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Posts Tagged ‘Pat Spaziante’

Mega Man (2011 Series) #8

July 27, 2012 Leave a comment

July 13, 2012

Title: Time Keeps on Slipping Part Four-Duplicity

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Chad Thomas
Inks: Gary Martin
Letters: John Workman
Colors: Matt Herms
Cover Art: Patrick “Spaz” Spaziante
Editor: Paul Kaminski
Publisher: Archie Comics

Things look bad for Mega Man. He and his buddies, the first wave of Robot Masters, have managed to track down Dr. Wily and his new robots to their secret hideout, only for him to regain control of our friends. Now, Mega Man and Special Agent Rosie Krantz have eight Robot Masters to face down if they’re going to save his sister, Roll, from becoming another of Wily’s pawns.

The interesting thing here is that I honestly find my synopsis of the issue – while accurate – wholly inadequate. Ian Flynn is doing a great job with this title, telling a story that, on the surface, is the sort of screwy sci-fi superhero adventure that we would have seen back in the Silver Age. Once you chip past the surface, however, we’re given a comic that has surprising depth of emotion. Rock (Mega Man’s “secret identity,” such as it is) is faced with some interesting moral and ethical quandaries here, and the nature of sentience and life itself is a topic of serious and legitimate discussion for this title.

At the same time, Flynn brings the funny. There’s a great little moment, for instance, when Roll has to remind her brother that he should be hunting down Wily, which leads to a nice little comedy beat. The book isn’t a full-on comedy, of course, but there’s enough funny in here to keep the kids entertained.

Chad Thomas and Gary Martin have crafted a style for this title that borrows a little from American animation, a little from Japanese Anime, and a little from the style of the video games themselves to create a comic that looks… well… it’s not unique, and it’s not unprecedented. But it’s effective and it fits the family of these characters. It looks right.

Mega Man has been a surprisingly emotional and entertaining addition to the Archie Comics family.

Rating: 8/10

Mega Man (2011 Series) #3

August 22, 2011 Leave a comment

August 13, 2011

Title: Let the Games Begin Part Three: Power Get!

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils:
Patrick “Spaz” Spaziante
Inks:
Gary Martin
Colorist:
John Workman
Letterer:
Matt Herms
Cover Artist:
Patrick “Spaz” Spaziante
Editor:
Paul Kaminski
Publisher:
Archie Comics

Mega Man has been marching through Dr. Wily’s transformed robots, defeating each of them and taking his weapons in turn. But with the defeat of each enemy he seems to be enjoying his victories more and more, and his thirst for battle is growing ever stronger… will Dr. Light have to step in to save Rock’s soul?

Once again, Archie’s Mega Man is providing the reader with a wonderful surprise. This simple video game adaptation, in the first two issues, dug into the psyche of an unwilling soldier going to war. Now it shifts gears and looks at what can make a good, gentle man turn into a someone who craves violence. Let me emphasize where, exactly, this story is coming from: it’s the Archie comic book based on the Mega Man video game. I simply can’t believe how deep Ian Flynn is taking this book. He’s not doing it in a frightening way, nor in a way that would soar over the heads of the children this book is primarily crafted for, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to give the kids something to mull over. It’s an interesting fable about not allowing the necessity of a fight transform you into someone who relishes it.

Also, he beats up Fire Man.

Rating: 8/10

Mega Man (2011 Series) #2

July 30, 2011 Leave a comment

July 20, 2011

Title: Weapons GET! (Let the Games Begin Part Two)

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils:
Patrick “Spaz” Spaziante
Inks:
Rick Bryant
Colorist:
Matt Herms
Letterer:
John Workman
Cover:
Patrick “Spaz” Spaziante
Editor:
Paul Kaminski       
Publisher:
Archie Comics

The evil Dr. Wily has corrupted the robots invented by his former partner, Dr. Light, and turned them into weapons of destruction. To save the world, Light’s gentle assistant robot Rock has volunteered to be transformed into a new kind of warrior: Mega Man. In this issue, as he does battle with the likes of Bomb Man and Guts Man, Rock learns how to adopt the weapons of his fallen enemies, even as he questions the wisdom of going into battle against his own kind.

I’ve gotta tell you, when Archie Comics announced that they were going to be launching a Mega Man series, the last thing I expected was a deep examination of the mental state of the modern soldier. Rock’s reluctance to fight brainwashed robots, coupled with his own self-recriminations when he’s forced into a position where he has to destroy them, makes for one of the most cerebral comics I’ve ever read from this publisher.

That’s not to say that the comic doesn’t work as a simple action tale – it does, and it does so in a very entertaining fashion. People who grew up playing the video games will find just what they expected. It’s an additional later that seems pretty bold for the righter to add on, actually making a statement of sorts rather than just telling a wacky sci-fi tale. This book works in ways I wouldn’t have expected at all.

Rating: 7/10

Sonic the Hedgehog #200

July 24, 2011 Leave a comment

May 16, 2009

Sonic the Hedgehog #200 (Archie Comics)
By Ian Flynn, Tracy Yardley & Patrick “Spaz” Spaziante

The fact that this comic even exists is amazing to me. When this title launched 15 years ago, nobody would ever have predicted it would still be going strong 200 issues and multiple spin-off series later, but here you go. It’s already the longest-running video game comic of all time, and the second-longest running licensed comic since the Golden Age (after Marvel‘s 275-issue run of Conan the Barbarian). But enough about its longevity — is it any good? In a word… yes. This issue features what appears to be a final epic battle between Sonic and his original adversary, Dr. Robotnik. As the two foes face off, Robotnik starts to break down in a way that’s surprisingly intense for a comic for kids. What happens to Robotnik here almost makes you feel sorry for the villain — heck, even makes Sonic feel sorry for him. At the same time, Ian Flynn uses the dramatic change to shift the status quo and introduce a new series of villains (who may or may not have come from the video games, I really don’t know). It’s a good spot to re-evaluate the series, to launch something new, and to set it up for a new direction beginning in issue #201. The art is strong as well, with good linework by Tracy Yardley and Terry Austin. It’s Matt Herms‘s coloring, however, that really blows me away — it gives the book much more energy, much more of a computerized quality that feels appropriate. I’m still stunned the book has lasted this look, but even though I’m not a regular reader, I’m definitely glad it’s out there for those who are.
Rating: 8/10

Mega Man (2011 Series) #1

June 19, 2011 Leave a comment

June 17, 2011

Title: Trouble Get (Let the Games Begin Part One)

Writer: Ian Flynn
Art:
Patrick “Spaz” Spaziante
Colorist:
Matt Herms
Letterer:
John Workman
Cover:
Patrick “Spaz” Spaziante
Editor:
Paul Kaminski       
Publisher:
Archie Comics

Considering that Sonic the Hedgehog has been a solid seller for Archie Comics for over 225 issues now, it’s kind of odd that they’ve waited so long to try to expand their video game hero library. On the other hand, maybe they’ve just been waiting for the right project. Mega Man kicks things off with the origin of the young robotic hero.

The good Doctor Light has given up on building weapons. His new generation of robots is intended for peaceful purposes. But his former ally, Dr. Wily, isn’t willing to accept the new robots, and abducts them, reprogramming them into weapons of conquest. A new hero must be constructed to stand against them.

The story isn’t really anything new here – Mega Man has been around as a video game character for decades, after all. Ian Flynn has done a great job of polishing off that old story, injecting a little more pathos into it, and turning it into a modern kid-friendly action yarn. The book is just exciting enough to keep you turning the pages, while still picking into the characters pretty well. Patrick Spaziante brings his considerable skill to the table, providing art that seems, at first blush, to be very Manga-inspired. In truth, though, it’s just faithful to the classic character designs.

Not being much of a video game player myself, I really don’t know how aware kids these days are of Mega Man. I hope the book finds its audience, though – it’s a worthy companion to the venerable Sonic franchise.

Rating: 8/10

Sonic X #15

December 1, 2010 Leave a comment

December 21, 2006

Quick Rating: Good
Title: Bad Eggnog

When Dr. Eggman disguises himself as Santa Claus, can Sonic the Hedgehog save Christmas?

Writer: Joe Edkin
Pencils: Todd Wahnish
Inks: Terry Austin
Colors: Josh Ray
Letters: John Workman
Editor: Mike Pellerito
Cover Art: Pat “Spaz” Spaziante
Publisher: Archie Comics

For those of you unfamiliar with the Sonic X spinoff from the classic Sonic the Hedgehog series, here’s the basic premise: the evil Dr. Eggman fled from his homeworld to Earth, with Sonic and his friends hot on his tail. Now they’re trapped until Earth until they can take him down once and for all. And this issue, Dr. Eggman has his sights set on Christmas.

It’s their first Christmas on Earth, and Sonic and Eggman both hear the legend of Santa Claus. Sonic is skeptical, but Eggman sees a plot – disguise himself as the jolly old fat man and tell the world they aren’t getting any Christmas presents unless they capture Sonic for him! Now Sonic has to prove the Eggman-Santa is a fraud, to save Christmas, and save himself.

Joe Edkin has put together a nice little Christmas story here, and he does so without falling back on some of the Christmas story clichés I fully expected to come to bear. Todd Wahnish and Terry Austin’s artwork is suitable to mirror they style of the cartoon and video game the comic is based on, but Pat Spaziante’s cover is a lot more eye-popping than some of the relatively flat interiors.

I’ve read a lot of the Sonic comics that Archie has published over the last 15 years (a record for a video game-based comic book), and while I find I enjoy “classic” Sonic more than Sonic X, this book isn’t without his charms. If your little one is a Sonic fan, this would be a nice comic to slip into their stocking this Christmas.

Rating: 7/10