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3 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Even worse than the anger-inducing way this situation just ended up happening and was explained to us in a single panel is the fact that the moment gets immediately interrupted by some dude telling us that we’ve gotta shift our focus to Angel Island now. 


 

Dang, I honestly forget the Hive isn't located on Angel Island, and usually conflate this two events together and assume retribution for Charmy is part of liberating Angel Island.😅 It would flow better if it was.

----

Man, I love Jon Gray's art, and the fact he got to do whole stories. I mean I get that the workload's probably murder, and he's happy relegated to cover art these days, but we'll always have this arc and 134. You pretty much have to read these twice. Once for the story in the dialog, and twice for the Where's Waldo effect.

 

(Edit: Why am I always the one on top of the page. ;_;)

 

 

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3 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

@Dr. Detective Mike - Yeah so fun fact on that whole Tails M25YL bit - not only is there the random "Tails and Sonic don't talk to each other" thing - but IIRC - someone actually did ask Penders why Mina and Tails were a thing because it was just such a fucking weird shipping, and you know what the response was?

Tails is with Mina because she's fast. And her super speed reminds him of Sonic.

Yep, that is it. That is the explanation as to why Tails and Mina are in love. Because Mina is fast like Sonic.

Additional fun fact - Tails is/was my favourite game!Sonic character, and Mina's my favourite Archie Sonic character, so this is like a double dose of absolute fucking stupidity from Penders. Even as someone who is a big fan of each, this shipping genuinely makes me scratch my head, and reminds me how much Penders just doesn't get these characters.

Also - I'm pretty sure the whole thing with Sonic and Tails was considered a massive failing of the arc too. Go figure as soon as Ian was on board for his two parts of M25YL, one of the first things he does is have Sonic and Tails reconcile, and acknowledge how shitty Sonic was (as written by Penders here).

I'm trying to wrap my head around working on a Sonic comic for so long and yet being so ignorant as to what the relationship between Sonic and Tails is. Also, of course that's the explanation for why they're married. Tails hasn't seen Sonic in forever so he hooks up with a girl who's fast like he was eh? Sounds a bit silly indeed. I'm not one to criticize characters ending up with people they had little interaction with as kids but something like this just defies understanding at face value. 

3 hours ago, Kuzu said:

Can't believe how close you are to Flynn's run on the book. 

Honestly, neither can I. There's a ton of Flynn's stuff to get through as well though so the ending of an era is just going to give rise to an even bigger one. I'm really excited to get to it so I can not only re-visit the material but do so with the benefit of actually knowing what happened beforehand. It's going to put so many things that I just let squeak by into context. 

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22 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I'm trying to wrap my head around working on a Sonic comic for so long and yet being so ignorant as to what the relationship between Sonic and Tails is. Also, of course that's the explanation for why they're married. Tails hasn't seen Sonic in forever so he hooks up with a girl who's fast like he was eh? Sounds a bit silly indeed. I'm not one to criticize characters ending up with people they had little interaction with as kids but something like this just defies understanding at face value. 

To the best of my knowledge the Tails and Mina relationship was pitched to Ken by his friend BobR. I think he was joking but Ken was like "Yeah ok."

Side note the idea Tails fell for Mina because she's fast like Sonic gives me the impression that Tails developed feelings for Sonic as he got older which almost certainly isn't the intention but it's hard not to read it that way. 

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #140: Return to Angel Island - Part 3 of 4: How Many Echidnas Does It Take to Protect a Master Emerald?

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Whoa. That’s an actual distinguishable face hovering over the Master Emerald like that. It’s not just Knuckles with a beard. Color me impressed. Nice cover overall really. This aesthetic is still managing to work well.

Spoiler

 

Story: Karl Bollers
Pencils: Jon Gray
Letters & Inks: Michael Higgins (Page 1-8)
Inks: Andrew Pepoy (Page 9-16)
Letters: John Workman (Page 9-16)
Colors: Jason Jensen
Editor: Mike Pellerito

We begin on a picture depicting the beautiful majesty of babyhood and all its splendor.

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It’s funny. None of these characters have an actual butt but for some reason this kid does. I guess we’re finally evolving.

Of course, he’s got this overcomplicated echidna name but he’s Kneecaps for short. It’s another appendage of the body which technically isn’t any more or less ridiculous than Knuckles but, of course, Knuckles says it’s a dumb name.

Brotherly instincts take over fucking immediately when everyone else uses that as an excuse to laugh though.

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Even Remington was laughing. Being imprisoned and humbled beyond belief can lighten a person up I suppose.

Adorably, little Kneecaps likes clinging to Knuckles’ head, although that comes with a battering of his rattle too. Knuckles is a bit down though. When he gets the news that they’ve been provided a place to sleep, he asks if it was out of hospitality or because he’s this avatar of legend. His mom and Sonic are a bit miffed by what could be ailing him but Julie-Su, referred to as Knuckles’ boyfriend straight up, just says he’s complex. Mighty puts it into better context when he brings up how dying and coming back to life only to be treated differently because of it can’t feel good. Sonic instantly gets it due to that paralleling his situation with Sally.

It’s hard to fathom dying and coming back to life. I’d imagine if I did, I’d be in a place where it’d be impossible to escape anyway so I’d probably immediately die all over again, rendering the resurrection pointless… unless, I was just given a completely new body and materialized somewhere else but then that would create a whole host of issues.

Knuckles goes to the Master Emerald shrine, bypassing both Lien-Da and Finitevus as he does so, before slumping before the Master Emerald and looking the most depressed I think I’ve ever seen him. 

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The dialogue isn’t all that rational, of course, but people are hardly ever rational when they’re beating themselves up for something that honestly isn’t even really their fault. Literally, this happened because the Chaos Powers he couldn’t control were too much for him and the one who put those powers into his body was Locke. Dear old dad got you killed my boy.

Anyway, he gets interrupted by a familiar looking ant cackling over by the Master Emerald.

General Kage reports to Eggman that Sonic and Knuckles are on the island. Eggman is expectedly pissed and tells him to hurry up on extracting info from Locke. He then casually strolls by a fucked up looking room where he’s experimenting on some sort of replacement for Robotization, with captured Mobians in some tubes, and approaches a cell shaped like the Death Egg that’ll be appearing in the comic way down the line when it’s Sally’s turn to die.

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Something’s in there and he’s got a spiffy thick collar to make sure it does his dirty work without any hope of possible betrayal. He needs to mass produce those Anti-Betrayal Collars. Then again, probably not due to the fact that he ends up coming up with something far more fucked up in the future.

Next morning, we see the heroes gathering up for the big rescue of Knuckles’ shit-tier dad. Charmy and Saffron share a tearful goodbye as he goes off into danger alone, so soon after narrowly escaping death from Eggman’s siege upon his home. That has to be emotionally crippling. It must take a lot of strength just allowing him to go. Lara-Le gives Knuckles a nice goodbye hug too while Wyn tells her not to underestimate the avatar. Kneecaps, while sitting on Wyn’s head, doesn’t seem to like what his dada just said. Remington, also referring to Knuckles as the avatar still, asks if he can come along and Knuckles tells him he needs to watch the Master Emerald.

Good. We all know where our characters stand I guess. 

Sonic brags about being fast enough to get in but wonders how everyone else will… we then cut to them riding in on a bunch of flying saucers with Espio in particular cursing his luck at being shoveled into an alien cockpit.

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Their a bunch of Dark Legion saucers. I guess they’re branded versions of the Egg Mobile but they really do just look like a bunch of alien space saucers. It’s an iffy design choice but I guess it’s also a really memorable one.

Back with General Kage, we see our old pal Harry, decked out in Dingo soldier garb, delivering breakfast to the General. He spots Locke’s appropriately tortured body and drops the food on the ground and we get an amusing scene where he screams at Harry for dropping his damn breakfast.

Eggman comes back online at that exact moment and asks if Locke has revealed the emerald’s location yet. Kage says “Nope” and Eggman says “Kay. Kill ‘em.” 

Before he does, Sonic bursts in and lets it be known immediately that outside there’s a battle waging between the teamed up Dark Legion and Chaotix against all his dingo buddies. Kage is less than happy about that so he tries to attack Sonic, the eternal mistake that all villains in this book soon find themselves making.

Although, it’s a little weird how he does it. 

He lets the guy run at him and gives him a little nosey, before zipping in front of him and tripping him so his face can smash against the ground and he’ll let out what has to be the second censored fit of cursing this issue.

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I feel so bad for Harry. 

Anyway, they let Locke down, he’s happy to see Knuckles, Knuckles is happy to see him, yada yada. For some reason General Kage stands back up and threatens them only to immediately get tossed away like a pile of metal garbage. That confrontation was far less impressive than even I could have imagined. What a loser.

Eggman obviously thought so too. He appears on screen to gloat about how he, OF COURSE, didn’t lay all his trust into the dingos. He’s got another person on the case, tracking down the emerald. 

Surprisingly, despite being told this would happen eons ago, I didn’t manage to guess at who this would turn out to be. 

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It’s Bond-Villain McHunters Man! He’s BACK!

Honestly, he looks pretty neat here in Jon Gray’s style. I’m also a big fan of the surprise return of established villains from previous adventures and this guy, for as random and as awful as he was back in those Knuckles’ issues, feels like he’d be a perfect fit for a story like this. You can see it by just the way he’s standing over all those scared echidnas with that deathly glowing green staff in his hand. 

I didn’t imagine seeing this dude show up again would make me excited but hot damn, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t. Props to Bollers and Jon for making him look and feel like he could actually be cool.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #140: Mobius: 25 Years Later - A Difference of Opinion

Writer: Ken Penders
Penciler: Steven Butler
Inker: Jim Amash
Letterer: John E. Workman
Colorist: Jason Jensen

It’s time to check in with Mobius 2500 Years of Wasted Time. Apparently, the world STILL hasn’t exploded despite how much time has been utterly, utterly wasted.

Well, so far, we’ve watched some moms talk about plans for dinner. We watched two teenagers make out in the park. We watched a mom yell at her teenage son for making out in the park. We got more talk about the dinner. We saw the two families heading for dinner. We saw them eat their dinner. We saw a pool party. We saw a sleepover. 

I think we may finally be ready to read the part where they sit around and literally watch paint dry. Oh boy. I can’t wait.

This part begins with Sonic and Knuckles strolling together at night having yet another conversation. At first, I began to wonder if my chiding Rotor for telling Knuckles and not Sonic was going to backfire on me due to how much denial Sonic seemed to be in when it concerned what Rotor and Tobor found out. However, Sonic, rather immediately, changes his tune through a few rounds of not so very impressively written dialogue. It kind of seems like Sonic denying it was done to either waste pages or to propagate the idea that they don’t get along, which we already know. Either one isn’t a good idea to do though. 

Thankfully, it’s here where we get our first useful bit of information yet.

It’s quite a doozy.

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There’s a lot wrong with this. 

One, somehow, Eggman removing the Master Emerald from it’s spot turned Knuckles BACK into a living Chaos Emerald? What in the fuck? How? Oh wait, Sonic says Eggman stole the “Chaos Emerald” in the panel where he’s explaining this. Either Penders used the wrong term or he meant something else and is deliberately trying to make shit confusing again.

Two, of course Knuckles is the one who ended up killing Eggman. Of course he is. Who else would it be? It’s such an unceremonious, bitch-made way for fucking DOCTOR EGGMAN to go out too. He plucks the emerald off the altar and Knuckles just vaporizes him. I mean, if you needed any more proof that Ken Penders didn’t like nor had any reverence or respect for Eggman as an iconic villain in gaming, here it is. As if him wanting to desperately kill off Robotnik back in Issue 50 wasn’t a big enough clue.

 I guess Ken figured that Sonic had his chance, why not let Knuckles handle it next? Even if I were to give him that benefit of the doubt, it goes away immediately with what happens next.

Fucking Knuckles just decides to go full god-mode and used his power to try and reshape Mobius into his own image. Seems like a bit of an overreaction considering he just got rid of Mobius’ worst problem. Sonic tries to use a weird device to stop him and it sets off an explosion that damages Knuckles hard and THAT’S what cost him his eye.

Knuckles in the present here is complaining to Sonic about that and Sonic rightfully points out that he’d still feel guilty about it if they didn’t have technology that could easily replace it. The fact that Knuckles is trying to lord that over him doesn’t make too much sense to him. Knuckles retorting by saying he’s choosing to keep his robotic eye does little to elicit sympathy from Sonic who just points out that he’s now just evading the point.

Sonic basically points out that it’s far more likely that during this event, it was Knuckles who caused the bad thing that’s taking forever to happen, a far cry from the first issue where Sonic was blamed for it. If it turns out to actually be Knuckles fault that’d be hilarious, honestly. I doubt Penders is going to allow that. He'd give the Dark Legion a pass if it meant not blaming one of his precious echidnas.

Sonic tells Knuckles to try and use his weird wobbly magic powers to fix it and Knuckles just kind of searches for ways to make Sonic feel like crap. At the end, when Sonic suggests working together, Knuckles says that’s very much unlike him and asks what happened to the Sonic he knew.

Sonic says he wished he knew.

My boy really doesn’t like being king. I don’t like it either, Sonic.

 

This issue was really good. Solid from start to finish with some nice hype moments sprinkled throughout. Jon Gray’s art is a delight and it’s great seeing things play out in a manner that feels like it’s not wasting time. Of course, the same can’t be said of M25YL BUT at the very, very least we actually got some intriguing information. Unfortunately, because it’s Penders, the info we got was complete balls. I’ll take it over more sleepovers though. I was seriously contemplating eating grass rather than suffering through that part of this story. 

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #141: Return to Angel Island - Part 4 of 4: Ultimate Hero

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So now Locke is on the side and Eggman has warped himself behind the rest, overtaking the cover as the true villain of this mess… not that this was a secret or anything. We knew that. I’m just trying to make the cover seem more nuanced than it probably is. Anyway, it’s time we saw the conclusion to the Return to Angel Island.

Spoiler

Story: Karl Bollers
Pencils: Jon Gray
Letters & Inks: Michael Higgins
Inks: Jim Amash & Rick Koslowski
Letters: John Workman & Jeff Powell
Colors: Jason Jensen
Editor: Mike Pellerito

We begin with Hunter just relentlessly frying the echidnas all over the island with his wicked green energy… things. I don’t know exactly what he’s doing but it looks painful and my goodness does he actually look scary.

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The Avatar can’t save you now that the Eggman Nation has attacked. When the world needed him most, he vanished.

No, he’s actually standing in the spontaneous rain with the others after having rescued his dad. Lien-Da chides Locke for the situation they’re in because they wasted time saving his ass. I agree. They definitely should not have done that.

Locke encourages Knuckles to go with Sonic and Sonic, for some odd reason and despite his boasting, tells Knuckles to take off all his gear so he can travel light?

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Even though in the panel that’s literally next to him, Knuckles is talking about how he apparently can’t do shit without his chaos powers and he’s presumably wearing that gear to compensate for that. Right?

A huge spear rips through the area, blasting green chaos energy all over the place. They’re under attack so, of course, the characters in the vicinity immediately start arguing. Also, Archimedes shows up with zero fanfare. He’s just perched on top of something while suddenly screaming out orders. Someone even asks him why he’s there and he says that there’s no time to answer… but he suddenly finds time when Finitevus gets all up in his grill to demand why he thinks he can just randomly show up and start barking out orders. Archimedes than just says Locke tasked him with watching over the Master Emerald because he couldn’t fully entrust it to the Dark Legion.

Makes sense. Not sure why Archi was about to keep that a secret.

Hunter is here though and he’s throwing radioactive shuriken and spears at them. That ain’t good.

Remington charges at him. That doesn’t go well for him because he gets immediately shocked by his green energy volts. He then faces down Finitevus… which we, interestingly enough, don’t see the outcome of. We just get a close up of Finitevus’ face before cutting away.

The bystanders rush in, including Lara-Le and Kneecaps, who can’t speak but has little speech bubbles depicting little stick figures to help get across what he’s feeling (including a moment where he’s confused but still crying because Archimedes starts crying). 

The ant is crying because… I dunno. I guess cause Remington got hurt? 

The Hunter shows up, looking super DBZ on the page. He did before with the scouter and shit but good lord, he looks READY to fire his Galik Gun when Sonic and Knuckles finally take center stage.

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I’m not quite sure I get how he’s moving. Every time he does we see those little bounce pads. Are they teleportation devices? If so, that’s a clever way of utilizing the bounce pad.

So anyway, they fight. Well, Knuckles tries to anyway but another power pang makes him scream and fall to his knees again.

Back outside, Locke is brought up to speed on the state of things and… it’s not looking good.

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Yeah, that’s one messy backyard, I must say.

Lien-Da starts to scream at Locke again and this prompts Julie-Su to shout at her in defense of Locke because they wanted the Master Emerald’s power so they should shut up. I dunno if pointing that out is worth defending Locke though.

Julie-Su goes off on Lien-Da though, refusing to shut up when Lien-Da tells her too. She tells her to stop whining and to be a real leader. The two are face to face, nose to nose, growling in anger… but Lien-Da starts crying, which shocked me.

They head off with Julie-Su muttering that she’ll never know what her problem is.

Lien-Da, almost amusingly, just flat out says “Father loved YOU more” as she walks off. 

I appreciate the time this issue took out of it’s day to actually focus on Lien-Da’s character here. She’s been around and rather prominent for a while but I don’t feel like we’ve had anything resembling this yet. Ken Penders isn’t exactly that good at character development, if you couldn’t tell. She just kind of showed up randomly and was gradually/suddenly important.

Still, her introduction was handled better than Julie-Su. I’m still sat here wondering how Julie-Su’s “arc” was supposed to work. 

Back with Knuckles, he’s pretty much been rendered useless… until the Hunter tries to kill him. Then, like always honestly, some magical bullshit happens that saves him at the last second… except, this time, it’s actually kind of a cool tidbit.

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It’s a neat looking transformation and exceptionally well drawn. However, due to how chaotic and evil he looked I at first assumed this had to have been Dr. Finitevus overtaking Knuckles body or something. I’m not sure why else he’d say “It’s about time!” like he was expecting this to happen. Nor would I have guessed he’d do so while looking so fucking evil.

Hunter gets scared and chucks a spear at him, which Knuckles catches and promptly proclaims that he has now become Super Knuckles!

Weird. Cool, but weird.

These next couple of panels are probably supposed to look cool but they’re honestly really goofy.

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Hunter shapeshifts into Vegeta again before clucking like a chicken in fear when Knuckles does an unnecessary ice-cream swirl attack straight at his face.

Then he basically spins the guy around really fast before tossing him off the island and into the water below.

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Knuckles launches a red version of Trunks’ heat dome attack and the DBZ sound effects are going haywire now. 

I… guess I’ll just have to assume that being launched from the island by Super Knuckles and SPLISH’D into the water so hard and fast turned his body into salsa. I own all the issues after this one and I’ve never seen this guy so he definitely never shows up again.

So yeah, Knuckles killed him.

Then after doing a weird looking light show, he just floats down and proclaims his chaos powers are back. At first, I wasn’t sure how to feel about that but then I read the explanation.

Archimedes says that he actually never lost his powers. They were just lying dormant. Locke says that contact with the Master Emerald was what restored them. 

So, basically, Knuckles has a link with the Master Emerald. It can restore him just like how Knuckles can restore it. That’s an interesting way to utilize his connection with it. It’s a two-way street. 

I also got a bit more okay with it when I realized that I didn’t care. Honestly, these chaos powers have been the ban of my existence. Whether he has them or not, I don’t care. I prefer it just not be acknowledged ever again.

It completely renders Aurora's warning about consequences moot though. The gravity behind what she was saying just straight up got dissolved here and I'm honestly a-okay with that. Fuck her. I like seeing the stuff Penders tried to do get undermined and treated like crap. 

Eggman screams over the floating screen in the air that he’s still gonna attack the island and shit but Sonic destroys the communication device. Now the plan is to get the Master Emerald someplace safe.

When it’s asked where Remington is, Archimedes says that Hunter killed them. This absolutely isn’t true so either he’s lying, making an assumption because he didn’t see it, or he’s an idiot. Either way, he's wrong.

Even taking into account this being Bollers last story and the fact that he’ll never follow up on this, it seems obvious that Finitevus at least was supposed to be alive. Though, what happened between him and the Hunter is a bit of a mystery.

Everyone gets off the island and Knuckles tells his dad to make sure the Dark Legion don’t do stupid, traitorous stuff. Locke is momentarily confused before Knuckles explains that he’s actually leaving. He promised Princess Sally he’d come back after rescuing him, you see.

It’s here where we get the contrast between his parents once again.

Locke starts accusing Knuckles of “turning his back” on his homeland. Lara-Le just tells him goodbye and embraces him. You know. Like a supportive parent.

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Yeah. I never stopped being hard on Locke during those scenes where it seemed like he was acting nice to Knuckles because I knew what kind of guy he was and here he’s just reminding all the fools who may have forgotten. He’s not in support of his son or his motivations. Everything he’s done, he’s done for the sake of the pride of the homeland. He hasn’t even taken responsibility for pumping Knuckles full of that energy and getting him killed. 

Fuck you Locke. You’re a tremendous piece of shit. I graciously hope you forget to write.

I’m so glad that one idea where Locke had to help Lara-Le take care of Kneecaps didn’t come to pass. Fuck that. Holy shit man.

We end on a horrific scene showcasing where all the spirited away echidnas and Mobians that Eggman managed to snag have ended up. The machines here haven’t been named but I know these to be the Egg Grapes.

j_QhnHuks7LYTrQ8hOJxMl7POSHFqXkB3lNA7r_A_cOn8BZ-Y4mBrf5aw_fFcJ-xcN5bYSTdlrxlA_fxKyhrULO6cfvKUee-95sj5EB4YEhpXuazALXETj5X8fcZQXfDfs03tqeO

We’re literally an issue away from me being essentially caught up. Everything that gets revealed from here on in will most likely be something I recognize. That is, if I haven’t blocked it out of my memory like I have most of what happens from #142 to #159. Reading through some of that will no doubt feel like reading it for the first time due to neglecting those issues so hard after all these years.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #141: Mobius 25 years later: Scenario

Writer: Ken Penders
Penciler: Steven Butler
Inker: Jim Amash
Letterer: John E. Workman
Colorist: Jason Jensen

We rejoin Cobar who is looking at a piece of paper and going, “ZOMGOD! THIS is not good!” once more for those who’ve been reading this and weren’t aware that something not good is allegedly supposed to happen.

Steven Butler’s art is really good but there are times where something comes out a little wonky. This image of Cobar makes it look like he’s sticking his tongue out and dribbling it up and down his lips like a clown making faces at a baby.

wwVSlMszqkwpKV0KZeys4RgG2OF0CAKfpwVIFEnA-lPtYfSeJia63EP_Akk9lhd30cpbj9GvicnnwhrgW78XmaEn4iTeQDhZjy1pPgVlh3fGyxPLvEXRvMwv5iaBaiV9Ltav2bwr

Anyway, Knuckles and Sonic enter to confront him and Rotor about the bad thing that’s going to happen. Sonic, for some reason, gets upset when he finds out Rotor has been working with Lien-Da’s chief scientist. He proclaims that this is taking his trust a bit too far. 

I honestly cannot fathom why. Maybe that would fly if this Lien-Da was the one we saw in the first story but she’s not. That Lien-Da yelled and screamed at her sister over an inferiority complex revolving around being upset that she wasn’t loved as much and desired attention and felt that becoming the head of something big would grant her the peace of mind she's been looking for all this time… 

This Lien-Da plans dinner dates with her sister and… is a mom.

So scary. I can see why the caution is in full swing Sonic.

Julie-Su wakes up and heads down stairs to see Sally awake. They both couldn’t sleep. Sally speaks up about how she’s worried about Sonic since he hasn’t been himself lately.

Cut to Sonic, who immediately gets the finger of blame pointed directly at him for all the bad shit that’s supposedly happening. Knuckles momentarily delights in this being all Sonic’s fault before Cobar gives the rundown of the events that triggered it.

The literal THREE events that triggered this were when Sonic first accessed the Interstate of dimensions, when the final battle with Robotnik happened that resulted in the Ultimate Annihilator blowing up, and when he detonated the Quantum Dial in the Xorda attack.

It’s funny how two of those incidents are things that also would have resulted in the destruction of the planet had Sonic not stopped them. 

What’s even more hilarious is that Penders, aware that there’s been WAY more instances of zone hopping and messing with dimensional machines and shit than just those three occurrences, has Knuckles come a little to Sonic’s defense. He points out that the Dark Legion and he himself have done a lot of that same kind of shit too. 

Don’t worry though. Penders’ explanation for why those instances don’t count is because… they did the math and it definitely ONLY counts for those three specific incidents that Sonic was directly involved. 

UIhadcyD3iXGvkol9rRIBDpn-nYQ36RzWLxpm89SCxTSBpwuS1R0Xx89B0f2gNbzJFd9TyyC-hQJUvVtecsPmLqkU4f826zSSPYVpJvw3BmC8wARtQxDb8sLVloG-t2S0z7eszRX

You’d thought it’d be the fault of anyone but Sonic? Well think again!

That’s right. It’s totally necessary to have it be only the work of Sonic instead of the work of all the people that have been fucking with dimensional bullshit. There’s just no way we can have it be the fault of the echidnas. Not even the Dark Legion. How dare you insinuate that those wonderful characters of Penders could be responsible for this despite doing the same shit and with even more reckless abandon! For shame!

I don’t have to explain again why this is nonsense. Penders’ ego speaks for itself.

The issue ends with Sonic and Knuckles leaving and Lien-Da entering, to the two scientist’s surprise. She wants to know what’s going on too. We end the issue on the promise that she’ll be the next one informed of the thing we’ve known and has been repeated at nauseam since this whole pointless “story” started. 

Return to Angel Island was a fun romp. I expected, based on what I was being told, that the changes made would be more drastic and to be fair, a lot of them were a lot more important that I think I’m able to give full credit to at the moment. The full affect of what the changes could mean haven't fully sunk in yet. Knuckles having a new baby brother is kind of the thing I like the most but the guardians being dealt with (and in such an unceremonious and hand-wavy way too) was excellent. Other than that, the dingos just being all minions for Eggman except just Harry the Cabdriver still seems… not quite right. We’ll see if that ends up being what they stick with of course. It was nice seeing Remington loosen up a bit. The introduction to Dr. Finitevus and some character development for Lien-Da was appreciated too. Seeing the Hunter return actually turned out to be a neat surprise as well. 

I don’t need to reiterate yet again that nothing happened in M25YL. This story is actually supremely impressive. I’ve never read anything before that was this good at wasting time. We already know something bad is going to happen and we already knew they blamed Sonic for it but I guess we needed a whole scene where Sonic gets let in on being blamed for it because... I dunno.

 

Sonic X - Issue #24: Camera Hog

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Critical Systems Failure! Critical Systems Failure! Downloading too much awesome at once. The latest in Eggman's robot copies of Sonic shaped characters can’t handle it. THIS. IS. ALL. YOUR. FAULT.

Spoiler

Writer & Pencils: Tracy Yardley
Inks: Terry Austin
Letters: John Workman
Colors: Josh Ray
Editor: Mike Pellerito

Wow. Not only is Tracy drawing, but he’s writing this one. It’s always kind of nice whenever that happens. It’s nice being reminded that you can be good at both in an industry like this.

Immediately, this book opened on a bit of a chuckle worthy image for me. It’s the Sonic cast but on a morning talk show.

qrCwiplS8CWtyjxLODjqzKnDuPCxaWqq8nAwPR7ocLsoxE1HZI91QUdcRC-kAmHxeScc80jE3JvjgEEmNaf0HXRuvbUjfrh8K73xqsm6jxwoBaE4HUWXpl2pEfEyhspNJFRw5XzM

I can only imagine how this would all pan out if they were on Space Ghost Coast to Coast. That show always mesmerized me when I was a kid. I never understood a word of what was being said but it was like such intense ASMR for me. I couldn’t look away, huddled up under the covers in the dead of night...

Chris is a bit distracted. Mostly because he notices, when somehow the others don’t, how strange the camera-man looks. It’s clearly just Decoe and Bocoe in some dirty jackets. Decoe relays his concern that Chris is onto them to Dr. Eggman over his communicator but Eggman says that’s impossible because everyone on this planet is taken in by the TV. Once your attention is on it, it’s impossible for it to be on anything else.

Nowadays, that honor belongs to the smartphone though. Who’d have thought?

Scarlet shakes Chris out of his thoughts by asking him how awesome it must feel to be fucking rich but Sonic interrupts by bragging about how not only did he cure the kid’s depression but he can run real fast and is also better than his friends. Like, WAY better.

eoBTInsMNbGsUM94vJ2s0397LOXy9DYoZOQV48RYHfpyjiHhGV01KPyBk8_XyFfgxCtIVB1xXFEZ6Zlvv8GR6svKTZPkGDP5QIoq7v58csRrCBYnW0Sgj-FNXPMBBM7Qzw5uq7y3

When it comes time to show off how good they are, Sonic is slotted to go last and, of course, he brags about being saved as the BEST for last.

Because he’s better than his friends, you see?

You can just tell how much Tails and Knuckles agree.

QnV8nZrGC7V9pgWGqFxvfIBqwonnqMuh_b_TTGB3q17_3idv4yP-loXO58P_3uoYCaAi5cZF5hqiA4r2BPfJZcPyYyyzp6Gy8bhnmsa9vC_AcvxaT3C08Mcm9HFWCxMUDdw93U8j

It says a lot about the passage of time that Tails is a character that, back in the day, I could totally see bouncing up and down in excitement over seeing Sonic get to show off how much cooler and better than everyone he was. Nowadays, he’s perfected the “Not this shit again” look. It suits him well when he wears it appropriately.

So, they all go through the obstacle course while Eggman observes from the monitor room of the TV station he took over. The plan was obvious, even from looking at the front cover. He’s observing their abilities so that he can download the information into his latest creation. Just like with Emeral and just like with Neo Metal Sonic, it’s a tried and true gimmick.

Even though it’s never quite worked before, it still feels like a reliable thing to keep trying, honestly.

Sonic is so impatient here though, it’s almost a little sad. He rushes through Knuckles’ course even though it isn’t his turn and all he can say when Amy finally gives him the baton is “It’s about time!” before finishing his leg of the race in record time, like he and everyone else already knew he would. There’s not even any point in bragging honestly. Everyone here already knows you’re the fastest dude. How insecure are you?

Chris straight up tells Grandpa Chuck that he thinks the camera men are Eggman’s robots in disguise. Obviously, Chuck reacts by saying he’s paranoid. That could probably be due to all the times Eggman’s robots have totally disguised themselves as other things before. Remember when they disguised themselves as Santa? People actually bought that. Some random camera men is such an intense step down, it probably should have been taken as the immediate truth.

Also, Bokkun is always eating. Not just in this issue but in plenty of others too. It’s cute but it’s also a little concerning.

3xxmynPdkyKU-agOBpEgUXk4iumKmPczq43JXO5SwwBwQBMgcGgUwgyAPkv7OuQO24qL1ffl3B8qT7k4x92vg4qNn18curNcmKgliBA1t5Kva_TSxF0U9AK2NpLTxbhHrHARK5Bb

I mean, I guess if I were the one robot Eggman decided to give taste buds and a stomach to, I’d take advantage of my ability to eat and not get fat as well… 

… Assuming he is a robot. Eggman calls him Messenger Robo in the sub but I dunno. 

… What the hell IS he?

Well, whatever. Eggman presses his big red button and launches his ultimate weapon at them.

Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.

Get it?

No, of course, it’s the robot he wants to have fight Sonic and the others. 

QCpTLObVoIOYg8a_KqhgEHqlZ3DxZNhTtmF22nQ3dHDwXvLNa7TIflqDuASuzWV3LXXF-T-3m8PGU1--_KD5f3vgP7hYw-OBqDsEErnQwWAVhOfSUOUIuW9DtP_2EGwhavCSVa_s

GUYS…!

He’s got this.

So, of course, he starts getting his ass beat.

XYv8YO9GgMjl6VQkloGX5q3GfcjV4OjErVyXzO6OZ72P_NTmxKbk7rnWQ5IAuRbgVNVIwGzJZZbn1KzV9Hevt7agVCH4b1E6nuIePYd_1XMnf35pApa8eRdqmyU5OAtZqxU55WKG

Eggman laughs while Bokkun is giving money to a concerned pizza delivery guy and accepting more food. I admire the strength of will it must take going from an entire bowl of popcorn to an entire pizza. I’m almost jealous.

The others don’t fare any better. Obviously, the solution to this is going to be to work together but they all keep going at it individually, especially Sonic. There are times he cuts in to tell the others to stop and leave it to him only for him to get bashed the hell away.

Each time one of the others goes after it, the robot switches between “Sonic Mode”, “Tails Mode”, “Knuckles Mode”, and “Amy Mode” to combat them.

Poor Tails ends up catching the broad side of Amy Mode, something fierce.

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It’s hard imagining how much it’d hurt to get hit with a spindash or one of Knuckles’ fists but I can totally imagine a hammer to the face. It isn’t a pleasant thought.

I wonder if “Chris Mode” makes you filthy stinking rich. I guess the compensation would be a crippling desire for parental guidance and attention though. 

Eventually, the amount of humiliation becomes a bit much for them. 

6nh9YytPV43oCMRZLiJJvMDU-72W6Dw0qwxfeUq-IWfOVdiA3zJy1YWYpjMtNWAHGZI31hYz5zJ22RGNpN9C0IRk_TKlZnNwoEwh0Ay3GXXn_8iXSuyy71oHOibS2nAlH4R5brCe

Jesus. Tails is having bad luck with hammers today. Holy shit.

So, they basically use the obstacle course itself to create a maneuver that demolishes the robot. Tails blows it back with his tails, Sonic launches himself into the air then dive bombs, Knuckles tosses Amy with all of her might, she uses her hammer to pound the robot into the gravel, then Sonic, with a perfect target in his sights, smashes and destroys it.

MzYlvzw9ONnpN0dmQWrfiocpvHtxxa_dTojLjoF0mANAhbSvGrDWve5AGNjpb74s3xH0LaJOWvN3-ZkUXKnvbHVZpgc5pC3e5le3j_ORNttMMl7lkmhSL1fa4_ncMhdPK5Q1sGAy

Yeah, Sonic learned his lesson but the conclusion to Bokkun’s food arc where he gets a tummy ache at the end was the real narrative pull-through, I must say.

This went by incredibly quickly. It was such a breeze to read. There also wasn’t much going on in it and not a ton to talk about within it either. It’s an incredibly simple story with an incredibly simple follow-through. As a standard book for kids that you can pick up and read on a slow day, it’s cute. There’s really not much else to it other than that tough. The premise behind this robot and what lesson it’s supposed to teach was already done within the show this comic is based off of even. If you’re like me, you’ll enjoy it still purely for how well done the art is and the amusing manner in which our heroes get their asses kicked.

 I mean, seriously, Tails and those hammers. The poor lad.

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lol I completely forgot what an utter light in the dark Return to Angel Island was.  Everything directly before and after it were such rubbish.  Back when it was releasing you'd think it was some sudden upshift in quality that was here to stay and not some false dawn...

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What's amazing about Penders claiming that it's all Sonic's fault is not only the fact that two out of three would've destroyed the planet, but the first was more so the fault of Snively - who rigged the Ultimate Annihilator long before Sonic got there, but the second was on the Xorda who had planted such a device there, it's literally do or die.

It's absolutely genuinely bafflingly how many hoops Penders will jump through to justify this nonsense. Knuckles goes mad with Chaos Power and tries to reshape the world in his image (Y'know - the thing a VILLAIN does??) - Sonic was totally in the wrong for using a weapon to stop him! Knuckles quite literally goes back in time and fucks up the timeline at least five times over? Oh that does nothing whatsoever! The numerous times Knuckles and the Dark Legion zone hop? Oh da M A T H ABSOLVES THEM BABY!!

Even Sonic on the cosmic interstate makes no sense. It's said as if it's because Sonic doing this is the first time zones are crossed, but like - no? Did they just forget that the Echidnas screwed around with zone jumping way earlier and imprisoned the Dark Legion in the Twilight Zone?

Unfortunately, until Ian comes, it's all down hill from here. We have a meh Bollers story that was likely intended for earlier, and Jon Grey draws half a story in Issue 151. An issue that he infamously states he regrets drawing with all his heart and soul. Dark times are ahead.

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48 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

What's amazing about Penders claiming that it's all Sonic's fault is not only the fact that two out of three would've destroyed the planet, but the first was more so the fault of Snively - who rigged the Ultimate Annihilator long before Sonic got there, but the second was on the Xorda who had planted such a device there, it's literally do or die.

It's absolutely genuinely bafflingly how many hoops Penders will jump through to justify this nonsense. Knuckles goes mad with Chaos Power and tries to reshape the world in his image (Y'know - the thing a VILLAIN does??) - Sonic was totally in the wrong for using a weapon to stop him! Knuckles quite literally goes back in time and fucks up the timeline at least five times over? Oh that does nothing whatsoever! The numerous times Knuckles and the Dark Legion zone hop? Oh da M A T H ABSOLVES THEM BABY!!

Even Sonic on the cosmic interstate makes no sense. It's said as if it's because Sonic doing this is the first time zones are crossed, but like - no? Did they just forget that the Echidnas screwed around with zone jumping way earlier and imprisoned the Dark Legion in the Twilight Zone?

Unfortunately, until Ian comes, it's all down hill from here. We have a meh Bollers story that was likely intended for earlier, and Jon Grey draws half a story in Issue 151. An issue that he infamously states he regrets drawing with all his heart and soul. Dark times are ahead.

It's depressing how Sonic just seems to have been broken down to a scapegoat in the future stories, largely for characters like Knuckles and Sally who have remained stagnant in their hubris and inability to accept they can ever be the bad guy in a conflict. It makes their relationships look rather toxic, Sonic's ego gets terrible too, but at least his finally caved in, their's never did and he suffered for it. Ian's continuation can be considered even worse if you take the timeline retcon as Sonic getting an extreme cosmic comeuppance for not appreciating his family.

I feel like Archie sometimes REALLY suffers from not being character driven enough, with the writers having one rather elaborate plot they're steadfast in setting up and the characters being awkwardly skewed to make it work, even when the writers aren't willing to put the development in or break them from their designated role. I do sometimes wonder if disastrous cases like Locke are really from warped ideology or simply Penders wanting to get from plot A to plot B but unwilling to develop on the consequences this has on the characters and dynamics, which would slow down the cool plot he wants to do. Even the other writers do this as well, if not often to as absurd levels.

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19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #140: Return to Angel Island - Part 3 of 4: How Many Echidnas Does It Take to Protect a Master Emerald?

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This was the first issue I recall ever buying. I got a copy of #16 at a Thrift Store and I vaguely recall having a copy of #51 which I no longer have and honestly don't really remember how I got (memory is weird). But this was the first new issue I ever bought and I enjoyed it so much I never subscribed and instead hoped that I could just keep buying them at the Walgreens I found this at but it never happened then I found 144-146 bundled on Ebay bought them continued that with 147-151 and then subscribed. My point is I am dumb and never do the obvious thing first. XD

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We begin on a picture depicting the beautiful majesty of babyhood and all its splendor.

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It’s funny. None of these characters have an actual butt but for some reason this kid does. I guess we’re finally evolving.

A little thing like not having asses isn't going to stop Jon from doing a visual gag. The man is pure concentrated cartoon.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Of course, he’s got this overcomplicated echidna name but he’s Kneecaps for short. It’s another appendage of the body which technically isn’t any more or less ridiculous than Knuckles but, of course, Knuckles says it’s a dumb name.

Fun fact since Penders already had named him Mace in M25YL but Bollers wanted to do the Kneecaps joke he just named him Kneecapeon. Penders hates it.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

kxe5ufGolwy0xhSyxoM_N-_QmAW_INi77a0ASRCqIh-ET9b6PmsxxuNDNAKyUEGSU5dUqkZICCYLVMwcjE1zU4kz2XMHUAJeQoiHmv96_Iz_1qOdQ2ed6Vfddb_yCM2YydZK3Lqh

Ha. Remington is reading the Sonic Firsts Graphic novel. That's cute.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It’s hard to fathom dying and coming back to life. I’d imagine if I did, I’d be in a place where it’d be impossible to escape anyway so I’d probably immediately die all over again, rendering the resurrection pointless… unless, I was just given a completely new body and materialized somewhere else but then that would create a whole host of issues.

I mean at worst you could be in heaven and your friends selfishly pull you out and you spend all of season 6 moping about it. ...Sorry I recently rewatched Buffy and it's on my mind. Despite certain things that came out in relation to it.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

llb8ZEBC4EErMVQ270N5j4R7wkF9DmbMwUoZ1_fUk2OJvUhDhnQ1BiW1jhnDoWZqf3minTqrxI7RHkF6X4sv_GeKBCeibIIqML3bLgOkfI7KOBRlKB3tFCRu3KBrXhi4mI8Wd2Yn

Reminder this was my first issue. I had no idea what the hell he was talking about but I'm a weirdo so that actually made me more interested.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, he gets interrupted by a familiar looking ant cackling over by the Master Emerald.

I really don't get painting Archemides like the grand villain. That just confused me.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

I1KLU3bjdi684ZgpGQpu3AEKF2718ISDsnJEYo5BhGabBiJEpCdwWAEYE4vdABToC0ezASmPVJTTWcOYLFgXgy-TvybKWlAmcO1uxhvoCKCMmLgQKnJrrWfmA8vBPKjB9hxRD5Ly

Weird thing about me. I like to read the characters voices in the Era they were in when the issue was published but I was more familiar with the Sonic X cast at the time so I read this in their voices and honestly I think Mike Pollock's voice would fit this dialogue way better than Deem Bristo.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

MW7-QzPDtrPZcnox2WzrwL922FNc-IalTrgdgIRF048IPWKDayrpPljC-W9rFuRBHvZ15Ll2rc-tr8pKQsKykr2f2YmLS4StqEj4t91NLSsXMwMNMcmGKbYi1bfQLQL1STculCIU

I've missed out on commenting on Gray's work but good lord the man is such a breath of fresh air. Everything is so energetic and actually feels like Sonic. He's also just a generally really cool dude.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Although, it’s a little weird how he does it. 

He lets the guy run at him and gives him a little nosey, before zipping in front of him and tripping him so his face can smash against the ground and he’ll let out what has to be the second censored fit of cursing this issue.

wNkPi0Gz6sNd4uAx3fEOAA__ka0g5aZ_vd5Vtk7y2OD1jR_QsEKEawvIlHKC67tCUd4aK0AmS18CR_BY518cDOKNgi13g0iHDVBoMOwZtyGF5Fh7nL3f2JyozUhcnwQzl5LBCSpK

Personally I like it. It's that right bit of playfulness that Sonic's fighting style should be.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

splHOM8mw9NcZTL24tVVcKXDsXYqIGfhCEwPRW6j70JJvUV1JaYakl_wTxiUukRFGSiPx6gUDuJ6cPa7Qczj7L0Ffy-JC8WoKDLLX5ubGUkDkWb4mruB3izOyD7lldWO0BWMZLoe

Vegeta what's the scouter say about his power level!

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #140: Mobius: 25 Years Later - A Difference of Opinion

Writer: Ken Penders
Penciler: Steven Butler
Inker: Jim Amash
Letterer: John E. Workman
Colorist: Jason Jensen

Sonic and Knuckle walk and talk for 6 pages. Fucking excitement.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

EokUH8oYFSueVRog7qsNYjosCzB61-lIjAUNvtUQl3HcC4s6zWUKhGXl9W3GtRjuHQdw3jzdJ9jVr-RGuVq0yPUhakLxxU1qjDO_g9jDrM7XAixcMQphK7Y29TtQFkCQkI5BxOqg

"Remember when you killed my arch-nemesis, went Evil God Crazy, Then I tried to stop you and blew out your eye which somehow makes me the bad guy in this situation? Good Times." I hate this story arc so much.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Oh wait, Sonic says Eggman stole the “Chaos Emerald” in the panel where he’s explaining this. Either Penders used the wrong term or he meant something else and is deliberately trying to make shit confusing again.

It's absolutely Penders fucking up. He doesn't care what it's called.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Fucking Knuckles just decides to go full god-mode and used his power to try and reshape Mobius into his own image. Seems like a bit of an overreaction considering he just got rid of Mobius’ worst problem.

Y'know...some people say Ian Flynn making Knuckles a tyrant in his Archie based fan comic Other-M and later used in Sonic Universe was proof he shouldn't be writing Sonic but like I never hear those same people ever give Penders shit for how often he flirted with the idea.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic says he wished he knew.

My boy really doesn’t like being king. I don’t like it either, Sonic.

Like I said I don't mind Sonic and Sally being married I just wish Sally had abandoned the throne instead of forcing Sonic to sit on it.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

y_Sy9-Y8jPEw8h5u830dayHPsQ7sOH-h2Xw6eKaPDTy-dsyZq9UbN6FmXA3-MaNQ6JeObHIeidUW-QoCelxfLM7LkIsHUTilnC024uvZJLyX0Z8gL9Q-QHKzvPddCbV0zKz5QcAG

Man this does such a better job of selling Hunter as a psycho big game hunter than anything in his "Most Dangerous Game" bullshit last appearance.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Remington charges at him. That doesn’t go well for him because he gets immediately shocked by his green energy volts. He then faces down Finitevus… which we, interestingly enough, don’t see the outcome of. We just get a close up of Finitevus’ face before cutting away.

I don't think Bollers had plans for him outside of this but that's ok. Someone else does.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

hlfhyN1gXEN_t2UgD2nSwzh1QMeOAnE2875OSZ5XJ1ocDYJd0kYL1wma7uxtDOYoPinFa7QpfKHsfpMolbd3sMCPWQ7mSYEefjLF02ue_xNh4gEeC13eZjkkKOilqucdqvbbMsAw

I like how Jon constantly draws Vector blowing Bubblegum.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Lien-Da starts to scream at Locke again and this prompts Julie-Su to shout at her in defense of Locke because they wanted the Master Emerald’s power so they should shut up. I dunno if pointing that out is worth defending Locke though.

Julie-Su goes off on Lien-Da though, refusing to shut up when Lien-Da tells her too. She tells her to stop whining and to be a real leader. The two are face to face, nose to nose, growling in anger… but Lien-Da starts crying, which shocked me.

They head off with Julie-Su muttering that she’ll never know what her problem is.

Lien-Da, almost amusingly, just flat out says “Father loved YOU more” as she walks off. 

I appreciate the time this issue took out of it’s day to actually focus on Lien-Da’s character here. She’s been around and rather prominent for a while but I don’t feel like we’ve had anything resembling this yet.

Hooray the first glimpses of Lien-Da's inferiority complex! I'd say it's subtle but I can kinda see how when Ian was writing her later on her craving power and to be in charge were signs of one especially since a backup does show Kragok backstabbed her once to steal leadership from her. That's just my reading though and I could be way off.

 

19 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

q4ZG9OJXLTnaqhOsxQM41OZw9sgXN0UhR53vLN1GuXA2hOXCaKNsbPsqN_X8n_PI7VI-nyrktCJmKJsPyGN18aaKka6brvWxF8VF_aDjtQ7L1h4fessph5BMhZW63iuUZD1M11Rw

Fun fact Knuckles transformation sequence is based off the villain in Mega Man Zero 2. Also they call him Super Knuckles instead of Hyper Knuckles but I think that was just a mistake.

 

20 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Then he basically spins the guy around really fast before tossing him off the island and into the water below.

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Knuckles launches a red version of Trunks’ heat dome attack and the DBZ sound effects are going haywire now. 

GET OUT OF MY *BLEEP*ING TIMELINE!

 

20 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I… guess I’ll just have to assume that being launched from the island by Super Knuckles and SPLISH’D into the water so hard and fast turned his body into salsa. I own all the issues after this one and I’ve never seen this guy so he definitely never shows up again.

So yeah, Knuckles killed him.

Eggman says in #163 I believe that "Hunter couldn't bother to survive a little dunk in the ocean" (Fucking cold Eggy) so yeah he's dead.

 

20 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Archimedes says that he actually never lost his powers. They were just lying dormant. Locke says that contact with the Master Emerald was what restored them. 

So...in my defense I forgot about this. I don't own the issue and read it maybe once so this detail had slipped my mind.

 

20 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It’s here where we get the contrast between his parents once again.

Locke starts accusing Knuckles of “turning his back” on his homeland. Lara-Le just tells him goodbye and embraces him. You know. Like a supportive parent.

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Isn't it great that all non-Penders writers realize Locke is shit and treat him as such. Ian apparently straight up called him a Monster on Bumblekast last year. It's great.

 

20 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We end on a horrific scene showcasing where all the spirited away echidnas and Mobians that Eggman managed to snag have ended up. The machines here haven’t been named but I know these to be the Egg Grapes.

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So I guess Hunter's spear thingy was an early version of that teleporter he uses in Ian's first few issues?

 

20 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We rejoin Cobar who is looking at a piece of paper and going, “ZOMGOD! THIS is not good!” once more for those who’ve been reading this and weren’t aware that something not good is allegedly supposed to happen.

Either end the world or get off the pot Penders!

 

20 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anyway, Knuckles and Sonic enter to confront him and Rotor about the bad thing that’s going to happen. Sonic, for some reason, gets upset when he finds out Rotor has been working with Lien-Da’s chief scientist. He proclaims that this is taking his trust a bit too far. 

I honestly cannot fathom why. Maybe that would fly if this Lien-Da was the one we saw in the first story but she’s not. That Lien-Da yelled and screamed at her sister over an inferiority complex revolving around being upset that she wasn’t loved as much and desired attention and felt that becoming the head of something big would grant her the peace of mind she's been looking for all this time… 

This Lien-Da plans dinner dates with her sister and… is a mom.

And is also like a close friend of Sally's. They talk like they regularly have dinner. What is even going on!?

 

20 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Cut to Sonic, who immediately gets the finger of blame pointed directly at him for all the bad shit that’s supposedly happening. Knuckles momentarily delights in this being all Sonic’s fault before Cobar gives the rundown of the events that triggered it.

"Ha Ha! You caused the End of Days!"

 

20 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Cut to Sonic, who immediately gets the finger of blame pointed directly at him for all the bad shit that’s supposedly happening. Knuckles momentarily delights in this being all Sonic’s fault before Cobar gives the rundown of the events that triggered it.

The literal THREE events that triggered this were when Sonic first accessed the Interstate of dimensions, when the final battle with Robotnik happened that resulted in the Ultimate Annihilator blowing up, and when he detonated the Quantum Dial in the Xorda attack.

It’s funny how two of those incidents are things that also would have resulted in the destruction of the planet had Sonic not stopped them. 

What’s even more hilarious is that Penders, aware that there’s been WAY more instances of zone hopping and messing with dimensional machines and shit than just those three occurrences, has Knuckles come a little to Sonic’s defense. He points out that the Dark Legion and he himself have done a lot of that same kind of shit too. 

Don’t worry though. Penders’ explanation for why those instances don’t count is because… they did the math and it definitely ONLY counts for those three specific incidents that Sonic was directly involved. 

UIhadcyD3iXGvkol9rRIBDpn-nYQ36RzWLxpm89SCxTSBpwuS1R0Xx89B0f2gNbzJFd9TyyC-hQJUvVtecsPmLqkU4f826zSSPYVpJvw3BmC8wARtQxDb8sLVloG-t2S0z7eszRX

You’d thought it’d be the fault of anyone but Sonic? Well think again!

You know setting aside everything else that's stupid about this since Ryan already brought them up why is there only three events in their entire history that could have lead to this? Does Penders think that literally no other giant battles can happen since they fought Aliens? What am I saying #150 is a regular issue and he planned on #175 and 200 being Antoine proposing to Bunnie and their wedding respectfully. Of course he thought there was nowhere else to go.

 

20 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Wow. Not only is Tracy drawing, but he’s writing this one.

The first of 11 stories he wrote. That's counting his 2 Universe arcs BTW.

 

20 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

eoBTInsMNbGsUM94vJ2s0397LOXy9DYoZOQV48RYHfpyjiHhGV01KPyBk8_XyFfgxCtIVB1xXFEZ6Zlvv8GR6svKTZPkGDP5QIoq7v58csRrCBYnW0Sgj-FNXPMBBM7Qzw5uq7y3

I believe Tracy had written the line to be ".7 Seconds" but either Sega stepped in or the letterer screwed up or something I can't really remember.

 

20 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

When it comes time to show off how good they are, Sonic is slotted to go last and, of course, he brags about being saved as the BEST for last.

Because he’s better than his friends, you see?

You can just tell how much Tails and Knuckles agree.

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Tracy got some shit for Sonic's attitude in this issue but has said Sonic's ego is being stroked by the cameras and also that in the few Sonic X episodes he had seen Sonic did kinda come off like a dick.

 

20 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

3xxmynPdkyKU-agOBpEgUXk4iumKmPczq43JXO5SwwBwQBMgcGgUwgyAPkv7OuQO24qL1ffl3B8qT7k4x92vg4qNn18curNcmKgliBA1t5Kva_TSxF0U9AK2NpLTxbhHrHARK5Bb

I love this little gag. It's like a Sunday Comic Strip.

 

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #142: The Original Freedom Fighters, Part 1

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Oh my God, I did it. We’re finally here. I’ve officially reached Issue #142 which means that I’m officially caught up on ALL the issues of the Archie Sonic comics that I’ve never read before, including the specials. I can actually say that at some point or another I’ve read all the numbered issues now. This is quite a good feeling and there’s a wickedly well done drawing of Sonic on the cover to go with it too, although Hope looks kind of like a potato.

That all said, the issues between #142 and #159 I barely remember anything about due to not liking a vast majority of them. I remember liking the first story of this issue, hating the second one (as I’ve talked about before) and I remember jack-shit about the last story here which doesn’t surprise me because it’s another part of the Mobius 25 Years Later gutter trash that’s been plaguing the book for a century now. I can’t wait to compare and contrast what I know now against what little I can recall of these stories. 

Spoiler

Writer: Romy Chacon
Penciler: Art Mawhinney
Inks: Jim Amash
Letters: Jeff Powell
Colorist: Josh Ray
Editor: Mike Pellerito

Now, 10,000 years ago back when I originally read this, I thought the entire premise of this was strange despite the fact that I knew nothing of SatAM at the time. I was aware of it and of the Freedom Fighters thanks to the issues of Archie that I was currently reading. We were most likely in the middle of the Iron Dominion Arc at the time I got the back issues. Even still, despite my limited knowledge there was a part of me that questioned the validity of this premise.

Sonic is telling Hope the story of the original Freedom Fighters. However, in the first Sonic Kids Super Special, Sally came up with that name on the spot. 

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In that special, Sonic’s reaction was “That’s a little extreme” and not “You stole that name from the original Freedom Fighters that we all know and love” so I’m going to wager a guess that my initial hunch back when I first read this was correct. There is some revisionist history happening here.

I figured going back and getting context for earlier issues would put things into perspective but I think they might end up shedding some light on early suspicions as well.

The story itself begins with Hope Kintobor in the library, researching stuff for school. She just digs up information on these old Freedom Fighters in the library despite the captions telling us that they were a “forgotten cornerstone” of Knothole. If they were, that’s a little fucked up considering their horrible fate.

Sonic here has all the knowledge about it swimming around in his noggin though. When he wafts by Hope, scattering her papers everywhere before quickly helping to pick them all back up, he decides to just tell her the story of them. Clearly he has reverence for these people. He even met the main Colonel when he was a child. Perhaps Sonic should have tried a little harder to preserve their memory himself then. I guess it’s not really his duty to do that but to become a “forgotten cornerstone” after what happens next is just way too mean a story element.

Anyway, here they are; the alleged original Freedom Fighters.

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Back when those awful SEGA Forums were a thing, I attempted to do text reviews of some of these earlier issues too. Only a few of them though. Most notably, the egregiously awful story known as “The Good, The Bad, and The Unknown”. Despite at least being able to see how the rest of these issues could conceivably be a story told to an audience despite not knowing the full connected context, THAT story was bafflingly bad in a way that I had never seen before. I knew from jump that it didn’t matter that I didn’t have the context of the earlier issues. 

As far as THIS story is concerned though, I remember liking it well enough at the time. Though, I did find it amusing how when I typed out “Sir Peckers” the profanity filter on the site turned his name into a bunch of asterisks so that it read as “Sir *******” instead. That’s hilarious. The fact that you couldn’t say the name of an officially created Sonic the Hedgehog character on a Sonic forum because some weirdo thought that peckers absolutely needed to be censored astounds me to this day.

Sonic recounts the story of how Col. Tigger here helped everyone escape when Robotnik first began his takeover. 

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Romy Chacon just called Gallagher an old man.

The amount with which this Tony the Tiger Man is said to have done for Knothole is astonishing. A montage happens showing him and his team literally helping to build up Knothole and he’s credited with the reason for why it became as “cool” as it is. It kind of sounds like this guy and his team should be a huge central figure in this place’s history. I really don’t buy that it fits to just have this story about him showing up out of the blue 142 issues in. 

I want to be more forgiving since this story still has a bit of an air of plausibility to it of course. It’s not like it directly contradicts much outside of that scene in the Sonic Kids Super Special. Also, to be honest, who gives a shit about the Super Specials anyway?

Kid Sonic and Kid Princess Sally are seen spying on this elite group of guys as they have their very important meeting in the dead of night. Sonic says all he remembers is how cool Col Stripe was. Despite that, we’re shown the full conversation they ended up happening, which basically amounts to the Bull Dog shouting that they need to do SOMETHING about Robotnik, the giraffe agreeing that they need to do something, Sir Peckers saying that if they do a full on assault they’ll be worm food, and then Col Stripe agreeing with both sides and saying they’ll do both.

Col Stripe says they’re gonna go around and destroy as much of Robotnik’s infrastructure as they can as a special ops group. That way, they’ll be doing “nothing” while doing something as undercover agents. Then we see the REVISED origin of how Sonic and Sally came by the Freedom Fighters name.

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The Freedom Fighters is such an important name within the chemical makeup of these books. You’d think some more caution would be taken to make sure an origin for the name hadn’t already been done. Maybe caution was taken and Romy just didn’t find out about the Super Special. He might have thought that they’d have been stupid to put anything crucial in those. Or, if he did know, he just didn’t care. 

I suppose this isn’t that crucial of a thing though. At least it isn’t to me. I don’t really like the Freedom Fighters system so I’m not bothered by the inconsistency of it’s name’s origin. I just find it funny that the comic allowed it to happen.

There’s also the fact that this is, honestly, a much better origin for it...

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...At least compared to how it was portrayed in the Super Special, it is.

Seeing Sonic inspired to be like a man he called a hero works a lot better than Sally just coming up with the name on the fly on one random day they decided to fall down some cave. Then again, there is something inherently unnecessary about taking away the initial agency the characters had as kids when they decided to do this and heaping the credit onto these guys whom we didn’t know about before. I can see the argument both ways.

Also, we finally get confirmation on how the other Freedom Fighters groups around the world exist. Sir Peckers worked as a carrier pigeon of sorts to spread the word to liberated or scared Mobians around the world to organize their own factions of Freedom Fighters.

There, you see? That was a single sentence and yet it did well to explain so much.

Sonic is skipping a stone as he explains this, now looking more upset and intense. Hope asks what happened to them. 

Sonic says they were betrayed by one of their own.

Oooo~! Juicy. 

Honestly, I didn’t remember that this story was a two-parter despite having the covers depicting the events right in front of my face. It seemed like such a small, simple story that I guess my mind just figured it made sense for it to have been told in a single issue. 

No though. It ends here on the promise of a juicy betrayal. Even knowing who the guy really is that betrayed them, the act of it happening at all has to sting considering how much the Freedom Fighters means to the current group. We’ll find out just how much it does during the exhausting “traitor” storyline that happens way later in this comic’s run but for now it’s time for one of the few stories from this era that I have enough memory of to recall. 

I fucking hated it.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #142: I Wanna Be A Freedom Fighter

Writer: Romy Chacon
Penciler: Steven Butler
Inker: Jim Amash
Letterer: John Workman
Colorist: Jason Jensen

I fucking hate this story.

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My head is swirling full of thoughts right now, I don’t even know where to begin. This was intensely upsetting to read all those years ago when I got these back issues and it’s going to be just as painful now.

To be sure, I’m completely aware that most of my hatred of this story most likely stems from complete personal bias but I don’t care. I can’t hold back on it because of that. Not this time.

Back when I read this story, I was angry at it for being such an unfair showcase of Amy’s character and I couldn’t stand the fact that she was being shot down by another character that, at the time, I absolutely hated. 

Yes, at the time I actually hated Sally Acorn. Nowadays, that hatred has dissolved and I simply don’t care about her. That’s why I’m actually able to recognize how much she’s gotten shafted and treated like shit during this book’s run. If you’re a fan of Sally, then I feel for you because that whole mess was and is inexcusable. However, the feeling of seeing a character I liked being portrayed like this and treated like this still upset me. I especially zeroed in on the part where Amy brought up Tails.

This was brought up before in the Sonic Adventure storyline and it being addressed again here just confirms that people writing these kinds of stories regarding Amy’s place in the group are fully aware of the contradiction in logic and are trying to hand wave it away. It doesn’t work though. 

In both that story and this one, Tails’ “experience” is being used as an excuse. It’s not even the fact that he’s super smart, which wouldn’t have been an excuse either but it would have been a more plausible explanation. No, it’s the fact that he has more “experience” which literally means that Tails is allowed to come along because they didn’t give a shit about letting kids tagging along at first and Amy, I guess, missed the boat on that.

Tails having any experience at all when she’s actually older than him at this point in time is fucking insane. Sally is full of shit here.

However, now that I’ve actually read all the issues before this story took place I’ve got NEW problems with it now. That problem being that this is complete horseshit.

The amount of stories that even had Amy in them before the Sonic Adventure storyline were minimal and when she did show up she definitely wasn’t acting like this. The only time I can recall her screaming her head off like this was when Sally tossed Sonic in jail for a crime he didn’t commit that was very easily proven to have been the work of Nack the Weasel and Sonic’s so called friends just decided they weren’t going to believe him. Bunnie got her arm outfitted to launch a missile that specifically sought out to blow Sonic up. 

They get to act like a bunch of psychos while Amy is calling for Sonic to be let out of prison and SHE’S the one being portrayed as the whiny brat? 

This scene obviously didn’t even happen in the earlier issues. There didn’t exist a scene where she screamed her head off about wanting to be a Freedom Fighter like this. Not even in the Sonic Adventure arc, it wasn’t treated like this. 

Granted, she did do an incredibly immature thing by aging herself up with the Acorn’s ring, however, her personality really didn’t take too much of a hit. She really was quite chill for the majority of the book’s run. 

She’s done plenty to stand on her own since that story happened. The fact that it’s taken so long for this to happen already feels dumb.

Okay. 

So that was my rant about something that’s completely emotionally driven and easily ignorable. Honestly, I like Amy but she’s not even in my top 10 favorites so I shouldn’t have been this upset by that first page... but I was. When I like a character, I like a character. It doesn’t really matter what number they’re on in a list at that point. What can I say?

The rest of this story truly isn’t even that bad. Sally recounts the events of Amy using that weird silver sledgehammer to take out a battalion of robots single-handedly back in #132 and now, TEN issues later, she’s being given a medal for that feat. I’m glad they took their sweet ass time.

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How about, “What took so goddamn long?” for starters.

The issue ends with Amy jumping for joy at being officially invited to be a member of the Freedom Fighters. 

Honestly, it felt like she already was since way back in the Adventure arc. I guess people more invested in the Freedom Fighter system would be happy to see her officially recognized as one here but to me it’s just a formality.

At least she’s happy. This whole thing just kind of feels a bit embarrassing to me for some reason though. 

This was probably one of the hardest stories to type out my thoughts on in quite a while. So much of it is subjective and I’m not even entirely sure I’ve made sense of what my grievances are. 

Maybe a part of me just hates the fact that Amy, a character I like, was being portrayed as not good enough for this group of characters that I, at the time, thought were wholly irrelevant and dumb. In my mind, she was better than all the people who were denying her access to their stupid club so I guess this story just portraying her as a screaming, whiny brat on top of that when I just got done reading the earlier issues and don’t recall her acting like anything other than a normal little girl just set me off. 

I guess it’d be like if Amy were begging to join the god-awful Channel Awesome and then the pretentious shitbag, Doug Walker, was giving a speech about how she used to be annoying as shit, even though she wasn’t, and was finally ready to accept her into his group of Internet reviewers. I think it was that level of disgust I had for it back in the day.

Nowadays I’m just kind of bothered by how… deceptive the language here concerning who she was and why she wasn’t allowed before is. 

Yeah, I suppose that’s it.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #142: Mobius: 25 Years Later - Moment of Truth

Writer/Inker: Ken Penders
Penciler: Steven Butler
Letterer: John E. Workman
Colorist: Jason Jensen

Am I tripping balls or did we already have one of these stories titled “moment of Truth”. Maybe not but it feels just generic enough to have been the case.

Knuckles starts up the day with his head pounding at him with all the frivolous dialogue he’s heard throughout this overlong story, ending with one where his daughter nags him about being a guardian.

He gets up and heads downstairs only to immediately be greeted with a live action version of that nightmare. Lara-Su just barrels towards him and talks about being trained again and Knuckles refuses… again.

Then we have a scene with Rotor and Cobar that is finally something other than, “We should do something” as one of them finally suggests something to do.

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Accusations of going mad seem to be flying around a lot when these two are around. 

At least it’s something. Cobar doesn’t want to do it because echidna scientists are banned from trying and Rotor retaliates with the fact that he didn’t even consider using echidna scientists. I, of course, have to note that whether or not something is banned matters not when the world is going to explode in under a year.

We cut to Sonic and Sally where Sonic is pouring out his heart to Sally about how he’s not fit to be king and how Knuckles would have come to them earlier if Sally were at the helm and not him. Sally says she’s never pulled rank on him and while Sonic concedes that as the truth I’m personally struggling to see why it matters if he doesn’t want his rank at all.

Sonic runs off to Knuckles when he comes out to say that Rotor and Cobar have a message for him. They tell King Sonic that they need his authorization to go to an abandoned Robotnik place to get the thingy they need to do time travel. Sonic grants them that permission and for SOME reason, even though he just got done lamenting about how much better at this Sally is then him, tells Knuckles NOT to tell Sally. Says there’s no reason to burden her or the kids with the knowledge even though at least one of them already knows this already.

Knuckles stomps out and overhears Sonia complaining to Lara-Su about how she’s older than Manic but because he’s the firstborn MALE he gets to be king and that she’ll never be queen. Lara-Su equates this, somehow, to her never being a guardian, even though those two things feel completely different from one another. Mainly the fact that being a guardian means even less than being king. I don’t even know what relevance the title holds in the current timeline right now let alone in this weird as hell future. It’d be far easier if this was like in the games where he was just the guardian of the Master Emerald and it wasn’t some sort of bequeathed title that carried some sort of massive amount of unexplained privilege. 

However, echidnas are the most godly and advanced of creatures. They’re perfect and everything is that bitch Sonic’s fault because he’s an underdeveloped hedgehog.

So I guess it’s understandable right?

You know, despite all the complaining I did about various things, I’m going to go ahead and give this issue a passing grade. I actually did really enjoy the first story despite the revisionist history. My beef with the Amy story is extremely personal and full of intentional bias. The last story is more M25YL bullshit but at the VERY least something actually happened here. The characters have finally decided to take some initiative to get the plot rolling. I’m not at all surprised that when it came to this issue, that last story was the only one I don’t recall having read before even though I totally must have. Penders is so bad that it doesn’t even matter if you’re aware he’s writing your story or not.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #143: The Original Freedom Fighters, Part 2

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Looking at this cover, I remember it vividly now. I really shouldn’t have forgotten that this story had been split into two parts. However, looking at this cover over again it’s actually fairly deceptive. A lot of the covers that straight up lie to you with the promise of a cooler story don’t happen until the Iron Dominion Arc. Although, I guess this technically isn’t any “cooler” in this sense. Sonic’s been betrayed before. It’s just… the betrayal is happening in the past. I’m not sure why the cover is saying it’s trouble for Sonic. Maybe Baby Sonic from back in the day would work but he doesn't show up until the end.

Spoiler

Writer: Romy Chacon
Penciler: Art Mawhinney
Inks: Jim Amash
Letters: Jeff Powell
Colors: Josh Ray & Aimee Ray
Editor: Mike Pellerito

I know where this is going and it isn’t pretty.

Sonic sees the dog with a net catch the magic ring as it rises from the lake and takes it to Rotor. Sonic stays to watch the lake while he continues his story. He recounts a lot of things for us that he was not there for but, again, it’s okay. The basics being told to us wouldn’t get the whole story across.

Still, it’s a bit strange we start off in a scene where Col. Stripe is messing around with Princess Sally, with jokes about her bouncing him on his knee when she gets older. It’s cute but I could see more risque people taking that the wrong way. Sir Peckers shows up and tells Stripe that they’ve found info on where Robotnik banished the king. Little Sally overhears it and begs Stripe to save her awful daddy while Stripe admonishes Peckers for telling him that within earshot of the others. He thought they weren’t, which is understandable. Usually in fiction you could say something without whispering right in front of someone and they won’t hear it if they’re not supposed to.

They planned everything out. They snuck into the base. They used the familiar layout to their advantage and made it to the room where the portal to the Void was. Then Scales goes to the console only to open the door and let Robotnik waltz right in. Their plan was leaked by the traitorous snake.

He is a literal traitorous snake.

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That’s always the reason isn’t it? Just “power” without much more explanation beyond that. Honestly, if someone came up to me and offered me power I’d refuse and ask for money instead.

Of course, it matters not because it would be Robotnik. He wouldn’t give you either and instead just throw you out with the bathwater regardless of what you did to help him.

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Yeah, he betrays the snake who betrayed his team, officially rendering his betrayal pointless. What a tragedy. 

It actually gets worse. 

I remember thinking at the time that this was a horrible way to go but nowadays I feel it’s even worse than that. This might be the cruelest thing to ever happen to a group of heroes within this book, even with the context of the last 142 issues at hand. 

Not only does he roboticize them but he doesn’t even bother keeping them as slaves. He just sends them blasting out into the void so that they can float as mindless robotic husks in the chaos of that other dimension, lost for all eternity. 

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The only way this could be worse is if they were mentally cognizant of their situation. Floating in a void forever, wishing for death, but unable to die and unable to move. 

There are definitely fates worse than death out there and censorship of kid’s comics sometimes force people to be more creative with how they can capitalize on that idea. It can get rough.

Uncle Chuck recorded what happened when he was still a robot servant of Robotnik but didn’t break out of the control until 11 years later. That’s when everyone finally found out what happened in detail. Though, their disappearance spurred people onto giving them a proper funeral service.

Sonic talks about how alone he felt during that time, even acknowledging that he still felt this way despite there being other people around, which is an intensely understandable mood. 

He then talks about how years later he and the other Sonic Kids decided that the Freedom Fighters would live on through them. That’s totally not how it happened originally but retcons gonna retcon.

Hey, so, since they have the same number of original Freedom Fighters, I wonder which of them is their Scales? A later story would have you believe it was Sally but it’s extremely non-committal about it.

Hope runs off to do her history report while Sonic groans about having to sit and wait. The last scene is a scene I must have not paid much attention to back in the day because I literally didn’t remember this part. Hope is giving her history report in class and when she leaves, turns out the narrator at the end was the teacher, whose name is Mrs. Stripe. So, obviously she was Col. Stripe’s wife. Very poignant way to end it, certainly.

Again, that was a nice enough story. Your mileage may vary on whether or not you’re okay with the implications behind having these randos be the inspiration for the Freedom Fighters rather than it be something that originated from Sonic’s generation and the retcons that came with having this story be a thing at all. It will always stand out that they had such a heavy influence on things but we’ve never heard them get a passing mention once since this whole thing began. 

There’s a certain level of ignorance I’m willing to forgive but I think 142 issues plus a ton of specials and mini-series stories might be the line.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #143: Mobius: 25 Years Later: Father's Day

Script, Art & Lettering: Ken Penders
Colorist: Jason Jensen

We begin with Lara-Su walking out onto the patio butt naked.

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Yes, she’s perhaps always naked but she looks really fucking naked in this picture. Ugh. That butt. It’s kind of grossing me out a little.

Lara-Su gets a reminder from her mom that it’s actually a special day. We cut back to Knuckles who is recounting past memories. First, he remembers the last time he saw Archimedes. The ant man poofed out of his life forever when he wished to return to his ancestral ground, which Knuckles doesn’t understand. He can’t fathom wanting to live anywhere other than Angel Island, which, in THIS story, is even sadder than it probably should be. When Archimedes tries to use the example of some echidnas wanting to return to Albion, he finds that as something strange too, which is fun.

It’s nice that Archimedes at least treats him like a son. He even says as much before going away about how proud he is of Knuckles’ willingness to end the line of guardians with him. It makes me wonder how Lara-Su got so fired up about wanting to be one. I guess it was probably embellished in the echidna history books as something fun, not at all condescending, nor would it be traumatic or a means to leave your child isolated from their family and civilization all their lives while their dad disappears into a wall of fire only to spy on their private life for the remainder of their adolescence and teenage years. Maybe longer had Knux not discovered it sooner.

God, can you imagine finding that out? How horrified would you be knowing that the things you did in private were being watched by your awful dad the whole time? Fuck man.

If they were teaching accurate echidna history it would make zero sense for Lara-Su to be this jazzed about being a guardian.

We then hear next that from Knuckles’ mom that there’s something wrong with his dad, Locke. Obviously, and immediately, you know that it can only mean that he’s dying but the comic still spends two pages of them driving to the hospital, speaking with the doctor, and beating around the bush until the doctor finally says what we’re all thinking.

Even then though, it still comes off as blunt and a little hilarious.

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It sounds like he’s saying to Knuckles that they should speed up the process of him dying. 

It gets explained that there’s something wrong with his holier than thou pancreas and he’s most likely been exposed to some toxic substance either recently or decades ago. He doesn’t fucking know. Who cares? Dad’s doomed.

Knuckles has to make the call on what to do.

So they go and visit Locke when he’s awake and when Lara-Le is about to leave, Locke calls her back because he still considers her his family, even though she remarried to Wyn. 

I understand the sentiment. It’s still a little strange how Locke justifies it though. 

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Somehow I don’t feel “BUT THE SOUL TOUCH SAID SO” is as romantic as Locke or Penders thinks it is.

I also don’t remember reading this story either even though I must have, once again. I think I remember being confused. Being told that this was Knuckles’ dad did nothing for me and now, having gotten to know Knuckles dad, this somehow does even less for me. Sometimes the proper context can only make things worse.

Like, yeah, I get what’s happening now but that just makes it harder to be sympathetic.

Even this scene where Locke is pouring his heart out to Knuckles and actually apologizing for how shitty of a dad he’s been isn’t really working, mostly because it’s clashing with Knuckles’ reaction to his apology, which is a resounding amount of “Don’t give a fuck about that. I’ve never been mad at you”. 

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Knowing who this Locke guy is, it feels less genuine and more like Penders is trying to have his cake and eat it too. He can acknowledge how bad this guy has been but not have him answer for it by having Knuckles reiterate once again that he’s always thought his dad was the bees knees and has never done anything to wrong him. He’s the BEST in his eyes.

It’s really kind of sad and fucked up how it feels more like Knuckles has just been hypnotized to view this man and his actions as infallible. The very fact that he’s only saying this while on his literal DEATH BED feels off.

Believe me, despite it being Locke and despite it being written by Ken Penders, two people who absolutely don’t deserve the benefit of any doubt, I’m trying to give it to them anyway and it’s just… not working.

That said, I can see this still being an effective scene in it’s own right, stripped of the context I’m inundated with. There really isn’t much to criticize about this final page.

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I mean, yeah. That’s all correct. He did fuck up majorly and it’s sucks it took him dying from some unknown radiation thing for him to admit it. 

Now, this all said, this is Future Knuckles recounting this. This hasn’t happened yet in the current timeline and it never will… no matter how much Penders would want you to believe that this is canonically how it’ll happen. It’s not.

Then, he goes and sours it a bit with Future Knuckles talking about how Locke actually did do his job well because it made him not want to repeat his actions. Even though Knuckles says here that he always thought Locke was great, he was also, somehow, determined not to fuck up like he did. Figure that one out. 

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I mean… I guess? Sort of? 

I’m not sure why this has to be something that Lara-Su needs to be given a decision to do. It’s not like the guardian role is something that needs to exist. I can understand having that be a decision a member of the royal family needs to make with regards to taking up the throne or not. There's way more at stake there. However, this future has not made the position of guardian seem like something that’s at all relevant. The only time it was ever really talked about aside from Lara-Su whining that she wanted to be the guardian was in the first issue of this story where she beat up someone in class because he made fun of her desire to be more privileged than all the other echidnas.

I don’t understand why Lara-Su wants to be a guardian besides that. The only thing the book has given me as a source of emotional development to chew on is the fact that it’ll make her more special than all her other brethren. That’s not really an angle I can get behind. You know what happens when you’re given a position of “guardian” that’s considered more special than that of the common folk for the sake of throwing your privilege around? You’ve basically become a bad cop. 

Also, if the flashback with Archimedes holds true, then Knuckles made the decision to end the guardians at an extremely young age. Why is it still a thing at all now that he’s married with a teenage daughter? Does he not have the power to get rid of it, what with the Brotherhood seemingly gone and Locke no longer pulling the strings on Knuckles like his little puppet child?

The last page of the book ends on Knuckles making the pointless and dumb decision to relent on his desire to have the guardian role be a thing of the past by having Lara-Su choose for herself if she wants it. Not all tradition is bad but the reason the word “tradition” gets so much scrutiny nowadays is because a lot of them came into existence during a time where it was okay to do things that get frowned upon nowadays. Hell, even back when this was written, the shit that Knuckles went through was most likely frowned upon. 

It also ends on Ken paying tribute to how own father, just in case it wasn't super duper fucking clear that Ken was writing this story (and Locke’s entire character) as a means of getting out what it was he thought and felt about his own father.

I don’t want to sound like I don’t sympathize as there’s a lot of things here about Knuckles that are easily parallel with what I know about Ken’s circumstances. Knuckles' wide-eyed, child-like belief that his daddy-o was a good egg underneath it all and his reluctance to ever say a bad thing about him despite also recognizing, in a manner that’s portrayed as strangely ignorant and hypocritical of the character, that his dad did awful things that he was trying to avoid doing is most likely a direct correlation to how Ken actually felt about his dad.

Often those feelings can be complicated. Loving a father despite the terrible things he may have done or said and acknowledging that love in spite of it while also recognizing that things were bad can’t be an easy thing to express. I’m not even saying to not express it in your stories if you can do it well… however, the way this character was written simply wasn’t good. On top of that, the angle of sympathy is a near impossibility due to the nature of his conduct.

Even with how well-done this send-off is, it can’t help but be colored by all the context beforehand painting Locke as just a straight up asshole. There’s nothing within the actual text that supports this angle of things being “complicated”. They really weren’t. He was just an awful person. 

This probably could have worked had the writing for Locke’s character been recognized a lot more by the narrative as something reprehensible and if Knuckles’ unabashed desire to immediately forgive or ignore all of Locke’s transgressions was actually acknowledged IN ANY WAY but it wasn’t. As such, we get a sendoff for Locke that feels like it really should belong to someone else.

There’s a lot of reasons as to why this probably shouldn’t be considered a good issue. I don’t wish to argue it either way really. Yes, it’s incredibly silly that the “original” Freedom Fighters were never mentioned and this retcon happened in a way that honestly did little to justify shoehorning them into the story. Also, having the traitor literally be the snake is really hammy and dumb. That said, I thought the story in and of itself was fine and fairly well-told. As someone with no real stake in the fight as to the proper origins of the Freedom Fighters, I just find it easier to forgive.

The same complications come with that second story. Yeah, the send-off was done well enough on it’s own but the context surrounding it is extremely weird and it really doesn’t fit. He had Locke die the exact same way his father did and had him express the same feelings too, most likely. It’s hard to take it at face value as anything serious when you know the author just kind of self-inserted a fursona of his father as Locke and then kind of just… put himself inside of Knuckles. He just wore him like a creepy echidna body suit.

It’s… It’s… just… not good. Don’t do this.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #144: Mobius: 25 Years Later: The Die is Cast

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This cover scared the shit out of me when I got it as one of the back issues back in the day. I was a bit thrown off by the drastic change in art style on the covers from the two before it. That alone would have been fine but the fact that his body, proportions, and the colors (however good they may be) make him look like a freaky alien threw me off. It’s especially weird looking at the definition in his legs. It’s like the original Sonic Movie poster. Oh God, and those hands! Even the bottom of his feet look gross to me. Like it’s alive or something. The biggest thing that bugged me was the gross lump on his head, yet again. I know it’s not supposed to be a lump but that’s what it looks like.

I know I should probably be more focused on the part of the cover that says “The Future ends… TODAY” and be more celebratory about that but this cover really gave me a lot to talk about. I remember hiding this issue well. Not as much as I hid some of the other ones with even uglier art but we’ll get to those.

Spoiler

Writer: Ken Penders
Penciler: Steven Butler
Letterer: John E. Workman
Colorist: Jason Jensen
Inker: Jim Amash
Special Thanks To: Robert Leffler and Dyna Lopez at Sega Licensing

So yeah, if you couldn’t tell by the cover and the Mr. Bombastic way it advertised it, Romy and Penders are switching places this time. To close out this nightmare vanity project and exercise in frivolity, we’re giving it the first story treatment today.

Knuckles starts the issue by having a meeting with Lara-Su and saying the incredibly natural line of “Since visiting your grandfather --whom I will always regret you’ve never met-- I’ve been doing some serious thinking the past several hours” before getting down to business.

That line is hilarious for a number of reasons. First of which is that last bit of shoehorned reverence for Locke, unnaturally spoken as though he were a machine, smack dab in the middle of it. Second of all, the act of him doing some serious thinking for the last “several hours” on something that he supposedly had his mind made up on for the past… TWENTY YEARS and is about to overturn because of ONE random visit he made to his dad’s grave is just… really fucking stupid.

Like, honestly, I don’t know what about this visit to Locke’s grave was so different from the last that it overturned his stance on something that he was convinced of for two entire decades. It’s not like any new information was gleaned from it. He already knew how his dad died. He was there. Unless this was literally the first time he contemplated these thoughts and feelings about his death in the past twenty years I don’t get what about this has made it so things are different.

Whatever though. Knuckles has gotta admit to being “wrong” for not wanting his daughter to be saddled with a dangerous, self-destructive, grossly mishandled tradition that was better off rotting in the dark ages where it belonged. It’s better to satisfy his daughter’s desire to latch onto a position of privilege that no other echidna will ever have for reasons that have yet to be disclosed. Yes, I still have no clue why Lara-Su wants this position so much. I would have been more than willing to drop the privilege argument if she had done anything but whine about not getting the guardian role to her parents and used "being 16" as the excuse.

Anyway, Knuckles says she’s going to be the next guardian and she hugs him. She’s excited to begin training but Knuckles says it’s not happening until after the current mess is taken care of. Lara-Su says she wants to come with on this dangerous mission but Julie-Su moms her way onto the scene to refuse her. Then after her and Knuckles share a cringey kiss, he heads out to Harry’s cab to go face the danger.

They make a note of Lara-Su being missing which immediately tells me that she’s going to stow away.

Anyway, on the ride over, the four adventurers, Sonic, Knuckles, Rotor, and Cobar, make it to the only awesome looking location this story has shown me so far. These are the Badlands, otherwise known as, the toxic city left to fester in ruin ever since Robotnik’s death.

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They can’t even travel through it without suits on. It’s so cool. I love eerie, creepy looking shit like this. That’s the ominous stuff you can mine from stories about the future that I revel in. Just seeing it and being told it’s what remained of Eggman’s ambition and being given nothing else but that would be enough for me to want to explore it myself and risk being jumped by Eggman’s toxic fucking ghost.

They make it to the main, unused lab where this time device is and despite having bothered to come all the way here under the pretense that someone was going to have to go back in time, they really try hard to reiterate that this thing hasn’t been tested and that doing it won’t ensure he can come back. This was already talked about before so a simple “Are you sure about this?” and an acknowledgement of what would be lost if he didn’t do it would have sufficed. Then again, even now that the plot is going, it’s still finding ways to waste panel space.

To no one’s surprise, back on the ship, Lara-Su opens the chest she was hiding in and steps out only to have a look outside at all the toxic air. It’s a good thing she didn’t leave the ship because she’d be a goner without her own suit, if they only brought four. 

It doesn’t even matter though because she immediately starts to disappear into thin air. She’s… not super surprised by it. She mostly just states that she is in fact disappearing. I want to assume this would have been her going back in time like what happened in the earlier story I read with her but that wouldn’t make any sense considering the circumstances behind how she returned… right? 

I was so confused by this that I actually had to look it up online. What I found out was that the Lara-Su that came to the past in those stories with the Echidna Security Team and Dimitri’s negotiations with the echidnas was from an alternate future that we won’t learn about until the Silver Saga. Her name was Jani-Ca and reading about this now provides some much needed context for THAT confusing as hell story too. I did not like the Silver Saga when I first read it, for a number of reasons, but I feel the added context will do well to help me when I give it it’s much needed second chance.

There were a lot of things about the characters and lore that I was just not getting and I was too stubborn to admit to not knowing at the time.

I didn’t even find out that the tyrannical Enerjak wasn’t just some random echidna but indeed Knuckles until long after I had read it. Somehow I missed that completely.

The reason I was confused here, in this story, was because the current M25YL story I’m reading has nothing to do with the one I’m familiar with that has the tyrant King Shadow. Apparently, Lara-Su disappearing here is supposed to be some sort of thing that alters the timeline because whatever King Sonic does in the past changes things greatly.

You wouldn’t know he succeeded at going to the past and changing things based on the scientists reactions here though.

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Yeesh. 

Then again, if he’s changing things so drastically, they should all be disappearing.

Also, and I’m just now realizing this, but if the timeline is changing that that’s kind of rendered this entire story completely useless right…

……………….Right…? Like………….I just read this whole thing, sat through a bunch of teenagers making out in the park, having sleepovers, talking about making dinner, setting up the dinner, and eating the dinner before action was taken in the final issue of the story only for the timeline to be changed. 

I mean… I guess based on what I’ve read, Lara-Su doesn’t exactly… forget this thanks to Ian Flynn but the original intention of this story…? Was it really just to… say “fuck it” in the end?

I don’t know enough to make any snap judgments about it right now. This is all speculation and I’ll find out how right or wrong I am when I revisit those other M25YL stories with the proper context, years and years after having originally read them, so I can HOPEFULLY actually enjoy them to their fullest. Or still not enjoy them because this idea is stupid but still have respect for Ian’s attempt to “fix” things and give it a proper ending.

As of right now, this was a waste of time.

I sat through all of that garbage for THIS!

I-I-I-I-I--! 

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THAT WAS IT?! 

THAT WAS THE ENDING????!!!!

 

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue #144: Love and Loss

Writer: Romy Chacon
Pencils: Jonathan Gray
Letters & Inks: Michael Higgins
Colors: Josh Ray
Editor: Mike Pellerito

So this story……………………. No, I’m sorry.

I’m still stuck on that ending.

THAT’S HOW MOBIUS 25 YEARS LATER ENDED?! WHAT IN THE NAME OF CAPTAIN PLANET’S SHINY RED UNDEROOS WAS THAT?! THE FUCK?!

I wasted… weeks of my life recapping that shit for THAT ending? People sat down and bothered reading that story for MONTHS on end. No, an entire YEAR! This began in December 2003 and ended December 2004! 

That’s… really gross. Ugh. I may need to go take a shower after this. My God. What a horrible thing to do to your audience. 

Sigh.

So anyway, this story is about girls and females and wahmen. You can tell because the borders of the comic are pink now and surrounded by hearts.

You know, the color pink and hearts, two things that only girls love unconditionally and exclusively. 

I kid of course. It’s just a cutesy aesthetic. I’m just being mean and sarcastic for no reason. 

The story literally begins with the newspaper salesman getting almost mauled to death by a gaggle of girls trying to get the paper for a single column that they ALL read, no exceptions. A little girl has to explain this to him.

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He’s either new to this job or this column is new. Either way, it’s a very specific thing for a specific set-up. I definitely remember reading this story. Which is funny because I remembered NOTHING about the M25YL story still. Even with it being the cover and the main story this time, THIS second story made more of an impression on me.

It’s just a bunch of girls reading love advice they’ve asked from a column in the newspaper. That’s it.

I’m surprised that every girl in this village either has issues with love or are super interested in all the other girls having trouble with their love life. There’s not even really any closure that seems to be had here unless, I guess, they write in telling this Aly person that things worked out well… but seeing as how Bunnie ends up using the pen name “Feeling Terribly Alone” would she have to change it if she no longer felt that way or just write “Previously Feeling Terribly Alone”. Probably the latter.

What am I even talking about?

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Bunnie’s letter is about Antoine and how he’s turned into an asshole. This SOARED right over my head the first time reading it as Antoine had yet to appear in the back issues I was reading. As such, I had no clue they were already in a relationship and that he was the one who she was breaking away from.

This works a lot better with the original context under my belt of course. Things feels better now that I’m re-reading this. 

What is Aly’s advice?

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Is this good advice?

I dunno. I’m the last person to come up with an answer for that seeing as how I’ve never been in a relationship and don’t ever plan to. I have no attraction to either sex and I like it that way but I have a lot of sympathy for those who feel different and want to make a relationship work. I always like seeing cute couples get together and stay together. It’s nice marinating in the knowledge that you could love someone and grow old with them in the comfort and sanctity of a partnership. However, that’s going to be hard to do when it turns out the reason your boyfriend is breaking away from you is because he’s a weirdo from an alternate dimension that wouldn’t think twice about murdering you should he get the chance.

It sounds like sound advice to me though, honestly. Especially the part about not being sneaky. That’s just stalker behavior and you don’t want to be that, do you? 

That said, THIS line was a little concerning.

"Don't expect a male to talk to you about your feelings, it's not real life ladies!"

Yikes. That might be a tad dated. Just a tad.

Next, we have Mina’s entry and this one is really interesting.

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I mean, holy shit. Being in love sounds like it sucks. Glad I don’t have to worry about it.

Seriously though, this is a really nice and surprising turn about concerning the state of Mina’s feelings and how she’s honestly trying to wrestle through them to reach a conclusion that is not only the right thing to do but true to her feelings as well.

The whole thing of Ash being an ass hasn’t really come into play yet. He’s appeared exactly once so far and all he did was give Sonic the glare of the angered and, to be completely honest, I don’t entirely blame him considering what he probably heard about him concerning Mina and her affections for him. It’s most definitely NOT Sonic’s fault but then again, Ash didn’t exactly do anything other than look at him cross-ways either.

So, to hear that Ash would move mountains for Mina in this post really does a lot to sell him as someone who's fully committed to being with her, no ifs ands or buts. Mina also makes it clear that she does still like and appreciate him despite wondering if her lingering feelings for Sonic changes things. 

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Yes, Mina. Compare what you have now to what you had then. What DID you have then? You were navigating the minefield of someone in a relationship with someone else, pointlessly. All it did was make you feel miserable and sad. Meanwhile, you’ve got this guy, who kisses you in the rain, and does everything he can to love and support you with no misery and no other girl to steal his affection for you. 

Do you LOVE Sonic or was that just a childish crush that you’ve grown out of and can’t recognize as anything but love rather than simple friendship? No, of course you don’t. Honestly, if a committed relationship is what you want, Sonic is not the guy to go for. No offense. It’s just true.

Mina doesn’t go for the flickering, barely there old flame. Instead she takes Aly’s advice, calls Ash up, and sets up a nice little date. 

QC4hACglLVIM1E33MqOp3yNgB66tNBsrx1J88R-F2I3JvBaZViNmQSiIzWGCJc10Kvu-MiwXpkwU_T4VenGRingGVIlrLAj_YEIAn69nbjgQozxp5oonrnQS847toEXYZWU25pjI

It’s cute, although, I’m not quite sure why she threw a paper with Sonic’s logo on it in the trash. Was that a trading card or something? A Sonic branded Hallmark card? A paper of symbolism?

Also, is the reason Ash wears clothes so that we can see scenes of him waking up naked in bed? It looks weird is all I’m saying. It wouldn’t look weird on any other guy character too since they’re all already naked. 

It’s like when Paul Atishion walks up to the stand in Ace Attorney and it’s weird seeing him do that when usually, characters just appear there. It’s a completely normal thing to do that doesn't feel normal at all in this context and it’s funny as a result.

Anyway, it’s Amy’s turn. 

This one is… complicated.

xGwv4alr7OCBt0TndwuwlW0KocHw05ZRhOMbS8ZHA6lN6IFuc2g0fnYKMJ93-eIUmrHxXWULiBAv80FyP5SMcgomkq5QM5zRdWOoh-UT56mYHaADAuJEYaZOonNZjPhvKlfptemT

Canonically, Amy is already younger than Sonic by three years. That’s not a huge gap really. My parents have a similar gap in age. The problem comes in when you put it within the context of this comic. Amy had to age herself up to reach this age and even then is still younger than Sonic. So, mentally, the whole aged-up thing is very much a contentious thing.

Within the pages of this story, this relationship really shouldn’t be a thing honestly. If we’re speaking purely from a normal, healthy, responsible angle, it probably isn’t best to champion children wishing themselves physically older and then just hoping that the audience buys that they’ve matured.

Thankfully, I do buy that she has matured. I never even thought she was acting like a brat back when she was supposedly immature like this comic KEEPS insisting for some reason. The only thing that stands out in favor of her immaturity was, ironically, her decision to use the magical whatever to age her physical body. 

However, were I to approach this as the Amy that I know and love, then from that standpoint, I can totally see this as a viable dilemma, no problem.

Amy’s reaction to the response she gets is, however, also rather… interesting.

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She doesn’t get but two paragraphs in before she gags and, after reading the whole thing, tosses the paper in the garbage. It’s kind of great.

I dunno whether the advice was what Amy needed to hear or not but I do kind of admire that the girl knows what she wants. It seems like the only reason she sent the letter in was because she wanted her feelings validated by someone considered a professional at giving advice. Obviously, there was little chance of that happening but I still kind of dig the attempt.

The part of me that wants to ignore professionals and their advice and reach the top without it is kind of soaring a little right now. It’s that prideful part of yourself that wants to look people who say that age has given them experience in the eye and tell them that they’re dumb for thinking that way and prove them wrong. 

I dunno. Maybe this isn’t how I’m supposed to be feeling. Perhaps the comic wants me to see Amy as in the wrong but I’m honestly just smirking and giggling at how great it is that she just told the advice giver to fuck off and that she’s just gonna keep going after Sonic.

The last one is Sally’s and the thing about this that I like is how fucking OBVIOUS it is that it’s Sally. Like, not even to the reader, but to the characters as well. Amy circles back around and takes the paper out of the garbage, no doubt having spotted the really OBVIOUS message that Sally just put in the fucking paper that put her relationship with Sonic on blast.

HMxRMvjunReczTufSqM-4uTN8NhDL7phTbbFK7GZiAlFgsEs6UgzsASTkDVFcgLVELjv21QqXVhxYeoV4s3o3gQ8GaIyWdQwSnc_PYyDOtHYGLy5ymUSQU-DzdpkhO3qw5c2WPxS

Amy, Mina, and Bunnie are all reacting with shock as they read this because they know who this is. She even used the pen name, “Royally Scared” for god’s sake. She might as well have written her own name. 

Like, did Sally forget that this happened ON STAGE in front of, pretty much, the ENTIRETY of Knothole? At Sonic’s own party, no less.

I also like how the border shifts from the cutesy, lovey dovey hearts to this eerie, dank, depressing, and scary looking sea of darkness.

Aly doesn’t have an answer for Sally… or so she says but honestly, the answer she gives seems about as accurate as you could get.

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Can’t say I agree with the “better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all” bit, unless of course, you’re talking about a general sense of love you feel for people like your immediate family. That I can get behind.

Sally also seems to have torn a picture of her and Sonic together in half. That seems to insinuate something far stronger than taking a mere break but… we shall see.

I see now why it was the second story that made the heaviest impression on me and lingered in my mind the most. That was incredibly interesting and it almost made up for the completely bewildering way that Mobius 25 Years Later ended. Navigating the emotions people go through when they’re dealing with these relationships can actually lead to interesting things should it actually be handled with care and written right.

However, that said, it’s still an even 50-50 split in quality. If you want to read an issue that’s literally only half good then I suppose give it a chance but dear lord. I mean it when I say it’s a big fat goose egg in terms of quality with the first story. Younger me didn’t even retain the information and it’s definitely not just because it was the ending to a multiple part story that I only owned three parts of. It’s got nothing in it that holds your attention other than that cool looking toxic city. That one panel didn’t make reading through all of it worth it but it definitely felt nice getting some sort of prize after having suffered through that.

Mobius 25 Years Later was the biggest waste of time this comic has ever foisted onto me. It’s not the worst in terms of content or storytelling because it literally can’t be. It has no content and there is no storytelling. It’s just a bunch of pointless meandering scenes of future versions of characters we’re being forced to accept mingled with a bunch of characters that we don’t know and have no reason to care about. Watch as they gather around to talk about what they’ll eat for dinner.

I’m impressed by this story’s ability to waste time. It should honestly be studied. It’s a magnificent specimen of useless baggage, the likes of which I’ve never seen before or since it’s conception. Well done, Penders you weird, WEIRD man.

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@Dr. Detective Mike Random thoughts:

-I'm personally on the side that I find the Original FF to be a terrible storyline, personality. I think the very fact that they self-inserted a group of characters to be the OG FF that inspires the group takes away Sonic and co's original agency. It's not that the whole world was completely taken over, and now these kids had to pick themselves up and stand against overwhelming odds - no, there was just this group of adult freedom fighters all along that were never mentioned that just so happened to be the greatest role models in Sonic's life!! I don't know, it makes the whole thing a bit lamer in my eyes, and the group as a whole simply falls among the other forgettable Freedom Fighter groups introduced in the book's early years, it reminds me of Tommy Turtle for all the wrong reasons, frankly.

-Fun fact about the first M25YL story this time around - that line about Cobar saying "with affection and respect" was apparently Penders' attempt to show that Rotor and Cobar were actually romantic partners. A fact that became particularly infamous later down the line because IIRC - Penders tried to throw Ian under the bus because Ian later implied that Cobar was killed in the bad M25YL future.

It was then later confirmed by Ian that no one, literally no one knew that this is what Penders intended, because it wasn't remotely set up in the slightest. 

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8 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

-Fun fact about the first M25YL story this time around - that line about Cobar saying "with affection and respect" was apparently Penders' attempt to show that Rotor and Cobar were actually romantic partners. A fact that became particularly infamous later down the line because IIRC - Penders tried to throw Ian under the bus because Ian later implied that Cobar was killed in the bad M25YL future.

It was then later confirmed by Ian that no one, literally no one knew that this is what Penders intended, because it wasn't remotely set up in the slightest. 

I was aware of the romantic partners angle, as I mentioned it with a hand wavy passing comment a few issues back, but I was unaware that such a mundane line of dialogue was supposed to serve as his proof. What a non-committing way to go about that.

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11 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I was aware of the romantic partners angle, as I mentioned it with a hand wavy passing comment a few issues back, but I was unaware that such a mundane line of dialogue was supposed to serve as his proof. What a non-committing way to go about that.

The other hint is in one of the final issues of his run - he also had Eggman call him my "dear Rotor", and Sonic asks him what was up with that, to which Rotor shrugs it off:

50f4eed1272616665410438f56455bab2288377a

It's generally believed that Penders was going to have Eggman know about Rotor's sexuality, and blackmail him over it, which is just horrible.

These two are pretty good posts on the topic:

https://thankskenpenders.tumblr.com/post/187887965273/twelve-chapters-in-we-get-our-big-reveal-this

https://thankskenpenders.tumblr.com/post/188820682949/fun-fact-and-by-fun-i-mean-horrible-remember

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I have no nostalgia for the Archie Comics, they were something I read a few years ago, but I admittedly like a lot of the unpopular ideas of it. Still think Mobius 25 Years Later was boring though. 

I like the idea of the original Freedom Fighters, the execution was average (also the snake thing is dumb). The whole "we solo defended Knothole for 10(?) years" never sat right with me. There needed to be some fall guys along the way. Robotnik throwing the snake in the roboticizer and going overkill on them was cool, maybe too cool.

 

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21 minutes ago, jungle_penguins said:

There needed to be some fall guys along the way.

This is where I really disagree, honestly. Why did there have to be fall guys here? Why did the Freedom Fighters need to be some organised group with all these different official things to it? Why did we need this whole group who built and set up Knothole? Why did we need this group who saved various mobians? Why did we need a group who had all the bells and whistles from Max? Why did we need these guys? 

Introducing this random nameless band of Freedom Fighters in at the eleventh hour steals pretty much all agency from Sonic and the Freedom Fighters. Sonic and co are no longer the only survivors of Eggman's total takeover of the planet. They didn't find the Great Forest, they didn't establish Knothole, they didn't inspire the other Freedom Fighter groups to rise up and fight back. These are kids who already lost everything to Robotnik, and all because of the mistakes of their own parents and family. King Max's foolishness in letting Julian become Warmonger, Chuck's creation of the Roboticiser, all of it ultimately led to giving Robotnik the keys to his takeover, but now the original FF is a group of trusted people left behind by Max, who handle a big deal of cleaning up his mess.

Sonic and co were a scrappy bunch of Freedom Fighters who just lost everything, and needed to rebuilt to have anything resembling a hope, a bunch of kids forced into a war against an evil tyrant. A group that through luck, teamwork, and having the right components were able to mount up a resistance against unconquerable odds and bring hope back to a planet that was enslaved. Why do we need this whole extra level of detail on how the Freedom Fighters are actually this official group of Max's closest associates instead of it simply being Sonic, Sally and everyone rising up to save the planet?

And the Original FF steal all of it away. With the Original FF in the mix, it just makes Sonic some plucky kid inspired by a random wolf guy instead of a rebellious free-spirit fighting back against what he felt was wrong. They don't even serve a purpose as fall guys, Sonic and the FF already had more than enough motivation with everything Eggman took from them, the only thing the Original FF do is take most of their early achievements, and make Sonic and co simple successors to a title. 

The original way Sally made the name in the Super Special is even dumber, but it's less harmful, it doesn't actively steal the agency and achievements of the main cast and give them to a bunch of forgettable OCs.

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6 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

The other hint is in one of the final issues of his run - he also had Eggman call him my "dear Rotor", and Sonic asks him what was up with that, to which Rotor shrugs it off:

50f4eed1272616665410438f56455bab2288377a

It's generally believed that Penders was going to have Eggman know about Rotor's sexuality, and blackmail him over it, which is just horrible.

These two are pretty good posts on the topic:

https://thankskenpenders.tumblr.com/post/187887965273/twelve-chapters-in-we-get-our-big-reveal-this

https://thankskenpenders.tumblr.com/post/188820682949/fun-fact-and-by-fun-i-mean-horrible-remember

I, uh... might have had something to do with (or at the very least, assuming it's the current word fans use, enabled) that "Robotnik blackmailing Rotor over his sexuality" myth back in the day.

Spoiler

 

Yeesh, can't believe I'm referring to 2010 as "back in the day". Guess Ian Chesterton was right that time doesn't go round and round in circles after all.

The whole story started during the last months of 2009, when the original KayPei message board was in its death throes. A mini contest was held by the late BobR, asking if any fans could guess which character they secretly snuck past the censors and into the closet. A few of us threw names into the ring (I hoped it would be Mighty, or being one of the comic characters, Ash or Argyle) until he announced several days later that the character in question was the future version of Rotor, with the official explanation being he was a late bloomer. Reaction from the greater fanbase was... mixed, and caused quite the intense discussions across other forums. Some liked the idea, others outright resented it for homophobic reasons, while most fans brushed it aside saying "Yeah yeah, that's great and all, but what I really wanna know is will Sally hook up with Monkey Khan?"

Fast-forward a year later, and the same subject was brought up several more times on the refurbished forum. T'was at that point the "Dear Rotor" line from later in the run became a source of contention:

DearRotor-A.jpg.7357e87b4f39dd326dc95c4d0b8fda8d.jpg

After some to and fro, the question was put forward once more:

DearRotor-B.thumb.jpg.e693e8eeda036787ab8edeb04bc44ed0.jpg

That should be the end of it, right? But like the discussion from years prior over whether or not ol' Sukini was meant to be killed off for real at the end of '25 Years Later', a challenger appeared:

DearRotor-C.jpg.1146334ff27da5caf5561ddc45f27961.jpg

And the whole thing started up again. There was an extensive shouting match over who said what, which person represented what interest, up to a point where the question over Rotor's sexuality was lost in the malarkey. Aside from his romance with Tommy.

Yes, well this is where we come to the difficult bit. Because a certain local lout couldn't help himself and decided to stretch some fingers:

DearRotor-D.jpg.18ec289ff61a029fb2a27581ecf9901f.jpg

 

 

So yeah, I guess if you're looking to blame someone for this debacle, I'll take it on the chin. It was a different time, and a different me who certainly didn't expect to be revisiting an off-cuff comment about adhering to the continuity of a blue hedgehog's comic book a decade later. That being said, I still like the idea of some LGBT representation in the franchise, and Rotor being different does coincidentally mesh with his profile in the cartoon bible. With the right person at the helm, it could've made for a touching story.


For an added bonus, here's how the discussion ended:

Spoiler

 

DearRotor-E.thumb.jpg.4ae366489296c58ee27ca17887ff9e13.jpg

 

 

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Spoiler
11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Hope looks kind of like a potato.

Really? I think she looks kinda cute in the Chibi style.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

In that special, Sonic’s reaction was “That’s a little extreme” and not “You stole that name from the original Freedom Fighters that we all know and love” so I’m going to wager a guess that my initial hunch back when I first read this was correct. There is some revisionist history happening here.

I mean if there's one thing comics love it's a retcon. Doesn't matter if it's mainstream, indie or a licensed book.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

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Ha Ha. Sir Peckers. I'm eternally 12.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

the egregiously awful story known as “The Good, The Bad, and The Unknown”.

Oh, shit. That's the next arc. You've come full circle dude. XD

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

SycOhrDr7qThKhm0gDI2VR8LDfDS_Edpbmz8-co3vR3jvi1HuMQU3ShREXdQjHETmhceN8mx9KfPyxSmD8kBtinR48H6fmnGnDpbQiarVyQcy4BmhgeoiLaPj6B0PQPFjtRF3cGq

Romy Chacon just called Gallagher an old man.

But like respectfully. Also I don't know if it's the inking or the coloring but whatever it is it's not doing Art's pencils any favors.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The Freedom Fighters is such an important name within the chemical makeup of these books. You’d think some more caution would be taken to make sure an origin for the name hadn’t already been done. Maybe caution was taken and Romy just didn’t find out about the Super Special. He might have thought that they’d have been stupid to put anything crucial in those. Or, if he did know, he just didn’t care. 

I remind you that there's a theory that Romy Chacon might have been Justin Gabrie. So if they weren't aware of the Super Special then and the theory is true then Gabrie really sucked as editor.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The amount of stories that even had Amy in them before the Sonic Adventure storyline were minimal and when she did show up she definitely wasn’t acting like this.

Again just for no reason bringing up the possibility that Chacon might very possibly have been the editor giving himself another check. I also gotta say I do fully understand why you feel the way you do about this but personally it never bothered me. I think it's because at the time I didn't really like Amy because of her portrayal in the games and Sonic X but nowadays I like her more. So that's my bias I guess. I'm not going to defend the story though because it's thesis that Amy has grown is nonsense considering Amy hasn't done jack squat in these comics prior to defending Fort Acorn.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Am I tripping balls or did we already have one of these stories titled “moment of Truth”.

I'll be real with you I don't know. All the M25YL titles blend together for me.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

j51BsLOpOh9VEeCm9Dm5FE_MAjpuUqpCJhMH1c99cjDjqqSD-tMQEbl63TOWdYtb2hCoQbBWzP-CprrF68e0KGT6gkXlBkCxIICrJEW99cb01sj-Isjhw3wPen1inG8u-rQB5OT-

 

10 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Fun fact about the first M25YL story this time around - that line about Cobar saying "with affection and respect" was apparently Penders' attempt to show that Rotor and Cobar were actually romantic partners. A fact that became particularly infamous later down the line because IIRC - Penders tried to throw Ian under the bus because Ian later implied that Cobar was killed in the bad M25YL future.

 

10 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I was aware of the romantic partners angle, as I mentioned it with a hand wavy passing comment a few issues back, but I was unaware that such a mundane line of dialogue was supposed to serve as his proof. What a non-committing way to go about that.

Hey guys c'mon now. He paved the way for Archie to create Kevin Keeler after all. XD I sincerely can't say that without laughing. Also remember in like part 3 when Rotor said they can't just go back in time? Guess he changed his mind about that.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It’s cute but I could see more risque people taking that the wrong way.

You know it's funny. I'm active in the NSFW circles and not once have I ever seen porn of these guys. That's...pretty rare.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

He is a literal traitorous snake.

2vkQoHXcAI3vae3ffbsyyLsgOi_LMv5Miie_fWOuhumTQVdt5Hp2Q6mA4DegRzmJ2tMl8XyH23cQGMTVKvC3I7-sUvI_KbhVjYUNiXb9WLwQFbN3lVqGkWdwTdnUt5yOokbr9nvG

Can we take a moment to appreciate Robotnik's weird transitional outfit between his Warlord outfit and his standard one?

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Uncle Chuck recorded what happened when he was still a robot servant of Robotnik

Uh...I call bullshit on that. If this was before Chuck was freed and spying on Robotnik why would he have recorded this?

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

He then talks about how years later he and the other Sonic Kids decided that the Freedom Fighters would live on through them. That’s totally not how it happened originally but retcons gonna retcon.

I love how later on Ian Flynn never really tries to explain the discrepancies and is just like "Fuck it. Both stories happened."

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We begin with Lara-Su walking out onto the patio butt naked.

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People talk like how horny the art is throughout was all Butler but I think it's pretty clear Penders was pushing for it. I mean I doubt he's Frank Miller level where he literally tells artists to focus on womens asses for panels on end and has Vicki Vale talk about who has the mightier penis Superman or Batman but he still clearly likes his fanservice.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Why is it still a thing at all now that he’s married with a teenage daughter?

Actually he and Julie-Su aren't married. They have a common law marriage and Penders thinks that's so controversial because he's a boomer.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It also ends on Ken paying tribute to how own father, just in case it wasn't super duper fucking clear that Ken was writing this story (and Locke’s entire character) as a means of getting out what it was he thought and felt about his own father.

Yeah that's why I haven't been commenting on this one much.

I understand how Penders feels. I have a pretty shitty dad too and I fully understand the complicated feelings that come with that. Last year he went to the hospital because he felt dizzy and couldn't stand. It turned out to be Vertigo but for hours I was worried it was Covid and it made me realize I don't want him to die I just want to not be living in the same place as him and I'm sure when he does die (most likely from Alcohol abuse) I'll be hit with a ton of conflicting emotions.

Having said that the pages of Sonic the Motherfucking Hedgehog is absolutely not the place to take out your daddy issues! I'm glad that Penders made peace with his father even if I don't know if "My dad was right to treat me like shit" is the healthiest take away but whatever they made their peace and that's wonderful. But using your childhood to inform how you write comics about Sega Video Games s just asinine.

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This cover scared the shit out of me when I got it as one of the back issues back in the day. I was a bit thrown off by the drastic change in art style on the covers from the two before it. That alone would have been fine but the fact that his body, proportions, and the colors (however good they may be) make him look like a freaky alien threw me off.

I think this is the only cover Steven Butler ever did.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Unless this was literally the first time he contemplated these thoughts and feelings about his death in the past twenty years I don’t get what about this has made it so things are different.

That's sadly not ann unlikely scenario. Echidnas seem not very in tune with their emotions.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Yes, I still have no clue why Lara-Su wants this position so much.

Honestly why does Lara-Su want anything? Who the fuck IS Lara-Su? We're at the end and she could be some generic Valley Girl Princess and it'd make zero difference. We know nothing about this character. She has no personality, no unique characteristics she's just yet another bland Penders creation that he tries to attach his ass backwards attempt at Feminism onto by making her scream about how she don't need no man a bunch. This is allegedly the main character and we know fuck all about her. God Penders is just astronomically bad at his chosen profession.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

gSFiz95i6O0isqcBuu9Vow0kXyNbtmzIlA-7GuAFfSc2eV9xmwu3mO0UMBtfj7VxbZFSzwpw_m-wKIub4iOVBHBHxcU-iLZN4atPZ3bMNlN2Il6jjhneWFYuvkr2XtZziu_jEVwq

I'll give Penders this. The fact there's no dialogue save for the end of Cobor's thought does help the eerie feeling of this location.  

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I was so confused by this that I actually had to look it up online. What I found out was that the Lara-Su that came to the past in those stories with the Echidna Security Team and Dimitri’s negotiations with the echidnas was from an alternate future that we won’t learn about until the Silver Saga. Her name was Jani-Ca and reading about this now provides some much needed context for THAT confusing as hell story too.

Technically they do say that she's an Alternate version in the previous story. When she comes back home Julie-Su is all "LOL no. That was a different zone. In this one you're father is a tyrant and I lied to spare your feelings." Also Jani-Ca is just an assumed name she goes by she's still Lara-Su.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I did not like the Silver Saga when I first read it, for a number of reasons, but I feel the added context will do well to help me when I give it it’s much needed second chance.

I hope so because I don't know how civil I can keep myself if we get into a fight over one of my favorite Universe arcs.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The reason I was confused here, in this story, was because the current M25YL story I’m reading has nothing to do with the one I’m familiar with that has the tyrant King Shadow. Apparently, Lara-Su disappearing here is supposed to be some sort of thing that alters the timeline because whatever King Sonic does in the past changes things greatly.

Yeah that's pretty much it. Sonic fixes...whatever caused all this and changed the future. So basically even if this was canon it's not anymore because that's how changing the past works. Personally I headcanon the split literally happening between 159 and 160. The M25YL timeline (Knuckles killing Eggman. Locke having cancer) was the original one (Lara-Su Chronicles included) and everything Ian did is the new way better one that hopefully won't end in boring dinner parties. Also I know were a ways off from Evil King Shadow but it should be pointed out that was Mike Pellerito's idea. He wanted Penders to use him in the follow-up (some say that's why he left) and he just wed to this idea so he made Ian use it in his 2-part conclusion.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Also, and I’m just now realizing this, but if the timeline is changing that that’s kind of rendered this entire story completely useless right…

Yes. Yes it fucking does. You can't even say altering time was Ian's idea because that was literally the entire mission. This was the Endgame. Penders had us sit through 124 issues of jabbering and dinner parties for nothing! Now he is going to have the Lara-Su Chronicles follow up on this story but even then time still altered because in that story Lara was allowed to come with and Penders makes a point of showing the transition from Sega looking characters to his horrible nightmare fuel designs. Literally not a single Goddamn thing was accomplished and everyone's time was wasted. Fuck M25YL!

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This is all speculation and I’ll find out how right or wrong I am when I revisit those other M25YL stories with the proper context, years and years after having originally read them, so I can HOPEFULLY actually enjoy them to their fullest.

Eh, maybe you will but personally I'm not a big fan of Ian's M25YL or 30 Years Later either. They're more action and the characterization is better but IDK I just...don't care about nearly 50 year old Sonic characters and their kids. I will admit he does a lot to make Lara-Su genuinely pretty cool.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue #144: Love and Loss

Writer: Romy Chacon
Pencils: Jonathan Gray

Fun fact about this one. The original pencils and script were destroyed so Jon actually had to go back and rewrite some of it including the Ending where it's revealed that Sally was Ally. He rewrote it to make Sally feel more like she was moving on. But y'know he hates Sally and totally added the slap to his first published comic work to make her look bad.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

-Yc-C4salXnDTFjJAtwK05pU37lR6Uj5OhcssCfLIppjhymzPcOk6P-HQUsKPIllMx97HfiTGjstg-2ENqWIuGQ0bzoCoXo0VDTA2sIluxHQy95sEuax3B-Sg1Zwftem8w-A22w0

For some reason I can't not read this guy in Meowth's voice.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It’s just a bunch of girls reading love advice they’ve asked from a column in the newspaper. That’s it.

This one is definitely one that is pure Your Mileage May Vary. Personally I'm a romantic so I think a lot of this is pretty sweet (or heart breaking in the case of Bunnie) but a lot of people aren't into the lovey dovey stuff so it's probably not for them. I also personally just really dig the dive into everyones inner thoughts. It might also be that my Mom worked as a Security Guard for awhile and somedays me and my brother needed to be dropped off at her work before school and she'd have Delilah on the radio and this makes me think of my memories of listening to the relationship calls.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

"Don't expect a male to talk to you about your feelings, it's not real life ladies!"

g off what I know about him I'm betting this is not one of the parts of the script Jon needed to rewrite. This feels like pure Chacon.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Do you LOVE Sonic or was that just a childish crush that you’ve grown out of and can’t recognize as anything but love rather than simple friendship? No, of course you don’t. Honestly, if a committed relationship is what you want, Sonic is not the guy to go for. No offense. It’s just true.

Yeah even as someone who will defend Sonic's character that's just fact. Sonic is really not a long term boyfriend. Now if you're looking for a Friend With Benefits I'm sure he could swing that.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Canonically, Amy is already younger than Sonic by three years. That’s not a huge gap really. My parents have a similar gap in age

Can you tell Twitter that please? They're calling Sonic and people who ship Sonamy pedophiles because of a fucking three year age gap.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

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Pfft. This scene always makes me laugh. It's legit pretty funny.

 

11 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

HMxRMvjunReczTufSqM-4uTN8NhDL7phTbbFK7GZiAlFgsEs6UgzsASTkDVFcgLVELjv21QqXVhxYeoV4s3o3gQ8GaIyWdQwSnc_PYyDOtHYGLy5ymUSQU-DzdpkhO3qw5c2WPxS

It's funny to me this is supposed to be her making a fake letter to hide the fact she's Ally but the fact Ally has no answer for her honestly just makes it way more obvious they're the same person IMHO.

 

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The idea of Robotnik backmailing Rotor about his sexuality is stupid. Sonic seems like a pretty open minded kind of guy, who wouldn't care if one of his friends was gay.

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1 hour ago, Rogue said:

The idea of Robotnik backmailing Rotor about his sexuality is stupid. Sonic seems like a pretty open minded kind of guy, who wouldn't care if one of his friends was gay.

Yeah Sonic would support Rotor. The problemis that Ken thinks Sonic being cocky is the same thing as being a heartless dick. 

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1 hour ago, Rogue said:

The idea of Robotnik backmailing Rotor about his sexuality is stupid. Sonic seems like a pretty open minded kind of guy, who wouldn't care if one of his friends was gay.

Especially since the context of Rotor being successfully kept at bay by such a genocidal threat over just his social status comes off as way more petty and selfish.

"You let me build my murderous weapons and robotocise civilisations or I tell all your friends you're a homo!"

"OKAY, OKAY! Blast 'em! Kill 'em all! Just don't snitch on me!"

In something like Sonic Boom where Eggman is just a cartoony jerkass and slice of life is actually a developed thing, sure, but such a mundane exploitation just leaves WORSE implications for Rotor, and just the predictable cliche of the bad guy being a politically incorrect slimeball to go with all their large scale atrocities.

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You guys forget how homophobic that period was. Hindsight tends to do that.

It’s still stupid, would be seen as stupid even back then, and would probably still raise eyebrows if it ever came to light, which thank god it didn’t. But...well, it’s Penders, so that pretty much sums the whole thing up.

If this was an attempt at trying to be progressive, I don’t know how that would’ve went. Chances are Sega would’ve intervened even earlier before the lawsuit if that came to light.

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23 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

This is where I really disagree, honestly. Why did there have to be fall guys here? Why did the Freedom Fighters need to be some organised group with all these different official things to it? Why did we need this whole group who built and set up Knothole? Why did we need this group who saved various mobians? Why did we need a group who had all the bells and whistles from Max? Why did we need these guys? 

Introducing this random nameless band of Freedom Fighters in at the eleventh hour steals pretty much all agency from Sonic and the Freedom Fighters. Sonic and co are no longer the only survivors of Eggman's total takeover of the planet. They didn't find the Great Forest, they didn't establish Knothole, they didn't inspire the other Freedom Fighter groups to rise up and fight back. These are kids who already lost everything to Robotnik, and all because of the mistakes of their own parents and family. King Max's foolishness in letting Julian become Warmonger, Chuck's creation of the Roboticiser, all of it ultimately led to giving Robotnik the keys to his takeover, but now the original FF is a group of trusted people left behind by Max, who handle a big deal of cleaning up his mess.

Sonic and co were a scrappy bunch of Freedom Fighters who just lost everything, and needed to rebuilt to have anything resembling a hope, a bunch of kids forced into a war against an evil tyrant. A group that through luck, teamwork, and having the right components were able to mount up a resistance against unconquerable odds and bring hope back to a planet that was enslaved. Why do we need this whole extra level of detail on how the Freedom Fighters are actually this official group of Max's closest associates instead of it simply being Sonic, Sally and everyone rising up to save the planet?

And the Original FF steal all of it away. With the Original FF in the mix, it just makes Sonic some plucky kid inspired by a random wolf guy instead of a rebellious free-spirit fighting back against what he felt was wrong. They don't even serve a purpose as fall guys, Sonic and the FF already had more than enough motivation with everything Eggman took from them, the only thing the Original FF do is take most of their early achievements, and make Sonic and co simple successors to a title. 

The original way Sally made the name in the Super Special is even dumber, but it's less harmful, it doesn't actively steal the agency and achievements of the main cast and give them to a bunch of forgettable OCs.

The Archie universe is vast to the point where Sonic's group were never one of the last standing groups, more like one of the many factions. It's been years but wasn't there some secret service in the east or west or whatever? Archie Knothole is way too large IMO to justify the idea of only a few consistent defenders. I'm mainly liking the idea that there were some adult stragglers who got killed off after helping survivors build Knothole. Like, the story implies the adults were more right place right time rather than entrusted by Max. The whole Freedom Fighter name origin, yeah that was lame. The original group should've just been killed after building the village, have Sonic and friends figure out the battles from there.

I don't think I even disagree with you? Other than I prefer how Archie set up the building of Knothole and how the loyalty to the king lead to the downfall of the few adults remaining. (SATam like Archie also had it be a secret fallback village the whole time, which I didn't like)

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17 hours ago, SBR2 said:

Really? I think she looks kinda cute in the Chibi style.

Potatoes can be cute.

17 hours ago, SBR2 said:

Also Jani-Ca is just an assumed name she goes by she's still Lara-Su.

I know that. That's why I called her "the Lara-Su that came to the past". 

18 hours ago, SBR2 said:

I hope so because I don't know how civil I can keep myself if we get into a fight over one of my favorite Universe arcs.

Well, hearing stuff like that certainly isn't going to help me to look forward to it. Although, I can assure you, on my end I have no intention of fighting about it regardless of what I end up feeling. Just pulling from my memory, a lot of what I was bothered by about it came from lack of knowledge concerning what the hell the story was even about, why it was happening, and what it was connected to. I found out in the coming years and even during this retrospective that it relies heavily on you knowing a lot of the lore and I, as someone who's first Archie book was 181 and then didn't pick it up again and start reading monthly until 194 was not the kind of person who was going to get it. 

Plus, a lot of things about the book irritated me at the time that I either don't care about nowadays or have gotten over. My opinions on Archie and it's continuity have changed drastically with time, which is one of the reasons why covering the later stories is going to be just as important as me having covered the stuff I didn't read before. Honestly, maybe even a little bit more.

18 hours ago, SBR2 said:

It's funny to me this is supposed to be her making a fake letter to hide the fact she's Ally but the fact Ally has no answer for her honestly just makes it way more obvious they're the same person IMHO.

Sally is supposed to be Aly? Okay then...

It was obviously her letter that was being read in the last story but aside from the name "Aly" there wasn't anything there to make me believe that she was the one giving relationship advice. It seems weird that Sally of all people would be giving this advice to all these girls (especially, unintentionally, Amy) and then... publish a letter in the newspaper addressed to herself. 

When you say Jon rewrote it, did you mean to say he got rid of the part where it was revealed she was Aly?

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5 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Well, hearing stuff like that certainly isn't going to help me to look forward to it.

I was mostly exaggerating. I have no intention of getting into a shouting march. But I will defend story choices. That's kinda my problem I'm, overly defensive about really stupid shit.

5 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sally is supposed to be Aly? Okay then...

It was obviously her letter that was being read in the last story but aside from the name "Aly" there wasn't anything there to make me believe that she was the one giving relationship advice. It seems weird that Sally of all people would be giving this advice to all these girls (especially, unintentionally, Amy) and then... publish a letter in the newspaper addressed to herself. 

When you say Jon rewrote it, did you mean to say he got rid of the part where it was revealed she was Aly?

Ok here's what happened either you skipped the last page or your scans didn't include it because the story doesn't end with Sally's letter it ends with a finale page that reveals that Sally was Aly the whole time and had started the column too help her get over her break up with Sonic but finding that this way of helping her people felt so rewarding that that part faded away.

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19 hours ago, Rogue said:

The idea of Robotnik backmailing Rotor about his sexuality is stupid. Sonic seems like a pretty open minded kind of guy, who wouldn't care if one of his friends was gay.

Nevermind Sonic. Why would EGGMAN bother with such an idiotic plan, I'm not saying he's some socially conscious white knight but things like sexuality are so far off his radar I just don't  him bothering with that. Why does your preferences matter when everyone is gonna end up as his mindless slaves anyway after all. Not to mention I don't really see anyone in Rotors circle would even care....OK maybe Max would but still it's a dumb plan 

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