- The M.A.S.S. is a technology used in the A Real American Hero animated continuity and in the A Real American Hero IDW comics continuity.
The M.A.S.S. is a matter transference machine. In layman's terms, it is a machine that teleports solid objects from one place to another. The technology was developed by Dr. Laszlo Vandermeer. When Cobra learned about the existence of such technology, they abducted the scientist and extracted the information out of him. Now, the evil organization is using the teleporting machine for their nefarious purposes.
It is cannon-like device that is over two stories high, which ends in a giant crystal. To function it uses catalyst containers that contain metallic meteor flakes, heavy water, and radioactive crystals. Working simultaneously with the Relay Star satellite and coin-sized homing beacons, over 10,000 tons of matter can be teleported to or from anywhere on Earth.
Animated continuity - Sunbow
While Vandermeer designed the technology, it was Destro who built and mastered the machine. It was used to teleport a contingent of Cobra Troopers and H.I.S.S. tanks to steal a relay satellite. Once Cobra acquired the satellite, Cobra Commander wasted no time in having it reprogrammed and launch it into orbit. The satellite enables the M.A.S.S. to better focus its energy to desired locations and targets. In order to demonstrate the M.A.S.S.'s power, the Commander had the Eiffel Tower disappear from the eyes of the world.
With the correct settings, the M.A.S.S. could also be used to disintegrate an object out of existence. Twice Cobra attempted to use the machine's power in this manner and twice it was met with intervention. Cobra Commander tried to obliterate New York City only to have the machine sabotaged and then to meet its match with the Joes' own MASS.
The M.A.S.S. Device draws its ability from three extremely rare elemental catalysts: a red, radioactive crystal, a deep blue "heavy" water and the metallic ore from a meteorite. In the opening episode, Destro has obtained all three and delivers them to Cobra. However, Cobra's supply is finite and more of the elements are needed if they are to be able to maintain the threat they pose. The Joes, in a counter move, built their own M.A.S.S. machine with Dr Vandermeer's assistance seek out the very same elements. Each of the elements is located in a single location that both Joes and Cobra find themselves traveling to and engaging in combat to secure their own supply. The red radioactive crystal element is located in the Arctic's Sea of Ice, the heavy water is found in one of the world's deepest trenches, and the meteor/meteorite/meteoroid element in an active volcano, part of the Ring of Fire in the Devil's Cauldron in South America.
The effectiveness of M.A.S.S. can be increased with the use of homing devices. Cobra has their agents plant them in target locations around the world. While combating Cobra with their own M.A.S.S device, the Joes used Duke's ring to home in and then teleport themselves to Cobra's base in the mountain regions. Destro aimed the M.A.S.S. to the ground which would displace the Earth's core and destroy the planet. This suicidal tactic was only meant to delay the Joes to allow his escape. The machine is destroyed and Cobra's threat is over. The Joes' M.A.S.S. was used to return the Eiffel Tower and other monuments that Cobra stole back to their proper locations.
IDW Comics continuity
The Multipoint Asynchronous Subether Station was created by James McCullen's company, M.A.R.S. Industries, as a special order for Cobra. The device worked briefly, but the test subject sent through immediately began disintegrating, leaving nothing behind but dust.
To prove both the value of his technology and his dedication to Cobra, McCullen transported himself through the device. When he, too, began to disintegrate, he had to seal himself inside a full metal bodysuit. The M.A.S.S. device was packed up and moved to Section Zero, where it was perfected with the help of Armand Singh and Dr. Gerry Orizama.
After several test runs, Cobra operatives began looting vaults around the world, and Cobra set up a secret base on the moon. Cobra also teleported a pair of soldiers to Utah in an attempt to locate the Pit, but they were both killed after taking out almost an entire team of Joes.
The Molecular Assembler Scrambler/Sender, or M.A.S.S. Device, began as a highly secret project developed by Dr. Patrick O'Hara for Cobra Industries. In a series of classified demonstration videos, Dr. O'Hara explained in detail how the Device worked, which involved breaking down the subject's particles, stabilizing them through a special crystal, and transporting the subject through a subspace wormhole, which he described as "a Lincoln Tunnel of physics", to be reassembled without degradation on the other end.
Dr. O'Hara hoped to use the Device's power to benefit humanity and unite the world. When he realized that Cobra only wanted to exert their power over the rest of the world, however, he chose to destroy what he had created with the help (through a "mutual friend") of a young Snake-Eyes. Cobra tried to stop them, leading to a battle that ended when Dr. O'Hara sacrificed himself to destroy his prototype.
Years later, the M.A.S.S. Device would prove to be instrumental in the final known conflict between Cobra and the renegade Joes.
In the Rise of Cobra videogame, the M.A.S.S. Device was part of the game's plot. However, Cobra Commander, instead of using it for the same purpose as in the cartoon, intended on using it to teleport entire armies to major cities across the world, overwhelming the governments.
- G.I. Joe: Field Manual Vol 1