It was recently announced that M.A.S.K. would be returning to comics and is part of the Hasbro movie universe. I’d been playing around with a concept for their return prior to that and thought it was time to flesh it out a bit more.
I didn’t have many of the M.A.S.K. toys growing up, one or two. I mostly played with my cousins down the street, who had most of them but the concept always fascinated me. Vehicles with hidden features and weapons, that could change into other vehicles? What was not to love? The abilities of the masks that the characters wore was an afterthought to me. It was the vehicles that I liked.
I also enjoyed the cartoon (although it doesn’t hold up today). I especially liked how each episode the various team members were selected for their skills, mask abilities and vehicles that fit that mission profile. That selection process stuck with me through the years.
A couple years ago there was a new version of M.A.S.K. that appeared in a comic produced by Hasbro called Unit-E. This comic showcased a bunch of different Hasbro properties. The new idea was very different from the original and never went anywhere beyond that single comic page. M.A.S.K. disappeared again until just recently when it was announced to be part of a new “multi-property universe” by Hasbro. At the start of May, USA Today announced the launch of a new M.A.S.K. comic from IDW Publishing, and it will be part of the Revolution shared comic universe and event that is happening soon, and it seems they agree with me that the popularity of the Fast and the Furious helps pave the way for a return of M.A.S.K.
With M.A.S.K. coming back, I thought it was time to write down the basics of the concept I had come up with for the property. This is not a fully developed concept, just bare bones, but I might flesh it out further when time allows. And if Hasbro puts M.A.S.K. up on Kindleworlds, you might see it there.
I’ve always thought that now was a good time to revive M.A.S.K. due to the popularity of the Fast and the Furious movies. As those movies went on, more concepts were added that could easily be turned into a foundation for M.A.S.K., especially the last two movies.
Fast cars, big trucks that have hidden abilities and features, the trucks that Hobbs drove, the trailer command center that the team rescued Ramsey from, the ramp cars that the younger Shaw drove and even secret government agencies. All that is from the Fast and the Furious movies, but easily could be from M.A.S.K. It would be easy to see Toretto’s team morphing into a government group working for Kurt Russell’s character and using specialized cars. With the popularity of those movies, it seems natural to have M.A.S.K. come back to capitalize on it.
My concept isn’t that far off from the original in a lot of ways. Matt Trakker would still develop the mask technology that would allow them to have the various powers with an emphasis on abilities that would benefit first responders and other such protection and assistance uses. He would do this well working for DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) under the command of Colonel Miles Mayhem. Mayhem is being forcibly retired and he does not like it, he feels slighted by the government and left out to dry. Reaching out through some back channel connections he recruits a team of mercenaries to help him steal from DARPA, specifically Trakker’s research. This team would include Sly Rax, Vanessa Warfield and others.
They succeed and soon after the theft, the VENOM (Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem, and that name would need an update and change) mercenary/terrorist group emerges using wondrous masks and vehicles that change into weapons and back into a vehicle to disappear and blend into society. The masks that VENOM uses have an emphasis on offensive capabilities, weapons. This happens across the world with Mayhem acquiring vast wealth, resources and power.
Trakker is upset that his research is being used in such a way. He designed the masks to help people: first responders, explorers, scientists and so on. He never intended for them to be used to harm others or as tools of war. The government also wants to stop Mayhem and VENOM, but they are intrigued by the adaptions Mayhem has made to Trakker’s designs, namely the weaponization. DARPA starts to push Trakker towards those ideas, taking the technology and turning it into weapons of war.
Worried that his work will be turned completely to harm, Trakker destroys all the samples and back-ups of his technology at DARPA and leaves, going into hiding. He brings along the tech’s co-engineers, Alex Sector and Bruce Sato, and soldiers turned test pilots; Brad Turner, Buddy Hawks and Hondo MacLean.
Trakker is resolved to show the good that his technology can do. The team starts responding to disasters and trouble spots around the globe. They rescue people from wildfires, save trapped miners and other such emergencies. Along the way they catch the eye of Malcolm Baker, former inventor and billionaire philanthropist. Baker, and especially his daughter Gloria, convince Trakker that the two can do great things together. Baker starts to fund the teams missions as they start to work out of the secret Boulder Hill complex.
Trakker fights a war on two fronts; to stop Mayhem and VENOM and to keep his technology out of the hands of those that would abuse it. The government is after both Trakker and VENOM. Other governments also get into the mix, other agencies, as all want a piece of this technology. The M.A.S.K. technology is sought by all and for a variety of reasons with Matt Trakker and the team caught in the middle.
The series would of course feature crazy battles between the various vehicles, with the designs being more logical for the “hidden” modes (no race cars driving down the streets of a city), but would also explore espionage and other aspects. What are Baker’s motivations? Are they as pure as it seems? Who is funding and outfitting VENOM, who made the changes to Trakker’s designs?
I’m looking forward to seeing what IDW does with the property as well as what the movies will be like. It’s the perfect time for a new M.A.S.K.