- Books, Literature, and Writing
The New Adventures of Megaman #1
Since Mega Man has made his long awaited appearance in the latest Super Smash Bros title I figure it’d be appropriate to go in and take a look at more Mega Man comics and graphic novels. Let’s kick things off by looking at Novas Aventuras de Megaman (aka New Adventures of Megaman).
This comic was first published between the years of 199X to 199X. Alright, alright. I’m kidding it was 1997 to 1999 in Brazil. They were unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your view) given the official Capcom seal of approval.
You as a casual reader may be wondering how bad can a comic based on a family friendly game with a heroic ten year old robot boy go? Let’s put it simply: very easily.
Admittedly the first issue isn’t as bad as the rest aside from a few curse words and violence here and there. Yet it should say something when I’m personally hesitant to post the cover of this comic aside from this tiny portion:
Due to the unfortunate color choice it looks very much like Roll (the heroine of this comic) was hanging out in the nude when that isn’t the case. Seeing how in the actual issue she’s seen wearing a yellow outfit of a different shade than the one on the cover, I’d do the same and edit it accordingly.
The Hero Awakens!
Now it’s a bit more family friendly! Although even with the edits Roll sorely sticks out from the clashing style she has with the protagonist Rock, also referred to as Megaman but for the sake of this article he’ll be referred to as Rock.
Let’s assume once again you are a casual reader who knows little to nothing about the Mega Man series. "So what’s wrong with the way Roll is dressed? She’s in spandex like Rock is!" You may be thinking. Well, my dear viewer, Roll is supposed to be Rock’s younger sister. Rock is as stated in his series a ten year old robot. Let that sink in your mind for a moment.
To be fair to this particular series both her and Rock look and act older than they are in the games. Still it’s disturbing seeing how sexualized Roll is treated from the get go. Not just in the front cover but upon the comic pages itself.
There were plenty of pages where there were gratuitous shots of Roll’s butt, and her chest. That seems to be a running theme in this comic but that’s getting ahead of myself here.
The story of this issue admittedly had promising lines to it, yet it never delivered or it came into play too late. It all starts off with Roll running through the desert clearly trying to evade danger.
What is she doing there, and why is she being hunted down? Clearly it’s to escape this comic’s horrible plot, err, rather she was in the search of her brother, Rock who had been sealed away in the middle of a desert.
Since according to Roll, the world would be doomed without Rock’s powers. During her perilous escape from the Sand Troopers (the evil dudes who are hot on her trail) she literally walks in upon Rock’s containment pod. Much rejoicing is had since Roll, to no one in particular, states how she hasn’t seen her brother for 30 years.
Oh, but of course it’d be boring if she just reactivates him with no problems whatsoever, right? Right.
Getting attacked from behind by the Sand Troopers, Roll is left in certain danger once again. Thankfully she’s able to at least hit the pretty pretty activation button (also known as the enter key) for Rock. Then the audience is treated with round two of Roll being the damsel in distress.
The Sand Trooper however having enough of her sass decides to just shoot her and spare us the remaining 15 issues of her character being horribly mangled into something unrecognizable, hooray!
The Sand Troopers aren’t given too long to gloat over their success as Rock takes them all down in two pages. How anticlimactic for a comic about super fighting robots. Defeating the oppressive Sand Troopers, Rock panics worried about his sister only to discover her new found abilities of Deus Ex Machina.
When the two finally have time to sit and talk, Roll then takes on the role as exposition for Rock and by extension the readers. She starts off by explaining why she and Rock had been sealed off, which he should already know to begin with.
Highly advanced robots like them had been banned after their longtime adversary Dr. Wily had been arrested. So their father, Dr. Light disobeying the government's orders decided to hide the two away. After upgraded them both he had them sealed for 30 years. That doesn't sound like the plot to Mega Man X at all, nope.
Even though robots were banned, a new line of robots known as “Neo Mavericks” (not to be mistaken for Mavericks from the Mega Man X series) were created by a company in Japan. Turns out these Neo Mavericks were bad dudes all along. For you see, they were in cahoots with Dr. Wily.
So typical evil robots go on a rampage, people were massacred, and Dr. Wily took the reins. Then Roll drops the bomb about how their father died creating Rock to have a robot life crisis of some sort.
With such gems such as, why does only money speak? Why is the human government so corrupt? My dad is dead and I have to help humans now? Blasphemy! (paraphrased here). Roll of course reminds him of what they’re fighting for and manages to raise his spirits. The two then hop onto a ship their father left behind to find resistance groups against Dr. Wily’s tyranny.
Little did the duo know they were being watched by the Neo Mavericks and Dr. Wily himself. The comic ends with Dr. Wily ominously scheming to convert Rock to end up on the side of evil. What’s going to happen from there?
Unfortunately this comic with a somewhat of a promising start didn't follow through. It's clear it's taken some plot points from a different Mega Man series (Mega Man X) that was as popular at the time. Such as Rock and Roll being sealed off for thirty years, and evil robots known as (Neo) Mavericks rampaging and terrorizing everyone around them. Or the fact the whole time the Neo Mavericks were wreaking havoc there was a figure who was pulling the strings the whole time. It's a bit like Sigma, and personally it made me think of The Protomen. Yet, not as well-thought out or grande as them.
There were even plot points brought up within this issue that's been tossed aside for many reasons. Wily's schemes of turning and tempting Rock onto the side of evil is completely dropped. Along with the rebel group Roll mentions doesn't even make an appearance until the last remaining issues of the series.
Said rebel group is completely forgettable by then, and was a completely missed opportunity.
The art in this issue is done by one person, Márcia Harumi Saito. Which in itself should be impressive seeing as how in comic books more than one people work on the pencils, inks and even colors for the comic. Sadly it's not that amazing looking at the quality of it.
I feel that it shouldn't be pointed out as they can speak for themselves, however I'll note that the art is terrible. In all fairness it was done by an amateur artist but that doesn't excuse the poor quality seeing how even other amateur artists can produce beautiful works of art in comic format. It'd be an insult to them to say otherwise.
However this isn't the worst art out of the series. The artist has her strong point such as drawing a pretty decent air ship. Although the Sand Troopers look comical instead of menacing and as each page goes on Roll looks more and more haggard. The way her hair even Rock's is drawn rather inconsistently throughout the panels which just leaves a bad impression over all. Also sometimes details within the picture are sometimes forgotten (like the wires stick out from Roll) only to magically appear in the next page.
Even a scene of horrible violence just (thankfully on my end) look comical, than terrifying. It's sad to say from issue to issue the art's quality can be a very hit and a miss.
Before this ends I'll have to thank the Optical Internet Translation Gang for posting English translations of this comic. Otherwise I would've been left to speculate or resort to Google English in figuring out what's going on in this mess of a series.