Mech Cadet Yu #6 Will Show You What a Real Hero Looks Like

by James Ferguson

After some off-the-books evening training, Stanford and the other new cadets come face-to-face with a baby Sharg inside Sky Corps Academy. The kids run for their lives, trying to keep each other safe as more and more Sharg show up, ready to destroy everyone and everything around them. Can they survive without their mechs? More importantly, can they work together to get out alive?

Mech Cadet Yu #6 is wall-to-wall action. There are very few moments to catch your breath as these kids go from room to room to try and flee the alien attackers. It’s like a survival horror story. The Sharg are breathing down their necks and they are absolutely terrifying.

Artist Takeshi Miyazawa gives the Sharg an otherworldly appearance. That’s fitting because they literally come from another world. They stick out, like they don’t belong here. Their rough, crab-like bodies are monstrous and unsettling, contrasting with the innocence of the cadets. When one of the kids is injured, I let out an audible gasp. This is how invested I’ve become in these characters.

Where Miyazawa’s characters have an animated look to them, the Sharg are more life-like. Triona Farrell’s colors solidify this feeling, giving them a grim and gritty texture. Although they look like crabs, they are definitely not the kind that you might want to eat. You’d immediately wash your hands if you happened to touch one.

The cadets have been at odds throughout their training or rather, Park has been at odds with the rest. She is a military kid through and through. She showed how she’d be willing to sacrifice someone in order to win a battle in the last issue, so this was a real test of her abilities in the field. Fortunately, no one is killed and she rose to the task.

The real heroic moment comes from Stanford. This is what a hero looks like. There’s a scene where lives are in danger and Stanford has a clear path out. It would make the most military sense to leave with the others. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, right? Stanford doesn’t see it that way. He rushes into battle with sound resolve, confident that his team will back him up. This doesn’t quell the worries his mother is having, but it does make for an incredible scene.

The mechs are on the sidelines for this issue, but their presence is still felt. They were ordered to stand down and await orders, but they’re connected to these kids. They can sense the danger and rush to help. Unfortunately, they can’t really fit inside the small quarters, so there’s not a whole lot they can do. It is pretty heartwarming seeing them appear worried and concerned for their pilots. It’s easy to forget that they’re not soulless robots. They’re alive and they have personalities too.

While the first arc of Mech Cadet Yu established the premise and world, this is where things greatly expand. Writer Greg Pak ups the stakes considerably, putting the main characters in incredible danger. It’s an exciting and action-packed issue that’s still filled with the signature heart that has come to define this series. The Sharg have proven themselves a worthy adversary. If this is what a few recently hatched ones can do, imagine what the full-grown versions are capable of.

Mech Cadet Yu #6 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.