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8 hours ago, SBR2 said:

Ok here's what happened either you skipped the last page 

I skipped the last page. I guess the page before it seemed like a natural ending point.

Reading the actually ending makes this story seem really weird though. 

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #145: Shadows of Hope

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As Amy said at the start of Team Rose’s Final Fortress level in Sonic Heroes; “Here we are”. 

Not only is Ken Penders the headliner now that Bollers is on his way out but he’s teamed up with Ron Lim for this first story. It’s a match made in… the place opposite of Heaven. Since we’re officially at the point where I own all these comics now, I’m going to read the physical issues and just post the appropriate images that I need. It’ll be a bit more comfy reading them that way, though, it won’t be any less a strain on me mentally.

Spoiler

Writer: Ken Penders
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letterer: John Workman
Colorist: Jason Jensen
Editor: Mike Pellerito

The very first image this comic opens on brought back a host of memories into my mind when I was first reading these back issues as an early teenager. Namely, the fact that this image of Shadow was really gross and I had no clue why these older comics looked so terrible.

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It was a bulbous monstrosity to me and every inch of his body looked like weird tumors. I vaguely recalled that comics I had seen Linkara review had artwork that looked super realistic and kind of freaky in their attempts to be rather realistic as well, so I figured that’s just what this was. However, I usually tended not to like how those looked either, which was a big reason as to why it’s hard to get into comics. 

The Ron Lim artwork inside is business as usual for the man too. It’s not great. Hope especially looks off considering she kind of has what looks like an adult’s head on a tiny girl’s body to me.

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Shadow starts the issue off spying on Hope. The narration boxes start here and they’re extremely confusing to read for the first couple of pages.

The reason being that the person speaking in these boxes doesn’t show up until the second page and he isn’t in any of the panels where the narration boxes appear. As such, when the issue began, I thought it might have been Shadow who was doing the inner monologue. His questioning as to why two people were meeting and why he was spying on Hope seemed like it would have made a bit of sense but I wasn’t so sure.

It wasn’t until I kept reading that I understood it was actually this cloaked, hooded figure. He’s currently unknown but Shadow figures him to be an enemy. Why? Well, he asked the hooded man to state his alignment and because this guy is being written by Ken Penders, the man responds with “I am neither friend nor foe, just someone in need of your abilities”. 

It’s that cryptic bullshit you all know and love.

Obviously, the fact that this narration is happening at all is a testament to that as well. These boxes of introspection aren’t doing anything to make this guy seem more mysterious. If anything it’s just really annoying. It’s times like these where the story should be reliably well-written enough to get across what you want us to feel about him, you know.

Shadow refuses to help this guy and walks away, only for the guy to pull on a piece of string that Shadow conveniently walked right onto and makes him trip. Don’t know what the guy would have done had Shadow walked in any other direction or made a slightly bigger stride with his legs but hey, I guess the guy in the brown hood is clever or whatever.

Shadow tackles the guy and they get teleported away but not before Hope shows up to check out the commotion, which sends her teleporting with them.

Shadow ends up getting kicked into a tube where he starts to have his own mental narration boxes, colored red to differentiate between the ones we got before that were yellow, that recount all the other times he’s… been inside a tube.

It’s kind of funny. He was just in a fight and now, for an entire page, he’s contemplating the amount of times he’s been in a tube and how different the other kinds of tubes he’s been in were. Professor Gerald had a tube of healing nutrients. The BEM had a tube that had something similar. 

Oh but this tube isn’t anywhere near as special as those other tubes.

So, anyway, Shadow once again demands an explanation.

The cloaked figure takes off his hood and NOOOOOOOO!

FUCK!

Yeah, no, of course it’s fucking Locke.

GODDAMMIT! Come on Penders! Seriously? You can’t write a SINGLE main series story without inserting either this asshole or some other echidna into it?

I can’t believe I was about to give the man the benefit of the doubt when I saw this story was about Shadow. In my mind I was like “I’m surprised he’s bothering to do a Shadow story as his first foray back into mainstream Sonic again” but fuck me. Of course, Locke’s here. 

He’s also speaking in riddles again too. Instead of immediately saying that he wants to get the guardians back he starts asking him pointless feelings questions and then has this weird line about how Shadow’s not a vegetable.

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I assume Penders was trying to be poetic or scientific here but… I dunno. Pointing out to Shadow’s face that he’s not a vegetable seems a little silly no matter what the intention behind his words might be.

The fact that he said “from what I can tell you’re not a vegetable” is also kind of fun. Like, I guess, since Cosmo exists I have to kind of grant him the possibility…?

Anyway, he says he needs Shadow’s help to bring back his family. At first, I was CONFUSED as fuck. The comic pointing out the events of Issues 138-141 didn’t help matters either. When did he lose his family in those issues? It was then, after racking my brain for a couple of seconds, that I remembered the Brotherhood was gone.

I wiped them clean from my memory. I was SO ready to forget they existed. You’ve no idea. Silly me thought he was talking about his son that he yelled at for saving his people and then daring to go save some other people that weren’t echidnas and the wife who divorced him and remarried because he microwaved their baby and treated her like shit. They weren’t currently missing or in danger so I was confused. That’s my mistake for considering the two of them his family. It won’t happen again.

The obnoxious bolding of the letters comes into play yet again too. It’s standing out hardcore now. Especially when Hope runs out of the darkness to confront Locke about letting him go. 

“If you mean him NO harm, why don’t you LET him GO?” 

None of those words needed to be bolded. MAYBE the GO at the very end but come on.

Shadow starts to get PTSD flashbacks to when he was put inside another tube to be sent down to Earth in the Space Colony. Hope looks like Maria and Locke is kind of looking like the asshole authority figure that’s about to shoot her. That’s all it takes for him to burst out of the glass and tackle Locke to the ground in an attempt to beat the shit out of him.

Of course, even though what’s happening here is kind of obvious through the visual representation, we need Locke to narrate about how he totally figured out what was happening. Can’t have him look too bad here after all.

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"He may have gotten me caught off guard but I figured out WHY! That means I am the smart!"

Honestly, I can’t even really be happy about the fact that he’s beating Locke’s ass because the way this story ends makes it seem like he almost planned this.

Locke uses his chaos powers to try and drive Shadow back (didn’t even know he had chaos powers but I probably wasn’t paying attention because I hate him) and Shadow still comes out on top.

Locke says that the reason is because Shadow had something he lacked. “Killer instinct” is what he says. 

I say that’s horseshit but whatever. He’s gonna say whatever the fuck he wants.

When Shadow is on top of Locke about ready to cave his face in, Hope tells Shadow to stop because two wrongs don’t make a right and right now she’s more afraid of him than Locke. That really kind of made my annoyance meter flare a bit but again, fine. I guess since he’s the victor it means he looks scarier now that he’s trying to ensure this man who attacked him and threw him into a tube stays down. 

Shadow’s manner of speech, for some reason, gets reduced to that of a caveman. He turns to hope and just says “YOU NOT MARIA! ME WANT MARIA! ME NO NEED FRIENDS!” and then… flies away? 

I want to say he jumped but no. Shadow can fly.

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I must go now. The Space Colony Ark needs me.

So yeah, Shadow just flies away after saying “You’re not Maria” twice in a row in response to what Hope says. A bit strange but not as strange as the last panel where it implies that Locke… set this up? Maybe?

“Things didn’t go so well TODAY, Hope, but there’s always tomorrow?” means what exactly?

He called Hope by name even though she never told him his name and she never said it out loud to him. I also don’t recall these two meeting face to face before but that might be my faulty memory again. Are they conspiring together to trick Shadow into helping Locke? 

That can’t be though because Locke’s opening narration outright says that he drew an innocent into the line of fire which means he didn’t mean for her to get involved.

So what does this last panel exist to do? 

I’m so confused.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #145: Training Day

Story: Karl Bollers
Pencils: Al Bigley
Inks & Letters: Michael Higgins
Colors: Jason Jensen

Is this the last hurrah for our dear friend Karl Bollers? Yup. It has to be. Let’s see how he does.

Eggman is giving a presentation to an unknown source that presumably works under him. His monitor displays the images he needs to get his points across, although, the powerpoint seems to have fucked up if it’s intention is to show these targets as a threat. Just look at Sonic.

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His legs aren’t just noodles here, they’re flailing and look super tiny like they almost belong on a Minion from Despicable Me. 

The next slide he shows is of Tails and the fox boy looks better but the pose and facial expression reads like some kind of a sassy business man. 

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“Eyyyy Eggman! Come on bro. We dance, we kiss, we smooze, we come home happy, eh?”

I do love Eggman’s follow-up line of “This twin-tailed flying fool is a threat to all things sacred”. Like, Jesus. That’s quite the heavy endorsement. Like Shaggy, he’s apparently only been using 1% of his power.

Even funnier than him heaping all this praise onto Tails is the image he uses to show Sonic and Tails’ friendship.

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Tails looks adorable hugging him like that but the way Sonic is holding him and looking forward with those eyes makes it impossible not to imagine them in bed together. It’s such a suggestive pose and for no reason too.

He goes through both Knuckles and Amy next in much the same way. None of their images are as funny though. He stops at those four, having effectively read off their stats from the video game manual he has. I can only assume it has to be that because it’s the only reason I can see him choosing the four from the main games and not mention a single Freedom Fighter. 

Either that or the point of this story was just to… I don’t know, give a refresher on the four main characters of the games for… the people reading the ARCHIE book where the main characters are … the Freedom Fighters? 

Yeah, I gotta say, this whole thing left me scratching my head. I’ve no idea why this was here. I figured there was going to be a funny punchline at the end to somewhat justify it since we weren’t seeing who he was talking to but at the end we pan out to see he’s just talking to a gaggle of his robots. 

So what the hell? I’m guessing these are all freshly created robots too since I assume they would have to know this already. Also, why not just download the information into their heads? Maybe since failing to get his teaching degree he just prefers doing it like this? I assume tomorrow’s lesson is going to be on the Freedom Fighters then? I don’t know.

If this is Bollers’ last story I suppose it being just a simple rundown of the main characters and what they mean to Eggman is an appropriate way to leave but in the confines of this book, I’ve no clue why it was written or what it’s supposed to add.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #145: Harbinger

Writer: Ken Penders
Artist: Dawn Best
Inker: Jim Amash
Letterer: Jeff Powell
Colorist: Jason Jensen

Another Penders story. Dawn Best is back which I’m semi-happy about. Dawn’s art is usually a mixed bag when it comes to certain characters it seems. Or, hell, sometimes it’s randomly bad and fine the next panel. It’s hard to get a read on.

The opening line is terrible by the way. It was so bad I momentarily forgot who was writing this and seriously asked myself, “Who wrote that?” but when I remembered who did I mentally slapped myself. I don’t know how something could be so bad that I could forget who was writing it only to instantly remember but it happened.

It’s just the typical, “The sun is shining, the birds are singing” line that you see at the beginning of most comedies. I expect the narrator of the Powerpuff Girls to say a line like that. Except, Penders doesn’t really do comedy so I can’t help but take it seriously.

Tails is reading a book or two and while he’s doing that an explosion happens several hundred miles away. 

Okay.

We cut to Sonic playing darts against Ash. When he misses, he makes the best face and says a wonderfully dumb line.

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Even the spontaneous muscles he grew didn’t ruin this moment.

Sonic gets upset at Ash because he taunted him about missing the board before it happened and then when it did happen his ego shattered to pieces. Luckily for Sonic’s ego, when Ash goes next he misses the board completely. Sonic, at the very least, still hit the board. It just bounced off and didn’t count.

Tails finds out something shocking in one of the books he’s read about their use of technology. This oughta be good.

He goes to Rotor who is catching the seismic activity of something powerful that just rocked Knothole. No doubt the explosion from earlier had a hand in that. Tails is REALLY gung-ho about going to check it out but Rotor kind of shoots him down about it. He makes a point of needing permission.

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He goes on about them just being the tactical and logistical support team and how Sally isn’t support or combat but the leader. It’s all a bunch of words, most of which are meaningless. All of them have gone out in direct combat and support before. It means nothing.

Tails’ mistake here was thinking this to be a Sonic video game where he and Sonic can just… GO and do the heroics but no. Here he needs permission and it kind of sucks. Not gonna lie.

Tails doesn’t really agree with Rotor’s assessment but doesn’t tell Rotor that. He goes off sulking by himself until he sees Ash and Mina walking away together. Tails wonders where Sonic is until he hears Ash say “He’s so obnoxious, Mina” and then instantly knows where to find him, which is actually funny. Good job Penders. You did it. 

Tails goes inside the room and finds Sonic who surprises him by saying he actually knocked on his door earlier and he didn’t answer meaning he was just THAT into his book. Tails then sheepishly asks if Sonic has any plans for the next few days.

The next scene is of Sonic packing his stuff to leave. He especially can’t forget his A-Pod!

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A-Pods are such a thing of the past Sonic. You need yourself the next A-Phone 5SCXXL. It comes with the courageous lack of a headphone jack and it powers it’s battery by being put into the microwave. Try it out.

Sonic and Sally share a moment as Sonic and the rest of the gang that are going off on the mission depart. Sally is thinking about whether or not this will be the last time she’ll see Sonic while Sonic is thinking about maybe asking her to come along. He doesn’t though and they take off with Sonic keeping all his scattered thoughts to himself.

The last shot of the comic is of a foot that clearly belongs to Shadow entering some abandoned base and proclaiming to no one that now that he’s found the prototype from Professor Gerald’s encrypted data-files… what now?

I presume he just stands there, staring at the thing and whistling to himself, waiting for something to happen or for the heroes to arrive. Either one.

Uuuuuuhhhhhhhh okay. This issue wasn’t very good. The first story was annoying in ways that seem minor on the surface but pile up to be one small exercise in testing my patience. Seeing Locke just immediately involve himself in the story as soon as Penders is back at the forefront of the comic was just pathetic. The second story was pointless despite being mildly entertaining for some of the strange art and lines. The last story was just a set-up for another story seen through the eyes of Tails. I don’t quite know what the significance of what Tails discovered in his book is yet but it feels weird that I only know of that significance because of a random thought bubble he had that just gets tossed to the side so that Rotor can say a bunch of things about why they can’t do the mission only for them to go do the mission. He just rattled off a bunch of things that were technically true but also things that have and will be ignored so it essentially felt like a waste of time. A lot of this was just set-up and that would normally be alright but somehow it was done in a way that still felt superfluous.

Anyway, next in the main series we’re going to tackle what was, at the time I read them, the worst written story I had ever read about Sonic, ever. I can’t wait to read for the third time in my life, “The Good, The Bad, and The Unknown”. A case study in WTF if there ever was one for me. At least at the time.

 

Sonic X - Issue #25: The Color Sonic

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Okay… THIS issue is actually very near and dear to my heart. It feels nostalgic just looking at this cover. This was the second issue of an Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic I’d ever bought. The first one I had ever bought was issue 181 of the main series that came out a month earlier. I didn’t buy any more until way later so these two particular issues stand out quite a lot to me. As such, it’s going to be damn near impossible for me to be too critical of it, no matter what my current opinion on the story might be. I doubt it’ll be anything too bad considering the earlier issues but it’s starting to hit me that, even in the main book, we’re nearing some insanely nostalgic stuff for me.

Also, I love this call back to the first cover. It’s Sonic on that same road but all these other Sonics are crowding around him, trying to steal his space. It’s kind of great.

Spoiler

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

Breaking out my old as fuck copy of Sonic X Issue 25 felt surreal. This thing is still all together despite some visible degradation. This was before I bought protective comic covers of course. I just picked one up because it had Sonic’s face on it and stuck it in my room.

The issue begins with the situation already in progress. Four different colored Sonic’s are running around, making mayhem wherever they go. It’s madness of the highest order.

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At least until we come upon the orange one who I guess just wants some free meals. Then again, if we ran out of wings because of this bastard he’s going to the top of the list.

We cut to the Thorndyke residence as Cream, Cheese, Ella, and Sonic are watching Scarlet Garcia give a news report about the multi-colored Sonic’s. 

Obviously, no one believes they’re actually him but they do wonder if they have any connection to him. At first I was wondering why no one was bothering to suggest this might be Eggman’s doing but turns out, it’s not Eggman’s fault either.

No, this is the work of S.O.N.I.C.X, more notably, the sloppy work of Dr. Narasu. After the real Sonic races off to deal with the fakes, before Cream can inform the others for help, Commander Passer walks in on Narasu to shout and spit in his face about how no one is buying the colored Sonics as the real one.

A definite problem, to be sure, if the intention is to get people to hate him but still, personal space my guy.

To be fair though, Narasu’s explanation for why this isn’t his fault is hilariously bad. 

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It’s like, yeah alright but… “You couldn’t make them BLUE?” which is a great response to all that gobbledygook. 

Just add some food coloring into the concoction. Or literally have them roll around in paint. What the hell doctor? No wonder you lost your tenure. Your chimeras would have come out even worse than the Shou Tucker project.

Hector Dragg tells the two of them to stuff it because the Organizer is on the house phone. He calls the group together to show them the news report where Sonic himself has indeed been drawn out but he’s challenged them to a fight to clear his name. Passer tells Narasu to continue finishing the last one he’s working on but hopefully the clones will take him out.

They arrive in a spiral of colors that has them all making for a rainbow jump that Sonic had to have been proud to have done. 

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Look at him. He knows what he did. 

Although, I’ve noticed that the yellow one is always looking nervous in most of his shots. Seems like he’s just kind of along for the ride because he can’t go against his programming. Knowing what happens I almost feel bad.

These multicolored Sonics all suck though. They bash into each other and smack against the buildings trying to get at the real one but all they do is property damage. It’s still a bad thing but it’s not what they’re trying to do at the moment.

Still, it’s a problem seeing as how Sonic can’t fight them off and protect all the people they’re hurting in the process. One of them even caused a street light to land on another person’s car, which would have made me livid if it had happened to me.

Luckily, Cream did manage to call for help and the cavalry arrives to make the other Sonic’s look even dumber and to give Knuckles an early Christmas present.

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Knuckles may honestly want to just keep one of these for himself just in case he ever feels like he needs a Sonic shaped punching bag to relieve some stress. That sounds like it’d be fun.

There are quite a lot of cool shots in this issue. I wish I could just show them all but I think I’m preaching to the choir when I say that Tracy’s stuff is usually really good. 

My copy of the issue then interrupts this program for a seven page long, and I’m not joking, SEVEN PAGE LONG mini-comic about the Goldfish Graham Cracker characters. You know, the snack that’s filled with crack or whatever the slogan is? Those guys. 

I always skip it. I’m not sure if I’ve ever decided to read it but I certainly didn’t bother doing it now.

When we cut back to the action, they’re playing ping-pong with the orange Sonic.

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It’s more pleasing than it probably should be to see Sonics get bullied like this. 

Sonic tells Knuckles that the reason he was having trouble was because they were attempting to harm the civilians. However, the conversation grants him a glorious idea and he races off towards someone who can actually solve all his problems for him.

Who? Why it’s the great mad genius Dr. Eggman of course!

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Bocoe and Decoe wake Eggman up from his nap at Bokkun’s request because of how stunned he is that an army of Sonics just came over the hill. Eggman thinks it’s a nightmare and immediately just throws an army and a gaggle of missiles at them all.

Sonic pretty much dances out of the way but the clones suck so they get blown the fuck up. 

It’s funny because Narasu said they technically weren’t clones but like… non-living carbon constructs. Basically they’re like robots made of organic molecules or whatever. But like… Sonic didn’t know that. It’s kind of funny he’s so cool with blowing them up. 

It’ll never not feel a bit dark seeing him hold up the remains of one of them. I know it’s not technically a severed foot but it feels like it is.

Although, it’s kind of offset by the goofiness of them plastering their shadowy organization’s logo on the sole of the clone’s feet.

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Eggman goes back to bed, thinking he was dreaming still. Which is funny considering he must think he’s dreaming of going back to bed right now. What is that? Double the sleep? It must mean double the rest!

Sonic races his way back to Prison Island, bursts through the open doors, and sees Narasu whining about how much he sucks.

Still, he managed to finish the latest clone and this last one is a true doozy. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the actual main villain of Modern Sonic’s most recent outing.

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Let’s go! It’s time we settled this buddy.

The two Sonic’s go at it and Sonic uses this opportunity to just demolish all of Narasu’s capsules and science junk. The fight goes on for a bit until the other members of S.O.N.I.C.X come in and see all the damage and shit.

They ask Narasu “Dude, what even?” and he tells them that Sonic is here.

So they spot his silhouette in the smoke and take to firing their laser guns at him!

Like Jesus, they REALLY want to kill him!

Hector even picks up the severed foot of the Sonic they killed and is all happy about it. Like “YAY! HE’S DEAD! LOOK, I’M HOLDING HIS REMAINS!” 

You guys need help.

Now, obviously, the one they blew up was the Classic Sonic looking motherfucker.

_2UocqKEXbEhurf8FmtWOkXJxBvp0srtXFS9RUEmCKDDA3I0M-4GYsYg-aafD9TInhjY7-qW1_Scl5iM5moeSBdXNnSCMTZfhMqxZtm4b8nYCToYFeZJqX7-vmyMG1o2-dZmc-oL

There goes Sonic, laughing like a maniac because he got the version of Sonic that came to steal his thunder in Sonic Forces fucking murdered. 

What a world we live in. Classic Sonic is dead and Modern Sonic has gone insane. It truly is the darkest timeline.

Still, gloating about killing his Classic self comes easy to him when it comes time to give his side of the story to the news. He even thanks his friends for the help as he speaks with Scarlet Garcia.

Eggman and his group are aware of this happening but they’re a bit preoccupied seeing as how Eggman is about to delight us with one of, if not, the best thing to ever come out of these comics.

The man, the myth, the motherfucking legend is coming.

El Gran Gordo is here!

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Hell yes. 

For some reason I never picked up the next issue. I was still a greenhorn when it came to comics and how they worked at the time. I had no clue how to go about getting the next one as I just came across it one day at random on a trip to the mall that wasn’t even scheduled by me. I had no car and I also didn’t even know the date for the next issue’s release.

I eventually got how it worked and thankfully was able to get fat stacks of the older issues delivered to my doorstep when it came to the main books but unfortunately Sonic X is a lot harder to come by in this regard. It’s still doable though. You just gotta know where to look.

There it is. One of the most nostalgic issues of a Sonic the Hedgehog comic book I own. Going back through it, I'm actually kind of surprised that I not only still enjoy it but kind of think it’s a bit better than I remember. It’s weird. I liked it when I first got it but I was a bit lost on the details due to stepping in at Issue 25 at the time and even then it still felt like too simple of a story. However, with added context, it comes together nicely. The cheeky horror-esque nature of seeing a bunch of Sonics just die like that is also more funny to me nowadays as well. If anything, I’m glad this was something I randomly decided to pick up so long ago. I had another chance to pick up another issue of the book and I remember not doing it because the number wasn’t the literal next one. Might have been my desire to keep things neat and orderly fucking with me or something. I regret it now. 

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #146: The Good, the Bad and the Unknown - Part 1 of 4: Prototype

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I remember looking at this cover and kind of anticipating what was inside. It looks really fucking cool. It’s a nice cover with a drawing of Shadow that doesn’t look like ass. It actually looks really, really good. So to go from that to what I saw inside wasn’t very pleasing to me. I hope beyond a “Shadow” of a doubt that this story ends up being better than what I remember. Hohoho! Lame jokes ahoy~! Anyway, the third time’s the charm, hopefully.

Spoiler

Writer/Inker: Ken Penders
Artist: Steven Butler
Letterer: John Workman
Colorist: Jason Jensen
Editor: Mike Pellerito

The Good, the Bad and the Unknown is a story I’ve read exactly twice before. Once when I first got the back issues and again when I tried to articulate my thoughts as to why I hated it on those old deleted SEGA forums. This will be my third time reading this story, several hundreds of years after the last time I read it. As such, the particulars will most likely be lost on me aside from the fact that it’ll be confusing and have a ton of frivolous dialogue in it, namely from a golden Gamma looking robot named Issac. We’ll get to the insane robot later though.

This story begins with Shadow punching Sonic in the fucking face.

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We’re actually off to a really good start here.

Shadow and Sonic have a fight, which is great. I don’t think the two of them have really had that in this book yet, at least not in any extended capacity. I think Shadow hit Sonic once when he was confused but Sally stopped Sonic from retaliating back then. 

It’s a good fight though. I especially liked seeing Sonic use the water valve to spray Shadow with water before running off.

Steven Butler is a good artist, for sure. At the very least, he’s no Ron Lim. Still, there’s always been something about his art that’s never fully endeared me. Usually, whenever I see him, I tend to count my lucky stars that it’s him and not someone else I dislike. It's not like J. Axer where I was excited to see him draw stories for the book.

We’ve obviously begun this story in media res since the last issue didn’t end on these two even being anywhere near each other.

Of course, immediately reading the comic that fucking narration box shows up again and not only does it start trying to use big words like a big boy, it kind of poisons Shadow to do the same.

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Granted, Shadow’s line is generally fine. It’s not as needlessly flowery as “the sentient known as Shadow TABULATES his next move--!” so whatever.

These narration boxes are annoying as shit and they ONLY show up whenever Penders is writing a story. Or, at least, they only show up with this amount of frequency when he’s writing a story. It’s definitely not this hard to write comics without them, speaking as someone who's dabbled with trying to make comics before. I’m no expert but I know enough to know that over-reliance on narration boxes is a bad sign. He uses them as a crutch. If comics weren’t a visual medium then it could be forgiven more often but they are so it’s not.

The footsteps Shadow heard were Bunnie, Tails, and Tommy Turtle. Yeah, Tommy’s here and he’s a part of the group now I guess. I’ll admit, it’s very strange that he’s just been grafted into the group like this but again, I’ve yet to really get the sense of hatred that’s come his way just yet either. Doesn’t seem like he’s intruded on too much since the Tommy Trilogy but I may be jumping the gun.

Shadow… goes around the complex thinking to himself about how he USED to have problems navigating around here and how he’s examined tons of stuff. He slides through a tube and lands right in front of Issac, whom he’s already familiar with.

See, THIS is one of the reasons why this story confused the hell out of me when I first read it back in the day. Without the context of the earlier issues, I had no idea if Shadow knowing what all this stuff was had been something that was established already. Turns out, no, it hadn’t. Shadow just examined this place and met Issac off-screen.

So not only has this story begun in media res, without us seeing what transpired to get Sonic and Shadow to start fighting or even how Sonic got separated from the Freedom Fighters or even what it is they’re currently trying to do but ON TOP of that, Shadow is going on about how he knows a bunch of stuff that just last issue he didn’t know at all. So we’re in the dark about literally everything concerning what both sides know right now.

You can imagine how extra confusing that made me when I originally attempted to read this due to not knowing anything about what happened before 142. Honestly, this was already really weird seeing as how 146 here felt like it began in a really random way. Nothing about 142-144 had anything to do with this and 145 was mostly set up for THIS story but done in a way that doesn’t cover any of the events we’ve missed at the start of this issue.

If Penders wanted a cold open that began in media res, that’s fine, but it gets a bit dicey when more and more stuff is being kept secret from the audience. Especially when you KNOW he plans to make the answers to these questions the most complicated shit imaginable.

Anyway, here’s Issac.

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Issac is insane. Though, the original intention wasn’t meant for him to be but that comes later.

Right now, we have to sit here and listen to Shadow recount all the things that led to this point. For some reason, Shadow is talking like a machine here. He refers to “memories” as buzzing in his head and then corrects the statement by saying they’re images and then finally lands on the term memories. It’s all very strange.

Shadow dives off a cliff in his flashback and talks about having entered an abandoned facility where he found Issac. He ended up releasing him, thinking he was maybe a product of Professor Gerald. We also get more talk about how Shadow could relate to Issac because he was stuck in a tube. He even says “Though you were not immersed in fluids as I had been, the similarities to my experience far outweighed the differences” implying that tube buddies stick together, fluids or no fluids.

Then we get to the part that made my head smoke and explode in confusion when I read this as an early teenager. Reading it now… it’s… not AS confusing but still comes off as a bunch of noise.

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I suppose what helps is the fact that I’m definitely not supposed to know who the fuck Professor Clarke and Doctor Niven are supposed to be. Back then I had no clue what to make of these names. I figured they had to have been people of relative importance because at this point, my knowledge of the comics was pretty scattered.

Since my first official book was 181 and I didn’t start collecting regularly until way later at 193, the gap in time between the more recent issues at the time still made it plausible that the reason they weren’t around in the current story might have been because they were dealt with in that space where I had no clue what transpired. On top of that, everything before 142 was still a mystery to me.

I had no clue whether or not I should or shouldn’t know who those people were but I figured if the story itself was more coherent at being its own thing, it wouldn’t matter. That ended up being the case for the later issues that Ian Flynn wrote. 

That did not turn out to be the case for this story.

You see, at the time, I had no idea what a Ken Penders was. All I knew was what I could see with my eyes and that was the realization that “WOW! This book magically gets a hell of a lot better at Issue 160!”

So, whoever this Clarke person is they created Issac over… TEN MILLENNIA AGO!

tenor.gif

You know I… don’t want to question the validity of technology in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. After all, the echidnas had advanced technology on Angel Island stretching back 4000 years or so right? 

… But TEN THOUSAND YEARS AGO?!

… I mean… I guess. I dunno. Perhaps I CAN ignore what my brain is telling me and go along with that absurd as fuck number. Mobius is supposed to be a post-apocalyptic version of Earth or whatever now right?

Well, anyway, Shadow doesn’t find any info on him here. Big surprise considering he was aboard the Ark but I guess he doesn’t remember that.

Fiona and Rotor find Sonic hunched over some machinery, looking beaten to hell. I’m more surprised that Fiona is here. I guess I missed her when the plane took off last issue. Once again, Fiona is a character that’s kind of just… around. She hasn’t had any focus whatsoever since, honestly, the very first story she appeared in. It’s getting harder and harder to understand why anyone would be upset by the heel turn she does later.

Rotor contacts Bunnie and tells her that Sonic’s injured and to go get the Medi-Kit. She does that, leaving Tails and Tommy behind despite the fact that Tails doesn’t know where to find Sonic and Rotor and Bunnie took their ONLY comm-link. I’m shocked that between the two geniuses of Tails and Rotor, they only created ONE comm-link for each separated group. That’s a bit lame.

Sonic explains to Rotor how he ended up like this. He met up with Shadow and neither of them wanted to explain why the other was there so Shadow just decided to punch Sonic in the face. It's really stupid and the explanation is lazy and cheap. It’s kind of funny seeing as how he escalated things for NO reason but whatever. It made for a cool fight. 

Rotor’s response is a bit strange. For some reason, even though Sonic never mentioned the fact that Shadow the Hedgehog is indeed a hedgehog, Rotor’s like “Shadow may LOOK like a HEDGEHOG, but I don’t believe for a second he’s RELATED to you in ANY way! In fact, I’m not sure he’s even a MOBIAN like US!” 

I don’t know where this line came from but Rotor says it anyway, with words bolded to ensure you’re aware that Penders is at the helm here.

Sonic’s response is “Then what is he?” to which my question is, “Bitch, shouldn’t you KNOW?!”

Like, the implication I got from a while back was that Sonic Adventure 2 DID happen in this universe. Sonic should know the basics behind what Shadow is, at the very least. That creepy Professor Gerald video told everyone in that room everything that was important. I know the comic only did a single issue addressing Adventure 2 and then went “Go play the game” but if you’re going to do that, stick to what that game told the characters. 

I can maybe forgive Rotor not knowing since he wasn’t in Adventure 2 but Sonic should know what Shadow is.

We end on Eggman using a Bat robot to spy on Bunnie as she re-enters the cave. He decides that the heroes might be after something he could potentially want and decides to go get it. He does this by using A LOT of unnecessary and confusing words and strings together a bunch of sentences that are almost impossible to comprehend when you first read them just to land on the fact that he’s made a new Metal Sonic.

yH5xEt_2xm-po8obeNwAh1tMoy1gns6BL-p4f0-dkohEbmyyMy9aN_DYVAR09bXD-Zax_UZ3ifkdEdVziMnZbBEBWZ3U-2tmJ-GevzU1a0TZ7_Pd8i7dej_Usycym5RxM9Cu0Ch9

I’m actually certain that these self-replicated microchips he’s talking about are going to be of some importance though. Either that, or I’m confusing them with something else. My memory is a bit fuzzy.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #146: Out of Your Shell

Writer: Romy Chacon
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Rich Koslowski
Letterer: Vickie Williams
Colorist: Jason Jensen

Rotor wakes up in his room with Tommy in the bed over. Even though he’s butt naked, there are a ton of dirty clothes lazily piled around the bed and on the shelves in a huge mess, meaning he’s SUPER duper naked right now and the comic wants me to know it.

He gets shocked when he sees a headless turtle on the bed… but Tommy’s a turtle so he just has his head curled inside his shell.

Basically, Rotor’s super busy and goes off to do stuff while Tommy stands there wondering what he’s good for. It isn’t until Rotor comes back inside and sees Tommy sulking that he inquires what the problem is. Tommy says he’s been feeling useless lately and that since everyone is so busy he also hasn’t had anyone to talk to.

Rotor tells him that he just needs to keep looking and eventually he’ll find his place. We then immediately find out what he’s good at when Rotor shifts through his dirty clothes pile and panics when he can’t find his files. It’s then that Tommy informs him that he alphabetized and filed the files into a cabinet for him. He’s also, apparently, a genius on top of that?

I guess he just… didn’t know that he was until now?

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The beginning? The beginning of what? Tommy’s paperwork filing adventure?

Okay, so the sympathetic angle almost works here but the way Tommy just immediately finds his footing and, on top of that, also showcases that he’s secretly really good at reading and understanding Rotor’s stuff, to the point where he can offer suggestions on how to fix it is odd. I won’t make any snap judgements just yet. There might be an explanation for this. Again, I’m fuzzy on the details but I know something more is coming up with Tommy.

I guess we’re reaching the point finally where he’s going to be a heavier fixture within the book. I’ll see whether or not it bothers me like it did for everyone else who read this. I'll admit though... I'm starting to see the problem with him now.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #146: Circuit Me

Writer: Romy Chacon
Penciler: Al Bigley
Inker: Michael Higgins
Letterer: Vickie Williams
Colorist: Jason Jensen

Rotor is working in the lab when Sally enters, having been called by him. The deal is that he’s found a way to make the Power Rings give out more power in an environmentally safe way as opposed to the pollution rampant way Eggman uses fossil fuels.

The bad thing is that if he does this the wrong way it could either power out the power ring or LEVEL ALL OF KNOTHOLE.

One or the other.

Sally tells Nicole to run a diagnostic on the Power Rings and then trips over a fucking cord on the ground and gets shocked like crazy! GEEZ! Watch where you’re going missy!

Long story short, they switch bodies.

Only temporarily though.

Sally tries out being a computer and starts scanning stuff but quickly makes herself a bit dizzy.

Nicole immediately rushes outside and takes in the sights, smells, air, and everything she’s never felt before as a computer. That’s when she comes across Sonic and her body feels all the feelings Sally feels when she sees him.

The temporary change wears off when this happens. It was so brief that it’s kind of a strange miracle it happened at all. I’m not entirely sure why Sally tripping over a wire caused that to happen but… whatever.

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This ending joke is kind of funny but a part of me wonders if a story like this should have been afforded a bit more room to breathe. I know this isn’t the last time we’ll be going into Nicole’s standing as a sentient being but the briefness of seeing her enamoured with being a flesh and blood being is kind of shockingly brief, even if it was meant to be. It’s an odd feeling.

This first issue was not as bad as I remember it being. Back in the day, it did not help that I wanted nothing to do with what the art was giving me nor did I have the patience to wade through the Freedom Fighter elements because I was way more into the current game cast and I wanted to see more of them do stuff. Here, tolerance for it has gone way up and that helps… but it doesn’t mean this issue was good. The first story certainly wasn’t terrible but the art and dialogue really stall it from being all that enjoyable to me. The second story feels rather inconsequential as is. The third story is a barely there beginning of a tale that has an unexplained phenomena that the characters involved don’t freak out over anywhere near as much as they should. It all has the feeling of something that’s a work in progress rather than a finished product to me.

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Spoiler
12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

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Holy God that render of Shadow is pure Penders. Also everything about this narration is bad especially calling Shadow an it over and over. I may not be the biggest Shadow fan around but I can at least appreciate that Shadow is more than a science experiment.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

PwHMCBeEtHbKh8wXcTAmr4SBqWCq6bzZfMG2dknqb5GTufqyU7RR1Q-jgchoPhkT6cmopiZBpEiSd7vrz-rQR4xCLWaI6T_Q7q9ztAyxofAMCGWbH2rIjcpxKdcUvrsrUtwn41Ym

Shadow starts the issue off spying on Hope.

To give Penders some credit continuing the plotline of Shadow imprinting on Hoppe because she reminds him of Maria isn't a bad one. He just of course has to go about it way creepier than it needs to be. Also interesting note on the first page you can see Uncle Chuck visiting Rosie. This was a subtle push towards trying to start a romance between them which was also hinted at last issue with a letter Sally reads on the last page being from Rosie. I guess it's because they're both old people? IDK but it's a cute idea. It also makes Locke's narration hilarious because he's completely incapable of understanding why anyone would want to spend time with another person. No wonder his marriage failed.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

As such, when the issue began, I thought it might have been Shadow who was doing the inner monologue.

Honestly same. I legit thought it was Shadow until Locke showed up. This was also my first major intro to Ken Penders writing. I had read 2 parts on Mobius 25 Years Later but without context they didn't stick with me. Then this happened. I was thankfully just starting on my Sonic fan journey at the time as was honestly way more optimistic at 14 than I am today so I kept reading. Thankfully this is just 15 issues until Flynn now.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Shadow refuses to help this guy and walks away, only for the guy to pull on a piece of string that Shadow conveniently walked right onto and makes him trip.

The one weakness of the Ultimate Lifeform. Arts & Crafts!

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Yeah, no, of course it’s fucking Locke.

This was my first exposure to Locke. I was confused but I also had the Sonic Mega Collection and looked at all the covers a lot so I pieced together that he was probably one of the Echidnas from the Knuckles covers. It's weird but honestly every bit of strange comic lore they threw at me got me more interested. So naturally I never jumped at the chance to use back issues because I suck at math and could never figure out the total price.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Silly me thought he was talking about his son that he yelled at for saving his people and then daring to go save some other people that weren’t echidnas and the wife who divorced him and remarried because he microwaved their baby and treated her like shit.

Oh, Mike. You should know better than to assume Penders would write Locke as caring about anything other than his legacy.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Locke uses his chaos powers to try and drive Shadow back (didn’t even know he had chaos powers but I probably wasn’t paying attention because I hate him)

I think he used them a couple times in the Knuckles comics. I'm pretty sure the first arc at least.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I want to say he jumped but no. Shadow can fly.

CY8XZxqM1qUUNsCMdleHl4jA1UAGtL56sBgJT1QTwFhG98yOpyKnx4fyMfLexW-IZeYQzCbYF_IAPmOtc1LWrmCcx9U71KFuC8gXdmPUii4Vg4-OERUBAIyAsRyoq4CNlrcw6CUn

I must go now. The Space Colony Ark needs me.

Shadow died on the way back to Space Colony Ark. He got better though.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

He called Hope by name even though she never told him his name and she never said it out loud to him. I also don’t recall these two meeting face to face before but that might be my faulty memory again.

Nope it's not. Hope has mostly jkust been living in Knothole. I have no idea what if anything this is trying to say.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Is this the last hurrah for our dear friend Karl Bollers? Yup. It has to be. Let’s see how he does.

Not exactly. He has a 2 issue hold over in #153-154.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

although, the powerpoint seems to have fucked up if it’s intention is to show these targets as a threat. Just look at Sonic.

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Fuckin Al Bigly man.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Even funnier than him heaping all this praise onto Tails is the image he uses to show Sonic and Tails’ friendship.

aI2mNEyn9ETHSRmE5Eh5XaOBWSLgkMqdJw6ghmUSbT0UHJho41C2SbGIPjVICqOIt5cAzDAsRY3WLwb9ryW3ECjmQGxJTguzUiTnve9mbjIoYjcKBLvV79tSUvQq6nmyILCN4Jix

Tails looks adorable hugging him like that but the way Sonic is holding him and looking forward with those eyes makes it impossible not to imagine them in bed together.

"Shit! That's from my Yaoi collection! Ignore that!"

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Either that or the point of this story was just to… I don’t know, give a refresher on the four main characters of the games for… the people reading the ARCHIE book where the main characters are … the Freedom Fighters? 

Yeah I'm not totally sure I get it either. I'm guessing it's just supposed to be a rundown of everyone's skills and abilities but IDK.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Or, hell, sometimes it’s randomly bad and fine the next panel. It’s hard to get a read on.

I think a lot of it being bad in random panels in the Green Knuckles Saga is that allegedly Ken hated her more cutesy style so whenever he'd ink her stuff he'd mess with it a lot which resulted in it resembling his style.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

44SIVjuI4yeDWUq9wuoc0ngEV_NrwyzoXumEJFPyhnTJ7Blbn8K9BkLGLk_mMk2GVCk4aCXfMa_amcLQxnSR3pNlYis2BZcGCdFM_zyEfC9V_OFY5Sf_lgKQpkBRrSB4LcZejw5e

Can you tell this was published in 2005?

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

ZWwOPjYw2yxQwNA6TX9pG6dOmogPxfMNqoH4qu0m4hLw4G6jvIJ76QFqx20EDzRLqLjydh5ydv6Mjfn3BUA5JOL5BFoTxZH9st6j7urLBmPOOEVcJ9a2_DaPGiKEJaty963X0veO

He goes on about them just being the tactical and logistical support team and how Sally isn’t support or combat but the leader. It’s all a bunch of words, most of which are meaningless. All of them have gone out in direct combat and support before. It means nothing.

1. First time the smart guts (Which I guess includes Tommy?) are called the Brain Trust. 2. Yeah this makes no Goddamn sense. Sally is a field leader! She leads you guys into battle. Why is Penders so dead set on making her being a royal the top priority?

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The next scene is of Sonic packing his stuff to leave. He especially can’t forget his A-Pod!

o688TmGTUNKkAue5kegbTP-P-VfR6uX04JE9DjJsTWGikf1aQqyKIU8ghTB17dRhsJ3MKB2wdp83dQ6lRzlzm3APk_8wx8Of5ku1RrhL-5u-d24hXfeas0-6MlbdOVkoToBRgims

2005! Also thus begins many many many references to how Sonic is a teenager. Look I get it you got a character who's arbitrary age is in his teens to connect with the audience you want the emphasize that but the more focus you put on Sonic and co having families and school and home lives the less they feel like Sonic and co. They just start to feel like generic teen superheroes. Being a teenager is not an important part of Sonic. Being Sonic is  the most important part of Sonic.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic and Sally share a moment as Sonic and the rest of the gang that are going off on the mission depart. Sally is thinking about whether or not this will be the last time she’ll see Sonic while Sonic is thinking about maybe asking her to come along. He doesn’t though and they take off with Sonic keeping all his scattered thoughts to himself.

This is part of Penders attempting to "fix" Sonic and Sally's relationship. Which is weird because he once said she cramps his style and tried to kill her as a result but whatever. He cares about the sanctity of his own future story the character's long history and the fans support of the couple.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

Qqe0hem9Fz_hRpOU4cwKzMACXpWiHR9z1ie5f6-DtSblUZTnmXLr3oIYVxwrYhCBxyiB04PuFYWQNckBDbrx1AcwxeBeysOr3CDxr4D1f8xrkFO7mMtthopSuvHjUpBNaXGp0J_T

Green Sonic says ACAB.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

No, this is the work of S.O.N.I.C.X, more notably, the sloppy work of Dr. Narasu.

Everyone talks about El Gran Gordo and stuff but man whenever they're around S.O.N.I.C.X. always are a joy. Too bad not much was ever done with them.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

They arrive in a spiral of colors that has them all making for a rainbow jump that Sonic had to have been proud to have done. 

nBZMSOMS9Ih6rEyV7pkW5dFm3YTLJJMw0Md_RjuURVf3s9gP9qCJDYBSKedUP8W7AM7UBaA1u1cMGauwFcE4jRaIyLPlPiWTvfYosAOcGvnIhryvTWJNLC7QjwKSHglG9Hy2zhYG

Look at him. He knows what he did. 

Gay rights!

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Although, I’ve noticed that the yellow one is always looking nervous in most of his shots. Seems like he’s just kind of along for the ride because he can’t go against his programming. Knowing what happens I almost feel bad.

I love the subtle detail that they all clearly have their own unique personalities.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

My copy of the issue then interrupts this program for a seven page long, and I’m not joking, SEVEN PAGE LONG mini-comic about the Goldfish Graham Cracker characters. You know, the snack that’s filled with crack or whatever the slogan is? Those guys. 

Yeah for one reason or another a lot of the comics from 2005-I want to say 2008 included these multi-page inserts. Not just for Goldfish but for a lot of random products.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It’s funny because Narasu said they technically weren’t clones but like… non-living carbon constructs. Basically they’re like robots made of organic molecules or whatever. But like… Sonic didn’t know that. It’s kind of funny he’s so cool with blowing them up. 

They're not alive so it's ok to ignore the moral implications of all this.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Although, it’s kind of offset by the goofiness of them plastering their shadowy organization’s logo on the sole of the clone’s feet.

reikdo4OHHnezHhE_h5m8d_Y3ogQYFaFH1Hk6lHf4TlTFG1TMjHdMW_68bhDE7e-GPA6FICHJupHmM3WJ_uR4-od1811CjGjF8mqVgVO0r-m_TslasLrFm1JGg14otjem6Iaeaej

People say Ian Flynn can't tell a good joke and I have no idea where that idea comes from. The man has a great sense of humor IMHO.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

meet the actual main villain of Modern Sonic’s most recent outing.

km_xOrbjMbZyNrQhN-OpuuRGZQ0GlQYaPzoTR0eQvKsiWTy0ab8RziqeRFz_73kesEyeZZLLLURkIYT59trJpGakZfbx-AO124F1Za00VTV6r_y5MgE5Z76x_K0KT2UxsN1dH9dn

Four Years before Generations. I legitimately want to know how Ian pulled this off. Sega is very strict about what could and couldn't happen in the X comics so how in the hell did he manage to convince them to let them use Classic Sonic?

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

What a world we live in. Classic Sonic is dead and Modern Sonic has gone insane. It truly is the darkest timeline.

A world where nobody is happy...so basically the same really.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The man, the myth, the motherfucking legend is coming.

El Gran Gordo is here!

aFwK6UqsCoxJT9iFk5_bohmShTj2KowzLT8iRMhm4rtmF74ccyHqcw2KGXGswFFORTSa5KIaf89JTSIIQ8dGz07XjuECwxjT27fBPMni27gAetVfMgo81p7qoZ38AA6ydiF4OAWB

Aw, Hell Ya! God bless you El Gran Gordo you magnificent bastard. Your second appearance helped me to actually buy all 40 issues when Archie sold them for a reasonable price. But that's not until the 30's.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The cheeky horror-esque nature of seeing a bunch of Sonics just die like that is also more funny to me nowadays as well.

It's kinda weird how much Ian dips into horror considering he has said a lot on Twitter that he doesn't like horror.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

f_MWgMs2cYGQHvvIAmTsHUU2QerrBwm_wRKceB3E_5js4Bqiwv3GjF3Z2ln2oGZqB8GK4woNR84ObCtsPO25ybia0bGyKYI50yPHDMNls5XIR6OooV6t08DYYE3qmwmEr3pUqIe9

I do kinda like how Shadow is just spray painted over the logo. That's a cute touch.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This story begins with Shadow punching Sonic in the fucking face.

U_-CWGTbneF1A_H9fGNY9ttCcRhfkV_dxm7QiQDJ5AQGy6_7QDDgq_-vCbsfAIwvqW70kNqyfSn-PoUMDYWkU-XEMfzrmSfXbtHyIPyKdFAMGQPe1dfo5Rx1Y1F9Pdga-kEsQUQB

We’re actually off to a really good start here.

Surprisingly a not terrible fight scene. Plus Ken actually left it silent? Yeah it's generally a not terrible way to start things off. Sadly it's all downhill dfrom here. This one isn't so bad but grading on a whole this arc is dull as shit.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

5F4CN2iA7mzdRa--Q4OFjCTDrF7fem3_6BtGgEXKd3P8Z9C3Z-g6ppW8nek_2v2TP4WerT1JhId3zXCTb2bKhI8x70USpMcdTifQ6uB-2pb4W7bLLonNk1TLz_qCtGJwyUFUy_V9

The weird thing is reading this in Jason Griffith's Shadow voice feels oddly natural. Just goes to show the kind of dialogue he was given as Shadow.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

These narration boxes are annoying as shit and they ONLY show up whenever Penders is writing a story. Or, at least, they only show up with this amount of frequency when he’s writing a story. It’s definitely not this hard to write comics without them, speaking as someone who's dabbled with trying to make comics before. I’m no expert but I know enough to know that over-reliance on narration boxes is a bad sign. He uses them as a crutch. If comics weren’t a visual medium then it could be forgiven more often but they are so it’s not.

I think the thing is that when he was a kid Comics always included narration boxes but by the 80's and 90's they were trying to step away from it and let the art tell the story. It might have also been a paid by the word thing because I remember hearing a story about how Stan Lee wrote a completely silent 3 page opener to a Nick Fury comic in the 60's and his publisher told him to add some narration or he wasn't going to pay him for those three pages but Stan fought for it because he knew Jack Kirby's pencils could tell the story just as well.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

For some reason, Shadow is talking like a machine here.

The reason being Penders thinks of him as little more than a machine. He knows he's a science experiment and that's it. He makes a few passing references to him being sentient but he doesn't think of Shadow as a character just a thing. You'd think being such a Star Trek fan he'd get Shadow a little more but...nope.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

“Though you were not immersed in fluids as I had been, the similarities to my experience far outweighed the differences” implying that tube buddies stick together, fluids or no fluids.

"Tubes before Boobs."

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

You know I… don’t want to question the validity of technology in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. After all, the echidnas had advanced technology on Angel Island stretching back 4000 years or so right? 

… But TEN THOUSAND YEARS AGO?!

… I mean… I guess. I dunno. Perhaps I CAN ignore what my brain is telling me and go along with that absurd as fuck number. Mobius is supposed to be a post-apocalyptic version of Earth or whatever now right?

It's not so unlikely when you remember Mobius had Cavemen but considering how far back one of his other creators was born I actually think 10,000 years is a bit underselling it for Isaac.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Once again, Fiona is a character that’s kind of just… around.

And people think she's better this way. IDK call me crazy but I prefer the evil unrepentant bitch version of Fiona more. Then again a lot of those people are just salty that a 17-18 year old didn't hook up with a 12-13 year old.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Rotor’s response is a bit strange. For some reason, even though Sonic never mentioned the fact that Shadow the Hedgehog is indeed a hedgehog, Rotor’s like “Shadow may LOOK like a HEDGEHOG, but I don’t believe for a second he’s RELATED to you in ANY way! In fact, I’m not sure he’s even a MOBIAN like US!” 

Yeah I got zero idea what the fuck he's talking about or what this has to do with anything.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I’m actually certain that these self-replicated microchips he’s talking about are going to be of some importance though. Either that, or I’m confusing them with something else. My memory is a bit fuzzy.

Yes they are the first appearance of the Nanites.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Rotor wakes up in his room with Tommy in the bed over. Even though he’s butt naked, there are a ton of dirty clothes lazily piled around the bed and on the shelves in a huge mess, meaning he’s SUPER duper naked right now and the comic wants me to know it.

Just waking up butt naked in your bed that's only a few feet apart from your roommate. Totally Heterosexual.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Rotor tells him that he just needs to keep looking and eventually he’ll find his place. We then immediately find out what he’s good at when Rotor shifts through his dirty clothes pile and panics when he can’t find his files. It’s then that Tommy informs him that he alphabetized and filed the files into a cabinet for him. He’s also, apparently, a genius on top of that?

I guess he just… didn’t know that he was until now?

jGPBFn0RJADkK1mNdt1OSji06U9o0AVE3-T21FVrKbIru-OiZdB6ToMtvoV--x8puA4Vc9pb94W6NQk2PTtyyk8LFpJl0PxX4YBw7kolo5PZ6aOPHQcG4AnXx2bYj-ku2ZNWpEP_

Due to this I like to think all the backup stories from here to 148 are set before 145. They're just a lot of dinking around anyway so they can be placed just about anywhere.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #146: Circuit Me

I don't really have much to say about this one. It's dumb but harmless. It is amazing it is used as the basis for one of my favorite, hell most peoples favorite, backup story Stargazing though.

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

That’s when she comes across Sonic and her body feels all the feelings Sally feels when she sees him.

"Hey Sal Gal what's the shakes?" "Oh, no I can't not fuck him!"

 

12 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

2Fz0yn5Vuw0fEuNbacH1_8ZgIcPDa9bLVs9PVYAdUXz7SpzuYyAXv_XzvyWzvZ9pdQWTWP5QX8VTZdhCJcw768MGtNzLKa0jALT0j4slz3RPqJ_m-dRaRZShDPwWX_ztVfPgH7tx

Post-Reboot Nicole might be a Lesbian but Pre-Reboot wants a shot at that Blue Blur.

 

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All I really have to say about the Good, the Bad, and the Unknown is that I loathe the attempts to make Shadow into another Penders!Knuckles. As if Penders just didn't know how to write for Shadow, but Shadow was "mysterious" so he could just copy/paste Knuckles' nonsense onto him.

There's a lot of random mysterious characters who rear their head into Shadow's backstory, Shadow has weird unexplained Chaos Powers like Knuckles, you even have Locke randomly appearing to attempt to force Shadow into doing random echidna related bullshit, and then you have Penders' Eggman OCs too. 

Also, I have to say, I disagree hard on the opening fight with Sonic and Shadow too. From a pure "oh hey, they finally did this" aspect, I can see why it might be enjoyable, but from a narrative standpoint, it's awful. Every time Sonic and Shadow has met in the past, they've parted with each other on good terms. You can tell from a mile away that this was written because letters came in asking why Sonic and Shadow didn't fight like the games, and thus they had to fart out a explanation why.

Unfortunately, because this is Ken Penders, we don't get a good reason why, it just happens because it has to happen. In fact, it's another thing taken from Penders!Knuckles, since the old writers had a habit of making Sonic and Knuckles fight each other literally each and every time they saw each other. Despite the fact every issue would typically end with Sonic and Knuckles begrudgingly parting admirably, the next time they encounter each other, they'd be right back to fighting on sight, the most infamous of which was the time when Sonic randomly walks up and punches Knuckles in the face without Knuckles instigating anything, and again - the two parting on good terms the last time they'd met.

The most damning criticism I can give about the Good, the Bad, and the Unknown is that I have the exact same reaction as I do when attempting to read the Knuckles Archives I have - which is I get a bunch of non-canon nonsense, and get immediately fucking bored of Penders' writing, and stop writing.

Fun fact as well - if I'm recalling correctly, #145 is either my official first entry to the Archie Comics, or one of my first entries. Despite what Penders would like to have you believe, Archie Sonic is not a worldwide smash hit of a series. It was in fact practically unknown over here to most Sonic fans (or if it was, I sure as hell didn't hear anyone speak much of it, let alone be able to get their hands on it). 

Anyways, smash cut to around 2010 or so, Sony brought up a comic reading app for the PSP. I'm not quite sure if the comics were readily available on devices such as IPhone/IPad, which would've made them more readily available here, but anyways. From what I recall, they had the first two arcs of Sonic Universe (as they were regularly coming out at this point), and they had around #130-155 of the main series (There may have been more but I honestly can't remember).

Anyways, thanks to a video from an old YouTuber who'd praised the comics, I really wanted to read Archie Sonic and hopped on the chance when I saw it was available on this PSP app. I started on this issue, and I frankly can't remember much from it, so I think I actually read it, and blanked a ton of it out due to how weird everything was.

I did end up buying some more issues though. Can't remember which exactly, but I know I had the Original Freedom Fighters issues, parts of Return to Angel Island, and I think a couple issues of The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown, as well as part 1 and 2 of Mobius 30 Years Later, I believe.

Anyways, Return to Angel Island and M30YL - I really liked. The rest, I can't remember, other than Original FF boring the hell out of me. So yeah, despite these issues being my first jump into Archie Sonic, I genuinely can't remember much of them, and now trying to think about them, I think I just tuned out because the writer was so bleh, even as a kid.

Side note - this isn't Bollers' last story. He has two Mina issues towards the latter half of the 150s, although they're likely holdover stories from earlier in the series.

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2 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Also, I have to say, I disagree hard on the opening fight with Sonic and Shadow too. From a pure "oh hey, they finally did this" aspect, I can see why it might be enjoyable, but from a narrative standpoint, it's awful.

You're not disagreeing that hard then because I also said that it wasn't good from a narrative standpoint. I liked the images of the fight itself though. This is just me trying to be as fair and as positive as I can. Even though Penders doesn't deserve it.

2 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Side note - this isn't Bollers' last story. He has two Mina issues towards the latter half of the 150s, although they're likely holdover stories from earlier in the series.

It would seem I'm never going to make the right call on when this man's last story is. I guess I'll just stop trying then. At this point, when those Mina stories happen and I say they'll be his last ones, someone will chime in with an "Well actually..." yet again. I'll get it right and then still somehow get it wrong. Just you wait. XD

 

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1 minute ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

You're not disagreeing that hard then because I also said that it wasn't good from a narrative standpoint. I liked the images of the fight itself though. This is just me trying to be fair and as positive as I can. Even though Penders doesn't deserve it.

Oof, I read this pretty much after waking up, so I must've missed that. My apologies.

1 minute ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It would seem I'm never going to make the right call on when this man's last story is. I guess I'll just stop trying then. At this point, when those Mina stories happen and I say they'll be his last ones, someone will chime in with an "Well actually..." yet again. I'll get it right and then still get it wrong. Just you wait. XD

Nah, I can guarantee the Mina stories are Bollars' last stories in the entire series. As I said, I'm pretty sure he's actually gone during these issues, and those two Mina issues + the Training Day backup were just backburner stories that were piled up. As said before, the editors had a wicked habit of having this gigantic backlog of random stories written at different times, and just started crapping them out without consideration of if it made sense of not. As you'll see in Issue 150, the infamous Titanic Tails story also has Classic Era Tails alongside Modern Sonic, indicating it was made around Adventure's time period when they were still drawing Tails in his classic design.

For an exact timeline here, Bollers' last story is #153-154, a Mina two-parter (but likely meant to be in the comic much earlier), Penders' last story is #159, with him only doing some inking work for some #160 issues, while Gallagher's last story is in #185, another holdover story based on those random sea Freedom Fighters.

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18 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #145: Shadows of Hope

vDNfjKJbMFIegCiQf68xK1NbiWo7LHsAsoW2GCersPqE3ew8beGIQF_CEelCZv3TnW7aAgsVH-hw8ZwfF0C3FTnqRQTMFIcsXMWAjZR4bF205bgdanAQLrD4rsHEiDXtvogLpwAw

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #146: The Good, the Bad and the Unknown - Part 1 of 4: Prototype

f_MWgMs2cYGQHvvIAmTsHUU2QerrBwm_wRKceB3E_5js4Bqiwv3GjF3Z2ln2oGZqB8GK4woNR84ObCtsPO25ybia0bGyKYI50yPHDMNls5XIR6OooV6t08DYYE3qmwmEr3pUqIe9

Love the first cover, a forshadowing? :D 

it really captures the meancing days of Shadow (SA2)

I love this third cover with a close up of Shadow. You were right that the earlier Archie bungled Shadow’s design at times. 

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Darn, so Gallagher didn't have as long as a tenure as I thought then. 

The whole mystery thing gets very tiring after the while. Confusing the reader to get them to read more is a tactic but an overused one at this point in the comic.

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1 hour ago, jungle_penguins said:

Darn, so Gallagher didn't have as long as a tenure as I thought then. 

The whole mystery thing gets very tiring after the while. Confusing the reader to get them to read more is a tactic but an overused one at this point in the comic.

Gallagher is actually the one with the longest tenure alongside Ian. Gallagher was with the comic from the very first miniseries right up to #185, outlasting Penders, Bollers, "Romy Chacon", and several others.

Granted, some of his stories was likely holdovers from a long time ago, but we can place him having worked at least around the #160s or so, where he did a Archives story about a island of lost badniks. It's sequel story is the final one in #185.

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13 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Gallagher is actually the one with the longest tenure alongside Ian. Gallagher was with the comic from the very first miniseries right up to #185, outlasting Penders, Bollers, "Romy Chacon", and several others.

Granted, some of his stories was likely holdovers from a long time ago, but we can place him having worked at least around the #160s or so, where he did a Archives story about a island of lost badniks. It's sequel story is the final one in #185.

Damn I didn't realise Gallagher outstayed the rest of the main crew on the comic. Might actually be the longest since Ian's Archie run is about 130 issues.

I'm guessing Gallagher was mostly responsible for 'B plots' while Penders and Bollers did the main arcs, especially since the former were usually the remaining elements of light heartedness in their run.

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2 hours ago, jungle_penguins said:

Wished he stayed for longer. Sometimes we need those wacky stories.......sometimes.

Maybe this is why STC, for all its weirdness, felt a bit more balanced, since the A plot guy did serious stories but the B plot guy usually did light hearted ones. Even with Gallagher around, it felt like they increasingly tried to subdue any sort of cartoony wackiness until Flynn took over.

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Speaking of the Original Freedom Fighters, I haven't actually read the issue with them, but I think it would be an interesting concept for their roboticized selves to have appeared in the Special Zone later on and need to be rescued by the heroes. Unfortunately, Ian said that he considered them to have been destroyed when Feist turned the Zone of Silence into the Special Zone. I mean, I guess in practicality, they probably would just be extra characters that people wouldn't know what to do with, so it's probably just as well, but I think it would have been interesting to have more Robians back.

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59 minutes ago, Monkey Destruction Switch said:

Speaking of the Original Freedom Fighters, I haven't actually read the issue with them, but I think it would be an interesting concept for their roboticized selves to have appeared in the Special Zone later on and need to be rescued by the heroes. Unfortunately, Ian said that he considered them to have been destroyed when Feist turned the Zone of Silence into the Special Zone. I mean, I guess in practicality, they probably would just be extra characters that people wouldn't know what to do with, so it's probably just as well, but I think it would have been interesting to have more Robians back.

Incidentally, the Original Freedom Fighters were popular enough among readers that editorial actually talked about bringing them back when Ian took over the book. It was intended to happen in The Darkest Storm but they couldn't find room for it. Afterwards it was determined that they were lost when the Zone of Silence became the Special Zone, but there were plans to revisit them.

Readership liked several things that were or are today considered by many in the larger Sonic fandom as poor. A great example of that is Mobius 25 Years Later, which most Sonic fans derided but was actually rather popular among kids reading the book, which is why the two parter in 166 and 167 was made and why we eventually got the 30 Years Later story in SU 5-8. Ian confirmed that it was an editorial nightmare to get approved which is why we got no further stories after that, but kids seemed to dig it.

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That’s interesting, because the Original FF were without a doubt the most forgettable parts of the old setting due to how long the gap between the issue spreads.

Makes me wonder what Ian would’ve done if he brought them back like he did the Iron Queen.

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God, this arc. To be honest, I've struggled abit reading the whole of Archie Sonic because I kept forgetting certain characters or plot points. Part of the reason why I've sortof been reluctant to keep reading despite starting from the beginning and having reached around issue #220, and not that much further to go. And I think this might of been the most confusing story of all them, but I do feel validated reading that it seems it wasn't due to my own forgettfulness that I found it confusing.

The end of Penders is so close and yet so far... It's amusing reading these issues in this time era and it's so obvious the writers have no idea what to do with Shadow despite him being the hot new character at the time. Especially when you consider how they really capitalised on Knuckles' popularity in the '90s and gave him a spin-off book. In a different world, I'm sure Shadow could of gotten his own book easily back in the early 2000's if they had known how to write him right and take advantage of his popularity.

I'm enjoying the reviews Mike as I usually do. If anything I should pick up Archie Sonic from where I left off before you overtake me.

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I thought the Good the Bad and the Ugly was pretty good of a dark age Penders era story. Reading it as a kid yeah it was cool seeing Shadow and Sonic AND Metal Sonic duke it out even of wasn't held together by the strongest narrative glue and all the lore welding about about how Mobians came to be I thought was kinda interesting (Shadow, Not!Gamma and Metal Sonic as living weapons of Robotnik/Kintobor's of different eras having discussions about this was pretty cool to)

Like it's not perfect but it was nice to finally have a lengthy mostly action based story with some cool characters after all the boring exposition, melodrama and pool parties Ken was known for at this time 

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #147: The Good, the Bad and the Unknown - Part 2 of 4: Ignition

B2puo88SnV4RXXl_AfzHNS6Ek9R0O1SzMxEy90NmQBVfe1tPFNXEf5Y6uTojVwnR5qxN5b4R08g5K8XbBYJoKllzNCDDDq2GSAvTsn9kLGX-kQbTmtyOJlmsaG0biVZsJO2_fWRo

Were you to show this cover to me as a little kid I’d have gotten super hyped and started foaming at the mouth in an insane desire to instantly read it. However, I also know that the instant I opened the book the art would have taken the wind out of my sails immediately. I feel like it’s often more fun imagining how good a story’s cover art could be versus the actual story inside when it comes to a lot of this stuff. If you haven’t guessed, I like the cover. Let’s get into the supposed meat and potatoes now.

Spoiler

 

Writer: Ken Penders
Artist: Steven Butler
Inker: Jim Amash
Letterer: John Workman
Colorist: Jason Jensen
Editor: Mike Pellerito

We’re in the thick of Penders fever now. Ho’boy. It’s such a fun time to finally be here.

I read a single page and immediately, my head is clouded with a bunch of scattered thoughts. 

The first though that came to mind when I read those trademark yellow Penders narration boxes was “my god, this is some pretentious fluff happening right now” but the second thought I had was how extremely weird the ending narration boxes were.

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The flowery exposition he found necessary to get across that Metal Sonic was showing up is one thing but the two boxes at the bottom sent me spiraling in my swivel chair in confusion. The first one I was confused by, mostly because I was trying to figure out why Penders felt it necessary to add in a caption box saying that Metal Sonic’s status as a sentient lifeform was questionable at best. I’m trying to properly gauge why he felt the need to do that. Sometimes I say one sentence too many when I’m trying to be overly descriptive and what not so maybe that’s it… but another part of me wonders if he’s seriously afraid that any child reading this could, would, or should have the gal to consider a robot a sentient being.

When it comes to Sonic, I consider that to be true of some of the robots, Metal Sonic included. I guess it being waved off as “questionable at best” made me tilt my head a little bit.

The second caption box says “Sixteen hours ago however--” which is strange because it’s continuing off from the previous caption box. So immediately I thought, “Wait… is it going to be revealed that sixteen hours ago, Metal Sonic was a sentient lifeform?”

No, it was just expositing that sixteen hours ago, Sonic and the others arrived. 

Cool.

Now, we’re in the present and Tails and Tommy have found Sonic, Bunnie, and Rotor on a computer monitor and are shocked, nay stunned, that Sonic is getting bandaged by Bunnie.

The dialogue here is horrendous. It’s noticeably way worse than the last issue somehow.

“Over there… SONIC, ROTOR, and BUNNIE and SOMETHING’S WRONG!!!” Tails shouts as he points at Sonic being helped by Bunnie.

Then Bunnie sits Sonic down and proceeds to wrap a bandage on his arm. Tommy then says, “Look’s like Bunnie’s wrapping a BANDAGE around SONIC’S HAND!”

Tails continues to overreact by shouting “SIZZLING SWATBOTS!!! HOW did he HURT himself?”

This isn’t an exaggeration on my end either. All these words I’m bolding are bolded and both the times I used triple exclamation points it happened in the book too.

It’s just an image of Sonic getting his hand bandaged. If Sonic was vomiting up blood on the floor, maybe react like this, but they’re freaking out so much that it’s comical. They also immediately try to search the monitors to see who would dare harm Sonic and instantly come across Shadow and Issac. 

Tails says the robot he’s never seen before looks like Gamma. He also, for some reason, says that’s not possible unless Eggman rebuilt him… but, like, Tails never saw Gamma get destroyed.

Also, Gamma wasn’t destroyed. He was just a weirdly dangling plot thread that was forgotten about in the badly told Adventure arc.

Tails, what are you talking about?

Anyway, Tommy asks where Fiona is and we cut to her messing with some wires. Apparently she fucked up somehow and is in danger so Sonic shoves Rotor onto a cart and carries him to where she is only to be told by Tails over a loudspeaker that he’s going the wrong way because he can see everyone in the monitor room he randomly happened upon.

Now that everyone is accounted for despite not being in the same place, Tails tells Sonic that he saw Shadow and a Gamma-look alike. When Sonic asks the whereabouts, once again, for SOME reason, Tails feels the need to correct himself when he almost refers to the robot Issac as a person.

“He--or rather IT-- is with Shadow!” is a line that Penders made Tails say. 

I don’t get it. I’m not sure why he’s putting so much emphasis on robots being referred to as sentient beings and making sure we refer to them as less than deserving of their own pronouns or something. It’s very odd.

Metal Sonic shows up in a panel that looks like he’s actually approaching Tails and Tommy.

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The angle was just weird on the monitor but I didn’t put it past the book to make a mistake like that.

I was quickly corrected when I turned the page and saw Metal Sonic reach Shadow instead.

Metal Sonic can talk by the way. It’s kind of weird considering I’m used to him only speaking in his Neo Metal form. Either way, it’s the stuff he says that’s semi-important, I guess. He says that Shadow’s insides register to him like the bio-trash that lives on the planet but he also has binary pulses like he does and says Shadow doesn’t compute. He then calls himself Shadow’s superior and decks him in the face.

The two start fighting and Tails commentates that this is happening to the others. Because this facility is seemingly starting to mess up, I suppose thanks to whatever mistake Fiona made, Rotor isn’t happy to hear that this fight is happening.

Sonic just goes “Did somebody say fight?” and we have the characters try to talk Sonic out of it by awkwardly shoehorning in a line about three-to-one odds being bad news just so Sonic could run off and say the famous Han Solo quote, “Never tell me the odds!”

Fiona sighs when he says this. I almost rolled my eyes. Both seem like appropriate reactions.

The fight between Shadow and Metal Sonic is cool though.

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Sonic shoving himself in at the last second is a little funny too.

At the very least, this fight makes a little more sense than the one Sonic had with Shadow, if only because Metal Sonic is the instigator in this situation and he’s supposed to be an asshole.

What happens next… makes absolutely no sense though.

Kay, so, despite Issac having frequent talks with a creature that has the same size, build, shape, and species as Sonic, when he sees Sonic and realizes that he’s a non-human species capable of intelligent speech, he says it’s intriguing.

Perhaps this is only the case because Issac knows who and what Shadow is so the presence of another being like him is a bit strange. If that’s the angle Penders is going with… he should say that instead. But he doesn’t. Also, we find out later that Issac has already SEEN animals that can walk and talk like Sonic does in a hilarious bit of revisionist history so Issac being confused by Sonic here makes even LESS sense. So less than ZERO sense, you could say.

Shadow acts like Issac is in the right to say such a thing, reacting as though it’s weird to him too by saying “I’ve encountered SONIC before! He and his friends are ALL like that!”

I don’t know if that’s just Shadow telling Issac that this is normal or if Shadow is actually going, “I know, WEIRD RIGHT?!” when referring to Sonic and his friends. It’s Penders so I can easily believe either or. It’s like when Brook gets scared and calls other creatures monsters even though he’s a walking, talking skeleton.

Issac also brings up dissecting Sonic. So… that’s already not good.

However, when Sonic retorts with a witty remark, Issac says “It displays wit, implying intelligent thought. Therefore it could be dangerous and must be dealt with.”

Then he immediately tries to blow Sonic to smithereens.

It’s… very weird and also kind of funny.

The fact that this robot felt threatened by Sonic enough to blow him up because he made a witty remark is remarkably cartoonish.

Shadow, for SOME reason (saying that a lot aren’t I?) says he agrees with Sonic and attacks him? I’m still not even sure why they fought before. It was such a happenstance thing that needed more clarification then the random collision they had. Shadow is acting the exact opposite of the way he was acting when he came back into the story. I have no idea why he suddenly has the urge to kill Sonic.

Even dumber is that Metal Sonic decides he wants to join in on trying to take out Sonic but he's doing it by working together with Shadow and Issac. So now, Metal Sonic, Issac, and Shadow are working alongside each other to fight against Sonic? Weren’t Metal Sonic and Shadow fighting just a second ago? The cover made it seem like a three-way fight was going to happen, not a handicap match. 

We cut to Eggman staring at Sonic’s butt through a monitor and saying that it’s delicious.

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He’s incredibly upset that the reception from his side is fuzzy. He really wishes he could enhance right about now.

Everything is going haywire right now and very little of the WHY it’s all going haywire makes little sense.

Like, now Rotor and the girls are being electrocuted. I don’t know why they are, they just are. Also, Sonic’s being ganged up on by everyone because the plot demanded it. So now it’s up to Tails and Tommy to save the day. 

In a strangely adorable scene, Tails just kind of… goes for the big red button and has a little childish mutter to himself about what Rotor told him about big red buttons.

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The instant he clicked the Big Red Button, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric came into existence.

Regrets. I’ve had a few…

No, instead of that, for SOME reason, that particular red button, at that particular spot, in that particular corridor, localized entirely around all the people surrounding Sonic… opens a aurora borealis trap door that sends them all hurdling to their deaths.

Eggman finds this funny.

As he should.

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This is fucking ridiculous.

Metal Sonic’s spread-eagle dive looks funny enough but that little circle of Rotor, Fiona, and Bunnie just being casually electrocuted by something I still cannot see is some nice frosting for this weird as hell, upside down cake.

WHY is Tails saying Sizzling Swatbots all of a sudden? I forgave it before but he’s said it again and it’s like… no. He’s trying to be Robin is he? Great googly moogly zippity do-da Batman, we’re in a shitty comic? Again!

On the bright side, my issue of this comic has an advert for the Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama next to this page. So that was nice to look at.

When I try and think about what this part of the story was about and what was accomplished, I’m finding that I’m landing on nothing. Metal Sonic did indeed show up and that could have been interesting but all that happened was that Sonic got triple-teamed. An actual three-way fight would have been cool.

If you’re so determined, for whatever reason, to have Shadow hate Sonic now at least be consistent enough to not forget that he also has reason to hate Metal Sonic now. Metal Sonic was MORE antagonistic to Shadow and instigated the fight. On top of that, Shadow’s known Sonic longer and had no issue with him up until the point where HE decided to punch Sonic in the face for no reason. It makes zero sense that he’d just team up with Metal to try and kill him but also brush the fact that Metal Sonic attacked him like that. 

These characters are just DOING shit now.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #147: Off-Panel: This Side of Parodies

Writing: Mike Gallagher
Pencilling: Dave Manak
Inking: Rich Koslowski
Lettering: John Workman
Coloring: Jason Jensen

Oh hey, Gallagher is back on the main book. It feels like it’s been a while. 

It literally has, I guess, but still. Damn. When was his last story? 

I guess this isn’t… TECHNICALLY true. It’s another Off-Panel story but inside the confines of the big pages of the book this time. Gallagher is no stranger to doing the off-panels so I guess this isn’t really a “return” but more so a… temporary glow up?

...I guess "glow up" isn’t right either considering this story isn’t very good.

For SOME reason, Sonic is being kicked out of the editor’s office and he finds Dave Manak and Mike Gallagher and… for SOME reason they transform into superheroes. Sonic cringes for the sake of being relatable, I suppose, and then goes to the old folks home for retired badniks to enlist their help in beating them up.

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The only joke here that sort of works is that badniks saying “Speak up, Sonny” but even then, the part of me that realizes that this was before Sonic got into the heavy nostalgia for Classic Sonic kind of feels like this joke is a bit dead on arrival nowadays. 

These two have banded together to write and draw a story where Sonic tricks them into getting beaten up and calling each other hacks at their own jobs.

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Eh.

It’s kind of amusing.

I don’t foresee myself being too into this as a kid though. Child me would have no clue what was happening or why and I’d probably take forever to realize that all their talk about scripts and art is in reference to them as the actual writer and artist of the book because I didn’t know they were the guys working on the book because I didn’t bother reading the credits because I’m a dumb little kid who doesn’t care.

Sonic tips off Mike the editor about their fighting and scolds them for a bit but they offer to draw him as a superhero and he accepts and he’s got hawk wings now and Sonic face palms and then Victor Gorelick puts down the “THE END!” sign and I sigh in relief. That was two run on sentences in a row I just wrote and I'm not sorry because I did them both on purpose to speed this up.

That was starting to get dangerously close to just being annoying.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #147: Fox and the Hound

Writer: Romy Chacon
Penciler: Al Bigley
Inker/Letterer: Ken Penders
Colorist: Jason Jensen

Al Bigley is back. 

I shouldn’t be shocked by this by this point but you’d think that how terrible the art was in the last issue Al was in would have spoken for itself.

Apparently it doesn’t, no matter how loud the speaker is.

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It looks like Tails is struggling to keep his head from falling off his body as he walks down the stairs. Either that or it’s floating away.

There’s nothing much to this story. It attempts to be cute by having Tails and Muttski bond when Sonic can’t play with him today. Tails has no universal translator in his body like Sonic does but tries to make due anyway by playing games with him.

It’s attempts to be cute are marred by how gross and alien like the drawings are. The squiggly lines look like an episode of Ed, Edd, n Eddy gone wrong. The facial expressions and proportions are extremely out of whack too. It’s just not pleasant to look at.

Then the confusing as hell ending happened where, when playing tag, Muttsuki scares the shit out of Tails by… I guess, pretending that he was hunting him?

Sonic shows up again and explains to Tails that Muttski thought they were playing Foxhunt? 

A… game… that… they played to hide and defend from an attack…?

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I’m not… entirely sure I understand. 

Muttski can understand them so the confusion shouldn’t have happened based on that alone. However, it troubles me that this game is called Foxhunt and this is how Muttski reacts to Tails when playing it. Kind of gives off the vibe that he was training Muttski to attack Tails one day.

That’s the thought that comes to mind here. I can’t help it.

 

Bad. Bad bad bad. It’s very bad y'all. Honestly, I don’t even know if the main story was the worst one here. It might have been but the others weren’t great. The off-panel thing was slightly amusing for about four or five particular panels of it and thankfully stopped right as I was on the edge of getting annoyed. The last story is kind of hard to properly process between the horrendous art and the weird as hell ending. Nothing makes sense about the characters actions in the first story either. I kind of want to just shrug and toss this issue behind me before walking off stage but I’ve got two more of this arc to read. Perhaps we’ll find the point to all this as we reach the climax.

 


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #148: The Good, the Bad and the Unknown - Part 3 of 4: Genesis

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It’s a Sonic Battle cover. Never played it because I don’t own a handheld but I saw a playthrough of it once and that was several years ago at this point. Still, I’m impressed by the manner in which this cover managed to replicate the art style. It’s nice.

Spoiler

 

Writer: Ken Penders
Artist: Steven Butler
Inker: Jim Amash
Letterer: John Workman
Colorist: Jason Jensen
Technical advisor: Robert Repas, Jr.
Editor: Mike Pellerito

We begin with Dylan the Porcupine or whatever he is telling Princess Sally that they lost communications with the Freedom Fighters on the field right after Sonic said his shoehorned Han Solo line. Sally’s response is to request for Sonic’s dad to be brought to her. Okie dokie.

Meanwhile, Tails and Tommy grumble about what to do before Tommy decides to take charge and tells Tails to STAY, SIT, and HEEL while he goes to save everyone himself. Tails, rather appropriately, is annoyed that even with Tommy being a newcomer he’s still being treated like the junior member of the group.

“You wouldn’t have to worry about that if there was no group”, says the little devil on his shoulder. “You could use the facility to wipe them all out and paint your name at the front of the book, Miles.”

Anyway, Sonic almost gets run over by a train but wakes up in time to dodge it. Then he takes a ride on it when Shadow and the rest of the idiots chasing him catch up.

Shadow points out that Sonic can run faster than that subway car so why use it? Metal Sonic suggest he’s probably challenging them. That's as good a guess as any because we're never given the answer. Issac hotwires a car to go after him while Shadow goes on foot to catch up. 

This leaves Issac and Metal Sonic together so that they can have bro-ish car talk.

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Thank God your data banks knew that Robotnik and Kintobor were anagrams. 

It’s not even a clever anagram. It’s literally just the same name backwards. 

Also, why are they working together? I asked this before but I’m asking it again because they kind of just became friends and I still don’t know why.

Tommy reaches the room where Rotor, Fiona, and Bunnie are being relentlessly electrocuted by something we still can not see until Tommy puts on a rubber glove and shuts the machine off with a pipe by hitting the circuit box. Now we can see that it was the circuit box causing the damage but you wouldn’t know it from any of the scenes before. It looked more like lightning was just raining from the sky.

Tails sees this and shifts the camera back to Metal and Issac while they’re having their buddy conversation about the oh so interesting names of these doctor men.

So, what is the answer to the gruelling question of “Is there a relation between Robotnik and Kintobor” you may wonder? Well, Issac’s got you covered.

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Yes, you did hear him say that Tails. This robot expertly just made up a bunch of numbers. They all look so impressive too, don’t they?  

I know he thinks he’s telling the truth but it doesn’t matter. I love making fun of the fact that this goes nowhere.

So Ivan Kintobor was around during the time of Sonic 06 eh? Interesting. Also, if this took place twelve thousand and ten years ago then the current year of the Archie timeline is, 14,016. It’s hard imagining there being life on the planet at all during that time. 

God, recorded history would be practically in the gutter by then. Stuff like DuckTales and Animaniacs would be so long forgotten. It breaks my heart. They can only do so many reboots.

… Or can they? If I put a letter in a bottle and tossed it into the ocean telling them what shows to bring back would the Wikipedia page eventually read DuckTales (1987), DuckTales (2017), and DuckTales (14,016)?

14,016 is a huge ass, ridiculous, honking number is my point. It’s kind of hard to even fathom that. It’s usually hard to fathom people saying something happened a mere thousand years ago but this…

It’s really hard swallowing it but Issac’s explanation does do a little bit to help mitigate that. He explains that Kintobor experimented on the Xorda and in retaliation they released that gene bomb on the planet. Kintobor tried to save his ass by locking himself inside a special APOCALYPSE PROOF TUBE! 

That’s right Shadow, this tube is the best tube of all!

He also managed to build a robot that lasted 12,010 years. I mean… I guess I can buy that he was smart enough to build a robot that could last that long. I guess he just... had materials that could last that long too.

I’m trying my best to roll with it folks. My experience reading this now compared to the past two times is quite different. Now that I actually have a frame of reference for all this stuff, it’s less confusing and unreadable and more convoluted and silly. 

However, Issac continues talking for the entire rest of the story and immediately I’m left realizing why all this flew over my head so long ago even more. He’s just expositing all this shit that at face value does NOT make any sense.

Even worse, Penders found a way to tie this all back to the echidna shit again.

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It’s hilarious that the Xorda’s gene bomb was supposed to preserve the environment but did literally the exact opposite. I always find it funny when machines designed to do something do the opposite instead. What a spectacular failure.

However, the thing that got my head lolling was the part about the first echidna Day of Fury. Now, I can’t recall if this was mentioned before during the original Xorda invasion or not but even if it was it doesn’t really matter because this is going a long way to exemplifying what’s so bad about this story. It’s a complete mess. The details behind what’s happening and what it’s about are so sprawling and strange but, at the same time, NOTHING is happening. I mean, not really.

Three assholes are chasing Sonic and the random subplot about Rotor and the others being electrocuted by the dastardly evil circuit box has ended already. So now, we’re left with Issac reading off his historical laundry list while Shadow tries to kill Sonic for no reason.

Even worse is that, because I’ve read the earlier issues now, I was following him at the start, but even now there were times where he would lose me and I’d have to read the green paragraphs over again just to make sure I understood what he was trying to say. It’s not THAT hard to understand, thankfully, but it really sticks out just how needlessly wordy and uselessly complicated it all is at the end of the day.

For example, for SOME reason, we needed an explanation for the creation of the Chaos Emeralds…

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...But like… there exist Chaos Emeralds on other planets in the Archie verse. I don’t see how this… works…?

According to Issac the Beryl deposits reacted to the Gene Bomb to create the Chaos Emeralds so… I guess that means the Xorda gene bombed all those other planets and they also happened to have Beryl that reacted and made… but... but what about the Super Emeralds and the chao that turned into emeralds and...

… You know what? No. I’m not gonna try and figure this out.

Metal Sonic asks Issac how the fuck he knows all this since he’s stuck in this bunker that was somehow never discovered until Shadow randomly just did… today. Issac just says he was programmed to sometimes go outside. The mystery is solved.

Like, it’s actually gotten to the point of ridiculous parody now. Issac has now been injected within all the important historical canon of the book with a dirty syringe. He was there when Mammoth Mogul made his conquest ten millennia ago and he also attended the coronation of the first heir to the throne of Acorn!

He even RECORDED it! WHAT?!

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Look! LOOK! 

Look at the tiny little Issac in the corner there! Holy shit dude! It’s like a goofy cartoon where someone reveals to have  “been there the whole time” and they flashback to a bunch of scenes and pan out to show the character making that reveal. Except this is meant to be taken seriously!

Issac, if this is true, then WHY THE FUCK were you so surprised by the fact that Sonic could speak earlier?! 

AAAH~! Penders, I want to give you a gold star for this but the thought of it almost made me cough up blood so instead I’ll just let the silliness wash over me like warm, soapy bath water.

Apparently Issac’s never been to space though. Shadow asks him if he met his creator and Issac says that would exceed the parameters of his programming. So, I guess there IS a limit and that limit is beyond the stratosphere.

Also, Issac and Metal Sonic just casually catch up to Shadow who is just standing there outside the door that Sonic’s inside. Apparently, Shadow wasn’t fast enough to go inside after him but he was fast enough to see him enter. Might as well have just hitched a ride then seeing as how there’s apparently only one way to go.

Either way, Shadow opens the door and … says he wants to TALK?!

Fucking what?!

Then Sonic spin dashes him in the face and hurts his leg because Shadow’s body is hard.

I find that kind of amusing but the part about Shadow saying he wants to talk floored me a bit. Sonic tried to do that earlier and you punched him in the face for it. Why do you want to talk now? Especially after you teamed up with Metal and Issac to hunt him down? What’s with the motivations on display here?

Sonic runs off again and… the chase is continuing, for some reason. This is actually getting kind of exhausting.I need a tally of how many times I've said "for some reason" at this point. It’s literally been the same thing page after page after page now. At this point, I don’t even care to compliment any of the fight scenes looking cool if they ever happen again, I’d like for something new to take place now. 

For some really strange reason, even though there’s exactly one page left to this story, the comic decides now's the perfect time to cut away to do a five page long Hero Scape story and then an ad for “The Batman Fruit Snacks” which, according to the box, have naturally artificially assorted flavors and 25% more real fruit juice.

Afterward, then we see the very last page of the story where Sonic has stumbled upon the most fatal secret of all.

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Issac's favorite nuke.

It says Titan GX and the first thing that comes to mind is the stuff that Bane is addicted to. I’m sure that’s not a good thing but holy hell, what a strangely lax way of both getting here and revealing this.

I’m no closer to finding out what Shadow’s angle is or why he’s even here or what he wants with Sonic or what he even feels about Sonic. It’s almost like someone is puppeteering his actions and movements for the sake of plot contrivance rather than writing for an actual character. At least Metal Sonic always wants to kill him and Issac, I guess, wanted to keep him from discovering his favorite bottle rocket.

It’s surprisingly hard to articulate why this story is bad even though it feels obvious.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #148: Playing Around

Script & Art: Nelson Ribeiro
Colors: Jason Jensen

So this is a weird one. It’s got very… wobbly looking art but it’s…

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...Kinda funny?

An assortment of Freedom Fighters are putting on a play to tell the story of when Sally was almost roboticized.

In a strange twist of events, most of the characters here are stuck playing roles of people that they’re already allied with. Tails even laments not getting chosen to play the part of himself. Imagine being passed up to play the role of your own damn self? Good God.

Still, the people they chose are kind of perfect.

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I mean, Tails as Snively? It’s the role he was born to play. It goes without saying how perfect Knuckles and Big’s choices were.

Then we have nightmare fuel Rotor being all… weird.

JIGZ1PRH2nUdSY1DtgQrfc2Ge9JCeVBjZ34sa0BnUW7u8ZWBFUJtoKB8z48PAlWfHJFasSvT6FfSXSNdLnKc2-N-SDv-iz27-FF-VuqYZITRhqsvAeNJ1sr4rE7_wz_VaPFcVq2p

I can’t help but love how much this makes NO sense. Like ZERO sense, whatsoever. Jules can complain about wondering whose idea it was to cast Rotor as Tails but he’ll never be able to save the fact that everyone agreed to do it when they had a perfectly well functioning Tails on hand.

They pretend to beat up the bad guys and then Sonic goes to kiss Sally-Knuckles.

5WoYAaXZHFWVTkhPc8EcnAj7BeBSeYxjska7g-xRxBH1xCtrJFEnIJ65Bi4UqwTcVI8qmBMCPtFOu0DnGyLwDaJVJRPD4tky_T_4J4CjbxsPooQ8Y9NHNQ-goWHXazCgyyoXNCwZ

Calm down Knuckles. He’s just experimenting. 


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #148: Destiny's Child

Writer: Ken Penders
Artist: Tim Smith 3
Inker & Letterer: Michael Higgins
Colorist: Jason Jension

The name Tim Smith 3 rings some very unfortunate bells. The ones that toll when the Grim Reaper is on it’s way.

I’m choosing to not comment on the Destiny’s Child joke for the sake of my own sanity by the way. I will, however, let it be known that I did give Penders the mental middle finger for it.

This story begins with Tails, rather understandably, angry at the world. Sonic got his parents back (though one is stuck in a robot shell), Sally did too (though her dad is an abusive reprobate), and even Mina’s mom returned (... I got nothing. I’m sure she’s nice.) and yet Tails’ parents haven’t come home. He screams about how it’s not fair.

He wants to know what the Bem still need them for and why nobody talks about bringing them home. Isn’t that more important than fighting Robotnik or anything else they do around there, he asks.

Well, not to worry young one. The floating disembodied head of Athair is here to infuriate and confuse you even more!

Athair shows up as a floating head, speaking about the time of the Chosen One drawing near.

Yeah. Remember that? That thing that happened near what could honestly be considered the book's infancy? It was impossibly long ago that this was first brought up and has only been touched upon in teeny, tiny, miniscule bits and pieces every third blue moon. It’s really not been well handled or talked about or focused on at all.

That’s why this story is made up mostly of a recap because, no doubt, people have forgotten about the old as hell story where Tails met Athair and faced the unnecessary riddle spewing of the Ancient Walkers in a cave. 

Tails, by the way, agrees with me on that.

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Yeah. You know what? You’re right. 

It would be nice if the person who was being deemed the Chosen One knew what the fuck that meant or had any clue whatsoever of what that truly was supposed to entail. 

Athair, instead of telling him more clearly, just kind of assures him that this information belongs to a super special exclusive club of smarties. He casually lets it drop that Tails has an uncle too.

Tails, as a kid who didn’t have any parents around, is understandably shocked to find this out. He asks how long he’s had an uncle and Athair says since he was born. He’s just never visited him… ever.

He had Sonic deliver him a present once under a cloak in an old issue waaaay back though… so I guess that’s good enough. Leave him without familial ties for a long as hell time but give him presents on his birthday. I’m sure that makes up for everything.

So, after all this time and all this dicking around, will the endless cycle of Penders making up stupid mysteries and frustrating the characters by refusing to tell them literally anything for YEARS of out of universe time finally come to an end?

-iqWWD1v3QfifeadKSLx7RzWMd7c9UW6r9xJUsTqNH7pKzj_gA5p8OL7zcAfNMgmt5zO6Wtw0dfdi8uXPUmAR8vJVYgDSAOWeZvf4DSeEX9fAhOmAT6Gc9yZ45HJABHddVMuLB1b

The answer is no.

Fuck you. Bye.

 

Well that sucked.

This issue was nothing but exposition for the first and last stories and something randomly fun in the middle that was kind of hampered by the bad art. The lengths that Penders will go to in order to have a bunch of talking that leads to something underwhelming and stupid will never not be exhausting. The first story spent so much time putting clarification to things that didn’t need clarification while the last story just circled the drain before ending on a hilarious shot of a character screaming for answers and the floating head in the sky just looking at him and then disappearing to avoid doing it. 

Spoiler alert. What we get out of this will not end up being worth it. 

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #149: The Good, the Bad and the Unknown - Part 4 of 4: Armageddon

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This one is easily the worst of the covers in this lot. It’s not drawn badly, thankfully. I want to say we’re out of the era of badly drawn covers but we’re definitely not so I should go a bit easier but compared to the others in this lot it’s not as interesting. It took until just this second to realize that Shadow is actually Sonic’s literal shadow in this cover though. That’s a nice distinction. It does bug me a little bit that the cover has “Vs. Metal Sonic Vs. Shadow” on it but there’s no Metal Sonic here but that’s the side of me that wants to keep things orderly speaking again.

Spoiler

 

Writer: Ken Penders
Artist: Steven Butler
Inker: Jim Amash
Letterer: John Workman
Colorist: Jason Jensen
Editor: Mike Pellerito

Issue begins with Charles rushing off with Jules in a jet to go save Sonic and co. According to Jules they’ve finally (FINALLY) gotten themselves in a situation way over their heads. To ensure we all know how super special dangerous this “awesome” situation is, Penders provides us with a narration box that says “And if Jules could see his son NOW, he’d know how RIGHT he is on ALL counts”. 

Ah. He’s so humble about his stories. 

Yeah, no fam. THIS is the situation where they’ve FINALLY gotten themselves into a situation in over their heads. WAY OVER their heads, in fact. I can’t wait to actually find out what that is.

We cut to Sonic who is confused by the word “secrets” and wants to know who he’d even tell if he knew what they were. 

Everything about this next panel is weird and wrong.

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First, the top narration boxes are very strangely comedic in tone. It’s not a bad thing to try and do, it’s just weird that Penders, with his usual flowery, self-indulgent, pretentious speech would say that Sonic is “in a world of deep doo-doo” like a line from the 4kids One Piece dub.

Second… I’m starting to think Penders may not be doing so hot trying to write for this fucking robot. There’s a 93% chance that Sonic is telling the truth about his lack of understanding but there’s also a 74% chance he isn’t? 

Is he using two difference hypotheticals here because even though the sentences are different, they’re branching off of the same inquiry. Either Issac somehow confused the remaining 7% with 74% or he thinks a complete percentage is 167% instead of 100%. 

Anyway, Sonic fights his way up the missile and dangerously slams Metal Sonic into it before he makes him fall and has it collide into Shadow on his way up so that they both crash on top of each other like a silly cartoon. 

Back with Tails and the others, they find our fox boy and decide to head out but not before Rotor just confirms that the rocket is just a straight up nuke. Like, that’s usually the go-to joke I make but no, it’s a nuclear missile. He even calls it the deadliest weapon that ever existed on the planet. 

Woo-boy. You know, after twelve-thousand years it’s honestly a little hard to contemplate something worse not being made but I guess no one really needed to. Not even Eggman. Why would he? Nukes get the job done. 

I’m still not sure how I feel about how the integration between the old human world and our current talking animal world is being handled. This missile hasn’t yet been explained away as something comparatively special from the type of stuff Eggman uses. I guess I’m supposed to believe he’s never fired off a nuclear missile before, just standard missiles that go ka-boom? Right now, it’s the only way I’m going to have to buy this being the situation where they’re finally, FINALLY in over their heads.

Unfortunately I don't buy that Eggman and Station Square have never used nukes before. Also, despite this being the situation where they're FINALLY in over their heads (FINALLY) this missile being over 12 Thousand years old actually makes it less dangerous than the ones they've already been dealing with. By now, the half life inside that thing has to be useless. Unless Kintobor is supposed to such a super scientist that he can make material that can not only stay perfectly intact for over 12 Thousand years but also nuclear weapons that never lose their fizz. 

Penders is asking me to buy a lot about this scientist. It's somehow even more over the top than anything Eggman has ever done.

 You know, it's almost as if he's trying to set up this guy as a new villain because he has no respect for Robotnik and thinks he can do better. 

No, that's crazy talk. It's not like he tried to kill Robotnik is Issue 50 and then ACTUALLY murdered him unceremoniously in his awful 25 Years Later story.

Anyway, Shadow grabs Sonic by the leg and starts fighting with him again. In the biggest of all head-desk moments, Shadow straight up says that he has no idea why he’s fighting Sonic.

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How dare you Sonic… don’t just ASSUME Shadow wants a girl. He could go both ways.

No, but seriously, I don’t… get it. I mean, I DO get it. Shadow needs an excuse to fight Sonic, for some reason, but he’s done that plenty at this point. There’s very little here worth exploring or continuing now. Fights can be cool to look at, sure, but fights without substance or reason are just boring. There’s no reason these two should be fighting.

There sure as hell is no reason they should have been fighting for four issues straight like this too. I’m so ready to move on.

Anyway, we get to, hands down, THE funniest scene in this issue. It’s quite possibly the funniest scene in all of Archie Sonic.

MSO9tBLV1RUSfYIOjmIihSGt59XzwMu8_Vu7iLVO1qOcDGPPQIjOOYB6ftjy9r_EKJokv1mqeosDPZhPBHNs-lb2Pg8hWL5Hvc9g-6m7pLboLw7ol37XvR93RuGIw12ciUyNPDlB

lB39Sm5rFYP2aJBeS37QhumCkZDetGDKlea0DpqUHZLvzxlnKrzI6wxTu884lbgwy8J0CV3MNVEZ228oYY4eksnYtKFkvAX9BxVaJAT_F-kYV70RbVvpVOqlJXB9mMOu6dM-tPEN

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Oh Rotor… you dumb bitch.

Let’s ask the Rotor from the past about how he feels about what you just said.

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Remember when Rotor whipped this out just to show it off? He never ended up even needing it in the issue he showed this to us. This page exists literally because Rotor wanted to show off his huge as fuck, Big Bad Mamma Jamma.

Oh and then there's Bunnie. Remember when he outfitted Bunnie with a heat seeking missile designed specifically to target Sonic?

Actually, remember Bunnie IN GENERAL Rotor?

"Never have, never will." Fuck. 

I mean, come the hell on Ken.

I knew that line was coming and I was waiting for it for so long. Even reading it way back when I knew that was a ridiculous, obvious lie. 

Sonic and Shadow actually do get to talking eventually when the room they’re in starts to fill with smoke. Issac bailed so that he could activate some guns and fire them everywhere. Once they realize this, they leave Metal Sonic to die in the crater he’s stuck in and rush off. Sonic calls Shadow a robot and Shadow corrects him on that. Sonic asks what he is and again I’m left wondering how Sonic doesn’t already know. Whatever though. There’s no way Penders paid much attention to Sonic Adventure 2 so why bother?

Anyway, Shadow and Sonic decide to help each other out now. It’s very weird how Shadow’s motivations just keep flipping like a dime. I don’t even know what his character is even supposed to be here. Even in other bad portrayals of Shadow’s character, I at least know what they’re going for. Here, he’s just doing whatever needs to happen next for no reason. Whenever Sonic asks him why he's doing things, Shadow says he doesn’t know. 

Whatever. The place is nuking itself. It’s blowing up because Issac decided to just fire all weapons everywhere. Seems a little dumb for him to do considering he’s got a nuke under the base that he ASSUMES still functions but what do I know? I guess the best way to protect a nuke is to fire a bunch of dangerous weapons everywhere and blow the place up yourself because a bunch of intruders, that have done NOTHING to harm your facility in these past 4 issues, MIGHT be a threat.

So whatever. Uncle Chuck finds the others when he and Jules show up and he leads them to the ship. Sonic and Shadow get out last and Sonic’s ankle is hurt so he can’t make the run. So Shadow just tosses his ass towards the plane and he lands on his butt in front of Chuck right as they’re finished boarding.

They take off and the last page is Sonic echoing me, the audience, as he complains about the fact that they spent 4 issues in that place and learned jack shit about the real reason they went there in the first place. Issac brought up a bunch of historical bullshit but didn’t really provide many answers aside from clarifications on things we already knew. It’s here where Tails finally brings up that book from before this story began and tells them all that the dude who wrote it has some interesting ideas about how the world was like thousands of years ago.

Sonic is about to dismiss it as theories written by a crackpot but Rotor says he may yet be proven right. Then we cut to Issac talking to his favorite tube, the one that holds the corpse of his master.

-ZdrmaSw7lIAM9Ds9AVhB-xrpw5so7GyBH3gpN7qWB9oOC9Z7LdXDXbBNEibxmvPSST1USl9n4RnZLpe8PlGDLWxEvjzVj5yfHUqjShpElDtpqxnSUcVozSi5rfP4F7JEPoebDF9

He also says the bunker still stands. I don’t know. I guess it has to be pretty resilient to last twelve thousand years. 

This story was garbage.

It was 4 issues of the same pointless fight being dragged on and on for no real reason. The exposition was so… strangely handled that I’m not even sure I learned anything or if I did then what about what I learned is the pertinent information. I knew about the gene bomb already. I knew about the first day of fury already. I knew that Kintobor was Robotnik backwards. Who cares? 

This is the third time I’ve read this story and it’s by far the easiest time I’ve had reading it but at the same time, understanding what it’s saying does little to help it’s standing as a tale. It’s nice getting confirmation that I wasn’t actually missing anything. When reading this, it definitely feels like an overly long set-up for something that I’m sure was supposed to be important somewhere down the line but now it’s just hilarious because it never will be.

Penders takes entirely too long to answer questions and to follow through on the things he sets up. As such, he ends up leaving the book before anything could even really be made of any of this and it just gets waved off as the mad-ravings of a dumb golden robot that’s gone insane and has decided it wants to talk to a corpse rather than someone who’s frozen in time.

It just makes the whole thing feel incredibly stupid. I knew that nothing came of it back when I read it but that was also part of why this story confused me so much when I did. I had no idea what it was talking about because I hadn’t read the past issues but I also didn’t know what it connected to or where it was going because I knew quite a bit about the later issues. I didn’t know any of the behind the scenes stuff either. My only real hope was that somewhere in the rest of the back issues I had ordered I would be given more of a clue but that never happened. The book was an entirely new one when 160 came around.

This story ends up feeling like a confusing time capsule. It’s like some sort of unfinished monstrosity that’s been lost to time. 

However, it’s also an extremely boring, frivolous waste of time that spins its wheels for the sake of being a four issue long advert for getting to see Sonic, Shadow, and Metal Sonic fighting. 

Oh and we need to talk about Issac too. 

Issac is the worst written character in this story, bar none.

Penders is trying to make him sound intelligent with his manner of speech but the actual things he says are often very stupid and his actions are also really dumb as well. You can try and make a character sound smart all you want but when you have them spout out percentages that don't add up, or proclaim that the best way to protect a giant nuke is to fire a ton of weapons around your facility, or have him be confused by Sonic's existence and then go on to reveal that he's already seen creatures like Sonic before... he just comes off like an idiot.

It's worse when you make a robot character that isn't supposed to be an idiot, an idiot. With someone like Cubot, it's clearly intentional and that's why it can be entertaining. Issac just ends up being an example of why it is that Penders is a terrible writer. 


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #149: The Chosen One - Part 1

Story: Romy Chacon
Penciler: Art Mawhinney
Inker: Andrew Pepoy
Letterer: Jeff Powell
Colorist: Jason Jensen
Editor: Mike Pellerito

So, I guess Penders didn’t care enough to personally write the story where we handle this Tails business so Romy Chacon is doing it. Although, I know in my heart of hearts that Penders is probably peering over his shoulder as he does.

The first page is literally a depiction of universal wide mass genocide.

We just see a cosmic hand come down and crush the Spider-Verse of Sonic to bits.

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I want to say this universe was just unlucky but because the comic literally stated that Sonic’s universe is Sonic Prime and therefore the most important one, I can’t help but think this only happened because it wasn’t special enough. 

After another two-page advert for Hero Scape we finally cut to the main story with Tails. It’s drawn by Art Mawhinney which is a nice surprise too. At least it’ll look like the goofy cartoon the story will no doubt pretentiously try to avoid being but end up as unintentionally.

We cut to Sonic and Tails playing hide and seek before a bright light shows up to interrupt their fun. It’s Zonic the Zone Cop, saying hi to Sonic Prime. There’s trouble afoot and Sonic assumes it’s a call to action for him but Zonic says he actually needs Tails… but says Sonic can come along if he likes. He gives them wristbands that keep them perpendicular in the perpendicular zone, which is neat, though, they must be a recent invention seeing as how he never gave Sonic this when he took him here before.

Also interesting is how Tails’ eyes are blue in the first page but in every page after that his eyes revert back to his AoSth black ones.

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If Jason Jenson changed his mind on wanting to color his eyes blue this issue, I guess I can let that slide (I shouldn’t though. His eyes are fucking blue now. Be consistent for god’s sake) but what I can’t let slide is them being blue for the first page and then just switching to black for the entire rest of the story. It seems weird that you’d show us the process of you giving up like that.

Sonic’s eyes are still green so… I don’t know what the deal is. Maybe Sonic is different because there was an actual plot reason for why his eyes changed and why his shoe got a buckle. If so, then that’s weird. Being able to play fast and loose with the eye color because one wasn’t a plot device is strange. However, I’m pretty sure it’s just negligence on his part.

Zonic shows them that the monitors in his hidey hole have a lot of black screens, meaning that ga-zillions of people have died. We’re quickly shown that the person responsible is Mammoth Mogul.

I must have read these issues before but I’m still kind of taken aback that Mogul has this huge of a death toll on his hands. 

Zonic recaps Mogul’s story up to this point. He was a conqueror who had a chaos emerald embedded in his chest. He lived a long life. He got into wearing suits. He stole Enerjak’s powers. He got his ass kicked by Turbo Tails. Mogul got trapped inside the Master Emerald. He replaced Turbo Tails with a copy of Tails in a sad, existential story. Then Mogul got beaten again.

Then the confusing part happens.

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Did you… did you get all that…?

I kind of didn’t at first, honestly.

My brain hurts a little bit right now. 

All these variables and shit. People used to talk up all the lore this comic has and you know what, yeah, it’s got a lot but it’s easy to have that when you just stack confusing variable on top of another over and over again until you’ve got a messy spider-web of nonsense at your beck and call. 

It took me a while to grasp when Knuckles fired energy into Mogul’s chest but I did eventually recall what Zonic was talking about when he mentioned holding the former Enerjak hostage. The details on how Knuckles died are always fuzzy to me for some reason. I still can’t believe Knuckles ACTUALLY fucking died there too. Like, holy shit man.

Anyway, after reading this over a few times I finally got what it was Zonic was saying. That Chaos Force thing that Aurora was talking up… apparently it can be hijacked. Mogul was one with the Chaos Force somehow. I don’t really know how. I guess it happened when Knuckles fired energy into Mogul’s chaos emerald chest or whatever. Either way, he became a part of it and when Knuckles returned to life, Mogul was the only one left inside of it so he took it over completely… I think?

Maybe I’m not understanding this as much as I thought I was. Is Knuckles the only one who was given the chance to bond with the Chaos Force? Wasn’t that an echidna right of passage or was that just a special thing that only Knuckles could do? Also, how did Mogul get in there? Did he punch Aurora in the face and vi-pass her? Does she not know he’s in there? Did he sneak in through the back door?

Am I even talking about the same thing? There’s a good chance I’m not. I may just be talking about something else entirely and the Chaos Force is something else.

Also, Mogul is using this power to destroy every zone in existence. I don’t quite get why it’s all so random though. You’d think the zone of Sonic Prime would be the first one he’d go after but no. The Spider-Man one is more important to him than the one where he suffered so many set-backs.

So yeah, Tails is the Chosen One. What does that mean though? Why him? What can he do that Sonic can’t about this situation?

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It’s such a fun mystery.

Yeah, no. This isn’t annoying at all. I’m not annoyed. Who said I was?

Literally, in the next page, Zonic just shouts that all the other zones are gone. 

All of them. 

Just like that.

The only ones left are Zone Prime and the zone they’re in right now.

Did all the alternate zones just get wiped off the map and out of the book in a single panel accompanied by a line of dialogue? 

… Holy shit. Fine, I guess. That might as well happen.

They do suggest that Mogul is probably planning on creating a new zone of his own making so I have to guess that this is all mostly for fun for him.

Now that he’s here, he should be able to just wipe this place out by crushing it with his fist right? He just did that earlier after all. 

Zonic sends all his zone cops after him and he swats them aside like flies. I guess they lasted long enough for Zonic to bring Sonic and the scared Tails to a room where he has ALL the Tails from all the zones.

JnGhe9jEdy70Ujsfs16PkAu_U6ZCazB-H4Q03doPLr1Oi30fK738S50KqsoyJSdsS2Rknq67Rx7VKa8V3yQ858thqCm2JrrQuOm8UpxVLT7qygwaPGReF8YjaUt5qF2TQAnEVeL5

He just… brought all of them… because apparently he could do that? Weren’t there supposed to be millions of these other zones? How big is this room? How long did it take him to do this? AUGH!

Also, he says the reason he brought them all is because he didn’t know which Tails was the specific chosen one but I’m calling bullshit on that seeing as how he’s the one who told Sonic to his face that Sonic Prime was the central most important zone of them all. Shouldn’t that by proxy mean that Tails Prime is too? At the very least, Tails Prime shouldn’t have been the LAST Tails you recruited.

I don’t quite get why he thought there was a higher chance that the specific Chosen One Tails was the Clown Tails or the Care Bears Tails or the 60s Hippy Tails or the one Tails that looks like he wants to sell you drugs in some alley way.

Maybe Batman Tails could do it?

Fancy British Tails is cute.

 

So ends The Good, The Bad and the Unknown. It is a story that has utterly confounded me to my very core since I first read it so many years ago. Upon this re-read, I have a much clearer vision of what kind of story it is and the full context for what it was that befuddled me so long ago. Unfortunately, it's still not a good story. All the jargon and events that were confusing me have instead become frivolous, ignorable nonsense propagated by an overdone fight that happened for no reason. Even the thing it ends on won’t have any real payoff. Rouge will call the robot insane and that’ll be it. The situation where they were FINALLY, FINALLY in over their heads, FINALLY amounts to nothing. 

Meanwhile, this Tails thing is finally happening and it’s just as silly as I expected it to be, probably even more so. At the very least, it isn’t some random dude who’s showing up now because we needed a random payoff to this thing we set up back when the book was a baby barely learning to stand on two-legs. It’s at least someone we know and it’s been connected to previous events. Albeit, it’s strung together with duct tape and it's clearly just a lazy excuse to turn Mogul into the Anti-Monitor. 

I’m just letting it all wash over me. I’ve seen what happens next and it’s not pretty but I also have such a faded memory of it that I don’t recall if it’s going to be as bad as all that or worse than what I’m imagining right now. I guess that’ll be a nice surprise I have waiting for me. 

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17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The first though that came to mind when I read those trademark yellow Penders narration boxes was “my god, this is some pretentious fluff happening right now” but the second thought I had was how extremely weird the ending narration boxes were.

sDsOE_xwnDGlSbwegHwUDcdYmnUuY6GNEMOiyaF-20JsoVYDNOrm9TSxQByDH-1YUFi-Ml4bXLl7Dgk-YdvFIsWJ2HgNlBv8gQjvaFIsBrapoa3NCfebX7Xrpk3mfhtpXZlo1sOi

Y'know the sad thing is Ken thinks this is way more deep, meaningful and profound then it actually is. Which honestly also describes this whole arc now that I think about it.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Tails says the robot he’s never seen before looks like Gamma. He also, for some reason, says that’s not possible unless Eggman rebuilt him… but, like, Tails never saw Gamma get destroyed.

Also, Gamma wasn’t destroyed. He was just a weirdly dangling plot thread that was forgotten about in the badly told Adventure arc.

Tails, what are you talking about?

I get the feeling Penders didn't remember how the Adventure arc went despite writing half of it.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Kay, so, despite Issac having frequent talks with a creature that has the same size, build, shape, and species as Sonic, when he sees Sonic and realizes that he’s a non-human species capable of intelligent speech, he says it’s intriguing.

Perhaps this is only the case because Issac knows who and what Shadow is so the presence of another being like him is a bit strange. If that’s the angle Penders is going with… he should say that instead. But he doesn’t. Also, we find out later that Issac has already SEEN animals that can walk and talk like Sonic does in a hilarious bit of revisionist history so Issac being confused by Sonic here makes even LESS sense. So less than ZERO sense, you could say.

Part of me wonders if Penders just shat this whole thing out over a weekend or something not really caring about consistency.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

However, when Sonic retorts with a witty remark, Issac says “It displays wit, implying intelligent thought. Therefore it could be dangerous and must be dealt with.”

Then he immediately tries to blow Sonic to smithereens.

It’s… very weird and also kind of funny.

The fact that this robot felt threatened by Sonic enough to blow him up because he made a witty remark is remarkably cartoonish.

"AHHHH! IT'S SARCASTIC! KILL IT!"

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We cut to Eggman staring at Sonic’s butt through a monitor and saying that it’s delicious.

EwTzKoXhgbat668for18KylKtzsfvnzwrjiQjuBZ2Qg82UrCBCKewrxIGmiFtRkhpGG4Nyoj1_77bmqOWEgPuYGkE_ctG8B3vJu92SgMb1LIDtsE394CxS1n7IGNjbEKqqPXL3cJ

He’s incredibly upset that the reception from his side is fuzzy. He really wishes he could enhance right about now.

A universal constant. Eggman likes Mobian ass. Why do you think he has a database of them in Underground?

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

EiNZlfNpvi2ZvSRaOGWCiE_B6a_Cnire-1NZM--UGQxb9fGkGl-xXBhp5uvuuMmZ5_kVmoSn34fxmYvtiND56pHFfsLIwZykI-jnqOpWpUiT2TIHGCGtQ4t6q7ZItHULRwUlpqhi

This is fucking ridiculous.

Metal Sonic’s spread-eagle dive looks funny enough but that little circle of Rotor, Fiona, and Bunnie just being casually electrocuted by something I still cannot see is some nice frosting for this weird as hell, upside down cake.

This is how you do a cliffhanger, right? Bunch of nonsense thrown at you all at once and then "Tune in next Sonic Time! Same Sonic Channel!"?

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

WHY is Tails saying Sizzling Swatbots all of a sudden? I forgave it before but he’s said it again and it’s like… no. He’s trying to be Robin is he? Great googly moogly zippity do-da Batman, we’re in a shitty comic? Again!

It thankfully doesn't last past this arc, because Penders barely uses Tails other than to have him walk in on Sonic making out in the bushes after this, but yeah it seems like Penders was legit trying to make this his catchphrase for some Ungodly reason.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

PGN_mHtyJ7uWbQEurvS-_AJMhpwyelOI0NikxRjj5Leth6gNA3JM-tiZ3JMc4sMt6nWh1VKnbltsjvD8bidzgJoNW__WTsqD3LgpVTHehCtpwzfs7JjZODOX4BaVQBqdyScUEuVP

I have nothing to say about this one other than I sincerely doubt Mike Gallagher and Dave Manak 2 people who have been working in comics since the 80's looked like that in 2005. These fuckers had to be greying by that point.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

That was starting to get dangerously close to just being annoying.

Thankfully there's only one other extended Off-Panel. I don't know why they kept doing these.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #148: The Good, the Bad and the Unknown - Part 3 of 4: Genesis

R-OzdGz4ddP6I61mfFLcLN00wrQDFV6rJXCxPixeSaTTHI7bOy-E4nlYBueGANa0ISXDlGMjiR3Frh8BZE3lj3--NDhzrT1xOgDiFQ1ZU8Gkw8mTV4fHq7sE5udUhTKRSF2KHI7I

It’s a Sonic Battle cover. Never played it because I don’t own a handheld

I did. It's fine. I never got off Knuckles story though because the game is hard as balls.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Technical advisor: Robert Repas, Jr.

RIP BobR. He was one of Penders friends and regularly helped him with breaking stories. He was also one of his biggest defenders.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Shadow points out that Sonic can run faster than that subway car so why use it?

"SONIC'S FASTER THAN A CAR! WHY DOES HE NEED ONE TO RACE!?"

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Also, why are they working together? I asked this before but I’m asking it again because they kind of just became friends and I still don’t know why.

Why is anything happening here?

 

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

VTiQjM9QdQxhBFLQBazCSwOg8tlIcmkhngoFbW7v921gquKxjXnznHLrVYXMSSVwbRH0Au20eG8jvJk2dgiTwwYHFOqPepFlanF3DuZXydhnSqJr6tbQNc8S6TWvp7KLdIUNcMcm

D'ya get it? He was born 666. It's so clever! Ugh.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

God, recorded history would be practically in the gutter by then. Stuff like DuckTales and Animaniacs would be so long forgotten. It breaks my heart. They can only do so many reboots.

… Or can they? If I put a letter in a bottle and tossed it into the ocean telling them what shows to bring back would the Wikipedia page eventually read DuckTales (1987), DuckTales (2017), and DuckTales (14,016)?

Aw. Now I'm thinking about last night's finale again. I got teary I won't lie.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

However, the thing that got my head lolling was the part about the first echidna Day of Fury. Now, I can’t recall if this was mentioned before during the original Xorda invasion or not

I don't think it was there but I think the Days of Fury were at least hinted at if not named in the Tails Miniseries by Athair and were shown to be nuclear explosions? I could be totally wrong the Tails Miniseries is one of them I don't own so I haven't read as much.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

For example, for SOME reason, we needed an explanation for the creation of the Chaos Emeralds…

xs8XBeFvfMZDmiGohGtl2ycwTmyAe7Paw1xnjgCQ2AMK14X80PO3G0HTZvGMKjY1XqJ9xPsx8RhRfvXkczwUR1EmpzE-aKtHtal5e7966mHyxTEaO4aE_ZPUA8S26pLtFFxRh9sm

This part! This part alone pisses me off way more than any of the other nonsense in here. Why the fuck do we need a scientific explanation for Magic Gemstones? And either way has does this explain all the shit Chaos Emeralds can do? Is Radiation an mystical energy force you can bond with and use to become super charged and teleport? Can radiation create new dimensions? How the fuck does any of this nonsense add up?

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

...But like… there exist Chaos Emeralds on other planets in the Archie verse. I don’t see how this… works…?

AND THEN THERE'S THAT! I know Penders didn't read anyones stories but his own but was Mike so caught up in looking for a replacement he didn't step in and say "Yeah that doesn't add up with what's been established"? Ugh. I hate this so much and I'm so glad Ian retconned it. Fuck all this!

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Look at the tiny little Issac in the corner there! Holy shit dude! It’s like a goofy cartoon where someone reveals to have  “been there the whole time” and they flashback to a bunch of scenes and pan out to show the character making that reveal. Except this is meant to be taken seriously!

Also kinda like Scrubs where they brought in Elizabeth Banks and were like nah she's always been here JD just couldn't see her because she was married and they flashback to a bunch of iconic moments with her super imposed into them.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

then an ad for “The Batman Fruit Snacks” which, according to the box, have naturally artificially assorted flavors and 25% more real fruit juice.

Y'know this is just making me think I think we were all hard on The Batman just because it wasn't the Animated Series. Like it tried to do it's own thing even if that worked better in some places more than others. Looking at you weird Joker with prehensile feet. I'm sorry I'd just rather talk about literally anything but this story arc. And this isn't even the worst one!

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I’m no closer to finding out what Shadow’s angle is or why he’s even here

Oh, I can answer that. He's here because he's popular.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

JIGZ1PRH2nUdSY1DtgQrfc2Ge9JCeVBjZ34sa0BnUW7u8ZWBFUJtoKB8z48PAlWfHJFasSvT6FfSXSNdLnKc2-N-SDv-iz27-FF-VuqYZITRhqsvAeNJ1sr4rE7_wz_VaPFcVq2p

I like Uncle Chuck has like a jug on his head and a wind up toy crank to simulate being Roboticized. That's cute.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic goes to kiss Sally-Knuckles.

5WoYAaXZHFWVTkhPc8EcnAj7BeBSeYxjska7g-xRxBH1xCtrJFEnIJ65Bi4UqwTcVI8qmBMCPtFOu0DnGyLwDaJVJRPD4tky_T_4J4CjbxsPooQ8Y9NHNQ-goWHXazCgyyoXNCwZ

Calm down Knuckles. He’s just experimenting. 

Sonic The Hedgehog. Pansexual Icon.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The name Tim Smith 3 rings some very unfortunate bells.

You know what's weird this is the only story he ever drew in the main book and was before his Sonic X work.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Well, not to worry young one. The floating disembodied head of Athair is here to infuriate and confuse you even more!

"Tails I need Five Teenagers with Attitude!"

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Athair shows up as a floating head, speaking about the time of the Chosen One drawing near.

Yeah. Remember that? That thing that happened near what could honestly be considered the book's infancy? It was impossibly long ago that this was first brought up and has only been touched upon in teeny, tiny, miniscule bits and pieces every third blue moon. It’s really not been well handled or talked about or focused on at all.

It's so weird to me how many people touched this fucking story. Gallagher introduced it then left it sit then Kyle Hunter brought it back then Penders tapped it to have him get his ass kicked by Chaos Knuckles then Romy Chacon tried to finish it off with horrifying results and finally Ian actually ends it with something that actually resembled the prophecy from the actual miniseries.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

CVLkfmNm7Haj2fsoapytt9nS5ACftLJ72KjeE8iAT_yFF1f2vwkm20Vd464rVNroS4D87t_-1HJWqKmVM2GHWgPnHArlSoIBDawXjOcE6VQvVfFdUNGj7tpU8UmQ9fYN61cZbfYe

I love the footnote doesn't know what happened in Sonic #56 either.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So, after all this time and all this dicking around, will the endless cycle of Penders making up stupid mysteries and frustrating the characters by refusing to tell them literally anything for YEARS of out of universe time finally come to an end?

-iqWWD1v3QfifeadKSLx7RzWMd7c9UW6r9xJUsTqNH7pKzj_gA5p8OL7zcAfNMgmt5zO6Wtw0dfdi8uXPUmAR8vJVYgDSAOWeZvf4DSeEX9fAhOmAT6Gc9yZ45HJABHddVMuLB1b

The answer is no.

Fuck you. Bye.

What's weird is that again this idea wasn't even Penders. It was Mike Gallagher's. Of course it's hard to remember that because there were way too many cooks on this one plotline. 

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I’m still not sure how I feel about how the integration between the old human world and our current talking animal world is being handled. This missile hasn’t yet been explained away as something comparatively special from the type of stuff Eggman uses. I guess I’m supposed to believe he’s never fired off a nuclear missile before, just standard missiles that go ka-boom? Right now, it’s the only way I’m going to have to buy this being the situation where they’re finally, FINALLY in over their heads.

Unfortunately I don't buy that Eggman and Station Square have never used nukes before.

What I find weird is they don't fully know what a Nuke is. They act like it's some ancient tech but issue 3 of this comic had Sonic warning Sally and Rotor that Eggman has "The bomb" (which of course turned out to be a bug bomb but still) and were worried about the resulting nuclear holocaust. Also Station Square literally nuked Robotropolis as Sonic and Tails watched.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 You know, it's almost as if he's trying to set up this guy as a new villain because he has no respect for Robotnik and thinks he can do better. 

No, that's crazy talk. It's not like he tried to kill Robotnik is Issue 50 and then ACTUALLY murdered him unceremoniously in his awful 25 Years Later story.

Nah. Couldn't be. That's just crazy talk.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

mvb4pESIzmQTJqGcy9eIj-x13DnC5eoAGMFnEUPa3HM7sodDe18NboxATSDdpniuDYIeLE5EdYJLwaXIMiCQQuz7VFYfKzvWQurf_aPqZe85NubwnQ5vklTsl6kKEnLvtIWpluYO

Sonic telling Shadow he needs to get laid haunts my every waking moment.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

MSO9tBLV1RUSfYIOjmIihSGt59XzwMu8_Vu7iLVO1qOcDGPPQIjOOYB6ftjy9r_EKJokv1mqeosDPZhPBHNs-lb2Pg8hWL5Hvc9g-6m7pLboLw7ol37XvR93RuGIw12ciUyNPDlB

Aw. A classic. Look. I get it. I'm pretty anti-gun myself but to just outright lie about this is fucking hysterical. It doesn't help that Rotor's giant ass blaster was in a comic Penders wrote! So it makes it even more hilariously hypocritical.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It's worse when you make a robot character that isn't supposed to be an idiot, an idiot. With someone like Cubot, it's clearly intentional and that's why it can be entertaining. Issac just ends up being an example of why it is that Penders is a terrible writer. 

*Shudders* I'm now imagining how Penders would write Orbot and Cubot. It's not pretty.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #149: The Chosen One - Part 1

IT BEGINS!

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

2hGqd0YRj5Isa-RqwSWDnYbRpwY544M3xfvmbHd6xqAVvopTAUUIcGT5fYkgfU9yFsDkww9zCNWmKW4xZwwVwulrcbE4seVEFrzhcti3K6ntB8IyX3obboLUqm9_l0l04DTchr_i

All right lets go over this one more time. My name is Ponic Parker and I was bitten by a Radioactive Hedgehog and a Radioactive Spider (it was a busy day) and I found I could run at super speed and stick to walls. I fight against big jerks like Professor Egg to keep New Knot City safe from trouble as "Stealth The Hedgehog". (I couldn't not do a Spider-Verse joke.)

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Also interesting is how Tails’ eyes are blue in the first page but in every page after that his eyes revert back to his AoSth black ones.

uCjuIRaczpkHp0osvtPxEFLaeG81AyHtoHaJ5zdE6e_EMrCDTmjuhU1LZlSMWbB6FEYiiWYZipSUFvh4a5uyvtpnUExzjp2cIxyEmX8iJWdRXyl_ZpnUbLiY2Quer_h884j7ewCI

9qTKGB3-GEKKSKqXcUzEelkPsTs_bhlCI1t_9P28p0hAk9VSgNNcycC2cLK-fpJznY06rixuY005zXQusj7dVTsS8IQXSPQkZtEeqDRoiVS814-_qaho12JOwbUf_KTlJ86G5l2J

If Jason Jenson changed his mind on wanting to color his eyes blue this issue,

I actually don't know if that's Jason Jensen or Art Mawhinney's fault. The eyes seem to have completely changed shape which makes it seem like Art just forgot what Tails eyes look like now.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I must have read these issues before but I’m still kind of taken aback that Mogul has this huge of a death toll on his hands. 

mean TBF it's all undone. I mean I kinda doubt there'd be so many people being arrested from other Zones in the Scourge arc or Shadow would be going to the X dimension if the Multiverse wasn't restored.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Zonic recaps Mogul’s story up to this point. He was a conqueror who had a chaos emerald embedded in his chest. He lived a long life. He got into wearing suits. He stole Enerjak’s powers. He got his ass kicked by Turbo Tails. Mogul got trapped inside the Master Emerald. He replaced Turbo Tails with a copy of Tails in a sad, existential story. Then Mogul got beaten again.

His creator thinks he has the ability to hold his own Comic an Animated Series.

 

17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

That Chaos Force thing that Aurora was talking up… apparently it can be hijacked. Mogul was one with the Chaos Force somehow. I don’t really know how. I guess it happened when Knuckles fired energy into Mogul’s chaos emerald chest or whatever. Either way, he became a part of it and when Knuckles returned to life, Mogul was the only one left inside of it so he took it over completely… I think?

I think the idea is that the Chaos force is the pure essence of the Chaos Emeralds. It's the power that flows through them.

 

18 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Literally, in the next page, Zonic just shouts that all the other zones are gone. 

All of them. 

Just like that.

Y'know despite what I said about it being undone when you really think about it Sonic Underground and Sonic X are canonically a part of the Multiverse so AOSTH and SatAM and possibly the games universe might be too so yeah Mogul destroyed all of Sonic.

 

18 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

JnGhe9jEdy70Ujsfs16PkAu_U6ZCazB-H4Q03doPLr1Oi30fK738S50KqsoyJSdsS2Rknq67Rx7VKa8V3yQ858thqCm2JrrQuOm8UpxVLT7qygwaPGReF8YjaUt5qF2TQAnEVeL5

 And also if every Tails is here that means Game, SatAM, AOSTH, STC and X Tails are in here somewhere. They all are a part of the nightmare that is to come.

 

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On 3/15/2021 at 6:43 PM, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Oh god, Issue 150 is next.

Issue 150 is possibly the worst Penders issue written IMO. The worst issue of the entire series.

The ramifications of which gave us probably the worst cover in the series with the cover of 152, and it's not even relevant to the actual issue! 

 

 

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Gp9Uoa9.jpg

Original character donut steel.

Sometimes Isaac has the "102" on him and sometimes he doesn't.

In my opinion after "Return to Angel Island" the book pretty much sucks till Ian becomes head writer with issue 160.

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I am about to finish the whole series guys. I’ll make a review next week, as I have a lot to discuss!

 

I’ll say this in short. Overall the series is pretty flawed, but it was really good in certain parts. I personally enjoyed early issues for nostalgia reasons and really liked the 2nd Genesis wave/new continuity. 
 

also f*** Ken Penders...

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8 hours ago, Yugi said:

Gp9Uoa9.jpg

Original character donut steel.

Sometimes Isaac has the "102" on him and sometimes he doesn't.

In my opinion after "Return to Angel Island" the book pretty much sucks till Ian becomes head writer with issue 160.

Don't quote me on this but I think Issac was originally going to be Gamma. Again I'm not 100% sure but I feel like I read that somewhere.

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2 hours ago, SBR2 said:

Don't quote me on this but I think Issac was originally going to be Gamma. Again I'm not 100% sure but I feel like I read that somewhere.

From what I remember on Ken Penders forum the reason why Issac and Gamma look alike is because Penders wanted to show that Eggman's robots are at the same technology level that Earth was at before the Xorda destroyed it. 

Which sounds dumb cause he could have done that without creating a Gamma recolor.

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