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IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog

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On 6/19/2020 at 2:09 PM, Shadowlax said:

I thought this arc had cream in it? Did the description change?

I'm curious whats the difference between legal and b illegal in this case

.

On 6/19/2020 at 2:37 PM, Zaysho said:

Probably opens with Sonic and Tails and then Cream, Shadow, and Rouge take over afterward.

I saw this in passing, but didn't comment on it. I'm assuming it's referring to a different solicit than the one/news we had previously 

I'm gonna assume it's still gonna be IDW still sticking with the one story per issue rather than backups and thus, we'll probably have cutaways to Shadow, Rouge, and Cream's side of the races. Unless they're outright along for the ride and then go about their little aside.

15 hours ago, LukA8 said:

Honestly, this issue just reminds me the Deadly Six could've been more interesting and fleshed out if they were a smaller group of say, 3 or 4 baddies. The games only keep using Zavok, Zazz and Zeena anyway (there was an unused voice line for her in Tokyo 2020) while the rest only had a miniscule cameo in Runners. There isn't enough space to focus on each one individually, and just like the Koopalings I don't see any noteworthy dynamic here that makes them stand out when they do appear as a group - they never even touched on the Deadly Sins concept, and I don't think anyone would be thrilled about two D6 teams in a hypothetical TSR sequel.

 

I recall this being a question in the unanswered thread. But yeah, I think the main reason they went with six is because of the hex motif and because it's seemingly an uncommon number for these things, though you can tell they started to stretch with the Filler Two.

Didn't know about Zeena being in Tokyo, although I only saw glimpses and skims of that game.

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1 hour ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I mean, Ian's said this before already. It was talked about at length back then too and I saw fit to just ignore it. It directly contradicts what Sonic Team has shown us and until they decide to show otherwise, it'll be something I continue to ignore.

Its just like how they say there's no money despite that contradicting the entire existance and motivation of the Chaotix.

Vector makes mention of money in TSR, which is only a year old. He makes mention of payment within the IDW book which had to be approved by the people in charge at SEGA. 

Actual dollar signs appear in Vector and Charmy's eyes in the very first cutscene I ever saw of them.

They say this stuff but they never enforce it or provide evidence within their material to support it so there's really no harm in ignoring it until they do.

They issue with ignoring it, is that they are as of currently enforcing it. IIzuka say wild shit all the time I just ignore because its clear it means nothing, shadow just did a full time stop chaos control with no emerald in the last game. But this restrictive and kinda lame so people are a bit peeved.

That money thing def weirds me out though, then why do we use rings as currency in multiple games?

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2 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

That money thing def weirds me out though, then why do we use rings as currency in multiple games?

Could say that's just a gameplay feature.

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8 minutes ago, Celestia said:

As much as I hate to say it I don't think that's true. Shadow and Rouge worked together (indeed, the whole "Team Dark isn't real" thing is baffling) but they were never particularly friendly as far as I can remember. In the games, that is.

Not saying it's not a bad call because I think it'd be a good idea for them to have, uh, a dynamic. (This comes back to the problem they've had this whole time where characters that aren't "Sonic and ____" don't meaningfully interact much, but I digress.) Shadow listens to Rouge when she tells him to do or not do something (usually), which is more respect than he usually shows anyone else in the cast...but otherwise he more or less ignores her despite her showing concern for him on occasion, etc. So in that sense it's always felt kind of one sided to me?

In fact I think Ian's take in Archie (and how fans have seen it basically forever) makes sense and works well because it fixes that last bit, he actually talks to Rouge instead of being all "..." all the time.

Also for the record I'm thinking of main games here which are probably more on SEGA's mind when they tell Ian and others these things. Stuff like Battle is funny because you have [what probably shouldn't be] absolutely monumental occasions like Shadow thanking Rouge for saving him at one point. lol

I would argue in the main games it doesn't make any sense because that entire narrative through line caps off with 06 the game where rouge depending on how you wish to interpret a line almost admits romantic inclinations, they are very much friends and help and save one another and that's kind of the point of the entire thing. I can get with team dark isn't real, yeah sure whatever. Shadow's a lonely introvert who isn't a people person and maybe they wanna retcon gun, i'm ok with both of those things and actively advocate the latter. But to remove the clear friendship these three have that makes all of them more interesting kind of seems like missing an entire point. 

All that said I guess they just want shadow to be alone so they can use him and don't really care about the other two. So here we are.

Its whatever i guess all I can do is wait and see what happens at this point.

 

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This issue just kinda...happened. Too much too soon. Too fast.

 

Action was great, but far too short and easy. Maybe they really are tired of writing this arc, which would be unfortunate. I was kinda enjoying this arc, especially Cream and Gemerl's segments.

 

Also gotta wonder how hard the writers had to fight just to get Storm to rock Zik in the jaw lol

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I haven't read the issue yet, but it's really disappointing to hear this crop up.

For anyone who didn't know, this used to be a massive problem with early Archie Mega Man, where the robot masters would get taken out within one to two pages. Things slowly improved with the Mega Man 3 arc which had eight issues, and a set-up which showed the events of their encounters with Mega Man from the robot masters' point of view, so we got to see more about them.

Really lame it's reared it's head up here again at the eleventh hour.

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6 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

I haven't read the issue yet, but it's really disappointing to hear this crop up.

For anyone who didn't know, this used to be a massive problem with early Archie Mega Man, where the robot masters would get taken out within one to two pages. Things slowly improved with the Mega Man 3 arc which had eight issues, and a set-up which showed the events of their encounters with Mega Man from the robot masters' point of view, so we got to see more about them.

Really lame it's reared it's head up here again at the eleventh hour.

That reminds me of the end of the Mega Man 3 arc.

Spoiler

If my memory is still accurate...Copy Mega Man appears, is defeated in a page or so, convinced/redeemed in two or tree panels, then sacrifices himself immediately after. Mega Man shows sign of regret/sadness but it's pretty difficult to feel any emotion from it. Actually they really rushed through the bosses in that particular issue. Even Doc Robot, which is built up as a horrific amalgamation of the previous robot masters, didn't take half the issue to defeat iirc.

Pacing is definitely the biggest problem Ian struggles with. It's like he has a bunch of ideas for specific scenes and plot points, but doesn't know what to do with the rest or how to connect/make them flow well.

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1 hour ago, Folded King CC14 said:

2020 Annual preview is up, featuring the familiar combined forces of Ian Flynn, Jon Gray, and Big the Cat!

Love the nod to Big's theme.

Not gonna lie: I forgot there was even gonna be an annual, with Big having a proper introduction being the only notable thing I remember about it now.

How appropos that Dubs is doing the art for that, though it's hilarious Head writer Bumbleking is only doing that as well.

Was this supposed to be out once the Metal Virus arc was actually over, btw? I'm wondering what the other stories could be otherwise. 

1 hour ago, Folded King CC14 said:

Another Annual page. I love how Big is somewhere near all of the events in the series so far, SA2 style.

Oh, so there was another practical reason for retroactively naming those locations! And well after we last saw most of them too.

Still have a question about the second page though: who or where is that definition coming from?

1 hour ago, RadicalLaRuby said:

 

Also gotta wonder how hard the writers had to fight just to get Storm to rock Zik in the jaw lol

"You punched an old man--are ya proud?!"

That's a funny question there, depends on how important he is compared to the other Zeti and/or how SonicTeam wanted him to be treated.

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2 hours ago, RadicalLaRuby said:

Action was great, but far too short and easy. Maybe they really are tired of writing this arc, which would be unfortunate. I was kinda enjoying this arc, especially Cream and Gemerl's segments.

 

Also gotta wonder how hard the writers had to fight just to get Storm to rock Zik in the jaw lol

I really don't believe they grew tired of it. There's been a bit of a push to end the arc quicker and I guess that's what they're doing. I for one thought that the pacing up until this exact issue was totally my speed. The fights in the issue before were both great because they both had room to breathe. I really wish this one could have done the same with Zor and Zazz and then have the next one do Zik and the Zavok transformation. Then the finale.

Just would have taken one more issue... but I get it. 

Again, Ian's always had this issue with the sped-up finale. He had it rear its head in the last arc as well. It's also been a problem in almost all the Sonic Universe arcs he's done. 

Great writer but this one little thing of his he's never been able to fully overcome. 

It's funny because Zeena and Zomom are my least favorite of the Zeti and yet they had the best fights. I really like Zor and Master Zik. Zazz and Zavok to a lesser extent too honestly. 

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1 hour ago, KoDaiko said:

That reminds me of the end of the Mega Man 3 arc.

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If my memory is still accurate...Copy Mega Man appears, is defeated in a page or so, convinced/redeemed in two or tree panels, then sacrifices himself immediately after. Mega Man shows sign of regret/sadness but it's pretty difficult to feel any emotion from it. 

L

Did he? I don't remember that at all.

Perhaps a revisit is long overdo.

1 hour ago, KoDaiko said:

That reminds me of the end of the Mega Man 3 arc.

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Even Doc Robot, which is built up as a horrific amalgamation of the previous robot masters, didn't take half the issue to defeat iirc.

 

To be little fair there, Doc Robot didn't seem to be a single entity in the game and so the comic tried to condense that into it's own thing for pragmatism. Still, I can see how it'd be rushed, given how the mini bosses were easy to breeze over.

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I liked #28, but yeah, it does feel a bit rushed. I do think #27 does feel better paced. #28 not only has 3 battles instead of 2, but also has a few pages setting up the finale. In actual page numbers:

#28: Zeena vs Cream & Gemerl: 10 pages

#28: Zomom vs Tails & Amy: 9 pages

#28: Zavok finds Sonic & Eggman: 1 page

#29: Zor vs Silver & Whisper: 4 pages

#29: Zazz vs Espio: 5 pages

#29: Zik vs Babylon Rogues: 3 pages

#29: Zavok vs Resistance: 8 pages

Seems slightly strange. Definetly makes me wonder if the intention was to have 2 battles in #27, #28, and the last battle and the finale stuff in #29, but then plans could have changed. As a stray thought actually, what if instead, we have #27 as per normal, Zor vs Silver & Whipser and Zazz vs Espio in #28, the issue ends with the teams returning only to find out that the Babylon Rogues failed. With Zavok just minutes away, another team, say Tails, Amy, and Whisper, have to go and fight Zik, whilst dealing with the turned Rogues as well, while Zavok is in the middle of invading Angel Island.

I dunno, just a thought. Ofcourse, can't really judge until the end of this, with #29 and maybe #30 as well. It is funny how slow the arc started, issues #13-#16 being quite slow, but how the arc just kept picking up in pace and stakes. Regardless if the ending is a bit rushed, I think it has been a great arc, and I hope the annual will add to it as well.

But yeah, #29 isn't the strongest. Probably the best of the 3 fights is the Babylon Rogues, if purely for the fact that Jet is willing to die along with his team rather than abandon them. I like the fact with Flynn, he treats even the fringe characters who probably don't have that many fans with such respect. Espio thinking of the Chaotix is great, and Silver's optimism versus Zor's goth/emoness is pretty amusing. My one laugh from the issue is Tails going "Zavok's found us!" and Eggman going "you catch on fast." I had to pause to laugh at that. I also do love that cliffhanger. With us so close to the end, I wonder if we're going to see basically everyone get turned right before Super Sonic saves the day. That'll be fun, in a very gruesome way.

But yeah, onto negatives. I do think Zeena vs Cream & Gemerl is the only of the 5 fights that I would label as being outright great. It's the fight I know I will remember. I think part of it is that I think Zeena might be my favourite of the Deadly Six, purely because her stereotype is slightly less one note, since it can alternate between bratiness, meanness, boredom, or just being extremely vain. That and I think she is the only one of the D6 that has a good design, although I imagine that is probably because she is meant to be attractive looking, whereas the others are meant to look like monsters. Zomom and Zor especially are just so ugly looking, and not in any kind of cool way. Not a fan of how much they clash against the Sonic style too, they just don't fit in this book, even when the great range of IDW artists draw them. Tangle & Whisper look like they could of come from a game, the Deadly 6 come across like lazy one off villians. I think you'd have to borderline reinvent the likes of Zomom or Zavok to make them actually interesting characters.

I don't know if there are plans for the D6 after this arc. Alot of IDW has been setting up the groundwork of establishing readers unfamilar to Sonic to his number of allies and enemies, so that they could be used down the line. So I wonder if the D6 being introduced means they will be used later? We know Zavok is to turn up in that Bad Guys mini-series. But honestly, I'd be happy to see the D6 return to the Lost Hex and never return, or if we have to have Zavok (since Sega seems to love the guy for some reason), just Zavok while the other D5 can just stay out of the way.

Looking forward to the annual, wondering how bleak or hopeful it will be with the focus on the zombie virus.

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1 hour ago, Silvereyes said:

I liked #28, but yeah, it does feel a bit rushed. I do think #27 does feel better paced. #28 not only has 3 battles instead of 2, but also has a few pages setting up the finale. In actual page numbers:

#27: Zeena vs Cream & Gemerl: 10 pages

#27: Zomom vs Tails & Amy: 9 pages

#27: Zavok finds Sonic & Eggman: 1 page

#28: Zor vs Silver & Whisper: 4 pages

#28: Zazz vs Espio: 5 pages

#28: Zik vs Babylon Rogues: 3 pages

#28: Zavok vs Resistance: 8 pages

To be completely fair, I guess, The Babylon Rogues' fight with Master Zik had four pages dedicated to it at the end of Issue 26 rather than the single page every other fight got. Still, it feels rushed when the win just hits you so suddenly like it did. The Zeena fight had more of an arc to it. 

I really wish my boy Zor could have gotten just a bit more. 

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4 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:
11 minutes ago, Silvereyes said:

 

To be completely fair, I guess, The Babylon Rogues' fight with Master Zik had four pages dedicated to it at the end of Issue 26 rather than the single page every other fight got. Still, it feels rushed when the win just hits you so suddenly like it did. The Zeena fight had more of an arc to it. 

I forgot about that, and yeah you are right. Weird way of pacing it, especially when you realise that we never even see the Babylon Rogues in #27. So it jumps from 4 pages of the fight in #26, to 3 pages in the middle of #28. Strange way of doing it, it arguably would of made more sense to just get the whole Rogues fight done at the end of #26, sacrifice a couple of pages of exposition, give the Silver and Espio fights in #28 some more breathing room.

6 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I really wish my boy Zor could have gotten just a bit more. 

Talking about the Deadly Six is funny, because to me they are all so stereotypical, I think your favourite D6 members is just whichever stereotype you like the most. I actually havn't played Lost World yet, despite owning it on PC, and part of the reason is just how asinine the plot of it sounds.

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I think part of the issue with pacing also has to do with the short page limit for the comics which have been shortened over time. It feels sometimes like Ian has no other option but to rush in order to squeeze everything he wants in the issue and advance tell the story.

Have you noticed we are making critiques that the comic is both too rushed in certain issues but the arcs are drawn out too long?  I feel like if the comic had more pages per issue the pacing would be better to tell a grand story. Otherwise the length almost forces the comic to take an episodic approach where it is hard to have the plot and action in good balance in the same issue. 

Don't get me wrong, I like the comic a good bit! However, the pacing is my main flaw, as with Scattered Worlds. The issues go by so fast that we can't appreciate the characters and their accomplishments because we have to jump somewhere else to complete another plot point.

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I repeat, too many members of the Deadly Six, short time, how would you have handled it? Personally, probably make the arc longer, but that again, would have made fans bitter that it was dragging and going slow. It's an impossible situation, of course there are issues, I do think mostly it was issue 26 that tried to introduce all the fights... no way, just have 2 fights in 26, 2 in 27 and 1 (Zazz) in 28 plus the final battle set up in 29 with Zavok. Would have worked better, imo, that issue tried to do everything but it was just an introduction and messed up every following issue, besides the next one. One more thing: I would have made the Zeti co-operate in 2, like Zomom and Zeena together, Zazz and Zor together, at least, it would have created fun dynamics between them.

At this point I just don't care about the Deadly Six, they are just fodder bosses and stuff like that. Same for the other issues, I'm trying to ignore and bypass the obvious drama with Shadow.

Big's Adventure sounds fantastic, it's an opportunity to revisit the first issues, the callbacks. Plus, Vista View is actually the town from issue 1, and Riverside is the village from issue 2, cool! Plus of course, it's a very nice callback to the Big cameos in SA2 and Secret Rings. What are the other stories supposed to be again? I think one is about Metal Sonic?

I'm gonna enjoy the final fight next issue, although I feel like the epilogue stuff is kinda unnecessary, yeah, I wanted them to move on to the next mini arcs. But it doesn't make me enjoy the book less, it's really refreshing and fun. 

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4 hours ago, prowerboy26 said:

I think part of the issue with pacing also has to do with the short page limit for the comics which have been shortened over time. It feels sometimes like Ian has no other option but to rush in order to squeeze everything he wants in the issue and advance tell the story.

Have you noticed we are making critiques that the comic is both too rushed in certain issues but the arcs are drawn out too long?  I feel like if the comic had more pages per issue the pacing would be better to tell a grand story. Otherwise the length almost forces the comic to take an episodic approach where it is hard to have the plot and action in good balance in the same issue. 

Don't get me wrong, I like the comic a good bit! However, the pacing is my main flaw, as with Scattered Worlds. The issues go by so fast that we can't appreciate the characters and their accomplishments because we have to jump somewhere else to complete another plot point.

This, plus the issue of writing for the trade, which has become more of an industry standard.

On top of that, I think that while the standard from Marvel and DC is 5-6 issues, Archie made it four. Take something like a whole Mega Man game, each of which (save the first) introduces eight antagonists in eight different locations, plus all the crap in the castles and whatnot, and you're going to have a very tight fit.

For whatever reason, IDW seems to be following the 4-issue trade format as well, even though they've had other series go with more. So then something like the Zombot arc likely has to be divided into "chapters" or even "volumes" that fit that space as neatly as possible.

Depending on the story, I imagine it can be a very difficult juggling act.

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The simplest way out would be if Flynn just stops being so rigid and broke formula.

Say Megaman 3 in Archie: he did two 4-parters, one for Robot Master, the other for rest. How about instead Megaman beats only 4 robot masters and "final boss" of the chapter is Proto Man. Then he goes after Wily properly, with 4 Robot Masters in actual castle.
It's less true to the games, but more paced like actual story would do it, Proto Man fight has more weight and first 4 parter feels less like filler.

 

Of course this time there was no need for this. 5 Zeti to beat in 3 issues, last issue for Zavok conclusion. It would be easy fit (even including proper Rouge robbery) if Flynn just did issue #26 better.
Like, instead of talking how takes who, why not just send them instantly, maybe with some caption boxes explaining things (compare it to FF saving Prof Pickles in Archie 258). Showing campers on Island or Sonic  on run mill could been cut, even Rouge scene could been condensed/cut. It doesn't move plot forward, just reminds us she's there.
And I know I keep bringing this up, but same thing happened in "Panic in the Sky". Flynn just loves people sitting in the circle and explaining the plot, which leads to rushed action scenes.

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3 hours ago, Jack at Home said:

I repeat, too many members of the Deadly Six, short time, how would you have handled it? Personally, probably make the arc longer, but that again, would have made fans bitter that it was dragging and going slow. It's an impossible situation, of course there are issues, I do think mostly it was issue 26 that tried to introduce all the fights... no way, just have 2 fights in 26, 2 in 27 and 1 (Zazz) in 28 plus the final battle set up in 29 with Zavok.

I am not sure if this is directed towards me, but I just want to make the record clear that I agree with you that it is a near impossible task. Which is why I said the page length puts Ian in a position where he has no choice but to pace this way if he wants to work with a lot a characters.

I also agree with you that I enjoy the comics! I was just describing my one main criticism out of a series I really enjoy reading. Just wanted to clear that up.

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16 minutes ago, Sonictrainer said:

I was kind of waiting to see how Zazz was able to detect Espio sneaking up on him while invisible...

He picked up his scent, hence the sniff sniff sound effect.

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6 hours ago, KingScoopaKoopa said:

Take something like a whole Mega Man game, each of which (save the first) introduces eight antagonists in eight different locations, plus all the crap in the castles and whatnot, and you're going to have a very tight fit.

5 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

The simplest way out would be if Flynn just stops being so rigid and broke formula.

Say Megaman 3 in Archie: he did two 4-parters, one for Robot Master, the other for rest. How about instead Megaman beats only 4 robot masters and "final boss" of the chapter is Proto Man. Then he goes after Wily properly, with 4 Robot Masters in actual castle.
It's less true to the games, but more paced like actual story would do it, Proto Man fight has more weight and first 4 parter feels less like filler.

I like to give the Mega Man Megamix series as an example. They were very loose adaptations as they were created as extra/supplementary manga for the game. It has it's own flaws but man I love the story...

Spoiler

Mega Man 1 is a straightforward adaptation, with Mega Man fighting each boss in order.

Mega Man 2 has Mega Man get ambushed by two Robot Masters in the city. The Light bots come to his rescue but is joined by more bosses. Mega Man rushes off to stop Wily's plan while dealing with the pursuers. Only three of the enemy is defeated by the heroes.

Mega Man 3 had two stories. The first one happens after the game plot where Wily and Mega Man has to team up against a certain character. The one written later in Gigamix was a proper adaptation of the game. Mega Man is pursued by multiple Robot Masters, but is interrupted/saved by Break Man. After barely defeating him, he rushes to fight Gamma while Wily and the rest escape.

Mega Man 4 already happened, and the focus is on Cossack, Kalinka and the robots. 

Mega Man 5 is mentioned in a page or so, the rest is fun filler (plus formal introduction of Bass). There is a proper fight with Bass in the next story.

Mega Man 6 is loosely adapted, the game stuff do happen but mostly offscreen. The story is focused more on a certain character...oh, they also have Bass and the Cossack family.

It's not newcomer-friendly but I like the manga doesn't follow a strict formula or tries to include all the location/bosses, and has more characters involved in the story than in the game. Unfortunate that I couldn't enjoy Gigamix as much...

7 hours ago, KingScoopaKoopa said:

For whatever reason, IDW seems to be following the 4-issue trade format as well, even though they've had other series go with more. So then something like the Zombot arc likely has to be divided into "chapters" or even "volumes" that fit that space as neatly as possible.

Depending on the story, I imagine it can be a very difficult juggling act.

Yeah 4-issue format may be a big factor too. I wonder how Evan Stanley would handle this restriction when her turn comes.

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