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IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog

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"Neo Saga" was rushed? Where?

To be rushed it first has to have story. I mean, issues 1-4 could (and should) had more varied plots, but overall they just establish Chairman as new villain. 5-7 explain Eggman/Neo relation, 8 is harmless filler and then we have 3 part finale, plus Epilogue.

For me bigger problem is that so little happens. For issue 1-8 you can argue Flynn takes time to introduce all the characters, but "Battle for Angel Island" has many characters doing nothing important and 2 transformations, making one cool but pointless and other disappointing and easily beat.

But let's look at "Zombot Apocalypse"
Fight with Rough & Tangle? Cool, but fairly pointless
Fight with Starline? Less cool and almost as pointless
Infection issue? Needed, but adds another fight with skunks.

Frankly those 3 issues should been 2, maybe even 1: Fight Starline leading skunk duo, end with infection.

Rest of the arc is better in pacing department. Even #23 that didn't moved story an inch was heavy in emotional stuff.

Side note: Sonic clearly runs on grass on few panels. Does he infect those fields or his soles are always last place to get infected? I know that shoes are inorganic, but you can clearly see Metal Virus on his clothing.

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2 minutes ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

"Neo Saga" was rushed? Where?

To be rushed it first has to have story. I mean, issues 1-4 could (and should) had more varied plots, but overall they just establish Chairman as new villain. 5-7 explain Eggman/Neo relation, 8 is harmless filler and then we have 3 part finale, plus Epilogue.

For me bigger problem is that so little happens. For issue 1-8 you can argue Flynn takes time to introduce all the characters, but "Battle for Angel Island" has many characters doing nothing important and 2 transformations, making one cool but pointless and other disappointing and easily beat.

But let's look at "Zombot Apocalypse"
Fight with Rough & Tangle? Cool, but fairly pointless
Fight with Starline? Less cool and almost as pointless
Infection issue? Needed, but adds another fight with skunks.

Frankly those 3 issues should been 2, maybe even 1: Fight Starline leading skunk duo, end with infection.

Rest of the arc is better in pacing department. Even #23 that didn't moved story an inch was heavy in emotional stuff.

Side note: Sonic clearly runs on grass on few panels. Does he infect those fields or his soles are always last place to get infected? I know that shoes are inorganic, but you can clearly see Metal Virus on his clothing.

The fights with the Skunk Bros, Metal, and Starline were basically there to build up Eggman completing the virus as a B plot, with the arguable bonus of grounding Silver so Amy could be in the field instead. 

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12 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

It's not really a matter of being optimistic anymore, Sonic is literally at the end of his rope, Eggman has thrown away every chance to make a cure, and Sonic is at his most desperate to get one. 

He's already doubting himself heavily now because it was his exact line of optimism that led to a zombot infestation, he's running on fumes, the chances of a cure is getting less and less likely moment by moment, and Eggman just shoved Sonic's kindness back in his face by claiming Mr. Tinkerer mattered absolutely nothing to him, and this is his grand calling.

The cool thing about a story idea like this is putting Sonic into a situation that we can never see him in, and this is the chance for it. He's mentally and physically exhausted, he's lost tons of friends, and pretty much the entire world because of his own mess up, and Sonic's quite literally run out of options at this point. He's desperate to try get Eggman to make a cure, first by trying to appeal to the good in him via Mr. Tinkerer, and then trying to battle and reveal flaw after flaw in his plan to convince Eggman to just back down, and nothing works. Eggman has the upper hand, while Sonic is just utterly destroyed in nearly every way. 

That's meant to be the interesting point here, it's not so much Sonic intentionally trying to do harm, or at least end Eggman's life, but with him in the state that he's in, where he clearly can't think straight anymore, and can't keep his head together, Sonic is so utterly desperate for a solution, and drove to a breaking point that he infects Eggman because it's the only way Sonic sees Eggman ever considering make a cure - because then it's in his own self-interest to do so.

Sonic might immediately regret it when he comes back to his senses, but in a narrative sense, that is a good emotional payoff for everything so far. He does something without thinking due to pure desperation and exhaustion, mixed with anger, he's trying to save everyone instead of directly harming Eggman, and it forces Sonic to look at himself now at his lowest, which would tie into him nearly giving into the virus before getting a last burst of speed to shred it off again.

That's already the reason the issue is so strong, because it forces Sonic into a position he's uncomfortable in, and drives him to a place he hasn't been before. Just that extra push into making him cross the line, even for a brief second would lead to an interesting character development moment for the rest of the arc.

Ok like I get where you are coming from. But it feels like you are removing the value from the character sonic himself. Yes its important to make the character go through things, because...that's just good story telling. You need conflict , external , internal or both. But the value you add for sonic and why he works is his boundless optimism and the fact he pulls through. He isn't the character you have going over the edge, we have that character, his names shadow. Sonic's value is that he kinda sticks to his guns and just follows his rainbow, as city escape states over a guitar. So when you have sonic just go over that edge , or get close, he kinda I dunno looses a part of himself that makes himself interesting. For to be blunt, generic edgyness that doesn't work him. Its like dark sonic in sonic x, its not interesting at all.

On 2nd note, it doesn't even work for this narrative I feel, the whole crux of this narrative is about ( and I do not blame you for not remembering this because Ian flynn has done a not great job of making it matter or framing either character in a charitable way to make it seem like it mattered even less ) is that sonic and shadow have a disagreement on how they should have handled the eggman situation. If sonic does that, he automatically just looses. He has to resort shadow like tactics to get stuff one. And ... he was wrong. And where do you take that character from there, what's stopping him from narrative threatening everyone elses life to the reader, because you established he will just do that. And considering Ian flynn states that entire argument doesn't have a right or a wrong, it is meant to be ambigous. Having sonic cross a line just throws the entire story out the window. And I kind of overall make sonic an less interesting character for edge that does not fit his character.

 

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35 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

If sonic does that, he automatically just loses.

That's most likely why he didn't have Sonic go through with it.

Not this reason specifically, but a similar one to be sure.

Also, you're saying Shadow would do this without being pushed over the edge.

That's not very interesting alone, it's interesting because Sonic's desperate enough to consider it.

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38 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

Ok like I get where you are coming from. But it feels like you are removing the value from the character sonic himself. Yes its important to make the character go through things, because...that's just good story telling. You need conflict , external , internal or both. But the value you add for sonic and why he works is his boundless optimism and the fact he pulls through. He isn't the character you have going over the edge, we have that character, his names shadow. Sonic's value is that he kinda sticks to his guns and just follows his rainbow, as city escape states over a guitar. So when you have sonic just go over that edge , or get close, he kinda I dunno looses a part of himself that makes himself interesting. For to be blunt, generic edgyness that doesn't work him. Its like dark sonic in sonic x, its not interesting at all.

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I disagree. Watching Sonic go over the edge can be super entertaining.

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44 minutes ago, Conquering Storm’s Servant said:

Characters aren’t one-note. They can go over the edge if pushed without being super edgy.

Still waiting for Ian to top that fight in #175.

Not every new facet introduced to a character is interesting. When introducing some new thing to a character you need to think about what does it do narrative for that character and the story. And for either of those it does nothing  , in case you forgot the entire reason this happening is sonic thought keeping eggman alive was good. Not only just because of amnesia, but because he really believed that eggman helped and having him around would be good that even if he went back to being a bad guy that's his life and there was some inherent goodness in him. So to have sonic just willingly infect eggman, would basically be sonic murdering eggman slowly.

And that's just not his jam, but also in this narrative. It would just render the entire purpose of the narrative moot. The whole point that there was a clash of ideas, if you go " oops shadow was right " what was the entire point. Along with that, upon doing so just opens the entire book up to " Why doesn't sonic just kill eggman " which is a question you shouldn't be asking. It removes the entire dynamic he has tried to push between sonic and shadow. It removes the entire cat and mouse dynamic he has with eggman because " why doesn't he just kill him. When you do things like this you introduce questions and scenarios to the audience and a question like  that basically kills the entire dynamic of the comic.  You loose so many things and gain nothing. Its edgyness for edgyness's sake and it doesn't work for the character or this narrative

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In glad this arc is taking it's time and is long. Its trying to show more emotion to sonic being pushed beyond his limit to the point he has actually admitted being beyond tired. Could be cause I like animes with a lot of long arcs like yu yu. To many cartoons these days rush big confrontations with threats

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57 minutes ago, Sonictrainer said:

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I disagree. Watching Sonic go over the edge can be super entertaining.

This isn't comparable actually as mentioned above given this context this is more sonic getting serious. Infecting eggman would be kind of stabbing and going " Ok I will let you remove the knife if you remove the knife from all of our backs " , which when you lay it out like that is a very not sonic thing to say. A more comparable situation would be when eggman lost his mind.

 

That's a scenario where no one would have cared if he was apathetic , and he continues to actually care about eggman and feel bad. That much like his situation is in a scenario where he is choosing to not be an asshole because, he's standing by who he is. And the narrative benefits from his kindness. The eggman lost his mind thing archie is quite litterally one of my favorite sequences. I drew fan of it when I was in middle school. I loved it because it showed sonic's value as a character and why he was cool.

Its not about going over the edge, its about who you are in the face of adversity and sonic is a guy who lives by his own rules. And that's cool

1 hour ago, StaticMania said:

That's most likely why he didn't have Sonic go through with it.

 

1 hour ago, StaticMania said:

That's not very interesting alone, it's interesting because Sonic's desperate enough to consider it.

I think sonic not even thinking of considering it makes him a more interesting character. Like it didn't even cross his mind that that was an option. I think that would make for a more interesting character personally , because it would say a lot about him even in danger. That's just not his bag.

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9 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

And for either of those it does nothing , in case you forgot the entire reason this happening is sonic thought keeping eggman alive was good.

No, it's because Eggman chose to go back to being evil, despite the fact that he actually, on some level, enjoyed being Mr. Tinker.

Even if Starline never existed and Eggman got his memories back some other way, he still would have to choose for himself whether to change or go back to being evil.

 

Also, something tells me that the Deadly 6 won't be able to mind bend the Zombots so easily either...

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5 minutes ago, Sonictrainer said:

No, it's because Eggman chose to go back to being evil, despite the fact that he actually, on some level, enjoyed being Mr. Tinker.

Even if Starline never existed and Eggman got his memories back some other way, he still would have to choose for himself whether to change or go back to being evil.

No, because shadow would have just killed him. If sonic had not interviened, eggman would be dead. This entire scenario is quite litterally happening the way it was happening because eggman was alive. I don't think starline does this by himself, he see's this and goes " Too many variables " and just puts in a safe somewhere. Its takes a special kind of unhinged to just do this with no contingency and its name is Ivo Robotnik.

Sonic going to purposefully infect him is him going " shadow was right " and that sort of just invalidates the entire point. Its Sonic's kindess vs Shadow's pragmatism.

 

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8 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

I think sonic not even thinking of considering it makes him a more interesting character. Like it didn't even cross his mind that that was an option. I think that would make for a more interesting character personally , because it would say a lot about him even in danger. That's just not his bag.

Unless they address it in someway, it wouldn't really mean anything that he didn't consider it.

Like, if Eggman said Sonic doing that would've been the only way he'd consider making a cure before escaping and mocking Sonic for being too nice or something.

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1 minute ago, Shadowlax said:

This entire scenario is quite litterally happening the way it was happening because eggman was alive.

I mean, killing everyone you perceive as evil is not going to stop evil from existing altogether.

Especially if you yourself were once evil.

Also, there's no way they should have denied Eggman a chance to at least try being good.

 

Although, once this is over and hopefully, a cure or some kind of resolution is made, Eggman will need to be "locked away somewhere". If only he could be placed in his own "Null Void".

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5 hours ago, Sonictrainer said:

No, it's because Eggman chose to go back to being evil, despite the fact that he actually, on some level, enjoyed being Mr. Tinker.

Even if Starline never existed and Eggman got his memories back some other way, he still would have to choose for himself whether to change or go back to being evil.

 

Also, something tells me that the Deadly 6 won't be able to mind bend the Zombots so easily either...

Eggman did not "choose " to go back to being evil. Starlight twisted him back to his old self with metal being the final "shock" to bring him back. Had starlight never shown up he would have stayed as mr tinker happily making children happy

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1 hour ago, Meta77 said:

Eggman did not "choose " to go back to being evil. Starlight twisted him back to his old self with metal being the final "shock" to bring him back. Had starlight never shown up he would have stayed as mr tinker happily making children happy

The minute he remembered who he was, he chose to continue trying to take over the world.

It's not like in fiction, every character that was a villain, that lost their memories, led a different lifestyle, then later regained their memories or learned that they were originally evil, and decided "I think I'll continue being evil."

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I was kinda hoping Sonic would infect Eggman in this issue. Sonic can be pretty vicious, possibly even more-so than Shadow, when he's pushed over the edge.

In the heat of the moment I don't think it would be at all out of character for him to grab Eggman or knock him into the zombot horde.

 

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6 hours ago, Sonictrainer said:

I mean, killing everyone you perceive as evil is not going to stop evil from existing altogether.

Especially if you yourself were once evil.

Also, there's no way they should have denied Eggman a chance to at least try being good.

I mean, those are some cool opinions. But I think what matters here is what sonic thinks. Sonic thought something, acted on it (rouge too but I dont think that's ever getting adressed) and it resulted in what's happening. Sonic not acting would have prevented this. And that's the crux of the narrative. And I think personally that narrative is more interesting if sonic is not pushed over an edge but more so just dealing with what's going on

 

2 minutes ago, Bowbowis said:

I was kinda hoping Sonic would infect Eggman in this issue. Sonic can be pretty vicious, possibly even more-so than Shadow, when he's pushed over the edge.

In the heat of the moment I don't think it would be at all out of character for him to grab Eggman or knock him into the zombot horde.

 

No you said the magic words, or brought the magic videos. See I agree with you. The issue is here with Ian's interpretation of these characters in this instance. He drew attention to the inner machinations of the cartoon bullshit that was glossed over. Sonic characters murder people and things all the time. Occasionally sega draws attention to with shadow to make him seem edgy, but for the most part we just forget it. Like eggman basically being a dictator. You just gloss over it, it is a narrative means to an end.

This narrative, Ian has decided that the call was to create a story that now places sonic on a side he was never really on in the first place because the games generally never drew attention that. And in doing so limits the capabilities of multiple characters and to be honest the narrative itself. Because I think this is going to continue. People sort of pitching ideas , whether i agree with them or not, about what could be done with the narrative. But nothing of interest will happen with it. To make the narrative description he made earlier matter sonic and shadow need to stand on opposite ends of an argument. And now sonic because the attention has been called to his cartoony antics cant be as i'll say " mean " as he usually is.

Making that dumb argument the crux of the narrative seems like at the moment a mistake and I think it will become more apparent it was a mistake as time goes on.

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17 minutes ago, Bowbowis said:

I was kinda hoping Sonic would infect Eggman in this issue. Sonic can be pretty vicious, possibly even more-so than Shadow, when he's pushed over the edge.

In the heat of the moment I don't think it would be at all out of character for him to grab Eggman or knock him into the zombot horde.

 

I was thinking of the first when Dark Sonic was mentioned earlier.

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11 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

Not every new facet introduced to a character is interesting. When introducing some new thing to a character you need to think about what does it do narrative for that character and the story.

Tell me something I don’t actually know, because I’ve been discussing story, narrative, and characterization for the past several years to a decade saying just that when people were wanting Knuckles around for literally no reason while giving no such privilege to any character post-SA2.

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And for either of those it does nothing  , in case you forgot the entire reason this happening is sonic thought keeping eggman alive was good. Not only just because of amnesia, but because he really believed that eggman helped and having him around would be good that even if he went back to being a bad guy that's his life and there was some inherent goodness in him. So to have sonic just willingly infect eggman, would basically be sonic murdering eggman slowly.

Given that Eggman committed straight up bioterrorism in the form of a technological plague that would make Resident Evil’s Umbrella Corp envious, infecting Eggman with his own virus wouldn’t be any less karmic to leaving Eggman stranded in space, blowing up his vehicles with him in it, or any punishment short of actually executing him.

Sonic’s not someone who kills in cold blood, but for all his heroics he certainly isn’t a saint either. The guy’s willing to destroy an entire country’s armed force rather than stand trial for a crime he didn’t commit, I wouldn’t put it past Sonic to infect someone with a physical touch of their own virus for karma’s sake.

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And that's just not his jam, but also in this narrative. It would just render the entire purpose of the narrative moot. The whole point that there was a clash of ideas, if you go " oops shadow was right " what was the entire point. Along with that, upon doing so just opens the entire book up to " Why doesn't sonic just kill eggman " which is a question you shouldn't be asking. It removes the entire dynamic he has tried to push between sonic and shadow. It removes the entire cat and mouse dynamic he has with eggman because " why doesn't he just kill him. When you do things like this you introduce questions and scenarios to the audience and a question like  that basically kills the entire dynamic of the comic.  You loose so many things and gain nothing. Its edgyness for edgyness's sake and it doesn't work for the character or this narrative

No, if anything, proving Shadow was right goes to show the very flaw in Sonic’s sense of mercy given that it just came to bite him in the ass in the most severe way possible: in the form of an apocalypse that’s gradually worsening every moment.

It doesn’t remove any dynamic, it shows the consequences of a choice—Sonic was already warned prior to any of this that letting Eggman go, even with amnesia and a personality change, after he previously started a global war that claimed who knows how many lives to stop was a bad move. Heck, it shows the consequences for Shadow for going along with Sonic plea for mercy of an amnesiac Eggman, because he wanted to make sure Eggman never had a chance to ruin the world again and was willing to do the deed so no one else would have to worry about it—he relented to Sonic, and when Eggman went missing, a techno-plague began to erupt. That Shadow was right to begin with only enflames the whole debacle and reinforces the kind of cruel person that Eggman is and begs the question of what more this man would be capable of if delivering a literal plague onto people’s houses isn’t beyond him, and what it would take to stop him. Introducing more questions and scenarios doesn’t kill anything.

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8 hours ago, Conquering Storm’s Servant said:

Tell me something I don’t actually know, because I’ve been discussing story, narrative, and characterization for the past several years to a decade saying just that when people were wanting Knuckles around for literally no reason while giving no such privilege to any character post-SA2.

 

People were probably just used to Knuckles being a part of the main cast by that point given his  numerous appearances and dynamic with Sonic. 

Meanwhile, many of the characters after him were more catered to a specific niche or setup that wasn't as comfortable. Heck, even Shadow has proven to be one of the worse about that at times. 

8 hours ago, Conquering Storm’s Servant said:

 

Sonic’s not someone who kills in cold blood, but for all his heroics he certainly isn’t a saint either. The guy’s willing to destroy an entire country’s armed force rather than stand trial for a crime he didn’t commit, I wouldn’t put it past Sonic to infect someone with a physical touch of their own virus for karma’s sake.

 

Pretty much. 

 

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11 hours ago, Sonictrainer said:

I mean, despite being pushed over the edge, Sonic didn't kill Ezazor or Merlina though.

Only because he couldn't: We see nothing in-game to contradict Erazor's claim of immortality. Merlina simply slaps down any attack Sonic makes and is also functionally immortal at this point since Sonic doesn't have the Sacred Swords to counteract the scabbard's power (Sonic has gotten a hold of himself again by the time he gets the power to stand against her).

Besides, its not like Sonic hasn't killed before even when he isn't pissed: He definitely killed Emerl and King Arthur on-screen; he had a hand in killing Biolizard and Solaris; and he presumably killed Dark Gaia and did his part against the Black Arms.

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50 minutes ago, Bowbowis said:

Only because he couldn't: We see nothing in-game to contradict Erazor's claim of immortality. Merlina simply slaps down any attack Sonic makes and is also functionally immortal at this point since Sonic doesn't have the Sacred Swords to counteract the scabbard's power (Sonic has gotten a hold of himself again by the time he gets the power to stand against her).

Besides, its not like Sonic hasn't killed before even when he isn't pissed: He definitely killed Emerl and King Arthur on-screen; he had a hand in killing Biolizard and Solaris; and he presumably killed Dark Gaia and did his part against the Black Arms.

True, though I feel like out of those, Emerl is the closest to mattering in this sense.

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