.A.S.K.'s cause.
When V.E.N.O.M. stole the head of the Decepticon Astrotrain from G.I. Joe, Scarlett called in M.A.S.K. to help them retrieve it. G.I. Joe scientist Lifeline revealed that the head was host to a unique techno-organism that could rewrite genetic code. Matt wanted M.A.S.K. to handle this alone, but Scarlett insisted the two organizations work together. While the rest of their teams went to retrieve other parts of Astrotrain around the world, Matt and Scarlett traveled to Alice Springs, Australia to retrieve the head from Miles Mayhem, who was in the middle of giving it to his buyer, Destro. As the pair zeroed in inside Thunderhawk, they received a call from Lifeline, who told them that he needed the techno-organism on Astrotrain to save a severely injured Julio. While Scarlett engaged Cliff Dagger on the ground, Matt took on the Switchblade. Using Dagger's Mask power to her advantage, Scarlett used it to take down Mayhem's vehicle. Matt wanted to go after Mayhem, but Scarlett reminded him that Julio's life hung in the balance. Matt relented and the two returned to M.A.S.K. HQ, where Scarlett reassured Matt they did good work.
Later, since Scarlett couldn't dedicate Joe resources to helping Mayday look into the Project Iceman facility in Brasnya, she had Stalker introduce her to Matt and Gloria, hoping that the two of them might help Mayday and her team find out what was going on there. After the two of them hit it off, Mayday rode shotgun with Matt in the Thunderhawk as he flew it in through a hole Ian Noble had blown into the bunker. Once they were inside, Matt used the Thunderhawk's tracking abilities to find the base's nerve center by following the "scent" of Ore-13, leading the team straight to Garrison Kreiger. As Mayday jumped out, she tasked Matt with fending off the reanimated Transformers Kreiger was using as security, something he was able to do long enough to allow for Mike Power's death to shut them down.
M.A.S.K. traveled to Mount St. Helens to investigate reports of giant monsters powered by Ore-13 radiation. After defeating one of the monsters, Brad's Mask began to react negatively to the high readings of Ore-13 nearby, and he took off towards the volcano. Matt and the team followed him, but their vehicles became caught in a fissure, sinking underground. When they came to, they found themselves without their Masks and captured by Shawn Berger, a Dire Wraith with delusions of grandeur. Berger revealed he already captured Brad before the team arrived and sliced open Brad's chest to reveal his heart... made out of plasmid. "Brad" revealed himself to be Zartan in disguise, who had infiltrated the M.A.S.K. team following their first encounter with V.E.N.O.M. Matt questioned Zartan as to the real Brad's whereabouts, but Zartan didn't answer. Begrudgingly, the M.A.S.K. agents and Zartan worked together to escape their shackles and fight Berger's mutated monsters. Using a remote in his belt, Matt summoned the Thunderhawk and the team escaped from the caves, followed by a now giant, plasmid-enhanced Berger. Matt dropped the others off with their vehicles and used the Thunderhawk to attack the giant Wraith, though with some difficulty without his Mask. As Berger raised a giant fortress from underground, Gloria informed Matt that the only way to stop the Wraith was to overload the Ore-13 powering their Masks and vehicles. Inside the fortress, the team found their Masks, which Matt used to blast away several mutated Zartan clones. Matt and Julio then rushed to a nearby town the clones were attacking, saving the civilians.
After stopping the clones, M.A.S.K. prepared to overload their equipment, with Matt saying a fond farewell to Thunderhawk. However, their plan was interrupted by V.E.N.O.M., who had broken out of prison and attacked the team.Realizing that the threat of Berger was more important than their rivalry, Matt surrendered to Mayhem, insisting that the two teams needed to work together to defeat the giant Wraith. Miles initially balked at the idea, but Matt appealed to his ego by reminding him that he'll be able to lord this over M.A.S.K. forever. Mayhem acquiesced, and the two teams united to fend off a swarm of Zartan clones. With the growing number of clones and mutants, Gloria hacked into V.E.N.O.M.'s gear, funneling the Ore-13 energy from all the Masks and vehicles into Matt's Mask and unleashing a huge burst to wipe out Berger's army. With Berger gone and their Masks no longer working, the two teams resumed their fight. Matt realized that the world would never be safe as long as Mayhem lived and took Mayhem's gun, planning to execute his once-mentor. Before he could pull the trigger, Gloria stopped him, saying that such an action would corrupt Matt's soul. However, that just gave time for Vanessa Warfield to throw a flash grenade, disappearing with Mayhem and the rest of V.E.N.O.M.
Due to Matt's actions in the last battle with V.E.N.O.M., Gloria decided to leave M.A.S.K., despite Matt's pleas. With Brad still missing and Julio in the hospital, Matt realized that he was all alone and resolved to rebuild M.A.S.K. into a leaner, more aggressive form.
Joining the Strike Force
In the wake of the Iron Ring's attack of the ceremony officially inducting Earth into the Cybertronian Council of Worlds, Scarlett reached out to Matt, who in turn reached out to Gloria, hoping they could help G.I. Joe confirm if Miles Mayhem was involved with the terrorists. Quickly identifying the fake Transformers the group smuggled themselves inside as being M.A.S.K. tech, the two ex-Kommandos agreed to help G.I. Joe stop Joe Colton's mad crusade to eliminate every Cybertronian. As Gloria and Roadblock headed off to gear up, Scarlett pulled Matt aside and asked what became of the techno-virus they'd gotten from Astrotrain's corpse. Though Matt was skeptical of her question, thinking she planned to use it on Soundwave in case he denied the team access to the spacebridge, she explained she only wanted it as a last resort against Colton. With that, Matt revealed he'd brought along a non-degenerative version of the virus with him but wouldn't use it unless they had no other choice.
Once reaching Autobot City and discovering their spacebridge to Cybertron had been deactivated from the other end, Matt helped put together a plan to reach Cybertron by capturing the M.A.S.S. Device the villains used travel to the planet. Though he had doubts about the ability of Stormclash and Skyburst to reverse engineer the tech, he still accompanied the team to Castle Destro in a rebuilt Thunderhawk. After drawing enemy fire away from the Joes and Transformers breaking into the castle with Gloria, Matt rendezvoused with them after they all finished capturing the M.A.S.S. Device. Successfully reaching Cybertron, Matt and Gloria hijacked a pair of Razorbacks that the team then used to break through enemy lines. Once through, Matt shared Lady Jaye's opinion that the ease with which Soundwave's targeted sonic attack disabled the Iron Grenadiers helped them understand how Colton reached the conclusion he did. After the team hacked the details of Colton's plan off of one of the discarded Transformer shells, they were stopped by Strika and Cybertronian Security Forces and taken to the Spire, where hopefully the Council would sort things out.
After a frustrating audience with the Council, Matt and the others were placed in a Cybertronian prison cell for the time being to ensure they'd stay out of trouble while Security Forces investigated what Colton was up to. In their cell, Matt worried that Scarlett seemed to be stewing over recent events instead of working to find a way out of the cell but was reassured by Roadblock that she was just taking a minute to work things out. Optimus Prime took it upon himself to act in opposition to the Council of Worlds and break Scarlett's team out of prison with Soundwave and Arcee. Once released, Matt and the others fought their way through Badgeless officers and members of the Red Shadows ninja clan as they made a mad dash to catch up with Colton's group. Eventually, the group hit an obstacle in the form of an acidic river that Soundwave believed they couldn't cross. As Scarlett approached the cliff overlooking the acid, Matt tried to reassure her that they could still catch up with Colton but she reminded Matt of a time that Colton's ally Miles Mayhem presented him with a seemingly impossible situation before diving straight into the river! Peering over the edge, Matt found Scarlett standing in the "acid" unharmed, the entire thing proving to be a mere hologram created by M.A.S.K. tech!After the Security Forces sent to stop Colton were taken out just as he and his team began closing in on Cybertron's core,
Eventually, the team managed to reach Cybertron's core ahead of Colton, allowing them to confront the villains as they arrived. Talisman central to Colton's plan. However, rather than poisoning the planet's Energon supplies as planned, Kreiger revealed himself as the Prysmosian sorcerer Merklynn in disguise and summoned his planet's last remaining city to Cybertron before teleporting every other combatant away to Cybertron's surface.In the ensuing fight, Matt and Gloria faced off against Garrison Kreiger, who disabled the technology in Matt's Spectrum Mask. As the battle spiraled out of control and Gloria's attention was diverted elsewhere, Matt, Roadblock, and Lady Jaye were the only ones who noticed Kreiger making a move to activate the
With Colton and most of his team now in custody and Cybertronian genocide more or less averted for the time being, the time came for the humans to return to Earth. While the others made their way through the spacebridge, Matt stayed back for a moment and comforted Scarlett, assuring her the guilt she felt over being forced to confront and stop her hero meant that, unlike Colton, she was still a good person. Scarlett then shared her observation that, even when he had his knife buried in her abdomen, Joe still couldn't go through with killing her and how she wasn't sure what to do with that information. Matt merely told her that uncertainty like that was part of being human before jokingly hurrying her into the teleporter with him, saying he didn't want to ruin the detached image she'd been cultivating for herself.
Following their adventure on Cybertron, Matt Trakker joined up with G.I. Joe, operating under his old codename of "Spectrum" and using his M.A.S.K. expertise to build new weapons and vehicles for the Joes. One of his first contributions was a shrink ray, which came in handy when the Joes needed to shrink down to the size of ants to stop Cesspool and his Army Ants. He also constructed a flight-capable jeep for Cover Girl. Grand Slam resented his presence, fearing Spectrum would end up replacing him. However Spectrum pointed out that while he wasn't cleared for combat, Grand Slam was, and offered to use M.A.S.K. tech to make tech to make the latter's wheelchair combat-ready.
- Prior to his inclusion in Revolution, Trakker was introduced into the G.I. Joe toyline in 2008 as "Specialist Trakker." In that continuity, M.A.S.K. and V.E.N.O.M. were mentioned to be sub-divisions of Joe and Cobra, respectively. Specialist Trakker's function of "Advanced Vehicle Specialist" would later be echoed in the IDW continuity when Matt Trakker joined G.I. Joe in Scarlett's Strike Force.
- For the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, Hasbro released a Revolution themed boxset that included a new toy of Matt Trakker based on his IDW redesign.
- IDW's Matt Trakker won the 2017 Glyph Comics Award (a group of awards recognizing "the best comics made by, for and about people of color") for best male character. (This may serve to highlight the significant need for more and better-written characters of color in comics.)
- Matt Trakker on the TFWiki