For the first time ever, in 2013, Sonic The Hedgehog is going to smack right into Mega Man, spilling rings everywhere. Archie Comics will be launching an epic, twelve part crossover running through Mega Man, Sonic, and Sonic Universe, written by Ian Flynn, and edited by Paul Kaminski that will include, well... Everybody. To find out more, we chatted with the duo about the upcoming event, what it takes to bring two universes together, and whether Dr. Wily and Dr. Eggman went to evil medical school together:
MTV Geek: Big question of course is, how do the Sonic Universe and Mega Man Universe come together?
IAN FLYNN: I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but I will point out both Sonic and Mega Man have to deal with brilliant (if mad) scientists. Dr. Eggman has a history of messing with stuff like ancient gods and Chaos Emeralds. Dr. Wily has tampered with the time stream. Between the two of them, they could cause some shenanigans.
PAUL KAMINSKI: As Ian mentioned, we wouldn't want to give the surprise away just yet, but Wily and Eggman are evil genius' with a real knack for manipulating the forces of nature to their whims! It was only ever really a matter of time *ahem* before they stumble upon the forces that will make this crossover event possible!
Geek: What's your take on each of the main guys, and how do they work together - or not?
IF: They’re both selflessly heroic characters, and I think that shared trait is what makes them so endearing and could be a foundation between them. On the other hand, Sonic is a show-off and all about doing things in a big, flashy way without thinking it through. Mega Man isn’t as trigger happy, so to speak, but can be single-minded in his missions to make things right. There’s a lot of potential there for them to be great heroes together, and just as much potential they’ll read each other wrong and clash.
PK: Mega Man is your straight-laced, polite, super-powerful hero. Sonic is a hero too, but he's also got a power set that makes him more inclined to do his own thing, away from the straight-and-narrow. That means that there's the potential to be fireworks between these two characters when they meet, and I assure you that first meeting is EXPLOSIVE!
Geek: How about supporting characters... Who do we see in the mix here?
IF: Just about everybody. What happens when you put Dr. Light and Tails in the same room? Do Roll and Amy Rose mesh? Who is more stand-offish and red: Knuckles or Proto Man? And that’s the tip of the iceberg.
PK: Ummm... Does EVERYONE work for you? This event is so big that its going to involve nearly all of the Mega Man and Sonic supporting cast. And because of the circumstances in which these two universes are brought together, we'll be able to see a bit more of the Mega Man cast then has been introduced yet in the comics!
Geek: And villains? I have my fingers crossed that we get a flashback to Dr. Wily and Dr. Eggman both going to evil medical school together...
IF: The good doctors don’t have a history together, but they certainly mesh well. They’re both all about presentation, grand schemes, killer robots, and amazing mustaches. They’re a ton of fun together.
PK: Eggman and Wily are so alike that we're going to see a delightfully evil BFF-type situation emerge - or maybe EFF, for Evil Friends Forever? - that'll be ready to explode at any moment! They're my favorite part of Ian's story, and I think the fans are gonna dig what we've got in store.
Geek: Obviously there's big fan expectations from both perspectives... How do you make sure you service two fan communities at the same time, while not ticking off the other?
IF: That’s the big question, and it was forefront in my mind when approaching the project. I boiled it down to this: the fans want to see their heroes be awesome and true to their roots. So ultimately it became throwing the biggest, wildest adventure I could at them and letting them do their thing to save the day. The rest wrote itself.
PK: We've got a story here that won't disappoint. One thing that remains true for both series, is that the fan communities are awesome. We love hearing all the response to the issues online, and believe it or not, we listen!
Geek: And twelve issues is BIG. That's, and I'm sure you know this, like a years worth of comics... How do you tackle something so huge, and what makes the story worth telling over 12 solid issues?
IF: It’s a year’s worth, but we’re constraining it to four months. This way the fans of the regular stories won’t be derailed from the present storylines too long, but we still serve up a heapin’ helping of awesome. As for why – c’mon now! This is the crossover event. Sure, we could boil it down to something smaller, but then we’d miss out on all the cameos, character moments, and the epic scope of the adventure. An event this big cannot be done small.
PK: Since this story is such a unique event in the span of these 3 comic titles, we really need to give it the space it deserves. This is also a big pop-culture event, as this is the first time these two franchises have crossed paths, so we want to make sure that no matter where you look, you find this story! Plus, the event spans 12 issues, true, but it's over a 4 month period, and as Sonic Universe or Mega Man comic fans will tell you, a 4-issue story arc can go by in a blink!
Geek: So I have this friend who doesn't know a ton about Mega Man, a little bit about Sonic, and only occasionally reads all ages comics. What would make this crossover a must read for my friend? I'm asking for him.
IF: Because it’ll be, in a word, fun. It’s high adventure kept up-beat with comedy and driven forward by action. It’s bright, easily accessible characters on a cross-world quest to save multiple realities. It’s built to be accessible to any fan – casual or hardcore – and be just as entertaining. And to that end, your friend can share it with anyone. Younger siblings or relations? Older acquaintances that were around when videogames first became a thing? Everyone can love this story.
PK: For the Sonic fan, we've got that kind of break-neck action-pace that they've come to expect from the franchise. For Mega-fans, you've got over-the-top robot-blasting action and insurmountable odds (and believe me, those games sure seemed insurmountable to me as a kid!). And all of this is told by the writer who knows these two franchises like the back of his hand - and who's sense of humor and respect for the games really binds it all together. What's not to love?
Geek: Beyond the bombastics of a crossover, what would you say the emotional heart is? Or is it all bombastics?
IF: The heart comes from the smaller moments. Sonic and Mega Man will each have a highly personal stake in the fight, and how they deal with that is part of the story. The larger goal is to save both their worlds and stop the bad guys, but there will be plenty of smaller, inter-personal moments that remind you that they aren’t just blue heroes, but people too.
PK: Ian is great at striking to the heart of any character he's writing, and we've had a range of really great emotion from these characters in all 3 of our video game titles over the years. Whether it be from Dr. Light debating the ethics of humanoid robotics to Sonic toiling over the mistakes he might have made inadvertently caused the love of his life to be turned into the robot-slave of Dr. Eggman. This crossover has pathos like that, from the perspective of two different universes - bottom line is we're here to tell the story and tell it well. With lots of action and explosions to boot!
Geek: Any final thoughts? Things you can't wait for either section of fan to see?
IF: This event is going to touch milestone issues for two of the titles - #250 for Sonic the Hedgehog and #25 for Mega Man. (and miss Sonic Universe’s fiftieth by one issue – drat!) And as a fan of both series, I sorta wrote this for me. How many fun team-ups could I make work? When the stakes are high, how do we raise them further? I’m aiming to make this the end-all, be-all crossover that cannot be topped.
PK: Be prepared for all-out war between the blue blur and bomber and the ultimate evil!
The crossover begins in 2013, in MEGA MAN, SONIC and SONIC UNIVERSE, from Archie Comics!