The Blue Ink: Archie’s Mega Man #19 – Grrrl Power

"The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they call Gitchee Gumee, the lake it is said never gives up her dead when the skies of November turn gloomy..." -Gordon Lightfoot, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald ----------------------------------------

While the boys are away, the girls will play. In this case, because Dr. Light is working with his unspoken squeeze Dr. Lalinde on upgrading Mega Man, Roll, Kalinka, and Tempo (you might also know her as Quake Woman) are out at the beach enjoying themselves.

And why shouldn't they? That whole mess with Xander Payne and the Emerald Spears was a mindjob to behold, the piece de resistance of the comic continuity so far. Now, I myself may favor a video game bender with a stopover for grape soda, Swedish meatballs and homemade pizza bread, but I can see why they'd choose a beach.

Like Inga says on the remake of The Producers, "When you got it, flaunt it!"

Aah, so Dr. Lalinde has given back Tempo her feelings. Emotions, as Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation could testify, are a risky proposition. You might break out into random song, or you could lose concentration at bad times. As Tempo/Quake Woman will discover, emotions also make you afraid... at very inconvenient times.

Still, the party continues in earnest on the shore. That is, until the weather takes a turn for the worse. And true to form, the lighthouse is out and there's no Pete's Dragon around to help out.

We find ourselves faced with a Costa Concordia Mark 2 disaster, as a luxury cruise ship runs aground offshore and gashes a hole just above the keel. The ship starts to list and sink immediately. Side note: Most ships tilt to one side as they sink. It's rare that they go straight nose-down like the Titanic did (I'm also a sunken ship enthusiast in my spare time).

Naturally, this disaster in progress triggers a major First Law reaction on the part of Roll and Quake Woman, who decide that it's time to leap into action. Kalinka stays shorebound, and Roll calls in the reinforcements...

Unfortunately, Light and Lalinde are still buried neck-deep in getting Mega Man's new slide move to work. And I'm sure that all of you got the hidden joke about it not working in Modes 9 and 10... as in, Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10. Not having the slide took some getting used to again. I ended up enjoying MM10 more than 9, actually; had more fun with the bosses.

So, with the doctors busy and clueless, that leaves Oil Man to head out to answer the call of duty... and it seems that Roll has access to Rush's "Recall" command, because one "deet" button push from her brings Rush a' running with a mighty teleport beam.

They head out to the ship and quickly get to work rescuing the passengers and organizing the abandon ship efforts. Roll starts punching the lifeboat davits loose so they can offload the civilians, and we discover that Quake Woman has claustrophobia, and can't stand being enveloped in anything-- including water, which Roll points out they could simply walk through back to land if need be.

Thankfully, it seems that Oil Man and Rush aren't the only helpers on call...

Good old Oil Man, using that slippery noggin of his. With Splash Woman around, they're in business. Roll gets Quake Woman back to shore to help Kalinka in organizing the Red Cross teams with blankets and family reunifications, Oil Man gets busy sucking up all the leaking gasoline and oil from the wounded ship, and Splash Woman uses her Laser Trident to seal the ship's wound closed.

In short order, the rapid-response team of the girl squad (and Oil Man, who is a bit of a womanizer) has things well in hand. But there's just the small matter of the captain of the ship.

I got a kick out of this part: While never directly addressed in the games, it's become a large part of the fanon (thanks to Maelgrim and the rest of the Legacy of Metal team, which includes myself) that humans cannot teleport. The technology just isn't safe for them.

It isn't until 22XX and Mega Man Zero where we finally have in-game confirmation of human teleportation, either by Trans-Server, or in Ciel's case in the second game, designated teleport coordinates and a super potent warp generator. (Well, Dr. Wily teleports a few times throughout the series, but given his mental state, it's hard to determine whether any of that was completely "safe." --Ed.)

Thankfully, in spite of the "I can't warp" problem, Roll and Rush come to the rescue, and manage to get the captain and Oil Man to safety. No casualties. And this is why robots are awesome to have around. Of course, I could have the old Asimovian Solarian argument, buuut we'll save that for when it really becomes applicable.

Having finished with the slide upgrade at long last, Dr. Light and Lalinde turn on the news and discover that stuff happened while they were busy. Ho noez!

By the time they arrive, Roll, Splash Woman, Quake Woman, Kalinka, Rush and Oil Man have it all taken care of. And Light realizes something: His little girl is a hero, too.

And what more could a father want for his daughter than for her to find her own path in life?

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This issue was all about filler. Good filler, but still filler. The folks at Archie have larger things to worry about right now: There's that Sonic/Mega Man crossover arc coming soon, they still have the Third Robot Rebellion to do, so why not stretch out their legs and have a little fun with these one-shots? There are plenty of readers who enjoy one-shots and quote them among their top favorites every so often. Done well, as this one was, they can contribute to the overall broadening of the world and its inhabitants. This was an issue worth picking up for several reasons.

For the fanfiction community, it was a chance to get a very large visual nod from Archie about their work: How teleportation isn't safe for humanity at this point in time. For the folks who enjoy Charlie's Angels parodies, this was clearly meant for them. It also gave us a chance to see some new Robot Masters in action, which is always fun. For those who enjoy a good what-if, we got to imagine how things would have been different at every major off-shore shipwreck if robots had been around to lend a helping hand.

For everyone else, this was just a fun little romp. Perhaps that's what matters most: That we have as much fun reading these as the writers and artists like Spaziante have creating them. It's a reciprocal thing: The creators like to know what they do is appreciated. When they are, they achieve even greater things.

For me, this issue is of particular noteworthiness: I've been doing "The Blue Ink" once a week now since late summer. That means that you've been reading these comic reviews of mine, on time, one a week... for four months and three weeks. Think about that. This comic's been going for a year and a half now. It took me a large chunk of time to catch up with them. I've enjoyed doing these. They give me a chance to pull in cultural references, lay out what the writers and artists were going for, and pick up on the highlights for the casual reader.

With this issue reviewed, I am finally caught up. I will still be writing "The Blue Ink," but now will only have to do them whenever a new issue comes out and hits my mailbox. One a month may be slightly more reasonable than one a week. :)

I hope that you all will continue to read these reviews, enjoy them, and offer your own comments and insights as you see fit. The Mega Man fan community is one of the strongest, if not the strongest fan community for any video game series out there.

I am glad to be a part of it. For the Blue Ink.

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When he isn't writing "The Blue Ink" reviews for The Mega Man Network, Erico (The Super Bard) spends his days keeping track of the "Legacy of Metal" fanon, dabbling in cooking and tea-brewing, and exploring the human condition from his Iowa stomping grounds.

The views expressed here reflect the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mega Man Network.