Archie Sonic: Issue #50 - ENDGAME Part 4 of 4 - The Big Goodbye
Sonic Super Special #6: Sonic 50 Director's Cut - For Whom the Bell Tolls!
"Here we are..." - Amy Rose, Sonic Heroes.
So we're finally at the end of the Endgame and I feel very relieved. I'm happy that all the conversation around this has picked up because it provides a great contrast to the fact that my opinion of this story has gone way down.
Even ignoring the context of what I'm aware of today, the first two issues I enjoyed well enough and the 3rd just weighed down on my soul. Everything is covered in sleaze now.
The cover for the original Issue 50 looks like the badass cover of a game cartridge.
I'm actually not joking. It's a great looking cover. It's depicting the (assumed) end to a tale as old as time here with the two characters you want to see going at it but with a foreboding red sky behind his evil lair. Also, Robotnik's arm looks like that green glowing hand thing from the end of Issue 175.
Now, the cover of the Sonic Super Special #6 on the other hand...
"I see you shiver with antici... ... ... PATION!"
I'm saying he looks sexy, ya'll. Robotnik has never looked so fabulous.
Seriously though, how long after Endgame was this cover made? Why does it look so ass.
Everyone is just lathered onto the cover without any care. Sonic's tumors look like gross fingers. It's almost as if the books get WORSE as they go on but that's just... pfft. Can't be.
Anyway, if you haven't worked it out yet, I'm going to be covering both of these issues at the same time. Not only will I be reacting to the end of Endgame for the first time but I'm going to find out what the "director" (yeah, okay) our glorious Master of the Echydnyas and Lord of the Lawsuits, Ken Penders has to say about what should be different about his wonderful masterpiece…
I know the incompetent fools at Archie were the ones who sued Ken but "Lord of the Lawsuits" was just too tempting. Plus, Ken sued SEGA over Sonic Chronicles so it still sort of counts.
Whatever. Let's get started.
We begin on a WHOA!
My dude. What a chunky ball of greasy butter with extra cheese. Julian here is shown running away from people hunting him down, sporting the tiniest of mustaches and a jumpsuit that looks like he just escaped from prison. Apparently, at this very moment, is when he realizes that he might have made a tiny slip up somewhere in his life.
They refer to him as Julian, son of Ivo, which will never not be weird.
He's being chased by Londo and Jakkar on orders from THE MINISTER. Don't know who that is but it probably doesn't matter yet. He's found by Charles (Uncle Chuck) and his bro Jules (Sonic's dad). They look literally, exactly like Sonic except Charles has a ton of bushy facial hair and Jules has this weird tuft of hair poking out of his forehead. I don't even want to go into the conversation about spikes acting as hair on hedgehog characters... I mean, Silver's spines look like wavy hair. That's all I'm saying.
Charles is skeptical of this man because he's one of THEM, the dreaded OVERLANDERS! However, Jules wishes to take him back to the Acorn Kingdom, thinking he could be the key to winning the war for some reason. Charles is hesitant because of what Robotnik's kind has done but Jules responds that they're doing this and asks Charles if he looks like a bitch.
Charles says what? Then Jules repeats himself and demands to know if he looks like a bitch! Then Charles says what and then Jules warns him not to say what again.
So when they take Julian back and, for some goddamn reason, the king decides to make Julian the Warlord. The only reason he gives is because he knows the most about the Overlanders because he is one.
I mean... yeah. That sounds logical right? It's like the plot of Pixels, the hit Adam Sandler film.
Charles points out how weird this is and optimistic Jules thinks the King MUST have a reason.
Their faith in their shitty king is cute.
This idea that the humans and the animals went to war with each other back in Ye Old’n days is a very… expected kind of thing but also a weirdly plausible one. I suppose on the surface, this is one of those Pendersisms that I actually could be somewhat okay with in a sense depending on how it’s done. It’s just surreal seeing the humans and animals fighting.
Even weirder is that Bean and Bark are shown fighting in the war here, in what I think is their first appearance in the comic. Considering how long ago this took place I… how old are they? Or was this just a surprise cameo thing that wasn’t intended to be followed up on? I’m going to guess the latter but it’s interesting imagining Bean and Bark as characters that just never age.
We cut back to Robotnik who is... sleeping in a pod?
I'm... not sure why he is. The robots can tell he's having a good nap so I guess recounting his rise to power gets him in a good mood. It probably would for me as well. However, it's really strange how, he keeps doing things that a robot would do. Like, a few times throughout this comic's run he's been shown chugging cartons of fucking motor oil.
It was just his arm that got Roboticized right? That was one of the few episodes of SatAM I actually saw so... does he just really like sleeping in robot pods and drinking motor oil?
Well, either way, this is where the comics have their first split. The original Issue 50 cuts back to the ending confrontation with Geoffrey, Sonic, and Knuckles but the director’s cut actually shows Robotnik waking up.
George Lucas Ken Penders Special Edition Addition Scene #1 - Robotnik Wakes Up to Ice Some Fool
Here, we’re shown Robotnik waking up and demanding a good reason for it. The Swat Bot in his employ says that they found a test-subject for his latest device. Julian is just tickled at the idea of torturing somebody and he goes to see the blonde haired dude in the picture above. Blonde-Haired Red-Shirt is shocked to see Julian is alive and also the notorious Dr. Robotnik he’s heard about. He begs for mercy but Robotnik fires his laser at him, determined to, and I quote, “prove that there is worse than death!”
He’s an unapologetic, ruthless monster and it’s gonna be so sad to see him go.
The screaming blonde dude turns blue in the panel and screams NOOOOO… I don’t know what the blue laser did but it was apparently worse than death. He tells Snively over the computer that he’s gonna rule the world… but Snively’s like “Nah! That’s what you think!”
Snively’s apparently making a play at betraying Robotnik again? Right here in Issue 50? Odd. I know he does this routinely but I kind of feel like it would have come up that he had something planned a bit earlier in the arc if it was relevant. Since this is a part of the Director’s cut, this scene was added in which means…?
I don’t know. That’s the end of this first interlude and at the moment, all that’s been shown is that Robotnik’s a monster that deserves what’s coming to him. I guess this isn’t a bad addition. It’s nice seeing him be horrible to people so I won’t fault the book for it any.
Oh and he added in a scene where there’s some CGI creatures at Robotnik’s palace.
Back at where Issue 50 proper was, we see Geoffrey confronting Sonic and Knuckles. It’s also where we get the title “The Big Goodbye” which, for some reason, has been changed to “For Whom the Bell Tolls” in the Super Special.
This isn’t exactly that important a change but it is a bit strange. I suppose the original title does invoke more of a “THIS IS IT!” kind of feel so the more ominous “For Whom the Bell Tolls” might be a bit better, regardless of how cliche it is. I will say that the font and heading for the Super Special’s title looks FAR worse though.
The first one has a nice little box for the title to sit in and a prettier style. Kind of like the end of a play. The second one just looks really lazy and typed in on a computer. Like they scrolled down the list of fonts and picked the first one that wasn’t Comic Sans.
There’s also the fact that this is the first of the Endgame issues that’s even bothered with a title. Each issue of Endgame doesn’t need it’s own subtitle so I was cool with calling them Parts 1-4.
*Takes in a deep breath*
Okay, so… no joke, the next couple pages are… and I mean it when I say this… probably the worst written pages I’ve read in this book since Sonic Live. Certainly the most infuriating.
So… Geoffrey tells Knuckles that Sonic killed Sally and because the two of them hate each other for no reason, Knuckles immediately believes him and attacks Sonic. Sonic backs off in a scene that’s incredibly badly drawn for a milestone issue like this.
I mean, seriously. All of a sudden the art-style changed to something that looks like shit. Sonic’s arms are even colored blue in the lower left panel. He’s also doing the Spider-Man fingers pose.
He’s grabbed by Espio the Chameleon, whom Sonic addresses by his full name and title “Espio the Chameleon - One of the Chaotix!” just like that. Apparently, just in case we all forgot who he is because he has no character at this point in the book’s life.
The Chaotix are not characters here. They’re props that exist to be Knuckles’ lackies because Knuckles Chaotix was a thing and they decided to put them into the book. That’s it.
Espio outright even says he only listens to Knuckles which also will never not be weird.
Dulcy slams her foot down and basically screams at all of them that this plot line of Sonic being framed has gone on for too long and that it needs to end. Like, right now.
So that plotline just stops.
One issue with significant set-up and two issues of Sonic being on the run only for it to end because a Dragon said to stop.
A dragon never lies and can sense when someone isn’t lying so that means that Sonic must be telling the truth when he says he didn’t kill Sally. Knuckles, IMMEDIATELY is like “A dragon’s word is law” and isn’t angry no more. Geoffrey looks ashamed for a single panel and then in the VERY next one he’s talking about how OUR REAL ENEMY IS TRYING TO DIVIDE AND CONQUER US!
BITCH, YOU ALREADY HATED SONIC! WHAT DO YOU MEAN DIVIDE AND CONQUER-?!
When I read this page I could feel my soul leaving its body.
What the fuck? Time to list all the things I hate about this in numerical order.
What’s infuriating about this isn’t even just the idea behind the dragon’s ability to tell lies, it’s mostly all in the way the characters react. You’d think Geoffrey or Knuckles would summon a bit of doubt in their minds and we’d be shown the process of their minds working this info out until they comfortably arrived at this conclusion. Even then, I’d imagine whatever alliance they struck would be one of timid reluctance. Like Geoffrey growls while shaking Sonic’s hand and with his teeth gritted he says “FINE, we’ll work together but the instant I see something funny I’m training these hounds back on you…!” then Sonic would fire back with a quip about him being stinky.
But no. Geoffrey’s just, immediately like, “We’ve been tricked! Time to get back to Knothole! The magical dragon said so!”
If Knuckles has so much respect for the word of a dragon to the point where he literally says “A Dragon’s spoken word IS fact” then why the fuck was the first thing he did upon just seeing Dulcy was to PUNCH HER IN THE FUCKING FACE!
Like… he couldn’t just wait for her to explain herself? I know Knuckles is brash but he really hasn’t been portrayed as the kind of guy who would just punch Dulcy in the face and knock her out for flying close to his island. He’s often overly protective but he’s had plenty of people visit this place at this point. There's at least five randys living on it at this point. The very least you’d expect would be for him to ask why she’s here.
Knowing this about Dulcy and knowing that Knuckles knows this about Dulcy makes that scene even more confusing. At least punch SONIC in the face! Why go for Dulcy?
If Dragons have this ability and they all KNOW they have this ability (to the point where isolationist Knuckles even knows about it) why the hell did nobody think to just grab her and see if Sonic was lying before? Apparently all Sonic has to do is whistle and she’ll arrive right? I know the “King” said no investigations but if Geoffrey is so easily swayed you’d think he’d have done this two issues ago.
Seriously. Sonic just whistled and she showed up and acted as the world’s dankest lie detector.
I can’t remember if this was or is an ability that Dulcy has used in the book before but even if it is, the biggest problem with it is that it’s just an incredibly lame and lazy fix to this problem. This whole plot line of Sonic being framed for the murder of Sally Acorn, despite how dumb it is for the nation to believe it considering how many times Sonic has been framed, hypnotized, and replaced up to this point, could still have functioned as an exhilarating hook for the finale.
On paper it sounds amazing. I’m imagining a Sonic game where the premise is that Sonic killed Tails and he’s on the run or something and Eggman’s using that as an excuse to manipulate everyone and come out on top even though we know there’s no way he did.
However, if this is the resolution to that plotline than it really just feels like the last few issues were pointless filler. Something that could make it feel worth it is a more appropriate reaction to finding out that Sonic was innocent.
But no, they just drop it and move on because this is the last issue and we need to hurry. Is this what it felt like for all the people who liked Game of Thrones?
I hate this.
Shockingly, the writing gets worse.
However, the art-style changes back to something that looks good now.
So we cut to Tails and Rotor sneaking away as the SwatBots are leading the citizens of Knothole somewhere to be roboticized. The two of them immediately get spotted by a figure cloaked in shadow with an army of Combots behind them. Before we can find out who it is though, we cut to Robotnik screaming at Crocbot in his base in Downunda (BLEGH) demanding to know what’s going on.
Crocbot says that he’s dealing with an uprising but the Mineral Ore that Robotnik wanted is already on its way to him. I guess Robotnik doesn’t give a shit about there being an uprising so long as he gets the ore. I’m not sure why he doesn’t think said uprising could impede the transportation of the ore but I suppose that’s why HOW it’s being transported wasn’t shown to us.
Anyway, he says he’s gonna use the ore to power the Ultimate Annihilator so that he can blow Knothole away. Even though he just woke up a few pages ago he says he’s gotta go back to the sleep chamber because he’s worried about not being well-rested to see his victory come to fruition.
Robotnik’s actions here are little strange. Not maddening or worthy of too much nitpicking but they’re still strange.
We cut back to see Rotor and Tails being carted off by Drago. I’m not sure what the point of showing a scene where Rotor and Tails escape into the sewers only to be immediately found by Drago was. You could have just skipped that and showed them being taken in by Drago. That sounds like a nitpick but it really isn’t considering the fact that, for whatever reason, this story is trying it’s damndest to rush through everything as FAST as it can.
Wasting an entire page on Rotor and Tails breaking away from the captured crowd only to then immediately get captured and land in the same spot as everyone else doesn’t sound very practical.
To hammer home just how much this is being rushed… Sonic, Knuckles, Geoffrey, and his forces literally fall from the sky and just beat up Drago and his Swat Bots (that were totally Combots when they were in the sewer but NOW they’re Swat Bots. I don’t fucking know…)
Also, Tails says they should help and to do this, he’s shown pulling animals out of a huge ass capsule that DEFINITELY was not there before.
I’m so confused. This issue is just DOING shit now.
The artstyle has now changed to something that looks more noodley and cartoony.
The constant art-style shifts are already disorienting enough but with the added pages for the Super Special, some pages are being shoved in with a completely different art-style before changing back for a single page and then changing yet again. It’s so weird.
I haven’t even gone into how stupid and strange it is that we cut back to Downunda and suddenly there’s a rebellion that needs to be squashed. Luckily, Penders and the other guys who worked on the Super Special thought so too.
Right after the pointless scene where Tails and Rotor go into the sewer, in the Super Special, we cut back to Downunda for a more clear view of what happened.
George Lucas Ken Penders Special Edition Addition Scene #2 - We actually show you how the breakout in Downunda started.
Nothing they could possibly show in these new pages is going to make the pointless detour to Downunda any less pointless but it is appreciated that they felt the need to go back and give this a proper once over.
Drago’s ending line on the previous page was him saying “You are now Prisoner’s of-!” and then it cuts to an information box that says “Ivo Robotnik in Robotropolis calling Crocbot’s crater in Downunda.”
This is incredibly awkward. Not only does it cut from Drago’s line of actual spoken dialogue to an info box to finish his sentence but it doesn’t even properly finish his sentence. The full thing would read as “You are now prisoners of Ivo Robotnik in Robotropolis calling Crocbot’s crater in Downunda.” I know Julian’s name is already fairly long but that sounds just a tad too ridiculous, even for this book.
Drago’s dialogue is changed from that to “You’re MY prisoners now! And if you’re real good-!” then they cut to the new page where Drago finishes his sentence with “I’ll just ship your carcass off to the Slave Labor camps in Downunda.”
The scene than shifts to Antoine and Bunnie blowing up the door to their cell and escaping with the Downunda Freedom Fighters they were locked in with. The Downunda Freedom Fighters re-group and then take on Crocbot, allowing Bunnie and Antoine to escape to the Airbus.
THEN we cut back to “Ivo Robotnik in Robotropolis calling Crocbot’s crater in Downunda”.
I didn’t want to spend too much time on that because, honestly, I don’t care about this little excursion and neither should you. It’s pointless.
There was NO point to wasting time with having Bunnie and Antoine shipped off all the way to Downunda and wasting even more pages of Crocbot rattling on about his (un)interesting story about how he survived his run in with Tails and how he made the Downunda labor camp.
They escaped from it OFF-SCREEN in the original Issue 50! No one cares, not even the plot.
So many useless things are happening but in the book’s defense, I guess Drago shipping them off to half-way around the world was a smart tactic. Not as smart as just killing them though.
Also, Ken Penders decided to hide R2-D2 behind some more rocks.
Moving right along...
In yet another confusing scene, Sonic turns to Drago and proclaims “YOU!” and like Yosemite Sam/Elmer Fudd, Drago points to himself and is like “HUH-WUUUUHHH???? ME????!”
Then Drago runs off with his butt reflecting in Sonic’s eyes. He’s after that ass.
… To be fair to Drago, his confusion as to why Sonic would single him out is a bit justified. To my knowledge, Sonic shouldn’t know Drago is a traitor. The two of them haven’t even interacted in the book according to my knowledge. The only ones we were shown finding out about Drago’s deception were Bunnie and Antoine and they were taken to Dowunda the instant it happened…
… So yeah… Drago SHOULD be confused. In fact, none of the people present should know of his deception except, now, Tails and Rotor, and they didn't speak a word to Sonic about it.
That scene with Uncle Chuck talking to Sonic in the prison about how he knew he was innocent and that he was going to help him out made me think he was going to do some sleuthing of his own and make the reveal to someone.
Instead, nothing happens and Uncle Chuck doesn’t show up in this story ever again.
Does this story have somewhere to be? Why is it in such a rush? This was planned as a four part story regardless of the fact that the book was ending right? By now they have to know it's continuing too so what the hell is going on???
The story than does something rather interesting between the two versions here. The scenes added for the Super Special expand on one of the more annoying rushed resolutions of this very badly done book.
In the normal version of Issue 50, Sonic chases after Drago and Drago is just immediately stopped when he gets hit with a rock by Hershey.
Hershey then stops to explain everything that she did to Sonic thanks to Drago’s deception.
Another rushed resolution to something that was being set up for a while here.
However, the Super Special gives us quite a large number of extra pages.
George Lucas Ken Penders Special Edition Addition Scene #3 - We need to justify this Downunda subplot as well as give the Drago and Hershey story proper closure.
So, in a scene that looks so important I’m kind of shocked it wasn’t in the original book, Bunnie and Antoine stumble upon a computer that, for some reason, has Robotnik’s personal file about the Downunda Airbus Ore Delivery.
He just screams at them about how important the ore is and about how it’s the most dangerous and important thing ever. He literally says that his entire LIFE has been building to this moment.
As far as discovering the villain’s plans by finding their diary/journal this one ranks up there as one of the goofiest I’ve read. They break into this room, not knowing what it is, and decide to tap into the system to find out. This video then comes up without them even looking for it.
Also, I understand that the Ore is being transported on the Airbus but why the hell does that mean the file where Robotnik screams this plan at you is on the Airbus itself? Wouldn’t something like that be at his lair? Did he send the Downunda prison staff the video just in case they forgot they needed to mine ore for him? He could have just reminded them in a video call… just sayin…
Anyway, Antoine suggests they blow the Airbus up but Bunnie stops him to say that she thinks Crocbot is quite DA BOMB!
That wasn’t a joke Bunnie. Why did you say it like that? They don't even use Crocbot as the bomb in the finale. Why is this line here?
The Airbus is making its final approach now and ...geez. People sure are traveling long stretches to different places in an extremely short amount of time.
We cut back to Drago where we see the alternate version of his take down.
He’s still trying to run away from Sonic but then a voice calls out to him. It’s Hershey.
She pretends to be totally into him and Drago falls for it despite asking how he can trust her. The only thing she does to suade him is to imply that she wants to be with a winner--
She then proceeds to beat the shit out of him for the entirety of a full page.
It ends with Drago trying to run away but Hershey angrily tossing the rock at his head that leads into the scene we saw earlier of Sonic reaching her and Hershey explaining what happened.
This was a much better and far more appropriate end to the Drago and Hershey conflict. All the book really needed to do in order to resolve it was to dedicate a single proper scene to the two of them and this delivered on that. It didn’t even really have to be a scene of Hershey beating him up, just something that offered actual closure.
That said, I am glad it was just her beating the shit out of him. It’s strange because both these characters feel like they kind of came out of nowhere and were suddenly important. Hershey especially. She claims that she loved Drago and he betrayed everyone, beat her around like a punching bag, and tricked her into murdering Sally Acorn for no other reason than to be a dick.
As someone else mentioned, they could have just gotten a Metal Sonic to dress as actual Sonic to do it. Having Hershey do it was literally something done for the sake of being excessive and pointlessly cruel. Any girl who would seriously want to get back together with Drago after something like that should probably change their name to Sakura Haruno.
This was the first of the additions that actually feels like it wholeheartedly improves on the book rather than just being something amusing or something pointless.
They ruin the good vibes by then adding Hayden Christensen at the end of Return of the Jedi.
Back to the main issue, Sonic tells Hershey not to worry about it. She was duped along with everyone else. I’m glad he doesn’t hold Sally’s death against her. No doubt he’s raring to shove a burning tire iron right up Robotnik’s ass.
Speaking of Robotnik, he awakens from his chamber making this GLORIOUS face.
Either he had an excellent nap, dreaming about people suffering yet again, or that green gas is the indication of the most satisfying fart of his life.
The Swat Bots inform Robotnik that the ore that he wanted has arrived safely from Downunda (curious considering the ADDED scenes of Bunnie and Antione in the Super Special. I have a feeling this is going to lead to something that’s going to annoy the piss out of me) but give him the added bad news that Sonic has liberated Knothole…
… He did?
Did knocking out Drago and the Swat Bots around him liberate the village or did he do that off-screen?
Sigh. Whatever. We need to rush to the ending. Rush it out faster. FASTER.
Robotnik makes it to his command center where we see Bunnie and Antoine hanging out above him. I wondered, since the scene showing them escaping Downunda and finding the Airbus wasn’t in the original issue, if there was going to be some slathered on expository dialogue about how the Downunda Freedom Fighters helped them escape.
Turns out there was.
It’s like the original comic realized how pointless this subplot was and dedicated as little time to it as possible.
Sonic is spotted on the monitor by Snively who seems surprised that he hasn’t given up. Sonic, after making after-images of himself using one of his more, somehow, believable ridiculous speed techniques, runs inside and comes across Snively.
Snively says he’s not going to let Sonic pass if it’s the last thing he does and Sonic says he’s right about it being the last thing he’ll ever do, implying that he’s going to kill him.
He then knocks Snively down the garbage chute. Or at least, I think it’s the garbage chute. Either way, Sonic doesn’t know or care where it leads so he’s probably okay with the idea that it might kill him.
Sonic then smashes into Bunnie and Antoine and has an embarrassingly short scene with the two of them. This is the entire scene.
The Super Special, however, has a much longer scene with the two of them.
George Lucas Ken Penders Special Edition Addition Scene #4 - No seriously guys, the Bunnie and Antoine subplot was actually important. More pages dedicated to it will prove it.
The Super Special version of this scene is the three of them having this same exact conversation except it’s stretched out to a whole page rather than just being a passing thing that’s squeezed into the top 3 panels.
This definitely flows a lot better and does, admittedly, make what Antoine and Bunnie are doing feel like it has more weight and relevance to it. Honestly, I’m making fun of it but the only thing that’s hanging me up about the Antoine and Bunnie thing is the fact that the Super Special is spending most of its time correcting how clearly rushed and out of the way their subplot was in the original issue.
It’s not like what they end up doing isn’t important. It just needed more build up and it’s getting that here. It just feels weird that such a plot device had so little time and care dedicated to it back in the original Issue 50.
The only important thing about the whole Downunda bit is the fact that the ore Robotnik needs was mined from there and someone needs to find out about that and plant a bomb to blow his shit up. I can’t help but think it might have been simpler to have Drago order the Swat Bots to take Antoine and Bunnie to a roboticizer, have them escape, and discover Robotnik’s plan on his own computer instead of the computer on the Airbus that’s transporting the ore. Then have them run into Sonic.
It would have saved us a lot of time dealing with Crocbot and the Downunda Freedom Fighters. Some of these extra pages with the two of them could have gone in some of the earlier issues that way.
Also, I can’t believe how bad the digital effect on Han Solo dodging Greedo’s blast is.
The next section is the climax and… ho’boy.
I mean, holy alamole.
So, on the exact same page where the three panels of Sonic confronting Bunnie and Antoine are we ALSO see Sonic reaching Robotnik’s room and confronting him too.
This is shockingly fast paced and it’s something that the Super Special goes to great lengths to fix.
The original issue has this horrid info box that hasn’t been used at any point throughout the issue pop up uninvited to let us know that Sonic is uncharacteristically devoid of humor in this moment.
Thanks, I hate it.
This is going to continue as things go on though. I don’t mind narration when it’s done right but it usually works a lot better when you’re trying to sell me on something before the story starts or to punctuate a story after it’s told. For some reason, I can’t help but roll my eyes when it happens in the middle of the action as though the action can’t speak for itself.
Robotnik has Sonic in a tight space and says it’ll gimp his speed. To prove this, he actually manages to back hand Sonic in the face. To Robotnik’s credit, Sonic is closed in tightly but that also means Sonic will have less room to miss when he attacks you.
This is exactly what Sonic does. He knocks Robotnik out of his seat and Robotnik utters his trademark catchphrase as the two of them stare each other down.
I can’t tell if that last punch was Sonic breaking reality or him going so fast he turned into a liquid.
Either way, whatever the computer just said spells the doom for our two adversaries.
This lead-in isn’t quite as climactic as the climax gets though. The Super Special aims to fix that.
George Lucas Ken Penders Special Edition Addition Scene #5 - The Actual Prelude to Sonic and Eggman Beating the Shit Out of Each Other Until One of them is Murdered.
After Bunnie and Antoine head off to do the deed, they burst into a room where they see a large cannon, the Ultimate Annihilator, firing a blast at a large satellite above. It’s power is going to, no doubt, be used to wipe out Knothole. I know this because stage two is literally called Knothole Wipeout.
Just as Robotnik’s countdown reaches one, THAT’S when Sonic makes his epic hero entrance. Here, instead of Robotnik sitting in a chair by himself, there’s a shit ton of Swat Bots in the room like there should be!
Sonic goes in and starts to fight them all which holds him back long enough for Robotnik’s countdown to reach zero! He presses the button and then fires a laser from the satellite onto what appears to be Knothole village and blows it up!
In the Super Special, we actually get to see an example of what Robotnik’s master plan coming to fruition would look like. Despite the fact that it’s still a tad rushed, the crux of what’s happening here is far more exciting and far more deserving of a climactic finish.
The stakes have risen to a point where Knothole’s destruction isn’t just talk, it’s presented as the reality. This gives Sonic the kick in the butt he needs to go as ham on Robotnik as he does!
We’re shown a scene of Antoine planting the bomb in the cannon room before cutting back to the scene where Robotnik delivers his catchphrase… this time, however, it looks significantly more awesome. Instead of Robotnik lying in a pile of scraps after having been punched in the face, he’s standing up, showing the glowing green gauntlet on his arm (that was on the cover of the original Issue 50 but only shows up in the director's cut by the way…) and delivering a speech that actually FEELS like it’s coming from the mouth of a villain whose about to make this the last stand. There’s even a better justification for the narration interjecting the way it did. Robotnik did a good job of reiterating his motivation and his emotions here. The narration is now just acting as a seasoning to it rather than a lazy way to just explain to us what he and Sonic are feeling.
The original Issue 50 has, so far, been a rushed, dump-truck of junk food but the extra pages of the Super Special are really delivering the goods. Things are coming together much more smoothly and the only hiccups it seems to be having are things that are the result of having to stay true to the original issue.
For indeed, the Antoine and Bunnie plot would really work a lot better had the set up from the issues before not been so mild so as to make the scenes of them in Issue 50 feel comically tacked on. It’s almost as if they forgot there was a reason they got sent to Downunda.
This is where both the original issue and the Super Special converge again and the feeling you get with this next page is amplified ten-fold thanks to how much better the set-up for it in the Super Special is.
It’s just Sonic and Robotnik wailing on each other as hard and as fast as they can.
In the original issue, despite how brutal and awesome it looks (as well as well-drawn thanks to the art style shifting to Spaz) it does feel like it’s here because it needs to look climactic. The issue is moving so fast that there wasn’t much chance of me grasping the severity of this final confrontation.
That said, even when it comes, it’s still too fast and it goes out with a whimper.
Antoine and Bunnie messing with the Ultimate Annihilator has made it so that it’s going to explode, just like they were warned about. Sonic and Robotnik are trapped here and decide the only course of action is to fight until they die.
We’ve finally reached it. This iconic image.
There are literal holes being blasted through the two of them. They’re getting vaporized.
Either way, this is the image of the final time Sonic got to fight Warlord Julian, the original Dr. Robotnik of the Archie comics.
In the Super Special version, there’s another two pages added to sell it even more.
This image is then followed by an entire page that’s nothing but a blank, white canvas. If there were ever a more appropriate time to do something like that… it would have been in the original Issue 50, not the director's cut.
Sonic disappears and then realizes his body is fine. He then passes out and wakes up in a bed.
I was so confused.
Turns out I have a right to be confused because Dr. Quack, as he’s the one overseeing Sonic, goes on to exposit what happened and it’s some of the weirdest, gobble-d-gook we’ve gotten from this book in quite some time.
It was so confusing I had to look up the Endgame article on the Mobius Encyclopedia to get clarification on it all… as well as clarification on some of the things Dr. Quack DOESN’T explain.
For example, the thing that got Sonic out of that mess was his One Billionth Ring and its power. Expecting me to remember that goddamn thing at all was already too presumptuous but not even bothering to mention it in the actual text is next level dumb.
I don’t even remember how the Billionth ring works.
So, how did Knothole survive?
So basically, Dr. Quack explains everything that went on. Somehow, Robotnik hacked into his weird Dream Watcher device from way back and used that to discover Knothole’s location. I won’t ask why this is the first time he could do that to a device because it doesn’t matter. He's dead now.
He kidnapped the Quack doctor’s family and made him work with him so that he could replace the king with a robot, use Drago to make Sally the fall girl, and then frame Sonic for it.
However, Snively did some computer smarts and made it so only Robotnik would be affected by the Ultimate Annihilator.
Yeah, that’s right. Snively killed Robotnik.
Holy shit balls, he actually did it.
What’s strange about this is that, again, the only hint we had that he was even planning on doing anything was at the start of the Super Special issue. This panel of Dr. Quack explaining that Snively re-worked the device so that it would only affect Robotnik is the only hint the original issue gives us to his treachery in Endgame.
As for Sally…!
She’s still dead! HAHAHAHA!
But Sonic opens the casket and kisses the corpse because that’s how he be. He got the idea from another princess he’s met.
No, of course she’s still alive. Dr. Quack said that it was easy to convince everyone that she died because she fell so high. So he put her in a stasistube disguised as a “fancy” memorial to hide that fact.
Sally wakes up after Sonic admits to loving her and the two embrace. The Super Special version has a full page spread of them kissing that I scrolled past as fast as I could.
So that’s it. Everyone returns to their normal lives. Geoffrey looks a bit downtrodden despite being given his normal position back but you can see Hershey waving at him from behind. Looks like he’s got back-up options now that it’s clear the “love of his life” is with Sonic.
Drago has been taken to the Devil’s Gulag, a clear opposite result to the easy life he betrayed everyone for. He’s going to be in there forever… or at least until the story wants to use him again.
As for Snively… well, that’s a story for another day… and I’m sure it’ll be a very interesting one.
So that was Endgame and it was… interesting.
If I didn’t have the Super Special to read, this entire issue would have been a dower, barely functioning affair. The entirety of the original issue is rushed to hell and back. It’s like the 4th issue of every Sonic Universe arc but 100 times worse. Everything that was set up was given a quick and unceremonious solution that was sometimes pulled right out of an ass. They grew tired of the “Hedgehog on the Run” plot and scrapped it so that they could immediately get to the final confrontation with Robotnik.
His plan was so undefined that it being his final one would also have been a let down if not for the Super Special.
The Super Special version really did go a long way to selling me a lot more on the importance of everyone’s actions compared to the original version. It was aware that Bunnie and Antoine’s subplot was so rushed and out of the way that having it be the catalyst for the explosion that happens to the Ultimate Annihilator needed more justification. It still doesn’t excuse the detour to Downunda but there was nothing a director’s cut of Issue 50 could have done to fix that.
Apparently, they also didn’t see it fit to fix the horrid scene with Dulcy.
Also, Robotnik is gone. He’s dead.
He was vaporized and turned to atoms and that’s it. He’s fucking dead. Ken Penders didn’t want Robotnik around anymore because he was tired of using him as the villain so he killed him off.
SEGA let him do this.
What a different time we lived in back in the day.
Also, like the “happy” ending to Little Shop of Horrors, that scene where Sonic very quickly just finds Sally in a box and they kiss is also a very rushed thing that exists to make the shippers happy that Ken didn’t go through with killing her off.
Ken didn’t want Sally to be alive. That was originally supposed to be a robot double of her. Regardless of whether or not they thought this was the end, by the time of this issue’s creation they clearly knew they were going to continue but that didn’t stop Ken from wanting to kill both Sally and Robotnik. He only managed to get away with doing one of those, however.
Ken thought Sally was pointless with the King back, that it was too hard to do things with Sonic and Sally’s relationship because of how restrained it was (something I agree with him on), and that Sally cramped Sonic’s style.
Now, I don’t like or care about Sally Acorn but only one of these points are things that feel like they have any acceptable validity to it. This is a very strange thought process to have regardless of his personal feelings on this character. Of course, he feels differently now, instead saying he would like to bring Sally and the Freedom Fighters into IDW Sonic and immediately resurrect the horrible love-triangle bullshit that I, and a ton of other people, hated and made fun of a good chunk of the Archie comic’s run for.
Sounds like a match made in Hell. Truly, I couldn’t imagine a better way to kill my interest in the book aside from maybe announcing that you won’t be using the Chaotix or Omega in the series anymore.
I have no clue what he means by "re-establish continuity" and I don't see how doing another "Sally is betrothed to another" story is taking the series in new directions no one has ever done. You'd have better success putting everyone in string bikinis. Even the children like Cream and Charmy because apparently age matters not to you.
These tweets would have been harder to find if the "Thanks, Ken Penders" tumblr blog someone clued me into didn't have them. So thanks.
I’m laying into Penders a lot here because we’re about to enter an era of comics that rely heavily upon his “vision” of the Sonic world without Robotnik. Things are going to get very weird and… despite how disgusted I’ll become, I can’t fake the fact that I’m also a bit excited.
This wasn’t the Endgame. It was just the end of the beginning. It’s time for Phase 2.
Maybe I’d be more optimistic if he didn’t make Darth Vader scream NO in the special edition of Return of the Jedi when Knuckles tossed him down that huge shaft but oh well.