When the announcement was made that the Blue Bomber and the Blue Blur would finally be teaming up officially (rather than simply shaking hands in some cross-promotional artwork), we-- like many of you-- had several questions. So naturally, we leaped at the first opportunity to get some answers, which have now finally arrived! With that, we are proud to present to you the first interview conducted by a fan site about the upcoming Mega Man/Sonic the Hedgehog crossover, "When Worlds Collide." Others, such as Kotaku, MTV Geek, and Newsarama (twice!) have taken their respective stabs at it, and now it's our turn. As part of the all-seeing eye that is the Mega Man fandom (and we like Sonic, too), we've done our best to avoid any of the repetition you might have seen in some of the other interviews to bring you the details which interest you the most as die-hard fans and collectors.
Do note that there are not any heavy story spoilers here; some appearances and absences, yes, but as for plot-based spoilers? Well, that info will come in time, and they likely wouldn't say too much, anyway. So with that in mind, we went for questions we hoped would net more solid answers, and we think we were successful in that regard. With that said, enjoy!
The Mega Man Network: This crossover is something it seems most fans have predicted ever since it was first announced that Mega Man would become an ongoing comic book published by Archie. However, we don't think as many people expected that it would take place so soon; was there any particular reason the trigger was pulled to do it now?
Ian Flynn: Capcom and SEGA initiated the project. When the stars align like that, you don’t stop and question it. You strike while the iron is hot!
TMMN: One debate we've noticed among fans is how the story is going to take place; that is to say, will this be in the same vein as the "Another Time and Place" stories which take place apart from Archie's regular Sonic continuity, or will this be set in "Mobius Prime," and likewise with Mega Man and his potential equivalent?
Flynn: This was something of a sticking point when we were constructing the whole arc. I was of a mind to keep it non-canon, while editor Paul Kaminski wanted it in-canon. There was a lot of back and forth, and what we came up with was a happy medium. Fans of the Sonic series will already have an idea how we’ll be going about that.
Flynn: A story this big is going to be attracting a lot of fans who only know the characters from the games. Plus, between the SEGA Sonic and Mega Man cast, we’ll be filled to capacity anyway. This story arc is focusing on characters everyone will recognize and enjoy, and the long-term comic fans will get the comic-exclusive cast back when we resume the regular storyline.
TMMN: Another concern we've seen regards how the story will be placed in their respective books, with some concerned that the crossover will interrupt or otherwise "mess with" the then-current storylines going on. One example given is how "Genesis" popped up to celebrate 20 years of Sonic at a pivotal moment; will this be handled in a similar manner, or differently?
Flynn: “Genesis” didn’t derail things too badly. For the casual fan, it was a fun, continuity-light story. For the devoted fan, there was this ever-present tension over whether Sally’s resurrection would stick, or if the heroes would remember the “real world.” One way or the other, it flowed to some degree. Likewise, “When Worlds Collide” will take a break from the main storylines, but shouldn’t derail the momentum when we pick up where we left off.
TMMN: On that note, can you tell us whether there will be any lasting effects as the result of this crossover? Or is the story meant to be more self-contained?
Flynn: It will definitely have an effect on a lingering plot point left over since the end of “Genesis.”
TMMN: In a previous interview, it was noted that the milestone issues for Sonic the Hedgehog (#250) and Mega Man (#25) will overlap with the event; will these be the issues that kick off the event, wrap it up, or just occur somewhere in between?
Flynn: The milestone issues will happen within the crossover, but they’ll be key chapters. Sonic Universe #50 will be a special, unrelated stand-alone event we haven’t announced yet.
TMMN: It's been said that the story will span 12 issues across four months; have considerations been given to how these will be collected for trades? It seems a straight collection of Mega Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Sonic Universe's parts would be confusing.
Flynn: I can’t get into those kinds of details right now – way too early! But we’ll be making sure it’s as easy as possible to follow events both monthly and in collections.
TMMN: One picture seen at Kotaku shows Shadow the Hedgehog standing with Bass, who hasn't been introduced in the comic yet. Is this merely promotional art, or will Bass have an actual part to play in the story?
Flynn: Bass will be appearing, and in a big way. It won’t be derailing our long-term plans for the Mega Man series, though.
TMMN: Which world should fans expect more time to be spent in? The long-established (some 300 or so issues and 20 years worth) world of Mobius? The newly-laid setting of Mega Man? Or, perhaps given that this is going to span a whopping 12 issues, plenty of both?
Flynn: Everything will be equal – no hero will be overshadowing the other.
TMMN: Obligatory: Will we see anything to do with Mega Man X in this crossover, or is it all strictly the original Blue Bomber?
Flynn: Mega Man Classic only. There’s no room for X!
TMMN: Finally, we've seen a few characters in Sonic show off some rather Mega Buster-like arm cannons over the years. Without saying too much, was this considered at all for some sort of moment in this story?
Flynn: No, those are unrelated.
TMMN: Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for us!
Flynn: Always a pleasure.
Stick with The Mega Man Network for more info as it is announced as we approach the 2013 release of "When Worlds Collide!"