Monday, September 1, 2014

"Dawn of X" Concludes in MEGA MAN #40!

The four-part "Dawn of X" storyline concluded last week with MEGA MAN #40. This was the advertised crossover between Mega Man and Mega Man X. I have written about the first three chapters here, here, and here.

Rock and X never did end up meeting during "Dawn of X," which was somewhat annoying. However, I gradually grew to appreciate the exact nature of the crossover. Basically, the two Mega Men (and their allies) battled a giant Wily Walker -- one century apart in time. Even though both battles were fought concurrently within the the book, Mega Man's battle paved the way for X's battle with the heavily armed robotic beast.

It's a different way of doing a crossover -- certainly much different than last summer's Mega Man/Sonic "Worlds Collide" crossover. And I was pleased with the end result. It allowed for some character growth amongst Mega Man's friends and enemies, but it also helped us readers learn more about the future world and culture of Mega Man X. And it doesn't muck around too much with the timestream, which can also be a good thing.

So here are the final players. We have Mega Man, Pharaoh Man, and Bright Man fighting the Wily Walker deep within Dr. Wily's hidden lab in the year 20XX. They are joined by Mega Man's robotic pet Rush, who brings along the technology needed to put this battle on hold for at least one century:


The most interesting element to this part of the story is what's happening with Dr. Cossack's robots. He isn't terribly keen on weaponizing his robots. The problem is that Bright Man has not only been fairly useless up until now against menaces like the Wily Walker, but he's also proven quite vulnerable. Dr. Cossack (with the help of the supposedly reformed Dr. Wily) grudgingly upgrades Bright Man's abilities towards the end of this battle. I wonder if we are witnessing the seeds of someone's corruption?


And then in the year 21XX, we have our other players: X, Sigma, Zero, and Vile! The Wily Walker managed to finally escape from his earlier tomb and now threatens Arcadia City with an assortment of conventional and chemical weapons. I don't think it's spoiling things too much to report that the Wily Walker ends up getting defeated before the city is destroyed. But I will allow you to pick up MEGA MAN #40 to catch up on the specifics!


Here comes the interesting part. Dr. Cain and Sigma (leader of the Maverick Hunters) share a private exchange following the battle:


The implication is that Zero (probably the most personable Maverick Hunter) was once a bad egg. And he became a good egg by having elements of his memory and personality erased and/or suppressed. Keep in mind that the Reploids are not simple robots. These are supposedly "living robots" -- the next best thing to humankind. I can't help wondering if it's truly possible to alter the true nature of these Reploids? I'm also curious how many more of the Maverick Hunters have also been "corrected" by Dr. Cain?

There is one final element to this crossover that actually stands the strongest chance of haunting Mega Man and his allies as the comic book series progresses. Xander Payne is a leader from the Emerald Spear anti-robot terrorist group. He managed to jump into the timestream at the beginning of "Dawn of X" with the intention of traveling backwards in time and destroying the "robot revolution" before it began. Unfortunately, he got punted into the future instead and witnessed the cataclysmic battle between the Wily Walker and the Maverick Hunters. This glimpse into the future reinforced Payne's drive to defeat the


However, Payne also witnessed a battle while bouncing around the timestream that really piqued his curiosity. I noticed this back in MEGA MAN #38, but didn't reference it on the blog. But it looks like he saw the battle between Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog. And now that he's in a prison cell back in the present, he's creating all sorts of "Worlds Collide" graffiti on his wall. For the life of me, I can't figure out where this is heading. Maybe "Worlds Collide Part 2"?


Now the "Dawn of X" is over and we've been introduced to the world of Mega Man X, I can't help wondering if X's adventures will continue as regular back-up features in the MEGA MAN comic book? Judging from the solicits, it doesn't appear that we will be seeing our future friends for at least a few months. I just hope their absence -- assuming that they will indeed be absent for a while -- won't last too long!

"Final Inheritance" is written by Ian Flynn, penciled by Jamal Peppers & Ryan Jampole, and inked by Gary Martin.

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