Volume 1

Mega Man: Let the Games Begin

The very first trade paperback collection of the Archie Mega Man comics is a wild trip down memory lane for fans of the classic video game series, as well as a great starting point for a new comic book franchise. The Blue Bomber goes from being a simple helper robot to the savior of the city in the not too distant future of 200X. Gorgeous colors and animation combine with intense action taken directly from the video game series to create a comic that fans of Mega Man and video games in general will enjoy.

Mega Man Issue #1

Story

Dr. Light, the revered robotics engineer, has just given a speech detailing his newest robotic creations, the Robot Masters. Built to aid mankind, the Robot Masters are powerful androids that can withstand harsh work conditions and give humans a break from the dangers of extreme physical labor. The future is looking bright for everyone, robots and humans, until the spiteful Dr. Wily turns the six Robot Masters against humanity, causing mass destruction and damages across the city. With no other options, Dr. Light decides to use his child-like robot Rock as a weapon to defeat Dr. Wily. Donning his iconic blue armor and copying abilities, Rock becomes Mega Man for the very first time, and he’s ready to stop Dr. Wily’s plans for good!

References to the video game series

– In the opening pages Mega Man is fighting two Big Eyes outside of Dr. Wily’s castle
– Not seeing an entrance to Wily’s fortress, Mega Man equips Guts Man’s Super Arm ability and rips out a chunk of the wall
– The Yellow Devil awaits Mega Man inside Wily’s Castle
– Dr. Light’s podium shows an 8-bit version of Dr. Light, the same sprite used in the NES games
– All the Robot Masters from the first Mega Man are in Issue 1. Portraits of their heads are arranged around Dr. Light while he’s giving his speech, much like they are arranged around Mega Man at the stage select screen
– Chest, Plum, and Ripot, the three robot reporters from Mega Man: Battle & Chase are reporting on Dr. Light’s news conference

Facts

– A building in the background has part of the Capcom logo on it’s roof
– Dr. Light and Dr. Wily reference their past as colleagues and students
– Dr. Wily’s line, “Light makes right” is a reference to Dr. Light’s name being Dr. Right in Japan. This is due to the Japanese language not having an “L” sound, so when it was translated it was changed
– Though the portraits of the Robot Masters are arranged in a circle around Dr. Light as they would appear in the game, they are not in the same order as they are in Mega Man on the NES
– Here are initial jobs of the Robot Masters:
– Ice Man: “Who will push arctic and antarctic exploration to new horizons”
– Fire Man: “Whose incinerator functions will promote waste reduction”
– Elec Man: “Who will rewrite the book of power management”
– Bomb Man: “Who will revolutionize demolition and excavation practices”
– Guts Man: “Who will oversee land reclamation in hazardous conditions”
– Cut Man: “Who will oversee forestry management”
– Dr. Light reveals he first worked on military robotics to get a name for himself and raise money to fund his true passion, creating robots to better mankind
– Throughout the issue and series, Dr. Light and Roll call Mega Man by his first name, Rock. The Mega Man series is called Rockman in Japan. The series has strong ties to music, with Mega Man (Rock), Roll, and later characters having musical inspired names
– Dr. Light equips Mega Man with the Mega Buster, the arm cannon used to fire shots. He also says the Mega Buster “can hold a charge to pack more punch,” suggesting that Mega Man can charge his shots. Mega Man doesn’t gain the ability to charge shots until Mega Man IV, but the plot and characters in this issue are all from Mega Man I.
The Mega Buster draws upon solar energy to produce ammunition
– Dr. Light equips Mega Man with a copy chip to mimic the abilities of the defeated Robot Masters

Mega Man battles the Yellow Devil

Outside of Wily’s Castle

Mega Man Issue #2

Story

Rock takes on his first mission as the evil robot bashing Mega Man. Traveling to an excavation site to battle Bomb Man proves challenging enough with reprogrammed robots out to get Mega Man, but that’s the least of Mega Man’s troubles. Add on a battle with Guts Man and scuffle with Cut Man and you’ve got a rough outing indeed. Rock was a helpful house bot, but Mega Man is a robot buster. Rock battles with his role shift throughout, struggling to come to terms with destroying other robots, even if they are evil.

References to the video game series

– Mega Man teleports to each new location, as he does in each video game stage
– Dr. Light suggests Mega Man start with Bomb Man, then Guts Man, then Cut Man. This is the suggested order of Robot Master in Mega Man, as the subsequent Robot Master power will be strong against the next Robot Master
– Dr. Light mistakes a silhouetted Sniper Joe for Blues, AKA Proto Man
– The stage select screen from Mega Man is seen on Dr. Light’s monitors, complete with X’s through the images of Robot Masters that have been defeated
– A pixilated Mega Man head can be seen on Dr. Light’s monitor. Dr. Light’s monitor also looks reminiscent of the pause/weapon select screen from the first Mega Man
– Upon entering Guts Man’s lair, a door slides shut as it does when entering the Robot Master room in the games

Facts

– Mega Man encounters green, mushroom-shaped robots in Bomb Man’s area. Dr. Light refers to them as “Fleas.” According to “Mega Man: Official Complete Works”, these robots are called “Blasters”
– Mega Man encounters Metalls and Bunby Helis in Guts Man’s stage. While these are the names given in the “Official Complete Works,” in the comic Dr. Light calls them Mettals and Mettaurs
– Cut Man speaks almost entirely in puns, a nod to the Cut Man of the American animated series

Mega Man’s first teleport into Bomb Man’s zone

A barrage of Fleas/Blasters attack our hero

 

Mega Man Issue #3

Story

Mega Man takes on the remaining three Robot Masters; Elec Man, Ice Man, and Fire Man. But the real battle this time around is with himself, as Mega Man nearly goes mad with power! Dr. Light and Roll intervene and bring Rock back to his senses, while also locating the fortress Dr. Wily is hiding away in. With weapons in hand and energy fully recharged, Mega Man prepares to enter Dr. Wily’s fortress.

References to the video game series

– Elec Man sends power surges throughout the factory he’s hiding out in, much like the electrical bolts that fire from parts of his stage in Mega Man
– Ice Man’s zone has flying Pepe enemies that Mega Man destroys
– Dr. Light tinkers with and later uses the Magnet Beam on Mega Man
– Changkeys and Screwdrivers make appearances in Fire Man’s zone
– Rock drinks and energy tank to recover his power

Facts

– Page 5 has a typo. Dr. Light’s word bubble reads, “This is is Ice Man’s doing…”
– In the background of Ice Man’s zone, right when Mega Man gets teleported in, there is a red whale known as Moby in the background. This enemy doesn’t make an appearance in the games until Mega Man IV
– Dr. Light says to Rock he doesn’t want to lose another of his beloved creations, with a picture of Proto Man looming in the background. This is referencing Proto Man’s renegade status during this point in the timeline
– Dr. Wily calls Mega Man the Blue Bomber. This is one of Mega Man’s nicknames, and will go on to be synonymous with the series star

Mega Man and Elec Man exchange words before their showdown

Note the typo in the bottom panel

 

Mega Man Issue #4

Story

It’s on to Dr. Wily’s fortress to stop the maniacal doctor for good. Mega Man took care of each Robot Master one-on-one quite handily, but how will he fare when battling all six Robot Masters at once? And if that’s not enough, there’s an evil clone version of Mega Man causing havoc as well. Wily has surrounded himself with defenses that will test Mega Man’s skills to the extreme, but with the world hanging in the balance, he must prevail!

References to the video game series

– Mega Man first chooses to use the Thunder Beam to take down the Yellow Devil, but later decides to do the more noble thing and use his Mega Buster instead. This is a reference to a famous glitch in Mega Man (The Pause Glitch) in which you can continuously press start while firing the Thunder Beam to deal massive damage to the Yellow Devil
– Mega Man uses a teleporter pod to reach the room with the Robot Masters
– Mega Man runs into each of the Robot Masters while in Wily’s fortress
– Before the final battle with Wily, Mega Man must fight a clone of himself, much as he does in the original Mega Man
– Mega Man runs out of ammunition for the first time in the series, failing to shoot flames with Fire Man’s power activated
– Time Man and Oil Man from the PSP game Mega Man: Powered Up appear at the end of the issue

Facts

– Mega Man convinces the Robot Masters to change their ways and let Dr. Light reprogram them to be good robots again. Many of these Robot Masters will have recurring roles in future issues
– The clone Mega Man cannot use the Magnet Beam, but can use every other Robot Master’s weapon the original Mega Man has obtained
– Dr. Light and Mega Man’s good natured spirits turn Dr. Wily into the police for the first (and certainly not the last) time
– When Mega Man and Elec Man shake hands and make up, Guts Man is seen shedding a tear in the background

Mega Man encounters the Yellow Devil

All six Robot Masters make a second appearance, much to Mega Man’s dismay

 

 Volume 1’s Short Circuits

“Short Circuits” are funny, one-shot comics that are included with each issue. Taking up a few panel and fitting on just one page, each “Short Circuit” tells one or two lighthearted jokes, often relating to Mega Man lore or fandom.

Issue #1: Dr. Light “improves” Mega Man’s powers, but the upgrade comes at a cost. Now Mega Man looks like Mega Man seen in the North American box art of the NES game Mega Man. Mega Man also asks Dr. Light if he’s now a “super fighting robot,” referencing the theme song to the Saturday morning cartoon series.

Issue #2: Dr. Wily is using Cut Man’s expertise to trim the hedges and act as barber.

Issue #3: Mega Man apologizes to Roll, but Roll fantasizes what she would do with all of that power. The results aren’t good.

Issue #4: With Wily behind bars, Dr. Light and Rock contemplate their future adventures. Proto Man, Rush, Bass, and Treble are all on a monitor, foreshadowing their inclusion in the series. Bass even, “demands he shows up in this comic!”

Issue #1 Short Circuit

Mega Man Volume 1: Let the Games Begin is a fantastic entry point for the series, and is a strong first adventure for the Blue Bomber! The four issues collected in this arc tell a story with strong ties to the first game, which is spectacular in itself considering there was little to no story in the actual NES video game. Gorgeous animation and clever writing make the comics enjoyable to read and a real pleasure to look at. With enough in-jokes and game nods to please every Mega Man fan, the Archie comic series is the perfect example of taking a video game series and translating it accurately to a new medium.

Buy Volume 1 from Amazon and start reading today!