Mega Man 1: Let The Games Begin

Mega ManDr. Light is nervous. He is about to unveil six new robots designed to make the world a better place. His co-creator, Dr. Wily, feels he should help make the announcement, but as Dr. Light reminds him, “You lost your credentials when you did those unethical robotics experiments. That kind of negativity would undermine everything we’re trying to do with Light Labs.” Dr. Wily doesn’t seem very happy to be reminded of this, but goes along with Dr. Light’s decision.

The unveiling goes well, but in the morning disaster has struck – the new robots have been stolen and reprogrammed to do evil instead of good. They are such powerful robots, how can they be stopped? Rock, one of Dr. Light’s two robot children, volunteers to be modified so he will have the power to defeat them. Among the upgrades he gets is the ability to absorb his enemies’ powers, so he gets stronger with each evil robot he defeats. But this also causes him to lose some of his more gentle traits: empathy, compassion, moderation. Can his sister, Roll, keep Rock from losing himself and still help Rock defeat all six robots?

This new comic by Archie Comics has a classic manga feel. For example, the characters have larger eyes and smaller mouths and noses. The art is very clear with crisp lines and clean washes of color. The pictures flow well, with just enough dynamic paneling to be interesting without being cluttered or overwhelming.

Also in keeping with the Archie style is its use of traditional sex roles and stereotypes. It’s clear that Dr. Wily is the bad guy from the first time you see him. Rock goes out to fight and Roll stays home (in a cute blue dress) and cheers him on and takes care of Dr. Light. Dr. Light is a bit of an absent-minded professor type. None of this is bad per say, but parents looking for empowering graphic novels for their daughters or looking to let their sons know that girls can be pro-active, too, are not going to find it here.

Good for all ages although targeted to grade school level.

Mega Man 1: Let The Games Begin
by Ian Flynn
Art by Pat ‘Spaz’ Spaziante
ISBN: 978-187979485
Archie Comics, 2011
Publisher Age Rating: All Ages

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