“Worlds Collide,” Archie’s big crossover arc between Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man is now officially halfway over. I’ll admit that at this juncture in the storyline I am starting to feel a tinge of fatigue. While the ways author Ian Flynn manages to blend the two universes is still neat, the “oh my gosh, a Sonic/Mega Man crossover!” luster is starting to wear off and I’m wondering if the story is really going to gear up and take some twists and turns? Because thus far, it’s playing things pretty much by ear.
Sonic the Hedgehog #249 (Archie Comics)
In this sixth installment of “Worlds Collide”, Sonic, Tails, Megaman, Proto Man and Rush continue their trek across the Skull Egg Zone in order to invade the new Death Egg. To slow them down, Doctors Robotnik and Wily let loose the 8 Roboticized Masters: Knuckles Man, Shadow Man, Blaze Woman, Espio Man, Charmy Man, Vector Man, Silver Man and Rose Woman. While Proto Man sneaks into the Death Egg, Sonic and Mega Man have to find a way to stop the Roboticized Masters without destroying them.
If Act 1 of “Worlds Collide” followed the trope of having the two heroes fight due to a misunderstanding, Act 2 thus far is having them team up to fight one another’s enemies. This stuff is a blast to see, don’t get me wrong, but the story so far hasn’t thrown any curveballs. We’re halfway through the arc (and that’s a hefty six issues), so I’m hoping Flynn pulls the rug out from under us sometime soon.
Predictable or not, there’s still the satisfaction of seeing these two universes interact and meld and I think that’s enough to keep us all hooked for the duration. As with the previous installments, Flynn has a lot of fun with the minutia of the two franchises and throws in plenty of in-jokes. I especially enjoyed the various gags regarding the shared names of some of the Roboticized Masters with other video game characters (you know which ones).
The primary conflict in this issue involved a battle with the Roboticized Chaotix (Vector, Espio and Charmy Bee). Mega Man restores the Mobians by using his power-stealing ability on them (also gaining their inherent abilities to add to his arsenal). It’s a good fight and Tracey Yardley puts a lot of energy into it. You of course have neat moments like Tails carrying Mega Man while Sonic surfs on Rush, but the actual battle is pretty exciting and well laid out. There’s a lot of dialogue in this issue and I’m surprised Yardley managed to make space for all the word bubbles. Again, he’s quite good at laying pages out.
- The Roboticized Chaotix made for great enemies
- More funny in-jokes and references for the fans
- Hopefully there’ll be some more meat to this arc than “Sonic and Mega Man in the same comic”, because so far that’s all it’s got
Is it Good?
It’s as good as it’s ever been. The problem isn’t so much the story arc of “Worlds Collide” declining in quality, but that the novelty is starting to wear thin, leaving only the story to carry the arc. And, I must confess, the story so far has been very formulaic. Still, we’re only half way, so there’s no telling what Flynn might throw at us before “Worlds Collide” is through.