Review – M.A.S.K.: Revolution #1 (IDW Publishing)

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Click to enlarge

Publisher: IDW Entertainment
Writer: Brandon Easton
Artists: Tony Vargas (Art), Jordi Escun (Colours)
Released: 28th September 2016

This Revolution reboot-that’s-not-a-reboot event thing (notreventing?) is a pretty interesting move from IDW and Hasbro, albeit an almost wearily predictable on – bringing together all of their properties in a single timeline and universe in comicsdom would almost certainly pave the way to doing the same for their film franchises. As we all well know, team-up movies are all the rage right now, and Hasbro is nothing if not a product of the capitalist regime.

So to get you up to speed, if you aren’t already – because this particular book certainly doesn’t concede to doing that – Revolution will see Transformers, G.I. Joe, Micronauts, ROM, Action Man and M.A.S.K all becoming frenemies across a sweeping storyline that’ll see their existing universes collide. Beyond that, it’s early days, so exactly what’s going down remains to be seen.

This here introduces as to the M.A.S.K folk in a fairly standard, military team gets together sort of way. Sure, M.A.S.K might be a relic of the 80s and like-as-not carried influence into the pop culture of the 90s and 00s, but given quite how often we’ve seen this story at this stage, one would’ve hoped for a bit more of a curveball, particularly given the opportunity at hand. Still, it’s hardly bad, and Easton’s writing is as solid as you might expect from him, given the fact that he’s been honing his craft in various Transformers books, among others, for a while now.

Vargas and Escun’s artwork is probably the highlight of the piece – deftly calling back to the 80s stylings of the team, whilst at the same time rather thoroughly modernising the designs. Vargas’ rendering is a lovely mix of Saturday morning cartoon with Marvel-ish action sensibilities, and Escun’s creates a glorious cacophony of colour that nicely juxtaposes against the slightly grittier elements of the narrative.

But in terms of getting those of us who aren’t up-to-date with the ‘Road to…’ books that have come before it, as said, this doesn’t bear much fruit in the catching-up department. In fact, if you pick this up with no idea that Revolution is even a thing, there’s only a handful of lines of dialogue that indicate that this is part of a crossover, with the rest being very concerned with introducing us to the various members of the team in detail.

With this in mind, it’s difficult to recommend this to new readers without the caveat that you should probably grab the rest of the crossover series, and given quite how much there is out there at this stage, that seems like something of a poisoned apple. But who knows? Maybe this’ll get your interest piqued in it. And if you’re already keeping up, there’s a heck of a lot to love about this addition to the event.

Rating: 3/5 (With a ‘you’ll probably need to read the rest of it’ caveat)

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RSavThe Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24

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