Writer: by Greg Pak/ Artist: Takeshi Miyawaza/ Colorist: Triona Farrell/ Boom Studios
I love giant mecha. You probably do too. When I first saw the artwork and such on Greg Pak’s twitter I had to investigate 1.) Greg Pak. Duh. We love him here at BNP. He’s penning this epic journey. 2.) Takeshi Miyawaza, whom we know from helping to bring our little sister Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel to life, is doing the artwork and last but not least, 3.) the brilliant colorist Triona Farrell whom I was introduced to from Beautiful Canvas is back to make me take out on my fangirl hat. In short: we got a squad full of killers here. Let the hype train commence!
The elite Sky Corps Academy is home to the world’s best: the smartest and brightest young adults who all have hopes to one-day piloting giant robots. Not just any giant robots but giant robots from outer space that come to Earth to bond with young pilots in a long running tradition of protecting the Earth from alien baddies known as the Sharg. It’s a tradition started by famed pilot and hero, Skip Tanaka, and a mecha that found him when he was just a boy scout. Now generations later: it’s not only a great honor but a terrific job to have in being a global citizen. Today is a special day: it’s the choosing, the day where a few lucky teens meet their robo mech partners and start their life long journeys. Much Wow. Much excite. Much hype. What a hell of a introduction here, folks.
It’s a room full of hopeful, eager kids and this day only comes every four years. One cadet happens to see another kid her age and…..
OH HELL NAH. I won’t stand for this. I won’t. Folks, here’s our first look at Cadet Park the cream of the crop of the school. She’s had the best grades, best aptitude tests, best everything. This is a position that she’s been groomed for and she’s ready to shine. She also has a classist stick up her butt and I am for real to fight her in the parking lot after school which I usually reserve for comic book dudebros that disrespect Wonder Woman.
The kid she’s talking down to is Yu Standford and he works a janitorial position at the Academy with his mother. He’s shuffled over to watch the Academy class receive instruction and praise on this momentous day. After this event, I realize that he is our underdog and I am seriously rooting for him. What follows is a random chance encounter for him with a robo mecha that changes his life forever, shakes up the status quo, and ultimately, I believe, will show that the person needed for the job isn’t always the one who is chosen. It’s the person who you passed over, it’s the person who was never in the running in the traditional sense.
The emotional tether is here. Gosh, it makes me think of all the times as a teen I was told that I didn’t belong, that I wasn’t good enough: from the stark uncomfortable feeling of knowing that I was being followed in stores to going to having my questions ignored at college tours. I love seeing more positive Asian representation in comics and Greg Pak penning this is an instant reason to pick this issue up. Yu is our scrappy underdog and my best guess is that he’s got heart and a whole lot of passion that will help make up in some of the areas that he’s lacking.
While this new comic is created by both Pak and Takeshi Miyawaza, it is Miyazawa who is responsible for the artwork. Miyazawa’s easy-on-the-eyes artwork that we know and love from the adventures of Kamala Khan in Marvel’s Ms. Marvel is welcomed and familiar. Expressive faces, all manner of different mecha…what don’t I love about Miyazawa’s work here? He owns up to a fun art style that works well with the story and compliments it nicely. I love when a creative team works in sync and with Triona Farrell as the colorist, this is exactly what happens with Team Mecha Cadet Yu.
First introduced to Farrell’s superb coloring job in Black Mask Studio’s Beautiful Canvas I knew she was a talent to watch on my end. Upon hearing she was on Team MCY, I was elated because her skills bring the heat. Sure, this comic is brightly colored with beautiful, funky colors. Look closer at the panels: see the subtle shadows under Yu’s hat as he’s out and about? What about the really cool x-ray vision of that one mecha on a page in the middle of the comic? Like I said, a creative team working in sync is one you want to have. Lastly, it’s not lost on me that this creative team is what I love to see in the comics industry: a diverse one! What a great first issue that is as fun, visually stimulating and accessible as it also a homage to all things giant mecha.
Mecha Cadet Yu is a heartfelt, coming of age story filled with robots that you never saw coming. Pick up this comic this week!