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13 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

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.

 

I mean, it's not really a big deal, I was simply giving my opinion on the matter. I don't think it's really wrong to explain and examine his plan, even if his intentions were terrible, but my personal opinion is there is no plan to examine, because Knuckles can't reasonably fix anything that's being presented to him. At best, he can do what Locke is already doing, which is keeping the Master Emerald safe, and trying to make sure the echidnas don't get caught in the crossfire of the civil war + the dingo attacks.

What would really be stood to gain from Knuckles and the Chaotix returning to Angel Island? They'd only be there kicking away endless numbers of Frost and Flame legion goons, as well as Dingos because they're all far too well-equipped due to Eggman and their retrospective leaders. All Locke is really doing is stating issues to Knuckles, and claiming that somehow him coming back will fix things, when Knuckles shoots it down and says that his efforts are better spent making a meaningful effort to stop Eggman on Mobius. 

That's sort of my problem I guess, Locke isn't providing a plan, he's just making an excuse to try guilt Knuckles into coming back by saying how bad of a state Angel Island is currently in, but he also doesn't have anything that actually explains how Knuckles' presence would fix things there. Locke didn't bother thinking about how to fix things because he doesn't actually give a shit about them, they're all excuses to him. He might as well be providing a news update to Knuckles more than anything.

Ultimately, yes - it's not a big deal because it just comes down to Locke being a fucking scumbag either way which is nothing new for him, it ultimately comes down to a disagreement on if he really had anything to examine before he revealed what he really wanted or not, I suppose.

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #166: Mobius: 25 Years Later, Part 1: Tempus Fugit

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Oh crap. I remember this.

What in the fuck is going on with these sock puppets? I mean Jesus. I could make an official cover for Archie if this is all it takes to get in. They’re pumping in way too much air into Sonic’s head. The poor fucker’s gonna explode.

I believe this was only really made because Ian Flynn wanted to give this story a proper ending for those who enjoyed it. At least that’s what I recall him saying about it on the Bumblekast. I remember this story being intriguing back when I first read it but I didn’t understand any of it. I also remember 30 Years Later just being a big slog. I honestly don’t know what my opinion on Ian’s version of this snooze fest is going to be so I guess it’s time to find out.

Spoiler

Writer: Ian Flynn
Penciler: Tracy Yardley
Inker: Jim Amash
Letterer: John Workman
Colors: Jason Jensen
Editor: Mike Pellerito

This first page was like getting a fruit punch thrown in my face. It’s delicious but also WHAT?!

The first thing I’m greeted with is a horrific, glorified statue of Maria with angel wings in the city square with people worshipping it and a building with a poster beside it that reads, “The Chaotix are watching”. 

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Oh no! But also oh yes!

I’d give anything to see Charmy Bee the Enforcer. That sounds adorably intense. I know that’s not going to happen as I’ve read this before and don’t recall ever seeing him but it’s nice to dream.

I barely remember any of this and even reading it now, none of it is coming back to me. I’m even more in the dark here than I was with Darkest Storm but I think that’s because I loved Darkest Storm so much whereas this, I probably mostly just found extremely confusing. I hadn’t read the original Mobius 25 Years Later so all this talk of things being rewritten in their timeline and characters remembering things that aren’t relevant in their current timeline that I never saw probably sent me into a tizzy.

However, now that I have the context, my mind is overflowing with thoughts.

The first thing is Tails. This is Mobius 25 Years Later which means he’s at least 36. He’s almost 40. The fact that he’s drawn by Tracey Yardley and not some alsoran helps to really sell it too. He actually looks like a middle aged Tails. 

That’s SO WEIRD!!

I’m trying to wrap my head around that concept but it’s fucking weird, no matter how much I try. SEGA would never allow anything like this today. Not ever. 

Even more interesting is how Tails just bolts his way into the comic. He wasn’t there in the last one because Penders saw fit to just say that Sonic said goodbye to Tails after he got married to Mina (that’s even weirder, for different reasons) and just never talked to him again.

Now, Tails has jettisoned his way into the plot in a manner that I’m both grateful for but I am also finding it hard not to recognize how happenstance and extremely sloppy it is. He just flies to Angel Island, seeks out Knuckles (who works for a tyrant called King Shadow. Uh-oh) and belts out a shit ton of exposition in an astonishingly unsubtle way.

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Just sentence after sentence after sentence of Tails explaining the plot in that top panel. It’d be funny if it weren’t a by-product of what Ian probably felt was necessary to get this shit on track after Penders just… I don’t even know what. Penders was supposedly planning something but that something he was planning was honestly more NOTHING. 

Yeah, Penders wanted King Sonic to fail, effectively making it so that shit was useless for him. Here, King Sonic succeeded, but him succeeding changed the future which is by far a more interesting premise. It also makes a modicum more sense since changing the past tends to change the future in some stories, although, I will say that I think this also opens this future story up towards being a more alternate future than before. Ken Penders wouldn’t like that but that just means it’s more pertinent that we do it. 

Speaking of the actual content of the book, it’s definitely not perfect as an establishing of what’s going on. Tails is not only expositing a lot but some of the stuff he’s saying is so ridiculous it almost begs the question of why even bother to try and fix this nonsense anyway?

Knuckles points out that Tails knows a lot about this shit despite not having been there and Tails’ response is basically, “Well, I’m super duper smart so I totally knew anyway. Also, I just created a device that protected my family from the distortion in space-time because I can just do that. So now I know about the previous timeline so that the story can function properly.”

Meanwhile, Knuckles just works for Shadow and arrests people because I guess that’s what being Chief Enforcer means. He doesn’t seem too happy about doing it, although, when he enters the comic he’s shown smiling due to helping his daughter, Lara-Su, currently not in a string bikini, gain control over her powers. 

Lara-Su has never met Tails and has no idea who he is when he waltz in but she’s there having overheard their argument when Tails leaves. 

She recounts how she remembers bits and pieces of her past-future life and wishes to make things better, so she partners up with Tails to go find King Sonic.

Another significant improvement so far is how Lara-Su seemingly isn’t a bratty little bitch here. That’ll make her significantly more tolerable I hope. I’m also liking how we’re still on Angel Island for this but we didn’t begin with a classroom scene to sloppily dull out the exposition concerning the ENTIRE history of the island up to that point. Tails’ exposition was actually extremely necessary, despite the messy execution, because the fact that there had been a time adjustment is information the reader needs to even understand the story.

However, the rest of what’s going on is being told to us through the environment. The huge statue of Maria being worshipped by people tells you that King Shadow has taken over and has forced people to praise Maria Robotnik. The fact that he’s a tyrant sells this more because it’s truly horrifying and sad that he would take Maria’s image and force people to worship her as some sort of deity. It’s totally not what Maria would have wanted at all, to be displayed in public with angel wings while people were forced to revere her. It’s the kind of thing that I could totally see a warped Shadow the Hedgehog doing were he to see fit to even be a king and that statue alone let’s it be known that’s where his head’s at.

The poster of Knuckles’ face that says “The Chaotix are watching” tells you that they’re overlooking the citizens as his enforcers. Why they’re doing that isn’t necessary information at the moment but the poster itself gets across that’s what’s happening.

Then you’ve got this gym full of echidnas where Lara-Su is being trained by her dad. So they still have free enough reign to battle and fight, but with Knuckles being here it makes you question whether or not if it’s just for the sake of providing Shadow with more enforcers.

You don’t need Grandpa Chins McGee to exposit to a classroom of kids about it. At least not yet. Put the information through visual context clues and when it’s time to explain it, then explain it. It’s way more satisfying that way and I love that I can tell the difference between Ken’s stories and Ian’s stories at a glance like this. 

Oh yeah. Cobor is missing (or dead) and I don’t really care. However, Rotor does. 

Poor Rotor is chained up in a room where King Shadow is mocking and berating him. He wants him to crack so that he can be told some information. What information? We don’t know yet. All we know is that he’s gone through intense torture curdiousy of being turned in by Lien-Da.

Yeah, Lien-Da in this story isn’t making friendly housewife phone calls to Julie-Su so that she can talk about dinner. Here she’s giggling with delight about her chance to mess with Rotor next.

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It’d be hilarious if, after this, she went to go talk about dinner with Julie-Su anyway.

Here we have King Shadow, standing unnaturally tall at this angle from the floor with a huge red cape on his back and a crown on his head. Honestly, as an alternate future version of Shadow, I find it interesting. Reminds me a bit of those Injustice games, only those felt a little underwritten in a lot of areas. You have to buy a lot more with them I feel. 

Any of the “dark” alignment characters could be reasonably pushed into one direction or another depending on certain circumstances. Hell, it could even happen with the heroes. I still champion the idea of Evil Tails if only because taking advantage of his insecurities and pushing them to the point where he snaps, or even an alternate future where Eggman found Tails instead of Sonic, sound like neat ideas to me.

Lien-Da is Lien-Da though. She’s a villain and she loves it. It doesn’t seem like she’s the type to have a son in this timeline but if she does then that’s also interesting.

One of the hooded mooks reports that Lara-Su is “running around with the wrong crowd” and King Shadow gives orders to contact his “legitimate” Chief Enforcer so that he can handle this. Seeing as how Knuckles was introduced as that earlier, I can only assume that him emphasizing this either means Knuckles is illegitimate and someone else is his real enforcer… or his real enforcer is Lien-Da and Knuckles is “Legitimate” because he technically works within the law and acts as the public face for him. 

I can see either being true but I’ll go with the second option seeing as how closely knit Shadow and Lien-Da are. 

Meanwhile, Tails and Lara-Su somehow find Sonic the Hedgehog and he looks… awful. 

He’s downright pathetic you might say and it’s… really sad to look at.

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There’s a ton to wrap your head around on this page. 

The first is that top image of Sonic sitting in the gutter with a blanket full of holes on him, looking like a withered old man. His shoes in particular are really gross and messed up. Somehow the gold on his shoe buckle has deteriorated. It makes me wonder just how long Sonic’s been slumming it here.

That chili-dog with a single bite out of it, resting on that trash can lid, has to be one of the worst things to think about. It’s green chili and a crusty, bronze looking bun. 

It sells you immediately on how pitiable he is right out of the gate, and here comes Tails, his best friend and the original one from the timeline he knew to offer him comfort. He could tell right away too. That already makes the scene fairly gut-wrenching but the teary eyed hug they share as Sonic expresses his extreme wide-eyed sadness at having lost his kids to the fabric of time and his wife to a tyrant king is a huge soul crusher.

This scene is fairly infamous for having to be redone. Sonic can cry but he can’t bawl and the original image showed him doing just that. Granted, it’s probably more warranted here seeing as how he’s talking about how his children were obliterated from existence because of his actions.

Yeah, sometimes playing the hero can have consequences like this but Jesus Christ. It’s also really ironic considering King Sonic was talking a lot about how he didn’t want to be the king. He basically got his wish. He should have kept an eye out for that goddamn Monkey’s Paw. Holy shit.

You all probably know by now that I’m all for stuff like this. I’ll never say the series has to engage in deep dives into devastation to sell itself to me but I’m always here for it so you won’t see me complaining. Anything to make me care about what’s going on within the lives of my favorite characters.

Sonic, being Sonic, does emphasize what I also just said about him being the hero. He sacrificed so much to save everyone. He wants his kids and his life back and he’s ashamed of the fact that he never appreciated it when he had it. Tails says they can’t risk turning back time again and says that he hates that Sonic had to pay such a high price for it. Sonic says that’s what he does and he knows he’d do it again.

Twice now, he invokes the great Maria’s name. 

He says “Sweet Maria, have mercy” when Tails and Lara-Su help him to his feet and he says “Maria, help me…” when slumped in frustrated contemplation over the fact that he’d totally do the hero thing again if given a chance. 

This scene also has Sonic apologizing to Tails for “letting things get so bad” between them. We never really knew and still don’t know the full context to this but to be honest, I’m okay with that. Leaving it up to the imagination honestly makes the falling out between them feel more believable than showing it. No matter what you show, it’d be a huge pill to swallow without the proper time dedicated to it and we only have two issues.

Two issues to break into Castle Mobius, beat up King Shadow, and get Queen Sally to marry Sonic is what’s apparently supposed to happen. Lara-Su just rattles this off like it’s a grocery list. The fact that the three of them are so okay with just doing this probably speaks more to the lack of time then it does to the fact that they remember the original timeline (or in Lara-Su’s case, bits and pieces of it) but it’s a convenient excuse so whatever.

Anyway, Knuckles shows up to arrest them.

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Turns out it was the second option. Knuckles is the “legitimate” enforcer meaning he’s basically just a pawn so that Shadow can keep his real enforcer, Lien-Da, undercover from the general public. Smart man.

I also love how, despite what’s happened to him, Sonic is still Sonic, so when something bad happens immediately after they state their plan of action, he just makes a disgruntled, annoyed face.

As for this story, the meat of it was the scene with Sonic and as such, I do find it really well done if only because it sold the emotion to me. We’ll see how it concludes but right now I don’t hate this. It’s the best any of these future stories have been literally because of how it established this world and the new state of affairs. We don’t spend page after page listening to people talk about what’s going to be for dinner at the sleepover we’re supposed to have ten issues later.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #166: The Chaotix Connection

Plot: R. Chacon
Dialogue: Ian Flynn
Pencils: J. Axer
Inks: Michael Higgins
Letters: John Workman
Colors: Jason Jensen

Someday we’ll find it. The Chaotix Connection. The Charmy, the Vector, and … holy shit, that’s Romy Chacon back from the grave to write a story.

Holy shit, that’s J. Axer back to pencil a story! Cool!

We begin with Knuckles tied to a post, drooling due to apparently having just woken up or perhaps merely delirious from a beating he just took. Either way, he’s not in a good place and the person who apparently caught him is saying “You won’t ruin my life THIS TIME, Knuckles!”

This is obviously Ken Penders, having snapped and finally kidnapped the echidna, forcing him to either sign off on the Lara-Su Chronicles less he be drowned in paint thinner. 

In what is clearly Gotham City Station Square, a boy is handing out papers exclaiming that Casinopolis is opening soon. Our resident Batman, batgirl, Rouge, grabs the paper and talks about how our favorite character, Reinfeld, is back.

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She also appears to be in her Heroes outfit. Interesting, though, probably not something I’d be too jazzed to see again. 

Look at that boy, all blushy because of the hot bat lady with the big breasts.

Rouge contacts the Freedom Fighters and the Chaotix because of this news. Reinfeld T. Rodent was apparently jailed at some point. It definitely wasn’t shown because I remember complaining about the fact that he wasn’t back when the Lemon Sundrop Dandelion debacle happened. He’s been let go now that Eggman has control of Angel Island. Anyone they put in prison was probably someone he wanted to let loose.

Since the Chaotix have the closest connections to this case, Sally says she’s leaving it up to them. There’s a cute moment where Sonic’s about to continue her sentence for her by saying “And when you need to get bailed out…” but Sally interrupts and says “I’ll send Bunnie!” which prompts Sonic to stick his tongue out and do the stink eye.

Granted, this feels like an opportunity to have Charmy take revenge for the death of his best friend or something but I don’t think that’s where this is headed. Charmy and Saffron are absent from this story, again, which is insanely weird. I don’t know what this comic’s deal is with underutilizing him. I get why it happens later, after a certain event takes place, but that event hasn’t happened yet. It makes the least sense that Charmy, of all characters, wouldn’t be here to take on Reinfeld after what he did. Sally says the Chaotix have a connection to this guy? I know someone who’s connection runs deepest and he’s not here!

Reinfeld is setting up shop in Casinopolis. He wants to make sure everything’s nice and rigged with his new slot machines for Batman’s arrival, I guess.

The Chaotix and Rouge arrive. Julie-Su doesn’t like this and starts a fight with her for no reason that Knuckles has to break up. Yeah, Julie-Su still feels the same as ever, that’s for sure.

Mighty, remembering what happened last time, thinks they should check out the food first. I don’t know what they plan to do when they find the food though. Surely they don’t plan to personally test it by eating it again. 

Knuckles sneaks into a room and sees some people he doesn’t know. When one of them with a clipboard says “Contact Eggman” Knuckles immediately dives at them and kicks one of them in the face and punches the other two in the air.

He probably acted a tad too fast there. I don’t even think he took time to consider why they’re here or what they’re doing or even if they were being forced to do it. Nope. He just instantly bashes their faces in.

Yeah, this is starting to feel like a story from before #160 so far.

It gets even weirder.

Mighty orders a chili-dog and eats it, asking Julie-Su to watch in case he just poisoned himself. 

I… don’t… think that’s the best course of action to take. The fact that they just let him do that is insanely strange to me. I agree that he probably wouldn’t try the same trick twice… but only really because that’d be boring and this comic doesn’t need any more tales about LSD within its pages. Especially now in late 2006. 

Knuckles is fighting the horse man he saw and he’s taking a while to go down. He punches the skin off his face to reveal that he’s a robot right before getting knocked out.

Oh wait no. I’m sorry. Not robot. Auto-Automations.

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I had forgotten this was a thing.

It gets weirder.

Okay, so, turns out people are getting hypnotized. They see that Vector has had his mind warped by the machines. Apparently, they were rigged with hypnosis. 

For some reason, Rouge points out that it must be something with the screens… and then looks directly at the screens and gets hypnotized.

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Romy Chacon… you weren’t the worst writer during Penders’ era but so far you seem to be during Ian’s.

Reinfeld shows up and says that Knuckles won’t ruin his life this time, talking about how he’s a victim of circumstance and blah blah. He’s an asshole. 

He’s scanned the minds of Knuckles’ friends for data and they’re going to be used for Eggman’s latest edition to his “auto-automations”; the Infiltrators.

Shortly after Reinfeld explains his plan to turn Station Square’s Casinopolis into a hub to pump out robots, it just instantly fails.

Yeah, because, you know, two of the people here in their group didn’t look at the screens, it just immediately fails.

It’s almost like a comedy act the way it happens.

Reinfeld says it’s useless to point a weapon at him because he’s gathered up enough data. Julie-Su says “Nope, cause I pulled the fucking plug on the machine”. 

Literally. She just… unplugged it.

Then Reinfeld’s like “FUCK, I FAILED! I DIDN’T EXPECT SOMEONE TO UNPLUG THE MACHINE!”

Then Reinfeld says, “Ah but even without the data, the factory can make mindless robots for me!”

Then Mighty’s just like, “Nope, cause I destroyed the factory.”

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If this were a cartoon, a bunch of dumb clown music would be playing over this scene to elicit the appropriate response. It’s so strange how fast it all just goes to shit for him in the span of a page. Like, right after we find out what his plan is and how it’s supposed to be enacted it just dies because Julie-Su, legit, just unplugged the machine.

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God, you suck. 

Why couldn’t this have been a story about Charmy punching this rat’s face in?

Julie-Su says she hopes the hypnosis did permanent brain damage to Rouge. Fuck her for that. 

First Vector and now Rouge. The fact that this awful character hates MY favorite characters specifically isn’t doing her any favors with me. Seriously.

Somehow, the President just appears in the next panel after this talking about how Reinfeld will stand trial in Station Square. None of the panels in this final page have any backgrounds either. Plus, everyone’s just rattling off information at an extremely fast pace. This story was insanely rushed.

It ends with Knuckles shaking the president’s hand and everyone being happy. Cool, I guess.

I delighted quite a bit in wallowing in Sonic’s misery, if only because I have a strong desire to feel things for the characters of my favorite series. Whether it be official or fan-made, it takes quite a bit in order for me to feel you’ve gone too far with Sonic, and even then, it’s only really because of things that dive into the absurdly try-hard area like Penders’ obsession with Nazis or Richard Kuta throwing in a line about Charles Darwin in his cancelled bullshit SatAM project.

I love it when things get heavy and I’ll always appreciate it more when it’s handled with as much care as possible. So far, I feel like the start to this story was sufficient and well-done. 

That second story stood out for being a strange as hell regression in quality. If the difference in writers and the assurance that this was a new era wasn’t clear before, it has to be now. Romy Chacon’s plotting for that second story just did not work. I don’t even really know what the point of it all was in the end. Why did this happen? The only point in bringing Reinfeld back would be so that Charmy could take revenge but since that didn’t happen I’m left with this giant ball of nothing. It’s no wonder I didn’t remember it at all.  I was left really disappointed in that one.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #167: Mobius 25 Years Later, Part 2: Tempus Aeternus

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This cover is only slightly better than the other one, if only because Sonic’s head doesn’t look like it’s about to literally pop. However, I can’t help but dislike it anyway because it’s still really ugly. Not to mention, that Sally that’s standing next to Sonic is basically a redraw of the one on the previous cover. It’s clearly different but she’s standing in almost the same pose with the same look on her face. It’s weird.

Good God, seriously, what on Earth happened here? Why did these two random ugly ass covers come in to throw everything off kilter? I feel like Chef Ramsay here. I was being served perfect scallops since #160 and then I get to #166 and #167 and they’re FUCKIN’ RAW!

Spoiler

Writer: Ian Flynn
Penciler: Tracy Yardley
Inker: Jim Amash
Letterer: John Workman
Colors: Jason Jensen
Editor: Mike Pellerito

Immediately upon opening the book, one of my earlier questions from the last issue has been immediately answered. Lien-Da still, somehow, has a son. Still no word on who she did the nasty with but this change in personality for Future Lien-Da (as in, giving her the original personality she had in the past) has made for a much more interesting turn of events.

Here, Dimitri and her don’t just have their differences, he’s completely disgusted by her actions. Gloating about bringing down the line of Edmund and how Knuckles arrested his best friends and his own daughter doesn’t sit well with him. 

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From the look of her son’s face, it bothers him as well.

God, look at the way Tracey drew her sipping from that glass. So devilish. So wonderful.

This is rather neat. I do like that Ian kept Dimitri’s change in morality intact. The idea that losing the Enerjak power not only cleared up his mind but humbled him down to this point is honestly one of the few interesting things Penders managed to hit upon. Not to mention, the fact that I now know the origin of why he’s just a robotic head in a floating ball feels neat.

Granted, there is a part of me that misses the mystique of not knowing what the fuck Dimitri was and how he got that way.

We cut to inside the prison where our heroes are hanging in shackles in prison next to Rotor. I alluded to this moment happening sometime during a review way back when but I don’t remember which one it was so I can’t exactly do a parallel to it unless I shift back through all my stuff and find that image.

Suffice to say, it was basically this exact same scene with Sonic and Tails here. Sonic, Tails, and Lara-Su aren’t taking their imprisonment seriously at all. Sonic and Tails are mostly joking around while Lara-Su is just complaining about what her family will say.

Turns out, to the surprise of no one, Knuckles just made a big show of capturing them. He shows up and immediately let’s them out. Apparently Tails and Lara-Su didn’t exactly know that was going to happen though so… I guess they really were just goofing around despite being shackled to a wall.

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Nah. I have a feeling that deep down they knew too. Well, Miles maybe.

Anyway, they’re out now. The plan is to have Tails hack into the castle’s system and clear a path for Knuckles so that he can save Queen Sally. The point of that, Miles says, is so that the monarchy can remain somewhat stable. I’d be okay seeing it collapse so that we could get some real deep post-apocalyptic future vibes but I guess that’s being saved for Silver.

Meanwhile, Lara-Su has been tasked with getting Rotor to safety. She’s momentarily bummed about it but Knuckles tells her that being a guardian means protecting the people and this is a part of that. It’s a nice lesson to instill into her on top of being the fun dad that likes having a rebellious daughter.

It’s the total opposite of how he was portrayed in Ken’s version. Shock horror, it’s my preferred version as well.

Seeing Knuckles just grow up to be someone who’s taken to being a guardian in his own way and is open to rebellion despite admitting to feeling bad about turning on his own forces just makes him more interesting and more open to sympathy.

When he’s yelling and screaming at his daughter all the time while also making excuses for his shitty dad at his grave it just makes me think that nothing was learned and a legacy of lunatics is in danger of continuing. He even talked himself out of doing the right thing by the end of that story just because he had a big think at his dad’s grave that one time.

Lara-Su is wildly different as well.

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Yeah, she’s still headstrong and rebellious but because the writer is better it comes off as more charming and heroic than brash and bratty. She’s not judo flipping or attacking people because they dared point out that she was born with an insane amount of privilege.

She’s also very bouncy and bubbly which is not only kind of cute but it also highlights how much better her relationship with her dad is in this version. That’s nice to see. 

She’ll turn into an ugly alien monster that likes to sleep naked in space one of these days but for now she’s kinda alright.

I can’t help but wonder how old Rotor is. I’m guessing either late 40’s or early 50’s? 

Anyway, the heroes all go their separate ways to do their tasks. Sonic bursts down the door to King Shadow’s chamber and says a line about delivering poetic justice that Knuckles correctly guesses he was saving for this moment. Personally, I feel like he could have come up with something better than a “Who ordered the extra large butt-whooping--” line. 

I guess it’s better than the “extra large clobbering line” from Colors though. The second hand embarrassment when that scene refused to end made my skin crawl. I’m so happy I’m aware of what the original Japanese script was. 

Sonic and Knuckles are in Shadow’s chamber now. That horrifying visage of Angel Maria is hovering over the throne room and continuously making the poor girl roll in her grave. Sally manages to saunter over to Knuckles for safety, surprised to hear in the ensuing conversation that Shadow knows about the other timeline.

Shadow knows because he’s a master of time and space. Being good at Chaos Control means that now.

I’ll run with it.

I’m not sure how Sally knows the other timeline though. She’s the one who asks the question about Shadow but her knowing is more intriguing to me, honestly.

With Sally saved, Sonic goes to punch the king in the face…

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…but he just looks annoyed.

Remember that disgruntled Shadow face. He’ll be working on improving it as time marches on.

It’s here where we remember that Sonic is a withered old man that’s been eating crusty, old, green chili-dogs in the gutter after sinking in depression over the loss of his kids and the remarriage of his wife.

As such, this goes the only way it could.

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Love that Sonic’s beaten so fast that Shadow’s cape hasn’t even finished touching the ground by the time he’s been knocked unconscious. Though, the fighting here feels like it’s lacking in impact yet again for me. 

Although, King Shadow does bring up a neat point here. He’s the ultimate lifeform and thus he never ages, according to him. 

It makes me think about a lot of things. 

We’ll obviously never get to see it because Sonic must remain 15 forever, even when he has a canonical birthday, but imagining the other characters ageing while Shadow remains the same is a weird thought. The comic is a bit disconnected from the original canon so seeing it here, while weird, doesn’t give off the same effect. 

This FEELS insanely different because it’s this strange amalgamation of concepts and characters both exclusive and non-exclusive to the book, taken to an extreme the likes of which are astronomically divorced from what’s happening in the current canon. 

It’s not easy applying what happens here to what I considered to be… or rather, what’s left of, the canon. It’s an interesting thought though.

Lara-Su speeds in, nay, flies in to save the day.

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This is one of those Batman Beyond things where the old guard must step down to make way for new blood. Except, the villain in this case is someone the hero faced back when he was 25 years younger.

Seeing middle aged Sonic laying there, beaten to shit, on the ground as Shadow hovers over him, looking and feeling exactly as strong as he was 25 years ago is a sad image. Realistically, how long could they even be rivals? Maybe Sonic needs a shot of Professor Gerald’s super serum. He used that to make Shadow right?

Oh wait no. He used some alien’s blood… and that alien is dead now. Nevermind.

Anyway, Lara-Su… wins.

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She just wins. Just like that.

They prattle on Tikal’s chant for two panels and each toss a single Chaos Spear at the other before Lara-Su FLEXES really hard and freezes Shadow in black fiery time space that’ll last for as long as several millennia, according to that last word bubble.

It’s an insanely fast and sloppy end to him, for sure.

As someone who anticipated this and didn’t give a shit about M25YL to begin with, I can’t say I’m disappointed. I literally don’t care that this just ended in a single page. However, it would behoove me not to make mention of the fact that this was indeed very quickly resolved.

It’s only technically not a deus ex machina because we knew she was training with Chaos Powers before. The text never said how far in her training she was or how skilled she was at it so, technically, this doesn’t outright contradict anything. However, you could totally make an argument for it being unsatisfying, absolutely.

It’s certainly one of the few things that stuck out to me back when I read this. Back then I had no idea what M25YL was or how long before these two issues it had been a thing. This Lara-Su character was an enigma to me so the fact that she could do this to King Shadow and end things so fast either said to me that she was strong and it had to have been well known up to this point (debatable) or she used a technique that had been hinted and talked about before and it just wasn’t in these two issues (outright wrong).

Nope. Turns out it was just a result of the story needing to wrap up.

I admire Ian wanting Lara-Su to be the one to handle this of course, seeing as how he recognized that the original purpose for Ken’s story was seemingly supposed to be about her right? It wasn’t yet another vehicle for Knuckles… right?

Well, either way, he forced the story to be about her actually contributing something heavy to the plot. I appreciate the commitment even if this isn’t really a future I have any real desire to see again… and I know that I will. On the bright side, when I get to M30YL, I may actually know what the fuck is going on when I read it. 

To the day, I have no clue what that SU arc was or is about and as a result my opinion on it has just been a line of question marks.

Welp, that’s that. Knuckles bolts in and leaves with his daughter after hugging her and saying he’s proud of the way she defeated the king of an absolute monarchy. Sally reveals she was told of the other timeline by Knuckles which answers my question from earlier, thankfully. She also reveals that she only married Shadow to keep the monarchy somewhat stable. I’m honestly surprised Shadow agreed to it… or cared.

Yeah, the whole King Shadow thing is a bit weird still. Honestly. I can see him turning into a monster that wants to force people to love and revere Maria as a goddess but it’s somewhat hard imagining him bothering with the cape and the crown and the marriage. I need to see the steps he took to get there on that one. 

Sonic and Sally rekindle their love as Sonic decides he’s going to be the king again.

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This is seriously one of the few times where I’ve found Sonic and Sally’s relationship to be charming and adorable. The only excuse I have not to smile at this is sheer stubbornness from how much I’ve hated their relationship up until this point which is quite the accomplishment.

There were a lot of good parts to this story and a lot of interesting tidbits about it but it was ultimately just an ending to a story that was created long ago by a mad-man set to fast-forward. That’s it.

Ian did this so that it could have a proper ending and honestly, for as many issues as it had and the characters it just leaves on the table (like Lien-Da and her son) it’s miles better than the whole of Ken Penders’ version. As such it got a much better ending then it deserved to be frank. 

I mean, the fact that the old timeline had to be completely wiped just to give this story an ending that was at least somewhat tolerable is a testament to how much of a waste of time that original M25YL story was. What a slog.

We’re moving on though. I thankfully won’t have to think about this until I revisit that SU arc and finally, after all these years, learn what the fuck it was I was even reading.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #167: Hedgehog Day

Plot: R. Chacon
Dialogue: R. Chacon
Pencils: Dave Manak
Inks: Andrew Pepoy
Letters: Vickie Williams
Colors: Josh Ray

One could argue, “Hey, why not dedicate more pages to the M25YL story?” and my response would be, “...No.”

Granted, when I first saw this story’s art-style I got a little worried seeing as how Dave Manak’s art has that Off-Panel look to it. Romy Chacon isn’t the best writer but he’s not the worst. I’d take him over another attempt by Gallagher to flex how much of a funny old ass man he is in another one of those.

Sonic wakes up in his… very strange looking room. Like, the racecar bed, the baseball bat, the basketball hoop over the bed, the surfboard… 

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It’s like someone said, “What do little boys like?” and just shoved all that into a teenager’s room.

Anyway, Sonic is listening to the radio calmly before spinning into the sink as he brushes his teeth when the man on the radio talks about the fact that Sonic is a no-show for his birthday celebration redo. Apparently, they’re doing it over again despite Sonic saying he had fun at the last one.

Also, this radio guy is weirdly on it as far as calling Sonic out for being late even though the party was scheduled for 10 AM and it’s only 10:06 by the time Sonic is done admonishing himself for his mistake.

He set the timer for when he should be at the party rather than when he should wake up. A simple mistake. When I wake up I sometimes, momentarily, mistake the time I wake up with the time I’m supposed to be at work. Only for a moment though. My nerves don’t allow me to be confident in something for too long so I usually get the time right quickly if it’s wrong.

Anyway, Sonic races out of his house, bowls over the camera men, trips over a rock, slams into a tree, and ends up in the hospital.

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How sad. 

Also, the tree owner is filing suit? Fuck him.

Well, that was a pretty short tale but it was amusing enough.

Sonic wakes up in his… very strange looking room. Like, the racecar bed, the baseball bat, the basketball hoop over the bed, the surfboard… 

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… Oh. I get it.

Hedgehog Day = Groundhog Day. 

The next two pages are the same pages from before Sonic busted his leg.

The same drawings, the same dialogue; all the same for the next two pages. It’s a fairly neat excuse to get away with not having to do more work on it but I admire the work around enough that I’m willing to let it slide.

This time, Sonic knows there are reporters outside so he takes the back exit and slams his head into a wagon, somehow busting his leg in the process.

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The image of Sonic in the hospital looks like the same image as before but it actually isn’t. There’s differences in the fine details that you can make out by looking hard enough. The obvious one is that both legs are visible in this one and the picture on the newspaper is different. However, the way Sonic’s hand and mouth are drawn is slightly different too. This actually is a legit new drawing which I appreciate.

Sonic wakes up the next morning yet again. Third time’s the charm as he’s wise to what the radio is going to say about the weather, the party, who’s going to be there, and the fact that Sonic is missing.

This time Sonic’s strategy is to say “Fuck it” and lay back down in bed. Everytime he goes out there he ends up in the hospital.

Well, tough shit, because the media sucks.

They’re desperate for that scoop so they literally crawl onto his roof and fall through the fucking glass, landing Sonic in the hospital anyway.

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Sonic says, “The media is NOOOOO good.”

Apparently, Galactus out in space has decreed that Sonic must end up in the hospital on this day no matter what. 

Sonic wakes up at 7 AM this time… for some reason. Maybe he remembered to set his clock or the impending doom of being sent to the hospital again got him up earlier.

He zips to the celebration and sits on a chair with his arms crossed and a smile on his face while everyone sets the party up around him, wondering what his deal is. He’s just sitting there, not talking to anyone, smiling, like a smug statue.

It’s pretty weird, not gonna lie.

I guess this is what he needed to do to stop the loop from happening though because the story ends here. 

Wow. You know, I gotta say, I thought that was alright. I can’t say that it was straight up good, for the reasons I gave, but as someone who has no real investment in M25YL, it at least succeeded in making me feel something. That said, I’ve no interest in arguing about whether it deserves that faint praise because at the end of the day, I still don’t care. I’m happy it got an ending for those who wanted it and if they were unsatisfied with it then don’t feel too bad because it sucked way harder before. The second story was actually really fun. It was a small, cute idea that amused me internally. Nothing too much to say about this one. What’s done is done. You either enjoyed it or you didn’t. It’s time to move on.

Tails design in M25YL is like a grown-up version of himself from Sonic Boom, holy moly.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #168: Order From Chaos, Part 1: The Gathering

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I’ve been gushing about this story and how much I love it since even before A.D.A.M was introduced. To this day it’s still, seriously, one of my favorites. I don’t know where in the Top 10 it ranks as I haven’t sat down and done that yet but it’s definitely in there somewhere alongside Enerjak Reborn and Eggman’s Dozen. So much of my favorite stuff of Flynn’s is happening at around this time. It’s astonishing. He came out of the gate throwing beautiful fireworks everywhere.

As for this cover, it’s also really great. Even divorced from those other two awful ones above it, it works as a nice ominous prelude for what’s to come. Just a bunch of empty tubes of nanites with the evilest of all evil computer’s looming in the background. It reminds me that one day I’ll have to do a Top 10 and Bottom 10 covers as well. I don’t know if this will make the cut but it’s good enough to remind me of it.

Spoiler

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

This era of Ian Flynn cleaning the mess Penders left behind for him is insane. It’s been consistently good all across the board and we’re at yet another of my favorites in the book.

I think the reason these stories are so effective is because they’re being written with the explicit purpose of shifting the status quo. The book is being forced to change and thus the lives of the characters are being drastically altered from story to story and that goes a long way towards making them great to read. 

It’s definitely part of the reason why at some point when the book hits a lull for me, it’ll because several issues will have gone by where nothing really feels like it’s happening. That could also be rectified by simply telling something that was exciting and heart pounding in a way that was intriguing like I feel the Metal Virus in IDW did but it’s a toss up as to whether or not that’ll actually happen. 

I’m being vague as to which part of the comic I’m talking about but I’ll end up saying this again when I get there. For now, let’s talk about this story and the unrelenting awesomeness packed within.

We begin with very mean foreshadowing, riding in on a vehicle made of regrets and hindsight for these characters down the line.

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This is probably some sort of meta thing, what with the characters chatting amongst themselves about how much Tommy sucks.

Apparently, this was somewhat of a common opinion within the fanbase but as is often the case, going through these books, some of these things just don’t turn out to be all that they’re cracked up to be.

Tommy the Turtle is a character I was interested in seeing the origin of because I heard he was infamous for being some sort of strange, self-insert, gary-stu or something like that. Having read the books with him up to this point… he really isn’t that. Not entirely, anyway.

The strangest thing about Tommy is that he’s just there. There were certainly instances where he’d come off as though he were everyone’s favorite guy around. He was Sonic’s friend that we never heard of before who beat him in a race that one time. He was so precious to Sally that she stalled being mad at Sonic to go save him that one time. He sacrificed himself to save Sonic twice. He was suddenly very smart and good at organizing things. Then randomly, one day, he felt bad for the nanites so they grafted themselves onto his shell.

These things on their own aren’t much to write home about and all of them together are just scattershot enough that it’s barely noticeable to me unless explicitly pointed out. Or, in my case, anticipated.

Now that we’re here at the penultimate issue for the guy, I gotta say, his worst crime isn’t even being all that awful of a character. He’s just really bland and his presence is confusing. I don’t really know why he’s here. I could honestly say the same thing about Fiona before this point too. 

Ironically, he’s going to be given a badass send-off and as such, the only lingering impression he’ll have on me is what’s been provided by this story that I love.

The thick cut of meat and potatoes of which, begin here… with betrayal. 

Ominous betrayal.

We cut to Eggman who’s having a casual conversation with A.D.A.M about teaching Anonymous a lesson. A.D.A.M sends his father congratulations but then kindly asks why he’s being deleted.

Eggman repeats, he’s going to take down Anonymous. 

A.D.A.M acts like he doesn’t understand. Eggman says he knows better than that, like a father to his bratty son, relaying to him that he’s figured things out. He then provides a helpful rundown of all the convoluted bullshit that happened with Anonymous before #160 and the genuinely cool shit that happened in the Darkest Storm.

Eggman talks about how he should have been more suspicious from the start and admonishes himself for not realizing the video hidden within the Metal Destructix was fake back in #135. He knew then that they were cheap replicas but didn’t realize until later that they were just a vehicle to get the Auto-Automaton of Tommy Turtle close to Sonic back in #136. 

Then he recalls being told by A.D.A.M that it was Anonymous who released the nanites to make the Nanite City from #152. He recalls being told that Anonymous let in the Spider-Ninjas and freed Ixis Naugus, a man who wants to kill him, as well as disposing of all his occupied Egg Grapes back in #161. Then the Dimensional ripple that caused Naugus’ escape destroyed the Ancient Walkers back in the Darkest Storm. 
Then Eggman let’s it rip. He’s pissed off now. 

He screams at A.D.A.M about how he literally watched A.D.A.M steal Mogul’s Chaos Emerald and released both him and Naugus. Yes, the Eggman was spying on him.

A.D.A.M’s reply is “You’ve been spying on me father? That is not very nice!”

Eggman blows another casket and runs down some more of the shit that happened because of Anonymous, namely the death of A.D.A.M’s sister Mecha and the Neo Metal Sonic Troopers that came after him.

Anonymous has been up to a TON of shit dawg. Holy shit. 

I mean, when you lay it all out like that, it’s an incredible rap sheet considering how little time he’s been in the comic compared to a lot of the other villains. The death of God like beings are on his resume and all of this was accomplished literally just because he’s super fucking smart.

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So, of course, an evil this intelligent and scary would be done in by simple deletion from his father, correct?

Yeesh. I’ve read this story before but the atmosphere of this scene is still kind of unsettling to me. Especially with A.D.A.M’s screen having that single green dot on it. 

I’m glad this is how things shook out though. Eggman figuring out who Anonymous is and working to take care of the situation does well for his standing as an intelligent force to be wreckin with as well. Even if A.D.A.M is one step ahead of him, Eggman was at least taking some steps of his own.

Oh and A.D.A.M IS indeed one step ahead of him.

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Why can’t the games tell stories like this? 

This is so cool. 

The menace dripping from this evil mastermind is oozing off the page. He’s delightful and even after all these years, the ominous nature of what’s transpiring still hits me straight on. It feels good being so unsettled by this, even now.

Can you imagine Orbot pulling some shit like this? Fucking hell.

Crazy shit is going down back at home base too. Ken Penders’ very last story written for the book ended up paying dividends if you can believe it. His idea to have the nanites infect certain residents of Knothole is being used to make things come to pass.

Nicole is freaking out. She can’t do anything properly and right as the rest are cheering her on, Bunnie saunters in and smashes her fucking fist through Nicole’s screen, unable to stop herself.

Her metal limbs are going against her. She calls for strong guys to come in and stop her. Knuckles and Vector manage to do so but during Bunnie’s rampage, she knocked Tails the fuck out and now he’s being carried away by Sonic’s dad who, as a machine, is also under A.D.A.M’s control now that HIS nanites are going to work.

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“Way past personal”, he says.

All the pieces A.D.A.M needs to complete his master plan are coming together all at once for the big smash finale.

Jules is leading Sonic back to the Nanite City where the epicenter of all this stuff is going down. 

Meanwhile, Eggman is already there and is being greeted with a visit from Shadow. Shadow looks a little annoyed, being told to go all over the place like he’s Eggman’s butler. However, he quickly finds that there’s a huge surprise waiting for him in the next panel.

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“IT’S ME AUSTIN!”

A.D.A.M tosses Eggman back like he’s some kind of useless puppet and begins to attack Shadow the Hedgehog relentlessly. You can tell this was not what the black hedgehog thought he’d see when he arrived. Some Silver Surfer looking turtle dude holding Eggman hostage.

Shadow recognizes A.D.A.M’s voice and asks what Mobian he’s using to walk around like this. A.D.A.M is happy to explain that it’s Tommy Turtle. He was his hiding place for when Eggman figured out the Anonymous conspiracy.

He explains this while easily beating Shadow into unconsciousness.

After he does that, he carries Shadow over to a tube to be locked inside of, dangling him hilariously by one leg.

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As he does his little exposition dump, Tails arrives next and is carried over to his tube to be set inside of it like Elmur Fudd carried Bugs Bunny at the end of “What’s Opera, Doc?”

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All the while, A.D.A.M is explaining his plan. 

It’s an amusing read. He’s so proud of himself and to be honest I am as well.

He talks about how he discovered there were seven colored varieties of Chaos Emeralds throughout the Cosmos. We already saw the red Chaos Emeralds on whatever planet that was from before and now… we’re finally getting the rest of them.

Yeah, it took until Issue #168 and a long wait until November of 2006 before the other colors of the Chaos Emeralds were mentioned in the officially licensed Sonic the Hedgehog book. They still haven’t appeared yet though.

I can’t wait until they get here. What’s about to happen is not only monumentally cool but it’ll also finally rid me of any responsibility I may have still had in trying to keep all that shit about the Chaos Emeralds straight. Janitor Flynn does it again.

A.D.A.M needs Super Shadow’s power for his Chaos Control and Turbo Tails, the Chosen One, who is prophesied to lead the Gathering of all the Chaos Emeralds and bring about a great harmony.

Yeah, Turbo Tails. Not Titan Tails, because that would have been embarrassing.

Also, A.D.A.M talks about the prophecy as though it hasn’t been fulfilled yet, meaning, we can disregard the really embarrassing Titan Tails shit as being the catalyst for this Great Harmony. Mammoth Mogul may not be a God who can crush universes in the palm of his hand anymore but he’s been set free regardless and what A.D.A.M’s about to do is pretty nasty, all things considered.

No, the Great Harmony that’s been prophesied was actually talking about what’ll happen to ME and how all this confusing nonsense from the Pre-Flynn era is being cleaned up. Now it’s time to fix the situation with the Chaos Emeralds! 

He built this Nanite City to hide the Focusing Spire that’s going to gather all the emeralds to him. He freed Mogul and Naugus to keep Shadow busy until he needed him (which explains why both Mogul and Naugus were MIA during the Rouge and Scourge prison break) and he used Tommy to weaken the Freedom Fighters and nab Tails.

It’s all brilliant and it’s all coming together. 

Eggman just says it’s convoluted… and it is. However, it’s still impressive. He’s accomplished so much. Be prouder of your son Eggman.

Speaking of sons, Jules starts to talk about how HIS son is going to kick ass in a bit. A.D.A.M isn’t scared. He knows through Jules that Sonic is here in the city, being cautious of a trap that doesn’t exist… and he also knows that Eggman remotely contacted the Egg Fleet.

He doesn’t care. His plan is too awesome and the winds of change are blowing. Everything’s coming up A.D.A.M baby!

I love this little shot here of Eggman after A.D.A.M points out that he knows Eggman summoned his Egg Fleet. 

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Eggman’s just like, “Oh no no no no no. I didn’t do that!”

Things have gone into hyperdrive and I couldn’t be anymore here for it.

A.D.A.M’s rampage has been a long time coming, spanning across two eras of this book and we’re at the climax of everything he’s been working towards. 

He’s severely changed the status quo for Eggman, the villains, the heroes, and soon the Chaos Emeralds themselves and things are going to shift dramatically as a result of what happens here in a couple of ways as well. 

It’s time for the epic conclusion. A.D.A.M’s reign begins now with the summoning of ALL THE CHAOS EMERALDS IN THE FUCKING UNIVERSE!

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I SURE DO LOVE IT WHEN A PLAN COMES TOGETHER!!!


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #168: Courage and Honor

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Gary Bedell
Inks: Rich Koslowski
Letters: John Workman
Colors: Josh & Aimee Ray

So here we’ve got ourselves a fairly necessary story about Antoine reflecting on… all of it. Just ALL the shit that he’s been through since being trapped in another dimension and coming back to all that’s precious to him having been pretty much destroyed.

Antoine is already in a somber mood and is a shockingly nice guy to even admit he has pity for the Evil versions of the Freedom Fighters, though he makes sure to state he doesn’t forgive them. 

So, of course, while he’s in the middle of feeling down, Sonic rushes in with the news that Antoine’s dad is about to die.

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The art by Gary Bedell is… not my favorite. I hesitate to say that it’s bad. I definitely don’t think it is. However, it’s certainly not a good fit for Sonic.

Everything that isn’t the Sonic characters looks fantastic. Look at those butterflies. Those look immaculate. The style itself would probably work really well for a picture book of some kind too. It’s not bad art on it’s own… but the super tall and lankiness of their proportions doesn’t work. It’s jarring and so clearly not what these characters should look like.

Sonic contemplating the idea of losing his dad a second time hits a bit. Going through something like that twice has gotta be rough and Antoine’s about to face just that. 

So, they see Dr. Quack and his explanation is that Evil Antoine was poisoning his father. That seems fair enough but the fine details are a little muddy to me. For some reason, King Max received much less of the same poison than Antoine’s dad did.

I… can’t really land on a reason as to why. I know the out of universe reason is that King Max needs to stay alive because there’s more stories to tell with him but in-universe, I can’t make sense of him getting less poison then Antoine’s dad.

Well, he’s dying so Antoine and Bunnie go in together to see him.

He still has enough left in him to give a dying speech though and to his credit, it’s a pretty good one.

When Antoine cries into his chest about being a failure because of how jealous he was of Sonic and how he’s been a coward and almost broke the team apart, his father rightfully says that’s a joke. Antoine worked through his jealousy, has been fighting against Eggman since he was a boy, and won the heart of a great warrior. A warrior that’s honestly a far better catch than Sally in my opinion. Their relationship is exceedingly more healthy than the one Sonic and Sally have. Antoine dodged a bullet.

After also giving Bunnie some words of encouragement and telling the two of them to hang onto their love, he goes peacefully. 

He goes about as peacefully as one could hope honestly. 

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Then it ends with a tribute to Jane Flynn, Ian Flynn’s grandmother.

I shouldn’t be this excited reading a comic I’ve already read but goddamn do I need it right now. Just, story after story right now has been knocking it out of the park, standing as a heavy example of just how much story potential this series has when someone who gives a fuck is driving that bus. 

It’s not just as good as I remember, it’s better. I’m so happy I can continue to say that but it really is true. Having the original context for all of this shit just enhances how monumental and huge all of what’s happening is. I feel like I’m experiencing something heavy and it’s an honor and a privilege to do so. The second story worked well for what it was too. Even if the style wasn’t my cup of tea, the writing and the expressions within the art did their job and in the end it didn’t demolish what they were going for.

I want to read the last issue of this arc right the hell now but I know if I try to do anymore, I’ll collapse. That’ll be a nice treat for the me of next week when things finally get SUPER!

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