Megaman 4 Review

After wrapping up that last Megaman manga it was time to dig deep and check out the next one. Once again this is only one volume so it makes for a pretty quick read at only 5 chapters. It’s a fun enough story that throws you right into the action and does the game justice. It’s always fun to be able to jump back into the world of Megaman.

The story starts off with Megaman beating up Wily again and heading home. He’s just in time because Roll is going shopping to grab stuff for Dr Light’s surprise birthday party. Megaman offers to go with her and even saves a kid from getting hit in traffic. Unfortunately that’s when a bunch of robots start attacking the cities and the whole world is in peril. This time it’s not Wily, but Dr. Cossack who is the big bad. He has control over 8 robot masters and doesn’t intend to stop his mad quest for power. Megaman is forced to suit up once more to take this guy down but is he really ready to defeat such an opponent? Hopefully because he likely won’t get a second chance if he is defeated here.

Since 8 robot masters have to go down in under 5 chapters as well as giving us enough time to deal with the extra levels, Megaman really mows them down. The first few fighters like Pharaohman and Diveman do well enough but after that Mega Man basically no sells them. He essentially beats every robot master within 5 chapters before giving one for Cossack and one for the final boss. It’s not surprising though because Megaman should be completely crushing these guys. He’s just on a different level and has enough raw power to destroy just about any opponent who gets in his way. He’s earned the Mega part of his name after all.

Megaman often gets compared to Astro Boy because they share a lot of similarities. I’d say that this is one such occasion as this Mega Man in particular feels a lot like Astro Boy. He’s a very nice guy living a day to day life but gets serious when the going gets tough. Like with Megaman X, the classic version doesn’t care for battle but he gets less emotional about it. Megaman just takes down the villains and keeps it moving. It’s just the way he handles these guys. Megaman’s a very streamlined fighter after all, nobody gets in his way for very long before he packs them up.

The artwork is also pretty solid. It looks a little more modern than the last adventure so the fight scenes are a bit better but it stays very clear. All of the character outlines are good and the layout is on point. As a result you’ve got a manga that you can read through very quickly. The writing is on point and the action is good so there’s really nothing negative to say here. Especially if you played through the game then you’ll probably be feeling pretty nostalgic when you read through the title. It’s always fun to see the familiar robot masters trying to get in Megaman’s way.

Naturally you can always expect Wily to make an appearance as well. That was definitely a lot of fun to be sure. Perhaps it was not unexpected because he had to show up sooner or later though. Protoman also got to appear for a change which was fun. The one thing is, he didn’t get to fight which is a shame. I feel like by having Protoman in, you just expect that he would at least get 1 action scene to himself. What’s the point if he doesn’t get to throw out any blows except to look cool. He saves someone which is hype but I think they should have added a scene where we see Protoman beating up some bodyguards or something.

The volume ends pretty suddenly when Megaman beats Wily so don’t expect an aftermath. Megaman just showed up to clean shop and that was the end of the battle. Presumably after that he will finally get to enjoy the Birthday party that everyone had been planning so nicely. Due to how direct the volume is with Megaman just running from battle to battle, there’s not a whole lot extra to say about it. The robot masters don’t appear long enough for any true discussion with them either since they appear and then get blasted without mercy by Megaman. They get their quick rematch with Megaman at the end when he has to fight them all again but they barely even get to talk before they’re shut down. It just goes to show how strong he is.

I suppose the emotional moment here would be Cossack’s plot since it’s not like he is exactly thrilled to be going up against Megaman. Still, he’s got to do what he’s got to do. Hostage situations always get tricky. I would have liked to have had some banter with the various doctors though. Seeing them all debate the classic question of robots would be fun and how they should be used or not used in society. Even if it’s a super simplified version that would have been fun too.

Overall, Megaman 4 is a very solid adaption. These one volume titles are always very easy to read. Personally it’d be fun if the series could be longer since you could really expand on each fight and give a little more story in between the battles. That said, you’d probably need to change the format of the story a bit if you wanted to add a lot of other scenes just because of the way there is typically no break in the attacks. It’s not like Megaman can just choose to stay home sometimes either. So until we get a more adventure styled Megaman manga like that, I’m definitely content to get a bunch of these smaller volumes. At the very least we got to have a giant Mettaur show up out of nowhere at one point which was definitely a blast. If you haven’t checked this one out yet, I would recommend doing so now.

Overall 7/10

Mega Man 11: The Gears of Fate Review

It’s time to look at the one shot manga that was created to hype up the game. This one’s a little longer than the last one shot I reviewed as it’s around 20 pages. That’s a good thing since it allows for a fight and that’s one of the reasons why this artist has always been so solid. It’s nice to see Mega Man back in manga and it would be awesome if he could get a full length series again at some point. The character has had a great track record so far and I have no doubt that a sequel would fare just as well.

The story starts with Wily wrecking havoc on the world once more. This time his robots have been equipped with the Double Gear system so even Mega Man is basically helpless to stop them. Fortunately Dr. Light has one as well so he gives it to Mega Man. Still, he warns the robot that if he ever uses both gears at once he will probably die. Mega Man agrees not to use it unless necessary and hops into battle. He’ll have to go through Fuse Man though and this may be his most dangerous task yet.

The author perfectly gets across how serious of a threat this is. Since robots run the world in the future every time they turn evil it is a catastrophe. No matter how many times this may occur, there isn’t much that the humans can do since their whole economy depends on them. Fuse Man in particular is difficult to stop since he controls all electricity in the area and can turn it all off on a whim. The only way to stop his ability is to destroy him which also forces Mega Man to make some tough choices. At his core Mega Man is always a hero though and so he does what he can to find a better way.

The battle between Mega Man and Fuse Man is top notch as you would expect from this artist after the brilliant Megaman NT Warrior series. He does a good job of showing off Mega Man’s speed and then also keeping Fuse Man at a higher level. He did have to rush the ending a bit as Mega Man never quite gets past the speed advantage but secures the win anyway though. I assume that had he been given more time then the fight would have been even more satisfying. Still, the art was fantastic and the action was amazing. This manga already has a more interesting environment and atmosphere then the rest of the Mega Man series. Imagine if Mega Man 11 actually played out like this. Full disclaimer, I think Mega Man 11 looks like a lot of fun so no shots at it, but imagine it in the art style of something like Sonic Forces. That’s basically what this manga looks like and it works pretty well. I’d love to see a third person shooter for Mega Man at some point or even a beat em up. The lore of the universe would work pretty well around that, especially if we get a proper robot invasion kind of story.

Overall, Mega Man 11 is definitely a real page turner. The pacing is almost too good since the story ends so quickly and you are left wanting more. Hopefully the fan response to both the manga and the game is positive enough where the franchise gets completely revived and we see a whole lot of extra material. That would just be a lot of fun. If you haven’t checked this manga out yet then you definitely need to do so. It really shows you why Mega Man is still considered to be one of the most likable of the original video game icons and his character has stayed consistent through the years.

Overall 8/10

Mega Man Rock of Ages Review

It’s time for another batch of Mega Man comics! Mega Man has been a consistently good comic series just like Sonic The Hedgehog and that doesn’t change with this volume. It is a little light on the action, which can be a little sad, but we do get some foreshadowing at things to come. To be honest, we probably got a little too much foreshadowing, but it’ll be nice if it all happens at some point.

The first two parter is about the origin of Proto Man. Dr Light built him after the government wanted to see some progress on their funding. Unfortunately, Dr Light got a little too excited about the concept and he became friends with Proto Man. His coworker…Dr Wily, quickly showed Dr Light the error of his ways. Unfortunately, Proto Man short circuited during the demonstration. Fixing him would be tricky and he may have lost some of his personality. Dr Light doesn’t help matters by complaining to one of his friends that he wishes he could take out part of Proto Man’s rebellious streak. Proto Man streaks off and Dr Light quickly claims that he was kidding. (A little too late for that…) Now, Proto Man has to come to terms with the fact that he is dying. It’s pretty emotional.

The next issue is about Roll and her friends as they head to the Beach. Their vacation is quickly interrupted when they notice that a ship is sinking. They quickly call in Oil Man and Splash Woman. Now, they have to try to save everyone before it is too late. Unfortunately, Tempo is one of the robots on the scene and she isn’t very good at this kind of thing. If only Mega Man was around!

The final comic features a lot of time travel. Mega Man gets thrown into the future and he continues to accelerate during the years. We get scenes from Mega Man and Bass, Mega Man 7, Mega Man 5, and so on. He has to find a way to stop going further into the future if he wants to even stand a chance at living through this. It’s a fun comic full of homages, but it can be a little dicey for fans who just want to see what’s going to happen next. It’ll really take years to adapt all of this, which is a little sad, but I can only hope that these events will occur soon.

So, this was a pretty solid volume. I will admit that I did have two main problems with it. The first is the startling absence of Mega Man. He doesn’t really get to appear until the final comic. I’m all for the side characters getting their own plots, but we really need Mega Man to get a larger role. He deserves it and I have to say that he’s more interesting than the others. Even Proto Man lacks the raw ability that Mega Man has at his disposal. Mega Man basically steals the show once again when he re appears.

The other would be the fact that there isn’t a whole lot of action in this volume. There is no actual villain for the first three comics and the final issue with Mega Man is the only exception. That one definitely had some pretty solid action scenes, but they all get interrupted before the fights can really get going. That’s a little disappointing right? I want a full fight where we really get to see how Mega Man stacks up!

Mega Man’s role may have been small, but it was definitely a good one. He essentially stole the show and showed why he is a natural born leader. It can be a little sketchy to see Mega Man lose his cool so quickly in the time travel story since he was supposed to have already gone through that character development, but maybe he’s just going to end up being the next Sonic. I’m cool with that, as long as Mega Man continues to rack up those wins. He is really the only hope for the heroes at the moment since the rest of them aren’t very powerful.

Proto Man is really in his human persona for most of the collection, but he’s a pretty good character. I don’t blame him for leaving during the first misunderstanding, but he shouldn’t have left the second time. He’s a hero through and through. Proto Man kept trying to help everyone even when he was dying from the effort. He’ll be a good partner for Mega Man down the line, but that likely won’t happen for a while. His ending is definitely hinting at the reverse.

Tempo was easily the worst character in the batch. She’s pretty worried the whole time and she really lacks confidence. She’s still a robot master though so she needs to act as one. It’s not like she couldn’t survive a fall from a super large height. These robots are super durable after all and she mostly spent the whole time embarrassing Roll. She has no role in the comics so far so I’m hoping that she’ll develop into a good character. I’m hoping….

Roll gets her own comic and it’s good to see her get a big role. I do wish that it had been a combat role since I’m sure that she can quickly be modified to fight. Still, this was good enough I suppose and she got to prove that she’s great at rescue operations. Dr Light tried to stop her, but nobody can really stop a robot master when they get serious. If Roll had not been around, things definitely would have gotten dicey.

Splash Woman and Oil Man are really just guest stars in the rescue comic. They have some pretty good team work and their abilities do go together pretty well. They don’t seem to be very powerful, but things could change. In the future comic, we see that Splash Woman is fighting Mega Man since the hero seems to have been framed. Of course, Mega Man is holding back so that he doesn’t hurt her.

Dr Light is a main character I suppose, but he’s pretty unlikable for the most part. He doesn’t want Roll to live up to her full potential and it’s really his fault that Proto Man is gone. We also find out that he (possibly) installed the engine wrong, which is why Proto Man is dying. He’s technically a nice guy, but he’s way too oblivious at some points and there’s no reason to really become a fan of his. He’s just too distant and protecting of the heroes..even though they already surpassed him.

Bass is the main reason why the final comic is epic. He has finally arrived! It’ll be quite a while before he gets a role in the main series at this point so I’ll take what I can get. He has a quick fight with Mega Man and then he proceeds to talk tough the whole time. He doesn’t back down from anyone and that’s what I always liked about Bass. I’m not sure if I’d say that it’s my favorite interpretation of the character, (Giga Mix portrayed him better) but it’s not bad. Hopefully Bass gets some big roles in the future.

The art is pretty solid as always. Everything is very clear even if it’s a little on the bland side. The artist may need to add some effects to spice up the battle scenes. They’re just a little too clear…even for me. Of course, that is what makes them so easy to read so it’s a mixed bag. Either way, the art is definitely very good.

Overall, This is another good batch of Mega Man comics. It may have been the weakest entry in the series, but it can only go up from here. You can definitely draw a lot of similarities from the Mega Man comic series to the Sonic one. Both of them are very up beat and the personalities of Sonic and Mega Man are starting to get a little similar. This is the kind of comic that’s easy to pick up and read at any time. The plot is pretty light after all as there are no plot twists or big cliff hangers. I do expect the next batch to have a lot more action though since I don’t want the series to start losing steam. I have heard that the crossover with Sonic is pretty awesome though so I can’t wait to read it! Bass is on the cover of that one so I’m confident that he will get a roll. I definitely recommend this collection and the story is fun enough that you can get past the lack of action.

Overall 6/10

Gemini Saga vs Roll

Gemini Saga is pretty powerful and with a single blast he can take some pretty impressive fighters down! Roll has some pretty good speed, but it won’t be enough to outspeed Gemini Saga. Gemini Saga rises up the ranks with this win and shows that he’s still got it. Gemini Saga wins.

Colonel vs Roll

Colonel has a sword and with it he’s taken down many opponents. If you get in his way you’re usually toast. Colonel just can’t be defeated too easily. Roll may have her super speed, but in the end it doesn’t help too much against Colonel. Colonel’s pretty fast in his own right and moves up the blog ranks with this win. Colonel wins.

Roll vs Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a medical robot who knows how to heal. Of course she won’t be able to heal fast enough once Roll gets serious. Roll has super speed and has been shown to have enough stamina to keep it up for a while. Cinnamon never stood a chance against someone as powerful as Roll. Roll wins.