Janitor Duty And Night Training Are On Tap In Mech Cadet Yu #5

by James Ferguson

The Sky Corps Central Command was caught offguard by the return of the alien Sharg.  Now they must hastily prepare for a potential invasion. Meanwhile, Stanford, Park, and the other new recruits are awaiting their punishment for disobeying orders and engaging the Sharg. Fortunately for them, military hero Skip has offered to train them in secret, regardless of what happens with Sky Corps.

The punishment the cadets receive is to work as janitors. This is where Stanford started, working for his mom, so it’s not new to him, although it is rather embarrassing. The good thing is that this is how he became such a humble, good kid. Even though he has to clean up messes, he still gets to do so with a giant robot, so it can’t be all that bad.

With the excitement of the first story arc, I almost forgot that not every robot that comes from the sky to work with the humans is used in battle. There’s a whole support staff working to clean and maintain the facilities around them and they’re just as important as the soldiers. They’re keeping the trains running on time, you know?

We get a look at this perspective with Mech Cadet Yu #5. If Stanford was humbled by his time as a janitor, working with the engineering and janitor corps should help ground him further. Hopefully it has the same effect on his fellow teammates, but Park may be beyond saving.

I love the design for the support bots. They’re scrappy and a little odd, definitely not suited for combat, but again, they’re still giant robots. That’s pretty cool on its own, right? They may be a little rough around the edges, but you can tell they’re sturdy and reliable. They look similar to Stanford’s bot, too, which is not surprising. Park’s bot is the polar opposite of them. It’s all sharp angles with no emotion, whereas the others clearly have some heart.

While Stanford realizes he can do some good on the ground, his eyes still turn to the sky.  That adventurous spirit picks up in the second half of this issue as he goes out with the other cadets for their first training mission with Skip. Triona Farrell’s colors give this evening scene a cool, somber tone that’s edged with excitement. This is a night where anything can happen.

Park’s ruthlessness is on full display here. There were moments in the past where it looked like she was softening up a bit, but that has gone away. She is her father’s daughter and that doesn’t look like it’s changing any time soon. Artist Takeshi Miyazawa brings this cold determination to the forefront in the character with some wry and almost callous demeanor as she rushes into action. Military is in her blood.

This flies right in the face of everything Stanford believes in. The right spot may be somewhere between Park’s combative tendencies and Stanford’s innocence. They’re like Batman and Superman in how they see the world. I’m very interested to see how their relationship will grow in this series. Will Park rub off on Stanford or vice versa?

Mech Cadet Yu established the basis for the series in its first arc (now available in trade paperback, exclusively at comic book stores). This issue expands the universe past its great concept and further develops the characters and their world. It has not missed a beat. This is still one of the most exciting and fun comics on the stands today.

Mech Cadet Yu #5 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.