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DAY 2 - Comic Panel of the Week 1: 'Rivals' [30DOS22]

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Welcome to Day Two of 30 Days of Sonic! It's great to see so many people taking part already from yesterday's activity! I hope we can keep this going all the way through the month - and hopefully the varied activities we have lined up will be able to help with that.

It's Thursday, which means it's time for our first...

Comic Panel of the Week

The concept behind this is simple; we give you a topic/theme, and you post a comic panel that you feel best matches that theme. It can be from any of your favourite Sonic comics - we're not limiting you to anything here!

If you remember a cool scene from the classic Archie comics, bring it in! If you're a Fleetway Sonic the Comic fan, you're welcome! The latest IDW comics? Of course! Even esoteric manga that you might have read is eligible to be included in this activity!

All you need to do is share your chosen panel (it can either be a single frame, a page or even an entire story/issue if you like - we're not going to be too strict here), and simply explain why you think the scene fits so well or sticks so clearly in your memory.

Sound good? Here's the badge you can earn for participating in this activity; we will log all members that reply in this topic with a panel and an accompanying explanation. You have until Sunday 5 June at 23:59 UK Time the end of the month to take part!

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Comic Panel of the Week

This Week's Theme: 'RIVALS'

Sonic has made many friends over the years in various comic worlds, but he's also had run-ins with various rivals, nemeses and doppelgängers. Who has been your favourite rival to Sonic in print form, and which scene/story do you feel best illustrates the clashing personalities between them?

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We'll kick things off with a classic rival from the old Archie comics - this panel featuring Scourge from Sonic the Hedgehog #172. Sonic and Scourge have a long and storied history (dating back to Evil Sonic in the early issues of the book) and the green dude with a 'tude has a bit of a cult subfollowing within the Sonic community, for good reason.

With Ian Flynn's stewardship of the Archie universe during this period of the comic, it was refreshing to see characters that were otherwise seen as minor get fleshed out. In this particular issue's Sonic story, the blue blur faces off with Scourge after he discovers that casual fling Fiona has been cheating on him with his punk-looking nemesis. Yeah, we're not really keen on the story either, but I wanted to draw attention to this series of panels that gave a split-second glimpse into the differences in character between the two personalities.

I love seeing characters have 'moments of clarity' in comic books, even for a fleeting moment, and what's great about this exchange is that Scourge really thought he had some kind of psychological silver bullet against Sonic... when in fact the boy in blue just flipped-reversed it right back at him for maximum damage. It also highlights just how close Sonic and Scourge really are, besides looks - all it takes is a bad day, or a little bit of self-reflection, and these two could well be the same character. Instead, they choose to go their own individual paths.

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Now it's your turn! What comic panel/page/issue/story best fits the description of 'Rivals' for you?

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Man Scourge was cool, I normally like Rival and Rivalesce characters to do something else then fast, But man if they have to do it, at least Scourge was cool, the inverse color palette, the cockiness, the outfit, and most importantly, the fact that Sonic had to time out him to win.

if I had to pick a moment including Sonic, which I think I have too, I'd probably pick the this one, because the look on his face, man I don't even know how to describe Scourge's face, but I love it. Bro is flabbergasted.

 

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This is my weak spot, I don't know much of the comics (I pretty much only read the Metal Virus Saga and I think some of the early issues of IDW), but since I have some spare time, I want to try and take part to as many Days of Sonic as I can.

 

During the Metal Virus saga in the IDW comics, there was a part when Sonic finally met with Eggman, and they had a bit of a talk.

Sonic tries to convince Eggman to be more like Mr Thinker (a good version of himself that he became after losing his memory). Eggman finally admits that he enjoyed being Mr Thinker, but he prefers being Eggman, because it fits him better.

I think that the panel represents the rivality between Sonic and Eggman very well. Eggman understands that being a kind person and helping others can be satisfying too, but he just wants to be the best, he wants to show the world that he's superior, so he choose the road of being a villain and challenge our hero each time, regardless of how many times he failed in the past: he just wants to win for once.

In that part of the story, Sonic also attempts to infect Eggman with the Metal Virus because "if you are so proud of your creation, why don't you try it yourself", but Eggman managed to dodge the attack with his Egg Mobile.

 

I'm writing this by memory, I don't have access to the comics right now, so I hope that what I wrote is accurate.

EDIT: I forgot the favorite rival part... well as I said I didn't read much of comics, I'll go with Eggman so, as unoriginal as it sounds.

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Image

 

Easy. Back when Knuckles was the rival of Sonic. In the early days of the Archie comic, Sonic got roboticized and started attacking the Freedom Fighters; their only option to quell him was to roboticize Knuckles to fight back. Of all the available members of the Freedom Fighters, it was Knuckles (technically not even a Freedom Fighter at this point) that rose up and took the risk of turning into a robot to take Sonic down.

Why does this make him a true rival? One, he'd have to be on par with Sonic to begin with to stand a chance. Two, he was willing to clock him right in the face in the first place, which is what rivals do. And three, he's doing it to ultimately help Sonic, which shows that he has some level of respect for him. Someone with no respect for his rival is not a rival, but an enemy. 

Sonic & Knuckles is blue vs red, wind vs mountain, freedom vs duty, and despite those opposites, they can coexist. But if we can see them turn into robots and fight, that's also really cool.

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13 minutes ago, Sonic Fan 3,183 said:

Man Scourge was cool, I normally like Rival and Rivalesce characters to do something else then fast, But man if they have to do it, at least Scourge was cool, the inverse color palette, the cockiness, the outfit, and most importantly, the fact that Sonic had to time out him to win.

if I had to pick a moment including Sonic, which I think I have too, I'd probably pick the this one, because the look on his face, man I don't even know how to describe Scourge's face, but I love it. Bro is flabbergasted.

 

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This is a great panel! Can you tell me what the context is, the events were leading up to this? Seems really cool haha! :D 

11 minutes ago, Iko said:

During the Metal Virus saga in the IDW comics, there was a part when Sonic finally met with Eggman, and they had a bit of a talk....

I'm writing this by memory, I don't have access to the comics right now, so I hope that what I wrote is accurate.

EDIT: I forgot the favorite rival part... well as I said I didn't read much of comics, I'll go with Eggman so, as unoriginal as it sounds.

I appreciate the contribution!! Comics aren't my strong point either haha! :) This panel/story sounds interesting... do you have a favourite image/panel/page from the story that you can share to illustrate the scene?

7 minutes ago, Indigo Rush said:

Image

 

Easy. Back when Knuckles was the rival of Sonic. In the early days of the Archie comic, Sonic got roboticized and started attacking the Freedom Fighters; their only option to quell him was to roboticize Knuckles to fight back. Of all the available members of the Freedom Fighters, it was Knuckles (technically not even a Freedom Fighter at this point) that rose up and took the risk of turning into a robot to take Sonic down.

Why does this make him a true rival? One, he'd have to be on par with Sonic to begin with to stand a chance. Two, he was willing to clock him right in the face in the first place, which is what rivals do. And three, he's doing it to ultimately help Sonic, which shows that he has some level of respect for him. Someone with no respect for his rival is not a rival, but an enemy. 

Sonic & Knuckles is blue vs red, wind vs mountain, freedom vs duty, and despite those opposites, they can coexist. But if we can see them turn into robots and fight, that's also really cool.

OK, my experience with early Archie is extremely limited to the very early issues (and the stories there were... not good...) but I think if I had access to this sort of story in the UK as a kid and I read this I'd have thought it was awesome! Roboticise Knuckles just to take a metal Sonic down! That's pretty cool!

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I'm going have to agree with Indigo Rush

Sonic & Knuckles' relationship before they finally became friends was very rocky in multiple universes, including Archie's.

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This panel is from the first page of Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog #42

For a brief summary, Sonic came to Angel Island to borrow the Master Emerald to try and heal King Acorn from his crystal transformation.

Regardless of the fact that Angel Island would fall out of the sky without the Master Emerald or the fact that even though Knuckles doesn't want to help at first and later changes his mind to help the Freedom Fighters escape one of Robotnik's sting operations, I feel this panel sums up their dynamic in the early days.

If you want a story that sums up Sonic VS Knuckles, besides Mecha Madness, there's always Super Sonic VS Hyper Knuckles.

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There the 2 fought so hard, they managed to delete a Special Stage universe out of existence.

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Posted (edited)

I have not read much besides IDW, and I'm not entirely the best at remembering what happens because I read the comics mostly in batches, but I'll say that I've really enjoyed everything involving Metal Sonic in the IDW comics. I feel he's been at his best here than he has in a long time, but that's coming from someone that never read Archie so I have no idea how he compares there.

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I really enjoy his relationship with Sonic in numerous ways, such as how Sonic saves him and sets him free as seen here, giving him a second chance to be more than just a robotic doppleganger, yet Metal always returns back to Eggman's side in the end. I always found one particular moment sad in the IDW comics, where Metal touches the metal virus and it only slides off his finger. It's a moment with no dialogue and only visuals, but I don't know, it really struck me. But yeah, I'm not exactly the most informed on this stuff so I hope this isn't a boring answer, but I do like Metal and Sonic's rivalry in the IDW comics, and how it can even be a bit sad at times. 

Edited by Winston
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This is from the 12th issue of Sonic Universe, the end of Echoes of the Past arc

Finitevus is once again trying to trick Knuckles that he is doing good things, and asking his help, this time Knuckles don't buy it, and try to punch him off his island, thus begins a fight.

The dichotomy between Knuckles and FInitevus is really great, the use of Tikal's prayer in a corrupted way makes visual the opposition of everything, of ideals, of goals, of heart.

The whole fight was a treat, but this panel stayed with me since I first read it.

 

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Bit of a cheat but... this one.

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So this is from Robotnik Reigns Supreme, where Robotnik gets the powers of a God and traps Sonic in an endless fight throughout all of time and reality where the two battle in every possible scenario he can think up and Sonic has no choice but to fight or run, the page is over in seconds but the implication is that the two have battled for decades in this one quick flash of scenarios that Robotnik creates until he finds one to eventually beat him.

And Sonic never yields...

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Spoilers for the Zombot Arc in IDW:
 

Spoiler

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Definitely a tricky one for me, I read plenty of Sonic the Comic as a kid and really enjoy IDW, but they don't stick in my mind that much. So with that said, I'll go for the first thing that came to mind on this theme: the fight between Sonic and Zombot Shadow in IDW.  After so many years of the two fighting on equal ground, it made for a fun, unique fight scene by having Shadow, the one who always seems the more elegant of the two, dragged down to such a primal level - along with all the advantages and wrinkles that Shadow's state provided for Sonic during their brawl.

 

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Admittedly this wan't the first panel that came in my head (originally my mind went to Brotherhood of Metallix but that's too broad for a rival), but who has Sonic butted heads with longest? Robotnik!

I've had to use the whole page from Fleetway 125 for the full speech, but to give context: Robotnik has acquired reality shifting powers somehow (been years since I read it). The image burned in my memory is the fish panel but more importantly the phrase "I'll never give up!"

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Yes, the art is absurd here but it does sum Sonic up against Robotnik - he will always fight, no matter what. Robotnik will come up with something new, a different attempt at tipping the scales in his favour but ultimately Sonic will fight with everything he has, and the two will continue this forever.

 

Edit - whoops, Badnik Mechanic beat me to it...

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There's two in particular I really like, both from two sets of rivals. The first is Scourge of course, although my favourite panel isn't from him and Sonic (Apologies in advance for the full page post, it's the only image I could find of the panel - it's the second one, specifically): 

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The reason this panel in particular is my favourite is because it really gets down to the core of what has driven Scourge to his level of villainy, and what really caused the split between himself and Sonic. The story - Father and Son - is about Scourge attempting to strike Sonic in the middle of the night, only to end up getting ambushed by Jules (Sonic's father in the Archie universe), who had anticipated that Scourge would attempt something.

What proceeds from that point is a confrontation between the father and son counterparts, with Jules making it clear despite Scourge's threats that he isn't afraid of him - that he knows that his son, and his friends are a team of heroic people who all work together to face great evils, which means Scourge's world is instead filled with a bunch of selfish cowards who will rip each other apart at the first chance.

Scourge attempts to counter with his alleged conquest of his world, but as with all the other times, it's nothing but a front - a pathetic attempt for Scourge to pretend he's strong and mighty, that he doesn't need anyone, and it's immediately countered with Jules simply stating that it only proves his point about Scourge's world.

That's when we get the real crux of the issue - where Scourge finally lets rip with what his relationship with Anti-Jules was, and where we get the very first origins of Scourge the Hedgehog - as opposed to this world's Jules, who was a loving family man and war-hero, the Anti-Jules was a regal, neglectful, egotistical man who soaked in the adoration and attention, neglecting the son who so desperately wanted his love and approval, sending Anti-Sonic spiralling onto the pathway that would create Scourge the Hedgehog.

This eventually leads to the climax of the issue - where Scourge's facade falls entirely - where when he attempts to intimidate this Jules, much like he would any of the other people he'd 'conquered' on his own world, Jules remains steadfast in his convictions - knocking away Scourge's threats by pointing out he's nothing like the Jules that Scourge knew. That this Jules was a soldier and fighter - a man who'd fought to protect all he knew in the Great War.

Scourge gets a full glimpse of the fact that this Jules the Hedgehog loves and cares for his son, and would do anything to keep him protected and safe, leaving it off with the statement that shatters Scourge altogether - "While you might not care about the loss of your Jules, I'm certain my son will be very upset". 

Finally leading up to why this is my favourite panel of this rivalry between Sonic and Scourge, despite Sonic not even being present - Jules' role here gives us one of the greatest contrasts between Sonic and Scourge, that showed that the 'Anti-Universe' isn't just everything flipped - it shows that there's still not inherit good or bad, it's still that things happened in a way that caused these characters to spiral into who they became.

Anti-Sonic didn't just start out as a villain, as just the 'evil Sonic' as Ken Penders originally intended for him - Anti-Sonic was a character. He was a person. He was Sonic, up until Anti-Jules' actions caused Anti-Sonic's downfall into becoming Scourge. It shows us that Archie Sonic is a character who thanks to his friends and family, grew to become one of the greatest heroes in all of Mobius, and Anti-Sonic lost something without that.

More importantly, it gives us a real glimpse at the real Scourge, the one behind the front of the big, bad scary bully who conquered a world by beating the toughest guys down - that behind it all, he's still just the same small Sonic desperately tugging on his father's cape for some semblance, some shred of recognition, love, or attention - that he's still lashing out to the world in some vain attempt to find someone or something he can relate to. In the same way, it gives us a solid reason why he's so desperate to have the Prime!Sonic turn bad as well, if only because it would mean he'd have a 'brother' who understands and relates to his thirst for power and attention.

As a quick runner-up:

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From the World Adventure/Unleashed arc in Post Reboot Archie - Knuckles and the Werehog's interactions are easily one of the best things we get from it, as little as it is. Seeing Sonic being able to relate more to Knuckles due to the Werehog's strength and brawler nature is just a super fun dynamic to run with, especially with how Knuckles and Sonic continue to tease each other during their appearances in the arc. It's just a fun usage of the transformation.

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43 minutes ago, Dreadknux said:

I appreciate the contribution!! Comics aren't my strong point either haha! :) This panel/story sounds interesting... do you have a favourite image/panel/page from the story that you can share to illustrate the scene?

I managed to get the panels:

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The first one works better in the context of the full page, but I'm not sure if it's ok to upload it.

I really enjoyed this part of the comic even though it was mostly talking and there was little action.

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My favorite rival interaction with Sonic in the comics is from Sonic X #26, "The Legend of El Gran Gordo"

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In this issue, Sonic and Eggman duke it out in the ring. No weapons, no robots - just a man-to-'hog fist fight

And the two of them manage to get some good hits on the other! It's not nearly as one-sided as some fans might think, with Eggman holding his own in the ring with surprising strength:

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The Doctor even does this stylish dodge! I've always particularly liked this panel:

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In the end, Sonic does manage to best Eggman. But seeing Eggman put up such a fight with his bare hands was still really cool, and the two even end the match with mutual sportsmanlike respect for one another:

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It's a great issue where, although Eggman loses, he loses with style and panache - and ultimately walks away looking really cool. Sonic himself is pretty cool in this issue too, and it's always great to see his and Eggman's egos competing.

Issue 26 kicks off the four-part El Gran Gordo saga (issues 26 and 27, then continued in issues 31 and 32), which remains my favorite story arc in all Sonic history! However, only issue 26 really counts as a true "rival battle" with Sonic himself, so I'm focusing specifically on it to meet the terms of this topic!

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While Sonic had various rivals throughout Sonic the Comic, Knuckles will always be his main. They were constantly competing and never admitted when they needed each other's help. 

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Now I have never followed the comics at all, so I'm quite out of my element here. Though these panels have really stuck with me.

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I've always loved the Babylon Rogues, and I think if I had to choose I'd say Jet is my favorite of all of Sonic's rivals. Jet is the only one of Sonic's rivals who really just cares about being the fastest, and none of Sonic's other rivals can say that. Knuckles was a great rival, but he hasn't been a rival to Sonic in forever, and besides I think I kinda prefer the two being friendly with each other. Shadow to me has never been all that great a rival to Sonic outside of SA2, their abilities are so similar but Shadow doesn't seem to care or really flaunt that stuff all that much. He's too reserved typically. Metal Sonic is good but he's an Eggman robot who often doesn't emote and sometimes isn't that much of a real obstacle to Sonic.

Jet though, he's cocky, he's arrogant, he wants to be the best and he'll do whatever it takes to get 1st place. He'll cheat, he'll steal, he isn't above dirty tricks. Plus on top of that, on his extreme gear he's got the speed to match. I love a dickhead rival who'll taunt his opponents and puts up one hell of a challenge before going down. I wish they'd utilize Jet, Wave, and Storm in the games, they'd make perfect enemies to show up in the middle of your adventure to get in Sonic's way and would be a real roadblock in your journey. We definitely are in dire need of more anthro enemies so I have no idea why Sonic Team won't use these guys as in my eyes they're absolutely perfect for that role. Oh well, maybe some day.

To go back to the comic, as I said I don't follow them, but I have read that issue however I don't have the context of the issues before it. What I can say though is Sonic is absolutely fed up with the Rogues, and seeing him angry enough to outright threaten them just really excites the hell outta me. We don't often see Sonic lose his cool in the games, so this sort of thing is such a treat to me. And the fact it's the Rogues bringing that out of him makes it all the sweeter for me. I love these 3.

 

 

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So, for the most part, I don't think much of Sonic and Shadow's rivalry. Not that I dislike it, but it's something that technically doesn't come up much after Shadow's first few appearances. Yeah, he challenges Sonic here and there, but that's about as far as it goes considering Shadow's mostly reduced role in the games. Not only that, but generally I really like the sort of portrayal their relationship had in, say, Ian Flynn's run of Archie Sonic. They don't always like each other, but there's respect and a sometimes uneasy camaraderie. It's exactly how I always imagined them interacting after things settled between them post-SA2.

That said, I still think there's some potential in serious conflict between them depending on the situation, and regardless of any issues anyone (absolutely including myself) have with Shadow himself in recent western media, I actually do enjoy how this aspect has been handled in IDW Sonic. The first thing that came to mind was Shadow's first proper appearance.

When Shadow finds out about Eggman's location after the events of Forces, he shows up to, apparently, straight up kill him. As it turns out however Eggman is currently an amnesiac going by the name Mr. Tinker...not that this is enough to stop Shadow on it's own. Sonic of course isn't too happy with this and manages to redirect Shadow into fighting him instead, but the thing I found really interesting was the actual argument.

At first Sonic simply brings up that Eggman has helped on occasion, but even he admits it's not the strongest argument (particularly in regards to the SA2 incident kind of being the man's fault in the first place). Shadow for his part is incredulous that Sonic of all people would defend Eggman in any context. That leads right into probably one of the simplest pages in the comic, it's entirely these four panels.

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I remember people were mad at this, for various reasons, and you know what I totally get why. I don't think Sonic was too harsh here the way I remember a few people saying, but the biggest point of contention was from the meta perspective. Obviously, given the nature of the series even in a sequential comic, Eggman wasn't going to be Mr. Tinker forever, so purely from a "logical" perspective Shadow was right.

But as much as I get it, I was and still am a bit frustrated by that angle, because I don't think this story loses it's meaning because of it. In particular, this whole argument helps reiterate the difference between these two in an interesting way (imo), that Shadow really is the anti-hero to Sonic's hero, even if he does lean towards doing the "right thing" after Sonic gets through to him. And that's the thing, speaking as a huge Shadow fan since Sonic Adventure 2 and to this very day, I don't think this demonized Shadow too much or anything.

To be honest part of what impressed me is what I was kind of getting at earlier.  I remember sometimes people would say they'd like to see Sonic and Shadow still be rivals even if they're on the same side post-SA2/ShTH, but it was so hard to imagine beyond some banter or something. So actually seeing it happen in a way I found believable was neat.

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HAD to rep my favorite story from the Archie run (as well as what I believe to be Archie Sonic's peak in general,) "Champions!"

A whole tournament of fun clashes between the playable characters featured in Sonic the Fighters (plus a few extras) concludes with, of course, a classic Sonic vs. Knuckles brawl. I picked this part of the fight in general because I love the frenetic action (rendered wonderfully by Diana Skelly, the story's MVP) contrasted by the little sepia flashbacks to Sonic and Knux's rivalry over the years. Plus, the dialogue in both this scene AND the following one from the battle where Sonic offers to throw the match so Knux can get back to his mission of restoring Angel Island really do an awesome job of showing off their rough-and-tumble (not the Skunks!) friendship.

All in all it's a really fun battle between the two that, while it ends undecided due to villain interruption, does a great job of concluding both the tournament AND a super entertaining story filled with wonderfully cartoony art, fast-paced action and top-notch characterization all around. STILL bitter we never got that trade paperback.

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This panel in issue 200 of the Archie Comics.  So here, Sonic and Dr. Eggman are fighting each other again after the events of issue 175, where Dr. Eggman destroyed Knothole Village and Sonic and his friends have to rebuild a new city in its place.  Here, the two are exchanging insults against each other, but this time, Sonic ends up winning against Dr. Eggman and starts taunting him about how Dr. Eggman will never beat Sonic, no matter how many robots he puts up against him.  The moment that Sonic finally destroys Dr. Eggman's latest machine causes Dr. Eggman to go insane and he spends most of the later issues after this being in a crazed mental state.

This issue had always stood out to me because not only do we see Dr. Robotnik go insane after losing to Sonic, but we get to see how both Sonic and Dr. Eggman dealt with the aftermath of issue 175.  When Dr. Eggman came in and destroyed Knothole, he took complete delight in the whole situation and even taunted Sonic about how he couldn't save Knothole, which makes Sonic truly angry.  However, even though Sonic was really angry at the whole situation, he still tried to save his friends, despite Knothole being destroyed.  Whereas in this issue, when Dr. Eggman loses to Sonic, he ends up going insane and stayed in that state for a couple of issues afterwards.  And Sonic was actually horrified at what he did and he felt bad about making Dr. Eggman go insane.  So, this issue pretty much shows how sadistic Eggman can be, while Sonic is still heroic to his core, which shows a stark difference in their personalities and how they view their victories and losses.

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1 hour ago, Dreadknux said:

This is a great panel! Can you tell me what the context is, the events were leading up to this? Seems really cool haha! :D

I believe Scourge just ran out of time on his super form, and didn't know there was a timer.

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2 hours ago, Dreadknux said:

This is a great panel! Can you tell me what the context is, the events were leading up to this? Seems really cool haha! :D 

 

13 minutes ago, Sonic Fan 3,183 said:

I believe Scourge just ran out of time on his super form, and didn't know there was a timer.

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Actually, Sonic had tricked Scourge into turning back to normal from his Super Form

Unlike Sonic, who normally gets a boost from reverting back to normal from his Super Form, Scourge burns out.

Judging by his reaction, I'm guessing Scourge hadn't gone Super since his fur turned green or he forgot completely that happens to him.

 

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4 minutes ago, Sonictrainer said:

 

 

Actually, Sonic had tricked Scourge into turning back to normal from his Super Form

Unlike Sonic, who normally gets a boost from reverting back to normal from his Super Form, Scourge burns out.

Judging by his reaction, I'm guessing Scourge hadn't gone Super since his fur turned green or he forgot completely that happens to him.

 

Thank for the context dude.

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The Robotnik page from the Robotnik Reigns Supreme arc of Sonic the Comic has already been posted, so let me take you to a place that for some might be unexplored territory.

 

We are in Sonic's native Japan, and we are looking at a gag manga called "Dash & Spin Super Fast Sonic"

Not every chapter as of this post has been translated, but thankfully among the few that can be read in English, there is the one where a black and red delinquent hedgehog gets introduced.

In this lighter and funnier world, we don't need Space Colonies and Genetic Engineering to give Sonic a rival, it seems.

Meet Shadow, the ultimate life form and overall pretty cool guy

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Quite the difference from what we are used to see, right?

 

This chapter, 17 to be exact, is a riot in my opinion. The way the rivalry between Sonic & Shadow gets portrayed is basically two hotheads playing around, having fun, and getting to kick a egg-shaped butt at the end of the story

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Here you can see them partaking into a staring battle (which Shadow admits, Sonic won)

 

Why do I like this story? Well, aside from the fact that it just makes me laugh from the first to the last page, I guess we can also add that the way THIS Shadow acts and ends up becomining Sonic's "dark and cool friend" is so different yet entertaining that it just...got stuck in my head. I think it's absolutely adorable. And let's be honest, two 1 meter long cartoon hedgehogs duking it out at neckbreaking speed, can also be...just that. Adorable.

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It has to be this for me, the introduction to Sonic's main 90s rival...Knuckles in STC

 

It remains so vivid for me as Sonic is actuallybeaten fir once, signalling a huge change and threat to him

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This might be cheating a bit, since it's from two comics and neither actually involve Sonic at all, but I think it does highlight a key thing about two of his rivals: Shadow and Metal Sonic. Primarily the latter.

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In this first story, Shadow has been battling an upgraded Metal Sonic across multiple dimensions, yet by the end of it, he doesn't want to just destroy the machine like others (including Sonic) might have. He actually tries to reason with Metal, seeing him as more than just a tool for Eggman to use. Something that very few (if any) other characters have done.

Back then, to me, it made me wonder if Shadow perhaps saw a bit of himself in Metal Sonic - both being driven by their creators to spread chaos and destruction - and so he wanted to see if Metal could change his ways too...

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...but instead, Metal just throws it right back in his face, twisting his words and coming to a more 'logical' conclusion. To him, Shadow's just as much a weapon or tool as he is, merely working for the opposite side. And he likely thinks the same of Sonic and others too. To Metal, they all just have "functions" to fulfil, nothing more. He can't be reasoned with, which leaves Shadow feeling disappointed, but also realising that he can't let Metal hurt any more innocent lives, so he has to put him down.

At the end of the day, Metal is right about one thing - they are both living weapons. But what he fails to realise is that Shadow made a choice to take a different path, one that he felt was right, while Metal... doesn't. Sure, there's a possibility that he simply can't make that choice due to his programming, but that's where this second story comes into play:

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Here, we get a similar situation (even calling back to the first story) where an upgraded Metal Sonic battles one of Sonic's rivals. Only this time, it's another Metal Sonic (aka Shard), one who did choose to switch sides and has been trying to make up for his past endeavors. He, too, believes that Metal Sonic can become more than a tool to be sent out against Sonic...

...and once again, it fails. But this time, it's not out of twisting his opponents' words, but rather because Eggman has made sure that he CANNOT think for himself, not if it clashes with his primary mission. So once again, his opponent has no choice but to put him down (or at least, try to).

It's something I find intriguing about Metal Sonic (regardless of continuity) compared to some of Sonic's other rivals like Knickles or Shadow. This idea that he could be more than a robotic Sonic copy, if only he had the opportunity, but for one reason or another, he usually either can't or doesn't. Others  remain a rival to the blue blur while still evolving, while Metal remains by Eggman's side, whether he wants to or not.

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  • Dreadknux changed the title to DAY 2 - Comic Panel of the Week 1: 'Rivals' [30DOS22]
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