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The IDW Shadow Topic


charmsb
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Shadow is a bit of a hot topic (hehe) in the IDW comic book series right now, so much so that the discussion in the IDW topic always seems to default to him. While that should be allowed, it sometimes overtakes anything else the topic is talking about, and therefore I found it might be useful to create a separate topic for it!

Purpose: To lower the amount of lengthy Shadow discussions that tend to flood the original topic, while still providing a place for that discussion because its valid and important. I love Shadow, we all love Shadow, we want whats best for him (or what we think is best, anyway).

Rules: Discuss Shadow in IDW. Referencing other media is obviously allowed, because it may be useful to compare, but we're just talking about Shadow here. ALSO: This is a cosmically unimportant debate. No insulting, condescending remarks, ("seriously?" "oh, IM the idiot?" "how can you even think that?) or things of that nature. Remember what you're discussing is really not the end of the world, as important as we Sonic fans find it. Be civil.

Otherwise just uh... have fun, if this sorta thing even is fun.

Thread theme:

Spoiler

 

 

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dudebro1993

Thank you for making the thread!

I really hate how Shadow has been portrayed in Sonic Boom and in IDW comics and Archie in certain regards. In Sonic Boom he went full retard for some reason. IDW Shadow he is stubborn for no reason. In Archie he was insignificant except for in the Sonic Universe. I've seen Shadow written better in fanfics!

I just want him to get a proper win in the games and IDW. In the comics he only beats insignificant characters like Clutch but he doesn't count. I can't remember the last character Shadow beat in the games. The Jackal but he was weak so that doesn't really count. Maybe Solaris/Mephiles in Sonic 06?

I hope one day we will be free of the mandates.

 

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I still don't believe this is just for comics. This is just recent Shadow in all media. Boom, IDW, Team Sonic Racing and its shorts. Forces was a bit better for some reason but other than that. Even Sonic Olympics 2020 for mobile has a plot with the same Shadow issues. Sega has no clue on how to handle him nowadays. Or worse, they have their own wrong idea of Shadow which contradicts his old personality.

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MetalSkulkBane

Ironically I feel like most people agree on most important point (sorry if I'm wrong on that)
- He's badly written in IDW.
- It's fault of Sega mandates, not Flynn. It's easy to just compare him in Archie.

You could maybe argue that's he's being tsundere or something like that, acting mean, but secretly caring. But even if you're willing to make a bold assumptions like that (I have trouble) there is simple fact that Sega said otherwise. Flynn confirmed that again and again.

Frankly he wasn't much better in Boom (but it's alternative version) or recent games since 2010 (I consider Colors DS his last good appearance and Free Riders his start of decline). But I guess comic gave more focus and it's more jarring comparing other characters written much better.

I know I've been obsessing on other aspect (his incompetence), but that's because I just accepted that for now first thing can't be helped.

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Dr. Mechano

I’ve got a complaint about IDW Shadow, alright.


IDW Shadow wants to kill Eggman, and this is inconsistent with his post-amnesia portrayal in games like Sonic 06 and the Sonic Rivals series - where he is actually quite respectful and cooperative with Eggman despite them being on opposing sides.

In 06, he’s Eggman’s enemy, but the two are pretty civil overall. More importantly, in the Rivals games that follow shortly after, Shadow cares very much about protecting Eggman from Eggman Nega; he values Eggman’s life and treats him with a degree of dignity in these games, even though he does not support his bids for world domination.

Now, throughout the 2010s, Eggman and Shadow haven’t really directly interacted in the games proper. So perhaps IDW Shadow matches Iizuka’s current new direction for the character. But I’m not fond of how bloodthirsty Shadow is toward Eggman in the comics, because it flies in the face of his portrayals in the last handful of games (at least, the ones where he and Eggman meaningfully interacted at all) where he absolutely wasn’t characterized as wanting Eggman dead.

It feels random and unjustified, given their last (admittedly decade-old) interactions in the games. Guess Omega’s been rubbing off on him.

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MetalSkulkBane
4 minutes ago, Dr. Mechano said:

I’ve got a complaint about IDW Shadow, alright.


IDW Shadow wants to kill Eggman, and this is inconsistent with his post-amnesia portrayal in games like Sonic 06 and the Sonic Rivals series - where he is actually quite respectful and cooperative with Eggman despite them being in opposing sides.

In 06, he’s Eggman’s enemy, but the two are pretty civil overall. More importantly, in the Rivals games that follow shortly after, Shadow cares very much about protecting Eggman from Eggman Nega; he values Eggman’s life and treats him with a degree of dignity in these games, even though he does not support his bids for world domination.

Now, throughout the 2010s, Eggman and Shadow haven’t really directly interacted in the games proper. So perhaps IDW Shadow matches Iizuka’s current new direction for the character. But I’m not fond of how bloodthirsty Shadow is toward Eggman in the comics, because it flies in the face of his portrayals in the last handful of games (at least, the ones where he and Eggman meaningfully interacted at all) where he absolutely wasn’t characterized as wanting Eggman dead.

It feels random and unjustified, given their last (admittedly decade-old) interactions in the games. Guess Omega’s been rubbing off on him.

I am big fan of Shadow-Eggman respecting each other. My head cannon is that this is exactly why Shadow (mostly) leaves Sonic to fight Eggman, because he doesn't want to fight last living Robotnik.

With that said, I can totally imagine that Forces was breaking point for Shadow. Eggman nearly won, almost killed Sonic (and Omega) and even used Shadow's clone to terrorize people. I could see Shadow blaming himself that he should stop Eggman long time ago.

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The fact that Eggman caused a global pandemic and almost ended the entire world kind of vindicated Shadow's attitude if anything, so that excuse doesn't really work anymore.

 

Like sure, its not consistent with the games, but Flynn has always written Eggman with way more edge than what the games have portrayed.

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I'd agree somewhat. It's hard to empathize with the direction they give Sonic with the "forgive everyone" kinda thing when the Metal Virus happens right after (or almost right after). But Shadow was acting up before Eggman "came back", so it's still on the table to discuss how Shadow acted. I'm not exactly sure whose idea it was to leave Mr. Tinker unguarded despite how sure they were of him, though.

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Dr. Mechano
8 minutes ago, charmsb said:

I'd agree somewhat. It's hard to empathize with the direction they give Sonic with the "forgive everyone" kinda thing when the Metal Virus happens right after (or almost right after). But Shadow was acting up before Eggman "came back", so it's still on the table to discuss how Shadow acted. I'm not exactly sure whose idea it was to leave Mr. Tinker unguarded despite how sure they were of him, though.

Even Sonic says he wants Eggman to go to prison for the rest of his life, so it’s not like he’s advocating for total forgiveness.
 

He just (correctly) brought up the times Eggman saved the world - such as the ARK incident and fighting off the Black Arms - as justification for sparing his life. Eggman’s amnesia was actually irrelevant to Sonic’s arguments; Sonic argued that Eggman’s life simply has value, irrespective of his time as Mr. Tinker. 
 

Though again, he’s not so easygoing that he doesn’t want Eggman stopped. He’s said as much, which is more than justified, and fits with what we know of Sonic in the games as well.

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dudebro1993
Just now, Dr. Mechano said:

Even Sonic says he wants Eggman to go to prison, so it’s not like he’s advocating for total forgiveness.
 

He just (correctly) brought up the times Eggman saved the world - such as the ARK incident and fighting off the Black Arms - as justification for sparing his life. Eggman’s amnesia was actually irrelevant to Sonic’s arguments; Sonic argued that Eggman’s life simply has value, irrespective of his time as Mr. Tinker. 
 

Though again, he’s not so irresponsible that he doesn’t want Eggman stopped. He’s said as much, which is more than justified, and fits with what we know of Sonic in the games as well.

In which he was complicit, but you are correct about the Black Arms incident. 

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Eggman caused the whole Ark incident by releasing Shadow in the first place lmao.

 

Look, I know he's lovable and all, and I like that about him too, but its pretty easy to forget how blaise Eggman is about the consequences of his actions, and the entirety of the Virus arc is a lampshade of that.

IDW takes place after Forces, in which he conquered the entire world.

But Shadow, is the one who is wrong for wanting to do something about it? Naw man. He's got a lot of narrative issues in IDW, but he actually had a point there.

 

@WraithMaybe Shadow's character wasn't fully established yet and they intended for him to be that serious 

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Dr. Mechano
5 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

Eggman caused the whole Arkansas incident by releasing Shadow in the first place lmao.

 

Look, I know he's lovable and all, and I like that about him too, but its pretty easy to forget how blaise Eggman is about the consequences of his actions, and the entirety of the Virus arc is a lampshade of that.

IDW takes place after Forces, in which he conquered the entire world.

But Shadow, is the one who is wrong for wanting to do something about it? Naw man. He's got a lot of narrative issues in IDW, but he actually had a point there.

I’m not calling him wrong.

In the real world, Eggman would be a (rightfully) hated terrorist, and lethal action would almost certainly be not only justifiable, but probably the only realistic way to stop him.

So no. It’s not morally “wrong” for a character to want Eggman dead. I’m not saying that.

I’m saying that it doesn’t fit what’s already been established for Shadow as a character, and that - as Wraith pointed out - it’s kind of a pointless avenue to explore anyway since we know Eggman will never die. How does this clash of ideals with Sonic benefit Shadow or the broader narrative? I’m not convinced it does.

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Its an idea that was sound on paper, having a character call Sonic's ideals into action and having them question himself. But its one that just doesn't work in the context of the franchise. It sounds like a story arc more suited for Archie, ya know, where Eggman actually could die and stay dead for a bit.

 

But this is a licensed book for kids designed to promote the games. They're never gonna kill Eggman, so its pointless to try and explore it. And while I love Flynn's take on him, making him so monstrous yet unable to die runs into the same issues as the Joker. You know Batman is never gonna kill him, but any time the Joker causes mayhem, it makes the reader experience cognitive dissonance as to why Batman lets him live even though we know why on a meta level.

 

I said this in the main IDW topic, and Nick from Game Apologist said it too, but the fact is, Shadow isn't a major character anymore. He's a supporting character now. But the character has so much baggage that writing around it all is....messy. The Sonic series is pretty much stuck as this corporate brand designed to sell products and having a character like Shadow, who has a whole story arc establishing his character, runs counter to that. But he's too popular of a character to not show up.

So its a struggle of keeping the character "marketable" to the kids while maintaining the development he did go through.

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To take that thread a little further before I drop it(finally get a shadow thread and it's about to go OT lol) Eggman's actions in the games don't have realistic consequences. These consequences still exist in Sonic's world because "real villains" like Pachacamac and GUN do cause them, but Eggman is implicitly a "lesser evil" who's wanton destruction doesn't actually harm anybody.  Whether you like it or not he's framed as pretty toothless, so treating him like he's Bin Laden doesn't actually align with the games. It aligns with Archie, and hell, it might align with Flynn's version of Sonic's timeline if they ever get to flesh it out, but it doesn't work as well when the games are your only reference point. Makes the entire premise Sonic and Shadow's schism is built on feel shaky.

I think this is where a lot of the characterization debates are springing from at the moment. The foundation is rocky. Did the black arms invasion even happen? Does Shadow still have a stick up his ass after experiencing Heroes, that and 06? If so, why? What's got him so eager to prove himself that he lets his ego gets in the way of the mission? Why does he hate being a team player when at the very least he's learned time and again that teams are more efficient? hard to say.

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Dr. Mechano
16 minutes ago, Wraith said:

What's got him so eager to prove himself that he lets his ego gets in the way of the mission? Why does he hate being a team player when at the very least he's learned time and again that teams are more efficient? hard to say.

The out-of-universe reason seems to be that Sonic Team wants Shadow to remain the go-to "rival" character for Sonic. But like.

You can do that in a less overtly hostile way, right? Sonic and Shadow could be competitive while still respecting - even, dare I say, liking - the other.

Like imagine them driving back some villain's forces and turning that into a friendly competition or something. They're both attuned to the same goal but that competitive spirit is still there. You don't have to lose that rivalry just because Shadow (ideally) becomes better adjusted to dealing with people.

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I really do feel bad for the authors of this book in having to deal with Shadow lol, particularly for Flynn.

He's written a Shadow that has mostly gotten over his baggage, and now he has to basically go back on all of it just because the higher ups said so, and he has to take the blame for it because he's the most direct contact lol.

Another example of creators having to take the heat for the stupid decisions made by their bosses.

2 minutes ago, Dr. Mechano said:

The out-of-universe reason seems to be that Sonic Team wants Shadow to remain the go-to "rival" character for Sonic. But like.

You can do that in a less overtly hostile way, right? Sonic and Shadow could be competitive while still respecting - even, dare I say, liking - the other.

Like imagine them turning driving back some villain's forces into a friendly competition or something. They're both attuned to the same goal but that competitive spirit is still there. You don't have to lose that rivalry just because Shadow (ideally) becomes better adjusted to dealing with people.

I mean, realistically speaking, Sonic and Shadow shouldn't have any more beef with each other. Their initial beef was mostly due to mistaken identity and circumstances than anything truly personal. 

Despite popular belief, this isn't a Goku and Vegeta situation where there's an actual foundation for the rivalry.

So after Sonic Adventure 2, the two should have dropped all beef.....but OOOPS, corporation saw that money and have been milking the hell out of the rivalry ever since but have failed to contextualize it at all.

 

It pretty much just exists to remind people "HEY REMEMBER SONIC ADVENTURE 2" and for the kids who RP Sonic and Shadow on the playground.

 

And the annoying part is that you're right, it wouldn't be much effort to give them a more competitive edge that's in like with the foundation established in previous games, but Sega doesn't care.

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I'm all for admitting that the "should Shadow kill Eggman" plot was a bad idea. The thing about bringing up moral issues with a work is that once you put them out there, you're begging the question of why something isn't being done about it. It's why every time they try to address Batman not killing the Joker it loses more and more meaning.

You could probably get the same plot across without the murder, honestly.

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Regarding Sonic and Shadow's interactions, I'd prefer they keep at each other's throats, at least within reason. Sonic's already got a friendly rival in Knuckles, and there aren't many characters who are willing to push against Sonic, especially not ones who aren't outright villains. And I don't think there needs to be some big dramatic issue at the core of it; they've got different personalities and different approaches, but plenty of overlap in the ego department. They can simply grate on each other.

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2 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Regarding Sonic and Shadow's interactions, I'd prefer they keep at each other's throats, at least within reason. Sonic's already got a friendly rival in Knuckles, and there aren't many characters who are willing to push against Sonic, especially not ones who aren't outright villains. And I don't think there needs to be some big dramatic issue at the core of it; they've got different personalities and different approaches, but plenty of overlap in the ego department. They can simply grate on each other.

The same is true for Sonic & Knuckles and they get along just fine right now.

I don't disagree with you for the record; it's doing a huge disservice to Shadow if you don't leverage him as a good foil for Sonic. I don't even mind them being competitive with each other, it's just that more often than not, the reasons for it tend to be flimsy because the writers often don't give a fuck. The idea behind the whole Tinker business is good, because it actually gives them an ideological conflict to butt heads about. It asked an impossible question that can never be answered, but that' a good basis for a legitimate Sonic & Shadow rivalry that doesn't involve dumbing either of them down.

 

Like Wraith said; why don't they get along despite everything they've presumably been through? I don't mind them having a rivalry, but they need some type of foundation for it. Not even anything big or major, it can just be something petty. And you can strike a good balance of them respecting each other as equals but preferring to do things their own way unless push comes to shove.  

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I think that them having clashing ideologies is quite efficient to make them rival.

Though I also kinda like their dynamic in Chao Races and Badnik Bases, with a Shadow that seems to show a dislike of Sonic, while Sonic take that with fun. TBH I would like Evan to continue what she started with Shadow. It creates a fun Shadow, that is kinda jerky but a bit more complex in that he is conflicted about things and can be reasonned. All in all, I think that for the moment she manage SEGA's Shadow way better than Ian, as she actually do stuff with the character. I'd rather have them saving the day from the avalanche, but at least Sonic failed too here XD

But what is strange is that with the latest Eitaro Toyoda interview, it seems that he at the same time supervise IDWSonic AND write the Sonic Channel stories (so a Shadow that is more nuanced and that have a more interesting vision of how he fight). So I think that with better understanding, it might be possible to go to something more satisfying ? As it might possible to do something more like his Shadow, so with some nuance to him.

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2 hours ago, Kazhnuz said:

I think that them having clashing ideologies is quite efficient to make them rival.

Though I also kinda like their dynamic in Chao Races and Badnik Bases, with a Shadow that seems to show a dislike of Sonic, while Sonic take that with fun. TBH I would like Evan to continue what she started with Shadow. It creates a fun Shadow, that is kinda jerky but a bit more complex in that he is conflicted about things and can be reasonned. All in all, I think that for the moment she manage SEGA's Shadow way better than Ian, as she actually do stuff with the character. I'd rather have them saving the day from the avalanche, but at least Sonic failed too here XD

But what is strange is that with the latest Eitaro Toyoda interview, it seems that he at the same time supervise IDWSonic AND write the Sonic Channel stories (so a Shadow that is more nuanced and that have a more interesting vision of how he fight). So I think that with better understanding, it might be possible to go to something more satisfying ? As it might possible to do something more like his Shadow, so with some nuance to him.

Mind sharing the link to that interview?

In regards to Shadow, I'm not too worried about him on the long term, since guidelines and mandates can always change in the blink of an eye when we least expect it.

That said, I have no problems with immediate critiques in regards to how he is portrayed or written in any medium, provided it doesn't devolved into death threats or vulgar insults.

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51 minutes ago, Zoomzeta said:

Mind sharing the link to that interview?

It's here https://youtu.be/Yho2jIJ2-lk?t=1025

Basically he says that he supervise the japanese version of nearly every media, and that he supervise the IDW Sonic (with SoA + Iizuka). He said that he write for the Sonic Channel too. And with what he says, it seems that he was also supervising Archie (knowing that Flynn said that they were more "distant" during Archie's time).

So for me, there are chance that the rules aren't that different between IDWShadow and ChannelShadow (especially as Channel!Shadow also have edgier and more stoïc and lonesome vibe like IDWShadow), so all that make me think that it might be able to get better with time.

( Or maybe that Channel!Shadow was already the result of an evolution on that front. )

Of course, I can understand that other doesn't like the Channel iteration of Shadow as much as me, and I'm optimistic especially because I feel that Channel!Shadow is maybe one of the best writing of Shadow.

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5 hours ago, Kazhnuz said:

It's here https://youtu.be/Yho2jIJ2-lk?t=1025

Basically he says that he supervise the japanese version of nearly every media, and that he supervise the IDW Sonic (with SoA + Iizuka). He said that he write for the Sonic Channel too. And with what he says, it seems that he was also supervising Archie (knowing that Flynn said that they were more "distant" during Archie's time).

So for me, there are chance that the rules aren't that different between IDWShadow and ChannelShadow (especially as Channel!Shadow also have edgier and more stoïc and lonesome vibe like IDWShadow), so all that make me think that it might be able to get better with time.

( Or maybe that Channel!Shadow was already the result of an evolution on that front. )

Of course, I can understand that other doesn't like the Channel iteration of Shadow as much as me, and I'm optimistic especially because I feel that Channel!Shadow is maybe one of the best writing of Shadow.

Good for you. I'm just waiting to see how things will change once Rangers comes out.

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dudebro1993

If the rumours are true and Rangers is an open world focusing on combat, then maybe Shadow can be playable. He is a perfect fit with his Chaos abilities!

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