Worlds Unite Weekly Reviews: Mega Man: Worlds Unite Battles #1

by Mighty No. X

One of the more surprising announcements as Worlds Unite began was that two additional issues outside of the main series of twelve would be produced, with the promise that these “Battle books” would showcase exciting fight sequences that the main issues couldn’t stop to depict. The first of those issues has finally arrived, and it’s time to see whether the excitement inside warrants its own issue.

Rock is just heading into town to run some errands when three of the Deadly Six fall from the sky: the obese Zomom, sagacious Zik, and the deranged Zazz. Rock is well aware that he can’t harm a living creature, but the trio of combatants are unlike anything he has ever seen before.

Reluctant to use his buster, he releases a Mega Upper on Zazz, sending him flying. Reaching an apple orchard near the lab,  Zik uses his staff to launch a barrage of apples at Rock, before all three of the monsters knock Rock to the ground with plasma shots. Although weakened, Rock insists on fighting so as not to betray his promise to Roll that he would return safely.

Given that the Deadly Six can control machines, they take a step guaranteed to end the battle: they control Rock’s body and have him shoot a charged shot at his own head.

The Zeti remark that they need to bring their target to Sigma alive; had they not made this move, Rock would have been destroyed. The group carries the lifeless Mega Man through the portal, leading into the end of Worlds Unite #1.

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In 21XX, Zero and Axl face Vile as X storms Sigma’s castle. Given that this takes place before Mega Man X8, this is Axl’s first time meeting the ex-Hunter.

Thankfully, Axl has copied enemy data on the way in, and poses as a Reploid allied to Sigma. Vile falls for the trap, but Axl’s shots cause Vile no damage and he is quickly deflected. 

Zero tries a more direct approach with his saber, but Vile uses his ball and chain to occupy Zero, leaving him defenseless against a blast from his shoulder cannon.

All would be lost, if Silver the Hedgehog didn’t show up and use his psychokinesis powers to freeze Vile. Once he learns that Zero and Axl are working towards a similar goal to him, he allows them to move onto the castle, where they reunite with X. Presumably, the three coordinate with Silver and soon enter the Boom world, as seen in Worlds Unite #2.

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On to the fight between Sonic Man and the Light Robot Masters. At first, the group is confident that Time Man’s Time Slow will do the trick, but it becomes immediately apparent to Time Man that the weapon has no effect when Sonic Man pushes through the attack and rams him into a building.

The fight seems lost as Oil Man and Cut Man fall to the invader, but Ice Man, Guts Man, and Elec Man freeze, crush, and electrocute Sonic Man. For a few moments, it seems like their combined efforts have downed the foe. Soon thereafter, though, Sonic Man breaks free.

Although Fire Man unleashes his flames, Sonic Man throws Ice Man into the line of fire and then uses one of Bomb Man’s signature weapons to incapacitate the rest of the group, leading into the events of Worlds Unite #3.

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There’s a surprising amount of content packed into this issue. The three fights are distinct from each other in terms of tone, art style, and pacing. I’ll look at each of the fights from (in my very subjective opinion) worst to best.

The fight between the Maverick Hunters and Vile was an interesting way to see Zero and Axl interact with each other in their own world, without having to maintain a banter with Sticks as they did in Worlds Unite #2. Unfortunately, the fight feels rather rushed compared to the other two in the issue. Vile’s “new” design (taken from the original sketches for the original Mega Man X game) is certainly a force to be reckoned with, but it’s anticlimactic to have Silver save the day rather than seeing the 21XX heroes find a solution for themselves.

We already knew the outcome of the Sonic Man fight, but Flynn does an excellent job of having Sonic Man use the team’s own weapons against themselves to devastating effect. This is some of the better battle choreography seen in the series, on the level of Break Man’s initial encounter with the Light team prior to Worlds Collide.

The Mega Man fight is by far the most interesting of the three. Although all three of the fights have rather experimental art styles compared to the main line books, the art here is the most coherent; not surprising, since the line artist is by the masterful Ben Bates. It’s interesting as well to see Rock deliberately restraining himself from using his weapons; this twist makes the conclusion, where the Zeti command Rock to incapacitate himself, all the more surprising.

On the whole, Flynn did a great job with what the Battle Book had to accomplish; provide fights interesting enough to warrant their existence, but structure them in such a way that missing them would not be essential to grasping the overall Worlds Unite plot.

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Mighty No. X is a member of The Mega Man Network's User Content Submission System, and the views expressed here reflect the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mega Man Network.