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1 hour ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

ALL OF THAT REVIEW

I’m glad you liked Sonic Quest. This was easily my favorite miniseries during the days of Archie doing miniseries. I feel as though Archie hits a good story stride around 36-50, including the miniseries and early Knuckles series. Everything for this period feels a bit more focused. Later even the simplest of continuity gets all confusing.

I'm a fan of Manny Galan, the artist for this arc. He’s going to do several regular issues and the Knuckles series as well. His characters seem more alive in motion than the other artists. You’re right, his characters do seem a bit more stretched or slim, but he seems to give them personality in expression. Nice review!

(Also yeah we never see Carl fucking Condor again lmao)

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2 hours ago, Your Vest Friend said:

I'd make them regret being born. No matter what sex or gender.  

Edit: Turns out the Zombot arc was originally meant for post-300 Archie Sonic. 

Sounds like the Bumblekast is out. I'll have to check this one out.

1 hour ago, Badnik Zero said:

I’m glad you liked Sonic Quest. This was easily my favorite miniseries during the days of Archie doing miniseries. I feel as though Archie hits a good story stride around 36-50, including the miniseries and early Knuckles series. Everything for this period feels a bit more focused. Later even the simplest of continuity gets all confusing.

I'm a fan of Manny Galan, the artist for this arc. He’s going to do several regular issues and the Knuckles series as well. His characters seem more alive in motion than the other artists. You’re right, his characters do seem a bit more stretched or slim, but he seems to give them personality in expression. Nice review!

(Also yeah we never see Carl fucking Condor again lmao)

That's brilliant. I love it.

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2 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Meanwhile, Eggman is dressing up in his new armor called the Eggs-O-Skeleton. At first I thought he tore off his skin and was revealing himself as Robo-Robotnik but no...it’s battle armor patterned to look like the Death Egg. He’s wearing it, I guess, because he doesn’t trust Silver Sonic to finish the job despite the big deal he made about it.

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I always wondered if that gettup he's wearing was supposed to be the equivalent of the Death Egg Robot. 

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On 7/8/2019 at 11:23 PM, Your Vest Friend said:

Turns out the Zombot arc was originally meant for post-300 Archie Sonic. 

I just realised this basically confirms my theory that a version of the metal virus was the “new method of roboticization” that was being teased at the end of Eggman’s Dozen.

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On 6/13/2019 at 12:32 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Mini-Series: Sonic's Friendly Nemesis Knuckles 

I've decided to just do all three of the Knuckles mini-series issues in one post since I don't want to waste time giving them all their individual posts anyway. I'm on the cusp of reaching the 40s, which means the infamous Endgame I've heard so much about is just over the horizon. I'm rarin' to get to it but first, more convoluted Knuckles nonsense. Or maybe it'll be good. We shall see.

 

Ah, how convenient!.

 

On 6/13/2019 at 12:32 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Issue #1 - Rites of Passage

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The issue starts and immediately I was impressed by the art. It's the best this book's ever looked up to this point, bar none. Same goes for the coloring. I quickly checked to make note of who it was and the credit for Pencils goes literally to a person named Art Mawhinney. Inks go to Harvo and coloring goes to Kyle Hunter. The script was written by Ken Penders and Mike Kanterovich. Oh boy.

The issue begins with a surprisingly well-written passage detailing what's going on before we jump into our story. It's still interesting to me that Knuckles is guarding just a single Chaos Emerald. It was the same in Sonic Underground too, where he had that pet dinosaur. I still don't get why. I know the emeralds were in the first two games and the Master Emerald's appearance was played up as a big deal when Knuckles made his debut. This is still very odd.

You really like Art Mawhinney, eh? Interesting. It's been a while since I saw this miniseries once though.

As for the Emerald, I'd just assume it's a sendup to the Master Emerald without being called that. Isn't it about Knuckles's size and held up on something?

On 6/13/2019 at 12:32 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

Anyway, Knuckles has gone underneath Mount Fate to discover the chamber where the old stashed away Echidna technology was stored. It's surrounded by booby traps both ridiculous and exotic (the book's words, not mine) reminiscent of Indiana Jones except way more high tech. Knuckles goes through it with ease, spewing nonsense from his mouth that doesn't match the well written passage from before.

"They've thrown in everything but the kitchen sink! But the one thing I won't throw in... IS THE TOWEL!"

Blegh.

He spews puns to himself then asks himself why he's there. Then he recounts the story of why he's there to nobody, once again speaking out-loud to himself right after asking himself a question he knew the answer to.

Okay, I thought that might've come up when you mentioned it in the last issue.

And yeah, that's somewhat par the course for Mr. Penders and I wanna say another writer at the time.

On 6/13/2019 at 12:32 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

After being chased by the Indiana Jones boulder, he makes it into a room where he finds a plasma gun and decides to take it with him because why not? Turns out Knuckles was packing long since Shadow did. It's probably why he tossed Shadow's gun away in LEGO dimensions. He knew better. Either way, he uses the gun to burn through a steel door and continues on to the sound of a voice that's seemingly taunting him. However, it turns out it wasn't a taunt but a hardy welcome! He enters the next room and wouldn't you know it, Archimedes is there with Charmy, Espio, Mighty, and Vector. They're all happily eating food and being treated as guests! What a shock. (I'm not shocked at all.)

Knuckles demands answers and the fire-ant provides them by showing off his powers of teleportation with blue smoke and fire breath. Well now. The fire-ants from the Dimitri origin weren't shown to be quite like this. Had they been this way I may have believed they could take down Mount Fate.

Ah yes, Archimedes.

I know Mr. Flynn opined at one point that he was one of the most interesting characters of the comic. And yeah, he's one of those characters that feel fairly neat and original to say I can't remember him being used or rather focused on all that much.

On 6/13/2019 at 12:32 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Speaking of which, during all of this, Mount Fate just randomly explodes and a glowing green figure exits from it. While these pages went on, the bottom panel would show the glowing green figure hovering through the area until it reached the room where everyone was and revealed himself as Dimitri, now referring to himself as  ENERJAK!

image.png

I've reached the first appearance of Enerjak! Wow! My first Archie comic was the one where Knuckles took off his helmet and he himself was revealed to be the new Enerjak. I almost want to be nostalgic about it but unfortunately, that's being bogged down by how I'm unable to process how this sequence of events makes any sense whatsoever. 

Yep, Knuckles eventually "became" the very villain responsible for much of his race's history; Finitevus thought it was poetic, as I recall.

 

On 6/13/2019 at 12:32 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

I have SEVERAL questions.

1. Knuckles says that Dimitri was done in when Mount Fate collapsed on him. Why the fuck would Mount Fate collapsing on someone who absorbed the power of 11 chaos emeralds and dying be something that ANYONE believed?

2. Dimitri himself states that it's ridiculous that Mount Fate collapsing on him could get rid of someone who absorbed the power of 11 Chaos Emeralds. So then why the fuck did it take this dude 17 GENERATIONS before he randomly blew apart the ruins of Mount Fate and floated his way into this chamber?

3. If all Dimitri wants is conquest of the planet then why did he break out NOW? Could he do that at anytime? If so... why NOW?! 

4. He's got a new suit and a his echidna hair looks like really harsh looking coils. It looks cool and menacing but... I gotta ask... why does he look like this now? Where did he get that outfit? Was there a evil energy echidna Demi-God shopping mall underneath all those boulders? Did he...make it himself somehow?

So much of this doesn't make sense.

Anyway, Dimitri freezes everyone and banishes Knuckles and Archimedes to the Shadow Realm some random desert. 

Oh dear, okay, let's look at this :lol: 

  1. I guess it's because he stayed buried for ended up being so many generations. Not saying it makes sense anyway, but it did happen.
  2. And there it is! Honestly, I was never sure either; the closest to a hypothetical explanation is to say he either went into a deep coma/sleep or was dispersed by the FireAnts' magic and thus had to recompose himself with a greater grip of his power. But it never really added up logically.
  3. I honestly do not remember what Enerjak(that's important) actually wants. Dimitri's initial transformation at least had the handwave of him being drunk with power, but given what he attempts later, simple world domination doesn't really apply to his iintentions.
  4. That's something that is vaguely implied in the Knuckles Return arc and explained more thoroughly in the Encyclopedia. And even then, that's technically a retcon. But yes, he made it himself--he has an assload of powers.
On 6/13/2019 at 12:32 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

Issue #2 - Rites of Passage Part II

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Actually, its Sandopolis. Neat.

Some props are in order here actually. Not a lot but some.

 

Oh, that's right! Cause that worm thing shows up again in Knuckles Returns.

So I guess this means they actually saw the game proper by this point.

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Turns out the ants tearing apart Mount Fate actually did have more merit to it than previously thought... though the explanation is still silly, it's at least a plausible explanation by the standards of a goofy Sonic the Hedgehog comic. Archimedes explains that those fire-ants from the past were his people and the flashback now shows them with a more dignified, anthropomorphic look. The ants have looked after the asses of the echidnas for generations. Why? I dunno. I guess they're just that nice. They not only helped lift the ground so that the island could help float off from Mobius properly (badass) but they tore apart Mount Fate on purpose and got the rocks to crush Dimitri when he went all psycho-crazy.

Now, this doesn't answer any of the other questions I asked about the situation at hand but ONE question from an older post was indeed answered. For that I give props. Well done when it comes to that. 

 

Yeah, that's a good point. I honestly don't remember when or rather why they teamed up with Guardians, but perhaps it was just because they took down Enerjak together or something.

Also, holy shit, I forgot they lifted Angel Island and created Downunda to begin with!

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Anyway, Archimedes, because ants look after echidnas, was actually testing Knuckles to see if he was smart enough and good enough to find the Chaotix. Then Enerjak showed up and did his evil bad stuff. Still no explanation on why he waited THOUSANDS of years to break out and do this. Is the comic trying to suggest that when Mount Fate collapsed, it killed him but it took generations before he rose again? What a sucky all-powerful being. He didn't even come close to beating Jesus' record of 3 days.

Oh, dude, just...wait for it.

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The rest of the issue is just Knuckles and Archimedes trekking through the desert while Enerjak goes off and creates an evil dark version of the old Echindapolis. He calls it Nekronopolis.

Despite the weird name, the concept of Enerjak creating his own city that's supposed to be a dark reflection of history off the heels of the collapse of Echidnapolis  is actually pretty cool. I like it a lot. I could even see it as an unsettling level in a video game. Imagine traveling to Silver's future and visiting the ruins of Station Square and Tails Workshop on a dark and hazy night. Wouldn't that just send chills up your spine?

Enerjak is actually a pretty legit idea for a villain, all things considered.

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Knuckles and Archimedes defeat the giant blue sand worm from Sonic Lost World, are guided by Mufasa the Echidna to an Oasis where they get some water and food in them before it mystically disappears, find Nekronopolis, sneak into the city, and immediately get ambushed by robots. Archimedes is chewing Knuckles out a lot through all of this, fancying himself Knuckles' teacher no doubt. They manage to crush the robots under a stone door and reach a chamber where Knuckles gets socked by GASP... the Chaotix? They've been hypnotized and now work for Enerjak. Oh noes~!

Wait, what? 

 

On 6/13/2019 at 12:32 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

Meh. Seen it too much. Mammoth Mogul does something far more interesting with hypnotized minions down the line than simply sicking them on the hero of this arc.

Funny you mention him....

 

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On 6/13/2019 at 12:32 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

Issue #3 - Rites of Passage Part III

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One thing to note right off the bat is that the Chaotix are hypnotized to be Enerjak's mindless minions but unlike the end of the last issue, their eyes don't reflect that anymore. They look normal now which threw me off a bit but I do kind of appreciate it. It's not often I see evil hypnosis presented in a way that sees no obvious change to the way the characters look. 

Huh. That's funny.

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Anyway, they fight and Knuckles and Archimedes easily win. So then Enerjak just comes in and pulls a Caesar Clown by taking the air away and making them pass out. It's AFTER he does this that he decides to explain to him, and the audience, what happened to the floating island all those years ago. You see he and his brother Edmund created a machine called the Chaos Syphon to extract the energy of the- wait. You know all this already? Well, of course you do because this is the fifth time it's been re-explained. It's the third time within this mini-series that this same history lesson has been explained! WE GOT IT!

Him who?

Wait, they seriously re-explained all that in each issue?

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Also Enerjak explains the manner of his death. "But I did not die! For untold generations I lay in utter blackness--until the time was right for my rebirth and with my renewed life-force I emerged free to conquer a world and beyond!"So, it actually does sound like they ARE going for the whole death and rebirth thing... I think. This is... a little better but the fact that a bunch of falling rocks 'killed' or incapacitated a dude who absorbed the power of ELEVEN chaos emeralds (four more emeralds than seven!) for GENERATIONS is still too much of a stretch. It really does make his power seem almost infantile. That said, it does somewhat justify the new look. If this is supposed to be a rebirth than I guess I can see why his echidna hair looks like coils now. It doesn't explain where he got the outfit from but I guess it's not important. Maybe eleven chaos emeralds gives you the powers of Piccolo's clothes beam.

Um, essentially.

I think another retroactive factor is how the Chaos Emeralds hypothetically aren't as powerful individually since there are a fuckton of them.

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Anyway, Enerjak, like the power-hungry idiot he has become, just rants at Knuckles and Archimedes through bafflingly superfluous gloating and flings energy at the two of them a couple times to get them to flop onto the floor a bit. He's straight up attacking them but he's not killing them, all the while ranting about how uber powerful he is. This gives Archimedes ample time to use his ant feelers to contact his brethren. Enerjak is busy monologuing and isn't finishing them off with his supposed limitless power because, I guess, he really wants to see Knuckles cry or something.

So then Archimedes just makes Knuckles and himself disappear with his teleportation powers.Fucking oops.

Yeeeah...Enerjak is kind of a glorifed dunce. Somewhat understandably so, given what he's capable of from a writing standpoint, but this was one of the two main problems with Dimitri's version.

Also I thought they were knocked out?

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We cut back to the Chaotix who are playing poker with one another when they overhear Enerjak commanding them to capture Knuckles and Archimedes. This scene again tricked my mind into thinking the Chaotix were un-hypnotized by this point. Their eyes are not only normal but they're doing something as mundane as playing poker with each other. But then Charmy's like "The Master Commands!" and flies off to do his bidding while the others follow. It's very interesting how this hypnosis is being portrayed. I like it.

That's goofy as shit, dawg.

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Knuckles and Archimedes sneak around the base before bursting through a vent and literally landing right on top of Enerjak. Archimedes tells Knuckles not just to stand on him, but to cuff him. Cuff him with what? I dunno. Either way, Enerjak gets up and knocks them back. His mouth looks like that of a chicken going "BUCKACK!" so that's funny.They're literally right back where they started from which means the only point to escaping was most likely to give the ants that Archimedes called time to create a hole in the ground for the two of them to escape through. Enerjak, with limitless power at his disposal, idiotically decides not to use any of it like he was before and instead engages in a fist-fight with Knuckles... which he pretty much loses.

What?! Oh my goodness....

So I guess the climax with Knuxerjak wasn't just him channeling who he really is in his frustration.🙄

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I mean, he gets knocked back and then Knuckles and Archimedes escape. Then some rockets latch onto the evil tower and it launches into space, carrying Enerjak off into orbit and beyond. Knuckles lands on the ground safely. The Chaotix are no longer hypnotized. Everyone's happy... but wait? Where'd that mysterious oasis come from? Also, the dark evil city just disappeared. Also, the ants didn't latch those rockets to the evil tower and make it fly into space. What gives?

Well the heroes say "Fuck it. Who cares?" and walk off into the distance.

And there it is. 

What an anticlimax.

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We then cut to Knuckles' father, Locke, in a robe, watching this all on an advanced computer monitor. He talks about how great it is that Knuckles is friends with a fire-ant, how his quick thinking allowed him to latch the rockets onto the evil lair and send Enerjak to space, and of course, he was the one who somehow made that mystical oasis appear. With technology... somehow.The last shot is of Enerjak's evil lair flying through space while evil laughter from inside rings out. Apparently Enerjak's god-like powers allow him to carry the sound of his laughter through space but not the ability to simply fly his dumbass out of the tower when it starts blasting off. Real impressed with these shitty powers so far, I gotta say...

"How great it is that"...didn't he send Archimedes? 

But yeah, the Brotherhood of Guardians have, like, mystical powers and shit due to their connection to the Emerald and what not, so I don't know why he didn't just leave that vague.

And oh shit, he IS awake! Gramercy me...

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So, did I enjoy that? Actually, yeah.

It was a nice enough story that actually did it's best to cover a good number of its bases and also had a point. The standing of Knuckles' character here tells a story of a guy who was tested by Archimedes and watched over by his father to see if he could break out of being a loner and adapt to new situations. Enerjak thought Knuckles wouldn't be able to but he did. Enerjak couldn't break away from who he was and thus wasn't able to experience victory. And who he is, is a huge fucking idiot.

I gotta say, the one thing that disappointed me a bit was how some of the Enerjak stuff panned out. I feel like for his first foray into these comics, he'd have something a bit more impressive and devastating to do. In my mind, I always imagined the first coming of Enerjak to be something that could bring about the apocalypse or something considering the way future stories with Enerjak go and how much the original one's legacy was spoken of with such reverence. He's just a big oaf here though. 

Oh well. I still had fun. Plus, maybe that comes later. He's still Dimitri-Enerjak and not an Echidna head in a ball.

Onward.

Yeeaah...let's just say the Knuckles's version of Enerjak was a level or more of badass.

As for Dimitri's version? Uh...stay tuned for another year or so.

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Yeah, I definitely haven't gotten to any of that stuff yet. I'm witnessing the transition though. The covers especially are giving off the vibe of something increasingly sinister and gritty.

Also Enerjak Attack!

image.png

I'm assuming this is hear because of the one that didn't show up, non?

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Issue #42 - In Every Kingdom There Must Exist A Little Chaos!

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Before I bitch and moan about everything wrong with this issue it’s my civic duty to first draw your attention to this horrible cover. At a glance it might seem normal to you but then your eyes are drawn to one Sally Acorn, who’s doing a flip in the air so impossible that the contortion in her body is likely not only twisting her organs like a sponge but rupturing the bone structure of her severely destroyed spine. 

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This is a pose that even a Jojo character would have a hard time pulling off. Why on Earth is she being drawn this way? There’s not even anything wrong with the way her face or those specific body parts look. They’re just twisted in an impossible manner that makes me want to vomit.

Tails, however, looks weird. He’s got these strangely bushy black eyebrows and fingers that look like they belong to a frog. Bunnie, for some reason, is unnecessarily extending her mechanical legs, I guess because she desperately wants to be in frame and Rotor looks like he’s dodging some exploding mud on the ground? Antoine is the only one who looks as though he’s actually, properly, charging into battle. Everyone else is acting very strangely.

Not to mention, they’re ALL looking in different directions. Antoine and Sally are looking straight ahead. Rotor is looking back… and to the left… back… and to the left... Tails is clearly high and unable to see anything. Bunnie is smiling while looking at the reader and… Sonic is frowning while staring directly at me. Is he silently asking for help?

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Add on top of that, the fact that it’s a generic “Run towards the danger” picture and you’ve got yourself a really awful cover folks. I rarely spend so much time on a cover but this felt like it deserved it. Let’s move on.

We open with a shockingly pretentious monologue in the narration boxes telling us what tyranny, war, neutrality, and a guardian is. Each box ends with the word that the next box is going to then explain us the definition of. After defining what those words mean to the characters in this story we come to the last word, ‘invasion’, and instead of explaining what that word means it just says Knuckles never expected to have to worry about being invaded by Sonic the Hedgehog.

I’m not sure why. Sonic’s an asshole.

Sonic is fighting Knuckles (because of course he is) because he’s trying to steal his last remaining Chaos Emerald. Of course, Knuckles doesn’t want to hand it over because the fucking island is gonna fall into the ocean if he does but Sonic says that the fate of Mobius is riding on it and is unwilling to talk it out and find a compromise. 

Instead of explaining the situation to Knuckles better he just off-handedly mentions that Knuckles stole that current emerald powering his island from a grotto that USED TO BE Royal Real Estate and by “rights” it belongs to King Acorn’s Freedom Fighters…

Well, it used to be Royal Real Estate. But now?

Knuckles says he needs the emerald for “Home Owner’s Insurance” and the studio audience laughs, I’m sure.

Tails finally flies in and tells them that pointlessly fighting won’t save the King’s life. Knuckles stops when he hears this, surprised to hear this detail because apparently Sonic just neglected to tell him while they were busy punching each other in the face.

Then again, it doesn’t matter. Knuckles says that the survival of his homeland is just as important as their rebellion and refuses still. So, Sonic and Tails leave. They return to Sally and Tails blurts out that they were fighting much to Sonic’s chagrin because on the way he told Tails not to tell her. Then Sonic says this weirdness.

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I guess he took Tails outside to beat him up or something. I wouldn’t have a hard time believing it.

The next scene, Uncle Chuck walks in on Sonic is eating chili-dogs that are covered in that gross, pink, McDonalds slime goo.

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Yeah, those look like dogshit. Let’s not pretend that those chili-dogs look in anyway appetizing. 

Sally and Tails are there as well so Uncle Chuck decides to spill the beans on what he’s found out. Turns out they used up all the rings they had on the king and his condition hasn’t changed. So he decides instead that the best way to heal the king is to use the magical Crown of Acorns.

The acorn kingdom brandishes the power of magic? No wonder they’re in power. I could rise to power if I had a magic ass crown. 

Anyway, Sonic says that the king was wearing it when he was thrown into the Zone of Silence but they never recovered it. Sally says that crown he had on was a fake though. Sally even whips out a scroll with a doctrine on it that lays out the facts concerning the crown. It outright says that should the king’s life be in peril than the crown must be stored away for future use in the Hall of Limbo.

Tails says “Hall of Jim-Bo!” first and Sonic calls him Dumb-O for it. Nice.

Also, I thought it strange how this magic crown is only being brought up now but apparently Sally was doing research into magic items that could cure her father and just now found this. Stranger still that she didn’t already know about the crown but I guess daddy didn’t want to yet trust her with the secret to The Acorn Kingdom's Fling with the Dark Arts. 

The scroll doesn’t say how to get there but Uncle Chuck says to believe in the heart of the cards find some gold rings and they’ll lead the way because rings give knowledge as well as power. I thought of School House Rock and then I started to feel a bit sad. Anyway, they head off to the lake of rings.

Only not really. They end up waiting at a certain location a bit far off from the lake. When Tails asks why the hell they’re doing that, Sally explains that they’re worried the Combots might have figured out where the Lake of Rings is and since the location is only supposed to be known to Uncle Chuck and the CORE Freedom Fighters, they’re waiting for Fly Fly Freddy from their Spy Network to show up and give a report to them so they can head to the lake with a clear conscience.

That’s… actually pretty smart.

So, of course, they immediately ruin it by not acting upon the plan they just outlined that was set up specifically to take extra percussion. Instead, Sleuth Doggy Dog shows up and says that dear old Fred’s cover was blown but not to worry because he’ll give the report instead. Sally rightfully points out that this isn’t standard procedure but Sonic’s like “Fuck it. We’re behind schedule.”

So, they lead Sleuth right to the lake of rings despite the fact that he isn’t the one who they had agreed to meet up with, as well as the fact that the story he tells them, according to Sally, is bizarre.

Then Sleuth literally kicks Sally in the ass and tells them that thanks to their poor strategic maneuvers today, Robotnik now knows where the lake of rings is because, shock horror, turns out Sleuth betrayed them and is on Robotnik’s side? Why? Because he was promised personal power and T-Bone steaks.

What? You mean the Resistance doesn’t offer celebratory T-Bone steaks to honor a completed mission? Well, fuck the Resistance then. Every issue I get more and more legitimate reasons not to support the Freedom Fighters.

Also, Sleuth is dressed as a Swat-Bot because he was infiltrating them earlier. What’s interesting about this is that a shit ton of  Swat-Bots show up, out of nowhere, and surround them all suddenly, which means a ton of metal feet were stomping through the area right behind them while they were leading Sleuth to the lake of rings. If not, then that means they were tip-toeing like Fred Flintstone when he goes bowling. Either way, thinking about how they managed to stay secretive this whole time is funny.

Now, this isn’t the first appearance of Sleuth in this book. I know he showed up before but I was blanking on the context in which he did. I couldn't remember if he showed up as a villain or a hero before but my memory was jogged when Freddy shows up later. What I did know is that if this WAS his turn to evil, (which it is) it’s an incredibly fast and petty one. The Freedom Fighters don’t seem all that shaken by it. They just seem really mad. I guess they weren’t very close. They need to be more careful about who they let into their group, let alone how nonchalant they are about abandoning their smart military tactics in favor of doing something that rendered that planning pointless and immediately backfiring on them.

Anyway, Sleuth makes a shocking reveal when he presses a button and in comes a robotic fly dude. It’s Fly Fly Freddy... but he’s been roboticized!

As soon as I saw this guy’s design, it hit me. No way I’d forget a tall drink of water like Fly Fly Freddy; him and his beautiful rippling pectorals.

No, I remember him from when Sonic and Sally’s trainees needed to rescue the rest of the Freedom Fighters after they were ambushed by Combots. It was the same issue that Sonic fell into a previously unknown lake of rings. This Spy Network was made up of Sleuth, Freddy, and some other people who aren’t important enough to be named. They went off to spy on Robotropolis in Swat-Bot disguises while Sonic rescued his friends. It’s all coming back to me now.

Sonic makes mention that “First Carl Condor” now “Fly Fly Freddy”. Both our well meaning, good friends who we’ve known for… 

... Anyway, they’re gone now. 

Then Bunnie shows up and slams Sleuth into the edge of the lake with an enormous metal hand. She’s doing a lot of robot extension attacks here and it looks really unflattering. She mentions that she was here on ring duty but Sally says that she might have come at the wrong time.

Why? Well, because the instant Bunnie decided to help them is the same instant the ring decides to come out of the fucking water. 

Sally tells Sonic to grab it, because he’s the fastest, but Sonic says he doesn’t want to abandon her in a fight against random Swat-Bots that they’ve presumably all fought plenty of times before. Unless Sally actually hasn’t, in which case, literally why is she here? Sally tells Sonic he’s being an idiot and Sonic’s like “You’re right. I AM an idiot!” and goes to grab the ring like someone who isn’t an idiot would do.

That’s when the narration boxes come back. They wax philosophical about how timing is everything. I’m not going to cover what it says because it’s dumb. The point is, Knuckles flies in and bashes Fly Fly Freddy away from Sonic while he grabs the ring and is saved from falling by Tails.

Then this exchange happens.

Sonic: I guess it’s true what they say-- “All good things come from above!”
Tails: I once said that and then a pigeon flew over my head…!

I don’t think I get it?

So they continue fighting and… Sonic somehow has the power to shoot whirlwinds from his fists? 

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Did the ring give him the power to spin his fists like a turbine, ignoring the connecting bone tissue that would prevent this from being possible? I guess it works for Tails…

Anyway, it wrecks everyone’s shit, including that of his friends a bit. Sally’s got Sleuth’s arms behind his back and is happy to make “This traitor stand trial” which seems to be the only thing she gets excited about. She loves making people stand trial. 

If I were Sleuth, I’d probably have acted surprised when the Swat-Bots showed up, pretending that I was followed or something so I could keep my cover. No matter how confident I am, I wouldn’t want to face the humiliation of being carted away by Sally Acorn. Bleugh.

Knuckles then whips out the Chaos Emerald. Yeah. He had a change of heart. Tails says that Sonic will forever be in his debt and Sonic reminds Tails about the "conversation" they had before when he took him outside to “discuss” his tendencies as a blabber-mouth.

Yes, I’m still suggesting that Sonic is beating up Tails in secret for defying how cool he thinks he is.

Everyone returns to Knothole and Sonic demands to know why Knuckles is there, seemingly unable to process in his tiny brain that he’s there to help. Uncle Chuck explains that he got in contact with Knuckles because he had suspected there might be a traitor in their Spy Network. When Fred failed to report back he knew something was up so he contacted Knuckles on an outdated and untraceable frequency to get his assistance.

So basically, he’s here to help. Sit the fuck down, Sonic.

Knuckles loans them the emerald, making it clear that he requires it back. It kind of makes the earlier conflict a little pointless if he’s okay with loaning it and then taking it back when they’re done. Kind of seems a little obvious even.

Then again, his island might be in the water as we speak so… hopefully no one living on it got hurt when he dropped it like it was hot.

Rotor attaches the emerald to the machine and holy hell it’s making the emeralization of the king WORSE!

Oh no. Pumping the energy of the emerald into the king is making the emeralization of the king worse. That’s… appropriate, actually.

So they stop that shit and he returns to his half emeralized state. Their only hope is the ring they got. Sonic grabs it and starts to use it to summon knowledge instead of his usual power to juice. 

It knocks Sonic on his tush doing it. He groans about how much that ring filling him with knowledge hurt. Sally asks if it granted him the whereabouts of the Hall of Limbo so that they can find the king’s magic crown.. Sonic says “NOPE!” but he does know that the King’s royal sword has a link to the crown but “the riddle within the riddle” is that they don’t know where the SWORD is. 

Sally says this is hopeless and at this point I’m in agreement. All these trinkets and things within things to try and fix this problem is taking its toll on my patience. I will say they’re doing a good job of making the Zone of Silence something you definitely don’t want to be stuck in for too long. Jesus Christ. 

Knuckles does something a very faithful, supporting partner would normally do by assuring Sally that she doesn’t need to lose her father like he did (he doesn’t know his dad is alive) and promises that he will find the sword all on his own and save the king. This he solemnly vows!

He does this while holding Sally’s hand while on his knee and Sonic looking on in the background with wide eyes. It’s beautiful.

Issue #42 - Knuckles’ Quest

Knuckles is sitting in an extremely dangerous sub-seat on Tails’ sea fox. 

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So this quest is, surprisingly, a tag-team of Knuckles and Tails. 

Interesting.

The reasoning becomes clear when the two start having a conversation about it. Knuckles feels that if he can find the Ancient Walkers, he can use their magic voodoo whatever powers to fix this situation. He wanted to do it alone though. Tails butts in saying that the Ancient Walkers only appear when something BIG happens like when Knuckles thought he went to Echidna Heaven back in Triple Trouble, or when Tails was told he was the chosen one by Athair, or when Sonic got his Billionth ring (which is something I’m still trying to process the logic of).

They head to Downunda, which I know later to be Vector’s home away from home, but currently it’s just the place where the Floating Island used to be. Tails leads him around it for a bit and Knuckles gets mad. Tails then tells Knuckles this is where the floating island used to be and that gets Knuckles even more mad, to the point where he’s about to say he’s had enough of him… but then a voice from over yonder makes itself known and tells Knuckles to knock it off.

It’s Athair! He’s here and he’s still old as fuck. Hooray!

Knuckles gets in this dude’s face, saying that he was the only one to not have the “courage” to sit and guard a green rock on a floating island for the entirety of his life. Athair responds by saying the safety of the universe is more important than the protection of a single tiny pebble.

Knuckles calls this “Mystic Psycho Babble” and I have to disagree with him here on account of me actually understanding exactly what Athair just said.

Tails says they seem to have a history but Athair is quick to note that their history is only a matter of genetics because they’ve never met until just now.

Then Athair holds his hands up and suddenly Knuckles and Tails are floating through space.

Knuckles says this shit: “You are traveling to the limits of infinity but there are no limits to infinity so your travel takes you back to where you started yet you have not traveled at all.”

Now THAT’S Mystic Psycho Babble.

Even though the words came out of Knuckles’ mouth, it wasn’t him talking, as Tails points out. They look up while standing on a floating stalactite in space and gaze upon the Ancient Walkers!

Tails and the Ancient Walkers then have a competition to see who can spew the most Mystic Psycho Babble between them.

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Tails understands this. 

He says that they’re saying that a Chaos Emerald won’t help them.

I could of told you that, considering when they used it, the king's condition got worse. They weren’t looking for a Chaos Emerald though. They were looking for the location of the crown. I don’t know why Tails asked for advice on how the Chaos Emerald could save him. Rotor even said the emerald's power was too mysterious to rely upon. Just focus on getting the crown or more rings, Tails. Those things seem like they’d be more reliable than something with “Chaos” literally in its name.

In fact, Knuckles is about to do just that when it suddenly goes dark and the two of them are thrust through time and space again. Knuckles is about to scold Tails hardcore for wasting their time with his nonsense but Tails remarks that the path they’re traveling isn’t the same one from before.

They’re given yet another riddle because Ancient beings of mystical power can’t speak normally. They need to be cryptic about everything because, I guess, all that powers takes away their ability to be straight-forward. Either that or they’re just arrogant assholes who can’t even help someone without dicking them around with their Riddler shit.

Image result for riddler arkham gif

So anyway, here’s they’re cryptic try-hard rhyme thing.

“On a once lush world and its hunk of floating stone…”

That probably could have been worded better. 

“There exists a sorcerer, wizard, and alchemist who stand alone…”

No matter how fast I read this, the lines don’t flow well. At least you made sure to throw in a word that rhymes with stone.

The pictures we’re shown are of a black cat, a blue bird with a green hood who looks vaguely familiar, and a Donkey wearing Yen Sid’s magic hat.

“A charlatan, enchantress, and paladin with fairness and courage thou must face… with patience and fortitude a blade of steel thou may embrace.”

That line was less sloppy than the other two but still felt like something I’d come up with in a first draft for my poetry class.

Anyway, the pictures we see here are of whom I believe to be Merlin, Tails’ uncle, a character whom I had forgotten existed. I’m guessing he’s the charlatan since he’s making a face that screams “Don’t trust me”. 

There’s a woman who looks like Bunnie. I guess she’s the enchantress. I’m drawing a blank on who this could be. The last one is the paladin, a horse, whom I can only assume is Sir Connery. He’s the only horse character I know of that fits the description of paladin.

I do find myself rather interested in figuring out what the connection these six people have towards finding this ONE sword that’s to be used to find this ONE crown that’s to be used to hopefully, maybe save the king from being turned into a squirrel shaped emerald… but at the same time, this looks like it’s going to be rather exhausting. All this for a goal that, while highly important to the characters, is something I’m struggling to care too much about. I guess I just don’t have any thoughts or feelings about King Acorn one way or another. I certainly don’t have any concern for Sally’s plight in all this.

I’m still intrigued though. They’re going full on fantasy journey with this and I can’t help but feel the games could use a little more of that kind of stuff. Preferably not in a way that’s annoying. Maybe the riddles could be delivered by people who are deliberately supposed to be assholes so I can get less mad about how needlessly unhelpful they’re being. Then again, who’s to say the Ancient Walkers aren’t evil assholes? They might be…!

Tails and Knuckles return home. Tails celebrates the success of their mission but Knuckles says he’s now got a lot on his plate. So now, when he says he’s gotta do it alone, he means it this time. He’s going alone.

Which sucks cause I was rather enjoying the Tails and Knuckles team up.

This issue was fine. I think I enjoyed the Knuckles Quest story more so than the first one, which was really just the characters floundering around before something happened TO them. What ended up happening at the end of the first story is an interesting development though. This Spy Network thing WAS indeed set up as were at least two of the characters in it. Problem was they barely had any focus or coverage before this. Fly Fly Freddy I only remembered because of how fucking strange his design was. Sleuth, I only remembered because I know of his character from issues down the line. This needed more than just the few panels they got in the older issues to really make a heavy impact.

That said, this book was jam-packed with a lot of stuff to read. It’s actually kind of surprising that they fit so much in while not having to cut to Robotnik once. The art looked pretty well done too. Nothing really out of the ordinary except the continued grossness of those pink slime chili-dogs.

If those don’t cause Sonic’s bowels to explode, I don’t know what would.
 

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New Bumblekast, here's (what amounts to) an essay on Sally curtesy of Ian:

Quote

Was Sonic and Sally reuniting a personal choice for you? One you felt obliged to do, or one asked for by the business? Did you like them together when first arrived at the comic? What was the thought process?

Quick overview because I feel like time has muddled the waters. Sonic SatAM and the beginning of the Archie book up through the first hundred, some odd issues, Sonic and Sally were the go to pairing. They had their highs, they had their lows. Amy wasn't really a threat because nobody really knew what to do with Amy, she was a little kid off to the side, and there was Geoffrey St. John being a creeper... but mostly  it was Sonic and Sally together. Then in Sonic #134, written by Karl Bollers, Sonic came back from space everyone thought he had been dead but nope he's alive and Sally tells Sonic she wants to commit. He's like "I can't do that" and she flips out, and I remember reading somewhere that Karl's intent was that while Sally seemed to be the only person with a level head up to this point she'd actually been bottling up all of her issues, and boy had she been given a lot of issues over the years, and this was the breaking point. Except that was never followed up on. It never actually was a utilized character trait so it just seemed to be one moment of Sally snapping at Sonic and the Fandom has never forgiven that one moment despite the fact that it was resolved and is no longer canon because of the reboot and blah, blah, blah,

Anyway, I came on the book at 160. So, that's two and a half years later-ish, and one of the things I wanted to do was get Sally back to where she was. Which is to say back to the competent, confidant, leader of the team. So she had to get rid of all her baggage. She had to pave things over with Sonic. They got back to being friends again which was a very important part of any relationship, I think. I don't think any healthy relationship between anyone fictional or realistic, is a healthy relationship if you don't have friendship. As well as romantic feeling for each other. If all you have is a lustful, or kind of puppy dog love, it ain't gonna last. It's tenuous ground. You're building on a foundation of sand. If you're friends, if there's a level of mutual respect then it can last. That's me off my soapbox

Rebuilt the friendship between the two of them, and then what I wanted to do from there was give Sally some options. Because Sonic has no options. He cannot settle down. That is from on high: Sonic must be single. Sonic can have interests but he cannot ever settle down with any one person, so I didn't want to tie that anchor to Sally as well. Why should she be restricted by it? She doesn't have the same licensing blinders on. that was one of the great things about the freedom fighters was that we had a whole bunch more latitude to work with in terms of where they could go. They could change, they could adapt, they could be affected by things. Like when we blew up Antoine. 

So, that was part of the reason why I had her kind of hook up with Khan, because Khan needed to be built back up himself. because... Monkey Khan was such a bad character and he had so little in terms of meaningful support characters that Sally was kind of like the defacto one to go to and between the two of them we built him back up to where he should of been from the get go. By helping him back to where he should be, Sally kind of found herself and there was that mutual respect between the two of them that kind of hooked up. Five people in the world actually liked the pairing, but I knew that wasn't gonna last. Because as much effort as I put into that pairing, I knew that wasn't going to be the one fans are really gaga over. Plus since they're a world away. You can't really remove Khan from his element because that defeats the purpose of his story, but if we had Sally... move away from Mobotropolis to be with him they would burn my house down; no. The fans would not stand for it, and she'd be leaving her birth rite. It wouldn't work. In a way I felt narratively obligated to bring them back together, but on the other hand from the get go, go back and read Sonic 160. Sally's first lines to Sonic are about going back to simpler times, and simpler times were the two of them being friends and being together. So I put a lot of effort into that rebuilding their romantic game, rebuilding them as a couple, and when they were back together it felt natural. It felt kind of good to see the two of them play off each other again, because they are a fun odd couple type. They have a neat dynamic, and then of course we robotized her, twist the knife and drive you crazy so you would buy more comics, but that... 

To summarize, it was something I wanted to do, and kind of felt obligated to do, because Sally needed to be restored as a character up to a point, but I didn't want it to be just so she could be with sonic. So once she was back to the point where she would make the decision herself. Not because the plot demanded it but because she was ready to and because Sonic was ready too then we put them  back together, and I think that made for perhaps an even stronger bond then was at the very beginning. 

 

(edit: where did all that white space come from)

 

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. . .

Mentioning blowing up Antoine so casually makes me cry man.

 

Other than that, this is pretty interesting, I do think I see where he's coming from and I think he managed to pull the pair-restoration pretty well, as far as I'm concerned.

I dunno, Khan thing would've probably been interesting, though I suppose I'd be kidding if I'd say it would be better in my opinion than the usual Sonic and Sally I suppose (though that isn't my OTP either, I think you all know what's my real Sonic OTP), but the adult reasons are there and I can get where all that thinking is coming from.

Yeah, pretty interesting. Like, for real, nice insight, I can appreciate it and all.

But seriously, blowing up Antoine, the only way to make people understand they might like him if I recall the BK forums posts right...

I wonder if they'd managed to get him in on the post-reboot if they'd actually killed him like they intended at first..?

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God we're never getting Lost Hedgehog Tales...

Well, Flynn sum it up rather nicely. All he says makes sense, although I hoped he'll say more about Sally as character rather than Sally as love interest. Oh well.

There is ONE sentence that is absolutely wrong

Quote

(talking about Slap in #134) " it just seemed to be one moment of Sally snapping at Sonic and the Fandom has never forgiven that one moment despite the fact that it was resolved and is no longer canon because of the reboot and blah, blah, blah, "

It doesn't work like this Ian. Batman movies rebooted twice now but "Batman and Robin" still happened. Still, you can remove story from continuity, but not from our memories.

I mean, MAYBE he tells us to not dwell on the past, especially if it has no impact on present. Okay, I agree that some Sonic fans like to only remember bad moments, no matter how many years have past since 2006 (completely random date). But you can't ask us to just forget what is inconvenient to you. And it's not like Sonic creators aren't all about hanging to the past. (Mania, Generations, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera many more times).

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6 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

God we're never getting Lost Hedgehog Tales...

Well, Flynn sum it up rather nicely. All he says makes sense, although I hoped he'll say more about Sally as character rather than Sally as love interest. Oh well.

There is ONE sentence that is absolutely wrong

It doesn't work like this Ian. Batman movies rebooted twice now but "Batman and Robin" still happened. Still, you can remove story from continuity, but not from our memories.

I mean, MAYBE he tells us to not dwell on the past, especially if it has no impact on present. Okay, I agree that some Sonic fans like to only remember bad moments, no matter how many years have past since 2006 (completely random date). But you can't ask us to just forget what is inconvenient to you. And it's not like Sonic creators aren't all about hanging to the past. (Mania, Generations, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera many more times).

It didn't seem like he was being that harsh to the fans about it from just reading that passage. I can see why adding a qualifier to why it should likely have been forgotten can be taken the wrong way but I don't think that means he was necessarily demanding people get over it. Especially since everything he's saying here talks about what he did to try and get her back on track which directly correlates to recognizing something went wrong and doing what you can to fix it.

For me, I don't really care about Sally either way. All I know is that he came in at 160 so anything before than affecting the way he's writing the characters and stories from then on would probably be something that he'd want to rectify in someway. Although I do remember some wickedly ridiculous reactions to Sally and Khan hooking up, specifically the one issue where Sonic agreed to let her be on her way and went to get some food with Amy. 

I read a lot of silly comments on a different site about it. One person even saying they ripped the comic in half because their favorite couple was being skewered or whatever.

I seriously can't imagine ever being that invested in a romantic relationship involving characters from Sonic the Hedgehog but I at the very least understand the outrage that comes with character assassination. That famous slap scene, just having it read back to you, sounds like something that would make you hate the character and then some. 

 

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Has Ian Flynn ever said in interviews that he wanted to quit? It’s clear he was heavily invested in the Freedom Fighters as characters. I know it’s his job, but if I spent years fixing the cast, and then was forced to reboot due to legal issues, and then was forced to reboot again under a different company, I might not want to do it. It really must be his dream job. I never thought about it before, but respect to the man for sticking through it.

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16 minutes ago, Badnik Zero said:

Has Ian Flynn ever said in interviews that he wanted to quit? It’s clear he was heavily invested in the Freedom Fighters as characters. I know it’s his job, but if I spent years fixing the cast, and then was forced to reboot due to legal issues, and then was forced to reboot again under a different company, I might not want to do it. It really must be his dream job. I never thought about it before, but respect to the man for sticking through it.

Not to underestimate how hard this  job is, but if I was hired as Sonic writer, I would stick to that job with teeth, nails and maybe bring some chains and super-glue for emergencies.

 

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I dunno, to me it felt like it was no longer canon in sense of the continuity reboot and the FF pretty much forgetting all the stuff that happened in the old one. Like, to them they didn't remember it happening anymore, so in-universe way, one could say it didn't happen..? Does that sound any bit logical? Like, we know it happened since we read it thus it happened to us but since they as residents to that world don't have any real ties, physical or mental, to that continuity anymore (other than some oddities from Blaze's place perhaps) it didn't happen to them if we consider them in their own universe, or something? 🤔

I could be wrong with my interpretations though... I'm no native and all that jazz, I think you might've noticed it by now already, considering the fact we don't have any prepositions in my native language for example...

So yeah, prolly I should stop guessing what others mean, I could get it so wrong... 😅

Now I have an earworm in form of a-ha's "Maybe Maybe", nice.

But yeah, I think Mr. Flynn's love to the franchise is so big the hell'll freeze before he wants to stop, or something... kinda cool I think.

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Issue #43 - The Dream Zone

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This is a neat cover. It’s got a nice flare for the dramatic and the coloring is appropriately hazy for the sake of emulating what happens in this issue. No real complaints here. This one is pretty solid. Let’s begin.

Awwww snap! Look who’s walking through! It’s Dr. Quack. He’s coming through with a lollipop in hand. Is it for his patient? No, it’s for him! He’s going to town on that sucker! Oh wow. Watch as he goes up to Sally and proclaims that she was his favorite baby to deliver. Oh, so cooool. 

He’s called Dr. Quack because he’s a duck and duck’s quack. Also, though, a Quack doctor or “Quackery” is an actual term to describe someone who is a “fraudulent or ignorant pretender to medical skill”. In other words, a charlatan.

I know Dr. Quack shows up in the issues of Archie I’ve read and currently own so there’s been no shocking reveal that he’s actually a shitty doctor who doesn’t know what he’s doing. How unfortunate.

Anyway, for those wondering why I was sounding so weird at the start of this explanation on him, it’s because Dr. Quack’s intro here is also extremely strange. He struts in like he’s the cock of the walk. That lab coat might as well be a black leather jacket, the way he comes in.

When he enters the medical bay where the crystallization king is, the first thing he says to Sally is “Princess Sally! Who loves ya, baby!”

When Sally responds by saying his name, he says “You better believe it kid! Ever since the day I delivered you… you’ve always been a favorite of mine!” as though the fact that he delivered her or that she, as the princess, also just happens to be a favorite of his is at all relevant to what he’s there for.

It’s just strange. I don’t know if I’m okay with this, Dr. Quack.

Anyway, he bolted past Sonic and Tails on his way into the medical bay and because of that they decided to follow him inside. Sonic is surprised to see that Rotor is there too since he heard that the situation with the king was now being classified as a medical problem. Dr. Quack responds by turning to Sonic and going “ARE YOU THE DOCTOR HERE OR AM I?”

Quack doctors hate it when you ask questions. 

The king is now sat in a chair inside of a fancy looking Cell Regenerator chamber. He looks exactly like a green version of The Thing from Fantastic Four. Only part of his face is squirrely now.

They reiterate that his cells are crystalizing most likely from something that he was exposed to while in the Zone of Silence and that their priority is to keep it from spreading faster. Le Quack suggested sending the king BACK in to see if the process would reverse but Sally has noped that one down because getting him out was hard enough the first time. Who knows how much harder it could be if they went in with safety precautions and supervision like she said they did numerous times before?

Sonic asks if the king is aware of what’s happening to him. The doc says he dunno. 

Then they pull the lever and a bunch of lights go off. Everyone wears sunglasses as the king gets zapped. Sonic asks repeatedly if they’re sure the doc is “on the level” and he keeps getting admonished for it. First by Sally and then by Rotor. Sonic really doesn’t trust this doctor.

I wonder if it’s because he’s called Dr. Quack.

Rotor counters Sonic by saying that he’s amazed by his lack of faith in modern medicine. As he speaks, suddenly we’re taken, jarringly, into the past where little kid Sonic is arguing with little kid Sally.

The weird yellow filter was, I guess, supposed to be the hint but to me it looked more like camera footage with a wide angle lens. It’s not though. Sonic and Sally’s head are just really fucking huge.

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Aww. Look at the angular gremlin children.

To be fair, they’re a lot better drawn in the next panel. The huge heads of the first two panels just threw me off. 

Anyway, they’re interrupted when a very nice, dapper looking gentleman cloaked in shadow asks to see King Acorn. Why it’s Warlord Julian, our dearest friend.

-ry447GbGLlc0v5ZRg0wpWaGStXU3HZMDeT7wpa9esVTp-o0avK7IZ5oa3ZhjEcGHfXKpIwrb8xNKrKZ13a11UPRH0SnDnK4exJhD5a5A5PBc7s_BgCCgJ_HrITuiB7E8O46rZSl

The king has got a reception ready for Julian’s new appointment to Minister of Science.

Oh hooray~!

The king has also approved Julian’s plans for dismantling the military (lolwut?) and that he can begin implementation at once.

OH HOORAY~!

Julian’s on board with that. He’s even got his fingers crossed behind his back for some reason.

So the king tells Julian that the transition is important and he’s got the okay to proceed immediately. He’s apparently the only one up to the task. Then he leaves and immediately Julian turns to Snively, who has hair, and tells him to ready the troops on his signal.

Oh dear. 

You know, I’m starting to think Julian might be a bad dude.

So that’s what happens. These far superior and cooler looking robot dudes then the ones from present day start attacking everything. Little Sally and Sonic are concerned and, who I assume is, Sally’s mom tells them to head to Rosie

Rosie is a character I’m aware of too. In one of the few episodes of SatAM, that I actually saw, I remember there was a two parter where they went to the past and changed things in a way that saw this Rosie character being spared from Robotization. It’s a faint memory but I do, in fact, remember it.

We cut to the next scene where the king is SHOCKED, nay STUNNED, that Sinestro has betrayed the Green Lantern Corp. He looked like such a trusting dude too!

He demands to know what the meaning of this is, presumably having just gotten done sucking down on tea while reminiscing about how Julian was his most awesome and trusted advisor.

With a hefty double chin that looks like melted ice-cream, Julian pronounces that this shit is all under his command. Mobotropolis is now Robotropolis

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King Acorn tells Julian to stop because he’ll never succeed.

So...

King Acorn is surrounded by robots under Julian’s command.
King Acorn: SURRENDER!
Julian: … No.
King Acorn: Oh. Okay. I guess I thought I’d just give that a shot.

Julian tells the king that he’s no longer Julian. The mofo called Julian is nomo. From this day forward he shall be known as MOJO JOJO!

I mean, Robotnik!

Robotnik is what he’s changed his name to. 

Odd. For some reason that feels like a bit of a strange leap. Also, it’s interesting how in this comic, Julian is his real name and Robotnik was a given name. It’s like the Robotnik and Eggman situation of the games only, in the games, Robotnik is still Robotnik. Eggman is just a nickname. 

However, the fact that Robotnik isn’t a family name in this book is interesting. How did the Gerald Robotnik thing get handled then? I guess I’ll wait and see. It might just be something as simple as Julian being his first name and Robotnik being his last. Or maybe Kintobor is his last name and Robotnik is just him switching it around. Then, that would make it Gerald Kintobor and Maria Kintobor and that’s just strange.

I’m thinking too much about it.

We end this part of the issue with the funniest scene yet. 

Robotnik tells the king that he’s going to banish him to the Zone of Silence. Sally’s mom overhears this up above with her daughter right next to her. She turns to Sally and goes, “Oh my!”

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Brilliant.

We cut back to the present where the wholly necessary character of Geoffrey St. John shows back up claiming that he’s awesome because he figured that if he found Sonic, he’d find Sally.

Sally is really happy to see Geoffrey though. She gets out of her seat and zips over to him with a hug, right in front of Sonic. This causes the blue hedgehog to gag and Sally comments that he might be getting sick. 

Now I’m enjoying this because I like seeing Sonic get dunked on. However, knowing what I know now about Geoffrey and Penders’ intention with the character, it’s hard not to get a little skeeved out looking at this. 

I mean, look at this.

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There’s nothing really all that wrong with this on its own but then you think back to when Penders more recently made mention of how Sally and Geoffrey totally banged each other and… it’s really gross. I just can’t separate myself from the fact that he’s depicted as being so much older than her and they’re all kissy wissy, huggy wuggy with one another like this. 

I didn’t care at all about Geoffrey until it was revealed he was a villain working for Ixis Naugus during Ian’s run. All of a sudden he shot up to being one of my favorites and it was during a time when I was still unaware of his origin or connection to Sally. I knew he was created by Penders but I didn’t know the extent of his devotion to this goddamn skunk. 

Sonic’s reaction is extraordinarily appropriate.

The scene gets even stranger when Dr. Quack shows up once again. They’re running with the joke that Sonic’s “not well” because of how much he’s talking about Geoffrey’s foul air and his gagging. Dr. Quack asks how his patient is doing (oh yeah, this arguing was happening right in front of the still crystalized king…) and Sally responds that something is happening but she doesn’t know what.

Wow. What a line.

Even weirder, Dr. Quack responds by bragging about how she doesn’t know because she didn’t go to med school. He then proceeds to give really bad examples of all the other doctors he studied with.

First he mentions Casey, I’m guessing a reference to Ben Casey which was an american medical drama that ran on ABC from 1961 to 1966. Then he mentions Welby, most likely a reference to Marcus Welby, M.D which was another ABC medical drama that aired from 1969 to 1976. Then finally he mentions, the master, VON FRANKENSTEIN HIMSELF.

Okay.

So he’s studied with two television drama medical doctors and the guy who created one of the most famous horror movie monsters in existence. He says that with all his medical knowledge and the world’s most advanced technology he should be able to… GUESS what the matter is.

Sonic, rightfully, mocks this by sarcastically slapping the sides of his face to do the Home Alone shocked expression and shouts “Really? What a shocker!”

I’m actually on Sonic’s side here. Everyone in this room is off the deep end. Of course, Sally tries to explain to Sonic, again, that Dr. Quack is awesome at his job and Geoffrey teases Sonic about not having respect for medical practices. 

I don’t get what all this focus on the same subject of Dr. Quack being so fucking good at being a doctor is supposed to amount to. He hasn’t actually done anything throughout this entire issue. All this dude has done is brag about how awesome he is and then zap the king using a device that Rotor created, once, before fucking off.

Maybe he’s about to prove to us why all this repetitive praise is necessary though.

Dr. Quack says “Enough of this!” and starts to look the king over.

Using his advanced medical knowledge he comes to the conclusion that the king is in a daze or stupor.

AbandonedGaseousAntipodesgreenparakeet-max-1mb.gif

Inside the king’s eye, the flashback continues, thank God.

Robotnik has the king in his grasp, or rather, his robots do. He explains that he wishes to save the world from chaos by making things orderly. To do this, he invented the Roboticizer. It’s a device that’ll turn everyone into robots that obey only Robotnik’s commands. It’s the perfect way to see to it that his plans come to fruition. 

When the king calls him monstrous, Robotnik replies by saying that’s only his point of view. From Robotnik’s point of view, the king is the enemy and he must be eliminated for the good of all.

That’s good. I like this angle of Robotnik truly viewing what he’s doing as being for the good of all. Of course, the book is making no bones about the fact that he’s being incredibly selfish as well. 

He opens the portal to the Zone of Silence and tells the king to say hi to its inventor Ixis and the former warlord, Kodos. I recall Kodos being mentioned before as the one who headed up Robotnik’s stuff before Robotnik did, in a sense.

Interesting how the Acorn Kingdom only seemed to have two humans there and both of them betrayed them all. 

The king declares that he WILL get Robotnik for this as he’s being thrust into the zone. Back in the real world, the king screams out like a crazy man and everyone is concerned. The doctor, for the first time in the issue, decides to do something helpful by telling them that he’s most likely combing through his memories in an attempt to regain his former self. The more he experiences these nightmares, the worse it gets.

His plan? He’s got a device called the Dream Catcher that when used will send someone from the outside world into what’s called the Dream Zone. Sure, I’ll buy it.

The doctor also says that if anything goes wrong, the person he sends might not awaken. He asks for volunteers and Sonic, Sally, Tails, and Geoffrey all do so without hesitation, which is nice. Geoffrey even offers to flip for it. Sonic ultimately wins the coin flip and lays down to get hooked up and sent into the king’s mind.

The doctor then produces a waiver for Sonic to sign that gets the hospital out of any responsibility should anything go wrong. Sally snaps at the doctor for this and the doctor immediately backtracks on it, saying that he was just trying to inject some medical humor to lighten the tension.

Yes, I understand. Immediately after stating that if something goes wrong they’ll never wake up again it’s important to make a joke that doubles down on that notion that you’re in danger of being stuck in a coma for the rest of your life to lighten the tension.

You’re a quack.

Sonic is hooked up to the device and transported into the King’s dream. 

The king is here and he’s looking like his normal self. He recognizes Sonic as Sir Charles’ nephew (this is so weird still) and tries to contemplate how to get out. Sonic tries to explain something to him but the king ignores it.

However, before he can try again, Kodos shows up, out of nowhere, and starts swinging an axe at the king for no reason. Sonic contemplates whether or not to help him because he knows it’s just a memory being played out in the king’s head. Once he decides to go through with it, he gets zapped in the butt and stopped.

By who? By another familiar face I recall from my more current knowledge of the comics, a giant panda God monster thing called Feist.

Kodos decides it’s best they table their disagreement for now… the disagreement that HE brought up out of nowhere, mind you. Instead, he turns to Feist and, again, for no reason, says he’s gonna kill him.

It doesn’t go well.

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I just saw a dude get obliterated with eye beams.

Awesome.

The king thinks he’s about to get obliterated too but Sonic speaks up again, trying his best to tell the king that this isn’t real. He’s just trapped in a dream of what already happened (which means Kodos really did get eye beamed out of existence. Holy shit.) He says this in a much more confusing way at first which prompts the king to ask him to run it by him again.

When Sonic explains that the king has already been rescued and is resting on an operating table, the king gets viciously angry at Sonic and almost looks like he’s about to punch him, the way it’s drawn. 

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Sonic asks the king to, again, let him continue. For some reason, the king is unable to let Sonic speak. I guess, being a king, he’s got a rather huge ego and his regal nature makes it so that he can’t just immediately accept when he’s wrong about something. That’s actually more interesting than the typical nice king, I suppose.

He’s not a complete asshole of course. Once he does start to listen, Sonic explains to him everything that’s gone down since he’s been stuck in this zone. Robotnik has gone about establishing his new world order. He's roboticized so many of the kingdom’s residents. A select group of people escaped to the Great Forest and set up a resistance to help fight against Robotnik but, of course, they haven’t succeeded.

Sonic says that they need the king back to offer his wisdom and experience. Somehow, I doubt that. He does mention that Sally wants her father back, which is true. As the King comes around to admitting that Sonic is right, Sonic vanishes and wakes up back in the medical bay.

The Quack doctor asks Rotor what the machine says and Rotor says that the crystallization has stopped. He’s still mostly crystal but the process itself will not be continuing. So that’s good. One obstacle down.

Geoffrey even manages to throw Sonic a slight compliment. 

Tails approaches Sonic with a really gross looking long neck and asks if he’s fine. Sonic delivers a cheesy final line that I will not be repeating here and the issue ends.

The majority of this issue was actually really good. The flashback was easily the best parts of it and the final confrontation with King Acorn in the Dream Zone was done pretty good as well. The only real hiccups were all the weird things happening at the start of the issue with Dr. Quack. The set-up for why he’s there and what he’s there to do takes too long and is written in a strange manner. Thankfully, once the issue gets going, it actually does become something worth your time.

I do always have a nice affinity for dark origin stories. 

Thumbs up. Can’t wait to see what’s ne-oh shit. 

I know what’s next.

Oh no.


 

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2 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We end this part of the issue with the funniest scene yet. 

Robotnik tells the king that he’s going to banish him to the Zone of Silence. Sally’s mom overhears this up above with her daughter right next to her. She turns to Sally and goes, “Oh my!”

sjUmEURK0e96J13T-EaWf6OYHzAnyYYbGFuj3cGrWLVEf4h7mdhWBE-Rz-vJ5C4x8ON-i2-1szffdEOvbJ1KerrO26leBXv0ztOBr7bKamPPsZfV_FlGrGRjgUo-B3FAuqzEUBEd

Brilliant.

Looks like Julayla, Sally's mentor. She was the old lady that died of in the "In Your Face" special.

Secondly, and I might be wrong, but I think the kid isn't Sally, but Antoine? Ant's marked by a bulky turtleneck like that in SatAM's Past to the Past. It just strikes me that kid Sally has more of a sleeve-less princess jasmine get up, and that coat doesn't' jive.

Just bringing it up because I remember reading this scene back in the day and thinking "Oh! this a traumatizing event that reframes his cowardly demeanor in the present."

(edit: heh *Past* to the Past you know what typo you can stay).

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9 minutes ago, Cuz said:

Looks like Julayla, Sally's mentor. She was the old lady that died of in the "In Your Face" special.

Secondly, and I might be wrong, but I think the kid isn't Sally, but Antoine? Ant's marked by a bulky turtleneck like that in SatAM's Past to the Past. It just strikes me that kid Sally has more of a sleeve-less princess jasmine get up, and that coat doesn't' jive.

Just bringing it up because I remember reading this scene back in the day and thinking "Oh! this a traumatizing event that reframes his cowardly demeanor in the present."

(edit: heh *Past* to the Past you know what typo you can stay).

You're probably right about all of this. I seriously can't tell because of this filter. Also, I have no memory of Julayla or the "In Your Face" special. She looks like another squirrel person to me so I assumed it was her mom. It never says.

This would have been the perfect time for some of those character name tag boxes that the more recent Archie comics used to do.

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I don't blame ya for not remembering a character that died within 2-3 pages of being introduced, plus she was more of an old cat lady back then, and then re-coined to be directly related to Rosie. It's the Ant thing I find more juicy.

Quote

IIRC, her mom & Elias are on Angel Island...for some reason or other.

Yeah they don't really give it any thought until after #50. Speaking of which.

Hey-Yo!

Welcome to Endgame!

You know it's right around the corner because they had to call in a doctor.

(eh I jumped the gun by 2 issues but can't resist making that joke)

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3 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

However, the fact that Robotnik isn’t a family name in this book is interesting. How did the Gerald Robotnik thing get handled then? I guess I’ll wait and see. It might just be something as simple as Julian being his first name and Robotnik being his last. Or maybe Kintobor is his last name and Robotnik is just him switching it around. Then, that would make it Gerald Kintobor and Maria Kintobor and that’s just strange.

Kintobor and Robotnik are two separate families that just so happen to be reverse-spellings of each other.

...no, really.

6-EFC2-F3-E-5-DC8-45-C6-9-E42-49-CBA71-F

Julian’s dad was a Kintobor, his mother a Robotnik.

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Oh, is that from the encyclopedia? Never seen that page before, but then I've never gotten around to picking it up. 

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3 hours ago, Sonictrainer said:

IIRC, her mom & Elias are on Angel Island...for some reason or other.

What...?

I... I guess I'll see that when it comes up but... I'm getting increasingly more surprised by how much Knuckles is willing to lay out the welcome mat when it comes to his island. I guess it's just another one of those things that exists by virtue of the book being really old and not in line with what eventually gets established about him later on.

2 hours ago, Ernest the Panda said:

Kintobor and Robotnik are two separate families that just so happen to be reverse-spellings of each other.

...no, really.

6-EFC2-F3-E-5-DC8-45-C6-9-E42-49-CBA71-F

Julian’s dad was a Kintobor, his mother a Robotnik.

Fucking what?

I actually have the encyclopedia. I haven't read it yet because I do want to keep what I find out about some of this old stuff largely a surprise but at the same time, because I've read from 150 and beyond, I know where this all leads and as such I don't care too much about spoilers.

Although, it seems I was right about one of the things I said from the looks of this. His name was Kintobor... but he didn't switch it around. It was his mom's maiden name.

That's actually far more absurd.

Holy shit dude.

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Hey, issue#43 was my first issue of Archie!  I saw this cover and was instantly hooked.  I like to think I came in at the right time. lol  I had very little money back then as I was 12/13 back then but luckily, the issues were $1.50 compared to today's $3.99!  Thanks for reviewing this issue Dr. Detective Mike. It's appreciated man!

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