In the MECH CADET YU comic book series, a janitor’s kid bonds with a giant robot and joins the elite Sky Corps Academy — who face an invasion of monsters from outer space! The series was written by Greg Pak with art by Takeshi Miyazawa, colors by Triona Farrell and Jessica Kholinne, letters by Simon Bowland, and published by BOOM! Studios.
The series won the 2018 Mike Wieringo Spirit Award and is coming to Netflix as an animated television show in 2023!
Buy the signed LOS ROBOS comic that started the whole thing from the Greg Pak Shop.
BIG NEWS! The first collected trade paperback of MECH CADET YU and issue #5 both hit comic book stores today! So in one day, you can get all 110 pages of the story so far! Call your local shop and ask ’em to hold copies for you!
MECH CADET YU tells the story of Stanford Yu, a janitor’s kid who bonds with a giant robot and joins the elite Sky Corps Academy. It’s written by yours truly with art by Takeshi Miyazawa, colors by Triona Farrell, and letters by Simon Bowland, and it’s the best reviewed book I’ve written in… well, maybe, ever. Issue #5 has already gotten a 9.5/10 review from AiPT — check it out!
The series has also been tapped for a bunch of “Best of 2017” lists — check out a few below!
We’re coming to the end of 2017, and I’m ready to kvell a bit. Here’s a list of the work I’m the most proud of in 2017. Hope ya dig!
MECH CADET YU tells the story of a janitor’s kid who bonds with a giant robot and joins the elite Sky Corps Academy. Drawn by Takeshi Miyazawa with colors by Triona Farrell and letters by Simon Bowland, the book was originally approved as a four issue miniseries. But because folks like you went nuts for it, BOOM! Studios upgraded it to an ongoing series!
I’m not supposed to say which children are my favorite. But you guys, MECH CADET YU is my favorite. I absolutely love working on the book, I love all my creative collaborators, and I love our kid heroes and all their robots and all the monsters and mystery surrounding them. Ask your local comics shop to order the first trade paperback and issue #5 for you today — both hit stores on January 10!
The PLANET HULK PROSE NOVEL came out in October, and it’s my very first prose novel! I loved every minute of working on this book and I won’t lie — I think it’s pretty great.
If you loved the original PLANET HULK comics, the prose novel’s full of extra development and revelations and a bit of a shocker of an ending that you won’t want to miss. If you’ve never read a Hulk comic in your life, I humbly propose that this novel might be a great introduction to the massive emotion and glory of the character.
TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #15, drawn by the great Mahmud Asrar with colors by Nolan Woodard and a stunning cover by Stonehouse, may be one of my favorite single issue comics I’ve ever written. It starts the “Big Apple Showdown” storyline, which is most infamous for featuring what I’m pretty sure is the biggest team-up of Asian American superheroes ever seen in mainstream comics.
I adore my editors for letting me follow this crew of heroes around as they perform at an Asian American bone marrow registry awareness benefit, get Korean barbecue, fight over the check, and sing karaoke before defending New York from an alien invasion. I love it for the diversity within diversity, with Asian Americans of different backgrounds and generations discovering their conflicts and similarities. And I absolutely love Mahmud’s and Nolan’s gorgeous art, which brings out all the emotion, action, and sheer fun of the story.
Smash Pages has interviewed my buddy and frequent collaborator, artist Takeshi Miyazawa! It’s a great interview that touches on his introduction to comics and his current work on MECH CADET YU. Here’s a cool excerpt:
You’ve been drawing comics for years and you’ve drawn robots over the years. Do you want to talk about how you designed the Robo Mechs for the series and how to give their own design and personality?
Like any kid from the ’80s, Transformers and Gobotswere properties I was obsessed with. Throw in some Gundam and old-school robot anime, stir it up, and that’s about where my brain is at with robots and robot design.
For this book, I paid particular attention to the generational aspect of the mechs in the world of Mech Cadet Yu. Skip Tanaka is the first to bond with a robot, therefore, his robot is square and blocky like an old Volvo. A real workhorse. The later robots that come to Earth become sleeker and more specialized in their strengths. Olivetti’s mech is a huge bruiser type while Sanchez’s mech has razorlike fins and sharper features. The man-made mech that Park controls is all angles and edges, something completely foreign to what we are used to seeing. So, playing with the various contrasts has been a great way to differentiate each mech from each other.
Read the whole interview here, and be sure to ask your local retailer to order you MECH CADET YU #5 and the first collected trade paperback, both in stores on January 3!
I’ve been interviewed by a few more folks about MECH CADET YU! The MECH CADET YU Volume One collected trade and MECH CADET YU #5 both hit comic shops on January 3 — please do call your local comic shop today and ask ’em to pre-order a copy for you!
HMS: I think that as fun as giant robots are and can be in comics, animation, and film, they will fall a little flat if there’s not a bigger emotional component in some lead characters. In creating Stanford Yu, what main elements did you feel were core to his character? How did you develop those for the reader without getting too deeply into back story?
GP: Oh, the emotional story is always everything. We’ve all been to movies that are just spectacular in terms of action and visuals, but leave us totally cold and unmoved. Nothing’s more important than digging deep into your characters’ emotional lives and goals and conflicts. That’s the only reason we really care. In terms of Mech Cadet Yu, the most important details for us to establish were that Stanford’s an underdog–a janitor’s kid at an elite military academy. It’s also a subtle but important part of his story that his mother’s an immigrant and speaks to him in Cantonese, and his father died years ago, sickened by his work conditions, helping clean up in the wake of the first Sharg War.
This is a working-class immigrant family trying hard to make it in a world steeped in crisis and dominated by elites. We revealed those details mostly through showing rather than telling, bit by bit over the first few issues, doing our best to make it as organic and seamless as possible. The hope is that those elements help amp up the stakes for Stanford as he enters the Sky Corps Academy and provide depth to the conflicts he has with his fellow cadets–the General’s daughter, Park, in particular.
OG: How often do you and series artist Takeshi Miyazawa have the same vision of the mechs, the cast, and their first true threat, the Sharg?
GP: Tak’s one of my favorite collaborators on the planet. We co-created Amadeus Cho for Marvel back in the day, and from the beginning I knew we had something special going on. He just kind of gets everything I write. All the little character details, all the tiny bits of body language, all the subtle drama and humor… Tak gets it all. So whenever he sends in character or robot or monster designs, I pretty much just cheer him on. He’s soooo good.
This is a good place to plug the rest of the creative team. Colorist Triona Farrell and letterer Simon Bowland are doing tremendous work, and my BOOM editors Cameron Chittock and Eric Harburn have just been fantastic. Everyone just gets this story and is doing everything they can to make it sing.
Hey, friends! Here’s the brand new trailer for the MECH CADET YU comic book, written by yours truly, with art by Takeshi Miyazawa, colors by Triona Farrell, letters by Simon Bowland, and published by BOOM! Studios. Music for the trailer is by the great David Libby.
MECH CADET YU tells the story of a janitor’s kid who bonds with a giant robot and joins the elite Sky Corps Academy — and ends up taking on the deadly Sharg invaders from outer space. It’s probably the best reviewed book of my career and I just love it and hope I can keep writing it forever. Hope very much you get a kick out of it, too!
The first collected trade and issue #5 both hit stores on January 3 — please do pre-order them from your local comic shop by December 11, the final order cutoff date!
I’ll be at the New York Comic Con all four days! I’ll spend most of my time in Artists Alley, E28, where I’ll have copies of many of my books, including MECH CADET YU #1 and #2, KINGSWAY WEST, and the new PLANET HULK prose novel! Here’s my schedule — hope to see you there!
Thrilled to share that I’ll be a guest of the Baltimore Comic Con this weekend, attending Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I’ll be at table 208 in Artists Alley with tons of comics, including MECH CADET YU, KINGSWAY WEST, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA/ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, PLANET HULK, TOTALLY AWESOME HULK, and tons more!
I’ll also be on three panels on Saturday:
12:00-1:00 – DMC panel
1:30-2:30 – Marvel panel
4:00-5:00 – BOOM! panel
See you soon!
Writer of over 500 comic books, including PLANET HULK, MECH CADET YU, FIREFLY, and DARTH VADER