Mech Cadets – Book One, soon to be adapted into a Netflix series of the same name, compiles issues 1-12 of Mech Cadet Yu from Boom! Studios. This collection offers a fantastic opportunity for readers to get acquainted with the characters and the series before it premieres on Netflix on August 10th.
In the world of Mech Cadets, giant sentient robots from outer space visit Earth every four years to bond with new Sky Corps Academy cadets. However, this time, one of these powerful mechs chooses Stanford Yu, a young kid working as a janitor with his mom at Sky Corps. This unexpected opportunity changes Stanford’s life, but he must earn the trust of his peers and face the relentless enemy, the Sharg. Bestselling author Greg Pak and fan-favorite artist Takeshi Miyazawa bring this underdog story to life as Stanford and his team of Cadets and Robos undergo rigorous training, confront an alien invasion, and grapple with the prospect of losing themselves and humanity. The collection explores sacrifice, duty, and heroism, making it the perfect entry point for the animated series on Netflix. Collecting Mech Cadet Yu #1–12.
The story revolves around Stanford Yu, a young boy working in sanitation at the Sky Corps Academy while aspiring to be a Mech Cadet. Mech Cadets, chosen by the heroic Robo Mechs, stand ready to defend against the villainous Sharg when they return every four years. Stanford’s life takes a dramatic turn when he encounters one of the descending Robos, and it selects him as its pilot. Will Stanford rise to the occasion and fulfill his destiny? And will the rivalry with the General’s daughter be a hurdle in his journey?
Although Mech Cadets may follow familiar tropes (a determined underdog protagonist gifted with an extraordinary opportunity, a rival driven by parental pressure), Greg Pak skillfully develops well-rounded and enjoyable characters. Each character has depth, and as the story progresses, the stakes are raised in a way that is both thrilling and logical. The series avoids the cliché of making the protagonist secretly overpowered, and Stanford’s skills and his Robo’s abilities develop naturally.
Takeshi Miyazawa’s art complements the story beautifully. The Robos’ designs are simple yet charming, and the color palettes suit them perfectly. Miyazawa’s diverse and expressive human characters add depth to the narrative. The evolution of the character designs, as seen in the earlier version of the series called “Los Robos,” showcases Miyazawa’s thoughtful approach to creating the right look for each character, both human and Robo.
While Mech Cadets will make its television debut in August, it will also return with a sequel comic book series of the same name. The volume drops intriguing hints that readers can’t wait to see explored in the upcoming series.
Mech Cadets – Book One is an exceptional collection that delivers a thrilling and heartwarming story. Pak and Miyazawa’s work is a resounding success, and if the Netflix series can capture the heart and soul of this book on screen, it is destined to be a top favorite.