Mega Man 3: The Return of Dr. Wily

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This article is about the graphic novel; you may be looking for the game Mega Man 3.
Previous Volume: Mega Man Volume 2 - Time Keeps Slipping ←—
—→ Next Volume: Mega Man Volume 4 - Spiritus Ex Machina
The Return of Dr. Wily
Cover for Volume 3 Trade Paperback by Patrick “Spaz” Spaziante

Mega Man Volume 3 - The Return of Dr. Wily is the third Graphic Novel of the Mega Man comic book series by Archie Comics. It collects the entire "The Return of Doctor Wily" story arc, a four-part adaptation of the second Mega Man game told in a four issue format.

Direct Market On-sale: 8/28/2012
112 pages, $11.99 US, Full-Color

Publisher's Summary

The hit new Mega Man series from Archie Comics continues! Mega Man is about to retire his Mega Buster forever - with Dr. Wily's schemes defeated, our young hero thinks it's safe to return to his life as a helper robot. Wrong! Dr. Wily returns with a vengeance, striking back with eight all-new Robot Masters! It's up to Mega Man to take on the malicious Quick Man and his seven sinister robot brothers, foil Dr. Wily's insidious schemes, and storm the mad machinist's castle in a scale so epic you'll have to see it to believe it! Collects issues #9-12!

Issue List

Mega Man #9
Shipping Date: 12/28/2011

On Sale at Comic Shops: 1/11/2012
32 pgs, 40 lb. glossy stock, Full-Color

"Dr. Wily Returns" Part One: With the villainous Dr. Wily gone and no Robot Masters for him to steal, the world seems safe! Mega Man prepares to return to the quiet life of Rock the Helper Robot - until the lightning-fast Quick Man attacks Light Labs! Dr. Wily is back, and this time he's brought his own Robot Masters in his new bid to conquer the world!

Mega Man #10
Shipping Date: TBA

On Sale at Comic Shops: 2/14/2012
Newsstands: TBA
32 pgs, 40 lb. glossy stock, Full-Color

“Dr. Wily Returns,” Part Two. Dr. Wily is back, and this time he has eight new Robot Masters of his own! Mega Man must track down and defeat each one before they complete their missions and conquer the world for their mustachioed master. It’s hard enough when each new Robot Master is deadlier than the last, but how can the Blue Bomber succeed with Quick Man tripping him up every step of the way?

Mega Man #11
Shipping Date: TBA

On Sale at Comic Shops: 3/14/2012
Newsstands: TBA
32 pgs

"Dr. Wily Returns," Part 3. Mega Man has been in the fight of his life against Dr. Wily's eight new Robot Masters! Fearsome as they are, Quick Man has always been there to mock Mega Man and slow him down. Now, at long last, it's the showdown you've been waiting for! And you won't believe who shows up to help Mega Man at the eleventh hour!

Mega Man #12
Shipping Date: 3/28/2012

On Sale at Comic Shops: 4/11/2012
Newsstands: TBA
32 pgs

This is it, the grand finale of "The Return Of Dr. Wily!" Dr. Wily has hidden himself in his latest fortress and surrounded himself with killer robots as he plots his counter-attack. Can Mega Man breach the defenses and stop the mad scientist in time? Maybe not alone -- but the Original Robot Masters have got his back! It's all-out robot warfare in the explosive conclusion!


Part One: The Next Generation

Rock, Roll, Auto, and Dr. Light celebrate a party to say goodbye to Rock's alias, Mega Man, as Dr. Light believes that Dr. Wily is no longer a threat to anyone but himself now that he can no longer reprogram the six Robot Masters that belong to Light Labs. Therefore, he believes that if Dr. Wily were to try something, then the authorities would step in and successfully stop him. Auto, however, is the only one that thinks Dr. Wily is still a threat. He also fears that Rock will replace him in helping Dr. Light, but Rock tells him that he still has his shop to run and that he is always welcome at the labs anytime. Their party is interrupted by Quick Man who attacks everyone before Auto can even finish telling him that he can not do that to Mega Man. When he attacks Rock, he uses two Quick Boomerangs to pin Rock's arms to the wall. He explains that Dr. Wily had built eight new Robot Masters of his own and that he is one of them. He then tells Rock, who he calls Mega Man, to meet him at Titanium Park, but warns them that Mega Man has to go alone. If anyone else is to get involved, then he and his seven brothers, who are scattered and hidden around the city, will attack it. Additionally, they have six hours, otherwise the eight robots will attack the city regardless. Quick Man then leaves. Rock, who believes the challenge to be a trap, decides he should go anyway in order to protect everyone. Dr. Light warns him that these eight new Robot Masters will be a lot more difficult to fight than his own since they are specifically designed to fight Mega Man instead of peacefully aiding mankind. He decides to help Mega Man from his lab via communication while having Roll and Auto work on finishing the support that he had started work on.

Dr. Light teleports Mega Man to Titanium Park where he is confronted by multiple Bubble Bats and successfully defeats them. Unbeknownst to Mega Man, Quick Man follows him from the tree tops and watches him, confirming that he took the bait. Dr. Wily communicates with Quick Man and tells him to return to where he is supposed to remain on guard, but Quick Man asks why he cannot defeat Mega Man right there, explaining that he and Wood Man, who is stationed in the park, could take out Mega Man together. Dr. Wily claims that, regardless if Mega Man wins or loses, things will work out in his favor. Quick Man then returns to his stationed area. Mega Man meets up with Wood Man, who is sitting on a tree stump surrounded by an Atomic Chicken, a Hot Dog, and a Robo-Rabbit, the latter of which he is petting on the head. Mega Man tries to convince Wood Man that Dr. Light can reprogram him to be good, but Wood Man claims that he was built to be a weapon and would have no other purpose. Dr. Light explains to Mega Man that, because of this, there is no internal struggling, and, therefore, these new Robot Masters cannot be reasoned with. They engage in battle, and Wood Man uses his Leaf Shield to block Mega Man's Mega Buster attacks as well as attack Mega Man, too. Dr. Light accesses Mega Man's recent memory data in order to decipher that Wood Man is made out of an amazing yet fragile wood from Japanese cypress trees and that a fully charged shot from the Mega Buster should take him out. Mega Man asks Dr. Light if he can repair and reprogram the Robot Masters, but Dr. Light claims that he is unsure but will try. Mega Man runs in close to Wood Man and unleashes a fully charged shot, which destroys Wood Man. Mega Man checks to see if Wood Man has any data to copy, and he successfully copies the Leaf Shield. When he does this, Dr. Light notices a sudden spike of energy that flows through Mega Man, but Mega Man says he is okay when he is questioned about it. He then comes across a path to a hydroelectric plant and follows it, hoping that it will lead him to another Robot Master.

On his way, he encounters and destroys some helper robots that have been weaponized by Bubble Man, the Robot Master guarding the area. Bubble Man himself watches Mega Man fight his way through the path on a small camera that resembles the M-445 while talking to himself about how he will be the one to destroy Mega Man and no longer be made a mockery of. He is then surprised by Mega Man, who approaches him from behind, not realizing that he is a Robot Master. Bubble Man attacks him with Bubble Lead, a high concentrated bubble of sulfuric acid that starts to burn away at Mega Man's outfit, but he counters with Leaf Shield and destroys Bubble Man in one hit. After being destroyed, the sulfuric acid from inside of Bubble Man spreads throughout the water and causes damage to Mega Man. Dr. Light picks up on the damage and tells Mega Man to find a way out right away, but Mega Man makes sure to copy Bubble Man's Bubble Lead first. Dr. Light detects another energy spike, and, after Mega Man escapes from the water with a ladder, he tells him to return home for repairs. Mega Man declines this offer, stating that they only have about five hours remaining before the Robot Masters attack the city. Dr. Light notices that Mega Man is acting similar to how he did when he had all of the Robot Masters' powers from Dr. Wily's first attack, but then Mega Man is pinned to the ground by Quick Man, who threatens to destroy Mega Man.

Short Circuits - "Mariachi": Dr. Light unveils his newest creation.

Part Two: Conversion Software

Quick Man has Mega Man underfoot. Powerless to stop him, Rock is beaten while Quick Man taunts him long enough for a teleportation beam to drop them into a geothermal plant and quickly leaves. On a platform surrounded by lava, Mega Man tries to contact Dr. Light while avoiding reprogrammed robots. Mega Man finds Heat Man complaining of the heat. They fight briefly, Rock using his leaf shield before calling himself an idiot and switching to Bubble Lead. He defeats Heat Man, but the Robot Master is still alive. Mega Man obtains the location of the next Robot Master, copies Heat Man's powers, and then mercilessly kills him with red eyes using the Mega Buster.

Dr. Light sees what is happening and leaves the monitoring panel to write a quick program. Roll and Auto take over for him while Rock travels to the top of the building and confronts Crash Man. He enrages the Robot Master until he covers the room in bombs. Mega Man equips his leaf shield and uses it just in time to survive the explosion. Rock finds Crash Man trapped under rubble, defeated but functioning. He copies his bombs and lays a line of them out. With his eyes again red, Mega Man destroys the building's remained with a controlled explosion and looks on to the weather-monitoring platforms not far away, where Air Man is waiting.

Dr. Light returns to the controls and talks to Mega Man. He has a disc and requests he return home to be repaired, recharged, and upgraded, but Mega Man tells him no and rushes off to Air Man to prove that he can stop Quick Man and defeat Wily once and for all.

Short Circuits - "My Brilliance!": Dr. Wily finds other uses for his robots.

Part Three: System Corruption

Mega Man continues the battle against Dr. Wily's Robot Masters while the clock ticks down. He fights his way to Air Man at the Meteorological Observatory Network high in the sky. Air Man is a little disappointed that Mega Man is not coming at him full strength or is wasting time with words. He nearly defeats the Blue Bomber, but the tables are turned when he is defeated with Rock's Leaf Shield, the last of Mega Man's energy used for ammo. He takes Air Man's weapon and some of his energy while Dr. Light tries to convince him to briefly return to the Lab to be healed. Mega Man declines and once again his eyes turn red as more malicious code is transferred to him via Air Man.

Dr. Light resigns and tells Rock that Agents Krantz and Stern have reported robot attacks at an industrial processing plant and a gem mine connected to it. Mega Man goes there and battles Metal Man. He takes a Metal Blade to the leg and has to dive out of the way of more blades. He uses his Crash Bombs to blow up some gears, giving him enough time to sneak behind Metal Man, copy his power, and plant a Crash Bomb in his back. He survives and throws a series of blades at Mega Man. Rock's metal blades are stronger and cut through Metal Man's attack and the robot himself. Dr. Light declares that Rock has been through enough and tells him that he is going to force him home with an emergency teleport, but Mega Man will not have it. He breaks his helmet's radio and turns off the teleport signal in his chest.

Back at Light Labs, Dr. Light, Roll, and Auto are worrying over Rock. Dr. Light tells Auto to make some phone calls while he tries to remotely hack into Rock's systems and implement an antivirus. Meanwhile, Mega Man conserves energy by avoiding Flash Man's defenses. The Robot Master is confused by his sudden appearance, but recovers quickly and uses his power to take the upper hand. He knocks Rock down, his helmet coming off and avoids the hero's blasts from his Mega Buster. Flash Man appears over him, time frozen, and sees Rock's hair. Realizing he himself is bald, Flash Man wonders out loud why Dr. Wily did not build him with hair. Before he can finish his thought, however, he is attacked and defeated by Quick Man. Quick Man steps on Rock and gives him his helmet and an energy tank. Rock, meanwhile, copies Flash Man's powers.

Revitalized, Mega Man follows Quick Man's bait into a vertical shaft. He uses Flash Man's time stop to avoid a series of lasers and surprises Quick Man when they arrive at the bottom together. Rock and Quick Man begin to battle as Dr. Light's antivirus program is about 70% uploaded. With Flash Man's power, Quick Man can barely lay a hand on Mega Man. He taunts the blue bomber until he stops time and defeats him with a charged blast. He takes a still-smiling Quick Man's powers and jolts as the last of Dr. Wily's virus is uploaded. He is forcefully teleported to Dr. Wily's new castle where the villain himself is waiting. Wily talks to his new robot slave, about how he expected Rock to defeat his Robot Masters just as before and, even in Rock's victory, he would be defeated. He finishes with a laugh that, instead of eight Robot Masters, he has one supreme robot.

Back at Light Labs, Dr. Light is consoling a sobbing Roll, having seen Rock become corrupted. Auto comes in and says that the people he called have come in. The original eight Robot Masters (Time Man and Oil Man included) are standing together and declare that they'll save Mega Man as he did them.

Short Circuits - "Crash Master": Crash Man crashes things.

Part Four: Charge of the Light Brigade

Dr. Wily is cleaning Mega Man's armor (whom, now equipped with a purple scarf, resembles Mega Man?) when his alarms go off. He turns to find the disturbance and sees that the eight original Robot Masters are ambushing his castle. Working as a team, the group defeats his first line of defenses and enter the castle. They are confronted by Wily's Mecha Dragon and he sends in the corrupted Mega Man for good measure. Elec Man is damaged by the dragon but the Robot Masters manage to subdue the Blue Bomber. They use a packet to download the remaining 2% of Dr. Light's antivirus program into Mega Man, restoring his free will. He leads the charge, defeating the Mecha Dragon.

Elec Man is helped out of the building by Fire Man, Ice Man, and Cut Man. Rock is also given a set of items to use to help him throughout the castle. Using a pair of Item-2 fliers, the remaining Robot Masters continue. Time Man, Oil Man, and Guts Man are on one board when they are attacked by the Guts Tank. The three take it down while Mega Man and Bomb Man go on. Finding themselves in a maze, Rock uses Crash Bombs and Bomb Man uses his own attack to destroy the walls. Out of ammo, Bomb Man stays behind.

Rock enters the final room where Wily is waiting in an attack ship. Rock wants to use all his new weapons but the first, the Metal Blades, destroys the ship in just one set of three blades. He comments on how cool the blades are and opens the ship's casing to face Dr. Wily. Wily begins to transform and tells Rock that he cannot stand up against alien technology. He becomes an alien and begins to attack Rock as the room around them becomes space. Mega Man quickly discovers the room is a hologram and attacks the projector on the roof. The alien and the fake space disappears, revealing Wily operating machinery. Rock pulls Wily down, angry and disappointed that he tried to dupe him into thinking that an alien invasion was going to happen, but the evil man both activates the self-destruct and escapes through a trap door.

Rock quickly flees the building, gathering all the Robot Masters as he passes by them. They manage to escape just in time. Later, the group has a party at Light Labs. Elec Man is almost done being repaired when Dr. Light reveals he has built a new support unit. When Rock asks what he means, Light whistles and Rush comes charging in, leaping into Rock's arms and licking him affectionately. Auto wonders if he should pack up and head back to his shop, but Light tells him to stay, that Dr. Wily will raise his head again soon. Wily, somewhere else, is setting his sights on the Lanfront Ruins.

Short Circuits - "Spaced Out": Dr. Wily attacks with Space Invaders.

Game Differences

  • Like "Let the Games Begin" before it, the arc has significant expansions to the story compared to the games.
    • The Robot Masters are revealed to contain malware bits inside their programming to corrupt Mega Man as a fallback strategy by Dr. Wily, something that is not revealed in the games themselves.
    • Bubble Man is killed by Leaf Shield instead of Metal Blades or another Robot Master weapon strong against him. This was because the writers wanted to show that he sucked.
    • Mega Man doesn't actually infiltrate the castle due to being reprogrammed by malware, unlike in the games.
    • Lights robot masters aid Mega Man during the finale of the story, while they don't appear in the game at all.
    • The Wily Castle ends up self-destructing, while the game doesn't even indicate what exactly happens to the Wily Castle at all.
      • On a related note, Wily is shown to have escaped in the chaos, while in the game, it is never actually shown what happened to Dr. Wily after his surrendering to Mega Man.
    • Mega Man and the other Robot Masters managed to escape by using Item-2s. In the game, however, Mega Man simply walks home (presumably taking a year due to the changing seasons).


  • Beside the reprint of issues 9-12 and Short Circuits (with their titles revealed), the graphic novel also includes:
    • some cover sketches;
    • some script and pencil selections; and
    • character profiles of Auto, Rush, Quick Man, Wood Man, Bubble Man, Heat Man, Crash Man, Air Man, Flash Man, Metal Man, Mecha Dragon, Guts Tank, Mega Man? and Mega Man 2's Items.
  • This arc introduces Auto and Rush.
  • Reggae appears in the "Short Circuits" from issue 10.
  • Issue 11 also contains Auto asking "How's Blue-and-cyan-with-a-gun-for-a-hand" most likely referring to Brentalfloss' "Megaman 3 WITH LYRICS".[1]
  • When Mega Man throws the Metal Blades at Metal Man, his pose is taken directly from his original Metal Blade concept art.
  • Flash Man's jealousy over Mega Man's hair in issue 11 is a reference to Flash Man's dislike (for wig commercials) in his Mega Man & Bass CD data.
  • Issue 11 has a part of Quick Man's level where Mega Man falls down a shaft avoiding lasers. The scene shown is taken directly from the game and drawn in the comic's style.
  • Issue 12 cover is an homage to the European Box art of Mega Man 2.
  • The title of the fourth part of this arc, Charge of the Light Brigade, is a reference to a historic charge of the British cavalry during the Crimean War. It may also be a reference to a poem of the same name by Alfred Tennyson, detailing the afformentioned charge.
  • Rock destroys Wily's attack ship with the Metal Blades and says "I wish I'd copied Metal Man's power first! That would've made all this a lot easier!" This is poking fun at how the Metal Blade can kill almost all bosses really quickly (even Metal Man) in Mega Man 2.
  • When Rock destroys the hologram in Issue 12, Wily says "Pay no attention to that man behind the hologram," paraphrasing a famous quote from The Wizard of Oz .
  • In the end of issue 12, while Roll, Bomb Man, and Cut Man are listening to Guts Man sing karaoke, Guts Man asks for a request, and Cut Man asks for "That song about the wind blowing... or whatever, that one", and Roll promptly says she loves that song; this is most likely referring to Roll's theme "Kaze yo Tsutaete" ("Where the Wind Blows") from Mega Man: Battle & Chase, Marvel vs. Capcom, and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.
  • In the "Short Circuits" comic in issue 12, Mega Man says "I give up, old video games are too hard", which is poking fun at the fact that older Nintendo games for the NES were extremely difficult to beat, for the purpose of making the games last longer.



  1. BumbleKing Comics.

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