Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Reader's Diary #1379- Ian Flynn (writer), Jamal Peppers and Ryan Jampole (artists): Worlds Collide Vol. 1 / Kindred Spirits

A blurb from Newsarama atop the cover of Ian Flynn's first volume of Worlds Collide, a Sonic the Hedgehog / Mega Man crossover event, declares "It's a dream come true for fans of both characters!"

But that must be a pretty niche group, what about the rest of us? I think I may have played a game or two of Sonic back in the day and never, ever played Mega Man. So why would someone not interested in either of these video games even bother? I can't speak for anyone else, but I had a couple of reasons for picking it up. First off, I've spent most of this year exploring the corners of Archie Comics Publications; stuff just a little or far off the beaten path of Archie Digests (The Shield, Jinx, and so on). But I've also been a little curious about their video game-based comics output, finding it a little strange that they'd even take these on, finding it even stranger that Sonic the Hedgehog comics are still going strong long since the character's popularity in the gaming world has waned.

After reading this crossover, I'm still not entirely sure why, but I'm guessing they might strike a chord with younger audiences (perhaps more so than nostalgic gen x'rs). These weren't exactly what I'd call high brow by any stretch. The plots are almost entirely action-based with next to no character development, and the art and "science" has all the depth of a 1980s Astro Boy cartoon. On the Astro Boy theme, I was interested and pleased to note that the art does resemble anime (not great anime, but anime nonetheless), setting it apart from other Archie Comics output and being respectful to the characters' Japanese origins.

For crossover appeal, it does what all good superhero crossovers do: due to some misunderstandings, Sonic and Mega Man face off against each other, each getting the upper hand in their respective worlds, then reuniting to beat mutual enemies.

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