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Dr. Detective Mike

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #186: Mogul Rising, Part Two: Devil's Due

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Now this cover is more my speed. I love the puppets on strings motif going on here and it’s nice seeing Sonic literally in the palm of Mogul’s hand. I really like how Mogul is moving up in the world again with this after the embarrassment from #173 and a few other times before that are strangely harder to remember. I guess you could say what happened back there was a necessary evil to get him to this point though.

Spoiler

Writer: Ian Flynn
Layouts: Tracy Yardley
Pencils: Matt Herms
Inks: Jim Amash
Letters: John Workman
Colors: Josh Ray
Editor/Managing Editor: Mike Pellerito

Another interesting tidbit about the big letter “M” that I was just informed of is how all the people he’s controlling have names beginning with “M”. Mighty, Mina, and Miles are under the control of Mammoth Mogul and are trying to kill Maurice.

No, just kidding. Sonic’s his name and there is no Maurice. That’s dumb. 

Anyway, Sonic fights them. Or rather, Sonic dodges them while demanding Mogul let them go. Why Mogul would do that when Sonic has no leverage in this situation, I’ve no clue. Sonic just tells him to do what he says while also continuing to not acknowledge what Mogul wants from him. So he’s expecting this to somehow be a win-win situation for him.

Mogul is not having it.

As Sonic gets hounded, he gets a helping hand from an unexpected friend.

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Yeah, Mina kind of just waltzed on out of the room while Ash watched so of course he followed after her. It’s quite the scene, witnessing him tackle Mina to the ground to save Sonic from being attacked from behind. I very much appreciate it.

Mogul, I guess, figures that he can’t win by beating on Sonic so he decides to continue to exploit this chink in Sonic’s armor in a new way. If Sonic doesn’t give a shit about himself, he sure as hell would care about what happens to his possessed friends.

Tails stomps on Sonic’s foot and Mina punches Ash in the face. They escape. That’s when Sonic explains the situation to Ash and they head off to go fulfil their destiny.

That destiny is to provide me with this wonderful image of Sonic holding Ash in the bridal carry.

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Seriously, I love that Sonic carries everyone like this. Don’t ever stop.

Sonic marches on up to Mogul’s cage and demands to know what the deal is… and by that he means he just wants to know where his friends are. Mogul wishes to explain his terms again but Sonic seriously still thinks he can just get what he wants with no repercussions here. 

Mogul, a genuine evil genius now, rightfully rolls his eyes at this and explains what the deal is. 

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Back when I read this, I was flabbergasted by how smart and devilish this was. It’s all so efficient and perfect yet he’s also the kind of character who’d totally stay true to the end of the deal he’s made. It’s really interesting watching Mogul do his stuff here.

It’s interesting because the character doesn’t feel all that different in terms of how he speaks and carries himself. The difference here is that his actions are standing out as something more outwardly clever and it makes good on what it is he’s saying. He’s not just talking the talk, he’s walking the walk too.

Strange how he’s far more impressive as a wizard in a cage than as a God who could crush galaxies in the palm of his hand. Probably because this particular story isn’t written like complete ass. That might be it.

Also, I’m giving Sonic a hard time for fun but in all seriousness, I don’t blame him for just resorting to anger and refusing to listen to what this dude has to say at first. Eventually, he has no choice when Mogul gives his explanation but acquiescing to his demands when you know what this guy was capable of in the past can not be an easy decision.

He eventually, and sadly, has no choice but to make that decision.

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Ash just knows that Mina’s about to fucking drown in the ocean, so he’s freaking the fuck out. I love his line of “And you’re the smartest or whatever” like he was suspecting this might also be some sort of pride thing. Part of it might be but honestly, I think it’ll be made clear in a bit that he’s mostly just tired of this bullshit and found a perfect “Get Out of Jail Free” card as it were.

What follows is a montage of Sonic and Ash rushing as fast as they can to steal their own Chaos Emerald fast enough to keep the others from dying. Nicole, despite being able to pop up anywhere, somehow isn’t able to listen in on everyone at once. That’s good… well, normally, that’s good. Here, it’s a bit of a bad thing because she shows up when there’s activity going on in the prison holding area confused about why Sonic and Ash are here.

They don’t have time to explain and rush off to go get the Emerald with her popping up after them and even attempting to stop Sonic at one point. 

Tails is running out of air. Mina’s almost in the center of the ocean. Mighty just got found by Eggman’s flying Flappers and their search lights.

It’s super close and I couldn’t help but imagine the scenarios where Sonic argued just a second longer and we got a scene of Tails falling to his death, Mina’s lungs filling with water, and Mighty being blown apart by Eggman robots while standing there and taking it with a green glare in his eyes. It’s really scary what your imagination can do sometimes.

Mogul sells the sinister look well though. When Sonic and Ash make it back, he breaks through the glass of his cage like fucking Chest Burster, looking the most evil and demonic I think I’ve ever seen him.

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Good news is, this delightfully evil scene is accompanied by scenes of a good thing happening. All of his victims turn the fuck around and go home. Thank God, Mogul’s a man of his word. 

Nicole freaks out when Sonic gives him the Emerald. He has it in his chest and is ridiculously powerful again. Since Sonic can use the Master Emerald to turn Super in this continuity, I guess we don’t really need it for that. Plus, I don’t recall Super Sonic showing up again outside of Genesis and the Megaman crossovers, both of which, while canon, aren’t… within the same universe, technically. 

Mogul literally sticks that emerald into the big gaping hole in his chest (which is always an unpleasant thought) and blasts everyone away with a huge explosion of power.

Then he just sends Nicole away with a snap of his fingers.

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Boss man in a boss ass suit just does his boss man duties like a boss.

It really is neat seeing how far this character has come and how much he’s changed. I felt it, somehow, even back then when I didn’t experience it all but the way they talked about Mogul and how he talked about how he used to be really did a lot to instill that old lore into my brain. He seemed larger than life. He seemed like a living legend. The aura around him was just so interesting and I was under the impression that his past stories were the stuff of legends too.

They definitely… tried to be at least.

In a way, I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve always enjoyed this character and seeing the full scope of where he started and where he is, I have an insane amount of respect for the decision he makes and the conclusion he comes to.

He rage quits and peaces out.

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Everything about this is brilliant. I think it might be my favorite plan any villain in any series has ever come up with, to be completely honest.

There’s definitely an undercurrent of being aware of the 4th wall and how most stories tend to favor the main hero but it definitely works here. Mogul doesn’t feel like playing this game anymore and he’s got too much dignity to risk being in such an embarrassing position again. So, instead, he’s just going to rely on patience to win the day.

He’s immortal. Most people don’t really comprehend what that means because it’s literally impossible but time means jack shit to him. If the cosmos sees it fit that Sonic always wins then he’ll just wait until Sonic dies. 

The end.

It’s fantastic. 

There’s really no fighting that. Especially since Mogul himself, aside from taking a few opportunities to mess with him, doesn’t really need to bother him directly anymore.

He sets his prison mates free, earning himself a free job from Nack (I’m sure he’s leaping for joy) and then they’re all just gone.

Afterwards, the heroes lick their wounds. It’s a nice detail that they all remember everything too. I’m glad this seems to be a common theme with this kind of mind control.

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With that, the sun comes up and they all continue on with their lives.

They definitely didn’t win that altercation but I’d say, considering what could have happened, the fact that some of them are alive is victory enough.

It’s always really nice getting stories like this that remind us of ways villains can exude menace without having them literally beat Sonic up. Though, I’ll always welcome that. 

I'll never stop thinking it’s funny whenever Sonic and Tails get beat up.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #186: Honor-Bound

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

It’s time for some Echidna clean-up. 

I’ve read this before and I really had no clue what to make of any of it, as is to be expected. I wasn’t sure why the giant dingo man was crying or what Knuckles was apologizing for outside of the stuff he did as Enerjak. 

I really can’t wait to read this and understand it now though. Truly, these newer stories work fine on their own but it’s astonishing how much that earlier context can really help. 

Knuckles is flying over the ruins of Albion, feeling insanely sorry for himself to the point where he wants to leave to make sure they’re safe from him. We as readers know it isn’t his fault in the slightest of course which makes the fact that he’s feeling this way at all another angle to the tragedy.

I guess it never really dawned on me that the “great” city of Echinaopolis is gone forever but… yeah. Enerjak just kind of tore it down to atoms didn’t he? 

Man. It’s amazing to think about. So much of the echidna’s shit awful history was tied up in the squabbling concerning where to put the fucking city and whether or not people should have technology within it and now that shit’s just GONE.

The Brotherhood of Assholes are gone. Locke is gone. Gala-Na is gone. Albion is in ruins. 

There’s very few tidbits of that bullshit I had to suffer through that’s still around and thankfully, most of it, is the stuff I could stomach. It’s nice to see Remington has his life back and is still leading the charge the best he can. Lara-Le, Kneecaps, and Wyn are all alive and safe too. Thank Goodness. I saw them all before but I wasn’t quite aware of who they were.

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I had no idea they were Knuckles’ family. I probably wouldn’t have guessed that since I didn’t recall seeing them again and it felt a bit weird that Knuckles’ last time seeing them would be this scene where he just sulks off through a warp ring above the sky. 

He goes to the Sandopolis Oasis where the dingos are stationed.

I’m actually happy to report that General Styker is alive and he’s happy to report that his people are thriving.

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Also, that really annoying bird is here too. The one whose name I’ve forgotten. Dumb-Shit the Bird or something. I dunno.

This is good though. I never really wanted to just come out and say it but fuck it. We’re so far removed from the uncomfortable shit that Penders was doing with them that I feel I can just say that I was pretty much always rooting for these guys.

I don’t know if it’s because I actually really liked them or because I really hated the echidnas. It might honestly just be something in between. I’m glad his people are thriving though and I’m also happy that he plans to make his way back to Angel Island too. 

Knuckles says he welcomes him back and he apologizes to him for what he did. Stryker is confused at first since Enerjak is to blame for the crap he’s been through but Knuckles states that he WAS Enerjak.

He doesn’t mention the mind control though. He makes sure to say that he betrayed everything the guardians stood for (GOOD) and that he's the one who killed his son (Yikes…).

Styker towers over Knuckles… and then… offers him a compliment!

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I remember thinking this scene was way more sad back in the day. I knew Knuckles was apologizing for doing bad stuff as Enerjak to his people but I must have been speedreading again or something because reading this now, this feels like a completely different scene entirely.

The two of them are actually on some common ground. Despite how Knuckles feels, Stryker isn’t really holding much against him here. He’s thriving now. He chooses to refer to Kage as Kage and not as his son and then says his frankness is refreshing for an echidna, which, has to mean quite a lot since all the echidna he’s dealt with up to this point were all a bunch of fucking assholes and liars.

Of course, he sheds a tear at the end, no doubt feeling a mix of things. Kage was still his son and having him get reduced to atoms by the one honest echidna you’ve met probably doesn’t feel that good. 

I didn’t know if Styker’s last line was a threat back then either but reading it now, I’m certain it’s not. Dude has an army and they’ll be coming back home in a bit. Done deal. Cool.

Knuckles returns to Angel Island and watches a couple of the Chaotix finish building a bridge to the Master Emerald shrine. It’s looking a lot more like Sonic Adventure now.

It’s kind of funny that he’s literally hiding in the bushes to make sure he’s not found so that he can sulk to himself some more.

Rouge is too good for that though. She ends up right behind him and they start to chat.

Knuckles spills his heart out about how if he were here on Angel Island everything would have been different and shit. He doesn’t know that, obviously. He just knows the way it DID turn out which means if things were different then things obviously would have been way better. Because that’s how that works when you’re down in the dumps.

I’ve been there. I know how he feels and I’ve used that line of thinking before too.

Rouge tells him that he’s being silly and that he has no way of knowing that but Knuckles gets mad and seriously, SERIOUSLY starts to argue that Angel Island survived countless disasters under past guardians and asks who’s to say their ways wouldn’t work now!

I know he’s in “Everything I do is wrong” depression mode but it’s still funny how insanely wrong he is here. 

Instead of going into how backwards everything Knuckles just said is myself, I’ll let Rouge tell us what we already know.

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I mean yeah.

You know, it doesn’t get any more clear and succinct then that.

I’ve ranted and raved about how shit they were at their jobs using way more words than was probably necessary. Here, at the point where they’re no longer relevant and doomed to float in some far off, inaccessible zone for all eternity, I can finally just let the book say it FOR me because the author in charge isn’t insane and knows how self-destructive and dumb they were.

Knuckles is of the new generation and he’s the last guardian. Their old ways are irrelevant now. Here, Knuckles can do things his way and he’ll be all the better for it.

So, he heads out and decides to meet up with his friends again… all while ending on an ominous panel of Rouge sinking into that villain role she was slated to be in at around this time.

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This goes nowhere. Thankfully.

I like it when the book remembers that Rouge can play the field on both sides of the alignment scale but this definitely feels more like a straight up villain thing. I’m glad Ian will eventually chill out on this. It won’t be for a while but it’ll happen eventually.

Contained within the pages of this book is one of the best, if not, my personal favorite villain plans of all time. It’s the kind of thing I’m so happy exists within a Sonic the Hedgehog book too. It feels great that I could potentially brag about it to people and use it as an excuse to tell others that there’s some good things associated with Sonic storytelling, actually. Mogul is a great villain and one I’ve always had a heavy interest in. He always felt like a legend but I never knew that this moment was the one where he felt the most like one. There were always tidbits and scenes involving his character that I loved. I’ll always remember how fucking pumped I was when I saw him steal Enerjak’s power way back when. Still, the back and forth he was having with the heroes was far less impressive. It was missing a spark and he finally got that here, ironically, when he was ready to finally settle down. Dial M for Mammoth Mogul. 

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #187: Mister Popular

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I’ve never really been a fan of this cover. Something about it always seemed off to me. Not every cover needs symmetry in order to work, obviously. Some of the neatest ones out there have made it work deliberately going against it. However, the placement of Sonic and those words with that Cartoon Network host addendum in brackets underneath it just throws me off for some reason. This certainly is a lot of characters to draw but this horde still doesn’t feel all that impressive regardless. One day they will but that day isn’t today if I recall correctly.

Spoiler

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Matt Herms
Inker: Jim Amash
Letters: John Workman
Colors: Josh Ray
Editor/Managing Editor: Mike Pellerito

One of the things I remember about the next two issues is wondering over and over again what the point of them was. I don’t remember too much aside from Sonic somehow getting captured and the beginning part where it’s revealed that after Mogul won he decided to do the next boss thing he could think of and open a casino.

Or rather, he appropriated Casino Night Zone as his own. That place already has history with these books of course. It’s rather unpleasant to think about still so instead we’ll focus on Rouge and Geoffrey entering it together, clearly on some kind of mission, and being greeted by the humble concierge.

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Scratch! Scratch is back! He hasn’t been seen since Issue #16 apparently. I honestly don’t remember seeing them at all. Back in the day, when I came to this point, I thought it was cool seeing them as well and figured this was the pay off to some old story I missed.

Turns out that’s not… really the case. There’s been this underlying theme of the old badniks being things that Eggman no longer uses anymore and as such, appropriating them for this was Mogul’s way of recycling them as it were. This was still around the time before the old Badniks would be brought back in stuff like Generations and Lost World. The tyrant that Eggman is today has no need for Scratch and Grounder. Orbot and Cubot are a little bumbly but Scratch and Grounder are straight up cartoonish. It wouldn’t be a good fit, at least not in the current Eggman’s eyes. 

Mogul greets Rouge and Geoffrey, outright saying that he knows their spies so… whatever jig was there it’s apparently already up. It’s amazing how much he doesn’t give a shit too. When Coconuts calls him to the Investors’ meeting he just waltzes off and tells them to enjoy themselves.

Coconuts is a character I have a strange relationship with. My earliest memories of Sonic the Hedgehog stem all the way back to when I owned a VHS tape with exactly two episodes of AoSth on them. One where a crystal in a ray gun made Sonic run slow and he had to be saved by a family of sloths and another where an old, fat raccoon superhero tried to prove his worth to Sonic and Sonic wasn’t having it.  

I have no idea how we got that tape but it was the only one we had of Sonic anything and I loved it so I re-watched it a lot. Coconuts is in neither of those episodes so it wasn’t until a bit later when I discovered he was even a thing on the show. The premise behind him confused me a bit since Scratch and Grounder aren’t exactly successful at what they do. The idea that he’d be treated far worse than them as an even bigger failure just blew my mind.

 To this day, despite having easier access to the old shows and seeing a few more episodes of AoSth, I still haven’t come across one with Coconuts in it. I know. It’s weird.

Why is he even here though? Well, turns out the shit with Bottleneck and Meatwad the Jellyfish had some dividends to pay up after all.

Those amounted literally to having Coconuts crawl his ass to the surface out of the embarrassing junk pile he was put into so that he could be Mogul’s butler at a casino.

Grounder finds this an enviable position.

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My loveable, huggable little robot lunk head with the drills for hands looks good in a chef’s hat. It must be hard pouring beer from the tap with those.

God, just looking at him takes me back.

Anyway, at Mogul’s investors’ meeting, or rather his round-table of villains, Sleuth Doggy Dawg aka the guy with the best name ever is ribbing Mogul about him having won and decided to use his newfound power to open up a casino.

It’s funny because Geoffrey said he managed to turn this place around overnight. I don’t know how literal that is but I’d imagine it couldn’t have been that long since he escaped, right?

The amount of time that’s gone by since then and now might have been another thing that confused me reading this back then. 

It matters not, because the point of this whole scene is that Mogul, despite rage quitting, still wishes to take whatever opportunity he can to fuck with Sonic.

He won’t do anything himself, but fuck it. If he sends someone else after him he won’t have to suffer any indignity and despite the cosmic punchline thing he talked about earlier, who really knows? Maybe he’ll get lucky.

In the next scene we get a full page spread of Tails’ dear old Uncle Merlin expelling the hex from Mina, Mighty, and Miles. Knuckles is there too for reasons I’ve forgotten but he thanks Merlin for his help. They address why Sonic had to be there though and Merlin says that it’s because Finitevus’ hex was really powerful and cloaking the Master Emerald so he had to make sure there were no adverse effects on Sonic’s body since it should have been impossible for him to use it to turn Super Sonic.

This was a conversation I had no recollection of but it does bring up a good point. The Master Emerald couldn’t be used by anyone because it was locked by the evil doctor’s hex so Sonic being able to use it to turn Super is a bit mysterious.

I don’t remember if there’s ever an explanation given for why this is the case. It might be something that gets lost in the ether that is these Archie Comics but either way, Merlin has to go now. He’s still gotta find that there Chaos Force. As such, we get a touching goodbye seen between him and his nephew.

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Of course, Tails has a coping mechanism where he has to go work on something in order to help him move on. 

He won't have to worry about it at all when his family gets wiped from existence and he remembers none of it though.

As an aside, Matt Herms as a penciler is pretty good but at this point in time it’s not my favorite. The balloon animal nature of the way everyone is drawn works sometimes and other times not so much. It's definitely not bad though. I shudder to think we’ll ever get anything that looks as bad as the way the book was looking back in the days of Penders and Ron Lim.

Fun fact, I was struggling so hard to remember Ron Lim’s name while writing the previous paragraph that I actually had to look it up. Yeah, it’s low-key kind of good that the earlier stuff is leaving my head a bit considering how torturous it was but also, holy shit, my memory is pants.

Sonic, as he mentions above, is called in by Sally. It’s not for anything important. She just doesn’t want to be alone while going down memory lane. 

I could feel a little bit of the nostalgia seeping into me during this scene even though I never watched SatAM as a kid and currently, to this day, have only seen two or three episodes of it; the Blast to the Past two parter and maybe the Sonic’s nightmare episode.

Point is, the two of them are overlooking the ruins of Knothole. There’s STILL plums of smoke coming from it too which is impressive. They get to talking and go on about how they’ve changed and Sally brings up again how her transition into changing wasn’t very smooth.

She’s right but it honestly barely feels like her fault. Penders is such a force of nature that you can’t help but feel bad for the characters he’s fucking with.

That said, there’s this gross scene where they start to kiss and Bean thankfully interrupts it by throwing a literal bomb in between them.

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I’ve said before that I just didn’t care about their relationship. I think I’ve reached a point deep enough into these books where I can say I actively don’t like it now. 

Ian said he wanted to work them through that relationship snafu from earlier by getting them to the point where they were friends again first. Obviously, they’re going to have lingering feelings for each other so times when they’re alone the intimacy is going to creep in and lead to things like what’s pictured above, even if they are “just friends” for right now. 

So that’s fine. My problem is what it’s always been. Despite her being written better and not being treated like garbage by the writer, I’m still not that into Sally's character. It’s not that I find her bad right now or anything but there’s also nothing here that interests or hooks me. I don’t particularly want to see her and Sonic get back together. I’d be more interested in seeing Sonic navigate through something with Amy or maybe explore the option of giving boys a try since he can’t seem to make going out with girls work for him.

Sonic and Sally as a unit just does nothing for me. I don’t find it cute like I do Ash and Mina and I don’t find it intriguing and fun like I do Sonic and Amy. It’s just kind of bland to me. I don't care a whole lot for couples  anyway since it's impossible for me to be romantic with anyone. I just like cute things or interesting things. Sonic and Sally is neither to me.

A cute little fight scene happens, including a scene where Sally tricks Bean into rushing after his own bomb, making dog noises, before he catches it and blows himself up. He did all that because she reminded him it was shiny. What a card.

Sonic gets punched off the cliff by Bark because he decided to watch that instead of pay attention to his own fight, something he admonishes himself for (twice) and lands in the middle of the Destructix where they fight too.

We get yet another scene of Drago being everyone’s favorite punching bag where he talks about how he’s suffered too many indignities because of him and Sonic tells him to get used to it while jumping out of the way of Sergeant Simian’s punch, which, of course, hits Drago instead.

It’s not that impressive as far as action in this book has gone and the characters he’s fighting have yet to reach the apex of their development so it’s all very bog standard so far.

The most interesting thing about this happens in the next scene where Sally straight up offers to hire Bean and Bark to work for them for a bit. 

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The fact that she not only does this but offers to diminish their sentences and outstanding charges just kind of goes to show how little of a threat they really are to her. They haven’t really known her for that long but already she’s got their number. 

So, in the next scene, Bean and Bark show up to help Sonic. 

In this scene we get yet ANOTHER reference to the Battle Bird Armada.

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I mean, Jesus. I seriously did not know that Ian was planting so many seeds about it this early on. It’s happened at least three times now. Predator Hawk being called an Armada Deserter makes no sense at this point in time and him responding that Bean isn’t one to talk is something that sadly never fully gets explored but my God.

I have opinions about literally making all the bird characters have a connection to the Battle Bird Armada but I’m sure they’ll get a bit more complicated upon revisit. So many things have changed since then and so much is changing now with this re-read. It’s hard to stay true to what you felt so long ago back when you didn’t have the full context AND when you were a different person with a tolerance for different things.

Sally tells Sleuth to surrender and he says no. He’s got an ace up his sleeve.

That ace is Nack, who snipes Sonic and knocks him out with a sleep dart. The villains carry him off while Sally tries to push Bean and Bark to continue helping. That doesn’t work since the villains manage to get Sonic, which means they failed on her mission, meaning they might as well get paid for Mogul’s.

The other baddies, hilariously enough, just leave with them like the scene where they betrayed them didn’t even happen. I do enjoy that honestly.

Sally is left with Nack who basically continues to give reasons as to why he’s going to let the heroes he has at his mercy live.

He said he didn’t just blow Sonic’s brains out because… apparently that’s not as fun. Also, he’s going to give Sally a ten second head-start to rush to Freedom HQ before he snipes her.

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That’s where we end, with Nack making a really huge mistake yet again.

Yeah, I feel like my opinion on this issue hasn’t really changed since the last time I read it. It’s there. There doesn’t, currently, feel like much of a need for this story to be happening aside from, I guess, giving these side goons something to do but, honestly, I’d rather we just hurry up on developing them a bit. There’s a few tidbits here and there that are fun but on the whole it’s a little hard feeling much about watching Sonic fight these guys again. Granted, their fights hardly ever have a proper conclusion and he did lose this time but that doesn’t change the fact that we’ve seen this already and what this issue did with it, aside from the Bean and Bark turn, wasn’t anything special.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #188: Beating the House

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Now this is what I call a cover. Because of the way it’s set up, it ends up telling a little story of it’s own in a single image. Sonic’s been smacked into a wall, leaving a cartoonish, Sonic shaped indent within it, and now he’s stomping back into the fray, ready to continue the fight. It gives off the feeling that he’s being taken to task but is more than willing and capable to keep going. Having it be at a diagonal angle like this works well too.

Spoiler

Writer:: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Matt Herms
Inks: Jim Amash
Letters: John Workman
Colors: Josh Ray
Editor/Managing Editor: Mike Pellerito

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Both of the faces Sonic is making on this first page are indicative of a very familiar feeling and mood I’ve been in semi-frequently. The only expression that’s missing is the one where he’s clutching his head in extreme pain due to the awful, consistent headaches that come with the seasons changing.

Sonic recounts what he thinks just happened to him in his head. He doesn’t know how he ended up here but he remembers hearing Nack’s voice and tries to break out of the shackles, knowing that Nack is alone with Sally right now. It doesn’t work. These shackles are Sonic-resistant.

I mean, of course they are. You can’t go out hunting Sonics with Non-Sonic-Resistant shackles.

Back with Sally, she’s been given a 10 second head start by Nack because, apparently, he’s glad to be an instrument of his own demise. 

When his 10-count reaches one he ends up firing and missing due to Sally jumping at the right time and going down the Great Oak Slide, which is a secret entrance he didn’t know about.

Yeah, I don’t have a problem with villains losing but man, this kind of stuff is hard to let go sometimes. I’m sure Nack doing this can be explained away by ego or something but I can’t remember him doing anything like this before. It just feels like this was written like this because we needed some justification for why he doesn’t just blow her brains out. I guess having him pull an Eggman is as good a reason as any?

Anyway, Nack loses because he’s an idiot, I guess.

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I hate to say it but right now he’s a character that was treated way better at the start of the book. 

Sally went down the slide and saw that Amy was the only one there so when he followed after her, he got bashed out of the HQ from behind by her hammer and now Nicole is just going to re-arrest him a mere two issues after he escaped. It doesn't end up happening but man.

If I were a bigger fan of his character I’d be really cheesed off by now. He’ll get better as the book goes along but right now Ian seems to be having trouble finding his footing with Nack here. 

With that done, Amy and Sally head off to go save Sonic.

We then cut to a delightful, wonderful scene where the villains of AoSth have a nice reunion with their favorite hedgehog.

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This is the best sequence of panels within the issue. I know this already despite not having finished my re-read of it yet because it tickled that nostalgia bone in just the right way.

This book is mostly coated in a sheen of SatAM so whenever something more my speed comes along, it’ll naturally hit home a little more. I can’t help loving these guys and it’s great that they’re all still around even if they don’t really need to show up anymore.

What follows after this is a little more meta stuff from the villains on top of more Drago bashing. This time it’s a little more funny since Sleuth is just taking every opportunity he can to belittle and talk shit to Drago for no reason.

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Like, there’s really no in-character reason for it, which is part of what’s so funny about it. Ian is doing it because Drago was a domestic abuser and he sucks and is going to spend the rest of the book being a pinata because of it but the more he does it and the more I notice it the more ambivalent I feel I’m getting to it. Granted, I have no suggestions for what he should do otherwise. This is about what Drago’s character deserves.

Then, of course, there’s the meta stuff about how every time Sonic’s in peril, the Freedom Fighters do something at the last minute and that’s cited as a reason for Mogul to pick up the pace.

Mogul has already figured this out so he’s in no hurry, obviously. I doubt he really cares THAT much about what’s happening here. He really doesn’t have to. He’s immortal.

There is a cynical part of me that is hearing what Sleuth is saying and kind of wants the fact that he said that to mean the story is going to go a different route. Pointing out how the narrative structure of the Freedom Fighters coming to save the day usually turns out is the kind of thing that makes the more out there ideas Ian has with his story-telling stand out as something special. It feels a little less cool when a character says a thing is going to happen and then it just happens.

That’s almost exactly what happens though.

Sally and Amy rush in and meet up with Geoffrey and Rouge. They all then burst into exactly where Sonic is being held, right after that infamous set of panels everyone likes.

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We’re spared more of it thanks to these four heroes, not including Rouge. She opts out of the fighting and instead heads on over to Sleuth to chat.

It was at this point where I recalled why I wasn’t able to remember how this issue concluded. 

This fight happens basically off-screen. 

You can’t really make out much of it because it’s either really shadowy or what little we do see is just intermingled with scenes of characters chatting.

Drago gets kicked by Sally so hard that his entire head twists all the way around.

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So he’s dead.

Also, I’ll thank you guys not to remind me of the “old times”, kay?

By the way, did I say fight?

I misspoke.

It’s not really a fight. It’s more so what happens when a group of bullies burst into the locker room to ambush a bunch of nerds. The villains just get demolished. There’s more people to help out now so it’s a little more understandable but it still does nothing to help the image of the Destructix.

I did kind of wonder if a point was being made when their past confrontations were pointed out as being mostly inconclusive and what not but I had no real inkling to go back and check and after witnessing this--!

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Who cares? 

They’re just a bunch of losers. Their goons who happen to have names and because of that they’re offered some sort of significance in relevancy I guess.

Again, this’ll change later but it’s all very indicative of just how much of nothing a lot of these side villains are. I typically don’t have an issue when badniks don’t put up a fight but for the villains to be this mismatched against just four other hero characters, it just feels off. They're all anthro characters right? Why are they so incredibly mismatched?

It’s Issue #173 again. The heroes just bulldoze over an entire group of villains in a sequence that happens mostly off-screen because they’re that much of a non-threat. Only, instead of it being Mogul, Naugus, and Team Hooligan it’s the Destructix… and Team Hooligan.

Like, it’s legitimately really sad and embarrassing. I want to see the heroes win the day, sure, but having stuff like this happen all the time isn’t satisfying. I don’t feel happy they’ve been beaten. I honestly feel more sorry for them.

Especially when it comes to Lightning Lynx over there. Every time I see him I just get all sad because of something I find out about his past later and it even more sadly never gets resolved too. Luffy and Zoro were right about fights that just leave pity behind.

Scratch and Grounder hide behind the bar as this happens, so at least they’re fine.

Sleuth is fine too, only, he’s in a bit of a different situation thanks to Rouge here.

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Yeah, Rouge has been paid off by Mogul to… I dunno. Allow him to embarrass Sonic?

It’s… weird. I’m honestly not entirely sure what happens next here.

I mean, I get the part about them calling out Mogul and Mogul pretending he didn’t know what was going on at his own investor’s meeting. That part is solid. His acting is on point and the fact that they destroyed his Swat Bot Butlers because they merely asked the heroes to leave and have no proof of wrong-doing on HIS part is pretty good.

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All this is fine. I love that Mogul just has their number and can get out of pretty much anything now by being smarter than all of them put together. Sleuth, for his part, also manages to come out looking good whenever he’s on screen too which I’m grateful for.

Perhaps that earlier “fight” scene was more pomp and circumstance than anything serious too because we see Drago show up, no longer unconscious, asking why Sleuth fessed up. If so, I don’t understand why. What does Drago mean by “fess up”? Mogul already knew what was happening back there and what Sleuth said may have echoed some earlier sentiments he may have had but it’s not like he didn’t still go through with Mogul’s plan. As for the heroes, they're convinced he's lying anyway. He didn’t really fess up to anything. The scene above is kind of proof that it’s a bit of a lie.

Mogul just says that he’ll be sending the repair bill to Elias and the heroes leave.

Then Sleuth explains to Drago that the reason he put on that show was because Rouge told him that Mogul is going to pay them for having humiliated Sonic.

I mean… yeah, I guess I’d be happy to pay someone for doing that too. That sounds great. 

I’m slightly confused by why we needed a two-part story dedicated to Mogul just wanting to hire some goons to humiliate Sonic for a bit. I guess some neat things were established here and there but at the end of the day this feels like a weird filler episode of an old anime.

On their way back, Bunnie delivers the good news that Freedom HQ is intact. She also delivers the even better news that Nack got away. They say it’s bad news but it would have been really awful if he was thrown back in jail so quickly yet again. That would have rendered him just completely worthless and it’d have been hard for him to recover from that. Honestly.

I guess Nack’s lucky they either decided not to restrain him or that he woke up in time to deal with whatever restraints they might have left him in and rushed off. 

With that distraction gone we end on a preview for the next big story arc of the comics. In my mind I remember this next arc being fairly short and simple but that’s definitely my brain playing tricks on me. This thing is going to be a good eight issues actually.

We’re back in Moebius where the Anti-Freedom Fighters have their new designs. The only one I actively hate is the way Miles looks. He’d be fine if they got rid of that disgusting gray hair on his head.

Anyway, Scourge is king now.

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Impressive how fast it was for him to become king. 

Then again, the sense of time in this book hasn’t been the best honestly. I have no idea how long it’s been.

This is one of those two-issue story arcs that could have been easily cut and nothing of any real value, aside from the AoSth nostalgia feels, would have been lost. Mogul owning a casino is great and all but I feel like that’s something that could have been introduced as an aside before a much grander tale anyway. Sorry to say that my opinion on this story remains the same nowadays. Back then, I failed to see the point and I’ve once again failed to discover said point reading it here. It just felt like another excuse to humiliate everyone in your Rogue’s gallery for no real reason. Mogul’s motivation for doing this was delightfully petty and I don’t mind the resolution but it does little to justify itself despite that. It feels like it exists because we needed something cute and soft before we barged head first into another game changing arc.

Skip this if you want but, then again, if you’ve read 188 issues of this book why would you?

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Ryannumber1gamer

Random thoughts time again!

  • Mogul's plan with Tails, Mighty and Mina was absolutely twisted, and probably one of the best long cons in the series. I personally like to think he could've done this at any point as well, and was biding his time, deciding now because everyone was still in turmoil over Enerjak. Although he could've also just been waiting for Mina to come back so he could pull the ultimate meme-lord move by making Sonic his forth member of the Fearsome Foursome.
  • I really like Sonic's pissed off expression when he's asking Nicole where the emerald is stashed. Both a mixture of hating the fact he was beaten, and hating the fact he would have to go against Nicole's wishes here to save everyone without explanation.
  • It's nice to see Ash's character development here, tbh.
  • You gotta love how there's just some two random Dark Egg Legionnaires who thought they hit their lucky day when Mighty stumbled upon them willingly, only to get their asses kicked anyways.
  • Mogul screwing with Sonic's head was excellent too. Acknowledging Sonic could maybe save one of them, but then trying to flood his mind with possibilities as to what to do and how to save them in order to make it clear giving up the emerald was the only thing Sonic could do was a masterstroke.
  • It truly just is amazing how Ian took such a godawful villain like Mogul and actually made him live up to his potential, especially so soon after his introduction. Makes it all the more sadder that Mogul's original creator is now pulling a Penders and trying to spin off Mogul and the Fearsome Foursome as a COMIC BOOK SUPERSTAR(TM).
  • I really don't like how villainous Rouge is here. I get what Ian's going for, but it just doesn't work. I feel like they could've easily made one minor change to make Rouge a lot better too - instead of the "i can wrap you around my finger" bit, she probably could've just said "And with you back down fighting the good doctor, I'll be sure to keep the Master Emerald company" or something like that. Imply Rouge is still being selfish and jewel-hungry, sure, but that's more in character than her dumbass home-wrecker nonsense.
  • I don't really mind the Sonally moment, if only because it's pretty funny that Bean straight up dropped a bomb on them, Sally freaks out, and Sonic just looks more frustrated than anything else.
  • I cut Nack a bit of slack because I can still buy him being vindictive enough to play around with Sally. In total fairness to him, the only reason Sally even got away with that stunt was because of a secret entrance Nack had no idea about. If that wasn't there, Sally was dead meat.
  • I'm also gonna cut some slack on the whole "Sonic gets away" bit - it's pretty clear that was Mogul's intention the entire time - he wanted this grand setup to bait Sonic into snapping at Mogul. It's why he keeps Slueth and co waiting, and it's why he hires Rouge to inform them of what to do next (Since the FF believe Rouge is on their side atm). The whole thing was just a setup to make Sonic look like an ass, essentially, which is pretty funny.
  • Again, not really down on totally villainous Rouge here.
  • Time for Scrouge to show them who rules the roost, hail to the king.
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Sonictrainer
4 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:
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Back when I read this, I was flabbergasted by how smart and devilish this was. It’s all so efficient and perfect yet he’s also the kind of character who’d totally stay true to the end of the deal he’s made. It’s really interesting watching Mogul do his stuff here.

It’s interesting because the character doesn’t feel all that different in terms of how he speaks and carries himself. The difference here is that his actions are standing out as something more outwardly clever and it makes good on what it is he’s saying. He’s not just talking the talk, he’s walking the walk too.

Strange how he’s far more impressive as a wizard in a cage than as a God who could crush galaxies in the palm of his hand. Probably because this particular story isn’t written like complete ass. That might be it.

 

Yeah, I feel like this is the best Mogul Story in the entire series.

4 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:
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In this scene we get yet ANOTHER reference to the Battle Bird Armada.

I mean, Jesus. I seriously did not know that Ian was planting so many seeds about it this early on. It’s happened at least three times now. Predator Hawk being called an Armada Deserter makes no sense at this point in time and him responding that Bean isn’t one to talk is something that sadly never fully gets explored but my God.

 

Well, at least not for another 2 years until the Lockdown Sonic Universe Arc, where the Destructix finally get origin stories.

Although, I don't think Bean & Bark ever got Origin Stories...

 

38 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Time for Scrouge to show them who rules the roost, hail to the king.

Yes, tune in next time as Sonic faces Evil Sonic 2, Ex-Girlfriend, Emo Tails, Ally Acorn, Pirate Antoine, Superior Iron Rotor, Metal Sonic, Metal Evil Sonic 2, Not-Omega, Crazy Classic Amy, Silver, & Super Evil Sonic 2.

Unfortunately, no Pacifist the Echinda...

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Dr. Detective Mike
1 hour ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

I'm also gonna cut some slack on the whole "Sonic gets away" bit - it's pretty clear that was Mogul's intention the entire time - he wanted this grand setup to bait Sonic into snapping at Mogul. It's why he keeps Slueth and co waiting, and it's why he hires Rouge to inform them of what to do next (Since the FF believe Rouge is on their side atm). The whole thing was just a setup to make Sonic look like an ass, essentially, which is pretty funny.

Well, like I said, I like the idea of Mogul just trying to humiliate Sonic but if that was the point, I feel like the story could have been constructed a bit better to emphasize it. Instead of it just being this thing where Sonic fights all these named goons again and beats them again and we end on that admittedly satisfying scene where Mogul tells them to get the fuck out and that he's billing Elias for the repairs. I don't know how much mileage you can get out of just showing Sonic fighting those guys again and again at this point. 

I think more emphasis should have just been put on making Sonic publically look like an ass in that casino by Mogul. That would have been fun. Everything he does that he thinks is justified just looks like the act of a bully to everyone around and it ends with Mogul being like, "What a bitter ruffian this young blue one is, am I right folks?" 

That would have been perfect. I don't mind a bit of time wasting so long as it's fun.

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jungle_penguins

I haven't been keeping up with this thread, darn.

I'll just say that the time scale in this entire comic run is completely asinine, but I have to give it slack since it's a monthly comic that needs to keep readers invested. The majority of the non-flashback stories takes place in like, 2 years?

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Gotta say, I remember reading up on Mogul and just being absolutely impressed with the gambit he pulled off.

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9 hours ago, jungle_penguins said:

The majority of the non-flashback stories takes place in like, 2 years?

Yeah, more or less, Sonic has 2 birthday celebrations over the books history, and a gap year from his time lost in space. So you could agrue it's 3 years. 

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SkyHorizon

Amazing reviews as usual. Can't wait for the Scourge Arc! As usual, a few thoughts...

Mogul: Amazing! Especially on the first issue, Mogul is at the top of his game. I share your opinion: great potential, always interested in his character, but, sadly, until now he never really had the occasion to shine (except for the "Enerjak-draining" bit that led nowhere). I'm not so against the second story (second and third issues), I always took them as "that's what Mogul will do from now on", but yeah, they definitively feel a lot like filler.

Destructix: Again: what you said. I think the main problem is that the cast was too crowded. If Bark and Bean weren't there and Sleuth and Drago had been already been eliminated, I think the story would have flown better. For now, they're just redundant.

Nack: I think he did fine. I mean, he let Sally go, but he had no way to know about the Great Oak Slide and it was an established thing in the past, so it's fine. As for not killing Sonic... well, aside from plot-armor, you can say that Mogul specifically asked not to. He looked professional enough in my opinion.

Sonally: Well, personally I don't mind a little bit of romance between these two. I mean, I can't say I'm really interested in it, but when you think about it from the perspective of the book, it is only natural tat they got closer again. And Flynn was doing it the correct way (differently from a certain echidna-loving guy I won't name...)

P.S: In the Scourge Lockdown Arc, it is confirmed that Scourge wasn't really king, he just "beat up a bunch of regional warlords and said that made him king"

P.P.S: A little tidbit about Miles (Tails' alter-ego): I remember Flynn saying in an old "Ask Ian" that his hair was dyed because he wanted to "look older". He answered directly through Miles, strongly denying it and trying to convince us that it was natural :).

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Sonictrainer

Btw, the Sonic using his superspeed to dig underground to avoid situations gag has happened multiple times throughout Archie.

Heck, it even appears in the first issue of IDW.

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Dr. Detective Mike

Sonic X- Issue #37: Switcheroo!

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Everything’s been reversed. Or at least I’m guessing that’s what the plot is going to be considering this cover and the title. This is another excellent cover though. It’s probably another one of my favorites honestly. These Sonic X covers really know how to do intense detail correctly. My word. If only the early Archie books had that knowledge.

Spoiler

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: James Fry
Inks: Terry Austin
Colors: Jason Jensen
Letters: Phil Felix
Editor & Managing editor: Mike Pellerito

We begin in media res as per usual with Ian’s stuff. What’s actually happening isn’t anything too complicated. Eggman’s about to fire a huge, fuck off, laser beam that is supposed to… I guess capture the President’s mind?

Either way, it doesn’t work, because Sonic spin-dashes into it causing it to explode. Both Sonic and Eggman end up caught in the blast though, looking none too good for their troubles.

If you haven’t figured it out from looking at the cover or reading the title then you’ll no doubt figure it out now.

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What a heroic face Sonic is making in those panels. You gotta love it.

Sonic wakes up in Eggman’s base, thinking he’s been captured. He then sits up, wondering why he’s so heavy, until he gets a good look at himself in the mirror that Bokkun brought for him.

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So yes, regardless of whatever it was Eggman’s ray was supposed to do, when Sonic spun into it, their minds swapped. Now Sonic will have no choice but to feel the wonders of wearing skin tight full body suits and being bald as opposed to having insanely long quills.

As for Eggman, he’s enjoying himself as Sonic. He’s being pampered by the heroes who think they’re taking care of a hero who just got shaken up.

Take Amy’s word for it though, Sonic’s never looked better.

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I see this image floating about on Twitter all the time but until now the context alluded me. Though, I’ve definitely read all these issues before so it was most certainly a memory thing. A part of me even wondered if it had been altered in some way but no. It’s just Eggman.

Eggman is in “I’m a take as much advantage of this as possible” mode as he takes to relaxing, right by Ella I might add, until Chris and Amy start bad mouthing Eggman.

So, Eggman, as Sonic, takes it upon himself to say it’s an honor to fight such a handsome, dangerous, genius and that they shouldn’t take him so lightly.

Amy and Chris look confused by this but if I were there I’d probably think he was being sarcastic.

That’s when Tails flies in through the window and says the President has been kidnapped by Hector Dragg. Eggman doesn’t know who the fuck that is and they have to reiterate that he’s the disgraced racer from the S-Team that joined S.O.N.I.C.X. You know, that’s group of tertiary characters from the anime that all, in some way, formed a grudge against Sonic?

Honestly, Eggman not knowing who he is is played up as a mistake on his part but this book hasn’t touched the S.O.N.I.C.X guys since the multi-colored Sonics issue. You’d be forgiven for not remembering who Hector Dragg is too.

I instantly thought it was hilarious that the guy kidnapped the President though. Like, he’d better hope whatever plan he has works because that’s not usually something you just decide to do and then casually fail at with no repercussions. 

Well, unless you’re Eggman of course.

Speaking of the good doctor, he’s being tasked with the job of rescuing him because he’s the only one fast enough to keep up with Hector’s car. Eggman figures he might as well. How hard can it be?

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So Eggman rushes off to go rescue the President while, back at Eggman’s base, Sonic is watching the news to see what’s going on in the world. He figures it might not be so bad being Eggman since he can stop his world conquest by doing nothing.

He’s right, of course, but I might do a little more than that if I were him.

Maybe command all of Eggman’s forces to self-destruct or something? I dunno. I guess that would cause a lot of air pollution. 

Sonic gets horrified when he sees that Hector Dragg has kidnapped the President and has to save face in front of Eggman’s lackies when he shows concern. He almost breaks down when he sees Eggman slamming his body and face into everything on the street as he tries to catch up to the vehicle.

Sonic makes a decree that they’re going out to rescue the President. He tells them it’s because he wants to teach that upstart a lesson but he’s really just worried about Eggman breaking his face.

Inside the getaway car, Hector has a proposal for the President.

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Yes, make them all illegal. Cause that’s what President’s do with their President-like abilities. They make things legal and illegal by decree of the President. Branches of Government? What the fuck is that shit? Get that shit outta here!

Also, Mr President we demand the sum of... ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

Yeah, I know. This is very much an Austin Powers kind of handling of the President and the Government and all that crap. It’s fine. I just can’t help but laugh at how goofy it is. The President was kidnapped by a disgraced race-car police officer who turned evil because he was only the 3rd fastest person on the planet and demands he make Sonic and his friends illegal.

Like, the idea of making someone’s existence illegal is what keeps tickling me about this. It’s so goofy.

They almost crash into Sonic, who is piloting the Egg Mobile, and he dangerously shoots a laser out at Eggman as he tries to rescue them. Because Eggman wants to be the hero this time. Yet again. 

Sonic will not let him. Yet again.

Who’s the REAL evil one here eh? 

Their behavior is so screwy that eventually, Bokkun, Bocoe, and Decoe figure out just by watching them that the Mind-Scrambler switched their brains. They feel as though they can do good with this information and proceed to make evil villain faces. 

As this happens, Sonic is chasing down Eggman so hard that I’m honestly starting to buy the roles they’ve put themselves in just a bit. Sonic is starting to actually look like the crazed Eggman here. 

He finally has him cornered and, I guess they get a little too close to each other, because a massive explosion happens that engulfs them both and makes the Egg Mobile crash onto the front of Hector’s car.

Hector takes off and then, as a result of said explosion, both Sonic and Eggman’s minds are back to normal.

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Just like that.

It’s very strange and insanely fast but hey we needed to wrap things up somehow right?

Bocoe, Decoe, and Bokkun, not knowing that they’ve been switched back, grab Eggman and fly off. Sonic says his goodbyes to the President and Sam Speed, when he finally makes the scene, and heads home to find them putting padding all over the place to make sure that when Sonic bashes his face into their stuff he’ll be fine.

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It’s adorable how much they love him.

Honestly, the closer we get to the ending the sadder I get. The feelings remain the same whenever I revisit the old show as well. I don’t think I’ll ever fully be able to leave Sonic X alone until I get a new Sonic anime of some kind. Or, at the very least, a new Sonic show that isn’t CG.

We end on what has to be, perhaps, without exaggeration, the best panel this book has ever created.

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This image is magical.

I would make this image my signature right the fuck now if I didn’t have an understandable bias towards the stuff I drew and colored myself.

That was a nice, compact amount of fun. Body swap stories are always good for a decent laugh and this certainly won’t be the last time Sonic and Eggman switch places in Sonic media. The faces that Eggman was pulling off in Sonic’s body were literally meme worthy. With this, however, we’ve reached another threshold for me. 

My first issue of Sonic X was Issue #25, as I stated before, but I didn’t decide to regularly collect them until Issue #39. Well, I got lucky and found Issue #38 on the shelves of a different shop and got that one too. Imagine my surprise that my decision to do that would come at the tail end of these books. These last three issues are among the first four issues of this book I’ve ever read of the Sonic X Archie books as a result. The other issues I own, I managed to find at old comic shops around my hometown. I have Issue #37 sitting right in front of me as we speak. There are several gaps in the issues that I own but that’s fine. I don’t need them all.

That’s especially true now that I’m about to complete this part of the retrospective. I suspect it’ll be a while before I re-read them again. It’s Sonic so I totally will one day though. 

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #189: A Bold New Moebius, Part One: Unwelcome Guests

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This is the first half of a connecting cover. We’re on our way towards a new arc and the Freedom Fighters are taking charge together, once again. Honestly, it feels like it’s been a while since they have, as a full unit. We also discover here that Sonic can fly. Or, at the very least, he can hover for however long it takes for him to pose in mid-air. Sally looks really funny, charging in like that with her fists clenched like she’s a berserker or something.

Spoiler

Writer: Ian Flynn
Artist: Tracy Yardley
Inker: Jim Amash
Letterer: John Workman
Colorist: Josh Ray
Editor/Managing editor: Mike Pellerito

So, #181 may have been my first normal Archie Sonic issue but I didn’t start to properly follow it issue by issue until we hit the middle portion of this arc. Not having the full starting context for this arc wasn’t that big of a deal though. It was just cool seeing all this confusing stuff happen. Although, I will admit, the Hedgehog Havoc issue did kind of worry me a bit. There were so many hedgehogs and I wasn’t quite sure if the reason there were so much was something that could be excused.

We have a bit of a way before we get to #194 though. Our story arc begins with Rotor coming to look at the Star Posts in Tails’ workspace. Apparently they just turned on by themselves, which isn’t creepy at all.

Fortunately, the instant Rotor shrugs his shoulders and says the words “Special Zone” in reference to what the Star Posts normally do, Boomer comes out and hits them with his booming sound waves, taking that as his cue to respond with “Oh we’re plenty special.” 

These coming scenes are kind of funny because the Anti-versions of these characters are trying hard to differentiate themselves now and hearing both Rotor and Tails just blurt out “Anti-Rotor” and “Anti-Tails” when they see them kind of goes to show the folly of naming people from another universe the “Anti” version of someone else.

Imagine waking up everyday and having the word “Anti” in front of your name and not knowing why, only to find out there’s an entire world in another dimension where people are named after you but with the “Anti” removed. I don’t think all of them have this issue. Patch was called Patch before this after all.

I don’t know if Anti-Rotor was called Boomer before though. Most certainly not, since, Boomer literally says “It’s BOOMER now, wuss” in response to being called Anti-Rotor.

We also know that Scourge used to be called Evil Sonic. 

A part of me kind of wants to believe the naming convention is also the result of the heroes being on a bit of a supremacy ego trip. Like, they just assume they’re the normal versions of themselves so they call the versions of themselves from another dimension the “Anti” them. 

But even then it gets a little muddy because we’ve seen SO many different versions of Sonic and Tails. This is the main Prime universe so I guess the universe Scourge is from is the main… anti universe? The perpendicular and parallel thing is at work here again, I suppose. 

This is a bunch of rambling that basically comes down to me wondering how the naming functioned before these guys all strove to be their own characters.

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I know this is happening because them being called “Anti-Rotor” and “Anti-Tails” is demeaning and makes little sense in the context of THEIR lives. It’s weird to think about Evil Sonic going around to people in his own world and claiming to be the Evil Sonic. It doesn’t really work.

Miles here comes out and tackles Tails to the ground as per the orders of Princess Alicia who is doing this under the orders of Fiona, or, her “highness” because she’s Scourge’s queen. Fiona actually tells Alicia to watch her bitchy ass, sarcastic tone when addressing her too. Again.

Alicia is going along with it because she has to but she’s going to take whatever crack at her she can. My memory of this version of Sally is that she always has this “I’m so done. I’m so tired.” look on her face. It’s kind of fun.

I'm so-so on Miles’ prim and proper gimmick. I like it because he reminds me a bit of my boy Starline but the hair, as I’ve mentioned before, is gross. It’s just harshing my mellow something fierce. I literally had to put my thumb over it so I could try and make out what he’d look like without it. 

Someone said it was just him dying his hair. That makes sense. How else would you do it aside from a wig? It still looks bad. I want my Evil Tails to look cute goddammit. 

We cut to a battle in New Megaopolis where the Chaotix and Sonic are making quick work of the new Dark Egg Legion. It’s a neat little merging of names that I didn’t even notice upon my original read because I didn’t have any context for what the original Dark Legion was. Ah man. The re-read is continuing to put in work as far as new discoveries to be had.

Sonic, for some reason, expected Knuckles to laugh when he pointed out that this group of some of the last remaining members of his people have sold themselves to Eggman and are now being beaten back by them. I’m not sure why he expected him to,

When Knuckles points out that it’s his fault they went to Eggman, Sonic says “Oh, don’t start this again…” like he expected Knuckles' depression over what happened to be cured by now.

I keep forgetting that Archie Sonic is a lot less understanding and sensitive to stuff like this. He doesn’t really care all that much for the reasons these guys sold themselves to Eggman. Knuckles points out that he took their cybernetics away as Enerjak and they likely felt as though they had no choice because they’ve grown dependent on being part machine. It’s just a part of their identity now and without it they literally can’t live. They don’t feel comfortable in their own skin.

It’s sad but Sonic is firmly in the camp of “They chose to do this” while my boy Knuckles wants to actually help them. Even if they have a difference of opinion, Sonic doesn’t try to stop him when he says he wishes to talk to their leader. At least he’s being respectful.

I’m sure it’s possible to land on either side of this argument. I personally feel more clean taking Knuckles’ side on this. I do opt for trying to understand what drives the enemies and seeing what can be done to help them because I’m a sensitive little flower. It doesn’t really bring me any joy seeing them so desperate to live happily that they’ve turned to Eggman and now have to suffer getting beat up by our heroes because of it. It feels very pitiable.

Back at Freedom HQ, Patch is the next evil twin to come out and he walks right out in the open, claiming things are safe and fine, before Amy’s hammer slams into the wall and scares the crap out of him. She chases after him while Bunnie grapples with Alicia from behind.

Then Boomer blasts Bunnie and Tails starts to try and get away from Miles. It's one big mess. Fiona is on her way out to go see if she can tidy things up but she comes face to face with Antoine.

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I’ve always loved this image of Fiona tapping her finger against Antoine’s sword. A lot of the poses, positions, and angles taken within this issue are pretty neat. They’re delightful in how impossible they look which is great. It means the comic is taking advantage of being a cartoon. Plus, they do it the right way where I’m not looking at an image of Sally’s body twisted up in an uncomfortable position that makes me wince. It’s just believable enough that it works.

Looking at this, you’d think Antoine would come face to face with Patch and Bunnie does make mention of her and her hubby having unfinished business with him, but, I also appreciate that it’s not going for the obvious match-ups right away. At least not for all of them.

Back with the battle with the Dark Egg Legion, the forces of the bad guys have been spread super thin. They’re literally not a challenge. Unlike last issue with the horde of goons that happen to have names though, that’s literally the point. Eggman’s army has been devastated. His Egg Fleet is gone because he foolishly thought he could have it take out Enerjak despite Dimitri’s warning that they should do the Zoidberg scuttle to the bunker.

Seeing this, you really get a heavy sense that Eggman’s on his last legs. 

Knuckles charges in to have a word with Lien-Da. His charitable viewpoint on his shitty ancestors returns a bit and because everyone else has a clearer vision of how shitty they were then Knuckles, understandably, he gets turned down.

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I like how Knuckles’ adorable smiling face is all “Oh wow. They really suck. Maybe she’ll turn to the good side because we look more awesome than them now.”

It doesn’t work. As Julie-Su puts it, she’s not much of a listener. I can’t speak for the rest of the Legion but Lien-Da’s motivations are rooted purely in the ego-driven, self-centered zone. Her desire for this title that to any other person, including Eggman (who is the other person she works under)  means absolutely nothing to no one else aside from maybe Dimitri. 

Keeping up the pretense of the “rich” history of the Dark Legion and it’s past Grandmasters makes so little sense at this point. It’s barely worth it with so little of them left yet Lien-Da has been so indoctrinated that she’s not going to be satisfied until she graduates from Kommissar to Grandmaster. It’s low key kind of pathetic but it’s also really endearing. Despite lightening up a little on Julie-Su recently, Lien-Da is still a much more interesting character to me.

Also, Snively’s response there was golden. 

He’s just like, “I don’t fucking know. You take care of it.”

I also like that Sonic is fully on board with making sure Knuckles gets what he wants.

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He’s being really supportive of his endeavors here despite him not being the most sensitive to the Legion’s issues. I’m not saying he absolutely should be either. People are going to have differing opinions about who to play nice with and who to sympathize with. Just because I do, doesn’t mean he should. I just find it more endearing that Knuckles does, which is why I like that Sonic is being supportive of it, even if he doesn’t seem to fully agree.

Julie-Su contacts Saffron, who’s flying comfortably in her latest art evolution, about the demolition charges Charmy and Ray are setting up inside of Eggman’s tower. Once it blows up, he won’t be able to contact half the planet.

Lien-Da and her forces have retreated, however, and they’re returning to the spot where the three of them are, so that means they might need a little help.

The two scenes happening congruently with each other was something I forgot happened. I think it’s probably because the Dark Egg Legion stuff flew over my head at the time. I wasn’t quite sure why this battle was happening or what it’s purpose, story-wise, was.

Now, it’s all too clear. It’s sinking in here in a way it didn’t before when I initially read this how paper thin Eggman’s army is and how sad the standing of the Dark Egg Legion is. Despite that, they’ve still got aces up their sleeves that are worth paying attention to.

Back at HQ, Amy decides that they’re getting nowhere fast and that they need to contact Sonic for some help. A really cool scuffle ensues with Amy and Sally trying their best to reach the computer, including a moment where Sally slides under Antoine and Patch crossing swords.

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It’s a mad scramble that really makes good use of movement and predicting where your eyes will travel down the panel.

It’s a really good show they put on and Sally makes note that it was exactly that.

It was just a cover so that Rotor could do it himself.

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Here, we also see that Tails is continuing to not be very good at facing off against Miles. Miles doesn’t look like he’s breaking a sweat. He’s mostly just annoyed.

Back with Sonic, of course, he hears the news that Saffron and the boys are in trouble right as he gets this message. Things are escalating really quickly for our heroes here. Imagine not having a ton to deal with for a couple of days and then everything decides to pop off all at once like this.

Sonic is sent back home by the Chaotix citing what was said earlier about him not really needing to be here. He does this right as a flying Egg Pod floats on by and lands.

The reinforcements that Lien-Da wanted have come, though, not from Snively. Dimitri, the true Grandmaster, came himself.

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See Penders. That’s how you do proper, effective bolding. 

You can feel the grit in her teeth as she reluctantly calls him SIR

Dimitri has come a long way and his duty remains to his people. It’s a far nobler goal that Lien-Da’s which obviously means he’s doomed to be usurped by her eventually. 

That said, he’s not a soft little buttercup or anything. He takes it upon himself to lead the legion into battle, claiming that they don’t have to worry about firing on one of their own. It’s the kind of battle ready machinations that can still make a dude like him kind of scary. We end that scene on Vector wondering if they should have sent Sonic back.

They totally should have, since, when Sonic bursts into the HQ in a pose that demands applause to put the odds in his favor, the villains retaliate by evening the odds once again.

Scourge makes his grand entrance early.

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Obviously our wonderful green douchebag saved himself for last because he wanted to be all dramatic and show off. Both he and Sonic really are alike, just in different ways.

So how does that crown work? Is it like a pin? Does he stick it to his forehead or does it work like Velcro and attach itself to his sharp quills? 

This issue was far more exciting than I expected it to be going in. My memory is really fuzzy on the lead up to Hedgehog Havoc so re-reading this was a case of hazing memories flooding back to me with almost each page turned. Almost. There was some stuff, while reading it, that still felt completely new to me because my initial reading of these events was so much less meticulous. Yeah, these comics continue to surprise me. They’re genuinely really good now and I’d say I was being spoiled but after suffering through so much bullshit to get here I feel like I, and this comic, deserve to be saturated with this much good shit.

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #190: Bold New Moebius, Part Two: Duality

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The second half shows the evil versions of our heroes. Scourge can fly for the sake of dramatic posing as well. His teeth being sharper is also something that’s becoming easier to notice too. Can you imagine him filing them down like that? Ugh. Biting his tongue has to be the absolute worst…!

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I love the way this image comes together. My rampant OCD compels me to freak out about how the covers are hard to put together. If they’re off-center, even a little, I feel something in me die inside. It sucks but it’s not so bad when you squint a bit. I also like how the dark, storm clouds are literally rolling in along with the villains. It’s great. I’m a huge fan of rain during dramatic events in shows and movies. I love the rain in general. 

Spoiler

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Tracy Yardley
Inks: Jim Amash
Letters: John Workman
Colors: Josh Ray
Editor/Managing Editor: Mike Pellerito

Rotor is noticeably left out of the character run down thing at the start. He’s still in the room but he’s got a case of the bad neck and is currently bumming it a bit. You know how it is.

Or I do at least. Headaches have been the bane of my existence recently. I would have gotten this out sooner if my headache last night didn't conk me out so badly. I’ve never related so much to Rotor right now as far as your body just being mean to you.

Sonic and Scourge start things off with their usual banter but then Scourge actually gets a little serious, bringing up what Sonic said to him way back when about how one little push in either direction could make either Sonic or Scourge just like the other one.

Sonic is initially surprised that Scourge actually listened to him and Scourge doesn’t deny it, admitting that it got him thinking.

What he got out of what Sonic told him isn’t exactly what Sonic had in mind though. He’s under the impression that Sonic is the single most powerful dude on the planet and that makes him the same in his dimension. So he "applied himself" and conquered Moebius.

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The jury is still out on whether or not Sonic is the most powerful dude on the planet. I find that hard to believe but Scourge kind of twisted what Sonic was saying to him to mean something that would be an extreme boost to his own ego so it’s not exactly relevant whether or not it’s true.

Sonic and the Freedom Fighters all charge into battle, with the sidelined Rotor happy that he doesn’t have to participate less he be lost amidst the chaos that is the battle of the evil twins.

Everybody’s got beef with each other. 

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A version of Tails that’s actually angry that Tails follows Sonic around is a fun idea. I’m not too sure why he cares that he ignored his magical heritage. Does Miles have an interest in it? Miles’ whole thing kind of baffles me still. I guess the hair dye explains one thing but I recall him acting more like a punk before too. This prim and proper thing he’s got going on is the most different compared to the others who all still feel like thugs for the most part.

Antoine and Patch, obviously, still have the hang up of Patch switching places with him, wrecking his relationship with Bunnie, poisoning his father to death, and almost trying to kill the king. Three of those things are unforgivable. 

Antoine is keeping himself more composed than expected while facing off against this guy though. It’s kind of admirable in a way. Even the “like father, like son” low blow he just dealt doesn’t result in Antoine shoving that sword down his throat.

The Bunnie and Boomer interaction is interesting. I guess I didn’t fully catch on that Boomer voluntarily turned himself into a cyborg here. Usually when I see stuff like how he looks I wait for confirmation before assuming things like that. Bunnie, of course, doesn’t really relish in being part robot so she’s a little more confused as to why someone would do that to themselves willingly. There’s a lot of people in this book who would, though, Boomer’s reasoning here is scary in a different way from the Dark Legion. 

It’s a tale of a scientist being so into his work that he literally becomes it, only out of a desire to stand out. 

Amy, of course, is angry with Fiona for betraying Sonic and is laying into her about now betraying the world. 

Sonic and Sally have a scene where they face off against their counterparts and then switch opponents all while Sonic is bragging about how awesome he is. I know he’s joking but there’s always a hint of “Yeah, but I really think I am this cool” there that always makes me anticipate whenever he’ll get punched in the face again.

He is making sure to let Sally know that he believes in the Chaotix and their ability to get shit done. As such, we cut back to the Chaotix where they head in to face off against the Dark Egg Legion. 

Dimitri’s point of view on how this is all going down remains intriguing, to say the least. He’s a bit confused as to why Knuckles isn’t content with doing so much damage to his group here. Lien-Da suggests he may just be pressing his advantage because he’s being a good little lapdog for the Acorn Kingdom. So then Dimitri asks if Knuckles is just being greedy.

He doesn’t really get why he’s here despite Angel Island being free of the evil doers occupying it (as well as the civilizations that were once living there). 

If I were Dimitri I’d wager a guess that Knuckles was just lonely. 

He sends his troops to fire at them all and the Chaotix fall back behind some debris. Here, Vector decides to be real with our boy Knux. He knows Knuckles is still feeling guilty about what he did as Enerjak and it kind of led them to seeking out Eggman for help out of desperation… but the current situation is that the Legion works for Eggman and they have friends they need to save.

Knuckles can only protect so many people at one time. 

It’s a good speech and Knuckles, as hard as it’s going to be to continue laying into them after what he did (against his will of course) he has no choice.

Back with the evil doers, Scourge almost gets punted back through the Stargate by Sonic but is saved by Fiona. It’s here where we see that things aren’t so happy in Moebius land.

Scourge snatches his crown from Fiona and yells at them all to get their act together, ensuring them that if they get sent back with him it’s going to be a flogging.

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Or something possibly worse. 

Locked in a cell with The Last Airbender playing on high volume on loop for all eternity maybe.

Nicole tells Rotor that he needs to get to safety. Rotor… REALLY doesn’t want to. 

It’s killing him inside being this useless. The least he feels he can do is stay behind and see how this unfolds. He tries to plead with Nicole that there’s something he can still do but there really isn’t. Him being here just makes him collateral damage.

He does eventually give in and try to run off though.

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God, it’s so sad.

I think next to Antoine, Rotor’s probably becoming another of the FF that I actually have a bit of a liking towards now, if only because of how relatable this position he’s in is.

Like with Scourge and the other evil twins, the concept of them being lame counterparts that exist to fulfill the quota of a lazy gimmick is being turned on its head. Scourge is a Sonic recolor that hates the fact that he’s a Sonic recolor and he and his clique are doing everything they can to stand out and be their own people.

Now you have someone like Rotor who, whenever he’s brought up in conversation, the topic of redundancy and what to do with him keeps being circled around. Everyone’s got their own ideas about how to properly handle him. I actually do like what Ian’s doing with him so far.

He’s this beaten down, almost withered guy who’s struggling to keep his place amongst the Freedom Fighters. It’s a lot more interesting and gut-wrenching to watch. It’s also a lot more memorable to me than how he was in the reboot. I can’t really recall anything significant about him in the reboot other than the fact that he was swole and had beef with his dad, Tundra.

His dad is actually a far more interesting character there and I actually remember more about him as a result, which, I don’t think was the intention.

Fiona, of all people, says “Boomer’s lame double is running! Somebody get on him!” which kind of shows how deep into the fold she is with these guys now.

Miles tries to but Tails FINALLY manages to get in a hit on his counterpart. Meanwhile, Sally crosses paths with Alicia and we get confirmation that she’s not in charge anymore, as obvious as that may have been. Things got shuffled around when Scourge came back so he’s king and Fiona is his Queen.

Staying alive matters more than titles, she says, which… yeah. She’s right.

Then we get a scene showcasing what I was wondering concerning Antoine’s demeanor regarding Patch.

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I love how genuinely confused he looks when she assumes he wants Patch because of revenge. Antoine’s quite the keeper.

Also, it’s hilarious that this romantic moment is happening when Tails is getting his ass tossed into a shelf in the background. Seems that one lucky hit was just that.

Miles shows up to disrupt their love fest and Patch and Boomer separate them, no doubt preparing to actually cut his heart out or something when Sonic bashes them all down… then Scourge bashes HIM down. Then Amy tries to bash him down but Scourge turns and kicks her away and then Sonic trips him…!

It’s all very chaotic and shit. It’s a great fight and it’s taking advantage of everyone there. When one person seems to not be doing much for too long they’ll show up and either get kicked or do some ass-kicking.

Scourge does let it slip when he’s kicking Amy that he doesn’t need to deal with “another one” of her. Some simple foreshadowing there.

Meanwhile, the Chaotix win the battle. Charmy, Saffron, and Ray fly out after they set the bombs off inside the tower. Lien-Da starts to bitch at Snively for more reinforcements that don’t exist and he straight up tells her to deal with it.

It’s funny because he clearly doesn’t give that much of a shit despite what little of what Eggman has left crumbling all around them. Maybe he sees the writing on the wall and has other plans brewing in the background...

Knuckles approaches Dimitri and finds out that maybe there’s even more of an underlying problem Eggman should be wary of.

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Man, I keep having to kick my past self for being so dumb. Reading all this, it’s pretty damn obvious that Eggman’s on his last legs. Granted, I guess some of the earlier context would probably have alluded me regardless but still. It’s laying it on thick that Eggman barely has anything left.

Now we’ve got Dimitri almost spelling out to Knuckles that he’s not actually super loyal to Eggman. He might still be crazy but as Vector pointed out, if I was a brain in a robot head in a bubble I’d go crazy too.

Him saying that line always stuck with me because… yeah. How the fuck does that happen?

Even knowing how it happened now, it’s still mind boggling.

Back in Freedom HQ, a massive clusterfuck is going down. The place is being demolished and the fighting is going nowhere. They’re actually being treated like equal counterparts this time and they had the element of surprise so the heroes aren’t exactly winning here.

Eventually, Sally makes the call to retreat and regroup with the Chaotix so that they can plan out an actual attack. Sonic doesn’t want to since they just got Freedom HQ fixed up but Sally has to explain that if they keeping fighting in Freedom HQ it’s going to get demolished anyway. 

I understand these two need to be at odds with each other as far as how they perceive handling an enemy but this one seems a little more obvious. Sonic does usually tend to favor the option where he doesn’t have to give up anything though so it’s expected that this would be his initial reaction.

This whole time they’re having this conversation in the hallway, Bunnie is using a weird energy screen door thing to keep the Moebius crew inside… until Boomer blows it away and the heroes really need to get the fuck out of dodge.

Sonic makes sure to let them know that they’ll be back though. 

When the Chaotix arrive and Bunnie tells them what happened, Sonic, again, reiterates that they didn’t lose. They just loaned out their beloved base to some bad guys for no reason.

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Yes, yes. We know Sonic. You’re big and strong and cool. 

I actually didn’t expect this ending though. I was wondering what was going to happen that would allow this story to stretch into a neat little eight issue package. 

For some reason I didn’t consider the possibility of the heroes actually being pushed back. I dig it.

That was a really nice continuation of what happened in the last issue. I feel both these issues are really well done and this one in particular had an ending that really got me excited to reread how these scattered events will end up coming to a head. It feels really surreal being so close to the point where I started following the books month to month but damn, we’re really close. Nostalgia is a double-edged sword. It feels good on one end and on the other it just makes you sad. Oh well. I’ll be fine, so long as there’s always more Sonic comics in some way, shape, or form.

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Ryannumber1gamer

My random thoughts as per usual:

  • In fairness - it does make sense why the Freedom Fighters deem the Anti-Universe as just that - there were so many stories based upon the premise that this was Mobius Prime, and Prime Sonic, Tails and so on were the destined heroes of the multiverse. The prime universe is the one where all universes spring out from, so it just makes sense. 
  • As for where the Anti-name comes from, I think it's because while there are other universes where the Freedom Fighters are presented as the bad guys (For example - the universe where everyone is a gigantic kaiju), it was from another external cause that threw that universe's timeline out of whack. The Anti-Verse exists in it's present form because the characters were literally flipped from their original counterparts, right down to the more harmless details. You can argue what causes the Antiverse to really become as bad as it does is (as will be revealed in a future side story) - Jules of all people. Where the original was a humble soldier who cared deeply for his son and his family, the anti-counterpart wasn't evil, but he was a neglectful, egotistical, and out and out - uncaring father - which led to the young Scourge (who legitimately seemed like a good Sonic at that point) taking his turn to evil. 
  • Adding to that point, what's really interesting to me personally is the Anti-Verse isn't stuck to those rules. It, like other universes - is simply one where the timeline got skewed into another series of events. It's not like everyone just has to be evil, but they choose to be evil. Scourge thinks the former is the case (he deems it as a reason why he likes Fiona, she chose to be bad), but Buns proves him wrong in this arc, by performing a heel-face turn, and in exchange for her life being saved - she decides to reform and become a good guy. What Sonic told Scourge back in #172 is 100% proven fact - he could be a heroic figure if he could get a bit of selflessness and decency down, but Scourge would rather wallow in his negative traits than make the effort to reform, same for the rest of the Moebius counterparts. They'd rather differiate themselves as villains compared to the other counterparts in the multiverse, instead of making the effort (that Buns proved they could make) to become good.
  • I admit, I like the idea of Miles being prim and proper, not because of the design or anything, but I think you can infer that it's him rejecting Scourge. Prime Tails grew up as a kid during a war, but had Sonic to look up to as a mentor figure, he became as kind-hearted and heroic as Sonic did, with some of the snark, and carefreeness. He's still just a kid. Miles on the other hand is desperately pretending he's an adult, as well as putting on the facade that he's a professional and intelligent person, because Sonic/Scourge is such an egocentric, care-free character, even with their morality bent. 
  • While I do agree more with Knuckles' attempts to look at the DEL's side, I can't really fault Sonic either. He's right in that, despite whatever justifications they had for it - they still basically made a deal with the devil that requires them to hurt and harm others for a selfish goal. We're jumping further along the line, but we do get to see an example where Sonic is more sympathetic to their plight when he meets Bunnie's uncle, and his Dark Egg Legion pocket, who're being villainised by the Sand Blasters (Known jerkasses in the comic), and had no choice but to go in with Eggman in order to survive. In this case, while understandable that the DEL felt like they weren't themselves without their cybernetics, they didn't even attempt to live with it, or choose another life, or make the most of a bad situation, they went ahead and shacked up with a known warmonger for a fairly selfish want, a deal that requires them to hurt others. It's not the same case as the Mobians who will later be forcefully legionised into this role, the DEL chose this, and that makes it a lot harder for me to feel bad when Sonic and co put a stop to them.
  • Not gonna lie, I find it pretty funny how they made this massive deal out of Dimitri being the new grandfather of the Dark Egg Legion, like "OH SHIT!! Eggman just abused the Enerjak situation to get a whole new army out of the deal!!" - and then it just turns out nah, they're as worthless as they were in Knuckles' comic, and they're the last, pathetic remains of Eggman's army after all of his hubris backfired on him.
  • God, I just need to take a minute to say how fucking awesome that reveal shot of Scrouge exiting the portal is.
  • Again - spoilers for later on (not that it matters since you mentioned reading these arcs before iirc) - it's later revealed Scrouge didn't 'conquer' Moebius, as much as he went around brutalising warmongers until he made it clear he was the toughest around. The above is him basically playing up his own hype. He was strong enough to get the job done, but there probably was people on Moebius who could've kicked his ass if the scenario had called for it.
  • Again - I think apart of why Miles is angry with Tails here is Sonic. Tails is fine to be Sonic's best bud and sidekick, because he isn't a total egomaniac character, he's happy to help others. Tails never wanted, nor needed the big 'Titan Tails' bullshit, because he was comfortable with who he is. Miles meanwhile is desperately lashing out against Scrouge and is trying to prove he's his own person. He's pissed with Tails 'denying' his magical heritage because it's what lets him stand out from Sonic (Which was the original reasoning for the Titan Tails nonsense - to give Tails a purpose outside Sonic).
  • Dimitri pulling this is actually some insane foreshadowing, and leads to a lot of conversation when you get to #200. More so if he was actually aiding Knuckles here, or if he was all in on Snively's little scheme even this far back, and this was him laying the groundwork.
  • Small side note, but it still absolutely blows that this arc never got to be fully collected in Saga Series. I really wish Hedgehog Havoc managed to get released because this arc is way too good not to have fully available in Graphic Novel form.
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Sonictrainer

As much as I love this arc, I'm not a fan of some the new names for Scourge's World & Characters.

While I get where they were coming from with them, some are them are very confusing out of context.

In a later issue where Scourge called Alicia "Ally", for the longest time I thought it was a typo because they left out the S.

Also, how are you supposed to pronounce Moebius?

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Dr. Detective Mike

All this stuff about Miles is really interesting. There's a couple of different ways an opposite Tails could be handled but the idea that he's taken his insecurities to a level of doing whatever he can to look and sound as adult and as smart as possible is really cute and a little sad.

It's one of the reasons why I tend to find myself sympathizing more when a person or a group of people can change but for whatever reason choose not to. In the case of the Dark Legion, when you're so disgusted and uncomfortable with living in your own skin I'd feel horrible expecting them to live with it. The fact that they chose to side with Eggman and therefore need to be fought against just makes it more sad. 

When you see someone on the ground, crying because they're stuck in a body they don't want to be in, I can't help but feel any of those other alternatives would have led to something worse and more self-destructive. Like a drug withdrawl. Or straight up suicide.

Their whole thing is just depressing to me now. 

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SkyHorizon

The Bold New Moebius Arc, probably my favorite arc of the old continuity, I liked it even more than the Enerjak Arc :).

Sonic&Knuckles: I agree with Ryannumber: Sonic is right here, Knuckles' reaction and doubts are perfectly believable, but someone needs to tell Knuckles to just move from that. Telling him: "yeah, you're right, keep basking in self-pity" isn't the right approach for me, he has had quite some time to move from it, now. That and the DEL are idiots, you can put it however you want it, but they're joining what basically is Mobius' Hitler just to have new cybernetics they didn't really need. That's the reality, the only one who went to Eggman with "good" intentions was Dimitri who found himself stuck in that position to protect is people. He has come a long way from Penders' era :).

Miles: Not gonna lie: in my opinion he's the best anti-character. About the "magic heritage" part, I remember Flynn saying in an old "Ask Ian" that he did meant to have him more magic-oriented as a reflection of the technology-oriented Tails, he just didn't have the occasion to show it during this arc and was meant to pop out in his next appearance. Which made perfect sense to me.

Moebius: Let me just say: "WOW". Ian did an amazing job in revamping a dull and boring "evil universe" without denying what had happened before. 

P.S: "Moebius" is meant to be pronounced precisely like "Mobius", try to reread the stories with this in mind and you'll see how this choice was pure genius. (Source: an old "Ask Ian")

Rotor: I share the feeling of DectetiveMike. I think Rotor was totally redundant and I liked the idea where Ian was bringing him. It looks lie that, later, people complained about him being retired so he make hi a FF again with the nano-suit. That man has such patience... I would have answered the readers: "stop changing your mind every two minutes!" Then again, that's the sonic fandom for you ;).

P.S: In the reboot, I liked how Ian was characterizing Rotor. If you read the stories again, you'll see that he had taken the traits of the "the end justifies the means" guy. Which made him insufferable (and also a hypocrite) in my opinion, but didn't mean it was a bad character.

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Dr. Detective Mike
1 hour ago, SkyHorizon said:

Sonic&Knuckles: I agree with Ryannumber: Sonic is right here, Knuckles' reaction and doubts are perfectly believable, but someone needs to tell Knuckles to just move from that. Telling him: "yeah, you're right, keep basking in self-pity" isn't the right approach for me, he has had quite some time to move from it, now. That and the DEL are idiots, you can put it however you want it, but they're joining what basically is Mobius' Hitler just to have new cybernetics they didn't really need. That's the reality, the only one who went to Eggman with "good" intentions was Dimitri who found himself stuck in that position to protect is people. He has come a long way from Penders' era :).

No one said that Sonic should have told Knuckles to keep basking in self-pity. I don't think rolling his eyes at the fact that he still feels bad is the right way to handle it either though. Also, its not like I didn't acknowledge the other side of the arguement that Sonic and Knuckles had as something understandable. I even said that Vector's speech to get Knuckles back on track was a good one.

I don't find it aggregious that my position tends to look at the more sympathetic and tragic angle of what's happening. I feel like I'd do a disservice to the story and the feelings the characters were conveying if I completely dismissed the context for why they went with Eggman and just called them all idiots.

I understand that most people tend to not want to sympathize with villains or view how desperation and certain decision making can end up making their lives a certain way as tragic but I'm just not that kind of person. It does bother me and I relate with Knuckles' position here.

I don't really think this felt like a matter where the individuals would sufficiently be able to just live with it based on what was shown within the pages and the fact that they teamed up with the villain, which IS the wrong thing to do, just makes it sadder. I'm not sorry I feel this way. 

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SkyHorizon
1 hour ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

No one said that Sonic should have told Knuckles to keep basking in self-pity. I don't think rolling his eyes at the fact that he still feels bad is the right way to handle it either though. Also, its not like I didn't acknowledge the other side of the arguement that Sonic and Knuckles had as something understandable. I even said that Vector's speech to get Knuckles back on track was a good one.

I don't find it aggregious that my position tends to look at the more sympathetic and tragic angle of what's happening. I feel like I'd do a disservice to the story and the feelings the characters were conveying if I completely dismissed the context for why they went with Eggman and just called them all idiots.

I understand that most people tend to not want to sympathize with villains or view how desperation and certain decision making can end up making their lives a certain way as tragic but I'm just not that kind of person. It does bother me and I relate with Knuckles' position here.

I don't really think this felt like a matter where the individuals would sufficiently be able to just live with it based on what was shown within the pages and the fact that they teamed up with the villain, which IS the wrong thing to do, just makes it sadder. I'm not sorry I feel this way. 

Eh, sorry, but I checked: Sonic never once rolled his eyes at Knuckles ;). And Vector said precisely the same things Sonic said, just... nicer, I guess? Actually I liked a lot more what Sonic said to him, no need to sugar-coat everything. Anyway, in the end he still cover him and help him. Facts are: the DEL allied with Eggman, they're idiots, their choice.

But do not misunderstand me, I like what Ian did with the DEL and I totally appreciate that he shows that they're human (echidnas, actually ;)), but that doesn't excuse them allying with Mobius-Hitler.

Personally, I think you're a little biased towards Pre-Reboot-Sonic ever since realizing that in this continuity is a "soldier of the Acorn". I totally agree with you when you say he was an ass with Tails in House of Cards. Not here.

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Dr. Detective Mike
7 hours ago, SkyHorizon said:

Eh, sorry, but I checked: Sonic never once rolled his eyes at Knuckles ;). And Vector said precisely the same things Sonic said, just... nicer, I guess? Actually I liked a lot more what Sonic said to him, no need to sugar-coat everything. Anyway, in the end he still cover him and help him. Facts are: the DEL allied with Eggman, they're idiots, their choice.

But do not misunderstand me, I like what Ian did with the DEL and I totally appreciate that he shows that they're human (echidnas, actually ;)), but that doesn't excuse them allying with Mobius-Hitler.

Personally, I think you're a little biased towards Pre-Reboot-Sonic ever since realizing that in this continuity is a "soldier of the Acorn". I totally agree with you when you say he was an ass with Tails in House of Cards. Not here.

I can't say I appreciate this response just ignoring what I was saying in favor of repeating yourself and making the addendum of accusing me of being bias. My reasons for not liking what he said were explained and even then I didn't come down on him hard for it. I gave him props for supporting Knuckles despite that. Why are you ignoring that? If you seriously believe him being a soldier has anything to do with it then you're reading into something I didn't say as far as this issue is concerned and deliberately ignoring my actual reasoning for my difference in opinion.

This isn't a very understanding way to share that difference in opinion either. Thowing in a bunch of smiling faces on top of unfair accusations of me being bias and ignoring my explanation concerning the DEL rather than properly responding to it just so you can double down on what you already said is very dismissive. 

You don't have to agree with me but these responses sound more like you're just crumbling up what I'm actually saying and tossing them in the garbage.

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SkyHorizon
1 hour ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I can't say I appreciate this response just ignoring what I was saying in favor of repeating yourself and making the addendum of accusing me of being bias. My reasons for not liking what he said were explained and even then I didn't come down on him hard for it. I gave him props for supporting Knuckles despite that. Why are you ignoring that? If you seriously believe him being a soldier has anything to do with it then you're reading into something I didn't say as far as this issue is concerned and deliberately ignoring my actual reasoning for my difference in opinion.

This isn't a very understanding way to share that difference in opinion either. Thowing in a bunch of smiling faces on top of unfair accusations of me being bias and ignoring my explanation concerning the DEL rather than properly responding to it just so you can double down on what you already said is very dismissive. 

You don't have to agree with me but these responses sound more like you're just crumbling up what I'm actually saying and tossing them in the garbage.

Man... it's just a comic, don't take it so seriously ;).

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Sonictrainer
12 hours ago, SkyHorizon said:

Moebius: Let me just say: "WOW". Ian did an amazing job in revamping a dull and boring "evil universe" without denying what had happened before. 

P.S: "Moebius" is meant to be pronounced precisely like "Mobius", try to reread the stories with this in mind and you'll see how this choice was pure genius. (Source: an old "Ask Ian")

Oof...

Why not just name it Suibom, if everything is just reversed?

Or if Scourge thought himself King of the planet, just have him rename it after himself.

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Dr. Detective Mike
3 hours ago, SkyHorizon said:

Man... it's just a comic, don't take it so seriously ;).

Then don't accuse me of being bias when I provide actual reasons for why I feel a certain way.

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SkyHorizon
15 hours ago, Sonictrainer said:

Oof...

Why not just name it Suibom, if everything is just reversed?

Or if Scourge thought himself King of the planet, just have him rename it after himself.

Don't know, the reverse sounds kinda... too obvious. Rename the planet after itself could've been fun, though :).

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Sonic remade the universe and named the planet "Sonic's World", so the only conclusion is, he's subconsciously even more egotistical than Scourge

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15 hours ago, Sonictrainer said:

Oof...

Why not just name it Suibom, if everything is just reversed?

Or if Scourge thought himself King of the planet, just have him rename it after himself.

Eh, reversing the name of the Planet just makes me think of Bizarro. Honestly I've never really minded the name or the changing of the characters names. It helped it actually feel like a different world IMHO.

Though I will admit I don't know why everyone went along with it.

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SkyHorizon
2 hours ago, Razule said:

Sonic remade the universe and named the planet "Sonic's World", so the only conclusion is, he's subconsciously even more egotistical than Scourge

Lol! You're a genius!

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Dr. Detective Mike

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #191: Metal and Mettle, Part One

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Even more hedgehogs are coming on the horizon. I really like the way this cover is drawn and colored even though, as a cover, it’s a fairly easy one to forget. It feels like something I’ve seen before during this retrospective honestly. I guess it’d be a bit much to nitpick how Sonic’s positioning is a little odd. I like it though. It does a good enough job.

Spoiler

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Tracy Yardley
Inks: Jim Amash
Letters: John Workman
Colors: Josh Ray
Editor/Managing Editor: Mike Pellerito

Talk about hazy memories. I have no recollection of what happens between now and #193 onward so this is going to feel a bit like I’m reading it for the first time, even though I’m totally not.

I have more memory of the Sonic Chronicles tie-in at the end of this book than the actual contents, which, by the way, is going to be insane to see again after everything that’s happened.

So, the issue begins with Metal Sonic arriving at Freedom HQ’s door to borrow a cup of sugar and Miles calling for King Scourge, his majesty, like he’s answering the door for his mom or something.

Scourge nonchalantly explains to the Metal Sonic, as he’s booming out Eggman’s voice, that he’s taken the place over and booted out the heroes. For a split second it looks like Eggman’s about to leave and let villains be villains but the Eggster has never been one to pass up an opportunity to filet a hedgehog.

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“Mmm. I do indeed want Green Hedgehogs and Ham. I want them so badly, Sam I Am.”

The next scene is… fucking confusing. And weird. And silly.

Honestly, when it was done I kind of had to flip the comic book upside down to search for the hallucination drugs that must have been blasted in my face before looking it over.

It’s another scene with the council, one I recall looking at before but not understanding back then because I didn’t care about what they were talking about. I couldn’t have given a single fuck about the Acorn Kingdom back in the day and nowadays I’m only paying attention because I feel like I have to but… this still didn’t register all that well to me.

The council is voting on whether or not to leave Freedom HQ alone and the majority votes to just leave it in the hands of a bunch of villains who has a leader that claimed he took over his world back home. True or not, they’re not really aware of the circumstances so it’s a bit… I dunno.

The reasoning for why they feel they should leave it be is really the kind of thing that made me go “Huh?”

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Okay, so, reading it over again I think I understand.

They want to capitalize on the advantage they have against Eggman and don’t want to push for taking care of a huge threat that’s literally in their backyard and has taken control of a seemingly important base of operations for them… because Scourge won’t be able to do to their world what he did to his as easily. 

I mean if THAT’S true and he’s such a small threat why not just nip him in the bud then? That previous mission with Eggman was accomplished by the Chaotix alone. It was such an easy thing that Sonic wasn’t even needed. They were literally like, “Yeah you can go home” to Sonic the Hedgehog, of all people.

I don’t know, it just feels like this is a little… unnecessary? 

Having to witness scenes of the council dictating what the heroes can and can’t do feels very weird. Of course the only ones who say nay are Chuck and Rotor. Dilan over there looks like he’s not sure but peer pressure got to him at the end. 

I was so baffled by the initial decision that I had to re-read it at least twice to get where they might be coming from and even now that I understand it, I find that it barely skirts across the finish line of logic as something you can kind of, maybe see if you squint a bit.

Like, it’s not even like Sonic and the Freedom Fighters are being sent on a mission to handle Eggman right the fuck now. What would be the harm in sending them back over there?

Sonic and Knuckles have a small chat about it outside where Sonic insists that Knuckles and him go and take it back themselves. If he thinks that it can be done with just the two of them then that’s quite the underestimation. When Knuckles refuses and begins to cry to himself over the fact that he’s unsure of how to properly make decisions anymore, Sonic heads off on his own to do it, which is even worse.

Sonic recounts to himself how they’ve made ground against Eggman and the other baddies but for some reason still feels like they’re standing still. I don’t know why he feels this way. I guess it might be a combination of the council being ineffective weirdos, Knuckles still being emotionally crippled, and their beloved Freedom HQ being conquered. These are all problems but aside from Knuckles’ emotional state they all seem… manageable. Mostly.

Then again, trying to get into Sonic’s frame of mind is a bit of a fool’s errand. When something’s bothering him, it bothers him until the issue is fixed. That’s why he’s heading out to take on Scourge himself… and comes across Metal Sonic beating him to the punch.

Miles really doesn’t like the version of Sonic he’s settled with, if you can believe it.

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I can’t help but look at this and wonder what must have transpired between these two. Can you imagine a world where Sonic met Tails and was just an abusive dill weed to him? The very thought is upsetting to me but I also really want to see it. Curiosity keeps getting a hold of me that way.

Sonic actually saves Scourge from Metal and then holds out his hand in an offer to help Scourge out. It’s a great scene. I always love it whenever Sonic takes time out to show us how decent of a guy he really is. He came here with the intention of beating the piss out of Scourge and was mad at him before but upon seeing him in trouble took to trying to help, immediately.

He did it with a smile on his face too. It’s one of those rare instances where he feels like a genuine sweetheart.

Of course, both Scourge and Eggman are extremely petty and take it upon themselves to just view the other hedgehog as a new threat and charge in.

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We cut back to Knuckles who still has a lot of stuff going on in his mind. The emotions he’s feeling and the conflicting nature of everything he’s gone through catching up to him can’t be understated. 

This dude has had an extremely harsh and insanely unfair life. He’s been treated like absolute shit for most of it and after the whole Enerjak debacle he’s left with nothing to assure him of how good or bad his decision making skills are. Not helping is that, for most of his life, shit was just decided for him by a bunch of old grandpas who were really bad at decision making themselves.

He decided to stay back because Eggman was the bigger threat and he’s under the impression that everything that happened as a result of that is his fault. From his point of view it’s hard not to see why due to how he was at the center of all of it. It wasn’t really something that should have been left all up to him to decide though. All his life, responsibility that he wasn’t properly prepared for just got tossed at him without any real care or proper attention given to it.

It really isn’t a wonder why he’s so screwed up now. He doesn’t really have too many people he can properly confide in about it either. There are some that exist but he isn’t face to face with them right now. It sure as fuck isn’t going to be Julie-Su, that’s for damn sure.

Julie-Su comes up on him and asks if he’s okay. He says he’s fine. He’s not. She asks if he’s seen Sonic. He says Sonic went to take back Freedom HQ. She gets upset because they were all supposed to work together on this.

I don’t quite know what she means here since the council just told them no. Is she suggesting that they work within what they decreed or were they planning to come together to figure something else out?

Knuckles doesn’t give a shit. He just thinks it’s admirable that Sonic is able to trust his gut. Julie-Su asks what that means and Knuckles has to seriously explain that he makes too many mistakes on his own and is about to suggest that maybe he should just follow everyone else.

This was a decision I came close to making myself once. Back in my elementary school days I’d proudly proclaim to be a follower and not a leader because I had so little faith in my own ability to make decisions. 

Julie-Su’s response that he tried that before too absolutely doesn’t help and it sets Knuckles off because she basically just stripped the last option he had to work with from under him there. He snaps and asks what she wants him to do? He listens to his dad and now he’s alone forever. He listens to everyone else and Angel Island gets torn apart. He listens to himself and he makes everything worse.

Yup. Been there. Felt that. He’s saying all the stuff I’ve felt for who knows how long.

He even says the “Don’t try and tell me everything will work out!” part. I always used to anticipate hearing that part from other people and brushing it off because it means nothing. There’s no real way anyone could know that things will be alright. For Knuckles, he’s got no real reason to think it will. His dad is gone. His people have been wiped out. He can’t face his mother.

He’s clearly having a mental breakdown.

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So naturally, the best way to approach someone who’s experiencing a breakdown like this is to yell at them, undermine their feelings, and start talking about yourself.

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Yeah. I mean, sure. 

As you do.

I absolutely hate it whenever people try to deal with situations like this by yelling at them to get over it. The entire concept of “tough love” is something I’ve only ever scoffed at whenever I’ve seen it crop up in fiction. I’m sure there are existing examples of it being done well but I personally haven’t seen them. 

Naturally, I tend to react this way towards scenes like this because I relate heavily to the position Knuckles is in right now. Looking at this just reminds me of all those times where I’ve expressed being in a depressed state and stuck in a position where I feel like I couldn’t trust myself to make the correct decision only to have the situation be made a thousand times worse by being yelled at and told to stop caring about it. 

It doesn’t work. I don’t know if there exists situations where this kind of thing works or has ever worked but in my experience it’s never worked. 

At the very least, Julie-Su shows remorse here at the end and recognizes that she shouldn’t have done that but good God, this hit way too close to home for me. My mind is just flooding again with unwanted memories of bullshit from people that think “Just get over it” is in any way helpful advice. 

Like, yeah, of course. Why didn’t I think of that? Things wouldn’t be so bad if they were good. It seems so easy now that I think about it.

It really does sink in how this moment is being sold. You trust someone enough to belt out your feelings to them and then they hold out their hand to you and you think they’re going to actually help you but they just get upset at you. That in turn gets you more upset than you were before and pretty soon you're crying and screaming at the person who isn’t helping... in public.

Yup. Been there and done that.

I know Julie-Su has some things she’s probably working through too but I gotta admit I don’t give a shit. Not even a little tiny bit. Whatever she’s going through, based on what I’ve seen of both their journeys up to this point, isn’t comparable to me. 

Perhaps if it were a little more at the forefront I’d be more open to considering it but her just saying it aloud like this doesn’t do anything for me. Whether she has a point or not is just something I don’t care about. Honestly.

I’m sure some of you are going to have opinions about that. Fire away. I’m identifying with Knuckles too closely now to care. I don’t give a shit about Julie-Su’s feelings.

Back with the fight with Sonic, Scourge, and Metal Sonic, things are reaching a state of awesome that feels very much needed after the earlier scene.

Sonic does try to put things into perspective when it comes to Scourge though, explaining that he meant something else entirely when he told him to apply himself. Scourge responds by making what he did sound like the best possible way to take what Sonic said. If he meant being a hero, then that’s super lame. What does that even get Sonic?

“Folks smile and wave at you? Ha! Everyone bows to me!” Scourge says as he kicks Sonic in the face.

To be honest, I’d rather people smile and wave at me than bow to me. Different strokes for different folks I guess. 

Being bowed down to just sounds awkward. I don’t know.

Scourge then replays the earlier scene from a while back, making the claim that the offer Sonic made goes both ways.

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It’s so interesting because he’s right. It does go both ways. Even if you, the reader, can’t ever see Sonic turning evil, within the world they occupy it’s feasible amongst the characters. 

Ian’s really done a good job taking this basic bitch idea of evil twins from an evil dimension and turning it into this awesome introspective character study. It’s probably one the best existing examples I’ve seen of something like this being done. Scourge really isn’t just the Evil Sonic anymore.

Knuckles is still being all grumpy on the Master Emerald.

A very relatable thing happens here too where he’s likely at that part of handling this nonsense where he wants to be angry but now he’s actually around people who can make him feel better. So he resists it a little bit, wanting to stay mad but finds that he can’t. Eventually, Charmy Bee ends up being the one to snap him out of his angry haze. 

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Yeah. Sometimes that’s all it takes too. Just an acknowledgement of “Hey, I’ve been there before too. Here’s how I deal with it.” can go a long way. It works a lot better than being shouted at, I’ve found. Things won't necessarily be fixed but they can be made better.

Maybe that’s not true for other people. Maybe for some being screamed at and told to get over it and that your thoughts don’t matter as much as you think they do actually helps. I’m just… not one of those people.

Knuckles goes back, walks up to Julie-Su, reiterates that he’s messed up right now and asks if he can just say sorry and work it out later. Julie-Su says sure and then apologizes for yelling. Then they share an understanding smirk before heading off together, wondering if Sonic might need their help. Knuckles says he’s probably got things under control.

Sonic don’t got things under control. 

He’s being double-teamed by two assholes and just when he manages to get them off of him, another one shows up.

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Look under your seats!

Everyone gets a robot doppelganger!

I really love that shot of Scourge lowering his glasses to make sure he’s seeing things correctly. His mind is probably trying to process what to make of this.

Eggman found out about Scourge not but a few pages ago and already he’s got a Metal Scourge on deck. Him and his hedgehogs. I swear.

 


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #191: Invaders From Beyond

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Tracy Yardley
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Josh Ray
Letters: Stingray Grafik Wurks
Editor/Managing Editor: Mike Pellerito

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It’s the Sonic Chronicles tie-in story you’ve all been… waiting for?

I actually really love the way this particular story is drawn and colored but that’s kind of it. It’s a mere couple of pages and it doesn’t do a whole lot aside from make Knuckles look like an idiot and a wimp. One of those things about Knuckles is kind of true. The other is significantly less true though.

He and Tails set up a trap, using a real Chaos Emerald as bait for some invaders. Said invaders come and they trap them… but they break out of it. Knuckles tries to get the emerald from them but then, showing up in her first and last comic book appearance is Shade the Echidna.

She quickly dispatches Knuckles with a single kick.

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If you can believe that. I don’t, honestly.

Then they decide to take him with them for some inexplicable reason. Tails then flies off to go find his friends in an ending bit of dialogue that sounds like last minute hustling to ensure the audience of all the neat stuff they’ll have to look forward to in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.

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We’re gonna need Sonic, and Amy, OH, and the fucking ARMY because Knuckles was kidnapped!

Calm down Tails. If this is your reaction to every single time someone in your circle of friends has been kidnapped the army would be swooping in on every adventure you go on. 

Jokes aside, reading this is quite strange today for reasons I feel should be a little obvious. Sonic Chronicles is a game that I’ve never played before. I’ve only seen a playthrough of it once and it was… I mean, at the time I guess I appreciated how dialogue heavy it was because I loved marinating in anything I could get as far as seeing the characters converse with each other. I wasn’t too huge a fan of how everyone was written. The liberties that were taken with a couple of the characters were mostly misses for me. It’s still weird thinking about how often Omega would refer to characters as “meatbags” in reference to a completely different character that Omega wasn’t.

I don’t need to talk about how shit the music is. I feel it’s a fairly legendary thing at this point.

As for Shade the Echidna, whenever I think of her the thing that comes to mind is plain white bread and nothing else. She left no impression on me and I honestly don’t really like the idea of her being around. When you hear that Knuckles is the last of his kind, the expected twist to that is “Actually HE ISN’T!” and then you go ahead and reveal that she’s an echidna, which I saw coming a mile away.

It’s honestly far more interesting that Knuckles remains the last of his kind to me. I’d like to find out more about his society through some other means. I’m sure there are other ancient civilizations that have descendants that exist today that had history with that warmongering clan of theirs that we can syphon information from them through continuing narratives. I’m sure there’s also old documents and stone tablets hidden within Angel Island that can fill us in on things too. It’s truly not necessary to have another echidna be around. 

It certainly wasn’t necessary for the Archie comics but it did eventually make for a neat story about their self-destruction and near extinction. It just didn’t take place some thousands of years ago and to ONE out of the way clan that Knuckles got named after for… supposed reasons.

So I’m in the camp that’s kind of happy she’s not coming back, sorry to say. 

No offense to those who like her of course.

It also goes without saying just how much “inspiration” this game took from these Archie Comics. Obviously, it was mostly the Ken Penders stuff which was a BIG honking mistake. I’m sure they didn’t anticipate how insane the man they were taking ideas from was but still. 

It’s a bit of a shame because with a bit of tweaking, this could have been something truly inspiring. I’d love to see Sonic take a crack at another RPG again. It’s a series that’s proven to have a lot of potential when it comes to lore and what not.

How can I look at this image and not get excited for something otherworldly and majestic?

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Honestly, I’d really love a game that just took what Sonic X’s third season did and tried something like that. Preferably in a way where characters were still separated into their own groups too. I’m not really too jazzed about doing the Forces thing where all the characters are lazily huddled together into one gelatinous mass. Part of why I enjoyed that space adventure so much was due to witnessing how Sonic’s group, Eggman’s Group, and the Chaotix would routinely come across one another on their own ships, in the middle of their own adventures, in the vastness of space. It did a lot to make the universe feel big despite how one could argue the implausibility of coming across one another so often.

I don’t need to go on a huge rundown of what happened as a result of Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood coming into existence. I’m sure you all know the story. It’s a game whose existence only ever led to a bunch of problems. All I can say is, I hope this game being forever trapped in limbo doesn’t spell doom for the concept of Sonic and RPGs in general. 

Jesus, they even called it “The Dark Brotherhood”. It’s almost redundant. The Brotherhood in the comics were already pretty stinking evil, even if they didn’t think they were.


Upon re-reading this issue, all of the images within it were indeed familiar to me. However, the content within the story and what was actually happening almost felt entirely new to me. It was nice really taking in everything that was being said and not glossing over it because I wanted to see Sonic get beat up or something petty like that. I liked how this issue handled both sides of what was going on here. The Knuckles stuff was obviously more personal and relatable to me but because of that the Sonic stuff ironically felt more comfortable to read. It’s tough but I managed to get through it without having a breakdown myself so that’s a win in my book.

 

Sonic X - Issue #38: Big Trouble in Little Station Square, Part One

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This is a brilliant cover. Honestly, I remember picking this one up and being unable to wean my eyes away from it for a while. Looking at all the different things that are around Sonic and are very much trying to kill him relentlessly and seeing that nonchalant reaction to it perfectly encapsulates what these S.O.N.I.C.X guys must feel. It’s a very symbolic thing rather than a literal one and it works super well. Covers like these need to be more frequent in the normal books.

Spoiler

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Steven Butler
Inks: Terry Austin
Colors: Jason Jensen
Letters: Phil Felix
Editor & Managing Editor: Mike Pellerito

If you had told me back when the S.O.N.I.C.X guys were introduced that their part to play in the story would be so… underplayed, I’d have probably found that strange. Yet, here we are with a two-parter focusing on their exploits a mere three issues from the end.

It’s one of the things that always remained odd to me about this comic. Knowing how issue #39 ends makes it especially vexing, though, now that I’m older I feel as though what ails me about it is a little bit easier to get over.

The man in question who pulled all these people together is scolding them for how much they suck. He chews out Gerome Wise for coming up with a name for their group that sounds like a fanclub and apparently changing it is a matter of budget. Pfft.

Dr. Narasu pulls out a vial of what looks like grape juice to those in attendance and says it’s actually something that when darted into Sonic’s butt will turn him into a monster. 

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If the play is to make him look like a vile heathen then I guess it shows promise. Just pray he isn’t actually as vindictive as you think he is when you do that or else he might step on you.

So, the “mysterious big boss” sends Dr. Narasu and Hector Dragg on this mission. They need Sonic distracted in order for this to work and what better distraction than a face off with Dr. Eggman.

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How lucky can you be?

Well, apparently not that lucky, because when Narasu takes all his shots, Sonic dodges them all. Sonic thinks they’re all stray shots from Eggman though so when he destroys his Squidward robot, he runs off none the wiser as Eggman flies off claiming “NEXT TIME SONIC! NEXT TIME!” as per usual.

Dr. Narasu freaks out and tells Hector to hurry after him. Hector smirks and he rides off after Sonic with the doctor on the back end of his impossibly fast bike, chasing after him.

The man pulls off a lot of insane stunts and tricks on the highway to keep up with Sonic. If I were the doctor, I’d have died from a heart attack when he launched off the highway and bounced off of several vehicles just to get back on the road.

Sonic doesn’t realize he’s being chased for a couple of pages but after Hector’s stunt he finally takes notice… then decides to run by to mock him, calling it a “nice little bike” and asking if he took the training wheels off it.

So, in retaliation, he blasts out a rocket engine that fires him down the road and sends him shooting past Sonic.

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Just like he wanted.

So yeah, Sonic played him for a fool. 

Well, they may have lost him but at least the third fastest guy in the world managed to pass the first fastest thing in the world once. That’s gotta mean something. Maybe that’s made risking his life by kidnapping the President worth it. I dunno. He’s clearly got a couple of screws loose.

That said, there is a nice little introspective moment he has when the two of them are licking their wounds at the gas station.

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It’s a nice scene. I remember reading this back in the day and thinking it was a little cool that the book seemed to be getting a little into their heads a bit, though, Dr. Narasu is still a little base in that regard. That’s fine though. It’s entertaining seeing him get dunked on for him thinking Sonic was a robot. 

With that scene done, they take off.

The doctor only has a single shot left so he’d better make it count.

As for Sonic, he figures that he best try and figure out what those guys are up to so he stops by the only detectives he knows, figuring it might be a bit of challenge getting their help since, as professionals, they’re certainly extremely busy.

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The Chaotix are the best characters in this series. Don’t @ me.

He enters the place, waking them from their sleep. Espio calls it meditation. Vector shouts about the check being in the mail, in a panic, before saying that it only looked like sleep to the untrained eye when he notices that Sonic totally caught them sleeping.
Before he can come up with an unconvincing lie, Sonic gives them a case and Vector accepts. Charmy’s ecstatic about it and for some reason, Espio tells him to chill out. I don’t know why though. Charmy is always happy to get work. Can you imagine having a child around that was always so happy to be working? 

Outside the house, the doctor is taking his shot once more. As soon as Sonic’s face is in his line of sight, he fires.

It would have been a horror show if he actually managed to hit him here because he aims directly at Sonic’s fucking eyes. Yeesh.

Luckily, the excited Charmy zips around to get in the way.

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Or perhaps it wasn’t that lucky because it manages to snag Vector on the tail. Though, Charmy claims it hit him on the butt… but… Vector literally doesn’t have a butt so I think Charmy just wanted to say the word “butt”.

Espio deflecting it and calling the name of his deflection out and throwing the word “ninja” in there is a little funny to me. He can be such a lame ninja at times. It’s great.

Sonic rushes outside and pins the two goons to the wall. Instead of utilizing the Chaotix for their detective skills, he just says “Fuck it” and demands they tell him what’s going on.

Dr. Narasu points ahead of him and Sonic has his answer.

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Oh my God. A giant crocodile. We need to find some way to throw a giant monkey into the mix. Vector needs to fight King Kong! This needs to happen!

Good issue. As a part one to a story, it’s better than some of the other ones this comic has had for sure, if only for how well it managed to make use of it’s characters during the lead up to the big splash page at the end that promises to indulge in some even wackier hijinks next time. There’s things to nitpick here and there about some of the logic that’s overstepped to get to this point but I don’t really care. It doesn’t matter if Sonic didn’t actually need to see the Chaotix. The fact that he chose to visit them means they’re in this story now and that’s something worth celebrating. 

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #192: Metal and Mettle, Part Two

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It looks fairly simple but this is a really cool looking cover. The coloring and highlights on this one work really well too. The two separate eyes on the top and bottom simulating our robotic guests as our two genuine articles stand side-by-side help to sell how epic this all is. Really, well done.

Spoiler

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Tracy Yardley
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Josh Ray & Aimee Ray
Letters: John Workman
Editor/Managing Editor: Mike Pellerito

Sonic opens the book, putting it best when describing who’s at the scene. 

We’ve got him,his evil twin who says he’s “King”, his other evil twin who won’t stay smashed, and some slapped together combo of the two. 

That pretty much sums it up. 

They fight.

One quick note about Metal Scourge that I like is how his eyes are literally just Scourge’s glasses grafted to the robot’s face as his actual eyes.

The two actual hedgehogs get knocked around for a bit and Sonic offers that truce again. Scourge points out that Sonic still hasn’t answered that question he asked about joining with him to conquer the world and shit. 

Before, Sonic was hesitating to answer. Now that he can speak properly he just says he’s busy at the moment, so Scourge takes that as a yes.

I can’t blame him. I’d probably take that as a yes too. I mean, he is taking a while to just say “No” definitively, right?

It’s very interesting to think about, is all I’ll say.

Back at the Eggdome in New Megaopolis, Eggman is sitting back in his chair, cheering on his robots as they attack the hedgehogs. Dimitri shows up behind him and points out exactly what was on my mind this entire time.

He says that he finds it weird that Eggman was able to build two robots that can go toe-to-toe with Sonic and Scourge in a matter of hours and yet somehow hasn’t had the time or the resources to supplement the Dark Egg Legion with an actual fucking badnik army.

Eggman just brushes this off, telling him that he’s busy. He’s watching Robo-Hedgehog Summerslam on his personal pay-per-view.

The more of these scenes I witness, the more it sinks in just how telegraphed Eggman’s descent into actual madness was and the more ashamed of my past self I get for thinking it wasn’t a good or strong enough telegraph.

Like, it couldn’t be more obvious reading it now. I DO wonder if this is still a hindsight sort of thing though. To me, at the time, this could have just been me reading it as Eggman simply not giving a shit about how obviously crippled he was because he needed a breather and thought building two robot hedgehogs just to see them wrestle was somehow worth it to entertain himself.

The man has enough resources to sit back and do whatever he wants, build whatever he wants, live wherever he wants… honestly, being Eggman sounds like a dream. 

Yet, his ambition constantly puts him in a position where he lands himself facing constant defeat and disgrace, time and time again. It’s almost tragic but I doubt he’d see it that way. This man barely has any concept of the term “give up”, just like Sonic. 

They’re two sides of the same coin.

Dimitri, for his part, doesn’t really care about what the doctor is thinking right now. He just brushed his concerns off so he feels it necessary to make it clear why he joined with Eggman and what it means to cross him should his intentions to preserve his people not be met.

Eggman doesn’t give a shit.

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They’re just his newest toys and once they’re broken, they’re broken. Oh well. 

Like, goddamn. It just keeps getting worse for them.

So, out of desperation to keep themselves alive and in a state of mental stability that doesn’t see them most likely offing themselves due to how disgusted they are by living in flesh bodies they’ve joined Eggman but the catch is this already dwindling sector of people now have a bunch of explosives in their bodies that’ll go off should Eggman just feel like pressing a big red button one day.

This Big Red Button will do far worse than summon another Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric into existence. It’ll be a huge round of booms, far bloodier and far more upsetting.

Dimitri, for his part, isn’t that surprised but still finds it taxing that this ended up happening.

Still, when Eggman tells him to head off and prepare the troops for the next push from “The Freedom Fighters. Or Chaotix. Or Whatever.” in that order, Dimitri heads off and glares at Eggman in the shadows, agreeing that they do indeed need to prepare for the next threat.

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If it wasn’t clear before that he’s not fully thrown his lot in with Eggman, it should be now. The man may be desperate but he’s no fool.
Immediately, another moment that happens in Issue #199 suddenly makes a lot more sense.

Damn. Where the fuck was my reading comprehension back in the day?

Back with Sonic and Scourge, they’re not doing too terribly hot against these robots. Honestly, it’s really impressive that Eggman could make something like these in mere hours. He really could be doing so much more but for whatever reason is choosing not to. It’s a combination of a lot of things. His ego, his lack of rational tact, his George Lucas desire to be poetic about the things he does, and his failing sanity are probably just a few of the factors at play here.

Scourge isn’t helping things by constantly refusing help from his group and from Sonic. Fiona asks if he needs help but Scourge just takes it as an insult. Sonic saves him from one of the robots and accuses him of being new at this.

Scourge actually thanks Sonic for the save… and then lets Sonic get got by one of the Metals, claiming he shouldn’t expect the same in return.

As this happens, we get this really interesting scene of Miles observing the fight and the two Sonics at work.

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Fiona is way closer to the actual exit due to being legitimately concerned for Scourge, but the gang that’s standing huddled by a sectioned off hole in the wall hear Miles loud and clear.

Alicia says that Miles should be careful about what he’s saying since his words have a twinge of treason to it. They don’t care about being loyal to Scourge for the sake of their honor though. They’re just scared of him. Patch even talks about how his eyepatch used to be just for show. It’s fucking scary.

Can you imagine our Sally being terrified of Sonic and the things he could do to her? Can you imagine our Antoine having lost an eye because he made Sonic mad once? Can you imagine Tails plotting against Sonic to take him down?

Honestly, this is one of those things that would be way scarier to witness with them just looking like their normal counterparts. Imagining the normal versions of Sonic and the Freedom Fighters acting this way is just frightening. 

Of course, the thing that’s interesting about Miles’ observations here isn’t just that he sees an avenue where he can betray Scourge but also the fact that he’s observing a version of his Sonic that’s actually selfless and kind. 

I don’t actually know a whole lot about Scourge and Miles’ relationship, unfortunately. I really, really, really, REALLY wish I could see more of it though. The transition that Miles made to being this messed up child that’s trying to be all regal and adult to the point of using all these big words and dying his hair that gross gray color would have been quite the thing to marvel at. I’d even take a well written fan-fic or fan-comic covering it, honestly.

But the implications are clear here. There’s an opportunity to get Scourge off their backs and it lies with the heroism of Sonic the Hedgehog.

In the Legion’s barracks, Dimitri scuttles down the stairs, grabs Lien-Da, and takes her to a corner where they can talk.

Dimitri dispenses with the small talk and just says that Eggman wasn’t bluffing. There’s bombs in all of them. Lien-Da screams in frustration and starts to seriously try and pin the blame on Dimitri for this.

Dimitri then points out the obvious to her that he came to Eggman ALONE for an alliance against Enerjak. SHE’S the one who sold the entire rest of the Legion out for their precious cybernetics.

Lien-Da doesn’t have a comeback for this because DUH. 

Now Dimitri has been thrust into a position where he needs to keep his family and his people safe because of Lien-Da’s tremendous mistake.

Because, despite feeling sorry for the Legion’s desperate move towards selling themselves out to Eggman, I was pretty adamant about the fact that it most definitely was not the right choice to make. It wasn’t right morally and it certainly wasn’t smart.

The fact that it was Lien-Da’s call makes it all the sweeter because it just puts into perspective the reason why she ISN’T a good fit to be the Grandmaster, despite wanting the position so badly.
 
Lien-Da asks if he’s going to turn to Knuckles but Dimitri says no. Not yet at least. At this point I’d trust him more than Lien-Da with the decision making right now so she’d best buckle down and prepare to listen to whatever it is he’s got cooked up.

Back with the fight with the Metals, Scourge concedes that they’re getting whooped. He tells Sonic to do something about it since he’s the hero and Sonic says that the last time something like this happened, he had to sick people on them that the robots weren’t designed to handle.

Scourge whines about that but knows what he has to do so he sends his Suppression Squad in to attack.

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One, two, three, just like that, they’re taken care of.

Miles, of course, takes the opportunity to kiss up to Sonic a bit, who doesn't deny what he has to say either. You can tell by the look on his face that he just does not like doing things for Scourge’s sake. It couldn’t be any more clear.

Despite the bad mood Scourge was in earlier, things seem to be a-okay with him now as Fiona rubs up all over him. Scourge goes back to that offer he made earlier and Sonic says the reason he didn’t respond to Scourge both times he asked with a simple “No” is because he was too disgusted for words.

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To be honest, even if that’s the whole truth, it’s not going to stop me from wondering. 

The look on Sonic’s face when Scourge posed that question and the way he kept hesitating to give a straight answer just makes me want to believe his mind was just jumbled enough that he couldn’t help wondering what it would be like out of mild curiosity.

I, of course, don’t think he’d ever SERIOUSLY consider it, much less go for it. 

This issue actually does a really good job of playing up and showcasing how high Sonic’s morality is. Even as he leaves Freedom HQ back to these fuckers, he does so with a smile on his face. He’s been really endearing these past two issues and the difference between him and Scourge couldn’t be more blatant despite the highlighted similarities.

It’s really nice seeing the comic take so much time and dedication towards reminding me that Sonic’s a really good boy underneath all that snark. 

Back in New Mobotropolis, Elias is giving Sonic a mild talking to… except not really.

Sonic makes it clear that nobody is going to tell him what he can and can’t do if he knows he’s in the right.

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Glad to finally have that in writing. I’ll keep the fact that you said that in my back pocket for future reference.

It’s going to become an issue again and I can already hear the potential arguments brewing over how much loyalty to this kingdom Sonic has or doesn’t have.

It’s gotten exhausting so I’ll just say that when it becomes an issue, I’ll talk about it and leave it at that. Right now though, I’m happy he’s said this. It’s something Sonic would actually say and that makes me feel good. Hopefully, that statement will save me from being told more things I already know as if having a different opinion means I somehow wasn’t clear on what the other side was saying.

Anyway, Sonic’s “punishment” from Elias is that he has to take the lead on the next big mission. They lead Sonic to an area where Rotor, Tails, and Uncle Chuck are setting up some star posts and it’s here where Sally informs him that Sonic’s going to do exactly what Scourge did to them. He’s going to invade Moebius.

Sonic loves the sound of that. 

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He certainly doesn’t look like the kind of guy who wants to pass up playing the bad guy this time. No sir.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #192: Father and Son

Story: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Jonathan Gray
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Josh Ray & Aimee Ray
Letters: Teresa Davidson

We’ve reached another intriguing story, one that people far more introspective than me should probably be tackling but I’m going to take a crack at it anyway. I’ve heard enough talk about it to have a rough idea of what the intentions were, though, back in the day, they escaped me as is to be expected by now.

Scourge crawls through the window of Sonic’s house and comes across Sonic’s father, at first mistaking him for a Metal Sonic. Jules doesn’t look scared of him, nor amused to see him. He just greets him on a first name basis and doesn’t get up from his seat.

Jules makes it clear that he’s not afraid of Scourge, despite the fact that Scourge could pretty easily rip him apart. The reason is because the world he lives in is full of heroic beings that fight a single great evil and that tells him that Scourge’s world is just full of cowards doing whatever they can to create ruin.

Scourge tries to combat this by bragging about the fact that he conquered his world but Jules points out that he literally did what he just said people in his world do. That proves nothing.

I guess you could nitpick Jules saying a “single” great evil but I won’t. There’s probably plenty evil in Sonic’s world but aside from Eggman they’re all fairly manageable. Even Mogul eventually fucked off to make his own casino. Heralding Eggman as the world's one constant assured evil that looms over the sanctity of an otherwise, mostly wholesome planet is a nice enough way of putting things. It also makes the doctor sound really badass. Like he’s a literal force of nature or some kind of disease.

Scourge clarifies some more and states that his dad ushered in a time that was called “The Great Peace” and ten years later everything stagnated and fell apart. That’s what drove Scourge to finally do something about it, on top of Sonic’s little speech spurring him to action earlier.

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Every time I see little tidbits like this from Scourge’s world I really want to know more. He’s not going into a ton of detail here, but that shot of little Scourge tugging on his regal, pompous looking dad’s cape in what looks like a desperate bid to grab his fleeting attention says a lot.

The fact that the kingdom went to ruin a mere ten years later says a lot too. The parallels are pretty astounding. In Moebius, Sonic’s dad was the one who led the world and it somehow was led to ruin faster than King Max was able to lead his kingdom to ruin. Impressive.

Though, the parallel is probably more akin to Doctor Eggman, since the Acorn Kingdom doesn’t really want a stranglehold on the world like he does. Either way, it makes this version of Sonic the son to someone important at the forefront of this story. Plus, because of his position, his dad was the opposite of Jules. Instead of a soldier who fought on the front lines, almost died, but survived to take care of the son he loves he was a regal motherfucker who probably never held a sword a day in his life and is now just… gone, along with the love for his son that he probably never really had.

As a result, Scourge doesn’t care about the loss of his dad but Jules stands up and makes sure to tell him that his son totally would.

He probably didn’t mean to but it’s almost like rubbing it in Scourge’s face that Sonic has a dad that loves him.

He asks Scourge if he wants the loss of Sonic’s father on his head too.

Scourge… is a mess of emotions right now.

So he leaves.

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Ian talked a lot about this scene once on his podcast. He doesn’t really recall the details that led to Scourge being drawn crying here but the point the scene was trying to make still stands. Scourge, underneath all that bravado and desire to stand out as above it all, has had a fairly opposite upbringing to Sonic and that’s molded him into a coward.

It’s honestly very sad to me. All that talk about how if one or the other just pushed a little harder, they could go in either direction lays it on thick but this is kind of the first time I’ve seen the story indulge a bit in the tragedy behind the fact that Scourge, for whatever reason, just won’t change himself for the better. No matter what, there’s always going to be this twinge of pity I’ll feel watching Scourge do what he does from here on in. 

I don’t know if that look on his face is from genuine fear creeping back in because of Jules, in that moment, giving him bad daddy flashbacks or if he was seriously considering that he’d feel awful about killing Sonic’s dad at the end of the day because of what he had to go through.

Or if it’s both. Maybe it’s totally both.

Either way, the emotions behind what’s going on are enough that he can’t go through with it and he just leaves, despite the fact that he totally could if he wanted to. Despite this, Jules still makes a point of saying in bolded letters that he was talking to “Nobody” when his wife shows up.

My sensitive ass kind of wanted a scene where Scourge just cried into Jules chest because he wanted a hug from some version of his daddy but obviously he wouldn’t do that. He’s got to keep the sheen of his cool guy demeanor up after all.

I seriously want to know more about these Anti-characters and their world. I want to know about their upbringing and the juicy details about how things got the way they did for them.

Honestly, it’d be such a better use of a Sonic Universe arc than going back to the fucking 30 Years Later shit. 

Fuck me. I think I just made myself upset.

Yeah, excellent issue. The book continues to be really good. The nature of the story as it concerns these characters from Moebius is seriously one of the most intriguing things about the comic right now. I really do mean it when I say that I want to know as much as I can about the state of their world and get a full rundown of just how Scourge and Miles’ lives led them to the point where they are now. I know that there’s stuff down the line that I probably missed and will rediscover later but I doubt it’ll be enough to fully satisfy me. It’s going to be one of those things that haunts me forever more as an unfortunate side-effect of this book's cancellation. 

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