The Mech Cadets are in fierce battle in the upper atmosphere, with their parents equally imperiled sixty miles below. Your Major Spoilers review of Mech Cadet Yu #10 awaits!
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Takeshi Miyazawa
Colorist: Jessica Kholinne
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Editor: Cameron Chittock
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 11, 2018
Previously in Mech Cadet Yu: Under the Sharg’s assault, the cadets are forced to put their trust in mankind’s most dangerous creation: Hero Force 2!
A DESPERATE PLAN
Having broken ranks and disobeyed orders, Stanford and the rest of the Mech Cadets have followed Captain Tanaka into the atmosphere to fight the Sharg menace at the source. Unfortunately, General Park’s plan to steal their robos power-sources to power a more military robot means that the cadets’ parents have been assembled at the base, which is now under alien attack. Stanford’s robo-partner has already headed for base, but arrives in the midst of an overwhelming assault, getting beaten down from all sides, while his handler watches helplessly on his video screen. As Buddy takes massive amounts of damage, he transmits a series of images to Stanford to show all the lessons he has learned from his human partner, leaving Stanford heart-broken. Tanaka and the mech cadets begin their asssault, while Stanford and his frenemy Olivia return to base with orders to do what they can there. Once they arrive, though, it becomes clear that General Park’s plan will have casualties, as taking Buddy’s heart for the new Hero Force Mega-Robo will cause a massive explosion that will kill anyone in the vicinity.
A HEROIC SACRIFICE?
The final page, wherein Olivia takes control of Buddy and sets off to power the new mecha at the cost of her own life, is a powerful one and one that sets up our final arc, with #12 being the final issue of this series. Pak creates a really intense issue, while Miyazawa’s visuals add emotion to the heart-breaking sequence of Buddy’s near-sacrifice. I really love the retro, clunky design work in this issue, and it serves not only as a successful comic book, but as a love letter to comics and manga past. Miyazawa’s rendering of the Sharg aliens is even more terrible than in past issues, and the build-up to the finale makes this issue feel faster-paced than the last couple have. (Not that they’ve been bad, by any means.) There are a couple of moments that required a second look in order to follow what’s happening in this issue, but it’s a book really worth multiple reads and the message from Stanford’s ma is uplifting in a way many modern comics are embarrassed or “too cool” to aspire to.
BOTTOM LINE: A REALLY EXCITING ISSUE
This comic book has been exciting, touching and a solid read month over month, and this issue’s switch to a higher gear in preparation for the ending hasn’t changed that one bit. The art is charming and evocative, the story is exciting and wears its influences on its metaphorical sleeve in all the right ways, leaving Mech Cadet Yu #10 with a well-deserved 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. In a lot of ways, this feels like an “All is lost!” penultimate episode of a 70s anime, but I’m confident that we’re going to get that big, bombastic feel-good ending that Stanford and Buddy deserve.