For those curious, the Free Comic Book Day exclusive Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man flipbook titled “Worlds Collide Part 0″ is nothing to get worked up over. It’s actually just a pair of edited reprints of the last issues of Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog before “Worlds Collide” began; no new material to speak of (save a couple character bios, I guess). So if you weren’t able to get ahold of it on Free Comic Book Day, don’t lose any sleep over it.
Anyway, let’s get down to the matter at hand: Mega Man #25 (part 4 of “Worlds Collide”).
Mega Man #25: Worlds Collide Part 4 (Archie Comics)
In this installment, the brawl between Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man moves from Green Hill Zone to Mega City. Eventually, the two warring protagonists realize they’ve been bamboozled and Mega Man uses his power-stealing ability to de-roboticize Tails. Peace doesn’t last long, though, as Bass and Metal Sonic kidnap Dr. Light and drag him into the Skull Egg Zone, where Doctors Robotnik and Wily await.
I’ve been enjoying “Worlds Collide” like nobody’s business, but I have to confess that it is really, REALLY playing things by the numbers. The first act is over and so far it’s hit pretty much every crossover cliche you can imagine, with this issue just carrying on the trend. Realistically speaking, I don’t think author Ian Flynn has much of a choice in the matter, as there are certain scenarios fans WANT to see out of this crossover (the heroes fighting each other, the heroes working together, double-villainy, etc.) and so there’s no avoiding the cliches. But man “heroes have a misunderstanding orchestrated by the bad guys, they fight but realize they’ve made a mistake once they see the other guy protecting innocent civilians, put aside their differences and team-up” has gotta be the oldest trope in the book.
The good news is that with this issue, the “heroes fight” shtick is safely behind us and the story can proceed into fresh territory. There’s still 8 more parts to this thing, so I’ve no doubt that Flynn is going to spring a good number of surprises down the line.
But so far as this issue is concerned, while it doesn’t give us anything we didn’t already see coming a mile away… C’mon. It’s Mega Man throwing down with Sonic the Hedgehog. That’s just cool, telegraphed story beats or not. The fight only fills five pages of this issue, but it’s a lot more thrilling than the battle from the previous installment. Mega City makes for a more interesting environment and the inclusion of the assist robots (Rush, Tango, Beat and Eddie) really liven things up. And once again, Flynn uses established elements of the two franchise to play off each other in a charmingly intuitive fashion (Tails Man has special moves like Air Man). Should Mega Man’s power-stealing ability *really* be able to de-roboticize the Roboticized Masters? It makes just enough sense that I’m perfectly willing to buy it at face value.
We also get to see our heroes interact beyond just trying to kill each other with this installment and it’s a pleasure to see that they don’t just instantaneously get along. Mega Man thinks Sonic’s a jerk (because he is) and Sonic thinks Mega Man’s kind of a dork (because he kind of is) and while the two may not like one another on a personal level, they respect each other’s courage and strength. A dysfunctional friendship is always more fun to watch than two peas in a pod.
- Sonic and Mega Man play off each other really well.
- The mixing of the two franchises continues to be clever and fun.
- Really, really predictable issue.
- No, seriously. Every cliche by the letter.
Is It Good?
Well, we’re four parts in and the “oh wow” sheen of seeing the two characters interact is starting to wear off, leaving only the story to admire on its own merits. Thankfully, the most cliched elements of this crossover are now behind us, so the predictability factor is out the window. If you’ve been lukewarm on “Worlds Collide” thus far, I’d say stick around as it’s all sure to be uphill from here.