Bye, Bye Blue Bomber: Lovallo and Flynn Talk About Mega Man’s End and What Could Have Been
Over the course of the last five years, Archie Action has been retelling Mega Man's video game adventures in graphic form. In that time, the creative team has only managed to scratch the surface of the character's history at Capcom, with the most recent storyline just glancing Mega Man 4's narrative. Despite still having plenty of stories to tell in the Mega Man canon, the Blue Bomber's sequential adventures will be coming to a (temporary) close this November.
With Mega Man #55, Archie Action will be ending its current run of Mega Man comics. The publisher is being very tight-lipped about what the future holds for Rock, Roll, Dr. Light, Dr. Wily and the rest of the Robot Masters, but we talked to Archie Action editor Vincent Lovallo and Mega Man writer Ian Flynn about their time on the book, what they could have done differently, and what to expect from these final few issues post-"Worlds Unite." We've also got the exclusive debut of the final solicitations and cover art for Mega Man #55.
ComicsAlliance: "Worlds Unite" ends in just a few weeks, and that only leaves a few issues of Mega Man to tie up the loose ends. What can readers expect from these last few chapters of Mega Man's story?
Vincent Lovallo: Loose ends will be tied, though some of those answers may lead to further questions! Regardless, I think these following three issues will satisfy the fans of the comic by fulfilling the standard it always has by being a fun, smart and entertaining. That’s what matters most. We’ve also decided to include characters and elements that haven’t been incorporated in the books before in issue #55. We hope fans are as psyched about it as Ian and I are!
Ian Flynn: We won’t be rushing through anything. Mega Man has always been about exploring the legacy of the titular hero and exploring the characters around him in a deeper way than the old games could allow. The last few stories will be more thoughtful, more character-driven, and less about blowing things up.
CA: With Mega Man going on hiatus with this issue, the series isn't ending ending, but it is coming to close as we know it. Are there any storylines or characters you wish you could have expanded on more?
VL: Over the past few years we’ve incorporated our own “Archie-verse” characters like Quake Woman and Dr. Lalinde as well as agents Gil Stern and Roslyn Krantz. They’ve had a fair amount of time in the spotlight, but I’d be happy to see more of them. Also, now that we’ve officially tapped into territories outside of the Mega Man classic and Mega Man X series’, I would love to expand on the other iterations of the character even further. Time will tell if we ever get to that point, but I’m hoping we do!
IF: I’ve been building up to Dr. Cossack’s “uprising” since volume four, so I’m sad we aren’t getting to the pay-off for that in it’s entirety. I was also itching to dive into the Stardroids invasion, and fleshing out Quint. Folks also responded very positively to our original characters, so I would’ve liked to have expanded upon them further.
CA: Given how many different games and iterations of Mega Man there have been over the years, there's clearly a lot of room left to explore this character and his world. If the series had continued in its current iteration, where do you think you would have taken Mega Man next?
VL: As far as a road map goes we would continue to our Mega Man 4 adaptation and go in order from there with some twist and side stories in-between.
IF: Aside from tell the entire series up through Mega Man 10? The next logical step would’ve been to take Mega Man X and expound upon it in the same way we’ve explored classic Mega Man. It would’ve been a massive undertaking, but I would’ve loved to chronicle all of the series up through Mega Man Legends.
CA: This issue is going to be the first time we see other Mega Man universes beyond the core and 20XX eras. Was this visit always in the cards, or did you make a special exception for this finale?
VL: Ian and I worked hard together to bring in the other Mega Man universes. It was always something we wanted to do, and figured that the inclusion of Mega Man Zero, ZX, ZX Advent, and of especially Legends would please a lot of the fans for issue #55. The incorporation of these characters was something that we had to carefully construct. After a few conversations with Capcom, we managed to come up with a premise that allows us to visit each of these universes, but still maintain the already established comic universe.
IF: This was a special event. The series was always meant as a love letter to Mega Man, and this issue is addressed to the entire franchise. Notable exceptions are Mega Man Battle Network and Mega Man Star Force, but they weren’t part of the main canon, we only had so much room, and we couldn’t get access to everything.
CA: What have been some of your favorite moments from the series, either as a whole or on the individual character level?
VL: One of my favorite moments came from issue #18, the second part of the “Proto-Type” storyline, which is Blues’ origin. There is a powerful series of panels right towards the end when Blues is struggling in his last moments as his power supply drains. There is a really strong human element during this storyline, making the series much more than simply “fighting robots”. Blues learns that the choices he makes are what make him who he is. There is such a great message there, and I think it was executed in such a beautiful way.
IF: I think any time we’ve spent delving into Blues has been gold. And I think when we’ve had the time to delve into some of the larger issues in an accessible way we’ve done something special with the book.
CA: Knowing what you know now about how the series would close after almost five full years and 55 issues, are there any things you would have done differently along the way?
VL: Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing. I think we’ve done some great work with this character and have a good balance of being true to the games as well as making something original for readers to enjoy. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished with these 55 issues and I’m excited to see what the future brings for Mega Man.
IF: I’ve grappled with that a lot since we’ll be coming up on to the cusp of the story to Mega Man 4, and I don’t think so. If we’d cut all of the original content I think we would’ve lost some of the heart of the book, and a lot of the original characters became fan favorites. If we went through the games’ stories any faster, I think we’d be doing them a disservice. And if we hadn’t done any of the summer events – “Worlds Collide,” “Dawn of X,” “Worlds Unite” – we wouldn’t have gotten to have so much fun crossing over with Sonic the Hedgehog, delve into Mega Man X, or gotten to showcase so many franchises from across the years. Sure, there’s places I’d like to go back and revise or rework a little, but I think the sum of the series justifies all we’ve done.
CA: If you could take any Mega Man character out of the story for his or her own book, who would it be, and what would that story be about?
VL: I’ll get straight to the point; I would love to do a four-issue mini- series about Cut Man. It would be a “slice of life” type of story. We could explore his humble beginnings as a professional paper-doll maker to his successful career as a hibachi chef. I elect Ian to be the sharp-witted writer for this story. Only time will tell if a story like that has what it takes to make the cut.
IF: I could probably go for miles with a Proto Man solo book. And while we’ve not gotten to him yet in the comics, Bass could be fun to expand upon. If Capcom were game for it, it’d be cool to do a “What If...” styled story where Roll picked up the Mega Buster instead of Rock. Or what about a series that focuses on all the Robot Masters from around the world and their adventures – or misadventures? The possibilities are endless.
MEGA MAN #55
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Jamal Peppers
Cover: Patrick Spaziante
Variant Cover: Ryan Jampole
THE MEGA-EPIC, MEGA-MOMENTOUS LAST ISSUE OF MEGA MAN BEFORE HIATUS IS HERE! "Everlasting Peace": When an experiment at the Chronos Institute goes awry, Dr. Light is sent on a journey through time and space! Join us as we follow Mega Man across the ages and learn what it really means to be "Mega Man"! What legacy will the Blue Bomber leave and what will Dr. Light gain from this epic journey? Find out as we take a historic glimpse into the legendary adventures of Mega Man featuring the worlds of Mega Man, Mega Man X and even further beyond for the FIRST TIME EVER with the worlds of Mega Man Zero, Mega Man ZX and Mega Man Legends! Featuring cover art by the legendary Patrick "Spaz" Spaziante and a really rocking "ROCK MAN" variant cover by long-time Mega Man artist Ryan Jampole!
On Sale Date: 11/18 | 32-page, full color comic | $3.99 U.S
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