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Advanced Robotics Trade Show

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MegaManArchieC013-1

The A.R.T.S. convention.

The Advanced Robotics Trade Show, known as A.R.T.S. for short, was an event that took place in the Mega Man comic series by Archie Comics. The event, which is essentially an exposition featuring advanced robots and other technology, was covered in the story arc Mega Man 4: Spiritus Ex Machina.

History

Dr. Light attended the expo with Mega Man, Rush, Roll, and Elec Man, with Mega Man and Rush being intended for his expo display. However, the two of them and Roll soon wandered off to explore, and ran into Kalinka Cossack and her Robot Master protector, Pharaoh Man. A brief altercation was brought to a halt as Kalinka's father and Pharaoh Man's creator, Dr. Cossack, arrived on the scene, followed swiftly by Dr. Light. They were also joined by Dr. Noele Lalinde and her Robot Master, Quake Woman.

Among the events scheduled for the show was a debate on the merits of robots possessing advanced intelligence, in which Dr. Light participated in favor and Dr. Lalinde took the opposing side. Unbeknownst to them, the event had been target by the anti-robot terrorist group Emerald Spears, who soon took the guests and participants hostage. After forcing most of the humans out of the building-with the robots powerless to stop them due to the Laws of Robotics-the terrorists announced their plans to destroy the building with all the robots inside. Things turned for the worse when leader Harvey Greenleaf-who hoped to bring others around to his point of view by reasoning but found it ineffective against the intelligent doctors-was overthrown by Xander Payne. Xander, more aggressive and vengeful due to losing an eye to an encounter with a reprogrammed Elec Man, proved willing to take human lives in addition to destroying robots.

Fortunately, the Robot Masters created by the trio of doctors managed to disable many of the bombs while Xander accosted the scientists regarding their machines. When Xander's men began threatening civilians, the Robot Masters found the opening they needed to protect the humans by fighting the Emerald Spears. In response, Xander detonated the few remaining bombs, collapsing the building and leaving many trapped. Fortunately, the Robot Masters succeeded in managing the crisis, which ended with no casualties and all but three Emerald Spears members-including Xander-in custody.

Short Circuits

The humorous Short Circuits strips during "Spiritus Ex Machine" were all related to the events of the arc. Issue 13's strip focused on Auto taking advantage of being alone at Light Labs to pretend to be his hero Mega Man. Issue 14 depicted Elec Man creating static that affected the hair of several characters, while Issue 15 found Pharaoh Man's transport sarcophagus getting mixed up with that of an actual Egyptian mummy. Issue 16 featured Wily heading to the expo, determined to be included as a robotics genius, only to turn around after witnessing the detonation of the Emerald Spears' bomb.


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