Yet Another Retrospective: Sonic the Hedgehog (comics)

Alright, I’m not really going to mention issue titles right now. There’s a SHITLOAD of stuff to work through in this update.

<b>Chapter Three: The Rebellion’s End (Issues 26-50 plus the minseries)</b>

<i>Last time, on As Mobius Turns…</i>

Doctor Ivo Robotnik, a mad scientist and engineer, has managed to take over the peaceful planet of Mobius He has subsequently transformed it into a blighted wasteland, often for no reason other than his personal satisfaction. A small ragtag group of rebels, the Freedom Fighters, wage a guerilla war against the dictator, with the aid of the super-fast Sonic the Hedgehog. After enduring so many defeats over ten years of ruling, Doctor Robotnik is nearing the breaking point. And what of Princess Sally’s father, King Acorn?

<i>And now, our feature presentation</i>

The next batch of stories actually starts with one of the most important issues in the series. As it turns out, Robotnik’s fooling around with dimensional portals is damaging the fabric of Mobius, and he attempts to repair some of the damage he’s caused. Unfortunately, before he can send Uncle Chuck in to investigate, his machinery backfires, sucking HIM into the dimension known as the Void. Meanwhile, Snively decides to take matters into his own hands and use a portable Void portal to suck up the Great Forest, and from there, all of Mobius.

As luck would have it, Uncle Chuck’s proximity to the initial explosion has restored his free will. He joins up with the Freedom Fighters to help free the barely more grounded Robotnik, who halts Snively’s schemes and allows the Freedom Fighters to live for the moment. Meanwhile, Uncle Chuck’s joining allows the rebels to pursue another pressing concern: retrieving King Acorn from his banishment.

Now, before I continue, I’d like to point something out: this is also the first time Robotnik’s coupe is described in any sort of detail. This was the perfect chance for the writers to demonstrate how incredibly ruthless the dictator was and is. Unfortunately, they decided to be lazy. Very lazy. They just picked up the origin from the SatAM series, where Robotnik was King Acorn’s war advisor. However, they DID add one new character: Warlord Kodos, the king’s former advisor and Robotnik’s supposed mentor. Turns out he was sucked into the Void, as well. (Although, the reason why changed over the issues. At first, it appeared he was accidentally sucked in; later, Robotnik would flat-out say he pushed him into the portal and stole the technology for himself. So, Robotnik is…a big fat idiot that stole his ideas. But I’ll get into that when Kodos comes back…)

After a number of filler issues, including attempts at building a de-roboticizer and a stable dimensional portal, Uncle Chuck’s programming is reactivated, and he’s forced to switch back. However, shortly afterward, Robotnik realizes the Void is spilling over into Mobius, and sends the Freedom Fighters into the dimension to stabilize the portals. The team succeeds in breaching the world…only to find the dimension is ruled by a tyrannical knight with a laser lance. Oh, and he’s actually an amnesiac, almost completely insane King Acorn. Oh, fun.

And like everything else, this story is then shunted in favor of two “Sonic Turns Evil” storylines. In the first, he gets smacked with the Amnesia Device of the Month, and is obviously tricked into helping Robotnik defeat the “evil” Freedom Fighters. The second was when he tried to have himself Roboticized, so that he could use a free will device to overpower the programming and turn Robotnik’s powers against him. It fails, leading to a disastrous Special “Sonic Vs. Knuckles.” Pretty much forgettable, save for a rather amusing scene where Amy tries to hold a one-girl protest for Sonic’s release.

Anyway, back to the important issues. Sonic and co. manage to find a means to return to the Void, which is currently in the midst of a temporal collapse. Finally, a
fter nearly forty issues, they manage to beat down King Acorn enough to drag him, kicking and screaming, into Mobius. Oh, and then his body turns to crystal. Way to go, Sonic. With the king now a giant gemstone (save for half of his face), the attention then turns to finding a cure for his ailment. Oh, and Robotropolis is nearly destroyed in a Earthquake, although most of the robotic Mobians are saved thanks to a “free will restored” Uncle Chuck.

Alright, I want to cover the last story of this chunk, “Endgame,” in its own section. However, for the sakes of this article, here are a small sampling of two of the comic’s miniseries.


Yes, this is going to be painful.

This little three-part story is…rather annoyingly bad, to say the least. Princess Sally decides to train some backup Freedom Fighters, none of whom will be the least bit important. However, there was someone else involved, a person that would not only unfortunately be important in a wall-banging nightmare of a story arc, but was also gasp British!

Geoffrey St. John, the SAS-themed skunk super-agent.

God, please kill me now.

Geoffrey and Sally meet up during a bombing run, and together with the backup Freedom Fighters, go on a number of terrorist runs against Robotnik’s empire. Oh, but Robotnik is also making a robotic copy of Sally, and Geoffrey is working for him! But wait, he’s actually a double agent, and helps save the Freedom Fighters and destroys Robotnik’s plan. And so he and Sally part ways, only to have him return as part of the many, many, MANY love triangles that have made the series infamous ever since.

Overall, the series sucked. Let’s move on.


This one was actually not that bad.

The story has its roots in an otherwise forgettable adaptation of the forgettable Game Gear title, Sonic: Triple Trouble. During the story, Tails got an upgrade in the form of the Sea Fox, a submarine with a drill at the end. Unfortunately, at the end of the story, the Freedom Fighters resumed their oppression of Sonic’s true sidekick and took away the vehicle’s fuel.

THEN things got worse. During a REALLY bad amnesia/villain turn storyline, Sonic beat the shit out of the fox. Even after the amnesia was broken and Robotnik stopped, Tails was not happy with his former idol, and decided to prove himself to the Freedom Fighters. To do this, he snuck the supplies needed to run the Sea Fox and headed out to find adventure. This eventually led him to a small island, where he rescued a young vixen named Fiona Fox from a Badnik attack. And of course, despite being eight years old, Tails and Fiona fall madly in love with each other, and spend a few happy days on the island.

But, of course, it’s all a trap. Fiona is actually a robot (the truth is…very complicated), and the whole island is a giant Roboticizer! And I cannot make this shit up if I tried! Robotnik shows up to gloat, of course, as Tails is trapped in a cave to be Roboticized; however, he manages to escape the overly complicated death trap within two panels and comes within inches of defeating Robotnik! Yes, the guy that was treated as an annoying brat managed to defeat the big bad dictator of Mobius!

Of course, then Fiona comes in and ruins things. The two eventually tumble into the ocean, where Tails is nearly drowned because he can’t wrap his frickin’ mind around the fact that Fiona is a mindless robot and NOT Roboticized, which means she has no free will. And then he’s saved by another deus ex machina; Robotnik didn’t bother to rustproof his creations, and Fiona ends up rusting into a statue. Oh, and in his escape, Robotnik dropped plans for a war machine in the island of Downunda (three guesses what THAT’S supposed to be an expy for), and Tails decides to get revenge for his broken heart by dealing with the problem itself.

And so the actual miniseries begins, with Tails sailing off for Downunda…and getting his ass owned by a Robotic Octopus, destroying the Sea Fox in the process. He’s saved by the underwater-based Forty Fathoms Freedom Fighters, who then take him the rest of the way to Downunda. He then hooks up with yet another Freedom Fighter group, the Downunda Freedom Fighters, and is forced to battle Crocbot, a rebellious crocodile machine that plans to turn the war machine against Robotnik and take over Mobius himself. And THEN they run into Althair, a former Guardian of the Floating Island and one of Knuckles’ ancestors. He claims that Tails has been chosen to fulfill some sort of destiny, one that makes him greater than Sonic. Of course, to do this, he has to take down Crocbot…which he finally does. He then gets a ride back to the mainland, where nobody believes him and continues to treat him like crap.

Uh…and what was that supposed to accomplish?


Alright, here’s the big one. Endgame was a massive story, spanning issues #46-50. It signaled the end of an era, with an event of tremendous magnitude actually occurring and sticking for a LONG time afterward. It also has one of the worst conclusions ever, thanks to executive meddling.

The story begins with Robotropolis still being rebuilt after the earthquake. King Acorn has suddenly recovered, and decides to send the Freedom Fighters on a dangerous mission. The ordeal has Sally feeling useless; now that her father is in charge of the resistance, what is her purpose? To make matters worse, Sonic begins to act strangely throughout the ordeal. This reaches an apex when Sonic and Sally are scaling a wall, while the other Freedom Fighters keep tabs from a distance. Sonic reaches the top well before his companion…and then proceeds to cut the rope, dropping her down several stories to her death.

Wait…what the fuck?

Yes, Sonic the Hedgehog just killed Sally Acorn, Princess of Mobius. Of course, he then claims that he was never there, that the Sonic they had was a clever imposter, but with some eye witnesses and a vengeful father, that lame excuse hardly works. He’s arrested, thrown before a kangaroo court, found guilt, and sentenced to death for treason. Of course, he then escapes, and Geoffrey St. John is sent after him. And, since the skunk was part of the love triangle, he REALLY wants Sonic dead.

Meanwhile, back in Robotropolis, Robotnik is working on the Ultimate Annihilator (later toned down to the “Ultimate Nullifier”), an aptly-named weapon capable of eradicating entire continents with a single blast. He plans to use the weapon to vaporize the Great Forest, and as a consequence, Knothole and the Freedom Fighters. Snively, however, has reached the breaking point, and is using the project as a means of erasing his uncle from the picture. At the same time, Robotnik begins to reminisce about his past, remembering how he escaped from an Overlander prison and was saved by Charles and Jules Hedgehog, Sonic’s uncle and father respectively.

Back in Knothole, things have gone to hell in a handbasket. It turns out that King Acorn’s royal physician, Doctor Quack (guess what animal he is), was working for Robotnik the whole time. The King Acorn that ordered the Freedom Fighters on the mission was, in fact, a robotic imposter. The whole mission was part of a grandiose scheme to infiltrate Knothole, allowing Robotnik to capture nearly all of the remaining Mobians. A handful, including Tails and Rotor, manage to escape, and help rescue Bunnie and the Downunda Freedom Fighters. Meanwhile, the whole “Sonic kills Sally” mess is explained as being the result of a screwed-up love subplot. A minor Freedom Fighter, Drago the Wolf, hooked up with a non-Freedom Fighter Mobian, Hershey the Cat, and convinced her to go along with a scheme. He dressed her up as Sonic and had her go on the mission; thanks to some trick lenses in the mask, she thought it was SNIVELY climbing the rope, never realizing she had actually killed the princess.

(Okay, this is just retarded. First, how did nobody figure out something was going on for so long? Second, how could Hershey, a regular humanoid cat, disguise herself as a super-sonic hedgehog? Third, what prevented her from looking at the others the whole time, realizing she saw more than one Snively, and figure out something was wrong? Fourth, why is she only figuring this out NOW? She was there the whole fucking time, she knows she cut the fucking rope, the ONLY FUCKING ROPE CUT DURING THAT WHOLE FUCKING NIGHT, and certainly knows Sally is dead, and yet, she couldn’t put this wall together? It’s no wonder she was practically forced out of the series by issue #100.)

All these subplots come to a head…in two entirely separate tellings. See, the comic staff wanted to make Issue 50 into a special double-sized story, and had written everything so that it would take that many pages to solve everything to the readers’ satisfaction. However, right around the time Issue 49 came out, Archie decided to cut the arc’s conclusion into a regular-sized issue, forcing the staff to hastily rewrite key plot points and redraw half of the story. They were not happy, and later released the REAL Issue 50 as a Summer Special. Here’s how it was outlined in the original release:

Sonic is cornered by Geoffrey and the Chaotix, Knuckle’s buddies and cohorts. However, Dulcy the dragon (sorry I forgot to introduce her in part 1, but she’s not important after this), swoops in and tells everyone that Sonic is innocent, and that while they’ve been gone, Robotnik’s pretty much won. Since Dragons never lie apparently, they take this at face value, everyone shakes hands, and they rush off to save the day. Drago is pissed that the plan failed, only to run into an even more pissed Hersey, who proceeds to damn near KILL the guy before Sonic stops her. A quick forgiveness session later, the blue hedgehog rushes into Robotropolis to stop Robotnik from firing the Ultimate Annihilator, pausing only to beat down Snively. However, he’s too late; Robotnik fires the weapon, destroying Knothole off-screen. Enraged, Sonic engages him in a final battle, one that damages the Annihilator’s power systems and causes an energy explosion, erasing Robotnik from existence but only managing to critically wound Sonic. He wakes up in Knothole, which wasn’t actually destroyed but instead sent three hours into the future. (Yeah…) Oh, and Doctor Quack wasn’t a traitor, he was just trying to protect his family. Oh, and Princess Sally is alive.

Yes, she’s still alive. Although it would have been better if they had kept her dead.

Now, here’s some of the differences between the real version and the printed one:

*Robotnik first tests the Ultimate Annihilator on a captured Overlander, basically the Archie universe’s version of humans. Turns out he was actually doing this during the Great War that preceded the series, before he was found out and had to flee. This wasn’t a vital scene, but it did help explain where Robotnik comes from in the series, and was a genuinely chilling moment.

*Tails and Rotor’s escape is followed in greater detail, as are the escapades of their companions. Not important, but still nice.

*The Ultimate Annihilator is shown in all its glory. Rather than have an off-panel announcement of its firing, Sonic actually <i>sees</i> the weapon hit the Great Forest. His look of abject horror helps mark this as Robotnik’s swan song, his one last moment of purely monstrous destruction. Furthermore, Robotnik takes this as more of his greatest victory than ever before; he has just destroyed, in five seconds, what Sonic has been fighting to defend for ten years.

*The final battle in the published issue was…confusing. It had the two staring each other down, and then Sonic getting sucked into an energy field. The actual issue was far more detailed. After a quick exposition panel, the two go at it for several dialogue-free pages, with Sonic giving it everything he’s got and Robotnik returning it in form. Considering this is one of the few times they actually physically fought each other, it’s especially satisfying to see the final match-up they would ever have end on such a high note. Oh, and there’s two wonderful pages of the energy wave hitting them, enveloping them just as they were going for a Death of Superman-style final blow.

So, what was the result of Endgame?

Robotnik was demolecularized entirely. Snively, realizing his uncle would never give him a chance to rule and seeing the opportunity, sabotaged the Ultimate Annihilator so that it only affected Robotnik. This is why Knothole wasn’t destroyed. Furthermore, the weapon’s destruction caused numerous breakages in space and time, causing the same three-hour effect to occur all over pockets of Mobius. Sally survived, and with her father still partially crystal, she took control again until he could recover. The energy wave restored the free will of all Roboticized Mobians, although it also destroyed the Roboticizer, and with it any hope of returning to normal.

As for everyone else…they had won. Robotnik was defeated, the Annihilator was destroyed, and it was only a matter of time before the last of his SwatBots and lieutenants were wiped out. However, the victory was bittersweet at best. Mobotropolis, their once beautiful capital, was now the bastard monstrosity known as Robotropolis. Robotnik’s lax environmental policies had turned much of Mobius into a radiated compost heap. Furthermore, the Roboticized Mobians, now called Robians, faced enormous prejudice from their technology-hating Mobian counterparts. The spoils made the Robotech wars look worthwhile.

And even though Sally had found a purpose, Sonic had lost his. His parents were dead, his Uncle Chuck and dog Mutski were machines, and there was no enemy left to fight. He was a soldier, and knew he could not survive in a peaceful time.

Fortunately for him, peace did not last long…

Next time: Knuckles gets his own series…and it works.

Wait, Tails had no proof of his great adventure? No recordings, no letters from the other Freedom Fighters, nothing? And how about believing him because HE WAS A FRIEND WHO REGULARLY RISKED HIS LIFE TO SAVE OTHERS? Geez.

The final Battle between Sonic and Robotnik actually sounds good… though using the Annihilator to fix everything (even saving Sally) goes a little too far.

Oh, and Marvel called, they want their Ultimate Nullifier idea back. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m afraid this isn’t boring yet, d. You’re going to have to work more at it. :wink:

I’m relatively proud to have actually read every single episode of the Knuckles comic when it first came out. I felt like it had a lot more to it than the Sonic one. I actually found it more emotionally credible when covering the same romantic themes of alienation than Morrison’s Song of Solomon, when I read the latter. Then again, Morrison relies on sympathy of circumstance more than actual characterization to give an illusory credibility.

Fixed. While Sims’ weird, often self-contradictory views of homosexuals, women, religion, politics, art, love, sex, and aestheticism attract attention, and are doubtless repulsive, I don’t feel it’s really fair to call him out as a homophobe or misogynist, on account of the fact that late-period Cerebus is the result of Sims increasing mental deterioration. He’s now a dead-eyed shut-in in an empty home surrounded by Canadian snow occasionally heard from by publication, more often than not centered around his own confused uselessness and inability to understand his place in the world anymore, terrified of techonology, and particularly the internet, which he has stated before that he believes to be the literal, physical form of Satan on earth.
I just don’t really think it’s just to the memory of a brillian writer to classify the madness of his later years, most of which runs contradictory to his life and work during lucidity, as “personal issues.” I know you didn’t mean anything, I just wanted to bring out the reminder that he ended up more a tragic figure of pity than much of an execrable bigot.

I have no opinion on the guy, but this makes some sense, compared to who people usually call satan (other than the genuine article, you know). Top google results right now.

  • is the antichrist:

>Obama, Vista, Hasselhoff, the Pope, Livejournal (is the antichrist of blogging) and one mention of the Beast.

  • is satan

>the Beast, God, Allah (from a site called faith freedom international, lolz), Omar Minaya

I think Sims’ main issue was that he tried to single-handedly bring about a massive graphic novel epic. He ended up working himself into an asylum at least once, has had numerous breakdowns, and ended up using his comic as a soapbox only after he turned to religion to find some semblence of meaning in his life. As much as independent comics like to loathe having multiple artists and writers, there’s usually a damn good reason for it: one person cannot write out an entire comic series AND draw it for three hundred issues without suffering some mental degredation.

Too bad he ended up like this, because early Cerebus was pretty sweet. It had a decent mix of subtle parody and serious storytelling, with some pretty decent characterization and a strong central narrative. But when he went off his rocker…oh God, did things go to shit. It would have been nice to see Sims work on something else, maybe join up with another indie comic book guy and make a new series, but as it is, all we can do is pity the poor man and let him be.

Don’t forget the part where he tried to use LSD to treat his growing mental problems. That probably wasn’t a good idea.

Alright, I was gonna do Knuckles right now, but…I just can’t be satisfied with posting what I have written right now. Instead, I’ll focus on the next batch of Sonic stories.

And in other news, I was in a bad mood when I wrote this.

<b>Chapter Four: The Time Without A Game (Issues 51-75)</b>

<i>Last time, on As Mobius Turns…</i>

Doctor Ivo Robotnik is dead. Ten years of tyranny have been brought to a sudden, and explosive, end, thanks to the efforts of Sonic the Hedgehog. Furthermore, King Acorn has been returned from the Void, even if he is half-crystal, and Princess Sally is still alive. But the time for celebration has past. The heroes must now take in the full extent of Robotnik’s mismanaged rule. They will learn secrets of Mobius’ past. They will discover a new, greater threat. And in the end, they will learn that saving King Acorn wasn’t the best move they’ve ever made…

<i>And now, our feature presentation…</i>

Alright, so you’ve just killed off the main antagonist in your comic book. A bold decision, true, but…now what? The fact is, once you take out Robotnik, there WERE no other villains in Sonic the Hedgehog. So, no problem, just wait for the next game, right?

Oh, wait, that next game was Sonic X-Treme. So, after you’ve finished beating Yuji Naka’s egotistical body with a series of lead pipes, it’s time to stop wasting reader’s patience and get to the whole point of the retrospective.

Issue 51 immediately begins with a massive celebration in Knothole, with just about every Mobian proudly enjoying their victory night. And of course, Sally decides to honor the occasion by giving Sonic a gold medal. Nice gesture, a bit plain, but otherwise all right. Unfortunately, the rest of the issue deals with EVERYONE getting roboticized one-by-one, leading up to Robotnik’s return. In the end, Sonic is the only Mobian left, and is close to surrendering, when Uncle Chuck suddenly speaks to him from nowhere. Turns out he was dreaming the whole thing, and when he wakes up, finds out the medal was secretly bugged. The things is…GASP…Robotnik didn’t do it. Someone <i>else</i> has it out for our heroes…


And let’s immediately stop that plot and get going with the next one. Shortly after the whole nightmare episode, the Mobians finally return to Robotropolis…and finally realize exactly how much damage Robotnik has managed to cause in such a short amount of time. What’s worse, Snively is still around, trying desperately to run the show; however, he’s so horridly inept that he gets his ass captured about a quarter of the way through the special. And before we get mired in massive paragraphs, let’s cover the hotspots of their return to Mobotropolis…

*Sonic’s parents are still alive. They were among the first Mobians to be roboticized, and have been living in the sewers ever since. Sonic is NOT HAPPY when he finds out that Uncle Chuck has been lying to his this whole time…

*The Roboticized Mobians, now called Robians, have had their free will restored as a side effect of the Ultimate Annihilator’s destruction. However, without the original roboticizer (which was also destroyed in the explosion), Uncle Chuck cannot reverse their transformation.

*Mobian society has become even more Luddite than before. The Robians are quickly relegated to second-class citizens, and are considered to be Robotnik loyalists.

*King Acorn is…not well. He continually rambles on about how they should destroy the Robians just because they’re machines, and views everyone as a threat to his power. He even orders St. John to spy on Sally’s actions.

*Sonic and Geoffrey REALLY do not like each other.

*Mobotropolis is practically a lost cause. There is almost no drinking water, not enough livable space left, no real food, etc. The ecosystem of the city and its surrounding area is trashed, as well, reduced to toxic waste dumps and sludge-producing factories. NICOLE predicts it would take generations to get the city back into shape, and even then, there’s no way to restore it to its former glory.


So, we now have our stage for the next several issues, most of which are filled with angst, angst, and more angst. Sonic whines about his parents. Sally whines about her father. Rotor whines about his long-lost family. Tails whines about his orphan status. Geoffrey St. John whines about Sonic. Ironically, the only person that doesn’t whine is Snively, who tries repeatedly to bust out of jail. And in the end, accidentally succeeds. But we’ll get to that later.

Anyway, there is one other thing to be mentioned here. In search of new plotlines, they decided to introduce a new character. Unfortunately, they placed Ken Penders in charge of the project. Now, I’ll have more unkind things to say about Ken when I cover the Knuckles series (since that was his pet project), but he decided to throw in a super-powerful new ally for the Freedom Fighters. This would become Monkey Khan, a monkey based loosely on Son Wukong from Journey to the West. He can fly on a cloud, has a staff, and can control lightning thanks to a Power Ring crown.

He’s also a super-powerful cyborg, so strong that Robotnik couldn’t control him. So he got locked up in some container in the middle of a freaking field until Sonic busted him out. He then proceeds to BEAT DOWN THE ENTIRE MAIN CAST, kidnaps Princess Sally, and after a single pep talk, decides to head back and defeat an army of robots that Sonic couldn’t defeat. And this wasn’t his only appearance. He showed up a few more times, following his own little plot about the Iron Queen or some bullshit like that. AND he’s prophesized to become a legendary king, to boot. So, let’s review:

*He’s a cyborg.

*He’s been sealed up for being too powerful.

*He’s unbelievably powerful.

*He’s a hero of prophecy.

So, what do we have here? Yes, folks, we have a canon MARY SUE! God, why do they allow these fucking writers to make these insanely powered characters, and then run wild with them at the expense of everyone else?

What are you all looking at?


The plot finally kicks back in when the new grand villain is introduced: Ixis Nagus, a sorcerer from the Void. Since he can control anything crystalized by the Void’s energies, he’s also able to mind control King Acorn, and act he uses quite a few times in his early moves. He also brings along two sidekicks: Warlord Kodos, the former War Minister and Robotnik’s mentor, and Arachnis, a spider-ninja that was not mentioned before, and will not be mentioned much afterwards. Their first attempt at conquest ends in utter failure, and although Naugus escapes, his companions are turned to total crystal.

A short time later, he manages to take control of King Acorn, first by manipulating him into trying to destroy the Robians, and then by releasing him from his control and making him hallucinate that the Freedom Fighters want the Robians dead. His absolute anger causes him to fully crystalize somehow, and he orders his armies to march on the Robians. In the end, the civil war nearly destroys everyone, and is stopped only when Sonic grabs the mystical Sword of Acorns (I am not making this up) and defeats Nagus in solo combat. Grabbing the sword also allows King Acorn to fully heal, destroying the crystals and making him the semi-sane king he was known and beloved as being.

What followed was a whirlwind adventure for Sonic and Tails, which was good, because the series was starting to fall apart without a central conflict. With Naugus still on the loose, the duo decided to hop in the old biplane and hunt him down across Mobius, eventually running into these escapades:

*Sonic tries to use a specially-developed helmet to play a mental mindshow of his adventures up to that point. So, the writers basically decided to write a massive recap, but to their credit, they actually included EVERY ISSUE OF THE SERIES SO FAR. They even discussed dumb shit like Sonic taking on a giant Spawn/Lawn Mower hybrid. Of course, then the helmet explodes…

*The duo end up in Mercia, a Robin Hood-themed continent. While there, they team up with another Hedgehog, Rob O’ The Hedge (geez, who could HE be a thinly-veiled shallow parody of?), Mari-An (another paper-thin parody, and a female Echidna to boot), and Knuckles (who was down in Mercia helping a lost tribe of Echidnas) defeat the evil Sheriff. Oh, and the Sheriff is Antoine’s Roboticized father. This doesn’t actually become a plot point until much later.

*Down in Downunda (I’m sorry), they help the Downunda Freedom Fighters defeat the crackling, bisected remains of Crocbot.

*They head to a desert city, where Sonic is worshipped as a hero. The city is also being assaulted by Robotnik’s remaining bots, and is protected by a force field (powered by a giant statue of Sonic). Unfortunately, the residents are less than moral, and want to trap Sonic and Tails there forever so they can fight off the robots. Unfortunately, our heroes are also douches, and proceed to destroy the statue, bringing down the shield and letting the robots march right in. Needless to say, this comes back to bite them in the ass MUCH later.

*They head to Monkey Kahn’s homeland, and help him defeat the Iron Queen. And by “help,” I mean “stand at the sidelines and shout words of encouragement while Monkey Kahn does everything. Because he is a flagrant Mary Sue.”


Finally, the heroes chase Naugus down to a frozen wasteland…where the sorcerer proceeds to kick their asses five ways to Dixie. They only escape because a bionic yeti, Eddie, rushes in and drags their carcasses to a conveniently-placed tower, containing a trove of conveniently-placed Power Rings thanks to a conveniently-placed plot point. Oh, and the tower’s owner? Turns out it’s a midget black Overlander named Nate Morgan. And thus, we enter one of the most head-smashingly bad moments of the series.

I guess now’s as good a time as ever to explain the whole “Overlander” concept. Basically, the Sonic series up until Adventure had no humans other than Robotnik. The reason was, the Japanese series was always set on Earth, only on an isolated island deep in the South Pacific, and as a result the absence of other human beings made a little sense. However, thanks to the previously mentioned translation blunder, the American and European series were set on an entirely new planet called Mobius. As a result, the comic’s writers felt compelled to explain away this plot hole.

And BOY did they fuck it up.

Basically, the Overlanders were the Mobius equivalent of humans. They basically looked like the real deal, only with anime hair and four-fingered hands. (Coincidentally, all the Mobians have five-fingered hands, a rarity in Western animation at the time.) However, they were also extremely violent and destructive, often for no discernable reason. In fact, when the first Mobians were banding together thousands of years prior to the series’ events, the Overlanders chased them out at spearpoint. So, we’ve got a bunch of psychotic pricks representing our species in this strange little parallel world, but how can they make it worse?

By making us the equivalent of a Captain Planet villain.

The REAL evil of the Overlanders comes from their total disregard for life. The Mobians are portrayed as friends to all living things, refusing to eat meat (although that may be because dinner could very well be their neighbor), refusing to advance past an agrarian stage of development (until they gained a green alternative to fossil fuels), and basically not polluting. The Overlanders, on the other hand, shoot puppies as target practice, lovingly embrace a neo-apocalyptic stage of urban sprawl, and toxify the air and water around them for shits and giggles. In fact, the longstanding conflict between the two didn’t really get started until an Overlander kid showed the crown prince his new gun, and the dumbass prince took a bullet for a passing dove. (Oh, and the Mobians don’t use guns. Because, you know, self-defense is a threat to the planet.)

Anyway, Nate Morgan entered the picture a few decades before the present. He invented the Power-Rings as an alternative means of energy, thereby cementing him as “one of the good ones.” (By the way, he’s the only Non-Caucasian Overlander. Make your own conclusions.) Unfortunately, his assistant was Julian Kintobor, who persuaded him to try the ring before testing it. The resulting disaster caused massive explosions, sent flying cars plummeting to the ground, destroyed entire city blocks…but didn’t kill anyone somehow, so he got off with simple banishment. He ended up wandering into the Great Forest, where King Acorn’s father took him in as a science advisor. Nate was then able to perfect the Power-Rings, thereby allowing the Mobians to enter a Golden Age. They used their greatly increased production bonuses to great effect, transforming old stone castles into futuristic spires. (Unfortunately, they didn’t think to invest in any Great Prophets or, for that matter, some freaking Trebuchets.)

Things came crashing down when Kodos and Naugus (then a court magician) decided to start a war with the Overlanders. Naugus tricked an Overlander patrol into wandering right into the path of Kodos’ men, causing a massive scuffle that killed everyone but Kodos and an inopportune Morgan. A few lies later, and Morgan was convicted of treason and exiled again. He stashed the stone responsible for spawing Power-Rings in Knothole and then ended up in the North. Meanwhile, the Great War was fought across Mobius, ending with a Mobian victory. And right after that, Robotnik.

Now that we’ve finished regurgitating backstory, let’s return to the action. Sonic and Tails go into instant racism mode, but that’s okay, because Nate’s an Overlander, and they deserve it. Turns out Naugus has been wanting the Power Rings so that he can increase his own power and take over the entire universe or something. But wait! He’s manages to sneak inside! And Sonic and Tails absorb all the Power Rings, becoming Super Sonic and Turbo Tails in the process! But in the end, they STILL get their asses kicked. They’re only saved when Nate uses a concealed ring in his eye to blast Naugus back to the Void. However, the tower then begins to collapse; the three escape only after Eddie dies in the classic “hold up the roof until everyone escapes” gambit.


While all this is going on, King Acorn is still being a royal douche, despite supposedly being cleansed of evil and all. All of this has to do with his being disapproving of Sally’s recent un-princess like actions. Finally, this all comes to a head when he tries to get her to merge with the “Source of All,” a big pool of piss-colored slime underneath Castle Acorn. The Source supposedly gives the ruler the power to see the future, and thereby decide on the best possible chain of events.

Okay, if all this is true, then WHY DID THE FUCKING GREAT WAR HAPPEN? Seriously, if you could have predicted that Naugus and Kodos would screw you over, why didn’t you just kick their asses out at the first opportunity? Gah, I hate logic holes like this! And to top the stupidity sundae, King Acorn screws the deal over by flat-out forbidding Sally to hook up with Sonic if she goes through with the bonding, instead forcing her into an arranged marriage with…ANTOINE?! You know, considering the series’ reputation for horrid love triangles, I would probably push her in there and hold her head down until she gave in. But no, she decides against joining the Source, thereby causing King Acorn TO DISOWN HER! Seriously, why the hell did they bother rescuing this guy?

But it GETS WORSE! On the eve of the Great War, King Acorn sent his wife, Alicia, to the Floating Island for safe keeping. (Turns out the Echidnas were more or less neutral on the whole thing, which isn’t actually that out of character.) Unfortunately, their hovercraft (again, this is a Luddite series) is shot down just above the island. The resulting crash seemingly kills everyone on board. However, through some massive retconning over the course of the Knuckles series, it turns out not only did Alicia not die (instead being put in cryogenic sleep right next to Victor Fries’ wife), but the King had a son, Elias! And he’s still alive on the Floating Island! And this was not fucking mentioned to anyone up to this point!

So, while Sonic, Tails and Nate are finishing up their questing and heading back to Mobotropolis (stopping in time to recover some wish-granting Ring of Acorns in an extremely bad Indiana Jones parody), Elias gets flown back to town, is reunited with his long-lost family, introduces himself to Sally (since neither one knew they had a sibling…real smooth parenting), and to top it all off, Sonic and co. get back, reintroducing “Uncle Nate” to the royal court. (Much to the chagrin of Geoffrey, since his dad died in the same hovercraft crash.) Hey, King Acorn’s even willing to forgive that whole “Source of All” debacle. So, how can they close this happy moment off?

Why, they have King Acorn become a misogynistic jackass, kick Sally out of the line of succession and make Elias the heir to the throne! And thankfully, I’m not the only one who sees a problem with this, as everyone in the comic is quick to point out that this doesn’t make a lot of sense. Sally led a successful rebellion against a tyrannical scientist, holding together a loose confederacy of resistance cells across an entire planet. (And to show how loose they were, most of the non-Knothole Freedom Fighters break up and head to their homelands.) She also managed to save her father from the Phantom Zone, has actual combat ability, and is simply a natural-born leader. Elias, on the other hand, has never set foot outside of the Floating Island, has had no contact with non-Echidnas (other than an old Bulldog General and his wife), and generally nothing going for him other than an invisible thing between his legs. And of course, Elias wants nothing to do with the crown; he just wanted to meet his father. Once again, WHY DID THEY RESCUE THIS DICKHEAD?!

And of course, right after everyone gets reacquainted, Snively and his fellow jailbreakers have taken over the Devil’s Gulag prison island, along with the crystalized remains of Kodos and Arachnis. And even more unfortunately, the defeat of Naugus apparently frees the two statues, allowing them to take control of the small group. Their first act is kidnapping Nate Morgan in the middle of a bar brawl. (Which was started when a Mobian dumped “tomato juice” on Nate’s head, setting Sonic off. But he’s an Overlander, so he deserved it.) The following rescue ends with Kodos and Arachnis escaping, and Snively being loaded into the Biplane. Unfortunately, Croc-bot’s remains were still inside, and they suddenly blast into space.


The next little plotline is actually spread across several issues, in addition to even further backstory in issue 72. The ongoing story has Amy and Dulcy stumbling across an abandoned library, headed by the great writer Kirby. (Yet another reference to a decent writer with an overblown ego and reputation…sigh.) Later on, Tails and Uncle Chuck join them, and after the events of Issue 76, Chuck replaces Kirby as the narrator. The whole thing is an explanation of the events between the start of the Great War and Robotnik’s coupe, all of which help to fill in some small plot holes and actually build up a semi-interesting backstory.

However, Issue 72 is about King Acorn setting up “telecrates,” even further shooting the “science is bad” angle of the series in the foot. However, halfway through his “State of the Kingdom” address (read: his “I’m an idiot and we’re all screwed” speech), the signal gets hijacked by a satellite that had previously been shown an issue before (but thanks to the fucking anarchic mess this chapter has become, I’ll cover that in the next section). Instead, Peter Graves gives us a Biography on Julian Kintobor, aka Doctor Robotnik. And now, I shall smash the two together like a very wordy Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cup and give you the gist of it all.

After Nate was banished, Kodos and Naugus continued to play off the emotions of both camps, eventually tricking the other into thinking they were actually the ones under invasion. However, Naugus soon flew the coop, leaving Kodos to keep tabs on the whole mess. Meanwhile, in Mordor- I mean, the Overlander’s fossil fuel-choked homeland, the ruling authority (led by Colin Kintobor) discover that Julian is performing weapons test on fellow Overlanders, and after showing a surprising level of care and support for their own people (considering how they’ve been shown to be ruthless dipshits up to this point, save for positive discrimination Nate Morgan), our future tyrant gets locked away in jail to await execution. But, he escapes rather easily and ends up being found by a young Charles and Jules Hedgehog.

Once in Mobotropolis, Julian agrees to join the Mobians, feigning gratitude for saving him. After a while, Kodos decides he can trust him with the Void portal, a decision that results in his “accidental” banishment less than two seconds later. With the war minister gone, Kintobor is promoted because of his knowledge of Overlander customs. Nobody bothers to question Kodos’ disappearance, and life goes on.

Meanwhile, Jules is head shot during a routine operation. To save him, Uncle Chuck tries to use his newest invention: the Roboticizer. Unfortunately, the device works too close to its namesake: his body becomes completely robotic, but so does his mind, robbing him of free will. Unfortunately, Julian had found out about the machine beforehand, and sabotaged it as a means to get rid of a rival scientist, as well as to get hold of his equipment. He then manipulates King Acorn and the leader of the Overlanders into a one-on-one duel, hoping beyond hope that the supporters of the losing side will kill the winner and leave him sole ruler.

Unfortunately, the plan falls apart very quickly. The Overlanders, being the polluting monsters that they are, try to pull a fast one, but are stopped when King Acorn’s supporters discover the ruse and hold them at arrowpoint. As a result, the Mobians easily win the sword fight. Secondly, King Acorn turns out to be slightly less of a dipshit in the past, and allows the Overlanders to walk away as long as they promise to never bother Mobians ever again. This forces Kintobor to fall back on Plan B. He takes control of Jules, Roboticizes Sonic’s mother, Bernadette, and with the help of Snively, builds an army of SWATBots and unleashes them during a Military Decommissioning Ceremony. Irony.

And from there, we all know what happened. Robotnik Roboticizes nearly everyone on Mobius, the survivors start the Freedom Fighters, and in the end, the world is saved.

But for how long? About three more issues. Then everything goes to shit in a handbasket.


Around this time, Sega was preparing to release the Dreamcast in the US. Alongside the console came the first true Sonic game in over five years, Sonic Adventure. And of course, they wanted their licensed properties to promote the game, and the system, nonstop. So imagine their horror when they looked back at the comic and saw what Archie had been doing without their knowledge. They had killed off the main villain and turned the series into a domestic comedy of sorts, with a bit of action sandwiched in between the layers of angst and silly humor. What was their response?

They slammed down the editor’s door, threw him onto the floor, flung a copy of Sonic Adventure into his face, and said, “There! You have five months! Make it fit!” Or at least, that’s how I liked to imagine it. Anyway, Archie had to do some major clean-up before the series could even be placed in the same room as the new title. And to that end, they actually did an admirable job.

The first step was changing Sonic’s appearance to match that of the new games. That is, he had to get longer spines, green eyes, and a darker shade of blue in a hurry. They actually went out of their way to smush an explanation into the plotline. The Mysterious Satellite of Death fires a laser blast at Mobius, further exacerbating the temporal screw-ups surrounding Knothole and other regions of the planet. To fix these issues, Sonic is forced to run across Mobius even faster than usual, absorbing the planet’s elements in a very Captain Planet-esque way (why do I keep flashing back to that series?), and finally ends with Sonic not only reversing the distortions and saving the day, but also becoming like his Dreamcast counterpart. It was silly, sure, but it’s appreciative that they simply didn’t change it all in one panel and scream, “DONE!”

The next wrinkle came in Issue 73, a very down-to-Earth story involving Jules and Bernie’s anniversary (complete with power-ring bands). The Robians are finally settling into the previously abandoned Knothole, the Mobians are getting into the swing of things, Elias and Sally are warming up to each other (not THAT way), King Acorn isn’t being such a douche, and everything is sunshine and rainbows. Until the Robians suddenly all vanish. To top it off, Snively was blasted onto the satellite itself, which is the new base of operations for…Doctor Robotnik!

Unfortunately, King Acorn then goes back into douchebag mode and forbids anyone from investigating THE VERY OBVIOUS SATELLITE THAT JUST BLASTED THE FREAKING PLANET! Finally, Sonic has had enough of this bastard and walks out, taking the other Freedom Fighters with him. Of course, to avoid blasting into space with those devil-spawned fossil fuels, they make the logical choice of having Dulcy shot put them through the stratosphere and to the station itself. Once on board, the horrible truth is finally revealed.

When Robotnik returned, he managed to reactivate his control over the Robians, reducing them to mindless slaves once again. Snively is smart enough to realize he’s screwed over, and decides to join the Freedom Fighters in taking his uncle down. And when they actually fight old Robuttnik again, they make another discovery: he’s a robot. The REAL Robotnik is still dead. This guy is actually the alternate Robotnik that was introduced during the whole E.V.E. fiasco. When the real Robotnik was accidentally teleported to his universe, he was filled with such renewed vigor that he actually built an army of Shadow-Bots (improved Swat-Bots), went down to Mobius, and KILLED EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD, INCLUDING HIS VERSION OF SONIC! He then traveled to Mobius Prime to check on their tyrannical overloaded overlord, only to find that he had actually been killed. So, he decided to repay the favor by conquering and destroying this version of Mobius. What fun.

Meanwhile, he’s already begun his attack on Mobotropolis, easily defeating everyone and everything in his way. King Acorn manages to lead a fairly substantial number of civilians out of the city, but several more are still hopelessly trapped.

Of course, Jules and Bernie then show up; the Power-Rings apparently allowed them to break the mind control. Why Sonic and co. didn’t just use this suggestion later on and free everyone easily is never really addressed, but in any case, they manage to defeat Robotnik and escape just before things start going boom. (But not before Sonic manages to catch a glimpse of his re-enslaved uncle, just to drive the point home.) Their new goal: get to Mobotropolis, rescue anyone left behind, and make sure that they erase Robotnik’s knowledge of Knothole’s location. (Why they didn’t do this beforehand is anyone’s guess.)

And so, Robotnik is defeated again…only, he’s actually a robot this time, and thus is able to upload his mind into his mainframe. His first act: getting a new body…one that looks exactly like his Sonic Adventure appearance. And so, everything is looped back to the games, and our time ends.


As angry as I sounded during this review, I don’t outright hate this block of stories. I’m reserving my bile for Issues 101-125. However, it’s obvious throughout that the writers really had no idea where to take the series. Once you remove the central conflict, you have to get another one in there quickly, or everything will collapse into a pile of meandering pointlessness and filler. Unfortunately, the story with Naugus wasn’t strong enough, and the collapse occurred.

Still, the crap at the beginning was partially redeemed by Robotnik’s return. In fact, just to make up for lost time, they jacked up his badassery, making him a fairly credible threat in the scheme of things. Enjoy this while it lasts, because like the games, he will soon slide into an absolute joke.

Next time: The Knuckles Series. And after that…love triangles.

Jeezus, the Sonic series REALLY was fucked up! It’s hard to believe things like those could have happened to a (superficially) kid-oriented series being published by Archie Comics! My only explanation is that the Archie people didn’t care much to check what the writers were doing, and they in turn really, really wanted to write something else- like all those new-fangled grim-and-gritty comics Marvel and DC were putting out. And they got away with it!

Btw, d, your Captain Planet references might actually be precognitive flashes- yes, I hear rumors the series is coming back soon- possibly even in LIVE ACTION! It’s still a rumor right now, mind you, and it might not go anywhere, but just the fact it’s being discussed makes one nervous, eh? :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh, and btw… I really hate your new signature. But you’re STILL not getting me to stop reading this, you hear??

Alright, I’ve been bouncing this idea for a while, but…

I really want to punch up these retrospectives, and one idea was to start posting actual panels, covers, etc. Unfortunately, considering how long these chapters are becoming, I’m not entirely sure if this is a good idea. I mean, the Knuckles retrospective, sans pictures, is currently seven pages long, and I’m only halfway through.

In other words, I’m just giving a heads up. If you’re still trapped on a slow connection, you might want to stop reading these, or wait for a text-only version. Because believe me, using a picture will be a lot easier than explaining every excruciating detail.

That’s a good idea, d. I suggest you limit yourself to posting pictures of the lesser-known characters- no need to show us, say, Sonic or Tails, presumably anyone reading this knows what they look like already. If possible, try using Group Shots so you won’t have to show most characters individually.

Wall of Text!!!

But I read it anyways. That’s some crazy shit there. Kinda makes it hard to believe I’m reading about Sonic the Hedgehog.

Regardless, nice work d!

Well, I haven’t read any of the comics, barely seen the series and played, like, two of the old and one of the new(er) games, but I’ve heard a lot of stuff about the Sonic series.
Mostly how some of the characters must have appeared through a very dysfunctional relationship between canon and fan-creations.

And looking at the character gallery, I can really believe that.
Looking at a bunch of the characters, I can recognize the main three heroes. Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. And Eggman of course. I can also recognize Amy, Shadow and Rogue.
Because they’re the ones I’ve seen in canon sources myself.

Other than that, I can’t tell whether a given character is canon or fanart by a (talented, to keep the art quality on roughly the same level) 14-year old fangirl.

And that’s kinda bad. :S

Yes. And that site about fangirls wanting to jump Sonic and co.'s bones, marry them etc. is what’s bad. Calling Robotnik Eggman is comparatively benign.

Alright, let’s give this a shot.

I wasn’t happy with how the pics turned out. I’ll upload them at a later time.

Sorry about the quality of this update. I’ll set that out in advance.

Chapter Five: Knuckles the Echidna

<i>Last time, on As Mobius Turns…</i>

While Sonic and the Freedom Fighters were battling the agents of Doctor Robotnik, another, far different conflict was brewing in the skies above. On the mysterious Floating Island, forever traversing the clouds above Mobius, sits Knuckles the Echidna. For years, he has lived in isolation, accompanied only by the landmass’ handful of animal occupants. As far as he knows, he is the last of his kind, the sole remainder of a once-great dynasty. However, thanks to events on the land below, he will soon find himself double-thinking his own past, his destiny, and the very fate of Mobius…

<i>And now, our feature presentation…</i>

Ever since his introduction in Sonic 3, Knuckles the Echidna has been one of the Sonic franchises’ most popular characters. So, it’s obvious that Archie would decide to turn to him to form their first, and only, full spin-off of the Sonic franchise. After all, it was far removed from the events in Knothole and Mobotropolis, allowing them to utilize an original cast with only occasional crossovers. Furthermore, Ken Penders remained the series’ main writer through all thirty-two issues; as a result, the numerous stories maintained a close sense of continuity, with more time given to flesh out the various characters.

And enjoy that comment, Ken, because by the time this retrospective is done, I will have dragged your name so hard through the mud your great-grandkids will be ashamed enough to kill themselves. At three years old.


The series’ foundation was laid in a Sonic Special, a special issue designed to promote Knuckles Chaotix for the Sega 32X. The comic had the Freedom Fighters taking a break from Robotnik to investigate a Carnival on the Floating Island. While there, however, they are quickly captured, while Knuckles manages to escape thanks to sheer lonerness. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to go alone: he also manages to hook up with his best friends, the Chaotix. For those that haven’t played the games, the Chaotix members are:

*Vector the Crocodile, an attitude-laden crocodile, complete with Walkman. That can blow entire forests down with sonic waves. The stereotypical strong dumb guy.

*Espio the Chameleon, a purple chameleon capable of turning completely invisible. He can also climb walls, but thankfully is NOT a ninja in this continuity.

*Charmy Bee, an annoying flying bee that can go from normal bee size to about the size of a small child. The youngest Chaotix member, and also the crown prince of his hive; he joined the others in order to escape his title. Needless to say, this bites them ALL in the ass later on…

*Mighty the Armadillo, the black sheep of the Chaotix, judging by how he’s never appeared in any games past Knuckles Chaotix. An armadillo with super strength, and nothing more. He was also best friends with Sonic in the past, and helped him escape from a prison camp when the former was still getting into the swing of things.

*Heavy and Bomb, a pair of Badniks that managed to escape Robotnik’s programming. They immediately escape and join the Chaotix, in hopes of shaking off their former master and making the best of their lives. Heavy is a cylinder-shaped robot, and bomb is a cartoonish bomb that can rebuild himself after exploding. They leave the Chaotix at the end and join King Acorn’s Secret Service.

In the end, they manage to rescue the Freedom Fighters and destroy the carnival, which was a front for Robotnik the whole time. Knuckles then briefly returns to being a loner…only to be called back into service when a being called Archimedes kidnaps the Chaotix. Our favorite Echidna is forced to travel into an abandoned supply depot to rescue them.

While he’s on the way, he remembers the history lessons his father gave him…before running into a wall of fire and abandoning him.


The Echidnas were the very first species to evolve on Mobius. While everyone else was banding around King Acorn, and the Overlanders were being racist pollutants, the Echidnas were already a scientifically-advanced culture in Downunda. Eventually, however, they discovered that a meteor was heading straight for their city of Echidnaopolis. Rather than simply pack up everything, go somewhere else, and rebuild, they decide to pack a bunch of Chaos Emeralds in a cavern beneath the city and use their power to lift up THE ENTIRE CITY, thereby creating the Floating Island and barely avoiding the meteor. (Even though the blast should have still killed them via debris projection, environmental change, and the like.)

Then things get worse. Two Echidna scientists and brothers, Edmund and Dmitri, discover the chamber with the Chaos Emeralds generations later, and decide to try and rejoin the island with the mainland. However, the ruling body sees this as the INSANELY dangerous gambit that it is, and wisely decide to not allow them to suck away the one power keeping them afloat. Unfortunately, Dmitri is a fucking moron, and he angrily takes their Chaos Siphon and tries to suck up the emeralds anyway. The machine inevitably explodes, taking out all but one of the Emeralds (enough to keep the Island floating), and infuses Dmitri with pure Chaos energy. His first act of neat-godhood is to erect himself a tower (with his MIND!) and imprison all the Echidnas (including Edmund) he holds responsible for stopping his plans.

Then his tower is toppled by a colony of fire ants. I am not making this up, folks. FIRE ANTS take out a guy infused with Chaos energy. And just so you know, if you get even a small amount of Chaos Emerald juice running through your veins, you’re pretty much indestructible. Just check out Super Sonic if you don’t believe me.

In any case, Dmitri is buried in the remains of his earthen tower, while Edmund and the other echidnas barely manage to escape. The whole mess of Chaos Siphons and omnicidal maniacs and fire ants have all taught them a valuable lesson: all technology is the work of the Devil and must be purged from the world. I’m going to let that sink in. In the meanwhile, Persona 4 beckons…

Okay, I’m back. So the Echidnas destroy their city, killing off anyone that needed hospitalization or other pieces of technology to live, and end up wandering around somewhere…except for Edmund, who became the first Guardian. And so on down the line until we hit Knuckles. So now we know the rest of the backstory.



The first actual Knuckles storyline begins with the kidnapping of the Chaotix. Knuckles manages to track down Archimedes…only to find he’s actually a fire ant. He only kidnapped the Chaotix so Knuckles would track him down. Ever since the beginning, the Fire Ants have been helping the Echidnas in secret, first by breaking up the earth holding what would be the Floating Island down, then by toppling Dmitri’s tower. So, now Archimedes is supposed to teach Knuckles the ins and outs of being a Guardian, not that he really needed that much training by this point, considering there’s no way the all-powerful Dmitri can come back from the dead.

Oh, wait, he does. Ah crud. Only this time, he’s taken the time to fashion himself an Aztec-looking outfit, change his name to Enerjak, and formulate a very elaborate revenge scheme. Okay, I’m lying about the last part. He just charges in, beats the shit out of EVERYONE in a matter of seconds, and rather than Force Choke or simply crush Knuckles right away, he teleports him and Archimedes to a desert at the far end of the Island. He then mind controls the Chaotix into his slaves, resurrects Echidnaopolis into a twisted version of its former glory, and rebuilds an army of robots.

What follows is a long trek through the desert, followed by a long series of asskickings. Knuckles manages to eventually defeat the Chaotix, and even manages to get in a few blows with Enerjak, before the Fire Ants show up (riding the Deus Ex Machina subway system) to eat through the fiend’s tower’s floor and give everyone time to escape. Then Enerjak blasts into space for some reason. I’m not kidding; his whole citadel suddenly launches itself into deep space for absolutely no reason. Um…hurray?

And at the end of it all, it turns out Knuckles was being watched the entire time…by his father, Locke. Turns out the previous Guardians weren’t dead, after all; they just went into hiding, forming the Brotherhood of Guardians. Once in a while, they even have lunch with Dumbledore. However, the main problem with this explanation is…well…their headquarters, Haven, also happens to be a technological wonderland that would make a Borg Cube look like that chicken coop a few houses down. They have an entire series of security cameras set up across the island, routinely use aircraft to travel across the Island or to Mobius below, and even have an impressive weapons arsenal.

The thing is…wasn’t Echidna society built around Luddism? And considering how the Guardians are supposed to be the paragons of the entire species’ cultural norms and realities, the whole hypocrisy of the situation remains fairly annoying. This is made even worse because NOBODY BOTHERS TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE. Well, there is…one group…


Once the first miniseries had ended, Archie went to work on a sequel. This time, they decided to expand on the previous backstory, and that’s exactly what they did. Oh, and Knuckles fights someone, but it’s not that important. Basically, a group of technology-loving Echidnas called the Dark Legion emerge from the Eye of Terror- I mean, some sort of dimensional portal to take over the Floating Island. In the process, Knuckles and the Chaotix are captured, but after a few fights, they manage to defeat the cybernetic Echidnas and their leader, the hook-clawed Kragok.

Meanwhile, in the flashbacks mixed between, the previously established backstory is expanded upon. Shortly after the whole Dmitri/Fire Ant incident, Echidna society became divided by the new anti-technology edicts and policies. Very few wanted to give up their standard of living because one guy went nuts and a bunch of insects ate through a stone tower, and as a result, got a bunch of black robes on discount and formed a Slaneesh pleasure cult- I mean, the Dark Legion. Rather than set up peaceful protests, or bring up that much of this decision was made without proper input from everyone, they simply decide to go into full-scale guerilla war.

The fire ants again intervene, this time sending an ant named Christopholes to advise Edmund on how to lead the new enlightened society. Unfortunately, he arrives a little too late; Edmund’s son, Steppenwolf, stumbled across the Legion, and when Edmund arrives to pull his ass out of the fire, he’s shot dead in the back. So, with their chosen one dead, Christopholes decides to go to Plan B, taking Steppenwolf under his wing and turning him into a thinking tank. And to top it off, he then shows the new Guardian how to absorb a portion of the Chaos Emerald’s power, giving him the repository of chaos powers. This all comes to a head when he not only single-handedly convinces the entire population of Echidnaopolis to surrender to the oncoming wave of paranoia and distrust, but also goes out to finish off the Dark Legion, led by Dmitri’s son, Menniker. After an attempt at civil discourse goes wrong, Steppenwolf decides to open up a dimensional portal and suck the entire legion inside, thereby damning them to an eternity of suffering and agony…except for the countless times they manage to escape. So yeah, that’s the story of the Dark Legion. And now we know the rest of the rest of the backstory…



The second miniseries wrapped up just as the Sonic series was entering the Endgame arc. Obviously, the death of Robotnik and the Ultimate Annihilator’s time-distorting wave were all planned from the beginning. However, the Knuckles series was a big enough hit that it became a monthly feature, and with that came a required grasp on maintaining continuity with its older sibling. And considering how the comic’s been 90% flashbacks, why not add another?

The next three-issue storyline, “Lost Paradise,” opened with a stranded Legionnaire beating the crap out of Vector before hunting down Knuckles. Fortunately, he possesses comic book mook invulnerability powers, and quickly takes down his attacker…only to find out it’s a girl. Yes, it’s a pink-furred female Echidna, with only cybernetic enhancements on one arm and her dreadlocks. It has begun, folks. Our journey into the very depths of Willy Wonka-like horror have begun.


Okay, so I’ll come clean now. Unlike its older bro, the Knuckles series does not dabble in elaborate love triangles, year-long secret trysts, adulterous affairs, and all that other bullcrap that makes me so sick of soap operas. This is the only love story, it develops gradually and fairly realistically for a comic book, it has a great payoff, and it remains constant even when the Knuckles stories remerge with Sonic. So, with all the header out of the way, let’s resume.

Our new character is Julie-Su, a simple former Legionnaire and all-around badass action girl. Because, you know, god forbid we have a non-action girl protagonist. Oh, and since the Echidnas aren’t a bunch of pansy, environment-protecting hippies, she gets to use guns. And in a special I won’t be covering because 90% of it is inconsequential bullshit, we find out she’s actually the half-sister of Kragok and Lien-Da (another character we THANKFULLY haven’t had to suffer yet), and had her memories erased after their parents’ “accident.” Note that NONE OF THIS is important yet, but I’ll bring it up anyway. Why? Because they will not drop it no matter what. When we roll into the worst Sonic the Hedgehog storyline ever in issue 131, guess what’ll be brought up every fifteen seconds?

Anyway, nobody likes Julie-Su at first, because she did try to kill them, and her whole cover story is basically, “I felt like leaving.” Fortunately for her, they soon get sidetracked by a series of tremors across the island, and Knuckles, Archimedes and Julie-Su head off to investigate. Once they get to ground zero, however, they find…

Echidnaopolis. Standing in all its futuristic beauty, appearing virtually out of nowhere, and surrounded by some kind of distortion bubble. Except…wasn’t the city a pile of ruins two miniseries ago? I mean, Enerjak DID bring it back as some sort of zombie acropolis, remember? Apparently, Ken Penders didn’t, because this is NEVER ADDRESSED. And what do they find inside the city? Why, it’s none other than Knuckles’ dear mother, Lara-Le!

Of course, their reunion is short lived, as the city vanishes again. A few minutes later, it reappears…only the entire city is crumbling around them. Before long, the trio get recruited by the local police chief, Constable Remington (ha, very clever)…except for Knuckles, who gets dropped down a trap door to meet with his ancestor, Hawking. And yes, he is wheelchair bound. Seems anyone with a trace of creativity and cleverness was fired from this company long ago.

And guess what? We have another flashback. During Hawking’s tenure as Guardian, the Echidnas were at war with the Dingoes, a fascist society bent on claiming the abandoned Echidna weaponry and eating their babies. Unfortunately, some of those weapons happened to be nukes, which they STUPIDLY fired at Echidnaopolis. Hawking then used a hyperspace projector thingy to put up a radiation shield while also teleporting the city into another universe. And as a professional courtesy, he also transported the Dingoes to their own dimension.

The problem is, Robotnik’s Ultimate Annihilator’s attack and accompanying destruction has destroyed the projector’s stability, causing the two cities to overlap and smash into each other for some reason. The Dingoes rightfully blame the Echidnas for this, and when the two universes have merged just enough, the Dingo leader, General Stryker, launches a preemptive strike on Echidnaopolis. Fortunately, Knuckles and Julie-Su manage to fight them off, while also persuading everyone in both cities to get their butts into a bomb shelter while Hawking stops the projector. This causes Echidnaopolis to stop collapsing (although the Dingo city is destroyed) and returns the city to the Floating Island, but also leaves the Dingoes homeless, Knuckles is now more confuse than ever, and Hawking is fatally wounded due to the sheer stress of the three universes remerging.


With this latest mess over with, the writers decided it was time to bring Enerjak back. And how does he do this? Why, he simply teleports out of his space pod, smashes through a statue of himself, and takes back control of the Dark Legion. With his godlike powers, he easily defeats the Chaotix and captures Knuckles, while Julie-Su rejoins the Dark Legion in order to save her own skin. With his mortal enemy in hand, Enerjak does what every godlike dictator would do: he torments the sap, sending him from the moon to the bottom of the ocean, blasting him apart, pulling him together, etc. Finally, he gets bored and simply disintegrates Knuckles. Meanwhile, the Dark Legion captures two of the fire ant mentors and marches on Echidnaopolis, while the Chaotix are left to die in the middle of a desert.
Well, that was a short comic. Okay, on to-

Oh wait, he survives. Duh.

Knuckles is rebuilt by the Ancient Walkers and Athair, and is given the customary pep talk lecture before being sent to rescue his friends and people. The Echidnas and Dingoes are managing to hold off the invasion until Enerjak finally shows his face…only to be suddenly confronted by Mammoth Mogul. Wait, who?

Mogul was introduced in the shittacular Sonic vs. Knuckles special, but even then he didn’t have any real development other than “I am here, I am powerful, I am Ras-Al-Ghul’s retarded elephant stepbrother.” Basically, he’s the oldest living thing on Mobius, having had a Chaos Emerald shoved into his bellybutton during the stone age. Using a stolen Sword of Acorns, he manages to completely drain Enerjak of his chaos powers, turning him into an extremely ancient regular Echidna. A shot then hits Kragok and Julie-Su’s hoverpod, sending them to earth and leading to their capture. Oh, and then Mogul destroys the universe.

Okay, comic’s over. Let’s…


Alright, so NOW Sonic, Tails and Knuckles band together fight the all-powerful woolly beast…and they win. Because of Tails. Who can now become TURBO TAILS! This was based on the Sonic 3 and Knuckles game, where Tails could become super by collecting all fourteen emeralds across both halves. Unfortunately, not only did this form never show up again in any official Sega product, not only was it never named in the games, not only does his super form basically consist of some floating birds and a red blanket tied around his neck, but HE MANAGED TO TAKE DOWN AN ALL-POWERFUL DEITY! And to top it off, they then seal him inside the newly-minted Master Emerald, just so they can bring the series a little closer to the games.

To reiterate, they introduce a wholly new, all-powerful villain to the series, just so they can turn him into a big green rock. And in the process, they kill off an already established villain just to make this guy look bigger…before they throw him aside. Obviously, Dmitri survives, but he never becomes Enerjak again. Mogul returns, but with the brief exception of one story, he never really achieves the same menacing quality he had. Or would have had, if he WASN’T A WOOLLY MAMMOTH!

Obviously, this was an important story. Knuckles’ primary antagonist up to that point, Enerjak, was finished, and would not appear again until Issue 179. (And even then, it was a different Echidna.) Kragok would only make two more appearances before leaving the scene (one of which was back in the main series). And most importantly of all, Knuckles and Tails joined the ranks of “chosen ones” that litter this entire series. Seriously, you can’t walk five steps without tripping on someone’s destiny to rule or to save the multiverse or to simply get a nice tan and move to Malibu.


Next comes the classic post-crisis breather episode. You know, just like all eight issues when Spider-Man or Batman aren’t dealing with the latest desperate grab for purchases. Knuckles and Lara-Le talk about something called “the Tomes,” a quasi-religious text that is NEVER explained or expanded upon anywhere else. Julie-Su is briefly held in custody, but ends up being forced into the Chaotix. I…guess hiring known traitors as detectives is standard practice in Echidnaopolis. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood is debating about whether or not they should take more of an interest in the post-but-pre-Robotnik Mobius. (Three guesses where this goes.)

Finally, in the last few pages, the plot restarts when Athair shows up in Lara-Le’s apartment, grabs Knuckles, and teleports back to Mobius, where they join up with a small tribe of Echidnas. In yet ANOTHER flashback, we find out that, when the meteor was still heading for Echidnaopolis, a number of Echidnas decided to stay on the mainland, and drive out of the city before it floats off. Unfortunately, their vehicles soon break down, and they are chased off of every place they try to settle. Meanwhile, Athair was training to be a guardian when the Ancient Walkers teleport him to the so-called Lost Tribe to lead them into “Albion.” Meanwhile, his son, Saber, later abandons the tribe to become a Guardian, which is why Athair is disregarded by the Brotherhood.

And now you know the rest of the backstory…

Okay, we don’t. But that comes later.

Oh, and just after they show up, the story stops again for the “Days of Fury.” What are they? Well, they’re a bunch of natural disasters that are supposed to signal the end of the world. Mobotropolis is flooded, the Floating Island is covered in snow, and the Lost Tribe is nearly destroyed in a volcanic earthquake. Except…NOT ONLY DOES NOBODY DIE (at least onscreen), BUT THE REST OF THE EFFECTS ARE NEVER MENTIONED IN THE SONIC SERIES. The snowing Floating Island factors into another story…which follows the story following…and a one-shot issue…and both stories are three issues long. Um…timing, anyone?

After Knuckles saves tribe members, Athair suddenly ascends to Heaven overnight. And offscreen. Seriously, Penders, would it KILL YOU TO SHOW US ANY OF THIS FOR ONCE? Shortly afterward, Knuckles continues their journey by leading the tribe to Mercia, the Robin Hood-themed land mentioned in the previous chapter. And as already mentioned, the evil Sheriff captures the tribe, only for Sonic and Tails to help him bust them all out. Fortunately, they also happened to be at the doorstep of Albion, an Avalon-esque techno-city led by the purple Echidna, Gara-Le. She gives us our latest flashback, because we’ve CERTAINLY haven’t had enough of those by now! Yes, Albion is the true home of the Echidna race, where they are vastly superior to everyone and everything that has ever lived on Mobius before and since. And since they were so wonderful, a few decided to head out and spread the greatness of their civilization to all corners of the planet. The parallels between ethnocentric colonization and isolationism are never brought up, but the underlying subtext makes the city’s total destruction over a hundred issues down the line all the fucking sweeter.

The Lost Tribe gleefully join the city, while Knuckles is given a magic stone to help navigate his way home. Sonic and Tails head off on their search for Nagus. Rob O’ the Hedge continues to fight against the machinations of the Sheriff. And finally, this storyline is over.

And for the next three issues, so is Knuckles’ role in his own comic.


With Knuckles now wandering the wastelands of Mobius (chronicled with occasional cameos), the time came for an unfortunately time-honored tradition in comics: shining the spotlight on side characters. And what better way to handle this than to throw in a food poisoning storyline, mixed with a cautionary drug tale, a “growing up sucks” framework, and a noir style that feels out of place with everything that has come before and since?

Well, anything. But I digress. The story begins by introducing yet another new character: Harry, a taxi-driving Dingo that narrates most of the opening. Not to say he does much of anything important; his whole device is to bitch about being involved in the madness surrounding Echidnaopolis. Unfortunately for him, and us to a degree, he ends up finding Charmy Bee, standing over the dead body of another bee. As it turns out, he was attending the reopened carnival from the Knuckles Chaotix adaptation, and his friend suddenly went on an acid trip and fell dead.

Despite being a ball of tears and over-emoting for the entire first half of the issue, Charmy gets over the whole thing surprisingly quickly…just in time for the Chaotix to commit one of the dumbest, most ill-conceived motions in the entire Sonic the Hedgehog canon. There’s a mountain of evidence (provided by the insufferably annoying Remington) that other victims have all been to the same carnival, and that the poison had to have been consumed, they decide to head down to the carnival and scarf down whatever food they find. Yeah, great thinking, dumbshits. And in no time at all, the entire Chaotix (save for Julie-Su) is drugged into a coma.

What follows are a few weak attempts at achieving a noir-style storyline, with all the interesting twists and turns associated with the genre. It’s somewhat bearable to read, but the problem is the plot relies too much on concentrated stupidity from our leads, performing actions that violate any semblance of common sense. Furthermore, despite being a Chaotix story, they spend the first issue angsting and being idiots, the second issue hospitalized and being idiots, and only show up again just in time for the story’s climax. The last strike against the story is, it’s trying to make us sympathize with Charmy, a character that has had virtually no screen time up to this point. His whole backstory (he’s the bee prince and didn’t want the responsibilities with the position), is so cliché that it failed to pull on even the younger me’s heartstrings, instead snapping them like an elastic band. Oh, and Charmy leaves the Chaotix at the end; in fact, not only does he not appear again for the rest of the Knuckles comic, he doesn’t even make an appearance in the Sonic comics until, I think, around Issue 140. Way to waste our time, Penders.


The next issue was, technically, a stand alone. However, it set up the pieces of the next few arcs, so I decided to include it here. That, and this thing is getting too long as it is.

Knuckles manages to return to Echidnaopolis thanks to the guiding stone. (Why it took this many issues is anyone’s guess.) Meanwhile, the Brotherhood is recalling one of its members, Tobor, after he had been busy cleaning up the whole Monkey Khan mess. Unfortunately, this did not include driving a knife into the monkey’s brain, but I digress. Once again, the Brotherhood is weighing in on whether or not to start involving themselves with worldwide affairs. Once again, they act like idiots and choose to ignore things…except for a body they have stuffed in a freezer in the back. We’ll get to that later.

Meanwhile, back in Flashback Land ™, we finally get the whole lowdown on Knuckles’ parent’s marriage, divorce, etc. Obviously, it’s incredibly dull, mostly because by this point my patience with the narrative structure is running dangerously thin. The whole subplot goes on for about eight pages (a third of the issue’s length), and all it says is that Locke DARED to try and teach Knuckles (who, by the way, was also a young genius according to his ditzy mother) how to actually perform his job. Oh, and right after spilling this deluge, Lara-Le decides to tell Knuckles she’s remarrying. To Wynmacher, a guy who’s very first line of dialogue was shouting about playing Varsity. Man, can she pick a winner or what?

Fortunately, the issue ends on a high note. After pulling a tantrum and running off, Knuckles ends up at the harbor. (Exactly what it connects to is anyone’s guess.) Julie-Su follows him, gives him a quick peck on the cheek, and…they stare into the moon together.

(A pic will come, I swear!)

This is quite possibly the only time anything remotely romantic works in any of these comics. It’s a simple splash page, isn’t over-the-top melodramatic, the art’s all right, and it gives a bit of the warm, fuzzy feeling these scenes are supposed to bring out. Granted, it’s WAY too wordy, but if they cut down the number of balloons, maybe taking out the thought ones, this would have been perfect.

And now we go back into crap.

The story continues with Julie-Su running into a lost, bionic-eyed Echidna and carting his butt back to the city. Meanwhile, a circuit suddenly blows in Haven, taking out all power and preventing the Brotherhood from spying on the new arrival. Unfortunately, all mystery is wiped away like a rusty windshield wiper in the next page, when the stranger reveals himself to be…Tobor.

Yes, the same one that was introduced last issue, and is still in Haven. IN YET ANOTHER FUCKING FLASHBACK, Echidnaopolis was invaded by the Dark Legion mere days after Tobor’s ascension to Guardianhood. In the ensuing fight, both Tobor and the Dark Legion’s leader, Moritori Rex, are accidentally teleported into some collapsing ruins. Unfortunately, when Hawking came down to investigate, they were both so injured that he accidentally saved the wrong Echidna. Tobor, meanwhile, went blind from his wounds and had his eyes cybernetically replaced. Unfortunately, the Luddism inherent in these series came back with a vengeance, and he went into self-imposed exile for failing to uphold his end of the Guardianhood. Despite the Brotherhood gleefully using technology to their own ends.

Oh, and there’s some stuff with Knuckles and Kragok getting sucked into a dark dimension. It really makes no sense, and just drowns out the storyline with massive amounts of dialogue. When the two suddenly pop back through another portal above Echidnaopolis, Tobor decides he has no choice but to TACKLE KRAGOK INTO THE PORTAL BEFORE IT CLOSES. And we thought the pointless sacrifice at the end of Fallout 3 was painfully shit.

The next issue brings us back into the Sonic series, with the Secret Service heading to the Floating Island to locate Queen Alicia. Meanwhile, the Days of Fury, which VANISHED ALTOGETHER IN THE LAST FEW ISSUES, suddenly come back, covering THE ENTIRE ISLAND in snow. I repeat, a floating land about half the size of a small continent is COVERED IN SNOW. Furthermore, Knuckles is once again relegated to cameo appearances, busying himself in saving a baby trapped in an apartment. It’s just as unfunny and stupid as it sounds.

Meanwhile, the Secret Service run into Colonel Sommersby, an old Bulldog now living in a strangely suburban house for a hovering island populated by an isolationist society of waist-high furries. However, the real surprise is the sudden introduction of Prince Elias, who not only survived the hovercraft crash, but was also rescued by the Brotherhood and spent ten years with them before wandering the Floating Island. And of course, their first reaction is to ask him to show them Haven. You know, making him break the Brotherhood’s secrecy so St. John can stop whining like a broken record. God, I am so looking forward to ripping him a new one in 76-100.

Meanwhile, Lara-Le decides she’s tired of bitching behind Locke’s back, and decides to fly out and find him in person. In the middle of a snowstorm. I can see where Knuckles gets his brains from. Of course, when Locke rushes in to save her sorry butt, she immediately berates him on how bad a father he was for making Knuckles follow the lineage he was born into. And that she knew she was marrying into. Yeah, I REALLY don’t like her much. Oh, and halfway on the flight back to Haven, they have to safe the Elias and the Secret Service from a flood. Wow, this Days of Fury stuff is really heating up! Too bad it will never be mentioned again!

Meanwhile, Knuckles decides to go looking for his mom, hooks up with Remington and Julie-Su, and ends up stumbling upon Haven’s entrance. Unfortunately, this is a problem for the Brotherhood: Knuckles wasn’t even supposed to know the place <i>existed</i> until he had finished training his son or daughter, and he’s single-handedly brought down the entire masquerade. Oh, and he very quickly exposes the fake Tobor, causing Moritori to bolt out of the place. Gee, that can’t bite them in the ass in, say, the next storyline?

Oh, and Lara-Le gets to bitch some more, and then rub her new marriage into Locke’s face. Just as the guy is explaining his PERFECTLY valid reasons for training his son the way he did. Bitch.


The next storyline (I promise, we’re almost over) is about…an election. Oh, the action!

Anyway, with Kragok missing, the long-missing Dark Legion returns, now led by Kragok’s sister, Lien-Da. Their first job is kidnapping the Anti-Technology member of the Echidnaopolis Council. Yes, that is a real government position. Subtlety isn’t a grace of these comics. Anyway, their unfortunate captive is dragged to the Dark Legion’s headquarters (after being exposed as a hypocrite for owning a trove of technology himself), where Dmitri (now fitted as an almost completely mechanical cyborg) has his brain scooped out and turns him into a puppet.

And in yet ANOTHER flashback, it turns out this schmuck’s ancestor rigged the votes against Edmund and Dmitri, leading to the events that created Enerjak and led to the Echidnas renouncing technology. So, in addition to promoting his own upcoming scheme, he’s basically doing all this as some sort of twisted revenge. And surprisingly, this is the only time so far that the constant flashbacks haven’t pissed me off. I don’t know why, but it might be because this story arc is probably one of the best ones in the whole Sonic series.

Anyway, while all this is going on, the Dingoes are getting more than a little upset at their continued second-class status amongst the Echidnas. Stryker plans to use the current election as a means of taking some control of the situation, even planning out an elaborate coupe. However, the real surprise is when the mind controlled councilor decides to step down, instead nominating a new character, Benedict. Furthermore, in his very first speech, Benedict erupts into a tirade about how great Dmitri and the Dark Legion are, and how voting for him will allow the Dark Legion to return to Echidna society. <i>And everyone has no problem with this.</i> Hell, the masses are practically goose stomping at the suggestion!

And of course, a short time later, Knuckles, Julie-Su and Stryker are kidnapped by the Dark Legion as yet another revenge scheme. Unfortuantely, Dmitri spends so much time threatening his captives that he forgets Knuckles <i>has the same powers he did,</i> and in the end all three manage to escape. Meanwhile, Benedict tries to coerce Remington to his side, apparently trying to blackmail him with some dark secret of his past that is never explained for a hundred Sonic issues. Remy, for his part, spits in Benedict’s face and runs off. A short time later, Benedict wanders into the Legion’s command room, just as everything goes to Hell…and melts. Yep, he was a robot.

So, our heroes have won. Only…nobody saw Benedict’s true form. The Legion had some copies on backup, so he’s still available for the election. What’s worse, the HQ’s destruction caused an EMP wave, wiping out the councilor’s mind control device and turning him into a vegetable. With nobody to expose the truth, Benedict easily wins the election, and Dmitri begins to plot his next move. Unfortunately, the series’ cancellation less than ten issues later meant this was never followed up upon.


The next four issues are…very different from the preceding stories. First, Issue 25 is the only one with a flashback (several, in fact.) Second, there is almost no real action; the Dark Legion does nothing, the Dingoes do nothing, and everyone sits back and relaxes. Third, they have the worst art of the entire Knuckles series. And fourth, three issues are dominated by Knuckles getting bitten by the sitcom bug, and is trying to ask Julie-Su on a date. Uh…huh. That being said, it’s a very well-done example of a character-driven storyline, a narrative form that would come to unfortunately dominate the main series and turn Sonic the Hedgehog into a “furry soap opera.” (I’ll get into that later.)

As Knuckles and Julie-Su are leaving the Legion’s abandoned headquarters, Knuckles ends up running into Locke. Obviously, the two being reunited after so long leads to a series of tearful panels, followed by the two rocketing off to Haven to discuss family history. Unfortunately, they forgot Julie-Su, who not only didn’t see Locke, but doesn’t take the abandonment too well.

Back in Haven, Locke relates the entire history of the Guardians, filling in the blanks left over by the previous flashbacks. After the Dark Legion were trapped in the Eye of Terror, Steppenwolf got married, had a kid, and trained him directly in how to be a Guardian. As time goes on, the Guardians keep the legacy going, the previous generations directly training their descendants, until the Dark Legion not only managed to break through, but also hooked up with some Overlanders (who are pure evil, remember) as parts of an arms deal. The whole mess ended with Menikker dead and the weapons destroyed, but the Guardian dead. A few years later, his brother starts to be trained; this time, however, the Brotherhood decides that child abandonment is the way to train a successful warrior. And thus, we get a glimpse into where Locke gets his awesome parenting skills.

Oh, and one of the Guardians scares off one of Robotnik’s ancestors. Yeah, that’ll teach them pesky Overlanders! There’s no way one of your descendents can be raised in such an isolated bubble that they wouldn’t realize obviously evil humans are not the company you want on your floating land mass!

Oh, wait…

And now, for the real meat of the story. A good while before Knuckles was even conceived, Locke started having dreams about his son fighting some sort of apocalyptic robot. Rather than allow Knuckles to die, he decided to try a little genetic experiment, first manipulating his own body with chaos power, and then by blasting Knuckle’s egg with chaos energy. The result? Knuckles got his trademark natural set of spiked knuckles. Oh, and a few other powers that will bite Locke in the ass over a hundred issues later, but we’ll get into those later. And all this was to set up an aborted special…which latter mutated into the absolute worst storyline in the comic’s long history.

So, after years of abandonment, being lied to, and finding out he was born to serve his father’s twisted schemes, Knuckles…is just happy to be with daddy again. Aww…

The next real storyline starts with news of Charmy getting married to some bee chick named Saffron, who will not be mentioned of again for nearly a hundred issues. This launches a whole set of misadventures involving relationships, dating, puberty, “the talk,” parents remarrying, and some Echidna concept called “The Soultouch.” It turns out Echidnas are SO MUCH BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE ON MOBIUS that they don’t have time for exploring the field, discovering someone they have a good relationship with, fall in love, and then finally get married and become the basis for the worst of fanart (not necessarily in that order). Instead, BIG MOTHER DESTINY sets up spiritual links between Echidnas to tell them they’re compatible. Except…Locke and Lara-Le are divorced, so apparently whoever deals out this crap isn’t doing their job very well. In fact, their divorce gets lampshaded ON THE SAME PAGE THE SOULTOUCH IS INTRODUCED.

And this wasn’t an asspull; it was set up all the way back in Issue 16! Gah, Penders just makes me so angry at times.

Anyway, Julie-Su is none too happy with Knuckles running out on her, and has taken up some…interesting ways to vent her frustration.

Shortly after the celluloid massacre, she decides to head out…where she runs into some Echidna wearing Worf’s shoulder belt, and despite them absolutely knowing nothing about each other, decide to spend the day together. Obviously, this ends with them at a restaurant, where the Gods of Overused Sitcom Cliches decide they’ve had enough and inerject. Sure enough, Knuckles decides he wants to apologize for basically abandoning one of his best friends without so much as an explanation, and has Archimedes teleport him…right into the restaurant, behind a plant, by the kitchen, with the wrench. Oh, and of course, he runs right into a waiter, which leads into a series of tired jokes before he notices Julie-Su’s left.

Meanwhile, Vector has been trying to prove himself a ladies man to the Chaotix, only to get turned down at every turn. Finally, he gives up and heads into an arcade, where he decides to start badmouthing Julie-Su for no real particular reason. Seriously, man, you attacked her first. She shocked you in self-defense. It’s your fault, deal. Oh, and the Gods, having decided they still needed some fun, have Knuckles walk in at that moment. Now fully under the control of THE SOULTOUCH, he starts beating the everloving shit out of Vector, to the point that he actually has to be dragged outside. Um…ouch?

Julie-Su, meanwhile, returns from her day out…only to settle down and watch some obvious Buffy analogue. And since I hate Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I will not comment on it any more.

Knuckles is STILL searching for some guidance on this whole “SOULTOUCH” thing, so he decides to visit his mom. Unfortunately, right when he gets to the door, he remembers the whole “remarrying” thing and promptly turns around. Lara-Le, meanwhile, sees him walk off, but decides to make out with Wyn rather than try and see what her obviously distressed son is worried about. And Locke’s supposed to be the worse parent? Fortunately, he finally decides to grow some stones and simply ask Julie-Su out. She accepts. Three issues down, one to go.

The next day, Knuckles decides to get some dating ideas from his mom. After a few panels discussing how Locke used to be quite the romantic before becoming the character everyone loves to hate, she finds out the date is on the same day as…Knuckles’ bithday. Wow, what a coincidence! How will they resolve this development? Why, Lara-Le convinces Julie-Su to combine their date with a surprise party! The excitement! So, in the end, Knuckles gets his party, makes it to first base with Julie-Su, and everything ends happily ever after.


With the closing of the previous chapter, Knuckles’ time in Echidnaopolis comes to a close. He finally remembers he’s supposed to be guarding the entire Floating Island and the Master Emerald, and not just a city populated by his species, and returns to his actual post. Meanwhile, following Robotnik’s return and subsequent takeover of Mobotropolis, Sally has had a sudden relapse of terminal angst and decides it’s Knuckles’ fault she didn’t know about her mother and brother. Obviously, her current mental state makes her the perfect choice for requesting help from the Brotherhood. Seriously, was Knuckles the only person on Mobius that DIDN’T know about them at this point?

Shortly after her arrival, Knuckles arrives to greet her. Needless to say, she starts ragging on him almost immediately, accusing him of hiding everything from her for years. Oh, right, the two actually knew each other as kids, as established in a series of side stories that really, really sucked. Knuckles, obviously, has no idea what she’s talking about, seeing as how he just found this out a matter of weeks ago, but our previously level-headed princess is unwilling to listen to reason. Fortunately, the Brotherhood shows up and shows the two to Haven. As for Sally’s presentation, it falls apart after she flat out refuses to utilize better technology, choosing to follow her principles over defeating a vastly more powerful, more advanced foe.

Okay, let’s analyze this argument. As previously mentioned, the Brotherhood has been repeatedly chastised for not taking a more active role in the events of Mobius, and helping to stop Robotnik before he can really get things going again would be the best place to start. However, the Brotherhood is also right; the Mobians’ refusal to use more modern weaponry (like those accursed gasp GUNS!) has made them very easy to steamroll over, super-fast hedgehogs or no. An actual, principled debate (holding onto idealistic beliefs vs. doing whatever it takes to defend oneself) in a kids comic book? I’m interested!

Oh, wait, they go back to angst. Sally’s pissed that the Brotherhood decided not to do anything until the Mobians are willing to stop acting like a bunch of Batmans and pull out a goddamn gun against the endless robotic hordes. Of course, she blames Knuckles for all this, despite his not even being a real member and having no say in the decision. And of course, Knuckles seems to just sit and take it. They talk a lot more about how they used to be friends, and how their parents are douches that hid everything important from them, and how the Robotnik situation is changing things. Of course, the pages start to run out, and so Sally dumps her relationship with the red Echidna and flies back.

And that’s the end. No, really. There is no horrible, horrible, horrible final storyline. Nope. No way, no how…

All right, there is one.

Yesh, this one is long. Sorry for the fortress of text.


The next storyline starts with an Overlander killing a sentient bird with a sniper rifle. So yes, after so many issues of relief, we’re back to the “humans are pure evil” shtick. Meanwhile, Monk, a giant purple gorilla, manages to hook up with the Floating Island. Turns out he was once a resident of the island, where he was Knuckles’ typical grade school bully. You know, the kind of bully that doesn’t really exist in real life, the one that would rather give you temporary physical pain rather than psychologically scar you for life and leave you a ruined husk like me. Despite being a genetically-engineered superechidna infused with an all-cosmic force, Knuckles is nothing more than a pathetic wimp at eight years old, getting his butt kicked by a purple gorilla over and over again. That is, until the Brotherhood decides to tie up him and hurl him into the ocean. Now THAT’S a proportionate response!

Of course, once Monk runs into Knuckles again, he starts to get his ass kicked…just before the overlander from before shows up to taze Monk. His name is, appropriately enough, Hunter, and he flies around in his spherical aircraft hunting and killing Mobians for sport. Needless to say, Knuckles finds this slaughter of innocent, sentient life abhorring, but Hunter quickly subdues the Guardian and slaps shock collars on his captives. His new plan is to hunt the two, while the collars will electrocute them if they go a certain distance away from each other. Meanwhile, Hunter has already wiped out the Brotherhood’s spy cameras, leaving Knuckles completely stranded.

The childhood enemies eventually escape into a sewer system, while Hunter gives them a short head start. (Because he’s sporting, see?) Right after he heads down after them, the Brotherhood find and blow up his ship. Except…they only stumbled across the thing. They had no idea who it belonged to, or if it had anything to do with their current situation. This whole storyline is making them out to be a bunch of psychotic thugs, something that seems to go opposite of what Penders has been aiming for. Meanwhile, in the sewers, after a long chase, Hunter manages to shoot and kill Monk, sending him falling over a railing and far out of the collar’s range. While Knuckles is being shocked to near death, Hunter moves in for the kill.

And then Knuckles turns into a Super Saiyan. Or rather, he suddenly charges up with Chaos energy, destroys the collar, and shatters all of Hunter’s equipment before knocking him unconscious. The evil overlander is imprisoned in a giant bubble in Haven, where he actually seems to be enjoying himself. And so, Knuckles the Echidna ends on a low note, with what was supposed to be pure filler.


Despite my negativity, I genuinely like this series. It’s probably the best thing to come out of the entire Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, with great writing, strong characterization, and some good action to boot. However, there were some problems with the series, mostly having to do with Penders’ meticulously scripting everything out so far in advance that he was tempting fate more and more with each issue.

The plan was for the series to continue with the Knuckles half of the Sonic Adventure adaptation, while the Sonic series covered everything else. Hell, it was even advertised as far back as Issue 30. However, slumping sales caused Archie to cancel the series early, thereby ending with that god-awful Monk story. When the series was ported over to the main line, the adaptation was heavily cut down, inducing a ton of plot holes into what may have been an all right venture. (Oh, and they screwed a new character in the process. More on that later.)

Meanwhile, there were tons of dangling plot threads that took years to resolve. The Dark Legion was not mentioned again until yet another god-awful special. (Only when they did come back, they did so kicking major ass.) Kragok and Tobor resurfaced for about two pages in the early 100s, before being unceremoniously killed off. Remington’s dark secret is completely forgotten for over a hundred issues. The whole Knuckles/Sally storyline never goes anywhere. And so on and so forth.

I also like to rag on Penders a lot, but that’s not for this series. Since there was pretty much one writer throughout, he exercised a lot of control, and actually managed to craft a tightly-knit storyline without the traditional continuity flare-ups. Unfortunately, he seemed to take ownership of the Knuckles series, and wanted to shoehorn his favorite character into every storyline. Indeed, although he remained with the Knuckles stories until his removal from the comic, the general quality of the series gradually slipped, until by the end you just wanted to grab him by the collar and punch his brains out.

In the end, this series was a well done piece of work, which is why this whole update is so sloppy. Combined with my working partially from memory, this took way too long to finish. And so, we end.

And our spring time ends as well, because we’re back to our last cliffhanger. Ugh…

Next time: Angst and love triangles, on <i>As Mobius Turns…</i>

Wait, was your update so long that you couldn’t fit it into one post?

Anyway, I want to say that I like your retrospective. It is interesting to see what the Sonic comic was/is like and your wry humor is a definite plus.

<b>Chapter Six: Sega Takes Over and the Angst Overloads (Issues 76-100)</b>

<i>Last time, on As Mobius Turns…</i>

Just as Sonic and the Freedom Fighters were settling in to their new peaceful lives, a new threat has emerged. A robotic Robotnik, having destroyed his own Mobius, has travelled to their universe to repeat the process. Although our heroes have managed to derail his schemes briefly, they have some serious problems ahead. Robo-Robotnik has control of the Robians. The residents of Mobotropolis are under attack. And worse of all, Robotnik’s old computers still hold the location of Knothole. And in the months to come, these will be the least of their problems…

<i>And now, our feature presentation…</i>

After the disaster of the Sega Saturn, Sega desperately needed a new console, something that could chisel into that upstart Sony’s monumental market share and keep the company afloat for a little while longer. This gave birth to the Dreamcast, now regarded as one of the most underrated consoles ever released. Of course, this also meant it was finally time to get a new Sonic game released. What resulted was Sonic Adventure, easily one of the few good 3D Sonics.

Yes, I just said something positive about a 3D Sonic game. Go suck on that.

And since that little Archie comic was still running along, the execs at Sega of America decided it would be a wonderful idea to have their comic run an adaptation of said game. The problem was, it wasn’t their comic. Because of Yuji Naka’s retarded ego, Sega had missed the gravy train with X-Treme. And since they were too busy trying to save their own assies after Bernie Stolar wrecked the Saturn’s chances in the US, Archie had pretty much free reign of what went on. And you’ve seen the results.

But you know that already. Now on to the good stuff…if that term really applies.


Upon returning to Mobotropolis, the gang find that the whole city has been reduced to near rubble. Shadow-Bots are quickly herding up whoever wasn’t lucky enough to escape already and marching them into Robotnik’s HQ to await Roboticization. Meanwhile, Robotnik is still finishing the final touches on his new body, which is the only thing giving the Freedom Fighters enough time to find survivors, implant a virus into Robotnik’s computer system, and hightail it to Knothole. Oh, and Snively’s still with them.

In the end, it basically comes down to everyone but Sonic, Sally, and Snively joining up with the advance parties, while the remaining three march boldly into Robotnik’s control room. Sonic ends up on guard duty, easily destroying some Shadow-Bots and saving a few other civilians in the process. Further proving that, for all his supposed genius, no Robotnik can design a robot that doesn’t break apart if a three-foot-tall hedgehog taps into it. Meanwhile, Sally and Snively manage to cast more doubt upon the engineering capabilities of our evil overlord by…shocking them to death with a few wires. Uh huh. Anyway, they easily implant the virus, and everything’s fine.

Except, the writers decided there wasn’t enough angst. And what was their solution? A LOVE TRIANGLE!

As it turns out, one of those rescued happens to be a sixteen-year-old mongoose, named…well, Mina Mongoose. Seriously, nobody was ever creative when they came up with these names. It’s like someone saying their name is “Joe Human." Anyway, her mother’s been captured, Sonic stops her from running inside after her, and rather than actually try to go and, you know, save Mina’s mom with his super speed, he just decides to sit down and tell her about how much their lives suck and all that. He tries to say it’s too dangerous, but NOTHING we have seen up to this point has implied that Robotnik’s so-called superior technology is that much more stable than the old Robotnik. He could have at least <i>checked</i> on her or something.

Anyway, Snively decides to run off, and the newly-minted band of refugees decide to head off for Knothole. Meanwhile, Robotnik emerges to launch his new offensive at the furry people’s little hideaway…only to suddenly catch a cold. Yes, the virus gave him a cold. Nevermind that they could have, you know, deleted the information on top of that, or crashed his whole network. No, it just gave him a cold.

Smooth move, princess.


After a quick filler of Sonic bashing some robots and the group returning to the refugee-overrun Knothole, the plot finally kicks back into gear. King Acorn decides to forgive Sonic for, you know, breaking a direct military order and leading an unsupervised attack on an unknown enemy in deep space. And putting his daughter in mortal danger. But in any case, Sonic gets a full pardon, and even gets knighted! Yay, happy endings for all! Oh, except for Robotnik retaking their capital and reverting it to Robotropolis. And just to make sure the angst factor is still in account, Alicia’s life support starts to fail, giving her only a week to live. Of course, they stil have that Ring of Acorns lying around, so Elias decides to use the last of its power to revive his mother.

Yes, another easy happy ending. Unfortunately, said ring could probably have also been used to, you know, defeat Robotnik and drive his fat ass off of Mobius forever. That would probably be a far better use for a mystical one-of-a-kind artifact in the long run. However, Elias isn’t that smart. And even more unfortunately, there is one more continuity snarl to deal with.

Sega realized how creepy having a ten-year-old girl lust after a sixteen-year-old speedster really was, and bumped her age up to thirteen. Archie’s Amy was still ten. So…what do they do? They first have her get cruelly rejected by the other Freedom Fighters because of her age (despite having Tails, who’s actually younger than her). Her solution? Break into the storage room, steal the Ring of Acorns, and selfishly use the last of its wishes to make herself thirteen! Oh, and she does it JUST AS ELIAS IS WALKING INTO THE ROOM. So, in short, she has quite visibly shattered the prince’s one remaining hope of reviving his mother, while also being caught stealing a priceless royal treasure, all because the Freedom Fighters weren’t willing to drag yet another child (an unskilled one, at that) into a danger zone.

Fortunately (depending on your perspective), Amy’s head is saved from the chopping block when Nate decides her magical age-up would be interesting to “study.” Yes, our “good Overlander” Nate is suddenly a Ephebohile. That, or my brain has been so polluted by the Internet that I’ve turned into a Freud sleuth, seeking out sexual undertones whereever I go. But anyway, this plot point goes nowhere, there are never any side effects to the age progression (other than the loss of the Ring of Acorns), and we have a game adaptation to make!

Turns out Nate also knows of one more place to check for a cure: the City of the Ancients, a hidden settlement occupied by gasp FIVE-FINGERED OVERLANDERS! AAAAAGH, THE HORROR! Meanwhile, Mina finally realizes that Sonic was probably right about leaving her mother to be turned into a mindless robot, and starts becoming attracted to him. And so we dump her for nearly a dozen issues. And, for that matter, anyone not connected to the games.

The gang fly over to an unidentified island, where they find the remains of a jet liner crash. (Checkhov’s gun loaded.) The actual city is underground, forcing them to go through an ancient mine shaft. (Checkhov’s gun cocked.) And finally, after their non-eventful trip, they stand before a metropolitan city, Station Square.

Yes, folks, the “Ancients” are, in fact, regular humans. Not Overlanders, but actual humans. They also happen to be a lot nicer than the Overlanders, gracefully accepting the furries and signing a mutual defense pact with the Mobians. I guess this was supposed to be an apology for the demonization of anything resembling a human, an attitude that would only grow deeper as the series continues. But it’s more likely they realized that the Sonic series is, in fact, an idealistic series, and were editorially forced to recant their previous position and fix their mistakes.

Or, perhaps, someone brought up those early issues where they MOCKED DARK, ANGSTY SUPERHEROES AND COMICS.

Anydangway, the Ancient’s city, Station Square, is very strangely futuristic for the survivors of a jet liner crash thousands of years in the past. Hell, they have mini malls! MINI MALLS! And a full military, despite there not being any contact with the outside world for all this time! And that’s not mentioning the subway (which makes a little sense), the beach (despite being underground), and plenty of chili dogs (despite the implication that the Mobians thought of the food first). But that’s enough of my shit musings, let’s continue.

Elsewhere, in the Cat Country (groan), Robotnik smashed the Black Emerald, unleashing the amorphous creature Chaos. In the actual game, said monstrosity was sealed inside the Master Emerald, but since Mammoth Mogul is sealed inside in this continuity, I guess they had to invent something as stupid as the CAT COUNTRY to explain his arrival. Of course, Chaos is far from full power; he can only “evolve” by swallowing Chaos Emeralds. And since they are in abundance on Mobius, that should be no problem. Strangely, though, Robotnik throws a hissy fit when one emerald is swallowed by a frog, and builds a small squad of bird-powered robots to get that amphibian. Enter Big the Cat. And exit Big the Cat, because even then, Archie realized nobody would ever fucking like that goddamn fishing fatass and moved on.

The CAT COUNTRY retaliates by stealing the Master Emerald, causing the Floating Island to lose orbit and collapse. Rather than shatter on impact with the ocean, the land mass defies physics even more than it already has and simply reverts to being a regular island. Meanwhile, Julie-Su and the Chaotix are captured by the CAT COUNTRY (!), forcing Knuckles to go hunt them down. After some shenanigans, it turns out the Cat Country was nearly wiped out by a more bloodthirsty Echidna tribe, and they simply thought they were in cahoots with Robotnik. And to hammer the point in more, the tribe was called the KNUCKLES tribe. Locke named his son after a group of warmongers who nearly fucked the planet over completely by pissing off Chaos. Oh, and NONE OF THIS HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH SONIC ADVENTURE. Hurray for pointlessness!

The rest is pretty much like the game, with far fewer serious alterations. In the end, Chaos reaches its perfect form, only to get destroyed by Super Sonic. Then, next issue, Metal Sonic returns to attack Station Square. And…um…something happens, and he ends up dead. And Robotnik is driven out of Station Square once and for all. And thus, our time with the Ancients comes to an end.


Meanwhile, back at Archie HQ, Karl Boellers was having a bad day. His much-planned love triangle between Sonic, Sally and Mina had been stopped by Sega’s editorial mandate. This left the new character woefully underdeveloped in all four of her very brief appearances to this point. His backup plan was to introduce her one defining characteristic in backup stories; unfortunately, Ken Penders was kicked back into his clutches, and with him came the Knuckles series. And thus, Mina’s one glowing chance of establishing herself was scuttled faster than the stock market. (/sarcasm.)

Oh, and what was that one magic link between her and Sonic? Well…she can run fast. Really, that’s it. Granted, she’s still a speedster, and is nearly as fast as Sonic in several regards, but just having the same superpower does not a match make. It didn’t help that her personality was custom built to simply be Sally’s opposite: a dainty, non-action girl to contrast with the Princess’ kickass demeanor. (Of course, by this point Sally had been reduced to the group chick, but let’s focus, people.) To top it off, Mina was absolutely WORTHLESS in combat. She couldn’t control her speed, she fainted at the sight of any danger, and her sole purpose in life was to nearly get kidnapped repeatedly. To say they have a relationship based only on the same power is like saying Batman and Batgirl should date because they both have the word “bat” in their name! (Um…bad example.)

So, we have a tacked-on character, in a tacked-on love triangle, with a tacked-on superpower, in the middle of a kids comic-turned-soap opera. She DOES get better MUCH later on (somewhat starting around Issue 119, and is the only DECENT reworking in the scourge that is Issue 135), but in the meantime, let’s soak in the hatedom of the comic’s most despised OC. (Until the much worse one comes back.)


So, the Sonic team (not the real-life inbred retards) comes back, only to remember they kinda forgot that whole Alicia thing. So, their plan is to lead an assault into Robotropolis and steal the medical supplies needed to save the queen. Except, if they were already IN Mobotropolis for 25 issues, why didn’t they think to scrounge this stuff up THEN? Maybe I’m just remembering this plot point wrong. I just remember this whole story arc sucking balls to put it lightly, but it ends with some confrontations with Uncle Chuck, a few battles, and finally concludes with Alicia being revived. Only…King Acorn is paralyzed from the waist down in the process. So, what is Sally’s response?

A) Simply be glad her mother is alive, and look into curing her father’s condition.

B) Get to work figuring out their next plan of attack, while remembering that they were lucky to get out alive.

C) Start blaming Sonic for everything that happened, even though he is CLEARLY not at fault.

If you guessed A or B, congratulations, you’re officially smarter than EVERYONE IN THIS FUCKING COMIC! We’re barely halfway through, and my brain is hurting already!

And while we’re in trivia time, what is Sonic’s reaction to all this?

A) Wait until Sally has calmed down and explain the situation.

B) Let the girl have some space while he keeps watch for a possible counterattack.

C) Steal the Sword of Acorns and run around playing knight with the priceless artifact.

If you found yourself reaching for a gun at this point, remember that they are evil, bastardly tools used only by primitive Overlanders. And while we’re on that plot point, Arachnis attacks and steal s the Sword of Acorns. While Sonic and Mina (who he bumped into along the way) give chase, they come across a recently-landed spaceship. And guess who’s on it? OVERLANDERS, led by none other than Colin Kintobor, Robotnik’s long-lost brother. Perhaps rightfully fearing retribution at the hands of the Mobians, a few Overlanders put themselves in cold sleep and blasted themselves into space in hopes of settling on a new planet. That backfires, however, when the ship suddenly comes back to Mobius ten years later.

Of course, Sonic decides to try and be cordial, offering to fill them in on what has happened and help them get settled. Unfortunately, one of the first people to exit the ship happens to be Hope Kintobor, Colin’s daughter who has never seen a Mobian in her life, and the sight of a three-foot-tall blue hedgehog is obviously enough to send her running and Colin into fight mode. But THEN, Robotnik shows up and offers to take them to Robotropolis. Needless to say, the Overlanders decide to settle in the robot-operated, toxic death hole rather than deal with the peace-loving Mobian. There’s a moral here, but…fuck it, it’s been said enough already.

And one more question, folks. Now that King Acorn is incapacitated, who will be the ruler of the Kingdom of Knothole?

A) Sally, because she has experience as the leader of a rebellion.

B) Alicia, because she is still technically co-ruler.

C) King Acorn, because his brain hasn’t been damaged any more in his near-death experience.

The answer is, NONE OF THE ABOVE. Instead, he instates Elias yet again, erasing any tiny shreds of sympathy we may have had for the character. And it gets BETTER! Because the prince is knowingly unfit to rule, he starts getting advice…from Geoffrey St. John. Sonic’s rival. You can guess where this is going, can’t you?

Well, needless to say, Sonic gets berated (which he should be for acting like an idiot), is stripped of knighthood (which is fair), and reduced to a common teenager. Which is where I start banging my head against the desk. Why would you ever, EVER consider stripping your best soldier, the one responsible for BRINGING ROBOTNIK DOWN IN THE FIRST PLACE, and make him nothing more than a regular kid? Why would you throw away the one advantage you have over a superiorly-numbered and vastly more advanced dictator? And the whole reason Elias is doing this? Because Geoffrey, who he KNOWS has designs on his sister, is telling him to.

Up to this issue, I actually liked Elias a lot. He actually seemed to know he wasn’t in a position to lead, and willingly turned it over to people more able. And yet he was also somewhat intelligent, being trained by the GREAT ECHIDNAS and all. But in this story, he goes from a somewhat believable (for a furry comic) royal to an absolutely clueless dipshit, all because a jealous skunk started whispering naughty thoughts in his ear.

Oh, and in the process of all this, Amy reveals she’s the sister of Rob O’ the Hedge, and goes to live with him. See you later, pink wish-stealing bitch.


Nice boat. There, obligatory joke’s out of the way.

So, because Sonic is a regular person now, he has to go to school. And since this is a kid’s comic, it’s presented as the worst punishment one can ever face. It wasn’t that bad. I mean, once you get used to the swirlies, the beat downs, the disgusting apathy of all faculty, the institutionalized incompetence of teachers, and the stale smell of crushed dreams mixed with piss and excrement outside of a racketball court, it’s an all right experience. Isn’t going to school in California grand?

In the meantime, Elias has managed to build Knothole, which is SUPPOSED TO BE A FEW HUTS IN THE MIDDLE OF A FOREST, into a thriving city, complete with all manners of social services. Furthermore, he’s reinstated the Secret Service, the soldiers are more trained than ever, and Robotnik is still at bay. Too bad the blue hedgehog has to save their asses constantly. Only this time, every time he beats someone down, Geoffrey gets to make empty threats. Oh, and Nate is reduced to a physics teacher, which is pretty advanced stuff to teach to a bunch of woodland critters with no formalized education system for ten years.

And while this is going on, Tails is kidnapped by the Walkers. More on that later.

The comic follows this tangent for a while, while also trying desperately trying to scrape some development out of Mina. They fail, up until the part where Sally sneaks out of the palace, only to see Mina kiss Sonic. But wait, it’s a simple misunderstanding, she was just thanking him for saving her from a robot a few issues earlier! Unfortunately, the writers decide to stick with this sitcom plot for nearly ten more issues.

In the meantime, the Secret Service get themselves captured, but manage to escape with Sonic’s (disguised) help. Colin is reunited with his son, Snively, who is now working for Robotnik again. Sonic recaptures Kodos, now reduced to a total lunatic for some reason. And to top it off, Sonic is recruited to fight Shadow the Hedgehog in a horribly misplaced, generally poorly-written adaptation of Sonic Adventure 2. Fun times.


Issue 100 starts with Kodos escaping captivity. Meanwhile, Sally, having seen her hubby in a compromising situation, runs across Arachnos, who is now dying a horrible, toxic-fueled death. It turns out Robotnik’s openly poisonous industrial plants and poor handling of nuclear runoff can KILL people! Oh, and she still has the Sword of Acorns. Which is now what Kodos is focused on. Go fig.
Sonic rushes in to save the day…only for Kodos to shove Sally off a cliff. But as it turns out, the Sword of Acorns is connected to the Source, and she can FLY. And shoot death beams. Which kill Kodos. Joy. And then Mina comes running in to tell them that Nate has gone into Robotropolis to warn the Overlanders of their impending doom. So, the team comes rushing in to save his dumb midget ass. In the end, Uncle Chuck and Muttski manage to recover their free will AGAIN, they fail to save the Overlanders, but they DO manage to lead the Robians out. Unfortunately, Robotnik has also managed to program his body to Roboticize by touch, making him effectively invulernable. And in order to get everyone outside of Robotropolis’ newly-installed force field, Nate stays behind, just so Robotnik can reduce him to a machine.

And thus ends Nate Morgan. Considering he hasn’t done anything of import since his introduction, his passing was long overdue.

Lara-Le and Wyn get hitched. This is the worst thing you can do in a comic. I’m convinced that 99% of all writers are miserable curmudgeons, who project their inability to find and retain any meaningful relationships within their own sad lives. As a result, any character that gets married or has a serious romantic relationship is doomed to lose even more than they started with. Spider-Man? Sold his soul to the devil to suit the demands of a time-trapped editor. Daredevil? His girlfriend was stuffed in a fridge so the resulting story arc could have more impact. Batman? The guy’s gone from having basic superhero issues to being a paranoid wackjob incapable of even sustaining a working relationship with his sidekicks. And guess what happens here?

The dingoes start a rebellion. Yes, they grab a bunch of guns and start firing on everything in sight. But this gets derailed when the Dark Legion…destroy the Floating Island. Or “send everyone on it to another dimension.” Why? The whole thing just seems…counterproductive to their stated goal. They WANT to rule over the Echidnas! Wiping them out isn’t exactly a good way to get that point across!

But wait! Knuckles survives the attack, although he landed in the ocean and has no idea where he is. Furthermore, his father’s genetic tampering has started to turn him into the Hulk. Or…he suddenly turns green with unbridled Chaos energy and goes on a destructive spree. This is made MUCH worse when Gala-La, having abandoned any shreds of being a good guy, tries to drain him with a recreated Chaos Syphon. She rolls straight ones, causing the machine to fail spectacularly and make Knuckles even STRONGER. And next up, the Watchers decide that Tails would be the perfect person to send up against the Echidna equivalent of Doctor Manhattan.

Oh, and we also meet Tails’ grandfather, Merlin Prower. And you can probably guess what his schtick is. Tails is supercharged into Turbo Tails and sent to beat the shit out of his friend. And…he gets his ass handed to him. HARD. By the end of it all, the Watchers barely manage to save his two-tailed ass, but not before seeding the plot threads of a future issue. Yes, it seems Tails was SUPPOSED to win, but something went wrong during the teleportation. The consequences will be revealed a little over ten issues later.

Finally, Knuckles manages to reach the Floating Island…and in a series of unfortunate events, he stumbles across the Dark Legion’s headquarters. Inside, he finds Julie-Su, as well as Lien-Da and Dmitri, the latter two gloating over their newest victory. Oh, and Tobor and Kragok punch out of the Warp again, only to slam into the Dark Legion’s ship and die, destroying their zone projector in the process. Hurray for pointless deaths!

So, Knuckles is here, powerful enough to take out the entire Legion, and in a very pissed off mood. What does he do? He listens to one little pep talk from Dmitri and decides to abandon everything he’s ever known so he can join the Dark Legion. What?


<b>WHAT THE HELL IS THIS, PENDERS?</b> Dmitri has tried to actively KILL KNUCKLES in the past. For all he knows, the former Enerjak may have damned his entire race in limbo over a small slight THOUSANDS OF YEARS IN THE PAST. And all it takes is one speech to change the Guardian’s mind?

This was the start of an unfortunate storyline that would run through the Knuckles stories, up to the time jump after Issue 125. In order to bring some more grey into the “good Brotherhood vs. evil Legion” backstory, the Legion’s standing was softened considerably, going from attempted conquerors to simply wanting to rejoin society at large. Which may have worked…except it was handled very poorly. The actual good points of the Legion (their advancement in actually beneficial technology over the virtual stagnation of Echidnaopolis) were avoided in favor of painting Dmitri as an unfortunate victim. He isn’t. He is a psychopath that tried to destroy his entire island because somebody wouldn’t allow him to test his pet project.

Sorry to bring up other comics again, but think about Doctor Doom in the 1980s and 1990s. Prior to that time, he was simply another mad scientist trying to kill the Fantastic Four. Eventually, Marvel realized he wasn’t that interesting anymore, so they changed him around, adding in that dash of greyness that can make or break a villain. And it worked. He was a despotic ruler of a third-world European nation, but he was occasionally allowed to show genuine care for his people. He actually managed to accomplish one or two good things under his rule, especially in reducing crime to near zero. The methods were horrid, but he was given enough character motivation to surpass his “kill Reed Richards” beginnings. (I’m sure Wil will argue with me on this point, but still.) However, that tonal change happened over time. Here, we’re given ONE ISSUE to change our perception on who was up to that point second only to Robotnik on the monster scale.

Oh, if only we had some fire ants, then we’d show him!


Robotnik’s return was welcome, but the series was still in heaps of trouble. Basically, nobody thought to keep it as an action series (what it was good as), and instead started to emphasize the characters and romantic conflicts more and more. This trend would continue until Karl Boellers and Ken Penders (the two head writers) were unceremoniously thrown out a plate glass window, and even then, it was a slow return to form.

Besides that, there’s nothing to report. The big stuff starts coming down in the next batch. Get your bile bags ready.

The only thing his thread did was make me look up Altered Beast on youtube. That was one sweet game.

Then my work here is done.

Sorry to bring up other comics again, but think about Doctor Doom in the 1980s and 1990s. Prior to that time, he was simply another mad scientist trying to kill the Fantastic Four. Eventually, Marvel realized he wasn’t that interesting anymore, so they changed him around, adding in that dash of greyness that can make or break a villain. And it worked. He was a despotic ruler of a third-world European nation, but he was occasionally allowed to show genuine care for his people. He actually managed to accomplish one or two good things under his rule, especially in reducing crime to near zero. The methods were horrid, but he was given enough character motivation to surpass his “kill Reed Richards” beginnings. (I’m sure Wil will argue with me on this point, but still.) However, that tonal change happened over time. Here, we’re given ONE ISSUE to change our perception on who was up to that point second only to Robotnik on the monster scale.

Actually, I do NOT disagree with you, d. Dr. Doom was certainly changed over the years to be made more sympathetic, and some intriguing stories have explored him as a hero (most notably DOOM 2099, one of the best comics I’ve ever read- at least while John Francis Moore was writing it.) On the other hand, somebody (Mark Waid?) decided he had to be made a villain again so they had him, in the space of one issue, sacrifice a woman who loved him to three demons in order to increase his magical powers- and USED HER SKIN AS PART OF HIS ARMOR! Talk about unsubtle changes…

On the believable-or-not changes subject, what do you think of the way they replaced Jean Grey with Emma Frost in X-Men, d? Sure, she had years of characterization as well, but I still find it hard to swallow that a woman who killed HER OWN SISTER and fried some poor schmuck’s brain just to win a telepathic seduction game with the Black Queen (among many other vile crimes) can change her nature fully just by being protective of her mutant students, and the fact Cyclops fell in love with her even knowing she MENTALLY SEDUCED HIM is even harder to accept, especially with Jean’s “ghost” (yeah, she’s dead again) saying the romance HAS to happen to avoid a bad future. (Then again, in X-Men, even sneezing brings about a terrible future.)

*Note: I think a recent story tried to establish that Emma and the White Queen are actually separate personalities! That’s the only way I could accept the change, but it feels like an asspull. I don’t regularly read X-Men anymore so I don’t know for sure, though.