Finally getting on with this… dunno why it’s taken me so long. Big shout out to Cham-Chams for donating a copy of each to me, they’re my definite favorites of the series. Thanks.
Anyway, I hope the presence of spoilers doesn’t deter anyone, since I figure most either own these two or were never going to buy them, anyway. Each link is noted by the solicitation for the issue as given by Dreamwave.
For starters, this is probably Fong’s best cover in the whole series, but I think the credit should really go to colorists Stuart Ng and Susan Luo, for giving ProtoMan the look like he’s teleporting in behind MegaMan.
Going into the book itself, we’re given our first dose of book-to-book continuous story in the series, as we are informed of MegaMan being kidnapped by the vicious, infamous fan-favorite… MultiMan?! WTF? Yeah, you read that right. So far, the biggest menace to MegaMan is a character no one really cares much about whose gimmick is basically that trick where you lift an upside-down cup and there’s a smaller cup underneath, and so on. That’s pretty much how he does it, except his chest opens, and another, slightly smaller version of himself comes out.
Strangely, this character might have had more going for him if not for his design… it’s like they took someone with arguably the most cartooney gimmick they could find, and tried to make him look vicious.
So anyway, the story begins as MultiMan flies through the sky, three of him, with MegaMan trapped within one of them, trying to get free. Fong actually adds a neat bit of detail to MegaMan in the first page with a close pair of lines that go down his boot, looking like they might come apart for whatever reason(say, repairs), sort of like one of Bandai’s models, but a little better.
MegaMan finally manages to crack open the… er, “murderous” robot enough that he can open fire without risk of richochet. “Go Buster!” And MegaMan is freed! Standing triumphant over his fallen foe(one of them), Fong’s art shows a weak spot: the look on MegaMan’s face is sort of “ha-ha, come get me now”, but it’s too “cute” looking to be serious, but too mean to be cute… it’s like looking at the cartoon devil on a box of Red Hots, but in a blue helmet.
MultiMan breaks out the reinforcements as only he can, and they close in and begin pummeling MegaMan before he even gets a shot off, when suddenly, one falls from an outside blast, as ProtoMan, poncho/cape/whatever that thing is and all, tells the walking dumpsters to “get away from him!”
After some asskicking by Proto, Mega tosses in a good line about no rule saying he can’t pitch in on his own rescue.
ProtoMan is apparently keeping things secret for now, as he and MegaMan face off against the enemy. MegaMan draws the conclusion from the Proto-Buster that his friend must be a robot, too.
After a bit of tag-team action, Rocky comments on how well the duo works together, but Proto sets things straight by telling Rocky that he works alone. More fighting ensues… then they just fly off. And Proto leaves just as quickly, as MegaMan wonders what happened.
Later, on board an almost Legends-style helicoptor that Fong has become known for in this book, MegaMan tells Light about his mysterious savior, while Light plays dumb and tells MegaMan that tomorrow is a school day. Now we get to the REAL plot of the book… ;P
Alan “Ron Weasley” and Mega–er, “Rocky” are checking out a poster for the Mega City Junior High Dance, as Alan prods Rocky to ask Chelsea. Odd bit here, as Alan speaks off-panel, but they use quotation marks for some reason when he delivers the line “So, I’m wrong? You don’t think she’s the coolest thing since magnetic levitation?” He must get beat up alot… even I want to punch him after that line. Not that I didn’t before, but…
Anyway, Rocky stammers out some sort of weird proposal to her, consisting of “Chelsea. Dance.” Considering the fortune that brain must’ve cost, Light must be proud.
Next page, he actually asks her, sort of. Page after that, Beast Wars and G1 season 3 DVD ad. After that, two-page ad for the end of Armada, with Unicron ripping the logo to shreds in a nice piece. So yeah, DW knows where their bread is buttered. Best part of the whole book, too. Oh, and Saint Seiya is available on DVD, uncut and uncensored.
On the NEXT page… oh yeah, there’s a comic going on here. Anyways, we get to the dance, and to be honest, I’m not sure if Rocky is here to dance or to check the voltage meter, looking at how he’s dressed. Let’s hope it’s for dancing, ’cause DJ JAZZY J4-8950 is in da’ house!!!! He be spinning the discs that make you frisky, homies!(taken from his own mouth) Alan looks REALLY cocky for some reason. Put a Reggie Mantle expression on Ron Weasley’s face, and you have EXACTLY what he looks like here.
Chelsea has a cute costume, at least, while Fong and and the colorists apparently had some dispute over where Rocky’s mouth is. But before they can “get jiggy with it”, the lights briefly go out, then back on as DJ something-or-other seems to be having some problems, blaring racket all over the gym. Rocky sets his audio receptors to low, buffers the sound, steps behind a curtain, and then it’s BLUE BOMBER AWAY!!!(but without the line this time). MegaMan flies around as only Fong lets him, and dukes it out with Will Smith’s rejected sidekick. Ultimately, all he had to do in the end was unplug him. Loser. So MegaMan gets cheers, goes to help Chelsea up, and Alan inadvertantly reminds him that Rocky is supposed to be here. Chelsea isn’t even off the floor yet and he bolts, with Rocky appearing Superman-style in his civilian garb. Apparently, MegaMan is “ok” in Chelsea’s book, while he’s tops in Rocky and Alan’s. From there, I dunno what the hell Alan is talking about. Seems like he’s trying to get people excited about MegaMan being there… or something. Meanwhile, Chelsea asks Rocky to walk her home… and BANG HER LIKE A SCREEN DOOR IN A HURRICANE!!!… or maybe not that last part. But I bet she was thinking it… or maybe not. ONE of them had to be, though…
Next page, Rocky walks home with the goofiest expression you’ll EVER see on his face, reconsidering his part in fitting in among humans. When he finally looks ahead, he sees the lab on fire. Breaking into a run, “IT’S MEGA TIME!” and he gets there just in time to see HeatMan and his lot taking off aboard ANOTHER Legends-style ship, “the Flitter”. MegaMan looks around for anyone there, assumes the Robot Master he’s yet to see took them, and screams out in frustration.
More cool TransFormers stuff, a bit from Pat Lee with a nice white Ultra Magnus holding a smoking gun, and such. The letters themselves are noteworthy… one fan asks for a detailed profile series on MegaMan. So DW says these things are demand-dependant, and to write in and DEMAND your MegaMan profile series. Kozmyk writes in after reading the first issue, asking if the comic was going to stay true to the game. Sorry, Koz, no such luck. He also wants to know if we’re going to see MegaMan become MegaMan X. Unless he means the book itself and not the character, then maybe he won’t know the difference between the comic and the games anyway. As for X… more on that later.
Randy Cordero writes in, saying he likes what they’ve done to MegaMan, and that he hasn’t seen anything good done to MegaMan since… “ever!”. Hiya Randy, thanks for writing in. And while you’re at it, go to hell. He apparently loves the idea of giving MegaMan a human form, and while he’s a big fan of MegaMan, he’s a bigger fan of X. In his ignorance, he says it’s inevitable they’ll run into the X series, due to it being a part of the normal MM continuity(funny that Capcom hasn’t really had a problem yet), unlike BN and Legends. I’d correct him on Legends, but I won’t waste my breath right now. He goes on to want a fanart section, and trades of the series. DW replies with their “demand” line on the trades, and “To get what you want, just complain!” There’s irony there, I know there is…
Last letter is something about variant covers, and that’s that for this issue.
We start off with yet another classic Mic Fong cover, showing MegaMan flying after the giant fist of an enemy who’s holding Dr. Light in its clutches. What’s neat is you can see more of what’s going on thanks to the reflection on a skyscraper behind them. Plus, this issue “also includes a MegaMan X bonus story!”
Opening to the first page, past the recap, you see… you see that this isn’t your father’s MegaMan.
…er, actually, it sorta is. Lemme rephrase.
…you see that this isn’t Mic Fong’s MegaMan.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to MegaMan #4, and the debut of famed Sonic artist Patrick Spaziante. Change is good.
The first page shows MegaMan, standing amidst the flames and wreckage of what used to be his home, trying to decide his next move. He hears something, and looks outside to see a mysterious stranger in red standing behind a tree, the same guy who rescued him from MultiMan! MegaMan doesn’t hesitate for a second, dashing after ProtoMan, who takes off once he sees he’s been spotted.
The cool thing here is how Spaz does the “boot boosters”; he has them dashing MMX style, or perhaps more accurately, as ProtoMan and Bass do in the arcade games. None of that on-off flying hokeyness here.
MegaMan takes it up a notch, just before ProtoMan veers off, letting the Blue Bomber crash into a billboard for PN03 cola. Far cooler product placement than you might expect… it just looks right. MegaMan sits in the wreckage, dazed as little red Beats fly around his head.
Meanwhile, ProtoMan is still hot-footing it out of the area, thinking he’s lost MegaMan… until MegaMan cuts him off at the pass, demanding answers! They clash in a great splash page piece of art, with MegaMan delivering a powered fist to ProtoMan, who just barely blocks. Above and below that pic are close-ups of MegaMan and ProtoMan, with a bit of Japanese text behind them that I’d love to know what it says.
The two argue until they reach the conclusion that they should search for the good doctor together, though ProtoMan refuses to state his reasons for concern.
Meanwhile, a pod-like vehicle sets down, and a figure dressed in a labcoat steps out, going into “Dr. W Robotics”, decorated with an odd GutsMan-ish gate and a holographic CloudMan with a neon sign around him. The figure takes the elevator to the top floor, where we see several images of Robot Masters such as CutMan, MagnetMan, Buster Rod G, and more around. On the desk in the center of the room is a small Blader model, and hanging above the desk is one of the whales from MM4. Behind is a lovely view of the facility’s polluting smokestacks.
And then… the secret master villain is revealed to be… are you ready for it? Not Sigma, not Tron, not Gospel, but… Dr. Wily! What a surprise.
Actually, after Wily spins around in his chair to greet the newcomer, it’s actually he who’s surprised to find Dr. Light standing there, smug look on his face.
Wily, as usual, gives his skewed look at past events, which Dr. Light corrects him on, to which Wily is just “Whatever.” in reply. Spaz actually does great in portraying the two scientists together… Light tells Wily that he knows why he’s there. Wily gets one of the better lines in, saying “What, you’ve been away so long, you forgot I can’t read minds?!” Light plays along, telling Wily to back off on his saboteur ways.
After some more catching up, Wily decides to finish things up by showing off his latest works of robotics, four similar yet uniquely armed Skull drones, not unlike what you’d see in the games.
Light: “These are yours? Nice work.”
Wily: “Shut up! KILL HIM!”
Light’s prepared, though. He whips out a remote, clicks a button, and the bots all go boom. Forget Rush Power suits, I want one of those next game.
Anyway, Light tells Wily the police are on their way, but Wily decides to play his trump card: he smashes a button, which starts the building a shakin’…
Meanwhile, Team Bro-Bots arrive outside the complex(where some Metools are hanging out, no less). MegaMan thinks Light is inside, but is unsure. ProtoMan concurs, accidently letting Rocky’s name slip, and that sets off a new round of questioning by Blue: “You know my name? Who are you? And how come you have all my powers?” ProtoMan cuts him off before he can get to “and why are you more popular with the girls than I am?” to reassure MegaMan that he is indeed a friend, but he can’t tell MegaMan anything, yet.
“You can call me ProtoMan!”
“Okay, just call me Jack.”
“Okay, Jack. Let’s go get ‘em!”
I just hope that wasn’t serious.
Before they hit the door, things start to shake from the last scene, Wily’s fortress transforms into a giant “Steel Devil”, as I believe Red called it. It starts towards Mega City, almost moving faster than the heroes can keep up with it. They do, however, manage to keep pace, and launch their attack, sadly to no avail. They formulate a plan to stop the robotic beast, with MegaMan rescuing Dr. Light while ProtoMan cuts the power(sound familiar to anyone?).
Remember what I said about the boot boosters here? It almost seems like the two are flying here, but at the same time, it seems like they could be using booster-assisted jumps, which I find more acceptable. Unlike Fong’s art, which definitely looked more like flying, with the swooping and turning and such…
MegaMan crashes the party as Wily has Light at gunpoint(with a neat sort of Buster-pistol; imagine a small arm-cannon with a handle), leaping in, grabbing the good doctor, and leaping back out again. In an odd bit, the word balloon has two points leading to MegaMan and Light as it reads “Goodbye, Wiley.” Thing about that is, MegaMan never found out who Wily was, that we ever saw. I chalk it up to an error, and it was just Light saying it. The way it was said seems more like the doc, and less like MegaMan anyway.
Oh, and for whatever reason, they’re going with the “Wiley” spelling here.
MegaMan lands with the doc outside, as Light says they have to stop the robot. MegaMan isn’t worried, though. He has “a friend” who’s got that taken care of.
And sure enough, ProtoMan finally gets the final shots in on the beast, sending it crashing into the water, exploding. MegaMan and Light spot ProtoMan before he leaves, and Light admits that he knows who MegaMan’s new friend is, and that they’ll talk about that soon… he promises.
The pod from earlier pulls up, and opens to reveal Roll, Rush, and Auto(now with eyebrows!).
Final page is a splash page of MegaMan saying that after that, he can handle ANYTHING! as pics of Light, Rush, Roll, Chelsea, and Alan are shown to the right, with the closing “THE END for now” below. But, we’re not through yet. After a bit of fanart, we come to…
In the course of one page, a century passes(or is it centuries? We know the truth, but the writing makes it hard to tell), and things have gotten worse… ALOT worse. Explosions rock the city as one lone figure stands, facing a group of Mavericks recent players may recognize, Soldier Stonekong and Ride Boarski among them; the X7 Mavericks.
The narrator lets us know that only one force can stand against them… “the heroic android known as MegaMan X!” Funny part is, while X IS an android, I doubt the writer(still Augustyn) really planned it to be so accurate. X does his best to fight off his aggressors, wondering where “he” is, just as everyone’s favorite purple Star Wars cosplayer joins the fun. Vile, X1 version, launches his own attack on X from his X1 Ride Armor, using an attack we’ve never seen before, but one I’m sure all the female X fans would love, as a long cord/tentacle/something reaches out of the armor’s chest and grabs X.
Stonekong then loses an arm, indicating that X’s backup has arrived. Zero looks a bit odd here. Sorta stumpy, sorta halfway to super-deformed here. Imagine his Xtreme sprite in a drawn form, and you’ve got the basic idea. Or even Zero drawn in the MM3 style. Oh, and he’s the Zero we’ve come to know and love, not his X1 or MMZ version, btw.
Anyhow, against “thirty-to-one” odds, even these two great Hunters have doubtful chances, as Sigma is gaining ground. There seems to be only one option, as “the doctor”(Cain?) has apparently agreed with what they already thought… whatever that is. So Zero hands X a small disk-shaped device, telling him that X is the one who must go– no one else can, for some reason. So off X goes, while Zero holds down the fort until his return… or so he hopes…
Now. The year is 20XX, and “the horrors of that war-torn hell are still DECADES in the future. A future no one can yet even guess at… save, perhaps, the man who lives here.
Inside the building, we see MegaMan, Roll, and Rush gathered around as Dr. Light puts the finishing touches on Eddie; now, he can make the finest coffee this side of Seattle. Not that any of them actually drink the stuff, Roll notes. But if it makes Dr. Light happy(which all his creations do). MegaMan hears something outside, and they all turn to see X standing there, telling Dr. Light that only HE can save the future!!”
To be continued in MegaMan X #1, coming soon from Dreamwave.
Now, for starters on my post-recap, I urge everyone who’s a MegaMan fan to go out and pick up a copy of #4. It is definitely the best of the series, which Dreamwave originally announced as an ongoing series, but has backtracked to say it was a “limited series.” Whatever winds their clock, this is good by me while I work on my own scripts.
Anyway, the art is top notch in this issue, and it’s actually good enough to support the writing. It truly feels like a MegaMan comic book with this issue, and the X preview should only add some incentive. I just hope that the X/MegaMan crossover doesn’t happen at a specific time or do anything that’d mess up my ideas… so far, so good, I guess.
My only REAL complaint here is that the coloring just wasn’t as good as it should have been. Small details, such as the inside of the earpieces on helmets, the barrels of Busters(X’s and ProtoMan’s, specifically) weren’t colored as they should have been, and have been before. Vile’s visor wasn’t colored black, either, more like some energy glow, and his ride armor was even green in one panel. Come to think of it, it’s hard to tell what color eyes they gave X, but I’m sure it’s not green…
Oh, and if you dislike the school theme, this issue is good for not really playing on that, either.
While it does wrap up the series well enough, it does leave things open for later, such as HeatMan and the mystery of ProtoMan.
One of the first things I’ve noticed upon picking up the third issue of this comic is that they seem to have foregone the classic title splash page which names the story, ever-so prominent in most comic book titles. If I’m not mistaken, this trend carried on through the whole series, but for one part, being the X series. Just something to note.
My only other disappointment so far is that we haven’t gotten to see Spaz draw MegaMan as Rock. Maybe next time…
Also, I think his work on the original cast is just a little better than his work on the X crew. That may change, though… we’ll see soon enough.
Again, I cannot emphasize this enough… please buy #4. Hopefully, it’ll tell Dreamwave that this is the kind of MegaMan we want, not the Little Golden Book version of MegaMan we’d gotten the past three issues…