Archie Comics has been busy. In addition to hosting two Sonic comic lines, a Mega Man series, and a crossover event between the three, they've also added "backup" stories to Mega Man #34-35, which feature fan favorites Mega Man X and Zero.
But the blue and red duo are backups no more, as Archie has officially confirmed to Destructoid that they will be joining Mega Man in a full four-part storyline titled "Dawn of X" starting from issue #37. We have the full scoop by way of an interview with Archie's Ian Flynn and Paul Kaminski, as well as an exclusive look at the covers of the first issue in the gallery below!
What made you decide to tackle the Mega Man X universe? Was it fan demand, personal interest, or a bit of both?
Ian Flynn (Writer): It was both -- although you could argue which was more ardent. When I was told we had “Mega Man,” I was excited, but my first question was “What about Mega Man X?” And when the book launched, the fans were very positive, but their first question was: “When will you do Mega Man X?”
Paul Kaminski (Editor): I think everyone, both Archie team and readership alike, were dying to do an “X” story from day one, it was just a matter of timing. After the Sonic/Mega Man “Worlds Collide” crossover hit with it’s unprecedented levels of success (volume one of the graphic novel on sale now!), we knew it was time to push to keep the momentum rolling. We worked closely with the great team over at Capcom and put together an entrance point into the Mega Man X franchise that I think both fans and new readers will love.
As you know, fans have always wondered how Capcom would have "linked" the classic and X series. There have been hints, but never a concrete link. Are you going to address that in the Archie Comics?
IF: I’ve heard Capcom has that story in a vault somewhere, but I’ve not asked about it yet. The mystery of what happened between Classic and X is such a big part of the mythos that I’m hesitant to pull back the curtain on it.
PK: "The Dawn of X" event uses some clever storytelling tools to link the franchises in a way that doesn’t fill in any gaps best left to the fan’s imaginations. The intrigue of the gap of time between franchises remains intact.
How do you feel the X series is different than classic Mega Man? Most fans will agree that it takes on more "mature" topics, but what's your take?
IF: “Mega Man X” is a tricky balancing act. The stakes are definitely higher, and it’s a certainly a darker themed story. At the same time you’ve got a bright blue robot-man shooting lasers at neon-colored animal-robot-people, so it can’t be too serious. Ultimately, it’s all the fun of “Mega Man” with a bit of an edge.
PK: The Classic series screams “adventure” to me, and X screams “action.” The threats are more intimidating, the weapons get more intense -- it’s a darker, scarier place with the stakes amped way up, but at its core maintains the kinds of high concepts that makes the classic series work so well. We can't wait to dig in!
Along those lines, what specifically is the staff doing to inject their own "Archie" flair into X and Zero? Is there anything you didn't like about Capcom's creation that you would change, or expand upon?
IF: I’d say that this is Archie’s interpretation of the series. We’re looking at the series as whole and seeing how we can present it cohesively.
PK: The readers of the classic series know we always stay respectful to the franchise, be it characters, thematic elements, you name it. Fans can expect the same kind of storytelling with X -- it ain’t broke, why fix it?
What is a bigger deal for you? Combining Sonic and Mega Man in the "Worlds Collide" arc, or taking on Mega Man X?
IF: “Worlds Collide” squeaks ahead since it’s a meeting of different franchises, but I’m still really excited about getting X. Though how cool would it be if we could combine all three?
PK: Oh man, that's a tough one. I’m more excited to see where the X franchise takes our books over the long term. Sonic and Mega Man was incredible, and it’s lasting impact still felt (particularly in the Sonic titles), but "Dawn of X" could be the beginning of a whole new chapter for the Archie Mega Man comics. Fans, make sure you get out there and support this storyline! We want to do more!
If this ever gets made into a series, do you see yourself naturally progressing to Mega Man Zero and ZX to continue the storyline?
IF: My dream is to follow the entire timeline, straight through Legends -- maybe even get Volnutt off the moon. I’d love to tell the story of the Elf Wars, fully bridging MMX and MMZ. I could very happily write Mega Man books for the rest of my life.
PK: As long as we continue to receive such awesome love and support from the Mega Man fans, you will see as many Mega Man comics as we can possibly muster. We love working with Capcom, we love every iteration of the Mega Man mythos, and we want to see it all! Mega Man #37, the first part of "Dawn of X", hits this May -- get out there and help us make this happen!
My personal favorite game in the series is Mega Man X3. Do you have a favorite X game in particular?
IF: I guess it’s a toss-up between the original game and Command Mission. The first game set the tone and introduced us to the world, and Command Mission did some fun things while transforming a fast-paced platformer/shooter into a turn-based RPG.
PK: I think I was a kid at just the right time for that first game to make a titanic impression on me, so I got to go with the original!
Finally, who would win in a fight? X or Zero?
IF: Trick question. The correct answer is Vile!
PK: Here here!
Thank you for your time guys, and good luck on "Dawn of X!"