Mech Cadets #1 Review

Writer: Greg Pak

Artist: Takeshi Miyazawa

Colorist: Ian Herring

Letterer: Simon Bowland

Cover Artists: Takeshi Miyazawa & Ian Herring; Sonny Liew; Junggeun Yoon; Livio Ramondelli; Alan Quah; Aaron Bartling; John Giang

Publisher: Boom! Studios

Price: $4.99

Release Date: August 9, 2023

One year ago, the dreaded Sharg infiltrated and destroyed Sky Corps Academy. Mech Cadet Olivia Park and her team of robot pilots stopped the alien incursion. As they grace a ceremony celebrating the Academy’s reopening, one wonders: Will things go smoothly from now on, or will Earth face more alien threats? Let’s fly into Mech Cadets #1 and see what happens!

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Antarctica #2 Review.


Like Maverick in Top Gun, Olivia likes to make an impression. Her father points out that her hard, fast landing risked damaging the new concrete. The team learns the leaders aren’t just penny-pinching while fixing the nearby dam. All looked rosy at the rebuilt Academy, but damaged businesses and homes still need attention. Flooding from the leaky dam has only made a bad situation worse. The generals then send the team off-world to find another robot team. Their orders: observe and report, but don’t intervene. Earth can’t risk losing another giant robot team!

With their resources stretched, the Sky Corps generals regard all aliens as threats in Mech Cadets #1. They’re also worried about the robots: built by humans but based on alien designs. Like Joshua Joyce, the CEO of the KSI Corporation in Transformers: Age Of Extinction, the generals wonder if they can control their robots. And if not, might the robots subvert their pilots?


The surrounding desert and hills suggest Sky Corps Academy resides in the American Southwest. The sentient giant robots show individuality. Each pilot’s face appears in a balloon, with a linking arrow to the cadet’s robot. Important characters–such as Olivia’s father, Cadet Stanford’s mother, and even the aliens–impress. Crowd scenes give panels scope. Yet each robot’s height–compared with its surroundings–seemed inconsistent. One panel showed a towering robot in the background, with a tiny one in the foreground. Still, the endearing pilots made me root for the team and their mighty mechanical marvels.

Mech Cadets #1 features a limited palette of pastels. Background colors in closeups clash with colors in wider shots. Subtle blending breathed life into settings. The white balls beneath the large metal feet—surrounded by white sparkles—leave little doubt about how the robots fly. Black uppercase text with sufficient spacing between rows fills white dialogue balloons. Bold words suggest inflection. Colored dialogue balloons tell you which giant robot pilot is speaking. Sound effects help us feel rapid movement and hear laser fire. Narrative boxes might help transition the reader better from one scene to the next. After twenty-two pages of story in Mech Cadets #1, character sketches, concept art, and creator interviews provide insight into the comics and the Netflix animated series.

Final Thoughts

With identifiable characters, giant robots, family dynamics, giant robots, leaders who fear outsiders and the unknown, giant robots, and young adults faced with thorny ethical choices, Mech Cadets #1 propels the reader breathlessly from a troubled Earth to a spectacular space battle. Oh, and did I mention THIS COMIC HAS GIANT FREAKING ROBOTS?


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