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Posted: Tuesday, August 9, 2011
By: Penny Kenny

Ian Flynn
Patrick "Spaz" Spaziante, Gary Martin (i), Matt Herms (c), John Workman (l)
ADVANCE REVIEW! Mega Man #4 will come out on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.

The first arc of Ian Flynnís Mega Man comes to a close as Rock shows itís not the number of weapons you take into battle that brings you victory, but the size of your heart.

In a weird bit of synchronicity, Flynnís characterization of Rock/Mega Man is similar to that of Steve Rogers/Captain America in the summer blockbuster Captain America: The First Avenger. Like Rogers, Rock is an unexpected hero. As the villain Doctor Wily says:
Youíre no great warrior! Youíre a janitor! A go-fer! A lackey! I couldíve stolen you with the rest of the Robot Masters, but I didnít. And do you know why? You werenít worth the effort!

But Rock has heart and, like Rogers again, heís promised to "stand up and fight to save everyone as Mega Man."

In the last issue, we saw Mega Man let power corrupt him. This issue, he has to work to keep his promise to stop the Robot Masters and stay true to his heart while fighting not one, but six Robot Masters. And when heís finished with them, he has to faceÖ himself!

Mega Man #4 hearkens back to the early glory days of Marvelís Spider-Man. The same kind of dynamic that made that character so popular is evident in Flynnís work. Rock is a kid. Heís taking on responsibilities heís not really ready for yet; but he wonít give up. He loses his temper, but regrets it when he does. Heís quick with a quip, but he worries too. He doesnít want to hurt anyone and he hopes for the best. Heís the kind of hero a lot of us comic book readers really like.

Artists "Spaz" and Gary Martin take full advantage of Mega Manís very visual abilities. The action is fluid and easy to follow. A variety of angles are used to give the pages a kinetic quality.

The book has an inviting appearance thanks to Matt Hermsí clean colors. John Workmanís letters are perfect. His emphasis on certain words in the dialog gives the proper sense of emotion to the scenes. I also enjoy the BOOM, BLAM, and KZZT of the sound effects.

The final chapter of "Let the Games Begin" offers a solid story with unexpected twists, plenty of action, an intriguing hint of things to come, and a hero with lots of heart. Superhero fans of all ages should give this book a try.

For the past thirteen years, Penny Kenny has been an elementary library paraprofessional in a rural school district. For the seven years prior to that, she headed a reading-math program designed to help first grade students with learning difficulties. Her book reviews regularly appeared in Starlog from 1993 to the magazine's unfortunate demise in 2009 and she has published several e-novellas under a pen name. She has been a reviewer with Comics Bulletin since 2007.

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