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This was an issue I wish I had gotten. 

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I had Mecha Madness which was Sonic being roboticized as well as Knuckles. In Mecha Madness Sally was so cruel towards Sonic, what the issue NO 29 after Mecha Madness or before? If before, you’d think Sally would have understood why Sonic as Mecha Sonic had no control of himself. 

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #99: Blow By Blow

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This… is a nicely done cover actually, in that it looks rather nice. I’m also not at all bothered by what it’s depicting here because I’m the last person who would ever go to bat for Sonic and Sally’s relationship but I will say that there is a bit of a tug on my nerves at how I feel like I’m about to be in for something a little annoying. The relationship drama this comic entails isn’t something that’s super popular with me or a lot of other people. It wasn’t even good, in my opinion, when Ian did it aside from a few exceptions during the Iron Dominion Arc. His decision to abandon it was the correct one.

Also, I’ve looked this cover up and down and I have no clue what to make of that big mechanical arm. At first I thought it belonged to Sonic, then to Mina, then I thought it might have been floating as a representation of Eggman’s ironclad grip on their… relationship… then I thought it might have been Sonic’s again. I guess I’ll have to read the issue proper to find out.

Spoiler

 

This is a Karl Bollers story but with Ron Lim shifting over to the main tale this time. How unexpected. His art has not been all that good lately, especially now. I recall before it would fluctuate up and down but it’s been consistently awful now.

It’s no different here. Things don’t look very good. The super angles of their angular bodies just makes it look like everyone’s made out of cheap construction paper.

We begin with Sonic and Tails sneaking into their own home, or Sonic’s home… although I guess Tails lives there?

Where does Tails live?

Well, anyway, they get caught by Sonic’s parents and they want to know why Sonic snuck out and why Tails has been missing since yesterday, adding in a nice little tidbit about considering Tails to be Sonic’s little brother. Sonic doesn’t resist his parents assertion that they deserve to know what’s going on in their son’s lives and offers up the info… presumably, because we cut away after that scene.

I will say that the part where I could only see their eyeballs in the darkness worried me for a bit due to PTSD over that one insultingly awful Super Special issue where Sonic “fought” Naugus. Yeesh.

We cut to Sally who is with her family, being celebrated for being the completed Acorn Family in the Acorn Kingdom (now relocated to Knothole) once again. Sally is happy to have gotten everything she has ever wanted but is understandably upset that she can’t see any of her friends. Though she spots some familiar faces in the crowd… that I had to examine a bit to make out because they literally blend in with the others within the crowd due to being chalk white.

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This is a very strange coloring decision. I understand (maybe) not coloring in the interchangeable crowd shots in the background, sort of. I’d at least make them a darker color. Pure white sticks out too much honestly. It kind of goes against the idea that the crowd isn’t necessarily the focal point of the panel by having them stick out so much… but it goes a step further here. Actual familiar characters with names are shown within this crowd and are just blended in with their whiteness. Even weirder, when Sally goes to join them on the last panel, she blends in with the whiteness as well. 

I’ve heard of white washing but this is ridiculous. Wakka wakka.

Anyway, yeah, the colorist must have either been short on time or directed themselves badly here because this is an unorthodox looking page. Crowd shots are hard, understandably so, but I feel like there’s a reason white isn’t the color of choice when it comes to blending them in the panels like this.

Anyway, Sally is apparently being given bad news but as I turn the page, I’m given just as bad news, if not worse news and I don’t even know what Sally’s been told yet.

Apparently, the story Sonic told his parents was the story of Adventure 2. A fantastic story, to be sure, but one I’m still flabbergasted got glossed over the way it did. Maybe they realized it was a mistake to try after the Adventure arc sucked so much but then again, I highly doubt they thought it sucked themselves. His parents just say that Sonic got whisked away by some Overlanders to fight a creature named Shadow… and now he’s just BACK!

They also, in the same breath, talk about how Tails’ story didn’t have anything to do with SA2. It was just the stuff with Athair. Now, are we to surmise that Tails wasn’t a part of those events? Did he not break Sonic out of Prison Island in this version of Adventure 2? 

What about Knuckles? Was Green Apple Knuckles just wandering about, then realized he had to go find the lost pieces of the Master Emerald? Did he use the Master Emerald to stop the Ark from falling? What about Eggman? Did he put his plot for the people in Robotropolis on hold to randomly go deal with the other plot that got kicked off when he accidentally discovered his Grandfather’s lab? Did he tell Snively he was going out for a bit and then traveled to SA2 without his knowledge?

What about Amy? Did she ditch school to follow Tails to Prison Island to help rescue Sonic? How did she find out Sonic was captured in that case? Did it make the Knothole News? If so, did the other Freedom Fighters find out about it?

Did SA2 happen off screen and does NO ONE here know about it? The Ark was seconds away from shattering the planet to pieces and no one knew? 

God, the more you think about it, the more it doesn’t work. This has to be the worst way they could have done this. I’d actually prefer they try something similar to what the Marvel movies do where they have elements of it within the book but they’re utilized in a different manner that still keeps the general spirit of the adapted story but takes out what obviously wouldn’t function well within a movie and in their own universe. 

Although, they have to be wary about doing that too seeing as how I recall the only real tidbits heroes got were a very strange homage to Neo Metal Sonic and Anti-Bunnie’s blue Omega suit that was ironically introduced a bit before Omega himself was, if I recall.

Anyway, Mina comes to visit Sonic and Tails who are, adorably, sleeping in the same room due to being exhausted. Goodness me, do I know the feeling.

Back at the castle, the people in charge of doing important shit are fumbling about. Geoffrey’s whining up a storm when we enter the scene and then whines harder when Nate tells him that the mission they just went on was pointless because Arachnis stole the sword. So now Geoffrey’s off to find her. Sally approaches some girls and I guess gets into a disguise so she can finally do something. All this happens while Nate contemplates the news that there’s Overlanders in Robotropolis and Elias contemplates how wrong his dad was about making him, a boy who was isolated from all this bullshit for the majority of his life, king just because he’s a dude. He knows the right to rule belongs to Sally and he really isn’t having any fun.

None of us are Elias.

Case in point, we cut back to Sonic and Mina who are having a running lesson with Tails flying overhead. When Mina crashes, Sonic tells Tails to head on without them so there are no witnesses to the bullshit that’s about to transpire.

This entire scene is awful. 

I was really liking Mina quite a bit up to this point but she does something here that knocks off a grand deal of points for me. First, she claims it’s all Sonic’s fault that she’s feeling bad about not being able to control her speed despite the fact that training was her idea. Second, Sonic tries to tell her she’s better than she thinks she is and she just… forces a kiss onto him.

Look, I don’t care who you want to mack on but I would greatly appreciate it if this book would stop having people just do it without the other person even remotely looking like they’re offering up some kind of consent. Mina just pulled a Geoffrey here on Sonic and it’s really not cool.

However, the thing that makes this scene fucking terrible, shit, garbage ass writing is the fact that Sally and the troupe she hid among just so happen to literally stumble upon Sonic right as Mina kisses him… and then Sally turns and walks off the instant Sonic pushes her away and asks what the fuck she’s doing.

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WOW! WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!

You know that scene in Disney’s Hercules where all the planets align and it shoots a beam into the ocean, revealing a thunder cage that has all the titans locked inside of it that Hades disrupts to unleash upon the world? Yeah, that felt more plausible of a thing to happen once the planets aligned than this. 

When I saw the cover for this, I figured it was depicting something a little more understandable. Like, sometimes when you’re distancing from someone, against your will or not, you do seek out new relationships and eventually you move on. Sonic had been trying to see Sally for so long. Even this very issue, he still wants to but that didn’t mean he couldn’t still have been developing feelings for Mina. It would have been an interesting dilemma to tackle, having him cycle through his emotions like this and come to some sort of understanding that led to Sally having to deal with a decision he’s made that may not have aligned with her own.

Instead this shit’s just a hoeky soap opera. Mina kisses Sonic and Sally, against all odds, just happened to see it after so many issues of them being a part. But OH NO Sonic didn’t want to do that but Sally turned away before she could see the part where he said he didn’t want that. WHAT A DRAMATIC MISUNDERSTANDING!

Romantic drama birthed from misunderstanding feels so cheap and fake. Misunderstandings that lead to tragedy and murder can be utilizied well (or in Detective Conan’s case OVERUSED to the point of it being embarrassing and frustrating) but relying on it when it comes to romance so often feels lazy. 

It just leads to a character being upset with another one because of something that they don’t actually feel and didn’t actually do and instead of wanting to see it fixed because I care about the relationship, I want to see it fixed because it’s annoying and it’s a waste of time.

Anyway, Tails gets back to where Rotor and Nate are just in time to see Geoffrey’s ass get yeeted down the stairs by Kodos who’s woken up and screaming “SWUUUURD!” based on pure animal instinct now. Apparently that brain damage that he totally suffered in a way that was so unceremonious that I didn’t even know it happened until it was literally explained to me, just kept his desire for the Sword of Acorns in tact without any real proper knowledge of why he would still want it.

He bolts out of there just as Sally returns. Then Sally takes off the mask she was wearing, I guess as a disguise, and we get a full supermodel body shot of her for some reason. I guess… I dunno, was this supposed to be a reveal? The book is treating it like it’s a reveal of someone but we clearly were supposed to already know that was Sally. Why the full body shot of her posing?

Sally gives orders to go out and find Kodos. When Rotor suggests they get Sonic and that it’ll be like old times, Sally says no because there’s no time even though she just saw Sonic and the time it took to get from here to him and back was miniscule. It seems as though she’s just making an excuse not to see him since an image of Mina kissing Sonic flashes in her head but… considering how dangerous Kodos allegedly is, I don’t know if this is that understandable a move. At the very least, send Tails his way if YOU personally don’t want to see him right now.

Sally doesn’t do that though. Instead she follows behind Rotor and Tails as they go after Kodos but she finds Arachnis instead… who speaks for the first time ever when Sally cradles her, somehow unaware of the hulking beast right behind her.

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I had myself a little chuckle at this image. Kodos can move swiftly like Batman apparently. 

After this, we see Nate, the tiny OLD MAN, reach Sonic… VERY easily and VERY quickly I might add, so that he can be informed that Sally, Rotor, and Tails are tailing Kodos. Sonic immediately races off, wondering why Sally didn’t tell him. 

You don’t want to know the reason why Sonic. The reason is dumb.

He then makes it to Antoine and Bunnie who are overlooking the High Sheriff, aka, Antoine’s Dad in his prison cell. Bunnie tells Antoine that he can’t just stay here staring at his papa forever but Antoine asserts that he has no choice so long as he’s under Eggman’s control.

But then Sonic, the loveable guy that he is, shows up and tells Antoine there’s a way to restore him and elicit their help. The story ends with the three of them rushing off together with a caption below them that says that the 100th issue is next.

Neat. 

If this were an SA2 adaptation, I’d imagine the 100th issue would have been the first fight Sonic and Shadow were to ever have against one another… but because that’s not happening it’s gonna be some bullshit probably. Sigh.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #99: What Comes Around Goes Around

When I read that title, I almost wrote it down as “What Goes Around Comes Around” because I’m so used to it being said that way. Reading it the other way always feels weird to me.

Anyway, this is another Ken Penders echidna tale of woe told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing… yet again.

The penciler this time is a dude by the name of Ken Penders. His art looks like shit. Wonder where they found this joker.

The inks are done by some dude named Ken Penders. Hmm. I dunno. I can tell by the inks here that the person inking this story may be a bit of a jerk.

I admire the humble caption at the bottom that says “Another SEGA inspired epic” as though he’s managed to tell one of those before.

Dimitri and his legionaries are screaming about something. I read the dialogue but I didn’t process it so I had to read it again. It’s basically a bunch of gobbledygook and technobabble that amounts to them being confused by the weird blast that hit them and seeing a signal video that shows Knuckles beating up a little kid and being impressed by that. So they change course and fly off to find him. Oh no, I guess.

Knuckles, meanwhile, ends up on Angel Island somehow because he’s just randomly transporting to places and he goes inside and sees Julie-Su being manhandled by some random legionnaire… although it looks like this is actually just a vision of something that happened in the past and then Grandfather Hawking shows up as a force ghost to chide Knuckles about not knowing things about his random powers that were forced onto him by his poisonous dad.

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Ever read a panel in a comic and then IMMEDIATELY get hit with extreme exhaustion? Like, suddenly the weight of your eight hour shift at work just came crashing down on you all at once from being so done with bullshit like this?

Hawking actually takes Knuckles to the infirmary where his corpse is and says “Hey Knuckles, look, I’m dead… isn’t it neat?”

Then, despite making fun of how Knuckles knows nothing about himself or his powers, he leaves after telling him absolutely nothing. Admittedly, this leads to my favorite moment in this entire issue. Knuckles dared to ask the question of whether or not he has a say in all this.

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Just say ‘NO’. 

Just say that Knuckles is a character with ZERO agency and ZERO control over his life and ZERO say in what he gets to do. Just say that. Oh but you can’t because you need to be poetic about how you’re fucking this character over. It’s kind of funny.

Knuckles then pops out of there again just as the bad guys arrive which upsets Dimitri greatly until he hears Knuckles’ voice behind him.

Turns out Knuckles is on the ship, which means it’s time for them to fi--!

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giphy.gif

 

This issue was mostly fine… except for the really, really, really, REALLY dumb horse manure plot device that happened with Mina, Sonic, and Sally. The cover… gave off a sense that something a bit more intimate was going to happen but in actuality it was just a depiction of what Sally thought was happening which is far less interesting.

The Knuckles story was awful, as you should clearly just expect it to be by now. I will say that the technobabble was way easier to ignore this time since what was happening was so undeserving of it that I could follow along anyway. He takes way too many words to say something simple. It’s embarrassing.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #100: Reunion

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GOOD LORD! What a terrifying, awful looking cover to celebrate 100 issues with. What’s with those horrific visages of Tails and Antoine, especially? I’d have been haunted by this cover as a kid. Yeesh. So uh… yeah… let’s celebrate with… uhm… whatever nonsense is about to go down in this issue I suppose.

I should probably mention the fact that there’s comic covers floating in the background before someone comments that it’s there for me. So yeah. There they are. 

Spoiler

 

It’s Karl Bollers and Ron Lim again, which is half good. Ron Lim has seriously nosedived at an impressive rate by this point. The instances where he would randomly draw a character perfectly don’t happen at all now. Shit just looks consistently bad. At least I got my wish for consistency concerning his art I guess…

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I say that and then I get this page where Eggman looks great, as does the Overlander he’s turning to a robot.

Maybe this won’t be so ba--

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Or maybe he’s just fucking with me.

Or maybe he’s only good at humans? That could be it but Eggman is such a weird looking human, you’d think it’d be in the same ballpark as drawing these ridiculous animals. 

Sally runs away from this crazed beast because she can’t fight apparently. She leads him to the edge of a cliff, for some reason. 

Nate heads off, apparently just waltzing on over to Robotropolis to warn the Overlanders about the toxic waste that turned Kodos into a derp. I don’t know why he thinks this is a good idea. This is an incredibly stupid thing for this smart character to be doing.

Sonic is on his way to where Sally is but he’s about to miss the monumental moment.

For you see, everyone, 50 issues ago, Sally fell down from some place really high up and was presumed dead.

Now, 50 issues later, she’ll do it again.

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Let’s just make it a tradition. Every 50 issues, we’ll just toss her ass off a cliff in celebration of those 50 issue milestones.

Sonic is too late and just as Kodos is about to get at Sonic from behind, Bunnie uppercuts him, Antoine shoves his sword up Kodos’ ass, literally---!

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Then Tails finishes it by slamming the guy into the ground. That was easier than they made it seem like it would be, all things considered.

For some reason, Sonic is just staring at the cliffside, not showing much emotion with Rotor also saying that they failed. It’s only then, when Sonic’s apparently tired of looking down, he decides he’s gonna try and get her.

Well thanks for the hasty concern Sonic. By the time you get down here, my body would have been nice and cold I presume.

Then a flash of light happens down there and I’m dreading whatever it could be. She’s not gonna go Hyper Sally is she?

We catch up with Nate who is basically showcased in a two-panel set-up and punchline comedy bit.

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First panel is him approaching the city.

Second panel is him being chased down by robots.

Oh no. Who could have seen this coming?

Then Eggman’s hologram pops up (mistakenly calling him Bait before correcting himself to say Nate, which is a little funny) and says he’s gonna use Nate to lure Sonic here and then put up the barrier to trap him in the city… which, I guess is something he’s just now ready to do. I’ll assume he didn’t do it before while Sonic and Geoffrey’s group was there because he was still getting his plan together… right???

Anyway, we cut back to Sally and she IS Hyper Sally now… and Hyper Sally has a sword.

Oh but not just any Sword--! The Sword of Hax Plot Device Bullshit. I mean the Sword of Acorns.

She just… says a line that means nothing and then zaps Kodos down the cliff, presumably murdering the motherfucker in cold blood.

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… Bye.

Also, a few pages back, Arachnis just flopped to the ground and I didn’t talk about it because it was so sudden and so understated that I was like “Whatever, I’ll talk about her later”. 

Turns out I have to talk about her right goddamn now because that scene of her passing out was actually a scene of her DYING.

She’s dead now.

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...Oh.

… S’cuse me, uh… when did… when did this toxic waste shit start happening? Like I don’t… recall this being a thing until literally the moment when Dr. Quack said Kodos’ brain turned to goop because he was exposed to it when he went to Robotropolis. Also, why did it affect him so readily and immediately but Arachnis was fine until spontaneous death?

Also, who was Arachnis and why did she take the sword and why did we need to see her take the sword if she was just going to die? Did her character have a point…? … Did KODOS have a point? Why were we even dealing with these two characters at all?

Did Sally find the sword at this spot? I didn’t see Sally get handed the sword, Sally finding the sword, or Sally with the sword in any of the other panels leading up to this point. Why the fuck did the sword just appear in Sally’s hands like that? Is it like Thor’s hammer? Can she will it to fly to wherever she is? Is it like the keyblade? Can she just summon it to herself at will? If either of these are true, why didn’t she do it before? Did she do this unconsciously? If she did it unconsciously, she certainly isn’t acting very surprised by it. Her dialogue with Sonic here is very regal and subdued. 

“Yeah I just have the sword now. What evs. Anyway, how’s your sex life?”

You can especially tell when Mina shows up that she literally only cares about how upset she is at Sonic for something he has no clue about. 

I know that the reason Sally came here is because this was apparently where Arachnis hid the sword… but… why was it done this way? I was so confused. 

This was a very bad way of having them reclaim the sword. If this is what the special thing for the 100th issue is, the fact that we no longer have to deal with this dumb sword plot anymore, than that’s disappointing on an immeasurably high level.

Mina tells them that Nate hauled his ass off to Robotropolis so now they gotta go save him… although it would seem Nate’s got a bit of help.

Eggman is actually asking Nate why the roboticized Overlanders are creepy looking immobile statues while the robotized anthros retain their mobility. Chuck and Muttski decide to break out of their pretend state of being under his control just then and launch a surprise attack on Eggman, who clearly didn’t see this coming.

Sonic eventually manages to reach them though and sees Uncle Chuck, going in for a hug.

As he does this rescue, Sally and the others reach the area where Eggman’s stash of mind controlled minions are and just undoes the spell.

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So I guess this issue is just going to wrap up this plot thread eh? I’ll be honest, I didn’t really get the sense that this was a story arc of any kind. This kind of feels like it’s just happening now so we can have an excuse to say something special happened at issue 100 when we didn’t really have anything lined up. I’m not even saying you NEED to have anything special lined up but this story isn’t being serviced any by this fast conclusion. 

I mean, what part of the arc was the stuff with the school? Was it just a weird distraction?

The story ends with them all escaping… but the energy dome comes up and Holographic Eggman laughs in Sonic’s face… but then the energy dome goes down and they leave anyway.

Sonic turns back to tell Nate something but of course Nate is gone. Why? Because he stayed behind to make sure Eggman’s field went down.

It’s a good sacrifice, one I was probably anticipating for a bit considering I’ve never seen or heard from Nate in ANY of the issues I own from 150 and above so… I can’t help but feel that means he doesn’t get a happy ending where he fucks off to spend the rest of his life vacationing in Mobius Malibu. 


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #100: Welcome to the Dark Side

It’s Ken Penders’ Knuckles the Echidna story starring Ken Penders as Knuckles, written by Ken Penders, inked by Ken Penders, penciled by Ken Penders, catered by Ken Pen--

Anyway, we begin with this horrific looking monstrosity.

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Julie-Su is complaining to her weird, dog-like dad about how cramped this place is when Lien-Da (finally being named last issue I might add) shows up to grab her as per Dimitri’s orders last issue. Apparently, she’s got some special power or some shit that he needs… 

Everyone is special if they’re an echidna Penders needs to do something with.

Julie-Su is brought to Knuckles and they embrace. Lien-Da’s reaction is to gag. I’m with her there.

Dimitri then drops the bombshell that he’s willing to return Knuckles’ inhabitants back to Angel Island if Knuckles becomes a member of the Dark Legion. Julie-Su is super worried about Knuckles saying yes to this while I’m just wondering why Knuckles can’t just wait until Dimitri does it and then punches a hole in his robot ass and jumps ship.

Oh that’s right. Knuckles has no agency and isn’t allowed to have any. He’s a slave to the whims of other people ONLY. That includes the bad guys. Gotcha.

Also, randomly, two characters from WAY the fuck back when just show up out of a dimensional space. It’s Tobor and Kragok. They show back up after being flung away into another zone at random only to fall and immediately explode on the hull of the Dark Legion’s ship thanks to Tobor redirecting them into it.

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So they immediately show up only to stick around for a whole page and then immediately blow up. It’s like something off of a Robot Chicken sketch.

The following scene where he force ghosts his way out of his body and sees his unnaturally, off puttingly happy dad (who ruined his life)  is also a very funny scene. Unintentionally so but it is.

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THAT FACE!  PLEASE DON’T! HE’S YOUR SON!

Echidna dads are the worst. Especially since he’s still refusing to just say the answer to the question his son just asked, even in the afterlife.

Also, I guess Kragok just exploded. Like actually exploded. Oh well. Explains why he was never around and never talked about in the issues I’ve read too.

So Knuckles somehow sensed that death that just happened. Not sure how but don’t worry, it won’t be explained.

Anyway, Dimitri’s cannon is busted so he can’t restore it after all. Oh well. If only that one really hamfisted, strange, and sudden conclusion to an arc of two characters that have literally not been around for several, several issues at this point didn’t just randomly happen above them. If only that ONE coincidental thing didn’t happen.

This is just… very astonishing. It’s god-like how bad and amateurish this writing is. 

Even better, upon hearing this, Knuckles’ reaction is to just relent to Dimitri.

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There’s probably people out there who would get mad at this for being weird, fast, and bereth of anything regarding logic and they’d be right, BUT… I gotta say, I’m kind of rooting for Dark Side Knuckles here. As far as the echidnas go, he doesn’t have much to go back to in terms of people worth saving. There’s like five of them that are worth it so perhaps he can work towards restoring them for their sake but on the whole, if he becomes an enemy of the echidnas then neat. 

It will literally have been a by-product of the way they treated him all his life in a bid to prevent their kind from collapsing. It’d be ironic on the level of the Jedi falling to Anakin because of some dumb prophecy. 

Whoops. There I go again. Comparing the echidnas to those old, idiotic Jedi Councilmen. 

Oh geez. They even have force ghosts. Hmmm…

Also, if Dimitri thinks he's in the right, it's pretty weird for him to say the line "Welcome to the Dark Side". Kind of makes it sound like you're aware you're the bad guys.

 

So that was Issue 100. 

BLEUGH.

That wasn’t a good issue. All around the stories were bad. They were both badly written and badly handled. The amount of times shit just happened for the sake of it happening was inexcusable. They did not earn that moment of Sally tossing Kodos off a cliff with the sword we had no indication was in her possession. Arachnis’ death should not have been that subdued and her character definitely shouldn’t have been so nebulous that to this day I’ve no clue what she was doing and why, despite her being fucking dead.

Knuckles’ story was sheer nonsense, as it always is and always will be, but the cartoonish nature of Tobor and Kragok showing up just to die really kind of does a lot to show just how on the seat of his pants Penders’ writing here is. Dimitri being the new leader of the Legion doesn’t mean we need to bring back the previous leader for a single page so we can kill him off unceremoniously. Who cares? 

Also, I’m on board for Evil Knuckles for all the wrong reasons. There will be no tragedy in witnessing the echidnas fall to him if that is indeed what is to happen. None whatsoever.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #101: Altered States

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Now that’s a good goddamn cover. Why save something that looks awesome for 101? Sweet tasty cakes, the colors here are brilliant. My word.The actual art isn’t half bad either. It’s doing a good job of being its own style without being all rancid and weird. Good show. I’d almost be excited if I weren’t keenly aware that what this cover is depicting won’t be something for the good of my heart.

Spoiler

 

Karl Bollers and Ron Lim are the team for this string of issues now, I guess. Man, I hate dogging on the guy so much but Ron’s art is just getting worse and worse with each issue. There’s barely any structure to the characters and objects anymore. 

The issue begins with Sonic banging his head against Eggman’s energy dome… and then suddenly we’re in the Sonic OVA.

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Yeah. I’ll admit, I did not see that coming.

What a strange beginning to an issue but hey, we’re far away from that other nonsense so let’s have some fun again, finally.

We see Sonic, Tails, and eventually Knuckles in his hat show up and demolish Metal Robotnik… before the scenery changes again. 

At first I thought we blinked back to present day Archie Sonic again but instead we cut to a much worse scene of King Max giving a warm welcome to Locke, while his daughter Sally and Locke’s test subject Knuckles stand across from each other. It’s the meeting of the bad dads everyone.

Even stranger, they’re celebrating the seventh year of their alliance with the echidnas and Max knights Knuckles while also proclaiming him to be his future son-in-law! Now we know we’re not in Kansas anymore folks.

Sonic runs off while Tails is called upon by, gasp, his dad! This seems like a world where things are better for the most part. Even Max is okay with calling the person Sally loves here his future son-in-law. 

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Whoa nelly. 

After he chats about this with Uncle Chuck… another change happens.

We’re taken to a scene where Sonic and Sally  are running from the rolly-polly designed Eggman by jumping off the roof and into an escape cruiser belonging to the Freedom Fighters. There, they talk about how everything in the last change was a weird dream they all had.

Then another change happens and the Sally that Sonic was speaking to is now a picture he’s holding in his hand that he cries on.

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It’s one of the few times he’s done this. But what’s the occasion? Well, this is a universe where Endgame happened the way it was supposed to and Sally fucking died.

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It’s all very sad I’m sure. Anyway, by this point I’m starting to wonder what the hell is going on. The inner monologue of Sonic is staticing in minor bits of confusion that eventually lead him to telling his funeral friends that Sally’s alive. They momentarily think he’s lost it until they blink back to outside Eggman’s domed city.

Now things are back to normal… except not really. This is an altered version of what’s happening still because even though his friends are all aware that they’ve been blinking in and out of different realities and are back to normal, the fact that Nate is here, talking to Sonic about it when he should be inside the city means something is still off. 

Also, Tails says “Word up.” which is something I have trouble imagining him saying. Now “True dat”, that’s totally a Tails line. Definitely. Also “Who’s your daddy, Shadow?” He’s very into that daddy culture.

Nate, while explaining that Eggman wouldn’t be responsible for this unless he could ensure he was making sure it was to his own advantage, turns into Uncle Chuck in mid explanation. It comes off more like a hallucination than a reality shift though.

Also, for some reason, the comic just spoils what’s happening in the middle of the fucking page. Sonic asks if anyone thinks it’s Eggman and in the bubble there’s an asterisk and the asterisk is explained in the caption box below.

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I actually didn’t guess that but thinking back to the cover I probably should have. This was me thinking the two stories weren’t connected. It’s interesting how one of the realities we saw was just an excuse to show us an homage to the OVA. If they had fit in a few of the other existing continuities this might have functioned as a bit of a celebratory issue of sorts, more worthy of being the 100th issue itself. There’s a lot that could have been done to make that issue better.

Anyway, Sonic decides that they should head on home. Nate sacrificed himself so that they’d all be free and nothing was going to change that. 

I get it but… something about leaving Nate there still feels a bit off. Oh well. If I can’t explain what it is properly then best leave it at that; a weird feeling.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #101: Reboot

The Ken Penders story has a new artist named Dawn Best. It looks pretty good all things considered.

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It’s not the best this book has had to offer but it’s also not the worst. I can actually look at it and not hurl. 

Anyway, Knuckles, of course, as it turns out, has only decided to join up with Dimitri with ulterior motives under his belt. I guess even that abrupt a change to the dark side was a little much, even for Penders. I was so ready to buy into it. Seemed like something he would do without a second thought. 

Also, Dimitri and Lien-Da are onto them so that makes them not idiotic about their acceptance too. Good.

Although, I do have to wonder if Knuckles thinking Dimitri has some answers to the question of peace between these two ideologies might lead to the dumb shit I suspect is over the horizon here.

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……………………………………….Well, that didn’t take long.

Yeah, Knuckles asks Dimitri about his powers and he says that Knuckles can do literally anything he wants. Even change the flow of time. Because bullshit echidna powers give you the ability to play that one invincible kid impervious to everything when they play superhero on the playground. 

Knuckles decides that instead of finding a proper solution to the mess the echidnas put themselves in, he wants to change history by keeping the comet from hitting the planet and preventing the creation of the Floating Island at all, thereby endangering the lives of all the people he knows and loves today with the threat of their existence disappearing due to altered events never once crossing his mind.

Seriously, he just wills himself to the past and immediately destroys the meteor without a second thought. He didn’t even consider the fact that Dimitri, evil as hell though he may be, didn’t ever think to use this power. You’d think Knuckles would at least stop to imagine what the reason for that could have been but no.

The echidna are so irrelevant when it comes to the entire rest of the world, I have my doubts that Knothole and the Freedom Fighters would have been affected much though.

Knuckles, fortunately, failed at his endeavor. He gets blasted back to his time after witnessing the city somehow getting destroyed anyway only to find everything the exact same as when he left. Things just fixed themselves… I guess.

Anyway, Dimitri calls out Knuckles for being stupid and hilariously claims to know a lot about physics. Ha. Yeah okay. Can’t wait to see Dimitri explain physics to the class.

Knuckles chooses to still be an idiot and claim that the actual reason Dimitri didn’t try this was because he was a coward… but then Dimitri tells Knuckles that the unaccounted variables with time travel are dangerous and Knuckles isn’t one to talk because he literally just fucking failed at what he was trying to do. So now, he wants him to listen to him. Fair enough.

 

It kind of feels like hardly anything happened in this issue but despite that it was somehow better than the last one. It wasn’t anything super good or anything but seeing the alternate reality stuff got a significant enough kick out of me. Apparently, the OVA stuff is super taboo with SEGA though. This instance most likely pissed them off greatly and saw to it that it would never get referenced again or something. Well, at least OK K.O got in a few pokes at it.

Uh, the Knuckles story was just some talking and a scene used to demonstrate how dumb Knuckles was. Nothing too worth getting upset about. The art was actually easy on the eyes and there wasn’t a ton of annoying technobabble so I got through it relatively intact this time.


 

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FUN FACT: The Sonic Adventure 2 adaptation was a SEGA mandate, that ended up pushing the plans for all issues after it back by one. So the plot of issue 100 was actually supposed to be issue 99, and 101 was to be 100.

FUN FACT 2: I also used to think that issue 99's cover had a robot arm on it, but it's actually just Mina's glove's design. Strange isn't it?

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Ok, so in Archie's Pre Reboot Continuity, Sonic Adventure 2 happened without Tails & Knuckles. Of course, we don't learn about this until Sonic Universe #2 and even still, there are plotholes.

Also, I forgot that Eggman literally had Metal Virus like powers at one point.

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Sonic Adventure 

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Sonic Adventure 2

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i love the SA2 cover, how ominous Shadow is. This is one of the few comics Shadow acts likw he does in SA2 and Shadow the Hedgehog The Video Game. In later issues he loses that mysteriousness, and emotional disregard. He goes from Spock with most emotions suppressed to edgy teenager. Sigh.   

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On 10/20/2020 at 11:12 AM, Shadow Chaos Control said:

This was an issue I wish I had gotten. 

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I had Mecha Madness which was Sonic being roboticized as well as Knuckles. In Mecha Madness Sally was so cruel towards Sonic, what the issue NO 29 after Mecha Madness or before? If before, you’d think Sally would have understood why Sonic as Mecha Sonic had no control of himself. 

Well, to be fair, Sally's beef with Sonic was not his actions as Mecha Sonic, but because she thought he had himself roboticized deliberately, mimicking the plan Sally had tried herself despite the fact that it worked out so poorly when she did it, and in a sense, the fact that she had already failed in the very same plan was all the more reason it should've been obvious it was a bad idea. But it is true that the other Freedom Fighters acted very ridiculous towards Sonic in the aftermath of Metal Madness. And in general, communication between writers in the early days was pretty lacking, so it's not surprising there was a lot of inconsistency.

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Sonic X - Issue #14: Hare-Um Scare-Um - Part 2

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Words can’t describe how appreciative I am of these covers. I’m just in love with the style on display here. I wish I could have gotten the chance to see more horror themed covers. This entire escapade where I just happened to line up these issues with the Halloween season was an extremely happy accident. So, Happy Halloween everyone.

Spoiler

 

Joe Edkin, the writer, and David Hutchinson, the artist, are back again to complete this ghost story/prison story for the ages.

I still have a few misgivings with the art. They all look a little stiff still but everyone seems more on model here at least.

Chris and Cream are still running from their possessed ghost mothers and all the other ghosties around when Cheese, looking really dumpy, somehow asks “What do we do now?” before they get ambushed some more and have to leave.

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I know it’s supposed to be Cream speaking but it really looks like the speech bubble is being directed at Cheese. 

The two of them try to head out the door and of course they’re surrounded. So they go back around and head into the dingy, creepy attic. Cream cutely suggests it’d be great if going into the wardrobe would take them to another world. Chris denies this, saying that only happens in books and movies and Cream says she would have agreed before she ended up in their world.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. There is no Jesus Allegory Lion on the other side of this wardrobe; just darkness and the sounds of their creepy moms peering through the cracks.

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God, it’s so creepy. How I love it so.

However, they hear the voice of their master calling and they head on off like good little Boos. When they’re gone, Chris and Cream have a little heart to heart about how they disagree with Vanilla’s decision to leave. Honestly, if anything, the fact that this happened kind of proves Lindsay’s point about danger being kind of unavoidable. It doesn’t matter where they move honestly.

Chris tries to call Grandpa Chuck so that he can tell Sonic but just his luck, TODAY had to be the day Sonic and Tails got arrested. Tough break.

Meanwhile, it’s time we checked up on our prison buds.

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Of course we all know the real reason he’s fixing these appliances is so that he can have them attack the city. It’s kind of amazing that they had Eggman pay his debt to society in this way considering his intelligence is like magic that can just turn shit evil. It’s very impressive.

So with Sonic in prison, it’s up to Cream and Chris to save their moms. Chris decides to arm themselves with a golf club and a nice football helmet for himself. I do love Cream’s line of “I can’t hit my mother with that.” I adore that that’s the first thing that came to her mind.

Since the hourglass that summons the ghosts was left on the movie set they have to head down and basically hope they don’t get immediately possessed. This leads to Cheese getting immediately possessed.

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Cream finds it though, thankfully. When she runs back, Chris is pretty much cornered and she shoos them away by waving the hourglass around like it’s kryptonite.

By now, Chris has taken up arms with a shield and a sword combo. I wish he had kept this. Would have been neat seeing him fight with that. Especially in the episode with the household appliances going crazy. I  just want to see him cut a refrigerator monster straight down the middle like some sort of anime knight.

Anyway, they head outside and see a spire of light in the distance that all the ghosts are fluttering towards. What’s happening? They’re being summoned by their master, Wiseman.

No, obviously, it’s King Boom Boo.

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It’s quite the striking image. I enjoy a nice use of light and color against a certain, menacing focal point. 

Of course, as this is happening, the prison story is still going on. It’s not really going anywhere but I’m enjoying it literally because it’s just nice seeing it happen. I’m very easily amused that way.

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The guard comes to let them loose though. It’s been brief but the plot awaits.

Also, Eggman is the best. My God. How can one man be so consistently great in everything he’s in?

What’s funny is that the next caption outright says that things aren’t going to be interesting for Sonic for a while so we just cut back to Cream and Chris on their Ghostbusting adventures. This turns out to be a tiny bit of a fib though.

You see, we cut back to Cream and Chris who have decided they’re going to try the Steven Universe strategy of talking to the enemy. It’s a good way to do things sometimes, although it was harder than I thought it would be imagining King Boom Boo speaking. The BLAAAUGH in his voice is so ingrained in my skull thanks to his fight in Adventure 2.

Cream asks why the ghosts are here and why they’re trying to take over. King Boom Boo is invading the world of the living because his resting ground is way too loud now. It loud enough to wake the dead… and it DID! BOOOOO~!

The talisman that they have right now was taken away from that dark castle and put here where tennis games keep going on. It’s annoying so he wants to take over the world. It's all because of tennis.

Chris and Cream promise to take the talisman back where it was but they need to do it before sundown. Who can they possibly get?

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Aww. Yeah, so Sonic and Tails are out of jail and are ready to return the talisman back where it is so the ghosties can stop being distrubed from their rest because of the evils of the rich people playing tennis.

So yeah, Sonic was busted out of prison by Nelson Thorndyke and flown here by helicopter. It’s the power of money folks.

Sonic races the talisman back to where it's supposed to be, places it there, and then the issue just ends. Yeah, this was an extremely rushed ending, all things considered. We don’t even see the ghosts leave all the people. Sonic just races back and Tails says “You did it! All the ghosts are gone!” without any fanfare.

Cream hugs her mom and Chris hugs his parents as everyone gets all their wishes granted, including Vanilla going back on her decision to move. I guess the ghost thing was some kind of sign to her not to tempt fate. Or something.

 

This issue was definitely not as good as the last one despite some of the imagery and pleasing scenes with our two heroes in temporary misery. In the end, it does kind of feel it was done for no real reason considering what little hassle it was to get them out of the clink. The main story was thankfully the best part but, of course, that also suffered from a rush job of an ending. You could feel them running out of room in the last couple of pages there.I had fun but as forgiving as I am I do hunger for the landings to be sufficiently stuck. Oh well. Again though, Happy Halloween~!

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #102: Family Dysfunction

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Oooo~! Nice looking cover again. Also, it would seem as though the plot line that was set-up a few issues ago is finally going to be given its due attention here. It’s at times like these where I’m extra happy Bollers doesn’t do the Penders thing of setting something up and waiting absurdly long times before paying it off. Now here’s hoping this ends up being a good one.

Spoiler

 

Karl Bollers is still joined by Ron Lim which means the issue probably won’t be looking too good. Oh well. I should be used to the book not looking good by now but the flashes of good it does have just make the consistent badness more unacceptable.

There’s an immediate problem with the scenery of the first couple of pages. It’s Sonic admiring all the people and families that were reunited after all the Robians minds were returned to normal. It’s an image of Mina hugging her mom.

F1pApn2HfXjY7R-9mjG3t9VKoclQgWASVq3y3PIRVvaYMO1FLDHYJ1BxYVDQdEMvVKSyhki-C1jHQn66IlAbi-N-HKO3exvO-6p5ukwQyd5zZh8uWgrwMK_PECjFk_2EikN4Vaht

WHOA! I TOTALLY CAN’T SEE HER!

Unless her mom is yellow all over, I’m not sure what the point of showing this was aside from confirming that Mina has something to be happy about. This would have worked better as a close up on just the two of them with the rest of the crowd blocked out. I get if you don’t want Mina’s mom to be an actual character but showing her in the panel wouldn't have made that a necessity. 

It’s weird when the comic does things like this. They’re such small things but they’re so strange.
Even stranger, though, is when Sally hands the sword to Elias so that they can take care of General D’ Coolette, the sword… talks…

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This shouldn’t be that strange thanks to Caliburn but… it is.

Sally’s mom actually tries to scold Sally for going off on a dangerous mission, unaware of and not used to Sally being in more deep shit than she could possibly fathom due to being asleep for so long. Sally doesn’t have the reaction she would have to her father here. She talks about how she’s not a “porcelain doll” and about how the sword needed to be recovered with a straight glare on her face. I guess maybe this is just another showcase of Sally being a bit colder because she saw that horrible cliche kiss.

A very interesting and kind of sad scene happens where Elias points the sword at General D’Coolette and struggles to say “Be free I say…” but eventually lets the soul crushing disappointment in himself weigh him down so that he drops the sword on the ground. Max tells him that he’s making a scene over the crowd, and Sonic, shouting Sally’s name over and over.

Sally doesn’t really acknowledge the crowd’s encouragement. She just picks the sword up and does the thing in Elias’ place. The sword DID say it didn’t want to leave Sally after all.

Then we finally get the reunion we’ve been waiting for.

_AdIhHJ_x8z_trTuNL9Wes_AT98_UA_Bo1wbD-VKpWtqvd1lXRvjl8vxdH6cChH8q97UaCrY5kxzkdsUsaJ5ZaVZwvyNaFVdIHzB1VzKSHF04JNztR3kYd4sBwvx5LVDd9G56VYZ

You just know that if this were Penders, the sword wouldn’t have worked and we’d have to spend another 30 issues figuring out why and how to fix it.

Uncle Chuck says that happy endings are the best and Sonic agrees… even though things don’t quite seem to be happy between a certain select group of characters here.

Meanwhile, Eggman is taking a limo ride with Snively, waving at the crowd like a celebrated politician. He’s doing this for the sake of literally making a show of being a hero to the Overlanders in his city so that they won’t realize that Sonic was trying to save them. He also gives Snively the right to activate their sleeper agents.

What’s funny is that the only thing I can think of when witnessing this scene is how Snively killed the original Robotnik. Now he’s just casually sitting next to a version of him from an alternative universe because he sought shelter. It’s interesting to think about.

Randomly, we cut to a scene where Geoffrey has decided he wishes to resign from the Secret Service. Oh no. Not Geoffrey. Not the oh so essential Secret Service. Whatever shall we do?

Elias sees a chance and tries to jump onto the quitting train. For you see, Max has turned his knob back to “ASSHOLE” and is scolding Elias for embarrassing the royal family. Sally tries to make an appeal to everyone being tired and not open to dealing with this drama bullshit but Max tries to shut her down. Elias is in tears now though. It’s sad that he has to reiterate this again. Perhaps he wouldn’t have had to embarrass the family like that if the decision to give the crown to the person who deserved it was made when it should have been… and then in the same line of panels, Heavy says “NOW BOMB! QUICK, WHILE THE FAMILY DRAMA IS HAPPENING!”

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I feel for him but I’ll admit that the third panel got a chuckle out of me.

Then, all of sudden, all the Secret Service members clutch themselves and drop to the floor screaming in pain. Heavy says that Eggman planted nanobots into all of their bodies! YIKES!

Knowing him, he’d probably find joy in burning holes through their bodies for fun right? Or make the nanobots zip about their bodies and destroy them for the inside? Or maybe he’s just gonna give them a tummy ache.

We cut back to Sonic who finds out that things are happening… some… how…?

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I really don’t know what happened here. I was mostly looking at the creepy way his muzzle wraps around the back of his head in that second panel due to being so badly drawn. That panel might be the inspiration for Boom Sonic’s scarf.

Am I supposed to assume that Sonic’s got Spidey-Sense now? I guess maybe that’s it…?

… Like this is super weird. The next page he’s talking to Rotor and Tails, asking for their help, and saying that Heavy and Bomb, specifically, have taken the Royal Family hostage. He then bursts into the castle where he sees a ton of Bombs in front of him. I’m not sure how he knew it was Heavy and Bomb if he had to burst into the castle. That kind of implies people were locked out and wouldn’t be able to see who took it over unless they came out to say that they did.

I don’t… maybe I should stop. This is just something I’m gonna have to accept isn’t it?

Back with the family Max is asking why Elias didn’t tell him how he felt and Elias says it's because he thought he’d disappoint him. This moment made me second guess myself. I could have sworn that Elias was pretty upfront about this to everyone and wasn’t keeping it a secret. I won’t harp on it because going back to check would take too long, Hopefully this part of the plotline is ending so it won’t matter anymore anyway.

… I really feel like Max was talked to about this before though.

So anyway, I’m sitting here wondering what’s going to happen to the robots that were reprogrammed by Eggman to be evil. How is Sonic going to save them? Surely he knows who these two are. He was with them when they escaped earlier when he was disguised as the Sneak. What’s our hero going to do?

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Oh… 

…. Oh…

… Well… the hero said “Fuck this guy” I guess…

All of the bombs just fall asleep thanks to an EMP that Tails and Rotor made to. So… that’s that. 

I gotta say, the situation here came and went super fast. It’s almost like there was no hostage situation at all.

Sonic tries to tell Sally how he felt when he thought she was about to die and Sally just says she knows and can’t see him. The meaningless kiss she thought she saw happen a certain way is overriding the fact that Sonic saved her and her entire reunited family from being exploded a thousand times over. Also, no one, not even Geoffrey, cares that Heavy was just rammed through. He was shaped like a big garbage can so I guess they’ll just throw him away now.

So much for that. I guess this treatment for the Secret Service is par for the course after Valdez was just dumped somewhere unceremoniously for no good reason.

Tails takes a picture of Sonic’s immediate family after they look over some family photos. That sea of blue in the family photo could have used a bit of Tails’ trademark yellow-orange though. Apparently he’s not that much of a little brother eh?

We end this story on a letter from Elias. Of course he feels awful about what's happened and is choosing not to blame any of it on his father’s wild assertions and desire to uphold tradition.

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Elias is too much of a good boy. He doesn’t deserve this.

So that story was mostly about the family drama. That’s fine I guess. It probably shouldn’t surprise me how much they didn’t give a fuck about what happened to Heavy there but for some reason it STILL does. It stuns me how consistently cruel the comic can be without batting an eye.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #102: Life’s Realities

It’s Ken Penders time. He’s doing the story as well as collaborating with Dawn Best on the art. That’s a bad idea. Dawn should just do it on their own. 

Anyway, Knuckles has gone back to the past and is watching Dimitri and Edmund give their original TED Talk about using the Chaos Syphon to bring Angel Island back onto the planet. One of them even say “It can’t possibly fail” which I hope Penders didn’t know was actually a ridiculous thing for a character to say right before something fails.

For some reason the judge shakes his head like a Gungan when passing his verdict on this matter.

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So weird.

Knuckles experiences the moment of said failure and then gets rebooted back to the present day with Dimitri and the others.

Then… they subject me to this endless mound of technobabble, time travel vomit. I had a bit of a time piecing the lines that Dimitri spouts here in my head.

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I audibly groaned when I read the word “Nature” on the page. Everything that happens to the echidnas is the fault of nature. It really wants them dead.

This nonsense… as best as I can ascertain is supposed to conclude that the reason that Knuckles’ time travel meddling isn’t working is because the thing he’s attempting to change has a negative outcome no matter what, so they need to go to a point in time where there would be a positive or negative outcome from a change happening.

I have no idea why anyone would ever attempt to do time travel like THIS but leave it to Penders to take something already notorious for being complicated and make it more complicated for no reason.

Anyway, Dimitri concludes that the moment that would make sense to try again would be the point where Edmund tried to act against those who wanted to follow Dimitri.

Hey, I have an idea. How about we just stop fucking with time? 

Well, Knuckles goes back to that point and for SOME reason he starts to turn into a robot… and then he’s back with Julie-Su.

I REALLY don’t understand what kind of time travel this is. I know I said “Only Penders” before but… seriously, ONLY PENDERS…!

Anyway, they have one last pointless conversation that literally just amounts to “Let’s focus on restoring the inhabitants of Angel Island” and the story ends. 

So, I guess that means this time travel nonsense was just an exercise in futility. Thanks for wasting me goddamn time.

 

This issue left me feeling bad. I don’t know if it was really all that bad compared to some other issues but I left it feeling like it was. The writing in this book is just so… fly at the seat of it’s pants. Things just HAPPEN without any consideration of what the implications of them happening are. Sonic just destroyed a character that was on the side of the good guys in a panel so quick it could be considered a joke and then afterward, none of the characters connected to him had ANY reaction to it. 

Meanwhile, the Penders story just wasted our time with meaningless prattle utilizing a method of time travel I’ve literally never seen before and one that only exists to be complicated so that it can mask the fact that it exists for no reason and says nothing substantial. 

Things will get better but so much of the middle shelf life of this comic is a farce.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #103: Freedom Fighters of the Galaxy - Part 1

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Time to have some fun. All I have to say about the cover is that it reminds me of one of the covers in the IDW series featuring Sonic and Shadow. That will be all.

Spoiler

 

Why was the story of this issue entertaining? Why was the art actually pretty good and consistent for both stories throughout? Because none of the usual suspects are working on this one. Mike Gallagher returns to write both the stories for this issue while the first one is penciled by Jim Valentino. Hooray!

We begin with Zonic the Zone Cop narrating his life story to the audience and reiterating to everyone that Sonic Prime is the most important Sonic ever but still feels the need to tell us stories about less important ones from alternate zones.

Here, because I keep getting ironically appropriate stories for Halloween, we've landed in a post apocalyptic version of Mobius where Sonic has crash landed back onto his home planet dressed as Batman and is immediately suspected of being a villain by the costumed Tails looking figure. 

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I'm not actually sure what this Tails look-a-like's costume is supposed to be a reference to. I don't have a way to find out aside from waiting to be told when I post this. He looks like a mini Galactus though.

The reason I don't think this is Tails is because Sonic tells his story of woe and reveals he's been in space for years after being tricked into a rocket by Eggman. 

He was saved by some aliens called the Pearlmen who have shells for heads because that's hilarious.

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It's weird that they fixed him up but also didn't want anything to do with him and shot his ass into space anyway? Why even bother?

Well, anyway, turns out Sonic's been in stasis in his pod for a thousand years. Everything immediately went to shit when Sonic left. Eggman began a war of the world and the planet was abandoned save those who could adapt. Tailon here is the name of this boy and his ancestor (wild guess as to who) was one of those adaptors.

Also there are evil metal echidnas roaming around because of course there are. So the two get to beating on them.

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Also Sonic has psychic blast powers now. I'm guessing the Pearlmen gave him that power before they just shot him into space? For… some reason?

Yeah, I don't get it entirely. 

I will say that this particular excuse to tell an elseworlds story is definitely more interesting than a lot of the others.

Although it does get a bit much for me when we see the other Freedom Fighters show up. Literally all of them had children and now descendants that look exactly like them… and also a random hawk man.

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This hawk man reminds me of that joke from Futurama when the Star Trek characters came back and one of them was just a dude named Welchy. 

Anyway, these guys are the Guardians of the Galaxy… I mean, the Freedom Fighters of the Galaxy. For the next couple pages we’re given a history lesson detailing the honestly very creative and interesting, if not incredibly devastating, events that led to the apocalypse. The Great War wasn’t good for Eggman either. The world imploded in on itself and he died.

Fucking oops.

“Miraculously” the four Freedom Fighters survived and then set off into space onto different planets where they evolved differently over time. No mention of Tails though.

Anyway, they were doing good until an alien race called “The Shark” which are Street Sharks but super duper evil, invaded their planets, set fire to everything, and gruesomely shot adorable animal characters in the back. Jesus, this is super appropriate for Halloween even if it can probably be argued to go a bit far for a Sonic comic. I for one, love stuff like this.

Whatever though. None of this is important. What IS important is MOTHER FUCKING SILVER SNIVELY!

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HELL…  YES…!


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #103: Myth Taken Identity - Part 1

This is still written by Gallagher but this time the art is a blast to the past with Dave Manak reminding me of when this comic used to be more consistently fun instead of fun every once in a blue moon.

Unfortunately, there isn’t actually a whole lot to say. We check in on the Downunda Freedom Fighters as they’re looking for a new recruit to replace Wombat Stu after he joined the Secret Service of the main line Freedom Fighters.

They give up on that when all their candidates turn out to be one note gags. Then we get a history lesson on how they all met each other which just turns out to be a sequence of them walking and bumping into the next member of their game one after the other. It’s really uninteresting.

Back in the present, with Crocbot gone they have no idea what to make of the disturbances in the force that are happening until one of the one off gags from earlier comes back and informs them that the Bunyip was the thing that did the bad stuff to him. So now we actually have to do something about it.

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How exciting… probably… not really…

 

Well this issue was a pleasant enough surprise. It wasn’t anything spectacular but it was really nice getting these art-styles and a break from the nonsense happening in the main storyline. That’s… all I have to say. See ya.


 

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On 10/31/2020 at 5:43 PM, Dr. Mike Acula said:

Sonic X - Issue #14: Hare-Um Scare-Um - Part 2

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Words can’t describe how appreciative I am of these covers. I’m just in love with the style on display here. I wish I could have gotten the chance to see more horror themed covers. This entire escapade where I just happened to line up these issues with the Halloween season was an extremely happy accident. So, Happy Halloween everyone.

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Joe Edkin, the writer, and David Hutchinson, the artist, are back again to complete this ghost story/prison story for the ages.

I still have a few misgivings with the art. They all look a little stiff still but everyone seems more on model here at least.

Chris and Cream are still running from their possessed ghost mothers and all the other ghosties around when Cheese, looking really dumpy, somehow asks “What do we do now?” before they get ambushed some more and have to leave.

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I know it’s supposed to be Cream speaking but it really looks like the speech bubble is being directed at Cheese. 

The two of them try to head out the door and of course they’re surrounded. So they go back around and head into the dingy, creepy attic. Cream cutely suggests it’d be great if going into the wardrobe would take them to another world. Chris denies this, saying that only happens in books and movies and Cream says she would have agreed before she ended up in their world.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. There is no Jesus Allegory Lion on the other side of this wardrobe; just darkness and the sounds of their creepy moms peering through the cracks.

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God, it’s so creepy. How I love it so.

However, they hear the voice of their master calling and they head on off like good little Boos. When they’re gone, Chris and Cream have a little heart to heart about how they disagree with Vanilla’s decision to leave. Honestly, if anything, the fact that this happened kind of proves Lindsay’s point about danger being kind of unavoidable. It doesn’t matter where they move honestly.

Chris tries to call Grandpa Chuck so that he can tell Sonic but just his luck, TODAY had to be the day Sonic and Tails got arrested. Tough break.

Meanwhile, it’s time we checked up on our prison buds.

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Of course we all know the real reason he’s fixing these appliances is so that he can have them attack the city. It’s kind of amazing that they had Eggman pay his debt to society in this way considering his intelligence is like magic that can just turn shit evil. It’s very impressive.

So with Sonic in prison, it’s up to Cream and Chris to save their moms. Chris decides to arm themselves with a golf club and a nice football helmet for himself. I do love Cream’s line of “I can’t hit my mother with that.” I adore that that’s the first thing that came to her mind.

Since the hourglass that summons the ghosts was left on the movie set they have to head down and basically hope they don’t get immediately possessed. This leads to Cheese getting immediately possessed.

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Cream finds it though, thankfully. When she runs back, Chris is pretty much cornered and she shoos them away by waving the hourglass around like it’s kryptonite.

By now, Chris has taken up arms with a shield and a sword combo. I wish he had kept this. Would have been neat seeing him fight with that. Especially in the episode with the household appliances going crazy. I  just want to see him cut a refrigerator monster straight down the middle like some sort of anime knight.

Anyway, they head outside and see a spire of light in the distance that all the ghosts are fluttering towards. What’s happening? They’re being summoned by their master, Wiseman.

No, obviously, it’s King Boom Boo.

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It’s quite the striking image. I enjoy a nice use of light and color against a certain, menacing focal point. 

Of course, as this is happening, the prison story is still going on. It’s not really going anywhere but I’m enjoying it literally because it’s just nice seeing it happen. I’m very easily amused that way.

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The guard comes to let them loose though. It’s been brief but the plot awaits.

Also, Eggman is the best. My God. How can one man be so consistently great in everything he’s in?

What’s funny is that the next caption outright says that things aren’t going to be interesting for Sonic for a while so we just cut back to Cream and Chris on their Ghostbusting adventures. This turns out to be a tiny bit of a fib though.

You see, we cut back to Cream and Chris who have decided they’re going to try the Steven Universe strategy of talking to the enemy. It’s a good way to do things sometimes, although it was harder than I thought it would be imagining King Boom Boo speaking. The BLAAAUGH in his voice is so ingrained in my skull thanks to his fight in Adventure 2.

Cream asks why the ghosts are here and why they’re trying to take over. King Boom Boo is invading the world of the living because his resting ground is way too loud now. It loud enough to wake the dead… and it DID! BOOOOO~!

The talisman that they have right now was taken away from that dark castle and put here where tennis games keep going on. It’s annoying so he wants to take over the world. It's all because of tennis.

Chris and Cream promise to take the talisman back where it was but they need to do it before sundown. Who can they possibly get?

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Aww. Yeah, so Sonic and Tails are out of jail and are ready to return the talisman back where it is so the ghosties can stop being distrubed from their rest because of the evils of the rich people playing tennis.

So yeah, Sonic was busted out of prison by Nelson Thorndyke and flown here by helicopter. It’s the power of money folks.

Sonic races the talisman back to where it's supposed to be, places it there, and then the issue just ends. Yeah, this was an extremely rushed ending, all things considered. We don’t even see the ghosts leave all the people. Sonic just races back and Tails says “You did it! All the ghosts are gone!” without any fanfare.

Cream hugs her mom and Chris hugs his parents as everyone gets all their wishes granted, including Vanilla going back on her decision to move. I guess the ghost thing was some kind of sign to her not to tempt fate. Or something.

 

This issue was definitely not as good as the last one despite some of the imagery and pleasing scenes with our two heroes in temporary misery. In the end, it does kind of feel it was done for no real reason considering what little hassle it was to get them out of the clink. The main story was thankfully the best part but, of course, that also suffered from a rush job of an ending. You could feel them running out of room in the last couple of pages there.I had fun but as forgiving as I am I do hunger for the landings to be sufficiently stuck. Oh well. Again though, Happy Halloween~!

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #102: Family Dysfunction

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Oooo~! Nice looking cover again. Also, it would seem as though the plot line that was set-up a few issues ago is finally going to be given its due attention here. It’s at times like these where I’m extra happy Bollers doesn’t do the Penders thing of setting something up and waiting absurdly long times before paying it off. Now here’s hoping this ends up being a good one.

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Karl Bollers is still joined by Ron Lim which means the issue probably won’t be looking too good. Oh well. I should be used to the book not looking good by now but the flashes of good it does have just make the consistent badness more unacceptable.

There’s an immediate problem with the scenery of the first couple of pages. It’s Sonic admiring all the people and families that were reunited after all the Robians minds were returned to normal. It’s an image of Mina hugging her mom.

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WHOA! I TOTALLY CAN’T SEE HER!

Unless her mom is yellow all over, I’m not sure what the point of showing this was aside from confirming that Mina has something to be happy about. This would have worked better as a close up on just the two of them with the rest of the crowd blocked out. I get if you don’t want Mina’s mom to be an actual character but showing her in the panel wouldn't have made that a necessity. 

It’s weird when the comic does things like this. They’re such small things but they’re so strange.
Even stranger, though, is when Sally hands the sword to Elias so that they can take care of General D’ Coolette, the sword… talks…

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This shouldn’t be that strange thanks to Caliburn but… it is.

Sally’s mom actually tries to scold Sally for going off on a dangerous mission, unaware of and not used to Sally being in more deep shit than she could possibly fathom due to being asleep for so long. Sally doesn’t have the reaction she would have to her father here. She talks about how she’s not a “porcelain doll” and about how the sword needed to be recovered with a straight glare on her face. I guess maybe this is just another showcase of Sally being a bit colder because she saw that horrible cliche kiss.

A very interesting and kind of sad scene happens where Elias points the sword at General D’Coolette and struggles to say “Be free I say…” but eventually lets the soul crushing disappointment in himself weigh him down so that he drops the sword on the ground. Max tells him that he’s making a scene over the crowd, and Sonic, shouting Sally’s name over and over.

Sally doesn’t really acknowledge the crowd’s encouragement. She just picks the sword up and does the thing in Elias’ place. The sword DID say it didn’t want to leave Sally after all.

Then we finally get the reunion we’ve been waiting for.

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You just know that if this were Penders, the sword wouldn’t have worked and we’d have to spend another 30 issues figuring out why and how to fix it.

Uncle Chuck says that happy endings are the best and Sonic agrees… even though things don’t quite seem to be happy between a certain select group of characters here.

Meanwhile, Eggman is taking a limo ride with Snively, waving at the crowd like a celebrated politician. He’s doing this for the sake of literally making a show of being a hero to the Overlanders in his city so that they won’t realize that Sonic was trying to save them. He also gives Snively the right to activate their sleeper agents.

What’s funny is that the only thing I can think of when witnessing this scene is how Snively killed the original Robotnik. Now he’s just casually sitting next to a version of him from an alternative universe because he sought shelter. It’s interesting to think about.

Randomly, we cut to a scene where Geoffrey has decided he wishes to resign from the Secret Service. Oh no. Not Geoffrey. Not the oh so essential Secret Service. Whatever shall we do?

Elias sees a chance and tries to jump onto the quitting train. For you see, Max has turned his knob back to “ASSHOLE” and is scolding Elias for embarrassing the royal family. Sally tries to make an appeal to everyone being tired and not open to dealing with this drama bullshit but Max tries to shut her down. Elias is in tears now though. It’s sad that he has to reiterate this again. Perhaps he wouldn’t have had to embarrass the family like that if the decision to give the crown to the person who deserved it was made when it should have been… and then in the same line of panels, Heavy says “NOW BOMB! QUICK, WHILE THE FAMILY DRAMA IS HAPPENING!”

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I feel for him but I’ll admit that the third panel got a chuckle out of me.

Then, all of sudden, all the Secret Service members clutch themselves and drop to the floor screaming in pain. Heavy says that Eggman planted nanobots into all of their bodies! YIKES!

Knowing him, he’d probably find joy in burning holes through their bodies for fun right? Or make the nanobots zip about their bodies and destroy them for the inside? Or maybe he’s just gonna give them a tummy ache.

We cut back to Sonic who finds out that things are happening… some… how…?

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I really don’t know what happened here. I was mostly looking at the creepy way his muzzle wraps around the back of his head in that second panel due to being so badly drawn. That panel might be the inspiration for Boom Sonic’s scarf.

Am I supposed to assume that Sonic’s got Spidey-Sense now? I guess maybe that’s it…?

… Like this is super weird. The next page he’s talking to Rotor and Tails, asking for their help, and saying that Heavy and Bomb, specifically, have taken the Royal Family hostage. He then bursts into the castle where he sees a ton of Bombs in front of him. I’m not sure how he knew it was Heavy and Bomb if he had to burst into the castle. That kind of implies people were locked out and wouldn’t be able to see who took it over unless they came out to say that they did.

I don’t… maybe I should stop. This is just something I’m gonna have to accept isn’t it?

Back with the family Max is asking why Elias didn’t tell him how he felt and Elias says it's because he thought he’d disappoint him. This moment made me second guess myself. I could have sworn that Elias was pretty upfront about this to everyone and wasn’t keeping it a secret. I won’t harp on it because going back to check would take too long, Hopefully this part of the plotline is ending so it won’t matter anymore anyway.

… I really feel like Max was talked to about this before though.

So anyway, I’m sitting here wondering what’s going to happen to the robots that were reprogrammed by Eggman to be evil. How is Sonic going to save them? Surely he knows who these two are. He was with them when they escaped earlier when he was disguised as the Sneak. What’s our hero going to do?

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Oh… 

…. Oh…

… Well… the hero said “Fuck this guy” I guess…

All of the bombs just fall asleep thanks to an EMP that Tails and Rotor made to. So… that’s that. 

I gotta say, the situation here came and went super fast. It’s almost like there was no hostage situation at all.

Sonic tries to tell Sally how he felt when he thought she was about to die and Sally just says she knows and can’t see him. The meaningless kiss she thought she saw happen a certain way is overriding the fact that Sonic saved her and her entire reunited family from being exploded a thousand times over. Also, no one, not even Geoffrey, cares that Heavy was just rammed through. He was shaped like a big garbage can so I guess they’ll just throw him away now.

So much for that. I guess this treatment for the Secret Service is par for the course after Valdez was just dumped somewhere unceremoniously for no good reason.

Tails takes a picture of Sonic’s immediate family after they look over some family photos. That sea of blue in the family photo could have used a bit of Tails’ trademark yellow-orange though. Apparently he’s not that much of a little brother eh?

We end this story on a letter from Elias. Of course he feels awful about what's happened and is choosing not to blame any of it on his father’s wild assertions and desire to uphold tradition.

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Elias is too much of a good boy. He doesn’t deserve this.

So that story was mostly about the family drama. That’s fine I guess. It probably shouldn’t surprise me how much they didn’t give a fuck about what happened to Heavy there but for some reason it STILL does. It stuns me how consistently cruel the comic can be without batting an eye.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #102: Life’s Realities

It’s Ken Penders time. He’s doing the story as well as collaborating with Dawn Best on the art. That’s a bad idea. Dawn should just do it on their own. 

Anyway, Knuckles has gone back to the past and is watching Dimitri and Edmund give their original TED Talk about using the Chaos Syphon to bring Angel Island back onto the planet. One of them even say “It can’t possibly fail” which I hope Penders didn’t know was actually a ridiculous thing for a character to say right before something fails.

For some reason the judge shakes his head like a Gungan when passing his verdict on this matter.

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So weird.

Knuckles experiences the moment of said failure and then gets rebooted back to the present day with Dimitri and the others.

Then… they subject me to this endless mound of technobabble, time travel vomit. I had a bit of a time piecing the lines that Dimitri spouts here in my head.

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I audibly groaned when I read the word “Nature” on the page. Everything that happens to the echidnas is the fault of nature. It really wants them dead.

This nonsense… as best as I can ascertain is supposed to conclude that the reason that Knuckles’ time travel meddling isn’t working is because the thing he’s attempting to change has a negative outcome no matter what, so they need to go to a point in time where there would be a positive or negative outcome from a change happening.

I have no idea why anyone would ever attempt to do time travel like THIS but leave it to Penders to take something already notorious for being complicated and make it more complicated for no reason.

Anyway, Dimitri concludes that the moment that would make sense to try again would be the point where Edmund tried to act against those who wanted to follow Dimitri.

Hey, I have an idea. How about we just stop fucking with time? 

Well, Knuckles goes back to that point and for SOME reason he starts to turn into a robot… and then he’s back with Julie-Su.

I REALLY don’t understand what kind of time travel this is. I know I said “Only Penders” before but… seriously, ONLY PENDERS…!

Anyway, they have one last pointless conversation that literally just amounts to “Let’s focus on restoring the inhabitants of Angel Island” and the story ends. 

So, I guess that means this time travel nonsense was just an exercise in futility. Thanks for wasting me goddamn time.

 

This issue left me feeling bad. I don’t know if it was really all that bad compared to some other issues but I left it feeling like it was. The writing in this book is just so… fly at the seat of it’s pants. Things just HAPPEN without any consideration of what the implications of them happening are. Sonic just destroyed a character that was on the side of the good guys in a panel so quick it could be considered a joke and then afterward, none of the characters connected to him had ANY reaction to it. 

Meanwhile, the Penders story just wasted our time with meaningless prattle utilizing a method of time travel I’ve literally never seen before and one that only exists to be complicated so that it can mask the fact that it exists for no reason and says nothing substantial. 

Things will get better but so much of the middle shelf life of this comic is a farce.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #103: Freedom Fighters of the Galaxy - Part 1

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Time to have some fun. All I have to say about the cover is that it reminds me of one of the covers in the IDW series featuring Sonic and Shadow. That will be all.

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Why was the story of this issue entertaining? Why was the art actually pretty good and consistent for both stories throughout? Because none of the usual suspects are working on this one. Mike Gallagher returns to write both the stories for this issue while the first one is penciled by Jim Valentino. Hooray!

We begin with Zonic the Zone Cop narrating his life story to the audience and reiterating to everyone that Sonic Prime is the most important Sonic ever but still feels the need to tell us stories about less important ones from alternate zones.

Here, because I keep getting ironically appropriate stories for Halloween, we've landed in a post apocalyptic version of Mobius where Sonic has crash landed back onto his home planet dressed as Batman and is immediately suspected of being a villain by the costumed Tails looking figure. 

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I'm not actually sure what this Tails look-a-like's costume is supposed to be a reference to. I don't have a way to find out aside from waiting to be told when I post this. He looks like a mini Galactus though.

The reason I don't think this is Tails is because Sonic tells his story of woe and reveals he's been in space for years after being tricked into a rocket by Eggman. 

He was saved by some aliens called the Pearlmen who have shells for heads because that's hilarious.

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It's weird that they fixed him up but also didn't want anything to do with him and shot his ass into space anyway? Why even bother?

Well, anyway, turns out Sonic's been in stasis in his pod for a thousand years. Everything immediately went to shit when Sonic left. Eggman began a war of the world and the planet was abandoned save those who could adapt. Tailon here is the name of this boy and his ancestor (wild guess as to who) was one of those adaptors.

Also there are evil metal echidnas roaming around because of course there are. So the two get to beating on them.

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Also Sonic has psychic blast powers now. I'm guessing the Pearlmen gave him that power before they just shot him into space? For… some reason?

Yeah, I don't get it entirely. 

I will say that this particular excuse to tell an elseworlds story is definitely more interesting than a lot of the others.

Although it does get a bit much for me when we see the other Freedom Fighters show up. Literally all of them had children and now descendants that look exactly like them… and also a random hawk man.

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This hawk man reminds me of that joke from Futurama when the Star Trek characters came back and one of them was just a dude named Welchy. 

Anyway, these guys are the Guardians of the Galaxy… I mean, the Freedom Fighters of the Galaxy. For the next couple pages we’re given a history lesson detailing the honestly very creative and interesting, if not incredibly devastating, events that led to the apocalypse. The Great War wasn’t good for Eggman either. The world imploded in on itself and he died.

Fucking oops.

“Miraculously” the four Freedom Fighters survived and then set off into space onto different planets where they evolved differently over time. No mention of Tails though.

Anyway, they were doing good until an alien race called “The Shark” which are Street Sharks but super duper evil, invaded their planets, set fire to everything, and gruesomely shot adorable animal characters in the back. Jesus, this is super appropriate for Halloween even if it can probably be argued to go a bit far for a Sonic comic. I for one, love stuff like this.

Whatever though. None of this is important. What IS important is MOTHER FUCKING SILVER SNIVELY!

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HELL…  YES…!


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #103: Myth Taken Identity - Part 1

This is still written by Gallagher but this time the art is a blast to the past with Dave Manak reminding me of when this comic used to be more consistently fun instead of fun every once in a blue moon.

Unfortunately, there isn’t actually a whole lot to say. We check in on the Downunda Freedom Fighters as they’re looking for a new recruit to replace Wombat Stu after he joined the Secret Service of the main line Freedom Fighters.

They give up on that when all their candidates turn out to be one note gags. Then we get a history lesson on how they all met each other which just turns out to be a sequence of them walking and bumping into the next member of their game one after the other. It’s really uninteresting.

Back in the present, with Crocbot gone they have no idea what to make of the disturbances in the force that are happening until one of the one off gags from earlier comes back and informs them that the Bunyip was the thing that did the bad stuff to him. So now we actually have to do something about it.

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How exciting… probably… not really…

 

Well this issue was a pleasant enough surprise. It wasn’t anything spectacular but it was really nice getting these art-styles and a break from the nonsense happening in the main storyline. That’s… all I have to say. See ya.


 

Shadow had green eyes? 😛 

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #104: Freedom Fighters of the Galaxy, Part 2

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Eggman is Galactus. The dream of a life-time hath come true. I can die happy now.

Seriously though, they went all in on this non-canon elseworlds story. I’m actually not complaining. I appreciate the break from whatever was going on in the canon I’m supposed to care about.

Spoiler

 

Mike Gallagher and Dawn Best team up to take me on the rest of this journey. Ken Penders is weirdly inking the issue but it’s okay because inking isn’t the thing you should have to worry about with him… allegedly.

I’m really enjoying Dawn Best’s artwork. It looks like a prototype version of Tracy Yardley’s stuff from later on really.

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It feels great reading this and having it feel like an actual Sonic comic book.

Although, it’s still insanely weird. Silver Snively is heralding the arrival of Robolactus, which is a hilarious name, so that he can eat it because he’s a glutton. This post-apocalyptic future is set-up in a very strange way where everything sucks and the war drives everyone off to different planets… but also they’re superheroes and Sonic is Batman, I guess.

Despite being amused by Silver Snively, the comic seems very less interested in keeping him around so Sonic spins a tornado around him and he just… falls on his back and IS defeated. I guess that’s just how it works.

Hawkhawk sniffs the air and then flies off, literally leaving everyone in the dust, after saying he sniffed out danger. Apparently it’s just because he’s a loner type and totally not created as the odd one out to either betray them or get killed off. 

I really like the design of Tails’ descendant by the way. It seemed slightly off last issue but here, the long blue hair on his much more adorable model works for me. 

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The heroes beam up to a nice space ship without Hawkhawk and start heading for the planet Bluto. There, a debriefing on who Robotlactus is given to us which is basically what was already told to us about him except with more words. The only new thing is that he eats planets by activating his Planet Juicer. Sonic spits out the docu-chips that were supposed to explain this to him and Tailon because he apparently thought they were corn chips even though they were clearly black and metallic.

Like, I don’t even think Knuckles would have confused those for corn chips. 

Anyway, they find Robolactus and, shock horror, our favorite character Hawkhawk is getting battered around. Oh no. The poor boy. The other future not-Freedom Fighters try to save him and they get quickly foisted up by his magic hands of power. ‘It’s no use’ as another future boy would say.

Rotor-27 gets knocked into outer space but it’s no big worry because Tailon uses his magical superpowers of shamrocks and sheleighlies to bring him back.

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… Okay, maybe I didn’t pay proper attention but I missed the part where Tailon was supposed to be an Irish stereotype. Either that, or his power is just “luck” and clovers are the best way to express that… seems like a weird thing to reveal either way.

Things get weirder when Silver Snively, who came back earlier to join the fight, comes in to stop Robolactus from juicing their planet. He’s got the weirdest reason to. It’s because the planet lacks proper nutrients. 

I do enjoy Robolactus going from being pompous and evil to a whiny baby, saying “But I hunger” with a lip quiver… but then Silver Snively suggests they eat the planet of The Shark, the race of Street Sharks that laid waste to the planets that belonged to the group of Future Freedom Fighters.

Rotor-27 doesn’t even try to make a play at trying to save them. No, instead, he cheers Robolactus on! He’s so happy and so onboard for the mass genocide that’s about to happen!

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“What goes around comes around” is the best reaction a superhero could have when witnessing a God juicing and eating an entire planet. I’m sure that planet had no one on it that were detractors of the horrible, evil regime that laid waste to other planets. I’m also sure there weren’t any babies or children on it. I’m also sure there weren’t any prisoners of war there too. No this is ALL good. Thank goodness this is happening. We give thanks for this blessing of planet wide death.

WHAT THE FUCK?!

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“Well, all except the shark!” 

HAHAHAHAHA! We let an ENTIRE race of beings die! What’s that about teaching a lesson about not judging based on the race of a being? That’s crazy talk. Fear not everyone, the galaxy is safe so long as you don't happen to live on a planet of assholes because we’ll make sure you share their fate. Also, try not to get captured and imprisoned on planets like the ones belonging to the shark. We’ll cheer when it gets destroyed so best not let that happen.

In fact, why don’t we just look for meteorites to direct into the planets we don’t like ourselves.

What’s that? WE’VE become the evil dictators now? Well, that’s really only a matter of perspective and what I mean by that is, agree with what we, the heroes, say and do and maybe we won’t kick your planet into a wormhole that exits directly over the sun. 

… Hooray! We’re the good guys!

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #104: Myth Taken Identity, Part 2

This second Mike Gallagher story is being illustrated by Dave Manek again, of course, to continue this little fling with the Downunda Freedom Fighters.

I’m kind of amazed by how much attention the book actually did give these guys before I read that Knuckles arc in Sonic Universe. It feels weird finding out that what once was just a random group of characters to me actually did have a lot of attention given to them back in the day…

… That said, the amount of attention given isn’t equivalent to how much substance said attention has. These guys barely function as characters worthy of your attention, as harsh as that sounds. They’re not the worst or anything. I certainly don’t hate any of them. It’s just a lot to ask from me to be heavily invested in their quest to replace Wombat Stu turned into a chase for this Bunnyip thing. The outcome of this story has to be something super shocking to endear me to it as more than just a cute distraction thanks to the now nostalgic artstyle.

Anyway, the guru character tells the story of the Bunnyip and Bill, the Platypus character, doesn’t seem to care until he’s literally forced to give a shit--!

ea8S6k_qpX7mrph1dGLVCzi_hlpMZDcPyH8LtSqgGuAVV8ukjoXkaxd069iIomtWH3Ka2nT__vr7dGG6uuTOoXUmVZCaoYGE4ESCEf57q0P0_58EqpiazwPzhcMn8PvsgOHsPnu9

GglFe7RU5ALcIGzB_6GU0skuTApgib4LsKq4EC6FMFrVzw5nz2MeANB9YZvLu5gpu-SSfEoou0gFv5_vr0l-6EXO1sdFfOZ8oPYlUROwJpwTbHWhPW1sIJcFix-ehqc4Vqk3imyj

R.I.P

A fight ensues with this creature that doesn’t go well at all. For some reason, the Guru is very delirious throughout this whole fight. He’s high as fuck and I have no idea why but he eventually snaps out of it just in time to witness his friends being dragged under the water by the beast.

He’s so mad that he could curse. Then he says “Dam”. 

Then a caption tells us that he didn’t actually curse. He literally saw a huge dam below him. Oh that’s neat. It’s still strange that he shouted ‘DAM’ like that though. It’d be like if I shouted ‘SKYSCRAPPER’ or ‘DUMPSTER’ when I saw those things. I guess someone really wanted that cursing joke to make it in.

 

This issue started off fun but it ended up being very odd. The first story’s ending was fucking astonishing. This thing started off as a semi-serious post-apocalyptic tale and ended on a gag that still, also, had very horrible implications attached to it. I’m not sure why Rotor-27 cheering on the genocide of an entire species was seen as the proper reaction for a superhero to have. 

The second story isn’t even really worth discussing. These characters that I don’t care that much about got attacked by a monster and dragged into the ocean. Then the last one came across a dam and screamed out DAM when he saw it.

I think I’m ready to continue the canonical story proper as it were. It was nice having a break with a different writer but this did do a lot to remind me that Gallagher has his own problems too...

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #105: You Say You Want A Revelation?

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What an icky cover. This style looks awful on Sonic and his posture and face makes it look like he’s doing something incredibly indecent in front of Hope rather than laying there unconscious. I also don’t like Sonic with flesh colored eyes. It’s always been creepy to me. Even in Adventure 2. Can’t say I enjoy looking at this one. It’s making my potato chips taste bad.

Spoiler

 

Karl Bollers and Ron Lim are back yet again. I’m almost at a loss for what to say with regards to how little faith I have now. Bollers still instills a small sense of relief here and there but he’s not perfect and with the weird things that have been mandated, I’m convinced the comic is just floundering around now, aimlessly.

Already, the first page does not instill much confidence in me. Ron Lim’s art has devolved yet again, with the characters not only being extremely angular and disproportionate but their legs are so thin, they look like pretzels that you could easily snap in half. On top of that, the bolding in the speech bubbles is distracting. It’s like a Ken Penders style of bolding.

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I wish I could say it got a bit better after this page but I’d be lying if I said it did. We cut to Robotropolis where things look even more distracting but in other areas. Hope, for some fucking reason, now looks like she’s in her early 20s or late teens here. Eggman still looks like a massive balloon, though less endearing this time, and Snively looks like an old, bouncy, black and white cartoon character was just lazily slapped onto the bottom panel.

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The conversation here is also not that great on dear Colin’s part. It seems very odd that this guy, knowing the history associated with his brother, would be this trusting of the man. Even if they were in space during his entire reign, we know he was there for the bad stuff he did that led to him being thrust from the Overlanders city. 

Back in Knothole, Sonic, Uncle Chuck, and Tails go to try and see Elias, not knowing that he’s gone. As the king says in unnecessary bolding, “I DROVE him away ALICIA, and now Elias is GONE.”

I don’t want to make fun of how redundant it sounds to say that someone being driven away means that they’re gone and equate that to the “People die when they are killed” meme but… it crossed my mind so I’ll mention it anyway.

Back in Robotropolis, cocky, dastardly Eggman makes a television broadcast to all the Overlanders in the city that they’re all suffering from radiation poisoning and the only way to save them is to make them like him. He says this with a wicked smile on his face and orders for their robotization. 

Colin feels betrayed even though he really should have been a tad bit smarter about this. He even gets directly warned by Eggman that all it would take to make them like himself is a nice touch and Colin goes to attack him, not heeding the warning he just made.

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So much for that idiot.

Back in Knothole, Uncle Chuck delivers the news that he somehow found out that Robotnik can turn people into robots through a simple touch now. Uh-oh. 

Even if Nate’s a robot they can still restore his free will with the Sword of Acorns which can be wielded by Max and Sally. Sally comes forth and offers to do it and as Max is about to refuse Sally just doubles down, saying that his decision to not trust her before led to this happening so he should probably just let her do it. So he does.

Sonic congratulates her for standing up to Max and then takes the chance to ask if he’s somehow done something wrong since she’s not so subtly been acting odd with him. Then, randomly, Mina rushes in and hugs Sally, thanking her for restoring her mother, before rushing off again.

Oh dear. The timing of her appearances just continues to be so dramatically appropriate for the situation. How on Earth does THAT keep happening???

Sigh.

What happens next, though, is a delightfully highly stressful and suspenseful couple of scenes. This comic being what it is, I can very easily see Hope being robotized here. Or at least I could have if I didn’t have knowledge of her being just fine in later issues but the point is that this is a very scary situation and it’s really goddamn affective the way it’s written. The way Eggman is just relentlessly taunting the poor girl as she makes her way through the unsafe alleyways of this radioactive city does a lot to elicit instant sympathy and fear for her livelihood.

Then Sonic comes in like a boss, destroying the Shadow Bots surrounding her, with an actual good line for once in response to their suggestion that Hope give up hope and be roboticized.

“Sheesh. That’s the lamest suggestion I’ve heard all day. How about ‘Don’t worry, be happy’?”

Snappy and quick, like his lines should be.

Sally’s there with the sword too in case you care.

Anyway, the scene continues to be awesome with Sonic confronting Eggman. Eggman is a metal man so he’s not affected by his radiation full city (though that doesn’t explain why Snively’s okay but we’ll get to that) and now just touching him can turn you into a robot. Eggman can’t touch Sonic but Sonic can’t touch him.

But it doesn’t matter because Sonic races around the man and makes a hole for him to fall through.

Then hilariously, Snively just boots Sonic in the butt and he falls in after him too.

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mbjddfKmmXbXQH-dZa95OaujjqXg5OaGUCxEnFgbBTLky4MC-44bb5eWkc7Pjr5K2HYs9dCSFATqNvw-HiCbdLsSgJSvQ03Q-_emWA3ihodDnCAy9rN8rbEtyx4SU0kRSBrg3ocX

It’s a well done combination of being awesome and also being hilarious. Sonic can take out a man who can turn you into a metal monster without touching him but can also get kicked in the butt by a small, dinky little bald man and suffer the same fate.

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Of course, when he gets down there he sees Nate and he’s a roboticized statue.

The fact that he’s an immovable statue makes this significantly creepier.

I gotta say, I do feel kind of bad for Nate. This guy has done nothing but want to love and be loved in return and provided nothing but help at every pass he could and he paid for it by being exiled, losing the only friend he made in isolation, and then robotized for almost no good reason. 

Sally comes down and tries to use the sword to restore his free will but it doesn’t work. It only works on animal Mobians. Why robotization works differently for Overlanders, I have no clue BUT I do really like the mysterious and scary angle the differences in its function is here. It does add a nice layer of hopelessness to it.

The next scene is even more interesting as Eggman finishes laughing at Sonic and Sally for their efforts being in vain and then turns to Snively, finally addressing the fact that he’s a human and has been affected by the radiation as well. Sonic tries to get it into Snively’s mind that Eggman is not going to help him but Eggman denies this, saying that the difference in those other robotized Overlanders is that they didn’t turn into robots willingly. All Snively has to do is willingly shake his hand and he’ll be saved.

Whether I believed him here or not was a complete coin-flip in my mind. When I saw them do the handshake and Snively’s arm turn metallic, I wasn’t sure what was going to transpire.

What did happen, I did not expect.

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HOLY SHIT!

This issue is fantastic.

The art isn’t even ruining it. The story’s working so well, the art is strengthening because of it rather than the art weakening the story. 

Fortunately, Eggman’s threat here is that of exile, which doesn’t sound too bad considering the city’s full of radiation. Sonic and Sally just walk out with the other Overlanders that haven’t turned into robots yet and Eggman lets it happen since he’s basically got a humongous win under his belt and promises to make their lives miserable later.

Whoo-boy!

So that was the end of Nate Morgan Freeman. It sucks. I liked the guy in all honesty and seeing him get dicked around and discarded feels off. I hear this happened because Bollers didn’t like him or something but whether he changed his mind on that probably doesn’t matter because by the time he would, he was getting dicked around himself by Penders and left. So this is it for him, Colin, and Hope’s grandma actually.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #105: Myth Taken Identity, Part 3

Last issue I originally started off by saying that it was going to be the final installment of this story about the Downunda Freedom Fighters because I truly thought it would be. I have no clue why it wasn’t but maybe this unexpected third part will explain to me why.

Mike Gallagher gets to finish this story off but the art is by Nelson Ribeiro instead. 

While I am sad to see the nostalgic artwork go, this art is actually really good too.

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Guru Stu, the only one of the Downunda Freedom Fighters with a memorable gimmick and personality, is left by himself to go and save his friends. He quickly happens upon a room where all the plans for this dam and what Crocbot was trying to do before he got axed are located.

At the same time this is happening, turns out (unsurprisingly) that the other Downunda Freedom Fighters are fine. Not just fine, but they’ve made friends with this supposed “Bunnyip” and Barby apparently has the ability to communicate with it which granted them a safe haven in the form of a convenient air duct just outside of his tank. So that’s nice.

This story is basically an environmental message. It’s not hamfisted or anything. It’s thankfully fairly straightforward and doesn’t preach at you or try to shove anything down your throat.

Turns out this creature was just really pissed off that Crocbot kept polluting his water and using his dam to cut off the natural flow of clean water that he wanted. So when Guru comes to the others, telling them of the plans and explosives he found, they use them to blow up the dam and Crocbot’s old complex. 

Then they say their goodbyes to the monster friend they made and decide they’re capable enough to stand on their own with just four members. Nice.

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HOT DAMN! That was a really good issue. I wasn’t expecting the return to the main series to be quite as good as that was but perhaps Bollers simply needed a bit of a break. The intense nature of that situation was well done on all fronts and Eggman was on point in both his expression of menace and his dialogue. The imagery of the Overlanders becoming robotic was used to haunting effect, even on Snively, and the resolution, while quick, felt reasonably so due to being intentionally bittersweet.

I also like how the Downunda Freedom Fighters story was just a happy little tale. Easily ignorable and nothing that felt up it’s own ass like all of Ken Penders’ bullshit. These characters may not be the most interesting but it’s also worth noting that there’s nothing here to hate, which is more than I can say for a lot of the other characters in this book.

So yeah. Another success to add to the pile. I enjoyed this one a lot, surprisingly.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #106: Crouching Hedgehog, Hidden Dragon

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Kaido has invaded the comics… except not really. God, I wish though. This cover is… odd. It’s not… drawn badly, I don’t think. However, it’s very overly detailed and strangely set-up. This looks like it should be a connected cover… but I checked the next covers and it’s not. I really don’t get the idea behind this. There’s a Dragon’s Lair reference so… that’s good?

Spoiler

 

Karl Bollers and Ron Lim are still working as a team here. It’s still going. Hopefully the story is good enough to help me ignore the art yet again.

The issue begins with Antoine having a fairly tough time of it, trying to fly the massive airship the Freedom Fighters and the Overlander survivors from Robotropolis into Station Square (I refuse to call it the Hidden City of the Ancients. Bite me, comic). Here we see that for what feels like the millionth issue in a row, Sally is still in obnoxious bitch mode due to the horrible, awful, contrived nonsense that the situation with Mina turned into.

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Her massive forehead and eyes stretching out like a pinocchio effect gone terribly wrong isn’t helping me see her in a positive light here either. Not too much has been done with Sally in this state of being perpetually pissed off but it’s already grating on my nerves. I so want to move past this already because its annoying as fuck knowing that she’s pissed off over LITERALLY NOTHING. This isn’t endearing. It’s just frustrating. A conflict is being fabricated, not organically created when you pull stuff like that kiss scene with Sonic and Mina.

Anyway, the Freedom Fighters come in and have an extremely friendly meeting with the residents and the President… oh yeah, the President is here now.

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Yeah, this is after Adventure 2 so it’s okay to reference him as a character who exists.

They go in and have a meeting with the higher ups in the city about placing the refugees here. When hearing that there’s about SEVENTY families they need to take in, one of the men at the table asks what they get in return which prompts Sonic to shout at them about doing the right thing. Sally quickly tells Sonic to sit the fuck down and, like a shockingly mature and respectable leader, offers a diplomatic arrangement where she says if they agree to take in the refugees, they’ll hand over ALL tactical information on Dr. Eggman, the man who attacked their city with Perfect Chaos and sicked a character named Shadow (whom we haven’t seen much of in this book yet but the main events of his story have weirdly already happened) on their energy supply.

That’s a great deal and while, honestly, they should probably offer the information anyway (since it’s also the right thing to do) it’s a great way to bargain with them. I’m impressed by how Sally handled this situation. The President is left needing to think things over for a bit.

As Sonic, later that night, contemplates the merit behind what just happened, the President, his secretary, and his other groupies are busy watching videos of Sonic’s exploits to help make up their mind on what they’re going to do. They see videos of him fighting the Metal Sonic from the tank in Sonic Adventure, Chaos, and Shadow. The President starts to acknowledge how good of an agent he’d be just as another threat starts to attack the city. He gets the idea to go ask Sonic to see if he’d handle it for them only to immediately get a report that… he’s already there!

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Because he’s a mother fucking hero!

Sonic’s friends actually try to apologize to the President for Sonic going out to save them and, of course, because he’s a rational person, the President is actually grateful. They don’t know that he was literally about to ask Sonic to do this very thing. 

Although, the President does take this chance to say to Sally that taking in refugees will mean those people being in danger of being attacked by dragons. Sonic waltzes in, after having fended off that attacking dragon, and asks them to accept them if they, in return, take care of their dragon problem and Mr. President agrees.

I don’t really know WHY the city is being attacked by dragons. It seems like a very strange pest control problem to have but… hopefully it’ll be explained. I hope the answer isn’t just, “Well it’s an ancient city. What’s an ancient thing? Dragons? Okay, sure.”

By the way, we also get a map of Station Square and its… so fucking weird. I know it’s been this way for a while and the way this comic was structured was incredibly different for… reasons but it’s still hilarious looking at it.

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The fact that the Mystic RUINS and the Big the Cat hut are on TOP Station Square is hilariously strange to me. Even weirder is the plane from the OVA being on the other side of the mountain that has the rotating Solar Collector that gives the city it’s sunlight. Even funnier is that obviously stolen photo of a sky background that Penders lazily cropped in there to simulate the artificial sky. It’s the weirdest fucking thing ever. If this concept were introduced in a Sonic game proper as a completely different city, I’d probably find the weirdness of this charming. However, the fact that it’s Station Square gives off this sense of it being this way because someone really wanted to scramble to find a way to make that city work within the context of this already strange as hell book and they desired to find a way by ANY means necessary. It feels like something that happened out of desperation rather than an actual creative decision but at the same time, in a different context, I could almost see this actually working to some degree. It’s an odd feeling.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #106: Reunification, Part 1

It’s a Ken Penders story again. I guess I should have been more thankful for those Gallagher stories eh? Thankfully, Dawn Best is still the artist so at least Penders’ self-important nonsense won’t look like shit.

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Right off the bat, this fucking story confuses the shit out of me. That should be par for the course with Penders but I really enjoyed going into a story and being fed information properly and not having to rely on dumb luck to wade my way through a narrative.

Because this is a Penders story it operates on characters speaking as unnaturally as possible and having every other word, whether it makes sense or not, bolded for your inconvenience. The only reason I’m not even MORE lost is because I know who this character is. I know this is THE LARA-SU CHRONICLES IN ALL CAPS and I’m aware that she is a character from the future (ironically being the echidna equivalent to Silver the Hedgehog here, a character who is less than 5 years away from existence) and as such I’m able to gleam things in my head about what she’s doing here a bit better than I would be coming into this.

Perhaps part of the intended purpose of this IS to serve as some sort of confusion but the fact that Penders can’t ever be straight forward about things we KNOW are technically supposed to be happening, makes this come off as far more frustrating than it should be.

This story, thankfully, doesn’t do much beyond initially confuse me though as it spares me any further complication by just being about how Dimitri is throwing a hissy fit when Lien-Da reports that Knuckles snuck onto the Floating Island to presumably reverse the effects of the Quantum Beam himself and then we’re treated to a final image of Ms. LARA-SU CHRONICLES IN ALL CAPS finding Remington.

Here though, we do get a pretty significant bombshell dropped that I surprisingly was taken aback by.

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I’m sorry… he’s the echidna who did WHAT?!

So many strong candidates for the position of being the one to kill Knuckles exist. Some of which are in his so-called ‘family’ and yet the one foretold to do it is Remington? One of the five few good echidnas in this entire book? Now that’s actually interesting. It’s amazing how easy it is for conflict to arise naturally when you propose an idea like this with an actual likeable character.

If she had said Locke had done it my reaction would have been, “Yeah… that sounds like him.”

 

This issue was fairly bog standard. There’s nothing about it that offends me on a visceral level. The kind nature of the Overlanders in Station Square continues to be a neat breath of fresh air. I do rather enjoy the President and how quickly he’s come into acceptance of Sonic and his character. It happened far quicker than it did with King Max, which is both hilarious and sad at the same time. The Penders story, while initially confusing, managed to steer clear of anything convoluted due to being mercifully short and painlessly easy to ignore. Next.

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Sonic X - Issue #15: Bad Eggnog

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Uh-oh! It’s FINALLY time for the issues of copied and traced art. Ho’boy. Merry Christmas to me!

Unfortunately, because these came out once a month and I’m doing these reviews at a much faster pace, I won’t be able to match up my review of this issue with Christmas time. Though, if you look in all the malls, you’ll be forgiven for thinking it’s already Christmas time anyway so I guess it still sort of works. That said, this is yet another fantastic cover. The references from Bark the Polar Bear to Samba de Amigo are one thing but the image of Eggman attempting to go down that tiny chimney with Sonic strapped to his back makes me laugh. What a card.

As good as THIS drawing is, things are about to get very controversial within this issue because of a certain “artist” named Todd Wahnish. Betcha his favorite Overwatch character is “Tracer”.

Spoiler

 

Joe Edkin is still the writer but of course, the star of this issue is going to be the “artist” Todd Wahnish. As soon as the first page hit, immediately I felt like I was being assaulted with images I’ve seen before. 

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I was blindsided by how fantastic that drawing of Chris was but then I remembered that it’s literally just a redrawing of his official character art. It’s just been horizontally flipped.

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Then there’s Vanilla whose art looks like the piece of artwork that everyone has seen before. That one picture that everyone uses that might be fanmade and no one knew it all this time.

r9OyvOFYawjFyAD_CIBcrfnWI92f6xx-cYQp20hm8JCDX8VomEpqvRI-2FTykEy1096I07iHDZ5hW2oNtwPbiYLOBGMGRurwIUy9OABC8sR4BEAfRFVmfd00QW8XNmLhzl-Ct3ti

It’s clearly the same. The eyes are just shifted down. Chris’ image was reversed but his eyes weren’t shifted so he’s oddly looking at the reader rather than his friends.

Then there’s that image of Sonic with his arms crossed. It’s an image taken from model sheets for the show.  I literally printed that image out from my computer when I was kid looking for references to help me learn to draw Sonic better. I still have that paper to this day actually.

nXkF364MVXW-_UAIVge-CUbThnJD9QWyjkyUMBQricfXGdWhJF1ihzdNaBKPD1zMfRkUUwyIltQXsJcCXHWp0ZORncRxzBZMPJkb8ypaQ0fxnVNRbBtgIlnYVoQjEU7_lbNz3W1f

0QYDnvV3B2J2IUUjefQA8GHhNXwzfKq3J_6R1KFTiHoHaDZSsy-vjFDGCjiFNQs5PVS7xNdjpAACe40_aBaZl5-Y_zq33vEQCjayiOgFhHb4wFFvHpLb7kyTzigEMvVfSS6Aspbf

It’s the exact same except reversed again. Though reversing this image makes less sense since him looking in the other direction would probably better match the mood.

Anyway, this scene is basically just the obligatory, “Santa Claus sounds fucking strange” scene that happens whenever creatures or people from another world are given an explanation as to why this jolly prowler breaking into your house while you sleep is actually a good thing.

It’s a fairly standard version of this scene and because of its unremarkable nature I’m left to just examine the art to see what other images Todd stole from. The second page of the book literally has at least one stolen image in every single panel.

The first panel is just him reusing the same image of Chris, except this time it’s been reversed back to its original position.

ZoPVh5WbR0_7cwns06aqe_3WpXV2I0zwSurN4NwTr0F8TLeOh97KQgIWOCIk-_Q88FAqW4gbgLYG11K2k9llbnbXaXbk_gKtytG8t68uPXWo_Nh_Ewa3K5AIzzZ49wg_H4ux6Q1q

More images taken from the Sonic X model sheets happen on the next panel.

ARv6AasP7Ow2bTX4fYRzMyOcEfTN8Q-52JUFiWtjmNpEjwX_6HPcojvBZaWJw2nRzKmfmtqdoU1dBKM_Ha4OZ1gjKophyW2SlI1QT3lJmiAOCwT-8Gt61gICnGEtfx00p8JpTlS_m9Vn4aQe6SwXhS4POtPEyY00RqdvEz-1CrGCim5mVPECp7ltVFPiXBkCzTqNaIABtJAzEPxmisNTF1nTVYJOLhTR4wJSmUFEa2GJhejdQzByZy06d553PrH4ifpgXm_WYVOK9yIr

QkdsXtckcPlzwqQ3Smr382nZDnnYpwtxoCvs2y3mmRjKqW9PrfrgScae3Xw4uYHN7zpBUvWdBSO26SkHaBaxA_kmCYQzzhTOKDyAyS-A-IPZ7ss76xNuqs9Kifa7AuPmsH4tyRIbNFrjDy_b4D5-9hG4PXZgXKbG4UbSUtEt_dWdbE8Z-UnOCynPNlbaP66LCUVGEb0JQmq8S6x4B3nVDMviR84LwUg3zrbxSIgsnFIWKjYnTlvX_64BXB5KymEnHYi5IuuSfcXtnl22

There’s only so many ways to draw these characters from the side, so that can normally be forgiven for looking similar, BUT their arms are literally in the same positions to the point where Amy is even leaning forward in the comic panel with her palm open in the exact same way as in the model sheet. It’s definitely no coincidence that Sonic and Tails are the only ones with their palms closed and Amy’s has hers open and is also inching forward. 

1uk8dGqqwd7HAnhEVeozMciNKvLfxCoqSPxVqXWgfWQbPInUxPuei5m9EJsHfniLD5pornL-Xtwe7dZCpEKI0EXSA-JZGL_XMbXe8qjhWm2DH_J4zom1PYsOjGyFjdCxihyl5VKpxbexKvUusNwzYMjlvvhzFxIrRpaA2V_yzzqG9McxEWUC4XUJC73ljokj53ptGbGoO9_1-eQma3H6ry47OY8XpqPAoMfaK24Xe-7lSBds1loo5OaQF7ebRJ4cLGBzkAKUFGom4ojL

This one I’ve posted before. It was on the front cover of one of the earlier issues but here it is again. It’s apparently a favorite.

UCd66_a-pSBl9Zw3qym-_rYvB3kMDAimH72CwqwDTBLXUl3u-6uBPeIb8jqXtRdoLOgNyIPqqsS4fuHQ0rq_WU-spBy4U72SptejOM1d64aN00xp-N0YJLKs22qXC4HVCXq6VtNf

I don’t even really recall which episode this was but I remember this pose regardless. Interesting one to choose considering I’d have given the top quill a little touch up myself.

ynnxGMgyWJxiPF1k6B3H6_RHpltbMQ9Kw6LAqsZmAPnzqoAypzUHfDtvhzVpIthwOffw931tBJPM0O_z_I2uimKlwUeBJ4GT6PcaPXAtkI0jWOUQMTkmdlEwr8jijV_ZoDbMDwty

At first I thought he might have redrawn that same Chris image a third time but it was different enough that I felt it might not have been… and it wasn’t. It was an entirely different image all together. This feels like a bootleg.

We then cut to Eggman who has happened upon a new brilliant plan. He’s done research on the customs of this planet and has therefore decided that he’s going to take up the mantle of Santa Claus in order to get the children to… turn Sonic over to him? At least that’s what it sounds like. I’m not entirely sure why he thinks children would be able to do that, even if they do fall for whatever Santa ruse cruise he’s about to take them on but alright.

Anyway, more stolen art.

1EtI96qsg6jOEHdlyny-QLrZyjfsyvzojdthiMYPyXC1ac5jRgf_ftse08kRESC9FNCdrMjQxKvYomH0pVWa9ZL5YHKmP4wK3Aw97dGCsdicNGghj67coaA-S77tyjyfMAuoVDFGVZ327qM96y3igFTdD4NPAKaxsUUpdr1K7o4nWABAufVugRpPIN5d04RsVncI2TnpVm9pEHBKdm7oZVx6nbNvuPUM_vY4v4ZZYY_qOVUCxgFP5di_qQ9MXVAGxzItenB-28s7Xi2D

Reversing the image is a very popular way of dealing with this kind of thing but the thing that gets me is how he extended Eggman’s other arm due to it no longer having a microphone in hand. It extends outward and bloats a bit as it goes off screen. Making the art bloat out at the edge of the screen is a tactic I do unconsciously whenever I’m lazy and don’t want to properly draw the rest of the arm right. It’s easy to spot. It’s also interesting how funky the mustache looks at the portion of the picture where the mic originally was.

However, I think this next one is probably one of the funnier ones.

tbsX300me6205X344CJiOlTal40owJv6_UfSzZyE_3EQTa8TSdmpdm9ncnW26TZIvCTr1KRNmrhbXRAOXHflUsCEg8TDyG-zHr8M0DHZyrc82DcD3SwJbK22NGRVU67U66O8f1Nn

Cropping things out is funny already but adding things in is hilarious. It’s the same image except Eggman’s got a Santa hat on. It’s being made to look like he’s putting it on his head rather than scratching at it.

There’s at least two other images on this page that were obviously copied too. It’s just a bit harder to locate the original images of those without combing the entire series again. Luckily, a lot of these are fairly easy to find anyway. If they weren’t, this book wouldn’t be flooded with so much of them.

Back at the Thorndyke mansion, Cream really wishes to meet Santa and hopes for a new Emeral (because we’re now past the point where he’s been destroyed and a helpful caption box is there to let us know).

92bIxviXDWgKcRNiqQmjmkR3HZuFxP49IeycrVp7b8o1LN45sASp46_-BOtLGR0HS-xTPGbAFJoO3W7O7EMS9K-vAWub8Z8kYjZ4fgGBS3WPkjaZq1xIK82OjxhTWmWpcllH-Gnr

Chris tells Cream that Santa never lets kids see him and they just simply have to believe if they wish to partake in his jolly treasures. Sonic is playing the role of Ebenezer Scrooge here though because he thinks it all sounds fishy. Chuck has to point out that Sonic’s existence is just as, if not more, strange than that of Santa.

Cream getting sad is depicted with this copied image.

_-SUmcgXUFxl3vqbruH2ZuWFstmi3rxCoccYWIofP0XYGafoO14qgiPpp7XovPVuuAdHa_krLGwScXTXfXcOzslHmYurEMLoc52mNAblY_3mjlU6-8uaTSoXuZnrN5YxSsnDQLZc

While Sonic being a skeptical naughty boy is being depicted from this image taken from the second episode of the show. It’s an incredibly distinct one too. Anyone should be able to pick up on this one.

IHXGIkSrEZA43njPuKeCkxKRj44detjdoz5e1Lu7b0xpcE5T9g9yU60AhAxfidyQjqi_KQrHJOxeyxeaCRK76Y8sRXUNayQGOjyAFWt3CdbueK7YXYz17-nPZc4_P7Pp1tvDD1pa

Sonic is SO skeptical that he feels the need to leave and search for Santa himself, stupidly figuring that the idea of Santa must be one of Eggman’s schemes despite the fact that it’s most likely been described to him as something that’s been around long before Eggman came to this world. I don’t really follow Sonic’s logic here but Eggman’s latest scheme is going to make him correct in this assertion which is less funny than it probably should be.

So, Sonic rushes off, leaving Tails in the dust.

WOXrXP2sS5bSkX9RSoG-W5Yb7GkExpSP6RaGqlxMSERqw_14VTFWb9W00U12X0OwNrhl1p5Tutp83hJRkIom_kX2GkOfiAGYZCUWb6kx9tbgcPHivAMSHrQ99j8ZSZRZJfj2v5RL

Then stands on a sign to look off into the distance.

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Then he’s on his merry way.

Good lord. Even the silhouette of Tails being left behind is a copied image.

Every single image of the characters on this page was copied, even the ones that are super small or way in the background.

EVERY--!

VUgf27VuAnd5sC78IgVZh057RgF_8HvKoTK9olLIGCQJ0cB1hZxmOXQ87e4dpXWnNv71V4jor_rlywDJRuPiXvB1T34FgdBkPtSwbzHEENHH_LiObq3GKprtgY-BClqV9yOiR_qKsYimFSZaMHzUexrldHytHes1AmXMrAyv0T1RyKyMszT4UKRFd_Ya4ziqOpkHCU4Xl7W8LjrjHgC69n3S2jqBuiGuxGvZ4fk8CvFOFf5iyQD9VipidWW8VDY5j7n31rLpcBek73GF

SINGLE--!

jPnUuKZyEY1krzcZNOhuBMAkPEAPmh9z1L1mrnL0D7MJgCdxiaKKJ_lm6zfz99W0eyjJiWSOLLsiADZg8p0Sw0NmxoXg3x_gizaC4ZyT1HoL_TncBAgG0e2pgh5jQTvet7FtPMu5YXqSropYFYtpU6fopbDsHoTRd1nKwm_5ADxrHwkx2qXuNQAHTR-UFxiK7cVx3cARgPj2aLta8g6Kz3wO_Zkcw5cZVjsDGSUHNRvNXsANOzuG3qkCEPrEsvF6Shvk-brotNAiMewF

ONE!

1me6kI4Bvnodaq7tS3FYH1E6xzEP2qg8uw-nj5KGtF3YvJ9GwXjjRAcy8wyTs-8SgMNdhZBDXhRSBCJc51IMTniS4Ly673H0B7HsqY-JKchS315Z1IBVuXStIxRPTKbv4rdC-8oV_jjxah6WaP-YEF9bJkvFmEJEpl_pAO2jE9Og2Zh6t_-mSx5A8UWB0yTvGP9QJ2aydV7f5CMiQrTDJUgbL-m9tcdccx3Kqh2hKXiHILGgZySY1KSTp7MB1ksPLnHPI1FdG4C_7N7i

What’s even worse about this particular one is how much smaller than Tails that Sonic is because of the nature of this image. They’re not even looking at each other. Tails is looking off into the distance and Sonic is staring at the ground.

D-fMgY1ol4uVjoF45qQiwWHWSxg3_rT29JvWYNV3B8j7jonPfG-RKxIxFvLERj7LcqQRhfuBGC2EM3kAspea6F34YI7kr1uFsnOZqbkBRqF2VkH_TjVrveuYifl1YdsA0dL-mXH3

It’s so bad! What an awful Christmas gift to the readers.

Sonic searches all over the North Pole and finds no workshop. He hurriedly rushes back to the mansion to spill the beans about Santa being a phony but then Grandpa Chuck drags Sonic to the hallway and tells him to stop being a scrooge. He also says that the workshop only appears one day a year, Christmas Day, which… seems pretty weird. If the presents are delivered on Christmas Eve, why would the workshop appear on the 25th of December and not the 24th?

4N-9wH9woUv2neh7ljNgkU1h3Z6AWYw7amyaKwKCBL-esWX8GoMbzO17x6KtaMhKGyJIMqXhLfrqg7vKtnyydQUHrc2lUc1ZkXppS0HMl16o6KNftrjtgaSdDU9CfJCbiD1NoJ27LYbaXgJzHuYYiB7mwZj7yhB73vdZ6SkRPJZ-Sb0sz77WlqZaNUXM5YLEhDqHVcBdVr7CgVXoh9fDplAStuH55J9FxOZXvVlcq1SPy7GLacIN_tUpC68Wke6ZnTzk9glmrrzrwxd1

He’s very eager to crush the dreams of these children. 

In all seriousness, I know he’s just concerned for the kids actually but it’s still kind of odd how this is going down.

Also, there were more copied images on this page but grabbing literally all of them is a monumental task even for me.

Everyone goes to a public show where it’s announced that Chris’ parents have donated a million dollars to a toy drive and the one showing up to delight the children as their special guest is Santa Claus… only this time it’s Eggman dressed as Santa.

What did Eggman do with the real guy who was supposed to play Santa? I’ve no clue.

Despite that, what happens here is legitimately hilarious.

XQpiKW3WHB-3J138l9HGEGV8xi5BHqv9-Zz3JTzagNGvKjt5Yf3Bf3gEHWGJSeBtCh4JG3zV0qmvyDZWyisjKKKOVRORp0RzqRg-W1ngBAf8JJ0qrfrrA-83pRHH-FmUkUmgNQOq

All of those images were taken from the show as well but the dialogue is the true gift here seeing as how this ridiculous situation is being propped up by Eggman’s selfishness and how serious he is about sicking the children on Sonic the Hedgehog. 

0093QMTw6X9eC0XMHty79Prr2a_2wLZ1mk7vsKaczspnEdpdefQUz6ZZAyvy4oGbym-VguAbxgbBSWxsS9_H7tV83FKTea1Ey4ReRzoxRUYcTg1xSnhDjHGq9-6v5uYTOLejjIAO

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“THEN GO… AND BRING HIM TO ME!”

Funny, the image that was copied was made to look so much less cool in the comic.

So anyway, Sonic’s in danger? I guess?

11SZSqUuN_S8Tp_49JrLfC9oBovRax00jVexjuKNv_o9nOeYWNwP4PclG-vabcmbncRDswJpuBoIeQmK4Rck9O11zk64Ir_9GRQi7Ee1f7icR30HHHicIqYGDAJU1OOsU3Y9qmBg

Apparently so, because all the adults start to try and capture Sonic. The kids are who Eggman said his ruse was supposed to affect but I guess it poses more of a threat if adults are after him… so whatever. Sonic tries to make them see reason but he’s drowned out by Eggman laughing on the TV. Sonic runs all over the world and, somehow, every place he goes, different language or different customs notwithstanding, he’s reacted to the exact same way. People just shout, “GET HIM!” at Sonic.

This is a little too ridiculous. Even for this book, honestly. 

But yeah, Sonic’s on the run.

jK1_bOpzRS-zd_TOpfNLtOuwF10nORVHbebWqZi6P0dUh7DZBCa5bWg7aNLqsyyUHF9vgDuI4yNvc8axxxPu_TzZc_YBMrrkehJCswMshqTGKlGeyH20Excqe6sE9kzsst13rqo9

Eventually, he has to hide out on Angel Island. The deadline for Santa Eggman’s threat is the 24th so they don't have much time. Hilariously, Chris says that Sonic’s got to turn himself into Santa. That’s such a strange line. The idea of turning yourself into Santa sounds so weird but the image of it delights me.

Sonic says that he’s just gonna do what, really he should have done immediately, and unmask Eggman.

 Why do this now? I dunno. He just thought of it I guess.

The 24th happens and Sonic appears before a huge crowd with Scarlet Garcia and large televisions around to broadcast this weirdness. Sonic says he’s going to unmask Santa and prove he’s Eggman.

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Then Decoe rides down on the sleigh in a Santa outfit and Sonic goes up to tug on his beard… but before he can tug it off the people tell him to leave Santa alone. Sonic then stops… which he really shouldn’t have since it was clearly a fake beard and that’s obviously Decoe. But Sonic says he shouldn’t do anything until he can prove Eggman’s behind this.

Even weirder is that Eggman appears on the screen behind him the instant he comes to that decision and says “HO HO HO! I bet you thought it was ME behind this but it was actually Dio in actuality I’m on the Egg Carrier!” 

I feel like Eggman randomly showing up on the TV right as this is all going down might do more to fuel Sonic’s argument than detract from it but it doesn’t. The crowd chants for Sonic to surrender so Sonic does and is kidnapped by the fake Santa Claus.

nDTY_nQj109DofzRwFCFz3IE2w3FERBsgU64i5S24QQ71uWMunTV6KlYboN9NyzWj4CHend_FcXYr_uNSZX75AiULDN-NqEVgpjBURkZW-M3CXgHyBtb-b_5AWfKzRJE7EHFmku7

Despite more copied art, this image of Sonic being exasperated by his kidnapping by Santa is still really funny to look at.

Also, a screw falls and lands in front of Chuck and I guess that’s what makes him finally believe that Sonic’s got a point about there being something fishy here.

Not the fact that Eggman appeared on the TV at random a few seconds ago…

The next sequence of events is very odd. Sonic is taken to a small workshop where he’s told by Decoe to get into the bag he’s got. Sonic does this voluntarily... for some reason.

Eggman comes out and tells Decoe to toss the bag into a bottomless pit that’s just nearby. Okay.

Then a helicopter comes down and out comes Chuck who says that the Santa that’s with Eggman is an imposter. Eggman denies this because apparently it’s more believable that he’d be on good terms with Santa. HIM. Of ALL people…

F5Z4yrj6Z0xBcevU0dFQOIv8PZTV6_79BSuJirPflOa1-g36XINJYnet32ai1ZOz51FDqV_ejqB8uGftkRldLzBuU6L3mJghL-mDG4WzK9mLbJ_SFf7Shvwm6jXhf1d57yvSr8GI

Anyway, in a bout of really strange art (not just the copied and traced kind) we see Tails fly over and drop a ring over the bag that Sonic’s in. Sonic grabs the ring and spins into a little pyramid wind tornado… but apparently he’s become SO SMALL that he’s barely the size of Decoe’s head, shown here when he smacks into him.

d3ltAmLZ575F9bZlrXwA7xN8AP3U-h5xUrCT9kXiM4kmELumoqwa6cTUQxkGC1f4Y9ljij0FuUZjQ0BJfs3UpvOeHgSfRrzEnnRA7TWrBU0ZB0DyY55CRNVYvhrhrvNoapwSpNh_

Why is Sonic so small in that image? Jesus.

The final pages are just Eggman going “Bah Humbug” and leaving in disgrace. Scarlet reports that Sonic has revealed that Santa has been a fraud and the crowds cheer for Sonic again because it’s just that easy to sway people. 

Then of course we’re treated to more copied images.

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This is the second time this issue this particular Amy pose has been used. It’s almost impressive how shameless this is. 

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Here we have a scene where we see Sonic and Tails from behind. Obviously, we can’t just draw that normally. We need to steal that.

Wek_e-SBWD3iv4SVetDk_MnSx226ePQMzt88IgklnEH6mdc3e0aTg3iI7NCJ88GEDZOrLp1hdh0oM0tXAtVz3yCZAKHyxl_sgtpNFLuw52nZf4_HYHnkIjGxtgxOkqIEB59NAZDBLiF_-2Jed_pqGSg5q4pe9bIBM6HGBUxVKK9o_nhFCi9qkFghONKeI4dJ6oxVJias7LYfHGwLP-BczYQVYet_IuUmdDSSfMphsoo1IPC2UFAhL2IdiwjSnd66KUb7twIJruN8aRAk

This is also the second time that this smug Grandpa Chuck face was used from this model sheet.

There’s more I could show you but I think in order to sell just how truly awful this is, I need to bring it on home with the final image of this book.

50hXY9o1aVXWlr23I7VVEPrvZJHXnnsIlXaLXV0j4t3Wvra6qflg-Y4H7txaN6YO0UVW19UxlbouA1hFGyu2OsFBHxmaLneWNzVckR9ylGH3K_KKBFQBYn4ojrFTqVX9C6A-FxwJ

Look at this disgusting image. Not only is every last piece of art here taken from something but this image exists in a world where foreshortening and scaling doesn’t exist. What even is proper scaling? What’s that? No, let’s just make Tails look like an ant. Look at how tiny Amy is in comparison to Sonic. Look at the copied, stock image posing all the adults are doing behind them.

Good lord. What a farce.

 

This took an infinitely long time to get through but it had nothing to do with the ridiculous and simple story of the issue I just read. No, instead, it’s because I had to drop what I was doing every time a new image appeared in this book in order to find the original image it was traced or copied from and put it in to provide a neat comparison. I felt it my duty to locate and show off as much as I could and even then, I didn’t show all of them because I’d be here for hours longer if I did.

This book was a Christmas story. It’s a fucking CHRISTMAS story and it’s literally stitched together with traced and copied art. I don’t even know if there’s a single original image in this book. Even the super tiny background character images were still copied from Sonic X screenshots. 

Like… I can’t even imagine how pathetic of a person you’d have to be to not at least try to inject a SINGLE piece of your own original artwork in a professionally released comic book. I can’t even get into how weird and silly this was because it’s so insulting and awful as an example of a visual medium. Fuck this.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #107: Crouching Hedgehog, Hidden Dragon - Part 2

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Fear not everyone. We may not have an Adventure 2 arc but we get to experience Sigma-Alpha 2. 

At last! 

Finally! 

… FINALLY!

Spoiler

 

Karl Bollers and Ron Lim are still teamed up here. I can only hope the story is good enough to override the art yet again.

The issue begins with Sonic and Tails barely holding off on a meeting with the fucking president because they’re busy playing a video game, which is amazing. Sonic eventually has to remind Tails that they have to stop a dragon in a scene where he has to lay out the description of what a dragon is in order for Tails to finally get it. The dragon was such a huge after thought. I like it.

We then cut to a scene where Commander Brass is giving a debriefing on what to do. Sonic is asleep at the table because apparently this meeting is boring but considering all he’s said is “We need to kill this dragon” I can’t help but wonder if the mere presence of a meeting room like this is what made him go to sleep.

They decide that they should send the Sigma-Alpha 2 team to help take care of this. Sonic remembers them and flashes back to a scene where, apparently, he beat them into a pile of mashed potatoes.

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Sonic then starts to laugh.

Like, he full on bursts out laughing at the people he’s now supposed to ally with. It’s an incredibly rude and douchey thing to do. I guess depending on which Sonic you’re dealing with you could see him laughing at these guys or wanting to immediately bury the hatchet and welcoming them along like an actual cool guy who lets the wind carry him and his whims along… but here, he’s laughing.

Sally has to convince the president that laughing is a way to show eagerness to ally with people… or something. It doesn’t make sense and that’s fine because she’s trying to improvise an explanation for something that’s not really excusable.

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The Sigma guys aren’t falling for it, clearly.

After what I assume is an awkward helicopter ride to Pyro Island, they disembark and start to search for the dragon. Well, Sonic starts to play around a bit and tries to get Bunnie and Tails to start singing a song with him.

By the way, only Bunnie and Tails came with the Sigma-Alpha 2 guys along with Sonic. I wonder if the author chooses who comes along by throwing darts at a dart board sometimes.

Anyway, when one of the Sigma guys tries to get Sonic to stop fooling around they notice that two of their serious, “focused on the mission” dudes are gone. That’ll teach those two for being serious… and also not being born main characters.

The Sigma guys decide they need to fan out to search for them but Sonic suggests they stick together and search for them later. 

I like the part where Sonic suggests they stick together… not so much the part where he suggests searching for them later. He’s prioritizing taking care of the dragon first over finding two people who just suddenly disappeared without a trace which I can’t help but feel is another thing Sonic wouldn’t do. 

The soldier, understandably, tells Sonic to fuck off and Bunnie actually gets mad at the soldier for that but Sonic tells her to save her strength for a real threat. I doubt he meant that in a way to imply that they were still allies too.

So yeah, they split up because these heroic Freedom Fighters didn’t want to waste time searching for people who again, disappeared all of a sudden on an island with a dangerous dragon on it. Perhaps the book wishes for me to be on the side of the Freedom Fighters but… I’m not so far. Even if they reveal something’s bad about these humans, it still won’t make this behavior excusable because they clearly don’t suspect they’re up to no good right now. They’re just being assholes for no reason.

Anyway, Tails spots a waterfall and then goes through it to enter a cave and meet up with Dulcy the Dragon. Oh hooray. Remember her? That character with the magic power to tell if someone’s lying that everyone knew about but didn’t decide to consult her on at all when they suspected Sonic of having killed Sally? That character that, whenever people talk about bringing back the Freedom Fighters, I’ve seen no one ever bring up? Not even once? She’s back!

Also, that red dragon is here and his name is Zan. Now this explains the presence of this dragon quite well. I was a bit miffed about it just suddenly appearing in Station Square a bit ago but having Dulcy around does make it feel more plausible that it could just show up.

Sonic confronts Zan for attacking Station Square and Dulcy interrupts by saying that they attacked Pyro Island first because they want to use this place for their military tests. I… find that a little odd. I’m honestly a little confused that an underground city that’s been isolated from the rest of the world even has interest in pursuing military fronts outside their home but I can’t speak on it much since I don’t know what the plan is or what they desire for the future. Maybe they really want to make a name for themselves and the best way to do that is through the… military…?

Anyway, Zan is a tremendous asshole and does not want to listen to reason on any of this. He considers going to Station Square and almost roasting Sonic alive to be “blowing off some steam” and doesn’t seem to really see the fault in his actions concerning why doing that would mean the Overlanders have even more reason to hunt him down.

Tails tries to get him to calm down. He ignores him. Dulcy tries to explain that Sonic and pals are her friends. He doesn’t care. Then the Sigma-Alpha 2 guys show up and fire a net around his mouth to keep it shut and prepare their guns for Dulcy’s turn.

Sonic, despite laughing at them and treating them like shit, goes on to show why it made sense for him to do so…

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Like, he’s so much better than them. It’s embarrassing. They should consider themselves lucky that he didn’t beat them to the point of soiling themselves like last time.

Zan’s fucking pissed now, despite their guns being gone. He’s about to roast everyone in this goddamn cave, clearly not giving a fuck about who’s side any of them are on. Sonic telling him to “cool it” does nothing. Dulcy approaches her mate to tell him to stop and gets a face full of domestic abuse via tail thwacking out of the cave…!

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Ouch. 

What’s strange about this is that when I saw Dulcy’s arm in the sling, the thought crossed my mind that maybe Zan did that to her but then I remembered Bunnie suggesting that the Overlanders did it which made me calm down a tad… but then on the next page, Bunnie realizes she made a mistake and confirms what I had suspected…

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Yeah, I’ve heard about this. I didn’t think it’d be quite this… straight-forward and obvious though. When I heard the complaints about this and the way it was handled, I figured it might have been something a little more cartoony… but no, literally this is just straight up domestic abuse… with cartoon dragons. 

It’s literally just that and it’s… weird.

Suffice to say, I’m a tad uncomfortable now. I’m not sure how you’d properly handle this in a Sonic the Hedgehog comic outside of going “Hey… you know, maybe this shouldn’t BE in a Sonic the Hedgehog comic?” and then scrapping the idea altogether.

What’s even worse is how generic and forumlatic the dialogue here feels. They’re using the same lines I’ve seen from other stories that portray this sort of thing and it's so immediate that it doesn’t feel organic. Even weirder is how it’s being interrupted with Sonic beating the shit out of the bad boyfriend.

Granted, so far, this isn't the worst way I’ve seen this done. Anyone who watched that awful episode of Family Guy where Quagmire’s sister was getting into domestic abuse trouble can attest to that.Yeah let’s take the character who’s whole gimmick is disrespecting woman and using them as sex objects and have him give his sister a lecture and a speech about how she needs to better respect herself. That’ll go over well.

Anyway, the Sigma-Alpha 2 boys have planted explosives a while ago and they decide to blow the cave up. So that’s exactly what happens. Both Sonic and Zan get crushed by rocks but Sonic’s the main character so he survives. 

Also, apparently that plot point about two of the Sigma guys being gone meant nothing because they’re all just fine and it's literally never mentioned or brought up again. Neat.

Sonic apologizes to Dulcy because her abusive boyfriend got crushed and then we immediately cut to a scene where Sally is shaking hands with the president for solving their dragon problem. Now they’re in an alliance. 

The final image is of them morbidly overlooking the collapsed cave/grave of Zan…

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With the caption “Guess it all worked out in the end” over it. 

I feel really weird. 

I’m not even sure I know what to properly say about this for fear of accidentally overstepping my bounds but I guess I’ll try.

Uh… what a strange story this was. It almost feels as though making Zan an abusive boyfriend was done literally so that the comic could have an excuse to kill him off and have the deal go through. I feel like that could have been accomplished by just making him an unremorseful monster that was just randomly attacking the city though. I’m not too sure we needed to shove Dulcy into this thing just so we could make her the target of abuse and then resolve it 2 pages after it was discovered by killing the dude. Ironically, this ends the same way that Family Guy episode does. Quagmire murders the guy by running into him with his car and squishing him against a tree.

But it’s apparently okay because the guy was gonna murder him and his friends first…

…I can’t help but feel that cartoonishly making the abusive boyfriends ALSO wanton killers kind of harms the message a bit more than they realize. It’s like, they feel there isn’t enough justification in them being abusers for wanting them taken down so they’ve gotta go to next level super-villain territory so as to have an excuse to kill them. 

I dunno. My thoughts are really scattered on this. I don’t think this was handled all that great. I don’t know if I feel it's offensive or anything like that but it most definitely was unnecessary. I have no clue why a story about Sonic teaming up with the military to take down a rampaging dragon devolved into this but it did. 

I have my opinions but I kind of just want to move on from this and never think about it again.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #107: Reunification - Part 2

Now I gotta deal with Ken Penders and his bullshit.

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Ah yes. “The female persuasion” almost sounds like he’s talking about some sort of Pokemon with it written like this.

Anyway, the echidna population has been restored back to the Floating Island. 

Yeah. It just happened. 

We didn’t get to see it. It happened off screen.

No, this issue begins with Lien-Da pointing at the monitor they use to monitor Knuckles and screaming all the exposition of what just happened to us.

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Good writing. Much talent.

Dimitri doesn’t seem to care. He’s more impressed by how Knuckles has somehow demonstrated having more power than he did as Enerjak.

Back to that scene of Lara-Su meeting up with Remington she tells him her name is Jani-Ca. Apparently telling them her real name would “sound the alarm” as she puts it but I don’t know why. I guess it’s still a good thing not to tell them your name so as to not fuck with time anymore than you already are but the way she puts this, she makes it sound like they would recognize her real name and freak out because of it… but if she’s from the future than no they won’t.

Dawn Best’s art is the only thing making this bearable so far. I’m happy he’s got a good artist working on his crap at least.

We get a scene cutting around to people reacting to being confused as to why they’re back on Angel Island proper now. 

There’s a pointless scene with the Chaotix which is pointless because the Chaotix are pointless in this book so we’ll skip that.

We also get a scene with Knuckles and his brotherhood stalkers. It’s just them wondering what happened and where Mathias and Hawking have gone. They’re dead. Sorry. 

I legitimately have forgotten who Mathias is. Them asking where he is confused me.

Also, we get a scene of Knuckles finally showing himself, all green, for the first time to his dad in a vision in his head. He’s outside with his family.

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It’s always great whenever Locke feels the need to assure himself and us of his good intentions by reminding us that he had good intentions. That line about having nightmares is funny though. Does this mean he’s gonna go and microwave another baby?

Knuckles’ mom gives him a hug while Lara-Su has constant thought bubbles about how weird it is that she’s meeting her grandma and seeing her dad all green. 

My pet peeve when it comes to stories dealing with characters from the future, aside from time travel shenanigans, is how it usually acts as confirmation that a certain line of events took place that led to the survival of certain characters which tends to render following their actions in the present feel like a pointless prequel of sorts. When you watch a prequel, it’s usually with the caveat of knowing where most of those characters are going already and just finding out how they got there. That doesn’t tend to grab me all that much when I’m following an entire series for hundreds of issues.

The thing about Silver is that his future is so… ill-defined and wonky that it literally doesn’t matter what’s happening there. Also helping is the fact that he’s about 200 years removed from the current timeline, meaning all the characters we care about are all dead anyway.

Anyway, Dimitri shows up and Remington, being of sound mind and body, naturally is about to capture his ass but then Knuckles says not to… because apparently he’s still willing to help him despite having achieved his goal?

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I guess Knuckles is staying true to the bargain he made… I honestly can’t fathom why. Perhaps I could see him wishing to go a bit easier on them because of their help but I certainly hope this doesn’t become a full-on surrender to Dimitri’s side for him. I can’t imagine that being justifiable in any way.

 

Well, that was crap.

It made me feel uncomfortable and it really didn’t need to. I’ve no clue why the book felt the need to randomly touch upon subject matter like that and then drop it 2 pages after it was introduced literally so that it could have an excuse to murder the problem they had on their hands. I guess the subject matter was too complicated to find a resolution to without just killing it but then that begs the question, yet again, of why they bothered in the first place. I gotta give Bollers a massive thumbs down for this one.

Meanwhile, the Knuckles story is just doing that thing it does where it abandons plot lines when it gets bored of them. Absolutely nothing worthwhile became of that plot point of the island being trapped in another dimension. It left for a few issues and now it’s back. Green Knuckles is something that happened completely independent of that. He just transformed, beat the shit out of a little boy in a red cape, and then wandered around crying about the horrible thing his terrible father did until he managed to calm down.

It would seem the only remaining plot line actually directly attached to what happened is the Dark Legion stuff here and it’s still very odd considering it’s their fault this all happened in the first place. 

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #108: Robotnik x 2 = Trouble!

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Say it isn’t so indeed. We’re apparently about to get two Eggman’s up in this bitch. Strange title aside, there’s other things of interest about this issue. For example, a “new” writer as well as three stories instead of two. Curiouser and curiouser.

Spoiler

 

The writer for this story is Benny Lee; a new writer for this book as far as I can tell. How strange that he’s paired with Ron Lim just like Bollers was for his first story though. I’ll have to look that up and see what gives. Perhaps Alan Smithee should be given a chance to write for the book next.

Ron Lim can only seem to draw well when it comes to Eggman and even then only really when it comes to close ups.

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That’s a well drawn image and it does well to make his nose look particularly gross. The rest of his images in this book don’t come close to looking like this though.

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CHEEEEEEEEEEESE!

Long story short, Eggman is watching a cosmic phenomena play out before him due to the fact that Knuckles’ random fucking with time has caused the unpredictable to happen. By that I mean, random shit is happening because hey, it might make for a good story.

So the man who died way back when has returned. It’s the original Robotnik, out of time, and standing before the new Eggman. This interaction is quite fun.

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My God. To go from a design where your head is half chin to a design with virtually no chin to speak of is amazing.

We then cut to the heroes who are playing hide and seek and Tails is the poor bastard who is currently IT. Never choose to be it because if you can’t catch any of your classmates, you’ll look like a loooooooser… *sigh*.

Anyway, when Tails thinks he sees Sonic rustling the bushes, the real Sonic shows up to say that he is not in fact over there. It’s the opposite of that one scene from AoSth where Sonic told a robot he was over in another direction. 

The original Robotnik comes out of the bushes seeking Sonic’s help. Why? Well, the original Robotnik relays his story to them by stating that in the short time he’s been in the presence of his replacement he’s, somehow, proven to be far meaner and nastier than he EVER was in his own words. 

This new Robotnik is so scary in fact that his fear of him is most likely what’s causing Original Robotnik here to melt or deteriorate right before our eyes.

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Like, holy shit. Is he mother fucking Clayface?

Now, at this point, I’m thinking that this has to be a trick. He’s teamed up with Eggman to trick the Freedom Fighters somehow but by all discernable logic, this plan should be dead on arrival. I could see this working well enough with the Eggman from Sonic Boom or even the Eggman from the games had it been handled a certain way… but this is Robo-Hitler we’re talking about here.

He says all he wants is protection and both Alicia and KING MAX OF ALL PEOPLE say that maybe they can HELP him… … WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

EX’SQUEEZE ME?!

Sonic is all like “Uhm, no, this guy took over the planet, turned more than half our population into robots, enslaved our family members, killed a lot of people that resisted, and was only really defeated because of a DOOMSDAY WEAPON that got reversed thanks to his evil nephew”. Actually, he doesn’t say all that but he should have.

Alicia’s response to this is. “Excellent point, Sonic.”

… Like… am I in Crazy Town? Is there a gas leak in Knothole?

They pointlessly get him checked out by Doctor Quack to see if he’s the real original Robotnik and when they confirm that he is, they offer him the shelter that he wanted… not through a prison cell but through shenanigans you’d see in the Sonic Boom cartoon.

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When the evil dictator becomes your wacky roommate. Amiright?

This is a… VERY interesting collection of comics I’ve been tasked with overlooking today. 

I almost can’t believe this is happening. At the end of this story one of two things will happen. The heroes will have been revealed to be gigantic idiots or the two Robotniks will.

Neither will look good but I might be more forgiving if they lampshade it with a joke.

Anyway, Robotnik says he’s homesick and wants to go home so the Freedom Fighters take him there. After destroying some of the Shadow Bots in their way, Robotnik says he needs to get to his computer to regain access to his base.

He then leads them to a room and points at a thing that is very clearly and very obviously not a computer and when Sonic points it out, Robotnik’s response is basically the equivalent of “No you!” and they shrug and go and stand on the thing, which might as well have had a giant bullseye painted on it.

Robotnik presses a button and SHOCK HORROR, it was a trap!

But the reveal is thankfully subverted by the fact that the heroes aren’t actually idiots, thank God. Turns out the latter of those two scenarios I listed turned out to be true. It’s just the doctors who are dumb for seriously thinking the Freedom Fighters would welcome back the Original Robotnik with open arms for NO reason.

A button is pressed as soon as the Freedom Fighters start to get engulfed in green energy and they’re released from… whatever’s happening to them thanks to Nicole. Sonic and the others then chide the Eggmans for seriously believing that this hail merry of an excuse for a plan would work and ask who’s idea it was.

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Then the original Robotnik just disappears into molecules because he was unstable and the machine being busted means there’s no way to bring him back.

It’s not like Eggman could fix the machine either. Who do you think he is, Dr. Eggman?

I joke but, honestly, thank God for this ending. I was taking this story way more seriously than I think the comic wanted me to take it, which made sticking the landing all the more important. It turned from something infuriating to me realizing, “Oh wait a minute… this is stupid ON PURPOSE! PHEW!”

You took me for a ride there Benny. I’m so used to this comic being awful that when it does something absurd on purpose for the sake of being dumb fun, it’s hard to tell. I wonder who you are and why you’ve never shown up before. You know, I think I’m gonna do some research on you.

“After receiving negative reception for his writing, Karl Bollers began to write under the alias of Benny Lee. He was outed by none other than Ken Penders on his forums.”

… Welp.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #108: ...A Girl Named Hope!

So, if I understand this correctly, Benny Lee was just an alias Bollers made because he got heat from some reviewer about his stories being too dark and wanted to do a lighter story under a different name to see if there was any bias when the next review came. That’s why this much more serious story is still credited to his actual name. 

I can’t imagine why after the incredibly necessary dragon domestic abuse plot the last issue had.

The idea that Bollers did this alias thing is hilarious but what I’m actually more interested in is the artist for this issue, Jeff Axer. This art is fucking magnificent. 

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This looks incredible. It’s got that mature style these comics keep desperately trying to go for but this manages it while making sure to keep the Sonic characters looking like Sonic characters. Please tell me Jeff sticks around for a bit.

Yeah, the story is about Sally receiving a letter from Hope. It’s basically just Hope recounting the events she’s been through and has knowledge of to Sally Acorn and thanks the Mobians of Knothole for offering her sanctuary in her time of need. 

Despite being mostly recap, it somehow ends up being the best story in this issue through the use of it’s fantastic artwork alone. Jesus Christ, look at this.

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Hope actually looks like a little girl. A page ago, they showed a shot of her grandma and for the first time ever she actually looked like someone’s grandma. I only wish this wasn’t a flashback so that could see these images without that brown filter over it.

She even talks a little about their reasons for going to space, which basically amounts to having wanted to escape the fighting between the Mobians and the Overlanders. They stayed in cold storage… or rather in stasis tubes for most of their trip but had to return when their ship was running low on power. It wasn’t entirely pointless I guess. They managed to avoid a war and robotization… until some of them got robotized anyway. 

She ends the letter by thanking everyone and talking about how great it is that Mobians didn’t turn out to be the monsters Eggman said they were. She then says she wishes she could stay with them. 

How sweet… but forget about all that, LOOK AT MY BOY TAILS! 

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HE’S SO CUTE! LOOK AT HIM! MY BOY!

Oh, also, King Max and Alicia punctuate the end of that letter by saying that her wish is quite unique and that they’re gonna grant it. Immediately.

nNjwAtqoMOuNFxovgplh_wF8lK6UjPalSXvJvSqwbzDejYPaNi36KXXMLX5WPF62f6Fv7oCq-efEO2iFoVsB3vRwj8zgCQtPQaz21Hl7YX3NU09bAswYuEfIrYzSgNcgfRsOnwAL

That’s how Hope became a part of the Acorn Kingdom. Lovely.

This is the best story of the issue without a doubt. I haven’t even read the Penders story yet but I don’t need to. It’s gonna be shit.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #108: Reunification - Part 3

So this Knuckles story begins with Green Apple Knuckles talking with his mom about the bafflingly weird decision he made at the end of the last issue that dealt with him siding with the Dark Legion. His mommy here is upset with him and, for some strange reason, tries to get Knuckles to reconsider by asking him what his father would feel. I guess she’s just trying to appeal to what other stuff Knuckles strangely cares about in that regard, though it doesn’t really work. 

Knuckles points out that she doesn’t give a fuck what Locke thinks and her response is that they differed in opinion on how to raise him (one being the way of an actual parent and the other taking the path of treating him like an inhumane science experiment) but they actually agree a lot when it comes to politics.

That right there almost made me want to gag. 

As they speak, Dimitri is seriously being allowed to plead his case in front of the echidna council. He’s proposing that they stop being split down the middle and come together. However, one of the high council dudes, while agreeing with the sentiment, is worried it may happen too quickly and goes on to describe in detail how much of a scary, gross abomination Dimitri is now that he’s a mangled mass of wires and flesh.

He says this right to Dimitri’s face without a hint of realization that he’s being a tad bit rude. 

Cutting back to Knuckles, we’re treated to a scene where his mom literally has to explain to Knuckles why teaming up with these dangerous assholes is not a good idea.

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Oh yeah. She’s pregnant. Congratulations ma’am.

Knuckles’ response to her saying she’s pregnant is “Are you sure?” which is a hilarious line. 

Congrats Penders. You did it. You wrote an actual funny line.

Back with Dimitri, he’s still giving his speech that talks about his sudden interest in being unified. I guess with him it makes a LITTLE more sense than it would with someone like Kragok. Dimitri started out with the best of intentions for his people so I guess it’s not too much of a stretch to say that without the influence of Enerjak to warp his being, he can summon a little bit of that back to him. It’s not like his origins had much to do with this technology cult. He was a scientist, sure, but that was about it. He ended up being a power hungry God-like being that… sucked at being a threat until Mogul stole his powers from him.

Knuckles comes in and vouches for Dimitri. His case basically amounts to, “Yeah, I’ve fought them a lot and I really just don’t want to anymore…” which I can also get behind. None of this is well written but I can at least sympathize with the desire of no longer having to put up with this Dark Legion bullshit.

The issue ends with Lara-Su, who still hasn’t been named, watching Knuckles go off with Lien-Da to a different location. She sneaks into a new area where she sees Constable Remington about to fire on someone. I guess she assumes it’s Knuckles because she dives in to try and stop it.

Then the issue ends.

Boo.

 

This issue was… okay. Just okay I guess. The second story was the best looking and best written of the three. The first one took a mildly intriguing idea and disguised it as something potentially infuriating only for it to be revealed as something that existed just to be light-hearted and goofy for the sake of maybe challenging a critic who’s probably no longer relevant in 2020. Meanwhile, the third story was an easily ignorable Penders story. Overall… it’s whatever.

Be sure to leave comments so I'm not just talking to myself here.

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What was going on in Archie in this period man? The quality control is absolutely all over the place. 

The blatant tracing is so bad, I didnt even have to know where each shot came from to know none of it fit together. 

Also, squeezing in so many stories just feels like a waste of space, and bringing back the original Robotnik for just a joke seems like kind of a waste. 

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6 hours ago, VisionaryofSUPER said:

What was going on in Archie in this period man? The quality control is absolutely all over the place. 

The blatant tracing is so bad, I didnt even have to know where each shot came from to know none of it fit together. 

Also, squeezing in so many stories just feels like a waste of space, and bringing back the original Robotnik for just a joke seems like kind of a waste. 

I think the Sonic X comic here is a bit of a special case seeing as how it was happening a little while after the current stuff in the comics. It's still astonishing that this guy, Todd Wahnish was allowed to platently copy art from the show like that for two straight issues before being taken care of. Finding all of the original screenshots those images came from was kind of fun seeing as how they were all fresh in my mind from both watching the show and browsing the now defunct Team Artail website when I was younger. No doubt he found that site too. 

As for the original Robotnik thing... I seriously thought that when he came back, they were going to somehow fuse and that was how he was going to become flesh and blood. It seemed like something the comic would do. 

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16 hours ago, VisionaryofSUPER said:

What was going on in Archie in this period man? The quality control is absolutely all over the place.

Standards in the 90s and early 2000s weren’t as concrete as they are now, so that’s just hindsight looking back 2 decades later.

Funny enough, I actually never read these issues at the time of release as I didn’t know the comics were still being made. So I guess I dodged a number of bullets here seeing them now.

 

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I'm still willing to pin some blame on SEGA during this period for not paying attention to the comic like they should have. 

The fact they could review any of the art fluctuation in this licensed book just makes them look bad during this period. 

I mean, the book was already in the 100s at this point, so they should have at least realized the comics were having more influence over the franchise than before. 

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1 hour ago, VisionaryofSUPER said:

I'm still willing to pin some blame on SEGA during this period for not paying attention to the comic like they should have. 

The fact they could review any of the art fluctuation in this licensed book just makes them look bad during this period. 

I mean, the book was already in the 100s at this point, so they should have at least realized the comics were having more influence over the franchise than before. 

It was a mix of both. Sonic was ridiculously popular during this time, and the Archie comic was only a drop in the bucket for them. Because of the fact this was around the era where there was no clear direction for Sonic (as both the US and JP branches had different visions for him and his universe), Archie had a lot more leeway than it should have. As long as it made money, there was no real point of interfering.

Ken’s gone on point as to stating this is how all the Knuckles stuff got written too. He originally pitched all of it (chosen one shit, sci-fi nonsense, etc) to be about Sonic, and SEGA shut those ideas down immediately. However, Knuckles was a breakout character at the time, and SEGA didn’t seem to care about any character who wasn’t Sonic, so they did approve all of that shit for Knuckles.

Granted, this comes from Penders so you have to take it with a grain of salt, given he’s no stranger to creatively altering details, but it explains a lot.

However, it was also Archie’s fault. You can read this more if you read all the early off panels, and read Thanks, Ken Penders - but the editor of the comic was responsible for a LOT of the shit that plagued this part of the comic. Not only did he not do his job and let writers (especially Penders)  get away with A LOT of crap during this era, but he did a lot of utterly idiotic shit, and forced the writers (well, Bollers at least) to add stupid shit.

For example - the love triangle bullshit, and IIRC - school stuff was a editorial mandate in some sad attempt to add pandering drama to the comic. The editor forced a lot of these shitty things onto the comic.

Its also later rumoured that this editor was the one who used a fake name to write his own stories for the comic, stories which are commonly agreed to be some of the lowest of the low stories in the whole series, and on top of that - he’s very much believed to be Tommy Turtle’s creator and writer - IE - one of the single most despised creator’s pets in the whole series, so much so that Ian ended up killing him off.

It was just a mixture of both sides not giving a single fuck. Not until Archie got a new editor at least who actually did his job and forced all writers to stop adding all this weird shit, and try to bring it back to the spirit of the series. It was in part this that led to Penders’ leaving. He not only got told to rewrite Mobius 25 Years Later to include more SEGA elements (King Shadow), but Penders also got fed up due to SEGA not giving him what he needed for a Shadow tie in story.

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Long story short, it was practically around the time Sega bombed critically with Shadow’s game and Sonic 06 that they started giving more of a shit about the direction.

Which is funny, because both Archie and the games ended up doing similar stuff: Alien Invasions (Xorda, Black Arms), Romance with Princess (Sally, Elise), Time Travel (Sonic 06, Mobius 25 Yrs Later), etc.

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Honestly a bunk move on SEGA's part in general. Archie was plenty incompetent with their staff and said editor of the period, but its clear that there was serious oversight needed on the direction of the series.

I'm sure so much of the earlier stuff could have been integrated with game canon had SEGA actually been there to guide. (Ken probably would've quit sooner too.)

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OH, and while I remember, adding onto the love triangle and school stuff I mentioned, even the attempts to lean the series more towards anime is likely editorial. TKP has a good explanation here:

https://thankskenpenders.tumblr.com/post/185776905759/we-have-reached-one-of-the-most-hated-status-quo

But for the quick version, there's an earlier version of the cover that doesn't have the anime inspiration, and just drew the characters normally: 

latest?cb=20150225175646

So yeah. Bollers added a lot of super weird stuff in his run, but there's a lot to imply that this was all just one big super dumb editorial change in order to make Archie Sonic appeal to the rise of anime and manga around SA2's release (which would've just been around the sweet spot of Toonami and DBZ's rise).

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5 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

OH, and while I remember, adding onto the love triangle and school stuff I mentioned, even the attempts to lean the series more towards anime is likely editorial. TKP has a good explanation here:

https://thankskenpenders.tumblr.com/post/185776905759/we-have-reached-one-of-the-most-hated-status-quo

But for the quick version, there's an earlier version of the cover that doesn't have the anime inspiration, and just drew the characters normally: 

latest?cb=20150225175646

So yeah. Bollers added a lot of super weird stuff in his run, but there's a lot to imply that this was all just one big super dumb editorial change in order to make Archie Sonic appeal to the rise of anime and manga around SA2's release (which would've just been around the sweet spot of Toonami and DBZ's rise).

Not to mention the special that never saw the light of day outside The Spaz Sketchbook.

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This honestly doesn't seem all that wild, western comic books do crazy shit like this all of the time. The only difference is that Sonic was probably given a LOT of leeway in what they could do, and lord did they take advantage of it. 

 

Its funny because now fans are complaining that Sega are too restrictive with the comics nowadays and should be more lenient, but they were lenient at one point and that's what led to all of this craziness. 

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I think it isn't really the leniency, as much as it was absent-mindedness. SEGA clearly didn't care because this was just another random license deal that they probably didn't expect would have so much staying power. 

SEGA let this all slide because they were thinking like most game companies during the 90s: this is just another way to get kids to buy the video games, or to see Sonic where they normally wouldn't. The actual content or quality really didn't matter. 

And, in the hands of talented writers and artists (The STC crew) this can work well. But less than that and you can get some stupid stuff that clearly doesn't gel with your franchise.

 

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