So since this is definately public now...
HasLabs Crossover Comic Review
First up, despite what many kinda assumed because of its placement on the top of the cover, Unit:E doesn't seem to be the name of this Comic crossover. It?s seems to be just another one of the properties crossing over inside whose logo happens to be placed near the top of the cover. So, cover promises Unit:E, Candyland, Stretch Armstrong, Battleship Galaxies, Primordia, The Action Man, Jem, MASK, and most especially Micronauts. That's definaely an unprecidented crossover. The inside of the cover tells us this is a HASLAB presentation, the comic is written by Andy Schmidt (I know) and drawn by more names than I have any interest in typing.
Now. A spaceship. Unseen figures discuss someone waking up. The figure almost immediately flashes back to being a boy with his elderly father in helmetless Acroyear armor telling him that it is ?time.? In the present the young man with the cyborg arm greats Biotron from Micronauts and a hologram woman who we learn via flashback is Synergy (originally from Jem, now apparently moonlighting as Cortana) a trusted ally given to him by his father. They are under attack. They don?t answer his question about who is attacking, but reveal that they are taking him to Earth to find teammates with a unique noble spirit. Apparently we have a lot of this on Earth so here they are. They pull a Han Solo in an asteroid field to lose the attackers. (And we see that it looks like there?s a giant Biotron making up the bottom of the ship. I don?t know Micronauts, is that normal? He?s definitely mentally linked to the ship here.) Syn shows him shots of his prospective allies in a big spread: All the properties on the cover + Transformers + G.I. Joe + Drizit. I actually forgot Hasbro owned DnD for a second and that surprised me, then I remembered and wished again they?d use some real synergy and do a DnD toyline and cartoon for kids again.
Anyway, now we do focus pages on each property as they are detailed for the young Acroyear. First up is a two page spread of Stretch Armstrong reimagined as a sort of young, tech augmented, Reed Richards, and the first Superhero on this version of Earth. He trains and leads a team of heroes known as the Flex Fighters.
Next up is MASK. They kept the name, the name Matt Trakker, the transforming vehicles and the masks but the story seems to be totally different. It?s an urban dystopia future Detroit abandoned by the government, with social services shut down. Police officer Matt Trakker and his 4 civil servant friends found an ancient cache from some group called ?the League of Ancient Wheelmen? and are using that tech to augment themselves and their vehicles and fight for their disintegrating city. Reading it now, it?s not a bad set up for a toyline/comicbook adventure really, but I was thrown on my first read by just how different it is from Classic MASK. Like the art on the characters a lot here definately.
Next is JEM. Nice art here too. This seems to be Jerrica just before becoming JEM, (Which makes sense as she needs Synergy for that.) Synergy expresses special protectiveness towards Jerrica and says that even without powers she has a great destiny composing the ?music of the spheres.? (Seriously. I wonder if that was speaking figuratively or if JEM?s music will really have Bill and Ted/Lynn Minme power?)
Next is Action Man. I know little of him but it?s a nice set up. A legacy of Heroes who pass on their memories and abilities, the last one having gone bad and become a villain, the new one fights against him. I also like that this is the first of the Good guys that young Acroyear likes at least somewhat.
Now, Battleship Galaxies. Set in a possible future from the ?Now? the heroes of the ISN Everest fight against a bunch of supervillian names in a war they should not be able to win. Is this a game? Is there a Sci Fi Battleship variant?
And then she reminds him of his own history as an excuse for an admittedly fairly awesome Micronauts two page spread. Micronauts was before my time really, but I have to say these look awesome, and I would totally buy a toyline that looked this cool.
Now comes Unite:E they?re a group of ?Challengers of the Unknown? and investigators of the eerie who operate from a space station called Skybolt outside of reality to protect reality. All we get to see are silhouettes and a shot of the space station. Interesting concept. Looks like it would be more cartoon than toyline oriented from what little we see here, but who knows?
Heh? and here?s Candyland. Acro Jr rightly laughs, but Synergy says that though the Fairies may look silly or childish, they can be powerful and dangerous when they choose to cross over to our plain of reality. It?s about as well as you could link Candyland to these more serious older properties.
And lastly we have Primordia? giant Kaiju meets Inhumanoids-ish monsters in a city. Only one of them can speak apparently, they have some vastly developed beast instinct that makes them dangerous, they are mysterious and they may be allies or enemies. It?s hard to say what this is with the little info we get, all I know is I really wish it were Metlar, Tendrill, and Decompose on these pages.
The kid doubts any of these earth heroes have the power or ability to help him defeat Baron Karza, but then remembers what his father said as he granted him the armor and named him the new Acroyear and suddenly the armor is on him as he decides that they will make it work and that he has heroes to gather!
Lastly we get an explanation from Andy that this isn?t meant to set any status quo for these properties but is a fun ?What-IF love letter? to the properties and the brands. He wants to know if folks liked it, cause if they did they might do more or more like it. (He also mentions that other properties like Centurions are Easter Egged inside. Didn?t know Hasbro owned them, and regardless I couldn?t find that one. Can anyone help me out there?)
Overall thoughts? I liked this. It definitely reads better when it?s not 1am (as when I first read it). Nice art (very nice in some spots) and cute crossover concepts. It is all basically set up for the idea of a crossover though. I?d love if this was something Hasbro did more issues of as I?d really like to see the story actually get to the crossover part of the story. Then there?d also be room to really get to know the properties and how they interact AND to work in Inhumanoids and Visionaries darn it! So overall? It?s a fun little what if lark if you?re a fan of these properties, but I wish we were maybe really getting this story, rather than just imagining the possibility of it, y?know.
-ZacWilliam, I?d definitely snag a physical copy if I ever get the chance, just as a curiosity if nothing else. But I hope they do more. It's just too geeky not to love...
Edited by ZacWilliam1, 14 October 2011 - 06:53 PM.