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Issue #32 - Blast from the Past

Okay, so Sonic's actually kind of lame and stupid in these earlier books and to be honest, it's kind of amusing. The amount of times he gets hit and sees stars floating around his head is astonishing but even funnier is the way it's sometimes being treated seriously.

Like, in this issue, the plot is that they thaw out a Prehistoric Mobian (they call him Mobie) whose your typical caveman (at first). Rotor makes a big deal about thawing him out slowly with his device but Sonic accidently knocks into it and makes the defrosting happen super fast. This has the horrible effect of... nothing. Nothing bad happens. He thaws out and he acts like a caveman, which is what he was going to do either way. So... I'm not sure why that detail of thawing him out slowly was even put into the story...???

Anyway, though, the plot is that he's running about the place and they're trying to communicate with him. Sonic is getting annoyed by him and he clearly doesn't like him. I guess cause he's hard to figure out but either way, Sonic's being an ass about it. Eventually, they remember that Mr. Caveman had a paintbrush in his hand when he was in the ice (as well as a club) so they try to communicate threw paintings. This causes him to remember he had a family and he jumps off a tree he climbed up, bounces off Sonic's head (Ha.) and then runs off into the forest. His family is dead, obviously. 

But the funny part is when the SWAT-Bots attack Sonic. For some reason, Sonic spins into a tornado to blow them all away, starts gloating while spinning to a stop, smashed his face against some rock, then passes out...

image.png.ebef4e8b765c9c8db3cb390f834dd58c.png
 

It's hilarious.

At first I thought he was just going to immediately collect himself but then Muttsuki, his dog from way back whose been roboticized, comes along and is about to... eat him? I think? And we cut back to Sonic and he's still unconscious.

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Then he has to be saved by the Caveman. It's so lame. I kind of love it.

Issue #33 - Let's Get Small

This is the weirdest thing ever. 

The Freedom Fighters, aside from Sonic, all get sick because they ordered take-out from a new restaurant called Robo... something. It's obviously a Robotnik thing.

Anyway, Sonic has to shrink himself down and goes inside Rotor's body to fix it. He meets up with Rotor's Auntie Bodie. She's an old woman that looks like Rotor but lives inside his body. At first I appreciated the pun but then I realized that there's not really a joke there aside from the fact that Auntie kind of sounds like Anti. Anyway, Sonic fights this dude that looks like a Potato Chip while inside Rotor's body called "Parasite". For some reason, even though this is Rotor's body, Parasite is French, like Antione. 

I don't really get it. Anyway, they beat him and his partner "Fever" up and then the Rotor Auntie Bodie gives a call on her "One-Celled Celluar Phone" to the other Auntie Bodies in the bodies of the other Freedom Fighters and tells them to... beat up the Parasites and Fevers in their bodies. And they do... and then that's it. Also, the other Auntie Bodies are just the other Freedom Fighter characters in old woman wigs and dresses. That includes Tails. It's weird.

 

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3 hours ago, Ernest the Panda said:

Yeah, because he’s a Paris-ite.

And he came from French Fries. Also the restaurantis "McRobo's" like McDonalds. 

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10 hours ago, Ernest the Panda said:

Yeah, because he’s a Paris-ite.

 

6 hours ago, SBR2 said:

And he came from French Fries. Also the restaurantis "McRobo's" like McDonalds. 

Ohhhh... 

You know. That's actually a better pun than the Auntie Bodies thing. Watch out for the French I guess.

Issue #34 - To Bot or Not to Bot

This is an issue where Robotnik is taking his war against Sonic up a notch (supposedly it's different) because he's given all the robots a military theme, complete with a camouflage paint job. Robotnik himself is calling himself GENERAL and he's wearing an outfit with six medals on his coat, all of which undoubtedly mean absolutely nothing. Which is hilarious.

Snively asks why Robotnik is doing this and his response is "Because I've declared TOTAL WAR™®© on Sonic and the Freedom Fighters". My first thought is "Isn't that already the case?"

He continues by saying he's created the ultimate combat machine and given it the legitimately brilliant name of "Combot". Then he tells Snively to "Imagine an ENTIRE ARMY of Invincible Soldier 'Bots, all with a single purpose.. to get that miserable Hedge-Rat and his friends!"

So, I was a bit confused at the start here because it really did just sound like the same old thing he's always been doing but with a different visual theme. His plan is incredibly basic. He's built a bunch of robots and he's going to send them out in an all-out attack on the Great Forest as a surprise. It's probably more effective but it's certainly not as creative as the food poisoning weirdness from last issue. Than again, maybe the food poisoning was more effective in hindsight since they were all total and complete idiots and ate at a new restaurant called "McRobos". You know, I actually don't know how they all haven't died by now.

Apparently they just get super lucky all the time because when Robotnik tells Snively not to tell anyone, we cut to outside the window where... Dulcy the Dragon is just... there.

She's just there. Outside the window. Listening into this exact conversation. For no reason. I guess Robotropolis has really shit security because she just flies away to go warn the others. 

I wasn't sure where this was going at first but there was an Uncle Chuck and Muttski scene at the beginning where Rotor unsuccessfully tried to de-roboticize them. I figured that was to come into play at some point and it did. Sally comes up with a plan to set bombs on all of them so that they can be destroyed and lets Sonic, Uncle Chuck, and Muttski go to Robotropolis to do it.

What's funny is that they say "Fuck that plan. It stinks." and they do their own plan without telling her. And not only does it work but it gives the added bonus of having Chuck be a spy for them. Awesome. We should ignore Sally's plans more often.

They sneak in, reprogram all the Combots to listen to Uncle Chuck, and had it so that when the invasion took place, he'd send them walking off a cliff. Plus, Robotnik tried to re-align Chuck and Muttski's minds to his side but Rotor stuck a chip in them that... overrides the override I guess so that it doesn't work. They actually ended up tricking me into thinking things were going to get climactic but it was more of a set-up for how Uncle Chuck and Muttski end up as spies for the Freedom Fighters in Robotropolis. Which is fine. 

The shift in who was winning did catch me a bit off guard. I almost didn't like it before it was explained. Still, the shift was so strong and quick it almost gave me whiplash.

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Also, the art in this issue was great actually, if a bit inconsistent. It looked heavily detailed and neat throughout but for some reason the faces on the Freedom Fighters who weren't as important to the story were oddly derpy. I guess because they weren't the priority but still. The rest of the art looked pretty neat though. I scrolled to the top to make sure it wasn't Ken Penders and... it wasn't. It was Brian Thomas.

No, Ken apparently had nothing to do with this story, not the script or the art, which amazed me because I actually was about to give him a bit of credit for the swerve and how much mileage they managed to get out of the initial, seemingly simple set-up. 

The actual story he contributed to this issue, and the one I want to talk the most about, is the Knuckles story because HOLY SHIT, the Knuckles story! 

I need to compose my thoughts on it because there's a ton to say. 

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On ‎5‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 12:01 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 Rotor's brainwashed family and ... "not concluding this story unless you ask us to"

 

What really gets me is that they "pitched" it twice. #109 does nothing but remind us this is still the status quo 77 issues later. 

Good thing it's the Antarctic because that's cold.

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4 hours ago, Your Vest Friend said:

So completely out of the blue, Bryce Thomas gives us a little look at some SU#97 art. 

 

What was issue 97 supposed to be about again? 

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45 minutes ago, Ernest the Panda said:

Part 3 of the Freedom Fighters arc, with Sally and Amy heading off to get Nicole back online.

Okay, I thought so. Which makes me wonder what the heck would've happened.

 

Looks like STC.

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9 hours ago, Your Vest Friend said:

So completely out of the blue, Bryce Thomas gives us a little look at some SU#97 art. 

 

Part of me is wondering if maybe this is a joke. Because this was clearly sketched at Momocon it's colored in with colored pencil and I'm not sure how a Titan Metal Sonic would fit into a Nicole story.

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Issue 34 - A Sense of History - Part One

image.png.0a77c06c8205d56a8d63a713593c32ab.png

This shit is hilarious. 

So the actual story that Penders wrote for Issue 34 is this one and it should come as no surprise that it's foppish, strange, weird, blatant echidna wank but there is a bit of an adorableness to it too, if I'm being honest. Seeing the primitive foundation behind the Echidna shit after all these years of being aware of the nonsense but never fully experiencing the nexus from whence it came puts this in a very interesting perspective for me.

I was kind of under the impression that it started off simple and over time it got more and more complicated until it folded in on itself but looking at this... no, not really. Right out of the gate this is bonkers. It's so at odds with what Knuckles is and turned out to be today that I almost can't comprehend it. 

I know this was before Sonic Adventure but would this really be the expected trajectory of Knuckles' story just looking at his situation from Sonic and Knuckles? It's hard getting into the mind of someone from a time where I was too young to even comprehend what a Sonic was but I'm having trouble following the flow of logic. Maybe it's supposed to be a situational irony where they ended up being known for the exact opposite of where they began... I think?

The story is that badly drawn, weirdly proportioned, lanky Knuckles is looking for Archimedes; the ant guy with the hat. There had been a few interludes with the Chaotix and this guy for a couple of issues but they weren't worth mentioning because they get brought up for no reason and nothing happens. They exist just to make sure the reader knows that this is a story that's indeed happening in the background. This time they're telling an actual full-fledged story though.

He sees Mount Fate and for no reason, Knuckles starts to recount the history of his people that he learned from his dad about how things used to be before The Great Betrayal. 

Nay, before the Shattered Tommorrows. Even back then, these fucking try-hard, yet somehow still lazy, names and terms that Penders used to make things sound important were... shit.

I was thinking this as I was reading it and wondering if I was being too harsh just because it was Penders but then the very next page happened. 

So as it turns out the ancient civilization of echidnas existed on the front of the lazy science-fiction troupe of ancient civilizations somehow being the most advanced thing in history before current modern times. "Our cities gleaming spires rose high into the sky" he says. See that? They had the tallest buildings. That makes them the most smart.

Also, they're the Jedi Council.

Image result for jedi council gif

The Council has decided. We're fucked.

The island used to be in the ground, which is fine. Should the island have a history before it became the floating island at all, that's the easiest and simplest explanation. The next scene shows two echidna scientists talking in the worst written scene of the issue where one female science girl is bemused that all they learned about space is that there's nothing there and that she wishes something spectacular would happen. Then, in a not so subtle bit of extreme, in your face foreshadowing, the weird male doctor says the ancient echidna proverb of "Be careful what you wish for... you just might get it."

And then, for no reason, he turns to her, grabs her by the arms, leers into her eyes and shouts, "OR EVEN WORSE...IT MIGHT GET US!"

Echidna-Doc is a bit of a psycho. 

Next the echidna's gather together where in the... ... "Hall of Learning" (Bleh...) the dire announcement is made. It's where the hilarious panel I posted above happens. It's comedic gold. According to her calculations we're all going to die. It sounds like fake scientist dialogue from some 12-year-old's fan-fic.

She says that within a month, nay a week, a big white comet will come to specifically destroy THE MOST technologically advanced civilization on the planet. That's some extreme bad luck right there.

The brilliant plan that they propose is a massive search for the rarest of gems, Chaos Emeralds. All of them are green and there are a dozen of them. Now this is something I had a bit of knowledge about because of the A.D.A.M story that happens later but the full details of it elude me still. I'm sure I'll learn the whole story eventually but for now, I'm left wondering why this was the course of action taken concerning the emeralds in the first place. There weren't a ton of them in the games. The difference between then and now was that there was one less emerald. 

Whatever though. It was probably just a spark of creative liberty... I guess. Either way, the echidnas dig through their island and then dump the chaos emeralds they found into the ground and... somehow it causes just the island of Echidnapolis to float...

The exact line is "If I'm right the energy from the Chaos Emeralds should resonate throughout the city's infrastructure, severing the gravimetric lines of force." 

I'm not sure how or why they know that the Chaos Emeralds would do this but... I mean I just kind of assumed that in the games, the Master Emerald's power made it float because of mystical magic enchantment. I didn't really need a scientific explanation for it. Providing one kind of just puts the spotlight on the logistics of it which grants the reader the okay to chastise it for not making sense. 

Well, that... happens and the island floats off as the comet strikes the ground where the island used to be. I suppose she calculated that as the planet rotated the comet would strike their city at the exact moment they were in its way. So I guess it just floats away? If it doesn't then how do they steer the island? Does the city have a giant wheel in the mayor's office?

So Knuckles says they floated in the sky forever and that it was a grand day for Echidna history but they didn't know it would give birth to Mount Fate... oh the horrible Mount Fate. It's got a meanie face on it like it's Ego the Living Planet or something. 

Also, again, Knuckles is saying this all outloud. He's not thinking this. He's speaking it from his mouth while no one is around. People talk to themselves a lot in fiction but he's recounting an entire story to himself and it's weird. 

So in contrast to the first story, the art here is terrible. The echidnas all look weird. They're lanky and disproportioned to hell. Sometimes, when they stare at something, they look like they're looking past the thing that they're supposed to be looking at. Sizes are inconsistent too. There was an echidna worker in particular who was the size of a child standing next to the others but had the same build and stature as the rest of them. It looked like someone shrank a PNG of the guy and awkwardly pasted it next to them. 

The story itself is... odd. I suppose all these older issues have odd stories but those felt a bit more deliberate in their strangeness. This one is clearly taking itself seriously which is why the silly dialogue stands out more as something unintentionally funny. 

I'm hesitant to call it outright terrible. A part of me wants to be kinder to it simply because of how old and seemingly innocent this all is but I can't really ignore the fact that even for back then, this was written pretty badly. It's also not pleasing to look at too. It's such a stark contrast from the really well-drawn stuff from the story that took place earlier in the same issue. What a weird experience.

Hey though, I'm finally seeing the origins of the echidna shit though. I can't wait.

10 hours ago, SBR2 said:

Part of me is wondering if maybe this is a joke. Because this was clearly sketched at Momocon it's colored in with colored pencil and I'm not sure how a Titan Metal Sonic would fit into a Nicole story.

I dunno. Because machines.

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I like your reviews Mike. I can't wait for you to reach the issue where The Floating Island is renamed to Angel Island, and Penders makes it called Angel Island because it is named after one of his OCs.

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2 minutes ago, Silvereyes said:

I like your reviews Mike. I can't wait for you to reach the issue where The Floating Island is renamed to Angel Island, and Penders makes it called Angel Island because it is named after one of his OCs.

Guess you don't have to wait now.

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1 hour ago, Silvereyes said:

I don't understand what you mean?

You just told me what happens is what he means.

Not to worry though. It's fine.

I also bought the Archie Sonic Comics Encyclopedia at my local comic shop, which I didn't even know was a thing. This thing will come in handy, no doubt.

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Oh OK, sorry, I'll try not to do that. Although that thing I brought up was more a minor thing really, but I can't help it sums up Penders approach to the Sonic universe really. There is far dumber shit out there, it will be a lot of fun when you actually reach the Knuckles solo series.

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Finding all the Chaos Emeralds in the above comic cover was a fun little scavenger hunt. Giving one to Eggman was basically a freebie.

Special - Super Sonic Vs. Hyper Knuckles - Crash of the Titans

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Apparently this took place either before Issue 34 or around the same time. 

Already the Comic Forgetfulness is setting in because when Tails said he met Knuckles' great grandfather I only vaguely recall it happening when I read the Tails mini-series. Problem is, I took too long of a break between then and now so the details are fuzzier than I would like them to be. I do remember there was something with the Ancient Walkers there though. I may need a tiny refresher on that someday soon... in fact, I'll just go back and read it after recapping this.

So this is very much the era of Sonic and Knuckles in full on rivalry mode.  Well, sort of. Sonic basically treats Knuckles like a straight up, untrustworthy villain. The issue begins with weirdly drawn Knuckles marching his way around the border of the Great Forest towards Robotropolis (which is apparently emitting orange smog...?) while Sally and Tails watch him on the monitor. This is where Tails blurts out he met Knuckles' grandfather in a flow of conversation that makes no sense when you read it out loud.

Sally: He's walking along the outer edge of the Great Forest!

Sonic: That's where we tangled last!

Tails: I met his great grandfather!

Sonic: But he never leaves his Floating Island home!

I like to think that was a bit where Tails just wanted to be apart of the conversation so he just shouted something out to make it seem like his input was important and then got totally ignored. Anyway, Sonic calls him a "Dreadlocker" and says he makes his spines tingle in a non-platonic way.  Sonic flat out says that Knuckles is up to no good and when Sally shows Sonic that he's headed to the border of Robotropolis, Sonic's response is "The Red Skunk is gonna cut a deal with Robotnik!"

Sally rightfully points out that he doesn't know that but Sonic ignores her because he's a petty, vindictive fucking asshole. Sally tells Sonic to go to Knuckles and just talk. Sonic promises he'll do that and Sally and Tails don't believe him.

Sonic refers to an event where he met Knuckles once before and that event was another special called Sonic Triple Trouble, named after the game of the same name.

Interlude - Sonic Triple Trouble

A brief summary of that special shows a Chaos Emerald having been split in half (PPPFT! Yeah this was the past alright) and crash landing like a meteorite in two different locations. Sonic goes after one while Knuckles ends up seeing one land near his island. Both Sonic and Knuckles end up getting knocked out in hilariously pathetic ways. Knuckles purposefully smashes his face against the side of the mountain (because that's what he did in the 2D games at the time) and then a rock falls on his head and he falls to his doom. Sonic finds his half of the Chaos Emerald but gets shot with a "Neural Disruptor Gun" by Nack the Weasel and then gets tied up. It's funny because Nack brings Sonic along and treats him like a stiff wooden board or like some kind of luggage. Also, this is Nack's first appearance. 

Anyway, Nack flies to where the second half of the emerald is which is Angel Island. Knuckles wakes up surrounded by the Ancient Walkers and is told by them (through cave paintings) that the Chaos Emerald has split apart and when it uses its magnetic pull to go together again, it'll split Angel Island apart. Knuckles goes up, out of the ground, and immediately runs into Nack and punches his lights out without asking questions or even really knowing who he is. Sonic falls into the water, wakes up, spins out of it, then fights Knuckles for no reason. Then they hear Robotnik call in for Nack on his holographic wrist-watch device. They use his unconscious body as a puppet to get info on where the other half is and they form the Chaos Emerald together. When they do, it disappears, and the two leave each other still not trusting one another because... reasons. They have to hate each other. I guess.

Oh and the Ancient Walkers stole the emerald. Dun Dun Dun. Whatever.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

So yeah, nothing in there indicates that he'd think Knuckles would willingly cut a deal with Robotnik. The two of them worked together to stop Robotnik in the very issue he's referencing and Sonic himself states that he never leaves his island. I don't mind them hating each other but I need an actual reason. This just feels contrived.

So what IS Knuckles' deal? Well, we get a flashback to him speaking with Mighty on his island. He's talking about the time he saw a Chaos Emerald split in half and how his island is powered by only one chaos emerald now when it used to be powered by dozens of them. He's worried that if that Emerald splits, his island will be in danger. So, he takes the Book of Myths from out of a tree and reads up on how The Lake of Rings radiates an energy then produces a magic ring. Legend says that they lead to Special Zones that produce Chaos Emeralds. Some say the rings are a byproduct of the emeralds, some say it's the other way around. Either way, he wishes to secure more Chaos Emeralds.

He then brings up how Sonic is always battling a villain named Robotnik and hypothesis that the radiation might not just be pollution but a sign that the lake is nearby and decides to go check it out while Mighty guards the island.

I was actually really impressed by this. This explanation was pretty sound and his logic checks out. He isn't even really assuming that he's right about the radiation but he's taking the chance of his guess because there's a possibility it could be true. When he arrives at the city, he just finds a smelly grotto so it seems to be a bust but I admire his thought process here. Well done.

Then the book IMMEDIATELY ruins it when Sonic shows up, out of nowhere, and again FOR NO REASON, just PUNCHES KNUCKLES IN THE FACE!

FOR NO REASON!!!

image.png.c1228d1a26bc4a9bfbb3b9b7d4b9d497.png

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!

This isn't even a "This is a different version of Sonic" kind of problem. He's just being a tremendous asshole!

They try to make a joke out of the fact that he deliberately went against what Princess Sally asked him NOT to do by having Sonic take out a piece of paper and read off a decree where he promises to engage in civil discussion and Knuckles rightfully punches Sonic in the face through the paper. So that was good.

The two of them have a fight (or rather Knuckles defends himself against this weird maniac) and then Sally shows up. She shows them a hole in the ground that leads to a Special Zone and Knuckles immediately dives in. Sally tells Sonic to go after him and makes a weird comment about spending time with Knuckles in the summer. Sonic gets concerned and she tells him to not worry about it. Secretly they're both thinking "He cares"/"She cares" which... is kinda cute I guess. It's a little hard to care though when Sonic's being such a bitch.

The two of them race through the zone and start collecting rings in a pseudo competition with one another. This seems like a more acceptable way to do this, where they're competing in a more mutual way instead of... whatever that was from before. Sonic's still calling Knuckles names and clearly has the biggest hate boner for the guy. 

Sonic gathers 50 rings and seven chaos emeralds (all of them green which... STILL baffles me. I know there was never a time where the emeralds were all green in the games but I'm sure there's a reason...) and Knuckles does pretty much the same. 

Sonic turns into Super Sonic and Knuckles turns into Hyper Knuckles and the two of them fight.

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Now, admittedly, this is actually a rather entertaining fight. I do actually really like the way it's drawn. There's a really metal moment where Knuckles literally rips off a piece of the special zone and smacks Sonic in the face with it. The two then collide and the narration states that "The walls containing the Zone's reality begin warping wildly! The zone can no longer contain itself--it swells--it cracks--IT EXPLODES!!"

That's just what happens. The zone explodes and ejects the two brutes. 

Sonic wakes up and Sally is there to greet him, telling him about how she... went BACK to Knothole to watch their fight then when the zone exploded, she got on her bike and went BACK to where Sonic was. Okay. Sally gives Sonic a ride home and Sonic is trying to inquire her about something but Sally tells Sonic to not ask about her past with Knuckles. Sonic instead says that he was actually asking about a chili-dog. Then the studio audience laughs and we go "Oh you~! Well he does love his chili-dogs amiright?  HAHAHA!"

Also there's this really... kind of stupid, narration box underneath the part where Sally is telling Sonic not to ask about her past with Knuckles. It says "I'll bet you want to know more about this tantalizing tidbit! Write "Sonic Grams" - Scott

I'm glad this Sonic Grams thing changed because this continued idea of introducing stuff in your story and then... not following up on it unless people write in asking for a follow-up is dumb. Apparently, Rotor's family is still floating on that ice-block, hypnotized, at this very moment...

Anyway, Knuckles returns to his island and Mighty informs him that SOMEHOW, I don't know how, the fight between Super Sonic and Hyper Sonic is the talk of the primitive, secluded island with no technology. Knuckles holds up a single Chaos Emerald and says the mission was a success.

So yay. He had one emerald. Now he's got two.

I suppose that IS a success.

Special - Super Sonic Vs. Hyper Knuckles - Father and Sons

The end of this issue has a story about Knuckles spending time with his father, Locke. I'm familiar with Locke due to them having him around a great deal where I started in my comics journey so seeing him drawn so beefy is weird.

Locke tells Knuckles that the responsibility of protecting the island will soon fall on his shoulders. He states that it is an "Awesome task handed down through generations from our ancestors."

Anyway, it's basically just Knuckles recounting the times he spent with his dad. It's fine. It's just one big introspective conversation he's having with himself. His dad left him when he wanders into The Forbidden Zone, claiming it's him answering the calling of his forebears. It just looks like he leaped into a wall of fire to me though.

The issue ends with Knuckles saying that he's still following the trail laid out by Archimedes and is still searching for the Chaotix, which is a thing that has been going on for ISSUES on end now. Hopefully, this search Knuckles is on is going to lead to something tangible soon.

As for this special... its okay? Honestly, it's a pretty shameless excuse to have Sonic and Knuckles fight each other but Knuckles was clearly the protagonist of this whole thing. He had a mission of sound mind and reason and he set out to accomplish it. Had the two of them actually TALKED then Knuckles could have explained to Batman Sonic that his island was in danger of falling should the one emerald he has crack in half. However, Sonic didn't want to listen and instead just assumed Superman Knuckles was up to no good and rushed to the scene specifically to beat him up like a bully. But they both stopped fighting when they found out their mommies had the same name.

Despite Knuckles never crossing paths with Robotnik or doing anything to elicit proof of Sonic's extremely irrational assertion that Knuckles was evil, he turns Super and tries to brutalize him. Sonic's the fucking villain of this issue. At least Knuckles, as the hero, technically accomplished his task. Though, it's still kind of suckish that Sonic had SEVEN emeralds and basically got the zone to explode due to their pointless fight. 

You know, maybe this issue isn't okay. Maybe it's just outright bad. 

 

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On 6/5/2019 at 1:11 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I was actually really impressed by this. This explanation was pretty sound and his logic checks out. He isn't even really assuming that he's right about the radiation but he's taking the chance of his guess because there's a possibility it could be true. When he arrives at the city, he just finds a smelly grotto so it seems to be a bust but I admire his thought process here. Well done.

Then the book IMMEDIATELY ruins it when Sonic shows up, out of nowhere, and again FOR NO REASON, just PUNCHES KNUCKLES IN THE FACE!

FOR NO REASON!!!

image.png.c1228d1a26bc4a9bfbb3b9b7d4b9d497.png

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!

This isn't even a "This is a different version of Sonic" kind of problem. He's just being a tremendous asshole!

 

 

If you think that's bad, you should have seen Sonic mocking traumatized citizens during the NICOLE arc prior to the reboot. As if they had no legitimate reasons to be worried about NICOLE having that much influence over the city. Nevermind the fact some of them lost their families when the Iron Queen invaded and took control of NICOLE; almost ended up that way themselves as a result. Or the fact NICOLE's monitoring felt like the onset of Big Brother Government.

 

comic panel.png

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4 hours ago, Rosaleia said:

 

If you think that's bad, you should have seen Sonic mocking traumatized citizens during the NICOLE arc prior to the reboot. As if they had no legitimate reasons to be worried about NICOLE having that much influence over the city. Nevermind the fact some of them lost their families when the Iron Queen invaded and took control of NICOLE; almost ended up that way themselves as a result. Or the fact NICOLE's monitoring felt like the onset of Big Brother Government.

 

comic panel.png

Oh thank god! Someone finally replied. I was worried I was going to have to make a double post. Too many double posts and I probably wouldn't be allowed to do the reviews here. 

And yes, I did read that though. I got into the comics at around the 190s and collected them monthly from then onward. I then got the back issues from 150 onward too. I don't know anything about what came before that but I do recall this being one of the reasons why I never got why Archie's version of Sonic was so liked. I knew I wasn't dreaming when I kept bringing up that he just feels like a tremendous douche. I love how he is in the IDW series and Ian Flynn even made a point to say that he did purposefully tone down the assholeishness, which I'm eternally grateful for.

Issue 35 - Ring of Truth

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As I continue down these line of comics I’m starting to notice that the cover art is getting consistently more serious in the tone it’s trying to convey. I’m feeling as though the turning point for the comics is neigh.

So the issue starts and immediately I can tell it wasn’t drawn by Ken Penders simply because it has a really nice looking drawing of Sonic getting zapped by Robotnik on it.

I thought I was in for a fairly normal time at the start… I was wrong.

This entire issue is an acid trip.

The plot is that Sonic is trying to fight Robotnik and he grabs a power ring to give him a boost but… uh-oh. Turns out that was Sonic’s BILLIONTH RING!

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That’s… quite the number. To this day it’s impossible to comprehend just how much a BILLION is but I can see someone as fast as Sonic nabbing that many.

Either way, the instant he grabs his BILLIONTH RING he gets whisked away to Wonderland/Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory/That scene at the end of 2001 A Space Odyssey.

Sonic spots one of the Ancient Walkers (who have been showing up quite a bit recently) and is basically dicked around by his Billionth ring. Sonic is significantly must less of an asshole in this issue (probably because Penders isn’t writing him here) so his torment is a little less warranted but, honestly, it’s still just as funny.

I mean it. He gets his ass beat by this fucking ring.

It heats up in his hand and burns him so that he drops it into the dirt. Then the dirt shaped hole in the ground shoots up and knocks Sonic literally into the stratosphere. Then the ring itself shoots from the ground and travels up the pillar of dirt to smack Sonic in the face to send him falling down to the sea.

Sonic, for some reason, says he’s “lucked out” when he finds out he’s about to land in the green sea below…?

His ring obviously is smarter than he is because it swoops down and saves him. Then it acts as a makeshift boat where Sonic then realizes that it wasn’t a sea made of water but a sea made of Chaos Emeralds!

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He runs into another Ancient Walker who throws a riddle at him. Sonic… uncharacteristically wracks his brain and figures out that the answer to his riddle is “a chain”. Then a chain of rings come out and eat Sonic alive, dragging him into the Emerald sea.

He comes across the third Ancient Walker in the most entertaining part of the story where he tells Sonic he will answer only one question.

Sonic asks, “Just one?”

Then the Ancient Walker splays his hands out and shouts “The answer is YES!” and knocks Sonic off into the… ethereal plain? Special zone? Whacked out fever dream land? And while Sonic is falling through this and proclaiming that what just happened wasn’t fair he then just… starts spewing out a ton of meaningless drivel about the rings and where they come from and how they exist and the key to life and humanity and the meaning of existence and… whatever the hell?

This is word for word what Sonic says: “Wait a minute...maybe that IS the ultimate answer to ALL questions! “This isn’t fair!” But what about that chain? Is that where magic rings go when they leave a zone? Or that where they come from? When it spiralled around me, it looked like a triple helix--could our universe be one strand of DNA in a huge cosmic entity? And that sea of emeralds! Calmness amidst the Chaos--Multifaceted, yet individually beautiful--so very green!”

There is an author’s note from Scott asking people to send in letters to Sonic Grams so that they can know what people think of this ethereal episode.

Well, Scott, I gotta say, it’s confusing and weird. I’m not sure what, if anything, this was trying to say at all and I don’t know if anyone was given enough context to care enough to send you letters asking for it to continue.

This issue had a ton of narration from Sonic. More so than usual. Everything that happens to him, he feels the need to reiterate it to us and it was very odd. He talks quite a bit to himself.

Oh yeah and he ends up shooting through Robotnik’s Eggmobile when he exits the zone. That causes the doctor to crash and go “ROBOOMNIK” which was pretty funny.

Sonic also frames his Billionth ring with a plak that says “Over ONE BILLION Served” which was cute.

If anyone knows what the point of this was or what they were trying to do, can you please be so kind as to let me know? Just in case it actually doesn’t lead to anything which… it very well might not. 

Rotor’s family is still floating on that ice…

Issue 35 - A Sense of History Part II

DIMITRI!

I’ve finally, finally, stumbled across the origin of Dimitri! Now this is exciting. It’s surreal, seeing the guy as an actual echidna and not a robot head in a hamster ball. I could tell this dude had a rich history just looking at his design so I’m eager to see where this guy began and how he ended up the way he did.

We start back with Knuckles and his... incredibly long journey to find the Chaotix and figure out what Archimedes’ deal is.

Yes. We’re still on that story… I’m sure Penders is planning on having something actually happen with it one day.

Until then though, we’ve got more backstory! How fun! Knuckles does what Sonic was doing in the earlier story and starts expositing (from his mouth and not in his head) about the history he learned from his father.

So generations after Angel Island Echinapolis was sent into the sky, two brothers, Edmund and Dimitri, began working on a way to rejoin the island with the planet. They created the Chaos Syphon which, if used correctly, will gradually absorb the power of the 12 chaos emeralds making the island float until it safely manages to reconnect the island with the ground.

They explain this to us, the audience, while having a conversation with one another about stuff they should already know. They go through the Zoot Chute (which sounds kind of dirty) to reach the center of the island where the 12 emeralds are busy defying gravity in the Chaos Chamber, which looks like a room made of porcelain glass, and begin doing science calculations on it.

It’s so sciencey!

Basically, it’s just a scene done to show us that Dimitri’s a bit of a secret, unstable psycho who is interested in the emerald’s limitless self-perpetuating power despite the fact that the goal of him and his brother is to absorb the power slowly so that the island can fuze back with the planet. Edmund has to remind him of that and Dimitri’s like “Oh yeah.”

Anyway, they go to the… *sigh* Hall of Learning and give their science presentation. The stereotypical judge with the stereotypical white judge hair (on a red echidna) says NO and bangs his gavel at them. Why? Cause he doesn’t want to risk the safety of the populace on untried theories. 

Which is kind of funny considering, the only way it can stop being untried is if they… try it.

Dimitri immediately loses his shit and rushes off without Edmund’s consent to just… do it anyway. He takes the Chaos Syphon and starts stealing the energy of the emeralds. Edmund catches up with Dimitri and pleads with his brother to see reason. Dimitri’s response is that he ain’t got time for reason!

In a flash he uses the machine to absorb the powers of 11 of the 12 emeralds into his body. Edmund and the judge (who came too for some reason) observe that they now only have one emerald keeping the island afloat. Then Dimitri's like "I'M EVIL!"

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And then he creates a spire of evil called Mount Fate. What does Mount Fate do? I don't know. It's an evil rock formation of evil as far as I know at the moment.

I made the joke that Dimitri might have been a secret psycho but I honestly can't tell if he was just always crazy under the surface and being rejected just tipped him over the edge or if he was just... contemplating what the power of the emeralds were and then immediately lost his shit. I feel like there's a bit more to this that could be explored so I'll wait.

On the whole, this particular part of the story actually isn't bad. It's an understandable enough foundation for a villain origin even if there's holes in the logic and flimsy explanation behind why exactly Dimitri went off the deep end so readily and quickly. I'm reframing on passing judgement just yet. 

... But seriously, how'd he go from "I want to put the island back on the planet" to "I HAVE ENOUGH POWER TO LAY WORLDS TO WASTE!"?

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I've been seeing you doing these for a while and have occasionally wanted to say something, but honestly a combination of me usually reading them on my phone, the posts being inherently long, and being too busy laughing at some of your reactions meant I seldom in a position to.

On 5/19/2019 at 12:01 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The Rotor story got even weirder with its conclusion. It's not even a conclusion. Rotor's brainwashed family comes out and attacks them and they end up floating away on a large chunk of ice. Rotor tosses a tracker on the ice so that he can find them again. It looks like a small walkie-talkie thing so it doesn't look like it can stick to anything, as such, I don't know how it's not supposed to just accidently slip off the ice or get kicked in the water.

Then Rotor leaves and says he's gonna work on a way to actually cure Robotnik's hypnosis...and then it ends with a box saying "It's over but if you want us to continue it then send letters to Sonic Grams!"

So basically it's like "We're not concluding this story unless you ask us to" which means if no one asks them to, apparently they're just going to leave Rotor's family adrift in the ocean, hypnotized forever. The idea of that being the case is hilarious.

I guess I should add a disclaimer here to avoid confusion again.

Ahem. 

  Hide contents

Yes, I'm aware that this was probably a common practice in the comics back when they first came out. I'm just highlighting how odd and funny the idea that a story that does something that awful to Rotor's family wouldn't be concluded if people didn't send in letters asking them to. Also, I'm aware that they could totally finish it  without actually receiving any of those letters too.

EDIT: Also, I just noticed that Sonic and Tails have five fingers but Sally, Antione, Rotor, and Bunnie all only have four. 

I think that actually did happen for a while.

But yeah, what an oddly precise detail.

On 5/19/2019 at 2:32 AM, PC the Hedgehog said:

Many Mike Gallagher stories had "editor" notes saying "Want to see more of [insert whatever the story was about here]? Write Sonic-Grams!" Most of the time they went unfulfilled. I remember seeing a LOT of fans wanting more Sonic Spinball stories, and we never got even one.

Also helped me appreciate that the editor boxes were at the insistence of the individual writers, not the actual editor.

Ohho really?

Why doesn't that strike me as odd?

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On 5/19/2019 at 1:49 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Issue #32 - Blast from the Past

Okay, so Sonic's actually kind of lame and stupid in these earlier books and to be honest, it's kind of amusing. The amount of times he gets hit and sees stars floating around his head is astonishing but even funnier is the way it's sometimes being treated seriously.

Oh yeah, I seem to remember a fair bit of that.

On 5/19/2019 at 1:49 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

Like, in this issue, the plot is that they thaw out a Prehistoric Mobian (they call him Mobie) whose your typical caveman (at first). Rotor makes a big deal about thawing him out slowly with his device but Sonic accidently knocks into it and makes the defrosting happen super fast. This has the horrible effect of... nothing. Nothing bad happens. He thaws out and he acts like a caveman, which is what he was going to do either way. So... I'm not sure why that detail of thawing him out slowly was even put into the story...???

 

I guess to show that Sonic doesn't slow compared to Rotor?

.

On 5/19/2019 at 1:49 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, though, the plot is that he's running about the place and they're trying to communicate with him. Sonic is getting annoyed by him and he clearly doesn't like him. I guess cause he's hard to figure out but either way, Sonic's being an ass about it. Eventually, they remember that Mr. Caveman had a paintbrush in his hand when he was in the ice (as well as a club) so they try to communicate threw paintings. This causes him to remember he had a family and he jumps off a tree he climbed up, bounces off Sonic's head (Ha.) and then runs off into the forest. His family is dead, obviously. 

 

Oh yeah. Poor Mobie.

On 5/19/2019 at 1:49 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

But the funny part is when the SWAT-Bots attack Sonic. For some reason, Sonic spins into a tornado to blow them all away, starts gloating while spinning to a stop, smashed his face against some rock, then passes out...

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It's hilarious.

At first I thought he was just going to immediately collect himself but then Muttsuki, his dog from way back whose been roboticized, comes along and is about to... eat him? I think? And we cut back to Sonic and he's still unconscious.

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Then he has to be saved by the Caveman. It's so lame. I kind of love it.

 

That almost strikes me as that thing where Sonic doesn't appreciate Mobie, but Mobie saves him when it matters near the end.

Also, if Muttski was in Freedom HQ couldn't Robotnik have gotten the location from him?

On 5/19/2019 at 1:49 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

Issue #33 - Let's Get Small

This is the weirdest thing ever. 

The Freedom Fighters, aside from Sonic, all get sick because they ordered take-out from a new restaurant called Robo... something. It's obviously a Robotnik thing.

Anyway, Sonic has to shrink himself down and goes inside Rotor's body to fix it. He meets up with Rotor's Auntie Bodie. She's an old woman that looks like Rotor but lives inside his body. At first I appreciated the pun but then I realized that there's not really a joke there aside from the fact that Auntie kind of sounds like Anti. Anyway, Sonic fights this dude that looks like a Potato Chip while inside Rotor's body called "Parasite". For some reason, even though this is Rotor's body, Parasite is French, like Antione. 

I don't really get it. Anyway, they beat him and his partner "Fever" up and then the Rotor Auntie Bodie gives a call on her "One-Celled Celluar Phone" to the other Auntie Bodies in the bodies of the other Freedom Fighters and tells them to... beat up the Parasites and Fevers in their bodies. And they do... and then that's it. Also, the other Auntie Bodies are just the other Freedom Fighter characters in old woman wigs and dresses. That includes Tails. It's weird.

 

Oh yeah, I remember coming across her on the wiki, going to read the story, and still being confused by what the heck she was even supposed to be.

Did Mike Gallagher write that?

On 5/19/2019 at 11:34 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

 

Issue #34 - To Bot or Not to Bot

This is an issue where Robotnik is taking his war against Sonic up a notch (supposedly it's different) because he's given all the robots a military theme, complete with a camouflage paint job. Robotnik himself is calling himself GENERAL and he's wearing an outfit with six medals on his coat, all of which undoubtedly mean absolutely nothing. Which is hilarious.

Snively asks why Robotnik is doing this and his response is "Because I've declared TOTAL WAR™®© on Sonic and the Freedom Fighters". My first thought is "Isn't that already the case?"

He continues by saying he's created the ultimate combat machine and given it the legitimately brilliant name of "Combot". Then he tells Snively to "Imagine an ENTIRE ARMY of Invincible Soldier 'Bots, all with a single purpose.. to get that miserable Hedge-Rat and his friends!"

Kinda hard not to love how totally into it issues like that one was.

But oh, is this where they come from? I thought they were introduced much later, for some reason.

On 5/19/2019 at 11:34 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

So, I was a bit confused at the start here because it really did just sound like the same old thing he's always been doing but with a different visual theme. His plan is incredibly basic. He's built a bunch of robots and he's going to send them out in an all-out attack on the Great Forest as a surprise. It's probably more effective but it's certainly not as creative as the food poisoning weirdness from last issue. Than again, maybe the food poisoning was more effective in hindsight since they were all total and complete idiots and ate at a new restaurant called "McRobos". You know, I actually don't know how they all haven't died by now.

Apparently they just get super lucky all the time because when Robotnik tells Snively not to tell anyone, we cut to outside the window where... Dulcy the Dragon is just... there.

She's just there. Outside the window. Listening into this exact conversation. For no reason. I guess Robotropolis has really shit security because she just flies away to go warn the others. 

Sometimes you forget how inherently stupid and/or loose the series can be.

On 5/19/2019 at 11:34 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

 

I wasn't sure where this was going at first but there was an Uncle Chuck and Muttski scene at the beginning where Rotor unsuccessfully tried to de-roboticize them. I figured that was to come into play at some point and it did. Sally comes up with a plan to set bombs on all of them so that they can be destroyed and lets Sonic, Uncle Chuck, and Muttski go to Robotropolis to do it.

What's funny is that they say "Fuck that plan. It stinks." and they do their own plan without telling her. And not only does it work but it gives the added bonus of having Chuck be a spy for them. Awesome. We should ignore Sally's plans more often.

Wait, WHAT?!.

 

On 5/19/2019 at 11:34 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

They sneak in, reprogram all the Combots to listen to Uncle Chuck, and had it so that when the invasion took place, he'd send them walking off a cliff. Plus, Robotnik tried to re-align Chuck and Muttski's minds to his side but Rotor stuck a chip in them that... overrides the override I guess so that it doesn't work. They actually ended up tricking me into thinking things were going to get climactic but it was more of a set-up for how Uncle Chuck and Muttski end up as spies for the Freedom Fighters in Robotropolis. Which is fine. 

That would've been a different ending, I tell ya what.

That reminds me that the show really did forget about Muttski after his one appearance.

 

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