So, you're an evil overlord. You're in the endgame, your final plan is rolling out perfectly, and you've just crushed your mortal enemy. And then you go and stuff him in a tube, because somehow gloating while he can hear you is more important than gloating over his dead body. Further proof that wisdom and intelligence are not equivalent.
Such is where we find Robotnik and Wily in the beginning of this issue. Sonic and Mega Man have been shoved in escape-proof stasis pods and dragged up right next to their Genesis Device so Robotnik and Wily can laugh about how feeble they are, and how the universe... yeah, the entire universe... will soon be theirs. So what if the two blue heroes plowed through every defensive line? They expected it!
The important thing is that nobody's coming to save them. There'll be no Proto Man holding up the roof of a collapsing Wily Fortress so Mega Man can escape with Dr. Light. There'll be no Duo showing up to suck the Evil Energy out of Mega Man. There'll be no Tails flying in with his biplane to rescue Sonic from becoming a very greasy, chili-dog encrusted splat on the ground after falling from the Death Egg. All their friends are fighting for their lives against impossible odds.
It was never about beating Sonic and Mega Man. It was about neutralizing their backup. Unfortunately for them, they missed one.
Actually, they missed eight.
Who else was screaming for joy when this happened? It's Elec Man and the Sunshine Seven, so bend over and hold your knees, Robot Master army! You're well and truly boned now.
The addition of some much needed Robot Master backup frees up the good guys enough to give the heroes what Wily and Robotnik never wanted: Rush to the rescue. Proto Man and Knuckles borrow some Item-2 jet sleds from Elec Man's reinforcements, and Dr. Light tags along on Rush... and we're back to the monologuing.
Remember, Robotnik's done this Genesis Wave before. What catches Wily by surprise is that Robotnik knows that reality's falling apart around them. I never got the memo on that, Wily frantically screams! Robotnik reassures him that hey, it'll be fine. The collapse of this reality won't matter. Once the Super Genesis Wave happens, it's all getting reformatted anyways.
And then Red Rescue Force shows up, putting a real kink into everything. Light quickly hops down and gets to work freeing the two blue heroes while Proto Man and Knuckles go to town on the Egg-Wily-Machine-X. Mega Man uses Rush to power up to Super Adapter Mode, and get a much needed energy boost, and the bad guys get ready to activate their ship.
One problem: Wily's defenses are offline, Robotnik's offensive weapons are offline. Remember the Cosmic Joke I've been preaching?
They've sabotaged each other, and it takes a lot of serious work to get the thing working right. In the meantime, Proto Man and Knuckles really manage to mess the thing up proper. Of course, once the two doctors do get the thing working, it's an entirely different story. One problem, though.
Sonic's dealt with this Genesis Wave thing before, and he remembers: The MacGuffin that powers the doomsday machine also powers me. And it probably powers up Megsy as well. So, reach out, touch something, aaand...
I've always loved Super Sonic mode. Nothing can hurt you except falling into a big pit or getting squashed under a needle press or between collapsing walls. Imagining what Mega Man could do with it just makes my head explode. With near invincibility and a major boost in power output, they're quickly able to subdue the evil doctor's final super machine. And they finish it off with style. Recalling how effective the modified Buster "Spinshot" (or as the comic calls it, the "Sonic Shot"), Mega Man uses his Buster to fire off Sonic like a Mobian cannon. Just like Duo, Sonic becomes the fist of an angry god, and he shatters the blasted thing apart.
Now there's just the small matter of fixing the multiverse...
Not everyone is content to let things simply go back to normal. Robotnik, running on pure, unadulterated rage juice, decides that he'd rather go down fighting and scrambling, ferret style, than just roll over and give up. Wily's remark about grace and dignity is particularly hilarious, given that whenever he fails, he ends up groveling on his knees for Mega Man to spare him.
The quick lesson on Chaos Control works out, and Mega Man and Sonic are ready to fix the broken multiverse. Unfortunately, while Wily ejected, Robotnik, and what's left of his broken machine rushes to scrap the rescue.
Mega Man fixes his universe, Spirit-Bomb style without any problems. Sonic, on the other hand, has to contend with Robotnik's last ditch attempt. Chaos Control and a Robotnik machine laser beam don't mix. The repair Genesis Wave burbles crazily for Sonic's own reality. And what did Robotnik do?
Hard to say. Whatever it is, it's not Mega Man's problem anymore.
Twelve issues and four months later, ladies and gents, the Worlds Collide Crossover is finally all said and done. Mega Man's on his way to a restored Mega City to deal with what was happening before everything went nuts... namely, Break Man (Proto Man in disguise) going to town on him, and the hidden threat of Ra Moon, Dr. Wily, and the Third Robot Rebellion coming up hard on his heels. Just like I thought, there's not much left for me to say that I haven't said in past reviews. The one thing that does surprise me is that Sonic's set up for some hard times, but since "The Blue Ink" follows the comic exploits of Mega Man primarily, whatever happens on Mobius isn't going to be something I'll cover.
You can tell the people at Archie had a lot of fun putting this crossover together. There were plenty of hidden joke gags (especially Mega Man ones, including a Battle & Chase reference in this issue) to be had, and plenty of moments of awesome. Bass kicking Sonic so hard you get a comical "oof" noise, for example, and Robotnik shoving Dr. Light out the airlock? Heck yes.
There were also some things that didn't sit quite right. The artwork from Act 2 was by far the biggest one, but giving Mega Man the Spinshot... sorry, Sonic Shot was another. It nearly made Sonic a moot point in dealing with the Roboticized Masters aside from being the distraction. Sonic redeemed himself in the third act, showing Mega Man how to use Chaos Control and tap into the Chaos Emeralds for a Super form.
So yes, like any story, there were ups and downs, pros and cons. But in the end, did it do what it needed to? The crossover, seen from a purely cold-hearted business perspective, was done to get Sonic readers to look at Mega Man and vice-versa. To increase subscriptions. Did it happen?
Let's face it. We live in a digital age. I'm old fashioned enough I still want my comics in paper form, and I carefully sleeve and board them as I go along, but that's likely the exception. What stands true is that for once-- for once-- there's a Mega Man comic book which is doing okay. Dreamwave Comics tried one years ago back when I was in college, but it died after four issues. And yes, I have them... they serve as a potent reminder of broken dreams. Much like Legends 3 still does for the rest of the Mega Man community. Do I worry that this comic book series will eventually fade and die out, that Archie will stop publishing it?
I worry about it every goddamn day.
I write The Blue Ink to inform, to entertain, and to highlight the moments of awesomeness in storytelling which happen in the Archie-Megaverse. But all that would be for nothing if it suddenly disappeared. I may write novels for fun, but here, I'm just a reviewer, passing along judgment on somebody else's product. So do me a favor. Do the Mega Man fan community a favor. Do Mega Man a favor, and in spirit, pass along a blessing to Keiji Inafune.
If you haven't, subscribe to the Mega Man comic book. The mayhem of the crossover is done.
We want you back.
For the Blue Ink.
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.