Worlds Unite Weekly Reviews, Part 12: Mega Man #52

by Mighty No. X

Welcome to the penultimate edition of "Worlds Unite Weekly Reviews," courtesy of Mighty No. X.

"HEY FLANDERS OVER HERE, I GOT US SOME KICK ASS SEATS FOR THE END OF EVERYTHING!"

Sigma-3 has harnessed the power of dozens of worlds, and the only heroes who can face his power are Super Sonic and Super Mega Man. Zero is frustrated at his inability to fight against Sigma-3, but X begins preparing the rest of the gathered characters to evacuate; according to Nicole, even if Sigma is defeated the space-time damage may be irreversible.

"So much baldness... it's like watching two moons colliding..."

Dr. Wily and Dr. Eggman finally arrive at the source of Sigma’s power: the Master Engine. Having built the machine themselves, they know perfectly well how to take it apart. The scientists are still confused as to why Xander would help them, and as it turns out Xander is nonplussed as well. Xander had previously experienced visions of the future, which have guided him up to this point; he knows that he will save the day at this juncture, but has no idea how.

"Also, my plot device has seniority over your plot device. It's part of the plot devices' union rules."

Sigma-3 quickly realizes that the golden heroes’ ability far exceeds that of X and Zero; between Sonic’s speed and Mega Man’s powerful blasts, the two are able to hold their own against Sigma. Sonic even finds time for a little good-natured teasing when Mega Man inadvertently launches a blast far more powerful than he intended.

Here, Mega Man tries to cover for when he heard the news about the hiatus.

By this point, Wily and Eggman have tampered with the Master Engine and deprived Sigma of his energy source; Sigma-3 is shocked to find that he is taking damage from Sonic and Mega Man. The two heroes come together and deliver a final, decisive blow, disintegrating Sigma-3 and saving the unified world.

X beats Sigma. Well, an x beats Sigma, anyway.

Saving the unified world is one thing, but restoring all of the original worlds is another. Various guest characters attempt to keep the Genesis Portals open, but they begin to close irreversibly. In desperation, Sonic and Mega Man perform the Chaos Control move that Eggman disrupted at the end of Worlds Collide. The heroes execute it perfectly, but nothing happens; as Nicole feared, reality has been broken to the point where there is no hope of escape.

Wily and Eggman finally succeed in fully overriding the Master Engine’s system; the power to rewrite reality is now at their fingertips. Before they can celebrate too much, Xander holds them at gunpoint using a weapon he earlier picked up from Rotor and Tails. Wily questions his motives, but abusing the Master Engine to reshape the multiverse isn't Xander's plan; rather, he opens a portal to the very moment when Sigma made the jump from X’s world to Lost Hex. Xander has pieced it all together; by stopping Sigma at this moment, he will erase the events of Worlds Unite from ever having occurred.

The doctors try to dissuade him; even though all worlds will be restored, there could be serious destabilizations in the time stream. Xander not only accepts but welcomes this possibility. if time were to be distorted, it could lead to worlds where Wily and Eggman never terrorized their respective planets with technology. Wily and Eggman lunge at him, but Xander takes the shot and destroys Sigma.

Just like that, Worlds Unite never happened.

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Leaving Zero and Axl outside to deal with Vile, X races to the core of Sigma’s fortress. Just like in the first issue of Worlds Unite, Sigma begins gloating about his plan; unlike that first issue, Sigma suddenly vaporizes, having been hit by Xander’s shot. X is bemused, but has no reason to complain; Zero and Axl soon arrive to tell him that Silver has handed Vile over to the Hunters.

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Of all the characters in 20XX and Sonic’s world, only Sonic, Mega Man, Wily, and Eggman have any sense that something just happened. Sonic rushes to contact Shadow, and after finding Shadow alive and well feels a blurry sense of gratitude towards Mega Man. Mega Man returns to the Light Labs construction site, unable to remember what happened but grateful for Sonic’s help.

Dr. Eggman finds himself restored to a point before the invasion of Lost Hex and calls off his plans, bidding a mental farewell to Dr. Wily. Wily realizes that Mr. X is in fact an elderly Xander -- the only other person to remember the events. Wily is still trapped by Mr. X as he was pre-crossover, and swears he will get revenge in tandem with Eggman.

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About once per game, on average. (via Algo448)

And, naturally, the one other protagonist who remembers everything is Sticks. Her friends think her telling of saga is just one of her usual stories (the Chaos Emeralds don’t exist in the Sonic Boom world); huddled in terror in the corner, Fastidious Beaver and Comedy Chimp are too overwhelmed to confirm the accuracy of her tale. Sticks speculates that there are still Genesis Portals out there somewhere, with something like a planet at their nexus...

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I will be writing a final review of Worlds Unite that looks back over the entire arc; as a result, it’s difficult to decide what I should comment upon here versus what I should save for the overall review.

Without a doubt the major controversy here is going to be the ending. Xander’s revelation is less compelling than the botched Chaos Control at the end of Worlds Collide, but comparing the two sequences directly isn’t fair. Back in Worlds Collide, the final outcome had to be meaningful and dramatic; the Sonic universe was in need of rebooting. Here in Worlds Unite, the final outcome has to maintain every status quo already established. I initially viewed Xander’s crossover-erasing shot as an unnecessarily cheap way to end the third act, but this outcome or something like it was probably the only option.

At the same time, Xander’s final move only adds to the sense of redundancy throughout Act 3. The guest characters are powerless against Sigma-3, and only the Chaos Emeralds can stop him. The heroes’ Super forms can defeat Sigma-3, but the entire situation can only be saved by Xander. As long as Xander was able to have his epiphany following the dismantlement of the Master Engine, anything else could have happened and the final outcome would be the same.

As was true for the last few issues, the guest characters’ roles are charming and clever, although they take a backseat to the main action sequences. I would have appreciated a final page showing all of the guest characters back in their normal lives; just showing the core franchises in the epilogue leaves us without a formal goodbye to any of the cameo combatants.

Finally, in the context of Part 12 it’s bizarre to me that Mega Man and Sonic Boom are wrapping up within the next few months. Wily’s revelation regarding Mr. X’s true identity was almost certainly meant to segue into a deeper storyline, and there is certainly no indication that Sonic Boom is closing shop, either. The entire crossover was clearly intended to shepherd readers into Sonic Boom and Mega Man, and knowing the fate of the comics makes the ending a bit more bittersweet than originally intended.

Please look for my final review coming sometime next week.

Easter Egg Watch:

"We'll get it done, even if it takes us all knight!" "That's ri-- HEY!!!" (via angelo-storto)

  • It makes sense that Arthur would resolve not to settle for “halfway measures” in regards to saving the others; after all, when it seems like his Ghosts n’ Goblins quests are finished he’s truly only halfway done.
  • As someone pointed out in the comments for the issue preview, Mega Man’s exclamation at the start of the issue is a reference to X’s dialogue during the final fight of Maverick Hunter X.
  • The ending implies that Mega Man and Wily now canonically have faint memories of the Sonic universe; indeed, Xander/Mr. X has seemingly complete recollection of the crossover’s events.
  • At least in the comics timeline, Silver the Hedgehog appears canonically in X’s world sometime between Mega Man X7 and Mega Man X8, and Sigma was canonically aware of Eggman’s existence. 
  • Forgive me if I’m confused, but it’s illogical for Eggman to have been returned to a point immediately before he invaded Lost Hex. If Sigma’s invasion were prevented, Eggman should still have already taken control of Lost Hex using the Cacaphonic Conch. Although just speculation, this is probably meant to give Flynn freedom to fully adapt Sonic Lost World after finishing the Shattered World Crisis arc.

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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.