True Blue, Part Three: Slugging It Out For the Unified Title
Welcome to the third 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.
When last we left off, Sonic and Mega Man had been captured by Sigma, and transformed by Dr. Wily and Eggman into soldiers for Sigma's world-conquering army. None of the other heroes of Sonic's or Mega Man's worlds have noticed anything amiss, until strange new enemies appear, laying waste to anyone and anything in their paths.
Previously in "Worlds Unite," Mega Man X had managed to use a Genesis Portal to track Sigma, only he and his Maverick Hunters ended up on the wrong world. Instead of landing in the Sonic Universe proper, X finds himself in the world of Sonic Boom. While exploring, Mega Man X encounters Sticks, one of this world's Sonic's friends, who offers her assistance in getting X and his crew to the right place to find and fight Sigma. Using a Genesis Portal, the group transports to worlds unknown, while Eggman, Wily and Sigma are prepping the villainous versions of Mega Man and Sonic for invasion.
This chapter is all about the battles. But not all of the battles. Some of those are in a different book called Worlds Unite Battles. After the last chapter's enticing cliffhanger, I was hoping to see big throwdowns with Sonic Man and M'egga Man, and I was not (entirely) disappointed. Sonic the Hedgehog #273 picks up in the middle of an epic brawl between Sonic Man and the Robot Masters. Almost all of them have been felled by the time you open the cover to the issue, but there's still a whole pack of reformed Robot Masters waiting in the wings for their chances to tackle the not-so-mysterious foe.
Meanwhile, over in Mobotropolis, the capital city of Sonic's planet, M'egga Man is carving a path of destruction through Tails, Amy, Antoine and the rest of the world's heroes without breaking much of a sweat. Though the good guys are able to turn the tides for a moment, M'egga Man proves to be too much for the Freedom Fighters to take on alone. As a last resort, the call is made to summon the reformed Gemerl to help even the odds. Unfortunately for the planet, even the extremely powerful android is helpless against the wealth of weaponry M'egga Man possesses. It isn't long until the only one left standing is the conscripted evil Mega Man.
Back in Mega City, Sonic Man dispatches the reinforcements will ease, even going to far as to rip through Flash Man's Time Stopper ability as if it never even fired. For all the effort the Robot Masters put into subduing Sonic Man, he merely dusts off his shoulders and prepares for the next step in Sigma' plan. However, just as the Unity Engine is activated, a familiar whistle sounds, and Break Man drops down out of nowhere to tussle with the powerful Sonic Man.
Break Man puts up more of a fight than all the others combined, which isn't that surprising given how much trouble he'd been for Mega Man to take on prior to "Worlds Unite." Even with all his skills though, the original Robot Master is bested by Sonic Man. However, it's worth noting that while M'egga Man defeats Gemerl on his own, Sonic Man gets a little lucky in his fight against Break Man by knocking him into the Unity Engine. The shield powering the device is what actually takes Break Man out of commission, hinting that there's some kind of relationship between the two.
With both worlds' heroes defeated, M'egga Man and Sonic Man fully activate the Unity Engines in their respective universes, and open a portal that appears to combine the worlds into one. Just like Wily and Eggman anticipated however, M'egga and Sonic spot each other as enemies, and target one another. Of course, that just so happens to be the last page of the chapter, and seeing how that battle plays out will have to wait until next week.
ComicsAlliance: Worlds Unite Part 3 picks up with Sonic Man already having defeated more than a few of Dr. Light's Robot Masters. While we don't get to see much of that fight, we do know it'll be a part of the Worlds Unite Battles book. This is the second time in two issues somewhat important moments have been referred to from a book that's not available yet. It doesn't necessarily disrupt the flow of issue's narrative, but I'm curious what elements went into deciding which moments were big enough to include in the story proper versus the two Battles books?
Vincent Lovallo: Basically, the main narrative follows the events that affect the entire cast of characters and are crucial to the plot. The moments that spin out into the Battles issues are seen in the main story, but we only show as much to get the point across. It’s like how movies usually have a much longer runtime in production versus the theatrical release. The Battles issues allow us to hone in on those moments that didn’t quite make the cut. The Battles issues focus on a select cast of fan-favorite characters, giving them their time to shine. Because of this, the Battles issues can stand on their own as self- contained vignettes that anyone ranging from long-time comic fans to newbies can jump in and enjoy.
CA: People that read the main issues of the crossover will be able to understand and follow the story without confusion. If they pick up the Battles issues (which they totally should ‘cause they’re awesome) it is as if they will be getting the extended, or director's cut edition of the “Worlds Unite” story. Two interesting moments in the Sonic Man fight happen when faced off against Time Man and Flash Man. How is it that Sonic is invulnerable to the time-based attacks, or is that something we'll learn later?
VL: For one, Sonic is the fastest thing alive, organic or not, so he has that going for him already. Secondly, we know that Dr. Wily had a hand in converting Sonic into his Roboticized Master form. The mad doctor could have easily programmed him to be invulnerable to the time-based attacks. That’s how I see it, but the subject is open for speculation!
CA: Break Man shows up after the rest of the Robot Masters have all been taken care of, but he seems to be holding his own for much longer against Sonic Man. Right up until he gets knocked out by the Unity Engine's shields. Are you alluding that there might be some connection between the Unity Engines and Break Man, or was that a way to allow Break Man to lose without actually being beaten by Sonic Man?
VL: Hmmm… that particular moment actually establishes a few things that I can’t talk about right now. Mega Man #50 should clear some things up!
CA: The big final reveal sees the Unity Engines activated, merging both Sonic's universe and Mega Man's universe. It's then that we see Wily and Eggman's plan kick into gear, as Sonic Man and M'egga Man see each other as enemies. It's a slight twist on the familiar uneasy alliance trope we've seen in comics so many times before, and reinforcing that seems to be at the heart of the Eggman/Wily plan. Were you concerned at all that the concept might seem tired at all, given how frequently it's been used?
VL: Not really. While “Worlds Collide” had Sonic and Mega Man face each other in their normal forms, in which they still retained their morality, doubts and other characteristics, in “Worlds Unite”, Sonic Man and M’egga Man have been re-programmed against their wills. They will face each other and they will not hold back. On top of that, the evil doctors have decked out both heroes with an impressive arsenal of weapons to use on each other. You will not want to miss Mega Man #50, it’s glorious!
CA: I want to talk a little bit about the weapons created for M'egga Man and Sonic Man. They each use multiple loadouts, and I was wondering how many different ideas you and the writing team cycled through before nailing down the arsenals for each.
VL: There are so many great weapons and attacks from both series; it’s hard to narrow down the choices to only a few. Basically, we went with the weapons that we felt fans would best respond to and enjoy. Some personal favorites of mine are Sonic Man’s “Homing Shot” and M’egga Man’s “Egg Wrecker”.
And now, get an advanced look at some of those big battles we talked about in an exclusive preview of Mega Man: Worlds Unite Battles #1.
MEGA MAN: WORLDS UNITE BATTLES #1
Script: Ian Flynn, T. Rex
Art: Ben Bates, Jamal Peppers, Brent McCarthy, Rachel Deering and Elaina Unger
Cover: Jamal Peppers, Phyllis Novin and Ben Hunzeker
Sketch Variant Cover: Jamal Peppers
United Variant Cover: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante
ALL-NEW DIRECT MARKET-EXCLUSIVE special! There are so many epic battles in the SONIC/MEGA MAN crossover event that the biggest brawls of the bunch have exploded into their very own book! This extra-special bonus issue features exciting duels spilling over from the pages of the much-talked about “Worlds Unite” event, and feature an all-star cast of creators! Watch Mega Man bring the ruckus to the Deadly Six, the Maverick Hunters ultimate showdown with Vile and Dr. Light’s Robot Masters tussle with the unstoppable power of hero-turned-uber-villain Sonic Man! LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE! Also featuring variant art from Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante, and a special wrap-around cover and sketch variant by Sonic and Mega Man superstar Jamal Peppers!
On Sale Date: 6/17 | 32-page, full color comic | $3.99 U.S