Hideki Ishikawa’s Mega Man Universe

I’m pretty excited about the Archie Mega Man comic (which should be arriving in my mailbox any time now), and can’t wait to see what they’ll do with the Mega Man story.

I’m reminded of another revision of Rockman that was done for CAP! Volume 7. Hideki Ishikawa was chosen to create a Rockman image however he wished for the CFC’s Illustration Gallery, and he came up with this image including old classic characters re-imagined and new characters whose very appearance seem to speak of a broader story. This piece carries a slightly darker, anime OVA-styled motif that’s caught the imagination of many a fan, including Archie’s Mega Man artist Patrick Spaziante.

Can you feel the fire burning deep down in your soul?! Do you have the courage to throw down with the greatest of evil?! There is one man who shares that hot-blooded spirit, who will answer the call to action!!! With a body forged of steel and a heart full of justice, he is our hero: “ROCKMAN”

“Rockman” has undergone a complete renewal!!! That was the inspiration behind this illustration, filled with my own enhancements of the characters (and original characters too), but I think I might have gone too far with showing it off and offended the higher ups. (Therefore I’m writing this next part…) Sorry about that. I’ll reign in my enthusiasm a little harder next time.

*This illustration is completely unrelated to the “Rockman” series. It isn’t an idea for a future game or anything like that, so don’t bother asking about it. Don’t get them irritated with me again.

Illustrated by: Hideki
English Parts by: Shaky Akitomo

«ROCKMAN» is a side-scrolling action game released on December 17, 1987 for the Famicom. It boasted a stage select screen and the ability to acquire special weapons by defeating bosses, and provided action game fans a high degree of challenge. From that time it has grown to an entire series, the latest installment of which is “Rockman 8”. Last year marked the series’ 10th anniversary.

Hideki Ishikawa is an artist who worked on many Rockman titles from the Playstation era, and Katsuya “Shaky” Akitomo is a name associated with many of Capcom’s American comics lines, like The Punisher and the Marvel Vs. series.

The piece was later reprinted in a larger format in the Capcom Design Works art book:

Rockman Fan Club Bulletin

Hideki // 3534×4335 pixels // Photoshop

[Designer’s comment]
Some things I really liked from this one are how Fire Man and the Chief’s secretary turned out. The costume design of W. Waltz (the young girl robot in the center of the picture) has sort of a Cutey Honey style to it……

It was reprinted once again in the Mega Man Official Complete Works, where Hideki added this comment:

“I was told I could do whatever I wanted with this piece, so I went with a sort of ‘parallel universe’ idea. If Mega Man has girls on his side, why couldn’t Dr. Wily have girls on his side too, right? I also altered Dr. Wily slightly, as you can see in the upper left. I actually think he looks like someone who could get in bigger trouble than the Dr. Wily from the actual games. (laughs)”

Many of the core characters’ appearances are changed, And Wily probably stands out the most. Red eyes and a monocle, a long pointy nose with ears to match, a full head of hair and a flowing jagged beard… if not for the familiar bat-shaped hair, he could easily be an entirely new character. The others also have their fair share of changes: Iceman now has icicles for hair, Fireman’s face has become more robotic looking and his body is now adorned with the letter “F”, Elecman’s facemask now includes a green lens over the eyes, and Bombman has gotten a Birdie-style hairdo and tattoo. And then there’s Roll, with a solid-looking hairstyle whose dress and shoes now also seem to have flight thrusters equipped.

Roll is facing off with one of the original characters, which Hideki has named W. Waltz. Like Roll, she possess flight capability and seems to have some sort of projectile weapons installed in her fingers.

Next to her, Wily has his own robotic aide, complete with a PDA for keeping all of Wily’s sinister projects on schedule. Above her in the top left corner, Dr. Wily’s robot factory from the first game is visible, along with a full moon with a skull-faced shadow looming over it. That detail was covered up by the “Rockman” logo in the original printing of the image.

Meanwhile in the bottom right corner, we have the Chief. This important looking man in a blue suit and red tie stands tensely at attention. His face bears some resemblance to Mario, and a golden pin attached to his jacket collar has a “P” on it (for President, perhaps?) Beside him a blonde secretary dressed in a purple uniform stands looking shocked by some unforeseen turn of events. These two may be high standing representatives of the government who are counting on Rockman to stop the chaos wreaked by Dr. Wily’s robotic onslaught.

Over the 13 years since this image was published, countless fans have expressed that the piece would make for an excellent animated movie concept. It’s also influenced many talented artists, including one I mentioned at the top: Patrick Spaziante. When he penned the art for the final issue of Dreamwave’s Mega Man comic, he included W. Waltz as a background character in one panel two panels. Might there be more cameos, or even a fully fleshed-out role for her in Archie’s new Mega Man saga?
Keep your eyes peeled!

12 Comments to "Hideki Ishikawa’s Mega Man Universe"

  1. RADIX's Gravatar RADIX
    2011/05/02 Monday - 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I think I first found that image over at the now-defunct Ciel Network. Before Waltz’s real name was revealed, I referred to her as “Cantata”. :/

  2. Flame's Gravatar Flame
    2011/05/02 Monday - 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I like Wily’s assistant. Real evil and seductive looking. I wonder what her name is?

    Also, W. Waltz huh. Wonder what that other W is. “Wily Waltz”, perhaps?

  3. PStart's Gravatar PStart
    2011/05/02 Monday - 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Never noticed Wily’s assistant or IceMan’s ‘hair’ before this post. I dunno…I think the mustache kind of makes Dr. Wily; looks too strange without it!

    All the other redesign stuff is cool though!

  4. Ampersand's Gravatar Ampersand
    2011/05/03 Tuesday - 6:02 pm | Permalink

    When I first heard that Archie was starting a Mega Man comic I jokingly speculated that it would be set in a world where much was already controlled by Wily and his army of robots, with Mega Man and company forming a band of “freedom fighters.”

    I sort of wonder if they’re aware of the slight similarities between Mega Man and Sonic, if that had anything to do with their picking up the license, and if they have any plans to play with those similarities…

  5. 2011/05/03 Tuesday - 7:59 pm | Permalink

    From the moment I saw that picture I knew I had already encoutered it… Those Complete Works books are awesome. 🙂

    W. Waltz is giving me a strong Yuna / Sera vibe, mostly for the colors and the hair shape. There are a lot of fun concepts and designs in there, I think this is a great example of reimagining done right. Also, if you were to ask me, I think that the Chief’s “P” insigna would be for “Police”. He’s got the look of an officer.

    PStart: I’d argue that the wild hair makes Dr. Wily much more than the mustache!

  6. RamenRider's Gravatar RamenRider
    2012/05/06 Sunday - 2:27 am | Permalink

    Actually W.Waltz resembles Matilda or Sera from MML2. More likely Matilda because Matilda is Roll’s mother.

  7. Allison's Gravatar Allison
    2012/10/15 Monday - 1:04 am | Permalink

    hey, how can i contact you?

  8. 2015/04/14 Tuesday - 6:32 pm | Permalink

    “Might there be more cameos, or even a fully fleshed-out role for her in Archie’s new Mega Man saga?”

    Funny you should ask that. Four years after you posted this article, and the unnamed aid to Wily makes an appearance in the final page of issue 48. She’s now sporting the letter “Y” on her chest and seems to have a connection to Mr. X. I can’t wait to see what kind of role Flynn gives her… or if it leads to more characters from this image being integrated into the comic.

    • obfuscobble's Gravatar obfuscobble
      2015/04/15 Wednesday - 11:26 pm | Permalink

      @Steven Chase
      If more characters from this do get introduced, I hope that it doesn’t include the underaged panty shots. Eugh. Luckily, I’m pretty sure the Archie Team is not going to let that detail travel. Few thinks creep me out more than the sexualisation of minors, and that really ruins this picture for me. Like… it could so easily NOT include that. These are robots, so you could have their legs coming right out of the dress if you wanted. Ishikawa had to go that extra mile to include robot panty, and that’s really disturbing. As for W/Y chest woman? Her, I’m looking forward to more of, since Flynn’s got a great track record with character development, She’s only appeared in this one picture, so you can call her a real woman of mystery! I think it’d be really cool if her employer, “Mister X” turned out to be based on the Wily redesign here, and if he were far more dastardly to contrast with Archie’s Albert “just in it to prove I’m a genius — Eggman, how dare you hurt Tom!” Wily. Flynn excels in philosophical debates, and Archie WIly versus This Picture Wily just has the makings of greatness in it.

  9. dawwe88's Gravatar dawwe88
    2019/07/23 Tuesday - 3:47 am | Permalink

    Great stuff! I do however want to point out a minor mistake in the article. It says: Hideki // 3534×4335 pixels // Photoshop. But the 4335 should say 4345.

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