Mech Cadet Yu #1
Every four years giant robots descend on Earth to pick highly trained candidates from the Sky Corps Academy to pilot them and defend the human against the alien Sharg threat. Kids come from all over and train for years and years to be picked; Stanford Yu is not one of these kids. He would love nothing more than to train at the academy and be eligible to pilot one of these mechs, but he is stuck cleaning up everyone’s trash as one of the janitors. The thing about these giant robots is that they get to pick who pilots them and what if they do not pick the “right” person for the job? Enter Mech Cadet Yu #1.
We seem to have a fascination with giant robots as a people right? I know for me personally it seems like they have been with me throughout my entire life from my childhood years of Transformers and Power Rangers, to my teenage obsession with Gundam and to now adult hood where Pacific Rim has again captured my imagination. Giant robots have always fascinated people and Greg Pak taps into that with Mech Cadet Yu #1. It also has to be in the top five of child hood fantasies like I either want Mutant X-Men gene, Super Soldier Serum, a Pocket Monster, transform into an animal or pilot giant robot! With Stanford Yu, Greg Pak delivers in spades the giant robot piloting dream. Look there is nothing really surprising about the first Issue you know the robot is going to pick him (it’s on the cover). What is surprising though is how Pak sets up this whole universe, introduces the main character, introduces a protagonist and gets the story rolling all within 22-24 pages. It is really almost the perfect #1 issue, Pak gets you rooting for the main character right off the bat and even though you have a general idea what is going to happen it still captures your attention.
Takeshi Miyazawa does some truly wonderful cartooning on Mech Cadet Yu #1. He gets great facial expressions out of all of his characters and you can get their attitudes and emotions from the scenes just by looking at how the characters look. At first I was not digging the designs of the robots, but after giving them another good look and giving the Issue another read through they are growing on me and if you pay attention you can see elements of other classic giant mechs Miyazawadoes integrated into his designs. Triona Farrell has some beautiful colors in this Issue as well, the Arizona dessert setting sun is caught masterful by Farrell and it looks really stunning!
Mech Cadet Yu #1 is a fantastic first issue. Stanford Yu is the classic underdog character that gets to do something extraordinary and just because the basic plot of the first issue is very “by the books” Greg Pak introduces some elements that will have you coming back for more (you are going to have to read the issue to find out). If you are looking for something to scratch that giant robot itch pick up Mech Cadet Yu #1 and enjoy.
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