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55 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I mean Jesus. I’d have thrown [SSS-Issue 12] away and never looked back had I seen this as a kid.

You know what’s funny? That was exactly what I did as a kid.

Well, not exactly “throw away” (it was still Sonic, and I needed my fix), but let’s just say I’ve been content to have put it down in my boxes (where it still got torn and worn down—I was still a kid that didn’t know how to take care of his comics very well) and never remember much of it as the years passed.

...that is, until you started this whole shebang. And now I remembering all the crazy stuff this issue did. And to think I tolerated Sally Moon compared to this one.

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So I was going to do my regular thing but my shitty computer froze up and I lost everythingI typed so I'll just bullet point some stuff instead.

  • The main story in Super Special 12 was originally published over 14 months in a fan zine
  • Sonicaman is more of a parody of Gatchaman which was a very Sentai like Anime so calling it Power Rangers isn't exactly too inaccurate. Similar note the man suffix is pretty common in Sentai. For example Gingaman and Maskman.
  • I think Dan Slott might be a weeb. He did the Sailor Moon homage and in his Spider-Man run during Spider-Verse he went out of his way to include Toei's Spider-Man. I'm just saying it adds up. 
  • I actually kinda love how strange this one is. It's this kind of weirdness that makes me love these old comics.
  • I'm not personally sure that Westwood is supposed to be the same character as the Commander if only because of the different rank. But I could be totally wrong because they do have very similar character models. 
  • The Knuckles back up stories for tge next 4 issues were originally going to be #'s 33-34 of the Knuckles comic.
  • This adaptation has some nuts behind the scenes stories. For one thing they were working off a Japanese import of the game Spaz translated and even then once the game was out in the states they clearly went back and edited the dialogue to be game accurate. If you look at Knuckles speech it's a different font. I didn't come to this myself I'll admit so shout out to the Tumblr blog ThanksKenPenders. 

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To be perfectly honest, if I was involved in writing those issues, I probably wouldn’t have been any better—I’d definitely would’ve had just as much fun making a trainwreck fan-fic like these arcs if I was a writer back then if I was given the chance.

I’d probably have made a Sonic x Zoids mix or something.

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #80: If Wishes Were Acorns

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Despite most of my knowledge of Archie being stuff that happens so far ahead of this, experiencing a Sonic Adventure arc in this comic is going to feel very surreal and strange. Like, I already know Big the Cat is in Archie Sonic but seeing him on this cover is weird. We’re exiting the parts where this was just the concepts from SatAM and AoSth dominating it and I’m here for it. The book won’t necessarily get any better though. 

Spoiler

 

This first story is written by Karl Bollers with Pencils by James Fry.

We begin by checking in on the pure of heart Amy Rose, during the act that one of a pure heart would do in response to being told to fuck off for being too young by a bunch of hypocrites. That would be making herself older.

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Alright, so for those keeping score; Sonic, Eggman, and now Amy have had explanations for how they got their new designs. Meanwhile, Tails and Knuckles are just in their Adventure designs without one. 

Out of all of them, the best and most appropriate one is Eggman. The original Robotnik died and Robo-Robotnik had this whole thing where he had several different bodies of himself to download his consciousness too and he just so happened to pick the Adventure Eggman one and not the one that looked like Eggman Hulk Hogan. Fine.

Sonic... he had a story that was told backwards that began with the premise of telling us how his eyes turned green and how his shoe got a buckle and it failed to properly relay the information for both of those things. What’s hilarious is the buckle thing. Why not just say he got new shoes? Why did the weird magic bullshit give his shoe a buckle? Is it magic? Does Sonic have a magic golden buckle on his fucking shoe? Can he not take it off because it got magicked on to his feet? Whatever.

Amy here just wishes on a magic ring and makes herself older. I had heard about this before and it sounded lazy to me and seeing it now it definitely still is. I can’t say that I don’t find it cathartic seeing this happen though. I do appreciate it whenever a character goes against the perceived authority around them. Ironic considering the group telling her “No” is called the Freedom Fighters.

So yeah, that was my reaction to page one. This is strange, it’s weird, it’s unnecessary, and all of the above. However, the only thing at the very forefront of my mind is how I miss playing as her and the other characters properly in games again. The desire just flooded my mind when I saw her.

For some reason, everyone is confused by why she would do this despite the scene that just transpired earlier so she has to spell it out for them. Sonic tries to shoot her down again with a comment about being mature enough to go along, as though he’s one to talk, and Nate Morgan Freeman says he wants her to come now so he can examine her before it can possibly wear off… which they’re not sure if it will. 

It won’t.

Amy then asks if there are any more wishes left on the ring and Sally says there aren't. I don’t know how she knows that. I’m guessing there’s a magical countdown floating in the back of the minds of the Acorns or something but she says it’s true so I guess I believe her. It’s a shame no one thought to use this ring before now on Sally’s mom. Elias’ epiphany really feels like something that should have come up sooner.

The next two scenes are actually super adorable. The Sally scene is good for fans of hers that want to see her being cute. She goes to the tube with her mother in it and says goodbye to her, writing “I love you 4 Ever” on it before she leaves. However, the scene that got me was the return of Sad Sonic, being told by his parents to be good while he’s gone. When they ask for a hug he says he can’t and his parents are momentarily shocked before realizing that he’s worried about saying goodbye because when he returned last time, they got snatched by an insane robot man shaped like a bowling ball. 

They promise him that won’t happen again and get him to smile as they hug it out. Then Sonic runs off, right past Mina, who we’re being made sure to know is taking an interest in him. Had I been reading this at the time this came out, I may have just been “Hmm… this girl seems to be appearing a lot for no reason…” and that would have been it.

I’m not very good at picking up hints that there’s relationships brewing because I’ve no real interest in them outside of things I just find cute. So, expect it to fly over my head in instances where I’m not already spoiled on what’s going to happen.

Later, we’re getting a briefing by Nate that the Hidden city of the Ancients is also, somehow, an industrialized city inhabited by Overlanders with five fingers instead of four… something that I literally did not notice was the case until now. I wondered if the other animal characters had four fingers this whole time too but then Tails reacts like this--!

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Confirming that, no, this four finger thing was just an Overlander thing until now… 

… I’m trying to fathom why.

I’m sure that, originally, it was just a design decision to make drawing hands easier, as is the usual case when it comes to cartoons, but that already wasn’t the case for the Sonic cast. If they changed their minds about the number of fingers the Overlanders were supposed to have, I’m sure they could have changed it and literally no one would have noticed or cared. Then again, this era of Sonic comics seems hellbent on explaining literally everything, even things that can be excused by minor design choices.

The point of no return is going to be when they start pointing out a reason for why the characters are sometimes drawn in different styles. You’re not allowed to think it’s because a different artist is at the helm anymore. No, it’s because of some magical bullshit now.

They fly off in The Tornado, with the remnants of the super emerald at the front of the plane to mimic the start of Sonic Adventure, while the Karl Bollers version of King Max comforts his son and assures him that it's no one’s fault that the wish was used before he could get to it and that maybe fixing his wife will require more than a simple wish. It’s a nice moment that would not have happened if Max was his usual self.

Hours later, they enter the side of a mountain where the crashed plane from the Sonic OVA rests. Here, the mystery behind why it's there is immediately dashed as Nate just outright removes it’s mysticism by explaining that it carried the early Overlanders here sometime on or after the first Day of Fury. Ya’ll remember the Days of Fury right? Those are the days when nature just decides to tell the planet's inhabitants to go fuck themselves and sets off a ton of natural disasters. Nature is just a right bitch in this book isn’t it?

Tails’ bi-plane is able to make it through the narrow space, no problem, because it’s small enough (and also it was in Sonic Adventure) but the other Freedom Fighters have to leave their craft behind and ride the tunnels in a cart before seeing the super special city of Stat-err… city of the Ancients…

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Which I have to assume is Station Square

I mean, again, it's par for the course with this book. Station Square is special to most of us because it was the first truly open 3D hub we were exposed to in a mainstream Sonic game. It’s got a lot of character all its own and recognizable areas and other such things that just make it a city that people are familiar with.

Here, in order for it to be special, it needs to be super ancient and also accessed through a tunnel, and hidden, and it’s gotta be a special thing that humans have five fingers, and other hackneed hogwash. Does the city also shoot lasers? 

Bah. Humbug.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #80: Land Fall

This is a Ken Penders story with Steven Butler on pencil duty. Excitement rains from above.

Knuckles flies to his father, showing the nerve to call him a father figure, and asks what the hell is going on. He doesn’t know exactly so they turn to Thunderhawk, who was on duty at the time. Their systems were down so they got attacked. That’s about it. Remington then comes in and shows them a short video of who it is wut dun the attacking and look, it’s our friend the Eggman. Only Knuckles seems to have a reaction to this, swearing it looks like Robotnik. 

Thunderhawk says they only have two options; work on restoring the island to the way it was before the disaster or go after the dude who caused it. They can’t do both because--oops, I’m going through a tunnel. Can’t hear ya anymore.

They’ve also determined that Eggman’s gone for the mysterious Cat Country and for some reason that puts them out of the pan and into the fire.

We’re at the point in the comic where Knuckles, THANK GOD, is thoroughly sick of his ancestor’s shit and immediately gets to blaming them for their record breaking short-sighted nonsense yet again.

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Hey Locke?  FUCK. YOU.

First of all, you’ve relinquished all rights you may or may not have had to assert yourself as Knuckles’ father. For some reason, Knuckles himself tolerates you and that’s been something you’re happy to still take advantage of but don’t act like him yelling at them is some sort of great offense. 

“I will NOT have you yelling at the people who helped me trick you, lie to you, experiment on you, isolate you from your loving mother, and spy on you for your entire life. These insensitive weirdos that nature has deemed unfit for the proper capability to love deserve respect.”

They themselves, not too long ago, opened up the Haven out of a rare instance of recognizing that they were becoming irrelevant and too much of what was happening on the outside was passing them by. Eggman invades the island and he’s SO unfamiliar with them that up until that point the Floating Island had been a mere rumor to him. HIM! THE GUY WHO TOOK OVER THE WORLD! 

The amount to which these echidnas are separate from the world isn’t just a case of old man values in need of an update. This is DANGEROUS! There’s a freaking city full of people on this island. You need to be more open with what’s happening on the outside and ally yourself with strong nations to better protect yourself. What if Eggman attacks your island, finds your city, destroys it, kills a ton of people, and drops your island into the fucking ocean…? 

Oh wait. He did that.

Well, what if he does it AGAIN?!

Oh, don’t worry. According to Thunderhawk the Idiotic here, all the previous data says that their decision was the correct one. He says this to Spectre, who is currently the only one here aside from Knuckles that doesn’t have an old fossilized cinder block for a brain. 

Knuckles has had enough of this and flies off to go be with people significantly less infuriating. It’s then that we cut to the Chaotix. Why put up with a bunch of assholes when you can just speak with blank slates… well, blank slates and one really annoying blank slate that spouts a bunch of hip and happenin’ lingo.

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So anyway, the Chaotix hear Espio’s voice off in the distance and go to check it out where they find Espio being restrained and held up by cat people with long spears in hand. Looks like we’ve got ourselves a tribe of heathens on our hands. I’m sure they’re way nicer than the civilized union of echidnas though. 


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #80: Swallowing Trouble

Another Ken Penders story. This one has art by Jim Valentino. Will the story be any better? If there are no echidnas it might be.

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Oh my God. This is the best story Penders has ever written and I haven’t even read it yet.

Here it is, the debut of Big the Cat and he’s shockingly well drawn… like, he looks on model as hell. He looks exactly as he should. It’s astonishing.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Froggy because WHOA!

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Are his crack-cocaine sensors going off or something? Jesus Christ Froggy. Maybe don’t play in the snow so much.

But whatever. I’m sure it’s just a folly of the artist. I mean, come on. It’s Froggy. You can’t do too much to Froggy that could possibly have that Ken Penders seal of unsettling stapled to it. Just look at my bo--

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Welp. I just checked my pulse and it turns out I’m dead.  That image killed me. I’m gone. Happy trails.

I’m just gonna grab my hat and head on off to Hell now.

I mean, you know the rest anyway. Froggy licks Chaos, grows a tail, and hey, it’s E-102 Gamma. Hey buddy. How’s it going?


 wVfXWvmGcfPGlVlRVGwpiQ0AneyN23gZht0vPkD5iyetxRj1R7CV4_Qjw-nz3pviF5wAWqVnRksPTiMpJHoR3f84FTawQEzQzgVXmsFrI40oisJTMKvxbrm2ZnEkebX2jWBG0IE7Gamma: Well I--!

That’s great. Thanks for stopping bye. Gotta go now. See ya~!

 

Things progressed very little this issue. This method of splitting things up into three short stories per issue is going to try my patience a little bit. The first story had the most meat to it, being the tale where Amy’s transformation hits (on the very first page, granted) and showing the heroes reach Station Square. The Knuckles story was a waste of time and the Big story began and then accelerated to the part where Gamma just takes him. I don’t want to believe this means that Gamma himself is going to be short-changed as far as his development goes but who knows? Maybe Penders doesn’t care about these non-echidna characters.

It’s super obvious this book was NOT prepared to do a Sonic Adventure adaptation. They rendered humans completely irredeemable so mingling with them the usual way from the game was an impossibility. That’s kind of what happens when you render an entire species a completely merciless force of inhospitable monstrous behavior. Better make it a separate city, that’s underground, but also technologically modern but still somehow ancient.

That’ll work just as well…

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #81: City of Dreams

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This cover had the potential to be better than what it is, mostly because of how good the colors are, but unfortunately, Knuckles’ weird, melty, derp face takes up so much of it. Also, for some reason, Gamma looks off. He looks like he’s got realistic organic eyes glued to his face. It’s honestly really unsettling. Also, is... Chaos in a form he shouldn't be in yet? It looks like the form he fought Knuckles in but that form doesn't appear in this issue and we're nowhere near that point in the story yet so... odd.

Spoiler

 

Our first story is by Karl Bollers. The art is a duo effort from James Fry and Nelson Ribeiro. 

It begins with Amy narrating what her life was like a few hours ago until she is shaken out of her stupor by Nate, asking her what she thinks of this underground city with the artificial environment. 

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Yeah, there’s a sun up there. It’s apparently artificial… somehow. Also the heroes entered in here above the city and weren’t fried to death by it so I’m guessing it’s like… floating at the very tippy top of the rocks… or… something…? Also… the sky is blue because artificial environments and… we uh… 

...uhm…

… Maybe I’ll just NOT think about this. Maybe I’ll give that a try for once.

The police show up and tell them to put their hands up and not make any sudden moves. Sonic’s reaction is to refuse and say “Sudden moves is my middle name”.

Wow Sonic. So mature. I see why you could go on this mission and not Amy. You're the pinnacle of good, mature decision making.

Thankfully, this random officer tells his men to stand down when he sees Nate because he knows this guy. He asks him what he’s doing here with his pets and Nate says they’re actually anthropomorphic animal dudes. Sally speaks and that momentarily surprises him before he just accepts it and believes everything she has to say.

It sounds silly and that’s because it is… however, it’s also graciously endearing. It’s the kind of silly I wish this comic could bite the bullet on engaging in a little bit more so we could avoid needless, constant aggression.

The officer agrees to take the situation up with the mayor and books our heroes a stay at the Station Square hotel with the elevator that leads to a chao garden. 

The next morning, the shockingly nice Mayor Bullyani says that they haven’t seen any Robotnik around so he personally gives them all a tour of the city. He says that the water around the city is man-made and that their ancestors made an artificial sky that has a day-night cycle and imitates the seasons (don’t think about it) before continuing with the tour into the elerail.

He name drops Emerald Coast and the Mystic Ruins as places they can visit. We also get a nice shot of Casinopolis. It’s all the wonderful Sonic Adventure stuff you know and love. Sonic doesn’t want to tour the city no more and heads back to the hotel. For some reason, Tails’ response is “Word up”.

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It happens.

Anyway, everyone goes off to do their own thing, enjoying the splendor of this new, big city.

Amy is a big girl now and does what all big girls do… run off to go shop.

Tails flies in his new bi-plane over the city, taking mental note not to fly too far off or else he might crash into a mountain because the sky is fake. I honestly wouldn’t take the risk but he’s an ambitious little techno tyke. Seems he’s starting to really get into the flavor of super genius now. What better timing too, now that Rotor has been gone from the book for several issues.

As for Sonic, his search for excitement leads him to this… 

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You do sometimes forget that Archie Sonic is super horny all the time. His thing for human women is a thing that has stretched back to the days of Madonna and it’s a kink I don’t think the Sonic fanbase will ever be fully accepting of. Neither will I for that matter. Moving on.

I’d like to imagine he’s playing that “Is you is or is you ain’t my baby” song that Tom the Cat sang right before he got a pie splattered into his face.

Back with Sally, the mayor lets her know that the term “Overlander” is a foreign concept to them. They just call themselves humans, thank Christ. Sally asks why they’ve remained cut off from the rest of the world for so long. The answer is because they became self-sufficient, somehow. It was a necessary evil… until now, he proclaims, as he goes to shake Sally’s hand.

If this guy is really on the level than my God, what a turn around for the portrayal of humans in the book. He’s almost suspiciously nice. I’m having trouble fully trusting it… but I guess I’ll see.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #81: All You Need is a Bit of Chaos

It’s our old buddy Ken Penders back again. The art is by Steven Butler. 

Because it’s a Penders story, it’s about Knuckles. 

Because it’s about Knuckles, it’s gotta begin with that same passage about how Knuckles was born to the noblest of echidna fuckwits or whatever.

We actually truly begin with a scene of Dr. Eggman trying to feed Chaos the emerald shards he stole from the Floating Island. For some reason he stops reforming. Eggman eventually deduces that he doesn’t have enough emerald energy and needs to get more of it. It’s astonishing because despite the two page long amount of techno-babble, not once does Eggman ever explain how he’s aware of the fact that Froggy exists and has the last remnants he needs. In the game, I just assumed he was doing his best to keep track of all the Chaos Emeralds and paid special attention to the loss of Chaos’ tail but here he goes on for a while about rock from the cavern being mixed in with the emerald and not providing enough energy… 

… It’s tough. Because this book doesn’t follow the more natural story of the seven chaos emeralds it suffers from having an easier out when it comes to what we as an audience can just naturally assume about Eggman’s intel. 

He sends his E-Series robots off to capture, quote, “An Alpha Specimen of Amphibian DNA”. 

It doesn’t have the same ring as, “BEHOLD! IT’S A TAILED FROG! VERY UNIQUE!”

We cut back to Knuckles who galivants around a new area he’s landed in, not sure what he’s doing until he catches sight of something. We then see a ship with the cat people and the Chaotix on it riding into the mainland as their prisoners. It’s not clear if this is what Knuckles saw but I’m leaning towards it not being the case… maybe?

Anyway the cat people lead the Chaotix in so that they can be judged by the Queen who the cat person saying that they should do that also happens to be…?

Oh yeah, it’s this lady.

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I’ve seen her in later issues of this book. Apparently they do this thing where if she’s not wearing her cloak she’s not technically the queen in her eyes… or something. I dunno. It was very strange. They also end up having a feud with Lupe and her group and I remember it being excessively boring and not at all worth my time.

This story ends here. So yeah. Whoo~. 


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #81: A Rose Plucked

We switch back to Karl Bollers for this story. The pencils are by Chris Allan. 

We begin with Amy having just finished her shopping and saying the incredibly strange line of “Who would have thought that an underground city full of five-fingered Overlanders would have been so awesome?” It’s a strangely specific line and I don’t quite know why it was written that way.

Anyway, the flicky from the game shows up… only it’s green instead of blue. Why is it the wrong color? Because this is an older comic and it’s apparently just within the rules to just get shit wrong. Even glaringly obvious and simple things like a base color.

A freaking laser beam gets shot into this bird and it crash lands on Amy.

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It's kind of funny how she actually witnesses it being shot down and this is her initial reaction to the bird before then pointing a finger at Zero. In the game, I recall the bird just kind of flying into her. It makes less sense for her to pin blame on it when she literally sees it get shot.

The wonky art does a disservice to Amy’s moment of deciding she’s going to risk her life for this bird. It looks more like her mind got temporarily taken over and forced to turn to the camera to deliver this slightly clunky game dialogue.

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She’s looking really unstable here. Almost as if she’s made of jello.

Also, almost immediately afterward, this happens.

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She has her Piko Piko Hammer now… or rather A hammer. There’s nothing Piko Piko about it really. The colors are super off here guys. The laziness here when it came to way this hammer was colored is kind of embarrassing. It's got a bland sheen of orange tossed all over it with a silver handle. That’s it. There wasn’t even an attempt to mimic it’s actual color. 

It’s like the comic plugged in a prototype hammer for her that was lost in its source code… only it’s a fucking comic so why not just color shit correctly? It doesn’t matter what year this came out. The more we go into the future the less excuses the book has.

I should probably question why a hammer suddenly appeared in her hands but we all know the answer is "Because she has it in the game". 

Anyway, for some reason, when Amy attacks Zero he explodes into pink dust… but then two more Zeroes show up and take her away. She’s been kidnapped and… the bird has been left behind???

I’m not sure why the book is going for multiple Zeroes. Seems unnecessary and strange and it definitely takes away from the whole chase-master thing he had going where she finally confronted him at the end of her story. However, I’m more concerned by the fact that the Zeroes just left the bird behind. 

Like, the bird escaped and was being hunted down… why would it leave the bird behind? Why does it need Amy? In the game it took Amy because she was holding onto the bird. Is the bird suddenly no longer important? What does the bird have if not a Chaos Emerald in this comic tie-in. How’d such a simple story become so confused? Why is the book telling me to read an issue of the Super Special to find this out? Are they crazy? Put it in the main book!

 

This issue felt like even less happened. It was nice seeing the characters mingle with the locals and enjoy Station Square for a bit but there really wasn’t anything accomplished here aside from the set-up for Amy’s story there at the end. A lot has changed of course. There was no Twinkle Park and no alert to Sonic that she was taken. It just sort of happens immediately, just like how Gamma immediately snatched Froggy at the beginning of his story.

Meanwhile, we keep checking in with Knuckles despite the fact that his story hasn’t advanced at all yet and for some reason there's a cat country here that’s been haphazardly made a part of the story that the Chaotix are a part of too because he needs them to be useless in the main book now that the Knuckles series has been cancelled. 

This is a pretty bumpy and unexciting road so far. 


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #82: Night of Chaos

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This is actually a really nice cover. It's warped to look like we’re watching it through a puddle of water or something. Plus, the simplicity of what’s happening makes for a much more enticing set-up. It’s interesting that the Chaos fight is happening now when some of the other stories have reached a point far past this point in the game. In the game this was almost literally the first thing that happened, aside from Chaos breaking out of the Master Emerald in Knuckles’ story.

Spoiler

 

Karl Bollers takes the wheel on writing duty for the entire issue. Nelson Riberiro is on pencil duty for the whole thing too. Interesting.

This whole thing begins the same way Sonic’s story begins in Sonic Adventure. Although, his commentary is more rooted in how he feels like a cool superhero this time around, making references to the Dark Bat and the Super Surfer. My favorite heroes.

He sees the police and comes across the cops trying to take down Chaos 0, a creature made completely of water. It looks like constant, flowing, rushing, angry water too. The art depicting him is very harsh and gritty. It’s a little admirable, if not unsettling.

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The creativity of the people that came up with the idea of Chaos is to be envied. A lot of the older games had a lot of that kind of stuff from this to Frogs that summon rain to all the constant weird stuff in Hang Castle and Mystic Mansion. I yearn for the days of old. 

The fight goes the way it’s supposed to the whole way through. It ends the same way and even manages to throw in all your favorite lines like “Hey ya big drip, where ya goin’?” and “You know nothing fool! It’s Chaos, the God of Destruction!” with minor alterations to make it flow better in the dialogue.

Chaos disappears in the sewer and Eggman stands watching, overlooking the scene like a badass. One head turn from Sonic and that would have been it. The balls on this man.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #82: Door to the Past

This story begins with Knuckles holding a weird weapon and saying it looks cool before a plant on a weird, elongated stock, slaps him in the head and gives him the sensation of being on drugs. Suddenly, Tikal is talking to him. Knuckles seems to know who she is since he calls her an echidna but she goes on to tell him her life story anyway. None of how this is possible is explained. They don't even bother and I'm oddly okay with that.

Despite the fact that Bollers was in charge for the script on this story I don’t believe that Penders wasn’t sticking his head in this from the side. There’s no way he’d pass up an opportunity like this. 

I mean, sit back and imagine for a moment you’re Ken Penders. After hurling and taking a cold shower to wipe the sense of feeling dirty away, take a moment to realize just how jazzed you’d be when Sonic Adventure came out and the Knuckles story actually dealt with there being a ton of echidnas around and a clan of them that had connections to the past, complete with characters like Tikal and Pachacamac

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Or Pachamac as this book calls him. I don’t know if it’s just misspelled or a deliberate change. It could be either one and I’d believe it because it’s such a wild name. 

Granted, one could possibly look at that situation and say the game took a little inspiration from the comics. It’s possible but it's also not that huge of a stretch for what happened in Adventure to have been the intention all along too. After all, Penders most likely got the idea to do what he did from what little info was provided by the environments in the 2D games that Knuckles debuted in as well as any notes from SEGA that went into what he was about and what they were. It’s not as though Knuckles didn’t have this kind of stuff established about him from the get go. Adventure was just the first real opportunity the games had to put it in a good amount of detail. As much as Penders would want you to believe, he didn't come up with the idea of Knuckles being connected with ancient shit.

Still, the opportunity to capitalize on seeing this happen had to have been a glorious one for him. Every issue of this Adventure arc so far has had a dedicated Knuckles story, and hey, it makes sense. It's all stuff that directly correlates to Knuckles’ past that’s driving Chaos. Eggman is the catalyst for which the ball goes rolling which is why Sonic’s story is just as important, certainly, but I can’t blame anyone for finding the history aspect of equal, if not, more importance to them too.

Here, the story is embellished to fit within the already convoluted plot of the comics. Tikal mentions being a part of a group that departed from Albion and they took refuge in this suddenly important Cat Country that despite being important still hasn’t gotten a proper name. 

The scientists bailed when the warriors wanted to do warrior stuff and that made Tikal’s daddy mad. Then one day, the two of them just discovered the Mystic Ruins.

So that’s interesting. The ruins are already ruins in this flashback rather than just being what’s left over from the ruination of the echidnas' monuments. Here it doesn’t even belong to them. They just found it in this cat country they landed in and decided to have fights over land that didn’t belong to them.

Tikal discovered the Chao and even met Chaos, a mutated Chao. They became friends because she did what a decent person would do, try to communicate with them. However, one day, the war with the cat country was going especially bad and her people seeked to use the Seven Emeralds that belonged to the Chao. The Chao, of course, didn’t want to give it up because that would be a dumb idea in service of a pointless conflict.

So NOW it’s seven emeralds? Interesting. It’s not seven anymore. Let’s see where this goes…

Tikal ends her story the same way it ends in the game and even with the same lines. The echidnas storm the altar in their greed and get killed for it. Only here it isn’t the entirety of the echidnas. Just the Knuckles Clan and in the comic that’s a very miniscule clan of echidna that did very little to shave off just how many of them there fucking was. The Knuckles Clan in the game seemed like a way, way more significant number... namely almost all of them to me. Or maybe more than one clan was there and it was just the Knuckles Clan that TIkal was a part of. I don't know.

I spoke earlier about how much of a gift this could have been seen as to Penders but here’s where the opposite speculation comes in. What if he saw it as a threat and hated the fact that the games were bursting in on what he claimed to have been his territory? Maybe he actually saw this as a way to warp the story into being something that would only service the stuff that he wanted to do with Knuckles? Perhaps he’ll use it as an excuse to capitalize on the Chosen One bullshit he’s been setting up this whole time. Wouldn’t that just be fucking disgusting? 

Anyway, we cut back to Eggman where as soon as the E-Series robots are flying in with their frogs, he’s already shouting “DUMMIES! DUMMIES! DUMMIES! DUMMIES!” at them. It’s still one of Eggman’s best lines.

He finds the right frog with Gamma and, just like in the game, despite knowing that realistically only one of them could have brought back the right frog out of the four of them, unless they all teamed up and presented it together (but why would they do that when he was shown pitting them against one another with the Gamma and Beta fight. You know, the Gamma story has a lot of interesting commentary about it. It’s actually really fascinating to think about.) he destroys all of the others except Gamma.

Only, the line is awkwardly cut off here. Instead it just ends with a caption saying that what happened to the other E-Series bots will be explained in the next story and the panel right beside it is him beginning a new sentence with the same words he ended the last sentence. It doesn’t flow right.

So anyway, he hooks Froggy up to a device that extracts Chaos’ tail from him and puts it into the unstable water blob he has and viola, he’s got himself a completed Chaos 0. He then sends it on its way to finds the… seven emeralds?

The ones he invaded the Floating Island and broke the Master Emerald to get or… are these… DIFFERENT emeralds? Is he talking about the Super Emeralds that Nate was going on about? 

The way this comic handles the emeralds is incredibly confusing. I actually don’t know which seven emeralds they’re referring too and I suspect I won’t until they’re shown in the book. I feel like I may be forgetting something but I don’t blame myself for it considering the weird jumble this emerald situation already is. There were so many of them and they were all green and then clustered together into a Master Emerald but there were also Super Emeralds and Tails used one to power his bi-plane… ah God. I’m wracking my brain trying to remember all the details.

We cut to the Chaotix who are still prisoners of these weird cat people. This entire stretch of panels is full of grossness.

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From Vector’s horrible rhymezone rap, to this lady saying something reminiscent to the Ken Penders school of thought about how Mobians can eat their young. The reaction to this is at least taken as something out of the norm and disgusting to the others. So… there’s THAT.

With a line like that though, the chances of these people ever being someone you’d root for go out the window.

Then Locke shows up and says she better be kidding otherwise he’s ready to start fighting with her. He says this while at the same time laying the blame for the conflict squarely at her clans feet. I don’t think he’s going to mention the part where the Knuckles Clan invaded THEIR territory and didn’t just leave like the scientists did.

If they DO fight, it’ll be a war where both sides aren’t a side you want to root for. It’s the people who eat their children versus the species that are horrible in every other way a person could be horrible. What a head scratcher.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #82: Double-Crossed Circuits

This is a recreation of Gamma’s story, although with it’s own little flavor and minor embellishments of course. It begins the same way and goes the same way for pretty much all of it though. I do actually like the touches given to Gamma’s training in targeting the Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles dolls. They’re made to look really scary, as though the heroes are the monsters to this robot.

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Sonic the Hedgehog is a monster; a boogie man that the robots under Eggman’s employ speak of one day destroying to bring peace to the world. Or so the Eggman propaganda says.

Anyway, we see the scene where Gamma’s brothers are all disposed of and Eggman gives Gamma a new mission. Just go into the next room and get the bird and the girl trapped in the cell. As this happens, monologues about Gamma having a heart and soul are spoken for us, the audience, so that we can be told about his impending change of heart rather than shown it like the game did. It would seem that this comic, desperately wanting to be seen as mature, just can’t keep its mouth shut when it comes to stuff like this. Meanwhile, the game goes on to treat the kids playing it like adults by just showing the story and leading you to the conclusion with Gamma’s actions and the emotional resonance of his theme music.

Another problem I have with this is how this comic’s desire to do its own thing is getting in the way of it making sense as a recreation of the game’s story. I went on a confused rant last issue about how I don’t understand why the Zeroes went after the bird, shot it out of the air, and instead of grabbing the bird… grabbed Amy and flew off. Again, the reason that happened in the game is because Amy was holding onto the bird and wouldn’t let go so the robot just took them both. In the comic it just grabbed Amy and flew off. We even saw the bird looking at her as she was taken before flying after her itself..

So why is she here in the cell with the bird? What happened? Is there a fourth story about how the bird went to rescue Amy and got recaptured? Or is this here because someone fucked up and for the first time ever, someone said “Fuck it” and just let the scene be as it was in the game. After all, this next scene DOESN’T WORK if both Amy and the bird aren’t present for it. Why would you write it so that only Amy was taken in the first place?

Oh I see... it's because of the Super Special right? It's explained THERE isn't it? How lovely. We're still in this bind where the book feels its appropriate to needlessly split itself apart for no reason. Again, it's not a Sonic Universe situation where its telling it own stories. This is essential information for THIS story! It reads in a confusing manner if done like this.

The scene with Amy and Gamma doesn’t even utilize her properly though. Maybe that’s why they didn’t fully consider it necessary. Amy talking to Gamma is just something that’s glossed over. We don’t even see the conversation or what she says. It’s just a shit ton of Gamma monologuing to himself.

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To be fair, it’s actually not written that badly. It just kills me that it was thought necessary at all. So much more could have been accomplished by having Amy speak and showing Gamma’s reaction with silence and a well drawn amount of close-up shots before he makes the decision to let them go. It's such a less powerful moment with all this lead-up and fan-fare. You know it's coming with this. It’s just being so flowery for no reason. What a shame.

Also, they keep getting the color of this bird wrong. It’s design is still incorrect as well. Maybe they just wanted the bird to look different. I can’t fathom why but oh well. I guess it is just a flicky. Who cares how it looks…?

Honestly, what happens next is the funniest part. In Sonic Adventure, Gamma presses a button to open the cell. In Sonic X, he shoots the cell door open. In this though, he just says FUCK THIS DOOR and RIPS it off the goddamn wall!

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Hahaha~! If you thought this was unsubtle before, holy shit. The point behind how majestic his change of heart was seems to have been completely lost here. It’s so over the top. It’s ridiculous. I totally expect him to just leave, see Eggman, and gun him down like that scene out of Robocop now.

We then see him just walk off and then he’s called to the deck to face Sonic. This scene will be continued in the next Super Special. Oy vey.

 

Perhaps I’ve been too harsh here. It’s not like any of this was offensive in any way. I suppose at the end of the day, most of this was just nitpicking, Even the scene of Gamma ripping the cell door off, as funny as it was, there could be an argument made for it by someone who… didn’t see it that way. This was the best of the three issues I’ve read today though. It was also the most faithful to the games out of all of them. The Sonic one was almost beat for beat the same and the Gamma one’s differences were mostly in just the style of story-telling. The Knuckles one was different by virtue of having to fit it in with all of Penders’ nonsense but even that managed to stay pretty close. 

I’m still waiting on the significance of this cat country though. So far it seems like that element was brought in just so the Chaotix could do something and for the echidnas to have yet ANOTHER clan of people to be in conflict with.

It’s astonishing how self-righteous these echidnas are when fucking everyone hates them. The Dingos, the Cat Country, the in-fighting with the Dark Legion are all examples of them just going to war. Then the Acorn Kingdom offers a hand in friendship and they reject it because they’re stupid. Then their island crashes in a manner that could have been stalled should they have accepted help and when Knuckles and Spectre point this out they get shot down by Locke and the other idiots because of tradition. Fuck em. 

Also, it was already tough getting over how things were being told out of order in comparison to the game but this comic is telling things out of order within its OWN narrative. Sonic fights Chaos in the first story and the next story is how Chaos got reformed when he extracted Froggy's tail? Then the last one has Amy in the cell with the bird because of the events that happened in a seperate Super Special which is also apparently going to tell a FUTURE story with Gamma alongside a story with Amy that already took place? I mean, my God. 

Order. Order in the book. Please.
 

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All that did was remind me how much I fucking loathe the Adventure arc in Archie, and what's worse is you haven't even touched the worst parts yet. Those big issues you mentioned, like Sonic's fight with Chaos 0 happening long after other stories have hit major plotlines? That's because they literally rush all of Sonic's story, as well as Tails IIRC in the Super Special, and hoo boy, if you thought the art was lacking now, just wait until you see Ron Lim's 48 pages of art for the Super Special.

But I can say now, all of this stuff? It's child play compared to what's in the last few issues, especially the conclusion to the Cat Country shit and the fight with Perfect Chaos. If you ever needed an example of some of the utter shoe-horned bullshit Ken Penders will do to prop his characters up, you will see them in the remaining issues. 

I genuinely believe this arc is one of the absolute worst Archie has to offer. Out of all of the soap opera crap and all of that, it drops the ball so hard in the Super Special, and continues to smash that ball into the ground more and more with the remaining issues. 

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Froggy having thought bubbles and stuff is hilarious to me. I have no idea who thought of that.

It's also always funny going from the game echidnas with cool designs and stuff to the comic echidnas who are Knuckles wearing different clothes.

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Yeah, that "kaiju universe" story was pretty unpleasant. Both because of the bizarre darkness and lack of adequate sympathy toward the mutated Mobians, and because of the wretched art of the mutants. They just look hideous and gross, and not in a fitting way, but more in an oddly drawn way.

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Spoiler
15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #80: If Wishes Were Acorns

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Fun fact this cover was originally the cover for Knuckles #33.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We begin by checking in on the pure of heart Amy Rose, during the act that one of a pure heart would do in response to being told to fuck off for being too young by a bunch of hypocrites. That would be making herself older.

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My favorite thing about this is how Karl and I guess all the production staff misinterpreted Amy's redesign. They thought she was now Sonic's age and not y'know still 12 so they used this to make Amy a Teenager. So Archie Amy is canonically a 16 year old with the mind of an 11 year old. Fleetway just had her changer her hair.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

For some reason, everyone is confused by why she would do this despite the scene that just transpired earlier so she has to spell it out for them.

Which when you consider this and the last issue were originally going to just be one makes it even weirder.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Later, we’re getting a briefing by Nate that the Hidden city of the Ancients is also, somehow, an industrialized city inhabited by Overlanders with five fingers instead of four… something that I literally did not notice was the case until now. I wondered if the other animal characters had four fingers this whole time too but then Tails reacts like this--!

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Confirming that, no, this four finger thing was just an Overlander thing until now… 

… I’m trying to fathom why.

I don't like this. I don't like that they felt this was something they needed to address. It's not. They could have just retconned Overlanders to have five fingers (I'm pretty sure they've been mistakenly drawn with them) and there's something especially weird about pointing out that Sonic and Tails are freaks among the Mobians who only have western Animation style four fingers.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Hours later, they enter the side of a mountain where the crashed plane from the Sonic OVA rests. Here, the mystery behind why it's there is immediately dashed as Nate just outright removes it’s mysticism by explaining that it carried the early Overlanders here sometime on or after the first Day of Fury.

Honestly even with the explanation I do still like the homage. I wish the DVD was still in print because I'd love to own a copy.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I mean, again, it's par for the course with this book. Station Square is special to most of us because it was the first truly open 3D hub we were exposed to in a mainstream Sonic game. It’s got a lot of character all its own and recognizable areas and other such things that just make it a city that people are familiar with.

Here, in order for it to be special, it needs to be super ancient and also accessed through a tunnel, and hidden, and it’s gotta be a special thing that humans have five fingers, and other hackneed hogwash. Does the city also shoot lasers? 

Oh, man just wait unil you're knee deep in the post apocalyptic angle of the book.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Only Knuckles seems to have a reaction to this, swearing it looks like Robotnik. 

Wait...don't they know he's back? Sally came to get help to fight him and the brotherhood offered to nuke the fuck out of him. Nice to see turning Sally down because she didn't want to nuke him paid off for them.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So anyway, the Chaotix hear Espio’s voice off in the distance and go to check it out where they find Espio being restrained and held up by cat people with long spears in hand. Looks like we’ve got ourselves a tribe of heathens on our hands. I’m sure they’re way nicer than the civilized union of echidnas though. 

Oh good we're at that fairly racist "Scary Savage" portion of the story. Awesome.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

But whatever. I’m sure it’s just a folly of the artist. I mean, come on. It’s Froggy. You can’t do too much to Froggy that could possibly have that Ken Penders seal of unsettling stapled to it. Just look at my bo--

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So the only explanation for this is that Ken Penders is completely incapable of writing stories that don't have dialogue. I mean Froggy's body language could have told the story but nah let's give him internal monologue.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Things progressed very little this issue. This method of splitting things up into three short stories per issue is going to try my patience a little bit.

See this is why I wish at least the 2 Knuckles issues that were cut up had been released as the last 2 issues. Cutting up and gluing together 2 Sonic issues and 2 Knuckles issues makes everything feel so weird and awkward. The first 2 stories are clearly half of previously whole stories and it makes the pacing feel off.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

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Lets take a moment to appreciate Amy's boner. Legends have been spun about Amy's boner. Some say it's her knee and the artist drew it weird. They're probably right. But it was suggestive enough to be erased by the cowards at Archie in all future reprints. But Amy's boner lives in our hearts and our minds.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The next morning, the shockingly nice Mayor Bullyani

Very shocking considering he's clearly based on Rudy Giuliani with that name. Also Archie thought Station Square was based on New York.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic doesn’t want to tour the city no more and heads back to the hotel. For some reason, Tails’ response is “Word up”.

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True dat.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

As for Sonic, his search for excitement leads him to this… 

1pNpODv1U1MoNIRWWB5KWeZUqPoxNLsgfb79EzaWahQKTKCjfTmdURNldlYUJJGQJD-ycryTzASDwtEx1IyXdHcgDLDZzheNvDVJ0uiHNncNqPMFtUkFVGjJMm0DL01JdNuQOke8

You do sometimes forget that Archie Sonic is super horny all the time. His thing for human women is a thing that has stretched back to the days of Madonna and it’s a kink I don’t think the Sonic fanbase will ever be fully accepting of. Neither will I for that matter. Moving on.

1. Personally I don't mind the idea of Sonic having a human love interest. I see Mobian/Human romance as being like human/alien romance in Sci-Fi so whatever. 2. Most of these girls are fighting game characters. I think when Sonic first arrives you can see Chun-Li and Cammy.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

He sends his E-Series robots off to capture, quote, “An Alpha Specimen of Amphibian DNA”. 

It doesn’t have the same ring as, “BEHOLD! IT’S A TAILED FROG! VERY UNIQUE!”

Naturally. It's a Ken Penders story. All fun and charm must be completely sucked out and replaced with generic Sci-Fi dialogue.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Oh yeah, it’s this lady.

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I’ve seen her in later issues of this book. Apparently they do this thing where if she’s not wearing her cloak she’s not technically the queen in her eyes… or something. I dunno. It was very strange.

Yeah I gotta admit I'm not 100% sure if Ian took this too literally or if this is absolutely what Penders had in mind for their culture. It's very odd.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, the flicky from the game shows up… only it’s green instead of blue. Why is it the wrong color? Because this is an older comic and it’s apparently just within the rules to just get shit wrong. Even glaringly obvious and simple things like a base color.

That would require looking at a screenshot and God knows they weren't going to do that.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The wonky art does a disservice to Amy’s moment of deciding she’s going to risk her life for this bird. It looks more like her mind got temporarily taken over and forced to turn to the camera to deliver this slightly clunky game dialogue.

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She’s looking really unstable here. Almost as if she’s made of jello.

I say it every time Chris Allen pops up (don't worry this will be the last time since I believe this is the last Sonic comic he did) but it's such a shame his Sonic art is like this. I'm rereading some TMNT comics I have and his stuff on the Archie and Mirage comic is really good it sucks that he couldn't bring that level to Sonic but from what I hear these characters are much harder to draw than they look.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It’s like the comic plugged in a prototype hammer for her that was lost in its source code… only it’s a fucking comic so why not just color shit correctly? It doesn’t matter what year this came out.

Actually it kinda does. This was 2000. This was a year or two after Sonic Adventure came out. This is actually way unacceptable.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Nelson Riberiro is on pencil duty for the whole thing too. Interesting

They say that but some of Sonic's posing makes me think Spaz did some touch ups.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The fight goes the way it’s supposed to the whole way through. It ends the same way and even manages to throw in all your favorite lines like “Hey ya big drip, where ya goin’?” and “You know nothing fool! It’s Chaos, the God of Destruction!” with minor alterations to make it flow better in the dialogue.

My favorite is the cop going "Not bad Hedgehog." and Sonic responding with the win screen dialogue.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Here, the story is embellished to fit within the already convoluted plot of the comics. Tikal mentions being a part of a group that departed from Albion and they took refuge in this suddenly important Cat Country that despite being important still hasn’t gotten a proper name. 

I will say at least tacking on the Knuckles Clan into the comics continuity isn't super complicated. It works well enough with established lore. Also I think Penders was intending "Mysterious Cat Country" or sometimes just "Cat Country" to be it's name.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So anyway, he hooks Froggy up to a device that extracts Chaos’ tail from him and puts it into the unstable water blob he has and viola, he’s got himself a completed Chaos 0. He then sends it on its way to finds the… seven emeralds?

The ones he invaded the Floating Island and broke the Master Emerald to get or… are these… DIFFERENT emeralds? Is he talking about the Super Emeralds that Nate was going on about? 

Eh...sorta? It's weird they're going to interchange the Super Emeralds and the Master Emerald pieces a lot and it gets really confusing.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

With a line like that though, the chances of these people ever being someone you’d root for go out the window.

I don't think Penders was intending you to root for them. I'm betting he had the "Scary Savage Native" bullshit already in mind and just put it in here because "Hey it's South America. Why not?"

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

As this happens, monologues about Gamma having a heart and soul are spoken for us, the audience, so that we can be told about his impending change of heart rather than shown it like the game did. It would seem that this comic, desperately wanting to be seen as mature, just can’t keep its mouth shut when it comes to stuff like this.

Again like the Froggy thing in the Big backup this entire story could have been done without dialogue (narration in this case). This is kind of thing has been done before. There's a famous issue of Marvel's G.I. Joe comic that focuses on Snake Eyes and includes literally no dialogue at all. The Mirage TMNT series did one shots in it's first volume and the Leonardo one with the exception of the bottom panels focusing on the other Turtles and April preparing for Christmas and the last 2 pages is mostly a silent battle with Leo and the Foot. It is possible to tell a narrative visually. 

 

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It was Elias that said there were no wishes left. They sure went out of their way to make us hate Amy for this decision given straight after we see Sally mourning her mother who has been robbed the chance of being revived because of some brat using a priceless artefact on a wish purely on herself (cause you know, there's not dozens of other absolutely vital things to wish for at this point in time). This is something that always bugged me about how they handled Amy's design, it pretty much was a permanent monument of her selfish actions here.

Combined with the Freedom Fighter's hypocrisy about Amy being too young in the first place, I feel like Penders has severe problems making any of his cast likeable, especially since they're almost NEVER called out on their bad qualities.

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26 minutes ago, E-122-Psi said:

It was Elias that said there were no wishes left. They sure went out of their way to make us hate Amy for this decision given straight after we see Sally mourning her mother who has been robbed the chance of being revived because of some brat using a priceless artefact on a wish purely on herself (cause you know, there's not dozens of other absolutely vital things to wish for at this point in time). This is something that always bugged me about how they handled Amy's design, it pretty much was a permanent monument of her selfish actions here.

Combined with the Freedom Fighter's hypocrisy about Amy being too young in the first place, I feel like Penders has severe problems making any of his cast likeable, especially since they're almost NEVER called out on their bad qualities.

I don't necessarily disagree but the main Sonic stories were done by Bollers not Penders at this point and honestly I think Amy's actions being on the unlikable side was more of an unfortunate bit of not really thinking the implications through.

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22 minutes ago, SBR2 said:

I don't necessarily disagree but the main Sonic stories were done by Bollers not Penders at this point and honestly I think Amy's actions being on the unlikable side was more of an unfortunate bit of not really thinking the implications through.

I think that's generally a recurrent problem with Penders and Bollers' work (likely not helped by their clashing of direction), often their cast felt more like props moved around according to the plot they wanted to do, without quite thinking through how characterisation would be effected.

I mean I genuinely believe Penders whole thing with Geoffrey and Sally was a result of this, ages are so inconsequential otherwise he likely didn't check up the bios and details made or thought they'd matter that much, just now he'd rather insist it works fine for spurious reasons rather than just admit he'd made an honest mistake.

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2 minutes ago, Titan Mecha Sonic said:

Does anyone know how I could get a digital copy of “Sonic Presents- Knuckles Chaotix,”? Is ir on Kindle or an Archie database (via subscription)? 

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You're out of luck unfortunately - you can't buy any Archie books anymore, as they were all delisted upon losing the license.

There was a workaround on the Archie app, if you had an issue in the same collection (For example - if you had #100), you could access the store page for Issues #100-150 by scrolling to the bottom of the book, and tapping that particular collection, but in this case, it wouldn't work since this is a Super Special. To my knowledge, Super Specials never received digital reprints, due to being reprinted in the Sonic Selects series.

Similarly, the last batch of issues for Knuckles' series never released either, as Archie had been uploading them once their retrospective Archive volumes came out, and since Volume 5 and 6 of Archives never came out, the remainder of Knuckles' series never did either.

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44 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

You're out of luck unfortunately - you can't buy any Archie books anymore, as they were all delisted upon losing the license.

There was a workaround on the Archie app, if you had an issue in the same collection (For example - if you had #100), you could access the store page for Issues #100-150 by scrolling to the bottom of the book, and tapping that particular collection, but in this case, it wouldn't work since this is a Super Special. To my knowledge, Super Specials never received digital reprints, due to being reprinted in the Sonic Selects series.

Similarly, the last batch of issues for Knuckles' series never released either, as Archie had been uploading them once their retrospective Archive volumes came out, and since Volume 5 and 6 of Archives never came out, the remainder of Knuckles' series never did either.

Sigh. So I’ll need to order a physical copy from Amazon then. 

On Kindle they have Sonic Archives, i.e. these: 

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Is Chaotix in any of the archive volumes?  

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51 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

You're out of luck unfortunately - you can't buy any Archie books anymore, as they were all delisted upon losing the license.

Yeah unless something big happens and IDW gets the ok to reprint it Archie Sonic is now unfortunately lost to time digitally. 

The best option is to search for physical copies on Ebay or at comic shops.

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38 minutes ago, Cuz said:

Chaotix is in Sonic Select Vol. 2

Amazon.com: Sonic Select, Book 2 (9781879794368): Mike Kanterovich ...

Thanks. If I can’t get the other copy of Chaotix I will check this one out. Although I might prefer this because it had Mecha Madness included. 

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Sonic X - Issue #8: Wicked Sweet Shuttle Shenanigans

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God, these covers continue to be excellent. I’ve said this before but Spaz, by this point, had come a real long way in comparison to some of the stuff I’ve seen from him where I’m at in the main series. I love how Sonic is tied up in Eggman’s picture but he’s already loose in reality. The evil glaring Eggman is still looking at us without any clue. The only bad thing is that dreaded 15th anniversary logo.

Ah man. That’s where it starts. We had no idea what we were in for. 

Spoiler

The writer is Joe Edkin and the artist is Tim Smith III. It’s time for a fun time in Paris.

We rejoin the adventure where Lilo, Jumba, and Pleakley watch in horror as Stitch jumps to his death inside an active volcano.

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Oh wait. That’s the preview to another story. It’s always jarring when an ad like this is at the very front of the book. Caught me a little off guard.

We actually begin in Paris where Big the Cat is fishing with Froggy and happens to overlook the fireworks going off for Chris’ rich person party. He decides he wants to follow the pretty lights with his pal. What’s fun here is that he ironically drops a line about being wary of Froggy eating another emerald and growing a tail. Been lots of Adventure parallels between these two series lately.

Why is Big the Cat in Paris you ask? I’ve no freaking clue.

At the party in question, people are blissfully unaware of the people around them. Sonic and pals don’t know Rouge and Topaz are around looking for Eggman. Rouge and Topaz don’t know Emeral is there hoping that mingling with the two of them can restore his memory banks. Also, none of them are aware that Eggman, Bocoe, Decoe, and a super sugar crazed Bokkun are there.

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Get this boy a CG Control shake, stat.

The art seems as though it’s struggling with itself really hard this issue. This image of Bokkun is probably the best piece in the book. This book really does not look good. Almost every image of every character looks incredibly messed up to some degree. The vast majority of the art has the characters suffering from “Cardboard Cut Out Face” and “Muppet Mouth” syndrome.

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Nelson Thorndyke has a surprise for Chris and his friends. He’s unveiling the Nelson Industries Space Shuttle and as a special gift, he wants all of them to be their first passengers. That’s right son. You get to go to space for your birthday. Isn’t it grand being filthy, stickin’ rich?!

Back in Washington, our boy Captain Westwood is being chewed out by the President for being MIA for so long. Westwood doesn’t tell the president what actually happened (probably because it's incredibly embarrassing) but insists in his mind that it’s all Topaz, Rouge, and Sonic’s fault. This is great because at most it would be Sonic’s fault as Topaz and Rouge literally aren’t aware of what you’re doing or what you’re feeling right now Westwood. However, even that leeway isn’t accurate because Sonic isn’t under any obligation to fall in line with your plans. It’s the makings of a well written douchebag and I enjoy it quite a bit.

Back in Paris, Eggman is relaying his plans to his henchman, seemingly for the first time because they ask questions about the logic within what he’s trying to do as always. He’s in Paris because he wants to steal Nelson Thorndyke’s shuttle. Bocoe asks why he wants that if he has the Egg Carrier and Eggman explains that the shuttle can go to space and the Egg Carrier can’t. He needs access to tech that can go to space if he wants to put his plans for the moon into fruition.

It’s a bit strange that this is a plot point. I recall him building a robot that could easily go to space in one of the earlier episodes of Sonic X where a robot of his called Super Sweeper sucked up a bunch of satellites. Maybe this is here to offer an explanation for how Eggman got his hands on a real ass space shuttle in the SA2 story-line but… I’m not sure why that would need to be explained. Just say he built it. 

Also, Eggman explains that he’s sabotaged the rides at the park they’re in to set-up a distraction so that whatever he’s got planned ahead can go off without a hitch. Nice.

What’s funny about this scene is that everyone, both in this crowd and the elite agents Topaz and Rouge, are unable to spot Eggman. The people who are spotting him aren’t recognizing him. Meanwhile, super genius Big the Cat stumbles on the scene, from considerably far away from Eggman, and is able to tell fucking immediately that it’s him. It’s hilarious.

Westwood speaks with Topaz and Rouge on the phone and hears about their troubles locating Eggman. Sensing an avenue to make them look incompetent, he tells them to return to Washington. Oh boy. 

Rouge suggests they stay until the shuttle is revealed. Topaz is worried because they were ordered to go back but Rouge says to just blame it on her and say she got distracted by some jewels. These two are great together.

Emeral is still watching them, unable to discern why he’s even here. To be honest, so am I. I can tell this comic is trying to insert itself into the Sonic X series proper but it’s having a bit of a hard time. Granted, I don’t see how else you’d do this. Maybe if the book set itself after the events of Season 3 or something, which they might not have been allowed to do.

Anyway, all the players have gathered together on the next day. Big and Froggy, Topaz and Rouge, Eggman and his robots, and Emeral are shown in a big panel of onlookers. Meanwhile, Sonic and the others are backstage. Chris takes a peak at the large crowd and is pulled back in by his dad, who, for some reason, always has the same creepy face in this issue.

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It looks like he’s about to kidnap his own son.

The crowd flares up and Lindsey presses the button to reveal the large space shuttle for the crowd, just like Eggman wanted. Emeral is about to go up to Rouge and Topaz and demand answers to who he is but at the same time this is happening, Eggman finally decides to press his big red button and gets the rides he messed with to start attacking everything.

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Thank you for explaining the joke about the robot mime. I honestly would have missed it had it not been pointed out to me. Honest.

Some of the other jokes I’m less appreciative of though.

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Yeesh. I think my heart exploded.

Eggman isn’t really happy that Sonic and the others are here but he set these robots up to offer a distraction and they’re doing their job so he figures it’s time to steal the shuttle in all the confusion. He does this right in front of Big, who reconfirms to himself and Froggy that it’s definitely Eggman.

Fighting happens and we see various characters fighting off various robots. It looks as though Emeral had to hide again because the outbreak saw to it that he would definitely be spotted if he tried to approach Rouge. Rouge, by the way, ends up taking out the mime robot. Take that Mr. Mime.

Also, Chris tries to save a dog on a leash from a giant robot that’s about to crush it. Mr. Tanaka has to save him and then Sonic has to save both of them. As expected.

As for Eggman, he’s about to get away with it but our big, looming, innocent cat boy towers over Eggman from behind and has quite possibly one of his best shining moments.

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After everyone has finished with their battles, Amy and Tails spot Rouge and Topaz, finally getting the scattered group together and being let in on the mission to find Eggman. Luckily, they see him running from Big and follow after them into the Hall of Mirrors.

Emeral, upon seeing Eggman, gets another flash of his supposed memory back and recognizes Eggman as his master. So he goes in after them with a new mission to protect him. No doubt the whole interest in Rouge and Topaz was just to get him here and I’m guessing him making note of how smart those two were was him remembering that his master had a high intellect and figured he’d get answers the smarter the person he located was.

Well, he’s here now. Everyone is looking for Eggman. Amy even smashes one of the mirrors with her hammer when she sees the reflection of Eggman whining about his nose.

Sonic is apparently happening upon the real one and Emeral takes notice. So he has to do the Mephiles approach of sniping a Sonic, which is to nab him in the back… only this time he’s gonna fucking filet him with a gun from his chest. Oh dear.

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Come to Paris and try out new Swiss Sonic. It’s blue cheese and it’s full of fucking holes.

This story would have benefited a lot from much better art. I tried my hardest to be as open-minded about it as I read through it, hoping it would eventually look better but I do feel as though it peaked at the one image of Bokkun craving candy at the beginning. Nearly every other image in this book looks pretty awful. I don’t even think I showed you the worst of it too. It’s so stiff and unpleasant. Had it been nicely drawn I probably would have been more into the jumble that happened here. As is, the story is fairly unremarkable. It had the makings to be something super crazy but it ultimately just ended up treading old ground and honestly didn’t do it as well as some of the others up to this point have. 

Not the best foot forward for this book I’m afraid. Still, I can’t say it was straight up awful. I know what straight up awful is. Boy, do I ever.

Here it fucking comes...!

 

Sonic Super Special - Issue #13: Sonic Adventure

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Nowadays, the CG in the Sonic Adventure opening looks a little off in some places, to be frank, but it still looks pretty good. This, however, looks terrible. Once again, I really, really don’t like the way these Super Special covers look. It’s like someone mixed the colors in with vomit or something. God. 

Well, anyway, here’s the official SEGA Dreamcast Adaptation… I guess. So far, things have been moving at a bit of a confusing and slow pace as far as the Adventure adaptation in the books is concerned and I’m STILL not a fan of shoving a part of the story into a Super Special but… I guess we’ll see.

Spoiler

Okay, so the plot is a joint effort between Karl Bollers and Ken Penders. I’m… concerned. 

Bollers is usually pretty good on his own, despite never really being perfect, however, lately his stories have been suffering a lot worse due to having to mold themselves into the confusing mess that’s been put forth by all the Penders nonsense and it isn’t helping his writing any. Because Penders no longer has the Knuckles book to fall back on for all his insane weirdness, it’s bleeding into the main one and it’s suffering as a shambling corpse waiting to be resuscitated by a new team.

Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen for a long, long time.

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Holy dialogue boxes Batman.

Now, looking at this, you’d be forgiven for thinking that what this is covering is a lot of stuff but not really. Most of this, if not all of it, are just the beginnings of a story. Some of these stories even skipped a lot of the game’s details and just went right to what I assume this comic felt were the most important parts… which has resulted in things happening well before they should. The fact that Sonic fighting Chaos 0 is at the very, very end of this long spread is proof of that.

There are a few details from this recap that I do wish to talk about though.

One is the very succinct recap of what Eggman was doing. Without all the techno-babble it’s actually way simpler a thing than I previously thought… however, one thing does still stick out to me and that’s this nonsense with the seven Super Emeralds he needs to find. The Emerald that Eggman shattered was made up of them correct? I even recapped the reason he went to the Floating Island… fuck it, Angel Island (I’m not calling it the Floating Island anymore. We’re in Sonic Adventure now. Its name is common knowledge by now). Anyway, the reason he went there was because he needed super emeralds to help Chaos reform. That Master Emerald is made up of at least eleven of them right? He should have more than enough, unless he left the rest of it behind like I suspected, in which case, why the fuck would he do that?

I don’t really understand why he needs more Super Emeralds at this point. Maybe I’ve lost track of some sort of detail but it’s not clicking with me how this is possible. This recap says he needs seven of them specifically and there were more than seven in that Master Emerald so… he should be good.

Also, why seven? In the game it was because there were only seven Chaos Emeralds. Seven equalled literally ALL of the Chaos Emeralds there. But here, the number of emeralds is, for some reason, unspecified and way too much. Did they not see the trouble ahead when it came to adapting stories from the games that involved the emeralds by sticking to this nonsense about there being so many green ones?

The next thing I want to talk about is the fact that Big was in the cat country. In hindsight I should have assumed that was the case because the Mystic Ruins are IN the cat country in this comic… and also Big is a cat which obviously means that every cat is from the cat country just like every bird will have a connection to the Battle Bird Armada later, which also bothered me. Still though, it… kind of bugs me that he is. At least he seems to be a huge outlier from them but I kind of wish he just… wasn’t associated with this nonsense, even as an outcast.

The third thing I want to talk about is the fact that they apparently ARE getting the names of characters wrong. Last issue they referred to Pachacamac as Pacamac and I figured that was either a constant spelling error or a name change but here they’ve spelled Tikal as Tical and that’s just disgustingly inexcusable. The only excuses I can fathom is that no one took a look at the subtitles on the screen when they allegedly played Sonic Adventure, or no one properly played the game and just heard these names in passing and took a stab at how they were spelled, OR Tical is spelled that way to fit more in with the weird female names in the comic like Jani-Ca or Lara-Su. That last one might be a stretch… but it also might not be.

Anyway, let’s get into the story proper.

It begins with Sonic telling everyone about his fight with Chaos 0. The mayor says that it reminds him of an old story he was told as a kid about a water monster named Perfect Chaos. Nate interrupts them and asks where Amy is. That’s when everyone realizes she’s gone and Sonic immediately jumps to the conclusion that it was because of Robotnik. He’s right.

By now, the mayor is super confused because they had warned him about this Robotnik guy but he’s yet to see him. Sally reassures his honor (hmm…) that just because they can not see him, doesn’t mean he isn’t there. He’s more like a Robo-God than a Robo-Hitler in that sense.

With that, the Freedom Fighters split up. 

Antoine and Bunnie are tasked with looking for Amy Rose. It’s a cute scene where they can’t see over the tall humans so Bunnie puts Antoine on her shoulders and extends her legs so they can look through the crowd. The confused faces of the people are all pretty fun. I especially appreciate that their response isn’t to just say “They’re freaks! Kill them all!” I normally would welcome a conflict like that in response to aliens but the Overlander thing isn’t that. They share the same planet. They just want the animal people dead just because. It’s gotten real annoying so I’m very appreciative of Station Square and their more accepting mannerisms.

In the library, Sally and Nate have tasked themselves with researching Perfect Chaos and we get a few doozies here. The first one is Sally saying that the text of this incredibly old book is written in Echidnaese. I feel like Echindaese has been mentioned before but it still makes me laugh. I like to imagine Echindanese works like speaking Groot only instead of “I am Groot” it’s just “Ken Penders” over and over again.

The next thing is this--!

brDzXye8dZNKdardx_eYQEZf2ftAfDRijyiNfBBcQIxOy1AC63GsvAW-CepgeGHUr3UXmwJQnN6-nU_PjEsU571Kzw9jMX43oIG6UU41yiKv92wpk4rJCY8m5Xfq1zs-eek8Ll1b

Like, just say water.

Pure, perfect H20 is something you only say when a character is TRYING to sound pretentious. 

Also, I’m not sure if the Chao were worshipping Chaos. Maybe they were but it felt more like to me that he was just their guardian and they loved playing with him and hanging out. Saying it was worship kind of feels off.

Either way, that’s mostly nitpicking. The big issue comes in the next part of the explanation after it’s talked about how Chaos got pissed and killed some of these echidnas.

jg2VIFQplAnA8tcV84CcxD-uP9g3glwo5tS9bDhhO4u8CPhZ5YhrX_Gzrv9gOzBTWvonlMHoFP9MOsZkDQnh_1LklftXIILdVn2VYDfxsVP8EfCP6ayTkg7HpSZIqbtZeTHilyNR

jvJgGamYSe0oop75m3IG-pskxMHXWdxHzcvXOltpQV65i0BTpygouyv4pJ1bmX4RiP-4pTRnK4F9Mx6R6Zxb1mL5Wpxd087OgWjpq978IgnDfsKO801emFsiFrrlMAQxP2kZhQaA
         

I had to read this over like three or four times with my eyes squinted to make sure I got it right. 

Yeah, no, that definitely says that seven random chao just… absorbed Chaos’ energy and transformed into seven Super Emeralds…

What a hell of a time to be hearing about THIS. You’d think the time to learn about this would have been when Eggman was discovering the info about the Super Emeralds but nope. Apparently, they just realized that their previous explanation for the Super Emeralds and why Chaos needed them didn’t line up correctly… and now it still doesn’t.

I just… what is… so… there’s like… a completely new and different set of Super Emeralds now… or rather they’ve been here all the time, since Nate was talking about having used one before. I guess one of them is the one on the Tornado. So… there’s a bajillion Super Emeralds but there’s seven specific ones that were Chao that transformed into Emeralds by absorbing Chaos into them…?

But wait, no. It says “the only existing ones on Mobius” so… what the hell does that mean? Are the eleven or so that made up the Master Emerald, not Super Emeralds anymore? Because they’ve never been referred to as regular old Chaos Emeralds. I’ve referred to them as that but the book has always called the Super Emeralds or Super Chaos Emeralds or whatever. The book calls the Master Emerald, the Super Master Emerald too.

DAAAAAAH! WHERE AM I? IN CRAZY TOWN?! WHAT’S HAPPENING?! 

God, it would be SO much easier if there were just seven Chaos Emeralds and a Master Emerald. 

No instead, we need all this shit where eleven Super Chaos Emeralds fused together to make the Super Master Emerald with a mammoth trapped inside of it but also they’re not the same Super Chaos Emeralds we need because seven Chao turned into Super Emeralds when they absorbed Chaos and are somehow the only ones in the world despite there being others referred to as the same thing by other people ...and also there’s a black one…? 

Also, Nate says that he made the Ring of Acorns using one so Sally poses that the reason Amy was taken was because Robotnik plans to use the energy within Amy to help revive Chaos… so… apparently this means Amy’s got the energy of the Ring of Acorns in her which was made from a Super Emerald which was made from a Chao that absorbed bits of Chaos, a mutated water deity.

… I mean, yeah… okay… I just…

WAIT! HOLD THE FUCKING PHONE! HOW THE HELL DOES ROBOTNIK KNOW THAT AMY HAS THE RING OF ACORNS POWER INSIDE HER?!

WHAT???????!!!!!

I would REALLY like to move onto the next page but literally every new sentence of this one just makes me do a double take. Did he use science to sense that Amy has the power? Is the reason Zero took Amy because he confused her with the bird because they were both emanating the same power… which still makes no sense. You’d think he’d just have two energy signatures if that were the case but… FUCK!  

MAKE SENSE!

...Meanwhile, the ones being tasked with finding Chaos are Sonic and Tails. They fly on the bi-plane and end up where Knuckles is… wherever he is. They land the plane and meet up with Knuckles and ask him about the ball of light following him around. He says it's a long story and I say it's not long enough because it’s just sort of here. I know Tikal spoke to him in an earlier story but you’d think they’d have played up her appearing as a ball of light a bit better. If she was there in that form, she was super easy to miss. Perhaps make her red like she was in the game instead of just a white that blends in with the panel easily.

As I’m left pondering the comic’s decision making regarding the art direction, Chaos attacks them all. This is where I assume the fight with Chaos 4 is but it's weird how  there was no Chaos 2 or a scene where Robotnik tricked Knuckles into seeking out Sonic. He still looks like Chaos 0 here. If only this were a proper Sonic Adventure adaptation.

Also, apparently Knuckles had some Super Emeralds on him… ones that look nothing like the broken pieces of the Super Master Emerald. They’re colored like the actual, usual Chaos Emeralds from the games which means these are the special ones.

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Now, why did Knuckles have those special Super Emeralds that are obviously the ones that those ancient Chao transformed into? How did he get them? 

At this point I was seriously starting to question my sanity. Like, did I miss an entire issue? Did I fail to sufficiently read this all properly? I swear, I’m slowing down and reading this sentence by sentence. I don’t feel confident that I know what emerald is what anymore. So, I guess THESE are the seven super special emeralds that Chaos needs to properly reform and I guess… Eggman breaking the Master Emerald and using THOSE was just to… I dunno, push him along? Somehow? I guess he just needed something to reform into his first form and now he needs the special seven ones the Chao turned into? I guess? Is that why Eggman didn’t just feed him the rest of the shattered Master Emerald shards? Probably…

Okay then. I guess this means he doesn’t need the shattered Master Emerald shards anymore…?!

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SO HE DOES NEED THEM?! THEN WHY THE FUCK DIDN’T EGGMAN GIVE THEM TO HIM?! HOW ARE THEY EVEN HERE?! DID HE JUST LEAVE THEM BEHIND?! WHAT’S THE POINT OF THE CHAO VERSION OF THE EMERALDS IF THESE ONES STILL WORK ON HIM?! 

WHAT???????

Oh God. I was warned. I was warned this was bad but I still wasn’t prepared. Holy shit dudes. I was just expecting the usual typical badness. This is incomprehensible. Literally, none of this makes sense. I’m trying my best guys. Really. I can’t follow this.

Tails… tries to get the emeralds away but trips over something we can’t see… it looks like he just tripped over a piece of the ground or something. Anyway, the Master Emerald shards roll and they end up in Eggman’s hands and he tosses them at Chaos because they work too and he transforms into Chaos 4 finally.

So the whole thing about the seven special emeralds that were created when seven Chao turned into them is just… nonsense? He doesn’t need those seven? Just any old Super Emeralds will work? Because that’s literally what happened. Eggman was holding two regular green emeralds from the Master Emerald that HE shattered and just tossed them into Chaos.

I don’t… Eggman, YOU shattered the emerald and sunk the island into the water. You did it because you needed pieces from this emerald. WHY didn’t you just take the whole thing? Even if you thought you didn’t need the whole thing, why leave something that powerful behind at all? Also, where’d that random blue emerald come from and why did Knuckles have it? Explain to me the point of the Chao-turned-Emeralds thing if regular Master Emerald shards work! HELLO?!

Eggman says he’s gonna destroy the Hidden City of the Ancients Station Square and on its ruins, he’ll build a new Robotnikland. Why he wants to do that when he’s retaken Robotropolis, I don’t know. I guess it's hard adapting a story where Eggman has yet to take over the world into a comic where he already did. Guess they should have planned better. Maybe use the fact that Eggman was returning to their advantage and not rushed to him retaking the city so quickly. 

Anyway, they defeat Chaos 4 by--!

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You know what? Sure. At this point I’d buy that the Fairy Godmother from Cinderella did it.

It doesn’t work of course. Chaos splashes around and breaks the glass… then Eggman just bolts with my favorite line “Adieu, until we meet again my friends!” which would have been awesome in a comic that didn't suck monumental ass.

Meanwhile, with Big the Cat--!

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Our boy Big is ahead of the curb.

Anyway, his boat gets toppled over when from underneath the water, the Egg Carrier rises.

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It’s weird because this is happening in reverse for some reason. After this line is when he’s supposed to say his “Adieu” line but… I guess they really needed that scene where they pointlessly use real-world science (?) to incase Chaos into glass…

Also, I’m not sure what happened but the art got a hell of a lot better suddenly. I guess this is where Ron Lim decided to get super serious. Although, i can’t say it looked awful before this point either but the uptick in the art was super noticeable here. This is the most Eggman that Eggman has ever looked in this book so far. That Egg Carrier is impressive too. It looks really nice. 

That isn’t to say it retains this level of high quality. There’s a lot of strange looking images of these characters as well, although, funnily enough, the machines like the Tornado and the Egg Carrier continue to look really well done.

We get a couple of pages of Sonic and Tails chasing the Egg Carrier and the entire Sky Chase segment happens. Sonic is the one who guesses that the Tornado has no landing gear when Tails transforms it this time. Not sure why.

Knuckles decides to head off too… and it's here where it hits me that we’re just breezin’ on by this story aren’t we? Funny. We went from a super slow start and skipping around to just being in the thick of it… why regulate the entire middle of the game to a Super Special issue? At best this should have been an extra issue for the sake of clean-up not the entire crux of the goddamn story. 

Next, Eggman retaliates by… claiming that the Egg Carrier can turn into a giant drill…?

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Ah. He said the line folks. They got the line in there.

It was accompanied by another weird line about him turning the ship into a giant drill though. Not sure why that’s there. I mean… it didn’t do that so… literally why did he say that?

Anyway, this story, all of a sudden has just hit the thrusters. It’s blasting through everything as fast as it possibly can now. Sonic sees the ship transform and presses the buttons to get it back to its original shape. They climb the stairs from the Sky Deck level and end up right in front of Eggman and Gamma whom he orders to kill Sonic. So he attempts to.

Knuckles has this pointless scene where he claims to have a vision of Sonic and Tails flying the plane to reach the Egg Carrier and claims they should be miles away from it by then… but that’s not true because they’re fighting on it right now so stop trying to confuse me with pointless bullshit comic. It’s making me hate you even more.

The art is hard to get a read on. The backgrounds and machines all look great but the characters keep shifting in quality. One second they look wonky but the next they look like this--!

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I mean, holy shit. That’s one of the best images of Knuckles in this book so far. It certainly isn’t the super muscular, human proportioned monstrosity that I saw sucking face with Julie-Su at the end of that one awful comic. 

Honestly, the art is the only thing keeping me relatively sane. Some of the wonkiness can probably be attributed to being appropriately off-model for the sake of a more cartoonish action scene but some of it does genuinely look bad in other areas. Thankfully, the atmosphere is down pat enough that it can coast by just a bit.

Eventually, Sonic gets the upper hand on Gamma and we get the scene where Amy runs in his way to protect the robot. Then we cut back to Big whose just on the Egg Carrier now. I guess he got on when his boat was toppled over. He did overhear Eggman speaking about Chaos after all so he must have decided to investigate.

The parallels with that Sonic X issue continue. Goodness me. I did not plan this.

So, about this scene... Big finds Froggy. He’s just there… on the ship. Kay. I guess he just hopped away since Eggman doesn’t need him anymore after extracting what he needs out of Froggy. Also, he’s drawn correctly now at least and thank God Bollers didn’t make him have an inner monologue. But also, there’s two more of those special emeralds that aren’t special but are but aren’t but are… and they're just here. 

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The one inside Froggy is just here… like, on the floor. Big has another one and he just… found it on the way here? How? Didn’t he just climb onto the ship? What does he mean “on the way here”? Did he pluck it out of the sky?

Where? WHERE?! Where did he get it? What? Hello?

Then… the comic confuses me even more, yet again.

_TQtpKx1THV7kRYlbqvVRokeg4Yf6o9HEdo8W1wwhG0oijlOrr7HrUWy7UTPcX4TnuxNv7FMVyiqkGQ2-WG7RCYUbbVv_KIfOGkpbXFksxEG0WmkmWjBi0JvVw4-DcW_dxSZS8js

… HUH?!

….HUUUUUUH??????!!!

Eggman… wha… there was a scene where you had Froggy hooked up to a machine and you sucked what you needed out of him and put that into Chaos. Why… why are you talking about him still having Chaos’ tail? I mean… I guess he’s still drawn with the tail but then… what was the point of the scene earlier? You said it was a success so… also why is Froggy just HERE? If you needed him still, shouldn’t he be locked up? Why is he on the deck of the ship just hopping around if he’s so important? I assumed you didn’t give a shit because you already took his power!

Oh my God. This is hurting my head. I need you to start making sense, book. This is only happening because it happened in the game but it doesn’t make any sense here. This isn’t even a problem created by adapting Adventure into your comic. You just randomly decided to have a scene where he was shown extracting the power from Froggy and now you’re ignoring it to do the scene before the Chaos 6 fight…?

Also, holy fuck, we’re at the Chaos 6 fight already?! Yeah, I guess so. He’s got three of the Chao-transformed-emeralds and the three ordinary super emeralds in him…? But like… since the regular pieces of the Master Emerald work that means he doesn't even need all seven of the special Chao Super Emeralds… so there’s even less of a point to introducing those. Also, he called the special colored ones "Emerald shards"... so what the hell does that mean?!

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So there’s four of those Chao Super Emeralds in him? Or is that three and the green one is just a Master Emerald shard? But if that one’s a Master Emerald shard then where are the other two? This is Chaos 6…? Unless… he didn’t put six in them? These forms haven’t been named so this could actually be Chaos 4…? Damn. I think I’ve lost count of what’s what. Oh man. I’m tempted to go back and check but I feel like at this point it doesn’t matter.

If this is Chaos 6 and there’s six emeralds in him then why the fuck are you only showing four? If there’s four in him and Chaos 6 is actually Chaos 4 in the book then… I hate it.

Guys, I really hate this. I can’t even rely on the art anymore.

So they have the fight with Chaos 6 and to the comic’s credit, the sequencing of the fight is pretty good. They utilize what was in the fight within the game rather well. The little drones that freeze Sonic and Knuckles in place are there. Sonic grabs one and tosses it into Chaos 6 and freezes it. Then the two of them free themselves and then destroy him into shards of ice.

After this happens, Eggman says “No way! I can’t believe this! The chain reaction from Chaos’ demise is destroying my Egg Carrier!” and I have no choice but to accept that nonsense as the truth because it just blows up. I guess the Egg Carrier’s demise felt more believable in the game because we were playing as the characters, going around, destroying shit, flipping switches, as well as fighting this monster on top of it. Here it kind of feels like it just sort of happens. We’re on autopilot at this point though.

So the ship crashes, Big takes the Tornado and crashes it into the water but manages to make it out safely with Froggy, Tails returns to the others with the safe Amy in hand, and Sonic hitches a ride with Knuckles back to the ground. Chaos is stuck to Eggman’s Egg Mobile. 

That comment about Amy having the Ring of Acorns power within her was never followed up on. I did not get an explanation for why the bird was left behind. In fact, the bird never showed up in this issue at all. I didn’t see how it ended up getting captured despite being left behind like I figured I would.

This shit sucks fam.

...WAT?

HUH?! WHAT?! WHY?! WHO?! HOW?! WHERE?! 

What the fuck was this shit? I swear to God, nothing could have prepared me for how bad and confusing that purial garbage was. The vast majority of the story of Sonic Adventure was just sped on through after several issues of incredibly slow build up and skipping around. More egregious than that though is the fact that this shit did absolutely nothing to help the reader digest it’s nonsense. That crap with the emeralds is, without a doubt, the worst written, most confusing, most infuriatingly written thing in this comic to date. 

It’s not offensive from an ideological standpoint like the nazi and parental abuse shit is but in terms of writing I don’t think I’ve experienced anything this ridiculously bad. I literally cannot follow this story as written. This story literally does not function as written. It can't. It doesn't line up with Sonic Adventure. It doesn't even line up with itself. It should be easy to follow because it’s supposed to just be the story of Sonic Adventure at its core but it’s not.

Yeah, this was not only as bad as what I was warned but it’s significantly worse. Fuck this.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #83: Menace to Society

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We’re entering the final stretch and boy are my arms tired. My head is tired as well. I’m at a severe loss as far as this adaptation goes. I don’t understand why this was given the okay. I don’t understand who over there thought this was acceptable. I’m just… flabbergasted.

This cover is nice at least. It looks really good so thank God for that I suppose. Let’s get this over with.

Spoiler

 

Bollers is writing again while Steven Butler is on art duty. At this point, it feels like it doesn’t matter. Penders has his hands soaked in this whole thing and it’s become increasingly obvious that who’s writing the script doesn’t mean shit. It’s not even just because this story is awful. It’s obvious because the two of them keep switching in and out and, in the case of that Super Special, worked on it together. The finale, especially, is going to be the thing that drives the awfulness home because that one's all Penders. I just can't anymore.

There is no hope for me when I don’t physically see Penders name there anymore. 

I didn’t want to complain about this next thing at the end of the Super Special issue because I felt there might have been a tiny chance for it to still have been possible but nope. I should have known that all hope was lost when Chaos was shown latched onto the Egg Mobile at the end of the last issue.

There is no Egg Viper fight.

There is no giant missile.

There is no Egg Walker fight.

Hell, the entire base with the Hot Shelter and the Final Egg doesn’t even appear in this book. It’s just not there. 

Oh yeah, and that thing with the multiple Zeroes? That was pointless and had no explanation. There is no final fight with Zero either. He just disappears from the story. Also, I don’t know where the bird went. Is that going to be resolved here? Probably not. 

This is the last chance to do it because this issue begins with Knuckles finding an unconscious Eggman after he was ambushed by Chaos.

Yup. We’re in the Last Story already. 

So, as far as the main issues go, there were a couple of issues of build up to the very start of everyone’s stories and then an immediate jump to the last story. Most of the bulk of the Adventure story ended up being covered in the Super Special… and that really only went for Sonic and Knuckles. Sort of.

Tails doesn’t get his character development. We didn’t even SEE the proper fallout to Gamma’s change of heart. There was a lot of dialogue talking about it but the rest of his story seems to have been ignored. There was no Beta fight. No release of his bird either. No hint that he even HAS a bird in him. 

Oh yeah. The plotline with the bird was just completely abandoned. We never got an explanation for why Zero chased it to begin with. Amy promised to help it find its family but… I guess she was lying because she didn’t and she doesn’t. It literally just disappears from the story.

This is a load of barnacles.

So, yeah, even though we’re beginning with Knuckles finding Eggman unconscious, this shitty comic can’t help but indulge in itself by adding things like Knuckles contemplating pulling a Shadow the Hedgehog on us.

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Wrong character guys. He’ll have his debut in a bit… although it’ll take a bit before he’s shown as the type to just off Eggman but that’s a different matter entirely.

We cut back to the Station Square Hotel where Sonic is telling everyone about the adventure they had without them. Tails and Amy were along for most of it too but weren’t clued in to the part where Sonic lost the bi-plane, which is the bad news he has to break to him. Thankfully, Nate installed a tracker so Sonic and Tails set off to find it, leaving the Freedom Fighters to continue to not be present in this arc’s story at all. 

Seriously, there’s no reason for any of them to be here. They’ve chilled out at the hotel and it’s pool this whole time. I understand that as an Adventure adaptation there’s nothing they could have done to reasonably affect the events of the story but that’s kind of the point of adapting something into your comic. You’re supposed to make it work within what you’ve set up and you’ve clearly failed at that so… I guess this is just par for the course.

Sonic and Tails reach Knuckles and find him out cold. Eggman has woken up by then and is getting away… shockingly, having NOT killed Knuckles when he saw him unconscious so I guess that makes him better than Knuckles in that regard. Either that or the way this was set-up probably shouldn’t have been done this way. Either of those.

Sonic assumes that Eggman did that to Knuckles but Knuckles says he was actually jumped by Chaos. They have to hurry and find the bi-plane with the super emerald in it. They hurry and find Big the Cat, who is also just waking up from having been jumped. He asks Froggy who did it to him just as Tails sees and freaks out about his destroyed bi-plane.

That’s when the water tornado hits and almost carries the heroes away. Within it is the super emerald that was powering the bi-plane. It has the last one and it's headed straight for Station Square.

Speaking of which, the constantly re-designed Mayor (this would be his third design since his introduction) finally shows us how he can create an artificial sky. Literally, the only way it would be possible is if he had gems of miracles that could do literally anything.

Thankfully, he does… he’s got SIX SUPER EMERALDS!

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I’m officially done trying to keep track of these things. 

Seriously, what the hell was the point of saying Seven chao transformed into seven special Super Emeralds if you were just going to make it so any of the regular Super Emeralds would do the trick? Like why? WHY????

Anyway, Chaos leaks from the ceiling and goes into the tank full of these Super Emeralds and just nabs them all. All of them.

By now Chaos has WAY more Super Emeralds than just seven. No wonder they didn’t bother to name his forms. The only named form that matters is Perfect Chaos.

He's here now, by the way. Again, that seven emerald rule seems to have been incredibly pointless as were those special emeralds we learned about. Thanks Sally and Nate for that useless contribution at the library. Also that tidbit about wanting Amy’s power that was never followed up on. Jesus Christ, this is awful.

The water rushes through the streets and bursts out of buildings, destroying everything and drowning the poor saps silly enough to think it was okay to ever step foot outside. Never go outside people. It only ends in tragedy. 

Finally though, or rather extremely quickly, we have Perfect Chaos in his iconic glory.

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Of course, it can’t just be panels of him emerging. The comic needs to indulge in a ton of narration, telling us what’s happening. It would have been way more effective just seeing it happen and ending on this page of JUST Chaos’ face sticking out of the building and that close-up on his eye. 

I do actually like the way the sky looks though. The darker, almost velvet red look makes for some neat atmosphere. We’re treated to shots of the Freedom Fighters trying to rescue people from the water with even Nate running with a child on his back and a baby in hand. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Big show up to see the monster and Sonic’s looking for suggestions on how to beat it...

Luckily, their friend, the good doctor has got them covered. Eggman just bursts through the wall of the fake sky in his new Egg Carrier, laughing merrily away. Somehow this causes it to start raining too. 

On the very same page, he and Chaos lock eyes and Eggman just has a look of “OH SHIT!” on his face. The book says that he “rants and raves” at Chaos but… he doesn’t. The middle panel is taken up by Sonic and the others explaining to us what Eggman just did. Probably should have shown Eggman ranting and raving instead.

Anyway, Perfect Chaos fires his giant fuck-you laser right into Eggman’s Egg Carrier and destroys it.

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I’m actually not sure what’s up with this Eggman picture here. I think that’s supposed to be a close-up panel of Eggman flying back as the ship is destroyed but it looks weird. It would explain why he’s so huge though. 

That’s actually, most likely what it definitely is. I hate having to look things over to make sure I’ve got what an image is trying to convey. It sucks.

Anyway, the ball of light shows up and turns into Tikal.

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She introduces herself in a way that’s misspelled and inaccurate. “Daughter of the Echidna Tribe” doesn’t make any sense. She’s the daughter of the leader of that Echidna tribe. For fuck’s sake.

The scene gets even weirder. Sonic and Tikal have their conversation through the game but it’s so fast and rushed that it might as well not be here. It’s all spoken of in the span of a single page and what’s being shown is them already taking action after the conversation is over. As such, we get these weird scenes where Tikal is doing this strange Enchantress dance with her eyes narrowed.

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All of this JUST HAPPENS!

The dialogue boxes are very sloppily interjected with the narration boxes and because of that you can’t tell who's talking unless you’ve played the game. You wouldn’t even know that the last two purple boxes at the bottom are being said by Tails had you not. How is anyone supposed to know?

Why’d you start off so slow and then rush to the ending? Why not just commit to an actual Adventure adaptation even if you didn’t necessarily want to do one? I mean, hey, it’s basically free real estate as far as coming up with ideas right? No, we gotta do everything in our power to not only make it confusing but also add in a ton of stuff that doesn’t matter while cutting out a lot of the stuff that did. Tikal isn't even being utilized properly. You'd think she would be considering the hard on this book has for echidnas and "the past" but neither are being given proper attention.  It's almost as if a narcissist is more interested in developing his own backstories for the echidnas than embracing the one the game has as a part of it.

That’s why we just end up with this shit at the end.

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It’s Super Sonic. Are you excited? No? Of course not. Why would you be?

 

A tiny, tiny sliver of me held onto hope that because there were two issues of this left, there might have been stuff from the Egg Viper or an actual confrontation with all the ignored stuff from Amy and Gamma’s story in here but no. It really was just all the stuff from the endgame of Sonic Adventure hastily shoveled into this issue. None of it feels like an appropriate build-up to where we are now.  It's all just cobbled together gunk built on a foundation of popsicle sticks with wood rot. You'll notice that I've completely stopped referring to Station Square as the Hidden ancient whatever city now. It's actually less dignified referring to it by that overlong name.

This is seriously one of the worst fucking things I’ve ever read. I try to watch myself when I say that because I’ve read some awful shit here but I think the fact that I’m willing to say so grants this story a special spot in the the top list of worst things this Archie book has to offer, alongside most of the stories from the Knuckles comic and that one really bad issue where Sonic fought Naugus.

It’s more draining than I thought, reading something this bad. What’s more baffling is the end point. What could be next on the docket aside from the conclusion of the fight and the heroes heading home? Well… I’ve got an idea and I’m fairly certain I won’t like it.

The finale is next and even worse, Ken Penders is the head writer for it. I have a feeling I'm going to have A LOT to say about it so be prepared. We're on a roller coaster and it's heading right into the heart of the world's shittest and lamest active volcano ever.

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Don't be silly, Mike. You don't need those things. Egg Viper? Peh, what crap. Egg Walker and development for Tails, oh puh-lease.

What's that?

KNUCKLES' ASSHOLE DAD FIGHTING OLD WOMAN CAT STAR TREK STYLE???????????????? SIGN ME UP KENNY BOY

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1 hour ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Angel Island (I’m not calling it the Floating Island anymore. We’re in Sonic Adventure now. Its name is common knowledge by now).

I have no idea when it happens, but Penders does indeed rename "Floating Island" to "Angel Island" sometime in the run, but ofcourse with a Penders-esque reason behind it.

Spoiler

It's renamed to "Angel Island", after one of Knuckle's dead ancestor that I believe is never mentioned before or after whose name was Angel.

Still enjoying your reviews. Will be fun to read your review of the single issue they dedicate to adapting Sonic Adventure 2.

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I remember going through an Archie comic spree on youtube (rip soniccomicworld). Anyway, for all the faults it had, I think it really did have some great things in. The freedom fighters, character development, an on-going story, continuity, characters actually having parents, (Seriously, why don't characters like Tails have parents in game? He's only like what, 8yrs old? Where are they?! At least Cream has her mother) and other awesome things like world history,(though admittedly, I'm not too fond of the whole Xorda thing. Would've preferred just keeping Mobius as Mobius, not some future Earth thing) lore, unique characters like Snively, Naugus, Mina. The world was so fleshed out.

I hope that the games take notes from this in the future. I want a fleshed out world, full of exciting people, history, and lore, just like in the Archie comics. Well, maybe not exactly like the Archie comics,(Seriously, what the heck was with the Xorda things?!) but you get the idea. :)

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Regarding the SA1 adaptation, we should also keep in mind that this was the period the games were just starting to make a more fleshed out world and universe.

Not that it was all that great in hindsight due to Penders, Archie was already years ahead of the games by already having established settings and places in its world. So of course it’s gonna look messy and weird as fuck trying to fit in a game adaptation when you read it 20 years later since it was already doing its own thing, and was made to incorporate the games as it went along. XD

Not excusing then rushing through the events of the games tho, but just putting some context to it. Probably would’ve aged much better if they actually committed to making a full on adaptation—makes the second half of the Shattered World Crisis look tame despite its rushEd moments. In fact, I think their SA2 adaptation is even worse in that area. Although it does have it’s upsides in filling a few gaps that the actual SA2 left, like showing how Gerald modified Shadow to be his agent of destruction.

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Big punching Eggman in the face is just hilarious.

But yeah, the Adventure adaptations feels compressed and spread out at the same time and I have no idea why.

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