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Came across this issue cover: 

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I love how Sonic is drawn here, it captures the more SatAM version (although that was based on the comic, not the other way around). Sally is in her early pink design before they made he acorn coloring, and added her signature blue bestz 

Came across this from Noir comic (see below): 

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This is what Sonic sees when he looks at Sally. 

This took me back. 

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1 hour ago, Titan Mecha Sonic said:

it captures the more SatAM version (although that was based on the comic, not the other way around).

No, the comic was based on SatAM, even though the show didn't come out yet. If you need proof, read Michael Gallagher's intro to Sonic the Hedgehog The Beginning, or check this out: http://www.sonicsatam.com/information/behind-the-scenes/#bible

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7 minutes ago, Monkey Destruction Switch said:

No, the comic was based on SatAM, even though the show didn't come out yet. If you need proof, read Michael Gallagher's intro to Sonic the Hedgehog The Beginning, or check this out: http://www.sonicsatam.com/information/behind-the-scenes/#bible

Really? So it was in tandem. They based the comic off the show. 

But what of Pink Sally in the comics and books like these:

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She doesn’t look anything like Sally in SatAM. 

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The pilot episode of SatAM had pink Sally, and even a strange design for Nicole (who goes unnamed) that I don't think was used anywhere else?

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But yeah, it was simply an early design. If the comics and show were made more or less at the same time it's possible they even both agreed to change the design at the same time, but some issues of the comic may have already been done and released? I'm not sure about the timeline of events there.

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Oh, man, I forget what issue it was they poked fun of the 2 early designs (pink with brunette, and later blonde hair) by saying she feel into a chemical vat, but that was fun.

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10 hours ago, SBR2 said:

I want to be 100% clear because I feel I come off like a know-it -all jackass sometimes here but I fully understand your confusion about this. This was horribly thought out and there was absolutely no quality control put into the art which just makes this mess even harder to follow. Too bad this book didn't have someone who's job it was to make sure all this stuff made sense. Like some kind of...editor. Sadly such things only exist in dreams.

I'm happy you at least recognize that a bit. I welcome correction but I've really been trying my absolute best to make sure every detail I write down is something I'm sure of in the moment so when I read a passage that begins with "Uh... no they didn't" as though I missed something obvious, with an ellipses at the end of the starting word to emphasis the stupidity on my part, I feel the need to get a little defensive. 

So sorry. I forgot that they did refer to them as Chaos Emeralds before. Literally, people have only been referring to these emeralds as Super Chaos Emeralds lately and all of them look the exact same.  Aside from the 3 or so colored ones I've seen, they're all just the same green emerald and when trying to recall the overlong name for the Master Emerald, instead of "Master Chaos Emerald" I said "Super Master Emerald" by mistake. Like, I'm trying my best but I'm supposed to remember which ones were powered by Mogul and Enerjak and what the difference is between those and the ones Nate used for the Ring of Acorns and the ones made out of Chao, that ended up not mattering, even though they all look the same and try as I might, I don't think that's going to happen. 

This is partly on me for deciding to do this, knowing full well that the very thought of making mistakes keeps me up at night. That said, know that I always appreciate the contribution.

11 hours ago, SBR2 said:

Now to be fair he doesn't own this part of the planet. This is a place he wasn't even aware existed so it's reasonable he'd want to conquer it.

Oh, I don't have a problem with him wanting to conquer it. It's just that the whole "I'm gonna build Robotnikland" thing doesn't have as much fire to it when he's already retaken Robotropolis. Like, simple conquering is one thing. I love me a good conquering but Robotnikland/Eggmanland is THE goal of Modern Eggman and he's kind of already got that part covered. Perhaps if they emphasised the difference by just saying that Station Square was JUST going to be a special theme park, different from Robotropolis or something. As written it kind of feels like he's shooting for a high end goal that he's already met.

Though, to continue to be fair, they probably didn't really stop to think what him expressing his desire to build Robotnikland even meant. Most likely, that line is just there because it was in the game and that's it. 

11 hours ago, SBR2 said:

I can kinda forgive this. Remember in this version of the Story Station Square is in a hollowed out volcano so Eggman needs some way to get in and the ship transforms in the game so I can see them using that to kill two birds with one stone.

But they didn't though. He says it can turn into a drill and it doesn't do that so I'm not sure why they bothered saying it could. Even when he bursts through the fake sky later with the Egg Carrier II, they don't show us a drill on that thing either. It looks more like he just rammed his ship through the solid rock. Perhaps I've made another mistake and there was a drill on there that I couldn't see or something though.

11 hours ago, SBR2 said:

Also also Gamma's gone. Apparently they didn't want to do his story because they thought it was too sad or something? Thankfully Ian gave him a sendoff years later in Universe #3.

Yes, Gamma's gone. I didn't mention it because I know when he comes back and how he does and... well, let's say that I wasn't a fan of it. 

11 hours ago, SBR2 said:

No see these are the Super Emeralds spoken of in the last part. The one Nate had that was in the Tornado was the Seventh.

Oh God. You have no idea how much I don't care. I said what I meant and I meant what I said. I'm done keeping track of which emeralds is which and where they belong and why. If I mess up when recounting the emeralds again, I apologize in advance. I'll at least try to keep the details straight but as far as checking back to make sure I got it right, I was done the instant I realized I was getting an actual headache trying to figure it out. Like an actual one. 

Nope. None for me thanks.

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12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

so when I read a passage that begins with "Uh... no they didn't" as though I missed something obvious, with an ellipses at the end of the starting word to emphasis the stupidity on my part, I feel the need to get a little defensive. 

I'm sorry about that. it was more supposed to be like confusion than like make it seem like I think your stupid or something. I'll try to word myself better in the future because I don't want to act like I'm smarter than anyone because trust me I know I'm not.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Oh, I don't have a problem with him wanting to conquer it. It's just that the whole "I'm gonna build Robotnikland" thing doesn't have as much fire to it when he's already retaken Robotropolis. Like, simple conquering is one thing. I love me a good conquering but Robotnikland/Eggmanland is THE goal of Modern Eggman and he's kind of already got that part covered. Perhaps if they emphasised the difference by just saying that Station Square was JUST going to be a special theme park, different from Robotropolis or something. As written it kind of feels like he's shooting for a high end goal that he's already met.

Though, to continue to be fair, they probably didn't really stop to think what him expressing his desire to build Robotnikland even meant. Most likely, that line is just there because it was in the game and that's it. 

Yeah more than certain it was absolutely just because it was in the game. This special had a bad habit of just kinda randomly throwing game dialogue in without really caring how much sense it makes in context of the comics.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Oh God. You have no idea how much I don't care. I said what I meant and I meant what I said. I'm done keeping track of which emeralds is which and where they belong and why. If I mess up when recounting the emeralds again, I apologize in advance. I'll at least try to keep the details straight but as far as checking back to make sure I got it right, I was done the instant I realized I was getting an actual headache trying to figure it out. Like an actual one. 

Nope. None for me thanks.

Fair enough I don't blame ya. It's needlessly complicated and very poorly thought out and hoo boy the next issue is going to be even more confusing.

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Fun Fact: Did you know, when reprinting the Sonic Adventure arc for the Graphic Novels and Archives, they went back during Knuckles first encounter with Tikal to make her actually look like Tikal? RCO010.jpg Before... 20200831_023447.jpg After. Also given they got Tikal's name right here, it's most likely that Tical was a typo.

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Huh. Neat. I know the Super Special Magazine reprint changed a few things like Amy's unfortunate leg placement and a couple times fixed the spelling of Tikal but I never got the Archives past the Naugus fight.

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #84:  Perfect Chaos

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The coverage of this finale was broken up for the sake of brevity and I can already tell you that I’m going to need a lot of it to get through this. I can only imagine just how self-indulgent this is going to get and what I come up with still stands no chance at being as bad as what awaits me. 

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The covers here are done rather well. It is a bit strange seeing two Sonics in the fully connected thing but the reflection of Chaos against the side of that building would have been appropriately ominous had I felt this thing hadn’t devolved into total garbage. Oh well.

Spoiler

 

It’s a Ken Penders vehicle for us today. The art is by Steven Butler which may be a hit or miss experience but on the whole I’d say we’re in for a nice drive off a cliff. At the very least it’ll be an admirable explosion.

Then again, this comic chooses to begin with Locke confronting these awful cat people from the Cat Country that’s apparently just called “Cat Country” so maybe not. 

This is totally what I wanted to see out of a Sonic Adventure adaptation though. Oh boy. I can’t wait to see this person I hate talk to these people I don’t care about. What ever will happen?

The comic takes the position that Locke is a rational person, for some reason, and has him pushing to speak rationally with this cat leader woman. She refuses because she doesn’t trust him (who can blame her?) and sends her champion, Razorklaw, at him. Locke, who looks exactly like Knuckles to the point where, without his clothes, Knuckles’ voice is all I hear when he speaks in these upcoming panels, beats this guy in a single punch and then asks again to talk. 

Penders really wants you to think Locke is cool guys. He’s so calm and rational and he beat the tar out of that big brute with a single hit. God, he’s just so much better than everyone else here, right? Get behind the master of child neglect why don’tcha?

Immediately we cut back to Super Sonic getting his ass kicked by Perfect Chaos. I assume we’re in the Phase 2 part because my brain has decided to play that phase’s music in my head.

For some reason an entire page and a half is dedicated to watching Antoine get hit in the leg by a stray rock, refusing help, getting help, and being asked if he’s okay by the others… I mean, alright. I guess we needed an example of collateral damage somewhere?

Knuckles decides he’s got an idea thanks to Tikal saying they need more juice to defeat Perfect Chaos. I don’t recall her saying that. I just remember the parroting of the lines from Sonic Adventure at the end of the last issue and if that’s truly all that was said, then just like the game, Super Sonic should be enough. 

Meanwhile, Locke is trying to appeal to the children eating leader of the cat people by doing what he does best; lying.

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God, if only you knew just how MUCH we’ve contributed to the common good of all by refusing to take part in the biggest and wide-spread effort of putting a stop to the evil machinations of the tyrannical mad-man who took over the planet. We stayed so out of his hair that after 80+ issues of the main series and 32 issues of our own series, only just now has Dr. Eggman discovered that the floating island wasn’t a hoax. 

We also had a chance to team up with a kingdom in preparation for avoiding this very situation we were in and because the princess wasn’t as violence happy as we were, we refused to help. Goddamn, we just love that there “common good of all”.

As the cat woman presumably prepares to show him something that’ll shut him up, we cut back to Knuckles who, for some reason, has decided that the Station Square power generator is where he needs to be. To get to it he needs to go underwater which, for a reason I either can’t recall or hasn’t been explained yet, he’s afraid of… 

Okay. Well, it doesn’t matter because he gets over it immediately and goes under to… I guess fix the generator? Because Tikal apparently said they need more juice to beat Chaos?

So Super Sonic then gets the bright idea to have it chase him. Sally gives him a copper pipe on his way by because Tails saw Knuckles heading into the plant. They don’t tell Sonic what to do with it or how it can help but Sonic takes it and he has it with him for the next couple of panels… then suddenly he doesn’t have it anymore when he reaches the power plant and he’s never seen using it for anything. 

I mean… okay? Like… what was the point of that then? I guess to trick the audience into thinking Sally and Tails contributed? Thanks for attempting to fool me, I suppose? It did wonders for my peace of mind.

Instead, Sonic leads Perfect Chaos to a bunch of electrical wires and generates a shield to protect himself from when the blast is to hit.

But wait, they don’t know what exactly Knuckles is doing but fortunately, it doesn’t matter because Knuckles manages to finish what he’s doing in time… which is basically the Spider-Man thing of lifting the heavy thing so that it goes into place.

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Apparently, there was no one but him guys.

He gets the Emerald-Sharingan and uses its emo eyeball magic to lift the thing presumably. For he is the chosen o-*sigh*. Whatever.

This works by the way.

Perfect Chaos slams into some electrical wires and then gets zapped back into his original form.

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Oh geez. I wonder why they didn’t just do that in the first place then. 

It doesn’t seem like Super Sonic was necessary at all. Remember all that shit about Chaos using the negative power of the emeralds and Super Sonic needing to beat the evil out of him with the positive energy left over? Apparently not. Just some electric cables will do the trick.

I’d comment about how funky those chao are and ask why they’ve suddenly reverted back from being emeralds but why bother? It’s the magic of random electric cables. They can do anything. Even set this book on fire with a stoutly placed discharge.

What a colossal waste of fucking time. Holy shit. I can’t believe how anti-climatic that was. 

The book just doesn’t care anymore, if it ever did at all. Literally, the very next page, Tikal shows up and is like “Thanks. Now we’re gonna say goodbye forever. Okay, byeeeeeeee~!” and then she just peaces out, zapping her, the chao, and Chaos away.

And it’s like… huh… I remember that moment in Adventure being more drawn out and having more poignancy and after-the-battle reflection and… nope. We ain’t got time for that. She might as well have done a double middle finger salute to the reader on her way out. 

That was just… tremendously bad. My word.

Oh my god, how embarrassing.

Then the page after that, Knuckles just leaves and says he’s gotta head home to fix his island and find the lost Emerald shards. The Freedom Fighters wave goodbye as they just… exit stage left. Also, the city is magically unflooded now too. 

Wow. Ken Penders really didn’t give a fuck about mining this for his usual type of fool’s gold. He just tossed it away. 

The second half of the book is going to just be a Knuckles story… because the Penders wants what the Penders creates. Now that that intrusion is done, he can ignore it for the sake of building upon HIS legacy for Knuckles. 

That’s gotta be it. I seriously can’t imagine anything else right now. I’m too stunned to even be upset.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #84:  Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Knuckles returns to the island and meets up with Sabre and Spectre who help him put together the shards of the Master Emerald on their new shrine that looks like the one from the games. The island goes back into the sky and then Knuckles just casually drops by the Cat Country.

He is greeted with open arms for some reason. Knuckles seems to think they’re friends. Not… sure I get it but okay. Maybe he was being sarcastic? Does Knuckles even know these people? How did he know to come here?

Either way, he comes across the Chaotix and Julie-Su who’ve spent this entire arc being captured and doing literally nothing. Apparently their capture was a set-up for… nothing. Julie-Su hugs Knuckles with her soulless, pupil-less eyes leering into him.

The art is terrible here by the way. I haven’t seen anything that suggests the artist has changed but it definitely looks way more ugly and the overly muscled monstrosities are indeed back in action. It’s still wickedly unpleasant to look at it.

Knuckles is then led to where Locke is and sees that the cat people have, for some reason, a statue of Pachacamac stomping on one of their own. I guess as a reminder to how much they hate the echidnas…?

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Knuckles’ face is constantly looking like something out of the Zelda CDI games.

Also, they call him Pachacamac here. They got the name correctly, which is fucking weird, because they still spell Tikal as Tical in this issue. I don’t know what was going on over there but my goodness, gracious, the inconsistency is mind-numbing.

I guess there was indeed some history Penders was willing to twist to his liking though. Tikal may not have interested him because she’s nice and a girl, but Pachacamac is an assholish, old as hell, disgruntled, despicable, father character. He was salivating over the chance to use another one of those. 

I exaggerate the enthusiasm he must have had though because, even here, its incorporation into the story is incredibly base and half-assed. It’s literally just Locke reiterating what we already heard from a past issue with the only new thing added being that the Knuckles Clan were specifically explorers and Locke named Knuckles after the clan because he wanted a chance to reclaim the dishonored name thanks to Pachacamac’s actions.

Also, apparently the Cat County leader and Locke are just… fine. They squared everything away off screen. NOW she’s willing to compromise on the idea that the sins of the few don’t count as the sins of all. Why? Because the story needed to end.

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That was it.

The last line of the book and the entire Adventure saga was “By the way, I got the emerald back.”

The end.

Fuck off.

 

You know, I expected to do a lot more ranting and raving in confusion but this left me feeling a lot worse than that. I was so done with the story by this point that the excessive laziness and anti-climatic endpoints to all that was set up just kind of felt like I had been wandering the pitch black darkness of the bottom of the barrel for so long that I was used to it. I can only exclaim that something is the worst thing I’ve ever read for so long, you know? 

There are stories more offensive than this. There are stories more unbelievable than this. There are even stories lazier than this. However, I’m struggling to think of a story this broken and mismanaged. These points hardly ever properly fit together. If they weren’t adapted correctly if they were adapted at all and what they decided to put in the place of what was lost was also left on the wayside as something that ultimately didn’t matter. Not even what was set-up as the climax mattered because the heroes won the day by NOT doing what was suggested they should have done.

I had gotten tips that Knuckles’ involvement was going to be something that was done to shoehorn that chosen one thing in so I expected maybe a transformation or something but all he did was lift up some machinery. That, I could have ranted and raved at. At least it would have summoned an emotion out of me. The ending was SO incredibly awful that it circled around to being mundane enough for me to just go “Yeah, okay.” and that was it. Knuckles “stealing” the credit for Chaos’ defeat means nothing because the defeat itself was so lame. It doesn’t make Knuckles look cool. It just makes Chaos look like a chump.

Perfect Chaos got defeated because he smacked his face into some wires. That’s it.

Wow. What a story Mark.

I guess you could say the lingering feelings I have for this is just general apathy, an intense amount of confusion, and… a desire to never think about it ever again. This story was so eager to be over and done with and it shows. 

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #85: The Big Payback

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Oh hey. This is an inventive cover. It looks pretty alright. I’d imagine this would be something that could have appeared as a cover a bit further ahead than where it is now even. Now if only Sonic’s tongue wasn’t freaking me out.

Spoiler

 

Eggman is furious that Chaos was beaten so he’s decided that here and now is where he’s gonna end it. He’s officially had enough, here at issue 85 out of 290, it's finally going to end. With what? Not a giant water monster but that other robot that was in the tube in Sonic Adventure.

That one. You know the one.

We’ve got Karl Bollers writing this one with Ron Lim on pencils. So far, it looks… meh.

It’s… not… very good. 

We cut to the badly drawn Freedom Fighters as the Mayor, in his fourth re-design, is giving the Mobians a congratulatory farewell celebration.

These guys are doing the name of humans in this book a disservice by being so excessively nice and kind-hearted. I demand they stop this and go to war over nothing at once.

Just then, that robot that everyone is curious about in Adventure, you know the one, shows up for a fight.

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Yeah, that one.

So then, they fight. 

For the rest of the issue.

That’s it.

That alone would be fine and a nice breather after that gloopy mess that was the Adventure arc but this is something that relies heavily on the art being good and the Ron Lim that I saw in the Adventure arc is apparently not present today because this art looks--!

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--Really bad~!

It’s strange because it’s not consistently like this either. Just like before, the art he did was sometimes good and sometimes bad… well, here, it’s sometimes bad and sometimes passable. Like, it’s really weird how he’s sometimes on model and sometimes exaggerated beyond the excuse of saying it’s for the sake of motion blur.

There’s some funny little tidbits in the fights. For example, Tails and Big try to interject and the robot grabs Tails which prompts him to do the Fred from Spongebob “My Leg!” line and is promptly tossed into Big. 

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I want Tails to shout “MY LEG!” every time he gets hurt and do it in the exact same way that Fred does. Same voice and everything.

Anyway, Sonic fights the NOW named Silver Sonic II into a building and get a bunch of rubble dropped on him when Silver Sonic II destroys one of the support beams. Also, as an aside, this robot that everyone was curious about when they saw it floating in that tube in Adventure, he talks and acts just like Sonic except evil. Not sure if that lives up to your expectations behind the mystery but there it is.

Silver Sonic II flies off, thinking that Sonic’s dead but, surprise, he’s not. He latches onto his leg and now they’re flying around the city together. 

Sally asks Nicole for help.

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An upgraded version of THE super robot… thanks. I love THE super robot. He’s my favorite customer. 

What else Nicole?

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Oh fuck. 

I thought I was safe from the Phantom Ruby. That shit followed me back in time! Godammit.

Sonic’s fight continues and he gets blasted off the robot when it detaches its arm.

Sonic falls and Tails flies in for a heroic rescue until he’s humiliated when he gets clonked on the head like a Looney Tunes character.

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The best thing about this is how Sonic is selling it with his “Okay, now it’s ON!” face like what just happened to Tails wasn’t incredibly cartoony.

So then Sonic just fucking murders the robot by spin-dashing its head off on the very next page.

aIv6NKIP8BtR1cxGPCfvq-MAtmbBh7MmfT_8U54wESOWXoIUdMyCz-D9MmEj4G8HnCSaqbXpQKcS0uPif-9eqthKR9Oqd1NrPKWvDL6OCZuEptY8dk9KvnqEEUlo50lhQq0ChmND

Sonic helps Tails up, whose now got a real nasty looking knot on his head, and they realize that the mysterious robot from the tube in Sonic Adventure has just been beaten. The mystery is solved. Guys, I hope it was worth the wait; finding out it was just another robot shaped like Sonic.

In the next scene, Eggman is walking alone on the street saying the fantastic line, “That Sonic really gets my goat, whatever that means” before he asks himself questions he already knows the answer to (he thinks) and concludes that he’ll find Silver Sonic II, rebuild him, and then use him AGAIN to conquer the city while its defenses are down.

What’s hilarious about this is that this scene of Eggman saying he’s going to attack the city again is followed up by the mayor asking Sally if she’s SURE Eggman won’t attack the city again and Sally assuring him that he will no longer be a problem. Like an idiot would do.

Why the hell would you make that promise? On what basis are you making that claim? The fact that Eggman attacked the city immediately after the Perfect Chaos debacle? Don’t worry Mayor, he DEFINITELY won’t do it a third time.

Big has decided to head home to the Cat Country while everyone else leaves on the aircraft they left in the mountain…

… But for some reason it goes out of control and it crashes. Why? Honestly, the answer may be there but I just don't care. They never bring it up again so it's no big deal.

When they get out on this unfamiliar land Sally asks Sonic and Tails to look for signs of life. Amy wishes to help and Sally shuts her down.

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Alright. Well. Fuck you bitch. 

What’s funny is that I’ve actually yet to see a display of an incredibly intense difference in the dynamic here than what was presented before amongst the Freedom Fighters that makes the whole “Amy is too immature” thing something that needed to be pointed out and harped on.

The action of making herself older was perhaps a selfish move but it was brought upon by the rest of them being hypocritical. I can’t really say I have much sympathy for any of their frustration. In the Adventure arc, I saw her summon a random, badly colored hammer and fight off a ton of robots that only managed to capture her because they managed to multiply in a way that was never explained because the Adventure arc was shit.

I’m gonna need more that supports their argument that Amy isn’t ready for this. What's happened to her isn’t something that hasn’t happened to the others in some capacity or another so until something that sticks out takes place, any snapping at her for simply wishing to provide assistance is going to be met with me calling that person a bitch.

The final page of this story shows Silver Sonic II rising in front of Eggman, reprogrammed by Nate Morgan, to protect Station Square against Eggman.

As Eggman runs off to probably leave the city alone forever (because I guess that’s what has to happen now that Sally said he would for no reason) Eggman utters the other greatest line of this issue.

G3hzTTFEW8mOlCqseDO6kiFSN1JUr9GEjPoSfZgbgZ6WVp0IhyvEYY7TRP5ER8XNYqIu4RJLczz9wLUihkJF1LXrZTrp0nur2zCQSyPsthb465MmLvZDWSQoWtifZWTPa2RBZmSy

Hahaha. Children love characters almost saying bad words and so do I.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #85: Home and Back

I somehow stopped myself from making endless jokes about how Rotor isn’t here so it would seem I’ve lost my chance to with this story. Rotor’s back and he’s coming home fellas. Maybe.

Finally, I can put a pin in the incredibly long winded joke I kept making about how his family was cast out to sea and promptly ignored by the narrative. I never cared about them but I knew Rotor did, which made the cruelty of him never being allowed to go make sure they were okay all the more  weird and funny.

Karl Bollers is still the writer but the art and letters are by one Diamond Rose Studios. I’ve never of them before but it looks interesting, to say the least.

ZQflJvsLENE9aAJIA-H_WpGEs-6orcRvVXcW8QcWm-iqvVw_Jw2RaUyeBBF-ezekxct6EXrQW42T7QTxbLMGFnmtYNUvgrc9DtCwdBJ1N1MUbYw4FW-LROnHCC6y_S2nn-x278Kj

The font, the lettering, the layout, and the art all look really interesting. It looks like a stylish Superhero comic book. The art from here on out does go towards making the characters look a bit too lumpy for my tastes though.

Rotor recaps everything for us. He left a month ago to find his family after they were left mind-controlled on a floating block of ice. The Frozen Freedom Fighters, or whatever they’re called, let Rotor know they were okay. He found them and was told that the mind control had just… worn off. Rotor says, and I quote, “It made total sense--” because Robotnik had been defeated a while ago. 

So it’s like when you destroy the Death Star and kill Palpatine. The war is won. You don’t have to worry about all the other ships and soldiers… at least not until it’s time to make money with a new trilogy. Then all of a sudden we remember them.

But yeah, because Robotnik was beaten it means the mind control just stopped working. Fine. His mom and little brother, Skeeter, are okay. 

Until they weren’t.

All of a sudden, the mind control just came back, at random. All of Rotor’s family tried to kill Rotor again and he had to escape in his submarine. But then that got destroyed and he had to be saved by the Arctic Freedom Fighters. When he wakes up on their bed, apparently the reason for why the mind control suddenly came back is just given to us in one final, kind of amusing panel.

Hf5eIZOxhlbaomTRDQYgL0SSc-7rnJIy4IDnr-9C7zIyqkwwYtrXKJ5C93gxlMFveT6GBTgceLYOdJWrrVjVFi3SX8gtHtyqn7vEkWmfrns2hKqCb7PHuDSFpF546szhVcHxldJx

Rotor literally guessed that Robotnik was back because the mind control came back. Even though this isn’t the same Robotnik, it just switched back on because………………..

That’s our story I guess. It just ends. 

I don’t think the book is aware of how mind control works. If it’s trying to make up its own rules for how it does, maybe it can lay those onto me.

If its a thing that works so long as someone calling themselves Robotnik is alive, I’d like that to be told to me so I can make fun of it appropriately.

 

As an aftermath issue, I was mostly amused by how absurd a lot of the leaps in logic and pointlessness of it all was. I suppose the intention was to just have some fun and I guess that’s all it really needed to do. It succeeded in some ways that were clearly unintentional and I guess that’s something. The Rotor thing is just… SO silly. You’d think they’d just close out this open plotline for good now because the excuse for keeping it running has reached the point of parody by now. 


Sonic X - Issue #9: Wicked Sweet Shuttle Shenanigans, Part 2

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It’s another really good looking cover that makes use of how tall the Eiffel Tower is. It’s not as good as the previous one but it gets across that wonderful chaotic energy in a way that remains supremely well drawn. It’s lovely.

Spoiler

 

Joe Edkin and Tim Smith III return for the second half of their epic adventure in France. Or rather, their mad scramble for a space shuttle… in France… because rich people, amiright?

Anyway, the brilliant Dr. Eggman still has a plan, as he very delicately outlines for his minions.

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Basically, he summons the scrambler ride, that has been turned into a giant spider robot. Just as Emeral is about to shoot Sonic in the back, it slams it’s giant spider pincher through the House of Mirrors and nails Sonic instead… although it doesn’t crush him. Just kind of knocks him to the side a bit.

The robot goes berserk and just starts wrecking shit. It crushed the mirror that Sonic was looking at which turned out to just be showing a reflection of Eggman, giving neither Sonic or Emeral a reason to pursue him.

Sonic gets to fighting the Spider robot while Emeral re-shifts focus to finding Eggman again. This whole thing where, for some reason, Emeral is just never seen by all the others has reached peak ridiculousness. It’s like he’s been inserted into a story he’s had nothing to do with for the sake of fan-service. Either that or they’re trying to explain something that doesn’t need an explanation.

A really good joke regarding the state of Eggman’s speech patterns follows this up though and it made me chuckle.

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He willed himself by the power of his anger to tell them what he wanted to say by quoting it. Brilliant strategy doctor. The power of comic book quotations can be a powerful asset to the expository impaired.

Chris, Mr. Tanaka, Rouge, and Topaz ended up falling through the floor and ended up in a sewage area underneath Paris. Sonic sends Tails and Amy to help them out (with a note that they’ll have to make a round trip to get Big and Froggy out) while Sonic himself goes to fend off and defeat the Scrambler.

Emeral, having decided that Sonic is still the bigger threat, goes after Sonic to help him defeat the Scrambler by copying his moves. Despite this, absolutely no one in this huge cast has spotted him. Not even his master has as he runs off with his robot lackeys and one really, really sugar-high Bokkun.

Upon making their way out, Rouge makes her second “Topaz, you’re fat” joke of the issue and it's an overdone joke that just feels unnecessary and cliche by this point. What’s witty banter between two sassy ladies? Have one constantly talk about how fat and heavy the other one is. Okay.

I will also say that the art is still really bad, so if Rouge wanted to talk about Topaz’s weirdly placed eyeballs, I’d have no objection to that.

-fawmGkKrJu_0iq_EnoobT7vd1JlVJnf0BSjybtJb2u7PzdQ8U2a5s3fN3dK7zT6G_lhyZ2-lBP6OBPFOYNEc3jmXnif7GnphfktKwvBAqfwLZ5csahfelJxET3GzKtFOL4CiMfj

cOqtbpxC8xO22mdxHmSQPaYypXEOFK-phtHgMEsxZV4SyUueM4ZnXCqW8MYYtyV25WCqG-zLgioLM0bzxu1VxrU2K_HFYwCyUaVLgN2mZ4uR_zuxNZgdpJZxahWj57aPC8nYJKWs

All in a day’s work for Tim Smith the 3rd. 

Tails, Amy, and Rouge go down to try and carry Big out of the hole but he’s too huge so they can’t. Big tells them to leave him behind, saying that he and Froggy will think of something. Just then, Froggy jumps off of Big’s shoulder and suddenly, the three of them are able to lift Big way out of the pit.

Apparently Froggy’s super heavy guys. Holy shit. Incoming Froggy lore! Either that or the difference in weight was so vital that it just propelled them out of the pit.

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Now, what I find funny about this isn’t the fact that Froggy was the deciding factor in getting Big out… more so the fact that Amy is flying.

Like, seriously, how the hell is Amy contributing to lifting Big out of this pit. They even have Amy be the one to say “It’ll take all THREE of us to lift him out of there” as though that’s something she has the ability to do without a flight mechanic.

She’s just floating there with everyone else. It’s so strange. How is she just not adding to the weight that Tails and Rouge have to lift? What?

Apparently, it’s a literal plot-point that Froggy is too heavy for them. They get Big out of the hole and tell him to run and Amy chimes in that Froggy is too heavy for them. That would be supremely hilarious if it weren't so confusing and weirdly placed.

So Big has to lure him in with his fishing line.

How strong is Tails then? He held Froggy just fine in Sonic Adventure. He let go, sure, but it wasn’t because he was heavy. Tails is truly Captain Super-Fox Man if he can lift Froggy. Holy moly.

Despite the iffy writing, the Eggman gang continues to be the best thing about the book.

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These guys have my favorite Eggman and lackeys dynamic. I like Orbot and Cubot but it’s not THIS.

They’re stopped by Chris’s parents and Cream. Eggman tries to communicate to them to get out of his way and when Nelson asks why Eggman is talking like that, Bokkun responds with, “WhEeEeEeEeEeEeee~! He was punched in the face by a giant cat!”

It’s a lovely response.

Lindsey smacks Eggman in the nose again, claiming she was personally trained by Jackie Chan, but then Eggman summons a net from nowhere to stop them. He gives his Egg-Keys to Bocoe and Decoe, telling them (eventually) to take the Egg Carrier to the Pyramid base in Egypt (Hidden Base from Adventure 2 probably) while he and Bokkun steal the shuttle.

Sonic defeats the Scrambler and it ends up crushing Emeral. Emeral, having survived, manages to make his way out and chases after Eggman who has successfully managed to make off with the space shuttle. They FINALLY notice Emeral’s presence when he literally opens their door and falls right in front of Eggman. With Bokkun driving, Eggman goes over to tend to the robot speaking in a manner that is almost impossible to decipher because of his busted nose.

Sonic is left to grumble that Eggman’s plan ended up working and a slight comment about how he beat the robot does little to satisfy him. Rouge and Topaz also report their failure to Westwood and he gloats at them about how much they suck and how he’s going to revel in the President being upset with them for failing and how proud of him he’s going to be for discovering some blueprints that they missed. He’s so smug and such an asshole and it’s wonderful.

The issue ends with the characters engaging in a round of unsubtle foreshadowing by mentioning that maybe ONE DAY they’ll go to space and maybe ONE DAY Chris will see Sonic’s world.

Hmmm. Maybe one day~!

 

The conclusion here was, overall, better than the issue before it. It was also funnier. I do actually like that Eggman’s plan succeeds in what he was trying to do, although, he had to if this was for the sake of setting up what happens in the Adventure 2 arc. The Emeral stuff was ridiculous and unnecessary. The point of it was obviously just to land Emeral in Eggman’s vicinity all busted up and in need of service. As such, there was a better way to do that and in a much shorter amount of time. The art is still not good but the writing does thankfully do a lot to carry me through. 

Fun times.


 

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Yeah, got to agree, this is pretty awful. I read this before but wow, I never really considered just how terrible an adapatation this is.

Ofcourse, after this, aside from a single issue dedicated to Sonic Adventure 2, Archie Sonic is going to pretty much ignore whatever the games are doing at the time. Archie slowly drifts further and further into its own lore until the day Ian Flynn takes over in #160, and desperately tries to get the comic to at least resemble game Sonic.

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Spoiler
14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The coverage of this finale was broken up for the sake of brevity and I can already tell you that I’m going to need a lot of it to get through this. I can only imagine just how self-indulgent this is going to get and what I come up with still stands no chance at being as bad as what awaits me. 

3oEJtqMJY0LHHsWbRBk_4L2fyLdEB8VeSeFOlJbAs0AVquQ9dsZZCm_8Lc4BU4tUDKtwqU_evxwEPLgyzwh45zDdMxOejiO4z7cxeCV33URYEsoe-Pu7ZDJJaUNqlOzq8tJUoPs1

The covers here are done rather well. It is a bit strange seeing two Sonics in the fully connected thing but the reflection of Chaos against the side of that building would have been appropriately ominous had I felt this thing hadn’t devolved into total garbage. Oh well.

Y'know this has always made me wonder. As I've mentioned before the Knuckles backups in the previous 4 Sonic issues were originally going to be Knuckles #33-34 and those are the only ones that have ever been mentioned but I do have a theory that maybe due to the connecting cover and the fact this is 100% Penders that this might at one point have been a Knuckles #35. It'd sure explain why there's so much Knuckles stuff in this issue.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Locke, who looks exactly like Knuckles to the point where, without his clothes, Knuckles’ voice is all I hear when he speaks in these upcoming panels,

Not really related to anything but I've always pictured Sam Elliot myself.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Knuckles decides he’s got an idea thanks to Tikal saying they need more juice to defeat Perfect Chaos. I don’t recall her saying that. I just remember the parroting of the lines from Sonic Adventure at the end of the last issue and if that’s truly all that was said, then just like the game, Super Sonic should be enough. 

It's great to know even when co-writing with someone Penders just refuses to read other people's work. As Bobby of the ThanksKenPenders Tumblr pointed out in the last issue Sonic was saying his line about how trapping Chaos won't do anything but repeat the circle of violence meanwhile Penders writes him as wanting to fucking destroy Chaos.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Meanwhile, Locke is trying to appeal to the children eating leader of the cat people by doing what he does best; lying.

xuTGT2_T83A3N39fQrAwSW2RQlf-zZPz576B2eZndioEdlVtKQaXqIkQzbc1CkGqEojK-4whwFlu7uYPLHlwR3DQGHBP7TDhJ1IiKkZeXyaD3uG2UojIiCxvyLfNKu3BXZ9CX9I1

God, if only you knew just how MUCH we’ve contributed to the common good of all by refusing to take part in the biggest and wide-spread effort of putting a stop to the evil machinations of the tyrannical mad-man who took over the planet. We stayed so out of his hair that after 80+ issues of the main series and 32 issues of our own series, only just now has Dr. Eggman discovered that the floating island wasn’t a hoax. 

I'm also wondering how throwing a monkey that stole Knuckles Yo-Yo off the island to his probable death was for the common good? Attempted Murder isn't usually something I associate with good.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

To get to it he needs to go underwater which, for a reason I either can’t recall or hasn’t been explained yet, he’s afraid of… 

It's been awhile since I read through the Knuckles series but I believe this is the first time Knuckles has been said to be unable to swim (which is usually a Sonic trait but who cares. It's Penderstown) which I...don't think comes up a lot.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So Super Sonic then gets the bright idea to have it chase him. Sally gives him a copper pipe on his way by because Tails saw Knuckles heading into the plant. They don’t tell Sonic what to do with it or how it can help but Sonic takes it and he has it with him for the next couple of panels… then suddenly he doesn’t have it anymore when he reaches the power plant and he’s never seen using it for anything. 

I mean… okay? Like… what was the point of that then? I guess to trick the audience into thinking Sally and Tails contributed? Thanks for attempting to fool me, I suppose? It did wonders for my peace of mind.

I think the idea is he supposed to have put it in the wires of the pole he's behind but your guess is as good as mine.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

which is basically the Spider-Man thing of lifting the heavy thing so that it goes into place.

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It's 100% that. This is a direct reference to the original Lee/Ditko Amazing Spider-Man. Why it's being done here I have no idea. I can sorta understand wanting to extend the fight to fill 16-17 pages but pretty much all of the things added give Knuckles the glory or end Penders scary natives story. Come to think of it I don't think Sonic even does a Goddamn thing in this fight.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Perfect Chaos slams into some electrical wires and then gets zapped back into his original form.

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I know you're done keeping track but those Chao there are the ones that became the Super Emeralds. Which thankfully means all this Super Emerald nonsense is gone forever.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Tikal shows up and is like “Thanks. Now we’re gonna say goodbye forever. Okay, byeeeeeeee~!” and then she just peaces out, zapping her, the chao, and Chaos away.

"We return now to the Zone we came from." "Wait what?" "Bye." Yeah I will never understand what the deal is with Tikal claiming she and Chaos are from another Zone.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

And it’s like… huh… I remember that moment in Adventure being more drawn out and having more poignancy and after-the-battle reflection and… nope. We ain’t got time for that. She might as well have done a double middle finger salute to the reader on her way out.

Tails doesn't even get to say "All's well that ends well right?" and I wanted to do the "The City's Been Fucking Destroyed!" meme.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I haven’t seen anything that suggests the artist has changed but it definitely looks way more ugly and the overly muscled monstrosities are indeed back in action. It’s still wickedly unpleasant to look at it.

I don't think he's credited but it's Penders doing the art. You can tell because of the horrible musculature.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Knuckles is then led to where Locke is and sees that the cat people have, for some reason, a statue of Pachacamac stomping on one of their own. I guess as a reminder to how much they hate the echidnas…?

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I think the idea is that this is the Echidna settlement that the Knuckles Clan set up. I know it was said to be in #213-214 but I don't remember if that was said here or not.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Also, apparently the Cat County leader and Locke are just… fine. They squared everything away off screen. NOW she’s willing to compromise on the idea that the sins of the few don’t count as the sins of all. Why? Because the story needed to end.

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It's almost like Penders is a ridiculously bad storyteller or something.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

the Mayor, in his fourth re-design,

Theory. The Mayor is a very clumsy Time Lord.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

the Ron Lim that I saw in the Adventure arc is apparently not present today because this art looks--!

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--Really bad~!

What's funny is he isn't even at his worst yet. This is still relatively good looking.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Also, as an aside, this robot that everyone was curious about when they saw it floating in that tube in Adventure, he talks and acts just like Sonic except evil. Not sure if that lives up to your expectations behind the mystery but there it is.

Which is a little redundant since the next two issues feature Metal Sonic.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic falls and Tails flies in for a heroic rescue until he’s humiliated when he gets clonked on the head like a Looney Tunes character.

OxQ_6s0jnQaU5_ApjmWcxEojLnevfRxJNf4ik9VGozoy8MVHesuwnILsqVlGOAhygEU3qFo9HnWihH3cpS3U-Vx7PD2Xhjgdn1c64r5nmw-RSgS3B5VzIdk0yWNsa7H39X6IhfYe

The best thing about this is how Sonic is selling it with his “Okay, now it’s ON!” face like what just happened to Tails wasn’t incredibly cartoony.

You gotta give Bollers some credit at least he remembers Sonic actually cares about Tails and doesn't just "Tolerate" him like Penders claimed. Also I'll give Ron Lim some slack the face Tails makes when he's hit is pretty great.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

When they get out on this unfamiliar land Sally asks Sonic and Tails to look for signs of life. Amy wishes to help and Sally shuts her down.

Lvkt8sKUVlgO2KEfUwROiKu89CnGGEKW1-YiIYN6kQXi0ttjizSpEG9UQIiFHm2pjU1S5JRgCLSR_YZh7Tq0GmRFU6DfEiwe9Uw5O312JLoWdmpSH7jwE7NKuxe5Naid1zjFO6_2

Alright. Well. Fuck you bitch. 

Ok normally I'm on the pro-Sally side of things but yeah that's a tremendous bitch attack straight out of nowhere.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The final page of this story shows Silver Sonic II rising in front of Eggman, reprogrammed by Nate Morgan, to protect Station Square against Eggman.

Which side note is why Sally says she's sure Eggman won't attack station Square again.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

But yeah, because Robotnik was beaten it means the mind control just stopped working. Fine. His mom and little brother, Skeeter, are okay. 

Until they weren’t.

All of a sudden, the mind control just came back, at random. All of Rotor’s family tried to kill Rotor again and he had to escape in his submarine. But then that got destroyed and he had to be saved by the Arctic Freedom Fighters. When he wakes up on their bed, apparently the reason for why the mind control suddenly came back is just given to us in one final, kind of amusing panel.

Hf5eIZOxhlbaomTRDQYgL0SSc-7rnJIy4IDnr-9C7zIyqkwwYtrXKJ5C93gxlMFveT6GBTgceLYOdJWrrVjVFi3SX8gtHtyqn7vEkWmfrns2hKqCb7PHuDSFpF546szhVcHxldJx

Rotor literally guessed that Robotnik was back because the mind control came back. Even though this isn’t the same Robotnik, it just switched back on because………………..

So...the mind control is tied to Robotnik? I...how...what?

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This whole thing where, for some reason, Emeral is just never seen by all the others has reached peak ridiculousness. It’s like he’s been inserted into a story he’s had nothing to do with for the sake of fan-service. Either that or they’re trying to explain something that doesn’t need an explanation.

They're trying to explain something that doesn't need an explanation. Basically they're trying to explain how Eggman had Emeral in the Anime since Gerald invented him in the games even though that connection is never mentioned in the Anime at all IIRC.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

A really good joke regarding the state of Eggman’s speech patterns follows this up though and it made me chuckle.

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Edkin can do some genuinely funny moments. I think he's a bit underrated honestly.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Upon making their way out, Rouge makes her second “Topaz, you’re fat” joke of the issue and it's an overdone joke that just feels unnecessary and cliche by this point. What’s witty banter between two sassy ladies? Have one constantly talk about how fat and heavy the other one is. Okay.

What gets me is Riouge only made like one "Lose some weight" comment to her in the Anime. She tended to make comments about her age more often at first.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Just then, Froggy jumps off of Big’s shoulder and suddenly, the three of them are able to lift Big way out of the pit.

Apparently Froggy’s super heavy guys. Holy shit. Incoming Froggy lore! Either that or the difference in weight was so vital that it just propelled them out of the pit.

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I love everything about this stupid gag and I wish it was canon.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Like, seriously, how the hell is Amy contributing to lifting Big out of this pit. They even have Amy be the one to say “It’ll take all THREE of us to lift him out of there” as though that’s something she has the ability to do without a flight mechanic.

Just add that to Dual Wielding Piko Piko Hammers on the list of things Joe Edkin thinks Amy can do.

 

15 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Lindsey smacks Eggman in the nose again, claiming she was personally trained by Jackie Chan,

So Jackie Chan is canon to the Sonic X universe. It's also funny to me people think of Jackie Chan as the go to martial arts actor. He's great don't get me wrong but his style is more focused on comedy fighting. Like a good chunk of his movies are comedies.

 

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Jackie Chan existing in the Sonic Universe is just comical.

But yeah, the Sonic X comic was confused about a lot of things that happened the show and games, and it made for some funny errors.

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #86: Heart of the Hedgehog - Part 1: Evil’s Return

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Uh. Decent cover I guess but if this is depicting what I think it is then things might be a tad uninteresting for me. Who can ever really say with this weird as hell book though? 

Spoiler

 

The writer for this issue is Danny Fingeroth which, at the very least, is an intriguing tidbit due to the fact that he’s someone new to this particular book. If his writing here is any good, that’d be much appreciated. Sam Maxwell is back on pencils and the mixed feelings I have concerning that have been duly noted multiple times at this point so I won’t dwell on it unless I feel I absolutely have to show you something abhorrent. 

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Oh lord. 

Tails is trying so hard to keep up it appears he’s begun to melt.

Sonic and Tails start off the issue playing around in what looks like a race while they’re off doing some rock-connaissance  reconnaissance while an evil narrator talks about how much he’s totally, actually, not-touched by their display of friendship and wants to kick over their metaphorical sandcastles in the park like a big ol’ meanie face.

Tails gets blown out of the sky by the wind and is given a bit of a pep talk by Sonic about how he’s handled tougher scrapes and got by them so Tails can to. Tails takes it the wrong way and makes it seem like his problems are petty compared to what Sonic’s been through which is totally a mood I’ve felt before. An insecure person like me would totally have that kind of reaction.

Sonic assures him that he’s all good and gets to work setting up a fire while Tails goes off in search of firewood. This whole scene probably could have come off as a lot more wholesome and cute had the art had been working with me here but...

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Ugh. I can’t handle it. It’s not just the weird detail on the fur but the shape of the head and the weird crevices on their hands and bodies. This is the kind of art that just makes me feel weird. 

Anyway, Tails goes off and doesn’t come back for an hour so Sonic goes in search of him, knowing that something has gone wrong. He’s proven right when he gets smacked by a plasma beam shot at him by our dear old friend, Metal Sonic.

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“So THAT’S Metal Sonic?”

“It’s useless! Metal Sonic has combined Archie’s data with the power of Maxwell, and looks super weird. We can’t defeat it! UGH! If only we had seven Tracey Yardleys and Evan Stanleys!”

No but seriously. Look at this ballooned out motherfucker. It’s almost cute. He looks like a toy.

The next several pages are basically just Metal Sonic beating the shit out of normal Sonic. Eventually, he gets Sonic pinned down and decides to start showing off in a manner befitting a robot trying to copy Sonic’s attitude.

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How very charming.

Anyway, the point is that he’s got Tails strapped to an active volcano that’s about to blow. This robot is faster than Sonic and went there and back in five minutes. For Sonic it would take about a half hour. Hoo’ boy.

Sonic’s gonna have to upgrade himself if he wants to win this challenge.

Metal Sonic also tells Sonic that he’s got a surprise waiting for thim that’ll make the course harder. When Sonic asks what that is, Metal Sonic doesn’t tell him saying that Sonic wouldn’t want to know because it’d ruin said surprise. Fair enough.

So, Sonic goes off trekking for a bit and then he’s just ambushed by Metal and punched the fuck out cold.

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Huh.

Simple. Yet effective.

Story ends with Metal Sonic flying back to the chained up Tails to taunt him about how much of a loser Sonic is and Tails’ response is basically just “Nuh uh.” There's a shot of him being strapped over the lava that would have been the perfect place for another image of melting Tails.

The end for now. 

I kind of feel like the resolution to this could have been in this issue rather easily but hey, multiple stories are this kind of comic’s bread and butter I guess. Really happy I don’t have to worry about that with IDW (and didn’t have to worry about that with Sonic Universe).

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #86: Monkey Khan: Against the Haunted Past - Part 1

So the story and art for this one is by Frank Strom and… the art is… Robotnik looks like a background character from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

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Welcome to the Laboratory of Dr. Weird at South Jersey Shore.

Anyway, this is a scene from 10 years ago of Robotnik sucking up to King Max with flattering and cheesy words about making advancements for the good of the people. All that shit. When Max leaves, Snively, for some reason, doesn’t get that Robotnik was just buttering him up to keep up appearances and is disgusted by it. Robotnik literally has to explain to the little idiot that he has to act that way to keep his plans from being discovered. 

In a move that Orochimaru could have benefited from trying out, Robotnik decides to capitalize on finding test subjects outside of his village to experiment on. We cut to Leung West where a young Monkey Khan, or Ken Khan, is playing games with his friends and breaking his own rules like a jerk. This naturally causes the children to start complaining and gets Ken’s father to show up and start scolding him for his behavior. 

You see, Ken not only breaks his own rules but he’s so rough that tackling his buddies can almost lead to breaking their arms. His father tells him that being so tough is the antithesis of what his people are all about. What happens here is basically a page long set-up for an immediate payoff to a hilarious and cruel joke.

As soon as Ken’s dad gets done explaining this, Robotnik shows up to immediately prove him fucking wrong. It’s so funny.

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Then the next page happens and we’ve got a time jump to the past when Robotnik has experimented on all the monkeys from Khans village and is crumbling about how they all failed to properly merge with his tech, sighting how frail and brittle they all were.

So yeah, they’re dead.

The only one who survived was Khan whom Robotnik makes due with despite being embarrassed by having only one success. He sets his success out to go destroy some Overlanders and their tank in a war zone for Robotnik… but when Robotnik tells him he’s gonna keep utilizing him, Khan turns on him and says “None for me thanks!” and goes to attack him.

Robotnik shuts him down and moans and whines some more about how he can’t control his tech. It’s a very strange scene due to how willing Khan was to listen to him the first time. You’d think he’d attack him the instant the operation was done if he felt this way the whole time. He brings up how Robotnik killed his whole family and all his friends. I’d feel like that would be a motivator for immediate betrayal rather than doing a test run for him followed by betrayal.

Well, either way it doesn’t matter. Robotnik got the upperhand and this is how he ended up being locked away for good… until he wasn’t anymore.

Now the present day Monkey Khan finds himself waking up, strapped to a table, and overlooking Eggman, back from the grave, and taunting him from a TV monitor. 

 

Yeah, that was an issue. It exists and that’s about all it does so far. I can’t say I’m too upset by how unremarkable it was. This is kind of what you’d expect after something like the Adventure arc, normally, anyway. I will say that it’s becoming comical just how often we keep flashing back to incidents that took place before and during the war. Can we just be done with the war? 

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #87: Heart of the Hedgehog - Part 2: Lava Story

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Again, a nice cover. This is the kind of exaggeration in art that I can get behind. It looks more appealing than what I was experiencing before. It’s also nice to know that this is a volcano and not some weird molten rock wall that’s trying to eat Tails with its lava tentacles or something. If that sounded weird, I apologize. It’s just hard to make out what happens on these covers sometimes. Also, interestingly enough, Tails is in his Modern design on these covers but is back to looking brown in the issues. They’re really unshockingly indecisive and inconsistent with themselves on these designs.

Spoiler

 

We pick up where we last left off. Details are recapped, including the part about this Metal Sonic having a Power Gem and it being the thing that gave him a personality; things I neglected to mention in the previous issue.

There really isn’t much to say or talk about for the vast majority of this story. After Sonic wakes up from being clonked out, he runs into a net and gets tangled up in it. He then asks Metal Sonic why he’s doing this to Tails when he’s doing a good job making him look like an idiot and he responds by saying that making Tails suffer makes Sonic suffer and that makes him happy.

Sonic gets angry and spins through the net… then proceeds to get dunked on and made a fool of for several more pages, ending with him being tricked into slamming into a tree.

Then Sonic just randomly manages to catch this Metal Sonic, who's way faster than him, and wraps him to a tree in his own net trap before rushing off to save Tails. He even remarks about how that part was too easy which is a tell that he’s not going to get very far in that one minor victory he had.

By this point I’m fully aware of who this Metal Sonic character actually is, or rather, who he becomes and it’s made the point of the story a tad more intriguing but not by a whole lot.

Sonic saves Tails and, on cue, Metal Sonic shows up to stop them. Tails tries to make due on his promise to kick his ass and funnily enough it doesn’t go the way he promised it would at all.

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It’s nice to know that both Sonic and Tails can just no-sell laser blasts to the chest like that. 

What’s also interesting about this story is how Sonic’s been acting. He hasn’t been goofing off at all throughout it. When speaking to Tails, he considered his feelings first and wasn’t wise-cracking about his plight in any way. When Tails went missing, he considered he may have said the wrong thing in his attempt to cheer him up. In this competition against Metal Sonic he’s straight up not been competitive with him at all, in any way, shape, or form. Saving Tails would be the main priority of any version of Sonic, sure, but seeing him not even care about the rivalry aspect of this, especially from someone that’s proven to be stronger and way faster then him at every turn is new for this version of Sonic.

On top of that, Sonic stops fighting and actually tries to talk to this robot for once. He tries to tell him that there’s more to life than being the strongest and the fastest but, of course, Metal shoots him down because these are all a bunch of weakling values, coming from the mouth of a weakling.

Naturally, this doesn’t convince him so Tails takes this opportunity to join Sonic in taking him down again. They team up… and then the volcano decides it wants to erupt. The two of them get stuck but then Metal Sonic suddenly, and very quickly, changes his mind and helps them to escape.

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He gets engulfed in the lava as Sonic and Tails escape. The last page of this story is Sonic just explaining the point behind that sudden personality shift. 

Sonic’s words were just words but Tails making the decision to not leave Sonic behind made them real and gave the robot a soul. The end.

Yeah. It’s pretty lame, all things considered… however, I don’t think the idea was all that bad on it’s own. The real problem with this is how this story manages its time. The shift in Metal’s understanding of what Sonic was trying to say to him would have worked a lot better if in all those actions scenes, Sonic had noticed that his personality had made him feel a lot closer to him and was trying, the whole time, to get through to him rather then relegate that to a talking scene 3 or so pages before wrapping up.

What also would have helped is if Tails’ action and Metal’s reaction to his action had gotten more room to breathe. The idea of a robot awakening a ‘soul’ within him isn’t something I feel shouldn't be this quick nor is it something I feel should ever truly be spelled out as something that happened but it would have worked a lot better had the comic spread the moment out and put more emphasis on the part where it happened.

Instead, it has to end quickly because we’ve got a limited number of pages and need to also, for some reason, tell this Monkey Khan side-story. 

I like Monkey Khan but having the side-stories be such a huge detriment to the main one isn’t a good strategy. As is, the story is merely okay but it’s easy to see where it could have been way better. 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #87: Monkey Khan: Against the Haunted Past - Part 2

Speaking of Khan, the way his side-story plays out here goes well towards proving my point. Approaching this second half of his story there was a part of me that was willing to concede to its importance should it be reliable set-up for something that needed to be shown right the fuck now. However, while seeing the origin of his transformation and containment last issue had a strong enough benefit for his character arc, this half was basically an exercise in wasting time.

Monkey Khan wakes up in the present and sees Eggman, alive, and taunting him. A roboticized Hunn tries to fry his brain to inject something into him so that he can control him… however, Khan breaks free and demolishes the old, out-dated Swat-Bots that are, apparently, all he could get his hands on here. I’m not sure why. 

Either way, he escapes and destroys the facility, leaving Eggman to leave and concede defeat. Although, as he parts, he casually lets it drop that he’s ruined his life again.

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So yeah. There you go.

I can’t help but feel this would have been more effective if put in last issue. Instead of the ending being him waking up on Eggman’s table we smash cut from the end of his flashback to an in media res shot of him overlooking the aftermath of Eggman’s surprise assault on his home as the final shot to that story to emphasis that the nightmare he escaped from is back and better than ever. I feel it would have added some nice punctuation at the end of that side-story.

Instead, we get an entire time wasting sequence of him trying to regain control over a thing he once called a failure. He refers to it as his greatest creation yet here but still a failure because he couldn’t be controlled. I feel this part could have been emphasized a bit more in a later story. Perhaps during something where… it mattered.

This second story didn’t need to exist. This comic needed that extra space to help sell what was going on with that Metal Sonic story. It also needed better art but I digress.

 

These two issues were passable little distractions. There honestly isn’t too much to say aside from what could have been done to make them better. It was nice getting a solo adventure with Sonic and Tails again at least. The inconsistency with Tails’ design was distracting because the book emphasises the changes in the other characters in a way that remains unnecessary. I’m more eager to move on.

 

Sonic X - Issue #10: No Thanks for the Memories - Part 1

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I really like this cover. I’ve seen it all over the net quite a few times. The way those candles look like actual dynamite makes an impact. Why, I’d dare say it’s a trap. Only now do I notice the card that says “To my best buddy! Have a nice day!” with the EggEx sign and the Eggman logo next to it. Oh dear. The heroes don’t seem to realize they’re about to get blowed up. Also, Bokkun is being extra yet again, blowing as hard as he possibly can on that thing. 

Spoiler

 

Joe Edkin is writing again but it would seem I’m being given a break from Tim Smith III and his cardboard cutout characters in place of your boy Tracey Yardley. Thank goodness.

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Everyone looks so much better. It’s miraculous. The only issue I have with this page is the foreshortening and depth of the image. I know Sonic and the Chaotix are supposed to be further away but it honestly looks more like Grandpa Chuck, Chris, Amy, and Tails are just huge. It’s weird because Cream, Cheese, and Vanilla don’t look that way to me. It’s hard to explain why.

So here they are. The conflict that was talked about earlier with Vanilla being gone has been solved by a time jump past the Sonic Adventure 2 arc. Also, because the episode where she showed up involved the Chaotix helping to reunite the two, they’re here now as well. The Chaotix are in the book and on the very first page they show up, they get immediately dunked on by Amy. It's wonderful. Welcome home.

Seriously, the antics are immediate with them.

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The look of distress on Charmy’s face at having to do detective work on something like that is great. Also, Espio kissing Vanilla’s hand like an old English gentleman is odd to see but not completely out of the realm of possibility for him, I don’t think.

The others leave and then immediately, the Chaotix Detective Agency just crackles out of existence. The theory that they were just randomly transported back to Sonic’s world is brought up and Amy gets upset that they could have just gone home had they stepped into their office. God, if only.

We rejoin Captain Westwood, aka the World’s Greatest Asshole, as he debriefs Topaz on the state of his personal feelings.

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Wow. Just… laying it all out on the table eh?

It’s funny because he was excited to see her get in trouble last issue but the leader of France called the President and thanked them for saving so many lives. Topaz pointing out that disobeying Westwood would have made it impossible for them to save those lives doesn’t do much to quell his anger. Plus, he also neglects to inform her that it wasn’t an order from the President to return. It was an order from him that he just made up because he wanted them to fail. 

Topaz goes to find Rouge to warn her partner… but she’s gone! Le gasp.

We also rejoin Chris, who’s currently experiencing everyone’s favorite family drama troupe of winning the big soccer game but having none of his family members around to see it. His parents weren’t there so he was hoping Sonic would see but he wasn’t there either. When he gets home he gets informed by Chuck that they too… are all gone.

But where could they possibly be?

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OH NO!

That’s right Sonic, you can’t escape it!

It will never leave. It will never leave.

Not even in Sonic X are you free from the shackles of Green Hill. Try all you might, it will do whatever it must to invade your space, even if it has to look a little more like Sand Hill to try.

Meanwhile, aboard a spare Egg Carrier in the South Pole (because apparently Eggman had a third one made) Eggman is contemplating all the stuff he learned from the Shadow Saga as seen from the hit Sonic X TV Show on Blu Ray in Standard Definition sold in online stores now. He finally knows that he’s a human (as opposed to some weird, egg-shaped, humanoid, beast man I guess) and that this world was the one he was born in. Interestingly enough he figures that Gerald had to have been the one to send him to Sonic’s world but isn’t sure for what purpose. He also talks about how he’s discovered that Emeral was his creation.

Right now, he’s formulating plans for the moon, one that doesn’t involve that one meme, and as it plays out in his head his current plan is already in the works, as we can see Sonic bouncing off of motobugs on Eggman’s TV in Green Hill.

It's actually fairly amusing seeing Sonic so bewildered by the elements of the classic games. The rings are everywhere but they don’t give him a boost of power (they also don’t go into his body for some reason) but he feels compelled to collect them anyway. So now he’s got them around his arm like the world’s largest coiled arm band.

Then he discovers a shield box.

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God, I miss these things in 3D games. You can’t out run it but the 3D games sure did. Sigh.

He specifically notes that he doesn’t know what the rings do but he’s going to keep collecting them anyway. He can’t help himself guys. He has a problem.

This little scene is also really cute.

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It’s great.

Eggman shows up in his Eggmobile and doesn’t say anything other than “HAHAHA!” which is still inaccurate because he just plain didn’t talk but I like the idea of him being a creepy, stalk Eggman substitute that just has one line he repeats over and over again until he’s defeated. That’d be more of a joke for a 3D title but it's still funny in this context.

Sonic is no doubt being played by me in this boss because he gets hit and loses his shield and then is immediately hit again and loses his rings. He does manage to beat him and hits the capsule that releases all the animals inside.

Then Marble Zone.

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Ah. Marble Zone. The feeling of victory and the slim hope that I’d maybe be able to handle the classic games after all, immediately dashed by the slow, precise, and claustrophobic platforming of this level. Music’s nice though.

As he goes through Marble Zone, he’s very adorable in his concern for missing all of Chris’ events. As he’s worrying about that though, he comes across a tied up Amy. After he lets her go they go and take on the boss battle together. Sonic makes sure to tell Amy to grab some rings, which was a good idea, because she actually falls into the lava after taking out Eggman.

She isn’t hurt though because she had those on her. Imagine being in lava and just not feeling it though. Yeesh. That’d still have to feel weird.

Also, Sonic comments on the fake Eggman and straight up says he’s not sure it's even a living thing, which is creepy but he may also be right. They’re probably just trapped in a game that Eggman created.

Chris and Chuck are super worried about the others so they take the X-Tornado to Angel Island to speak with Knuckles about it… but he’s gone and so is the Master Emerald. Chris panics, thinking they might have just been taken home but Chuck doesn’t. If they went home then why is Angel Island still here after all. He summarizes instead that something sinister is happening.

Sonic and Amy are knee deep in Spring Yard Zone when they get battered around and lose their rings. They spin-dash their way out of danger and happen upon Knuckles immediately though. 

Hiyah Knuckles!

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… Okay, bye Knuckles. 

You too, Sonic and Amy.

Oh well.

You know, it’s funny, I was expecting Tails to be the first one Sonic ran into. It’s interesting that he hasn’t yet. 

 

That was fun! I liked it a lot. I’m actually not fond of the later issues of the Archie books where something like this happens and we have to see the characters go through the motions of visiting stages from the older games but this was handled in a way that I found more enjoyable as a fish out of water story concerning a version of Sonic dealing with shit that another version of Sonic deals with and having no clue why everything is so abstract and retro. I enjoyed it quite a bit. It also helps that the book is not only well-drawn but actually funny too. Good times.

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For some reason I get a kick out of how awkwardly some of the exposition is fitted into these earlier issues. The way they recap Metal Sonic's previous defeat in the Knuckles Chaotix adaption makes it sound like Sonic's whining "Hey KNUCKLES was the one that trashed you last! Go and pick on him instead!". :P

I have to say Metal Sonic's redemption wasn't very convincing. Metal didn't come off as naive to emotions originally, just a sociopath, he wanted Sonic and Tails to die in the most torturous and harrowing way possible. This is something that often bugs me about the reformed villains/anti heroes in the Sonic series since they have them ENJOY reach such a deplorable low beforehand that you don't really believe they are just misguided people. 

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Spoiler
18 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The writer for this issue is Danny Fingeroth

I don't know much about him as a writer but I do know he edited Spider-Man in the late 80's early 90's. I'm assuming this story was written as a favor or something since this is the only story he ever wrote for Sonic.

 

18 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic assures him that he’s all good and gets to work setting up a fire while Tails goes off in search of firewood. This whole scene probably could have come off as a lot more wholesome and cute had the art had been working with me here but...

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Ugh. I can’t handle it. It’s not just the weird detail on the fur but the shape of the head and the weird crevices on their hands and bodies. This is the kind of art that just makes me feel weird. 

People have tried to convince me Sam Maxwell's art is actually good and compared it to AOSTH but like that's loose and gangly because it's trying to be a wacky cartoon this is loose and gangly because it's poorly rendered.

 

18 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

cfhrflBn8M53zAFEUUynHcNjEDpVLM9DJbhTKVqNiOD-ZB-KFmz2lAinbUxDYim-D_iRyaE4NZH2G2DUc9CxQNUy5OMAI0RGMFG7B9fiVmy8zlaNCppPqp4c9mp2lPqypkihlm8C

Super Fighting Robot! Metal Sonic!

 

18 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The next several pages are basically just Metal Sonic beating the shit out of normal Sonic. Eventually, he gets Sonic pinned down and decides to start showing off in a manner befitting a robot trying to copy Sonic’s attitude.

HeHZ85-E0e88KYP1ez-mTQ0YYzlweg33QSU6l3Zpf-3udEsfu1MnHlN7rVmN4tscKH1KmlThBoT-jkP5c-zDvqoJv7Qf3Mpz9xf36_Rb5_vQNtw-9_bIq04DGTpMPQ9etYnS2tXw

How very charming.

Since this is the same version from #25 and the Knuckles Chaotix Special who hid himself to repair himself I like to imagine Jaleel White's voice for him here and later on as Shard.

 

18 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So, Sonic goes off trekking for a bit and then he’s just ambushed by Metal and punched the fuck out cold.

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I'd call that cheating but it is an evil robot duplicate so it's kinda expected.

 

18 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So the story and art for this one is by Frank Strom and… the art is… Robotnik looks like a background character from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

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Welcome to the Laboratory of Dr. Weird at South Jersey Shore.

I'm sure Mr. Strom is a nice dude but I can't say I'm sad this 2-parter is his last contribution to the book. Naturally not the last appearance of Monkey Kahn just the last time he's ever written and drawn by his creator.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

young Monkey Khan, or Ken Khan,

The biggest surprise to me when I was doing a full read-through was learning the name Ken Kahn wasn't something Ian came up with. I genuinely thought he gave Kahn a name.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Robotnik shuts him down and moans and whines some more about how he can’t control his tech.

"And that's why I only use things I stole from other people. The roboticizer, The Zone of Silence, Heck I'm not even totally sure I made the Swatbots."

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

There really isn’t much to say or talk about for the vast majority of this story.

That's pretty much why most of what I'm chiming in with is jokes. It's fine. I like it but outside of some OVA similarities in the end there's not a lot to say. It's a good fine story arc.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Naturally, this doesn’t convince him so Tails takes this opportunity to join Sonic in taking him down again. They team up… and then the volcano decides it wants to erupt. The two of them get stuck but then Metal Sonic suddenly, and very quickly, changes his mind and helps them to escape.

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"There is only one Sonic."

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Speaking of Khan, the way his side-story plays out here goes well towards proving my point. Approaching this second half of his story there was a part of me that was willing to concede to its importance should it be reliable set-up for something that needed to be shown right the fuck now. However, while seeing the origin of his transformation and containment last issue had a strong enough benefit for his character arc, this half was basically an exercise in wasting time.

The story is setting up for a future appearance of Kahn but that appearance doesn't happen until like #92 or something. I mean I guess it's relatively soon but it was still like five months away from this issue.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Also, because the episode where she showed up involved the Chaotix helping to reunite the two, they’re here now as well. The Chaotix are in the book and on the very first page they show up, they get immediately dunked on by Amy. It's wonderful. Welcome home.

I do love that while Edkin has them teleport back home Ian later just chooses to ignore that in his first issue and feature them so Edkin later explains it by having Knuckles ask how they got back to earth and Vector basically going "I dunno". In any other book that'd be kinda annoying but this is Sonic X where everything's made up and the points don't matter.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Also, Espio kissing Vanilla’s hand like an old English gentleman is odd to see but not completely out of the realm of possibility for him, I don’t think.

I think Joe forgot which one had the crush on her and decided to take his chances on Espio.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We rejoin Captain Westwood, aka the World’s Greatest Asshole, as he debriefs Topaz on the state of his personal feelings.

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Wow. Just… laying it all out on the table eh?

Oh, snap this is the only time Tracy drew Topaz. Well technically he drew her in some of the Sonic Eggs fancomic he contributed to but this is the only official time. It's technically the only time he drew Westwood too but...well I'll save that for a future issue.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

But where could they possibly be?

z2xAe_6Nn99c1m3YumzC_Kxf0OhpEF5mZ0lRqAp57m8VLBgLmHKzNPNQKj9uKOag4xZrfTPv2yRegP0NnPmKxQjpP-1lvuygMGKBsBE8efyczEgSrW8fkYFxCO5XAPpGBWN65QIs

OH NO!

That’s right Sonic, you can’t escape it!

It will never leave. It will never leave.

Not even in Sonic X are you free from the shackles of Green Hill. Try all you might, it will do whatever it must to invade your space, even if it has to look a little more like Sand Hill to try.

...I gotta be honest I really don't see what the big deal is. It's iconic of course it's going to be used a bunch. Just like how Mario regularly references the start of World 1-1.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Right now, he’s formulating plans for the moon, one that doesn’t involve that one meme, and as it plays out in his head his current plan is already in the works, as we can see Sonic bouncing off of motobugs on Eggman’s TV in Green Hill.

Honestly I'm just impressed by how quickly he came up with the Egg Moon scheme. I don't think they give a real amount of time for how long it's been since the SA2 adaptation but the dub claims the Chaotix happens literally the day after Sonic and Shadow stopped the Ark from crashing into earth so he must have been thinking this one up on the flight home.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic is no doubt being played by me in this boss because he gets hit and loses his shield and then is immediately hit again and loses his rings.

Same. Though I probably had lost my shield before the boss.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Chris and Chuck are super worried about the others so they take the X-Tornado to Angel Island to speak with Knuckles about it… but he’s gone and so is the Master Emerald. Chris panics, thinking they might have just been taken home but Chuck doesn’t. If they went home then why is Angel Island still here after all. He summarizes instead that something sinister is happening.

Note Angel Island is still floating without the Master Emerald.

 

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Sonic Super Special - Issue #14: Sonic Stew

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This cover is ugly and cluttered. It looks like paint vomit. What else is new for these covers? Let’s move on.

Spoiler

 

Sonic Super Special - Issue #14: Law of the Land

The plot of this first story is by Evan Skolnick while the writer is one Jim Spivey. The pencils are all done by Suzanne Paddock. All of these names are completely new to me and normally I’d consider that a good thing but this old comic has been very good at going against potential positive expectations. I can only hope this is something worth it.

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OH GOD! WHY! WHHHHHHHYYYYYY???! SWEET BABY JESUS! OH MIGHTY LORD GALACTUS ON HIGH, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?!

Why can’t this shit ever be good goddammit? I just want it to be good… for fuck’s sake…!

Sonic and Sally are deforming, melting, and squiggling out before my eyes. Then in the very next shot, Sally’s eyeballs have either exploded on the inside or she just got a wiff of a powerful drug that made her pupils swallow the whites of her eyes. I just… can’t…!

Oh dear lord. Maybe if I keep reading it’ll… at least get better story-wise.

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BWAHAHAHAHAHA~!

So, on the very next panel, not even the next page, but the VERY NEXT PANEL, all of a sudden a portal opens up, two weird echidna mother-fuckers with what looks like stalactites grafted to their dumb bulbous heads show up, place Sonic under arrest, and for no reason punch the fuck out of Sally and then immediately race off. It’s so random. It feels like a skit from the Amanda Show.

Of course, as Sally lays there unconscious we end on the line “Save it for the J.U.D.G.E” which is hopefully an anagram for something and doesn’t just have periods in there because it looks cool.

Oh my. This isn’t good. This first page just floored me. It’s like I got tossed off a 4 story building.

Sonic ends up being taken to the city of Litigopolis. The Judgemental Unrelenting Digitized Government Enforcer is the anagram for the J.U.D.G.E and he seems to be a projection of Robotnik on a large screen. Sonic’s been taken to a courthouse where the Prosecution is Johnny Snively and apparently his defense is Sally McAcorn.

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She looks fucking gross Sonic. So do you.

Snively looks great though.

Anyway, none of what I just said apparently matters because we just time jump 10 hours later where Sonic is out on bail and practicing the limbo while going down the stairs.

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My goodness. They were willing to just let anything pass back then. I bet I could have been an artist on this comic back in 2000.

Sally explains to him their ridiculous broken system of Government. Yes, even more ridiculous and broken then ours. Laws are so strict here that the fear of being sued because the accusation that a hot dog burned their tongue can get you arrested. 

Hmm. Maybe that’s not the best example. It could here in America too. 

Well, either way, King Acorn got super strict with the laws, even more so than he already is, and hired the Robotnik Corporation to make the J.U.D.G.E so it could handle his strict bullshit for him. Then it put his ass in jail for being so bad at it himself and now it rules as a scary machine that will enforce people’s rights to sue your ass over mundane things. Now everyone’s too afraid to even go outside. 

Sonic doesn’t give a crap about the law of some other zone as it doesn’t apply to him so he rushes off to deal with it. He’s clearly not afraid of the echidna cops. 

I would also like to highlight the beauty of these enforcers to the Robotnik A.I being a bunch of asshole echidnas. That’s magnificent.

Though, the fact their commander turns out to be Knuckles is a bit sad.

Anyway, Sonic’s journey to turn the J.U.D.G.E off immediately fails when he trips the security. Apparently, for some reason, he didn’t consider it would have security. So then he escapes and is told by Sally that his case has just been made worse. Sonic’s insistence that he’s innocent means nothing now, which is a shame because Sally has a video of the real culprit.

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How convenient that those echidna cops saw this and went to Sonic Prime’s zone specifically to carry him over to this zone to put him on trial. It's weird considering how there’s plenty of different versions of Sonics out there in the multiverse and yet Evil Sonic is played up as the direct opposite of Sonic Prime specifically and not just another version of Sonic. Unless Evil Sonic is the only Evil Sonic in all the multiverse. Though if that’s the case, then having knowledge of the other zones would make this a pretty easy case to solve. This is already assuming this zone has no Sonic and they knew the troublemaker was from another one.

Also, the fact that it was a guy who loves breaking the law whether they’re fair or not doing all this kind of puts a tiny bit of a damper on the point behind the J.U.D.G.E’s laws being so unfair.  

Although they do win a few points back thanks to the cartoonish solution. Sonic is momentarily put off by the news but gets an idea to use the J.U.D.G.E’s overdone nonsense against him.

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You see, the J.U.D.G.E is so advanced that it can monitor the petty crimes of thousands of people within a kingdom all at once but not that of a single guy moving super fast. 

Or something. I don’t actually know.

The point is, Sonic did a bunch of crimes really fast and it overloaded the computer which always leads to them exploding. I’m pretty sure that’s how science works.

Knuckles comes in and calls Sonic a criminal but gets a rock thrown in his face and is knocked out by Sally. Sonic asks how Sally knows how to do that and Sally responds that she has to know how to defend herself. She should have responded by saying “All I did was throw a rock at him.”

Snively is arrested and Sally says they can finally get to focusing on making a more fair legal system (she thinks) and worries about Sonic getting home. Zonic, however, aware that Sonic is the most important of all Sonics shows up to just teleport him home. To rub salt in this wound though, Sally offers to send him off with a kiss and Zonic decides to be a dick and forces Sonic through the portal even faster while laughing about it.

That said, I’m in total support of Zonic’s decision there. I would have done it too.

That story wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Loads of things about it aren’t properly handled but it could have served as an alright distraction of sorts. However, it’s definitely not something you’d need to put into a 48 page long special. I’m not sure what about this would have enticed anyone to want to read it. That goes double for how awful this entire thing ended up being purely because of it’s rancid ass art.

This is another one of those situations where the art just ruins the story. It’s nature as something harmless would have helped it stand had the images on the page not done everything in their power to assault my eyes. It’s puerile garbage now because of it. I don’t know who the newbies for this story were, or if they were even newbies to the industry, but I can’t say I’ll miss them when they leave.

Sonic Super Special - Issue #14: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

It’s a Ken Penders vehicle and you can tell because we’ve got ourselves a Knuckles here in the opening scene. At first I was wondering if Penders was also drawing it but then I realized that was impossible because of how good he looked… at least in the opening page. The art is done by Steven Butler again so it’s got that wishy-washy, “I’m not sure if I’m gonna be good and consistent” feel to it.

I want to try and ignore that Charles Dickens title but I keep being drawn back to it. It’s not something I feel I’d care about were it any other writer but I know it’s there just so Penders can flaunt knowing things about literature. I wouldn’t question it otherwise. 

Anyway, it begins with Knuckles running away from an explosion and it blasts him off a cliff and into the water. It cuts back in time with a “I bet you’re wondering how I ended up in this situation” sort of narration where we see Knuckles and the Chaotix happily enjoying the wedding ceremony of his mom and Wyn. 

Once again, I must say, I’m happy for her. I can only hope this plotline is an acknowledgement of how messed up Locke has been but, once again, I have my doubts. I can’t help but think in the back of my mind that he wishes for us to believe Locke is being wronged in some way despite the acknowledgement that she’s happy here.

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It’s all pretty great. Although the ending bit after this has Vector just being an ass again, bitching and moaning about how once you’ve seen a wedding you’ve seen them all. Then Julie-Su points out that Vector wouldn’t know because he’s got no one and Knuckles has HER. They then chide him for being jealous and the other Chaotix members reinforce her being right. The book is doing everything in its power to make you hate him and be on Julie-Su’s side in all this but I’m immune. I can just hate them both. At least until Vector becomes the Vector I know and love. All Espio and Mighty are doing by constantly backing up everything she says whenever her and Vector argue is making me think they’re all dumb.

Our good boy Remington comes along though. He’s got a friend named Komi-Ko. I feel for the guy because he’s never shown in any relaxed settings and it looks like now’s not that time either because he immediately gets a message and has to leave right away. 

Anyway, we cut to the Brotherhood of Assholes and Locke shows up, surprised and happy to see… another asshole.

This one’s name is Grandfather Mathias and I guess he’s blind or something? Also, it took me a while to spot him because, for some reason, he isn’t the focal point of the page so I ended up looking at Thunderhawk and wondering if his name changed or something. 

I don’t feel like attempting to explain his ramblings about interstellar meditation so here’s the page where he says it.

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Riveting.

Anyway, we get a scene of Knuckles, the Chaotix, and Julie-Su heading towards somewhere while riding on the backs of white horses. They don’t say anything of any real interest. It’s literally just a page long scene of characters dunking on Vector some more. In case you didn’t get that he’s hated and you shouldn’t like him and it’s ridiculous that they’re friends. 

Remington, after dropping off his lady friend who we saw for a total of two panels, hitches a ride with my favorite dingo Harry. Harry doesn’t want to, of course, but he ends up relenting and giving him a ride to the station. The conversation that goes down is about how General Stryker is about to make a move for a huge dingo protest because the echidna bums in charge have been indecisive for too long. I can’t blame him, even though Remington says the move is idiotic because they’re right on the cusp of finally making a decision.

It’s been SO fucking long in this book and they’re just now ready to make a decision eh? Maybe the Chaos thing set them back but seeing as how I’ve not seen anyone bring up the massive destruction that Eggman laid down on their city, I’d wager a guess that part of the story’s just been swept under the rug. I truly don’t think Penders cared about it.

Also, I’m not sure how Von Stryker is supposed to know the Echidna Council is about to do something unless he’s literally been told. Also, also, making a decision doesn’t mean it’s going to be a decision he’s going to like either. There’s quite a lot of factors to consider here is all I’m saying.

Meanwhile, Knuckles and his group finally arrive at their destination. Another old, shabby, rundown temple. It was poorly explained because there was no direct scene of them being informed of what was going on or them agreeing to help out, but yeah, they’re on their way to find the “Dimitri Boys” as they put it here. At least I think they are. Again, it’s not as clear as I desire it to be.

At the same time, The Brotherhood have found a secret base where they’re starting to unload tanks. The tanks get tipped over (one of them calls it a truck for some reason) and they explode. Fighting happens. It’s all very uninteresting.

I’m more interested in watching Wyn and Knuckles’ mom have their honeymoon.

Then (where suddenly it’s night time) Von Stryker and his men hold up their guns with the safety OFF and head out into the open (where it suddenly turns back into day time) to threaten people and shout about how they’re going to start blowing things away if they don’t get what the want after waiting so patiently. Remington and his police blockade are ready with Remington stating that he’s sure he can calm him down. Why he thinks that? I haven’t a clue.

Back with Knuckles’ group, I’m hoping to get more of an in-depth exploration into what it is they’re trying to accomplish but when Julie-Su straight up asks Knuckles what he’s looking for here he says “I don’t know”. 

Then all of a sudden, Dark Legionaries show up, grab Julie-Su, and fly away in a flying saucer, leaving the rest to chase them down.

The Knuckles part of this Knuckles story is by far the most hamfisted and least cared about thing in this issue.

Then, comedy happens.

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I swear to God, that was the funniest shit this whole issue. Steppenwolf just strolls on into the dude’s mind as a ghost and he just reaches out to him so he can die. 

This Hawking guy has been in the hospital for who knows how fucking long and he just randomly dies here, in this one page, at the back end of a random Sonic Super Special, in a story that up until this point had nothing to do with him, long after he was relevant, and with almost no scenes of him being checked up on to advance whatever plot was supposed to be told with the guy that would make his continued existence important. 

It’s just a thing that happens.

Anyway, Lien-Da is back. She still isn’t named but at least her and Julie-Su have a conversation here and the plot point of them being half-sisters is brought up again. She’s tossed into a cell where Moritori Rex and Dimitri are overlooking her with great interest like most criminals do.

Anyway, they activate the Quantum Beam.

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At first I thought everyone was being obliterated but no, that would have been the practical thing to do. Dimitri likes to be a poetic dumbass so he’s apparently just launched all the people who were hit by this into another zone like he was. Even some of his Dark Legion buddies were caught in the blast which was, of course, by design.

The last image of the book is of Knuckles floating on a piece of debris in the water, having escaped the island by jumping off of it by following his gut instincts.

It’s weird how this all just looks like they got blown the fuck up. If that line about Dimitri sending them to another location wasn’t there, you’d forgive me for thinking the island was just rendered uninhabitable forever. The island is literally smoking.

I guess when Eggman actually killed people it wasn’t a big deal but I’ll wager a guess that this is going to be the hugest of deals because Dimitri did it or something. 

 

Yeah, that wasn’t the worst a Sonic Super Special has ever been but this issue did nothing to shake off the pointless feel behind their merit as something special. After finishing the Knuckles story I had already forgotten what the Sonic story had been about. So much of this book is dominated by just those two characters at this point. At least earlier they’d stop to give Tails his own stories every now and again. Now they won’t even keep his important character development from a game they’ve adapted and didn’t have to do much work to fit in. 

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #88: Family Matters

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This is a very nice looking cover. I love the colors here. It takes pretty good advantage of the color blue. Sonic’s mouth is a bit too over exaggerated for my taste but it’s not something that sticks out too much either. I guess it’s time we dealt with that evil doer, Uncle Chuck eh?

Spoiler

 

This issue is written by Bollers and the pencils are by our boy James Fry. This is excellent. I very much prefer this combination over the last two from that Super Special. 

It looks like Bollers is ready to move on from that strange diversion of the crashed airship because we begin the issue with the Freedom Fighters having all returned home. I guess that little excursion on that place they randomly landed on was just that. Kind of makes you wonder what the point was but oh well. 

I guess they found a point because when we get through the forest, we see King Max and his men standing there suited up in armor and ready to head off into battle. What a thing to come home to.

King Max sees the Freedom Fighters coming back and properly addresses Sonic as Sir Sonic before immediately explaining to him what’s been going on, with a sad look on his face. Max is only ever sympathetic and well-written when Bollers is around so thank God he was in charge of this story.

Anyway, Elias has been captured by Eggman. Their mom’s condition got way worse sometime after they left so Elias went on a mission and stole some mom healing juice from Eggman and snuck it to Mina Mongoose before he got retaken. Presumably this happened in a manner where they saw him and not Mina. Now, he says, they’re going to immediately inject the stuff into Sally’s mom. 

I know I should probably give them the benefit of the doubt by assuming they properly tested it but the panel saying that they’re just going to trust this vile of shit they got from Eggman and inject it into her dying body kind of tickles me a bit. Sally’s reaction to hearing this would have been appropriately emotional had her response made literally no sense.

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…I probably shouldn’t be mean and question her ability to be sound and rational at this moment considering what she just found out... but, it literally WAS a timely recap. You guys just landed your ship, walked out, met up with them, and this was the very first thing he said to you. Maybe she's talking about how they could have communicated with communication devices? Did they try to reach out to the kingdom when their ship crashed? If so, they might have found out and could have gotten a transport back home earlier. 

 I know, I know, this is probably super nitpicky but I always find myself kind of amazed by how Sally’s interactions with her dad never feel written quite right. Even when Bollers does it, something always feels a bit askew.

Although, because it’s Bollers, we’ve got Geoffrey speaking to Sonic like a rational person and Sonic speaking to him back like a normal person responding to someone saying something respectful.

Geoffrey: "The Secret Service and I could really use your help on this mission."
Sonic: "Sure thing, St. John."

See Penders? Not a single word of that was one of them calling each other a brat or a jerk or a bitch. Amazing right?

It is funny seeing the Secret Service without Valdez there. Poor guy just showed up to be dicked around and then thrown the hell away. They kept Crocbot’s body but not Valdez. Still makes me laugh.

After that, we get a short scene where we see that Uncle Chuck is the one guarding Elias’ cell. Uncle Chuck says he’s eager to roboticize him which just led me to question why he hasn’t already. It’s not like they’re not going to come try and rescue him regardless. He doesn’t need to be un-roboticized to act as bait. 

We then cut back to Knothole where we see Antoine in a cast. Apparently that one shot of Antoine getting hit with a rock was supposed to be super impactful and memorable because it was enough to land him on crutches. We probably should have made the impact on his leg more… I dunno. Impactful? Maybe a close-up. Maybe some speed-lines. It happening in that blur that was the Chaos fight really didn’t sell me on it being serious. I know rocks hit hard, especially when blasted at you by giant water Gods but the reader is conditioned to expect these characters to handle way worse at this point. You need to work towards selling us more on something like that. I would have bought it just fine then.

Well, either way, he’s out of commission for this mission and Bunnie opts to stay behind for the sake of his feelings which would be cute if it weren’t for the fact that he’ll be there when she gets back and this mission seems more important. I don’t know if this is something you should opt out of for a reason like that.

Sally even warns Sonic that her dad is hella old so he needs to make sure he doesn’t die. He really shouldn’t be out there at all but hey, at least he knows how to make himself look cool in a badass full page spread.

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Fry’s art is really cool man. It helps that the angular but still, somehow, flowy nature to it makes for some really cool looking action. You know that sensation when you’re watching an anime film and the budget ramps up 100 million percent to give you that feel of a good explosion of animation? That’s what the invasion here reminds me of.

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God, I dislike two out of three of those characters in the bottom panel but it looks so fucking cool. I can’t help but feel them radiate badassery man. It’s the magical wonders of a good writer and a good artist, working together, on a comic book.

What a novel concept. This book should really do that more often. This shit is cool!

The army manages to bust a good ways into the base and, recognizing that they’re fucked with Eggman currently not home, Uncle Chuck decides NOW he’s gonna roboticize Elias. Again, not sure why he waited at all but at least he’s doing this now. 

Although, like an idiot, he hologram projects himself in front of Sonic and King Max and shows them that he’s about to do it right the fuck now. Sonic bolts the hell out of the fight to go find him which, to his credit, he was trying to do ANYWAY since his priority was Elias and not the battle the whole time.

Back in Knothole, Antoine and Bunnie have decided to leave to Mercia to locate Antoine’s dad. Amy decides she wants to go along with them because she was born there and her cousin Rob O’ Hedge lives there too. Now, we were given hints about this way back the last time we saw our great, lovely boy Rob but Amy spelling it out here, finally, is appreciated. 

Sally is a bit unsure of it but respects all of their feelings and allows them to go before turning to cry into Rosie’s chest, the emotions of the situation finally overwhelming her. It’s a nice touch having this happen when all of the people she leads were out of her sight. Sonic knew something was up with her but Sally wasn’t showing it and didn’t feel comfortable doing so until her troupe couldn’t see her. Which is great.

Plus, her willingness to allow Amy to go along was refreshing too. It flies directly in the face of all that bullshit she and the others talked about her not being mature enough and the body change not changing anything but it’s nice that this happened because it was, as I said, complete bullshit.

 I’m really not sure why it was ever a plot-point. It continues to baffle me how they’d allow her to be around more often, so consistently, and then suddenly it was a problem in the Adventure arc. No, they didn’t need an excuse to change her design. Just say she fixed her hair, changed her clothes, and then just draw her a bit taller. Maybe she had an established age but whatever it was, it was so talked about that retconning it would have mattered. It’s like… I mean, come on.

But yeah, that was also a really well-done scene. My only real hang-up with it is the fact that they’re choosing to leave NOW when they should REALLY be waiting for the others to return first.

Anyway, enough emotion, we cut back to the fucking awesome fight scene that’s happening. Sonic zig-zags his way into the chamber where Elias is and calls out for Uncle Chuck to stop, who doesn’t remember him. Then the king makes a royal decree for him to stop while Geoffrey shoots an arrow into his arm. Then the king slices a Shadow Bot in half, down the middle, execution style and it’s SO FUCKING COOL!

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Oh my God, it’s so awesome. Why is the king a badass now?

The fight continues, never looking dull throughout, until we finally reach the moment where the King faces off against Uncle Chuck and Muttsuki, trying to tell him to stop and to return home. Right as Chuck is in the middle of saying he’s not Charles, his and Muttsuki’s memories come back… and then the king gets punched out and a rotating wall from a Haunted House or an episode of Scooby Doo swipes the two of them away.

Sonic angrily demolishes the robots, screaming about how "THEY WERE BACK!".

He shouts this over and over until his friends grab him and pull him away from the broken pile of bots. They’re gone again, like the end of a really sad episode of a TV show that leaves the viewer down and wondering how much longer they must wait before the gang’s all back together again.

We go back to Knothole where Dr. Quack comes out to tell Sally that the surgery is done, just as Sonic shows up carrying an unconscious King Max in his hand. 

That’s where the main story ends and I was about to applaud the book on being really goddamn good for the first time in a long time… but then I turned the page and realized there was a Knuckles story I was promised the conclusion of… and I have to read it…

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #88: Picking Up the Pieces

Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. 

So… the dynamic duo of Penders and Butler are back again for another super interesting Knuckles story…

Knuckles wakes up on a piece of floating debris and has managed to apparently lay there unconscious for 12 hours without the rocking of the ocean leading to any complications before he just wakes up and demands to know what he should do. 

All of a sudden, Athair appears from nowhere and starts spouting some mumbo jumbo about not being in his regular form and about how Knuckles’ destination shouldn’t be the floating island even though Knuckles really would rather skip the bullshit and go straight there. Because Athair refuses to give him a straight answer for why he has to go seek out Rob O’ Hedge in Mercia instead, I’m left to just be really annoyed by it but also pleasantly surprised that Rob is being talked up again. I really like him.

Knuckles uses the Guiding Star Gem to take him to Mercia. 

Over in Mercia, Rob is with his echidna wife Mari-Ann and their… baby…

… They have a baby now… okay. I mean… hey, why waste time when you know who you want to rock the bed with I guess?

Rob senses a disturbance in the force… of the forest and slides down the tree to immediately come across Antoine, Bunnie, and his cousin Amy.

Rob doesn’t recognize Amy because she wished herself older but he DOES recognize Antoine because he looks like the evil metal overlord ruining his landscape. He has all the reasons in the world to distrust them and stick his mighty arrow in their asses when Knuckles shows up, conveniently  at the same time, to set Rob straight.

With that out of the way, they pose heroically at the edge of a cliff to stare off into the middle distance on their pursuit of adventure… or rather, a pursuit of finding fathers and family. 

Thank God. That was mercifully short. I was so worried the Knuckles story was going to ruin this for me.

 

Hot damn! It’s been a really long while since this book has been this goddamn good. It really goes a long way towards making a heart-pounding experience when you’ve got good art, good choreography, and a good sense to put appropriate emotional moments in where you can. My only real hang-up is that some of the decisions the characters made could have been better served happening at different points in the story for the sake of practicality but I understand how hard it can be to properly shuffle things around when you’re trying to merge two stories together. On the whole, this was a ton of fun. More like this please.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #89: Thicker Than Water

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Uh-oh, something otherworldly this way comes. Probably. Most likely. Either way, this is an okay cover. I can’t say there’s much about it that gets me excited though.

Spoiler

 

It’s another Karl Bollers and James Fry story. I can only hope this one turns out to be as good as the first.

The issue begins with King Max being taken away by the doctors which told me immediately that this issue was going to be more of an emotional ride rather than an action packed one. I’m okay with that so long as it’s well told of course.

The first thing Sally does after seeing her father carried off is turn to Sonic and ask him how he could have failed to protect him when she asked him to. Geoffrey tries to come to Sonic’s defense (yes I know) by trying to say that he had no choice but to leave the king’s side in order to-- and he doesn’t get a chance to finish because Sally runs off crying after hearing that fist part. I’m guessing she didn’t actually care about the reason. She was just upset that it happened.

Elias goes off to comfort her, leaving Sonic to feel bad about himself. I’m certain there was minor contemplation of seppuku or something.

Eggman returns home, in a very round form of his Adventure design, and sees all his shit destroyed. He’s very upset by that, understandably and correctly assumes its Sonic’s fault his toys are broken.

Sonic gets a bit of a pep talk from Rosie that acknowledges Sally’s irrational behavior being due to all the pressure that’s been put onto her. At least someone acknowledges it though. I can understand it all I want but I’ll admit, it wasn’t something I felt I’d have been able to just stand without someone speaking up about it directly. Sonic feels very little comfort in hearing this because he still feels like he failed. In fairness, he probably could have used a bit more assistance than what he got. 

We find out Mina was babysitting some kids for Rosie and she lets her off the hook. Mina noticed Sonic being rather glum and was left to wonder about it for a bit before we cut away. At this point, the kids reading this story must be wondering what is up with this girl we keep seeing for flashes at a time. Is she going to be important? To which I say… probably. Depends on how you view romance.

We then cut to Sally sulking over some water while Elias sits down next to her to have a chat. Because it’s a Bollers story, acknowledgement of how wrong Max has been without Sally feeling sorry for doubting her daddy’s hard decisions is allowed to flourish once more. 

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I swear, the handling of King Max’s character between these two authors feels like diss-tracks between two rappers. They couldn’t be more opposite of one another. It’s astonishing the story can function at all like this. The jury is still out on whether or not it does to be honest…

Then there’s Sonic, whom, no matter what, always manages to have an adorable moment whenever his parents are around. He’s always being hugged and supported by them and it’s always, super freaking cute.

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Here he is, questioning himself. Here he is, questioning  how he does things. Here he is, blaming himself when he did his very best and couldn’t be seen at fault for any of what went down. Here he is, surrounded by the love of his parents and mourning the loss of his uncle, yet again.

It’s very good. Despite liking my version of Sonic where he’s parent-less, I do relish any opportunity they can get to explore his more emotional side concerning the ones he cares about. That usually falls to the relationship I care the most about, being that of his relationship with Tails, as I’m a sucker for stories about brotherhood, but if he’s going to have parents and an uncle, I rather like this portrayal being what it is.

Anyway, Eggman, and later Sonic and Tails, figure out that the reason Uncle Chuck and Muttski returned to normal for a moment back in the last issue was because of the Sword of Acorns being so close to them when Max tried to talk sense into Uncle Chuck. It would seem it holds the key to fixing the mental state of the Robians. 

After this happens, everyone is called to the hospital room where they finally are granted their miracle. Sally’s mom has finally woken up.

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After that, we end on Sonic running with the Acorn sword in his hand, something far more dangerous than him running with scissors. Also, someone is looking at him from behind a tree.

So I’m guessing that cover was an exaggeration of what actually happened. I thought it might have been the Evil versions of these characters showing up and dressing like their good counterparts to harass Sonic. I guess this is a minor case of the cover’s telling a tiny white lie seeing as Sally just ran off rather than got angry at him. 

Actually, she doesn't look angry on that cover. She looks like she's mocking him. So does Geoffrey. Though, you'd expect that of him, he came to Sonic's defense here... actually, what was this cover trying to do? You know, on second thought, this cover is awful.

Anyway, this was good. Not as awesome as the last issue but it wasn’t supposed to be. It was an appropriate book end to this little story as well as an end to this super long arc surrounding Sally’s mom. Both her parents needed a tremendous amount of stuff before they could return apparently. Oy vey. I would have hated having to wait for this. Especially since it concerns characters I still, admittedly, don’t care that much about.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #89: A Matter of Self Interest

Now we’re back to continue the Penders story with Steven Butler’s art. The first page is fine enough. It’s just Knuckles sailing with good boy Rob alongside Bunnie and Antoine while they recap a few things about what happened the last time Knuckles was here. The story of Albion, Yanar, the Jesus walking on water thing, and the High Sheriff who is also Antoine’s roboticized dad, are all talked about.

It all feels like eons ago at this point but I was able to recollect enough about it that I felt comfortable continuing onto the next page. Then the second page happened and it was a bunch of echidnas sitting at chairs and watching Knuckles on a monitor as they talk about things I don’t care about.

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Why is this the kind of shit he finds interesting? Is it because of Star Trek? I feel like what they were talking about in his favorite shows and movies had to be more interesting than this, right? I don’t even want to retain this information. I can’t will myself to try anymore. There’s just too many echidnas with different names talking to each other about dumb bullshit.

Locke, Sojourner, Thunderhawk, Moritori Rex, Steppenwolf, Hawking, Athair, Yanar, Jani-Ca, Dimitri, Edmund, Sabre, Tobor, Remington, Mari-Ann and just recently I’ve been introduced to another one, Mathias or whatever. I’m sure there’s more that I missed. I don’t want to anymore. It’s a miracle that I’ve managed to remember these people. I just can’t with the echidna names anymore.

One of the reasons this is especially frustrating to me right now is because this is Gala-Na. The name sounded familiar but this person’s face sure didn’t. Maybe it was the face of the fake Tikal that was drawn in that one issue during the Sonic Adventure arc? Who knows but the point is that this person isn’t the same color as the Gala-Na I met back in the Albion arc. As such, I actually had to stop my recap and research her name to make sure I recalled who she was and that I wasn’t crazy. 

It’s one thing to expect me to remember these echidnas but it’s another thing entirely to bring them back and color them differently. Fuck you, comic. They all look red. She was one of the few that stood out as looking a bit different. It’s like it's trying to piss me off.

Anyway, for some reason, she’s questioning why Knuckles decided to not stay with his people. I don’t know why she is. Maybe my memory is being faulty but I seem to remember her being more chill and accepting back then. Maybe she still is chill and I’m just reading this wrong. Perhaps she just wants to know why because she wants everyone to come together again. She says as much later so I feel I can assume that. 

Knuckles and his group come across her as soon as they make landfall and she expresses the desire for the other echidnas to return to the motherland while making sure to offer Knuckles and his companions hospitality.

Everyone settles down for bed except Knuckles because he’s always lost in thought about something. Yanar, also looking different, shows up to speak with him about how they’ve got the Sheriff of Snottingham and are planning to shut him down for the greater good. Except they can’t because--!

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BITCH, YOU THOUGHT--!

 

That was another nice issue. It was a little less impactful than the previous one, to be sure, even with Sally’s mom waking up, but it was still well-done. The second story also wasn’t anything terrible. I’ll admit to still not caring all that much about it but at least it seems tailor made to be about Antoine’s journey as well as Knuckles. It's funny seeing Penders write a story that was the offshoot of Bollers’ decision to have Sonic tell Antoine what he wanted to know though. Quite funny.


 

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9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The plot of this first story is by Evan Skolnick while the writer is one Jim Spivey. The pencils are all done by Suzanne Paddock.

I have...absolutely no information to share. Near as I can tell this is the only Sonic comic they ever did. With good reason.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So, on the very next panel, not even the next page, but the VERY NEXT PANEL, all of a sudden a portal opens up, two weird echidna mother-fuckers with what looks like stalactites grafted to their dumb bulbous heads show up, place Sonic under arrest, and for no reason punch the fuck out of Sally and then immediately race off. It’s so random. It feels like a skit from the Amanda Show.

Y'know considering this law based it should totally have ended with some dancing lobsters.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic ends up being taken to the city of Litigopolis. The Judgemental Unrelenting Digitized Government Enforcer is the anagram for the J.U.D.G.E and he seems to be a projection of Robotnik on a large screen. Sonic’s been taken to a courthouse where the Prosecution is Johnny Snively and apparently his defense is Sally McAcorn.

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She looks fucking gross Sonic. So do you.

A. The closest I've ever come to watching Ally McBeal is watching Boston Legal so any references to the show are completely lost on me. B. Oh, yeah Sonic who doesn't think stick legs, no torso and a giant bobble head are sexy?

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sally explains to him their ridiculous broken system of Government. Yes, even more ridiculous and broken then ours. Laws are so strict here that the fear of being sued because the accusation that a hot dog burned their tongue can get you arrested. 

Hmm. Maybe that’s not the best example. It could here in America too. 

To give the comic credit this isn't the worst satire around but also it's pretty blatantly based on the infamous McDonalds coffee case which is actually extremely sad. I suggest looking up the Adam Ruins Everything Segment on it because it does a good job explaining how badly McDonalds screwed over an old woman and made the fact they were serving ridiculously hot coffee her fault and turned people against her.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Although they do win a few points back thanks to the cartoonish solution. Sonic is momentarily put off by the news but gets an idea to use the J.U.D.G.E’s overdone nonsense against him.

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I legitimately love seeing Snivley fly off. It's hilarious everytime.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

However, it’s definitely not something you’d need to put into a 48 page long special.

I gotta be honest I have a theory it wasn't supposed to be. It's broken into 2-parts which admittedly a lot of these did but Sonic recaps the first part in the second one. I would bet actual money it was originally going to be a backup but got replaced with either the Monkey Kahn story from the last 2 or the upcoming Knuckles stuff.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic Super Special - Issue #14: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

It’s a Ken Penders vehicle and you can tell because we’ve got ourselves a Knuckles here in the opening scene.

IT BEGINS!

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

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"Don't they make a happy couple?" What a weird alien thing to say. People either say they are the happy couple or say "aren't they a beautiful/lovely couple". Has Penders ever met another human being?

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Our good boy Remington comes along though. He’s got a friend named Komi-Ko.

Since this is a Penders story he probably intended her to be his girlfriend but I don't think Komi-Ko ever show's up again. She might have been the teacher in the first part of Endangered Species but I'm not sure.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I don’t feel like attempting to explain his ramblings about interstellar meditation so here’s the page where he says it.

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Penders you're not Steve Ditko and this sure as hell isn't Doctor Strange.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I’m more interested in watching Wyn and Knuckles’ mom have their honeymoon.

...You do you man. :p

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This Hawking guy has been in the hospital for who knows how fucking long and he just randomly dies here, in this one page, at the back end of a random Sonic Super Special, in a story that up until this point had nothing to do with him, long after he was relevant, and with almost no scenes of him being checked up on to advance whatever plot was supposed to be told with the guy that would make his continued existence important. 

I'm thinking Penders literally just remembered Hawking was even alive and decided since he was about to blow the fuck out of the island now was the time to finish that storyline.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, they activate the Quantum Beam.

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At first I thought everyone was being obliterated but no, that would have been the practical thing to do. Dimitri likes to be a poetic dumbass so he’s apparently just launched all the people who were hit by this into another zone like he was. Even some of his Dark Legion buddies were caught in the blast which was, of course, by design.

Now TBF this is still pretty striking imagery even if the blow is lessened a bit by nobody actually dying.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

He really shouldn’t be out there at all but hey, at least he knows how to make himself look cool in a badass full page spread.

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...Is that a fucking furry Bishop behind Sonic?

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

That’s what the invasion here reminds me of.

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God, I dislike two out of three of those characters in the bottom panel but it looks so fucking cool.

It's fun to remember that not too long after this arc is the issue where Sonic goes to school.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Maybe she had an established age but whatever it was

That's the thing. People say she had a canon age but if she did I don't recall it ever being mentioned. At most I think Sonic called her a little girl once but that's about it.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic angrily demolishes the robots, screaming about how "THEY WERE BACK!".

He shouts this over and over until his friends grab him and pull him away from the broken pile of bots. They’re gone again, like the end of a really sad episode of a TV show that leaves the viewer down and wondering how much longer they must wait before the gang’s all back together again.

For as much as people talk about SatAM having losses this one scene feels the most like a legitimate loss for Sonic IMO. Granted the first episode with Uncle Chuck in the cartoon also gives me that feeling. I like Sonic and Uncle Chuck.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Over in Mercia, Rob is with his echidna wife Mari-Ann and their… baby…

… They have a baby now… okay. I mean… hey, why waste time when you know who you want to rock the bed with I guess?

I'm trying to do the math here. It can't possibly have been 9 months in universe right? Like unless there's a lengthy amount of time between Sonic getting his Adventure design and the pirate Eggman broadcast which I guess there could be but I'm not sure it's that much.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Thank God. That was mercifully short. I was so worried the Knuckles story was going to ruin this for me.

HAHAHAHAHA! Don't worry it's only getting started.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #89: Thicker Than Water

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Ha. Check the top of the cover. It's Mega Man.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We then cut to Sally sulking over some water while Elias sits down next to her to have a chat. Because it’s a Bollers story, acknowledgement of how wrong Max has been without Sally feeling sorry for doubting her daddy’s hard decisions is allowed to flourish once more. 

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This is a very sweet scene and I kinda love the "Hidden City of the Old Ones..." "Ancients." bit.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Then the second page happened and it was a bunch of echidnas sitting at chairs and watching Knuckles on a monitor as they talk about things I don’t care about.

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1. Didn't she used to be purple? 2. Wasn't she ok with Knuckles not wanting to come to Albion?

 

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3 hours ago, SBR2 said:

"Don't they make a happy couple?" What a weird alien thing to say. People either say they are the happy couple or say "aren't they a beautiful/lovely couple". Has Penders ever met another human being?

I have heard people say that, several times throughout my life. It's either an older phrase or regional dialect, but is not something to point out as strange at this point. There's plenty of other stuff in this issue that needs scrutiny.

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I notice Penders and Bollers' this annoying habit of having Sally shoot outbursts to other characters and then....not resolve it, usually because they place it just before a big arc or breakthrough. Sally disowning Antoine and Knuckles over keeping her family secret in one of his final comics from what I remember was also pretty much forgotten about (to compare they got the point to mend Sonic and Chuck's relationship over a similar issue previously). The slap is ironically one of the moderated cases just because it at least got SOME resolve over it, even if that resolve was at least forty issues later when another writer took over (and after fans made pointedly clear that was the line for them). Sonic and Sally wouldn't even interact AT ALL for about twenty issues following this case, such an overhaul of plot points happen keeping them separate, Sonic supposedly spends the whole time thinking Sally still hates his guts.

I get this is how it sometimes happens in real life, that sometimes people just cool down and return to normal instead of making this big fanfared apology and make-up, but I feel this might have played into people thinking Penders/Bollers era Sally was a "bitch", since her conflicts were so badly done.

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