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I grew up with the whole “Julian” thing.

Did not care for it one bit. It just…existed, because throughout that entire time he was still “Eggman/Robotnik,” so Julian just seemed like extra that didn’t really have an effect on anything.

You still got the same evil mad scientist turning animals into robots, building fleets and Death Stars, and all around trying to conquer the world. So it’s not like it really had an impact when they changed it.

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12 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

I grew up with the whole “Julian” thing.

Did not care for it one bit. It just…existed, because throughout that entire time he was still “Eggman/Robotnik,” so Julian just seemed like extra that didn’t really have an effect on anything.

You still got the same evil mad scientist turning animals into robots, building fleets and Death Stars, and all around trying to conquer the world. So it’s not like it really had an impact when they changed it.

It's... hard trying to imagine what I would have felt back then seeing as all this stuff was something I was only loosely aware of back in the day. 12-year-old me looked up Sonic's origins out of curiosity one day and incorporated that into a fanfic without knowing that what I found about him originally being a brown hedgehog and what not was just the origin from the Fleetway comics. 

If I had been told Robotnik's name was Julian despite also thinking his name was Ivo I would have been extremely confused but also probably would have accepted it without thinking too much. Here, today, it's just reminiscent of a very strange time in the comic's past to me.

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When I said "Julian" I meant more so the design used in SatAM, Underground, and 1st 50 issues of Archie.  And yes I know there's some slight design tweaks among them but they're 95% the same.  You could even say the character of Julian given how radically different he was from Classic Eggman in design, personality, goals, mannerisms, name, etc.  Game "Roboticization" was also completely from Roboticization in the western continuities.  If Sega ever allowed it, Classic Eggman and Julian could easily co-exist in the same continuity without stepping on each others toes they are that dissimilar.

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Sonic Boom - Issue #2: Knuckleduster

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It’s not always my preferred kind of cover whenever they just decide to put a bunch of characters in boxes. I always take points off whenever there could be some Tails representation and there just isn’t for no reason.

I’m kidding but not really but I am but I’m not. Anyway, it’s issue 2. It’s time for the Knuckles… betrayal arc?

Spoiler

Variant Cover

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This variant I always found a bit strange. It seems to be a parody of the Shadow the Hedgehog pose where you see him from behind holding a gun and turning his head back to look at you. I think? Otherwise, I’m not sure why they’d go for this specifically. Lord knows the tone of what’s inside this book isn’t going to match.

Key-Tappin’: Ian Flynn
Lead Markin’: Evan Stanley
Ink Splashin’: Rick Bryant
Stylus Swirlin’: Matt Herms
Font Fussin’: Jack Morelli
Purdy Picture on Da Front: Patrick “Spaz” Spaziante & Matt Herms
That Other Purdy Picture on Some of Da Fronts: T-Rex (Rawr!)

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No, Eggman. By all means, smash those credits. Typing that out hurt my hands. Lord knows any regular kid reading this wouldn’t be able to understand who was who reading those either.

Opening the book with something like this isn’t funny but it can at least be considered cute. It does well to set the tone that what you’re about to see shouldn’t be taken any kind of seriously. Not even in the least bit. Which usually isn’t a good thing to me since I prefer taking the media I consume somewhat seriously, even if it’s a comedy. I like believing that the characters within the story are actually experiencing what they’re experiencing so starting with an immediate and a heavy fourth wall break would normally be the equivalent of grabbing my head and smashing it through a window the instant I opened your book.

Also, remember when I said Sonic lied about the logo joke being a first issue thing?

Yeah, Sonic lied about the logo joke being a first issue thing.

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Hardy har har.

Last issue Sonic said the logo thing was only going to be for that issue and this issue he’s saying they did this last issue. It’s two jokes for the price of… contradiction? I guess?

Tails even flies up to Eggman and points out that he’s even piloting the same machine, which is something I DID notice but wasn’t sure if I was supposed to.

Eggman swears up and down it’s new and activates a secret weapon to prove it. He presses a button and knock knock it’s–!

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Despite the fact that Amy is the one Knuckles is mad at, he punches the fuck out of Sonic and tells him he got served.

To be honest though, it’s still satisfying whenever Sonic gets hit, no matter what continuity it is. I dunno. It’s just funny.

Sonic doesn’t catch the hint. He thought Knuckles was just randomly entering the scene with a punch to the face and gets up with a smile, saying it was a bit much, and acting like they’re about to go into battle together.

That prompts Knuckles to slam another fist to his head and lock Sonic into a cage. 

It was kind of adorable how Sonic no sold getting punched in the face and also wasn’t even mad about it. 

Tails is mad though and he goes off on Knuckles before getting owned. 

Sticks then owns herself in a way that’s actually pretty funny.

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This will not be the last time where Tails’ carelessness catches him off guard. I like that as a weakness for him though.

He does actually confront Amy though and she gets all… unwanted teacher on him. Again.

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This is a scary looking scene. He looks like he’s about to do something non-comedy comic book-y to her here.

Amy holds her hand up and apologizes to him for sometimes being a little impatient with him but then tells him that’s no excuse to team up with Eggman and put their friends in cages.

She says they’re at an impasse because they’re both heavy hitters but then Eggman just scoops her up and drops her into a cage from behind. She acknowledges her mistake by going “Whoops” with an annoyed face.

Eggman then debates over whether or not he should conquer the village or just destroy it because he set pork chops out to thaw. He decides the fate of his pork chops will be left up to a coin flip.

In the cargo bay, Sonic is going immediately stir crazy being stuck inside a small cage and unable to move. He keeps staring ahead blankly while muttering about how he’s gotta go fast.

The rest are able to talk and it’s here where Knuckles reveals that he TRICKED them and that he IS smartical after all.

He only PRETENDED to be on Eggman’s side.

Then Amy points out that he helped Eggman get them captured so at this point he is on their side now. 

Knuckles’ realization at the mistake is… very sad.

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Tails finally points out that Amy’s kind of at fault for this happening too and that she needs to practice what she preached about talking through problems now. Getting more upset with him isn’t going to resolve things.

It’s funny, because this reveal really just means he was entirely motivated by the fact that his feelings were hurt and there was no real intention to stop being friends with them. I can see why Knuckles in Boom can be considered frustrating to some but I also see why Amy was considered the more annoying and bothersome part of the way this shook out for the majority. It just isn’t a good look.

Meanwhile, Sonic is spinning endlessly in his cage and it’s making Sticks dizzy.

Anyway, Amy and Tails use words of encouragement and say that Knuckles was actually smart this whole time to motivate him to going back to taking out Eggman properly.

But he leaves everyone behind to go do it.

Not to worry though, the actually funny Sticks joke doubles as a clever plot twist.

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Sonic can barely speak proper words at the moment. They actually make note at the end of the story that he can’t really remember what happened while he was in the cage because when everything went slow, his brain went subatomic.

It’s pretty funny.

No time for that though. Knuckles shouts Eggman’s name in a really cool logo that the other characters comment on because, you know, the logo is cool and also a really funny joke that will never get old.

Eggman actually tells Orbot and Cubot to attack and they react the same way I do with what basically amounts to “You serious, mate?”

He threatens them and they… attempt to but Knuckles just grabs them and hurls them out the window. 

He then Knuckles jump glitches his way out of the robot and just humiliates it.

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Eggman literally says not to “Ka-scratch” the paint so that tells me they are indeed aware of all the Ka-Sound Effects and it is very much intentional.

What’s the joke? I dunno.

Eggman runs away, Tails has to goad Amy into fake falling so that Knuckles can “save” her, and then they have an actual heart to heart.

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While the two of them are patching things up, I like that the other characters are just being themselves in the background. Especially Sonic but especially Sticks but ESPECIALLY Sonic.

It’s cute. It’s adorable. It’s wholesome.

Also, it’s fast.

This was a shockingly fast read.

Orbot and Cubot come up to them and claim to need a ride home. A lot of suggestions are given but Knuckles says he’s got this and tosses them towards the doctor the same way he chucked them out the window.

We end on Amy FREAKING OUT as she starts to dig all over the sand and shit.

Why?

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This issue came out before Vector Detector was a thing so it’s probably, actually likely that the show got the idea of the missing hammer from this issue of its own comic. 

I enjoyed this but Vector Detector is a better story. Not even just because Vector is in it. But mostly that.

Also, Sticks inspecting Tails’ butt is funny too.

For being the conclusion to what was hastily set up in the first issue, I gotta say, it resolved itself really quickly. Not that this felt like a three issue story or anything nor am I saying it being over quickly is a bad thing. It’s a bit of a compliment. I do find it refreshing how much easier of a read this story is so far. There are some funny and amusing things in this issue too, even if one or two of the jokes flatline simply because of endless repetition. I’m mostly just talking about the logo joke. Sonic said it would be retired this issue and there were three or four jokes about it instead. 

There's little to say about the handling of Amy and Knuckles' characters when all is said and done here. It doesn't feel like it was really all that important and considering how long this comic lasts, it definitely won't be.


Sonic Universe - Issue #67: Total Eclipse - Part 1 of 4: Uninvited Guests

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It’s Knuckles Vs. Shadow in a match I’m sure loads of people care to see for power scaling reasons and not necessarily because it would be a fun fight. But enough of me shitting on the Death Battle culture, Sonic Universe has a new side border. 

I gotta be honest, I’m not a fan. The Archie Action thing is an interesting direction to take but, man, I dunno. There was something about the arc above the issues that felt right to me. I guess I do like the idea behind the space background but that could have gone on top too. So, I dunno. I guess it’s supposed to look newer and cooler but my eyes crave nothing but consistency. That’s why I like the way IDW handles it. Just a big Sonic the Hedgehog logo, a number, and SEGA at the bottom. It’s great.

Spoiler

Pixel Cutscene Variant

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Aww. This is cute. I’m glad we’re being experimental again and in a way that feels kind of inspired. We haven’t had one of those lazy SEGA variants in a while. Even ones that have utilized Sonic’s renders have at least been interesting in how they did it. 

I don’t know why but this image is giving me some fierce Newgrounds memories though. That or memories of me browsing the Sprite database for sprite comic tools and coming across random images that were pixels but also huge. Ah, whatever. That was a long time ago. As in, the SEGA forums weren’t even dead yet.

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Tracy Yardley
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Matt Herms
Letters: Jack Morelli
Cover by Tracy Yardley & Ben Hunzeker
Pixel Cutscene Variant Cover by Ryan Jampole

We start off with a flashback to a few days ago where Eclipse was making his landing onto Angel Island.

Unfortunately, it was a crash landing into the mountains.

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That’s a very hilarious line. 

Anyway, he’s about to die.

The crash is very harsh and rough. It knocks Eclipse out cold. He’s lucky to be alive but it turns out that a lot of the Dark Arms being cultivated in the back of the escape pod weren’t as lucky.

It’s here where, again, I feel the need to get on my sympathy for Eclipse train once more. Yeah, he wants revenge but first he wanted a big brother and now he wants to be a big brother to the little alien spawn that survived the crash.

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The genuine look of fear on his face when he thought that all of his babies died got me. Seeing him get on one knee and promising to protect and take care of them almost destroyed me though.

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It’s too adorable. 

Yes, he makes the angry revenge face but that’s identifiable. We all have one or two people we want to take revenge on right?

You can imagine how bad I felt when Team Dark appears on the next page and one of the first things Shadow says is that they need to END Eclipse.

Noooo~! This is where you take a page out of Sonic’s book and let him live! Come on Shadow…! For me and my love of big brothers taking care of their little baby boys!

Anyway, Team Dark is in Launch Base Zone and Omega deploys a telepod so that we can get our introduction to Dr. Julian Snively.

… PFFT WHAT?!

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Okay, so there’s a lot to talk about here. 

Dr. Julian Snively is introduced as the G.U.N R&D specialist for Team Dark here which means our boy Snively, when the world reset itself, was freed from his eternal prison and has now been revamped as a G.U.N agent.

… With a checkered past that is more reminiscent of what you’re familiar with regarding Snively but still.

It really does fit that G.U.N is represented by a bunch of anti-heroes or people with shady pasts for the most part. Having Rebooted Snively be a part of them is actually pretty brilliant. It sticks out like a sore thumb in comparison to all the other spots the other rebooted characters have found themselves in, naturally. The Freedom Fighters have all gotten new designs but on the whole they still occupy the same exact space they did before the reboot. 

Making it so Snively doesn’t serve as just another lackey for Eggman works wonders for this. Plus, the motivation to have this be the case was probably a continuation of the idea from Scrambled where Orbot and Cubot were summoned into the Archie book specifically because of Snively’s latest betrayal. 

In the reboot he most likely would have felt a little redundant despite being the Starscream of the Eggman Empire.

Second of all is obviously the name. We literally just had a conversation about the name “Julian” in the posts above so seeing it repurposed here as Snively’s name instead is kind of surreal in a way.

The whole thing with Eggman’s name in the original continuity was a little fucky. Even now I don’t fully understand where the Ivo begins and the Julian ends but here it’s pretty succinct. Ivo is Eggman’s real name and Julian is now Snively’s new name. They’ve managed to keep the name without it stepping on the toes of SEGA’s new direction.

That new direction being that no one’s allowed to be related to each other unless they’re in a relationship that’s canonical within the games.

Contrary to some of my peers, I don’t have a problem with the idea behind that. I do think making it so that family members can only be canon to the games does stave off a lot of the confusion when it comes to whether or not Sonic has a family or not. I’m kind of living proof of that.

I would look up info about Sonic and see that he and Tails had parents and names that didn’t get talked about in the games and thought that was canon info that I had just missed or something. A dumb little kid isn’t gonna know. 

It saves me from being like “Did you know Sonic has a brother AND a sister and they play instruments” online and people being like, “Uh, that was only in Sonic Underground you fucking idiot!”.

I also understand the frustration people have with the rule though. I can sympathize with the idea that it’s just cleaner to keep the characters and their relationships as specified within the games until the games decide they want to cross that bridge themselves but… at the same time we all know the games have no interest in doing that.

They’re not going to give Sonic a second brother or a set of parents and I don’t necessarily think they should but the plight of the people is going to mourn the loss of some of the comic’s freedom to do stuff like that anyway. 

The fact that the Archie Comics existed the way they did and for as long as they did at all is a freak miracle. I kind of land in the position of being grateful we got away with stuff like this at all.

I don’t need Uncle Chuck to be actually related to Sonic because I feel the relationship is honestly cooler with them not being blood related. That’s why I love the fact that Sonic and Tails are brothers so much. It’s genuinely really great.

Would Snively being related to Eggman bring more stuff to the table that simply being his former partner in crime couldn’t? Honestly, I don’t think so. Anything it would bring to the table I could easily see being tweaked to fit this current rebooted narrative. Even when it came to other characters that used to be family, like Hope. There’s potentially a more interesting story waiting for her with her not being directly related to Snively but still being connected in some way… if it were possible to use her.

He’s very shady of course. He’s only here to observe but he keeps trying to interject into Rouge’s plans by talking about how they need to secure the Master Emerald. He says it’s for safety but… it’s Snively so it most likely isn’t.

Shadow is also against asking Knuckles for permission. He thinks he should be allowed to do whatever he wants on someone else’s property because he knows what’s right. 

Fantastic. Now he’s thinking like real law enforcement.

Rouge talks down to Julian when he keeps pushing for that emerald and when he can’t rebuke the fact that he’s only here to observe, Team Dark rushes off to do their duty.

Omega wins at life by blowing up the Barrel of Doom.

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Just another reason why Omega is the best and we should all strive to have more Omega in our lives.

I remember my first encounter with this barrel a few years ago when I decided to play as much through Sonic 3 as I could. I made a post on the boards asking if I was insane or if this barrel was for real.

I got a lot of replies that weren’t surprised by my encounter and I even found out that it was a whole thing that everyone hated. I was relieved it wasn’t because I was bad at 2D Sonic that time.

We cut to Knuckles who is reminiscing over how weird the broken world below looks. This Knuckles has developed enough to know that even though it’s so far away, the problems of the world below are his problems too. 

It’s great to see him say so because those arguments about when it was okay for Knuckles to leave his island got a little ridiculous at times. I felt like a fucking idiot seriously trying to explain why the Black Arms invasion was most definitely a good reason for Knuckles to leave and help people on the planet below. 

Like, seriously, if the world fucking dies then what the hell is the point of guarding the Master Emerald? Knuckles would have to be not just an idiot but ACTUALLY brain dead to think that it’d be okay if just Angel Island lived through any old crisis. It makes no sense.

Relic shows up and says hi to him. Chip and Tikal aren’t around because they’re apparently having a spiritual chat in the Hidden Palace Zone. Relic and Knuckles have a chat about the weird looking alien plants she discovered during The Great Chaos Caper and how they’re clearly not of his island.

Then there’s a weird moment where Knuckles says they’re foreign and not welcome on his island and for some reason Relic takes that as a thinly veiled suggestion for HER to leave? Then there’s an awkward pause as Knuckles tries to explain that he wasn’t talking about her and has to explain to her that she’s cool with him…? I guess this was just a hang up she had?

I dunno. It seemed rather sudden and a bit like something a passive aggressive person would do. Not helping is how she shifts into talking about how she’d be set for life experimenting on just one of the biomes here and Fixit has to tell her to chill out.

Knuckles smiles when she does it so I guess it’s actually fine. It was a very weird scene to me though.

Rouge shows up with a “Yoo hoo!” and gets Knuckles’ attention with a very playful line.

Knuckles is NOT having it. As soon as Relic is about to ask “Who in the world…?” Knuckles just goes, “Nope.”

He’s not even keen on listening. He just immediately wants Rouge off the island.

Rouge previously told Shadow to let her do the talking and we see the results of that here where Rouge fakes believing that Knuckles and Relic are a couple and gets Relic to start swatting at Knuckles thinking he was telling people they were an item. Rouge finds it hilarious.

Shadow cuts in front of her and says he’s taking over. Rouge got carried away.

After a brief conversation with Knuckles about why they’re here, Relic shows Shadow the piece of the Red Fruit Tree only cultivated by the Black Arms and in crushing it, he declares that means Eclipse is here. Which he is.

Knuckles of course flashes back to that funny scene of him seeing the “meteor” crashing and saying it better not land on his island before it totally lands on his island and thinks he shouldn’t have left… but then realizes that if he didn’t leave he wouldn’t have found Chip and then his brain gets all scrambled.

Trying to take accountability for things that aren’t your fault isn’t a good thing.

Rouge reassures the poor boy, genuinely this time, that they need his help. Knuckles, with a sly smile, says he’s willing to offer it. 

Relic is told to stay at the shrine with Fixit. Fixit is told to link up with Omega so that it’s possible to keep in touch while he’s on his mission and we get a beautiful, chef kiss moment from Archie Omega.

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Fucking brilliant.

Now, it’s decided that Team Dark is going with Knuckles to search for Eclipse but Julian objects to the Master Emerald being left unprotected, which prompts Rouge to reveal that she plans on having Shadow stay behind to guard it.

This prompts Knuckles and Shadow to agree with one another in a way that only these hot headed tough guys would. 

On accident.

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You see, Shadow wants Eclipse for himself. That’s the only reason he objects. 

Rouge has to explain to Shadow that his personal vendetta has nothing to do with being pragmatic about handling this situation as Eclipse is everyone’s problem. Shadow then tries a different approach by pointing out that Eclipse almost tore Omega a part (Omega counters by saying “The reverse is also true” but Shadow ignores that) and says that they’ll need him if they’re going to overwhelm him.

But someone needs to guard it. Either Shadow goes with them to MAYBE find Eclipse or he sneaks past them, finds the Emerald, kills “what’s-her-name” (as Rouge calls her before Relic chimes in by telling Rouge her actual name) and then blood is on his hands because he couldn’t control his raging revenge boner.

Interesting how this is yet another argument about how Shadow needs to control his ego to make sure people are protected. It’s a lot less forced in this one too.

Shadow does finally agree to stay behind. 

A part of me wonders if it would have been better to just leave Omega behind to guard it since he’s arguably just as strong (if not, probably stronger) than Shadow but whatever. They’re pretty interchangeable and I have a feeling Omega would have argued even harder and even longer with Rouge about this.

Eclipse, meanwhile, is busy being… just the best big brother ever.

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Aww. Look at him with Rhygenta. Shadow better leave Rhygenta alone goddammit!    

I do like that subtle crack at the Rhythm wisp though. It’s funny because in Lost World I kind of liked using the rhythm wisp. All you had to do was tap the screen and it worked. It made no sense but whatever.

It didn’t cause me to stress the fuck out like the Asteroid and the Rocket wisp did before they removed the mandatory motion controls.

Goddamn. That game came with MANDATORY motion controls. It was patched out for free, thank God, but man… does anyone remember that?

Also, these Dark Arms are somehow based on Wisps. I don’t exactly know how or why but Rhygenta is clearly the Rhythm wisp. It would seem that Cregal and Cyzer are the Eagle and Lazer wisp. Blurk is the Block wisp. Or Cube wisp, rather.

Their names all sound similar to what they are. Blurk is the only one that goes by a synonym of what it originally was. It’s very interesting though. It’s like a corruption of the Nega Wisp idea. Instead of being drained of power they’re fused with Black Arms power.

Eclipse goes out to do some recon and he’s lucky as hell he did because he happens to overhear Rouge, Omega, and Knuckles on their way to look for him. Letting Knuckles lead the way saw them finding where he was pretty fast.

However, because Knuckles likes to complain, he mentions that he doesn’t want to keep Shadow guarding the Master Emerald for long. Hearing the words “Shadow” and “Master” Emerald, Eclipse makes his move as he already pointed out that he needs more power and could sense something nearby.

Back with Shadow, Relic is striking up a conversation with him. Shadow is a bit annoyed but I do appreciate how he’s choosing to talk with her.

Relic expresses interest in studying the Black Arms' culture and architecture, of course. Shadow is insistent that literally NOTHING good came of them and turns to tell her that she wouldn’t feel the way she does if she knew… something. I love how Relic says "present company excluded" because that would mean Shadow isn't a good thing that came about as per the Black Arms' existence.

He doesn’t get to finish his sentence because he sees her face as a creepy fly face now.

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I like that playing mind games is something Eclipse can do. It’s best he keeps this in his back pocket during fights.

Ugh. Relic’s face. It reminds me of Wormy from Spongebob. Looking at it, I just hear that awful sound.

Anyway, Eclipse having his fun is a nice little clue to what’s happened and he gets the jump on him with a surprise from behind! 

DrCLmO0Km3mScFz69CFNk_2MfnHeAk3Hcm7Oat2kt8-l806uActBDs4AgVtCwh-S3TTbchPIwPgacN2xUUnpG7342NuKeLZ3imLN8-UcVTpHx4moXGG7Jskr-QARDs3JcAOxbmE9utIhbg466rfQrX0

GIVE HIM A HUG SHADOW!

HE’S YOUR LITTLE BROTHER FOR GOD’S SAKE!

For some reason, the idea of reading this arc always exhausted me a bit. I recall this one being really dense and full of things to talk about so my fingers were in for a bit of a workout. The amount of things to say that immediately flooded my mind when Julian Snively showed up is testament to that. I didn’t even get to the part about his beard and how everytime I see it I imagine how itchy that thing looks. Or about his Dragon Ball Z scouter that was also in Sonic X. Or how the screen connected to the G.U.N beetle reminds me of the flying Eggman screen from Shadow the Hedgehog…!

There’s a lot to talk about with regards to Shadow and Knuckles’ characters and seeing their immediate disdain for one another isn’t shocking. It’ll always be at least a little interesting to observe so long as it’s written well.

 

Sonic Universe - Issue #68: Total Eclipse - Part 2 of 4: Tipping Point

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Fairly simple cover with a very good idea. I can’t help but feel it’d be more effective if that bar on the side was gone and just on top again so that the space on the cover looked like it took up the whole image properly. It still technically wouldn’t if it was on top but at least the way it was cut off wouldn’t be as distracting. Again, just having that bar on the side and the huge logo above instead of one or the other makes it feel like something is off to me. But, having the characters blacked out over an actual eclipse is a good idea. Probably a given of an idea too, honestly.

Spoiler

Tabloid Variant

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A tabloid article cover! It’s back! Haven’t seen you since Fiona broke up with Tails that one time, I’m pretty sure. Covering the scandal between Shadow and Knuckles having their feud and making diss tracks to each other is expected. The equally as scandalous idea that Knuckles has a new girl on Angel Island sounds like a decent lie for TMZ to exploit. I love the joke about Julian Snively getting a makeover. It’s another “Bald is Beautiful” motif but we also know it doubles as a way of telling everyone that Snively is back and has been re-designed. Still don’t know how I feel about the facial hair. 

Then, of course, we have the UFO sighting thing at the bottom to let you know this magazine is real, tried and true, hot garbage. Only, it’s actually true. Finally, the ultimate celebrity, Sonic, can’t decide on who he’ll root for. Whoever he does will change the face of entertainment as we know it until the internet gets bored again.

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Tracy Yardley
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Matt Herms
Letters: Jack Morelli
Cover by Tracy Yardley & Ben Hunzeker
Tabloid Variant Cover by Jonathan H. Gray, Jim Amash & Matt Herms

Relic, Fixit, and Julian’s TV Bot hide behind the shrine as the fight between Eclipse and Shadow takes place.

Eclipse manages to get a hit in on Shadow, prompting Relic to come to his aid… or attempt to but Shadow tells her to stand back. This disgusts Eclipse who is surprised Shadow would kill his whole race and then protect these weak, inferior creatures.

Relic’s response to being called that is, “Rude.”

Eclipse continues though. Despite… everything that’s happened, the lost of his race, the loss of his master, the loss of a ton of his babies… he STILL wants to be bros with Shadow!

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It looks so much like they wanted to have Shadow just giving Eclipse the finger here. Instead he’s pointing at him like he’s going “YOU–!” or something. It’s kind of amusing.

It’s also interesting how he does indeed recall Maria’s wish and is using that as a motivator for his actions. That’s great. Despite Shadow’s insistence that he’s left the past behind and will never turn back, it doesn’t mean that the past can’t still motivate him now that he’s looking towards the future.

Apparently, SEGA seems to wish it’s just a matter of him completely ignoring everything about his past which… isn’t ideal. That’s probably the nicest way to put it. 

It really does suck that the story train we were on from Sonic Adventure to Sonic 06 (arguably the spark was still around with Unleashed and Black Knight) was derailed for no real reason. I mean… I guess they thought they had a reason but they didn’t. Not really.

Anyway, while they’re fighting, some talk about the nonsense of the level geometry happens back with Knuckles’ group.

Followed by some very much appreciated introspection regarding Knuckles’ place in the world.

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Omega is a machine so it does tickle me that he views another machine, namely a simple pounding hammer, to be viewed as “acting aggressively”.

Of course, the real meat and potatoes here is when Rouge’s next joke falls flat and she gets real again. She does speak earnestly from the heart about her concern for Knuckles’ well-being. It’s a good thing to be concerned about to. Being trapped on this island, all alone, for the entirety of his life isn’t a healthy existence.

It’s comforting being alone for me but even I have to admit that I’ve often thought about being in a situation similar to Knuckles and wondering how much of that I could take. He seems to be rather hostile towards certain visitors but his allowance of Relic and Fixit to be here does open up the possibility that he does crave some sort of interaction with people on some level. I would too, eventually. We can’t be completely isolated from each other forever.

The question of what Knuckles is doing this for when it benefits him so little is a good one but Knuckles’ response, despite being a bit harsh for the genuine concern leveled at him by Rouge, is also an important thing to keep in mind.

That’s part of why I find it so silly that he can’t be more flexible when it comes to going on adventures. I was always on the side of people that wanted Knuckles being the guardian of the Master Emerald to exist within the narrative again but I was never someone who said that meant he could only be involved in plots that directly involved it.

Just MENTION the Master Emerald and provide a good reason for why he, the character, is leaving it alone at the moment. That’s good enough for me. There are also plenty of ways to involve the Master Emerald in plots too that haven’t been taken advantage of but that’s mostly due to the lack of story intrigue that’s plagued the games for the last decade.

Hopefully, we’re rising out of that funk with Frontiers onward. I hope the higher ups were inspired by more than just Ian Flynn’s character writing when they were overseeing the IDW comics that led towards their eventual hiring of the man.

Knuckles finds the crashed spacecraft and is happy… but Rouge interjects by saying “It’s about freedom”. This confuses Knuckles a bit before she clarifies on what she means.

“I do my part, AND I’ve got the freedom to do my own thing. I have my job but it’s not my LIFE. All you do is wait for trouble to show up. Don’t you want more for yourself?” She asks, laying out a good goddamn argument for balance in a work and home life relationship.

Knuckles’ answer is “Not really.” 

Is he telling the truth? Is he not? 

You know, it’s honestly hard to say. 

Knuckles is so earnest that I believe HE believes he’s fine and doesn’t need to balance his work with an actual life but does he see it as possible that he could maybe want that deep down? Who knows? Maybe he truly does just view this as his own, personal happy state of being. 

They land on top of the ship and the poor Dark Arms babies are scared inside as Omega threatens to make a door in the ship. When Rouge mentions that Eclipse could be waiting to ambush them, he just says he’ll “make a door” in him too, which… JESUS. 

I fucking love Omega. He probably won’t be but I want Flynn Omega to be in Frontiers.

Fixit calls Omega before he can make his door though and tells him that Eclipse and Shadow have engaged in fisticuffs.

Knuckles curses his rotten luck, hating the fact that he left the Emerald behind again and this time it caused trouble. The three of them head back.

It looks like Shadow has Eclipse on the ropes but then he transforms and starts beating the shit out of Shadow.

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Getting hit with something that claims to be ten times your own strength has to feel awful. It’s hard imagining that but I had to stop and really think about that here.

Rocks are a lot harder than anime makes them look like too.

Shadow gets a second wind when he, for the first time, utilizes the Master Emerald to induce Chaos Control and Chaos Blast’s Eclipse out of his transformation form.

Like, literally.

It’s like a gross flesh suit that he created around himself.

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Like, this is REALLY fucking nasty.

Even worse, when Shadow sends him flying, the “suit” that got left behind just rots in front of them immediately. Fuck.

Shadow is wrecked though. He’s super tired and despite trying to shuffle off to go finish Eclipse, he can’t. Relic helps him keep steady.

Julian interjects with a hearty “I told ya so” about wanting to take the emerald and keep it secure.

It’s interesting because despite how sound his argument is and how steadfast and duty bound he looks, Relic just sees through him immediately. Like, she’s completely blowing off his actual arguments and just going straight for the heart of his intentions.

She’s right to not be fooled of course. This is still Snively.

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It couldn’t be more obvious when you look at his set-up. 

It would seem like Operation: Conquest involves the Master Emerald, 14 satellites, and the Space Colony Ark. Hmmm…!

Good thing that screen only shows his face.

I also like that he’s controlling the G.U.N Beetle with a video game controller.

Anyway, Eclipse snaps to his senses and sees Knuckles, Rouge, and Omega flying overhead. He curses himself for leaving his only remaining family behind and trying to pursue his desire to have his big bro like him as it jeopardized his mission. He flashes back to his shuttle.

When the group re-groups, Knuckles asks Relic if she’s okay and she’s fine. Fixit feels the need to inform him that he is okay as well, which is cute.

Shadow hears that Eclipse is gone and wants to go after him but this time Rouge is telling him to slow his roll. Julian then makes a crack about Eclipse not being able to do anything on this remote island. “What’s he gonna do? Fly away? HAR!”

Shadow shouts that he has a shuttle.

Knuckles points out that it’s wrecked. He’s not going anywhere but they’re stuck here with him… well, THEY have a shuttle too so technically they aren’t if they leave.

This is partly what prompts Shadow to come to the conclusion that he does.

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It’s a very shocking proposition but one that comes at them in a time of desperation.

Eclipse is just really strong and was built to give Shadow a run for his money. Dude might have been actual toast if the Master Emerald weren’t there.

Knuckles is about to go nuclear but Rouge stops him to try and reason with Shadow. 

She mentions the island crashing but Shadow raises a good point about how the island would probably still float along with the rest of the Earth’s crust that’s broken apart… granted, that doesn’t necessarily account for where it would stop falling before it begins to float. 

Like if it falls and then stops to float along with the rest of the world it would still most likely land on something unexpectedly. 

Well, either way, Shadow’s other point is that one island isn’t as important as keeping the Master Emerald from Eclipse.

Julian is glad Shadow is finally seeing sense. Omega agrees with Shadow. Fixit… asks if he gets a vote too, which is adorable.

Relic is still trying to fight against the idea but Rouge waves her off, finally on Shadow’s side.

Shadow says they’re going to make preparations to do this.

Knuckles vehemently disagrees and uses Shadow for a game of shot put.

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He’s had it.

These assholes come to his island, tell him what they’re gonna do with HIS emerald and HIS island, and say, not even to his face that HIS island isn’t as important as keeping HIS emerald away from an alien that wouldn’t even be here if Shadow properly took care of his little brother with hugs back in Shadow Fall.

It’s too much for a guy to handle I tells ya.

Knuckles doesn’t give a fuck about your pragmatism. It’s his shit you’re messing with and to blatantly disregard his opinion and constantly show such massive disrespect on a consistent basis like this is too much. 

IT’S TOO MUCH!

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Shadow did not like being tossed though. You could totally tell.

This is a really… really well done conflict.

This issue stands as an example of what happens when you take two characters with their own ideologies and ways of doing things within the Sonic world and make those clash. These aren't two power levels clashing, these are two characters with their own thoughts and feelings with regards to how they approach a situation coming at odds. That’s what I love about this. 

Early Archie would so often have Sonic and Knuckles or Sonic and Shadow fight for no other reason then “they’re rivals” but this is an actual fucking reason and it’s a STRONG reason too. Shadow’s way of protecting the world is pragmatic but it doesn’t often grant him concern for the plight of an individual like Knuckles. Knuckles, meanwhile, lives and breathes this island and this emerald so having these assholes just invade and tell him what they’re going to do with his shit as if his input doesn’t matter is naturally going to rock him to the core. Knuckles cares about the world but his duty bound nature to protect it via protecting the Master Emerald is the thing he cares about most. It’s such a strong idea and it really is incredible to see it play out this way.

I wonder what other ideological clashes could happen as a result of things like this? 

 

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3 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I wonder what other ideological clashes could happen as a result of things like this? 

 

I dunno, maybe Shadow wants to kill Eggman or something and Sonic doesn't agree with it. As if that'll ever happen without some contrived reason to make Sonic morally superior amirite. 

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4 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

I dunno, maybe Shadow wants to kill Eggman or something and Sonic doesn't agree with it. As if that'll ever happen without some contrived reason to make Sonic morally superior amirite. 

No, I don't think you are, personally, but this isn't a conversation I want to have either so I guess I'll just regret bringing it up.

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3 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

No, I don't think you are, personally but this isn't a conversation I want to have either so I guess I'll just regret bringing it up.

Its a joke, don't worry. I have no intentions of bringing up that age old argument. I just thought it'd be amusing if I poked at it a little. 

 

 

I do think this type of conflict works for characters like Knuckles and Shadow than it does with Sonic. Since neither one of them are the protagonist, there's less incentive to make them look morally pure and superior. They both have a point and that's what makes the conflict interesting, there's no right answer you could take either one's side and make a good case for it. 

 

And that's good, that's how conflict among heroes should be; not just dick measuring contests, but an honest to god clash of ideals. Now all we need is for these two to have petty Zoro and Sanji tier arguments and we're good. 

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1 minute ago, Kuzu said:

I do think this type of conflict works for characters like Knuckles and Shadow than it does with Sonic. Since neither one of them are the protagonist, there's less incentive to make them look morally pure and superior. They both have a point and that's what makes the conflict interesting, there's no right answer you could take either one's side and make a good case for it. 

I mean, I guess it depends on your viewpoint. I agree with Ian that you don't have to agree with everything your main hero or protagonist believes and an acknowledgement of the good and bad that comes with following one's believes as outlined by how it was handled with Sonic was an incredibly interesting storytelling device. I view it the same way here but with different characters.

There's no right answer for a lot of things. That's why ideological clashes like this I tend to find interesting. Although, you did just remind me that suffering through the internet's bile to get more of it probably isn't worth it but I guess that's why I tend to ignore a lot of it nowadays. 

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16 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I mean, I guess it depends on your viewpoint. I agree with Ian that you don't have to agree with everything your main hero or protagonist believes and an acknowledgement of the good and bad that comes with following one's believes as outlined by how it was handled with Sonic was an incredibly interesting storytelling device. I view it the same way here but with different characters.

There's no right answer for a lot of things. That's why ideological clashes like this I tend to find interesting. Although, you did just remind me that suffering through the internet's bile to get more of it probably isn't worth it but I guess that's why I tend to ignore a lot of it nowadays. 

Trust me, I learned to steer clear too. 

And its a bit unfortunate, because in world where Sonic is allowed to be a bit more morally compromised, him not always being correct would be interesting stuff. But we're in the age where Sonic must be seen as the most morally righteous and pure hero ever or people lose their shit. So the people who oppose him and his ideals are either villains or in the case of Shadow, made to look stupid. 

Its funny because I remember when these issues came out and they got nowhere near as much bile as the shit with IDW right now. You had some people agree with Knuckles and you had others agree with Shadow, but people agreed that they both had a point to make and left it at that. Imagine that, people agreeing to disagree in the Sonic fandom. 

Being supporting characters, Knuckles and Shadow are not bound by the same ( at times unreasonable) moral standards that Sonic is held to; they can both get their hands dirty and some will shrug it off. Being a foil to the protagonist grants you all sorts of perks :V

I probably sympathized more with Knuckles here though because while I understand Shadow's motives on a pragmatic and logical tip, I too do not appreciate people coming to my house uninvited and trying to call the shots; like come on they didn't even bring a housewarming gift or take their shoes off, no wonder Knuckles hates visitors. 

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7 hours ago, Kuzu said:

Trust me, I learned to steer clear too. 

And its a bit unfortunate, because in world where Sonic is allowed to be a bit more morally compromised, him not always being correct would be interesting stuff. But we're in the age where Sonic must be seen as the most morally righteous and pure hero ever or people lose their shit. So the people who oppose him and his ideals are either villains or in the case of Shadow, made to look stupid. 

Its funny because I remember when these issues came out and they got nowhere near as much bile as the shit with IDW right now. You had some people agree with Knuckles and you had others agree with Shadow, but people agreed that they both had a point to make and left it at that. Imagine that, people agreeing to disagree in the Sonic fandom. 

Being supporting characters, Knuckles and Shadow are not bound by the same ( at times unreasonable) moral standards that Sonic is held to; they can both get their hands dirty and some will shrug it off. Being a foil to the protagonist grants you all sorts of perks :V

I probably sympathized more with Knuckles here though because while I understand Shadow's motives on a pragmatic and logical tip, I too do not appreciate people coming to my house uninvited and trying to call the shots; like come on they didn't even bring a housewarming gift or take their shoes off, no wonder Knuckles hates visitors. 

People will lose their shit anyway. I mean, how dare he not give more of a shit that Dr. Starline died...

I don't have a problem with Sonic having the morals he does. He's not bound by them in the sense that they can't be used for an interesting character study and they most certainly were. Maybe I would be if they were left unexplored or unchallenged but the great thing about Ian is how he definitely treated Sonic as though he was a character rather than just a symbol by throwing those morals so hard in his face that he suffered greatly for it. There being actual opposition to Sonic's ideals and the entire disaster that happened was definitely intended as an exploration about that with characters like Espio and Shadow having a certain axe to grind while a character like Tangle would naturally be more inclined to agree with Sonic. I can see the point behind it being an issue if it were truly just villains calling fowl about Sonic's beliefs like it was with Zavok and Surge (although I do like that Zavok at least said he respected it). 

As for "being made to look stupid" I don't think that had anything to do with Shadow having a difference of opinion. Like, Shadow's entire thing is clearly the result of something else. He's just kind of awful in general right now. Whatever perks Shadow had as a supporting character are gone now. Ian has, ironically, the most freedom with Sonic and Eggman. Shadow's on the tightest leash imaginable.

To me, unlike the general audience that SEGA is seemingly being proven right to be worried about, it's got nothing to do with who's the main character or who's a supporting character. Even if Ian didn't constantly say so from his own mouth, I can tell by what happened in IDW and how every character was reacting that Sonic's position wasn't being treated as though he was entirely in the right. But it's his position and he should be allowed to have it without it being taken as though the book itself is trying to tell people what to think. But people don't see it that way because he's the main character. That's so weird to me.

There's plenty of protagonists that say or do things we don't agree with and intentionally so. Why there's such a stigma out there about main characters being flawed or having steadfast beliefs that you might not agree with is beyond me. I get why companies are afraid to do it too, which is part of the reason I'm surprised an exploration of Sonic's morals and the bad that can happen as a result of sticking by them was allowed to happen. Granted, Ian has talked about how they do give him a lot of freedom to do what he wants. 

I certainly hope people don't shy away from writing stories where his beliefs get challenged more often because I really did love seeing him go through hell because of his decision (even though I agree with him) and to also see the little benefits that came to fruition because of it. That shit's just interesting.

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5 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

People will lose their shit anyway. I mean, how dare he not give more of a shit that Dr. Starline died...

I don't have a problem with Sonic having the morals he does. He's not bound by them in the sense that they can't be used for an interesting character study and they most certainly were. Maybe I would be if they were left unexplored or unchallenged but the great thing about Ian is how he definitely treated Sonic as though he was a character rather than just a symbol by throwing those morals so hard in his face that he suffered greatly for it. There being actual opposition to Sonic's ideals and the entire disaster that happened was definitely intended as an exploration about that with characters like Espio and Shadow having a certain axe to grind while a character like Tangle would naturally be more inclined to agree with Sonic. I can see the point behind it being an issue if it were truly just villains calling fowl about Sonic's believes like it was with Zavok and Surge (although I do like that Zavok at least said he respected it). 

As for "being made to look stupid" I don't think that had anything to do with Shadow having a difference of opinion. Like, Shadow's entire thing is clearly the result of something else. He's just kind of awful in general right now. Whatever perks Shadow had as a supporting character are gone now. Ian has, ironically, the most freedom with Sonic and Eggman. Shadow's on the tightest leash imaginable.

To me, unlike the general audience that SEGA is seemingly being proven right to be worried about, it's got nothing to do with who's the main character or who's a supporting character. Even if Ian didn't constantly say so from his own mouth, I can tell by what happened in IDW and how every character was reacting that Sonic's position wasn't being treated as though he was entirely in the right. But it's his position and he should be allowed to have it without it being taken as though the book itself is trying to tell people what to think. But people don't see it that way because he's the main character. That's so weird to me.

There's plenty of protagonists that say or do things we don't agree with and intentionally so. Why there's such a stigma out there about main characters being flawed or having steadfast beliefs that you might not agree with is beyond me. I get why companies are afraid to do it too, which is part of the reason I'm surprised an exploration of Sonic's morals and the bad that can happen as a result of sticking by them was allowed to happen. Granted, Ian has talked about how they do give him a lot of freedom to do what he wants. 

I certainly hope people don't shy away from writing stories where his beliefs get challenged more often because I really did love seeing him go through hell because of his decision (even though I agree with him) and to also see the little benefits that came to fruition because of it. That shit's just interesting.

Yea, it sucks how people overreact; kind of reminds me how Peter Parker has to be the purest cinnamon roll imaginable while also having miserable life otherwise he's not "relatable". The hate that Amazing Spider-Man got, despite it actually being the most comic accurate depiction of him to date is pretty telling. 

When I was talking about Shadow, I didn't mean to imply Flynn did it on purpose. But the side effect it kind of had on this whole moral quandary about Sonic is kind of lost. Because now Shadow's entire point of Sonic letting Eggman go is moot, because everyone is more focused on him acting like a fucking idiot. 

And I feel like the reason protagonists are held to such standards is related to "Messiah Creep" . At some point, people just kind of expect your main character to be 100% morally pure and righteous or they're not "good". It's really fucking weird, I agree. I do applaud Flynn for at least attempting to treat Sonic as a character and not just as a mascot, regardless of the controversy it's been causing, cuz lord knows he is probably too done with people hounding him about this. 

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On 8/7/2022 at 8:42 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I wonder what other ideological clashes could happen as a result of things like this? 

Lots of fucking fun ideas if people were actually into characterization over power levels, and not dumb shit like “they’re rivals/friends/etc” because of dumb shit like “it’s expected,” I can fucking promise you that!!!!

You have any idea how interested I was to see a legit Shadow vs Knuckles fight without one being made as a bitch to the other? Almost as much as I was to see a legit Sonic vs Tails  fight before House of Cards butchered the end result.

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Sonic Universe - Issue #69: Total Eclipse - Part 3 of 4: Shadow Boxing

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I feel like this cover works better as a solicit than an actual cover you can look back on after the fact. As it is now it comes off really goofy. I dunno. Characters saying serious dialogue to one another on the cover always gives off a weird humorous feeling to me. It feels like a scene from the old Adam West Batman show. 

Also, not a fan of the “You had ONE job” thing at the end there. Not even because of the meme status thing. This mostly doesn’t even feel like Knuckles’ fault, honestly. 

Spoiler

Super Smash War Variant

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I believe a Smash Bros. was on its way out. It’s way too late for Brawl and way too early for Ultimate so this is undoubtedly Smash 4, a game where Shadow was an assist trophy I believe. He still isn’t allowed to fight, which I guess is fine by me. He and Metal Sonic could easily make for some neat Echo Fighters or costumes but whatever.

Honestly, I’d rather have Tails or Eggman first but I’m clearly in the minority seeing as how it was definitely all about Shadow hype during the lead up to Smash Ultimate and the DLC characters that happened later.

The cover also isn’t that great if I’m being honest. I dunno. The render of Shadow doesn’t look that hot to me and the background with all the Egg Pawns just looks really cheap. Oh well.

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Tracy Yardley
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Matt Herms
Letters: Jack Morelli
Cover by Tracy Yardley, Jim Amash & Ben Hunzeker
Super Smash Variant Cover (1 of 3) by Rafa Knight

Since this is Issue #69 what better way to kick it off than to have two angry, sweaty dudes beating on one another? Oh yeah. It’s about to get real nice up in here.

Knuckles and Shadow are fighting one another. It’s not quite a wrestling match but it could be. It really, really should be. This is the issue to do it in. Come on.

Anyway, Shadow tries to zip out of the fight when Knuckles tells him that Eclipse is his problem so he should deal with that. He ignores Knuckles and ends up by the Master Emerald, telling Rouge and Omega to get to the shuttle so he can warp the emerald there.

Relic leaps into Shadow’s way (badass) and tells him to stop. Shadow tells her to move. Rouge tells Shadow to stop. Julian tells Shadow to ignore her and keep going.

Then Knuckles zoops in from behind and decides he’s going to launch Shadow even further away. That earlier toss just didn’t cut it.

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I love the line “Gotta go break a face”.

Never played the game Facebreaker but it looked interesting. I don’t think they make games like that anymore. I remember when there used to be a lot more middle shelf games on offer. Everything feels like a big budget thing or a thing with a name attached to it now and then everything else is just indies. 

… Anyway, it’s extremely comical how Shadow just gets tossed away like that. The fact that it happened twice in a row is even funnier. Out of these two, I personally am rooting for Knuckles. Naturally it’s because between the two I just prefer him I guess, even if I like both characters.

Relic is unhappy about being left with the rest of them. Rouge is face-palming while Omega is holding Fixit. He seems ready to smash but is at least politely waiting before he does it.

Relic gets into an adorable crane fighting pose and “threatens” them with the fact that she’s studied a lot of martial arts. Omega logs this under hilarious.

Julian gives her some kudos for loyalty (something I know he respects right?) and says they can take the emerald now. Rouge denies him and Julian freaks out because he has no chill. However, Rouge is insistent on waiting for the two of them to tire themselves out so that they can have a proper chat about this.

Rouge thinks Eclipse has messed with Shadow’s head and he has. Literally, when Shadow lands he gets visions of Eclipse taunting him in his head about how he might be a lingering psychic attack or his subconscious telling him how much he sucks. 

He even literally tells him what he would do while they’re fighting and Shadow’s reaction to this isn’t to head back to the Master Emerald and protect it but to fight Knuckles. His arrogance has told him that it’s possible for him to make this quick. Hoho!

How bold of him.

Big Brother Eclipse is, meanwhile, worried about his little babies!

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He’s so happy that Team Dark didn’t raid his base and murder his babies.

It’s so messed up what’s happening right now.

Anyway, he apologizes for not being better equipped to give them the revenge they apparently need. However, the four of them start to dance all cute and are excited about the prospect of them helping him!

Eclipse is, at first, worried since they’re still so young but we flash back to him and Black Death aboard the second Black Comet where he’s overlooking the eggs of these Dark Arms. Here it’s revealed that they cultivated some wisps for this scheme of his and Eclipse talks them up as being super cool.

So yeah, he’s convinced. He lets them out so they can help him this time. He tells them to look out at the world they’re going to destroy. It’s like that scene where a parent or a big bro tells the person they’re caring for to look at how beautiful the big wide world is… only the beauty is in how they’re going to destroy it.

They rush out to go make it a reality.

The fight between Shadow and Knuckles continues and we see Knuckles get a second wind after remembering a ton of times where the Master Emerald was either shattered or taken and, you know what, from his point of view I can see why he’s so paranoid.

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It ain’t fair I tell ya.

It’s just one giant rock of ultimate power. Leave the guy alone.

I didn’t even play Sonic Advance 3 (or any of the other Advance games) so that one functions as a neat cherry on top here. I’ve definitely seen sprites of that machine hovering over the Master Emerald before though.

Shadow gets punted back and then spindashed into by Knuckles. Shadow then proceeds to get dunked on twice in a row and it’s really satisfying.

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You’re in for a bad time.

Anyway, we cut back to the others who are just lounging around. 

Omega is bullying Fixit by dangling him upside down like he’s a schoolyard bully and Relic is telling him to stop.

Omega says he has no choice but to because it’s his function and Relic shouts at him that it’s not. It’s amusing. 

Julian is pissed and still telling Rouge that she’s endangering the world and all that but she’s insistent on not taking the emerald and waiting for them to come back.

So that’s when Eclipse shows up, of course.

Omega immediately tosses Fixit away and cocks his guns, literally calling dibs.

He’s a bit too excited though. Eclipse fuses with Blurk and his body hardens past the threshold of Omega’s robot chassis.

In other words, he gets Mortal Kombat’d.

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I know we can only get away with this because Omega’s a robot but that shit still freaks me out whenever I see it. Like, it’s just ridiculous how much of a show of power being able to penetrate Omega looks like though. I can see why it was done.

I just can’t help but wince at it.

Like, if that were Rouge, she'd be dead.

Rouge flips out and takes to the skies which causes Eclipse to now fuse with Cregal so that he can fly after her.

He’s got spiffy new eagle wings now!

He manages to defeat Rouge rather handedly and seems to dislocate her arm!

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Yeesh. That crunch that happens when she falls on her arm hurts just thinking about it. 

Then he fuses with Cyzer, the laser one, and threatens Relic by demanding she tell her how she got here. She says she took a boat… when the island fell.

Then we get a caption pointing us to Sonic Adventure.

Man, the infusion of the games and comics is always kind of interesting to witness.

That info was useless so he tells Julian to tell him what he wants to know or he’ll kill her. Julian doesn’t give a fuck and says to go ahead. The more he shows off the more chances he has to study his mutations. Relic is really pissed about that.

I love Eclipse’s giggling and the line about how the masters were right about their kind being hopeless. People like Julian Snively here are a good example of the kinds of people Black Doom and Black Death were talking to Shadow about with regards to the selfish nature of the people that live here. He has a nice little scapegoat to justify his actions. 

Then Rouge stands up, holding her arm and a very desperate scene plays out where they have to tell Eclipse what he wants to know so that they don’t die. Rouge is in an extreme amount of pain, Relic is in tears, and Snively is trying to assert authority where he has none.

It all goes Eclipse’s way.

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They have lunch boxes on the Black Comet guys. I wonder what Superheroes are scrawled on them. The Power Rangers did go to space right?

Relic rushes up to Rouge in a panic. Eclipse is making off with his prize, knows the way out, and has access to transportation to do so. Rouge says that her shoulder is dislocated and Omega could pop it back in for her (YEESH! Image a robot as bulky as him doing that) but he needs to be fixed.

Fixit is a robot that fixes things so he can but says Omega must stop teasing him. Omega makes no promises and it was honestly the first time where I thought his machinations went too far for my taste. Bad robot. 

Rouge is trying not to pass out from the pain she’s feeling. 

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She looks terrible. I feel so bad for her right now.

It’s funny because this happening doesn’t even necessarily prove either Shadow or Knuckles right. Neither of them were here to properly defend against Eclipse showing up again so the second time he showed up they were even worse off for it.

Back at the fight, Knuckles and Shadow end up falling off a cliff and into some water after an uppercut from the echidna goes awry. Now they’re all swimming without any floaties on while Eclipse is about to make a hop and skip off the island to have a nice vacation.

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California here I come. Right back where I started from.

Also, why is Shadow looking at me? Is he expecting me to help him?

The fight between Shadow and Knuckles was well choreographed. The scenes with Eclipse made the issue for me though. I do really just love watching this boy make his move and the love he has for his babies is charming and endearing, which makes the scenes where he’s threatening to murder our heroes a juxtaposition that endears him even more to me. As harsh and as rough as it got this issue, I feel like the finale is gonna be where it’s at. 


Sonic Universe - Issue #70: Total Eclipse - Part 4 of 4: Last Resort

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I absolutely love covers like this. Covers where a character is the focal point of an image surrounded by shattered glass with the main players of the story reflected within it. It’s great. My personal favorite cover of this bunch. Granted, what’s shattering here isn’t glass. When I first saw this cover in the solicits, I wondered if this was one of those metaphorical images. 

It very much is not.

Spoiler

Knuckles and Rouge Variant

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Goddammit. I guess some of these kinds of variants are gonna happen regardless. It’s a shockingly lazy way to try and make money by selling more copies though. I get the same effect looking at this when I print out these renders on a sheet of paper from my computer.

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Tracy Yardley
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Matt Herms
Letters: Jack Morelli
Cover by Tracy Yardley, Jim Amash & Ben Hunzeker
Variant Cover art provided by SEGA

I really, REALLY hate the issues where they randomly decide to put the credits at the back of the book. Fucking why?!

The title of this issue is called The Last Resort.

I bring this up because, for some  reason, Sonic cartoons really love having at least one episode of their show called The Last Resort.

Adventures Of

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Sonic Underground

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Sonic X

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It’s a shame Sonic Boom couldn’t keep the streak going because when one of them found out they were devastated. It haunts them to this day that they instead called their episode where Eggman opened a hotel “Inn Sanity”.

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Why am I talking about this?

I dunno.

The actual issue begins with a pretty hilarious image.

Shadow and Knuckles are in danger within the water and despite last issues attempts to merge the problems we had to take care of together with Eclipse going after the emerald and these two being in danger of drowning or being crushed… it just gets resolved immediately. Like on the first page.

That’s sort of why I remember having a little chuckle when I read that last page because I recall it not being a big deal at all. 

What’s even funnier is how it’s resolved to. It does a lot to showcase the kinds of characters these two are.

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Shadow helps pull Knuckles out of the rapidly flowing current of the water without thinking and when the two of them are safe, they pant in exhaustion at one another before remembering that they were fighting and get back to it.

It’s kind of perfect. 

They’ve both got pretty considerably sized egos and their clashing of ideals makes sense but the things about them that make them similar enough to fight over this also make them similar enough to unconsciously stop fighting and help the other out.

It’s honestly even better that it was Shadow who took it upon himself to help Knuckles out of the water. The equilibrium brought about by writing his character this way, where he’s a bit of a jerk but also, ultimately a good guy who wouldn’t think twice about helping people in harm’s way is admirable.

It’s a far cry from how he is now. 

Of course, as I’ve said before, I DO prefer my Shadow have a bit of an edge to him. What makes Team Dark a darker shade of hero is something I do still want to see exemplified. The direction Shadow has gone in recent years is just too far. It’s forgotten what he was before rather then using what he was before to build on what he is now.

I think this clash he’s had with Knuckles is a great example of how to properly utilize him. He wishes to protect the world but he’ll do it in a way that’s sometimes less empathetic and more pragmatic, leading to a lot of situations where he and Sonic or someone like Knuckles just will not see eye to eye. 

Ironically enough, I thought Shadow’s debut in IDW was fine. Fighting over whether or not to punish Mr. Tinker for what Dr. Eggman had done is the kind of dilemma I’m talking about. But like with Amy in Issue 2 of IDW, things seem to have changed a bit. Amy isn’t bad now or anything but I wish they’d let her express her love for Sonic more often now that their relationship is healthy. It’s still a part of who she is. As for Shadow… he needs to chill out more.

Back to how he is in Archie right now though, he continues to argue his point with Knuckles about how the emerald should be in a vault. Knuckles says that protecting the Master Emerald is his purpose and it’s his life, which is a little sad to me but he apparently seems to like and prefer it that way.

Shadow tells him that he can just find a new purpose. “It is not easy, I know, but it can be done”, he says.

See? He’s even willing to thrust the emotional nonsense he’s gone through onto someone else for his cause. It sucks but it’s also just business.

I also can’t help but recognize that this is sort of what Ian believes, at least nowadays. The idea of getting rid of the island and retiring the Master Emerald is something he wouldn’t mind doing.

I personally don’t mind finding an alternative to Knuckles’ situation so that having him show up isn’t always such a lose-lose situation where if he’s on an adventure people get mad because he’s not doing his duty but if he’s doing his duty then you never see him show up. 

However, I also don’t want to suggest that getting rid of the island or the Master Emerald is the only way to go about that.

Knuckles straight up says it doesn’t need to be done and is about to tell Shadow to leave again but then the island rumbles.

Knuckles realizes it’s because the Master Emerald has been moved and that means Eclipse got to it. He’s about to start another argument but thankfully Shadow is clear headed enough to radio in.

Then we get the scene of Rouge telling Omega to pop her shoulder back in and it’s… not too explicit at the very least. Relic faints though. I’d imagine being there would make it worse.

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She’s me when I was a little kid and had a pretty nasty, gross bump that we had to squeeze gunk out of. I won’t get into the details but it was the very first time I had ever felt faint before or since.

It was a very weird feeling. I do remember swaying back and forth a lot though. 

Rouge gives it to them straight. 

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They’re both infuriated because she’s right.

So now the plan is to stop Eclipse. They don’t really know how much of a lead he’s got so it seems hopeless at first but then Relic chimes in to remind Knuckles of the traps the island has.  

Knuckles leads them to an alcove where the island’s… control center is?

I didn’t even know the island had one. This is the first time I can recall seeing anything like this. It’s quite strange.

There’s this… floating ball that Rouge puts her hand on and it activates traps around the island.

She uses it to not only see where Eclipse is but to slow him down by activating these traps. Meanwhile, Shadow and Knuckles do their best to reach him in time.

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A part of me isn’t entirely sure how I feel about the concept. It’s odd that I’ve never come across this before in any of the Sonic media I’ve consumed. It’s probably there in one of the handhelds I’ve not played or the manuels of old Sonic games I’ve never read.

Or maybe it’s just a foregone conclusion due to the odd structure of this island. Knuckles says they were ancient traps made by someone. He doesn’t know who. 

As mysterious as this all remains, Eclipse isn’t too happy about having to deal with it. They make it to Launch Base Zone with him now carrying the Master Emerald and his little babies on top it, exhausted. He really hates this place and wants it destroyed.

He gets understandably excited when he sees the transport off the island and rushes towards it but a Chaos Spear shoots before him and it would seem they were just minutes early. What a close call.

There’s still time to make up with your brother, Shadow!

No, they fight instead. Aww.

Eclipse manages to get taken by surprise by the both of them and has to use his new Dark Arms to stop them. Of course, the show of force he exhibited earlier is still really impressive and Shadow and Knuckles are super exhausted from fighting pretty much all day.

Luckily, the constant walking and trap dodging has worn down Eclipse as well. They actually fly out of him and collapse because they’re so exhausted. Blurk, Cregal, and Cyzer are down. And apparently Rhygenta can’t do anything (which is telling of how much Eclipse still loves and cares for them since they can’t help with his revenge).

Still, Knuckles sees a threat in both Shadow and Eclipse. If they can’t win then Eclipse gets the emerald. If they win, Shadow is going to take it anyway. 

So he does what he has to do.

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Knuckles did the entire “Chaos is power enriched by the heart” chant and launched the emerald shards across the sky. It was noticeably a lot different than the other times he’s done this.

Still, it was a really bold move. I remember when I first saw this. I was actually kind of shocked that he shattered the Master Emerald here. It was definitely a “The Last Resort” situation.

Of course, Eclipse is exhausted and he knows that Shadow especially just wants to kill him. So when cute little Rhygenta comes along to fuse with Eclipse and give him their power, it’s almost heartbreaking. Eclipse tries to tell them not to because it’ll just mean they’ll both die but they do so anyway and… music creates SOUND!

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I like to imagine that was Toccata and Fugue in D minor.

Ah man. The shocked and concerned look on big brother Eclipse’s face when Rhygenta exits his body and they’re all there, collapsed on the ground. 

Shadow and Knuckles actually lost. They’re too tired to continue. Eclipse could probably end them like Vegeta did to the downed Ginyu Force members but instead he prioritized saving his babies and leaving with all of them alive.

NTcMVlFDXhkAXtPyRYYkQzQU07zpwlMM-v5vcoK66HEWaWXvWy5crnz1u3piE_vUmqR064h9XIqHcbhvrZ4rDl6fyR8bsDjhBc2XnnCNCs6fgHbpDdjMd4XmHpMksou3bH1WP5yunsGHgoSv-xYvHRI

He gives Shadow and Knuckles one last glance as he leaves though. A shame he didn’t have a tear in his eye again. 

Yeah, I missed talking about this last time but when he offered his hand to Shadow back in Issue #2 he had a tear in his eye when Shadow refused him again and said he wanted to kill him.

Augh! It’s too much! 

Sigh.

Goddammit.

I believe that’s the last of Eclipse too so… hey, at least I know he’s alive. Who’s to say his story ends with attempting and failing at conquest over and over. With his genuine desire for love and family motivating a lot of his actions there might actually be an avenue for him to find peace.

Actual peace.

With his brother.

HUG YOUR BROTHER SHADOOOOOOOW!

The next day, Julian Snively comes along with his G.U.N peeps in a G.U.N transport and they connect hooks to the crashed alien vessel to try and get it off the island.

He then flies towards Knuckles and is, again, very cordial and thankful to him. He’s putting up a good face but for some reason NO ONE is buying it. Especially not Knuckles since he’s seen this guy before and is not ready to apply any philosophy behind people changing with him.

This moment confused me when I originally read it back in the day though.

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This rebooted comic keeps adding tidbits and connections to the games THROUGH characters that weren’t there when the games happened. It’s supposed to be this comic’s version of events when they happened but it’s still very weird. 

Now that I’m older I’m able to wrap my head around it a lot better. This doesn’t confuse me the way it did back then, where I seriously began wondering if Snively actually was in Sonic 3 & Knuckles (that’s how unfamiliar I was with the classics back then. I even doubted things I knew were untrue about them at the time) but I do still find it a bit odd. 

It doesn’t seem like IDW intends to do it this way. If it does harken back to events that happened in past games, it’s mostly incendiary ways that don’t directly affect the plot as we saw it through the characters we followed like it is here. The Diamond Cutters or the ruins of the battle in that one cave where they fought Rough and Tumble are all fine examples of this. They’re things you can easily infer happened because they weren’t things we saw.

So, as a result, it’s naturally going to be a bit weird when the comic says Snively was there in “Sonic 3 & Knuckles – The Game” when he just… wasn’t. 

However, it’s cool. I get what they’re going for now. This first attempt at merging everything was just a little sloppy is all. 
Which is understandable, considering it wasn’t even really supposed to happen.

Knuckles says Rouge keeps questionable company and Rouge says it’s all a part of the job. This is true. The government is literally “questionable company” incarnate. 

She also gives Knuckles praise for the brilliant plan of shattering the emerald. With it in pieces, they can’t take it and he can go around gathering up the pieces while they’re busy dealing with the shattered world. Also, on top of that, the answer to my question is that apparently the island is still just regularly floating the same way it always was because the world is broken.

You know what? Fair. 

Honestly, it’s a cool idea when you get down to it.

Shadow isn’t seen in the rest of the issue but Knuckles does have some parting words for him.

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“Fuck that guy” he said respectfully.

Yeah, getting a read on this line has always been something I go back and forth on but it’s whatever. I think the smile probably speaks more for itself.

Relic also has a way to get home now but she refuses. She wishes to stay and keep her promise to help Knuckles.

So, while Knuckles is off looking for Sonic with Chip to go talk about maybe holding off on fixing the world before he can get his island stuff in order, she’s going to be protecting the emerald again.

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We end on the shocking revelation that Eclipse just can’t help but crash his planes.

That arc was a neat little roller coaster of intrigue. Of course, Eclipse being there did a lot to provide some heartfelt goodies for me. Him being born not connected to the Black Arms hive mind has given him a chance to be the best thing that they could have ever produced but we’ll never find out if that’s true or not. It was good to see Team Dark be in character though. It was good to see a clashing of ideals resolve itself in a way where Knuckles forced it to resolve the way he desired it to as well. There’s not a ton I have to really say about it. It was just a good little story. 


Sonic Boom - Issue #3: Hammer Spaced

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The best of the covers we’ve gotten so far. Also, probably the one I think of when it comes to this comic the most. Everyone’s just drawn and colored so well. I’m always for a spiffy looking drawing of super confident Tails too. Look at that sassy boy. 

Spoiler

Team Sonic Variant 

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Meanwhile, we got this shit.

These renders are bad. The background is bad. Whoever made this should feel bad. 

No, I’m not sorry.

Wrote This On His Phone: Ian Flynn
Drew This on a Napkin: Ryan Jampole (Breakdowns) and Jennifer Hernandez (Finishes)
Uses a Ballpoint Pen: Rick Bryant
Crayons!!!: Matt Herms
Sɹǝʇʇǝ˥: ſɐɔʞ Woɹǝllᴉ
Judge the Book by this: Tracy Yardley, Ricky Bryant, & Matt Herms
Judge it by This One too: “Team Sonic” Variant Cover art provided by SEGA

Doing the credits is killing me for this series but I will continue to do them as typed in the book goddammit.

I’m certainly glad Jack Morelli is happy with his name being credited upside down for a dumb joke. I’d probably be a bit hesitant about that but Jack has been in a ton of these by now so it’s probably fine. No one’s going to judge his talent by Sonic Boom Issue #3.

Anyway, we begin where we left off. Amy has lost her hammer and–

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Sonic refuses to stop making a liar of himself about the fucking logos.

UGH!

That is a nice looking title though. The Hammer in “Hammer Spaced” looks all pristine and neat while the “Spaced” is just some wood with nails in it to signify that something is missing so they just put a two by four in its place.

Amy is freaking out about it. She’s crying and shaking Sonic, talking about how her hammer is her identity. 

Sonic bringing up that she’s athletic too doesn’t help matters since they all do jumps and flips and shit. Fair enough.

Speaking of hammer spaces, it’s interesting how it’s consistent that Boom Amy can’t just summon up another hammer from nowhere. Boom is more sitcom cartoon than AoSth cartoon, despite the constant fourth wall breaks, so I guess that’s sort of understandable. When the absurd happens, it’s still technically happening because something from somewhere is being brought into play or exists with a foundation.

So, damage control happens until it’s snuffed out because Knuckles can only think and speak in harmless smile emojis.

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I love Tails’ disgusted face on the bottom panel. It’s not just an angry face. It’s like he’s witnessing stupidity so rancid it grossed him out.

Sticks tosses the three boys out on their butts and tells them to go find Amy’s hammer while she goes to get Amy a placeholder.

I think a joke happens that I missed where Amy sulks and says nothing can replace her hammer and Sticks says “Yeah-yeah-yeah, I get it. You don’t need to beat me over the head about it…” which probably isn’t a joke… but because it’s in this book and the thing the page leaves me on, reads like it should be one. 

I want to say it’s a joke about beating someone over the head with a hammer but it’s not quite written that way either.

Perhaps I’m overthinking it.

Anyway, because this is a comic, it’s a lot easier for it to be more visually interesting than a 3D cartoon. Thus we get a square roundabout of panels where Sonic is searching the borders for Amy’s hammer while Tails is desperately trying to get Knuckles to find one and then is seemingly looking for it in a hardware store.

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I don’t know why but I actually find it hilarious when Tails is the one upset at Knuckles.

I remember this two-page spread unprompted sometimes. It’s very cool to look at. I don’t know if I’ve seen things done quite like this before. Granted, without Sonic running along the borders outside, it’d actually be pretty typical, but it works well to bring it all together like this.

We cut to Amy and Sticks. She’s… I guess taken to heart that there is no replacement for Amy’s hammer and is trying out a new weapon for her. They start with her boomerang and Amy tosses it into the ground, then into her own face, then it flies off and doesn’t come back.

We cut to Eggman barking orders at Orbot and Cubot.

Orbot is saying yes sir to everything but throwing in his classic Orbot twinge like “May we also stop water from being wet, sir?” like the passive aggressive boy he is.

Cubot then gets all jealous that Eggman got a cool logo when he was introduced and says the two of them should get one. Orbot says they’re just the henchman so it’s not going to work. They try anyway and it doesn’t work. Orbot says that he was right and that it was a waste of time and I agree because the joke about the logo isn’t funny.

Cubot goes over to the rubble to clean things up, saying that he should forget it because he’s a comic relief character in a comedy and that makes him redundantly redundant. I don’t know if I agree with that. In a comedy, it’s kind of par for the course for there to be more than one character that can make you laugh. Not all the time. Sometimes the humor is derived from only one idiot reacting to a completely sane world but it doesn’t have to be one-to-one…

Anyway, he finds something in the rubble and starts to yank on it, going down the line of all the other Eggman henchmen that have existed before them in a not so subtle nod to the rest of them.

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Scratch and Grounder, Snively, Sleet and Dingo, and Bocoe and Decoe. All characters that have existed within the realm of the Sonic series, ironically, before the canon henchmen came into being in 2010. 

That’s a shockingly late time to incorporate that idea into the Sonic series the more I think about it but I guess that’s kind of how things roll.

Anyway, turns out that Tails’ theory was the correct one. It was stuck in the rubble of the robot. Cubot finds it and acts like Gollum over it… for some reason?

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I feel so bad for Comedy Chimp. He’s right. Dying is easy, comedy is hard.

This book can be funny on purpose. It’s mostly physical or artistic gags that work though. Like in that earlier two-page montage or on this page.

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That’s a good line too. The absurdity of a bow-staff needing to be calibrated is… wait. Does Donatello have a bow-staff that he can calibrate? If he does then nevermind.

The rest of the book consists of Orbot and Cubot becoming obsessed with the hammer. Cubot is playing it like a guitar and Orbot gets all pissed, trying to snatch it from him while saying that they’re “mostly” loyal henchbots and have to deliver it to Dr. Eggman.

Cubot then says that Orbot doesn’t give a shit about that and wants to hammer to himself. Orbot doesn’t deny it and he tries to grab it for himself now.

All the while, Eggman is in the background, preparing to go and be evil. We even see him running to the robot room with a random piece of toast in his mouth and toilet paper on his shoe. It’s a fusion of “running somewhere fast” visual gags and it’s kind of great.

He gets into the robot and the two robots drop the hammer onto a button and then launch it through the skull of the robot after the fight gets out of hand. Eggman hears the ruckus and mentions that it sounds like a “hedgehogy hammer” a bit too late before the machine just collapses before he can even go anywhere.

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That was his third attempt at utilizing this robot. Perhaps the universe is attempting to tell him something.

Anyway, the hammer flies through the air and lands back on Bygone Island where Sonic and Tails are walking and talking about their failure to find it. It flies right into Sonic’s hand and because he’s a cartoon, he grips it as it lands there. 

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It’s quite literally a miracle. 

I mean, technically possible but not enough for me to not to call it a miracle.

Those two look completely damaged beyond repair in mind and body. Look at that adorable face holding that goddamn mace. Who gave her the goddamn mace? I’d believe either one of them did.

The day is saved and Sonic takes credit for it.

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Tails makes the best angry faces. Like, he’s just super pissed off in the eyes here. 

I would be too if someone shoved their dirty gloves in not just my face, but my fucking mouth. Yuck.

Anyway, that’s all she wrote. 

Well, except for the final page where they have to hint at what the next story is. This one isn’t done as succinctly as the others though. Amy and Knuckles’ fight led into Issue #2 and the fight that happened in Issue #2 deliberately caused Amy’s hammer to get lost for the plot in Issue #3 to happen.

Here, Sticks is just walking and she finds something.

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I guess that adventure line only had so many branching paths.

Yeah, this was fine enough. Most of the good things about this issue begin and end with the visual gags. The visuals themselves are just a marvel to look at. I love how pretty this book is. I love the expressions and the proportions and the flair that’s thrown into every image. It takes full advantage of being a comic book in that sense. It just isn’t the best when it comes to comedy. There’s not much that’s actually funny here. The repetition with the logo “joke” has shot past its zenith and has gone into cosmically annoying territory. The book’s plot died on the vine rather quickly and we were left with a ton of pages of Orbot and Cubot just fighting over the hammer too. That’s fine, of course. At least it wasn’t anything too intrusive to something else I wanted to see. They got the jokes with Amy having an assortment of new weapons out there and that was that. 

 

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I don’t know why, but even as much as I love Ian’s writing even he couldn’t get me interested in the Boom universe as much as I expected.

I read the first issue and was like “bored.” Says a lot about my tastes, cuz I figured that wouldn’t be the case. The interactions are funny, but…I really can’t put my finger on why I wasn’t as interested as expected beyond having my action packed fix with the mainstream Archie and Universe series.

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2 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

I don’t know why, but even as much as I love Ian’s writing even he couldn’t get me interested in the Boom universe as much as I expected.

I read the first issue and was like “bored.” Says a lot about my tastes, cuz I figured that wouldn’t be the case. The interactions are funny, but…I really can’t put my finger on why I wasn’t as interested as expected beyond having my action packed fix with the mainstream Archie and Universe series.

Maintaining interest is tough to do regularly so I can understand it not being all there when it comes to a comedy focused story like this one. It's easier to absorb stuff like this when you're a kid because even full on comedies are something you can take seriously at a young age. Even if it's episodic. Makes me wish even more I had something akin to the Metal Virus or what have you when I was that age. I wouldn't have been able to sleep at night and I would have loved that.

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #264: Control, Part One: Breaking Point

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This is a very clever cover but also a tad confusing if you think about it too hard, which of course I did. If the werehog is on the front cover then he slashed through the front cover to show us the first page underneath but the slashes clearly go over the image of himself so… he’s slashing through his own image while at the same time lashing out at the reader to do so. Also, is the hand now on the first page since it’s tearing through the cover or is the hand still on the cover but just–

Spoiler

Unleashed Variant

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Chun-nan was one of the earlier stages in Unleashed to be revealed. I remember the trailer that came out showcasing the two sides of that area. It was a marvel. I got to hear both the tracks for the day and night stages the first time that happened too. This reminds me a lot of it as well. Might even be the same promotional art or something similar to it, at least.

Anyway, as far as stock photo covers go, this isn’t bad I guess. At least the renders are good.

We’re not in Chun-nan yet so it’s a bit odd as a location choice I suppose.

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Tyson Hesse
Inks: Terry Austin
Colors: Gabriel Cassata
Letters: John Workman
Cover by Patrick “spaz” Spaziante
Variant Cover artwork provided by SEGA

Tyson is back. It all looks so good too. How wonderful.

Sonic is in Soumerca, the land of an incredibly strange sounding name in my head, being chased by another one of the E-Series robots, E-113 XI. 

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It’s kind of appropriate for Sonic to refer to it as cat-like. The way it runs is so derpy. It looks like it’s on all fours but it was hard to really tell until I got a far enough away look at it. 

The use of these E-Series robots continues to feel a bit like a mixed bag in terms of the general practice and idea behind it. I kind of agree more with Ian’s position on it nowadays where going back and seeing the numbers between Gamma’s brothers and Omega is a little pointless now. Moving on seems like it’d be for the best, especially since Omega talked about how Eggman moved on to the E-1000 models in Heroes.

Where are those? Why go back to the E-100 models? 

Granted, Sonic does make a note of talking about how tough they are. They always give him a workout, he says, flashing back to Gamma and Eta. He also notes that he hasn’t technically lost against them but he also hasn’t technically won either.

He still won’t either because Sonic gets saved by our boy Ray the Flying Squirrel and then Mighty just drops in, tosses XI into a rock wall, and that’s it.

It’s over.

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Well, that’s honestly a tad underwhelming.

Back at the Egg Boss base for this region, Egg Boss Thunderbolt is fucking pissed that one of the doctor’s GLORIOUS machines that he entrusted to them was just demolished. The people working there are clearly scared of the weird and unhinged Thunderbolt as she galivants around in her mech suit, making proclamations about how brilliant Eggman’s plan is and how when it’s done they’ll have the distinction of being the Egg Army Unit that destroyed Sonic the Hedgehog.

I don’t know how much you think you actually want that Thunderbolt. Then again, so long as it’s Eggman’s plan that did it, it should be fine.

Sonic and Mighty start talking like old friends. They grapple with one another a bit. It feels less like friendly rivals and more just friends messing around with one another. It’s nice enough. 

I don’t know why it all feels so odd to me though. I wish there was something I could put my finger on as to why. 

Mighty figures out that something important is happening just because Sonic is here with Sally. 

They’re looking for a Chaos Emerald and a temple to fix the world. When reminded of the crisis that happened, Mighty gets super pissed off and has to recite a line from his guru teacher to calm himself down.

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Oh my God, it’s me.

I hope this doesn’t end up being another one of those things that hits too close to home again. I have bad experiences with relating to characters in this book.

Well, I suppose it’s not one to one. After all, Mighty can successfully calm himself down and he’s actually got a master on hand to prove it.

It’s time to officially meet Master Moss. This take on Mighty is apparently one where he used to be super angry all the time and has sought a way to chill out before he explodes from constant rising blood pressure. 

I need a Master Moss.

When he’s introduced, despite Moss being so cordial and Ray exclaiming that because of him Mighty has been so happy and how clearly happy that makes him in turn, Sonic just… insults him for like… literally no reason.

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“Gah. Therapy is so lame dude. Especially when it comes from them furry types. Never did trust them furries.”

It’s a very cathartic, instantly gratifying thing when Moss gives Sonic that look and Sonic freezes. It’s even better when Moss just spills the beans about what’s lurking within him in front of everybody.

Sonic keeps insisting he’s fine, yet again. He starts sweating and getting upset about it. He remains clearly not fine but what are you gonna do?

Amy uses the Mystic Melody to find out where the Emerald’s energy is and Mighty sufficiently reacts with a “What the fuck?” 

Yeah, Amy’s a mystical emerald detector now. She learned it in the ocean.

Anywho, they head to the location she pin-pointed which, as Mighty tells them before they go, is the location of the region’s Egg Army base. 

They arrive and we’re greeted with an Egg Army dig site that couldn’t be more obvious a trap. It’s literally a huge empty camp with huge search lights all illuminated onto a lone glass case with a Chaos Emerald inside.

There are badniks around so Sonic (and surprisingly Amy) charge in recklessly together to take care of them. Sonic seems insistent that this totally isn’t a trap and that the Egg Army just went to sleep with their search lights trained on a Chaos Emerald in the middle of a dig site…

Yeah no, Thunderbolt’s here.

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She’s also the only one that looks happy that their painfully simple trap was sprung. The rest of them look like they’re not even happy Sonic fell for this. They must be so sick of her shit.

What’s it like having Thunderbolt as an Egg Boss? If she truly takes no prisoners then by default that makes her pretty scary, honestly.

The first thing she does is use this activated tower to send a bolt of lightning directly into Ray’s body. Yes, strike the child first. It’s what true evil does!

Then more lightning rains down on everyone. 

Over and over again it strikes as Sonic starts to get super pissed off thinking back to all the other times he’s been pissed off.

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I get pissed off thinking back to all the times I’ve been pissed off too. I don’t like that the subject matter of this story is hitting so close to home. Somebody help me.

Oh, and Sonic.

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Yeah, he looks like he could use some help.

So, it took a long while… in real time it took several, several months but we’re finally here. Sonic the Werehog has been unleashed.

I’m thinking back on it and I recall first glancing at the image of the werehog silhouetted behind Sonic in the reveal promotional image for Sonic Unleashed. I really remember appreciating the dark, Halloween vibes I got from it.

Sonic Unleashed as a game has an overall tone that’s more adventurous and mystical but the undertone of the Halloween aspect provided by the presence of the werehog that was capitalized on by stuff like Night of the Werehog is wonderful to me. Everything could use a nice dash of the best time of the year in my opinion. 


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #264: A Nice Day to Start Again

Writers: Benjamin Bailey and Joey Esposito
Pencils: James Fry
Inks: Terry Austin
Colors: Gabriel Cassata
Letters: John Workman

New writers! Whoa!

Yeah, I definitely recall the reboot being where the big return of the side stories came about. It’s not an unwelcome thing seeing as how simple these are.

This is a Bunnie and Antoine story where we see where in Soumerca they are. They followed an energy signal to a flooded town, thinking it might be a Chaos Emerald and have to save a newlywed couple from drowning.

Antoine nearly gets crushed by a falling screen and surfs his way to freedom. It’s all very… something.

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Stuff is happening. 

Antoine surfs in on his Extreme Gear and saves her. Everything is well. The day is saved.

Then Bunnie has herself a little cry over the fact that Antoine almost died from a TV crashing on top of him.

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It’s… a bit of a strange note to end on if only because it’s a tad plopped in there. 

I mean… you know. This is sweet and all but it feels like it exists as a tacit reminder that they love each other, which is fine but I guess from the simple nature of the execution it comes across a tad unwarranted here. I’m not complaining or anything but it doesn’t help what feels like a very nothing story.

Man, that felt really short. Then again, that usually happens when an issue of the book is split into two stories. Granted, not much needed to happen in the main story for this to work well. They wanted to end on that cliffhanger of Sonic finally transforming into that there werehog and they got it. 

 

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #265: Control, Part Two: Unleashed

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He has risen. It’s kind of amazing how super detailed the painting of the werehog was on the last cover. This one looks impressive as well despite it being a much simpler piece. As an artist it always amazes me how well you can simulate hair in something like this. 

Spoiler

Adventure Variant

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This is one of the goofiest, dumbest ideas ever and I’ve got to give them praise for thinking of it. Having the werehog contort his body to do the Sonic Adventure pose in front of the full moon must have generated some good laughs.


Convention Exclusive Variant

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Despite that, this one is my favorite of the three covers. I usually tend to favor stuff like this. They’re swinging away from the convention with so many Sonic comics, it’s kind of amazing. I have all these books and I’m jealous over here. I’m sort of interested in what’s in the bag Chip’s carrying but I find my eyes traveling more towards the comics anyway. I also just love that they’re in Empire City. I’m probably biased because it nailed the feel of being in New York City as a small child so much for me but it’s my favorite Unleashed location to be in. I still swell with nostalgia whenever I hear Empire City’s hub theme at night.

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Tyson Hesse
Inks: Terry Austin
Colors: Gabriel Cassata
Letters: John Workman
Cover by Tracy Yardley, Terry Austin, and Evan Stanley
Adventure Variant Cover by Rafa Knight
Convention Exclusive Variant Cover by Dana Skelly, Terry Austin, Ben Hunzeker, and Matt Herms

Sooooooo… Sonic just turned into a werehog in front of his friends. Everyone is wearing, rather appropriate, looks of “What the fuck?!” on their faces. 

Sonic then starts going berserk and wrecks the place like no one’s business. Thunderbolt demands that her troops stop him.

They hesitate because OF COURSE they do but she tells them to do it again because she also has no chill.

Sonic the Werehog just bulldozes through them all and goes to smash Thunderbolt himself. In an act of badassery that could only come from being an insane little shit, Thunderbolt leaps in to try and fight him with predictable results.

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Thunderbolt’s outfit is very Eggman-esque. I appreciate that it’s not one to one though.

Also, this is her real full body. She’s super tiny and I remember seeing this and wondering what her deal was. This was before it clicked in my head that she was an Egg Boss and that there was a whole system of Egg Bosses in the Egg Army and what not. We’re back to that thing again where in the past I was reading the books but not properly absorbing all the information.

The werehog goes after her, wanting a nice afternoon snack. Sally’s suspicions have been confirmed but she can do nothing about this. Amy wants to help but she can’t either really… but Mighty has been training in the art of tranquility. He believes he can stop him.

Sonic chases down Thunderbolt and like a Pikachu doing an epic Volt Tackle Final Smash, just lights the place up. Sonic still manages to have enough drive towards doing what’s right that he actually protects the animals from the blast, which I’m impressed by.

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She’s a plump little electric fuzzball. 

Yeah though, I gotta say this is an impressive display of power. I didn’t remember she could do this on her own. 

It doesn’t really end up mattering to Sonic. He takes advantage of the fact that she’s in the middle of speeching at him to fucking grab her by the goddamn throat.

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Truly every frame is a painting.

No, but seriously, I’m loving what Tyson’s art is doing for the level of detail on display for the Werehog here. It looks impressive. Terry Austin’s inks are making it look a little scratchier than I’m used to, which is why I had to look back and see who the penciler was to make sure it was Tyson but it is.

It really does go to show how many different styles a book can have depending on who the penciler, inker, and colorist is. 

Mighty saves Thunderbolt from being crushed into electric hamburger, something that’ll go on to piss off people who want Sonic and friends to murder their enemies (I know this for a fact because this moment was brought up by a guest Ian had on the Bumblekast that paid money to basically, mostly respectfully grill him on his writing decisions) and tries to have a talk with him.

Unfortunately for him, the werehog in this comic functions differently than in the games. There are times where Sonic is prone to more bouts of anger and comes off as more feral in the gameplay of Unleashed or loses his shit in something like Night of the Werehog but it’s mostly been portrayed as a docile transformation. 

There probably is an avenue the story of Unleashed could have taken to make controlling the darkness of the werehog more of a plot point but I do understand the decision not to dwell too much on it. Granted, I love the idea of the Dark Gaia exorcisms with the camera. It always creeped me out whenever I went up to someone and they started acting strange and you saw those ghostly waves above their heads. 

It was always up to you to snap the photo and take care of business but it still weirded me out. Those small twinges of horror elements were neat. I wish it would happen more often. If Sonic’s buddies weren’t busy being put through the wringer by the critics, being able to exercise them would have been neat as well. I wonder how differently they would act.

Ah man, what if that was Tails’ introduction? Instead of being surrounded by Dark Gaia Monsters and hiding behind a pillar, he gets possessed and when Sonic comes across him something happens to invoke the flash of light without a camera and then all those Dark Gaia Monsters pop out of him.

What would a Dark Gaia possessed Tails act like? A surfer dude? Maybe an mobster?

Well, anyway, the point is, in the Archie Comics he’s more angry and unhinged. He even has Werehog Vision.

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I love this because he’s basically taking what Mighty is actually saying and contorting it in his head to mean something different despite the words being essentially the same.

“It’s enough to drive anyone crazy” is essentially Mighty saying “You’re crazy” but it’s not what he means.

Saying that Ray and the ladies are securing the Chaos Emerald is being taken as them doing his job for him, which is also funny. However, the best one is the part where he changes “We can go talk to Moss” to “Have Moss talk at you” because that’s essentially what Sonic would think Moss is doing anyway.

He’s the kind of guy who would take being told mystical voodoo stuff or probably even therapy as some sort of dressing down or someone just throwing words at him.

Sonic gets pissed off by what he imagined Mighty saying and just has his way with him.

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This direction of having Mighty being a recovering anger management patient is an interesting direction to take. It must be pretty bad for him if he needs to talk to himself like this so often. 

Also, holy shit, sliding across the ground split that fucking rock in half. See that? My word.

Well, anyway, this clearly isn’t working. 

Mighty keeps trying to talk to him while also fighting him and it would seem that the added aggression isn’t making anything better.

The others catch up to witness all the destruction and it grants Sonic enough time to boot Mighty away and scramble off. 

Sally deduces that Sonic’s perception is all off and he thinks Mighty is in the wrong so they simply need to… change his perception, I guess?

I’m not entirely sure what the plan is because Ray, Sally, and Amy just zip in between Werehog Sonic and Mighty before they can clash again and Sally and Amy start talking to him. They do basically the same thing Mighty tried to do before and at first he starts hearing twisted versions of their words but he’s also hearing what they’re actually saying.

I’m not entirely sure what was different this time aside from the fact that they’re not fighting him so that’s probably more the reason why this is working. If so, I wish that was what was said instead.

Sonic does finally calm down after they tell him a bunch of inspiring things about how much of an inspiration he is to them and they take him back to Moss’ home.

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That’s how it starts. You think you have something in your body under control and you just… don’t.

Going to see a doctor is a scary thing anyway. Medical bills and what not. It’s all just so frightening. Sonic has less of an excuse because in his world going to see a doctor probably doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. They probably have better healing regimes and medicines too.

Well, anyway, the pretty glowing effect on Sonic’s body that I really want to replicate one day signals his change back to normal.

The spell is gone and it’s been handled forever. Hurray!

Amy goes in for a hug now that he’s back to normal and Sally says they’ll take him and the Chaos Emerald back home… but Sonic refuses.

He’s finally deciding to take what’s happening to him seriously. Obviously, it’s not gone forever.

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Like the Hulk and Bruce Banner, he needs to stop seeing the Werehog as something to get rid of and get it under control, baby.

Again, it’s a very interesting direction to take. Sonic being too strong for the darkness of Dark Gaia to corrupt him is admirable but it’s hard not to see why going for something like this would be more intriguing. I can take it either way. I don’t actually have strong opinions about it.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #265: The Grand Tour
Script: Eric Esquivel
Pencils: James Fry
Inks: Terry Austin
Letters: John Workman
Colors: Gabriel Cassata

James Fry is back. It’s hard describing this guy’s style. 

I guess… angular would be the correct term.

It’s not my favorite. 

Also, we have a new name as the script writer this time. Eric Esquivel is quite the name. 

I’ll be frank though… this isn’t that great of a side story.

It takes place before Waves of Change back when Rotor was showing off the new Sky Patrol to everyone and he just gives a tour of the place.

It’s a montage of him showing them stuff that isn’t really all that cool and the characters (namely Tails, surprisingly) getting more and more bothered and fed up with it. It’s more so that Sonic finds it boring and Tails is more so bewildered by the focus Rotor put into things that he wouldn’t have, like the water pressure of the toilets or the zen garden.

A medical bay with nineteen different stocked ointments sounds neat to me though. I could use some of that.

The main point is that Eggman is spying on them in the dark and appears… jealous of the Sky Patrol? Or rather he’s giving Rotor his props for making something so cool and destructive. It’s kind of weird.

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I appreciate throwing in the bit about him being ALMOST impressed, sure, but still. I don’t quite know if Eggman would give Rotor this much credit.

Then a uh… random giant robot designed like Rotor stomps on the scene and tries to kill them?

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This is very strange and random. 

I don’t know. I guess even for me it’s hard to believe that Eggman would bother making a giant robot designed like Rotor. 

I tend to usually just prefer there only be a Metal Sonic. There are exceptions. I think Metal Knuckles is a nice novelty. The story potential behind the Shadow Androids is something that I still feel wasn’t fully capitalized on. Tails Doll is so strange, random, and unique but also barely registers in my head as a robot that it’s somehow easy to forget about and hard to ignore at the same time.

But this… I dunno this is… weird and strange and kind of bad, honestly.

It doesn’t really matter because it just dies.

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So then he gives up and decides to rely on the Tails Doll again.

It’s funny because he’s doing this because the instant destruction of his weird Rotor robot convinces him that a direct approach to taking out that flying disk isn’t worth it but there’s still no part of me that believes Eggman wouldn’t easily be able to demolish that thing with a full frontal assault if he wanted to.

Oh well. I guess I’m only thinking about it because the comic invited me to think about it though so in that case whether or not the answer is satisfactory is up to my perception.

Sonic lost his shit and had to be calmed the fuck down. It’s a pretty awesome follow-up to the last issue. He got to wreck some shit. We got to see Thunderbolt’s full body and saw her get into the action. We even saw a decent display of power from Mighty against the Werehog for a bit. Everything except that weird story at the back was pretty good. Now to see how we carry on with Sonic needing some anger management himself.


Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #266: Ambushed! Part One

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We’re at a point in this Unleashed arc where I’m honestly not sure what to expect going forward. A good chunk of the main story kind of blended together in my head after the Werehog showed up aside from the masterpiece that is Champions. This isn’t the case with Sonic Universe but that book has a supremely easy way of distinguishing itself from the main book so it doesn’t matter. I’m sure I’ll remember all of this as I re-read it but rediscovering what made this thing so long is going to be interesting.

… Have they even found their first Gaia Temple yet? It feels like it’s been ages…

Spoiler

Super Sonic War Variant

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There were three of these Super Smash War covers. Mega Man was in the middle of Sonic and Shadow, doing his fireball attack thing and since I’m not covering the Mega Man comics, I didn’t get to show that one off.  Here’s the full thing.

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So yeah. Enjoy Mega Man’s first appearance in Smash Bros. as he arrives on Smash for Wii U finally. Good God, that leg though. Mega Man bent at the knee looks freaky in this style.

Smash Wii U is quite the anomaly for the series. I did go back to it once and was shocked by how unimpressive the roster suddenly is now in the wake of Smash Ultimate’s frankly ridiculous number of characters. It’s not even that Smash Wii U has an unimpressive roster. It’s still a better roster of characters than any Sonic spin-off game has had but when compared to its predecessor it’s just hard to parse in your head.

I fear that game is kind of doomed to be the Black Sheep of Smash Bros. There’s nothing really remarkable about it nowadays (from the point of view of a casual fan like me at least. Maybe a pro player would feel different) and it stands as proof that even Smash Bros. isn’t a powerful enough system seller to save a console. What a wake up call that had to be, eh?

Writer: Ian Flynn
Pencils: Jamal Peppers
Inks: Terry Austin
Colors: Gabriel Cassata
Letters: John Workman
Cover by Lamar Wells, Terry Austin, and Ben Hunzeker
“Super Smash Var.” Cover (3 of 3) by Rafa Knight

I really love Jamal Peppers’ style. Like a lot. 

We begin with Sonic racing Moss through the woods, surprised that Moss is managing to use the forest to keep up with him. 

“I thought I lost you a mile ago!” He says.

“Lost? YOU came to ME to find the way,” Moss says back, which is a great comeback and an easily misinterpreted one as well.

Whether Sonic takes it as a genuine comeback or as him being misunderstood he reacts with anger about it anyway.

Like, he really doesn’t like the way Moss speaks to him for some reason. It’s not very endearing. Especially since when he first meets the guy he immediately jumps to calling him names for no reason.

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Man, Sonic, I dunno, maybe don’t start shit for no reason if you don’t want your words turned on you? 

Ray feels the need to vouch for the master, saying that he taught Mighty self-control and Ray… how to be proactive. Ray says he’s still working on it.

I don’t exactly know what that means but perhaps we’ll see in the future? He seems pretty proactive to me. There haven’t been flashes of him struggling with himself like there has been with Mighty.

Sonic goes into why he’s so frustrated at the very least. It’s understandable that he’s irritated. Moss points out that he lives free as the wind (Sort of. This whole Freedom Fighter system and the Sky Patrol thing kind of hamper that a bit in my opinion but you all know that by now) so naturally he resists control. 

Mighty points out that all this talk of control is likely the antithesis to Dr. Eggman at play here, which is true. Sonic and Eggman are on opposite sides of the spectrum as far as their views on control (and mercy among other things). They couldn’t be more different. It makes them the perfect opposition to one another.

On cue, we cut to probably the funniest Eggman dressing down that I had somehow forgotten about.

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I remember this!

I remember reading this and laughing my ass off mimicking it in my room when he held on the F’s. 

“Failed is maybe too harsh a–”
“FAILED! FAILED! FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF—FAILED!”

It’s an excellent exchange.

He laments the loss of his roboticized forces and starts to weigh the pros and cons of free thinking versus the competency of a robotic mind. 

Now, granted… he still uses robots so I’m not entirely sure why it matters. Roboticization was more of a cruel way of gaining more robot followers initially. It was a way of snuffing out organic life and putting it to good use in terms of his grandstanding for machinery. Thinking about it only in terms of having soldiers doesn’t need to come into play that much since, in that case, building regular robots works just as well. He can utilize free thinking people if he so pleases.

I do wonder what’ll be on the minds of the Egg Bosses once Eggman does take over the world and has no use for them anymore. Will he take them with him to conquer the other planets out there or will he jump the gun and just turn them into robots too? I can easily see him doing option two if, for whatever reason, Eggman runs out of worlds to conquer but lucky for them I don’t think he will.

Also, lucky for Thunderbolt, Orbot sort of vouches for her a bit when he talks about how Eggman’s want for roboticized soldiers is a little unnecessary since Thunderbolt’s not only shown no loss in productivity but she’s actually GAINED territory since the world has split apart.

Eggman stops for a second, surprised to hear that. Cubot then goes on to explain that all their forces are doing really well in this mess. They’re still reporting some issues here and there but for the most part they’re making due way better than G.U.N is in this situation. The network that they have just isn’t anywhere near as impressive as Eggman’s.

Eggman is in a great mood now. Not only has his ego been boosted but so has the morale behind what he wrought by splitting the world. It’s working out great for him. 

We also get a list of power sources and what Dark Gaia’s power means in comparison to them.

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Wind is pretty impressive. 

Interesting that oil isn’t on that list. Doesn’t he own the Oil Ocean? Or is that being factored into Natural Gas or Coal? If it is, then that’s shockingly little and also not a good way to group those things. 

Back at the Sky Patrol, we’ve got a group shot of the Freedom Fighters sitting around a table for a briefing session and I… man. I don’t like looking at these. The one thing I really love is Big’s thousand yard stare as he stands in the fucking corner of the room.

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He’s the best.

But yeah, I dunno. Again, the whole Hall of Justice thing where they sit and have discussions on a round table like it’s a board meeting just never felt right to me. It’s not just an Archie thing either. I didn’t like it in Forces nor did I like that one scene where they do this with the Resistance in IDW before it was officially disbanded. It’s just not my preferred flavor of Sonic.

So to skip past it, the point is that they have two Chaos Emeralds and the Chaotix told Sally that Knuckles is holding on to one and holy shit we really HAVEN’T discovered ANY Gaia Temples yet!

Jesus. 

And just three Chaos Emeralds, one of which isn’t even technically in their hands? Yeah, they’ve got their sights set on retrieving the blue Chaos Emerald near the region they were just at but still. 

The stories we’ve gotten so far haven’t exactly been boring to read in a row but I’m really starting to see why this was a bit exhausting going from month to month like this. We’re still not even at the starting point from regular Sonic Unleashed where Sonic had all the emeralds with him.

Sonic just turned into the Werehog last issue.

If every arc were a Champions arc this would help quite a bit. Or, if there was some underlying thing happening that was ramping up the tension surrounding each of the arcs we’ve been dealing with. There’s no Zombot apocalypse to take out the valuable players here and (currently) no hint of the Dark Gaia Spawn threatening to possess our heroes but I kind of wish there was.

That’s starting to sound like more and more of a missed opportunity the more I think about it.

Anyway, the area around where the Blue Emerald isn’t super secure so they decide they’re gonna go after it whether it’s a trap or not to make sure it doesn’t get the chance to move to a more secure location. They’re all gonna do it without Sonic despite Tails initially asking if they should wait till he comes back. He raises his hand to go without a second thought when the time comes to make the decision.

So, apparently, there is no designated Team Freedom and Team Fighters. Whoever is Team Freedom is just randomly picked for what’s needed for the mission. Sally picks Bunnie and Antoine to be the Team Freedom with her so that they can go in quiet while Tails, Amy, and Rotor are going to be the Team Fighters this time.

CREAM AND CHEESE (and Big for some reason) CAN’T COME! THEY’RE BUSY!

NO! It’s too DANGEROUS for you Cream! YOU CAN’T COME! YOU NEED MORE TRAINING!

*cough* SUMBULLSHIT *cough*

Yeah, this whole thing with Cream feels like another side effect of this Hall of Justice thing. Talk of “training” and “It’s too dangerous for you” and “Please let me prove myself, Mr. Stark” and “If you’re nothing without that suit, then you shouldn’t have it” being reserved for Cream just kind of… I dunno.

It feels gross and dumb to me. I know this is partly SEGA’s reluctance to let her be used for stuff like this but it feels amplified by the setting here. Either the restrictions have gotten more lax nowadays or the setting of the IDW comics just allows it to be less noticeable because that entire thing with Cream and Gemerl Vs. Zeena felt entirely different. Like, yeah, she was still initially barred from going but it felt more understandable considering how much more outwardly dangerous the circumstances were and how protective Gemerl is specifically of Cream. Like a stoic big brother.

Here it’s just… whatever. I didn’t like this back when this was happening with Amy in the Pre-Reboot either. It was more infuriating there just because I saw Amy in higher regard than the book seemed to at the time despite it portraying her as reasonably competent up until she did that weird thing of aging herself up. 

I’ll admit, there’s also probably some bias towards seeing Sally act superior to the “immature” Amy and the now “too inexperienced and childish” Cream. I don’t really like having a designated person call the shots here but that’s just me positioning Sonic and his friend’s freedom to do whatever the fuck they want over the, sometimes ironically named, Freedom Fighters.

Maybe it’s unfair of me but it’s how I feel. Cream not being allowed to go is bullshit.

Anyway, we cut back to Sonic who is allowing the environment to help move him along, making him more free and junk.

He allows it to carry him down a waterfall, board off of Pride Rock, and use a tree as a springboard back to the others. 

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It’s an excellent show.

Anyway, it’s suddenly sunset now.

Yeah like, in the span of two panels, WHILE a conversation is happening, it’s suddenly sunset.

Mighty screams at Sonic about how big his ego is and then fist pumps him, thanking him for helping him get his act together. I don’t know what that means still. I’m sure there was probably going to be a story explaining what this meant down the line but the book was canceled before it could happen.

Then Sonic says Mighty could totally run his own Freedom Fighters team and Mighty gets instantly afraid, saying he isn’t leadership material. Ray gets excited, saying he’d join and Moss could be their wise advisor. Even Moss says that he shouldn’t be content with just sticking with what’s comfortable and try and branch out. Leading some of his other students would do him good.

Mighty really doesn’t want to and tries to get Sonic to recognize what he started but… Sonic’s gotta face his natural enemy now. Sunset.

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Yeah, again though, this was a shockingly fast sunset. That thing is just zooming down across the sky. I don’t even know if the world breaking apart can be considered a reason this would happen.

Anyway, Sonic is understandably worried. Moss tells him to remember that he is a hero and if he remembers that the beast won’t be a monster but a hero as well.

It takes over his body with the sun down and Sonic sneaks in a little troll growl before shifting it into a troll grin.

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He’s so taken by his Werehog form that embracing it scares Ray a bit. He asks Moss for another race and they go for it.

Of course, they’re being spied on by one of Thunderbolt’s men as back at her base, her special machine is being fixed up.

So back with Sally’s group, Team Freedom, consisting of her, Bunnie, and Antoine are staking out the capsule where the Blue Emerald is. Again, there was a ton of talk earlier about whether or not it was a blatant trap and their desire to go for it is under the pretense that they won’t get a better chance.

But, it’s a trap. It’s a blatant, obvious trap the likes of which hasn’t been seen since literally two issues ago when there was an emerald in a glass case surrounded by spotlights in the center of a wide open area.

Despite the concern of this being a trap being brought up, so far, it looks as though there was no contingency to account for this? At the moment it just looks like they approached it and then they got immediately ambushed by a bunch of E-100 series robots.

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Yeah, no, that ain’t happening.

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So… what was the plan again? 

I guess we won’t know because they got ambushed (ha, like the title of the story) but man.

I’m just saying maybe Cream could have used the Cheese strat on them…

We don’t see Team Fighters here so maybe I’m missing something but right now, that’s a pretty sad showing. I'm guessing not since Sally literally said "Fall back to the Sky Patrol" before she got blown up.

The designs of some of these are pretty neat. I especially like Kappa, if only because he’s my favorite combination of colors. It’s interesting seeing one is just a bird. 

I can’t imagine coming up with different versions of these would have continued to be an easy thing. They all also need to somehow still have that same Gamma looking head to them. I can only imagine how creepy an elephant version of this thing would be. I’d put the head at the end of its trunk for maximum Siren Head creepiness.

I feel like when I reached the end of this I immediately forgot what happened in the issue. That isn’t an insult to it (or at least I don’t intend it to be) but yeah I guess it really was just some talking and not much else. Sonic got over that whole thing about controlling the Werehog shockingly easy. I didn’t remember it being resolved this fast. Seems like contemplating the nature of how cool this direction would be wasn’t worth it. Also, for as much as I love Thunderbolt, I think we got a handle on her introduction. Considering there’s still so much more that we need to be introduced to, I don’t know if we need these next two issues to also focus on her. Maybe it’s not a big deal but the thought crossed my mind seeing how easily the whole “Sonic needs to learn CONTROL” thing was handled. It doesn’t seem like we have time to dwell on all the numerous things we need to establish and do. We don’t even have half the Chaos Emeralds and still haven’t found our first Gaia Temple. Sonic hasn’t met Chip yet either. It’s not been boring but the Unleashed part of this Unleashed arc has been shockingly slow.
 

 

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I'm sure I'm not welcomed back in this forum after leaving it for a second time, from an argument that got too personal. And I'm still on the fence about returning here for good. But I did miss reading Dr. Detective Mike's re-reads(?) of Archie Sonic and want to be there for the conclusion at least. So, uh, hello again. 

And DANG! You made some serious progress, Detective Mike. I thought it was gonna be a while longer before you'd make it to the Reboot continuity, what with having to juggle two comic book series (three now, for the time being), three issues per post. Color me impressed 😉 Shame that I wasn't there for Cream's debut and her tenure in the Pre-Reboot universe, but that's what I get for being a temperamental idiot. I suppose if there's not much activity in this thread, and I have the time, I can compile my thoughts about Cream's appearances in long-covered issues, and other stories of interest to me (such as Issue #222, AKA the ultimate middle-finger to Amy and SonAmy fans). But for now, the Werehog's debut arc... 

As my PFP ought to tell you, I'm a big fan of the Werehog. I've been defending the form and it's gameplay since 2008, and while I'm more of an apologist for the Night Stages as a whole now (I still think they get more bile than deserved, but they certainly could've been executed better if not been given a much more fast-paced form of gameplay), I stand by that the Werehog is one of the more creative and original concepts for Sonic that was executed a whole lot better than people like to think. Sure, at first glance, a cartoon hedgehog undergoing lycanthropy sounds stupid, and to a degree it is. But then, so is Sonic transforming into rockets and drills thanks to colorful squid aliens. Or Mario donning a goofy water pack to clean evil paint all over an island. Or Mario's iconic hat getting possessed by a "hat ghost" that allows him to possess people and creatures. And in the context of the game, the Werehog is less "Werewolf Sonic" and more "Dark Sonic", not unlike Dark Jak from Jak II onwards. Heck, the Werehog was originally named Evil Sonic until fans started calling it the Werehog and SEGA was like 'okay, we'll go with that', and the form's first few designs were much less lupine. I imagine they went for a more werewolf design because the transformation happens in the night, and werewolves are fearsome monsters of the night. And the writers for Unleashed were smart enough not to go the usual cliched route of Sonic becoming a feral monster who attacks everything in his bestial form and then become shameful and guilt-ridden on turning to normal. Rather, the Werehog serves to demonstrate Sonic's sheer willpower as a hero; keeping control over his thoughts and actions with just a slightly worse temper than usual. The Werehog also shows how adaptable Sonic is as, even when robbed of his beloved super-speed, he can still kick ass with creative use of his sudden super-strength and stretchy arms. 

So, suffice it to say, I was among the fans who were... Less than pleased when the Werehog's unexpected but desired appearance in the Archie Comics was going to have him be that typical feral monster that the original game deliberately subverted. Like, I understand that quite a few people felt the lack of monstrousness was a missed opportunity for the Werehog in Unleashed and the comic has never been the most faithful to Sonic. But still, it felt like Ian was missing the point of Sonic's "not losing himself" as the Werehog. BUT, in hindsight, I'm willing to forgive this choice of direction now as the buildup to the Werehog was very cool, and the Werehog's long-hyped debut was very, very grand: dismantling Thunderbolt's electro-trap, wrecking her base, coming within a hair's breadth of killing her, and then fighting Mighty to a standstill. I couldn't ask for a better entrance for one of Sonic's most underrated forms. And the comic did provide a good explanation by having Dark Gaia's influence distort Sonic's vision and hearing. So, mentally, he's still the same heroic blue hedgehog, but the Dark Gaia energy made him perceive allies as enemies.

Though, from my memories of the Unleashed Saga as a whole, the Werehog's tenure in Archie would only worsen after that great debut as the form just becomes inconsequential for the rest of the arc. Everyone else is able to fight the Dark Gaia Monsters just as well as the Werehog, and any further development the form could've provided to Sonic such as getting a grip on his mental faculties, adjusting to the different physiology, and coming up with new combat moves, is solved pretty much immediately by a sloth. Like, the only moments where the Werehog actually felt impactful in the book was when Sonic and Rotor formed a plan around the form to deal with the Holoska base and the Egg Dragoon fight. Otherwise, the Werehog was just... There. Which, to be fair, that was the case in Unleashed as well. But I wholeheartedly acknowledged that as a BIG failure of the game: the Werehog should've had a bigger impact on the plot, possibly to fill out the rather barren middle portions of the story. The comic, being a more story-driven medium, could've addressed that but ended up not being much better. Though a certain event later on probably didn't help with that one bit 😒 But I guess my thoughts will change with the readings of the later issues, just as your thoughts about certain issues changed from when you first read them, Detective Mike. 

Aside from the Werehog, I got no real thoughts on these issues aside from two big gripes of mine. First being the moment Amy and Sally got Sonic back to his senses. Or rather, Sally doing the majority of that while Amy was a minor influence by comparison. Which is a recurring problem I had with the Reboot as a whole: despite the effort to give Amy equal moments with Sonic alongside Sally, she'd get the lower end of the stick in such moments compared to Sally. When Sonic reunited with Sally, whom he knew was doing a mission in the Death Egg, and Amy, who mysteriously disappeared a week ago and was MIA up to that point; he immediately embraced Sally with tears of joy, and then gave Amy a comparatively half-hearted 'I was worried about you', only after she went "Ahem" in very understandable annoyance. When both Amy and Sally's Pre-Reboot memories were restored, Sally's memories and reaction were given the most focus while Amy's memories are two moments at best and she didn't have any reaction whatsoever. It's like, they may as well have only restored Sally's memories and told Amy to fuck off.

And now here, we have Sonic in a berserk state and attacking Mighty. He's too strong and durable to be physically restrained or knocked out, so Sonic needed to be calmed and brought back to his sense. Amy's most famous and praised moments in the games were when she got Gamma to reconsider working for Eggman and convince Shadow to give humanity a second chance with a compassionate talk. As much as I didn't agree with "feral Werehog" approach at first, that was the perfect opportunity to have Amy do what she did for those two with Sonic: finally giving Amy a significant, emotional moment with Sonic that demonstrates their bond as friends (and much needed official fuel for us SonAmy fans). But of fucking course Sally fuckin Acorn had to be sharing that moment with Amy, and she got in far more meaningful dialogue at Sonic while Amy got in a few token words. The exact scenario I'd been hoping for Amy, robbed by that fucking chipmunk 😑 I've made it no secret that I despise Sally Acorn, and those moments are just one big reason why. The second big reason, which is also my other big gripe with these issues and a major recurring problem I have with the Reboot: Cream's treatment under Sally. 

I'll try and not harp on this topic too much, cause back in the day I was obsessed about it on here and other parts of the internet. I would not shut up about it, and I seriously wish I had the sense to do exactly that back then. But suffice to say, I completely agree with all this... 

On 8/21/2022 at 3:58 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

CREAM AND CHEESE (and Big for some reason) CAN’T COME! THEY’RE BUSY!

NO! It’s too DANGEROUS for you Cream! YOU CAN’T COME! YOU NEED MORE TRAINING!

*cough* SUMBULLSHIT *cough*

Yeah, this whole thing with Cream feels like another side effect of this Hall of Justice thing. Talk of “training” and “It’s too dangerous for you” and “Please let me prove myself, Mr. Stark” and “If you’re nothing without that suit, then you shouldn’t have it” being reserved for Cream just kind of… I dunno.

It feels gross and dumb to me. I know this is partly SEGA’s reluctance to let her be used for stuff like this but it feels amplified by the setting here. Either the restrictions have gotten more lax nowadays or the setting of the IDW comics just allows it to be less noticeable because that entire thing with Cream and Gemerl Vs. Zeena felt entirely different. Like, yeah, she was still initially barred from going but it felt more understandable considering how much more outwardly dangerous the circumstances were and how protective Gemerl is specifically of Cream. Like a stoic big brother.

Here it’s just… whatever. I didn’t like this back when this was happening with Amy in the Pre-Reboot either. It was more infuriating there just because I saw Amy in higher regard than the book seemed to at the time despite it portraying her as reasonably competent up until she did that weird thing of aging herself up. 

I’ll admit, there’s also probably some bias towards seeing Sally act superior to the “immature” Amy and the now “too inexperienced and childish” Cream. I don’t really like having a designated person call the shots here but that’s just me positioning Sonic and his friend’s freedom to do whatever the fuck they want over the, sometimes ironically named, Freedom Fighters.

Maybe it’s unfair of me but it’s how I feel. Cream not being allowed to go is bullshit.

The Office Thank You GIF

I never understood why the fuck Ian felt the need to do this with Cream, and I never will. Even if SEGA was restricting Cream's actions (which Ian is mum about, so I'm taking it with a grain of salt), there are ways of having Cream contribute to the Freedom Fighters that isn't being their fucking maid and waitress. Have her go on recons and scout missions with Tails, have her tag along missions as utility and medic support. If Cream's not allowed to fight as per SEGA, then have her help out in ways that don't involve fighting! And make those instances actually fucking matter! Cream directing the team in Station Square while Sally was having a breakdown would've made up for her not being allowed in the field itself if we actually got to see Cream doing that. But we didn't, that moment happened entirely off-panel as the issue focused entirely on Nicole snapping Sally out of her funk. So readers have no reason to think of Cream as useful or crucial in any way, because the story refuses to show Cream as useful or crucial to the team. Who fucking cares what Cream does when Sally is the big concern? 🙃 Which, as it happens, is something that will be repeated in the very next issue that I really hope you rip apart. And I would like to "thank" Ian for helping to validate a lot of people's feelings of Cream being pointless and out of place in Sonic with this bullshit writing of her in the Reboot. 

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I mean, what are the odds that Ian was restricted in how to use Cream? That he didn’t give her much action in Archie reeks of the same mess they’re now doing with Shadow. Either that, or pacing issues may have arise from the whole story, which we know is something Ian has struggled with before.

That said, how is any of this and the Werehog moments something to blame for Sally? That Cream was sidelined, and Sally was given the emotional moment and not Amy should be more directed at Ian than the character he chose for it. That, and Amy had way more than just a few token words: she was the one who told Sonic she loved him (Sally said nothing remotely close to that), referenced his willpower, and the only thing she shared with Sally was referencing his courage.

I can understand having issues with a character, but let’s not skew things. 
 

Spoiler

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There’s more than just token words here on Amy’s side, and I’m not seeing the issue with her sharing this with Sally when Amy hardly even had such a moment like this in Unleashed considering she was mostly just a token character  in that game to begin with—at least she gets more action in the overall narrative compared to her position in game.

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9 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

I mean, what are the odds that Ian was restricted in how to use Cream? That he didn’t give her much action in Archie reeks of the same mess they’re now doing with Shadow. Either that, or pacing issues may have arise from the whole story, which we know is something Ian has struggled with before.

I mean, it seems odd for SEGA to be highly restrictive of a character like Cream. Shadow being heavily mandated makes sense, he's the second most popular character of the whole franchise whom they still had active plans for. Of course they'd care a LOT about how he's written in their official comic book, even if their "direction" for him isn't really good. But Cream? They stopped actively using her since Rush and seemingly abandoned her character around this point (Team Sonic Racing, released just two years after Archie Sonic's end, really not helping that sentiment). What do they care how she's written? They've no desire to use Cream anytime soon, while the comics certainly were, so they scrutinize how the comics use her...? Then again, SEGA also has no desire to use the extended Classic cast (Mighty, Ray, Fang, Bean, and Bark) but mandated them to only appear in the "Classic dimension", so... I don't know. All I can tell is that it makes little sense for SEGA to mandate how Cream is written at a point when they really didn't care about her, and if SEGA's restrictions were the reason for her lackluster usage in the Reboot then Ian sure as hell didn't make that clear from the beginning. It appeared that Cream's forced inaction was entirely his intention and only hinted that mandates were the real cause near the end of the series. In any case, I no longer think it was malicious intent on his part: he expressed love for Cream in his podcast and on Twitter, so I can chalk this up to pacing issues. The whole "Sally and Cream" thing was definitely meant to be a subplot that just couldn't get the focus it needed. Though, in that case, I'm gonna harshly question why go for a subplot that actively prevents a character from contributing if you can't actually pursue it. 

9 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

That said, how is any of this and the Werehog moments something to blame for Sally? That Cream was sidelined, and Sally was given the emotional moment and not Amy should be more directed at Ian than the character he chose for it.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I do blame Ian for those moments more than I do Sally. I always try to keep in mind that characters are little more than "puppets" whose actions are at the mercy of those pulling the strings, be they writers, directors, executives, etc. But Sally is a character who I never really cared for; I never thought her interesting or compelling. And by the time of the Reboot, I had become irritated with how much focus and "favoritism" Sally was always given (such as Silver's "traitor subplot": dude was quick to accuse Sonic, Rotor, and Antoine as the traitors, and was even ready to suspect Bunnie on a whim despite her not being a founding Freedom Fighter. But Sally? "No way, she could never be the traitor"). So when the Reboot not only continued giving Sally a great deal of focus, but said focus was at the expense of the characters I actually care about? Well, Sally became a puppet I really wanted to stop seeing. 

Like, yeah, it's Ian who sidelined Cream, not Sally. But he used Sally the most to invoke that sidelining in-story, which would often be follow by Sally getting to look cool and useful while Cream just stood in the background not doing anything. And this whole sidelining business was for a subplot that more-or-less served Sally's character more than Cream. Like, really; even if this subplot got the focus it needed, how would it have benefited Cream's character? At most, she'd get to prove to Sally that she IS ready to go on missions and partake in fight via a badass moment. But for Sally, she got to frequently show off her motherly qualities and get some juicy character development for when she realized that Cream always was capable. And this plot doesn't even make sense in the Reboot's history since the games are canon: Cream had already been on adventures and proved herself capable! She is an experienced hero, but she still needs Sally's permission??? And my issue with Sally and Cream isn't just for the sidelining but how, throughout the entire Reboot, Cream was practically glued to Sally. We'll see as Detective Mike goes on...

9 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

That, and Amy had way more than just a few token words: she was the one who told Sonic she loved him (Sally said nothing remotely close to that), referenced his willpower, and the only thing she shared with Sally was referencing his courage.

I can understand having issues with a character, but let’s not skew things. 
 

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There’s more than just token words here on Amy’s side, and I’m not seeing the issue with her sharing this with Sally when Amy hardly even had such a moment like this in Unleashed considering she was mostly just a token character  in that game to begin with—at least she gets more action in the overall narrative compared to her position in game.

...Okay, I sit corrected about that moment. It was admittedly a long while since I last saw that page, and since it wasn't included in the post I was inclined to think it happened how I remembered. And, of course, memories love to be faulty and biased >.< 

So, I'm wrong there. Amy's dialogue and emotional impact was in balance with Sally's. Nonetheless, though, I really wished that Amy got to do this on her own because, again, it would allow her to do to Sonic what she had done for Gamma and Shadow. We've hardly if ever gotten a moment of Amy having a sincere emotional moment with Sonic by herself, and this was the perfect opportunity for that. But Ian just had to have Sally Acorn share the spotlight in this instance, and it's just... Sally has had more than plenty of emotional moments with Sonic by herself. Amy has had few if not nil. Is it too much to ask for Sally to take a backseat for once and let Amy have a touching moment with Sonic to herself? 

I apologize if that's moving the goalpost or otherwise being unfair with my statements. That's not my intention. Just stating my thoughts and feelings on the matters at hand. I was wrong about Sally getting more words in over Amy in that moment, but I'm disappointed that she HAD to be there to share the spotlight instead of Amy being allowed the spotlight to herself with Sonic for once.

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36 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

I never cease to be amazed at how much Sally seems to get under people's skin just by existing.

Or in the reboot, get on her case when she or other FF make a mistake or get ambushed. 

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If you're going to adapt a series with a big ensemble cast that are currently "on hold" for who knows how long from their home series, and give the lion's share of focus and attention to a single character who's not even from the source material, you better expect fans to get hostile with that character. 

I'm aware that Archie Sonic started off more as an adaptation of SatAM than the games, with Sally being the deuteragonist of the show. But that show ended decades ago, and the comic outright rebooted itself to be a more direct adaptation of the actual games with the characters of the old cartoons included. Sally and the other Freedom Fighters can remain as main characters for old time's sake, but they shouldn't take priority over the game characters. And Sally was the worst offender in that regard, with Cream especially getting screwed over for the chipmunk's sake. So excuse me for getting sick of Sally after all that.

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Man, this series struggles with balancing cast focus in the games themselves, it kind of comes with the territory of having such a large cast to begin with and Sonic is hardly unique in that regard; so excuse me if I don't exactly understand why people get hostile when it concerns characters who don't originate from the games.

Its always so silly to me when this fanbase decides to scapegoat certain characters for "stealing screentime" away from characters who "deserve it" when most of these characters don't do shit in the games as it is.

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*Sigh* Okay, I'll concede that my hatred for Sally is irrational. She's not actively stealing screentime from characters, and Cream and Amy don't necessarily deserve screentime more than others. 

But I'm just going to say; I do not read comic books about Sonic the Hedgehog for Sally Acorn, Tangle the Lemur, or freaking Starline. My interest in the comic books is to see Amy, Cream, Rouge, the Chaotix, the characters I know and love from the games do things. Especially since the games aren't using them until they figure out Sonic's 3D gameplay (which is going to take a long time, even if Frontiers proves successful). And in the case of this Reboot, Cream was made into a Freedom Fighter, the comic's main cast, which got my hopes up that she would become a major player again like she was in 2002-2005. Especially since Big the Cat got to be an active, useful member of the team. But instead, I watched Cream be forced into inaction and be coddled by Sally Acorn, who would then go out and do cool useful shit. And in the rare times Cream was allowed to do cool, significant shit, the story would focus on Sally instead. So can you blame me for being more than a little resentful?

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7 minutes ago, Kaotic Kanine said:

*Sigh* Okay, I'll concede that my hatred for Sally is irrational. She's not actively stealing screentime from characters, and Cream and Amy don't necessarily deserve screentime more than others. 

But I'm just going to say; I do not read comic books about Sonic the Hedgehog for Sally Acorn, Tangle the Lemur, or freaking Starline. My interest in the comic books is to see Amy, Cream, Rouge, the Chaotix, the characters I know and love from the games do things. Especially since the games aren't using them until they figure out Sonic's 3D gameplay (which is going to take a long time, even if Frontiers proves successful). 

I mean, that's all well and good, but some people do come to the comic to see Dr. Starline, or Tangle, or Sally, or whoever else. At the end of the day, if people like it or not, they're all still Sonic characters and each of them have as much right to be in the comic as any other, assuming there's no issues preventing them from appearing. Those characters have just as much right to appearances and screen time as the other supporting cast members you've listed. 

Cream's treatment post Reboot is absolutely abysmal, but that should be called out on the fault of Ian and the other creative members of the team at the time (who were indeed adamant that Cream couldn't provide much due to being too young). It's not Sally or any other character's fault for being given better treatment. 

Either way, most people pick up Sonic the Hedgehog for Sonic the Hedgehog, his cast and his universe, which even the show and comic exclusive characters include. It's not like pre reboot where Penders' weird ass lore and echidna worship is about as far from the series as you could possibly get.

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