True Blue, Part Eight: Hole in the Sky, Window in Time
Welcome to the eighth 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 Zeti used their powers to take control of the Robot Masters, pitting Mega Man and his friends against Sonic and the Freedom Fighters. It was an epic battle, but Wily and Eggman came up with a disruptor ray to shut down the robots and stun the Zeti long enough for the good guys to prevail. Though everyone needed time to recuperate, Sigma's newly evolved form bursts forth from Lost Hex. Not only will the heroes have to contend with the bigger, badder Sigma 2.0, they're also faced with taking on every single Maverick you can think of, and even some you can't. The battle for Lost Hex has clearly only just begun, and our heroes are going to need every last bit of help they can get.
Chapter eight picks up with a rather emotional moment for a few of the characters from the Mega Man X timeline, as Axl is forced to face off against many of his dead/defeated former comrades from Red Alert. Sadly, the beat passes too quickly to really deal with the impact of such a moment. That writer Ian Flynn is at least considering these kinds of emotional tolls in the grand scheme is great, but the quickness with which the concept is quickly shuffled away so we can get to the action again is a bit disappointing. At least Sigma finally rears his new evolution this issue. It feels like ages ago since he sequestered himself away in Lost Hex to begin his transformation, and seeing him finally take action again bodes well for the final act.
While the heroes are distracted with the dozens of Mavericks, Sigma 2.0 begins his plan to drop a seemingly endless supply of Unity Engines across every universe he can find with a Genesis Portal. An unfortunate side-effect (for Sigma, anyway), is that these portals work both ways, and just when it looks like the Freedom Fighters are about to be bested, they're bailed out by the World Warriors from Street Fighter... and Sticks. "Worlds Unite" has been building to this moment since Archie started promoting the event all those months ago. There's still four chapters left for all the Capcom and Sega cameos that have been teased, but finally seeing the likes of Ryu, Chun-Li and the gang to help make a Sonic Boom joke was almost worth how long it took for them to show up.
Wily and Robotnik didn't have a whole lot to do this issue, the wheels are in motion for the dastardly doctors to work their evil genius magic while all the heroes are out in other worlds. Robotnik convinces Sally to bring the Chaos Gems together, and both he and Wily escape to Lost Hex with Xander Payne's help as soon as the Freedom Fighters are distracted. While we don't know exactly what destiny has in store for Payne, we do know it involves helping the bad doctors achieve their goals... for now.
ComicsAlliance: The issue kicks off with a major battle against all the resurrected Mavericks. Both Axl and Zero have some emotional beats about what's transpiring, but it feels a little glossed over in the grand scheme. Will we see any more instances of the emotional toll this is taking on the characters, or resolution to these beats either in Worlds Unite or in later Mega Man stories?
Vincent Lovallo: Not particularly. That moment in Mega Man #51 is meant to acknowledge the fact the both characters have faced many of these Mavericks before, though it isn’t necessarily something we wanted to hang on. Zero is content that he doesn’t have to face Iris or Colonel, and Axl has resolved to do what he must in the moment, despite his shaken feelings. We wanted to acknowledge that there is a bit of an internal struggle for these characters in this battle, anything more would need to come later on after “Worlds Unite."
CA: We also get a moment with Mega Man and Wily where Rock goes out of his way to save the not-so-good doctor, even referencing the moment where he failed to save Wily in the Mega Man comics proper before Worlds Unite started. These two are destined for conflict with one another, but wouldn't it be a relief for Mega Man if he just left Wily to fend for himself?
VL: It certainly would be easier, but that’s not how Mega Man does things. It’s against his programming to bring harm to a human, directly or indirectly. Additionally, Mega Man may not see eye to eye with the mad doctor, but regardless of their conflict he won't allow Wily to die on the battlefield. Mega Man’s function is to help people and as far as he’s concerned, Dr. Wily is still a person, albeit not a very good one.
CA: Sigma's evolved form allows him to open a bunch of Genesis Portals and send Unity Engines across multiple universes to fuel his mad quest for more power. Just as he does that though, Sticks arrives back on Sky Patrol with characters from the Street Fighter universe. Now, we know how Sticks got there, but how did they get back to Sky Patrol?
VL: When Sigma evolved he opened a bunch of new Genesis Portals to other worlds. One of those portals reopened to the world of Street Fighter, so Sticks and her new team were able to get back to the Sky Patrol through there. With that said, Sigma is now free to send his Maverick forces into that world as well! What will become of Interpol then? Find out in Sonic Universe #78!
CA: The new plan of attack involves recruiting Metal Sonic to bring the last Chaos Emerald to Sky Patrol, and then transforming Sonic into Super Sonic. It would appear to me that bringing all the Chaos Emeralds together again while Eggman was around might not be the best idea. We all remember what happened last time right?
VL: Right, Eggman definitely made a mess of things last time in “Worlds Collide” when he literally broke reality. The doctor certainly has something devious up his sleeve this time too; though you’ll have to read on to see!
CA: At the end of the issue destiny comes calling again for Xander Payne, and he leads Wily and Eggman off Sky Patrol and into the heart of Lost Hex, which is partially fused with Sigma. With no one around to keep watch over those three, it would seem the Master Engine is up for grabs. We have an idea of what Wily and Eggman want to do with it, but to what end does helping these two serve Payne's destiny or purpose?
VL: Even Xander doesn’t know why he needs to help the doctors at this point. Xander is guided by destiny and will follow it blindly if it means achieving his goals. Something to keep in mind is the status of these characters. Xander is a crazed terrorist, while the doctors are robotics geniuses. What could they possible do together? Keep reading “Worlds Unite” to find out!
And now, get an advanced look at the next chapter of "Worlds Unite" with our exclusive preview of Sonic Universe #78.
SONIC UNIVERSE #78
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Tyson Hesse, Jim Amash, Jack Morelli and Matt Herms
Cover: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante
New Worlds Variant Cover: Jamal Peppers, Jim Amash and Matt Herms
Covers Unite Variant (9 of 12): Ben Bates
The third and final act of the EPIC SONIC/MEGA MAN CROSSOVER EVENT begins here! “Worlds Unite” Part Nine: Sigma has begun his conquest of ALL the worlds. Now it’s up to Sonic, Mega Man and X to unify those worlds AGAINST Sigma! It’s a “who’s who” of SEGA and Capcom heroes answering this important call to arms! But with Sigma still active on the unified world, he turns his gaze upon those left behind..! Featuring the worlds of STREET FIGHTER, SKIES OF ARCADIA, NiGHTS INTO DREAMS, OKAMI, GHOSTS ‘N’ GOBLINS, ALEX KIDD and more! Plus cover art from the legendary Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante, and variant cover art from “Worlds Collide” penciling star Jamal Peppers and part 9 of the epic 12-part connecting variant cover series by artist Ben Bates!
On Sale Date: 7/22| 32-page, full color
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