Toby

Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog

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26 minutes ago, Ernest-Panda said:

Hold up there. I wouldn't go as far to say that everything pre-Flynn was bad. There are still several genuinly good stories in there somewhere.

Even Ken managed to put out the occasional good story in the immediate pre-Flynn era.  As much of an utter mess Mobius 25 Years Later was, the "Father's Day" flashback/flashforward story near the end of it was actually pretty decent.  If nothing else, it was the only time Ken ever had Locke admit he was a really, really shitty father.

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50 minutes ago, VEDJ-F said:

That was posted a few days ago, as was both Sonic the Hedgehog TP #5 (Champions) and Sonic Mega Drive: Overdrive being listed as cancelled, Sonic #293 currently sitting at "to be resolicited" and the fact that Sega and Archie are "talking" according to what Yardley found out from Lovallo. 

Well I figured the other stuff was already posted. I just wasn't aware about the solicitation news. lol

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Just now, SSF1991 said:

Well I figured the other stuff was already posted. I just wasn't aware about the solicitation news. lol

Sonic hasn't been in the solicits for two months now, but we know that there were plans and covers made for additional Sonic graphic novels (the Sonic Universe Sagas which was on Amazon)

This all points to what I said in my first post - there's been some kind of breakdown between Sega and Archie and probably from Sega's end if Archie was still making covers and moving ahead on comics through April.

Has anyone from any news sites reached out to Archie Public relations to ask for an official statement? Seeing as Tracy was able to get news out, that might be the best way to get a statement put out or at least attempt it.

 

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6 hours ago, Kidakairis said:

I'm honestly not trolling here but why does it seem everyone is so anti penders stories, I didn't really follow the comic back then so I haven't read that much of his work. I know about the lawsuits and the Lara-su chronicles thing but it seems every time I see anything about the pre Ian Flynn stories everyone just says "it was Penders era so it sucked." Without ever really explaining why his stories were bad.

Separating him from the lawsuit, Lara-Su Chronicles and his truly odious personality and actions after said lawsuit?

Penders stories were bad a lot of the times because he was genuinely a pretty lousy writer, one who relied heavily on exposition, infodumping and narrative fiat in order to make a story move- in short, things happened less because of convincing developments and more because he seemed to will the outcome to happen. Similarly he was more often than not very bad at characterization and dialogue- characters would often talk in the same stilted, awkward way while using vocabulary you would expect an overly litigious middle-aged man to use, regardless of the actual age or character of the aforementioned characters, and this was when it WASN'T melodramatic 'comic book-y' dialogue that lacked the energy that normally makes such things endearing. This is without getting into the fact that as time went on, Penders became increasingly enamored and paid undo attention to the mythology and characters he had crafted for the book, often at the expense of characters from the show and the games- he even declared pride in the fact he never bothered to research the games when making the book, and despite his claims of the contrary his work tends to betray that he didn't care all that much for the show either. Similarly he had a tendancy to ignore the writings of his fellow authors on the books and ignoring character development in favor of his own ideas, something that would bring him into direct conflict with writer KArl Bollers and lead to a great deal of dysfunction in the immedate years before Flynn came onboard. 

In fact, many of the biggest problems with his writing are encapsulated in his Knuckles series. On paper the ideas and concepts of that series were not bad ones. A clan of high tech, evil echidna with a grudge against Knuckles for the actions of his ancestors? That can work nicely. Knuckles being part of a long line of Guardians and a member of an organization of said Guardians? Sure, we can work that. A hidden city of surviving Echidna? Well hey, there's only so much you can do with the whole 'Last of his Kind' schtick without making it depressing. The problem was though that the more things we learned, the less sense it made- Knuckles knew nothing about enemies such as the Chaos empowered demi-God Enerjak or the renegade Echidna technology cult known as the Dark Legion, despite it being crucial to the origins of how the Guardian tradition started. Similarly the Guardians are revealed to have existed for a long time behind the scenes, yet it is never addressed as to why with all their resources and the threat of Robotnik they never once intervened or tried to help the good guys, and then of course there is the explanation of why Knuckles has his abilities- his father was plagued by a vision from Gods and genetically manipulated him into becoming a super echidna so that he could fulfill a hazily defined destiny. All the while, Knuckles himself is an incredibly passive figure amidst the revelations that are hurled his way, reduced to a pawn and a puppet within the stories arguably meant to showcase him. In particular his relationship with his father, Locke, is portrayed as a loving one despite the fact that there are many things about it that are abusive, including Locke lying to Knuckles about being the last of his kind, going so far as to deceive him into believing his own mother was dead. The worst implications behind all of this are glossed over and unaddressed.

And this is without getting into the times that Penders used the comic as a platform to promote his personal political beliefs, often in hamhanded and shoddy methods. In one particularly infamous example, he plagiarized a poem commemorating the Nazi takeover and the holocaust that sprang from it in order to 'make a point' about a story he was writing- a story that due to the target audience and format could only BEGIN to address the real life complexities that Penders deemd worthwhile storytelling fodder for his works. His continued attempts at the pretenses of moral ambiguity within his works are utterly thwarted by the fact that his delivery relies on the stark, black and white morality of children's stories, in short creating an incredibly strange arrangement where his works are at once too complex for children but too childish for older readers. And this is without getting into the debate of how appropriate it is to engage in such subjects within a Sonic work to begin with. Penders methods of handling 'mature' subjects though universally left a bad taste in people's mouths. 

All of what I have mentioned applies to a vast swathe of his stories, and he has far, far more mediocre-to-terrible stories than he does any that can be considered good. Frankly even all of this is only scratching the surface of the various problems with his written work, but I promise you- while his real life actions and statements have done a lot to taint is legacy on the book, he legitimately has a vast wellspring of terrible stories and storytelling decisions under his belt that makes the widespread disdain for his works MORE than justified. 

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10 hours ago, Kidakairis said:

I'm honestly not trolling here but why does it seem everyone is so anti penders stories, I didn't really follow the comic back then so I haven't read that much of his work. I know about the lawsuits and the Lara-su chronicles thing but it seems every time I see anything about the pre Ian Flynn stories everyone just says "it was Penders era so it sucked." Without ever really explaining why his stories were bad.

Because that requires a lot of explanation that has been done. 

My main issues with his stories personally?

He often disregarded how the characters were and completely veered them way of to track to fit whatever dumb story he was writing instead of writing a story around those characters. The biggest example of this being his future arc, but we'll get to that back in point 6.

That brings me to my next qualm, the guy seemed to at a point completely threw out the idea that hew as writing a book primarily for children, and instead of like BTAS where they address more adult topics in a more nuanced way. He does with no tack, narrative tripling over himself , tone def, and usually throwing one or two sega characters under a bus to do so. 

This brings me to point 3 ,a lot of his stories about female characters and female characters are nothing, or just... really genuinely sexist. Just strait up, just really bad and sexist, the man has no understanding of actual women doesn't seem to ask, and in combination with point 2 you can see how he can write stories that in the end not only don't make sense genuinely are inappropriate and well sexist. His definition of strong female character is being upset, or just ... being strong rather than genuinely writing a good one a lot of the time. 

Brings me to point 4, he cared way more and valued way more his weird fanfiction characters more than the thing people are there for, sega characters. People accuse ian of this, but you cannot say that Ian is worse than what we had before with ken. The man had to be forced by sega to write stories about shadow, you know that super popular character, because he was so invested in whatever magical echidina bullshit no one actually cared about. To use things people actually wanted to see, and when shadow did show up, a lot of the story wasn't about him, it was about knuckle's dad talking about how cool knuckles's dad is, because people weren't tried of that shit. Sally's entire character and her family is another example, just horrible stories about nothing, not compelling not telling me why I should be interested in her or family, the only cool one was Elias, and he was cool because HE RAN THE HELL AWAY. 

Point 5 the man can't write a coherent plot to save his life and gets so weird about details that ultimately don't matter. A lot of his stories could be told more simply , better or in some cases not told at all, if he axed out all the dumb lore he had tried to create of the years. It was just dumb lore feeding in on to itself like a oroboros made out of bias confirming furry drama. His stories were often melodramatic for no actual reason, and often were incapability of conveying what people were supposed to be upset about. Its why folks hate the slap, why the shit was I supposed to care at that point

Final Point 6, he would throw characters under a bus for stories that didn't matter. These characters were more often than not, sega characters .You like sonic, he's a creep who uses women to get back at his friends. You like tails, welp he's shinji now, he creeps on girls and he's a nice guy. You like knuckles, instead of the headstrong character you know he is often complacent in the bullshit his family commits. You like shadow well he don't do jack shit, unless its the future, then he's a dictator even though that goes against ... the plot of sonic adventure 2 and will steal women for years at a time and torture people to death... because that's totally not horrifying. And I can go on and on.

So for me those, those are some of my main issues,

The man seemed to have no real respect for the property he was using 

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10 hours ago, RictalRose0 said:

He had the Chaotix you know? They could have just had adventures around the world, Treasure Hunting and stuff. There's no way all that stuff about Echidnas was a neccesity for the comic. And what even made Penders think Knuckles needed a girlfriend so bad? Besides no one told them to keep it after Adventure. They literally could have just written it off or dismissed it but instead they doubled down on it because the stuff introduced in Adventure about Knuckle's tribe and ancestors contradicted what Penders wrote and that pissed him off. 

So you wanted him to leave ME and Angel Island, thus throwing away main Sega elements? Develop Chaotix which would obviously end different then Sonic Heroes, thus back firing again? And then get his own villains and side characters that would have even less connection with the main idea?

Not to mention Knuckles wasn't treasure hunter before SA1.

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Penders straight up said he never played the games though, or cared that much about Research. I don't mind if something deviates from what the series was back then but the real reason why I dislike Penders is because his writing is awful. I dislike Bollers too but at least he did have some good moments, but his ongoing fight with Penders kinda leaked into the comic and that just wasn't neccesary. Why leak personal bias and emotion into your work on a property that doesn't belong to you? And that's what Penders and Bollers did that, but Penders did it a whole lot more.

Honestly if I wanted to read a Sonic Comic that was practically an AU with tons of OCs I would prefer to read Fleetway. At least those guys played the games, and to their defense, they just read the Sonic Bible which had a lot of strange ideas back then. They based Fleetway on a combination of the Sonic Bible and the games. And did their own interesing takes on some stuff.

"So you wanted him to leave ME and Angel Island, thus throwing away main Sega elements? Develop Chaotix which would obviously end different then Sonic Heroes, thus back firing again? And then get his own villains and side characters that would have even less connection with the main idea?"

It's not as if Knuckles never does that. He leaves the ME behind all the time if the plot needs him too. Hell he could have written something about Knuckles going on a quest, then returning to see the ME was stolen, and then he goes in search of the ME. It's not that complicated, the thing pretty much writes itself.

Besides, the fact that the Chaotix eventually were retconned wouldn't mean anything. Did you forget the part were the game characters always had weird backgrounds and the comic was always pulling stuff out of nowhere with them?

To list an example, Amy started out in the series as an 8 year old. But Sonic Adventure did a timeskip and now she was 12. So how did the comic explain the ageup? Amy aged herself up using an artifact and now she was stuck a 8 year old with the body of a 12 year old. That was one of the most infamous and disliked plot points of the comics due to how bad it fucks up Amy's character. And it never gets brought up again anyway. Because it was the dumbest way to explain that.

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13 minutes ago, RictalRose0 said:

 I don't mind if something deviates from what the series was back then but the real reason why I dislike Penders is because his writing is awful.

There, on this we can agree.

8 hours ago, Kidakairis said:

I'm honestly not trolling here but why does it seem everyone is so anti penders stories, I didn't really follow the comic back then so I haven't read that much of his work. I know about the lawsuits and the Lara-su chronicles thing but it seems every time I see anything about the pre Ian Flynn stories everyone just says "it was Penders era so it sucked." Without ever really explaining why his stories were bad.

horridus and Shadowlax pretty much covered it (although Slap and "Shadow in future" were not made by Penders).

For me Pre-Flynn period looks like this:

1-20 is a comedy period. Puns, 4th wall, etc. Good for giggle, not worth looking again. No one though this comic would last, no one really cared.

20-50 is Satam period. Some people say it was the best pre-Flynn period, but I find it boring. Very little was actually happening (although "Mecha Madness" and "Sonic Quest" were probably best pre-Flynn stories, I admit that). Still, many people say that this changed of direction allowed Sonic to live that long.

50-75 is Bollers/Penders period, my personal favorite. It was bit of a mess, but thinks were happening. Everyone deals with retaking their homes, Naugus, Mogul, Elias, Robotnik is back. It had stupid moments, like "Daddy wants Sally to get married", but overall it was neat.

And in that time Penders was focusing on Knuckles comic, which like horridus said, having all this lore and direction sounded like a good idea, but the longer it went, the dumber it was. I actually enjoyed original Knuckles miniseries. But "Green Knuckles saga" or dingo plot threath that never went forward were just sad.

Around 75-125 everyone though comic is going to get cancelled, so there were tons of 1-issue stories. For some dumb reason focus went on melodrama. Sonic went to school, had a love triangle, etc. Also, this was period with absolutely worst artwork. Knuckles was cancelled, so Penders wrote his super-long-epic-sagas in 5 page back ups. It was sad.

And lastly 125-160 is complete mix bag. "Homecoming" and "Return to Angel Island" were best strories in years, big, epic and somewhat moved things forward (both written by Bollers if I remember correctly). But there was "Slap", "TItan Tails", everything about Shadow, Evil Sonic pretending to be THE Sonic to make out with bunch of girls (what a great celebration of 150th issue) and of course original XYL. Again, big epic saga by Penders, that was in 5 page back ups and mostly showed teenage drama (which Penders had no idea how to write) with some extremely vague threat in the background. But artwork was nice, I do miss Butler.

(Just to make it clear, no all of this was done by Penders. Karl Bollers and Romy Chacon 'helped' too.)

So it was 2006 when Flynn took over and said "hey, don't we have a lore from games to use? Maybe I give some time to Rouge or Chaotix? And how about we focus back on adventure and bunch of colorful villains? And I'm not throwing older stuff every, in fact I'll return bunch of older characters and make them cool again"

And so Flynn ruled justly over comic, creating such wonder like Sonic Universe and Megaman and everyone (except some whiners) were happy. The End. (And then was Mecha Sally, then Reboot, then Megaman was cancelled, then this hiatus now).

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I think part of the reason Penders got so much leeway at the time was because he's pretty good at making you think he's going somewhere, but he takes forever to get there, and that's if he does at all.

By the time he was done with the book, it was as if he'd taken us all to a great theme park, then spent so much time telling us about all the great stuff we're going to do there that by the time he was done. the park was getting ready to close.

And those few attractions you got to check out wound up being underwhelming as often as not. See: Mobius: 25 Years Later.

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2 hours ago, RictalRose0 said:

Penders straight up said he never played the games though, or cared that much about Research.

tumblr_inline_o58r6dmSfe1suaed2_500.gif

I did not know this, how did this fellow have a job for so long. The new guys everyone hated after lost world went and decided to do research after a point. It was late, but there was an attempt

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Not to mention Knuckles wasn't treasure hunter before SA1.

The Sonic the Hedgehog OVA would like to have a word. It was released long before Sonic Adventure and the Dreamcast were even a thing. 

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