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There are some pre-SGW characters that could have been treated better in the comics.

One of those characters is Hershey the Cat/St. John, as she started to grow a fighter after the Endgame incident. Given what we learned in the first chapter of Lost Hedgehog Tales, she was going to appear in STH #237 before the legal crap, and she was even going to become a Secret Freedom Fighter. But she never appeared and is not just known as the dead wife of traitor who got more development than her, which is a fucking joke.

Saffron Bee also could have used more love too, and from what I heard, she was going to a pretty big role in Endangered Species.

And while Julie-Su is pretty popular, she could have been used better in the comics too, as she had potential like the other girls I mentioned.

The last two were trashed in this Sonic Stadium article from 2016, which is pretty sad. And you know, many of the other pre-SGW characters could have been used better, but it's very likely that they will never be seen in other official Sonic media again.

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Does anyone have a scan (or digital image) of the Sonic Universe #62 variant's "After the Credits Scene" page? The one with Snively.

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On 6/14/2020 at 9:12 AM, Pengi said:

Does anyone have a scan (or digital image) of the Sonic Universe #62 variant's "After the Credits Scene" page? The one with Snively.

You're referring to this page, correct?

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On 6/17/2020 at 1:08 AM, NiTROACTiVE said:

You're referring to this page, correct?

That's the one! Is there a proper scan of that page anywhere, higher resolution etc? Since that page was only in the variant cover release, and that goes for insane prices now, it's essentially lost media.

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Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #26: The First Date - Part 1 of 3: She Loves You… (and you know that can’t be bad)

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I hate it. I haven’t even read the stupid fucking book and I hate it already. Stupid goddamn title with its dumb sitcom sounding bullshit about these two characters being forced to mate or whatever. Penders is doing this specifically to hurt me, some guy he doesn’t know exists two decades after this book came out. 

Spoiler

So I think my least favorite genre in fiction has to be romance. I like cute things but it takes a particular kind of adorableness in order for me to get invested in a romance and even then, once I’m in, it’s gonna have to be handled well in order to maintain a hold of my investment. I'm not the kind of guy who cares about OTPs and pairings. Often the internet forces it so much that it often seems like they literally can't handle or comprehend the rare story where the female lead doesn't actually want to get together with the male lead.

That shit where Shonen manga makes the pairing obvious from chapter 1 and doesn’t have them hook up until chapter 700 isn’t my jam either. People being shy around each other can be cute if it’s done fairly realistically or if it's over the top, it’s done in moderation and is actually funny.

If you’re an angry tsundere girl who obviously loves the main character and resorts to anger and violence either on the person you supposedly have a crush on or someone else who has affection for you but isn’t being a creep about it in anyway, then I hate that character and will most likely see that relationship as abusive or at the very least, painfully unfunny ad not worth my time. Not a fan of Kagome from Inuyasha. Don’t like that shit with Noelle in Black Clover. Sakura from Naruto is the worst female character in the history of fiction in my mind despite knowing there's probably worse out there. If there is, I haven't seen it.

I’m so glad the girls from One Piece don’t have to deal with that shit. I love that Seven Deadly Sins properly developed their romances and didn’t make it annoying. I’m glad Gon and Killua clearly have each other in Hunter X Hunter. Goku and Chi-Chi in Dragonball was legitimately funny and such a WTF pairing when it happened that their moments of genuine affection comes across as extremely sweet whenever it happens. All that’s good.

Now, I bring this up to show you that despite not liking typical romance stories, I can absolutely discern for myself what I believe to be positive and negative examples of it. This isn’t going to be one of those situations where I tear down the book because I hate a particular genre, even if it will undoubtedly have an affect on my reaction to this story.

I also told you all that because I want it known that every bad thing that will DEFINITELY happen in this story is not because of my warped perception. It’s because Penders doesn’t know how to write romance. I haven’t even read the book yet but I’m calling it now.

This shit is going to be painful.

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First page. Already, we’re at the first page and I’ve found something to bitch about. No offense to Mr. Chris Allan, but this art isn’t making the best of impressions on me right now.

Mighty in the first panel has a nose that’s uncomfortably stretched out and pointed upward with arms that look a little long on him. Then his proportions kind of balloon out in the next panel he’s in. Then all of a sudden, on the bottom one, they’re all just super fat. I don’t have a clue what’s in those sandwiches they’re eating but they’d better hurry and vouch for a salad instead.

Scrolling through the rest of it, it does seem that the art isn’t as bad as this as it goes on… for the most part. It's very wonky and that’s unfortunate. Wonky art that goes from good to bad to okay is always the hardest to judge.

The conversation on the first page is actually kind of nice. It’s just the rest of the Chaotix gang actually talking about and acknowledging Charmy’s absence. Apparently Vector didn’t get the memo that he wasn’t just on vacation but that he's actually been currently written out of the series right now. 

When it's brought up that he was essentially forced to do what this comic, I guess, considers to be growing up Espio rightly, in my opinion, points out that he could have renounced his heritage but now he’s getting fucking married. This causes Vector and Mighty to understandably flip the fuck out.

Somehow Espio received word that Charmy’s getting married to a girl named Saffron. I find myself a bit amused by Vector’s reaction basically boiling down to “MARRIAGE?! NO WAY!” but Espio and Mighty following that up by harping about how much better Julie-Su is than him wasn’t appreciated. Fuck her. Vector’s the man even if he does suck in this book right now. I’m always going to be on his side in this conflict despite that.

Speaking of which, we cut to Julie-Su doing the thing that any obvious lover pinning for a healthy respectable relationship would do… blasting a picture of the object of their affection because he ran off to go see his dad.

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This is already worse than some of that mid-2000s Amy Rose stuff. Literally after the Chaotix scene we’re treated to a two-page spread of Julie-Su just screaming the phrase “Run out on me willya! BIIIIG MISTAKE!” with drool in her mouth at this picture as she’s blasting it.

What a catch. Who wouldn’t want to get together with that?

We actually get that horrendous title on this page too which… I guess means this is supposed to be funny? I guess this would work better if this was a story that was intentionally supposed to be about some psycho stalker bitch and that title was sarcastic but I doubt it.

After doing this, she picks up the picture and starts talking to it. She goes on about how mad she is that Knuckles isn’t here to talk with her and asks why he doesn’t care about US and other obsessive cliches. She literally says “I need a life. The problem is, where do you get one?”

I imagine she had one before she decided to just abandon it for no reason to drool in anger after Knuckles and if we’d been given a proper, acceptable explanation for why she did I’d imagine this line would make even less sense and be even more hopelessly pathetic. All of this is bad though.

Back with Knuckles and Locke, Knuckles walks in on his dad making breakfast and Locke notices that Knuckles looks like an annoyed, disgruntled old grandpa whose totally done with this shit. Locke asks him what’s wrong and…

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That happens. I almost thought about stopping right here because I really don’t think I’m ready to listen to Knuckles drone on about how girls make him feel weird. Plus, that face Locke is making in that final panel is very unnerving. I needed to make sure you all saw it so that the shivers could go down your spines as well. 

Also, Locke is definitely not the best person to come to for advice about women considering the way he treated his wife. Then when she thankfully broke away from him and got re-engaged to someone else he later forced a kiss onto her when they were alone.

Anyway, I already hate this kind of stuff but I felt myself momentarily die when Knuckles started to have the talk with his dad. He talks about how he feels weird when he’s with her and how he’s happy and mad at the same time. I’ve personally never felt happy and mad at someone at the same time but it might be because I’ve no interest in getting into romantic relationships and I'm not attracted to anything. So maybe that’s how people actually feel when they’re contractually obligated by the plot to fall in love.

Thankfully, Locke assures us that this actually isn’t anything real and that we’re not going to attempt to push anything genuinely or remotely healthy towards the readers. No, instead, he says Knuckles has a bad case of the Soultouch.

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I didn’t know about this particular explanation about the soultouch. I didn’t think I could hate this anymore than I already did.

So nature apparently saw fit to counteract the intelligence of the echidnas by… I guess making it impossible for them to be homosexual? Yeah, the Soultouch just picks out a compatible partner of the opposite sex for them. That’s literally what he says too. "A compatible member of the opposite sex." 

Knuckles points out the obvious question of wondering if that’s true then why the fuck did it turn out so badly for him and his mom. Locke’s answer is that HE DOESN’T KNOW (Sweet Baby Jesus, FUCK this guy!) and he responds that maybe relationships need a little thing called “work”. 

Like maybe, just maybe, you can’t just say “Hey, we’re together” and then expect that to be the happy ending. The soultouch deemed us partners and therefore I can act like an asshole and neglect my significant other all I want because the soultouch said we need to stay together. It’s how nature said it works. 

A part of me thinks the echidnas are using this concept as a convenient excuse to lie about how horrible they are and how badly the husbands treat their wives. Knuckles’ mom managed to resist and broke away once she realized that her man was the worst thing ever. Also, does that mean the soultouch hooked Marie Ann up with Rob O’ Hedge knowing full well he was a hedgehog? 

Anyway, this horrid conversation continues until Knuckles just asks his dad something he should be legally barred from expressing his opinion on… and I just… just look at this--!

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Knuckles is basically recognizing that he doesn’t feel happy and mad when he’s around guys. He just feels happy and that allows him to get along great with them. Locke immediately comes over to Knuckles and is like “Whoops, gotta make sure my son comes down with a case of the Not-Gays. Here, step into my chamber while I vigorously change the subject matter back to your feelings on this GIRL!”

Christ almighty. I expected this to be bad but I’m not even halfway done with the first comic and already it’s worse than I thought it’d be. 

"Eventually they would want something more" he says, unaware that sometimes, no, they may just want to stick to hitting it off with dudes. Some people aren't interested in romance at all Locke. So much for the gallant intelligence of the echidnas.

Honestly, this might go well to support my theory that the soultouch is just some bullshit that echidnas tell their sons and daughters so that they get it in their heads that feelings for other members of the same sex aren’t acted upon. “No Son, you’re not gay. The magical soultouch wouldn’t hook you up with a man. You just like hanging out with dudes because of the bro-code. That’s entirely different and the only way that would or should ever be possible. Ever.”

I don’t even know if I have the proper words to express how weird I’M feeling right now. I’m a little giggly I guess, just because of how incompetent this is. I’m just reading this and going “Uh-oh. Hahaha~! Oh Penders, you dumb bitch…”

It’s like I’m amused by the ravings of a child. This doesn’t feel like it’s been written by an adult. It feels like a 10 year old wrote this. I guess that’s why I’m more amused than upset. 

Then again, if the soultouch was made up  then we can totally add homophobia to the long list of things that make these echidnas just the absolute worst beings on the planet. 

It would also mean that Julie-Su acting this way is just her genuine insanity. I much prefer the idea that she’s just crazy rather than compelled by some magic bullshit to love someone she barely knew.

At this point, the artstyle doesn’t know what to do with itself. I don’t think it knows what it wants to be so it keeps morphing from one style to the next each page.

This book then decides to reaffirm how bad Vector is by having Espio and Mighty dare him to pick up chicks. It's incredibly weird seeing Espio say “Put up or Shut up!” with a smirk on his face with regards to picking up chicks by the way. I don’t like it.

Then Vector goes around examining all the suddenly super model type woman around.

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I hate it so much.

Julie-Su decides to go out and thinks that maybe her problem is that she’s no fucking fun. She sees a hat on a mannequin in the window and is thinking about putting it on. She doesn’t until an echidna that looks exactly like Knuckles but with a weird body the shape of a short and dumpy looking Winnie the Pooh character helps her go inside to try the hat on and then randomly invites her to lunch. Because despite how polite he’s being, he’s clearly thirsty and has no chill.

I also like how that mannequin looks like that awful Create Your Own Sonic Character game I played once and never touched again when I was younger.

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Archimedes BAMFs in to see Knuckles because it's been a while. He’s definitely a lot less "mentor" and more "friendly uncle" nowadays. Knuckles freaks out when he’s asked how he’s doing because he’s happy to be with his dad but for some reason he can’t stop thinking about Julie-Su.

I have no clue why this is being played up as such a hard and heavy thing. It’s not like she’s in a dungeon or anything. Maybe if something triggered him shifting his thoughts to Julie-Su I’d understand a bit more. Maybe if seeing his dad cleared up some space in his mind to worry about this other thing he’s been mulling over for a while now? But still, if you wanna see her, go see her. Whatever. 

Is he worried that if he leaves, his dad will disappear again? You know, it wouldn’t shock me if he did.

When Knuckles tells Archimedes that his dad isn’t being very helpful, Archimedes explains that all parents hate nurturing their children to be properly prepared for things when they grow up so he decides to poof Knuckles out of there, leaving Locke to come back and wonder where his son has gone for a change.

We catch up with Vector who hasn’t managed to get a date. It remains incredibly weird that he’s worried about scoring because Espio the Chameleon made a bet with him to find a girl. It’s so not something the current day Espio would or could conceivably give a fuck about. It’s unreal.

Luckily for Vector, he gets hit on by a swan lady. Or at least I think she's hitting on him. She mentions milk so he probably has a good chance. Vector’s got hearts in his eyes so he’s down to get it on with a bird person.

Back with Julie-Su, she’s out to lunch with this guy who she just met and he’s asking her a personal question about having someone special in her life. Just then, Knuckles poofs in wearing the dopest looking expression on his face and then the Jojo “To Be Continued” card slides in. 

BLEUGH! 

There’s only so many times you can say “This story is the worst thing ever” before it stops having any meaning. I like to think that every time I say it though, it’s a different kind of “worst thing ever” you know? We’ll call this the one where Penders lets it be known that he knows less about sexual orientation and love than a guy who literally has no desire to engage in any of it. I say this knowing full well that he’s married. 

Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #26: A Friend in Need

This is a story about Mighty whom I feel I’ve softened on recently. Might be because all the outcries for his return have died down now that he’s actually returned. As understanding as I try to be, I still don’t fully get what the big deal was and considering these comics had to have been the only real incite into his character at the time, they had to have given him something interesting to do and to be aside from mildly adorable from time to time.

So far that absolutely has not been true. All the Chaotix up to this point have been as bland as dishwater. I couldn’t imagine reading these early books and coming out as fans of them. 

That said, he’s getting his first actual story in this book and it begins with him greeting someone,  who I thought was obviously Nack the Weasel, as though he’s on friendly terms with them and then being presented with what looks like a dog collar, which shocks the hell out of Mighty. I must say that it's an interesting start. Plus Manny Galan’s art is already leaving a better impression on the eyes.

Turns out that collar belongs to one Ray the Flying Squirrel and he’s being recruited for his muscle by one Nic the Weasel. Mighty says “Don’t you mean Nack?” and she says no because she’s his sister.

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Because I guess he needed a sister.

I thought it odd how happily Mighty was initially greeting the person he thought was Nack the Weasel. I know that his happiness was more concentrated on the other item she was holding in her hand but it still seems like a strange initial reaction to have unless he was well acquainted with Nack in a more positive manner in the past. He doesn’t seem to know who Nic is though.

Mighty is then shown flying with Nic in her aircraft. Here he remembers meeting Ray when they were being sold into slavery. Huh. Never knew about this. If it came up in the stuff I’ve read before it might have been glossed over by me because I didn’t care about Mighty. What’s interesting is how Ray has that weird stuttering thing. It’s odd because he doesn’t have that for a long stretch of the issues I started reading until it suddenly showed up, seemingly out of nowhere, in the Knuckles arc of Sonic Universe when he was hanging out with Vector on Angel Island. 

Seeing it here is weird. That means it’s probably something that is just present or not-present by the whims of the authors? Is that something you can just choose to turn off though? 

Well, regardless, it turns out there aren’t just slaves here. A Freedom Fighter is with them. He’s Sonic the Hedgehog and he’s here to point at himself and say he’s awesome… and save them eventually.

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The words “Don’t”, “Captured” and “Us” were the only words Ray didn’t stutter on in that sentence. It’s kind of amazing. 

Also, I do believe this memory serves as the first shot of the SegaSonic the Hedgehog gang being together in the comics. 

They touch down in the area and I guess it's the same place Mighty was in back in the flashback because he remarks that it’s still spooky. I was ready for the rest of this story to have no surprises in it but then I reached the end and got one more.

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Tails cried when Robotnik created the perfect gal but forgot to waterproof her. 

Not to worry though. She exists again… in flesh form.

Yeah, it’s Fiona Fox and she looks kind of adorable honestly. I don’t think I’ve seen her drawn to be cute before. Also, this was back when girls could be naked too. It’s all so weird.

I did really like the letter sent in by this person here at the end. 

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Toni is concerned for Charmy and doesn’t like Julie-Su. Excellent.

Oh my God, I hate it. I hates it so, so much. The last thing, the very last thing I want to read are these characters I grew up with having “the talk” or musing about how they feel weird around girls or any of this crap. It’s even worse when the advice given is so nakedly terrible to the point of being reprehensibly absurd. Now I gotta watch these two people who shouldn’t be together get superglued together by a godawful plot for the sake of fake romance. 

Remember all you young echidnas out there, the soultouch is a part of nature and no animal has even been gay. Aside from all the gay ones but those ones aren’t as smart as we echidnas. We’re so smart that nature saw fit to force us to have compatible partners of the opposite sex. Because… I guess that made sense as a way to compensate for making the echidnas too smart? I dunno. I guess it’s a small step above being a Jedi where you’re not allowed to mate at all.

I gotta move on before I start feeling all slimy and gross. The best thing about this issue was the couple page long Mighty thing tacked on at the end. 

 

Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #27: The First Date - Part 2 of 3: Who Wrote the Book of Love Anyway?

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I dunno guys. I think I may have fallen into the pit of my own personal Hell as far as this particular book goes. The book has been awful before in both annoying and hilarious ways but THIS… fucking THIS I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle. Three of the worst things about this comic; the echidna shit, the romance shit and Ken Penders are being put into a blender and served on a platter with a side of rotten hot garbage and I’m fearing for my life right now. I survived Sonic Live but I don’t know if I’m gonna make it this time.

The shit title and the cover being a collage of things I don’t want to see aren’t helping.

Spoiler

We start on Knuckles floating in mid-air, looking like a disgusting naked mole rat.

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When Knuckles is told where he is and that Julie-Su is here we engage in Disney Channel sitcom antics of hiding behind the plant because you don’t want to get spotted by your crush. Archy wants Knuckles to talk to her and Knuckles is hiding and saying shit like “Nuuuu! She’ll see meeeee~!”

Hate levels have excelled past maximum.

Knuckles then stumbles back like an idiot and crashes into a waiter, which makes him spill all his food, and then his pants fall down and he swings his arm back in surprise which bashes into another waiter carrying ten banana cream pies and that waiter trips and falls down a flight of stairs…

No, it doesn’t get that bad. He crashes into one waiter and he spills his food. The manager comes out and is about to force Knuckles to clean and pay for everything but then recognizes him because he’s the guardian. So then he offers to have one of the "hired help" (really weird thing to call your employees) clean it and then he says that instead he’ll just clean it. Knuckles continues to insist until Julie-Su gets up, at which point he gets Archy to poof them out of there. 

Hannah Montana shenanigans have been put on hold. 

Julie-Su has a hunch that Knuckles was definitely here though and ends the scene by promising that’s she’s going to nag the fuck out of him like a likeable character would do when this is over. Oh boy. I can’t wait for the naggy Julie-Su scene. 

Anyway, Knuckles, the love-struck teenage boy is mulling over how he turns to jello over Julie-Su and Archy interjects with a very weird pep-talk.

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Wow. Now isn’t that just fucking disgusting?

That’s why NATURE stepped in? Apparently, the echidnas exist outside of nature…? Like, what the fuck kind of explanation is this? Every other species can love correctly and exist within nature but the echidnas, who still exist within nature, for some reason are incapable of loving correctly? The harder you think about it the less sense it makes. If nature is in charge then why didn’t it just wire the echidnas to love things the way normal beings did? Locke says it’s because “nature” needed to balance out the fact that they were so smart but what the hell does that even mean? Unless they actually are aliens how does this work?

Locke runs to his father’s control room to ask him where Knuckles is and he says that he doesn’t know. One of the ants figures that Archimedes decided to step in and help Knuckles play matchmaker. Archimedes is acting out of his assigned role and just palling around with Knuckles out of the goodness of his heart. It’s honestly kind of endearing. 

Sabre doesn’t think so and is about to re-initiate the "Operation Spy On Knuckle’s Private Life" but Locke STOPS him…!

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In THIS matter, he can have his privacy. Now the instant he has to take a shit, we’re firing up those monitors though.

I dunno. Is this character development for Locke or is this just supposed to be something that’s happening because he’s viewing it unnecessary to spy on Knuckles now that he’s started to (in his eyes) grow up? Even reading this scene, I can’t give him the benefit of the doubt and say it’s happening because he’s realized spying on Knuckles was a shitty thing to do before.

Knuckles, having seen the Chaotix walk into the arcade, follows them inside and overhears Vector saying that Julie-Su has him wrapped around her finger, which she kind of does. Then he sees Knux and asks the dreaded question… “What’s Happening?”

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As you can see, his reaction is a very realistic and stable one. He really hates the hit 70s show, “What’s Happening?” doesn’t he…?

wEk1KEnv14GCuEVASQbUv-IiEj2kUvYG5acV8pilmU5XCApKAnW7cxWfQunFS5NPWFLZFrMaJcFrug0m6Rd6yEG11RupKaa-BeMP2tumUOzR-n2R31vCwxwnd5LpVKvNStP9xsay

No, he just attacked and strangled Vector because the soultouch is making him turn into a crazy maniac. Espio and Mighty try to stop Knuckles from killing the man and Knuckles shouts at them to get out of his face even though he was the one who got all up in their faces. Then when Vector tries to apologize for his usual ribbing Knuckles doesn’t want it and tells him to stuff it. Then he marches off.

Then we get the part I always hate the most where the person who thinks they know it all, in this case Archimedes, says with a smile on his face “What you saw there was one lovesick puppy”. 

UGGGGHHHH~!

Yes, I’m aware that “love” (big quotation marks there) can make people act irrational but the way it’s being portrayed here is so incredibly off-the-wall violent. Echidnas reject love so much that it turns them into dangerous, abusive, neglectful monsters I guess. Knuckles strangles his friend, Julie-Su screams and blasts pictures of Knuckles with her gun because he went to go see his dad, and Locke is unable to tell why his relationship with his wife went belly up… 

It can’t be me right? This isn’t healthy right? Maybe echidnas are actually better off not loving.

Julie-Su finishes up her spontaneous date with this random echidna she met in what could not have been but a few hours ago, at most, and he sees her off with a freaking kiss to the cheek? God, it’s so weird. How does shit work like this for them? Ick.

Julie-Su then goes home and sulks about how the echidna that wants her isn’t Knuckles. Boo-hoo I guess.

Knuckles is reflecting on what he just did and surprisingly comes to the conclusion that if it were anyone else he’d feel the need to apologize but since it's Vector he won’t. Why are they friends then?

Also, he thinks about how Vector needs to get over it and get off Julie-Su’s back, which I disagree with. Until I get an explanation for why she was shoehorned into the group after she strapped the Chaotix to the sand in the desert so that they could die and why no one but Vector seems to care that she’s just randomly considered a good guy now, I don’t want the croc to stop harping on her about being a bitch.

At the same time though, Vector is terrible in this book. It sucks because I’m on his side out of sheer principal. The character he hates, I hate a lot too. However, his portrayal is dirt poor. Again, I couldn’t imagine him being anyone’s favorite if this were what they had to go by back then. 

The book knows it too. That’s the worst part. They keep trying to insist that Vector’s on the wrong end of this feud and they're pushing it by having Knuckles explicitly state that he deliberately won’t apologize to Vector, even though Vector TRIED to apologize to him. Fuck that. 

At this point, I’m not even sympathetic towards the situation. Everything about this is just terrible and annoying.

After a pretty cute scene with Lara and Wyn being romantic in the moonlight, Knuckles goes up to Julie-Su’s house to ring the doorbell. He figured he’d go see his mom since she’s also a girl (logical I guess) but figured this won’t end unless he goes right for the source. 

So, in a scene that would have been cute had I liked the character being spoken to and the idea behind this relationship, Knuckles asks her on a date behind the door.

We end on a shot of what is allegedly supposed to be Knuckles but I’m not convinced isn’t a character from Animaniacs cosplaying as him.

NsP_htSJ80DSQ3Q6L-4_AauA-ZBA66YtJ9MIK6Fa2lyauhtbFUXR0_pL21NoPTcVCWkkgCQYULOTvfSg3-SjaGPmAPgHAOMNkfX-kuc-T1x83FBRJgIxg0wvdJwAxIsznZ7pYVDN

Did I mention the art’s bad? Cause the art’s bad.

Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #27: Those Were the Days

We reconvene back to the story that I actually care about now. Mighty has agreed to help Nic the Weasel locate some gemstones in Robotnik’s old slave labor camps in exchange for helping him locate Ray when he comes across a girl from his past, Fiona Fox.

From the books I’ve read during the Flynn era you’d have zero idea that Fiona and Mighty shared a past together. I honestly don’t even remember them speaking to each other once in those issues. If it happened, it didn’t leave an impression. That makes this particularly surprising to me.

Now, of course when they meet, the words you’d expect to come out of their mouths do.

“Fiona? I thought you were--!”
“--DEAD?!”

Yeah, apparently she’s with Nic. This jives with what I know about Fiona. Apparently she was a bit of a miscreant before joining the Freedom Fighters, getting beaten to the punch by another rival treasure hunter, and apparently ends up going along with Bean and Bark for a bit too.

Then all that other stuff happens with her dating Sonic, then Evil Sonic, then smacking Tails, then… all that other stuff.

Mighty, meanwhile, is reminiscing about the past again. He thinks back on how when Robotnik’s guards tried to take them away he tried to fight them off and how instantly they got fucked. Fiona was taken from them. Then later, he saw Sonic again, who delivered Mighty a keycard to help him out of his shackles. After ripping the bars apart, they then escaped.

Mighty recalls all that after the three of them waltz by some creepy looking replicas of the Freedom Fighters that are just standing around for some reason. It’s very strange and unsettling. Mighty starts to wonder if the Sonic that saved him was the real one.

Eventually, Nic leads them into an area with a vault and says she wants Mighty to open it, finally seemingly clarifying what I thought was already a given about how Ray clearly wasn’t here and how she just knew where he could be saved after this particular job was finished. We’re getting close to whatever the main focal point of this tale is.

Someone please check my pulse because this story might have killed me. Oh deary me, there’s one more of these left. Sweet merciful Galactus, help me. My body is having a repulsive, physical rejection of everything I’ve read in this god forsaken book. I’m really hoping that the majority of the final story is just the Mighty story. 

Here I go though. I can’t stop because I plan on continuing but at the same time I need this shit to END!


Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #28: The First Date - Part 3 of 3: It Could Be Love (I Should Have Known Better)

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I don’t even want to talk about this anymore. I hate this cover too. Floating heads, puffy Knuckles’ cheeks, pissed off Spawn reject who doesn't even appear in the story, and Julie-Su cuddling with another picture of Knuckles, one she’ll presumably set on fire the instant he goes to hang out with someone that isn’t her. Fuck me. Shit title yet again.

UU-1HwzlOFq-E6bKaozb0kFSOuQLf6c5P3pMlihvgEtWkymWmKyHW2axVUg_k1sJfKiGdCpoVaDehYf5mlVTGUJqEIQxKA_VJ63vBLGbd2951nSa7-03i0Jatinn53zrH2XOCzMe

This is a collage of what probably is the three most wasted stories in this line of Knuckles issues so far. This didn’t need to be three issues. This didn’t need to happen at all. The power of Christ compels this book to stop being so awful and nothing short of setting it on fire is going to work.

Spoiler

 

Knuckles rings the doorbell to his mom’s house and is let in to greet her happily. Perhaps a little too happily...

NAHKqKTOGemKEGjNqhFwZxkIBH_K9bdozOIyVlqCS5JUJ2RBVtCKFf4zQBuB6klE-ig-wWHuHLWtCs0IJ3aCk5e03xmeSF8o1fo0ayr58FKY4iTh6pj0UKwIrFVihg0jbfVUhh8p

It’s good to see you too mom. REAL GOOD. 

This is all Mr. Allan's fault, not mine.

Anyway, he asks his mom about his parent’s first date, still under the delusion that their example is one that’ll provide sufficient help. 

Lara says that Locke took her on a picnic and read her poetry. Apparently it was wonderful. She gets a little miffed when it turns out Knuckles’ date is the same day she wants to spring a surprise on him. However, she decides to kill two birds with one stone with this new information. 

She heads on over to Julie-Su, who is drawn as though to emphasize a lack of pants despite the fact that she never wore any already, and sits down to tell her what her plan is to help out on her date with Knuckles.

Back with the Chaotix at the cafe, Vector and the others basically have a conversation that amounts to this:

Mighty: What’s wrong Vector? Why do you feel so down?
Vector: I’m down because Knuckles yelled at me and tried to strangle me 
Espio: Well fuck you then. You deserved it.

Mighty then proceeds to ask Vector what his problem with Julie-Su is as if the reason is somehow not obvious. Honestly, despite how annoying Vector is in this book his reaction has been the only one that’s made sense. I know the book is pushing for Julie-Su to be a hero now but it's not for a reason anyone should have reasonably guessed because the reason is “nature did it” and that’s it.

Anyway, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Echidna shows up and makes up with Vector. He’s allegedly supposed to be Knuckles but he clearly isn’t.

HoTb6C5weqUEGAX3MqPg6vEV8aGUfLzwEJBfdKQ_HkMaTM3mD5hM084Z4sl1nnUZWJBCIHQ_S9nlUY3F3fpgQ_sZXUALAz561YexYv6OAyeRaEeazDoRlYn5Qnpd9gWOidB0zGhx

That isn’t Knuckles. The art in this scene and with the rest of the Chaotix looks horrendous. They all look like variations of whatever this is right here. It’s disturbing and gross.

Speaking of disturbing and gross--!

HWVliwL7nTleKzhFJmNm3mOrYnI9SP_49tT1N2FM8ygcY7KtPhxgo0PQdRKCAhhLdCPJKtLRlMSeP5Nf29o_gh1VYOuy9C8hjj0J7DynbxNW8wiabYwMG-8VOqq9d7mjp5W0SRUw

Yeah, Locke is spying on Knuckles again. 

… The fuck was the point of the scene where he told Sabre not to do it then? God. Of course he didn’t change. Why the hell would he?

Lara calls up Locke and he looks a bit surprised and elated to hear it’s from her because he still wants her to belong to him I guess. He immediately asks her what he’s done now… which is funny considering he’s actually in the middle of doing something wrong.

Turns out the surprise Lara has for Knuckles is a party for his 16th birthday. Locke literally has to be reminded of this saying that he posted a reminder for Friday about something but forgot what it was he was reminding himself about.

I get it Penders. Your dad sucked.

Locke agrees to help though. He’s in a position where he feels he has no choice but to do dad stuff so I guess he’s gonna do dad stuff now. We’re gonna need to wean him from spying on Knuckles with his privacy invasion cameras though.

So the time comes and Knuckles is led to his surprise party by Julie-Su where everyone greets him with open arms. It’s also where one of my favorite examples of terrible art is put on display. It’s deliciously awful.

-kpbtjKA5rY-makSK-FuB0k8BR9VqxDC6jb2e3GpMjE4DhuBLywqN0I-0KKzYdj3dOX9CYBLC8fAL_79eG2v6s13b1rrNkLYgA1LGGH54QesPvZnZQ9KbKGXyTMbrT1L2iOJpTnb

Mmmm! IF YOU’RE GOING TO A PARTY-PARTY...!

I can’t help but laugh at this swan. Seriously, who’s this broad? Her proportions are ridiculous and those dance moves are what I’d like to call “The Rigor Mortis Step”. Meanwhile, Vector’s body has almost reached full Killer Croc mutation levels of scary. He’s been molding into some horrifying beast throughout the duration of this comic but this terrible dance music is helping him to reach his final form. 
 

I don’t have to reiterate that Knuckles has a gross salamander body right? It’s legitimately distressing looking at it. I couldn’t imagine how disappointed I’d be picking up and reading this comic as a kid. It would have been the worst.

Knuckles goes up to his parents and thanks them for what they’ve done… leading with the naive assumption that they’ll be getting back together for his birthday. Thank God Lara denies it. The two of them will never be together again but she re-assures Knuckles that they’ll always be there for him. This moment, in a vacuum, would have been fine had the father in this situation not been the worst person ever. He forgot why he marked his calendar as important yet at the same time saw it fit to spy on Knuckles shortly after saying he didn’t want his dad to do it anymore. GUGH!
Then we end on what might be the worst ending shot I’ve seen and will ever see in these books.

cNuBiqmTzNm7U_vf4XhecKzTr82AemVwb6PFsbn3GXosmV_jLI10qcFQol_pWdb6KqRUFezy3Bly-Jo-nirt2zaD4ugnXuM29XK9HvyIaLmrqwdAra3GTioovM967mcBSGnbWYuC

This picture is the total antithesis to what I would have wanted out of a Sonic the Hedgehog comic when I was a kid. Just a bunch of horrifying, bootleg, muscle-bound, liefeld esque monstrosities, mingling with characters I don’t know and don’t care about. Knuckles’ girl troubles was something I never gave a shit about and even if I did his girl troubles aren’t playing out the way I would have felt they should with a character like Knuckles and he’s doing it with a boring look-alike instead of someone interesting.

Everything about this page is just the worst. It’s so wrong that even Digital Homicide would second guess whether or not to sell it. They still would though.

I’m grossed out and I want to move on.

Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #28: Below the Belt

Already this is so much better. Please, take me away to a much better looking story.

So, Mighty opens the vault that’s said to have this so-called valuable treasure inside and is met with the sight of an actually adorable looking Ray… holding what looks like a shard of the Master Emerald… but its most assuredly not, because the real Master Emerald has a giant elephant man trapped inside of it because Sonic comics.

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They do the “I thought you were--!” and “--DEAD?!” thing again. Except Ray has that stutter.

Ray is surprised to hear that it’s been 50 years since he’s been stuck here as it feels like it’s only been hours since he, Sonic, and Mighty fought off Robotnik. Okay, 50 years is an impossible exaggeration but it reminded me of Samurai Jack for some reason.

In the flashback, Robotnik is facing Sonic and Mighty. Interesting thing to note is that Robotnik doesn’t recognize Sonic and says he reminds him of Sir Charles, which means this is officially the first time he and Robotnik have met. Wow.

Something like that was tucked away in the corner of a panel at the tail end of the shittiest Knuckles the Echidna comic book I’ve ever read. How frightening.

Anyway, while Sonic and Mighty handled Robotnik, Ray grabbed what is referred to as a Power Stone. He then magically disappeared with it. Sonic and Mighty try to retrieve him but are unsuccessful. Mighty then goes beserk, crying while tossing heavy machinery around like he’s Hercules. As this goes on, Robotnik has his Swat-Bots just carry Fiona away too. He then leaves the novice Freedom Fighter and the one escapee to wallow in defeat.

Then the robot Fiona happened…

ETCJ9BMb5m3aZ4Ca0cH7nym7dqeHtE_zW1aLB87BwELLCWYvzMVDIYebTPpxiBZ411SRV5JbSN0ho8b3lsiKpB5csYvSrGGJZ9uAQTAiVOqeGh4IbUDNAtG8HFXX3D6Udbo7Gk3o

Ah yes. I knew about this but I always thought it strange and still do to this day. This was the part where a Looney Tunes-esque story about Tails being immediately smitten with the only other fox he’s apparently ever seen and it turning out to be a non-water proof robot was suddenly treated as a beckon for serious story-telling. 

Sometimes adapting things that way can work. My problem isn’t with making Fiona herself a more serious character; it's more so the direction they take concerning Tails’ feelings for her that I found… cartoonishly out of touch, we’ll say. It gets very strange and it ends up being the catalyst for the biggest disappointment I’ve ever had reading the Sonic comics (and ironically that particular story’s cover was the reason I decided I wanted to get into the comics in the first place).

Fiona was trapped in a cell and forgotten and it took her two years (ouch) for her to dig through the floor and escape. Once outside she met Nic and they’ve been together ever since.

Now… this is where the weird magic of the Sonic comics starts to confuse the fuck out of me yet again. 

Ray’s just floating there, holding onto the Power Stone. How he got here is never explained and how Nic knew he or the Power Stone was behind this vault is also never explained. Ray then says he’s trapped “between zones”. The only inclination that something is off about him is the weird space looking background they have around him… so I guess that’s him being trapped between zones.

Nic then… takes out her gun, fires at the Power Stone, which… somehow causes Ray to let go (because I guess he couldn’t let go himself?) and that just instantly saves him? Apparently the shot neutralized it…? Guns can do that to a stone that traps people between zones???

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Yeah, I’ll be honest, this last page made no sense to me whatsoever. I don’t really know what that was. But hey, Mighty got his friend back so that’s all that matters. Good for him.

I'm also not sure what the point of the mannequin Freedom Fighters was. Doesn't seem like that has an answer or a purpose. Yeah, this was still a Penders story so there's a ton here that just doesn't work unfortunately.

 

I’m actually not being hyperbolic here when I say that this was the worst experience reading any of these comics I’ve ever had. It’s going to take some serious rancid dog shit to top this one for me because I just couldn’t handle this one. That’s why this collection of reviews was several days late compared to when I usually upload them. I needed a breather from each issue because it was actually draining me looking at it. 

The nazi stuff was awful but it was funny awful. The Charmy stuff was uncomfortable but it was an interesting, mesmerizing kind of uncomfortable. This wasn’t funny or interesting. It was a generic lovey-dovey teenage romance story being told with a character that I don’t associate that shit with and his horrible look-alike. That last panel with super muscular Knuckles, bending over and sucking face with a clone of himself while other deformed monstrosities watch in the background is going to haunt me.

There are times where I wonder if I start out being too harsh on an artist but as the story went on, the art just got worse and worse to the point where it’s apex was ICONIC in how bad it looked. I’d have found it funny had I not seen these images strung across the internet before.

“If you’re going to a party-party” is probably my favorite of those images though. It does still manage to get a chuckle out of me. 

It’s quite ironic that Mighty ended up being the light at the end of the tunnel for me here. I’m grateful. Even though not much happened in his story aside from some mildly entertaining exposition, it was well-drawn and functioned the way a semi-normal Sonic the Hedgehog comic should function for the most part. I appreciate that at least.

I can only hope nothing tops this one in its badness but I’m sure something will happen to upset me again. Thank God, these Knuckles comics are almost done.
 

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If you ask me, issues #26-#29 is what killed the Knuckles book. (Can't wait to see what you think of issue #29, it is arguably just as bad as this romantic nonsense.) Issues #30-#32 from the final story, which aren't that bad, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was too little too late. That's my own speculation, I know the Super Specials didn't last much longer as well after this so I imagine readership was declining naturally, but I also don't think the Knuckles book could of died as early as it did. I dunno, I'm happy to be proven wrong if anyone does have info on the sales of these, but you don't bore your readers for 4 issues and then hope they all stick around. Maybe things would of been better if the Mighty story was bumped up, rewritten to involve Knuckles, while the romcom was put at the back.

It does feel like this story just sort of sums up how Penders seem out of touch with his own readership. Even the Sonic fans who love shipping and who like pairing up characters or even like the sort of soap opera fan art out there on the internet, I doubt many would want, say, the IDW comic to stop for 3 issues just to see Sonic and Amy in a romcom plot. I like romance actually, I kindof like it when there is a hint of it, I like alot of the stuff Antoine and Bunnie got up too through the Archie run as a couple, I actually wouldn't mind seeing a dash of it in the IDW run, even if I assume only the original characters can get up to it.

But this. This just feels so out of touch. I can't imagine many boys reading this liking this. Ofcourse, it would help if it was a bit wittier, and written by someone who felt like they had a better understanding of relationships. This feels like the crowning story from all those Youtube videos of "Oh, Archie Sonic was so weird."

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2 hours ago, Silvereyes said:

Maybe things would of been better if the Mighty story was bumped up, rewritten to involve Knuckles, while the romcom was put at the back.

I mean, yeah, I don't see why not. That's literally what they did with the Charmy LSD story. 

It's not like you need a ton of pages to get across that these two are going on a date and are gonna kiss at the end of it. Who cares about Vector looking for a woman to date or talk about how the echidnas are so fucking smart that they derp when it comes to love (which is a thing that still makes no sense)? Like most of this story was just dedicated to people being irrationally moody or angry, sometimes to the point of violence, over something that I thought was really dumb. Although, I still would have preferred this not be touched upon at all but even if I didn't, this wasn't the way to do it. 

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Spoiler
On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Stupid goddamn title with its dumb sitcom sounding bullshit

Actually I think it's a Beatles reference. Because Ken loves reminding us how he grew up in the 60's.

 

On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I’m glad Gon and Killua clearly have each other in Hunter X Hunter.

If they don't canonize that eventually I'm going to scream. Those 2 are clearly in love with each other.

 

On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

No offense to Mr. Chris Allan, but this art isn’t making the best of impressions on me right now.

I recommend checking out his art on the Archie TMNT book. He's fantastic there and draws one of the best April's.

 

On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Speaking of which, we cut to Julie-Su doing the thing that any obvious lover pinning for a healthy respectable relationship would do… blasting a picture of the object of their affection because he ran off to go see his dad.

9j5HjmzxPSScsvhSTWxvtZDpsHuUp2sBBYYhyhXZnjX3om8M0O0wRdT6_sHyhkr9vsY91NnF4uYuGgSVAYt5ROzQnaAWaCg20xp_yoXUuYzHBhWxt8SLVZ4n_-OLCaknVjaSyayI

This is already worse than some of that mid-2000s Amy Rose stuff. Literally after the Chaotix scene we’re treated to a two-page spread of Julie-Su just screaming the phrase “Run out on me willya! BIIIIG MISTAKE!” with drool in her mouth at this picture as she’s blasting it.

Yeah I've made it clear I don't hate Julie-Su  but I absolutely can't defend this. This is just such a weird out of nowhere thing. Considering it's the title page is it supposed to be a joke like it has a sappy Beatles reference title about love but then Julie is ready to fucking murder Knuckles? Also what is the timeline with events of the main book and specials because this feels like it's only a couple hours after #25 for Julie-Su to still be mad but it pretty much has to be after STH #71 considering things that will happen in #29 tying in with the main book.

 

On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Back with Knuckles and Locke, Knuckles walks in on his dad making breakfast and Locke notices that Knuckles looks like an annoyed, disgruntled old grandpa whose totally done with this shit. Locke asks him what’s wrong and…

OA-wLPhOcQbmB7deY-GabYopvLVGzfEHfsjQ_a17SOgXfSt30qzQwQcF3a9-uNeVY-mod6H58gLjCWCrAb8Egd2Mr02Zv-XPIUAjp4Q1cQzS0KL-Ch-ErO58JYDXilMk1dL8uU9c

So remember when Locke said he gave Knuckles the birds and the bees talk? Yeah that's total bullshit and I love how relatively quickly it was revealed to be so.

 

On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I’ve personally never felt happy and mad at someone at the same time but it might be because I’ve no interest in getting into romantic relationships and I'm not attracted to anything. So maybe that’s how people actually feel when they’re contractually obligated by the plot to fall in love.

Yeah no that's hacky bullshit. If people are regularly mad at their Significant Other they should probably break up. I grew up around parents who constantly fought and clearly hated each other and honestly would have been better off getting divorced. But Media tells us that barely tolerating the people you love is the right thing so I guess that's how that goes.

 

On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, this horrid conversation continues until Knuckles just asks his dad something he should be legally barred from expressing his opinion on… and I just… just look at this--!

UASpA210QH4LPbhdRNMUzuo41yTLLV2_0ex2kEZAqrd_3C_zuT0q4LCUajbKLtXIylWbgsIfS_Kvk9Hd5WK97qgSMi7h_ZRPxhiEUUhVTgBg3Wa9UoYLK8cN48shTCL30fYG_fRI

Knuckles is basically recognizing that he doesn’t feel happy and mad when he’s around guys. He just feels happy and that allows him to get along great with them. Locke immediately comes over to Knuckles and is like “Whoops, gotta make sure my son comes down with a case of the Not-Gays. Here, step into my chamber while I vigorously change the subject matter back to your feelings on this GIRL!”

Ken Penders. Much Progressive. Seriously got love Knuckles saying "Hey what if I was gay?" and Locke going "NOT IN MY HOUSE!"

 

On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We catch up with Vector who hasn’t managed to get a date. It remains incredibly weird that he’s worried about scoring

This honestly made me picture Vector giving Beavis's "We're never going to score" speech from Beavis & Butthead Do America and I'm honestly kinda delighted by it.

 

On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

What’s interesting is how Ray has that weird stuttering thing. It’s odd because he doesn’t have that for a long stretch of the issues I started reading until it suddenly showed up, seemingly out of nowhere, in the Knuckles arc of Sonic Universe when he was hanging out with Vector on Angel Island. 

Seeing it here is weird. That means it’s probably something that is just present or not-present by the whims of the authors? Is that something you can just choose to turn off though? 

I legit think Ian forgot that was a thing for awhile. He does have his stutter in the Espio backup in #169 though.

 

On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

That’s why NATURE stepped in? Apparently, the echidnas exist outside of nature…? Like, what the fuck kind of explanation is this? Every other species can love correctly and exist within nature but the echidnas, who still exist within nature, for some reason are incapable of loving correctly? The harder you think about it the less sense it makes. If nature is in charge then why didn’t it just wire the echidnas to love things the way normal beings did? Locke says it’s because “nature” needed to balance out the fact that they were so smart but what the hell does that even mean? Unless they actually are aliens how does this work?

My best guess is that it's supposed to be like Pon Farr from Star Trek. Since Vulcans are driven by pure logic their sexual urges burst out once a year. Of course this implies the Echidna's are driven by pure Logic which is just completely untrue.

 

On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

In THIS matter, he can have his privacy. Now the instant he has to take a shit, we’re firing up those monitors though.

Well obviously. He doesn't want to watch his kid fuck. He's not a weirdo.

 

On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Yes, I’m aware that “love” (big quotation marks there) can make people act irrational but the way it’s being portrayed here is so incredibly off-the-wall violent. Echidnas reject love so much that it turns them into dangerous, abusive, neglectful monsters I guess. Knuckles strangles his friend, Julie-Su screams and blasts pictures of Knuckles with her gun because he went to go see his dad, and Locke is unable to tell why his relationship with his wife went belly up… 

It can’t be me right? This isn’t healthy right? Maybe echidnas are actually better off not loving.

Nope it's not just you this is extremely unhealthy behavior from all involved.

 

On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Knuckles goes up to Julie-Su’s house to ring the doorbell.

You didn't put it up but I love that Julie-Su is watching an Echidna version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That's probably what Penders thought he was doing with her but...no.

 

On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We end on a shot of what is allegedly supposed to be Knuckles but I’m not convinced isn’t a character from Animaniacs cosplaying as him.

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Did I mention the art’s bad? Cause the art’s bad.

It sucks so bad his art is like this here because again Chris is an amazing TMNT artist.

 

On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Yeah, apparently she’s with Nic. This jives with what I know about Fiona. Apparently she was a bit of a miscreant before joining the Freedom Fighters, getting beaten to the punch by another rival treasure hunter, and apparently ends up going along with Bean and Bark for a bit too.

Then all that other stuff happens with her dating Sonic, then Evil Sonic, then smacking Tails, then… all that other stuff.

See this is why I prefer Fiona being a villain because she was introduced as a criminal! I'm gonna spoil it but there's no explanation why she was even with the Freedom Fighters. Time Skip happens and she was just there reduced to a bland tech girl character for Tails to make goo goo eyes at and make everybody uncomfortable.

 

On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Yeah, Locke is spying on Knuckles again. 

… The fuck was the point of the scene where he told Sabre not to do it then?

I think he's specifically not spying on Knuckles love life. Everything else is fair game though. ...yeesh.

 

On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

cNuBiqmTzNm7U_vf4XhecKzTr82AemVwb6PFsbn3GXosmV_jLI10qcFQol_pWdb6KqRUFezy3Bly-Jo-nirt2zaD4ugnXuM29XK9HvyIaLmrqwdAra3GTioovM967mcBSGnbWYuC

It's beautiful. No words. They should have sent a poet.

 

On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 5:06 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

In the flashback, Robotnik is facing Sonic and Mighty. Interesting thing to note is that Robotnik doesn’t recognize Sonic and says he reminds him of Sir Charles, which means this is officially the first time he and Robotnik have met. Wow.

Something like that was tucked away in the corner of a panel at the tail end of the shittiest Knuckles the Echidna comic book I’ve ever read. How frightening.

Anyway, while Sonic and Mighty handled Robotnik, Ray grabbed what is referred to as a Power Stone. He then magically disappeared with it. Sonic and Mighty try to retrieve him but are unsuccessful.

Hope you enjoyed the adaptation of the Sega Sonic The Hedgehog Arcade Game. I'm not joking. That's seriously what just happened.

 

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Sonic X - Issue #3: Field Trip of Doom!

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The cover seems pretty simple at first but looking it over, it’s actually pretty good. If they took inspiration from Sonic X concept art positions it’s harder to tell here. The way the characters are positioned can make more sense when they look like they’re just there in spirit. 

Spoiler

 

Sonic begins the issue for us by running from his worst enemies, an army of the killer whales from Sonic Adventure. As he does this, he delivers the exposition that we all need to understand what’s happening. Mr. Joe Edkin does this well enough. It’s not as weird as when Karl Bollers needs to have the characters do exposition but its still oddly delivered enough that I couldn’t help chuckling a bit. Sonic’s promised Cream that he’ll save her kidnapped chao, Cheese and these killer whales are trying to stop him.

Over in Eggman’s lair, we see Bocoe and Decoe wondering what the fuck is happening and why Eggman’s pushing such an ineffectual looking plan. Upon hearing these questions, the doctor decides to SCHOOL these dumbots!

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Literally.

I do love the fact that SUDDENLY the lab is a classroom. It reminds me of the days of watching Bobobo-bobo-bobo.

Basically, the plan looks like it sucks because he’s merely trying to distract Sonic while he does the REAL master plan. So, just like last issue, basically.

That night, the plot point that was alluded to back in issue 1 about Sam’s pride regarding his losses to Sonic comes back, interestingly enough, as we see him working on his new engine in his garage. Suddenly though, he gets a delivery from Bokkun at his doorstep; a new fuel injector that’s said to make his car faster than Sonic. 

What’s odd about this is the fact that Sam outright says, I guess in his mind, that he knows that Bokkun is Eggman’s delivery robot. However, when his mates ask him where he got that fuel injector on the next panel, he says he didn’t ask. So either he’s hiding the fact that he just accepted a gift from the evil Dr. Eggman or he seems to believe that Bokkun, in his off time, just goes around delivering shit to people and doesn’t actually think it’s from Eggman. That would be both very stupid but also very expected from a story like this. 

Meanwhile, Sonic’s racing through the beach and talking the whole time while doing it. He’s delivering puns, things that aren’t puns but he thinks are funny, and just one-liners that barely mean anything. He says “An A-mace-ing graze” when he’s about to get whacked with maces at the beginning, mentions the days of Green Hill when he sees robots he calls Wasps, and then ends by just saying that a tiki totem pole blowing fire has bad breath. He might have just given up on that one.

I know it can be hard to write for Sonic’s more snarky side sometimes but it’s all shockingly unfunny here.

Meanwhile, Bokkun makes more deliveries to people. He delivers a chair for the President (who doesn’t see Bokkun this time because his men hauled it in, referring to Bokkun as just a weird looking kid), a computer for Topaz (that says it’s from Rouge) and a giant bowl of fruit for Mr. Stewart, the undercover teacher.

It’s strange how different these deliveries all are from the one with Sam. I’m not entirely sure I get the full picture yet.

What’s even stranger is how the narrator of the narration boxes keeps changing. Sometimes it changes on the same page and here it changes in the same panel.

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The difference here is that there’s quotation marks on this one and it’s clearly Eggman whose speaking but there was one earlier where Sam was speaking and it had no quotation marks… or maybe that was just a nameless narrator. It’s weird if it was though because it was written like he was the one talking…

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If it wasn’t Sam talking then it makes a bit more sense why he wouldn’t be suspicious of the delivery because it could imply he doesn’t know who Bokkun is due to never directly interacting with him… but if that’s the case, then why is it written like this? These orange narration boxes are being used in a very weird, confusing, flight of fancy kind of way and I really don’t appreciate it. At least put a little Eggman Logo in the box where Eggman is talking and change the color to indicate a difference. At least it’d be easier to figure out that the orange narration boxes are specifically just one person. 

Either way, Eggman says in his monologue that the Komodo Dragons sucked and he’s got even more ferocious monsters, nay THE most ferocious monsters the planet has to offer to pilot his robots next.

MAN!

Yes, he’s going to use Sonic’s human friends as his flickies. How morbid.

Sonic reaches a capsule and lets all the animals inside out, including Cheese who promptly flies over to give him a nice hug. Eggman’s watching all this on his monitors, going on about how he’s set everything up. I don’t really know what the point of distracting Sonic was honestly. Bokkun making deliveries to people’s houses that aren’t the Thorndyke residence wouldn’t necessarily immediately tip Sonic off.

Plus, when we cut to the next scene, Sonic’s already back at the Thorndyke house talking with Cream about how easy those traps were and outright saying that he wonders if Eggman is up to something else because of it. 

Eggman, you  just tipped off Sonic to the fact that you’re scheming something. Come on man.

Chris runs into the house with a message in hand. Here is where I make mention of the art and its still not very good. There are bits and pieces of character art that look okay but the majority of it looks again like bits and pieces of their body parts were drawn and cut out from construction paper and hastily put together in weird, super angular, geometric shapes. 

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Chris apparently plays his life on Big Head Mode.

Also, look at the weird scale on Tails there. Tails is either way bigger than Sonic and Cream or Sonic’s shrunk. I know Sonic’s supposed to be a bit behind the fox but the foreshortening doesn’t work that well here. Amy just looks possessed. 

I do love that the only thing they could think to draw on the TV was a woman standing there with her arms at her side, facing them. It's great. I probably would have done that too.

Anyway, Chris has a permission slip that he wants his Grandpa to sign for him so he can go onto the field trip to the Space Museum. Tails asks to go to but Chris says its just for his class… but that doesn’t mean they can’t meet up at the museum. More people should think like that.

The day the class is leaving for the field trip, Mr. Stewart wonders who this Dr. Oeuf-Homme that sent him this invitation to the museum is. He says he SENSES something sinister afoot... and yet he still agreed to take the children to the museum? Okay…?

An entire school bus of children arrive at the museum with Tails, Amy, and Sonic already waiting for them on the steps. This seems like a weird thing for the Sonic X version of Sonic to be doing but maybe he’s realized that when he’s not around the others, the action often finds them and he doesn’t want to be left out. If so, then he’s right. Eggman’s here, hovering over all the school children that were just blindly taken to the museum on orders from someone that the school apparently didn’t look into the existence of.

Well, the instant they’re inside, Eggman enacts his master plan… he sends some robots to attack them.

Though, to be fair, they start out by giving the three heroes a run for their money a bit.

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It’s a little amusing to see them having some trouble.

Back with the S-Team, Sam has finished installing the new fuel injector right at this very moment. However, he gets word that robots are attacking the museum and knowing that his nephew is there with his class, sets off to save him without testing it first because there’s no time. Oh dear.

Back with the robots, things have gotten worse. A crack in the ground opens a hole in the floor that Amy, Chris, and one of the robots falls into. Tails throws Sonic a ring and he bursts through one of the robots’ chests… which would have been horrifying had their been a human inside of it but apparently there’s not.

Also, here’s another example of the art not being quite right.

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I know this picture is supposed to depict Sonic blowing a hole through the robot but instead it looks more like the hole was already there and he just zoomed through it. There should probably be more debris exploding from the front then the little screws and bobbles there that I almost completely missed.

Credit where it's due though, things are actually getting really exciting and chaotic now. With Amy and Chris trapped in a hole with one of the robots, they need obvious assistance but at that moment the other of the remaining robots scoops up Francis and Danny and transforms into a vehicle because it's apparently a Decepticon. 

Then it drives off, leaving Sonic to weirdly say “I need to save Daniel and Francine!” like he’s their mother using their full names for some reason.

He races off right as Sam Speed races onto the scene, with Sam proclaiming he’ll be the hero this time. 

So now, all of a sudden, you’ve got a car chase with Sonic and Sam going after a robot car with Danny and Francis inside while Amy and Chris are trapped in a hole and Tails needs to rescue them while not being taken out by the other robot in there. Things got crazy real fast.

The Sam Speed plot goes exactly where you’d think it would. Hilariously bad.

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Sonic goes and successfully manages to save Danny and Francis, holding each kid in one arm each and racing them back to the museum.

However, during all this, Eggman presses the final button he needs to press and activates the traps that he had Bokkun send out to everyone.

Wires spring out and pulls them all into new robots. Topaz, the President, Mr. Stewart (who has some of the delivered fruit in his pocket), and Chris who just happened to be around one of them. THESE are the ones powered by people.

Of course, the issue I proposed earlier still stands. Sonic can’t just blast through these because he’ll kill someone if he does.

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Oh but that’s just it Eggman, what if Sonic never finds out that Chris is inside? What then? I guess he’ll just have to live with the fact that he murdered the person he was trying to save.

Okay, I take it back.

This is a brilliant plan!

 

Very good! Much better than the last two issues. It was a bit touch and go at first, mostly due to the art and the samey premise at the start, but I was delighted by how chaotic everything got. Nothing excites me more than having a bunch of characters being naturally split apart to take care of different things within the same conflict. It’s so much more interesting then having them all huddled together fighting robots in the same room.

On top of that though, the conflict at the end here is a really great one. I can only imagine how much more effective this would be had it been Tails in there instead. Can you imagine the fallout of a scene where Sonic destroys that robot and sees Tails’ damaged body in the rubble? Obviously, I don’t want him to blow a hole in him, or Chris for that matter, but damn wouldn’t that just screw with Sonic’s mind? It’s almost weird how I can’t recall this being tried in any other Sonic story I’ve read yet. It seems so deceptively simple but also really cool. I dig it.

 

Sonic Super Special - Issue #9: Zoneward Bound

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It’s the return of the Sonic Kids. I’m not really that excited about it, to be honest. Not saying it’ll be bad but still. All of these stories are credited as written by Mike Gallagher so that might be interesting at least.

Spoiler

 

This first story was illustrated by Sam Maxwell. Let’s see how well this looks.

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Oh God. Not good. Abort. Abort. Scary monster hands. Humongous bulging eyes. I can’t. It’s frightening. First impression is not good. Nope!

What’s with Sonic’s hands? No, seriously, look at that. I honestly thought the hand at the bottom was a ghostly hand made of snow that was supposed to represent something but no, it’s Sonic’s actual hand that’s swinging really far back at an angle that can’t be feasibly comfortable.

Also, I cut it off in this image but Tails’ first line is “We make a great team Sonic--SNOW doubt about it!” 

You can’t.

You just can’t. 

I refuse.

Anyway, this is a snowball fight between the children, allegedly. In reality, it’s just them bullying Antoine.

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Apparently it was literally the other four versus just him. Not cool. 

Anyway, Sonic slips on the ice and accidentally launches a snowball into a hut where it smacks Rosie on the head. She comes out, looking angry, and Sally pleads with her about it having been an accident, which it was.

Rosie gets really irrationally upset at Sally here, telling her she “knows better”, which is a really odd way to phrase it. Unless she thinks the snowball was thrown into her on purpose but that’s never brought up as a possibility. Sally starts crying because she’s a small child who was just playing in the snow and hanging with her friends to take her mind off of her disappearing father. That apparently is enough to snap Rosie out of her anger and gets her to apologize. Rotor says sorry too because he’s a good boy. Rosie then suggests they go ice-skating and that she’ll bring them snacks later. So everything’s going okay.

Sonic the show off plays ice hockey with himself despite the others being there. It’s like that scene of him playing baseball in the movie except he actually has friends which makes this way less endearing. Worse still, he melts the ice when he runs too fast so they have to leave it and wait for it to freeze again. Nice going mate.

Sonic gets thirsty and goes to get a pail of water from the well but is having trouble due to it being frozen so he gets Rotor’s help. They get it out but the water’s frozen too. Even stranger is that they notice something weird frozen inside of it… but they notice that the ice has frozen back over the lake so they run off to play on that instead. I don’t know if that’s safe considering there’s no way the ice is thick enough now for it to be a reliable foothold for several children but what do I know?

The thing that’s frozen inside the pail is shown to us as a Power Ring. Interesting.

The children are playing and literally singing “Whip it. Whip it good!” (It happens) when they all trip and fall into open portals that appear out of nowhere.

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Sometimes I wish magic portals would just open up at random on certain days as well.

Sally exits her portal saying the very strangely written line of “Jeepers! Where am I? Wherever it is, I’ve arrived.”

People die when they are killed. You lost because you didn’t win.

Sally lands on a roller coaster and rides around it making as many coaster puns as they could fit into the comic. Comments about being jerked around and getting a GRIP on the situation when she decides to properly grab the handlebar ensues.

Sally’s behavior here is all-around strange but I had to tilt my head in confusion at this next part. She sees a glowing vision of her daddy and rides into it, making these comments.

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The first panel is fine enough. It’s not quite as panicky as I’d be in the moment, especially as a kid. I’d just be going “AAAAAAAH!” and then start questioning things after I survived. However, the second panel is weird as hell. It’s like her brain switched nobs and now she’s going off about being the leader of the Freedom Fighters. She even makes a joke about her whole world being shattered. I know it's probably the comic itself making that joke but Sally’s the one saying it so… I’m getting mixed signals here. I’m not sure why she’s not more bothered by seeing a floating Crystal Head Max and falling to her doom after crashing into it.

We cut to Tails, Rotor, and Antoine who are falling through the different zone as well and seem pretty calm and collected too? Antoine even has time to throw out a dis at Sonic here. I dunno. I can’t help but feel that even their adult counterparts would have stronger reactions than this.

Tails just makes a comment about how them being able to stick together means fate or destiny happened… or something.

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“You recognize the Ancient walkers, Don’t you?”

I recognize that you copy and pasted that image of the three of them across two panels sitting right next to each other. Not sure why. You could have just drawn them super-duper tiny as they fell into darkness here. But yes, I recognize them as the Ancient Walkers. Not sure why I should care.

Sonic is in another zone by himself and for some reason decides to brag about how his friends don’t know that he’s been in one before to nobody.

When ego is on its own, it drifts through the air looking for an ear to land inside so that it can be impressed by something. However, if someone’s ego falls alone in the forest, does it make a sound? 

Also, Sonic says he went into another zone with Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel which confuses me greatly. I was under the impression that the whole incident with Mighty and Ray happened when Sonic WASN’T a child. Mighty definitely didn’t know who Sonic was when that whole thing happened either so… this is apparently taking place after he first promised to save them after sneaking into a slave convey pulled by Robotnik.

The only way this makes sense is if he’s more AoSth Sonic rather than super tiny child Sonic… but since this is called "Sonic Kids 2" I was under the impression that this was a super tiny child Sonic.

Then something even more confusing happens.

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Sonic meets Robotnik…

… for the… first time???

This is actually really confusing. Hold the phone for a bit. During the Mighty story that I just read, Sonic met Mighty and Ray for the first time. I know it had to be because Mighty definitely didn’t trust him and Sonic made a big deal about introducing himself with his bolded logo and everything.

Sonic then raced off and returned at an undetermined amount of time later. It could have been a few days, or weeks, or even years for all I know but the point is that if he met Robotnik HERE in this story then he’s already met Robotnik… so Sonic meeting Robotnik in that Mighty story and Robotnik’s reaction being “Why does he look familiar? He reminds me of Sir Charles.” is really weird. You’d think the familiarity would come with meeting THIS hedgehog since he’s apparently seen him before. 

Someone massively fucked up here. I don’t know if it was a badly worded script or someone just forgot but… the events here aren’t matching up right. Sonic mentions being in another zone with Mighty and Ray during a time where it feels hard to believe that it would have happened that way. He was on an official mission as an early official Freedom Fighter when he did that. A mission to invade a slave convoy wouldn’t be approved with him still this young. Not when he’s still young enough to be getting scolded by Rosie for throwing snowballs through a window by accident.

Sonic destroys Robotnik’s flying machine when Robotnik tries to kill him for making demands as a young child to let him know why he’s here. Sonic then pops out of the portal and decides to toss the ring back down the well. He doesn’t want to deal with it anymore until he thinks he can understand it better. 

But uh-oh, Rosie brought them snacks shaped like rings. Better wink at the camera and say “Oh you. We’ve had enough RINGS for one day. Hurr-durr~!”

Whatever. I could have done without reading that. There’s really no reason for this story to exist and it’s existence only served to confuse rather than entertain I’m afraid. The art at least got a lot better as it went on, thankfully. Sam isn’t a bad artist at all. The majority of this actually ended up looking pretty good. It’s just a shame the first page gave such a raw, scary impression at the start.

Sonic Super Special - Issue #9: My Secret Guardian 

This next story was illustrated by Manny Galan. One of my saviors when it comes to the art in this book. 

The story begins with young Sally excited to spend a few days alone on vacation with her daddy. There’s a joke about her packing 12 or so suitcases for the trip which is obviously the kind of excessive only the rich can partake in.

King Max thinks over all the stuff he didn’t reveal to Sally about Elias and her mother but shakes the thoughts off with concern for her well-being at the forefront of his mind. Instead, he focuses on the vacation at hand and Sally sees first hand, and for the first time, the Floating Island.

ZOPdwJDpKaf8Yayo_sO8FWaZ35Rk97u0BYXwewDNC8OyrH3VlZNRFkBZrTquMjF3Mhl8EuNdWRnqaCgwegsTofkvFf74_fDKd5nDEJYwOVRkzX8RWYemAwjj9enJyF-eXOYcRe-O

Interesting place for a vacation, especially since I suspect there’s no Casino on there just yet.

We’re harking back to that old story told about how Sally and Knuckles met. I know how this goes, basically, but it might be nice seeing it play out a bit. 

King Max goes off to pay his respects to the ruler of the island, leaving Sally to pout about how boring he is and how she’s gonna make things not boring when she’s in charge (she fails) when she notices something spying on her in the bushes and jabs a stick at it so that it’ll come out.

The person inside does. It’s obviously Knuckles.

The two of them share their tales of woe and start having big dick contests about which of them has it worse. This leads to a fight when, in a fit of brattiness, Sally shoves Knuckles while stating with a punchable sneer on her face that protecting an island isn’t anywhere near as important as protecting the whole world… like apparently she thinks her family currently does.

It doesn’t. If anything, it’s a big part of why there’s war but she’s a child. It’s easy for me to overlook and forgive this behavior.

Knuckles, also a child, doesn’t like being shoved and having his island bad mouthed so he and Sally fight. This leads to Knuckles accidentally breaking a tree in half which upsets the two of them greatly.

BDiXzYIRAb5DIG4TrY-dOtOlaV3UBA-_gfRh_-IxW7uLuqFJv8TUP6Lf7J8vEwfmEsUdPKl-CtyhKH9J2ZTEFDQ-zV0zkVFkWbhTY6cdsIEr55S6zw26VVb8sSj45p7fZzuJEFxe

Knuckles is a nature boy and the tree-hugger of the Sonic cast… unless he’s fighting Sonic. Then the trees are just in his way.

Locke, in a rare scene for him, is looking for his son and calling out to him. Knuckles goes back to his dad but not after he and Sally promise to keep their meeting a secret for the sake of both of them. Knuckles isn’t allowed to speak with anyone because it’ll break some sort of bullshit echidna code or whatever.

Sally is still very sad and upset about this. She takes this as a bad omen that she may one day lose all her friends and her dad… for some reason. It’s a very strange leap but then again she’s a child here. Treating the loss of a friend like the end of the world isn’t too strange. 

Also, for as much as I truly do believe King Max to be an awful dad and a terrible king, this page is really adorable.

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That shot of Max holding out his arms reminded me of the joy and excitement I had whenever I saw my dad come to pick me up from preschool. God, it was always the best feeling in the fucking world.

Sonic Super Special - Issue #9: Eve of Destruction

This final story was illustrated by Art Mawhinney, my other savior when it comes to the art in this book. Art is literally his first name.

It begins with more Antoine bullying. Rotor is trying to hit Sonic with a baseball (dangerous) but he misses because Sonic’s too fast. Sally ducks and Antoine gets beamed in the belly with it. Antoine is shown crying and whining about his hurt belly while Sonic laughs at him. With friends like these… yadda yadda.

Surprisingly, we get our first shot of Tails’ dad here. He opens the window and kindly asks the children to play someplace else, them apparently having forgotten about his wife’s condition. What’s wrong with her? She’s got a baby in her tummy and they need to get it out, stat!

So this takes place before Tails is born. It also takes place right after Warlord Julian was appointed the new minister of science.

0dWYppNBWINLpI8D8HWh1jIPRtTZFpTzVsHdf-68rTm4N36RspPXw3UPrB72a0b46jDUlLn_qTxSGgTOmWeOkoC8Vy8GYB2bHMtEi_HTBsxbC21-fgptwEoQlfMi7GhELG87NeB4

There they are. Amadeus Prower and Rosemary Prower in the flesh. It’s interesting how warm and fuzzy Amadeus comes off here. My impression of him later isn’t quite so comfy later on but that’s only because I get to see the more stern side to him later. 

Anyway, the dissolution of the Mobian Military is happening. You know, that very dumb idea that was proposed by Warlord Julian? The current minister of science, Sir Charles, resigned and took up selling chili-dogs after he turned his brother into a robot. Loads of things are happening and poor Tails hasn’t even been born yet.

Mr. Prower heads off but as he does, Sonic zips up and asks if the child is going to be a boy or girl. He says that he doesn’t know but asks Sonic to keep watch over the house in case anything happens and then sees him off like a good friendly resident.

We cut to the not so friendly villains, Julian and Snively (with hair) who are delighted to have Charles’ laboratory all to themselves. They quickly set up using his roboticizer on a beaver.

Strangely, Amadeus shows up right outside the door saying that Julian was supposed to meet him there and that he wasn’t supposed to go inside without an escort which is the thing that prompts him to look inside. Oops.

What he sees is a very horrific sight.

pYHdM4pXaPtgWc4EvvhIEgPSXGR39lUwtZxSIWkYEdVBGATGakdOM0sY2IH4Owj2otKyUlczBCfx_wyTyz_2GJrEomKCeF3I-phyUcQn3OQlLRPQ02jOx4EiHC9WfYrsdB0RK4Pz

Even better for Amadeus, the villains are being nice enough to loudly confirm that what he’s seeing is a very traitorous thing.

Julian might as well have put a note on the door saying “Don’t come in. What I’m doing inside is VERY illegal!”

Anyway, the instant Amadeus sees this, he resorts to calling Julian “Overlander” and uses the “Overlander Weapon” he has in hand to threaten him. All while this is happening, Robotnik is monologuing about how Amadeus totally isn’t going to do shit to him and explains how he got here and what he plans on doing now. He also casually drops that he’s changed his name from Julian Kintobor to Ivo Robotnik. 

First and last name went away. Interesting. I keep forgetting that the House of Ivo is a thing that exists and despite literally being shown the confusing Robotnik family tree, I still end up forgetting why he’s Julian Kintobor and all that stuff. It’s very strange. I think he took his mother’s maiden name or something if I recall correctly.

Anyway, he surprises Amadeus with a Swatbot and he goes EYAAAA at the same exact time his wife goes EYAAA in bed. The kids rush in and see that she’s going into labor. They get Sally’s wagon, tie a rope to Sonic, and use it to pull her to the hospital.

There, the baby is born. He’s an adorable little tyke and they notice right away that he’s got a second tail. It isn’t dwelled on for very long at all though before Robotnik and Snively show up. At first, the idea of Robotnik rushing to catch the birth of Tails sounded like a fun and cute idea, regardless of his motives, but then I remembered that it’d be suspicious had they not brought along Amadeus.

They did though and he’s clearly roboticized, which leads to what has to be the saddest scene that’s ever happened in these books. Ever. Period.

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Seeing Rosemary happily present her baby to what she thinks is her normal husband and then having to watch him not only refuse to hold him, but turn away and leave without saying anything is hard enough to see but the little “Dada?” that Baby Tails lets out followed by her crying in bed…

I actually let a few tears out of my eyes! I did! I’m not lying! This book finally made me cry! Jesus Christ. It’s so sad!

I know it’s ridiculous that Baby Tails would even be able to speak after having been just born. Like, it’s super silly that he had his immediate first word like that. Plus, Rosemary literally saying Boo-Hoo is a bit too cartoonish but whatever.

 It’s so tragic. God, could you imagine? 

Outside, we see the fully roboticized Amadeus, where Robotnik claims that the era of Robotnik is just beginning. Inside, Rosemary has literally cried herself to sleep… but we don’t end on that sad note because Sonic and Tails are best friends in the future.

As such, Sonic is super smitten with the young boy and wants to hold him.

Then I start to cry again.

4jJYu-LXkdWD9ppAwperFbGV1wQBG82HnO6gzYGLyn9lNlHEKB2Anw7NfXr13THjObEi8_37CcQDGp3e7PGaqe847D-2UJkjuqArLiUYbuVQPDk7-ibmhpKXdbjtTxwKD1g8awC9

Goddamn you. Fuck. My goddamn heart.

 

Yeah, I don’t even remember what the other Sonic Super Specials were like right now and I don’t care. This was the best one. 

How dare this book make me cry and think it can get away with it not being proclaimed as the best one. How dare!

All the stories were more or less solid in this book. The first one was the weakest due to being the longest and yet the one with the least relevance. It was also the most confused. The other two did well to establish and expand upon relationships though. The Sally and Knuckles relationship was both written and handled well, which landed it as something of notable interest.

However, the final story takes the cake here. I’m almost flabbergasted by how effective that final couple of pages was. If anything, it makes Sonic’s behavior in House of Cards a bit more bothersome to me but it also strengthens the resolve Tails has to keep his parents safe. 

Fuck man. It took forever but they finally got me. Not even any of the later issues I’ve read got me to shred tears. 

 

Sonic Super Special - Issue #15: Naugus Games

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This is a climactic looking cover if there ever was one. I almost don’t want to get into this one after the note the last one ended up. I’m still thinking about it. Hopefully, this one will be good too… oh wait. It’s not Gallagher this time? Who is it? Bollers? No…?

… Ah shit, it’s Ken Penders isn’t it. Fuck.

Spoiler

 

The last issue I read ended with me crying. This issue began with me laughing. 

This is seriously the first page of this comic.

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Dear lord Penders. You’re such a shit writer.

Pretentious platitudes are annoying even when people are good at them but you’re so shit when it comes to trying it. “I don’t know why I’m here. Actually, I DO know why I’m here.” Fuck off.

Sonic spends the next two pages going on about how Eddy saved them and how he never got to pay his respects. There was even a recap of the Nate Morgan introduction story that’s stretched to be a full page long collage. The panels when Sonic finally sets the flower down are also unnaturally huge, I was noticing. At this point, it felt like the comic was taking up a lot of pages to do nothing.

However, it gets worse and more obvious immediately.

Suddenly, the ground breaks and Sonic falls through. He lands in pitch blackness and here is where the comic does the laziest thing I’ve seen it do in quite a long time. I’m just going to post the next four pages in full to properly show you what I mean.

tzoJ4PU78giFHqViNMqXY_y8S_4fSeSQbymGmuISeMq80KatBcrdM1jJwsf562qL8-JDvCLrzWJQXZjadP09B_yYHU-OT-4DBTMNErnWTtZrAvBX7PH_RXaWpXiueqk2Zdf5z_vMuhxFvuMWaJTJRRQ6BqcNUgX7O3Qo7fnOIcjIZ19ngQXoxRPV83HVE8A9RZug0mr2f50rZj6D1y-5rNAU35zHBgv4VF6fCy0FH2Lj4tSL1YgqR6UVdb3miMtWZpIbWE_rrWN8bL7odOmhJMikDAdCk6vf6RpCVsUO23wtsd7RSIe4gRMIn0stRg6Eqz3jBSBVbeLNuJ1bEPgOpirvOBAoh_htj_N8m0kPpBB-aEuOrt5pm99Jf_dHYXBKG-sKx_2lAIHePVs6l0Lfa7GyfGMy2tQSN38rPctUwG4KLeizVpuLgcJSPldZTODRxryJCaQx2z3hgFlHherA7vZ60YU56lNjq9sVF5XWidrOrrDq8LhMU1x_hcPnFHCHS37aFHYKKiggNjPPcUWZJkKEFbEjD2qc

The next four pages are just pitch black darkness with Sonic’s eyes in them and a bit of Sonic’s actual body at the very end for two panels. They’re all four panels long each. Also, even more egregious is the fact that tucked in the corner of the third panel on the third page here is the title for the second part of the story.

YEAH! We just casually enter “Naugus Games Part 2” randomly while watching Sonic putter around in the dark. Part 1 was apparently just Sonic going to place a flower on the snow and then falling into a hole. 

This is a Super Special issue which can only mean they’re obligated to stretch this shit to 48 pages but good God, what a rip-off. Before these pitch black pages with NOTHING happening in them, we got two full page spreads too. One of Sonic saying he didn’t know why he was there before immediately changing his mind and saying he did. Then another of him recapping what happened in a different issue. The rest that did have Many Hands’ artwork in it were also 4 panels long.

Whatever is going to happen in this story clearly doesn’t need this much space to be told.

It gets even more egregious if you can believe it.

Part 2 starts when Sonic breaks out and finds a pile of crudely drawn rings. He thinks he can use them to turn Super and tries to wish for it… but then Naugus bursts out and reveals that he tricked Sonic into wishing for him… somehow.

End of part 2.

Yeah. There continues to not be a lot that’s happening in these pages because the comic is resorting to big drawings with very little backgrounds and 3 to 2 panels per page. The panel where Naugus reveals himself is just a single page panel even.

They REALLY have nothing. Was this Super Special just some sort of obligation? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Penders story this lazily executed before.

Part 3 begins with Naugus explaining that all Nate did was pull the rings out of his body but he still had a mental connection to them so Sonic thinking about him made him come back…

… Yeah, sure. Whatever. I’ll buy that. Fuck it.

Sonic says “You may have tricked my spiny butt” when he addresses Naugus, which is fun. I’m glad Sonic can insult himself too.

They fight and it looks… pretty terrible. Not only are the pages still just one to two panels but the art within them is really not good now.

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The full size image looks like actual scribble scrabble.

Naugus uses his power of mastery over the elements to make it snow and then the entire rest of the story happens. Again, I’m going to show you these pages because this is FUCKING DISGUSTING.

I laughed when I started scrolling down and saw how many of these pages there were coming up but JESUS. Can you imagine being advertised to about this being a 48 page long story and getting THIS! 

DkxrW_BDsxcz4HbWEC5nmL4dyPLjPWzEXbL9bUXQii6eUDRCZG778Wr_gLGXtjqtWw8FBScbBIa_Vaz_-0A-nGjXTnw1k8BmJGiC_HJbujucWMI07lnLeUEprHTRs5-9-zRdbrzkGx_pXPsq3o86atIcqHo3rkJhnenC7EV_Di84L1SMonX-JuJ7LpJuY2YDcFyFWHbt3AWqACKxVIoDqW4yJmOwOhm6LVSmj3SGjonFEp_g_ykM-cUWqhNfbopW1UDhqEWqOC4UWeZLGLOPiRkDeoHXWlID_WWE60TYVR4L-TsmchwipiD73nN3s84dfaao6MY3H1AztLkYbQ8tVPhLvpmMQTLLgwOScGozxHDECopcX870f6sXTkuiHZiwGWkBfaGQ5x5CaR4YOGFaKDWmsJ9N3Fg9Q7emB0bQV8wlhJHfUrr9JTGSTWUs18gMLQotSJauBNipPMn4M0qCzf27cQz2BxQmGSYkaoLYsvimVtlTEdEufHZctUuc3iSmHUgxgPEdjQRtnkqSC0udHg0CwxwEyKOR

tcUEhcBHWrRkOqCHs_IXl1ELxnyP4REjY6TI-bt7PymZcIyuSSjnVvnMzK-0NZHdacSXdkWuygtuqSRgPWfPgmVhZ9xXF6_1mux2F6iRw2BY3lqdWItuwOU6UEr01wZk9f2wf8bDnm84V1DBuBfTgo8wIoEnkwAxw3QLgF0jCuFDyrDLB2JSa3T_04Zyj8Lefn7ecHOcgA8i5Yr8RNAZhZZgI74tkaEqUqPGC_rNGdACSRbMxfWbXBvI742o8TjInIGQu0n5LAknwYp4

Believe it or not, there are times where I try to search for a way to give this man the benefit of the doubt even though he never deserves it. I usually just give up because he truly never deserves it but there’s not even an avenue where you could possibly do that here. This is reprehensible in it’s laziness. It’d be one thing to do this with a regular issue of the book but one that’s been advertised and priced as a 48 page long special book? FUCK YOU!

Nothing is happening here by the way. I know there are dialogue balloons but they might as well not be there. They’re just there to trick you into thinking something’s happening when there isn’t. It’s just Sonic and Naugus hurling insults at each other against the same snow wallpaper background for SIX PAGES until Sonic randomly decides to pull out a Power Ring. That’s it.

Somehow, I don’t know how and I don’t care, Sonic uses the Power Ring to suck Naugus away into it… then he tosses it and leaves and we end on a picture of Eddy in the sky with a rose left behind. 

FUUUUUUUUCK.

What a contrast to the last one. Good God.


Sonic Super Special - Issue #15: Sonic Spin City

Gallagher comes back to write a Sin City parody here at the end. It’d probably be more effective had I ever watched or read it. Maybe I’ll find something to take away from it regardless though. There’s no way it can be as bad as that last story.

B7YCc6KoH4EvBeKdlQ2cew9VqTKj8UM1uhmaChFD_tqqFQePIcSn6uSOieeuH08l_8qy1j8nAEEJ8xX_R7Pe-onGwl57zXVGmnLPPSTn8tssVJqot7f8ie6HnUjl3FVOV6BOSi5i

There’s at least a style being attempted here. I’m grateful for that I suppose.

Sonic destroys some Swat Bots in the rain while speaking in full narration boxes. He sees a can that says Rusty’s on it and heads towards the location. It’s a place full of robots he’s already beaten, including Grounder.

He goes in and orders a chili-dog but is surrounded by his former enemies… then the lights go out and when they come back on, he’s greeted by what I can only really describe as a Swat Bot Stripper.

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She dances so beautifully, don’t you agree?

I’d have loved it if that were it though. The robots loved watching the Swat Bot stretch. They get off to it...but then one of them decided to put their hands on the merchandise and grabbed her leg, causing her to fall and for her helmet to plop off revealing it to actually be Bunnie under there.

The jig is up so they fight.

A busted up Combot then self-destructs itself but Sonic and Bunnie get away. Then the story ends.

It was very short and nothing too interesting happened but it was a cute little parody I suppose. I don’t know if it was worth being the only actual story in this book however. Most definitely not, honestly.

 

Worthless. 

Absolutely worthless and insulting. 

I highly doubt there will ever be an issue of this comic that’ll be as extreme in it’s laziness as this one was. What a tremendous waste of paper and money. What a gross fucking rip-off. Whoever gave the okay to this should be ashamed of themselves. I won’t bother heaping the notion of shame on Penders here because we know he has none. 

This right here shows nothing but complete contempt for the readers time and an exploitation of their ability to give you money. Fuck right off with this garbage. 

 

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6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Field Trip of Doom!

This might be the absolute greatest title ever devised by mankind.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Over in Eggman’s lair, we see Bocoe and Decoe wondering what the fuck is happening and why Eggman’s pushing such an ineffectual looking plan. Upon hearing these questions, the doctor decides to SCHOOL these dumbots!

f2WQqkrKgIiZFuf7sOMOJFhzw7MNheNM2iJ5DQwrCjwHirHU99VUga4P4GSgUuHLUtCYq_HzrnIseI7vKSLpZtz308Ej1kafVEHZIBnwwQTcp-MQsE_wG7JkLIc-9fmhOQg8GTXO

Literally.

Ha the teacher robot from the Anime is in the background. That's cute.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

What’s odd about this is the fact that Sam outright says, I guess in his mind, that he knows that Bokkun is Eggman’s delivery robot

I understand the confusion but I think that's supposed to be the narrator going "Wait that's no delivery boy!" It could have been made clearer.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I know it can be hard to write for Sonic’s more snarky side sometimes but it’s all shockingly unfunny here.

I do like the bit where he randomly start's singing the theme song to himself.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

If it wasn’t Sam talking then it makes a bit more sense why he wouldn’t be suspicious of the delivery because it could imply he doesn’t know who Bokkun is due to never directly interacting with him… but if that’s the case, then why is it written like this? These orange narration boxes are being used in a very weird, confusing, flight of fancy kind of way and I really don’t appreciate it.

Personally it never really bothered me. It just feels like the narrator is going "OMG KIDS IT's BOKKUN!"

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

2b25G8DtV7TsAs5L0JoNmSs-dPXovr6JJtAJ2YWXgfXNDWC-zSdNAWL-ObxzEKPPyfRoYLCsTy9B3OoT4_ez7zoA3pAN0EYIIiW7oSMywQLxobnqjN6MTQjLG6V0X-V67fRasvdc

I laugh every time I see this panel. It's so good. Chris's giant head, the Sonic character's dead eyed expressions, Cheese doing the surprised Pikachu meme, Chuck looking like he's about to have a seizer. It's a work of art.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The day the class is leaving for the field trip, Mr. Stewart wonders who this Dr. Oeuf-Homme that sent him this invitation to the museum is. He says he SENSES something sinister afoot... and yet he still agreed to take the children to the museum? Okay…?

I mean to be a super spy but Mr. Stewart isn't particularly bright. I mean he participated in a fighting tournament he knew Scarlet Garcia (who he'd met during the SA2 arc) was moderating and then ran off saying "I just look like me" when she recognized him.

 

7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Mr. Stewart (who has some of the delivered fruit in his pocket),

Which makes me wonder how much of that fruit was robotic and if Mr. Stewart actually ate any of it?

 

7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This first story was illustrated by Sam Maxwell. Let’s see how well this looks.

ntjtFB1CO5Ffqm10U5Ff-dYjus7RIMJz_TVmEfBc87ZNnoaGs5Z_mw1_w2qz6ohGA47JEB1XILOD9uW6zJ9P9M0g2XOar3WF9XOkIFa2IVt2us8uPR7fTTylz7RaVjrITgjrh9l7

Oh God. Not good. Abort. Abort. Scary monster hands. Humongous bulging eyes. I can’t. It’s frightening. First impression is not good. Nope!

What’s with Sonic’s hands? No, seriously, look at that. I honestly thought the hand at the bottom was a ghostly hand made of snow that was supposed to represent something but no, it’s Sonic’s actual hand that’s swinging really far back at an angle that can’t be feasibly comfortable.

I mean super hot take here but I don't think Sam Maxwell's art ever looks that good. There's a story he draws after the SA1 adaptation that's alright looking but honestly I've always kinda hated his pencils.

 

7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, this is a snowball fight between the children, allegedly. In reality, it’s just them bullying Antoine.

4fWEUvhuvlKCOkiac89-NwhnciXg2D-HZUWcT5K3B5RZFQVr--BEPSw_kNQbuLNJV08lhGdvGH4R_McURb6taZs0u4p4wxiPg40crJMAcDBmlSkYB7SqylYhqC2lEUVq4QP7iKWC

Apparently it was literally the other four versus just him. Not cool. 

Yup it's a Gallagher story alright.

 

7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The children are playing and literally singing “Whip it. Whip it good!” (It happens)

Hey at least these kids appreciate the classics.

 

7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic meets Robotnik…

… for the… first time???

This is actually really confusing. Hold the phone for a bit. During the Mighty story that I just read, Sonic met Mighty and Ray for the first time. I know it had to be because Mighty definitely didn’t trust him and Sonic made a big deal about introducing himself with his bolded logo and everything.

Sonic then raced off and returned at an undetermined amount of time later. It could have been a few days, or weeks, or even years for all I know but the point is that if he met Robotnik HERE in this story then he’s already met Robotnik… so Sonic meeting Robotnik in that Mighty story and Robotnik’s reaction being “Why does he look familiar? He reminds me of Sir Charles.” is really weird. You’d think the familiarity would come with meeting THIS hedgehog since he’s apparently seen him before. 

Someone massively fucked up here.

I don't really know what the writing process was at the time. I assume Penders probably had the rough idea to include a Sega Sonic "Adaptation" in Knuckles and Gallagher caught wind of it and threw the line about Mighty and Ray in as a tease but didn't know the full details because again nobody talked to each other while making these comics.

 

7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

There’s really no reason for this story to exist

What do you mean? It gave us the answer to the question on everybodies mind "Why was there a Power Ring in a well in Issue 0?" I for one can sleep comfortably knowing this vital and important information. 

 

7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We’re harking back to that old story told about how Sally and Knuckles met.

Y'know I actually don't mind this. It makes perfect sense for Gallagher to tell this story of Knuckles and Sally's first meeting since he was the one who introduced the retcon in the first place.

 

7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Locke, in a rare scene for him, is looking for his son and calling out to him. Knuckles goes back to his dad but not after he and Sally promise to keep their meeting a secret for the sake of both of them. Knuckles isn’t allowed to speak with anyone because it’ll break some sort of bullshit echidna code or whatever.

Y'know the way they talked I figured they knew each other for longer than like an hour when they were both 5.

 

7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

There they are. Amadeus Prower and Rosemary Prower in the flesh. It’s interesting how warm and fuzzy Amadeus comes off here. My impression of him later isn’t quite so comfy later on but that’s only because I get to see the more stern side to him later. 

I mean to be fair outside of the whole Coup plot Amadeus's only other appearances under Ian I can immediately recall were protecting fort Acorn from The Iron King and comforting Tails after all the shit hit the fan post-Sally being Roboticized.

 

7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

but we don’t end on that sad note because Sonic and Tails are best friends in the future.

As such, Sonic is super smitten with the young boy and wants to hold him.

Then I start to cry again.

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Goddamn you. Fuck. My goddamn heart.

I mean it's not a sad note until you realize that in just a couple hours Robotnik is going to wage his coup and royally fuck everything up. Poor Tails man. His birthday is also the day Robotnik conquers Mobius.

 

7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Suddenly, the ground breaks and Sonic falls through. He lands in pitch blackness and here is where the comic does the laziest thing I’ve seen it do in quite a long time. I’m just going to post the next four pages in full to properly show you what I mean.

tzoJ4PU78giFHqViNMqXY_y8S_4fSeSQbymGmuISeMq80KatBcrdM1jJwsf562qL8-JDvCLrzWJQXZjadP09B_yYHU-OT-4DBTMNErnWTtZrAvBX7PH_RXaWpXiueqk2Zdf5z_vMuhxFvuMWaJTJRRQ6BqcNUgX7O3Qo7fnOIcjIZ19ngQXoxRPV83HVE8A9RZug0mr2f50rZj6D1y-5rNAU35zHBgv4VF6fCy0FH2Lj4tSL1YgqR6UVdb3miMtWZpIbWE_rrWN8bL7odOmhJMikDAdCk6vf6RpCVsUO23wtsd7RSIe4gRMIn0stRg6Eqz3jBSBVbeLNuJ1bEPgOpirvOBAoh_htj_N8m0kPpBB-aEuOrt5pm99Jf_dHYXBKG-sKx_2lAIHePVs6l0Lfa7GyfGMy2tQSN38rPctUwG4KLeizVpuLgcJSPldZTODRxryJCaQx2z3hgFlHherA7vZ60YU56lNjq9sVF5XWidrOrrDq8LhMU1x_hcPnFHCHS37aFHYKKiggNjPPcUWZJkKEFbEjD2qc

And this right here is why this story was completely rewritten for the 2011 Free Comic Book Day issue. This story is so notoriously bad but also was literally the last time Sonic fought Naugus one on one so instead of wiping it from canon completely they just remade it with far better art and writing. Also fixed some timeline issues because Sonic talks like Eggman is out and about despite there being literally no room for this story to happen post-SA1. It really does make more sense before the next arc of Sonic.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Gallagher comes back to write a Sin City parody here at the end. It’d probably be more effective had I ever watched or read it. Maybe I’ll find something to take away from it regardless though. There’s no way it can be as bad as that last story.

B7YCc6KoH4EvBeKdlQ2cew9VqTKj8UM1uhmaChFD_tqqFQePIcSn6uSOieeuH08l_8qy1j8nAEEJ8xX_R7Pe-onGwl57zXVGmnLPPSTn8tssVJqot7f8ie6HnUjl3FVOV6BOSi5i

There’s at least a style being attempted here. I’m grateful for that I suppose.

Yeah...but, and I say this as someone who thinks Frank Miller is an overrated hack who's best works were Daredevil and Batman Year One both before he lost his Goddamn mind, from what I've seen of Sin City flipping through a trade at Barnes & Noble it had a more specific style. It wasn't just Black and White but it had splashes of color thrown in here and there to give it a unique look and put enthuses on certain elements and characters. This is kinda just a hollow parody of comic trends not unlike the Spawn Mower.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

he’s greeted by what I can only really describe as a Swat Bot Stripper.

Ds6ZrwJweGpzOYFA2XqC1wNKrL470YT0w8re65oby952cNEJFccQU7Ohtm6SrZqEq_ZPaUUMqXQE0J9t0UzSyO4fdr2UWFoFB7y4Sdp9Bi8I65RLTAQGvIgI2IwjAV2FMar6xaWw

I will admit though this is extremely spot on for how Miller writes women. They're either young girls who need protecting or they're Prostitutes/Strippers/Just plain Sexualized. There is no inbetween and sometimes they're both. Honestly it's shocking Elecktra was his creation.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

but then one of them decided to put their hands on the merchandise and grabbed her leg,

Well that's just disregarding Stripper rules.  

 

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I completely forgot Sonic Kids was even a thing.

Probably because I never got a chance to read it back in the day.

On 6/21/2020 at 10:14 PM, Silvereyes said:

If you ask me, issues #26-#29 is what killed the Knuckles book. (Can't wait to see what you think of issue #29, it is arguably just as bad as this romantic nonsense.) Issues #30-#32 from the final story, which aren't that bad, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was too little too late. That's my own speculation, I know the Super Specials didn't last much longer as well after this so I imagine readership was declining naturally, but I also don't think the Knuckles book could of died as early as it did. I dunno, I'm happy to be proven wrong if anyone does have info on the sales of these, but you don't bore your readers for 4 issues and then hope they all stick around. Maybe things would of been better if the Mighty story was bumped up, rewritten to involve Knuckles, while the romcom was put at the back.

It does feel like this story just sort of sums up how Penders seem out of touch with his own readership. Even the Sonic fans who love shipping and who like pairing up characters or even like the sort of soap opera fan art out there on the internet, I doubt many would want, say, the IDW comic to stop for 3 issues just to see Sonic and Amy in a romcom plot. I like romance actually, I kindof like it when there is a hint of it, I like alot of the stuff Antoine and Bunnie got up too through the Archie run as a couple, I actually wouldn't mind seeing a dash of it in the IDW run, even if I assume only the original characters can get up to it.

But this. This just feels so out of touch. I can't imagine many boys reading this liking this. Ofcourse, it would help if it was a bit wittier, and written by someone who felt like they had a better understanding of relationships. This feels like the crowning story from all those Youtube videos of "Oh, Archie Sonic was so weird."

Honestly, I couldn’t really say that given that as far as the readership of the 90s went, as long as it gave them their Sonic fix that was all that really mattered.

Remember, this is before the internet became the mainstream tool it did in the early 2000s. I remember when I was reading the comics, I didn’t really see the romance as a bad thing—I didn’t care as much about it (okay, that’s partly not true, cuz I was rocking the SonicxSally train all the way back in my youth), but when you had the smorgasbord of Sonic content back then, all you really cared about was the fact that it was Sonic.

Doesn’t exactly help that Sega was mostly hands off to let this kind of stuff go in...then in some ways do the same thing with their own take on it years later.

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2 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

Honestly, I couldn’t really say that given that as far as the readership of the 90s went, as long as it gave them their Sonic fix that was all that really mattered.

It's hard to tell really. The Sonic Super Specials stopped being made not long after the Knuckles book was cancelled, and for several years, until the Sonic X book started, Archie Sonic was just a single monthly comic book. It's hard to tell how much that is due to bad writing, or whether it is down simply to loss of momentum, as Sonic eventually wasn't the newest hottest property on the block, a lack of games for a couple of years before Sonic Adventure, or if some of it was down to mismanagement. Certainly, alot of the Sonic Super Specials aren't great, and at times, feel very random, like the writers were struggling for ideas. #15 that Detective Mike just reviewed especially is very woeful. And you have Pender's Knuckles book that decides to dedicate 4 issues to romance plots, while also straying further and further from the main book with Penders own writings.

I dunno, I'd love to hear if anyone has any info or a more educated guess on the matter. I just think Penders accelerated the decline of the Knuckles book with issues #26-#29. #29 especially, when you've done a romantic 3 parter, only to hit the audience with another romance plot in the next issue, I think it is possible that would throw some young boys off as being boring.

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3 hours ago, Silvereyes said:

It's hard to tell really. The Sonic Super Specials stopped being made not long after the Knuckles book was cancelled, and for several years, until the Sonic X book started, Archie Sonic was just a single monthly comic book. It's hard to tell how much that is due to bad writing, or whether it is down simply to loss of momentum, as Sonic eventually wasn't the newest hottest property on the block, a lack of games for a couple of years before Sonic Adventure, or if some of it was down to mismanagement.
 

If I were to use my own experience again, I’d say it was probably the last three: a loss of momentum, dearth of games, and maybe some mismanagement.

At a certain point when I was around 9 years old, I wasn’t able to pick up the comics as frequently as I did when I was 5-8 years old due to not seeing them in certain bookstores that I used to pick them up at. Back then, I assumed that the entire Archie Sonic series weren’t being made until to my glorious surprise I saw issue 116 in a Borders Books and Music Store and snatched it up as soon as I laid eyes on it, which from that point I went back to buying every new release. So they definitely weren’t advertised as munched as you’d expect, and definitely not advertised near the same level IDW would go about them. Of course, at that young age, a kid wouldn’t really care so long as they had their comic fix.

I’d say it sucked that I missed out on a lot of issues back then, but seeing how Penders would turn out after he left, I’d say it was good I didn’t buy as much to support that hack.

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #72: I, Robotnik

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Not to be confused with "I, Robot", the 1939 short story by Eando Binder, the 1950 novel of science fiction short stories, or the 2004 movie starring Will Smith. It’s a very clever reference, I’m sure. Also, Robotnik’s back probably. 

Spoiler

 

It’s a Karl Bollers venture with Steven Butler on pencils. I may or may not die today. Thank goodness, there’s a sliver of hope. I’m still keeping my guard up after last issue I suppose.

Uhm, anyway, Sonic’s complaining to Nate about the poor reception on the TV. What’s weird is that Sonic’s talking about the TV as though it’s a foreign object he’s never seen or heard of before and I know for a fact he definitely has. The tech in this world is well beyond what our world was back in the day and Robotnik alone has monitors and screens for days. Freaking Nicole is a Nintendo DS or some shit right? Maybe this is merely him being confused by how it’s a specific type of TV? It looks so incredibly primitive that maybe he’s just confused as to what type of TV it is.

They call it a telecrate and say later that it took a while to make sure everyone in Knothole had one, which is more believable. Knothole is a primitive treehouse village, so I guess them not having little TVs with shitty little circular antennas was expected but I can’t be the only one who finds it odd how the dialogue is suggesting that it’s a foreign object to them. 

It might be the case that Robotnik’s tech was so far removed from what they were used to that the television is something they weren’t… aware of but that just… wracks my brain. I’m really not sure I want to buy that. 

The king had decreed that everyone have a television though because he wants them to see his royal address. That’s actually kind of incredible. Can you imagine if a world leader decreed that we all be given a free house or a free car? Holy shit man. 

I mean, I know it’s because of his ego but it’s really funny to think about.

So anyway, this is where the comic just casually drops a bomb on us.

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PFFFFFFFFFFFTTTTT~!

Yeah, okay sure.

I love how the caption in the corner says “waaay back in ish #32” like they’re not quite sure which issue they last brought up this plot point.

I’ve made fun of it so often that now that it’s happening it feels more like a really overdue punchline. It’s been so long that there’s no feasible way I’ll be able to buy them being alive but the comic’s probably going to come up with something amusing that it’ll expect me to swallow. 

"Hey kids, write into Sonic Grams to tell us you want to see how Rotor saves his family. What? You don’t give a shit and you never bothered? Well, okay. I guess we’ll leave that plot point hanging then…………………………. Actually, you know what? W-We probably should address the fact that Rotor’s family was left hypnotized, staring into space, while drifting off into the arctic ocean in danger of starving to death with no survival instincts to properly rely on. M-Maybe we tell Sonic Grams to go fuck itself on that one."

I promise you that Penders would have continued not to care.

The next scene is of them saying goodbye to Rotor. 

Sally returns to her dad, who has a weird comment about how his throne room now looks like the Great War is taking place within it, and is happily told that all the telecrates are in. It’s still really strange that it’s not just considered a television. Like, I saw televisions and game consoles in the floating island flashback. Echidnas had those when their technology was taken away. But, oh no, I guess that just means they were that far ahead in advancements. Even Sonic doesn’t know what a TV is but Locke’s got screens up his ass. Fuck man.

Anyway, he’s about to make his big announcement and I guess the cameraman is Chester Cheetah before he became an old fuck.

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It happens.

The broadcast is about what you’d expect. He addresses the citizens and talks about how much progress they’ve made on restoring Mobotropolis but there’s more work to be done and here’s how you can help the monarchy to succeed and yadda yadda. It’s a shit conference. Even Kodos says it is as he’s watching it on a stolen television with a beer in his hand.

Mercifully, the television knows what we actually want and in space, after the next satellite is activated, a voice cuts in, starts squawking at us, and begins a rundown of Doctor Robotnik’s history. 

He was born as an ugly butt baby, Julian Kintobor from the House of Ivo, and had an annoying brother named Colin. I’m sure that’ll be relevant in a second, maybe. 

He grew to have a body that matched his intellect (great way of saying he became super duper fat) and was the apprentice to Nate in Megapolis before taking over after fucking him over. 

Then the asshole animal people started the war (the presenter says he’s forgotten what the war was called, which is pretty funny) and the Overlanders had to defend themselves. So Julian created the Ultimate Annihilator (quite a history this thing has had) and needed a special ore to power it… but it was never received. Colin, now the minister of justice, sentenced Robotnik to ten year imprisonment but Robotnik said “Fuck that” and escaped through the mud towards the side of the Mobian savages. He was found by Sonic’s parents who are stated to be no real threat. It’s about as flattering a comment as they can hope to receive. We see Sonic’s roboticized parents reacting to that.

The broadcast talks next about how they brought him to King Max and how this sucker basically handed him the fucking keys to the kingdom. We see King Max react to that too. 

It talks about how Warlord Kodos was sent to teach Robotnik all he knows about proper warfare and when he was done, Robotnik thanked him by shoving his ass into the Phantom Zone and took his place. He was a lot better at it then Kodos was because he shifted the war into his favor. Kodos’ reaction to this is… shockingly understated. He’s just watching with his hands behind his head. I guess he doesn’t care all that much now that he’s free and he doesn’t really give that much of a fuck about the Acorn Kingdom anymore so… whatever.

Days later, Snively, his nephew, showed up and randomly pledged his allegiance to him. Robotnik, I guess in need of support not belonging to a robot, took him in no questions asked. Then, he decided to push his conquest further by sabotaging Uncle Chuck’s roboticizer to turn it into the machine of terror we all know and love today. Uncle Chuck’s reaction is very downtrodden and sad.

One day, a massive flagship blanketed the sky, piloted by Doctor Robotnik, they’re new glorious leader. He banished King Max, he assigned new roles to everyone, and later had to deal with Sonic and his gang of rabble rousers.

You know, this presentation is doing a good job of convincing me. Robotnik should have won, goddammit. This hard working, up and coming man was well and truly screwed over. 

I do like the small panel showing Antoine awkwardly raising his fist as if to celebrate the fact that the Freedom Fighters were mentioned. He’s looking over at Bunnie and Amy who are just… staring at him and he’s like “... Yeah, maybe now’s not the right time…”

Here is where the relevant mention of Robo-Robotnik gets brought up. The stuff about him seemingly getting vaporized by E.V.E but instead ending up where Robo-Robotnik was only to be sent back so that Sonic could be arrested for the crime of killing Sally was condensed well. We actually get a shot of Sally turning to look at the shocked Geoffrey as he watches this, probably concerned for his position in all that hullabaloo.

The story ends with our brave hero, Dr. Robotnik, sacrificing his life to save the world from the savage killer, Sonic the Hedgehog… but it wasn’t to be. What a sad ending to such a heroic tale of a gallant role model. 

The residents figure out pretty quickly that this probably isn’t what King Max wanted to show them and Sonic contacts Sally in a move that initially confused the fuck out of me because I seriously thought his wristwatch teleported him to her but… no, it just showed a projection of Sonic in front of her. Weird.

Sonic and Sally agree that it was a weird glitch and say that they’ll see each other tomorrow which is… not the reaction I would have. I’d probably be like “OH FUCK! OH SHIT! What was that?! Jesus Christ! Our TVs just rigged themselves to broadcast the entirety of Robotnik’s history at us! WHAT’S GOING ON?!”

I guess they’re too cool for that though.

Sonic reassures his parents that the broadcast was nothing to worry about and hugs them after explaining that for a while he wasn’t sure about not being a Freedom Fighter anymore and having to go back to school (HOLY SHIT! SONIC AT SCHOOL! AHAHAHAHA!) but he’s concerned about how he feels like he’s forgotten how to be their son and wants that rectified. It’s a sweet moment.

Finally, we catch that Snively caught a part of the broadcast that the others did not. The part where it turns out it wasn’t Sonic that killed Robotnik, but Snively. I’m sure there will be no repercussions for that one bit.

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Well shit. I guess he’s fucked.

I actually rather enjoyed the history lesson here. It was nice getting all that in sequential order. It was also a ton more interesting than whatever it was King Max probably had to say, that’s for sure. 

Unless King Max was about to initiate project “Kill All Robians” again I doubt I’d have preferred to watch his broadcast.

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #72: Tales of the Great War - Part I: The Shot Heard Round the World

“Yeah, the Shot Heard Round the World. 

It was the start of the Revolution.

The minutemen were ready and on the move.

Take your powder.

Take your gun.

Report to General Washington.

Hurry men, there’s not an hour to lose!”

Every time I hear the phrase “The Shot Heard Round the World” I instantly have the Schoolhouse Rock song play in my head.

I know it's Penders trying to invoke more real world war shit into this Sonic the Hedgehog comic book but this title I’m more willing to let slide.

Art Mawhinney teams up with Ken Penders to do a story about how one of the earliest members of the Acorn Regime met his first Overlander. The writing shifts to let you know that we’re now in a Ken Penders vehicle.

-24JZr6r0cEF_VwBHeJrsEgJTYyprZi_kl5IZSDkxTMTQtQzVBYWCyLe8jR5uLrJhrcBuff5IqkW9f3PsNs2oKP0dw4jJ1og-kLMs8xXD8FktEYSmS4gHmmmlCSnxjNHckAbrqk5

“My name is Emerson! What’s yours?”
“Paladin! My friends call me Paladin!”

So weird.

Also, what a name. Paladin.

So then, shit gets weird. Paladin does the American pastime of showing off his gun and its… kind of immediately uncomfortable.

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So Paladin shoots down a branch and Emerson thinks that’s cool so he crawls across the tree to get over to him.

Uh, then Paladin hands him his gun and we get what feels like the beginning of a weird AoSth PSA about peer pressure and guns.

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So after the recoil surprises him, Paladin gets all fucking big game hunter on us. He’s like “Man, I really wanna kill something that’s alive” and goes to shoot a bird.

… But Emerson gets in the way and gets shot instead. We don’t see the actual point of impact or any blood but he’s on the ground and clearly in pain. He passes out with Paladin looking horrified and remorseful.

He says that the bird was the target and not him and runs off. I wanna assume he went to get help but even if he did, it doesn’t matter because King Theodore, son of Alexander, finds his son on the ground and sees an Overlander rushing into the forest.

Credit to Alexander, he didn’t immediately seek vengeance and decide to start a war. Instead, he just carried his son home and forbade his kingdom from using guns and gun-like weapons. However, his policy apparently would lead to an even greater misunderstanding that would then lead to a war. 

Tails is reading this in the book he got with Amy and the dalmatian dude whose name I’ve forgotten. It’s very interesting.

That gun rule must not still exist today because I clearly remember there being a panel about a page in length of Rotor showing off his gigantic, huge ass fuck-off gun like it was the coolest thing in the world.

 

Pretty solid actually. I enjoyed that. The Robotnik history lesson is something I could see being boring for a kid back in the day and possibly disappointing if you were only getting a comic a month but to me, the Robotnik stuff is one of the more interesting aspects behind it. It was nice having all that laid out before me.

The second story was… strange. I’ll admit, I’m not too jazzed about where that’s going and the whole thing with the gun  hits a bit weird but hey… maybe it won’t be THAT bad going forward.

Nothing much to complain about here. It was fine. Time to cross dimensions a bit now. 

 

Sonic X - Issue #4: Boisterous Bot Battle!

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Standard dynamic action cover with stand action poses. It’s fine. I should be more impressed because of how much better these look then a lot of the old Archie ones I’ve seen but the stock art look these continue to have still bothers me a bit. I’ll get better as time goes on though.

Spoiler

 

Last time on Sonic X, Chris and a few others got roped into the bodies of rampaging robots and are now being forced to pilot them. Now Sonic’s about to burst through one of them and murder his friend. Let’s watch.

The comic actually begins with a recap of all the issues up till now. It’s pretty unnecessary but it doesn’t go on for too long and does a decent job of setting the stage and confirming that these stories, at the very least, are all connected.

The actual story begins with what might be one of the funniest, news casts Scarlet Garcia has probably ever done.

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Just casually, “Whoops. Looks like there’s missiles headed for Angel Island. I certainly hope Knuckles isn’t home.”

Eggman has now set upon demolishing Sonic, Tails, and Amy with his new robot minion, Christopher. Thankfully, no one goes “Hmm. He just called that robot Christopher. That’s weird. Naming a robot after Sonic’s human friend but okay.” 

I do actually like the way that this is being depicted. It’s not that Chris is a battery for the robot. Literally, Eggman presses a button and Chris’ actual body starts to pilot it and make it do things, regardless of whether or not he’s aware of how robots work.

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Also, Rouge just flies in at the side through the hole in the wall. I don’t exactly know how she got here so fast because a page before we saw her walking in on Topaz getting taken in by her robotic trap. This isn’t even pointed out too. It happens in a panel where Tails, Amy, and Sonic are huddled together trying to figure out what to do. 

On the next page, Rouge does finally thrust herself into the plot properly though. I guess she saw Scarlet’s news report and flew to the museum. It feels odd considering how fast that was. 

But anyway, Rouge just tells Sonic that their friends are inside the robots. I guess she figured if it happened to Topaz it must have happened to literally all these other robots. The Chris robot shoots a laser that spells out his name to help prove this. Then Eggman just… tells them.

He gloats that if he destroys the robots, their friends will die so Sonic just tells everyone to take them down with destroying them…

… Dammit man. You had such a good plan here too Eggy. I don’t know why you couldn’t just keep your mouth shut. Oh well. It’s not like Sonic was just going to ignore what Rouge had to say… or the fact that the robot literally spelled out Chris’ name. Still, I wouldn’t have said anything for the sake of keeping doubt alive.

Anyway, they try to defeat the robots but they can’t. The action scenes that happen here are very badly drawn. The points of impact are extremely weak and you can barely tell that anyone’s being hit. Plus, the bad cardboard cutout look to everything just makes it all feel cheap.

During this, we get a brief interlude about how Eggman was able to secure robot parts utilizing money which is apparently a plot point that still exists. It’s very strange considering this was never an issue in the show but he managed it.

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You know instead of stealing money to buy the stuff you could just… steal the stuff?

Like, you don’t have much of an interest in the black market or anything so the money isn’t all that usef- ah, nevermind. It’s Eggman.

Anyway, Sonic and the others are getting their asses kicked. Tails and Rouge are getting slammed together like cymbals. Amy is getting nabbed and whacked with her own hammer. Sonic’s trapped in a net. It looks pretty bad.

That is, until Tails gets slammed into the ground and a ring rolls out of his backpack all the way to the downed Sonic. Talk about luck.

Sonic uses it to free his friends but they still need to stop the robots. That’s when Grandpa Chuck and Cream fly in with the X-Tornado to deliver Knuckles to everyone. They actually drew hearts around Rouge because this was back when the two of them were more inclined to be paired up.

They each take a robot friend while Tails is tasked with grabbing the remote that Eggman’s using to control them. Sonic spins to slam into the generic looking Chris robot but is caught.

I haven’t talked much about the robot designs but that’s mostly because there isn’t much to say. The show had some really strange and wacked out designs but this comic has been at its most unimpressive when it comes to that here. They’re all just generic robots colored the same shade of gray. 

Tails literally flies up to Eggman and tries to snatch the device out of Eggman’s hand while the Chris robot has Sonic pinned to the wall. Eggman merely commands the President robot to snatch Tails away from him, easy peasy.

So the President robot flies away from the museum with Tails, which leads Chuck to turn and fly after it. Then we get that incredibly painful, cliche scene where everyone is pleading with Chris to break free of Eggman’s control and not crush Sonic into lemonade. Then Chris just… does that.

He resists and lets go of the control device. Luckily, the others aren’t as… I don’t know, Main character-ish as Chris so the Deus Ex Machina probably isn’t going to work on them.

Funnily enough, the President robot is taken care of by Cheese, who just flies out of the X-Tornado, crawls into the robot’s head (he just pulls back the head and flies in…) and then removes the helmet controlling the President. So the President robot just lets Tails go and he’s all smiles now. It’s very strange but it technically works better than the Chris scene.

Everyone else is continuing to have trouble with these robots, though the Chris robot has turned on Eggman and blasts Bocoe and Decoe’s version of the Eggmobile in half. The danger has pretty much subsided for me at this point and I’m mostly just waiting for them to win. Even with everyone getting their asses kicked, it feels a lot less critical when they’re constantly making puns.

I know Sonic comics are in love with their puns but the ones in this particular issue are especially painful.

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So after Chris saves Sonic, he goes to rescue Tails and Amy from this robot. Then Sonic subdues the Topaz robot and helps Rouge get free. 

It's here where Eggman finally does what I would have done way sooner and tries to press the self-destruct button on the robots… but that’s when Tails finally completes the task assigned to him and snatches the remote away.

They press the off switch and the robots stop. Knuckles makes a comment about Eggman being an idiot for having an off-switch for his doomsday device and I gotta say that I don’t agree. It’s probably way more reckless to not have one of those in case you wish to account for things going wrong on your end. Off-switches are more important than critics of this sort of thing tend to give credit for. Eggman’s only fault was letting the switch get into the hands of the heroes.

When that’s done, Sonic tells Eggman to beat it and he does. Dude just leaves and they all leave the museum together, rescued with Scarlet Garcia reporting about the heroes and their victory.

 

Issue 3 was a lot better than this one, I have to say. This sequence of events was far less of an interesting clusterfuck. It seemed like it might have gone that way a bit when The President took Tails away but it was only a minor distraction, all things considered. Chris magically being the only one to regain control over his robot was dumb. The art still doesn’t look very good and the plainness of the way this was resolved could only have been helped by some actual well handled action scenes. Without that, it’s not that entertaining a read.

It’s a shame because the build up was done rather well, for the most part. I guess we’re finally moving on now though.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #73: The Truth is Out There...

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Uh… I guess… the characters are well drawn in this cover but what the fuck am I looking at? Seriously what a terrible use of a fade in. I had to look this thing over several times before I pulled together what I thought was happening. The Freedom Fighters are going in for a hand huddle, sure, but then there’s that face superimposed over it. It obscures what’s happening so much that it looked more like Bunnie was dying on the floor and Sonic was resting a hand on her chest. Then I saw Robotnik’s fist and thought that was his hand flopping to the ground because he was dying… but then I realized that, no, he’s just slamming his fist in anger because he was staring at them being a team through the monitor. It’s not very good. 

Even when it was a bigger size, it was disorienting for me. I just don’t like it when comics do fade in images over another image. It disturbs my eyes.

Spoiler

 

Written by Karl Bollers and penciled by Steven Butler again. Let’s do this.

We begin with Sonic’s robot mom and dad holding hands and wearing golden wedding bands that Sonic gave them. How nice.

Sonic’s dad is given due credit for his involvement in the creation of the rings but Charles feels odd about that considering Nate’s name was taken away from the Kingdom’s official record. Nate’s okay with that though because it means he’s not seen as a traitor. He heads off to the castle because the king apparently gets worried whenever he’s away for too long… which is kind of odd. I guess he’s worried he might get attacked by his horrible racist subjects? 

It’s also still weird being in a world where the rings were invented. Having them be explained takes away some of the mystique for me but I guess there’s no point in worrying about that considering how over-explained this book is in other areas.

Sonic gets a call from Sally so he heads on over to her with Nate. We find out quickly that Sally has summoned everyone else except her father. Nicole asks if she’s sure about keeping it a secret from him but Sally states that she wants to be 100% certain of whatever it is she’s found before she does. I’m guessing because of her father’s tendency to fly off the handle. Elias shows up though, having overheard her, and Nicole suggests that he might be a good one to tell.

Elias says that’s okay though. He doesn’t blame Sally if she doesn’t trust him because honestly, she doesn’t even know him. He talks about the very thing that I’ve been thinking about this whole time since he showed up about how he was thrust into this situation and is just living here now and has no clue what to really say or do. His father is busy all the time so Sally’s the only one he thinks he can talk to. 

So I guess we’re finally getting to the part where they properly address the fact that these two don’t really know shit about each other. It makes sense that he’d be avoiding her a bit because of this awkward situation of course. I didn’t think it’d take this long to get to however.

Elias leads with what was obvious from the get go; the fact that he’s being forced to rule the kingdom in Sally’s place but he doesn’t WANT to be king. This surprises Sally and Elias goes further in his explanation about how he grew up on the Floating Island only concerned with curing his mother and then seeking adventure. Basically, being a king sounds boring.

King Max has lived quite the interesting life. It’s definitely not one I’d want to live though and I don’t think it qualifies as adventurous. Unless Elias wants to be thrown into another dimension or killed by some tyrannical ruler, I can see why being king wouldn’t be very alluring for him. 

I also doubt that King Max cares and so does he. Sally foolishly asks why Elias didn’t tell their dad as if it wasn’t already obvious. Elias straight up questions whether or not he’d listen or understand.

He wouldn’t. The king’s an asshole.

“No son of mine is going to have hopes and dreams other than what I’ve pre-determined for him. It’s absolutely crucial that the weight of carrying an entire kingdom is given to someone who hasn’t the drive to do so. Now let me show you the best way to spot if someone has poisoned your coffee…!”

Back with our villains, Snively is sweating bullets as the alleged return of Dr.Robotnik has thrown him for a loop. THE DEAD SPEAK as they say in certain shitty movies. Anyway, Snively’s got nothing to fear because Robotnik has already forgiven him. He instead just wants Snively to acknowledge how cool it is that he’s activated seven sister satellites and how there’s only one more to go. Then he activates the last one.

Fucking… FINALLY!

Oh good. It’s finally over. We’re here. Let’s get this show on the road!

Can you imagine waiting for this from month to month? I’m binging this weekly with two to three comics each and this took forever.

So Sonic, Sally, Tails, Amy, Bunnie, Antoine, Nate, and Elias are all sitting around together in a circle as Nicole brings up an image of the stratosphere, showing them space and the satellites hovering around the planet. Sonic doesn’t know what they are and apparently I’m now, all of a sudden, going to have to get used to Sonic suddenly not knowing what basic technology is. This didn’t used to be an issue before but now TVs and satellites are things they don’t know about. It’s new fangled tech that only Robotnik had access to apparently. 

Except if you’re an echidna. You had game stations back in the time before the formation of the Dark Legion if you’re an echidna. Fuck me.

As Sally’s talking, all the satellites are connecting and doing their thing… whatever that thing is. Something evil, I’m sure.

Nicole explains what happens and outright calls them satellites which leads me to believe the writing just got a little honky earlier when Sonic asked what they were and Sally said “That’s what we’re going to determine” rather than just saying “satellites”. I’m spending too much time on this, I know, but I’m really just… trying to sort out which tech they’re aware of and which they aren’t. 

Sonic says he wants to go to space and figure out what they are but Sally says no. Not until they’re done with their analysis.

The first satellite freed the convicts from the Devil’s Gulag.

The second satellite caused the earthquake in the tundra that killed Eddy.

The third satellite made a bunch of Robians go crazy and attack Sonic and Tails.

The fourth satellite caused the meteor shower.

The fifth satellite was activated when the convicts attacked everyone and Snively’s “death” was witnessed by everyone. Also the random giant squid that showed up just to get blown up.

Elias brings up his doubts that Snively was done in by that, effectively reminding me that they all thought he was dead. I can’t believe I so easily forgot that. 

Actually, scratch that. Yes I can.

The sixth satellite almost destroyed reality with that backwards issue of the comic.

The seventh satellite was activated the night before which was when the Robotnik history lesson invaded their TVs. 

Sally NOW decides it’s time to tell her father. I guess she just needed to say that aloud to convince herself this was indeed important enough… or something. Luckily, the king and two guards have already shown up and are asking her what it is she needs to tell him. As the conversation was going, however, all the satellites were linking with one another at the side of the page.

Also, the Eighth satellite was activated forty-five minutes ago so they’re too late to stop this… whatever’s happening.

The location it’s activating over this time? Knothole Village. Ruh-roh.

Sonic races to Knothole Village and finds… nothing. His parents are gone. Uncle Chuck is gone. Muttski is gone. There’s no one there.
Sonic doesn’t think this is very funny. He says so himself.

Robotnik would disagree though as we end on a two-page spread of the doctor just laughing and looking at how sad Sonic looks on his monitor. Apparently, this is supposed to be his full reveal but without the dark lighting. It doesn’t mean much because he looks exactly the same. We know what Robotnik looks like and…

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... Yeah, that’s him.

I’m still interested in where this is going. I didn’t post any images aside from this one because there was nothing to show you. It was literally just a story of all the characters sitting around and talking and clarifying things we knew already.

Confirmation that the satellites were indeed the cause of a lot of those incidents, obvious or otherwise, is appreciated. Not too much else to talk about. These two main issues really were just full of a bunch of exposition.

That said, I’m mostly interested in what’s really going on with Robotnik because I know a certain transformation is coming up and with him supposedly looking like this, I desire finding out how exactly that goes. It’s going to be quite the scene when it does, I hope. 

Hopefully, it isn’t done the way it was with Sonic where he’s just in his new design and the story he claims is going to explain how  doesn’t actually properly explain it. Then again, like I said before, I prefer there be no explanations and for them to just be in their new designs but if you’re going to bother you might as well try and make it more satisfactory than that.

Still, it's not like we get explanations for why Sally suddenly turns into a pin-up model with a protruding ass in some issues and then looks like a regular Sonic character in others.

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #73: Tales of the Great War - Part II: The Big Bad One

Uncle Chuck walks into the library and says hi to the dalmatian, Tails, and Amy Rose. They’re surprised to see Chuck here because… I don’t know why. I guess because the library is so empty. He seems the type to read books at the library though. So does Tails.

Although, what happens next is funny enough to be meme status. All of a sudden, Uncle Chuck gets upset with Tails and tells him to fuck off because THIS ISN’T A PLACE FOR YOUNG’UNS!

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That’s right kids. Uncle Chuck says to stay the fuck out of the library!

Then he forgets all that when he spots Kirby’s book. This conversation has minor weird ticks to it. For instance, Uncle Chuck is suddenly okay with them sticking around in the apparently dangerous confines of the library now and asks Tails how far in the book he got.

Small child Tails then excitedly says they were just at the part where Emerson got SHOT and Theodore had to save him. Chuck’s only reaction to that is “Amazing, isn’t it?”

Oh, you mean the part where he got shot? Yeah. The kids loved it.

Uncle Chuck sits down and decides to read them the part of the story where the war starts. He immediately leads with “After the loss of young Emerson…” so I guess he fucking died. He died jumping in the way of a bullet for a bird. How sad.

Uncle Chuck talks about how he didn’t think either side had the stomach for war (Ah, how foolishly ignorant. Both sides are full of warmongering monsters) but the scheme where Ixis Naugus and Kodos started a fight with the Overlanders and blamed it on Nate Morgan worked. 

Kodos then tries to immediately kill Naugus, who is just smiling because he expected that. Kodos swings an axe down that goes right through Naugus… only he’s an illusion so it’s just air he hits.

Naugus speaks to Kodos through a flame and says he’s a predictable villain. Naugus leaves Kodos to his “little war” and decides to escape to the Zone of Silence because he really loves it there. The craziness of its atmosphere is apparently like vitamins to him. 

Kodos says “Fuck it” and has all of Naugus’ stuff karted in for his use. They want to get this war going and fast.

Now… here’s where things get really…  cold and mean and uncomfortable and harsh and shocking… all those words and above.

Two VERY young looking hopefuls, an animal mobian and an overlander come together and try to hatch a plan to tell their respective homelands about how the lay of the land gives the opposite side the advantage in the hopes of avoiding the war.

They really don’t want there to be a war and the look of hope and happiness on their faces at the thought of avoiding it is kind of adorable… so of course, Kodos and his guards immediately find them after having somehow overheard them and… uh… 

They just… fucking murder them.

Like, the sound effect used is a loud KRAAK so I can only assume their necks were snapped or their skulls were bashed in but it’s… they don’t show it but it's still very… 

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… I don’t even know. 

I’m surprised by how much this shook me. It didn’t make Kodos any more interesting unfortunately. I’m mostly just astonished by how big a hard on this guy has for war and death. It at the very least makes me wish he were more interesting. I’d honestly be more into trying to figure out why this dude is such a fucking psychopath then.

Then we cut back to the library and Uncle Chuck is talking like he’s in an episode of Between the Lions. Just telling the kids the happy story of how war descended upon the land when Kodos reported to both sides of the conflict that the other side was full of brutal savages that snapped the necks/bashed the skulls in of young people.

YEEEEESH!

 

Okay. I totally didn’t expect to get shaken by how harsh and hardcore it got at the end there. Don’t fuck with Kodos I guess. I’m still sort of mulling over whether or not what Penders did there was necessary but I guess it doesn’t matter. It's weird because a part of me feels I should be a bit harder on him for how violent this backstory of cute animal and human characters getting shot and brutally murdered is but admittedly, a part of me kind of respects the idea behind doing it even if it may or may not be happening because Penders just wants to be taken seriously. I guess it really depends on how you view the intention behind it as well as the execution. 

 Uh, still, the issue as a whole was just a ton of exposition. Not much to really talk about. We’re still getting to the parts where things are unfolding and explanations for what the supposed next conflict is. It does feel like it's been quite a while since we’ve had our next huge thing that's happened so I’m hoping it ramps up now.

Until then, remember kids, stay the fuck out of the library. It’s no place for children.
 

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The random grease reference in the Sonic X comic never fails to make me laugh.

But yeah, the main comic has never been good at PSAs like ever. The drug thing and now the gun one proves that.

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Spoiler
13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Freaking Nicole is a Nintendo DS or some shit right?

No. She's a Tricorder. Duh. No seriously look up the TNG era Tricorder's. Nicole's design is taken directly from them. Which is also why in the Sabrina crossover she was drawn all bulky. I'd guess that Dave Manak forgot what era of Star Trek she was inspired by.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So anyway, this is where the comic just casually drops a bomb on us.

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PFFFFFFFFFFFTTTTT~!

Yeah, okay sure.

I love how the caption in the corner says “waaay back in ish #32” like they’re not quite sure which issue they last brought up this plot point.

Personally my favorite part is the Two (2) panels of everyone saying goodbye and then he's gone.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, he’s about to make his big announcement and I guess the cameraman is Chester Cheetah before he became an old fuck.

btY1I1QoDQeNWVj_BJg2tQ03MuIXcHAb3LDMMc8bhxvg4Pkt7Ze9Vz5UV2PtJrJyuW52iqcSJ86JIk8VDu08JIOc9QSwUDvO0L1r0WLnDZFpC3J2PczXj6AmnWayxjrSmWItTbCq

It happens.

It ain't easy being Cheesy and sometimes you just wanna direct.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Mercifully, the television knows what we actually want and in space, after the next satellite is activated, a voice cuts in, starts squawking at us, and begins a rundown of Doctor Robotnik’s history. 

I legitimately love every moment of this. I despise the joyless version of Robotnik from the cartoon but the Bollers realizes he's barely ever been this grim serious figure so there's just an Eggmanish joy to him describing how he fucked up everyone's lives and it's just so delightful to read. Archie Robotnik/Eggman is just the absolute best when not written by Penders.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

shockingly understated. He’s just watching with his hands behind his head. I guess he doesn’t care all that much now that he’s free and he doesn’t really give that much of a fuck about the Acorn Kingdom anymore so… whatever.

I don't know. Personally I think he looks a little pissed.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I do like the small panel showing Antoine awkwardly raising his fist as if to celebrate the fact that the Freedom Fighters were mentioned. He’s looking over at Bunnie and Amy who are just… staring at him and he’s like “... Yeah, maybe now’s not the right time…”

I love the randomness of Amy being with Antoine and Bunnie because they desperately want us to believe she's always been a part of the gang. It makes it look like they're her legal guardians and honestly they would make the most sense watching a child.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

-24JZr6r0cEF_VwBHeJrsEgJTYyprZi_kl5IZSDkxTMTQtQzVBYWCyLe8jR5uLrJhrcBuff5IqkW9f3PsNs2oKP0dw4jJ1og-kLMs8xXD8FktEYSmS4gHmmmlCSnxjNHckAbrqk5

“My name is Emerson! What’s yours?”
“Paladin! My friends call me Paladin!”

 "There are some who call me *Spanish Guitar* Mermando! This is because Mermando is my name."

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

He’s like “Man, I really wanna kill something that’s alive” and goes to shoot a bird.

DID YA KNOW MAN IS THE REAL MONSTER! DIDJA! HUH!

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Also, Rouge just flies in at the side through the hole in the wall. I don’t exactly know how she got here so fast because a page before we saw her walking in on Topaz getting taken in by her robotic trap. This isn’t even pointed out too. It happens in a panel where Tails, Amy, and Sonic are huddled together trying to figure out what to do. 

On the next page, Rouge does finally thrust herself into the plot properly though. I guess she saw Scarlet’s news report and flew to the museum. It feels odd considering how fast that was. 

I mean I just kinda assumed she followed Robo-Topaz myself. That doesn't explain why she's only now helping I'll admit.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

During this, we get a brief interlude about how Eggman was able to secure robot parts utilizing money which is apparently a plot point that still exists. It’s very strange considering this was never an issue in the show but he managed it.

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I love Eggman just walks into a fucking Home Depo and the Cashier doesn't like call the feds or anything he just treats him like a customer.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

He resists and lets go of the control device. Luckily, the others aren’t as… I don’t know, Main character-ish as Chris so the Deus Ex Machina probably isn’t going to work on them.

I do love Rouge trying to convince Topaz to break free by saying "That Robot makes your butt look big". Because 2005.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I also doubt that King Max cares and so does he. Sally foolishly asks why Elias didn’t tell their dad as if it wasn’t already obvious. Elias straight up questions whether or not he’d listen or understand.

It's genuinely amazing to me they straight up just say "Dad's kind of a dick."

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The first satellite freed the convicts from the Devil’s Gulag.

The second satellite caused the earthquake in the tundra that killed Eddy.

The third satellite made a bunch of Robians go crazy and attack Sonic and Tails.

The fourth satellite caused the meteor shower.

The fifth satellite was activated when the convicts attacked everyone and Snively’s “death” was witnessed by everyone. Also the random giant squid that showed up just to get blown up.

Elias brings up his doubts that Snively was done in by that, effectively reminding me that they all thought he was dead. I can’t believe I so easily forgot that. 

Actually, scratch that. Yes I can.

The sixth satellite almost destroyed reality with that backwards issue of the comic.

The seventh satellite was activated the night before which was when the Robotnik history lesson invaded their TVs. 

I find a couple things about this funny. 1. They give dates to everything so since the search for Naugus to this precise moment it's only been a couple months. That feels like too short a period of time. Espcially with Specials and the Knuckles comic taken in. 2. I think Bollers forgot how he "killed off" Snivley because they talk like the squid dragged him underwater and not that he was blown the fuck up.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Apparently, this is supposed to be his full reveal but without the dark lighting. It doesn’t mean much because he looks exactly the same. We know what Robotnik looks like and…

h0V7lUP7CT-kH8USSMa3G7BaWdzLvTAmKlXvwcxlzNynn-7ppj2yK1ZAjRvRwBsfoUozL0WYFoaWeSkzK7COgpB7uLe_q3L6_6MjZ1-x0Xvez3TZZX-2pSMqgAZ3GQcmeXM-qLno

... Yeah, that’s him.

I mean the point is supposed to be "That's right sports fans Dr. Ivo Robotnik is back and Sonic and his friends are screwed!"

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Then again, like I said before, I prefer there be no explanations and for them to just be in their new designs but if you’re going to bother you might as well try and make it more satisfactory than that.

TBF while I do agree the change from Beachball SatAM design to Eggman is pretty massive so it'd be weird if they didn't give it some sort of explanation.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Uncle Chuck sits down and decides to read them the part of the story where the war starts. He immediately leads with “After the loss of young Emerson…” so I guess he fucking died. He died jumping in the way of a bullet for a bird. How sad.

I love you're saying that ironically but Penders absolutely intended it to be sad. I mean I'm an animal lover but I don't think I'm going to take a bullet for a Bluejay. It honestly made Emerson look more like an idiot than anything.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

They really don’t want there to be a war and the look of hope and happiness on their faces at the thought of avoiding it is kind of adorable… so of course, Kodos and his guards immediately find them after having somehow overheard them and… uh… 

They just… fucking murder them.

Oh, boy there's nothing I love more in Sonic plots than murder! It's why Shadow's backstory is absolutely my favorite thing and isn't totally at odds with the franchises tone at fucking all!

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Like, the sound effect used is a loud KRAAK so I can only assume their necks were snapped or their skulls were bashed in but it’s… they don’t show it but it's still very… 

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… I don’t even know. 

I think what makes this feel so much weirder is Art Mawhinny's adorable Storybook art style. Like it looks like it should be a Golden Book Cartoon Tie-In publication but then you have the actual content of the story.

 

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12 hours ago, SBR2 said:
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Oh, boy there's nothing I love more in Sonic plots than murder! It's why Shadow's backstory is absolutely my favorite thing and isn't totally at odds with the franchises tone at fucking all!

 

I mean, I don't agree that its at odds with the franchise's tone. Who decides what its tone is and why should I care? Its got more than one tone depending on the story its trying to tell and the subject matter of murder and tragedy is fine on its own so long as it has a point.

The problem with this is more how unnecessary the in depth look at the violence is. Death is fine but why does there got to be a large, uncomfortable KRAAAK sound effect, blacked out bodies, and talk of sending corpses back to people's homes? 

For me, it just depends on where the line for tact and proper handling of the subject matter is. Even just seeing the corpse can be fine. They've shown plenty in tons of kids films. But even when they show it in something like the Lion King, they didn't show Mufasa actually getting trampled nor did they add in large KRAAK sound effects to simulate bones breaking and his fucking skull snapping in half. They trusted the audience to get the picture without that added twinge of emotional manipulation.

Now a game like Shadow the Hedgehog didn't trust its audience that way but that game was bathed in "Guns are cool! Lets show off all the guns and the people getting shot. Now you get to actually SEE the girl getting shot instead of it tactfully being mentioned. Even the menu options make gunshot sounds when you click on stuff."

I say that as someone who also enjoyed how morbid Shadow's game got too. Its a guilty pleasure, that one.

 

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9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I mean, I don't agree that its at odds with the franchise's tone. Who decides what its tone is and why should I care? Its got more than one tone depending on the story its trying to tell and the subject matter of murder and tragedy is fine on its own so long as it has a point.

The problem with this is more how unnecessary the in depth look at the violence is. Death is fine but why does there got to be a large, uncomfortable KRAAAK sound effect, blacked out bodies, and talk of sending corpses back to people's homes? 

For me, it just depends on where the line for tact and proper handling of the subject matter is. Even just seeing the corpse can be fine. They've shown plenty in tons of kids films. But even when they show it in something like the Lion King, they didn't show Mufasa actually getting trampled nor did they add in large KRAAK sound effects to simulate bones breaking and his fucking skull snapping in half. They trusted the audience to get the picture without that added twinge of emotional manipulation.

Now a game like Shadow the Hedgehog didn't trust its audience that way but that game was bathed in "Guns are cool! Lets show off all the guns and the people getting shot. Now you get to actually SEE the girl getting shot instead of it tactfully being mentioned. Even the menu options make gunshot sounds when you click on stuff."

I say that as someone who also enjoyed how morbid Shadow's game got too. Its a guilty pleasure, that one.

 

I don't know I just view the franchise as more lighthearted fun adventure stories. It's why I kinda hate how SA2 made everyone think being serious is absolutely the only way to go. I don't really have anything against serious stories in Sonic (I wouldn't be such a fan of Ian's work of I did) but it just feels like when Sonic stories go "Dark" they sometimes forget that at it's core this is a colorful franchise about a speedy rodent stopping the plans of an overweight scientist who wants to turn critters into robots. If there's no feeling of fun or joy at all then what's the fucking point?

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3 hours ago, SBR2 said:

I don't know I just view the franchise as more lighthearted fun adventure stories. It's why I kinda hate how SA2 made everyone think being serious is absolutely the only way to go. I don't really have anything against serious stories in Sonic (I wouldn't be such a fan of Ian's work of I did) but it just feels like when Sonic stories go "Dark" they sometimes forget that at it's core this is a colorful franchise about a speedy rodent stopping the plans of an overweight scientist who wants to turn critters into robots. If there's no feeling of fun or joy at all then what's the fucking point?

95% of SA2's story was about Sonic and his friends going on an adventure to stop that overweight scientist. The game begins with Sonic jumping out of a helicopter and complaining that his arrest didn't come with any food or movies and then he proceeds to skateboard down the streets of San Francisco. 

SA2 didn't make anyone forget that stuff or say that being serious was the only way to go. It blended the adventure and built up to the more serious stuff properly. In my opinion, there hasn't been a story like SA2 since SA2 came out. 06 was melodramatic ALL the time and Shadow's game was over the top in how serious it was.

I'm actually really tired of people looking at SA2 and thinking its nothing but the Shadow backstory. We only see bits and pieces of it in the dark story and then one cutscence is dedicated to explaining it in the last story. Its an overblown criticism.

All it did was tell a story that people liked and SEGA failed to properly recreate. 

Besides, we've had nothing but light-hearted stories for 10 years. It doesn't matter if people want a more serious Sonic because they're being mostly ignored. I guess Forces tried but... not really.

(BTW, this is just my opinion. You're free to think different of course.)

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I laughed way too hard at the whole thing about the Swat Boy stripper/Bunnie thing in the Sin City parody, thinking you were just making that up as you went along, only to realize you weren't kidding. God, I wish I'd been older when I was reading these comics growing up. That's fucking hilarious

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #74: Don’t Call It A Comeback!

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Don’t call it a comeback eh? He’s been here for years has he? Well maybe so but it still doesn’t do away with the fact that he’s been dead for a really long time now does it? This cover feels like it would look cooler if I felt the size and proportions on Sonic were less lanky. Also, is no one else bothered by the fact that they’re just floating in space, not attached to anything?  What if one of them just floats away and can’t get back? Maybe that's not how space works but the thought of it makes me wince. Eeesh.

Spoiler

 

It’s another Karl Bollers and Steven Butler team up. We begin with some art that actually doesn’t look all that bad, thankfully. Sonic looks fairly decent as he delivers the news that everyone in Knothole is gone. He goes full blown nuclear on blaming those satellites too. He’s revved up and ready for some action.

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RELEASE ME! RELEASE ME!

King Max tells Sonic to remain calm (either because he likes taking whatever opportunity he can to tear down Sonic or because he doesn’t care enough about Sonic’s parents and family to be upset himself) and Sonic fires back at the king about how he totally can’t be calm. I think this might be the first time I’ve seen Sonic snap at the king.

Sonic, with a momentary solemn look on his face reiterates that he just can’t do what he asks… and as he does this, the art also momentarily deteriorates.

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Yeesh. Yeah. I’m self-conscious about my art and I know I shouldn’t be because, back in the day, they said yes to stuff that looked like this. I apologize but not really.

King Max yells “WHAT?!” and Sonic’s instant of solemn, silent rage builds back up to intense, stormy anger again which leads to him stomping off angry with a raging thunder cloud over his head. 

The best thing to ever happen, happens next. King Max says “I FORBID YOU” to Sonic and then asks Sally to stop him herself. Sally, for reasons I can only assume begin and end with “Because he’s my daddy” thinks Sonic should stop and listen to what King Nutter Butter has to say.

Then Sonic just says what I’ve always wanted to hear him say.

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Sonic the Hedgehog says “FUCK THE KING!”

Yes. Thank you Karl Bollers.

Sonic goes off on his own and amongst the ruins he’s standing in is eventually greeted by Sally, Tails, Antoine, Bunnie, Amy, and Nate. I actually do like how Amy just molded herself into the cast. She’s been appearing more and more often and now she’s just always around. It’s nice. She’s also not in the lovey dovey state yet. It’s gonna be painful when the comic is going to have her compete with Sally when it's clearly futile and the comic has no actual interest in pushing Amy’s relationship with him.

I know they’ll have Amy say she isn’t doing that but the book totally doesn’t care what Amy thinks she’s doing.

Anyway, Nate has an idea. He takes them to a space shuttle that he and Rotor discovered before Rotor left. Sonic whistles for Dulcy to come in and fly the space shuttle to the edge of space so that they can then take off and handle it the rest of the way.

When Sonic whistles, Dulcy comes in and says “Did someone whistle my name?” to which I wish to reply, “No. He just whistled. Unless your name is PWEEET, I’m not sure how you could have thought it was your name.”

Also, Sonic tells Amy to stay behind so I guess that’s me getting what I deserve for recognizing that she’s around often. He tries to tell Sally to stay too but she refuses cause she’s more of a main character than Amy is.

So Dulcy flies the shuttle up, throws it to space, and for some reason is crying and waving goodbye like she just tossed them to their deaths (?) and then flies back down.

Of course, as soon as they get to space, their suits look nothing like they did on the cover. Those suits had too much color and design. Best just make them all white. I dig it. I probably would have done something similar. Maybe.

Also, a ton of garbage is flying at them. Like cartons of milk and alarm clocks…

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Obviously this isn’t normal so they go check it out.

What they find is a space station that’s in a bit of a need for self-censorship.

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I don’t mean to be immature about this but… come on.

Nate tells them through the communicator back on the planet that the ship is dumping metal and chemical waste, I guess. He doesn’t say anything about milk cartons but he does explain that they have to go through the waste chute fast enough to avoid a chemical bath that’ll corrode their suits. So they do that.

Inside, they get ambushed by Swat-Bots and then end up surrounded by a ton of them out of nowhere. Despite being able to clearly see them all, for some reason, Sonic says “Heads up. I smell swatbots!” 

I guess he just HAS to talk right? Even when what he has to say makes no sense with regards to the situation? They’re surrounded. They all have eyes too. You don’t need to give a heads up or say you can smell them dude.

Sonic destroys them all but then larger, bulkier, meaner looking ones show up. Then, they catch their first glimpse of Robotnik, alive once again!

Robotnik shows up here in the third full page spread reveal he’s had three issues straight. Just in case you weren’t aware he’s returned. I’m not saying the reveal pages aren’t thematically appropriate for the situation, it’s just fun poking fun at how often it's happened. Out of context, it amuses me a bit.

He also corrects them and says that the new bulky bots are called Shadow-Bots (before Shadow Androids were a thing) and that the models are Delta and Gamma (about maybe a year after E-102 Gamma was a thing in Japan). 

I do really love how when Sonic charges at him, Robotnik just swats him aside like a fly.

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Robotnik is sort of right though. There isn’t much dull surprise or people being frozen in shock that a guy who was obliterated 24 main issues ago is just back from the grave.

The only one with any kind of heightened reaction is Sonic. He’s just enraged beyond belief. I want that to be a combination of the idea that Robotnik’s alive and the fact that all the Robians are being enslaved again and not just one or the other. It really makes for a more balanced conflict.

Robotnik and Sonic are literally just having an anime battle while corrosive chemicals rain down around them. Robotnik gets his cape stuck on something and the chemical bath comes towards him, surprising him, and then…!

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It would have been great had he been like “OH SHIT! WE’RE LITERALLY WATCHING A DUDE MELT! AAAAAH!”

No, of course. That’s not what is happening.

Robotnik is dead. So who is this? I already know but still wait to find out for the reveal because I said so.

Also, I'm still not sure I understand Nate's explanation about why they're just acidic chemicals spraying about the place at random.

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #74: Tales of the Great War - Part Three: Enter Robotnik

Ah. Been waiting for this one.

Yeah, a Ken penders story. I know. Art Mawhinney’s style is so inappropriate for the kind of story that's been told here too. It’s very strange.

Amy and Nate are left behind on the planet and Amy actually has to have a shoehorned flashback to her and Tails being at the library yesterday. She’s like “I can’t believe they’re all gone… especially Uncle Chuck! Why I remember just yesterday talking to him about this war that I have no way of knowing is going to thematically interject with the “return” of Robotnik.”

Whatever works I guess. You could have just posted a yellow box that said “Yesterday” and it would have worked fine though.

Anyway, Uncle Chuck explains to the kids and the dalmatian that even knowing what he knows now he’d still save Robotnik. This surprises them. I love Chuck’s explanation but I also love Tails’ reaction.

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I love that this super innocent version of Tails is the one saying the line “Even for the greater good, Uncle Chuck?” I want his next line to be, “Please, I’d have let the fat fucker die.”

Robotnik was allowed in because King Max messed up with Nate Morgan for a completely different reason that doesn’t at all address the concerns that General D'Coolette brings up to him in this flashback. That’s how he wormed his way in. Because the king just wanted a do-over on another Overlander? 

Robotnik kept up his act of being kind until he was literally handed all of Ixis Naugus’ old weapons on a platter by Warlord Kodos. The guy shows Robotnik a room, personally HANDS him a weapon called an atomic mace, and then tells him about the Zone of Silence and starts it up with his back turned to the guy he’s trying to recruit because he thinks he’s a scumbag. 

I mean… 

So, yeah, Robotnik knocks out Kodos with the atomic mace and pushes him into the Zone of Silence. That’s how Robotnik became the Warlord. PFFT.

What of Robotnik’s ability to get the people on his side? Well, it doesn’t really matter if all he has to do is say a thing and have the king instantly be all for it.

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Admit it Max, you just wanted an excuse to destroy them all. “Kodos was too aggressive” my foot.

That’s it for now.

 

Pretty good. Yeah, I’ll say that this entire issue all around was extremely solid. I enjoyed it for what it was, despite the usual old Archie comic oddness rearing its ugly head from time to time yet again. I’m really bothered by how  Dulcy in all of her scenes continues to make no sense. 

They did a pretty good job setting the stage and heightening how emotional Sonic in particular was. I do like how pissed he was the entire time, to the point of telling off the king finally. I want it to continue that way so badly.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #75: I Am the Eggman

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This issue’s title is “I Am the Eggman”. That famous lyric from the song in Sonic Adventure 2. This comic issue came out in July of 1999. Sonic Adventure 2 came out on June 23, 2001. Uhm… HOW? Literally how? What? HUH?! If this has an obvious answer I'm going to feel real embarrassed by not catching it.

Oh, the cover is alright. It’s a milestone issue so it’s got all the Freedom Fighters on the cover and Sonic’s pointing and going “YOU!”. It’s very strange how Sonic’s in his modern design but Tails and Amy still aren’t. Robotnik currently isn’t either. It’s all very strange. 

These comics are strange.

Spoiler

 

As the skin melts away on this evil figure we’re greeted with the horrifying and shockingly well-drawn visage of Robo Robotnik’s metal face. Steven Butler is at his best when he’s drawing stuff that looks like this. Ugly and intensely evil. Things that are supposed to unnerve you.

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This looks amazing. 

Sonic and the others kind of don’t though. 

Robo-Robotnik puts them all into an energy field. Bunnie punches it saying a horrible line about how her daddy has a saying “Sooner or later, every egg gets hatched. Or in this case, cracked!”

She is then electrocuted and shocked into unconsciousness when she punches the force field as punishment for daring to utter such an extremely horrible line. Robo-Robotnik assures us that she’ll wake up later “to annoy you all with her accent once again.” He’s already making himself stand out as someone to love. 

Robo-Robotnik is literally just Robotnik from another zone but if he got roboticized all the way. It’s funny because robotization makes you obedient to Robotnik but he IS Robotnik so… I guess that would just make him doubly devoted to himself.

Robo-Robotnik then goes on to explain the story of how he came to be here. As I understand it, the Robo-Robotnik thing tends to come with a bit of a contradiction to it that I currently have no recollection of the details to so let me know about it in the responses. I think it might have been that there were two at one point and someone forgot?

Well, anyway, here he explains that when he was destroyed his consciousness ended up in the regular Robotnik’s computer. He was stuck there until regular Robotnik got transported to his world and Robo-Robotnik helpfully transported him back but not before bugging his mind to find the scattered pieces of the Giant Battle Borg robot. I had no idea that thing was going to be so important when I read the silly issue of all the Sonics fighting that generic looking robot so long ago. 

Apparently, it gave Robo-Robotnik a crap ton of power to just cheat death so he collected parts from it and rebuilt himself. Then he killed the Royal Family and presumably his version of Sonic. However, he found out that regular Robotnik had died and because he’s insane, he came here to fill the void in both their lives.

If I were Robotnik, I’d just build a bunch of robot Sonics or a simulation where I had it so I could kill him over and over again. Maybe program it so that the Sonic would beg for mercy and call Eggman-Sama his sempai and lick his boots or something. He’s smart enough. He totally could have done that. 

Sonic asks what the deal with the satellites was then. Couldn’t he have just come out and said “I’M HERE! PLEASE KILL ME AGAIN!” or something? Obviously not. Robo-Robotnik explains that the point of the satellites was to test them and lure them to space. Sally, very dumbly, asks why lure them to space....?

Robo-Robotnik doesn’t even dignify that question with an answer. He just re-asks it by saying “Why?” over an image of the thing he’s OBVIOUSLY going to do now that the Freedom Fighters are all in space.

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Amy and Nate are running away and there’s this delightful line where Amy says “Oh no! They’ve grabbed John and Jane Doe”. God, at least that pun is mildly clever.

Anyway, Amy kicks the two robots off the Does (apparently she’s strong enough to) and Nate just eviscerates them with a device that shoots a violent looking laser from his wrist. Jesus Christ, Nate is packing!

Back in the castle, with the King, Elias, and Geoffrey, they talk about how the new and improved Swat-Bots are attacking with a very tall Queen Alicia in a stasis tube above them. Her body is drawn too human like, to the point that if she were standing she would be towering over them with her super model like body. Boy, the time for this book to look more like a Sonic comic again couldn’t come fast enough.

The order is given to evacuate to Knothole. People always say it’s super safe there in everything (although apparently not in this case since everyone disappeared). 

King Max asks the million dollar question of “Where’s Sally?” to which Robo-Robotnik takes that as his cue to appear on the screen and gloat at them all like a demonic game show host about the fact that he has them ALL! He also reiterates that they are Shadow-Bots! He’s really trying to make sure that name sticks, even though I’m sure it won’t. 

This situation is dire and it's wonderful. 

King Max, because he’s being written by Karl Bollers, bends on one knee and asks Robo-Robotnik to take him and spare the children. All the children, not just his daughter. 

Robo-Robotnik pretends to consider it and then, as soon as the Shadow-Bots burst through the wall, he says “NOPE! I’m taking it all bitch!”

Luckily for them, the tubes connecting to the Queen are unhooked and spraying a substance that freezes the robots as they run in. So now they can escape. It's here where everyone constantly saying Amy’s full name, "Amy Rose", over and over again when they tell her to escape is grating on the nerves a bit.

Still, we cut back to the high octane drama going on in space where the Freedom Fighters are trapped and Robotnik is now presenting to Sonic his entire roboticized family. His mom, dad, uncle, and pet dog are all obedient slaves. That’s the trigger that gets Sonic to run right at the force field and get blown the hell back by it.

It’s so cruel but it’s so great. Robo-Robotnik has one of the best villain monologues I’ve seen from this comic yet. It’s really getting the heart pumping watching this all unfold.

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I love that last line. “I finally deduced a way to remove that “BUG” from their systems and return them to NORMAL!”

This demented shit is normal. He’s not even really acknowledging them as people. Sonic’s family being a bunch of mindless, enslaved robots is normal. That’s a kick to the butt if there ever was one.

We cut back to Mobotropolis where Team Loser… or the King’s Secret Service led by Geoffrey arrive and start saving people. As Hershey runs off with a child in her arms she blurts out that Star Trek line everyone loves, modified to fit the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book. “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few… or the one.”

Excellent re-write. 5 stars.

I’m not sure Sonic would agree that phrase is appropriate in this situation though. Pretty sure he’d prefer everyone be saved. There’s really no reason why you can’t. That’s not something I’d consider applicable in this situation at all. Like… not even a little tiny bit.

Back in space, Sonic has apparently been hurling himself at the shield over and over again and getting more and more fried. He’s so determined to save them but can’t… and then the shield drops. Why?

Because Snively came in to free them.

Sonic doesn’t buy it and gets all up in his face because, even though it makes literally no sense to let them out of that hopeless death trap should you be someone looking to demolish them, Snively is Snively and therefore beat him up.

Eh. I mean, you played ice hockey with the guy against Robotnik once though. I’m sure you know enough about him to know he despised Robotnik too. Oh but I guess you don’t know that he was the one who killed the original Robotnik eh? Guess that’s still a trade secret. Snively has finally found out that he wasn’t the one who let the villains escape at the Gulag though. 

So when the obvious is pointed out to them about how Snively is in danger of being roboticized and he let them go for a chance to escape, Sally types something on a keypad and gets Nicole to send them their space shuttle. She also brought along an explosive and sets a timer on it. Sonic then brings out a ring he got from Nate and says he can use it to be even faster, go and get his parents, and then be right back.

Now, Sally objects to this plan because Robo-Robotnik said he was bringing all the Robians to Mobius but Sonic isn’t willing to take that risk. 

I’m wondering why Sally can’t just wait to set the detonator. I know the Super Satellite is gonna be hard as balls to defeat but Sonic’s already super fast and with a ring to make him go faster, you could probably wait to set that timer off for a bit. It’s not like the thing is self-destructing independent of you or anything.

Anyway, Robo-Robotnik is boarding all the Robians onto his shuttle to go to the planet.

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My God, he looks delightful in every shot. He really does like insanely cool.

Anyway, Sonic shows up and they fight. Its as climactic feeling as it can be right before Robo-Robotnik gets clonked on the head by a ring tossed at him by Sonic’s parents. Turns out they were never under Robo-Robotnik’s control?

This revelation is enough to bring Sonic to tears… but then he immediately grabs them and juices back to Sally, leaving Robo-Robotnik to scream and shout about how impossible the very possible thing that just happened is.

Sonic made it back with two minutes to spare so, I guess his prioritizing the needs of the few over the needs of the many paid off. Sweet.

They leave and the satellite explodes. 

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Honestly, it's kind of a shame. Sally made such a big deal about how impressive the satellites were on their own and how dangerous they would be all put together. Now that they have been, we proceed to see it do nothing before it just blows up before it can. Kind of sad but I can’t say this issue felt anti-climatic. This whole thing had climax spray painted all over it. Robo-Robotnik here is a treat.

Oh, but also, apparently, Robo-Robotnik got blown up in the blast. I actually didn’t find this out until the very end of the issue because it’s not clear at all here. I figured he left with the other Robians when Sonic got away but no… 

Also, apparently the other Robians escaped? I guess one of them piloted the ship? If not, then Sally just blew them all up but that’s not the case because the next scene after the explosion is Sonic’s parents explaining that they pretended to be under Robo-Robotnik’s control to find out where he was taking all the Robians. That info would be useless should they all be dead.

We find out also that the reason Sonic’s parents are fine is because of the Wedding bands Sonic gave them. So magical ring energy is the answer. Of course. It always is.

The final scene is a shot of a base where a bunch of robot bodies are lined up, each with their own different design. As explained earlier, when Robo-Robotnik blows up he just transfers his consciousness into a new shell and wouldn’t you know it… he went into the shell that looks like Hulk Hogan. So he’s Hulk Hogan Eggman now. I guess luck of the draw says he looks like that now.

No, but seriously, wouldn’t it be a strong twist of fate had he chosen that one? 

The actual body he chose is of our beloved Adventure era Robotnik. Or should I call him…

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THE EGGMAN! 

Dr. Eggman to be precise.

He has the power to expel giant HAs from his body! Look at all those HAs go!

 

THIS was the shiz-night! 

What an awesome issue. I love it when so much shit is happening at once but in a way that heightens the dramatic tension. It also helps when the situations happening are directly correlated in some way even if the locations and actions of the characters are so different.

Robo-Robotnik looked extremely cool but I’m really jazzed to see him in his Eggman body, finally. I can’t wait to see how much lazier the comic gets when it comes to looking for ways to get everyone into their modern designs. I hear they just don’t even bother with an explanation when it comes to the Chaotix which is par for the course with them in this book.

But yeah, this was epic. This was action. This was Sonic. We’re two for two on good issues so far.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #76: Business As Usual

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He’s finally here! Introducing the most evil version of Eggman to ever hit the scene, right next to the IDW one most likely. Either way, we’re on our way to the future folks. This is also a very delightful cover. Eggman is taking an immediate commanding presence as he floods the world with his new robots. Sonic can’t handle the yolk on this man.

Spoiler

 

Karl Bollers is back again. Three in a row. No wonder shit’s been so good lately. Please, keep it up. I will say that by now I’m seriously doubting Penders’ words when he said that he wasn’t paying attention to what Bollers was doing much aside from a few talks. There’s no way this decision was made independent of him. There’s just a better writer bringing it to fruition and for the most part being left to it. 

The artist for this issue goes by Fry. James Fry to be exact. It all looks rather interesting too. I like his style.

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It’s all delightfully cartoony. Though I think the thing that caught my eye immediately was Tails.

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He’s not exactly yellow-orange yet but this is literally, just, straight-up his Modern design. He’s even got the blue eyes now.

Huh. Strange. Why does he have those? Sonic ran super fast in a Flash/Power Rangers suit carrying an emerald and got zapped with magic bullshit to get green eyes and a buckle on his shoe (so fucking stupid) so why is Tails here just blue in the eyes now? Did the void of blackness in his eyes clear away and reveal the blue of the ocean underneath between stories? Perhaps the view of the ocean from space melded into his irises because he was so entranced by it.

Anyway, the heroes went back to Mobotropolis which was a bad idea because the Shadow-Bots are there rummaging through and re-taking the city it seems. It’s abandoned though because everyone retreated to Knothole. Snively does what I did and points out how deranged that is because Eggman’s long since pin-pointed its location. That old plot point from the TV show is moot. He also lets it be known that he’s still alive after the explosion and in a new body so they’re gonna need to work that out.

Here’s where he tries to leave but Sonic stops that because obviously Snively would know where the file that pin-points Knothole’s location is and they want him to help them get it. I do have to wonder how hard it would simply be to look at it and find the location but apparently it would take long enough for the Freedom Fighters to rally and use Snively to their advantage to ensure it doesn’t happen in time… somehow. I have no idea how but I guess it can work.

It’s great how stylized some of this stuff is though. You can feel how demonic our heroes look when they evilly laugh at Snively’s attempts to escape their clutches.

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Snively points out that he saved all their asses and Sonic says he’s going to return the favor. If the robots try to fry his traitorous butt, Sonic will just destroy them, because he can do that.

In Knothole, everyone is smashed together and unable to properly move. No one has any elbow room because the village is small and there’s not enough house for an entire city’s worth of people. King Max shows up and remains as regal as ever, stating that they’re all just gonna have to deal with it. It’s a fairly good speech from him all things considered.

Meanwhile, Sonic spots people in danger of being overtaken by Shadow-Bots, including Mina Mongoose and Honey the Cat.

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Sonic runs in and starts wrecking the bots like crazy. Meanwhile, Sally and Snively use Snively’s access card to break into Eggman’s base in Mobotropolis. Eggman is shouting like a mad-man into his ear piece, demanding they snag Sonic. He’s got his Mike Pollock voice now so he’s going crazy with the rage in my head. It’s cathartic as hell.

When Sonic beats the bots he tells the people he saved to “juice” to Knothole. Funnily enough, he’s asked what that means and he has to say that it means run. I like it when Sonic’s forced to use normal words.

Sally makes it to the main computer and is about to have Nicole do her thing when she’s grabbed by a Shadow-Bot. However, look who’s come to the rescue…!

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I like the fact that if you’re a genius, you can just reach into a robot and just remove shit. I’m certain that’s exactly how it works.

It is strangely nice seeing these two work together though.

Sonic uses science to melt some robots to the floor with heat before spotting Mina Mongoose again. This time, she’s headed back to the scene to try and get into Eggman’s base.

Sonic stops her to warn her of the danger and she breaks down crying about how he probably won’t listen to her anyway. That gets to Sonic’s heart and he assures her that he totally will. She lets him know that someone she loved was taken and Sonic, true to his word, not only listens but sits down to have a proper chat.

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The moments where the story let's Sonic be a sweetheart are all great. It’s too bad he’s got Sonic Boom arms in this panel though.

Mina is a character that's always confused me and has been hard to pin down. All the books I've read with her in them from 160 onward didn't do much of anything with her and I'm not really sure what the purpose to her character was supposed to be because of that. I always liked her just fine. She seemed like a nice girl but I can only surmise, based on context clues, that she existed just to be another potential love interest for Sonic and when that didn't happen she just became another girl. Like, just another one. Just hangin' around with Ash, doing music.

Sally shows up and takes the duty of comfort away from Sonic while Snively waves them goodbye and is finally allowed to leave.

Eggman, watching all this, for some reason, after the mission has already been completed, and with no one around to interrupt him this WHOLE TIME only NOW decides he wants to download the location of Knothole into his brain. 

Dear lord. This might be the only real blemish to this story but it’s a pretty big one. Why the fuck wouldn’t that be the first thing you did? 

Well, because for no reason, he didn’t do it earlier, because he’s doing it now he’s uploaded a virus to himself that Sally, Snively, and Nicole put into his computer. Fucking oops. 

He then gets dragged off. End.

I gotta say, it’s nice that Eggman is here finally but it’s super strange that he’s a robot. I mean, I know he was originally roboticized but that body exploded so now he’s just a consciousness in a fully robot body. It’s really strange thinking about it.

God damn, these comics are strange.

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #76: Tales of the Great War - Part Four: Another Point of View

We’re back to Ken Penders again with a different penciler, Chris Allen. A quick summary of my opinion on the art is that the robots look fucking awesome… the characters look like super angular shards of stained glass.

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Sonic’s dad wants to be practical and says that they should all escape but Tails gets mad at him and shouts that they can’t leave Jeremiah behind. Also, they need to go save those books! BECAUSE KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

Jules’ wife gives him a speech about why knowledge is power and how important it is that in this time of running from being turned into robots, they save the recorded history in the library because it's the same thing as losing themselves or something. I dunno. 

History is important though. I do agree that preserving those books is important so I’m not gonna come down too hard on their decision. It’s mostly the preschool explanation they give that bugs me. I like how Jules is just like “Sorry for trying to be practical” in a clearly sarcastic tone. 

They go in and quickly spot Jeremiah the Dalmation who doesn’t seem to be all that bothered by the robot invasion happening. I guess the robots are, yet again, just avoiding the library. I guess no matter what, Eggman just does not give a shit about the library.

Tails tries to get the guy to leave but Jeremiah doesn’t want to leave Kirby’s books behind. When Sonic’s parents find the book, they then start doing the immeasurably dumb thing of being like, “HEY! Why don’t we stop and read a passage dear?”

THIS is where you slam your head against the wall. The stupidity on display is kind of marvelous but if it leads to a good story, it can be forgiven I suppose. 

It’s mostly just a generic tale of war though. The passage describes the Overlanders as beasts that tried to kill everyone and doesn’t say a bad word about their own side. Why would it? Even recorded history this old is filled with suspicious half-truths. 

Eggman’s brother, the one who judged him to exile and really wants his bro dead, is practically leading the charge. We see the scene where Amadeus gets his eye shot out. Apparently, during this fight the Mobians realized that this was the most pointless war ever. The prize wasn't raw materials or any kind of goods. No. Their species was on the line. They didn’t want to use their animal features as an excuse to use them as slaves for specific tasks or the like. No, they just wanted them to fucking die. 

It’s like if our world was re-made incorrectly. Yeah there’s humans but there’s also these freaky animal people. Let’s kill them all and make it a world of only humans atop a pile of previously talking animal corpses. Since we write history, we can just scrub it away as we see fit. That way they never happened.

Such a strange thing to think about, honestly. What else could we not know because some jagoff decided that it wasn’t worth keeping in the history books?

Anyway, a picture of Colin, Robotnik’s brother, makes it back to Robotnik and King Max and they push forward with their assault on the Overlanders with Julian as the Warlord. That’s it for now.

 

Well now, this was a fine collection of comics I’ve just read. Honestly, I wouldn’t say a single one of these was straight up bad, even if they all had their numerous strange quirks. That’s just how Archie Sonic be. Now though, things have been set in motion for a new, new era of Sonic comics to begin… again!
 

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So basically, the rule of thumb here is that if Karl Bollers is at the helm, the issue is actually good—in essence, he was the Ian Flynn of Penders era.

But if Penders is at the helm, you just want to shudder at the writing—sure, he had some good ideas: Enerjak, Lien-Da, and what not, but he’s a terrible writer all in all.

Can we get Karl back for IDW Sonic? I can only imagine what a tag team of him, Flynn, and Stanley could cook up.

EDIT: Hell, we might even be able to get Mina back! (Or not, but hey, I can dream)

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1 hour ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This issue’s title is “I Am the Eggman”. That famous lyric from the song in Sonic Adventure 2. This comic issue came out in July of 1999. Sonic Adventure 2 came out on June 23, 2001. Uhm… HOW? Literally how? What? HUH?! If this has an obvious answer I'm going to feel real embarrassed by not catching it.

That one Beetles song.

"I am the egg man
They are the egg men
I am the walrus"

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