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Late, but wanted to say I read issue #55 recently and largely agree with Dr. Detective Mike's opinion on it, except that I liked the first story a fair bit more - in part because I guess I was more tolerant of the bizarre "character development" because I knew Monkey Khan was intended to be a good guy (though I will admit that it is actually very weird, my standards are just pretty lax when it comes to these old comics) and I tend to enjoy Sonic being a jerk and Antoine getting to shine at least a bit. Plus I just like that it was an action-adventure focused story without excessive amounts of exposition, because unfortunately when it comes to classic Archie Sonic you don't always get that.

And yeah, I both love and hate the fact that Sally's dad is a genocidal maniac.

On 2/7/2020 at 10:59 AM, Big Panda said:

The kind who just harps on and on about how she “don’t need no man”

 

On 2/7/2020 at 10:59 AM, Big Panda said:

In later issues she mostly just settles into just being “Knuckles love interest”

Checks out.

18 minutes ago, Zulon Eredas said:

RIP.

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4 hours ago, Big Panda said:

Not sure what this has to do with Archie Sonic specifically, but RIP.

Well he was the editor in chief of Archie and was credited in several comics so it counts in a round about way.

Sad to hear about his passing. From all reports he was a good man.

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #56: Immortality is Forever - Life is Finite

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What a silly, redundant title. Immortality is forever? No shit. At least switch the phrases around and make it seem more like a proclamation. “Life is Finite but Immortality is FOREVER!” 

It would still sound stupid but still. Nice cover, although, it’s still hard for me to get used to the old Spaz way of drawing these characters.

Spoiler

So yeah. Mammoth Mogul is large and in charge now. It’s interesting considering his first appearance was so underwhelming but every other appearance he’s had, he’s done well to make up for it by being the smartest, most impressive motherfucker in the room. Now the dude has reduced Enerjak to the literal joke that he is, he’s got the power of TWELVE Chaos Emeralds flowing through him (hot damn), he’s got the Sword of Acorns, a millenniums worth of knowledge, and the first thing he did when he got his power was banish Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles to some rock in space!

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Poor Tails starts this off by complaining that they’ve both got their dirty feet in his face and wonders why the littlest guy always gets stuck on the bottom. He’s so young, he doesn’t even understand the innuendo he just made.

What happens next is a very confusing set of events that’s extremely hard to explain and also not very well drawn. The collection of artists listed in the picture above seem to have varying talents. I’m not sure who’s drawing what but whoever is drawing Tails needs a bit of help.

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The lankiness of the characters in this part of the issue is putting me off in general but Tails is supposed to be super young in comparison to his friends here. It sticks out so much.

Also, I’m relying mostly on the dialogue to tell me what's going on because there's no way I could tell just looking at these pictures. The rock that they’re standing on starts to act like quick sand and pull Sonic in. Knuckles stops it by punching the rock and then it starts to break apart. Then they see the floating visage of Athair in the air and Sonic uses anti-gravity running to thrust them towards him… but then Athair turns into a black hole and they fall in.

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It’s just as ridiculous as it sounds.

We cut back to Mogul who… for some reason is standing alone, reminiscing to himself about how awesome he is and how great his plan was. It was pretty good. He even offers an explanation for why he didn’t just kill Sonic, Tails and Knuckles.

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He wants to use them as his demonic three horsemen of the apocalypse. That’s an awesome idea. I’d probably keep them alive too if I could use them that way.

What’s confusing about this is that we zoom out and Mogul is just talking about this while alone somewhere. He’s talking about everyone else that he appeared before last issue being cowards who are in hiding. They say that they all had no choice but to make a strategic withdrawal? There’s some hearsay about how some people tried to fight him off, so I guess that’s supposed to be the explanation for how they got away and retreated to a giant rocky spire in the middle of nowhere…

However, the dude showed up right in front of them all, packing enough energy that was almost double what the Space Colony Ark had when it was about to shatter the planet into pieces. Literally, how the fuck did ALL these people get away from him? There’s no way he just let them go. He’s talking about how they’re all useless and he plans on giving them a swift end. Not even a slow and painful one. So why didn't he?

What was also weird was that the characters in hiding can HEAR him talking and HE can hear them talking back as well. This was insanely confusing first reading it because it just seemed like weird scene transitions at first but there’s literally a point where one of those annoying ants calls one of the grown adult dingos a “boy” and says that there’s more stuff out there that can probably take down Mogul than he knows and Mogul RESPONDS to this despite not being there. He even shoots a beam of energy (I think) that almost takes out Hershey.

Mogul explains this on the next page as a Sixth Sense granted to him by the power he’s got. He’s using his Chaos Emerald staff to fire Chaos Emerald energy at them from afar…?

Also, Sonic and Knuckles are here now.

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Yeah, they just show up and try to punch Mogul in the face.

They’ve got a shit-ton of rings now and look like they’re wearing slinkies on their arms like they both ate a golden version of Bellamy’s Spring-Spring fruit. Anyway, they fight and Mogul’s way more powerful than them.

He blasts them with Chaos energy and Sally, from behind, screams their names in concern and hello, what? Sally’s here? Huh?

Alright, so I have to stop here and say that the stage setting for this issue is fucking terrible. It’s probably the absolute worst this comic has ever been in terms of reliably using the space it has to tell me where the hell these characters are at a given point. The artists aren’t the worst I’ve seen so far when it comes to drawing these characters but I have no idea where people are in relation to each other and it’s not doing a good job explaining it.

Apparently, what ACTUALLY happened in that earlier scene where Mogul attacked Hershey… is that he was teleporting HIMSELF to where the hiding Freedom Fighters were. All we saw was a crackle of green energy and on the next page, Mogul was standing there talking about a Sixth Sense and a “beacon” he was using to DELIVER death.

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If I was supposed to get from this that he teleported HIMSELF to them then it was really unclear. All the shots of Mogul have been him standing around, radiating chaos energy while monologuing to himself. You then show that he can apparently talk to the people that run away and immediately instill in me the sense that he can do stuff to them from far away and never once properly show him leaving an area and entering an area. That picture above is all we get. 

The only way you can even tell there’s other people there is that there’s a little shadow underneath the world bubble above that’s easily missed. Other than that, so far, we’ve only been shown the images of two people (the random dingo and the random ant) and even when these two characters spoke directly to Sally, she wasn’t shown in the panel. Her appearance behind Sonic and Knuckles when they get blasted by Mogul is her first on-screen appearance in this book and it’s jarring as hell.

Where ARE they? Set the stage properly. All I got was this shot of a rock formation with word bubbles coming out of it and then shots of two people people standing around with energy flying everywhere. If Mogul transported himself there, show that properly. It looks like Mogul made it to their hideout and blew it apart when you squint and see the featureless black background as a cave. I think.

This is another one of these issues where the issue is suffering greatly because of really bad paneling and, in some cases, questionable art.

So, blasting Sonic and Knuckles with Chaos Energy doesn’t kill them. Instead it turns them super. How? Athair did it.

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I guess that’s what the comic is rolling with here.

Athair did it.

Meh…

I’m starting to get flashbacks to certain manga that handed the victory to the heroes because of mystical magical bullshit and not because they overcame the villain through impossible odds.

Also, why do Mogul’s feet look so gross and tumorish? Yeesh.

So Mogul starts to monologue again after they break his Chaos Emerald staff. Mogul opens his vest to reveal that there’s a Chaos Emerald imbedded in his chest. He’s immortal because of it and the Chaos Emerald staff was just a ruse. Clever boy.

I’m not sure I like the word choice for Mogul’s monologues. He speaks in a very confusing manner and it’s hard to follow what the fuck he’s talking about. Especially when the comic keeps breaking up his run on sentences.

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The freak accident of the past “weighed heavy on my breast yet gripping the depths of my soul… should grant me power and immortality that would deliver me… unto this glorious day where twelve chaotic siblings (?????) perform in unison to create…”

Sonic and Knuckles guess at an Earthquake but no. He’s got the power to control the entire floating island. I know the floating island is huge but it’s still strange that everyone somehow managed to run away from Mogul and go into hiding here. I don’t see how he couldn’t have just taken them all out with a wave of his hand when the dude was pumped full of chaos emerald energy.

Also, twelve chaotic siblings? Is he talking about the twelve chaos emeralds? If so… then say that? What the hell? Why would you use terminology that’s deliberately confusing like that?

The problem of being able to tell where characters are in relation to one another continues. Apparently, the people who hid away ARE there but we haven’t gotten a single group shot establishing that. I could have easily have assumed that when the dingo addressed Princess Sally, he was talking to her on a walkie-talkie but apparently she IS there. She was shown once standing behind Knuckles, calling out for him in a single panel and hasn’t been shown again. They’re just sprinkling a character or two every couple pages and it’s really odd looking.

Also, almost none of these panels have backgrounds by the way. They’re either all full color backgrounds or a bunch of action lines. That’s fine for the most part but the majority of this comic IS that and it's to the point where I can’t tell where they are. Everything looks and feels so cramped because the panels are so zoomed in on the characters. The one shot we get where we see ground is when Mogul whacks the two supers away and even then it’s just dirt. We don’t see any rocks or foliage behind them. 

I almost forgot this was taking place on the Floating Island, honestly.

Seriously, look at this.

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That was Sally’s second appearance in this comic and Vector’s first appearance in the book. It was just incomplete shots of their bodies. They’re there but it’s like this weird thing where they creep in from the edges of the panels. There was no establishing shot of the group of people here or even where they all were. The comic just jumped to the action and it’s not giving me enough information to discern where everyone is in relation to each other. It’s really distracting, no matter how well drawn the actual fight is.

Anyway, they talked about Tails being missing and shockingly, a person in a cloak with a shit-ton of rings around their arms shows up to bash Mogul back. When Mogul blasts him with Chaos Energy, it does nothing to him.

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The ghost of Christmas future here is quite the alluring savior. However, he immediately makes mention of Captain Super Fox-Man and the kiddies who haven’t figured it out yet are now graced with-

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That’s right. It’s Turbo Tails.

You typically want the font to be BIGGER not smaller when proclaiming to have a new form.

But yes, this is the first of Tails’ transformations and the better of the ones he’s going to get. I’m well aware of the other one and I… was kind of hoping it’d have been that one if only for the laugh value.

Mogul gasps in shock. He figures that the voices in Tails’ head wasn’t the call of the looney bin but the Ancient Walkers. That’s right, Tails is the chosen one (BLEURGH!). 

Also, let’s play a game of "Where’s Walrus?".

Rotor is in this image below. Can you spot him?

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Yeah, he’s the one talking in the middle panel. I thought it was Sonic speaking at first but he’s awkwardly shoved into the bottom corner of the first panel. I guess to let you know that he’s here too.

Okay so… Mogul defeats Super Sonic and Hyper Knuckles but Turbo Tails is fine.

However, Turbo Tails whips out the Chaos Syphon from WAAAAAY back and uses it to starts sucking out Mogul’s energy. Mogul cries in disbelief. He knows Tails got that from the Ancient Walkers and starts to cry out that he can feel their presence and then…

… I’m sorry guys, I tried. I really did.

I have NO. Fucking. CLUE…. WHAT is happening next in this upcoming page.

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This is just a fucking mad scramble of… of… things. Like, characters and shit that have not appeared in this issue yet are just being carelessly thrown onto the page like it’s some weird sticker book. We got Stryker, Charmy, Bunnie, and Mighty coming out to strike down Mogul in a panel so weirdly set-up it looks like Stryker is breaking out of a bubble but that’s actually just the ark of his punch.

I barely noticed Bunnie here and Antoine’s face being plastered at the bottom left at random is almost too hard to miss. Stryker says a strange line about how, I guess Mogul, concentrating all his power into one direction… freed them? Freed them from what? What is going on? Did I skip an issue?

I seriously had to go back and check to make sure I didn’t miss an issue and nope. I didn’t. This is the next issue. 

God dammit.

I’m finding that the issues with the most confusing art are the ones that are the most frustrating to read. I know Mogul’s not in actual space in that page above but he might as well be. It’s been about 8 pages since we’ve been shown a proper background at this point. Again, I know comics typically do use blank space and full color backgrounds for a lot of their scenes but I can’t, for the life of me, tell what’s happening or where everyone is. 

WHY IS EVERYONE SO SMUSHED TOGETHER! It’s so claustrophobic. You can’t even fit everyone’s bodies on the page. Rotor’s gotta be smashed into a dinky little corner in a panel he shouldn’t be in while Antoine’s head is just randomly blown up at the bottom of another page.

Ugh! I hate it! 

Also, Tails is clearly being drawn by a different artist now. When he shows up as Turbo Tails, all of a sudden he looks normal. The book has two pencilers on it, John Herbert and Manny Galan, so they probably shifted gears in a couple of places. I don’t know who was to blame for this panel set up though. The artists, the editor; who knows? It’s really bad.

Also, we cut out on a monitor and see Locke and his dad (who, again, just appeared out of nowhere one issue) watching Mogul get his shit pushed in. They talk about nothing and talk about how they should continue to do nothing. Great.

We cut back to Mogul and FINALLY get a shot with a background in it so I can tell where the fuck they are. It’s not just the occasional shot of some dirt. There’s buildings behind Mogul so they’re in the city. I saw him get tossed through some buildings earlier but those disappeared quickly so I assumed they weren’t in the city anymore… but we are.

Mogul curses the Ancient Walkers but says that Chaos Energy acts as a beacon and fires a chest blast into the island and jumps down to the Chaos Emerald chamber to grab the Chaos Emeralds that are making the island float.

Again, another page happens where I seriously could not tell what was going on… until I squinted really hard and thought really hard and realized what was happening (sort of).

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So this page is clearly set up as though it’s the TV monitors that the two echidna dorks are watching. It starts off obvious that the two echidnas are talking but the words they’re using are so vague and strange that when I saw a speech bubble pointed at what looked like Mogul, I got confused and assumed there was a chance he might be talking. I didn’t understand why they pointed the speech bubble at him if the echidnas were still speaking.

However, I squinted really hard and made out the outlines of the Echidnas themselves. Apparently, what’s happening here is that their images are supposed to be reflecting on the monitors and the speech bubble isn’t pointed at Mogul but rather the reflecting image of the echidna on the left.

Now, that grants me knowledge of who’s talking but what they’re talking about is still a mystery and I can’t for the life of me understand why this book was set-up this way. 

Anyway, apparently Mogul… exploded? I dunno.

We cut back to the heroes who are also confused as to what the fuck just happened. Apparently when Mogul tried to make them explode, their super forms saved them and yadda yadda. 

Knuckles gets presented the actual Sword of Acorns now that Mogul’s been “dealt with”.

Then Knuckles happily presents the sword to Sally, finally, and hopefully for the last time!

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Also, the art style changed yet again.

Sonic and Knuckles head out to speak with one another, finally friends. The two of them talk about how they used to hate each other and beat each other up for no reason. It was mostly just Sonic doing that, honestly. He was the one starting shit with Knuckles all the time, to the point where he literally walked up to Knuckles and punched him in the face for NO REASON in an earlier issue while Knuckles was on a mission to save his island… but sure, say it was an equal clash of egos if you want.

Sonic says that the two of them don’t belong in a society where they’re rebuilding cities and dealing with politics and claims that they should head out and find more dictators to smash. This I actually agree with. It’d be nice to see Sonic go on adventures again. Knuckles says that he can’t because the changes happening with his island are too abrupt and insane now. It’s here where we randomly find out what happened in that earlier scene with Mogul.

This… 

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… is NOT a good way to tell a story.

I was trying my hardest to remain on the good side of this issue despite how horrible the art direction has been but no. The story is trash too. 

Mogul shows up at the end of that last Knuckles story looking like the biggest pimp ever and taking all the smart precautions a good villain should do and he loses because of more outside interference from these bullshit space gods that are just DOING SHIT. 

They just DO stuff and things get fixed. I don’t have an issue with the mere presence of Gods or whatever but come on! Knuckles gets shredded down to atoms in his story and is saved by Athair and the Ancient Walkers. Mogul banished the three heroes and Athair and the Ancient Walkers not only get them out, but give them a shit ton of rings and make it so Mogul’s blasts turn them Super and also give Turbo Tails the Chaos Syphon to suck out Mogul’s energy and then… Mogul just explodes into chaos energy when he gets to the Chaos Chamber because… 

I dunno why. Knuckles’ explanation STILL doesn’t explain HOW that happened.

This isn’t satisfying. I don’t know about you, but I very much would like stories about the heroes facing impossible odds and coming through in the end with clarity. This was pretty much just “These guys are chosen so we give them all the deus ex machinas”. 

Rings, prophecies, and this Chaos Syphon were all things that we knew existed but they’re just being wheeled out of the woodwork without proper set-up for what’s happening in THIS story. It’s really lame.

Also, Knuckles’ eyelid is colored green in that image and it bothers me.

So yeah… Mogul and the two emeralds exploded and now they exist in some sort of… comatose live force state? 

Knuckles goes into more detail and basically puts it into terms that are more immediately understandable.

The fourteen chaos emeralds all merged together to form one BIG emerald and inside of it is Mammoth Mogul’s life-force. The island is being powered by one of his worst enemies now, which hasn’t got to be the best feeling in the world.

But also, this is apparently the origin story for the Master Emerald. It isn’t named as such in the book but that’s what it definitely is. I like the idea of merging all those emeralds into one as a way of getting it into the book, although, I’m still not sure why the Master Emerald wasn’t just there in the first place since it was always like that in the games. Sonic Underground also saw Knuckles guarding a single Chaos Emerald too. It’s really kind of odd. Even if they thought it was a Chaos Emerald, it was still portrayed as being significantly bigger than a regular Chaos Emerald so you'd at least think they'd get that right but whatever.

Anyway, that’s the explanation. When Sonic hears it, he gets all bummed.

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Guess he really wanted to go on adventures with Knuckles. Poor sap.

He puts his arm around Tails and says “Hey… so you’re the chosen one huh?” and says he should be jealous but he’s mostly really proud. Tails says he’s got a lot of thinking to do too but just wants his Turbo Tails power back.

The idea of being proud of someone for being arbitrarily picked to fulfill some destiny is a bit silly but I guess I can’t fault Sonic for feeling that way. Oh well. 

Hopefully, the adventures he goes on will be better structured than this.

I so wanted to enjoy this issue but I feel like this one was determined to make me hate it. Mogul looked so cool strutting his way onto the scene and everything just fixed itself with mystical magical bullshit and prophecies and meddling Gods. The heroes were handed the win on a plate and that’s not satisfying in the least. A lot of how this issue set itself up didn’t make any sense from the get-go though.

I really have to stress that the art and art-direction are probably the most important parts of making a comic and the more issues like this that happen, the more sure of that I get. This book was terribly structured and confusing to read. I could hardly follow any of it and the lack of establishing shots for both the locations and the characters was the worst it’s probably ever been. You’d be forgiven for not knowing how and why the others are even here when the book is just throwing faces and bodies onto the page and smashing them all together in modern art collages. 

Not a fan of this one. Would not recommend it.

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37 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

But also, this is apparently the origin story for the Master Emerald. It isn’t named as such in the book but that’s what it definitely is. I like the idea of merging all those emeralds into one as a way of getting it into the book, although, I’m still not sure why the Master Emerald wasn’t just there in the first place since it was always like that in the games. Sonic Underground also saw Knuckles guarding a single Chaos Emerald too. It’s really kind of odd. Even if they thought it was a Chaos Emerald, it was still portrayed as being significantly bigger than a regular Chaos Emerald so you'd at least think they'd get that right but whatever.

It really felt like the writers were simply trying to interpret what was being shown in the games, without being briefed on the context. It’s the only viable reason I can think of for why oddities like there being infinite Chaos Emeralds, or the games zones being interpreted as literal pocket dimensions were a thing.

I don’t know how they could’ve got so much wrong, or why Sega didn’t direct them. It’s especially weird considering Fleetway Sonic had no problem getting it right.

Hell, maybe the Archie writers outright ignored Sega’s directions on the lore altogether.

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I completely agree with your assessment of the issue. What a complete waste. The three heroes in their super forms fighting an immortal being at the peak of his power should be amazing. Instead, it's not only lame and anticlimactic, it's hard to even tell what happened! I agree that it's always much better when a victory feels "earned".

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Not a lot of takers for my Ancient Walker revival cult I see? :( 

Too bad this was one I always liked looking back. You don't get that many super forms in a room every day.

 

I actually like Athair, but a good chunk of that I wanna say, it's been a good while, comes from the upcoming Lost Tribe arc.

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I just want to say that the way the artists worked is John Herbert drew everything up to Mogul exploding and Manny Galan did the last few pages. The issue is the inker on Herbert's side because a lot of Harvo comes through here and he's not...good. 

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22 hours ago, Cuz said:

Not a lot of takers for my Ancient Walker revival cult I see? :( 

Too bad this was one I always liked looking back. You don't get that many super forms in a room every day.

 

I actually like Athair, but a good chunk of that I wanna say, it's been a good while, comes from the upcoming Lost Tribe arc.

I think Athair is fine as a character so far. I'm just a bit miffed by the constant insta-fixes happening in a row. Especially here.

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Sonic Super Special - Issue #4: The Return of the King

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It’s the most appropriate Lord of the Rings reference this book is probably going to get… aside from having an issue literally called “Lord of the Rings” where Sonic dives into all his billion rings like Scrooge McDuck.

Spoiler

 

This comic is split into two stories. This first one is written by Ken Penders and penciled by Sam Maxwell.

Alright, so we begin with--

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Oh come on. Fuck you. 

Seriously Penders, can we not? Can you cool it with the pretentious bullshit for once. You’re already annoying me by putting this stuff in another Super Special…

Okay, okay, maybe I can make this wo--

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OH GOD!

We’re at the point in the comic’s history where the art starts terraforming even more. The art has evolved to eat your soul.

Anyway, people are watching one of the king’s ship’s fly into the city. That’s basically what these long captions are trying to draw out for you.

The Freedom Fighters have returned after being handed the win against Mammoth Mogul to see Crystalized King Daddy Lunatic walking towards them for a greeting despite needing to be in bed because of his very, very long and drawn out sickness.

It’s strange. I joked about how off putting the art was earlier but there are instances where I can see it working. Everyone looks significantly younger though, to the point where Geoffrey and Dr. Quack, two of the older characters, look pretty much like children to me. While Sonic and Tails simply look more stylized. I like the way they look a bit more, though Sonic’s eyes are a bit strange. They’re a little too detailed.

 


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However the style doesn’t do them any favors in other instances as well, such as here where it looks like water is sloshing about through Sonic’s head, trying desperately to escape to the point where it’s ready to burst. But in the next panel, Tails looks positively adorable.

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So I dunno. I think I would like it if it remained a bit more consistent. This picture is kind of a good example of the duality of this style, where on one end it just looks awful and on the other it’s definitely different but not necessarily bad.

Also, for some reason, Antoine’s doing the Freeza pose.

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What was bad is the insipid conversation the characters start having once they confront the king. Apparently, some of the Freedom Fighters are actually on board with King Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs and his ideology concerning the roboticized mobians!

Yeah! The king approaches them here and says he’s fully recovered and that all that stuff he said about killing the Robians was poppycock… and the Freedom Fighters, namely Antoine, Sonic, and fucking TAILS start reiterating what the king said in that issue where he wanted them killed as the CORRECT mindset to have???

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WHAT…? 

When I first read this, I was genuinely confused. Like, monumentally so. 

Even Geoffrey, who was literally there and standing against the king’s decision to do that is now asking if it’s wise for the king to go back on that previous genocidal position??? 

I had to go back and check to make sure I was aware of who wrote what issue and it turns out that story where the king went crazy and wanted to dismantle the Robians was written by Karl Bollers. So I figured that Ken must have been taking that stance of not paying attention to what Bollers wrote to heart by ignoring the motivations of the characters in that issue.

I seriously believed that Penders had re-written it so that Sonic and little, innocent Tails were AGAINST the king going back on his decision to DISMANTLE (KILL) the Robians.

He even has Sonic call them CREEPS and says, very harshly, that they used to be part of Robotnik’s FAN CLUB???! Despite the fact that his parents and his uncle are Robians and the fact that they weren’t fans, but enslaved?!

I was about to write my hands off in all-caps about how impossible it was that despite Penders’ weirdness SEGA would let a book fly where Sonic and freaking Tails would be okay with a plan to eradicate a bunch of innocent people. 

The king, shockingly, has to be the one to try and inject some reason into these lunatics. Sonic’s response made my jaw drop. Sally’s made it drop even harder.

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At this point, I had to spoil myself. I seriously HAD to stop reading for a bit and try to rationalize what was happening here. I even started to scroll down the pages to see if there was some twist that was going to happen that would reveal these guys to be fakes or something. 

It turns out that was the case. Spoilers.

Sonic brings up how he isn’t sure he can trust Uncle Chuck or his parents which directly contradicts him making up with Uncle Chuck in Issue 54. That story was again written by Karl Bollers so I initially assumed Penders was ignoring it. Turns out that isn't the truth. It was just another trick. 

ANOTHER one. This comic relies on fake versions of characters and hallucinations almost to the point of parody.

This is the problem with reading these issues and knowing the writer is off his rocker enough to actually go through with a story like this. I had no problem taking this at face value and buying that he’d write the Freedom Fighters as though they were totally on board with the king’s initial idea.

My reaction was willing and ready to be like: WHY IS SONIC THE HEDGEHOG AIRING ON THE SIDE OF THE MURDER OF INNOCENT PEOPLE? WHY IS TAILS AGREEING WITH HIM ON THAT???

Hindsight into Penders’ character has made it impossible to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to whether or not he’d seriously take the characters to that point for the sake of his pretentious drama.

The king tells them to shut the fuck up, being given a bit of a scary look here which would clue me into the fact that something is indeed off about how rational he’s being all of a sudden. 

If it turns out that the reason the king is acting less genocidal and insane is because his mind has been taken control of, that would be hilarious. 

Penders does a very bad word bubble cut off here too. Sally is about to say the word rebellion in that top picture but the king interrupts by screaming “ENOUGH” and Sally finishes her sentence on the next page by saying “--Lion?” It looked like she was asking if her dad was a lion but in actuality she was just finishing her statement.

Anyway, we get a narration box that clues us in further that what the king was saying there was actually utter horseshit. He’s in total agreement with the plan to dismantle the Robians as he’s been setting off to do so for weeks and we’re shown a panel of anthro soldiers marching off to do just that.

Several hours later, the ship holding the real, actual Freedom Fighters flies in to see that Mobotropolis is a war zone. They crash land after being blown out of the sky (they’re al fine, just like Kylo Ren when his ship crashed in Rise of Skywalker) and they approach the city to see some soldiers moving out.

Sally gets annoyed when one of the soldiers ignores her so Sonic steps in to, what I originally thought, was him going for an attack on the guy. But again, no, he just winds him up into a tornado and demands to know what’s going on.

The soldier says that he’s doing what the king commanded and what the Freedom Fighters encouraged him to do, which is, to incite a genocidal rampage on Mobotropolis in an attempt to capture and murder all the Robians.

Because that’s totally what Sonic and the Freedom Fighters would urge the king to do.

Sonic and the others manage to make it to a bunker where the Robians are, very understandably, hostile and distrusting of them. Everyone thinks they were the ones who sold them out, despite the real Freedom Fighters being busy being handed the win in the fight against Mogul.

The scared Robians attempt to fire on Sonic and the others but Sonic takes away all their guns and plops them on the ground before him in a mili-second. 

He basically explains that they’re not liars and that lies almost kept him and his uncle apart so he means it when he says that they had nothing to do with whatever orders were given to hunt these people down.

As soon as Uncle Chuck and Sonic agree to try and work together, Chuck gets shot.

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At first I thought Sonic got blasted in the face.

The soldier that they dicked around with came back and got his peanuts by shooting Sonic’s uncle. Sonic quickly tackles and then pins the guy to the ground with a fucking sword hovering over his face, threatening to kill the guy.

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So he isn’t genocidal but he IS okay with murderous revenge. 

An entire page is dedicated to talking Sonic out of fucking killing this guy by stabbing him through the body with a sword.

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Eventually, Sonic decides, “You know what, I’m not going to MURDER you… in front of all my friends and my parents…” and its hilarious how the comic was allowed to push the idea that he was about to do it. The IDW comics are dealing with Sonic being almost too forgiving of a person and here, Sonic was ready to filet this dude.

I kind of wish he did it. It would have been neat to see Sonic just stab this soldier in the neck and watch him writhe in agony as blood poured out of him before the life drained from his tear ridden face, murdered by the hero, Sonic the Hedgehog. 

I can’t even pin this on being a fake this time…

Or a hallucination... whoever those Freedom Fighters at the start were...

Anyway, a flash of light happens and Sonic immediately makes a joke.

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He went from trying to murder someone to referencing a Kodak moment and making jokes about saying cheese for the camera.

Anyway, the guy who shot Uncle Chuck snaps out of whatever hypnosis he was under. The last thing he remembers is Princess Sally and the Freedom Fighters showing up before the king to tell him that he needs to go out and kill the Robians.

They figure that he and the rest of the Mobians must be under some spell and the Sword of Acorns that Sonic was holding aloft knocked that guy out of it as well as healed Uncle Chuck… cause I guess this Sword can just fix anything.

Sonic quickly puts it together that the one behind this is Ixis Naugus and goes screaming for the guy to come out. Which he does. 

Puppeteering the king’s crystalized body.

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The king already promised you the kingdom dude. It's technically yours man. Have at it.

Now thankfully, the way this is explained is that the King allowed his prejudice and hatred of the Robians to consume him and once that happened, Naugus was able to take control of his body.

So they’re not abandoning the line of thought that the king had towards the Robians was his own. He really was crazy about getting rid of them and Naugus just took advantage of those negative feelings and got into his body. I was worried this was going to turn out to be a situation where everyone was just misunderstanding one another because of hypnosis. I mean... it may still turn out to be that way. 

So far, everyone involved in this story was under the delusion of some sort of trick. Although, the scene at the beginning of the comic has now looped back around to being extremely weird yet again. Why did those fake Freedom Fighters show up to tell the king to commit genocide if Naugus already had control over his body? Was that scene just a showcase of the delusion that Naugus planted in the heads of all the hypnotized people? If so, I feel like that could have been gotten across way better. 

On its own it just looks like Naugus took control of King Acorn’s body and made the fake Freedom Fighters tell him to do what he was already planning on doing anyway. I guess it makes sense if he wants to make a show of the Freedom Fighters being okay with it to other people but it doesn’t alleviate the problem of it being hard to tell that’s what was happening.

Also, I have no idea why Naugus decided to adhere to Sonic’s words and show himself. He showed himself and spilled the beans about his entire plan, then laughed maniacally, then ran away when Sonic brandished the Sword of Acorns.

Granted, the Sword can fix what’s happening here. It did so when Sonic held it aloft and made everyone’s memories come back correctly, but it’s a bit of a bad look when the villain strolls in so confidently and then upon seeing the sword, just runs to the roof and threatens to jump off of it if they don’t stay back. Did he even have a plan when he walked out to confront Sonic? I don’t think he did.

That’s what he does by the way. He jumps off the roof.

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The kids reading this back in the day sure got their daily recommended dose of attempted suicide, genocide, and Sonic the Hedgehog attempting to murder a dude by stabbing him with a sword. 

Sonic jumps off and grabs the king. Then the sword flashes.

Sonic wakes up to see the Crystallized king saying that the city owes him a great debt and all that jazz. He’s returned to… normal? I guess this is considered normal for the king. I can’t even tell anymore. 

He says that he assumes the price he paid for being rescued is permanent crystallization which… what? Why?

Why would he permanently crystallize by having his mind restored?

Well, it doesn’t matter anyway because the king spots the sword in the ground over by a rock where some Mobians are trying to pull it free and he just grabs it and turns back to normal anyway.

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Then what the fu--?

What was the point saying that in the first place? Were you down a page and you needed one more to make it a full 48? 

Also, the Hall of Limbo was in the king's mind so he also gets the crown back. Sure, why not? Just eradicate those needless plot-points all at once in a text box at the end of one of the Super Specials. It's cool. I really didn't want to see a journey about looking for that goddamn crown.

Sonic Super Special - Issue #4: Down and Out in Downunda

This story was written by Mike Gallagher, which doesn’t give me much hope. Neither of these guys seem to be able to keep a good hold on writing that is… good. This story was drawn by Nelson Ortega. 

This story is basically just a director’s cut, special edition version of the director’s cut version of a subplot from Endgame… 

Basically it just recounts the story of how Antoine and Bunnie escaped from Downunda, using the idea that the characters are sitting around a campfire and telling stories as their backdrop.

Although, to be honest, it looks more like they’re engulfing themselves in flames rather than sitting around a reasonably safe distance from a campfire.

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Honestly, there’s little point in recapping this entire thing. It’s mostly a story dedicated to filling all the plotholes I complained about in Issue 50.

The tedium of having to read through some of this stuff in Issue 50 still lingers as I’m really not all that interested in reading a Bunnie and Antoine focused story about how they teamed up with the Who-cares Freedom Fighters from Downunda to take on the lame as fuck Crocbot.

There are some interesting little tidbits here and there, like, apparently Crocbot installed a bomb in one of his robot men and had it go on a mission to implant it within Robotnik’s base as it powered the Ultimate Annihilator. His plan was to have it destroy Robotnik so that he could take over.

We see a lot more clearly how Bunnie and Antoine broke out of their cells and the context behind the weird explosion that blew off the door. The Downunda Freedom Fighters tricked Crocbot and his forces into believing that Bunnie and Antoine were dead so that they could sneak onto his shipment of Iron Ore as it was being transported to Robotnik and stop him from using it to fuel the Ultimate Annihilator.

The plan worked of course. The Ultimate Annihilator blew up and took Robotnik with it. Although, they don’t know that the reason it only targeted Robotnik was because of Snively but I guess we’ll let them believe it was their doing.

They get a letter from the Downunda Freedom Fighters which tells them that they beat Crocbot off-screen and liberated Downunda... off-screen. I guess getting treated like that is what all those characters deserve.

It’s not a bad story really. If you’re entertained by Antoine and Bunnie enough on their own, I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of it probably. There’s an amusing moment or two here and there.

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Despite the earlier frustration with the initial couple pages being rectified, this was still a pretty bad story. The conflict here probably could have been interesting but it had such an intensely rushed conclusion. Ixis Naugus, the person responsible for this, isn’t even properly seen. He just reveals himself as the villain and then disappears a page or two later after jumping off a roof because immediately after revealing himself he goes “Oh shit, actually I’m fucked” and loses.

I’m hoping this remains a bit of a footnote in this comic’s history because the idea that this would or could be the resolution to a plot line set up in the main issues disappoints me greatly.

I want to see what the asshole king does now that he’s fully restored.

 

Sonic Super Special - Issue #7: Parallel Paradigm 

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Okay, so I’m cheating with this one but I feel it's appropriate considering the circumstances behind this comic. I’ll be more covering the history and intention behind this comic’s existence rather than the comic itself because it’s a much more fascinating and hilarious story then the book we actually have here.  It's time to talk about the infamous (among this board at least) failure that is the botched attempt to get a new and quickly failed comic series turned failed pitch for a TV and movie pilot off the ground. It's Ken Penders' immediate failure and vastly ignored "series", The Lost Ones.

Spoiler

 

Sonic Super Special #7 is a crossover between Archie Sonic the Hedgehog and a bunch of comic characters from Image comics, the only two of which I’m familiar with are The Maxx and Spawn and even then I know very little about either of them. Spawn, despite being featured the most in the promotional material, only appears for a few panels to essentially peace out the instant he sees the Sonic characters. Classy.

It’s an incredibly pointless comic where the people Sonic are crossing over with don’t do anything interesting with one another and everything is reset so that the characters all forget the events that happened within it anyway. Two characters named Sculder and Mully show up in it but… I don’t think they’re the actual Sculder and Mully from the X-Files. Seems like it’s just a very strange cameo of names. 

Also, there’s this unnamed villain who claims to know Knuckles in the future that the comic doesn’t even provide a name for who gets beaten when Knuckles has a mental skype call with his dad, that also somehow almost gets interrupted hilariously by Dimitri… somehow. I’ll explain more about this unnamed villain in a bit.

They call the Master Emerald by the name “Master Chaos Emerald” in this book so… we’re ALMOST accurate. That’s good, I guess.

No, the real reason behind this comic’s significance is a two-fold thing. The first, and most important I need to bring up is Ken Penders’ intention with a lot of the elements behind this comic. It’s quite the unsurprising, yet still somehow surprising, story about his inflated ego so I’ll do my best to summarize it as best I can.

That villain at the bottom of the cover that bizarrely goes unnamed throughout the entire book and a woman who appears in the comic named “Particle” that seems to have the same powers as Rogue from X-Men of knocking people out when they touch her are actually NOT image comic characters or characters that exist in anything you might recognize at all. Nope, they were created by, you guessed it, Ken Penders.

But why???? 

Because Ken wanted another vehicle to get his own creator-owned series off the ground and he wished to use the Sonic the Hedgehog comics as a scapegoat to do it. 

The villain’s name is Dr. Ian Droid and we would only really know this because his name is listed in the copyright information of the book and not the book itself. It’s incredibly like Penders to want to promote something of his but to forget to NAME the villain of the piece he wants to promote.

Penders, apparently, had a bit of a semi-professional relationship with one Jim Valentino who worked over at Top Cow Studios at Image comics. Valentino and his bros were also apparently Sonic fans so it’s not too surprising that they’d manage to hit it off with the guy who was currently in charge of writing for them a bit. At least at the time. I don’t know if they’d be able to nowadays.

Penders, of course, wasn’t too interested in just being friendly. Instead he sought to use his connection to pitch his own comic, The Lost Ones. 

“The descendants of the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings, the Lost Ones, are people with incredible abilities that struggle to survive a world that they never made.” 

It was literally the X-Men but written by Ken Penders. O frabjous day, callooh callay. 

That explains why Particle, the weird nobody that Ken inserted in the book and dedicated so much time to, literally just has Rogue’s powers.

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If you were reading this and were confused by Particle and Dr. Droid’s presence in the book, than not to worry. There’s literally no way not to be confused by this unless you know the author’s intentions behind why he injected them needlessly into this supposed crossover between Sonic the Hedgehog and a bunch of heroes from the Image comics.

As a result, this book isn’t very well liked. It was never reprinted because of the legal snafu caused by having all these image characters in it as well as the fact that it's a croc of confusing horsehit. The Sonic and Image characters have nothing substantial to do within the book and they forget about the events that happened in it regardless. Instead, the real point of this story was to showcase these two characters that Penders created that no one had ever seen in anything before and didn’t care about. He expected that to go over well with people who bought the book to see Sonic and the Image characters crossover.

He just used the Sonic comic as a gateway to success for HIS upcoming shitty series. 

Penders made weird claims (as Penders does) about how The Lost Ones was going to go down. He specifically promised an Asian team of Super Heroes as well as a super “mature” story for adults; the ones who’d apparently appreciate tales of children who descended from survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki being turned into the pseudo X-Men…

He went around hyping it up like crazy, claiming it was going to be the next big comic book franchise all over his forums and what not.

The book then had a single issue released by Image Comics and was immediately cancelled due to poor sales, which is hilarious.

Today there is so little information about it out there that not even I really knew much about it before going into this. I’ve seen people on this forum post trailers for that horrible looking movie he claims is going to be made about it but I had no idea it’s reach extended back to the Sonic comics themselves. Or rather, one of the Super Specials that’s thankfully been largely lost to the sands of time. 

Penders, not one to let the vice grip of his delusions go, has for some reason claimed that this single-issue followed by immediate cancellation series was a “smash hit” and/or a “cult classic”.

Anyway, back to Sonic, for some reason Ken wasn’t content on using just this comic to push his shitty characters. Ken had BIG plans for Dr. Droid here, despite not naming him in this book. 

The reason Dr. Droid mentions knowing who Knuckles is in this book despite this being his first appearance is that he was supposed to have huge ties to Knuckles and Sonic in the story down the line. He wasn’t supposed to BE a Sonic character, but despite that he was supposed to be a heavily important figure in Knuckles’ life… which is BIZARRE as fuck.

When The Lost Ones took off (PFFT~!) Dr. Droid was supposed to crossover with the Sonic comics and it was to be revealed that he was the reason Knuckles’ dad experimented on him (the infamous “Let’s Microwave the baby” subplot). This was supposed to be covered in a story that dealt with Knuckles in the future called “Knuckles: 20 Years Later” which is why Dr. Droid, in this book, talks about Knuckles in the past tense as if he already met him despite, again, this being his first appearance. 

“Knuckles: 20 Years Later” never happened and was instead reworked into “Mobius: 20 Years Later” because no one liked this awful Super Special Issue and I doubt there exists a person who read The Lost Ones back when it originally came out, or at the very least, remembers it if they did. 

I can’t confirm this, but also, apparently Dr. Droid was supposed to be an alternate version of Robo-Robotnik from some of the earlier issues that… went to the future? But also was supposed to be the villain of a book that’s a rip-off of X-Men and has nothing to do with Sonic???

You see, when I get paranoid over whether or not Penders has decided to turn the Freedom Fighters into genocidal maniacs, it's because of shit like this!

Sometimes I wonder if Penders even really exists and isn’t just a hallucination brought upon by too much shared stress between the lot of us Sonic fans.

 

The second thing I need to talk about is that, just like Sonic Live, it was reviewed by Linkara, who did so after finding out that the talented Evan Stanley drew a cameo of him in Sonic #257. She even appears in the video to talk about it.

However, the best part is where he gives his fans what they want and he talks a bit about Ken Penders and the tumblr post detailing everything that happened within. It was a very surreal experience seeing a guy whose stuff I’ve seen so much of talk about any of this, honestly. 

I watched the review and looked the comic over but there’s so little of anything to note or of interest that I feel posting his review might be enough in case you haven’t seen it. 

I will say that the tradition of these comics making unintentionally hilarious panels, continues to bring joy to my heart.

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45 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Two characters named Sculder and Mully show up in it but… I don’t think they’re the actual Sculder and Mully from the X-Files. Seems like it’s just a very strange cameo of names.

The actual X-Files duo are called Mulder and Skully.

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I feel like I'm "Well Actuallying" a lot and I'm sorry but I gotta do it again. Penders wasn't the writer of Return ofthe King. Bollers was. Also it wasn't Valentino himself who was a fan it was his sons. They sent in some fan art to Archie comics and when the editor found out he was their dad he asked him if he wanted to do a pin up and that led to discussions to have Sonic team up with the hyper violent world of Image Comics.

On that note I do want to point out that Image did Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics and in an arc a few years before Super Special 7 saw print Savage Dragon teamed up with Leonardo, Raphael with his face blown off and giant cyborg Donatello to fight a space Freddy Krueger or something while Michelangelo made out with a supporting character of his. So that's a thing.

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #57: Back to Basics

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It always feels like a breath of fresh air whenever I get to review an issue of the main book. It really shouldn’t but it does. After this we’re right back in the thick of the Knuckles shit. Still, this is a great looking cover. It’s well drawn, both Sonic and Tails look like Sonic and Tails, the Sally in the clouds is a nice enough touch, and I admire how our little fox boy is starting to glow a bit more yellow-orange here. We’re evolving.

Let’s get into it.

Spoiler

 

We start with some really badly written expositional dialogue.

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The thing that makes it stand out the worst is the use of everyone’s full name like they’re writing papers for school.

“Finding him should be a breeze, Princess Sally!” says Sonic, as though they just met.

“He took possession of your father, King Acorn” says Sonic, as though she doesn’t know her father is King Acorn.

This was written by Karol Bollers (not Ken Penders. I slapped my eyeballs to make sure they read the name beginning with the letter K and last name ending with the letter S correctly. Doesn’t help that B and P are one line stroke off from looking like each other. Holy hell.) and drawn by Art Mawhinney. So far I’m not too impressed but we’ll keep going. This is literally just the first page.

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God, he looks like he’s high though. Doesn’t he?

So anyway, Rotor runs in with a device he stole from Robotnik’s lab and tells Sonic to wear it because apparently it’s function is to give the wearer the ability to look into the future. 

Oh geez. Really? Where the fuck was Robotnik storing that thing? Up his ass?

That probably could have helped you predict your own demise had you been wearing it doc. Then again, there’s probably a reason why he didn’t. The caution of just putting some of Robotnik’s tech onto Sonic’s head is spoken by Uncle Chuck but the reply to his caution is basically ignored. 

When Sonic puts it on his head, Sally protests as well by calling him bonkers. She’s correct in being concerned considering they know so little about this thing that they’re literally calling it a “Doohickey” and a “thingamajig” respectively. However, when Sonic reiterates that it’s function is to see into the future, Sally immediately relents and lets him do it.

Yeah. Okay.

I will say that there’s some glorious hindsight to look forward to in Sonic and Rotor’s conversation here though.

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So they turn it on and Sonic sees an image of Robotnik sending an army of Swat Bots to invade Mobotropolis. Sonic laughs and assumes the machine fucked up and is showing images of the past. I didn’t buy it at first but… turns out he was right.

We get an entire page of Sonic, very oddly, expositing everything that happened to them when Robotnik invaded. It’s not even new stuff, it’s just the basics of what we already knew. Plus, the writing is still that very strangely worded guff from the start where Sonic isn’t talking like Sonic but rather like he’s a walking encyclopedia.

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He's giving a recap of the season that just ended on your television. It’s like one of those mid-season recap episodes from your favorite anime. It was very strange.

It keeps going like this too. He’s starting to get into more specifics but again it’s just stuff we’ve seen before. He brings up the vines that attacked the forest and the time he got pelted in the face by an orbinaut.

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Just on and on, page after page of this. 

It eventually hit me that this was to be for the entire issue. Hmm.

I will say that being reminded of some of this stuff made me realize just how much I had forgotten or how weird the perspective for some of this stuff is. Like, how they met Bunnie within the pages of the comic rather than her just being there already. That always throws me for a loop remembering it.

Apparently Sonic fought something called a Universalamander as Super Sonic. I don’t remember that and I don’t really care enough to go back and check when it happened.

There’s a huge mix of stories here, some of which I remember vividly and some I definitely do not. Most of which I only have a small recollection of. I remember seeing the Nerbs and Cyril the Eagle but I couldn’t tell you what their stories were about. I remember the story of Larry Lynx the Super Jynx very much though, oddly enough. 

The tale of Tails eating an apple from the Tree of Knowledge and gaining super intelligence I don’t remember at all. Sonic says it wore off and he returned to normal so we thankfully don’t have that to attribute to his higher intelligence.

The more of these plot lines that he goes through the more I seem to remember and the more I’m sure I’ve forgotten. Not helping is that Sonic’s commentary is a little too reliant on trying to be clever on some of them.

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Yeah but Sonic… you guys were the ones sleeping so… shouldn’t the line be “I could beat him even in my sleep” then?

He begins another of these recap tales by just saying “King Gong!” and then explains what it is which is funny.

However, it’s also becoming increasingly clear to me that my mind keeps trying to swear to itself that there’s no way in hell some of these even happened.

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I remember Robo-Robotnik. How could I forget? But when the fuck did they discover Nicole in a meteorite and face a twin headed dragon? Actually, don’t answer that. I don’t care.

I began to wonder if some of this stuff was out of order but as we went on, I started to recall and remember every single story in the order it was being told in. I was catching up to the parts of the plot that I had started to recap and from there I remembered the rest… which meant I didn’t have to read the other stuff.

We cut back to Sonic who's just been recapping the entire comic up to this point and the machine on his head is about to explode so they toss it out the window… and it explodes.

Then they leave.

 Okay.

Sonic admits to having been avoiding his parents and gets in a nice hug with them. He and Sally also share a moment before he and Tails take off together.

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It’s actually rather adorable and it’s here where I think I understand what the point of this issue was. Apparently, it’s supposed to be some sort of send off to the way things were what with Sonic headed off on a grand quest to find Naugus with just Tails.

Maybe this was a push to make it more like the games or something? I can’t say but if they had gone through with that, this comic would have been significantly different, for sure. The point of this loses a lot of its luster when you know for a fact that not only is the status quo going to return but it’s going to take up the majority of the book from here on in. Can you imagine if Robotnik had stayed dead and the Freedom Fighters got to live their own lives as separated heroes? What a different book it’d be. I kind of would like to see that future.

As it stands, whatever this is, might be temporary for who knows how long. It might even only be a single issue for all I know.

So that’s it. Sonic and Tails hop into the bi-plane, now titled the “Winged Victory” and take off for their solo-adventure. How grand.

 

It was a recap episode. That’s all it was and I can’t say I’m bothered by it really. It was a little mildly interesting being so confused by all these stories he was talking about. I only really remember most of the ones spoken of in the back half of the issue. My mind drew a blank on about 50% of them honestly.

Still, I understand the point behind it. It’s confident in its desire to set the stage for this new era of Sonic comics and kicking it off with Sonic and Tails being the dynamic duo on their lonesome is a great way to do that. This gives the cover quite the boost as well, emphasizing even more what this is about. If anything this is a decent one to skim through if you’re like me and you can’t, for the life of you, recall the fucking weird shit you’ve read up to this point.

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I know this comic in and out because I reread what I have if it yearly so I can safely say that I always can remember the bits and pieces mentioned here. That is the saddest statement I've ever made.

I've sworn to myself if I ever review Sonic comics myself I'm not touching this one. It's a clip show. There's nothing interesting to talk about, there's nothing to make fun of. It'd be like doing a review of the Source Book. 

Also on a separate note for the next three Knuckles issues you might want to slot in Sonic #58 between Knuckles #11 and 12 because it actually is essentially the third part of the story line and #12 picks up directly from it.

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4 hours ago, SBR2 said:

I know this comic in and out because I reread what I have if it yearly so I can safely say that I always can remember the bits and pieces mentioned here. That is the saddest statement I've ever made.

I've sworn to myself if I ever review Sonic comics myself I'm not touching this one. It's a clip show. There's nothing interesting to talk about, there's nothing to make fun of. It'd be like doing a review of the Source Book. 

Also on a separate note for the next three Knuckles issues you might want to slot in Sonic #58 between Knuckles #11 and 12 because it actually is essentially the third part of the story line and #12 picks up directly from it.

You don't need to suggest anything about the reading order. I've got that covered.

As for this issue, I think it at least did its job at trying to sell me on the proposed change to the status quo going forward, even though I feel like I know better.

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I did rather appreciate this one back when I first read.

When I starting picking up back issues, I was relying on those old “collectors sets” that Archie used to sell, which meant I could only go so far back (as far back as issue 30, to be precise). To make matters worse, being in the UK meant I couldn’t order any of the one-shot specials, since they could only be obtained via the in-book order forms that only served America and Canada, and not the online shop, making for a lot of story gaps.

For me, this story helped to not only fill me in on those earlier stories, but also filled in the gaps caused by the lack of one-shots.

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Prototype cover art for the canned Knuckles #33. It’s been floating around online for years now, but I just felt like bringing it up again.

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It clues us in on how the Sonic Adventure arc was originally going to be distributed (four Sonic issues, two Knuckles’, and a Super Special).

I get the impression Big’s introductory backup story was originally going to be in here too (made even more evident by how Penders wrote said story).

The cover was, of course, reworked to become the cover of Sonic #80.

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Man, seeing that cover reminds me of all the scrambling they did to fit Adventure showing once and for all Sonic lives on a wackier version of Earth in the new millenium with the setting in the Archieverse.

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You gotta give them props for trying though. I'll admit that some parts are more faithful than others but it turned out way better than their initial SA2 Adaption.

 

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2 hours ago, Zonic 2099 said:

You gotta give them props for trying though. I'll admit that some parts are more faithful than others but it turned out way better than their initial SA2 Adaption.

 

Honestly? I don't think they should get props for trying, because it was just such an awful attempt. Like yeah, they tried, but it was littered with problems, problems that is entirely unrelated to the fact that they had to work with a Japanese copy of Adventure translated by Pat Spaz. Like you can point out the rush job plot details, and some of the changes due to the game, but there's problems entirely unrelated that hurts it more.

The art is absolutely pathetic, and edging towards the point of near-unreadable. It is at best - presentable for the first few issues in the main series, and at worse - utterly unreadable with Ron Lim's atrociously bad art. I've said it before - Lim's art is one of the worst in all of Archie Sonic, but it's especially evident here. The characters are off model, showcase weird as hell expressions, and the action is affected by it. Super Special 13 IMO is one of the worst issues in the whole series for me because of it.

But the worst has to be how much Penders really badly affected the story. It's ironic that he did it again, but he did. And it's the same thing - unrelated bullshit that affects the rest of the story. In the middle of an Adventure adaption, we have fucking Locke running off to the weird misshapen Cat Country to fight them over tedious and boring bullshit that no one cares about. The Chaotix are also screwed over as well to showcase Locke. The point of absolute ridiculousness it gets has to be when it literally goes full on Star Trek fighting with Locke. 

Then you also have the climatic fight between Super Sonic and Chaos utterly wrecked because Penders just had to showcase Knuckles. Super Sonic is absolutely worthless in this arc. He still isn't capable of defeating Chaos. He is literally just used as a distraction for Chaos to knock about over and over again while Knuckles is underwater and fixing the actual thing that will defeat Chaos. And let's not forget the absolute silliness that is Knuckles literally just using chaos powers to get the extra strength to win in a really shit homage to Spider-Man #33 (If This Be My Destiny). 

There's a lot more problems with the arc that I'd need to re-read it again in order to get a full grasp of again, I used to have a massive rant about the Adventure arc either here or in the Penders topic, but I think it ended up getting wiped with the sever problems with SSMB a few years back.

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I admit to not being big on how Archie felt the need to explain certain cosmetic changes that came with Sonic Adventure, like going out of their way to excuse how Sonic got green eyes and a SHOE BUCKLE, and their in canon reason for Amy's aging, which is utilising a one of a kind artefact on herself like a selfish little brat (never mind the war or the Acorn's comotose mother, Amy wants to be respected like a grown up). That she got ZERO consequences or even a calling out over this left me wondering why the hell the writers thought she would come out likeable from this?

It's even more laughable because of how contradictory it was anyway. If you explain Sonic and Amy's change, why not Tails and Knuckles', not to mention the whole load of other cosmetic inconsistencies throughout the comics? They could have easily handwaved the new asthetics as a style upgrade instead of going through all this convolution.

 

The same deal happened later on with the Chaotix, with that unsettling as hell way of explaining Charmy's ditzy personality coming into use, yet having no problem just shrewdly rebooting Vector and Espio into their game personalities with no explaination, despite Charmy arguably having a less defined comics persona to contradict anyway.

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