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Analyzing Archie's "House of Cards" and our opinions of it


Jhreamer
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This is something I did back in May when discussing story ideas with a good friend. It only just occurred to me that it might cause healthy discussion, as long as we avoid perspective-bashing.

The first time I read Archie Sonic's "House of Cards", the early-Ian Flynn arc where Sonic and Tails fight; I was totally cool with it. When I came on here and discovered that people pretty much unanimously hated it, it surprised me initially. Upon reflection, I still find basal entertainment in reading it, but totally understand the gripes. And I realized that it is an absolutely beautiful tool to learn from and think critically about. It's an excellent way to observe what doesn't sit well with Sonic fans (as well as a general audience), and why. 

It's especially useful because of one key fact. That is -- no matter your opinion of Ian Flynn -- he has an impeccably sound understanding of dialogue and event structure. There's a reason why he's been leaping up the ladders in his field. So when someone as talented at his craft as Flynn gets such a negative response on an arc, it's really beneficial to delve in and find out why. Informative to a fan, and essential to a writer.

The following is what I scrawled out in my stream-of-consciousness, trying to really delve into the specifics of what caused this writer-reader reaction.

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" The details surrounding [Sonic and Tails's] skirmish in Archie follow thus:

1. Sonic went out with Fiona when Tails had the hots for her robotic version. And Fiona is only going out with him because she was going out with Scourge when he was posing as Sonic. So she technically has little reason to be with the real Sonic. That's a lot to take in (and a lot of 'going out').
2. Sonic has been insensitive to Tails's feelings about this.
3. POLITICS...
* 3a. Tails's father suddenly sows the seeds for a revolt against the House of Acorn. Tails defends his parents while Sonic defends the House. Sonic believes Amadeus belongs in his cell.
* 3b. Tails takes Rosemary to break out his father. Sonic regards this as an act of treason. He makes an insensitive comment about Tails idolizing him that prompts Tails's aggression.
4. The fight...
 * 4a. Sonic is fairly passive for a while. Tails's grievances all spill out. 
 * 4b. Tails believes Sonic has teased and mocked him through all his efforts. He thinks Sonic hasn't believed the stories of his adventures and only sees merit in his own doings. He has come to regard Sonic as a callous and pigheaded elitist who sees all others as beneath him, and takes special offense to that, having grown under his encouraging hand.
 * 4c. Sonic denies all of this (famous line: "You're taking everything I've done and skewing it"). He honestly seems to be oblivious to all of Tails's allegations. Regarding his stance on the riot, Sonic is on the side of order. He has fought for the ideals of the kingdom (Sally) for most of his life. He can't see Tails's side of this.
 * 4d. Fiona. All of a sudden, because Sonic understands why Tails is upset about this singular issue, he accepts all of Tails's rage and repents. Tails responds immediately and in a total upheaval of his pent-up frustrations. This would have us believe that Fiona was not only the breaking point, but the most important factor, and a short exchange resolves the entire qualm. Every aforementioned factor is left unresolved.
5. Sally intervenes in the fight between Elias and Amadeus, and in less than an hour (seemingly), the three hash out the creation of the council. "

From my brief conversations with others on their reactions to the arc, and an examination of the events themselves, here's why I think it was received poorly.

" 1. Fiona's relationship with Sonic is based on a very flimsy and nonsensical premise. Tails's attachment to her can be reasoned out through a child's powerful impulsive associative infatuation (that's a lot of adjectives), but isn't taken well by older readers.
2. People hated how insensitively Sonic was acting. *
3. Tails's family's agenda is INCREDIBLY sudden and not well-fleshed-out in the slightest. Amadeus would not realistically be this stupid. He HAS been in space for a long time...and did I just use the word "realistically"? This is Sanic. Suspension of disbelief toward furry politics can go a long way when writers are meeting a stiff deadline. *
4. Tails's advantage during the fight. *
5. The fact that the basis of the fight was on Fiona. People don't like the relationships in general*, and for the fight to hinge on this one was a nail on the coffin for the arc. Truly a fragile and seemingly pale stimulus compared to the other accusations Tails was tossing out. Like how Sonic actively tried to keep his dad behind bars.
6. How quickly the adults' dispute is resolved.* "

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That is my attempt to objectively analyze the "what"s and "why"s of this arc and its reception. I do have a couple of thoughts regarding the general consensus. WARNING: opinions.

*Regarding people's gripes on Sonic being a jerk: what's so bad about a main character reacting to hardships like someone with a personality? Sonic NOT being perfect is appealing to me, and his unusual crassness is a very sensible eventuality when such a storied hero is going through some massive doo-doo. A hero having no real internal struggle makes for a VERY boring hero. ALL THAT SAID, Sonic's jerkiness could have been set up better, as it seemed sudden in the early Flynn comics.

*Regarding how incredibly quickly the conflicts were resolved...this arc was restricted to two issues. Two issues is woefully, woefully claustrophobic for any sort of story development. It may be possible that this exact plot could be much better when given more space to stretch out and explain itself. That's for you all to decide.

*Regarding how "overpowered" Tails was in the fight: I don't believe Tails was actually kicking his ass. Most of the time, Sonic was being blindsided by what Tails was saying, even after he claims that he won't hold back anymore. And he wasn't showing considerable signs of wear and tear. Seriously -- the guy who survived the Xorda attack is not going to lose to this Tails, no matter how much Knuckles trained him (a very flippant comment which does not serve to justify Tails to be as strong as Sonic). Sonic was in a perpetual state of confusion. Power levels certainly get people in a tizzy.

*Regarding why people hate relationships in their Sanics...why? Don't get me wrong, the Fiona-Sonic thing was very poor. But for general story romance, the pursuit of our other half (and/or the secks) is such a monumental focus in the majority of people's lives. It's a millennia-old, tried-and true embellishment of interest to readers in stories. I hope y'all don't hate romance because of shippers. That's like saying you hate all alcohol because some people love Bud Light. (I say that with love, and as a non-drinker. I think I've lost my sanity by this point. When I use similes like that, it's basically proof.)

*Regarding the swift and carefree resolution between Amadeus and Elias...again, Sanic story. I believe suspension of disbelief can apply to politics in a world where a mutant hedgehog runs the speed of sound. (So why does it matter so much to people that Tails is keeping Sonic on his toes in a fight? My theory: it's because the game series is action-based, and the action takes a more literal form in a world like this.)

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Why did I go so deep? Obviously, I'm far too obsessed with Sonic. But I am also a writer who saw significant potential in digging into this, and I indeed learned a great deal. I also have been planning my own version of a Sonic vs. Tails for my comic (years-ahead spoilers); and due to the extremely fragile nature of "nuh-uh, Saitama is stronger than Goku because xyz and you're a tooty poophead", I want to do as much research on people's opinions of existing material as humanly possible. It's ridiculously valuable to learn from one's own mistakes, but perhaps equally valuable to learn from OTHERS' mistakes! Sorry, Ian, I love you baby.

So, Archie fans, gimme your own thoughts on the arc itself and my take on it. Anything I missed? Anything you LIKED about that arc? Any changes you'd make to "House of Cards" to improve it? Any ideas on why Sonic's Kamehameha is stronker than Tails's? Any Bud Light lovers? (If you don't get that joke, you didn't read the whole post. Silly willy. ...But this is longer than balls. I don't blame you.)

Love you all; keep it fun and civil.

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MetalSkulkBane

I don't really  hate that arc, but:

1 Politics are boring. Maybe "game of thrones" like skimming and many factions fighting over supremecy, wars, that's cool. But talking about how political structure is boring/

2 I don't symphatize with Prowers. Amadeus idea of riot is crazy, and Tails isn't much better. Ok he chooses his father over Sonic, that makes sense...except that it was all about a girl. Yeah, conflict with Sonic resolved and suddenly he's ok with stopping his father.

3 Whole girl problem is just kinda meh.

On the flip side I liked one thing: Elias. You can really feel his pain,holding to crown he doesn't want, trying to do what's right.

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Flyinpenguin117
1 hour ago, Sparky said:

That is out of character. 

...all the things wrong with this arc, and that's what you find OOC for Sonic? 

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Another reason Tails had an advantage is because Sonic would obviously be reluctant to beat the crap out of a much younger kid whome he sees as a surrogate brother.

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Sparky and RJDodger:

That's something that actually occurred to me while making that post, and I totally forgot to address it. It's a good point.

Sonic instantly defaulting to the side of order is definitely odd, looking at his usual character. His whole deal is "free spirit".

But in the case of Archie's version of Sonic (preboot), is it really out of the question?

When you have different iterations of a character existing in different canons, OOC takes on different meanings. In Archie, no matter what sort of relationship or situation Sonic is in, it's fairly clear that he maintains a deep loyalty to Sally. Through his devotion to her, he instinctively moves to protect the kingdom that she was the sole monarch of in the first 50 issues. So, for Archie Sonic, it would be out of character for him to heed a rioting faction, no matter who is involved in it. That's my initial reasoning.

However, I tend to harbor disdain for the term "OOC" because of how much it limits literary exploration of characters. I don't think it's a meaningless idea, though.

As I recall, a DBZ fan story explores the notion of Vegeta and Kakarot/Goku switching roles, with Vegeta ending up on Earth as a child and Kakarot becoming one of the last Saiyan warriors. This leads to Vegeta having to fight Kakarot and Nappa when they threaten to destroy Earth. Needless to say, Kakarot is a complete villain, displaying wanton and despicable evil.

Is that out of character for canonical Goku/Kakarot? OF COURSE. Goku's a well-meaning oaf.

But for the canon of that fan story, it is absolutely in-character for him to be evil.

An odd analogy, I know; and Archie Sonic obviously is NOWHERE NEAR that level of digression from his main canon, but it's an intriguing example to me.

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Sonic and tails fighting was the value add

 

Everything else was terrible

14 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

 

1 Politics are boring. Maybe "game of thrones" like skimming and many factions fighting over supremecy, wars, that's cool. But talking about how political structure is boring/

 

Is actiually pretty interesting if you do it right. MGS and Ghost in the Shell stand alone complex and 2nd gig come to mind, I don't really need that much in depth into sonic poltical structures, or rather... the ones in the comic. I would give a lot of money to see someone actually try and create and actual stucture for GUN though. 

3 hours ago, Ernest-Panda said:

Another reason Tails had an advantage is because Sonic would obviously be reluctant to beat the crap out of a much younger kid whome he sees as a surrogate brother.

You saying that like its not a legitimate advantage. That said though tails bopped him. 

3 hours ago, JohnTheDreamer said:

 

An odd analogy, I know; and Archie Sonic obviously is NOWHERE NEAR that level of digression from his main canon, but it's an intriguing example to me.

While I do think the nature of the character changes with story... sonic in that is supposed to be mainline sonic existing in another world. This isn't sonic to sonic boom, its an interpretation of that same guy. So I can say its out of character though to be fair, pre reboot sonic did far worse out of character stuff some of which lead to this beef with him and tails. I'm going to use this woman because I want me friend to hate her. Fucking what, can we go into to how fiona's entire everything from tails to sonic is just gross. 

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4 hours ago, JohnTheDreamer said:

 

As I recall, a DBZ fan story explores the notion of Vegeta and Kakarot/Goku switching roles, with Vegeta ending up on Earth as a child and Kakarot becoming one of the last Saiyan warriors. This leads to Vegeta having to fight Kakarot and Nappa when they threaten to destroy Earth. Needless to say, Kakarot is a complete villain, displaying wanton and despicable evil.

Is that out of character for canonical Goku/Kakarot? OF COURSE. Goku's a well-meaning oaf.

 

I don't know much about DragonBall, but wasn't "Kakarot" originally evil before being hit in the head or something? 

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CrownSlayer’s Shadow
22 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

I don't really  hate that arc, but:

1 Politics are boring. Maybe "game of thrones" like skimming and many factions fighting over supremecy, wars, that's cool. But talking about how political structure is boring/

But...that's not what actually happened. House of Cards was about factions fighting over supremacy - mainly the Prowers and the Acorns over the direction of the kingdom to the point of causing a civil war. You're acting like it was going about it like a government class over political structure when that's not how it was presented - the whole thing had a lot more fighting and conflict than that, mostly between Sonic and Tails, and Elias and Amadeus.

That said, the whole fighting over a girl between Sonic and Tails was without a doubt the single dumbest aspect of the arc that hardly anyone disagrees with. At that point, said girl had already betrayed everyone and bitchslapped Tails, pissing Sonic off to the point he was about to throttle her.

I will give the arc props in how it built up the climax to where Sonic and Tails actually fight each other. We've never had any moment where Sonic and Tails had a geniune moment of conflict and tension that they went at each other's throats of their own free will, and were it not for that last second mention of Fiona being part of the strife it would have been interesting to see how it would have resolved differently. Even so, despite that flaw it's much better handled than how Lost Worlds attempted to bring conflict between Sonic and Tails - before the mentioning of Fiona muddled things, House of Cards gave Tails moments to criticize and beat into Sonic his frustrations while having some well-meaning (if skewed) points that make sense without making him seem too ridiculous, while giving Sonic ammo to fire back on the defensive and call out holes in Tails' logic without making it seem like either side is wrong.

And my god does the whole Fiona part ruin it...heck, I think that might have added to how anti-climactic Sally resolving the fight between Elias and Amadeus.

As far as the whole "Sonic on the side of Order" thing goes, wouldn't it be better to argue that Sonic was actually on the side of Stability instead? And that's without getting into the fact that the entire kingdom was still at war with the Eggman Empire - not a good idea to have a civil war/revolution in the middle of a world war, so I think Sonic being pragmatic to fight for Order would make more sense in this context.

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Dr. Detective Mike

Oh god. House of Cards.

For years it's been single-handedly the go-to example for the explicit hatred of a good amount of the negative aspects behind the Archie Comics for me. Ironically, seeing the cover for Sonic and Tails fighting each other is the very thing that originally peaked my interest and kickstarted my desire to get into the comics. I have that cover to thank for the numerous amount of Sonic Comics I've got in the binders at the side of my bed and yet when I finally managed to get the back-issues of the comics, it ended up being what I regulated as the single worst piece of Sonic media I've ever had the displeasure of reading. I was even more infuriated by it than all the gunk that took place in Sonic 06.

I must have several article long rants about everything I hate about this story arc laying around several different forums by this point. There's probably even one on here somewhere. The idea of spilling out everything I hate about it again is kind of overwhelming. 

I actually just now typed in "House of Cards" on google for the SEGA Forums and the first thing that popped up was a thread titled "House of Cards?! Sonic and Tails Friends no more!? It was all a joke..." and when I clicked on it, the guy who created it was ME. Holy Shit.

I don't even remember doing that.

And apparently I wrote it back in December 2009 too. God. 

It's not very well written though but the basic points behind everything I still shockingly agree with to a good extent. 

I still believe that both Elias and Amadeus were acting like idiots but despite that I did also believe that the conflict that was being stirred up provided a good amount of potential for the story ahead. Politics aren't boring when you know what to focus on. The Shit-Show that is the 2016 Election, for instance, has been literally everything except boring. Hell, a goofy comedy heavy series like One Piece often makes its stigma with the Government proceedings the highlight of many of the affairs going on within it. The fallout from what could have happened should this revolt gone one way or another would have been interesting to witness.

But instead, Sally and her dumb naked self had to come in and ruin it. The conflict was resolved with an anti-climax bigger then Sakura Haruno's disgusting forehead. The two were going at each other with goddamn swords and yet it ended up being capped with a tea-party. The Tea-Party bit at the end ended up being a running joke for me about the forum for a while now afterward, which no one seemed to take much offense to at the time either. 

The biggest issue, of course, does go back to Sonic and his characterization there however. The one panel I always refer to whenever a conversation regarding the absolute worst portrayal of Sonic the Hedgehog is, would be this little gem right here.

House_of_Cards.png

That's Sonic the Mother-Fucking Hedgehog wearing the most punchable face I'd ever seen anyone in the series wear before making the claim, behind his best friend's back, that it's okay if his parents rot in jail because Tails "worships" him and that he'll "get over it". Even if that was something Sonic believed and even if he felt he was doing the right thing, what in the name of Captain Planet's shiny red underoos are you so goddamn happy about? Why are you smiling while you're saying something so evil? That's already a line a manipulative villain would say but adding a confident grin on top of it just makes you look like the scum around the shit-ring of Dr. Eggman's toilet bowl. 

Sonic, in any continuity, would never undermine the friendship he has with Tails by making the claim that it was a simple manner of hero worship and relationship longevity that made their bond what it was. And he'd never be proud to say it either. The reason I love the idea of Sonic and Tails having a falling out with one another is because it sparks a sense of tragedy between the two of them. There's nothing tragic about this. Here, Sonic's just an asshole who needs a paddle rammed into him.

Not even just that but the comics at the time and their tendency to place Sonic's "duty" towards the Acorn "kingdom" above the ideals he's expressed within the games about doing whatever he thought was right and not caring about what any authority told him was right made him come off like a whipped soldier to me, rather then the free-spirit I always saw him as. I often tried my best to get over this by saying that the Archie comics had their own continuity and way of handling the characters that I wasn't used to yet but I can't excuse it here. No matter what, I'll never be able to get out of my head the fact that in Sonic Adventure 2, not only did he readily break out of prison because he knew that he did nothing wrong, but do you know who voluntarily DID break the law in order to make sure Sonic could escape? His best friend Tails! Tails trespassed on Government property, destroyed a shit ton of the military's robots, and helped Amy break Sonic out of prison. Seeing a situation where Sonic is standing as an officer of the law just feels wrong to me. That part may be a more personal matter but fuck it. I had to say something about it.

Tails' negative contribution mostly fell on him being pathetic and stupid rather then him being a shit. The idea that one of the most recognizable best-friend partnerships in gaming would have a falling out with one another because the little fox boy was mad that Sonic went on a date with his pretend girlfriend is just infuriatingly ridiculous. It's like finding out that Master Xehanort wanted to open the door to Kingdom Hearts because he was tired of paying his taxes. Why the fuck would anyone think that was a good idea? 

So yeah, I really hate this story. I do hope I was able to entertain you all with that, even if you disagree with me.

 

 

 

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MetalSkulkBane

I really don't see the problem with Sonic siding with Acorns. He's a free spirit, but not anarchist. When Elise hugged him, he didn't pushed her away, screaming "stay back, you oppressive scum" (he should, but that's a different story ;p)

He simply chooses what's right. Attacking nice king Elias=bad thing. Stopping break out= good thing.

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19 hours ago, Sparky said:

I don't know much about DragonBall, but wasn't "Kakarot" originally evil before being hit in the head or something? 

The Saiyans are generally conquistador and tend to annihilate planets, so yeah. That fan story made Vegeta the one who gets hit on the head, losing that killer instinct. It definitely makes my analogy of questionable relevance, but the general point was that a character can have different "correct" characterizations depending on the specific arcs of the story he or she is in.

12 hours ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

As far as the whole "Sonic on the side of Order" thing goes, wouldn't it be better to argue that Sonic was actually on the side of Stability instead? And that's without getting into the fact that the entire kingdom was still at war with the Eggman Empire - not a good idea to have a civil war/revolution in the middle of a world war, so I think Sonic being pragmatic to fight for Order would make more sense in this context.

I absolutely love that. I think it provides substantially more clarity to approach it that way.

11 hours ago, Dr. Chaotix said:

Oh god. House of Cards.

...

So yeah, I really hate this story. I do hope I was able to entertain you all with that, even if you disagree with me.

That was significantly above and beyond both the hilarity AND intelligence I wanted in this thread. Absolutely marvelous, beginning to end.

My only quip is that I certainly don't think Sonic was meaning to be evil. Of course, lack of intent doesn't mitigate a crime. But, looking at Sonic through the lens of a normal teenager, his confidence and even his heroism -- basically his entire ego -- has been ripped to shreds, mainly when Eggman trounced him after destroying Knothole. I read Sonic in this ~30 issue span as someone who lost who he is, but is awkwardly trying to keep going as if he didn't. So he's constantly fucking everything up.

I have a habit of giving absolutely everyone benefit of the doubt, even those who don't necessarily deserve it. So I am likely of a rare opinion when I say I kind of understand how Sonic could slip that far into insensitivity. Doesn't mean it's okay.

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So I don't really think the hero worship thing was... that out of character actually, There are a bunch of out of character things sonic does during that entire shit arc, don't get me wrong. But especially how sonic has evolved as a character in a modern sense, ... yeah I can kind of see a scenario where takes people for granted and gets rocked, not just tails other people too. 

That said, the catalyst for the entire situation, is out of character. Also I have to say, no tails was being a shit. Being tricked by a robot or no, you don't have an obligation to a person because you like them. That's life, tails was on some " but i'm a nice guy shit" nah, sonic was just as bad, because he used someone, to... make his friend actively upset because he didn't trust her. Rather than giving tails a stern talking to about how relationships work and how you aren't obligated to people. Both of them were terrible. 

But the idea of sonic taking any of his friendships for granted, and getting his shit rocked,  is something I can get behind. The catalyst however...ew

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Dr. Detective Mike
3 hours ago, JohnTheDreamer said:

That was significantly above and beyond both the hilarity AND intelligence I wanted in this thread. Absolutely marvelous, beginning to end.

My only quip is that I certainly don't think Sonic was meaning to be evil. Of course, lack of intent doesn't mitigate a crime. But, looking at Sonic through the lens of a normal teenager, his confidence and even his heroism -- basically his entire ego -- has been ripped to shreds, mainly when Eggman trounced him after destroying Knothole. I read Sonic in this ~30 issue span as someone who lost who he is, but is awkwardly trying to keep going as if he didn't. So he's constantly fucking everything up.

I have a habit of giving absolutely everyone benefit of the doubt, even those who don't necessarily deserve it. So I am likely of a rare opinion when I say I kind of understand how Sonic could slip that far into insensitivity. Doesn't mean it's okay.

Well thank you my friend. I was happy to oblige. My hatred for this particular story arc is almost laughably cartoonish so it's probably a lot easier for me to vent in a manner like that.

My personal position on Sonic's personality has always been that of someone who has a lot of positive sentiment within him but is more lax on the surface when it comes to expressing it. What I mean by that is that what he believes and what he says aren't always in tune with one another. His actions will often speak louder then his words and I can see the merit behind something he says going too far in some regards. Especially when it comes to issues revolving around his ego.

My problem really is just that they took it too far. Normally, at least, the way that I see it, when someone says something like that behind their friend's back, there's a small ounce of belief for what they're saying hidden within the folds of their statement. The origin of that thought sprung up from something concerning what he actually thinks regarding his friend. The sentiment Sonic had there was most likely just "He really loves me" but saying that his hero worship is so strong that he knows Tails would be willing to undermine the long sought after relationship and emotional connection with his parents is disgusting to me and I can't help but consider it evil. I can't imagine Sonic's ego, in any continuity, over-inflating to that horrible of a degree. The old man from UP could have made his house float with the amount of hot-air Sonic was expressing in that one panel. It feels like flanderization to me. 

And sure, I understand the idea that in the issues before hand Sonic was taking a lot of L's. I'm sure that after Big Bird showed up on his doorstep to let him know that the letter of the day was yet again the Letter "L" Sonic did react in kind by losing a bit of his nerve and overcompensating in a lot of areas. I get that. 

I still don't see a situation where he'd say something like this though. Maybe if it were something a little less directly proportional to a literal comparison between the love Tails had for his parents and himself. It's just a really nasty combination of things that sets me off here. I'm certain they could have found a way to make it work by focusing more on the clashes of ideals and letting it sink in a little better over time. 

Here's where I play pretend professional writer. If I were in charge, I'd have either let Amadeus win in his fight with Elias or have a situation where Tails' parents and their followers create some sort of separate group that's against the Acorn Kingdom and have Tails go with them. This would artificially make Tails a temporary villain in the eyes of the book I believe, if we're truly supposed to side with the Acorn Kingdom that is. I wouldn't have it so both characters were 100% confident in what they were doing either. The idea of Tails wrestling with the idea of being on the side of his parents and supportive of their ideals versus what Sonic is doing for the kingdom would have been really interesting to exploit for a bit. Frustration and tension could build itself up more naturally and it could lead to Sonic and Tails going at each other in a fight that had a lot of emotional weight and tension behind it.

It's not like Sonic can't be in the wrong about how he handles the situation. I feel that in order for it to work, there has to be something the both of them are getting wrong about their handling of the situation so that we can understand why the other side wouldn't agree with it. But of course, there also needs to be something there that we understand would make a great argument for the both of them to support too. Maybe there was, but the comic didn't handle it well. 

Even if Sonic did ultimately believe all this, I can't believe that he'd ever be that smug about it though. I can't get over that. 

I'm also someone who thinks Archie Sonic is a bigger jerk in general then any of his other counterparts, so my sense of disdain for him was rather heightened when it reached this part too. Perhaps that's more my own personal bias creeping in. 

3 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

So I don't really think the hero worship thing was... that out of character actually, There are a bunch of out of character things sonic does during that entire shit arc, don't get me wrong. But especially how sonic has evolved as a character in a modern sense, ... yeah I can kind of see a scenario where takes people for granted and gets rocked, not just tails other people too. 

That said, the catalyst for the entire situation, is out of character. Also I have to say, no tails was being a shit. Being tricked by a robot or no, you don't have an obligation to a person because you like them. That's life, tails was on some " but i'm a nice guy shit" nah, sonic was just as bad, because he used someone, to... make his friend actively upset because he didn't trust her. Rather than giving tails a stern talking to about how relationships work and how you aren't obligated to people. Both of them were terrible. 

But the idea of sonic taking any of his friendships for granted, and getting his shit rocked,  is something I can get behind. The catalyst however...ew

Yeah, I find myself agreeing with a lot of this actually. The idea of him taking people for granted wasn't the issue for me. That idea was explored in Sonic Lost World as well.

Well, I say it was "explored" but it was more like the "explorer" cut a few branches in the jungle, got bored, and then turned around and drove home to eat a sandwhich. 

But still, the basic idea was there.

In Lost World, Sonic didn't really have to say anything that horrible in order to get the point across. Tails tried to relay information to him and, thinking he was hot stuff, Sonic ignored it and kicked Eggman's giant Magic Conch Shell away. That's still a way to exploit Sonic's ego and it also undermines the help he was offered by his friend, but it was done in a much more natural manner that didn't instantly make him unlikable. He just made a mistake... a mistake that he makes yet again down the line and never learns his lesson for doing but hey that's going into how badly written Lost World is and I should probably stop before I rant about that as well.

And I certainly agree that both of them were terrible. I'm not beholden to the definition of the kind of terrible Tails was. I feel he was more stupid and pathetic but that doesn't mean I didn't think he was being a shit in some capacity. It's not like I had any sympathy for him. That panel where he's waving his fists around at Sonic, crying about how he stole his favorite two-page spread magazine girl fantasy away from him is hilarious. 

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2 hours ago, Dr. Chaotix said:

Here's where I play pretend professional writer. If I were in charge, I'd have either let Amadeus win in his fight with Elias or have a situation where Tails' parents and their followers create some sort of separate group that's against the Acorn Kingdom and have Tails go with them. This would artificially make Tails a temporary villain in the eyes of the book I believe, if we're truly supposed to side with the Acorn Kingdom that is. I wouldn't have it so both characters were 100% confident in what they were doing either. The idea of Tails wrestling with the idea of being on the side of his parents and supportive of their ideals versus what Sonic is doing for the kingdom would have been really interesting to exploit for a bit. Frustration and tension could build itself up more naturally and it could lead to Sonic and Tails going at each other in a fight that had a lot of emotional weight and tension behind it.

Wholeheartedly agree. This sort of vein is what I'm considering while planning my take on them quarreling. 

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And sure, I understand the idea that in the issues before hand Sonic was taking a lot of L's. I'm sure that after Big Bird showed up on his doorstep to let him know that the letter of the day was yet again the Letter "L" Sonic did react in kind ...

I'm weak.

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CrownSlayer’s Shadow
21 hours ago, Dr. Chaotix said:

The biggest issue, of course, does go back to Sonic and his characterization there however. The one panel I always refer to whenever a conversation regarding the absolute worst portrayal of Sonic the Hedgehog is, would be this little gem right here.

House_of_Cards.png

That's Sonic the Mother-Fucking Hedgehog wearing the most punchable face I'd ever seen anyone in the series wear before making the claim, behind his best friend's back, that it's okay if his parents rot in jail because Tails "worships" him and that he'll "get over it". Even if that was something Sonic believed and even if he felt he was doing the right thing, what in the name of Captain Planet's shiny red underoos are you so goddamn happy about? Why are you smiling while you're saying something so evil? That's already a line a manipulative villain would say but adding a confident grin on top of it just makes you look like the scum around the shit-ring of Dr. Eggman's toilet bowl. 

Yikes, I ironically forgot how much of an asshole Sonic was in the arc. You'd think something like that would be among the first mentions - I suppose that might be because this is classic Sonic egotism, only turned up to 11.

Come to think of it, Sonic did actually get punched in the face for that look (in the very next panel in fact), so in all fairness maybe him wearing the most punchable face in the series was the intent? I dunno, this is one of the worst arcs of Ian's early run.

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Not even just that but the comics at the time and their tendency to place Sonic's "duty" towards the Acorn "kingdom" above the ideals he's expressed within the games about doing whatever he thought was right and not caring about what any authority told him was right made him come off like a whipped soldier to me, rather then the free-spirit I always saw him as. I often tried my best to get over this by saying that the Archie comics had their own continuity and way of handling the characters that I wasn't used to yet but I can't excuse it here. No matter what, I'll never be able to get out of my head the fact that in Sonic Adventure 2, not only did he readily break out of prison because he knew that he did nothing wrong, but do you know who voluntarily DID break the law in order to make sure Sonic could escape? His best friend Tails! Tails trespassed on Government property, destroyed a shit ton of the military's robots, and helped Amy break Sonic out of prison. Seeing a situation where Sonic is standing as an officer of the law just feels wrong to me. That part may be a more personal matter but fuck it. I had to say something about it.

The bolded made me laugh a bit harder than I wanted. Can you imagine how it must feel to have an 8 year old boy, even if a prodigy, come to a military base as heavily guarded as Area 51 and solo the shit out of your high-tech weapons like it was nuisance just to free his friend? Would have been hilarious if SA2 called out how embarrassing that must feel to GUN.

However, comparing Tails breaking the law in House of Cards to him doing that in SA2 is a bit off considering that SA2 framed it far more one-sided in favor of Sonic being wrongfully accused of something he didn't even do. The government there was apparently trying to cover up something they didn't want the public to know about, and given that Sonic had similarities to what they were hide, they used that as a way to keep things hush (at least that what it's assumed). There was nothing right with what was pinned on Sonic, so sympathy was held even when the heroes were committing felony charges out the ass to do the right thing.

HoC on the other hand, for all its flaws, was less one-sided than SA2. It made both sides have a point while at the same time being idiots over them (and let's just ignore the Fiona moment that ruined it for a sec) - the Acorns have been making screw ups in their leadership and Elias had very little experience with running a nation which gave ammo to the Democracy side, while Amadeus stirring the fire at the worst possible moment with said democratic ideals and attempting a coup gave ammo to those still supporting the Kingdom. Tails and Sonic were fighting for what they thought was right, and the circumstances of which led to them opposing each other as a result.

Were it not for the mishandling of other parts, this arc could have actually turned out far better. In fact, I heard that Ian planned for it to be much longer, but was forced to rush it in 2 issues by the editor. But I don't recall who said that, so don't hold me on that part.

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Dr. Detective Mike
2 hours ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

However, comparing Tails breaking the law in House of Cards to him doing that in SA2 is a bit off considering that SA2 framed it far more one-sided in favor of Sonic being wrongfully accused of something he didn't even do. The government there was apparently trying to cover up something they didn't want the public to know about, and given that Sonic had similarities to what they were hide, they used that as a way to keep things hush (at least that what it's assumed). There was nothing right with what was pinned on Sonic, so sympathy was held even when the heroes were committing felony charges out the ass to do the right thing.

HoC on the other hand, for all its flaws, was less one-sided than SA2. It made both sides have a point while at the same time being idiots over them (and let's just ignore the Fiona moment that ruined it for a sec) - the Acorns have been making screw ups in their leadership and Elias had very little experience with running a nation which gave ammo to the Democracy side, while Amadeus stirring the fire at the worst possible moment with said democratic ideals and attempting a coup gave ammo to those still supporting the Kingdom. Tails and Sonic were fighting for what they thought was right, and the circumstances of which led to them opposing each other as a result.

Were it not for the mishandling of other parts, this arc could have actually turned out far better. In fact, I heard that Ian planned for it to be much longer, but was forced to rush it in 2 issues by the editor. But I don't recall who said that, so don't hold me on that part.

The comparison wasn't really about the situation that led them to do the actions really. It was more about their actions in general. Whether one-sided or not, good reason or not, the fact that I still witnessed Tails doing something like that in one game and afterward was faced with an inverse situation of Sonic trying to keep Tails' parents in prison, was a very weird experience. I ended that particular section off by saying that it was most likely just a personal matter on my part. I have a preference for how I'd like to see these characters act and there's only so much the idea of it being a separate continuity that I'm able to handle before I feel the need to at least vent a little a bit about it.

Still, I do agree that the ideas behind what they were fighting about (well, what I thought they were fighting about) were good on the surface. And yes, Ian did say he was originally planning for it to be longer. The only thing I can pull from memory about why he didn't go through with it was the leading line "Politics are boring" which I've already explained why I don't believe is true. Even in a Sonic the Hedgehog story. Make the president twerk or something. Start off with that.

The biggest and hardest to swallow misfortune about this arc is that it had the makings of being the thing I wanted it to be. Nothing hurts more then a big missed opportunity. 

 

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CrownSlayer’s Shadow
1 hour ago, Dr. Chaotix said:

The comparison wasn't really about the situation that led them to do the actions really. It was more about their actions in general. Whether one-sided or not, good reason or not, the fact that I still witnessed Tails doing something like that in one game and afterward was faced with an inverse situation of Sonic trying to keep Tails' parents in prison, was a very weird experience. I ended that particular section off by saying that it was most likely just a personal matter on my part. I have a preference for how I'd like to see these characters act and there's only so much the idea of it being a separate continuity that I'm able to handle before I feel the need to at least vent a little a bit about it.

But I think context is key in those cases that does a disservice when you disregard them. There are reasons they go about doing those actions and why what happened in one case wouldn't be the same in the other given the circumstances - if you took out situation that gave them the reasons for their actions, then yeah it would be a weird experience, but keeping those situations in mind makes sense of the differences between the two. It would be you placing yourself in their shoes at that moment: in SA2 you know your friend was wrongfully accused of something, and you have the tools to bust them out and help them despite the risks, so why not bust them out? HoC on the other hand, in Tails' place he now has his parents that he went years without and who've come to love him deeply despite the time and distance they've been apart, yet your friend disses them to their face? Or in Sonic's place (early in the arc), you rescued said friends parents and brought them back to their homeworld, saved everyone in the kingdom, but just as people are settling in you have said friend's father stirring things up at the worst possible moment when everyone just got out of a horrific encounter with the most dangerous man on the planet.

Now granted Sonic being that huge a dick was definitely extreme. I could understand Sonic being full of himself or insensitive to the point that he gets into conflict with even his closest friends, but not to the extent he thinks someone practically worships him. But as much as preferences go, context shifts things a bit that your preference of them may not fit with what is going on - granted, the "Tails worships me" scene Sonic made definitely doesn't fit well with his character, and I don't think many people will argue with you over that given there were better ways to have Sonic be obnoxious without that level of snobbery. More like this:

Rosemary - "Then what about Tails? Can you stand knowing you helped keep his father in jail?"

Sonic - "Look, I know you're his real family. But can you stand knowing that you're about to tear apart the home he's been living all his life? The home that I've helped save countless times?!"

And then Tails punches him in the face, yelling "Oh get over yourself!" Here, Sonic is full of himself because he's mainly talking about how he saved Tails's home without mentioning any of Tails's help in saving it. But it's not as unsympathetic as "Heck the kid worships me. He'll get over it." that Sonic gave in response, and really just comes off more as insensitive than arrogant while working with how Sonic doesn't always choose the right words in a situation.

I get what your saying, but it was something I felt need to be noted. It's difficult to talk about just actions alone when their actions are the result of the circumstances they're in, because without that circumstance their actions just make even less sense (or no sense at all).

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Dr. Detective Mike
9 hours ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

But I think context is key in those cases that does a disservice when you disregard them. There are reasons they go about doing those actions and why what happened in one case wouldn't be the same in the other given the circumstances - if you took out situation that gave them the reasons for their actions, then yeah it would be a weird experience, but keeping those situations in mind makes sense of the differences between the two. It would be you placing yourself in their shoes at that moment: in SA2 you know your friend was wrongfully accused of something, and you have the tools to bust them out and help them despite the risks, so why not bust them out? HoC on the other hand, in Tails' place he now has his parents that he went years without and who've come to love him deeply despite the time and distance they've been apart, yet your friend disses them to their face? Or in Sonic's place (early in the arc), you rescued said friends parents and brought them back to their homeworld, saved everyone in the kingdom, but just as people are settling in you have said friend's father stirring things up at the worst possible moment when everyone just got out of a horrific encounter with the most dangerous man on the planet.

Now granted Sonic being that huge a dick was definitely extreme. I could understand Sonic being full of himself or insensitive to the point that he gets into conflict with even his closest friends, but not to the extent he thinks someone practically worships him. But as much as preferences go, context shifts things a bit that your preference of them may not fit with what is going on - granted, the "Tails worships me" scene Sonic made definitely doesn't fit well with his character, and I don't think many people will argue with you over that given there were better ways to have Sonic be obnoxious without that level of snobbery. More like this:

Rosemary - "Then what about Tails? Can you stand knowing you helped keep his father in jail?"

Sonic - "Look, I know you're his real family. But can you stand knowing that you're about to tear apart the home he's been living all his life? The home that I've helped save countless times?!"

And then Tails punches him in the face, yelling "Oh get over yourself!" Here, Sonic is full of himself because he's mainly talking about how he saved Tails's home without mentioning any of Tails's help in saving it. But it's not as unsympathetic as "Heck the kid worships me. He'll get over it." that Sonic gave in response, and really just comes off more as insensitive than arrogant while working with how Sonic doesn't always choose the right words in a situation.

I get what your saying, but it was something I felt need to be noted. It's difficult to talk about just actions alone when their actions are the result of the circumstances they're in, because without that circumstance their actions just make even less sense (or no sense at all).

And I get what you're saying but again, that little section was meant to only discuss the personal strangeness of the matter on its own. I'm not disregarding the context. The rest of the post goes into detail about how it doesn't work within its context. The bit you're siting is just me venting about one of the instances concerning how hard it is to ignore the continuity I grew up with in order to fit in completely with another one. Often it's a constant game of trying to fit the triangle shaped block into the circular hole in my brain when it comes to the comics and I feel that was a strong example of it happening. There are just some things I can't help noticing that take me out of it due to how off kilter it is to what I know. Plenty of things that happen in the comics are weird experiences for me with or without the context. 

That said, I wasn't disregarding the context at all though. My hatred for the story stands as something that I very much see as a missed opportunity on all fronts and I never really questioned the validity of the situation that led them to this point. I even provided my own revision of the situation above, one that I feel would actually go really well with yours to be honest. I love the idea behind the angle you've proposed to take it. That new line from Sonic would have worked perfectly. 

Context is important but there's nothing wrong with taking time out to express how strange it is to see certain things the way they are in a more general sense. I warned myself and others that the particular section you're quoting from was a more personal matter. I thought it was clear that I really did like the set up.

 

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Here's a thought.

Possibly, both Sonic and Tails being so friggen horrible can be justified by them being children. Especially Tails, whose aforementioned crybaby tantrum when bringing up Fiona in the fight is actually one of the most believable things he does for someone his age.

BUT. It falls flat because Sonic and Tails are presented as characters who constantly transcend their age, saving the entire planet before dinnertime on a weekly or daily basis. It demands deep maturity from ALL of the young characters, and they all have displayed it with very seldom chinks in the armor. So when they actually do show immaturity and...y'know, handle crises like a normal preteen would, it's extremely jarring. It would be unsettling to see random kids act like military officers, but these aren't random kids. These are HEROES, heading up a massively storied and beloved franchise.

This is a new realization for me, and I'm so grateful to you guys:

You can write protagonists realistically, and cover all of your bases in that regard. But wouldn't a realistic Sonic cast be hella BORING?

The challenge then becomes writing characters unrealistically, but causing their actions to make sense relative to the world and the story's situations. The characters become inwardly realistic, but still interesting, unique, and fun.

I'm so glad for this forum.

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Writer's Blah

Yeah, I think you just summed it up right there, John. A little background first so you know where I'm coming from, but I just read the entirety of the Archie Sonic series very recently (I basically went from the very first issue to this month's issue in the span of about a year), so marathoning the series carries slightly different perspectives on things than somebody who actually read the series as new issues were being released monthly. House of Cards was still pretty early in Flynn's run, and at the point, I was still on my high from finally moving past all of Penders' drudgery, especially around issue 135 or so, which is what I consider to be the series' lowest point. (Personal least favorite issue ever is probably 155, which ironically, is kind of important for understanding this arc.) That said though, I think I probably agree in saying HoC is probably Ian's weakest arc; just wasn't too noticeable at the time of reading.

I think everything regarding Sonic's questionable attitude towards the whole situation has been explored beyond anything I could add, but I would like to touch upon something John said about Tails.

3 hours ago, JohnTheDreamer said:

Here's a thought.

Possibly, both Sonic and Tails being so friggen horrible can be justified by them being children. Especially Tails, whose aforementioned crybaby tantrum when bringing up Fiona in the fight is actually one of the most believable things he does for someone his age.

BUT. It falls flat because Sonic and Tails are presented as characters who constantly transcend their age, saving the entire planet before dinnertime on a weekly or daily basis. It demands deep maturity from ALL of the young characters, and they all have displayed it with very seldom chinks in the armor. So when they actually do show immaturity and...y'know, handle crises like a normal preteen would, it's extremely jarring. It would be unsettling to see random kids act like military officers, but these aren't random kids. These are HEROES, heading up a massively storied and beloved franchise.

[...]

The challenge then becomes writing characters unrealistically, but causing their actions to make sense relative to the world and the story's situations. The characters become inwardly realistic, but still interesting, unique, and fun.

It's weird thinking about it, because with Tails canonically still being a child, the tantrum regarding Fiona doesn't seem to be that farfetched for someone his age. Despite the whole shebang in 172, everything regarding Sonic's relationship with Fiona prior was in disregard for Tails. Yeah, people should be mature enough to let even a best friend date their crush if they actually like each other, but if my memory serves correctly, Sonic wasn't exactly giving Tails a lot of attention during this period of time either. It's the understandable kind of insensitivity you would expect from somebody in Sonic's shoes imo. So I can see how Tails would keep this as a grudge against Sonic.

What I find interesting though is that during Sonic and Tails' fight, Tails doesn't even bring up Fiona until Sonic specifically brings up the fact that from his perspective, all of his actions have been in service to Tails. It's weird because I personally can't tell whether this was just Sonic accidentally hitting a nerve and Tails crying out against it because he doesn't believe Sonic, or if the Fiona fiasco was the entire underlying reason for Tails being angry at Sonic. Giving Tails the benefit of the doubt, let's say it was the former rather than the latter. To put things in perspective, I think it's important to consider how Ian approached taking the reins from Penders. Despite the writing quality drastically improving with Ian, he never outright tried to retcon anything that Penders wrote about. In fact, he used the current state of how things stood with the characters to fuel his own arcs and character interactions, which, complain about Penders all you like, was probably the most mature thing to do at the time, making sure he didn't alienate everybody who was still following along with the current story.

Now, recall issue 155, that one issue which I absolutely despise, but regardless, was still part of the canon up to this point in time. Tails blew up in a completely immature fashion right at the start of that issue, which as melodramatic and poorly written as it was, happened. Unless Flynn had outright rebooted the franchise the moment he got his hands on it, you can't exactly ignore a blow-up that big. Now, one option could have been to have Tails regret the fact that he blew up like that, and ask Sonic for forgiveness. However, this would kind of make writing an arc like House of Cards difficult in the future, as having Sonic and Tails fight after they've let bygones be bygones feels really recursive and backwards. With Tails being a child and showing he has a capacity to act immature when it comes to Sonic disregarding his feelings, I think his parents' political squabble with the Acorns on top of Sonic's relationship with Fiona would really drive into Tails' animosity towards Sonic, as everything leads into one big, hormonally emotional explosion.

It's just kind of weird, as though I understand Tails' motivations, and I don't believe this was something out of character for him (unlike Sonic within the same arc), it's his propensity to act mature in other situations (recall how many times he's helped saved the world or gotten the Freedom Fighters out of a jam without getting in everybody's way) that makes the motivations questionable. I think Ian was trying to push the fact that though Tails is usually pretty mature about things (siding with his parents not just because they're his parents, but because he actually believes what they're saying), the fact that deep down, everything could amount to something ultimately kind of childish was kind of the point. I think Tails, up until this point in the comic, was kind of infallible, a little cinnamon roll-character that was both inspirational and kawaii as hell. I think Flynn trying to put dents in Tails' armor was a good idea, and the way that it happens differently than how he exposed Sonic's weaknesses in 175 is also interesting. Ian wrote Tails' shortcomings to come from the fact that though he is a valuable Freedom Fighter, he's also a little kid, and as such, probably would let things like Fiona get to him a little too personally.

Now, whether this was the best way to expose Tails' flaws is up in the air. I think ultimately, the execution was pretty okay, but not particularly remarkable. There's only so much you could've done to cover up 155, but if you had removed time constraints from the equation, I'm sure House of Cards could've been way more interesting and given Tails a little more room to not accidentally seem out of character. Whether that still would've revolved around Fiona or not is up for grabs though.

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CrownSlayer’s Shadow
12 hours ago, Dr. Chaotix said:

And I get what you're saying but again, that little section was meant to only discuss the personal strangeness of the matter on its own. I'm not disregarding the context. The rest of the post goes into detail about how it doesn't work within its context. The bit you're siting is just me venting about one of the instances concerning how hard it is to ignore the continuity I grew up with in order to fit in completely with another one. Often it's a constant game of trying to fit the triangle shaped block into the circular hole in my brain when it comes to the comics and I feel that was a strong example of it happening. There are just some things I can't help noticing that take me out of it due to how off kilter it is to what I know. Plenty of things that happen in the comics are weird experiences for me with or without the context. 

That said, I wasn't disregarding the context at all though. My hatred for the story stands as something that I very much see as a missed opportunity on all fronts and I never really questioned the validity of the situation that led them to this point. I even provided my own revision of the situation above, one that I feel would actually go really well with yours to be honest. I love the idea behind the angle you've proposed to take it. That new line from Sonic would have worked perfectly. 

Context is important but there's nothing wrong with taking time out to express how strange it is to see certain things the way they are in a more general sense. I warned myself and others that the particular section you're quoting from was a more personal matter. I thought it was clear that I really did like the set up.

Okay, fair enough. Just wanted to make sure that the context was understood at least, tho I can't say I agree that much with a number of things that happened in the comics being weird. Kinda hard for me see the problem when we've had so many different continuities with their own takes, so to me Archie is just another difference in the franchise of Sonic like the sub-areas of Boom, X, and the likes. At least most are in agreement that the way Sonic was handled in that particular scene was off.

-----

As far as the idea of Sonic and Tails being ridiculous because of them being young, and Tails being hooked on Fiona, the problem with that is the fact that prior to Tails' tantrum over that, Fiona had already betrayed and disrespected Tails with a harsh slap to the face. And it's even harder to defend that notion when, right after Tails got bitchslapped, Sonic was ready to throttle Fiona over that.

Despite the tension that built up over Sonic dating Fiona, Sonic came straight to Tails' defense when Fiona turned traitor. That in turn makes Tails seem more ungrateful when he brings Fiona up in HoC over being in love with her. Tho I suppose it's fair to say that love...makes people do some pretty off things, but if one wants to argue with that bit in mind, then wouldn't it have made more sense to make frequent references to Tails' feelings over Fiona so that it doesn't come out of nowhere in HoC's climax? Because after Fiona's betrayal, everyone was pretty much done and cut ties with her -- even Tails despite some very minuscule feelings he may have had for her -- so it wouldn't make much sense for him to still be that attached over it. Nevermind that this isn't the first time Tails was turned down by her, as the first time he was rejected Fiona wasn't such an absolute bitch about it.

I mean, the idea makes sense in how it could have come across like that as far as their age being a reason they weren't thinking to straight about the ordeal, but the execution sells a completely different effect given there should have been moments to get that part across. That's partially why a number of people say that Tails mentioning Fiona should have been dropped for a much smoother story, as the context for was completely off - even the illogic of the characters must have a certain logic as far as overall storytelling goes.

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Dr. Detective Mike
20 hours ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

Kinda hard for me see the problem when we've had so many different continuities with their own takes, so to me Archie is just another difference in the franchise of Sonic like the sub-areas of Boom, X, and the likes.

Often it comes down to a combination of things. How you're exposed to it, in what way you discovered it, what time you discovered it, what concepts do you feel they're going for, and how you feel they fit with what your personal idea of Sonic the Hedgehog is are all factors to consider. There's a billion different versions of Batman as well but some of those versions I feel jive more with me and what I perceived the series to be. There's a ton of stuff in the Archie comics from back then (even some things after the reboot) that is a lot harder for me to sit comfortably with. Sometimes it's because I genuinely believe it to be because of awful execution. Other times, I just don't like the idea behind it on a personal level.

---

On the subject of their ages, I have my doubts that'd be all too viable an excuse for their conduct. I suppose that could work as an explanation behind their inherent feelings but I don't feel the comic did a decent job selling us on how Sonic and Tails would adequately react to those feelings.

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On October 27, 2016 at 5:23 PM, Writer's Blah said:

Yeah, I think you just summed it up right there, John. A little background first so you know where I'm coming from, but I just read the entirety of the Archie Sonic series very recently (I basically went from the very first issue to this month's issue in the span of about a year), so marathoning the series carries slightly different perspectives on things than somebody who actually read the series as new issues were being released monthly.

I definitely sympathize. I binge-read from Issue 1 to Issue 258(? whichever was the last before the delay fiasco) in less than three weeks last year. So not only did I run on that holycrapthisistheonlythinginmylifethatmattersrightnow vibe the whole time, but I missed a lot of context from when stories jumped into the side comics. When I got to this arc, I was just in love mode.

On October 28, 2016 at 1:07 AM, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

As far as the idea of Sonic and Tails being ridiculous because of them being young, and Tails being hooked on Fiona, the problem with that is the fact that prior to Tails' tantrum over that, Fiona had already betrayed and disrespected Tails with a harsh slap to the face. And it's even harder to defend that notion when, right after Tails got bitchslapped, Sonic was ready to throttle Fiona over that.

Despite the tension that built up over Sonic dating Fiona, Sonic came straight to Tails' defense when Fiona turned traitor. That in turn makes Tails seem more ungrateful when he brings Fiona up in HoC over being in love with her.

I had forgotten to mention that moment. An interesting point, especially after, as Writer's Blah said, "everything regarding Sonic's relationship to Fiona prior was in disregard to Tails". Though Sonic came through in that one moment, the gradual tension likely never settled for Tails. But I'm not keen on looking far into that, because we've hit so many nails on the head here. That instant resolution (which ended up not resolving it, somehow) is proof of the inconsistencies in motif which led to a lackluster confrontation. 

I maintain that, in any canon, the youth of characters may not excuse them of nonsensical actions, especially when the entire essence of their character is built around them being very mature and adapting to extreme situations. It's completely reliant on context. Innocent youth crumbling before hardship can be a powerful theme to remind an audience of after proper buildup and setup, but that was not achieved to satisfaction in HoC.

I have to thank you all again for how marvelous this thread has been.

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Ryannumber1Santa

To be fair, I think a lot of the arc's issues does come down to the editorial issues of Archie. Fair enough, some of it really was Ian's fault (Sonic's flanderization for this arc alone, how much of a dickhead both Tails' parents and King Acorn is etc), but there's other issues with that arc that came down to shit that Archie/SEGA wanted Ian to do IIRC (CSS already mentioned the arc being cut down to two parts), but like Charmy's forced brain drain in the Eggman Empire arc, this arc was made in order to wrap up the nonsense love story and conflict between Sonic and Tails that Penders and Bollers shoe-horned into the book during the lead up to Issue 150, so that explains some of the stupider stuff like Fiona being the reason Tails fights for example.

At the end of the day however, this arc is still pretty sub-par. 

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