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
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!