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First experience of the comics
My first experience of a MASK comic was #2 of the US comics, when MASK used an impersonator to act as Miles Mayhem and lure Venom into a trap. My older brother had made his first visit to a comic store in Stockholm and came home with several comics. Three of them were Transformers, #4 where a few autobots made their last stand against the Decepticons, #18 which covered the adventures of Blaster on Cybertron and lead to a group under Perceptor arriving on Earth, #19 where the autobots attacked the decepticons in order to learn the secret behind the combiner technology, #20 which was a solo with Skids and then there were MASK.
I was more into Transformers at this time, and I remember a feeling of being underwhelmed by the MASK comic. Since I had only seen MASK on Sky Channel I had become familiar with the characters and their speciality from the cartoon, and I was not that keen on the artwork which felt stale compared to the cartoon. Curt Swan was good in Superman, but I don't think that he was the right choise for MASK, I don't think he really understood the concept and I don't think he felt anything for it either since he didn't put down to much effort in it.
Another thing that I never understood was why Matt recruited an impersonator he had seen performing at a theater, when they had Buddie Hawks back at Boulder Hill, who, as we know, is a master of disguise. Use the agents instead of people from the outside!
This was also the first time that I ever came upon the characters of Bruno Sheppard, Floyd Malloy and Nash Gorey. Because they were not drawn so well and their vehicles even less so (Outlaw wasn't even fully transformed) I didn't even know if they were official characters or something the comics had invented by themselves. Not so weird that I thought so, as there were two guards left behind to watch the performer, being stupidly fooled when he dressed out as Marilyn Monroe.
We continued to collect the entire run of comics, but I never warmed up to the main run on the MASK US comics. I did enjoy the miniseries that I got to read when they were printed in swedish. The characters looked a little bit more like they did in the cartoon and the agents got a little bit more spotlight.
My absolute biggest grife with the US comics was the heavy spotlight on Matt. It was bad enough in the cartoon, but the comics was absurd. Matt was some sort of Superman and there were occassions when he defeated the entire Venom-team by himself. He was so beefed up in powers and Venom so stupid and incompetent that I felt it affected the whole concept. Why is MASK needed if Matt can do the job by himself, and if Venom are so stupid and incompetent, isn't MASK also incompetent who can't put these idiots away?
My feeling is that had my only exposure to MASK been the comics, I would not have become a fan. I'm happy that I was introduced to the concept through the cartoon so I could learn to appreciate the characters and their abilities, because those were not utilized well in the comics. I don't know if the UK comics were better, because I have seen very little of it.
What were your experience and feelings on the comics?
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