Written by: Greg Pak
Art by: Takeshi Miyazawa
Published by: Boom! Studios
Mech Cadet Yu #1 is very much like Iron Giant or Real Steel, and that’s never a bad thing!
Greg Pak and Miyazawa understand how to tell stories like this; stories of not fitting in and trying to find your place in the world. And what better way than doing it with giant robots as your backdrop?
This story follows Stanford Yu, who is a janitor in a school that trains cadets to be partners with giant robots that land on Earth every year. It’s an interesting premise, and this first chapter concentrates more on Yu’s exclusion more than the reason behind the robots coming to Earth.
Greg Pak knows how to write books about teens not fitting in, as he’s worked on books such as X-men, Teen Titans, Totally Awesome Hulk, and others. His skills are at full display here as you really want to cheer for Yu. Shunning and bullying are common themes in these kinds of stories, but they’re handled well and make for a very relatable read.
Miyazawa’s art is perfect, as his manga-esque style really explores the world him and Pak are trying to build. Miyazawa has demonstrated that he is a great artist for the coming-of-age books with prior experience on Runaways, Ms. Marvel, and others. Mech Cadet Yu allows him to add a little bit of sci-fi flair to his portfolio, because…well, who doesn’t like to work on giant robots?
If you are a fan of books like this, or a fan of giant robots in general, check this one out. It doesn’t disappoint. This first issue does a great job of establishing our protagonist and his world, and even though there could have been more world building, there’s enough to bring readers back for the next issue.