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Transformers: Unicron #3
backup story
Publisher IDW Publishing, Ted Adams
Published in Transformers: Unicron #3
First published August 8, 2018
Cover date August 2018
Written by Brandon Easton
Art by Juan Samu
Colors by David Garcia Cruz
Letters by Curtis Fandango
Editor David Mariotte

As Earth dies, M.A.S.K. proves who they are.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

As a gravitational anomaly begins to rip Earth asunder, the 1980s Thunderhawk races towards Detroit and to the rescue. Despite the bad weather, and the unwelcome memories of past failures, Matt Trakker is all too glad for the M.A.S.K. team's reunion. As Gloria Baker tries to rally her leader's attention, a gas main ruptures, spreading fires everywhere. Despite their outdated Masks, the team has no hesitation in running in and rescuing the civilians.

With the people safe, M.A.S.K. heads towards an emergency shelter headed by the ever-chipper Julio Lopez and for one shining moment... M.A.S.K. is together again. But such moments cannot last in the face of such an attack. Most of the larger hospitals are already overrun or shut down and Lopez has limited resources. Matt dissuades such pessimism, only asking his friend to do his best. At that, Julio introduces Trakker to young fan of his. As Matt speaks to the youth, a wall begins to collapse but before M.A.S.K. can stop it, the ordinary emergency personnel gets to work with Julio revealing many of them were inspired by M.A.S.K.'s own deeds and heroics.

As a relative peace settles on the camp, Gloria apologizes to Matt for her earlier harshness. Her anger at Mayhem blinded her to all the good M.A.S.K. did and continues to inspire. Even as circumstances grew ever out of their control, Trakker never lost his kindness or desire to help. As Brad Turner and Julio set up a montage of past M.A.S.K. crusades for the children, Matt reflects on his team one last time. Though they were founded by a corrupt man, they outgrew him and what their organization was intended to be. Their actions inspired those who they encountered to do and be better. Perhaps illusion never was the ultimate weapon. Perhaps it was kindness.

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Notes[edit | edit source]

Continuity notes[edit | edit source]

  • This story takes place slightly after the events of Unicron #4. Mention is made of a gravitational anomaly in Earth's orbit (doubtlessly Unicron himself) but he's never actually depicted, presumably to avoid giving away his imminent arrival to Earth in the coming issues.
  • The classic 1980s Thunderhawk first appeared as a mothballed junker in M.A.S.K.: Revolution. The group references the brutal training they went through in the one-shot.
  • The M.A.S.K. team went their separate ways in M.A.S.K. #10. Brad Turner (impersonated by Zartan) was still missing in that issue but has evidently since been recovered.
  • The setting of this story goes unmentioned in the story proper. It is established as Detroit in Unicron #5

M.A.S.K. references[edit | edit source]

  • For the first time in the IDW continuity, Brad Turner wears his trademark shades from the original series.
  • Matt references the original tagline of the M.A.S.K. franchise, "illusion is the ultimate weapon."
  • The setting of the story in Detroit might be a reference to the one-shot 2011 Hasbro comic Unit:E, where the MASK team was depicted as a group of rescue workers defending the citizens of a war-torn Detroit using technology gleaned from the "League of Ancient Wheelmen".

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • One day, Matt will tell us why "Kommand" is spelt with a "K".
  • The letterer credit for the story is a reference by Tom B. Long to a strip from his semi-autobiographical Comic Book Nobody webcomic in which the protagonist Kyle uses "Curtis Fandango" as a placeholder name for missing issue credits.