True Blue, Part 12: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again
Welcome to the eleventh 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," Sigma, major big bad from Mega Man X's future, traveled through a Genesis Portal to the world of Lost Hex in Sonic's universe. There, he forcibly teamed up with Eggman to create an army of robots and to have Sonic's nemesis aid in the creation of the Unity Engine. To that end, Sigma also brought in Dr. Wily from Mega Man's world, and together with both doctors, Sigma was able to quickly put his plan to sap the power from all the known (and unknown) universes to fuel his ascent into godhood.
Though Sonic, Mega Man and all the other heroes of both worlds attempted to stop Sigma, he still managed to invade a wealth of new planets with the help of resurrected Mavericks from his timeline. Unfortunately for him, opening those Genesis Portals meant inviting all the heroes of those worlds into the fray, and Sigma's forces soon found themselves outnumbered. Still, Sigma was able to generate enough power to transform into a new and "final" form, which was more powerful than any the heroes had faced before. Lucky then that Sonic and Mega Man had one more trick up their sleeves to stop him: the Chaos Emeralds.
With the boosted attributes the Chaos Emeralds gave them, Sonic and Mega Man were able to match Sigma blow for blow in this climactic battle, but it took the intervention of Eggman, Wily and Xander Payne to give the good guys an unwitting edge. See, even though the doctors were helping Sigma early on, they intended to steal the power of the Unity Engine themselves once the opportunity came up. With the help of Xander Payne, and his quest to fulfill his destiny, the docs do get close enough to achieve their dreams, but Payne seizes the opportunity for his own ends.
The Unity Engine gives Payne the power he needs to open a Genesis Portal back to the moment before Sigma transferred his consciousness to Lost Hex. If that moment was scratched from ever happening, none of the other events would have happened either. Payne stops the robots from gaining the upper hand, and saves everyone from Sigma without them even knowing about it. It's an expedient way to bring things to a close, and all the worlds snap back to their form prior to Sigma's initial attacks. All of the major players question just what happened, but all seem to have a vague recollection that the world was saved somehow, some way. That's especially true for Sticks, who is about the only character who remembers everything in perfect detail, and can even foresee that there might be more Genesis Portal dangers on the way.
The time travel trick does allow the event to be wrapped in a nice little bow, but it does feel a bit too easy after everything all of the characters had to endure along the way. Additionally, it cheapens the stakes the characters thought they were fighting for knowing that a big reset button was just waiting to be hit at the end. While it was a fun read, and the cameos were a nice treat for longtime Sega and Capcom fans, whether or not the events of "Worlds Unite" will have meant anything to the overall lines remains to be seen. There are still some plot threads dangling that will hopefully be picked up on and closed out before certain series go on hiatus, but I hope things that transpired here won't be forgotten as quickly as they were resolved.
ComicsAlliance: Sonic and Mega Man are finally able take down Sigma (with a little help from Eggman, Wily and Xander Payne), but the world and the universes are too far gone for anyone to be able to help. Finally, Xander realizes his destiny, and knows that in order to save all worlds, he must go back in time to destroy Sigma before he kicks off this whole event. Time travel stories are tricky, and they can sometimes make all the events preceding the fix feel meaningless. Were you worried at all about going down that road for the finale?
Vincent Lovallo: I wasn’t necessarily worried. We tried our best to wrap things up in a big way that allows folks to jump back into the stories that will be continuing in all series. By the end of it, we still did not completely go down the “it never happened” road, because everything did happen, as Sticks can attest to! Of course, for Sonic, Mega Man, Eggman and Wily, their memories of “Unite” are a bit hazy, but there is still something there!
CA: After the timelines are reset, everyone has a vague idea that something's happened and that their counterpart on the opposite world had a hand in helping in some way. However, Mr. X is waiting for Wily when he snaps out of his daze, and seems to recall the events as they've transpired. There have been some hints Mr. X might be an alternate version of Xander Payne, so is this sequence confirming that, and if so, what does that mean for Xander in his current state and his destiny?
VL: Oh, there is definitely something to be taken away from in that scene. I promise that all will be clear in Mega Man #53! Destiny is a strange thing, especially for Xander. Stay tuned!
CA: Sticks, the conduit for craziness that she is, also happens to remember everything that happened. Not only that, she alludes to the idea that there are even more Genesis Portals out there, and that there's a nexus at the center of it all. Can you give us any hints about that final image and what it might mean for Sonic and his friends?
VL: Hmmm… I wonder what that planetoid could be… perhaps a staging ground for something else…? There seem to be a lot of Genesis Portals around it. There’s no telling what could pop out of them!
CA: Now that "Worlds Unite" is over, I'm curious to know if there were any sequences or scenes left on the cutting room floor. Were there any moments or characters you had hoped to include but just didn't have the time or room?
VL: I personally love Altered Beast, so I was a little bummed that we didn’t include that series. Particularly for the final fight it would’ve been great to see X and Sticks go into super-states to aid in the final battle with Sigma, but that could have been a bit too much…
CA: By now, everyone knows that Mega Man is going to be on a bit of a break going into 2016, but "Worlds Collide" and "Worlds Unite" make a pretty good start to a trilogy. Is there a potential third "Worlds" event out there in the Archie Action ether?
VL: Ha! It is a good start right? Anything is possible, and I’d be more than happy to have the two blue dudes cross paths for a third time! Though the story will have to be pretty dang good to top the scale of “Collide” and “Unite”! Wouldn’t it be awesome if Mario were to jump out of one of those portals?! Time will tell!
And with that, we close the book on "Worlds Unite," but we do have one last bit of art to share with you. Courtesy of Archie, enjoy these penciled pages of T. Rex and Tyson Hesse's work on Mega Man #52.
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