Review of Archie Comic's Mega Man #1: Trouble Get!
In May 2011 much to the delight and surprise of Mega Man fans Archie Comic Publications, Inc. released its very first issue, Trouble Get. At the time having very limited knowledge of Mega Man along with a bit of a falling out with their on-going Sonic the Hedgehog series* I was more than a little skeptical. How would I know if this comic would manage to appeal to my interests? After that bit of an internal debate the attractive looking cover art and my general fondness for robots won me over. Snatching up the copy I gave the comic a go.
At the time I didn’t realize what a wild ride the Mega Man series would be. Naturally like any normal person I came out of the whole experience foaming at my mouth while clutching at the first issue like a national treasure. I even excitedly exclaimed odd phrases such as “Fight Mega Man! For everlasting peace!”
From the first issue to the latest (#12 April 2012) the comics all follow a four-part storyline. Trouble Get being the introduction to the entire series it has the readers ponder a few questions such as just who exactly is Mega Man? Why does he fight? What is he fighting for? Why is this Dr. Wily staying within a giant skull fortress of gloom and doom?
It all begins in the year 200X. Dr. Light a genius inventor during an unveiling ceremony introduces the public to six new robots. These robots were known as the “Robot Masters”. As explained by Dr. Light these Robot Masters “…have advanced A.I. (artificial intelligence) systems that will allow them to perform complex tasks…” (12). After a successful day Dr. Light and his two children Rock and Roll turn in for the night.
Unbeknownst to them, Dr. Light’s colleague Dr. Wily sets off with his own set of plans. Reprogramming the six Robot Masters to his fit his needs he takes them away from the Light Labs. Using the six Robot Masters he soon has them create havoc upon the populace. In succession Dr. Wily takes over the TV networks with his demands for “…complete and immediate surrender…” (17). Those turn of events not only shocked the good Doctor but he was devastated.
It’s understandable given how six of his proud creations that were made to help humankind were being misused by a man he trusted. On top of that there was no way for anyone to be able to oppose the Robot Masters and their rampage. After all Dr. Light admitted that they were the most advanced models in existence. It’s from there that Rock, Dr. Light’s robot son decides that he should be the one to stop Dr. Wily and his nefarious schemes.
Despite concerns Rock is willing to put the need and safety of others before himself. After all he too like the Robot Masters is a creation of Dr. Light and believed in his abilities. From the skillful hands of Dr. Light, Rock then transforms from a lab assistant and son to a super fighting robot, Mega Man! This introduction of the Blue Bomber creates a bridge to continue on to the next issue “Weapons Get!”.
A comic cannot stand alone with just story alone. It also relies on presentation and the delivery of the art. Between Patrick Spaziante's art and Matt Herms use of colors every turn of the page is enjoyable as the last. As mentioned earlier the cover was one of the initial reasons I had purchased this comic. To show just how appealing it is (and also to avoid legal issues) here is an artistic depiction of the cover with a stick-figure twist:
Lame joke aside from the vibrant colors to the composition of the characters it appeals to the eyes. It showcases four of the most prominent characters, Dr. Light, Roll, Dr. Wily and Mega Man himself. Followed with the added bonus of an early cameo of his robot dog Rush.
Mega Man stands within the forefront. He's wearing a look of determination as he poses to battle against all evil standing between man and freedom. Mega Man is further outlined with rays of light to stand out. Off to either side of him are Dr. Light, Roll and Rush are placed. The positioning is logical considering how they fulfill a role as Mega Man's support. It should be noted how they too are given rays of light, but smaller in scale compared to Mega Man's. It is a subtle implication that they too are good.
All the while directly behind Mega Man is a close up of the main antagonist's face. Dr. Wily ominously peers from behind Mega Man, making his intentions very clear even to the first time readers. Also with his position in the cover it can give off an air of unease as if his threat lurks beneath all that is good.
For fans of the series this issue has plenty of nods to the franchise. Here is a list of a few! Happy hunting for the rest, to those who are willing to go look for all of them:
- "Light" makes "right" - A line spoken by Dr. Wily in page 8. It's a direct reference to Dr. Light's name when his name is often written in the Japanese version it turns out as "Right".
- Cameo appearances of Chest, Plum, and Ripot from Mega Man Battle and Chase, Neige from Mega Man Zero 4, and Li from Mega Man Legends can be seen in the crowds. They can be found on pages 6, and 10.
- Ripot's questioning over the Sniper Joe can be taken as a reference to the band The Protomen, where Dr. Light was blamed for all the robots in the city.
From the beautiful artwork to the showcasing of the iconic characters from Mega Man, "Trouble Get" is clearly a spectacular start for this series. The readers are able to relate to Rock and his bravery as he pulls away from a role he is comfortable with. This leads on to the subsequent issues where Mega Man will have to face against the six Robot Masters and eventually the mastermind himself: Dr. Wily. See you all next time in the second issue, Weapons Get!
*This is simply a biased opinion of the author which went something along the lines of the following: Romance? In my favorite game-based series? NO THANK YOU. It should be noted at the time the author was a rebellious teen not interested in love triangle drama, please and thank you. Give me more action Archie comics.
[Flynn, Ian (w), Spaziante, Patrick (a).] "Let the Games Begin! Part one: Trouble Get!" Mega Man #1 (May 2001), Archie Comic Publications, Inc.