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It was okay, I guess? I think the later takes on that sort of thing are better, even if it got kind of tired. When I finally read Genesis of a Hero I liked it a lot more than I expected to, and I'm actually sad it got cut off right before the last part.

 

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Man I might be the only person who actually liked Genesis since even Ian hated it. 

I mean yeah it was annoying that it interrupted the main plot but I still thought it was a fun read.

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I love Genesis, if only for the nostalgic memories it brings up. And I’m not talking about “classic Sonic game” memories.

That general period in the fandom was absolutely nuts, with whether or not Sally had indeed died at the end of 225 being a hot topic for a solid four months, with responses from both sides being pure gold; I recall how on Bumbleking there was a thread opened up that was dedicated exclusively to making fun of it all.

As for the story itself; I still liked it. The way it played on my suspense was pretty well done imo. There was a hint of tension that came from seeing Sonic and co initially going about their new life remaining completely unaware that something big was happening right under their noses, with those tensions ramping up when the old memories started to leak through. I remember getting proper chills when this panel suddenly popped up in part 3.

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Sonic X - Issue #1: Savings and Groan

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Surprise! I would make a Gotta Go Fast joke but I’m a bit too slow. Also, I’m more a fan of the Sonic Drive myself.

Anyway, yes, it is time to dive into Sonic X and I’ll be doing so interchangeably between the main book and the Knuckles book until that mercifully peters out. This is actually the perfect place to start thanks to how I’ve mapped everything out so I’m good there.

Most importantly though, I’m looking forward to talking about a comic that’s actually really, consistently good for a change… starting at a certain point. This book had a very rocky start and you can tell by more than just the initial artwork starting out but that’s a whole kettle of fish that I’m also dying to get into. Let’s just say the OBVIOUS tracing was something you, at the bare minimum,  only need be a fan of the show to pick up on. The writing being good isn’t the only thing you can rely on in a visual medium like comic books after all. I’m so ready to do this. Let’s go!

Spoiler

I’m actually pretty unnaturally excited about this due to how much Sonic X defined my early life as a Sonic fan alongside SA2:B and Heroes. Because of that I frequented a site called Team Artail quite a lot and saw a ton of Sonic X screenshots, a lot of which are still saved on my computer. Due to that, reading these first couple of issues is going to be especially interesting because the context with which a lot of the traced material is shown is going to blow me away.

That said, the original art that is in this issue isn’t much better either. 

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I’d still prefer this over some of the work I’ve seen where I currently am in the Archie books but it’s only really because of the modern designs. Grandpa Chuck looks like he’s scratching on the DJ tables in Jet Set Radio and the proportions of their heads and arms are super odd. The sizes of their body parts aren’t consistent with each other. Tails’ muzzle is significantly bigger than the top of his head and his fists are way smaller than they should be.

The scenario here is pretty simple. Sonic and Sam Speed are in a race together. Sonic almost loses but manages to squeak out a win despite the insistence by the S-Team that their tech has finally reached Sonic-like potential. With another loss under his belt, Sam and his team return to the lab to try and work out a way to beat him with a new engine. I recall him being an officer so I’m not sure where all this free time is coming from but whatever.

Also, this was deep around the time where I think Amy was more known for being super shouty but I don’t recall her being this… violent. In this panel she’s screaming at Tails and yanking on his arm, demanding he help Sonic cheat. It’s very odd. Even odder is the joke of Sonic saying he wouldn’t mind doing so. 

At this point the characters seemed so different to me that I had to go and check who the writer was. I was certain it probably wasn’t Ian Flynn at this point in time and I was right. The writer is Joe Eokin and the penciler is Tim Smith III. That would explain these very weird initial character moments.

Eggman seems a bit on point as far as how he was in X though.

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Eggman wants materials to build his robots and is upset that people just won’t give them to him. Apparently people did this back on his home turf? I doubt it but he seems particularly upset by it.

This image of Eggman unhinging his jaw is reminiscent of a similar scene I remember redrawing from the show once when I was younger. That pose is also similar to a couple of the ones he makes in episode 1. Now, I bring this up to clarify that just because something is similar to what you've seen before doesn't necessarily mean it was copied in anyway. There are only so many positions the body can make so I’m not going to harp on that or make any fraudulent speculations. The issue is solid about making sure it's art is original. It just looks bad. I'll be sure to show you outright blatant copying and tracing once we get to something that absolutely can not be disputed.

Although, again, the art could use some work. Decoe’s head is like Zeff’s super long chef hat. It’s way too long.

What’s hilarious about this story is how it’s foundation is built. The premise is literally that Eggman doesn’t know what money is.

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As funny as it is, it’s a little interesting. On one of the recent Bumblekast’s Ian Flynn was given info about how there’s apparently no money in Sonic’s world…however, like most things they reveal, that makes no sense and directly contradicts things we've seen.

Forget how imagining their system of economy is near impossible with that information and let’s just circle back to the existence of the Chaotix and the entire premise behind their story in Sonic Heroes. Hell, the entire premise behind Vector’s character boils down to “Make the rent”.

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Then there’s this little trivia bit from Tokyo 2020, a game that came out in November of 2019. 

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I wouldn’t even mind if rings are what they use for money. They’re all over the place and Sonic collects them so much that it explains how he’s able to get by without a job. Hell, even the IDW comics, the thing Ian is writing for, has a scene where the Chaotix hound Amy for payment for their services in the war effort.

It's one of those things that’s talked about only by the higher ups but evidence to the contrary is out and about in all of the source material despite that. It’s one of the continuingly baffling things about the higher ups and I’ve no idea why it persists.

Eggman continues on to say that to get money, people walk up to these machines to extract it and NO ONE TRIES TO STOP THEM! His insistence that doing so is blasphemy is honestly really amusing. Basically, Eggman’s plan, despite saying he doesn’t want to pay for anything, is to rob a bank.

Eggman’s plan is to rob a bank. 

It’s so weird seeing Eggman, the larger than life disaster artist,  go for such a low level, Powerpuff Girls crime. 

He sends Bocoe and Decoe to do it and it remains amusing how little they know, to be sure. However, I tend to be more fond of the more subtle humor trapped within these pages.

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This police officer is the same exact one from the 1st episode of Sonic X. In the continuing panels I only get more sure of that from the way he talks and obviously the design. It's funny seeing the woman on the street call out the accent as being new because the one in the dub is highly exaggerated and weird. I can only assume 4kids gave him that accent because he’s got a mustache on his face. I'll start the video at the exact moment when he shows up. Listen to this weirdo.

"Alright, let's pull him out at de counta TREE!" 

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As an aside, I love the original soundtrack for Sonic X so whenever I hear that bouncy, neverending shit from the 4kids dub my body has this reaction that feels like it’s trying to purge something from it.

But yeah, basically, Bocoe and Decoe ask the machine for money and nothing happens. Then they randomly press buttons and nothing happens. Then they decide to break it open and steal what’s inside and the Sarge comes to stop them, seemingly unfazed by the fact that these two are robots.

I did jump the gun a bit with my earlier explanation. Eggman’s plan here was literally just to extract money from an ATM. When Bocoe and Decoe return he then tells them that upon doing further research, he’s now just discovered what a bank is and NOW has decided to rob it. Not just any bank, but specifically the one where the Thorndykes keep all their money.

Then Eggman spins his little casino slot machine and it lands on Ben 728 -- Packratbot. It’s a mouse robot that’s apparently the perfect thief.

Chris Thorndyke returns home to find his parents waiting for him. They plan on spending the week with him now that he’s off from school. However, of course, they gotta go to the bank first before they spend their vacation at a villa with Chris and all his friends.

Sonic, of course, finds the idea of banks and beaches boring and goes off to find his own fun.

At the bank we get a very nice collection of people standing in line and little in jokes about how the world works for comic book writers I guess.

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Oh. Spicy.

Then Eggman attacks with his mouse robot that’s super fucking huge. It’s way bigger than I figured it would be since it’s designed like a mouse. 

For some reason, Sonic heads to Angel Island as it’s floating by the sea and asks Knuckles to race with him. Knuckles refuses, giving him the spiel about protecting the Master Emerald. That’s all he ever cared about on the show and I do greatly miss those days. He still got roped in on the action so it’s not like it ever mattered. 

There’s a pretty nifty battle in the bank against the packratbot thanks to Amy and Tails. At one point Amy hits the robot and makes it redirect its missiles into Eggman, which causes an explosion that leaves him covered in soot. He then has a momentary conundrum about whether he should take revenge or get the money before concluding that he should just get both.

Sonic’s on his way back to the city when he overhears police sirens and them calling out for assistance with a bank robbery by Eggman. Sonic then complains that the instant he leaves, things get exciting. It’s the basic Sonic X formula from there. Amy and Tails can’t handle things on their own and then Sonic shows up. Tails gives him a ring and Sonic no sells the robot.

Although, here, it’s a little strange how Tails also no sells getting shot in the back by a bunch of fucking MISSILES.

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Yikes!

That’s all he says in regards to being shot in the back by explosive missiles. Then again, he had all those rings so maybe that’s what saved him. He just lost his rings.

Sonic defeats the rat robot with a single ring while Eggman picks up the rest of the fallen rings. Sonic doesn’t notice this as he’s busy ripping off the head of the rat robot to reveal an ACTUAL tiny little, seemingly confused, rat on the inside of it. Yeah, he’s still putting animals in his robots.

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What’s interesting is that after Eggman steals the rings, he decides to fuck off. Then Sam Speed shows back up, having missed the action and proclaiming he’ll be on top again.

So, despite the heavy antics of this issue I can’t help but feel there was a decent amount of implied set-up going on here. If the plot point of Eggman stealing the rings and Sam’s jealousy don’t return then that would leave this a very oddly done first issue, to be sure. However, the basic nature of what went down here is alright for what it is.

Fortunately, I’m not too worried about that. A week later, Sonic gets a visit from The President and is offered a chance to go on a special mission for him while over at Eggy’s place, his forgotten about the money and is going all in on his plan to utilize the rings for some new evil.

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"Wow Mr. President, you sure look like a derpy cardboard cutout of your former self. Maybe it’s just the fact that my eyes are so messed up."

So that was the first issue of Sonic X. I can’t say I thought it was outright terrible but it’s still a pretty substandard first issue as things go. It does a fairly good job of outlining what the basic structure and plot of the series is but it does so with an extremely basic story. It was amusing at the beginning but developed into something that would have been better suited for an episode of the anime rather than a comic, honestly. 

This book just needs to push what it’s good at in the medium that it's in more often and it can’t really do that with the art looking as bad as it does. Everyone looks so deformed and weird. It's like you took some paper cut outs of the characters body parts and stuck them together with tape or something. Not to mention, the tiny flashes of images I’m certain I’ve seen from the show are distracting. It’s not anywhere near heavy enough for it to be super blatant like it is in some of the issues coming up but man it's going to take a while before we get off the ground and into something nice and special.

That wasn’t painful though. Let’s move on to something that probably will be.

 

Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #25: Childhood’s End

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Oh boy.

It’s the meeting we’ve all been waiting for. Let’s… dive in shall we?

Oh yeah, it’s a milestone issue. This comic lasted long enough to have one. Fuck. It’s not that good of a cover considering the occasion but it’s appropriately simple enough, I suppose.

Whatever. I’m stalling. 

Spoiler

 

We’re here for another Ken Penders and Manny Galan collab. I remain happy that Ken isn’t drawing it himself, certainly, but I do have to say that I’m grateful for Galan’s work on these issues. He’s one of the two artists at this point that I can rely on to have artwork resembling something in association with actual Sonic the Hedgehog.

We start with Knuckles and Julie-Su observing Benedict's metal robot skull when Knuckles sees a figure in the reflection of the metal head. He drops it and runs after the figure. The figure is running off at first but when Knuckles calls out to it, it stops and turns to face… his son.

Yes, it was Locke. I like to think Locke actually knew Knuckles was there and just turned to run away, going “OH SHIT! Responsibility?! NOOO!”

But no, Knuckles goes in for a hug and there’s this big too page spread of them embracing and it’s… mrugguh…

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It’s kind of funny how he just left behind Julie-Su though.

Her reaction is the typical one she has all the time to. She says, “This is so typical. Goes off and does his own thing again. Well, if that's the way you want it, see if I care. Jerk.”

I totally don’t like you, baka.

As someone who intruded onto his life from out of nowhere and just decided to stick around, it feels a little weird that you’re anticipating him caring but then again, I know they get together so maybe he probably would.

So, Knuckles and Locke are together now and Knuckles wants his dad to talk so they talk. It’s very interesting seeing him so open to just explaining shit now. I know that the people at Haven are now in a position where they’re very much just like “Fuck it. We’re done keeping this under wraps” but the way we got here was so… oddly done. 

Locke is taking Knuckles to Haven which he starts to explain in full. It was created by his ancestor, Steppenwolf, whom I know already but I can’t recall which of the many ancestors he was. 

So I googled it and was reminded that he was the son of Edmund, who I know was the first of these guardians. Right.

I was given all this story before but I just can’t retain ALL the echidna shit despite actually trying my best to do so.

Anyway, Steppenwolf was visited by Overlanders in the past and, shock horror, it was a dude from the House of Ivo. 

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Brutus Kintobor is here, complete with the unnatural red pupils and black eyes. The House of Ivo is a very scary fucked up bunch I’d say. Although, it continues to amaze me just how much the Overlanders are being portrayed as incredibly indecent war mongering assholes. I think Nate Morgan might be the only one we’ve seen that’s been good… then again, whenever we see them it’s mostly in flashback scenes during a war where both sides were particularly awful so that might just be the comic manipulating me.

I mean, the audacity of having these panels literally be "My companions and I come in peace" and "Get ready to shoot to kill!" right next to each other is ballsy as hell.

Seeing Brutus here is also a good reminder that this was definitely before the time of Professor Gerald’s conception. Ho’boy, the old days were interesting.

Anyway, Steppenwolf does something that gives them all a huge headache. He’s not fucking around with these fools.

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Now that’s an oath that could only have so many legs to it. We find out that more Overlanders visit the island years later after all. Still, it’s an impressive display of standing authority over one’s domain. I give him props for this.

This was caused by the fire ants of course. Alone they’re shit but together they can do telepathic crap on the level of Professor Xavier. 

The name of the ant that gave Steppenwolf the idea to create Haven to protect against future invaders was Christopheles. Or Jesus Christ the Ant. 

Steppenwolf told his son Moonwalker (BWAHA!) about Haven and the two traded-off duties as father and son. Steppenwolf surveyed the island while Moonwalker protected the emerald and vice-versa. It was a collaboration that saw them switching places so that they could also become more in tune with the people of Mobius Prime. Sounds like a much healthier system. 

Harlan was the next son to join and then his son Rembrandt joined soon after. Rembrandt was also responsible for giving the brotherhood its name. This straight up used to be an operation that didn’t keep shit secret from the current guardians of the emerald.

Knuckles asks why he didn’t do that for him and Locke says “I’m getting to that, son!”

Well, get to it faster. History lessons are all the rage in this book already. It should come as no surprise that the 25th issue milestone of this book would celebrate itself with the ultimate of all history lessons. The gordian knot of a convoluted mess their shit is can’t be overstated at this point. There’s simply too much to remember. I can barely handle this on a weekly basis. What kid was seriously absorbing and retaining all of this monthly?

Anyway, it’s time for the big reveal. After all this time we’re finally, FINALLY going to learn the big, oh so important reason Locke abandoned Knuckles and spied on him like a stalker for the majority of his young life. Here we go~!

So at the time of Aaron, Rembrandt’s son, came across an old as hell Menniker discussing something with the Overlanders.

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For those who don’t remember (I didn’t and therefore also had to look this up) Menniker was the son of Dimitri and is the original founder of the Dark Legion. Again, the name was familiar but the fine details were lost on me due to it being so long ago. He’s also cousins with Steppenwolf, the guy who founded Haven and Steppenwolf is the son of Edmund who had a partnership with Dimitri. Basically their sons were friends too until they branched off to be just like their dads. It’s a whole cycle.

Anyway, The Overlanders and Menniker are in cahoots with one another and were planning to launch a fucking missle at the base of Haven. So Aaron charged at the missile in an attempt to stop it. He was intelligent and had a good handle over machines so he was attempting to disarm the missile. Menniker tried to stop him but gave off a little tidbit that he probably shouldn’t have.

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So, like a badass, young and inexperienced Aaron just blew him and Menniker up right there on the spot. Not only did this echidna that I’ve never heard mentioned before save the entirety of Haven but he took out the original leader of the Dark Legion. Damn.

Knuckles asks if Aaron was the first guardian to fall and Locke says no. Edmund fell too but the difference was that Edmund was a scientist, not a fighter, so it was easier to exploit his lack of combat strategy… and by that he means it was easier to just shoot him in the back.

Locke then says this bullshit for some reason.

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I’m really not sure what the fuck that story had to do with bravado and the recklessness of his youth. He saved the lives of all his fathers and took out the original leader of the Dark Legion. They were going to destroy Haven with a giant fucking missile. Yeah, what he did was reckless but it worked. What else was he supposed to do? Leave it and go warn them without knowing if it was about to be fired the instant he tried? 

Rembrandt was devastated the most, obviously since that was his son, but the others were aggravated too and wanted to take steps to ensure that this would NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN!

Sigh. So here comes the extreme overreaction. 

Yes, I know a young boy died but the circumstances behind his death feel like they’re about to be ignored here...

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So… one positive I’ll iterate here is that I actually really like Rembrandt’s design. He looks great.

Uhm… that’s it though.

The excuse being used here begins with “I needed to make sure you were a guardian that grew up with the experience of being on your own” and it continues on with Locke’s other explanation for all the other shit he did and believe me, we’ll GET to that.

Here though, as it stands, what happened and what they decided to do about it makes no sense. I understand the idea of wanting to make your guardians tougher by giving them experiences that have them on their own for a while but they were already doing that. Moonwalker was left in charge of the emerald and Haven by himself and when we checked in with Aaron he was also on his own, taking a trip to Mobius Prime. His THIRD trip there on top of that. Also BY HIMSELF.

If the lesson you got from his death was anything other than “Wow, what an awesome and brave echidna we raised” then that’s on you for misreading the situation. This old system was way better. Not only did it allow for proper independence with a reasonable amount of time spent on your own but it also ensured you were never truly alone and never felt fully abandoned. 

But after Aaron’s death they felt that the proper way to continue with Jordan, Aaron's younger brother, was to make sure he was even MORE alone? I don’t understand that logic. If anything he should have been ensured more help. Maybe if Aaron wasn’t by himself he could have teamed up with someone to take out Menniker and the Overlanders, rendering it impossible to reclaim the missile in the first place. Plus, with all their advanced technology, he could have used a communicator to warn them from where he was. They built space shuttles when hedgehogs were cavemen. Don’t tell me they didn’t have communication devices. 

What an ass backwards way to handle this situation.  That’s not even getting into the fact that the particular situation with Knuckles was so extreme. The effect of learning to be more on your own is one thing. That could have easily been done with some intervals of training. Let’s say, perhaps Locke TELLS Knuckles that they’re going to do some exercises where Knuckles is by himself and then he leaves for a short period of time, like say… maybe a week. A month tops. 

The only thing Locke shouldn’t tell him is that he’ll be watching over his progress on those monitors because if Knuckles knew about it then the lesson of being able to survive on your own would be lost if he felt his father could just swoop in and save him whenever he wanted.

Then you come back and remain a part of his life.

What you don’t do, is tell him literally NOTHING then mentally and emotionally scar him by walking into a wall of FIRE and make him think you’re fucking DEAD and then abandon him on his own for well over six fucking years. Overreaction much?!

It's weird because Aaron was prolific enough with machines that he was able to properly rewire a missile. Yet Knuckles is so primitive and unaware of basic echidna knowledge that he’s often chided for being kind of dumb. He has no respect for his history (not saying he should obviously but if that’s what they wanted from him then this was the dumbest way they could have approached his upbringing) and he doesn’t care about the sanctity of the echidna society.

"An intelligent echidna died protecting us when he was on his own. You know what we should do? Instill even MORE isolation upon our offspring and teach them NOTHING so that if they come across another giant fuck-off missile, they can’t disarm it. That way we’ll be blown up for sure."

It gets dumber of course. Holy shit does it ever.

Knuckles asks why he was given such super special attention though and Locke asks if Knuckles is sure he’s ready for this steaming pile of bullshit. Knuckles is ready to be hit in the face with a hot pile of cow manure and asks for it all. 

KitYFovTHnvnC5POwaFMMeHP_63AlgW68KP_AuFkFJtqsS4BIpw_d6UIdcehpLI2ywOjLlf9I0usI3RWcAwPRDnX6dkN6eGCgPn0JLxvnVKHGZ_m-fFJN_1GIl4E4-b4wrx7YoJA

I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before but it can’t be said enough… fuck the Ancient Walkers and their weird, cryptic nonsense. I really can’t stand this troupe in fiction where these all knowing, all powerful beings just chose to dull out random, barely viable excuses for information in the most unsuitable of means to carry things across to people.

Either they enjoy fucking with people or their powers are just that specifically wired to be as unhelpful as possible to artificially restrict what they can do. If that were true than Knuckles getting saved by them and Athair that random time when Enerjak tried to shred Knuckles down to atoms wouldn’t have been possible. Surely, they have more agency than Riddler shit and incomprehensible dreams that scare a man into microwaving his baby right?

Locke recounts the story of a dream he had, like Batman in Batman V. Superman and just as lame. He saw Knuckles in his cowboy hat facing down a giant robot with a hilarious Eggman mustache and then woke up screaming in a cold sweat shouting “NOOOOO!” 

I’m starting to feel the chuckles come back. 

Locke decides to go to Athair for advice and this leads to one of the funniest three panel sequences in the entire book.

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Just copy and paste that shit for three panels why don’tcha? Holy crap. It’s not just the hilarious concerned look on Knuckles’ face. It’s the fact that the middle panel just randomly zoomed in on it like some sort of comedy sketch on Youtube.

I’m imagining the voice of a little English child coming out of Knuckles in that last panel. Like he’s Tiny Tim from a Christmas Carol or something.

Anyway, Athair told him to reconcile the past with the present into the next generation. Knuckles asks what that means and instead of clarifying, Locke just tells Knuckles what he did in reaction to hearing that…

Honestly, I’ve no clue what Athair meant either. Reconcile the past with the present into the next generation because you saw a vision of the future? What DOES that mean? Is he saying to learn from the past, apply it to the present, and build a better future than the one he saw? Is that it? 

Well, either way, I highly doubt he meant for him to do THIS SHIT!

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Yes folks. It’s the infamous Microwaving of the Baby. We did it. We’re here!

Oh my Atlanta. What the fuck.

Imagine Locke going back to Athair after this.

“I did it Athair. Upon your advice, I immediately took my wife’s egg and gave it a fucking RADIATION BATH WITH UNSTABLE, MYSTERIOUS CHAOS EMERALD ENERGY!”

“... Wha… What?”

Yeah. Cause that’s a perfectly normal reaction to have when you’ve had a bad dream.

“Holy shit. My son is going to grow up to face down a goofy looking robot with a mustache while wearing a cowboy hat. I’d better microwave his egg and blast it with radiation then isolate him for six years, make him think me and the entire rest of echidna society are dead, and spy on him with my creepy stalker monitors. This is the only rational way to handle a goddamn bad dream I had once.”

When he hatched, the success of their dangerous, weird fucking project was made apparent when he saw that Knuckles had gross looking spikes protruding from his hands.

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I had, and still do, kind of assume that those spikes on Knuckles’ gloves are just a part of the design of his gloves but there’s been speculation that this could be what it looks like underneath them too. Scenes of other male echidnas from the Knuckles clan in both the games and the much later Archie comics when things were way better than they are now shows them with spikes on their gloves too. Tikal doesn’t have them but I figure that could double as an explanation for only male echidnas having these spikes. Either way, it’s considered abnormal for other echidnas here and the way Locke says “You are every bit the genetically enhanced MUTANT offspring you were intended to be” with a straight fucking face is the kind of awful you only hear about in trash like this. 

I’m astonished this is happening right after the goddamn Nazi issue with the Nazi election. It’s almost as if the book is daring itself to be worse. This shit is funny though. I can’t accuse it of not being entertaining at least.

Knuckles finally hears the part about him being a chosen savior or something and Knuckles just asks if they ever considered that maybe he just wanted to be his son!

I mean, yeah. Good question. Throughout his entire life, Knuckles has just had this shit done TO him without ANY of his consent. Having all this horrible shit done to him and being told none of it for years on end on top of that would make me not want to ever see the perfect responsible for pulling me along like a puppet on a string for the rest of my life.

Locke is in full defense of his actions here though. He goes on about how his father did the same thing to him and his father before him but all that means is that they’re terrible as well. Locke also says he felt the same way despite never showing it until recently. Knuckles’ response to this is “That’s just too far out.”

Odd. 

Then Locke demands Knuckles put himself into his shoes and asks if choosing between sacrificing a world or siring a son to save it is any less staggering a thought… and my response to that is YOU HAVE NO PROOF THAT ANY OF WHAT YOU DID WAS NECESSARY! NONE!

Literally, what happened is you saw a contextless vision of the future and panicked by taking extreme measures the likes of which a psychopath wouldn’t think of. You don’t even know if the actions you took will save the world. You don’t know what was happening in that dream as far as I know. The comic never gives any details about it. It just flashes us two really silly looking images and that’s it.

Even if you wished to take steps to ensure Knuckles was strong, this was still an incredibly irrational, overdone process. This isn’t even like a prophecy sort of deal. Not really. Locke was flashed a vision of the future and he overreacted by turning his son into a mutant being that feasted off of chaos emerald energy that was radiated into his body. Literally any of the echidna eggs could become strong because of that. The only reason it was Knuckles is because he was the subject of the dream he had.

It’s incredibly ridiculous for Locke to be acting as if the exact, specific actions he took were at all assured and proper, normal precautions for what he saw. 

Microwaving your baby with chaos energy, refusing to allow his mother to be a part of his life, abandoning him for years on end, not telling him the reason why when you easily could have, spying on him, making him think his parents, nay his entire civilization, was dead… why?! For what? Was that spelled out in the dream you had? Make sure this kid grows up in the most miserable way imaginable after you pump him full of radiation? 

And Knuckles just… accepts it!

He literally says “Good point” as though Locke made a good point and it’s astonishing because he actually didn’t make a good point. The point made there was the opposite of good. Twas not a point of the “good” variety, Knuckles.

The story ends with Locke just being like “Hey, let’s be father and son now” and they’re just like “I love you!” and “I love you too!”

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BLAAAARGUH! 

Ugh. It’s so gross. Fuck this.

 

What a legendary issue. It’s such an incredible mismanagement of characters and a terribly executed way of trying to justify the awful actions of this extremely hateable bullshitter. Not only are his actions unjustified but the explanation for why he HAD to do what he did, the WAY he did it, never came.

I was expecting it to be a weak explanation that didn’t justify the extremes he took but it’s almost literally nothing. Locke had a context-less dream and his reaction was just to do… all of that shit? I didn’t even get an explanation for why Haven HAD to be kept secret or why Knuckles couldn’t be told any of this. They just decided not to tell him. At this point it kind of feels like the only reason they could have had to keep it secret was because they were ashamed of pumping Knuckles’ egg full of radiation as a gross overreaction to a dream Locke had. 

Knuckles, you didn’t get any sort of satisfactory answer to the questions you asked. None of what Locke said to you provided you with an answer as to why you were abandoned and not informed about any of this. The lesson from the story about Aaron couldn’t have possibly been to inform the guardian LESS about information because the only reason they weren’t blown up is because Aaron knew as much as he did. He died on his own and their reaction was to make them EVEN MORE ALONE FOR EVEN LONGER PERIODS OF TIME!

None of this makes any sense!

And Knuckles’ reaction is to just go along with it and say “I wuv you dad”. 

Fuck right off with this garbage. I mean, it’s still really funny but also, still, fuck you. 

That’s it huh? It was all leading up to this. Locke’s dream may have been the reason he decided to take action but it’s not the reason he decided the actions he took were the necessary ones to make. A PROPER answer for why he decided to lie and isolate Knuckles doesn’t seem to exist and honestly… that really makes me mad. 

Seriously, the more I think about it the less funny it gets and the more legitimately upset I’m starting to feel. I didn’t even buy these old issues when they came out and I feel like I was just taken for a ride.

I didn’t expect much justification but I didn’t even really get that. 

Just… damn.

Goddammit.

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Yeah, that about sums it up.

 

Sonic Super Special - Issue #8: Zone Wars: Prelude

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Looks like the cover of a Shojo manga. Never been a fan of that style and I can’t say this is making me like it anymore. Let’s move on so I can stop looking at it.

Spoiler

 

The writer is Dan Slott, whom I’ve never heard of before, and the penciler is James Fry, whom I’ve also never heard of before…

Interesting. A collaboration between two people I’ve never heard of before. What could possibly be in store for me with this?

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...Oh.

I feel like this would mean more if I had ever watched Sailor Moon growing up but as is I’m just like… yup.

I know who these characters are and who they’re parodying but for once I’m wondering if I’m actually up for some ridiculous nonsense.

Maybe. We’ll see.

We actually begin the issue by meeting Zonic the Zone Cop

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Now, I’m going to just come right out and say it, the entire Zonic thing with the Zone Cops and the characters names beginning with Z and whatever… all that shit was stuff I hated reading through in the later issues I was familiar with in the Archie series. It was just kind of randomly sprung upon me and I had no idea what it was about or what I was looking at or why… just why?!

Seeing it here is kind of filling me with dread to the point where I can’t even appreciate the ridiculousness of Dr. Ivana Robotina

This lovely lady has escaped her world and is now doing battle with Sonic back in Mobius. He doesn’t seem to like it or know what’s happening and I’d imagine he gets even more confused when Sally Moon and Chibi Rose show up.

They are at least spouting out helpful expository lines about being from another dimension, so that’s good. Robotina gets angry and tries to fight them for following her into this world. Then a fucking rose dart jabs her on the neck and she falls over like a knocked over jenga tower.

I had assumed that Tuxedo Mask was going to be Sonic but no. It’s even better.

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Sonic might not be a fan of cuckoldry. 

Also, Jesus, those long legs. At least in this sense it’s obviously intentionally exaggerated. It’s appropriately humorous too. I get the feeling they actually knew what they were doing here. That image of Knuckles in the suit with those rose darts is hilarious but it could never be as funny as what I literally just got done reading in the Knuckles comic.

Aww damn. That must be why I’m taking it all in stride. The other issues I’ve read were just so much funnier. Unintentionally so, but it’s having an effect on me. I can’t laugh as much at this as a result of that. Oh no.

Anyway, Zonic shows up, standing sideways for some reason (I guess because his dimension is sideways to his), and sends them back home. Sonic demands an explanation and he’s given one. One that’s very… abstract.

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This image is probably the most concise and helpful way that he could have explained this. Just one big flat zone that runs through all the other ones. 

Zonic then explains to Sonic that he keeps people from going into other zones. Sonic calls bullshit because he’s been to tons of other zones before. Zonic says that Sonic’s dumb because you can’t just hop into zone portals and go wherever you want. Of course, the ONLY explanation is that Zonic has been sending Sonic to all the places he needs to go.

Yeah, it’s not because we’re retconning anything. This is how it’s always worked now. Deal with it.

Zonic then leaves and says that the reason he did this for Sonic is because THIS particular Sonic is the ONE TRUE Sonic of all dimensions.

I have NO idea what that means. You would think that different versions of the same person from other dimensions would be of equal worth and value, just in incredibly different ways or something but no… apparently one out of all those Sonics can just be the one true Sonic. Who in the universe decides that? Did one guy say “I want THIS particular universe to be the one true universe” or is this a case where Sonic’s universe was made first and all the others were made branching off of it? In that case what’s the deal with Zonic? Why does he get to be the super special Zone Cop that lives in a perpendicular dimension that cuts through ALL the other ones. You’d think THAT one would be the special dimension with the most special Sonic.

Instead of wondering or asking any of that, Sonic says this.

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Cue studio audience applause.

Roll credits.

Yeah, I’ll admit to still not being a fan of the version of Sonic who’s all about the girls. Not interested.

Sonic Super Special - Issue #8: Running on Empty

This second story was written by Roger Brown and penciled by Nelson Ribeiro. Mr. Ribeiro also helped with the plot according to the credits I’m looking at so that’s interesting.

We begin with Sonic and Amy Rose of all people, by themselves in a pretty looking field.

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It actually looks kind of nice.

Anyway, they’re by themselves, watching the view, and Amy wishes she had her jacket so Sonic speeds off and grabs it for her. Amy then comments about how great it must be to be so fast and Sonic immediately goes into old grandpa mode and decides to tell her a story about what happened when his speed almost got him killed.

Eggman was blowing on the magic conch shell and he kicked it away like an idiot which led to the Zeti taking control of his robots and atta-oh wait. About 14 years early on that one.

As Sonic recounts his story, I’ve gotta make mention that Nelson’s art isn’t really the best. It’s not… the worst I’ve ever seen but then you get shots of Sonic with his super bulbous eye and his ear sliding off to the side…

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As well as muscular, sour-grape faced Snively…

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It’s a little off-putting.

Anyway, Sonic thinks he has to save Sally so he goes to do so only to find it’s a hologram set up by Vince McSnively here. Sonic gets electrocuted and then when he snaps out of that he accuses Snively’s plan of not working… even though he clearly doesn’t know what it is.

Snively does and makes a menacing face to the camera proclaiming that Sonic’s going to run himself… TO DEATH!

What does that mean though? Well, it means he can’t control it anymore.

When he sees Rosie collecting apples in the woods he goes to help her but upon closing in on the apple tree he slams head first into it, doing a George of the Jungle “This is gonna hurt!” line before he crashes and gets covered in apples.

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Ah. A coloring mistake you don’t often see. Only ONE of Sonic’s arms is colored blue in that panel, not both. Interesting.

Sonic then sees a drone belonging to Robotnik overhead and goes to warn his friends, finding that he’s even faster than ever before. He doesn’t even notice that he’s hauling trash behind him and when he arrives, shooting past his buddies but managing to stop, his friends get covered in the endless pile of trash he brought along with him.

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It looks more like they got covered in TV static.

So, anyway, Sonic decides he needs some tests run on himself so he and Rotor go do that.

The conclusion that Rotor comes to is weird and wasn’t at all what was hinted at earlier but we see immediately that he was indeed correct about it.

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Sonic’s speed is increasing but it’s also accelerating his aging and turning him into an old man.

…Because... they can just build technology that does that. I guess.

So they go to Robotnik’s base to find the ray so Rotor can rewire it to reverse the effects. Rotor does so but then Robotnik shows up and laughs and he’s like “Hahaha! I’m so friggin fat!” and Sonic’s like “You sure are!” And then uses the last of his old man strength to zoom at Robotnik, covering him in the Swat Bots that got blasted along with him.

Then Sally begs Snively to put Sonic out of his misery (dark) since Sonic is gasping for air and strength on the floor after he does this. Snively does so, not knowing that Rotor’s reversed the effects, and accidentally gets Sonic back to normal.

Then they leave.

Amy’s got hearts in her eyes and wants to hear more stories. Sonic winks at the camera and gives a thumbs up, ending with a pun that I won’t repeat here.

Typical adventure story. I dig it. Probably would have dug it better if it were drawn a bit differently but again it’s not super terrible or anything.

Sonic Super Special - Issue #8: Den of Thieves

We journey back to the East in this story both written and penciled by Frank Strom. Colors by Barry Grossman, which is just an interesting name. Jim Amash is on inks and I’m super familiar with that name, for sure.

The Temple of the Golden Lotus has been robbed. By who? By Yagyu Ninja of course. Who else? People you thought you knew?

Two people try to give chase but can’t catch up, stating how they’ll be in trouble if they don’t recover what was stolen. That is until Monkey Khan’s staff wacks one of them away.

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I know this image is supposed to be him hitting the ninja from the side, thanks to the speedlines, but it honestly looks more like he just gored the motherfucker.

The Yagyu Ninja vanish in a puff of smoke which confuses Khan a bit but Liu Chi Mei, the girl, explains to him that they used sleight of hand and are probably on their way back to their lair, which is haunted. Monkey Khan calls bullshit on it being haunted but Liu Fang, the boy, explains that it’s actually common knowledge that it’s haunted… by a dragon.

So… a dragon ghost?

Since Monkey Khan fights crime now instead of randomly attacking people with lightning clouds he opts to head off and recover it himself, for some reason, not believing in the existence of dragons either.

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You’d think this part of Mobius would be where dragons are the most prominent given the real world association but whatever. Also, Fang is just dying to see Khan get a boot to the ass. It’s kind of funny how much he doesn’t care that Khan is doing this literally for Fang and his sister’s sake.

The next scene, they arrive there and spot the hideout. Fang keeps trying to warn Khan properly but Khan just says he can’t be beaten by a lot of hype. Then they get ambushed. Apparently Fang knows how to fight, which surprised me, but eventually, the three of them get a trap sprung on them that tosses them into a treasure room… guarded by a ROBOT dragon.

Also, the leader of the Yagyu clan, Lord Yagyu is here, laughing from above at what’s happening below him.

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Fang REALLY wants him to give up. Like, even if he gets melted with fire, he just needs this dude to stop trying.

Now, I recognize these Yagyu dudes and Lord Yagyu from the Journey to the East Sonic Universe story arc from way down the line. I didn’t fancy their introductions were going to be anything too bombastic and I was right. It’s just another piece of Sonic comic lore that got fleshed out later to the point where I was tricked into believing the foundation had more to offer. Ian Flynn is just too good at what he does.

Anyway, Khan does something with his staff that somehow makes the dragon turn on it’s creators and has it go after them. Alright.

We end on Monkey Kham claiming that he is the hype.

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Again, cute story. It’s fine. Whatever.

I do rather enjoy Khan a bit. It’s odd. His brand of bravado is a touch different than Sonic’s though it’s still heavy and obvious.

Sonic Super Special - #8: Ghost Busted

I almost sighed when I read the title but I almost twisted my head to the side in confusion to the point of it breaking off when I saw the artstyle.

The writer, penciler, and inker are all Jay Oliveras. It’s also based on an animated episode by Pat Lee, which is an interesting tidbit.

To say that the art leaves much to be desired would be--

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--Putting it mildly.

Tails recounts a story about something he saw when he was on a camping trip once. It all started when Antoine slid down a cliffside and crashed into the lake. When Sonic helped him out he said that the reason that happened is because he was chasing a ghost. Tails says there’s no such thing and Sonic backs him up on it.

Antoine has been MIA for a while now and I gotta say I haven’t missed the exaggeration in his French speech one bit. It’s especially hard to read here, although I do like that he calls them Smarty-Panties.

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The three of them camp out for the night and Sonic is busy telling Tails a bunch of scary stories. Tails’ narration is a bit hypocritical here too. He calls Antoine a scaredy cat for not wanting to hear the scary stories but in the same narration he says he doesn’t want to hear anymore scary stories from Sonic because of the nightmares he had. This narration is all happening after the fact so you can’t claim Antoine is a scaredy cat but exempt yourself from it when you’re scared too.

Anyway… Tails wakes up screaming and is scared of the Headless Gopher from Sonic’s story. Then they notice Antoine is missing so they go searching for him. Sonic finds him but now doesn’t know where Tails is so he sends Antoine off in another direction to search… not knowing that Tails is looking at them and sees what he thinks is a ghost but is actually just Antoine covered in glowing leaves.

They’re called Foxfire Bushes. Antoine sleepwalked into them. Meh.

By this point the art has deteriorated past the point of no return. There’s no question. This IS the worst the book has ever looked. 

dRYM8O5Y8ruVZ1lun3pqVVJHJy83VzuLWsoheRnL10P11EfUu5guKrKeIP3GgkUnD_0jFQXOnDdB7mULE4pztgSKGdUmkxXtQORcHYxwt3atMYItpJ56uFZRijhDsuPrebsHdoHy

These are like some child’s crayon drawings. I’ve never seen the comic make the characters look like actual pieces of flat paper.

The next morning, they put out the fire and head off… only to find out that the HEADLESS GOPHER IS REAL! BOOOOOO…!

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They all run off screaming and then it ends. Whaaaaaaaatever.

The off-panel comic is Sonic wanting to go to a convention to wait in line for a free bean bag chair. 

 

That was certainly a collection of stories alright. In those stories, things happened. They all began and then they all ended.

Yup, they sure did.

You know, you can advertise your book with 48 pages all you want but that doesn’t necessarily mean the contents are gonna be any better. That’s for sure. Good God, that last story wasn’t worth the extra pages just because of the art alone. I’d feel ripped off if I had gotten it. Goodness me.

Well, next time we’re back onto the main book. Can’t wait, I guess.

Begun the Zone Wars have apparently.

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5 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I wasn’t able to find it but that image of Eggman unhinging his jaw is taken from the show. I know this because I’ve re-drawn that image myself once before, though I can’t find it now. That pose is also similar to his pose in Episode 1 when he was cheering his robot on to try and fry Sonic, though it’s not literally the same. There are only so many positions the body can make so I’m not going to harp on that. The rest of this issue is pretty good about being its own thing as far as the art goes.

...are you sure about that? Because, being honest, nothing in this issue sticks out to me as being copies of shots I’ve seen before.

And this is coming from somebody who instantly noticed the blatant tracing that issues 15 and 16 had (literally nothing in those issues were drawn freehand), and also tends to notice all those occasions when Lamar Wells does it in later issues.

I usually have an eye for these sorts of things, and I’m just not seeing it here.

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8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

That said, the original art that is in this issue isn’t much better either. 

6DAcamizRSd5WT7y37fpeKYnnNO85U6VHSViR74dSXyvuMTIKzC6k2cJYjyLtb-lVEpQ5Hj0QfUmqaN_gV-MKS6B-mlRm_DUH1LJsVGNkQgUQOLdgrwiHTPeW4iJOlKjMtxZWwte

Here's a fun fact I only know because of my brother being a huge fan of Tales From The Crypt this artist, Tim Smith III, contributed art to Papercutz revival of the comic. It was...not great.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

. The writer is Joe Eokin

Just a bit of trivia about Mr. Edkin he's had an extensive career in kids comics. He's done Looney Tunes and some Scooby-Doo comics for DC just off the top of my head. Not too surprising Archie hired him for this tie-in comic.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This police officer is the same exact one from the 1st episode of Sonic X. In the continuing panels I only get more sure of that from the way he talks and obviously the design. It's funny seeing the woman on the street call out the accent as being new because the one in the dub is highly exaggerated and weird. I can only assume 4kids gave him that accent because he’s got a mustache on his face.

What I especially love is how this became a running gag for the comic. I'm assuming it's because this same cop always showed up with a different accent (or sometimes voice) and 4Kids probably didn't realize he was the same guy.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

For some reason, Sonic heads to Angel Island as it’s floating by the sea and asks Knuckles to race with him. Knuckles refuses, giving him the spiel about protecting the Master Emerald. That’s all he ever cared about on the show and I do greatly miss those days. He still got roped in on the action so it’s not like it ever mattered. 

Y'know what I always found weird? That was Knuckles entire motivation in the Anime and then after the SA2 Adaptation he's constantly away from Angel Island making banter with Rouge.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

1JznKLaesN89MIVvdd1Tkca8l64mG81l9MeDqoi-tPos3KjyS-_JxvJh8AzGe-P9xA6G-Fd5JL46Ix-roY3gzUMUTBL-yE1anI7KJmDozgoZz7p6q0JEVs0XxWZhPVdT4Us1T2E9

Special guest Director Koichi Sakamoto.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We start with Knuckles and Julie-Su observing Benedict's metal robot skull when Knuckles sees a figure in the reflection of the metal head. He drops it and runs after the figure. The figure is running off at first but when Knuckles calls out to it, it stops and turns to face… his son.

Yes, it was Locke. I like to think Locke actually knew Knuckles was there and just turned to run away, going “OH SHIT! Responsibility?! NOOO!”

I love Bobby from ThanksKenPenders read of this scene. That this reunion only happened because Locke didn't run away fast enough. Honestly nothing about this makes sense. Locke was literally looking for Knuckles in the last arc because he thought it was time they reconnected and now he's running away from him for a dramatic reveal?

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Locke is taking Knuckles to Haven which he starts to explain in full. It was created by his ancestor, Steppenwolf, whom I know already but I can’t recall which of the many ancestors he was. 

So I googled it and was reminded that he was the son of Edmund, who I know was the first of these guardians. Right.

Wait...That's not true Ken! Steppenwolf was brought to Haven completely finished in like issue 2. Jesus Christ man revisit your work if you're going to try and tell a continuing plot.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Brutus Kintobor is here, complete with the unnatural red pupils and black eyes.

Y'know I always assumed those were just implants Eggman gave himself but I guess they're genetic? Yeah ok.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Moonwalker

Hee Hee! Shamon!

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

6mmAPNG5tTl4dFMCDBBAB14UpqDJHXGDrg97CqAZrHWDIWYg21es7TEBI4qrork-lOSk-EWtT0IUQOw5lDSBaeSG6z3nk4pTQfIQvF0jwwL3k9mtxuEHwnRrboAEBzOCChnwmimz

It might be a tad unnecessary to say at this point but this is really fucking stupid. I mean just all of this and especially what this issue is leading to. Hoo boy.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

And Knuckles just… accepts it!

He literally says “Good point” as though Locke made a good point and it’s astonishing because he actually didn’t make a good point. The point made there was the opposite of good. Twas not a point of the “good” variety, Knuckles.

The story ends with Locke just being like “Hey, let’s be father and son now” and they’re just like “I love you!” and “I love you too!”

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BLAAAARGUH! 

Ugh. It’s so gross. Fuck this.

You see it's a happy ending because Knuckles has his terrible father who did terrible things "for a reason" to finally be a terrible father to him! I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS! Knuckles should have punched him and told him to fuck on out of his life forever for all the shit he pulled. But nope Emotional abuse is ok as long as it's for "a reason".

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The writer is Dan Slott, whom I’ve never heard of before,

Really? He's like a huge deal at Marvel. He had an infamous run on Spider-Man that included stuff like Peter Parker and Otto Octavious swapping brains and Spider-Verse.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

They are at least spouting out helpful expository lines about being from another dimension, so that’s good. Robotina gets angry and tries to fight them for following her into this world. Then a fucking rose dart jabs her on the neck and she falls over like a knocked over jenga tower.

As someone who has watched Sailor Moon I can tell you right now Tuxedo Knux hitting Robotina with a rose is 100% more useful than Tuxedo Mask ever was.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Zonic then leaves and says that the reason he did this for Sonic is because THIS particular Sonic is the ONE TRUE Sonic of all dimensions.

I'm not a big fan of the comics being the "Prime" dimension. In other media that uses the multiverse concept with maybe the exception of Pre-Crisis DC the primary dimension is almost always the first generation. In TMNT Mirage is Turtle Prime (or possibly Earth-1) in Transformers all G1 material is a dimensional cluster called Primax so the actual Primary Sonic Universe should be the Games. Personally I headcanon what Zonic means is the Archie universe is a melting pot of all the other continuities and that's why this Sonic's so super important.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This second story was written by Roger Brown and penciled by Nelson Ribeiro. Mr. Ribeiro also helped with the plot according to the credits I’m looking at so that’s interesting.

Continuing my stand of fun facts Mr. Ribeiro is a huge Gewunner and sticks Aurtobot logos and the Matrix of leadership in several stories. He also once threw a jab at Beast Wars into the background of a Sonic comic he drew.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Vince McSnively

Welp I'm never going to not see him doing that strut now.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic Super Special - Issue #8: Den of Thieves

We journey back to the East in this story both written and penciled by Frank Strom. Colors by Barry Grossman, which is just an interesting name. Jim Amash is on inks and I’m super familiar with that name, for sure.

The Temple of the Golden Lotus has been robbed. By who? By Yagyu Ninja of course. Who else? People you thought you knew?

Y'know I can't prove this obviously but when I was doing my Archie Sonic reread earlier this year and I got this story a thought occurred to me. This story has no Sonic connections at all outside of the loose one of Monkey Kahn himself it's completely stand alone and it made me think was Frank Strom trying to sell Monkey Kahn as a solo character who could hold his own book? I mean this story gives him his own supporting cast and enemies so I think he might have been.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Also, the leader of the Yagyu clan, Lord Yagyu is here, laughing from above at what’s happening below him.

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It should be pointed out this is not the same character from the later Journey to the East Universe arc. It was retconned that there's several different Yagyu Lords.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Antoine has been MIA for a while now and I gotta say I haven’t missed the exaggeration in his French speech one bit. It’s especially hard to read here, although I do like that he calls them Smarty-Panties.

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This dialogue is completely from the cartoon. Honestly I don't think Antoine ever got nearly as bad about fumbling words in the comics as he did in the cartoon.

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8 hours ago, Big Panda said:

...are you sure about that? Because, being honest, nothing in this issue sticks out to me as being copies of shots I’ve seen before.

And this is coming from somebody who instantly noticed the blatant tracing that issues 15 and 16 had (literally nothing in those issues were drawn freehand), and also tends to notice all those occasions when Lamar Wells does it in later issues.

I usually have an eye for these sorts of things, and I’m just not seeing it here.

Edit: I had a whole thing here explaining why I was sure but then realized that in the post I didn't clarify that I wasn't accusing this man of tracing. I was just providing an example of something recognizable that I've re-drawn before as an excuse to talk about it so that people didn't try abd tell me stuff I already knew.

So just ignore that section. It exists to let you know I'm aware of something and I tried to head it off at the pass, inadvertently making you respond anyway, just differently. Complete with a response that begins with ellipses, which is never a good sign.

This is a bit much to insight over one unhinged jaw so I'll just conciede that you might be right.

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I just wanted to give a friendly reminder that Locke and Knuckles' relationship in the comic was supposedly based on Penders' own relationship with his father, effectively making Knuckles and Locke author surrogates. This led directly to the M25YL story where IIRC - Penders had based Locke's death story on his own father, yet again,

This is also why Penders was extremely protective of Locke, not calling him out on his actions, and why he rags on Ian for Enerjak Reborn's ending - in which Ian - rightfully - called out Locke's actions as a shitty parent, and had Locke do a heroic sacrifice to save Knuckles from being eternally enslaved by Dr. Finitevus' will, and Enerjak's power forever.  

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4 hours ago, Big Panda said:

@Dr. Detective Mike my bad. Those two things run really close together in my head.

No, this is entirely my bad. I worded what I had to say in that section very badly and I've edited it to appropriately illustrate what I mean to say better. The last thing I want to do is make any fraudulent claims about someone's work, even accidentally. I only brought it up to make it clear I was aware of it being a problem down the line and I did a bad job of clarifying that there was a difference between looking similar and being a copy. I did mention that there were only so many positions the body can make and not to harp on it but the rest of it didn't properly back that up. I know there's little chance the artist will see this but it's the principal of the thing, so I changed it. We'll talk about the tracing when it actually happens.

8 hours ago, SBR2 said:

What I especially love is how this became a running gag for the comic. I'm assuming it's because this same cop always showed up with a different accent (or sometimes voice) and 4Kids probably didn't realize he was the same guy.

I don't remember if it was the same guy specifically but I do remember the cops in the dub all having strange accents. There's one where Mr. Stewart eats a cop's burger and the cop chases him, screaming that he's going to nail him for "Boigah Boiglery" in that dumb sounding police officer way. 

8 hours ago, SBR2 said:

Wait...That's not true Ken! Steppenwolf was brought to Haven completely finished in like issue 2. Jesus Christ man revisit your work if you're going to try and tell a continuing plot.

Okay so that was wrong? I remember in the earlier issues coverage I did saying that one of these echidnas, maybe it was Steppenwolf, created the Haven and then being corrected by one of you guys, saying that it was already made before Steppenwolf got to it. But now here Ken is, saying that Steppenwolf did create Haven so...

I'll be honest, it doesn't really matter to me. If he got it wrong than it just confirms what I already knew about how overly complicated this whole mess is and how expecting children to retain it all is just bonkers. 

8 hours ago, SBR2 said:

Really? He's like a huge deal at Marvel. He had an infamous run on Spider-Man that included stuff like Peter Parker and Otto Octavious swapping brains and Spider-Verse.

Yeah, don't know shit about Comic Book Marvel. I didn't even know anything about Movie Marvel until Doctor Strange came out and I decided to watch it and then the Guardians movies. Then I had to catch up because I heard an Infinity War was over the horizon and I didn't want to be left out of an event like that. That sounded fucking cool.

Since then I've found out a couple of things about Comic Book Marvel due to minor bouts of research but nothing that would make me retain the names of too many of its creators. I DO know of some names and controversies. I know about Joe Quesada and One More Day. I know about Avengers 200. I know about the original Civil War comic and how badly received it was. I know about the original Infinity Gauntlet comic and bits of how that all went down. Obviously I know Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and a small number of other creators like the always popular and always terrible Rob Liefeld. 

I guess it's disingenuous to say I don't know shit about Marvel but I'm certainly no expert. I'm not going to know who I'm supposed to consider infamous or not I'll say.

If I've never heard of him, he's just gonna have to deal with it.

 

3 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

I just wanted to give a friendly reminder that Locke and Knuckles' relationship in the comic was supposedly based on Penders' own relationship with his father, effectively making Knuckles and Locke author surrogates. This led directly to the M25YL story where IIRC - Penders had based Locke's death story on his own father, yet again,

This is also why Penders was extremely protective of Locke, not calling him out on his actions, and why he rags on Ian for Enerjak Reborn's ending - in which Ian - rightfully - called out Locke's actions as a shitty parent, and had Locke do a heroic sacrifice to save Knuckles from being eternally enslaved by Dr. Finitevus' will, and Enerjak's power forever.  

Oh believe me, I haven't forgotten. 

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18 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Zonic then leaves and says that the reason he did this for Sonic is because THIS particular Sonic is the ONE TRUE Sonic of all dimensions.

This is another thing I’ve always wanted to bring up: what does that mean for all the alternate future timelines that are out there?

Light Mobius and Dark Mobius, for example, are both possible/alternate future timelines that diverged from Mobius Prime’s own timeline. Since the Sonics in these two futures have the same memories as the “present day” Prime Sonic (up to a certain point), they would theoretically also remember being informed of their status as the “Prime” Sonic.

Except, then...the very fact they are alternate timeline versions, by definition, would mean they are NOT the Prime versions. So, like, did these alternate future Sonic’s go around believing they were still the Prime versions? Or does Zonic have to pop into every diverging future timeline once they are created to inform their Sonic that “hey, so, remember that time I told you you were the one true Sonic? Well...”

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #69: A Day in the Life

6Y_2dDVEL613f3GnLZp9jNve__rrPwtO318HkaHMT2PgM9s0ow17PeBS0eayO99Cbja-KLajUKqgrcvOZzLLU3mdrYz1pEsiIH2QgKpzZsLkykkw40jTrIrwslsEso-5gV7pBWxm

Another Karl Bollers story. Seems to be about the crew coming together to either discuss some things or have a party maybe? I don’t know. We never really got much after the Elias reveal so… I’m hoping that happens now. The cover is fine.

Spoiler

We begin with the narration telling us that “His is Robotropolis” and confusing the shit out of me before I noticed the red “T” in front of it. “This is Robotropolis” is what it says. It then goes on to call Mobius an “Earth-like” world. I suppose that’s as good an explanation as any. Empire City is like our world except it’s full of fucking dangerous pits and corkscrew roads. Maybe there are roads in our world that have that though. It wouldn’t surprise me at this point.

Anyway, we begin with Sally’s mom in a tube. She's just suspended in a huge tube that’s floating in the room because science. Here we’ve got the Quack doctor, Dr. Horatio Quack, delivering a pretty terrible bout of exposition. It’s not even because every other word is bolded yet again. The way he talks, the way he says everyone by their full name and title, all of it sounds like he’s about to turn to the camera and address the audience.

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“Though Queen Alicia remains asleep here INDEFINITELY WITHIN A CRYOGENIC TUBE HERE IN CASTLE ACORN’S MED LAB--!”

It’s like, dude, we know where we’re literally standing. There had to be a better way to tell the audience that this is where they were. Maybe have one of those yellow narration boxes at the top of the page that say “Meanwhile, within the Castle Acorn’s Med Lab--!” or something. Mentioning the cryogenic tube is fine but the run on sentences of exposition just gives off a feeling of sloppiness to me. It happens a lot with Karl Bollers, I’ve noticed. Thankfully, it’s not so intrusive that it ruins whatever he’s writing but I can’t help but feel this could have been delivered better.

Anyway, I guess NOW is the time Sally wants to get on her father's case for keeping her brother a secret from her, so they talk. As if the King needed even more things to keep a secret from her. 

What’s actually kind of interesting is that his explanation is kind of understandable. He says Sally was too young to remember Elias and that he thought that her mother and her brother died in a crash during the other war that was going on when she was a baby. So, in times of conflict and to lessen the emotional blows, he kept quiet about it. Then hope resurfaced in the form of rumors and he realized that rumors tend to be painful should they get one's spirits up and then smack them right back down. It hurts.

At the very least, I can see the flow of logic here. I mean, I can’t say that I would have done the same. I probably would have thought it over and felt it best to tell Sally about her goddamn family members but at the very least the reasoning behind this thought of his is something I could imagine a person with a conscience mulling over and coming to the conclusion of, whether it's the right thing to do or not. 

Oh no though. He can’t have you thinking he has anything in him resembling a proper guy though. Immediately after saying this he says this shit.

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I really love how both Sally and Elias are confused by this. 

Sally, the leader of the Freedom Fighters and the one who fought not only the war effort against Robotnik in your absence but on top of that fought to bring you back from your exile, and succeeded on both fronts, can’t be the new ruler. However, her brother who knows nothing of the kingdom and has spent the majority of his days trapped in some bunker owned by the out of touch echidnas is the one who’s going to take over.

Why? I dunno. Cause he’s a guy? Cause Penders thinks Sally is redundant and tried to kill her because of it? Penders says he didn’t pay any attention to what Karl Bollers was doing but I dunno. This has his fingerprints all over it despite it not being written by him. Maybe I’m being too much of a skeptic. Or maybe Bollers just saw it fit to keep King Max in character by having him make this awful decision. That seems more likely actually. 

Again, I’ll reiterate that I don’t even care for Sally but it’s really hard to ignore how awful this character is continuing to be treated. I can’t not point it out. 

Sonic and the Freedom Fighters enter the castle, with Sonic telling tales of his and Tails’ adventures around the world. They come across the royal family and decide to head out to show Nate and Elias around town… only Elias declines the offer due to claims of being overwhelmed and tired. Understandable, though Sonic wonders what’s up still.

They head out on the town with Nate and Sonic even gives the guy his first ever chili-dog. It’s amazing seeing a human look at a chili-dog and go “What the fuck is this?” like it’s dog food or something.

All the while this is happening, a group of villains (obviously the ones led by Snively) are all stationed at different parts of the city, using our favorite greek codenames.

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Holy shit, Omega’s in the book yall. Dude hasn’t even been created yet but he’s come into existence by the power of Bollers.

No, obviously not. They’re just disguising themselves but I do get a kick out of hearing some of these names. It’s very surreal. There’s also a scene where they spot Nate hanging with Sonic and they chastise them for trusting Overlanders after what happened with Robotnik and their new boss Snively… which is funny because their new boss is Snively.

Something that’s bothering me is that Steven Butler seems to not care too much about consistency concerning the sizes of these characters, especially Sally. In one scene they look like this, all tall and stocky--

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--Then in a later scene they look like normal Sonic characters.

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The scene where Sonic enters the castle is weird because he walks up to it looking normal but as soon as he’s inside, he’s got Sonic Boom legs all of a sudden. It’s really weird. I know exact proportions aren't possible every time but try and stay within the ballpark at least.

So anyway, the characters enter a juice bar. It's new so apparently they had time to make one but no time for Rotor to go save his family. How nice. 

I’m kidding. There’s no way they even remember that plot point by now. 

Nate is, of course, getting some awkward looks because he’s an Overlander. Sonic, ever the sweetheart, is reassuring of his place amongst everyone though. Then there’s a wonderful scene where Antoine and Sonic have an honest to goodness heart to heart. Sonic notices that Bunnie is getting even closer to him and Antoine almost goes on a poetic spiel about how much he likes her. Good. An actual relationship is seeing some form of proper development.

Even better is when Antoine admits to being down about how everyone’s getting their happy reunions with people they’ve lost except him. Sonic recalls seeing Antoine’s dad and forgoes that bullshit about not telling him and decides to tell him gently.

Good. Again, that story where he decided to keep quiet was written by Penders. This is where the difference between his and Bollers’ writing comes into play where the characters can just… not be totally fucking awful to each other and things will still shake out to be interesting.

Geoffrey reports into the King and Elias that the reason they haven’t gotten any word from the guards at the Devil’s Gulag is because the prisoners escaped and broke all their shit, and took all their food probably, and maybe gave them all a ton of noogies, and pocketed their lunch-money on top of that. 

He also has discovered that there were two crashed shuttles within the range of the busted up prison and surmises this means they all crashed and died. The ocean is too hot around the gulag for them to survive hitting the water and there’s apparently no way those shuttles could have been decoys or whatever. They’re all totes dead as shit.

Cut to Sonic and the others being surrounded by the villains who are totally not dead at all. Sonic tries to put up the tough guy act but I love how immediate the take down of it is.

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Just grab the dude by the neck while he’s talking. It’s a great strategy. Also, it looks like Fang’s got Thor’s hammer.

Sonic is still confused as to why these random bar patrons would not only attack them but their princess just because they want to be a little racist towards Nate. Now, this is the part where the villains keep pretending to be random bar goers and instill a sense of unrest within the nation of the city… or you know, you could just do the dramatic reveal and let them know who you are. It’s just dumb and unnecessary enough to work.

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I guess they just really wanted to let Sonic know who was trying to kill him today. Considering how many times Sonic’s been knocked out by Fang alone, this feels a bit unbalanced… but then again, he’s got the rest of the Freedom Fighters there so maybe not. Shocking how easy it was to forget about them. They haven’t done anything for a long, long time after all.

Their first foray back into action only takes a single page to showcase and it isn’t a very pleasing one at that. Rotor gets put into a vice grip by Drago, Lightning Lynx races around Antoine a lot, Predator Hawk grabs Nate and flies off with him, and Bunnie tries to grab him back but gets wrapped up in Arachnis’ spider webs and slammed to the ground by Sleuth Doggy Dog AKA the best named character.

Omega is, of course, revealed to be Snively as Predator Hawk flies off in an aircraft to deliver the stolen Nate Morgan AKA the man who just can’t catch a fucking break. 

Then this story ends on perhaps the weirdest ending I’ve seen in one of these comics yet.

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Simian tosses a grenade into the bar and it rolls next to Sonic… and the next panel I see is Sonic just giving a thumbs up to the camera and winking. 

I know it’s just a caption to say “Hey, see ya next time folks! How will I get out of this one I wonder?” but it’s such a weird way to do it. Why add that picture of Sonic doing the thumbs up there? It’s even stranger that the joke above his head says “Explosive Conclusion”. It's almost like that Simpsons joke of  “Haha. I’m in danger.”

I almost thought that was his reaction at first. Really weird.

Also, the way Sally is drawn gives me the mental image of her having a humanoid ass and it bothers me. I know this is the 69th issue but I’m not attracted to her thanks.

The story itself was fairly standard. We walk around town and then oh no, an ambush. That’s basically it. The King is still a dick but what else is new?

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #69: Tales of the Freedom Fighters - Lupe and the Wolf Pack Part III: Weathering the Storm

OH YEAH. Remember this? I totally forgot this was still happening.

Penders is back with Sam Maxwell on pencils. Great.

Lupe and the others are in this city where it apparently never stops raining. In case you’ve forgotten there’s a lot of mistrust between the wolves and these two human children.

There’s a bit of an awkward scene at the start where the blonde girl with the pretentious name I’ve already forgotten loses her ball and it’s picked up by Diablo the Wolf. She asks for it back and he goes into this spiel about doing nice things in return for people and being a kid she’s just like “Uh-huh. I guess so.” and gets the ball back. The two wolves there ask if she’ll remember that and it’s like… probably not, you weirdos.

I know there do exist people out there who act this strangely to children of another race too but my response to that is those people are also fucking ridiculous as well. 

Anyway, Lupe and Reynard argue again with each other about the children. Canus cooks some gross looking blood red soup. Then everyone is sitting around the table together where Lupe announces that the two girls will join their pack and be taught their ways.

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Then she says that after the rain stops, they’ll rejoin their pack.

Then it just ends. 

That’s it.

The fuck was the point of this?

Uh… yeah. That issue was very much a start to a story issue. Nothing too interesting or too unexpected happened. The part where Sonic told Antoine about his dad would have surprised me had I not been told it was going to happen but I’m glad I was since I probably would have forgotten by now that Sonic was being written by Penders when he decided he wasn’t going to say anything to Ant like a hypocritical asshole. 

The entire Wolf Pack thing was superfluous to an astonishing level. I have no clue why ink and lettering was wasted on this story. I don’t know who decided we needed a more in-depth look at the wolf pack and why they didn’t bother actually delivering one if they were going to bother. It was just a bunch of characters whose names I’ll forget tomorrow repeating the same things and literally getting nowhere and doing nothing to advance their situation. So par for the course when it comes to Penders I guess.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #70: Saving Nate Morgan

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Facing the FURY of … this…guy…

Yeah, I know who Kodos is, obviously but… it kind of feels like I also don’t. I dunno. He’s such an underwhelming villain. I barely even have a grasp on his personality. Dude just showed up one day and was suddenly important. Same with Arachnis. It’s even worse for Arachnis since she can’t even talk. This cover is awesome though. Although, I feel it’d be even better if I could properly make out what I’m seeing. It’s obviously Sonic and Elias facing off against Kodos but Kodos’ body is so weird looking that he just comes off as a bunch of shapes soaked in the rain.

Spoiler

We begin with an explosion… in the ceiling. Sonic tossed the grenade up and it exploded there. It probably only worked out that way because he’s so fast too.

Anyway, the residents of Mobotropolis continue to do everything in their power to make me hate them. I didn’t even mention that last issue a panda jerk walked by and dumped tomato juice on Nate’s head then tried to claim it was an accident. I thought that one of the deer looking folk giving him a towel to wipe it off would be seen as showing both sides of people as a way of humanizing them a bit but I guess now that the juice bar’s been attacked that’s no longer viable. It may not be the same deer looking person but they’re just like “Who cares that Nate was kidnapped. Look at my juice bar!”

Sonic leaves with the others, deciding to tell Sally’s dad about this mess. Here we see the Steven Butler contrast yet again. As they’re leaving the bar, the characters look like this--

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--Then, on literally the first panel of the very next page...

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Unless Geoffrey was always that big and had to literally bend over half his body to implant his lips against Sally’s (which wouldn’t surprise me given the age difference) I can’t really see how these proportions are consistent.

It’s like the characters are in a constant house of mirrors. One step they’re normal and the next step they’re super tall and thin and shaped like actual human beings.

So anyway, we get this scene of Geoffrey retelling the king that all the people we just saw attacking the bar are totes magotes dead because there were two crashed aircrafts. There’s no way there could have been more aircrafts because…?

I would have accepted the answer that there were only two at the prison but apparently that’s not true.

Sonic runs in and tells everyone what just happened and because Geoffrey needs Sonic to be wrong about everything, even things the other Freedom Fighters saw as well, he says it’s impossible. Sonic, in a way that makes him look more mature than Geoffrey, concedes that they may have been doubles or shape-shifters but the fact remains that people who looked like them came and stole his friend. King Max then asks how they could have since Geoffrey told him that there were crashed aircrafts.

Oh but who should come to save the day then the supposedly awesome and cool Dr. Quack, who literally just walks out and says “Yeah one of the guards woke up and said there was a third aircraft.”

Oh geez. More than just two two aircrafts? Well ain’t that a shock.

Elias also suggests they’re probably just hiding on the land mass closest to the Gulag.

So all around it's literally just the number one thing you’d suspect. 

What happens next is pretty glorious. I applaud Bollers for keeping King Max in character and using his folly as a way to generate a plausible conflict. This is so expected of you Max and yet when it happens it’s still sort of surprising because it’s so dumb.

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That’s right. We’re no longer at war which means we’ve no need to rely on mere CHILDREN! Nah. This mission shall be carried out by everyone’s favorite group of characters, the king’s assembled Secret Service. 

Yeah. 

You know, because I totally see the logic there. These villains that have been defeated by the Freedom Fighters before can’t be handled by the ones who have experience beating them before. No, no. It’s in the hands of this team of hastily assembled people whom no one gives a shit about and has done… basically nothing. They had a practice mission in the middle of Mobotropolis and found Elias at Haven. That’s it.

I’m not saying they don’t have experience but they’ve got significantly less experience working as a team then the Freedom Fighters do. They’ve also got less experience facing off against these particular villains than the Freedom Fighters do. They also were at the front lines of the war, saved your ungrateful ass, and (as far as you know at least) were responsible for beating Robotnik. 

Oh but they’re CHILDREN so fuck them. 

It’s such a terrible insult to call them children at this point. I don’t know how Sonic and the others can be so gung-ho about working under someone so obviously fucking awful.

The only other thing he said in defense of his decision was that they got ambushed. Well, yeah, because no one knew they were there. That probably wasn’t helped by the leader of your glorious Secret Service spotting two aircrafts and assuming that meant all the escapees were dead. No recovered bodies or hints at the possibility of MORE than just those two crashed crafts were mentioned or seen. Great work Geoffrey. You’re really selling me on your tenure as a viable asset to the kingdom.

So anyway, Geoffrey and his team go to the outskirts of Big Kahuna Island and then climb up the shore to try and get into the deserted and dilapidated city of West Robotropolis.  Is that where they sell the Big Kahuna Burgers? Mmm. Now that is a tasty burger.

Also Sonic is there.

Yeah, they get to the top and Sonic is waiting for them because they’re too slow. Then Geoffrey starts spewing that racket about Sonic being just a kid or whatever. That kid was a love rival of yours not too long ago bro. Also, if Sonic’s just a kid then Sally is too right? That means you admit to macking on a kid right? You admit to sexually concerning yourself (and later revealed on twitter to maybe have had sexual intercorse) with a child right? No matter what, you don’t come out of this looking good. 

The Freedom Fighters are disbanded so Sonic claims to be here as a free agent. I guess that’s how that works so whatever. 

They make it to the abandoned courthouse where Harvey Dent has Catwoman hanging upside on trial where Snively has Nate Morgan in some wooden stocks.

Geoffrey wants to go in, guns blazing, like he’s Sonic the Hedgehog or something. 

Sonic vetoes that plan and calls Geoffrey out for being dumb and ruining the element of surprise like he's a level-headed leader of the secret service or something.

Geoffrey says he doesn’t give a shit if Nate dies because he’s an Overlander, despite the fact that the mission was to save this dude. Now Geoffrey’s altered the mission to be about taking out the bad guys only.

Then they start fighting about it.

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Geoffrey’s willingness to rush to attacking Sonic because he disagrees with him hasn’t dropped one iota. I don’t particularly love this version of Sonic or anything of course. He’s also a bit of a dick at times but it’s not been exemplified at all here. He’s concerned for the well-being of a man who he calls a friend and has done a lot to help the society of the place you’re all apparently trying to protect. For Geoffrey to just not give a shit about that and risk letting him die because he’s of a different species is beyond assertive assholism. There’s just no way anyone should or could like this guy. 

Maybe if it were revealed he secretly hated the Acorn Kingdom and was an undercover spy for another villain this behavior would make more sense but there’s no way that’ll ever happen. PFFT! Certainly not.

One of the soldiers speaks up and says they both have good ability but they’re wasting it and their energy on fighting. Geoffrey, who I guess just refuses to make sense if it threatens his authority, says that he’ll be the judge of that cause he’s the leader.

Really? You’ll be the judge of whether fighting someone on your side is a waste of time when time is of the essence? Fuck me man. 

The soldier reveals himself to be Elias. He snuck along with them.

Back inside, Kodos is about to chop Nate’s head off with an axe, I guess figuring it better to kill him if he doesn’t work for them so that the Acorn Kingdom can’t have him, but then this happens.

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So I guess the plan worked…? 

Didn’t work?

Was he a distraction? DIdn’t seem like Bomb knew if he was or not…?

… Was there a plan?

We cut back to space where the same scene we’ve seen before in space happens again. Finger pokes the keyboard, a satellite comes online, the acquire a target, and we don’t know what acquiring the target does. Does space look even more spacier than before. No, not really.

We cut back to Sonic where the climactic battle against the evil Kodos is about to commence. 

Here it is.

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That was it.

All of it.

I didn’t leave a single thing out. 

The caption says “Back at Big Kahuna Island” and we’re treated to a two panel… whatever this is and that’s it.

… BEHOLD THE FURY OF KODOS!

I almost want to apologize to Ian Flynn for saying his fights aren’t very good. At least they’re not this. 

So then, randomly, a giant mechanical squid erupts from the ground and grabs Snively and Bomb. Then Bomb blows up and destroys the squid and that’s it. 

The next page the story’s over and they’re ready to take the villains back to the Gulag…? I guess they all just surrendered without a fight? Or maybe the explosion knocked them, and only them, on their asses and also took all the fight out of them somehow?

And then Sonic tells Geoffrey about Crocbot and he wants to… take his parts to the prison??? 

But then they see their bi-plane is stolen and then the story just stops.

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Well that sucked. Kind of feels a bit weird that this is how that shook out. I know that at least Arachnis, Predator Hawk, and whoever’s flying the plane are free (probably Kodos) but I’m not sure I see the point of splitting the villain group up, especially with half of them supposedly going back to prison? If that’s all that happens then this story would have been a tremendous waste of time, from when Snively broke free to now.

Also, I’ve seen some impressive stretches to make the contents of your book not make the cover look like false advertising but holy fuck. This story did not deserve that cover. 


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #70: Statue Of Limitations

This story already begins much more interestingly than the other one. I can tell the dialogue is a tad different as it’s not written by Penders or Bollers. It’s written by Paul Castiglia and the pencils are by Chris Allan. So this is all around new for me.

Sonic’s having nightmares about the fallout of what happened at Sand Blast City. He falls out of his biplane towards the mocking, gaping maw of the statue of himself. 

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The symbol of something erected in his honor is mocking him, assuring him that he outright does not deserve the notoriety and fame he has right now. 

He wakes up from the dream every night, covered in sweat and clearly afraid of what’s going to happen if he ever makes it inside the mouth of the statue. The dream always stops at that same point; the point right before he would enter the mouth.

Eventually, he decides that the reason he never makes it in is because he’s holding himself back. He decides to make sure to plunge himself inside, hoping he can find out what this all means and how to make the nightmare stop.

Well, he dives in and lands inside of a very Sonic-centric utopia. The leaves on the trees are all of Sonic’s face. The clouds in the sky are all of Sonic’s face. There’s a guy going around making sure people are wearing their Sonic branded T-Shirts…!

Then a ton of people show up to crowd around Sonic, saying that the prophecies are true and that he’s the hero above all heroes. 

Sonic really doesn’t like this. He doesn’t like seeing his face everywhere (Interesting. I wouldn’t like seeing that either) and he doesn’t like being told he’s a hero above all heroes. He asserts that there’s definitely people above him in that regard.

However the crowd denies this and just calls him modest.

Sonic tries to run but comes smack dab, face to face with the Sonic Adventure Archives, which would be a good name for a Sonic game that was about an anthology of stories about the different characters. 

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The people inside are the Sonic Adventure Archivists and the new glorious hero simply must step inside to see who they are.

This is a very, VERY interesting exploration of Sonic’s psyche. It gets even better and more… bittersweet once he gets inside.

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A couple of things feel like they’re being either lambshaded or addressed with regards to certain things they’ve gotten feedback on. The Sonic and Sally conversation has and will last forever and the conversation about whether or not Sally should have died is… interesting. However, the point still stands that they all love him and they know that he can literally do no wrong.

I’m getting that very strange feeling I get whenever I’m reading something that feels like it’s touching upon a fear or a worry that’s actually rather relatable. The idea of people crowding around you, worshipping you, literally telling you that they believe you can do no wrong not only instills a ton of pressure upon you but it could heighten that feeling inside of you that whatever praise you do get from people is undeserved.

This is obviously an exaggerated amount of praise but it kind of has to be to sell the point behind the fear that its undeserved. It's even more backed up by Sonic’s assurance that there’s got to be way better people out there who deserve it and the fact that he really doesn’t like seeing his face everywhere. As someone who could never take any praise I got for the things I did seriously and to this day has a problem with looking at myself in the mirror, I feel like I get it.

All the praise in the world doesn’t mean anything if you don’t feel you deserve it.

So after that nightmare didn’t go well either, he does something cute and calls Tails, his younger brother, over to his place for some comfort. When he gets there, he confides in him his fears and the doubt he has about being given so much responsibility and how he ran away from Sand Blast City. Tails offers the kind of reassurance you’d expect, ending with a line about how it’s perfectly okay to not worry about having things spelled out to you in black and white and being a bit gray.

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Also, that was a brilliant title for this story. Statue of Limitations. That's fucking perfect.

What a good story. You’re welcome back any time Mr. Castiglia.

This issue would have been total, trash garbage had it not been for the second story. Plenty of stories have gone out on whimpers before, some in far worse ways than this one, but that still doesn’t make it acceptable whenever it happens. Thankfully, the second story hit close to home in a way that was poignant and relatable enough to work. The art was fine as well. It wasn’t the best but none of it looked horrendous either. 

This issue was half of a success.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #71: Tales of the Great War Prelude: In The Beginning

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Neat cover. He’s running so fast he’s tearing apart the fabric of reality so that the end begins and beginning ends… or something. Something paradoxical I think. It promises to be the strangest issue I'll ever read but I doubt that unless its revealed Sonic is also a Nazi or something. Or even better; Tails is.

Spoiler

It’s another Ken Penders led story with Art Mawhiney on pencils. Let’s do this then.

We begin with Tails taking Amy to the place where her and Dulcy discovered that library. Upon entering they run into a dalmatian dude named Jerimiah. Apparently he was the figure we saw at the end of the last story involving the library. 

He’s been collecting and preserving the books left behind by his grandfather, Kirby. I remember him.

Tails, upon hearing that name goes from adorably suspicious to adorably excited.

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He’s so excited about reading.

Tails grabs the book offered to him by Jerimiah and says to Amy that this is the story of “Our People” which means Mobians, probably. If he said “Our People” and it was an echidna, I would have assumed he meant just the echidnas. Literally any other species, however, I assume they’re talking about all Mobians. That’s how fucking seperate all the echidna shit feels to me. They feel like aliens within the world of Mobians to me.

Tails reads the book and talks about how in the beginning there was Ken Penders light and then later there was life. The most advanced, of course, was the echidnas…

… We knew about this already, of course, since I harp on it enough but at this point I need to re-brace myself for the fact that Ken Penders put himself in charge of telling the story about the history of the Mobians. He writes the history and he tells you who's the most important within it, goddammit. 

So of course, he’s leading with the fact that the echidnas were the most advanced. Seems appropriate.

Tails continues, saying other species came along too, developing in ways and patterns similar to the echidnas. Other species (hedgehogs and squirrels) are shown but they’re not named except the echidnas again. I guess none of those other species had traits worth pointing out when it came to the advancement of Mobian society because the echidnas did it all already. The echidnas had invented space shuttles by this point after all.

A visionary named Alexander saw some beavers doing some stuff and decided that hey, that’s a good idea. We should incorporate that good idea into our society and make our lives better. We should also have some more species from those other areas with us so that we can live together and build a better society upon which to formulate more of these new ideas. 

Of course, the echidnas and the Overlanders were outliers to this.

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The echidnas were worried their ideas were too smarticle for them and MAN is just too barbaric and likes to kill. 

So society built itself without them and it eventually led to the formation of Mobotropolis, the world’s first multicultural society on the face of Mobius. Our boy Alexander found himself as king too. 

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They invented the concept of a king and made him one. Yeah!

Thoughtful and benevolent eh? Then he must have been King Max’s opposite.

It’s actually nice to know why this place is supposed to be so special. I honestly didn’t have much of a clue before now. That’s the juicy part though. Kirby’s writings go into why everything went to shit and what led to the Great War in the first place. I’m actually interested in finding out what happens next but this is where the story decides to end. 

But why? What story could possibly be next and so important that it would take away from what’s being told here?

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #71: Retro Activity

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You know… it occurs to me that I didn’t give the cover a proper once over so I looked at it again and wow… it’s all coming together now. Sonic’s old design is running the fuck away and his new one is coming out of the back to run ahead. Just like with the games, so much more of this comic’s run is going to be with Sonic’s modern design now. 

That said, what a weird… weird way to go about doing this. I don’t even know the story yet and already I’m scratching my head because of the sheer notion that they thought it necessary to have a story explaining it. Sonic Adventure didn’t and it wasn’t out of laziness. It was the correct move to make. 

Changes in art style and art design happen all the time. Subtle changes to big changes even. Hell, even Modern Sonic doesn’t look the same from game to game. In Forces they did this desperate, pathetic attempt at trying to make people look at Modern Sonic and think of something more classic by making his shade of blue lighter and shortening his quills as if they’re ashamed of the fact that they redesigned Sonic and managed to create TWO iconic versions of him. 

Hopefully Bollers manages to make this not painful but given how Steven Butler’s art is starting us off I can’t say I feel it’s all that possible. 

So what happens? Well, we cut back in time 20 minutes where we see the energy field around Knothole has gone away and it's no longer 3 hours ahead in time. Just like that. He’s done it. Sonic’s saved the world from a time disaster.

I’m pretty sure the plot point of Knothole being 3 hours ahead hasn’t come into play in any of the stories outside of the initial one where it happened. Once again, I’m left wondering what the fucking point was? I know it wasn’t for the sake of this transformation. It couldn’t have been. This was just a convenient way to do away with this plot-point as well as get Sonic into his new design. Both of which they didn’t need.

They didn’t need the 3 hours ahead plot point and they didn’t need a story explaining how Sonic got his new design. He’s 16 in the book. It’s fine. 

Anyway, we then cut back forty minutes later to before Sonic uses Nate’s super emerald to pull this off. Why not just start here rather than 20 minutes before when he’s already done it? I’ve no clue. Or at least I didn't at this point.

Now, at the actual beginning of this recounting of what happened, Sonic wears a rejected Power Rangers suit and charges forward, blasting through time to try and save the world from this… whatever’s happening.

As he does so, we can see the green start to Ivan Ooze it’s way off the emerald.

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Gotta say, the art looks way better than I thought it would. I guess I should just learn to expect that from Steven Butler. It’s just this weird up and down thing with him apparently.

As he does this though, we see transformations start to occur… and boy is this… interesting.

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So it’s a Super Emerald. I have no problem buying that just one of them can turn him into the awesome and powerful Super Sonic.  However, the interesting thing is what comes next. He turns into that weird Ultra Sonic form, which I still don’t fully get what it is or how it works. Like I don’t know if those shapes around him and on his forehead are supposed to be made of energy or if he’s got the power to shoot geometry out of his ass or what but it’s strange. 

Then he turns into a new form called Solar Sonic and it’s completely red. 

Once upon a time I did have an idea that should Sonic suck in the energy of a single emerald, he’d power-up significantly and it would show through significant color changes. I wouldn’t have his entire body turn red because his entire body turns yellow when he goes super and there’s a yellow emerald so that would seem redundant. 

At most I’d make a colored glow of energy around his body and maybe do what the movie did and have his eyes change color to match whatever emerald he had. And the green emerald would just make his green eyes glow brighter.

Here, this is a Super Emerald and it’s turning him into different super forms… but it’s odd because I’m not sure what these forms do that would warrant them being different.

As Sonic is transforming he’s just calling out these names. He’s just deciding that the yellow one is Super Sonic and the red one is Solar Sonic and… I mean, I guess that’s how it would be right? Still, is there any real reason this red form is Solar Sonic? What does it do? Is the only difference between it and Super Sonic that he’s red now?

But wait, there’s more.

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So is it the location then? If he’s in the snow and he transforms he becomes Polar-Sonic. If he’s in the great rainforest and he transforms, he becomes Eco-Sonic.That’s an interesting idea but it still feels weird that the only discernible difference we’re getting is the color. Can Polar-Sonic have snow powers? Can Eco-Sonic be like Poison Ivy from Batman. Does Solar Sonic have the powers of the sun? If we’re gonna do this, let’s DO this, you know?

This does make me think of Hyper Sonic a bit though. The way Hyper Sonic cycles through all the colors of the rainbow kind of reminds me of this only it’s not happening as fast and each color obviously doesn’t have it’s own name associated with it. Ultra Sonic is the outlier but that still feels like this weird thing that was just made up to be weird and different without much thought put into it. Now it’s being acknowledged again because I guess they felt they needed to.

Sonic running around the world like Superman and turning back time at least has a weird magic explanation to it thanks to the Super Emerald but then he talks about how the time… beam… is following him now?

Time beam? I thought Knothole was just surrounded by energy or whatever that was trapping it 3 hours ahead or something. There was a beam? 

Then the beam hits Sonic and this fucking cool as hell effect goes off.

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Whatever that effect is, I’m in need of it.

Now we cut back to 30 minutes earlier before this? No wait. This is 40 minutes earlier before the start of the story and the first part of Sonic recounting what happened was 20 minutes earlier… so 30 minutes earlier would either be 10 minutes ahead of what just happened, which is impossible, or 30 minutes before what just happened…  or maybe the part where it said 40 minutes earlier meant 40 minutes before the part that said 20 minutes earlier and not 40 minutes earlier from the start of the story.

Either way, what the fuck is going on with the structure? I understand you want to do a time… thing but is this really necessary? I dunno. Maybe getting hit by the beam sent him back in time or something and he doesn’t realize it? We'll keep going. Maybe it'll justify itself.

At least now I have an explanation for this beam. It totally wasn’t there before. It just showed up a short while ago...somehow. I guess time sent a beam to fix itself…? Somehow…?

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Oh fuck off will you, you pile of yankie dankie doodle shite.

We keep cutting to different points in time, even earlier ahead than before. The story is telling itself backwards because everyone in Knothole is moving backwards and I guess… I don’t know. I feel like this could have been handled a tad better. Now that I know what it’s doing it’s less annoying but the point of entry should have been a tad more inviting than this. The fine details are already so confusing that throwing this on top of it is just making me lose it a bit.

Like what is even happening when Sonic and Sally get to Knothole? They see that everyone is moving backwards and decide they need to enter the village but they can’t touch the Great Oak Slide properly so Sonic decides to vibrate his molecules (???) so that he can get through the time barrier. He says it's something he read in a comic book once which is cute but that doesn’t explain how he’s got total and complete control over the molecules in his body and how to properly make them vibrate at a rate that’ll allow him to bypass a time barrier.

Then they go down the Oak Slide and apparently it… didn’t work? No wait, the story is backwards so it did... work.

We're  ten minutes earlier again now. Or at least the caption says so. God, they weren't kidding. This is weird.

Then we cut to seven minutes earlier where they’re talking about what happened in the last issue. Apparently the third figure that made off in the plane was Kodos, which is super odd considering he was the only one shown to have been fought against. Also, they’re under the assumption that Snively is dead because of Bomb’s explosion which… you’d think that would be given more gravatas if it were something they believed. Like a “Holy shit, Bomb just blew up Snively.” would have sufficed. Especially since Sonic said he couldn’t just let the dude die the panel before but whatever.

I don’t expect them to cry over it or anything but the nonchalant manner in which it was shown and now talked about is so blahzay that it’s almost too obvious he’s fucking alive.

Also, Sally says that her dad is probably actually happy Sonic disobeyed him and is just too proud to show it. I dunno about that. He’s probably just a total dick. I think you give your father way too much credit for someone who gets fucked over by him at every turn.

We keep cutting back in time to conversations between Sonic and Sally about their parents to Max and Elias talking about his new destiny as king. I like the part with Elias because he's being told off by his dad for going out and endangering himself on the field when it's clear that Elias has more of a desire to be the kind of person on the field rather than forced into the seat of the king. 

Then we’re finally at the beginning of the story where we see the machine man shoot a beam from space and we get our title page.

I'm way past the point of caring what the space man is doing. I just want to see what the fuck he's up to right now.

So they weren’t lying about it being a very weird issue. That was weird and extremely hard to follow at times but here at the end I get what they were going for and despite my numerous frustrations I admire the attempt.

I was still waiting for the explanation on how Sonic turned the way he was to show up at the end but then I realized that the book is literally being told in reverse so the first page of Sonic in his new form is actually the LAST page of the story. If you read from bottom up, you’ll be able to get a clearer idea of what’s going on…

It’s a very interesting experiment. I really hated going through it the first time but now that I have a clearer picture of what’s going on, I’m cycling back through it the other way and finding some things making more sense than I thought they initially did. Even the weird beam does now. 

I just wish the weird science talk wasn’t injected the way it was. I didn’t need Sonic being able to randomly shake his molecules and talk of Mobius going backwards and forwards at the same time. I feel like Sonic has pulled weird powers like that out of his ass before, used them for specific occassions, and then never uses them again far too often.

The big failing of this issue, honestly, is that one line Sonic has about running through what happened for Sally. If that weren’t there, I’d probably be less annoyed by how I figured Sonic was recounting the story and more focused on figuring out what was happening. As it stands, I went through it thinking it was just weirdly structured for the hell of it. 

Now with all that said… I really don’t know how this story explains how Sonic’s eyes turned green and how his shoe got a buckle on it.
 

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8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

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I do defend Bollers as one of the better writers pre-Flynn but yeah this writing for new readers thing was a real double edged sword. It kinda makes sense to introduce who these people are to people reading for the first time but it also has the side effect of making dialogue sound really stilted. Also it's super weird that everyone refers to Sally by her full title.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, I guess NOW is the time Sally wants to get on her father's case for keeping her brother a secret from her, so they talk. As if the King needed even more things to keep a secret from her. 

What makes this funnier to me is in a couple issues they give a loose timeline regarding the satellites and they say this and the next 2 issues are set 3 days after the last one. So I guess Sally let Elias get settled before deciding to ask her dad  "Hey what the fuck is up with keeping my brother a secret?"

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Even better is when Antoine admits to being down about how everyone’s getting their happy reunions with people they’ve lost except him. Sonic recalls seeing Antoine’s dad and forgoes that bullshit about not telling him and decides to tell him gently.

Good. Again, that story where he decided to keep quiet was written by Penders. This is where the difference between his and Bollers’ writing comes into play where the characters can just… not be totally fucking awful to each other and things will still shake out to be interesting.

 I'm so glad Bollers actually seemed to get Sonic. Like yeah he can be an ass but he's not heartless. He cares about people and would absolutely not let Antoine be in the dark about his dad.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Also, the way Sally is drawn gives me the mental image of her having a humanoid ass and it bothers me. I know this is the 69th issue but I’m not attracted to her thanks.

Meh you get used to it.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, Lupe and Reynard argue again with each other about the children. Canus cooks some gross looking blood red soup. Then everyone is sitting around the table together where Lupe announces that the two girls will join their pack and be taught their ways.

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Lupe says he made it out of a "Cache of canned food" they found but looking at it I can only think they found mostly Campbell's Tomato Soup.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Uh… yeah. That issue was very much a start to a story issue. Nothing too interesting or too unexpected happened.

Personally I kinda like this issue myself. It's kinda fun to see what just a normal day is like in Mobotropolis and just take a second to breath after all the stuff that was happening before everything goes to shit again.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #70: Saving Nate Morgan

Every time I see this title I can't help but think "Oh, shit that's right Saving Private Ryan came out around 1999."

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic runs in and tells everyone what just happened and because Geoffrey needs Sonic to be wrong about everything, even things the other Freedom Fighters saw as well, he says it’s impossible. Sonic, in a way that makes him look more mature than Geoffrey, concedes that they may have been doubles or shape-shifters but the fact remains that people who looked like them came and stole his friend. King Max then asks how they could have since Geoffrey told him that there were crashed aircrafts.

I love the absolute sass Sonic gives off in this scene. Especially the end part where he just says "Can I please talk to someone with REAL authority?" Fucking burn there Geoffrey. 

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Also Sonic is there.

Yeah, they get to the top and Sonic is waiting for them because they’re too slow. Then Geoffrey starts spewing that racket about Sonic being just a kid or whatever. That kid was a love rival of yours not too long ago bro. Also, if Sonic’s just a kid then Sally is too right? That means you admit to macking on a kid right? You admit to sexually concerning yourself (and later revealed on twitter to maybe have had sexual intercorse) with a child right? No matter what, you don’t come out of this looking good. 

I do love that this is another example of just how at war with each other Penders and Bollers were. Penders claimed Legal age for Mobians is 16 (never mind Sally was 15 when all the Geoffrey stuff went down) but Bollers clearly wasn't thinking that. Hell in the 90's of this book he's going to put them in High school so he's clearly not thinking of Sonic and friends as legal adults. People can say what they want about IDW but I for one am glad that Ian and Evan are making sure their plans jive.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Geoffrey says he doesn’t give a shit if Nate dies because he’s an Overlander, despite the fact that the mission was to save this dude. Now Geoffrey’s altered the mission to be about taking out the bad guys only.

So...why were people so mad Ian made Geoffrey secretly evil? He's shown zero positive traits and has actively said "fuck the mission. I'm killing this guy because I'm openly racist."

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

One of the soldiers speaks up and says they both have good ability but they’re wasting it and their energy on fighting. Geoffrey, who I guess just refuses to make sense if it threatens his authority, says that he’ll be the judge of that cause he’s the leader.

Really? You’ll be the judge of whether fighting someone on your side is a waste of time when time is of the essence? Fuck me man. 

The soldier reveals himself to be Elias. He snuck along with them.

I gotta be honest this part honestly kinda endeared me to Elias a bit. Up to here I had previously only seen him in Ian's run where he was alright I liked his conflicting feelings on being made king (I actually like House of Cards. fight me!) but I didn't get a firm grasp on him as a character. Then stuff like this and a bit coming up later and his time as a Secret Freedom Fighter went a long way to making me like him.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This story already begins much more interestingly than the other one. I can tell the dialogue is a tad different as it’s not written by Penders or Bollers. It’s written by Paul Castiglia and the pencils are by Chris Allan. So this is all around new for me.

Factoid time! Paul Castiglia was an editor on the book and at Archie in general I think he also contributed that one Coconuts backup story that was mostly just a long Roadrunner Wily Coyote reference. Yeah. Chris Allen is a little more interesting as he was the main artist on Archie's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures comic. He once drew a scene of Leonardo convincing Hitler to kill himself. That book was nuts.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Well, he dives in and lands inside of a very Sonic-centric utopia. The leaves on the trees are all of Sonic’s face. The clouds in the sky are all of Sonic’s face. There’s a guy going around making sure people are wearing their Sonic branded T-Shirts…!

Then a ton of people show up to crowd around Sonic, saying that the prophecies are true and that he’s the hero above all heroes. 

Sonic really doesn’t like this. He doesn’t like seeing his face everywhere (Interesting. I wouldn’t like seeing that either) and he doesn’t like being told he’s a hero above all heroes. He asserts that there’s definitely people above him in that regard.

However the crowd denies this and just calls him modest.

See this is just an unrealistic depiction of Sonic fans. They'd all be telling him he sucks and they hate that redesign he's getting next issue and why was Sonic Labyrinth so slow and...

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #71: Tales of the Great War Prelude: In The Beginning

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Neat cover. He’s running so fast he’s tearing apart the fabric of reality so that the end begins and beginning ends… or something. Something paradoxical I think. It promises to be the strangest issue I'll ever read but I doubt that unless its revealed Sonic is also a Nazi or something. Or even better; Tails is.

I love the weird gimmick for this issue is justified in the editorial with "Hey Seinfeld did a backwards episode so why shouldn't we?"

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It’s actually nice to know why this place is supposed to be so special. I honestly didn’t have much of a clue before now. That’s the juicy part though. Kirby’s writings go into why everything went to shit and what led to the Great War in the first place. I’m actually interested in finding out what happens next but this is where the story decides to end. 

Yeah you'd think it'd be interesting. You'd think. I'm not going to give any spoilers here but It's not very.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

In Forces they did this desperate, pathetic attempt at trying to make people look at Modern Sonic and think of something more classic by making his shade of blue lighter and shortening his quills as if they’re ashamed of the fact that they redesigned Sonic and managed to create TWO iconic versions of him. 

THEY DID?! Man I suck at picking up details because I legitimately didn't notice that.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

They didn’t need the 3 hours ahead plot point and they didn’t need a story explaining how Sonic got his new design. He’s 16 in the book. It’s fine. 

Honest yeah they could have just said "It's a part of Hedgehog puberty" or something. Granted that wouldn't explain why Chuck and Jules don't look like Modern Sonic (yet) but still it's simpler than...this.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Now, at the actual beginning of this recounting of what happened, Sonic wears a rejected Power Rangers suit and charges forward, blasting through time to try and save the world from this… whatever’s happening.

As he does so, we can see the green start to Ivan Ooze it’s way off the emerald.

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As much I appreciate the Power Rangers joke I think with the red and the lightning bolts he's supposed to look like the Flash. Which isn't surprising because Bollers does a lot of shit that makes Sonic the Flash.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

but they can’t touch the Great Oak Slide properly so Sonic decides to vibrate his molecules (???)

See? That right there? That's a Flash thing. The Flash vibrates his molecules to pass through objects. Except on the Justice League cartoon because the writers thought it was dumb and only had him do it when Lex Luthor and him swapped bodies and it exploded a wall showing why he doesn't do it.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Then we’re finally at the beginning of the story where we see the machine man shoot a beam from space and we get our title page.

I'm way past the point of caring what the space man is doing. I just want to see what the fuck he's up to right now.

Well good news we're getting close now. There's like 2-3 issues until they finally reveal what Robotnik The Mysterious space man is up to.

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That whole story where everyone gushes about how great Kirby is probably was a reference to Jack Kirby because of how much the Sonic writers at this time loved superhero comics.

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10 hours ago, SBR2 said:

I do defend Bollers as one of the better writers pre-Flynn but yeah this writing for new readers thing was a real double edged sword. It kinda makes sense to introduce who these people are to people reading for the first time but it also has the side effect of making dialogue sound really stilted. Also it's super weird that everyone refers to Sally by her full title.

That happens often. Even Sonic does it a couple of times and its always weird when it happens. 

10 hours ago, SBR2 said:

Meh you get used to it.

I can assure you, nay swear to you, that I won't. 

I'm so not attracted to anthro squirrel girl ass. I'm not really attracted to anything being asexual but I'm really not attracted to that. Everytime I see it, I'll feel uncomfortable and get that feeling of needing to find a towel or something to cover her up with.

10 hours ago, SBR2 said:

So...why were people so mad Ian made Geoffrey secretly evil? He's shown zero positive traits and has actively said "fuck the mission. I'm killing this guy because I'm openly racist."

The Geoffrey reveal with Naugus made him one of my favorite characters in the book, almost single-handedly. Before then, all I knew about Geoffrey was the stuff that dealt with him during Ian's run and that wasn't much of anything. I didn't know any of what I've found out now, going through these older issues. So I'm having some conflicted feelings finding out just how disgusting a character he used to be.

10 hours ago, SBR2 said:

I gotta be honest this part honestly kinda endeared me to Elias a bit. Up to here I had previously only seen him in Ian's run where he was alright I liked his conflicting feelings on being made king (I actually like House of Cards. fight me!) but I didn't get a firm grasp on him as a character. Then stuff like this and a bit coming up later and his time as a Secret Freedom Fighter went a long way to making me like him.

Oh, I'll probably have to fight you if you push back on me tearing that story another hundredth asshole when I get to it. The amount of times I've shat on that story is almost incomprehensible and it's ironic since the cover of seeing Sonic and Tails about to fight was what pushed me over the edge towards wanting to start officially collecting the comics. Of course, by that time they were in the 190s and the only issue I had before that was 181 so it took a while before I got my hands on that issue.

But I do agree with the bit about liking Elias. Some may say he's bland and redundant but I dunno... it's an endearing kind of bland and as far as redundancy, I feel like that applies to a ton more characters too. Plus, I'm already not on board with the whole Acorn Kingdom thing anyway so it doesn't matter how big their family or staff is.

10 hours ago, SBR2 said:

THEY DID?! Man I suck at picking up details because I legitimately didn't notice that.

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There's already a Classic Sonic in the game and 2-D sections in the Modern Sonic gameplay but apparently it just wasn't enough. He's gotta look like stretched out Classic Sonic too. 

10 hours ago, SBR2 said:

As much I appreciate the Power Rangers joke I think with the red and the lightning bolts he's supposed to look like the Flash. Which isn't surprising because Bollers does a lot of shit that makes Sonic the Flash.

See? That right there? That's a Flash thing. The Flash vibrates his molecules to pass through objects. Except on the Justice League cartoon because the writers thought it was dumb and only had him do it when Lex Luthor and him swapped bodies and it exploded a wall showing why he doesn't do it.

That's all well and good but because this is Sonic and not the Flash, it being something Sonic can do at random makes no sense to me. I like Bollers but I hope he at least understood that when he decided to forgo the logic of the scene for that reference.  If he's also supposed to look like the Flash, he doesn't. The white gloves, the viser over his eyes, and the lightning bolts being on the side instead of the center makes him look way more like a Power Ranger.

On that note, I need to rewatch the Justice League. Its been quite a long time. 

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7 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I can assure you, nay swear to you, that I won't. 

I'm so not attracted to anthro squirrel girl ass. I'm not really attracted to anything being asexual but I'm really not attracted to that. Everytime I see it, I'll feel uncomfortable and get that feeling of needing to find a towel or something to cover her up with.

I was only kidding dude. Didn't mean to upset you. 

 

8 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

There's already a Classic Sonic in the game and 2-D sections in the Modern Sonic gameplay but apparently it just wasn't enough. He's gotta look like stretched out Classic Sonic too. 

...Huh. I genuinely didn't notice that. I can't deny it seeing them back to back though. 

 

9 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

That's all well and good but because this is Sonic and not the Flash, it being something Sonic can do at random makes no sense to me. I like Bollers but I hope he at least understood that when he decided to forgo the logic of the scene for that reference.  If he's also supposed to look like the Flash, he doesn't. The white gloves, the viser over his eyes, and the lightning bolts being on the side instead of the center makes him look way more like a Power Ranger.

Oh, don't get me wrong I wasn't trying to defend it just explaining it. And sadly Sonic will be doing more Flash stuff in other issues. 

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1 hour ago, SBR2 said:

I was only kidding dude. Didn't mean to upset you. 

I didn't think my response came off sounding like I was upset. What in there sounded upset? Was it the part where I joked about anthro squirrel ass? 

Is anthro squirrel ass serious business? I didn't know. 

(Just in case, this response is also a joke).

1 hour ago, SBR2 said:

...Huh. I genuinely didn't notice that. I can't deny it seeing them back to back though. 

It's soul crushing to look at. It's so pathetic and misguided. It's hard to imagine they even have any pride in Modern Sonic after that which sucks because there actually is a significant amount to be proud of. As I said before, not many franchises can re-invent the feel of their world and the style of their characters like that and succeed at creating something iconic a second time. That's monumental. They should embrace it.

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Sonic X - Issue #2: See Sonic! Sea Battle! See Sonic Sea Battle!

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This cover looks like just a bunch of clipart that’s been copy and pasted onto it. Not saying that it was. I’m sure it was properly drawn but I’ve definitely seen these poses before in some form or another.

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Yeah, you know. I know Sonic X had a lot of easily locatable clipart and stuff but it feels… odd seeing it come through in an official book like this. I’m not going to make a huge deal about it right now but I’m not too big on this cover. The poses as used don’t even make much sense. Especially Sonic’s face in relation to the faces of Tails and Amy. Why’s he so pissed while the others are so happy? 

Spoiler

 

We begin with Sonic attempting to drown himself.

No, I'm kidding. He’s jumping into the water because of something we need to go to the next page to find out. I’m not sure what the point of starting in media res for a single page is. It’s not like Sonic diving into the water with people watching and a breathing device on is that shocking of an image.

Well, we rewind the clock to see what the President wants from Sonic. Turns out he’s got a mission for him involving a plunderer who has the prestigious honor of having one of the literal best names ever conceived.

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Captain Seamus “Red Eye” Macguffin reporting for Macguffin duty!

Sonic asks what that’s got to do with him and the President says that there’s an energy signal down there that could be a Chaos Emerald. So since Sonic’s a Chaos Emerald expert (as far as the President is concerned) he’s the best one to handle it. He then proudly proclaims he’ll be joined by GRANDPA CHUCK, TOPAZ, and ROUGE THE BAT!

He makes these declarations as though these are hard and fast reveals and I’m not sure why. Especially since on the first page, the people there were Chuck, Chris, and Tails so obviously more people came along. 

Rouge, of course, says in her mind that if she finds the emerald it's coming home with her. Ah, I miss you Rouge.

The big weird thing that Chris brings up is that they went on another adventure where they found a chaos emerald on a sunken ship. Sonic points out that it’s strange that two chaos emeralds would sink on a ship in the same sea. It’s an interesting enough mystery.

So we cut back to the present where Sonic, Topaz, and Rouge are diving in search for whatever this signal is. Meanwhile, our brilliant doctor is watching them on his monitor, delighted that they’ve taken his bait.

Apparently he’s… I dunno, melted and grinded the rings he stole into a fine set of double-A batteries… or something?

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I mean, yeah, that’s literally what they are. Eggman brand batteries created using Power Rings.

Anyway, Bocoe and Decoe ask if the rings are supposed to be used to create Eggman brand batteries then why hide some on the sunken ship wreckage (le gasp!) and the answer is because he needed to lure them into his trap… okay.

I mean… I dunno, I feel like he could have created an energy source to lure them that wasn’t just some rings he’d risk giving up. 

He says he’s going to use Dragonbots to attack them. Alrighty then.

Back underwater, Sonic, Rouge, and Topaz find what they’re looking for… they think. Unfortunately it’s a… shark? Yeah an almost featureless, basic as hell shark attacks them. Sonic punches it in the face. It’s funny.

Topaz wants to help but can’t because she lacks a weapon but then a mysterious figure from behind her hands her a trident so… I guess she’s about to gore a shark with a trident! How metal.

Back with Eggman he’s explaining to Bocoe and Decoe why he didn’t use the rings on himself. I figured it was because he doesn’t wish to fight with his own body but no, he actually tried that. The image of Super-Powered Eggman sounds delightful but he then drops a bombshell on us. The rings only react to Sonic’s body and no one else’s.

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Yes. Quite disappointing really. 

I don’t really know how that works. I know it’s a fantasy element thing but even those tend to confuse people when they’re that specific. If they worked no matter who touched them, what they are and how they worked wouldn’t be questioned too much but the fact that it works with just Sonic incites some sort of expectation within you that it could be a mystery that’s Sonic related… and I doubt that’s the case, sadly.

It’s probably, honestly just because Sonic’s the main character and the universe wired those rings to be patently aware of that fact… which sucks.

Still, Eggman can at least use them to power his robots, so he does that. Also, he says he’s not using cute little furred animals to pilot them. No, he’s using super power, slimy, gross, huge Komodo Dragons to do it. 

I actually don’t know what difference in power the different animals provide but apparently it makes a difference. Who am I to question the genius of Dr. Eggman? 

Back with the shark fight, Topaz defeats it… I think?

I’m not entirely sure I understand what happens here. The shark bites through a pole of some sort, confusing it, and Topaz grabs the pole.

Then Topaz says she can’t beat the shark if it comes after her and the shark gives her a smarmy smirk… then its teeth fall out and Topaz suggests it get some dentures. 

Then it leaves.

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It was a bit confusing to read at first, mostly because of how fast it all happened but I think what happened is that the shark bit into the pipe and didn’t know that it was so hard that it destroyed all its teeth until its teeth fell out and then it left.

It’s strange. It feels like a pretty simple thing to get but it took me a bit because of how oddly constructed the scene felt. I absolutely didn’t think that pipe would be enough to make that shark lose its teeth.

Anyway, as this has been happening, Knuckles has been standing on his island watching the ship the main characters came on off the Emerald Coast. He also sees Eggman fly in with his new robots to attack everyone. 

I dunno Eggman. Really feels like it would have been smarter to have one of the robots powered by the rings be the trap that lured them in.

Whatever though. Fighting happens. 

Eggman blows the people in the raft out of the water and they have to save themselves. Knuckles dives in and saves Grandpa Chuck, so he’s here now.

The Dragonbots attack Sonic and the others down below and more fighting happens. Rouge leaves behind what she thinks is an emerald to help Topaz. Sonic is joined by Knuckles and they start punching the Dragonbots together, like good friendly rivals do.

The ghost of Captain Maguffin removes the Power Ring batteries on the robots (it happens) and Sonic uses the rings that pop out to defeat them. There’s no powerful splash page of the robot being properly defeated really. It kind of goes out on a whimper where the batteries are removed and they just start wailing on it in a panel in the corner. Then the very next page, there’s just wreckage in the water.

Eggman literally says “HARUMPFH!” and “Let’s blow this pop stand” and leaves. The others are then left to be disappointed by the fact that there was no emerald. It was just a trick so he could sick his Dragonbots with Komodo Dragons inside them powered by Power Rings at them.

Sonic is a weird series yall.

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I don’t know if the pirate captain here saying he crossed the Grand Line is supposed to be a One Piece reference but it delights me regardless. 

Eggman, meanwhile, has plans to use even tougher animals than before… although, this situation didn’t fail based on the inefficiency of the Komodo Dragons. The batteries were removed. I honestly don’t know if those Komodo Dragons made the robots more powerful or not but Eggman keeps insisting that the quality of the animals matters. He did the same in Lost World and I’m still confused by that. Like, what determines the quality of the animals? If having more ferocious animals makes the quality better than how do you exemplify that properly? Why doesn’t he use them more? I seriously don’t get it.

 

So that was Sonic X Issue 2 and boy howdy was it plain. It was plain like un-toasted, un-buttered white bread you guys.  Like, it probably would have made a decent episode of the show had it been animated like an episode of Hunter X Hunter or something but as is, it’s solidly mediocre to the point where it feels like a waste having this story be what the cliffhanger was leading to last issue. The art still looks bad. I don’t even need to tell you that. One look and you get the sense of someone cutting out construction paper heads and body parts for these characters and gluing them on incorrectly. The pieces used for Tails in that last panel look especially awful.

Time for something way weirder. 

 

Sabrina the Teenage Witch - Issue #28: Some Enchantra Evening

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Spoiler

 

I wanna say this is weird but I saw David Hasselhoff using his body like a motorboat to bring Spongebob and Patrick back to Bikini Bottom so…

I used to watch this show all the time when I was a kid. Of course, Salem was my favorite character. The guy’s voice and his mannerisms would make me laugh to the point of breathless crying on many occasions and I have a feeling that would still be true today. True to my nature as a clueless child, I had no idea that Sabrina was an Archie Comic. As such, I wouldn’t have known the existence of the book or the fact that it did a crossover with Sonic the Hedgehog…

Well, here we are. All I can say is I’m glad the live-action show never adapted this because technology back then would not have been able to make a live-action Sonic look good. Hell, 2020 almost didn’t manage it the first time around.

Even without Sonic the Hedgehog, this shit is weird though.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch - Issue #28: Thor Loser

The first story is called Thor Loser and in it, Ms. Enchantra is made because when she helped Sabrina on her work, she ended up getting an A+ but hated how she was represented in the school work she made. I guess because who she was lied about to hide the fantastical elements of her life. So this is her reaction to Sabrina’s A+ school work as a result-

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I’ve got you covered ma’am. One of them might look a bit different then expected though.

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It’s about what you’d expect from a comic with the old Archie style. It’s very punny. It’s ridiculous. It clearly doesn’t give a shit about doing anything other then showing you a silly scenario and then… letting you bask in how silly that scenario is before it just ends.

Like, the story isn’t really much of a story at all. This angry witch wants to send the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to Sabrina’s horse for a reason that makes no sense and Della, her lovely assistant, sends in the request on an old as hell typewriter that has the “H” looking more like an “N” so instead we get--

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The Four Norsemen.

Because that’s mildly amusing.

How do they deal with this? Well, the witches freeze them in place, give everyone except Thor temporary amnesia, and have them pamper them on the beach. Meanwhile Sabrina shows Thor around to her friends where he hits golf balls into orbit and summons rain clouds with lightning bolts powerful enough to almost kill her friends. It’s exactly the kind of jokes you’d expect, except, for some reason even less defined than what you’re probably used to.

It doesn’t last for too long. They make about 4 of the expected “Thor out of his element” jokes you’d expect and then Ms. Enchantra comes back from having taken her meteor shower (I actually enjoyed that line) and finds out about the Norseman. So she just sends shit back in time and that’s it. It’s over.

Salem walks with Sabrina and says he got rid of all his Thor comics because he only reads Sonic the Hedgehog now. At the time of Ken Penders, I really gotta wonder if Salem was investing in them for the sake of having new torture devices on hand.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch - Issue #28: What a Workout

The second story is a page long. It's just the two aunts saying they need more of an incentive to work out more and Salem overhears them and gives them his idea. 

His idea is to turn them into mice and chase them around with the intention of eating them. How clever. One can only hope that two mice corpses don’t end up staining the floor.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch - Issue #28:  Some Enchantra Evening - Chapter 1

The last story is the actual Sonic the Hedgehog crossover. It’s what you’ve all (allegedly) been waiting for, according to the book.

Oh and it’s written by our dear friend Mike Gallagher. How… nice.

So in the last story, Della ordered a new computer because the old one sucked and got them the Four Norseman so here, Enchantra is screaming at her about the new one being set up. The Fix It Felix Jr. looking dude says she’s all good.

His name is Larry. Enchantra turns him into a slug for no reason.

They look on their monitors and see that Sabrina’s aunts are going on vacation, leaving just Sabrina and Salem. Enchantra sees this as the perfect opportunity to attack and… zaps the computer which… gives her the ability to see a ton of different dimensions… and she just goes into the Sonic one and kidnaps him with her mind control powers. 

… I mean hey, the book made a joke about how it doesn’t make sense so it's fine.

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Sally was there arguing with Sonic (so just a normal fucking day in the life…) when he stomped off and got nabbed. Nicole was there as a hand-held in Sally’s hand and she analyzed the spot where Sonic got taken and immediately determined he was stolen and taken to another dimension. That’s some impressive ass, convenient ass technology. Holy shit.

So yeah, the plot of the Sonic crossover is that Sonic is being brainwashed to assassinate Sabrina the Teenage Witch. 

Yeah. I’m on board. It’s too weird not to be completely okay with, honestly.

Sonic walks into the room, swirly-eyed and hypnotized, and gets spotted by Salem who recognizes him immediately as the main character of the only comic book he reads. 

It's kind of funny considering Sonic is a video game character but I get it. It’s fine.

So anyway, Sonic fights Salem and gets made to look like a doofus.

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Sonic spins around Salem and makes him dizzy so Salem zaps him. Sonic tries to spin-dash into him but Salem makes himself intangible and he crashes through the wall... 

Sonic crashing through the wall looks more like he’s breaking through glass though. It seemed more like he was falling through a dimensional portal or something.

Sonic crashes through a lot of things and it's loud enough to get Sabrina to come out. Sonic revs up and attacks again, bursting back through the wall. Sabrina’s witch powers all miss because he’s too fast so they take him out with Looney Tunes gags instead.

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How embarrassing. 

I love it.

Anyway, Sabrina runs for a bit but slams into the door when Sally opens it, entering their universe like it ain’t no thang.

They shake hands and introduce themselves without a problem, I guess because talking animals wouldn’t be weird to a witch who has a talking animal companion.

Sonic comes back looking like that crazed Super Sonic from Sonic the Comic, that other comic series that I tried and failed to get into reading. Seriously, he looks like a fucking lunatic.

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At this point I wondered how they were going to wrap up considering so few pages were left… until I realized that there was a part 2 to this deep and enriching story. Now, if you thought this story was pretty simple and was absolutely not in a need of a second part then too bad. We here at Archie Comics are going to take the opportunity to confuse the shit out of you by continuing this tale in a goddamn Sonic Super Special!

Yeah, that’s right. The ending to this happens in a Sonic comic! WHY?! Whose decision was that? If you only collect the Sabrina the Teenage Witch comics, this issue is going to have the weirdest unresolved cliffhanger ever. 

If you collect only the Sonic comics then the 10th Super Special having a second part of a Sabrina comic is going to be… just the weirdest thing in an already weird as hell series. I mean, it could never be as weird as all the Nazis that keep showing up but seriously. I don’t understand the function of these old comics and why they did what they did. I’m so glad the newer ones took better care to organize shit better. Goodness me.

 

I’ve never read a Sabrina comic before but now that I have, I gotta say, I’m glad the majority of my exposure to Sabrina was the TV show instead.  I shouldn’t judge based on one issue but if the other issues were at all like this one, it feels like I’d just be wasting me time collecting a bunch of stories I could easily see written in the comic strip section of the newspaper. Then again, from what I gather, that was just the style and tone of old Archie in a nutshell.

I’m sure things ramped up and got more involved as time went on of course. I can’t judge things about the style of Archie too harshly based on this. It’d be like judging all of Sonic based on that one issue where everything was shown to us in reverse. 

All I’m saying is that… this comic was fine for what it was but what it is doesn’t appeal to me.

 

Sonic Super Special - Issue 10: Crossover Chaos

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Based on the cover, this issue is about crossovers. Well, that’s neat. I still find it really strange that the crossover felt the need to bleed into two different books like this but I understand it was just a really hamfisted way to force you to invest in both comics. There’s no way this crossover would have successfully got me to buy Sabrina comics but I don’t want to pretend like I don’t understand despite being flabbergasted that the bare bones as hell story before has a part two. 

Also, holy hell, Manic is on the cover! 

Sonia too but I don’t care about that.

Spoiler

 

Sonic Super Special - Issue 10: Some Enchantra Evening -  Chapter 2

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Holy exposition dump, Nicole. Thanks for the heads up. Everything you said there sounded incredibly generic and simple so I’m sure things will be fine.

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OH FUCK! NO, NOT THE SAWS! I’M TOO YOUNG--!

Sabrina zaps Sonic away and he poofs into thin-air. Killing him instantly.

No, but wouldn’t that have been hilarious?

Sally takes offense to this but Salem calms her down and the three of them talk over what the hell is going on. Meanwhile, through Enchantra’s monitors, we find out that Sonic was actually sent to the top of Mount Everest. She then uses her magic eye beams to deepen Sonic’s hypnosis.

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This is all stuff that’s actually happening.

I love how much of a tool Sonic is in this story. It legitimately amuses me to no end.

Back with Sabrina, Sally brings up a map that Nicole has of the area (because she’s Nicole and she's more magic than machine) and they deduce that Sonic is headed for Sabrina’s high school. They have other info as well but Sabrina, I guess, is just as impulsive as Sonic and she magically poofs away to go stop him.

She does so rather easily too. Just trips the fool and makes him look even more like a dope. Unknown to her though, Sonic’s hypnosis has given him the horrible power to make even WORSE puns.

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Oh god. Remember the time and date you were here for the “Figure 8 Pun” for it was the day a pun was so bad it caused my heart to explode.

In a move that I’ve seen before and will probably see again, Sonic races around Sabrina so fast that it starts to remove the oxygen she has access to. Asphyxiation via this method is something I always find interesting. I do always enjoy it whenever goofy comics try to employ some level of science in order to win the day. It’s cute.

I mean, the fact that Sabrina is choking to death isn’t cute but don’t worry. Sonic can still be made a fool of and that rule of thumb is what saves the day. Smash him into a tree like George of the Jungle and be done with it.

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Hot damn. Seeing Sonic get knocked out so much gives me life. It’ll never not amuse me.

Anyway, Sabrina is out cold too though so I suppose this is how we justify it as a tie. You know, because we can’t have one win over the other. I dunno. I feel like she won there, personally.

Back with Enchantra and Della, they’re confused as to what happened because when Sonic knocked himself out, the connection on the computer was cut. It’s a very weird set-up they had.

Even weirder is how Sally literally just appears behind Enchantra in the next panel.

Enchantra is understandably miffed by this. She clearly isn’t happy about intruders but Sally remains firm and says that she got to Sabrina’s world through a portal and if it remains open more villains from her world will come through. 

At which point, Sally threatens to broadcast the existence of this world on Mobius Television or MTV and I cringe so hard my body breakdowns like an Ace Attorney character after being found guilty.

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UGH! Good God. That was so not worth it guys. 

Enchantra then says she doesn’t want that to happen and lists off all the Sonic villains in the comic up till now… which is strange. I guess she saw them and instantly remembered their names when she discovered Mobius through the computer and retained the information because the internet gives you knowledge... or something? The book never explains this. This is my own explanation and I feel it’s just as appropriate for this comic as any old bullshit.

Enerjak’s face is super square for some reason. He looks like he’s made of legos. Also, is that orange thing supposed to be Drago?

Sonic shows up and bashes into Enchantra, making her fall over dizzy. Sonic wants to continue beating the shit out of her for trying to enslave him but Sally tries to ward him off due to negotiations still being in effect. Sabrina comes in and helps Enchantra up, explaining that she took Sonic here after explaining what happened to him.

I can only surmise that Sabrina’s relationship to Enchantra is more like how Sonic Boom’s Sonic and Eggman’s relationship was. They’re mortal enemies that treat their relationship more as a job you have to punch into like in the Looney Tunes cartoon with the dog and the coyote. 

I love how unrelenting in his anger Sonic is here too. 

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Everything about Sonic in this story has been great. 

Also, it’s great how Sonic has green eyes and the buckle on his shoe but is otherwise still drawn like his classic self. It looks pretty cute.

Enchantra just… relents and sends Sonic and Sally back… but makes sure to do it a second before they were taken and with NO MEMORY of what happened. WHY?!

I don’t get it! I NEVER get it whenever they decide to do this bullshit. Why can’t the characters just remember the crossover? I mean, at least the Sabrina cast remembers but that just makes me wonder why one side can and the other can’t. They do this later with Megaman and I know there’s more of a reason why they aren’t allowed to remember but fuck. It still sucks. To date it’s still one of the worst things about the first Pokemon movie. Thank goodness Meowth talked Mewtwo out of pulling that shit again in Mewtwo Returns. 

Anyway, Enchantra brings up the report Sabrina made for her school and Sabrina, in a single sentence, just explains that she fictionalized everything about her and her relationship with her to keep it a secret from the masses because they wouldn’t be able to comprehend it. Also, she adds in some fluff about Enchantra being beautiful and powerful or whatever. That literally does the trick.

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Back with Sonic and Sally, Sonic is no longer angry and just wants to beat up bad guys. He goes off prancing like an idiot because MEN! Men are idiots right?

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Hey, little boy who's reading this. If you’re a boy then you suck and you’re dumb and woman want to re-program you cause you’re stupid. 

Sorry, I’ve never been a fan of stuff like this showing up in my cartoons and comics. Go figure.

Uh… so… that story happened and it actually wasn’t as bad or as weird as you’d expect. However, I feel that literally only because the  Sonic comics have been so, so, SO much worse recently. 

Sonic Super Special - Issue 10: Zone Wars: A Tale of Two Hedgehogs

So, these guys are back.

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It’s your favorite gang created as an offshoot of the mastermind Ken Penders who literally forged them to be the most original idea anyone has ever come up with. It’s Opposite Day forever and always on this version of Mobius. Sonic’s gang are a bunch of greasers and Dr. Kintobor is a nicey nice man. 

Honestly, I rather enjoy this idea, simple and unoriginal as it is. It’s one of those troupes that just excites me. I’m never going to not love the idea of there being a world where Sonic and his friends are a group of dick bags and the good doctor is actually a good doctor.

Mostly because I find it adorable. In Tails’ case, the idea of him being a villain is the cutest thing ever and it KILLS me whenever I see him in this book because he’s always drawn like absolute ASS! He looks like a bulldog here!

Then later, when he’s drawn by a much better artist, they give him this disgusting tuft of gray hair that makes him look like an old man! Why?! I just want him to look cute. Cute and evil Tails! Why can’t they just do that for me?!

Basically, the world here is outlined for us in a few panels. Sonic’s group here is leaving after giving up on trying to get past Kintobor’s force field. Kintobor is watching them leave on his monitors and thinking he needs to clean up Sonic's litter before he turns this place into a huge polluted garbage dump, the same way he did to Mobotropolis.

They lounge on their thrones, graffitiing their own walls, in a city full of smog and pollution. Evil Sally is wondering why Evil Sonic is being so lazy. “What happened to the hedgehog who helped toss my dad into the Zone of Silence?” she asks with a bored expression on her face.

What’s tragic about that is that in this universe, King Max must have been the nicest, kindest, best king imaginable. Hearing that makes me feel so bad for him.

Anyway, everyone becomes unimpressed by Sonic’s lazy, do-nothing attitude. Hell, even Evil Antoine makes a move on Evil Sally and she’s into it.

Sonic finds the accusations so funny it gives him a bad case of the Muppet Mouths.

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Antoine tries to kill Sonic with a knife and Sonic whines about how that was the 4th time that week he’s tried to kill him. Everyone just leaves him after that, no longer wanting anything to do with their so-called leader. Even Tails leaves, saying that the trusty sidekick bit was a lie. Brutal.

Sonic says they’ll pay and gets tapped on the shoulder by a familiar looking hand. This spurs him into the decision to take action with an evil glint in his glasses.

Next we cut to our actual, regular version of Mobius, where all the good guys are having a picnic when Zonic the Zone Cop shows up. 

He takes Sonic back with him saying that a new threat has risen that only he can stop, for some reason. We’re treated to Sonic now being at the wrong angle when he enters Zonic’s domain.

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I’ll admit, I do rather enjoy the gimmick of Sonic and Zonic being perpendicular to one another due to the zones they live in. It’s a very strange but unique way to do this idea. 

Also, not only are there worlds where Sonic is a painter, a doctor, Robin Hood, Kid Icarus, a mermaid, and Spider-Man but there’s also a world where he’s the fucking devil?! 

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The blue and red are reversed too which is a nice touch. What’s that one like? Jesus, sounds scary. If Sonic’s the devil then is Eggman God? Probably.

Anyway, Zonic asks Sonic if he remembers something that happened all the way back in Issue 19. I sure as hell didn’t but apparently it dealt with a bunch of Sonics beating up a giant robot Robotnik made and taking off with pieces of it to their own worlds… for some reason?

I was so baffled by this, I went back and skimmed over Issue 19. It’s actually as he said. A bunch of Sonic’s from a bunch of other dimensions band together to take out Robo-Robotnik, actually, and his Giant Borg robot… thing. Then he was broken into pieces and then the regular Robotnik got beat up, I think.

This is very much a “This was more of a joke plot but it’s a part of the continuity so now we’re taking it seriously” situation. The comic back then was way more AoSth then it was SatAM and now that’s been reversed. 

Basically, what’s happening now is that Evil Sonic has gone to ALL the other dimensions, somehow knows which specific ones to visit that had those stolen robot parts, and has also managed to dupe EVERY SINGLE LAST ONE OF THEM into handing over the parts to that big Borg robot.

How did he and the person who told him to do this know which specific ones to go to, especially after all this time? How did they know they still had all the robot parts? Why the fuck would all those other Sonic’s KEEP those robot parts? Why not just make an entirely new robot? How did he manage to trick and dupe ALL of them and in such a short amount of time? 

All these questions and more will be ignored for the sake of telling this story for the sake of having an excuse to shove a bunch of different Sonics together again.

Sonic’s only question is how Evil Sonic was able to get to the other zones, which isn’t a question I would have asked because that’s honestly the easiest one to answer. Zonic says it’s because the area between zones is weakened thanks to the fallout of the Ultimate Annihilator, but, honestly, it feels like something that’s just always been able to happen. Trying to put a new spin and new restrictions and rules on it NOW isn’t going to feel natural.

Zonic also says that Evil Sonic’s managed to trick all of the other ones except for ONE--!

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Regardless of what I have to say about the show, it feels good to see this.

Underground Sonic says that he’s never heard or seen a Giant Borg, obviously trying to stave off what he believes to be Evil Sonic trying to take something from him. Sonic jumps in and convinces him that he’s not Evil Sonic. Zonic then asks why he doesn’t have a robot part since apparently ALL Sonic’s in existence were called to fight Giant Borg in Issue 19.

That’s total horse shit. I don’t care if he says that’s the truth, I refuse to believe that’s possible. 

There’s no fucking way literally every Sonic from every different universe was called to fight that thing and that there was enough of it to be split among all of them AND that Evil Sonic just went to all of them and got all the parts back. Suspension of disbelief denied.

Unless you’re trying to tell me there’s a finite number of these universes… in which case, what a lousy idea. I’ve never heard of a story that proposed the idea that there’s a limited number of alternate realities before. How lame would that be?

Thankfully, my fear seems to have been averted as Underground Sonic says he never was a part of the fight against the Giant Borg and regular Sonic laughs at Zonic, figuring that he must have forgotten about Underground Sonic.

Zonic’s only retort is that there’s too many Sonic’s to keep track of.

So, good. This means there’s just too many to expect to show up all at once and fight one giant robot. I don’t know why he bothered to try and insist that ALL the Sonic’s could have been in that fight. That’s more ridiculous than the very idea behind this plot.

The next two page spread is a full on recap of Sonic Underground. Sonic reacts to it with surprise. Being a prince and having a brother and sister is weird to him. Underground Sonic is shocked to hear he doesn’t have any siblings in Archie Sonic’s world. Archie Sonic says he’s friends with Tails and Princess Sally. Sonia gags at the name Princess Sally and Manic says “Tails? What kind of a name is that?” 

I was amused by those reactions.

Anyway, we cut to Evil Sonic meeting up with the guy who he thinks employed him to get the parts of Giant Borg back, alongside Sleet and Dingo.

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Howdy boys…! You’re looking mighty… different. Almost as though the coloring on you guys is off…

Evil Sonic says he doesn’t mind working for Robotnik but then Robotnik orders Evil Sonic roboticized and he’s dragged away, screaming about how he was promised MONDO chili-dogs. 

This scene was a very confusing read because it gets explained that the Robotnik that Evil Sonic was talking to wasn’t the one he originally made the deal with. It's hard to tell because we’re shown the actual Robotnik he made the deal with speaking in silhouette as he’s watching Evil Sonic being taken away on a computer screen… however, to me it just looked like the Robotnik he was talking to was also the one talking in these panels so I was incredibly confused as to why he was talking as though he WASN’T the Robotnik that Evil Sonic was speaking to. The paneling just made it look really weird.

Even as I type this, I fear it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and I don’t feel like that’s entirely my fault. This entire situation is shockingly complicated and hard to follow based on how it’s explained and how it unfolds without a few close reads. 

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The panel set-up was trying to be clever by having that first panel be shifted to that of a laptop screen but to me it just looked like a regular panel. So I missed the first time reading this that the Robotnik talking was a different one from the one Evil Sonic was screaming at. 

I know who this Robotnik is and why they’re still keeping him in silhouette. It’s just that they’ve been doing this for a really long time and they seem to be running out of ways to do it properly. My patience for this super obvious reveal is wearing a bit thin.

Anyway, the Robotnik that hired Evil Sonic leaves because Evil Sonic foolishly gave the collected Giant Borg parts to the Underground Robotnik instead. 

Now Sonic, Zonic, and the Underground Hedgehogs have to stop Underground Robotnik from using Giant Borg to destroy the city.

Long story short; they beat Giant Borg.

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How? They tricked him into firing a missile at himself. Cue the “Wha-Wha” music.

Sleet and Dingo are talking about the rewards they want to get from Robotnik since they’ve captured Sonic the Hedgehog. To them, it just looks like the Sonic they know put on a leather jacket and some sunglasses. 

Some dudes in cloaks walk by Evil Sonic’s cell and let him out, revealing themselves to be Manic and Sonia.

They bring Evil Sonic over to Archie Sonic and Zonic so that Zonic can put handcuffs on him and place him under arrest for treason against the other zones. So… I guess Zonic can just decide to remove a Sonic from their zone. Alright.

Archie Sonic leaves and tells the Underground gang to never give up the fight, leaving them to contemplate whether they’ll see him again. 

Sleet and Dingo discover Underground Robotnik hanging from a pole beside a building and Sonic has returned home to his friends.

The final page is of Evil Sonic in prison, wondering who’s leading the Evil Freedom Fighters. He hopes it’s not Antoine but no… it's even worse. It’s actually Evil Geoffrey! This shocks Evil Sonic so much that he faints. His life has been ruined beyond repair and all because he felt a little lazy.

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The biggest joke of this issue is that it dares to suggest that Geoffrey isn’t already evil. You mean to tell me that this is Geoffrey’s opposite? So he doesn’t have an attraction to girls way younger than him, doesn’t get into pointless fights with Sonic, and doesn’t view himself as a stuck-up, high and mighty, ego-driven asshole? Why the fuck are the Evil Freedom Fighters working under him then?

 

Okay, so, to be completely honest… I actually rather enjoyed that. I know right?

My biggest complaint was that it got way too confusing at points. It’s a bit over-written at times, which is a consistent problem with these older Sonic books but it's especially a problem when you’re dealing with techno-babble and alternate dimensions and shit of that ilk. That said, the story about Evil Sonic getting his life destroyed was rather amusing to witness. I liked seeing the team up with the Underground crew and I felt that the excuse to justify a crossover with Sonic Underground worked out rather nicely.

The excuse to crossover with Sabrina worked out the only way it could too. To be fair, I thought that story was fine as well. I was greatly amused by how much of a goober it made Sonic look like but I also enjoyed how Sonic reacted once he snapped out of it. 

I dunno. I’d say this was a success. I was wondering if Ken Penders wrote this and I scrolled up to discover that OF COURSE it was written by Karl Bollers. 

No wonder I enjoyed myself the way the comic actually intended for me to this time. 
 

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The Sabrina crossover doesn't get talked about much compared to the Megaman one or that weird one with all those franchises, but I kinda like it because it's really weird.

Also, was the Underground crossover written after the show was already cancelled? Because this would be a decent ending, honestly.

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Ok so each week I've been quoting the posts because I'm a big blabbermouth who likes to give factoids and make shitty jokes or yell at Ken Penders. But to try and avoid stretching the page I'm going to start doing mine in spoilers.

Spoiler
9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This cover looks like just a bunch of clipart that’s been copy and pasted onto it. Not saying that it was. I’m sure it was properly drawn but I’ve definitely seen these poses before in some form or another.

This is something I notice with a lot of tie-in comics. For early issues the covers are usually generic and sometimes referenced from official art. Archie in particular was pretty bad about it. I mean just look at the covers for the first 4 Mega Man issues.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The big weird thing that Chris brings up is that they went on another adventure where they found a chaos emerald on a sunken ship. Sonic points out that it’s strange that two chaos emeralds would sink on a ship in the same sea.

I always feel like Joe Edkin just had this idea didn't realize it had been done on the Anime and quickly went back and had Chris acknowledge the episode.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I don’t really know how that works. I know it’s a fantasy element thing but even those tend to confuse people when they’re that specific. If they worked no matter who touched them, what they are and how they worked wouldn’t be questioned too much but the fact that it works with just Sonic incites some sort of expectation within you that it could be a mystery that’s Sonic related… and I doubt that’s the case, sadly.

It’s probably, honestly just because Sonic’s the main character and the universe wired those rings to be patently aware of that fact… which sucks.

My guess is it's supposed to be like in the Archie/SatAM continuity where Chuck (Supposedly) made the Rings specifically for Sonic. But that doesn't really make sense here because as far as we know Sonic doesn't have an Uncle Chuck in X continuity and the Rings just kinda exist.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Rouge leaves behind what she thinks is an emerald to help Topaz.

She may love jewels but she loves her girlfriend more. And I think that's beautiful.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I don’t know if the pirate captain here saying he crossed the Grand Line is supposed to be a One Piece reference but it delights me regardless. 

I'm pretty sure it is. This means all 4Kids Dubs are in the same Universe. Sonic meets the Fighting Foodons when?

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I used to watch this show all the time when I was a kid. Of course, Salem was my favorite character. The guy’s voice and his mannerisms would make me laugh to the point of breathless crying on many occasions and I have a feeling that would still be true today. True to my nature as a clueless child, I had no idea that Sabrina was an Archie Comic. As such, I wouldn’t have known the existence of the book or the fact that it did a crossover with Sonic the Hedgehog…

Same. I fucking loved Sabrina as a kid and honestly kinda still do. I got into the Sonic comics around 2004 or 2005 and always saw subscription and back issue forms all the time and I wanted to get them. But despite being a big fan of the show I still was a stupid 13-15 year old and thought "No that's girly". Nowadays I don't really care and fully intend on trying to track down a complete run of Sabrina comics from the 60's to now. So far I only have the 3 New Riverdale Jughead issues she appeared in as well as this issue and Super Special 10. I do recommend checking those out but Ryan North who wrote them has a very specific and quirky sense of humor so they're probably not for everyone.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It’s about what you’d expect from a comic with the old Archie style. It’s very punny. It’s ridiculous. It clearly doesn’t give a shit about doing anything other then showing you a silly scenario and then… letting you bask in how silly that scenario is before it just ends.

Yeah you're not wrong but I feel there's more charm to it here than in a standard Archie comic. Archie and the gang (save for Jughead) never really appealed to me all that much. Ironically I had a shitload of Archie Digests (Primarily for Sonic order forms) and reading those it's like you read one Archie you've read them all. Sometimes they're in school, sometimes the beach, sometimes Veronica gets kidnapped by gangsters so Mr. Lodge will pay ransom same old same old. But I don't know the Archie hijinx in Sabrina are more fun to me because of how vastly fantastical they can be. I mean take this run for example. It starts off pretty traditionally Archie style but with elements from the show then it becomes a tie-in to the cartoon (which is explained) then it goes back to normal style for a handful of issues before it becomes Manga Sabrina. It's wild and it honestly interests me more than standard Archie comics.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Oh and it’s written by our dear friend Mike Gallagher. How… nice.

Well he wrote the first one too. He was the main writer on this book at the time. Which kinda hilariously while Dan DeCarlo doers the standard pencils for Sabrina and her side characters Dave Manak contributes the Sonic pencils. What's kinda funny is when they did the tie-in to the Sabrina cartoon even though Gallagher wasn't writing anymore Manak took over art on the book. He also matched the DIC style pretty well.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sally was there arguing with Sonic (so just a normal fucking day in the life…)

I mean to be fair Sonic was instigating. It's also super fucking weird to see Sonic The Hedgehog say "What about us?"

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So anyway, Sonic fights Salem and gets made to look like a doofus.

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So here's the problem with having never read the mainline comics (all info I have comes from Comicsvine BTW) I have no idea why Salem still has his magic. As far as I know he's still a guy who was turned into a cat in the comics so you'd think his magic would have been taken away like in the show but what do I know?

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sabrina zaps Sonic away and he poofs into thin-air. Killing him instantly.

I know you didn't show it but it always tickles me how Sabrina went from wearing a pink nightgown to a top and pants in just a few seconds from the cliffhanger into this issue.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

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Well they're dead so I guess that's it for the crossover.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

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Lets do a rundown of the Rogues Gallery Sally is threatening her with shall we?

Kodos: In hiding

Naugus: Trapped in the Zone of Silence

Crocbot: Dismantled

Drago: Jail

Mogul: Trapped in the Master Emerald

Nack: Jail

Dimitri: Not Enerjak anymore and only focused on Angel Island anyway but I suppose he could want to steal Magic from the Other Realm.

Uma Arachnis: In Hiding with Kodos

Robotnik: Dead

Snivley: Assumed Dead

This...is a pretty empty threat at this point in the book.

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

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That line Salem has is great. Salem's the best.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

What’s tragic about that is that in this universe, King Max must have been the nicest, kindest, best king imaginable.

*Looks at Scourge Lockdown* Uh...

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The blue and red are reversed too which is a nice touch. What’s that one like? Jesus, sounds scary. If Sonic’s the devil then is Eggman God? Probably.

"Kids it's better to rule in Hell than Serve in Heaven. Sonic says."

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Underground Sonic says that he’s never heard or seen a Giant Borg, obviously trying to stave off what he believes to be Evil Sonic trying to take something from him. Sonic jumps in and convinces him that he’s not Evil Sonic. Zonic then asks why he doesn’t have a robot part since apparently ALL Sonic’s in existence were called to fight Giant Borg in Issue 19.

That’s total horse shit. I don’t care if he says that’s the truth, I refuse to believe that’s possible. 

Yeah my personal headcanon is it was all the active Sonic's. Sop your cosplay Sonic's but maybe also Game, AOSTH, SatAM and STC Sonic. In fact I read there was a fanfiction I read back in the day called "The Great Battle" that adapted the plot of #19 but did include all those other Sonic's. But basically the point would be that since Underground Sonic just recently started fighting Robotnik head on and not hiding he wasn't summoned.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Unless you’re trying to tell me there’s a finite number of these universes… in which case, what a lousy idea. I’ve never heard of a story that proposed the idea that there’s a limited number of alternate realities before. How lame would that be?

Yeah wouldn't it suck if like a major Superhero comic publisher got rid of their Multiverse but then brought it back decades later but reduced it to only 52 Universes or something but also made it even more convoluted by introducing a Dark Multiverse and that the old Multiverse still exists in a pocket dimension or some bullshit? *Glares at DC*

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Archie Sonic leaves and tells the Underground gang to never give up the fight, leaving them to contemplate whether they’ll see him again. 

Sadly the answer is no. I'm one of the handful of people who actually doesn't hate Underground and was bummed Sonic Universe #50 got replaced with the Shard story. I wanted to see how the ending would play out. C'mon Sega do something cool and let IDW release that and the last issue of Mega Drive for the 30th Anniversary.

 

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