True Blue, Part Nine: A Whole New World, Like A Lot of Them
Welcome to the ninth 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," while under siege from the Freedom Fighters and Robot Masters, Sigma kicked off his massive universe invasion plan. While Sigma's Mavericks were holding the attention of the heroes, a select group began taking Unity Engines through Genesis Portals. Sonic, Mega Man and the rest of the good guys finally manage to subdue the attacking forces above Lost Hex, but not without the aid of Sticks and Street Fighter's World Warriors. Finally able to regroup, and beneath Sigma's attention (for now), our true blue heroes craft a plan for an invasion of their own, and hope to put a stop to Sigma's machinations for good.
This week's chapter spends little time in the Sonic Universe, and focuses primarily on the new worlds our familiar friends are visiting for the first time. Sonic and Break Man track Magna Centipede down to the world of Alex Kidd, but there's very little work for the two of them to do as Alex and his sister, Stella, make very short work of the Maverick. We don't see much of Alex's world, but we do get a nod to the character's "rock-paper-scissors" fondness. This element is one that the game world shares with Mega Man, as fans know there's a bit of that gameplay mechanic instilled in every Mega Man video game. The idea of shared elements in the crossovers worlds is a bit of a theme that will show up through some other worlds we visit this chapter.
In the worlds of Ghosts 'n Goblins and Nights Into Dreams, our heroes tag team Sigma's forces to put the kibosh on the Unity Engines there. In both of these worlds, the major villains, Asteroth and Wizeman, all temporary truces with the forces of good in an effort to quell Sigma's advances. While Wily and Eggman are all too happy to get their own hands on the power of the Unity Engines, it appears the other big bads are more than annoyed someone else would dare have the temerity to invade their worlds. As such, they view Sigma as a threat rivaling the likes of Arthur and Nights. It's a bit strange that these other villains wouldn't also seek the power of the Unity Engines for their own designs, but this is a Sonic and Mega Man event, and there isn't much time to give every world's antagonist a storyline since there are only three chapters left to wrap it up.
Elsewhere, Knuckles and Quake Woman meet up with the Blue Rogues from Skies of Arcadia to put a stop to Tidal Makkoeen's installation of his engine. Like the our main group of heroes, the Blue Rogues fit the Sonic and Mega Man color scheme perfectly, and have the added bonus of a girl with pony tails who fashions a boomerang, too. That the pirate-y characters are left to defeat a whale robot isn't lost on me, but the idea of another group of sky-faring heroes who call themselves the Blue Rogues and defend a world of broken-up lands is just as clever.
This chapter was mostly about introducing some new characters into the mix, but there was a plot thread dangled by Guile while visiting the world of Street Fighter. Though his small group was able to disable the Unity Engine they tracked down, the idea that each world would only have one engine to conveniently deal with was one none of the other teams even pondered. Sure, M. Bison handles the trouble in this instance, but in all the other occasions, nobody else gives it much thought. It'll be interesting to see if this comes up again, either during this event or down the line as a way to bring characters or worlds back into the Archie Action fold.
ComicsAlliance: This issue is all about the other universes, and recruiting other heroes to help stop Sigma. In which licenses you've chosen, there seem to be some subtle relationships between these games and Sonic and Mega Man. Alex Kidd is playing rock-paper-scissors, which is a bit of a play on Mega Man's name and his game strategy; Skies of Arcadia is full of Blue Rogues who want to help our blue heroes, and so on. Was that something intended from the start, or just a bit of happenstance?
Vincent Lovallo: Ah, that’s a tricky one! So much so that I had to reach out to “Worlds Unite” writer, Mr. Ian Flynn to clarify! Ian let me know that "rock-paper-scissors is a major part of the Alex Kidd series already, and the Blue Rogues were the distinction between the Robin Hood-esque air pirates and the vicious, self-serving Black Pirates." So in short, it is a bit of a happenstance really, though it’s really neat that it worked out that way!
CA: Guile seems to be the only one concerned that more Unity Engines might be out in the world, but fortunately Bison puts a halt to the secondary attack. Was this just a moment to show off Bison, or is Guile right and there are larger concerns for all the worlds under attack?
VL: Guile is correct in that there may be other Unity Engines scattered across the different worlds. There is no way to actually keep tabs on every Unity Engine that passes through, making the potential for Sigma’s victory more likely. There may not be a perfect solution to that problem, so the best bet would be to confront the problem at its source, Sigma!
CA: It seemed like many of the characters from other worlds were vastly overpowered compared to the Mavericks, as they all made short work of the Unity Engine agents on their respective worlds. Why do the actual Mega Man and Sonic characters struggle so much against the Mavericks and Sigma compared to these otherworldly characters?
VL: Unlike these newly incorporated heroes, Sonic and Mega Man’s teams were previous worn-out from their previous battles, and still they managed to ward off the Deadly Six, Mavericks, and even fought each other! They haven’t had a whole lot of time to rest and regain their strength. Recruiting the otherworldly heroes is the first somewhat relaxing thing they’ve done in a while!
CA: Like Wily and Eggman, the other big bads from the respective worlds are none too pleased that Sigma is encroaching on their territories. Unlike the doctors though, none of the others really wants any part of Sigma's power for themselves. Why aren't they as eager to potentially seize the Unity Engines, and have all that power to themselves? Seems like the villainous thing to do.
VL: Not many of these other villains have a full understanding of the Unity Engines’ capabilities like the doctors do. Eggman and Wily designed the engines, so it’s likely that they would be the only ones who could really take advantage of them anyway. Though, I’m sure if M. Bison had a little more time to work with one, he would be all over the Unity Engines like Sonic on a chilidog!
CA: The art stays true to the Sonic and Mega Man comic style, but did you experiment with different styles for different worlds at first? I know personally, I would have loved to see the worlds change to a watercolor version when visiting Okami.
VL: It was something we were thinking about, and it would look really cool, but it was just not realistic given the timeframe and other processes that these books go through. Still the artists did their best to represent each series respectfully and I think they did a great job! These last few chapters are some of the most exciting and action-packed issues we have, so I hope you’re all ready for the ultimate mash-up of 2015, right here in “Worlds Unite”!
And now, get an advanced look at the next chapter of "Worlds Unite" with out exclusive preview of Sonic Boom #10.
SONIC BOOM #10
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Tyson Hesse, Jim Amash, Jack Morelli and Matt Herms
SONIC BOOM #10 CVR A REG: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante
SONIC BOOM #10 CVR B Variant: Reilly Brown
Covers Unite Variant (10 of 12): Ben Bates
The SONIC/MEGA MAN Crossover event explodes beyond the worlds of just our two blue heroes! “Worlds Unite” Part Ten: Sonic, Mega Man, X and Sticks continue to rally heroes from across the wide expanse of the SEGA and Capcom universes! Who will be brave and join the unified assaulted against Sigma? PLUS with all of the heroes busy, who’s keeping an eye on the malicious Xander Payne and Evil BFFs Drs. Eggman and Wily? The villains MUST be plotting something now—but what? Featuring the worlds of VIEWTIFUL JOE, GOLDEN AXE, BREATH OF FIRE, PANZER DRAGOON, BILLY HATCHER, MONSTER HUNTER and more! Plus cover art from the legendary Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante, and variant cover art from Reilly Brown and part 10 of the epic 12-part connecting variant cover series by artist Ben Bates!
On Sale Date: 7/29 | 32-page, full color comic | $3.99 U.S.
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