Part One of the Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man crossover arc “World’s Collide” may have surprised or disappointed some with its near complete lack of, well, Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man. That opening chapter focused almost exclusively on their villains: Dr. Robotnik and Dr. Wily (and it was glorious).
Sonic Universe #51 (Archie Comics)
For those let down by the distinct lack of the color blue last week, Part Two makes up for it by focusing on the two title characters, maneuvering them into place for the standard “mandatory misunderstanding leads to fight between the heroes” bit. But don’t let the cliche’ get you down; writer Ian Flynn has a hell of a time playing with all the toys in his sandbox. So even if “World’s Collide” is playing it by the numbers so far, there’s no denying the fun in it all.
As Part Two goes, Wily and Robotnik have combined their roboticization skills and Robot Master tech to turn several of Sonic’s allies into evil Roboticized Masters (Tails Man, Shadow Man, Knuckles Man and Rose Woman, with support from Metal Sonic). While Proto Man and Mega Man have their hands full with the Roboticized Masters, Copybot (in the guise of Mega Man) antagonizes the Chaotix (Vector the Crocodile, Charmy Bee and Espio the Chameleon) and Sonic and Silver. Eventually, Mega Man and Sonic collide at Green Hill Zone and, thanks to Metal Sonic and Copybot, fall victim to a carefully orchestrated case of mistaken identity.
Unfortunately, the issue is still in the “set up” phase, so it ends before we get to see the two characters throw down. But, as with the first part of the storyline, Flynn manages to make that setup as interesting and fun to read as possible. The Roboticized Masters are a trip and the use of two established franchise villains (Copybot and Metal Sonic) to facilitate the mistaken identity was about as inspired a cliche’ as you can get.
I must have needed an eye exam when I looked at Mega Man #24 and felt that artist Jamal Peppers was struggling with the Sonic character designs. In this issue, he seems to have no trouble with either franchise’s cast and renders them both on model and dynamically in all the action sequences. Again, he throws in a lot of great nuances, like the grossed out look on Sonic’s face as he enters Amy’s room to look for her or the smug look on Copybot’s face as he plays Sonic for a fool.
- If you only know the games, you’ll be familiar with everything
- Clever interactions between characters from both franchises
- If you prefer the comic characters and setting over the games, you may feel annoyed
- Interesting use of crossover cliches, but they’re cliches never-the-less
Being a “jumping on” storyline for readers uninitiated in either books, especially the 20-year Sonic mythos, “Worlds Collide” appears to be limiting itself to just the characters and concepts recognizable from the video games. So all of a sudden Sonic is spending all his time running in loops at Green Hill Zone, the Chaotix are a trio of inept detectives and all the extended cast from the Archie book/DiC cartoon are nowhere to be seen. It’s probably a wise move, as Flynn doesn’t want to overload any new readers with concepts they aren’t familiar with, but I do hope we get to see those Archie original characters show up later in the arc. In my personal opinion, the Sega Sonic characters are really… dull, and media that uses them exclusively tends to be boring (Sonic X, that piece of crap).
Is It Good?
While I don’t think this second part of “World’s Collide” was as amusing as the first, it delivers more characters and employs them all in interesting ways. Thanks to the nature of the Genesis Wave, I’m not really sure where the ongoing storylines of the two series stand (other than “on hold” until this arc wraps up). Last time we saw Mega Man and Break/Proto Man, they were at each other’s throats. Here, they’ve got an uneasy alliance going on. But I presume the storylines will reset back to normal after this arc is over with. So I’ll just try to relax and enjoy it.