So to say Worlds Unite was underwhelming is an understatement. Yet the concept could have worked if the ground work and execution was handled better, also Sega and Capcom not interfering with the writing process would have fixed the problems I had.
I did something similar involving Brawl’s subspace emissary story so here is how I’d of handled this storyline. Also, I’m mainly addressing the Mega Man side of things since I don’t read the Archie Sonic comic, but if an Archie Sonic fan wants to fill those gaps, then you have my permission to copy this and add them in.
Just point people to the original if you do XD.
I’ll be tackling this in stages, to help break this down piece of piece to help build a better story. I mean no disrespect to Ian Flynn or the team over at Archie Comics, but I feel an editor was needed for this job… and if Sega and Capcom were kept away from the writing process.
001 - Nitpicky continuity issues.
Let’s take care of the most minute details first. The X side of things clearly takes place near the end of that timeline, mainly due to Axl and the acknowledgement of Red Alert, Colonel and Iris. So why is Vile/VAVA in his X1 design? I get it’s a reference to his concept art, but chronologically speaking shouldn’t he be in either his X2 or X8 designs. Then again, if this is at the end of the timeline why is Sigma there and not Lumine? It’s clearly after X8 due to the X8 Mavericks being present.
Secondly, the obligatory appearance of Super Sonic at the end see’s a reappearance of Super Mega Man… Which is chronologically impossible. Mainly due to the Archie Mega Man series just finished it’s adaptation of Mega Man 3 and Mega Man‘s super adaptor was not introduced until Mega Man 6. The only reason it was in the first crossover was due to the Genesis Wave jumped the Mega Man timeline to the end (MM10) so it could have Bass, Duo and every single robot master.
I’ll offer what I would have done when we talk about the ending.
002 - Building a better road to Worlds Unite.
A problem with this crossover is the justification. Worlds Collide had a set up in place when the blue chaos emerald was teleported into Mega Man’s world when Sonic reset the timeline with the Genesis Wave. You knew it was going to arrive somewhere, thus giving a rhyme or reason for the crossover to begin, almost like a foot in the door kinda deal.
Worlds Unites justification feels like a “just cause” kinda deal. There was no real set up or foreshadowing in place. Sigma learns of the Genesis Portals…. Somehow. Again I don’t recall it being explained. A better idea would be to play off the heels of X8’s ending. Lumine mentioned how Sigma is encoded into his (and the new generation reploids) very DNA. So for our scenario, the coding of the Sigma Virus spreads inside the remains of Lumine that spread to Axl recreates Sigma’s conscious inside of him. Now in control of Axl’s body, his lust for power has Axl upload himself into cyberspace where he can feed and regain his strength. Axl has no memory of what happens so the events of Command Mission take place.
While CM is happening (off screen) Sigma is searching every file of documented history, searching for ANYTHING to defeat X. it’s from here the Maverick Virus mentions something about Genesis Portals. Now to explain what I mean, Mega Man X5 established the notion that the Virus somehow contains Dr.Wily’s conscious within it, made evident by Zero’s dreams in X4 and Sigma talking about “an old man” he met in X5.
With this nugget of information, Sigma searches for records specially involving the appearance of a Blue Hedgehog and Genesis Portals. He finds Dr.Wily’s notes of Genesis Portal creation. To address something you might say.
“BUT WORLD’S COLLIDE HAD THE WORLDS RESET!!” Not exactly true, Mega Man’s world was send back to the events before Mega Man 3, meaning that World’s Collide will still happen in the future, as evident when Xander Payne witnesses it as he time travels. Also, considering Dr.Wily’s ego is bigger than his overall opinion of himself, he’d naturally keep a recorded document of how he’d create Genesis Portals…. Or easier solution, the Virus just tells Sigma how to recreate them. Since a virus is also a force of CHAOS, it stems he can generate the Portals from his own energy.
With this in mind, Sigma crafts a Virus fuelled Genesis Portal to Sonic’s world and keeps off the events of World’s Unite. Now to address how X, Zero and Axl get pulled into this crossover, Sigma’s meddling in Sonic’s world begins to tare down the walls of reality, which explains why Silver arrives in 21XX.
Have it begin roughly the same way, Vile (now in X8 design) is launching an attack on Maverick Hunter HQ, the hunters are winning the day…. When Metal Sonic, Silver Sonic and Sonic Man show up to aid Vile.
Vile: I DON’T NEED HELP… WHO SENT YOU!!??
Metal Sonic: Our master Sigma requests your presence.
Vile: S-SIGMA!? … Take me too him.
Metal says “Our Master” because of the obvious fact Sigma easily corrupted all of Eggman’s machines with the Maverick Virus. A fact that Rise of Lyric shows his technology is easily hackable, and Sigma demonstrates this on the Deadly 6 in WU. Wily’s involvement would be the same but now Sigma has been given an understanding of Genesis Portals and a proper motivation, to become a God so he has the power to defeat X, once and for all.
Now this all sounds well and good, but how can we get this done in just 12 issues?
003 - DON’T do Worlds Unite until a Mega Man X comic is made.
These crossovers have always been VERY one sided in Sonic’s favour. The crossover was spread over the following titles.
Sonic the Hedgehog.
And Mega Man.
Now, what I would have done is launched a Mega Man X title, the thing I’ve wanted Archie to do since they teased the inclusion of X in the Dawn of X storyline. Get the comic to at least the X4 storyline so we can then say “Sometime in the future….” kinda deal. Or, if you want to be very cheeky (and if sales numbers were better) launch a third Mega Man title to cover games such as ZX, Legends or Battle Network. With this in mind we now have 6 comics to spread this story around.
Sonic the Hedgehog.
Mega Man X.
And Mega Man Universe.
Also, to borrow a play from the Marvel playbook, have an official World’s Unite comic which will last 6 issues to tackle the main bulk of the story, like how Civil War had 6 main books with all their other titles offering tie in books to continue the story.
So if each chapter had 4 issues spread over 4 comics. My scenario now has 7 comics to offer 7 issues for all 3 chapters. Meaning 21 issues to help expand World’s Unite’s story potential. Because with the extra elbow room, you can have a better build up for the guest stars.
004 - Ditch the dead weight.
Oddly enough, I’m not referring to the likes of Chun Li, Nights etc. No, I feel characters who offer NOTHING to this crossover are cut. Comedy Chimp and Fastidious Beaver being the top of the pile. The comic seemed to have characters there just to be there, but I will say it was smart not to include the Boom Versions of Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Eggman. Sticks was the only character you needed to represent the franchise. Xander Payne is another character I’d of cut for he just seems to be there for the cop-out ending.
I’d keep the focus souly on Sonic, Mega Man, X and Sticks. While the rest play supporting roles. For the villain side, The Sinister Six would also be cut. They really didn’t add anything apart from 2 battle books and came off as forgettable. It wasn’t wise to sideline Eggman and Wily and have them ultimately work for the good guys. Sigma would work them too the bone until Issue 19 when they set their plan in motion.
The appearance of the Robot Masters also added nothing to a pointless first act (getting to that)
One minor alteration I’d of make is with M.Bison. If Street Fighter IV is any indication, Bison has spare techno organic bodies he can transfer himself into. Sigma at his core is a viral entity and could easily corrupt Bison’s battle body (provided he can overcome his psycho power) which would lead to a battle of will near issue 17.
Again, this is reusing the concept when Sigma took control of the Deadly Six. By stripping off the fat of this story, we now have more time to developing the structure better and giving the guests more to do.
005 - Introduce most of the guests a different way.
The Street Fighter introduction was kinda clever, leave it as it is. No I mean how they got the other characters in the same exact way was asinine. They all basically had the same introduction (again minus SF) so play it up and try something else. I’ll get more into this with 006 but I wanted to say we’d need a better idea than “Oh let’s recruit these popular game franchises because REASONS!”
To do that….
006 - Rewrite that entire first chapter.
(aka we didn’t need a Sonic/Mega Man rematch)
That entire first chapter is garbage, straight up garbage. Just a lazy rehash of Worlds Collide, minus the Roboticized Masters. If we must have Sonic Man and M’Egga Man, don’t have them fight each other. Have them be the driving focus of the teams rescue effort. A rescue effort led by X (not Sally) whose very existence is in jeopardy by the obvious time paradox this presents. See if M’Egga Man exists to disrupt the time line, Dr.Light may not create X.
Sigma would be fine, for Wily would naturally create the Maverick Virus and Zero out of vanity sake, and he’s always had a contingency plan (see Mega Man 7) for every occasion.
Sonic Man would be ordered to attack The World of Sonic Boom, which is how we’d get Sticks along for the ride. X and the Maverick Hunters, hot on their trail land in this world and team up with Sticks (because why would you need that Chimp and Beaver when you have ZERO on your team??) to put an end to Sigma’s madness. From there, it’s a world hopping mad dash to stop Sonic Man and M’Egga Man from setting up the genesis wave devices. Many words to explore and for Sticks to make as many jokes as possible. This is possible due to we now have 7 comics to explore this opening arc, and the build up has been covered in the build up in issues leading up to this event.
Instead of wasting 4 issues on a fight we’ve already seen.
007 - How it should have ended.
From there (minus the recruitment in Chapter 2-3) the crossover plays out nearly the same. Instead we now have a God Sigma, with a Sonic Man and M’Egga Man by his side. All three of them lay waste to the combined efforts of heroes and villains across multiple words.
Leaving only X and Sticks as the last line of defence. Sally mentioned the power of the emeralds, but comments only Sonic could use their power.
Sticks, forever pulling off the impossible, fires one of her conspiracy theories at Sally (leaving her confused) and snatches up the Emeralds. She tells X to use that “anti mind control shielding suit” of his, he quickly corrects her with it’s correct title “Ultimate Armour”
Super Sticks and Super X.
But, it’s still not enough due to Sigma’s Godly power lasts longer than 50 seconds (since Sticks and X didn’t collect any rings) and Sigma begins to gloat about his victory….
…. Out of nowhere, he’s blasted by a beam from Dr.Wily and Dr.Eggman’s rebuilt Egg-Wily Machine X. The reason it’s a killshot, is due to what the beam was. Wily comments on how he began to research “viruses” (MMX foreshadowing) and found a anti virus program to erase Sigma for good.
With Sigma destroyed, the power he stole is returned and the worlds are restored. Our heroes (that we’ve now had time to know) bid their goodbyes and return to their own worlds. X thanks Sticks and tells her she’d make an A class hunter. Sticks tells him “I always knew the robot overlords would take over, and even if I’m 87 and a half when it happens….I’ll crush em with my anti machine rock slider!”
From this point, we learn the entire crossover has been a flashback, as Sticks has been telling her friends about the adventure.
….. And they naturally don’t believe her.