Stanford, Sanchez, and Olivetti are heading out to space with Skip Tanaka to face the impending Sharg threat head on. They are going AWOL with this mission, but there’s so much at stake that it’s worth the risk. Back on Earth, General Park is furious and sends his daughter with her man-made mech after the renegade cadets.
Mech Cadet Yu has been building to this moment for some time and this issue is full of payoff. We see the full size and scope of the impending Sharg invasion and it is terrifying. These four mechs and their brazen pilots are seemingly all that stand in the way of Earth’s total destruction. Skip keeps it real with the cadets, explaining that this is a super dangerous mission and there’s no guarantee they’ll all make it out of this alive. With the heart these three have shown, they’re ready to jump in as it’s the right thing to do.
Takeshi Miyazawa’s artwork is nothing short of amazing. Seeing four huge robots flying into space fills me with child-like glee. The cadets’ mechs are striking action poses while Skip’s is jetting skyward with its arms crossed. This is not his first rodeo. You can feel the energy in this sequence as the mechs almost blur across the page from their unbelievable speed.
Miyazawa adds some humanity to these scenes with small circular bubbles to show the pilots inside the robots. It reminds you that although these machines are capable of some remarkable things, there’s still a human being inside. Three of them are just kids.
The drama unfolding on Earth is chilling. The military has been creating its own giant-sized mech. It’s sacrificing other big robots to do it which is absolutely heartbreaking. We first saw this in the last issue and it hit so hard. Writer Greg Pak fills these scenes with such emotion, which is saying something considering half of the players involved are giant, speechless robots. This also reframes the military’s actions over the course of the series. It also makes me wonder if this is how Park’s mech was made.
Park continues to be an enigma in Mech Cadet Yu. I can never tell where her true allegiance lies. At times she looks like she might be on the same side as the other cadets, but more often than not, she sides with her father and the military. Despite this rocky relationship, Stanford always comes to her aid. He sees the good in everyone, even her.
The Sharg are some of the most frightening alien creatures ever put on paper. They look unlike anything else in this book, full of rough edges and sharp points. The mothership is massive and dwarfs the mechs. Making them even more menacing is the otherworldly glow the ship gives off. It’s an eerie red that is completely unnatural. Colorist Triona Farrell does a tremendous job with both the Sharg themselves and their vessel.
There are moments throughout Mech Cadet Yu #8 that will have you cheering on the cast. This happens both on Earth and in space. The final page is enough to have you jump up and scream. There’s so much heart in this series that you can’t help but get caught up in the excitement. This is what makes Mech Cadet Yu such a great read for young and old fans alike.