Who's who in the
MASK Universe? Why not read all about it down below...
MATT TRAKKER -- Matt was the
leader of MASK and your stereotypical leader guy. The Captain
America of the bunch who gave orders. Matt raised his son Scott
apparently alone (the fate of Mrs. Trakker was never revealed).
Matt, his brother Andy and Miles Mayhem were the creators of
the original masks before Miles betrayed them and took half
of the masks for evil purposes. Matt had several different masks
and vehicles. With Rhino he had the Ultra-Flash mask; Thunderhawk
begat the more famously known Spectrum which has such super
vision; Volcano came with the LavaShot mask; and Goliath had
Matt using a mask known as Shroud which created a smokescreen.
BRUCE SATO -- Why was it that
Bruce managed to be chosen for EVERY MASK mission? It was almost
a given when Matt would ask for the MASK agents best suited,
the computer would go "Bruce Sato... mechanical engineer
and design specialist... vehicle code name: Rhino." And
the poor guy, a toy designer, seemed to walk out of every meeting
on what seemed like a daily basis. How did he keep his job?
May also be considered as MASK's Yoda, as in a very stereotypical
way Bruce would often speak in riddles.
SECTOR -- Can we get a red beard on Patrick Stewart
for "MASK: The Movie?" Alex was MASK's resident brain
and scientist. Liked to say silly things like "Tally Ho."
His mask was called "Jackrabbit," and it made him
jump really high. Yeah, I know, dumb power. He also hung out
on Rhino, even though his action figures came with the Boulder
Hill playset and a mail-away "Collector" tollbooth
toy that took forever for them to deliver. My parents ended
up complaining when it had been 4 months and still no Collector,
so we ended up getting two (and before anyone asks -- I don't
have a complete extra one, and even if I did, none are for sale).
GLORIA BAKER -- Grrrr.
That's all I can say about this one. You see, Gloria Baker and
her Shark vehicle is one of those great urban legends of MASK-dom.
While the vehicle appeared on the show frequently, and Gloria
DID have a figure made in the "Split Seconds" line,
no one can seem to provide proof that a Shark vehicle actually
DID exist. I remember when we took a vacation when I was 9 and
we stopped everywhere to look for Shark and Manta (the only
two I thought I was missing at the time). While Manta WAS eventually
made a year and a half later with the racing series, Shark was
never found. Adding to the mystery was a visit to a toy store
in New Jersey that claimed they had Shark that morning, but
sold out of them. Hmmm... if anyone knows where I can find a
Shark, please tell me by e-mailing me at MASKAgent@aol.com!
BRAD TURNER -- Brad
Turner was the kind of guy who would have been cool in the 80's,
but if he was real, he'd probably be on VH1's "Behind the Music"
by now. It was hinted that there was a little something going
on between him & VENOM's Vanessa Warfield, too. His figure
came with the Condor motorcycle toy, which at $5 turned out
to be the toy that I'd always get my friends for their birthdays
because it was all I (or rather, my mom) could afford. Brad's
mask, "Hocus-Pocus," created holograms, and on the
cartoon he always liked to use Condor's handy-dandy anti-matter
McLEAN -- Hondo was
cool, though the only cool thing I remember him doing (besides
having a cool mask) was when he saved Scott's life and almost
died himself. Hondo had two variations of the Blaster mask,
but strangely never wore his "Hurricane/Night Stalker"
uniform shown on his action figure on the show. Also interesting
to note about Hondo is that while Firecracker wasn't in the
original MASK assortment, his character was mentioned in one
of the mini-comics from the original run. Hondo, as a history
teacher, was also the kind of teacher I'd want -- his watch
would go off and he'd leave the class unsupervised. PARTY!
1980's cartoons had a trademark: Every show must have a kid sidekick
or annoying character that kids can identify with. He-Man had
Orko, the Thundercats had Snarf, and MASK had Scott and T-Bob.
I'm in the minority because I actually liked these two, but
I know there are many who didn't. It took them forever to make
toys of this dynamic duo, and they never really did get the
T-Bob action figure right. And here's a curious question: Whatever
happened to Scott's mom?
HAWKS -- Ok, here's another great MASK mystery: If
VENOM saw Boulder Hill turning into a fortress, why didn't they
attack it secretly when it was in gas station mode? Duh. Buddie
got stuck with sharing Firecracker until he finally got a vehicle
of his own (and the nickname "Clutch") for the racing
series. But as far as being a part of the team, Buddie was about
as valid to the team as Uhura was on Star Trek -- SOMEBODY's
got to sit around and pump gas at the fort while the others
go out and do cool things like make pizza or, in Matt's case,
lounge around telling Scott to buckle his safety belt and not
run after balls in the middle of the street, or the great "wear
safety goggles" lesson.
DUSTY HAYES -- Dusty started
out with one of the coolest vehicles -- a jeep that turned into
a boat. Unfortunately the annoyingly-voiced Dusty got relegated
to sitting in a billboard for the racing episodes. Wouldn't
that make you feel so cool? That's about as much fun as sitting
in a tollbooth or shooting tires from a Pit Stop. In his spare
time Dusty made and delivered pizza -- guess the MASK job didn't
pay too much.
RUSHMORE -- Who could forget the racial faux pas that was Nevada Rushmore's mask? I
can just see what Matt and crew were thinking when they found
Nevada's "Totem" mask. "Hey, this shoots totem
poles at people! Let's give it to the Indian guy!" Riiiight.
ALI BOMBAY --
At least he got a cool mask to go with his incredibly stereotypical
name. "Vortex" threw wind at people and was pretty
cool. Ali also had a nifty motorcycle which probably was about
as cheap as Condor was to buy in the store. Be incredibly nice
to Ali and he may go "Sim Sim Salabim!" Ali only appeared
in the racing series.
-- Sadly no relation to Jennifer Lopez, but still
a MASK miracle -- Julio's NOT a stereotype! No tacos or anything
like that. Julio was a doctor in his civilian life as well as
a MASK agent. In fact, there was at least one episode where
he was used primarily for his doctoring services and NOT his
MASK-ness. An interesting tidbit about Firefly (called "Dragonfly"
on the cartoon), his vehicle: I had a friend who got this before
anyone else did in school. So, I got together a lot of pennies
I collected and bought it from him. Both our moms think I got
ripped off, but in retrospect, I don't feel that I did at all.
-- The MASK stereotype game continues with Boris
Bushkin, the Russian MASK agent. The most ridiculous thing about
Boris was on his action figure -- he had a big old tattoo of
the MASK "M" on his bald head! Boris only appeared
in the Racing series, and was usually treated as somewhat of
a buffoon. If he had appeared on Transformers he probably would
have been running around going "Me Grimlock!" all
the time. Bushkin's stereotypical mask was "Comrade."
Okay, tell me, what word did people associate with the Russians
more than most any else in the 80s? Yup, Comrade. Which should
make us thankful that Julio Lopez is not the wearer of the "Chalupa"
CALHOUN BURNS -- Calhoun was
to MASK what Bluegrass was to the Silverhawks if I remember
correctly. Meaning, they had to have SOMEONE from the South
who could talk like a hick. But the coolest part of Calhoun
wasn't Calhoun or his accent or whatever... the cool part was
his car. Raven was one of my favorite MASK vehicles, and it
was pretty versatile in that you could make it a boat, or even
fly. Sadly, Calhoun was another one of those MASK agents who
came along later in the run and didn't appear too much. He also
had one of the coolest masks -- Gulliver, which could change
the sizes of things -- a great way to get women to notice you.
JACQUES LaFLEUR -- Jacques
was MASK's token French guy. He drove Volcano which was a pretty
cool vehicle. The thing that stands in my mind the most about
Jacques was when he'd be going into his silly accent and go
"Jacques LaFleur and zee Volcano van to zee rescue."
Jacques later learned of his mutant powers and became Gambit
of the X-Men. Okay, just kidding. Jacques was NOT a mutant.
He was just French. That's all. French, with a rainbow shirt.
Oh, and when Jacques appeared... Matt usually wore his really
cool (but underused) LavaShot mask.
So far I can't find a
picture of Ace Riker, but here's his profile:
RIKER -- Ace is the place for this helpful hardware
man. When not trying for bad John Wayne impressions, Ace drove
two MASK vehicles -- the pretty-cool RV Slingshot (in the original
series) and Meteor (in the racing episodes).
And that's it for our
trek back to look at MASK agents of history! Be sure to tell
me what you think! And check out the new VENOM page!
VENOM's on the loose again! Gotta fly!