Archie's fan-favorite Mega Man series is ending in November, the publisher has confirmed to ComicBook.com via an exclusive first look at the solicitation text for September's Mega Man #53.
Following the massive "Worlds Unite" crossover with the Sonic the Hedgehog titles, Mega Man will power down with a three-issue arc that will bring the current volume to a close...although our conversation with Archie Action editor Vincent Lovallo certainly suggests it isn't a permanent closure of the doors.
What's next for Mega Man and the Archie Action line as a whole? Read on, and then check out the solicitation text and covers for Mega Man #53 at the bottom of the interview.
Obviously the Archie Action line is kind of the tip of the spear in terms of Archie's really successful imprints. As the horror and superhero stuff starts to perform as well, do you see yourself as trying to differentiate the line for consumers, or just kind of enjoying the rich company?
The Archie Action line has already established itself as a series of titles that tell rich, fun, and action oriented stories that are accessible to just about anyone. We are not looking to re-invent the line, though we do intend to build on it and maintain the imprint alongside Archie, Archie Horror and Dark Circle.
Is the line more or less set where it is or will we be seeing an expansion anytime soon?
I think my previous response already hints at this, but yes. We are looking forward to producing new titles to the line fairly soon. Please look forward to more detailed information throughout the year.
On that note, you've revealed that Mega Man, one of the most popular Archie Action titles, will be taking a short hiatus following the next storyline. What made now the time to cool the engines?
We are currently wrapping up the "Worlds Unite" crossover, which ties into our Mega Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Universe and Sonic Boom comic series. We'll only be scratching the surface of the next major Mega Man storyline after that, we figured now is the right time before we dive deep into that plot.
Given the timing, what are the odds that the series will come back with a big splash and another Sonic crossover or something in a year?
Anything is possible; though another crossover may be pushing it. We still have to wrap this one up first, and let me tell you, the final act in Mega Man #52 is AMAZING.
Obviously the licensors often play a big role in comics based on existing, popular properties. Was the hiatus a hard sell, or do they trust you at this point?
We have a great relationship with both Capcom and Sega. We've been working with Sega for the past 20+ years and Capcom for almost five now. Capcom is very understanding of our decisions and we are both looking forward to working on future projects and collaborations.
How many more issues do we have before the end of the series? The solicitation text isn't exactly clear.
The final issue of Mega Man will be #55. We are planning on making it a commemorative special, though we are still hammering out the details. The issues before will set the stage for some important moments connected to the game Mega Man 4.
With basically two franchise anchors shaping the face of the Archie Action imprint, how does it affect your day to day losing one, even if it's only for a time?
The day to day will be a little different, however we are always planning stories for our current titles far in advance, not to mention our side projects and plans for the future. We also have the entire Mega Man graphic novel line to continue, so production and development never truly stops. There is always more!
Is it fair to view that kind of change as part of a broader movement? It seems like everything at Archie is in upheaval right now.
I feel like Archie as company has always been changing bit by bit. Recently, we've seen a shift in direction with the establishing of the different imprints and revamping some of our own brands for a new era. All of these things come together to help shape the company for the future, and I'm looking forward to see where it takes us.
MEGA MAN #53
The BLUE BOMBER is BACK from the events of "Worlds Unite" and is ready to fight for justice! That's all well and good, if there was actually someone to fight! In "Blue Shift," peace has finally come to Mega Man's life—but is that a bad thing? Could it be possible that our super fighting robot has come to actually love the battles he was once so opposed to? Meanwhile, Dr. Wily plots something sinister from the shadows, reaching an even newer low for the mad doctor! It's an extended curtain call as we come to the end of the Mega Man series! Featuring cover art from Jason Piperberg and a BOT UNDER FIRE variant from superstar Thomas Pitilli!
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Ryan Jampole, Gary Martin, John Workman and Elaina Unger
CVR A Reg: Jason Piperberg
CVR B Variant: Thomas Pitilli
On Sale Date: 9/16
32-page, full color comic