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3 hours ago, Monkey Destruction Switch said:

@Moose the Cat I somewhat agree with some of your points, but...

This seems like quite a stretch to me. Most of these just seem like Knuckles' personal personality traits that aren't meant to reflect on anything larger than that.

I'm not saying hate is in their hearts, but good intentions don't invalidate the end result. Just that Knuckles' initial characterization by Sega— a version of the "dumb uncivilized savage/native" stereotype —  combined with his design being coded with black elements, results in a creation that has elements of racism within it. 

(And look, it's not just Knuckles, obviously, and it doesn't mean it's bad to like Knuckles; Knuckles isn't "canceled." This kind of "subtle" racism is everywhere in culture. And it usually occurs like this, without anybody necessarily being like "Let's make something racist" and instead becomes another additional by-product of assumptions and stereotypes. Like, that dude who made the Loqueesha movie doesn't intend to be racist and swears it's not his intent... and let's assume he's telling the truth. It still doesn't change the fact that it ... is.)

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Yeesh it took me a while to read through all of this. Maybe because Dr. Mike is now at the point in the Knuckles comics I haven't read a million times.

Anyway I sincerely doubt that any of the bits of self awareness about the Echidna culture was in anyway intentional. Just going off how Penders talks about them and how badly he hates it when they're painted as anything but just and totally in the right there's no way he did any of that on purpose.

I also love how the Echidna's are mad Sonic and Tails are being proactive. That's endlessly hilarious to me.

Fun Fact the place Knuckles and Kravok go to is the Twilight Zone later retconned to also have the name Twilight Cage because Ian wasn't going to let that opportunity slide.

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #64: In Search Of...

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At last. 

I’ll say upfront that I’m having a bit of trouble judging this cover. It’s definitely very dynamic. All of their mouths look weird but that’s to be expected by now.

Yeah. Guess that’s it for the cover.

Spoiler

Our heroes have arrived at the Southern Tundra, the coldest part of Mobius, in search of Naugus. Need a refresher? Don’t worry. The overly dramatic narrator has got you covered.

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It’s all very epic guys. 

I do wish the story could be allowed to speak for itself more often but I guess that’s just how it goes. Karl Bollers can write just fine without needing to overexert himself on the build up for what you’re about to read. That’s Penders’ job. We’ve also got Steven Butler on the pencils here, which is neat. Already looks pretty good.

The conversation that starts us off IS written very oddly, however. Sonic says the top of the mountain is where Naugus is waiting for them and Tails asks if Naugus knows they’re after him. Sonic’s response is “Of course! Why else would he think we came all this way?”

My brain kind of fried itself trying to make sense of that response. It’s like saying “Of course Naugus knows we’re coming for him, why else would he think we’re coming for him?” 

I hope they didn’t crash that plane or something. Sonic may need to get checked out.

Tails may need some help as well though. Our little fox friend gets very defeatist on us all of a sudden. He talks about how as soon as they got to the tundra, the power ring they were using to fly the plane conked out and now they’re stranded. Then he says Ixis Naugus is gonna win either way because they’re stranded and are never gonna see their friends again! Geez!

Sonic has to be the comforting big bro and talk Tails back into being a believer. He runs down how Naugus is a trickster who almost got Robotropolis into a Civil War by corrupting King Max and heightening his fear of the Robians. I don’t know how much the book is planning to pin Max’s behavior on that, but I’m willing to ignore it in favor of pointing out that the king is terrible either way.

Still, he does his best to be reassuring. 

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You gotta love the expression he’s got there. Makes you wonder if he even believes what he’s saying.

Meanwhile, back in space, our “mysterious” watcher in the dead satellite that has now spontaneously come alive again, activates a device and has seemingly acquired a target. But who?

Well, no time to find out. Petty Naugus has indeed caught onto our two heroes and decides to be a dick by shoving Sonic off a cliff by making snow hands.

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It will never get old seeing Sonic made a fool of.

On cue, our glorious, disgusting, grumpy old troll who lives under the bridge shows up in his full glory. I don’t know if I’ve made mention of this, but I like the fact that Naugus calls him “Quickster”. It’s just nice when characters have nicknames for people. I’ll have to remember this when I finally get started on my own comic. One day…

Anyway, Naugus is here and he’s galavanting about how evil he is until Sonic throws a snowball in his face. That sets him off and the two go at it, finally.

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This scene would have been funnier had Sonic not said anything. The comedic gold of Naugus just saying “Take your best shot” followed by a panel of Sonic just pelting him in the face with a snowball would have been glorious.

Also, I gotta say, Naugus is looking really good here. Usually when he shows up in this book, the images usually try to overcompensate on how ugly and trollish he’s supposed to look. Here, he looks like he does in the later issues of the book when the art stays consistently more… “Sonic”, for lack of a better word.

Sonic tries to blast into Naugus’ body but literally goes right through him.

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I love how Sonic is drawn in this issue man. Such a cartoonish fellow.

But yes, Naugus has turned into snow… in fact, he reiterates that he can turn into all 4 elements. It’s here where we finally get the explanation for why the Bi-plane randomly crashed in Sand Blast City. It wasn’t a malfunction. Naugus disrupted it from the inside in cloud form. It also makes that one story where they flew through Naugus’ face in the clouds stand as something even more literal than it ended up being by the end.

Sonic almost falls off a cliff and has to hoist himself up to save Tails before he gets demolished while he’s busy failing to hit Naugus.

However, as soon as he does, this happens-!

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Oh my GOD… Tails looks so weird here, doesn’t he? I dunno. So far he’s the one who’s looked not quite himself up to this point.

Also, Magilla the Robot-Wolf-Man has frozen him solid. 

The site of this has rendered Sonic, not speechless, but devoid of speech that flows in any sort of cohesive manner.

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… You did a lot of tongue gymnastics to pull that one out.

Sonic tries his best to attack it while Naugus laughs behind him, saying that he’s placing bets on the Abominable Snow-Bot. I wouldn’t take that bet myself Naugus, but then again, I’m cheating because I’m aware that they’re in a comic book where the hero has to win in the end.

Or maybe not since immediately after, an avalanche happens that buries all four of them under the snow…!

A little while later, Tiny bursts out of the snow with an unconscious Sonic and Tails under his arms and takes them to his castle. Or rather, the castle of his master.

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I’ve seen this dude before.

However, it’s mostly because he’s caught my eye on one of the upcoming covers before. It was long before I decided to do this but scrolling through the covers and landing on an extremely detailed human character did catch my attention. This book doesn’t tend to use them often after all, though, they’ve been cropping up a lot more frequently recently.

Sonic and Tails wake up simultaneously and Sonic is understandably hostile with them, telling them to back off. I do wonder why that Ape Titan froze Tails in the first place… or how being covered in MORE snow somehow got Tails out of that block of ice.

Anyway, this old man calls Sonic by the name of Jules, which as you’ll recall, is the name of Sonic’s daddy. Sonic is even more interested in knowing who this dude is. Thankfully, nice guy Naugus is here to help!

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His name is Nate Morgan and he’s apparently the key to Naugus’ plan. How interesting…

Also, Naugus, apparent badass that he is, turned himself into fire and hid inside the robot arm of the ape man. So now that he’s emerged from it, his beard looks like it’s on fire. Nice.

Honestly, I didn’t even know (or remember) that Naugus could turn into the other elements. What a neat gimmick. I bet being able to turn into air could get me to work on time far faster than an alarm clock.

Well, that was fun. Time to ruin it.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #64: Tales of the Freedom Fighters: On His Majesty’s Secret Service - Part Four: The Mission

Sally stomps her way into the base where the covert operatives working for the king are. Hershey says “Good Morning” to her and angry Sally snarls and says “Good Morning” back. She may be angry but that won’t stop her from remembering her manners.

Unfortunately, this means Hershey didn’t get the memo about her rage and tries to ask Sally something but she tells her that she can’t right now. It’s nothing personal. At least not with her.

She spots her assaholic father and demands to know why she’s being kept out of the loop. Geoffrey, upon witnessing this requests a chance to speak with the girl. I assume it was for the sake of easing her mind but NOPE! We can’t have that. Sally needs to be as stressed out as humanly possible.

Sally demands to know why she’s being kept out of the loop yet again and her daddy delivers every parent’s favorite non-answer. The always popular, “Because I said so”.

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To be as fair as I can possibly be, he does at least say “Not NOW” rather than not “EVER” and the excuse of needing to focus on reconstruction could, in another reality, be seen as a plausible explanation… but, come on. It’s not gonna make how needlessly obtuse the handling of this is feel any better. 

There’s only so much I can say about how Max continues to be awful to his daughter so let’s move on.

In the briefing room, the King, Geoffrey, and the recruits you’re now expected to care about stand tall and are ready to be told what the fuck the point of all this is.

Well, actually, only Geoffrey is standing tall. The rest are sitting down, like I would be. Even better, King Max tells them all to remain as they were and to be seated. I like how only Geoffrey seems to have this stick up his ass about maintaining a dignified presence. Really makes him seem extra… and ignorable.

King Max starts off by doing something immensely shocking… telling everyone in this group that they’re all really good and have impressed him. They all crack a smile at this too. I had no idea he knew how to be kind… then again, he might have experience faking it. 

Anyway, he reveals the real reason they’re all here…

… but first a history lesson.

King Max tells the tale of woe that took place before Robotnik, when the Overlanders (humans) attacked his kingdom. The battle was hard fought, he assures us, but his wife was still here with him amidst the danger. So, he told Geoffrey’s father to escort his wife and a bunch of other people who aren’t fit for fighting, to the Floating Island for refuge. It was originally going to be Knothole where the children were but it was blocked off at the moment. 

They all went off while King Max stayed behind to fight. I love this image of Max standing over a human soldier. It’s really goofy.

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The battle was won but the escapees weren’t very fortunate. Like Amelia Earhart on her last voyage, the transport taking them all to the Floating Island disappeared without a trace.

… Until NOW!

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Yikes. What a development. Sally’s mom may be alive? Geoffrey’s dad too? The guardsman that may or may not have familial relations to other people as well? I know at least one of these people is dead and the other is alive but still. 

It’s no wonder the King kept this from Sally. There’s no way she would want to know about the possibility of her mother being alive. Why would she give a shit about that? 

It’s very interesting because I keep thinking back to that scene where Sally told Rotor that he couldn’t go save his family because they needed him there to work on reconstruction. Now it seems Sally’s dad is doing something similar… sort of. He’s sending a team to go out and act on the recovery of people, unlike what Sally did, but is keeping it a secret from her. It’s essentially the opposite handling of the situation.

I’m also not sure why people in this book are so keen on keeping the fact that their relatives are alive a secret from each other now. It made sense with Uncle Chuck but now Penders is doing it with Sonic when it comes to Antoine’s dad and now King Max when it comes to Sally’s mom. Both of the reasons it’s being done in those two situations make far less sense now that the war is over. At least with King Max, all he has is evidence. Nothing has been proven which could lead to Sally’s hopes being brought up only for them to be brought down should it turn out to be nothing. However, I suspect that’s not the reason this is being kept a secret either…

So the first story was really fun. Just another Sonic and Tails adventure with robot ape-men, magic wizards shapeshifting into the elements, and avalanches that melt frozen blocks of ice. The second story was… more of that story. I’ll give it some credit, something of a development finally happened. I’m not yet convinced we needed to pull together a team of characters like this to do this plot line but we’ll see… 

Fun issue though.

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I...got nothing. it's a fine issue and there's no Actuallying to be had. Though I do theorize that originally that panel with Max standing over an overland was probably supposed to be him killing him with that sword he had in the previous panel.

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #65: The Fellowship of the Rings

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You know, I really like the colors used on this cover and the way everyone is drawn isn’t bad either but the weird composition is hard to ignore once you notice it. For some reason, Tails and Naugus are translucent while Sonic and Nate are floating over the scene. Also, apparently, Sonic’s been cut in half. Just him though. It’s weird.

Also, you gotta love that embarrassingly cheesy title. 

Spoiler

Everyone is staring in shock with their mouths open at IXIS NAUGUS. They all shout his name in unison in a full page spread and Sonic’s hands are fucking huge in the panel too. The next page is a double page spread of Naugus man-spreading at them as he hovers over them. He gloats about how a few tons of snow was most definitely not going to kill someone who could, with a mere gesture, turn their body into Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water. It’s the sequel to the hit music group that made such favorites as Shining Star, Let’s Groove Tonight, and September.

Naugus and Nate Morgan (because apparently you have to say his full name everytime like Naugus does) engage in a bit of expository dialogue that covers what Naugus literally just did and the fact that he’s got magic runes around his castle to keep out the trolls. The internet could use some of those. 

Sonic and Tails don’t really seem to care what they’re arguing about, with Sonic suggesting they just do what they came here to do. Tails agrees, making this incredibly harsh and sinister smile.

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This fox boy is more ready to shove his foot up someone’s ass than Sonic is. 

So they all attack Naugus at once. Sonic, Tails, and Eddy the Abominable Snow Bot (which is it’s actual name) just charge at him.

Naugus holds out his hand and sucks the molecules out the air that would allow them to breath and starts choking them to death.

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Well, that was easy.

Then Nate Morgan takes out a ring and tosses it  into a mirror that doubles as a portal.

Like a dumbass drooling dog, Naugus yips and jumps in after it like an idiot.

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… Well, that was also easy.

So when he’s gone, Morgan helps the others up with Sonic thanking the man by specifically saying that it was an “awesome move from an ancient overlander” which might not be untrue but still sounds a little like a backhanded compliment. The guy doesn’t care so whatever.

Sonic asks how he got rid of Naugus. Morgan says it was only temporary and that he’s simply got a few tricks of his own.

… Cut outside to Naugus whining that his hand is slipping through the ring because he’s just realized it’s a hologram.

Cue the cartoonish slide-whistle. 

I bet Nate Morgan enjoys himself a nice bit of holographic meatloaf every now and again.

Ayway, Nate properly introduces himself as Nathaniel Beauregard Morgan with his hand out, adding that Sonic is too rash to be Jules the Hedgehog. Sonic says he’s his son and to just call him Sonic while returning the handshake. Nice and wholesome.

After introducing Tails as well, Sonic cuts to the heart of the matter and wants to know who Nate is and how he knows his father and Ixis, adding in the phrase, “You’re an overlander (no offense)” as he does so.

I didn’t think Overlander was a derogatory term so I’m not sure what there is to take offense to. Maybe Sonic thinks that simply being an Overlander is offensive though which would be super racist of him but… I’ll choose to not see it that way. I mean, Nate even begins his story by saying that he used to be an underground scientist from Overland City of Megapolis. 

So basically, he was trying to develop an energy source better than Fossil Fuels and his brilliant, promising, upstart of an assistant and man voted most trustworthy in the world since 1991, Julian Kintobor of the House of Ivo, told him to “Seize the Day!” because he checked that all the calibrations had been set correctly to a tee.

Welp, he seized the day alright. 

He blew up his lab and promptly got arrested. A list of crimes was thrown at him, a lot of which seem excessive, with the mere punishment of banishment FOREVER since no one died being also kind of harsh but also realistic considering the way the justice system works out. 

So Nate basically went on a suicide march, deciding that he’d just let the Overlanders kill him when he gets there… but instead of death, then leader of the kingdom, King Fredric Acorn, offers him his hand in friendship. Apparently they got so friendly that he even bounced the evil tyrant, future King Max over his knee when he was a baby boy. 

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Although with his big honking feet, he looks more like he’s kicking him in the balls.

He also goes on about how he was allowed to continue his research with the animal people, this time supposedly without any wanton explosions, and successfully he manages to seal a bunch of power within a chaos emerald.

Then he… … he says that because of him the Acorn Kingdom managed to launch itself into a golden age of technological advancement… and then says that there are no longer four elements, but five. 

Fire, Wind, Water, Earth… and POWER RINGS!

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This is one of those things that’s so goofy, it’s hard to think up a thing to say about it.

Like, the gall to say that the fucking Power Ring is now a natural element is just… such a strange thing to put into your comic. It’s not upsetting or anything. It’s just funny.

Nate talks about how Jules and Charles were two of his best students in the class he taught, cementing how much more like Tails they both were than Sonic. He then talks about how Ixis Naugus, the royal wizard, who I guess was just always a douchebag, tried to convince Max of Morgan’s treachery but was unsuccessful because… there literally WAS no treachery. Plus, he led the kingdom into a technological golden age and created the fifth natural element for them. It was a pretty upscale battle for Naugus in this department.

So Naugus goes to our old buddy Kodos, who happens to have a tremendous hatred of Overlanders. Thank God, Naugus located the one super racist to confide in for this arbitrary decision he’s made to fuck over Nate Morgan.

So basically, they set up a situation where a bunch of Mobians and Overlanders got into a humongous battle that saw only Kodos and Nate Morgan surviving the skirmish. Kodos, while bedridden, claimed that Morgan was the one who gave their position away to the Overlanders and Naugus backed him up on this.

Contrary to my expectations, Morgan was the one who decided to banish himself this time rather than King Max. I guess the decision was actually a huge dilemma for him considering he took care of him when he was a baby, which is surprising, but then again this was written by Karl Bollers. If this were a Penders story, no doubt Max would have just been like, “No, fuck that guy. Also, if I have a daughter I’m gonna treat her like shit. I’ve decided that just now.”

Later, of course, King Max got fucked over by both of these guys. Kodos and Naugus were banished with him when Robotnik took over. Kodos tried to kill him and Naugus forced him into making him the rightful king. I’m sure (in a reasonable world) King Max would accept him back with open arms now…

… Although, I don’t know if the Acorn Kingdom is a place anyone would really want to live right now. 

Anyway, as for Nate, he fell into a hole and almost considered living there for the rest of his life but he didn’t. Instead he tossed his powerful ring into a lake where he assumed no one would ever find it again and then just decided to wander to the Southern Tundra. 

It was there that he found the primal form of his robot animal buddy that he refers to as a Mutate that was created during the Day of Fury. I’ve no idea what that’s about but it sounds upsetting.

Despite swearing never to involve himself with people who need his help, a good man is a good man and he did so again. This time it worked out and the Abominable Snow Bot and him became super good buddies and built the castle they’re in together.

It’s here where we also get the explanation for why Naugus did what he did. It was because he feared Morgan’s science would eventually overtake his magic as the thing that the kingdom relied upon. That’s actually a really good, identifiable fear. I’m kind of surprised. I was ready to assume he did it just because he’s evil.

Then Morgan says that the reason Naugus is here now is because despite tossing that one ring into a lake… I guess he couldn’t stop himself from making a shit ton more.

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This is the part of the Sonic game where you enter the secret room and you find a pool of rings and just have Sonic zoom through them all until you’ve collected them. I can hear the glorious sound of snagging rings right now.

This was a really nicely told story about a good man with a good heart who got fucked over on all sides by vile heathens who wished to not have their evil machinations obstructed. It’s a story that’s existed plenty throughout history and, in many ways, is still happening today. It’s sad but true and despite the desire for a happy ending being there I gotta admit to this just being more realistic. Oh well.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #65: The Library

It’s an Amy Rose and Dulcy the Dragon story… written by Ken Penders. I’m… not sure how this is gonna go. 

We begin with Dulcy outside of a window of a building where Amy is. Amy has a red book that she wants to show her but she’s too fucking fat to get into the building so Amy has to race downstairs to show it to her. They have a bit of an argument about cheating because Dulcy can fly and was already outside and blah blah blah. Kid stuff.

Anyway, Amy explains that she has a book that’s about a great dane named Kirby who wrote stories of legend that were passed down throughout time.

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No relation or inspiration from Jack Kirby. I’m sure.

They decide to fly off to the library because she somehow found out that this guy’s stories were donated to the Mobotropolis Library for safe-keeping. I’m surprised it still exists considering Robotnik’s cartoonish hatred of all things good. You’d think he’d have turned the library into a baby seal boot factory or something.

When they get there, Dulcy makes the incredibly strange comment about this being a rough part of town… but I mean, all of Mobotropolis is still trying to rebuild so I’m not sure what she means by this. Have they been back here at all long enough for street gangs to set up territories at certain parts of town or what?

They find a really huge book titled “The D-Man” by Kirby (a prototype for One Piece maybe?) and get excited to find more… but then they hear something and immediately book it themselves. They just leave… and I don’t even think they take the D-Man book with them for whatever reason. I can’t see it in Amy’s hands. She’s just got the one red book. I can’t fathom why. It’s not like the librarian from All-That is gonna scream at them for stealing.

The last shot is of a dude coming out of the darkness asking if anyone is there, which of course there isn’t anymore because they skedaddled.

You know, this was a good issue. I have a lot of sympathy for Nate Morgan here. His tale was one of sorrow and woe and dealt with very harsh reality. The stance of someone who desires to simply do the right thing in the field of science is a thing that you don’t see as much as the Mad Scientist trope in fiction and it's even harder to witness when that same person is getting fucked over at every turn for their kindness. I do like the little mention he had of how both the Overlanders and the Mobians just love excuses to fight and make war. The Overlanders especially have just been portrayed as mutated, overly aggressive, far dumber versions of humanity. I know that’s hard to believe but it’s kind of true.

The second story was thankfully extremely short and also extremely simple. There are things about it that have me raising a brow towards it’s supposed importance but who knows? It might lead to something interesting.

This long stretch of Karl Bollers writing the main book has been pretty well done so far, honestly. I guess Penders relegated himself to the secondary stories and the Knuckles comic has stretched his… uh… “talents” rather thin so this is a nice way to compensate for that. Here’s hoping it continues for a bit longer.
 

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #66: A Friend in Deed

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This is a nice dynamic enough cover. It gets to the point, it’s a striking image, and as for Nagu-OH MY GOD! WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOUR FACE?!

I get wanting to make the man look menacing and nasty but Jesus, maybe pull back a bit on the tumor shaped chin and the excessive acid drool. Maybe that’s a tad bit much? 

Spoiler

So we’re back in the hall of rings where Sonic is incredibly impressed by the massive haul that Morgan’s got here. He tries to reach out and touch it, very much like a small child would do, but the Abominable Snow Bot jumps in his way and starts growling at him. 

Sonic takes offense to this because he’s certain that, despite knowing each other for a very negligible small amount of time, it's obvious that they’re good guys right now.

Morgan assures Sonic that it isn’t because he thinks Sonic is bad but that it’s a warning not to use them because he doesn’t want them utilized by outsiders or people who would exploit their powers.

Sonic’s response to this is “Exploited? Outsiders?” to which my response is “Yes!” 

In his backstory there were indeed people who wished to exploit the power of those rings and despite your assertion that you’re the good guys, you’re still outsiders to him. Not everyone is obligated to immediately recognize you as the hero Sonic. Come on.

I will give Sonic some credit here a little bit because he does start to relay what he’s feeling in a calm manner. He talks about how rare power rings are and what their use could do for the good of the world and about how Nate could surely travel back to Mobotropolis with them. It’s a nice sentiment but the factions that exist in the world right now, that we know of, aren’t at all trustworthy. Where is this community that can be trusted to handle these rings with the best of intentions? It especially isn’t the Acorn Kingdom as it is right now. 

The Snow-Bot really doesn’t want Nate to go and he promises that he’s never going anywhere. His relationship with his friend is sweet and it gets interrupted by Sonic’s sudden regression to being a straight up fucking asshole again. 

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Okay, so there’s a lot to unpack in that incredibly ignorant monologue there.

For one, this man is not at all obligated to give up his life’s work for the sake of people he just met because of your arbitrary stance on heroism. This man was indeed someone who, numerous times, laid down his life to work for the people in the community he was a part of and it screwed him over in a big way, multiple times. 

Sonic’s line “But now I see you for what you are--someone who was once a hero but now chooses to hide himself away because of a few bad breaks” is not only shockingly insensitive but makes incredible light of this man’s situation to the point where I’m not sure Sonic even realizes that he’s acting incredibly unheroic here himself.

Boiling down his story to being about “a few bad breaks” is incredibly gross. The man was betrayed by Robotnik, arrested for trying to do good in the world, abandoned and then exiled FOREVER from his home of origin, found a new home and ushered in a renaissance of technology for the kingdom you hail from, and was yet again tricked and betrayed by the residents that lived there that led to the deaths of many people being laid at his feet when it wasn’t his fault. Then he wandered off to the edge of the coldest part of the planet to seclude himself and even then, EVEN THEN, still found it within his heart to help someone out when it’s led to nothing but hardship for him.

You’ll forgive me for having a bit more sympathy for him than that of the Acorn Kingdom at the moment. There’s not exactly been a great deal of stuff coming out of that place that's been all that admirable with the very sudden shift to being racist to themselves now that half of them are robot versions of themselves, Geoffrey being a creeper, and the king being the worst thing ever.

Sonic phrasing Morgan needing to use these rings for his cause as being the thing that a hero would do is really suspect considering all that. 

Also, I can’t exactly ignore that other line he has where, this time, he very much is using the Overlander term in a derogatory way when he says “Listening to your story made me think you were a hero. It even gave me hope for Overlanders!” as though only the Overlanders were the cause of literally all the issues with the conflict and wars they’ve had, despite that very much not being the case.

Just a nice little spell of casual racism from your good friend and HERO Sonic the Hedgehog.

Seriously, just last issue, when Nate was telling his story, he made a point to say that BOTH sides had issues with resolving their conflicts with words and loved resolving it with brutal fights. Both sides were into it. That’s the reason the incident that Nate got blamed for even happened. It was a combination between Kodos and Naugus exploiting the Mobians desire to be brutal monsters that saw them fighting. The Overlanders had that too but where does Sonic get off acting like they don’t share the blame in all that?
Sonic asks Nate why he can’t be a hero again and Nate gives the obvious answer that someone like him would naturally conclude when going through what he’s gone through, “Because it never works.”

Then a rumble happens and Naugus shows up.

They do the hero and villain banter thing before they just collide and a massive explosion happens. Eddy saves Nate from it as the place collapses but Nate is concerned for the lives of these animals he’s just met because he IS a good person. 

We cut back to what’s actually happening and it’s… interesting.

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So the three of them use the rings to sort of, half-transform into semi-super forms?

Sonic’s got a huge muppet mouth and a weird orbit shaped ring of energy around him. Tails’ fur is the same color but he’s got those flickies around him from when he is supposed to be in his super form… 

Also Naugus has a green energy beard. It looks pretty sweet.

This is all a very strange… thing. I’m not quite sure what to make of it. I guess this is a bit of a compromise considering they wanted a transformation of some sort but these aren’t Chaos Emeralds but rather a bunch of power rings so… meh.

It’s here where the story goes into full narration box mode. It’s that thing that these early comics like to do when they want to have a big fight but don’t quite know how to make it seem epic in the span of a couple of pages so they have to bloviate at you about how cool everything that’s going on is.

However, I’ve gotta note that even for this book, the way this is done is really, really fucking strange.

Not only are they describing what’s happening but they’re telling us what the characters are saying… without having the characters actually say it.

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It says in the caption box that Sonic isn’t Sonic and that he announces his name as Ultra Sonic, which is… I guess expected considering you can’t call this Super Sonic. I do find it funny that the caption box says that Ixis “replies” with twin jets of optical flame! 

I’d imagine the exchange went out like this.

Sonic: I’m not Sonic. I’m Ultra Sonic!
Naugus: HNNNGH! 

Apparently the only difference between normal Sonic and Ultra Sonic is that apparently Ultra Sonic can fly and his blue streaks have really weirdly plastered black stars shooting out of his back. Unless he can grab them and use them as throwing stars, I’m not sure what good those will do.

It’s also weird how Tails is called Hyper Tails. I’m astonished by how many forms Tails has and will have in this comic. 

The narration continues. Because Naugus has attempted to open the Zone of Silence, it’s going haywire and splitting apart the dimensions or whatever. The caption says that this zone is where he was able to enhance his power beyond compare and if he’s there he’s invincible. I guess this works out this way because he’s a wizard and therefore is magic. I dunno.

The page continues to detail how supposedly awesome the fight is WHILE ALSO telling us that Naugus told Sonic here that he gained the allegiance of a Mobian named Feist, the Panda God dude, who was banished there a short-time AFTER Naugus (which is surprising. I would think it’d be the other way around) and then the fight just stops.

Like, it doesn’t even end. It just all kind of stops in the span of a page and we get a rushed little tidbit at the corner of the page that Sonic and Tails don’t remember their transformations which is super strange because it’s not as though these transformations were SO cool and SO powerful that they needed to not remember it in order for it to have a lasting impact on the audience. As it stands, it’s just a very strange thing that happens.

This entire sequence of pages was some of the strangest I’ve seen from the book.

Seriously, look at how fast we cut from Sonic being in the middle of the fight, to the caption boxes telling us that Naugus told Sonic of something from his past, to Nate Morgan being swept off his feet, to the fight stopping, to Sonic and Tails being depowered and not remembering their transformation.

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Up until this final issue, I was thinking this story was doing rather well for itself but I don’t… quite understand what happened here at the end. Maybe the editor or somebody just grew bored of it so they just told Bollers to wrap it up as fast as he could with something that sounded cool or… hell, maybe Bollers legitimately didn’t know how to fit all this in the span of the pages he had left so he just stuffed it all in 2 pages and had the narration bark at us what was happening.

There’s definitely been instances where the story very obviously was rushing to finish it’s tale before but it’s rarely ever been on the heels of a story I was legitimately enjoying before. Usually, it’s the ones that are just all-around trash that pull this sort of thing so this is throwing me for a tremendous loop.

Not only that, but the WAY it’s choosing to rush to the conclusion is the oddest method of doing so yet. Usually, you’d have a character like Crocbot or Robotnik spew a shit ton of exposition while Sonic fires back lame heroic lines at him and then a quick sequence of things happens…

… Here though, not only are we not being shown a cohesive fight but rather a montage of stuff happening but the captions are telling us that the characters are in fact talking during all this. 

It’s just really strange. You have enough space to have the characters say stuff but instead you put in a narration box that says that the character is saying stuff instead. When I read the first caption box that said “Sonic called himself Ultra Sonic” and the picture is just Sonic charging at Naugus with his mouth open, I’m just like… why not instead just have a speech bubble of Sonic saying “I AM ULTRA SONIC!” 

I’ve literally never come across something like that. Not even in the Hunter X Hunter Chimera Ant arc finale where all that exhausting monologuing was going on with the narrator. I don’t recall the narrator literally saying what the characters were saying. Say what the characters are THINKING, sure but why not just have the characters speak?

Oh, but hold on… it gets even stranger.

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I’m sorry for posting three full pages in a row but I really feel like I need to in order to get across just how fucking odd this approach has been.

By this point, it’s obvious this story has given up on being a story and the point in which it gave up was rather sudden and easy to pin-point too. Literally, as soon as it was time to fight Naugus it was as if someone snapped their fingers and said “Alright, time to be shitty and awful I guess.”

Last issue ended with the promise that this issue would detail Naugus’ past and I assumed that since it was put there at the end of the Dulcy and Amy story that that was what they might learn in Kirby’s books… but no, apparently it was going to be told here, in THIS story. Now that would have been all well and good but it’s not being told in any organic, natural way. The narration boxes are just… awkwardly shifting to talking about what the characters are doing and saying to just talking about what happened in Naugus’ past at the same time.

I’ve never seen anything so weird before. This is so… jarring and random and strange. Karl, you were doing so well. What happened? Why’d the writing go to shit so fast?

It just goes on and on about how Naugus’ powers to turn people into crystal make his enemies his new legion and about how he views Nate as a loose end to tie up and all this stuff. Also, the Zone of Silence that he casually opened in this montage of just shit happening is gonna fuck the world up too so now we’re suddenly facing a global monster of a problem just like that. 

Someone needs to take their hand off the fast-forward button. 

I’m imagining how this would feel if Avengers Endgame ended like this. We spent the first two hours with all that build up and the rest was just a narrator telling you what the characters were saying to each other and flashes of the important fighting bits happening but none of it put into a proper sequence. 

Then, Naugus just gets beaten.

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Again, I posted the full page to illustrate not only how fast this is happening but how understated Naugus’ defeat here is. It’s just a thing that happens in the top corner of this page and what exactly happened isn’t even made all that clear. We just had a close up on Nate’s eye and suddenly he got blown the fuck away… then all of a sudden, OH NO! THERE’S A CAVE IN! OH NO! EDDY’S HOLDING UP THE ROCK! OH SNAP! SONIC’S AWAKE NOW! HE’LL KNOW WHAT TO DO! GOTTA GO FAST! GOTTA GO FASTER! FASTER! F-F-F-FUCK!

We also end on what may or may not be considered overkill when it comes to the life of our friend Nate Morgan. Not content with fucking him over from both groups of feuding species on the planet, the one friend he’s made sacrifices himself by holding up the cave. Nate tries to go in after him but Eddy tells him to go and promptly dies.

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You see, I bet you didn’t know that this comic was leading up to this. Because apparently, Nate’s constant failures weren’t enough of a lesson. No, apparently he also NEEDED to know that even in victory, something dear to him could also be lost. You see, he needed to learn this lesson because he was too optimistic. He thought he could live life with a SINGLE friend rather than none at all and his selfish ass paid the price and that one friend he had got fucking crushed, needlessly, in a gruesome, pointless death that happened as the result of an extremely rushed finale. 

I don’t understand. What was the point of this then? Seriously why?

That’s how it ends by the way. That was the last page of this story. 

I’m just sat here like… the first two issues of this story were fine. Then half-way through this one it trips and falls down the fucking stairs in a BIG way. It’s the most confusing shift I think I’ve seen from these books yet. I’m still not sure what to make of it. My brain is fried.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #66: And Then There Was One

BUT WAIT--! IT GETS WEIRDER!

In this story, named after the one Agetha Christie novel they made you read in middle school, we get the actual origin of Ixis Naugus…! So THIS is the story they were actually talking about.

I’m just like… WHY then did you waste so many caption boxes in the last story going on about how Naugus’ powers and shit worked and what not. You couldn’t save that for tidbits of info here at the end of this one???

So… this story starts off way in the past where we see three hooded figures trying to use magic to figure out what happened even further in the past. No one knows what happened on the Day of Fury so long ago and they’re really curious.

We see that the hooded figures are a rhino, a delicious red lobster, and the man-bat. These three are instantly recognizable to me because they’re the figures that appeared in Naugus’ mind waaaay down the line when he starts breaking apart. So presumably, these three somehow fuze and create Ixis Naugus... 

I can totally see it too. The horns are the parts of the rhino. The one claw of his is shaped the same as the lobster. Plus, he’s got an all around batty looking face.

Their names are Agunus, Nusgau, and Suguna which all sound like variations of people trying to properly say Naugus. They’re also, very clearly, just anagrams of each other.

Anyway, the mastery of the elements thing is brought up again. The Rhino is the master of Earth. The Bat is the master of wind. And the delicious red lobster, hopefully with a side of butter, is the master of looking like a snack… also water.

They want to use their combined might to find out what devastated the land so long ago and I guess to do this they need mastery over the four elements and they’re only missing fire. They decide to pretend to work together to use their powers and reach the sun so they can jump into it and that’ll supposedly give them the power of fire. Also, they’ve got mechanical limbs. Honestly, this is all very strange and I’m not sure how best to explain it.

They’re all clearly assholes too so even though they’ve shared portions of the elements with each other they’ve each kept some for themselves and it becomes a game of showing off who can screw each other over the best. I do like that despite this they manage to get in some awful puns too.

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So yeah, the three of them just latch onto each other and fly directly into the sun. We cut to the Acorn Kingdom where a then innocent Prince Max sees a shooting star as a result of this and makes a wish.

The very next day, Ixis Naugus bursts through the door, gets on one knee and says he’s going to offer his services to them.

The end.

Even for THIS comic, that was incredibly bizarre. I didn’t know that throwing a rhino, a bat, and a lobster into the sun were the necessary ingredients to create the evil wizard Ixis Naugus but I guess there would be no other way to do so when you think about it. It’s not like they had any Chemical X.

I kind of hate to say this because the first two issues of this three part story had such a promising start but this issue was kind of awful. It was already off to a bad start with Sonic’s sudden fling with racism and his insensitive reaction towards Morgan’s backstory. Now, we’ve ended at a point where he’s not even being given a choice. He literally has no other option but to return to Mobotropolis unless he wants to take a chance by braving the frozen tundra yet again. Does he take a chance at trying to search for companionship yet again? I can understand why he wouldn’t want to bother since the third time he tried, that one friend he made got fucking crushed by a rock for NO good reason. His story used to feel realistically tragic but now it just feels like excessive cruelty for the sake of it. 

Also, it just kind of proves him right about it never working out whenever he tries to help people. However, because Morgan is such a good guy he ended up trying to help Sonic and Tails and for his troubles, for the third time in a row, he got fucked over when Eddy was killed. It’s like… is the lesson supposed to be to NEVER do anything nice for people, EVER? I mean, alright. I guess I’ll give that a shot.

On top of that, the weird shift in the story’s pacing was just… heartbreaking. Like, it wasn’t even funny like it usually would be. I was more flabbergasted that THIS story of all stories just decided to be another one of the ones that didn’t give a shit anymore and rushed through itself. Even worse, it did it in such a strange way too. I’m still not even sure I’m properly reacting to it because it’s just so unbelievably jarring. 

After all this time of chasing Naugus, dedicating his defeat to something that didn’t even get any real proper focus but was instead relegated to a badly constructed montage of things happening is just awful.

The second story was weird. Fucking weird. It reads like some kind of folktale but the added tidbits of them having mechanical bits and it taking place right around the time King Max was a kid ruins a lot of the mysticism it has and just makes it come off as… odd. It’s all just very odd.

I wish I could re-title this one “Shit Gets Weird” or something because that’s essentially what happens. I’m trying to imagine younger me comprehending what I just read. I can only imagine I’d have to be taken to the hospital on account of my head exploding from confusion. 
 

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The Library will come back in like #71 or so. It's going to be sorta kinda important but Dulcy won't be there anymore and Amy will be relegated to a side character despite starting this subplot. 

Personally I think the idea with the narration is supposed to be that Ultra Sonic, Hyper Tails and Ugly Naugus (Ian later named him that) were so Uber powerful that we can't hear what they're saying so we have to be told. That's a guess I don't know. 

Personal headcanon since the narration says Sonic's voice changes it changes from Jaleel White to Ryan Drummond especially since this form will be important later in the design change.  

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Knuckles the Echidna - #19: The Forbidden Zone Part 1 of 3: What Ever Happened to Queen Alicia?

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I grew worried when I saw this cover but the title kind of shaved off a bit of the fear. It’s such a surreal thing to say that the possibility of this being about Sally’s mom removed the fear of me reading a story about these echidnas spying on Knuckles in the shower again.

Spoiler

It’s Ken Penders on story and Manny Galan on pencils. The first thing I saw was an airbrushed illustration of Geoffrey St. John with an arrow coming out of his gauntlet. Oh boy. Everyone’s favorite character written by everyone’s favorite writer. How totally not foreboding at all.

Right off the back though, I need to step in and make a comment about the art and how good the character design suddenly is. I know that if Penders was drawing this Geoffrey would look fat and poofy again but here, because he’s not being drawn by him, both he and Antoine have a more… what shall I call this…?

Ah yes. They look more like Sonic characters now. Or rather, they look a lot closer to the modern template of one.

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This image really took me by surprise. I’m especially digging how Antoine looks here. He’s kind of adorable.

For a second, when I saw this, the thought crossed my mind that things may turn out okay but then I instantly got reminded that the writing may not be on my side.

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“Any questions?”
“Commander, I--”
“Save ‘Em for later!”

Now he was either forgetting what he asked right after he asked it or he deliberately asked it so that he could be a douche and ignore what he had to say. Either way, it's not a good look to ignore a possibly important thing someone in your company may want to say right as they’re about to do a skydive. 

Before they jump, Antoine says something very confusing about how they only have 72 hours before the Floating Island is “out of range” and that if they don’t finish in time, retrieval will be impossible for a couple of months? Out of range of what? I know the island is probably constantly moving but I don’t really see how that’s too big a deal, especially with only a 72 hour difference in time. Does he mean out of range of a communicator or something? I really don’t know.

Well, anyway, they skydive towards the island. It’s here where we’re presented with the title and of course the Robot Jones theme played in my head.

The characters land and make a comment about how fast the rain they were in turned into snow and how only one part of the island has snow and the part they’re on is not it. Geoffrey dismisses all these relevant, concerning points as “belly aching” and says “If I want to listen to clucking hens, I’ll let you know”. 

Penders seems to be under the impression that being a sergeant means being an asshole literally all of the time. Maybe it does but it really goes to show that at least being a regular Freedom Fighter grants you more… well, freedom.

Valdez is tasked with figuring out where they are and how off-target their landing may have been and the best he can give is a sworn assertion that he sees Sandopolis ruins ahead in the snow, which is really weird but probable considering the messed up weather. They head out and we pull back to see that super nosy echidna man, Locke, is spying on Geoffrey and the others.

God, the ass mark on that seat must be 100 feet deep by now. This is all he ever seems to do.

His father, whose name I still do not remember, walks in and asks what he’s looking at. They aren’t sure if they’re from the Acorn Kingdom until a few types on their computer immediately brings up info about Geoffrey’s dad and how totally dead he is. They surmised that it may be his son (they’re right) but either way, it’s concerning having them be here. Why?

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They’re worried about the Overlanders finding out…

… Why? Honestly, I’ve no clue. 

Right now this explanation makes no sense but I’m sure it’s just another part of that J.J Abrams Mystery Box that Ken Penders is taking after for his story. Surely all these secrets have well thought out, satisfying answers at the end that’ll justify all the lying and rancid behavior from these echi-BWAHAHAHA~! 

Despite Locke’s father not answering Locke at all, Locke, for some reason, turns around and says “I’m VERY serious father” as though his father was supposed to respond to Locke suggesting they’ve been too restricted to a narrow scope with him being like “Are you serious?”

However, he doesn’t respond at all so it just looks like Locke anticipated an answer like that and decided to react as though his father responded that way, even though he didn’t. I’m guessing Locke’s father forgot his lines and Locke just carried on like he didn’t.

I will say that I do like Locke’s reasoning a bit. He brings up that he’s been watching Knuckles for years (still creepy) and that Knux doesn’t concern himself with JUST echidna affairs which probably means he’s been looking after all of them better than anyone here has.

He’s probably right. I don’t know how anyone truly wishes to impact the world or not get impacted by the rest of the world when they’re stuck on a floating rock and not doing anything to help or interact with anything. The vast majority of this book has been just about the Echidnas reacting to shit from their past or stuff within their own messed up city. 

Anyway, any praise I may have had for Locke’s understanding of this couldn’t last very long as we see another emergency landing happening on the snow.

Surprise.

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“Ah. There goes my son. Off to give his supposed wife an emotional beating.”

If they do meet up, this’ll be where she finally gets an audience with him after multiple issues of it not happening despite it having been requested by her.

Back in the city, Knuckles and Julie-Su are not handling the cold so well. They’re about to take refuge in his ma’s apartment when Knuckles finds a mother buried underneath the snow calling out for her baby. 

That’s dark.

The next scene is Knuckles searching her apartment for said baby since one wasn’t buried in the snow with her. He does so as Knuckles would.

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… Yeah.

Anyway, he finds it. It’s got a Rugrats bedsheet so apparently they watch Overlanders cartoons.

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Knuckles is weird.

We then cut to Wyn getting out of the shower to be greeted by Constable Remington who tells him that Lara-Le’s craft has fallen in the weather and he thinks he might want to join the search and rescue squad. Obviously, he does so he heads on out.

Back with Geoffrey and the people he recruited to treat like shit, they're all complaining about the weather. As someone who notoriously hates the cold, I couldn’t agree more. 

Geoffrey asks Heavy to help him identify something in the distance and we cut away to Locke helping Lare-Le up from being left to freeze in the snow. He gets a rather cold reception too.

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Well tough shit. 

You’re an asshole. No one should be giving you the benefit of a comfortable conversation. I don’t blame her for not giving a shit about properly conversing when you’ve been giving her the run around for so goddamn long.

So we cut back to Knuckles and the baby where he immediately hands it over to an officer and then gets into a tank with Julie-Su, Remington, Wyn, and some other echidna who’s driving. In a sequence that takes way too long, (like a couple of pages) Knuckles has it explained to him everything we already know about how his mother took a shuttle and it crashed when things got hairy. She’s in the Forbidden Zone because she apparently was trying to meet up with Locke but partly made it because of the weather.

One of the other echidnas back in Locke’s hidey-hole comes into the creepy spying on people room and sees Locke’s dad there instead. He mistakenly thinks Locke’s taking a break from being a creeper but Locke’s dad ASSURES him that’s not the case. An emergency just came up. This is clearly the betrayer echidna who just walked in but I’ve forgotten his name. He thinks to himself about how drastic measures will need to be taken before he’s discovered. Oooo~! Spicy.

Back with Geoffrey, the group enters a compound he only remembers the location and shape of because it was during the happier times of his childhood. That’s quite dark as well but it gets quite humorous the instant they enter. 

I’ve never seen a bull-dog lady in a dress. It was quite the neat image. She and her father, a bull-dog in a suit that literally goes “HuhRUMPH!” when he shows up, show up and Geoffrey tries to appeal to them by mentioning his father. Geoffrey knows who they are but, of course, they don’t fully recognize his son. He calls the woman Mrs. Sommersby and the large man he just calls The Colonel. 

Anyway, Geoffrey tells them that they’re here looking for Queen Alicia and… off to the side… a voice and a vaguely Acorn Kingdom royal family shaped person comes onto the scene asking if they mentioned HIS MOTHER?!

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DUN DUN D-Yeah, it’s Elias Acorn.

I hear he’s done so much to gallantly disprove Penders’ theory that with King Max back, Sally was redundant and unnecessary. Apparently, if you want to talk about redundancy and necessary, here’s your guy.

Eh, this issue wasn’t bad. Nothing about it got me super excited but nothing about it REALLY bothered me or anything. Honestly, it’s got a decent enough hook, I’m most interested in seeing this conversation/argument between Locke and Lara-Le because that’s been on the backburner for so long. I’m also a bit interested in seeing what Elias’ deal is. After everything I’ve read in the later books, this was something I was never able to ascertain. 

 

Knuckles the Echidna - #20: The Forbidden Zone Part 2 of 3: Once Upon a Time in Mobotropolis

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For some reason, whenever a comic like this uses the phrase “Once Upon a time” it feels extra ominous. Like something was happy but no no no… it definitely didn’t end well. Why on Earth would you think it could have possibly ended well? The cover is just the echidna bastards zeroing in on Knuckles’ crotch. It’s a little too on the nose. I suspected they were perverts but to spell it out like this? Meh.

Spoiler

We open on a flashback with Locke and Lara-Le…

… God, I wish I had some popcorn.

It doesn’t last long but it spells out what needs to be spelled out pretty clearly. Lara-Le is packing her bags and Locke, shockingly not off invading someone’s privacy on his computer, walks in and asks what she’s doing. 

“What does it LOOK like I’m doing?” She says. It’s funny so I laugh. Locke says it looks serious which is a prompt for her to spell it out for his selfish ass.

She turns and says that she’s tried speaking with him and he didn’t listen so she’s leaving and she’s taking Knuckles with her because she knows that whatever life he has ahead of him is gonna be shit if he stays with him.

Locke basically says that he doesn’t care if Lara-Le leaves but as for “the boy”-

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"You’ve served your purpose. You shat out the egg and gave me a son. You can fuck off but the boy needs to be microwaved a bit more and then abandoned, lied to, and emotionally fucked with for the rest of his life. That’s the whole reason I did this so no you can’t have him, bitch."

I like how he refers to Knuckles as “the boy” and refers to their marriage as being “united”. God, what a horrible person.

This isn’t even King Acorn levels of delightful douchebaggery. Locke’s just a horrible person. Unlike Max, it’s not entertaining watching him be this horrible either. I know Ken’s got daddy issues but good God.

… But oh no… if there was a sliver of doubt in your mind that Locke wasn’t the literal worst thing ever to blight the Sonic the Hedgehog comics, what happens next on this very same page will seal the deal for you. 

Lara-Le correctly assumes that Locke always needs to have it his way and Locke accuses her of being wrong about that… he provides ZERO examples as to how that’s wrong and instead, says that he wonders if she ever knew him (why would she when you ignore and neglect her to the point of not even gracing her with a conversation all this time. It took her crashing a plane in the snow for you to finally go out and see her you prick) and proceeds to reach over and pull her in for a FUCKING KISS!

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What… THE HELL?!

Yeah, I’m sure that’ll tell her all she needs to know. You’re a guy who treated her like shit, didn’t allow her any agency in the marriage or the decision making in her son’s life, didn’t stop her when she left your ass, and now you’re pulling her in for a kiss when you’re not only her ex-husband but also when she’s currently engaged to someone else…

Yeah, I’m sure this kiss is really doing wonders for a reassessment of your character.

I really hope Penders doesn’t take this where I’m worried he’s going to take this. Jesus Christ, it’d be the absolute worst thing ever if he goes where my mind thinks he’s gonna go.

We cut away, leaving me in horrified suspense, back to Geoffrey’s team, the bulldogs (with The Colonel still being referred to as just the Colonel in the narration box) and Elias.

Geoffrey brings up that Elias is the splitting image of King Acorn and Elias is immediately shocked that he knows his father. When Geoffrey hears that he’s his father, the splitting image thing he brought up no longer matters to him anymore because he says he can’t take them on just their word that he’s the king’s son. That’s understandable of course. It just feels weird that Geoffrey’s saying this after he’s the one who brought up how much he looks like King Max. I will say that Geoffrey seems to have a bit too much faith in his awful king here though.

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Like, it’s actually not hard to buy that King Max forgot about his son. It’s also not hard to buy that King Max remembered he had a son but just never told anyone or talked about it, ever, because he’s a douche. This comic has a lot of douches in it.

Anyway, Elias promises to take Geoffrey to the Haven the next day, which is interesting. You’d think you’d only be able to get there if you’re an echidna.

On Day 2, Knuckles,Julie-Su, Remington, Wyn, and the rest are still in their aircraft when they happen upon the fallen craft Lara took. Remington has a very smart and solid plan but Knuckles wants to nix it because he’s angry and wishes to go in alone. They tell him not to but I guess they relent because on the next page Knuckles is doing it anyway. He doesn’t find anything of course, because Locke has taken Lara-Le off in his own.

Speaking of which, we cut back to these two where Locke is SERIOUSLY complaining that Lara won’t give him the benefit of the doubt. Thank God she didn’t swoon over him from that disgusting, put-upon kiss. 

I really don’t get what this comic finds appealing about these characters just grabbing women by their faces and planting a big old smooch on them without their consent. It’s not sexy or anything. It’s just really gross. Honestly, I don’t even like it when Sonic and Sally do it.

I don’t like that we didn’t see the aftermath of that. I would have delighted in seeing her push him away or kick him in the crotch or something but no. We do get a flashback showing us that Locke actually left before she did. He took Knuckles to the Floating Island, which Lara doesn’t get because all the stuff Knuckles loves is at home and the Floating Island is a baron wasteland.

Locke says “Nuh-uh!” and explains that they actually reclaimed it. Lara rightfully chastises him about this and asks why she wasn’t told of it sooner and he just leaves, continuing not to tell her anymore.

It’s amazing that this character in anyway feels he’s right about anything. 

Anyway, Locke is trying to lock onto the guiding beacon in the Forbidden Zone to help them get out of here properly but they can’t for some reason. Lara suggests the interference might be because of the storm and Locke says it’s gotta be SOME storm for it to do that. Yeah. All that echidna tech is so advanced right? Been making it since Sonic’s primitive species were cave-hogs. I get it.

We cut back to Elias who has randomly decided to pull out his emerald staff… I guess so he can be walked in on by Geoffrey and they can get into a conversation about it. Elias explains that he got the staff from a guy named Sabre but how he got it is a mystery to him. Again, another connection to the echidnas. 

I actually had to look up Sabre because all these echidnas start to blend together in my mind after a bit. When I did I recognized him but still couldn’t place it so I scrolled down and read a bit. Still didn’t know who he was. Then I read who he was related to and finally figured out that Sabre is Locke’s dad. No wonder I thought he hadn’t been named yet. He’s so forgettable and they never refer to him by name. Locke just calls him father. I don’t feel any kind of shame for my forgetfulness here.

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I do like how these boys just go from having a conversation about this mythical item to walking into a kitchen so they can be given a seat and treated to old bulldog momma’s home cooking. It’s a very quick way of making a scene endearing. I wonder if Penders knew that though or if he got lucky by accident here.

The Colonel sees the staff and recognizes it. Apparently Sabre got it from the Acorns. I’m guessing it was on the craft that crash landed when Queen Alicia’s transport was shot down by the Overlanders.

That’s what happened by the way. The Colonel recounts the story of the queen and her son being given transport first and how they were shot down upon reaching the island by Overlanders who used it to camp. Also, the flashback states that both Sally and Elias’ existences were supposed to be super duper huge secrets which… may or may not be something I could buy depending on how it’s explained… or if it even gets explained.

I mean, I know WHY they’d want to do something like that but the structure of this kingdom, as it’s been presented to me, has never convinced me that they’d be able to pull it off but hey, perhaps that’s the bias in me speaking up yet again. 

Bulldog Colonel escaped from the wreckage and found no one else there. I don't know how that explains Mrs. Sommersby being here but he explains that he saw Elias wandering outside the compound some years later. 

Geoffrey still doesn’t fully buy it so Elias, despite not being willing to give up all the secrets, promises to take Geoffrey to the Haven. 

I’m actually looking forward to that place being discovered. I want the secret to come out already so everyone can gasp in shock at how unnecessary it was to keep it a secret and learn how they took aims to be as awful as possible for virtually no good reason.

Back with Knuckles, our boy is understandably upset about his mother having seemingly disappeared in the snow storm. With a smile on his face, Remington assures him that strange things happen. Knuckles is about to verbally lash out at him (Remington is the wrong person to accuse of withholding secrets, I’ll just say that) when their aircraft gets shot down by some lightning.

Back with Locke and Lara-Le we see that there’s actually something Lara-Le knows that Locke doesn’t. She’s read the Tomes and isn’t as perplexed by the super strange weather as Locke is. It was snowing just a second ago and now it’s a thunderstorm. Why? Because of the Day of Fury that was prophesied. The day when nature has a great cleansing and just goes hog wild with the weather. I had forgotten about that as well. There’s SO much to keep track of. Normally, I’d really enjoy that but it’s a bit troubling when it comes to this comic due to how long it likes to keep things on the backburner. I’m surprised the Day of Fury stuff is happening so soon after first hearing of it.

I do love how blunt Lara-Le continues to be about her intentions with Locke here though.

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I disagree vehemently! Abandonment and emotional scarring are the cornerstones of true parenting my lady.

What’s hilarious about this is that not two pages later do we see Knuckles waking up, exiting the craft that crashed where all his friends have passed out, and recounting how he’s returned to the place where Locke walked into the fire and disappeared, abandoning him like a lousy parent would.

It’s like antimatter. This comic just tears itself down.

Locke comes across Geoffrey, Elias, and the other members of Geoffrey’s group being almost washed away by the storm. Elias says it’s because of his awesome staff and Geoffrey still isn’t ready to give him the benefit of the doubt just yet. Fair enough.

Then that scene I mentioned happens where Knuckles wakes up and recognizes the exact location where his father disappeared.

Unlike last time, he decides to just wander right on in.

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Yup. He went up in flames like his father and has disappeared forever.

Except, no, of course not. His father’s been lying to him all his life.

He’s arrived in the Haven with the Brotherhood of Bungholes.

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You’re in hell.

Enjoy.

I must say, despite the disgust I have for Locke, this story overall is turning out to be one of the better ones in this Knuckles book. It’s really only because instead of being front loaded with a bunch of boring, useless information about some horrible hiccup in the past that’s still going on today, we’re being presented a story that’s focused on fixing and advancing things that have been established. I greatly appreciate it when stories actually try to move forward and change up the status quo. The focus on the discovery of Queen Alicia and Elias, Lara-Le FINALLY speaking with Locke, and the biggest and best thing of all, Knuckles finding out about the location of assholes spying on him are all things of actual importance that have needed some sort of answer and it would appear we’re on our way to getting them.

Thank goodness. Now, if only the reaction Knuckles has to this is what I hope it is.

 

Knuckles the Echidna - #21: The Forbidden Zone Part 3 of 3: The Many Faces of the Truth

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The many faces of the truth is an incredibly weird title. It sounds like something you say when you want to disguise the fact that you’re lying. 

"I didn’t lie. The truth just has many faces."

It’s like a different way of saying alternative facts. Remember that shit?

This is probably the best of the three covers for sure. It’s just Knuckles and Geoffrey looking at a glowing purple tube but the image depicts them discovering all this bullshit and that brightens up my day a bit. As for the connecting image itself… it’s fine. It’s Knuckles walking in on two guys watching the videos they captured from spying on him. There’s still a very uncomfortable zoom in on his crotch in the second image and I imagine that’s partly why Knuckles is making that confused face in the third cover.

Spoiler

We begin with the storm getting worse and blowing Heavy and Bomb away. The water subsides but Geoffrey has no means of going after them. Elias says not to worry because the Brotherhood will not abandon them in their time of need.

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They seem to be doing alright.

Well, until they reach the edge of a waterfall, because of course they do.

They seem to be fine though since Heavy senses that he’s being made to float because of a gravity field or… something.

We briefly cut back to Lara who asks how Locke can wield so much power and still make a mess of their marriage. Locke says he’s wondered that many times back in Haven despite it being the most blanketly obvious thing ever. Seriously, if he can’t look over all the stuff he’s done ONCE and figure out what went wrong than holy shit dude. You’ve wondered this for longer than a day and still haven’t arrived at the answer?

Anyway, Knuckles is here with Sabre, the not as shitty echidna, and a purple echidna who's probably really shitty.

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Knuckles isn’t READY for Haven. He’s TOO UNDISCIPLINED! 

Undisciplined in what? Lying? Spying on people? Sitting around a table discussing how irrelevant his race is becoming because they’ve secluded themselves from the world? You haven’t really gone into why he’s not ready to see this place yet. To me it’s just a place where you sit around and stare at screens. What exactly are you expecting to happen if he enters here now? 

“Your father is alive and we’ve been spying on you this whole time” isn’t a by-product of Haven. It’s just a really shitty thing his dad did to keep the secret of the Haven so that can’t be it.

Whatever they’re hiding better make Knuckles’ head explode. 

As for Sabre, I’ll cut him some slack. Whenever he’s shown up it has been mostly to tell Locke to chill the fuck out and relax. It doesn’t surprise me that he’d probably be more open to giving Knuckles the benefit of the doubt.

The echidna with the metal plate grafted to his head says “No! Fuck him! Throw him out before he regains his senses!” and then chastises Sabre for DARING to question their awesome ways. He says that their manner of doing things has WORKED for four centuries (PFFFFT!) and that they need to keep it going.

The echidna with the open Storm Tropper helmet backs up Sabre however, saying that perhaps their way of doing things needs to be re-evaluated. He also suggests that it's fate that allowed Knuckles to be here.

So it’s an even split amongst these guys while the fifth and final one is, of course, the vile betrayer who’s plans are about to be ruined by Knuckles being here and doesn’t really give a shit about what they’re talking about.

Archimedes here starts to speak to Knuckles by saying that this isn’t what he thinks…  which is always a good sign. It’s always a good thing to say that line before the person you’re talking to even says what they think about what they’re seeing. It just goes to show that you’re very much aware of how horrible this all is deep down.

Knuckles rightfully asks why he should trust him when he hasn’t told him shit. Sabre tells him that he was just doing what he was asked and reintroduces all the grandfathers; Thunderhawk, Sojourner, Spectre, and Tobor (in name only). 

They’ve already been named but I forgot them all. Even Thunderhawk which is an excellent name, honestly.

I find it sort of amusing that Knuckles turns to Sabre and asks if he knows him because he looks vaguely familiar and Sabre’s response is “I should hope so! I’m your grandfather Sabre” as if he’s been around him at all long enough to have concrete assurance of his familiarity. Not to mention, it could double as a joke about how he looks familiar because he looks almost exactly like him like most of these echidnas do.

It’s weird. I've never felt this way when I saw Tikal or Pachacamac and I feel it's largely because of how well they’re designed and how little the pool of echidnas we NEEDED to remember was that made it so it wasn’t a problem with them. Most of these echidnas here are just Knuckles but with some eyebrows or a beard. I suppose that’d be fine for background echidnas. That was even true in Sonic Adventure, but the fact that fucking Locke and Sabre look EXACTLY like Knuckles is terrible. 

My memory of Locke from the later books I’ve read thankfully gave him a much better and more distinct design and to be fair, some of the echidnas DO look unique in their own right, especially the Storm Trooper looking dude but not enough of the important ones have distinguishing features that make them memorable enough for there to be THIS goddamn many of them around. 

Fake Tobor says it’s a pleasure to meet Knuckles while thinking that the first chance he gets will be the death of him. Knuckles plays along, obviously onto this guy because of the fact that he’s met the real Tobor. He doesn’t know what’s what just yet so he doesn’t just blurt out that this guy’s a Dark Legionnaire. Fake Tobor, sensing an opportunity, decides to lead Knuckles down to the medical bay to get checked out. Knuckles follows him and finds Grandfather Hawking on life-support. Hawking has been out of the game for so long that I’m struggling to recall what his personality was as well. There’s too many echidnaaaaaaaaaaaasssssss…

Also, Fake Tobor grabs a syringe…

Anyway, back with Geoffrey and the others, they’ve all been saved and are aboard Locke’s aircraft, including Heavy and Bomb. Locke begins to explain everything which prompts Lara to get in another dig at Locke for not being open to explaining things sooner. Locke tells her to save it for later but I’m completely open to her bringing it up whenever she can.

Anyway, the backstory goes like this. Fifteen years ago, the craft carrying the Queen and the others crashed. 

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The end.

That is some epic anime hair on that guy. I also like that this panel specifies that the Overlanders’ beef was with the Acorn Kingdom specifically and not with anthros in general. That kind of makes the Acorn Kingdom even more of an unsympathetic party. With that on top of how easy it is to get them to fight these guys, it’s no wonder this happened. 

It's also no wonder why Geoffrey got so upset at the kingdom down the line...

Geoffrey’s dad died. Elias, despite being a baby, was literally perfectly fine. Queen Alicia was alive but barely and had to be kept in a healing tank.

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Baby Elias is my new favorite character. Look at him shake that rattle. You go kid.

Anyway, The mom’s brain wasn’t functioning right so they decided to keep her in a tube until a way to fix it was discovered. Meanwhile, Elias grew up here, also as a boy who could build structures with blocks that he doesn’t know what they are but has a photographic memory of them because that’s how you show that children are prodigies in this book.

The thought of bringing the boy back to his awful father was brought up but that was vetoed by Sojourner who said that if the Overlanders found out that they lied about there being no survivors in the crash then the neutral position they held in the war between the Overlanders and the Acorn Kingdom would be considered moot and they’d be dragged into a conflict that they didn’t want any part in. 

Geoffrey asks what the deal with The Colonel is then and Locke explains that was an oversight of the Brotherhood or rather Fake Tobor. Fake Tobor saw that the Colonel had been flung from the crash sight but just… didn’t say anything. Instead he thought that the Overlanders reaction would be interesting but he was found by the rescue team and later decided to exile himself here, I guess out of survivor’s guilt?

Geoffrey obviously finds that suspicious and wants to speak with Tobor. Locke agrees to it, I guess feeling like he might as well take them there and let them speak with everyone. Can’t very well dump them onto the ground in this Day of Fury-like weather and he’s already revealed so much. Fuck it. The secret’s out.

They fly through the wall of fire, which Geoffrey initially freaks out over but Locke assures him it's just a holographic projection concealing the entrance. Did they keep that holographic projection going ever since Knuckles was a kid? Had to.

Anyway, back with Knuckles, Fake Tobor, or should I say Moritori, says fuck it as well and decides to just attack Knuckles.

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It goes about as well as you’d think. An old coot attacking the young and spry Knuckles. What brilliance on his part.

He goes to try and attack again once Knuckles reveals that he knows his real name and has a significantly more hilarious and less successful showing before saying something really stupid.

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Mate, you tried to stab him with a syringe. The fuck are you talking about?

Are you making fun of the fact that he’s not using other, more dangerous powers on you? Why would he need to do that when his fists have been working just fine. Don’t sell yourself too much. You’re really not that impressive.

Anyway, Elias and the others land and the happy go lucky boy proudly welcomes them to Haven! 

Then Locke does what he does best and says he’s gotta leave. Lara goes with him. Locke leaves Elias one last message.

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It’s a long story Geoffrey. 

As an aside, I must say again that it’s so strange looking at Geoffrey and thinking “Oh my. He looks so cute and fluffy.” It’s a very strange thought… but he kind of does. 

Moritori, meanwhile, is running off and then turns to fire his X-Men Cyclops beams around like a crazy person. Archimedes poofs Knuckles in so that Knuckles can give him a very lazily done final punch that knocks him out. Knuckles didn’t even move his hand in an arch for that one. He just raised his fist.

Weak.

The brotherhood is watching this of course and are shocked, nay STUNNED that one of their own has betrayed them even though there’s plenty that have but I guess he just means from the Brotherhood itself. Spectre says that there’s more here beneath the eye though so I guess they’re in for a rude awakening soon.

So all at once, in the confusion, Elias’ group meets up with Knuckles and Archimedes while Sabre, Sojourner, and Spectre arrive to get at Moritori. Sojourner seriously tries to be all familiar with Knuckles and Knuckles has the best response.

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SHINGINTA is written on the wall and it’s… apparently old echidna dialect for “You will all make friends with death”?

When did… When did the Echidnas have an old dialect…? I mean… I guess they could have but…  whatever.

Anyway, Locke and Lara spot Remington and Wyn sitting on a crashed ship about to be drowned by the flood of water. Locke acts like a smart-ass by pointing out that the people who came to rescue her are in need of rescue and relents that it was uncalled for when it gets pointed out to him.

He then asks Lara what it was she wanted to talk about even though, by this point, she’s repeatedly said to him that she wants to talk about their fucking son. Is the idea of talking to your ex-wife about your goddamn son this hard to remember?

Even better, Locke is like “Well what do you want me to do? Teach him the birds and bees? I already have.” like a consdecending arse and Lara questions that.

Then, immediately, he’s just like “I sense a fight. I don’t feel like getting into a fight.”

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It’s amazing how much this coward just can’t handle proper confrontations with anyone. The slightest bit of ribbing and he breaks down and pushes her away, afraid of having to face any criticisms for his actions because he’s so enamoured with himself and the idea that he’s 100% correct and has done literally nothing wrong.

It’s amazing because he’s so sure of that and yet he won’t risk getting into an argument about it because, I guess the idea of facing it and being proven wrong is still threatening to the guy.

He’s pushed off this talk with her for so long and now that she’s literally here next to him, he still can’t do it. Fuck off.

The page ends with Remington asking Locke if everything’s gone alright and Locke just looks back at his ex-wife hugging her new fiance and saying--

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My point of view shows two people that actually love and care for each other, embracing one another. Seems everything about that has gone well. 

I get the feeling that Lara only believes she needs to talk with Locke about being a better dad because she knows Knuckles is going to still be enamored with the idea of having Locke as his father despite all the horrible shit he’s done. You could see it in the way he reacted to finding out that his mom was getting re-married. That’s at least a bit more understandable than Knuckles giving a shit about the remarriage in and of itself because, again, their marriage has had zero effect on Knuckles’ life. As things were, they might as well have been broken up and as we’ve found out, by the time Knuckles was taken to the Floating Island with Locke, they already were.

In the last scene, we’re shown Geoffrey and Knuckles being let in on the room where Queen Alicia Acorn resides in her stasis tube. The cure from Victor Fries has done nothing but one day they’ll find a cure that works, I’m sure.

Oh, but Geoffrey’s been ordered to take the Queen back with him so I guess the Acorn Kingdom will take care of that. He asks if Elias would like to stay here and he says no. He wants to meet his father.

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Ho’boy. I can only imagine how this is gonna go. Knuckles and Elias; two boys secluded from their families and in desperate need of answers are now being dealt a chance to get to know their fathers… and their fathers are both terrible, horrible, scummy people. There’s a chance Elias might figure this out but I have my reservations as to whether or not Knuckles will. He might just readily forgive Locke and everything will be a-okay between them. That’s gonna make me wretch.

All in all, I gotta say that this was a pretty solid story arc. I think I may have even enjoyed myself a bit. There wasn’t a ton of action or adventure or anything like that but there were a lot of moving pieces that, thankfully, found themselves in an actual different position then they were before this whole mess started. It feels like this story arc did a lot to actually advance the plot rather than keep things spinning needlessly in the same circle over and over again.

Despite the jokes about whether he was a necessary addition or not, I do find myself liking bright-eyed Elias here. I’m hoping that something at least mildly entertaining results from him meeting his father… I mean, it totally HAS to right? King Max can make anything entertaining for me at this point.

The Moritori thing was relatively out of the way. It wasn’t drawn out or anything, which was fine. I wasn’t too invested in him regardless and it was nice to see how right he was about being immediately fucked the instant Knuckles came through that holographic fire wall. Things just went to shit for him instantly.

Locke continues to be the worst thing ever. I’ve gone into it over and over again but he really is the absolute worst and it wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t certain Penders was gearing up to make his position the one we’re supposed to see as correct at the end of all this. Then again, Lara-Le’s understandable reaction to his treatment of her continues to actually be wholesome and well-done, specifically with her not taking any of Locke’s shit and going for Wyn immediately when he shows up. I’m happy for her at least.

Sheesh. There’s still 11 issues of this Knuckles series left. Holy guacamole.
 

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One thing I immediately want to call attention to is that Mrs. Sommersby is the Colonel's Wife not his daughter. I can see the confusion because calling your Husband "Father" is super fucking weird. But Boomers do it I know my Aunt used to call my Uncle "dad" a bunch when I was a kid (not so much anymore but I remember it when I was a kid) and my Dad called my late mom "Momma" a lot when he was drunk so it's a thing.

I think the Rugrats on the Baby's sheets in Part 1 are a reference to Manny Galan drawing some Rugrats comics. I know a different issue had an Echidna Angelica.

I wish there was some sort of comeuppance for Locke cramming his tongue down Lara's throat like that. 

Quote

The slightest bit of ribbing and he breaks down and pushes her away, afraid of having to face any criticisms for his actions because he’s so enamoured with himself and the idea that he’s 100% correct and has done literally nothing wrong.

Yup. That's how emotionally abusive people work. They'll spend all their time making you feel like shit but if anyone ever tries to call them out they deflect or fly off the handle. And of course the problem is Penders doesn't view Locke as wrong or Emotionally Abusive. Everything he does is because he's got his reasons for doing it and it's honestly really fucking disgusting.

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11 hours ago, SBR2 said:

One thing I immediately want to call attention to is that Mrs. Sommersby is the Colonel's Wife not his daughter. I can see the confusion because calling your Husband "Father" is super fucking weird.

Right. One thing I didn't mention within the text for fear that I may have been wrong about it was the fact that I continuously thought it was extremely fucking weird she was THAT old but also that guy's daughter. I figured it had to have been a wife or something but it just didn't line up with her saying "father". I'll just chalk that up to Penders being weird.

11 hours ago, SBR2 said:

Yup. That's how emotionally abusive people work. They'll spend all their time making you feel like shit but if anyone ever tries to call them out they deflect or fly off the handle. And of course the problem is Penders doesn't view Locke as wrong or Emotionally Abusive. Everything he does is because he's got his reasons for doing it and it's honestly really fucking disgusting.

You know, it's a shame because I actually really like the idea behind Knuckles' dad being an emotionally abusive asshole but it being portrayed in such a subdued manner. Unlike King Max who's just outwardly, obviously fucking cuckoo for cocoa puffs, this guy is way more reserved and more matter-of-fact in his manner of handling things. He's just like "Nope, I'm right and I don't want to have a conversation with you about it." and it's really frustrating but in a way that could be seen as intentional should he be made out to be more of a villain or antagonist of some sort. It's actually in his benefit that he's more straight-forward and yet subdued in his awfulness but the reason he's this way doesn't feel like it's because Penders has tapped into an interesting awful kind of character. It feels like he's this way because he's being set up as this one reasonable outlier in a world of people who just don't get it and that's really whats making this so awful.

I know Knuckles is gonna instantly forgive this dude despite the way he's treated both him and his mother and it's gonna make me want to wretch. I know something like that has to be in the future. I can't not see it happening.

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Something I forgot to mention in my last post Keep Locke's line about teaching Knuckles about the Birds and Bees in mind. It'll be funny in about 4 issues.

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #67: Tomb Raider

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Okay, now they’re not even trying with these titles. I love how it gave up on trying to be cute with puns like “Fellowship of the Rings” and just decided, nope, today we’re just calling it “Tomb Raider”, fuck you.

It’s a cover that's been drawn well enough. Super fucking detailed, as expected from Spaz. I will say that some of it looks a little off though. Namely, Sonic. They uh… haven’t quite worked out how to make the guy with one eye wink yet so there’s this weird blue line in between his eyes. It is true that regular Sonic winks by closing the space between his two eyes and suddenly having two eye-lids though so… Sonic’s just a bit of a freak I guess. I love him though. 

Spoiler

So, it would seem that the trip to stop Ixis Naugus is coming to a close. It was one that I originally thought was happening because Sonic wanted to see what the rest of the world was doing but no, it was just to stop Naugus which, for some reason, still feels like it crept up on me.

I would like to draw your attention to the first page here though.

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No, this has got nothing to do with the fact that Sonic’s wearing an exploration outfit all of a sudden or the fact that he just said “Like WHOAH” like he was Shaggy Rogers. It’s the presentation. It’s starting to resemble the books I remember where the characters that are relevant to the story appear in their own bubbles on the title page. I actually do rather miss that in the IDW books. It’s strange opening one and seeing a box of square character boxes against a blue and now black background. Although, the black does look cool, something with more flavor would be appreciated.

Anyway, here we are. The Lost Temple of M. Night Shyamalan.

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The Lost Temple of Shazamazon is what it’s actually called and it looks like a combination of the words Shazam and Amazon. Sonic is surprised that Robotnik didn’t get to it and I am too. It’s actually really easy to set fire to the Amazon apparently.

Sonic jumps on in, getting out a line that is drowned in the most awkward Sonic-speak I’ve seen yet. 

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The scenery’s HAPPENING in a WAY PAST COOL way but for now I’d better JUICE on over to the temple--!

Jesus. I’m trying to keep an open mind for when this was written but this becomes harder and harder to justify the further ahead into these comics we go. At some point, we’re going to reach the future of the late 2000s and I just won’t be able tolerate him saying these words.

Sonic recaps everything that happened at the bottom of the planet in the frozen tundra, including the parts he doesn’t remember because Nate Morgan told him about it. Still not entirely sure what the point of them not remembering is but okay.

Sonic also questions what the point of Eddy dying was as well. I guess to make it clear that he had no choice but to return to Mobotropolis, which Nate has now decided to do so that he can convert the power source of the city into Ring energy with his ring tech. 

Problem is, the bi-plane is really low on ring energy itself so now Sonic has to explore this temple for some reason. I’m not kidding, they haven’t actually said what’s in this temple yet. I’m assuming it’s a power ring but it feels odd that the book wouldn’t say so.

Sonic is complaining in his head about the fact that Nate warned him about the temple’s danger and is REALLY confused as to why Tails dared tell him to “Be careful”. Like, he’s legitimately confused by why Tails would be concerned for his well-being here. It’s very strange. I guess it’s to show he’s taking this temple too lightly, and he is, because the instant he walks in, he has to duck because a bunch of machine guns burst from the wall and start firing on his ass.

Sonic also steps on a stone that makes a hole open up and he has to use a rope to swing over a gap so that he doesn’t fall into a vat of Willy Wonka’s boiling milk chocolate. I’m calling it that because that’s what it looks like. There’s no way in hell this is supposed to be lava.

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RZSOrJ.gif

These old comics really have a bit of an issue with coloring things a certain way. I’ve never seen brown lava before. Or maybe that’s boiling tar…? Still the wrong color though. 

Boiling mud…?

After that, we cut to space where we get a delightfully silly narration opening.

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Johnny Bravo: Space. It’s really, really, really, really, really, really big!

Basically it’s about a page long narration about what space is and the fact that Mobius is in space and blah blah. Pretentious hookah. The point is that the floating metal sphere we keep seeing with the “mysterious” entity inside of it is still there, watching and now activating something.

Sonic tends to his burnt shoe and makes a joke about burning rubber and it’s VERY fucking funny. Sonic spots what he’s here for and does the Indiana Jones thing of switching the ring.

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It’s funny because Sonic isn’t dressed like Lara Croft. He’s dressed as Indiana Jones and this is an Indiana Jones homage so… I’m not sure why they named it Tomb Raider. Why not call it the Temple of Doom? 

I’m just saying, if you’re gonna call it Tomb Raider, Sonic better be running around in booty shorts.

Sonic’s way out is very cluttered and slightly confusing to follow, mostly because a shit ton of things just start going wrong in consistent order, one after the other. The place starts to collapse so he jumps up and out, then runs along a snake like he did in Sonic Forces, only its a mutated snake that came into being from the Forgotten Wars of Mobius (neat), then the statues outside the temple start to attack because they’re not actually statues but robot Mobians like they saw in Sand Blast City.

Sonic manages to do that thing where the snake ties itself into a knot and then the snake rolls after Sonic, taking the place of the giant rock from Indiana Jones. He runs towards the Robot Mobians, burrows into the ground, and the snake crashes into the robots instead of him. Kinda clever.

Sonic emerges outside and does his intense Sonic speak yet again. It’s been on full blast this entire issue, complete with horrible puns and everything. Sometimes I find it cute but it’s particularly overwhelming here.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the ring Sonic took was The Ring of Acorns. They've got a special sword and now a special ring. Tails and Nate are having a conversation about it in the bi-plane and Tails asks him if he placed the Ring of Acorns in there then what was originally in that temple? Nate just casually says it was one of the Super Emeralds. 

Oh. JUST a Super Emerald huh?

The thought isn't lost on me that Super Emerald might be a term that means something entirely different from what I think it means. Tails asks what he did with it and Nate says he used it to create the rings Naugus wanted. I’m a bit fuzzy on a few things, namely what happened to the Super Emerald afterward but there’s no time since Sonic comes rushing in, throws them the ring, and tells them to book it. 

At first, the ring is making them go super slow, but then Nate tells him to make a wish. So Sonic screams out his wish in a way that could have been clever but ends up being really strange the way it’s written.

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“Now I wish it were-- THE END -- and OVER with!” could be one way it’s meant to be said, but that doesn’t sound right.

“Now I wish it were-- and OVER with!” also doesn’t sound right, if we ignore the part where the page says The End.

“Now I wish it were THE END!” sounds… better but it would ignore the part where he says “--and OVER with!” which we can’t because it’s clearly there to finish his statement.

I’m sure this is just the result of a typo but God, what a part to make a typo. Your big climactic take off where the point is to show yourself being clever with the words.

Anyway, that was the first story. It was a typical adventure that acted as an extremely basic homage to Indiana Jones… that was titled Tomb Raider for some reason.

It was fine. Karl Bollers has done way better though.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #67: Tales of the Freedom Fighters - Lupe and the Wolf Pack Part 1: Shadows in the Dark

What a terrible name. Shadows in the dark? Unless it’s like Pride from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, what on Earth could that be referring to?

Anyway, it’s a Ken Penders story with Sam Maxwell on pencils.

We begin with Lupe and Sally having a conversation. Lupe and the Wolf Pack are leaving to go find any others of their pack that may still be out there. Lupe makes it clear that her kind don’t usually do well with outsiders, they just teamed up with her because they had a common enemy in Robotnik. They stayed way longer than they probably would have usually been expected to otherwise.

So with that understanding between them, they head out. Sally is apparently off to visit Knothole, as Bunnie comes up behind her and asks if she’s sure she wants to do that. Sally says it’s okay and that they’ve got to prepare for Sonic’s birthday coming up. 

That’s interesting since Issue 160 is also an issue celebrating Sonic’s birthday. So if we count this one I… guess he’s 17 by the time Ian takes over? That’s assuming he’s 15 right now. 

Also, what the hell is wrong with Bunnie’s legs?

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I like how some of the Wolf Pack are talking shit about Mobotropolis as they leave.

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It’s great.

Lupe does say that “Hey, it’s home to THEM” which is a roundabout defense. She doesn’t outright deny that it’s a disgusting sewer of a place to live though. 

Lupe starts to recount the oh so interesting history of the Wolf Pack’s involvement in the war. Her beloved Lobo took the cubs to safety while she led troops in battle. This was decided by drawing lots which is… a bit silly.

Eventually, she saw Sonic and the others trespassing in their caves and after willingly (I guess) going to Lupe… uhm… Lupe found out that Sally was “Every bit as tough as vulnerable as she looked” ??????

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I… I’m trying to figure out what the hell this sentence is trying to even say.

Every bit as tough AS vulnerable as she looked?

This has to be a typo on top of a typo on top of bad sentence structure right? The word vulnerable being in this statement is confusing on it’s own if she’s supposed to be as tough as she is vulnerable. 

I’m pretty sure the book meant to actually say the word “Venerable” instead of “Vulnerable”. They’re similar words but they mean almost literally the exact opposite thing.

Venerable means to command respect either by virtue of age, dignity, character, or position. They're someone worthy of reverence.

Vulnerable means they’re someone capable of being physically or emotionally wounded. 

I’m probably spending too much time on this one small panel but REALLY, what a thing to get wrong! Holy shit. It’s like a sick cosmic slip-up. Either that or Penders wrote vulnerable on purpose as another dig at Sally.

Anyway, the Wolf Pack are trying to return to their home of The Great Canyon and find a huge river of water in between them and the path back… a river that was not there before when they first came to this place. So they have to use a blow-up raft to get across.

Sheesh, this planet. It sounds like an awful place to live.

I should also note that Penders' weird habit of bolding every other word is in full force here.

“EVERYONE IN! Let’s hope the RIVER FLOW doesn’t get any STRONGER while we SAIL!”

“We must be further NORTH from where we should be. NONE of this looks FAMILIAR!”

Seriously, it’s NON-STOP. It’s hard to ignore and read correctly once you notice it.

APWXlWVWTzXpq79KwWqYd1O_mVxhY51qWhiGbtiprY2t2EYPB9nn6HgOwqU3G2ps0UdHFtefypIhr1OfIGmnqfF1CJzDm-Kff_F6J0fWShSRrnK8bxWmEgwsgy7KABkAshBw5mgI

Keep GOING Diablo! We can’t STOP now! Hold TIGHT everyone! We’re ALMOST there to the OTHER SIDE!

FUCK!

So anyway, that’s it. 

I didn't see any Shadows in the Dark so I'm really not sure why this story was given that odd title.

There’s not a ton to say about this. It was an Indian Jones homage from top to bottom. The temple itself wasn’t too interesting. I guess the snake is supposed to be some sort of wondrous creature left over from the Forgotten Wars but that ended up not mattering. The info about the Ring of Acorns and the Super Emerald was dropped in my lap towards the end and it’s interesting but not substantial enough to dwell on. A simple adventure is always fun but the tidbits about said adventure weren’t that fantastical. 

The second story wasn’t much of a story either. Lupe just leaves with her group and they row across a river. Even if I cared about Lupe I can’t see myself finding it much to chew on.

Moving on.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #68: Surprise

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Sometimes a simple title can be one of the better ones. Honestly, I find that to be the case most often really. This is also just a really awesome, dynamic looking cover. It looks phenomenal. Let’s see what happens to muck up Sonic’s birthday. 

Spoiler

We begin with yet another recap of what happened in Endgame. The only thing notable about it this time is that they say it happened a few weeks ago which… doesn’t FEEL right considering in that amount of time the surviving members of Mobotropolis developed into being super fucking racist towards the Robians and still had time left over for all the shit with Naugus and Mogul and… everything. They were already racist towards the Overlanders but it still feels like it should take longer for them to then turn racist against robot versions of their own people. Then again, maybe a few weeks IS all it takes for the people of this terrible place.

I dunno. It feels like it’s been like two months to me.

The characters are gearing up to celebrate Sonic’s sixteenth birthday (Ah-ha. So he was 15) and are talking about how they’re not sure he’ll be back in time to celebrate it… despite this there’s a plane flying over head, drawing out “Welcome Back” in the clouds right next to the logo “SONIC THE HEDGEHOG”. That’s one of two things they do with the logo though… which just leads to some confusion.

Amy, in the panel before says, “But where is--” and then it cuts off and we turn the page to see the two-page spread and the first thing said is “Two”. This isn’t said by Amy, as in the previous page there was a countdown visual of some birthday candles. So already the flow has been disrupted. Then the next thing you’ll read is the “Welcome Back” in the sky and then finally “SONIC THE HEDGEHOG in SURPRISE!”.

Now… what I think they were trying to do was have Amy ask “Where is SONIC THE HEDGEHOG?” with the logo being used as a finish for her sentence but the structure of the next panel absolutely does not allow for that to be the case.

y6kB2vWZCa5QfKFkmeb3vsAHCtvwS7zchDWRaBwUoZts-ehgqAr9dK9eZide5eBikdB_7itxrFeNUrP-S8pBvsURmQ3EZJbQjFSem7lp1Xau4muNCnwM0Z5MhALIb3bImEHricdW

7S5vD88nWNNeuwtZv6Owml9DLZbs1twB9fkoxN8JFtEx-cCNNEJim0fwBc7pwuwcAvv2CAcEjZdOy05eE1SHk7bNMBh-wv4S7XMgi0QUMmJdn0GmzPrFwhjfEMI1PWY57trkF1Wj

It really doesn’t work.

Read in sequential order it reads, “If he’s not HERE, then WHERE is… TWO!  Welcome back… Sonic the Hedgehog in SURPRISE!”

I’m aware of what they were going for (I think) but the page structure doesn’t work in your favor if that’s what you were trying to do. Seriously, I’m already not a fan of when the comic has a character not finish their sentence and it continues in a narration box on the next page. I know why it’s done. It literally FORCES you to turn the page to keep reading which is an incredibly deceptive way to get someone to flip pages but as someone who recognizes that and has already steeled himself to read through all of this anyway, it’s just annoying.

It’s even worse when it doesn’t work properly.

So, Sonic, Tails, and Nate HAVE actually arrived. We see this in the bottom half of the two-page spread here. They’re wearing red robes to disguise themselves so that people can’t tell who they are. Nate asks why they’re disguised and Sonic says that because of Robotnik, the sight of an Overlander might make them go crazy.

“You see, Nate, everyone is just SUPER fucking racist here. I know you already know this on top of the fact that they love fighting first and asking questions later. Like, the instant a subsection of people that looked different cropped up as a result of Robotization they were ON their asses. Seriously, the king was just READY to murder them all. Thankfully we talked him down from committing GENOCIDE and had him agree to just SEND THEM SOMEWHERE ELSE instead. This place is actually really awful. We’re just super racist here Nate.”

Sonic also puts it together that they’re setting up a surprise party for them so he figures it's best not to ruin said surprise and to keep the cloaks on.

As this is happening, the candles being lit on the pages keep counting up. Right now, we’ve reached the fourth lit candle. I’m going to guess that they’re gonna go up to sixteen in celebration of Sonic’s birthday? Still, it’s an interesting framing device. Very ominous.

Back in space--

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Oh Goddammit. 

I almost made a “Space-- The Final Frontier” joke in the last issue but the Johnny Bravo joke worked better to show how dumb the narration was being. Plus, the Final Frontier thing is the obvious thing to say. I was shocked it didn’t say this last time. Urgh. It’s almost so predictable it hurts.

Also, why does the comic keep feeling the need to explain to us what space is? We know what space is by now goddammit.

Anyway, we get shots of the K-Sat Unit doing… something. Again. It keeps showing up so that we can be let known that yes, it is indeed still in space… doing things.

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It’s like the third time I’ve seen it say something like that with a shot of that hand pressing that button on the keyboard. Is it going to show us what happens when he does that or is this just scary, evil villain keyboard typing? The dramatic kind of keyboard typing where you press a single finger down on one key in a dramatic close-up with a musical sting, I mean.

Probably will because we cut back to the Legion of Doom with Snively and his group of villains on Kahuna Island. They’re sitting in a round table of all your favorite baddies, like Drago, Sleuth Doggy Dog, Fang the Sniper, the two crystalized statues of Warlord Kodos and Arachnis, and the Destructix. Wow. We’ve met pretty much everyone by this point haven’t we?

I wish we had zoomed in on this meeting with a shot from South Jersey Shore and the voice of Dr. Weird going “Gentlemen… BEHOLD--!”

That’s what played in my head at least.

Snively clearly doesn’t know what to do. He’s thinking in his head about how he’s in charge because he set everyone free but isn’t sure. The cell doors just opened randomly when he said he was going to liberate himself. The working theory is that it’s the result of the dramatic Finger-On-The-Keyboard man in space. We cut back to him the last time Snively was the focal point of a scene too.

The rest of the villains are arguing amongst each other while Snively is fretting over this. He doesn’t quite know what to do since this success just kind of fell into his lap.

Sleuth is complaining because they brought the crystal statues and he doesn’t know why, which is pretty funny. Nack says to forget them and says they should plan to take over Mobotropolis in a sneaky way. Sergeant Simian slams his fists on the table and cracks it in anger because he wants to take a military approach. Predator Hawk says it should be an assault from the air. When Lynx points out that they all can’t fly, Predator Hawk retorts with a “You stink” and that leads to childish insults like “Dummy” and “Shut up” followed by the Pete from Disney line of “Why I oughta.”

All we need now is a “Dem’s fightin’ words!” and we’re all set.

Then SURPRISE!

BCYQBXhvxCJjYtv6DV0CaXwpNG5Nve1KlAWDr4SBTBJjDrP04WfccZB2t7I89GFvfCVjSqibcgc2Ph4TYOPLsfGh2xMhtaYvaJblglH62ycaXrMMhy8Btvud4lgUwypbwQpQsrjM

We’re getting mileage out of that title, boys and girls.

Kodos and Arachnis are back. Everyone’s favorite characters.

I’m not sure why they’re back but again, I’ll wager a guess it’s because of the dramatic keyboard typer in space.

Anyway, we cut back to Knothole and man this art style is not gelling with me. Bunnie looked short and dumpy last issue and this issue she looks like this-!

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What’s even more distracting is how Amy is, for some reason, the same size as before and the correct proportions. Honestly, Rotor and Antoine look alright too. This is the kind of tall, lanky, and curvy that would look weird for even Rouge the Bat. God, it’s so weird considering how young Amy is that she’s later gonna be a viable love candidate for Sonic. I know what happens to her to make her older but “surprisingly” that doesn’t make it any less weird and creepy.

I know that anthros are supposed to be more human proportioned but then you get into the fact that the Sonic the Hedgehog series is supposed to be more cartoony. It’s not Beastars. 

Also, Bunnie’s speech there was wickedly terrible. There’s exaggeration and then there’s that. 

Nicole then comes in on a transmitter that Rotor created, saying that she’s got a message from King Acorn and they patch him through. I wanted, after Sally thanked Rotor, for Rotor to then ask “Great, can I go see if my family is alive now?”

Yeah, I’m pretty sure the comic has long since forgotten about Rotor’s family by this point but I haven’t.

But whatever. It’s time to shut up and witness the magic that is Sally’s Asshole Dad.

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One million, trillion dollars says he’s not talking about Sonic.

We cut back to Sonic, Tails, and Nate as they’re walking through the streets, happily undercover and awaiting a moment to finally relax a bit.

… 

… THEN THE APOCALYPSE HAPPENS!

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METEORS RAIN FROM THE SKY!

SONIC SCRAMBLES TO SAVE THE BYSTANDERS!

THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS RUN TO HELP EVERYONE!

NATE MORGAN TAKES COVER!

DULCY THE DRAGON FLIES IN TO DESTROY THE ATTACKING FALLING ROCKS!

ANTOINE SAYS HIS NEW TROUSERS ARE SINGED EVEN THOUGH HE’S NOT WEARING ANY PANTS! (It happens)

EVERYONE’S SCRAMBLING FOR SAFETY!

SURPRISE!!!

Sally talks with Nicole about what the FUCK is going on and Nicole says that some meteors were scheduled to harmlessly pass by the planet but they weren’t close enough to be caught up in the planet’s gravity. The fact that they specifically rained fire on Mobotropolis is suspect too. Hmm. How suspicious. I wonder who could have been responsible for this…!

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Sally spots a fast figure saving people as fast as it can in the crowd and then gets saved by that very same figure when she foolishly runs close to it, I guess forgetting that there are meteors falling from the sky. One heads right for her and Sonic jumps and saves her, mirroring the image on the front cover.

Everyone meets up and, with a fire burning beside them, celebrate the fact that Sonic is back. There’s an especially cute moment where Amy shouts “HURRAY!” for Sonic’s return and Tails pulls off his cloak and asks if he’s chopped-chili-dog. So they acknowledge that he’s returned as well and Amy shouts “DOUBLE HURRAY!” and it’s cute. So, surprise, they’re back.

Then Antoine asks who the third guy is and Nate just reveals himself, telling Antoine his full name. Sonic rushes in and desperately feels the need to fill in the info that he’s an awesome guy who helped them banish Naugus to the Phantom Zone or wherever he went. He mentions in the speech bubble that it’s because of the Overlander thing that he has to and despite understanding his point of view, I can’t help but be a bit tickled that Sonic is worried the Freedom Fighters are going to have a super racist reaction to seeing Nate here. They don’t, obviously. Sonic’s friends aren’t racist and have never been portrayed as such (yet) but the fact that Sonic was worried they might be amuses me.

Sally asks Sonic if her father is okay. She says to Sonic that King Max told them that Sonic had come back home, which is a big fat lie. He absolutely DID NOT say that Sally. He said that there was to be the return of someone from your past and you assumed it was Sonic.

I’m playing coy as though I don’t already know who’s behind this mess but honestly, this comic is doing a really good job of keeping its mystery angle strong. The strong visuals of the meteors crashing into the city in a massive two page spread and the panic that follows is amazing. 

They’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of that surprise title. 

Anyway, something a little less good is the way the conflict just stops. All of a sudden, it’s over and we’re in King Max’s chambers. Sally says to him that Sonic has returned (as though he gives a shit) and when Sonic tries to say he’s got good news about Ixis Naugus, the king blows him off and says that whatever he’s got to say is trivial… and then back-peddles by saying he doesn’t mean to make light of Sonic’s accomplishments. So… he’s not good at hiding his disdain, obviously.

But no, the actual surprise is that Sally’s got a long lost brother she’s either never knew about or remembered and he came back two days ago. SURPRISE!!!

XmS8xpsPR4_HWLlT15OL-iYMnRz-BqZKphq7h1wj_v57ndn6ImnrxxX_koysEsyypmwr4huV83CgLVL24xrJ8vqERVJt4Xyxml4PVvEubvwgs3CpIpUyCPzt33WXOVXQkXCWmHIF

… 

… SURPRIIIIIIIIIIIISE!!!!!!!!!

Also, Geoffrey pulls off Nate’s cloak and shouts that Nate, the hidden “horror” is an overlander and immediately assumes he’s here to assassinate King Max… and for some reason suggests they should have sent someone taller. That’s the second joke made about Nate’s height in this issue. This one makes little sense though considering an assassination attempt probably has a better chance at working if it’s being helmed by someone that’s hard to spot.

Sonic starts to defend Nate but King Max actually does it for him. He immediately recognizes Nate as the one who helped his city so long ago and the two share a hug. It’s always nice to be reminded that assholes have hearts too.

Then, for some reason, we skip to the end and just show Sonic celebrating his birthday. 

The candles were indeed counting to 16 but it wasn’t anything ominous or menacing at the end. It was just a lit birthday cake… which is the first thing that would come to someone’s mind when they saw this. You’d think it’d be something else if they were going to show a candle being lit every single page but… no.

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There’s that creepy wink again. In fact, I just noticed he's winking INSIDE the wink. Ew.

So... hmm.

There’s stuff to praise about this story but a lot that bugs me too when all is said and done...

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #68: Tales of the Freedom Fighters - Lupe and the Wolf Pack Part 2: Survival of the Fittest

The wolf pack has made it on land and… they have a dialogue with each other where they list off the names of all of them and after reading that one panel I felt immediately exhausted. The idea of having to get to know any of these people just… 

I just REALLY don’t wanna do it. There’s already too many active characters in this book  and I don’t care about the Wolf Pack.

They have a few character moments that aren’t bad and they all look unique enough from each other. The atmosphere is good too since I love the rain. Things don’t get truly interesting until they reach an abandoned house and Reynard spots an Overlander child.

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I wonder if Overlanders are just mutated humans. These children almost look alien.

I actually do like the extremely stark contrast here. Lupe sees this child and immediately treats her like a child, period. In her mind, these are children and that’s it. Meanwhile, you’ve got Reynard here and he’s putting the fact that they’re Overlanders above literally everything else. Like the fact that this small girl tackled him because he was suggesting they get rid of her sister when she’s currently, literally done nothing is lost on him. He’s like “See? There’s MORE!” 

Reynard asks if Lupe has lost her senses and Lupe just demands he give her the child. Now, this is also interesting since the Echidnas talked about being neutral in the war with the Overlanders versus the Acorn Kingdom. That led me to believe that the animosity was just between those two factions but apparently, all the anthros just don’t like or trust the Overlanders and the echidnas just made themselves a special exception. 

That should probably have been expected since the echidnas are all super special or whatever but still… it’s nice to know these two races just have an innate distinctive hatred for each other. You’ve got people like Nate who used to gladly work for people on either side and people like Robotnik who will enslave people on both sides for the hell of it which is also nice.

If we’re gonna tell stories about extreme racism then might as well have representations of all types of people right?

Anyway, Lupe asks them their names. The blonde is Aerial and the redhead is… *sigh* Athena (Jesus fucking Christ…). Also, Athena can’t talk.

Lupe asks where their parents are and she says they’re gone. Then we end on this glorious set of panels.

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She’s lying! She’s LYING I tells yah! Oh me, oh my, oh man! Dooooh~!

Imagine being so racist, you're scared of a literal child. That's amazing.

That issue was actually a lot better than the previous one but it had a bit of an odd pacing issue towards the end. Things went from zero to 100 and then from 100 back to zero in a matter of pages. You’d think a meteor shower hitting the city would feel more monumental, and in the moment it was, but it got swept under the rug as soon as Sonic met up with the Freedom Fighters. Then, surprise long-lost brother followed by immediate birthday party for Sonic. It’s very strange. I also can’t say I like that the candle thing ended up being a set-up for literally just the first thing that comes to mind when you imagine candles being lit on a birthday cake. Was hoping to pan out and see a villain lighting a cake in celebration for him raining hellfire on Sonic’s birthday or something. 

Oh well. Looks like this officially ends the Sonic and Tails solo adventure stories. It was nice while it lasted even if all the stories didn’t exactly knock it out of the park. The return to adventure was a nice change of pace as well as getting to see the two familiar best friends of the series hanging out like I’ve always wanted.
 

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9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The Lost Temple of Shazamazon is what it’s actually called and it looks like a combination of the words Shazam and Amazon.

It sounds like that because that's why it's named that. I really don't even think the pun works. You just put Shazam into the word Amazon. It doesn't even have anything to do with Captain Marvel.

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The scenery’s HAPPENING in a WAY PAST COOL way but for now I’d better JUICE on over to the temple--!

Jesus. I’m trying to keep an open mind for when this was written but this becomes harder and harder to justify the further ahead into these comics we go. At some point, we’re going to reach the future of the late 2000s and I just won’t be able tolerate him saying these words.

I got be honest while I'm not a fan of his lingo I'm kinda numb to it now. I've just accepted Archie Sonic is an offshoot of SatAM Sonic so he's gonna say shit like "Jucin' Way Past Cool".

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It’s funny because Sonic isn’t dressed like Lara Croft. He’s dressed as Indiana Jones and this is an Indiana Jones homage so… I’m not sure why they named it Tomb Raider. Why not call it the Temple of Doom? 

I’m just saying, if you’re gonna call it Tomb Raider, Sonic better be running around in booty shorts.

1: Honestly since this is just the opening of Raiders I'd say go all out and call it "Raider of the lost Ring" or something.

2: I can guarantee you there's fan art of that somewhere.

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

“Now I wish it were-- THE END -- and OVER with!” could be one way it’s meant to be said, but that doesn’t sound right.

“Now I wish it were-- and OVER with!” also doesn’t sound right, if we ignore the part where the page says The End.

“Now I wish it were THE END!” sounds… better but it would ignore the part where he says “--and OVER with!” which we can’t because it’s clearly there to finish his statement.

I’m sure this is just the result of a typo but God, what a part to make a typo. Your big climactic take off where the point is to show yourself being clever with the words.

I think you're overthinking it a little. It's just supposed to be that "The End" is written in old time movie font since y'know Indiana Jones was inspired by old timey Adventure movies. Honestly Sonic's lucky this shit doesn't work on Genie rules because saying he wished it was "The End" could very easily gone bad.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We begin with Lupe and Sally having a conversation. Lupe and the Wolf Pack are leaving to go find any others of their pack that may still be out there. Lupe makes it clear that her kind don’t usually do well with outsiders, they just teamed up with her because they had a common enemy in Robotnik. They stayed way longer than they probably would have usually been expected to otherwise.

You know what I don't get? Sally and Lupe talk like they're old friends and that this leaving is super hard on Sally. Except...have they really had any page time together at all? I mean they went sky diving once but I never got the impression they were particularly close.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

That’s interesting since Issue 160 is also an issue celebrating Sonic’s birthday. So if we count this one I… guess he’s 17 by the time Ian takes over? That’s assuming he’s 15 right now. 

People always say that but I have my doubts. I'll admit I suck at math but after #125 Sonic is in space for a year he's 16 when that happens and they always talk like he was gone for a literal year a full 365 days. the time between 130 and 160 can't be that long so if #130 is like the day of Sonic's disappearance (especially since Sally visits the memorial in that issue) then that means Sonic missed a birthday meaning he's physically 17 but legally 18 in the comics. I'll admit I could be way off there math has always been a major weakness of mine.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

oUi1fD73DF7Y1XimVuXGPu7-7gtovtlmhCLSBR_1TzO_UcNtF3gr_qxnS3-_nuzNgZdpsz9C3J6O5dQQzSTIC2uHRCnDAculB-moCbpn4wZab-ZS1xlBFzZvN4OvEqT0BWOk_WrB

  We have reached peak Steven Butler anatomy! This is not a drill! Repeat this is not a drill!

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I almost made a “Space-- The Final Frontier” joke in the last issue but the Johnny Bravo joke worked better to show how dumb the narration was being. Plus, the Final Frontier thing is the obvious thing to say. I was shocked it didn’t say this last time. Urgh. It’s almost so predictable it hurts.

It really is nice to see Star Trek References aren't just Penders forte. I mean I like Star Trek but they do it a lot.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, we get shots of the K-Sat Unit doing… something. Again. It keeps showing up so that we can be let known that yes, it is indeed still in space… doing things.

Actually it's been different Satellites every time. They all spell Robotnik. #73 is going to make it clear exactly what they've been doing when they pop up but for now they're just supposed to be mysterious interludes.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I’m not sure why they’re back but again, I’ll wager a guess it’s because of the dramatic keyboard typer in space.

Naugus was defeated is my guess. They were tied to him and now he's in the Zone of Silence so his Crystallization wore off. Granted it's been a few days so I don't know why it's just now wearing off but still.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, we cut back to Knothole and man this art style is not gelling with me. Bunnie looked short and dumpy last issue and this issue she looks like this-!

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What’s even more distracting is how Amy is, for some reason, the same size as before and the correct proportions. Honestly, Rotor and Antoine look alright too. This is the kind of tall, lanky, and curvy that would look weird for even Rouge the Bat. God, it’s so weird considering how young Amy is that she’s later gonna be a viable love candidate for Sonic. I know what happens to her to make her older but “surprisingly” that doesn’t make it any less weird and creepy.

Like I joked we have reached Peak Butler. I don't totally mind his style that much. I just wish he found a middle ground between Sonic Character design and Mary Jane Watson. Like I don't think Bunnie in particular being on par with Rouge is a particularly bad thing (She is the Sax Cymbal of the team Suga) but her proportions should be more in line with like Rouge or Carrotia than Wonder Woman.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We cut back to Sonic, Tails, and Nate as they’re walking through the streets, happily undercover and awaiting a moment to finally relax a bit.

… 

… THEN THE APOCALYPSE HAPPENS!

So...a normal Tuesday in the Sonic Universe?

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, something a little less good is the way the conflict just stops. All of a sudden, it’s over and we’re in King Max’s chambers. Sally says to him that Sonic has returned (as though he gives a shit) and when Sonic tries to say he’s got good news about Ixis Naugus, the king blows him off and says that whatever he’s got to say is trivial… and then back-peddles by saying he doesn’t mean to make light of Sonic’s accomplishments. So… he’s not good at hiding his disdain, obviously.

I just love how Max considers Sonic STOPPING HIS USUPER to be a trivial thing.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I just REALLY don’t wanna do it. There’s already too many active characters in this book  and I don’t care about the Wolf Pack.

Personally I want to like the Wolf Pack. They all look really cool and I dig their one with nature angle but outside of Lupe (and maybe Leeta and Lyco at least later on) they're just so...nothing. Then they throw these creepy looking kids in the mix and they never contribute anything. I feel like there's a cool concept in there but they never really get to do anything. Doesn't help the most they contributed was #47 where they were written as generic war hero characters saying things like "Sing out you heroes". 

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10 hours ago, SBR2 said:

I think you're overthinking it a little. It's just supposed to be that "The End" is written in old time movie font since y'know Indiana Jones was inspired by old timey Adventure movies. Honestly Sonic's lucky this shit doesn't work on Genie rules because saying he wished it was "The End" could very easily gone bad.

I'm not overthinking anything. I'm just talking about how the wording is weird and doesn't sound right literally any way you read it. 

11 hours ago, SBR2 said:

You know what I don't get? Sally and Lupe talk like they're old friends and that this leaving is super hard on Sally. Except...have they really had any page time together at all? I mean they went sky diving once but I never got the impression they were particularly close.

I mean, I heard that Lupe is apparently from the SatAM show which I still haven't properly watched the whole way through so I just assumed it was covered there but if it's not then I've no answer for this either.

 

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Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #22: Dark Alliance - Part 1 of 3: You Say You Want A Revolution...

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Oh my God. This story is gonna blow. Ken Penders and politics is like oil and water. The fucking dingos holding up picket signs saying “Echidna’s Unfair” is just… I mean, it's true but goddammit. 

I’m not a fan of the way this cover looks either. I don’t like the way the characters are drawn and I’m certain it’s supposed to be cluttered but it’s not done in an appealing way. There’s a lot of cluttered covers in the IDW series and they look amazing.

Spoiler

Ken Penders is writing, of course. Jim Valentino is on pencils though. This is interesting. I’ve definitely heard the name but I can’t mentally picture the artwork.

rvuiFgB5OGBcTh9GsyN83oovJI7pZah_4Bt8-5xJaGs-2TKHe0EkhT3qVLrDlLZIsusuEKL50ZXLWfPlQsjHdm10a075bBsSkTB4xF4bKdf1gTZtTveL0bRpojQ3VwcQPKn8dQLh

tenor.gif

 

Again, I feel the need to reiterate between cartoon anthropomorphic animals and stuff from Dungeons and Dragons lore. Holy fuck.

That’s getting a bit too far ahead though. First thing’s first we gotta talk about the Holocaust…

… No, I’m not kidding.

6J-YzWtKWsRDbOGsB8TFAH1n6nsFkz9zVpemTfMhpSSm9N2rb8bnwBt3rREEC6BoduBYuUx1PjT8Yq69hiYlQ0U7yCuLU75i7PRd5rn1_WaxpRs_i1IJW5MP4oo5x2w69Nm55CY5

 

I… 

 

I just… don’t…

YV0vwNx2BdIjJrq71D0jkh6qq8DmE2jjO0IOn8JqSqSiFcLrznnkgRRPhyFqW5mWvtfRe-8jOqwxon5u1U2joafLvcm4aUJmm8u2g9BvifrUuZ-b8NEa0cqFJ5DGaWd_virIr3PO

I’m… not sure I even know what my reaction to this is. 

 

This is something you hear about and you get immediately disgusted and put off by it… but then when it’s here, staring you in the face you’re transfixed by the fact that this is real. It’s not something that was cooked up by The Onion or anything. This is real.

Then when you get over that shock, you start to read it and… it’s SO ridiculous you can’t help but find it really funny.

I was burying my head into my hands, hunched over in laughter.

 JCUD-i.gif

So, for those who don’t know and are reading this, this is a famous poem from the Holocaust  called “First They Came” re-written to be about talking cartoon animals. The original 1946 poem was a post-war confession of the cowardice of certain German intellectuals and clergy about their inaction concerning the Nazi’s rise to power and how they overtook group after group until it was their time to go.

So basically… Robotnik is Robot-Hitler. Yeah, your favorite childhood villain is being compared to Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi party, and his robot dominion is the Third Reich. 

Obviously the original context of this poem refers to actual human beings that actually existed. It’s not only pretentious as hell but also insensitive as fuck to impose this situation that has nothing to do with Sonic the Hedgehog onto your shitty comic book as a way of trying to stand out and look like a brilliant master story-teller. You just know when he wrote this, the thought going through the man’s mind was how brilliant and thought-provoking it was assuredly supposed to be. I could easily have been upset by it to the point of blue screening forever but then you actually read how he reworked the poem...!

“Then they came for the squirrels. But I did not speak up because I was not a squirrel.”

It’s so STUPID!

I can’t help but laugh at it. Like how… how weird is this? It’s so ridiculous. I could talk all day about how out of touch this weird alien man is and how this accomplishes the total opposite of what he wanted as far as people’s image of him but it still wouldn’t be enough. 

We actually begin inside of the mansion of an echidna in his bed with his house. He looks like Knuckles but with a beard because of course he does. He’s also a high councilor, how wonderful. First thing he does when he hears the crash is accuse it of being DINGO TRASH at his doorstep.

Of course, the instant he says that you know in your mind that it’s gonna be one of his own and sure enough, he opens the door and gets jumped by dregs from the Dark Legion. Lien-Da specifically tears this asshole down and lays bare how huge of a hypocrite he is by allegedly being a technophobe and yet have wide-screen high definition TVs, a video phone, and a security monitor system among other things lying about when the normal citizens were once in a position where their shit was taken from them during a vote that they had little active part in. 

I know the comic is going to take the side that puts the Legion in the wrong for their extreme actions but I hope there’s at least a little bit of a conversation about how much more in the right they feel as of now. I’ve been given nothing but reasons to hate the supposedly “good” side of this echidna society. I’m not really interested in seeing it prosper.

So yeah, wherever Lien-Da is taking him, I hope it’s someplace awful and ahabfowdignwka-wait a second, LIEN-DA???

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THIS is her first appearance? She just… shows up! 

 

Okay. I mean, I guess she did make a neat enough first impression though I’d imagine anyone reading this at the time probably just saw her as yet another echidna person. That’s kind of the problem with having so many of them. She’d probably blend in like the rest if I wasn’t so familiar with her already. I actually like Lien-Da a lot, as far as what I’ve read in the later issues. I don’t know how she’s going to act in these olden days though.

So yeah, we cut back to that scene with Buffles as he sits at the desk with the other echidna dudes. He’s saying all the right things and asking all the right questions too. Knuckles makes it clear that he can’t be certain they’re being truthful about his father or anything else because he doesn’t understand what kind of family would keep secrets like this from him. Sabre tries to apologize and even admits that they kept the secrets for far too long but Knuckles isn’t having it. He’s tired of being deceived and demands to know where his father is.

This is the bare minimum of what they should be apologizing for considering the many years of being isolated as a child while thinking his parents were dead. Sabre is the only one who seems interested in apologizing too since Spectre, Sojourner, Thunderhawk, and the ants aren't saying shit.

Also, Spectre’s cloak is flowing so much, he looks like he’s fucking Spawn.

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Don’t give Sabre too much credit though because the instant Knuckles brushes off Sabre’s very worthless assurance that they had his "best interests at heart", he goes into full defense mode. “Don’t be so quick to judge him or us m’boy.” he says. “There’s so much more to this than you could imagine!” Thunderhawk interjects. 

 

Knuckles says, “Try me.”

I’m liking Knuckles’ reaction to this so far. I really do appreciate that he’s currently not folding or giving into their ridiculous assertions that the way they handled this was in any way appropriate. There’s nothing they can say that’ll make what they did okay. Like I’ve said before, unless telling Knuckles and letting him in on their plans so that he could have a marginally more healthy life growing up would have led to the world instantly exploding, you should not have done things this way. 

They keep giving Knuckles the run around, saying that he’s asking them to explain 400 years worth of history (which they wouldn’t have to do all in one sitting if he’d been in on this from the start) and Knuckles reiterates that he’s NOT doing that… he JUST wants to know where his father is. He also says he doesn’t give a shit about their history, which is great because I don’t either. They start chiding him and almost making fun of him for not caring about history, even going on about how great Locke was at history. Knuckles, again, demands to see his father. He’s not letting up. Good on him.

Back with Locke, he’s landed his ship to drop off Remington, Julie-Su, Lara-Le, and Wren. There’s a brief chat about how Locke wasn’t able to mend the relationship between him and Lara-Le. Go figure it didn’t go well. I can imagine nothing sexier than forcing a kiss onto a woman who’s already divorced you and has decided to get re-married. Oh, and doesn’t parental neglect and treating your spouse like garbage just get you all hot? I especially love it when the person doing so denies any wrongdoing and skirts past any attempt to confront the shit they’ve done wrong. What a dream daddy.

Julie-Su finds out right as they’re leaving that Locke is their father and Remington suspects Julie-Su may have feelings for Knuckles, though I’m still unsure as to why… or I would be if I didn’t know about the soul touch.

Locke flies off on his own to go see Knuckles and figures that he’s probably really angry with him and has probably gone to be by himself. This is all stuff he’s gleaned not by being around Knuckles but by spying on him with his many, many cameras. It’s still creepy as fuck.

However, speaking of creepy as fuck, Lien-Da drags the counselor to the current leader of the legion now that Kragok is MIA and uh…

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My eyes were as wide as dinner plates when I saw this. 

 

Like seriously, holy fuck man.

I know enough about these books to know that’s Dimitri but I had to do a double-take and retrace my mental steps to figure out how exactly he could have ended up like this already. I had always wondered how he went from a magical guy who got trapped under some rocks for 400 years, laughed when he got shot to space only to find out he had no plan to escape (so literally why was he laughing about that?), to coming back and doing incredibly stupid things that saw Mogul using the Sword of Acorns to drain his power.

So… I guess what I’m supposed to gather here is that because his power was drained, he reverted to an extremely old man whose body was functionally useless and had to resort to… THIS to keep himself alive.

I gotta give props to the artist for this horrific looking monstrosity. He seems good at drawing those.

I also kind of like the fact that Penders (allegedly) came up with this. The concept of Dimitri’s robot body and later his little robot head in a ball always fascinated me. I knew he was once Enerjak so every time I saw him with that robot head inside that hamster ball my reaction was always “Literally HOW did that happen?!”

His line at the end of this page is really lame though. “Now it’s payback time and you know what they say about that… …it’s like an itch only meaner!”

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Remington is in a deputy car, trying to get Lara-Le and Wyn home when they come across a group of protesting Dingos. They’re carrying picket signs and everything. “Echindas unfair” and “Dingos have rights” are on them all. Stuff like that. 

 

Remington tries to defuse the situation by asking them to at least let traffic through if they’re going to persist. I like that he doesn’t tell them to stop, actually.

Someone, I don’t know who, throws a Molotov cocktail and sets a fire. Then fighting happens. Remington then immediately contacts the brotherhood and asks for assistance, saying that the DINGOS have gone amok…?

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Pictured above: The DINGOS and the DINGOS ONLY going amok…

Knuckles and Archimedes see this and immediately decide to take off on a mission to keep his mom safe. Archimedes is particularly happy to be teaming up with Knuckles again too. I guess being one of the only people to actually hang with him, he’s grown actual fondness for the guy.

Upon leaving though, Sabre says quite possibly the most infuriating thing any of these echidnas (who isn’t Locke) has ever said.

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Yeah, it’s such a burden having to answer for all the shit you’ve done to that boy right? It’d be so much easier to just continue treating him like a shitty science experiment right? I do also like that he has this attitude while continuing to make remarks about how they just stand around and let him handle things. This revelation of how obsolete they are is doing wonders for them. 

 

We then cut to Locke who, after being completely unable to have a conversation about this with Lara-Le, because I guess admitting it to another person would be too huge a blow to his pride, walks to the chamber where the Mammoth Mogul Master Emerald is and just admits that Lara was right about everything.

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I love the part where he says it pains him to admit Lara was right. Even when he’s admitting to being wrong, he’s gotta be so backhanded about it. 

 

Still, this is… uh… honestly, rather sudden. He’s talking about how certain things worked in the past but times have changed which is something he’s alluded to believing a bit more in earlier issues with a push from Sabre and I guess this recent fling with Lara kind of carried his manner of thinking over to the other side of the tracks on his horrible parenting as well.

So we’ve got a mental acknowledgement of his transgression now. That’s a start. His actions going forward are going to need to be where we witness the change if there is one. Plus, acknowledging it means diddly squat as far as Knuckles getting a chance to let him have it for doing this to him… but I still don’t think Knuckles will. 

Knuckles isn’t being kind to the brotherhood but he’s totally gonna insta-forgive his shitty dad. Ugh.

Locke even notes that simply saying “I’m sorry” isn’t going to make up for it. 

I’ll say that I definitely didn’t see this coming. I hope it means something good. 

It won’t but I’m still gonna hope it does.

Von Stryker shows up and he talks with Knuckles about coming to a solution to their problem. When Knuckles showed up he made it clear how he doesn’t give a shit about siding with the echidnas pretty well as demonstrated by how we only see him punching out echidnas in the riot that’s happening. Really, really good. Thank you, Knuckles.

We cut back to Dimitri and his gang of lunatics, who’ve strapped the counselor to a table and are performing a procedure on him. Dimitri wishes it was his ancestor instead, seemingly not taking solace in the fact that he’s out lived that guy for 400 years. 

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Basically, he’s like “Me and Edmund wanted to do this good thing for people” and then the council guy was like “But if you do the good thing, I won’t be able to do that bad thing I want to do cause I'm an evil high council politics man. Politics man bad.” 

The system was rigged. The whole thing is rigged. Politics man bad so now Politics man will be under the thumb of the legion. 

 

Knuckles uses Archimedes’ poofing powers to poof in between 3/4ths of the Chaotix. Vector rightfully points out how Knuckles is always gone half the time but then immediately I remembered how the Chaotix are pointless and have no agency in this book. Yes, it continues to pain me to say that but it’s fucking true. They’re USELESS. My fanboyism for the Chaotix isn’t going to be able to override that objective fact, I’m sorry.

Everyone is confused and that’s when Julie-Su shows up, being someone whom I guess they’re comfortable confiding information to now, even though they’ve still shown no reason as to why they should. 

She explains that the reason the dingos are so riled up is because these shitty echidnas have taken forever in building houses for them. On top of that, the election for the high council is coming up and Pravda, the anti-tech counselor has been missing for a month. His wife isn’t saying anything cause she’s spooked. 

Anyone who got elected would probably just be a dingo hater anyway so I can see why they don’t care. 

We cut back to Lien-Da and the dark legion (by the way, Lien-Da still hasn’t been named yet) who are pointlessly beating people mercilessly that just want to be left alone. I’m not entirely sure I understand why but I guess wanting technology literally turns you into terrorists and that’s why technology’s bad?

Seriously, I’m confused. I don’t REALLY get why the Dark Legion is this delighted by violence and shit. You’d think as antagonists they’d be portrayed as just people with a righteous cause taking things a bit too far but no. Lien-Da is delighting in beating some poor dude mercilessly for no reason. Maybe years of indoctrination and frustration just turns you into someone who loves harming people who aren’t a threat to your cause.

Anyway, Dimitri reveals his brilliant plan. He’s turned Pravda into a brainwashed councilor that says HAIL DIMITRI a lot. 

That’s right. The Manchurian Candidate is here. 

We’re off to WIN THE ELECTION!

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I don’t know who some of these dudes are but they look kind of gnarly. I’m sure they’ll disappoint me later though.

 

So… yeah… this issue was… something.

It’s the start of an arc about an election that so far has an… understandable issue I guess. The echidnas don’t give a shit about the dingos and, despite not thinking it’ll matter who gets elected, they see it as a possible chance for something to change, maybe? Dimitri legionizing this dude is pretty metal but the "brilliant" plan of doing so to mess with an election seems kind of goofy. This was mostly a set-up issue and at times it felt like it was being penciled by a completely different person throughout. 

I feel like the only reason I’m not reacting worse to this is because I’ve had fair warning as to how bad this gets. I’ve heard about this and I’m mostly in shock that I’m finally witnessing it for myself. The Holocaust poem thing is just… REALLY fucking weird. 

Yeah, I think of Sonic the Hedgehog and the first thing that comes to mind are the Nazis and the holocaust. THIS IS IN AN OFFICIALLY LICENSED SONIC ThE HEDGEHOG BOOK!

SOMEONE SAID YES TO THIS!

 

Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #23: Dark Alliance - Part 2 of 3: Election Night

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Yeah, these covers just aren’t doing it for me. Not for nothing, these Knuckles issues at least give me a lot to talk about but damn… what’s coming next is gonna be some pureil dog shit of the highest order, your honor.

Spoiler

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Oh my God… Techno-Conservatives dude.

Techno-Conservatives…!

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You know… it’s just like… I mean… I can’t… when you have to… I should have… 

... I had to stop writing for a bit from laughing too hard. 

C-Can I ask you guys a question? When… when you played Sonic 3 and Knuckles and you saw his island and all that shit did you picture any of this being what it was all leading up to? 

I mean, obviously this is what it was leading up to right? A bunch of terrorists wailing against the techno-conservatives sometime after Robot-Hitler’s death. 

Is this real life? Am I dead?

I haven’t even gotten to the fucking book yet. I screeched to a halt when I read “techo-conservatives” man. Goddammit.

So the actual comic begins with a news bulletin that lazily copy and pastes the same image in each panel. You can tell that it is too because the last panel is especially blurry because they had to enlarge it. It’s clearly the same drawing but the original drawing was so small, enlarging it just makes it stand out as such.

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What’s happening here is that Pravda is clearly legionized and being made to… resign from the election so that the Legion, I guess, can put someone else in his place?

Okay. I have several questions.

Dimitri was going on about being way more smarter and methodical about his plans now that the power of Enerjak wasn’t making him an idiot anymore, and that’s all well and good, but I feel like you may have slipped up a bit here half-way through the planning stages of this one. I understand kidnapping Pravda and turning him into a brainwashed soldier for your cause but why… why have him resign?

I mean if he’s already got a lot of backing and support to even be a huge viable candidate for this position then wouldn’t it be better to have him stay in and push your ideals instead of replacing him with someone no one knows and doesn’t give a fuck about? I dunno, it doesn’t seem very smart to just throw someone up there who wasn’t a part of the original election if you’ve literally brainwashed one of the guys who’s running.

Also, I’m not yet sure what bigger significance the election is supposed to have other than Dingo and Echidna relations. I’m sure there’s people who care about that but it’s not super connected to what the Dark Legion wants to do. I’m a little fuzzy on what the general focus is supposed to be at the moment.

Von Stryker thinks it’s another echidna plot when he hears the news. They have a stake in this so they would be concerned, of course, but the guy whose resigning is a dingo hater so you’d think that would be more confusing than infuriating for them but since they have an innate suspicion of the echidnas (can’t blame them) they immediately go for the idea that it’s a plot. And it IS just not by the echidnas you think it is.

Remington also sees the broadcast and decides he may need new troops. 

Meanwhile, Knuckles and the Chaotix have the right idea about this whole thing.

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Ah man. It feels so good seeing Knuckles just not give a shit about any of this. I’m with him 100%. Fuck em.

Of course, Knuckles and the Chaotix are there at the election site on the very next page. It’s a little amusing how Vector calls Knuckles out on this and Knuckles just admits to being a guardian and having to go where he’s needed.

Funnily enough, I used to think that it was so weird that SEGA never managed to do much with Knuckles’ story. I used to think that the comics managed it, so why can’t they? I still believe that it’s something they totally could have managed but the comics were not the best example to use. These comics are totally not managing it. At all.

It’s at this point where the huge, obvious cracks in this dumb as hell plan start to really show themselves. Remington speaks with Knuckles and the Chaotix about how strange he finds this situation. Pravda arrives, a blank far-out glare in his eyes, and stands at the podium to say that he’s renouncing his position and that the new councillor will be this new dude, Benedict.

So, instead of making Pravda change his stance in a subtle manner or waiting until he was elected to do what they needed to do they instead wheel out this guy whom Remington literally says that he’s NEVER SEEN BEFORE and have him stand on stage, just thinking he’ll be immediately accepted by the masses.

It’s weird how they do this too, because Benedict comes out and is introduced like he’s their new king. It reminded me of when the Fake King Acorn said that Robotnik was going to be the new ruler of his kingdom except here, he’s ...not. He’s replacing a dude who was a CANDIDATE for an election. He hasn’t been sworn in yet. This means NOTHING.

How about instead of wasting your time with the election, you wait to see who gets elected, kidnap THEM, legionize them, and make them do your bidding that way? That way they already have the position of power entrusted to them. 

But no, instead, they try to rely on Benedict here being as charismatic as he can… and instead of coming off that way, he goes up to the podium and makes himself the most obvious of obvious Dark Legionare plants I’ve ever seen by ranting and raving like a lunatic at a confused crowd about how awesome technology is and how their forefathers were all a bunch of fucking idiots for abandoning it.

QZ1UhTwP4X72Yp8qRLaMSI_XLlgWHv53iRLyZz7e-tkBuV2bXYKVIExFgH1aCaSIr-ppSE3xHIi3xH6jkT9EF7SkyrCD3Llxxv8pz93JKtDNscK-WV7lAW_JFI1U5hta8eQ4ghlX

 

You can’t make this shit up. I mean, Penders MADE this shit up, but you can’t make up the fact that Penders made this shit up! SERIOUSLY?!

Look at that crowd of people! Look at how blank their faces are and how confused they look as this insane, weird man that they’ve NEVER SEEN BEFORE just starts spouting Dark Legion rhetoric at them. He’s not even attempting to be subtle about it. Not even a little bit!

At this point I had to stop again because I started laughing again. It’s so stupid! 

COME ON MAN! XD

Did Dimitri seriously not think this would look shady as fuck? 

AND THEN HE DOES THIS SHIT…!

iRgZLSFOSOxkE_JyjmsyDBFPNz7tGeCE8NSOYs4Kkp6F_v0Sz5Dy2KyE8BRR-hI33AJET1d1o5PzTQMvDE70rNgv19wT4Aw5DZ9UbMItwI3XhxU7ZTruMTq4AUDpPYG4mWa-fwTB

 

He does the “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You” speech but reworded to be about the heirs of DIMITRI! THE GUY PEOPLE KNOW WAS ENERJAK!!!

HE LITERALLY SAYS DIMITRI! TO THE ENTIRE CROWD!

AND THEN HE DOES THE EQUIVALENT OF A NAZI SALUTE AND SAYS HAIL DIMITRI!

WHAT THE FUCK?????!!!!!! XD XD XD XD

By this point, I was pacing around my room, laughing, running my hands on my head… I couldn’t believe it!

Oh my God… Penders… PENDERS… I love you, you sad, strange, FUCKING WEIRD, INSANE man.

This is the greatest Knuckles story I’ve read yet! I’ve reached nirvana witnessing how bad this is.

I just… I can’t… he just shot-gun blasted his plan right in the heart. Like… for what? Why? WHY DO THIS?! Why do your plan like this?! Is Benedict going off script or something? Did he get too riled up and do the equivalent to throwing himself head first into oncoming traffic?

That's not even going into the fact that he took the fucking FDR speech, a guy who hated and condemned the Nazi party, and made this character, who is the equivalent of a Nazi zealot stand-in re-purpose the famous FDR speech in his own terrorist screed and had it end with him shouting HAIL DIMITRI with a Nazi salute and... those letters. AHAHAHAHAAAAA~! 

It's so nasty. It's so insensitive. It's so brain-dead. I literally, physically and mentally, can't handle this. Tears are in my eyes guys. I'm not fucking around.

I swear to god, he spews the rhetoric of the echidna terrorists at the crowd and expects them to lap it up. Funniest shit I’ve ever seen.

We immediately cut back to the Brotherhood of assholes who, instead of seeing through it as the obvious Dark Legion shit it is, start arguing amongst each other. Sojourner claims that Benedict has a point, nay, screams it at Sabre. Sabre says that Edmund didn’t intend technology to be renounced forever and I said, “Bullshit. How the fuck do you know that?” Then Sojourner says the same thing. He also calls bullshit and asks Sabre for proof.

Instead of providing proof though, Thunderhawk just says Sabre isn’t the kind of guy who engages in debate and it’s like… what? 

Literally what?

Oh, but it gets even better. The very next page, this happens-!

EYjOYk0Bn6Ufa1iCewbPSsNsI3kJHL8sjTZHfqU7nXGKeYZ9R1uZt-Q5B9OEfnmaYEU8lm9io6ju5hK0jIh5RkaRXSnwLwmdm9QdMTRWS9vOLTk1QmFBBDRdGBReRyZFeNm29xV7

Shot through the heart, and you’re too late. You gave love… a bad name.

I’m fucking serious. This is the greatest Knuckles comic I’ve ever seen. It might be the greatest comic book of all time folks. 

Like, Haven just got invaded and fell in the span of a single page after… who knows how long of a set-up for it. It’s amazing. 

Remington goes up to the guy and makes it clear that he doesn’t trust him. The brainwashed Councilman tells Remington to come with him and not to impede on political matters. Knuckles and the gang are left to talk amongst themselves about how obvious it is that this was the work of the Dark Legion and how it’s weird that the Legion is just being allowed to walk around and make speeches that could incite riots.

They don’t have any stake in the situation and they don’t do anything so moving on.

At night, Von Stryker apparently has just found out that there’s in-fighting among the echidnas. I don’t know how he's finding this out just now. I’m pretty sure he was there when the Dark Legion returned but whatever. He tries to think on how he can use it to his advantage when he’s ambushed by that metal looking dude that isn’t Dimitri from the last issue’s full page spread. Dude’s name is Xenin and he’s VERY proud of his robot body.

_2B7AS2Jk5yw7Bz1NXTGNUr7UIWjtGfUpSM8JyxhYhy1l72nFeAK7n6QgLAUiH9RJDr8oVqCaHZN5zH820REoHfZ2CaRHC0msR4dKrkl8Pc5wFLnb-i8M_aqwHilAJExnOt67MDy

 

Dude, you look like you got lost inside a trash compactor.

Well, he beats up Von Stryker and tells his men to take him away to the command center and to dump his dingo buddies in the sewer. Knuckles and the others literally see a truck containing dingos being carted off drive right on by them.

Then Xenin attacks them in the middle of the street and they get into a fight!

I don’t understand. Why are they being so open and public about this? Wasn’t the point of kidnapping the councilman and brainwashing him so that you could be more covert about this plan? Instead, they shove some guy no one knows out there to announce to everyone that he’s a Dark Legionnaire terrorist and then this guy with the robo-body complex just attacks people on the street.

If you were just going to resort to violence anyway, why not just do that? I know the answer is probably that it didn’t work before but… you’re doing it NOW!

For what? To get Julie-Su back? That’s the reason Xenin is attacking Knuckles’ group by the way. He wants Julie-Su to come back. She refuses and they fight. I’m still properly waiting for a reason as to why she even defected despite already knowing the horseshit reason why. I just can’t accept the answer. It’s so bad and not in an amusing way like the rest of this has been.

Anyway, Xenin beats up Knuckles because he’s better or whatever. We also cut to see Lien-Da taunting the restrained members of the Brotherhood. God, it feels weird saying all these terms and knowing what they mean now. I can actually tell someone the difference between the Brotherhood and the Dark Legion now. One is a group of assholes that we’re supposed to see as in the right and the other is a group of assholes that are mostly right but are being portrayed as overreaching, overreacting nazi-like terrorists so we have no choice but to see them as in the wrong. 

Then Lien-Da reveals the traitor, Moritori Rex, as he walks on in. This is something they knew and they saw that he escaped so... really, it's your own fault for not acting accordingly and getting better security or something.

Moritori Rex contacts Dimitri to let him know that everything’s been taken over. The only ones missing are Locke and Spectre.

When the call ends, Dimitri turns to his three main captives and says he can’t wait to engage in some SCREAMING!

P7swf5fakz4COPv6bhrpHZu7lI3kpUNeQmxbVb9Hvh7_ipq50sxbdtL7_xmFBTRj7hwoRGCgtRmWd4h_-FEHz4gzMqvjHSTIHcleKVXbYqMJ1MlfWNgUan3SYDN6FlvpznhsOngD

 

Yeah. Okay.

By the way, Knuckles talks as if the whole Benedict thing is something he needs to blow the whistle on for people to not buy. You were there Knuckles. You saw the way he acted and the unimpressed, “Is this shit for real?” look the crowd had. I don’t think you have anything to worry about there.

This is it folks. We’ve done it. We’ve found it. The holy grail of bad Knuckles issues. This is the shiz-nite!

WHY make the Dark Legion Nazis? I don’t even get what the subtext is even supposed to be anymore. Hell, your connection between Robotnik and the Nazis doesn’t even work, why would it work HERE? Also, why do it AGAIN? Why do we need two parallels to the Nazis in this Sonic the Hedgehog book? Why does Penders think Sonic the Hedgehog needs more Nazis?

Considering what we know about them, it makes no sense. This group was formed because the terrible echidna society screwed them over by forcefully taking their technology away and being a bunch of hypocrites by hoarding it in certain places and what not. That’s a sympathetic angle and it should be acknowledged at least a LITTLE bit. But it’s NOT. They’re being portrayed as completely in the wrong and he’s trying to do everything in his power to make them irredeemably bad. All this is accomplishing is that I’m becoming more confused. I’m definitely not on the side of the “good” echidnas, I can’t have any sympathy for the Dark Legion because of all the terrorist shit, and Knuckles straight up doesn’t give a fuck. The only reason he’s even a part of this story is because Dimitri sent his henchman to capture him.

Then at the end of the issue, Dimitri’s like “You can’t stop me now!” as though Knuckles was doing something to try and stop him here. It’s like someone just remembered, “Oh yeah. Wasn’t this supposed to be about Knuckles?” and so they just got him roped up into the situation at the last minute. Knuckles has said, multiple times, that he doesn’t care who wins the election. He and the Chaotix have done nothing for two issues now while this story is going on around them because it intrigues them none. 

That’s not even getting into how POINTLESS the fucking election is. What is the point of the election?! I could maybe see the point of it at the very start with the conflict they were setting up but it didn’t turn out to be some sort of political espionage. They just made their shit public anyway! WHY?! Hell, the name of this issue was “Election Night” and there was no election!

This is already up there as the best worst thing I’ve ever read in my life. I can’t believe it. I still have another issue of this left!

 

Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #24: Dark Alliance - Part 3 of 3: Primary Evil

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c6SCiKib4IRPFAQ-1l_1qvFvoWUGZErgp-eenzFnggr0GXavHcRdSEsFwGAPaZTG6w72kg-dn0AebuSGYR_dU_VFARVYrCCycW13tHN7PnLjoR5FggTUlVEb25hFNWpsJRbNHHuM

Ahaha~! Primary evil. Do you get it? It’s like the evil primary. Ha… 

Goddamnit. 

I will say that I like the cover this time. It’s easily the best of the three if only because it feels a lot less cluttered due to how much better the coloring is. It works in its advantage that way. That’ll probably be the only thing I have to praise about this. I’m shuffling through finding this hilarious and being flabbergasted that this is real. 

Spoiler

m7WtftGIIAkwFQ1G3jQAgCFLi2eJk7smoOiOX9d8gcRSDiZfG-GCgzJphMK9cO0rVo01ztPOXh1-87CF2EMqXtVfsD3_r0eGc8PAT-U5_IaHAZUcdCo0YyKRZhsc8HEm08-7rSZc

Wise words from the presidential inauguration of Franklin D. Spectre. This echidna and his efforts against the Axis Powers of the Dark Legion will surely be remembered fondly for years to come as a statement to all who follow the atrocities of Robot-Hitlers the world over that Echidnapolis will not go silently into the night. Today we celebrate our Echidna-pendence day.

AAAAAAAUGH! WHAT THE FUCK! WHAT IS THIS?! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! PENDERS?! WHAT?!

WHAT?!

PENDERS WHAT?! FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT?! THE GUY WHO GREATLY CONDEMNED THE HOLOCAUST AND ALL THE SHIT HITLER WAS DOING?!

WHY!? 

WHAT’S WITH THE HOLOCAUST AND ROOSEVELT’S SPEECH AND THE NAZIS AND SHIT! THIS IS A SONIC THE HEDGEHOG COMIC BOOK!!!!

HOW?!

I don’t understand HOW this was allowed. At any point in time I couldn’t imagine this being published. Even if SEGA didn’t give a shit about what the comics were doing, you mean to tell me NO ONE over there looked this over and was like, “Hmm… Holocaust poems, Axis Powers, Nazis, shamelessly re-purposeing famous speeches from real life people that are linked to horrible and sensitive subject matter regarding atrocities that actually happened… yeah this is a perfect fit for the Sonic book.”

This makes Shadow’s game and Sonic 06 look like child’s play. Seriously, anyone who complained about that, show them this shit. Their heads will explode.

I’m using All-Caps so frequently now I’m turning into Penders himself. 

UGH!

TECHNO-CONSERVATIVES!

So we begin with Locke and Spectre by the Master Emerald. Spectre is looking way more spooky and Spawn like the more he shows up. It’d almost be cool if he didn't remind me so much of other comic book characters. He poofs Locke to a lower level of the area they’re at and says that he needs to go rescue people in Haven. 

Locke, all of a sudden up for being a good daddy, tries to refuse and says he wants to go save Knuckles instead. Spectre says that what they have there is so super secret and important that it being uncovered will spell the end of everyone’s lives, including Knuckles. So that settles it for Locke I guess.

We cut back to the three amigos hanging in Dimitri’s lair in a shot that you have to turn on its sides to read. It’s annoying as fuck. 

Von Stryker accuses the echidnas of being even worse now that he knows they’d betray their own kind and Dimitri says he isn’t. He explains that his brother Edmund ended up being a puppet for the council or whatever back in the day through some flimsy re-working of the story’s events.

PHcR55IKsgMTgwa_Osq4ILoh5rUtASDNZHVgOGpqZSXMUcET9VN59mVhjdIK5elF_jrRcgMjqNHTDXbCHF2wmYyfwBsHx3aL4n9J9BU1VMEnjBd5PQoYIHvx_oK8BZGi8NGKissq

 

Now, I don’t need to be the one to tell you that this doesn’t make a lick of sense. I’m astonished that Dimitri still cares considering how fucked up he looks.

Knuckles also makes a good point here. I’m really not sure why all this insane shit is necessary. I can understand them being portrayed as villains who’ve fallen into the thoughts about them having been screwed over and so in the right that they believe the best way to save their kind is to force the technology back onto them but I also feel there had to be a better way of doing that without all this… stuff. The general premise behind what happened to them and what they’re trying to do doesn’t sound that bad so in order to make it bad he’s making them so extreme. It’s really flimsy and it’s doing nothing to make me sympathetic towards the Brotherhood or the people of Echidnapolis. 

Maybe I would care if it were the people who were smart enough to leave and head back to Albion he was doing this to.

Also, that line, “The creationists running the high council still hadn’t forgiven the technocracy for saving the floating island from the white comet--” 

I’m drowning in pretentious bullshit. Someone send help. 

Does that line even make sense? They couldn’t forgive technology for saving their island from the white comet? Were they so against it that they were willing to let everyone die so long as no one liked technology? Also, remember, Dimitri is going on about sending things back to the way it used to be. However, way earlier in the older books, this was described as returning to being one with nature again… except now Dimitri is a technology zealot. On top of that, the echidnas were NEVER one with nature because they were building space shuttles during the time of Caveman-like hedgehogs. How does this all fit?

Dimitri has no actual answer for Knuckles. He just says “That’s the problem with the youth of today. No sense of historical perspective.”

Historical perspective? Is he saying that what he’s doing is okay because it happened before in history? Is this one of those cases where it's okay to repeat history? Huh?

Anyway, Remington was brought to the councilor’s office to talk and they talk... which basically just amounts to Benedict bribing (or attempting to bribe) Remington because of something awful in his past. What could it be? Probably nothing important. 

That wasn’t sarcasm. I genuinely believe it's probably nothing important.

After a short, pointless scene of Xenin making a dumb joke as an excuse to hit Von Styker as he hangs upside down, we cut to Locke and Spectre invading Haven and taking out some guards. So, hurray I guess…?

Remington refuses Benedicts offer. Benedict’s reaction is to sabotage his plan even more by tossing the comatose Pravda at him and then running off, leaving Remington to his devices. 

This plan made no sense but Benedict’s actions seem to only literally make things worse. This idiot went on and on about how he’s gonna rig the election and I’m sat here going, “If you were going to rig the election anyway then why make such a public fuss?!” 

I’m truly confused. I don’t get this. How do any of these idiot villains not see how horrible the execution of this shitty plan is? If Benedict did what he did just because he doesn’t want to hide from the public because that might be a bit uncomfortable, I’m sorry but that’s a dumb reason. Honestly, once you take the place over you won’t need to hide anyway. 

Remington hitches a ride with my favorite dingo Harry and they’re off.

Meanwhile, Dimitri is examining Knuckles on an operating table and is hoping to use him as a means of finding a way to return himself to his original body. For you see, Knuckles is super special you guys. I don’t know if you’ve heard but that Knuckles character… he might be a big deal.

I5Zj1LUP9TFu0Shn6FwNWiEWxoUBmCVevOsEH7FkDKBXr-aN7zLH-GjQN0vYjzcLCWWgBV4rwUjJkKFJKIg34mcZ_tOQlg0G_wrac2OlF8Df6xo3NpvbMzLatiSkUT-LLtNCVcfr

 

Oh my God. Locke microwaved his baby so that he could be a living chaos emerald.

You know what Locke, you’re right. I’m pretty sure “I’m Sorry” isn’t going to be enough here.

Remington and Harry drive through a short-cut to get where they want to go in the meantime. We then cut back to Dimitri who is being told by his technician that Knuckles has suddenly turned into a nuclear bomb and that they need to either evacuate or destroy him. This is totally what I expected from the election arc.

Back with Lien-Da (who is now being referred to as the Komissar. She still hasn’t been named yet) and Moritori Rex, they are reporting to Dimitri the same thing that was reported to him already about two people missing. Then the lights go out.

Moritori Rex tells Lien-Da not to panic though because he’s got special goggles that see in the dark. He uses them in one of the funniest instant-karma gags ever.

_t0Vu2IuTN4bXR6OHlTOR13Fc24aILLwtwF_gMKkJ2dDW00p-PF46EWd8ehcqvLCoT8kDerb-IE15tWIkyWCHQBuEERQCV25RzOChNxC2KkM2n_ank1jQDhBLG4hKK1RdjISsTDZ

 

“Don’t worry. My special goggles can see even in the da-AAGH! MY EYES! I CAN’T SEE!”

Spectre shows up in a puff of smoke, having pulled off some blinding hocus-pocus that renders Moritori's goggles useless. Locke grapples Lien-Da from behind but Lien-Da says a line that doesn’t work because despite being comfortable with Nazis and Holocaust poems, the comic can’t say the word "Hell".

DCiao7uTJBeNWQOj-dbgZ68WN3WWRDQ389hHO8V9RKlZwDe1y2jvZ7vynUntJ5MA7Le3JinvFp4tAjqT2M8Ul-fGxryUo-UHEx_p_AqO6Kbuvdc9XxSv7g3pMZ5ri9TxQLGy9iWx

 

“It’ll be a cold day in a hot place before you see me beg” doesn’t sound like a written line. It sounds like she’s being censored in real time.

Sonic Runners got away with saying "Hell" but not the comic with the Nazis and the holocaust poem. Oy vey.

Dimitri finally makes his decision and tells everyone to get the fuck out. Knuckles is more useful to him alive so he figures it’s best to let him have his little nuclear explosion and come back to steal his power another day. Everyone starts evacuating. Xenin leaves Julie-Su and Von Styker literally hanging.

Hilariously enough, Benedict comes barrowling in just as everyone is leaving. The electromagnetic energy that’s swirling all over the place gets to him and he… melts.

He melts.

U01Ke8VIaekC-mrJR6d1gjeIj-l0idIthk_VCb_cP5lt5lFMXFVbYto9FibvD0Si6z5s8DE7wnHGK-3UQIAqL5hhvk6iQLE49pVcxVrsgn3Nfa3d9ZSzsNdRtpwpFKXdRkL7iAaZ

 

Benedict is a robot.

....

… Okay… so… I know I’ve asked this a billion times by now but I must ask again… WHY?!

Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay.

Dimitri.

My dude.

Your plan… was to get a robot elected for the council… and in order to achieve this, you kidnap the ACTUAL candidate for the council, brainwash him into doing whatever you want… and use that power of manipulation on the inside for NO manipulation on the inside. INSTEAD, you have the well-known, more easily electable, and brainwashed candidate resign and replace him with a zealot who screams Dark Legion rhetoric at the top of his lungs and does Nazi salutes in public…

… and it turns out he was just a robot anyway? 

If this wasn’t someone who had any kind of actual position within the fold or motivation then you were essentially swapping a mindless drone for another, way less convenient mindless drone… FOR NO REASON!

… So Remington and Harry show up and free Von Styker and Julie-Su. Remington then takes a little trip down the facility where he happens to find Knuckles resting on his operating table, completely fine after his spontaneous energy discharge. All the legionnaires are in shock due to the effects it had on their technology as well.

Dimitri makes his grand escape through hidden tunnels and chronicles in his mind all the wins and losses of this whole affair. I’ll be honest though… from where I’m sitting, everyone involved in this is a loser.

XafeMQ2W525vx_eDM4sZw0pkOeglR5x7VZJt6ngAFPbGCDoK-oXSL9Kor5z-SU2vTQ255ujvbOjguaTTFhNoxmVaf5qAtFUmAdy8u77LSIROrmiP0273rDa8OmfWBIm09JNY7Dp8

 

So according to this Benedict won the election. Benedict literally said they were going to rig it so it doesn’t even matter. Dimitri says here that they have a spare candidate now that Benedict melted and in my head I’m just like… if Benedict was a robot can’t you just build another Benedict? Why put in ANOTHER candidate? You don’t think people might find it especially weird if two people in the same position mysteriously resigned so shortly after the other? 

Pravda’s neural implants were taken out which has left him a vegetable for the rest of his life. Dimitri can only think about how he still wishes it happened to his ancestor instead which is the kind of pettiness that I find kind of funny.

He also counts discovering Knuckles’ hidden power as a major victory even though it was the thing that caused all those other failures to happen. The potential for a success down the line should he be able to tap into a power he had to run away from is considered a victory? No. Opportunity, maybe, but not a victory.

This third issue was the least fun of the issues in this bunch because it was mostly the already broken and rundown story catapulting itself to the end without too much left to surprise me. All that said, Jesus Christ, what a monumental, legendarily bad garbage fire.

I’m just imagining Ken Penders riding up to your house with a dump truck and dumping all the slop in the back all over you, your yard, your front porch, and your dog. 

This shit was bonkers mate. 

The second issue especially was one of the most entertainingly bad things I’ve ever read in my life. If I’m forced to read more of this shit, it would be a privilege in the name of being shocked and embarrassed for the comic book industry, to read more stuff like that. I’m just flabbergasted by it all. The moment where Benedict gave his speech made me want to get up and clap in celebration. That's going down in history as the most fucked up, delightfully gross, unabashedly insane things I've ever read.

Dimitri came back talking a big game about how Enerjak made him stupid. No, losing Enerjak made you stupid. What the hell was that? I guess I’m just gonna have to face the fact that Dimitri was just a really shitty villain back in the day. In the comics I got into from 160 onward, I always thought he was intriguing based on how they spoke of his past but this dude is running on major Penderp fumes. 

The Chaotix were useless and did nothing. They disappeared when Xenin showed up actually. He wrote out Charmy but they ALL might as well be dust in the wind. 

Knuckles had nothing to do with or in this story at all. This story wasn’t about Knuckles and Knuckles didn’t give a shit about any of what was going on. He wasn’t active for any of what was going on here, only becoming slightly relevant when Dimitri randomly kidnapped him and in the final issue, he spent the entire thing strapped to table until his echidna powers made everything explode. Again, with no prompting from Knuckles himself. Stuff just happens to him and around him. 

The election was pointless. I still don’t get what appointing a robot to the high council was supposed to do. I get that it might be beneficial to have someone on the inside but if you literally announce to everyone that you’re a legionare by spouting Dark Legion rhetoric and doing the Nazi dance on stage, then what’s the point? Also, if you’re gonna rig the vote then what’s the point of even doing THAT much? Why not just use the brainwashed high counselor? 

UGH! TECHNO-CONSERVATIVES!

What a frustrating trash fire. I can’t wait to read more. 
 

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On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 12:13 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

962Z4Q8Qrgrpcqak0ZJ48p6sPT1EFxXXgwcKMOTeJEDlalHOKp_CMqevCK371PPYVr2MJPmNNbmpXg5BlR_p0kMdyB_TT9fX7n4n86Q0THEw6Nh6Zgww0SGvCmBd6WinsgeBo0eD

Man who said mainstream Comics artists don't get the Sonic style? XD

 

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 12:13 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So yeah, wherever Lien-Da is taking him, I hope it’s someplace awful and ahabfowdignwka-wait a second, LIEN-DA???

 

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 12:13 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

THIS is her first appearance? She just… shows up! 

Okay. I mean, I guess she did make a neat enough first impression though I’d imagine anyone reading this at the time probably just saw her as yet another echidna person. That’s kind of the problem with having so many of them. She’d probably blend in like the rest if I wasn’t so familiar with her already. I actually like Lien-Da a lot, as far as what I’ve read in the later issues. I don’t know how she’s going to act in these olden days though.

Yeah it's kindsa weird how she's just...here now. She's like a major character later and she's just kinda introduced with zero fanfare and no name. She's just called Kommisar for awhile. I don't think she's given a name until Super Special 11.

 

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 12:13 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Also, Spectre’s cloak is flowing so much, he looks like he’s fucking Spawn.

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I mean that's kinda fitting since Jim Valentino was one of the founders of Image.

 

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 12:13 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Julie-Su finds out right as they’re leaving that Locke is their father and Remington suspects Julie-Su may have feelings for Knuckles, though I’m still unsure as to why… or I would be if I didn’t know about the soul touch.

Y'know while I don't mind Julie-Su or her relationship with Knuckles I do wish it had been done in literally any way that was good. For Gods sakes this makes Anakin and Padme seem downright well done.

 

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 12:13 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Remington is in a deputy car, trying to get Lara-Le and Wyn home when they come across a group of protesting Dingos. They’re carrying picket signs and everything. “Echindas unfair” and “Dingos have rights” are on them all. Stuff like that. 

Remington tries to defuse the situation by asking them to at least let traffic through if they’re going to persist. I like that he doesn’t tell them to stop, actually.

Someone, I don’t know who, throws a Molotov cocktail and sets a fire. Then fighting happens. Remington then immediately contacts the brotherhood and asks for assistance, saying that the DINGOS have gone amok…?

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Pictured above: The DINGOS and the DINGOS ONLY going amok…

Penders...you can't have it both ways. Either the Dingos are Nazi stand-ins or a subjugated minority. They can't be both!

 

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 12:13 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The system was rigged. The whole thing is rigged. Politics man bad so now Politics man will be under the thumb of the legion. 

What I find hilarious is outside of having a flatscreen we don't really know how or if the guy they kidnapped is actually corrupt.

 

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 12:13 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

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Hmm. Dead eyed blank unchanging expression. Yup looks like a standard Politician.

 

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 12:13 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Pravda arrives, a blank far-out glare in his eyes, and stands at the podium to say that he’s renouncing his position and that the new councillor will be this new dude, Benedict.

No more trust worthy name in politics than fucking Benedict.

 

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 12:13 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I swear to god, he spews the rhetoric of the echidna terrorists at the crowd and expects them to lap it up. Funniest shit I’ve ever seen.

What gets me is there are a few people shooting the salute so I guess it kinda worked...unless those are Legion plants.

 

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 12:13 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

For what? To get Julie-Su back? That’s the reason Xenin is attacking Knuckles’ group by the way. He wants Julie-Su to come back. She refuses and they fight. I’m still properly waiting for a reason as to why she even defected despite already knowing the horseshit reason why. I just can’t accept the answer. It’s so bad and not in an amusing way like the rest of this has been.

It's going to be really weird when you get to Super Special 11 and they show what Julie-Su's time in the Legion was like. Let's just say there's no reason the Legion should be so Gung Ho about getting her specifically to come back.

 

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 12:13 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

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"The Creationists running the High Council at the time still hadn't forgiven the Technocracy for saving the Floating Island" ENGLISH MOTHERF***ER DO YOU SPEAK IT!? Seriously what the hell is he talking about? Literally none of this matches up with anything we've ever seen the 7000 other times we've heard this origin story.

 

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 12:13 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, Remington was brought to the councilor’s office to talk and they talk... which basically just amounts to Benedict bribing (or attempting to bribe) Remington because of something awful in his past. What could it be? Probably nothing important. 

That wasn’t sarcasm. I genuinely believe it's probably nothing important.

I don't think it ever gets brought up again but I think the idea was that he was supposed to be Kragok's son. Which I think is why he was one of Finitevus's candidates for Enerjak.

 

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 12:13 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Meanwhile, Dimitri is examining Knuckles on an operating table and is hoping to use him as a means of finding a way to return himself to his original body. For you see, Knuckles is super special you guys. I don’t know if you’ve heard but that Knuckles character… he might be a big deal.

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Oh my God. Locke microwaved his baby so that he could be a living chaos emerald.

IT BEGINS! Oh, boy I genuinely forgot this was the start of the build up to that.

 

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 12:13 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic Runners got away with saying "Hell" but not the comic with the Nazis and the holocaust poem. Oy vey.

Don't forget Sonic and the Secret Rings. "It could probably open up the gates of Hell!"

 

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 12:13 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Your plan… was to get a robot elected for the council… and in order to achieve this, you kidnap the ACTUAL candidate for the council, brainwash him into doing whatever you want… and use that power of manipulation on the inside for NO manipulation on the inside. INSTEAD, you have the well-known, more easily electable, and brainwashed candidate resign and replace him with a zealot who screams Dark Legion rhetoric at the top of his lungs and does Nazi salutes in public…

Unfortunately I could totally believe he'd get elected.

 

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 12:13 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

What a frustrating trash fire. I can’t wait to read more. 

Next Time! Knuckles reunites with his dad and it's treated like a good thing. Also a fucking lore dump! Actually I'm not sure what yoiur reading order says but next should probably also be Super Special 8 Sally Moon. May God have mercy on your soul.

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Regarding the dingos, I keep forgetting that they're technically ALSO supposed to be Nazi stand-ins because they're not being written that way. Everything about them is coming off as sympathetic and their reactions are pretty understandable as far as I'm concerned. Everytime I read Von Stryker's name I get reminded of it but its really weird.

Like the book just became "Oops! All Nazis!" now.

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