True Blue, Part Four: Worlds Unite, Dogs and Cats Fusing Together, Mass Hysteria
Welcome to the fourth installment of True Blue, our weekly recap of Archie Comics‘ crossover event between the Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man series, “Worlds Unite.” Each installment, we’ll recap the notable moments of the latest chapter in “Worlds Unite” with Archie Action Editor Vincent Lovallo, and take a look at what lies ahead for the next chapter of the crossover event.
It all started with Sigma escaping from the future of 21XX, and it's been tough sledding for both Sonic and Mega Man during "Worlds Unite." Sigma eluded Mega Man X and his Maverick Hunters just as they finally tracked him down, and using the Genesis Portals, Sigma was able to relocate to Eggman's hideout on Lost Hex in the Sonic Universe. Once there, he took form in a new robot body, and immediately put Eggman and a displaced Dr. Wily to work building an army. Sigma's plan was to unite the universes of Sonic and Mega Man so he could evolve into something significantly more powerful. However, Eggman and Wily convinced Sigma to "recruit" Sonic and Mega Man into his army, all with the intention of betraying Sigma the first chance they had. It wasn't an easy process, but the heroes were eventually converted to evil, and sent to conquer Mega City and Mobotropolis for the impending invasion.
Previously in "Worlds Unite," the Robot Masters and the Freedom Fighters attempted to put a stop to the attacks waged by Sonic Man and M'egga Man. After felling nearly every single possible opponent Break Man arrived on the scene to put a stop to Sonic Man's rampage, while Gemerl was called into action as a last defense against M'egga Man. It still didn't matter, as rather than ending the onslaught, Break Man and Gemerl merely delayed the inevitable. With no one left to oppose them, Sonic Man and M'egga Man activated their respective Unity Engines, shattering space and time, and beginning the unification process of both of their worlds. However, once the portals between worlds open, Sonic Man and M'egga Man spot new opponents on the battlefield: each other.
Like the previous chapter, this issue is almost all action. If you were looking forward to more than a dozen pages of Sonic and Mega Man throwing down, Mega Man #50 is the comic book for you. There's a lot of back and forth in the fight, with neither former hero really able to gain an advantage over the other. At least, not right away. While the worlds are crumbling around them, Sonic and Mega Man continue their battle until each activates some kind of super attack. This attack triggers the fail-safes Wily and Eggman added to Sigma's blueprint, thus breaking the villain's control over Sonic and Mega Man, while planting the seeds that Sigma is responsible for the current predicament.
While the Blue Bomber and Blue Blur had been battling it out for all to see, the Robot Masters and Freedom Fighters had awoken to find their worlds in incredible peril. With the merge, two realities were fighting for dominance, with buildings from Mega Man's world appearing incomplete and crumbling, and entire pitfalls from Sonic's world embedding the strangest of places. In once such instance, The Federal Prison has been merged with a water-filled world from the Sonic dimension, and as a result, robot-hating terrorist Xander Payne discovers he has a newfound ability. Though he predicted the troubling events of "Worlds Unite" long ago, even he couldn't have known it would awaken a hidden power inside of him.
Soon after breaking Sigma's hold, our heroes barely have a moment to catch their breaths before tragedy strikes again. The Sonic U's Guardian Units of the Nation (GUN) carrier melds with the Mega Man U's government building, resulting in an explosion that destroys both of them. Shadow the Hedgehog's inhibitor ring falls the ground below, giving the impression that everyone on board, including Shadow and Mayor Dorado, have been killed. With renewed purpose, and a clear enemy now in sight, Mega Man, Sonic and all their allies join together to being seeking Sigma.
Speaking of Sigma, though Eggman and Wily believed they would be able to outwit the futuristic threat, he anticipated their not-so-sudden but inevitable betrayal. Eggman and Wily attempt to hide from Sigma's wrath, but even he is too preoccupied with his own plans to care much beyond sicking the transformed Zeti on them. You see, Sigma doesn't need the two doctors anymore, as he's been building his own army all this time. War is coming, and we had better hope our heroes are up to the task.
ComicsAlliance: So this week we actually get two Worlds Unite books, with Mega Man Battles giving us a look at all the fights we missed out on in the first few chapters, and Mega Man #50 giving us the Sonic vs Mega Man fight hinted at last chapter. More importantly, we see the first effects of the Unity Engine's power in the random phasing of the two planets. Besides the dangerous effects of things occupying the same space, will we see more after effects of the combination in the coming weeks?
Vincent Lovallo: Yes, the repercussions of merging the worlds will be even clearer in Sonic Universe #77 and beyond. The forced merger is an unnatural event, so while the power from the combined worlds may be great to fuel Sigma, it is not good for the planets themselves. Right now, that’s all I can get into without spoiling anything!
CA: We also see the return of the robot-hating and time-traveling Xander Payne, who's still locked up in prison in Mega Man's world, though the cells have merged with Sonic's planet with some crazy results. The big takeaway though is that Xander can seemingly create portals with the aid of his augmented eye. The Genesis Portals we've seen have been purple to this point, and Payne's is decidedly not purple. Still, it seems like the merge has activated a hidden ability in Payne. Is this ability something he's had inside himself all along, or is this just another repercussion of the Unity Engine's power?
VL: Although we haven’t seen this ability until now, the “Xander Portals” are actually a by-product of Payne’s tampering with space-time, seen in Mega Man: Dawn of X (issues #37-40). Payne’s artificial eye was exposed to tachyons, allowing him to produce his own version of a Genesis Portal. The merging of the worlds helped to awaken this ability.
CA: Back to the world merging, Shadow and Mayor Dorado, among others, appear to be casualties of the merge. Those are some big characters to lose, and it's the first time we really see the stakes of Sigma's plans in action. Can this really be the last we'll see of these allies, or are these just the first of many casualties in Worlds Unite?
VL: It was a pretty important moment in Mega Man #50, and it definitely shows the scope of what could happen during Sigma’s reign of terror. As for the fates of Shadow, Mayor Dorado and the others, all will be revealed in time!
CA: Speaking of Sigma, despite the inevitable betrayal of Eggman and Wily, the Mega Man X villain has been preparing for all out war with his newly revealed robot army. Curiously though, it's really only possible because Lost Hex hasn't been affected by the merge. How is it this tiny piece of Sonic's world is able to avoid the pitfalls that have befallen Sonic's and Mega Man's planets?
VL: Lost Hex isn’t so much a part of Sonic’s World as it is a piece that is well hidden and remote from it. The planetoid is Sigma’s base of operations; he wouldn’t be so careless to allow the merging of the worlds to interfere with it. Sigma’s gained a certain amount of control especially with his intimidation over the doctors. He could have had the doctors program the unity engines to target the worlds while avoiding the Lost Hex. That’s my two cents anyway. Feel free to speculate!
CA: Eggman and Wily's plan not working the way they intended shouldn't really come as a surprise. The two might still be Sigma's prisoners, but is it safe to assume that it won't be long until they're cooking up another ill-advised plan to turn the tables back to their favor?
VL: They seem to be running scared at the moment, right? They’re on an isolated planetoid and are surrounded by Sigma’s mind controlled forces, the Zeti. Even with their combined genius it would take a miracle to get them out of their current predicament! Will the doctors escape Sigma’s grasp? Find out in Sonic Universe #77, part five of “Worlds Unite”!
CA: So we now know Mega Man's series is going on hiatus shortly after the events of Worlds Unite come to a close. Has this been in the works for a while, or is the hiatus a more recent development in Mega Man's ongoing saga?
VL: This is more of recent development; though we did take time to decide when and where would be the right time to do this. Even more so we are sorting things out on how we would like to proceed from here.
CA: Though the Mega Man comics have been based around the concepts of Capcom's original games, they're still new interpretations of the classics. As one of the only places for fans to go for new Mega Man adventures, did this decision come lightly, and are your concerned at all about the fan response?
VL: We’ve been working on Mega Man for over four years now and all involved have invested a lot of time and hard work into it. This is definitely not a lightly made decision. The stories and concepts that writer Ian Flynn added to the original Mega Man lore are fantastic and built what would be normally viewed as a fairly simple story into something epic that fans really respond to. We are aware that this is something fans care about and we care about as well. We appreciate their patience and understanding during this time.
CA: What advantage does going on hiatus offer for the Mega Man series? Is this more of a breather to regroup and refocus, or are there potential plans for a more comprehensive revamp in the works?
VL: There are a couple of different directions we can go in from here. We have the opportunity now to take a step back and reevaluate how the series is structured and how we go about producing it. We hope to share more specific details in the coming months.
And now, get an advanced look at the next chapter in "Worlds Unite" with our exclusive preview of Sonic Universe #77.
SONIC UNIVERSE #77 REG CVR
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Edwin Huang, Gary Martin, John Workman and Gabriel Cassata
Cover: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante
Super-group Variant Cover: CLAUS-Justin Harder
Covers Unite Variant (5 of 12): Ben Bates
The next exciting chapter in the SONIC/MEGA MAN “WORLDS UNITE” crossover event starts here! “Worlds Unite” Part Five: The worlds of Sonic and Mega Man have been joined together by Sigma, and it’s going to take a full-on army of unified heroes to make it right! Actually—scratch that—it’s going to take some heroes AND some villains! When the mysterious and malicious Xander Payne inexplicably arrives with Drs. Eggman and Wily in tow, our heroes get new insight into Sigma’s plans! Featuring cover art from the legendary Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante and variant cover art from CLAUS-Justin Harder (Thor: the Dark World, SNL) and part 5 of the epic 12-part connecting variant cover series by artist Ben Bates!
On Sale Date: 6/24 | 32-page, full color comic | $3.99 U.S.