What if Archie had started out with X instead of Mega Man?

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What if Archie had started out with X instead of Mega Man?

Postby DoNotDelete » Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:05 am

Hypothetical discussion:

What if Archie had started out with X instead of Mega Man?

Note: this is likely to be an essay-length train of thought so feel free to jump to the questions/thoughts at the end to get a feeling of what I'm talking about here.

Following on from Ian's comments in the most recent 'Power Button' podcast - and Ian's candor about the less-than-ideal sales of the Archie Mega Man comics - I find myself despairing a little in regard to likelihood of a standalone X comic ever happening, but lately I've been wondering what might have happened if Archie had started out with Mega Man X from day one - instead of Mega Man.

My reasons for this are both personal and objective:


Mega Man has already been done and done in the graphic novel medium.

I personally think that Mega Man has already had fair coverage in the written/illustrated medium - Hitoshi Ariga's manga certainly being a very high point for the Mega Man storyline/licensed franchise. X has had far less coverage - I know only of the Yoshihiro Iwamoto manga which - as far as I know - has not yet had a western release (though I believe Udon Entertainment may be working on changing this).

I don't know Ian's personal feelings about this but I personally feel that the X series also has more story potential than the classic Mega Man series - indeed in the aforementioned podcast Ian stated that X "really needs its own book" and that "diving in and out" of the X universe/timeline is never going to deliver satisfactory results for people who want to see a standalone X comic.

Don't get me wrong - I like that Mega Man is being kept alive (to some degree) by the Archie comics - but I too often feel like the comics are going over the same old ground/walking the same old paths that have already been well-trodden by other writers, artists and writer-artists. Personally I feel that Ian would do better to write storylines that divert radically from the linear/unidirectional paths layed out in the games - much in the way that Hitoshi Ariga did in his Megamix/Gigamix works. I feel it is best to keep in mind that video games and comic books are separate entities/mediums and that a formula for a good 80's videogame does not necessarily make a good cut-and-graft formula for a videogame-based comic.

I know that Mega Man has its moments - and that Ian is trying to explore those to the best of his ability - but for me the X series has More of an Isaac Asimov bent in terms of robot rights/robot dilemmas and existential crises/robot difficulties in living among humans (I know the technical term is 'Reploid' and not 'robot' but, c'mon - work with me here). X's world is darker, grittier, filled with shades of grey - where 'right' and 'wrong' and 'good' and 'evil' are never clear cut - and that X is forever wrestling with making the 'right' decision - be it for the good of humanity, for the good of Reploid kind, or for the good of himself and his peers. Zero's story has even greater depths to be plumbed - I would even go so far as to say that Zero's tale is an outright Shakespearean tragedy from beginning to end (sweet lord I do love Zero).

With Sigma and X being major players (if not the main antagonist and protagonist), Worlds Unite will allow the universe of X to be explored a little more in depth than the early Mega Man/X crossover that occurred last year in the Archie/Mega Man universe - though not without the 'clutter' of other franchises interfering with what the story could have been if it were only X/Zero/Axl facing off against Sigma (Don't get me wrong though - I am totally psyched for the Worlds Unite event).

Not knowing how well the Mega Man/Mega Man X crossover fared in terms of sales - I can only hope that Ian/the good people at Archie can find other ways of bringing their readers more X-based material in the near future.


X more suited to/better received by Western audiences.

In the Mega Man/Mega Man X art book I read in a number of places that the X series was generally 'better received' in the West (America and Europe) - both from an artistic/aesthetic and story-based standpoint. Indeed, X's design is more futuristic, streamlined and elegant - one might even say he is more 'cool' than his classic counterpart. The Mavericks too - have more complex and colourful designs - they are a feast for the eyes and explore a greater range of bodytypes than the classic Mega Man 'Robot Masters' ever did (the absolutely ludicrous Toxic Seahorse is probably one of my favourite designs).

Then there is the wonderful Mega Man X: Command Mission - a game that fleshes out the world of X so much more than any of its predecessor games - and makes it absolutely clear that the antagonists are not evil - just frustrated Reploids struggling to fit into a world that wants nothing to do with them. X's predicament/moral and ethical difficulties have never been so clearly laid out for me than in this game - not to give too much away - I actually felt sorry for the antagonist and his cronies by the time X faced off against Epsilon - and that X had been wrong about everything from the very start of the game. In my opinion Mega Man X: Command Mission is a storytelling masterpiece (and a mighty fine game to boot).

So imagine my surprise that Keiji Inafune openly stated (in the Mega Man/Mega Man X art book) that he 'disowned' Command Mission from day one of its conception - that an RPG-style game like Command Mission diverted too radically from the classic side-scrolling X games. Perhaps Keiji Inafune is less interested in the storytelling side of the X universe (for which RPG-style games are ideal) than he is the game playing element (which I also thought that Command Mission brought into a fresh new direction for the X brand) - but I'm moving into different territory here so let me get back on point...

The talking heads in the Mega Man/Mega Man X art book generally implied that Western audiences are/had been more receptive to the X brand. They mostly based this on the fact that they received more X fan art from the West (America/Europe) than they ever did from the East (Japan) - but is that enough of an indicator of popularity? As a Westerner myself I can only state that for me X has always been a cut above the classic Mega Man series.


Did Archie make a faux pas by going with a Mega Man comic instead of an X comic?

So for Archie - a Western comics distributor - would it not have made more sense to go with X from day one? Would the sales of the X comic have been better than the current Mega Man comic - enough even to warrant/validate/finance a supporting Mega Man comic to the main X storyline?


But I digress - and TL;DR - this is just a hypothetical situation that has played out in my mind - borne of my own frustration of there not being any readily available X graphic novel material. I would however like to hear other peoples thoughts in regards to:

* The strength of the X brand vs. the classic Mega Man brand (esp. from a storytelling perspective).
* Is the X brand really more appropriate for/better received by Western audiences?
* Would you be more likely to buy/continue to buy an X series comic than the current Mega Man one?


...Good lord I did not intend to write that much when I started this thing.
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Re: What if Archie had started out with X instead of Mega Ma

Postby Penguin God » Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:32 am

I like Mega Man and Mega Man's comic more than X. I don't really intend to write an essay about it, but X is pretty overrated and gets treated like a holy grail when it's really not much better than the main franchise. The writing definitely never gets into masterpiece territory, but Classic feels a lot more creative and has a bunch more characters that I care about (whereas X is pretty much X and that's it. Zero's okay, but his angst over Wily never really resonated at all.) X isn't bad, but it's not so good that Classic looks like trash by comparison.
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Re: What if Archie had started out with X instead of Mega Ma

Postby LBD_Nytetrayn » Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:48 pm

DoNotDelete wrote:So imagine my surprise that Keiji Inafune openly stated (in the Mega Man/Mega Man X art book) that he 'disowned' Command Mission from day one of its conception - that an RPG-style game like Command Mission diverted too radically from the classic side-scrolling X games. Perhaps Keiji Inafune is less interested in the storytelling side of the X universe (for which RPG-style games are ideal) than he is the game playing element (which I also thought that Command Mission brought into a fresh new direction for the X brand) - but I'm moving into different territory here so let me get back on point...


Unless there's another part I missed, he never said he disowned it. He did say he didn't want to work on it, and so left it entirely up to the other team, but I don't think that altogether matters too much in the grand scheme of things.

That said, it's too bad he felt that way-- the X series, and Mega Man in general, but X especially-- has tremendous potential for storytelling, as you say. Unfortunately, Capcom/Inafune have been so set on a small bubble of things-- action gameplay, and largely making the conflict just about X, Zero, and Sigma when it could potentially blossom out into something so much bigger, like Star Wars or Transformers or the MCU have-- that it's kind of hamstrung the entire concept, probably leading us to where we are today.

As for CM itself, I have a love/hate relationship with it. People were crying out for a Mega Man X RPG for years-- in the west, anyway (and fighting games, too, at least in the 90s)-- and while I do enjoy CM for what it is, I think it failed to do what people were really looking for. It expanded X's world, but in about the most literal way possible: Rather than exploring what had been established in greater detail, they literally bolted on an extension both geographically and chronologically (if not adding an extra timeline, too), and set everything there... oh, and they chased all the humans out. For all the talk of "protect the humans from the Mavericks trying to extinguish them," the X series has almost completely and utterly failed to give us a human side of the conflict.

Heck, aside from Cain and a few nameless people in Maverick Hunter X, it wasn't until Mega Man Zero 4-- centuries in the future and in another series-- that we really got to see anything resembling human civilization.

Admittedly, this is where an X comic could excel-- it's done well by it so far, I think.

* The strength of the X brand vs. the classic Mega Man brand (esp. from a storytelling perspective).


X is arguably worse. I love X, but with the benefit of hindsight and where we are today, it feels like it pretends to have a depth that isn't quite there. It's a blanket of ideas that give the appearance of depth, but most are probably not explored well enough. Repliforce is a good example-- a Reploid army that comes out of nowhere, is supposed to be this big presence, with Zero and Colonel and Iris as bestest buds and romantic interests and such, all barely explored and the entire concept decimated by the end of the game.

...at least Xtreme 2 went back and gave us a little more pre-X4 Iris later.

Classic, on the other hand, makes no such pretenses: It by and large knows what it is, keeps it simple, and there's more to explore there without tripping yourself up later.

* Is the X brand really more appropriate for/better received by Western audiences?


In some ways, sure. It's usually considered the "darker/grittier/more mature" series, and there's usually an audience for that. Combined with the above, it's possible to make it seem like the "cool" Mega Man, "the one grown ups can love," though I think that was more a 90s/early aughts thing.

These days, it seems more acceptable to be into lighter/younger skewing fare, and at the same time, that fare can surprise people with a sense of depth and maturity that isn't immediately apparent. I think Adventure Time fits that pretty well, and this is where the Mega Man comic excels as well.

Taking that into account, it puts Classic (which deals with issues of parental trust, identity, and other things) on about a relatively even level with X (which prominently features a talking penguin with a squawky voice in the first installment).

* Would you be more likely to buy/continue to buy an X series comic than the current Mega Man one?


Yeah, I'm not the right person to ask about this.

--LBD "Nytetrayn"
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Re: What if Archie had started out with X instead of Mega Ma

Postby Tcat » Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:08 am

LBD_Nytetrayn wrote:
* Would you be more likely to buy/continue to buy an X series comic than the current Mega Man one?


Yeah, I'm not the right person to ask about this.

--LBD "Nytetrayn"

*flails wildly* I would be. Man, if they'd started with the X series instead I'd be buying those things in bulk and probably tracking down every alternative cover I could get my hands on (or just waiting on the TPBs since they seem to fair better. *cough*). I've been enjoying the classic series from when I can catch it (I go to Books a Million like three times a month and read it there. ^_^; Mostly cause BOOKS! ), but I get the feeling I'm not missing anything in terms of lore. When it comes to the classic comic about the only thing I'm enjoying is Blues' misadventures trying to find where he fits in with everything... it's something I felt was lacking in the MM manga. Everything else just.. feels either too constrained or too much "I've seen this before" out of other comics, manga, and media.

And, yeah, I do feel like classic gets too much love when it comes to people only giving fanservice to it. Art books, mangas, comics... Udon wont even consider bringing over the X or Zero comics (yes, they're ridiculous, I don't care, I bought them in Japanese, I'd gladly buy them in English again.)

What people feel for the classic series I feel about X, Zero, and ZX. Classic is just.. I can't get into it. I don't like the characters, I don't find the games entertaining (In fact I find them frustratingly controller throwing, ragequiting hard), and I just see so much more potential out of the later series than I do classic. Plus the cast of characters.. I dunno.. maybe its the animaloid aspect, but I can't find ONE robot master I give a fart about.

And for the record ... I REALLY liked Command Mission >:(
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Re: What if Archie had started out with X instead of Mega Ma

Postby Spin » Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:00 pm

I have a hard time getting invested in the world of X.

Use to love X in the early days, back when the games were on the SNES. The series was better off when it was simplistic with little to no storyline and just focused on fun gameplay. Along the way Capcom tried to suddenly amp up the series storyline with X5. Which was justified as it was suppose to end the series in preparation to give Zero his own series. But still felt like Capcom was rushing things, as we're given a boatload of support characters all at once. Which is a bit of development that should have been done years ago and not sprung last minute.

Everything after felt so lackluster like Capcom had no idea what they were doing with X anymore, and just threw together a bunch of random ideas. Which killed the nostalgia I have for the series. So while I'd be curious to see what a X comic could do, I wouldn't hesitate to jump ship the moment I see something I dislike. Whereas the classic Mega Man is easy to stick with through thick and thin.
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Re: What if Archie had started out with X instead of Mega Ma

Postby LBD_Nytetrayn » Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:54 am

Just to clarify: I love X. I love Classic. Legends, Zero, ZX, Battle Network, Star Force, even NT Warrior (for all its foibles as an adaptation and localized product). I can't say I'd put buying one over another because, finances withstanding, I'll buy any and all that I can.

So I guess to answer the question, I'd probably have to say "no." It's not a matter of choice for me, merely ability.

--LBD "Nytetrayn"
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Re: What if Archie had started out with X instead of Mega Ma

Postby Antiyonder » Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:25 pm

I really don't see myself choosing one over the other.

I mean yeah if we go by the games, X definitely has more going storywise, though the story is compromised after X5 to bring Zero back when the MMZ were intended to be the only follow up.

But other than one being more optimistic while the other is set in a grim future, I see both stories being equal in their own way when you factor how there's more to the Classic storyline in the comic as opposed to the games.

Besides, why should there only be one type of Mega Man comic on the market?
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Re: What if Archie had started out with X instead of Mega Ma

Postby Mordum » Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:47 pm

I think the thing to keep in mind is Megaman's appeal probably isn't being really in-depth, incisive sci-fi. Its an introduction to most of its concepts, which is fine because the Archie comics have really baller characterization and writing and the entire reason I read it (and love it more than Sonic, despite liking Sonic as a brand more) is because there is little I love more than silly looking cartoon characters experiencing existential angst.

Most of my Megaman love came from the NT Warrior cartoon, though I've played a few scattered games here and there. Am I the only one who doesn't think Megaman X is the more "adult/complex" Megaman? Correct me if I'm wrong or if there's something I don't understand, but isn't the ENTIRE concept of the Maverick virus, or a robot going "Maverick", completely counterintuitive to the idea that, at this point, robots have free will? It seems stupid to set up this giant world about robotic free will and consequences thing and attribute it all to a computer virus. It's just the original Megaman setting, but if Megaman pretended to be Isaac Asimov instead of just owning up to being an INTRODUCTION to Asimov like the original series admits to being.

(Can we just have a Battle Network comic that's a combination of NT Warrior Stream and the Battle Network games and it's just Caprica for babies?)
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Re: What if Archie had started out with X instead of Mega Ma

Postby DoNotDelete » Wed May 06, 2015 6:26 am

Oh-kay. Guess I'd better get around to the somewhat daunting task of replying to all these comments.

Penguin God wrote:X is pretty overrated and gets treated like a holy grail when it's really not much better than the main franchise. The writing definitely never gets into masterpiece territory, but Classic feels a lot more creative and has a bunch more characters that I care about (whereas X is pretty much X and that's it. Zero's okay, but his angst over Wily never really resonated at all.) X isn't bad, but it's not so good that Classic looks like trash by comparison.

From my perspective Mega Man's world is pretty insular - a lot of the stories revolve around his relationship with his 'father', 'sister' and 'brother'. Sure these things are immediately relateable for a lot of people, but a lot of other literature deals with these kinds of relationships a lot of the time. I think the family element is an okay thing to have in a story about a robot boy - but if the family element becomes the main focus and the whole thing about Mega Man being a robot (and not a real boy) gets lost/sidelined then I might as well be reading one of these awful 'how to deal with teenage life' pseudo-mangas that seem to be so prevalent these days.

I personally feel that Ian's writing doesn't focus enough on the robot element enough (if at all). Mega Man gets treated as a real boy by his daddy and nobody in Ian's Mega Man efforts has really put that into question - not even Wily (IIRC - I may have forgotten). This is a basic starting point when writing about robots - establishing the robots rights/lack of rights and standing in the world - what does he (and other robots) have to prove in order to be accepted by human beings as equals - for me this is the meat-and-potatoes of any robot story but as far as I can tell everybody treats Rock as his father does - a real boy with all the rights and freedoms as anyone else. Missed storytelling opportunities left right and centre.

I think I prefer X because he's alone in the world - the family element does not exist and so does not interfere with the core story issues re: being a robot and not really ever being accepted as equal to human beings. IMO Not having a father/family makes issues of self determination all the more difficult and story-worthy.

Zero's angst over Wily is but a small fragment of his story. There's the whole thing about being the conduit for bringing the Maverick virus into the world. There's the whole thing about being dead in X1, and then being put back together again piece-by-piece in X2. How de-humanising an experience is that? Is a Reploid really the same after being blow'd up and then pieced back together again? How does X feel about picking up pieces of his friend like they're just scattered parts of a broken down automobile? There's the whole thing about Iris dying. There's the whole thing about being put to sleep/deactivated for 100 years to wake up to X having gone postal and destroying all the Reploids - and the later finding out that the real X...

Spoiler: show
is dead - for the most part anyway.

Spoiler: show
And then at the end of the Zero series Zero goes and kills himself to save the world (apparently).

Robot rights are an issue that never really goes away irregardless of how many laws are passed - if they get frightened enough humanity can turnabout on a sixpence and - in the space of a heartbeat - send all the Reploids to the trash compactor. This kind of overbearing fear/unknown is something that haunts artificial beings all the time - but Mega Man's life is all too secure and comfortable with his daddy watching over/vouching for him.

So the family element - especially in this context - does nothing for me and only serves to distract from the real issues the Mega Man comic could and should be exploring.


LBD_Nytetrayn wrote:
DoNotDelete wrote:So imagine my surprise that Keiji Inafune openly stated (in the Mega Man/Mega Man X art book) that he 'disowned' Command Mission from day one of its conception...

Unless there's another part I missed, he never said he disowned it. He did say he didn't want to work on it, and so left it entirely up to the other team, but I don't think that altogether matters too much in the grand scheme of things.

I may have overstated that a little bit. Following his departure from Capcom I may have coloured his words with bitterness/distaste/frustration.

LBD_Nytetrayn wrote:As for CM itself, I have a love/hate relationship with it. People were crying out for a Mega Man X RPG for years-- in the west, anyway (and fighting games, too, at least in the 90s)-- and while I do enjoy CM for what it is, I think it failed to do what people were really looking for. It expanded X's world, but in about the most literal way possible: Rather than exploring what had been established in greater detail, they literally bolted on an extension both geographically and chronologically (if not adding an extra timeline, too), and set everything there... oh, and they chased all the humans out. For all the talk of "protect the humans from the Mavericks trying to extinguish them," the X series has almost completely and utterly failed to give us a human side of the conflict.

Heck, aside from Cain and a few nameless people in Maverick Hunter X, it wasn't until Mega Man Zero 4-- centuries in the future and in another series-- that we really got to see anything resembling human civilization.

Admittedly, this is where an X comic could excel-- it's done well by it so far, I think.

You're right about the lack of the human element in CM - humans were underplayed to the point of non-existence. An X comic using sensibilities and details pulled out from the Zero series would be good/better.

LBD_Nytetrayn wrote:
DoNotDelete wrote:* The strength of the X brand vs. the classic Mega Man brand (esp. from a storytelling perspective).
X is arguably worse. I love X, but with the benefit of hindsight and where we are today, it feels like it pretends to have a depth that isn't quite there. It's a blanket of ideas that give the appearance of depth, but most are probably not explored well enough. Repliforce is a good example-- a Reploid army that comes out of nowhere, is supposed to be this big presence, with Zero and Colonel and Iris as bestest buds and romantic interests and such, all barely explored and the entire concept decimated by the end of the game.

I think the Repliforce thing is something that could be expanded upon within a comic - all the storytelling components are there even if the game didn't make best use of them.

LBD_Nytetrayn wrote:Classic, on the other hand, makes no such pretenses: It by and large knows what it is, keeps it simple, and there's more to explore there without tripping yourself up later.

I don't know about there being more to explore - perhaps from the 'family-based' perspective, but as I've previously stated this perspective interests me less than the larger 'robot vs. the world' issues - which X is more suited to (arguably).

LBD_Nytetrayn wrote:
DoNotDelete wrote:* Is the X brand really more appropriate for/better received by Western audiences?

In some ways, sure. It's usually considered the "darker/grittier/more mature" series, and there's usually an audience for that. Combined with the above, it's possible to make it seem like the "cool" Mega Man, "the one grown ups can love," though I think that was more a 90s/early aughts thing.

These days, it seems more acceptable to be into lighter/younger skewing fare, and at the same time, that fare can surprise people with a sense of depth and maturity that isn't immediately apparent. I think Adventure Time fits that pretty well, and this is where the Mega Man comic excels as well.

Taking that into account, it puts Classic (which deals with issues of parental trust, identity, and other things) on about a relatively even level with X (which prominently features a talking penguin with a squawky voice in the first installment).

I really don't have an issue with talking anthropomorphic mechanical penguins - there aren't enough of them in comics today. Being a follower of Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comics I have to believe that talking anthropomorphic mechanical penguins can in no way damage a comic's credibility (in fact I was massively disappointed that the Mega Man X crossover comic featured not a single 'Animaloid' - a massive oversight in my opinion because these 'Animaloid' things are the eye candy of the X series). For me they were the main draw of the X series - I found them so inspiring/creative when I was young and they probably triggered my desire to become an character designer/illustrator.


Tcat wrote:What people feel for the classic series I feel about X, Zero, and ZX. Classic is just.. I can't get into it. I don't like the characters, I don't find the games entertaining (In fact I find them frustratingly controller throwing, ragequiting hard), and I just see so much more potential out of the later series than I do classic. Plus the cast of characters.. I dunno.. maybe its the animaloid aspect, but I can't find ONE robot master I give a fart about.

For Archie to not want to invest in the X series for its Animaloid component alone - considering the success of the Sonic comics - is an oversight in the extreme. Knowing that readers of the Sonic comics are apparently drawn to stories featuring talking anthropomorphic blue hedgehogs (and their metallic counterparts), surely a savvy comic publisher would want to try exploiting the interests of an existing reader base by exploring a comic which features talking anthropomorphic mechanical penguins?

Interestingly enough 'Animaloid' was not a term I had come across until recently - and then suddenly I saw it twice in one day. Curious.


Antiyonder wrote:Besides, why should there only be one type of Mega Man comic on the market?

There shouldn't be. I do, however, think Archie invested too much in a comic about classic Mega Man and mistakenly use its (lack of) success to gauge the potential popularity of a Mega Man X comic.


Mordum wrote:I think the thing to keep in mind is Megaman's appeal probably isn't being really in-depth, incisive sci-fi. Its an introduction to most of its concepts, which is fine because the Archie comics have really baller characterization and writing and the entire reason I read it (and love it more than Sonic, despite liking Sonic as a brand more) is because there is little I love more than silly looking cartoon characters experiencing existential angst.

Most of my Megaman love came from the NT Warrior cartoon, though I've played a few scattered games here and there. Am I the only one who doesn't think Megaman X is the more "adult/complex" Megaman? Correct me if I'm wrong or if there's something I don't understand, but isn't the ENTIRE concept of the Maverick virus, or a robot going "Maverick", completely counterintuitive to the idea that, at this point, robots have free will? It seems stupid to set up this giant world about robotic free will and consequences thing and attribute it all to a computer virus.

If anyone were to write a Mega Man X comic they would need to nail down this contradiction in the outset - just what are the rights of robots in this setting:

How much default freedom of self-determination do Reploids really have?
When does self-determination go sufficiently 'over the line' to classify a Reploid as 'Maverick':
- Is it when they see humans as a threat/inferior?
- If they refuse to follow a human's orders, irregardless of how nonsensical those orders might be?
- Is it when they attribute more worth to their own life than to that of a human being?

These things needn't be nailed down at the start - each situation could be explored on a case-by-case basis - each case better defining the meaning of the term 'Maverick' (Mega Man X is after all a world of grey shades - not black-and-white, remember).

Mordum wrote:It's just the original Megaman setting, but if Megaman pretended to be Isaac Asimov instead of just owning up to being an INTRODUCTION to Asimov like the original series admits to being.

I think the original series can own up to being an analogue of Astro Boy at least (though honestly I think Ian's writing has yet to even explore the existential/robot crises at Astro Boy levels). The X series certainly has the potential to move into Asimov-like territory - but to think anything in the vein of Isaac Asimov would simply be too complex for Archie readers to grasp is only an insult to the readerbase and puts an unnecessary limiter on the myriad directions an X comic could take us in.
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Re: What if Archie had started out with X instead of Mega Ma

Postby Gauntlet101010 » Wed May 06, 2015 8:37 am

I like the classic series WAY more than the X series. Just because a series is fun and has some silly elements in it doesn't mean it's weaker.

I agree with the sentiment that the X series has superficial depth. There's a lot made about robots with the ability to make decisions, but in the end they come to rely on viruses to change Reploids into Mavericks. And, unless I'm way, WAY off, Sigma himself is infected by a virus. Sure there are some individual Mavericks who choose to rebel, but the primary antagonist doesn't. It really undermines who Sigma is and what he's about.

For all the depth it has the potential to have it just doesn't make use of it. In the games Zero is a much more interesting and compelling character leaving the title character to languish. It shies away completely from X's connection to Light and I never understood why. And for all the sourcebooks have in them the games are about as simple as the Classic series is to the point that they do the "it's an all new villain" plot. "It's not Simga, it's Doppler, it's Repliforce, it's Gate (admittingly, through a virus)." What's worse is that all the Mavericks die at the end. So, sure Gravity Beetle has compelling motivations, but he dies. His story ends. All those motivations amount to just one small side story and then it just ends, and we know it ends.

And, right off the bat, X1 is disingenuous as to what makes X special. He's supposed to be more advanced because he has the ability to "think, feel, and make decisions," but within the context of the franchise it's really hard to argue that classic robots don't do that. You really have to twist "make decisions" into a knot to make X's specialness work (and most seem to ignore the "think" and "feel" aspects of X's specialness." It's not that it can't be done; it just takes mental gymnastics.

Meanwhile the classic series doesn't have to pretend it has depth. It's a fun adventure series. What's great about the current comic is that it builds the series with the benefit of hindsight. I don't think it's perfect, but it mostly comes from adapting the games - a problem that would also come into play with the X series. It's lack of depth is an asset; depth can be added on. You're not glued to a pre-established official narrative to what happens to every robot after the game's over. You can make it deep or you can make it funny or you can make it be adventurous. The X series, on the other hand, has it's character arcs built in already. And it's not really a light hearted series right off the bat. So it's not as versatile.

This isn't to say I wouldn't buy the X series. I'd LOVE to see them make sense out of the tangled mess the story turned into. But, just because X talks about his angst doesn't mean it's terribly deep. And just because the classic doesn't doesn't mean it can never ever go there (the comics have every now and then).

As for starting out with it, I dunno. The last MM game was MM10, so it makes sense to go with Classic first. If the last game were an X game I'd probably agree that it makes sense to go with X. Ideally we'd get a comic for Classic, X, and Legends. (I feel Battle Network and Zero are a complete stories and I never really got into ZX).

And, as far as coverage goes, it just makes it a better reason to go with Classic. More coverage means more recognizable which means it has the potential to have better sales. Which is already at a premium.
Last edited by Gauntlet101010 on Wed May 06, 2015 9:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What if Archie had started out with X instead of Mega Ma

Postby Mordum » Wed May 06, 2015 9:22 am

irregardless


Not to be a butt, but that's not a word.

DoNotDelete wrote: (Mega Man X is after all a world of grey shades - not black-and-white, remember).


But like.

Is it?

Is it really?

Or does it just say it is over and over and it's never really contradicted because Megaman X is more about shooting lemons at a buffalo and not asking that buffalo existential questions?

I think the original series can own up to being an analogue of Astro Boy at least (though honestly I think Ian's writing has yet to even explore the existential/robot crises at Astro Boy levels). The X series certainly has the potential to move into Asimov-like territory -


My only real X experience is playing the first game four million times as a small baby and playing X4 a bit as a teenager, and honestly, I cared WAY less about the faux-Asimov stuff and way more about the tension and heartbreak between Zero and Iris, or the betrayal of Double. It had never really occurred to me to actually think about this story in any real ambiguous, ethical level because, again, the story's set up is the exact same as Megaman except they pretend it's morally ambiguous.

But I really love emotional character stuff. The entire appeal of this comic to me is the stuff you seem bored by, which is the family aspect of Megaman. I also like the stuff where Airman is super goofy and then two pages later is urging a bright eyed babyfaced boy to shoot his face so he can die as they both face the futility of actualizing their own fates, because "goofy stuff becoming heartbreaking sad" is basically my favorite tone in all of fiction.

I can't really see why Megaman's appeal would be the robot ethics stuff. I like that it's THERE, but it's really always seemed like window dressing. It informs the characters and the setting, but it's ultimately there to contextualize the emotion, not use the emotion to explore the ethics. Which I'd prefer to keep going into X, because if I wanted really in-depth exploration of robotics I'd read something besides a video game tie-in comic book for eight year olds.

I'm not really saying something like that CAN'T have that potential. I question that it NEEDS to, when Megaman, from where I'm observing, has always been more about emotion and melodrama that just happens to have a setting and background mirroring other science fiction for window dressing and personality. All the stuff you bring up that could be explored is something I would be fine with exploring, but let's be honest: how much of that is intrinsic to how intelligent Megaman X is versus how intelligent you're WISHING X was?

but to think anything in the vein of Isaac Asimov would simply be too complex for Archie readers to grasp is only an insult to the readerbase and puts an unnecessary limiter on the myriad directions an X comic could take us in.


Most adult Archie readers are too dumb for Sonic, let alone Isaac Asimov.
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Re: What if Archie had started out with X instead of Mega Ma

Postby Mavrickindigo » Wed May 06, 2015 9:30 am

The plot of X4, which i didn't really appreciate at first, is a tale of wounded pride and a clash of beliefs, all being puppeted by Sigma, of course.

Repliforce was created in the wake of the Dopplertown incident, I suppose since the Maverick Hunters were only able to respond to things after Doppler unleashed the Sigma Virus all over his quarantine zone. The world is different than it was in X1 and X2. Reploids can go Maverick at will OR from hostile programming, so they have an army.

But that Army is proud, and they will not lay down their arms, as being an army is their sole identity, even in the wake of being accused of being Mavericks. Imagine being Repliforce. They were made specifically because of the Maverick threat, and because they didn't want to stop doing what they were made to do, humanity labeled them Mavericks themselves. Most of the Repliforce encounters were like Storm Eagle in X1, soldiers who didn't want to betray their COs. The higher ups in Repliforce knew they were getting a bum deal from earth and sought to escape and make their own colony where they wouldn't get persecuted.
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Re: What if Archie had started out with X instead of Mega Ma

Postby DoNotDelete » Wed May 06, 2015 11:14 am

See, that whole thing about the Repliforce is so much more interesting to me than the whole thing with Mega Man and his cushy family life. These robots have had enough of humanity - for good reason - and they're striking out on their own. Standing up against the oppressive humans and all that jazz! That kind of premise gets the juices in my brain flowing straight off the bat - whereas Mega Man's family-oriented stuff just sounds like all the rest of the overplayed static out there.


Gauntlet101010 wrote:I agree with the sentiment that the X series has superficial depth.

Ha! Spot the oxymoron (Hint: it's the last two words).

Gauntlet101010 wrote:For all the depth it has the potential to have it just doesn't make use of it. In the games Zero is a much more interesting and compelling character leaving the title character to languish. It shies away completely from X's connection to Light and I never understood why. And for all the sourcebooks have in them the games are about as simple as the Classic series is to the point that they do the "it's an all new villain" plot. "It's not Simga, it's Doppler, it's Repliforce, it's Gate (admittingly, through a virus)." What's worse is that all the Mavericks die at the end. So, sure Gravity Beetle has compelling motivations, but he dies. His story ends. All those motivations amount to just one small side story and then it just ends, and we know it ends.

IIRC, Light's involvement with X was only through holographic projections - there's not going to be much two-way dialogue going on there. I think X not having a father figure served to differentiate him more from Mega Man/Rock - who always had Dr. Light to turn to for answers/reaffirmation. I think X struggled more to find answers because of this and that's why I found him to be a more attractive/interesting character - X is hated on for 'turning pacifist' but choosing to take a break from all the fighting makes a whole lot more sense to me than Rock's mindless 'hurrdurr shoot everything in sight' mentality - at least by 'turning pacifist' X shows an ability to question and think about the world around him and the predicament he finds himself in. That Ian would himself turn his nose up at X 'turning pacifist' and (in the Power Button podcast) state an intent try to write around his reasons for doing so is a disappointing and short-sighted view on the matter. If anything the whole X 'turning pacifist' thing is one of the most emotionally/existentially significant components of X's story.

If I were writing an X story (and I have drafted at least one) I wouldn't let my story be bound by the limitations laid out by the games - I'd Identify the nuggets (such as Gravity Beetle's thing going on there) and give those things priority over more game-centric concerns. Whatever depth the games pretended to have a comic/story could make real.

Not to sound cold/heartless, but once Gravity Beetle's story has been fully explored he should be allowed to die. Oversentimentality regarding characters is any writer's Achilles' heel - once a character has had their time they should be lain to rest/retired, otherwise they only serve to clutter a writer's thoughts and story-writing considerations.

Gauntlet101010 wrote:And, right off the bat, X1 is disingenuous as to what makes X special. He's supposed to be more advanced because he has the ability to "think, feel, and make decisions," but within the context of the franchise it's really hard to argue that classic robots don't do that. You really have to twist "make decisions" into a knot to make X's specialness work (and most seem to ignore the "think" and "feel" aspects of X's specialness." It's not that it can't be done; it just takes mental gymnastics.

As I've said, X is special - or at least different to Rock - because he doesn't have the family element to fall back on - he has Zero to give him direction - but Zero has a very different outlook on everything too. How X comes to make his decisions is far more lonely and difficult.

Gauntlet101010 wrote:Meanwhile the classic series doesn't have to pretend it has depth. It's a fun adventure series. What's great about the current comic is that it builds the series with the benefit of hindsight. I don't think it's perfect, but it mostly comes from adapting the games - a problem that would also come into play with the X series. It's lack of depth is an asset; depth can be added on. You're not glued to a pre-established official narrative to what happens to every robot after the game's over. You can make it deep or you can make it funny or you can make it be adventurous. The X series, on the other hand, has it's character arcs built in already. And it's not really a light hearted series right off the bat. So it's not as versatile.

I actually think Ian flounders around a lot with the classic series because it's so vague. For all of Penders, Bollers and other writer's shortcomings with the Sonic comics, Ian has a lot of pre-existing stories and lore to work off of (even post Genesis Wave). Part of being a capable writer (not implying that Ian isn't capable) is being able to take stock of pre-existing lore and know how to work with it. You might think the X series' existing character arcs would make a writer's job more difficult - but personally I think they'd actually make a writer's job more easy. Too much freedom can give a writer just as much of a headache as too many restrictions.

Gauntlet101010 wrote:And, as far as coverage goes, it just makes it a better reason to go with Classic. More coverage means more recognizable which means it has the potential to have better sales. Which is already at a premium.

Oh? Where's this coming from?

I got the distinct impression from Ian's appearance on the 'Power Button' podcast that the Mega Man comic was only just covering the cost of the Mega Man license - and wasn't selling enough to support/warrant a secondary X title (this was my main reason for creating this thread).


Mordum wrote:
DoNotDelete wrote:irregardless

Not to be a butt, but that's not a word.

You are the first person I've had challenge its use. As its use appears only to be controversial and not contemptuous I shall continue to use it, irregardless of your personal gripes against it ((hearty laughter)).

Mordum wrote:
DoNotDelete wrote:(Mega Man X is after all a world of grey shades - not black-and-white, remember).

But like.

Is it?

Is it really?

Or does it just say it is over and over and it's never really contradicted because Megaman X is more about shooting lemons at a buffalo and not asking that buffalo existential questions?

Command Mission at least gave me a good sense of this - the writers tried to play up the shades of grey with characters like Epsilon, Scarface and Ferham - who were decidedly 'not evil'. Some of the others though - such as Dr Psyche - were admittedly nothing but 'evil'.

Mordum wrote:
I think the original series can own up to being an analogue of Astro Boy at least (though honestly I think Ian's writing has yet to even explore the existential/robot crises at Astro Boy levels). The X series certainly has the potential to move into Asimov-like territory -

My only real X experience is playing the first game four million times as a small baby and playing X4 a bit as a teenager, and honestly, I cared WAY less about the faux-Asimov stuff and way more about the tension and heartbreak between Zero and Iris, or the betrayal of Double. It had never really occurred to me to actually think about this story in any real ambiguous, ethical level because, again, the story's set up is the exact same as Megaman except they pretend it's morally ambiguous.

But I really love emotional character stuff. The entire appeal of this comic to me is the stuff you seem bored by, which is the family aspect of Megaman. I also like the stuff where Airman is super goofy and then two pages later is urging a bright eyed babyfaced boy to shoot his face so he can die as they both face the futility of actualizing their own fates, because "goofy stuff becoming heartbreaking sad" is basically my favorite tone in all of fiction.

I can't really see why Megaman's appeal would be the robot ethics stuff. I like that it's THERE, but it's really always seemed like window dressing. It informs the characters and the setting, but it's ultimately there to contextualize the emotion, not use the emotion to explore the ethics. Which I'd prefer to keep going into X, because if I wanted really in-depth exploration of robotics I'd read something besides a video game tie-in comic book for eight year olds.

I've thought about this and I wonder - is that really the comic's demographic? Most people who played Mega Man as kids will be in their twenties-going-on-thirties now - the majority of the patrons at my comic book store are in that age bracket - not a lot of them buy Mega Man but a lot of them do buy the Sonic comics (the ratio in my store is two Mega Man comics to ten Sonic comics) the comic store owner has told me a number of times that kids (of the eight year old variety) only occasionally come in for 'Pogeyman Cards' - whatever they are. So I think that saying this comic is for 'eight year olds' is just an illusion/misconception. I also buy IDW's Transformers (arguably a 'kiddie' comic) but James Roberts 'More Than Meets The Eye' is a very, very intelligent, often moving story that sets a high bar for any robot-based comic nowadays - it uses just the right amount of robot existentialism vs. robot romance and/or emotional issues - arguably the polar opposite of Ian's Mega Man, which sets the bar far too low for my tastes - relying too much on overplayed family cliches and only touching on robot existentialsim maybe sometimes.

So if Transformers: MTMTE is anything to go by, I don't think I'm asking for too much wanting a lot more true robotic existential dilemmas, and far less family smulsh.

Spoiler: show
Unlike irregardless - 'smulsh' really isn't a word - I just made it up.
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Re: What if Archie had started out with X instead of Mega Ma

Postby Gauntlet101010 » Wed May 06, 2015 12:40 pm

See, that whole thing about the Repliforce is so much more interesting to me than the whole thing with Mega Man and his cushy family life. These robots have had enough of humanity - for good reason - and they're striking out on their own. Standing up against the oppressive humans and all that jazz! That kind of premise gets the juices in my brain flowing straight off the bat - whereas Mega Man's family-oriented stuff just sounds like all the rest of the overplayed static out there.

That's one game. One game. And it just turns out to be Sigma behind it all anyway which undermines the entire point.

As for family-oriented stuff, that's just ... your opinion. Different strokes for different folks; it doesn't really make the case that X would have been a better series to start with than Classic.

Ha! Spot the oxymoron (Hint: it's the last two words).

I know. But it's true. Just saying it has depth over and over again isn't really giving it depth. It's like painting a picture of a cliff on the floor. Superficial depth. It's all on the surface.

The X series, for all it's airs, just isn't really that deep. Not really. It COULD be, but it isn't, except maybe in X4. But then it's still Sigma behind it all.

I think X not having a father figure served to differentiate him more from Mega Man/Rock


You misunderstand. Let's contrast this with Zero. Zero has a LOT of connections to Wily. A lot is made of the fact that he is WIly's creation. A lot is made of him fighting his nature as a Wily robot. X's connection to Light is just messages in capsules, which lose their poignancy after X1. I'm not saying he needs a family, but nothing is made of Light's legacy in relation to X. X is a good guy made by a good guy fighting on the good guy side. And he's sad about fighting which is very good of him. But hitting that same note over and over again isn't deep, it's repetitive.

There's a lot to Zero, but the series is called "Megaman X."

Not to sound cold/heartless, but once Gravity Beetle's story has been fully explored he should be allowed to die. Oversentimentality regarding characters is any writer's Achilles' heel - once a character has had their time they should be lain to rest/retired, otherwise they only serve to clutter a writer's thoughts and story-writing considerations.


That's great .... for a single story arc. Ongoings are a different thing. With ongoings you want a lasting, changing relationship. If Gravity Beetle is supposed to be an example of a deep character, well, he dies. His contribution to the mythos dies. You get a little bit of milage with him, but he doesn't turn into anything more than what he is. He doesn't become supporting cast, he won't ever become an ally or greater villain or ... anything. So his depth isn't really useful. Again "superficial depth." For all the depth his history may be milked for it doesn't amount to much.

As I've said, X is special - or at least different to Rock - because he doesn't have the family element to fall back on - he has Zero to give him direction - but Zero has a very different outlook on everything too. How X comes to make his decisions is far more lonely and difficult.


No, X is special because he's the "first robot to think, feel, and make decisions" if X1 is to be believed. I'm saying the X series has a faulty premise right there. That the X series is kinda shallow because it's premise is flawed. It's a pretence of depth; it doesn't work very well.

I actually think Ian flounders around a lot with the classic series because it's so vague. For all of Penders, Bollers and other writer's shortcomings with the Sonic comics, Ian has a lot of pre-existing stories and lore to work off of (even post Genesis Wave). Part of being a capable writer (not implying that Ian isn't capable) is being able to take stock of pre-existing lore and know how to work with it. You might think the X series' existing character arcs would make a writer's job more difficult - but personally I think they'd actually make a writer's job more easy. Too much freedom can give a writer just as much of a headache as too many restrictions.


I actually don't think the series is floundering at all. I like it so far. Not perfect, but still good. I am saying that the X series is more constrained. I don't think it's "harder" to write, I think it's not as rewarding to read. It's hard to see where you could get a surprise. Colonel and Iris could appear right away, but you know where their story is headed. It ends in death. Always.

I got the distinct impression from Ian's appearance on the 'Power Button' podcast that the Mega Man comic was only just covering the cost of the Mega Man license - and wasn't selling enough to support/warrant a secondary X title (this was my main reason for creating this thread).


I probably didn't word that well. I mean that sales are already just enough to keep going, so it's good that they're going with the most recognizable version of MM.

It sounds like you just like the X series more and would have liked it to have a series instead of what we got. Which is fair enough. I'd have bought it, especially to see how a real story-driven approach could have helped the plot point I think the X series as a whole failed to deliver. But I don't think the X series is better than the Classic series, nor do I think it'd lead itself to better stories. The X series is just as formulaic as the Classic. Fight 8 bosses, fight in a fortress, end on Sigma, wash, rinse, repeat.
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Re: What if Archie had started out with X instead of Mega Ma

Postby Mordum » Wed May 06, 2015 12:44 pm

DoNotDelete wrote:You are the first person I've had challenge its use. As its use appears only to be controversial and not contemptuous I shall continue to use it, irregardless of your personal gripes against it ((hearty laughter)).


It is a superfluous alteration because it means the exact same as the word "regardless." You're needlessly adding two letters without really modifying its meaning and the entire word's existence is superfluous. It's not even really a synonym, which is usually developed and built out of slightly different contexts, and there's no context where two more letters for no modified meaning is actually necessary. Its continued existence and usage is really only insisted by people who erroneously used it at first and only argue its value for the sake of being obstinate, such as how you're being now.

Also, because of that response, I'm not being nice anymore. You're being obnoxious.

See, that whole thing about the Repliforce is so much more interesting to me than the whole thing with Mega Man and his cushy family life. These robots have had enough of humanity - for good reason - and they're striking out on their own. Standing up against the oppressive humans and all that jazz! That kind of premise gets the juices in my brain flowing straight off the bat - whereas Mega Man's family-oriented stuff just sounds like all the rest of the overplayed static out there.


It's also a stock conflict found in countless other franchises and really isn't all that more in-depth than anything the Classic comic's done so far.

They also take place in a universe where, while the narrative is insisting you think about deep questions concerning freewill, there's this thing called the Maverick Virus that just makes people bad guys.

Command Mission at least gave me a good sense of this - the writers tried to play up the shades of grey with characters like Epsilon, Scarface and Ferham - who were decidedly 'not evil'.


You mean like the grand majority of the Classic comic's antagonists.

Like, for real. The Maverick Reploids and the Robot Masters are EXACTLY THE SAME. They're both just reprogrammed nice people. It is literally the same, exact one pretends to be deeper.

I assume the difference is that Epsilon, a dude unironically named Scarface, and Ferham aren't infected with the Maverick Virus. So I decided to do my research on these guys to better assess and understand your point.

Megaman Wiki wrote:Epsilon masterminded the revolt on Gigantis Island and is the leader of the Rebellion Forces. Proud and relaxed, he is usually very stoic and quiet, his presence accentuated in this vein by his unprecedented (for a Reploid) African features. Epsilon was the only Reploid to survive the Supra-Force Metal infusion experiments, giving him heightened intelligence and strength capabilities. All other volunteers in the experiment either went mad (Maverick) or perished outright


I like that the only black guy in the series is the one who only gets intelligence and strength from the society that's already oppressing him. That's not at all shady and racist, and certainly trying to relate the struggle of Reploids, characters who are cute, cartoon robots who we're repeatedly told have free will only for the core conflict to come from them being reprogrammed and infected by viruses that make them unambiguously evil to the struggles of black people in times of oppression and slavery is in no way reductive, oversimplified, insulting, or condescending.

Megaman Wiki wrote:"Only future generations will have the right to say whether we are truly Maverick or not."-Scarface


You know why X is stupid? Because while there's a kernel of an idea here (the Maverick virus is a thing, but people go straight McCarthy in its diagnosis), this is still a game series with mechanisms structured around rewarding you for killing other people. This entire thing, and this insistence of supposed depth, is incredibly stupid and condescending. There's a reason some people think X being a pacifist in a game that rewards you for shooting people is stupid.

Spoiler: show
Because it is.


Also Scarface just sounds like every anime character with an honor code and his philosophies exist in a format they don't belong in, so no. This is not complex. This is not adult.

Megaman Wiki doesn't give me a clear explanation of the last one, so you're off the hook for her I guess. But I will reaffirm that Epsilon is a morally complex black man in a game series where you've been rewarded, for eight games in a row, for killing his minority group.

I've thought about this and I wonder - is that really the comic's demographic?


Yes, and anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot child.

Most people who played Mega Man as kids will be in their twenties-going-on-thirties now - the majority of the patrons at my comic book store are in that age bracket - not a lot of them buy Mega Man but a lot of them do buy the Sonic comics (the ratio in my store is two Mega Man comics to ten Sonic comics) the comic store owner has told me a number of times that kids (of the eight year old variety) only occasionally come in for 'Pogeyman Cards' - whatever they are. So I think that saying this comic is for 'eight year olds' is just an illusion/misconception.


A product is built for a specific demographic, regardless of the full spectrum of people that buy that product. If a lot of adults play with Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, that doesn't mean Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots are made for adults. It just means adults play with Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots.

It doesn't matter if a bunch of adults are buying and reading Megaman. It matters who the comic is AIMED at: being an all ages comic, it's written to not be particularly insulting to any age group, but being a sentimental, emotional character drama full of bright fluffy robot Looney Tunes, it is structured, designed, and composed in a way where the base level entry point for any reader is made through the ease of entry for children. It is a comic for children. That doesn't mean it can't be smart, that doesn't mean adults can't like it. It just means it's for children.

This book is made for children, and "I buy it, I see other adults buying it, therefore children are not the demographic" is the logic, ironically, a child has. Which makes one fitting for the demographic of this comic. Some of us are capable of admitting we like things for eight year olds. I never have difficulty reconciling my love for Yu-Gi-Oh! while also admitting it's written for invalid babies. I'd like to think, as we're adults discussing fiction that (supposedly) should be written at a more adult level, you can show that same capacity and courtesy.

I also buy IDW's Transformers (arguably a 'kiddie' comic) but James Roberts 'More Than Meets The Eye' is a very, very intelligent, often moving story that sets a high bar for any robot-based comic nowadays - it uses just the right amount of robot existentialism vs. robot romance and/or emotional issues - arguably the polar opposite of Ian's Mega Man, which sets the bar far too low for my tastes - relying too much on overplayed family cliches and only touching on robot existentialsim maybe sometimes.

So if Transformers: MTMTE is anything to go by, I don't think I'm asking for too much wanting a lot more true robotic existential dilemmas, and far less family smulsh.


I think what bugs me is that, given this admittance, you have this really big interest in storytelling revolving around the ethics of robots and the existentialism related to artificial life (which, while I am not especially passionate one way or another, I can at least understand the appeal - angels are a big favorite of mine, archetypally, and they're not vastly different from a literary perspective), but I can't tell how much of it you actually read.

Like I can't tell if you're someone who reads actual science fiction literature dealing with the limits and nature of artificial intelligence who, for some inexplicable reason, is really bothered by the same lack of depth in a comic book adapting a game where you shoot cute mascots and are bothered that these comics are only addressing these concepts at an introductory level, which as you allude can't possibly be true because it's totally NOT intended for the age group that would need introductory fiction for these concepts. Like if someone who got super into Thomas Mallory, Beowulf, and Gilgamesh and got mad at He-Man and Thundercats for being too clean.

OR if you're someone really interested in this subject matter, but can't seem to move yourself to where the actual literature is, instead wanting to get your high science fiction fix through facsimiles that're all pretty basic, surface level approaches to their subject matter (because, hey, Asimov, Dick, et al. didn't base their books on action figures, why bother with them?) and thus your idea of addressing high concepts intelligently really is based entirely on which comic manipulating your nostalgia can do it better, rather than which one actually truly explores the concepts presented.

I can't tell which it is, and I also can't figure out which one would be worse.

Spoiler: show
Unlike irregardless - 'smulsh' really isn't a word - I just made it up.


Much like Wily's programming and the Maverick Virus, there is no real difference between these two words.

Also, while I acknowledge that you cover some of this in sections of your post, see my lack of responding to them as my lack of acknowledgement of their validity, as I trust your ability to reconcile game and narrative elements about as far as I can throw it and think your entire argument of insisting intelligence over a source material you also insist has to be heavily rewritten is obnoxious.
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