In the past, I have fallen prey to the seemingly innocent joking of early April. As someone who tries to stay up on gaming news, this isn’t surprising. It seems like every year there is some ludicrous announcement of a absurdly fun game or a zany crossover that proves to be just a prank from the internet. So when I read about the Mega Man/Sonic the Hedgehog comic book, I was understandably skeptical. But this is no joke, gang: Sonic and Mega Man are in a series together.
I should have seen this coming. Archie Comics scooped up the Mega Man license in 2010, and they are already chugging along with 35 issues and counting. At the helm of these Mega Man comics are writer Ian Flynn and artist Patrick “Spaz” Spaziante who have collaborated on several Sonic the Hedgehog comics in the past. With this duo writing two major video game comics under the same roof, it was only a matter of time (and game publisher enthusiasm) before a crossover would occur.
Sonic & Mega Man: When Worlds Collide was first glimpsed in Mega Man #23, when a reality altering force called the Genesis Wave surged through the Blue Bomber’s world. Originating from the world of Sonic the Hedgehog, this wave has deposited one of the Chaos Emeralds within reach of Dr. Wily and his robot masters. Accidentally harnessing the massive energy from the Chaos Emerald, Dr. Wily is able to communicate with Dr. Robotnik across the fabric of reality. As to be expected, the two evil geniuses immediately admire one another and hatch a plan to eliminate their mutual blue problems together. Using their combined intellects, the deranged doctors create a pocket universe from which they can launch an assault on their nemeses.
As with any major comics crossover, the boundaries of reality have to be stretched a bit to accommodate, but the resulting fun is well worth it. Robotnik and Wily’s first order of business is to kidnap many of Sonic’s allies and turn them into roboticized masters (a goofy portmanteau of each doctor’s specialty). Soon enough, Mega Man and his brother Proto Man are battling robotic version of Sonic’s pals, aptly (?) named Tails Man and Knuckles Man. The design of these robots falls delightfully between the two art styles, with the clean toy-like builds of Capcom and little touches of Sega’s Metal Sonic in the details. (such as the dark eyes).
More bombastic battles occur, culminating with Mega Man and Sonic fighting each other after dual cases of mistaken identity (for Copy Robot and Metal Sonic, respectively). This encounter comes as a delightful treat for Wily and Robotnik, who pull up comfy chairs and pop the champagne to watch this battle of their nuisances. Sure enough, the heroes eventually discover that their true opponents should be the evil doctors, and a massive team-up of epic video game protagonists begins.
The Worlds Collide crossover continued for twelve issues between both comic series in 2013, and the story has been collected into two trade paperbacks so far (the third releases next month). If you can look past the fuzzy logic and rules of this reality-bending tale, I would recommend checking out this fun comic. There are plenty of great moments and inside jokes for each game series, and neither hero seems to hog the spotlight. At the very least, the crossover is worth reading just to crack up over the goofy friendship of the doctors Wily and Robotnik: evil friends forever.
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