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Worlds Collide, initially known as When Worlds Collide, was a twelve issue story arc spanning the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog, Archie Sonic Universe, and Archie Mega Man comic series'. It featured SEGA's mascot video game character, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Capcom's video game character Mega Man. The crossover was vital in that it would ultimately set in motion the circumstances resulting in the major overhaul to the Sonic comics continuity from #252 onwards. In May 2015, it was followed by a sequel, Worlds Unite.
Following Super Sonic's use of Chaos Control to reverse the effects of the first Genesis Wave on Mobius Prime, the blue Chaos Emerald used by Dr. Eggman to power the wave was transported to an alternate universe, specifically that of Earth 20XX. Appearing in the rainforest outside the Lanfront Ruins, it was discovered by several of the Robot Masters created by Dr. Wily using the supercomputer Ra Moon. Wily's attempts to analyze the gemstone resulted in opening an unexpected communications link between the two universes, allowing Wily and Eggman to communicate with each other. Discovering their shared goals for their worlds-and frustration with certain blue foes-the two doctors agreed upon an alliance. With Eggman's guidance, Wily used the power of the Chaos Emerald to create the Skull Egg Zone, a pocket dimension linking both their worlds together. By combining resources, the two doctors shaped the realm to their liking and created a flying battle fortress from which to enact their schemes for all reality: the Wily Egg. After using the Emerald to launch a second Genesis Wave, the pair set out to acquire the remaining Emeralds. In order to accomplish this, they captured a number of Sonic the Hedgehog's allies and transformed them into the evil Roboticized Masters. (MM: #24)
Quickly securing most of the Emeralds, the doctors then arranged for their foes-Sonic and Mega Man-to be tricked into battling each other in the hopes that one or both would be destroyed. The battle began on Mobius, but soon moved to Earth as Mega Man's creator and Wily's rival, Dr. Light, created a Warp Ring to bring his robotic son back home. Fearing further interference, the doctors dispatched Metal Sonic v3.0 and Bass to capture Light as Sonic and Mega Man continued to battle. However, the heroes eventually learned that they had been deceived, forcing the doctors to attack with Tails Man, the first of the Roboticized Masters. By combining their abilities, the two heroes unexpectedly returned Tails to normal, and learned of the doctors' alliance. Transporting to Light Labs, they would arrive too late to prevent Dr. Light's capture, but were able to pursue him into the Skull Egg Zone accompanied by Proto Man and Rush. After a brief battle with Mega Man's old enemies Copybot and the Genesis Unit, the heroes ran into the full force of Roboticized Masters. (StH: #248, SU: 51, #52, MM: #25)
Proto Man left his allies in order to locate the missing Dr. Light, dividing the Roboticized Masters as several were called off to pursue him. By modifying Mega Man's Mega Buster weapon to mimic Sonic's Spin-Dash attack, the heroes succeeded in restoring all three members of the Chaotix to their normal forms. The detectives left to join Proto Man, while the doctors dispatched Robot Master Shadow Man and Roboticized Master Shadow Man to engage the heroes. Despite the formidable team, the heroes were victorious, restoring Shadow the Hedgehog and destroying Wily's Shadow Man. Thanks to Shadow's Chaos Control abilities, the heroes also became aware that reality had been altered, and became even more determined to set things right. Silver Man and Blaze Woman were likewise turned back into Silver the Hedgehog and Blaze the Cat by the heroes, while the doctors began work on a deadly battle vehicle, the Egg-Wily Machine X. Unbeknownst to them, the Wily Egg had been boarded by Rouge the Bat, who made contact with Dr. Light for his help in sabotaging the flying fortress. (StH: #249, #26)
Sonic's team soon battled the last remaining Roboticized Masters, Knuckles Man and Rose Woman, who had been ordered to self-destruct in order to eliminate the heroes. Fortunately, after a heated battle, they were able to return them to their normal forms of Knuckles the Echidna and Amy Rose. Having succeeded in rescuing all of Sonic's allies-that they were aware of-the heroes set out to assemble them and regroup at the Wily Egg, which had stopped thanks to Rouge's sabotage. Unfortunately, Rouge was captured by the doctors and subjected to Roboticization, becoming Rouge Woman. She was then deployed alongside an army of Robot Masters the doctors had time-cloned from Earth's past against Sonic and Mega Man's force. Joined by E-123 Omega, the heroes put up a valiant fight despite being outnumbered, even succeeding in rescuing Rouge. Realizing that they were fighting a losing battle, however, Sonic and Mega Man departed for the Wily Egg with Tails and Rush, just in time to see Dr. Light jettisoned from the craft. (StH: #250, SU: #53)
After Light was rescued by Shadow and joined the allied heroes, Sonic and Mega Man boarded the Wily Egg to confront Eggman and Wily. The evil doctors, their friendship shattered by Eggman's attempt to murder Dr. Light, dispatched the Mega Man Killers to impede their progress. Following a swift battle, the Killers were destroyed, but Tails was injured and forced to retreat with Rush. Fighting their way up through various obstacles, the heroes encountered the Chaos Devil, a monstrous creation of the villainous doctors. Their battle with the creature came to a halt with the arrival of Duo, a powerful ally from Mega Man's universe, who sent the heroes ahead while staying behind to handle the creature. Mega Man and Sonic continued, but faced a final obstacle: Metal Sonic, Bass, and Treble, who tag-teamed the two heroes viciously. After a grueling battle, the two succeeded in defeating them, only to be captured by the Egg-Wily Machine X. Held captive by Eggman and Wily, the heroes then learned the full scope of the doctors' plan: to completely rewrite all of reality using the Genesis Reactor, a device powered by all seven Chaos Emeralds. (MM: #27)
Outside the Wily Egg, the battle with the Robot Masters continued, and Sonic's allies were soon joined by an unexpected force of arrivals: the original Robot Masters created by Dr. Light. Taking advantage of the reprieve, Knuckles and Proto Man-joined by Rush and Dr. Light-boarded the Wily Egg to aid Mega Man and Sonic. The red heroes took on the doctors while Light and Rush freed Mega Man and Sonic, who then used the power of the Chaos Emeralds to transform into Super Mega Man and Super Sonic. The doctors also super-charged the Egg-Wily Machine X, leading to a titanic struggle between the blue heroes and their enemies. During the fighting, the Super Genesis Wave was unleashed, consuming all of realty in its blinding light as the heroes managed to defeat the doctors. Harnessing the power of the Emeralds for one final act, Sonic and Mega Man prepared to restore their worlds to normal. Mega Man succeeded without incident, but Dr. Eggman launched a final attack against Sonic, greatly disrupting his efforts. (StH: #251)
Unlike the aftermath of the Sonic Genesis saga, the Prime Zone was catastrophically altered by Eggman's interference. The entire history of the Prime Zone had been greatly changed, and many other elements along with it: the planets geography had been shifted, with previously existing locations being moved or outright erased, with new locations appearing in their place. Several characters histories had been changed, some on a minor scale (Sally still grew up as a young princess in Mobotropolis) while others where more drastic (Knuckles has now always been the last remaining Echidna on the planet). Meanwhile several characters from the old timeline had vanished altogether (due to legal issues): it's unknown whether they have simply been displaced from their original roles and still exist elsewhere or have been outright erased. Events from the majority of the Sonic video games had also taken place (according to Ian Flynn, every major Sonic game up to Sonic Generations, with the exception of Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Chronicles, has taken place in this timeline)
Additionally, it was revealed the entire multiverse was effected: the reality warping caused the multiverse to collapse in on itself and reboot, creating new realities.
The reality warp itself would end up causing The Shattered World Crisis: once the Super Genesis Wave reset the multiverse, the excess energy piled itself onto the Prime Zone, causing the planet to split apart from the strain.
In contrast, the changes to Mega Man's world were extremely minor. The damage done to Mega City by Break Man was reversed, as were the injuries of Mega Man and his Robot Master brothers. Additionally, nobody in this world has any memory of the crossover, with a few minor exceptions: Mega Man comes out of the Genesis Wave with a brief knowledge of the world being out of order and is aware of Break Man's damage being undone (as well as his brothers also noticing that fact), while Dr. Wily, feeling as if he'd forgotten the last few months, has been left only with a violent urge to stomp on a carton of eggs... (MM: #28)
Due to the Genesis Wave simply making Earth 20XX jump forward in time rather than reset it, this means that the events of the crossover are still destined to happen at some point in Mega Man's future. This is made confirmed during the "Dawn of X" story arc, in which comic-exclusive villain Xander Payne topples through a time vortex into the future, witnessing many events set to occur in the future along the way, including a scene from this crossover of Mega Man aiding Sonic in defeating Tails Man. When he got back to the present, he carved a picture of Sonic's head among the things he saw in his jail cell, and blabbed on about worlds colliding again. (MM: #38, #40, #43)
And his prediction couldn't be more right. Soon, it was discovered in Silver's future by Professor Von Schlemmer that the "shards" that formed when the multiverse was altered tore holes in the space-time continuum, creating mysterious portals called Genesis Portals. These portals caused travel though many worlds, including the Prime Zone, the present and future of Mega Man's world and the world of Sonic Boom. One of these portals brought Sigma, the arch-enemy of Mega Man's descendent, Mega Man X, to the Lost Hex, where he abducted and enslaved Dr. Eggman, Dr. Wily and the Deadly Six, thus beginning Sonic and Mega Man's next adventure together. It would also be revealed that the events of their previous encounter still occurred in this alternate reality. (FCBD 2015, SU: #75, #76, MM: #49, SB: #7, #8)
The crossover was split up into three acts, each consisting of four issues. The crossover was proceeded by a Free Comic Book Day prequal issue, featuring reprints of Sonic and Mega Man's two preludes to the crossover from their respective comic series.
Act 1: Kindred Spirits
- Worlds Collide Part 1- Mega Man #24 (April 2013)
- Worlds Collide Part 2- Sonic Universe #51 (April 2013)
- Worlds Collide Part 3- Sonic the Hedgehog #248 (May 2013)
- Worlds Collide Part 4- Mega Man #25 (May 2013)
Act 2: Into the Warzone
- Worlds Collide Part 5- Sonic Universe #52 (May 2013)
- Worlds Collide Part 6- Sonic the Hedgehog #249 (June 2013)
- Worlds Collide Part 7- Mega Man #26 (June 2013)
- Worlds Collide Part 8- Sonic Universe #53 (June 2013)
Act 3: Chaos Clash
- Worlds Collide Part 9- Sonic the Hedgehog #250 (July 2013)
- Worlds Collide Part 10- Mega Man #27 (July 2013)
- Worlds Collide Part 11- Sonic Universe #54 (July 2013)
- Worlds Collide Part 12- Sonic the Hedgehog #251 (August 2013)
The entirety of the crossover was reprinted in graphic novel format starting from November 2013. The three volume series compiled each act of the story. A forth book, collecting all 12 parts, is also set for release.
- Sonic/Mega Man: Worlds Collide Volume 1: Kindred Spirits (November 12, 2013) Includes MM: #24, SU: #51, StH: #248 and MM: #25
- Sonic/Mega Man: Worlds Collide Volume 2: Into the Warzone (February 18, 2014) Includes SU: #52, StH: #249, MM: #26 and SU: #53
- Sonic/Mega Man: Worlds Collide Volume 3: Chaos Clash (July 8, 2014) Includes StH: #250, MM: #27, SU: #54 and StH: #251
- Sonic/Mega Man: Worlds Collide: The Complete Epic (May 26, 2015): contains all twelve parts of the story, along with Mega Man #23 and Sonic the Hedgehog #247, and selections from Mega Man #28 and Sonic the Hedgehog #252. Released with two covers, one of which was available exclusively through the Previews catalogue.
Variant Cover Gallery
Graphic Novel Cover Gallery
- According to Ian Flynn, the events of the crossover, from the perspective of the video games storylines of which the reset worlds are based, take place after Sonic Generations and Mega Man 10 respectively. The fact that the former had already taken place is made more evident in StH#250 (part 9), in which Dr. Light mentions the Time Eater. As for the latter, the crossover included elements from/references to virtually every story-based game in the classic Mega Man series.
- The idea for a crossover between Sonic and Mega Man originated as far back as 2004, in which Patrick Spaziante, who at the time had also illustrated for the defunct Mega Man comic by Dreamwave Comics, approached then-Sonic editor Mike Pollerito with the proposal, but was not at the time doable for several reasons. According to Spaziante, the only idea from that original proposal that transferred over to this crossover was the "Shoes and Helmet" teaser image that was used to announce the event.
- The current crossover idea was actually started by Capcom USA. They had felt bad for how horrible the Mega Man franchise had been treated since Keiji Inafune had left the company (with the cancellation of Mega Man Universe and Mega Man Legends 3, the appearance of Bad Art Mega Man in Street Fighter x Tekken and Mega Man's snubbing in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.) and, since they were unable to do anything game wise, they approached Sega and Archie with the idea.
- This was one of the few crossovers that was actually canon to the Archie Sonic Universe. Other canon crossovers include: SX: #40 and the 2nd Story in SSS: #10.
- Although it was initially stated by the creative team that the crossover would consist purely of elements from the video game series' of the respective properties, some elements from the main comic universe had still managed to appear in several places. This includes:
- The concept of Roboticization, which would be a major influence in the creation of the Roboticized Masters.
- Eggman's Egg Swats, which where among the many resources used to construct the Wily Egg.
- Two cameo appearances by Mecha Sally, first in Sonic's brief flashback to the old world in MM: #26, and in Eggman's vision of how a Mobius reshaped in his image could look in StH: #251.
- Sonic having a vague recollection of the last time Eggman reset the world.
- The inclusion of Quake Woman, an Archie Mega Man exclusive character, on the cover of MM: #24.
- Snively Robotnik's cameos in StH: #249 and MM: #26.
- Act 2 is the only part of the crossover to not include a landmark issue as part of its run.
- The variant covers for the crossover appear more or less in a pattern: the first issue of each act is printed with two "Team Mega Man and Team Sonic" covers which each emphasize one of the two heroes and their universes, while the last issue of each act comes with an "Evil Friends Forever" cover with newly made artwork (by the artist who draws the interiors of the issue itself) depicting Doctors Eggman and Wily partaking in friendly activities to humorous effect. The themes for the variants of parts 2 and 3 change from one act to the next:
- Act 1 featured "Rival Variants" in which a character from each universe (ones that are considered to be the most similar to each other either in terms of personality or role in their respective series), pose next to each other in front of a background taken from one of the classic Sonic or Mega Man games.
- Act 2's "Game Sprite" variants featured scenes made up entirely of sprites and backdrops taken from the 2D Sonic and Mega Man video games.
- The Act 3 variants are simple "Pencil, Ink, Colour" covers, where the artwork for the standard cover is shown as it gradually shifts from its original sketch, to the inked version, to the final coloured version.
- Additionally, both the first and last part where distributed with convention variants. Part 1's variant was sold at San Diego Comic-Con, and part 12's variant was sold at New York Comic Con.
- A trailer for the crossover was released not long before Worlds Collide started. Incidentally, the trailer ended up spoiling Sonic and Mega Man's climatic Super transformation.
- Fans have noted how the nature of the crossover, particularly in how it led the Sonic series into a total overhaul of the status quo, is strikingly similar to DC Comics Flashpoint crossover storyline and subsequent The New 52 reboot. Like Worlds Collide and the continuities reboot, Flashpoint was a mass crossover storyline for all of DC's titles. The nature of said crossover resulted in the DC universe rebooting into an altered timeline with a different history, with only a handful of characters being aware of the changes. For this reboot, all of DC's titles had their issue numbers reset to issue one, with all collective titles being referred to as The New 52. Coincidentally, for the Sonic series, the new continuity began with #252. This has led some fans to nickname the new Sonic continuity "The New 252" or more simply "Nu252" as a result.
- The crossover also is similar to another massive DC crossover known Crisis On Infinite Earths, as both were a 12-part story involving heroes from different universes banding together to stop a threat bent on reshaping the multiverse to their image, and ultimately ending with the multiverse being permanently altered with only a select few being aware of the changes.
- According to Ian Flynn, he originally wanted the comics reboot to be completely clean-cut, in which no character, not even Sonic himself, had any memory of the old world. This was changed at the request of editor Paul Kaminski, who wanted a bridge between the two continuities so as not to completely disorient old readers.
- Coincidentally or not, the crossover happened to take place at the height of Archie's legal problems with former writer Ken Penders, resulting in the removal of Penders's characters from the comics. Due to this, many fans believe the continuity reboot at the end of the crossover is a direct result of the disputes with Penders and was used by Archie as a way of conveniently removing his characters, seeing as they have apparently been eliminated by the Super Genesis Wave.
- Sonic and Mega Man would later appear together in an actual video game: Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U, the forth combined title in the popular Super Smash Bros. series. Mega Man's debut in the series was announced as the crossover was still going on, while Sonic's return (after previously appearing in Super Smash Bros. Brawl) was announced shortly after it had concluded.
- The game was released on October 3rd 2014, less than a week after the announcement of the sequal crossover "Worlds Unite".