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4 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

Really makes you hate the “Game characters can’t have families” mandate, huh?

Yeah. I'm just glad they got Professor Gerald and Maria in there before that mandate was slapped down. I assume they're (heh) grandfathered in.

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With the advent of Dr. Starlene, one has to wonder how much Eggman actually reciprocated. Archie!Eggman was far more unpleasant than his IDW incarnation 

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14 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

Really makes you hate the “Game characters can’t have families” mandate, huh?

Nah, that just raises unpleasant questions. Like a lot of them. It's easier to just pretend all the characters just sprouted from the ground like plants. (Except Cream.)

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Sonic X - Issue #5: I Never Promised You A Chao Garden

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That title sounds like something SEGA would say to all the fans asking for the Chao Gardens to return. Just  look at this fantastic cover though. It speaks for itself. Honestly, nothing more needs to be said. Let’s get to it.

Spoiler

 

Immediately, the first thing I noticed about this issue is that it looks good. Like, the art is actually really good. So, obviously, they changed artists and holy shit, it's your boy, Tracey Yardley! Hooray!

Scarlet Garcia is covering a news report about how Sonic is saving the Rare Spotted Owl and its two eggs from a forest fire. Sonic does so all throughout her coverage, even stealing a line from Sonic Riders as he sticks the landing.

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When the report is done, we cut back to the Thorndyke residence where everyone is celebrating Sonic’s success… though for some reason, Cheese is upset. Why? Well… its hard to explain and the comic doesn’t really do a good job of doing so in my opinion.

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I guess Cheese seeing Sonic saving the owl reminded him of the fact that the other chao aren’t around anymore… somehow?

Maybe because the Owl had eggs in its nest?

Also, for some reason, they’re referring to Cheese as a she when he’s a he. At least everything I’ve looked up and heard says Cheese is a he so I’m not sure what’s up here. Mr. Joe Edkin is still the writer so this might just be his style not meshing quite as well as it should for me.

Still, he does earn the goodwill back fairly quickly when Chris tries to sympathize with the situation. Cream explains that when the Adventure arc finished, Tikal invited Cheese to come back with them and the rest of the Chao but he refused. However, that left Cheese feeling lonely. Chris recounts how he felt when he was six due to his parents not being around often and what he did to cope with that. It’s a really adorable image.

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He recounts how he made the best of it when on his sixth birthday, his parents couldn’t make it due to being super busy so Chuck, Ella, and Mr. Tanaka got Chris’ friends together for a pool party behind the house. It wasn’t the same as having his folks there because his friends had to leave in the morning (I know that feeling of not wanting to say bye to your friends after a sleepover finishes. It sucks) but they managed.

They also had a bit of a talk under the stars about extraterrestrial life out there, not so subtly hinting that should aliens ever visit their planet, they should be nice so that they hopefully don’t eat their faces off. Well, Helen was the one concerned the most about aliens eating their faces off but the others were also children so they believed it. There are images of Sonic, Tails, Amy, Knuckles, Vector, and Cosmo floating over Chuck to help us along in recognizing that these are the aliens that may or may not be coming to eat our faces off.

Still, this is way more of the stuff I want and wanted to see out of Chris from the show. My favorite scenes of his character are when he’s acting like an actual kid which is why the Sonic Battle stuff was the best. He started off really worried about participating but once he was in it, he was like “Alright, let’s fucking go!” and just started pulling whatever he could to win, not even giving a shit about making his own dad look like a wimp in front of a huge audience. By the time he faced Knuckles he kept charging like a bull, ready to turn him into paste even though there was no way he could reasonably win. It was his finest hour.

So it’s great seeing more stuff like this, where they’re freaking out over alien stories.

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Granted, they’re all about six years younger here but still. 

Also, it's kind of funny that six-year-old Chris has the same exact clothes on as twelve-year-old Chris. Like, it’s the same outfit but mini. It’s funny.

Chris managed to go for long enough that Sonic returned. Chris sits down and explains that basically shit happens but loneliness can be solved with friends. He says this to Cream who hugs him and says she’ll be alright… which is weird because I thought this was about the fact that Cheese was lonely. I know Cream mentioned wanting Cheese to stick around because her mother isn’t here (yet) but the catalyst for this was Cheese realizing he was lonely (despite all the others there) because he saw Sonic save an owl from a fire…

… Okay, so this is kind of flimsy. It doesn’t make a ton of sense but the intention is cute enough, I suppose.

The real cute image isn’t the Chris and Cream hug though. It’s a little chao hugging Dr. Eggman. AWWW~!

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This little guy has aspirations of being a Dark Chao. I like it.

Then the comic had to go and make my little joke literal

Bocoe and Decoe ask Eggman where the fuck he got a chao and Eggman just casually explains that he used science to play God and create life. He says he used scissors to clip some of Cheese’s wing off--!

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OW! Jesus Christ, Eggman!

Then he says he just used it to play Jesus and birthed a shit ton of chao into the world. He then uses a little sound frequency to just turn the chao he has into a Dark Chao, because he can do that too.

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Eggman then just strolls in the back and reveals his huge ass chao garden where he’s just created all these chao. So I guess this version of Eggman can use science to do literally anything, in any way he wants. He’s just magic and he calls it science. There’s no other explanation for this.

It’s weird because I actually like the idea behind this plan mostly because of how creative and ridiculous it is. He’s planning on marketing his chao and selling them and then turning them into Dark Chao and that’s somehow going to make him the emperor of the entire planet. Decoe and Becoe grant him it may allow him to take over Station Square but they’re not sure how it’s going to make him emperor of the world.

It’s all very strange and I have to admit, it’s really charming how fucking bonkers it is.

So anyway, they go on to prove that they’ve lost their minds by broadcasting a commercial to the masses.

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Everything about this is fantastic.

So despite the fact that Eggman still doesn’t know how to say the word “Money” and just threatened to crush everyone’s houses if they don’t buy one, the next page is just everyone happily going about their day with chao everywhere. 

Eggman’s ad was only on the air for a week.

The heroes are walking in the street and wondering what the fuck this Eggman plan is. Like seriously, what the fuck yo?

They consider that maybe he got the chao from their world and get a little jumpy with speculating that he may have found a way back home or something. If Eggman found a way back home, what he would totally do is not head there and take the world over while Sonic was stuck here. No, instead he’d bring a bunch of chao to this world and sell them to everyone in Station Square so that he could have them rampage as Dark Chao… because he’s a dick.

Cheese is scared and tells Cream that these chao are speaking a different language with creepy accents. Apparently, even though everyone else is hearing them just say “Chao” over and over, Cheese is hearing “$#%#&” or something. They’re also talking about how “the time is upon us” or “the day of reckoning will be here soon” and other creepy things spoken by members of a cult. It’s very unsettling.

This is some messed up shit. I gotta say.

Eventually an entire month passes them by and everyone just has one now. Chris’ mom comes over and just dumps one in their house for them to take care of because it keeps flying in and ruining her takes when she’s acting. 

Then Eggman decides that a month was an acceptably long wait and presses his Chao Doomsday button to send out the signal to get the Chao rampaging.

Ta-da! There are now Dark Chao in Sonic X… the comics anyway.

The one in Chris’ living room goes insane and starts attacking everyone. Tails throws the ring at Sonic and they tie it up. Then, hilariously, Sonic looks as though he’s strangling a chao and Tails brings over a garbage can and says they could put it in there!

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Oh dear God! They should put this image on a billboard in the upcoming Eggman Empire regime! 

“Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles Tails Prower! These terrible heathens raise Chao to be evil and to protect their image they strangle them and throw them away; right into the garbage! I mean, holy shit! Some heroes they are! Join the Eggman Empire today!”

I almost want to make an official billboard out of this image myself. It’s glorious.

So everyone leaves the house and they load up the Dark Chao in the car and drive with it thrashing in the back seat while it's trying to burst out of the garbage can because it doesn’t want to be dumped in the Nile river by these animal gangsters.

In reality, the plan is to take it to… the Master Emerald to see if it will calm down? At first I was confused by that and then I figured it was just a shoehorned way to get Knuckles into the story but then I realized that the Chao and the Master Emerald have a special connection. I guess they figured it seeing the Master Emerald would somehow calm it down?

I guess they don’t know exactly how the Master Emerald works so they’re winging it. To be fair, I have no idea how it works either so I can’t entirely blame them.

Either way, it doesn’t matter because when they get back, the city is overrun by Dark Chao. Eggman’s incredibly bonkers, whack as hell, ridiculous, weird as fuck plan is working. Because of course it is!

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The book is ramping up into something beautiful. I can see it. It’s transforming into it’s own beast as something to turn to when you want Sonic to just be unapologetically fucking weird. Eggman can create life and we’re not sorry. I liked it. The art actually looks really good here and some of the panels and events were pretty cute. Fairly solid overall. 

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #77: Rebel Without A Pause

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Dulcy’s tongue looks like a really gross, lathered, pink sponge. Eww.

Also there are people on these trees and they look like odd little gremlins. I guess Sonic and Sally are drawn fine but I’m not a fan of this cover. Can’t say I really like Dulcy or her design all that much either, honestly.

Spoiler

 

The first story is written by Karl Bollers and drawn by James Fry. We get this nice full page spread of Amy pointing at something and saying “Hey look--!” and someone responds by saying “What is it AMY ROSE?”

Like, they have to know it sounds weird right? It’s hard imagining they think it's her plain first name because the words are separate and there's no hyphen in the middle. It’s not like a hero name like Spider-Man. 

It doesn’t matter that she’s pointing it out though because everyone gathers round and can clearly see it. All the heroes, plus Jerimiah are coming out of the Great Oak Slide. They’ve returned from the brink of death above Eggman’s space station.

It still feels good seeing him with this new design. There are people out there who seem to hate the old roly poly design and I mostly looked at it with indifference. I just recognized that it was a product of a different time that I wasn’t fully immersed in so I never had too much of an opinion about it but, yes, I don’t mourn its loss. 

King Max asks where Sally is and the Freedom Fighters rather sheepishly tell him that she and Sonic went off on another mission together without his say so. Max seems upset by this but it’s King Max so fuck em.

In the desert between Robotropolis and, I guess, The Great Forest, Sonic and Sally are leading the rest of the Mobians they rescued to a safe location. This whole scene confused me for a bit because I forgot the circumstances that caused them to get separated in the first place but then I remembered that the scene at the library was the point where that happened. It’s sometimes hard to remember to take side stories into consideration. Especially when most of them kind of feel like pointless padding like the Lupe arc or the stories where I had to watch Geoffrey gather his worthless and unimpressive Secret Service.

Anyway, Nicole detects Shadow Bots approaching and upon hearing that Sonic stops to strike a dramatic pose but because Sally is Sally she tries her best to drag him out of it and orders him to not fight. They argue about it with an “Am too” and an “Are not” argument that just sees them getting surrounded and making it so that they’ve literally no choice but to fight anyway. So they do… or are about to but Dulcy, somehow stealthing her way onto the scene despite how huge she is, comes in and surprises everyone by murdering two Shadow Bots instantly.

I call it murder because the last remaining one tries to tell them to surrender but Dulcy gives it a mean glare and it gets so scared it flies away. The three of them laugh at it, leaving me to contemplate the fact that it was pointlessly spared only to be ridiculed and laughed at over the corpses of his fallen brethren. 

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I’m thinking about this too much, admittedly, but if they had destroyed him I wouldn’t have batted an eye but because they left him alive and acknowledged that it does feel fear and has self preservation… I’M THINKING ABOUT IT NOW! Oh God, our heroes are murderers!

“You’re laughing. Two young robots are dead and you’re laughing”

Anyway, they all get on Dulcy for a ride the rest of the way. Why Dulcy was even out here isn’t really touched upon. I guess she still was hanging around since the last time Sonic whistled for her which wasn’t too long ago.

Back with Eggman, who is still a robot, he’s recovered from his virus… and then immediately plugs his arm back into his super computer and gets it again. I’m hoping that this time he gets some sort of clue from that.

In Knothole, all the Freedom Fighters are going to bat for Sonic and trying to explain to the King that him disobeying his orders is the reason a ton of people were saved. The King says that’s enough though because he apparently knows all he needs to know about Sonic. Imagine being so angry that this guy continues to just save your kingdom all the time. The fucking nerve.

Dulcy lands at the Great Oak Slide, lets everyone off, and then flies away. I guess that was enough to get on the cover so bye.

Once everyone slides down and gets in, they celebrate at all the people Sonic saved but then gasp when they see Sonic himself, which kind of illustrates right there how silly this conflict is. The other Freedom Fighters run up and tell them that the King wants an audience with both of them. Oh boy, this should be good.

The King and Dr. Quack are overlooking Queen Alicia’s stasis tube when Sally comes in and hugs her daddy. The King was super worried about her, which is normal for a dad regardless of how many missions she goes on, but it still feels a bit weird that so little benefit of the doubt seems to be given to her ability to survive at this point.

So, that’s Sally’s scene… I guess. She leaves and Sonic enters. Not sure why he needed to see the two of them for that. “Oh hey Sally, your mom’s still in limbo. That’s all. Bye. Now I gotta go roast the most helpful guy around.”

Sonic pokes his head in and gets himself scolded like a child by the king. 

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If only Tails were here. It’d be like seeing his big brother get a talking to. 

But then… 

… all of a sudden…

… King Max turns into…

… a likeable character…

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Ho… Ly… FUCK!

This is what happens when he’s written by Karl Bollers. My God.

Sonic looks shocked too. I just… I just don’t… my brain can’t properly process this. I may blue screen again.

It ends with the king explaining that he was just pretending to be mad to keep up appearances for he didn’t want to praise a soldier for disobeying his authority in public as it understandably wouldn’t be a good look. Then Sonic suggests a spark of friendship between the two of them!

I’m… floored. 

Just… what?

If there ever was a time to praise the book for making someone act out of character it’s now. 

Holy baloney. 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #77: Tales of the Great War - For Better or Worse…

Meanwhile, back in Ken Penders land, a story he’s written and one that's being drawn by Chris Allen is unfolding. It begins at the campfire and Elias walks out to join the conversation about the old stories of old. Sonic’s parents weirdly talk about wanting to preserve the stories because the children have been exposed to so much bad that they want to keep around the GOOD too.

… Which would be understandable had any of the stories about the Great WAR been good up to this point. All of them have been extremely tragic and the one they’re about to tell isn’t any different either.

It literally begins with Sonic’s dad getting shot off a roof.

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Bernie zaps the Overlander that did it and they escape. They were on a mission to find out what happened to the author of these books, Mr. Kirby, because he mysteriously disappeared sometime during this war. 

The art is nice enough, by the way, but some of it bothers me a bit. For instance, when Elias came out I seriously couldn’t tell it was him because of how beefy he looked. Process of elimination told me it had to be him and later it was confirmed but that still felt weird.

Now we have this page where a distracting mistake was made with Amadeus’ eyepatch. It’s just gone in the second panel and in its place is a perfectly fine left eye.

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 Earlier, Bernie looked really weird when she zapped that Overlander too. She had an eye that looked black and another that looked the same color blue that Tails and Amadeus have.

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Perhaps it was done to make her look more crazed in that scene but I dunno. I feel like if I can’t tell then it wasn’t done right.

Dr. Quack operates on Jules and comes out to deliver the bad news by putting his hands on Bernie’s shoulders and saying “I’m sorry but THERE’S LITTLE HOPE!” which I found funny. I always thought that something way worse had to have happened to utterly mangle Sonic’s dad’s body but it wasn’t much of anything out of the ordinary for the fighting creatures of this book. If that had happened to Sonic, he’d have brushed it off probably. Then again, I guess I can’t properly recall a time Sonic ate a laser through the head so I’m perhaps being a bit too condescending.

Meanwhile, the King is overlooking the city and realizing that shit’s getting worse. So we get yet another scene of him turning to Warlord Julian and being like “You’re an Overlander. You know what they’d do!” as if they’re a fucking hive mind. I guess they are because Robotnik’s evil as well and planned to do the same thing to them. He says they’ll stop at nothing to make sure all the animal people are just a distant memory. Again.

There wasn’t much there. The story ends with a caption saying “find out what Uncle Chuck’s grand plan to save Jules is next time” even though we already know what that is. It somehow doesn’t seem to have much more to tell despite these being tales of a great war.

 

You know, this issue left me feeling rather positive so I’ll be more than happy to give it that. Overlooking it… absolutely nothing happened. Like, not a single thing actually happened here. The other people that didn’t escape to Knothole were taken home and then King Max thanked Sonic for it. That was really it. That said, I feel like that scene at the end was endearing enough to elevate the book alone. There’s probably a lot to say about whether or not the King should have reacted that way or not but I don’t currently care. It was still really nice to see it happen.

There’s someone on this staff who recognizes that addressing the actions and mood of such a prominent character needs to happen properly at some point. Either it's pointed out that he’s an awful king and is properly dealt with or his personality is tweaked. I have a feeling that scene was like finding a dixie cup of water in the middle of the desert as far as the King’s character is concerned though.

 

Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #29: My Special Friend

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I can’t hear or read the phrase “Special Friend” without thinking of the Animaniacs. This is a very adorable cover too. I will say that I remain astonished that despite being aware of these comics for so, so long I never once knew about the relationship between Knuckles and Sally. It was something I had never heard of. It was never brought up in any of the issues of Archie that I owned. It was never talked about online by anyone. I don’t think anyone cared after a certain point and I find that kind of surprising. Usually the internet jumps at the chance to literally push whatever boy or girl together they want but no one seemed to give a crap about these two and their history as far as the circles where I saw this comic being discussed. Amazing.

Spoiler

Art Mawhinney takes on the art duties for this Ken Penders tale yet again. The two have been together for quite a lot lately.
The art looks great. It’s appropriately cartoony. It’s clean. It’s clear. It’s very SatAM Sonic (speaking as someone who watched very little SatAM some 10 or so years ago).

In a rare instance for an issue of this fucking Knuckles egofest for Penders, we actually begin with Sally and Antoine. Unfortunately, it begins in a way that makes her look like quite the mean bitch.

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Now, obviously Antoine had no say in this matter. Obviously, it wasn’t up to him to make any of the decisions that led to this mission happening without Sally’s input even being concerned. Obviously Geoffrey’s secret service was up to some shit and Sally was denied a look into it BY Geoffrey himself RIGHT to her fucking face. Obviously, Sally should know that the authority to do this is something that her father has a stranglehold on and she shouldn’t be upset when her father uses said authority to put people like Antoine into a chokehold…

… But despite this, she still yells at him and pulls the “I thought you were my friend” card. He isn’t Sonic so he wasn’t going to disobey and the King isn’t being written by Bollers here so the King wouldn’t have been as understanding if he did. 

When Antoine tells her the obvious about how it wasn’t up to him, Sally stomps off to confront her dad… because again, she knows what he did and how he is.

Ah. Here’s the old King Max we know and love. 

God, if the philosophy of “There are no bad characters, only bad writers” could see how different the Bollers and Penders versions of King Max were, it could probably use them as a shining example of this principle. 

Sally says to King Max that they have to talk and Max is immediately confused as to what and then right after is about to blow her off to do something else. Sally thankfully vetoes that and tells him to sit down and listen to her rant. He does.

Sally points out how cruel her dad has been and outlines all the terrible things he’s done from trying to force her to marry Antoine to going on a mission to save a brother she didn’t even know she had without telling her. She straight up asks where the loving and caring father she used to know had gone. For once, it felt like Sally had finally woken up to something.

But no. King Max just says that he’s still nice deep down and that he was just trying to protect her. He says that his manner of making sure everything turns out good lies on the Floating Island… somehow.

Speaking of which, we cut to Knuckles who spots the bird from the Little Mermaid only his name is Catweazle and also they know each other even though I’m 100% certain we’ve never seen or heard of this guy before. It’s very strange how Penders can just throw a character in like this and say that Knuckles knows him and that they’re close friends and demonstrate it by them having this really long casual conversation. Despite how comfortable they are speaking to each other, I was just looking at this scene in disbelief. 

Who the hell is this and why does he know so much about Knuckles and his family? Also, why is he such a chatterbox when he’s not even designed like a regular Mobian? He looks like a flickie. Is it like Meowth? Is he a flickie that taught himself to speak in common? What is this and why was it thrown in my face as something that Knuckles is already familiar and comfortable with? 

They have a long talk where Knuckles has to lead the conversation in the correct way because this bird can’t seem to get it through his head that all of Knuckles’ problems have been brought upon to him by OTHER people and not himself. He says he’d rather deal with the dingos than his family and if you’ve left a family member feeling like that then you’ve severely fucked up.

Catweazle keeps trying to relate with Knuckles by talking about his family too and the line where he mentions Knuckles having a brother and sister almost floored me.

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When he said “yet” I got ready to facepalm but no, he’s right that Knuckles’ mom may want to have another boy with Wyn. Knuckles has a fairly reasonable comment about how he isn’t sure he has a choice in how he feels about that right as the subject of an Egg Shaped Pod approaching the island comes up.

Inside this pod is Sally Acorn saying the horrendous line “I feel AWFUL Nicole! I should NEVER have DOUBTED my father!”

I just… I just don’t…

I mean it’s just my luck that I’m reading this right after the issue where King Max endeared himself to me for the first time ever. I can’t not read this and feel he’s just been a manipulative shrew, nevermind how the unnecessary Penders bolding makes it that much worse. When you bring up his horrible actions from before and have Sally be reasonably angry at him for all of it only for her to later say she should NEVER have doubted him despite how terrible all his terrible, awful shit obviously was… 

… This whole thing where Sally just can’t commit to calling out her dad on anything has reached levels of extreme emotional manipulation and abuse. It’s gotten to the point where Sally is being irrational to the point of being a danger to herself. Nicole is speaking with her here and is trotting out the excuse (and I’m calling it an excuse because at this point it’s nothing but) that his irrational behavior might have been from when he was all crystal. This ignores all the times we’ve seen of him before that moment when he was an asshole in flashbacks and also how he’s been recovered for a long time and has demonstrated rather clearly that he has the agency within himself to make decisions all his own. The state of his mind is definitely his own.

I think the book realizes that too which is why what happens next is an example of Sally trying to excuse his actions further… except it’s her giving him the benefit of the doubt for what’s literally the most disgusting and horrible thing I’ve seen him do in the book. Not only that, NOT ONLY THAT BUT… she admits that there’s a chance she could have done the same thing too????

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This right here is an image of Sally Acorn saying that it’s possible she would have considered doing a genocide. 

She calls her dad’s decision to destroy the Robians (roboticized mobians and citizens of her kingdom) an ARGUABLY PRAGMATIC decision. 

Arguably… pragmatic…?

If I weren’t aware of how the writings of Ken Penders doesn’t necessarily reflect what the views of these characters are and should be this would probably be the moment where I switched from not caring about Sally to just flat out hating her. I’m surprised I’m restraining myself since I know this is just the result of more daddy issues being injected into the comic.

Sally folds whenever it comes to her father. She can’t go against his word at all. She gets upset and rants a lot at him but at the end of the day it doesn’t mean shit because she always falls back on just accepting his decision making. She was treated terribly throughout this entire situation and she was reasonably upset by it. This mistreatment spanned the length of several, several books and yet here it's just been cleared up in an instant with Sally admitting to being in the wrong!

Oh my God. It's just… it’s so terrible. 

But no, even worse is something I had to read over twice to get. Sally says, and I quote “He KNEW Robotnik Mach 2 would use them against us and tried to prevent that!”

So the obvious question here is what the hell is Sally talking about?

Crystalized King Acorn, during a time when Robotnik Mach 2 wasn’t even a thing, knew that he’d use the Robians against them? This is extraordinarily confusing and I really don’t know if Penders is even reading his own shit at this point.

The king was MIA during the whole conflict with Robotnik leading up to his death during Endgame at Issue 50. A robot duplicate of himself was used as a reveal during that arc because the king hadn’t been able to properly move around right. It wasn’t until the fall out of what happened in Endgame where the racism allegories against the Robians was happening within Mobotropolis (something that feels like it’s almost been forgotten about now) that the king was at his most active and shouting for the Robians to be dismantled and killed.

The point is, when this was happening, there was no Robotnik to immediately concern yourself with. It was mostly Naugus they were worried about. So why does it sound like Sally is saying that the king was preparing for Robotnik Mach 2 during a time where predicting Robotnik Mach 2 would have been impossible?

Even if she’s just using the words “Robotnik Mach 2” as an updated threat it still doesn’t really work. 

No matter how you read it, it sounds like Sally’s excuse for the king is that he KNEW that Robotnik Mach 2 was a thing that was going to eventually happen and that he was going to use the Robians against them somehow. 

This is impossible. Unless she’s talking about something way more recent than what’s being shown in the flashback (in which case WHY show the fucking flashback if its irrelevant to what Sally’s talking about) then there’s no possible avenue where this works. Is she trying to say that her father is so regal and smart that he looked THIS far ahead when he made the decree to kill all those innocent, previously enslaved people?

While in the same breath trying to excuse his behavior by saying the crystal made him temporarily cuckoo? Either pick one excuse or the other but going for both makes no sense ON TOP of the excuse about his decision making being rational also not making any sense.

Basically, what I’m saying here is that there’s no excuse for her dad’s behavior and this weird fumbling to try and find one is awful and doesn’t work. 

So, Nicole sends the signal to the Floating Island to get clearance for landing and Thunderhawk and Sojourner grant her access when they recognize the king’s special signal.

Sally lands the ship.

She gets out.

Knuckles sees her as she approaches and…

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She just proceeds to bitch at him.

I was about ready to throw my hands up at this point. 

It’s like a combination of all the shit I hate about badly written female characters. Just bitching and screaming at people all the time and then folding when it comes time for them to have some agency of their own. Still not as bad as Sakura Haruno as I doubt anything could ever be as bad as her in anything, ever, but it’s up there. This is not a character I want to follow right now.

Hopefully the mood changes soon because I wasn’t expecting this when I saw that cover.

Unfortunately… it doesn’t. 

The very next thing Sally says is that she isn’t shallow and that she was never one to primp or preen. Then she drops the bomb that she’s THE FUCKING JOKER and talks about the one bad day she had when she fell into that vat of chemicals.

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Oh yeah. THAT vat of chemicals. Remember when Sally fell into that vat of chemicals and it turned her fur pink? Yeah, the author’s note is all like “Ah-ha! We didn’t color her wrong! Told you!”

No one gave a shit! Do you know how long ago that was? What’s with the weird Joker shit? 

No joke, when I first read this I almost thought that it was an excuse to do another character image change. Imagine if instead Pink Sally fell into a vat of chemicals and then came out as brown Sally. That would be weirder.

I’d be more willing to let this stand as more of a joke if it weren't for the fact that these explanations for why characters look different are happening so frequently now. 

Sally was most likely pink back then because that’s how she was colored when she appeared in AoSth. The tone of the book was emulating AoSth way more than it was SatAM at the time despite it using the Freedom Fighters.

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I mean Jesus. This isn't covering any tracks. It’s just stupid. Sally sure is lucky that that vat of chemicals only dyed her fur pink and her hair black and made it real hard to scrub off for a bit. Oh boy, how annoying. I also assume she didn’t open her mouth either or get any in her eyes and nose. 

Anyway, Sally is mad at Knuckles because she thinks he, of all people, was keeping secrets from her. Knuckles is understandably confused and she says that he didn’t tell her that her mother was on the island. Knuckles is confused as to why she would think he’d even know that because he’s been lied to his entire life. Literally no one has told him jack shit and he’s only just now finding about things. Hell, he just found out that Sally’s mom was here from Sally right now.

The two of them have a bit of a moment where Knuckles tries to assure her that he knows what it's like having a parent not tell you anything until they think it's right only for Spectre and one of the ants to show up in a puff of smoke.

Sally’s mission is to enlist the help of the brotherhood to take the fight to Robo-Robotnik. Spectre takes them both to Haven. When they get there he introduces everyone in descending order of seniority which… actually surprises me.

He says that his son is Sojourner, whose son is Thunderhawk, whose great grandson is Sabre, who’s son is Locke, who’s son is Knuckles…!

So… either echidnas live for a really long time or these old fogies are cheating the aging process somehow. I knew that Sabre was Locke’s dad and of course that Locke helped birth Knuckles but the rest I didn’t know because it was never explicitly laid out like this before. Maybe whispers of relations were made in passing but for the most part these just seemed like a random collection of echidnas who were important just cause. They still do feel as though they’re around “just cause” but at least I know the hierarchy now.

Literally, Knuckles’ ancestry and direct family line has been spying on him and lying to him his whole life. It wasn’t even a case of being family by association due to also being echidnas. Goodness me.

Spectre is acting very kind and gentlemen like here. They all seem rather calm and happy to see Sally and offer her a ton of respect. Spectre even says he considers it an honor. This feels… different.

Knuckles is upset and Locke doesn’t make it any better by suggesting that Knuckles was never meant to be friends with Sally. When Knuckles asks “So I DON’T have any say who I can HAVE as friends?” bolded like a Penders comic would bold it, Locke’s reply is “Not in this case!”

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His reason is because she’s going to be the leader of her people and their interests may not coincide… which honestly sounds like a reason to try and be friends than not. If you’re friends with the leader of a kingdom, I can only see that as a bonus. Even if your interests don’t coincide, you stand a better chance at surviving and thriving if you’re friends regardless. 

Locke continues with a point about how her people coexist with people who prey upon them and instead of preventing it they end up in a constant state of WAR.

Okay… now… this is true of a lot of the past regime but I at least know enough about Sally to know that she’s certainly no fan of war and, correctly written, would probably not want to perpetually continue one either.

Secondly though, who the fuck are you to talk? YOUR people are constantly at war with YOURSELVES! Not only with yourselves but for the longest time you were at war with the dingos too and are probably still shouldering plans to stab them in the back sometime soon. I’ve no reason to give any of you the benefit of the doubt on that. Your most successful section of people were the ones that fucked off and did the Jesus walk across the water to reach their holy land. 

Locke, you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’ve ruined your marriage and your people are a bunch of assholes that are losing relevance and struggling to reclaim it… and it took forever for you to even happen upon a nugget of the idea as to why. Fuck off.

My point is about to be proven too.

They go through the rigamarole of being respectful and leading Sally to this room where they can have a proper discussion and it ends in the span of two people speaking ONCE. 

Sally asks for help in the fight against Robo-Robotnik/Robotnik Mach 2/Eggman and asks for more help in stabilizing her mother. Spectre responds by saying they kept Alicia alive using all the means they had at their disposal so there’s already nothing more that they can do (understandable) and then asks if Sally is willing to use ANY means necessary to take out Robo-Robotnik, including using something referred to as “the latest in Munitions Technology” or something.

Sally says that Spectre should know she can’t agree to that and Sabre just cuts in to say “Well in that case, fuck off and die. Your petition is denied.”

If I were a more self-destructive person this is where I’d start banging my head against the wall. 

I mean, GOOD LORD. These echidnas are just… the ABSOLUTE WORST. All the people whining about the harmless simple nature of the Deadly Six must not know about these comics. There’s no way they could. Holy hell, they suck so much.

After a charming scene where Knuckles catches up with the old General Bulldog man, he finds Sally sitting alone, staring at the sunset. Knuckles tries to break the ice by commenting on it and gets snapped at by Sally. 

For some reason Sally is under the impression that Knuckles is just like his ancestors and was not only in on keeping the secret of her mother from her but is also on board with just ignoring what Sally has to say. Knuckles says that he’s not his ancestors and her response is “Yeah right”.

Like, I’m trying to be rational here and not get any further upset with her. I know she wasn’t around for all the bullshit Knuckles had to go through but I’m pretty sure Knuckles has already confided to her about how similar their situations were before. I don’t quite get why she’s so certain that he’s just like the rest of them.

Knuckles isn’t either and lays the hammer down here. He assures her that he is her friend and asks her if her father tells her everything. Sally looks like she just got hit with the dumbass stick before responding “No. He didn’t.”

Sally talks about how she isn’t sure who to trust now, which makes the earlier page where she’s all “HOW COULD I HAVE DOUBTED MY FATHER?!” even more gross. The fact that she was so willing to forgive her dad but is unable to recognize how much his emotional abuse is affecting her that she’s unable to trust Knuckles, someone who has proven to be nothing but a trustworthy, friendly force in her life just goes to show how cruel that man is.

Knuckles sets the record straight and talks about things she should already know but probably needs a heavy reminder of.

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Sally is still not entirely convinced because Knuckles didn’t lend his support back in that room as if he could have done anything. Knuckles literally has to explain to her that he’s got nowhere near enough pull to change their minds. Sally brings up things being different for her because of Elias and Knuckles is like, “Yeah, WAY more shit has changed for me Sally.”

Not to mention, in order to properly make a dent in his society he has to find some way to undo 400 YEARS of bad tradition and horrible echidna politics.

I sympathize with your shitty situation Sally but it's got nothing on what Knuckles has to deal with. 

Knuckles believes the Brotherhood should join in the fight against Robo-Robotnik because OF COURSE THEY FUCKING SHOULD! This goes back to what I was talking about how the echidnas were losing relevance and should probably focus more on rejoining the world. Now that they have an opportunity to do that they’re just deciding not to.

For some reason, FOR SOME FUCKING REASON, this comic is DETERMINED to make me leave it hating Sally Acorn and has her blow Knuckles off despite how obvious it is that he’s not his shitty family. 

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I mean, geez Sally. 

Can you imagine if someone whom you were friends with your whole life just dismissed what you said because of the actions of your relatives? If someone was like “I liked you before but your dad is a real shit head so fuck you too now” you wouldn’t find that appalling? 

Sally does not have a reason to be this against Knuckles here. I’m searching for an avenue where it makes sense and it doesn’t. Not even a bit. She has to know that Knuckles didn’t know about her mother being here and should easily be able to make the parallel of his shitty dad not telling him because HER shitty dad didn’t tell HER. 

Now an authoritative decision was made without Knuckles’ say and with no way of him being able to do anything about it and it’s his fault? We can’t just have Penders write a wholesome issue of two people reliably confining in each other about their shitty situations? We have to make up reasons for why they can’t even have each other any more for the sake of even more drama? 

I mean just look at how this thing ends.

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Oh but Knuckles has to admit that the brotherhood has valid reasons to think what they do. 

OH DO THEY NOW?! Can I see what those valid reasons are because the comic book sure as hell forgot to show them. 

I don’t know what “the latest in Munitions Technology” is but does it matter? The last couple of mysteries that were kept hidden from Knuckles so far hasn’t turned out to be anything worth it. Locke microwaved his baby because he had a context-less bad dream once. If Ken Penders thinks he can drop a line about them maybe having a valid reason and seriously believe that’s enough for me to give them the benefit of the doubt then he’s probably about as insane and as weird as Ken Penders. 

You know, the big shame about this issue is that I could totally see where it could have been good. You’ve got this wholesome cover depicting things that could be capitalized on for expanding upon the one non-toxic relationship Knuckles has in his life aside from his mother and, I guess, Archimedes and instead Penders just sees it as an excuse to shovel more shit into Knuckles’ lap. There’s no good reason for this. I love drama as much as the next guy but you can’t just fabricate crap for the hell of it. That’s what gives birth to melodrama.

Even worse is how Sally’s character is here. She was nothing but a bitchy, whiny, unbearable claud here and every avenue I searched to try and sympathize with her feelings kept being shot down by this terrible writing. I don’t think Penders even realizes just how problematic her reactions to her father and Knuckles here even are. You could see it in that passage where he tries to mash together two different excuses for why King Max was acting the way he was before and how neither of them make ANY sense or even properly line up with the story as it's been told to us. All it does is make it seem like Penders forgot what his own stories were.
It’s really bad. 

Also, why was Catweazle a thing? Fuck him. I hope I never see him again. 


 

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On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Immediately, the first thing I noticed about this issue is that it looks good. Like, the art is actually really good. So, obviously, they changed artists and holy shit, it's your boy, Tracey Yardley! Hooray!

Fun fact. This was Tracy's first ever work on a Sonic comic.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

When the report is done, we cut back to the Thorndyke residence where everyone is celebrating Sonic’s success… though for some reason, Cheese is upset. Why? Well… its hard to explain and the comic doesn’t really do a good job of doing so in my opinion.

lAikOVYW_G7OkwRfG5ZCVpwZWT4yxg1txkxov9BkO6KFOdaCaIky3VIqz_7K375FyBgmmn9lfFtRNYYd54138jfAR4J9RNh5Cmep5qTkbzK1rczgD3I5jT8HfOf4KkaAjMcukiL2

I guess Cheese seeing Sonic saving the owl reminded him of the fact that the other chao aren’t around anymore… somehow?

Maybe because the Owl had eggs in its nest?

I think it's supposed to be unrelated. That Cheese is just sad in general that there aren't any Chao around. This 2-parter tries to make it's plot about loneliness but yeah it doesn't really work.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Still, he does earn the goodwill back fairly quickly when Chris tries to sympathize with the situation. Cream explains that when the Adventure arc finished, Tikal invited Cheese to come back with them and the rest of the Chao but he refused.

I'm...not totally sure at what point that conversation could have happened but ok. Also this is the first confirmation that the first 7 issues are set between the SA1 and SA2 arcs. Which is kinda weird since the city is fine but whatever.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

There are images of Sonic, Tails, Amy, Knuckles, Vector, and Cosmo

Casual reminder that this comic was made during Season 3 of the Anime. Sadly you'll never see her in the plot...or thankfully depending on your view of the character I guess.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Eggman just casually explains that he used science to play God and create life.

So a regular Tuesday for him.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So anyway, they go on to prove that they’ve lost their minds by broadcasting a commercial to the masses.

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Everything about this is fantastic.

It really is just the best isn't it?

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

They consider that maybe he got the chao from their world and get a little jumpy with speculating that he may have found a way back home or something.

Or he could have found that Chao Garden in Jap[an you guys did. That's a small issue I have with this story. It's fun but it kinda falls apart when you remember that they found a Chao Garden on earth.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Cheese is scared and tells Cream that these chao are speaking a different language with creepy accents. Apparently, even though everyone else is hearing them just say “Chao” over and over, Cheese is hearing “$#%#&” or something.

Actually it's an easy detail to miss but Eggman's clone Chao are actually saying Choa instead. It's a neat little touch.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #77: Rebel Without A Pause

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Oh, hey this is the last issue of this era I actually own. I have the SA1 adaptation reprint in Super Special Magazine 2 but that cut out pretty much everything but the main stories.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

All the heroes, plus Jerimiah are coming out of the Great Oak Slide.

My favorite part is how clearly slapped in Jerimiah is. The word balloon mentioning him is a completely different font.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

There are people out there who seem to hate the old roly poly design and I mostly looked at it with indifference. I just recognized that it was a product of a different time that I wasn’t fully immersed in so I never had too much of an opinion about it but, yes, I don’t mourn its loss. 

I stand by my hatred of it. There are few things in this world that I genuinely hate with a firey passion and SatAM Robotnik is one of them. Power Rangers Operation Overdrive is another and I will die on the hill that no Neo-Saban season has ever reached it's level of bad.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

“You’re laughing. Two young robots are dead and you’re laughing”

"I am. And I'm tired of pretending I'm not."

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

But then… 

… all of a sudden…

… King Max turns into…

… a likeable character…

l6wifxb5deiuMg7K8IZr7_8Uvi4P_R_MuxPuTCdqQxRy6lljWBaNoaaBXE52CryZvRuHoVfhFycuDr6mucCOkdxhzpTDBFbY4fPhuFd2VSxIvmNZUkypTKqqMVyPi8BgIXnRJCPs

Ho… Ly… FUCK!

Gotta give Bollers some credit he at least realized that maybe having the king be a raging dick all the time doesn't make people root for him much. Also a Casablanca reference. Because.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It literally begins with Sonic’s dad getting shot off a roof.

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Mmm Whatya saaaaaaay!

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

They were on a mission to find out what happened to the author of these books, Mr. Kirby, because he mysteriously disappeared sometime during this war. 

Which raises a question for me. The last issue they were reading from Kirby's book and it featured Jules and Bernie and I guess there was a time jump since they're married and one of the next ones has baby Sonic so he's born now but the war doesn't end until he's 5. So when the fuck did Kirby get his book about the war published between his disappearance and Robotnik's takeover especially since some language he uses makes it sound like he was aware of Robotnik's takeover?

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Meanwhile, the King is overlooking the city and realizing that shit’s getting worse.

We got another Star Trek quote here. Max say's Picard's "The Line must be drawn here. This far no further." from First Contact.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Usually the internet jumps at the chance to literally push whatever boy or girl together they want but no one seemed to give a crap about these two and their history as far as the circles where I saw this comic being discussed. Amazing.

Which is kinda weird because while I actually don't hate Sonally I tend to find literally every other potential ship more interesting.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Unfortunately, it begins in a way that makes her look like quite the mean bitch.

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So regular Penders fair.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Speaking of which, we cut to Knuckles who spots the bird from the Little Mermaid only his name is Catweazle and also they know each other even though I’m 100% certain we’ve never seen or heard of this guy before.

We have actually. He appears as early as the backup story in Triple Trouble. Knuckles asked him if he saw anyone come by and said no leading to Knuckles insulting him in his mind for some reason. He's made a handful of appearances but has never been important so I can see why you forgot about him.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Inside this pod is Sally Acorn saying the horrendous line “I feel AWFUL Nicole! I should NEVER have DOUBTED my father!”

I just… I just don’t…

Penders: Oh, Shit I gave Sally agency and made her stand up to her dad. Better fix that.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I think the book realizes that too which is why what happens next is an example of Sally trying to excuse his actions further… except it’s her giving him the benefit of the doubt for what’s literally the most disgusting and horrible thing I’ve seen him do in the book. Not only that, NOT ONLY THAT BUT… she admits that there’s a chance she could have done the same thing too????

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This right here is an image of Sally Acorn saying that it’s possible she would have considered doing a genocide. 

"He knew Robotnik Mach 2 would use them against us" Whoa Whoa Whoa! Back the fuck up! He "knew" Eggman would use the Robian's before Eggman even returned? Sally. Girl. Look I love ya but this is text book making excuses for someone. Yes I know he's clairvoyant supposedly because of the Source of All but c'mon. Also it doesn't add up because he wasn't making any decisions. Naugus was manipulating his racism to an extreme degree.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Knuckles sees her as she approaches and…

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She just proceeds to bitch at him.

Ok speaking as someone who actually likes Sally I have no idea why so many writers   decided to make her a turbo bitch when it doesn't really match her on SatAM. yeah she and Sonic had a Moonlighting style "Argue and trade barbs but really are in love" thing going on but she was never this bad.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The very next thing Sally says is that she isn’t shallow and that she was never one to primp or preen. Then she drops the bomb that she’s THE FUCKING JOKER and talks about the one bad day she had when she fell into that vat of chemicals.

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This is...this is so pointless. And also it's such a weird tangent after Knuckles quip. Who honestly gave a shit about a coloring error?

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sally was most likely pink back then because that’s how she was colored when she appeared in AoSth. The tone of the book was emulating AoSth way more than it was SatAM at the time despite it using the Freedom Fighters.

No actually she was pink in the SatAM pilot. Sonic's Christmas Blast was literally the only AoSTH episode she was in.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sally asks for help in the fight against Robo-Robotnik/Robotnik Mach 2/Eggman and asks for more help in stabilizing her mother. Spectre responds by saying they kept Alicia alive using all the means they had at their disposal so there’s already nothing more that they can do (understandable) and then asks if Sally is willing to use ANY means necessary to take out Robo-Robotnik, including using something referred to as “the latest in Munitions Technology” or something.

Sally says that Spectre should know she can’t agree to that and Sabre just cuts in to say “Well in that case, fuck off and die. Your petition is denied.”

If I were a more self-destructive person this is where I’d start banging my head against the wall. 

I mean, GOOD LORD. These echidnas are just… the ABSOLUTE WORST. All the people whining about the harmless simple nature of the Deadly Six must not know about these comics. There’s no way they could. Holy hell, they suck so much.

But something something Deadly Six are generic so that somehow makes them worse than the guys who won't help because Sally's not cool with just nuking the fuck out of Eggman.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I mean just look at how this thing ends.

OfC3aCyUiTyBIjMF443LyB3-dOH2GGlBmqjcJZVVdHcAqSBFpX87Kh0sefTpQ3du6gyo1TpoWIuiEW9GtgNKoi9tPAR2CYJm41ChRhS1quJ7ZG7J38dM_MRipn4bApi08bZQR7sm

I'm assuming Penders took to the book a little because that's clearly a photo background and we're getting to a point where we'll be seeing a lot of those.

 

On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 9:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I don’t know what “the latest in Munitions Technology” is but does it matter? The last couple of mysteries that were kept hidden from Knuckles so far hasn’t turned out to be anything worth it.

It's not really a mystery. They're talking about nukes. They're suggesting nuking Eggman and destroying the environment which is sorta counter to the Freedom Fighters ideology.

 

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Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #30: King of the Hill: Part 1 of 3 - Bad to the Bone

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So I saw these covers with Knuckles, an ape, and J. Jonah Jameson and said to myself, “These don’t look like the covers to what the finale to the Knuckles comic would probably be”. I haven’t read these yet but just looking at this… I can’t help but feel like the comic might have gotten cancelled unexpectedly. Or if they did expect it they decided this was the most poignant way to go out. I have my doubts about that second one though. We’ll see.

Spoiler

 

We’re here today to engage in another Ken Penders vehicle with art by… Harvey Mercadoocasio. What an intense last name.

So, the first page is the J. Jonah guy shooting a bird with a rifle… and for some reason he looks more like Wolverine in these shots. Like, an older Wolverine.

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Oh those wacky Overlanders. They sure do love their guns.

The traditionally pretentious Penders narration boxes hit and have the nerve to begin with “Now that we’ve met one of the major players of our tale--” as though that scene of him shooting a bird is all we need to efficiently qualify as having met someone. The narration next says we’re immediately cutting to a place called… Mount Kobiyunjaro… where a gorilla is… and… stories are to ensue…

I haven’t even really started yet and I feel drained. It’s just …Mount Kobiyunkaro…? 

We see a purple gorilla in a fundoshi use a rope to hook onto Angel Island and climb it. It’s a very simple thing he’s done but Penders uses flowery language to make it seem like the coolest, most intense, most majestic thing ever.

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This was incredibly hard to read. Not just because it was painfully written but because of the arc the paragraph has and how close together the words are. I kept ending up on the wrong line because of it. 

Anyway, he gets to the top and proclaims that his name is Monk

Who exactly is Monk? Well he’s…

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A character. 

Anyway, we cut to an incredibly amusing scene with Knuckles where he’s reading a book that his father gave him that details the history of the echidnas. He finds out about the thing that I make fun of all the time about how the echidnas went to space with astronaut space suits over 1000 years ago. Again, Sonic’s species were cavemen at this time. You could scarcely find a more obvious way to play favorites than that. 

Knuckles also comments about how their technology was MORE advanced back then which is something that for some reason keeps happening in fiction but for it to be pointed out like that is weird. You’d almost expect an explanation for WHY that is but I guess we’re just going to have to assume it's because the echidnas suck and have done everything to self-destruct their society because nature didn’t grant them the ability to love.

Knuckles also comments on how weird the older names were and asks who ever heard of an echidna named “Dave”. Well, that’s just a mundane normal name. Not at all like Jani-Ca or Lien-Da or Locke or Kneecaps or Knuckles… I guess if that’s the observation it’s sort of funny. Kind of.

Anyway, that piece of shit Catweazle flies in squawking at Knuckles to come because someone named Snowpigeon got… he doesn’t say. But Knuckles gets the picture. Some wacko has invaded the island and did something to this person I’ve never heard of before. Well, that tears it. They gotta die.

Knuckles glides and then gets pelted with a rock and lands before Monk. Immediately, Knuckles has this hilarious flashback where he’s playing around with a yo-yo until his childhood bully, Monk, shows up and steals it. He’s like ‘GiMmIe BaCk mY yOYo~!” and Monk is like “No!” and then Knuckles claims this’ll be the last time Monk bullies him but then Monk squeezes him and wants to hear him scream uncle and it’s… just a bad time.

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Today on “Top 10 Most Humiliating Knuckles Moments”.

Knuckles hates being in full view of him but recalls Catweazle mentioning someone with a weapon. It’s here where I realize that Snowpiegon was the bird that was shot in the beginning and the intruder he was actually talking about was J. Jonah.

So Knuckles, realizing there’s bigger fish to fry, tries to appeal to Monk’s desire to give him wedgies and asks if he prefers he be in a groveling position with a smile on his face in an attempt to trick him. Either that or all those years of bullying turned him into a masochist.

The reason Monk’s so pissed is because one night when he was sleeping a bunch of cloaked figures picked him up and tossed him off the island.

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It’s kind of amazing.

He swam to shore and vowed to get his revenge one day. He’s apparently only doing this now because… he wasn’t thought of as a character yet.

The two of them fight and it's also very hilarious but eventually their rolling on the ground is interrupted when the actual figure they “apparently” should be afraid of arrives.

It’s MAN… and MAN has GUN! Oh no!

Meh.

He’s in silhouette for some reason too and I’m not sure why since they showed him clear as day at the very start of the story.

Unless they pull a “gotcha” and it’s actually Guy Fieri.

So the first story ends with a whimper and the story itself was mostly unintentionally funny. Seeing Knuckles’ day of being a ten-year-old with a yo-yo whom I assume left behind his sailor boy outfit, beanie cap, and giant lollipop getting beat up by this gorilla and crying because of it was a treat.

Plus, it was also funny seeing Knuckles not give as much of a crap now that he was older and just casually punch his face in. That coupled with how Monk keeps REALLY wanting to say the word “FUCK” and sometimes saying it anyway and getting censored makes it all the more amusing.

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Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #30: Hiding in Plain Sight

This story begins with Julie-Su riding in on Entei, the horse from Inuyasha whom we haven’t seen in a really long time, to greet the rest of the Chaotix who don’t matter and straight up tells them that she’s looking for Knuckles, who DOES matter. 

It’s still Ken Penders writing, because of course he is, but the art is by one Colleen Doran. It looks… flat.

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Can’t say I’m a fan of this look I’m afraid. 

For some reason, my brain told me it was odd that Ray and Mighty were here. I momentarily forgot that Mighty was a part of the Chaotix here. I have to remind myself of that and seeing Ray here just made me think of the normal Mighty and Ray dynamic. But no, Mighty’s currently a Chaotix member and he brought Ray here. Ray’s still got the stutter but it’s nowhere near as prominent as it was before, which is interesting.

Mighty still wishes to show Ray around the island so only Espio goes off with Julie-Su to find the main character.

However, instead they find a plot device. Espio stops the horse and finds an old chameleon in the grass named Barney. Barney is seemingly traumatized about something he saw that was shiny and hard before passing out. Julie-Su agrees to take him to the hospital which leaves Espio alone to talk with all the OTHER chameleons that were around.

For you see, chameleons rarely show themselves to other people. Espio gets flak for hanging with the guys in fact. Why? I have no clue. The only explanation I can think of is something that comes up in Ian’s run.

Anyway, turns out that the shiny and hard thing that the old guy saw was a roboticized Valdez! I would have been surprised by this but someone spoiled it in the last review I did. Would I have cared? Probably not.

But here he is. 

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The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few which is why we’ll let him get captured and roboticized so he can be a bigger burden to the remaining many of us.

 

That was a barrel of nothing I just read. Nothing to get angry about was in there but there was also nothing to latch onto either. I don’t particularly care or like either of these new characters. The second story was also nothing with a reveal at the end for those who cared about the Geoffrey Search and Smash Squad. So, just Penders probably. Honestly, maybe not even him.

I feel comfortable saying that there’s probably no such thing as a Valdez fan. 

 

Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #31: King of the Hill: Part 2 of 3 - The Thrill of the Hunt

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You know, this isn’t a bad cover. I actually rather like it. It’s just… so absurd. It looks ridiculous and despite knowing it's not going to necessarily lead to anything fun, it’s hard not to at least appreciate that. There’s nothing more to be said about it though.

Spoiler

 

We begin with the boring echidnas doing boring echidna stuff. Basically, the power’s down and they’re like “WHAT’S HAPPENING?!” and they decide that it probably isn’t the Dark Legion. Good job.

We cut to J. Jonah Wolverine aka Discount Dr. Orpheus from Venture Bros. who watches as he takes out a taser and knocks out Monk when he starts shouting at him like an asshole. 

Then the Silver Surfer comes out and lifts Monk up while J. Jonah tells Knuckles to come with him. 

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I don’t know if being able to lift that guy is worthy of a “Aryu is capable of MANY things” kind of response in a book like this.

The name of his manservant is Aryu One-Two and I’m not sure what that name means but it probably means something. Knuckles mentions he might be a roboticized Overlander and J. Jonah here reacts as though that may be wrong but at the same time doesn’t unconfirm it. Lots of weird stuff abound here.

Archimedes poofs back to Locke and says he can’t find Knuckles so they take way too long to just say that there’s someone fucking with their mechanical shit and then they peace out.

Knuckles walks onto this guy’s ship and they have a chat where we find out that 'J. Jonah Orpheus Wolverine' here either doesn’t know that Robotnik’s dead or has found out about Robo-Robotnik. It’s the only two explanations for why he would think he’d meet Julian Kintobor one day. Even then, there’s no way he’ll meet the one he’s thinking of. Because, you know, he’s dead.

Here’s where the issue gets very… “How did this end up in a Sonic the Hedgehog comic?”

You can always count on Ken Penders to just push for some really sick shit in his book.

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It’s not just living things, Knuckles. Those are Mobians. There’s literally the head of an anthropomorphic hedgehog like Sonic mounted on this dude’s wall.

This is probably less of a big deal than the Holocaust and Nazi bullshit but I remain stunned that it managed to happen regardless. Seriously, Penders what is wrong with you? My God dude. Sometimes I seriously wonder if you even exist and you’re not just some elaborate internet hoax.

Anyway, this guy doesn’t think he kills in cold blood and then immediately takes a shot at Knuckles… but not really. He missed on purpose and just says he enjoys competition. He’s the Predator except, I assume, not as cool. 

Knuckles accepts his challenge but tries to get him to not use a gun. 'J. Jonah Worchestire Sauce Man' says that he has assurance. Knuckles asks if that assurance is Monk and straight up says he’s no skin off his nose. That’s right. He doesn’t care if his childhood bully gets killed and his head mounted on some dude’s wall. He’s definitely not the Knuckles who protected Eggman because he might have had a change of heart in Sonic X, that’s for sure. Its stunning how many different versions of the same character can exist. Just ask Boom Knuckles.

Anyway, the guy produces a picture of Julie-Su. So he knows about her too. He’s also been calling Knuckles by his name this whole time and is apparently the guy who shut down all the advanced echidna stuff. So this guy Penders created (or possibly stole elements from other characters from other series’ he’s a fan of to create) is also uber powerful and knows everything. 

We cut back to Locke and we find out he’s discovered the source of its power.

A Nintendo Gamecube.

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They find the most sturdy console of the 2000s, probably, and head off to find Knuckles.

Hunter man gives them collars and commands them to put them on or else he’ll fill them full of holes with his ship’s self flying lasers. They do and head outside. When Monk immediately tries to pull the collar off, he gets a headache from the thing doing something to his head. 

Knuckles and Monk decide to team up to get out of the mess they’re in now.

Meanwhile, 'Dr. J. Jonah Orpheus Wolverine Rob Liefeld Overkill Cable Rip-Off' is suiting up and… I think it’s supposed to look cool?

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“He’s more Wolverine now than J. Jonah.” ~ A quote from Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #31: The Best of Friends

I sighed when I read the title.

There’s no way this story is gonna attempt to make me feel things for Valdez by implying he and Espio are secret best friends despite never interacting in this book up till this point right? Did Penders just remember that they’re both chameleons and therefore that has to be the case? I’m making too many assumptions though. Perhaps I should give him the benefit of the d--I can’t even finish that sentence.

So Valdez explains what happened to him. He remembers everything which makes this convenient. We’re shown everything that happened while Geoffrey’s group was fighting for the city while the Freedom Fighters were in space yet again, only this time the line where Hershey says to leave him behind and she’s quoting Star Trek isn’t shown. Instead, Valdez is calling out for them to wait because he didn’t actually want to just get left behind like that.

Then he gets smacked by a robot.

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Now, the caption says this is a WARPED P.O.V of what happened in issue 75 so… it might be implied that he’s either remembering it wrong or his memories have been slightly altered. Or it could just mean this is from his perspective, which, if that's the case, using the word warped might not have been for the best here. It doesn’t really matter because the fact remains that they DID do this. Geoffrey’s a shit leader. 

If anything makes me feel sorry for Valdez its that Geoffrey came to this guy specifically for his help, acting like a total ass to him and the others, and ended up leaving him behind for this to happen. No one deserves that.

Valdez continues his story and embellishes the details a bit. He was found by Eggman and roboticized. He was then reprogrammed to not be a mindless drone and Valdez talks like he loves it, obviously. He also talks about how his mission is to recover the Chaos Emerald from the Floating Island so he can stop “The Evil King Acorn”. Now this is obviously intended to be a part of his warped mind interpreting things wrong but… King Acorn is kind of evil so this isn’t really registering as a bad thing to me.

Then a “twist” happens (???) where Liza, the pink chameleon from last issue that led Espio to Valdez is grabbed by the two Shadow Bots in the room. She explains that she led Espio to him because she thought he could reason with the robotized drone that was programmed to follow Eggman’s will. 

For this stupidity, she’s taken off and thrown in the robotization chamber too. Espio is punched all over the place and Valdez eventually says, “Hey, I’ll spare the rest of your people if you give me the deep dive on the echidnas. What do you say, buuuuuuudy?”

Throughout this whole story, I’ve struggled to keep from calling the chameleons “echidnas”. There was even a time when I accidentally called Espio “Knuckles” and I had to change it. 

This scene looks and feels so much like something that would be happening to Knuckles. It also doesn’t help that there’s a ton of chameleons around too, which just mirrors how the situations with the echidnas are to me.

So that happened.

 

Yeah, this isn’t good. I don’t mean the situation. I mean the book. This story is not very original and it's not very good. I’d say that this was a pretty underwhelming story for the Knuckles comic to go out on but that would imply the other issues of the Knuckles’ story were good and the fact of the matter is that they weren’t. This story arc might actually be the best of them by process of elimination.

My reaction to this isn’t extreme boredom and intense rage but it also isn’t uproarious laughter at the absurdity of the situation either. This situation still feels absurd, sure, but again it's so hard to top the nonsense from before in that regard.

The second story has a tad bit more meat on its bones but not a lot. It’s relying too much on me having sudden feelings for these characters whom I either don’t know or haven’t been given any reason to care about up until this point. Even Espio himself has barely anything to him.

 

Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #32: King of the Hill: Part 3 of 3 - To the Death

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Welp.

Here we are. 

The last melon Archie Knuckles the Echidna comic.

source.gif

Good fucking riddance. Jesus Christ. Out of all the stuff I’ve reviewed up this point, without fail, whenever I had another one of these a huge pit would open up in my stomach and I’d feel the weight of the world crush what little remained of my soul. It doesn’t matter what’s in this final issue, this is by far the worst of what Archie Sonic has to offer. Avoid it like the plague.

As for the cover, again, it looks good. It’s fine. I can’t really say much else aside from that. It’s a very well drawn and colored cover.

Spoiler

 

We’re only a page into this story and already it feels like the art is struggling to decide whether or not it wants to do that thing where it makes the character lanky supermodels OR if it wants to be a Sonic the Hedgehog comic book.

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Well, ugly lanky supermodels.

These two spend about four pages traversing this place and bitching at each other while complaining that 'Dr. Hunter Wolverine Orpheus X-Men Rip-off Texas Ice-Tea' is chasing after them. They call him Hunter, I’m assuming because this man hasn’t actually introduced himself to either of them.

This location is casually revealed to be Hydrocity. Cool.

Meanwhile, 'J. Jonah Wolverine X-Man Manatee A1 Sauce Hard Lemonade McHunter' is wandering through the forest like Elmer Fudd and happens across the hole that Knuckles and Monk went down. 

At the same time, Locke and Archimedes, in their bid to waste my time and sear my eyeballs with Locke’s presence, find the Oogie Boogie Hunter Man’s spaceship and blow it up. 

Mr. 'J. Jonah Nick Knack Patty Whack Give a Dog a Big Mac' finds that there’s a heat signature up ahead, but only one. He takes a shot and it alerts Knuckles and Monk. Apparently, the ONE heat signature he had was from the flaming torch they had so Knuckles smacks Monk’s hand to knock it into the water. I assumed the reason he only had one heat signature was because one of them was hiding for the sake of an ambush but no. One of them had a torch.

He was really close to them too which tells me that if his gun has the ability to detect them with a heat signature then it’s function is shit. 

This hunter dude is waxing philosophical about how excited he’s getting and how alert he’s gotta be and… he’s saying all the things that you’d imagine a smart hunter would say but this issue is almost done and he’s gotta go down so it's not going to matter.

Knuckles finds an electric cable and before we find out what he’s planning to use it for 'Hunter Huntington Macaroni and Cheese McGee Esquire the Third of the House of Not-Ivo' shoots at Knuckles and makes him fall. However, he missed the shot he wanted! He’s super shocked that he missed too.

Then the monkey attacks him and it takes him off guard and all that jazz. Then the monkey gets shot or the collar shocks him or something. It’s not clear. It’s enough to take him out of the fight though. It’s a very boring encounter that lasts about a single page before Knuckles just… wins.

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For he’s the chosen one you see so he just… wins.

Locke and Archimedes pop in and survey the situation that passed them by while they were off wasting my time with their nonsense. They destroyed his ship which is something that could have been shown after the conflict was over… or just told about later. They find 'J. Jonah X-Men Origins Wolverine Bo Peep of Manchester’s Smash Ultimate Alliance 3 for the PlayStation Fantastic Four Horseman of the Apocalypse beef wellington esquire the sixth' on the ground, defeated by Knuckles.

But what of Monk?

wOldwlqScosOOkddVZ5Ok7nhQ_VbPq4EPyRpyLps7VlxuYc3sYCm3AcWEDDirTWmbfI_-tiB1aTzEMoImZlpm_YZl3HH2Zq3x-d8qvR2jJ4Y27d-OuBDU4zq0rkUD8tG2AXhHtz5

Oops. I guess he’s dead. Oh well.

Goodbye Monk. We actually hardly knew ye. 

The final image is of the Hunter man floating in a prison, stripped for their pleasure. Knuckles and Locke are overlooking him. Knuckles wants him to be able to eat and breathe so that he can make sure he rots in there for what he did to the bullying gorilla asshole and that one bird.

k86OR-9d8Bb93cUByj2WXZySDaxPNsPjIJkOc1V4l9saeWdKGk9Ka5cjdl6GOT1VowhquMWH5FI2UwKdTnFADEsb1iXU6UgQ599nSg0C-5QodV7YWjlUIT8iOpWqy_N-1o9GIGDi

That’s it.

Phew. How exciting. Was the sarcasm there felt through the screen? I imagine it was despite the fact that this is emotionless text you’re reading. You can totally tell how nonplussed I am by this.

Knuckles the Echidna - Issue #32: The Worst of Enemies

Oh dear. We’ve gone from the best of friends to the worst of enemies. How dramatic. This would be something approaching understandable had we been given ample screentime to like and appreciate any of the characters involved in this story, probably, maybe.

Anyway, Espio agrees to take them to the emerald under the condition that he releases his people. Valdez says they’re gonna do it the other way around because releasing his people first would give Espio a position of strength.

They head there and along the way Espio tries his best to appeal to the side of Valdez that can be reasoned with but he can’t, obviously, so it's a lost cause. 

So he leads the roboticized Valdez and Liz to the temple where the emerald is… and then disappears. Valdez gets pissed off and starts threatening Espio to not be cute with his tactics. 

But then a trap door opens up and Valdez falls into the water below. Espio comes out and attacks him. Valdez says that it’s over “Friend” and Espio gets super angry at him and yells at him to not call him his friend. It’s weird because he says this as though Valdez betrayed him even though he was abandoned and roboticized… so, I guess Espio’s just lost his nerve due to emotions being on overdrive. I’d rather not just call him an asshole.

They have a fight in the water that’s hard to tell the outcome of, especially since they don’t show it… and then later we see Espio attacking the ship with the Shadow Bots on it and doing a 'cool guys don’t look at explosions' pose.

sM7vxTk8SbqIKTdHvAORrYqbrMCKH_KGS3u-qRnPDtzoSOmSl4augBzPRzfh49iLMtjFhtCs9vaYMQdOQDo-WkNr3hAyUpJeBVYKIrL7jl7kaeUCCzycKhAX3avmJRV25info-Jc

A very sad version of it though. 

When asked what happened to Valdez, Espio just says that he won’t be swimming ashore anytime soon. I may actually be upset if Espio destroyed him because this is a comic where they scooped up the spare parts of Crocbot to transport him to a prison and yet he apparently wasn’t more willing to restrain a roboticized, so-called former friend of his?

I dunno. As little as I care for these characters this whole thing feels like an excessive exercise in being cruel for the sake of it. He’s just trying to be as awful to these people as possible and thinks that’ll be enough to get the feels train chugging. There’s no development or time given to these people so it’s just a double dose of disappointment.

 

That panned out about the way that I figured it would. I guess I didn’t expect Monk to die. I figured Penders was introducing this character for the sake of pointlessly expanding the ever expanding lore of the echidnas but no. He existed so that we could have a “tragic” death at the end of the one story he appeared in. The best way to do that, as we all know, is to make the character you’re planning to kill off an asshole who bullied your main character in his childhood and did nothing but waste pages arguing with and insulting him. 

The Hunter wasn’t a very good villain either. We never found out why he knew so much about Knuckles, or who Julie-Su was, or even why he specifically came to the Floating Island to do this shit. We also never found out what his servant is about and why he appeared to just drag Monk to the ship. We also never found out why those cloaked echidnas threw Monk off the island in the middle of the night. I’ll assume it’s because he’s an asshole and they thought it’d be funny until I get an explanation.

This Hunter man seems to be someone who might appear again so I’ll hold off waiting for that answer. I guess... I mean, I don’t care but still.

Whatever.


Archie Knuckles the Echidna Overview

That was it. That was the underwhelming end to the Archie Knuckles the Echidna comics. It’s time for the final verdict.

It’s shit.

This book was an intense waste of time and money. It was consistently ugly. The stories were too overindulgent in their own nonsense to spend time making sure the audience it was selling itself to actually cared and could follow whatever it was trying to accomplish. This entire thing was an exercise in one’s man’s mission to spew his ego all over the page for 32 issues. 

The amount of things done for the sake of pretending to be mature to place this book as something that desperately desires to feel important made it come off as extraordinarily embarrassing. From LSD to Nazis to inappropriately used Holocaust jokes, subject matter not befitting the air of a Sonic the Hedgehog comic book was pumped into this thing not to make the book better but to make Ken Penders look like a clever motherfucker. Instead it did the opposite.

We’re still going to be stuck with all this nonsensical echidna bullshit going forward but at least it’s going to have to be content with the stuff of the main book from here on in... although, thinking about it, that'll probably just make it way worse. Oh dear...

I certainly hope anyone who may not have properly followed the Knuckles book can deal with all the echidnas whose names don’t matter and have patience for the fact that Knuckles’ family is awful and tells Knuckles absolutely nothing for the sake of being secretive so that they can pretend that they have a quality mystery on their hands. In reality, the things being kept a secret are superfluous at best and offensively overdone and boring at worst.

It doesn’t feel like a secret to say that this was all a prototype for what’s to come. Knuckles is Penders’ little Renesmee. He’s imprinted on him and is using all the stuff he attached to him to boost his “career”. It’ll be whatever can mercifully be considered his legacy and he’s determined to make it so, even to this day. Knuckles is where the Pendersing begins and he’ll be where it ends, if it ever does.

None of this has been worth it and I may be dumber for having allowed myself to partake in reading these. Thank Galactus it’s over.

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Great review as always. Kindof a shame the Knuckles book ended on a pretty fillerish story, but as you show, it does still highlight alot of the problems of Penders writing.

You compare Hunter to alot of things, but one big is that he seems to of gotten some inspiration from Francisco Scaramanga, the Bond villian from The Man with the Golden Gun. In that film, Scaramanga has a big duel with Bond at the end of the movie, and his character love to try and find opponents to engage in deadly duels for pleasure. Penders is a big Bond fan, and there are a few Bond references that turn up in his Sonic comics, like the Sally mini-series first issue being a Goldfinger tribute, and Geofrey basically being a Bond stand-in. You've also got this trace of Scaramanga from KTE #31.

8qLOkz3.png

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2 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This Hunter man seems to be someone who might appear again so I’ll hold off waiting for that answer. I guess... I mean, I don’t care but still.

Just a heads up—yeah, he does during the Fight for Angel Island arc (actually one of the better issues during Penders era, being that it was written by Karl Bollers) as an operative of Eggman post issue-125. He’s promptly thrown to a watery death by Super Knuckles.

I figured I’d tell you that anyway since you didn’t really care about the character. You’re definitely not likely to care about him there either, even if you like the arc.

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Spoiler
On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

King of the Hill

*Insert King of the Hill theme here*

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So I saw these covers with Knuckles, an ape, and J. Jonah Jameson

I personally get more of a Kraven The Hunter vibe myself. I think it's the hair.

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

"These don’t look like the covers to what the finale to the Knuckles comic would probably be”.

That's because it wasn't supposed to be. There were actually at least 2 more issues planned that would have tied into the Adventure Arc but all that material was later moved to the Sonic book. As were Penders plans for the future.

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We’re here today to engage in another Ken Penders vehicle with art by… Harvey Mercadoocasio. What an intense last name.

You've seen him before. He's usually credited as Harvo. He did that issue during Sonic and Tails world tour with the Downunda Freedom Fighters. I believe he only inked this story and the pencils are Penders.

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Who exactly is Monk? Well he’s…

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A character. 

You ever just look at something that immediately makes you regret the choices you've made in life that led you to seeing things like this?

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, we cut to an incredibly amusing scene with Knuckles where he’s reading a book that his father gave him that details the history of the echidnas. He finds out about the thing that I make fun of all the time about how the echidnas went to space with astronaut space suits over 1000 years ago. Again, Sonic’s species were cavemen at this time. You could scarcely find a more obvious way to play favorites than that. 

Knuckles also comments about how their technology was MORE advanced back then which is something that for some reason keeps happening in fiction but for it to be pointed out like that is weird. You’d almost expect an explanation for WHY that is but I guess we’re just going to have to assume it's because the echidnas suck and have done everything to self-destruct their society because nature didn’t grant them the ability to love.

Knuckles also comments on how weird the older names were and asks who ever heard of an echidna named “Dave”. Well, that’s just a mundane normal name. Not at all like Jani-Ca or Lien-Da or Locke or Kneecaps or Knuckles… I guess if that’s the observation it’s sort of funny. Kind of.

He's reading 2001: A Space Odyssey and thinks the human characters are Echidnas. Dave is the lead character of the book and Knuckles also mentions The Monolith thinking it's a thing that might come back. What's weird is this is an implication about Mobius being post apocalyptic earth which is an idea Penders hated but here he is dropping a hint himself.

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Immediately, Knuckles has this hilarious flashback where he’s playing around with a yo-yo until his childhood bully, Monk, shows up and steals it. He’s like ‘GiMmIe BaCk mY yOYo~!” and Monk is like “No!” and then Knuckles claims this’ll be the last time Monk bullies him but then Monk squeezes him and wants to hear him scream uncle and it’s… just a bad time.

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Today on “Top 10 Most Humiliating Knuckles Moments”.

Being Knuckles in his own self titled book is suffering.

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The reason Monk’s so pissed is because one night when he was sleeping a bunch of cloaked figures picked him up and tossed him off the island.

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It’s kind of amazing.

So to recap. Monk stole Knuckles Yoyo and the Brotherhood decided to FUCKING MURDER HIM! How are they the good guys?

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Espio stops the horse and finds an old chameleon in the grass named Barney.

I love there's zero consistency with the Chameleon naming conventions. Most of them have Latin names but then you got Espio and this guy named Barney. Couldn't even use Espio as a jumping off point and have them all have spying based names.

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, turns out that the shiny and hard thing that the old guy saw was a roboticized Valdez! I would have been surprised by this but someone spoiled it in the last review I did. Would I have cared? Probably not.

Whoops. My bad. I can't help myself sometimes. But again it's Valdez. Who gives a shit?

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Then the Silver Surfer comes out and lifts Monk up while J. Jonah tells Knuckles to come with him. 

7LQr8tnEt8f9hngvc2RP1CxBc4YoC7lMrmr4dnfqAOxsUuOr8-oLstN1Q7HMoXGvK9-vdk0_HVbWd2Zg7nZhqDoYlBO7X8Q3zNzoLPz7Ncto2GLJlrBuLCXmqv6CMMWMgCvVehtD

This feels like a 50's B-Movie. Not one of the fun kind of bad ones but just an irritating bad one. Maybe it's the villain with a Monocle and Man Servant? IDK.

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The name of his manservant is Aryu One-Two and I’m not sure what that name means but it probably means something.

My immediate thought is it's supposed to be a play on R2-D2 but it could also be a reference to some old B-Movie.

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Here’s where the issue gets very… “How did this end up in a Sonic the Hedgehog comic?”

You can always count on Ken Penders to just push for some really sick shit in his book.

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People can complain about the mandates all they want at least we don't get shit like this anymore. I swear Sega had absolutely no quality control back in the day.

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, the guy produces a picture of Julie-Su.

I always love that picture. It's a fucking glamor shot not a caught in the wild picture. I guess Julie-Su has taken up modeling?

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We cut back to Locke and we find out he’s discovered the source of its power.

A Nintendo Gamecube.

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Impressive considering the Gamecube was still like a year or two off at this point. The Echidna's really are advanced.

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We’re shown everything that happened while Geoffrey’s group was fighting for the city while the Freedom Fighters were in space yet again, only this time the line where Hershey says to leave him behind and she’s quoting Star Trek isn’t shown. Instead, Valdez is calling out for them to wait because he didn’t actually want to just get left behind like that.

Then he gets smacked by a robot.

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Now, the caption says this is a WARPED P.O.V of what happened in issue 75 so… it might be implied that he’s either remembering it wrong or his memories have been slightly altered.

My guess is it's a rare moment of the editor actually doing his job and trying to make it seem like Penders didn't screw up the specifics of the plot by going "Actually Valdez's memories are altered. Yeah. That's totally what's happening."

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Welp.

Here we are. 

The last melon Archie Knuckles the Echidna comic.

source.gif

I wouldn't do the Carlton just yet. This may be the end of the solo book but it's certainly not the end of Ken Penders "Epic" Knuckles story.

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

They call him Hunter, I’m assuming because this man hasn’t actually introduced himself to either of them.

Nope. His name is literally just Hunter.

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Mr. 'J. Jonah Nick Knack Patty Whack Give a Dog a Big Mac' finds that there’s a heat signature up ahead, but only one. He takes a shot and it alerts Knuckles and Monk. Apparently, the ONE heat signature he had was from the flaming torch they had so Knuckles smacks Monk’s hand to knock it into the water. I assumed the reason he only had one heat signature was because one of them was hiding for the sake of an ambush but no. One of them had a torch.

That's not how heat signature's work Pen...Oh, fuck it. He doesn't care why should I?

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

But what of Monk?

wOldwlqScosOOkddVZ5Ok7nhQ_VbPq4EPyRpyLps7VlxuYc3sYCm3AcWEDDirTWmbfI_-tiB1aTzEMoImZlpm_YZl3HH2Zq3x-d8qvR2jJ4Y27d-OuBDU4zq0rkUD8tG2AXhHtz5

Oops. I guess he’s dead. Oh well.

Goodbye Monk. We actually hardly knew ye. 

Isn't it great when a story gives you literally zero reason to care about a character or their death?

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The final image is of the Hunter man floating in a prison, stripped for their pleasure. Knuckles and Locke are overlooking him. Knuckles wants him to be able to eat and breathe so that he can make sure he rots in there for what he did to the bullying gorilla asshole and that one bird.

k86OR-9d8Bb93cUByj2WXZySDaxPNsPjIJkOc1V4l9saeWdKGk9Ka5cjdl6GOT1VowhquMWH5FI2UwKdTnFADEsb1iXU6UgQ599nSg0C-5QodV7YWjlUIT8iOpWqy_N-1o9GIGDi

Hunter will return...like four years after this. Written by Bollers.

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We also never found out why those cloaked echidnas threw Monk off the island in the middle of the night.

It's the Brotherhood. If you look you can see Locke's beard.

 

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 8:12 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This book was an intense waste of time and money. It was consistently ugly. The stories were too overindulgent in their own nonsense to spend time making sure the audience it was selling itself to actually cared and could follow whatever it was trying to accomplish. This entire thing was an exercise in one’s man’s mission to spew his ego all over the page for 32 issues. 

The amount of things done for the sake of pretending to be mature to place this book as something that desperately desires to feel important made it come off as extraordinarily embarrassing. From LSD to Nazis to inappropriately used Holocaust jokes, subject matter not befitting the air of a Sonic the Hedgehog comic book was pumped into this thing not to make the book better but to make Ken Penders look like a clever motherfucker. Instead it did the opposite.

The worst part is it somehow clicked with some people. I'll never understand how but there are or were an amount of people who praised the book for it's mature themes and not talking down to kids. Which I mean...honestly I think a lot of people confused not understanding what was going on with being a deep meaningful experience.

 

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9 hours ago, SBR2 said:
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It's the Brotherhood. If you look you can see Locke's beard.

 

I knew it was the Brotherhood but I was more wondering why they threw him off the island. If I was supposed to assume it was because he messed with Knuckles, the book didn't make that clear enough. Which means it must have assumed I would assume that the brotherhood would react to Knuckles' yo-yo being stolen with stealth attempted murder under the cover of darkness. 

I'm proud to say that the assumption would not have crossed my mind as a rational response to that situation. Even when I expect the worst from them, I can't put my mind in the same headspace as Penders. I just can't.

 

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12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I knew it was the Brotherhood but I was more wondering why they threw him off the island. If I was supposed to assume it was because he messed with Knuckles, the book didn't make that clear enough. Which means it must have assumed I would assume that the brotherhood would react to Knuckles' yo-yo being stolen with stealth attempted murder under the cover of darkness. 

I'm proud to say that the assumption would not have crossed my mind as a rational response to that situation. Even when I expect the worst from them, I can't put my mind in the same headspace as Penders. I just can't.

 

Fair enough. I'm just kinda surprised you didn't call more attention to it. This moment is a pretty big meme as far as I can tell. Mostly just because of the because of the absolute absurdity that we're supposed to root for the guys who tried to kill a kid that took Knuckles toy. 

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Sonic X - Issue #6: I Never Promised You a Chao Garden - Part Two

xX3N13Lt6lEEWgadiUx2w-IfL9Y9Idd52wE2KalIMJ9ObIVUtuCYfgxYzxMli3YuQe55Sc7n_6pRbg5IROiKEpbt7e1MWrDmBoVv_GTHo5mBjdswrX3jDvqdUQ8lST5ZsJqcEoN0

Sonic’s drowning in a sea of Dark Chao and what’s worse is that he can’t toss them at the ground to change their alignment because he’s a hero. They’d just get eviler. What are we gonna do? Find out now, on Sonic X.

Spoiler

 

Surprisingly, this issue begins the way most Ken Penders issues do where they wax philosophical about what loneliness is and what the different kinds of loneliness can do to a person. The example used for Sonic, Tails, and Amy all at once was a bit weird since it was just them complaining about food while Chris and Cream have more serious parental issues going on. It ends on Knuckles being the last of his kind though, which is where we pick up with him by himself… until he isn’t anymore when Tikal uses her ghost powers to show up.

Or rather, the Master Emerald did. For you see, the Master Emerald sensed the danger and figured it would help by summoning Tikal, Chaos, and an army of Chao to Angel Island. Because it does that apparently.

This is all very strange and Tikal keeps making mention of being summoned from the past so… I’m guessing the comic is insinuating that Tikal went back in time when she took Chaos away which is… a very strange headcanon to go with.

Also, Tikal is talking like she’s the leader of the resistance in Sonic Forces and it's making me uncomfortable.

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Back in downtown, the Dark Chao are still rising up to usurp the foolish humans that dared care for them. When this is over it will be the Planet of the Dark Chao. 

Sonic and the others act but not before Tails gives Sonic his ring and a caption shows up, here in Issue 6, to explain that the ring supercharges him. It’s strange how this comic suddenly feels the need to re-explain things and go on tangents. Joe Edkin isn’t a bad writer, I don’t think, but he is very odd sometimes. 

I do really appreciate a lot of these ideas and the scenes that happen when the heroes decide to help are pretty grand. Sonic says he doesn’t wish to hurt the chao while making sure they don’t hurt other people which is an incredibly hard task they’ve given themselves. It’s worth it though to see cute scenes of Tails saving tiny babies that go “Mama!” when they see their mamas.

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Anyway, Cheese is rubbing his head rather cutely. At first I thought he was trying his damndest to use psychic powers to communicate with the other chao and then it was going to be revealed that Cheese was the Chao Jedi and then he was gonna use his lightsaber to cut down the other Dark Chao and then end the final one with his ultimate move, “The High Ground” ...but actually he’s just got a headache.

Grandpa Chuck guesses he’s catching wind of a signal that’s making the chao act like this and if they can find it they can put a stop to this outbreak.

Meanwhile, we cut back to Eggman who’s just randomly invented Gigantor.

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Ah man. The Gigantor ads from the old Adult Swim days are playing in my head. 

I guess this is technically Egg-Gantor though. He’s gonna take it into town to get everyone to surrender to him so he can be made emperor. When Decoe suggests he merely use the bargaining chip of offering to turn the Dark Chao off instead, Eggman says that waving his big robot’s robo-dick around is more fun. Also, Bokkun wants a lollipop. 

Back on the streets, the sea of Dark Chao burst through Tails’ favorite hardware store. They hear a rumbling sound and soon after, the best thing ever happens.

Chao start attacking them with chainsaws.

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God, I swear I’ve seen that Sonic pose somewhere before too. Damn the things this book does to me. 

Anyway, this is the best thing ever so print it and paste it on your wall. It doesn’t get any better than this, probably.

Tails pulls a page from Dave Coulier’s book and tells the Chao to 'cut it out' as it swipes at Tails with a chainsaw, almost slicing him in half.

Then Sonic grabs the chainsaws and starts juggling them. 

Sonic the Hedgehog is juggling chainsaws in this image.

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Keeping the Sonic Sez segments alive with the method of “Do as I say, not as I do.” Now all we need is to see him juggling chainsaws while climbing into a dryer.

Chuck is trying to find the signal that’s giving Cheese a headache and is hoping to use the magic power of science to jam it, somehow, while in the car. 

It’s fine though, because this is when Knuckles and Tikal show up with their army of Chao! The scene gets even more hectic as the chao begins saving people. Scarlet Garcia gets saved by Tails here too and I’d like to note that she’s been broadcasting and reporting in the middle of this mess the entire time. The dedication is admirable.

Then in the middle of this chaos, Eggman lands his big honking robot in the street and demands they make him Emperor of Earth as if anyone in Station Square has the authority to do that. So… Tikal just shoves all the Chaos Emeralds (which she just has now) into Chaos and he grows large. They’re all colored green in the panel this is done in too so… oops.

So now Egg-Gantor and Chaos are having a giant kaiju fight in the city after a bunch of Dark Chao tried to kill everyone with chainsaws. 

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This is bananas. 

O-R-A-N-G-E-S!

Uncle Chuck finally completes his magic jammer device and uses it on the chao that Chris was keeping stuck in the garbage can. It works instantly! So Tails, after saving the police officer with the ever changing accent, flies it to Sonic.

What follows on the next page is 12 straight panels of Sonic going to all the chao and changing them back while delivering a one-liner in every single one. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. 

Again, I admire the dedication.

Chaos punches the head of the Egg-Gantor robot clean off and Eggman flies away inside of it, making a hasty retreat now that all his chainsaw wielding chao are back to normal. 

With that done, Chaos returns to normal size and Tikal goes back to her place in time with the other chao at will. She invites Cheese to come along again but Cheese once again chooses to stay with Cream… but this time Cream tells her that he’ll miss playing his other chao friends.

So Tikal just says all he has to do is call her name and she’ll time warp herself and some chao there to visit… because I guess that’s how this works now????

Didn’t you say the Master Emerald sent you because there was danger?!

Man, things got real sloppy on this last page. Even the letterer messed up here.

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They also clearly embellished Tikal’s personality here a bit. I’m not bothered by it since it’s happening in this insane romp that is the Sonic X comic but it’s still weird seeing ACTION-Tikal.

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This was a ton of fun. It got so crazy and weird at the end that it became my favorite little pastime where so many moving parts were happening that I just couldn’t help feeling a bit excited by it all. It also helps that this book is just shamelessly absurd. It literally doesn’t care one bit about your fucking logic. It laughs in the face of the concept. It’s all the better for it too. T’is a lot of fun!

 

Sonic Super Special - Issue #11: Girls Rule!

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All the stories in this book are written by Ken Penders. You understand my trepidation with continuing past this point with that knowledge in mind right? Also… I don't know whose decision it was to make all the Super Special covers look so ugly. They all look like this and it’s not a good way of making me want to pick your book up. If something was unsettling to look at for me as a kid, I was never likely to pick it up with my hands. 

Spoiler

 

Sonic Super Special - Issue #11: Princess Sally: Ascension

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This was drawn by Jim Valentino. It looks nice enough. Although it would seem I still can’t escape from Sally’s super model body nowadays. Even worse, she’s so naked. Giving Sonic characters realistically proportioned bodies only draws attention to how nude they are and I can’t help but feel they might be aware of that.

So between the Pool of Tang and the Vat of Chemicals, which do you think defines Sally as a character the most? We need to solve the mystery of which plot point of her falling into a pool of some sort of liquid substance has the biggest effect on her life. It’s imperative that we know.

Sally has a monologue about how she was never given a choice all throughout her life. Ascension to the throne was something she was burdened with but when Elias showed up and was about to take it from her, he gave it up and she decided to go for it. That’s why she’s stepping into the pool today.

There are… thoughts I have about this. The book says that Elias gave up a title that was “by all rights his” and I take issue with that. However, I’m not going to dive too deep into why that’s horseshit. I think we all know why. Even Elias knew that was horseshit. 

Uh, I suppose the biggest thing is this image of naked Sally doing what he father did because of his father before him. This pool that connects the Acorns to the Source of All was stated to be the thing that gave the Acorns the right to rule over people. So, if the Source of All likes you enough and you step in there, you could be king maybe. I guess it’s technically possible but the ridiculousness of this being how it works dawns on you ever more when you realize just how bad a king Max is. It gets even funnier when you know where it's going with the whole Council thing that happens later. 

Honestly, the more of these old issues I read the more context I have for that scene where Max rolls his wheelchair away from Elias after he shows him the Council idea he had. 

Sally has visions of her mother holding her as a baby and wishing she’ll live a life that’s the exact opposite of the life she ends up living. The fool doesn’t know of the concept of jinxing oneself.

Sally also remembers a scene where she’s walking with Julayla, her teacher, and asks her why another living being would harm another in reference to why the Overlanders are trying to kill them. Her answer, while using a black cat attacking a bird eating a worm as her evidence, is that its what nature intended.

Goddammit. It’s always Nature's fault. What an asshole this Nature guy is. Making the echidnas not know love and now making the Overlanders just go “Hey, that thing over there… let’s fucking kill it.” For shame.

No, but seriously, the example Julayla gives is of a predator attacking and eating something for the sake of the general basic need for food. I thankfully haven’t seen any scenes of Overlanders eating the Mobians so I’m not sure what she means here. I guess she’s trying to say it’s within their nature to fight back because they’re being attacked but the portrayal of the Overlanders really has been nothing but a bunch of murder and war hungry mongrels who just want to kill for the sake of it. 

Wars fought over the nothing DO happen but for it to be the entire basis of this species is a bit too off. I need a bit more than this. Oil, money, resources… they’re not taking ANY of that stuff. They don’t seem interested in it. They JUST want to kill all the animal people because they decided that's what they want to do. If that’s what you’re going for, then fine. They’re like a mindless Star Trek alien race, I guess, but it still feels weird that it works like this. The Black Arms had a reason to what to kill everyone. Humans were a great energy source for them. That's a reason.

Honestly, the Acorn Kingdom isn’t much better either. The echidnas are also awful. The pool for likeable characters in this book are just miniscule at this point. I’m not sure why I’d concern myself with the survival of any of it.

Sally eventually starts to see visions of her father and brother talking to her while entrapped in this light. I don’t know if this conversation is in her head or if it's the Source of All feeding her what it thinks Sally needs to hear but it’s happening regardless. Here, the visage of King Acorn explains to Sally that a Monarch MUST be chosen to succeed him. Despite all that’s happened, I really don’t see why a Monarch MUST be chosen. Ian Flynn must have agreed in a sense considering what happens later too because as it stands, we just have an asshole ruling over a kingdom and not much else.

So much importance has been heaped on Sonic and Knuckles that this grand importance the existence of this Kingdom is supposed to have has gotten lost in the forest somewhere.

Sally then asks why the king kept secrets from her and the visions of her brother and father decide to not only answer that by saying the stuff you’d expect about protecting her but they also try once again to justify the terrible actions of this King the same way it did in that one issue of the Knuckles comic.

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The book is trying its damndest here. It’s trying so hard and when you read it, you would be forgiven for being tricked into thinking it was being rational but you’re never going to make me forget that King Max called for the mass genocide of tons of his OWN people for no reason and instead of finding a way to blame it JUST on his mind being messed up, the book instead opts for explaining why it was a savvy move and why it was a credible TOUGH choice to make. The instant Sally said she might have done the same thing and started feeling bad for going against her father was the instant this all stretched to supremely unfunny territory for a bit.

I can’t imagine being a fan of her character and accepting something like this. Now here she is, in a pool of her father’s tang, accepting it again. 

The image for her coming to this conclusion in this issue doubles back to being hilarious though.

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Paint this image at the side of the Acorn Castle when she takes over. Put a nice advertisement underneath it that says “Sally's Acorn Kingdom. Her motto is: ‘I dunno. I think I can do it?’”

An image of Sally from 20 years in the future shows up and basically says that Sally is right. It doesn’t say that her father is always right directly but that’s pretty much what it says. 

It’s trying to use the excuse that the Source of All warned her father of the return of Robotnik and is trying to make it seem like the reason he tried to execute all those Robians was because he was trying to properly prepare for it. That’s right. King Max knew Robo-Robotnik was coming back and didn’t tell anyone. Instead he made a big fuss about wanting to kill a shit ton of his own, innocent people.

Oh but the monarch has to make those TOUGH decisions. Do you not see? He had to keep quiet about the return of Robo-Robotnik and instead decree that all the enslaved, roboticized citizens be ruthlessly murdered instead because that’s a better decision. TELLING someone so they could properly prepare and avoid him exploiting the Robians is a dumb idea. No. Better to protect the kingdom by killing half of it.

If any of you watch One Piece, there’s a scene where the king of a Kingdom called Alabasta says “So what if they destroy the Palace? The kingdom is its PEOPLE!” For you see, they can rebuild what gets destroyed but they can’t replace the people that make up a kingdom because in his eyes, it was there to protect and serve them.

King Max, the Acorn Kingdom, and the Source of All have a different idea though. The king’s job is to make those difficult decisions and if half the people have to die for the sake of MAYBE protecting the other half then so be it. 

What would you have done had Robotnik roboticized 95% of your people? Would you try to make due with a kingdom that only had 5% of it’s people left after you slaughtered them all in preparation for something that only might happen? The Overlanders would run your kingdom through with a lawn mower if you did that. Robotnik would still have the resources to destroy you too. The Acorn Kingdom would have gone down in history as one of the biggest embarrassments the world has ever seen. This Source of All prediction bullshit can’t be fool proof because King Max (when he was being written by Karl Bollers) openly admitted to being wrong about his actions to Sonic. 

But he’s being written by Penders now and for the majority of the book so what happened in that issue where he became likeable can’t be the status quo. There’s not much Bollers can do to change this. It’s already too deep into the Pool of Tang. We can’t stop it now.

Sally from the future shows a snippet of Mobius 20 Years Later. It’s a very unflattering image of fireballs raining on the city, Sonic telling Sally to go escape with the kids, and her leaving him behind to do that. Future Sally then tells regular Sally that more of THAT awaits her if she decides to continue. It’s apparently all or nothing.

Sally turns to leave, saying that she isn’t sure she wants to know EVERYTHING in order to be Queen. I would also leave, questioning the validity of the Source of All’s claims. There’s no way in Hell that King Max knows everything. If he does, he’s abused the knowledge in the worst way. Having access to knowledge isn’t the same thing as having access to wisdom. 

The Future Sally warns her again that once she leaves there’s NO turning back (something I’m sure if he wanted, Penders would turn his back on in a heartbeat) but Sally is just like “Yeah. Nope. I’m good.”

She steps out of the pool and hugs her brother, while naked, and then walks her naked self off happy that she made HER choice. 

I’d be happy for her had her choice not ended up being the choice that her father wanted when Elias showed up. Perhaps I’m being unfair but this feels less like Sally was finally free to make her own choice and was instead Penders writing Sally to fall within what he already said he wanted to happen. Elias is back and he’s also male so he has to be the new king, for some reason, and despite neither of them wanting that, it’s what’s gotta happen. But let’s present it as this uplifting thing where Sally’s finally making her own choice. Girls Rule am I right?

It’s weird because if I were her, I’d say no as well. This could have worked had it not been SO obvious that he’s just pushing things in this direction because he wants it a certain way. He wants Max to have always been right and to have always known everything. He wants Sally to turn it down. He wants Elias to be the king. Is Penders going to say that King Max didn’t want Sally to be the new monarch because he KNEW she’d turn it down but again just decided not to frame it that way? Oh no, it’s not lazy writing at all. He knew all along. This isn’t a backtrack.

So whatever. That was Sally’s story. It wasn’t good. Surprise.

Sonic Super Special - Issue #11: Hershey:Solo

Writer, pencils, inks, and letters for this story are all Ken Penders. The colors are Josh and Aimee Ray so someone else worked on a bit of it I guess.

This story begins with Hershey climbing down a building and Geoffrey pretending that he cares about his men. Hershey says that sooner or later, their troupe has got to go solo. So that’s what she’s doing.

She heads inside and sees Eggman talking to General D’ Coolette about sending reinforcements to where he is. Hershey asks for a distraction from Geoffrey and he gets a building to blow up in the distance. It doesn’t get Eggman to leave. Instead, he just sends two Shadowbots out to take care of it. So that didn’t work. 

Hershey tosses a time bomb down the shaft that she’s hiding in directly above Eggman and this is what Eggman hears that leads him to deciding he should leave the room to check things out personally. As soon as he does, Hershey drops down to check his computer and finds out what happened to Valdez, saying something that probably didn’t mean to come off as awful sounding as it does… but she still says it.

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Uhm… excuse me WHAT?! 

Hershey… there are examples, PLENTY of examples in this book of people coming back from Robotization. To this book’s credit, I’ve yet to see anyone coming back from DEATH. Even Robotnik couldn’t do that, and he’s the main villain of the book. Why would death be more preferable in this case? I can see that being the case if robotization was still what it was originally billed as. You know, something that was permanent… but it’s not. Both Sonic and Knuckles have been robots before. Even if you don’t currently have anything that can do it, or if this is a new kind of robotization, you at least know the act of reversing it is possible. How bad is your intelligence gathering? God, Geoffrey’s a worse leader than I thought. 

Hershey leaves and tells Geoffrey that “Yup! We definitely lost Valdez!”

That was her mission I guess.

Also, Eggman comes back and then the bomb goes off, exploding in his face.

You know, for a while now, issues with Eggman in them have been ending with him facing some sort of looney tunes defeat. He gives himself a virus TWICE and now he just saunters back into his room here and gets blown up. It’s admittedly kind of funny but a bit at odds with how serious his portrayal is. He’s gonna have to come back strong to balance this out a bit.

So that was Hershey’s story. It had no real point aside from confirming to the characters that Valdez was roboticized.

M’kay. 

 

Sonic Super Special - Issue #11: Lupe: Family

Oh joy. More of this.

Colleen Doran did the pencils for this Penders story. It looks fine.

This story begins with all the named characters in the Wolf Pack talking about how hopeless everything is in sentences that are making sure to name drop everyone because it knows you forgot them all. It apparently didn’t account for the fact that I don’t care so I’m just refusing to learn their names. It’s literally not going to matter.

Anyway, a missile comes down and blows them up. Next.

No, it doesn’t do that. It spews sleeping gas at them. 

When they wake up, they are approached by a robotized family of wolves. Not just any family though. Lupe’s family.

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Thanks for naming them Lupe. I’ll be sure to commit it to memory.

But who could have done this? Why it’s that dastardly dastard UNCLE CHUCK, that’s who!

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Uncle Chuck, that vile heathen is at it again.

Lupe tries to threaten him but Uncle Chuck says that he’s wants her cooperation or else he’s gonna turn her kids into just so much scrap metal. 

Lupe gives in and Uncle Chuck calmly directs her to the roboticizer. 

Lupe steps in.

She gets roboticized.

She steps out.

Then she starts attacking the bad guys?! Oh no. What a twist. She tells all her friends to leave but one of them says they can’t leave her behind. She says she just wants to be with her family now and if that were it, that would have actually been a poignant moment to end on despite the lead up to this having been really contrived…

… Instead the comic feels the need to be ridiculously overdramatic. It literally cannot help itself.

So instead, when Lupe stays behind they just make a fucking grave for her. 

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… Okay.

So after that… weird and sudden declaration of her death via robotization, they walk off into a photo realistic looking sunset.

Seriously though, that background looks copy and pasted from a Google search or something.

Wow. Really feeling the girl power here. 

 

Sonic Super Special - Issue #11: Bunnie Rabbot: Upgrade

FRY is back to do this Penders venture. At least it’ll look like a cartoon again.

Bunnie is on an operating table, presumably so that her robot parts can get fixed up, and the instant she’s off of it she collapses and has to go back into the hospital. Maybe some time did pass but because it happened on the very next page, I think assuming it was immediate is funnier.

When Bunnie wakes up in bed, Sonic and the others are there with Sonic in particular saying “We came as soon as we got word kiddo” like he’s Uncle Chuck or something. Someone may have confused him for him for all I know.

Dr. Quack, expert in not just organic bodies but robotics and how they interact with organic flesh, apparently, comes in and sends everyone out of the room to drop this really harsh bomb on Bunnie.

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So basically, her body can’t handle being half robot and half organic. She’s gonna die as her robot limbs break down and become poison to her central nervous system. The doctor only gives two options for her. Taking the robot limbs off and replacing them with upgraded ones, thereby taking away any hope she has of returning to normal or… risking a de-robotization process.

So either throw away the lower half of the body you were born with or do the de-robotization that they apparently DO have access to if Dr. Quack is saying it’s an option. Hershey, what the hell is wrong with you?

Also, we’re not given an explanation as to why the de-robotization process has a one in a BILLION survival chance. Like, one in ten would have been scary enough. One in one hundred even worse, but still understandable. You just sound like a fucking dick when you bump it up to a BILLION. I don’t think many really comprehend how HIGH a number a single BILLION is. You’re basically just telling her she doesn’t HAVE a choice other than to go for the upgrade. So don’t frame it like a choice. Just tell her to do the upgrade.

Since this story is titled, upgrade, that’s obviously what she’s gonna choose. 

The one who got Bunnie to the doctor was Antoine of course so when she’s by herself, he enters the room.  Bunnie asks Antoine if he would still love her if she stayed a half-robot forever. Tis a silly question though. Of course he would. He didn’t fall for her with the thought in mind that one day half of her would go back to being normal. 

With that out of the way, they embrace.

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This is the best couple in the book. I’m rooting for them.

It’s strangely not predicated by a nagging person who constantly breaks up with the douchey main character all the time. It’s not supported by a lazy soul touch that bonds a horrible person with a troubled youth by force. It’s just a normal, healthy relationship. It’s wonderful.

I say that I don’t care about the Freedom Fighters but that’s not entirely fair. I do actually, really, genuinely like Antoine. It does me good to see him happy. It also goes to make me more upset at Sonic whenever he’s bullying him.

The next scene is our little Nate Morgan Freeman applying the finishing touches on her new body. Maybe it’s the art-style but it looks like they made her more... curvy. Oh boy…

So anyway, she flies off, extremely happy to no longer be dying.

Welp, that’s it for that plot line I guess. Hope of returning to normal is now gone forever (until the Ixis magic comes a knockin’) but it's okay because she’s got friends. 

This was actually a good story. You did it Penders. You done did a good one. All you had to do was not be weird for a little bit. Congrats.

 

Sonic Super Special - Issue #11: Julie-Su: Shadows

FUCK!

Okay. Let’s get this over with…

I just… really don’t want to…

Anyway, this story was drawn by our friend Spaz. His art around this time was always hit or miss for me. It’s not my favorite here either.

This right here is just straight up wonky.

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Kind of looks like she’s swaying.

Anyway, thankfully, this is one of those Penders stories that wastes a ton of pages with a lot of talking but has the character actually saying very little. There’s not much to think about.

Julie-Su visited the old place where she used to live amongst the Dark Legion. It’s been abandoned and destroyed ever since the fight with Kragok. She sees all her old stuff and reminisces about when she was forced to wake up at 6 AM, take a Sonic shower (which is hilarious) and then report for duty while Kragok and his Kommissioner, who I know is Lien-Da but Julie-Su doesn’t seem to yet, would order her around.

Then Julie-Su hears something and goes to follow it. She eventually comes across a guy who I swear I thought was a dog up until he said he was an echidna. 

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What does he come here to do? At first, he’s just here to claim that he’s basically Julie-Su’s father. He raised her like she was at least along with a woman called Floren-Ca

However, when Julie-Su asks more questions we get another lore dump. I knew these weren’t over just because the Knuckles book ended. I’m not a fool. But even still… goddammit.

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When it comes to these echidnas, Penders can’t help but spit these names and these family connections out at you. You have to remember who Moritori Rex is and who his son is and also who Kragok is and whose son he was and there were two people who hated each other before that and two other people who hated each other before THAT whose names you also need to know as well as everyone in the brotherhood who are all related and fuuuuuck. 

No child retained this information. I’m making that call right now. They pushed through it because it was allegedly a book about Sonic and Knuckles and that was it.

The rest of this really is just one huge, meaningless, overly complicated exposition dump about the origins of a character I hate. The leader of the Dark Legion at the time, Luger, disappeared and then Kragok took over. Because of the big silhouette with the question mark over it where Luger should be that the book is showing me I’m catching the hint that it wants me to have it known that his return is something to fear or at least have in the back of my mind. I’ll be sure to store it WAY at the back of my mind too. 

The reason Lien-Da doesn’t know any of this isn’t explained away by her having been a baby. But instead it's explained that there’s a Memory Neutralizing Chip that’s implanted into every Dark Legionnaire. Also, this dude was reassigned to the lower levels because apparently being Kragok’s aide means he didn’t fear him and Kraogk knew that and it’s a very strange thing all around. None of that makes sense.

Penders then has to explain around how this guy couldn’t have saved her because he should have known she was in the Legion. He does but I don’t care to repeat it. Also, Julie-Su got her memory wiped yet again somewhere down the line. In order for this story to make sense, this girl had to face two mind wipes. 

God, Penders you're such a hack. 

Then the old doggy echidna says he wants to take her to the woman who raised her. 

It’s all just word vomit about echidnas and the family line and mind wiping to cover for the author’s lazy but also, somehow, way too complicated writing. 

It’s the worst story in the book. 

 

So that was "Girl’s Rule" and boy did this book drool. All over the place in fact. It’s embarrassing.

The only good story was the one about Bunnie because it was a normal story about a character going through normal feelings. Even then it wasn’t perfect. The explanation for why it happens  is still really stupid and it still feels like an excuse to ditch the old SatAM design so that she can have sexier hips to draw.

The Sally story was about her throwing away something because the author wanted her too, even if the Acorn Kingdom IS awful and not worth dedicating your life too. The Hershey story was pointless. The Lupe story was fucking weird. The Julie-Su story was all of Penders’ worst story-telling habits grinded and crushed into a fine powder and force fed to the audience who paid for a 48 page long story of bullshit.

It’s awful. It’s all awful folks. Did you expect it not to be?

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #78: Changes

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I like that the cover says Y2K OK. The world is doomed. The Ark is going to fall and crash into the Earth when the clocks all hit 12 AM.

This cover is alright. It’s not a very interesting or creative one. Just Sonic standing with his logo while an assortment of characters shaded in brown poke their heads out at the cover. 

I’m a bit worried about the title though. I hope these changes aren’t of the infuriating kind.

Spoiler

 

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This is the first image of the book. When I saw this image, immediately my reaction was “Oh, so this was written by Karl Bollers.”

I checked the credits and I was right. Man, it’s great being able to tell Ken and Karl apart so easily now. Then again, there’s a specific kind of badness to Ken’s writing. This could have been anyone except Ken Penders for sure. The art is by James Fry again.

This is also the issue where Sonic gets knighted. I knew it happened, I just didn’t know when. It happened pretty early in this book apparently.

Anyway, he’s now been dubbed Sir Sonic. That will be the only time I refer to him as that, unironically.

Sally’s also wearing this ridiculous Saint Seiya-like outfit. The king asks for the royal coffer and some guy comes up and coughs all over Sonic.

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No, he’s given the medal of honor instead. Again, totally not written by Penders.

Then the King does more good things a good guy would probably do. He declares that the Hidden Valley will now be known as the Kingdom of Knothole and serve as a safe haven for those who wish to have a home away from Robotnik’s tyranny. Also, he’s reinstating the original Freedom Fighters, effective immediately!

Also, he’s firing Geoffrey St. John and disbanding his useless team that does useless things. Like take forever to find out that one of their members was roboticized only for it to probably not matter and for him to probably never be seen or heard from again because Espio maybe just ruthlessly destroyed him instead of capturing him like a normal Robian because this book is written like absolute ass.

No, again, that would go too far. If Bollers did that, Penders would have words. Definitely. He needs his stupid skunk boy to stick around and be a creeper that galivants around as though he’s important.

Again, I know Penders says he didn’t pay attention to what Bollers was doing aside from things they had to confer with each other about but this really feels like they’re using these comics to make diss tracks at each other. Like how those Disney Star Wars movies did everything to undermine and ignore what the next movie in line was trying to do.

We cut back to Robotropolis, which Eggman has taken back over. It’s kind of sad that they had Mobotropolis back for such a short amount of time but thems the breaks. It’s also sad that someone can’t let go of the old roly-poly design Eggman used to have.

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Eggman is pissed at Sonic because of his virus. He had to dump his old files to get rid of it. 

Eggman has another bargaining chip though. He’s still got millions (MILLIONS?) of robians under his control, including Uncle Chuck.

Smash cut to Sonic’s room where we see an adorable sad Sonic overlooking the room where Uncle Chuck’s stuff is being taken out so Nate can move in. He needs his parent’s comfort and that’s what he gets.

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Sad Sonic.

But also Slightly Happy, Parent Hugging Sonic.

We then cut back to the Acorn Family staring at the tube that houses Sally’s mom. All we learn here is that she still isn’t waking up. That’s it.

Meanwhile, in space, two spaceships are flying… in space. One of them has “Mobius or Bust” written on the side of it in what I’ll assume is red paint.

Back home, Mina is sad that Sonic saved her life and thinks that being roboticized might be better as a way to be with everyone she loved (Dark) but then Rosie comes over and tells her to watch over some children who may be feeling the same way. So she does.

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It’s cute. That scene ends there and we get one about Bunnie and Antoine where he contemplates wanting to see his kind papa again. General D'Coolette is being kept in our minds so that’s good. Then, all his friends congratulate Sonic on getting the title of Sir, including GEOFFREY ST. JOHN!

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SO NOT WRITTEN BY PENDERS! HOLY SHIT!

Bollers really wants these characters to be likeable. What a mad man.

We now cut back to Elias who’s watching everyone be all happy. He’s not. He’s got actual problems to worry about. Not only does he not want to be a boring old pampered King and yearns for adventure but he also wants to save his mom. We get another scene with the doctor where we learn that Alicia is fully recovered but NOW the problem is that she’s Mrs. Freeze and if she steps out of the tube she’ll die soon after without it.

You know, I really like Elias a lot. He’s definitely the only member of this Acorn Kingdom I like and it’s largely because he’s the most steadfast while also wanting nothing to do with it.

Finally, our last scene is of Eggman using his gross, green, mechanical tentacles to do some aggressive downloading of information. Once that’s done, he’s found what he needs. He’s successfully pieced together all the hints that made up the clues for the next Sonic game on Twitter. 

The word says… “CHAOS!”

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OPEN YOUR HEART… it’s time for SONIC ADVENTURE!

Also, yes, I’m well aware it’s probably not going to be good.

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #78: Tales of the Great War - What Really Happened

All that other junk, that was horseshit. Let me tell you what REALLY happened.

Let me introduce you to the REAL Organization XIII.

All the Great War stories are written by Ken Penders. This one is pencled by Chris Allan though.

The story goes as we already know it only with slightly more detail. Sonic’s dad, who looks like Sonic but has a tuft of brown hair growing out of his forehead, is shoved into the untested robotization device while on death’s door and turned into a robot. Uncle Chuck blamed himself for the project going wrong and became a chili-dog vendor after abandoning science.

Though, the real reason it didn’t work is because Robotnik crossed the wires of the machine because the device was a threat to his conquest. At the same time, his treachery wasn’t discovered because at the time he’d gotten the king to face off against the Overlander’s warlord. Robotnik had it all set up so that whoever won, he’d be able to benefit.

But that didn’t exactly happen because neither of them died. The king beat the warlord of the Overlanders but let him live when he begged for his life. Robotnik was watching this happen on his monitor and a small caption that said “Robotnik will remember that” appeared over his head. 

He even says “If you want a job done right…” 

So yeah. He’s got someone to erase now.

Soon after is a more in-depth scene of Chuck abandoning his work and leaving. Bernie tries to reassure him that its because of him that Sonic’s dad is still alive but Chuck isn’t sure it’s better that he is like this. Bernie then tries to insinuate that maybe this process is temporary and a solution could be found but Chuck’s resigned himself to giving up and leaves. Even if a solution could be found, he already handed his device to Robotnik and fat chance at getting it back.

So that’s it. We just end with Sonic’s dad sitting there quietly on a recliner as a robot with his worried wife overlooking him. It’s way more poignant to end things like this in silence and thankfully none of the characters speak here even if the narration boxes do. 

 

So that was fine. It felt more like an aftermath issue rather than a prelude to a new arc though. I suppose there’s nothing saying it couldn’t serve as both. It was perfectly fine though. We cut around to everyone and saw how they were doing and because Bollers was at the helm there was no heavy angst that came up out of nowhere and significantly less people being complete douchebags to each other. 

The Great War story was fine too. I think that might be due to the fact that it’s mostly just providing more context to something we already knew and not about Kodos snapping the necks of two innocent people. Everything's fine.


 

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Re: King of the Hill

On 8/2/2020 at 2:51 AM, SBR2 said:
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My immediate thought is it's supposed to be a play on R2-D2 but it could also be a reference to some old B-Movie.

 

Aryu One-Two is a truly natural and totally subtle reference to "R U 1 2 ?", the ominous tagline from that best-selling comic book and soon-to-be major motion picture we all know and love, The Lost Ones.

 

Great review for issue 78, but...

Spoiler

 

7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Finally, our last scene is of Eggman using his gross, green, mechanical tentacles to do some aggressive downloading of information. Once that’s done, he’s found what he needs. He’s successfully pieced together all the hints that made up the clues for the next Sonic game on Twitter. 

The word says… “CHAOS!”

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The true reason why Robotnik never unleashed Chaos before was

Spoiler

In his haste, the diabolical doctor misread the filename. For many a-year he refused to acknowledge Project CHADS. 😜

 

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Spoiler
9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The example used for Sonic, Tails, and Amy all at once was a bit weird since it was just them complaining about food

Incidentally I will not tolerate these jabs at Burger King and Dominoes. I like both of those places though admittedly I can't speak for 2006 Dominoes.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Also, Tikal is talking like she’s the leader of the resistance in Sonic Forces and it's making me uncomfortable.

FF7YL8mQOyArYu93KMF7TPRgaMlDE_8sNEYpNExYafeYWkEt61H0s-nGAwfJQxfiawhVBJ-5ekTJJIuReP2JbxNxHmlBEoRJZ5jovA-NWJZT7vrp6ujqdrp8e1QfwSwnnK7azIDX

Hey as long as there's no Oppperation: Big Wave we'll be fine. Knuckles is a war criminal.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Chao start attacking them with chainsaws.

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This is quite possibly one of the greatest moments in this book. Just...just look at it. It's amazing.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So now Egg-Gantor and Chaos are having a giant kaiju fight in the city after a bunch of Dark Chao tried to kill everyone with chainsaws. 

l-am8smkXwEEnma3xzikwJkcYYIE0_S3QY_uFjXjM2A8cIgTfhqfJ2YUCUMUh-ggulYj3uB2MWQGH3-YimWkxyv_szetRR6ppjmpJ0bLWyK8uP5Wwm9h-GpJuEvfziOBnBPTDclb

This is bananas. 

I love everything about this. I have no witty or snarky commentary. This is just the best.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So Tikal just says all he has to do is call her name and she’ll time warp herself and some chao there to visit… because I guess that’s how this works now????

Or...He could go to that Chao Garden they found in Japan. Why is that never brought up after it happened?

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This was a ton of fun. It got so crazy and weird at the end that it became my favorite little pastime where so many moving parts were happening that I just couldn’t help feeling a bit excited by it all. It also helps that this book is just shamelessly absurd. It literally doesn’t care one bit about your fucking logic. It laughs in the face of the concept. It’s all the better for it too. T’is a lot of fun!

That's actually a pretty decent description of the Sonic X comic. It's where the writers were encouraged to go nuts and put some of their most batshit insane ideas that would never fly in the main book. It kinda makes me wish the Sonic Boom comic lasted longer than 11 issues (though really more like 8 when you think about it) because it could have been even crazier than X but alas it wasn't meant to be.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic Super Special - Issue #11: Princess Sally: Ascension

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Statically someone has done things to this image.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sally has a monologue about how she was never given a choice all throughout her life. Ascension to the throne was something she was burdened with but when Elias showed up and was about to take it from her, he gave it up and she decided to go for it. That’s why she’s stepping into the pool today.

I love that this is supposed to be set before #74 so was Sonic just standing in Knothole bummed for hours so Sally was like "Y'know what? I think I'll take a dip in the Orange Soda and lean my destiny or some shit."

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sally has visions of her mother holding her as a baby and wishing she’ll live a life that’s the exact opposite of the life she ends up living.

Ah, who doesn't love a good old fashioned cliché?

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

No, but seriously, the example Julayla gives is of a predator attacking and eating something for the sake of the general basic need for food. I thankfully haven’t seen any scenes of Overlanders eating the Mobians so I’m not sure what she means here. I guess she’s trying to say it’s within their nature to fight back because they’re being attacked but the portrayal of the Overlanders really has been nothing but a bunch of murder and war hungry mongrels who just want to kill for the sake of it. 

Wars fought over the nothing DO happen but for it to be the entire basis of this species is a bit too off. I need a bit more than this. Oil, money, resources… they’re not taking ANY of that stuff. They don’t seem interested in it. They JUST want to kill all the animal people because they decided that's what they want to do. If that’s what you’re going for, then fine. They’re like a mindless Star Trek alien race, I guess, but it still feels weird that it works like this. The Black Arms had a reason to what to kill everyone. Humans were a great energy source for them. That's a reason.

See the thing is you're actually thinking about it. Penders meanwhile just made Overlanders murder happy because "Man is the real monster" and left it at that.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sally eventually starts to see visions of her father and brother talking to her while entrapped in this light. I don’t know if this conversation is in her head or if it's the Source of All feeding her what it thinks Sally needs to hear but it’s happening regardless.

If Bollers had his way that's probably how this would have been recontextualized. Bollers had a plan to reveal the Source was actually evil and malicious. But Penders shot that down because he didn't want anything interesting happening.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The image for her coming to this conclusion in this issue doubles back to being hilarious though.

z3FekGvXPgHVyd4sIukeCO-E8WDLl4Jvd8YWchUjfLF7RcBZvro8TmvShs1VMzFMkITtLw77GA4O-FdeZwIMl7nfddLH5ksujdAsWqu1wxZCAKvyrLeEnQcnUAcjXiIBptTfYzp0

"Guess I'll make excuses for my asshole family."

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

then walks her naked self off happy that she made HER choice. 

Sally did you forget your clothes? They were right by the Orange Soda.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Hershey… there are examples, PLENTY of examples in this book of people coming back from Robotization. To this book’s credit, I’ve yet to see anyone coming back from DEATH. Even Robotnik couldn’t do that, and he’s the main villain of the book. Why would death be more preferable in this case? I can see that being the case if robotization was still what it was originally billed as. You know, something that was permanent… but it’s not. Both Sonic and Knuckles have been robots before. Even if you don’t currently have anything that can do it, or if this is a new kind of robotization, you at least know the act of reversing it is possible. How bad is your intelligence gathering? God, Geoffrey’s a worse leader than I thought. 

I guess it's that it's doable but really hard? IDK.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So instead, when Lupe stays behind they just make a fucking grave for her. 

WxR8FZXGnl6wKhb_JdBuISaQD_SGu-EDGfLS2q49ltvaDM6EDCuXSpW8qcdZQQRdnw-Fy3VkZ3ZAq3N5RwmhIQADBGVdl03NLbt7ZF_jWMsrlGkRUDPIK87ONidPN0aYkmwMpk0T

… Okay.

So after that… weird and sudden declaration of her death via robotization, they walk off into a photo realistic looking sunset.

Seriously though, that background looks copy and pasted from a Google search or something.

Wow. Really feeling the girl power here. 

Oh, and to make it worse by Penders own words the point of this story was to show "Even a Female can make the ultimate sacrifice." Much Girl. Such Power.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Bunnie is on an operating table, presumably so that her robot parts can get fixed up, and the instant she’s off of it she collapses and has to go back into the hospital. Maybe some time did pass but because it happened on the very next page, I think assuming it was immediate is funnier.

It's a flashback to how she got there in the first place. I'm not going to harp too much on it because it is not immediately obvious at all.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So basically, her body can’t handle being half robot and half organic. She’s gonna die as her robot limbs break down and become poison to her central nervous system. The doctor only gives two options for her. Taking the robot limbs off and replacing them with upgraded ones, thereby taking away any hope she has of returning to normal or… risking a de-robotization process.

This is an...extreme way to introduce a redesign.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

She sees all her old stuff and reminisces about when she was forced to wake up at 6 AM, take a Sonic shower (which is hilarious) and then report for duty while Kragok and his Kommissioner, who I know is Lien-Da but Julie-Su doesn’t seem to yet, would order her around.

A.) Sonic Showers are stolen whole sale from Star Trek. B.) I don't understand Julie-Su's position as a "Helmsman" It's a stationary base. Why does it need a driver?

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

No child retained this information. I’m making that call right now. They pushed through it because it was allegedly a book about Sonic and Knuckles and that was it.

I mean I was on Bumbleking in the early-2010's and I can assure you there were people who were fanatical about this lore. I mean just compare the Archie Sonic Wiki to the IDW Sonic Wiki. You might notice the IDW one is a bit more...bare.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Because of the big silhouette with the question mark over it where Luger should be that the book is showing me I’m catching the hint that it wants me to have it known that his return is something to fear or at least have in the back of my mind. I’ll be sure to store it WAY at the back of my mind too. 

...I have no idea how you came to that conclusion. It's said pretty clearly he was murdered.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The explanation for why it happens  is still really stupid and it still feels like an excuse to ditch the old SatAM design so that she can have sexier hips to draw.

I can kinda understand that it was maybe to have her and the other Freedom Fighters match the Adventure designs but yeah it is weird they chose to go blatantly sexy with it.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sally’s also wearing this ridiculous Saint Seiya-like outfit. The king asks for the royal coffer and some guy comes up and coughs all over Sonic.

n2t-uk5ut4NK8uigWjc09B9ZIrernvfOCPRl6E_tO_2MiN4ChQJzyBjhQjFrTP4EaQXzyrDD12uCMpOfbbV7QjKiCZotzxNVRp_Whzh3QmK8_a-EenuRCF8rGdL6FLdd64j63Y2B

I get the feeling James Fry might just be an Anime fan. See also the Tenchi Muyo cameos littered around his early issues. Though my friggin lizard brain sees what Sally's wearing and thinks "Why is she wearing the Green Ranger's shield?"

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Like how those Disney Star Wars movies did everything to undermine and ignore what the next movie in line was trying to do.

Right like how Last Jedi was actually good and the other 2 were JJ Abrams. *Accepts the boos*

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Then, all his friends congratulate Sonic on getting the title of Sir, including GEOFFREY ST. JOHN!

TkaF7vbO3MeXIT0ZEh-9_UE6ONLyVaPDdZGHkaPLHUve6awXrWG8LTqUjP-8Xz-KXAeXWfPCV-KcDMIUQhYY2Z0hZsx2Hh5-OtfEydcYPsuiwRZiGA-C4712gyLJw4nTG_AjG8r5

Good lord he's completed his evolution into just literally being James Bond.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The word says… “CHAOS!”

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OPEN YOUR HEART… it’s time for SONIC ADVENTURE!

Also, yes, I’m well aware it’s probably not going to be good.

Aw, yeah. This is happenin'!

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The story goes as we already know it only with slightly more detail. Sonic’s dad, who looks like Sonic but has a tuft of brown hair growing out of his forehead, is shoved into the untested robotization device while on death’s door and turned into a robot. Uncle Chuck blamed himself for the project going wrong and became a chili-dog vendor after abandoning science.

Though, the real reason it didn’t work is because Robotnik crossed the wires of the machine because the device was a threat to his conquest.

I love that literally all of this is shit we already knew.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Soon after is a more in-depth scene of Chuck abandoning his work and leaving. Bernie tries to reassure him that its because of him that Sonic’s dad is still alive but Chuck isn’t sure it’s better that he is like this.

I love that Sonic's a baby here but the Great War is over. I was under the impression he was 5 when it ended and the Coup happened immediately after.

 

3 hours ago, Paul-Agnew said:

Aryu One-Two is a truly natural and totally subtle reference to "R U 1 2 ?", the ominous tagline from that best-selling comic book and soon-to-be major motion picture we all know and love, The Lost Ones.

*Sigh* Somehow I'm not surprised.

 

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4 hours ago, SBR2 said:
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...I have no idea how you came to that conclusion. It's said pretty clearly he was murdered.

 

Uh, no it didn't. What the heck are you talking about?

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There's nothing in this word salad that makes that clear. If it was supposed to be CLEAR that maybe Kragok murdered him to take power than I'm sorry but it absolutely wasn't. Maybe if this were a different writer who didn't take every opportunity he could to set up the appearances of more echidnas showing up to deepen his horrendous rich lore, I'd have assumed this OTHER new one that he JUST introduced out of nowhere was being introduced just so he could never show up again but when Ken Penders writes the sentence "Luger DISAPPEARED" and "To this day, no one knows what really happened though I have my suspicions" and then also super imposes a silhouette onto the page (something that's normally used to imply a mystery) and stack a question mark on top of it, I can't really see why it wouldn't be assumed that you're supposed to be wondering who this person is and if they'll return again.

I mean, let's get this absolutely straight, nothing in this confusing, jumbled mess is clear. There's no reason for me to assume anything so I have to do my best to go by what it's showing me here. This image doesn't even properly indict Kragok as a suspect. It literally just says no one cared when he seized the open slot of power later. 

There's definitely something to be said about storytelling techniques and when best to utilize them. You don't show an image like this, make what's being said intentionally vague, and then have it mean nothing but Penders did it. 

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36 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Uh, no it didn't. What the heck are you talking about?

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There's nothing in this word salad that makes that clear. If it was supposed to be CLEAR that maybe Kragok murdered him to take power than I'm sorry but it absolutely wasn't. Maybe if this were a different writer who didn't take every opportunity he could to set up the appearances of more echidnas showing up to deepen his horrendous rich lore, I'd have assumed this OTHER new one that he JUST introduced out of nowhere was being introduced just so he could never show up again but when Ken Penders writes the sentence "Luger DISAPPEARED" and "To this day, no one knows what really happened though I have my suspicions" and then also super imposes a silhouette onto the page (something that's normally used to imply a mystery) and stack a question mark on top of it, I can't really see why it wouldn't be assumed that you're supposed to be wondering who this person is and if they'll return again.

I mean, let's get this absolutely straight, nothing in this confusing, jumbled mess is clear. There's no reason for me to assume anything so I have to do my best to go by what it's showing me here. This image doesn't even properly indict Kragok as a suspect. It literally just says no one cared when he seized the open slot of power later. 

There's definitely something to be said about storytelling techniques an when best to utilize them. You don't show an image like this, make what's being said intentionally vague, and then have it mean nothing but Penders did it. 

IDK. Maybe it's because I read the story that confirmedhis death a long time before reading this but talking about how he vanished and then mentioning Kragok took over makes it seem to me like this was always the intention. 

Maybe it's just me but in the long long list of Penders stories that make no sense this doesn't even register as one for me.

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1 hour ago, SBR2 said:

IDK. Maybe it's because I read the story that confirmedhis death a long time before reading this but talking about how he vanished and then mentioning Kragok took over makes it seem to me like this was always the intention. 

Maybe it's just me but in the long long list of Penders stories that make no sense this doesn't even register as one for me.

Was that the intention? To me it just read like another part of the history dump. This new guy, Luger, who he's introducing now for apparently no reason, disappeared and that's when Kragok took over. It just read to me like he was connecting the dots. That's what that entire story was doing. It was fumbling around to desperately try and make this new bit of the lore fit and it failed at that. The detail that Kragok took over read to me as him fitting a puzzle piece in. I don't understand why it wasn't just Kragok the whole time. If Kragok was around already, why introduce this new guy just to subtly imply he was murdered by Kragok and took his place?  Who cares? I know pointless details like that are Penders' fortey but the problem is that trying to make everything seem important is also his fortey.

I can at least see why you would think it was supposed to be clear but try to, at least a little bit, put yourself in my shoes.

I have no idea what's ahead of this. I'm constantly getting bombarded with new echidnas showing up. Even the ones that are supposed to be long dead are still somehow alive and keep showing the fuck up. These last couple pages were spewing endless words and lore at me and I'm supposed to discern which parts mean something and which parts don't. Then it shows an image of a dude I've never heard of before in silhouette and a question mark and instead of assuming this was done to keep a mystery I'm supposed to catch that he was trying to subtly suggest that Kragok murdered him when all it says is that he became the new leader. I dunno. I don't think that's fair.

I think you could easily figure that he was setting up a mystery for this guy's return. 

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Sonic Super Special - Issue #12: Turnabout Heroes

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Your honor, this clearly isn’t the beginning of the Chaos arc that was hinted at last time. Why are we wasting time with another super special? I guess we’re just gonna have to cross-examine this shit to find out. Get ready for Turnabout Heroes… I guess.

Spoiler

 

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Welp, that would have been an immediate ‘fuck you’ from me had I picked this up when it came out. Quite the impressive start, I must say.

Even if this came out during the stone age, it’s just annoying having to flip a book onto its side, for any reason. 

That said, it’s thankfully not so bad considering all of it is easily readable on the correct axis.

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It looks like one of those long books I once read about Garfield. The climax was him trying to fight off an escaped panther.

Anyway, the first two pages are of Sonic and Knuckles waking up to the shock and awe of their respective bands of people they’re associated with. I would say “loved ones” but that would be giving Locke and the Brotherhood too much credit. 

Both Sonic and Knuckles spend these two pages recapping who they are for no real reason. I guess it was for the sake of getting two pages out of an obligated 48 out of the way. When we turn the page, the obvious has happened. Sonic and Knuckles have switched memories. 

Well, the way it's described, it's technically not the same as them having full on switched bodies. It’s more that situation of being bonked on the head and believing you’re someone else. Only, instead of a head bang from an anvil, it’s Dr. Robotnik and the gross looking Dimitri who have teamed up to get revenge on the two of them.

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It’s funny because Dimitri speaks about how keeping them alive to have them witness their losses sounded like fun but immediately gets a bit of cold feet when the two heroes wake up. Robotnik has to be the one to go, “Yeah but we’re having fun though” in order for Dimitri to chill out.

At this moment, no explanation for why these two are together or how they captured Sonic and Knuckles has been given.

Robotnik is in his older, blubber-nuggets design so this has to have taken place before Robo-Robotnik’s body blew up and he had to replace it with the Eggman body. I don’t recall the regular Robotnik being alive when Dimitri got his powers stolen by Mogul and his old body had to be replaced with machinery to keep himself alive.

As an aside, if you’re that desperate to stay living well past your sell by date you’re in some serious need of help. What’s the benefit of living forever looking like that? Does he not care that he’s almost all a machine now? I guess not. He finds Knuckles having Sonic’s memories quite hilarious. 

The concept behind Dimitri and Enerjak remains interesting. I’m just so disappointed to have found out that the intrigue behind him had mostly been built up in my head thanks to how powerful and mystic he seems as an antagonist during Ian’s run. I figured the origin had to have been just as majestic but no… he’s just kind of an underwhelming idiot. Mogul started out disappointing here too but he turned himself around right quick at least.

Knuckles tries to inform Sally and Nate that he’s actually Sonic but none of Nicole’s readings are picking up him being anything other than an echidna. Which he is. Just then, Swat Bots attack the ship and Antoine panics as he’s flying it. However, Knuckles calmly tells them to head to Echidnaopolis.

At the same time, Sonic, convinced he’s Knuckles, has managed to convince Julie-Su that he’s also Knuckles right as they’re getting out of a shot down shuttle. The culprits were the Dark Legion, who have decided to attack at the same time Robotnik has sent robots to attack the other main character in this book. Coincidence? Well, no. We know it isn’t because we literally saw the two bad guys working together…

… Anyway, Sonic tries to fly and he fails.

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Or Glide. Because that’s what Knuckles does and he thinks he’s Knuckles.

Sonic and Julie-Su fight off the Dark Legion just as the Freedom Fighter’s ship crashes. Everyone’s fine, of course, but Knuckles comes out of the ship and sees Sonic. The two of them, thinking they’re the other one, are convinced that they need to get their bodies back. 

It’s interesting because this book outright said their “memories” were switched but has gone on to make the characters think, act, and behave as though they’ve merely been mind-swapped. Robotnik even says “minds” instead of “memories” later on. The book most likely didn’t mean to use the word “memories” first as it implies something other than the usual body-swap episode. “Memories” would imply that they’re indeed in their own bodies but just think they’re someone else while a full on body and mind swap would carry across all the attributes of their personality. I doubt the book was attempting to go for something that hard to tackle though. Tackling someone having the memories of another person while still having the personality of someone else is way too hard a thing to take on here. It was definitely just a case of using the wrong word.

In any case, I’ll still refer to the one that looks like Sonic as Sonic and the one that looks like Knuckles as Knuckles.

So Sonic, Knuckles, and the others fight off both bands of evil groups until two holograms of the leaders of said groups appear in the sky. This is extra surprising because one of them thought that Robotnik was dead.

Honestly, this sort of feels like a crossover of different comics a bit. The Sonic and Knuckles stuff is so different it might as well not be a part of the same continuity but it is. Plus, that feeling may be spurred on by the fact that both Ken Penders and Karl Bollers are writing for this one. James Fry is the artist again which surprised me because it doesn’t look quite as good as the other issues I’ve seen him on. It doesn’t look bad though.

Anyway, for some reason, being surrounded is being taken as some sort of sign to the heroes that the villains hold all the cards now. They stopped fighting because the two bad guys told them to and then the bad guys said “SURRENDER or else we’ll kill your friends” and they were like “... Okay.”

So that’s dumb.

Sonic and Knuckles get teleported to meet the villains face to face now. Here, Robotnik and Dimitri cut a promo for the Chaos Cannon, which is a big fucking gun that uses the Master Chaos Emerald’s power to turns organic beings into metal. They threaten to use it on the Great Forest.

This makes much more sense as a bargaining chip… however, I don’t see what the advantage of teleporting the heroes to your cannon of destruction is. They could just destroy it if it turned out they didn’t care about returning to their own bodies if it meant preventing the firing of that thing. Plus, I’d probably wager the villains would be lying about keeping their word.

Doesn’t matter though because the two heroes go off to get the Master Emerald with the evil mammoth man floating inside of it. Robotnik and Dimitri are monitoring them to make sure they do it properly but it doesn’t matter because they didn’t send anything to STOP them from trying anything funny. Immediately, they try something funny and all the devices being used to spy on them fry out in a flash of green emerald light.

Also, for some reason, this book keeps re-introducing Dimitir as “Of the Dark Legion” as though that’s something you’ll keep forgetting after every two pages or so.

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Like, if you don’t remember that this dude is a part of the Dark Legion by now then it’s pretty safe to assume you don’t care about him.

The two of them come back with AN emerald and the two villains immediately believe they just followed their orders despite being blinded by a suspicious flash of magic green light that destroyed all their spying equipment.

They then hook the fake emerald (if something could use an explanation/reminder it's where you can get fake Master Emeralds) up to the machine and try to fire it on the Great Forest but the machine explodes. The clever scientist motherfuckers, outwitted and outsmarted by two teenagers, sick their robots on them but, I guess, NOW it's okay to fight and they do it with just the two of them instead of the two of them PLUS the Freedom Fighters. Why not?

Both of them then attack their respective villains but they both turn out to be robot doubles of themselves. The Robotnik one even explodes.

Also, the two of them are back in their own bodies. It happened when they touched the Master Emerald because the Master Emerald can do that now.

With that over, they walk off talking about how their species is better than the other one.

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Knuckles should have fired back with “My species are all allegories for Jesus and we went to space in space shuttles at around the time your species were still cavemen.” 

Also, I know Sonic’s final line there is blurred out because he’s getting further in the distance but I insist everyone instead assume that’s him randomly saying a bunch of bleeped out curse words in a row. 

The first story is over and we read it sideways just like you asked Zonic the Zone Cop… why did we do that?

 

Sonic Super Special - Issue #12: Zone Wars: Giant Robotno

The answer is because the next story is about the Zone stuff and there’s a horizontal and vertical motif to it.

I gotta say, that’s a pretty lousy reason. There have been stories of this book where the focus was on Zonic and the second one within it didn’t have to flip on its side too. I feel like this is something you try out once when you’re introducing a character like Zonic. As is, it’s a bit of a random experiment.

It’s like if, all of a sudden, we had a Sonic issue where the first story that was about Sonic was normal and the second one that was about Robotnik replaced the paper pages with sheet metal instead. 

Because gimmicky symbolism.

I’m not against the book trying out some gimmicks. I do actually have a bit of fondness for that one issue’s attempt at trying to tell the events of a story backwards, even though it was attempting to explain something that didn’t need to be explained and then failed to properly explain it on top of that. 

Anyway, Sonic is chilling by the lake, encroaching on Big the Cat’s territory by having the nerve to try and fish. Before he can continue this egregious offense to Big’s character, a stupid looking Zone person shows up to arrest him for it.

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This version of Sally came here to ask for Sonic’s assistance but, at that moment, Zonic shows up and warns Sonic not to trust her because she’s actually an evil incarnate Sally from the Sentai Zone.

So, a Power Ranger villain.

This plot was thought up by Dan Slott and scripted by Karl Bollers by the way. The art is a team effort with James Fry and Nelson Ribeiro, whom I can’t recall off the top of my head if they’ve indeed worked on the book before.

Anyway, Sonic asks if Zonic can be useful and send her back but he can’t for some reason. Instead he just brings more people who shouldn’t be in this zone INTO this zone because we need a whole super team to commit to the Power Ranger parody. Here they are.

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Interesting how Sally’s the villain and the other Freedom Fighters are still heroes. Does this mean that regular Sonic, Amy, Knuckles, Tails, and Rotor have a considerable amount of evil in them… nah. Can’t be. Then Antoine would be a part of this group… unless the book is totally on my side and thinks Antoine is better than the rest of them and gets way too much crap from the others. Ah man! I’m thinking about this too hard but I’m delighted to continue if it leads to a personal headcanon that I like.

This is Sonicaman: Chaos Ninja Team. I’m not sure why the team name ends with a SINGLE man. I also don’t quite understand why it’s “Sonica” and not just “Sonic” but… whatever.

Sonic isn’t impressed and starts complaining about seeing Power Ranger versions of himself because the Zone thing has gotten old to him. Last time it was Giant Borg and Sally Moon. He doesn’t mention Sabrina, funnily enough. Anyway, Zonic just says that the reason he keeps fucking with him is because Sonic is Sonic Prime, the hub of all Sonics. As a concept, that’s still not cool. It does take a lot of the majesty out of having different zones and universes if you just proclaim the one that we’re following is THE most important one. 

Sonic’s about to just walk off but is suckered back in when Zonic says there’s supreme danger ahead in a different zone. Sonic can’t let supreme danger go about it’s day so he goes to do his hero thing and is transported to said zone where...

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Had this come out after Sonic Heroes, I could almost guarantee you this would have been Amy instead.

Sonic is, of course, freaked out to see Bunnie attacking everyone but goes to stop the kaiju by… revving on the street and getting her to slip and fall into tar that gets her stuck there. The way it's explained is really weird. Apparently she’s stuck there forever and isn’t a threat anymore because the ruler of the city walks up to Sonic to thank him.

It’s this zone’s version of Eggman, or Kintobor, as he calls himself. Despite Sonic being told this was another zone where the people who were good and evil in his zone aren’t necessarily going to be in this one, he reacts as he usually would upon seeing Eggman. It’s completely understandable that he would though. It’s also hilarious how he sees a frozen visage of Uncle Chuck in the distance.

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You see, the problem is that he once tried experimenting on a Chaos Emerald by splitting it on a location far off from the populace… however, it still ended up having an effect on wildlife he couldn’t see. Or rather Mobians he couldn’t see.

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The Chaotix mutated into Godzilla monsters… and Charmy just flew away. Good for him.

To combat the Kaiju, the army tried to stop them but were crushed because the armies suck against the Kaiju, naturally. The Good Doctor here has a means of beating them with these special robots he’s built but they’re powered by the split emerald that’s stuck on the island where these Chaotix monsters are.

So, upon hearing the whole story, Sonic helps Eggman put the finishing touches on his Giant Robotno which is going to be powered by Sonic’s juice… which is kind of a gross thing to say but Sonic says it so…

Also, Sonic has a little heart to heart with the doctor. 

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Aww. Imagine apologizing for something a different version of yourself did.

Sonic’s complete response is “Don’t be-- HE isn’t.”

Which I don’t entirely get. He’s saying this doctor doesn’t have to be sorry because the other one isn’t? If so that’s an astonishingly impressive display of maturity from him.

Sonic pilots the Giant Robotno by himself over towards the island of Nightmare Fuel and it gets even more Nightmare Fuel then the Nightmare Fuel you saw earlier because whoever made this wanted you to not sleep tonight.

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I mean Jesus. I’d have thrown this book away and never looked back had I seen this as a kid. I think the worst bit are the gross tentacles on mutated Knuckles’ head. They tend to look like tentacles when they’re drawn like crap in other issues of the book regardless but still. 

I don’t want to keep looking at this. It’s making me feel weird.

As things progress, things start to get to be a bit… much.

Like, Sonic starts fighting these monstrous versions of his buddies and not only is he having trouble because of how strong they are but he can’t handle fighting his friends, even though they aren’t.

Then... randomly, a giant version of his dad emerges from the ground with half of the emerald he’s looking for affixed to his chest. Sonic REALLY doesn’t want to fight his dad despite the fact that his Monster Daddy really wants to kill him. It claws and bashes at him and eventually, Sonic while crying and begging him to stop just flails about and then… not meaning to… rips the emerald out of his dad’s chest.

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Then Sonic screams “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” in anguish and flies away, horrified and probably traumatized that he just tore something out of his dad’s chest and killed him.

Then, even more fucked up, a “grotesque” (the comic’s words, not mine) figure emerges from the ground with the other half of the emerald in its chest. It’s this world’s version of Sonic. He picks up his dead dad and screams “RAAAAAAGH~!” in complete sadness and anguish too. Also, there’s clear and obvious blood pouring out of Sonic’s monster dad’s mouth as Monster Sonic holds him and cries.

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So… after Sonic flew in and did a murder against a different dimension version of his own father and left this dimension’s version of Sonic to hold his dead, mutated body while crying out in sadness, immediately you turn the page and are greeted with this image.

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It’s like… almost comical. 

I didn’t expect to see Sonic do a murder this issue. I certainly didn’t expect him to kill a version of his own dad, or for blood to spew out his mouth when he did it, or for the irony of this world’s Sonic having the murder of his dad rest at the feet of another version of himself…

… Like, these were regular Mobians that mutated because of a freak Chaos energy accident. I dunno, Doc. I think the comic is trying to portray you as good but it’s kind of hard to let go of the fact that your failed experiment ruined a lot of lives here. Then Sonic got tasked with fixing it which just ruined their lives even more. 

Plus, getting the half-emerald back to him means he’s just going to power his robots so that he can go and fend them off even further. It’s like… what?

Kintobor creates his robot with the half-emerald piece in it’s chest and has designed his new creation after the kind stranger he just met, Sonic. However, it’s when he wishes to name his creation that he realizes he never asked for Sonic’s name. However, Zonic shows up and Sonic immediately yeets himself out of that world just as Kintobor turns around.

Sonic is extremely upset that he had to murder his dad and snaps at Zonic when Zonic dares to suggest that he knows how he feels. Zonic assures him that he does by finally removing his helmet and introducing himself.

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The book treats this like its some big reveal but I’m actually more surprised that he’s seriously saying that he NEVER got the chance to tell Sonic his actual name… what the fuck?

He goes away then, assuring Sonic that he does know how he feels, and leaves Sonic to wonder what the hell is up with that guy and how he wound up with that terrible job. 

He’s also smart enough to know that if there is an answer to that question it’s going to be a long, long time before its answered.

Mercifully, that’s where this fucked up second story ends. Jesus.

Uh… so I’m kind of surprised. Out of the two stories here, the one that left me feeling really disgusted and with a weird, gross feeling in the pit of my stomach was the story that Penders had nothing to do with. I feel legit awful. Like I want to fucking vomit.

The way those monster versions of Sonic’s pals were drawn and shaded and colored hit upon a bit of a gag reflex. Not in too terrible a way but it really did legitimately disgust me. I think had I read this as a kid I might have treated this comic as though it were cursed and refused to even touch it again, if I didn’t just throw it away. That’s not getting into the fucked up shit at the very end of the second story where Sonic kills a version of his dad and leaves the other Sonic to grief over his bleeding corpse… and then peaces out to leave those mutated monsters to their fate. Yeah they were destroying stuff but they used to be normal and clearly still have enough emotion to grieve over the loss of their own. But mission accomplished I guess. 

It’s even stranger because that world’s version of Eggman clearly is very well-intentioned but because they didn’t dive into how he feels about what his experiment did to those Mobians, it feels like something HUGE just got left on the table and that leaves me feeling extremely uneasy. This issue began with Super Sentai jokes for Christ’s sake. What’s with the massive tonal whiplash at the end?

Mr. Dan Slott… I don’t know what your intention was but if you’re to come back could you maybe not do that again? Ever?

Also, the first story was a cliche concept written in an unimpressive cliche manner. It doesn’t even bother trying to explain how Eggman and Dimitri hooked up. This was all around a very bad time and I’d like to hurry and forget about it.

 

Sonic X - Issue #7: Take This Job and Shovel It

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This is where I’d post the “Aliens” meme if I wanted to. I don’t want to though. I’ll admit though, when I saw this cover, I expected something very different from what I got. This is a very well drawn cover though. Holy moly, does it look exciting. Let’s check it out and see what it  though.

Spoiler

It’s a shame seeing the book sometimes not live up to it’s art on the inside as much. This first image, I seriously thought was a collection of boxes. However, it’s actually the city of Station Square.

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Two guys who work in the sewers search around the place and discover a door that they’ve never seen before. Upon entering it… they almost discover something but decide to leave it up to the experts to figure out what’s what. 

We’re treated to the silhouette of what looks like our boy Emeral.

Even so, the big boys are called in. Topaz, The President, his secretary, Rouge the Bat, and… Captain Westwood

Now who is Captain Westwood?

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Why Captain Westwood is a jealous boy. Also, I’m sure he’s yet another actual character from Sonic X, only with different color hair and more of a character. There were plenty of human characters with actual character on that show but I still find myself admiring this book for taking the less focused ones and giving them focus. Him having a name is a nice touch too.

The character in the show had brown hair and was only referred to as “Commander” by Topaz. Apparently, a part of the reason for his change in appearance was to make him resemble Albert Wesker from Resident Evil. I haven’t played that game but apparently they’re in very similar positions and end up doing pretty similarly immoral things. 

It’s also funny because the guy from Sonic X didn’t seem all that bad but this is often what happens when you expand upon a person. It’s kind of great.

Anyway, he’s mad that the President told Topaz and Rouge to handle this situation instead of him, the guy who’s Topaz’s boss. Not to mention, Topaz has been shown going on extremely exciting missions now that Rouge is her partner. He thinks to himself that he’d get to go on super cool missions if he had an animal from another dimension as his partner too and hatches a plan to get Sonic as that partner.

Sonic might be the worst possible option he could have attempted to go for but hey, maybe he’ll approach this in a nice manner. I mean just look at this good boy’s face.

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That’s a face you can trust.

At the Thorndyke residence, everyone is getting ready to celebrate Chris’ birthday party, except Chris’ parents because they’re off being uber rich parents, when Westwood arrives in the house.

He tells Sonic that a doomsday weapon was spotted in the desert and that he was given a direct order from the president himself to bring him along to investigate it because it might be an Eggman scheme.

This is a lie.

Sonic is about to refuse, saying that a child’s birthday party is more important than investigating a possible doomsday weapon. I happen to agree with him on that. I’m NOT missing the cake made by a maid from the household of a literal rich kid. God, I bet it’s real moist.

Chris tells Sonic to go though. If the President says to then he has to. When Sonic asks about the party, Chris says there will be other parties. It’s kinda sweet.

Rouge and Topaz head to where the two workers were and enter at their own peril, with Emeral still there to look out for intruders on what, I guess, he’s claimed as his hidey hole.

As Rouge and Topaz examine the area, they determine that it can’t be an Eggman hideout because the tech is super old. They try to access a computer but they’re unable to. As this happens, Emeral does his best to stay hidden, even whooshing past them at one point.

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So fast. Like a spring breeze.

Anyway, Topaz and Rouge get called back to base by the Guardian Unit of Nations. I spelled out their full name because the comic does, literally every single time they’re mentioned. It’s quite ridiculous. I can only assume they’re trying to avoid just saying GUN but there’s no point in doing that so if they are then that’s stupid.

They leave finally… with Emeral actually tailing them.

Back with Sonic, he and Westwood are in the desert. Westwood sends the others away leaving Sonic to ask him why when they could have helped. Westwood appeals to Sonic’s ego and hands him a shovel, questioning whether the president was right about him to his face. So Sonic gets to digging with a smile on his face in order to prove he’s more than enough.

As Sonic begins digging, Westwood sparks up casual conversation by doing his best to talk Sonic down from staying with Chris by insulting him and blaming him for things that are the fault of Dr. Eggman, mostly. Sonic assures the guy that he’s not changing his mind about sticking with this elementary school boy over the government. I can’t exactly blame him. There aren’t many things I trust less than the government.

Westwood even pulls the line “Your country needs you” and Sonic seriously has to explain to the guy that it’s not his country and that he’s from a far off land. He does all this while digging far deeper than probably necessary. I don’t even think he continued using the shovel by this point.

Either way, they end up uncovering this--!

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Back with Topaz and Rouge, Emeral sneaks into their vehicle as they head off, right after Rouge has a conversation with my favorite cop with the ever changing accent. If this truly is a joke about how 4kids does the accent thing then I’m enjoying it. Emeral is hitchhiking in the backseat of Rouge and Topaz’s vehicle, saying to himself that they’re the most intelligent beings he’s come across yet, which is a stunning compliment. It wouldn’t surprise me if the cops in this city aren’t very bright. 

Back with Sonic and Westwood, the Alien technology springs to life and decides it wants these two dead, so it attacks. Amusingly, Sonic’s the one who is taking this thing seriously while Westwood’s reaction is “YES! Now this is why I joined the Guardians!” So I’m glad he’s having a fun time.

He ends up getting that mission he wanted, fighting alongside a cool animal from another dimension. They manage to work together surprisingly well, despite Westwood constantly making remarks about how this discovery is going to put HIM on the map. His blaster is pretty powerful though and he’s able to defend himself really well. Sonic ends up defeating the robot when he re-grabs the shovel, tears a panel off the top of it’s head, and jabs it in there to make its insides explode. There’s still enough of it left to be examined at Area 99 though.

That, apparently, was enough of a bonding experience for Westwood to ask Sonic to work for HIM and that the president will reward HIM when he tells him that it was his idea to bring Sonic there. Instantly, when Sonic finds out that this wasn’t a request from the President, he realizes he’s been tricked and lied to.

He doesn’t take it well.

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I love that he took the time to re-cover their discovery back under the dirt. What a way to undo their little adventure. 

Honestly, Westwood would have had better luck just being truthful and waiting for Sonic to finish with Chris’ birthday party. Sonic still wouldn’t have accepted his offer but maybe he wouldn’t have re-covered up the thing he just dug out for you. 

Even more ironic is that when Topaz and Rouge join back up with the President, he says that he has a mission for them that deals with Dr. Eggman’s exploits in Paris. He says he was going to give it to the Commander but he’s not around and he can’t wait for him. Aww, too bad. I guess instead of being jealous and taking things personally, he should have just waited. Emeral is still on the ship that Rouge and Topaz take to Paris.

Back at home, Sonic has made it for the party. Just then, Chris’ parents appear on the TV via satelite and inform him and his friends that they’re going to fly them to Paris for the party. 

Oh dear. What a very… very strong coincidence that is.

I really enjoyed this issue. This entire situation with Captain Westwood really stuck hard in my mind the very first time I checked out this Sonic X comic. The issues before this one kind of blurred together for me back when I originally checked this book out but this kind of felt like the starting point for the kind of thing I remember it most for, where they took a bunch of background characters and just expanded on them, mostly by describing how Sonic entering their world ruined their lives or brought out the more troubling sides of their personalities.

The hair color change for the Captain here threw me off a bit but his design otherwise is literally the same as it was from the show and if the hair color change really was to make him more resemble that Resident Evil character than fine. I’m mostly just taken by how the book made the decision to do this in the first place. It’d be like if they took one of the NPCs from Unleashed and said “That guy’s actually a bit more of an asshole than you thought”. So, I dunno. I tend to really like it. It grants me the kind of unease I’m a fan of.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #79: The Discovery - A Sonic Adventure Tie-In

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It is time. 

Neat enough cover. It doesn’t make me wretch, thankfully. I like the shine on that emerald. Not too huge a fan of the artstyle concerning the characters but that’s par for the course. I’m mostly just grateful for anything that doesn’t make my eyes cry.

Spoiler

This first story was written by Karl Bollers and the pencils were done by James Fry again.

The tale begins with Nate at his computer and Sonic catching him working at night. Nate informs Sonic that he’s trying to find a way to hack into Eggman’s systems while not having to actually be in Robotropolis. Eventually, he discovers something and heads off with Sonic to inform King Max.

Because he’s not being written by Penders, he doesn’t spit venom in every other line he speaks as he’s informed of the discovered whereabouts of the Hidden City of the Ancients. King Max is surprised to hear this and promptly recognizes that if Eggman is making a discovery like that then they’ve got to make sure he doesn’t do anything. So Sonic and the others have their mission for the next day. They’re going to just head right for the City of the Ancients. That sounds delightful.

Sonic remarks that King Max is clearly keeping something from him though. He seems very hesitant and distant in the way he’s speaking to him. It's odd. 

Sonic finally gets his good night sleep and is woken up by his parents to discover that all his friends are having breakfast in his house. Their parents woke up Sonic to ask him why, apparently not knowing the reason they were there… so I’m guessing Sally and the others just broke in.

They also do that thing where they list off everyone’s full names. So you get to hear them say the names Amy Rose, Bunnie Rabbot, Princess Sally Acorn, and MIles “Tails” Prower one after the other in a dialogue balloon. It’s incredibly unnatural sounding.

Next is the scene where the book decides it wishes to get on my bad side a bit. Here comes Amy, asking if she can tag along. Now, despite the fact that she has been tagging along quite a lot recently, this is the first time the book has felt the need to address it. On top of that, it’s also, funnily enough, the first time I see them refuse her. I guess they did tell her to stay behind when they went to space but other than that, I’m drawing a blank.

Their reasons for why she can’t go would have seriously made me extremely angry at them had I been reading this as a kid. Reading this now, however, I kind of just find it annoying.

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You can tell they really tried to cover all the bases here… or rather just the ONE base they had about the age thing. I don’t need to tell you that the age thing would absolutely not fly at all today, for a large number of reasons. Amy and Tails are both older than the youngest characters in the Sonic series today, Charmy and Cream, and the two of them have been shown to be able to hold their own just fine. The older days were days of children being lamer than ever eh?

I just never liked seeing stuff like this crop up in fiction. I’ve always been more a fan of seeing and following characters that could and would allow for more freedom in the fiction so that kids could just be irresponsibly tagged along within the proceedings. It’s one of the reasons why I love the Chaotix dynamic so much. Seeing stuff like this would have just reminded me that I too am a kid and thus would not be allowed to go on adventures with Sonic. You don’t want that kind of feeling when you’re a sensitive child like I was.

Also, I really don’t like that their explanation for why Tails gets special privilege is literally just because he’s ALREADY been on missions with them. That’s not really an argument. It’s like when you’re fresh out of college and the only jobs they list ask for someone who already has job experience. How the fuck am I gonna get experience doing this kind of job if I’m barred from entry because I don’t have experience doing this kind of job? 

Tails has had flashes of being his usual genius self but we’re still at the point in time where he isn’t quite recognized as the super tech wiz. He’s mostly just been shown doing communication stuff and flying the plane, which is still impressive but had he been that super genius boy, I could see them using that excuse and it flying a tad bit better than this. The reason they don’t is because he isn’t. That’s still Rotor at this point. 

They also, thankfully, don’t bring up the Chosen One garbage. There’s like… three different Chosen Ones in this book or something.

So, again, the reason she can’t come is because she missed out when they were recruiting children. The draft no longer needs kids her age. 

I do like Sonic’s drawn out “AAAAAMYYYYEEEE” at the end there. It’s kind of cute.

Elias and King Max are watching overhead in a treehouse as Sally is preparing to leave. Elias takes this opportunity to confront Max about the fact that he’s keeping the fact that their mother’s sickness has worsened to himself. Max, again, says that the reason he did was because he doesn’t want her to worry and that its not as if her condition will have been any better when she gets back. This is a bit more of an understandable hesitation on his part but having yet another example of this dude hiding shit from his kids just doesn’t sit as a good look at this point. Despite Bollers’ attempts to treat the king as a more rational character, he simply can’t undo what Penders has done to the guy.

Elias thinks his father may be wrong about that and runs off to go grab the Ring of Acorns. Elias explains in his head to himself that all someone needs to do is make a wish on the ring and their wish will be granted provided they’re pure of heart. He outright wonders WHY no one considered doing this before.

It might be because Penders didn’t think of it… or it could be that there’s no one in this kingdom that's pure of heart. That’s quite the ironic thing for the Acorn Kingdom to have. Having something that requires a pure of heart person to activate it be a treasure of the Acorns would go well to ensure that they’re protecting something they wouldn’t be able to use.

Unfortunately for Elias, someone pure of heart reached the ring before he did. Amy Rose. If only he had been made aware of the off-screen emotional pounding her character was taking from the others. 

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I know exactly where this is going and it's not… comfy. 

Yeah. "Not Comfy" is the right phrase.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #79: The Chaos Factor

These next two stories are all Ken Penders. This first one is penciled by Steven Butler.

The story actually begins rather well with the opening monologue being what we know of the start of Knuckles’ story in Sonic Adventure. The lines are exactly the same too, which I can’t help but enjoy.

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Then, of course, a water monster breaks out of the emerald and Knuckles shifts into emo, doom and gloom mode. He blames the impending doom of him and his people on himself and has to bear witness to the island crashing into the water!

Only, it didn’t. It was a dream. 

Well, that’s weird. It totally should have happened like that.

Knuckles wakes up and goes outside, wondering if the genetic experimentation his awful dad did on him is the reason he keeps having the same dream every night, until he immediately discovers that the island IS in the water! 

Okay. 

Not sure what the point of having it be a premonition dream was if he was going to wake up with it having already happened. 

We cut to Eggman who has discovered the secrets behind a creature known as Perfect Chaos. It was at this point where I thought that the comic was actually rather lucky to have the Master Emerald in the position that it was… but then I remembered that the opposite was actually true. They already trapped something within the Master Emerald and it was Mammoth Mogul. That makes it kind of funny that Chaos burst out of the Master Emerald in Knuckles’ dream. They kept that bit but the actual whereabouts of Chaos is hidden in a remote location underground… inside of a random ass Black Emerald.

… So I’ve seen a Black Emerald in these comics before but it was during a story way down the line with Big and the Wolf Pack. There were also these extremely angry cat looking people and Eggman says here that the emerald is hidden in a mysterious Cat Country. Apparently, there’s a black emerald here that may or may not be the same one as that and it's just got Chaos inside of it. Why? Well, Eggman does a lot of talking but he doesn’t offer an explanation as to why. He just explains that all of this just IS.

This emerald apparently isn’t very sturdy because all it takes is a good whack with a small hammer and it cracks open with Chaos leaking right out of it. 

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It’s kind of freaky but also… that’s it? How odd. 

Eggman made his Robians excavate deep into this area to locate this thing. I’m surprised it didn’t have cracks all over it already. Perhaps I should be more impressed, considering Eggman’s still basically a robot.

Anyway, Chaos slithers out of the emerald and goes over to another mural for Eggman to discover. Upon reading it, he discovers that he needs the Seven Chaos Emeralds… wait no, he needs Seven random Power Emeralds to restore it. 

Man, this book didn’t do itself any favors veering away from the regular emeralds of the games. So now, the Master Emerald has to come into play ANYWAY but in a different manner. 

Eggman sends his robots to attack the floating island so he can recover the Master Emerald. He’s even got the Egg Carrier with him too. We’re truly Sonic Adventuring now folks. 

He comes across a city he’s never seen before. This is obviously the city of echidnas and Eggman recognizes that his info on this place is wildly out of date. He doesn’t seem to care all THAT much that his files say that only one echidna should exist and yet this city is FULL of them. He just sets about destroying and murdering until he blows his way into the area where the Master Emerald is kept and shatters it to the required amount of pieces he needs. 

This chapter ends with a certain someone I mentioned earlier being freed from his prison.

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It’s Elefun the Elephant, see him blow. Butterflies everywhere, watch them go.

This is all sorts of fucked up. Honestly, with the book having made these weird decisions it was expected. To this day I’m still not sure why the emeralds were done in such a strange way. They had plenty of time to start introducing the other colored emeralds and such but they just… didn’t. I know they will eventually and the explanation for them is extremely silly and totally inconvenient for their continued use within the story but that’s just something that I’m gonna have to live with. 

As far as how well they managed to work within what they’ve already established in this comic to make a proper Sonic Adventure adaptation… I guess it wouldn’t make sense to say that Chaos was trapped in the Master Emerald since this emerald was configured together by a bunch of other ones. His origin would have had to have been different. Though, again, I can’t exactly say this is excused by them not knowing this story was going to happen because the Master Emerald has been a thing since Sonic 3 & Knuckles. That game introduced it. It’s the reason it exists as a concept in this comic in the first place. We’ve gone over this before. 

Speculation about what info they were aware of and what info they weren’t fell to the wayside when asked about it before. I have no reason to believe this wasn’t just the result of a silly decision they made catching up to them. So far, it functions as a story well enough.

The Black Emerald thing feels incredibly random and I’m not sure why a creature so tied to Knuckles and his origins is being discovered OFF of the Floating Island. You’d think Penders would be all over having an excuse to add to the echidna lore here.

Maybe he still does. Perhaps this is all a trap and I’m falling into it. Let’s move on before I say too much then.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #79: Tales of the Great War - The Conclusion: Life Under-Ground

Ugh. Finally. The Tales of the Great War are coming to an end. This one, Penders got Chris Allan to pencil for him.

We begin with someone refusing to understand that Uncle Chuck was wracked with despair and accepting that answer as the reason why he gave up on trying anything else. So that’s what this story is about. Going more into detail about Charles’ guilt. Bernie actually tried numerous more times to get him to try but he kept refusing. 

Then she did what all doomed characters do, catch the villain doing something villainous all on her own. Although, Robotnik wasn’t really doing much of anything. He was having Sonic’s dad move some stuff around for him and Bernie yelled at him like he was treating him as a slave. Now she was right but this situation didn’t really warrant Robotnik ordering Jules to throw her into the roboticizer too. 

He did it anyway though.

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You’d think you’d want to lay low and keep people from turning to robots and disappearing as much as possible before your big take over. If someone being miffed at you for making their husband work is a strong enough motivation to react like this then he should probably get that temper in check. 

After all, when Uncle Chuck confronts Robotnik later, he sees Bernie has now turned into a robot but isn’t thrown into the roboticizer like she was. Instead, Robotnik just says that she was messing around with it herself.

So we’re right back where we were with Uncle Chuck, except worse. Now he’s doubly blaming himself for this because both Sonic’s parents are robots. He’s stuck taking care of Baby Sonic, wondering how he’ll tell him that his parents are robots because of him. 

Later, when Uncle Chuck is robotized too, he awakens Sonic’s dad from his mind being enslaved by having him touch a power ring. There, he has him reunite with his robot wife and they get to working on being a resistance together. It’s here where they also make the decision not to tell Sonic about it, at least until the war with Robotnik ends. 

Then the campfire story just kind of stops. The Tales of the Great War doesn’t really end with a bang. It just finishes with a, “... That’s it.” and I guess we’re moving on. Cool.

Uh, this issue was weird. It wasn’t hard to follow or infuriating or anything. The cracks are already starting to show in this story’s standing as an adaptation of Sonic Adventure though. There are things happening because they feel like they NEED it to happen when they really don’t. There are also things happening because in order for it to count as an Adventure adaptation, they actually DO need to happen but because of how weird this book has been up to this point, transitioning into it is a lot harder than it normally would have been. Right off the bat, having SO many echidnas around takes a lot of the fire out of Knuckles' part to play in Sonic Adventure for me.

I’ll openly admit to not having any sympathy for them on that front. There are some things you obviously can’t plan for with this book being so old but a lot of this they totally could have and they chose not to so… here’s where we’re at. 

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