Jump to content
Toby

Archie Sonic Main Discussion

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, Monkey Destruction Switch said:

I agree with a lot of your thoughts on that story arc, Mike, except that I was mostly able to laugh off the LSD thing for how utterly ridiculous it was, rather than it making me uncomfortable.

Hearing about this story in a bubble, I didn't really know what I would think of it when I finally got there. Most of, if not all, of the ridiculous stuff in these stories do in fact make me laugh. Even just hearing about how he repurposes poems from the holocaust later on tickles me for how absurd it is. However, the dark cloud hanging over this story just kind of rubs me the wrong way in a more morbid sense than anything. Maybe if it was the LSD thing alone but so much other horrible sad things got piled on top of it without any real care. It happening to a character I associate so much with youth, his best friend dying, witnessing the funeral, seeing him make that horrible sad face where he's outright given up on being happy, and the final page seriously trying to assert that him having done that was the right move just feels extra skeevy and depressing.

It's not even just that Charmy's blaming himself but because the narrative supports his decision to return home, it's kind of saying that... yeah, it IS his fault and that this wouldn't have happened if he just stayed put. His friend is dead and buried because he didn't want to conform to a dream that was decided for him at birth. I know the LSD thing is bonkers but the entire situation itself is what's making me uncomfortable. I'd probably be able to laugh at it had it just been Charmy going on an acid trip and that was it.

I love conflict with my characters, especially my favorite ones. This could have worked had it been written differently but the lesson it lands on was such a downer and there's no intention going forward of fixing it properly because it's being portrayed as a happy ending when its not. 

But yes, I do stand by that out of all the Knuckles arcs from the comics I've read to this point, this was the best one to me. However faint praise that may be.

Knuckles himself is a character I adored when I was a kid watching Sonic X and playing Adventure 2: Battle. I still really like him today of course but definitely not enough to saddle myself with these horrible echidnas. So much of this lore is based on stuff that I just don't, and never will, associate with Knuckles proper. It doesn't stand much of a chance at being interesting to me unless it gets stream-lined and written better, which it won't be. Even if this was all stuff centered on Charmy, I'd still hate it. I don't have any interest in Charmy's kingdom or colony. The book hasn't given me a reason to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, this storyline really doesn't mesh well with the franchise let alone the Archie comic alone. If the subject matter was toned down and at least ONE of the Chaotix wasn't brain dead enough to eat the food they were investigating we could have had something pretty decent. If Charmy didn't eat the food he could have had a meaningful talk with Julie-Su and Remington as they continued their mission that would have led to him going back to his kingdom minus his being drugged Ken could have still kept the flashbacks. If Espio or Mighty didn't eat the food it could have further expand their growing trust with her and given Espio's abilities he'd really pull his weight with this story, and finally with Vector we'd have the interesting dynamic with the two at each others throats with Remington being the straight man... except knowing Penders he'd probably have Remington constantly take Julie-Su's side.

I feel like there's at least a decent story in this three parter somewhere but the heavy focus on drugs, and just throwing the Chaotix out of their own storyline and just having their be this underground of mobsters just ruined it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure how much of this is venting unfortunate ethics or just the comics moving about the cast like chess pieces so they're the level of prominence they want.

They clearly want Charmy out of the way so accepting royalty is considered his place, they had the same uneasy apathy towards Sonic's lust for freedom in the future based comics because you know he and Sally HAVE to be together there.

Penders wants female characters to look at least superficially competent, but he wants them to also remain secondary and not interfere with the lore going on, he tries to have them ramble a logical explanation WHY they don't, but it's not one that comes off very good.

Renfield caused Mello's death but he is merely a plot device instead of a proactive villain like Ebony so they pretty much just forget about him with a bad gag. Same for Chaotix just kinda being incompetent side characters who have to be out of the way.

This is one of the big follies of the Archie universe being so damn HUGE and yet the writers only really take interest in a small herd of characters. Penders awkwardly fiddled with his bloated stories and Ian meanwhile took the more upfront but extreme route of GENOCIDE to thin out the numbers. :P Penders in a way accidentally helped him streamline the work in a less dark fashion, maybe that's why the post-reboot feels more character driven (besides the fact that Ian can at least halfway do character driven better than Penders). 

But yeah, a character dying from a very thinly disguised LSD? This is worse than the couple times they tried to do the domestic abuse angle. I'm sorry, call me a stickler if you want, but I still think there's some things Sonic just shouldn't tackle. Not so damn on-the-nose anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

In all fairness, Sonic wasn’t the only one that had this kind of stuff in it.

If I were to go back in memory lane, the mid-to-late 90s was heavy with anti-drug advertising even in children’s media whenever they had the chance to touch to subject, and there was an idea to make that known to kids. For us in America, the D.A.R.E. program comes to mind of making kids “say ‘NO’ to drugs,” so it makes sense in hindsight why you’d see that even in Sonic.

Kinda brings the whole Sonic Sez post-credits of AoSTH to mind. So yeah.

Definitely silly looking back, but it wasn’t without reason. So not something to really knock against the comic for outside its delivery on the subject.

I think the best one of those was the Anti-Drug episode of Dinosaurs where it ends with Robbie talking to the audience to tell kids to stop doing drugs so Networks will stop doing cheesy Anti-Drug PSA episodes like this one.

Honestly even with Charmy's age in the manual being different from the age he'd eventually get in Heroes it really feels in this one that Penders wasn't sure how old Charmy was. I mean he writes him more or less like he's 6 in this one but then he's talking about how he needs to grow up and when he come's back in the Green Knuckles saga he and Saffron in her Second Regeneration are talking about getting married then Bollers has him and her in her Third Regeneration married.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, SBR2 said:

I think the best one of those was the Anti-Drug episode of Dinosaurs where it ends with Robbie talking to the audience to tell kids to stop doing drugs so Networks will stop doing cheesy Anti-Drug PSA episodes like this one.

Honestly even with Charmy's age in the manual being different from the age he'd eventually get in Heroes it really feels in this one that Penders wasn't sure how old Charmy was. I mean he writes him more or less like he's 6 in this one but then he's talking about how he needs to grow up and when he come's back in the Green Knuckles saga he and Saffron in her Second Regeneration are talking about getting married then Bollers has him and her in her Third Regeneration married.

It's ironic that Ian thought Charmy was distanced enough from his games version that he had to LOBOTOMISE him. I mean sure he was nicer and more responsible than his Heroes-onward version, but he does have that child like innocence about him. They could have as easily slowly evolved him into a giddy silly kid as they could have changed Vector from an obnoxious slang talker who did little but trash talk Julie Su into a gruff but well meaning Bronx.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, E-122-Psi said:

It's ironic that Ian thought Charmy was distanced enough from his games version that he had to LOBOTOMISE him. I mean sure he was nicer and more responsible than his Heroes-onward version, but he does have that child like innocence about him. They could have as easily slowly evolved him into a giddy silly kid as they could have changed Vector from an obnoxious slang talker who did little but trash talk Julie Su into a gruff but well meaning Bronx.

I think the next best thing that Ian could have done was would be to have had the Egg grapes regress his age as it was sucking the life out of him. I think Charmy just becoming more kid like works better with the mind is a plaything of the body trope in effect than... uh brain damage ._.; 

I do respect him trying to bring the comic a bit closer to the games but in some cases it would be downright impossible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/19/2020 at 8:18 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

If this were an anti-drug advertising thing than that'd be one thing... but it's clearly not. This story has absolutely no interest or desire to be an educational tale about how the children shouldn't do drugs. This story is about a criminal organization setting up an illegal operation under the gaze of an amusement park to push a supposedly, adult and dramatic story to the masses. It fancies itself on the level of something like one of those cop dramas like Law and Order, but with talking animals.

It's subject matter isn't being put forth as some sort of PSA. It's not at all written like that. The reason this story is here is because Penders wants to be taken seriously as a writer by touching upon what he considers to be adult storylines and themes of the like. He's done shit like this plenty of times before and will continue to do it in similar and more egregious ways going forward, based on tidbits gleaned from other, more uncomfortable infamous stories down the line.

This one just happened to be about criminals lacing chili-dogs with LSD to induct lethal food poisoning on the general public. Next time it'll be about something else that ignores the fantastical elements of the series for the sake of being more in tune with the realness of our world, rather than Sonic's. We've got a ton of unnecessary holocaust alogories and misguided handlings of parental abuse coming up as well. Penders just wants you to take his shit seriously and he's willing to make it as gritty as possible to do it, regardless of intended audience.

Say what you will about those PSA's of old, you could tell they were being made for their intended audience by the way they were written. Even commercials that got a bit too dark or took things too far were very obviously doing so for the sake of getting a message out there. 

There's NO message attached to this that has anything to do with drugs. The focus at the end was about how Charmy ran away from being royalty, went through something horrible, and then went back to doing the thing he didn't want to do because he "learned" that trying to be free is apparently the wrong thing to do. All the while barely focusing on him because he was in bed for most of it. Unequivocally listening to your parents regardless of how controlling they are to you is what he's saying is the correct thing to do.

He's going to have Locke and his horrible actions as a father vindicated. He's going to have King Max and his horrible actions as a father be vindicated (because to Penders, Sally was redundant with the King back in action). And now he's made it so Charmy HAS to accept his role as a prince because its what his parents want from him.

This is more than just being "a bit silly" and there's definitely no acceptable reason for this. Anyone reading this could spot from a mile away that a drug PSA was not the intention behind this story. Penders is so nakedly obvious in the way he writes that any assertion that he didn't want you to think this was the coolest, most adult tackling of this specific subject matter would be considered an insult to him. 

Yeah, I said “outside it’s delivery of the subject,” for a reason.

That was the reason, dude.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

Yeah, I said “outside it’s delivery of the subject,” for a reason.

That was the reason, dude.

You said "So not something to really knock against the comic for outside its delivery on the subject." which is a very strange, redundant thing to say if you weren't trying to defend the aspect of it being a PSA.

I'm not the one who brought up the possibility of it being a PSA. You're the one who did that. I wasn't saying that the story involving drugs on its own was a knock against the comic and if you already knew that then why did you bring it up? 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

You said "So not something to really knock against the comic for outside its delivery on the subject." which is a very strange, redundant thing to say if you weren't trying to defend the aspect of it being a PSA.

I'm not the one who brought up the possibility of it being a PSA. You're the one who did that. I wasn't saying that the story involving drugs on its own was a knock against the comic and if you already knew that then why did you bring it up? 

 

Because it’s very easy to roast the comic for that in 2020 and completely forget or not realize in hindsight the time and standards that were going about in the 90s for having content like that.

Make no mistake, the way Penders delivered it was completely asinine, but seeing works that showed the bad effects of drug use as a means of denouncing them wasn’t unheard of in the past given the staunch anti-drug sentiment of the time. That’s why I’m defending the PSA aspect of it in fairness, because otherwise it wouldn’t have even had a leg to stand on for having this stuff—I’d even argue that the point would’ve been missed (although would have been more appropriate for the comic and should have been done from the start) had it been a G-rated drug instead.

So while it’s definitely not going to get any acclaims or anything, that was more of a product of its time on top of Pender’s usual flare given that you don’t often see this as much, even in later issues before Penders was given the boot in place of Ian. To my recollection, Spider-man actually did something like this in his own works with actual drugs (with more tact mind you) before getting denied the stamp by the Comic’s Code Authority which reviewed the works at the time—even more telling and another reason not to knock against the comic given that this was the group that looked into such things and would approve or deny a comic’s publishment if it was deemed inappropriate, and somehow saw fit to okay this one before Archie broke from them almost 20 years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I'm saying there is no PSA aspect to this. It doesn't exist. Its just a story that happens to involve drugs as the "Take me seriously, I'm hardcore and adult" ego trip subject of the month from Penders. There's no lesson here or even any real talk about the effects of these drugs. Its just something that happens.

There's no reason or point in defending that aspect of this because it isn't there. This isn't a drug PSA. It just isn't. I don't know what to tell you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

And I'm saying there is no PSA aspect to this. It doesn't exist. Its just a story that happens to involve drugs as the "Take me seriously, I'm hardcore and adult" ego trip subject of the month from Penders. There's no lesson here or even any real talk about the effects of these drugs. Its just something that happens.

There's no reason or point in defending that aspect of this because it isn't there. This isn't a drug PSA. It just isn't. I don't know what to tell you.

Yeah, hence Penders asinine delivery of it as I was saying from the start. I really don’t know why you keep pressing that when I’m not even disagreeing with you.

It’s not like I’m saying the story was well written or giving it any props, but rather something of a generational thing that was going on in lots of places and the comics took it on as well. Much the same case as when the games made a juvenile attempt into mature territory with guns and swearing with ShTh given how popular games at the time with that content we’re becoming and the franchise tried to follow suit. Matter of fact, I never even said it was a PSA when I made this case, I just compared it to the Sonic Sez and the PSAs of the time as a springboard for why Penders might’ve got the idea to have it there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

Yeah, hence Penders asinine delivery of it as I was saying from the start. I really don’t know why you keep pressing that when I’m not even disagreeing with you.

Because you're the one who brought up this PSA nonsense. You're not making any sense. You said "In all fairness Sonic wasn’t the only one that had this kind of stuff in it." as if my problem with the comic was the mere presence of drugs in the story, when it wasn't.

Then you finished your statement by saying "Definitely silly looking back, but it wasn’t without reason. So not something to really knock against the comic for outside its delivery on the subject."

My response was that this book DID do this without reason, so you ARE disagreeing with me. Also, I wasn't knocking against the comic for the mere presence of the drugs in the story so telling me that it's not something to knock against the comic for outside of the delivery of the subject is something you DIDN'T need to tell me unless you were disagreeing with me.

You post is presented as something that's making an argument for it being a PSA. When you say that the drug stuff isn't there without reason and begin your post by saying "In all fairness" by implying I wasn't being fair to that aspect of it, you're implying that you're disagreeing with me on something.

I you weren't, then you seriously need to work on reconfiguring your sentences and using your words better. There's no way you could possibly be confused on why it's been taken this way. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Because you're the one who brought up this PSA nonsense. You're not making any sense. You said "In all fairness Sonic wasn’t the only one that had this kind of stuff in it." as if my problem with the comic was the mere presence of drugs in the story, when it wasn't.

Then you finished your statement by saying "Definitely silly looking back, but it wasn’t without reason. So not something to really knock against the comic for outside its delivery on the subject."

My response was that this book DID do this without reason, so you ARE disagreeing with me. Also, I wasn't knocking against the comic for the mere presence of the drugs in the story so telling me that it's not something to knock against the comic for outside of the delivery of the subject is something you DIDN'T need to tell me unless you were disagreeing with me.

You post is presented as something that's making an argument for it being a PSA. When you say that the drug stuff isn't there without reason and begin your post by saying "In all fairness" by implying I wasn't being fair to that aspect of it, you're implying that you're disagreeing with me on something.

I you weren't, then you seriously need to work on reconfiguring your sentences and using your words better. There's no way you could possibly be confused on why it's been taken this way. 
 

Except when you further criticized it and went on how it wasn’t a PSA, I literally agreed with you by saying “yeah, that’s was the reason,” without any pushback.

That was not said in disagreement and I don’t know how you kept pressing it as such after I further clarified that Penders asinine delivery of the subject does a poor job of even trying to be one.

The only thing I defended was how it was made during a period where this kind of thing wasn’t uncommon in media that I further explained when you asked why I brought it up, as that might’ve been the direction Penders was going with it despite his attempt. That was it, dude.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

That's fine but you still haven't explained how your original post towards me makes any sense. You've straight up ignored explaining how I was wrong to perceive the original post as a disagreement too. Talking about the later posts that happened isn't going to do that. You're just asserting that you didn't mean what your first post implies without properly explaining how. 

4 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

The only thing I defended was how it was made during a period where this kind of thing wasn’t uncommon in media that I further explained when you asked why I brought it up, as that might’ve been the direction Penders was going with it despite his attempt. That was it, dude.

And again, I'm asking why you're trying to defend something I wasn't knocking the comic down for. You still haven't answered that. If you wanted to bring up something irrelevant to my criticism of the book, why phrase it the way you did? "In all fairness" implies I wasn't being fair.  "So not something to knock against the comic" implies I was knocking against the comic about that particular subject which I wasn't. "But it wasn't without reason" implies that the comic included the drug aspect within reason, which it didn't.

Again, you really need to work on how you structure your sentences next time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

That's fine but you still haven't explained how your original post towards me makes any sense. You've straight up ignored explaining how I was wrong to perceive the original post as a disagreement too. Talking about the later posts that happened isn't going to do that. You're just asserting that you didn't mean what your first post implies without properly explaining how. 

And again, I'm asking why you're trying to defend something I wasn't knocking the comic down for. You still haven't answered that. If you wanted to bring up something irrelevant to my criticism of the book, why phrase it the way you did? "In all fairness" implies I wasn't being fair.  "So not something to knock against the comic" implies I was knocking against the comic about that particular subject which I wasn't. "But it wasn't without reason" implies that the comic included the drug aspect within reason, which it didn't.

Again, you really need to work on how you structure your sentences next time. 

Dude, unless you want me to keep repeating what I’ve been telling you several times now until you understand what I’ve clarified and go sentence by sentence over semantics, you’re just going to give yourself more of a headache over it than me.

Again, that wasn’t me disagreeing with you, that why I stated “Outside it’s delivery on the subject” as Penders asinine storytelling doesn’t do a decent job at it, for the reasons you already criticized it further for that I agreed with.

There was nothing to work on after I said “that was the reason” when that was really all the acknowledgement toward the exact same thing you had already pointed out by then. And my original post was more on context of the period of the comic’s release than anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

Dude, unless you want me to keep repeating what I’ve been telling you several times now until you understand what I’ve clarified and go sentence by sentence over semantics, you’re just going to give yourself more of a headache over it than me.

Again, that wasn’t me disagreeing with you, that why I stated “Outside it’s delivery on the subject” as Penders asinine storytelling doesn’t do a decent job at it, for the reasons you already criticized it further for that I agreed with.

 

This isn't semantics, dude. You wrote that post in a way that isn't supporting what you're trying to tell me here. I'll say once again; structure your posts better next time.

I quoted the sections that explain why it's written like a disagreement and you've yet to clarify why it isn't.  You're just saying that it isn't which doesn't make sense because it reads like it is.

You keep posting the part where you say "Outside its delivery on the subject" but I keep responding with your full sentence which was "So not something to really knock against the comic for outside its delivery on the subject." 

It reads like you're saying I was treating the mere mention of drugs in the book as a knock against the comic. If that's not what you were trying to say, then fine, but this is a terribly worded sentence that makes it sound like you're accusing me of doing something I wasn't doing.

I understand that you're trying to tell me that you agree with me on something but I'm just letting you know that your post absolutely did not make that clear. It was very badly written if that's what you wanted me to think.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This isn't semantics, dude. You wrote that post in a way that isn't supporting what you're trying to tell me here. I'll say once again; structure your posts better next time.

I quoted the sections that explain why it's written like a disagreement and you've yet to clarify why it isn't.  You're just saying that it isn't which doesn't make sense because it reads like it is.

If I clarify and say “it’s not a disagreement,” that means it’s not a disagreement.

Beyond that it doesn’t get any simpler to explain, especially when I say “yeah, that was the reason.” I already further explained why it’s not a knock against the comic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

If I clarify and say “it’s not a disagreement,” that means it’s not a disagreement.

Beyond that it doesn’t get any simpler to explain, especially when I say “yeah, that was the reason.” I already further explained why it’s not a knock against the comic.

"That was the reason" didn't make any sense as a reply to my earlier post either though. I'm not sure why you think it's simple to understand. It's not.

And again, I didn't say the drug stuff alone was a knock against the comic so there was no reason for you to explain why it's not a knock against the comic to me in the first place.

I dunno if there's a language barrier here or what but hopefully a conversation like this won't happen again.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

"That was the reason" didn't make any sense as a reply to my earlier post either though. I'm not sure why you think it's simple to understand. It's not.

Because you already pointed out the bad delivery of it that I was talking about and I didn’t have anything further to add, which is why I said that in agreement.

You get what I mean now?

5 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

And again, I didn't say the drug stuff alone was a knock against the comic so there was no reason for you to explain why it's not a knock against the comic to me in the first place.

Well you did question the quality control of it, the context to that being that the Comics Code Authority at the time either overlooked or saw nothing wrong with it probably given the influences of the 90s making it easier to go through, else Penders might not have had an easy time getting that kind of stuff through compared to everything else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #60: Arsenal of The Iron King

qut8wsS7w7E8FpCilmaOOf0SHTwHy77K17YIP33d4Y0CbwoiSsD070hjecI26L3GSq8Lmq9LmsKu_qORcp9FYg9_57IxV6kLr_N0DYoOVZh8n7SBaW6s4GYHaU2BRN9TUSVLx7SY

Now that’s a gnarly looking cover. When I read the title about The Iron King I, for some reason, thought that was Monkey Khan for a split second but then I remembered that there’s an Iron Dominion arc with a character in it literally called The Iron King. It was then that I figured out who that snorting figure in the background is. It’s so surreal finally finding out where the origin of all this later stuff comes from. I can’t wait to read this story that isn’t about Knuckles’ awful family.

Spoiler

 

This issue is a collaborative effort from Frank Strom and Ken Penders with Frank handling the first, main story, and Penders handling the less adventurous and less fun second story. The thought occurs to me that keeping track of who writes which story might be crucial down the line when things reach the apex of ridiculousness for this book and I doubt I’ll be able to properly do that. Luckily, someone’s always there to lend a hand with info I may have missed or gotten wrong so I’m sure it’ll be fine. Just gotta sacrifice a little bit of pride.

Sonic and Tails are apparently on the trail of Ixis Naugus. I was under the impression that they were just going around the world looking for random villains and problems to find and fix but I guess it’s Naugus specifically now. I don’t know if they decided to make the search more focused or if I missed all the times they specifically said they were searching for Naugus but either way, the trail has started to run cold.

At least until they reach Frypan Mountain from Dragon Ball. It’s a mountain that’s literally on fire, which means it’s the perfect chance to weave in their statement about a trail running cold into a platform to make a bunch of puns about heat.

0WnfFrYAqefB-ath_dW6souwWQSnHA5N9dolcKHV5WHKDfKHOHL6titUal_jpILcXfj8FCmnbVzoX5Zk8h4WIDYwz1fJTT07kECNGCO3hDSSxXC9GO2_zKIbokm0FP9g2U8geeaq

It’s almost endearing how unfunny it is.

They land at a village where we see the village girl from the Journey to the East Sonic Universe story whose name escapes me. I’ll start calling her by her name as soon as the comic gives her one.

But yeah, they ask for a spare cup of water and she refuses because they don’t have any. Storm Top Mountain has been burning for A HUNDRED DAYS and it won’t stop. You gotta love how disgruntled and distressed Sonic looks here, compared to Tails whose all business.

z6Q4HEtPymTK-xiUoD64tZVCLxmB1XeGs-SgTcFtDFPz_H4Eo7fX45a9uwmax0YwK4bVsBmCrcDgQpUoG6murj5OuJpSLOusbxU8TodRspq7aOHA6kX0Jh88nx5kfHRtdbHwCcfQ

Tails does make a good point though but he’s interrupted by the lion dude from the Journey to the East story…

… Oh wait, he said their names. Lion guy’s name is Li Yuen and the granddaughter’s name is Li Moon

So basically, Li Yuen is making the appeal that they can’t leave because of the exact reason I expected it to be. They’ve lived there for all their lives and yadda yadda. I understand it’s hard leaving the place you grew up in but I think the case could be made that if it’s not providing you with enough water, something you need to live, it might be good to at least try and find some place else. At least as a temporary place to stay until you can find help.

Luckily, Sonic and Tails are here to always land by those in need of help. Specifically, just those in need of help.

Also, it’s not just The Iron King that’s here, but Regina, The Iron Queen!

fwnCJlrJJZFXdySvBNbN-iPzhaWM9-AUs_ROUnezp-LKx2wJAbfdsHK2gu8K-V879uXb6M1iLoLB8Ywv4IQEigNtF-o9d-yRNmSWA-tEmj4cO-3qbDAfvGY-ISgyeIbtoWqukkzH

Now that takes me back. Even though I started to properly follow the comics at around 194 or so, I still feel as though the Iron Dominion stuff was kind of like the first big arc I followed month to month. It was a trip. I remember when I first saw her at the end of Issue 200, I was conflicted on whether or not to fully belief she was a character that had appeared before, even though it was obvious by the way it was presented, that she was.

Anyway, The Iron Queen has burned their crops, poisoned their water supply, and delivered a plague onto their houses and the only way to stop the fire is to find The Enchanted Fan of Fen Xing but that’s locked in the Iron King’s treasure vault. Sonic volunteers to go find it and when he’s told that’s a stupid thing to do, Sonic boasts that luckily he can’t tell the difference between bravery and stupidity, which might be the most Modern Knuckles line he’s ever said.

Anyway, we cut to the Legion of Doom where The Iron Queen is sitting on her throne looking intense as hell.

6zrPauWg3vFHwp2YpQzbuRvhhVgAL1t9RD2th_JHSo-x8BpCs9E_jtrLzRSFqbbv0CfipyZTKBlhhY8rwgd-xur5TpEGAl0--gmPaTaCx_dgSPzpAvkfXWfEkabmut3k4ISgGTRE

She’s got that old comic book look to her with the intense shading and lines and that old ass paper that makes her look more grainy. She looks like she’s right out of Devilman; the old version of it. Looks like she’s seeing things about to play out in her staff and is about to show me where the connection to Monkey Khan comes in.

Sonic and Tails are on their way of course. Sonic says he wants to stop because the humidity is getting to him and Tails has to be a nerd and correct him by saying “It’s not the humidity, it’s the heat”. Then they see storm clouds and Sonic is happy to get rained on but Tails, as he’s smarter than him, doesn’t like the way they look. He’s proven correct as the only thing coming out of those clouds are lightning bolts.

Upon dodging them, they then see Monkey Khan again… looking weird in the eyes.

Ew_H2N8eFaTmkM4zaZAN5SBvwCuozaPiZtvhijo9u5uoJBgf78aiCc4LUCUhPR_MbhC3frxjSd7R42grBiPHWkd2hjmPDmnaGNNXO-bLPvxnWRNxE4bskDTSIEjEcOp8YxNFIHdC

So yeah, he’s clearly been taken over but… good God, does that not look freakish as hell?

The two of them have their little fight with Sonic trying to assure Tails that Monkey Khan isn’t a murderer, just a harmless psycho (which sounds a bit contradictory but whatever). Instead of keeping the charade up, The Iron Queen herself just comes onto the scene and starts taunting them about how easily controlled Monkey Khan is because of all his pent up aggression.

I must say, this dude is way more violent than I thought he would be. Even controlled, they say it’s because he already has a tendency to be that way, which checks out.

Sonic isn’t too worried though. He’s trying to out cool The Iron Queen with his witty repartee but if you ask me it’s really not working.

4mfRBJZWlu1bAyrQUOlTMrNk1QtuFXnT375_rvNiWtAULs7DQb0wapFCvMBuDhKpPyaYqt-c-rvvOeVdGViHGRI7jlJa7ubJpTA4g2oPCCcU35liM_3LMnDiE6eXirOCqUJP18o5

Please stop.

They continue throwing horrible puns at each other like this. At one point The Iron Queen says Sonic is dreaming and then says he’s in for a Rude Awakening and then apologises for her horrible joke afterward. Then Monkey Khan gets Sonic at the edge of a cliff and Sonic makes the obvious cliffhanger joke. It’s been a long time since this book was this punny. 

Tails tries to put a stop to this by… flying through her staff and breaking it. It’s a little strange the way it’s drawn because it kind of either looks like the staff is super huge or Tails is super tiny. Though, I think Tails being in the distance is supposed to insinuate that he’s far away but it doesn’t quite come across like that.

SH6C5e88FEDYxF2PlyEv0Fs1Kr1_Nzct8avdUuHCbzb1tpuy8_oOk9YZ2lbcoihaArmQNnRsRTzI_FbIuFhQKPfWsD8Lt9n1H9U_6ReDZ9Ddu1U3IOpRJMqFOJVrnnypE8_XdLrs

This immediately snaps Monkey Khan out of his mind control and Regina flies off saying the weirdest thing I’ve heard her say yet. “OOOH! Darn your socks! Now you’ve gone and ruined my fun!” 

... Darn your socks?

Well, they thank Tails for the save but the fox notices that when he broke the staff, Power Rings came out of it. She infused them with her staff to make herself more powerful. I must also say that over time, the art in this issue has gotten increasingly worse, to the point where here, Tails looks more like a melting blob with astonishingly huge eyes.

fdsuOT4gAXPTCun2osg2diAAl-EaTKG7v9tmhTw6VxbnQbv1DSgyBQ8b9lrMT_uVHAXlerfPar_TX25nd0p325ley2Ey8T6QJisOkJGMSY3ee5jNiLMrz4Bczo0fWe_k-zufFUqy

That’s what the Tails ice-cream looks like.

Anyway, they head for the Iron Fortress and waltz right in because the doors are open. They round a few corners while talking about how obvious a trap this is until the obvious trap springs itself on them. The Iron King jumps out and charges at them with his weird, intense looking hammer thing. 

As this goes on, Tails goes into the treasure fault and just nabs the fan off the wall, hands it to Sonic, and Sonic blows him away in a scene that only half-way looks appropriately dynamic.

AjqGjI5KrfOUFpNlFpGnNitJYrjaTnduKSXs53ETPBN6r27dj8iLSFu-nNaxzZXC90Yrm7HgSdsmkFLCZng7cv6bi2SgDlDJulkrmVPglFMxKsI0m1DzK-FFYvlrTAdIXAu2grJe

The line art where the king is being blown away looks fine enough but there’s a surprising lack of illustrated movement on Sonic’s part. Just looks more like he’s posing with it rather than waving it.

Not helping is how ridiculous the king looks when being tossed away on the next page.

8yCFaw5rdoGUPZ_q4oUNQrIVi0s5cS0rVlPMwIdBIA9qLl2hXfOEGY3P-IiyNxRdE7VQPv1jWCBUSPi8BlMBzkc54TdTiBmbYatrYAKd2JnjHEulARKKrE5F6ni-0iV6J2kKrQOG

It looks like someone drew him laying face down and then drew some lines and a FWOOOSH sound-effect to make it seem like he was actually being blown back. It’s really goofy looking.

After more wind puns are exchanged, they head to the mountain to finally put out the fire, but oh no, the Iron Queen is back for Round 2. It’s somehow worse and faster than Round 1 though because all she does is fire a few rounds of magic that hit no one and then Sonic waves the fan and puts the fire out immediately.

Then it ends.

She flies away, saying a generic villain line that oddly sounds self aware about how generic it is. Sonic asks her if she has any parting words for the home team and she says “Yes: Curses, foiled again. I won’t rest until I have my revenge. Until then, look for me in your nightmares.” like she’s playing it up for this invisible crowd. It’s weird.

Then they return to Li Moon and Li Yuen to let it slip that Monkey Khan has a prophecy about him where it turns out he’s the Monkey KING! Gasp. Also, Sonic looks at the camera and does the fourth wall joke about getting a new publicist. 

dkbCxAGzwwYi1xE0aYQ92FBFpbfm5W0Ykd4zYojhoodR3gsazJK8dz7d0N7TSjVadVvrnt1pjrZI5cyKUw-fqJR5qMIDqbPtb6Ze2Nw9N5Wn_3RecehDTqTTvbUJ2uP3hosD8hsc

Hold for studio audience applause, curtain closes, roll credits.

That story was incredibly generic and went through the motions in a way that’s hard to praise. I am happy it was just another story of Sonic and Tails going on another adventure together though. I didn’t expect this comic to take time out to do something like this where these two just get to be bros on their own for a bit so I still consider this all to be a welcome and pleasant surprise. Maybe a bit more oomph in the plot could go a long way though. Regina's first foray into the story was not an impressive one and I wouldn't blame anyone for not remembering her after this.

It was nice seeing the origin of these characters though, despite it just being a generic story about a bad guy doing a bad thing and you need to get the magic thingy to do the thing to stop the other thing. 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #60: Tales of the Freedom Fighters - The Ultimatum

Ah. Here’s where the bullshit comes in. I can already smell it.

So remember that last issue where the side story was of Sally doing a bunch of meaningless shit that didn’t matter and it ended on King Max promising to the audience that next time he was going to be the biggest asshole imaginable to make up for wasting your time earlier? Well, here it is.

Yj1L_WIC2YSCUx9ohBZS0xySRP9xOESfV1Gtgv0CKO_34qf1ypzZuJH4CBOi1o_Vlr905vFyVG2ZLXhDaC24CUVP6gb86AgwNJgNsfQ9QEEPqu8-i2mmtXMqLTweZQ4YEGF-PeH6

“Ever since I tried to pass a decree that made it okay for me to commit genocide, you’ve been questioning my judgement! I don’t understand!”

At least he’s allowed them a place to live, though the stink of this hamfisted and weird racism allegory still lingers.

wVcdFWqiLuaSEhVVS97p88cuJnZSVdn22iL-2XA0l-IABohmXGOLmphhidXl0buU6hc7ILzvKPiK7mxVw6PSYEA_do0r9GSW85Z9MxZWahVyBRWiyzVedvZ_92O8t3DhsPor6Xyb

gD37HtX.gif

“More than a few of our people would disagree with you Sally. Please, be a little more considerate of the casual and sudden racism that our city wishes to indulge in.”

So anyway, King Cuckoo For the Crown leads Sally down to his cellar or whatever. Here he shows Sally what his father before showed him.

It’s the Pool of Tang. 

The link to the source of all will be infused with Sally’s body and that will, I suppose, grant her immediate and unquestionable permission to rule over the realm… unless of course Ixis Naugus forces her to bow before him and say he’s king instead, than it’s null and void and you’re fucked.

This is hilarious still, I must say. The first story, though generic, was still neat as an adventure with Sonic and Tails, but this is where the book’s attempts at being serious just drive it further into being an unintentional comedy. Case in point, the next part of Penders’ master plan is to insight drama where there shouldn’t be by continuing to make Sally’s dad the most cartoonishly unreasonable dickwad to ever walk the face of Mobias.

m3fDc_-XDL-i6o797XYiIJVI0Zervkj3grr2T2F-sXfkfsh4H9WfG5sTEGbCzviuUBsvCYlNJGTcCJ3YRPOH54wK6DCwnB5btW_atdtgcUfZhKLhmRIHNTi47_Hl1O5Uh0vK6glV

“THE HEDGEHOG?!! The one you’ve been friends with since you were a child. The one who fought tirelessly against Robotnik to save my kingdom. The one who risked being lost forever to enter my mind to save MY life and continued providing help to me until I was fully restored even after all my genocidal rantings? OUT OF THE QUESTION!!”

That’s right! I hate him so much I’ll wiggle my face fat in outrage! 

tenor.gif HRRBUGGGGUUUUUGGGGRRRRUGGGH!

No, we don’t choose who we marry based on love, that’s stupid. You’re stupid. The Source of All chooses who you marry. It goes eeny, meanie, miney, moe and picks whoever the fuck it wants for you. I wonder how it handles people who cheat on each other? Does it turn the other cheek in that case or… does it just kill you for your adultery?

What kills me about this is that he seems surprised that Sally mentioned Sonic so casually, as if that wasn’t the obvious choice for her. I know he’s been out of it for a while but come on.

But yeah, Sally foolishly thought that her mom and dad were married because they loved each other. What an idiot!

Look at the shit eating grin on his father and on King Max himself. Like father, like son. 

 

Mf_jvo_AHIzMvAT00aaiug6xjxZz6jao71jU91jpTWQNRXHC-w8z_hgG3wNh46nB9CwajcZu2GWtxaF2EllBsppQNzs4t9njwC_A-4UhxNSoscm9uJi6oatHOlr-Pqq4yYX2CPRi

It's so sleazy.

It’s really funny.

What’s even weirder is that he says the Source of All will choose her husband but then immediately after that says that General D’ Coolette will make a fine husband for her and that he’ll go speak with him about it… ... what?

Is he saying that he’s the Source of All? I know he bonded with it but does he fancy that gives him the authority to speak on its behalf? Did it tell him that he should pick Antoine and he's just relayed the message? Or maybe the book is written like shit. No, can’t be that.

It’s great that after all this time, his shit eating grin game is as strong as ever, if not stronger.

s8YwzU1D_0wgxQyFNX-k4CCkvMap7Dgjq0BtBBSjn1gamUCNrgVk6HbaAk3IjqlNLRWYJwVW5IxB7eKNz-Dk2M3SBJqQQOVPpTe7_kOGyUAjeKH-8mNSo6fobCYHj-rRXAr_SejR

Look at that. It’s amazing.

Manny Galan’s artwork is significantly better than what Frank Strom was showing us in the first story.

But yeah, the story ends with Sally saying she’s not gonna do that because she’s deferred to him all this time when it comes to her duties but she wants to marry who she wants to marry. Her dad says that if she doesn’t want to then he’s just gonna strip her of her title and duties.

… Then Sally almost completely folds and says “That’s not fair” like a little girl. Then he does that dad thing of being like “Life’s not fair” as if that’s a reason to perpetuate it continuing to not be fair.

csH6aY2W7qRru3MuUpjfii29o0RdFcjI7XDRce2VFToAcRMTUR2sny3_IocsH__Pnjxej6kMO8-sBABYzELyJyIhPcen71x0kFzMP5ATJiPL-pgmXjeJhz-7AmdzCGcykaV7XZGw

The final caption just says “NEXT: GEOFFREY” as if it's some horrible warning. I couldn’t imagine anything more frightening.

 

I can only imagine how much more fun the first story would have been had it been drawn better. As is, it’s mostly a pretty generic tale about new bad guys doing a bad guy thing and Sonic and Tails stopping them. That would have been fine on it’s own but a story like that needs better art to push it along more. I did, however, get a lot of nostalgic vibes from seeing the origin of all these Iron Dominion characters. Plus, it does still delight me that we’re continuing with the adventures of Sonic and Tails. 

As for the second story, King Max continues to be the most entertaining character in the book and the one I anticipate seeing the most. He’s so shit. It’s delightful. With the book’s focus in the first part being on Sonic and Tails going on adventures and the second part being about King Max being an asshole, I’m having a ton of fun with the structure of the main book as is. We’ll see how long it lasts.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #61: Outback Gut Check

MBpneoVrbnmApBob8z8DjXObFDMnWd8Pv2QwbeV7CK8Y8laQsjGwtJRzBVucCnnKmvZTxULdYG1sN32_aUVd0IKh2y5YMWMOdVy9lGOWGkhCNWUoczdkoZMRTSZ6gFYOs918FFfy

Outback Gut Check sounds like the title of a comedy horror story. Looks like we’re headed down the Roaring Rapids of Ocean Breeze Water Park or something. Apparently there’s Danger in Downunda and we’re going back to the Downunda Freedom Fighters, who in the best of times, I can’t muster up any care for. Despite how many times I’ve seen them, I’ve yet to remember their names. I remember the names of more people in the Reserve Freedom Fighters group then them. Oye.

Spoiler

 

The issue begins by immediately addressing my cheeky comments about not remembering any of the Downunda Freedom Fighters names by having the hippy bird character rattle them all off in the very first panel of the book. 

“Look Stu, it’s Walt, Barby, and that far out fox named Tails!”

AH-HA! So the fox’s name is TAILS! 

He and Wombat Stu are stuck in cages while Sonic and the rest of the names the bird boy said are fighting a bunch of platypus guys to free them.

This first story is being written by Mike Gallagher who has had… issues in the past with me. Not as many as Penders but you know.

The art here is by Harvey Mercadoocasio, which is an awesome name, but I fear for my eyes considering how he’s drawing these characters.

haf9fQetH3DpFWVEJAUIBr7FkRHjdtKfXBX-8TedNGIs7i88ERPJbSjxB2szOgq2apJ4vUMh8b63PXViV3Vh6GS1Awbb9Dt-wNGIUTNmh9wS6hXWTugk3cJ5ipumlJB41a8oKeUL

God… where to begin with this.

You know, maybe it’s because I’ve worked on my art for so long that I can’t help but look at this and think “It can’t be THIS hard to find someone who knows how to draw Sonic and Tails”. 

Sonic came out of this scene looking the best despite his derpy eyes and his balloon sized head. However, you’ve got Wally the kangaroo who’s lower half is arched so far upward it’s hard imagining how he managed to land that double kick. Ms. Barby’s doing the splits in a way that’s impossible and incredibly painful looking. It hurts just looking at it. Then finally you’ve got Pseudo Tails, who looks like he’s made out of silly putty and has been packing on the pounds. Someone smashed his head inward and made it way more vertical than it should be. 

Well, anyway, they free them all from the cages and good lord, the bird grew three-thousand sizes that day.

CCQFhFfY9icJfTualiurGZ6E4KT4rg-b2P-pok1y0Ys04WLubN-CGs-CX9Z8zWVir0hPmcTxX6LCH6wBX-HwDxiHnMUVe5d35S8lnIc002ll_P6JrJfY2N_zRUWtLYSdyUyM8a3U

HOW THE FUCK DO YOU MESS UP THIS BADLY?! LOOK AT THAT! THE EDITOR SAID OKAY TO THIS!

He’s definitely not supposed to be this huge. His size returns to normal on the next page. Just… goodness me. Look at Sonic, clicking his heels in between that bird’s legs. Or is he supposed to be running? I guess so. 

Wally gets everyone’s attention after they group together having beaten up a bunch of platypuses. He then starts to recount for the audience who they are and what they did last in a bout of super clunky exposition.

X3NNfIIwsKhczuSnUkRUsmLr0418Qn3Jr1xuSIIJNHqsfeZYjmGpkVttKMm_2224znujhLjrjlpMCvr39xeG6LuN9nkNhzT2nBBjtsjhvgUHQk6Um34CexTT0D4JOh8nb0es5TZQ

AS WE TOLD YOU ON THE POST CARD WE SENT AFTER THE THING WE TALKED ABOUT ON IT HAPPENED, HERE’S ME EXPLAINING WHAT HAPPENED ON THE THING WE SENT YOU AND TALKED ABOUT ALREADY.

Anyway, they cleaned up the scraps of Crocbot (who I’m sure they’re convinced isn’t a roboticized Mobian) and got to work on reconstruction… until one of their own, Duck Bill Platypus, just decided one day “You know what…? I’m EVIL!” and then went renegade on them and ran off. He found a bunch of platypuses exclusively and I guess not only did he find a bunch of his kind but all of them were also equally on board with being disruptive and destroying the reconstruction efforts. I suppose they all work in a hive mind.

He sent them a note saying that he was willing to negotiate but nah. Not really. He ambushed them and trapped them in the cages they were in at the start of the book.

hnRggjvDg9Ef5XQy8DpQ7VaYdvSLL1U2BLem-U7taUGB7Ba2dbA4Q7sJkWR9ipZ09tp4ldj3JzXHEcU79CUpTXFHI4XfBrUSFKtgqR3eXXQ243K_m0JVaULqC54EsqG47OB9JLv-

He looks so wrong. 

So I’m more familiar with this character than the others because he was one of the original members of Eggman’s Egg Bosses in the Pre-Reboot but I recall it being revealed in the boring Knuckles Returns SU arc that he was a double agent for the good guys. However, Eggman isn’t here right now so he can’t be putting up a front.

These Downunda Freedom Fighters are so underdeveloped and so out of the way that any one of them could randomly turn evil and it wouldn’t directly contradict anything. As it stands, it’s just really weird. It’s almost as if they knew they could get away with it because of how much of a blank slate these characters were. I’m sure we’ll get an explanation… oh boy will we ever...

When the recap is done, Sonic doesn’t address any of it, making it stand out that it was just there to catch up the audience as all these characters knew it all already, and says that they need to head out. Wally, thinking he’s important because he leads the unimportant Downunda Freedom Fighters, gets mad when Sonic does this and says they should follow HIM.

They end up on a raft in the water on the river. Sonic calls Wally “Wannabee” and Wally gets mad, goes all up into Sonic’s face and says “It’s Wallabee”. So I guess we’re back to Sonic being an ass and getting into fights with people. I dunno. Maybe I’m crazy to prefer the version of Sonic who gets along with almost anyone.

They get ambushed in the water and everyone, without getting out of the raft, beats the crap out of all the platypuses and the crocodiles they’re riding with then they continue on. It’s kind of hilarious how pathetic it is.

The art isn’t getting any better though.

4mZcMrhrieNmPWO10FqfSTTFHcXgu_gz2E7mdrez1p53tbNeRj-YLh-Ki2L-4XEeDx9Nsf1JsbKOYpEU95ScJht8I_YNC3rvcMM5ROxk9xaDBeFvpgM6JZKS0WKfLBp7B3bhkIMI

It’s like Sonic’s head was drawn first, facing any direction, and the body was like cut and pasted on. His limbs are so distorted and weird and I can’t get over how much of a frumpy grandpa Tails looks like. 

They pick up the pace and speed on with Tails using his tails as a propeller, of course, until they reach Duck Bill’s hideout.

Here’s where this story, that was barely a story up to this point, literally just says fuck it and gives up. 

Seriously, the story takes a gun to it’s head and shoots its fucking brains out. It just stops trying to pretend it gives a shit.

They see Duck Bill talking to himself in the next room when they sneak into his hideout but then he passes out. They figure he must be speaking to someone so they open the floor boards and goddammit, it’s Crocbot. Again. 

As soon as he’s revealed, he gives what could possibly be described as the absolute worst, laziest, most contrived, overwritten, drawn-out, exposition vomit I’ve seen in quite a long, long time. Look at this.

17VuSLo27_q5i3oVHe6bbslHNQNGICK79Ev58da3bEveYPg3M8VpWrlxTjGWrkL2LS9rk8oJtmbDuhcF5XJawTPPu3w7hGglLLnwA0AJzaDNOsJ9EFvPjyZakuO9Iy7Q2NJIzSwq

When they find him, he just spills the beans in explicit detail about his plans to all of them, for no reason! What’s even more funny is the fact that he was clearly about to tell them something they didn’t know about concerning a threat for later but Sonic actually stopped him! He stopped the idiot villain from telling them the whole story. It’s like some twisted, backwards, inadequate, opposite day logic.

You can also see in that bottom panel how disturbing and lanky they all are. I know keeping track of sizes is hard, especially when you’re trying to make a comic, but there’s no excuse for this. Not for THIS.

Next panel, they’re waving goodbye to Sonic and Tails as they leave. That’s it. That was the story. That was the adventure. It began in media res and then what led to that point was explained back to us. They beat up some platypuses on land, they beat up some platypuses on a raft. They found Crocobot and he just told them his plan and got shut down. Boy, what an epic adventure… 

By the way, Crocbot's explanation doesn't at all explain how Duck Bill's platypus army turned evil. Or were they all just really eager to destroy shit? He said he ordered Duck Bill to raise a Duck Bill army but that doesn't explain how raising a Duck Bill army would even be possible. It is that easy to raise an army in this world? Especially one that's exclusive to a single species of animal?

Then as they fly off, this random panel closes the story for us.

kNOVKclcQxOiqo7MmmczgaVtzLtG-6ewFlSyN3qroRTHlWPHsxnUJHdwqtv_ABC9ct94tJBedRWdV7qHu4pn6LpJeQHEXRHxPTcKJeW9mKohKHh1uQAOaRjOkQYeA1zklbqZpIwl

… WHAT?!

WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?!

Wallabee’s only noteworthy interaction with anyone in this story was with Sonic and it wasn’t a love quarrel, it was him trying, and failing, to assert his authority as leader. When did Barby hit on Tails??? WHY would Barby hit on Tails, the now younger than 8-years-old child??? 

What is happening? Mr. Mike Gallagher, why is your writing so ass? I swear, it’s sometimes worse than Penders. His track record for being just outright confusing is mind boggling. At least I can follow the horrible shit Penders writes. Dear lord.

Oh and as for that caption at the end:

pKjpSSw9AZgLFeBnj172PfFH5MCOQSlVgSNL7pghDEUsc-JTxRjevOBJkok_BJcHWz78-3yMD087DtW3xBocDTw1C97qAAwKkJvZz05zt8ShmRiVPGAx9r6kPF1vZXi1_x1F0XnC

No. Keep this unfinished. Don’t ever refer to this Bunnyip or this random BarbyXTails thing again please. 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #61: Total Turbulence

We’ve hit our second story, written by Karl Bollers this time. Thank God.

On the first page, already the writing is better and the art by Steven Butler, is WAY better.

HNxDMGbopotLz8QJzFCZNFiD75wFSEj_nqBcNGmM_KT4HTMc7QfVOxRdd1VkBCv9F2e2mUbCLprIP3BjndMsvqjBrJwiINS6Iqf3KNLgxRue2ZMwf0KCKzpNZAnogMkQ9nRkY_Le

I guess this is the upside to having different writers and artists on a book. If for whatever reason they do a shit job in the first story, you at least have a second chance. Then again, one could say that a better way to rectify this is to just get better people on the book. 

Although, despite things looking better, the weird unnecessary bolding of every other word is sticking out.

“I’m sure GLAD we’re not chasing the evil wizard IXIS NAUGUS around by BOAT, SONIC! This ocean looks real ROUGH if you ask ME!”

“Don’t worry about the WAVES, TAILS! In two SECONDS we might regret taking my BI-PLANE!”

Imagining them shouting everyone of those bolded words amuses me. I know this happens often but it really stuck out here for some reason.

It’s actually really nice seeing Sonic flying the plane this time though. It rarely happens but it's always lovely being reminded that, yes, it’s actually Sonic’s plane and he knows how to pilot it. 

Oh, by the way, that vision of Ixis Naugus isn’t just some clever metaphorical danger being represented by the clouds looking like him. The clouds are literally made of Ixis Naugus.

He talks to himself about how much it sucks that they’ve found him, though they’re unaware of it, by following the Ionic Residue left behind by his magic thanks to a device made by Uncle Chuck. So Uncle Chuck can create a device that tracks down magic… neat.

Naugus waves his cloud arm back and knocks them out of the sky. As an aside, it’s interesting how Sonic wearing these goggles makes it look as though he’s got two seperate eyes. 

oz2dBNIt8tub0zVmjNSTWWKRU2mII3r8JSFAD0MJ6PVLBygqBPIoyYA_wWyL00l5ovJlfEdi2P29gzlK6I79EOSdbRx5p7aVZD3FctJIcVcxgJScd-9ya14B7_hr0LZYgq0RX85b

Sonic manages to regain control of the plane and flies upwards. This… shocks Naugus for some reason? He’s very surprised that Sonic is alive.

Sonic zooms through the clouds and it leaves behind a very sunny looking image of Sonic and Tails over the horizon as the two head for their next adventure.

Q39bc223UL57BUCD4tShGXTMJehb4GluRpXfq2yP1p1q7roC4aw2CC1gtXiIDoJq84MtIYZMObs7-4TPIHI5Kv_Xm1MP3sz6rlvCeP7UHQwtBxqHvB_3zqFQgFX8Z0kJfwz0fg5S

That’s cute. I like it.

It’s amazing how much better this story was simply by virtue of not being drawn like crap or written in a confusing manner. This is more of what I want. Just Sonic and Tails hanging out and being bros.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #61: Tales of the Freedom Fighters - On His Majesty’s Secret Service

This, our final story written by Ken Penders, with art by Art Mawhinney, begins with Geoffrey and some beaver jumping out of the way of an explosion. Because of course it does.

This dude, Fleming, says he’s too old for this and talks about how he’s been on the Secret Service since the time of Geoffrey’s dad. He’s then retired in the next panel with Geoffrey meeting with the king to discuss it and good God, this whole issue has a huge problem with character sizes and perspective.

D4FTBMmCwQXhAAJZqq0s2as-W1MqV5iM3-Vg75LSETK-tinUxFuP5k2G2iTtnWwn-MJraLdbTet1DEvNNd_pOrkpgNwsTQktC4udxwPiVzS4rxI6GGd47A3dPJxD-0liSH_7QAa-

This would make sense if he were suddenly a One Piece character but since he isn’t this huge size is very distracting. It’s not even a perspective shot. The king looks like he’s looking UP at Geoffrey and Geoffrey's feet look like they’re standing right by Dr. Quack’s bag, which is behind the king. What happened here? Art is usually pretty good at this stuff. I made a comment last week about how the person working with Penders on that Penders story was usually pretty good but took a shortcut somewhere. Now here it’s happening again.

I meant it as a joke but does Penders just suck the talent out of the people he collaborates with?

Geoffrey is given an assignment by the king to assemble a task force of no more than five people to do covert, secret spy operations with. Geoffrey flies to Angel Island, thinking he needs someone who is stealthy and can blend it with their environment. Immediately, I was thinking he was going to recruit Espio but no.

He lands on the island, shoots a cuff dart onto an invisible chameleon and then in the lower panel at the corner of the page, we see what he looks like for the first time in a side-view. I’m guessing this chameleon, whoever he is, isn’t a very important character if that’s how he’s being revealed. 

jvRmKLLCtpmDo8XzWq6tTKGtpyIqOZ-GRmrYC-Lgh7HUBLyIyVr9ynGY8FOtwRCuVF-tXRzMAscjODx5_rnPwLz7vNLtnrjMhxNQo0hyZ6wR67xTg5I_e_SlKPrphmipkIBmkvzk

Unlike Espio, he’s very blue.

He also hasn’t been given a name yet.

Geoffrey’s next recruit is on Downunda. He goes up to what I assume is another character look-alike? Or it could be the yellow dude from the Downunda Freedom Fighter? No joke, he looked so different from the way he did in the first story that I wasn’t entirely sure he was the same character. But no, that’s Wombat Stu from the Downunda Freedom Fighters.

The blue chameleon referred to him as a “baby” and he’s definitely very child-like I guess but…

JNwR-PIuhxQwWks6aTYj7my4DHn0rHYPA6jXuxxPAROC4PiNVn3yVyfi6vjXheIq4h3I6V6DdVC2K-GgEPo5fIkcnTBeFqcWGvwiwvAXLghxI0o3iyAf9rF-xlYoQdVhRKTSRxTG

Again, they don’t mention his name here so it was harder to tell.

The last person he meets up with is Hershey. He sees her working on the computer trying to figure out plans for rebuilding things, and hands her a device of some sort and tells her to show up at the armory the next day, saying he’ll square things away with Sally about her duties. 

The story ends on Geoffrey wondering who his last recruit should be as he opens the door to… somewhere. 

So… I guess we’re getting the formation of yet another group of people. Sure.

 

The first story was puerile, rancid horse manure. Both the writer and artist just vomited nonsense on the page and sold it to the masses. It was a colossal waste of time. The second story was the best of the three, being delightfully simple and had the decency to look nice. The third story was okay. It wasn’t Penders at his worst or even his best. I don’t care much about Geoffrey here and the characters he’s recruiting range from semi-relevant to who cares?

We continue the adventure moving forward. Hopefully, things will start to ramp up just a bit. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For some reason that panel of Max barking at Sally always struck me as one of her most vulnerable looking moments, even her damn lip is quivering. Even the post-reboot seemed to call back to the idea that her father is about the one person that can genuinely cow her.

It's a shame they traded away most of this family feud to Elias, it'd have been interesting to see how Sally might have eventually took action against Max, especially since she is the one established to have spent most of her life seeking to reunite with her father again in the early parts of Satam/Archie canon, giving her a greater 'warts and all' depth against him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Y'know in my own reread it dawned on me that maybe Frank Strom was trying to sell Monkey Kahn as a character who could hold a book. He gets a story in the 8th issue of Super Special that has no connection to Sonic at all. I mean that could be baseless but I wouldn't be surprised to hear he tried to pitch a MK comic at some point. 

Kinda surprised you missed Barby hitting on Tails. She's uncomfortably flirty with him for the whole issue and I have no idea what Gallagher was thinking.

As for the not-Espio Valdez it's kinda funny I thought for a long timehe must have been a character in the Knuckles book and then it turns out nope this was his first ever appearance. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.