We're less than a month away from Mega Man #34, which will mark the debut of Mega Man X in Archie's successful comic book series, currently on the road to marking its third anniversary. How time flies!
Building towards that debut, Comic Book Resources has conducted an exclusive interview with writer Ian Flynn and editor Paul Kaminski to discuss the darker side of Mega Man and what fans can expect from the upcoming back-up feature:
How does this work in a story sense? The "Mega Man X" game was a bit like "Star Trek: The Next Generation" for that franchise -- repeating the core concept many years in the future. The core "Mega Man" title has been focusing on a power down for the whole world and a stripping down of the characters powers. Does that set up the story of "Mega Man X"?
Flynn: The beautiful thing about the classic version of the X franchise is that there's a 100-year gap on which there's almost no information whatsoever. So when we meet X in the future, you know that he was built by Doctor Light. You know he was found by Doctor Cain. And once he's awakened, it's his own story that really is virtually independent. There's still a link to the classic Mega Man, and you can play with that link, but we can really still tell classic stories and X stories without them falling over each other. And when we get to X, I think we found a very elegant way of bridging the two timelines without stepping on the toes that beloved mystery that is the century that's gone missing. We're able to present the two universes as their own compelling stories.
Kaminski: To Ian's point, starting X the way we're doing it, as backup stories in "Mega Man" #34 and 35, lets us introduce the world slowly to readers who might not be familiar with it. It also sets the stage for what's to come. It will also help separate the X story out from "Ra Moon" which we wanted to give some breathing room. You can't crowd out the longer form game adaptation stories or even a longer form comic original story with something big like X, which deserves a slow burn and to be treated like the special event that it is. So it was important for us that it be far enough removed form what's going on now so that it have its own room. Those two backup stories in #34 and 35 will introduce the world and will feature artwork by the returning Patrick Spaziante, whom I begged and pleaded with and who finally agreed. He's turned in some great pages that are in the tradition of Spaz, overly detailed pages that will totally blow everybody away.
For more of the interview, including full preliminary pages from the X story by Patrick "Spaz" Spaziante (including Dr. Cain in archaeological threads!) and a small glimpse of the upcoming "Shadow of the Moon" story, be sure to check out the full article at Comic Book Resources!
Mega Man #34 will be available on February 19th, 2014.
Update: Paul Kaminski has posted the following teaser image on his Twitter: