Friday, May 11, 2012

Look Back: Mega Man 04

Colorist retrospectives continue! In this exciting conclusion to Mega Man's inaugural story arc, "Let the Games Begin," we go inside the Wily Castle and face down bosses like the Yellow Devil, Copy Mega Man and a rematch with the Robot Masters! The Yellow Devil sequence was especially fun - though I wish I'd thought of a way to better render his "gloop," especially when he "dies." But I love that last panel, when Mega Man teleports into the next part of the castle only to be surrounded by all of his brothers, waiting for their second chance to take him down.
I remember working on the second half of this issue while visiting my in-laws in Virginia. Unlike my office PC, I've never been able to get the colors on my laptop's monitor to accurately look like the printed page. While that isn't super necessary with digital coloring - you can memorize color mixtures or Eyedrop your color choices - I found it to be a little less organic feeling in the latter half, particularly in the backgrounds.

That said, a cool "side effect" of this was definitely evil Copy Mega Man. I'd wanted his colors to be a little more muted than our Blue Bomber hero. Mega Man is our good guy with really saturated, awesome blues and so his evil doppleganger would be the opposite of that and a pale imitation. It looked a little more subtle on the laptop but was way more noticeable on the printed page and I'm very pleased with that.
Our final page of the story introduces Time Man and Oil Man. The original Mega Man video game was different in a couple ways from its sequels, most notably having only six Robot Masters instead of the eventual eight. So when MM1 was remade in the super-cute PSP game Mega Man: Powered Up, two more RM's were retconned into the story to bring MM1 to a proper eight bosses.

A-a-and, it was a little controversial (scroll down to the trivia section). I think Patrick Spaziante's fix to this - to simply have Oil Man's scarf cover his lower face - was ingenius, though.

And that wraps up this first story arc. I feel that the first issue was the strongest in this arc - a true comic-book retelling of Mega Man's origins - but the whole thing was a brilliant nod to Mega Man fans and a fantastic introduction to new readers. The whole story is available as a TPB, and issue one was even reprinted as this year's Mega Man FCBD offering. Hope you guys check it out!

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