"The wave of the future is coming and there is no fighting it." -Anne Morrow Lindbergh
In the last Blue Ink, I made a couple of major predictions about Mega Man's fate, Xander Payne's fate, other things of that nature. Allow me a small moment before we dive in to gloat a little. That crushed in helmet I told you not to worry about?
Totally called it!
Even though Wily's Walker is an enormous ground-stomping engine of death, Mega Man has definitely faced worse. And we know he's fine to run without his helmet; just like Mario, losing his noggin' covering just means he has to be a little more careful about cranial blows. He, Bright Man, and Pharaoh Man keep up their desperate struggle while Wily keeps feeding them false codes to "help" them out. You think eventually Mega Man, or at least Dr. Light, would tell Wily to shut up and let them deal with the problem themselves...
No such luck there. At least Mega Man caves in the ceiling to keep the Walker from heading out the front doors Wily's last code opened. The thing can't get out, but they're stuck in an arena with an angry bull, and they don't have quite a big enough sword to stab the thing matador style.
Let's fast forward to the next century. Oh, Mega Man X... where aaaare you?
Well, after he and Cain unwittingly wake the Wily Walker up (and I seriously want to know Wily's secret for battery construction, because damn, that thing's still running), it manages to blow its way out of the excavation site and head outside, where the first thing it does is make a beeline for Arcadia City. Mega Man X tries to slow it down, but let's face it. He's not as strong yet as he needs to be. This all happens before Sigma goes bonkers and forces him to grow a pair. Thankfully, Sigma deploys his best: The 17th Unit, including Zero and the as-yet good, though still smug, Vile.
Vile sure does love firepower, and he gloats to Zero while the two prepare to tackle the Walker head-on, "I won't have to hold back!" Attaboy, Vile. Positive thinking. Positive thinking. Try and keep that thought for a few months if you can. Your life's going to suck soon enough. Matter of fact, maybe this is the incident where he starts to harbor his insane and irrational jealousy and hatred for our second generation Blue Bomber.
So while the boys play, Dr. Cain does the only thing he can... he combines his talents in archaeology with that of robotics to look for a solution to the problem.
I like him in the blue kimono he usually wears, but he manages to pull off the Howard Carter look pretty well, pith helmet included. So here we are, with the Wily Walker stuck between a Rock and a hard place, Vile and Zero between the Walker and the city, and... oh, right. We haven't talked about Xander Payne. Well...
Seems he went forward in time instead of back, just like I thought. And my prediction rate is two for two this go-around!
I'm not really feeling like there's anything I need to comment on in this issue. I know, you're all surprised. A Blue Ink without me going on a spiel about the themes is like heading into church and having the pastor deliver a five minute sermon instead of a half hour one. It's unexpected, but welcome. Lord only knows how people 150 years ago put up with the three hour fire and brimstone services that were common back then.
I could make a prediction about Dr. Cain finding something in the ruins to stop the Wily Walker, X saving the day, and Vile getting his grudge on, but I'm sure that some of you have already started to fit the pieces together yourselves. We're getting better as readers of this comic into figuring out what Ian Flynn has planned. It doesn't mean we appreciate the story less, far from it. It means we're becoming comfortable with his writing style, and with the comic as a whole. We can compare our past knowledge and experiences to what we see here, and make guesses about what comes next. The only real question we might have is this: Is Xander Payne stuck in Arcadia City forever, or will he one day be able to go back in time? And if he does, will he remember any of what he sees?
That, perhaps, is more frightening than anything Wily can conjure up. A man like Payne thrives on preparation. Seeing what the future holds would only embolden him, make him worse. It would make him feel validated in his convictions and his beliefs... and spiral him further into the sort of radical anti-robot terrorism he's infamous for already.
So, main plot? I think I've got a bead on it. I find my points of interest in the little things and trying to deduce where Flynn's mindset on the comic is four, eight, twelve, sixteen issues down the pipe. I was never a great chess player, but I understood the fine points of the game even if I could never perform them.
Xander Payne's alive and well. Checkmate in four moves. See the board. Know what's coming.
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.