Monday, August 7, 2017

Review - Mech Cadet Yu #1 (@boomstudios)


"We don't know where they're from or why they come..."

Mechs being part of humanity is an inevitability. How they help us remain to be seen, but they'll definitely come in handy if we ever have to deal with giant monsters or aliens. Mech Cadet Yu #1 from BOOM! Studios knows that too. The issue is written by Greg Pak, illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa, colored by Triona Farrell and lettered by Simon Bowland.

Once a year, giant robots from outer space come to Earth and bond with young cadets from the elite Sky Corps Academy to defend the world from the terrifying aliens known as the Sharg. It's a great honor to be chosen, but this year...well, the wrong kid was picked.

Pak doesn't try to reinvent the wheel in Mech Cadet Yu #1--only slightly spin it off axis a bit. The early parts of the issue are focused on setting up the premise behind the entire series and the main players. Pak does this quite effortlessly moving the issue to where it needs to be to set up the remainder of the series. Pak is focusing the narrative through Yu as a bright, hard-working youth who stumbles upon a mech and form a somewhat unconventional partnership and that relationship is full of youthful innocence. There's a slight turn at the end of the issue that sets up the potential conflict down the line, but even that feels relatively lighthearted in the grand scheme of things.

The artwork by Miyazawa is simplistic in its approach. Miyazawa's style hearkens back to Saturday morning cartoons as it relies on concise linework for detailing the characters. The facial expressions throughout are remarkably expressive and convey a sense of emotional weight that all the characters carry with them. All the illustrations have a sleek feel to them that lends a somewhat futuristic feel to the book, helping the reader to get into the right mindset for a world where cadets team with mechs to fight aliens. Farrell's colors are low-key and a great fit for the tone of the book.

Mech Cadet Yu #1 is a great book that's youthful in its tone. Yu is a character with an important ally on his side which will come in handy as the series unfolds. Pak's pacing in the issue is spot-on as he deftly brings the reader into the world of the Sky Corps Academy. Miyazawa's artwork adds in an appropriate level of anime-style that's befitting a book about giant mechs and what are likely to be kaiju-inspired aliens. Mech Cadet Yu #1 is a lot of fun and hits all the right notes.

Mech Cadet Yu #1 is available now.

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