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For those who might have missed it, Ian said in a follow-up to that tweet that, should he ever get the chance to continue with the Archie continuity at some point, he’d do something completely different now (since there’s no point in telling the same drawn-out story twice).

If that were to happen, by some miracle, what direction would you want the series to go in should it continue?

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36 minutes ago, Forgetful Panda said:

For those who might have missed it, Ian said in a follow-up to that tweet that, should he ever get the chance to continue with the Archie continuity at some point, he’d do something completely different now (since there’s no point in telling the same drawn-out story twice).

If that were to happen, by some miracle, what direction would you want the series to go in should it continue?

Honestly, it looks like it was gonna become a story about Sonic and Eggman teaming up to find a cure anyway.

 

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Archie Sonic Issue #46 - Countdown to Armageddon

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Oh. What a personal looking cover. It would seem Ken’s character is about ready to go for the ultimate dick measuring contest.

I like it but I gotta ask, what’s up with Sonic’s teeth. Geoffrey’s look normal but Sonic’s look like paper going into a circular hole. It’s drawn a little strangely.

We begin with a monologue about the origin of Roboticization, surprisingly enough. It’s a little sad but the way it’s written is actually a little comedic.

“One fateful day a benevolent scientist directed his talents towards an ingenious effort to prolong the lives of Mobian citizens… AND IN DOING SO INADVERTENTLY CREATED AN INSTRUMENT OF DOMINATION, USED AS A SWEEPING TIDE OF TYRANNY, SIGNALING THE DOWNFALL OF MOBIUS AND THE KINGDOM OF ACORN!”

It’s sad that an experiment to save his brother ended up accidentally creating the thing that signaled the downfall of the entire planet but you gotta admit, it’s kind of funny.

The person who did this and the person showing them this through an eyebeam that shoots out holograms onto the wall is Uncle Chuck. He’s showing it to the Freedom Fighters and the response is Sonic saying that Uncle Chuck’s hologram eye beams are “Way Past Cool” and Tails asking for popcorn like he’s watching a fucking movie. 

Anyway, Uncle Chuck answers Sonic by asking a very simple question.

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… Yeah, he’s right. What kind of a spy would he be if he didn’t install that shit DIRECTLY into his optic sensors? A pretty shitty spy, if I do say so myself.

I joke but it’s pretty efficient since he describes it as him being able just record everything he sees and play it back as a video. Dulcy asks if he’s stored thousands of movies, making another unfunny joke about him being a film projector. I’m at least glad they have a sense of humor about Uncle Chuck being a horrible mechanical abomination. Looking on the bright side is very important.

Uncle Chuck explains that the video provides proof that when Robotnik was Warlord Julian, he sabotaged his original machine and turned it from a tool of medicine into a tool of war. He also says that ASIDE FROM A FEW TIMES WHERE THEY GOT LUCKY he doesn’t think he’ll be able to return all those people back from being robots.

I gotta be real with you Uncle Chuck… the way Robotization works in this book has been extremely inconsistent. Literally, I just read the Sonic Blast special where splashing roboticized flickies with salt water from super soakers turned them back to normal. Also, we already de-roboticized everyone in Robotropolis back during that one issue that, somehow, de-roboticized everyone except you, Uncle Chuck. Even though you were literally standing before the machine when it sent out the wave of energy that de-roboticized everyone, it somehow missed you… because why the fuck not? I guess because they still needed you to be a spy.

Rotor says it’s not his fault and he’s right. It’s not. I gotta admit, it probably would have been more shocking had it been his fault but meh. It’s not necessary in the long run. I don’t want to be needlessly cruel to the elderly.

Sally suggests they go on strategic retreat which amounts to sitting outside in the Great Forest around a campfire at night while they continue their conversation. It’s here where we get something that legitimately made me feel a bit sad. 

Uncle Chuck explains that the praise for his camera eye-balls isn’t deserved because he’s still Robotnik’s pawn. Robotnik knew his guilt would make him step down from the science division and he went from being Sir Charles the Inventor to Uncle Chuck the Chili-Dog proprietor. Then it’s just a sad shot of Uncle Chuck sitting alone at a Chili-Dog stand, looking downtrodden and brooding over the fact that he couldn’t save his brother and also helped create a tool of war against the kingdom he wanted to save.

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It’s so fucking sad. 

He keeps going on about how much of a failure he is for not realizing Sleuth Doggy Dog was a traitor and not knowing the Death Egg was even a thing until it was almost too late. Sally’s only comfort is that the only thing he did wrong was not dig deep enough for the truth… which… I dunno. That kind of sounds like the same thing he just said he didn’t do Sally. You might as well have just said, “You’re right. You’re a failure. What do we even keep old people alive for anyway?”

Okay, maybe that’s a bit much but she didn’t offer much help there. Sonic chimes in by saying that he was a success at the chili-dog chain while eating tons of them. It doesn’t seem like he cares much that Chuck is sad. 

Before people who know what they’re doing can offer actual emotional support they hear sounds in the woods, indicating that Smokey the Bear is ready to shank some woodland creatures for starting a fire in his domain.

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Except no, it isn’t. It’s just Lupe and the Band of Freedom Fighters from the... ? Anyway, they’re known as the Wolf Pack.

Now, I definitely recognize these guys from issues down the line, once again, however, this was a case where I was seriously worried I may have alzheimer's disease because I definitely didn’t remember her showing up before this. I looked for an asterisk to see what issue she had to have appeared in and it turns out she didn’t this time! No, she’s from the show. It was an episode called "Cry of the Wolf". 

This is where the limited knowledge I have of SatAM fails me. I only saw a couple of episodes and that was several, several years ago at this point. Might even be well over a decade now. If I saw this episode, I sure as spit-shine don’t remember it.

Anyway, they’re all around the fire eating Chili-dogs now as a familiar face tells them that Robotnik’s making even meaner robots. Tails interrupts this to ask if Drago doesn’t like his food but he stops himself from saying "Chili-Dog" and says "Chili-Wiener" instead, which is way funnier. At first I didn’t get why Tails did this but it might be because Drago is a… wolf? I mean, it doesn’t matter because there’s no way those things are made of actual dog…

… Or are they? 

Well, anyway, I did a bit of a double-take here because this is the first appearance of Drago! I’ve seen this dude so many times in the later comics. He would occasionally show up for minor appearances as a villain and then leave almost as fast as he came. Every time he DID show up, someone was always dunking on him, saying that he sucked, or talking down to him. It was odd because he looked so fierce and they usually didn’t do much to prove he was a loser except say that he was a lot.

Even now, he doesn’t look like a loser… he also is, interestingly, sitting with the good guys. So, either something happens later to make him turn sides or it’s going to be a rehash of what just happened with Sleuth where they meet up with people in the forest and one of them was just a traitor all along. We shall see.

… Probably far quicker than I expected even.

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Turns out the reason Drago wasn’t currently enjoying his Chili-Weiner, isn’t because the cold air outside was making his weiner feel chilly. 

No, instead, we find out that he’s Robocist. Justifiably so, almost. He doesn’t like hanging with Uncle Chuck because he’s worried he’s a spy for Robotnik. Sonic says he isn’t because he says so and the voice from the side speaks up by implying that people listen to what Sonic the Amatuer says no matter what.

For a split second I wondered who in this group of Sonic Tolerant people would speak up but then I saw Geoffrey on the next page and felt a little dumb. I had already forgotten that he was advertised to show up in this issue.

Geoffrey tells them to cut down on the campfire before they attract the entire planet. Now, despite how tense this situation is being built up as, for some reason, THIS immediately happens next.

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Just… wh... mmrgh...? 

Is this all she’s good for now? Sucking face? She hasn’t done anything at all in the past couple of issues so by default this is the most memorable thing she has on her plate as of recent. At least Knuckles didn’t show up and do it. 

Although, I have to bring up the fact that Sally tried to get Sonic to calm down about her relationship with Knuckles by bringing up that she was actually into him instead and tried to lean in to kiss Sonic before they were interrupted. Now she’s just getting slurped up like brown soup by Pepe Le Pew here. 

I’m not joking. She really does look like she’s being slurped into his mouth in that picture.

Anyway, after that kiss, Geoffrey goes into accusatory asshole mode. He talks about how he was following every single one of Uncle Chuck’s moves. Chuck accuses him of spying and Geoffrey, while picking his teeth with a toothpick like an asshole, says that those are interesting words since, apparently, the agent that uncovered the video that Chuck showed them at the beginning of the comic was Sleuth Doggy Dog! 

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Sonic asks Uncle Chuck if this is true and… Chuck says yeah, but, it was weeks before they discovered Sleuth to be a traitor. 

Now… I do have to admit, they did a good job with this. What Uncle Chuck just said there doesn’t actually disprove anything. What time they found out Sleuth was a traitor is pretty negligible, all things considered. Also, I’m incredibly impressed that the Sleuth twist is turning out to have repercussions like this…! 

Geoffrey doesn’t buy it. Dulcy makes a crack about skunks smelling bad and we all laugh because it’s a very original thing she just said. Hahaha. Skunk’s smell. 

Anyway, Geoffrey ignores that comment, as usual, and just comes out with it by accusing Uncle Chuck of being a spy. Sonic asks if he practices at being a stupid dumb dumb jerk face and Geoffrey snaps at him for not taking the war seriously.

Sonic decks him in the face.

Then, in a scene that’s shockingly and suddenly badly drawn, Geoffrey kartwheels onto his feet and fires off a bolas that gets Sonic wrapped around a tree, proclaiming he’s got more to him than just speed, like Sonic does. Then Geoffrey points his arm at Sonic and pretty much states that he’s gonna kill him. 

Then Antoine, in his first set-piece in issues, just comes in and decks Geoffrey in the face. Antoine also calls both him and Sonic stupid but throws in a nice little comment about Sonic not deserving death. 

Then, Antoine says that Uncle Chuck isn’t the traitor… Geoffrey is the traitor!

This is a rousing game of Traitor Hot Potato now!

Also, I gotta say, the art in this issue is getting less and less good the more it goes on. It feels like it’s destabilizing or something.

Well, anyway, Antoine tells an, honestly, very unconvincing story to stand as proof of Geoffrey being the traitor. He says that during the time he was being trained to eventually become a soldier, the general teaching him and close friend of the king, tried to convince the king that they would one day need to make use of the rebel underground… but before it could be established, that general became a victim of Robotnik’s war and then afterward Geoffrey showed up proclaiming to be the leader of the Underground.

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure how that means Geoffrey is the one who caused that to happen. Is the Rebel Underground an idea that only that general could have? Did it not exist before he suggested the king might need it? 

Geoffrey gets all up in Antoine’s face and demands to know who this guy even is. Antoine, very professionally, tackles Geoffrey to the ground while screaming “HE WAS MY FATH-AIR-E!”

Your feather? Your faith air? … Oh, your FATHER. My bad. The comic had the bad, exaggerated, French accent text cranked up to 11 there.

Yeah, his father.  

Geoffrey claims not to know him.

This scuffle exemplifies the issue with the art by the way. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it isn’t. Geoffrey is drawn well here. He looks like he’s actually in a struggle here. Meanwhile, Antoine, despite being extremely angry in the other panels, in this one he not only looks bored but his body is proportioned like a stiff cardboard cut out.

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Sally breaks them up after this. Tails is surprised to hear that Antoine isn’t actually a soldier. Sonic explains that, like all of them, he was too young. He’s only wearing his father’s outfit as a tribute to him. 

So that’s the actual reason he isn’t naked like the other boys.

Bunnie says he rose to the occasion with exceptional courage and Tails flat out insults Antoine by saying “So he wasn’t always a doofus?”

Lots of asshole comments being thrown around this issue, gotta say. 

Anyway, Bunnie runs down Antoine’s character arc for me. As someone who always knew him as a coward in the show, I figured it’d be helpful to see where the book was coming from on him here. Bunnie explains that his devotion to the cause and to the princess turned to MISGUIDED love. 

If by “misguided” you mean “he could do way better than Sally” then sure. We’re shown a picture of him crying when he sees Sally go off with Sonic in the past. So, without the love from Sally or his father, he lost his way and… became a coward, I guess.

Tails says he never knew and wonders if he should say something to him. Like, I dunno, maybe call him a doofus to his face this time. That’ll work.

Bunnie says she’ll go instead and starts to head off into the woods even though we weren’t shown a panel of Antoine running off into the woods.

If they had shown a panel of that happening when Sally broke him and Geoffrey apart this would make sense. As it stands, it just kind of looks like Bunnie is saying she’ll go talk to Antoine and then goes wandering off into the fucking forest when the guy is still right in front of them.

But no, he’s in the bushes by himself now. Bunnie comes up behind him and says she thinks he’s brave and awesome. Antoine is glad someone cares and Bunnie reassures him that she does…!

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What’s this? The sign of a HEALTHY relationship blossoming? Who said that was allowed? Chuck it. Throw it out. We need more “Will they, won’t they” bullshit mixed in with at least four possible love partners. Take a cue from the elegant Princess Sally Acorn. So much dignity when it comes to being non-commital and sucking face…

Meanwhile, Drago, whom I didn’t even know was gone, wanders in and Lupe asks where he went. Drago says “UHHHM… UHHHH… I went out for a… walk.”

Sigh. Yeah, he’s a traitor.

Lupe says this is the third time this week he’s left without an official okay. If he needs to get the official okay, it might be best to bite the bullet and ask for it instead of just wandering off and risking suspicion being put on you but… what do I know? Now Lupe says she’ll be watching Drago. And Geoffrey says he’ll be watching Sonic. And Antoine says he’ll be watching Geoffrey. And Geoffrey says he’s gonna beat the shit out of Antoine AND Sonic! Sonic growls like a bulldog! And then the Jerry Springer crowd starts to go nuts!

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Sally tells everyone to shut the fuck up. Everyone’s been hurling around accusations but no one’s provided actual proof. It kind of just looks like they’re all fighting to see who’s the most loyal from her end. That part of the issue ends with Sally hoping Knuckles is successful on his quest.

If I were there, it’d probably be a bad time for me to make mention of how I don’t want to be loyal to the kingdom at all. Not even a little bit.

This was actually a really well done story. The entire thing was just the characters breaking down and hurling accusations at one another and I loved it. I really do prefer that kind of drama over the lovey-dovey stuff that has no consequence to anything. That said, for an issue with very little action, you’d think it’d be easier to draw the characters better than this.

The art was just… inconsistent. I dunno why. Sometimes it looked fine. Sometimes it looked like a first draft attempt that was hastily colored in. Such an odd showcase of the art.

Archie Sonic Issue #46 - Knuckles Quest 4: A Goat, A Raven, and a Swan Song!

Speak of the devil, Knuckles has (HOPEFULLY) reached the end of his long as fuck, cryptic quest given onto him by the Ancient Walkers. 

He’s walking through a cave when it collapses and he lands safely thanks to his glide ability. He pokes fun at a skeleton for not being able to do the same and watches as it smashes against the ground. 

Mathias Poe and Damocles the Elder are here. The last two guys from the riddle. Hurray! 

The two of them were in the middle of chanting some sort of spell or something before Knuckles literally fell on his butt, right behind them. Mathias gets angry and immediately summons a rock golem to kill him! 

Yeah, cool… what?

Knuckles says they’re not gonna set up shop on his island. They kind of already did though since this is the deepest cavern within the island… so, you failed.

Anyway, Knuckles says the golem needs constant magic to function properly so he needs a distraction. In comes Archimedes who poofs onto Mathias’ nose and shoots a plume of fire at him! Like, it was so close to his face! What if his face got burned away? Jesus.

Well, they tie him up after that. There’s still the matter of Damocles the Elder who was just sitting there the whole time. What of him?

Well, he melted.

Okay, okay. He was a dummy. He wasn’t alive in the first place. He was just a thing that Mathias focused his spells on for… practice? I guess? I dunno.

Archimedes explains this while unrelentingly insulting the fuck out of Knuckles and making comments about saving his hide yet again. That’s apparently all he knows how to do with regards to addressing Knuckles…

The donkey elder melts into the Sword of Acorns or whatever its called. I don’t know why Mathias transformed the sword into the old donkey man or even where the real old donkey guy is but, like Knuckles, I don’t care. Thank God, we finally have the sword.

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Knuckles immediately asks it to take him to the Hall of Limbo so he can grab the Crown of Acorns. I almost doubled back, realizing that there were that many layers to this multi-layered onion.

This journey was not like a cake. It was like an onion. 

Also, Knuckles trying to skip the middleman like this doesn’t work. Apparently, maybe, it only works on royalty. Either way, he got the sword.

I can only hope the Ancient Walkers are cursing themselves under their breaths. There’s no way they actually wanted Knuckles’ wild goose chase to end. That’s probably why they made it so stupidly cryptic; to laugh at him and watch him fumble about.

Now that he actually has the sword, their evil plan to be epic douches has become undone.

We’re finally advancing towards something that feels big and important. Just a few more to go.
 

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1 hour ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Now, I definitely recognize these guys from issues down the line, once again, however, this was a case where I was seriously worried I may have alzheimer's disease because I definitely didn’t remember her showing up before this. I looked for an asterisk to see what issue she had to have appeared in and it turns out she didn’t this time! No, she’s from the show. It was an episode called "Cry of the Wolf". 

This is where the limited knowledge I have of SatAM fails me. I only saw a couple of episodes and that was several, several years ago at this point. Might even be well over a decade now. If I saw this episode, I sure as spit-shine don’t remember it.

Not to worry, the episode eventually gets adapted into a comic down the road.

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Boy are you in for a treat.

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Sonic Super Special: Issue 1 - Sonic Vs. Knuckles Battle Royal

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It’s hitting me hard just how amazing it feels to think about how I’d actually, probably, be at Issue 50 and beyond by now if this comic wasn't so obsessed with putting out special issues every 3 issues or so. Apparently, there’s like 15 of these Sonic Super Special issues too which just floors me a bit. Although, apparently, not all of them are necessary to read. This one is though.

It starts with a pretentious monologue about how majestic the floating island is and how even visiting it now, the Freedom Fighters are under a lot of stress. It’s all very flowery but the point is that they’re on their way to the Floating Island because they heard Knuckles completed his quest. However, they also heard the island was under siege so they decide to lend him a hand as a thank you for all he’s done for them. Sweet enough sentiment I suppose.

They successfully land on the island… but after trekking for an undisclosed amount of time they don’t come across any danger. When asking why, Vector chimes in with the rest of the Chaotix, perched on a cliff above the Freedom Fighters and exclaiming that the reason there’s no one left to punch is because they used the still unexplained powers of the sword Knuckles got to… take the enemies out? I guess? 

Did they hold aloft the mighty sword and scream “BY THE POWER OF ACORN!” and became He-Animals? I don’t know how the sword works so Vector saying they used the sword’s power just left me scratching my head a bit. Maybe it works like the basketball in Space Jam.

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Also, Vector says Knuckles gave them permission to drive them out.

Okay then… something's clearly up...

Sonic says he KNEW that “Ol’ Pointy Head” can’t be trusted…

That’s right. SoNiC tHe HeDgEhOg is calling Knuckles the Echidna… “Ol’ POINTY head”.

Anyway, they fight.  Bad jokes and forced justification ensues.

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At this point I desire to continue giving the book the benefit of the doubt and not assume that this is figuratively and literally the laziest way the book has, so far, conjured up an excuse to have a group of characters fight another group of characters to promote and sell their 48 page long special.

I probably shouldn’t but I’ll… try.

In the immortal words of George Lucas when he presented his rough draft script for the Phantom Menace, “There’s a lot of cheating in there… a lot of “They Fight”...”

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Vector explains that Knux has randomly decided that he only wishes to hang with his “homeboys” (actual dialogue) and the rest gets beat down. Rotor tries to push for reason by suggesting they talk it out but reasonable talks don’t sell 48 pages of a Sonic Super Special.

Sonic says it’s too late but Sally suggests that they just take them out with minimal force while she and Antoine are casually beating the shit out of Espio. Charmy is understandably insulted by being talked down to as though subduing them is some sort of minimal task that they can just… DO!

Then uh… something really, really confusing happens. I don’t know what…

Rotor fires a sticky substance at Vector that gets him stuck to a tree (and makes the obvious stick-around pun that we all laugh at until blood pours from our noses because it’s just so funny) and then… I guess this somehow subdues ALL the Chaotix??? 

We don’t SEE them get attached to the sticky substance. We just see the appendages of the other Chaotix members poking out of what looks like a gray fight cloud while one of them exclaims that “WE’LL BE BACK! WITH KNUCKLES… AND BLACKJACK! AND HOOKERS!”

So… apparently they lost or were subdued… SOMEHOW?! I have NO CLUE what I’m looking at here. 

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This might seriously be the most confusing panel in this comic’s history up to this point. I don’t know what’s going on. Isn’t the job of the artist to better simulate what’s happening? Comics are a visual medium so it’s fair of me to expect the visual aspect be up to snuff. Even if the art is terrible, which it kind of is here, I could at least appreciate sequencing that makes sense.

Vector’s stuck in the substance… then the very next panel the Chaotix are in a fight cloud with … each other? And they’re claiming that they’ll be back? So apparently they’re leaving or being left behind here? I checked the next page to see if it was better clarified and it isn’t. The Freedom Fighters are in a new location wondering what the fuck that fight was about… so…

Like, they’re not fighting the other Freedom Fighters in that cloud. That’s Vector’s tail, Mighty’s shoe, and Espio’s arm so… 

… Sigh.

I wish I could give this set of panels a Razzie Award for being the Worst fucking thing ever.

By the way, it’s not just the paneling. I want to reiterate that this art is hard to look at. They all look like they’re made of water or something. Look at Tails, his head is about to explode. Look at Dulcy and her weird trumpet mouth.

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Seriously, look at Tails’ eye. His eye! What is it doing? Is it trying to escape? Did he have a stroke? I know there’s a style that’s being attempted here but being stylistic doesn’t excuse things looking bad. 

Anyway, they decide that there’s been a communication failure here since Sally is unable to think of a reason as to why Knuckles would just send his cronies at them. They can’t leave without the sword though so they head back. 

The Chaotix are chillaxing wondering what the nerve of the Freedom Fighters is, this time with Knuckles with them all of a sudden, and with him suggesting that it’s not Sally’s fault but Sonic’s…?

At the moment, they’re still being vague about what’s going on. The Chaotix definitely attacked first and said that Knuckles was the one who gave the okay to boot them out. I’m waiting to see what’s going to make the dialogue suddenly make sense here.

Either way, the Freedom Fighters come back and they resume fighting. 

kAvGL8kGm5TcG6_bpd5IG3o0l_htA57NULv0CK9LEafhzklGZOUTjGubKIDA85DQw3d7prBdeWEYZapx9YKIAEHPHXafNCNx8Qy2JHxbE_FR2_eLYskBOUYZ3MRFqyObYNjAXFt4

Ohhhh~! I get it. They’re all fakes.

So they’re all fighting pointlessly. I suppose that’s to be expected. Again, it’s just an excuse to have them fight. I can appreciate that if it’s a good one of course. I’ll also admit that Tails threatening them because they “took too long to return the sword” is adorable.

Anyway, the Fake Freedom Fighters continue to say things that are untrue and make no sense. Fake Tails, in particular, says that if they were going to return the sword than why did they keep it for over a month… and the response from the Chaotix is that Knuckles only just found it. Then they just leave.

Knuckles and his group are understandably confused by their words and their actions. That’s when Archimedes decides to poof onto Knuckles’ shoulder, like he often does, to deliver the… well, to just tell Knuckles what’s going on… but oh no! The Freedom Fighters are back!

They fight! 

The only ones who don’t are Archimedes who, instead of saying what he needs to say, poofs off, and Sally who just says it’s hopeless to try and stop them. 

Now… I have to admit… from this point on… I have NO CLUE, what the fuck is happening.

I really gotta be honest. Following the art of this issue is an extreme chore. I can’t even tell where one panel begins and another ends. 

Like, this “fight” starts as a sequence of panels with two characters talking at each other and firing off really bad quips and jokes. Sonic and Knuckles lay into each other a bit before they sit and pant in exhaustion. Sally and Archimedes decide they need to stop this and… she grabs him in a way that looks like it’s hurting him for some reason and then Mighty gets kicked by Bunnie and then the Freedom Fighters … and then the uh…?

I dunno. I guess they’re running away? And then Charmy and Dulcy are fighting but then Charmy gets told by Archimedes to lead Dulcy to Sally. Charmy does that and then the two of them shoot fire at each other…

I think… I’m not entirely sure. The last two pages were a splash of confusing positions and dialogue bubbles spewing words so interchangeable I don’t even remember who was saying what. Can someone tell me what’s happening here?

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Now, Archimedes says this should work so long as everyone does as they’re told which would imply they’re all in on it despite the dialogue making it seem like not everyone is. The Freedom Fighters and Archemedes might know what’s up but the Chaotix are totally acting like they’re in the dark…

Well, anyway, an explosion happens and it looks like everything’s been blowed up.

We then cut to Mammoth Mogul and the Destructix, I mean the Fearsome Foursome. Mammoth Mogul monologues about how awesome this is and how, with this, the world will be his!

Sgt. Simian asks if they’re getting too ahead of themselves to which Mogul has a hilariously over-the-top, embarrassing, childish reaction.

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J8gQ_nHRBXsqM5PwMgbz3W-5GmVAYbsYZYbjVVjrG_2QZykuTqJso98j67Cr54FYuspHeO-P1S8dTGt9pfnv7p0eU9oZAh8DvTJUBK4gXSGPMFFBi0UYhG_531g-3ZQtQhIapumu

After he says this shit he goes ON. 

“I’ve been planning and scheming since before you were born-!” He says before running his mouth about his brilliant plan. Apparently, his last encounter with the Chaotix wasn’t a retreat but a tactical withdrawal done to ascertain what their powers were so he could take advantage of what he observed. He says that he didn’t even have them or him use the full extent of his abilities and that’s he’s way awesomer than Army monkey man is giving him credit for!

Like dude… calm the fuck down. He barely said anything worth getting this upset about. Like holy shit. Eggman is less easily triggered than you my man.
I believe I’ve said this before but I’m shocked at how lame and bad Mammoth Mogul was in these early issues. He’s so awful. 

It’s shocking considering how cool he is later on.

Anyway, he’s still not done. That one harmless line gave his thin-skinned mammoth hide a bad case of mouth diarrhea and he spends the next PAGE AND A HALF explaining his entire plan.

Basically, he used his magical hocus pocus to make Rotor and Knuckles think that they got distress signals from the opposing sides of their little scuffle when they didn’t and then had the Foursome disguise themselves as members on both sides. Simian played Bunnie and Mighty. Lynx played Espio and Sally. Flying Frog played Sonic and Vector. And Predator Hawk, as the only one who could fly, played both Charmy and Tails.

Now, the comic shows the speech bubble finishing this spew of exposition coming out of Mogul’s mouth as well as someone from the side proclaiming that his plan was a good one, thus making it clear that Mammoth Mogul really was just explaining all of this to Sgt. Simian despite the man clearly already knowing it all because he just took part in the plan. This is an incredibly, shockingly lazy way to get this information out of him.

Like, what the fuck is this writing?

That isn’t even going into the logistics behind this plan not fully making a ton of sense. He straight up says in his monologue that alone they were easy to deal with but together they could pose a problem to his plan… so OBVIOUSLY the best way to solve the dilemma is to send out a fake distress signal to the Freedom Fighters and literally BRING them to the island! At this point, I wasn't aware of the twist that was going to happen at the end of the issue but even taking that into account, it still doesn't help his case. Regardless of what his plan was, bringing the Freedom Fighters to the island was a stupid thing to do considering he only needed Knuckles and the Chaotix to bare witness to what was happening for it to work.

The voice claiming that Mogul’s plan was good was Sonic. He bursts in with the Freedom Fighters and the Chaotix, TOGETHER, just like Mogul was worried about, and are ready to take him out.

So another case of really, really bad paneling happens again. I don’t think I’ve ever seen comic paneling this weird and incompetent before. Take a look at this.

3Zr0ImjQaVJxlyY82TACzl9mZFZAGac3Tu94TGBeXHWIW0Ivif9Z3VRkBQKXbFGQC-N6_7Zcnk6B5Jxjak4Cp09HoTgCrdj_g3JamA5tZ783KQb0aHEHNelJ6EU4BGxHfSpPXRkF

I've never seen anything quite like this before. I’m going to do my best to try and explain what’s happening here. 

In the first panel one of the villains off to the side asks how they survived. Sonic swerves answering that question and says they’ve got business with them. The Foursome attack in the second panel… then get their butts kicked somehow in the first panel…?

It’s hard to tell which panel is supposed to come first because the Fearsome Foursome get defeated in the first panel but are charging AT the heroes and getting ready to fight in the second one. As such, it looks fucking weird as shit.

Like, if you put a panel break in between the part of the first panel where the Foursome get beaten it would create a third panel that when read in a sequence would make it obvious what the sequence of events was supposed to be. Panel 1 would be Sonic and the others showing up. Panel 2 would be the Foursome attacking. And panel 3 would be them immediately eating shit. That’s not what this is though. 

Instead, the scene of them getting their butts kicked is happening in the SAME panel that’s supposed to show off the heroes and the Chaotix showing up WHILE Sonic is saying a line that one of the Foursome responds to, somehow, despite being beaten IN the panel where he’s talking to them.

It’s so fucking stupid. I still can’t believe this is real. How do you fuck up paneling THIS badly. Look at this!

I almost don’t want to finish the issue now. I kind of just want to spend the rest of this talking about just this one collection of panels. I’ve NEVER, ever seen anything so confusing and badly structured.

I almost wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that it probably isn’t even supposed to be a separate panel because of how Predator Hawk is cut off in the one panel where Simian says “Have at you” and the rest of his body is shown in the first panel. I was ready to say it might have been a mistake but nope. It’s not because Simian is in BOTH panels. He’s in the first one getting his butt kicked and in the second one where he leads the charge in order to get his butt kicked… 

So even when I try and make sense of it, it just makes less sense. 

I’m going to be seeing these panels in my sleep.

I’m reissuing the Razzie Award to this one. Like the actual Razzies, I may have given it to something that doesn’t deserve it just because it was the most popular option at the time and not necessarily the actual worst thing I could give it to. They’re a lot like the Oscars in that sense. A total shit show that cares more about what’s popular than what’s actually good or bad.

I know I should be more upset that the Foursome got beat in a single panel but I don’t care. I honestly feel that the structure of the comic being so ass is far more egregious.

Anyway, we continue on and… the benefit of the doubt I was ready to give this issue as an excuse to watch them fight has evaporated. Not only was the fight pointless but it was drawn like scribble scrabble and the paneling made no sense. Now this explanation of Mogul’s horrendously bad plan and Sally’s upcoming explanation of how they worked around it is honestly, for the first time, making me legitimately angry.

I think I actually hate this. Like a lot.

Sally explains that she and Archimedes knew that something was off. I feel like all of them had to know though… like… even if they thought it was them they had to know something was wrong. 

Sally says that in order to counteract the plan the two of them hatched a scheme. Literally, within the own words of the comic, Sally says “Using powers you probably didn’t even know Archimedes has, he covertly contacted Charmy to begin phase one.” 

Now… I feel as though Archimedes has, to some extent, showcased flashes of this ability before though I’m sure it was during instants where he just did it and it was never explained. I’m guessing this is the first actual explanation of it and even then it’s not REALLY an explanation. I feel confident in saying that because at the bottom of this panel, I shit you not, there’s an actual note from one of the folks who worked on the comic saying that they’re GUESSING it MAY BE telepathy…?

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He calls himself J “Not Minding My Own Business” Gabrie here but I disagree with that sentiment. If something’s not clearly defined and explained, questioning what it is makes sense. Do not mind your own business here. Ask and find out what the fuck is going on because if YOU don’t know, despite working on the fucking book, how am I supposed to know? 

It gets even more confusing because… Sally says Archimedes contacted Charmy to begin phase 1, which I can only assume was the part where he lured Dulcy towards them, and then says that she then began phase 2 by creating a diversion to distract them. This diversion is, I guess, the part where Dulcy fired her fire breath out and… SOMETHING happened? 

This is the second panel where they show what happened with Dulcy’s fire breath and I still have no clue what I’m looking at or what’s going on. Please, someone tell me, what the hell is happening in this picture because it just looks like she’s roasting them to me. Are my eyes broken?

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Sonic explains that what happened is that Archimedes teleported them away while it looked like they were covered in flames… I don’t see how that’s being illustrated by this panel though… like maybe the open space at Sonic’s bottom half here is supposed to insinuate that he’s teleporting away but he’s already engulfed in flames. He should be a charred rack of turkey regardless right?

Then Sonic says (with a coloring mistake where his flesh colored arm is now green, making him look deathly ill) that they then hid and waited to find out what Mogul’s plan was by… I guess waiting to see if he would, again, for no reason, just SAY what his plan was to someone who already knew what it was. Lucky for them, Mogul did just that.

Sonic’s explanation continues and he explains how all the clues that they were fakes piled up due to Mogul not doing his homework. 

First, the fake Mighty said that the powers of the NEARBY Archimedes helped him escape but apparently Archimedes has to actually TOUCH you to help you escape which… hold the phone. You mean Archimedes touched EVERYONE in that blast Dulcy fired at them to teleport them away from being turned into burnt toast… how? I didn’t see them all huddled together in a hand holding circle when that happened. Don’t try to act like this guy has clearly defined powers all of a sudden.

Second, he disguised their soldiers but didn’t disguise their powers. An example of their powers being used incorrectly is the fake Bunnie holding up a rock with the hand that’s not mechanical. Bunnie says she only has super strength in the arm that’s roboticized. This might just be one of those things I’ve never noticed and has never come up until now so fair enough. It makes technical sense.

Third, Knuckles says that while the fake Sonic was quick, he wasn’t as fast as the real Sonic. Again, fair enough.

Fourth, only four of each team attacked them at a time even though both teams have more than four members. This is because the Fearsome Foursome is a Foursome.

Fifth, and perhaps the biggest point, Sonic says that Mighty would never attack him without trying to talk first or at least say “Hi”. 

Antoine does what I just did and calls Mogul a fool. I’m inclined to agree. His plan had so many holes in it, the paper it was written on could double as swiss cheese.

Mammoth Mogul literally says the line “No lower life forms out think ME and live!” and then attacks them. Then Mighty calls Antoine a “French Fry” and says that he should keep his mouth shut next time… to which I have to respond with another “What?!” 

He was going to attack you anyway. Why are you blaming Antoine for this? 

So anyway, they try to attack Mogul but he’s too powerful so they can’t get close. Even though he’s not at the peak of his power, the Sword of Acorn that he stole is amplifying it. So Archimedes just takes out a Chaos Emerald and it floats up to Mogul’s staff that had another chaos emerald in it. The two of them get attracted together and he gets seemingly vaporized out of existence.

Well that was easy. Problem solved instantly in the span of two panels.

Everyone than acts very oddly okay with the fact that they might have just nonchalantly vaporized a dude to atoms. 

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 I always get skeeved out whenever two emeralds are close thanks to how whacked out they got in Sonic X. 

Anyway, Knuckles bows before Sally Acorn with the sword in hand (so weird) and makes good on his promise. Sally, then grabs the sword and with Knuckles still bowing (so fucking weird) she decides to knight him so that whenever he’s off the island he’s recognized as Sir Knuckles to the Acorn Kingdom (this is soooo fucking weird you guys…!). 

Then Sonic carries him for a piggy back ride in a panel that comes out of nowhere and immediately cuts to a different scene when it’s done.

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They leave and Sally tries to get started on using the sword to search for the crown of Acorns when Rosy steps in and tells Sally to come with her. Sally follows her and they find the king…? He’s well…! But how…?

But wait! We’re not done yet. It’s time for the twist~!

Mammoth Mogul shows up again under the pale moonlight and monologues about how EVERYTHING was an orchestrated set-up. From how inept he was at his shitty plan to his quick and unsatisfying destruction. For you see, he planned all that from the very beginning and he’s got the REAL sword of acorns. Then he laughs maniacally while we’re shown a visible rip in his pants that’s showing off his underwear.

Thank. God.

You seriously almost had me thinking this was the second worst issue right behind Sonic Live but a lot can be done for a book’s quality by sticking the landing like this!

Does this reveal make up for all the frustrating shit that happened? Only slightly. Mogul being an idiot was a very disappointing thing for the character knowing what I do know about him down the line and even with this reveal he’s still coming off like a clown. I’m not entirely sure why he didn’t just switch the two swords and leave. Maybe he wanted an excuse to make it seem like they had done away with him for good and thus pretending he died was necessary. I could see that being the case but then, why risk bringing the Freedom Fighters to the island when this could be accomplished by just facing the Chaotix?

Oh right. We need a 48 page special where "They fight". Gotcha.

Unfortunately, my main problems with the issue stem from everything else about it. The art and paneling of this issue was seriously, probably, the worst it’s ever been in my opinion. I straight up had to strain my eyes to try and tell what was going on… and still couldn’t succeed in a number of cases.

This is an example of the art being what breaks down the quality of the book. The story itself was rather annoying but thanks to the ending reveal, it’s actually landed itself in the “okay” department. The fact that he was being a driveling idiot on purpose does lighten the load a lot and does help to mask the sales trap of making the Freedom Fighters and the Chaotix fight but it’s sadly not enough to save or excuse the horrendous nature of the book in all its other areas. 

It’s a shame.

Sonic Super Special: Issue 1 - The Map

Antoine is alone in a room, reminiscing about his father while overlooking a bunch of graphs. Most of which seem meaningless except for one specific map. He’s unaware of where it could lead to most likely because it’s incomplete.

Bunnie shows up and asks Antoine what he’s doing here. Antoine tells her to fuck off and she goes away.

Anyway, he continues contemplating things about this map. He wonders why it was so important that it had to be hidden in the hilt of his sword and whether or not the second half, that he doesn’t seem to have, will provide the answers. I’d imagine it would, otherwise it’d be a pretty awful map. Either that or it’s a map of a place that doesn’t exist anymore. Antoine even brings up that the landscape has changed because time has passed them by and this shit is extremely old. 

He also mentions that he will apologize to Bunnie later. Hm.

Before we continue, I have to stress this… the fake exaggerated French accent is at a full 11/10 here and it’s beyond cartoonish. The amount of times Antoine begins a word with “Z” or outright says “Ze” is parody levels of stupid. Holy fuck.

At the same time, in Robotropolis, Snively is searching through a shit ton of papers, looking for something that will take down Uncle Julian once and for all. He really wants to usurp him, so much so that he’s willing to talk about how much he wants to do so out-loud. This would make more sense as a thought bubble instead of a speech bubble. Just sayin.

Anyway, he finds the second half of the map… in Robotnik’s lair. Interesting. 

He reads it and it says the “Budding Circle”. Snively doesn’t know what that is and he looks it up, instantly finding out why it was abandoned. Apparently nothing is safe when the Krudzu are involved. I didn’t know what that was either or why they were connected until I read the next page.

However, right off the bat, I gotta say this already is a much more intriguing mystery than whatever the fuck is going on with the Crown of Acorn.

Anyway, Antoine is also monologuing about his findings, wearing a black sweater and camouflage pants. He explains that the Budding Circle was an area that existed in Mobotropolis, which means it was paved over when Robotnik created Robotropolis. Antoine explains that it was the Krudzu, organic, but somehow metallic, plants that ate up the land. Robotnik then tried to use them against the Freedom Fighters but they found that water was their weakness and stopped them.

This was all stuff that apparently happened way back in Issue 1. I own a reprinted copy of Issue 1 I got from free comic book day and even I couldn’t tell you the plot of it. I have no clue. I vaguely remember Tails being upset that he tried to help the Freedom Fighters by bringing them a plant… I think. I also remember Robotnik flying through the air like Team Rocket while going “Mmmm… gravy.” like he was Homer Simpson. At least I think he said gravy…

This has been nothing but a constant stream of exposition so far. I don’t necessarily have a problem with that because it’s actually been rather interesting and the mystery being presented here feels kind of natural. It’s just… being expected to read so much text in Antoine’s horrid, intentionally misspelled word salad is tough.

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Antoine decides he needs to do this himself because… telling Sally would be the same as giving an incomplete report and his father said that’s a no-no. I don’t buy that but sure.

At the same time (talk about coincidences, Jesus) Snively is using his own privately programmed Egg-Robos to dig around the southside of Robotropolis. This part of the city is apparently just one big trash and sewage heap. Snively hopes to find some Krudzu seeds in the remains of the Budding Circle and send them Robotnik’s way. 

Snively is extremely riled up and angry here. He really believes this is his big chance and he desperately doesn’t want Robotnik to find out about it. He’s scared just by the thought of him finding out that he has his own personally programmed Egg-Robos that call him Master Snively. 

Antoine arrives from the sewer and sees this all going down by the way. He spots the second half of the map and overhears Snively’s desire for the Krudzu seeds. Antoine, in a bout of really impressive intuition, first contemplates that it would be odd for his father to have a map that lead to those seeds but then, immediately after, reconsiders what he’s doing and outright says that he NEEDS to tell the others. 

Then he slips on some pipes and falls to the ground. Whoops.

Luckily, it was still behind the trash pile so Snively only heard him fall. Didn’t see it. But that’s still bad enough because he sends his hovering Egg-Robos and their giant, fuck-off, laser cannon hands to weed him out! Is this the end of Antoi-no it’s not. But you know. It could have been.

Antoine runs for the manhole cover he came out and just barely makes it inside before they all blow the shit out of the ground. It really kicks ass.

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Antoine is incredible in this story. Plus, he’s constantly wearing the same expression on his face. Just this really monstrous, angry scowl. He’s just constantly pissed.

He runs from the Egg Robos, getting blasted at, trying to run away so he can warn the others. He takes out a power ring and it gives him enough power to slash one of the robots in half. He manages to escape and runs into Uncle Chuck so that he can inform him of what’s been going on. Chuck tells him that the other Freedom Fighters have been worried about him and they sent Sonic and Bunnie to check out the seismic activity that’s been going on at the Southside of Robotropolis. Antoine says “Oh shit. That ain’t good. I shouldn’t have done this myself. No I must leave to continue doing this myself.”

Uncle Chuck is about to say that he can’t just let Antoine do that but Antoine’s all like “Nope. Fuck you. This is my badass solo story, not yours.”

Antoine shows up and sees Sonic, Bunnie, and Rotor trying to fend off the Egg-Robos and they’re having an intensely hard time. Antoine throws Sonic the power ring and he has a slightly easier time but it’s not enough. Antoine joins the fight and they start to become a bit low on power… but then the Swat-Bots start to arrive and the Freedom Fighters decide they’re done, so they retreat.

The Swat-Bots thankfully aren’t following them because they actually came for Snively. Robotnik’s mad because he heard that there are combat robots more powerful than his. And it’s true. The battle with the Egg-Robo’s looked fierce. It was awesome.

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Why is this secondary story so much more epic and cooler than the one that’s the main story of the issue? It’s so much more badass and infinitely better written and honestly, better drawn in a lot of ways as well. It’s not perfectly drawn, of course, but even in that screenshot of chaos I can actually tell what’s going on.

At this point I decided to check and see who wrote what…

Okay, so “The Map” was written by Tom Rolston and the main story about the Freedom Fighters fighting the Chaotix was written by Kent Taylor and Ken Penders. 

Sigh. Yeah, I guess that explains it.

Still though, I was shocked. The quality of the story just jumped astronomically and it really caught me off guard. This is awesome.

Robotnik chokes Snively while demanding to know what happened. Snively explains that he was indeed looking for a special destructive plant (he doesn’t say why, obviously) and then says that the accursed Freedom Fighters showed up and wrecked his plans. Robotnik says they will pay, instantly believing them.

Also, Snively says the Egg Robos were just digging robots. It’s amazing what you can accomplish so long as you properly lie to your boss. 

We end on Antoine being grateful that Robotnik got a call in from Uncle Chuck as it was the doctor’s ego being challenged when he heard the news of “better robots” that allowed the Freedom Fighters to escape. Antoine, however, is upset that he didn’t get to see what’s on the other end of the map. Maybe someday.

So yeah. That was an infinitely better story than the one I started off with. This might have saved the entire issue from being relegated to the Archie Boneyard for me. 

Hopefully, now I can concentrate on the numbered issues again but who can say? There’s always a new special or some shit right around the corner.

It’s always some business man stomping up to the writer’s desk saying “If I told you once, I’ve told you a thousand, thousand, thousand, thousand times-!”

UV6q.gif

 



 

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On 6/18/2019 at 11:44 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Issue #38 - The Rise of Robotropolis... The Fall of Sonic!

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This is a terrible issue but not for the reasons you'd expect. The reason this issue is bad isn't because of the plot. The script itself is the usual fare, only Sonic's behavior is doing odd things again but we'll get to that. The actual reason this issue is bad is because of the art and the formatting of the characters on the panels. This is not only the wonkiest I feel these characters have looked but in a few cases, the perspective of the panels was so strange, it was hard to read. It's a shame because, when they're drawn correctly, the backgrounds at least look pretty good. I wish the characters matched a bit more but this style is not only sharper and edgier it's also stiffer and weirder.

Middle numbered dramatic Sonic comics having questionable artwork? That's...not to out of the norm, really.

Unfortunately.

Quote

The issue begins with Sonic, Antione, and Tails on a mission, invading Robotropolis while it's raining. There's a very sinister purple sheen used that sets the mood and makes it look cool. I got distracted from it when Sonic shows up with Jay Leno Chin Syndrome. He's cured of it the next time he shows up though but that begins to highlight one of the other problems with the art; it's inconsistency. One panel, he'll look smooth, the next he won't. Size changes are really hard to get a handle on too. Sometimes it's just a matter of borked perspective, but that's still an issue.

Sonic calls Antoine and Tails slow when they catch up to him. 

Sonic: What took you guys so long? Yuk! Yuk!
Antione: Very Funnee!

I didn't embellish those lines in anyway. That's exactly how it's written in the book. 

Anyway, they get ambushed by, gasp, Combots. This surprises Sonic because he "thought they were all destroyed!"

Well, yes. Fortunately, Dr. Robotnik had a brilliant idea after they were all destroyed. He just made more.

Oh no.

They fired a blast that saw Tails grabbing Antoine and taking to the skies with him. It was in this panel that I noticed Tails' nose was blue. I thought to myself that this must have just been a single coloring error but nope. Apparently whoever was coloring this just didn't know the color of Tails' nose or intended on coloring it blue because it was blue in the panels before and it remains blue in all the panels after. Except for in the extra story at the end of the issue. Which is strange because the person coloring for the first story also has a hand in the last story. Whatever! Tails' nose is blue for the duration of THIS story for whatever reason. He's Tony Tony Chopper now.

Oh dear.

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I'm only 3 pages in and so much is wrong. I'm sorry to keep stopping but I have to, yet again, in order to showcase what I mean when I say the perspective is fucked. Look at this image.

image.png.6240d373acfd2b64b5e27dcc9636997e.pngOkay, so what's happening in this image is supposed to be that Sonic is hopping over the Combot in front of him to presumably get to the one behind it. The one behind it is supposed to be shooting upwards at Tails and Antoine as the fox is carrying him in the sky. However, when I first looked at this panel I got significantly confused because the second robot's back is drawn at a downward angle. It's hard to see it at this size but in the book it's drawn to look as though you're looking at it from above while it's shooting ahead. It doesn't look like it's positioned directly behind the other robot. As such, the wavy purple background looks more like the ocean, or the floor. It looked a bit like he was shooting eye beams at the floor... but no, the two shadows are there and they say that Tails is actually in the sky. It also doesn't help that they're floating right above the shadow of another Combot who isn't angled downward but is instead angled straight ahead. My eyes adjusted and eventually I understood what was supposed to be happening but it was really odd.

.Oooh...it's THAT artist! Okay.

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Tails eventually just drops Antoine like an asshole after Sonic shouts at him to use Maneuver S-461. Tails renders the point of naming the maneuver useless by flat out saying what it is by calling it the "Atomic Drop". So he drops Antoine on the Combot. Sonic kicks it. Then the next panel it explodes. I thought it was weird that it did that but then Sonic mentioned he was going to let the Combot's buddy destroy it. I then looked at the two panels again and both of them had a robot in the back pointing a missile cannon at it that wasn't emphasized well enough for me to spot. Again, I had to do a double take before I realized what had happened. Sonic had kicked the robot into the other robot's launched missile. Okay.

Wait...then what was the point of dropping Antoine?

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Then the battle rages on and we get a strange, random number of boxes where there's suddenly a narrator. "As the Storm and Battle rages on... Mother Nature miraculously responds to the summons... but whose side is she really on?!"  The ellipsis separate the three panels this narration was used in. This is the second issue in the row to talk about Mother Nature too. Sonic says he was going to have to give her a kiss last issue for summoning a random Earthquake that destroyed Robotropolis. Here though, Mother Nature sends a lightning bolt down to strike a Combot that explodes right in Sonic's face. The explosion is different because it's all red and glowy now though.Again the perspective is weird because it looks like Sonic is being blown back while also super close to Tails. I think it's supposed to imply that Sonic is actually further ahead than Tails but it honestly just looks like Tails is way bigger than him in this panel.

Oh yeah, this comic loved it's poetic narrations.

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Anyway, it knocks Sonic the fuck out (as this comic loves to do, thankfully) and Tails flies off to get help, making the worst face ever.

Also, there's a weird green leaf... on his head? Or it's supposed to be apart of the ground but it goes OFF-panel for some reason and it's shaped differently from everything else? I think it's supposed to be apart of the ground but it's shaped differently and looks really weird. Also, Blue-Nosed Tails.

image.png.dd3a4c3b6a185a1b5cd5ecbf62fdbf82.png

HNNNNGHH~!

Seriously what is that green leaf looking thing? If it's supposed to be apart of the ground why is it going off panel and why it specifically shaped that way? Who drew this?

I think someone got to this by now, but I think it's just his tails except miscolored.

And yes, he looks Ren and Stimpy-ish.

On 6/18/2019 at 11:44 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, it knocks Sonic the fuck out (as this comic loves to do, thankfully) and Tails flies off to get help, making the worst face ever.

Sonic is seeing stars when the other Freedom Fighters come to help. He then sees more stars when he angrily tries to go after Robotnik and immediately trips and smashes his chin on the ground.

image.png.92d191793c3a58289c6b67eca6aaa831.png

So, Sonic is seeing stars again and then proceeds to run off again. Bunnie is running after him and catches up easily. I get confused because, again, the perspective isn't quite right. I know that Bunnie is supposed to be next to Sonic but they're not that far apart so in this panel it just looks like she's fucking huge.

image.png.b13e842450eedcca4de1730cae5eab79.png

Why is he so tiny?!

Gee, these stories sure loved to beat Sonic up. 

Oh my goodness, her mouth. And I see she's a left hander.

On 6/18/2019 at 11:44 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

Well, anyway, Sonic is running and Bunnie caught up to him so Sonic is surprised she has super speed. Bunnie says she doesn't. Sonic has lost his speed! Oh noes!

Sonic realizes this while doing another ugly face. While Sonic is bemoaning the fact that he's not even fast enough to swat a mosquito flying around him, Rotor proceeds to lay out what happened in probably the biggest spew of bullshit techo-drool that I've read yet as far as this comic is concerned.

image.png.8aaa1a5ffa7b04a1bea7e9955e2c4e03.png

Did you get all that?Good. It doesn't matter because it's complete, utter dreck. Sonic gets mad at Rotor for saying all this, which showcases his first shift into asshole territory this issue.

You know, I almost didn't see that Part 1 bubble with Tails, so I thought this was what the issue was really about.

Were the Combots explicitly supposed to be running on some sort of unique powersource?

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He responds to Rotor by gritting his teeth, angrily, and with a storm cloud over his head says, "Y'know, if I had two brains, you'd be dangerous!"

Which... I don't understand? I don't get what it was he was saying there. It... sounded like a threat? I guess? Sally treats it like one when she's like "Sonic! He's just trying to help!"

I get that they're going for the whole thing where the hero snaps because he's in a bad place because he lost something important to him but Rotor offering an explanation as to why it happened and Sonic getting mad at him for it seems a little too simple of a trigger. Also, what he said to snap at Rotor makes no sense. Like, am I missing something? If I had two brains you'd be dangerous? What does that mean?

Oh, it's a threat. Just not one that makes any sense beyond being a weird idiom or reference. Idk.

 

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Sonic says that his speed has been with him since he was a child (we're shown a picture of baby Sonic sucking on a bottle, wearing a shirt that says "I'm cool") and he laments that it was also one of the best weapons against Robotnik. He doesn't say sorry to Rotor by the way. Anyway, they go to try and take care of this anyway and head into the woods. There they get ambushed by Combots who were using cloaking devices to make themselves invisible. I assume they can't do that and fight at the same time otherwise, what even? They decide to stop being invisible to attack the Freedom Fighters so I'm going to assume that's the case. The ambush works and they knock out everyone with knockout gas and kart them all away. Sonic ends up diving into a nearby lake to escape an explosion but... he can't swim so he's borked.

Oh my goodness.

But yeah, probably.

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He's than saved by a purple duck, a pig, a porcupine, and a very realistic looking armadillo. I know these guys as members of the council that gets formed later but here they're trainees who worked for Sally. Only now, I guess, they're full fledged Freedom Fighters. That pig I know is named Hamlin and boy... he's going places, that one...I'm not bothered by the fact that they showed up out of nowhere because it's explained that they've got their own network of people monitoring what's going on. They plan an attack out in an abandoned shack outside of Robotropolis and thanks to a dude who looks like a giant bug superhero, manage to sneak into the city. They also plan to fix Sonic's speed by making sure he gets his hands on enough golden rings. They power him up so I guess they assume that if he gets enough it'll return his speed... yeah, sure. Why not?

I was about to say, I'm reading this like, "Da foq are you talking about?" But yeah, that' the Substitute Freedom Fighters Penelope Platypus, Hamlin Pig, Dylin the Porcupine, and Arlo the Armadillo.

Oh hey, that sounds  like Fly Fly Freddy! Oh no, that sounds like Fly Fly Freddy....

I mean, this is based on SatAM.

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While they're scaling a skyscraper together, Sonic falls off and is grabbed by the Porcupine. Without his speed, he's basically useless. Sonic proceeds to be humble and kind and thank the porcupine for saving his life... except no he doesn't. He does the opposite of that. The porcupine says that hedgehogs and porcupines are related so he wouldn't want to lose a family member. Sonic growls at him and says "You're no cousin of mine, PORKY!" which also makes no sense as an insult. He was saved by the porcupine, not the pig.Anyway, this makes the porcupine a bit sad and the duck tells them to not fight while they crawl through some vents. Except they weren't fighting. Sonic was just being an asshole for no reason. He gets his life saved by this dude and his response is to shout at him. He also never thanks him. What a dick.

Oh shoot, I remember this issue now! For that scene specifically.

Quote

So they reach Robotnik's main room and surprise, surprise, he was wise to them the whole time. We see him there, looking the largest he's probably ever looked so far with the Freedom Fighters still alive and in glass tubes for reasons that are never explained. He must want them dead because he tells the Combots to destroy them. Through the coarse of this fight Sonic manages to get three rings and suddenly, I guess, he's got his speed back...? I think? Sonic says he does but this isn't emphasized by anything. Not really. He grabs the third ring, kicks the Combots off him, and spins around so that they get destroyed. I suppose that's the moment where you realize he's got his power back but I feel like something else could have been done to make that more clear. It just goes by so fast and with so little fanfare. You'd think they'd make a bigger deal about it. 

Also, all the combots just immediately get eviscerated when this happens and the fight's over. Just like that.

Then the WEIRDEST thing happens in terms of paneling when Robotnik decides to escape and blow the place up. He does it so casually, it's almost cool, but it's strange because again, it happens so incredibly fast. The book clearly isn't interested in this plot anymore. It's doing it's damnedest to wrap up. 

Robotnik basically spews a ton of dribble from his mouth in the span of two panels while he's escaping into the floor with Snively, "Oh you've destroyed my combots, what a pity. Anyway, I'm leaving now but just so you don't take any of my shit I'm gonna blow the place up. I'm suddenly a sporting man (his words) so I'm giving you a 60 second head start. Bye~!"

The next panel underneath these two panels is just a panel saying "KA-BOOM!"

The final panel underneath that panel is everyone suddenly outside overlooking the city with Sonic asking if everyone made it out. There's no wrap up to the story. It just ends with Sonic saying he'll get that dang ol' wabbit Robotnik.

A very badly drawn and structured issue with a so-so plot that was rushed to hell at the end. I have a feeling this comic felt like it was severely on its last legs here.

Sonic Spinball wut?

Hey, you see what the issue has been thus far.

It could be them invoking how cultured he initially portrayed himself.

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Issue #38 - Bedtime Tails

The second story of this issue was cute. It also isn't drawn very well but at the very least it retains a more consistent style. Sonic is sick in bed and Tails, now that he has a captive audience (his words) decides to read Sonic his shitty fan comic.

Okay, that's funny.

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It's a story where Tails blatantly rips off the Fantastic Four by saying the Freedom Fighters got hit by galactic rays while in space. They wear blue space outfits that say "FF" on them for Freedom Fighter when it looks exactly like the Fantastic Four outfits. Also, Sonic's spines look hella weird. 

Oh shit, is this the one with Hawk Hawk?

Quote

There's a cute moment where Tails says the heroes crashed their ship and Sonic, being a critic, wonders how they all lived. Tails says you gotta take somethings on blind faith which... I mean, sure. Surviving a ship crash is the least implausible of what happens in your own book Sonic.

Robotnicus (parady of Galactus) comes down from on high and says he's gonna eat the planet. The Freedom Fighters say no he ain't. Sonic buys a bunch of "Twinkles" (cause we can't say Twinkies) and feeds them to this villain. He than leaves in defeat saying "Curse you Freedom Fighters, you've spoiled my appetite and given me an ache in my tum tum!"

Tails finishes his story and Sonic is asleep by the end of it. Tails assumes he fell asleep cause he's sick and not bored. 

The next day, Sonic is fine but Tails is the one sick in bed. So Sonic hurriedly prints out a comic where he and Tails are dressed as Batman and Robin and says he's gonna read it to him, to which Tails groans at. What a hypocrite.

Oh-hohoho-man! :joy:

Don't you mean Robolactus, btw? And where's Silver Snively?

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So, this issue was... um... 

I would have liked to have seen this had it been drawn better, structured better, and paced better. There are issues with the writing too but those don't go beyond the typical haphazard writing of the book at the time. It's really not that bad when it comes to that despite significant hiccups here or there (like ubber asshole Sonic and his insults that don't make any sense) but the majority of the issues here really does come down to it's failings as a visual medium. 

I did been like that sometimes.

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That's kind of odd. If it was a Roboticizer than it might help to refer it as that instead of calling it a De-Roboticizer as though it's a different device. 

However, the thing in the spoiler tag does make sense. At least when it comes to writing a story that was meant to continue. As it stands, it feels obvious this was supposed to be the resolution to the Roboticized mobians plot. I did in fact forget that Sonic's parents become a thing later and I didn't know how, why, and when. That'll be interesting to see.

Ah yes, Brave New World.

Oh and you'll be seeing that Roboticizer point soon enough, iirc.

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6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It’s hitting me hard just how amazing it feels to think about how I’d actually, probably, be at Issue 50 and beyond by now if this comic wasn't so obsessed with putting out special issues every 3 issues or so. Apparently, there’s like 15 of these Sonic Super Special issues too which just floors me a bit. Although, apparently, not all of them are necessary to read. This one is though.

I have mixed feelings on the Sonic Super Specials. I do like the fact they are properly numbering them. Before this issue, there are 8 Specials, each being a unique issue #1. Now they are numbered, which was probably a godsend for the fans back in day without any internet who wanted to try and collect all the Archie comics. Not to mention for us today when we can look at a list of Archie issues online.

I do think it is worth noting that for near 3 years, Archie would run Sonic the Hedgehog, Knuckles the Echidna, and a Sonic Super Special every quarter. The only time that output would be matched would be the brief year when Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Universe, and Sonic Boom were running. I mean, I think it shows the success Archie was having with the comic, even if you could attribute some of it to the Sonic mania of the 90s.

But yeah, alot of these Super Specials aren't great. You get the feeling that after a point, it seemed like an obligation for the writers who were probably putting their energy into the 2 main books, and just using random ideas for the Specials. They really go all over the place, with a few tying directly into the main book. The last one, #15, is especially bad for how lazily written it is and how it feels like they had no ideas for it.

But hey, once you hit somewhere around issue #80, you've basically got nothing but normal issues until around #155 when Sonic X starts. And if you decide to skip Sonic X (which would be understandable, since it has nothing to do with the Archieverse, with only a tie-in happening in the last issue, #40, which ties into Sonic Universe), you would have up to around issue #195.

Personally, I look forward to the day you start doing the Knuckles books, and Ken Penders in all his glory.

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A little trip to the future for a bit. I just read the Free Comic Book Day issue of an Archie Sonic comic called Sonic Comic Origins. It wasn't anything too special. Just talked about Sally and Rotor's history. Rotor's backstory I found more cute and interesting than Sally's but you know by now how I feel about Sally most likely. 

What I didn't realize, until things were suddenly upside down and Mega Man focused, was that half the comic was Sonic and the other half was an origin story for Mega Man X. 

I don't know too much about Mega Man and I knew next to nothing about Mega Man X so I read it and...BOY, it's WAY more interesting than the Sonic part of this book. Dr. Cain finding this hidden lab, the Reploids, the Mavericks, the Maverick Hunters, Sigma... all of it was so interesting. I wish I had gotten into the Mega Man comics a lot sooner than... 4 issues before they got cancelled. I still need to track down the earlier issues too but damn. 

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2 hours ago, Dr. Franken-Mike said:

I don't know too much about Mega Man and I knew next to nothing about Mega Man X so I read it and...BOY, it's WAY more interesting than the Sonic part of this book. Dr. Cain finding this hidden lab, the Reploids, the Mavericks, the Maverick Hunters, Sigma... all of it was so interesting. I wish I had gotten into the Mega Man comics a lot sooner than... 4 issues before they got cancelled. I still need to track down the earlier issues too but damn.  

Probably worth mentioning but while the Mega Man X sub-series gets a little screentime in the Mega Man comics, the comics are very much focused on classic Mega Man. The comics are really good though, with interesting writing and great art throughout.

Mega Man X was always intended to be story heavy. Classic Mega Man started as an 8-bit game, back when stories didn't really matter. X started on the SNES, so was a sub-series introduced with more plot and more '90s edginess. X4 has proper anime cutscene and an infamous English dub. X4 starts with an entire city being destroyed, and a robot war insurrection over it. X6 begins with Earth having barely survived a doomsday event caused by the events of X5. When they released a PSP remake of X1, it also came with a half hour anime film called "Day of Sigma", which is a retelling/retcon of the beginning of the X series. That film is also available as an extra on the Mega Man Legacy Collections.

While classic Mega Man has stuck with a kid friendly aesthetic, X was always the more darker and mature Mega Man sub-series. Hence why so many fans want an X9. I actually recommend SomeCallMeJohnny's reviews of the X series if you are curious, he covers the plots of the games as well as the gameplay. (Not to mention he's always reviewed a ton of Sonic games too, and is a Sonic fan.)

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14 hours ago, Silvereyes said:

Probably worth mentioning but while the Mega Man X sub-series gets a little screentime in the Mega Man comics, the comics are very much focused on classic Mega Man. The comics are really good though, with interesting writing and great art throughout.

Mega Man X was always intended to be story heavy. Classic Mega Man started as an 8-bit game, back when stories didn't really matter. X started on the SNES, so was a sub-series introduced with more plot and more '90s edginess. X4 has proper anime cutscene and an infamous English dub. X4 starts with an entire city being destroyed, and a robot war insurrection over it. X6 begins with Earth having barely survived a doomsday event caused by the events of X5. When they released a PSP remake of X1, it also came with a half hour anime film called "Day of Sigma", which is a retelling/retcon of the beginning of the X series. That film is also available as an extra on the Mega Man Legacy Collections.

While classic Mega Man has stuck with a kid friendly aesthetic, X was always the more darker and mature Mega Man sub-series. Hence why so many fans want an X9. I actually recommend SomeCallMeJohnny's reviews of the X series if you are curious, he covers the plots of the games as well as the gameplay. (Not to mention he's always reviewed a ton of Sonic games too, and is a Sonic fan.)

I'm aware of all of this actually. Thanks for trying to help though. 

 

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Archie Sonic: Issue #47 - ENDGAME Part 1 of 4

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Yeah, I bet what I’m about to read will be JUST as good as that. Surely.

It’s finally arrived.

We’re finally here.

We’re in the Endgame now. The finale to the Sonic comics that wasn’t actually the finale but a prelude to the events brought upon by Ken Penders going absolutely, butt-fuck insane and losing his goddamn mind all over the page. Seeing as how the Archie comics aren’t a thing anymore, I for one can not wait to see how spectacularly awful things are about to get. 

There are plenty of story arc names that get brought up over the years, consistently and for different reasons. Darkest Storm, Champions, Countdown to Chaos, Iron Dominion, Eggman’s Dozen, House of Cards (BLEGH), Enerjak Reborn, etc. However, I feel the one that I’ve been the most curious about has to be this one. If only because it’s literally the only story arc that’s ever talked about with any real importance from before the triple digit issues. The fact that it was the only arc I was aware of before Issue 160 speaks volumes.

I heard it was awful.

Judging by the cover, another thing I heard is already being confirmed true too. So, apparently, Sally fucking dies… or was supposed to die according to Ken Penders. This cover seems to be Sally catching the disease that most Disney villains succumb to near the end of the film; Falling-From-Somewhere-Really-High-Up-Itis. 

The finer details about the three main things I know about this story allude me though. It’s time I dived in and soaked in the spectacularly bad juices of the infamous… ENDGAME!

… Okay, so first of all, the passage that starts the book off reads “It is the year 3235 on the planet Mobius-” and I want to exclaim something in disbelief so badly right now but I can’t because I have no idea what a 2019 on Mobius would look like. Is that the time Mobi the Caveman is from? Holy shit dude.

Anyway, this passage does a fairly good job of setting the mood for what’s about to happen, considering it was supposed to be the last story they ever did. It states that this war that began right after another war had concluded (this planet sucks almost as badly as ours does) and that it has entered its 11th year. Goodness me. 

They straight up say it’s the final battle. I can recall another instance down the line where this is uttered yet again and, just like then, it also wasn’t the final battle.

For you see, finales can only be abrupt and inconclusive in the realm of Sonic comics. Plan an ending and it WILL continue.

Sonic and Sally are spying on an Eggman tower together and right off the bat, I have to say that I really like the way the art is this time. Bouncy and cartoonish but still mature and has some grit all around it as far as the backgrounds are concerned. It’s a nice fit.

As for the odd couple, they exchange the typical banter between one another. “I can’t wait to kick some Ro-Butt-nik” and “I can’t wait to bomb some dodongos” abound. He grapples Sally over to the building and we zoom out to see Lupe, Drago, and the Wolf Pack spying on the proceedings. 

Lupe is feeling great about this. Drago isn’t because he’s the obvious traitor because he’d feel better if the wolf pack were doing it instead of the hero of the story. Lupe tells him to fuck off.

We then cut to the first logic blunder of the story. Antoine, Bunnie, Rotor, Tails, and everyone’s favorite super-star, Dr. Quack are here. Already I’m confused.

Dr. Quack correctly points out that he shouldn’t be here because he’s a doctor, not a Star Trek reference. Antoine responds, rather coldly, that he’s here because he was ORDERED to be there by their incompetent leader in case anything goes wrong.

Yeah, like if a bomb goes off and their best doctor gets blowed up.

A basic tenet of doctors in war-zones is that, well, one they’re not just standing out in the open right next to the fucking soldiers but two, there is often limited access to medical resources to even provide treatment. So unless that disk on his head doubles as a magic wand, I don’t see what you realistically expect him to do. 

Antoine tells the Wolf Pack that they’re not to move in until they get the signal, in what seemed like a practical, rationally stern dialogue bubble. Lupe gave a natural response to it too. Apparently it wasn’t though because THIS is when Bunnie and Tails decide to tell Antoine to calm his tits. 

Back on the Pinnacle building with Sonic and Sally, Sally looks like she’s dizzy so Sonic rightly asks if she’s okay. Sally says she is, which is a clear and obvious lie, and then starts to recount how the campfire and everything afterward just led to more questions than answers.

Like the world’s shittest game of Jeopardy.

After Rosy came and informed her that her dad was done trying to fulfill his dream of being the green Chaos Emerald, Sally spoke to him in what has to be the strangest reunion conversation ever.

The first thing this dude asks is about his their regal status. Then he immediately just accuses Sonic the Hedgehog of being the traitor, slamming his fist onto the desk to emphasize it, while also stating that HOW he recovered is on a need to know basis (and yet Sally is the highest ranking person around aside from him) and doesn’t utter a word of thanks to her for her troubles.

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Look at Sally’s shocked face when he says it’s Sonic. She looks like he just told her something crawled into her pants.

Just kidding. She’s naked. Whatever it is, it’s already all up in there sweetie.

So, this couldn’t be anymore shady if you blocked out the sun and strung up a planet wide tent over the Earth’s surface. I guess I can’t blame her for thinking he’d wake up and immediately be concerned with his status and shift towards blaming her childhood friend for treachery. Seems like something he would do. 

Sally, to her credit, doesn’t buy it. She’s more saddened by the fact that her daddy would say such a thing. While she ponders this, Sonic tells her to get the lead out. Sally is the one that says the “Do it, to it” line, which is basically the equivalent to her signing her death warrant.

Inside the base, Robotnik and Snively are watching Sally and Sonic scale the wall… 

… Immediately, the problems with having this be a stealth mission ushered in by a team of resistance fighters INSTEAD of just Sonic and Tails blowing the place apart rears its ugly head again. Robonik being able to easily spot Sonic if he were doing something purposefully destructive makes sense. What’s being portrayed in this comic is supposed to be some sort of covert operation that they planned out? They swung to the building and then immediately started climbing it and got spotted instantly?

When Robotnik spots them, he says this horrible line. “If I were a nice guy, I wouldn’t do what I’m about to do… but I’m NOT a nice guy.” 

It’s such a shit line but I’ll forgive it because he’s Robotnik and he’s not long for this world.

Anyway, he presses a button and guns come out of the wall underneath Sally and are pointed right at her ass. Fucking whoops.

This same thing happens again in a future issue. Sally’s just the easiest of targets. 

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Seriously coach. Keep Sally on the bench.

So Sally’s being shot at and while everyone except Rotor is freaking out, Rotor is excited because this means he gets to use his giant fucking gun that he loves so much! He’s so happy he gets to blow shit up the murican way. You’d hardly believe this is the same guy that, down the line, Ken is going to have say to Fiona Fox that guns aren’t the way Freedom Fighters do things… only for Ian to have the character later reflect on that as a moment of hypocrisy. It’s so meta.

Rotor fires a blast at the building. It misses Sally and blows the guns up right by her. Antoine is still worried until, of course, he sees Sonic the Hedgehog. He even does that weird thing where characters unnaturally say Sonic’s full name as though they’re saying the title of the book. That is in part why the next scene is so hilarious.

This is the funniest moment of the entire run of Archie comics right here. I never would have thought that the height of comedic set-up and follow-through would be the part where Sonic the Hedgehog MURDERS SALLY ACORN.

I want to set the scene here. Imagine the Sonic and Knuckles title screen music playing as Antoine happily proclaims “LOOK! It’s SONIC THE HEDGEHOG!” and then Sonic, our glorious hero shows up… only for him, with a big heroic, Mickey Mouse smile on his face, to cut the rope holding up Sally Acorn and delight in watching her fall to her death. 

Then Sally makes the death sound when she splats the Earth and the game over music plays as our heroic murderer winks and gives a thumbs up to the camera before running away so that he can avoid serving time in prison. 

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I’m not even joking. The thing that kills me is the nonchalant manner in which he’s doing it with a smile on his face.

Anyway, Sally falls. The next page is just panels of her hitting terminal velocity as she falls and falls. She rips through a cloth banner of some kind but that’s of very little help. She smacks against the ground with a hard thud. 

No dialogue. Not even any sound effects. Just pure silence. It’s actually fairly effective.

Bunnie tries to go in but is fired at by an unknown assailant. That also happens to be the moment Drago, Lupe, and the other Ewoks rush in to blow some robots up. Bunnie goes to Sally and calls her Princess Sob… oh no, wait. She’s crying… she says “Princess” and then sob is written there to simulate crying… 

I dunno. It’s funnier thinking that she called her Princess Sob.

Meanwhile, Sonic is confronting Robotnik, telling him that he’s fat and also shit. Robotnik fires a bunch of lasers at him and then escapes into the floor with Snively, going on about how his reality is about to go bye-bye. Sonic grabs a mirror and uses it to reflect the laser blasts from the cannons back at them. It’s only just then does he realize Sally’s not here.

Then he goes, “Oh THAT’S right, I just killed her. Cut her rope and watched her go splat against the pavement. Silly me.”

Anyway, while Sonic basks in the afterglow of his delightfully easy murder, Robotnik, after having taken his slide down to the next room (something in which Snively comments makes no practical sense versus a simple elevator) the Lord of Lard then presses a button that blows up the command center Sonic is still inside of.

It’s a good day for Robotnik. He’s so happy at the thought of taking two of them out. It’s great.

“Tense Minutes Later” (actual words in the book) we see everyone gathered round a dead squirrel in the road. They all casually walk around it and go about their day.

Oh wait, no. Dr. Quack is tending to it. My mistake.

Dr. Quack shouts at Bunnie to step aside and let him do his job even though, in the panel, she’s nowhere near him and the only thing she said was, “Doctor, is she-?”

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Thank you doctor. Truly it was worth risking you being on the war zone so you could tell them to bring her back to Knothole where you would have been anyway. I’m sure contacting you via a phone or walkie-talkie so that you could prepare for her arrival instead of hastily doing it on your way back is a much bet-why the fuck is he AT the war zone???

The Swat Bots come out and start shooting the place up. Better hope they don’t blow the head off our best doctor. That would suck, wouldn’t it? Everyone in the wolf pack provides coverfire while the Freedom Fighters struggle to get Sally on the plane and back home.

Antoine says he should have stayed back to fight. Rotor points out who would fly the plane if he did. Antoine says good point. I then think back on how Rotor once rode Southwest Airlines into Robotropolis to pick everyone up but I guess, now, the genius mechanic only knows how to operate guns and not bi-planes. That’s cool.

Tails brings up that they're missing someone. No one responds. He then asks about Sonic’s whereabouts. No one responds AND they take off in the plane. Then Sonic arrives right below them saying “Hey! Just got back from killing Sally. Where you guys going?”

He’s wondering why they would just leave him behind like that… unless, him murdering Sally was something that upset them. But nah. Why would that bother them? Murder is his favorite past time. They know that already.

We cut back to Robotnik who is having the time of his life. Boy howdy. I gotta be honest, how excited he is to see this go down is rubbing off on me. His underground transit, that he very much acts as though the majority of it surviving the explosion was a stroke of luck, carries Snively and him to Robotropolis South. He asks for a drink, pulls up a seat, and then presses play on the greatest show of his or anyone’s lifetime.

I am of course talking about the part where everyone in Knothole turns to Sonic as the one responsible for Sally’s death.

We cut to everyone outside the room, waiting for the Doc’s diagnosis. Rotor says that they’ll just have to hope that no news is good news. Then the doc shows himself and like a snazzy contestant at a game show, Rotor asks “Well doc-?”

Then this-

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Now, the doctor is supposed to be shaking his head here. You can tell by the movement lines at either side of his head. However, take those away and it looks more like he squinted his eyes shut at them and that was the signal they needed to know she was done for.

Tails cutely and solemnly hugs Rosy. Antoine and Bunnie begin leaking from their eyes. Rotor looks like he just took a big ol’ walrus dump on the wood paneling. It’s awful.

Sonic, like a guy late to the funeral of the person he just killed, runs into the room demanding to know why they left him alone with his fresh kill. That’s when Geoffrey shows up and says Sonic is under arrest for the crimes of high treason and murder. 

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I love how HORRIFIED Tails looks in that panel. The fact that he’s saying something as old timey cartoony as “Say it ain’t so” adds icing to the cake. It’s just a perfect scene.

It’s also cute that Tails thinks Sonic saying it ain’t so would mean anything when he clearly saw Sonic, delightfully and happily, cutting the rope that attached Sally to her precious life. 

Sonic demands that Tails spit out what’s happening. Geoffrey finally tells him that he murdered the princess.

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That’s the look of a man whose surprised that they also didn’t want her murdered. What the hell man? What’s the world coming too when you can’t murder a princess without the blessing of your buds? Sheesh.

And despite this serious situation, these expressions are just screaming Nickelodeon cartoon. I especially like how, as Sonic is being arrested with that dumb look on his face, Tails has a look that’s just like “Oh, well, I guess this is happening now.”

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We cut to Drago who walks in on Hershey and fixes himself a drink, cackling maniacally about the obviously evil thing he must have just done cause he’s obviously the traitor. Hershey is very wide-eyed and open mouthed about seeing Drago and that’s all I can say about that.

This is the first time I’ve read an issue with the allustrious Hershey in it. I only recall her being talked about at the trial of Geoffrey St. John way down the line. There was a lot of issues that came about as a result of this character. Unresolved plot lines and Ken Penders thinking she got shoved into a fridge when actuality, Ian was saving the surprise that she was alive for a later date. Ironically, Ken's lawsuit was the thing that kept Hershey from being revealed as alive. Good times.

Anyway, the sun is setting and the king, very NOT distraught about the loss of his supposed daughter, decrees that the prisoner be let in. Sonic the Murderer is then brought before the supposedly grieving village. 

The king says he has no malice despite the death being personal. He pointlessly asks how Sonic pleads to the murder of Sally. Sonic, of course, says he didn’t do it. The king doesn’t bother having a fucking trial and says that for Sonic’s excellent service, he’s not getting the death penalty but is being sentenced to life imprisonment inside a place called the Devil’s Gulag.

I swear. This “How do you plead” thing is increasingly made to look stupid. The king even says “I knew you’d say that” when Sonic says he’s innocent. Don’t ask him how he pleads if you already know what he’s going to say AND plan on ignoring him and doing whatever the fuck you want anyway you… WEIRD squirrel person!

Anyway, Robotnik’s laughing at this because he thinks it’s funny. Sally is dead, Sonic’s taking the blame, and he’s going to be spending the rest of his life rotting in the Devil’s Gulag. The end.

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I gotta be honest, despite how infamous this story is for being bad, I enjoyed the hell out of this first issue. It’s got the perfect set-up and the perfect hook. I’m all about the part where Sally dies and Sonic has to be stuck in prison forever.

I’d like to see a years later arc about that. Sonic’s just in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and Sally’s gone. Meanwhile, without him, Robotnik’s just gotten worse. Honestly, life imprisonment is a fate worse than death no matter where it is. Having it in a place called the Devil’s Gulag has got to be worse than ketchup on pancakes. 

I kind of want to stop here and just have that be my ending. After all, Sonic totally enjoyed killing her. He was so cute and happy when he did it too. 

Maybe one day his friends will learn to appreciate the joy of killing, like your old pal, Sonic the Murderer does.

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22 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

And despite this serious situation, these expressions are just screaming Nickelodeon cartoon.

Art Mawhinney worked as a storyboard artist for Rugrats IIRC. Probably why.

23 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Yeah, like if a bomb goes off and their best doctor gets blowed up.

FUNNY YOU SHOULD SAY THAT BECAUSE

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41 minutes ago, Mythical Panda said:

FUNNY YOU SHOULD SAY THAT BECAUSE

Since I missed a good 40 issues or so between 125 and 177, I was legit confused why Quack had an eyepatch when I started reading again but didn't actually care enough about him as a character to see why. lol

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Archie Sonic: Issue #48 - ENDGAME Part 2 of 4

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Before we go into the story of this issue, I really want to make something clear. 

Ken Penders is terrible. I can’t speak on anything about the man in his personal life (though it does often feel like I can because he puts so much of his thoughts and feelings into the concepts and “themes” explored in this book) but with regards to everything I know about these comics and the way he’s choked the life out all that could have been good about them, he’s a horrid creator and the comic’s survival despite his influence goes to show just how strong the legs of the Sonic series is and was.

I spoke little on the issue of Sally’s treatment in the book last issue because, as I’ve never failed to make known, I care very little for her character. I really don’t have a problem with the idea of her being killed off in and of itself. However, sitting back and looking over what just happened and everything that led up to what happened, as well as the added knowledge that at the time of this book’s publication, this actually WAS intended to be the ACTUAL death of Sally Acorn… I’ve felt a rainfall of disgust wash over me.

Throughout these books, Sally has been portrayed as first, a nag and a bossy character who waved her lineage around like a pompous weirdo, to someone who allegedly lead a team of heroes but was so useless and out of the way that often things got done without her, to eventually just being killed off. 

When she wasn’t being useless and contributing nothing, she was being fought over by Sonic and a college-age skunk who macked on her, seemingly against her will. Her tenure as a prize to be won is not something that’s ever been downplayed. 

I remember giving the death scene in the last issue a bit more clout than it deserved but that’s only because I was approaching it with the knowledge that Sally was going to be okay. The factoid that this was literally, originally, supposed to be the way Sally went out isn’t something I was made aware of. The fact that her death is so hilarious and instant is one thing but coupled with how she doesn’t go out actually having a chance to do anything while also proving to be extremely easy to kill just ramps up how little Penders seems to like or care about this character as well.

Now, I understand that there’s going to be some inherent bias when it comes to characters and the way they’re often treated by the author. However, I’m trying to imagine myself being this openly unapologetic about making a show of her stance as the busted trophy she is in this book.

This story isn’t even about her despite the fact that she’s dead. It’s about how much this affects Sonic now that he’s being blamed for it. 

So already I’m going into this second issue with a much lower opinion of the story than I had previously. Knowing the original plan was to have this be Robotnik’s death hasn’t yet affected me because I haven’t seen how he is supposed to die yet. However, knowing now that this legit was supposed to be the way Sally died has gotten me feeling a bit uncomfortable.

I don’t even like Sally’s character and I feel like she’s been done dirty.

All that said, this is an awesome cover. The easiest way to my heart is to promise stories of heroes in peril in ways that break the status quo and have them targeted by the things they were once loved and emotionally supported by. I just wish it was in service of a story by a writer I respected.

Anyway, we open the issue with Geoffrey escorting Sonic to the Devil’s Gulag. He mentions that it hasn’t been active since the great war which either means it’s so rundown that it’s dangerous or it’s so old that it’ll probably be extremely easy to break out of. On the way there, the much older guy takes time out of escorting Sonic to punch him in the gut.

Uncle Chuck stops this abuse and has him put onto the plane. All Antoine cares about is making sure the brutes driving the plane don’t scratch it. Sonic actually calls back at Antoine, asking if that really is the thing he cares most about right now. I’ll be honest, I feel no sympathy for Sonic here and its conflicting struggling to understand why.

 It might be because he’s been in a similar situation before where, for no reason, they blamed something that Fang the Sniper did on Sonic despite the obvious proof of Fang’s absence in the jail cell lending credibility to his story. There’s also the fact that Antoine was doing everything in his power to get Sonic convicted. The fact that Antoine doesn’t care about Sonic being sentenced isn’t inconsistent.

What is a little strange is how un-emotionally broken by Sally’s death Antoine is. Didn’t he have a crush on her once upon a time?

Geoffrey says that hopefully this’ll be the last time they see Sonic the Hedgehog which is a line he delivers with such anger on his face that it makes me wonder if Ken wanted people to hate Geoffrey or something. That can’t be the case though. I know better.

We cut to Sonic’s friends who are going through the motions of emotional turmoil. Tails asks how his best friend could have done it. Uncle Chuck says “He didn’t.” Antoine and Bunnie insist they saw him do it. Rotor asks why. Uncle Chuck reiterates, “He didn’t!” and Rosy says to remember that not everything is as it seems.

Uncle Chuck constantly saying “He didn’t!” over and over makes me wonder… how much more interesting would this be if he actually did? I guess that’s what fan comics and stories are for though.

On his way over, Sonic contemplates how this happened. Apparently the mission they were on was something ordered from Sally’s dad, who was supposedly still transforming into a beautiful emerald king. He goes into how weird it is that there was no explanation for how he got better as well as how the place he’s heading to was a place that haunted his nightmares thanks to his dad telling him it was the place where all bad boys went. It’s like when I was a kid and told by preachers that if I wasn’t a good boy I’d suffer in Hell for all eternity. 

Oh, but who should also be on the plane but Sleuth Doggy Dog! He’s just as delighted as I am to see Sonic chained up and on his way to prison. He even makes a joke about Robotnik offering him a chili-dog to do it. What a card. When’s your next album?

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I will say that I’m not entirely sure why Sleuth is here. Yes, he’s a traitor as well but is there a reason he isn’t already at the Devil’s Gulag? He was arrested quite a long while ago. Was he kept in normal jail and is just now being transported along with Sonic? It wouldn’t surprise me. This kingdom is pretty backwards.

Anyway, the plane is attacked by some Swat-bots and makes a crash landing in the rain.

Oops. Guess we got the plane a little banged up after all, Antoine, you pseudo-french nitwit.

No worries. Everyone survived. They’re just unconscious. 

What follows is an incredibly overbearing showcase of how little story-telling talent Ken Penders actually has. The Swat-Bots inspecting the plane are kicked out by Sonic the Hedgehog as Sonic the Hedgehog proclaims that he is Sonic the Hedgehog. 

Then, like the finale of the Chimera Ant arc of Hunter X Hunter, we’re treated to two pages of narration that monologues about what Sonic is feeling and outright tells us how the shift in tone for the book has finally come to be. There is a literal line in the narration boxes that says “For the first time in his life, Sonic is completely devoid of humor.”

Even more unbelievable and ridiculous than that is the caption that proclaims that for the first time in his life, Sonic truly understands the meaning of war.

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I’m sorry but that’s horeshit. 

I know Sonic’s a cool jokester but I’m fairly certain the numerous tragedies that have happened before this hinted at a base level understanding of the meaning of war. Having so much of his life choked by the iron grip of Robotnik with him having taken over the world, having his uncle Roboticized and his parents MIA, having people betray him and having people he’s sworn to protect turn on him more than once (as this isn’t the first time this has happened, I must re-reiterate) would have undoubtedly made a heavy impact on him before this.

Sally’s death being the tipping point to something greater I get but the words being used to convey this are illustrating something else. Not to mention, what’s going on here could actually be portrayed as much heavier and a lot more serious with the narration gone and just well placed shots of Sonic’s face and expertly done lighting to emphasis the stormy background and the harsh position he’s in. I’d buy it more at least.

I suppose it’s better than having Sonic literally say, “For the first time, I’M devoid of humor. For the first time, I understand what the meaning of WAR is!”

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It’s SO lame.

War in a Sonic story is fine. I love it. I thrive on it actually. It’s what made the idea of the Egg Fleet so cool. However, you need to realize that you’re playing with fire here. It’s something that people can and will roll their eyes at if you write it a certain way. You need to get this across by showing a lot more than you’re telling and front loading Sonic’s shift to seriousness with text-boxes explaining to us that he’s totes super serious and understands what it means to war now isn’t how you do it.

I get it though. He’s trying to play the role of the grandiose chessmaster/wizard/stage magician that’s going to knock your socks off with his grand finale (that isn’t actually the finale) with his epic narration. Already we cut back to yet another scene where one of the chess pieces, the supposed King Acorn, is in the middle of plotting with Traitor McObvious… I mean Drago the Wolf.

Drago reports that “unfortunately” Sonic’s plane has been shot down by Swat-Bots and that he’s escaped. The king smirks his evil Grinch smirk and says that they’ll just have to hunt him down. He calls in Geoffrey and yells at him that he and his men have failed because Sonic has escaped. Geoffrey, even though it wasn’t his fault, apologizes and proclaims he’ll do whatever he can to capture him again.

So, it’s pretty much a done deal that the “king” is not who he seems to be. We go even more into that when we cut back to Sonic who’s covering his trail with a giant leaf and has to sneak into a cave to hide and contemplate more about the behind the scenes stuff we didn’t see. Uncle Chuck had actually gone to Dr. Quack to inquire about Sally’s medical report but he refuses to divulge them to him because the King requested they be sealed off. Chuck even went to the king himself and the king refused investigation or any proceedings. He straight up says that he’s just going to sentence Sonic and that’ll be it.

That does ease some of my frustration with the last issue as the farce of a trial actually was just that. He most likely just asked Sonic, “How do you plea?” as an excuse to see him grovel like a proper douche would. So that’s cool.

Uncle Chuck also visited Sonic in his cell to let him know that the traitor in their midst is very much a real thing as far as he’s concerned and he knows it’s not him. That’s actually fairly sweet. 

Sonic succumbs to sleep at last and we cut to Antoine and Bunnie sneaking around because suspicious and shady Drago is shady and suspicious. They manage to catch him when he heads into his house for his next visit to Hershey where he emotionally and physically abuses her for a bit before leaving.

However, he does make sure to spill the beans on his plan just in case anyone was eavesdropping on them.

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I love Antoine’s shocked face here. It almost looks like he’s shocked at Bunnie for saying this instead of Drago.

Oh, by the way, Antoine makes it a point to say that the only reason he’s doing this is because he wanted to be the king’s #1 soldier and the fact that Drago, a nobody from the wolf-pack, has an audience with him is strange and a threat to his ego.

Despite being the obvious traitor, he’s apparently not dumb. When Bunnie and Antoine set out to look for him after hearing this they’re immediately ambushed by Swat-Bots. Drago even calls them amateurs over this. 

Good on ya Drago. You did it. I seriously almost believed you just let your plan get foiled like that. Bravo. Proud of you.

Then we cut back to Sonic, who’s supposedly had the weight of Sally’s death finally dawning on him. This has led to him having a horrible nightmare about Muttsuki the dog eating his lunch.

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This is the first nightmare he has after the weight of Sally’s death has finally hit. 

Maybe he’s dreaming of normalcy but either way it doesn’t matter because it’s time to wake up! He overhears a growl from outside the cave and instantly remarks on knowing what they are. 

The Tasmanian Devils! Apparently they’re one of the few Mobian races that never fully evolved.

...WHAT?!

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Also, they apparently drool yellow gak. Also, the line of the speech bubble is pointed at Geoffrey when it makes far more sense for Sonic to be saying this... 

Alright, so… this "Mobians who’ve never fully evolved" thing is probably the first in a long line of extreme “What…? What the fuck are you doing?” things that are going to come along in this book. I don’t have a problem with there being anthropomorphic animals and regular animals in the world. I very much would like it if anthros co-existed with humans in the games…

However, the introduction of animals that never fully evolved stands as a massive red flag for the direction these stories are going to take down the line. Pets in the series are fine. It’s the unnecessary desire to go into the explanation for why they’re pets that makes things uncomfortable. Anyone could just assume that they’re a different kind of creature altogether but the idea that these Devils could very well have just been Mobians who never got the chance to evolve and seeing them carted about on leashes by animals that luckily did is just weird.

These are not the kind of things that need answers. We don’t need to know why Sonic is fast. We don’t need to know why Tails’ appendages can make him fly. We don’t need to know why some animals are anthros and some are not. The instant you try to scientifically explain why these things are the way they are, you get into weird shit like saying the Mobians can eat their young…!

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Either take out the line about them not having evolved or just make them Tasmanian Devil mobians that are good at tracking and seem feral despite being cognisant of who they are. I know I’m just openly dreading what’s going to happen down the line but… goddamn.

Sonic wonders how they found him so fast and almost as if hearing him Geoffrey randomly talks about how great it is that he stuck a tracking device in Sonic’s shackle. Eventually, the two come across one another in the cave and have a slug fest. Only this time, one of them has the drive to kill the other.

Doesn’t stop cartoon stars from flying though, thankfully.

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Eventually, something gives way and they both fall to their death.

The last shot is of their lifeless corpses and the vacant, far off stare in their eyes.

Obviously not, but I can see Penders doing that.

Anyway, King Nuttier-than-a-Nut-Goodie is addressing his subjects. He begins by saying that despite the unfortunate fates of Sally and Sonic, he’s grateful for their loyalty in his exile but also immediately makes it known that he thinks all their efforts have been futile and that they lack ability.

This is hilarious, even knowing this king is a farce.

He then stands up and proclaims that he’s got a new warlord in mind. 

Instantly, I feel like I know where this is going and I tell myself, “If it’s who I think it is… this book just went up a notch for me.”

Thankfully, it is who I think it is and he wastes no time taking up his rightful position as the new Warlord.

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Rotor was READY to bust a cap in that chunky fat lard ass but Robotnik was prepared. He destroyed Rotor’s precious gun with ease!

He then proceeds to be the absolute best the thing ever for the next couple of pages. Just swatting people across the face with his massive robo-dick.

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The gig is up for Charles and Muttski. The door closes on the house where the meeting resides and I can only assume a massive rave party set to the soundtrack of Sonic Forces is happening next.

Then we cut back to Sonic and Geoffrey where they’re arguing yet again over they’re broken trophy.

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You know, Sonic, more than one person can fall in love with Sally. I know this because more than one person has and will continue to fall in love with her down the line.

I do agree that Geoffrey should shut his mouth though, seeing as how he’s way too old for her. That doesn’t mean I’m okay with you two being together though, Sonic.

Sonic knocks Geoffrey back and races to the exit but has found that it’s a massive drop off a waterfall. Geoffrey says there’s no way out and Sonic proves him wrong by jumping to his death.

 

Whoops. Guess he missed the water.

This issue was actually fairly well done as well, in all honesty. I’m still very much enjoying the massive take-over being ushered in by the baddest of all fat guys and Sonic’s exile and punishment continues to amuse me. I’m kind of dreading the rest of this though because I have a feeling the big changes ahead are going to be ones that will make the book far less bearable for me.

 

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Enjoying your reviews as per usual. Just to say though, when you do hit issue #50, you might want to read Sonic Super Special #6. That is the "director's cut" of issue #50, which adds in several pages. Don't know if it is worth looking at both or not. Personally, I think the "director's cut" is a little bit better.

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