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IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog

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On 3/26/2020 at 4:07 PM, DabigRG said:

Ope, doy!

The spinoff book or Universe? 

 

Unfortunately, they were trying to redefine the Freedom Fighters, adapt Unleashed in interesting ways, answer the wishes for new worldbuilding to supplement what was lost(which was a lot), and also plant the seeds for stories that were to come while they were at it.

But it ended up going on longer than intended and then Archie let go of the license after months of discussion behind closed doors even Mr. Flynn weren't in on. 

IDW is essentially how the Reboot incorporated Sonic the Fighters, Tails Skypatrol, the GBA games, and the DIC cartoons without most of Unleashed and the other stuff. Which was somewhat intentional; since Mr. Flynn understandable just threw his hands and jumped into whatever SonicTeam was eager to allow, for better or worse.

The mandates supposed to be general guidelines on how the characters and maybe some things within the worlds are supposed to be depicted, but we know they can also vary to involve what they really don't want utilized or even change based on when certain things are pitched.  

Er, that's the one that just came out, right?

The spinoffs. The early dark legion stuff up to they started to add chaos knuckles into it. Then it started to lose me a bit

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1 hour ago, Meta77 said:

The spinoffs. The early dark legion stuff up to they started to add chaos knuckles into it. Then it started to lose me a bit

Oh yeah.

Chaos Knuckles was after those stories got repackaged into the main book, right?

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58 minutes ago, Big Panda said:

Yes.

I often still wonder how all the stories from 2000-2003 would’ve gone had the Knuckles series and maybe the Super Specials not been canned.

 

47 minutes ago, Big Panda said:

Yes, but if he still had a whole comic to play with, he’d have had more space to tell his stories, making for faster pacing. As would Karl Bollers have had in Sonic.

That's sorta my thought as well. Things like the Dark Legion calling a truce, Lara-Su's appearance, whatever Lie-Da & Gae-Na were discussing, Mogul kidnapping Dimitri, and the debate with Angel-La(was that her name?) probably could've been a little better developed. 

Granted, the Super Special were usually side stories or events that didn't necessarily correlate to the main book at the time of release, but still.

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It may seem like I’m reaching here and that’s entirely fair, but I think this video can be used as a perfect representation of what’s bothering me most about this comic.  Much like the elongated setup and immediate retirement of the Great Saiyaman, Ian has been constantly teasing us with setup of stories that we already know are never going to happen.  Eggman CAN’T be killed off, so wasting story after story of the characters waxing philosophical about whether or not they should feels completely empty.  Sonic CAN’T lose, so trying so desperately hard to make us believe that he will almost comes off as insulting.  The other supporting cast (at least the Sega ones) CAN’T develop, so having them go through these traumatic events to make us wonder how it’ll affect them in the future when they’ll inevitably get over it in one issue has no impact whatsoever.  Ian pretty much wrote himself into a no-win situation from the start with the pointless Mr. Tinker subplot, and much like the Great Saiyaman, it will only serve as a red herring before returning to the warm, comforting embrace of the old status quo. 

 

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3 minutes ago, SonicWindAttack said:

It may seem like I’m reaching here and that’s entirely fair, but I think this video can be used as a perfect representation of what’s bothering me most about this comic.  Much like the elongated setup and immediate retirement of the Great Saiyaman, Ian has been constantly teasing us with setup of stories that we already know are never going to happen.  Eggman CAN’T be killed off, so wasting story after story of the characters waxing philosophical about whether or not they should feels completely empty.  Sonic CAN’T lose, so trying so desperately hard to make us believe that he will almost comes off as insulting.  The other supporting cast (at least the Sega ones) CAN’T develop, so having them go through these traumatic events to make us wonder how it’ll affect them in the future when they’ll inevitably get over it in one issue has no impact whatsoever.  Ian pretty much wrote himself into a no-win situation from the start with the pointless Mr. Tinker subplot, and much like the Great Saiyaman, it will only serve as a red herring before returning to the warm, comforting embrace of the old status quo. 

 

What does any of that have to do with anything? Eggy not dying doesn't make Sonic and Shadow's debate not happen. Sonic not being able to lose is vague enough that a bunch of things could happen. He looked pretty hurt at the beginning of Forces. Characters aren't allowed to be super changed, but these events will certainly be called back to. "return to the comfortable status quo" really doesn't fit this comic at all, it's pretty serialized.

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41 minutes ago, SonicWindAttack said:

It may seem like I’m reaching here and that’s entirely fair, but I think this video can be used as a perfect representation of what’s bothering me most about this comic.  Much like the elongated setup and immediate retirement of the Great Saiyaman, Ian has been constantly teasing us with setup of stories that we already know are never going to happen.  Eggman CAN’T be killed off, so wasting story after story of the characters waxing philosophical about whether or not they should feels completely empty.  Sonic CAN’T lose, so trying so desperately hard to make us believe that he will almost comes off as insulting.  The other supporting cast (at least the Sega ones) CAN’T develop, so having them go through these traumatic events to make us wonder how it’ll affect them in the future when they’ll inevitably get over it in one issue has no impact whatsoever.  Ian pretty much wrote himself into a no-win situation from the start with the pointless Mr. Tinker subplot, and much like the Great Saiyaman, it will only serve as a red herring before returning to the warm, comforting embrace of the old status quo. 

 

Oh, he recently started the Buy saga eh?

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40 minutes ago, SonicWindAttack said:

 Sonic CAN’T lose, so trying so desperately hard to make us believe that he will almost comes off as insulting. 

 

That's just silly. Under that kind of thinking, we might as never tell any kind of good vs evil story in any medium where the hero is destined to win (which is almost every medium).

The ride is more important than the destination. The fun is to be found in the dips and turns that the adventure takes. Everyone knows Sonic will win in the end, but that has never stopped us from enjoying any of the stories in the old comics, and it shouldn't stop us from enjoying the stories we are getting now. If its insulting to add some stakes here and there.... man I don't even know how to respond to that.

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1 hour ago, SonicWindAttack said:

Sonic CAN’T lose, so trying so desperately hard to make us believe that he will almost comes off as insulting.

The problem with this sort of thinking is that it's not about making the audience believe he'd lose, but making it believable he can win...and making that satisfying.

As a person who's the least invested in stories like the current one due to this mindset, it mostly comes down to understanding that part of the writing process.

All those comparisons to points in that video is stretching to ridiculous levels though...

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Sometimes it's about the journey, not the destination. We all know the good guys are going to win in the end and that Sega's not going to allow radical changes to the status quo, but you can still weave a good tale about how they get from here to there.

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I used to critique this arc from the same angle of "Ian is teasing things that we know will never happen because Sonic is a brand!" thing when it first started but then I realized that's not really a fair way to critique...anything, honestly. Like, if the story is immersing you that kind of outside stuff shouldn't be coming to mind. If you've arrived there the arc is probably not hitting you for reasons deeper than what you realize. 

I don't find "Should we kill eggman?" To be an engaging debate but once they leaned harder on the stress Sonic and friends are being put under I dug this arc a lot more. I think maybe it's just because the black and white of the Eggman debate isn't that interesting compared to the emotions the situation brings out of the characters. 

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Why do so many people want the hero to fail? I don't know about you but personally I would rather see the heroes go through a hard time and work towards their victory than see them go through s bunch of crap just to inevitably lose.

And even then even if Sonic wins in the end I'd say he's pretty badly not winning currently. "Sonic can't lose" doesn't mean he can't suffer loses just that he has to eventually win because that's how a narrative works.

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1 minute ago, SBR2 said:

Why do so many people want the hero to fail? I don't know about you but personally I would rather see the heroes go through a hard time and work towards their victory than see them go through s bunch of crap just to inevitably lose.

Because it's interesting to see them be the ones who fail and have to pick themselves back up. It lets us see a lot better what happens when the character dynamics are reversed and how characters react.

That's one of the saving graces of this arc. As @Wraith said above, we rarely, if ever get to see Sonic and co under this level of stress and forced to confront their own failings, and that's interesting for a cast of characters we never get to see really do that.

They've tried to do it before in the games only to fail a lot at it. Lost World attempted it with Sonic constantly screwing up, but it fell flat because it felt contrived, and Forces attempted it too, but failed because Sonic just doesn't react and still acts like his good ol' snarky self.

It gets boring seeing heroes win all the time, and getting to see them in unique and unusual situations where they have to get through great adversity makes for very interesting storylines. 

Eggman Empire in Archie was brilliant for this reason, when we got to see the roles reversed as Eggman becomes the snarky carefree fighter, while constantly taunting and pushing every single button Sonic has, causing him to get enraged. Seeing Sonic utterly defeated and destroyed just made it all the more interesting when he did have to pick himself back up and work around how to defeat Eggman.

Frankly, a hero is only as good as the villain or adversary he faces. I don't think we really want a total lose (although it's nice to see it sometimes to shake the status quo), but we do want the hero to go through adversity, and possibly not even get out of the story unscathed. It's a boring and safe ending to have everything return to normal/status quo at the end, having a hero lose in some aspect gives them room to grow, and gives them a potential arc to work from. It's why it's interesting to see Sonic pushed to absolute breaking point - where he threatened to infect Eggman. It's not normally somewhere we'd see the character taken, and it's only achieved by him losing quite a few encounters beforehand to push him to that breaking point.

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56 minutes ago, Wraith said:

I used to critique this arc from the same angle of "Ian is teasing things that we know will never happen because Sonic is a brand!" thing when it first started but then I realized that's not really a fair way to critique...anything, honestly. Like, if the story is immersing you that kind of outside stuff shouldn't be coming to mind. If you've arrived there the arc is probably not hitting you for reasons deeper than what you realize. 

That's fair. Because If i'm being honest the nature of my eggman critcism, lies less with that and more so the nature of eggman himself.Yes that plays a bit into it and yes the notion that this is going to go no where is annoying and does kinda feel like a waste of time. And an argument can be made, and i'll make it that stories, good ones, are supposed to fool you into thinking its not a waste of time. And if the premise isn't doing that, like it seems not have done for quite a few people It might just be a waste of time.

That said the core of my issues with the whole thing is less the meta and more so the nature of eggman. Him kind of being a murderous dictator , makes this a very weird argument on sonic's part. No matter how much he believes in the power of people , he's both sides-ing a dictator. Something in our current day an age with the rise of authoritarian strong men around the globe people particularly those in at risk groups show little interest in. That angle is incompatible with our time to some degree. This is , ontop of that angle just not being interesting.

Quote

I don't find "Should we kill eggman?" To be an engaging debate but once they leaned harder on the stress Sonic and friends are being put under I dug this arc a lot more. I think maybe it's just because the black and white of the Eggman debate isn't that interesting compared to the emotions the situation brings out of the characters. 

I think what speaks to that is that you can remove the eggman debate. And the story functions the same, and hits all the same emotional beats. Its not needed, and kind of a weird failure in writing I can't blame wholly on sega dropping the ball with shadow.  It wasn't a good angle. And as a shadow fan , it hurts a smidge worse because the chance to give shadow a proper introduction was squandered to push a narrative that no one likes, goes no where, and is removable. And due to aforementioned sega interventions is now resulting in the character being jettisoned from the book after this story. So I feel extra about that in particular. It was uh...really worth it.

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The "debate" is just a sign that trying to reconcile the traditional dictator Eggman/Kintobor seen in Western portrayals with the Team Rocket Eggman that's been the rule in the games is silly.

Gameverse Eggman across the series isn't shown as making huge bodycounts on-screen. Sonic having a playful attitude (so playful that he doesn't really try to make sure he's locked up in Sonic Guantanamo Bay) kinda fits there since Eggman's indeed just a game. Actually having a debate over locking him up when he lost his memory while treating him as a glad mass murderer really messes with that.

And well, nothing believable and interesting will come from it. Eggman won't die, he won't get locked in a working prison, he and Sonic even talk about how nothing changed between them.

I can go into more namely how Sonic's "EVERY KILLER ROBOT CAN CHANGE SO IMA LET YOU FLY AWAY AND THROW A FIT WHEN YOU DONT" doesn't really fit with how he's characterized back when Naka was still around in Sega but that'll do.

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10 minutes ago, Almar said:

And well, nothing believable and interesting will come from it. Eggman won't die, he won't get locked in a working prison, he and Sonic even talk about how nothing changed between them.

Thats a narrow approach to the whats going on. If your just looking at Sonic and Eggman's dynamic remaining static, than you are missing the forest for the trees. The Eggman narrative has - at bear minimum - stressed the relationship of a good few of Sonic's allies. Vector and Espio will both have to reassess their stance with him the next time the situation arrives (which may push them closer to Knuckles interestingly enough). And as if Shadow needed another reason to be distant and difficult, he's got a rather big one to hang his hat on now.

No Eggy will never die, but what if Sonic has to actually put in some effort to rally support from some of his friends next time? What if it'll take more than just a smile and a "long time no see". That's is a significant and believable fallout that can benefit the characterization of all parties involved.

Even if we can't change the status quo per se, we can still explore then tensions between the characters that would want it to change.... I mean just look at Omega. He doesn't want to capture or maim Eggman. He wants to dance on his grave. Just because we know that can never happen should not mean we should damper his enthusiasm to achieving his goal. Shadow's ambition to use any force necessary is no different. We shouldn't ignore that part of the narrative just because it technically cant happen. 

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I’m not much of a debater, so forgive me if I worded my previous message poorly.  The problem here isn’t having those moments of self-doubt and moral conflict in and of themselves, it’s how they’re grossly disproportionate to the role they will ultimately serve in the story.  After all the time setting up Mr. Tinker and the possible stories that could be told with him, Eggman immediately returns and that all goes up in smoke.  In fact his return is so rushed that they had to breeze through Neo Metal Sonic, which the entire comic up until that point had been building up to, so he would turn back into plain old Metal Sonic and go crawling back to him.  Sonic gets infected and his friends scold him for letting Eggman go, but does it matter?  Does it REALLY matter?  It may seem engaging when reading them for the first time, but when critiquing the arc as a whole it’s clear that they’re nothing more than red herrings used to facilitate fake drama.  Even if the good guys are destined to win, there are ways to introduce legitimate conflict and plot threads that actually will go somewhere in the future, but this just... isn’t it.

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I'm not going to completely dismiss WindAttack's point, I kinda get it.

But ultimately every Kid Movie has heroes n peril, even though you know damn well they'll be fine. So what, is it all waste of time? Partially it's fake immersion when we pretend he's in real terror and partially it's about NOW, not future consequences.

Vector will be fine, but his sacrifice was real, not because we pretended it's serious like DC comic killing character and returning him 2 years later. but because it was delivered in real way.

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Oh gosh , I think I got the issue. Its in entierty down to one line. Well one part of the issue

The story between sonic , eggman and shadow regarding this morality is not being told and seemingly it can't be.

The story is bad because there is no story. There is a proclamation of ideals and then nothing. Because I think to myself " sonic and shadow having a morality argument should be interesting as hell" and now I know why. They aren't. Eggman isn't either. No one is arguing. People are proclaiming things at people vaguely. And one of the participants, shadow, doesn't even get that luxury

There are other players in this that may never get the narrative close they need. Like rouge, team dark should not be a team after this. This is kind of important. Because the whole thing about envoking eggman's actions is that these things should have consequences. But if no one changes as a person, it has no effect on the story that couldn't have happened with out that narrative plot point. Then nothing mattered. And rouge can help start an apocalypse and nothing is said on the matter, then nothing mattered. This story didn't need to be told.

It isn't hopeless. There's opportunity for rouge and metal sonic to make this bit of story telling actually matter. Because it seems as though the three people its about , wont. As it stands, its not even really a story being told.

 

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2 hours ago, SonicWindAttack said:

I’m not much of a debater, so forgive me if I worded my previous message poorly.  The problem here isn’t having those moments of self-doubt and moral conflict in and of themselves, it’s how they’re grossly disproportionate to the role they will ultimately serve in the story.  After all the time setting up Mr. Tinker and the possible stories that could be told with him, Eggman immediately returns and that all goes up in smoke.  In fact his return is so rushed that they had to breeze through Neo Metal Sonic, which the entire comic up until that point had been building up to, so he would turn back into plain old Metal Sonic and go crawling back to him.  Sonic gets infected and his friends scold him for letting Eggman go, but does it matter?  Does it REALLY matter?  It may seem engaging when reading them for the first time, but when critiquing the arc as a whole it’s clear that they’re nothing more than red herrings used to facilitate fake drama.  Even if the good guys are destined to win, there are ways to introduce legitimate conflict and plot threads that actually will go somewhere in the future, but this just... isn’t it.

We spent two issues setting up Mr. Tinker, and then he was forgotten about until after Neo was defeated. It wasn't a 'red herring', it was just plot. Sure, we could have gotten more tinker stories before he  turned back to normal to make the change sink in more, but that doesn't make the whole arc pointless, it just makes it undercooked at worst.

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