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‘Mech Cadet Yu #1:’ Comic Book Review

If you feel, or are made to feel, minimalized or insignificant in any way, then read Mech Cadet Yu #1 from BOOM! Studios. In a world dreamt up by writer Greg Pak, where those in a particular class are the only worthy ones, fate intervenes in a way we can all hope for – realizing that anything is possible.

Pak introduces readers to Sky Corps Academy, a place where the best of the best vies for spots to join forces with “Robo Mechs,” which are robots that came to Earth “sixty years ago today.” The initial interaction proved beneficial, as a human is paired with a robot to become the planet’s heroes, defending it against any and all incursions, including alien monsters. Pak quickly lets readers know how janitors are looked upon: Cadets are meant to be important, “not the help.” It’s a jarring moment to see another person intentionally throw trash on the ground, as if to prove it’s the only reason our main character is around.

Stanford Yu is someone we hope succeeds. His emotions are visible, and he’s clearly bothered from being mistreated by a cadet who tosses garbage at his feet, and then telling him, “Go on. Clean it up.” It immediately transforms our view of the world Stanford lives in and the type of people in control. Stanford isn’t a part of the cadet program and is excluded from the ceremony that announces the honored few who will take on the role of protector. Pak and artist Takeshi Miyazawa, who have also collaborated on other projects, discuss their thoughts on the new comic book series in a recent presser – where you also get to take a look at multiple variant covers created for this first issue.

Pak describes his love of robots: “and I love quirky, personal stories about lonely kids trying to find their crew and mission in the world.” Miyazawa shared similar sentiments: “Mech Cadet Yu is one of those special projects, an underdog story about beating the odds, making friends, and kicking alien butt in giant robots.” In Issue #1, Miyazawa gives readers another reason to be a fan of this comic – the artwork transports you back to Saturday morning, when you wanted to get up early, watch cartoons on TV, and cheer for the nearly defeated hero to make a comeback against the evil enemy that wants nothing more than to destroy things and seize power.

The main cover is drawn by Miyazawa, as well, and colorist Triona Farrell fills in the Arizona desert with orangish-browns, backdropped with a blue-green sky. Our heroes are dressed similarly in blue and gray, perhaps an early indication of the connection these two will have, while only Stanford wears a baseball cap. Farrell also colors the rest of the comic book, and Stanford’s red-and-white hat could be a standout feature for our hero moving forward. The stage is set for this monthly series, and now we have to wait.

Mech Cadet Yu #1 is now available in print and digital form.


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