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2 minutes ago, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

I tried to look out for changes in dialogue and found a few things but I missed this. I don't know what it's significance is yet though. Or even if it has any heavy significance but I'll likely find out.

It’s because they didn’t want people to erroneously think Ivo was Julian’s father. If Mobius Encyclopedia is to be believed.

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16 hours ago, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

 

Ah yes. I'm aware that I need to keep in mind whenever Mike Gallagher is on the scene. Penders, Gallagher, and Karl Bollers are going to come up a lot during these readings and keeping track of who did what and why might be a bit hard. Thankfully, there's backlogs of info out there on the net to help string me along. It's not just the stories that are important to me but the intention behind them at the time.

Yeah Penders did a lot of stupid shit but he's not responsible for things like Titan Tails or what have you. You haven't gotten to that monstrosity yet but both it and Tommy Turtle are the pet characters of Editor Justin Gabrie  Writer Romy Chacon. 

Quote

If Mobius Encyclopedia is to be believed.

That's a big if lets be real. I'm hesitant to trust most wikis TBH.

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1 hour ago, SBR2 said:

That's a big if lets be real. I'm hesitant to trust most wikis TBH.

Oh, was he talking about the online wiki? I thought he might have been talking about the Sonic Comic Encyclopedia that I have. It's a physical book explaining all the complicated shit in Archie Sonic (pre-reboot) that I bought at a comic shop once.

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On 12/1/2019 at 6:51 AM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

I’m laying into Penders a lot here because we’re about to enter an era of comics that rely heavily upon his “vision” of the Sonic world without Robotnik. Things are going to get very weird and… despite how disgusted I’ll become, I can’t fake the fact that I’m also a bit excited.

Good review as always. I know you dig into alot about what doesn't work about Endgame, but I also think you can at least see about how it does kindof work. Personally, I think if issue #50 was the end of Archie Sonic, I think it would be a decent way to bow out.

I think the thing to note with the Penders era is that it is really a very slow downward spiral in my view. You've got a 109 issues of Penders left to go, as well as all of Knuckles series. The Knuckles series goes downhill relatively quickly, but with Sonic, I think alot of stuff still works. To me, the nadir of Archie Sonic is Penders final period of #126-#159. But before you hit that point, there are still some good things to come. Perhaps that is just simply the likes of the other writers offsetting Penders, I'm not sure. But the next era as Sonic games are in a bit of a wildneress period before the release of Sonic Adventure definetly is interesting, and credit to Penders and co, the death of Robotnik doesn't make Sonic feel like a pointless comic now that there isn't a central antagonist.

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On 11/21/2019 at 8:37 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Archie Sonic: Issue #49 - ENDGAME Part 3 of 4

So, we then cut back to Sonic who-

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WHAT IS GOING ON?!

I guess Sonic's just fucking magic now.

I mean... could he do this in the show? Is this how they called Dulcy over? 

 

 

Blast to the Past part 1.

Sonic does actually whistle for Dulcy in one instance on SatAM. In a despite for dear life sort of way, as him and Sally fall off a floating island, that's probably what they're pulling from there. 

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There’s this one incredibly minor, throwaway thing in Worlds Collide that’s always caught my imagination:

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Snively was left by Eggman to “rot away” in an egg capsule aboard the Death Egg when we last saw him in the old continuity. During the crossover, his capsule had at some point been relocated to the Wily Egg, presumably so that Eggman wouldn’t lose track of his treacherous nephew on the rewritten Mobius.

I can’t help but wonder if Snively was still there in the post-SGW version of the crossover. Like, did his capsule just suddenly pop up in the brig when the second Genesis Wave went off? Did he still have the memories of his pre-SGW counterpart during his time?

It’s stuff like this that makes me wish the crossover could’ve got some “Awakening” novelisations like the Genesis arc did in that FCBD issue.

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Listening to the Bumblekween episode of Bumblekast. Quite a number of things to take note of.

EDIT: Here we are(beware possible Lost Hedgehog Tales spoilers)

Spoiler

⦁    Aleah Baker got into the Archie comic by coloring the offpanels and helping with character designs.
⦁    She kinda rudely went up to editor at a convention after a while of trying to get in and he said he was meaning to get back to her about an offer.  She then panicked, apologized, and ran away before being sent files a week or two later :lol: (not exactly how ian remembers it, but he rolls with it). 
⦁    The early offpanels she colored were sent in sets of four.
⦁    She generally strove to help design or redesign things at any opportunity. 
⦁    They generally tried to design and write characters by having some idea of where they are going so they weren't aimless or extraneous.
⦁    She helped switch up or redesign characters who had becoming too samey or inconsistent.
⦁    She had freer reign on characterization when she got to write compared to character designs.
⦁    She tried to have as many varied interactions as she can to avoid having exclusive assocations.
⦁    She wanted to write stronger relationships  due to how they were often informed or underdeveloped. As such, she didn't like having Cassia call Clove sis but editor wanted to be sure readers picked up on their relationship.
⦁    She generally approached her art in terms of what is most likely to be rejected by editor and would be easier for the art team to do. As such, she was told not to go too complex with color schemes and patterns.
⦁    The first time anything of hers made it in was Conquering Storm, whose redesign she sent as a rough sketch with bleached details for Tracy Yardely to clean up. Ian is responsible for Endless Reach("circle in a bathrobe"), as she was only one of his Brides not rejected by Mike Pellorito.
⦁    She had to stop eating lunch when she got to Mama Robotnik in bikini, which ended up being censored in the actual comic anyway.
⦁    There were quite a few Mighty redesigns when she did her take that editor really liked, while Ray's redesign was pretty much her's on the first go.
⦁    There were numerous redesigns of Safron  due to changing details: Paul Kaminski wanted to solidify her as being in theme with Charmy, hence a zipped up bomber jacket with either a purple flower or bee on back. She also had polka dots on her dress at one point.  
⦁    Safron's redesign was penciled into a Steven Butler backup story with Knuckles and Julie-Su  that got editted out at the last minute. There was supposed to be an in story reason for it, but Aleah jumped the gun and also included the flower pattern.
⦁    She actually contacted IDW editors Joe Hughes and Mariot  about coloring and the like, but started to develop a hard to diagnose condition similar to rheumatoid arthritis that included dactylitis as a symtom. She couldn't really move or do much for a year and half, including hike, swim , play many games, or attend convetions without quickly losing energy, so she informed them that she didn't feel comfortable taking a positon that she'd be unreliable meeting deadlines on.  
⦁    Ian wrote rough outline for Spark of Life that she overhauled, which included naming Ellidy and the flashback sequences. However, many things in the script didn't make the cut.
⦁    There was  flashback of Eliidy developed Nicole's AI that included her SatAM pilot appearance in the background.
⦁    The Digital World was intended to have a fluid weird look compared to Ellidys mainframe that was completely lost in the artwork. It would appeared populated with buildings and "beings" in the background as a tease for future stories. 
⦁    Rosie flashback had more flow originally with a lot of dialogue that was either cut or rearranged, making  it feel the disconnected.
⦁    Tails was always gonna be in, but Big wasn't.
⦁    Ellidy was meant to be someone who grew from low point to living a more positive life and was slated to show up in a later Ian arc.
⦁    Hershey old design is probably a bizzare file on some computer somewhere, she went through old files with Jon Gray that had names that were part nonsense, part very inappropriate language. 
⦁    She helped with Abyss's final look, as she thought Ian's concepts looked too similar to Nephthys and decided to butt in after his and Vin's numerous attempts. This meant  dozens of color schemes, from a base color pink with pale white highlights, to  teal and purple(which she admits tended to do despite not always). Abyss was also intially  much more physically imposing  before being made into a spritely smartass, which worked in variety among Egg Bosses.
⦁    Dive the Lemming was intentionally made pink-magenta because Vin Lovalo said Abyss couldn't be as villain.
⦁    The Aquatic Mobians were initially merpeople with fluke bodies, but Paul Kaminiski more Sonic standard body types for story versatility. Thus, they can breathe air, but get uncomfortable if out of water too long
⦁    Antoine's redesign once included form fitting pants that she didn't care for. He also had markings around his eyes and a differeny muzzle on an early cover, so the overall design was likely finalized very late.
⦁    She didn't like the idea Quake Woman as a love interest and so wasn't impreseed when people initially jumped to that conclusion.   
⦁    She submited some script ideas for Megaman but ultimately wasn't involved in much beyond the one off Knuckles vs Breakman Battle Book. She jumped at the opportunity since they were literally just 7 page fights with a set winner and thus weren't meant ot be deep or dramatic.
⦁    Clove and Cassia were created to help worldbuild with sympathetic Egg Bosses for Paul Kaminiski and were made sisters because she peronally wanted to write that dynamic. They were initially Badgers, but she fortuitously she deicded against in favor of some kind of deer and she discovered Pronghorns(2nd fastest land), which   don't know how she never heard of before.
⦁    Clove likes books, collecting flowers, and colleting flowers in books.
⦁    She knew their Backstory was never really set in stone  or approved, they were raised in a somewhat nomadic society with relatively low technology by their parents Piper and Sage(whom there were rough Pen doodles of).  Their father Sage was nomadic and would occasionally take one with him on his trips to see nice things like books games.  Their mother Piper was some kind of councilor/leader in their society who gradually sickened from similar disease as Cassia and passed away.  Afterwards, Sage left to look for some cure or insight that might help Cassia and never came back.  As a result, the two werwe left on their own and Clove had to look after her sister.
⦁    In the storyline to come, Clove hid the fact that Cassia is dependent on cybornetics so she wouldn't feel responsible for their situation. After the truth came out(through one of several different scenarios), Cassia would go into denial and angrily leave on her own believing she'd be fine. Either the Freedom Fighters or GUN would find  her and develop a proper treatment with support from  Ellidy, Tails, Shadow, and/or Rotor. After being separated for too long,  Eggman would accentuate the belief that Cassia passed away and cause Clove believe she has nothing left beyond her leadership of remaining Pronghorns. This would eventually lead to a battle with Wolf Pack  and Lupe would go in expecting Clove to be more compassionate, but instead find a ragged detached shell. The characters involved would hit various low points and through Ian's plans for Rotor storyline, Clove would find out Cassia is okay and it would bring hope of reconciliation and finding a better path one day.
⦁    While it's kinda nice to think Mania took inspiration from her redesign of Ray, she feels it's unlikely that direct beyond Tyson Hesse being involved in both.
⦁    She claims to remember weird details Ian doesn't, including one time an animal reeking of death would be stuck in Archie office  while before finally being found in a corner.
⦁    Ian was gonna tease whether Breezie is robot or not as long as possible and there was even a story in which the Chaotix investigated her origins.
⦁    He believes  tragedy is a compelling way to maintain readership, but levity is importnt as well
⦁    Honey didn't run into any push back from SEGA, but Diana Skelly put in more references that slipped under radar.
⦁    The Fantastic Halloween cover had to be tweaked due to SEGA being touchy about other properties.
⦁    He really hopes Shadow's Chao appears in comic one day, but doesn't see it happening given the current dierection.
⦁    He decided to distance himself from Other M  when he became professional  due to it's tone and felt it work thanks to Sonic fan renaissance. He did research alongside his old compratiots to make sure it gave proper credit, but overall feels it needs to die and fade into obscurity.
 

 

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On 7/4/2019 at 1:25 AM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Issue #41 - ...and one shall save him!

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A very significant thing happens in this issue. Yet, despite that, there's surprisingly little to say about it.

Okay, this issue. We're officially on the road to Endgame.

Dat angle on Sally's head, tho.

Also, what's that purple thing?

On 7/4/2019 at 1:25 AM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

The biggest thing to talk about here is the fact that the art sucks. It sucks really bad.

So this issue is mainly a retread of what happened way back when they tried to save Princess Sally's dad from the Zone of Silence. Except they actually manage to save her dad this time. 

Oh? What else is new?

On 7/4/2019 at 1:25 AM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Also, plumpy skunk boy is back. Why? Literally just so he and Sonic can bicker at each other. I seriously don't have a clue why Geoffrey is here aside from giving Sonic someone to bitch at.

That was essentially his greater purpose at the time--be someone Sonic and later Antoine would butt heads with about getting the job done.

On 7/4/2019 at 1:25 AM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

The way this issue begins is very strange. It looks and feels as though they cycled through three artists in the span of 3 pages. Both Eggman and Sonic look wildly different from page to page at the start. Sonic starts off looking fairly good before crashing into Robotnik's lair. All of a sudden he looks terrible and Robotnik looks... wickedly detailed to the point of almost feeling gross. However, the next two pages he suddenly shifts back to a more traditional look. 

It probably did. That or they rushed after spending time on those shots

On 7/4/2019 at 1:25 AM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

(THE REST OF MY REVIEW GOT DELETED BY ACCIDENT SO I'M JUST GOING TO SUMMARIZE THINGS AS BEST I CAN)

I'm kind of pissed that what I typed got erased BUT the issue wasn't really much to speak of anyway.

Oh shit, I hate that! It happen often, but when it does...!

On 7/4/2019 at 1:25 AM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

They go into the Zone of Silence and rescue the King. The end.

The main take away from the issue that the art is really fucking bad.

Here's Sonic with flesh colored legs crashing into a super sized Sally.

image.png.c95d8c4771654ec7544e9d0bee08a0bc.png

Oh wow.

Question: Didn't the rescue involve some sort of probe/camera thing?

On 7/4/2019 at 8:58 PM, Silvereyes said:

Because Penders seems to love him, and it means Sonic and him constantly have dick measuring contests every few issues. Geoffrey (at least before Flynn, havn't read what he is like under Flynn) is the most unlikable character in Archie in my opinion. Rude and arrogant, constantly a dick to Sonic which with Penders recent revelation about him, makes me wonder if we're meant to side with the idiot more than Sonic at times, or if he is supposed to be more like the cooler darker hero like Shadow would eventually be. Not to mention as well he also comes across as a James Bond knockoff, considering how Penders seems to be a Bond fan.

Flynn gives Geoffrey an arc wayyy later down the line, around #225. At this point in the series he’s just that dickhead coworker who is waiting for you fail because he thinks he can do a better job. Which is a fine character to have in a cop drama or something, but I don’t recall him doing much but take up space in the Archie comics.

Kinda? It's funny you say that though because he somewhat treated as a bit of a hate sink before and during Endgame proper.

The James Bond parallel never really register with me outside of the Karl Bollers stories.

On 7/4/2019 at 8:58 PM, Silvereyes said:

The Knuckles comics often felt like Penders outlet of basically doing what he really wanted to write while under the guise of a Sonic comic, and St John is kindof the same thing really. As much as he looks like a Sonic character, he never really feels like a Sonic character, both with naming convention and the way he acts. Him and Sonic being constantly at each others throats feels like an attempt to make the comic more "mature", were the heroes are constantly arguing with each other, but rather than being interesting, it just feels annoying and unpleasant.

Sadly, St John is going to stick around for a long time. He only fades into being a minor character I think around issue 100? He gets alot of prominence over the next few years, with his spy stuff being the focus of some B stories. I won't spoil any of it (mainly because I think most of it was dull), but again, it feels like an example of Penders writing what he wants to do which has very little to the actual Sonic comic.

Fun fact: he and the Substitute Freedom Fighters were apparently created specifically because Sega kept rejecting what Penders originally came up with for the Princess Sally miniseries and just sorta stuck around afterwards.

He was also named after a Saint George, though I don't remember where the name Geoffrey itself came from.

 

 

On 7/8/2019 at 9:38 AM, MetalSkulkBane said:

Who remembers those few unreleased Sonic Universe issues that were only drawn?

Who wished that someone inked,  colored and overall finished them?

Who's getting exited?

How did I miss this for so long? 0.o

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3 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

Kinda? It's funny you say that though because he somewhat treated as a bit of a hate sink before and during Endgame proper.

The James Bond parallel never really register with me outside of the Karl Bollers stories.

I'm not really sure what the intention is with St. John half the time. To me anyway, I think he is very hateable alot of the time, but I wonder if we're meant to like him. Again, sortof Shadow the Hedgehog before Shadow the Hedgehog even existed.

I'm a big Bond fan, so I have noticed it a couple of times. The opening of the Sally miniseries, which is where St John is first introduced, is a big homage to Goldfinger's pre titles. St John being an English spy, who later on would run around wearing a tuxedo. The last Knuckles the Echidna book story featuring a Bond-esque villian in Hunter, with someone on here showing a picture of Hunter being a direct trace of a scene of Scaramanga from The Man with the Golden Gun. And Penders has definetly mentioned Bond a couple times on his Twitter.

Been a while since I've read the Archie run, so there are probably other Bond-isms that turn up I bet.

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On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Sonic Quest - The Death Egg Saga

Issue #1 - Scrambled

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It’s time for another one hour special/TV movie event! It’s Sonic Quest - The Death Egg Saga, where in I completely thought the Death Egg was some sort of poorly kept plot twist despite the fact that the title is literally called the Death Egg Saga. I am the smart.

Oh yeah, there was this. What was up with early Archie doing these little side stories that actually end up looking pretty good?

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

We begin with some very unnecessary narration that showcases Geoffrey sneaking through the woods. It talks about how he thinks he hasn’t been seen but shows everyone that he ain’t hot shit when Sonic jumps down from the tree in front of him and calls him a Stinkpot. No way Penders would undercut Geoffrey like that. That’s why this story was written by Mike Gallagher. 

Anyway, I went on and on about Sonic and Geoffrey’s unnecessary pissing contest last issue. Here’s where I’d point you towards the full review of Issue 40… IF I HAD ONE!

Ahem. So Sonic is trying to play gatekeeper but is obviously just using it as an excuse to argue with the skunk. Sally shows up and tells him to knock that shit off because she’s the one who called him here.

I seem to recall this kinda clearly, for some reason. Weird.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Turns out she has something to show him, as well as all of us.

The king is in the middle of an extreme horror show. 

He’s staring out into space, stuttering his words, the words he’s actually saying are complete nonsense, and half his body is turning into crystal… or emerald. It’s green so I’m gonna say he’s Emeraldizing. My computer didn’t put a red line under that word so I’m guessing it’s a real word…

It did after the fact. :lol: 

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Sally goes off on everything that’s happened up to that point. The Mecha Sonic thing, where Sally did nothing. The court martial of Sonic where Sally DID something but it was an incredibly fucking dumb something that made everything worse. And the adventure where they got the king out of the Zone of Silence where Sally was back to doing nothing.

Sally says that they’re keeping the King’s return a secret for now until they can stop the influx of crazy happening to him and asks Geoffrey to stand guard and maintain the secret. Geoffrey says he’ll do it and walks out stating that his lips are sealed. Sonic then asks Geoffrey to seal his stench. 

Seriously, Sonic, stop it. I understand being confused by Geoffrey’s presence but he’s really not said a word to you or instigated anything. You’re just hurling insults at the man. It’s really not endearing.

Geoffrey really was kinda orientated around protecting and carrying out the will of the King after this point. He even keeps it up during the Elias stuff, who he actually had a fair bit of conflegration with as I recall.

I guess this is where the Secret Service thing first comes to fruition.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

So now that it’s just the normal Freedom Fighters in the room, we can get on with the plot. Rotor, as the designated bullshit spewer, explains that the King has adapted to the climate of the Zone of Silence and now their air is turning him into a Christmas ornament. I called him a Bullshit spewer (cause that seems to be what his job in this book is) but I actually don’t have a problem with this explanation. The science of the Zone of Silence, I gather, isn’t something that’s possible to calculate after all.

Tails mentions that he looks like he’s turning into a Chaos Emerald (thank you) and everyone GASPS, remembering that they saw no emeralds or rings in the Zone of Silence. They wonder why…

Anyway, Sonic bursts in with his Billionth Ring (the one that does random stuff at random to service the plot) and he holds it up to the King. It manages to magic the Emeraldization away and he plops onto his bed, though they state it might have only worked for a moment. I feel a little dumb, not understanding why holding a ring up to him would fix him… I guess rings just give you healing power? Makes sense since he usually dies in the games if he’s not holding at least one. Rings are so much more powerful in the shows and comics.

Huh. You know, I just really considered that. The encyclopedia does state that the production of rings is somewhat linked to the energy of the Emeralds.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

So they need to get more of them. Sonic’s Billionth ring is tuned to him so only he can activate it. That’s all well and good but they need MOAR! They talk about the Lake of Rings and yet again it turns out that there’s two different versions of essentially the same thing being spoken about here.

Tails brings up the lake of rings we saw when Super Sonic and Hyper Knuckles had their pointless fight. Their quarrel might have permanently sealed it off. Way to go Sonic, you vile heathen. I’m glad the picture they used to illustrate the fight was Knuckles punching the hell out of Sonic. I wish he’d have hit the ground in a single hit. Would have been hilarious.

Sonic’s a REALLY insufferable guy in these comics sometimes guys.I don’t know what to say. Yet, I still got angry on his behalf during the trial because the Freedom Fighters were being SO much worse there.

Now, about that second lake of rings I was talking about, turns out that was discovered back in Issue 38 when Sonic jumped into a random lake he happened upon to escape the Combots. I remember that and even at the time I thought it was odd that it was just… there. Oh well though. They have two lakes of rings to investigate now.

So Freddy decides it’s time to split up the gang. Bunnie and Antoine will find the lake of rings in the forest. Sonic and Tails will search the grotto where Sonic and Knuckles had their stupid fight. 

And Sally and Rotor will hang back at HQ and do nothing.

Oh yeah, they did do that, didn't they? Cleaning up before 160.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Break!

It’s here where I need to point out the designs of the characters in this issue. They’re actually not bad but they’re noticeably proportioned to be more closer to something that feels reminiscent of how Modern Sonic is today. I’m not saying this was intentional, just interesting.

Sally in particular is noticeably taller and has more curves. It really emphasizes how naked she is.

Sonic looks like a mix of his classic and modern self a bit. However, the big thing about him is his eyes. They’ve made the highlights of his eyes brown. He’s got brown eyes here and it… doesn’t look too bad on him. It looks a bit weird but I can’t say it looks bad either. It’s interesting.

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I forgot about that. Kinda makes sense though, since Sally is brown with blue eyes.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

We cut to Robotnik whose giving Snively a briefing on his urgent new mission. A plan is coming to fruition and Robotnik is about to ascend to the skies about to see it through. As such he’s decided to hand over the reigns of completing the rebuilding of Robotropolis to Snively. 
Yes, Robotropolis is in it’s… I think, third or fourth rebuilding phase in a row. One of those came from when Sonic auto-piloted Nack the Weasel’s bike into a tower to make it explode again. It happens.

Anyway, The Lord of Lard (I love these pet names these minions call Robotnik. Robotnik never gets angry at them when they say things like that which kind of makes it funnier) is in his Egg Mobile and ready to go. He tells Snively as he’s flying away that he’s in charge and for it not to go to his head.

Immediately, in the same exact panel this is said, Snively gets a wicked evil look on his face and says “AT LAST!”

Snively then proceeds to be an incredible, horrendously bad traitor by telling the robots to stop doing what Eggman commanded them to do and to give him a hot bath, manicure, massage, and bon-bons in bed. Also he wants them to do the immeasurably stupid task of writing SNIVOPOLIS on all the signs. Apparently he doesn’t think Robotnik is ever coming back? Or maybe he forgot that Robotnik has eyes?

Guess he's fat and proud.

And I suppose he just really needed a break before his big multiverse shaking move.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Meanwhile, Sonic and Tails reach the old grotto where the fabled fight of epic pointlessness happened and discover a metal dome around it. They can’t gain access to the lake now. Sonic brings up a colony of airborne Freedom Fighters whom I’ve never seen or heard of before and says that they’re close enough here that it’s possible they might know what’s going on. I’ll just assume this is the first official introduction of the person he name drops here; Carl Condor.

It’s fine if this is how he’s introduced. It just caught me off guard how sudden it was.

Anyway, Sonic leaves saying “I’ll be back in a FLASH… no copyright infringement intended!”

Oh, but Sonic… I thought no copyright law in the univer-

We cut back to Tails the instant Sonic leaves to see the metal dome opening…! Just… immediately it opens when Sonic leaves. Oops.

Oh...I know where this is goin. And it ain't gonn be the only time.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Tails heroically dives behind the bushes in fear as a tube from space shoots down and starts sucking out the water and rings from the lake. We are then treated to a very badly written scene where Tails narrates exactly what’s happening in each panel as it’s happening. When he asks where the rings are going he turns around and says he’d better go get Sonic to answer those questions for him. The tube basically says “GET OVER HERE” when it comes out of the water and sucks Tails into it.

Tails, despite supposedly being scared, decides it’s comedy hour and says “No offense, but this situation su--AAAAA~!”

He says no offense so I’m assuming he’s addressing the audience he no doubt has imagined in his head. I could say he was talking to us, the reader, but it’s funnier imagining him imagining an audience that isn’t there.

Tails could be weird around this time.

Btw, did you cover the Super Fox Man stuff? I honestly don't remember when that happens.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Sonic eventually reaches the location of these flying Freedom Fighters and finds the sun’s rays to be acting all weird. He looks up and sees a mysterious, floating, egg-shaped, death-y, thing in the sky… then out of nowhere, Carol Condor shows up from behind Sonic, already roboticized!

OH NO! CAROL CONDOR! Our dearest friend! We hardly knew yee! How could this happen to our saint and fan-favorite… Carol Condor…

In the tradition of Sonic being easily knocked out, the scene cuts to captions saying that Sonic was out of his element and also visually impaired by squinting at the sun and thus the battle ended quickly. Last shot of that page is the “lifeless” Sonic being carried off like a broken muppet on the talons of this former Freedom Fighter.

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Um, it's Carl.

Holy shit, that's morbid!

 

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

We then see Robotnik observing what just happened with the tube earlier. This scene is an amazing display of how Robotnik’s praise can be won and yet, within the same flow of conversation, flip on a dime to being a crime worthy of being demolished and thrown in the garbage.

He praises the Swat-Bot next to him for doing a good job operating the Intake Tube for getting the magic rings out of the lake. The robot thanks Robotnik for that. But the INSTANT he notices that he failed to discontinue the ingestion after removing it from the water, he finds that there’s access debris aboard the vessel. The access weight and the time it will take to separate it from the rings will delay his schedule.

The robot gets worried and claims he was just trying to be thorough.

Robotnik uses his mechanical arm to smash it’s fucking head in. 

udDbowXNmCPqIeWt9wI_UVtdgDqFmseOayE5VPYigwGqaGjV1uU9MFq1_PMioGosfYUsLoAQWotZKiJkt8V_CEa1hU5PWzFEYySJHFEI9PuRo1OmQ03_7AOkq7oTe3Zany-ylBv7

“You’re not thorough. You’re through!” He says before tossing the poor bot down the garbage chute, calling it trash. 

He had a habit of that.

Why does it look like he's wearing a yellow tie there?

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

He then claims that he doesn’t need mindless minions anymore because his ultimate weapon has been completed. He’ll use it to roboticize everyone while perched above the doomed world. 

Yes folks, it’s the Death Egg. 

It looks freakin’ sweet.

So this was a very good introductory issue to whatever this story is going to be. I gotta say, I have no real complaints. It was written very well for the vast majority of it, the art was nice and consistent, and I’m genuinely intrigued by what’s to come. I may finally have gotten over the rut I ran into before.

Let’s find out… right now!

Yeah, I love what the comics did with the Death Egg. It's appropriate for the setting AND fills in the gap that the game never really answered.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Issue #2 - Poached

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We begin with Robotnik gloating about how awesome he is and how awesome it feels to be in his awesome ship above all the not-awesome people. 

He’s gonna use his Death Egg to roboticize the planet by remote control. He cuts in with Snively and asks how the rebuilding is going. Snively is wearing a robe and bunny slippers because he told all the robots to knock off listening to Robotnik and dedicate full time to pampering him.

You know, I’m not against you using this time alone to your advantage Snively but there was a more efficient way you could do this. You didn’t need to have ALL the robots devote ALL their time to pampering you. I’m certain just a few would suffice. How many of them does it take to set you up with a hot oil bath?

Yeah, seriously. Especially since there's logically hundreds if not thousands of them.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Anyway, they have an effective and actually rather impressively written talk about the Death Egg and it’s complications. I was amazed that the last scene from the other issue was brought up again where the Swat-Bot’s mistake of bringing a bunch of access debris onboard was addressed. Snively makes mention that the Death Egg’s orbit is low and Robotnik responds by recounting what happened and saying that once the debris, along with the defective Swat-Bot in the trash chute, is ejected from the Death Egg the base will reach its proper orbit and he can devote his time to securing a Chaos Emerald.

For you see, a Chaos Emerald is all he needs to complete its masterful power supply. The rings he’s gathered have enough energy to create a protective shield around the Death Egg to keep it from suffering damage but in order to bring it to full power… he needs that dern tootin’ emerald!

I just realized---this is exactly what Eggman would do ahead of time in 225.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Speaking of the excess garbage compartment, we cut back to Tails who, if you’ll recall, was sucked into the tube while in the middle of expositing the fact that he was indeed being sucked into the tube.

Tails notices the broken Swat-Bot immediately. Now, in my head, I was kind of hoping the Swat-Bot wasn’t busted just yet and he and Tails would team up or something. But nope.

Horrifically, Tails climbs instead the Swat-Bot’s corpse to puppeteer it around. The poor thing doesn’t deserve this I tells ya.

Another Swat-Bot walks in and is giving a full sweep of the area with a small device, stating that there are no more rings to gather in the garbage chute. Robotnik asks him to check again to make sure, which is good. At least he actually does know what being thorough is. A second check confirms the same thing so Robotnik gives him the okay to purge the garbage.

Tails overhears this while in disguise and has climbed out of the chute and locked that other poor Swat-Bot inside of it while he was talking to Robotnik. This dude notices he’s been locked inside and realizes that he’s about to get PURGED! And Tails gloats about it. 

All this Robot death. It’s so cruel. They’re just doing their jobs. Poor things.

Tails, while in disguise, talks to Robotnik and says he’s done what he’s asked of him. Robotnik most likely didn’t see the huge dent on the robot’s head, which is understandable considering the angle Tails is communicating to him from. It’s all good.

Speaking of morbid, damn Tails.

You know, I'm kinda surprised they never did this before. I clearly remember an episode of SatAM where Sally, Antoine, and Bunnie did so and it made just as little sense.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Outside, Condorbot is bringing Sonic to the Death Egg but WHOOPS turns out Sonic was playing possum… again! He’s getting a lot of mileage out of pretending to be knocked out lately. I can’t tell when it actually happens anymore. I was so ready to believe that he sucked so much, he got beaten off panel and dragged to the Death Egg like a wet sack.

Sonic proceeds to get into a very confusingly handled air battle with Condorbot. He gets out of his talons with a Sonic spin and then Condorbot shouts, “AWWK! He freed himself with a Sonic Spin!”

Then Sonic punches the robot while claiming that he can hover in mid-air with his figure-eight running motion… okay? 

Then… I don’t know… he uses the debris that are coming out of the Death Egg to somehow kick the robot underneath the debris while using it to shoot up. It’s still confusing to look at despite the fact that Sonic narrates what he’s doing AS he does it.

“Using my years of experience jumping through zones, I’ll hop my way up the pile and grab the bay doors before they close… UUMMF! Made it!” is what he says as he hops up the pile and grabs the bay doors before they close.

Oh, just you wait. The Endgame is coming.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Sonic makes it inside but discovers that something’s jamming his signal back to HQ so he’s gonna have to go it alone. He doesn’t know that Tails is inside, impersonating a Swat-Bot though. This is gonna be fun. I hope.
Also, the signal being cut off gives Sally more of an excuse not to do anything. Hooray!

Speaking of which, we cut back to Sally in a scene that’s fucking hilarious when its clearly meant to be emotional. 

Sally asks Nicole if she can do anything about her scary looking, half emeraldized father. Nicole says NOPE! 

Rotor cuts in by saying that Bunnie and Antoine got lost in the woods but Bunnie grabbed the map from him and now they’re back on track (cute) but says Sonic and Tails’ reports are long overdue and that he’s getting worried.

Smash-cut to Sally crying into Rotor. She’s full on sobbing now. It’s not supposed to be funny but how quick it happened coupled with the shot of her pronounced squirrel ass is just… it just looks so cartoonish. The king crying out of his non-emeraldized eye does kind of off-set it a bit but he’s drawn so weird that it only does that a little bit.
 

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She’s so naked.

Indian Crying GIF

Rotor's face--Rotor's fingers!

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Back in Robotnik’s room, he’s gloating some more. Tails is there, literally standing right behind him, dressed in the corpse of the Swat-Bot that Robotnik bashed the brains of earlier. 

Tails is trying to get a good look at where Robotnik is going and HOLY SHIT, it’s the FLOATING ISLAND!

I mean, it’s not surprising really. He wants a Chaos Emerald and both he and the Freedom Fighters are fresh out of those. Knuckles on the other hand…

Well, we cut to the echidna in question and he’s looking over to see the creepiest shot of the Death Egg perving on Knuckles over the clouds.

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Knuckles flies after it while explaining how it’s possible for him to fly after it.

“By getting up a head of steam, jumping off the bank of the eternal river and fanning out my Dreadlocks, I can fly up and intercept it!”

… Thanks? 

The exposition is really weird this issue. Even weirder than it usually is. We don’t need the characters constantly explaining to us what they’re doing and how they’re doing it like this. It’s so odd.

Oh yeah--guess it wouldn't be the Death Egg Saga without Knuckles.

Okay yeah, that's creepy.

Isn't that how he does it in the games?

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Knuckles flies close to it and says he’s not gonna let it stop him. Then the Death Egg stops him by firing a laser from it’s eye and shooting Knuckles down.

It’s kind of hilarious.

Knuckles is caught by Mighty and we get more of that REALLY weird exposition.

Knuckles refers to Mighty by his full name when he’s caught, which is strange enough, but then Vector starts spewing this shit from his mouth after Mighty says the word ‘We’.

“We” meaning ALL the Chaotix-- Espio the Chameleon, Archimedes the Fire-Ant, myself--Vector the Crocodile AND Charmy the Bee here.”

What is with the dialogue? Is the writer under the impression that you’re reading issue 2 of Sonic Quest, a comic book special set between the events of Issue 41 and 42, not knowing what anything is? 

What the hell? :joy:

I mean, it is one of the closer lifts of the games. Still doesnt' excuse how awkward that was, especially since I don't even remember them doing much.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Eggman sends two Burrowbots onto the floating island in an attempt to get them to seek out the two emeralds that are on the island. The Chaotix easily and quickly counteract this by going after them and beating them down with their fists and terrible puns.

“Our buzzword is Victory.” says Charmy the Bee.

We see Sonic has taken out a ton of Swat-Bots and approaches the control room at the same time Tails, dressed as a Swat-Bot, is planning on attacking Robotnik. Sonic makes a comment about there being one more Swat-Bot to demolish which gave me chills.

But before Sonic could horrifically buzzsaw through his best buddy Tails and smear his blood all over the floor, culminating in a Greek tragedy where Robotnik bares witness to Sonic killing his best friend, Robotnik decides to retaliate against Knuckles and the Chaotix for destroying his two robots.

So obviously, the next course of action to take when two of your robots get destroyed is to then STEER YOUR FUCKING DEATH EGG DOWNWARD SO YOU CAN RAM IT INTO THE FLOATING ISLAND!

What… THE FUCK?!

That’s what he does! He RAMS the entire Death Egg against the side of the Floating Island and starts pushing it into the water!

It’s kind of awesome but also WHAT?!

Knuckles makes the comment that hundreds will die from this and… I’m starting to get confused. Is the floating island populated by hundreds of people or…is he talking about the non-anthro animals?

Well, whatever, I’m sure one of guys can tell me. I had to be told that the Chaotix were outright living on the island with Knuckles after all.

Another good issue. The dialogue was considerably worse but honestly, it started to mostly be a little amusing after a while. That doesn’t make it good but whatever. I’m… kind of flabbergasted by Robotnik’s actions. I didn’t expect him to go grand-theft auto on the Death Egg like that. What an odd man.

I can't breathe! 

Holy shit, don't mess with Robotnik when he's behind the wheel.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Issue #3 - Over Easy

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I know this is yet another egg pun but it doesn’t service your story well to title the final issue of this legitimately pretty well told arc “Over Easy” like you’ve just done. Some might get the wrong idea and think we were headed for an unsatisfactory conclusion. Also, the cover seems to be screaming “Sonic and Knuckles” adaptation. I guess I should have figured that but I didn’t. Congrats. You made the elements seep into the story so organically that it wasn’t immediately obvious to me that this was a pseudo adaptation of one of the games.

For some reason, Frozen Junkyard’s track music was playing in my head at the start of this. I guess I needed some action music to set the mood.

Yeah, I thought so.

Guess they took the title screen literally.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

It starts with Sonic about to attack the one Swat-Bot in his way in order to get to Robotnik… then he does it. Or he tries but he either misses and confuses this for the Swat-Bot being fast or Tails accidentally moves out of the way of Sonic’s attack. It’s not clear and it doesn’t matter because Sonic just kicks Tails in the robotic hide anyway.

He, very loudly, beats the crap out of it until it comes undone and he sees Tails’ butt sticking out of it. That’s when he realizes he’s done goofed. 

The two of them have a very loud conversation about going to beat Robotnik and then for no reason at all, Sonic screams that he’s about to attack Robotnik, right at Robotnik, as he’s attacking him.

Then he smashes head first into a force-field that has him seeing stars. Robotnik turns to Sonic and says that he put up a plexiglass shield because, shock horror, Robotnik has ears and HEARD Sonic doing all the loud shit literally right behind him. 

Everyone's on something at this point.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

Robotnik then puts another glass door down behind Sonic and starts filling the area up with gas. I’m going to assume he made this part of the Death Egg on purpose so that it was designed specifically to trap anyone who would sneak up behind him in a glass chamber that fills up with gas. Otherwise I’d have to assume that the entire Death Egg is lined with random walls that come down, wherever, and have mechanisms that can fill the area up with gas.

Either way, it’s a cool scene that makes it look Sonic might just get poisoned to death. However, Tails, whom Sonic had told to let him handle this by himself, bursts through the glass and saves Sonic by randomly firing lasers at the controls.

Turns out this is a bit of a no-no because now the downward thrusters are all confuzzled and are sending the Death Egg shooting into space instead. 

Instantly, the Floating Island fixes itself and Knuckles orders his lackeys the Chaotix to search around the island and give him a damage report yesterday like the maggots they are. He then looks up to the sky and proclaims that he is Knuckles the Echidna, GUARDIAN OF ANGE-oh wait, it’s not called that yet. GUARDIAN OF THE… Floating Island.

So Robotnik jumps down a hole and falls to a control room below deck. He makes it sound like he’s actually escaping by mentioning that he has a contingency plan but no. Actually, he’s just going to sick another robot on them. This one is special though, as he used the data he syphoned from Sonic’s brief tenure as Mecha Sonic to create a super huge robot doppelganger version of him… Silver Sonic.

Sonic gasps, literally saying “Holy guacamole! It’s an oversized robotic version of ME!” as though he’s not seen at least 3 of those before. He literally was one before in fact. Why is that line there?

Yeah, I remember these being pretty cool moments. 

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

This is where the “Over Easy” starts to come into play. I guess it’s technically not fair to say that what happens next is “easy” but it happens way too quickly. 

In the span of a single page, Sonic is getting tossed around by Silver Sonic. Then, after Sonic’s head busts into some wires, he grabs it and uses it to completely short-circuit and fry Silver Sonic. 

Just like that. He’s done.

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

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He then charges into the room and sees that Sonic is piloting Silver Sonic from within… somehow? He borrowed the idea from Tails, he says… but…

Okay, so Tails getting into the Swat-Bot was negligible. Sure it doesn’t make total and complete sense for him to be able to pilot it from the inside with him being so small and having no real way for him to move its legs but whatever.

However, this is just baffling. There’s nothing but circuitry and bolts inside of Silver Sonic right? Robotnik didn’t build manuel controls inside of him or anything and yet we can see Sonic sitting in the head of Silver Sonic… controlling its movements somehow. I’d probably be able to chalk it up to just cartoonish weirdness but it’s even more distracting knowing that Sonic isn’t supposed to be a technical genius.

Is getting inside robots all you have to do in order to pilot them? Guess so.

Anyway, Robotnik battles Silver Sonic while wearing his Death Egg armor. It’s a very odd scene and one I’d never imagined I’d ever see happen. Sonic flicks Eggman up a few floors with his robotic finger when Tails shows up and says that, somehow, he’s wired the entire Death Egg to explode in 20 minutes but also explains that their fighting has ruptured the inside of it, somehow, so now it could explode at any second.

Oooh, so THIS is where that's from! I could've sworn the other day that there was a situation like this at some point in the franchise.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

I’m noticing more and more that Tails is being pushed into being more technical and into mechanical stuff the further we go along. I like seeing the evolution of it.

Sonic, at first, says “NO!” because he wants to finish his climactic battle with Eggman. Tails starts to run and says “Uhm. No. I’m sure it’s totally gonna explode any second now…” so Sonic sighs and follows after him. 

The great escape happens as they reach the exit ramp of the Death Egg. However, they randomly come across a box of magic rings! Oh hooray! Now they can fulfill their original mission. How lucky. I guess just writing it so that Tails stole some rings while he was in the literal garbage chute where the rings got sucked up made too much sense. No, just put a box of them right by the area where they’re going to jump from the Death Egg. Clearly we didn’t forget to include an explanation for how they got them and threw one in at the last minute. 

Huh. Sudden Stonic the Fighteres homage?

But yeah, that's kinda lame.

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

So they jump out of the Death Egg and upon re-entry into the atmosphere, Sonic climbs out of Silver Sonic and has Tails carry him to safety. He does that weird thing where he narrates what he’s going to do as he does it too. He literally says “Meanwhile, I’ll climb out of this monkey suit!” while doing the thing he says he’s gonna do. It’s so strange. Who uses the word meanwhile when referencing something they’re in the middle of doing.

Meanwhile, I will finish typing this sentence. 

All the characters look up in awe as the Death Egg explodes in a way that’s so hard and epic that it rocks all of Mobius. Sonic wonders if Robotnik survived but of course he did. He parachutes down into Snivopolis, shouts “SNIVOPOLIS?!” when he sees the sign that Snively posted there, and falls into Snively’s new office, landing right on top of him as he sleeps in his chair.

Flattened against his backside, Snively contemplates being stuck to Robotnik’s butt or revealing himself so he could be torn in half for daring to put flowers and a picture of his mom at a desk in his control room.

Then the Looney Tunes logo signs them off with a That’s all folks.

Yeah, I thought I remembered Eggman landing on Snively. Don't remember the butt thing, though.

Really now?! Snively's mom?! I know it's technically a goofy joke, but it's interesting considering what we learn later.
 

On 7/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

So, this last issue was the worst of the three of them BUT I still wouldn’t say it’s a bad issue. It had a bit of a rushed ending but despite my earlier quams it didn’t feel like it was “Over Easy” like I was worried it would be. Not entirely. There was enough things that happened and set-pieces at play that made the mad scramble more potent and urgent than something like your typical Sonic Universe ending where things would just resolve themselves because it was time for the story to wrap up.

All in all, I’d say this was easily the best special I’ve read so far. All three issues were good despite being of varying quality. Keep this up old comics who’ve long since been finished. Keep it up.

Also fuck Carol Condor, I guess. This dude we’ve never seen or heard of before shows up Roboticized with his entire Freedom Fighter group nowhere to be seen and gets punched in the face and has garbage rained on him from above and is never mentioned again. 

I kind of hope he never shows up again. That’d be a really hilarious way to introduce and abandon a character who used to be an ally to them. 
 

There were number of cool moments in it, but they wrap up as soon as they start.

I think he was more or less confirmed dead.

On 7/8/2019 at 7:27 PM, Badnik Zero said:

 

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

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

 

On 7/8/2019 at 7:39 PM, KingScoopaKoopa said:

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

Oh, definitely.

1 hour ago, Silvereyes said:

I'm not really sure what the intention is with St. John half the time. To me anyway, I think he is very hateable alot of the time, but I wonder if we're meant to like him.

As I said, the intent with him seemed to change a bit.

At the very least, he was initially supposed to be mysterious and therefore suspicious in his debut before turning out to be a loyal  good guy, which technically persisted outside of his spats with Sonic and his upcoming part in making Antoine more respectable.

He was given a more distinctly sympathetic angle in the Knuckles arc that introduces Elias and honestly that remains so from the time Elias is initially being tasked with taking up the throne on.

1 hour ago, Silvereyes said:

Again, sortof Shadow the Hedgehog before Shadow the Hedgehog even existed.

Eh, I'd say more Knuckles and retroactively Rouge. Shadow is a whole different beast. 

1 hour ago, Silvereyes said:

I'm a big Bond fan, so I have noticed it a couple of times. The opening of the Sally miniseries, which is where St John is first introduced, is a big homage to Goldfinger's pre titles. St John being an English spy, who later on would run around wearing a tuxedo.

The last Knuckles the Echidna book story featuring a Bond-esque villian in Hunter, with someone on here showing a picture of Hunter being a direct trace of a scene of Scaramanga from The Man with the Golden Gun. And Penders has definetly mentioned Bond a couple times on his Twitter.

Been a while since I've read the Archie run, so there are probably other Bond-isms that turn up I bet.

Huh. Well alright then.

I thought Hunter was just a more Gentlemenly Kraven.

 

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Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #1:  The Dark Legion, Book One - Army of Darkness

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That title is some seriously whacked out bullshit. Seriously, I spent longer than I should have trying to figure out how to properly title this thing because the beginning of this series has so many subtitles. I would have been okay titling it “Knuckles: The Dark Legion” if all the books in the Knuckles series were titled that on the cover but they aren’t. Just the first three issues. On top of that, there’s another subtitle for each story too. 

Apparently the reason for this is because this was originally supposed to just be a three issue thing but it got so popular that it became an entirely different comic series of it's own. How sad.
 

Spoiler

 

Anyway, welcome everyone. I took a week off but I’m back to make up for it with three issues of the Knuckles series with this first one brought to you by Ken Penders and Kent Taylor. 

Knuckles and his relationship with his step-dad, Ken Penders, is one that needs no introduction but it is a very interesting story to look back on. Not this one, the one about Penders becoming dangerously infatuated with Knuckles and the echidnas. This isn’t a man who made his start as a Sonic fan (and I doubt he ever really became one) so his imprinting on Knuckles is something that can easily be viewed as more of an egotistical thing.

This was back during the time when Knuckles had very little explored about him and Ken Penders got to pretty much go crazy with taking what little was known about him and turning it into something that pretty much belonged to him. His attachment to this, as a result, really is more about the mythos he created rather than any real respect for the character in my opinion.

That’s enough psychoanalyzing though. Let’s get started on this.
 
The events here actually took place sometime before Endgame officially but Knuckles’ role in that was so minor it might as well not matter. Just pretend we’re flashing back a bit.

We begin with Penders waxing philosophical about … something in order to sound smart. Something about the importance of chronicles or something. Like Sonic Chronicles, yeah?

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When I read the line “chronicle their yesterdays” I knew I was in for some shit. 

I don’t know why this man likes using the words “yesterdays” and “tomorrows” so much. I don’t even care if they’re grammatically correct or not. It just doesn’t sound right. It just comes off as someone trying to fake self-importance, whether it be to themselves or to whatever story they’re writing.

He doesn’t really need to try hard to evoke that feeling when you’re saying stuff like “It is often best to liken history to a prism, an object with numerous points of view-” in an introductory comic book about Knuckles the Echidna.

We start with an alarm going off in some unknown room.

BEEP! BEEP! Ken Penders just got put in charge of writing his own Knuckles series, this is not a drill!

A red echidna in the Forbidden Zone of the Floating Island walks in on a very high tech computer room and turns the alarms off, mumbling something, apparently to his brother, about Dimitri. However, it’s not Dimitri whose the problem (since last we saw him, he was on his way to space) but the dreaded Dark Legion. 

The monitor is showing people in cloaks, robots with designs from the 60s, and flying saucers.

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It was at this point, 2 pages in, where I began wondering if deciding to read these was a mistake.

The design of those cloaked guys are familiar though. I definitely do recognize them from Issues 199-200 where the “final” assault on Eggman before he went crazy happened. This was during the time where Dimitri was also just a floating robot head inside a ball. Can’t wait to see how THAT happens.

The echidna in the computer room is Locke by the way. I seriously couldn’t tell because I can’t tell the difference between these echidnas. 

We cut to Angel Island where Knuckles is making the proclamation that his life is apparently really good right now. Archimedes is there too, just hanging out with his mouth open, pointing at nothing and looking frozen. Paradise is then interrupted when his feelers go off because he senses trouble. However, he’s unsure of how best to proceed.

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“Hmm. What’s the best way to lie to Knuckles about this situation? It’s of the utmost importance that he can’t know his father is alive after walking into a wall of fire.”

Before we can find out what that sound is we cut to the past where we see the Echindaopolis of old. The two scientist echidna brothers (Dimitri and… the other one) are holding their presentation about how to use energy from the Chaos Emeralds to rejoin with the land below. I think his son is talking about how his dad told him they totally can’t refuse this... and then they totally refuse this.

Dimitri walks out grumbling about evil shit.

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I think he’s supposed to be angry here but that grin makes him look more happy than not. The coiling of his dreadlocks is also very interesting, I’m noticing. 

So yeah, Dimitri and... *looks up the other dude's name* Edmund are here talking to the council about rejoining their island back onto the ground after it's been floating in the sky for generations now. There's nothing inherently wrong with a goal like this but it isn't really something you can force an entire country to do if they don't want to.  This is kind of where the split in Dimitri's psyche comes in and his son witnesses his dad walking out all angry about it.

We then cut back to the present with Knuckles now walking in the same exact position you see Dimitri walking in above. The first cut to the past also saw Knuckles making the same face Dimitri was making when the presentation started which told me immediately that this was going to be the comic’s gimmick. I guess it’s fine. It’s an attempt at being artsy which… I mean, whatever.

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Anyway, they see a ton of flying saucers and tanks. I guess when characters need their own stories, the best way is to go for an alien invasion.

Knuckles asks if they’re here to do bad stuff and Archimedes says he likes Knuckles because of his ability to assess the situation.

Now… I’m not saying that he’s not sharper than the average echidna in this comic but… I dunno, I think most anyone could look at these weirdos and probably guess they aren’t here to sell you some cookies.

It was at this point where the comic shifts back to the past and I… had a sense of dread wash over me at this point. I scrolled down to confirm if my fear that they were going to cut from past to present every single goddamn page was true and thankfully they dial it back as the book goes on, thank Christ.

We cut to the point in the past where the big mountain with the dumb evil face is shown collapsing. The son of Edmund finds his dad okay, but Menniker, the son of Dimitri, is unable to find HIS dad. He tries to run in to save him but he can’t because he’ll be crushed. He also doesn’t know that his dad just became a Demi-God so he’s probably feeling a bit shitty right now.

He’d probably be really impressed if he found out his dad was a Demi-God though. I think most children would be all over that.

These little tidbits about the echidna’s past are fairly hard to recall completely mostly because the fine details are made more important than they normally would be… and also because I covered this material so long ago. Thankfully, chronicling it has made it so that it hasn’t been entirely wiped from my memory just yet.

Back to the present, one of the robots in the invading army of cloaked guys is sent to look for the thing it’s sensing with its robot sensors. Archimedes makes him and Knuckles poof away which confuses it. Then, despite Knuckles having already said a similar line before, he says “Why do I get the feeling these guys spell really bad news!”

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Repetitive dialogue spells really bad news for me as well.

Archimedes responds by saying it’s because they make an imposing first impression… and then THINKS about how they did the same thing four hundred years ago.

So, one, he knows who these guys are but is refusing to tell Knuckles for some reason. Two, he knows his father is alive but he’s also keeping that a secret. So is his dad. And three, these ants are a stupid plot device and I hate them.

This is all very strange already but it’s starting to hit me just how strange it is that Knuckles is being kept so in the dark right now. Surely there has to be an important purpose towards keeping things so secret from him despite him being THE acting guardian of the Floating Island right now… right?

We cut to the past so we can see and… it’s a very serious situation that is being given some rather hilarious dialogue.

You see, remember when the backstory for the echidnas said that they were technologically advanced… 400 years ago? Well, some things led to things and after they sent their island floating to the sky they did the immeasurably foolish thing of forcing an entire nation of people to collectively give up on their way of life through a vote in a bid to return to their natural roots. Natural roots that they never had, mind you.

I’m not sure why these supposedly smart echidnas thought it best to handle manners in such extremes and not expect there to be repercussions but here we are. 

There was a vote; technology or no-technology. The majority ruled that there was to be no technology and thus the citizens were expected to give up their fancy shit. This poor sap had his VCR and remote control taken away thanks to his wife giving them away!

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Yes, these echidnas apparently had Monday Night Football.

In one panel you can even see Menniker, Dimitri’s son, handing over a SEGA Genesis. Wow.

He’s happy to do so because, as it turns out…

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So, yeah. Not everyone’s on board with this. Go figure.

It’s like the technology prohibition that’ll give rise to organized crime. Except, probably a billion times worse.

Imagine if the country passed a law that said you had to give up your technology. Your smart-phones, your PS4s, your hi-definition TVs, your PCs and laptops… 

The country would be on literal fire the next day.

The next page is a list of names and ages of people who proclaimed “I WANT MY KNUCKLES COMIC NOW!” It’s kind of funny and cute.

Back to the present day though and we see that Drone Fourteen still hasn’t given up chasing Knuckles and Archimedes. I don’t know...WHY he decides to do this but Archimedes says “Fuck it” and poofs onto the robot’s shoulder, loudly proclaiming he exists and letting the robot finally confirm that there are indeed intruders. Then Knuckles shows up and punches the robot back so they can continue running away, only this time, having pointlessly let the enemy know that they’re there so they can be properly chased this time.

Also, Archimedes is being weirdly complementary to Knuckles this issue. Usually, when he speaks to Knuckles he talks down to him or condescends to him but he’s praising him at every turn here. When Knuckles punched that robot he not only said it was a good haymaker but added that the line he said when he did it was SO him!

The line Knuckles said was, “It’s crunch time!”

Anyway, now that the boss knows there’s definitely people they can kill, he orders his drones to chase them.

Back to the past.

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So, the son of Edmund  has come to tell his father that their incredibly controversial thing is an incredibly controversial thing.

Edmund knew it would be but his son informs him that it’s actually way worse because there’s echidnas lurking in the shadows, wearing robes and having little First Order Star Wars meetings about it… ALREADY!

Also, Edmund’s son’s name is Steppenwolf, which is kind of awesome.

Edmund makes it clear that just because they’re taking the technology away doesn’t mean they’re destroying it... which... I guess that comes later.

When I say these meetings are like the First Order instead of the Empire, I mean to say that they look just about as impressive as the First Order.

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It’s some goofy stuff.

I do wonder what the time-line between the council passing the order to give up the technology and this group forming was though. Couldn’t have been more than a couple months. These guys might not even have a catering team yet.

Anyway, they spot Steppenwolf spying on them and chase him down.

Back to Knuckles in the present, we see that he didn’t really have a plan and has retreated to the Chaotix to inform them of the situation. They used up the element of surprise with all of them together because Archimedes decided to pointlessly reveal their presence to them. To be fair, I doubt it would have mattered for long considering just how many of them there were but it still feels weird to make the conflict worse before thinking up a plan.

Either way, Knuckles tells the Chaotix the situation and the instant he does, the flying saucers invade. At this point, Knuckles realizes that Archimedes is acting weird and begins wondering if he’s getting info withheld from him yet again.

You are Knuckles. It probably isn’t for a good reason either.

The Chaotix hold their own against the invaders, crashing some of their vessels and knocking some of them out but more guys in tanks are coming. Oh no. Whatever shall they do?

We’ll find out after the next blast to the past!

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Steppenwolf has stolen a flying saucer and is using it to try and get away from the First Order.

The escape doesn’t go well.

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The Grandmaster doesn’t want any survivors which is a sign that these people have truly gone cuckoo for cocoa puffs in an impressively short amount of time. This is also the first time the term “Grandmaster” has been used to describe the leader of this group which rang bells of some of the tidbits from future stories as well. It’s an interesting feeling finding out the origin to some of this stuff.

Back to the present though, we see that Knuckles and Knuckles’ Chaotix have been surrounded. They are taken hostage and taken to the leader of the legion who reveals himself to be…

Kragok...!

Dun Dun Dun!

… Who the fuck is Kragok? 

I honestly have no clue. 

He’s an echidna with a cybernetic arm and eye who has business with Knuckles’ family.

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Perhaps an ancestor? Perhaps a name change to one of the echidnas from 400 years ago that somehow managed to survive like Dimitri did? We shall see.

Uh… despite my misgivings, this first issue honestly wasn’t that bad. 

If the comic had stuck with shifting between the past and present literally every single page, I might have been driven crazy but it thankfully knocked that off the more the issue went on. It also dropped the pointless artsy move of having the position of one echidna mirroring another when we cut back and forth through time. Seems more like the beginning of the book had an idea and then as it went on it realized that its idea was dumb and more trouble than it was worth and dropped it.

Also, despite how odd the echidna origin story continues to be, a lot of the super weirdness was given unto me a while back and thus hasn’t affected me AS harshly this time. It IS still weird seeing an echidna whining to his wife about having to give up his fucking VCR and Monday Night Football though. 

It would be immeasurably dumb to destroy all the technological stuff they collected because technology is largely the reason they managed to make their island float away from the trajectory of the comet in the first place those generations ago.

The fact that taking it all away was going to have negative consequences should have been a given. I don’t know what these supposed geniuses were thinking but I guess we’ll find out more about how their hubris caused their downfall.

 



Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #2:  The Dark Legion, Book Two - Sins of the Fathers

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The art within the book is pretty consistent and looks fairly well done too. I’m appreciative of it because there’s only so much badness I can handle at once. Art for these issues is being provided by Manny Galan and Andrew Pepoy this time.
 

Spoiler

 

We begin with another one of these.

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VCRXvnBZrhq1ku9NVeoFDa9_dl3QmPFbxKjFgQIlijMF3RLhJixfNYsx1bMhBbN8OV3--UPI3Qsa-K7lnMzoCBvvRmS3KB9vHCfMpbr-yJosu4jDphpgqRDmznpv7fapjuOiVQu-

This one is a lot less pretentious and a lot more straight-forward than the other one and it ends on an odd set-piece where, instead of finishing the “blood is thicker than water” line, it just cuts to Knuckles getting pissed on getting sprayed in the head with water. 

I’m hesitant to call it a joke. It’s mostly just strange.

Anyway, we see that Knuckles was woken up by one of the guys in cloaks with a literal water gun. 4kids wouldn’t have even had to do anything here.

Knuckles is understandably pissed and snappy with them. We see them leading him to Kragok, their leader while the two-page spread shows the numerous flying ships, robots, and tanks, offering a full-scale showcase of just how devastating their fire power is.

As well as a little humanizing scene in the corner where they’re having a picnic.

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Knuckles is led into the tent and told to sit down so he and Kragok can have a little chat. Knuckles says it’s hard to do when he’s got shackles on and Kragok immediately tells them to release him, informing Knuckles that if he tries anything, his men will be all over his echidna ass.
We then go back in time again.

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Where we see… the ant colony holding a meeting with their ant queen about what they can do to help the echidnas more…

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Just your sobering reminder that you’re reading a Sonic the Hedgehog comic, I guess.

Christopheles is really worried about these echidnas because they’re basically self-destructing themselves. They need a guide and Christopheles decides to take part in doing so by poofing to where Edmund is and offering his advice. Again, I don't get why these ants can't just leave well enough alone but oh well.

Edmund is busy grumbling about how the citizens are a superstitious, cowardly lot (yes, he says this line from Batman) because they don't want to listen to the guy who enacted an order to take their technology away. He is then surprised to see that an ant has poofed into his room for all of two seconds before being okay with it. 

The instant Christopheles mentions that Edmund needs to be the light that guides the way for his people or else his son might be in danger, Edmund bolts which leaves Christopheles to proclaim that he wasn’t finished yet and for him to go after him. 

So now Edmund is on a mission to save his son from… something. I know his son IS in danger but I don’t know how he knows where to go or that the danger Christopheles was talking about was happening at this exact, literal moment.

We go back to the present now where, after being released from his shackles, Knuckles cuts the talking bullshit and immediately attacks Kragok. His guards smack him down and then Kragok smacks him in the face when Knuckles tries to make the claim that he isn’t tough because his guards are doing their work for him.

Kragok asks where the Chaos Chamber is and Knuckles says he doesn’t know.

Kragok doesn’t buy that answer and… for some reason leaves the tent.

He tells his guards to beat Knuckles up but they get beat up instead and Knuckles takes one of their cloaks, revealing the hideous metallic monstrosities underneath.

Also, his new catch-phrase is back.

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Exactly how dumb of a villain do you have to be to get so easily out-smarted by Knuckles? This guy basically just handed Knuckles a win. 

When he released Knuckles’ shackles, I assumed he had some other way to suppress Knuckles as a show of confidence in himself but it was literally just his mooks. That would have been unimpressive enough on its own but then the guy just leaves the tent. 

What an idiot. He let Knuckles go after having captured him and got zero information out of it.

Seriously, why did he release him? Who cares if Knuckles is uncomfortable when you’re a villain. Fuck his comfort.

We’re going back to the past yet again…

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Edmund has come upon the crash site of his son Steppenwolf. Again, no idea how he knew this was happening and sure as hell don’t know how he found out that THIS was the place he needed to go. Christopheles certainly didn’t tell him that. 

Then, things get heavy when this happens.

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Yeah, Edmund gets shot during his mission to save his son. The guards here make a joke about how he’s never coming back from Never-Never land which is a very odd time for a reference like that.

Poor Steppenwolf comes from the smoke and finds his father, now a corpse and cradles him in his arms, saying that it should have been him instead.
There’s no explanation for how Steppenwolf survived, which alone I’d have been okay with, but there’s literally no scratches on him. He doesn’t even look hurt. I don’t really get it but it doesn’t take away from the odd tragedy of his father dying for no reason when his son was actually okay.

If only Christopheles, the ant angel of death, didn’t poof in to give him that warning.

Speaking of which-!

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It’s… more than a little disturbing that Christopheles is so immediately accepting of the fact that he just got Edmund killed. He literally doesn’t seem to give a shit at all, instead immediately heaping responsibility for the strength to CONTINUE onto his son.

He says he’s here to help and one look at Edmund’s corpse just makes me want to go-

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Back in the present, Knuckles uses his disguise to easily get back to the Chaotix and let his mates free. Boy what a huge unimpressive idiot Kragok is eh?

As this happens, we cut back to Locke who is watching all this play out on several monitors from within his isolated chamber in the Floating Island.

Archimedes poofs back in as Locke comments about how his son needs more help. I guess, before they can provide it, the alarm goes off again and they head out to see who the intruder is.

Turns out it’s an old face. Athair from the Tails mini-series. 

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You know, the Tails mini-series where this old echidna showed up to info dump about the Ancient Walkers and a bunch of history about the echidnas to Tails… in the TAILS mini-series.

Still no explanation for why Locke needed to pretend he killed himself by walking into a fire in front of his son or why he’s monitoring his life through some TV screens within the island. I’d very much like to get one soon because it’s really bothering me now.

Athair and Locke get into an argument about which of them were selfless and which of them was selfish.

Then this happens-!

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It’s hilarious.

The ancient walkers appear behind Athair to punctuate how the situation is more dangerous than they think… and then they immediately disappear without explaining shit. 

There’s being needlessly cryptic and then there’s just being douchey.

The last time the Ancient Walkers pulled this shit, there was literally no reason they couldn’t have just been straight forward with Knuckles about what he needed to do and I’m willing to bet that’s the same situation here. It’s even funnier that Locke, of all people, is complaining about them not explaining shit.

Archimedes wants to head back to Knuckles, fearing that Knuckles might think he’s abandoned him but Locke puts a stop to that, saying that they’ll be fine and his wisdom is best kept here for now. I don’t yet know why so I’ll just assume he’s doing it to be even more of a dick to his son.

We cut back to the past yet again…!

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Here we see that instead of Edmund, the one being guided and trained by Christopheles is his son Steppenwolf. I’m not sure what the point of the torch passing was because it kind of just feels like we needlessly swapped echidnas here. Didn’t even know Edmund HAD a son before these stories after all. I guess Edmund was a bit too much of an asshole.

Whatever though. Steppenwolf trains and learns the art of science and becoming buff and being one with nature and all that jazz. He eventually takes to becoming the new guardian of the Chaos Emerald and is eventually shown the Haven.

What is the Haven you ask? Why it’s the mechanical area that Locke is in, monitoring his son while he sleeps all the time. 

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This image almost had me thinking that Christopheles was going to lead Steppenwolf off a cliff and get him killed too. 

No, it's apparently just the place where Edmund took all the technology that he took from his own people. Fantastic guy, that one...

Back to the present, Knuckles and his crew have been busting through the island, trying to escape but Kragok and his tanks have had enough of their shit and take to firing fireballs at them to burn the forest down around them.

The whole time, Vector has been complaining like a whiny little bitch for some reason, even saying he demands they stop running, not because he wants to fight, but because he’s tired and he’s willing to let the enemy have his hide if it means he can stop exercising. He also speaks in annoying hip-hop lingo. It’s really not endearing.

The issue ends on a bunch of animals coming from the burning forest and making a bee-line for the escaping heroes. So things are rather… Chaotic now. Shall we say? Yeah?!

Again, nothing really technically wrong with this issue  either. I’m mostly just waiting to see where this all comes to a head as I’m not entirely certain I’m grasping the point of this story just yet. I can totally feel that something important is going down and the flashbacks are actually interesting enough to sell that feeling but it’s not clicking just yet. Hopefully, the third issue will make it clear.

That said, Kragok’s actions in this issue were monumentally stupid and the cryptic nonsense from both Locke and the Ancient Walkers are trying my patience. I have a little sympathy for Steppenwolf, surprisingly. Losing his father and taking up the mantle of guardian as per the instruction of a meddling ant who he doesn’t know has to feel like a one-way street as far as the direction you didn’t expect your life to take. 

Time for the conclusion to this… whatever this is.

 



Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #3:  The Dark Legion, Book Three - Blood is Thicker

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Again, another well done cover. Honestly, this hasn’t been as painful an experience as I expected going in. However, it’s still mostly mundane outside of anything dealing with the admittedly intriguing flashback. All that’s happened in the present time is that some Echidna Storm Troopers showed up, took over the island, and then after their boss idiotically let Knuckles free, chased them down and set the forest on fire. That’s it.

Spoiler

 

IINWYwFXKqmZZn9mf8fkdjN1fk3qVNteJ5VCO4-R1KPJ0mgZN-InRZF8714mctnspoKmK3NveScU9CmRxh_g-y4tYeebdYIfNfInJ4gH-s2Th_SfKPxfHokGmle8ydb3eyib6Anj

The passage this time is basically saying that Knuckles is right to have blind faith in the path others have plotted out for him during the entirety of his life. Knuckles has been lied to and has had secrets kept from him his entire life and this passage is saying the right choice is for him to have faith in the circumstances that led him to this point where he’s surrounded by a huge army of people who want to kill him for reasons he doesn’t know with barely any friends to help due to being isolated from the rest of the world ever since he was born. The people who do know what’s going on won’t tell him anything while he’s stuck with dealing with the consequences of all of it.

So yeah… have faith in THAT Knuckles. It’s the right thing to do.

Okay so this issue begins with the group of… what I THOUGHT were mostly flickies rushing at them  and Mighty needing to push down a tree to create a roadblock so that they don’t get trampled by them instead of protecting them FROM the fire they're running from but… I DID see that rat in a suit running at the front of the pack. 

That rat looks like a guy who deals in LSD for some reason… hmmm…

Well, anyway, upon closer inspection, this is a group of mostly Mobians. As well as Heavy and Bomb. And Hamlin apparently?

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I’m… so confused.

I asked this question before during the Death Egg Saga adaption, when Knuckles said that the floating island falling into the ocean was going to lead to the death of hundreds, about whether or not he was talking about flickies and non-anthro animals or regular Mobians.

Apparently, Mobians are just LIVING on the Floating Island which is baffling as fuck.

I don’t understand. 

Knuckles punched out Dulcy the Dragon just for flying close to it. How is it that so many people are living on here? We never ever see people wandering around like this. It’s so strange! Where is this coming from? Were they all just living here before Knuckles was born? That can’t be the case right?

How does this make sense? Explain it to me, please. I’m short-circuiting from the confusion.

This is somehow more confusing than what they do to put out the fire, which is to have Vector crank his headphones up to Max and have it blow the fire away.

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What a dangerous max setting. I sometimes crank my headphones up to max by accident. The amount of force it would take to put out a fire that big would probably blow my head off. 

We even see Mighty have to hold Charmy so that he doesn’t get blown away in a panel that has Charmy looking the absolute smallest I’ve ever seen him look before.

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The blast is so strong that the intruders on their flying saucers have no choice but to retreat even. What devastating power. 

Still doesn’t compare to Vector’s own pipes though.

Team+Blast.gif

We travel back to the past to see that the beginnings of the Dark Legion are attacking the high council of these idiot echidnas.

Just then, Steppenwolf returns to tell everyone that they can’t give up, proclaiming, I guess, that he’s here to help lead them?

One of the echidnas stands up in anger and points out that it’s Steppenwolf’s family’s fault that they’re all in this mess. Steppenwolf points out that their family also saved them too and the other guy asks if this is a fact.

Okay, so we have to stop and analyze this for a bit because I had actually forgotten some of the details here.

It was Edmund and the judge guy who decided that in order to make up for the sins of ONE DUDE who went crazy (Dimitri) that the ENTIRE echidna clan needed to give up technology and blow up their old city. 

I don’t think I’ve emphasized this enough so it bares repeating but GOOD GOD, this is really fucking stupid.

Who could have thought that forcing an entire population that had grown accustomed to technology to give it all up against their will would have severe, negative consequences like this. I can’t even really muster up any real opinions on these Dark Legion folk because their actions feel very cartoonishly evil for no real reason. They’re cloaked in shadow and shooting people and now they’re attacking Knuckles’ island with an army of tanks and robots but all I feel about it is… nothing.

I don’t yet understand why these guys are villains yet.  Who the fuck would be okay with people legislating for them that they could no longer keep their technology because the brother of the guy who is forcing them all to do this went crazy?

The last two of these issues have been mostly aimless and mundane but this third one is starting off really whacked out and crazy. I tried to figure out which of these panels I should show you but I couldn’t so just look at this whole page.

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Fucking what?

I’m reminded of a story I read in school about a kid who went on a journey and became enlightened thanks to Buddhism and was bowed to immediately upon being seen again by his former friend. Only this shift is way stranger because this dude went from wanting to shoot him in the chest and delivering his head on a platter to crying and saying he isn’t worthy…

These echidnas are all insane. Kill them all. 

This is starting to remind me of the creepy Uchiha clan bullshit where their magic emo eyeballs made it so that they can’t handle bad things happening to them and they turn evil.

Edmund took away their technology. Dimitri went crazy and tried to take over the world and was only stopped because some ants ate through Mount Fate and buried him under some rocks. Nothing his family did has saved any of them. They've literally only made things worse. But bow before Steppenwolf I guess?

What is wrong with this species?

Dark Legion, please destroy them all.

Anyway, Steppenwolf’s long, egregious journey has fitted him with apparent words of wisdom and those words of wisdom amount to saying “Our country is divided. We need to build a bridge to each other” and then he fucks off and leaves.

The judge says he’s a shining example of what they need and I’ve never wanted to punch a dude in the face as badly as I did him. 

Now that I can fully recall the fact that Edmund and the judge were the deciding factors in deciding to take everyone’s tech away and blow up their old city, I kind of wonder if Edmund had it coming.

Anyway, Knuckles’ group put on the disguises of the Dark Legion members they’ve beaten and somehow learn to fly their flying saucers so that they can fly to a large tower sticking out of the grass. Knuckles wonders how no one could have seen that thing before and Locke, watching this on the monitor, doesn’t answer that for the reader and just points out that it’s been there for a long time, making the mystery of how no one could have discovered it worse.

Archimedes points out that the Dark Legion is not a pleasant subject to which Locke responds-!

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You almost seem frustrated with the fact that Knuckles doesn’t know this Locke. Did you somehow expect Knuckles to feel like he wasn’t alone with you monitoring him from behind the scenes like this? Typically when a father isn’t present in their son’s life, they tend not to feel their presence at all no matter how many creepy cameras are watching him at night.

Locke still decides not to go show himself to his son and instead sends Archimedes to him. Still no explanation for why Locke is keeping himself secret or why he had to walk into the fire that one day. It’s irritating.

Knuckles and his group reach the meeting where Kragok and his men are ready to snatch the Chaos Emerald. Knuckles shows up and mocks him and Kragok says he’ll have the person who said that flogged.

Then Knuckles reveals it was actually him and not one of his followers by pulling off his hood. Kragok responds by making a face and pointing at him like a Phoenix Wright character.

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We cut back to the past where Steppenwolf is going to confront the then leader of the Dark Legion. It’s here where I remembered the set-up scene of the two boys watching their fathers fail to convince the council to put the island back on the planet...

Steppenwolf goes to talk to the guy and a sniper from the distance has a gun trained on Steppenwolf… but the gun heats up and he drops it. The leader of the Dark Legion notices and says that Steppenwolf isn’t to be trusted because of this? Even though he’s the one who had a guy about to shoot Steppenwolf from behind?

Well, anyway, they fight.

The leader here talks about how he wants revenge and Steppenwolf has no idea what he’s talking about.

He then pulls off the mask and gasp, it’s Old Man Jenkins Menniker!

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Shock horror. It’s the only other named echidna who it could have been. He’s gone c-c-c-craaaaazy!

He goes into why he did all this next and… 

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Kay, so, you got that?

He went up to his father’s “grave” and saw flashes of light coming from it and took that to mean that his father had sent him the message that he wanted him to continue what he had started…

Okay. I… think that might be a bit of a weird thing to take away from some emerald light pulsing in the ground. Was it flashes of morse code or…?

... Also, how does Menniker know what his father started? This dude is leading a group that's okay with killing people to get their technology back but Dimitri's goal didn't have anything to do with that. The act of taking technology away was something that happened AFTER Dimitri was buried under Mount Fate. It happened as a direct result of Dimitri's actions. So, by "finish what he started"... he means what exactly? Returning the island to the planet? Taking over the world?


Well, it doesn't seem to matter because Steppenwolf uses his powers to blast Menniker away in a flash of light without batting an eye. Not only does he take him and his group out quick, he doesn’t seem to care at all that a guy he hung around with as a child turned evil and he had to just… wipe him off the map.

Then the little devil, Christopheles appears on his shoulder and tells him that he’s very pleased with him and to come further into the dark side.

I gotta say, the history these echidna guardians have with these ants is really upsetting. I don’t understand why they feel the need to poof themselves into their lives and start bossing them around. Literally the first echidna Christopheles tried to do this to, he got killed fucking immediately. 

I also don’t know why this conflict is being set up as though the only one to lead the echidnas astray was Dimitri. Menniker may have been inspired to continue what his insane father started because he saw some flashing lights but the goal of this legion originates from something that Edmund and that judge initiated when they tried to forcefully take everyone’s technology away.

Apparently this story just ends with the echidnas having no choice but to just accept the fact that the side that voted for their stuff being taken from them won and is now being portrayed as in the right just because one dude went insane and got buried under some rocks?

Anyway, back to the present, the fateful showdown between Knuckles and Kragok is about to beg-!

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Oh. Nevermind.

Yeah, Knuckles just beats this guy’s ass and the Chaotix kick the ass of all their followers.

Locke is sitting at his computer desk, talking to himself about some nonsense as he uses his magic echidna powers to stop their guns from working and other stuff.

Kragok manages to run away and Knuckles goes after him. Kragok makes it to one of the air chutes and laughs maniacally as he runs away like a pathetic loser.

Might as well have had him make his getaway on a pink tricycle while laughing.

Knuckles crawls out of the thing while it’s burning and Locke watches on… not doing anything to help. Not even using those monitors to discern where Kragok went so Knuckles can follow.

He even says that Knuckles isn’t ready to learn the secrets of this place yet and I seriously can’t fathom why. 

It’s a command center for the island he’s lived on all his life. Is being exposed to it going to give him radiation that’ll make his brain explode or something?

I don’t understand. Please explain you weirdo.

The issue ends with Knuckles and the Chaotix making it out and saying, “Okay but NEXT TIME!”

That’s it. That’s the story. 

So final thoughts… terrible. Honestly.

The most substance really did come from the flashback as everything that happened in the present day story was ridiculously mundane and boring. Guy shows up with an army and his army gets clowned after the guy lets Knuckles go like an idiot. 

The flashback was a lot more intriguing but for the wrong reasons. This story is very oddly set-up. Edmund and the judge forcefully took away the technology of their people and blew up their original city because Dimitri, Edmund’s brother, went insane. 

Then Edmund remained frustrated with the people for not wanting to put the island back on the planet when they had no real reason to want to do that after it had been floating above ground for GENERATIONS at that point. 

Then an ant poofed into his life and started bossing him around and got him killed… and then jumped ship to Edmund’s son instead and bossed him around until the group of people who were mad that the technology was forcibly being taken away from them retaliated and then got unceremoniously dealt with too.

Dimitri may have gone insane but Edmund is a pretty terrible person too. I understand Steppenwolf is just trying to keep everyone safe but I don’t really get what I’m supposed to feel about his journey here. 

Everything about the way this Guardian set-up works is NOT good. It’s NOT good that Knuckles is being forced to live in isolation on this island while his father stays out of his life for no good reason.

This Haven is a technologically advanced area that Edmund had made for the guardians too which makes him a massive hypocrite as well. He took everyone’s technology away but horded it so that only the guardians could use it. I don’t see the point of taking it away period if you’re able to recognize it has benefits. 

You can’t FORCE people to want to go back to a life of mingling with nature. Especially since the Echidnas were NEVER portrayed as a species that was one with nature, even when the island was on the ground. The entire reason they were able to get their island to float is because of how technologically advanced they were. Technology saved them from being destroyed by a comet!

By the way, I had to look this up but Christopheles has Christ in his name. He’s apparently supposed to be Jesus Christ the Ant… or something.

Goddamnit Penders. And fuck these echidnas.

 


 

On 12/10/2019 at 7:45 PM, DabigRG said:

Btw, did you cover the Super Fox Man stuff? I honestly don't remember when that happens.

I read that before I started chronicling the issues on here. That was during the Tails mini-series, I believe. The one where we learn about the Ancient Walkers and the echidnas... for some reason.

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13 hours ago, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

The events here actually took place sometime before Endgame officially but Knuckles’ role in that was so minor it might as well not matter. Just pretend we’re flashing back a bit.

I don’t think so.

The unofficial ME timeline puts it after Endgame at least.

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19 hours ago, Panda Claus said:

I don’t think so.

The unofficial ME timeline puts it after Endgame at least.

It pretty much has to be since the next arc says the Dark Legion were freed from their prison zone because of the Ultimate Annihilator which is y'know a retcon since this was just supposed to be a miniseries but still.

Also I don't think Edmund built Haven. The backstory has always said that all Echidna technology was hidden in the Grand Conservatory which is where Archimedes kidnapped the Chaotix in the original miniseries. I'm not sure where Haven came from but I think the Fire Ants built it.  

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #51: Reality Bytes

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Huzzuh! Robotnik is dead. Sally is inexplicably back to life. We’ve achieved peace and prosperity forever now. I’m sure we won’t be doing something like this again some 150 issues later. Surely not.

This is a neat cover. Everyone looks well enough. I like how happy Tails is. I like how serious and stoic Antoine is pretending to be. I even like how Sally looks here. And of course, Sonic is showing off his medal of… heroism. The only thing tripping me up is that angry looking dude at the bottom right corner and how Rotor’s crying face looks like he’s George W. Bush staring directly into the sun.

Also, is that another Bean cameo on the left? Must be since I now know he doesn’t make his actual character debut until 160. Silly me thought they had been established beforehand because they felt like it but no, Ian is just really good at introducing characters apparently. 

Spoiler

 



Anyway, the art on the cover looks fine but then you open the book to find it’s actually sometimes an adorable hit-!

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Or a very odd, strange miss-!

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He’s hunched over Tails’ head here so I can only assume he’s drunk. If so then I take it back.

Anyway, they’re partying here on the NIGHT of Robotnik’s death and Sonic is wondering why they’re not partying with everyone else. I half expected Sally to answer that it was because they’re important and everyone else is a bunch of peasants.

But no, they go on for, honestly one speech bubble too many, about how clueless Sonic is before handing him a medal. 

It’s a medal of… honor? Valor? Heroism? All of the above? I dunno. It’s a medal. It tickles me to think they probably hand the same thing out for accomplishing something as mundane as coming in third in a preschool race.

Also, turns out I’m not dreaming when it comes to the art here because the perspective on these characters in this panel where Sonic has his medal is way wonky.

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I had to look up the artist for this issue because, for some reason, the comic is keeping it a mystery now but it’s by Sam Maxwell. I feel like he’s got a good enough style because there’s times here where the characters look perfect and other times, like this, where everything looks rushed and half done. Like Tails is so fucking tiny. Jesus Christ, he doesn’t even look like he could reach Sonic’s knees. Sally doesn’t look right either. Also, Sonic’s got this weird mark on his muzzle that looks like he’s poking at the inside of his cheek with his tongue or something. Either that or he’s got a boil that’s starting to grow there. Either way, it’s disturbing.

So, even later in the night we see Sonic sleeping in his… race-car bed (fucking hilarious he sleeps in that. It’s even funny when I recall seeing his Modern design sleeping in it) and is woken up by Sally. Nicole suggests he might be wary from having just killed Robotnik today but apparently not because in the next panel he’s literally just awake and asking Sally what the deal is.

He and Sally go out onto the cliff from the end credits of Winnie the Pooh and have a chat about a secret mission. Sonic wants to know why she’s being all hush hush about it… and she responds by having her eyes turn red, pointing at him, and going “The secret is that your secret mission isn’t so secret after all you fool!” which makes ZERO sense.

Even with the thing that’s about to get revealed, it still makes no sense. 

Turns out that Sally isn’t Sally but a Robot Sally! Sonic gets surrounded by Combots too! Sonic says something in disbelief but judging by his facial reaction I like to think he’s just going-!

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Sonic dodges explosions and decides to run off to warn the others about the rise of Robo-Sally, unsure of why she’s talking about killing him in the name of Robotnik when he’s dead.

I mean… the first thought that comes to mind is that their programming probably isn’t going to shift away from doing things in Robotnik’s name just because he’s dead but you know. I’m just a guy who writes comments on the internet. What do I know?

Robo-Sally here is a bit of a leftover idea from Issue 50. The idea was supposed to be that the Sally in the Snow White casket was actually supposed to be a robot double and the real Sally was dead. However, she’s not so Robo-Sally is just kind of here now, I guess.

It’s worth noting that Karl Bollers wrote this story, not Ken Penders, so we’ll see what he has in mind for this oh so glorious plot point.

On the very next page, Tails suddenly shows up and grabs Sonic out of the sky to fly him off. Sonic says that Sally’s been roboticized and immediately I’m wondering why Sonic thinks that? Unless there’s a new version of Robotization that allows you to look exactly like how you were before you were turned into a robot and can switch you back and forth between your robot and non-robot version than I’m at a loss for why he didn’t just assume it was a Robo-Sally. They get chased by new and improved Buzz Bombers and even happen upon a waiting Crabmeat.

Oh no. What terrifying enemies. 

It gets even worse when Tails’ eyes glow red too and he decides he’s had enough with being second banana to Sonic and drops his blue ass towards the badnik.

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Such an odd line. “I’m gonna become a blue splat with way cool sneakers..” sounds so off.

Anyway, he tries hard to think of a way out of turning to a blue splat on the ground and his solution is to slam into the ground even harder and borrow underneath it.

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I mean… okay. You got away but I’m not entirely sure I understand why you were so worried about hitting the ground if this was the answer to the riddle of how to survive.

Sonic sees another vision of Uncle Chuck as he’s going through the ground. He saw one earlier when Tails first saved him. At first I thought he was using a hologram wrist-watch thing to contact him or something and the comic just didn’t tell me he had one of those. I wouldn’t put it past it. However, no, apparently he’s just getting visions of Uncle Chuck.

Even stranger is that this mysterious enemy is aware of them because when Sonic exits the ground and sees an injured Bunnie, she tells him that she saw that vision of Chuck…  attack her?

Sonic deduces that this is horeshit because he just saw that vision and apparently there’s no way for two visions of Uncle Chuck to show up to a person at once (???) and that’s how he figures out that she’s also evil and is trying to ambush him. Her eyes glow red too and she attacks after fixing her faked busted leg but Sonic escapes. Yadda yadda.

Now, if I were Sonic, I’d have instead questioned the logic of how a seemingly holographic image of Uncle Chuck could have harmed you to the point where your metallic leg was busted apart on the ground. Not so much whether or not two images of him could appear in two places at once. It’s actually very possible for that to happen my boy. Especially in a world where it’s possible for whole entire robot doppelgangers of people to exist. At least Bunnie saying it fired lasers is sort of plausible...?

Sonic reaches a lake and happens upon a power ring sticking out of the water. He tries to tug it loose but can’t. Robo-Bunnie (as in full robot, not half) makes fun of him for it but then… a ZIP sound-effect happens and… suddenly the ring is around her…? I guess he got it loose and tossed it at her and it… functioned like a restraining device???

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Okay, so another thing about this issue that I haven’t gone into yet is that it’s shockingly hard to read. I don’t mean in the sense that it’s hard to tell what’s happening (although that is an issue once or twice due to poor paneling) but the wording of this dialogue is very strange.

When the ring latches onto Bunnie she says “You got a ring for a Straight-jacket and I’m ghost!” or… wait no, the speech bubbles are pointing to the side so I guess Sonic’s the one saying that. So the “I’m ghost” part makes a little more sense because it means he’s leaving but… even still that’s such a weird sentence.

You got a ring for a straight-jacket and I’m ghost?

I don’t want to be too rude for fear the person writing this has English as their second language or something but these sentences aren’t constructed in a comfortable, proper manner. It’s really throwing me off. 

When Sonic tries to pull the ring free, one of the things he says is “What gives? This ring’s got no THING!

… What the hell does that mean?

It’d be strange enough to say that “This ring’s got nothing” but the “no” and the “thing” are separated and the word “thing” is bolded. So it’s clearly supposed to be “This ring’s got no THING!” 

Like, what is he trying to say? That it won’t come out? Well, it did so… 

And apparently you can use rings to restrain people like straight-jackets? Since when? 

… What is happening?

Sonic has gone back to Knothole and is now just straight up calling them robot duplicates now. I guess seeing full robot Bunnie convinced him of it? I guess?

Also, the art has just… I don’t know if it’s multiple people drawing it or what but it doesn’t look consistent at all. I mean look at this.
 

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It looks kind of like his left leg is supposed to be his right leg and his actual right leg looks like it fell off while he was running rather than being covered by smoke. He also looks more like he’s doing the splits a bit too hard there. He’s also got a muppet mouth and is way more angular than he’s been up to this point. He doesn’t look a thing like the Sonic with the medal in the picture above with the super tiny Tails.

So, Sonic continues on and-!

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You know I didn’t quite expect Issue 51 to be like this. This plot is fairly simple at the moment but every page, nay every panel, is making me stop and do a double take.

Chuck is speaking in gibberish and somehow Sonic can understand him. I guess because this might be a dream or some shit? 

Has to be something like that because when Sonic exits the ground area, Robotnik’s just there with Robo-Sally, Bunnie, and Tails. 

Sonic isn’t really shocked that Robotnik is “apparently” alive and just says that whatever this plan is, it’s gonna fail. Robotnik says that all his friends have seen the light and that he won’t get any extra power because Robotnik’s got ALL the rings. Like all of them.

For some fucking reason, he not only has them over his shoulder but he just dumps them on the ground around his feet and pretends as though Sonic couldn’t just run over and grab the lot of them.

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Then Sonic’s robot friends start chanting “JOIN US! JOIN US!” around his head and that’s when the alarm bells go off even harder that this is a nightmare. Sonic’s still in his goddamn race car bed. Robotnik’s not alive and he didn’t just dump a dumpster full of rings at his feet like an idiot.

Sonic puts it together and wakes up with the most impractical VR headset strapped around his head.

It’s here where we get the explanation for what’s been happening.

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I love the fact that literally every face Antoine has made in this entire book has been that slanty eyed, shifty motherfucker glaze.

So yeah… Sonic’s medal was booby trapped with a… virus (???) that activated when Sonic went to sleep that trapped him in a VR nightmare (???????) and if he had given into Robotnik he would have been trapped there forever...?????

And they used… the headset to speak with Sonic to convince him not to give into Chancellor Palpatine and turn to the dark side because he’s lying when he says they’ve got cookies!

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Sonic says it would have sucked if Robotnik had managed to get him from beyond the grave but then Uncle Chuck just says that it wasn’t Robotnik.

Everyone is surprised by this and Sonic ponders who it could have been if not him.

I then raise my hand and ask, “Hey Uncle Chuck… how the fuck do you KNOW that?”

C-Can I get an explanation…? Will you explain it next issue? I mean… okay but I just… you know. I’d really like to not be confused anymore. This issue was just...

What?

Karl Bollers knows how to tell stories right? 

I don’t wanna be mean but he’s not… fucking with me with this is he?

Dear lord, Uncle Chuck was right. This was a goddamn nightmare. 

Somebody hold me. 

 

 

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You wanna know the kicker? That medal is never brought up again. It’s never explained where it came from or how it got there.

The only follow up we ever get is in a response to a fan letter issues later, where it’s said to be the work of Robo-Robotnik/Eggman.

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1 hour ago, Panda Claus said:

You wanna know the kicker? That medal is never brought up again. It’s never explained where it came from or how it got there.

The only follow up we ever get is in a response to a fan letter issues later, where it’s said to be the work of Robo-Robotnik/Eggman.

If thats true than literally how does Uncle Chuck know it wasn't Robotnik? 

How does a medal transmite a VR virus into an organic being?

Dear lord.

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1 hour ago, Panda Claus said:

You wanna know the kicker? That medal is never brought up again. It’s never explained where it came from or how it got there.

The only follow up we ever get is in a response to a fan letter issues later, where it’s said to be the work of Robo-Robotnik/Eggman.

I think the out-of-universe explanation is that the revived Sally was originally going to be an android, but they scrapped that.

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Yeah I'll be honest this is not a great first outing for Mr. Bollers. I feel like later on he gets better but this is a muddy story in every regard. I think a lot of Sonic's nonsense is an attempt at his obnoxious cool  speech patterns on SatAM.

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I'm a big fan of the art in this one. Robotnik backed up by all the doppelgangers with their full on metal appearances, is possibly one of my favorites panels in the series history. 

I always thought Snively had something to do with the trap, but it's been too long for me remember this era too well, you guys probably have a better handle on dropped plots and recons then I do.

Spoiler

Given Snively still has access to those egg-robos. 

 

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6 hours ago, Cuz said:

I'm a big fan of the art in this one. Robotnik backed up by all the doppelgangers with their full on metal appearances, is possibly one of my favorites panels in the series history. 

I always thought Snively had something to do with the trap, but it's been too long for me remember this era too well, you guys probably have a better handle on dropped plots and recons that I do.

  Reveal hidden contents

Given Snively still has access to those egg-robos. 

 

There are flashes of excellence in the art but it threw me off how randomly ugly or inconsistent it would suddenly become. Its kind of like they didn't know what style to stick to so they shape-shifted it back and forth a bit.

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #52: The Discovery Zone

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My first reaction to seeing this cover was, “Holy shit, that’s awesome! Sonic as a Noir detective!” but then I started thinking bad thoughts. Like, how this could actually be a regular detective but he’s wearing really huge fake hands and a phelt mascot head of Sonic’s. Or about how these comics currently have no detective characters in them… sigh.

The writers for this issue are Tom Rolston and Karl Bollers. Still no Penders story on the main book after Issue 50 yet, but it’s coming. Although, considering how random and awful the Karl Bollers story was last time I have a feeling it might not matter.
 

Spoiler

 

The book opens with another one of those Star Wars title crawl passages, explaining to us what we’re about to witness. It refers to Tails as Sonic’s tutelage and puts in real elegant terms about how they are “striving to develop the talent Sonic possess that is within Tails’ reach: the gift of speed! Let’s watch…”

It didn’t help that I read that passage with the image of a dignified man in a suit speaking to the audience with his hands behind his back because the immediate first image after that is this goofy shit.

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A floating leisure suit shows up in thin air and prompts the two of them to stop running as it immediately occupies all areas of importance and relevance to the point where Tails is sent off to warn the others about it. 

I know this is a Sonic the Hedgehog comic but it’s amazing just how often it’s proven that there is a such thing as being a bit too weird.

Sonic chases the floating suit with a yellow aura around it over some rocks on a river and then follows it into a cave. He says he should be careful not to be ambushed but a light flashes in his face and we’re suddenly in another dimension… 

Welcome to the Discovery Zone, I guess.

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I do rather like the sign outside that says “No Robots”. Omega would probably stare at it and then walk right on in anyway, throwing those two dudes in the suits through the windows of one of those parked cars on his way in.

So… this is odd.

It’s Sonic dressed as a detective and the typical beautiful lady who goes by Ms. *Insert Last Name here* shows up to greet Sonic at his table. In this case it’s Ms. Acorn.

Sally, because I refuse to call her Ms. Acorn, sits next to Sonic, showing off her distinctly human female body with a furred animal head on top, and states that Robotnik can be taken down if her friend Nicole is found. If Sonic does this than she’ll give him something juicy… 

I’d ask for some Starburst or maybe some Skittles but it’s clear Sonic has something different in mind.

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Probably a large package of Trolli Gummi Bears.

Right here is where I have to admit that it’s a little amusing seeing such a heavy, disproportioned version of Sonic here. If this were how Sonic were actually supposed to be proportioned, wearing an outfit like this, I’d probably find it more adorable than funny.

Sally barely manages to get out that Nicole is at the Slippy Dippy Slide Factory on The West Side. The West Side of what? I dunno. I guess it’s literally just called The West Side. Cool.

Sonic contacts Uncle Chuck on his wrist-watch communicator and asks him to look up info on this place, so it’s safe to assume he doesn’t know what to expect. However, when Chuck reports back, he says the place, while having a checkered past, isn’t associated with Robotnik, if that’s who he’s up against. Upon checking it out, though, he sees it all messed up with robot oil strung about the place. Here, he contacts Uncle Chuck again to see if a hunch he has about what’s going on is correct and has his suspicions quickly confirmed before heading off to where he wants to go.

This is really amusing and it’s more so due to how straight-forward the play at being a detective is here. Already, I’m imagining this being done in a Chaotix focused IDW mini-series, where Vector is the detective and he’s either talking to Espio or Charmy over the line. Although, unlike Sonic, he wouldn’t be wearing pants. That rule hadn’t wasn't so heavily enforced back in the day.

Male mobians, even dignified detectives, NEED to let it all hang out, don’tcha know?

Imagining this as Charmy playing detective in his head and the crime he needs to solve is something mundane and childish like, “Which kid at the park stole this little girl’s tricycle” is also amusing to me. I wouldn’t change anything about the way this has played out up to this point. Just change what it is they’re after.

Although, I do have to say that this is honestly coming off more like Sonic is Batman and Uncle Chuck is his Alfred. Seriously, look at this.

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I will say that Sonic is proportioned a lot better here. You can actually tell he’s the right size in that picture. 

Oh and if you thought it couldn’t get any weirder, Sonic immediately runs into the robots from Mystery Science Theater 3000 and promptly destroys them.

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TenderBitterHarrierhawk-small.gif

After taking them out and swiping the Game and Watch out of the hands of the last robot he destroyed, he realizes that Nicole isn’t a dame in need of rescue, but a computer.

He takes her back to Sally who is grateful to Sonic for the gift. Turns out Nicole is the one in need of some juice so Sally puts in a fresh…  something and she’s all better.

However, turns out things are super bad now because Robotnik just appears behind Sonic and Sally, I guess through the power of jump cuts, and promptly sabotages himself.

This idiot literally rolls up and tells them that what they have are the plans for every last one of his research facilities and confirms that having that information could destroy him.

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Doesn’t even play it off like they’re fake or whatever. Hey, though, it’s cool because he can just destroy them. As we all know, Robotnik excels at winning.

So Robotnik has them surrounded with guns pointed at her. Sally then explains what happened. She infiltrated Robotnik’s base and downloaded all his files onto Nicole. However, while escaping through an open window she dropped Nicole…

… Then she decided that she couldn’t do what she just did again so she hired Sonic to do it for her. 

I’m not entirely sure this makes sense but I’ll just assume it doesn’t and move on.

Sonic destroys the robots with the help of a ring he stashed in his pocket and Robotnik leaves in a huff. Later, we see Sally talking to Sonic as Tails and Rotor, his other helpers in this universe, arrive on a plane.

Sally has asked him to join the rebellion and Sonic lies by saying that he works alone. He says this in the same panel that Tails and Rotor arrive to pick him up, never mind all the help he got from Uncle Alfred.

Then Sally basically just asks again and Sonic immediately agrees. All of a sudden, he’s just on board with teamwork with the rebellion. So hurray.

Also, Sally mentions that Robotnik is probably going to just do something to render all the information Nicole has useless so… I’m not sure how her having it could actually ruin him in that sense but… whatever. The story kind of ends on the mental equivalent of a deflating balloon.

Back in our regularly scheduled dimension, the real Sonic stumbles out of the cave with Sally, Rotor, and Uncle Chuck there with Tails. Sally sounds really worried to hear that Sonic followed a Leisure suit into a cave.

Sonic says he has no words to describe what happened but apparently he was fighting Robotnik. Rotor says “HE’S DEAD!” and then Sally wonders if Sonic’s been eating too many chili-dogs as though eating a ton of those would flash you images of fighting Robotnik. Also, apparently you guys didn’t find it crazy when Tails flew towards you and informed you that Sonic chased a leisure suit into a cave so I dunno what you’re on about concerning Sonic's suggestion to be crazy.

Although, Sonic doesn’t help the case for his sanity when he turns to nobody and winks. We know he’s winking to the audience but in the context of his world, he’s winking at nothing.

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #52: First Contact

The actual important event happens in the shorter second story of the issue. It begins with Sally using Nicole to link up with one of Robotnik’s satellites. Borrowing the stuff that belongs to a dead person has to feel strange I’d imagine.

When she does this, she uses its power to contact all the other Freedom Fighters around Mobius, with the largest screen being dedicated to Knuckles and the Chaotix despite them being the least Freedom Fighter-y out of the people on the screen. I’m aware it’s just because they’re the most important out of these characters but that’s kind of my point.

Once she has them all here, Sally makes the declaration that the Acorn Kingdom is going to become a dictatorship and plans to use the technology she just hacked into to re-conquer the world. She’s even going to be sending out pamphlets detailing her new world order. She would prefer sending physical gifs on a piece of paper to tell the Sonic Heroes that they’ve got three days to stop her but that tech won’t be available until 2003.

 Also, is this Mina Mongoose?

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She looks like Mina Mongoose.

Anyway, Sally recaps everything that happened in Endgame to people she outright says probably already know what happened. Though she’s wrong about the part where she says that part of Robotnik’s plan was to make people THINK she had a fatal fall. She literally did have a fatal fall and you only survived because you were too popular to kill off. The only thing that can kill you is cancellation. 

There’s also a very unsettling image of the Ultimate Annihilator killing Robotnik. There were blasts going through his body in Issue 50 as well but here it really shows it off as it’s drilling blast holes into his body while he screams in agony.

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One even goes right through his fucking brain. 

He’s so fucking dead guys.

Sally concludes by saying that she awakened from the “Death-like coma” (just say “Coma” you weirdo) and how they plan to enter Robotropolis tomorrow to ascertain how badly the former capital has been fucked up.

Then she gets to the bad news and it’s … really kind of interesting.

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Remember that weird tidbit at the end of Issue 50 where they just casually dropped on us that Knothole Village (JUST Knothole Village by the way) exists in a temporal zone three hours ahead? I remember it being explained as something way more techno-babble-y and complicated there but now that I can actually understand what’s being said I have to say… it’s STRANGE, isn’t it?

I could see the benefits of living in a place that was three hours BEHIND but three hours AHEAD? That’s like being sentenced to the worst part of daylight savings for all eternity only it’s triple the hours ahead. Fuck that!

Also, apparently the Leisure Suit situation wasn’t just an excuse to have a Noir story (it totally was though) but to exemplify what stuff from other dimensions crossing over can look like.

She tells them to "beware the zones" but then gets immediately disconnected from everyone because the satellite uplink randomly deteriorated. Sure, okay.

So that’s it. 

As a way to dull this information out to us, I like the idea behind it. I feel it would have been intensely more entertaining had it been written in the style of the modern comics though. Here, it’s got the 50s Detective movie style down but that’s kind of ALL it has? They’re dressed to impress and it’s in something resembling black and white but they don’t SPEAK like they’re from a noir story. It stops using noir tropes after Sonic does one thing like an actual detective and for the rest of the issue is a typical, boring Sonic story where he just bodies all the Swat Bots instantly.

Robotnik isn’t even different here. He’s dressed the exact same he usually is and talks the exact same way he usually does. None of his Swat Bots are different either. Why make it a different dimension if you’re not going to play around with all facets of what that could entail?  I admire the idea way more than the execution. 

The last story was a nice way to give the main story some much needed context and importance relative to the main plot without having to sacrifice the IDEA of telling a story that exists for the sake of being nonsensical fun. Problem was that out of the 6 pages dedicated to it, 2 of them are literally just a recap of Endgame. It does kind of highlight how little justification they had for it’s length due to how quick the main story resolves itself.

Final Thoughts - All this could have been handled way better. I like the idea behind this set-up more than the way they decided to follow-through with it. It’s not bad or anything but for a 50s noir homage, I expected something a little more interesting. That cover got me so excited.

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I'd like to point out it's not just Tom Servo and Croooooooooooooooooooooooooow here but also R2D2 and the Lost in Space robot. Also I love that panel where Sally kisses Sonic on the cheek and he's clearly drawn by Spaz and not Manny Galan. This is going to be happening a lot.

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You mind putting your reviews in spoiler tags in future? It’s just that the constant walls of text make it a bitch to scroll down to the bottom of the page.

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Also, is this Mina Mongoose?

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She looks like Mina Mongoose.

Always wondered what the deal was with this was. I’m pretty sure she’s not even drawn by Art Mawhinney here. I wanna say Spaz drew this, but she has a really anime-looking appearance that Spaz wouldn’t even adopt for his style until just post-SA1.

Who even designed Mina for that matter? I know Karl Bollers created her, but did he only come up with the character, or did he have a hand in her design too? Maybe Spaz designed her, and when Mina was introduced he decided “hey this one throwaway character design from back then would work for her. But then why would Spaz even be brought in to draw this one throwaway character to begin with?

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2 hours ago, Panda Claus said:

You mind putting your reviews in spoiler tags in future? It’s just that the constant walls of text make it a bitch to scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Sure, I can do that. I keep forgetting that I CAN do that which is why the post I made recaping an entire decade of Sonic is a long page scroller.

Odds are I might forget again, but I'll try to remember.

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