Ben Bates' Blue Bomber

The first issue of Archie's Mega Man comic book will be coming at us at the end of April/beginning of May (depending on how you receive it), and we've had some looks at what we can expect from the art of Patrick Spaziante and Chad Thomas, including the two covers the first issue will ship with, each by one of the aforementioned artists. Of course, these are not the only artists in Archie's employ, and certainly not the only ones excited to see the Blue Bomber make a triumphant return to the comics page. And, as luck would have it, they are not the only ones to show their take on Mega Man, either.

As it turns out, the following is actually a little old, but it only came to our attention recently, and we felt that it was in the best interest of the avid Mega Man fan and consumer if we shared it.

Back in October, following the initial announcement of the book, an Archie Sonic the Hedgehog artist by the name of Ben Bates took to his blog, expressing his delight that his employer had obtained the license to create Blue Bomber books:

I’ve wanted super cool Megaman stories forever, but its been revving especially high since the animated intro of Megaman 8, and that was 12 years ago! I want both comics and an animated series. I would love to see that for a number of the different interpretations of Megaman, including X, Legends, Battle Network, and Zero but above all I want classic Megaman with the super cool simple cartoon style. Megaman 8 is where I feel the style both reaches its peak and limit for level of detail.

He goes on to lament the limitations saddled upon the Ruby Spears animated series (featuring different character models meant to appeal to a wider audience) and the Upon a Star OVAs (which had to feature educational content), as well as the shortcomings of Dreamwave's short-lived four-issue series.

Following that, he presents the illustration he put together in his excitement:

Not bad; what do you think?

Incidentally, it should be noted that Bates is a freelance employee of Archie; nonetheless, it is good to know that they have yet another person they can reach who "gets" Mega Man and could potentially do justice to the visuals behind the stories to be told.

Thanks to The Illustrious Q at Bumbleking for bringing this to our attention. And on a related note, editor Paul Kaminski notes elsewhere on that same forum, "good news! [Y]ou guys n gals can officially relax about the art in the book! [W]e got that on lock, no worries :D "

Odds are, issues of Mega Man won't be too difficult to find, as many bookstores, convenience stores, grocers, drug stores, and of course, comic book shops tend to carry Archie's product line. But, supposing none of these methods are suitable to you and you are in the United States or Canada, you can always subscribe. So far, there's no given alternative by Archie for overseas fans, but if that changes, we will be sure to let you know.