True Blue, Part Six: Fighting High in the Sky, You Can Just Punch a Guy
Welcome to the sixth 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.
Previously in "Worlds Unite," the heroes of both Sonic's and Mega Man's universes had regrouped and started roaming the combined worlds aboard Sky Patrol in search of Sigma. With little to go on in the way of actual leads, Sonic, Mega Man, X and the rest of the team spent time bickering about what steps to take next. Elsewhere on Lost Hex, Eggman and Wily had betrayed Sigma, and were trying to hide from the Deadly Six.
Fortunately for them, Xander Payne arrived to teleport them to Sky Patrol, where they would help the Freedom Fighters and Robot Masters prepare for an assault on Lost Hex. Though Sonic and Mega Man were weary of Wily and Eggman, they had no choice but to ally themselves with the doctors in the hopes of stopping Sigma. Now it was finally time to take the fight to the man behind all the worlds' troubles.
Where last issue gave our heroes some time to regroup, Sonic Boom #9 is almost all action all the time. Sigma's Mechaniloid army met the Sky Patrol in the airspace above Lost Hex at the end of last issue, and from page one on, this chapter is panel after panel of Archie action. See what I did there? Anyway, the Freedom Fighters, Robot Masters and Maverick Hunters make relatively short work of the Mechaniloids, but once the Deadly Six jump into the fray, things become a bit more complicated for the good guys.
The Zeti are an incredibly powerful bunch, and if you'll recall, Sigma smashed the Cacophonic Conch, the only way Eggman had to keep them under wraps. Of course, Sigma had some robot armor drawn up to help control them under his own powers before doing so. Coupled with the natural powers the Deadly Six possessed, they provide a great deal of challenge for the heroes despite their small numbers.
While the tide seems to turn in favor of Sigma's army for a time, the heroes are able to swing things back in their favor before too long. It would seem that the superior numbers they were able to throw at the Deadly Six began to wear down the powerful foes, leaving the Zeti vulnerable to a finishing blow. However, Mega Man X has a moment of conscience, and leaves an opening for the Zeti to attempt one last ditch effort to win the battle. The Deadly Six channel their powers, and seize control of all the robotic forces on Sky Patrol, including all the Robot Masters and Maverick Hunters. It's something we've seen before in the Sonic books, but never quite on this scale.
While all this is happening, poor Sticks had been knocked off the ship during the battle and fallen through a Genesis Portal. She finds herself teleported to yet another new world, her third in this event, where humans are in abundance. A familiar silhouette stands above Sticks on the street, as we get our first glimpse of Chun-Li, and the hint that soon the rest of the Street Fighters will entering the fight. As for Xander Payne, he's presumably still chilling in the Sky Patrol's prison, waiting for destiny to come calling, and Sigma remains hidden on Lost Hex, powering up thanks to the Unity Engines.
ComicsAlliance: This chapter was another big battle issue, with the group finally taking the assault to Sigma for the first time. Everything appears to be coming up in favor of our heroes right up until the Deadly Six use their powers to grab control of all the Robot Masters. If the Zeti could just seize control of Mega Man, X and the rest to turn the tide of the battle, why did they wait until they were almost defeated to do so?
Vincent Lovallo: The ability to control machinery is sort of like a trump card for the Zeti and takes a lot of energy and concentration to perform it. The Zeti are already powerful opponents without that ability, so it makes sense for them to try to take down the unified army with their standard attacks before resorting to an ability that may over-strain them, regardless of how powerful it may be.
CA: As this issue mostly focused on the battle over Lost Hex, there weren't many major revelations to deal with, save for one. During the fight, Sticks gets knocked off Sky Patrol's deck, but instead of falling to her doom, she gets bailed out by one of the Genesis Portals that opens beneath her. It's here we see the first of the many new universes teased leading up to "Worlds Unite."
This is the third time that a portal has either led someone to Sticks, or that Sticks has used a Genesis Portal to wind up exactly where she needs to be, even if she doesn't exactly know it. Are we seeing that Sticks is some sort of catalyst for the portals, or does she just have the best luck in the worlds?
VL: Sticks is extremely fortunate that a portal popped up at that moment, however, since her introduction she has always been witness to, and involved in many strange and out of this world phenomena. As she is, she does not have any special connection to the portals, though she does seem to be inherently connected to bizarre happenings.
CA: Obviously the world Sticks lands in is that of Street Fighter, and it's relatively clear she's talking to Chun-Li. We're a bit lucky that a good guy happened upon another good guy when arriving in this new world. It's probably a safe bet that Chun-Li will team up with Sticks to help her out, but will we see Sigma attempt the same bond with the likes of M. Bison as a way to combat the World Warriors?
VL: Yes! Yes! M. Bison will actually shave his head as a symbol of allegiance and become Sigma’s right hand man as they take over countless worlds across all reality. All jokes aside, I don’t want to spoil anything, but I can assure everyone that you will see M. Bison in action and it will be awesome.
CA: One last observation from this issue showed Sigma again continuing to recruit Mavericks from his world to fight by his side. There were a lot of Mega Man X games, so are we going to see representation from that whole franchise, or is Sigma going to be hand-picking the best of the best?
VL: As you said, “There were a lot of Mega Man X games." Take that as you will and look forward to part seven in Sonic the Hedgehog #274!
CA: With Street Fighter crossing over, and other Capcom and Sega games teased as part of this event, is there any chance the Archie Action line will be expanding to include some of these properties beyond appearing in "Worlds Unite"?
VL: I think we’ve more than just dipped our toes into the pool of other properties with this crossover as it is! Still, I think that anything is possible and I wouldn’t rule out any new surprises down the road! You’ll just have to wait and see.
And now, get an advanced look at the next chapter of "Worlds Unite" in our exclusive preview of Sonic the Hedgehog #274.
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #274
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Edwin Huang, Gary Martin, John Workman and Gabriel Cassata
Cover: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante
Heroes Collide Throwback Variant Cover: Rafa Knight
Covers Unite Variant (7 of 12): Ben Bates
The heroes of the SONIC/MEGA MAN crossover event: AT WAR?! “Worlds Unite” Part Seven: The unified army is not so unified anymore! What has driven Mega Man, X and their robot companions to attack Sonic and the Freedom Fighters? Drs. Eggman and Wily may have the answer! Or a weapon. Could a weapon be the answer? Or is it more trademark treachery? Meanwhile, Sigma grows in power, preparing for the next phase of his master plan! And speaking of masters, this issue features cover art from master-artist Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante, a Heroes Collide Throwback Variant cover from Rafa Knight and part 7 of the epic 12-part connecting variant cover series by artist Ben Bates!
On Sale Date: 7/8 | 32-page, full color comic | $3.99 U.S.