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59 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

So basically the same points you keep regurgitating.

Well in fairness we've reached the era in the comics where we're beating a dead horse in nearly every critique. :P

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You know what. Thats actually a really fair point. The comics in general feel really repetitive. Yeah horrible and poorly written, but not even in a wild and wacky way. 25yl was different in that it puts you to sleep, but so little happens. At least the early comic years had the wacky one offs and miniseries all over the place to keep things at least confusing and fun in their own way. 

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #157: System Shutdown

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This is a wonderful recreation of that one render of Shadow from Shadow the Hedgehog. Obviously, he doesn’t have a gun in his hand because that would be stupid and look desperate and ridiculous on the front cover of a Sonic the Hedgehog comic book. Then again, this being the era of Penders, I still wouldn’t be surprised if they went for it.

Spoiler

Writer: Ken Penders
Artist: Ron Lim
Inker: Jim Amash
Colorist: Jason Jensen
Letterer: John Workman (Pg. 1-6), Jack Morelli (Pg. 7-20)
Editor: Mike Pellerito

For some reason the first story doesn’t have an actual name. 

I have no idea why.

I looked the book up and down but didn’t see a title until the second story started and that one has a slightly different round of credits. Even the wiki just refers to this story as “Story One” so… I guess they just forgot to give the first story a title.

Fortunately, the only thing that’s different between the two credits is the letterer so I just merged them and decided that the entire issue will just count as the same story. 

The story begins with Shadow heading to Laboratory Zero on what I assume has to be Prison Island. Because of Penders’ inability to be succinct he explains this in as many words as possible, referring to Shadow as the “Bio-synthetic creation” once again for whatever reason.

Shadow breaks into the place and comes across a monitor that’s randomly playing a video of Professor Gerald. The video also happens to be at the exact point where Gerald lays out that he wants revenge on the military because of Maria’s death. Shadow outright just says that the professor is telling him that his purpose in life is one of vengeance… and then gets decked in the face by Metal Sonic.

If SA2 already happened, this makes no sense for Shadow to think.

Funnily enough, we saw Metal Sonic standing right next to the monitor and Shadow had no reaction to him being there so him just turning and punching him in the face is really funny.

We have this… shockingly pointless full page scene of Shadow crashing into an “In case of emergency break glass” case and getting a weird Mega-Man arm cannon thing. He puts it on his arm while monologuing in his head and asking himself “why should he waste energy engaging in mindless combat when this weapon he has could probably do it for him?”

Then he tosses the arm cannon away and says, “For fun.”

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An entire page was wasted on that. Yeah, Metal Sonic uses it later but he could have just as easily been knocked into the glass and used it himself that way. Not entirely sure why we needed a scene of Shadow considering using it and then tossing it away… or better yet, just have it be a special upgrade thing that Metal Sonic got on his arm.

The fight they have is honestly pretty okay. Metal Sonic spends the next page bragging about how much better he is than the previous model of Metal Sonic that got destroyed. We’re already neck deep in that wonderful tradition of the Archie Comics not really treating Metal Sonic like a character and unceremoniously blowing him up over and over again so that new ones can be made. 

After it tries to attack Shadow with liquid nitrogen from a pipe Shadow electrocutes it with a wire jabbed against the pipe it’s holding. Then Metal Sonic falls and finds the blaster that Shadow tossed away, all the while the people on the video are rambling on about the Eclipse Cannon and the professor’s pending execution in the background. It sounds like it’d be some appropriately creepy ambience.

Well, anyway, despite Metal Sonic’s bragging from earlier, it gets done-in by a rock. Shadow tosses one into the cannon it attempts to fire, causing an explosion that knocks them both out. 

M. Robotnik, who we haven’t seen in quite a long time at this point, arrives to carry them off, berating Metal Sonic for being an idiot.

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I guess he just sucks eh?

Well, I hope you enjoyed that Shadow content because despite the advertising last issue and the front cover, that’s the last we’re seeing of him for the rest of this issue. He’ll be back soon though. You just have to wait another month.

We cut to Eggman where Penders is once again using way too many words to explain to us that an alarm is going off in Eggman’s base. I don’t need to read lines like “The normal humming and clicking sounds heard throughout the night in the nerve center of a highly advanced base of operations is pierced with the sudden burst of the klaxon alarm sounding!”

Yes, that’s actually what he wrote. 

Fuck. It’s just an alarm going off. Stop trying to be so poetic about it. Jesus.

Here we get our title page, finally, in a manner that’s also poetic but has crossed into the world of the comic so as to be significantly more humorous due to Eggman’s reaction.

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The computer literally said “the current year” and it’s messing with my mind.

A.D.A.M is given the task of finding out where the message came from and why and once again he’s useless in that department, instead opting to say when Eggman’s facility will be gone down to the exact second, once again. Because as a computer, apparently, that’s the most computer thing he knows how to do. Tell time.

We cut to Sonic singing a song as he sits on his bed, looking at the moon, and playing an instrument. He’s very sad and his mommy is watching him as he does this before going back to her room thinking of how he keeps doing that every night. When she gets to bed with her husband, he straight up says that Sonic misses Princess Sally. Yes, it’s that obvious.

She even recounts how him being with Fiona isn’t doing anything. So yeah, he’s with Fiona because…? I don’t know. I’d say it’s just to get his mind off of Sally but Fiona is quite the wild choice for a scapegoat in that sense. I guess he figures he can kill two birds with one stone by getting together with her for his own peace of mind as well as hoping Tails gets over her. 

So obviously, the best way to do that is to NOT talk with Tails about it and instead snatch the girl he has a crush on and date her openly in front of him. It’s the perfect plan. 

Also, using another girl to try and get your mind off the girl you actually love and stringing her along in a relationship you're not truly invested in is terrible in it's own right.

Yeah, still, at the moment it’s impossible to be too sympathetic with Sonic here. Again, I see no issue with not liking him at this point in time. Intentional or not, he's being written like an awful person.

Anyway, the dad has a good idea to speak to his son about his troubles but for some reason Bernie is like “YOU’LL DO NO SUCH THING, JULES!” and says that Sally and Sonic need to work things out themselves… which would be true whether or not Jules has a chat with his son or not. I don’t think the two of them having things to work out means they can’t get advice from their parents or seek advice from other people period. 

Like, legit, if you DON’T know what the right thing to do is you really shouldn’t just do whatever and hope it works out. What’s wrong with getting advice from your dad or someone who’s been in a similar situation before? Why would Sonic’s mom chastise Jules for wanting to be a supportive parent like this? 

Jules says that Sonic needs to focus on something other than fighting Robotnik, which, strangely, is another thing that sounds weird to say. He already ISN’T focused on fighting Eggman so why…? Why would he say that? None of the things he’s thinking about right now as he sings at the moon has anything to do with Eggman. I know he broke away from Sally because he wanted to continue to fight but it wasn’t just Eggman that was the issue. There’s an assortment of villains and dangers in their lives right now after all.

Yeah, the writing for the parents is very off. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising considering who they’re being written by though.

Back with Eggman, he’s conversing with A.D.A.M on what to do next. Using the process of elimination on who could be messing with him isn’t working because between Snively, King Max, and Knuckles they all have an equal (his words, not mine) likelihood of being the perp.

I take issue with that but he’s trying to be careful so I guess I get it. So, anyway, they decide they’re going to be bold and bombastic about it now. So… you know, "careful".

Soooo… here’s something I didn’t exactly think about but I guess Eggman just knows where Knothole is right? I forgot when he found out again but I remember when he initially found out the location was soon wiped from his robot memory or something right? Then a year passed and things changed or something. I’m drawing on pure memory here and I’m confusing myself but the actual point I’m trying to make is that Eggman just literally arrives in the middle of Knothole and lands an Egg-shaped ship right there in the middle of the village.

So I guess my question is… he could do this the entire time? 

Like, I’m actually really confused. The details of what Eggman knows and doesn’t know are getting a bit jumbled in my brain now. I was under the assumption he didn’t do something like this earlier because he didn’t know where Knothole was but if he does then…?

Apparently, the citizens are WILDLY unprepared for it too which just confuses me even more. 

He just lands a ship in front of them all and they’re like “What do we do? Sound the alarm?” and it’s like, shouldn’t an alarm have gone off long before he reached them? They then suggest attacking but no one does that either.

Then Rotor, apparently actually having lost his mind since being written by Penders, proceeds to say the most whacked out shit ever, with Tails being the straight man calling him out for being nuttier than a Nutter Butter.

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Is everyone except Tails insane? What is happening?

Why are they so wildly unprepared? If Eggman knew where Knothole was and he could just land a ship there and walk out for a casual stroll, then this place should have been wiped off the map LONG ago based on this pathetic reaction. 

There’s a particularly cute scene with Sonic and his mother that I actually enjoyed though. At first I was worried she was going to be really annoying with the sudden shift into Mom-mode but Sonic’s not very combative with her, instead focused more on making her happy as quickly as he can so that he can go. 

He eats the breakfast she puts in front of him and then finally manages to inform her about the Eggman battleship that just strolled into town. Thankfully, she has the proper reaction to this, immediately allowing him to go when that bit of news leaves his lips.

However, when Sonic opens the door, he’s greeted with a surprise.

The new and improved Dr. Eggman, now with kung-fu action grip.

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It physically hurts having to actually give Penders some props here but… he DID just give me Dr. Eggman shoulder throwing Sonic onto the ground so… 

I guess the fact that Ron Lim has to get half of the credit by default makes me feel a bit better.

The two of them fight and Sonic manages to phase through him when he tries to land a kick. Turns out Eggman’s sent out a 3-D Holographic Solidifier. So… a 3-D Soldier that’s holographic but also physical. Somehow.

Well, he is the Eggman so I guess I buy it.

If he were to ever get into Smash, I could see this being a decoy move of his for sure.

By now, Sonic’s parents have rushed out and are standing beside Sonic with their fists clenched by their sides. It’s a neat thing to see, even if Ron Lim’s art has gone back down to being the usual standard fair. I swear that issue with Nack had to have been some kind of miracle. Why’d it look so good?

Anyway, Eggman, like a boss, doesn’t even bother lying about his intentions. The ego-maniac literally just strolled into Knothole to tell them that they’re going to help save his life.

He sounds absurd to them all but Eggman says his entire situation is absurd so here he is. 

To cut to the chase, Eggman gets them to go along with his plan when he says he can get Jules out of his robot body. I don’t even know how he thinks he could do that since he can’t even find a way BACK to his robot body apparently. He complains entirely too often about not having it so this is most likely a lie.

One that was very easily believed because on the next page we just see Sonic and Rotor flying IN Eggman’s Eggpod to where the real Eggman is with Sonic saying he’s only doing this for his father when Rotor brings up how they need to deal with a threat bigger than Eggman if the opportunity to do so arises.

There’s A LOT wrong with this. The fact that Sonic believes Eggman would in any way give Jules his body back as a thanks for helping him is one thing. That’s identifiable desperation and it’s easy to see that exploited. However, the fact that they crawled inside the Eggpod and let it take them to him with his own Remote-Controlled system is fucking bonkers. Eggman, at any moment, could have just pressed a button and made it explode for all they know. They should have followed behind it in their own ship.

Third, it’s JUST Sonic and Rotor. That’s it. It’s just those two being taken by an Eggpod remotely controlled by Eggman to the heart of… whatever the city’s name is now. Megaopolis? 

Fourth, how does Rotor know that the force they’re dealing with is even WORSE than Eggman? How does he even know that it’s bad? It’s EGGMAN. The guy that’s being tormented and threatened is EGGMAN, the world’s biggest and well-known evil tyrant. 

I know the identity of Anonymous already so I know it doesn’t turn out to be anything good but the context clues they have for it are so few and far between. I feel like this is another situation where I’d buy it if it were Sonic X Eggman or Sonic Boom Eggman they were dealing with but Archie Eggman? Why give him the benefit of the doubt like this?

Everyone has been portrayed as so woefully unprepared for him this entire issue and the steps of precaution they’ve taken with Eggman has been practically non-existent. I know this has to happen because the story dictates it and because we know that Eggman actually IS telling the truth but the characters don’t know they’re in a story. They really should be reacting with more skepticism than this.

A sound goes off and Sonic is about to beat the crap out of Eggman over it, as he's currently the most skeptical out of them all thankfully. However, Eggman says he doesn’t know what’s happening… then Mecha shows up and smashes the wall, tosses Rotor away while calling him a Sea Lion, and says she’s got business with Eggman.

Eggman sicks Sonic on him like a dog and Sonic gets his ass kicked. Then Mecha informs Eggman that her master is now in control because apparently A.D.A.M’s broadcast of the message was delayed by twelve hours.

As such, we get what was, at the time, one of the most underwhelming reveals for me reading this years and years ago.

Behind Eggman is a bunch of goons. These goons just happen to be an army of Neo Metal Sonics.

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We’ve got two full issues left of dealing with these things so I’m not going to dismiss them as the equivalent to upgrading a mere Swat Bot to a Shadow Bot or anything like that here but… as a young child who got into Sonic through Sonic Adventure 2: Battle and then Sonic Heroes, witnessing Neo Metal in this book as a one time enemy that doesn’t even come with it’s own identity and is instead just an army of henchmen isn’t really the kind of thing I had wanted to see. It wouldn’t be until the reboot where he shows up again properly and that doesn’t happen for a long, long ass time.

It’s even weirder considering that there’s really no reason for this change. Most of the problems the book has with sticking close to the games as far as the proper handling of a character dealt with how many changes the series has had over time compared to where the comic started and what it was about when that old as hell contract was first written. That’s got nothing to do with this though. Penders and even Ian, for a long time until SU #50, just decided to treat Metal Sonic as just another robot and it’s very strange. There’s not really much point to it being a Metal Sonic if it doesn’t stand out in any particular way right? It could just be a random E-1000 series robot or something.

Well, anyway, apparently Eggman is fucked.

This issue has quite a lot wrong with it in the dialogue department. The actual events that are transpiring are honestly mostly fine, if not a bit hastily handled for the sake of getting from point A to point B. However, the dialogue is atrocious and flat out ridiculous to the point of being funny at times. I almost fell over reading Rotor’s dialogue during the page where Eggman first landed and he was talking about treating him like any other guest because he wasn’t being outwardly hostile yet. 

What was Rotor going to do if he just whipped out a ray gun and disintegrated somebody? Would he be like, “Okay NOW we can fight him”. In any normal circumstances, yes, attacking someone who isn’t being hostile isn’t the right thing to do but I feel like circumstances are very much not normal when that person is a war monger that’s already skedaddled past hostility on multiple fronts up to that point with you all. At the very least, restrain him before you hear him out. Obviously he wouldn’t do this if it weren’t for an important reason but to be so weirdly lax about Robo-Hitler strolling into your backyard for a cup of sugar is insanely odd. 

 

Sonic X - Issue #28: Green-Eyed Monster, Part 1

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This cover is a bit of an odd-ball one for me. There’s nothing wrong with it, technically, but I guess I’ve been so used to the heavy detail of the other covers being more in my face as opposed to transparent and way in the background that it feels slightly underwhelming to me. That makes me feel bad seeing as how it can’t have been easy making those schematics behind Sonic there. I am interested in re-reading this one though as I recall there being a two part story that got a bit more serious than these books usually did, though, still with that twinge of Sonic X ridiculousness that I love.

Spoiler

Writer: Tracy Yardley
Pencils: Steven Butler
Inks: Terry Austin
Letters: John Workman
Colors: Josh Ray
Editor/Managing editor: Mike Pellerito

We begin this issue with an oxymoron. The president is awarding Chuck and Nelson Thorndyke with an award for helping to create a Power Plant… with environmentally friendly green energy.

I mean, holy shit. That sounds like a dream. I guess it’s technically Solar Energy but… like, green, somehow…? I dunno. They don’t explain it but it’s very impressive. Trust me.

That’s all Eggman needs to immediately steal it too. 

In a great smash cut we see the President talking about the good this will all bring right before the lights go out and we cut to Eggman just sucking the energy away with his Greenbots. 

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As Sonic points out when he arrives, only one of those Robots is green.

The perspective of this pic seemed fine when I first looked at it but looking it over more and more, it almost feels like Eggman is giant. Maybe it’s the way the grass looks so close by his feet rather than in the distance or something. Perspective is such a hard thing to nail down. I envy those who are able to get it down perfectly.

Phase 1 of Eggman’s plan is to use these super powered robots to… do something. He doesn’t explain the “what” just yet. Before that can even happen, Sonic shows up and has a fight. He’s getting his ass kicked so he runs to the Solar energy panel area and starts using the place to his advantage.

He uses the panels to re-direct fire back at the fire robot. He uses the slick paneling to slide under the feet of the water robot when it sprays water everywhere. He’s doing rather well.

When he gets behind the water robot, he notices a green emerald in it’s back, which is a great thing to know about in advance. Then Amy and Tails show up and they all start fighting together. Tails specifically wants to blast them apart with the X-Tornado. He’s so jazzed to play with his toys. It’s cute.

Unfortunately, the water robot notices that Tails also has a Chaos Emerald in the X-Torndao so he’s immediately ganged up on, relentlessly, by all of them.

Sonic tries to stop them but then Eggman, surprisingly, calls for a hasty retreat so they can be repaired. They then disappear, leaving the heroes to ponder what Eggman’s deal is this time while they hurry to fix the damage to the X-Tornado.

We cut immediately to Knuckles and Angel Island, where Eggman is just ravaging the area like a boss. Knuckles tells him to get away from the Master Emerald and Eggman admonishes him for not sharing. He’s got some good lines so far.

He does inform Knuckles that he has six of the Chaos Emeralds and he’s only here because he’s looking for the last one.

That’s kind of shocking. Last time, he was a professional wrestler. Now, all of a sudden, he almost has a full set of Chaos Emeralds. What on Earth happened?

Eggman gives his whole spiel about wanting to make a great world and Knuckles just calls bullshit and says he only wants to be emperor of the planet, culminating in this wonderful scene.

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You ever just get something you’ve wanted for a long time just handed to you on a silver platter?

Feels great doesn’t it?

The fight is fairly good. There’s quite a lot of fighting this issue. Though, not a ton of it stood out until this moment where Amy gets her hammer freaking melted down to the handle.

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"Hammer" indeed.

I can’t recall if I’ve ever seen anything like that happen before. I’m fairly certain it hasn’t. Definitely might have been broken before but melted?

After a Looney Tunes gag where Knuckles says “Or my name isn’t Knuckles the Echidna” and he immediately gets doused in mud and someone, most likely Eggman, says “Looks like your name is mud” the robots finally break apart Tails’ plane and sucks the emerald inside out.

Too bad they couldn’t get at the thick, gooey, chocolatey center of the X-Tornado but you make due with what you can.

It was at this moment why I remembered most of the second part of this story over the first part. This entire issue really is just an extensive lead up to the part you’re really supposed to care about that happens next time. 

This final build up is still interesting though. He has his Greenbots take the emerald and they use it to summon Chaos out of the Master Emerald. With his Greenbots, he’s bound Chaos to his machines so that it’ll actually listen to him this time.

Even worse, he summoned it in it’s perfect form thanks to having all seven emeralds.

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Well, sort of.

It looks really goofy here, not gonna lie. I wonder if they could have gone for a more Mecha Godzilla type thing with this but with water tentacles or something. He looks more like someone crumbled up a Super Soaker and jabbed that into his chest. 

Well, either way, Eggman’s got himself a pet Perfect Chaos. We’re fucked.

That was rather underwhelming as an issue in and of itself but, again, the point was to build up to the second part which I at least remember liking quite a bit. That doesn’t excuse it of course. Lead up issues are usually some of the most fun for me usually but this was incredibly jumbled and padded out with a bunch of splash pages of fighting. It makes me wonder how the second part will hold up on revisit. I can see why I didn’t initially remember this particular issue though. Not much happened in it. It jumps around quite a lot and you can tell it’s hurrying as fast as it can to get to the ending page spread. The fact that Eggman just has six Chaos Emeralds without any fanfare right after a story where he got done being a wrestler just kind of says it all. They followed up one of the best issues of the book with one of the more mundane ones. Sometimes it be like that though.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #158: System Reconfiguration

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I don’t want to say that the best thing on this cover is the little Eggman pin that says “Touch Me and I’ll Sue” but it kind of is. Don’t take that the wrong way though. I think this cover is really cool. Setting things up like a fighting poster is always a good way to get the blood pumping. It helps a lot that it’s drawn so well. Thank goodness the era of ugly as sin covers is pretty much over after this point, give or take a few that may slip through the cracks. 

Every time I hear the phrase “Fight Night” I can’t stop thinking of that awful scene with Jesse Eisenberg Lex Luthor talking about Batman and Superman fighting while he’s on the roof. 

Spoiler

Writer: Ken Penders
Artist: Ron Lim
Inker: Jim Amash
Letter: John Workman
Colorists: Josh & Aimee Ray
Editor: Mike Pellerito

So we begin with Mecha restating that her Master is now in control and Eggman’s all like, “You mean OTHER than m-m-m-me? Like zoinks!”

He calls for A.D.A.M’s help but he doesn’t respond. For some reason he blames this on Snively. I don’t entirely get what he means when he says their programming must be scrambled by an outside source and that he's given the “rodents” the keys to his empire. I wish he’d explain this a bit better. 

Either way, apparently my concern for the threat level of these Metal Sonics was very much well founded because it turns out they suck. One of them swipes at Eggman, who is flesh and blood and standing right next to him, and he misses. Somehow.

Then Eggman easily ducks under two of them as they smash foreheads above him, presses a remote control to get Mecha back on his side, and then they easily just run away. 

Yet, for some reason, Mecha calls them superior designed Metal Sonics.

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Penders is seriously failing in the “Show, don’t tell” department when it comes to these things so far. 

Also, that little blurb where Eggman disregards the Metal Sonic next to Shadow as a busted-up piece of wreckage greatly contrasts how Ian writes him like a son in his run. It’s so strange seeing him so dismissive of the things he builds here. Even with Orbot and Cubot, no matter how often he mouths off at them, he still keeps them around, ya know?

Sonic and Rotor wake up thanks to all the noise. They weren’t attacked while they were unconscious. I at first thought that the robots were attacking one another like a bunch of weirdos but no. They’re destroying Eggman’s base.

One of them addresses Sonic and another stops him from getting all up in Sonic’s face, referring to him as “Model One”. I have no idea what that means but we have exactly one more issue after this to find out before it no longer matters. 

Sonic and Rotor realize that this means they don’t belong to Eggman and use that chance to escape, confused as to who could be behind this since the usual suspects in their Rogue’s Gallery don’t make any sense. They escape in the Egg Pod while the Neo’s then start spinning into tornados and leave the base… 

They’re just spinning and spinning in tornadoes as they traverse the area for some reason.

It’s weird.

Also, did that sub-plot about Eggman promising to know how to fix Jules' body just get dropped or... does Sonic just not care anymore...?

Shadow wakes up on Eggman’s getaway ride and has a chat with Eggman. It’s actually (in a bubble) a fairly well-written dialogue showcasing one of the best parts of Eggman’s character; hamming it up to manipulate people into believing him.

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It is funny how the conversation begins with Eggman saying that he can’t believe Shadow can’t see the family resemblance and Shadow mistakenly thinks he’s talking about “himself and Eggman” and not “Eggman and his creator, Gerald”.

Eggman the Hedgehog. Type that into Google and see what comes up why dontcha?

Eggman also says that it was the “Station Square Military Industrial-Entertainment Complex” that shut down Gerald and his research but… G.U.N exists in this comic so I’m not sure I see the point in that… really strange name. It’s still connected to Station Square and G.U.N is a lot shorter. Then again, a longer name probably sounds more fancy and smart. Maybe that’s why he used it.

Well, either way, Shadow’s teamed up with Eggman. It’s a shame we’ll never see the original Team Dark get to do their thing since they basically skipped the SA2 adaptation but hey, I always get a kick out of seeing Shadow and Eggman hit it off. The way Shadow refers to him as “The Doctor” in the games with a modicum of respect always gets me.

Speaking of the SA2 adaptation, or lack thereof, uhm… this comic said to refer to the game for details on what happened and often it’s made NO SENSE with how characters keep reacting to one another when it comes to details that they should already know about if the story in SA2 happened the way it did in the games.

As such, Shadow should already know that Eggman is Gerald’s Grandson. The two of them should have already worked together to take revenge on the world and Shadow should already be well aware of who Eggman is and what he does for a living. 

They really should have just done an SA2 adaptation. It didn’t even need to be that long. Or, fuck it, maybe it should have been. The comic was in a huge lull at around that point in time anyway. It took forever before something interesting happened when Mogul decided he’d had enough of this shit and thought to at least try and entertain me. 

He also calls Maria his “half-sister” which is wrong. She’s his cousin. 

There’s actually a lot that’s weird and wrong about this scene actually…

Back at Acorn Castle, Uncle Chuck is fiddling with something in an area that apparently not a lot of people know about. Elias, who’s just here now and I’m gonna have to deal with it, walks down the stairs and asks Chuck what’s up. 

Now, it’s important to remember that Chuck thinks that what’s happening is super important and dangerous… so of course he contemplates lying about it to the active king to cover it up. 

It doesn’t even really seem like something his character would consider doing. What an odd moment.

When Sonic and Rotor walk down there behind Elias, because they’re here now too, Sonic comments on how even he hasn’t seen this stone cellar looking place. I’d imagine it’s because it’s where they store all of Max’s whine.

Chuck, thankfully, decides not to do the incredibly dumb Penders thing by lying and instead informs them all of what’s going on. Although by “them all” I just mean Elias and Sonic since Rotor already apparently knows what those Neo Metal Sonic’s are… which is strange. You’d think he’d have spoken up to Sonic about that on the way over but he acts like he doesn’t even know what they are back when they were attacking Eggman’s base.

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In the Archie verse now, Neo Metal Sonic’s origin is that he was actually created by the combined efforts of Uncle Chuck and Rotor in Sonic’s image as a special defense force to compensate for the loss of their greatest hero. I love how the panel literally says they were made to “replace him”. I know they probably did it to be respectful but that wording makes it sound a little bit more messed up.

Also, yeah, that’s Rotor right there, helping Uncle Chuck create these scary looking Neo Metal Sonics “In Sonic’s image” and yet just a few pages ago, he said and thought this to Sonic and himself.

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When he thinks to himself “Like that’s a long list” is it supposed to hint that it’s obvious that he and Chuck did it because they’re on that list of people who could maybe have built them? Or am I giving Penders too much of the benefit of the doubt?

Either way, it’s extremely sloppy writing. The only thing I can really give this development is that… it’s different. However, as we all know, being different isn’t equivalent to being better. I do think Neo Metal works better as an upgrade to the original Metal Sonic. Unfortunately, like I said before, this comic doesn’t treat Metal Sonic any different from a beefed up Shadow-Bot. He shows up, blows up, and more keep getting cranked out for whatever reason.

These Neo Metals are the same except they were made by the heroes. 

I don’t want to dwell on the fact that they look evil as shit too but I have to mention it. I get wanting to make a more sleeker Metal Sonic but something like Shard makes way more sense than the design of Neo Metal for that. Like, Neo Metal’s cape skirt thing exists to accentuate the ego he acquired when he tried to reign as an overlord. Why did THEY design him with it?

Anyway, the army of Neo Metal Sonics are about to attack the place where Hope lives. Uncle Chuck can’t stop them because something is interfering with his shutdown signal. Meanwhile, Eggman and Shadow are watching them about to invade and the instant Shadow recognizes that Hope’s in danger he bolts like the Grub Hub dad rushing off to answer the door for his food.

Shadow makes it there in time and beats two of them in a manner that’s hard to make out. I wouldn’t even know what Shadow was talking about when he asked “How did I do that?” had he not said on the next page that he apparently made a force-field. I mean, does this look like a force-field to you? It just looks like the blur lines of him rushing in fast and batting away some robots.

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I guess the disk shape thing might be it? I dunno. Ron Lim’s art just deteriorated back to it’s usual badness after that one miracle with Nack at the concert.

I don't... remember Shadow having a force-field being brought up in #160 onward so unless I've forgotten that plot point or it gets covered in #159 then... this is probably something that goes nowhere.

Sonic shows up and starts fighting to get into the house right after Shadow runs in.

We cut back to Sonic’s parents where Sonic’s mom is talking to Jules about how bad it was of them to let Sonic go off with Eggman and, of course, Jules is the more sensible one here talking about how much more experience Sonic has with Eggman than they do and how he’s an ultra strong warrior now. Bernie says it’s different now that they’re back and blah blah blah. I get it. It’s fine. She’s a concerned mommy. So far it’s not been that important to either the plot nor the “themes” of what’s happening here… if there is indeed a theme.

If there isn’t then this stuff with Bernie just kind of feels like a cut-away gag that’s taking itself too seriously at the moment.

Anyway, they see the tornado of Neo Metals rushing in and they save some kids and decide to go help people at the palace. As this happens, Elias is ushering what looks like the entire village into the castle to protect them. 

Penders can’t help himself and ONCE AGAIN has a character (in this case, Elias) exclaim that THIS time “the enemy might be FAR GREATER than ANYTHING we have yet faced!”

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“THIS TIME it’s totally true guys. Please believe my own hype. If you do, I promise to draw humanoid echidna women in string bikinis posing on a photorealistic waterfall.”

You’ve got quite the Herculean task ahead of you if that’s seriously what you want me to believe Penders. That pathetic display with Eggman earlier is still at the forefront of my mind. 

Also, I have no clue why Elias thinks this. Is that what Uncle Chuck told him? If so, he’s got quite the ego himself. Either that or he truly believes these things are just THAT awesome.

Although, Chuck literally used the words “awesome power” to describe them at one point in this issue. Fuck me, I guess.

Sonic smacks into a Neo Metal Sonic and… I guess he wasn’t being careful enough because it topples over and it’s leg just smacks Hope in the fucking face.

Shadow gets pissed when he sees that and threatens Sonic’s life for it which… yeah. I’d be pretty upset myself. 

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Imagine getting knocked on your ass by the hard-ass leg of a robot like that. Yeesh.

This connection Shadow has to Hope is one of the few positive things this comic has managed to latch onto. It’s pretty good. I’m also glad that Penders never got the chance to ruin it by doing something gross with it.

The caption at the side there says this story is concluding in the next issue so… I guess the GREATEST THREAT THEY MAY YET FACE doesn’t have much staying power. Fancy that.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #158: Off-Panel: Insider Treading

Writer: Michael Gallagher
Pencils: Dave Manak
Inker: Andrew Pepoy
Letter: John Workman
Colors: Jason Jensen
Editor: Mike Pellerito

Because sadly Gallagher thought we’d really like to see another helping of this.

I don’t even know the guy but you can totally tell by the kinds of stories he likes to write that he’s an old man from a by-gone era of comics. 

There’s literally a yellow caption box that reads “We thought you’d also like to see another off-panel story” signed by Mike Pellerito too. I may not have been reading this at the exact time it came out but I am pressing X to doubt as hard as I can.

So Pellerito is back in the book. Hopefully I won’t see Gallagher posing as a Superhero again in this one. It’s weird that Pellerito is being portrayed as a guy in a black trench coat meeting up with a teenager in a dark alley but whatever they think is funny goes I guess…

Anyway, Sonic gets some bricks dropped on him when this guy named Blackstage slams a crowbar into an oddly hollow looking wall and let’s them topple on to him. 

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According to that dazed dialogue, Sonic doesn’t do his own stunts which is just blasphemous to me.

Also, that last line kills me. I can’t believe that the conflict here is that this guy is planning to reveal to the world that the Archie Comics have made some mistakes in the past and Mike Pellerito’s reaction is that revealing this would destroy their “credibility”. 

I’d go so far as to say that this comic has made more than just it’s fair share of bloopers. Like, there’s a lot of genuinely bad, egregious, and disgustingly harmful shit in these books. The fact that he’s worried about a fucking blooper reel being shown to the public makes this a different kind of weird than I think they intended. Most companies tend to not have a problem releasing their own bloopers, you know? It’s not like they’re typically leaked. No one really cares.

I’m already spending too much time on this but I keep stopping because this story is not choosing it’s words well.

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It like… yikes. As someone with an astronomically low opinion of Archie as a company nowadays, seeing this image of Sonic being shaken by the editor after he got slammed by a bunch of bricks because he’s worried about a blooper reel being shown to people that’s being described as proof of years of manipulation and deception just kind of makes me tug at the neck a bit. I’m not saying that Archie engages in that stuff but to someone like me, who has no respect for them, being presented with this idea as some sort of joke doesn’t sit right.

It also doesn’t help that nowadays, manipulation and deception (as well as actual abuse and covering for said abuse) are things that keep getting exposed in articles about companies like Activision and Ubisoft.

Especially Ubisoft. Fuck Ubisoft.

Sorry Gallagher. I turned your little unfunny joke comic thing into an excuse to vent about terrible business practices. Be more entertaining next time, I guess.

Anyway, the examples Blackstage has are of Sonic using a stunt double, King Max sitting in a chair for six hours to get painted to look like he’s half made of crystal back when that was a thing, and other tricks and proper procedures used in movies. Except it’s a comic.

Blackstage starts gloating about how the readers are going to abandon the title by the thousands (GOD this is SO unintentionally funny despite not being ACTUALLY funny due to the benefit of hindsight) and then two panels later he’s undone when Sonic and Pellerito somehow find out that the readers are loving this. They wrote in that the readers are liking it before it could have been released in order for them to know that. They look into the panel with their faces pressed against it like it’s a TV screen and just say that people are loving it and that everyone’s gonna stick around with them forever. 

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Nothing bad’s gonna happen. Archie Sonic is forever.

It’s handing me jokes on a silver platter and I don’t entirely know what to do with them.

So, because of this, they’ve just decided that Blackstage is beaten. Sonic steals his outfit and the guy runs off presumably naked into the dead of night.

Then for no reason Sonic decides he wants to sing Phantom of the Opera.

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You know, because he… uh...

And the joke is…

Bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. It was bad. Ron Lim’s art continues to assault the eyes and it’s even worse now that I know he CAN do better so now I’m taking the horrible art as a personal offense. Neo Metal Sonic being reduced to this doesn’t satisfy me as a fan of Heroes and with regards to the unnecessary change in his story within the books, it barely registers as something that makes sense. The design of Neo Metal Sonic does not jell with his origin as a robot created by the heroes and it sticks out so much that he’s been reduced to just a grain of sand amongst a bunch of other identical grains of sand, fated to get washed away by the ocean next issue and then forgotten about. What else would you expect from yet, another one of the GREATEST THREATS WE’VE YET FACED?!!!

Next week, I’ve got a really busy time ahead of me because not only am I covering the last Ken Penders led issue of this book (FUCKING FINALLY) but I’ll be covering the first issue of Ian’s run on the book. It’s about to get BEEFY and insanely nostalgic for yours truly. Stay tuned.

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God, it's so hard to believe the end of this shitshow is nearly over and we're about to end the era of bad comics. I expect a lengthy post summing up your thoughts on Ken's...let's say contributions.

Not many thoughts this time around, but...

-You have to love that one of the final things Penders just had to do before finally getting out of the doorway of this series once and for all is that he decided he had to attempt to degrade one more kind parental figure into a scumbag of a character. We had Locke and Max, and we nearly had Charles added to the pile. Between going behind everyone's backs to create an army of known metal destroyers, attempting to "replace" Sonic, and how we have the usual bullshit "they made mistakes but its all for the greater good!!" - Penders was on his way to ruining Charles, and we just got thankfully lucky that he was shown the door before he could do so.

-Am I the only one who finds it really damn weird that seemingly the one thing Lim gets consistently decent is Charles, for some reason? I don't remember if there was any particularly horrendous off-model moments with him, but he looks consistently good, partly because I think his eyebrow and mustache hides the weirdness with the muzzle and eyes.

-The off-panel stories are absolutely horrendous. They're literally just gigantic ego-trips for Gallagher and the artist (I can't remember his name off the top of my head), since these stories didn't need to go through SEGA approval, so they could essentially do whatever they wanted. So they make stories about how fantastic they are, and how the Sonic cast respects them, and then they fool themselves into thinking kids actually liked and wanted more of it, you can't make this nonsense up.

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9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Penders can’t help himself and ONCE AGAIN has a character (in this case, Elias) exclaim that THIS time “the enemy might be FAR GREATER than ANYTHING we have yet faced!”

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9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

What else would you expect from yet, another one of the GREATEST THREATS WE’VE YET FACED?!!!

Why do these sound like they were said by Phelous?

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

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I guess the disk shape thing might be it? I dunno. Ron Lim’s art just deteriorated back to it’s usual badness after that one miracle with Nack at the concert.

I don't... remember Shadow having a force-field being brought up in #160 onward so unless I've forgotten that plot point or it gets covered in #159 then... this is probably something that goes nowhere.

I think this was him using his Chaos powers but not knowing he's using them? 

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Next week, I’ve got a really busy time ahead of me because not only am I covering the last Ken Penders led issue of this book (FUCKING FINALLY) but I’ll be covering the first issue of Ian’s run on the book. It’s about to get BEEFY and insanely nostalgic for yours truly. Stay tuned.

Well aside from one backup story where Penders did inks and letters with Ian writing it.
 

 

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Spoiler
8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

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*I Am intensifies* So probably a well known and obvious fact at this point but originally this was going to be a straight up adaptation of Shadow The Hedgehog. But Sega being Sega were stingy with details so Penders did something original instead. Probably for the best because I don't see how you could cram the entire plot of Shadow The Hedgehog into 3 issues. You'd at least need to create a comics exclusive path that incorporates most of the pathway plotlines.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

For some reason the first story doesn’t have an actual name. 

I have no idea why.

It took me forever to even realize this was 2 stories. For the longest time I thought it was a full book story that they just gave the credits to twice. Anyway hey it's the first time Jack Morelli letters a Sonic Comic! And we won't see him again until I think the Babylon Rogues arc in Universe?

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The story begins with Shadow heading to Laboratory Zero on what I assume has to be Prison Island. Because of Penders’ inability to be succinct he explains this in as many words as possible, referring to Shadow as the “Bio-synthetic creation” once again for whatever reason.

My favorite bit of overly wordy Penders bs is calling GUN "The Station Square Military Complex in charge at the time". Like Christ man just call them GUN!

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We have this… shockingly pointless full page scene of Shadow crashing into an “In case of emergency break glass” case and getting a weird Mega-Man arm cannon thing. He puts it on his arm while monologuing in his head and asking himself “why should he waste energy engaging in mindless combat when this weapon he has could probably do it for him?”

Then he tosses the arm cannon away and says, “For fun.”

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You get it? Because Shadow The Hedgehog featured guns. And Penders is largely Anti-Gun. It's...commentary?

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We’re already neck deep in that wonderful tradition of the Archie Comics not really treating Metal Sonic like a character and unceremoniously blowing him up over and over again so that new ones can be made.

I gotta be honest that never really bothered me as much as it did other people. Outside of Heroes Metal Sonic never really had much in the way of personality so it's hard to view him as much of a character honestly. He's like a Power Rangers general who's whole thing is wanting to kill the Red Ranger or something. Yeah it can be cool and entertaining to a degree but sometimes that just seems to be all they're about and it's kinda boring.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We cut to Eggman where Penders is once again using way too many words to explain to us that an alarm is going off in Eggman’s base. I don’t need to read lines like “The normal humming and clicking sounds heard throughout the night in the nerve center of a highly advanced base of operations is pierced with the sudden burst of the klaxon alarm sounding!”

Yes, that’s actually what he wrote. 

Fuck. It’s just an alarm going off. Stop trying to be so poetic about it. Jesus.

Oh, God I just realized this is what his prose is like! He wants to make The Lost One's into a novel and this is how it's going to read. Dear God.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Again, I see no issue with not liking him at this point in time. Intentional or not, he's being written like an awful person.

And that's kinda why I defend the Sonic and Tails stuff in House of Cards. I want to stress just the Sonic and Tails stuff! I used to defend the whole thing but a lot of recent events kinda painted my opinion on the Elias and Amadeus stuff.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Soooo… here’s something I didn’t exactly think about but I guess Eggman just knows where Knothole is right? I forgot when he found out again but I remember when he initially found out the location was soon wiped from his robot memory or something right?

Yeah that was weird. We literally only found out in a footnote that was like "Now that Eggman's human again he remembers where Knothole is." Which is like...OK! Anyway I doubt it'd be hard to find nowadays anyway since it's the Acorn Kingdom's main city now. Man they really need to reinforce their guard though. Eggman could like carpet bomb the whole city and put everyone in his Egg Grapes if he wanted too. I mean that's unlikely but still.

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Then Rotor, apparently actually having lost his mind since being written by Penders, proceeds to say the most whacked out shit ever, with Tails being the straight man calling him out for being nuttier than a Nutter Butter.

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Even as a 15 year old who wasn't analyzing the story very carefully I was like "Fucking What Rotor?! That's Eggman! The guy you're at war with! Listen to Tails!"

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

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Ok I know He's a Hologram but it's still really fucking weird seeing Eggman Judo flip Sonic. 

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

To cut to the chase, Eggman gets them to go along with his plan when he says he can get Jules out of his robot body. I don’t even know how he thinks he could do that since he can’t even find a way BACK to his robot body apparently. He complains entirely too often about not having it so this is most likely a lie.

Also I don't know why anyone believes this. It's been established the gun shot Jules took was too fatal to ever risk Deroboticizing him. The BEM said this. That's why one day everybody stopped being a robot except Sonic's dad.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It’s just those two being taken by an Eggpod remotely controlled by Eggman to the heart of… whatever the city’s name is now. Megaopolis? 

New Megaopolis. Megaopolis was the Overlander capital that was clearly New York.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Writer: Tracy Yardley
Pencils: Steven Butler

Literally the only issue Tracy Yardley writes but doesn't draw of all 11 issues he actually wrote. It's kinda weird seeing that.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We begin this issue with an oxymoron. The president is awarding Chuck and Nelson Thorndyke with an award for helping to create a Power Plant… with environmentally friendly green energy.

I mean, holy shit. That sounds like a dream. I guess it’s technically Solar Energy but… like, green, somehow…? I dunno. They don’t explain it but it’s very impressive. Trust me.

God it'd be nice to live in a universe where people gave a shit about the planet we're actually on and didn't expect a billionaire to colonize Mars.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Eggman gives his whole spiel about wanting to make a great world and Knuckles just calls bullshit and says he only wants to be emperor of the planet, culminating in this wonderful scene.

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Say what you will about Tracy's writing (personally I like his X issues and 2 Universe arcs a lot myself) but the man can do a good comedic beat.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

lRQw4BKjcRT5nxOdBCui30dc_su_M_kcwBc_RQk1kZYZqfRJCPN0kI_D2_01CWaL_bF4NWFc2vrrkHgleU4ERB3VKCe1zSIjFG8wPqChc_OS70Uvbmo7uO0QBkidQe-SEwQsiTDW

"I'd like to think of it as my own form of 'Chaos Control!'" Is such a great ending line. Like Eggman's just like "Oooh you bitches are dead!"

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Yet, for some reason, Mecha calls them superior designed Metal Sonics.

isFZVogsx-l7ztb-8yye5fCc89o8Pyb5Rv959aBuSU0O2YfqPigFu-zlzms2fnfzSsAcK1a26w2s6ossIyDRikJuacEBnSQyspft9PgjhfyMjrPUj8as4mXSVlTxwRE_rIL59Ssa

Because...um...c-comedy? I think it's supposed to be a joke? I honestly don't know.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

as to who could be behind this since the usual suspects in their Rogue’s Gallery don’t make any sense.

Hey Nack The Weasel could totally build an army of Metal Sonic's.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

YeNoU9FmM_iYRGamcPWq0c2-lmfxNjFFOjlkVU5l3yAI6cmoj_Whsf5bmwC8M7LUYNmZkjxi3BlXR99SKLPqEQw_wixO6mkmmDgpwS5WgbhQhF44EHNt5KsBcIMaCRCHAQTLMxzq

Where did Eggman get that perfectly clear footage of Maria's death?

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Speaking of the SA2 adaptation, or lack thereof, uhm… this comic said to refer to the game for details on what happened and often it’s made NO SENSE with how characters keep reacting to one another when it comes to details that they should already know about if the story in SA2 happened the way it did in the games.

I could buy it a little more if Shadow had Amnesia like he did in the games at this point but...he doesn't. The BEM saved him as he was falling and he was very clearly conscious and remembered everything. It's just so weird how they're acting like none of this information has already been revealed.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

He also calls Maria his “half-sister” which is wrong. She’s his cousin. 

In Penders defense a lot of people were under that assumption. He also says Eggman was an infant when this happened so I guess Archie Eggman is over 50. Actually older because he was roboticized and had his brain in a satellite for 25 years.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Elias, who’s just here now and I’m gonna have to deal with it,

I mean at least when Ian starts writing him he becomes interesting again.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Also, yeah, that’s Rotor right there, helping Uncle Chuck create these scary looking Neo Metal Sonics “In Sonic’s image” and yet just a few pages ago, he said and thought this to Sonic and himself.

rppJ3djWiG4K48mzxPvXpy4RBtu_vPfhfdmkPrrTGVvWVCmaDcxTftARbp8sfUo3UZJikVNaF5TRtmRGdZNe2epQSpmoiKvStdf56ySmLyrbVxOszSeJ4gSfkTEgOUOuz4AqcVkZ

When he thinks to himself “Like that’s a long list” is it supposed to hint that it’s obvious that he and Chuck did it because they’re on that list of people who could maybe have built them? Or am I giving Penders too much of the benefit of the doubt?

That's how I read it too. I'm guessing Rotor kept quite about his involvement to prevent an awkward trip back to the Castle.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I don't... remember Shadow having a force-field being brought up in #160 onward so unless I've forgotten that plot point or it gets covered in #159 then... this is probably something that goes nowhere.

Nope. This is a plot point/power that Shadow only has in this arc.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Penders can’t help himself and ONCE AGAIN has a character (in this case, Elias) exclaim that THIS time “the enemy might be FAR GREATER than ANYTHING we have yet faced!”

ubCDFpAQegKTt9xsi_BEbL-6MAKz3ZJDsFbuCS5VNOf9yuzyFeeDKYLnC_1ceMaseZ_zBPlupvy5yhGKNCrtzRrCTuUqxVWAjJX8tS0APWUHkBuClfL9CV7zMMw-8lffaNm3o3Gr

“THIS TIME it’s totally true guys. Please believe my own hype. If you do, I promise to draw humanoid echidna women in string bikinis posing on a photorealistic waterfall.”

"Why would we want that?" "You'll want it oh, you'll want it." "I don't even think furries want that man."

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I don’t even know the guy but you can totally tell by the kinds of stories he likes to write that he’s an old man from a by-gone era of comics. 

Fun fact because I never got a chance to bring it up but his Uncle was either the creator of or one of the subsequent writers of Heathcliff. When he passed away he offered the strip to either Mike or his brother. In the end his brother took it and gave us the glorious mess that it is these days. Honestly though you couldn't really tell because the type of humor in Heathcliff is pretty similar to Mike's.

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

UP6jWcLyMJ7qOZrwe-2IgorGErO-ioUmPDr9ddV0xMlNuT3qsljYrzOmdnzs8chCEBDeR3ci0tfF-ymeEyGJwp7LFrSbCBQswsmSSFlueE8rwazW22B0aIIo7R-pPGzBAhv1t1lR

According to that dazed dialogue, Sonic doesn’t do his own stunts which is just blasphemous to me.

So...in the context of this dumbass Off-Panel story what exactly is Sonic? Is he an actor? Does he sound like Jason Griffith so he's the third actor to portray Sonic in the comics? Why does he have super speed if he's just an actor who needs a stunt double? Is he dating Krystal from Star Fox? I need answers to this dumb comedy strip dammit!

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Also, that last line kills me. I can’t believe that the conflict here is that this guy is planning to reveal to the world that the Archie Comics have made some mistakes in the past and Mike Pellerito’s reaction is that revealing this would destroy their “credibility”. 

I’d go so far as to say that this comic has made more than just it’s fair share of bloopers. Like, there’s a lot of genuinely bad, egregious, and disgustingly harmful shit in these books.

What gets me is these aren't even bloopers. They're shit like "We use special effects and make up." I mean I'm sure the fact they filmed on a green screen instead of sending Sonic to space probably made some dude who calls Brie Larson a Feminazi really mad but still these aren't bloopers. 

 

9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

xve6RkSxExJT1XJjJ--Ym3OUwoSCcBDLgMfSTANqK2npCmsHkKhKiTSPwwAr8e6GkegKAdfsyliT9BIfHAkn34UZRLFIs0UPDVanJ-OavW5vapuortUUBGP09L-uD1iw5b_scsRx

I mean that's why they had to dub his voice in Underground too. Unless Sonic has 3 actors? Then again I can't imagine Jason Griffith's voice being a particularly good singer either. Wait is this Sonic the same actor who plays him in the games and on Sonic X or not? ...I'm thinking way too hard about the logistics of this comedy strip that treated the comic like a TV or Film production.

 

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19 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

-The off-panel stories are absolutely horrendous. They're literally just gigantic ego-trips for Gallagher and the artist (I can't remember his name off the top of my head), since these stories didn't need to go through SEGA approval, so they could essentially do whatever they wanted. So they make stories about how fantastic they are, and how the Sonic cast respects them, and then they fool themselves into thinking kids actually liked and wanted more of it, you can't make this nonsense up.

Hindsight really does put a shock when you age and see what you missed. Can’t say it’s done me wonders looking back and seeing things with a clearer eye of some of the behind-the-scenes.

Tho they probably weren’t entirely wrong—kids probably did like and want more of it. It’s not like kids care that much about who’s writing it compared to adult fans, unless they were just cherry-picking the Sonicgrams to make themselves look good.

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Something else I wanted to mention about the Post Reboot comics is that I felt the last 4 parter of the Unleashed arc felt a bit.....anticlimatic? Like it felt like it was going through the motions and not feeling very grand. Maybe it's because there was going to be more from this but because of the cancelation it is ultimately the final story with the Post Reboot characters.

Am I the only one that felt this? 

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It was anticlimactic, but that was likely due to the shitty interruption that was World’s Unite crossover forcing them to rush the whole thing.

At the very least it was a decent closing end before the series was cancelled, but I can only wonder what the original plan was before the crossover.

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1 hour ago, SanPolo4389 said:

Something else I wanted to mention about the Post Reboot comics is that I felt the last 4 parter of the Unleashed arc felt a bit.....anticlimatic? Like it felt like it was going through the motions and not feeling very grand. Maybe it's because there was going to be more from this but because of the cancelation it is ultimately the final story with the Post Reboot characters.

Am I the only one that felt this? 

IDK personally I think it captured the scope and size of Unleashed perfectly. Everyone got a chance to shine and it managed to work in all aspects of the Eggmanland stage.

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In fairness, I feel like it's more SEGA and Archie's fault than the writers'. The issues solicited for after Genesis of a Hero seemed to be wrap-up and epilogue stuff where the Freedom Fighters would've went their separate ways following the crisis. Then SEGA mandated Genesis of a Hero to happen as a tie-in to the 25th anniversary, and then they canned the whole thing midway through that mandated arc. 

And then there's Worlds Unite, which just fucked over literally every series involved in it. Archie Sonic lost issues to it which killed pacing, Mega Man and Boom lost a ton of issues right before cancellation.

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37 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

 

In fairness, I feel like it's more SEGA and Archie's fault than the writers'. The issues solicited for after Genesis of a Hero seemed to be wrap-up and epilogue stuff where the Freedom Fighters would've went their separate ways following the crisis. Then SEGA mandated Genesis of a Hero to happen as a tie-in to the 25th anniversary, and then they canned the whole thing midway through that mandated arc. 

 

Oh I’m not blaming/dissing on him since I know he was doing the best he can with what he has. 

Also the other thing that I guess was different or interesting was how Eggman surprise attacking everyone and got control of the Gaia Colossus but it kinda felt like it went very.......straightforward to the point. 

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Another thing I want to bring up is what do you think of the plot from Pre reboot where all the stuff going on (like with Naugus or Mecha Sally and other stuff going on.) Was it good or did you feel it went on longer than needed?

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I'm a little kinder on that then most people are because it came at a particularly hard time for me.

My mom was having heart problems and fell into a coma and died all over the course of that storyline (in fact the issue Metal Sonic blows up in Antoine's face was the exact time she passed away) so seeing Sonic and his friends going through heavy hardships and most importantly overcoming them was something that was very helpful to me in that time. 

I know that's a very specific thing and not everyone will feel what I feel and yeah there's some issues but that period is important to me. 

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He did it, everyone. He’s finally done with the Penders era!

image.gif.48eb79f693c46ebb0eedf94d98845c3f.gif

Man, I cannot imagine how I would’ve read those scrapped ideas of Penders growing up.

Now we can re-enjoy the greatness that is Flynn-era Archie and watch how a better writer does what Pendon’t.

 

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6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So ends the reign of THE GREATEST THREAT THEY’VE YET FACED!!!

After a comment that was made last time, I only ever hear that phrase in Phelous' voice now.

You’re welcome btw. 

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Spoiler
6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

0KEpWxneyo5wKJnl6LWIEbhIHQfc0lyvrTI0wLXHxpFD72gu8FHCgztcY7mEWTOROcfmwI4AJKi1zYqxumR6gNyleI_QbTHtnF7jRAhH6p-nNPfl-EPnlWj-XyVVq6W0n-SydnFP

IT'S OVER! IT'S FINALLY OVER! HAHAHAHAHA!....Jesus Christ what is wrong with this cover?

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The two of them fight for two whole pages before Rosie yells at them to fucking stop because Hope needs a goddamn doctor. When she accuses them of choosing to fight and not caring about who gets caught in the crossfire Sonic says “You know me better than that” and finally races off to get her some help with Shadow following. 

I mean, apparently she knows you just fine Sonic because she had to tell you that before you raced off to get Hope some help. Even when Shadow follows behind, Sonic still belts out competitive lines to him about Shadow only being able to catch up when he already has Hope at the doctor’s place. It’s so not endearing. This is one of those times where Sonic needs to keep the ego in check. Seriously. Shit’s not funny.

Since this is the last time I just got to say the levels to which Penders doesn't understand Sonic is so Goddamn frustrating to me. Look Sonic is egotistical and can be a jerk but he's not a completely heartless asshole. The fact Penders just constantly wrote him this way always infuriates me. Hell I argue he's an idiot on SatAM but at least SatAM got that while Sonic has an ego he's not completely caught up in himself.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Shadow recounts how only two people ever cared for him (I’m sure Gerald did before he went insane though) and says that if he couldn’t save Maria then he’s going to save Hope and uses a power he himself says he doesn’t know how he’s using, Chaos Control, to warp him, Sonic, and Hope to the top of Acorn Castle where Elias and the rest of the Freedom Fighters are waiting for the Neo Metal Sonic Troopers to arrive.

I mean being fair does anybody know why Shadow suddenly can just use Chaos Control without a Chaos Emerald?

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So, is his memory shot or is it not? How much of his memory does he have? I need a more comprehensive list of what Shadow knows and doesn’t know.

Don't look at me. Even if I cared about Shadow I wouldn't go through that trainwreck.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I can understand why Ian’s first priority when taking over for writing the book was to learn to actually like his character. He’d been both a fan of Sonic and had read the book well before he got started working on it, sure, but this is… I mean, you know. I’m a huge Sonic fan, obviously, yet I can’t say I’m jazzed about his portrayal here. 

TBF the way Ian talks he wasn't a fan of Sonic as a character in general until he actually had to start getting in his head and realizing more of his more subtle characteristics.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

So ends the reign of THE GREATEST THREAT THEY’VE YET FACED!!!

After a comment that was made last time, I only ever hear that phrase in Phelous' voice now.

Neo Metal The Greatest Threat In Archie Sonic Ever!

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic leaves Shadow with an honestly, kind of fun little exchange of words.

Sonic says, “Thanks for the save Shadow! I owe you nothing.”

Shadow’s reply is, “Then we’re even, Sonic.”

That was cute.

Oh Fun Fact about this it turns out...

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Although, it might be the result of Ian Flynn having touched up the script for this one. Yeah, turns out #159 is his uncredited, unofficial debut since he was asked to touch-up the script for it. That might explain why the script for this issue hasn’t been anywhere near as full of flowery, overly descriptive language as the others.

Oh...You know. Alright then. Anyway yeah it's very clear in hindsight he touched up the script especially this conversation because Sonic and Shadow call each other "Faker" and "Blue Hedgehog" which they mostly only do in Ian's run. I don't know how much he rewrote but I'd imagine the Chaos Force thing is also him since it takes a major amount of power away from the Echidnas.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This is a move that, by the way, is still so spontaneous and happenstance that it doesn’t feel right at all currently.

It doesn't help Snively has also done jackshit. He helped them examine the Nanites I guess but that's pretty much it.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Thus, we end on the last page of the Ken Penders era. 

7reYdjW-abYezwnMReNb8CVXLSD4ksh5_j3EmQJwZO8Lbhfrmy7LVT5jx1jE95xztE-Frkp6jDzTuC56Dv2Hqr02RNYAPwuMOeNpIvbHKfCEuGgBmlYcWWXzLATiRcG_VWkJRXDl

God he draws Eggman ugly. Just terrible.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I’ll be honest, reading this again is a little surreal. Especially the part about SEGA telling Ken to reverse the plans for her death because they had marketing plans for her. Where the fuck did those go?

I believe there was a stage show in Sydney but that's about it.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

SONIC: ALL MY TOMORROWS... (SONIC #160 & #161) - King Sonic discovers he’s returned to the scene of one of his greatest battles and possibly the cause of his problems in the future. The problem is that no one can see or hear him, and any attempt to take action results in someone suspecting a supernatural cause. When he returns to the future, he discovers a changed world on top of having failed to change events in the past. As a last resort, Rotor sends Nicole into the past after having created her.

Gotta love the fact that what caused M25YL's apocalypse was apparently not a single Goddamn thing that was originally said to have fucking caused it! Also apparently Ken just really wanted M25YL to be THE future, huh? Also fun fact since this ties into it Mike Pellerito wanted Evil King Shadow to be in the follow up story. Some say this is what drove Ken to leave.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

If Chuck and Rosie had a thing in the show

They didn't. Rosie literally only appears in the Blast to the Past 2-Parter and never again. Which is weird because Sally makes a big deal out of saving her from being Roboticized and Tails mentions her when they get back meaning Sally changed history but she's in no more episodes.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

SONIC: GIRLS NIGHT OUT (SONIC #163) - Some teasing from Ash results in Mina and Amy Rose making their way into Robotnik’s stronghold to prove they’re just as capable on their own as any Freedom Fighter (re: Sonic). When Sally hears what they’re up to, she and Sonic head out after them, only to discover Rouge and Nic the Weasel are on the scene, each looking to abscond with the rare gem that will power Robotnik’s latest weapon.

Later utilized as the actually good and fun Treasure Team Tango.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

SONIC: THIS ROBIAN, THIS HEDGEHOG

DID YOU KNOE PENDERS IS A LEE/KIRBY FAN! IT HARDLY EVER COMES UP!

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Meanwhile, this title gave me “I, Frankenstein” vibes. Remember that shit?

I can see that but as I joked about it's a reference to a Stan Lee Jack Kirby Fantastic Four issue titled "This Man, This Monster". Because Penders only respects comics from when he was a kid.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Ken says he wanted the proposal to happen in #175 and for the wedding to take place in #200 which is an insanely long wait for something that, while good for their characters, probably isn’t worth Issue #200 nor that ridiculous gap in real time. The proposal actually ends up happening in #173 and the wedding takes place in #174, a single issue afterward, because of a little thing called brevity and sense.

I love Antoine and Bunnie. I think they're great characters and have a cute relationship but to be playing out their proposal that long and using issue 200 of a licensed comic (something that rarely if ever happens) for their wedding is just absolutely asinine.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic is racked with grief, feeling responsible for the death of Snively

Aw, yes Sonic's best friend who he had the deepest bond with...Fucking Snively.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Maybe he would have given us the scene of Sonic murdering someone with Captain America’s shield or something

Hey conservatives would have loved it. XD (Sorry didn't mean to get political but the amout of Republicans talking about how cool John Walker is is just comical) 

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

But if Sonic can’t provoke his bad doppelganger into a fight one way, perhaps scoring with Rouge might do the trick.

...Being a Sonouge shipper is suffering.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic try to resolve the situation by SCORING WITH ROUGE THE BAT. I’ve never even really heard of this pairing before but it’s apparently something Penders really wants to happen. I also don’t get what his obsession with making these cartoon animals have sex in this officially liscenced book is. Do whatever you want in your fanfiction or fan comic but there’s a certain level of tact to keep in mind when writing a children’s book that’s supposed to be mass distributed to the general public. Also, yes, I said "sex" because Penders himself has no shame in admitting he wants it to happen, even if Sonic is underaged still. 

1.) It's a smaller ship but there are people who like Sonic and Rouge as a couple. 2.) Yeah I've made it no secret I indulge in certain kinds of Fanfic and Fanart but you know one place I never want to see Sonic The Hedgehog boning down? IN OFFICIALLY LICENSED MATERIAL! Like Fan work is one thing but if you start having Sonic fuck in official media it feels gross and wrong.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

Idea 12 - SONIC: A DISH BEST SERVED COLD (SONIC #169 & #170) - Knuckles and the Chaotix show up at Station Square, mean and spoiling for a fight with the group that attempted to invade Angel Island.

Did they return to Angel Island at some point? He didn't include any backups in these breakdowns so it's hard to tell.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Bonus Bullshit #1m1cUVTtDZbCdSV6woeYfIigLhwlLiPB8TsxOXeEr3sTQbOHfkooejs5VsL9zYqQBKKmPXtvjeiJxzEhF1XHK3vicCpshVzQn7Z-DbaEIK2SY_87TIlDmCdlMXGATD8JoQg3jDAxI

Bonus Response #1 - This tweet will forever live in infamy as the epitome of just not getting it. Ken Penders is a gross, negligent, weird, deeply inappropriate, delusional, lazy, old, egomaniac. The fact that he could tweet out something like this and then proceed to immensely defend it just strikes fear in the heart of my brain in it’s futile attempts to comprehend it. My word.

Y'know I tried to determine when exactly this would have occurred and the only time that makes sense is when Geoffrey was hanging around Knothole all the time while King Acorn was crystalized and Sally was stressed. Not only did Geoffrey fuck an underage girl he fucked an emotionally vulnerable underage girl who absolutely wasn't thinking clearly. Christ.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Other artists will come into the book with their own styles to contribute but all of them will look distinctly Sonic-like. Finally.

Hell even retuning names like Butler and Fry will at least start veering more towards a more general Sonic Style. I think working on Sonic X also helped there though.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

When asked how old he is, they don’t exactly tell us, which is a bit disappointing as I’m terrible at remembering.

I do like Rotor brings up sis trip to space since he was 16 when that happened but gone for a whole year so he probably missed a birthday but like the Hedgehog says "Let's just call [him] a teen from now till forever" because this is important he's a mascot. His age should not matter. It shouldn't be a crux for stories and he shouldn't be having to worry about school. Sonic should just be Sonic.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

mYjg6YCtCr-iSiCWOqE6Iydl9m_dsOfhe5tvcqjcC6YlDsB1Z5pYeqV_Q_b6ZvT7o2_-IC8qOivZSSmmGW5aNeUd0ydHQRrgLZHoa7LSPOzalr7f2kkGsb4BOXZtZ08-47jlHsjb

BRING MY BOYS BACK IN THE 30TH ANNIVERSARRY SEPCIAL! Sorry I just...I just love Bean and Bark so much.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

LdRi_52LlFDUw-nJ9zcRPtikaYD0vvY7mYSypaLiKpeK8omRDLzHOfkgzCsDjfngfHylsFxHZxwh92gZ_yhMQ51ewfFZltz1V39DRa9YtpP4GWZ7_v3Mi8YNIpvS2FB_A_fuOfCH

I actually kinda dig the pre-Scourge version of Evil Sonic's outfit here. I'm not 100% sure why the Master Emerald changes it's colors but whatever it's iconic now.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Fiona also appeals to Bark’s senses and tells him to stand down. He does so. 

Yes, it would seem Fiona knows these two well and how to properly handle them. 

Fiona's first steps in to being an actual character. Though some people hate what's done with her I don't care because they think she should have hooked up with the 12 year old so fuck 'em. Fiona is way more interesting under Flynn than she ever was before.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Octopus face here I don’t exactly remember. I think he was from some story about Tails or something. It doesn’t matter. He sucks too.

He was also in the Tails Miniseries. For like 1 issue.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The only off-putting thing about this are the tan eye-lids. Sonic still has them too. I want that to be over with already. It’s 2006. It looks weird. Stop doing it. 

There are people who prefer the tan eyelids and I'll never understand why.

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

mBzsqjIXL52VPbLXYRhcwF9FJ-IlmSxpQTFA1bF6xEOLdB8Bizqiu5DpZKeMj2hGH0hJBZwuhjnP1hjgrnA2RqedDL0R7hkYedcnH1DaVkkhJq1SkbD06sA2b7HGm4IBVockjaCn

Odd misgendering going on here? Is this a reference to Blaze being ashamed of her small boobs?

 

6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The final emotion was the strange sense of “Wait what? What is happening?” when I saw the Cream and Vanilla PSA at the bottom. One of these things is not like the other.

Those were supposed to be in part 1 too but Butler didn't draw them. Tracy said he would have cut them out had he realized Butler didn't use them.

 

7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

Z-lD8euhk4xZ82Voy_bB_wmioq8TIfqjXkEIF6bz1mdzgBAHRTWHjw3zbUz8AZBk-NnmItLbEsL6XPsufQEJxtS2NgG4nMVZ8GfYhDWXIk0pNBG6c8sb7sO1N7Xja77U3O5Q1HaS

My only nitpick is I wish he had the aura he has in the Anime.

 

7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

S1ekbAP5rYxUvWzmfjvEqQL-UUdcEEnzjRWusPEYHzp-z5c51L0y6KPfZrRv_wUG5TuvUQ-LjYRP2PFe7hQ0rGqAT2QLg6Bou5JISHZ3p-UUWY-qpp9-R8rlyCGd4jkRAA9w3Fms

Sonic best be careful or else he’ll end up pulling a Man of Steel on me.

Don't worry it's one of the infamously empty buildings from Power Rangers SPD.

 

7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

WjfhGnVsQ-DfsVpZNuykjw_EoVTY5knL0HtjcSmiErusI_eroY7wvLeVPdbp_7ITbC0x5IlUXEqYq431AmO_DfDhx43j32je_tmxWtZNLIB_V6oA_WNvFURwVs4BRj71k4D2Iz1b

This page always kills me. I think it's the "Oh, Foo" that really ties it together.

 

7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I would have loved it had Tails said “Alls well that ends well” while buildings were burning in the background.

It would give me an excuse to reference FTA going "THE CITY'S BEEN FUCKING DESTROYED!" but I just did...and I think I did in the Archie SA1 Adaptation so whatever.

 

7 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Yeah, honestly, I don’t think this final joke was worth interjecting these weird PSAs throughout the issue. It really took away from the climactic feel of everything when at the bottom of the page they would just show up to be these weird, random inserts that wrecked the flow. 

Plus, if the fact that they were out of place was the point and they were supposed to be funny, then whatever message they were trying to give would most likely be lost too. It just doesn’t seem worth it either way.

think the point was more just this arc is about the environment...well part 1 is so some tips on environmental saving are kinda called for.

 

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You managed to get through the worst era of the comics in one piece, congrats! It's been a long, long time coming, but Penders is finally out of the picture!

Let's celebrate with a final rounding out of thoughts on his bullshit. I've a lot to say so I'll leave my thoughts on #160 for another post, lets make this one a final outing for Ken.

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

At the end of the last issue, Shadow did indeed threaten Sonic but it was because Hope got hurt. A fucking robot’s leg slammed across her face and knocked her out. Shadow straight up said to Sonic that his concern was for Hope. The appropriate response to this would be to forgo any confrontation with Shadow and realize that the immediate concern is to get Hope medical attention. That should have been the literal first thing on Sonic’s mind. Instead he punches the guy who just showed that concern for her in the face.

He escalated things for no reason. He really sucks.

The two of them fight for two whole pages before Rosie yells at them to fucking stop because Hope needs a goddamn doctor. When she accuses them of choosing to fight and not caring about who gets caught in the crossfire Sonic says “You know me better than that” and finally races off to get her some help with Shadow following. 

I actually didn't know that Ian had to spruce up this script before leaving, and I'm just imagining him knocking his head against a table, trying his damnest to at least imply Sonic isn't this gigantic asshat. I could see him adding things like the "You know me better than that" to try to say - "Of course Sonic wouldn't just leave an injured Hope there!", but like, there's only so much you can do when Penders has stacked the deck so far in the direction of jerkass Sonic.

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Meanwhile, Eggman is just… speeching at nobody about how much more awesome the Neo Metal Sonic troopers are than him. 

Can you tell this was written by Ken Penders yet?

Eggman ends up laughing it off so I guess he finds it amusing how helpless he is to a bunch of things that were created in the backwater of Knothole. 

What frustrates me is - in my opinion at least - this is severely out of character for Eggman. If the Neo Metal Sonic legion was directly targeting him at the moment, I could absolutely see him panicking, or at least being nervous (Think how Eggman and Wily were ridiculously panicked in Worlds Collide when Sonic and Mega Man began turning the tide on the Roboticised Masters, and the two doctors had to literally begin denying a potential failure on the horizon, because they know how these things usually turned out).

Eggman IMO would not be sitting here trying to bolster up the GREATEST THREAT THEY'VE YET FACED!!! - and complaining about how he had nothing to do with it, he'd be using it to bolster his own ego. He'd be talking about how - of course the Metal Sonic Squadron is out of control, those Knothole hacks attempted to steal his genius designs, his ingenuity! While Eggman is so clever, and so smart as to have protocols in place to ensure Metal Sonic remains loyal to him, those idiot inventors over at Knothole couldn't even keep a few tin-cans in line! Hell, Eggman would probably be laughing about how Knothole deserves this fate for stealing an Eggman concept (despite the pathetically lame excuse that Eggman doesn't have a claim to the concept). 

Just...imagine if this was written by a competent writer. Like imagine Ian writing this story arc, knowing full well he was going to portray Max as the absolute scumbag he actually is later down the line. Imagine the actual potential here.

Given that Rotor and Max were forced to make these robots by Max, you could've easily used this to show that in some ways, King Max and Eggman aren't so different, especially as warring factions. The Kingdom of Acorn is always portrayed as the morally upright group fighting against the evil Eggman, but imagine the potential if Max had forced the Knothole inventors to build this squadron of Sonics as his new secret weapon, a literal army of obedient robots, as strong, as fast, and as capable as Sonic himself, all under King Acorn's beck and call.

Imagine the irony of the "morally upright" side being the one to betray the image of their greatest hero, betray the mourning and trust of their princess, and betray quite a few of the values they're supposed to uphold. Imagine the fallout of this under a more competent writer. Imagine Sally finding out that during a time of severe heartbreak and pain for her, her father had secretly commissioned war machines in her dead boyfriend's image to go out and wage war on whoever Max damn well pleased. Imagine Sally finding that out and saying enough was enough and cutting ties with Max once and for all.

Imagine Eggman getting a fucking kick out of the "morally heroic Freedom Fighters" taking a page out of his book and creating loyal robotic killing machines, capable of forcing anyone into line if they disagreed with Max. Imagine Sonic realising that the king he fought so long to save and protect had officially lost his fucking mind and did something like this. 

Like we all joke about this being the GREATEST THREAT THEY'VE YET FACED!!!! - but under a competent writer - yeah - it legit could have been. Imagine the Neo Metal Sonics being as strong, as fast, and as capable of the regular Sonic due to being designed by Charles and Rotor knowing Sonic a lot more than Eggman. Imagine a Iron NICOLE scenario where A.D.A.M discovers and takes control of them all, using them to utterly destroy Knothole, and then reveal that Max was the one who commissioned them with the intent of winning the war with them, and using them to ensure no one else would fuck with the Kingdom of Acorn, forcing a mourning Charles to do it as well. Imagine Sonic and Shadow having to fight tooth and nail together in order to put them down, but still not being able to save a large chunk of Knothole. Imagine Eggman using this to further convince Shadow that the Kingdom of Acorn is corrupt, and Shadow made the right decision to work with Eggman! There's so much that could've been done here!!

This could've legitimately been a massive game-changing arc, a huge turning point in the war where Eggman gets a massive win on the Kingdom of Acorn without trying, simply because a power-hungry Max had decided he was going to step his game up. Imagine seeing this legitimately paid off with Sonic, Sally, and the Freedom Fighters realising that the Kingdom of Acorn isn't as different from Eggman as they were lead to believe, and becoming completely and totally disillusioned with it. Imagine that whole metal ceremony again where Elias and Max and everyone has set up this whole song and dance to "award" Sonic (apologise for screwing with his image), only instead - Sonic doesn't show up. Charles and his family could be at the ceremony, wondering where he is, but Charles has a look of total guilt, knowing he hurt his nephew by taking part in this affair.

The final pages of the issue could be something like Sonic inside the abandoned Freedom HQ, looking around and realising that this is what he and his friends spent so long fighting for, a corrupt kingdom that's doing shady bullshit that's just as bad, if not even worse than Eggman. If you want to be more optimistic, perhaps have the other Freedom Fighters show up, realising the same thing, but also showing that despite their utter disgust with what Max did, they'll still continue to fight for what they believe is right, not what the Kingdom of Acorn believes is right.

Like, this whole deal with the Neo Metal Sonics, and their true creators should be a really big deal, and yet it's practically all shrugged off. It's amazing how much of a waste it is. God, I hate this story arc.

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Knuckles shows up and explains to Shadow that he used Chaos Control. Shadow says that can’t be because he needs a Chaos Emerald to do that. Knuckles says not if he tapped into the Chaos Force to do it. That’s something only a select few echidnas can do. Shadow smiles and says he truly is the Ultimate Lifeform.

I gotta say… there’s a part of me that wishes the Chaos Force was a bit more of a thing in the games because of this. Obviously not in the same sense. That bullshit with Aurora and dying to ascend can eat me. However, the nebulous concept of there being some kind of force to tap into that allows you to use the power of the emeralds without literally holding a Chaos Emerald in your hand sounds useful. 

This honestly remains as one of the most infamous moments of bullshit for me with Penders. Like the most blatant attempt to turn Shadow into Knuckles 2.0 after the fact. It's time for Shadow to begin discovering his random magical mystical chaos bullshit! 

First off, let's not ignore the fact that this is not Chaos Control, Ken. Chaos Control is an ability in which the user uses a Chaos Emerald to warp time and space in different ways, let it be via teleportation, freezing time, or ripping open portals in time/space itself. Chaos Control is just not a catch-all term for "doing whatever you damn well please". 

This is on the level of the DBZ Big Green dub being convinced that literally every. single. attack. is a Kamehameha somehow. Kaioken? Kamehameha. Going Super Saiyan? Kamehameha! Final Flash? Kamehameha! This is only slightly better than the 4Kids X dub being convinced that Chaos Control is the name of Eggman's base in the first 10-15 episodes or so.

Secondly, I hate the usage here. It's literally just a Deus Ex Machina button. Shadow gets to stop big threats. Why? Uh, uh, Chaos Control! Sonic is getting his ass utterly beaten by these robots and yet Shadow just magics them away. What an utterly wasteful, lame, and lazy excuse. Just like Chaos Knuckles and the rest of that bullshit. 

God, I am so thankful Ken just fucked off after this. We dodged multiple bullets here.

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Like, Shadow’s the one who did the only thing that mattered here. Sonic’s not even being rewarded for actually succeeding at what he was trying to do. It’s like he’s being given a participation trophy. 

They even say they have a log of what happened, somehow. They know the extent of what Sonic actually did yet this is still happening.

I’m not saying he can’t be rewarded for his heroism but … THIS is the story where it’s happening? I’m almost tempted to say it’s literally only happening because this is Penders’ last story and he wanted to go out with an ending that signaled him overcoming some gargantuan monstrosity of a situation and being promoted for it.

If that’s true then maybe he should have actually written a story like that instead of THIS.

Again, just imagine if this was written by someone better. This whole ceremony could've been a sham, an attempt by Elias (Actually Max - who convinced Elias) to make a big showing of Sonic as their greatest hero in order to both try to get Sonic back on their side, and to appease the public who now know that their king isn't a particularly good person. 

It would actually fit then. This isn't a ceremony to promote Sonic and give him this big hero's celebration, it's a sham. A senseless, pathetic attempt to save face. They do it, and invite Sonic, assuming he'd attend, but Sonic doesn't. I hate this, there's so much potential here to have Sonic finally go closer to his game counterpart by calling into question how good this "authority" is, and they just don't. The perfect set-up for this scenario and Penders plays it straight because god forbid he actually say "No, Max was wrong, completely and entirely". No, no. Sonic goes along with it because "GoOd iNtEnTiOnS!!!!!!. 

I'm so sick of this, how many times do we have to do this song and dance? No, good intentions doesn't excuse you from being an absolute shit. Especially when your "good intentions" are very likely not good. Literally so much of Penders' absolute bullshit can be summed up with:

 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The structure of it just baffles me to no end.

Oh. I guess Sonic’s parents get closure to their “story arc” if you want to call it that. They say “I guess he’s not our little one anymore. He’s our little one-at-arms!”

Fascinating. Really feeling the effort put into such a harrowing story…

We end on a note that’s SHOCKINGLY kind of wholesome… until it’s ruined by Uncle Chuck deciding to be a creeper like Locke with his hidden cameras and proclamations of keeping secrets being a super cool thing to do.

I love how Ian just got rid of the whole Gentlemen at Arms thing like...three issues later? It's just great how Penders' last big "hoorah" that would've made Sonic an official part of the Acorn Kingdom's authority was just no-sold.

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Holy shit. I guess Ken WAS about to turn Uncle Chuck into another one of THOSE characters wasn’t he? Jesus. Dodged a bullet. Uncle Chuck did the fucking matrix to duck underneath that goddamn bullet. 

I said it once, but I'll say it again - this is just absolutely awful, on all fronts. I sincerely hate everything about it. Ignore the obvious fact that Charles is being a massive creep and pulling a Locke by spying on Shadow (sounds familiar, doesn't it?) - but let's look at this from another angle.

Sir Charles - on the orders of Max - made a legion of robotic killing machines, using his supposedly dead nephew's image. The same man who expressed deep guilt and sorrow for his role in creating the Roboticiser and enabling Eggman's takeover. The man who was one of the few good parental figures in the series, who always cared for Sonic, and the Freedom Fighters, and here he is, having been ordered to shit on his dead nephew's image. 

Does Charles show remorse for this betrayal? Guilt? Nope! "YoU hAvE yOuR sEcReTs, aNd wE hAvE oUrS, bEtTeR iT sHoUlD sTaY tHaT wAy!!!!!!". He acts like this is a good thing, that this horrible thing he did to his nephew, and then kept a secret from him, and said secret then biting them ALL on the ass and attacking them all was somehow a good thing! 

It cannot be said just how much damage Penders did to Charles as a character before he finally pissed off. So much so that I think this should be imagined as non-canon because even in a single issue, it portrays Charles as a selfish prick who abused his dead nephew's standing and image to create an army of killer robots, and when it all backfired on them, he couldn't even show any remote remorse for it and acts as if it's somehow a good thing. BECAUSE ONCE AGAIN:

I don't even have anything to say on the backup story because it's just generic set-up for shit that doesn't happen. Can essentially sum it up with "I'm sure he wouldn't pay off the set-up anyway, so bleh".

Right, now let's get into the plans he had. I've already spoken at length about a few of them so I'll just go over ones I don't think I spoke about.

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Idea 2 - Infamously, Sally Acorn was originally intended to die after her fall in issue 47, with Ken Penders explaining that Sally was a redundant character now that her father was back on the scene. When the series ended up continuing, Ken intended for Sally to be replaced by a robot doppelganger. Sally's death was quickly reversed at Sega's request, as the company apparently had marketing plans for the character.

Response 2 - This one I talked about already in my Endgame review but it’s still worth mentioning here because holy shit. I can’t imagine being a writer and having such flagrant disrespect for the art of story-telling. King Max being back made Sally redundant how? Again, I’m not a fan of SatAM or Sally Acorn but even with only having watched an episode or two some 10 thousand years ago, I know enough to know that Sally’s character wasn’t baked in this royal kingdom bullshit. They were Freedom Fighters because they were leading a rebellion against a tyrannical madman and Sally was the leader. Meanwhile, King Max is a king. He sits on the throne and does his kingly duties which largely involve being an asshole.

I’ll be honest, reading this again is a little surreal. Especially the part about SEGA telling Ken to reverse the plans for her death because they had marketing plans for her. Where the fuck did those go? Was it just for her appearance in Sonic Spinball or were they truly planning to go ahead and just call Amy Rose by the name Sally Acorn for the American audience like they were stupid? Whatever those plans were, they clearly fell through. Sally’s not a character they want anything to fucking do with nowadays yet she’s highly requested to come back, ironically, because of SEGA’s decision to keep her around which allowed her to linger in the minds of people reading the comic past issue 50. 

I probably wouldn’t have been able to write for this book seeing as how I’ve been struggling to give a shit about the Acorn Kingdom for about 10 or so years now and it still hasn’t happened. If I got my hands on the book, my first order of business would have been to do a story-arc that saw the entire kingdom getting burned to the ground, Sonic and Tails leaving, and the Freedom Fighter cast setting up shop somewhere else as their own little rebellion group that Sonic would occasionally run by and say hi to every third or fourth story arc. I don’t know if people would want that but… at the very least I’d have the decency not to resort to immediate death for Sally. I’m not that stupid. I’m only a little bit stupid.

First things first, I want to point out - Sally was actually fairly popular in the 90s. SEGA was more loose with continuities back then so they had no problem marketing the hell out of SatAM. Sally herself got a fair amount of merchandise and even a mascot outfit at a SEGA park, so yeah - it kind of makes sense why SEGA didn't want her killed off. They were still using her quite a bit back then.

Secondly - imagine the horrid timeline where Sally was killed off and replaced with King Acorn entirely. It really goes to show how much Penders didn't care about Sally whatsoever, despite his claims to the contrary. He tried to kill her off and when it didn't work, he used her as a simple mouthpiece to either try to show her as a whiny spoilt brat who King Acorn would have to put into line, or a mouthpiece to defend King Acorn's increasingly awful actions. Bollers and editorial didn't do her many favours, but I will always take their take over what Penders gave us. 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Idea 4 - SONIC: ALL MY TOMORROWS... (SONIC #160 & #161) - King Sonic discovers he’s returned to the scene of one of his greatest battles and possibly the cause of his problems in the future. The problem is that no one can see or hear him, and any attempt to take action results in someone suspecting a supernatural cause. When he returns to the future, he discovers a changed world on top of having failed to change events in the past. As a last resort, Rotor sends Nicole into the past after having created her.

Response 4 - God. This man and his obsession for the word “TOMORROWS”. It’s not even a good word. It’s legit the thing you say when you want to sound pretentious and important but don’t know how so you come off looking like a child playing pretend. 

Anyway, I recall seeing all these ideas before but not knowing how to have the proper reaction to them because I had little context for what came before. I must say, imagining Issue #160 as a continuation of more of Penders’ bullshit greatly upsets me. Where would we be if he didn’t give us the ultimate mercy by quitting (and then proceeding to get mad at the person who was inevitably going to take his place because duh)?

Well, evidently, we’d be here. Instead of a glorious and fun, fresh new start for the books it would have been a continuation of one of the worst stories I’ve read in the comics thus far. Only, something allegedly was supposed to happen this time...sort of. King Sonic seeing the past and doing nothing to change it sounds par for the course. Returning to the future and seeing it changed would just be a double whammy of failure and I’d imagine he’d be a man out of time at that point.

Only, apparently not, because Rotor was supposedly supposed to send Nicole to the past here? I’m guessing something happened to make it so that the future changing didn’t affect him? If it was a plot point brought up in the original M25YL, I’ve forgotten it because it was so boring. If one didn’t exist then it just serves as another reason not to bother with time travel. Especially if you’re a hack writer.

How would this story even play out exactly? Like, Rotor sends Nicole back in time to prevent the destruction of the world, somehow...but Nicole allows the actions that Rotor and Cobar pins on Sonic to still happen? Did Penders just forget that Nicole was around for things he tried to blame Sonic for? Did he not realise it would mean jack shit?

Also, I disagree with this being an issue where stuff happens because...it just wouldn't. Sonic goes back to the past and can't change anything, he returns and they send Nicole back...who still does nothing to change the past. It's the exact same as literally every other M25YL story, nothing happens, no one has agency, no one does shit, and we're expected to pretend it's somehow progress.

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Idea 5 - SONIC: LAST TANGO IN KNOTHOLE (SONIC #162) - Uncle Chuck and Rosie emerge on the town for a real date, and it’s up to Sonic to play guardian angel and prevent Robotnik’s stealth-bots from spoiling the happy couple’s evening. (16 pages)

Response 5 - Old people love can be cute. It’s a little less cute when you recognize that the author kind of just...picked the only two old people in the book and shoved them together. It’s how most ships are created. Even better if the characters hate each other. Apparently that just means they’re even more likely to be in a stable relationship, so says the internet. 

If Chuck and Rosie had a thing in the show I wouldn’t know it because it sure as fuck didn’t come up in this comic so I guess they just decided to try one another out after 161 issues. Why Eggman is using ROBOTS to spy on (or attack) two old people going out for a date when the end of #159 saw him latching nanites onto people to properly spy on them that way, I’m not sure. Seems like it’d be a rather silly thing to follow-up that reveal with.

I never thought I'd say it - but I think even this would be too petty for Eggman. When Eggman tries to personally screw with someone's life, it's typically because he perceives someone to have wronged him in some way, even utterly tiny and miniscule. For example - back when he had Nack attempt to kill Mina because he got her songs stuck in his head and took it as a personal attack. Was it petty and pathetic? Yes. Would it totally fit for Eggman to be that petty? Absolutely.

Here, he'd just straight up be a cartoon villain, sending his robots to screw around with Charles' date for the kicks of it essentially. I could maybe see him do it if it meant somehow messing with Sonic in the process, but idk - it feels really silly for Eggman to concentrate his efforts into commanding his most powerful robot commanders to do something as silly as ruin a date. It feels a bit contrived.

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Idea 6 - SONIC: GIRLS NIGHT OUT (SONIC #163) - Some teasing from Ash results in Mina and Amy Rose making their way into Robotnik’s stronghold to prove they’re just as capable on their own as any Freedom Fighter (re: Sonic). When Sally hears what they’re up to, she and Sonic head out after them, only to discover Rouge and Nic the Weasel are on the scene, each looking to abscond with the rare gem that will power Robotnik’s latest weapon. (16 pages if 1 issue or 2 11-page stories if spread over two issues)

Response 6 - Ah-ha. Finally the thing that would have given me reason to hate Ash. Finding out he’s a low-key misogynist. Then again, I don’t know the merits behind the teasing and will thankfully never know but the fact that this summary has two females, specifically heading out to prove that they’re “just as capable” on their own tells me this would have been another one of Penders’ sad and weird attempts to pretend he’s good at doing the feminism. 

Sadly, based on these events, it kind of sounds like they immediately would have proven him right seeing as how going off to invade an Eggman stronghold just because of some teasing is the dumbest, most childish reason to needlessly put your lives in danger. I think we already knew he wouldn’t properly think through the implications of this. 

Like seriously. What a massive contradiction this would have been to the end of the Bollers story where Ash and Mina reconciled. Why would he choose to write him so that Mina would get so upset that she’d risk her life invading an Eggman base? Oh right. Penders never paid attention to the stuff Karl wrote. My bad. It all makes sense why it makes no sense now.

Also, “Girls Night Out” is such a lazy and expected fucking title. 

Oh hey look, it's Ken Penders' attempts to ruin my favourite Archie Sonic character, again! Hooray! 

Let's ignore the blatant hypocrisy at play that Penders has temper tantrums whenever someone else wanted to use his characters in their stories, but yet here he is blatantly misunderstanding Mina and Ash's characterisation (Ash wants nothing more than Mina's safety, why would he tease her about not charging head-long into danger? Mina on the other hand knows she's not good as a Freedom Fighter, but is exceptionally good at building morale and provide levity for those who can fight). 

There's so much wrong with the bare concept of the plotline that I don't even know what else to say. I don't believe these characters would do these things. He's blatantly ignoring their development (Amy especially, given she is an official Freedom Fighter at this point). Where the fuck would Ash even have a leg to stand in this debate? He isn't a Freedom Fighter, he doesn't risk his life, he's a manager. It's not only blatantly out of character, it doesn't make sense. 

Also, Amy too. Not only because she's already completed her arc, proven her worth, and became a official Freedom Fighter, but Amy could probably still handle Nic and Rouge easily lol. She's practically as good a fighter with her Piko Hammer as Knuckles. The idea that she still feels the need to prove herself to a fucking band manager of all people, plus would need Sonic and Sally's help in dealing with Nic the freaking Weasel is beyond ridiculous.

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Idea 7 - SONIC: THIS ROBIAN, THIS HEDGEHOG (SONIC #164) - When Sonic overhears how much his father resents his condition, unable to enjoy a “normal” life with his wife, Sonic risks all to find a cure. With the aid of his Uncle Chuck, Sonic makes his way into the Robotnik’s nano-tech labs and retrieves what he hopes is the answer to the problem. Unfortunately, Jules is still a Robian at the end, but thanks to nano-technology, he now looks more like his old self. (16 pages)

Response 7 - Meanwhile, this title gave me “I, Frankenstein” vibes. Remember that shit? Anyway, this plot line seems to be something that would have semi-followed up on the massively overlooked plot-point of Eggman promising to fix Sonic’s dad. It gets brought up once by Eggman when he offers it and then once by Sonic when he accepts the deal and then never again for the remainder of that story. 

Jules looking more like his old self is something I honestly feel they could accomplish with their technology right the fuck now. Wouldn’t it just be some hologram shit? I mean, they could create the Neo Metal Sonic Troopers, AKA, THE GREATEST THREAT THEY’VE YET FACED but not something that could make Jules look like his old self? Well, either way, it probably would have been small comfort to the man. Perhaps he’d like to see his old flesh and blood face again though. That might have been a comfort worth getting. I can see where this might do some good but I have zero faith in Penders’ ability to make it work.

Pretty much the only idea I think could've worked here, although definitely not under Penders. That said though, I'm kind of glad it didn't. Jules' robot design is really neat and unique IMO, especially when all of the Mobians were deroboticised. I really liked it when Jon Grey gave Jules that hat and scarf. Idk, there's just something neat about Sonic's dad being a robot, but still continuing on and doing his best for his son that's both unique, and fun IMO. 

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Idea 8 - SONIC: LAST MAN STANDING (SONIC #165) - Antoine pops THE question to Bunnie. Unfortunately, she’s not able to respond before the gang has to go off on a mission to shut down Robotnik’s power plant before a meltdown in the core. While Sonic does all he can to ensure a safe ending for all, circumstances dictate a sacrifice on someone’s part, and Snively ends up proving he had more moxie than anyone ever gave him credit for. (16 pages if 1 issue or 2 11-page stories if spread over two issues)

Response 8 - Ohhhhhhh… kay. 

So this one was the big one I remembered reading about where Snively sacrifices himself to save the day. Setting aside the fact that Snively, in no way, was given enough character development leaning towards the hero’s side for me to properly buy that, this does just seem like yet another vehicle to mine for cheap drama. I’m cool with character death but it always feels like a calculation whenever this man does it. Like he’s checking a box in the emotional manipulation column of his planner or something. 

Antoine and Bunnie’s marriage is another thing Ken got really pissed off about when he heard it happened in Ian’s books. He doesn’t know the full context for it because he never actually read any of Ian’s run but the mere idea of it being done without his permission sent him into a tizzy. Again, this is all despite the fact that he quit. I guess he was under the delusion that Sonic just couldn’t go on without him and was floored when they had the gal to do so. I think he tried to claim that Ian stole the idea of them being married from him even though it was a fairly natural progression of their relationship.

Ken says he wanted the proposal to happen in #175 and for the wedding to take place in #200 which is an insanely long wait for something that, while good for their characters, probably isn’t worth Issue #200 nor that ridiculous gap in real time. The proposal actually ends up happening in #173 and the wedding takes place in #174, a single issue afterward, because of a little thing called brevity and sense.

This one just makes me laugh for two reasons. 

1. His ideas for Antoine and Bunnie were just awful. Imagine after all of the frustrating, bullshit drama we had to deal with between Sonic's return and Patch's reveal. We finally get them back together, and he wants to stretch the whole thing out for nearly 40 issues. Imagine the landmark issue of a Sonic the Hedgehog comic being a wedding of all things. God, imagine the awful things Penders would've done for drama too.

I absolutely bet that he was gonna have Evil Sonic and Bunnie's relationship revealed to Antoine and we'd be shown first hand about the horrendous bullshit about Antoine needing to "forgive" Bunnie for it, despite the fact that Bunnie was manipulated into it. The very thought of Antoine having to "forgive" her for what happened to Bunnie being actual drama material disgusts me to my very core.

2. The idea of Snively doing this is absolutely laughable. Unless I'm mistaken, the last time we even saw him was when he originally joined the Freedom Fighters, and there, he had a very devious "Does this mean you trust me?" line. So now we expect that the self-serving guy who's only ever been self-serving is suddenly so good, and so selfless that he'd allow himself to die to pull this off? Really??

I'm just also going to save myself some time and say the following issue plan was dumb too. Sonic is broken up over Snively's death? Really? He's blaming the other Freedom Fighters because Snively died? Give me a fucking break.

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Idea 10 - SONIC: NEW WORLD ORDER (SONIC #167) - Sonic finally is informed of the duties of his new rank: Gentleman-At-Arms. His first task: accompany Princess Sally to Station Square as she sets up Knothole’s first embassy in a foreign land. Naturally, there’s some trouble before the group departs, including Sally’s displeasure when Sonic’s new rank means he can overrule her when it comes to security, as Antoine’s duties as head of the Royal Guard conflict with his proposal to Bunnie. (16 pages)

Response 10 - Fuckity fuck fuck fuck. Here we go. Yes, it’s really great knowing that the humiliation conga for Sally’s character was only going to get way, way worse. Not only did her mom go “THANK GOD ELIAS IS BACK” and then immediately knight him in place of her, no questions asked, in a story that was supposed to be about Sally marrying Patch but BARELY showed her in it at all but now her authority as the leader doesn’t mean shit. Yeah, despite history being what it is, Sonic’s new rank gives him the authority to overrule her whenever he wants. It’s probably something Elias was going to be written to just be okay with too, even though Sally’s his sister.

Also, Antoine’s royal guard duties conflict with his proposal to Bunnie? How? Why? Why would you--? Who gives a fuck? Sonic characters having to live with and navigate their lives through all these fucking rules... it misses the fucking point SO HARD. Miles Tails Prower is a goddamn boyscout and he still broke into a heavily fortified military base to break Sonic out of prison because he shared his best friend’s ideal of “If you didn’t do anything wrong, then fuck the authority telling you that you did”. I’m supposed to buy a story where a group of FREEDOM FIGHTERS are having problems marrying who they want to marry because of a stupid rank they hold in some shitty kingdom’s military system? Fuck off.

Oh yes, wonderful. Let's add someone else to the list of characters who get to pull rank on Sally and overwrite her authority. Sonic. Sonic. The guy who doesn't like coming up with plans and likes just working in the heat of the moment, he is the guy who now gets to overwrite Sally's authority.

Yeah, here's how this should go. Sally issues a command to the Freedom Fighters in the midst of battle, Sonic attempts to overwrite her command, and yet can't actually come up with a plan of attack, and the others would laugh off the idea of taking commands from Sonic.

That's not a knock on Sonic, but come. on. Sonic is not the tactician, he has never been the tactician, he goes in and works in the heat of the moment, and that's because he's fast enough to do that. The whole point of Sonic and Sally's dynamic is that Sonic is hasty, while Sally is a tactician. Both approaches have their merits, but the dynamic breaks when you remove Sally from the equation and suddenly decide Sonic should be some commander issuing out orders to the FF as if they were his personal battle squadron. 

At best, if this came up - I'd imagine a quick joke between Sonic and Sally where Sonic says something like "Heh, guess this means I don't have to listen to your orders anymore!" and Sally replies with a half-joking "When have you ever listened to my orders?". Just a quick mention of it where Sonic teases that while he'd technically hold rank over her, he doesn't actually care, because he never cared for authority anyways.

I'm so happy that Ian got rid of the Gentleman at Arms shit three issues into his run.

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Idea 11 - SONIC: OUR HEDGEHOG IN STATION SQUARE (SONIC #168) - Now that Princess Sally, Sonic, Tails and Rotor have arrived in Station Square for the duration, Sonic finds getting around town is more awkward than he likes, thanks to Evil Sonic making the scene. But if Sonic can’t provoke his bad doppelganger into a fight one way, perhaps scoring with Rouge might do the trick. Now if only Sally doesn’t get into the act. (16 pages if 1 issue or 2 11 or 16-page stories if spread over two issues)

Response 11 - You gotta love how this is written like it’s supposed to be the plot to a sit-com. The sleaziness behind what’s being written here is so naked and obvious that it clashes immediately and doesn’t work to disguise it though. He brings up Sonic being worried about Evil Sonic cramping his style yet has Sonic try to resolve the situation by SCORING WITH ROUGE THE BAT. I’ve never even really heard of this pairing before but it’s apparently something Penders really wants to happen. I also don’t get what his obsession with making these cartoon animals have sex in this officially liscenced book is. Do whatever you want in your fanfiction or fan comic but there’s a certain level of tact to keep in mind when writing a children’s book that’s supposed to be mass distributed to the general public. Also, yes, I said "sex" because Penders himself has no shame in admitting he wants it to happen, even if Sonic is underaged still. 

This isn’t even touching upon the gross negligence of coaxing someone into FIGHTING you when you’re worried about making a scene by using a woman as a means to an end. Fuck her feelings right? It's Rouge so she probably wouldn't care if written correctly but still.

So, let me get this straight. Evil Sonic is going around, doing bad things and blaming Sonic for it. And instead of Sonic just stopping him, he needs to provoke a fight? What?? Why does Evil Sonic need to initiate the fight!? When has that ever stopped Sonic?! THE DUDE IS LITERALLY IMPERSONATING YOU AGAIN!! JUST STOP HIM!! WHAT IS THIS?!

So, yet again - our heroic Sonic decides to be just as awful as Evil Sonic. He treats women as objects, people to be manipulated in order to get what he wants, with zero regard to their feelings, thoughts, or how it might effect them. Sure, Rouge would probably not care and go along with it, but that isn't the point. 

The point is Sonic is doing a horrible fucking thing. He would not only be manipulating Rouge to provoke someone, he'd also be cheating on Fiona while he's at it. It's funny for how much Ken likes to claim he's a feminist and how he tried to push for strong female representation, he has zero fucking issues having the heroes of the book use and manipulate them as simple objects without thoughts and feelings of their own in order to achieve their own random goals. 

This is disgusting. Utterly disgusting on all fucking fronts. And if this issue happened, I would be done. Archie Sonic would be an absolute scumbag of a character. This isn't a thing heroic characters do, this is villainous. Downright villainous, and it's no better than what Evil Sonic did. What a absolute trash-pit of an idea.

8 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Idea 12 - SONIC: A DISH BEST SERVED COLD (SONIC #169 & #170) - Knuckles and the Chaotix show up at Station Square, mean and spoiling for a fight with the group that attempted to invade Angel Island. Unfortunately, with the new alliance pact in place between Knothole and Station Square, that puts Sonic on a collision course with the embattled echidna. (2 16-page stories)

Response 12 - The last in the Phantom Menace Trade Routes with the Republic arc sees the Chaotix showing up again as Knuckles’ henchmen and helping him to get into a pointless fight with Sonic. Obviously if this were Game Knuckles, he wouldn’t give a shit so long as they weren’t trying to invade his island anymore. Knuckles is a rough boy but he’s got a good heart. I can’t see him invading Station Square to start a fight over something that hasn’t been an issue for such an insanely long time. Unless someone sent Knuckles there to do this. Probably Locke. 

It’s interesting that in all these ideas, Ken still hasn’t brought up his plans to resurrect the Brotherhood of Guardians. You know good and goddamn well he would have too. I still can’t wait to see what their comeuppance will amount to. It’s going to feel so good finally reading it. I’m going to unabashedly love Ian for these first couple of arcs because his miraculous clean up job hit me in a way that was powerful and awesome despite having NOT read the material before it. Now that I have and I know what he’s attempting to fix, I’m waiting with baited breath to rediscover these stories in a whole new light.

Oh look at that. Yet another contrived reason to get Sonic and Knuckles into a fight, who would've thought. I guess with Shadow taking temporary leave, we had to find someone else to pick up the slack with pointless random fights. Let's ignore the fact Knuckles and the Chaotix have been working with the Freedom Fighters for ages. 

What is there even to say? You summed it up perfectly, I don't think Knuckles would care. If Station Square had actively invaded then and there and got away with the Master Emerald - then sure. But if that was the case, there is zero way a properly written Sonic would side with Station Square, he'd be helping Knuckles get it back.

It's just contrived. Contrived garbage for the sake of making up contrived conflicts. 

It's amazing just how many bullets we actually dodged with Penders' leaving. Like seriously, it's downright amazing. Instead of the amazing revival and reinvention of this series Ian Flynn gave us, we could've had more and more of this absolute garbage. Out of all of these ideas, the only one I say is even feasibly alright is the one involving Jules, and even then, I sure as hell wouldn't trust Penders to do it any kind of justice. All of these ideas are just terrible, absolutely terrible. Filled with all of the awful tropes Penders' was infamous for during his tenure, and even some of those tropes are brought to their absolute extreme of horrendous here. 

But, that's all the more reason to be thankful these are scrapped plans, because Penders would never get the chance to use them. He left over SEGA not sharing the plans for Shadow the Hedgehog, and they took a chance on Ian Flynn, and that gamble paid off big-time. 

A new era has opened up for the Archie Sonic series, a new era that is consistently good all the way up to the end. The dark age was absolutely horrendous, but now it's time for a new dawn...

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Massive thanks to everyone who's been reading, liking, and commenting on my insane journey through these old books. It's always fun, waiting with baited breath, to see what the reaction will be whenever I make a new post and this last one was probably the most words I've had to type since starting this endeavor. I'm so glad it panned out this way.

10 hours ago, SBR2 said:

I actually kinda dig the pre-Scourge version of Evil Sonic's outfit here.

I know right? I think for me the fact that Evil Sonic is drawn properly he could have sold himself as a proper evil version of Sonic and coupled with that jacket, the design looks a lot more endearing. A part of me really just wants to witness Evil Sonic and Evil Tails doing evil things but looking exactly like their good selves. I've made it no secret that I find the idea of "Villain Tails" to be adorable and Sonic can sell being cute at times too, despite what one of his creators may think. 

That said, Scourge is a thing I totally would have wanted to still happen eventually. He really does work a lot better than Evil Sonic, by every metric.

10 hours ago, SBR2 said:

Fiona's first steps in to being an actual character. Though some people hate what's done with her I don't care because they think she should have hooked up with the 12 year old so fuck 'em. Fiona is way more interesting under Flynn than she ever was before.

Yeah, I heard about the small "controversy" of turning Fiona evil but I wasn't able to speak on it because I didn't know the full context about how her character was before. Turns out there was barely any context at all. She had one story that introduced her. She disappeared for a thousand issues and then just randomly showed up to be in the background before she randomly got courted by Evil Sonic and then regular Sonic. Also Tails but that never mattered. 

Being upset by the heel turn at all when she barely registered as a character before baffles me to know end. 

9 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Imagine Eggman getting a fucking kick out of the "morally heroic Freedom Fighters" taking a page out of his book and creating loyal robotic killing machines, capable of forcing anyone into line if they disagreed with Max. Imagine Sonic realising that the king he fought so long to save and protect had officially lost his fucking mind and did something like this. 

Like we all joke about this being the GREATEST THREAT THEY'VE YET FACED!!!! - but under a competent writer - yeah - it legit could have been. Imagine the Neo Metal Sonics being as strong, as fast, and as capable of the regular Sonic due to being designed by Charles and Rotor knowing Sonic a lot more than Eggman. Imagine a Iron NICOLE scenario where A.D.A.M discovers and takes control of them all, using them to utterly destroy Knothole, and then reveal that Max was the one who commissioned them with the intent of winning the war with them, and using them to ensure no one else would fuck with the Kingdom of Acorn, forcing a mourning Charles to do it as well. Imagine Sonic and Shadow having to fight tooth and nail together in order to put them down, but still not being able to save a large chunk of Knothole. Imagine Eggman using this to further convince Shadow that the Kingdom of Acorn is corrupt, and Shadow made the right decision to work with Eggman! There's so much that could've been done here!!

This could've legitimately been a massive game-changing arc, a huge turning point in the war where Eggman gets a massive win on the Kingdom of Acorn without trying, simply because a power-hungry Max had decided he was going to step his game up. Imagine seeing this legitimately paid off with Sonic, Sally, and the Freedom Fighters realising that the Kingdom of Acorn isn't as different from Eggman as they were lead to believe, and becoming completely and totally disillusioned with it. Imagine that whole metal ceremony again where Elias and Max and everyone has set up this whole song and dance to "award" Sonic (apologise for screwing with his image), only instead - Sonic doesn't show up. Charles and his family could be at the ceremony, wondering where he is, but Charles has a look of total guilt, knowing he hurt his nephew by taking part in this affair.

The final pages of the issue could be something like Sonic inside the abandoned Freedom HQ, looking around and realising that this is what he and his friends spent so long fighting for, a corrupt kingdom that's doing shady bullshit that's just as bad, if not even worse than Eggman. If you want to be more optimistic, perhaps have the other Freedom Fighters show up, realising the same thing, but also showing that despite their utter disgust with what Max did, they'll still continue to fight for what they believe is right, not what the Kingdom of Acorn believes is right.

No joke, this is all legitimately brilliant stuff you've written out here. God, what a wonderful set of ideas. I already admitted to this but were this all to happen, I'd have ran with it as something practically unfixable as far as the status of the Acorn Kingdom and Sonic's ties to it were concerned. It would have ended with the status quo being shaken up something fierce. 

Again, not sure if everyone would have liked it but fuck it. It's just a fantasy I have in my head. The image of seeing the kingdom burn to the ground and stay that way just makes me really happy.

I also appreciate the use of one of my favorite Spongebob line reads. The way the king says that line is so immensely quotable. 

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I admit to kinda liking the idea of Eggman not only having a successful revenge plan where he brainwashes Chaos to follow him properly this time, but Chaos actually breaking his stoic character to be comically PISSED OFF about it (boy there's no scale in that panel though). Eggman was pretty much stuck in the heirarchy as the comic relief patsy to every super sinister villain in the games and Sonic X at the time, so it was interesting having a 'that little weasel actually duped ME???' moment from one of them.

It's also disappointing thinking the comic had a more climatic battle than the actual anime. They sure did LOVE having Sonic tank everything in the show didn't they?

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9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Yeah, I heard about the small "controversy" of turning Fiona evil but I wasn't able to speak on it because I didn't know the full context about how her character was before. Turns out there was barely any context at all. She had one story that introduced her. She disappeared for a thousand issues and then just randomly showed up to be in the background before she randomly got courted by Evil Sonic and then regular Sonic. Also Tails but that never mattered. 

Being upset by the heel turn at all when she barely registered as a character before baffles me to know end. 

Same. She wasn't even really a character before then. More a background prop for Tails to drool over. I'll take badass Scourge's girlfriend cunning Fiona any day.

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Congrats Dr Detective Mike. You've waded through a lot of crap but hopefully, it was all worth it.

But y'know, perhaps Penders isn't all bad? I mean, wouldn't the IDW run be so much better if Sonic was trying to mack out on Tangle, Whisper, Blaze, and Rouge behind Amy's back? Wouldn't the action scenes be so much better with unnceccesary, verbose, word salad paragraphs to accompany them? Wouldn't you want Knuckles to start brawling with Sonic after arriving on Angel Island during the Metal Virus arc, rather than working together? Wouldn't that be so much better?

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