Following the cancellation of several high-profile Mega Man video game projects, the one bit of solace for some fans was that at least there were still other things going on with the Blue Bomber, the most prominent of which being the 50+ issue run of monthly comic books from Archie Comics.
As weird as it feels to be writing this mere hours after posting the preview pages for part four of Worlds Unite, the second big inter-company crossover to feature not only Mega Man, but which also brought Mega Man X on board as well, the fact remains that we may not even have that for much longer.
An exclusive from Comicbook.com tells the tale: "EXCLUSIVE: Archie Action's Mega Man #53 Solicitation Reveals The End of the Series." Or at least, it seems to.
Upon further inspection, the tale is muddied by the accompanying interview which states:
On that note, you've revealed that Mega Man, one of the most popular Archie Action titles, will be taking a short hiatus following the next storyline. What made now the time to cool the engines?
We are currently wrapping up the “Worlds Unite” crossover, which ties into our Mega Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Universe and Sonic Boom comic series. We’ll only be scratching the surface of the next major Mega Man storyline after that, we figured now is the right time before we dive deep into that plot.
By this point, Mega Man fans are used to fearing the worst -- at least, inasmuch as you can get used to such a thing. That said, the interview makes it clear that this time, the decision did not come down from Capcom, but from within Archie itself:
Obviously the licensors often play a big role in comics based on existing, popular properties. Was the hiatus a hard sell, or do they trust you at this point?
We have a great relationship with both Capcom and Sega. We’ve been working with Sega for the past 20+ years and Capcom for almost five now. Capcom is very understanding of our decisions and we are both looking forward to working on future projects and collaborations.
This wouldn't be the first book to be a casualty; it was recently reported that Sonic Boom would wrap up its run with its 11th issue, the first and only one coming out of Worlds Unite. According to writer Ian Flynn, it was not due to sales or anything from SEGA; "Boom was doing just fine."
The final issue of Mega Man, "pre-hiatus," is set for November's issue #55 -- the month before Mega Man's anniversary, incidentally (as though we'd expect anything less). "We are planning on making it a commemorative special, though we are still hammering out the details," says Archie Action editor Vincent Lovallo. "The issues before will set the stage for some important moments connected to the game Mega Man 4."
As for the first issue out of Worlds Unite, here are the cover and solicitations:
MEGA MAN #53
The BLUE BOMBER is BACK from the events of "Worlds Unite" and is ready to fight for justice! That's all well and good, if there was actually someone to fight! In "Blue Shift," peace has finally come to Mega Man’s life—but is that a bad thing? Could it be possible that our super fighting robot has come to actually love the battles he was once so opposed to? Meanwhile, Dr. Wily plots something sinister from the shadows, reaching an even newer low for the mad doctor! It’s an extended curtain call as we come to the end of the Mega Man series! Featuring cover art from Jason Piperberg and a BOT UNDER FIRE variant from superstar Thomas Pitilli!
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Ryan Jampole, Gary Martin, John Workman and Elaina Unger
CVR A Reg: Jason Piperberg
CVR B Variant: Thomas Pitilli
On Sale Date: 9/16
32-page, full color comic