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Sonic the Hedgehog IDW: Scrapnik Island #3 - Reader Reaction & Review


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(Is it me or conversation on this mini is kinda small? What, 5 comments?)

I have to admit, the atmosphere is carrying this story.

"Tails builds some weapons to fight Mecha, but fails". That's the whole issue. With average artwork, it would be very boring. But the way Mecha takes down Tails' group one by one is very effective.

I still feel the horror aspect isn't utilized fully. Despite dark artwork, no one gets hurt on screen. We have much of nameless robots. Get brutal, show some guts, kill some of them. I'll take it if they all can be fixed in the last issue, they are already zombie-like.

Due to the kid-aimed demographic Sonic can't really go into full "horror", but I feel Metal Virus was better at pretending it can.

So I enjoyed the story, but not as much as everyone else seems to (all 4 of you).

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If we are to compare the two "horror inspired" stories, I think that Scrapnik Island is the better one in terms of pacing, atmosphere and writing. I am absolutely amazed by the ability of giving emotions to emotionless automatons that the artist has shown, too.

Of course this is not a competition and it's all subjective, so if you like the Zombot arc over this...I don't understand you, but I can respect your opinion.

That being said, I am not a fan of Tails "gearing up" to face the danger, but the "allies getting taken one by one in the darkness" scene that follows right after is too good to stay "mad" at that choice.

Looking forward to seeing how this ends. Probably one of my favourite "mini-series" so far.

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No one can deny that art-wise, this is so much scarier than Metal Virus.

But script-wise, I think MV was superior.

First issue was very spooky, because we didn't know what's going on. Things were hiding in the shadows, everything looked dangerous, Sonic was lost and confused. It wasn't full horror, but it was unnerving. Sonic's injury worked in tandem with this.

Ideally answers would slowly trickled and made us more scared, horrified by what we learn. Some kind of "what science done" deal. Instead issues 1-2 provide answer that make things nicer and calmer. Robots are nice. Spooky Mecha Sonic loves flowers. Spooky Mecha Knuckles is just confused. What Metal Virus had is escalation that Scrapnik lacks.

I still like the story, but I wouldn't give it 6 out of 6 so to speak.

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There's a break in the tension after the first issue, but I don't think it entirely dissipates. Sonic, and the reader, still have a hunch about Mecha Sonic that's proven tragically correct and tension has started rising again in that cool kiddie-horror way going into the finale.

I also don't agree that the robots should be painted as malicious. It just wouldn't be very "Sonic." It's a series about seeing the bright side in everybody, even the killer robots. It makes the whole thing feel more authentic, like a story that could actually happen in universe.

I'm generally lukewarm on metal virus, willing to defend it more than most, but it's most successful moments of tension are when Sonic is running on fumes to me, and that's an idea that they don't get to focus enough on as they try to fit in everyone and everything else. The half-baked way Shadow got captured ruined the arc for a lot of people, but for me it was just a symptom of a larger disease. That year long arc still felt like it had to move too fast and d too much. Another case for smaller casts. I also just don't think it sticks the landing. Things snap back in place in a way that made me suspect outside circumstances were affecting things. Scrapnik island could easily go the same way, but for now it's been 3 great issues so far.

Spoiler



My only real problem with it is pretty minor. The dialogue. There's just too much of it. Gonna mostly avoid spoiling the issue, but there's one exception I want to point out. image.thumb.png.5a9ffdea36dd862f2b65c08677e0792f.png

This is an incredible shot. Let it hang.

In general I don't think we needed E2D2, or at least not so much of his chatter. The visual storytelling and imagery are very strong this time around, the long stretches of silence where action or the art get to breathe are the best parts. Sometimes I wonder if it would be a better choice if all the robots were silent.

I was also disappointed at the part later when.
 

Spoiler

Mecha Sonic takes the translator and starts talking. He was already perfect! There are other characters that could have explained his motivation later!! He's not a character that speaks in the games either and I feel like respecting that would have been more effective! Oh well.

 

 

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Spoiler

Mecha talking was deliberate I feel to seperate him further from Metal, who already is the terse talking silent robot killer. I generally agree with you, but I understand why they did t.

 

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Spoiler

Why is a certain character taking really even mildly an issue?

This is sounding like “Classic Sonic shouldn’t talk” all over again.

 I’m not a fan of info dumping or saying more than necessary for dialogue, but never understood why breaking any form of silence (for any reason) becomes even a slight issue.

 

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53 minutes ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:
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Why is a certain character taking really even mildly an issue?

This is sounding like “Classic Sonic shouldn’t talk” all over again.

 I’m not a fan of info dumping or saying more than necessary for dialogue, but never understood why breaking any form of silence (for any reason) becomes even a slight issue.

Spoiler

Robotic characters who make use of their silence or lack of speech, while expressing their own individual character traits and designs, is a huge part of how appealing their individual characters can be. Look at thousands of robots throughout fiction, or even the entire pixar movie designed around it. Approaching the character traits and peoples preferences for robotic characters, and how they're executed, with the completely unrelated modern vs classic debates is flat out missing the point of that nuance. In fact I have yet to see anyone who advocates for speech to even prioritize how the robots use speech, as it's usually just a baseline of "I want them to communicate fully with the characters or be funny, established character be damned" like Omega from Archie, or Metal when not Neo.

Robotic characters are as interesting in their sentience as their limitations simultaneously, and hearing people throw those aspects to the wind for the hell of it is tiring at this point. 

 

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1 hour ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:
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Why is a certain character taking really even mildly an issue?

This is sounding like “Classic Sonic shouldn’t talk” all over again.

 I’m not a fan of info dumping or saying more than necessary for dialogue, but never understood why breaking any form of silence (for any reason) becomes even a slight issue.

Spoiler

This doesn't have anything to do with dumb classic sonic culture war bullshit. Mecha Sonic was created to be a weapon with limited ways of interacting with the world beyond destruction. Part of the charm is seeing him interact positively despite that limitation.

 

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1 hour ago, The Deleter said:
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Robotic characters who make use of their silence or lack of speech, while expressing their own individual character traits and designs, is a huge part of how appealing their individual characters can be. Look at thousands of robots throughout fiction, or even the entire pixar movie designed around it. Approaching the character traits and peoples preferences for robotic characters, and how they're executed, with the completely unrelated modern vs classic debates is flat out missing the point of that nuance. In fact I have yet to see anyone who advocates for speech to even prioritize how the robots use speech, as it's usually just a baseline of "I want them to communicate fully with the characters or be funny, established character be damned" like Omega from Archie, or Metal when not Neo.

Robotic characters are as interesting in their sentience as their limitations simultaneously, and hearing people throw those aspects to the wind for the hell of it is tiring at this point. 

 

56 minutes ago, Wraith said:
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This doesn't have anything to do with dumb classic sonic culture war bullshit. Mecha Sonic was created to be a weapon with limited ways of interacting with the world beyond destruction. Part of the charm is seeing him interact positively despite that limitation.

Spoiler

I’m sorry, but I’ve seen plenty of fiction with robots:

-Medabots

-My Life as a Teenage Robot

-Terminator

-Futurama

-Star Trek’s Data and the Borg

-Star Wars Droids

-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 with the Nanobots and Fugitoid

-Gargoyles with Coyote and the Matrix (the one with the nanobots threatening a Grey Goo scenario)

-Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed

-Metal Gear Solid series weaponized AI Peace Walker and Rising’s Bladewolf

-Astro Boy

-Megaman

-Detroit: Become Human

-Mass Effect

-Alex + Ada (one of my personal favorites)

And that’s just a small list.

Heck, even Pixar’s Wall-E and robots actually talk (with few words, but they’re far from silent). So that example shoots itself in the foot from the start.

Now if it has nothing to do with that “Classic vs Modern” take of “he never talked in the games” (which first offno one talked in the games, so that’s not an established trait), then cool—because I’m not going going to lie, really sick of even hearing that as a reason in general.

But this whole talk of giving a character speech or not…I’m sorry, but I’m not seeing the issue.

You wanna talk robotics and how they express their individual traits and limitations? Speech isn’t the most generic issue.

In fact, if you want to talk about generic, try the whole “Robots are going to annihilate us” or “because I was programmed to” and using robots as weapons that’s been done to death in itself. That clearly hasn’t gotten old despite not many exploring other aspects of robotics.

Like, I’m sorry. Mecha Sonic speaks. So what? Isn’t that just another case of overcoming his own programming? Isn’t that just another cast of him being his own character? A weapon that talks has more to them than just their speech, and in focusing on that being a disappointment is something I feel is in itself missing the point of a character’s growth in becoming more individualized. Overcoming limitations through speech is just something I see as trivial given the sheer difficulty that really is with robotics to where it’s seen as a breakthrough, and having self-awareness and expression to become something else just seems like a staple.

And mind you, I wouldn’t have had an issue if Mecha Sonic stayed silent. It would keep things more mysterious and add more curiosity. But I’m just seeing disappointment to him gaining speech as taking a microscope to a problem and an arbitrary take on a limitation. Robotics is just way too diverse a storytelling topic for me to hear that particular part as a disappointment when it comes to motivation of a character.

There’s just…way more to robotics than just that. Rather, I like the idea of “Robots as a realized person,” and to have such a character speak is just irrelevant to whether they don’t speak.

Basically, there is no charm to that.

 

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36 minutes ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:
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I’m sorry, but I’ve seen plenty of fiction with robots:

-Medabots

-My Life as a Teenage Robot

-Terminator

-Futurama

-Star Trek’s Data and the Borg

-Star Wars Droids

-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 with the Nanobots and Fugitoid

-Gargoyles with Coyote and the Matrix (the one with the nanobots threatening a Grey Goo scenario)

-Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed

-Metal Gear Solid series weaponized AI Peace Walker and Rising’s Bladewolf

-Astro Boy

-Megaman

-Detroit: Become Human

-Mass Effect

-Alex + Ada (one of my personal favorites)

And that’s just a small list.

Heck, even Pixar’s Wall-E and robots actually talk (with few words, but they’re far from silent). So that example shoots itself in the foot from the start.

Now if it has nothing to do with that “Classic vs Modern” take of “he never talked in the games” (which first offno one talked in the games, so that’s not an established trait), then cool—because I’m not going going to lie, really sick of even hearing that as a reason in general.

But this whole talk of giving a character speech or not…I’m sorry, but I’m not seeing the issue.

You wanna talk robotics and how they express their individual traits and limitations? Speech isn’t the most generic issue.

In fact, if you want to talk about generic, try the whole “Robots are going to annihilate us” or “because I was programmed to” and using robots as weapons that’s been done to death in itself. That clearly hasn’t gotten old despite not many exploring other aspects of robotics.

Like, I’m sorry. Mecha Sonic speaks. So what? Isn’t that just another case of overcoming his own programming? Isn’t that just another cast of him being his own character? A weapon that talks has more to them than just their speech, and in focusing on that being a disappointment is something I feel is in itself missing the point of a character’s growth in becoming more individualized. Overcoming limitations through speech is just something I see as trivial given the sheer difficulty that really is with robotics to where it’s seen as a breakthrough, and having self-awareness and expression to become something else just seems like a staple.

And mind you, I wouldn’t have had an issue if Mecha Sonic stayed silent. It would keep things more mysterious and add more curiosity. But I’m just seeing disappointment to him gaining speech as taking a microscope to a problem and an arbitrary take on a limitation. Robotics is just way too diverse a storytelling topic for me to hear that particular part as a disappointment when it comes to motivation of a character.

There’s just…way more to robotics than just that. Rather, I like the idea of “Robots as a realized person,” and to have such a character speak is just irrelevant to whether they don’t speak.

Basically, there is no charm to that.

 

Listing how many robots you've watched doesn't refute anything, and you're actively missing the point if you think citing Wall-E's unique speech-but-limited aspects are shooting any arguments in the foot.

As for me personally,

Spoiler

I don't have as much of a problem with Mecha speaking by acquiring the translator, as I think that idea is neat in its own way, but I do understand the preference of hoping that the story takes advantage of his lack of speech and characterization, and honestly agree. The comic has been one of the best showings of it in a long time, and more of it would have been fantastic.

There's no response to a "So what?" that gives you the answer you want if you read both of those posts and come away without justification for the premise already. You don't care about that aspect, and you're not approaching the topic within the premise that was originally valued to begin with, flat out. You view gaining speech and discarding limitations as growth and an all-encompassing elevation of the characters or storytelling, which is in conflict with the merit in characterization, design, and storytelling of robotic characters being described several times now. It's not a part of what you value. Discussing it past that when you choose to discard what other people do is counterproductive.

 

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1 hour ago, The Deleter said:

Listing how many robots you've watched doesn't refute anything,

That’s because it wasn’t trying to

And neither does your point on how a character uses silence.


I’m saying that their really isn’t a problem either way it goes. It just is.

1 hour ago, The Deleter said:

There's no response to a "So what?" that gives you the answer you want if you read both of those posts and come away without justification for the premise already. You don't care about that aspect, and you're not approaching the topic within the premise that was originally valued to begin with, flat out. You view gaining speech and discarding limitations as growth and an all-encompassing elevation of the characters or storytelling, which is in conflict with the merit in characterization, design, and storytelling of robotic characters being described several times now. It's not a part of what you value. Discussing it past that when you choose to discard what other people do is counterproductive.

Umm…no it isn’t. And spare me the lecture over what I value, because you’re the one missing my whole point.


For starters, my whole issue was more the whole “he’s not a character that talks in the games” than whether he spoke or not, primarily because my literal first thought was the whole classic modern bullshit over keeping the character silent. If that’s not the case—which it was clarified as not being the case—then great.

But there’s still a better argument to be had with keeping Mecha silent than that. I can get why a character is silent or talkative, and I have no issue with him staying silent anymore than giving him a voice. The value isn’t so much in how established it is than it is how that character goes about interacting with the world and other characters in it.

If Mecha stayed silent, he’d just have a different way of overcoming that limitation to communicate his action—he’d just do it without words, be it gestures and actions that eventually would have led to the same outcome, but wouldn’t really change much if anything about the character.

And that would still be interesting. But I wouldn’t see that as any particular charm than I would just something about the character. It’s a barrier or an obstacle or frankly nothing Mecha would’ve seen as important to do anyway—he wouldn’t need to explain himself or his actions (and it would probably have better kept the horror atmosphere). I don’t value it because I see it as just a means of how a character interacts, not something to be maintained or overcome.

That’s especially the reason I cited Wall-E as an example—he still talks, first and foremost (limited or not, still shoots the whole argument in the foot), but that is far and beyond the least noticeable aspect of him than it is the way he interacts with his setting and other characters. The speech is less important than the expression basically—they could have kept him silent and you’d still understand the character and his motives.

It’s why I see it as putting a microscope to a problem when there is speech. Because what would that really change overall?

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1 hour ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

That’s especially the reason I cited Wall-E as an example—he still talks, first and foremost (limited or not, still shoots the whole argument in the foot), but that is far and beyond the least noticeable aspect of him than it is the way he interacts with his setting and other characters. The speech is less important than the expression basically—they could have kept him silent and you’d still understand the character and his motives.

It’s why I see it as putting a microscope to a problem when there is speech. Because what would that really change overall?

If there was flat-out speech, the entire bit where EVE was cycling through multiple forms of audible communication wouldn't be the same or even there. Neither would him slowly attempting to form words that he understood, but EVE was programmed to use by default.

"What would it change" ignores that and what "is". It's not a microscope to a problem when the characters as a robotic individual have already been established, and have merit in their characterization as a robot out the gate. The premise is that people do care about those limitations and what "is" for the characters, for all the moments inbetween, the dichotomy between their sentience vs abilities, (or even nonsentience) how they exist in the world, what it means for the characters around them in that world, etc. Silence relates to Mecha's characterization, and the broad sweep towards the rest of the robots in fiction that use a lack of speech was a gesture to ask and examine how people value robotic characters in the same category. Wall-E does not apply to Mecha's or those other robots silence, but he and the robots in it have their own traits and similar limitations that add to the character they exhibit in the universe they inhabit. It's one of the best showcases of it. Silence is not the argument; limitations of robotic characters and the merit they hold in a narrative is.

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42 minutes ago, The Deleter said:

If there was flat-out speech, the entire bit where EVA was cycling through multiple forms of audible communication wouldn't be the same or even there. Neither would him slowly attempting to form words that he understood, but EVA was programmed to use by default.

I’d argue it still would be for EVA—she’s a far more advanced robot than Wall-E is.
 

For Wall-E’s case, he’d likely use something else to overcome that barrier. Not too different from the case of Mecha here.

42 minutes ago, The Deleter said:

"What would it change" ignores that and what "is". It's not a microscope to a problem when the characters as a robotic individual have already been established, and have merit in their characterization as a robot out the gate.

But this isn’t a case of any “merit,” this is a case of a “trait” of a robotic character being capable of speech or not, be it as a function or a limitation.

42 minutes ago, The Deleter said:

The premise is that people do care about those limitations and what "is" for the characters, for all the moments inbetween, the dichotomy between their sentience vs abilities, how they exist in the world, what it means for the characters around them in that world, etc. Silence relates to Mecha's characterization, and the broad sweep towards the rest of the robots in fiction that use a lack of speech was a gesture to ask and examine how people value robotic characters in the same category. Wall-E does not apply to Mecha's or those other robots silence, but he and the robots in it have their own traits that add to the character they exhibit in the universe they inhabit. It's one of the best showcases of it. Silence is not the argument; limitations of robotic characters and the merit they hold in a narrative is.

And again, my issue wasn’t against those limitations. It was the premise of Mecha’s silence being an established trait from the game—which came off as the classic modern bullshit I mistakenly assumed it to be only to hear that it isn’t the case. That was what colored my whole perception when I read it, not what limitations robotic characters have.

Mecha could have stayed silent. Yes, that could be a trait of his. Yes, that could have stayed a limitation, and he didn’t have to overcome it all all. Those could stay in the narrative, but I still wouldn’t see a change—they’d have just express things differently.

Silence and speech are less a relation than it is a bridge for characters to cross and communicate. Mecha spoke to explain his actions and motives, but breaking his silence still didn’t change that much of his character overall.

Chalk it up to a difference in perception—I see it as a case of actions speaking louder than words. Mecha speaking is just one small factor in a list of other aspects in regards to those dichotomies that would’ve been expressed in a different way to do the same thing. Had he not expressed speech, he’d still do the same actions he did.

But whether that is valued or not, my whole assumption of whether the value came from was based on it being done so because it was done in the games. That is what I assumed, not the value of him being silent as a limitation and the merit they hold in a narrative.

Basically, I assumed “mute because the games” and jumped the gun on that before realizing it was something else.

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