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IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog

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So Shadow in this book. 

So to put this in the most plain way possible. This book fails shadow's character entirely.

Let me start with this, I don't want shadow to be the coolest, or strongest or smartest, or even the most liked, or anything. What I want shadow to be is competent, because he is, and what I want is for his character he's had to actually persist. Remember this

So lets get to the failing thing, because this book fails as a comic too, that's important. So every single comic up to this point, had the task of introducing one more characters showing accurate glimpses of their personality and shows them doing something that contributes to the cause. What they are bringing to the table and why they are around. Makes sense, these are introduction comics. They need to do that, there are new people experiencing these characters in these new books, you can just startle em with a detective crock and his bee and chameleon side kicks. 

So this comic was supposed to introduce shadow. What happens, from shadow's first appearance with the " grim anti hero " label ( which on a side note his and rouge's labels unless I missed something not saying GUN agents might indicate that sega is moving away from that , but another conversation ) to the end, makes shadow look like a very large and very stupid child. If I were a crazy fan I would suggest that Ian flynn hates shadow or something, because that's how weird this gets, but i'm not crazy.So to get to the story, to break the story down. 

Shadow is a giant petulant baby who can't listen to the friend he listens to all the time and needs mamma to contrive an entire scenario to get him to stop being angry and wasting everyone's time with throwing a temper tantrum. 

That's shadow's contribution, that's shadow value. That's what they choose to introduce this character as to the audience, a large edgy baby who wastes everyone's time. With a lesson he, due to sonic referencing shadow the hedgehog, already learned. 

It throws away all of shadows development, essentially to make shadow act like a giant ass baby and not listen to the friend he usually listens to and would listen to if she said " eggman is around, we keeping tabs on him " , and have her create a contrived ass scenario so they can fight. We will get to the fight in second. 

So this books story is built on shadow not acting like himself, and regressing as a character, its how the comic introduces him to the audience. He contributed nothing and learned nothing he already knew, there was no growth as a character. He literally wasted everyone's time and basically needed a fucking team of people to communicate some shit to him he already should have known. They turned him into an annoying incompetent child.

Remember when I said this 

" Let me start with this, I don't want shadow to be the coolest, or strongest or smartest, or even the most liked, or anything. What I want shadow to be is competent, because he is, and what I want is for his character he's had to actually persist. " 

I don't care if sonic beat the breaks off shadow or him and chaotix did it as a team. I don't care if the whole comic was shadow keeping an eye on tinker and him going " AHAH I knew you were evil " to only reveal he wasn't over and over like some sponge bob episode ( which would have been a better way to write this ) , making shadow look like the king of goofs. 

What I want is him to be competent, and consistent. And not only is he an incompetent idiot who wastes everyone's time , he is not consistent with the growth he's shown over the years. In the last comic, he was ready to explain or at least let help you understand how he felt, in this comic? He's a giant baby who can't even listen to his friend. This is supposed to be the same dude who didn't kill infinite and apparently just vanished and let people he think he was evil just to ( and i'm guessing here because they don't actually explain everything ) help else where. This is the guy who sacficed his life for the planet and murdered his entire existing alien family to save eggman after he had tried to trick him into thinking he was an android to gain control over him ( though to be fair that's after an murder attempt ). This is the guy who during everything that was going on in sonic 06 went to go talk to eggman , just talk. This is the guy who in the mobile game unlike everyone else treated eggman like a crazy grampa he had coming up with schemes he needed to stop and just wanted to talk.

This is the same character apparently

But you know what, sure. 

33 minutes ago, Razule said:

I think even Knuckles would be willing to listen to reason before coming to blows over this,  but I guess all it really depends on is if they're supposed to fight or not

If you wanted to make a contrived reason for them to fight? Sure. This isn't unique to sonic, it happens all the time. Probably someone at sega said " hey you need to have shadow be around "  Ian didn't have a plan to use this character at all in this story right now and came up with a reason for him to be around and the only one he could think requires him to stretch shadow's character really hard to justify it. Its a comic , it happens. So the fight in this book must be super worth it right?

NOPE

The fight is " Haha I pushed you shadow "

* a few minutes and bad arguments later*

" Haha I pushed you harder sonic making me the victor " 

" Shadow could you stop being a dick" 

" Huh, oh yeah sure " 

That's the fight

That's it, a bad chase scene that isn't much of a fight, sonic trips and shadow hits him. That's it. That fight was apparently worth fucking up shadow's whole introduction as a character. That one. That one right there. 

Remember this 

"This book fails shadow's character entirely" 

So not only does this fail to be any sort of an accurate picture of shadows character , and I'm not expecting this book to go through the entire saga of shadow but at least some semblance of like an accurate representation and it doesn't even do that.  

Not only does this book make shadow look like a large incompetent edgy baby that contributes nothing is dumb and wastes everyone's time

He can't even fight good. 

This is how they choose to introduce him to the audience . 

The fails to tell a good story, it fails to have an interesting fight, it fails shadow's character. The only page in this book, you need to worry about is the reveal .If you skip this entire book nothing of value was lost. 

That's IDW shadow.

Its a bad book and its a bad look

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I can see what you're saying @Shadowlax, and I can see why you're so offended. Conversely, for me this issue just didn't do anything. There were a few snicker worthy moments, but otherwise I was fairly apathetic to the whole issue. Nothing really seems to be accomplished here and Shadow and Rouge just seem to be wasted. You could have left Shadow and Rouge out of the story at this point and have changed nothing, ending the previous volume with Sonic leaving and then showing the reveal at the end of this one. It would have changed nothing and that is disappointing.

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5 minutes ago, Sonic Fan J said:

I can see what you're saying @Shadowlax, and I can see why you're so offended. Conversely, for me this issue just didn't do anything. There were a few snicker worthy moments, but otherwise I was fairly apathetic to the whole issue. Nothing really seems to be accomplished here and Shadow and Rouge just seem to be wasted. You could have left Shadow and Rouge out of the story at this point and have changed nothing, ending the previous volume with Sonic leaving and then showing the reveal at the end of this one. It would have changed nothing and that is disappointing.

I'm not even offended. 

I'm disappointing. Lets be clear, i'm not angry and this isn't offensive. 

Shadow dictator is offensive. Creepy Nice guy tails and womanizer sonic is offensive. Those things in the pre-reboot are levels of offensive to these characters i'm sure no one with sense will reach in any piece of sonic material ever again. 

I'm just disappointed in the book, I'm disappointed in Ian, and I'm disappointed that 6 issues in I now have to have caveats for recommendations for this book. There was just a bunch of particulars with shadows characterization, That I couldn't ignore and had to express. I didn't even go into how the over all story is bad, didn't need to be the length of a whole comic. And rouge also does nothing, though to be fair I don't really consider a bad fight much of anything either, so... I would argue no one does anything in this comic besides the reveal at the end. 

Nothing happened, just like forces. 

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Do you think that with more intense expressive art the story would do better??

I mean, issue 2 was the most well received issue of the bunch, and ABT's art is phenomenal. It made me feel emotions I didn't feel with the other issues.

The colors and style of ABT elevated and added weight to the story although not much happened in issue 2.

What do you think? Do you agree?

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2 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

I'm not even offended. 

I'm disappointing. Lets be clear, i'm not angry and this isn't offensive. 

Shadow dictator is offensive. Creepy Nice guy tails and womanizer sonic is offensive. Those things in the pre-reboot are levels of offensive to these characters i'm sure no one with sense will reach in any piece of sonic material ever again. 

I'm just disappointed in the book, I'm disappointed in Ian, and I'm disappointed that 6 issues in I now have to have caveats for recommendations for this book. There was just a bunch of particulars with shadows characterization, That I couldn't ignore and had to express. I didn't even go into how the over all story is bad, didn't need to be the length of a whole comic. And rouge also does nothing, though to be fair I don't really consider a bad fight much of anything either, so... I would argue no one does anything in this comic besides the reveal at the end. 

Nothing happened, just like forces. 

Yeah, disappointing with nothing happening is an apt description. I really do stand by my stance though that Shadow and Rouge could have been left out and this issue just skipped and nothing of any value would have been lost.

5 minutes ago, Stephen Rodriguez said:

Well, it's unfortunate to see that this issue didn't do so well. Hopefully the next issue will be better.

I hope so as well, but it looks like it's going to be a Sonic and Tails issue again like issue 1. I have nothing against the pairing mind, it's just once you get past the novelty of seeing Sonic with a competent Tails after Forces it was a pretty hollow issue so I'm feeling apprehensive.

2 minutes ago, Marco9966 said:

Do you think that with more intense expressive art the story would do better??

I mean, issue 2 was the most well received issue of the bunch, and ABT's art is phenomenal. It made me feel emotions I didn't feel with the other issues.

The colors and style of ABT elevated and added weight to the story although not much happened in issue 2.

What do you think? Do you agree?

Not really. As much as I love ABT's art, part of what made issue 2 work was the exploration of the characters involved and their relationships. Here in issue 6 all we got was a fight that could have been resolved by Rouge off screen and allowed the entire issue and Shadow and Rouge's introductions to be held off for later. There was no character and relationship exploration of any form that felt genuine to the characters involved. It was just a quick "here they are so you aren't surprised when I use them later" type of issue. It does nothing really for the characters but show us that they are in the world. I think part of that though is because there were too many characters involved in what is still essentially the character introduction faze of the comics. I had the same problem with issue 3 as well which may be part of the reason  why I was pleasantly surprised with issue 4 as Tangle and Blaze I found nicely balanced with Tangle's reactions to Blaze and the absurdity of her concept selling the character without a need to go into a deep character introduction. Issue 6 unfortunately did not have that luxury and also had it's attention divided between the Sonic/Shadow fight, the Mr. Tinker dilemma, and the Rouge/Chaotix interaction. It was too much and failed to accomplish anything in the end. Great as ABT's art is, it would only have made the weak narrative look prettier unfortunately.

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13 minutes ago, Sonic Fan J said:

Yeah, disappointing with nothing happening is an apt description. I really do stand by my stance though that Shadow and Rouge could have been left out and this issue just skipped and nothing of any value would have been lost.

I mentioned this , but I think the plan was to have blaze be a shining star, she wasn't in forces, she didn't get to finish or even start her universe arc. She was gonna be the star of the show, and then someone was  like " You gotta use shadow. We are pushing him, he's hot in the streets right now, also he may or may not be in smash " and then Ian being the resourceful guy that he is quickly with a bandage, a string and paper clip got a story together. 

That story however,  wasn't very good though .

11 minutes ago, RedFox99 said:

At least there's the Battle for Angel Island to hopefully use Shadow and Rouge better.

Maybe, I get the feeling they aren't going to do much and the story didn't plan for them

I personally didn't think they were gonna show up until like, next year or like much later this year. And now i'm starting to think , that was the plan at some point

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2 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

I mentioned this , but I think the plan was to have blaze be a shining star, she wasn't in forces, she didn't get to finish or even start her universe arc. She was gonna be the star of the show, and then someone was  like " You gotta use shadow. We are pushing him, he's hot in the streets right now, also he may or may not be in smash " and then Ian being the resourceful guy that he is quickly with a bandage, a string and paper clip got a story together. 

That story however,  wasn't very good though .

I can see that. It would explain the superfluous nature of the issue at least.

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15 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Considering the comic's been rushing to introduce as many characters as possible I don't see any reason to think Shadow being introduced now wasn't always part of the plan.

I'm not saying i'm some insider, to be honest. I'm trying to give Ian the benefit of the doubt, generally I like his writing. And he should been writing for the games yesterday .

But @Sonic Fan J put it best

you could remove shadow and rouge from the story, and nothing of value you would be lost. It would just be a story about sonic running in the woods thinking about what eggman has done, should he forgive him, come to that conclusion and move on. And that would probably be a much better story because sonic would actually do introspection. Which is kinda rare for him. 

Maybe this was planned, but this just doesn't seem very well planned out or valuable in any way. 

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1 minute ago, Ernest-Panda said:

The issue was fine, not fantastic, just fine.

 

  Hide contents

I appreciated as someone who’s a sucker for continuity and world-building.

Confirmation of Shadow’s game was good to see.

 

That was a nice touch.

Kind of sad that Rouge's debut had her be fairly insignificant. 

Btw, what's the general reception of the issue outside of this site?

1 minute ago, Shadowlax said:

I'm not saying i'm some insider, to be honest. I'm trying to give Ian the Benifit of the doubt, generally I like his writing. And he should been writing for the games yesterday .

But @Sonic Fan J put it best

you could remove shadow and rouge from the story, and nothing of value you would be lost. It would just be a story about sonic running in the woods thinking about what eggman has done, should he forgive him, come to that conclusion and move on. And that would probably be a much better story because sonic would actually do introspection. Which is kinda rare for him. 

Maybe this was planned, but this just doesn't seem very well planned out or valuable in any way

It's probably similar to how Boom and the Shattered arc had to squeeze in Shadow to please his fans.

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3 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

you could remove shadow and rouge from the story, and nothing of value you would be lost.

What you'd lose is Shadow and Rouge being introduced and any kind of tangible conflict. The former is, for better or worse, in line with what the comic as a whole has been focused on so far. The latter, well, Sonic running around in the woods alone trying to think his way through this Eggman/Mr. Tinker thing wouldn't make for a very interesting comic, especially when all he actually has to do is ask him what he meant by "Eggmanland". To the extent that the issue works (I don't actually think it's that good, but regardless), it's because Shadow is there to be the initially-unyielding anti-Eggman side of the argument; Sonic wouldn't escalate things on his own because he was already trying to trust him.

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1 minute ago, Razule said:

I think Rouge was a lot less necessary than Shadow.

I mean she was the one to tip off the others about Mr. Tinker, which let sonic arrive in time to protect him from Shadow, but that's about it.

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I think Sonic is wrong. He can't put Shadow on the same level as Shadow.

Shadow was only really evil one time in SA2 and he was under the influence of Gerald's reprogramming on him.

While Eggman is evil all the time and tried to destroy Sonic countless times.

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13 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

What you'd lose is Shadow and Rouge being introduced and any kind of tangible conflict.

Maybe that wasn't necessary, maybe every issue shadow is introduced in doesn't require him to fight the other person. 

Quote

Sonic wouldn't escalate things on his own because he was already trying to trust him.

Maybe you write a story that doesn't require, shadow to be weirdly aggressive and wastes everyone time. Or at least make it funny and interesting.

I mentioned this before, but if this was just slapstick. And the whole issue was shadow going " ahah! I knew you were evil " and Tinker/Eggman was like

" This looks like a robotization chamber but it actually makes boss sandwiches " , it would be a weird introduction to shadow, but it would have been funny and interesting. Maybe everything doesn't have to be a meaningless conflict with shadow , you pitting him against other characters. Maybe he just talks and his sort of grim perspective on issues is cool enough to keep around, and can fight when need be. And you could problably get actual legitimate introspection and snarky hilarity out of that. 

But no, Shadow punch. That's what shadow do, who's maria? What's development, forget that. HE PUNCH! HE A PUNCH BOI

 

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Someone on reddit said this:

" Maybe Mr. Tinker really is the real Doctor Eggman, and Eggman in the ship is actually infinite trying to get revenge. It would explain why Eggman is suddenly terrible at commanding his forces. "

Someone else said:

"Something to remember from the last issue - the person commanding the Badniks was confused to find Sonic and the Chaotix there, and asked "Is there a settlement nearby?" (paraphrased). So whoever this mastermind is - Eggman or somebody impersonating him - they don't know about the village and possibly don't know about "Mr. Tinker."

So if Mr. Tinker is a fake Eggman, that means somebody else created him, right?"

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2 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

But no, Shadow punch. That's what shadow do, who's maria? What's development, forget that. HE PUNCH! HE A PUNCH BOI

Yeah buddy I don't know if you've noticed or not but the vast majority of conflicts in this series are solved through violence, whether Shadow is involved with them or not. And Shadow sure as shit didn't develop into a pacifist at any point in the series' history.

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18 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

But no, Shadow punch. That's what shadow do, who's maria? What's development, forget that. HE PUNCH! HE A PUNCH BOI

 

What does it have to do anything with Maria?? Shadow always punched, take your complaints to the Sonic Heroes department.

Shadow vowed to protect the world (a promise he made to Maria), isn't defeating Eggman a way to protect the world?? Shadow is indeed respecting the promise he made to Maria!!

How would you prefer the issue to be? Just have Sonic what is Eggmanland and let Eggman show him and have a 2-page issue?

If everything was done that way TV shows would be 1 season instead of 5, and comics would have less suspens.

Also, I wanna add Shadow had every right to attack, remember when Eggman copied Shadow with the phantom ruby, tarnished his reputation, and God-knows in which dimension Shadow was trapped before finally escaping and killing fake Shadows.

Also, Eggman wanted to drop the fucking sun on everybody.

 

While Sonic, his personality is preserved well too! He sees the good in people and believes in redemption, like in Sonic Adventure 1!

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1 minute ago, Diogenes said:

Yeah buddy I don't know if you've noticed or not but the vast majority of conflicts in this series are solved through violence, whether Shadow is involved with them or not. And Shadow sure as shit didn't develop into a pacifist at any point in the series' history.

He didn't. But he did develop into a much more reasonable person. Silver exists so in some form or fashion some or fashion. In the game he only fought silver to clam him down and then immediately went to help him. And in that game where he confronts eggman, he's only really concerned with the larger picture. Shadow's a guy who is known for being able to put shit aside for a greater cause. His life, sometimes.  

Its not about him being a pacifist, shadow can throw hands with the best of them. But shadow doesn't throw hands unless he really feels like he needs to throw hands. He's a cool and reserved character, that's been his deal from day one. And after all that development. A post 06, post shadow the hedgehog, even post forces shadow does not feel like he needs to throw hands at this . Rouge tells him we keeping tabs on him he goes " Hmph , don't tell omega  " rouge giggles makes a joke at omega's and shadows expense and that's about how that conversation goes. 

Not wanting a character to fight all the time isn't wanting them to be  a pacifist , its wanting them to acknowledge that sonic characters are a bit more than that, and thats also why people like them. 

You could come with a number of reasons why shadow would want to punch sonic in the face, or eggman in the face, this wasn't one of them. And he had to be hella out of character to do this. 

Its just not a great story , the characters aren't great there is no value added. I don't think rouge and shadow being there was that much of a value. You could have gotten more out of that in a better story. 

10 minutes ago, Marco9966 said:

How would you prefer the issue to be? Just have Sonic what is Eggmanland and let Eggman show him and have a 2-page issue?

If they couldn't really tell a story that would fits shadow's character. 

I dunno a different story entirely. I said this before the comics were released. Shadow's popular, you don't need to force him , I wasn't expecting to shadow for like a year. And when he does show up, make a big stink about it. Even Sega knows this to some extent, because they did it in the games. 

Just tell a different story. 

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...I wasn't reading this topic for few days and you all indulged Dash Speed in 4-pages discussion whenever Sonic is a psychopath. I'm very disappointed.

 

So I finally read the issue and... eh?

Here's a funny thing: This is pretty decent issue. My biggest problem are expectations. What I wanted/hoped/expected was a big punch up between the hedgehogs. That's what everyone promised.

Other than that Shadow is fairly cool in this issue. He has this nice comment about lost memory, his teleportation looks rad and him avoiding Chaotix is perfect balance of coolness, competency and not treating Chaotix like bowling pins. Conflict centers around his personality (Flynn sure uses a lot of flashbacks lately). As for conclusion

Spoiler

It's kinda funny. Shadow was evil while he had amnesia, when good once it returned to him.

Eggman has amnesia now... you can see where I'm going. Will Shadow try to kill Eggman when he regains his memories?

This issue reminds me of "Total Eclipse" in Archie Sonic Universe. In both stories Shadow could just lure his enemy away, teleport and efficiently finish his mission. But he already has a plan: beating up his enemy while Rouge protects the target, then efficiently finish the mission. Going sneaky way is beneath him, after all his Ultimate Life Form, "obviously" he would win the fight. (It only failed because 1 here Sonic used words 2 Before Eclipse got unexpected boost in power).

Rouge is definitely a tiny bit curvier than Archie ever allowed it. I don't mind that, it's in character. Still nothing in comparison to SA2, Sonic X or most DeviantArt.
I must admit, Flynn found a clever way to use her without her stealing too much screen time. It's just.... isn't she just a little too sneaky? She's basically Manipulative Puper Master at this point. Still, everything in character. Chaotix get a fair treatment as well.

Overall story went predictably, but Flynn mostly made it work.

And finally last page reveal

Spoiler

There are 4 options now

1) Mr Tinker is a Phantom Ruby fake and Chairman is a real Eggman. Personally I don't believe it. Lame twist, why Eggman changed his MO, etc.

2) Both are clones, real Eggman is god knows where. Suprises, twists, turns and confusion. Not exactly Flynn style, but it's a possibility.

But most possible option are 3) Metal Sonic and 4) Eggman Nega, none one else could impersonate Eggman this way. Metal is more marketable (plus I love Metal), but Sega mandates would probably prefer using Nega (plus he wasn't in Forces, so he would a bigger surprise).

My money is on Metal, but that's mostly wishful thinking.

 

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1 minute ago, Shadowlax said:

But shadow doesn't throw hands unless he really feels like he needs to throw hands.

Well, he apparently did here. Maybe he decided Eggman's more of a threat after seeing him take over the world. I'm not really sure what more there is to say about this.

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