Worlds Unite Part Four: Death and Destruction
Line Art: Dan Schoening
Colors: Luis Delgado
Letters: Jack Morelli
We now come to the point where things start to wind down. With the story finally getting to the point where all the main characters meet up, the first part of this crossover is drawing to a close, and with that, there needs to be set up for the next part. This time, the fight between M’egga Man and Sonic Man is the backdrop for the real action: the worlds are fusing together, and the Freedom Fighters and the Robot Masters must work together to save people during the chaos. Indeed there is a lot of chaos, so much so that I had a hard time figuring out what was going on during some of the action bits. As M’egga Man and Sonic Man hit each other with their biggest attacks, Eggman’s and Wily’s Programming kicks in, turning them back to normal. I have to admit, when I first read the text explaining to the heroes what was up, I thought some third party came in to save them.
Just over halfway through this comic comes the event that completely ruins the stakes of the comic. Funnily enough, it was editorially mandated in order to “raise” the stakes. I am, of course, talking about the death of team Dark, including Shadow the Hedgehog. I feel the main problem with the Sonic comic, the one aspect that makes it so it can never be as good as Mega Man, is that SEGA does not play ball.
SEGA has a track record with the comic in making really weird demands, mostly because they are interested in keeping Sonic as a brand as sterile as Mickey Mouse is often seen by people. Things have to be the way SEGA dictates them to be, and they will often contradict themselves or forget what they own or don’t own. Knowing this, I can safely say there is no way that SEGA would ever allow Archie to permanently kill off Shadow the Hedgehog. Nack the Weasel, maybe, or anyone else from the Classic Era that didn’t make it to the transition to modern, but not Shadow. Never. I actually glossed over the scene the first time, and when someone told me that Shadow was dead, I actually had to read this issue again to see for myself. Sure enough, they imply his demise, but never outright say it (probably because Archie didn’t get permission from SEGA to kill him off, anyway). I could go on about how SEGA dictates their properties or how Archie’s attempts to circumvent them went from charming to annoying, but that isn’t the purpose of this review.
What is important to note, however, is that this event solidifies the crossover in “retcon” territory. With Shadow blown to smithereens (albeit with a mountain of plausible deniability), there is no way this crossover won’t end with a cosmic reset to put things back they way they were: no stakes, no changes in the status quo, not even a reboot as Tracey Yardley! doesn’t seem like he wants to take Captain Metal away from Archie just yet and make a bunch of patches and iPhone cases of the guy.
It is at this point in the comic where “Worlds Unite” goes from being a part of the narrative of the three comic universes to being a story in its own right, to be enjoyed on its own by its own merits, much like Sonic 06. And that’s not the only thing it has in common to Sonic 06.
This story offers a bunch of confusing action and promises to the reader that this comic can possibly do whatever it wants, because its going to fix itself at the end of all of this, anyway. That could be a good thing, and they do promise something cool when all the heroes finally meet up and Sigma teases that he has a mechaniloid army ready to face them when they go to fight him.
Inks: Rick Byrant
Colors: Luis Delgado and Anna Chher
Letters: Jack Morelli
Since part four of Worlds Unite happens to be Mega Man issue #50, it has an expanded page count, and with it comes a back-up story. This is the best part of the issue by far, and probably one of my top three chapters of Worlds Unite. One thing that had people apprehensive of a crossover between X and Mega Man was that it meant characters like Dr. Light and the blue bomber will know what lies in their future. And really, a lot of Worlds Unite caused problems for a lot of the Mega Man fans, as it sits in a part of the story where Mega Man believes Dr. Wily is dead. And if Dr. Light and Dr. Wily met their future creations, does it mean that them building X and Zero was predestined by a time loop? After all, by this point, Dr. Light has seen X and has been told about who and what Sigma is, so he knows what the future would hold. Perhaps after I’m done writing these reviews, I will go into what I would have done if I had written Worlds Unite.
The story gives people unfamiliar with both Mega Man and X a chance to learn about the characters and their backstory as the two introduce themselves to each other. Fans of the X series also get a few pages dedicated to adapting events prior to the first X game, as well as having X explain how his character developed throughout the series, even learning from his lowest point in X7. Ian even touches on the differences between the free-willed X and the programmed Mega Man. When the bomb finally drops that X was built by Dr. Light, and X even contemplates preventing his own creation to stop all the suffering from happening, Mega Man gives him what I think would be the most perfect answer.