Jump to content
Toby

Archie Sonic Main Discussion

Recommended Posts

Penders, at best, had several good ideas but terrible execution. I’ll admit, I was somewhat a fan of the SonicXSally coupling due to having grew up with it, but never have I been as hardcore into the romance that he was trying to deliver. That Ian Flynn was able to take a lot of these nearly forgotten characters or even questionable concepts and actually make them work is a testament that Penders might’ve actually been into something if he wasn’t such a hack writer.

But at the end of the day, those several good ideas are tremendously outweighed by the several dozen bad ones that came into fruition, on top of the inconsistencies and slew of bad writing that was covered far better during this trip through memory lane. About the only good thing you can say was worthwhile was Endgame, but two decades later have given us stories vastly better by comparison during Flynn’s time. That I can barely even remember much of what Penders even made in good terms speaks volumes about how memorable his writing is—the only one that I still even like to this day under his era was Sonic’s time lost in space after issue 125, and he wasn’t even there writing much of it. (And I’m shocked that Detective Mike even shares that guilty pleasure with me, so that’s a bonus. Lol)

But yeah, glad Penders fucked off; not so glad he took a number of characters he made that I actually grew to like, namely Lien-Da.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know, people use this tweet to bash Flynn's writing saying they turned Sally gay. But two things, one, the Sega Mandates killed the SonSal ship.

Second, people who are upset need to read this: https://mobile.twitter.com/IanFlynnBKC/status/889958341178523650

I think he was doing a Ship Tease and nothing really official. Makes more sense since there literally wasn't anything blatent I think, especially compared to their interactions pre-sgw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found more info from TVtropes

Quote

The last video doesn't say which episode it is though so  we don't hear the rest. Can I have some help finding it please?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly what are you looking for? The Sal/Nicole pairing isn't exactly an uncommon question, and gets brought up in a couple episodes. Definitely search the master list that was linked in the other topic, (ctrl+f is your friend), to find the relevant episodes. 

Here's one.

TyranoRex5 Is Sally Acorn gay or bi? She liked Sonic before the reboot, but it was implied she went for Nicole after the reboot. Did the wave change her?

Revolving Door of Morality - BumbleKast #105 - YouTube

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All characters are owned by SEGA in IDW now and we haven't seen any characters in romantic relationships yet, but if that mandate applied to every new character they make, Ian would answer romance questions with "no one can be in a relationship", not "I have personally sworn off writing romantic relationships in Sonic the Hedgehog comic books".

Being that the majority of the mandates in the Archie reboot were the same, I'd wager a guess that it applies to SEGA-exclusive characters only, not characters that they just own. I don't know if the person who wrote that had just learned about the mandate or what, but you know what they say about assuming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, SBR2 said:

My only issue with Salicole is Ian saying Sally wasn't Bi pre-reboot and that the Super Genesis Wave changed her to be Bi. It just feels more unintentionally kinds gross than he meant. 

Out-of-universe, it makes sense and is fine. In-universe...it is a bit bizarre, to put it nicely. 😬

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #161: Birthday Bash! Part 2: Birthday Boys

OCGdCxOIwgEQdA2Qy65IdVrIkaVSSVjNkhJH8WOTCMiEb7X2qc5R2sfQYaXNJsHMFEcc73QmmYW3b5wFFrQemBg9BGvdjJHt-WCt6UhR_k2qZRVTNik-LiiJV94SCzmEBB_gHc5Y

Mmmhmm. This is a great cover. The green really works well for Scourge here, I gotta say. Nice to know that Master Emerald energy instantly heals wounds on the chest too. The only hang-up I have about this cover is the eye situation. It looks fine at first but if you start to stare at it for too long, you start to wonder why they seem to have eyebrows inside their irises. I know it’s an art thing for the sake of expression but there’s different and more effective ways of doing that so I can’t help but be a bit distracted by it. Shadow in particular looks really weird with them.

Spoiler

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Tracy Yardley
Inks: Jim Amash
Letters: John Workman
Colors: Jason Jensen
Editor: Mike Pellerito

Ah. I’m just drinking it in. Reading the credits and not seeing a single Ken Penders or Ron Lim in sight. I’m going to be riding high on this for quite a long time.

Issue starts with both Sonics giving a rundown of how good their birthdays are going so far. They seem delighted. 

We first cut to Sonic’s situation which isn’t really a situation at present. It’s more of a side-show as far as he’s concerned.

Sonic starts laughing at the Croctobot. It’s honestly not that funny but he finds it hilarious enough that he collapses on the grass and almost gets killed by the thing.

zE3sq60JFybcuhib92_Ues9Wg2_H5Im9ZsvCO7ZhgTpKmsVNATeMbZX0_pZOQ_FSImqhF1pAg1LWk_kRhDHuMyTKIeukDxUlJBCfJUDArCLYt9uyQbTS0M3DEmqpJqKSVfCZqHbZ

I remember back in the day, not really understanding what was so funny about this that it could have had Sonic rolling so hard. I knew these two robots had to have been characters that were in the books before because of the familiarity they expressed and also due to Tails straight up saying they were though. 

After having gone back through all the issues… yeah, it’s still not that funny. Perhaps the design could stand to be a bit lamer in order to sell that reaction. The fact that both Shadow and Tails are taking it super seriously makes him look like a fool, really.

Although, I did and still do love the line “Hey! I’m terrifying!” as if that would be taken as some sort of assurance of his dominance. It’s like a wanna-be bully trying to flex his non-existent muscles to the cool kids for approval.

Back with Scourge, we get a scene of Rouge admiring how different he looks. Scourge makes it clear that he’s changed “for the better” and that the lame “evil twin shtick” is gone.

It’s a really nice way of laying out just how wrote and tired the concept of the evil doppelganger, as it was handled within this comic, was. 

As if to immediately assure us of his value, he does the universe a solid and kicks the shit out of Locke.

KLc1NQLCKSHepu8PfSrCCTDCRMrYmZm-agj_hzESAkRpS3d-HVI9Kn3VLwMBE6zdReTnDleGZ3PvyyFgvJyaBo-m7cTpmqMhJXKv5J5lBCyhLEQv0YQxQ7cwneQlzYNFnMUg2SUX

As nicely drawn as this is though, one of the things about Tracey’s art that tends to be hit or miss for me is the fluidity of motion and the impact of the character’s attacks. He does nail it at certain points and hell, he does that later this very issue, but there are times where I can’t help but notice how much like a still frame the panels look. A lot of these panels in particular kind of look more like they’re posing to simulate a fight happening as opposed to an actual fight with motion blur and all that. The speed lines help a little bit but they’re not emphasized enough for me to really sell it.

It doesn’t have to look like Issue 7 of the IDW comics where Adam Bryce Thomas goes insanely hard on the fluid motion to make it look like the Sonic anime I’ve always wanted and will probably never get. Not only that but Tracey does improve a lot in this department. This is more noticeable in his earlier stages. 

It’s still leagues better than what came before, obviously.

Back with Sonic, Bean and Bark decide to bounce. Fiona is admiring Sonic as he takes on the terrifying might of Croctobot when Bean just gives her the peace sign and shuffles off. Fiona grabs him and tells him how silly it is that he just waltzed back into her life to try and blow up her boyfriend only to just leave again. Bean says that doing so was and is the obvious thing he would do and also says he was planning to invite her along.

Interestingly enough, Fiona stammers here. She says she can’t because she’s a Freedom Fighter now and Bean is just like “Suuuuuuure you are!” before asking her to tell Nic he said “Hey” if they see each other again.

It’s nice seeing the heel turn being so properly set up. Something has once again been alluded to about Fiona, this time not just about her past but about how stable her moral ground is. I wonder how it must feel suddenly being an actual character now.

Scourge is about to do the world a solid and kill Locke but Rouge stops him because she’s better than both him and me. She makes it clear that rolling with her means no killing, which might be why they don’t stay together for too long after this.

Scourge takes Rouge’s hand and leads her to the Master Emerald, using its power to chaos control them both to the field where the Sonic fight is happening. I’m not entirely sure why they both had to come along. Rouge wants the Master Emerald so she probably should have just stayed behind to take it. There’s no real need to let Sonic know they’re there.

Scourge has a newfound uptick in his ego of course. When he shows up, he let’s Sonic know immediately who he is and, of course, Sonic isn’t fazed because Evil Sonic was a wimp who got knocked out in a single hit from Antoine once. 

Rouge tells them that he got a power boost from the Master Emerald and when Sonic says Knuckles won’t like that, Scourge says he beat up his dad which prompts Sonic to say that he actually likes Locke and is going to take him down for his sake.

Seeing as how their interactions before HAVE been rather friendly, it’s understandable that Sonic would like Locke. No doubt he doesn’t know a thing about what the guy has done to his son and why would he? It’s all personal family junk. No matter how nice a guy is to you, they’re only showing you the side of themselves that they want you to see after all.

Because something more interesting than him is happening, Croctobot gets angry and grabs the hedgehogs with his tentacles demanding they pay attention to him. 

They grant him his wish but it looks like he didn’t notice the finger on the monkey’s paw curl as he said that.

Shf0rT2GJJiLNpLzovnO8ZqmNBm14QwXpfoayKD_jS2QrwqTGoBqlbOFzUzM4oYj8viO13LZxERnbo1f46RaI-Zkbmt00Yq7wum2JMzNdBLH2_n409eXwroBSYYQs35c70A3qZAs

It’s a fantastic moment.

I’m always a fan of the alliance of convenience, no matter how long it lasts. You know, those moments where the hero and villains decide to momentarily team up to achieve a goal together? I’m probably one of the few people that likes the fact that this keeps happening with Eggman. To me it’s just a staple of their relationship and one of the things that makes the doctor interesting.

I also really like how Shadow’s got this “Yeah, I work for Eggman but I still do what I want” energy. He’s here to celebrate Sonic’s birthday with him and he means that. It’s cute and so totally not something SEGA would allow from Shadow nowadays.

I feel like both those robots were brought back and stapled together literally just so they could be called lame and immediately destroyed to make a point. 

The truce is immediately undone when Croctobot dies of course. Scourge punches Sonic in the face and starts to have a brawl with him that sees Sonic eating dirt. The fluid motion of the fight here works way better than in those couple shots where Scourge was beating up Locke too. 

1arPkLcwMFMwELAR2gUMEwarplhBqSCF2g4zM16O115QQoDwYHJ7JnDWtX1g3dzpDNilwHupxKubRAJ4IPb3h6nS2yjQVHH1dGS0z2Q_SFCggMj-dQgt8P4-ksyslM5MAeI-Myb5

The speed lines are more pronounced and the use of multiple Sonic’s in this instance helps a bit too. It’s also nice seeing Sonic get his butt kicked, honestly. The wounds from before #160 still haven’t fully healed.

Shadow’s had enough and wants to talk with Scourge but Scourge sees being grabbed as an invitation to fight so he flips Shadow on his back. Shadow obliges with a fight too, in a shot that I really, really like.

lw6edwBi1lCTVar9--ulOxYlAjZZ1C784iVfpSVirI8P2TPSLcnsgp3X3N1M8k1bv9Qchnz2tMQAjW2AjjO3bH-vP4dPfacsEIW37Mwe_IEokqq9EXhcUv8OM2nzkcA7tIrOYw_2

Yeah! Now that’s the ticket. The use of those speed auras works way better. Do more of that.

I also love imagining the impact they’re making as they duck in between each of these characters to clash.

Scourge wins this little bounce fest too, knocking Shadow’s face into the dirt as well. Rouge wants to get back to the Master Emerald now, not caring for this battle of male supremacy but that’s when Sonic and Shadow decide to team up against him.

This noticeably rattles Scourge but he doesn’t back down and the ensuing fight has the best choreography I’ve seen from an issue of these books in a really long time, honestly.

Scourge wins against the both of them at once too! He’s really leveled up!

He looks exhausted but he won so who cares?

Well, Tails does. It’s a bit of a funny little end to the scuffle when a winded Scourge just gets decked into the dirt by Tails from up on high. Rouge finally decides to step in so that they can get the fuck out of dodge.

BTnQXWzDicsZisfSnPd11fFtqe75rz45tvkz_ZMilmr4rUA_qO0e4Lwol_PGZmiDW-BlWTVcYPbgqpUVLDEMPL_1jsj0ozwaO742q71i5NfPyzeudFNoeghup2MEMdUYYMaZud8S

Apparently the reason Rouge let him take them there is because she thought he could just teleport them back. Scourge is very aware that he needs a Chaos Emerald to do that though which means he kind of threw a wrench in the plan for no other reason than to beat up Sonic (and then Shadow) just to prove that he could.

That’s kind of amazing but it also gives Rouge even more reason to not want to keep to this little union of theirs.

Sonic and Fiona share a disgusting lovey-dovey moment together while Shadow races off after them. It’s interesting seeing Shadow chase after Rouge as a direct enemy of hers. Sometimes how different the books are can actually lead to interesting situations that aren’t just gross and weird like they were before. 

Scourge makes mention of Rouge being dead weight right before a warp ring appears before them. They head inside, leaving Shadow to just growl in anger at the fact that his prey has escaped.

Everyone is offering apologies to Sonic for the way his birthday shook out but he obviously doesn’t need them. Sonic lives for this kind of stuff and he’s happy to have the new base of operations and all his friends around. He reiterates that there’s nothing they can’t handle right as we cut to the location where Rouge and Scourge have exited and we see something over the horizon they potentially won’t be able to handle. Probably. Maybe.

It’s Dr. Finitevus. He’s back and he and his really gnarly looking arm covered in warp rings are here to offer Scourge and Rouge a proposition that’ll be sure to shake the foundation of the book forever. No, literally. That’s what’s going to happen. 

I also do like Finitevus dropping the moniker of the next story arc, like he’s just as excited for it as I am. 

nL5-oFoxoLe3hWdsaTjltvoaqIKGyVuuoR80clogZT32x0GH5kT8UcB-s6RqXLxgUtwsAuOs87Xs3S76t4EXzKgLrJrqQreL7ft4SAwVRvndBRxvxIax2zqBPg7xYtrqhwP7tcfJ

That first panel is super weird looking. Dr. Finitevus is sitting down, not standing, but his goddamn chair is way further back so he just looks like he’s sitting on air. It’s so strange how nobody caught that. I guess he looks enough like he’s standing up that it’s understandable (even I thought he was for the longest time despite finding the weird hunch he had to be strange) but when you really look at it, it’s obvious he’s still supposed to be sitting. 

Oh boy, though!

I remember the next story arc like it’s an old friend. Darkest Storm was and is still one of my favorite arcs in the book, bar none. The fact that something that relied so heavily on wrapping up past events that I had no clue as to the context of struck such a chord with me is a testament to how awesome it was.

Seriously, sometimes in order to reel someone in all you have to do, honestly, is make it the most epic thing imaginable and just have a massive influx of shit happening. I may not have known the full significance behind all the changes being made and all the loose threads being wrapped up but the fact that it was obvious that’s what was happening made it feel big and important and insanely fun. I want to read it again so bad!

This time, I’ll have context! It’ll be like reading it new all over again.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #161: Sonic Rush, Part 2 of 2

Written and penciled by: Tania del Rio
Inked by: Jim Amash
Colored by: Ben Hunzeker

Last time, Sonic saw a purple cat on fire hovering over him. The story starts with said cat hurling fire balls at him for the horrible crime of him saying “Hi” to her.

Sonic and Blaze have a fight that’s… fine. It probably would look a lot better with a different artist attached, sorry to say.

I do like the moment where Sonic briefly wonders if Blaze works for Eggman but then nixes the idea because she’s too skilled. 

He tries to run off to find some place where he can better utilize his speed. Once he gets into an open room the fight continues some more, only this time Sonic has one of those moments where he miraculously is now a goddamn scientist.

I6U2C-k4mkTW6l1oBU32nm1K0LOe5jWEezMIoaXwpP4vlhnTqK6EusgmWNS9xbI1z-lK8yibQj5zzxdVVcCFT-c02AEQxPOsNI4nHdAyWP6cvAzzkHJLShK2nfI5awN19gijyuWo

I want to say that this is clever but I can’t considering the fact that I have a hard time buying Sonic coming up with it on top of recognizing that in any other situation within this cartoony comic book, the science of the oxygen, wind-speed, and fire wouldn’t be taken into account at all. Maybe the rest of you can perhaps.

It’s whatever though. Blaze is helped up by Sonic and laughs as though she got one over on him because now she’s going to be haunting HIS dreams. She doesn’t know this but she thinks she does so I guess that’s a satisfactory enough nugget of petty revenge for her to disappear in a plume of fire like a magician.

I actually don’t know if Blaze can fire teleport but it’s cool if she can. 

Sonic kind of just rubs his chin and wonders what that was all about to himself and the issue ends.

We’ve also got some really cool looking data-files for the revamped characters of the hour.

ByRl-qLO7wApcK9_6FYM51Mvd7q-_O7Ot89oBoSBNbtjz4eQbsqZ-Ion4xYIe49-X6rW_CEuW06q68iw0ZNQJAloRZsnsWVpmeKmYEvxvSjSb976O4nStX3w_hVS0CEXBWV8Gfrt9ZuRNVnkr7gEWvtnOV7x9xHx-r75NP09SVYRc-Uzka0QydCACOnDY2umM2gEHYoqMI59sJU9w-uBFK7gYHDwC0YNKGUGANl_ERXanEXx_1QLYH9MoB0MYiGAJbMIfw9VSytqJz4w

Even Scourge’s character bio here makes sure to call the former Evil Sonic “the lame antithesis to Sonic”. They are not holding back on calling out Penders ideas as super duper fucking lame.

The times, they are a-changin.

This was a wonderful conclusion to that introductory story-arc for the new state of things. Scourge and Rouge’s relationship is starting to unravel, as it should, Fiona’s finally becoming a character, and the writing for certain characters has seen a noticeable improvement along with the art. Now that this fun little romp is out of the way, we have the most epic house cleaning ever put to print to get to so let’s jump right into it. Janitor Flynn’s got some shit to clean up.

Oh, and I didn’t even notice it at first because it was exactly as it should be but, Sonic’s eyelids are finally blue. Thank God.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #162: The Darkest Storm, Part 1: The Gathering Tempest

c8cZZ67WgjM-NdLbUMY-D48GBP4i8ppD1_3gbK_Bfm_j_mOwyrEIlVDgDM3gkdM2_Y9DOnU-JbQNqpoqf8abcWpYk9cjZK9N5toFrHA5Hf6hBpMTfiTEn6HTyyQWRakPPDltcDX6

Darkest sketch! Darkest sketch! Darkest sketch! Hell yes! For those of you who don’t know, there have been a number of stories I’ve been practically frothing at the mouth to revisit after gathering together all the context I wasn’t aware of upon my initial read of them. Darkest Storm is most definitely one of them because when I initially read this arc I fell in love with it because of how grand in scope and important it all felt. Now that the context is on my mind, I can not wait to see how it all stacks up upon a re-read. I’m slightly worried but I’m mostly excited. Even the cover here is depicting a racing heart monitor. 

Spoiler

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: James Fry
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Jason Jensen
Letters: John Workman
Editor: Mike Pellerito

Right off the bat, I remembered that, at least parts of this story, weren’t drawn by Tracy. Maybe all of it wasn’t. Either way, going by memory is kind of useless here since I’m about to re-read it all anyway but looking at the credits my memory is coming back slightly. Yes, it’s James Fry and thankfully his stuff looks pretty good. I imagine his style is a lot closer to what Ron Lim was trying to capture with the Sonic cast but never managed to properly do except for literally one issue of the book.

The issue begins with a much appreciated establishing point of the looming threat of Anonymous. The fact that it’s been a concern for quite a while and yet it’s been so scatter-shot as to whether or not we should focus on him or not feels a little ragged. It wouldn’t have been shocking had a child reading this month to month had forgotten the significance of it, even with that Neo Metal Sonic trooper thing from last time having just happened. His narration serves as a backdrop for the events that are about to unfold.

We also begin on one of the many ret-cons and changes that’ll be coming this way in this arc. First is Sonic giving up his knighthood. Thank God. He’s no longer a Gentleman-at-arms a mere three issues after he got the title because fuck that.

Elias is shaking hands with Sonic and because he’s not his shitty dad, Elias accepts Sonic’s reclination with a smile on his face despite the innate desire to have soldiers on the docket to help keep the kingdom stable so that they can have this war on Eggman.

He’s no soldier and he’s no cop. He’s Sonic the Hedgehog and he’s gotta work in a manner that’s more freeing than this. He has to.

So long as he’s tied to this kingdom he’ll never fully be that way but hey, there’s only so much you can change without the fans of the book taking up arms themselves. They certainly wouldn’t be very gentlemanly about it either.

It was talked about on the Bumblekast eons ago, of course, but Darkest Storm was basically something Ian was tasked with for the sake of having a semi-clean slate. He had to clean a lot of this shit up and he only had three issues to do it in, which is probably a large contributing factor to why I enjoyed it so much. When so much is happening that’s important and I can really FEEL it, even if I don’t fully understand it, something about the adrenalin of it all just keeps me engrossed in everything.

Like, the next scene is Tails getting a visit from his Uncle Merlin Prower with Sir Connery behind him. I didn’t know who either of these people were before but it didn’t matter. They showed up to serve their part and they did it well.

Tails in particular has a tear in his eye due to being given a sudden visit from this man. It’s a wonderful, if not pretty quick, reunion though due to the importance of staving off the threat sitting in the palm of his hand.

m19rTWFVAXDWhCZo4D4xBK3FYHTrpg0jBJmLIQz8cRIizTKV1A_RsGmUNvooipgtJqBVvpoEQYG_BSobERpteuKVfSsoxz1XVeki6FUsFcAvrSbFCorwzwvdlBXfeRM8ykGWogIt

Yes, Mammoth Mogul. He’s trapped in that emerald. 

For some reason, I couldn’t seem to recall if it’s just a regular Chaos Emerald or some kind of special new emerald or something. The situation with the Chaos Emeralds is so messed up at the moment that it’s hard remembering specific details about them whenever they pop up again.

Turns out it’s a little of both so I shouldn’t have felt too bad.

We cut to Eggman who is delighting in being just the worst creature he can possibly be. He’s got his Egg Grapes up and running and he’s draining a ton of Mobians down to literal husks. It’s a gruesome thought and one that we should be thankful we don’t see too much of.

He plans to use them to syphon energy from the Zone of Silence, which is an interesting idea. He also says he wishes to use the Mobians as a filter. I don’t quite know what that means but he makes it clear he doesn’t necessarily have to do it like this but he wants to because it’s fun.

7neZONS2uvnH3E8bZ23Xitb8v22MioM9_hJogi9hYXualnoJ8dp6W2uyLlNfxUKZoaTK-kgYld-mVZdFxXus9GvUPxNmjetx28u7Jcx7XR7-dTeSKFV8ZmqTG25FS0QkSOQr0QyX

He’s either generating stomach acid through his mouth from sheer excitement or his drool is so prominent that it’s molded within his teeth. Either way, he’s demented as fuck and we should all be very afraid right now.

He asks A.D.A.M if he’s managed to find Anonymous yet and A.D.A.M, of course, says no. Eggman tells him to keep it up, giving a helpful run down of all the bad stuff that person has done to impede his efforts at being the true big bad.

We cut back to Merlin Prower as he offers an explanation as to what’s going on and why those Ancient Assholes are in danger. 

mk9plDW-Qv224PrklzywdXh6s2VdCzQgcISGyQhKqN17X8iITYMYewT5S5nb9KhxiNawgPjnFnaWqV6AmalIfX3yIzlQCcd_eg42KKE2BLt-0IFFYRUypfpbLfS12bMh60zZVCWt

I’m also having trouble remembering what blow they’ve suffered. I’m sure this book is about to get into it soon but the fact that I’m having trouble remembering what was talked about and what wasn’t is a testament to how fucked up and weird this shit was before this story arc came about. 
Seeing those two echidna characters again surprised me a bit as did seeing mentions made of the Chaos Force once more. Ken Penders is gone but the soul of the shit he wrought is still relevant currently and it feels increasingly good knowing it won’t be for too long.

Despite what the characters are here to do, what’s actually going to happen will see to it that they’ll never have to worry about these Ancient Fools ever again. 

Fuck them for daring to say they’ve done all this important, good stuff in that top panel too. No you haven’t. That’s why part of this story is dedicated to killing you off. You’re useless.

As they’re about to explain this situation properly to Tails, Sir Connery and Merlin get ambushed and attacked by the Destructix!

That’s right, Merlin was in hiding because the Destructix were after him and needed the mighty horseman to protect him. Why are they after him? That’ll be made clear eventually… probably. For now, they’re not super relevant so when they start attacking, Sonic and the Freedom Fighters show up and just casually kick all their asses in a single page.

iTlsF2TUZQiNZ94CY5dgGoh9tUaylSBqUZ7bvnywLe_SA_fUANpJJ-KVPxN_mOKHiTteP1hW_SrVP6RiXpPcfMxIUP2h3WZyiKinyLBQ1C32VVWr_rHCGojk6FVgyHUWoU-ka54L

Sonic says it all for me but it’s kind of worse than just being lame. Like they’re not even being depicted as a “villain of the week” threat anymore. They’re just easily beaten up mooks now. They’re “villains that are weak” instead. It’s kind of sad.

Anyway, we cut to inside the castle where Sir Connery and Merlin begin explaining what they’re doing, all while the narration continues to call their efforts futile.

Sir Connery presents Elias with the Sword of Revealing Light, saying that he was called from Max’s service so that he could go run the errand of purging dark magic from the world by the Ancient Walkers. After that was done (yeah, he succeeded at doing all that off-screen. It’s kind of wild to think about) he then had to protect Merlin.

Merlin then explains that thousands of years ago, the Ancient Walkers foresaw Mammoth Mogul being a threat. Because they’re useless holier than thou beings that speak in riddles and don’t like helping any, they decided not to combat destiny… but you know… they decided to combat destiny just a little, tiny bit by cursing the emerald that Mogul was fated to obtain.

It was just a little curse. It doesn’t REALLY count as intervention right? Of course not. That’d be hypocritical of such illustrious beings like the Ancient Walkers.

The Ancient Walkers, at the very least, do seem to be aware of their impending doom and have tasked others with carrying out… whatever the fuck it is they do. I’m still not convinced they actually do anything but whatever. At least they’re not fighting to stay alive all that hard right now. They’re accepting their fate, whatever that may be. Though, despite being all powerful or whatever, they can only sense that “a storm is coming” and as per usual they’re unable to be specific about anything.

They’re almost too useless. It’s going to be cathartic as hell reading about their demise, I gotta say.

The big point is to say that when Mogul was released from the Master Emerald, he zappity zapped the Ancient Walkers and dealt them a heavy blow. Now they’re dying. The mammoth man they were afraid of got one over on them because they suck. 

Because they’re terrible characters and largely irrelevant, unnecessary, contrived, god-like beings that break the plot every time they show up they NEED to go. When they die, the charm over the Chaos Emerald Mogul is currently trapped in will break and he’ll be set free. I want it to happen so badly. He’s a much better character than them and he’ll forever earn a badass seal of approval for being the one to kill off those assholes.

However, this isn’t what the heroes think. They wish to save them to prevent Mogul’s escape. To do this, they need the Crown and Sword of Acorns. Sally helps us with a refresher as to what these are. They were made from the Source of All and all that jazz. For some reason, when Sally pipes up, this is when Fiona decides to step in and hold Sonic’s hand. I’m guessing because she thinks Sonic won’t be able to hear Sally’s voice without receding into himself or something. 

As they hold hands, it prompts a look of jealousy from Tails, yet again. 

6gYUoIpHsEkR72byoLHZRk2aRwSDg_nu5RcJ94sZsDctT699d4v3sI3lSYb6_973RaDMQ90iWaJujJz80nIh0ORXQF9m7t_jORLT3Q4x4WU7wXTvniHH6zK0x0dDaKEtV5Ikr455

Every time I see something like this I just get that much more annoyed. I know it’s not Ian’s fault. It’s a thing that exists and he has to work through this along with the rest of us but my God. I can’t wait for this to be put behind us. 

Anyway, after that wonderful happy memory of the Source of All getting nuked is brought back to the forefront, Sally talks about how she gave the Sword of Acorns to Uma Arachnis’ orphaned children after the sword started to whisper evil shit to her. 

This is all stuff that I apparently read and was able to follow enough to enjoy back in the day. It’s shocking how many old references to past issues we’ve gotten in the span of a couple of pages. I’m being given a rundown of the context, even though I didn’t have it in full, so I probably was mostly alright but damn. I think another part of what excited me probably was the fact that there was so much detail on display here. It probably made me excited to wonder what the lead up to all this was.

Sitting here now I’d wish to tell my younger self that it was mostly a bunch of confused, convoluted bullshit. The story I’m reading now isn’t a celebration of all that shit getting a follow-up, it’s a heavy duty house cleaning.

Sonic gets really excited to help out before exclaiming that he hopes Aracnhis’ children didn’t do anything stupid with the sword…

...So anyway, the spider orphans attack Eggman’s base and start tearing shit up! Also, the Egg Grapes start powering up. Eggman asks A.D.A.M why that’s happening and A.D.A.M’s reply is the same as it’s always been up to this point, “I DON’T KNOW!”

So, Eggman orders Mecha to carry him to safety and for A.D.A.M to shut down the Egg Grapes room, which he graciously actually can do.

The spider orphans then use the power of the sword and the room there to create a harsh dimensional breach that does the deed I’ve been waiting for way sooner than I expected.

Seriously, I was shocked by how fast this happens but I’m not complaining.

They kill the Ancient Walkers.

They get a sword beam of energy blasted through their fucking bodies and they explode into confetti. It’s fucking glorious.

41BIdxBbqRLVNbIWiYvHCh3iQoU82vePGz_E848HWxm-aCB2qJFvwvAiW6pThlY4wFKuq2LnIVgqNUCsWFxScnfM2a8XMKGDxGsw55rQqnsH6sWQ-lCS4zX6RG8sUpIzJ-irihO0

THEY’RE FUCKIN’ DEAD AND IT’S WONDERFUL! 

That bitch Aurora is crying about it too. It’s magical. 

I would have wanted to dance on the ashes before they burned up completely. Get them the fuck outta here! 

I remember reading this and thinking it was a fairly big deal despite my limited understanding of the context. Now, I feel the same for largely the same but also different reasons.

Just having a bunch of god-like beings hovering over the story and being all mystical and shit to the point where Knuckles being shredded down to basic atoms doesn’t mean anything for them should they decide to just go, “Nah, I don’t think that’s gonna happen today” is really quite the heavy barrier to enjoying a lot of the conflict.

Granted, the Ancient Walkers have not been relevant in who knows how long but it doesn’t really matter. Killing them off and essentially removing their status as a possible spewer of anticlimactic bullshit just works a lot better for the story. You can’t have a loose thread like that dangling over the plot, regardless of their presence within the narrative being subdued. 

Killing off god-like beings sets a huge president for what constitutes danger going forward as well. That’s another reason this is a big deal. No being is technically too huge that it can’t one day die and that’s a scary thought to have at the back of your mind when you’re a character in this book and you basically amount to a woodland creature that can talk and stand on two legs.

Now, all of a sudden, the suit-wearing, ancient being that was the heaviest contributing factor to the death of these gods is standing right before you in a wave of evil lime green energy. What is one to do?

PLuWkSq8u-OYJVFq1XxWRmbt80a0PimER1UsCOo_VUJOPxuo_HQpmDSxuFo0ohHKvC4IOCQUGNDrC0uzI3RXz2k4ghZp6v-n9BFkQqTBMuAVjpyXhgeLBLOEh8q_DxKw-IbHbuT0

Mogul had a bit of an underwhelming, rocky start but ever since he had that brilliant moment where he tricked Enerjak and stole his power, the man has come back with a vengeance every time to either shake up the status quo or at the very least do something huge and interesting. Whether or not the stories were any good is up to debate (most of them weren’t) but the fact of the matter is that every time he shows up something big feels like it’s about to go down.

That’s the kind of character I tend to admire a lot and now that Ian has his hands on the book it’s something I feel he does well to emphasize in a way that’s different from what happened before but is also way more interesting, unique, and impressive as well. It begins with this but where it goes is something that I, to this day, hold an immense amount of respect for. 

Basically, I like Mammoth Mogul and I’m glad his actions contributed to the murder of those awful, floating, riddle spewing tiki masks.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #163: Ties That Bind

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Tracy Yardley
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Josh & Aimee Ray
Letters: Teresa Davidson

-b6Ofq-gOhzBGluKumiKP2kk8RQIGCFL_w0CDhiRtVabux5PpE7vkPMiYKfV3R9OulKZV_VDF1NnrVC_7jb1tdWK_6mRIwcyp2m46siEb9RpCH8_rLVkGc3RKhoyj7Mld-3iyiYY

Snively being an ally to the Freedom Fighters was a mistake.

You know it. I know it. Ian Flynn knows it. 

Evidently, Ken Penders didn’t know it so he hastily and embarrassingly quickly shuffled Snively over to the good guys in the hopes that less than 10 issues later he’d eventually sacrifice his life for them and send Sonic down an emotional spiral so that he could act like General Patton.

“Oh Snively! Oh sob! Oh cry! Why oh why did you give your life for the cause?! I will avenge you! I’ll be a huge asshole to all my friends, even more so than before. It’s the least I can do to carry on your memory.”

Blegh.

No.

Snively is a villain. He’s not a good person. He’s a good character and he’s definitely going to be developed to the point where the nature of his villainy ends up being something way more complicated than how it’s been up to this point but even if I were to buy that he could be developed into a good guy, it’d take a lot more than what Penders was trying to do to allow it to come to pass.

Having it set up so that he’d be killed off as an excuse to warn the audience that anyone can go at any time is stupid. I feel you can get that point across with an audience of children with characters far more deserving of being killed off anyway; like the Ancient Walkers… or Locke.

Snively barely serves a purpose as a character working with the Freedom Fighters unless you plan to follow his arc super closely and create some sort of grandiose redemption arc that lands him in a really neat position of importance within the narrative that he couldn’t achieve as easily as Eggman’s right hand man.

However, I doubt Ian had much reason to want to do that. What he ends up doing with Snively is far more interesting because of his status as a villain and none of it comes off as though it was easy. 

On the other hand, killing him would have been an insane waste.

As such, one of the things on Ian’s plate once he got on the book was to fix this. He talked about how dumb it was for Snively to just BE here without any kind of rhyme or reason and set about fixing and re-establishing his character going forward as something we’re not only more familiar with but something that makes more sense to us as readers. 

However, at the same time, it doesn’t completely abandon the fact that he did ally with the heroes.

It begins with an offer made to him spontaneously by the Eggman as he sits alone in his meager little lab. The monitors shut off and a hologram of his former boss floats into view with a heavy ultimatum.

Xjc0SgzAUnWQRCgSM-v8nL7H3UEzBwVoAI1Z97PH2bKYTbWWf8zseSukJVB0Ot91zJtiVoTZcRIR_zThxlunOYcICYFCc6YDcWxXhWCfOJkkQ2sOgISmarjM3UQxMuVQy4LXYnL7

It’s very nice that Eggman took the time out of his day to give his nephew this warning and this chance. Even if a part of Snively believed the Freedom Fighters could win the day, the real point is that Eggman is offering him a spot back on the force. It speaks volumes as to where Snively’s true desires really lie. 

I also love that Eggman used the line “I’m tired of allowing Knothole to exist” as though it’s graciously lampshading the fact that he knows Knothole is here and has just been letting it sit so that he could take it out in the biggest blaze of glory he could think of. That does retroactively make the scene where he just shows up and starts walking through the village a while back feel a bit more palpable, although, in a way that’s amusing for a different reason. Instead of Eggman being stupid for stupid’s sake it feels more like he’s treating Knothole as a plaything that he could stomp on whenever he wanted.

Of course, part of Snively’s character IS that he’s got more heart to him than his uncle. As such he asks for a minute to go take care of something.

Earlier, when he was contemplating his place among the heroes, one of the thoughts he had was about Hope. So he rushes off to go see her once he’s given the news of Eggman’s impending invasion. 

k3_pbIaT54Cp59u-NdLkbM6CWA7f8YIpK2MJjzMXOAQFSpYGAE0UeuTzcNATT6qb3pKM46UeEqF8xN4iZODz7JPjzWxkQWl5ZLkzar62OoiuY2a4CaENgB1DLwuwvDYCicrBnJxd

I love how this scene begins with him rushing to her and being out of breath before fumbling over his words and just giving up so that he can inquire as to what she’s doing instead. I almost heard the sigh he made when he just let the fear and worry drop so that he could ask, “You’re building your own plane, huh?”

Of course, now, he can use that as a springboard to get across what he wants to say. He tells her that she doesn’t belong here and that she should be with her own kind. He talks about how she can find a place in the united federation. To Hope’s credit she doesn’t immediately say “HELL YES, I’LL DROP EVERYTHING AND GO RIGHT THE FUCK NOW!” but she does state that she thinks it’s a great idea. 

Look at this hug. 

e9Mqt0OZ5coKQ31fZd27fecW8C6Cx2cy95szqCEVEiDfregr4DwQlPokWj_ugdIFF5jBrI7IzrxCk2u2jtsWU9atfV13iIjSxz0waK-y7Ylv9aN3V39qhR05DMIafBNxAUIx8uuX

It’s strange how he’s noticeably smaller than her. He also calls himself her “big brother” in this scene which is also weird. Yeah, they’re family, but you wouldn’t know it looking at them. The Robotnik family has this weird thing where they’ve either got cute blonde haired girls or balding old guys. That’s it. You’re either one or the other. Or Colin, but who gives a shit about him?

The point of this, obviously, is to get Hope out of dodge so that she isn’t present for the massive Eggman Empire retribution that’s coming Knothole’s way. 

Snively returns to Eggman and has made his decision. We knew that he would but it probably still hits a little bit to see him give up on his chance to be good despite that.

I know it did a little for me back when I first read this. I was aware of who Snively was but I knew very little about why he was with the Freedom Fighters. I didn’t quite understand it (not knowing there was barely anything to understand) but I was happy for him. So seeing him giving his chance for redemption up to go play villain hockey with Eggman had a huge bittersweet twinge to it.

However, that’s why it works. 

He even asks how Eggman can trust him since he’s been known to betray him.

g45wvot81jkIXVOh3JmurlnkfWbEVleIiOeeMF7sf62PLiEh45uj6d3mYiUuUdPihW2xeDAs_gL9dj9VaGqJx3LZsChHmPRfzP1_chYJqPeyFJxyQ7WpDNPpNIC-PaOshtWjEGhx

It’s all a part of the twisted little game they play.

Having that feeling of something being lost because a man gave up his chance at redemption and ending this page on that lingering spot where Snively once stood is chilling and a tad sad… and that’s why it’s better this way.

It just makes for a more effective story to have him go back to Eggman. If anything can be said about Ken Penders’ dumb decision to move Snively to the good guys it’s that it gave Ian the opportunity to use that dumb decision to his benefit. Now there’s a tiny sense of loss here. Fleeting and minimal though it may be, it’s still present.

With everything said and done, he’s been practically reborn. He stands on top of the Egg Fleet, finally on loan from Sonic Heroes, and overlooks the vast world that Eggman’s Empire wishes to control, all the while having donned a more modern, and much more appealing outfit.

eLf_agke_Rbvlvx_MuiaBD50YdIUvTY3hsvwv-lwV6FN67yrj_t54DSiu4w4apBH2MLNqOvAXs_mfiCiSGEZ59M42nRIysjUCxx9D0Iu581tM8yV9odLKwSP0vsB3evmoaoId2Zn

With each new issue that passes, the status quo gets another shake and pretty soon things will be molded and folded until the book is something else entirely. All of it will be for the better and witnessing it as it happens has been a miraculous treat.

Things popped off shockingly fast here. I don’t remember the events unfolding the way that they do this quickly but I’m here for it. I figured the Ancient Walkers would die in the second issue because I remember one of the issues ending with Mogul at full-power as a result of something monumental he did… but I think it’s obvious now that I had the events mixed up in my head. His release is definitely still important and it highlights one of the big things about Ian’s run during this time concerning his heavy duty house cleaning. The Snively story in particular was really well executed and it’s great that the underlying tragedy of him returning to Eggman managed to be mined at all from the terrible decision that got him there in the first place. It’s hard to put into words but it can’t be overstated just how much better this all feels.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #163: The Darkest Storm, Part 2: Onset Of The Squall

7p5rbYC9jH-3SEwtXQ92LYirb36z9cUTTzBMrl6QjxWGyyL7-UcidEKA02wWvEehWnL78T1NCN2CwdWOMzxgESTFlNOv6a3wLinebv0IehLa0pfH4YEgVMvC1sDKfeJUKXRw2l_1

Obviously, because the image is three parts, it’s still incomplete. I do really like what we get on the cover though. Not only is it well drawn but the lighting and colors are wonderful, especially on Mecha and Ancient Walker #3 at the bottom. This is all the kind of stuff someone like me aspires to be proficient at one day. Let us continue with the next part in our journey through the redemption arc of the Archie comics.

Spoiler

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: James Fry
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Jason Jensen
Letters: John Workman
Editor: Mike Pellerito

Anonymous is still providing his narration, making it super, duper clear that all the bad shit happening is because of him. Yeah, that last thing that happened before #160 was also his fault but it was lame so he didn’t bother bragging about it. This plan is way cooler and he’s made it clear that he plans to have all of Sonic’s major threats remain so that he may destroy them. Mammoth Mogul here is apparently the first contender. Let’s see how he does.

Sir Connery pipes up first and says to Merlin that Mogul being here means that the Ancient Walkers are dead. We get a nice yellow box spelling that out for us too, which I’m eternally grateful for. It was a beautiful thing to witness and it’s also a beautiful thing to have in writing.

All the heroes just start yelling at Mogul and trying to engage in hero to villain banter. Mogul’s got a green energy field around him that Sonic keeps punching at while exclaiming that Mogul isn’t acting like a big shot with it up. Apparently his tactic is to appeal to his ego so that he can drop the shield so that Sonic can hit him. Boy howdy, does Sonic need a bit of a wake up call that not everyone he faces is a massive cartoonishly self-destructive idiot. 

Meanwhile, Sir Connery is just mad that his best friends and god-daddies are all dead. 

Mogul says nothing as he’s being shouted at like this. 

He’s just standing there...

MENACINGLY!

Then he explodes.

93ZL9wkkUnDek7j7MPfeqPRMMFDIAepvE7ADdZt2hbig2vIvA-UOWfS76KlEhzJu3G-OzzGcWmXh1ObuaZax1lWJFceTZONh6hl8a2fGycNj-W80CDLGFVfxmnHo6OP--I4lUsSu

The sound effect used when he explodes is ZORTCH which is a humorous sound to imagine in your head. 

I really like this by the way. The scene works really well to set up the menace he still exudes despite not being a being that can crush universes in the palms of his hands anymore. It’s way more effective that we just got two panels of him just looking at the heroes from the left and right before he just set off an explosion of power and nonchalantly picked up the crown. Like a fucking boss.

--You know, I bet he’s cool enough to even have his own comic book series and tons of merchandise. Think of the totally real possibilities.--

Back in New Megaopolis (God I hate that name. Robotropolis sounded cooler AND was easier to type) Eggman and M are marching down the corridor while the mean mad scientist is barking orders at A.D.A.M to do stuff that won’t get him killed. Unfortunately, he’s stumbled upon even more bad news.

It’s the return of our favorite set of glowing red eyeballs at the end of SatAM season 2.

9iNsPwWj3hHSdfsQfSI5Mu_k7fLHQHKFBdXfESLi3sf_HWvfHlTETu0cVIyxRIcNroJVUkvaBzb7JIdkY_mWqVa3FOS-qPhGJF-w8LdoBA0ylMJ8muzg3zRGFBtcK8GPZCdq74oC

I’ve said this before but I love shit like this. I eat it up for breakfast. I’m such a huge fan of organized chaos. Situations where tons of things are happening all at once, with characters with different histories and different motivations, converging onto a single point to make things as wild and as crazy as possible for the sake of making the child in me bounce around my goodman room like a lunatic. 

To be completely honest though… it’s been SO LONG since Ixis Naugus has last been in the book, I’ve literally forgotten not only the last time we’ve seen him but also why exactly he hates Eggman. 

I eventually did recall that Naugus was initially trapped within the Zone of Silence because of him but that happened so goddamn long ago that I thought surely there was more to it then that. Otherwise, this meeting they’re having and the revenge he’s talking about is baked into something that hasn’t been relevant since the 90s… right? 

As for Naugus’ last appearance, the last thing I can remember with him in it at all was that infamous issue with Many Hands where all the pages were blanked out with pitch black darkness of a repeating snowy background. You know, that infamous Sonic Super Special issue.

So I checked the wiki and apparently that actually was his last appearance. He was trapped within the Zone of Silence at the end of that story and he’s emerged… JUST NOW!

Holy shit. It’s been 100 Million years since I covered that issue. What a gargantuan stretch of time. 

It’s no wonder I couldn’t remember shit about his circumstances from the last time he was around. I can’t believe it to the point where I’m double and triple checking to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

Naugus tanks a blast from Mecha because he’s got mastery over the elements and can turn his body into gas to avoid lasers. He then tries to take air away from M but that doesn’t work because she’s a robot. So he just freezes her.

He then decides he’s not going to kill Eggman just yet because he wants to find the perfect mate for his sword. I’m guessing he's talking about the crown. When he finds it, he wants the two items to make out with each other and then the real explosive power will unleash itself or whatever. 

Honestly, these items aren’t really that interesting in and of themselves.They’re the dregs of a bunch of baggage attached to the Acorn Lineage for the sake of making those assholes feel more important than they should be and this story is being used to show them at the very height of their importance so that they can finally, and mercifully, no longer be relevant to anything anymore.

Again, thank God. You just know Ian was happy that his work was cut out for him when it came to the Source of All having already been nuked. Now all he has to do is finish off this evil fucking sword that tells Sally to do things.

Naugus teleports away and Eggman tells M to hurry and thaw herself off so that they can get to work retaliating against the idiot that didn’t take his chance to murder the man he wanted revenge on despite being in the perfect position to do so. Whoops.

Back in Knothole’s prison Nack is making fun of the Destructix for being a bunch of losers that got thrown in the slammer across from him… only for it to seem like they’ve got the last laugh when Mogul melts the wall behind them down and frees them all.

The Destructix seem undeterred by this. Apparently they were aware this was going to happen. I’m not entirely sure how, if so. I know they were after Merlin and Sir Connery but the ones who breached the dimension were the Spider Orphans and they did that to release Ixis Naugus seeing as they stand with him when the confrontation between the two villains and their henchmen happens.

Either they knew Mogul was coming back and how they knew has gone unexplained or their reaction is just really subdued because there isn’t a whole lot of time to dedicate to it. At the very least, their plan probably had something to do with trying to release Mogul so expecting to see him again may have allowed them the chance to brace for it happening. 

Either way, the Destructix go to their master and introduce themselves with their new name. Mogul pauses when he hears it and then just calls it quant before quickly moving on. Seems he doesn’t care about the name very much, which is good. It’s a better name then the Fearsome Foursome, honestly, though it’s a tad harder to say.

Wouldn’t you know it, Naugus manages to teleport right in front of Mogul too, because we need to get the plot going. That’s fine of course. It’s honestly more fun that it’s this hectic this fast for me and I have a feeling this was where the adrenalin was rushing through me back when I was reading it all those years ago too.

The Spider Orphans were a bit hard to pin down for me. I wasn’t entirely sure I understood their motivation or what their allegiance to Naugus even was. Perhaps they were simply being brainwashed by Anonymous but if that was the case Naugus being so familiar and friendly with them right off the bat seemed weird. 

It wasn’t until a scene that happened a bit later when A.D.A.M stated that the Uma Arachnis were “still” honor-bound to serve Ixis Naugus that I was given a clearer hint. That still confused me though, as I recall them serving Kodos, not Naugus… but THEN I remembered that, no, Kodos and Uranchnis, before becoming their own villains, were henchmen of Ixis Naugus WAY THE FUCK BACK when they were trying to get King Max out of the Zone of Silence.

It took a while but eventually my memory chugged and chugged and produced enough exhaust to remember the state of affairs concerning this spider character’s children; the relevance of which has absolutely not been anything worth remembering until now.

Even better though, this is when our heroes show up. Not just Sonic and the Freedom Fighters but also Knuckles and the Chaotix.

r_VzoFgvEF2CzE6fULxBqNG61-u-OBvkGlNzRMfolu2MyOA0MuBpr3rNGsH--XmPUOjA4ZeK2S6iEAl4uiYjZy7X9e1cyqiB6yGYIuFVIrLf0XpLNotzr1imf0QnpDlJ_A4IrNPJ

My brain was refusing to chill at this point. It was playing music from Avengers: Infinity War in my head and I feel like it popped off in my head a tad too soon, honestly.

That’s an unfortunate spelling mistake for Ixis Naugus in the top panel though. Oopsie daisy.

Again, you could probably nitpick how fast we went from them all being knocked out from a Chaos Blast from Mogul to just being here now with not only the entire team alright but with Knuckles and the Chaotix here as well. That had to have been the fastest ride over imaginable.

We also get a really neat, amusing little scene with Nack demonstrating how much the prison cells of these Knothole losers suck. 

xNv0SlSMRN0ckOB-YC6ySFG5Ws13nep63UwivUajWKvltUZmA1K1XfuHesdl3GdptDnFkjsVvG-uwPnrdEct8vI8diBkKFFNVuThcLCNHe-ObBFykMe5_jc77gOiny-W7D3MvYem

Oh dear. 

Whatever this “gift” is that he left his old gang buddies is, it might be the reason I never recall ever seeing them show up again. Best not to think too hard about it.

Then, of course, we get a nice, wonderful shot of all the chaos happening on the battlefield. This also includes the ongoing tradition of, whenever Drago shows up, someone is hitting him. 

FhT2cqduJfrJrAtmM9qymMScCArbbukL4r1bMHM75k5SQlH9EiKnqB2dlivu6xN0XsFCICNhsG-lYOQ3T5cOQbQPbVPlbpa--f8QZVXC7OCf1HGgAvUQwDVDGNQvEvnLX3GUVtOb

It’s beautiful.

Although, the thing that makes me laugh is that one shot of Elias clashing knives with one of the Spider Orphans. He’s gotta squat down in order to do it like he’s play-fighting with a kid. 

Hell, he might be though. I don’t know how old these Spider Orphans are.

What I do know is that the next scene is fucking awesome… and it also surprised me.

This was yet another scene that I could have sworn happened a bit later than it did but no. Ian was apparently determined to clear the slate on some things that I hadn’t anticipated were going to be cleared away for a bit longer yet. 

Now, in a scene that back then, and even now, still kind of makes me feel a bit sad if you can believe it, we have to say goodbye to M. Robotnik due to the fact that she’s been framed by Anonymous!

cwa8Ciz9FlIlh_HmoGoDCS-tAocVbrFm5jiCsTN7Ws7gEUoQwVrfTte1iMCrtgXU9ZM8gxQlgl0bM9EppfQ1hiW5wWPs9vZb-87cthP1CGsb1vy8PIrYi7LqEXZcTWX1hkUeqfSC

After A.D.A.M gives Eggman a very slight comforting nugget of information concerning the fact that his unoccupied Egg Grapes are all fine while the occupied ones were lost to the Zone of Silence (which is REALLY messed up when you think about it. Jesus Christ) he informs Eggman that the reason this all happened was because Mecha conspired with Anonymous to sick the Spider Orphans on them.

It’s a heart-breaking scene because you know from Mecha’s initial smile at returning to Eggman after having fixed herself up that she was happy to serve her papa again only to then be immediately, and obviously, accused of something she didn’t do.

It’s always the quickest way to my sympathy chamber. No matter what, it always gets me when people suffer because they were accused of things they didn’t do. Even if Mecha is a robot working for the most evil bastard on the planet, that shit ain’t right man.

It also doesn’t help that the death she’s forced to inflict on herself per her own father’s orders is so gruesome. Despite it being a metal woman, seeing her literal skeleton fumble to the ground in a pile of ashes... it’s so hardcore and messed up… 

mF5O0gk7yDTWaGewTPVVy3zxkvwdTJa9PwM10ldMxYowCC3Mlcr8vzUTeWHipQCIcKLFxrs5jsYUBsIxmzP9Kt3uddllc155UGh9MeNJ6GCN3HK52jo85mGB8LFrE1M15yulW0AG

...but at the same time you gotta love Eggman for it.

The man is ruthless to those who he feels has wronged him and if he seriously believed this is what Mecha did to him, then yeah, obviously this would be his next course of action.

It’s really impressive just how thoroughly Ian is scrubbing this comic down with his Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Not only does he kill Mecha but he has Eggman say to delete all her back-up files so that not even a hint of her personality and memories could ever feasibly return. On top of that, he also casually let’s it drop that the stupid, Mr. James Bond Vegeta Wolverine, our wonderful “Hunter S. Hit” fucking died when Hyper Knuckles tossed him into the sea.

Yeah, I was told that already but reading it on the same page as the one where he just got done killing Mecha was like a one-two punch of “THAT’S RIGHT! THEY’RE DEAD!”. 

He also tells A.D.A.M to annihilate Project Metal Snively. I don’t recall that being a thing but the caption box says it was something talked about in Issue #140. I looked back to check and didn’t catch anything explicit with my eyes so I decided to take the book’s word for it.

Of course, the curiosity got the better of me so I typed “Metal Snively” into Google and found a really short article with a picture about it. 

JwlRnmKUg3nyjDo_xhxGT6fDjOeMqetykVzzGbJHGRYvj_m-jWGhuOXJKdgJ9zG5PG4Kg2uAFg9Kq_zI7h2EmIRn6SsOM9BcJgo8CU4DrQUIsM4cgjtRjvMxnx7RHXUAKFbO6s_2

How very creepy. I didn’t even notice that this is what this image was supposed to be.

It doesn’t matter anyway because it was just ANNIHILATED. We’ll never see it, whatever it was.

Sorry, assorted writers of the past, but all this shit you set up and wanted to do? Right in the garbage with it. Thanks for playing.

It’s kind of neat to think about honestly. The wiki lists Metal Snively as an abandoned project by Eggman and that’s how it’s going to stay, forever but it’s also an abandoned project by the comic in real life too. All we have left of it is this really creepy silhouette of it. It’s way more effective and haunting that we never got to see what it was, ironically. 

Gosh, poor M though. She’s still being dunked on in the next page despite having already been reduced to a metal skeleton. All the while Eggman has a conversation with A.D.A.M, this happens in the background.

BRhlysl9vqjze35BhVz0LlchVdF4RlozLmB2yiZlpBgvNRjO7mEm0fw7NsAyKawSAXHMN8tNdXsF1adgGLCI1DsKLLdYk1tBlUaN9T1JLOJ7XZV42bGUS55G3asBkGrY_9tNmBpN

Like, I get it. Stop. She’s already dead.

No literally. In this case she’s literally already dead.

I get why M had to go. The aesthetic she had as a minion of Eggman and her standing as Eggman’s… daughter really does not fit with the kind of character Eggman ought to be. Especially now in 2006…

… Wait, no, 2006 was the year that super creepy realistic Eggman came into existence… hmm… b-bad timing but you know what I mean. The proper, modern Eggman doesn’t really need to have a character like M around. She was harmless when it came to her personality, in that, she barely had one, but she was cool enough and her genuine devotion to her father made her unfortunate, but understandable, passing relatively sad. Even after all this time I still feel bad about it which is why this admittedly hilarious background robot obliterating her ashes to dust feels like a dark comedy-esque twisting of the knife.

A.D.A.M narrates that this is happening to Eggman as it happens which is a little funny. Eggman is trying to monologue to A.D.A.M about what his next course of action is and A.D.A.M is just trying to please daddy with an update every little millisecond on what the Cleaning Flapper is doing. Eventually, though, he does inform Eggman that all his targets are currently beating the shit out of each other in Knothole, which gives him a glorious idea.

Yes! Spicy!

Ixis Naugus and Mammoth Mogul are fighting and complimenting each other on how good they are at doing what they do, though Mogul shows rather cleanly and precisely that he’s got clear mastery over all of Naugus’ shit and more. It’s pretty clear to the rest that Mogul is toying with him at a certain point.

Sir Connery and Merlin try to hatch a plan to nab the sword while this is happening, since Naugus dropped it. Connery tries to strike at Mogul to distract him while Merlin reaches for the sword but it doesn’t work. Mogul just grabs them both and sends them blasting off into the sky. They probably would have hit the stratosphere had Sonic and Knuckles not saved them. 

They both have cute comments to make as they do so too. Sonic asks if Merlin would mind not dying since Tails is fond of having a family again and Knuckles just says it’s nice to see Sir Connery again. Sir Connery says “You too lad.”

It’s nice.

As they’re brought to the ground, Naugus has a revelation. He realizes who Mogul truly is and Mogul, humbler than the rest of them, recounts his failure back in the olden days when hedgehogs and echidnas were still cave animals… also, Mobie, the caveman character from way back is there too but that’s just an easter egg. The point is Mogul gathered up a ton of power and knowledge, lost a war on Albion, and thought all his followers were lost… but seeing Naugus now, looking into his beautiful eyes, he realizes that there was indeed one more. 

Finally, they’ve found each other…

No, but seriously, Mogul used to be known as Ixis Mogul and the Order of Ixis was something he birthed. 

Once Naugus realizes this, he immediately bends the knee and hands the sword to Mogul, with both the Children of Arachnis and the Destructix regrouping as their new master garners the power of both the sword and the crown of acorns at the same fucking time. IT’S SO FUCKING COOL! HOLY SHIT! YES!

gJjrpWMGjC_1yBnVOUB_Bdr44pWhxUtLl3Vsv7KfGfH3uSXBD-M-t3XF5U9RXZkknUBfVZU_yTwkqNKfhGhVxJct0ZwsDin-9fwcgw_x3x9eRveISsDqQ7YGCU0Y1160SXm9xX6P

I flipped out when I first saw this spread back in the day. I was so ready to go and it was great that I didn’t have to wait to see the conclusion because I had all the back issues up to #193. 

What’s next?

Sonic games on hoverboards, that’s what!


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #163: Sonic Riders, Part 1

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Tracy Yardley
Inks: Jim Amash
Letters: Teresa Davidson
Colors: Josh & Aimee Ray
Editor: Mike Pellerito

Tracey’s got second story duty again, which is fine by me. So long as he gets to be in the book. He, along with Josh and Aimee Ray’s colors, do a good job helping to sell the Sonic Riders style too. 

The story here begins with then newcomer to the series, Jet the Hawk, being chased by some of Eggman’s robots only to slam into one really huge one during his escape. Apparently he wanted to steal some of Eggman’s tech because times have been tough since he “quit the armada”. That is an insanely huge seed Ian just planted there. I was shocked when I read that line.

He gets captured by Eggman who admires Jet’s hoverboard tech and is astonished by the fact that he was seriously going as fast as Sonic on it.

Extreme Gear is an anomaly and a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.

Jet, when he hears Sonic’s name, doesn’t know who the fuck that is. When Eggman recounts who he is with the monikers of “Hero of Mobius” and “Fastest thing alive”, Jet’s opinion lands squarely and immediately on him being a fraud. Sonic can’t be the fastest if he’s actually the fastest after all.

Eggman likes that attitude and says he’ll let Jet live if he goes off to rough up Sonic for him. It’s a petty enough thing that I honestly, totally buy Eggman just letting Jet go for the sake of it.

Jet agrees because he’s also an ego driven rogue that likes fucking with people to massage said ego while in the pursuit of personal gain.

Then, one, two, three, Sonic gets ambushed by not only Jet the Hawk, but his companions, Wave the Swallow, and Storm the Albatross.

They promptly kick Sonic’s butt and pose over him while letting their latest target know who the F they are!

YVE4oLv8THYQXTnGqjlQ1RhE8UeQai2pFANs0j0FnrYuXqiv59LDh9SksJiQ1Uz5-tgBVBUO_Q1YtmPM0adOj-nMFV_mBtjcYnusUwTyNLpCtzOn4GKo7-RNH0RS94ETZ4c_OAOA

As was the case with 2005’s Sonic Rush, 2006’s Sonic Riders had also yet to incorporate it’s elements with the Archie Sonic Comics and now here’s it’s chance. Thank God it happened during the time of Ian Flynn too. I’ll probably end up saying that a lot but fuck it. I’m relieved enough that I don’t feel bad about doing it.

I really enjoy the Babylon Rouges. At the time of their integration into the Sonic series, I don’t recall being too wild about them since it felt like another team of three that was just here to be parallels to Team Sonic after Sonic Heroes had already more than done its job at laying the groundwork for necessary teams within the series.

I didn’t grow a fondness for them and the unique position they held within the series for a few years after that though. By then it was kind of too late, seeing as how the potential they had was already being ignored for the sake of also doing nothing with everyone else. I’m at least happy I was able to open my eyes a bit.

It can’t be understated how great it is to have characters that don’t align with Sonic or Eggman’s side of the fence continuing to pop up from time to time. Whether they be anti-heroes, treasure hunters, or other villains that also hate Eggman like the Deadly Six, I appreciate having them around. Their mere existence just presents opportunity. It's an opportunity that won’t be capitalized on in anything outside of the comics but it’s sheer existence means SOMEONE out there can take advantage of it. 

Ian Flynn is FORCING things to actually happen in this godforsaken book now and it’s great. We’re not pussyfooting around with promises of things that may, one day, eventually happen some 200 issues into the future if you squint a little bit. No. The status quo is changing. People and things are facing eradication. The curse that most long running comics face when plagued with seemingly endless time has been broken. Now that the book is being forced to change, it’s finally being allowed to evolve. It’ll only get better as things go along too. Some of my favorite stories within the book, bar none, are coming up in this span of time. We’re in for a huge uptick of seemingly endless awesome shit for quite a long time and I’m all in for it. What a glorious reward for having to read through all that garbage. It’s not finished being washed away just yet. The miraculous conclusion to both these new stories is upon us. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I eventually did recall that Naugus was initially trapped within the Zone of Silence because of him but that happened so goddamn long ago that I thought surely there was more to it then that. Otherwise, this meeting they’re having and the revenge he’s talking about is baked into something that hasn’t been relevant since the 90s… right? 

Yeah, the thing about Naugus, and why I prefer Mogul to him, is that he really only had one legit shot as the big villain of the book, and that was all the ways back in World Tour. Just as he was gearing up for his come back tour the Pendering happened and washed it all away. He got the short end of the stick. 

Quote

The Spider Orphans were a bit hard to pin down for me. I wasn’t entirely sure I understood their motivation or what their allegiance to Naugus even was. Perhaps they were simply being brainwashed by Anonymous but if that was the case Naugus being so familiar and friendly with them right off the bat seemed weird. 

Their mother was one of Nagus enforcers along side Kodos, and Max, and that's the only connection I can think of. It's a weak connection, but it's there. -and that's all covered in the next paragraph- xD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember how the Babylon Rogues just show up in this 2 parter and then never again until the Treasure Team Tango arc 4 years later and then their own arc a year later and that's it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Spoiler
16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The only hang-up I have about this cover is the eye situation. It looks fine at first but if you start to stare at it for too long, you start to wonder why they seem to have eyebrows inside their irises.

This is something that happened in AOSTH and SatAM. For some reason they made Sonic's Irises blink instead of giving him eyelids.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I remember back in the day, not really understanding what was so funny about this that it could have had Sonic rolling so hard. I knew these two robots had to have been characters that were in the books before because of the familiarity they expressed and also due to Tails straight up saying they were though. 

For me while I wasn't familiar with them I did get the impression from this scene that despite his looks Crocbot wasn't anything to really worry about. Plus honestly it's just nice to actually see Sonic mocking a bad guy. He did it sometimes in Penders run but always with some internal monologue talking about how boned he is and bleh.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Back with Scourge, we get a scene of Rouge admiring how different he looks. Scourge makes it clear that he’s changed “for the better” and that the lame “evil twin shtick” is gone.

Gotta love even Scourge is like "Man I sure did used to suck shit, huh?"

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

KLc1NQLCKSHepu8PfSrCCTDCRMrYmZm-agj_hzESAkRpS3d-HVI9Kn3VLwMBE6zdReTnDleGZ3PvyyFgvJyaBo-m7cTpmqMhJXKv5J5lBCyhLEQv0YQxQ7cwneQlzYNFnMUg2SUX

I can just look at this all day. It's a masterpiece is what it is.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It doesn’t have to look like Issue 7 of the IDW comics where Adam Bryce Thomas goes insanely hard on the fluid motion to make it look like the Sonic anime I’ve always wanted and will probably never get.

...Holy shit now I want Studio Trigger to do a Sonic Anime. That might be because I got SSSS. Gridman on the brain though.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It’s nice seeing the heel turn being so properly set up. Something has once again been alluded to about Fiona, this time not just about her past but about how stable her moral ground is. I wonder how it must feel suddenly being an actual character now.

And I want to add that this is actually a pretty perfect continuation of where the real Fiona was when we first met her in Knuckles. There she was a treasure hunter and thief working with Nic The Weasel so it's not like Ian just pulled the idea of Fiona being a villain out of his ass. It's just he actually decided to do something with her original appearance instead of ignoring it so Tails can swoon over her.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Scourge is about to do the world a solid and kill Locke but Rouge stops him because she’s better than both him and me. She makes it clear that rolling with her means no killing, which might be why they don’t stay together for too long after this.

One of the only times Pre-Reboot Rouge resembles Rouge. Yeah I'm going to get this out of the way Rouge is legit my favorite character and I hate Pre-Reboot Archie Rouge. It felt like Ian didn't really get her or was tied down trying to make her match with how Penders wrote her I don't know but I hate it. I hate her feeling like a borderline villain. Yeah Rouge is definitely more grey than other Sonic characters but she wouldn't oh I don't know Let the Sol Dimension die! She literally gives up the Master Emerald because Knuckles saves her life in SA2. Rouge is way more complicated than "Ooh, Shiny Gem. Fuck you alternate universe!" (Love Treasure Team Tango but I fucking hate Rouge's portrayal in it)

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Scourge has a newfound uptick in his ego of course. When he shows up, he let’s Sonic know immediately who he is and, of course, Sonic isn’t fazed because Evil Sonic was a wimp who got knocked out in a single hit from Antoine once. 

Rouge tells them that he got a power boost from the Master Emerald

It took me way too long to actually realize that Scourge did in fact receive a power boost. I was confused because he seemed to be on Sonic's level to me. Then I realized "Oh Shit that is a power boost for Evil Sonic!"

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

Shf0rT2GJJiLNpLzovnO8ZqmNBm14QwXpfoayKD_jS2QrwqTGoBqlbOFzUzM4oYj8viO13LZxERnbo1f46RaI-Zkbmt00Yq7wum2JMzNdBLH2_n409eXwroBSYYQs35c70A3qZAs

Because of "I Still Function!" I can't not read Crocbot as anything other than Frank Welker's Megatron voice.

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

BTnQXWzDicsZisfSnPd11fFtqe75rz45tvkz_ZMilmr4rUA_qO0e4Lwol_PGZmiDW-BlWTVcYPbgqpUVLDEMPL_1jsj0ozwaO742q71i5NfPyzeudFNoeghup2MEMdUYYMaZud8S

"We've stood by long enough!" God you said it Fiona. One issue I have with the House Keeping era is that the Freedom Fighters don't get a lot of chances to really shine until like #173 or so. I mean I get it Ian wanted to focus on the Sega Characters but still it's weird just how little the rest of the cast does in his first year.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

That first panel is super weird looking. Dr. Finitevus is sitting down, not standing, but his goddamn chair is way further back so he just looks like he’s sitting on air. It’s so strange how nobody caught that. I guess he looks enough like he’s standing up that it’s understandable (even I thought he was for the longest time despite finding the weird hunch he had to be strange) but when you really look at it, it’s obvious he’s still supposed to be sitting. 

Huh. I genuinely never noticed that.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Right off the bat, I remembered that, at least parts of this story, weren’t drawn by Tracy. Maybe all of it wasn’t. Either way, going by memory is kind of useless here since I’m about to re-read it all anyway but looking at the credits my memory is coming back slightly. Yes, it’s James Fry and thankfully his stuff looks pretty good. I imagine his style is a lot closer to what Ron Lim was trying to capture with the Sonic cast but never managed to properly do except for literally one issue of the book.

Fry may have his issues but honestly I think his style is pretty underrated even if it does fall into the "White Guy drawing Anime" 90's trope a lot.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It was talked about on the Bumblekast eons ago, of course, but Darkest Storm was basically something Ian was tasked with for the sake of having a semi-clean slate. He had to clean a lot of this shit up and he only had three issues to do it in

IIRC he originally wanted it to be 6 issues which honestly might have been a few too many. But it is nice to know Ian's habit of making storylines way longer than they should be dates back this far. (I may be a shill but I can admit the man has a problem with stretching arcs out for too long)

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

For some reason, I couldn’t seem to recall if it’s just a regular Chaos Emerald or some kind of special new emerald or something. The situation with the Chaos Emeralds is so messed up at the moment that it’s hard remembering specific details about them whenever they pop up again.

Not to reopen that can of worms but just a reminder the Super Emeralds from the Adventure Arc were the only ones and were also Chao(?) so every Emerald after that is a Chaos Emerald.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We cut to Eggman who is delighting in being just the worst creature he can possibly be. He’s got his Egg Grapes up and running and he’s draining a ton of Mobians down to literal husks.

It should also be noted this is literally the first time they're called Egg Grapes. Because Ian actually starts letting Eggman have his Egg Naming Convention from the games.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I’m also having trouble remembering what blow they’ve suffered.

I...don't know. I think it was mentioned at some point in the Green Knuckles saga but I've only read it once.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sir Connery presents Elias with the Sword of Revealing Light,

It'll allow their power to be transferred to three new Rangers. Oh, wait that's a different Sword of Light. (Is it clear I like Power Rangers? XD)

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

This is all stuff that I apparently read and was able to follow enough to enjoy back in the day. It’s shocking how many old references to past issues we’ve gotten in the span of a couple of pages. I’m being given a rundown of the context, even though I didn’t have it in full, so I probably was mostly alright but damn.

For me this kind of stuff is what gets me excited to explore a series in full. I mentioned SSSS. Gridman earlier and while it can be watched and followed just fine having never seen the original Japanese series it's most definitely filled with references to it and it makes me excited for Mill Creek to release it someday so I can get the full picture.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

-b6Ofq-gOhzBGluKumiKP2kk8RQIGCFL_w0CDhiRtVabux5PpE7vkPMiYKfV3R9OulKZV_VDF1NnrVC_7jb1tdWK_6mRIwcyp2m46siEb9RpCH8_rLVkGc3RKhoyj7Mld-3iyiYY

I like that he's working on a Sega Genesis. I think Tails was fixing up a Genesis Controller in the main story too.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The monitors shut off and a hologram of his former boss floats into view with a heavy ultimatum.

Xjc0SgzAUnWQRCgSM-v8nL7H3UEzBwVoAI1Z97PH2bKYTbWWf8zseSukJVB0Ot91zJtiVoTZcRIR_zThxlunOYcICYFCc6YDcWxXhWCfOJkkQ2sOgISmarjM3UQxMuVQy4LXYnL7

I'm not sure that is a Hologram. He uses it to teleport Sinivley away later so...I guess Eggman can just teleport into Knothole.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

It’s strange how he’s noticeably smaller than her. He also calls himself her “big brother” in this scene which is also weird. Yeah, they’re family, but you wouldn’t know it looking at them. The Robotnik family has this weird thing where they’ve either got cute blonde haired girls or balding old guys. That’s it. You’re either one or the other. Or Colin, but who gives a shit about him?

You're either a normal looking human or a cartoon in the Robotnik family. There is no inbetween.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

eLf_agke_Rbvlvx_MuiaBD50YdIUvTY3hsvwv-lwV6FN67yrj_t54DSiu4w4apBH2MLNqOvAXs_mfiCiSGEZ59M42nRIysjUCxx9D0Iu581tM8yV9odLKwSP0vsB3evmoaoId2Zn

I have never understood the "To save my own Store" line. When did Snivley have a store? Is this an expression I'm unfamiliar with? It's weird.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

All the heroes just start yelling at Mogul and trying to engage in hero to villain banter.

One of my favorite things about this is that usually you can't get Mogul to shut up so having him be silent until he knocks everyone the fuck out is a great touch.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

To be completely honest though… it’s been SO LONG since Ixis Naugus has last been in the book, I’ve literally forgotten not only the last time we’ve seen him but also why exactly he hates Eggman. 

I eventually did recall that Naugus was initially trapped within the Zone of Silence because of him

Eh...technically but here's where things get a bit wobbly. Naugus previously had no rivalry with Eggman in the comics. His rivalry and him being sealed in the Void by Eggman was all SatAM material. The Comics changed it to him locking himself in the Zone of Silence well before Eggman ever even came to the Kingdom of Acorn. So basically this reference to them being lifelong enemies was a massive mistake on Ian's part but he did later retcon in their first meeting during the Mecha Sally Saga. (BTW yes I used 2 different names. In the show it was the Void in the Comics it was The Zone of Silence but the comics also had a separate pocket dimension called the Void in a single issue and Naugus has now fused them and it's all way too complicated)

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

That’s an unfortunate spelling mistake for Ixis Naugus in the top panel though. Oopsie daisy.

Yeah that's um...yeah.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

We also get a really neat, amusing little scene with Nack demonstrating how much the prison cells of these Knothole losers suck. 

xNv0SlSMRN0ckOB-YC6ySFG5Ws13nep63UwivUajWKvltUZmA1K1XfuHesdl3GdptDnFkjsVvG-uwPnrdEct8vI8diBkKFFNVuThcLCNHe-ObBFykMe5_jc77gOiny-W7D3MvYem

Nack...you could have done that at any point? Honestly no I get it the guards are probably not around due to the fucking war happening outside so this is the best opportunity he had.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Whatever this “gift” is that he left his old gang buddies is, it might be the reason I never recall ever seeing them show up again. Best not to think too hard about it.

The implications are pretty clear Nack straight up killed them. ...Probably a few other prisoners too since it seems like he was going to poison their food.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Hell, he might be though. I don’t know how old these Spider Orphans are.

Well they hatched before Sonic went to space so they're at least a year old but I don't know Spider Life spans. That could mean they're 60 for all I know.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

After A.D.A.M gives Eggman a very slight comforting nugget of information concerning the fact that his unoccupied Egg Grapes are all fine while the occupied ones were lost to the Zone of Silence (which is REALLY messed up when you think about it. Jesus Christ)

Especially when you think about what happens to it in a few issues. "Get Blue Spheres on the corpses of those trapped in the Egg Grapes!"

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The man is ruthless to those who he feels has wronged him and if he seriously believed this is what Mecha did to him, then yeah, obviously this would be his next course of action.

What makes it even better for me is there's a surprising depth since he still thinks of M as his daughter and despite this still feels upset in having to kill her. It's twisted and fucked up but Eggman did genuinely love his robot daughter and that's such an interesting thing to think about.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

He also tells A.D.A.M to annihilate Project Metal Snively. I don’t recall that being a thing but the caption box says it was something talked about in Issue #140. I looked back to check and didn’t catch anything explicit with my eyes so I decided to take the book’s word for it.

Of course, the curiosity got the better of me so I typed “Metal Snively” into Google and found a really short article with a picture about it. 

JwlRnmKUg3nyjDo_xhxGT6fDjOeMqetykVzzGbJHGRYvj_m-jWGhuOXJKdgJ9zG5PG4Kg2uAFg9Kq_zI7h2EmIRn6SsOM9BcJgo8CU4DrQUIsM4cgjtRjvMxnx7RHXUAKFbO6s_2

How very creepy. I didn’t even notice that this is what this image was supposed to be.

There's a lot of weirdness around this actually. Despite Ian making him a "Metal Snivley" you can see "Roboization Replacement Facility" written on there so I think maybe Karl's original intent might have been that Sinvley was being made a cyborg to replace robticization since Eggman can't do it anymore. But nobody really knows. All Jon has said about this is the script called for Snivley to be hooked up to some machinery and he drew it. Then Penders brought the real one back so whatever this was supposed to be it's Metal Snivley now.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Mobie, the caveman character from way back is there too but that’s just an easter egg.

It's weird because even back in the original time Mogul shared is origin Mobie was there. He's just a canon part of Mogul's Vandal Savage Origin I guess.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Sonic games on hoverboards,

Sonic Games on Hoverboards?

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Apparently he wanted to steal some of Eggman’s tech because times have been tough since he “quit the armada”. That is an insanely huge seed Ian just planted there. I was shocked when I read that line.

It's honestly pretty amazing that as far back as this 10 page (yes I'm counting both parts) Game tie-in that Sega barely gave him any information for Ian was already starting to connect the Rogues and the Battle Bird Armada. Regardless on what you feel about the Tails Adventure adaptation I think we can all agree that it is honestly pretty clever to make these two concepts one and the same. Kinda hope if the Armada ever returns (Doubtful since apparently Forces script referenced Cocoa Island and nobody knew what that was so it got cut) they take influence from this.

 

16 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

YVE4oLv8THYQXTnGqjlQ1RhE8UeQai2pFANs0j0FnrYuXqiv59LDh9SksJiQ1Uz5-tgBVBUO_Q1YtmPM0adOj-nMFV_mBtjcYnusUwTyNLpCtzOn4GKo7-RNH0RS94ETZ4c_OAOA

So the Babylon Rogues. They...certainly exist alright. I'll be honest I'm not a big fan of them and Riders is definitely not one of my favorite games. I don't hate them I just think they're not especially interesting.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, SBR2 said:
  Hide contents

I have never understood the "To save my own Store" line. When did Snivley have a store? Is this an expression I'm unfamiliar with? It's weird.

 

It's an older phrase, but it basically means to save ones self and what they hold dear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, SBR2 said:

One of the only times Pre-Reboot Rouge resembles Rouge. Yeah I'm going to get this out of the way Rouge is legit my favorite character and I hate Pre-Reboot Archie Rouge. It felt like Ian didn't really get her or was tied down trying to make her match with how Penders wrote her I don't know but I hate it. I hate her feeling like a borderline villain. Yeah Rouge is definitely more grey than other Sonic characters but she wouldn't oh I don't know Let the Sol Dimension die! She literally gives up the Master Emerald because Knuckles saves her life in SA2. Rouge is way more complicated than "Ooh, Shiny Gem. Fuck you alternate universe!" (Love Treasure Team Tango but I fucking hate Rouge's portrayal in it)

Ian actually talked about this on a recent Bumblekast. It was the Q&A March 29th 2021. It's a pretty simple explanation he provides for it. Nothing too complicated. Timestamp: 25:35.

Navigating through and talking about my complicated feelings on these comics when I was first getting into them is going to be really rough for me. At the time I was getting into the Archie Comics, I was really hankering for something a lot closer to what I wanted out of the games and I would rail on them quite a whole lot to the point where you'd be forgiven for thinking I hated them. Since I didn't start to regularly collect them until #194 onward, my initial opinion on the earlier issues from #160 - #193 was probably a lot less harsh (aside from House of Cards, my eternal punching bag of epic fail) but nowadays, after finally getting that kind of comic I always wanted on top of just having more context and being a different person in general, going back and seeing how big a deal I was making out of something that may not have been all that bad or seeing if I still feel the same is going to be interesting.

Like, everyone liked Pre-Reboot Omega for example but I was a huge fan of Omega from the games so I hated him. I thought the origin of him getting Gamma's soul put into him was lame (I still do) and I thought Ian overdid how cartoony he was. I think he's got a perfect balance to him in IDW but I really couldn't stand the weird "Shy around Blaze" thing that happened. 

Then there's stuff I hated for various reasons that may not turn out to be the case anymore. The Silver Saga I had a huge problem with, especially the ending but now that I have so much new context for things about it that I absolutely didn't before (I didn't even know that particular Enerjak was supposed to be Knuckles) revisiting it might be a complete 180 for me. The Tails Adventure I remember hating the ending to. Most Sonic Universe arcs I remember just having really bad or rushed endings to them and it's sadly a staple of Ian's work that remains to this very day. 

Contrary to what you've said, I actually don't think he's got a problem with stretching things out. I prefer all the stories he's done where they've gone to 12-15 issues long or whatever. That kind of pacing just feels better to me. Literally, the only thing I'd change about the Metal Virus' pacing is that I'd give it one or two more issues so that the ending didn't feel as quick. I wanted to marinate in that tragedy for as long as possible.

That's the real interesting part about going through these newer books. The conversation has shifted from me exploring some truly heinous and awful shit to recontextualizing what I do and don't like about the Archie Comics going forward. Finding out why I hated the stories I did and if I still do or not is going to feel like an emotional war-zone. 

I say all this because I remember thinking Treasure Team Tango was strange and underwhelming for a lot of reasons despite the covers doing well to depict the kind of arc it was supposed to be. I have no clue if I'll feel the same upon revisit but Rouge's conduct in that arc was a big pill to swallow along the stuff I just talked about with Omega. 

Pirate Plunder Panic is a Post-Reboot story, and also done by Tracey Yardley, but I recall that one being even worse. I really didn't like that one.

Again though, I have no idea what my opinion on them will be now. It's been so long since I've read them. 

5 hours ago, SBR2 said:

"We've stood by long enough!" God you said it Fiona. One issue I have with the House Keeping era is that the Freedom Fighters don't get a lot of chances to really shine until like #173 or so. I mean I get it Ian wanted to focus on the Sega Characters but still it's weird just how little the rest of the cast does in his first year.

This is another good example of different strokes for different folks seeing as how I could care less if the Freedom Fighters get to do something. It probably contributed to a lot of my enjoyment for these stories back in the day, just seeing the game characters I care more about doing stuff. Also, they really didn't do much of anything for a super long stretch of time before Ian's run either so it seems par for the course here.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally speaking at least, The Silver Saga's one of my favourite arcs in the series. I liked the darker themes, and Silver finally getting some screen-time, and the idea of a corrupted and evil Knuckles was something I was down with. It helps that Enerjak Reborn is easily one of my favourite Archie arcs in general, so it acting as a continuation of what would've happened if Locke hadn't died like he did was excellent.

It's also one massive call-out on Penders' Knuckles too, since - the same way Enerjak Reborn has everyone calling Locke out that he has as much to blame for Knuckles' transformation into Enerjak, The Silver Saga shows the ultimate result of Locke's selfish actions if he didn't do one decent thing in his life and made the sacrifice play to atone for his mistakes and free Knuckles of Fini's control. The Silver Saga shows Knuckles would've continued ravaging the land, destroying and decimating it until eventually all that remained was a wasteful husk of land. In his attempts to engineer someone strong enough to stop some dumbass dream Locke had once, Locke instead created a being so corrupted and evil that he's brought upon an even worst fate upon the world.

The state of prelates and the atmosphere in general screams Metal Virus arc. So many of the concepts in the Silver Saga could be seen as an early precedent to Ian's ideas with the Metal Virus, so that's worth noting too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Personally speaking at least, The Silver Saga's one of my favourite arcs in the series. I liked the darker themes, and Silver finally getting some screen-time, and the idea of a corrupted and evil Knuckles was something I was down with. It helps that Enerjak Reborn is easily one of my favourite Archie arcs in general, so it acting as a continuation of what would've happened if Locke hadn't died like he did was excellent.

It's also one massive call-out on Penders' Knuckles too, since - the same way Enerjak Reborn has everyone calling Locke out that he has as much to blame for Knuckles' transformation into Enerjak, The Silver Saga shows the ultimate result of Locke's selfish actions if he didn't do one decent thing in his life and made the sacrifice play to atone for his mistakes and free Knuckles of Fini's control. The Silver Saga shows Knuckles would've continued ravaging the land, destroying and decimating it until eventually all that remained was a wasteful husk of land. In his attempts to engineer someone strong enough to stop some dumbass dream Locke had once, Locke instead created a being so corrupted and evil that he's brought upon an even worst fate upon the world.

The state of prelates and the atmosphere in general screams Metal Virus arc. So many of the concepts in the Silver Saga could be seen as an early precedent to Ian's ideas with the Metal Virus, so that's worth noting too.

Yup. All of that sounds like something way, way up my alley. Yet I didn't like it when I read it years and years ago. I'll be able to comb through why when I get to it but I think it really does fall squarely on the fact that I had so little context for why the story was even happening and barely understood what it was even about. Cause like I said, I didn't know that was supposed to be Knuckles. 

Enerjak Reborn is also one of my favorite Archie arcs. It's an extremely popular one, for good reason, but at the time, the reason I liked it would have been far different from the reason I'll end up absolutely loving it now. I didn't have ANY of the original context for Locke going into it. I heard the weird looking ant man in the Indiana Jones outfit calling Locke a bad guy but I didn't quite get it because I hadn't read any of what happened before. As such there was no way I would have been able to look at what was going on in the Silver Saga and put two and two together about where Locke's influence would have realistically led Knuckles. 

I didn't know who Jani-Ca was nor did I understand the prelates thing, despite loving the dark atmosphere. Plus, I remember raging at the ending over something that I probably wouldn't give a shit about nowadays.

The point is, SO MUCH has changed since then and now. I'm older, I'm smarter, and I've got a mountain of context and the benefit of hindsight on my side. I'm willing to bet my opinion on that arc may end up being the complete opposite of what it was when I first read it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unpopular opinion time, but I've always liked Sonic as a knight damn it! I was down for it in Black Knight and I've always been down for it here. I can understand the modern backlash that it runs contrary to his image as an untethered free spirit. On paper it doesn't sound like it should work, but I don't care. Knights are cool, man! and it's not like Sonic was ever shy about speaking his mind, and defying the crown if he had to with or without the title, and it measures up with Mario, and Link who are knights in their own right. 

Quote

The Silver Saga 

Yeah, I also wasn't too big on that arc. It's self-contained and alternate universe-y and I prefer things that impact the broader narrative. I'm also relatively cold to Silver in general. Which isn't his fault, the franchise just can't figure out what to do with him. Similarly Omega he's just kind of there in the cast for me. Not really doing anything for me to think of him in the negative not really doing enough to go in the positive. 

 

Quote

Contrary to what you've said, I actually don't think he's got a problem with stretching things out. I prefer all the stories he's done where they've gone to 12-15 issues long or whatever. That kind of pacing just feels better to me. Literally, the only thing I'd change about the Metal Virus' pacing is that I'd give it one or two more issues so that the ending didn't feel as quick. I wanted to marinate in that tragedy for as long as possible.

Same, Ian's longer arcs are usually my favorites, Iron Dominion probably being the biggest success. I kind of lament that this era your reading now is a succession of 3 or 4 part arcs. Even if the arcs themselves are gold. I kind of prefer how old Archie was defined in 25 issue milestone rather then arcs. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #164: The Darkest Storm, Part 3: Downburst

0weAKdamiYC68ZkITE76XZw0P_KyDUhscyvd7RE0ecchvwxaWP__TJIHOqLZZM-3ELsRDxu0GfXkGjlc5ahoG8-bv13INm3Kob7jI4uyab75Tb-ms1rkdqwY3kPYGUJMyc6EzzY8

We’ve reached the end of the Darkest Storm and it’s about to get super crazy in a super fast way. I’m excited to observe just how different the book is by the end of it all.

YnUMgGi_oJyZwRG1gT22dbC3pysYO6laKlOglBGANPJKrDWeW6MkuBwqS1WiYNnFcn6Gkq6uc0WQSfkXwxCH2gtzexpLR44jYneEGad4i1UwJSUGl8aJey7g6bNpqxpXhz5cDFYT

This connected image is also pretty good. Everything gets appropriately cluttered and hectic the further down the line we go. I also love the choice to have Sonic running along the heart monitor line and how the orange glow of whatever’s burning in the distance glistens along his body. Very nice. These covers are classic.

Spoiler

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: James Fry
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Jason Jensen
Letters: John Workman

Anonymous is firing on all cylinders. His plan has reached critical mass. 

I love the explanation at the start of the book. Say this explanation to anyone out of context or not familiar with Sonic or even these Archie Comics and watch for the face they make.

“Spider ninjas used the Sword of Acorns in Dr. Eggman’s Egg Grape Chamber to open the Zone of Silence. The dimensional breach caused the demise of the Ancient Walkers. It released Ixis Naugus and lost the occupied Egg Grapes to the Zone of Silence. The death of the Ancient Walkers freed Mammoth Mogul. He gathered his minions--the Destructix. Naugus learned that Mogul had founded his order of Dark Magick and then pledged his loyalty.”

That reads like pure gibberish to any sane person who hasn’t dedicated a good chunk of their livelihood submerging themselves within the confines of these insane comics.

This is all what Anonymous wants though. He’s masterminded everything and it’s excellent how chaotic it all is. I’d send him a thank you card but I doubt he’d accept it. 

There’s this weird scene where Fiona asks Sonic if they can wrap this up and Sonic says he’s never been one to disappoint a lady… then turns to Sally with a smile and says “Present company excluded.”

Sally, not smiling, says now isn’t the time to which Sonic replies that it never is… and that it’s good to see her on the field again.

Yes, Sally is back on the field again. It was never really all that justifiable that she’d suddenly stop being on the field but you know… she “cramped” Sonic’s style right?

Sonic rushes up to Mogul and, in a hilarious scene, just takes the crown with the glowing evil lime green energy radiating off of it and plops it onto Elias’ head to try and end things. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work.

NEbw1xxYshrsg8JbreGPxhT_NJ-0zruPrfZsbAGGDojUFKE4vfTeKzTR0PPEoktpQELoYwGib6N9gLN0EwmkZCbVsJCOs0YllAgvSk0VbC71PnM5CftivDL4NwtS_k8YCr8KK030

They should never have underestimated the power of Mogul’s taint.

I really love the way the dark magic is being drawn here. It looks really unpleasant and painful. I especially like the black sword and the way the energy is all bubbly and transitions from the evil lime green into a more traditional fiery red when he swings it. The bubbles being all black around it also help to sell the density of its strength. It works way better than it just being a single glowing streak of green energy.

I also love how the Source of All is no longer viable as a force for any kind of good. It barely was before but now we’re done pretending. The shit was evil and now it belongs entirely to one of the most evil bastards on the planet. 

I feel such a strong sense of vindication knowing that now. I didn’t really understand it before when I read this. All I knew was that some important, cool shit was going down but knowing the context makes it way better. 

The next scene is quite possibly the most badass and most memorable part of the entire story. It definitely was and might still be when this is over but because we’re doing some house cleaning, it’s also going to be caked with a twinge of that bittersweet aftertaste.

Motherfucking Sir Connery has just accepted his invitation to Smash and he’s ready to fucking go. 

ZzebdzTMXvP8sfkGesrK-gQ6kmgohnaWBWgY52HjJPu2CcLsbu4dxc8w6FBU5VX2A3wpo8ZzjtH7pwoe4B2UnOyJy6MpxVAEiUjf2kk6dg3nD2p7rLvniqXbSLj3r_ean7AoeBWl

That little scene of Mogul Earth-bending a fist to grab Sonic was cute.

Also, Ian Flynn would go on to say in the Bumblekast that he actually didn’t catch that he made the horse man say “Nay” here when he initially did this story. It seems like such an obvious thing that the possibility of missing that sounds almost like a fantasy.

Sir Connery clashes with Mogul in a high octane, wonderfully drawn action scene with his Sword of Light, gifted to him by the Ancient Walkers as a present for being a really cool dude who destroys evil shit for them since they’re mostly busy saying Riddler shit. 

He apologizes to Elias because he has to destroy the Source of All now.

Don’t apologize for that. The Source of All sucks. KILL IT! DESTROY IT!

Good God, this wonderful horse man is too fucking cool!

1FAeUSBqcPzhL6Tj1BNRLPaFNYNF6Chguwq7hH3A0mC75RQ8lfbrc9tKDc7sqGBFHj2avsBminoKlqYK7eoxIoMN2Em35p7fb-qnSNpAsrN6-X68Y2d-5L4u-oQRMZFC-kJA98KD

giphy.gif

OH MY GOOOOOOOOD! HE’S TOO AWESOME GUYS! I CAN’T TAKE IT! 

Another thing that Ian Flynn didn’t count on was people wanting Sir Connery to return after this moment. He came onto the scene after being MIA since the dark ages of the comics only to do a badass move that fucked up Mammoth Mogul and killed the remnants of the Source of All. 

It’s sad but it’s appropriate that this be his final moment of shining glory. After all, the point of a good sacrifice is that you’re left with a feeling of sadness and regret by their passing. So, unfortunately for Sir Connery, the power it took to accomplish this used up his life and reduced him to ashes.

JENu3ZYXbDbXZVT9s9DGmyMQ90lij7zgIdKr_krRjuThrhndBEXiXSpd7LmmU-NFpqKKbWFmnLzblk5uLcfQI9Ulxc_AwgYA4gtbz94nzkG8yUBoa6HfCMqQjI2_rxQ6r6QJH-cL

The way this is drawn is hauntingly good.

You really get the sense that a beefy guy wearing that outfit was just turned to smoke and dust with the way the sleeves just curl up like that. 

Someone sacrificing themselves like this in the biggest blaze of glory these books have possibly ever seen does a really nice job of justifying the notion of taking the bad guy out near the start of the final issue like this too. A lot needs to be given up for the sake of a reward as powerful as this which is something a lot of the later stories tend to forget a few times. 

Sonic doesn’t agree with me of course. When Mogul says this means nothing, Sonic says losing a life just to take Mogul’s new toys away is too much. Understandable from his point of view. Mogul still commands a lot of power, so he says.

Eggman swoops in to immediately test that though. He’s riding the Egg Hawk from Sonic Heroes too. It’s wonderful.

It looks like he just… blasts Mogul and the others away but I guess his technology has teleportation powers. At least, that’s what he says. It looks really gruesome despite that though.

CvrB8QH0AbyaU4-11Qc0hoD-5cGJBtPMt0ROZvdaJ65lYfcDzViehIGpVOX47Wqf-4jwu9pHNXVIYM6A9fVGC1hECbeDNqDcuAy11Yy_08z2A8p_0liO7TqPVhUmY_hXU8KpWVE0

Despite how short Mogul’s return was here, as per tradition, whenever he shows up something big and monumental happens which I’m always grateful for.

I’m also glad that Eggman finally came through in the end seeing as how, before this, whenever he’d say “I have an idea” it was usually a toss up as to whether or not said idea would be properly called back to or be given sufficient enough time dedicated to it to feel worth it.

Sonic is hankering for a fight though. 

He runs up to Eggman when he hovers his Egg Hawk down to have a chat with Sonic. They’ve both had a very long day so Eggman isn’t planning to fight Sonic. Sonic doesn’t believe him, of course, but Eggman assures him of his sincerity. 

His sadness concerning the brutal way he absolutely had to kill his daughter M lingers in his mind.

iSgEcbdej0ZUtm8oP01FNYSQprxV4Rog4wF-LpTjHfQ2lfiAYmQ0Q64TzURQoRn9DqVbqT6A2XA3H7Qdg3G3VOs2bzYUGb9_z3jEpSCLsrs_yipge3jJTg-YmQuiopeB87u1w2JC

Of course, Eggman still isn’t aware of who Anonymous is so he can’t exactly bask in the afterglow of making them suffer on top of this. 

Sonic asks what Eggman plans to do with him and his friends now that he’s captured Mogul and the others. Eggman says his Egg Fleet could wipe them off the map right now but not yet. Eggman’s all about that presentation and his wonderful theatrics. There’s a time and place he wants to initiate this plan and it isn’t now.

One could argue that him doing this is him setting himself up for failure but I don’t necessarily have a problem with it. It’s one of the unique things about Eggman’s character that makes him so much fun to watch.

Now, him telling Sonic and the others about it so that they have ample time to prepare and possibly combat the threat is another thing. That’s just his ego making him do incredibly silly stuff. 

Either way, Sonic’s not having it. He wants to fight Eggman now, no doubt still upset about Sir Connery. He most likely just wants to take his aggression out on something. Too bad Eggman IS being sincere about not wanting to fight because he just flies away with a hearty “Until next time, Sonic!” before disappearing into the clouds.

At Sir Connery’s funeral, everyone is understandably shaken, though Sonic is more hardened by it than everyone else. Elias in particular is really distraught, about ready to just give up on everything because of what happened.

Sonic gets mad and asks if he’s really going to give up on the kingdom because someone sacrificed themselves to save it. That’d be a pretty dick move.

Elias agrees and perks himself up, raising Sir Connery’s sword as what will be passed down the line in the Acorn Kingdom’s history as a testament to his bravery.

So, basically, what just happened is that the evil Sword of Acorns that told Sally to do things, the stupid crown, and the Source of All were all murdered because they were evil and bad. In their stead is Sir Connery’s sword, which represents something that’s ACTUALLY good and cool and extremely badass. Now THAT seems like something worth protecting.

I’m still not a fan of the way Elias had to be pushed into being king but it’s nice that Sir Connery’s death can act as a motivator for him doing his very best for the kingdom he’s in charge of. It gives him something other than “Well my shitty parents said so” as a reason to be here. 

This next scene is also great.

dYgFhSqlWUnFyDv9hY4McYGq9Pyk9vZDytDeFDZH75E29_3_3u0fKzvXh0ZAeantXsKFmtbqRBvZTTX3woSn_gFeNikPZQT-yC7mSH7J9BlkIHHLD6wvw8gyboYkWN52cs5y907b

It’s wonderful just how much the book loves shitting on all the crap that happened in the past. Honestly, it might have been worth it seeing Ken Penders react to actually reading Ian’s stuff like we know he didn’t do. It would have been hilarious witnessing his reaction to all the pointless McGuffins getting destroyed and all these weird concepts and people being killed off. 

Now, we’re shitting on the Ancient Walkers after their death and lumping Aurora’s bullshit onto the pile. Tails points out that Athair’s spirit is still strong in the afterlife too. Merlin is quick to confirm this and also points out that he’s got connections.

After that, they head off to get chili-dogs.

Back in New Megaopolis, Mogul and the others are trapped in the Egg Grapes but Mogul is using the last of his power to protect literally all of them from being turned into biofuel. Eggman isn’t bothered by this. He knows that it’s a pointless, last ditch effort to struggle and resist their fate.

Eggman then goes on a huge rant about how he’s in possession of monumental power still, despite losing a few thousand Mobians. He also says that his job will be made easier now that the Zone of Silence has fused with the Void.

This is something that was talked about last issue that I didn’t particularly go into because the confusion surrounding the Zone of Silence and the Void was something I remember being hard to pin down at the time those two places were relevant. However, it’s worth talking about specifically because Ian took measures to shave off the confusion by simply fusing them together and making them one entity. It truly makes no sense having two completely different voids that are named different things but, for the purposes of the story, essentially function similarly. Instead of trying to work through which is which whenever someone gets sent there, it’s better to just have one.

Eggman has decided that he’s done. His day has been extremely taxing and long and he’s beat. A.D.A.M agrees with him, saying that he should really rest for there is much left to be done.

For you see, dear reader, the best of the best in terms of epic twists and plot developments is now upon us.

e2ukh5WNsnYCTLI8VkGU6oHSkm8POru6bsuCYPGX6NJgJmNYxkJvWJpdwvPrsjy28InXY_lOipWLgwu2_gncSk1hafRUF7QO4KSGoEXxVVOfB6ZJHsFcl96SNiwu4CBoWJyeUXIT

Oh yeah. A.D.A.M? He’s just a virus that was randomly created one day during the year Sonic was gone. It’s fine. No worries. Look, he calls me daddy. He had fun working through riddles with Tails. You can trust him.

It’s still… so cool. 

I love this.

I love it whenever Sonic stories utilize their characters like this and treat the back and forth between the heroes and the villains as opportunity for tactical warfare. It’s why the Prison Island stuff still hits me so well to this day and why Forces is, in part, such a massive disappointment.

It always leads to things like this. The reveal that A.D.A.M is Anonymous is one of my favorite story beats in the comic’s history. I knew about it the whole time re-reading these issues, of course, but I couldn’t help but be excited to finally get to the part where it’d be the most relevant. 

Here we are too. It’s the precursor for one of the best stories in the book. Were I to do a rundown of my favorite Archie stories, a lot of the earlier ones when Flynn first hit the scene would be making the Top 10. It’s astonishing how great all his stuff was right out of the gate and to this day it fills me with intense excitement and happiness knowing I have Sonic stories like THIS to go back to whenever the next game inevitably disappoints me. I really rely so much on Sonic comics, current and old, nowadays. 

Obviously, the A.D.A.M twist was not a product of Ken Penders. I doubt Penders had anything concrete for the identity of Anonymous. Any idea he’d come up with would not have been as cool or as meaningful as it turning out to be Eggman’s right hand man and adopted son A.D.A.M though.

I could see it being yet another old as hell ancestor that Knuckles has never heard or or met because of secrets being kept from him for no reason. Or perhaps it could have been tied to Issac and his insane story about the corpse of Eggman’s ancestor he’s guarding. Or perhaps it could have been an entirely new character whose someone else’s ancestor entirely. The point is that it would have most likely been someone’s ancestor and that would have been the reason we should have cared.

As for why he keeps projecting a picture of the old Robotnik on his monitor, there's rumbles that the original idea for this might have been that A.D.A.M was supposed to be the digital remnants of the old Robotnik who died stuck onto Eggman's computer as a virus or something. It wouldn't really make sense had that turned out to be what was up though and I'm glad it's not.

This is by far the better option and the one that, honestly, makes the most sense considering how much A.D.A.M was able to get done and the knowledge he had access to.

Seriously, this guy is amazing. He spelled it all out right there. He’s the reason the Ancient Walkers are dead. He’s the reason the Source of All is dead. He’s the reason Sir Connery is dead. Mogul, the Destructix, Ixis Naugus, the Spider Orphans, all of them coming back into the fray were all according to his plan. It’s impressive as hell and it all MADE SENSE.

That’s the biggest part. It’s not just a villain boasting about their power and how smart they are. We got to see it firsthand before they did and it feels great. I’m excited all over again to experience what happens next.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #164: Sonic Riders, Part 2 of 2

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Tracy Yardley
Inks: Jim Amash
Letters: Teresa Davidson
Colors: Josh & Aimee Ray
Editor: Mike Pellerito

Sonic returns… home?

He’s in a cave with a bunch of green couches and books about the place. Knuckles and Tails are there too. It’s noticeably only game characters here which is interesting. This is the canonical introduction of the Babylon Rogues into the Archie Comics and yet it feels almost like a game centered reimagining of sorts.

I suppose that’s only really because Sonic Riders in particular is about Team Sonic Vs. Team Babylon so it definitely makes sense.

Seeing Sonic have to slump in his seat and admit to how fast those birds were and the look of sheer horror on his face as Knuckles teases it out of him is priceless.

Pp-05OF3s6fYo3nG3MUtGv4tmwukq9ljkZJ9hy-y1OyafQWmMX_UhmUwFMzJ8gK9Wl9s-Ayya6FoLpt4eQHXAs5m5PyNGH4Drqhj3b9oDG11LCUUINfZB7WsYO4SgQ9nCJEW-syw

It’s not too shocking really. For some reason, there were one or two people back in the day miffed about the idea of Extreme Gear being as fast or faster than Sonic. I get why. It’s purely an ego thing. They want him to be the fastest thing alive (even though machines aren’t technically alive so it still counts) and the idea of something existing that’s faster doesn’t sit well with some.

Truth be told, this has always been the case though. Like, it just makes sense that in this world there are machines that can be made to be as fast or faster than Sonic. Hell, fucking Metal Sonic is a robot that can keep up with Sonic and even get ahead of him in certain intervals. Then there’s the question of Shadow’s weird hover skates and the boss battles where Eggman’s machines are moving so fast that Sonic is boosting to try and catch up with them.

This is not out of the ordinary.

Tails has some hoverboards already made. That actually is weird.

Sonic asks him why and Tails says it’s so they can keep up with him on missions. Tails and Knuckles certainly aren’t slow but I understand the precaution regardless. It’s still a much more flimsy explanation than the actual game but that’s fine. This adaptation isn’t trying to be anything super in-depth. This’ll be one of the rare cases where the game actually has a far better, more exciting story and that’s fine.

I love how smug Tails is about what he’s managed to do here though.

LFrpfAulExxh0sO0fdGj8xWJXkFWHEvm-vkk0YnviaV05sFZHABSVs6m0WSgHzsmpZ8lmNQyrkPTlzi43uyqOoweXH9zKwmV5mNSnNEr8SYNeo48NlYG9wMV8RHdspoqKhUqz3xF

Also, I gotta say, these boards look really cool. Especially when you hold them at the right angle. 

It’s a shame that the Riders series seems to be dead in the water now because it really did have a genuinely cool as hell aesthetic. The hoverboard mechanic, I feel, could still work if it merely functioned more like the All-Stars Racing games do. Those games are far more fun and way more comfortable playing and with good reason.

I think the main difference is automation. Sonic games, I feel, are usually at their worst when they’re on-rails or automated. With the goal of a racing game being to go fast, control is extremely important and a lot of that is stripped from you when you’re playing Riders and the board just shoots forward on its own. I like the idea of holding down the trigger and moving on my own. 

I don’t know how different the technology would be when constructing a game like that is though. I’d imagine it’d be pretty hard. I heard that making the original Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing saw a lot of ideas scrapped because they just wouldn’t function right. Like trying to have Sonic on foot or having Tails ride around in an accurately sized tornado. Hell, they removed the bikes in the sequel because of issues with balance and the transformation gimmick. This stuff sounds super hard to do, which just makes me appreciate how good those games always turn out.

We get some moments between the Heroes and their counterparts within the Rogues. Knuckles and Storm clash and are delighted to fight someone as strong as them. Sonic and Jet have their usual banter. The best is Tails and Wave though. Tails can’t handle getting complimented and he doubly hates being made fun of. As such we’re treated to a wonderful scene of extreme mood whiplash.

D71jzIKXPiEIYPIT-wL6gnXf7-xfSkqtakE22fOK7fWm8d2Qmk-il2Gfom8wGOmFMQmrCKyGytMO-bmwYowwwdTL9Sb7iV9Xv3tKdjDyBQT0Gi1uj-B1jxI-lsFpS4C1G3UJOOhP

Still though, the way this story ends kind of makes me tilt my head a tiny bit.

Apparently the adaptation is going for the connection to Sonic Riders as a game thing here in its final moments which might not be the very best thing to do. Jet wanting to destroy Knothole isn’t something that’s really in his character as it was portrayed within the games. He’s not a straight up villain and neither are his cohorts so this whole thing feels more like the set-up for something that’s inevitably going to be resolved rather cleanly.

However, the ending caption kind of just says, “Hey, wanna know how this ends? Well buy Sonic Riders to find out” and it’s like… no. I don’t think that’s how that works.

Then again, they could just be talking about something more vague like, “Hey, wanna see who CAN win between these two sets of characters. Well, Sonic Riders can show you” instead.

If that’s the case, I do wonder what the point of having it be so open-ended is. You might as well just do what the later issues do and have an adaptation of the opening cutscene to a game if you’re not going to properly weave this into the book.

But they are because they straight up say they’re going to destroy Knothole which definitely does not exist in Sonic Riders.

Ugh. Whatever. I’m thinking too hard about it. I should just enjoy the pretty final splash page.

5pCX_XJ88NJK9vQblaeulqS5DiIvZSgrKL_fxntNUJxO8R43eNcQFnGznk_-70msYaQ09hhcp0GXGK73gQBqtR1cpVx4dDLlkxZkCP2veY_hckJOrEx5g0x18JvhoVQPxSB85lrL

It does look really cool doesn’t it? God, I miss when Sonic games were cool.

Also, and I’m really sorry about this, but look at this fucking ad.

qGyoaq56KqUU7V0vJPaE4unQfVs2AogzvFD6NCRJzoKUQ-VB0XmQcy8tk2VZRvcn0r-Ws3epjvXpng_1KwV-4r7K41Uzy6ozFGbVLCINPKrq-QHPe-Xk2s-xDw2f7_b-QRzMe9Vi

Yeah, Aquapods. I remember this shit. Even at the time I saw these commercials and felt condescended to. It’s just bottled water. You think kids are going to fall for this because you keep plastering the word “FUN” everywhere. I like water just fine but come on. There’s nothing fun about drinking water. Now pulling a lever and crushing someone with an Aquapod sounds fun but I highly doubt you’d be able to.

I’m sorry. I know this means nothing but I just had to talk about it because it made me upset. 

The Darkest Storm is still excellent. Nowadays it’s good for different reasons. Instead of being an exciting romp that feels like a bunch of cool and important things are happening that I have zero clue as to the original context too, it’s now an exciting romp that feels like a bunch of cool and important things are happening done for the sake of shitting on what the original context for all of it was and ushering in a new clean slate for the much better and cooler state of affairs down the line. It just feels good reading this. It feels great reading this and being given assurance by the book that “No, you’re not crazy. All that weird Ken Penders shit was awful and bad and we’re correcting it for you here today”. It feels weird being so happy that the old context being awful made the story better but it’s true. This was excellent and Ian Flynn accomplished what he needed to do in a satisfying three issues. That’s truly impressive.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #165: Leak

vT1lqXx5E9N-cCGUoj4phA1f1zbHaOD0v4AWBF-X7VcczEuqF0CB9XrO-bXp5sQ-MEuvPSDBV_yMcoubavKdSHml1Ar_56MKwKXaa_Pka7AYj3jficizTQRrJdgR1ye5Zr7Yci42

It’s time for some aftermath. I remember being pretty excited to read this one when I got to it, if only because I really love Rouge the Bat and this anti-hero space she occupies. She’s easily my favorite female Sonic character because plotting out how to properly utilize her is extremely fun and always calls for something more nuanced than “Good vs. Evil” for it to feel like she’s being used correctly. This is probably supposed to be a good cop, bad cop thing but far be it from me to tell which is which. It’s funny how Sonic and Knuckles’ shoulders are literally pressing into their cheeks the way they’re standing. That’s kind of funny. 

Sonic’s eyes on the cover though. Again with the irises.

Spoiler

Writer: Ian Flynn
Artist: Tracy Yardley
Inker: Jim Amash
Letterer: J. Workman
Colorist: Jason Jensen
Editor: Mike Pellerito

LwXY50t9qGwoj7BFTuyaA1rgJO-fm-h33De2bG5AkzsiVey6sbysSedkOa5B__OZ8hNmuL1tj9tbkCbu3XjrqZar_Fxy15y384ZhMwfOlajM_mnhliZR8r0O4-rRAKgN3qDP4Hl_

As cool as this looks and as well drawn as Tracey’s artwork is, every time someone turns to Knuckles and proclaims him as the leader of the Chaotix it’s like someone's taking a steak knife to my soul. No matter how much things start to emulate the games, there are just some specific things that won’t change and unfortunately some of them I can’t be fully on board with. It’s just… my heart…

The fact that Vector is here does feel like a decent acknowledgement of his authority… if he carries any. I guess he gets title of defacto leader later on which still sucks but whatever. Different origins and shit. 

Then again, I feel like the Chaotix having a bit of a shake up wouldn't be too big of a stretch either because the fact of the matter is that the Chaotix have sucked hard in this book up to this point. They’re going to suck a little bit less from here on in but I recall things being tempered and barely significant for them in this run as well. I wasn’t a fan of how Vector and Espio’s backgrounds were handled and… well, I’d rather not say anything about the continuing torment awaiting Charmy until I get there.

Suffice to say, what happens to him is going to be a heavy example for why I prefer the reboot to this continuity even after the house cleaning I’m afraid.

The depiction on the cover has been embellished here a bit, obviously. Knuckles, Julie-Su, and Vector are occupying the room with Rouge so where’s Sonic? Well, he’s in a different room with the other half of the Chaotix as they interrogate Fiona. Well, not really the complete other half since Charmy and Saffron aren’t there. I guess they’ve got… paperwork… to file… or something…

Rouge came flying out of a warp ring one day and Sonic and Tails spotted her. Rouge apparently came willingly to ask them for their help which led to this situation. Julie-Su wants to know how she came across a warp ring since apparently you can only get those on Angel Island, which I didn’t know. Or if I did I’ve forgotten it. I guess the lake of rings only spits out the kind that powers things up…?

Rouge is being delightfully charming in how she’s messing with the investigation until Vector threatens her with an arrest. When she claims to be innocent, Vector whips out a file on her and tells her that someone came forward with all the dirt on her as well.

The side of Rouge that hasn’t been played up too often so far has been the side that’s a jewel thief and a criminal. Working for the Government probably would make her that by default but she’s cool so she does the defiant theft and treasure hunting too. She can get away with it because she’s such an important asset I’d imagine.

Fiona recounts the information she has while Sonic sits next to her, being an actual supportive boyfriend amazingly.

so1gDotlg-LCzJ7ZuzxmlqZZSBfqoYmXn2z_68NxeEpkE-9CQL0t1gBK3Bils0ZWABuBWtl0WG_IQoZG0Xd2CrhfcOEn4lk8yFq2j1PMkGOvi0PdQLUiUH4o-apmUN8sovcfYheM

When Sonic says he doesn’t exactly have a stellar past is he referring to that time he lost to Tommy Turtle in a race? 

Something also kind of funny is how, despite loving how cute Ray here looks, I can’t get over how much he really just looks like Tails but with a different shade of fur and shorter ears. I know Mighty is supposed to be a re-arrangement of Sonic too, which makes this even more funny considering how close he and Ray are, but with Mighty it’s honestly a lot harder to tell. 

I mean, the fact that Ray even has the same color of eyes here really seals the deal for me. 

Fiona recounts stories of Rouge’s old exploits and how she basically was just better then Fiona, Bean, Bark, and Nic at everything. She kicked her teammates asses in an illegal fighting tournament, she got to treasure before they did, she left the scene of the crime with jewels and left Fiona to deal with the police. The works. 

Rouge doesn’t want people coming after her so she strikes a deal with Vector. These two characters, by the way, really oughta interact more. You’ve got a jewel thief and a detective here. It’s almost a no-brainer. However, I must again remind myself, that utilizing the characters and telling stories that play to their strengths is only a comic book thing nowadays.

Rouge’s explanation is the stuff of legends for me, if only because of one single tidbit within it that I kept alluding to during my coverage of "The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown".

3ok4csb72LJRmNG-qsfzq027z-H7lTyThw8nr_TgZ4eib0ZPiV-YwEETruczCbl49q1KIygszhn4OVnqN6yHqZ_i0yt4FokBGaUZbvsH4QczR89HRdmF18B8NT2xlaydeeXnyISt

Now that was a lot of words but unlike with Mr. Penders, all these words are being said for an actual reason and none of it exists to be flowery pretend poetry. 

The first thing I want to say is that I love the “Is this bitch for real?” look that both Rouge and Scourge are sharing in the top panel. Though, it would seem that Scourge may have gotten over that since he stuck with the doctor during this scenario.

The split between Rouge and Scourge has finally happened and it turned out to actually come down to the no-killing thing being prophesied. She was on board to a point, of course. They broke into Eggman’s Egg Grapes chamber and freed what was left of the Destructix. 

By that, apparently she means, all of them except Mogul himself. Mogul, despite using his power to protect them from being completely sucked dry at the end of the last issue, apparently bolted as soon as he got out. So that’s odd.

Also, “half of them are dead” is quite the heavy atom bomb to just drop into my lap like that. Sheesh, these Egg Grapes are really messed up. I kind of love it. I know there’s people out there that don’t even like the Sonic stuff even approaching a death toll but fuck that. So long as you don’t pull a Penders, lay it on me.

Ascertaining what exactly is meant by “what’s left of the Destructix” here is a bit tough. I’m pretty sure all of them, including Drago the Punching Bag, were let out. So, the only thing coming to mind are all the Spider Oprhans which I don’t consider a part of the Destructix. We don’t see Naugus in this scene of the former Fearsome Foursome, Sleuth, and Drago escaping so I’m guessing he either left with Mogul or is still in the Egg Grapes.

Since Naugus isn’t mentioned or shown at all, it might be best to assume he’s still in the Egg Grapes until further notice. I know he shows up later and something happens that fucks with his mind like it does with a certain other… favorite character of mine, so maybe. 

The next thing to talk about is the return of that nuclear base from "The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown". Yeah, Finitevus took his new group of cohorts there. Right off the bat, he sells the danger a lot better by specifically showing a shit TON of missiles and not just one really big one as though that’s supposed to be something special. 

Sorry (not-sorry) Mr. Penders but Mobius is definitely aware of nuclear warfare. That cliffhanger was stupid.

Rouge ruins all the missiles and Finitevus didn’t like that so she escaped and made her way to the heroes, with the adage that she isn’t a bad girl. When Knuckles asks if she was followed she responds with “Probably” which is really funny.

However, the real big thing to talk about here is the hilarious manner in which Issac and his lame ass was eviscerated from the story. Not just him but EVERYTHING about him and ALL the DUMB and INSANE shit he was laying out to them too. Reading all of that get tossed into the fucking dumpster was great. It was ruthless and fucking hilarious to boot. 

Rouge says that Finitevus tried to steal Issac’s data but couldn’t make use of it because most of it was corrupt or erroneous. This bitch lasted long enough to be considered ancient but his data sure as fuck didn’t. Guess the corpse of the man he was guarding wasn’t so wise beyond his years that he could invent something that would stand the test of time that perfectly.

He also couldn’t stand the test of time himself because, you know, that tube that Issac is guarding? Turns out the body inside of it that closed out that old story on an ominous note was actually a farce. It’s just a hilarious farce now. Issac was like “My master, I’m doing your bidding. I can’t wait for you to get out of that tube.”

Then Rouge comes along and just tells the audience that this robot was guarding a literal corpse. He’s dead. He’s not coming out of that tube. Issac was talking to the corpse of his master because he’s insane and all his data is garbage and wrong and he sucks and was taken apart by Finitevus. It’s WONDERFUL!

I know it isn’t a personal thing with regards to Penders but boy does it feel like a diss track to everything that fool was setting up. Seeing all this shit continue to be taken to the dump and tossed off a cliff fills me with joy. It’s such a nice reward for having to suffer through it. 

Fuck you, Issac. You suck.

Anyway, we cut to Sonic and Fiona. Sonic is trying to comfort her as they’re walking away from the interrogation room but, whoopsie doodles, Tails has been taken captive by Sleuth Doggy Dog, the villain with the best name.

Uh… this first top panel is a bit weird though. It looks like the arrows on the first three speech bubbles in the first panel are pointing to the wrong person.

SswwfQkSt22w7ISHRtndaHJ1s-gXpNXnSRNtGlDzStGlLWvmsMO-gpKU7SKOgwapo2oUeEoOYG8n4tMsLzoxZImlSYHLVLfSyxFXEhAEeUKFYwE9v7Gkep3iSx_ZynvAjH1rNGcN

The speech bubble that says “You forgave Bunnie and the others for mistaking Scourge for you, right?” is pointing at Sonic’s mouth, which makes no sense since he’s talking to FIona and it’d be impossible to mistake HER for Scourge.

The speech bubble that answers by saying “Yeah, it’s no big deal. Everything got worked out. Why?” is pointing at Fiona… which also makes no sense considering the final speech bubble in that panel has her answering herself with “Well… it’s just that…”

Soooooo someone fucked up here. 

Sonic, upon seeing Sleuth, is about to throw down but then Scourge can’t contain his fight boner any longer and bowls into Sonic like someone just fired Nickelodeon slime from a cannon at him.

EluizpH_7IyIupwIp-bZgWpLHNvqPTwIcwCepFn0p81sdmiZj2y05teC3RSBuvqDPuQDiqrbj5OP1mgcf0sCp7xJxyUs5HUc7REqHT8ITqr2Tg_WCMZ4ZSkWqZ2cSK9NWc18KUOS

Sleuth is not amused and neither is Fiona. 

In fact, the less worried and more “Son, I am disappoint” face she’s making has to be like a constant kick to the balls for Tails here.

It’s like, “I wanna be your boyfriend but also please save me. I’m still just a little kid.”

Oh wait, Fiona says it outright.

_aEjNJIR17hoAcR8iooyYSnemTl1RSE1yl6FeAfdcJaK1lUmlozTn9ji0FTQAFZfTC0VND19nz0PUEvBxoEHBiQgcRjmBAovcMpJ6-CQ41i5UkTDbGq8f4zed30ujBi9J8HNlqaL

Oof. His poor pride. Rip it to shreds why don’tcha?

Yeah, it’s becoming apparent that her opinion of Tails is descending more and more with each passing issue and the fox boy is unable to really do anything about it. At the very least, he could have been a friend but he had to go and make it weird.

Then again, considering where she’s going, that’s obviously not going to end up being the case either. I also gotta say, looking at this outfit she’s got on is really hard. Like… it’s a terrible outfit. It looks so bad.

Even though Tails is right in front of them both, the two of them start to have this very important conversation right then and there. It’s almost as if neither of them REALLY give a shit that he’s here. Not really. He’s collateral damage and they both know it. Him being at gun point is just an excuse to not have to fight right this very instant.

Sleuth is here for Rouge. He calls her a traitor which Fiona finds ironic since Sleuth sold the Freedom Fighters out to Robotnik. I believe Sleuth’s reason for doing that was for T-Bone steaks if I recall correctly. I also remember saying at the time that if the choice was between T-Bone steaks and the Acorn Kingdom I’d have done the same.

Sleuth then flips the script and says it’s doubly ironic for her to point out his situational irony because apparently… she’s a traitor too.

Ooooo~! Spicy.

Meanwhile, Sonic and Scourge are fighting. 

I don’t know which image I like better. The one of him punching Sonic in the face.

pmT9Jx6X0HhiiItllb80XW2XKoBC_-4hnlJdwOYm09sosQskclEKAl5pGMo2qyqoYwsMRgi-xheuHeyu-UwdylfCI-pGSBe6AjJuisuBk0HJnG1wMRy6c4BgxaXGxc87jSmWvK-V

Or the one of him surfing on Sonic’s body down a tree.

HvWwVYwFV5myeU-SqvZee6QScHUN0FGWZtUBB8Q5Q2lDnnqAwiY284W0fFEKVCGcbCQgHBjPcMH3MrbHc3KmlUN7GojViAWFRhU0YhBwZxGCk-iwlfCzlztKPLfPPKzY8h68TADm

Both of these images are great but obviously the important part is the main dialogue here.

Once Sonic blasts Scourge into a tree and holds him up, calling him a liar for outright saying that he’s with Fiona and she’s playing him for a chump, Scourge just points out how bad his track record with the ladies is.

That was a stone cold diss right there but Sonic, to his credit, fires back that it’s no worse than Scourge’s fight record. While that’s true to a point, he did beat the shit out of both you and Shadow at the same time when he brought himself before you. 

Honestly, Scourge saying that Sonic was hiding behind Shadow is a tad disingenuous seeing as how he fought them both separately at first before they teamed up… and he still beat them. He was tired afterward but the only reason he had to bolt was because Tails punched him into the dirt and the other Freedom Fighters started to involve themselves.

Scourge is pretty powerful y’all.

I also love that this suggests that Scourge and Rouge were already done being a thing by the time Issue #160 happened. They had just worked out a deal and were following through on it. Meaning that this whole time, Scourge was with Fiona and none of them knew it.

Or at least that’s what Scourge’s words suggest. Can’t trust the words of a sharp toothed vile heathen like him right?

Either way, it matters not at the moment. Fiona calls out to Sonic to stop since she struck a deal with Sleuth. 

The deal is that she told him the Chaotix are questioning Rouge. If they take back the Warp Ring from her, they’ll leave. 

Sonic bolts… then comes back with the Warp Ring and hands it over. Done deal. 

Sleuth, to his credit, grabs it and hits the road as promised. Nice.

I love the little exchange at the end here with Fiona too.

0IG6nQqg-pqQrezhoC_7eIe-AXSCEtYc3QQ_mBg4c5t_yOF3RjpEhprQK-DKMyhhSplYpd11YXVrSEaJAq9Lo1fUKZ9daWIAr30Rwwhc4IddoqJdeVLocF2SOo1urxY4DET12puX

I love this page.

The thing that really sells everything going on here are all the faces and the body language of all the characters. The villains in particular are a delight to watch here.

Seeing Sleuth be so smug and in control is actually a wonderful treat but I especially love how casual Scourge is to Fiona. Like, he doesn’t have to bother with putting on a show because he’s just so confident about who he is and who Fiona is that he knows in his mind how this is going to shake out. He just tips his glasses, winks, and says goodbye before leaving.

Tails clearly overheard the conversation Fiona had with Sleuth and is absolutely distraught. The struggle going on in his brain and his heart comes across beautifully by the one shot of him marching away. That robotic strut along with that disgruntled face is one of the best conveyed panels of emotion I’ve seen from the book. It always sticks out in my mind.

Sonic’s might honestly be a bit too exaggerated in comparison. It’s definitely no where near as subdued as Tails but it does well to get across that he’s suspicious of her now. I will say that it looks a lot more like he’s angry here though. Perhaps a bit of him is more distraught by the fact that Scourge not only said all that shit but was acting like he was already with Fiona. The idea of Sonic being cucked by Scourge is something I find hilarious and might warrant the angry face he’s putting on but since he’s addressing Fiona, it’s easy to mistake it for him directing this face specifically at her rather than at the situation.

We cut back to Rouge’s interrogation for my other favorite scene of the millennia. The scene where Rouge makes Julie-Su look really stupid.

When Knuckles and Vector leave, Julie-Su just kicks the chair from under Rouge and initiates a catfight with her because she saw her eyeing Knuckles. This was back in 2006 so the Rouge and Knuckles thing still had more prominent legs than it does now. Nowadays it only crops up from time to time as a wink and a nod rather than anything super heavy woven within the text.

Here though, Rouge is a potential love rival for sure. Though, it’s funny. After Julie-Su goes on this tirade about Knuckles being the most precious thing to her and the only thing to make her feel like more than a soldier, Rouge basically responds by saying she doesn’t give a shit. 

She basically just says, “Bitch I do what I want.”

Julie-Su tells Rouge to let go (even though she started it) and is about to call her the B-word but gets a kick to the gut and is told off right as Rouge exits the scene herself.

QtSVgETUT4SEKFAnJoxQuHnRAjyVZljm7BwsfTauomIbxskdb2gqAM28NNuzgEWaj9sMLL2EY0nmqnV6t7qaHiLS3ceKI76q3stSQTe3bTjFC-pjFOYta5NM7D1ZJlp9gcjYvGK6

Very antagonistic and wonderfully confident, Rouge has my vote for best female Sonic character, all day, everyday, from here until the end of time.

I like all facets of her character, even the Mother Hen mode she sometimes has to go into when she’s a part of Team Dark, but the thing that makes her stand out are moments like this that remind you that she’s got a mean streak to her too.

Granted, both now and back when I was reading this initially, I didn’t like Julie-Su so a part of my delight here does indeed stem from seeing my favorite female Sonic character beat up my most hated Sonic character. Like, the fact that that happened is a treat. 

I’m sure my reaction to this was the same, if not more cathartic. Seeing a character I wasn’t liking be so mean to one I did like and then getting the script flipped on them for starting shit felt really good.

This whole issue has been excellent. What’s next?


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #165: Call Of Duty

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Steven Butler
Inks: Jim Amash
Letters: Teresa Davidson
Colors: Jason Jensen

That title is obviously not a mistake. I know the phrase “call of duty” has been uttered before the game came onto the scene but rarely without a few other words proceeding it. This is definitely a reference to the game franchise. 

Call of Duty isn't a phrase that most on the internet want uttered as of my writing this considering the nonsense Activision pulled.

Wouldn’t you know it? It’s the return of Steven Butler. His art’s always been nice to look at. I’ve never preferred it to Tracey’s, of course, but it would always be a breath of fresh air after having to suffer through Ron Lim’s weird looking stencils.

This is also Ian Flynn tackling the echidna shit for the first time directly. Holy Hera, let’s see how THIS goes. I’m actually super interested to see what happens when someone who isn’t insane takes a crack at handling this nonsense.

Rotor lets Knuckles know that his dad called for him on one of his monitors. There’s no signal so he doesn’t know how but Knuckles just says that echidna magic is hard to explain. Basically, Locke is using the Master Emerald to make long distance calls. That’s literally what Knuckles says too. It’s great.

So what do Knuckles and Locke do for their first interaction under Ian Flynn’s pen?

What they should have done a lot more of under Ken Penders’ pen considering the way Locke acts and treats him.

They have an argument.

OA63P3-uuRFl5toJcXetZOAOCvIcvuQ5wKBldgfsJKDK1QKQrwKfiRJe8QWXFY1nGZBVNqueK0H4OzubAe7Np9Puicx_lJ9CEu5r2BgKpmHJGrwt_LFtFhR0h3XP-KKDbUrgMBvv

Thank the Gods, Knuckles is standing up for himself. Hallelujah. 

I know Knuckles made the decision to leave the island already but that was in a story written by Karl Bollers. If Locke had appeared to Knuckles with these remarks and Ken Penders was still writing, Knuckles would have been a little distraught and then immediately would have acquiesced to what his dad said.

Also, the Chaotix totally would have followed him because they were and still are his soldiers, sadly. 

What’s funny here though is that Locke’s reasons are actually kind of understandable in a sense. He’s asking for help because the situation regarding the echidnas has only gotten worse. Knuckles doesn’t WANT to return but fact of the matter is that all the avenues that saw them helping themselves are drying up.

General Kage and his army are still around and being a pain. The Dark Legion were helping out but now they’re not because they’re engaged in their own Civil War. There’s a Flame Legion and a Frost Legion now. The Flame Legion is commanded by Lien-Da while the Frost Legion is commanded by some unknown echidna. I’m guessing a brainwashed Remington.

What’s even funnier is that, despite the people needing saving being a good reason, Locke still feels the need to say that above all else, protecting the Master Emerald is ACTUALLY the priority here. 

When Knuckles asks how it’s possible he doesn’t know who the leader of the Frost Legion is, Locke says he’s been busy. Knuckles just assumes he’s talking about protecting the people but Locke is legit like “No. The Master Emerald you dingus. Also, the Brotherhood. THOSE bastards I actually care about.”

Yeah, the Brotherhood is still missing. Haven’t been found since we heard they disappeared in #139. Locke’s actually been spending the whole time looking for them, or rather, MOST of his time looking for them.

So he’s been shit as far as helping out the people that are actually still around. Why even bother with the Master Emerald and the Brotherhood if your people are suffering and dying? I guess those two things are being safe-guarded for the protection of something other than their people? I guess “THE WORLD” but their society of echidnas is kind of a part of that. 

All I’m saying is that it feels kind of cheap and awful to just foist this responsibility onto Knuckles… AGAIN. However, if he’s not going to do anything except look for the Brotherhood then who else is going to help them? 

Knuckles also asks Locke if he plans on looking for Charmy’s family. They were said to have disappeared in #138 but I’m pretty sure they’re just dead. 

Locke’s answer is “Perhaps. I cannot find any of them without your help.”

The fact that his answer wasn’t a “Yes” just made me grumble a bit under my breath.

The thing that’s tripping me up here is that he’s actually calling Knuckles over for something that he’d reasonably want to see get taken care of in a sense… but he’s doing it for the wrong reasons so, despite that, I can’t help but get upset. I have a feeling Ian knows this too, which is part of the advantage he’s taking concerning Locke and the story he wants to tell with him in the awesome story arc that got me into these comics that’s coming up.

However, and Knuckles makes this clear, he’s already doing something to help by facing off against Dr. Eggman. He probably thinks he has a chance of taking him out and ending all this sooner that way. As a reader who knows how Eggman’s standing in the comics works, I know this isn’t going to happen… but Knuckles believes it’s best to beat the evil by tackling it at its source.

For the first time, Knuckles says NO to his father. He isn’t coming back. He even throws all the lessons his father taught him back into his face as the reasons why he isn’t. This next scene is really heavy too. They’re actually screaming at each other now and it reaches the heaviest of all fever pitches by the end.

RNR70-aMcvWNOT1NeIZoAPEIs4_9ykEPT2QypD55R0tusqhzOs6FJ2SaDxlZiiBusObkBVN8kaS2XmLEd4_CtfXxcgaHsVlbIWGaCDIB8GLo6Gha_u2sxGTXnq7ix5Q9e1e7y6ac

As cathartic as this would be under normal circumstances… I have to admit that there is a part of me that can’t help but think that Locke has a bit more of a leg to stand on this time. In a sense. 

Knuckles is justifiably upset at the idea of Locke allowing anything to happen to his mom or her new family but that’s the part of me that wonders how he’d feel about his contribution to the situation if it happened and he wasn’t there to stop it. 

I, at the very least, think that maybe mobilizing some sort of force to stop the immediate threat of General Kage is a bit warranted. Maybe I only think that because I’m not currently aware of how strong his army is right now though. 

That said, it doesn’t look like Locke is in any immediate danger either. Last we saw him, he was fretting over the Master Emerald being taken by Scourge and Rouge. At the end of this very issue he’s sitting with his legs crossed, DOING NOTHING but staring intensely ahead.

It feels like the set-up here is for both of them to end up doing something that they’ll regret. 

Well, Locke probably wouldn’t regret it but he’d be in the wrong (as usual) which counts.

If so, than it’s actually a pretty smart way of going about it.

Knuckles apologizes for breaking Tommy’s TV screen and Tails flies over to say that what Knuckles did was right and that he’s made Mobius his new island to protect.

It’s so interesting reading a story about Knuckles transitioning from giving up protecting the Master Emerald and Angel Island to look after the world below. Both should honestly go hand and hand a little more than they have throughout echidna history.

That’s something that Knuckles directly points out when he brings up how similar his actions right now are to the Brotherhood. They were a group of old fools that sat around, did nothing, and lost relevance while the world suffered at the hands of Eggman. 

Now it’s caught up to them. The man they could have helped to fend off and defeat on multiple occasions but refused to for NO good goddamn reason ended up invading their island multiple times and has now wiped out a ton of the echidna population. Eventually, his reach got so bad that a significant legion of his men have taken the place over and the corrupt Brotherhood has now done themselves in.

Yes, their idiotic hubris allowed this monster to fester under their watch until it destroyed them. Like the fucking dumbass Jedi that rested on their laurels and at the height of their power lost it to an insane mad-man who took advance of the system to create the Empire. It’s honestly kind of beautiful.

However, there’s the rub. The fact that Knuckles is pointing out that he’s doing what the Brotherhood did isn’t exactly a good thing either. I doubt Knuckles thinks he’s abandoning Angel Island to it’s fate. At the end of the issue he promises he’ll return one day but he feels he’s better served fighting the good fight down on the ground with the others at the moment.

So, despite my concern for Knuckles’ family and the FEW echidnas that didn’t have anything to do with the nonsense their government wrought, I do ultimately land on Knuckles’ side. 

I acknowledged the part of Locke’s argument that could be considered correct but I do think that the idea of nipping the main issue in the bud first stands as a reasonable position to take. Granted, I don’t know how quickly Knuckles feels he could accomplish that. Would it be faster to take out Eggman or to return to the island to take on General Kage and ensure the safety of his people… again.

That’s kind of what he did in the Return to Angel Island arc and look what happened? Shit just got worse again. Why? Because the MAIN problem wasn’t taken care of. Eggman is still out there. So long as he is, no matter how many times Knuckles returns to Angel Island to fight and liberate his family it’s just going to be taken over again and again on loop until Eggman is sufficiently dealt with for good.

So there you go. I played Devil's Advocate for Locke’s side for a tiny bit but used it to beef up why I feel Knuckles’ position is the correct one anyway.

How about that?

This issue was fantastic. I love everything about how the set-up and pay off for both stories was handled. There wasn’t a badly drawn story in the bunch and intense moments were really intense in ways that made sense and didn’t come across as mindless drama for the sake of it. The events that are unfolding are unfolding for the betterment of the book’s narrative and not for the sake of tricking children into believing something well above their years is going on when it isn’t. What a healthy relationship I and these comics are forming once again.

 

Sonic X - Issue #30: Big Top Terror!

-3dWVOnWqeHx_Vqy5AdZnJhvu-RnuyM99jZD64ukV0SXVE6ksnLB6w9tz_KAqznIpyOSXmfB9EpvttMjEju3rCVixs8JEd_zV_ILhHWAtKiUIKlcX_a3Oyy8_xkHRS9r9w3xlIL8

This is one of my favorite covers, if only for how Eggman is posed and dressed. He’s a showman of the highest caliber and any chance he gets to really show that off is an instant win. The sanity of the monsters that run the circus is already questionable so might as well have it held up by the most lovable evil bastard in all the known universe.

Spoiler

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: James Fry
Inks: Terry Austin
Letters: John Workman
Colors: Josh Ray
Editor/Managing editor: Mike Pellerito

Eggman is the ringmaster at a circus. You couldn’t pay me to come up with a better alterative profession for this showman. Teacher? Nope. Business owner? Nope. He runs the motherfucking circus and he does it well.

_q6_QTOhJtcSrrp2JMZtN4F_14vhmALwWBfwnfgGnnifxunkUxdNbu2bXyExdhM3vEmrsqfYVcYjxiEfvthyZ-Q0AXLSrGj1IMSGMVnK6vR4GDc_hkLvfT1VNL-RVmmv24ur7rcF

You know, because the circus is evil.

I know that Chris is in the right here but it’s still funny how he’s giving off that “Can I speak to your manager” energy in this panel. It’s almost casual in comparison to the terror he should be feeling really.

Eggman has a really bulky clown henchman watching over Chris’ family and a ton of them are busy fighting Knuckles. Meanwhile, Amy is being chased by robot elephants, Sonic is juggling fire on a tightrope and Tails and Cream are facing down lions, tigers, and bears! Oh,my!

Spoyy-RYgl-i3QeWvdFXCPIpTn0XqVtI-IdLOEgqYlKLlZ8ts-f-Z76_LClc1CDbh9pnHDHO3M-uSpftMtwpUyEJ6pwLGpaO2xI98TISSCw_X5f_pCPILAA_XlwOnlsY5nl0Tinx

Yeah, they actually say that. 

I gotta say, I’m confused by how Sonic ended up like that. He’s got nothing around his neck or anything on him threatening to explode if he does this yet he’s on a rope, juggling flaming sticks seemingly against his will somehow.

The only way I see this happening is if one of those clowns punched Sonic so hard he ended up on that rope and then they tossed those sticks to him… but even then, wouldn’t it be best to just throw them away? Maybe they’re dynamite and he can’t risk it?

A page is dedicated to Bocoe and Decoe, dressed up in those traditionally white stunt man outfits, ready to go on next. Eggman refuses them and tells them to watch Bokkun for fear he’ll eat more sweets and try to take over the world again. You know, because that’s what sweets do to him.

Amy and Knuckles aren’t doing so hot. Amy tries to fight back against the robot elephants by whipping out two hammers at the same time (which she totally can do thanks to Sonic X demonstrating she’s the God of the Hammerspace) only for them to snatch them from her and chase her around with them.

Meanwhile, Knuckles is just busy fighting off the robot clowns. Yeah, I was wondering if Eggman hired a bunch of beefy guys to dress as clowns to fight Knuckles but no. When he punches through them, gears and screws fly out instead of organs. It’s a bit of a shame. I’d have loved to see Knuckles punching through actual clowns.

That said, Eggman’s dedication to the bit is to be commended. Look at what they use for weapons.

lv0hsF1kBr-gHbHIqfZNGMHPz9x48yFqNYD4-FROzGUibXWW2IUE6hdVArrDcAWhMfgmdOxWYp4aK_m4M5T83XT86FAiK0wBlw9nTRhjGprXskko_SADgAY3wFtGyi43Tozlw5Zu

It’s almost like he’s having too much fun.

Tails and Cream can’t fight off the robots they’re up against so they try to use the fact that they can fly to their advantage.

Only it doesn’t matter because they are robots and they can fly too. 

Sonic finally decides to ditch the fire sticks, saying that “Enough is enough” and attempts to jump down to save everyone. Thankfully, they decided to show me why exactly it was that he couldn’t just do that earlier… and it’s because despite there not being a safety net to catch him, there is a "not safe" net with lasers that zaps Sonic’s butt to keep him from properly saving everyone.

QfpAJWP5rqWoXkSYAL9T0cwxm6eBeyYX4EPmHiutFIAZu0YvNOsBXeD5L4EFXprzwZ05-Z8RvpP0RSfs4oAYT1H1Pr2dlOPkh7h4fYr2IjeMG3LxEWkQwhblhiXZkG4j3sRUYE_-

It’s always fun seeing Sonic get embarrassed like this. I love the guy but his personality is right for it, you know? It’s just fun.

Anyway, Bocoe and Deoce are leading around Bokkun on a leash, trying to keep him in check but sulking because they want to join the circus. They deny Bokkun’s desire for candy and kind of prove to be no better than Eggman in a sense by locking him in an empty cage and ditching him.

Bokkun is understandably upset by this. It’s his turn to sulk a bit but then he sees that there’s a cotton candy machine across from him… so he uses his jetpack to blast the entire cage and himself over and crash into it. 

Then he dumps an entire bag of sugar into the machine and oh no. 

Sonic, meanwhile, is getting his ass kicked by a tightrope. It’s hilarious. 

Bocoe and Decoe show up to fuck everything up though.

They do a trapeze act that backfires when they realize that the other was supposed to catch them and instead they both jumped at the same time… and fall into the electric net, short-circuiting it for Sonic to escape. 

u5pupbyN-Oc5OesqDwdu2Cql8YBH8KtPgpBCUXuckzr6pZE7c5k7NkoDWPmFahlksi2XOvvygudm1t3Uq_GpeNuLIG7yGV5P0tp4MHV_A-iS0Z66zHJEprbgHa2R9GfZnGEkbSCK

It’s funny that I can’t recall there being any real instances of Bocoe and Decoe’s desire to be a part of stuff like this leading to such a massive fuck up. It’s honestly usually Eggman who messes up his own shit despite how much Eggman yells at them and calls them dumb. 

Here, they’re demonstrating the truth to his statements expertly. They even have a bit of a meaner streak to them this go around because of how they just locked up the equivalent to a child in a cage outside.

As soon as Sonic’s free, he goes on a rescuing spree. He saves Tails and Cream and leads the robots chasing them into the robots chasing Amy right as he nabs her and jumps to safety, being a legitimately cool sweetheart to her as he does it.

DbUjCsc4eB1zHojb5fn0tUfrvVRLqYBowgKYS_-4xr6-OtQWkmUU0SruYCCYDNra2fMDoVjilvRMHZCw-Se28ZRepk18G4_34jZS9-SUON8xQldHAaN7zRQS9xpkrVycMuadvgvM

It’s nice that they have a more healthy relationship the further we step into the future. 

As for Tails’ question about how to save Knuckles, the answer is apparently to throw pies at the robots and then smash them.

That works.

Also, Sonic can’t help but be a dick to Knuckles after helping him.

hEP3KaP18oCuc16YQI_PEGuZgmme0GriUe738X-5OUw4pCXruQFQXpfXMbbW2zZLyEKz7wR3NpvOTHWaWuCPsuIj1avGyV49VLJ9uarwV-erWIJyrRS3RU-TcDzJVBLcjvPNahlB

Have some mercy man. He’s already dressed as a literal clown.

I wonder why he’s wearing that outfit now, actually. Seems like he was the only one forced into one for whatever reason. Either that or he put it on himself.

Eggman tries to use the fact that he has the Thorndykes captive still as incentive not to kick his ass and blast him out of a cannon but then Bokkun’s cotton candy tidal wave bursts into the room and drowns everyone in pink candy floss.

Everyone except the heroes who utilize their fliers to fly away of course.

u1FIIgfoe1G426qP2xQYARV_fa4IG99Fl_KRT4b7ZQMm5MGpvHJxQdroFXDEXkMFSbzcwzSvBmMSXORxNjqdOmUdR0TUG0zmeOObK_CrYTxZANoPzxAZPNashNcbQsMAYZN_Ag4e

With that done, everyone stands around to admire the ocean of pink that’s surrounding them. Chris has another really good scene of him flailing his arms about, describing all the cool stuff that happened until Sonic has to butt in and say that they all just experienced that. Embarrassed, Chris just says he’s glad everyone’s okay.

8kScu8WtipRs5aurk878E2lEqWvrqbclCjFbpXuwGuNOz7SbfhOY8ZQk_6FLoJ89b5wE9ei42UT8itxgQUHkBBBL2Z97EIPXyRSc1JcLD5obWLJwJoo7otMnF512yk-HNshgbhh7

Yeah, see? Make him act more like an actual kid. It’s actually endearing and cute. It’s one of the reasons I liked that Sonic Battle arc so much. He was at his absolute best during that because he was being so cartoonishly ridiculous and competitive. 

Anyway, Eggman’s been defeated so they fire him out of a cannon. Cream’s the one who pulls the string to do it too which is extra funny.

9wTlqY3C1jzgyTsLYZKKa95r7qSEaI8iFiUo_ajh9II6i1B1zJxKPP6j_uvz5phtK9RY3H-g075CgbIkTRs1yyWpr7z6yH5Lq9FAcCbuFHIPwbLUq88J-afF5l5Zp4HiTF4rWqdX

Honestly, it doesn’t look like he traveled that far. Probably landed somewhere just behind those tents.

This was fun, of course. It stands on it’s own as a clear gimmick issue. Someone had an idea and was like “What if Eggman but the circus” and they did it exactly how you’d expect them to do it. There was a lot to actually show you guys but that’s because issues like this tend to rely more on the visuals than the story they’re telling. The absurdity of what’s going on is what matters the most which is often why there's so little to really say about issues like this. That in turn, usually makes covering these stories a lot easier which I can’t complain about. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm gonna go more in-depth about my thoughts on the Darkest Storm, as it happens to be one of the first back stories I read too without much of the context (Before really collecting the comics with Worlds Collide, I was only really familiar with Order from Chaos onwards, which meant Darkest Storm was out of left field from me when I started picking up Saga Series).

That said - about Call of Duty - I feel the need to point out that - No - Locke was not in the right with his argument. Initially, it looks like he's making a fair point, but it's window dressing. The part which actually pisses Knuckles off is when Locke lets slip why he really wants Knuckles to return to Angel Island - the Brotherhood. 

That's all Locke cares about. He used everything else as an excuse to try manipulate Knuckles into coming back, which is how I saw it. Ian has gone on before about how terrible of a person Locke is, and how despicable he is, and that's personally how I read this story, with Ian calling out Locke's manipulative tendencies and mind-games, and having Knuckles finally catch wise to it. 

Notice how things play out. He claims he wants Knuckles back to protect the Master Emerald and the echidnas, which are seeing worse and worse things happen. Alright, fair enough. Then he lets slip that actually, he wants the Brotherhood back, and that's really why he wants Knuckles back. When Knuckles asks if he's going to extend the same search effort to others, Locke is immediately selfish, and almost blackmailing Knuckles. There's a reason he didn't just reply "Yes", he's gaslighting Knuckles.

He's implying that if Knuckles doesn't come back and help him, then he won't bother his ass finding Charmy's parents or his people. It's a response to the fact Knuckles refused to send the Chaotix, when Knuckles won't fall in line, he instead threatens the things the Chaotix want instead, because he knows Knuckles cares for them.

Then he lets the facade slip altogether when Knuckles still refuses, when he begins threatening the safety of Knuckles' mother, and the other echidnas. That is the point Locke's true intentions finally come out. He doesn't give a shit about the master emerald, or his people, he just wants the society of old echidna asshole grandpas back so they can return to the absurd level of power they held over the Echidnas before Eggman's invasion. He doesn't care about his duties, his people, the island's safety, nothing. Just the Brotherhood, which is perfectly accurate to Ken's Locke.

He's a selfish, manipulative, gaslighting asshat, and that IMO is what the story was angling for. Not to make this be the point where when Locke has a fair point, Knuckles defies him, but instead it's the point where Locke pushes his luck with his gaslighting and manipulation, and Knuckles finally catches wise to it and gets livid when he discovers Locke's true nature, and it's not just here either. Locke straight up hands Fini control of the Master Emerald as well without a fight, all in his selfish search for the Brotherhood. Locke doesn't care about Knuckles, the echidnas, the dingoes, or anything here, it's all just one gigantic lie he's made up to bullshit Knuckles into falling in line once more, and Knuckles isn't having it. That's how I've always read it at least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

I'm gonna go more in-depth about my thoughts on the Darkest Storm, as it happens to be one of the first back stories I read too without much of the context (Before really collecting the comics with Worlds Collide, I was only really familiar with Order from Chaos onwards, which meant Darkest Storm was out of left field from me when I started picking up Saga Series).

That said - about Call of Duty - I feel the need to point out that - No - Locke was not in the right with his argument. Initially, it looks like he's making a fair point, but it's window dressing. The part which actually pisses Knuckles off is when Locke lets slip why he really wants Knuckles to return to Angel Island - the Brotherhood. 

That's all Locke cares about. He used everything else as an excuse to try manipulate Knuckles into coming back, which is how I saw it. Ian has gone on before about how terrible of a person Locke is, and how despicable he is, and that's personally how I read this story, with Ian calling out Locke's manipulative tendencies and mind-games, and having Knuckles finally catch wise to it. 

Notice how things play out. He claims he wants Knuckles back to protect the Master Emerald and the echidnas, which are seeing worse and worse things happen. Alright, fair enough. Then he lets slip that actually, he wants the Brotherhood back, and that's really why he wants Knuckles back. When Knuckles asks if he's going to extend the same search effort to others, Locke is immediately selfish, and almost blackmailing Knuckles. There's a reason he didn't just reply "Yes", he's gaslighting Knuckles.

He's implying that if Knuckles doesn't come back and help him, then he won't bother his ass finding Charmy's parents or his people. It's a response to the fact Knuckles refused to send the Chaotix, when Knuckles won't fall in line, he instead threatens the things the Chaotix want instead, because he knows Knuckles cares for them.

Then he lets the facade slip altogether when Knuckles still refuses, when he begins threatening the safety of Knuckles' mother, and the other echidnas. That is the point Locke's true intentions finally come out. He doesn't give a shit about the master emerald, or his people, he just wants the society of old echidna asshole grandpas back so they can return to the absurd level of power they held over the Echidnas before Eggman's invasion. He doesn't care about his duties, his people, the island's safety, nothing. Just the Brotherhood, which is perfectly accurate to Ken's Locke.

He's a selfish, manipulative, gaslighting asshat, and that IMO is what the story was angling for. Not to make this be the point where when Locke has a fair point, Knuckles defies him, but instead it's the point where Locke pushes his luck with his gaslighting and manipulation, and Knuckles finally catches wise to it and gets livid when he discovers Locke's true nature, and it's not just here either. Locke straight up hands Fini control of the Master Emerald as well without a fight, all in his selfish search for the Brotherhood. Locke doesn't care about Knuckles, the echidnas, the dingoes, or anything here, it's all just one gigantic lie he's made up to bullshit Knuckles into falling in line once more, and Knuckles isn't having it. That's how I've always read it at least.

Cool.

I was mostly arguing about which action to take was more practical and explaining why I found Knuckles' side to be, ultimately, the better idea though. Also, considering that Locke may have had a fair point isn't me saying I think the story was trying to literally be about that. That was just what I wanted to talk about. It also didn't have anything to do with Locke's reasoning for doing it. I'm aware that Ian knows of Locke's true nature and I definitely never defended anything regarding his motivations. 

I guess I could have gone into what I felt Locke's motivations were a bit more but I didn't really need to. I talked a lot of shit about his motivations in there so it shouldn't be necessary.

Suffice to say, my reaction to the story was more about discussing the proposed actions that should be taken and not about whether or not Locke had good intentions. With all the mean shit I said in there, it should be obvious I don't think he's got good intentions, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Cool.

I was mostly arguing about which action to take was more practical and explaining why I found Knuckles' side to be, ultimately, the better idea though. Also, considering that Locke may have had a fair point isn't me saying I think the story was trying to literally be about that. That was just what I wanted to talk about. It also didn't have anything to do with Locke's reasoning for doing it. I'm aware that Ian knows of Locke's true nature and I definitely never defended anything regarding his motivations. 

I guess I could have gone into what I felt Locke's motivations were a bit more but I didn't really need to. I talked a lot of shit about his motivations in there so it shouldn't be necessary.

Suffice to say, my reaction to the story was more about discussing the proposed actions that should be taken and not about whether or not Locke had good intentions. With all the mean shit I said in there, it should be obvious I don't think he's got good intentions, right?

My issue personally is I don't even really think it's fair to say Locke has a fair point, he's trying to act like he does in order to convince Knuckles to come back, but does it really hold up to scrutiny? 

All of Locke's issues are ones connected to Eggman directly, and Locke himself - old as he is - is still a guardian capable of doing what he has to do, as seen when he was still able to defend the Master Emerald against Rouge and Evil Sonic pre Scourge transformation. It's not to say they're not issues, but they're issues that Locke can, and had been handling to that point while Knuckles was off doing what he needed to do. Knuckles was doing the right thing, while Locke handled Angel Island, he was dealing with things 

The true point of Locke's argument is he didn't give a crap about any of the issues. He didn't want to help the echidnas, he didn't want to stop the civil war, and he ultimately didn't even want to protect the Master Emerald, he had his mind set on one thing - which was getting the Brotherhood back. All he wants is Knuckles back on Angel Island to either A. do his job while Locke fucks off and tries to find the guardians, or B. Convince Knuckles that Angel Island needs the Brotherhood back while leaving everything else to the wayside. It sounds like a fair point because Locke wants it to be a fair point, but when Knuckles points out how things have been handled, and how he's handling things right now, it doesn't hold up and that's when Locke has to go the more threatening route.

To be clear, yes - it's obvious you don't think he has good intentions. But my point isn't really it's a difference of opinion as to how Knuckles and Locke want to handle the situation, my point is that the story - as I read it - was Locke making excuse after excuse to shrug off his responsibilities and manipulate Knuckles for the umpteenth time instead of doing the right thing. I don't think Locke even has a point because Knuckles can't arguably do anything Locke is suggesting. The dingoes are being bankrolled by Eggman, Knuckles can't stop an army that'll keep coming back for more until Eggman is stopped. Knuckles can't really do much to stop a civil war between the Frost and Fire legions, the best he can do is attempt to causalities down, etc.

At best, Knuckles can only keep the Master Emerald safe and tend to the echidnas, and let's be bluntly honest here - Locke is more than capable of that task, and he's been doing it for awhile. Locke only wanted Knuckles back so he could selfishly search for the Brotherhood, as shown when he just stupidly trusts Fini to guard the master emerald while he fucks off to find the Brotherhood. Locke doesn't have a point because it isn't a point here, it's just an excuse he made to try make Knuckles come back, and when it didn't work, he revealed his true colours, that's what I'm getting at here. Locke is being anything but reasonable with his reasoning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

My issue personally is I don't even really think it's fair to say Locke has a fair point, he's trying to act like he does in order to convince Knuckles to come back, but does it really hold up to scrutiny? 

All of Locke's issues are ones connected to Eggman directly, and Locke himself - old as he is - is still a guardian capable of doing what he has to do, as seen when he was still able to defend the Master Emerald against Rouge and Evil Sonic pre Scourge transformation. It's not to say they're not issues, but they're issues that Locke can, and had been handling to that point while Knuckles was off doing what he needed to do. Knuckles was doing the right thing, while Locke handled Angel Island, he was dealing with things 

The true point of Locke's argument is he didn't give a crap about any of the issues. He didn't want to help the echidnas, he didn't want to stop the civil war, and he ultimately didn't even want to protect the Master Emerald, he had his mind set on one thing - which was getting the Brotherhood back. All he wants is Knuckles back on Angel Island to either A. do his job while Locke fucks off and tries to find the guardians, or B. Convince Knuckles that Angel Island needs the Brotherhood back while leaving everything else to the wayside. It sounds like a fair point because Locke wants it to be a fair point, but when Knuckles points out how things have been handled, and how he's handling things right now, it doesn't hold up and that's when Locke has to go the more threatening route.

To be clear, yes - it's obvious you don't think he has good intentions. But my point isn't really it's a difference of opinion as to how Knuckles and Locke want to handle the situation, my point is that the story - as I read it - was Locke making excuse after excuse to shrug off his responsibilities and manipulate Knuckles for the umpteenth time instead of doing the right thing. I don't think Locke even has a point because Knuckles can't arguably do anything Locke is suggesting. The dingoes are being bankrolled by Eggman, Knuckles can't stop an army that'll keep coming back for more until Eggman is stopped. Knuckles can't really do much to stop a civil war between the Frost and Fire legions, the best he can do is attempt to causalities down, etc.

At best, Knuckles can only keep the Master Emerald safe and tend to the echidnas, and let's be bluntly honest here - Locke is more than capable of that task, and he's been doing it for awhile. Locke only wanted Knuckles back so he could selfishly search for the Brotherhood, as shown when he just stupidly trusts Fini to guard the master emerald while he fucks off to find the Brotherhood. Locke doesn't have a point because it isn't a point here, it's just an excuse he made to try make Knuckles come back, and when it didn't work, he revealed his true colours, that's what I'm getting at here. Locke is being anything but reasonable with his reasoning.

Um, alright.

I'll be honest, I'm not sure what it is you're disagreeing with me here on. I guess I didn't talk enough about why Locke sucked this time.

I was just trying to compare and contrast the ideas they had. Plus, I came down to agreeing that Knuckles' position was the correct one to take anyway so...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Um, alright.

I'll be honest, I'm not sure what it is you're disagreeing with me here on. I guess I didn't talk enough about why Locke sucked this time.

I was just trying to compare and contrast the ideas they had. Plus, I came down to agreeing that Knuckles' position was the correct one to take anyway so...?

I'm disagreeing that Locke had a fair point to stand on here. Either Knuckles couldn't really effect the problems Locke was stating (It's not like he's had a stellar track record with the Dark Legion to begin with, so what exactly was he supposed to do against two dark legions?), nor could he deal with the Dingo Eggman legion on Angel Island (Eggman's bank rolling them with resources and manpower, anything Knuckles could dismantle up there would simply be replaced fairly sharpish), or Locke was handling these tasks perfectly fine thus far. He literally only wanted Knuckles back so Locke could piss off to do what he really cares about - which was finding the Brotherhood. 

The only real things Knuckles could feasibly do upon returning to Angel Island is protect the master emerald, and help out the regular echidnas, both things that Locke had been handling fine up until this point. What I'm trying to say is I don't see Knuckles' plan as a alternative plan of action to Locke's, but rather it's supposed to be a direct counter to Locke's reasoning. Locke supposedly claims he wants Knuckles to come back due to the bad state of affairs on Angel Island, and Knuckles counters by pointing out all of those problems are almost all directly linked to Eggman, and therefore Knuckles can have far more of an impact by stopping him on Mobius than coming back to Angel Island and attempting to hold back the forces.

I understand the point of your post and I don't think it's a bad read on the story, but I'm simply giving you how I read the events of it. Unless I'm mistaken, you took it as a story where Locke and Knuckles had two contrasting points of view on how to tackle Angel Island's issues, and you compared and contrasted the benefits and cons of each side, that ironically, the one time Locke has a fair point, he's that much of a douchebag that Knuckles blows up at him for it, and you ultimately took Knuckles' side.

But my reading is that this wasn't a matter of conflicting plans of attack driving a ridge between Knuckles and Locke, my reading of the story is that Locke was using the state of affairs on Angel Island as nothing more than an excuse to convince Knuckles to return, ultimately because Locke didn't give a crap about anything he was talking about and just wanted the Brotherhood back. Locke gives his points on why Knuckles should return, Knuckles (for once) logically counters it by pointing out how pointless it'd be because Eggman is still running amok. Locke then diverts his point until he eventually reveals why he really wants Knuckles back, and then ultimately attempts to blackmail him via his mother's safety, which is the tipping point for Knuckles where he finally explodes.

You read it as Locke having a reasonable stance at first, and Knuckles having one too, until eventually Locke accidentally reveals his true intentions, but I read it as Locke not having a reasonable point whatsoever, and him finally pushing his luck too far, to which Knuckles finally calls him out and explodes when Locke finally reveals how much of a selfish and devious asshole he really is, that's the point I'm getting at here. I don't really know how to explain it any further than that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

I understand the point of your post and I don't think it's a bad read on the story, but I'm simply giving you how I read the events of it. Unless I'm mistaken, you took it as a story where Locke and Knuckles had two contrasting points of view on how to tackle Angel Island's issues, and you compared and contrasted the benefits and cons of each side, that ironically, the one time Locke has a fair point, he's that much of a douchebag that Knuckles blows up at him for it, and you ultimately took Knuckles' side.

But my reading is that this wasn't a matter of conflicting plans of attack driving a ridge between Knuckles and Locke, my reading of the story is that Locke was using the state of affairs on Angel Island as nothing more than an excuse to convince Knuckles to return, ultimately because Locke didn't give a crap about anything he was talking about and just wanted the Brotherhood back. Locke gives his points on why Knuckles should return, Knuckles (for once) logically counters it by pointing out how pointless it'd be because Eggman is still running amok. Locke then diverts his point until he eventually reveals why he really wants Knuckles back, and then ultimately attempts to blackmail him via his mother's safety, which is the tipping point for Knuckles where he finally explodes.

You read it as Locke having a reasonable stance at first, and Knuckles having one too, until eventually Locke accidentally reveals his true intentions, but I read it as Locke not having a reasonable point whatsoever, and him finally pushing his luck too far, to which Knuckles finally calls him out and explodes when Locke finally reveals how much of a selfish and devious asshole he really is, that's the point I'm getting at here. I don't really know how to explain it any further than that.

I think I get it now.

I suppose I was just trying to figure out what the big deal was. Whether or not I believe he had a reasonable stance sat behind shitty intentions or you believeing he has neither, fact of the matter is he's wrong and we both agree on that. 

Also, I don't see how both can't be true. As I kept saying, my point had nothing to do with talking about his intentions. He can still be using the state of affairs on Angel Island as an excuse to convince Knuckles to return just because he wanted the Brotherhood back (which, by the way, I did say were his actual intentions as well) but also explain a plan that I feel is worth examining and talking about. I just chose to do the later. Most of the stuff I want to say about Locke's intentions I'm saving for later because I know what's coming and I'm going to be saying a lot of words about it there.

Although, I'm sure our interpretations on how big a douche he is will end up being different.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   1 member

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.