In the penultimate chapter of M.A.S.K., Matt Trakker and his allies battle massive mutated creatures in the bowels of the Earth as an internal power struggle threatens to tear the team apart. The secret infiltrator continues to sow distrust. If M.A.S.K. survives the monsters, can they survive each other?
With the promise things are going to change for M.A.S.K. after the events of First Strike, the issue is heading towards what has been dubbed its “Season Finale.” Frankly, an ending just can’t get here fast enough.
This issue feels rushed, which may have something to do with the crossover event. Still, a drop in the quality of storytelling is apparent. The team is fighting against a massive Dire Wraith (the alien enemies of ROM), dealing with a mole in the operation, saving people, and their arch enemies VENOM also decide to show up. Despite all these events happening in the issue, everything feels bland and less than thrilling, which is the opposite effect you want to elicit from the reader with an action book. It almost feels like the writer was changed, but it’s still Brandon Easton behind the wheel, but his driving leaves something to be desire.
The art by Drew Moss with colors by Jordi Escuin is less than satisfactory to say the least. It feels as if the art is being done by different people not just page to page but panel to panel. Characters look inconsistent, architecture is represented by crude shapes, and the facial expressions are off putting. This is the lowest score given in the artwork category by this reviewer in a while.
What happened to this series? It feels like it jumped the shark, but given how this is a universe with aliens, giant robots, and transforming vehicles, this seems hard to do. Given the series is about to end and the characters will soon be under a G.I. Joe title, this may be just one poor issue which came from an accelerated production schedule. Hopefully this is only a hiccup and not a prologue of what level of quality to expect in future issues from IDW publishing.