Last week, we brought you the news of the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog / Mega Man crossover
from Archie, a twelve-part event by Ian Flynn and Patrick "Spaz" Spaziante in which the two popular (and blue) video game characters meet for the very first time. The series is still a ways off, but Comic-Con gave us the opportunity to learn a little more from editor Paul Kaminski
about the series, and show off an all-new piece of art
that debuted at their panel this morning.ComicsAlliance: How did all of this come about? Obviously Ian Flynn is a big fan of both.
: He's engaged, for sure.
CA: Was it something you guys pursued, or something that you had to jump through hoops with Sega and Capcom to get?
: It started from discussions with Capcom and Sega, and it was a very exciting phone call when they said "hey, what about this project?" It's something I had been thinking about but never really thought would happen that quickly. I called Ian, and Ian sent me this gigantic packet of synopses for his story. Apparently he'd been writing this thing since we'd gotten the Mega Man property at Archie, and it pretty much remained like that, the story that he sent me that night, which was right before New York Comic-Con last year, right up until the point it's at now. It was that complete, he'd already nailed it right out of the gate. So we went through all the approval process with Sega and Capcom, and they've been really supportive and interested in fostering a creative atmosphere, which has been really helpful for us. We didn't have to go through a lot of rigmarole and they tied our hands, they've been really, really supportive.
CA: You said that Ian started writing this as soon as Archie got the Mega Man license, just anticipating it?
: On his own personal time, yeah. Spinning these webs in his own personal computer.
CA: I asked him when I interviewed about him if he'd already written it as fan-fiction when he was a kid, and he was very evasive.
: I don't know about as a kid, but certainly as an adult. He was already writing the Sonic book at that point, so it's kind of pro fiction.
CA: Archie's storytelling model has sort of changed over the past few years, going from the shorter stories to the longer form stories like Archie Meets KISS, but with this one, what really surprised me when I read the press release was that it's a twelve-part story that's running through three different books.
: Oh yeah.
CA: Obviously that happens in super-hero comics all the time, but it seems like a new thing for Archie. Was there a certain way you decided to approach it, or a reason you decided to do this in that format?
: Well, I'm a big nerd. I'm a comic book nerd, so I was trying to model this crossover after those types of crossovers I was attracted to as a fan. So having a story that seemed sweeping and expansive and was told over the course of three different titles I felt would give us ample room to really do something this historic some real justice. It's never happened before, and I wanted to make sure it got the space it deserved.
Having three titles gave us the opportunity to say "okay, Sonic Universe
has four-part arcs, Mega Man
has followed a similar structure, let's do four-part arcs in all three titles." That way we're telling a huge story, but cramming that huge story into four months instead of twelve so that fans of the regular books won't have to be derailed completely from the plotlines that we'd been setting up prior to this for longer than we need to be.
CA: And this has been in the works since last year's New York Comic-Con, which was last October?
: I had art there. I had art on me.
CA: That's a lot of lead time. But talking about derailing the stories, obviously Sonic's been around for almost 20 years at Archie, building its own continuity, but Mega Man's been following the storyline of the games pretty closely. As a couple of nerds, did Ian design it to fit into the break between Mega Man 3 and Mega Man 4? Is it in continuity, is it an imaginary adventure?
: That was actually a debate Ian and I had. I wouldn't go so far as to say "argument," but we had a lot of discussions about whether it was going to be in continuity or out. I prefer a story that's in continuity, and he couldn't quite get his head around how it would fit. But we settled on a compromise right down the middle that will serve both ends. I can't really say too much without giving away a lot of the story, but... the circumstances by which our heroes find each other will address that concern.
CA: When you talked about modeling it after the crossovers you liked, the first thing thought of was the Avengers/Defenders War, but with Mega Man and Sonic. That's what I'm hoping for, but can you tell us anything about what we'll be seeing?
: The Wily/Eggman moments that are going to be in this story were the selling point for me, reading Ian's synopses. They're hilarious while still being respectful to the characters, and totally make sense within the context of those characters. Not only are they the linchpin of the story, but they're some of the best, most funny moments too. In these kinds of super-hero stories, I think you need humor so desperately to connect with your audience and make it a memorable tale. You need humor, so there's going to be a lot of humor, a lot of action. Mega fun, Mega Man.
CA: When I was growing up, Mega Man was on the NES and the Super Nintendo, and Sonic was on the Genesis, which meant that you had to pick sides, unless you were some rich kid who had both, so I've always been a die-hard Mega Man guy. Do you think this is going to win me over to Sonic?
: Without a doubt.
CA: Challenge accepted.