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IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog

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2 hours ago, The KKM said:

Have you considered they agreed because that's how they want the character to be written? I know years of fanbase trying to glean context from Ian's podcast have set things up like the writers are actively adversarially fighting against sega to write this comic, but that's not how that works, not when it's working right at least, it's certainly not what Evan's doing.

While Evan has not been as vocal as Ian. Her cadence is similar, She's working with what she has. And if you want to see her better interpretation of the character, read her fanfic comic. She's a bit more professional, but it seems like both of them very clearly have issues dealing with a Sega that  doesn't quite understand what it wants right now. 

 

2 hours ago, The KKM said:

I'd have thought it's obvious after this arc. Shadow has friends, Shadow has emotions, Shadow has good; but he hides all of that and acts lone and aloof. Kinda like how he was in most of the games, you know?

That's the thing, its not obvious and vague. Team Dark still very much isn't a thing shadow just deep down isn't really evil and will work with people if he wants to. Which is par for the course. There's no evidence to anything you said, and its purposefully so. Because sega wishes to sell him as an anti hero. He doesn't have friends, his emotions are barely there and he isn't interact with people. Evan just being as talented as she was stretched it enough to which this was allowed. 

Ian flynn was told that shadow has no friends and Team Dark solely exists as a mean to advertise merchandise. The latter the language not of characterization but of merchandising. This are what these characters are at this point, or maybe that's all they ever were its just very obvious nowadays. And evan and Ian are trying to breathe life into them. Sega mandates this process, they are very much fighting for what they want

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My thing is(and/or was, honestly) should I really be concernd whether Shadow was portrayed alright or not THIS time? 

Because not only the track record, but pretty much any investment to be had say otherwise.

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1 hour ago, Cadence said:

That is a key facet to how you define characters in fiction. What they do and don't do. What they say is important , and who they surround themselves with and how they are emotionally is also important. But the situation as it stands is that shadow is for right now a character who is  largely solitary and doesn't talk much. So all he can be really judged on his actions, and he hasn't done anything of note. This is the audience looking at a character that refuses to communicate with them or interact with others do nothing for 4 years and thinking that's lame. He's going to be this way, sega wants him to be this way. Continued attempts to try and manifest some of the old shadow though failure is ...failure because he just isn't equipped to be that guy anymore. 

I would like you to remember shadow's debut game. Sonic adventure 2. 

In sonic adventure 2 we eventually learn that shadow has this weirdly deep backstory for what sonic is and has a kind of emotional depth not really seen too much in children's platformers of that time. However this is after hours of selling us on how bad ass he is, this is the juxtaposition. He had to earn us caring about him and that was earned through badass action.  If he would have opened that game with just whining about his character growth and his dead friend...you wouldn't have cared about shadow. No one would. These characters looking cool and being cool are key parts to why people like them. Its the aesthetic. The emotional depth and all that while enjoyed by many are but toppings on that core aesthetic. So to say its narrow minded is inaccurate. People worried about that are worried about the core of that character and the series itself. 

Even by your own example , shadow fails at this. He's never had fireworks in this book that actually amounted to anything. Its also inaccurate because people post the gif of shadow time stop kicking silver to this day. Including most recently the sonic twitter. People remember that badass moments the most. Its those badass moments that put his emotional moments in perspective. It create a character that has depth and range. People post the gifs of shadow in his games intro. Saying cool things in sonic adventure 2. Draw fan art of his battle with boilizard. Have entire fan animatics of him doing battle. And that famous gif of him taking his inhibitors off and running through hordes of mephilies. 

I don't think anyone is asking for him to only punch things and win. That's rather dull and if anyone wanted that there's plenty of self insert anime to watch to get that fix. But to deny part of his and this series appeal and its core is the aesthetic and shadow's aesthetic is being a cool competent powerful operator who can and will kick anything's ass. Feels like an excuse in many ways. 

But this isn't Sonic Adventure 2. Shadow is no longer that guy who is in shrouded in mystery, his story is known by pretty much everyone. So all that's really left for him after that was just...be badass and look cool, which is nice and all, but it doesn't exactly make for an interesting character. I know people love his portrayal in 06 and many consider it the definitive interpretation of the character, but I'm also starting to feel like people are becoming TOO attached to it and just refuse to accept anything less than Shadow being the coolest person in the room and just solving every problem himself. People kind of are of forgetting that he had such a stranglehold over 06 that the game all but forgets that he's not actually the main character, and the actual main character has the least amount of involvement.  Shadow fans may have forgotten, but he was just as divisive back then as he was now because of how much overexposure he was getting at the expense of every other character. 

I may not necessarily LIKE what they're doing with Shadow's character nowadays, but I can understand it because that was a legitimate problem that nobody wants to acknowledge.  So toning down how much weight he has was honestly for the best imo, even if he's not as competent as he used to be. I feel it's a necessary evil, and it open his character up for other avenues than just being a badass and looking cool. 

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An important thing to note that I should have remembered to clarify is that the reaction one is likely to have to this is going to be filtered through the lens of anyone who actually views what transpired for the character in the current issue as a failure in the first place, which I absolutely didn't. When I finished the issue, it wasn't really fathomable that I would. Speaking as someone who likes Shadow just fine but isn't someone you'd call a super huge Shadow fan, this was the coolest he's looked to me in the book so far. 

Yeah, I'm someone who considers the act of swallowing pride to make an attempt at helping someone and tossing an adorable little creature an apple something a cool person would do. That's me though. Others may feel that different things are cool. That's fine.

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This isn't a Shadow focused story arc. His attitude problem is a subplot in the wider mystery. It's more of a classic sonic arc where everyone's contributions-including his- help make things right which is why I don't even get why he's being called a failure in the first place. 

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55 minutes ago, Wraith said:

This isn't a Shadow focused story arc. His attitude problem is a subplot in the wider mystery. It's more of a classic sonic arc where everyone's contributions-including his- help make things right which is why I don't even get why he's being called a failure in the first place. 

Well, Sonic's plan was kind of a failure.

But Shadow didn't get the rematch he wanted and that's considered a failure apparently.

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There is no reason to keep piling up on the failure narrative here. It's not even nitpicking at this point its just a tainted lens. 

 

Next we are gonna be arguing that Shadow failed because he didn't feed the Chao a coconut or an obviously superior triangle fruit. 

 

Let the hog breathe. 

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Ok, how about we move to something else. Like Belle

How everyone feels about her now that we got to know her somewhat?

I still think think that idea is pretty genius, but somehow she still doesn't exactly click for me.

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I like the fact that Tails has an assistant in this universe. (although I will always miss T-Pup...)

I'm ready to see her interact/work with other characters, especially Tangle, and what else she can do besides tinker hands and defensive donkey kick.

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5 hours ago, Wraith said:

This isn't a Shadow focused story arc. His attitude problem is a subplot in the wider mystery. It's more of a classic sonic arc where everyone's contributions-including his- help make things right which is why I don't even get why he's being called a failure in the first place. 

Like I said, I feel like people are just too used to Shadow having such a commanding presence even in stories where he's part of an ensemble; games like Heroes, Battle, 06, Rivals, and even spin off media like Sonic X just gave Shadow a lion's share of attention even when he was just part of a greater ensemble. 

So it's probably jarring for fans to see Shadow actually just used as a supporting character who's contributions are no bigger than anyone else's, when the character was pretty much defined as the problem solver for so long. 

 

 

 

In any case, I guess, I'll give my review for the arc as a whole:

As Evan's first foray into the book, I think the intention of this arc was to cool things down after all of the trauma and action from the Metal Virus saga. Have a much smaller conflict to decompress, and I'd say she mostly succeeded. I guess I'll just go into what I didn't like and what I did like, and just conclude. 

 

I think that while this arc was overall fine, it runs into similar issues that have plagued the book; not really fleshing thins out and just being more than a little bloated in what its trying to do. To give an example, we know next to nothing about Clutch or the underground that he runs, and he basically disappears from the story after he sics the super badnik on the crew, and the Chao Races don't even get that much focus despite being the focus of some of the advertising. As a result, it kind of nixes any potential involvement from Cream as a character since Chao races would have been  a great opportunity to flesh her out, but once the action starts she's relegated to her usual passive role. This arc introduces Belle halfway in, but she similarly doesn't get much to do, although I'm guessing they're saving that for later, but this arc didn't do much to sell me on her as someone I want to invest my time into.

As for what I liked, well it was nice focusing on a much smaller cast this time around with less perspectives; Rouge's group, Sonic's group, and Shadow. Kept things somewhat more focused, particularly when all of them intersect. I'm glad they're at least trying to flesh out the world by establishing the buildings in White Park are actually hotels. Its not much, but its a start. I really liked the character dynamics this time around, as we finally get some unusual pairings with characters like Amy, Cream, and Rouge interacting and Tails and Belle instantly making a connection, and of course, it's never a dull moment whenever Sonic & Shadow are forced to be in the same room with each other. And the art was actually pretty consistent for the entire arc, so no jarring art shifts to break immersion. 

 

All in all, I'd give a solid B grade. It did what it set out to do, and laid the foundation for future arcs, but its not perfect and I hope Evan can improve as much as she can under Sega's supervision.

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14 hours ago, Kuzu said:

.

 

While there are certainly fans who don't accept anything but perfection, and again that's boring. This isn't the case, as you state , shadow is a known entity. Now everyone knowing his backstory, actually isn't true. There are regular questions as to what his backstory actually is to this day, but that's another  unrelated issue to the point we are on. An issue though. 

But on some level there are quite a few people who know who he is. Partially because he's been in other media. Cartoons, other comic books, t shirts what have you. That media never had this problem , shadow didn't need to look like the coolest guy in the room all the time in archie because he was looking cool regularly. One arc he was forced to sit at home grumpy watching people fight another he was fighting aliens only he could really fight. Or providing support to other people that actually made everyone look cool. There was a balance there isn't a balance here. 

Your argument only works under the assumption he's been fine all this time.. He hasn't. Yes sonic wasn't the focus but sonic doesn't really need help in how he's presented and his personality, shadow does. Wanting shadow to look competent isn't about overly loving 1 interpretation , its something that's regularly done that's key to how he's presented not being done here and it very clearly makes him look worse. The boom version terrible as it is, does this, understanding what purpose it serves for him as a character. 

Also if a bunch of people really like an interpretation of a character and think other's are sort of lack luster in comparison, then that's very much fine and valid argument. Ian and Evan don't even like this shadow. They are doing their jobs here, they would much prefer a shadow that's not this. 

 

9 hours ago, Wraith said:

.

Nothing he has done in this whole book has helped anyone. Nothing he does actually matters, he doesn't actually help. And there's nothing here he needed to contribute. He looses a fight. That's about all that happens. This is after 3 years of him failing. So he's a failure. I don't mean he just looses fights, nothing he does actually matters or needs to be there or is at least interesting narratively. 

There is a similar story in the archie books where the story focus is knuckles and shadow gets beat up by omega covered in crystal for a bit. That one works because shadow actually contributes something of note and makes things interesting. He changes how knuckles thinks about the world and how he handles himself. This is actually an interesting narrative point and the story looses something with shadow's removal. 

In this arc shadow's removal not only would result in no actual change in the narrative it would actually make the narrative better. Shadow's parts are uninteresting and go nowhere and are a needless retread of something that didn't need to be.  Shadow never needed to learn a lesson about helping, he had been helping before. Part of the reason shadow had been mad in issue 19 is that sonic and rouge stopped him from helping the way he wanted to in issue 6.

This is why he's being called a failure. He's done nothing but loose with no gain whatsoever and contributes nothing to any character plot or anything.

That's a character who's a failure. Not just in his actions but how he exists.  Bringing up that the arc wasn't about him doesn't make better, it just says he shouldn't have been in it at all. 

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

.


The idea of what's being done with shadow is fine. But after years of failure, its looks less like swallowing pride and more like he's an incompetent asshole who can't do anything by himself . Throwing an animal a fruit isn't cool...basic decency. Shadow wont let things starve or in be cages. 

And this brings up my issue with this arc, that could have been easily turned into something that gives shadow character but it wasn't for some odd reason. If he had saw those chao in cages and maybe had a memory if him being in a cage and we got the idea that his anger wasn't basic decency but some personal issue with idea because how he was treated by Gerald and gun even if just for a panel. That provides character motivation something shadow doesn't have in this book. We even now don't know what motivates this shadow besides some vague notion of wanting to help people and that's morally good but everyone generally has a bit more than that. Sonic's is about freedom , tangle wants to have fun and go on adventures, amy up until this point wanted to help the people who's lives were ruined by eggman.

Shadow has none. But if they flashed back to him being in a cage, or a tube rather that gives him motivation. Some. Then when he's deciding whether to help or not, you could flash back again have some internal dialog where you find out that he feels compelled to help the chao that were in there because maybe he was never helped. When he was freed from stasis the guy who freed him only wanted to use him. You would get the idea that shadow is doing what he's doing because he doesn't want people to go through want he has been through. And those small panel editions wouldn't change the story much but it would give shadow much needed characterization. Not just in this issue, it would explain why shadow is so angry with tinker, in future you could use that as a means to actually have shadow feel a sympathy for belle. 

If there was something, anything  that felt like his character actually went somewhere. I would have called this story and he himself a success. But that didn't happen. Shadow having basic human decency isn't really cool. When there are characters like eggman who are cool without it. 
 

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16 hours ago, Cadence said:

While Evan has not been as vocal as Ian. Her cadence is similar, She's working with what she has. And if you want to see her better interpretation of the character, read her fanfic comic. She's a bit more professional, but it seems like both of them very clearly have issues dealing with a Sega that  doesn't quite understand what it wants right now. 

Evan herself admits GOTF's Shadow is a character she prefers writing, not that it's a "better Shadow". Important difference, unless you want comics Shadow to be a character who's had centuries to move past his hardened attitude nearly entirely and who watches Mexican Soap Operas.

 

And again, think about what you're saying. That Evan had to actively defy Sega and sneak past them a moment of Shadow being kind on his own terms. And doing so, repeatedly, all arc. And Sega somehow don't notice this, because Sega of course want Shadow to never ever have any emotion. That's totally what's happening, and not the much simpler "Evan just wrote Shadow as Sega wants him to be written, and turns out that that's just Shadow hiding his emotions but still having them".

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Having read #36 now, that was a lot better than I expected, and I actually fairly liked Shadow during the latter half of the issue. Still have my concerns that this won’t stick, but we’ll have to see where it goes.

Spoiler

Starline getting hit and buried was great after getting away with so much shit for so long. As someone who really disliked Bad Guys’ ending and Starline getting away scot free, seeing him finally get some deserved ass kicking was good, especially when it was Amy, Rouge and Tails doing it, rather than Sonic/Shadow.

To be honest, I still find it kind of bleh he couldn’t get a straight defeat in the end and still got away with whatever he needed from Tails. After the fiasco in Bad Guys where he does some dumb shit and still got away with everything he wanted (Tricore, Eggman’s base, Eggman somehow not figuring out it was him), I think it was a bit too much he still got something he can call a win here. I’m just kind of sick of Starline pulling schemes that somehow work out in his favour in the end, although frankly apart of that is just being fucking sick of him in general, and wanting other villains to get a chance to shine. I still think it’s beyond crap that Clutch didn’t get much because Starline took over.

As for the arc in general...bleh. I was all in for the Chao Race stuff, and traditional Sonic and Tails plotline, and I think it just puttered out when they rushed the chao race stuff to a conclusion to slot in Starline, Sonic and Shadow.

It still worked out better than Ian’s conclusions I have to admit, and I like that Evan used an unconventional method of dealing with the villain by having Tails, Rouge and Amy take the lead while Sonic and Shadow ultimately failed. This was actually a big issue I had with #32 where most of the cast were useless against Eggman until Sonic showed to win the day, so I’m glad they got a chance to shine. Cream, I liked that she directed the chao against the badniks, even if I don’t think she got to play as much of a part as she should have in a Chao centric arc.

Shadow, to me is an improvement, I don’t give a shit if he wins or loses, I just want to see him make an effort to do more than endanger others to get his ass handed to him by someone else. It’s one thing if he fails while trying to do something admirable, at least the results is he simply failed to stop something, it’s another thing when he’s actively putting others in harms ways to bolster up his ego and not even have the strength to back it up in a fight, making a bad situation actively worse.

Plus, technically I wouldn’t chalk Sonic and Shadow up to a direct fail. Their tree plan worked for a period of time and slowed down the snow. If they hadn’t done that, there’s a good chance the citizens inside the cabin wouldn’t have been able to get out in time. Shadow tossing the Chao an apple at the end was a cute moment too. But as I said, it still remains to be seen if it’ll stick or not.

They did a lot I really liked about Sonic questioning his own role in the cycle that lets Eggman constantly pull his schemes off, and his role in allowing the Metal Virus arc, but it all ended up being completely worthless, as Ian didn’t bring it to a proper conclusion, and just left it on “I’ll stop you no matter what Eggman!”, so it remains to be seen if they’ll let Shadow keep the development or just return to the Status Quo once again.

 

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16 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

We already know SEGA have caused several of the issues that Shadow got hit with in the comic. Ian already went on point that Shadow's original infection was to be more in-line with how he's usually portrayed according to both a Reddit thread, and a Tweet directly from Ian, and that he wasn't satisfied with how he ultimately had to write it:

Shadow was meant to remove the inhibitor rings, and go full blast at the Zombots, with Shadow believing that with Sonic able to blast off the virus with his speed, Shadow's additional energy would allow him to burn it off even better, only for it to backfire on him, and SEGA told him to rewrite it to instead fit into the new stand-offish rival personality they have for Shadow now. 

IIRC, I've also heard it floated around a few times that Shadow's monologue at the end of the Metal Virus arc was also meant to not be a monologue, and meant to focus more on Shadow's own faults, until Ian was told to rewrite it, and specifically make Shadow think it, because Shadow would never willingly admit he's got any faults compared to Sonic out-loud.

Say what you want about Shadow in IDW. We've seen him at his best, and at his worst here, but to act as if the writers have just fully been on-board with writing him the way he is, and that SEGA has had no input is simply not true. Even a quick look towards how Ian and Evan wrote him in the past, and Ian's own misgivings with some of the ways he's had to write him after SEGA mandated this new attitude for Shadow would show you this is not the case

I haven't read Issue 36 yet, so I can't speak for how Shadow goes here, but I imagine it's more so Evan finally figuring out how to work within SEGA's restrictions and still try to push out an arc that people want to read about the character, as compared to this being planned all along and SEGA not really giving a shit. The question that remains now is if the development gets to stick or not from this point onwards. It wouldn't be the first time that interesting questions have been raised in the comic, or interesting developments, only to have to erase them essentially for the sake of the status quo (IE - Sonic's ultimate final decision on his role in the Metal Virus arc, and letting Eggman run amok).

I never said the writers were fully on board. It was a reaction to how some people are annoyed at Shadow getting squeezed in where he doesn't need to and failing/learning his lesson for the Xth time. If Shadow is supposed to be this jerkass rival character who SEGA is super restrictive of, is the published stories the writer's attempt to "showcase his best side whenever possible" (from Evan's tumblr)? Even if SEGA was the one responsible for returning Shadow to the status quo I personally the writers should know that by now and not make the narrative repetitive, or at least make the development more subtle so you don't feel the sudden change back to square one the next time they appear.

I'm assuming the writers create an overall draft of their narrative first, then send it off to SEGA & the IDW editor to get feedback, then the writers have to rewrite based on that? Does SEGA tell them 'Shadow would do this' or 'Shadow doesn't do this'? Do they pitch in ideas to replace the original? If the writers wanted something to happen that went against canon lore, is it the fault of  SEGA for denying it (sure) or the writers who decided to replace it with a mediocre alternative (also yes)? Ian have said multiple times that IDW is a joint effort, SEGA is very cooperative & flexible for the most part, the mandates are a case-by-case that "changes" based on the narrative situation. So we know the writers aren't fighting against them like people believe, but working with/along what is given. 

I am not saying SEGA is 100% in the right. It just rubs me the wrong way when people think the IDW writers never do anything wrong and it's solely SEGA's fault, who goes quiet when it's something that can't be fully blamed on them like the overall narrative, pacing, or character portrayals that isn't Shadow and the writers haven't mentioned SEGA's involvement. Cuz I see that a lot in other places. 

 

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1 hour ago, Cadence said:

 

While there are certainly fans who don't accept anything but perfection, and again that's boring. This isn't the case, as you state , shadow is a known entity. Now everyone knowing his backstory, actually isn't true. There are regular questions as to what his backstory actually is to this day, but that's another  unrelated issue to the point we are on. An issue though. 

But on some level there are quite a few people who know who he is. Partially because he's been in other media. Cartoons, other comic books, t shirts what have you. That media never had this problem , shadow didn't need to look like the coolest guy in the room all the time in archie because he was looking cool regularly. One arc he was forced to sit at home grumpy watching people fight another he was fighting aliens only he could really fight. Or providing support to other people that actually made everyone look cool. There was a balance there isn't a balance here. 

Your argument only works under the assumption he's been fine all this time.. He hasn't. Yes sonic wasn't the focus but sonic doesn't really need help in how he's presented and his personality, shadow does. Wanting shadow to look competent isn't about overly loving 1 interpretation , its something that's regularly done that's key to how he's presented not being done here and it very clearly makes him look worse. The boom version terrible as it is, does this, understanding what purpose it serves for him as a character. 

Also if a bunch of people really like an interpretation of a character and think other's are sort of lack luster in comparison, then that's very much fine and valid argument. Ian and Evan don't even like this shadow. They are doing their jobs here, they would much prefer a shadow that's not this. 
 

I guess it's all a matter of perspective, but as Wraith pointed out...none of Shadow's appearances in the book are actually about him specifically. Almost any time Shadow showed up in Archie, the storyline was more or less about him, or him and another character. Shadow Fall and Total Eclipse are Shadow centric stories, bar none; he is the main focus of the former, and is co-stars with Knuckles in the latter. His appearances beyond those two arcs however have him mostly do the same he's been doing in IDW.  This is also ignoring how outside of those two arcs in particular, Shadow is mostly a supporting character in Archie. 

The SA2 story arc was pretty much glossed over, and until Sonic Universe existed, his presence was pretty minor in the grand scheme of it all. So it feels so weird to highlight his two major appearances in the book, when as a whole, its his least prominent role to date. 

In Shattered however? He doesn't do any more than he was doing here. Now you're right that there was more of a balance in Archie, but as I said, that's because he had story arcs that specifically were about him and put him as the main character.  IDW has not given him that luxury, he has been mostly relegated to a supporting role and he does not go beyond that at all. 

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8 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

In Shattered however? He doesn't do any more than he was doing here. Now you're right that there was more of a balance in Archie, but as I said, that's because he had story arcs that specifically were about him and put him as the main character.  IDW has not given him that luxury, he has been mostly relegated to a supporting role and he does not go beyond that at all. 

It's funny to see this now, because I remember back during Archie's run, Shadow was a particular hot topic because Archie got a serious habit of relying only on Knuckles and Shadow to push Sonic Universe following the reboot. 

12 minutes ago, KoDaiko said:

I am not saying SEGA is 100% in the right. It just rubs me the wrong way when people think the IDW writers never do anything wrong and it's solely SEGA's fault, who goes quiet when it's something that can't be fully blamed on them like the overall narrative, pacing, or character portrayals that isn't Shadow and the writers haven't mentioned SEGA's involvement. Cuz I see that a lot in other places. 

I don't think anyone's actually saying that though, at least here. There's been a lot of critique on Ian's writing style that has zero to do with SEGA. Ian's work has a ton of pacing problems, conclusion issues, and even in scenarios where SEGA might've slapped a restriction down on him, Ian sometimes doesn't handle it very well, making it come off worse in-story.

Again, Issue #32's conclusion is a big one for me. We all knew that the story would have to end with Eggman and Sonic returning to their old status quo, but the way Ian did so was not particularly well-executed at all. Instead of answering the questions that he raised, and doing so in a way that meaningfully contributes to the character, he kind of just had Sonic forget those questions, and expected the audience to do so as well.

One of the best things the Metal Virus arc did was forcing Sonic to examine his own role within the story, how his constant act of letting Eggman go and giving him multiple chances can be what directly leads to the disasters Eggman pulls. That's why Shadow works so well in #6, Shadow is a jerk - yes, but he has a point. A point we may not agree with, but a point nonetheless, and it's a point that Sonic was forced to wrestle with throughout the arc, especially when he was at his desperation point in #23.

And yet in the end, Sonic doesn't even really acknowledge it, and just goes ahead on his merry way. And that's entirely on Ian, because he knew he would have to return to the status quo, he rose these questions, and yet he didn't actually take the time to have a actual answer for them. A reason as to why Sonic keeps doing what he does. Even when you could have him look at cases like Shadow, and Knuckles, and realise that it hasn't all been failures, he just...doesn't. 

#31 and #32 is a problem that Ian himself created in general, creating a mess of a conclusion that tries to tackle too much, and tries to keep the action rolling in a narrative that should've been the cooldown following a long wearily arc. Eggman attacks again just to knock around Sonic's friends until Sonic arrives, Sonic loses his memory for a grand total of four pages, and beyond the first part of #31, not much is actually conclusively resolved. Say what you will for Evan, but at least this arc - problems and bloat side - actually resolved itself in a decent way that tied up the loose ends, and paid off the narrative portions it set up.

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1 minute ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

It's funny to see this now, because I remember back during Archie's run, Shadow was a particular hot topic because Archie got a serious habit of relying only on Knuckles and Shadow to push Sonic Universe following the reboot. 

It's always like this lmao. 

Shadow and Knuckles are popular characters, so of course pushing and giving them tons of focus makes sense. But I guess a lot of people wanted some of the more neglected characters to get some time in the spotlight as opposed to two characters who already had tons of focus to begin with.

So fast forward to IDW and Shadow and Knuckles have significantly reduced roles overall, while the series highlights the newer cast members like Tangle and Whisper. Cue complaints from Shadow and Knuckles fans about how they're not being used properly at all now. 

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2 hours ago, Cadence said:

iThe idea of what's being done with shadow is fine. But after years of failure, its looks less like swallowing pride and more like he's an incompetent asshole who can't do anything by himself . Throwing an animal a fruit isn't cool...basic decency. Shadow wont let things starve or in be cages. 

I'll reiterate this since you seem to have missed the point. I don't care what you personally define as cool. I was just clarifying what I felt about the character and his actions regarding this issue and why I felt he was actually cool here. I even finished my statement by saying that if you're definition of cool is something else, that's fine. 

I really don't need you coming at me with a response written as though you're telling me a fact about what's "cool" and what isn't. You can call his action there something else if you want but I don't agree and I've explained twice why I don't.

If you don't feel its a matter of opinion, then I'm the wrong person to talk to. 

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1 hour ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

 

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Starline getting hit and buried was great after getting away with so much shit for so long. As someone who really disliked Bad Guys’ ending and Starline getting away scot free, seeing him finally get some deserved ass kicking was good, especially when it was Amy, Rouge and Tails doing it, rather than Sonic/Shadow.

To be honest, I still find it kind of bleh he couldn’t get a straight defeat in the end and still got away with whatever he needed from Tails. After the fiasco in Bad Guys where he does some dumb shit and still got away with everything he wanted (Tricore, Eggman’s base, Eggman somehow not figuring out it was him), I think it was a bit too much he still got something he can call a win here. I’m just kind of sick of Starline pulling schemes that somehow work out in his favour in the end

 

You are? That's interesting because it hasn't happened a lot. I believe you stated before that your issue with him was that he kept failing but acting like he was cock of the walk despite that, which I always felt was the point.

The point of Bad Guys was for him to recognize his folly as someone who's made a ton of mistakes and instead of galavanting as though he's already where he needs to be, he needed to step up and come into his own, which meant making it on his own as well. If the development there didn't see him getting his first real victory at the end of Bad Guys, the story wouldn't have worked. I feel as though the same goes for what happened here. The plan didn't go without a hitch so the heroes still got a victory but Starline walking away with a victory of his own doesn't go against what Bad Guys was trying to do and it makes it so that whatever the next story is for him can happen.

Although it seems you and I have very opposite opinions about his character. Reading my posts about him you'd swear I was in love with the guy. Honestly, I might be.

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1 minute ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

You are? That's interesting because it hasn't happened a lot. I believe you stated before that your issue with him was that he kept failing but acting like he was cock of the walk despite that, which I always felt was the point.

The point of Bad Guys was for him to recognize his folly as someone who's made a ton of mistakes and instead of galavanting as though he's already where he needs to be, he needed to step up and come into his own, which meant making it on his own as well. If the development there didn't see him getting his first real victory at the end of Bad Guys, the story wouldn't have worked. I feel as though the same goes for what happened here. The plan didn't go without a hitch so the heroes still got a victory but Starline walking away with a victory of his own doesn't go against what Bad Guys was trying to do and it makes it so that whatever the next story is for him can happen.

Although it seems you and I have very opposite opinions about his character. Reading my posts about him you'd swear I was in love with the guy. Honestly, I might be.

Spoiler

I think my issue is primarily at the start of Bad Guys, he was acting like cock of the walk, while failing miserably, and shit-talking Eggman, and following the end of Bad Guys, he learned the wrong lesson, still acts like he's cock of the walk, but now get victories that doesn't feel earned because he didn't directly acknowledge his own flaws.

Bad Guys #4 had Starline acknowledging he's too short-sighted, but to me - that wasn't his issue. If anything, he's too focused, and that contrasts him off Eggman. Starline can focus and plan well, but when shit hits the fan, he just isn't very good at thinking on his feet, and that usually leads to disaster. Eggman might not plan ahead much, but when he is caught, he's insanely good at turning a bad situation around to benefit himself. 

Starline's downfall in Bad Guys doesn't feel believable. It didn't occur through the villains breaking apart through backstabbing, or Starline prematurely getting rid of them, which led to his downfall - it happened because of a contrived plot point that doesn't tie into what Starline claims was his failing. He was a dumbass and recorded his scheme for a known recon man and hacker to get. It's stupid, and it was only made so Starline's plan could be figured out.

In Bad Guys, I thought everything broke down in a bad way. Starline fucks up massively and yet still achieves all of his goals not via development or learning, but simply having the Tricore and making a run for it. The Bad Guys' alliance just breaks down because the story demands it, even though before that point, everyone barring Starline was actually enjoying the team-up. Bad Guys #4 just feels like a check list of plot beats that had to happen, but didn't have any logical reasoning or purpose to get there because proper build-up and focus hadn't been given.

Starline claims his issue is copying Eggman - yes - I've said that was an issue, and I was happy it got acknowledged, but it wasn't acknowledged correctly, because Starline didn't actually acknowledge the flaws he had in previous issues, instead having a new flaw that wasn't built up. His flaw was he not only consistently underestimated his opponents in both power and intelligence (he did this with Eggman and Zavok alone in Bad Guys), but that he couldn't diverge himself from a scheme if things went badly for him.

Bad Guys wise, it boils down to the victory not feeling earned. Starline didn't win via a hard-earned victory, like something in Eggman's Dozens, where Eggman had to stitch a team together and get them to work well in a team in order to beat Naugus, Starline just bolts off, while everyone else just does random shit for not much reason that ultimately all leads to their downfall. I feel like if it'd been a battle between Starline and Eggman, or Starline against the Bad Guys working together, to showcase the one man team aspect, maybe it would've come out better. 

Personally speaking, a large chunk of it comes off because of how bad and rushed the conclusion in of itself is. In all fairness, Starline's just a victim of it. I'd argue Mimic is too, and I really like Mimic as a villain.

Last point of issue is I feel like the story had to bend over backwards a little to accommodate Starline's victory. Particularly with Eggman in the end, I don't understand how he couldn't figure out that it was Starline warring against him. Eggman not only humiliated him and backstabbed him only a few issues ago, but Rough/Tumble are known associates of Starline, and only Starline would have the capability of manipulating the villains into working together. I think it would've been stronger if Eggman figured out immediately who it was, only for Orbot to break the news that one of his bases is now completely taken.

As for this issue, a good part of it is Starline oversturation, and Starline stealing the show from Clutch. After Bad Guys giving him three major wins in one, I think giving him yet another win here was a bit too much. To be frank, a lot of my issues is boiling down to being completely and totally burnt out on Starline, and just wanting other villains to show up without Starline being apart of it/stealing the show.

 

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2 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:
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I think my issue is primarily at the start of Bad Guys, he was acting like cock of the walk, while failing miserably, and shit-talking Eggman, and following the end of Bad Guys, he learned the wrong lesson, still acts like he's cock of the walk, but now get victories that doesn't feel earned because he didn't directly acknowledge his own flaws.

Bad Guys #4 had Starline acknowledging he's too short-sighted, but to me - that wasn't his issue. If anything, he's too focused, and that contrasts him off Eggman. Starline can focus and plan well, but when shit hits the fan, he just isn't very good at thinking on his feet, and that usually leads to disaster. Eggman might not plan ahead much, but when he is caught, he's insanely good at turning a bad situation around to benefit himself. 

Starline's downfall in Bad Guys doesn't feel believable. It didn't occur through the villains breaking apart through backstabbing, or Starline prematurely getting rid of them, which led to his downfall - it happened because of a contrived plot point that doesn't tie into what Starline claims was his failing. He was a dumbass and recorded his scheme for a known recon man and hacker to get. It's stupid, and it was only made so Starline's plan could be figured out.

In Bad Guys, I thought everything broke down in a bad way. Starline fucks up massively and yet still achieves all of his goals not via development or learning, but simply having the Tricore and making a run for it. The Bad Guys' alliance just breaks down because the story demands it, even though before that point, everyone barring Starline was actually enjoying the team-up. Bad Guys #4 just feels like a check list of plot beats that had to happen, but didn't have any logical reasoning or purpose to get there because proper build-up and focus hadn't been given.

Starline claims his issue is copying Eggman - yes - I've said that was an issue, and I was happy it got acknowledged, but it wasn't acknowledged correctly, because Starline didn't actually acknowledge the flaws he had in previous issues, instead having a new flaw that wasn't built up. His flaw was he not only consistently underestimated his opponents in both power and intelligence (he did this with Eggman and Zavok alone in Bad Guys), but that he couldn't diverge himself from a scheme if things went badly for him.

Bad Guys wise, it boils down to the victory not feeling earned. Starline didn't win via a hard-earned victory, like something in Eggman's Dozens, where Eggman had to stitch a team together and get them to work well in a team in order to beat Naugus, Starline just bolts off, while everyone else just does random shit for not much reason that ultimately all leads to their downfall. I feel like if it'd been a battle between Starline and Eggman, or Starline against the Bad Guys working together, to showcase the one man team aspect, maybe it would've come out better. 

Personally speaking, a large chunk of it comes off because of how bad and rushed the conclusion in of itself is. In all fairness, Starline's just a victim of it. I'd argue Mimic is too, and I really like Mimic as a villain.

Last point of issue is I feel like the story had to bend over backwards a little to accommodate Starline's victory. Particularly with Eggman in the end, I don't understand how he couldn't figure out that it was Starline warring against him. Eggman not only humiliated him and backstabbed him only a few issues ago, but Rough/Tumble are known associates of Starline, and only Starline would have the capability of manipulating the villains into working together. I think it would've been stronger if Eggman figured out immediately who it was, only for Orbot to break the news that one of his bases is now completely taken.

As for this issue, a good part of it is Starline oversturation, and Starline stealing the show from Clutch. After Bad Guys giving him three major wins in one, I think giving him yet another win here was a bit too much. To be frank, a lot of my issues is boiling down to being completely and totally burnt out on Starline, and just wanting other villains to show up without Starline being apart of it/stealing the show.

 

Oh my. That's quite a lot. Once again though, I'm surprised by how opposite the reactions here are. It seems we got two 100% completely different experiences here. I guess I'll have to go into even more detail about my own.

 

It did seem as though the development between the bad guys was reaching something positive in the middle, which was nice, but it didn't mean much it was formed under the conciet of eventually betrayal on Zavok and Starline's end. I knew it wouldn't last regardless. Mimic was only there to get out of Eggman's hair too. The instant he got involved, he was going to duck out too. And the Skunk brothers don't have much in terms of heavy motivation, just emotional investment thats unsurprisingly easy to see filter away when they start getting yelled at. All the diary did was confirm it for the rest.

Now, as for whether or not I feel Starline's escape wasn't earned, I do. It's not even a matter of the specific method being all that complicated. One, admittedly, I liked it better this way partly because it was intense and exciting. Having the team fall apart and strive to take him down while the ticking clock of Eggman's army arriving got the blood flowing. It's just more invigorating for me.

However, secondly, with regards to his development, I do still feel that whole ending fiasco was a part of it and the ending shot of the fourth issue was supposed to signify a more active attempt at coming into his own. He's not done developing yet. Because, you're right. He currently hasn't showcased an affinity for reacting to being caught like Eggman is. He's not Eggman. Perhaps he'll never be as good as Eggman at doing that. Perhaps escaping by the skin of his teeth through luck and a little bit of elbow grease provided by the thing he very much succeeded at creating all his own was the best he could do at that time.

And I love that. It's a fantastic showcase of how important it is that Starline and Eggman are, and remain, different.

I also feel that despite the sloppiness of the execution of his plan, he definitely did acknowledge his shortcomings. We can disagree on what we feel his shortcomings are. I think he and Zavok nailed it, more or less. You don't. That's cool. To me the issue was that he was always holding himself back and this little transtional escapade was just another example of how and why that is.

So if what you desired was an ending that showcased Starline having already come into his own as a new person rather than a falling out that dealt with consequences of who he currently was, with the ending page solidifying his desire to change, then I get being disappointed.

I just have a ton of respect for the sloppiness of the victory because what little he managed to do to support himself still saw him winning, FINALLY! It did a great job of showing that he was a work in progress but also that there was a spark of hope, and it begins with the Tri-Force. Yeah, the journal was a stupid mistake, but he had a success from earlier to balance it out and help him through the mess he got himself in. I don't think it should have meant immediate failure.

It remains to be seen whether or not he'll be a success but I feel this current arc did a well enough job showing the baby steps he's still taking to improving. This time the victory came through in a much cleaner way, but it was STILL not perfect. Which is great. I don't think I would have necessarily wanted the kind of ending you described because, again, I like seeing him claw his way there. I like seeing characters fail their way to victory.

I greatly enjoyed Bad Guys and I most certainly didn't think things shook down the way they did without reason. The characters did exactly what I expected of them. I suppose if I did have a thing I found unfortunate was the loss of the Zavok-Starline bromance but even then I suspect Starline was right about that just being more manipulation of Zavok's part.

I also don't agree that the ending was rushed. I actually praised Ian for not pulling an Issue 32 with this.

Issue 31 is still great though. 

Plus, it was just great following him as a protagonist.  After seeing him get treated like shit by the person he idolized for an entire arc, fired, his device taken, and fail to keep a makeshift group of villains together, it was nice to see him realize at the end what he could be. This current arc was just the icing on the cake where my boy gets hit by an avalanche and complains that his perm got messed up. Go get em, Starline.

Yeah, I know. He's a villain. Whatever.

 

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11 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Ok, how about we move to something else. Like Belle

How everyone feels about her now that we got to know her somewhat?

I still think think that idea is pretty genius, but somehow she still doesn't exactly click for me.

Yes, please.

While she arguably has more to her style-wise than Jewel, she kinda suffers in the other direction from not having that much time to establish her.

 

10 hours ago, Kuzu said:

Like I said, I feel like people are just too used to Shadow having such a commanding presence even in stories where he's part of an ensemble; games like Heroes, Battle, 06, Rivals, and even spin off media like Sonic X just gave Shadow a lion's share of attention even when he was just part of a greater ensemble. 

Especially Sonic Team themselves, since they can't seem to think of anything to do with that's either interesting or not screwed.

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10 hours ago, Kuzu said:

 

 

I think that while this arc was overall fine, it runs into similar issues that have plagued the book; not really fleshing thins out and just being more than a little bloated in what its trying to do. To give an example, we know next to nothing about Clutch or the underground that he runs, and he basically disappears from the story after he sics the super badnik on the crew, and the Chao Races don't even get that much focus despite being the focus of some of the advertising. As a result, it kind of nixes any potential involvement from Cream as a character since Chao races would have been  a great opportunity to flesh her out, but once the action starts she's relegated to her usual passive role. This arc introduces Belle halfway in, but she similarly doesn't get much to do, although I'm guessing they're saving that for later, but this arc didn't do much to sell me on her as someone I want to invest my time into.

 

Pretty much the main issues of the story beyond the black mark on the floor.

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