Comics are not typically covered on this site, but this is something I simply cannot pass up. For those of you who don’t know, Archie Comics has been faithfully releasing comics based on the classic Mega Man franchise since May, 2011. They have recently revealed the cover art for issue #16 of the series. Special thanks to The Mega Man Network for the information!
The following is a statement made by Archie in regards to the new issue: “‘Spiritus ex Machina.’ The epic conclusion! The debate over the future of robotics reaches an explosive turning point, and with multiple lives hanging in the balance, the Robot Masters race against time to save their creators. Will one make the ultimate sacrifice to save their comrades? And will Dr. Lalinde’s tragic secret finally be revealed? Meanwhile, Dr. Wily welcomes the newest robot to his army–who is Break Man?”
The Mega Man section of the Archie site can be found here. With a new graphic novel release pending for late August (containing the entire third arc, “The Return of Dr. Wily”) and new comics released every month, the series is going strong! As a longtime fan, I’d love to lay down some of my impressions of the comic. If you don’t mind minor spoilers, read on.
The first arc of the comic, “Let the games Begin,” is an aptly named and appropriately handled project. Ian Flynn has demonstrated a clear passion for the series. Rather than simply regurgitate the exact same origin story from the games, he has chosen to give the series a more interesting spin. The series has already been treated so well with Hitoshi Ariga’s excellent “Rockman Megamix” manga series, but Archie’s series has managed to be both distinct from Ariga’s work while not coming off as too much of a departure. Character development is rapid but believable. The first graphic novel (the first four issues) provide an excellent synopsis of the events in the first game.
With the second arc, Ian Flynn managed to successfully integrate the characters from the PSP reboot, Mega Man Powered Up. This is perhaps the most interesting choice Ian Flynn could have gone with, and I applaud him for it. It remains in keeping with the original origin story from the NES games, but he gave himself room to be a little more creative. Characters like Time Man and Oil Man are far better in the comic than they ever were in the game. Cut Man delivers so many delicious one-liners that it’s practically painful. The characters are lovable and memorable.
With the third arc, we finally entered into Mega Man 2 territory. The story has taken a bigger departure than expected, but the spirit of the game has remained in tact. The final showdown is even more hilarious than I could have ever expected, and I applaud Archie for keeping the lighthearted playfulness of the series at the forefront. Mega Man has its share of melodrama for sure, but without the comedic edge, it just isn’t Mega Man. Hopefully with all of the positive fan feedback, Archie will decide to tackle the popular X series as well! And while we’re at it, hopefully UDON will finally decide to translate Yoshihiro Iwamoto’s Rockman X manga series!
What say you guys? Have any of you read this comic series? What are your thoughts?