Mech Cadet Yu Volume Three

Mech Cadet Yu Volume Three
Mech Cadet Yu Volume Three review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Boom! Studios - 978-1-68415-337-4
  • UPC: 9781684153374
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes

It’s been one hell of a rapid rise for Stanford Yu. He began Volume One as the son of the cleaner on a cadet training base and ended Volume Two in control of a Mech involved in a desperate fight to prevent a Sharg mothership from dropping its deadly cargo on Earth. That’s against orders from Central Command, who appear to have a more sinister agenda, although beloved hero Skip Tanaka is alongside Stanford in space.

Volume Two ended on a cliffhanger, and there’s no delaying tactics from Greg Pak, who drops straight back into the rocket-paced action in space, and then proceeds to throw in one complication after another. Mech Cadet Yu is aimed at a young adult audience, but the full adult audience will be equally drawn into the desperate situation, emotional complications and the shock revelations. Pak has considered the character progressions extremely well, and although Stanford began as the focal point, several others have now joined him, and we care about their allegiances and fate just as strongly.

By now it should have dropped into place that while there’s no flash about his art, Takeshi Miyazawa is a great artist. Page follows page of great action, sympathetic characterisation and layouts that emphasise the increasingly hopeless situation. His grungy form of battlesuits have a character to them, especially that occupied by Stanford, which is given extra design elements to make it more sympathetic.

What’s a delight is how so much of what was introduced in the opening chapters of Volume One has relevance to the finale here, and everything is smoothly plotted to accentuate the desperation. Pak ignores the answers to some questions readers may have, but then there’s always room for a sequel to address them. It would be very welcome, as this is a joy.