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Sonic the Hedgehog IDW #56: Reader Reaction & Impressions


Kuzu

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Really enjoyed this one, both the art and the writing. Oh, and the colors, of course.

It's refreshing seeing an Eggman that can be a little extra in his dialogues, get a bit ruffled up by stuff happening around him and not be in control of EVERYTHING. I adore the way Stanley writes the scientist, although I would like a little more still, but I'll get what I can take. Not a fan of the subdued and Satam-like Eggman some other authors seem to prefer.

Spoiler

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As for Surge and Kit...they live to see another day, personally I'd like them to become the new mini-boss gang popping up every now and then, maybe we'll see them in a mini-series later down the road, who knows. I think they passed the "character test" with flying colors, some of my favorite IDW originals.

by the way, I also love how they seem to have ramped up the cartoony violence during the combat scenes lately.

Case in point

Spoiler

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Lastly, I think the following dialogue

Quote

 

"Look, Surge...I think we maybe got off on the wrong foot."

"Y'know what? You're right. My foot should be on your throat."

 

Sounded kinda lame and corny to my 31 year old ears, but it's the kind of dialogue I expect from Surge, so it evens out.

 

So, all in all, good Issue, looking forward to the next one, Stanley is my favorite writer on this book so far.

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I liked it, fun action and Kit was great and huge plus for actually having the guts to treat the Impostors as abuse victims, though I am not sure if this will be explored any further given the subject material.

Lackluster ending to the entire season, I wish there was actually an epilogue. Also the Impostors still want to commit genocide, correct? Are they just going to prioritize their bigger targets now or are they going to be recovering until we see them again?

Also while not related to this issue, why are we not using this arc ending as a moment to deal with storyline debt? Just start a new story for 57 and shove Frontiers and Scrapnik Island between 56-57.

Do we need to immediately follow Eggman after he goes back to his base? I feel like Eggman can have a break until his next scheme.

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I'll elaborate more later but my immediate thoughts reading this could be summed up as.....anticlimactic?

 

Not that I expected some big, blowout finale or anything but I honestly feel like things ended a little half baked. And I kind of saw it coming when it became apparent to me that this was the finale.

 

But *shrug* could have been worse, I dunno.

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I found it anticlimactic probably because it felt like a very similar play out of events that we had only a few issues ago. Surge is going on a power-fuelled rampage, gets taken down and KO’d, Kit appears and is he gonna help the heroes or isn’t it? No of course he isn’t gonna help, he takes an unconscious Surge with him in a ‘don’t follow us’ kind of vibe. I can’t remember which issue number it was, but it felt a bit too similar in what happened a bit too soon after last time with nothing really drastically different.

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55 minutes ago, caitash said:

I found it anticlimactic probably because it felt like a very similar play out of events that we had only a few issues ago. Surge is going on a power-fuelled rampage, gets taken down and KO’d, Kit appears and is he gonna help the heroes or isn’t it? No of course he isn’t gonna help, he takes an unconscious Surge with him in a ‘don’t follow us’ kind of vibe. I can’t remember which issue number it was, but it felt a bit too similar in what happened a bit too soon after last time with nothing really drastically different.

Literally two issues ago in #54.

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49 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

Literally two issues ago in #54.

This really makes this story look worse, but I was more distracted by Surge falling victim to Kevin McCallister attacks to remember that.

I did notice that pretty much nothing changed since issue 50, Surge got more powerful and only on this last issue does that seem to have any effect and even then it is minor. This entire storyline feels like an excuse to keep the Impostors around longer after the first fight in issue 50.

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1 hour ago, Kuzu said:

Literally two issues ago in #54.

Damn, I deliberately didn’t look it up because I somehow wanted to try fool myself into thinking it was a little longer ago than that XD

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Sigh, I agree with Kuzu and Caiash.

it looked epic. It felt epic. Fighting was large and bombastic, emotions were running high. And Surge actually used some strategy, good on her. Dynamo just overloading is kinda lame, but I can take it.

And then... ending from 54. Almost 1 to 1. Whyyyy? I get that Surge's story wasn't meant to end today. Maybe even prison wouldn't be good. But this is a such lame anticlimax.

 

How would I fix it?

To me, SOMETHING had to be accomplished. Something bigger than dynamo getting fried or Wisps getting rescued.

Imagine that by the end Surge is still standing, but obviously about to lose. So Kit grabs everyone with water and orders her to zap. Everyone gets shocked. Surge stands over Sonic, ready to finish him off. And only then she realized that Kit got zapped as well, and it affected him worse than others. Surge hesitates, but only for a second, grabs unconscious Kit and runs away, vowing vengeance. BAM, she chose saving Kit over killing Sonic. That would be something.

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I always suspected that issue 50 felt like a climax that came early and I suspected that the rest of the issues were going to essentially bide time until their second actual encounter.

I have to give props to the Impostors as characters, great concepts loads of potential, because they can help you ignore just how poor the plot actually is.

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1 hour ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

How would I fix it?

To me, SOMETHING had to be accomplished. Something bigger than dynamo getting fried or Wisps getting rescued.

Imagine that by the end Surge is still standing, but obviously about to lose. So Kit grabs everyone with water and orders her to zap. Everyone gets shocked. Surge stands over Sonic, ready to finish him off. And only then she realized that Kit got zapped as well, and it affected him worse than others. Surge hesitates, but only for a second, grabs unconscious Kit and runs away, vowing vengeance. BAM, she chose saving Kit over killing Sonic. That would be something.

And then Sega would order you to change it to something else.

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33 minutes ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

And then Sega would order you to change it to something else.

Hmm. Nothing a little creative brainstorming couldn't get around. Can't have Sonic losing fights.

You could have Sonic be the sole person to dodge the water bomb, Leaving Surge and Him as the last 2 standing. the resulting blast could mess with the stability of the area, Forcing Surge to retreat in order to protect Kit - and leaving Sonic to quickly deal with saving everyone else. If you don't want to re-tread structural collapse any number of scenario's could take its place. Encroaching Egg Fleet. Metal Sonic bluffing a self-destruct. Shadow popping up. ect.

 

In that scenario, Surge may even want to continue the fight, but Sonic would have no interest in doing so at the expense of his friends. Surge could claim herself the victor via forfeit as she is forced to fall back and Sonic ducks that no-losing bug.

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1 hour ago, Slashy said:

I have to give props to the Impostors as characters, great concepts loads of potential, because they can help you ignore just how poor the plot actually is.

Ayyy, just like a lot of Sonic characters in their debut games

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I think it ended perfectly. a tad rushed but the fact that going forward they have a bigger overall plan. Kit tearing down the lab basically sets this up. I will bury you and our past here. He wants to hopefully help Surge move on and himself no longer seeing themselves as products of Starline and not being used by Sonic or Eggman to basically come to either side. They will figure their place on their own.

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Ok. I'm home from work and in a better state of mind. 

I guess I'll get what I didn't like out of the way so I can end on a high note. 

Spoiler

The Bad: "Bad" is a bit of an exaggeration, but I was so thoroughly unimpressed by that ending. It ends on such a nothing burger to me; we get Surge's whole motive rant, she knocks herself out and then Kit takes her and fucks off, with very little acknowledgement from Sonic or Eggman about it. Eggman essentially just blows the whole thing off as a waste of time. Metal Sonic had no reason to be here besides being a thematic foil to Surge, but he's quickly swatted aside and only comes back when the fight is over. In fact, Eggman himself had no reason to be here either, he didn't even get the gadget that he said he wanted didn't he? 

I like Surge and Kit well enough, but I really can't understand where their characters are meant to be going; they obviously have no intentions on coming around to Sonic's way of doing things, but its been made abundantly clear they have no chance at defeating him either and don't seem to have any greater goals beyond that. I guess that's the tragic parts of their characters that they can't accomplish the one thing they were created to do, but I at least would have preferred a conclusion where they acknowledge their mutual bond and rely on each other for support. I'm fairly sure the ending as it is was written so that the writers could plan out whatever else they wanted for them in the future without giving their characters a definitive end, which I get and understand, but it leaves me feeling a little cold after the buildup we've had after a year+. 

Oh yea, and if I see Sonic try to reform another bad guy after he gets an emphatic NO from them, I'm gonna lose it. 

Alright, now for the The Good shit: 

The action is top notch and I'm glad Evan knows how to convey that well enough. Sonic being electrocuted was pretty visceral (though I found it weird how Eggman initially warns him about it, only for him to be mostly unharmed later).  

Eggman is the best character in this issue; dude is just here for shits and giggles and just writes the whole thing off after its all over. I still like Kit slightly over Surge tbh; we've had a million people with hateboners for Sonic, but not a character who struggles with their own self-worth who was created merely as an extension for another. It makes complete sense that he's willing to stay with Surge and follow her in her mad pursuits than anything else. And I liked Tails actually trying to talk him down again...though I did wish we got an actual fight, just a little bit. 

I may not have liked the conclusion, but I do love how ape shit Surge goes. Especially when she tells Sonic to stuff about redeeming her. I agree completely girl. 

 

So yea, 6/10. Metal Virus was better. 

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38 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

Ok. I'm home from work and in a better state of mind. 

I guess I'll get what I didn't like out of the way so I can end on a high note. 

  Reveal hidden contents

The Bad: "Bad" is a bit of an exaggeration, but I was so thoroughly unimpressed by that ending. It ends on such a nothing burger to me; we get Surge's whole motive rant, she knocks herself out and then Kit takes her and fucks off, with very little acknowledgement from Sonic or Eggman about it. Eggman essentially just blows the whole thing off as a waste of time. Metal Sonic had no reason to be here besides being a thematic foil to Surge, but he's quickly swatted aside and only comes back when the fight is over. In fact, Eggman himself had no reason to be here either, he didn't even get the gadget that he said he wanted didn't he? 

I like Surge and Kit well enough, but I really can't understand where their characters are meant to be going; they obviously have no intentions on coming around to Sonic's way of doing things, but its been made abundantly clear they have no chance at defeating him either and don't seem to have any greater goals beyond that. I guess that's the tragic parts of their characters that they can't accomplish the one thing they were created to do, but I at least would have preferred a conclusion where they acknowledge their mutual bond and rely on each other for support. I'm fairly sure the ending as it is was written so that the writers could plan out whatever else they wanted for them in the future without giving their characters a definitive end, which I get and understand, but it leaves me feeling a little cold after the buildup we've had after a year+. 

Oh yea, and if I see Sonic try to reform another bad guy after he gets an emphatic NO from them, I'm gonna lose it. 

Alright, now for the The Good shit: 

The action is top notch and I'm glad Evan knows how to convey that well enough. Sonic being electrocuted was pretty visceral (though I found it weird how Eggman initially warns him about it, only for him to be mostly unharmed later).  

Eggman is the best character in this issue; dude is just here for shits and giggles and just writes the whole thing off after its all over. I still like Kit slightly over Surge tbh; we've had a million people with hateboners for Sonic, but not a character who struggles with their own self-worth who was created merely as an extension for another. It makes complete sense that he's willing to stay with Surge and follow her in her mad pursuits than anything else. And I liked Tails actually trying to talk him down again...though I did wish we got an actual fight, just a little bit. 

I may not have liked the conclusion, but I do love how ape shit Surge goes. Especially when she tells Sonic to stuff about redeeming her. I agree completely girl. 

So yea, 6/10. Metal Virus was better. 

Metal Virus had more of a thoughtout plot and actually challenged the cast so that was not hard. I do prefer this story due to the Impostors being a hook I can gel with and it helps that they can stay around for a bit.

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I'm always a huge sucker for when Sonic and Eggman team up. I had the biggest grin on my face when he yanked Sonic out of the water before he got fried. It happened anyway but still.

It's great how sassy they are towards each other when they do it and the double cross always comes when the conflict is pretty much over.

Also glad Surge and Kit are still villains, even though I wasn't too worried about that not being the case. Burying their pasts (both the one they're aware of and the one they aren't) is fittingly tragic. Not knowing who they were before all this really does wonders for the imagination and makes it feel that much worse.

Great issue. Monthly reminders of how good Sonic can be are great.

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Why is Sonic so annoyed with Eggman at the end? All of his behaviour in this storyline has been very typical and Sonic does not really believe he is ever going to change.

Maybe scare him off or laugh him off, but pouting is OOC.

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1 hour ago, Slashy said:

Why is Sonic so annoyed with Eggman at the end? All of his behaviour in this storyline has been very typical and Sonic does not really believe he is ever going to change.

Maybe scare him off or laugh him off, but pouting is OOC.

They're the one that pitched a comic series that started out by arguing Eggman as a person deserves second chances, along with all the other villains. Now they have to bring it back around to the status quo its usually at, taking that want for redemption and answering with repeated and emphatic 'No's.

It's only because of the writing that the previous issues have taken that this works now, in my opinion. Since he mentions his hopes for either Metal or Eggman to redeem themselves at the end of their battles now, due to how immediately close the Tinker arc was, Sonic's been softer than ever towards the two. Chipping away at that goodwill to the point Sonic actually doesn't have high hopes they will change anymore, requires pouting of some degree, considering how invested in the idea he was by now. Anything to get the animosity back up to what it usually is in the games is good in my eyes; doubly so when it strengthens the status quo within the context of the comic's own story as a standalone narrative.

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20 minutes ago, The Deleter said:

They're the one that pitched a comic series that started out by arguing Eggman as a person deserves second chances, along with all the other villains. Now they have to bring it back around to the status quo its usually at, taking that want for redemption and answering with repeated and emphatic 'No's.

It's only because of the writing that the previous issues have taken that this works now, in my opinion. Since he mentions his hopes for either Metal or Eggman to redeem themselves at the end of their battles now, due to how immediately close the Tinker arc was, Sonic's been softer than ever towards the two. Chipping away at that goodwill to the point Sonic actually doesn't have high hopes they will change anymore, requires pouting of some degree, considering how invested in the idea he was by now. Anything to get the animosity back up to what it usually is in the games is good in my eyes; doubly so when it strengthens the status quo within the context of the comic's own story as a standalone narrative.

He clearly did not care before. He JOKED about it in Unleashed and a recent Japanese Q&A. He can give Eggman chances to change and reform, but this example is obnoxious due to Eggman showing no point in which he was acting differently than he normally does in this story. For a guy who wants to preach about freedom he gets really pissy when people do not make the decisions he wants them to.

At the same point this is out of character with how Sonic is in every other media, this is not a standalone narrative now. It is clearly meant to exist in the same world as Prime and the games where Sonic has no belief that Eggman is gonna change and is not going to get hung up if he does. Bringing the animosity up is not the status quo, having Sonic stop caring is.

All this does is look goofy that Sonic is upset about Eggman being Eggman.

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Not every version of these characters are going to line up in exactly the same why and expecting them to in an exercise in futility. Judge the interpretations in the medium they exist in, not against each other. 

They can barely keep them consistent from game to game, and you're expecting them to do that between different mediums with entirely different staffs? 

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22 minutes ago, Slashy said:

He clearly did not care before. He JOKED about it in Unleashed and a recent Japanese Q&A. He can give Eggman chances to change and reform, but this example is obnoxious due to Eggman showing no point in which he was acting differently than he normally does in this story. For a guy who wants to preach about freedom he gets really pissy when people do not make the decisions he wants them to.

At the same point this is out of character with how Sonic is in every other media, this is not a standalone narrative now. It is clearly meant to exist in the same world as Prime and the games where Sonic has no belief that Eggman is gonna change and is not going to get hung up if he does. Bringing the animosity up is not the status quo, having Sonic stop caring is

It's not out of character, because the Mr. Tinker arc was a catalyst for IDW specifically. Sonic did act like that in Unleashed, Colors, Zero Gravity etc., (while "allowing" him to be let go based off of his philosophy) but the Tinker arc is what convinced him to actually push towards asking him about redemption, changing his ways. Sonic before that arc would let him go on the premise of giving him the chance to change off of principle, but after the arc, he had already seen the potential life he could make for himself instead, and got too invested. It's not a joke if you can see the person they could be, and choose to fight for that.

Ultimately this characterization is a part of the games now, as Frontiers gave Sonic this line for idle dialog. But that doesn't mean the path forwards for IDW can't still treat redemption by Eggman's words like a joke, as putting IDW Sonic back into the wringer of detesting Eggman's actions and getting burned by pleas of mercy/redemption, is exactly what is required to make Sonic distance himself from the idea.

Bringing up the animosity is the status quo, though. Because all three parts exist for game!Sonic. He lets Eggman say his piece if he's talking about redeeming himself and does not have a ton of investment whether it pans out or not either way, while also hating Eggman's guts for when he makes "the wrong choices" consistently. He dislikes Eggman as much as he wants to coexist alongside him, otherwise the lines where he makes it clear that he hates him, (in tone or outright like Adventure lmao) alongside the scenes where he's willing to let bygones be bygones and work together giving him the benefit of the doubt, wouldn't exist in the games, either. It's what lets the dynamic remain consistent across all those games.

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On 1/5/2023 at 7:17 PM, Slashy said:

Why is Sonic so annoyed with Eggman at the end? All of his behaviour in this storyline has been very typical and Sonic does not really believe he is ever going to change.

Maybe scare him off or laugh him off, but pouting is OOC.

In the context of this issue, I don't think that's what he's angry about. I assume you mean when he said, "Next time, Eggman", but that's after he stares at him with murder in his eyes and agrees to keep the truce. That wasn't "Next time you'll finally stop being evil", that was, "Next time, I'm going to beat you up". 

If anything the OOC thing is that letting Eggman go is something he even has to consider when that's usually just what happens after the latest scheme. Maybe this is like in the Zombot arc when he said he was going to lock Eggman in a cell forever even though he doesn't believe in prison. He's tired and upset about Surge and Kit and Eggman's indirect role in their creation, so he had a temporary lapse in judgement.

Spoiler

The last time a Sonic looked at an Eggman like that it didn't end well

Screenshot_20230105_222642.jpg.7f15f2ab16ce04a39927f945fc568599.jpg

Screenshot_20230105_222450.thumb.jpg.5ea0d0b1baf5eac56a9890f076e22a68.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, The Deleter said:

It's not out of character, because the Mr. Tinker arc was a catalyst for IDW specifically. Sonic did act like that in Unleashed, Colors, Zero Gravity etc., (while "allowing" him to be let go based off of his philosophy) but the Tinker arc is what convinced him to actually push towards asking him about redemption, changing his ways. Sonic before that arc would let him go on the premise of giving him the chance to change off of principle, but after the arc, he had already seen the potential life he could make for himself instead, and got too invested. It's not a joke if you can see the person they could be, and choose to fight for that.

Ultimately this characterization is a part of the games now, as Frontiers gave Sonic this line for idle dialog. But that doesn't mean the path forwards for IDW can't still treat redemption by Eggman's words like a joke, as putting IDW Sonic back into the wringer of detesting Eggman's actions and getting burned by pleas of mercy/redemption, is exactly what is required to make Sonic distance himself from the idea.

All this feels like is a waste of time. Let us deviate from the status quo only to go and reinforce it for the same reason it was already there in the first place.

I do not mind if Sonic minds if Eggman is going to change, I just want him to drop the expectation it is going to happen.

We have a character named Amy for all this. Why do they need to start changing Sonic's character when there was a major character who was invested in this.

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My argument for it not being a waste of time is that you get to explore the characters, in the same way a cartoon arc (like say Spectacular Spiderman) would handle itself. Yes, everything is reset to the status quo by the sixth episode. Yes, by that reasoning it's pointless, and you can watch later seasons without much detriment to your enjoyment. The evil plots don't feel that great when they don't have lasting, world-changing consequences from what we're used to, comics-wise. But at the same time, the content inside is far more meaty and meaningful than simple fodder, because they're making use of their status quo reliance in the most optimal way, rather than throwaway stories where nothing happens flat-out.

A lot of people don't even think about this dynamic that Sonic has with Eggman to begin with. By centering a story around it, they can actually explore what that status quo means in a much more immediately relevant way, that both casual fans and children reading it can easily appreciate more readily than fans who seek out to define characters to begin with. For that reason it has merit, and helps flesh out the explicit worldbuilding and characterization to the degree that people wouldn't be able to mistake their dynamic, as opposed to the early days where Eggman could fit into the mold of several interpretations, ranging from SatAM to AosTH.

Amy also deserves her own arcs focused on fleshing her character out more to the viewer in meaningful ways, but for now it's focused on Sonic. That's not too bad for a comic that can serve as an introduction to the character, in all honesty. It's not about roles, or changing the character, it's about who they are, and Sonic does care about this in past games.

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