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Something I've wanted to talk about in this is what are people's thoughts on the Post-Reboot era of this, likes, dislikes on it?

For me I thought it was pretty good even if it didn't have enough of a punch like with the original did, and it didn't help that Worlds Unite sort of stopped it's plot. 

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I legitimately think Post-Reboot Archie is the better incarnation in every conceivable way.

It's a world that looks and feels more like Sonic and the way they portray Sonic as a Freedom Fighter feels way more in keeping with his character. Like he's not fighting because it's his home, in fact the conflict with the Freedom Fighters and Eggman on the past feels very contained to just the peninsula on Westside Island, which makes it feel more like Sonic is just helping out some friends because Eggman is giving them a hard time. 

Characteristics are also way more fun. I love the fact the Rotor is way more proactive and mission focused to the point of being just a little bit callus but not so much he's unlikable. I'm glad Ian toned down Sally's whole being perfect at everything thing from Pre-Reboot and made her more unsure of herself. I love Pre-Reboot Sally don't get me wrong but Post-Reboot Sally feels more human. Bunnie and Antoine are largelythe same but they were already pretty good. 

I do wish we'd gotten a chance to delve more into and original story rather than a really long Unleashed Adaptation but even them I do think it was a brilliant idea to use the game that's all about globe trotting as the introduction to the new world and it's concepts original and taken from the games. 

It's just the perfect blend of SatAM and the Games and everyday I hope IDW announces they're going to revive it.

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Overall, I liked the reboot era a lot. I liked that it brought Archie Sonic closer to the games and, while the lost of history is definitely bad in some ways, I'm glad that some of the weirder aspects of the series' past were gotten rid of, offering a more consistent and streamlined world. Broadly speaking, I like the new universe better than the old for these reasons. But yes, the loss of 20+ years of development is still problematic and does make things feel less "weighty" somehow, and I feel like they tried too hard to introduce a bunch of new characters to "make up" for that. I like the redesigns of characters and usually consider them improvements or equal, though I think Bunnie's robot parts were too oversimplified. I didn't read Worlds Unite, but on a conceptual level and from what I've heard, it seems pretty awful and is definitely a blight on the reboot era.

I have mixed feelings about Knuckles' lore being simplified and made closer to Sega (though obviously I know they had no choice). For all its many oftentimes severe flaws, I still like a substantial part of the Archie echidna lore and characters. However, I simultaneously really like what they did with Knuckles' much more simplified life and I recognize that a lot of the previous lore was heavily flawed.

In short, I am a big fan of the reboot overall, but it is unfortunate that so much was lost too.

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Maybe I’m giving it not enough credit to it than I thought, maybe it’s just I’m still upset that we didn’t get resolution in the Pre-Reboot Archie story with Mecha Sally and Naugus plot lines so....eh?

Although I will say one of the few good things about the reboot is this version of Rouge is a hell of a lot better than her pre reboot one. 
 

6 hours ago, Monkey Destruction Switch said:

I didn't read Worlds Unite, but on a conceptual level and from what I've heard, it seems pretty awful and is definitely a blight on the reboot.

Yeaaaaah it’s not very good, if only because it felt like it’s trying to be bigger when it shouldn’t. Plus while the SEGA and Capcom cameos were nice they served no purpose to the story and only show up in the last act. 

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Yeah, while I jumped off the book for a time when it rebooted I've since come back to it and there's a lot to enjoy there, even if it's all kind of pales in the sum total of Archie. The Fighers Arc is one of my favorites and I enjoyed seeing a proper adaptation of Unleashed. 

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I guess my other issue was it ended with them doing adaptations of the Genesis games again like they did in the pre-reboot and then ending before it reached part 4. 
 

And I will say I did like their Mega Drive miniseries even if that one was canceled too. 

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Don’t get me wrong, I love the world and want back the characters of the pre-reboot, but I definitely more a fan of the Post-Reboot setting if I had to pick.

It was more in-line with the games and was the very unified setting that I wanted, while also adding in characters from the cartoons lie AoSTH. Heck, this factor is actually why I hold it up more than IDW right now.

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Another thing to state is I remember from devianart that someone critiqued it for having too many references to games like the game gear games because they never played them. 
 

And also one of them bitched about how much Blaze was made into a punching bag/damsel in distress in the archie comics because of Treasure Team Tango and Pirate Plunder Panic.

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #154: Songoose, Part 2 of 2

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The cover is at least very thematically appropriate. I can’t say that I like how it’s drawn. Everything is just a bit too off for me, I guess. A word of advice to the two of them though, you’d be less of a target if you left the big white and red circle on the wall. 

Spoiler

Writes: Karl Bollers
Pencils: Ron Lim
Inks: Jim Amash
Letters: John Workman
Colors: Jason Jensen
Edits: Mike Pellerito

This little break in the gross shit I’ve been reading is very much appreciated still so there’s little chance I’ll be too hard on this story and how it shakes out unless it turns out Penders sticks his grimy hands all over this story for whatever reason. He’s clearly meddling with the stuff concerning Antoine’s dad so there’s a chance.

This comic begins with a big scene between Sonic, Mina, and Ash. Perhaps here is where I’ll find out what the crux behind Ash’s deal is and why it’s a big deal that he hates Sonic so much. Hopefully, I’ll be given a reason to finally care so that I can understand the conflict and be on board with viewing one or both of them as being in the wrong instead of just indifferent to all of it.

So, it turns out it’s not just Sonic but the entire rest of the Freedom Fighters being on guard duty for the concert. They also show a clip of Nack’s botched assassination attempt, in which we don’t see anyone bumping into his arm to miss the shot. I’m guessing it was hard to see or remember for the comic creators too.

Ash wants to talk to Mina in private. Sonic says no but Mina pushes for it, saying she’s safe with him. The others leave and Ash gets right to the point. He thinks they should cancel tonight’s concert because it’s too dangerous.

Alright. So far that’s an understandable position to take. Although, I do much prefer the “we won’t be intimidated by criminal threats” approach the Freedom Fighters are taking by going through with it anyway, one could argue that if Sonic was this high strung about being her bodyguard, he’d probably be more open to doing that too. As it stands, having the concert might be the equivalent to using Mina as bait to solve the problem. Then again, canceling might just send a message that they’re intimidated and push Eggman to keep going… if he wasn’t already going to do that anyway. Hmm.

I can’t help but wonder how one resolves this issue entirely. Do they just wait for Eggman to get bored and move on to something else? I mean, I guess that’s all they realistically could do, just short of killing him.

Either way, Mina doesn’t want to quit the concert because it’d be letting down all the fans. 

I mean… I guess but… I dunno, I feel like you could reschedule until the heat dies down and they’d understand. There were a lot of people there when Nack tried to kill you. They know you’re in danger.

Then again, she has faith in Sonic and Ash scoffs when she brings him up. Mina finally asks what his deal is and why he hates Sonic so much. Ash reveals that it’s exactly what you’d think it’d be. He doesn’t like him because he broke Mina’s heart. 

As thoughtful as that is, a part of me can’t help but think that he’s kind of lucky it didn’t work out between the two of them. I know that’s a bit petty of me but it’s true.
 
Mina says she’s not the type to behave in a grudge-holding way and Ash suggests the actual reason might be because she’s still carrying the Sonic torch. He holds up a bunch of papers and claims that all her song lyrics, ALL OF THEM, are apparently about Sonic.

Now that’s quite the claim. If it’s true, I actually kind of understand being upset by that. I mean a couple of songs about our hero Sonic is perfectly fine but it IS a bit strange if literally ALL her songs are about Sonic, not gonna lie.

Also, it would kind of contradict that one story where she symbolically threw her feelings for Sonic in the garbage right? I guess you can’t expect someone to get over someone that quickly but… it feels like it’s been an appropriately long time. I don’t see any merit in continuing the story where Mina has feelings for Sonic anymore. If Ash’s hatred of Sonic only exists to create drama to stretch that plotline out, I can’t say I’m on board. I’m not seeing the point. I hope this story is about resolving it instead.

However, this will only be true if Mina straight up proves it’s not true.

So, when Mina claims it’s not true, Ash asks her to simply tell him that she doesn’t love Sonic the Hedgehog anymore.

Mina stays silent.

Ash leaves, saying he should probably just stick to being her manager then.

Hmm. 

I’m in two minds about this.

One, I’m really annoyed that this thing with Mina and Sonic is still happening. I thought it was cute when it first came around but it’s been too long and I very much like the idea of her moving on with Ash. However, I did in fact go back and check those awful song lyrics last issue and she’s straight up singing about this wonderful, beautiful person that came into her life and straight up says the line “you’re out of the blue '' and it’s… ho’boy.

I just… I… don’t even know what to say. Honestly.

Two, however, I do feel like it still might be a bit of an overreaction for him to insist that she not have lingering feelings for him anymore, if that’s indeed what he’s saying. I guess he could, in the back of his mind, still know the difference between “lingering feelings” and straight up “loving” someone though but that’s not clarified and he isn’t owed the benefit of the doubt. Nor will anyone reading this give him that when he’s being such a jerk.

Plus, I get it. She’s in another relationship. She’s supposed to have moved on. It’s also really strange that ALL your songs are apparently about your last love interest when you’ve got a boyfriend. 

So, I get all that but there should be more open room for understanding on his part. After all, he said it himself, that Sonic broke her heart. I’ve never been in that position before but I’d imagine the grace period for getting over it might be a little long. He should be way more open to understanding that then he is here. It’s not fair to Mina.

However, then again, Mina said it’s been an entire year she’s been with Ash. If it’s been that long and she’s still into Sonic enough to dedicate ALL her songs to him and not able to say she doesn’t still love him when asked then... BUT then again, again, Sonic was thought to be DEAD during that time so...

Yeah, it’s a bit of a mess. Their reactions here might be the point though. Perhaps the set up is for them both to learn a lesson here and that’ll be the end of it.

I will say I don’t think this scene is written too badly on it’s own. The characters' emotions come through in a believable enough manner, I think? The one hang-up I have is the fact that this is happening at all, honestly. It’ll be worth it if this turns out to be the resolution and not an excuse to keep the drama going. 

It’s still really funny how hyperbolic that sounds. ALL your songs are about Sonic? Really? That sounds ridiculous but apparently it’s true! It’d honestly be stupid if all her songs were about Ash, her actual boyfriend, but your former crush? The writing of that little tidbit is way too silly to even take seriously. 

So, the Freedom Fighters are all scattered about the place now. Tails is in the sky, Bunnie and Fiona are in the crowd, Amy is front row, center stage, Sonic’s observing offstage by Mina’s side, and Sally’s back home because of course she is.

Mina goes out and performs and now that Ash has pointed out the song lyrics thing I can’t help but notice it now as well.

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“You’re the one I want. I love you ‘cause you’re you. There’s no need to be blue.”? 

Yeah, I agree with Eggman about the lyrics. As I stated before, when comics have song lyrics in them, the music I have in my head just consists of the person on stage screaming at the crowd rather than singing because I have no melody to follow. It just sounds like oddly positive slam poetry about the last guy she loved.

It’s also kind of funny that an army of little bombs can just waltz on into the concert like that. I guess they’re tiny but they’re in such a big cluster. Mentally putting together how they managed that is kind of hard. Thankfully, Tails spots them rather quickly, though not before they infiltrate the crowd.

Tails spotting them means jack shit though because some poor fucker in the audience just shouts “BOMB!” and a panic happens.

Sonic rushes to Mina and says he’ll get her to safety. Ash says he’ll do that instead and tells Sonic to go help his Freedom Fighter pals. Sonic refuses because he’s Mina’s bodyguard but Ash won’t back down, claiming Mina was just fine for an entire year without him. Sonic suggests that might not cut it anymore and blah blah blah. Teen angst, romantic drama bullshit.

This petty argument is interrupted when Heavy bursts through the bottom of the stage. Then Sonic is just like, “Ash, get Mina to safety” rendering that squabble pointless. Yeah, this is starting to remind me of Sonic and Geoffrey’s fights over Sally. That’s not a good thing to remind me of.

We get this weird scene of Fiona being exploded into a back-flip.

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I think. 

It’s hard to tell what’s going on in these fights panels honestly.

Sonic is shockingly, very afraid of getting hit by Heavy. He says if one of his hits connects, he’s just going to die. So… damn.

Sonic’s got an idea though. They’re by a body of water so he burrows under the ground and Heavy follows him. He then drills underneath the area where the water is and decides to drown the both of them.

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I guess that was the only way?

I’ll be honest… it doesn’t feel like it.

I really don’t know why Sonic was acting like Heavy was such a huge threat that he was going to kill him if a single punch landed on him. The last time he fought Heavy, he demolished him with a single hit. He exploded and was never seen or talked about again. Here, Sonic’s acting like he knew the guy personally.

He even said, when Heavy showed up, that he should have known Heavy would be here because Bomb had shown up and they always come in a package deal. What do you mean “always” Sonic? You fought them exactly one time before this. You didn’t even know who they were when you did. If you did I doubt you’d have been so merciless last time.

Or maybe you would have. It’s sad that’s a real possibility. 

Well, for whatever reason, Sonic saw Heavy as a really huge threat to the point where he risked drowning himself to take him out. I’d at least have appreciated being shown Sonic trying to properly attack him before pulling a suicide maneuver like that. Try and convince me a little more that Sonic’s in trouble with this dude before he just jumps to doing something so drastic maybe? 

I guess that would mean cutting out the entire page of arguing between him and Ash though and lord knows we need more of that right?

Sonic ends up passing out in the water and wakes up on the ground, having been rescued by Bunnie. Sally, back at HQ, is informed of all the stuff they did without her help and she says that they did a good job. She also addresses my concerns about this just being an endless cycle of attacks Eggman continues.

Sally says that “Hopefully, Robotnik will REALIZE she’s no easy target” and leaves it at that.

So… I guess that’s… what’s gonna happen? Alright.

It’d be easier to swallow if this were like an episode of Sonic Boom or X where this was just something he cared about for the sake of the episode and it was resolved by the end of it. It’s a bit harder to buy with Archie Eggman but I’m willing to let it slide. It’s functionally ridiculous anyway.

That’s kind of why this melodrama between Sonic, Ash, and Mina is bordering on annoying. I need that resolution now. Like, we get a scene where Sonic and Mina hug with Ash watching and they make plans for a date with celebratory chili-dogs right in front of him. I hope that doesn’t happen. Resolve things, for the love of my sanity. I don’t want to sit through any more of this drama.

Thankfully, and to Ash’s credit, he doesn’t step in between them this time. Instead, he waits for them to be alone so he can pour his heart out to her properly but right when Mina is about to reiterate that it’s over between them, The Bomb of Dramatic Timing shows up in her dressing room and Ash, immediately, just grabs it and rushes out of the room with it to save her.

It explodes and we’re left with this soap opera scene.

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When I saw this I laughed.

Yeah, there’s a precident for the bomb to be in Mina’s dressing room but the fact that this happens SO fucking fast and we just cut to Dr. Quack immediately after this just makes it feel really lazy. The way this issue just mined for cheap melodrama reminded me immediately of that scene in Spongebob where Mr. Krabs is booted from the hospital while this fake, TV hospital drama music plays in the background.

So, yeah. This was stupidly handled.

However, I can’t help but respect just how much this guy genuinely loves Mina. Like, seriously. It’s one thing to be upset with Sonic because he didn’t reciprocate her feelings despite that being the only way you’d ever end up together but grabbing a bomb and rushing off with it and letting yourself get blown up to protect her? Fuck man. Would I ever do that for somebody…?

SOMEHOW he survives. 

Yeah, I guess Bomb sucks because he couldn’t even take out a regular concert manager.

This scene happens next. 

It’s kind of adorable, though the ending confuses me a tad.

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Were I to wager a guess, I’d say that Sonic was watching the two of them and thinking about his relationship with Sally.

At least, I hope that’s what it is because if he’s seriously jealous of Ash than that’s dumb. It’d just confirm that Ash was right to be as paranoid as he was about Sonic and I don’t think that’s the correct approach to handling this reconciliation.

I doubt it’s that. I want to give Boller’s intentions the benefit of the doubt even though I probably shouldn’t. He’s written a lot of stinkers too after all. Though, who knows what Penders has in mind.

This was a really cute scene though. Like I said before, it was unfair to expect her to not have feelings for Sonic anymore but as Mina pointed out here, that’s not entirely  what Ash was asking of her. He asked to know if she still LOVED him and she said nothing. She didn’t actually still love Sonic so she really should have just clarified that like she is now but AGAIN I also understand that when people are arguing, feelings tend to get in the way of conduct.

Plus, it’s up to Mina to make that decision. Ash shouldn’t have been trying to pressure her into admitting something when she wasn’t secure or ready. That’s what a supportive boyfriend should do.

Ash was acting out A LOT more than he usually did in this issue because the fear and anger was catching up to him and Mina’s insecurities were making her seem non-committal. However, at the end of the day the two do actually love one another so it got out in the open. 

Nice.

You know, I actually really love seeing these two together. Like, a lot. It’s strange because I probably should be more mean about the handling of this than I am but I guess I’m coloring what Ian does with them later with what’s happening now. I really love this couple in the issues I’ve read past #160 so seeing it here, in its infancy, where Ash is just always angry and scowling but never really actually DOING anything aside from complaining all the time just rendered me confused as to what I was supposed to think of him.

I understand why someone would just jump to hating the guy but experiencing the Mina and Ash story BACKWARDS instead of forwards probably made it so I’m way more accepting of it. 

So yeah, I do like Ash and Mina. I like them being together. I think it’s cute. So sue me. 

We cut back to Eggman who’s just in top form today.

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Jesus, I love this man.

He whines a little more about how much Nack sucks and complains about how much he hates having a flesh and blood body before the word “breakable” gives him an idea of some sort.

Also, he confirms that he’s done targeting Mina for now. I guess it’s true. They just had to wait for him to get bored of it.

You know what? I actually do buy it. He’s a very “fly by the seat of his pants” kind of dude. Even in this comic. 

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #154: More Than Meets the Eye

Story/Art: Ken Penders
Colors: Josh Ray

This story was written by Ken Penders, as such we’re back to all that weird talk about whether or not robots are alive again. It happens after Snively zaps a sample of the nanites and Tommy is all like “AH! YOU KILLED THEM!” as though he has a reason to care.

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I don’t get it. 

Why are we talking about this? 

Why does Tommy care?

He says that he used to be put down for being small and slow but he’s not really been showcased as all that slow despite being a turtle and he’s not even the smallest person in this room. Still, he attempts to form a common bond with them over this?

He cries a single tear into them and they come out of the patry dish and attack Tommy… then they bond with and fuse with his shell.

Yeah, now his shell is entirely composed of nanites. Just like that.

Tommy claims it’s a symbiotic relationship. I’ve no idea how he could know that but he does. He also rattles off a bunch of science stuff that he also just knows because I guess we learned a while back that he’s also a genius. 

Yeah, so, the nanites form things out of his shell when he thinks of wanting to do something. Like, he thinks of wanting to go somewhere so they form a jetpack out of his shell. Problem is, he doesn’t think of the “where” and “how” so he’s got little control when he just starts flying off… or, at least I think he does? Doesn’t...? 

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I don’t know. It’s shockingly unclear how exactly the relationship and control works between them.

Tommy cried into them. They became his shell. Now he can use them to fly and presumably other stuff. Good for him.

Despite how oddly handled some of the melodrama was in this issue and my initial misgivings about suffering through it at all due to wanting to move past Mina’s feelings for Sonic, I will say that because I actually got that resolution I wanted, I’m leaving this issue with a more positive feeling than a negative one. It helps that this is one of the few relationships in the comic that I actually do find adorable, though, not because of THIS issue. I can’t mince words here, despite technically being Bollers last hurrah it was a pretty bad one. The insufferable teen angst and high drama on display can’t really be justified.

The reason this took a bit longer for me to finish is because I kept having to reword all the statements I was making in both this final word and within my review about Ash and Mina’s relationship. At some points I felt I was being too harsh to Mina. Other times I felt I was being too kind to Ash. It’s like… really hard to get a handle on what I feel about THIS portrayal of them for some reason. It shouldn’t be (it's clearly not good) but I think the fact that it’s SO strangely handled just rendered the side of my brain that likes them in Ian’s run unable to process how to compare these two portrayals. One portrayal has their relationship as really healthy and the other is this where it’s… there but it’s also not…? But it is? 

This definitely feels a lot better than the disgusting sewage we’ve been getting with Sonic and Evil Sonic recently. Perhaps that’s also why I have so much sympathy for their situation and I want to see it actually go well. I’m not too worried about them though. It’s plain to see that they do care a great deal for one another so the reconciliation at the end did it’s job at the very least.

The second story was whatever. It wasn’t great, as one is to expect from Ken Penders, but despite how haphazard and fast the development for Tommy’s new body was, it’s nothing all that egregious. I don’t hate Tommy but I do find the amount of focus he’s been getting to be very odd. I’m not sure why it’s happening but at the very least it gave Ian Flynn a nice set-up to end his story on the highest of all high notes.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #155: Line of Succession, Part 1

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Sonic, he can really brood. Sonic, he’s lost his attitude. Sonic, he sits in the corner and CRY-EYIEES! 

No, but seriously, we’ve happened upon yet another monumental point in the history of Archie Sonic. This fucking cover. Needless to say, something like this would never be put to market today. Honestly, when I first discovered this, I hardly believed it at the time. Yeah, Sonic’s been sad before but my goodness. He’s never looked so pitiable before. I also remember the punch line being the thing he was crying over. I couldn’t imagine him caring that deeply about it. Nowadays, I can when it comes to Archie Sonic at least, but I still don’t buy it would ever lead to an image like this. This made so many important people upset.

Spoiler

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

I don’t need to reiterate how infamous the front cover is though I will say that because I own all the issues we’ve been talking about since #142, I am at least happy that I own it. It’s a nice little piece of memorabilia that I can’t help but chuckle at.

Another thing I want to mention is the fact that we’re five issues away from #160. I point this out not to celebrate but to marvel at how this comic, since Ken has taken over, has been nothing but pointless relationship drama. 

I complained about this up front when I got to the Sonic Angels cover but I just need it said again that this is a Sonic the Hedgehog comic book. Drama and romance is, in theory, fine, but this is way too much. There’s SO much of it happening in such a small, condensed amount of time. I’m starting to feel a huge weight begin to crush me. 

I honestly think I may die before I reach #160. This era of comics is fighting hard to boot those Knuckles comics off the top spot for the worst I’ve ever had to suffer through reading this book. 

Now, we’re here at an issue where Sonic’s depicted crying in the corner because Sally’s gonna get married on the front cover. It couldn’t be anymore glaring just how fucked this all is.

Patch, disguised as Antoine, is meeting with the returned King Max and talking with him about how much he sucks at winning people over to his side. They keep putting too many Z’s in Patch’s speech pattern which leads to a humorous typo where Patch says “Considering Robotnik has had little interest in Z zis section of Mobius”. 

Were I ever to write Antoine in a fan-fiction or fan-comic of some sort, I’d just drop the fake French in the word bubbles and assume your imagination was doing the work already. I’d imagine that it honestly would.

Also, Patch is poisoning King Max. HURRAY!

He’s doing it slowly though, so hopefully that means his death will be slow AND painful. Aww man. It just keeps getting better.

Of course, it can’t be instant because he needs to use the time the king has left to carry out his plan. If he just drops dead it won’t work. Priorities.

Hey, let’s cut to something awful instead though. 

Tails tries to find Sonic and wouldn’t you know it?

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MORE drama bullshit. Oh. Thank the lord. We went exactly one side-story from the last issue without any of that. Feed me more Penders. It’s what I, a little kid reading Sonic the Hedgehog, want more of for sure.

This one, of course, is another problematic one. This is the second time Tails just happened to see Sonic macking on girls, though, last time that was Evil Sonic. This time it’s even worse because it’s the real Sonic and he’s… doing exactly what Evil Sonic was doing.

Like, it’s kind of official now. He kissed Bunnie and now he’s kissing Fiona. No, it doesn’t matter if the original intention was to have Bunnie kiss him instead. That’s not what ended up being depicted unfortunately.

It’s so strange that Sonic is just DOING the same thing now. I guess in a way it makes sense since he and Evil Sonic are two sides of the same coin. The difference is that Sonic allegedly has the ability to feel bad about it?

This is also troubling on Tails’ part too though. We’ve got another story where a really young boy is in love with a girl that’s too old for him. You know, that old chestnut that nobody likes whenever they shove it into an otherwise really good show or comic? The rub here is that this hasn’t been a very good comic for a good chunk of it's run at this point.

Tails fumbling over his words here is still amusing in it’s own right though.

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A part of me kind of would like to have seen what would happen had Tails continued to fuck up when he was speaking to her and just ended up embarrassing himself by accidentally insulting her over and over again.

I’d have preferred it to him embarrassing himself this way.

This is another infamous set of panels, with the final one at the bottom being yet another one for the “Unintentional funniest shit I’ve ever seen” pile.

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“Yes, Tails can be a Freedom Fighter because he’s actually so much more mature than you Amy. Didn’t you know?”

I can’t with that final image. Every time (EVERY TIME) I look at it I burst out into a giggle fit. It’s so pathetic and dumb looking. Who can look at that and not imagine that after he growled so hard that his forehead looked like it was overflowing with bubbling lava and screamed at Sonic the anthem of Toddlers who are mad at their parents at Sonic that he then just scrambled off into the bushes, flailing his arms and crying like a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man.

I’m just picturing Tails, after looking so fierce, just running into the sunset, waving his arms and legs about and spewing tears everywhere. Then he falls off a cliff or something. 

I dunno. It reminds me of a shitty cartoon. Like a really shitty punch line to a bad episode of Family Guy in the later seasons. 

Fiona says there’s nothing Sonic can say or do to make him feel better but that’s technically not true. He could not date Fiona but I guess that’s his decision to make.

WHY he’s dating Fiona is a completely different story altogether though… in that, there isn’t one. Not really. He got a little sad when he saw Mina and Ash at the end of the last issue so I guess he just moved on to the next girl…

For some reason it’s not Bunnie. You’d think that’d be the obvious story choice for Penders to go for considering what took place a couple of issues ago but no. Apparently, it’s better that Sonic treats these women like the wheel of fortune. He spins it and whatever he lands on he goes for.

I prefer he not get together with any of them but for the sake of following through on what was set up, it just makes more sense to go for the thing that was already established. He can’t even use the excuse of not paying attention to Bollers stuff on this one since Bollers is gone now and his story actually closed off Sonic from one of his “angels”. I guess he just really wanted it to be ALL on Bunnie and not Sonic then eh?

Queen Alicia is about to return while Dr. Horatio Quack is bragging at the king about how fucked he’d be if he weren’t here to take care of him. Since Penders doesn’t actually know anything about medical stuff he does what I would do and just has the doctor tell him to get plenty of rest and hands Patch a bottle of unidentified pills for him to take.

We don’t need to know what kind of medicine it is. All we need to know is that he’s giving them to Patch, which, he doesn’t know, is the exact wrong thing to do.

So anyway, Sally is all upset at Fake-Antoine for guarding her dad too hard… I guess? It’s not really clear but she’s upset.

She walks into the room and kisses her dad, greeting both her parents with happiness in a scene that had the potential to be good but ended up not working out that way because King Max is King Max.

Instantly, when he returns home, he decides it’s time to make another life altering decision FOR Sally yet again. This time he wants her to marry so she can be queen because he’s sick and needs to step down.

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OR… OR you know you could give the job of being Queen to the ACTUAL queen. You know, the one that’s standing right there next to you and hasn’t done jack shit since coming back into the story?

I mean… what?

Huh?

I know he says “we’re not getting any younger” to Sally so maybe he’s using this sickness as an excuse to pass the torch in a generational sense as well but I shouldn’t have to infer that. 

Of course, Penders is back at the helm so the AWFUL nature of how Sally is being treated is being ramped right the hell back up to what it was before Bollers tried to make Max more cool.

This conversation goes about as well as you’d expect it to, especially written by our favorite leader of the “Sally should die, she cramps Sonic’s style” brigade.

Sally is told that she has to marry Antoine. She asks if this is the Dark Ages and whether or not she has a say in the matter. Alicia seems rather happy to state that she doesn’t and that she didn’t when she married Max either.

This is all a good thing to her parents and Sally getting mad is treated as an embarrassment because Max straight up tells her that because she broke up with someone once that proves that she should never be allowed to choose who she wants to love again. I literally belted out a fit of laughter just typing that last sentence because it’s so stupid and awful.

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Sally’s response here is to dab on the haters as she runs away crying.

I would have tried to T-Pose for dominance personally but I guess she felt the cringy option would be more effective.

Either way this is some impressively regressive shit. Not just in the politics and the misogyny on display here, propagated by BOTH her awful parents now but because it flies in the face of Bollers' characterization of them during his run on the book while Penders was busy writing his Echidna fan-fiction.

Yeah, you could tell that when Bollers was writing for Max he was deliberately trying to make him a nicer, more understanding father. Remember that scene where Max shook Sonic’s hand excitedly and said he should have listened to him sooner, implying they were forming a comradery of sorts? Remember when Max straight up said he supported Sally in her decision to be together with Sonic? Both he and his wife were fully on board with it.

Now that Penders has regained control of Max, that’s all out the window. Here he is, calling Sonic a commoner again. Here’s his wife, glorifying the fact that she was forced to marry this awful sub-mortal trash and lucked out into somehow learning to love walking, talking garbage.

Yes, I know, Penders claims to have never paid any attention to what the other writers were doing with their stories and such. That’s not a good thing. Even if he were, it hardly would have mattered because I have a feeling he’d have done this anyway without acknowledging it intentionally. 

We cut to Sonic where we get this really nicely drawn image of him playing guitar for his mom. James Fry draws it really well and it’s a fairly cute scene until Bunnie shows up to deliver the bad news.

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Sonic’s comment about his mom’s faves being so yesterday doesn’t jive with me seeing as how in the current year we tend to see the oldies appearing way more in movies than any of the new shit. 

Anywho, Sonic, under the impression that this was Sally’s decision, races off to go see her, recounting all their past drama in his head while on his way. He says he’s just upset she decided to do this without telling him but his reaction was rather instantaneous for that to be the whole truth.

Despite Bunnie kissing Sonic and Sonic deciding he wants some of that Foxtail, both his and Bunnie’s reactions to the news of their former flames getting married tells all.

When Sonic gets there he’s stopped by Patch who tells him he needs proper permission to be let in. When Sonic insists he doesn’t need one and is about to go in while undermining who he thinks is Antoine’s authority, Patch points his sword at him and they fight.

Sonic flips over Patch but Patch, surprisingly, pins Sonic to the bridge then kicks his ass into the water.

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Oh well. Sucks to suck.

Hold up, there was a Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit video game? Actually, I think I remember that. Ah man. I kind of wish I had it. That’d be impossible to get for a good price nowadays, even if it isn’t anything special. Most of that Gamecube, PS2, and early X-Box era stuff is super pricey now. They go from $60 at launch to a bargain bin $20 to a super ultra rare $150+  now. What a strange life-cycle for games. These comic book ads sure do take me back.

We cut to Patch who goes to talk with Sally. She doesn’t want to be but Patch let’s himself in and offers her comfort by letting her know that he doesn’t want to do this either. When Sally asks him the real reason, he says that duty and loyalty to his king is reason enough for most people and he hopes that she’d at least be able to understand that. Sally says she was hoping for the fairy tale ending.

You know, so far, Patch is the only thing in this issue that’s actually being written surprisingly well. Not only is he good at keeping himself subdued but he’s also good at manipulation and he also literally kicked Sonic in his ass.

It’s a really good move to, instead of feigning interest in Sally romantically, that he’d opt for getting on her good side by finding common ground with her based on her feelings regarding the situation. It makes him less suspicious and more someone she can count on, which is exactly what Patch needs if they’re going to marry.

The next day, King Max’s condition is getting worse. He’s in a coma now. 

Sally gets a determined look on her face and goes off saying she’s got a wedding to prepare. 

It’s an extremely weird thing for her to march off looking determined to do after finding out her dad’s in a coma, regardless of the circumstances.

We cut back to Sonic’s house where another really weird scene happens. Like, everything said in this scene is incredibly strange. Sonic is leaving the house and his mom doesn’t want him to because “He could get hurt” and his dad is like “A lot worse could happen as well but you have to hope for the best” as though she’s right to suddenly be feeling this worried about him just going out at night? He’s done that before.

The only thing that’s happening is this wedding right? What is it that she’s worried is going to happen and why is this scene here if it’s actually nothing? Why did Sonic’s dad have to remind her of Sonic’s age to get her to calm down? It doesn’t even really matter. He fought in a war during your absence for so long. I’d have led with that personally.

The bottom panel is the strangest thing on the page though. It’s just Sonic running through ideas on how he’s going to sabotage this wedding. He seriously thinks to himself “I could CRASH the party, take Sally AWAY from the scene, and deal with the FALLOUT later!” like he’s Sonic the Kidnapper like that one line from the 4kids version of Sonic X suggested. 

Or he could go find a person who’s willing to help. 

Willing to help do what? Help kidnap Sally from her wedding?

What exactly is the scenario that’s on your mind here Sonic? Are you seriously trying to just pluck someone out of a wedding and run away with them? 

What the fuck? Penders, I thought Sally cramped Sonic’s style. Is this how you’re trying to show us that she does? By turning him into a psychopath who, hours earlier was trying to get together with Fiona and then instantly when the person he broke up with is about to get married, rushes off to steal her away, damming the consequences?

Well, he’d better hurry because next morning she’s led down the aisle by, not her unconscious, coma stricken dad, or even her mom, but by the doctor that delivered her, Horatio Quack.

He even gives her a little forehead kiss when he pulls back the veil.

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All the while, Sally’s trying to convince herself that this wouldn’t be so bad in the end and that she’ll get over Sonic one day. So she’s accepting her fate passively and waiting for her big, strong man to come save her I guess. 

Boo.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #155: The Prince Of Flame, Part 1

Writers: Mike Gallagher
Draws: Art Mawhinney
Inks/letters: Mike Higgins
Colors: Jason Jensen

Hey, it’s Dulcy the Dragon!

Remember her?

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She hasn’t been in the comic since she got physically assaulted by her abusive boyfriend who got crushed to death by some rocks. 

Fuck. That actually happened. Jesus Christ.

Judging by Dulcy’s reaction here, she’d rather she not have come back either.

No, though. There’s another reason she just flew off. It’s because they asked her to use her fire breath. She goes on a long winded monologue in her mind about why she can’t use her fire breath and it takes an insanely long time to get to the point.

Until we reach that point we get a hefty dose of her backstory, in case you cared. Dragons used to fear surface dwellers until they didn’t but then, oh no, the fire nation attacked and roboticized everyone except a few of them. She went into hiding with a group of dragons led by the elder dragon Glint who said it was time for them to part ways with the surface world.

The huge point of interest here is that he led them to a city called Vesuvio. Like Mt. Vesuvius only… not.

It’s a giant volcano that their ancestors lived in eons ago and it’s said to be where the Walkers forged the magic Golden Rings. 

That’s all though. The comic doesn’t dwell on that. Instead it tells us about how, despite looking like a kind old dragon man in these panels, Glint is actually a bit of a dictator and an asshole. He tells his dragon kind that contact with the world above is strictly forbidden and any violation of that rule means instant banishment.

If it sounds incredibly harsh and unnecessary then yes, it is. 

I guess the point is to be ironic with the fact that they’re dragons and known for taking to the sky and such but damn. 

Dulcy can’t resist eventually and one day just leaves. She saves Sonic and Sally and becomes an on-again, off-again Freedom Fighters member.

We then get a SHIT-TON of in-story retconning, the likes of which I’ve never seen before. The helpful little yellow boxes showing which issues they were retconning also helped too.

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“Thought you had me there for a minute, didn’t you?” says the yellow caption box.

No. No I didn’t. Because I didn’t care.

Did anyone care that Dulcy’s nose ring was sometimes black and sometimes yellow? Or that the last time she breathed fire was in Issue #29? Dulcy barely shows up in this book as it is. That’s not too hard to believe. This is like when they tried to offer that unnecessary explanation for why Sally was pink in the early issues.

Also, huffing paint via nose ring sounds awful.

Anyway, Dulcy decides randomly that today she wants to go back to those people that exiled her over something dumb but is then immediately blasted by a laser and knocked out when she reaches the cave, thanks to Eggman and his horde of dragon robots.

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Turns out that Eggman, in between doing all the other numerous shit he’s been up to, has been tracking Dulcy for a really long time and is happy that she finally led him to this cave of dragons so he can conquer this site of rich ancient energy.

Fucking oops.

I don’t know how often I can express just how draining and exhausting suffering through all this teen angst and relationship drama is. I’m a really big fan of angst, but not like this. The worst kind of angst is this teenage melodrama bullshit. I don’t care. I could stomach it a bit if it was stuff that happened in short bursts but it’s been NOTHING but this ever since Penders took over. I’m astonished he’s still somehow, miraculously, finding a way to fit Eggman in all this stuff. 

We see that Sonic’s doing the opposite of crying in a corner about Sally’s marriage. No, not moving on with his life. The other opposite thing. Actively trying to stop it by force. He’ll end up being proven right to have done this but only because the person Sally’s marrying is Patch. His actions in any other sense are just kind of pitiful. However, it’s hard to lay the complete blame on to him because the entire conceit behind this marriage is dumb anyway. It shouldn’t be happening at all. Max and Alicia gave their blessing to Sonic already. I know Penders doesn’t care but no amount of not caring is going to make that not true.

I don’t need to go into how it’s also stupid that Tails has a crush on Fiona because he met a fake, robot version of her back when the book was in it’s infancy. Those Tails issues were actually really funny to me so seeing it tainted by this doesn’t feel good.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #156: Line of Succession, Part 2

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Oh my God. It’s this cover.

Guys, I remember a much more innocent time where I would look at my stack of Archie Sonic comics and conclude, every time, that this was the ugliest cover of them that I had ever seen. Nowadays, I’ve seen far worse but this one still holds a special place in my nightmares. The thing I keep being drawn back to is, of course, that monstrous sock puppet version of Sally at the top. She looks like a cross-eyed blow up doll that hasn’t finished fully inflating. I can just hear the air expelling from her weird looking, gross, fat lips. Ugh. I guess it’s appropriate seeing as how she’s literally being treated like a puppet in this story. 

Eww! I just noticed Fiona on the bottom left. UGH! GROSS!

Spoiler

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

Even though, back when I was initially reading these issues, I didn’t care for the art, today I have to count my blessings that Penders isn’t also deciding to take up art duties as well.

We start where we left off in the first story where Sally and Patch disguised as Antoine have just been married. They’ve both got wholesome smiles on their faces but they’re both thinking entirely different things. Sally says she feels awful. Patch is genuinely happy but for different reasons. He just can’t wait to be king now that the Acorn Kingdom will be prepared for the death of the former king. Can you feel the love tonight?

Sonic is in the middle of meeting with someone cloaked in shadow to help stop  Sally from “making the biggest mistake of her life” but it doesn’t go well when he’s refused. I’m not sure what Sonic is expecting seeing as how this isn’t usually how royal proceedings work. Surely by now he knows that who Sally marries isn’t up to her right? I guess he must have figured it was fine so long as he had Sally’s parent’s blessings and, to be fair, he did until Penders randomly decided he didn’t anymore.

Apparently Knuckles recommended this person to Sonic so… that’s not exactly a good sign considering the company Knuckles keeps but who knows? I’ve been surprised before.

Sonic comes across an old couple and asks where the wedding is being held. He just missed it so they tell him where the reception is.

Sonic races there in a scene so pathetic it swings around to being unintentionally hilarious.

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He’s that old flame that was dumped and shows up at his exes’ wedding to bang on the windows outside of the reception, playing some cheesy song on the radio, begging for her to come back. 

If he does he should play “My Heart Will Go On” just so we can have the true feeling of a sinking ship.

Sonic, despite getting Sally’s attention, also gets Patch’s attention and when Sonic fights off the guards to try and reach her, he shows up to stop him. 

Sonic begs Sally to stop them but Sally says she has to be supportive of her husband and tells the guards to take him away. So they start dragging Sonic away by his arms, ready to chuck her dumped, pitiful boyfriend into the dumpster outside. Then, I assume, they’ll dump all the uneaten wedding cake and refreshments on him too.

Then Patch goes off for an urgent matter to attend to, ascending the stairs while giggling like Megamind about giving the king his final dose of poison.

At this moment, someone in a cloak, riding a horse makes it to the area and is let in when he proves to have the proper credentials. That’s when I realized who it was and then changed my mind about worrying because it was someone I actually really liked.

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Elias is here! Good boy Elias! Yay!

I’ll always admire him for making the right decision and abandoning this place… which is why he’s come back to immediately claim the throne. No questions asked.

… Wait what?

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HUH?!

When I first read this, it actually flew over my head.

It wasn’t until I was about to recount what was going on that I realized that what Elias was doing was fucking bonkers. 

After all those stories about how much he didn’t like being here and wanted nothing to do with the crown because he knew Sally would be better for it then he would because he spent most of his life away from this political nonsense and just wanted to live a humble life in a small village and not be a super important prince… he just comes back and decides he NEEDS the crown because transference of power tends to be dangerous.

Now, he’s right. That is a worthy concern and it definitely is reason enough for him to return so that he can check things out but that in no way means he needs to lay claim to the crown. 

The fact that this is just something Elias says in a single panel with no fanfare is really what gets to me about this though. Before reading these past issues, I knew nothing about Elias other than what Ian did with him. I thought he was alright but without that earlier context I never quite got what he was doing with him or why I should care. Now that I do, I actually can’t wait to read those later issues again. The new context for those stories concerning Elias’ character actually really excites me where it didn’t before.

However, THIS is how he becomes king? I thought his story, before doing this, would be something akin to him being a lost prince who came back and wanted the crown while Sally wanted to be a Freedom Fighter. God damn, I was wrong about that. It’s actually the opposite. 

Knowing that, there had to be an eventual turn around that saw Elias taking up the crown and I was immensely interested in seeing what that was.

So the fact that I finally read the part where it happened and I literally DID NOT CATCH THAT I JUST READ THE EXPLANATION AND HAD TO GO BACK ONCE I REALIZED IT is insanely bad!

What horrible writing! Holy macaroni, Batman!

At this point, I was rubbing my hands down my face, sitting back in my chair, and breathing in the energy of the universe, trying to wrap my head around someone being this inept at story-telling. There’s just no way.

No. There is a way. He’s done worse. Far worse. It’s just… this was something I was looking forward to finding out and it literally almost passed me by because it was so sudden. It was a sentence in a small cluster of panels on a single page. Fuuuuuck!

Well… whatever. *Deep sigh* I guess Elias wants to be king now or whatever the fuck. 

*Deeper sigh*

Okay. 

Elias knocks on the door and it opens to reveal Patch about to kill the king. Now, Patch didn’t lock the door when he was about to do this insanely villainous thing because…

… Anyway, he lies his way out of it, now that he’s been discovered.

Elias says that he’s here to be the king now. He decided that suddenly. Just now. In a panel. Cause fuck it. Who cares? *Tosses papers everywhere*

Patch describes this as his plans being ruined because Elias has decided he wants to be a man, which is Penders getting the villain to compliment Elias on his decision for him. This is the part where Star-Lord flips him the bird.

Elias also goes up to kiss or embrace his father but the way it’s drawn just looks like he passed out on top of him for a single panel.

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So now Patch has to kill Elias and somehow make both his and the king’s deaths inconspicuous. He’s got his work cut out for him, I’ll say.

Anyway, they go back to the reception. Sally seems rather calm, sitting with her mom. She’s done nothing in this issue so far because, shockingly, Penders found a way to make a story all about the fact that she’s been married into being Queen against her will have absolutely fuck all to do with her.

That takes some goddamn talent.

You know, I actually remember liking this story when I read it years ago. It was the only one I recall being able to understand and I took a liking to Patch’s character being a sneaky motherfucker and trying to kill everyone.

I still enjoy that. He’s the best thing about this issue still, however, because I now understand where everyone was before this better and know more about who Elias actually is and why him showing up out of the blue is character assassination of the highest order, I’m actually getting really upset. 

When Elias announces that he’s here to assert his right to the crown, Sonic notices that there’s no reaction from Antoine. He figures Antoine’s either the coolest customer around or Elias is barking up the wrong tree. I don’t know what that second line means. I can’t assume he’s saying Antoine is suspicious because he has little reason to be from Sonic's point of view at this point. Antoine could just not care because he doesn’t actually want to marry Sally and still has feelings for Bunnie but Sonic doesn’t consider this.

Sonic still doesn’t even know why the marriage is happening the way it is. He keeps assuming that Sally’s the one making the mistake when she wasn’t even given a choice.

Then Elias goes up to Sally and we get a scene where Sally is completely absolved of the issue she faced, again, in a single panel. In the literal next panel, Elias is suddenly king thanks to his bored looking mom.

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She does this after informing him that his now step-son can never be king because he isn’t of their blood. To that I want to call bullshit because as king he probably could do whatever he wanted. Literally, who is going to stop him and why would anyone care? However, I doubt the actual Elias would want that for his son anyway.

Also, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t his STEP-son. I know it’s been a while but I feel like I would have remembered that. I know WHY Penders is retconning this. It’s so he can have his cake and eat it too but it’s insanely hypocritical of him considering how much he hates having HIS shit written and changed around by other writers. What stings is that when other writers do it, it’s usually for good reason in comparison. He wouldn’t know that both because of his ego and because he never actually bothered to read any of Ian’s run though. 

Also, no, you didn’t just abandon the throne for love, Elias. You abandoned it before you even fell in love and very, remarkably, quickly got married and had a baby. You abandoned the throne because you knew you weren’t right for it because of your upbringing and your genuine, honest feelings regarding ascending the throne. 

You didn’t want any part of this bullshit so you got out of dodge. It’s the best decision you could have made because the conditions this family operates under is insanely toxic.

Well, he’s king now. Sally and Elias embrace in happiness. Meanwhile, Patch has decided that he’s going to assassinate Elias immediately, in full view of everyone. It takes a lot of balls to do that but he’s confident he can pull it off without anyone seeing anything shiny sticking out of his palm as he goes in to shake Elias’ hand.

Sonic does just that however. 

Patch was about to stick Elias with the needle intended to finish off King Max but Sonic caught sight of it and immediately tackles him to the ground.

When Patch calls Sonic a dog and kicks him away, the sound Sonic makes it literally “Woof”.

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Okay, that’s a little funny.

They fight and Patch goes on this spiel about how he’s going to make Sonic look like a traitor for this. However, because he’s focused on getting the syringe, and he doesn’t have his sword, he’s not able to fight as well as he did last issue.

As the scuffle happens, Sonic lists down all the reasons he’s actually not Antoine, from the fact that he’s actually a good fighter to the fact that he’s got a killer instinct.

The clincher was… something I can’t find out until I flip past this eight page long Heroscape comic… ah, here it is. The scar.

No one could explain how Antoine got that scar on his face, and he emphasizes this with a big knock-out punch followed immediately by Sonic going back to the Opposite-Day World and getting the real Antoine back, apparently knowing exactly where he was in it.

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What do you mean, “You hope so” Sonic. You literally just used it to get to Moebius.

Well, whatever. Yeah, this page happened a little quickly but it’s fine. No need to drag on this scene with this device that I honestly don’t care too much about. Good ol’ Antoine is back after being trapped in another world for who knows how long.

Elias, who’s now king and just here now, I guess, makes his first decree that Sally is no longer married and can go be with the man of her dreams. However, that can’t happen because of all the drama that’s been shoved down our throats for fucking ever at this point.

Sonic goes to Bunnie’s house and, in a scene that should honestly feel a bit more grandiose than it actually does, shows the real Antoine to Bunnie and they immediately kiss. You’re going to have to assume that Sonic told Bunnie that the Antoine she was getting into fights with was a fake because we don’t see that conversation happen on screen.

The last page is just showing us the standing of all the current relationships now with Sonic just casually saying that Bunnie only kissed him to get back at Antoine (even though Antoine wasn’t there to see it so that makes no sense) and brushing that off as something that wasn’t a thing. Fine. I’m cool with that. I don’t want Sonic and Bunnie to ever get romantically involved ever again anyway. 

Really, I only suggested it made more sense as a follow-up to what was established earlier because I also really don’t want him getting together with Fiona. Somehow it’s even weirder and even harder to believe than him being with Bunnie. I guess because in this sense it feels more random.

The ending shots are just Sally watching the guy she loves go off into the woods with the girl that Tails has convinced himself that he loves, even though the version of her that he actually hung out with has long since been destroyed.

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The caption that says “Next: Shadow is Back!” feels like a punch line to a joke with it being placed next to the crying Tails. Yes, it’s also really sad that Sonic is oblivious to Tails crying directly behind him like that. Kind of makes him look sort of awful, even though, again, he technically is allowed to do this. It’s his love life and Tails, despite his pinning for this girl way out of his league, should expect people her age to take an interest in her instead.

I do suppose it’s only natural that it would sting more that the guy she’s with would turn out to be his best friend, Sonic though. 

At the end of the day, none of this should be happening and I’ve got to suffer through it for way longer than I’m comfortable with. 

Why did Sonic care so much that Sally was making "the biggest mistake of her life" getting married to who he thought was Antoine if he was just going to ignore her for Fiona again? Seriously?

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #156: The Pride of the Flame, Part 2

Writers: Mike Gallagher
Draws: Art Mawhinney
Inks/letters: Mike Higgins
Colors: Jason Jensen

For some reason, instead of a regular narration box to recap things, Sonic himself recaps what’s happening while standing on the title as he overlooks the carnage of the Robian Dragons roboticizing Dulcy’s family.

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It’s obviously not the real Sonic but the idea that it could be tickles me a lot.

Dulcy wakes up, seeing stars, and muttering something cartoonish… which could have been funny if she wasn’t pleading with her abusive domestic partner to not hurt her in her delirious daze. 

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Yes. Domestic abuse is exactly the kind of call-back you utilize for slapstick humor. Haha. So funny.

Dulcy saves a young dragon kid named Sparky and he leads her to where the defense squad is while referring to her as “Stranger” every time he addresses her. I’d at least go for “lady” but “stranger” sounds so rude, doesn’t it? I mean, she technically is one to you but still.

Anyway, Dulcy sees that the defense force’s strategy is to just blow fire at the Robians which she calls a pretty awesome strategy. It’s not really. I guess it looks cool but as a strategy it isn’t much of one.

Then that asshole Glint shows up. Even though they’re being invaded, he calls Dulcy a “traitorous wench” and assumes she’s responsible for the invasion. She… technically IS but this is still uncalled for. Literally all she did was go outside dude. Calm the hell down.

No, though. Apparently being attacked by Robian dragons isn’t enough incentive to take a chill-pill and focus on resolving the issue. He instructs another dragon to literally drag her away BY her fucking nose ring (ouch) towards the pillory and chain her to it by, again, her nose ring. It looks really painful.

Then this, possibly intentionally, amusing scene happens where Dulcy just narrates what’s happening off-screen to nobody until a mecha dragon crashes on top of her, breaking the chain and no doubt almost yanking her nostrils off due to the force of the chain severing that way.

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Not only did this yank on her nose ring something painful but it completely yanked it out of her nose. OW!

She then uses her own flames to cauterize the wound. Yeesh.

Then, seemingly ignorant to her pain, she flies around and turns the tide of the battle single handedly with her flame breath. I guess being a Freedom Fighter just makes her extra special here even though she hasn’t used her fire in so long.

Instantly, Glint is on board with Dulcy. He even literally says “You go, girl!” and I felt my eyes almost roll out of my head.

It’s then that I also realize the incredibly fucked up thing that just happened.

Uh, yeah, so those dragons, like I said, were Robians, and they just got melted into goo. Which means, those were actual dragons that they just murdered, including Dulcy’s mother, she says.

But Glint’s just like, “Mmmkay. Yeah but we actually immortal though. So you murdering your mother is okay.”

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WHAT?!

WHAT THE FUCK?!

G-Gallagher what? Gallagher huh?

Strange that this isn’t something that Dulcy didn’t already know. Like, apparently when they die, their spirits just return to the flame and then they just come back?! W-w-w-w-what?! Dulcy’s mother can be reborn while Dulcy’s like… growing into an old woman? He doesn’t even say they’ll come back in thousands of years. He just says “in an upcoming generation”. What kind of… what….?

My brain is has short-circuited. Can’t process… can’t…!

Anyway, Dulcy gets a full pardon. Hurray.

Also, she’s ambassador to the upper world now. Hurray.

Also, Glint wants to return to the upper world one day, suddenly. Hurray.

Also, Dulcy has her black ring back. Hurray.

Story over. Done. Get me the FUCK out of here.

Christ almighty, what the hell was that second story?!  I don’t even know what to say about it. I can’t put into words how bat-shit insane that explanation of dragon spirits was or how Dulcy and those dragons mass murdering those other dragons and melting them to literal lava goo was just brushed off with a “Meh, they’ll get better. We’re immortal actually. We die. We come back. No big deal.” FUCKING WHAT?!

This is the first time I’ve talked about the second story before the first one I think but I had to. The first one didn’t have THAT in it despite it being guilty of some heinous shit too. As I said, I used to really like that Patch story about him trying to kill the king but I was unaware of the development concerning all the other characters that had gone on up to that point. As such, I was oblivious to how badly written this actually was. Thankfully, I still enjoyed all the Patch stuff but it being surrounded by all this unnecessary teen romance drama and the absolute gutting of my favorite thing about Elias’ character rendered it irredeemably bad. Fuck this. 

No seriously, who approved that fucking story with the dragons? I’m almost shaking with confusion right now! Literally, how?! WHAT?!

This… This is.. THIS…!

… IS the worst era of the comics. It is. 

It ACTUALLY is. Holy shit. I’m admitting it now. 

I just… I’m…I…

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Couple of points to mention off the top of my head (on the first issue, will probably add more in a bit).

-Personally speaking (and maybe it's just because Mina's always been one of my favourites so I give her leeway) - but I don't really see it being a big deal that she's writing lyrics around Sonic. Partly because I imagine Ash is being hyperbolic when claiming they were all based on Sonic, but there's still a lot of context there to be dove into. Mina could've written those lyrics without really tying them to Sonic consciously, but still thinking about him caused her to tie the lyrics to him unintentionally.

More so however, it's also important to keep that Mina begins her singing career at some point between Issue 125, and Issue 134, between the time Sonic was in space, and assumed dead for a year. Regardless of getting over him romantically, Sonic was still both a friend to Mina, and now a hero who gave his life to save the planet. I don't think it's exactly too out of left field that Mina would be grieving over her friend's death, and using singing as an escape, writing songs in tribute to him. 

-The final bit with Mina/Ash - yeah, IMO, it's pretty clear to me at least that Sonic's looking at Mina and Ash, and thinking about his own relationship with Sally. You have to keep in mind this was a holdover story intended for right after #134, probably following Return to Angel Island if not before, and thus was Bollers' examination of their relationship, and subsequent attempt to develop them. I imagine this is Sonic thinking about how close Ash and Mina are, and either wishing, or remembering about how that used to be himself and Sally, before they broke up and became very spiteful towards each other as a result. 

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1 hour ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Couple of points to mention off the top of my head (on the first issue, will probably add more in a bit).

-Personally speaking (and maybe it's just because Mina's always been one of my favourites so I give her leeway) - but I don't really see it being a big deal that she's writing lyrics around Sonic. Partly because I imagine Ash is being hyperbolic when claiming they were all based on Sonic, but there's still a lot of context there to be dove into. Mina could've written those lyrics without really tying them to Sonic consciously, but still thinking about him caused her to tie the lyrics to him unintentionally.

More so however, it's also important to keep that Mina begins her singing career at some point between Issue 125, and Issue 134, between the time Sonic was in space, and assumed dead for a year. Regardless of getting over him romantically, Sonic was still both a friend to Mina, and now a hero who gave his life to save the planet. I don't think it's exactly too out of left field that Mina would be grieving over her friend's death, and using singing as an escape, writing songs in tribute to him. 

-The final bit with Mina/Ash - yeah, IMO, it's pretty clear to me at least that Sonic's looking at Mina and Ash, and thinking about his own relationship with Sally. You have to keep in mind this was a holdover story intended for right after #134, probably following Return to Angel Island if not before, and thus was Bollers' examination of their relationship, and subsequent attempt to develop them. I imagine this is Sonic thinking about how close Ash and Mina are, and either wishing, or remembering about how that used to be himself and Sally, before they broke up and became very spiteful towards each other as a result. 

- I'd like to imagine Ash is being hyperbolic here. Again, her writing songs about Sonic isn't a problem. However, it's a little hard to swallow ALL of them being about him even considering the circumstances. I sadly can't just assume he's being hyperbolic though when the comic is literally only showing me the songs where she's singing about Sonic. I don't put the blame on Mina here, more so the writer for being that silly about it. 

- I mentioned briefly that Sonic being dead might have been a contributing factor too. It's understandable. I'm not vilifying her or anything, I'm just trying to look at it from both their points of view. Positive and negative. Because I like Mina a lot, actually. Both her and Ash. I didn't care about either before but I think having the original context and lining it up with what Ian did with them made them both click for me finally. 

- That's a good summary of the situation. Unfortunately, some of this stuff just isn't going to be kept in mind when it comes to who wrote which story and when. Somehow you guys have all this information but despite my attempts to find all of it when I can, it's tough. I prefer to look at it as Sonic being reminded of his relationship with Sally anyway... though, that does nothing to help the nonsense that happens in the next issue where he just gets together with Fiona. Then stresses out over Sally marrying Antoine only to go back to not caring when he realizes she's alone again. It's the height of "If I can't have her, no one will... but I'M still allowed to date other people". Can't blame anyone for hating Sonic when he acts like this still.

On 4/2/2021 at 7:30 PM, SanPolo4389 said:

Something I've wanted to talk about in this is what are people's thoughts on the Post-Reboot era of this, likes, dislikes on it?

For me I thought it was pretty good even if it didn't have enough of a punch like with the original did, and it didn't help that Worlds Unite sort of stopped it's plot. 

I always enjoyed the Post-Reboot era more. Even before I started this. Yeah, there were some heavy losses. It was sad seeing Finitevus go. It was sad seeing Mogul go. It was even sad seeing Geoffrey go, mostly because I started to really like him when it was revealed he worked for Naugus. All of a sudden he shot up to being one of my favorites.

However, my opinion has only been made vastly more secure reading these older issues. Seeing the not so humble beginnings of characters like Mogul, who was a massive disappointment for most of his run until Ian came along, and Geoffrey, who was just... gross until Ian came along really put things into perspective.

Then there's the other stuff like King Max, the Acorn Kingdom itself, the Source of All, The Ancient Walkers, Locke, the Brotherhood, all the weird nazi shit, the misogyny...

 There's... really no comparison when you factor in the sum of its parts. 

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Actually, let's throw in some bonus things about the godawful Patch story while we're at it.

  • So uh...unless I missed something (and I'm pretty sure I didn't) - Antoine isn't the slightest bit surprised that Sonic's alive? He's supposedly been trapped inside in Moebius since god knows how long before the Home arc, and his first encounter with Sonic in #150 led to him getting KO'd because he thought he was fighting Scourge. So this is legitimately, 100% the first time Antoine is seeing his dead friend in what must be nearing two years, and he just accepts it without a thought.
  • Am I the only one who finds Sonic's actions with the wedding even more despicable by the end? Like, ignore all the Patch stuff. Pretend things went down like this - Sonic makes this big song and dance at Sally's wedding, humiliating both himself, and her by claiming "WE'RE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER!!!!", all is said and done, the wedding is thrown out of whack and cancelled...and Sonic immediately decides alls well that ends well and fucks off with Fiona, while leaving Sally in the dust. Like, this isn't a legitimately awful thing to do to someone? Ruin a wedding to claim you belong together, then leave that person in the dust following it?
  • God, I just despise Sally in these issues. Like, legitimately - hate her. "Yes Sonic, I'm gonna have you imprisoned because I hAvE To SuPpOrT mY hUsBaNd!!!!" - What an absolutely spiteful and idiotic thing to do. You legitimately don't think it's remotely harsh to throw the guy who literally got himself nearly killed to save all of your hides into prison because he crashed a wedding? Are for real? And these two idiots are meant to be together? If Sally was even remotely in character, she would've called Antoine out on that and Patch would've had to bullshit an excuse that would've made Sally suspicious immediately. Sally is nothing more than either submissive, or out and out petty and spiteful in these issues, and this is Penders trying to "put them back together????". 
  • Why on earth could Elias not have just came in order to see his father, figure out that something was up with Antoine, and then decide to put himself up as an obstacle towards the crown? 
  • Tails and Fiona is awful. That's it, that's the complaint.
  • Sonic and Fiona are awful. That's it, that's the complaint.
  • I hate how it took this long for anyone to figure Patch out when Evil Sonic pulled this nonsense literally four issues ago. How dumb are these people?

God, terrible storyline. Absolutely horrendous. 

3 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

That's a good summary of the situation. Unfortunately, some of this stuff just isn't going to be kept in mind when it comes to who wrote which story and when. Somehow you guys have all this information but despite my attempts to find all of it when I can, it's tough. I prefer to look at it as Sonic being reminded of his relationship with Sally anyway... though, that does nothing to help the nonsense that happens in the next issue where he just gets together with Fiona. Then stresses out over Sally marrying Antoine only to go back to not caring when he realizes she's alone again. It's the height of "If I can't have her, no one will... but I'M still allowed to date other people". Can't blame anyone for hating Sonic when he acts like this still.

Again, it's more a consequence of this being a holdover story. Bollers and Penders had different routes to this problem. Bollers established both Sonic and Sally as having problems they had to work through before they could really be in a relationship, and his stories tend to go the route of examining them in that lens - hence why Ash and Mina work as a mirrored image of them. Sonic and Sally used to be like that. However, the critical difference is when it came down to making a sacrifice for the sake of the other person (Ash taking that bomb and risking his life, Sonic quitting his role in fighting Eggman and sticking back), Ash did the big play while Sonic didn't.

Obviously, you can argue if Sonic is right or not to have not done that, I certainly think Sonic was in the right during that whole debacle, but I think it's a decent moment for Sonic to think "should I have been willing to go that extra mile for her?". 

Penders meanwhile doesn't see a chance for development, he just wanted Sonic and Sally slapped back together ASAP, and instead of meaningful character development to that goal, he instead just decided to fart out a bunch of godawful relationship drama, bouncing Sonic around to various other girls (IIRC - I think he actually says Sonic is a "playa" which is just...yeah, fucking awful). I think the idea is that it's supposed to show that Sonic isn't compatable with other girls like he is Sally, but like...again no, it's just fucking horrible and frankly disgusting. 

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Quote

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Line of Succession

Kill it with fire.

This is easily one of the worst arcs in the book. A Master Class how not to write a story. 

Actually used this arc in an argument for how Archie Sonic was not a great protagonist in the sense that he can be a bit of an asshole.

How so? 

  • The tension between Sonic and Tails which bubbles over with a brawl in House of Cards about 20 issues from now begins here with Sonic deciding the best way to end unrequited love is to date the target of his best friend's affections. 
  • That girl, Fiona Fox, is so turned off by the contents of Sonic's character that she turned heel and abandons the Freedom Fighters almost immediately to look for the hedgehog who charmed her the first time. That's right; Sonic was such a bad boyfriend that it turned a girl villain.
  • Sonic did everything in his power to stop Sally from marrying " Antoine " -- only to not go back to her for another 70 issues. 
  • That included convincing Elias to abandon his happy and peaceful life in Feral Forest to take over a job that he never wanted in the first place in a political move that eventually lead to the dissolvement of the monarchy. 
  • ... but hey. At least Bunnie and the real Antoine are suddenly back together, right? Even Bunnie, who never fell out of love with Antoine, questions if they rushed into developing their relationship sometime later. 

The thing about this arc which seemed to be a officially licensed " fixer fic " in terms of what it did for the narrative was that the fallout from this arc could be felt for the rest of the pre-reboot canon. Not many arcs have that sort of impact, for better or worse. 

 

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In fairness (and god I hate having to say that about anything in regards to this shitshow of a love triangle) - Fiona didn't turn into a villain because Sonic was a bad boyfriend to her, she turned villain because she originally dug Scourge's bad-boy persona, and began initially dating Sonic in order to try find the same appeal, only to find nothing. This bundled with the fact that she couldn't get over her grudges with Sonic and the Freedom Fighters is what causes her to turn villain. Fiona made an attempt to be a good person, but ultimately decided she'd rather just damn the consequences, turn traitor and be with her "love".

In fact, if I remember correctly - it was stated that the irony is it was believed Fiona was Sonic's rebound after Sally, but it was the other way around - Sonic was Fiona's rebound after falling for Scrouge. 

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Spoiler
13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #154: Songoose, Part 2 of 2

TF71i39drgaD2dl0DWODNtBvYqF3uaTtnOOySWq7yBmuuvKi66Nin22pXL1npBlSGq_oOzjVOdGPESXm3GcPInELnKFybTo4HHdzorUIX6imjbxu4R3abHF3z9_x2E1jjMFhhwhC

Fun Fact about me this is one of several issues I missed because Archie's subscription service was total ass. I subscribed before 152 and got that and 153 but never this one. I also subscribed to the Sonic X miniseries and only got issues 3 and 4.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So, it turns out it’s not just Sonic but the entire rest of the Freedom Fighters being on guard duty for the concert.

Which make's Ash singling out Sonic alone even more ridiculous to me honestly.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Ash reveals that it’s exactly what you’d think it’d be. He doesn’t like him because he broke Mina’s heart. 

Yeah...I don't buy it. I don't know there's just something about his attitude to me that comes off more like he's jealous that Sonic was her first crush and he doesn't think he could match up so he's just taking all his own insecurities out on Sonic who once again I argue was barely a knowledgeable participant in all the love triangle bullshit. 

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Mina says she’s not the type to behave in a grudge-holding way and Ash suggests the actual reason might be because she’s still carrying the Sonic torch. He holds up a bunch of papers and claims that all her song lyrics, ALL OF THEM, are apparently about Sonic.

Honestly to save a bunch of time and so I don't quote every part of this I pretty much agree with everything @Ryannumber1gamer said about Mina here.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Tails spotting them means jack shit though because some poor fucker in the audience just shouts “BOMB!” and a panic happens.

Bob-Bomb!

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It explodes and we’re left with this soap opera scene.

vg8mydoo4z0bhPXiV1GHadQ6zWpiyg-LvupQACQv9a4tuXpEZsNMWp-TAgaM6WK6et103C7rAqgSlfpNmDBs5j-Aod3yTQ1jMOqXo7Hd7eEz87StVvteQwFisK4BmS4bmUjA8w5H

I once read scans of this issue and IIRC they cut out Ash in the hospital and made it look like he fucking died here.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We cut back to Eggman who’s just in top form today.

V2Dz1NWavBBqeJ7I90k24FaQBE4VsazM5qmQTSuyRVkzM0nG81XfpGdfN8MUAzLF9x14p6L84M-EptdH-YwVN85o0k5PrKiFXtsx2TtHjMdcw5YY3i9_ADwgFyt-Mxkb6tYpYPDc

Jesus, I love this man.

Savor Eggman being fun now because we still have 5 issues of Penders to go and Eggman's in 3 and is pretty dull in them.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

He whines a little more about how much Nack sucks and complains about how much he hates having a flesh and blood body before the word “breakable” gives him an idea of some sort.

Said idea will not be followed up on. I think this was maybe Bollers setting up a future story that didn't happen but it's hard to tell because Eggman only started whining about his human body in #152 so that feels like a Penders thing.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #154: More Than Meets the Eye

Ba-Da-Da-DADA! (...That's supposed to be the Transformers music)

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

pWVC0gFazPUo4cP2DJmxM8Milac3Ss8WwvyuSnrQisnvJe437M4-8MBmY2r9-seYIxOz6ifR54Fj89MyxvqI0kZML7Uh4y4iV8xfPiw-9e-B9bKtoh-2mAjmpVq8yWkcHqDJ-Gsy

 

12 hours ago, Sonictrainer said:

...what's a frozzle?

My best guess is it's Ken creating some dumb Sci-Fi name for Ice Cream instead of just saying Ice Cream.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

7720eadiLwPCdfok9FWUW7AvS2Pl1EP2s--GvC4FKr2y5nzY6GqXD7gaAQEQ-OzidjhmDPZ8AbthYQWj-1LnrRzITmy4VYb_OYiAA8GYH4f-mmBrwqdt9AB_I5k8Tf8deyBV_NQN

Oh, boy it's this cover! This is the cover you use to mock the Archie comics because holy shit it's the perfect storm of all that's wring with these comics. The dreary colors, the poorly rendered Sonic compared to the official Sega Sonic up in the corner, The ridiculous melodrama of the cover's image in general. It's just a perfect image of what was wrong with this comic pre-Flynn.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Also, Patch is poisoning King Max. HURRAY!

"Celebrate good times c'mon!" "I will."

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This time it’s even worse because it’s the real Sonic and he’s… doing exactly what Evil Sonic was doing.

Like, it’s kind of official now. He kissed Bunnie and now he’s kissing Fiona. No, it doesn’t matter if the original intention was to have Bunnie kiss him instead. That’s not what ended up being depicted unfortunately.

It’s so strange that Sonic is just DOING the same thing now. I guess in a way it makes sense since he and Evil Sonic are two sides of the same coin. The difference is that Sonic allegedly has the ability to feel bad about it?

I so not get Penders thoughts on Sonic and Evil Sonic. By definition our Sonic should be more moralistic he should probably assume that the reason the girls have been all over him is because of Evil Sonic and try to make them understand and y'know not try macking on them every chance. But nope Penders is under the impression they're not that different from one another at all leading me to wonder what's the fucking point of having an Evil version if they're apparently the same?

Granted later Ian reveals that Fiona was the one to instigate a relationship and that she was trying to see if she could find that same attraction she felt for Scourge but couldn't stand the goody 2-shoes thing. Buuuut that's not the context here and it's just Penders making Sonic a complete asshole because he doesn't care about the character.

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We’ve got another story where a really young boy is in love with a girl that’s too old for him. You know, that old chestnut that nobody likes whenever they shove it into an otherwise really good show or comic?

Hi Dipper and Wendy!

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

EVmGsFPpyN7DJIK182fHfCH7rFEJtMphvhJrt6XtoBywGizf_P2ugdnOmHbD5Ojdqy-_PF8N9mlFSOLpqKg6YyvMBO1JVq-xh23TIUVEKoTRRuwc70GxfUjc2slTiw6qPDj4xdJO

Ok I keep harping on it but the math is blowing my mind. Sonic was gone for a year. 1 full year so shouldn't Fiona be closer to 17 and Tails closer to like 12 or 13? Like Penders jkeeps insisting that Sonic is 16 in these stories but he has a birthday in 5 issues (Which granted wasn't part of his or Bollers plans but still) and if it's been literally a year since the Xorda invasion that makes it officially his 18th birthday. Granted I don't think Penders cares about Sonic being in Space for a year because he acts like no time has passed at all between 125 and 130. IDK maybe I'm wrong but the way I'm adding it up in my head Sonic would have missed his 17th birthday no matter what so every single character except Tails is a legal adult in these comics by Ian's run. Weird.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Queen Alicia is about to return while Dr. Horatio Quack is bragging at the king about how fucked he’d be if he weren’t here to take care of him. Since Penders doesn’t actually know anything about medical stuff he does what I would do and just has the doctor tell him to get plenty of rest and hands Patch a bottle of unidentified pills for him to take.

Since this is the last time their ever together under Penders it feels like a good time to mention Penders was going for a Kirk and McCoy dynamic with Max and Quack. It fails because Kirk and McCoy are characters people like and give a shit about.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Instantly, when he returns home, he decides it’s time to make another life altering decision FOR Sally yet again. This time he wants her to marry so she can be queen because he’s sick and needs to step down.

rS2vVo3MBIOfBFdSBmM_W390aTG2AC2KEU2ehfDnZo_FvpZgErUCZ92clxnoo-toen_U4Pa4Tx-qMxqn7BLwZpLUWIb6OtN3-5F1BktNvwNT1GfZkbtl7ecnOuzpKZMw-_92N8sp

OR… OR you know you could give the job of being Queen to the ACTUAL queen. You know, the one that’s standing right there next to you and hasn’t done jack shit since coming back into the story?

1. It's been so long since we had dick Max. It's so...nice to see him again? 2. Yeah why can't Alicia lead? She seems healthy so what's the problem? I guess we wouldn't have Sally be put through a shit shower if that happened.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Alicia seems rather happy to state that she doesn’t and that she didn’t when she married Max either.

"We have no will Sally. The Jell-O pool tells us what to do. If you're lucky maybe you can eventually stomach being around your chosen partner no matter how much you'd rather be with that girl you devolved feeling for before your parents told you the God pool chose some royal twit to be your husband so you have to be straight dammit!" "..." "..." "*Ahem* I mean just as an example."

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

tDLcdywTsMR5EHgygJDFzQVbUpaGoBR69EWOkp23K6RCf96bjW5oaqZY-T9HVQaSCQWUgvoWSd4Ojosls4FJNFnPDdFSRQrO9QpHSBr18LUfbeXtMGzp4YchMEYTj6nu6Jd6H8Ix

Sonic’s comment about his mom’s faves being so yesterday doesn’t jive with me seeing as how in the current year we tend to see the oldies appearing way more in movies than any of the new shit. 

But y'see Teens have to hate the oldies. No kid has ever enjoyed anything from before they were born. This is not just a Penders problem but a media problem in general. I don't know where it comes from. I loved 80's rock and stuff when I was a kid despite literally being born in 1990.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Anywho, Sonic, under the impression that this was Sally’s decision, races off to go see her, recounting all their past drama in his head while on his way. He says he’s just upset she decided to do this without telling him but his reaction was rather instantaneous for that to be the whole truth.

And that's one of the big problems with this arc. Sonic's a dick. He's making out with Fiona one minute but when he fins out Sally is getting married he decides "The hell she is! She belongs with me even though we split up and it seemed like I was trying to move on!" It makes Sonic feel like a complete piece of shit especially since he doesn't even try to patch things up after this and instead just goes back to porking Fiona. Sonic can move on but Sally can't I guess.

Yes this wedding is happening against Sonic's will but he's doing everything he does here under the impression this is what Sally wants and it's just disgusting. Fuck Penders!

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The bottom panel is the strangest thing on the page though. It’s just Sonic running through ideas on how he’s going to sabotage this wedding. He seriously thinks to himself “I could CRASH the party, take Sally AWAY from the scene, and deal with the FALLOUT later!” like he’s Sonic the Kidnapper like that one line from the 4kids version of Sonic X suggested. 

For real Patch may be trying to murder an usurp the royal family but Sonic is the bad guy here. He doesn't know it's patch he's operating on pure jealousy. If he can't have Sally no one can. Fucking hell man. I once called this story a guilty pleasure. What the hell was I thinking?

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

All the while, Sally’s trying to convince herself that this wouldn’t be so bad in the end and that she’ll get over Sonic one day. So she’s accepting her fate passively and waiting for her big, strong man to come save her I guess. 

It's even worse because Penders is all like "Look I made the priest a Woman. I'm so fucking progressive!"

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We then get a SHIT-TON of in-story retconning, the likes of which I’ve never seen before. The helpful little yellow boxes showing which issues they were retconning also helped too.

C8jRuX_JzeWJLfFc0Bol7-U6NDGq2Q-44cZ4Z1hcYoRPWZpGM15ldqHkoC3_Zh_dmogGszCF4q_eYBPhCDts8KOE04BVzVa1tHvRIgc4PWOgsm93-WUCMSBqf88sFtXFzRxUAImS

Literally none of this is remotely accurate. Dulcy last used her flame breath in the first Super Special before Endgame and the second Super Special is set after it so no all this information is wrong and I only know this because I'm a turbo nerd with no life.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

They’ve both got wholesome smiles on their faces but they’re both thinking entirely different things. Sally says she feels awful. Patch is genuinely happy but for different reasons. He just can’t wait to be king now that the Acorn Kingdom will be prepared for the death of the former king

So a typical Royal Wedding.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic is in the middle of meeting with someone cloaked in shadow to help stop  Sally from “making the biggest mistake of her life” but it doesn’t go well when he’s refused. I’m not sure what Sonic is expecting seeing as how this isn’t usually how royal proceedings work. Surely by now he knows that who Sally marries isn’t up to her right? I guess he must have figured it was fine so long as he had Sally’s parent’s blessings and, to be fair, he did until Penders randomly decided he didn’t anymore.

Apparently Knuckles recommended this person to Sonic so… that’s not exactly a good sign considering the company Knuckles keeps but who knows? I’ve been surprised before.

Considering who it turns out to be why would Sonic think about Knuckles calling him a stand up guy? Knuckles barely knows him. If anything Sonic is closer to him. 

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

qj62KVsgKoQ6iRCS93T4XF2BoJqzzwDdruv45o1E-sL12Hee50rsm9ggihDbalqA0_u1HlfAYqM-UESwm-hWoNL6IyIF26XyToBA0RdaNl4w9SqIvIi8wPnZ0NCl3M_d8ZKbukXu

Every kid loves a Graduate reference, right? I mean I guess Teen Titans did it too but y'know Parents might have actually been watching that with their kids so it's a bonus for them. Also can't see this without thinking of The Simpsons parody with Grandpa.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic begs Sally to stop them but Sally says she has to be supportive of her husband and tells the guards to take him away.

You know what I love about this scene? Despite it being a fancy Royal wedding Sally's enjoying a Root Beer Float.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Patch describes this as his plans being ruined because Elias has decided he wants to be a man, which is Penders getting the villain to compliment Elias on his decision for him.

Sure does show Penders view point huh? Elias wasn't taking control of his own life and settling down in a small village where he found love. Nah he was being a child avoiding his destiny and birthright and now he's being a man. Ugh.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

She does this after informing him that his now step-son can never be king because he isn’t of their blood.

I want to correct and say that Elias has a Step-Daughter and not a step-son but I can't for the life of me remember if that was established at this point or not. I know Ian will depict Elias and Meg having a girl named Alexis but I can't recall if that was stated before his run or not. But either way yeah Penders is clearly retconning here. It is never once stated that Meg was already pregnant when Elias met her. This is just Penders changing things to not taint his precious Acorn Bloodline or contradict M25YL. Because if Elias has a biological child how can Sonic and Sally be a boring King and Queen?

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

When Patch calls Sonic a dog and kicks him away, the sound Sonic makes it literally “Woof”.

qls4CFcJtZma6AJZ9j64m1ER_MEg7NmYh8VzLWFPHXYKXy0LrTZybkfILS4mSeaFobOlUlez65-Ge84t839u6mvHMEcUTBYIQ23ae6qWnd9IIzcFnFJu7aG99znbcaC1oI7hguZq

Okay, that’s a little funny.

I'm now just wondering if that was on purpose or if Penders dis it by accident?

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The last page is just showing us the standing of all the current relationships now with Sonic just casually saying that Bunnie only kissed him to get back at Antoine (even though Antoine wasn’t there to see it so that makes no sense) and brushing that off as something that wasn’t a thing. Fine. I’m cool with that. I don’t want Sonic and Bunnie to ever get romantically involved ever again anyway. 

So...did she sleep with Evil Sonic because she needed some human contact or to get at Antoine then? I don't know and I doubt Penders does either.

 

13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

yGi9byDj7TlZecRjWEuSXrmirCaGoQeJPhZpWTkBF1qifFAK1BTpb3bULI6pJb21-xZGz0fS5MO-zbE4zpSF2_UZ217Wq3AGTh6tZbBDXKXFCEmDCkyHKXhNVpEsfZ3LxfwRRM-E

Y'know you've been in the Rule 34 portions of the fandom too long when seeing Sonic with a girl Tails likes while Tails is in the corner crying brings back Nam Flashbacks.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

BKuo6D4YP9o3kkEtxkLjNEpU1zKZab3VbfVHKqNwXNa9kWCSYBFmdNyMzt2fqsrPdhaxFqc89mEtuF-wXwUsgWAreFEsgXnxjukXfjV2TGEWA_74bVEtvz6nXK02WHkW5iFQOGKs

Yes. Domestic abuse is exactly the kind of call-back you utilize for slapstick humor. Haha. So funny.

Yeah everytime I see this I can't help but think "Mike Gallagher thinks domestic abuse is hilarious." Also it's kind of a nod to a running gag on SatAM where when Dulcy would crash she'd always babble about her mom. But made to be about her abuser. Fuckin Yikes.

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Then this, possibly intentionally, amusing scene happens where Dulcy just narrates what’s happening off-screen to nobody until a mecha dragon crashes on top of her, breaking the chain and no doubt almost yanking her nostrils off due to the force of the chain severing that way.

1lHxrUp8reJKxlT32A2tES4sz6nFjkuhr5zDY9SyRIFuZL8VsyOm3KRQHoR2rdUSHa5EmTjFnG9ueQOoY4Ia-ukWittVVlQnczpciLL2LvAhwMLO_D7NdJluW74YL5t1LyQ-QSyw

This is an impressive fight though. I'm glad I'm facing towards it."

 

14 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

But Glint’s just like, “Mmmkay. Yeah but we actually immortal though. So you murdering your mother is okay.”

D-kkXdSTOhJiiFpPUT7htWeqpLmASfiBiY4PUU-0_X2z84FcZWd80o123cjrR8dyri34fcdOue4xok4dQHft2BPKfRS7_zXjHe8bPMUmf0QsifQaGETy9QvnkA85t1ZPfNhoWktX

You don't have to think about the morality of this if you say they're immortal. Anyway this is Dulcy's last major appearance before the reboot. She has a couple cameos during Ian's run but never a speaking role or a major plot based appearance. So the last major thing Dulcy does in pre-reboot continuity is murder a bunch of her own kind. Fuck.

 

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21 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

  Hide contents

 

BKuo6D4YP9o3kkEtxkLjNEpU1zKZab3VbfVHKqNwXNa9kWCSYBFmdNyMzt2fqsrPdhaxFqc89mEtuF-wXwUsgWAreFEsgXnxjukXfjV2TGEWA_74bVEtvz6nXK02WHkW5iFQOGKs

Yes. Domestic abuse is exactly the kind of call-back you utilize for slapstick humor. Haha. So funny.

 

 

Yeah this moment seeing it now just made me go "Gallagher what the shit?" 
Like seriously why was this referenced of all things? 

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- Fiona didn't turn into a villain because Sonic was a bad boyfriend to her

It's more about Sonic being a bad leader in addition to being an asshole.

Fiona was always some kind of morally gray in the least, and that she ditched Sonic and the Freedom Fighters because she liked Scourge and being bad more than anything that the Freedom Fighters had to offer. Fiona was just one of several could've been Freedom Fighters who decided not to join the team -- or in Tommy's case suffered a bad case of explosions. Then there was Mina who was trained in about a week before choking on her first (and only) mission.

And that was brought up because in the issue Fiona left Sonic gave Amy a backhanded compliment after exposing her. 

Even before any of that or Ian came fully into the picture and better defined his character, Archie Sonic had a long history of doing things that were not necessarily heroic despite being the protagonist. From routinely not following orders to committing treason. The Powers That Be decided the most productive way to channel that destructive energy and keep the Multiverse relatively in check is to allow scores of lives to be lost and/or enslaved by Dr. Eggman so Sonic could have a face to punch. 

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On ‎4‎/‎4‎/‎2021 at 11:26 PM, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Sonic and Fiona are awful. That's it, that's the complaint.

Personally I don't really mind Sonic and Fiona as a couple. I think they way Ian portrayed them as being super into each other (even if it was a ploy on Fiona's part) that made it feel kinda believable. Now don't get me wrong I prefer her with Scourge and when she actually developed a personality but circumstances behind it non-withstanding I don't really hate it.

On ‎4‎/‎5‎/‎2021 at 12:51 AM, Mobotropolis said:

That girl, Fiona Fox, is so turned off by the contents of Sonic's character that she turned heel and abandons the Freedom Fighters almost immediately to look for the hedgehog who charmed her the first time. That's right; Sonic was such a bad boyfriend that it turned a girl villain.

 

12 hours ago, Mobotropolis said:

It's more about Sonic being a bad leader in addition to being an asshole.

Fiona was always some kind of morally gray in the least, and that she ditched Sonic and the Freedom Fighters because she liked Scourge and being bad more than anything that the Freedom Fighters had to offer. Fiona was just one of several could've been Freedom Fighters who decided not to join the team -- or in Tommy's case suffered a bad case of explosions. Then there was Mina who was trained in about a week before choking on her first (and only) mission.

And that was brought up because in the issue Fiona left Sonic gave Amy a backhanded compliment after exposing her. 

Even before any of that or Ian came fully into the picture and better defined his character, Archie Sonic had a long history of doing things that were not necessarily heroic despite being the protagonist. From routinely not following orders to committing treason. The Powers That Be decided the most productive way to channel that destructive energy and keep the Multiverse relatively in check is to allow scores of lives to be lost and/or enslaved by Dr. Eggman so Sonic could have a face to punch. 

I'll agree on Archie Sonic being a horrible dick (Hell that's why I kinda defend House of Cards but I'll save that for when Mike gets there. ...I'm going to piss people off I can just feel it.) but how...exactly does Fiona's own decision to leave and be a villain because she hates the whole goody 2 shoes Freedom Fighter thing in anyway relate to Sonic? The only thing she says she doesn't like about him is his virtuous hero thing and that has nothing to do with him being a bad leader. 

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What rubs me the wrong way about most of these pairings is that they seem to come out of nowhere and happen for no other reason than because " Well, they're together now ". Or in the case of Fiona it seems to happen for reasons that seem like a stretch at best. 

Sure. Fiona said the reason she left Sonic for Scourge was because he was too good for her liking, but is he? We've seen plenty of evidence to the contrary. 

Sonic's a character who time and again jumped at the chance to do a lot of wrong on his way to what he believe is right. Who seldom plays by the rules or lets things be when he doesn't agree with them. And who seems to be terrified of living a normal peaceful existence. Sonic is a hero in the sense that he opposes a greater evil -- just like 90% of the other mobians on Mobius. He fights on the side of good and is the protagonist, but it's a reach to say that he's virtuous

Hell, I would've bought the idea that Fiona was bored with being a Freedom Fighter and left because life as a mercenary was more exciting more than that reasoning. 

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2 hours ago, SBR2 said:

Personally I don't really mind Sonic and Fiona as a couple. I think they way Ian portrayed them as being super into each other (even if it was a ploy on Fiona's part) that made it feel kinda believable. Now don't get me wrong I prefer her with Scourge and when she actually developed a personality but circumstances behind it non-withstanding I don't really hate it.

My issue isn't Sonic and Fiona as a couple, my issue is Sonic and Fiona in general. Ignoring the fact Fiona was the one to approach Sonic about the relationship, Sonic deciding to get together with her despite Tails' feelings is a horrible thing. It doesn't matter if Tails' crush on her is unrequited and unwanted, Sonic deciding to get with her, and so sneakily behind Tails' back as well is a pretty dickish thing to do, especially when Ian (which to his credit - had no choice because he had to explain it somehow) said it was to try get Tails to move on. That wasn't remotely the right thing to do, he should've acted like a good person and talked to Tails about it and try to help him move on, not just start dating the person Tails has a crush on and hoping Tails would just get over it.

25 minutes ago, Mobotropolis said:

Sonic's a character who time and again jumped at the chance to do a lot of wrong on his way to what he believe is right. Who seldom plays by the rules or lets things be when he doesn't agree with them. And who seems to be terrified of living a normal peaceful existence. Sonic is a hero in the sense that he opposes a greater evil -- just like 90% of the other mobians on Mobius. He fights on the side of good and is the protagonist, but it's a reach to say that he's virtuous

Hell, I would've bought the idea that Fiona was bored with being a Freedom Fighter and left because life as a mercenary was more exciting more than that reasoning. 

It doesn't matter how Sonic's been portrayed in the comic, because it differed heavily from writer to writer. Gallagher writes him as a 90s attitude dude, Bollers wrote him significantly more heroic to the point of nearly killing himself to save the planet from a doomsday device, and Penders writes him as an absolute prick of a person, with almost no differences to Evil Sonic.

But the point is canonically - Sonic's meant to be a heroic character, someone who when the chips is down will fight tooth and nail to stop evil characters and save other people. That is heroic, and that's how Ian - when he wasn't trying to clean up the remainders of Penders' mess - wrote him. Sonic isn't a black and white character, he makes mistakes, he buys into his own hype too much, he can act dickish sometimes, but at the end of the day, he's a hero, and he's risked his life, and nearly died once already to save other people. When it comes to it, Sonic won't just start doing bad things that'll hurt other people for kicks, nor will he actively risk lives. 

Fiona calls him a "virtuous hero", which literally means holding people to "high moral standards". It doesn't mean that Sonic is quite literally a virtuous hero, it means that's what Fiona thinks he is. Because she "tried" the whole hero deal, and then any time Sonic tries to get some kind of answer out of her about why Scourge is acting like they're a thing, or why she acts shady at points, Fiona would get defensive and immediately start trying to claim that Sonic is grilling her, or Sonic is distrusting of her - while she was cheating on him with Scourge, which also doesn't hold up to the fact Sonic's a person who gives almost anyone a second chance, as shown with Shadow and Knuckles. She was acting defensive and deflecting the blame because she knew full-well what she was doing, and yet didn't want to fess up to it, so she tries to act like she's the wronged party whenever Sonic would ask for an explanation. 

The simple fact of the matter is Fiona liked Scrouge's bad boy persona, she liked how Scrouge didn't give a shit about her past, in fact - he liked it. Where Fiona thought she had to change for the Freedom Fighters, Scrouge continually praised her bad tendencies. It's a toxic relationship. Scrouge liked her because she chooses to be bad, Fiona likes Scrouge because Scrouge doesn't ask her to change as a person, and instead asks her to sink further into her worst aspects, and that's easier for her. That's ultimately what it comes down to. It's not on Sonic because Fiona would just rather play to her worst aspects than make a meaningful attempt to change.

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I feel like Sonic and Sally are ALWAYS the two the comics struggle to not make unlikeable. Penders is obviously the worst case, but even Gallagher and Flynn kept making foul ups with them that made them look self serving or unwilling to accept responsibilities for their actions.

It's not that there aren't bigger assholes in the Sonic world at all, but more that, aside from a couple obvious cases like Locke, they're usually reprimanded for their bad acts a lot more, or at least aren't kept in dangerous position they can constantly be enabled, while Sonic and Sally of course are the main heroes and the ones they want you to root for. They do sometimes note their bad actions but too often think a slap on the wrist is enough, otherwise they're just 'rogues'.

I think it's largely from the fact that Sonic has to be 'loveably' arrogant and careless. They can show him having moments of humility, but ultimately Sonic is a guy that just does whatever the fuck he wants. Sally at times is this but in denial, a hypocrite who insists every impulse she does is duty bound and for the good of others. In this take however, all these petty or irresponsible moments come off as risking WAY more repercussions. Heavy politics and balance are so often put into place here, not to mention this is a work where people can DIE from one slip up in a mission. They place WAY more stakes and complexities here, and yet still expect you to empathise when they vent mundane self centered teen issues at the wrong time.

These two are the top of the hierarchy among the heroes, the ones that make all the decisions and often poo-poo anyone who undermines them (who is usually treated as in the wrong). Even worse when they slip their own personal impulses and egos into delicate situations. Sonic is someone who suffers aesop amnesia from acting like a reckless arrogant show off when millions of lives are in his hands, yet whenever anyone threatens to take matters into their own hands, gets butt hurt, tells them to back off and just be grateful he usually saves MOST of them. They make a point Sonic isn't fantastic in a diplomatic role, but only to a surface level, doesn't stop him being king in some timelines. I think him being stripped of his knighthood was the closest to him suffering real consequences for a big mistake caused from personal hangups between him and Sally (while Sally was absolved of ANY fault).

I think this is why it feels cheap that Archie keeps taking the one note route in terms of calling them out, anyone who challenges them is always dismissed as a strawman or a jerk, anyone that could have added a complex query to who they are and how well intentioned they really are is quickly dismissed so they can be enabled. If anything this got worse in Ian's run, while Penders and Bollers at least TRIED to dabble in some grey morality, Fiona, Hamlin, Geoffery all became flat out one dimensional hate sinks under Ian. Even the final pre reboot arc shown Mina and any other commodity in Mobius would get dismissed as 'just a jerk' before they questioned Sonic and Sally's virtues and methods.

This is generally why Sonic works better as his own guy, not one giving orders or leading a group. You can't be an id in nearly every way and then be trying to keep others in their place.

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19 hours ago, E-122-Psi said:

I feel like Sonic and Sally are ALWAYS the two the comics struggle to not make unlikeable. Penders is obviously the worst case, but even Gallagher and Flynn kept making foul ups with them that made them look self serving or unwilling to accept responsibilities for their actions.

It's not that there aren't bigger assholes in the Sonic world at all, but more that, aside from a couple obvious cases like Locke, they're usually reprimanded for their bad acts a lot more, or at least aren't kept in dangerous position they can constantly be enabled, while Sonic and Sally of course are the main heroes and the ones they want you to root for. They do sometimes note their bad actions but too often think a slap on the wrist is enough, otherwise they're just 'rogues'.

I think it's largely from the fact that Sonic has to be 'loveably' arrogant and careless. They can show him having moments of humility, but ultimately Sonic is a guy that just does whatever the fuck he wants. Sally at times is this but in denial, a hypocrite who insists every impulse she does is duty bound and for the good of others. In this take however, all these petty or irresponsible moments come off as risking WAY more repercussions. Heavy politics and balance are so often put into place here, not to mention this is a work where people can DIE from one slip up in a mission. They place WAY more stakes and complexities here, and yet still expect you to empathise when they vent mundane self centered teen issues at the wrong time.

These two are the top of the hierarchy among the heroes, the ones that make all the decisions and often poo-poo anyone who undermines them (who is usually treated as in the wrong). Even worse when they slip their own personal impulses and egos into delicate situations. Sonic is someone who suffers aesop amnesia from acting like a reckless arrogant show off when millions of lives are in his hands, yet whenever anyone threatens to take matters into their own hands, gets butt hurt, tells them to back off and just be grateful he usually saves MOST of them. They make a point Sonic isn't fantastic in a diplomatic role, but only to a surface level, doesn't stop him being king in some timelines. I think him being stripped of his knighthood was the closest to him suffering real consequences for a big mistake caused from personal hangups between him and Sally (while Sally was absolved of ANY fault).

I think this is why it feels cheap that Archie keeps taking the one note route in terms of calling them out, anyone who challenges them is always dismissed as a strawman or a jerk, anyone that could have added a complex query to who they are and how well intentioned they really are is quickly dismissed so they can be enabled. If anything this got worse in Ian's run, while Penders and Bollers at least TRIED to dabble in some grey morality, Fiona, Hamlin, Geoffery all became flat out one dimensional hate sinks under Ian. Even the final pre reboot arc shown Mina and any other commodity in Mobius would get dismissed as 'just a jerk' before they questioned Sonic and Sally's virtues and methods.

This is generally why Sonic works better as his own guy, not one giving orders or leading a group. You can't be an id in nearly every way and then be trying to keep others in their place.

You basically summed up my core problems with Archieverse Sonic.  Only difference being you knew how to word them and I didn't lol  In the end, with hindsight, it would've been better to have Sonic feel more stifled being in such a position of leadership and surrounded by politics and very complicated issues.  Maybe have those challenging him not be such strawmen and have him turn more towards that vagabond hero schtick he has in the games.  That I think is one of the great pillar problems with the comic.  They never really had him evolve towards that crucial part of his character, that free, "spirit of the wind" part that zips from place to place.  It's why even in Flynn's much higher quality era I kept wondering why Sonic hadn't packed his bags and still kept himself so rooted in a leadership role that didn't really fit him and putting up with politics he couldn't care less about.

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3 hours ago, Kuzu said:

We're still obsessing over the "Why isn't Sonic like his game counterpart" point huh.

More the comics trying to have their cake and eat it too.

Some of Archie's ways to compromise more games-esque qualities into their very different premise didn't always work out great (one of the most obvious being brain damaging Charmy to act like his childish Heroes-onward self). With Sonic they were stuck with a more complex situation where Sonic has conflicting situations and challenges from wanting to be 'like the wind' but still tied to roles of authority, but kept it a pink elephant in the room or tried taking the easy way out of with 'anyone who questions his contradictions is a jerk'.

It's one of the reasons Archie is treated as pretentious sometimes, since it wanted a more complex and mature foundation but didn't want to develop the baggage it caused. Most of Ian's ways of trying to streamline the dynamics were pretty much the Freedom Fighters going 'Screw it, we're the top heroes so we can do whatever we want'. Like that's literally nearly every way they win an argument between their own fractions in that era. I mean nearly ALL versions of Sonic are this, but they lack the same authoritarian ties so don't come off as hypocritical or corrupt about it. Sonic and Sally come across as feeling they're the ONLY ONES who should be allowed to bend the rules.

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