Let's get real: Sonic doesn't stand a chance. Sure, he's fast. You see that energy build-up in the Mega Buster pictured below? That's a recipe for roasted hedgehog, right there.
But, wait, you say! Couldn't Sonic disassemble Mega Man at super-speed before Capcom's icon could even get a blast off? The answers to these questions will hopefully be found in Archie Comics' upcoming crossover which will feature the two long-running franchise heroes. These images in this post—exclusive to Kotaku—give a taste of what to expect.
Longtime comics artist Patrick "Spaz" Spaziante will be handling the cover art for the crossover and he was kind enough to answer some questions about what it takes to draw this clash of the video game titans.
Kotaku: To you, what are the most important elements to emphasize in the two main heroes' characters designs?
Spaziante: For the Sonic side I'd have to say speed, while Mega Man has the power (Megabuster). It seems obvious, but those two elements really do guide how you draw the character in almost every situation, whether it be a fight or a conversation.
Kotaku: Were there any games in particular from the Sonic or Mega Man series that inspired a visual take on the various characters?
Spaziante: With Mega Man, definitely Mega Man 8 and the little-known Rock Man & Forte from the Super NES Era, (a dash of the Rock Man Power Battle arcades series thrown in for good measure). From the Sonic side, we like to keep to the most current designs, basically anything from the Dreamcast era like Sonic Adventure, up to the most current releases like Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing Transformed.
Kotaku: Is there anything you're doing with the art to try and communicate that these are two very different heritages/sensibilities that are clashing in the crossover event?
Spaziante: As much as I would love to explore the different house styles of each heritage, we need to make sure the characters and their universes gel together in the comic seamlessly, so we have chosen a hybrid of the Capcom and Sega styles.
Kotaku: Have you had the freedom to diverge from the way the characters have been visually presented before? What kind of changes have you made?
Spaziante: Yes and no, minor artistic interpretation on my part is allowed here and there, but each company has a set guideline for their characters, and I try not to deviate too far from that. We want to remain as respectful as possible to the Japanese designs, while delivering solid American comic book storytelling. It's a fine line to walk, but Archie has been doing it for quite a while now, with Mega Man for the past few years, and with Sonic for twenty years come 2013!
Kotaku: Which character has won you over while you've been drawing them? Who's an absolute chore to get onto the page?
Spaziante: As I have had past experience with both character groups for many years, (especially Sonic), I'd have to say I am pretty comfortable with both universes. If you are asking for favorites, I'd have to say Mecha Sonic from the Sonic Universe & Bass from the Mega Man Universe. On the difficult side, sometimes ANY character, even one you've drawn many times, can fall victim to "artist block"- so I guess it depends on how tired I am, or close to deadline!