Yet Another Retrospective: Sonic the Hedgehog (comics)

I don’t remember who changed Doom back to a full villain, but it was an incredibly stupid decision to be sure. Basically, he chose to try and focus on Doom’s more negative qualities, which is perfectly fine for a bad guy on the Doctor’s level. However, he decided to make sure that NOBODY could ever seriously see Doom as an even slightly redeemable character ever again. Fortunately, it seems NOBODY liked the idea, so they’re at least somewhat scaling it back. Oh well, damage done, fuck you Marvel, fuck you to Hell.

As for Emma Frost…I have no opinion. It sounds like a definate asspull, but I never followed her. To be honest, I didn’t really follow the X-Men in the comics that much; my only memories come from the shows, games and movies. Sorry.

There was a story in Fantastic Four (during the John Byrne era, I think) that stated the REAL Dr. Doom was away exploring time and space for years and EVERY story featuring Doom since the 60s actually had a Doombot in his place instead. Not a bad idea, except the “real” Doom that came back was of the “I’m a God, bow before me!” kind, which doesn’t really solve the problem. That story seems to have been ignored later, by the way. Though I’m pretty sure the Doom who got pwned by SQUIRREL GIRL was a Doombot (no matter what her squirrel partner claims. ) :wink:

As for Emma, she’s on the Wolverine and The X-Men show in all her bitchiness (though presumably has not committed the real one’s murders and other sins.) Check it out, it’s actually pretty good, the closest to the comics’ atmosphere any X-Men cartoon has ever gotten.

Alright, this one will be going a LOT quicker, since there’s not a whole lot to cover. Fortunately, this gives me plenty of time to comment on one of the BIGGEST offences this comic has produced to the written word!


Chapter Seven: The Origin of Mobius (Issues 101-125)

<i>Last time, on As Mobius Turns…</i>

Robotnik’s return has forced the Mobians into hiding, ironically returning them to the village of Knothole. After establishing an alliance with the humans of Station Square, the Freedom Fighters managed to restore Queen Alicia to health. However, the resulting series of events, coupled with Sonic’s immature behavior, have not only led to him being stripped of knighthood, but also allowed his “romantic rival,” Geoffrey St. John, to act as the Wormtounge to Prince Elias. Things come crashing down altogether when Sally manages to interface with the Sword of Acorns, which will allow her to restore the free will of the Robians. Furthermore, the returned Overlanders are unwittingly subjecting themselves to their own demise in Robotnik’s toxic capital, which doesn’t bother the mechanical despot at all.

Meanwhile, Knuckles’ home has been “erased” by the Dark Legion, leaving the titular hero as the only survivor. The events that follow lead to the awakening of more powers, which also turn Knuckles a permanent shade of green. While wandering the Mobius, he briefly fought Turbo Tails, before finally managing to locate the Floating Island. Unfortunately, the Legion had already set up base, and given the unnatural condition of his powers, Knuckles has no choice but to go along with them if he wants to restore Echidnaopolis. And thus, his journey into darkness begins…

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

(If that confused you, do not read any farther. It will get worse. <b>IT WILL GET WORSE!</b>)

KNUCKLES PUNCHING THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE

In order to make any sense of Issue 101, it’s important to look at the Knuckles story first. The Guardian’s first idea for reversing the cursed energy wave that has destroyed Echidnaopolis is to…go back in time to events that have absolutely nothing to do with said wave. Yes, he’s travelling through time to change the past, even though if he really can rewind time, he could just fly to the city’s ruins and REVERSE EVERYTHING THAT WAY! Oh, and then he can punch out the beam like that old Fleischer Stuidos Superman cartoon I’m too lazy to look for! There, the day is saved!

But no, he decides to try and alter Echidna history simply because he can, or because Dmitri wants him to. It’s never made clear. But anywho, here’s his three attempts:

  1. He goes back to when Echidnaopolis was still on the mainland and blows up the meteor. As a result, there was never any need for the whole “Floating Island” plot, and everyone stayed on the ground. And then the city blows up anyway. There’s no reason for the city exploding, nobody bothers to check on what happened, it just blows up. It’s like shooting Hitler until he’s swiss cheese, only to have his body miraculously heal because SPACE AND TIME DEMAND IT! Of course, there’s no repercussions for all this tomfoolery, and the present is the same as ever.

  2. He goes back to Edmund and Dmitri’s first proposal, and mind control’s the judge into granting their request. Thus, the Dark Legion would never be formed, and things would have worked out fine. And then the Chaos-Syphon fails utterly and the Floating Island crashes into the ground. At least this one made a little sense, all things considered.

  3. He goes back to Edmund’s death, and knocks out the assassin. As a result, the separation of the two cultures would never have happened. Unfortunately, this one has a MAJOR side effect; Knuckles immediately starts to not only lose his powers, but become roboticized. He manages to reverse things just before the new reality sets in. Dmitri’s explanation? Without the conflict between the Legion and the Brotherhood, the Echidnas would never have repelled Robotnik when Knuckles stupidly let him in for the fifteenth time.

Oh, and the next issue? He goes back to the city and reverses the wave. Way to waste print space, Archie!

Meanwhile, back in front of Robotropolis, the Freedom Fighters are staring at Robotnik’s spiffy new forcefield, and like an idiot, Sonic decides to touch it. What follows can only be described as a failed attempt to be “artsy” and “deep.” The cast get sent around a bunch of alternate timelines, including one where they’re stuck in the worst piece of Sonic animation ever (the OVA, not Underground), one where Knuckles is the ultimate hero and Sonic is second fiddle, and finally one where Sally stayed dead after Endgame. Unfortunately, Sonic decides he doesn’t want to live in that more interesting world, and everything gets set right again.
Oh, and Nate shows up for the last time, saying how the timeline’s fixing itself and all that. Point is, he’s dead, nobody cares, yadda yadda yadda.

ENTER AND EXIT

Back on the Floating Island, Knuckles’ sudden brainstorm and subsequent solving of the problem has coincided with a new character. The next unlucky soul to join this clusterfuck maelstrom of a cast is Lara-Su, Knuckles’ future daughter, come back to save her daddy from Constable Remington! You see, not everyone’s too happy with Knuckles, you know, pretty much selling out his principles to a bunch of overly-technophiliac lunatics that have tried to utterly destroy them time and again. Of course, our Hitler analogy comes back, and she COMPLETELY FAILS to stop her dad from being shot. Of course, Knuckles is basically a living god, so he pops back up as if nothing happened. Oh, and Remington didn’t shoot him, it was a Legionnaire sent in to kill DMITRI. Ah, Lien-Da, you and your power grabs.

Anyway, Lara-Su gets shifted back to the future, where future Julie-Su tells her that Knuckles is now trying to destroy the world, and they have to stop him. And that’s the end. Yes, nothing EVER comes of this plot point. This was probably supposed to jump start the STORY THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED, but unfortunately for Penders’ ego, that plan got knocked back yet again. For now, we can enjoy another Knuckles story where NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENED.

And of course, we also have Lara-Su, Knuckles’ super-powered daughter. Because, you know, we ALL need time-traveling daughters of superbeings that come back to stop some disaster, only to ineptly cause the whole thing to happen or otherwise remain powerless to change anything, all while being more powerful than anyone in the present timeline?

Seriously, what’s everyone staring at?

Meanwhile, back in Knothole, the Robians are all back safe and sound, along with the Freedom Fighters. Unfortunately, King Acorn decides to butt in yet again, wheeling himself out just so he can yell at Sally some more and tell Elias, as acting ruler, to free the first Robian. Oh, and it’s the Sherriff. And he’s Antoine’s father. Fun.

Elias tries to use the sword, but he’s a total pussy, and just gives up after two seconds. Cursing under her breath, Sally takes the damn thing and does the job herself, restoring the Sherriff’s free will, and eventually, everyone else’s. And what is King Acorn’s reaction? He drags Elias into the throne room so he can scream his guts out about how the prince is embarrassing the family. The prince, who has to this point been forced through misogyny to take a position he has had no experience or training for, has been called to perform a task he doesn’t even remotely understand, and actually did the right thing by giving control back to his more talented sister, is being yelled at by his father, who by this point has:

*Placed a known traitor in his war council

*Nearly destroyed the Robians

*Almost given control of Mobius to Nagus

*Disinherited the superior successor because of gender

*Crippled himself in a mad dash to save his wife (not as bad, but still…)

*Forced his reluctant son to take power without taking a single damn feeling into account.

Fortunately, before my blood pressure can reach dangerous levels, the Secret Service shows up…and announces their retirement, giving military control over to the Freedom Fighters. Except…they’ve been infected with nanites! By Robotnik! And Heavy and Bomb are now double agents! Really, I guess I’m supposed to be surprised, but the simple sight of Geoffrey writhing in agony is so enjoyable I just don’t give a shit.

Not to spoil anything, but Sonic saves the day. And Heavy and Bomb are killed, and stay dead until the last 150s. The whole thing is too much for Elias to take, and he finally decides to run away, leaving one last “fuck you, dad” note to mark his passing.

Meanwhile, the Freedom Fighters return to Robotropolis to try and rescue the Overlanders. By this point, Colin has finally put enough together to realize his brother is, in fact, a robot…just in time to be Roboticized. Unfortunately, for some ungodly reason, Roboticized Overlanders are basically little more than statues. Which means that, by the time Sonic and Sally find both Colin and Nate Morgan, it’s too late. However, Snively is also Roboticized…and turns out just fucking fine. There’s some bullshit about willingly turning yourself into a robot, but…really, it makes no sense. Fortunately, Robotnik, in a brilliant attempt to silence Hope (the one witness to Colin’s death), makes a live television broadcast where he Roboticizes the girl’s mother. So that EVERYONE can see how big a dick he is, and the Overlanders all decide to leave willingly.

That kid is gonna need some serious therapy.

THE END OF ROBOTROPOLIS

What follows are a few issues of filler, including the brief return of the original Robotnik (he is remolecularized by Robo-Robotnik, and disintegrates shortly afterward), more relationship angst (Sally gets over her latest bout of bitching, while Mina backs off for the moment), and a few battles. Finally, the plot kicks back into gear when Station Square decides to run a computer simulation on a possible attack from Robotropolis. Unfortunately, said computer is the same one from Wargames, and it rules Robotnik to be such a threat that it immediately launches a tactical nuclear strike. I repeat, a literally underground society had enough time to build and stockpile nuclear weapons, even when they believed there were no other living beings on the planet.

So, why did they have nukes? If they had a rebellion, you’d think small arms fire and a few conventional explosives would be far superior to a doomsday weapon. And why did they forget to install a fucking override in their computer? Or better yet, NOT PROGRAM IT SO IT WOULD, ON ITS OWN VOLITION, LAUNCH ENOUGH BOMBS TO KILL EVERY LIVING THING ON THE PLANET FIFTEEN MILLION TIMES OVER?!

In order to save the day, Sonic and Tails rush in to warn Robotnik and Snively of the attack. Unfortunately, Robotnik’s force field will protect him not only from the explosion, but also that nasty nuclear winter that will no doubt follow. But wait! That was Sonic’s plan from the beginning! He delays Robotnik long enough so that, when he puts the force field back up, the two Mobians would be outside of the city…and the nukes will have just passed through the curtain, destroying the entire city while the magic bubble keeps the radiation at bay. So they’re now safe, for as long as the city’s power source keeps running, at which point the mushroom cloud will come rushing out and kill everything anyway. Hurray!

Oh, and Robotnik and Snively are dead. Double Hurray!

MOGUL RETURNS

The next few issues, to be honest, are rather hazy. I can really only remember two storylines worth mentioning; the rest, I believe, were simple filler. The first concerned the return of…well, just read the title.

Remember the Super Knuckles vs. Turbo Tails fight a few issues ago? Remember how Merlin and the Watchers mentioned that “something was wrong?” Well, here’s what happened. When Turbo Tails was being teleported to the battle site, Mammoth Mogul somehow managed to grab him in mid-existence and replace him with a double. The real Tails was then turned into a living battery, allowing Mogul to exist outside of the Master Emerald. Unfortunately, said clone suddenly remembers who he really is and leads Sonic to the real Tails. After a small battle, Mogul is sent packing, the clone Tails disappears, and our favorite two-tailed fox is saved. All of this is punctuated by some good writing, acceptable artwork (for this series, anyway), and a surprisingly heartwrenching death scene for what amounts to be a moving plot point.

And then we go back to the Knuckles series.

Mogul is sent running to Echidnaopolis, where he holds a nearly-comatose Dmitri hostage. Why is Dmitri sick? Hell if I know, but he’s planning to pass on control to the Legion to Knuckles (with Lien-Da getting a small sendoff as his assistant). Mogul, for his part, wants Knuckles to serve as his new lifeline, now that he’s basically Chaos incarnate and all. (I wonder if he knows SINDRI?! Yes, I’m sorry, no more 40k references.) Unfortunately, Knuckles not only decides NOT to go with the program, but ends up self-exploding in the hospital, seemingly killing Mogul in the process. Dmitri survives the ENTIRE FUCKING WING getting engulfed in pure energy and collapsing, with no more scratches than he started with. And as for Knuckles, he died. RIGHT before they were going to rename the Floating Island to Angel Island.

Knuckles, one of the Sonic franchises’ stars, is dead. Yeah, like ANYONE thought that would stick. But more on that latter.

RESOLVING THE TRIANGLE

The other big story finally closes off that freaking Sonic-Sally-Mina love triangle, at least until the time jump. It starts, like so many others, with total random bullshit. Mina suddenly decides she REALLY wants to get Sonic in the sack, but her attempts at sex appeal fail to impress even the most open-minded furries in the audience. Her next idea is to become a Freedom Fighter, but once again, she’s utterly useless in combat, and is nearly killed when she freezes up against a giant robot. Strike two, girl.

Unfortunately, before the writers can have the decency to end this whole mess, Sonic discovers that Mina DOES have a talent: she can sing! Oh, God help us all. Oh wait, this is print media! We can’t hear her! Now if we can only do this to Hannah Montana…

With Sonic’s assistance, everyone’s least favorite anthropomorphic mongoose (and believe me, there are not a lot of those out there) because a hit around Knothole. Unfortunately, Sally begins to believe, once again, that the two are hooking up. Fortunately, before the angst can kick in, Nack the Weasel rides in like a hellish knight in shining armor to kidnap her, thereby starting an adventure plotline. Sonic chases the two down to a gothic mansion, where Nack and his ENTIRE FAMILY OF BOUNTY-HUNTING WEASELS are holding up for some reason. Unfortunately, Mina also tags along for some reason. (Really, it’s ridiculously unclear.)

And even more unfortunately for the Weasel family, the planets align, time and space bends back to Issue 40, and Sally reverts to her beloved action girl persona. She tricks the bounty hunters into letting her in on their ransom plan, dropping their guard enough so she can kick their asses. Sonic arrives in time to finish off the last few, while Mina just hangs back and does nothing. (Thanks for coming, you useless bitch!) And how does Sally thank Sonic for his…belated help?

She kisses him. Right in front of Mina. Needless to say, she does NOT take having her crush shattered right in front of her eyes very well. She quickly snaps out of it, though…just in time to run in front of Nack’s revenge bullet. She survives (um…somehow), but any hopes of a relationship with Sonic are now dashed forever. Thankfully.

I’M A LUMBERJACK AND I’M OKAY

Meanwhile, Geoffrey and Hershey are cured of their nanite infection, and are thus reinstated as the Secret Service. (The other members’ fates are never disgused…except for Vasquez the Chameleon, who got Roboticized and subsequently killed by Espio.) Geoff has finally got it through his skunk skull that Sally loves Sonic, and the two hook up. I should probably complain about how sudden this whole thing was, but there’s no love triangle and little angst, so I’ll let it slide. Their first assignment: find Elias.

As it turns out, the prince is now living as a woodcutter, in a small community as far away as one can safely be from Knothole. Furthermore, Elias is now more of a whiny bitch than ever; the minute the Secret Service show up, he starts packing up yet again. Despite, in the intervening time, marrying and having a son. I repeat, he has been gone long enough to get married and have a baby. Don’t bother trying to structure a solid timeline with this comic, things just sort of float around and happen outside of the realms of causality and common sense.

Oh, and to top things off, Sonic shows up, too. And meanwhile, Robotnik and Snively, having managed to rebuild themselves, lead an attack on the village. Elias finally decides to grow a pair and fights back, but of course it’s SONIC who saves the day. Finally acting like a man, Elias stays behind to raise his family (which is all right with St. John, since they would be ineligible for the throne, what with being peasants and all. Wasn’t restoring the monarchy a WONDERFUL idea?), and everyone goes home.

LAST OF THE ROBIANS

By this point, it was almost time for the next milestone. And you know what that means? Yes, folks, it’s time for A WHOLE BUNCH OF RANDOM SHIT FLYING OUT AT ONCE!

Our mess starts with Robotnik (what else) Roboticizing some of the more villainous Mobians (including our long-lost buddy, Drago). Fortunately, he’s lost his ability to Roboticize by touch, making him easy meat for an attacking Sonic…that is, until they get abducted by aliens. Yes, our heroes get captured by green-skinned aliens, who promptly turn Sonic and Tails into robots, while also reverting Robotnik and Snively to humans. And no, there’s no explanation given in this issue. We have to wait nearly a year to figure out what the hell they were doing this for.

The two teams get sent to an arena to fight to the death (again, for no real reason), where Robo-Sonic and Robo-Tails easily kick the shit out of their fleshy opponents. As a reward, they return to normal, while Robotnik and Snively are stuck as humans forever. This, of course, accomplishes nothing. Robotnik now feels validated in his belief that robots are superior to Mobians and/or Overlanders, and now that he’s a regular Overlander again, the Freedom Fighters can’t track his movements. In other words, the aliens (no doubt trying to help, I guess) just gave the arch nemesis a renewed look on life and the means to sneak up on his opponents. Congratulations!

A short time later, the hit parade continues. Suddenly, EVERY ROBIAN ON MOBIUS RETURNS TO NORMAL. ALL OF THEM. IN ONE ISSUE. WITH ABSOLUTELY NO EXPLANATION GIVEN. Of course, this stuff always has a catch: for some reason, Jules is the only one not restored to normal. Again, no real reasoning is given for this, in this issue or the several to follow. Oh, and as a bonus, everyone’s now immune to Roboticization. I guess we’re supposed to infer that it’s the aliens that did all this, but the question is still, “Why?” And of course, now Robotnik’s pissing himself with joy; Jules’ exemption has Sonic angsting even harder than usual, and he can just sit back and watch the perpetual torment. Oh aliens, how did we ever survive without you?

THE XORDA

Issues 124 and 125 wrap up this little episode with an infuriating number of dues ex machinas, whiny drama, and a plot development that will bring unbridled rage to all that read it.

Sonic and Sally, having finally wrapped up their “will they or won’t they” mess (in the most tactless way possible, mind you), become formally engaged. This, in comic books term, is the equivalent of a death sentence. Meanwhile, Knuckles is chilling in the afterlife, talking to the Echidna goddess Aurora about his life and his importance in the world. Meanwhile, Robotnik is plotting villainous things, Snively is prepping his knife collection, and Mina is getting her singing career off the ground. Unfortunately, such concentrated happiness offends the Gods of Plot Convenience, and they decide to immediately send everything crashing down.

Literally, in the form of Shadow.

Shadow the Hedgehog, having been MIA since the Sonic Adventure 2 adaptation, suddenly shows up, having been attacked by multi-tentacled cosmic horrors known as the Xorda. Similar sightings and attacks occur all over Mobius, with the aliens claiming to return to “finish off the humans.” Of course, they then immediately identify Mobius as…Earth.

No, they can’t do that.

Sally runs off to find some means of convincing them they made a mistake. Meanwhile, King Acorn, in a rare showing of competence, succeeds in blackmailing Robotnik into giving up control of half of Mobius, in exchange for a military alliance between the two. The Echidnas also fly down, while also bringing the news of Knuckles’ death. Station Square finishes off the ensemble, bringing everyone together in a grand showmanship of cooperation (or in the case of Robotnik, self-preservation), while the Xorda set up some tomfoolery at Mobius’ North Pole.
Then Sally comes back…and announces that the aliens are right. Mobius is a future Earth.

<i>What?</i>

Some point in the past, a Xorda diplomat was sent to Earth as a messenger of peace. Unfortunately, The Day the Earth Stood Still was lost to this future populace, and they simply killed the Xorda and dissected it. Understandably peeved, the aliens carpet bombed the entire planet with some sort of weapon that was supposed to de-molecularize every living thing on the planet. (Overkill?) Of course, said weapon failed: while nearly everyone was killed, the whole mess sped up the evolution of Earth’s regular animals into the Mobians, while humanity simply devolved into the Overlanders. Eventually, one of the escaping Overlander spaceships came too close to Xorda air space, and they came back to Mobius to finish killing everyone.

(NOTE: IF YOU WANT TO SKIP ANOTHER LENGTHY RANT, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN.)

Words fail me right now. This is simply one of the WORST origins for any setting I have ever heard. Let’s examine this whole mess, shall we:

  1. For such a kid’s comic, this is an incredibly dark story. Hell, even if this was a Vertigo or MAX comic, it’d be a little out there. Seriously, humans are bastards, so aliens drop bombs that LITERALLY MELT EVERYTHING ON THE PLANET, and then return to pull the whole mess AGAIN because of a slight oversight on their part. I repeat, ALL SEVEN-PLUS BILLION PEOPLE ON EARTH, NOT TO MENTION EVERYTHING ELSE ON THE PLANET, ARE KILLED SO THAT MOBIUS CAN BE BORN!

  2. Again, we’re back to the “humans are bastards” shit again. Seriously, Archie, it’s gotten old. Move on.

  3. The comic’s timeline presents the whole evolution of the Mobians as occurring three thousand years ago, right at the same time as the first Days of Fury. Okay, I can see how a weapon designed to commit genocide could reshape an entire planet. The technical specifications given, however, imply that the Xorda’s doomsday weapon was supposed to work on a genetic level, melting down every single living thing on the planet. Such a thing would NOT cause entire continents to tumble away.

  4. I can understand human civilization regressing to caveman days, and then rebuilding themselves. Roger Corman actually did something similar in Teenage Caveman. (And it was the only part of that movie that kinda, sorta, maybe worked.) However, why do they now have four fingers? You’d think, if they had to re-evolve, they would at least get that helpful fifth digit. I mean, they still have their thumbs, just like every other sapient creature on the planet. It just seems like a stupid oversight. And for that manner, how could the humans in Station Square survive just by being underground?

  5. Right after this scene, Sally manages to telepathically communicate with the Xorda leaders. They concede that Earth as they knew it is destroyed, but since the Mobians have human genes, they have to keep destroying the planet. I repeat, the reason the Mobians evolved into the anthropomorphic beings they are today is because human genetics got mixed with animal when the Earth got bombed back to the Cambrian Era. I’m not a scientist, nor am I even good at science. Or anything, for that manner. But anyway, evolution does not work that way. The genetic differences between humans and animals are not as radically different as most sources imply them to be, often having only a difference between what triggers are turned on and off. Just mixing the two together will not create a functioning creature. Ask ANY biologist or geneticist about this. THIS IS NOT HOW SCIENCE WORKS!

And furthermore, if the creatures DID re-evolve (which would probably happen, considering the way biology works), they would not do so OVER A FEW THOUSAND YEARS. Hell, it took life on Earth BILLIONS of years just to get out of the water. So, between the Lego Genetics and the You Fail Biology Forever, we have a jumbled mess of a timeline that makes absolutely no sense. They Just Didn’t Care.

(Thank you, TVTropes, for ruining my life.)

(YOU CAN STOP SCROLLING NOW)

Okay, so the Xorda are going to kill everything anyway. Why? Because they like to be thorough, I guess. Robotnik shows Sonic and Sally his new giant robot, which can break through the Xorda forces. Of course, once they are inside, he immediately turns on them, straps Sonic’s legs into one of those step machines, and forces him to start clanging along…forever! Curse your sudden and inevitable betrayal!

Oh, but the robot breaks down almost immediately after busting through the Xorda, freeing the two.

Meanwhile, the rest of Mobius is still working together to fight off the aliens. Julie-Su and the Chaotix get separated, and are nearly killed, until Knuckles suddenly returns. Having grown tired of the afterlife, and needing to rescue his friends, he finally grew a pair (not like that, DeviantArt) , told the gods off, and flew back to life. Nevermind that his body was still on Angel Island, he’s back in the flesh on Mobius Prime, ready to kick ass. Only…Aurora decided to be a bitch and also took away his Chaos powers, rendering him absolutely useless for the rest of the fight. And for a good number of issues after this, in fact.

SONIC’S SACRIFICE

Well, we’re almost through issue 125. And now it’s time for someone to die.
The Xorda’s grand scheme is to use some sort of device to basically suck Mobius into a self-made black hole, utterly annihilating the entire sphere. Now they’ve OFFICIALLY crossed the line from “vengeful aliens” to “just fucking evil.” Why the hell are they doing all this? They’ve already won, the species that killed their diplomats is practically extinct! I’m starting to think that whole “diplomacy” thing was just a ruse to find an excuse to kill off a planet for shits and giggles. And they can’t even do THAT right. Necrons, they are not.

NICOLE figures that the generator creating the black hole will have a momentary weakness, just as the hole is forming. Unfortunately, they will need a force more powerful than any weapon on Mobius to actually damage the thing. (This is why you don’t discount guns, folks.) And of course, it’s Sonic to the rescue. So, he and Sally talk a little, kiss good-bye, and he starts running really, really fast around the generator.

Finally, he merges with the Speed Force and slams into the generator at the precise moment, destroying it in a small nuclear bomb-sized explosion. Of course, there’s no sign of him in the smoking crater, and “nobody could have survived that,” so he’s chalked up for dead. Sally locks herself up in the castle, while everyone else is busy mourning the fallen hero. Except for Robotnik, of course, who now has no more major threats to his dominance of Mobius.

And our block ends with the sight of Sonic, lying unconscious on a distant planet, billions of millions from Mobius. Will he ever get home? What will Robotnik do in the meantime? And what of Knuckles? And Sally? And everyone else on Mobius?
Stay tuned for the answers.


FINAL THOUGHTS

This block was painful. It was just…so…<b><i>bad.</i></b>

For me, this is when the comic slid into its darkest, most horrifyingly bad period. The angst was kicked up a few hundred notches, the plot started to derail into a fucking mess of love triangles and twisted familial relationships, and Robotnik was barely even in it! The Knuckles stories seemed to suffer the most, featuring incredibly half-assed plotlines with little to no real resolution. And then everything gets called on account of the milestone. It doesn’t help that the artwork was frequently painful to look at, the writing itself was getting progressively worse, and the company kept fidgeting with the book’s format. They even tried to turn the whole thing into an actual magazine for a while, but fortunately pulled back on that pretty quick.

The nadir would continue throughout the next block. The love triangle we all thought was resolved will return, and only deepen. Characters will be derailed with the speed of a thousand Amtrak trains driven by an Autistic kid with a remote control. (I apologize in advance for that sentence.) Even more plot threads will be introduced, only to have the writer get fired for an incredibly stupid plot decision and have everything add for naught. There will be a glimmer of hope with one of the best storylines in the entire comic, but that will be quickly buried under a sea of red strings and fan stupidity. Thing’s won’t look up again until the 160s, where a new writer finally comes in and starts fixing this fucking mess.

But until then, let us huddle together, and pray. Preferably while reading a much better comic. Like Amazons Attack.

I hate to admit it, but yes, even Amazons Attack! wasn’t THAT bad, next to all that crap. shudder

And hey, I remember Teenage Caveman! I must’ve been like, 7 when I saw it, but even then I remember going “caveman did not live with dinosaurs! And how does a nuclear war bring all of them back?” Still, it was a lovably goofy movie (is in MST3K?)

(Thank you, TVTropes, for ruining my life.)

YES!! The Virus creates another ONE Of US! :hahaha;

Actually, Teenage Caveman IS in MST3K. That’s actually how I saw it.

To be honest, I never read Amazons Attack. Most of my knowledge is from your Wonder Woman retrospective and Linkara’s excellent video review. (Which you should all watch. Right now. Again, if you have to.) If it’s even HALF as bad as what I’ve seen, though…I’m not reading it. I see no reason to waste my paycheck on regurgitated slop like that…fucking thing.

And we’re gonna diverge a little for the next update. The next block actually requires a little more research than usual, since my memory of the last ten issues are a little hazy. (The storylines start to bleed into each other by that point.) So, instead, I’m going to cover a story so UNBELIEVABLY AWFUL that it deserves its own update. Ladies and Gentlemen, next time, we will handle…

MOBIUS: 25 YEARS LATER…

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

(Sorry this abomination was the first image I could get up here.)

Hey d, thanks for mentioning Linkara’s review, I did in fact check it and it was very fun to watch, especially the part at the end where he battles the comic itself. Hah! :stuck_out_tongue: I have to see what else he’s reviewed, in Countdown to Final Crisis he’s got plenty of crap to attack. :wink:

:cool:

Here it is. The worst of the worst.

It’s been a while since I posted such a short chapter. I’m actually kind of glad. Sorry for the sudden lack of pics, but…I have to will myself to sludge through this garbage and…well…it’s not pleasant.


<b>Chapter 7.5: Mobius: 25 Years Later: Electric Boogalo: Deep Space Nine: This Time, It’s Personal</b>

The saga of this side story spans all the way back to the Knuckles series. Penders had initially pitched a Summer special called “Knuckles: 20 Years Later.” The idea was that an adult Knuckles would fight off some sort of future threat, one that would seemingly end with the destruction of the Floating Island and much of Mobius. Apparently it got far enough for Penders to slip in a promo in Knuckles Issue 25, as a vision that spurred Locke to genetically engineer himself and his unborn son. However, the whole thing amounted to nothing.

However, Penders never forgot the story. He pitched it again, this time as part of the aforementioned “Green Knuckles” arc. His modus operandi this time was to get everyone behind Knuckles’ future daughter, Lara-Su, and therefore drum up support for the special. But it was for naught; not only did the fanbase REALLY dislike Lara-Su (and the arc in general), but Archie had discontinued the Sonic Specials. Furthermore, Penders found his beloved Knuckles series getting shoved further and further back, in favor of actually focusing on the title character. Those bastards!

Finally, after years of wrangling, Archie caved in and gave Penders his future story. He pulled out all the stops, creating a fourteen-issue backup story that rivaled anything he had ever done before. He tried to connect and finish off every lingering plot thread in the comics at the time. He also hammed up the drama, creating an entire list of virulent offspring for our beloved funny animals.

He failed harder than a no-armed, no-legged cripple with coated eyes trying to play Through the Fire and Flames on Expert. Why is that? Well, let’s take a look.

The first problem is that most of the action takes place on Angel Island, involving Knuckles and his family issues. Two things wrong with this:

  1. This comic is called Sonic the Hedgehog.

  2. This is an action comic.

It goes further than that, all the way back to the most pressing question in any distant future: who defeated the villain? As it turns out, Robotnik was losing his empire, so he decided to try and steal the Master Emerald. This pissed Knuckles off so much that he slipped back into Green with Anger mode, KILLED ROBOTNIK, and proceeded to remake all of Mobius, wiping out any trace of Robotnik’s empire. Next, he started to remake the Echidna race, wiping out the Dark Legion’s mechanical augmentations (as well as Julie-Su’s). Before he can move on with these schemes, however, Sonic finally shows up and uses a new weapon to stop the unmaker of reality, accidentally blowing out one of the Echidna’s eyes. The hedgehog is treated like a monster for doing this.

Just to reiterate: Knuckles goes into Knight Templar mode, flat-out murders the villain, starts imposing his own will on an entire planet, flagrantly destroys life-preserving technology (several Legionnaires NEEDED the tech to survive), and would have gone on from there. Meanwhile, Sonic, the hero of our comic, the one that’s IN THE TITLE, is a bastard for stopping a god-like maniac from destroying all of reality. I thought we abandoned the Luddite bullshit a few dozen issues ago! Hell, the main stories at the time showed a more technology-adept Knothole holding its own against the Eggman Empire! What is wrong with you, Penders? Did a toaster murder your parents or something?

And why is Sonic now a bastard for stopping a PERFECTLY LEGITIMATE THREAT TO THE PLANET?! There’s a reason this is also known as “Echidnas: 25 Years Later.”
Furthermore, none of our cast’s fates make sense. Let’s take a look:

*Sonic marries Sally. (Doesn’t work thanks to some story developments.) They now rule over Mobius, and have two kids: the sixteen-year-old Sonia (a squirrel) and the annoying ten-year-old Manic (a hedgehog.) The names are a shout out to Sonic Underground. Do the math.

*Knuckles is still Guardian. (That’s good.) He’s living with Julie-Su, but they’re still unmarried. His daughter, Lara-Su, is a whiny little sixteen-year-old bitch. Every single line that comes out of her mouth is “I WANNA BE A GUARDIAN!”

*Tails and Mina are married. This is one of the worst developments in this whole disaster. The two barely even interact in the main series, especially after Mina became less of a main character. And at the time, Mina had an actual boyfriend. And is about six years older than Tails. Just…what were they thinking? Oh, and
they live in Downunda for some reason.

*Espio and Vector are also parents. Vector’s son appears in one issue, while Espio’s daughter is Lara-Su’s best friend.

*Locke finally dies from his experiments. Serves the bastard right.

*Lien-Da has settled down, and is the Echidna representative to mainland Mobius. Of course, she’s still plotting and scheming. She has a son whose name escapes me at the moment. Also, Dmitri is now little more than a floating head in the glass bowel.

*Rotor is now a chief scientist. He actually does more in this comic than anyone else.

So, what’s our plot? Well, Mobius has been suffering from a series of strange weather patterns. As it turns out, this is because of all the times Sonic ran down the “Cosmic Interstate” during his earlier adventures. Yes, it is SONIC’S fault the world is ending. Meanwhile, Knuckles is such a pure and wonderful hero that his own weakening of reality (during his whole “technology is evil and must be destroyed” episode) is never brought up. Nevermind that “Old Red” is a jerk throughout this whole series, blaming Sonic for everything that happened to him, when half the time Knuckles invites this nightmares into his life through his own stupidity. It’s all that hedgehog’s fault!

So, we have a world-ending disaster on the way. How do we prepare for it? By talking! And…more talking! And even more talking! They talk about relationships, they talk about parent-child arguments, they talk about women’s rights (seriously?), they talk about politics, and they even talk about nothing at all! The whole thing starts with a meaningless school lecture about how Echidnas are superior to the mainland Mobians because they have a Republic, while everyone else still has a monarchy. They even throw a sleep-over, so all the female characters can talk about boyfriends! What intrigue! What suspense! What…a fucking waste of time!

What’s worse, the actual plot points are muddled underneath layers of ancillary dialogue, as well as a few classic nonsensical paneling issues. For example, Knuckles and Rotor talk about the coming disaster in the park. (Which is fine.) They are overheard by Rutan, Lien-Da’s son. (Although I’m pretty sure not even the most hardcore of furries would want to shack up with a backstabbing bitch like that. And if you would, please stay away from me.) Unfortunately, he was also busy making out with his girlfriend (Espio’s daughter, in fact), and is taken in for the mother of all scalding. Now, what you would EXPECT is for Rutan to spill the beans on the Apocalypse, thereby allowing Lien-Da to actually contribute to this arc. Instead…

She starts calling Dmitri a misogynist for not letting her take control of the Legion. The problem is, back at the actual plot, she IS in charge of the Dark Legion! In fact, Mr. Floaty McSkull actually GAVE HER CONTROL just before Mogul tried to kill him. Granted, this isn’t as clear-cut as King Acorn’s treatment of Sally. Lien-Da is a bitch, being implicated for murdering her own father, brainwiping her half-sister, trying to kill Knuckles and Dmitri in a failed coupe, and all that. However, the problem isn’t an issue of logic, or morals. It’s that this whole conversation has NO REASON TO BE THERE OTHER THAN TO TAKE UP PAGE SPACE. Suddenly, about three pages from the end, Penders remembered he had a plot point to dispense and, get this, Lien-Da finally remembers what she’s chewing her son out for long enough to KEEP EVERYTHING MOVING.

And at the end, she decides to call Julie-Su up. So she does, and the issue ends with her on the video-phone (which is fucking huge, taking up half of an entire kitchen wall), just as Julie-Su is cooking up dinner. The next issue starts with Julie-Su in the kitchen, but she gets a call from Sally instead. They talk for a few pages before Lien-Da also calls up, but Julie-Su treats it like she hasn’t called her house in months. Now, the story takes place over three days. If the last page from the previous issue is to be trusted, then Lien-Da would have had to have called, hung up, and Julie-Su forgotten about the whole thing. Of course, this makes no sense. Oh, and what do the Queen of Mobius and the live-in girlfriend of the Guardian of Angel Island talk about? How much of a dick Sonic is and how hard it is to cook for their kids. Truly this is so important to our plot that we can waste <b>ENTIRE PAGES</b> to its establishment.

Finally, we get to the end of the story. Rotor finds that Robotnik had an old time machine or something like that, it’s just a massive asspull. Sonic, Rotor and Knuckles truck off to the machine, leaving everyone else behind. (Surely THIS won’t bite them in the ass later!) Meanwhile, Lara-Su has also smuggled herself along, but she gets no farther that out of a metal box (SINDRI!) before time and space collapse. Hurray! They’re all dead! Our long national nightmare is over!

So, how long was this mockery of taste? Fourteen issues, spanning 131 to 144. Since Sonic the Hedgehog is published monthly, this means the story lasted over a year. The comic sold fairly well, but this was more to do with the fact that two of StH’s best stories (Home and Return to Angel Island) were published at the same time. They represented what this series SHOULD have been: a good mix of character-driven drama and well-executed action. Instead, the storyline starts a little interesting, but putters out from its sheer emptiness about six issues before the finish line.

To make matters worse, it could have been salvaged. If the script had been cut in half, removing the obvious author tracts, it would have lasted about seven issues at the most. The leftover space could have been used to build up on other characters, like Tails. You know, Sonic’s buddy, the one major game character that is NOT built upon here? Maybe people wouldn’t have been so pissed about the Taina shipping if Penders had built an actual relationship rather than resolve everything in ONE PANEL. I mean, the artwork was actually decent, and the concept had potential. But…man, did he fuck this one up BAD.

And what’s worse? There’s a sequel! And there will be ANOTHER ONE in the future, only another five years down the line!

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Fortunately, said sequel is only two issues, so I’ll cover it in its respective block. The next storyline is in a spin-off, Sonic Universe, and won’t be for several more months. Fortunately, that means I will not be covering it. (Especially since I read the first two SUs, and frankly the series hasn’t endeared itself to me. It’s little more than a Continuity Porn mag for Ian Flynn to masturbate over.) But that’s enough of this mess.

For now, Galloway out.

Well, here’s the next batch of the retrospective. And folks, things will get bad here. REAL BAD. Just run away right now if you want to live.


Chapter 8: Mobius in Flux (Issues 126-150)

<i>Last time, on as Mobius Turns…</i>

Sonic is in space. There. I will not glorify the shit I had to sit through with a recap.

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

HEDGEHOGS…IN…SPAAAAAAAAACE!

So, Sonic’s now trapped in space. What follows is your typical outer universe adventure, with our stalwart hero jumping from place to place, ship to ship, and planet to planet in search of a ride home. Along the way, he encounters the following situations:

*He gets picked up by a freighter captain, only to have to abandon ship when the freighter is destroyed. Or something like that.

*He crash lands on a planet where everything happens at lightning speed. In the day he’s stuck there, the entire civilization evolves from single-cell microbes to a more modern society that worships him as a god! Oh, and they have their own Chaos Emeralds, these ones being red in color. They build Sonic a spaceship (in hypertime, of course), and he takes off.

*He runs into EVE, from all the way back in our first block. She’s now running around and “freeing” AIs by destroying their home planets and assimilating them into her core. Sonic is briefly attacked by the survivors of her genocidal rampages, before going into the core and shutting her down. Of course, to prove his badassness, he does so with the ultimate logic bomb: if she absorbs the AIs, EVE will only be making them slaves to her will. Personally, I would have gone with “Why don’t you put the world in a bottle?” but I guess that one was taken. And so Sonic leaves yet again while EVE self-destructs after a single put-down.

Finally, the plot kicks back into gear when Sonic lands on the planet Bem, a ring-shaped world that’s home to the same aliens that set up that cage match and restored the Robians. As it turns out, they tried doing this before on another planet; that time, however, they forgot that the inhabitants TURNED THEMSELVES INTO ROBOTS so they could survive the toxic atmosphere. And they didn’t think of this because…?

So yeah, the Bem scientist responsible for the whole thing was SUPPOSED to Roboticize the entire planet (since metal proved superior to flesh) but decided to go the opposite route. Furthermore, he also made it impossible to Re-Roboticize anything on Mobius, cutting off our old nemesis at the source. And of course, he’s going to die for this. Damn alien kangaroo courts.

Oh, and Sonic also runs into Tails’ parents. The fox’s father, General Amadeus Prower, was one of the first Mobians to be Roboticized, but vanished right after the original Robotnik seized power. He and his wife were kidnapped by the Bem scientist in order to test his De-Roboticizer, but because of their stringent laws, he can’t come home. So instead, they slap together a holographic watch, stuff Sonic in a spaceship, and hurl him at Mobius. Hurray for absentee parenting?

HOME

When Sonic finally gets back, he crashes right next to where Geoffrey and Hershey were getting married…right before they were to be executed. Robotnik’s armies have already overrun the area, and he was simply letting them get married just so he could twist the knife a little. Of course, now that Sonic’s here, the rest of Mobius’ worthless forces are free to sit back and let little boy blue run around yet again!

Sonic hooks back up with Tails, who takes him back to the modernized City of Knothole. Once there, he hooks up with the other Freedom Fighters, and they go on a mission to New Megaopolis, the new capital of Robotnik’s re-christened “Eggman Empire.” While there, they also run into Robotnik’s “children”: Mecha, an android with laser eyes and a T-800 skeleton, and ADAM, a self-conscious AI Robotnik built by accident. Lard Lord’s newest plan is to launch nukes at both Knothole and Station Square, effectively killing off his enemies in one move. However, Sonic manages to defeat Mecha (after she gives him her “new villain ass-kicking grace period”), and Tails delays ADAM with a joke long enough for the day to be saved.

That’s just the cliffnotes version. Karl Bollers spent most of the story actually setting up new plot points, recasting the characters, and generally giving Sonic something he’s lacked for a while: a good action storyline. But enough about that, here’s our new status quo:

*Robotnik’s new world is named the Eggman Empire. This is the only acknowledgment of the infamous name change the comic ever really gives. He also has his aforementioned “kids,” and actually appears to give somewhat of a damn for them. At least, until he inevitably kills them, but that’s for next time, folks! GOOD.

*Knothole is now a modernized city. And that’s about it. GOOD.

*King Acorn is walking around again, but has partially laid back on the douche pills. Sally, in the meanwhile, has dropped any pretense of being an action heroine, and instead just sits back and barks orders. Had Bollers continued with the comic, this would have stuck. NOT GOOD.

*Bunny and Antoine have broken up. In the one year gap, Antoine has become a considerable warrior, but is also a colossal dickhole, downright abusing Bunny and openly trying to get into Sally’s…er…pants. He’s also gotten a huge scar across one eye, which he covers with a patch. (<- That was a plot point.) Bunny, meanwhile, has gone from being yet another tough-as-nails heroine to another whiny, battered, why-don’t-you-fucking-kick-his-ass-you’ve-got-a-fucking-robot-arm-for-fuck’s-sake girly-girl. B.A.D.

*Fiona Fox is back. Wait, wasn’t she a robot? Well…when I went back through, I remembered I forgot to add a backup to the Knuckles series, where Mighty finds out that the real Fiona is still alive and working with Nack’s sister Nick. Together, they rescue Ray the Squirrel (from the deservedly-obscure Sonic the Hedgehog arcade game) before the vixen goes running into the night. Now she’s working with the Freedom Fighters because Sonic’s death inspired her, or some bullshit like that. Oh, and Tails is still in love with her, despite her being Sonic’s age. Uh…huh. DISTURBING.

*Mina is still a performer, with a few albums under her belt. (After ONE YEAR?) Hell, even ROBOTNIK is a closet fan! She also has a manager/boyfriend, Ash Mongoose. And again, what’s with the names? I mean, we know Mobians have last names, so why so little creativity, writers? Huh? Answer me! Oh, and Ash is a colossal dickhole. And Mina is a whiny little bitch. I’m sensing a pattern here. KILL ME.

*Knuckles still has no powers. Rotor’s made him a few gadgets that can simulate his previous abilities, but for the most part, he’s next to useless. Julie-Su and the Chaotix are still in Knothole, helping the Freedom Fighters fend off Robotnik. This gets remedied very quickly, though. BEARABLE.

*Amy Rose was finally given that hammer she’s had since, oh I don’t know, SONIC ADVENTURE, and is actually useful for once. ACTUALLY WORKS.

*Because of the language translator Sonic had implanted in space, he can now understand Muttski. NOT USED.

There are other, smaller changes, but for the most part these are the only ones that kinda sorta matter in the long haul. But we’re not getting to the most infamous part of the time skip. Oh fucking no, we’re not there yet. Oh, wait. We are. Sorry.

THE SLAP HEARD AROUND THE WORLD

Boellers had one more twisted scheme up his sleeve, a move that he had hoped would help reshape the comic into a viable contender in an increasingly competitive market. After Robotnik got his ass kicked yet again, we spend the following issue (134, to be exact) going over all the previously mentioned changes. The actual plot, however, involves Sonic and Sally trying to get some alone time, only for an army of paparazzi to chase them down everywhere. It’s just as unfunny and out-of-place as it sounds.

It gets worse.

Finally, about halfway through, King Acorn shows up to announce that he’s officially touring Mobius, both as a vacation and as a means to drum up support. He decides to actually listen to logic for once and leave Sally in charge of Knothole. However, this action also officially kicks her out of the field and into a Mission Control position, thereby solidifying her character’s massive derailment over the years.

It gets WORSE.

So, now that she’s in charge, she decides to have her fiancé, Sonic, rule at her side. However, he refuses, saying that his place is on the battlefield. After all, he IS the fastest thing alive, and the main reason the original rebellion succeeded, and the most potent weapon against Robotnik’s untold legions. So, how does Sally respond to all this?

She slaps him, calls him a dickhole, and dumps him. IN PUBLIC. I’m not kidding, she just goes into a whole “You love Robotnik more than me, you bastard!” speech and runs off crying, all because Sonic made a PERFECTLY VALID AND LEGITIMATE POINT! I mean, you were on the planet the whole time, right? You SAW how badly everyone’s asses got kicked? And how Robotnik suddenly freaked out at the mere mention of Sonic’s name? And how that hedgehog is pretty much the only hope your FUCKING SPECIES HAS FOR SURVIVING?!

What is up with this comic? Is logic a foreign language on Mobius? Was it wiped out by the Xorda? I mean, come on, people! Later writers tried to save the whole mess by saying she was more worried about Sonic being injured, but that doesn’t change the underlying problem with this scene. Bollers has, in essence, destroyed a well written, popular pairing with a last minute problem, one that could have easily been resolved by, you know, talking about it? Or thinking for more than five seconds?

And the worst part? Bollers did all this so he could get HIS preferred ship: Sonic and Amy. He even planned to pull it off by having the two get stuck together in an enclosed space and start making out. I’ve seen fanfics with better-written relationship development than that. And need I mention that Amy is TEN in this continuity, eleven at the OLDEST?! (Go reread the Sonic Adventure recap for that whole escapade.) Oh, and Sonic is an adult now in the comics. Yes, that isn’t creepy in the slightest.

(And stop staring at me like that. I’ve got a shotgun on standby.)

TOMMY TURTLE

Oh, this part is painful.

Tommy Turtle actually started in a one-off story just before the Xorda mess began. He was a childhood friend of Sonic, who got sucked into helping a bunch of villainous Mobians. Sonic tried to show him what really was going on, but Tommy didn’t believe him until he was too late, and died saving Sonic from yet another scheme. It was a very good story, with great artwork, strong writing, and most of all, a surprisingly emotional connection to a one-shot character.

Or, at least, that was how it was supposed to be. But since anything with the slightest bit of popularity will be repeated, Archie brought Tommy back from the dead. And the whole plot was a REPEAT OF HIS LAST APPEARANCE, only this time, Sonic saves the day and the two leave. Yes, it’s just as sucky as it sounds. But then, it turns out that Tommy was a killer robot, designed to trick Sonic! Fortunately, Jules shows up long enough to stop the fake, as well as die for about three pages before a REALLY cheap Power Ring revival.

But wait! Tommy is still alive, and stuck in New Megaopolis! So, of course, the Freedom Fighters join up and rescue him. (Even Sally joins in, at least for Tommy’s sake.) They bust the turtle out of prison, beat up a bunch of robots, and escape into the sunset. Only, for some reason, King Acorn is back. No, it’s never explained, other than Bollers losing his job and most of his planned plotlines getting kicked to the curb. (In the original plan, King Acorn would first escape a coupe in Station Square before getting possessed by a corrupted Source of All. Neither plot ever materialized.) He chews out Sally for abandoning her position, and she once again blames Sonic. Um…did it ever occur to her to say “No?”

RETURN TO ANGEL ISLAND

This was the only one of Boellers’ planned storylines to really get developed. The ending was completely changed (it would have involved a return of Monkey Kahn, a move we can all agree is not a smart idea), but for the most part was pretty faithful to his vision. And it was wonderful.

After a while of waiting and angsting, Knuckles finally gets word of Angel Island. Unfortunately, the same message also reports a rather alarming series of events, forcing the Freedom Fighters and Chaotix to go on a rescue mission. And…well…it’s not pretty. The Dingoes, now under the leadership of General Stryker’s son (his name escapes me at the moment), have signed up with Robotnik’s empire and taken over the entire land mass, nearly wiping out the Echidnas in the process. Furthermore, a freak accident has wiped out the Brotherhood, and with Knuckles still depowered, Locke remains as the sole Guardian. Unfortunately, he has been captured by the Dingoes, leaving the Dark Legion (now led by Lien-Da) to take up the job.

Upon arriving, the heroes get into a quick battle where they free several Echidnas (now sentenced to concentration camps). However, because Knuckles has returned from the dead, he is seen as the Avatar, a prophesied religious figure amongst the Echidnas. This does not sit well with Knuckles, who still has confidence issues following his power loss. This is made even worse with two more developments. The first is the arrival of Dr. Finitivus, an albino Echidna that exudes pure malevolence and evil, and yet nobody picks up on it. He’s allied with the Dark Legion (well, kinda), and has an extremely dim view on the whole “Avatar” business.

The second is that Lara-Le and Wynchamer are still alive, and Knuckles now has a younger half-brother: KNEECAPS. I repeat, KNEECAPS! Wasn’t Knuckles supposed to be named after some tribe or something? If so, was there a Kneecap tribe of Echidnas running around prehistoric Mobius? Does he have spikes on his knees or something? What cruel parents name their kid KNEECAPS? Or, for that matter, KNUCKLES?! But anyway, he’s an infant, so all he does is sit around and occasional bang on Knuckles’ head like a drum.

Finally, the plot kicks back in. Knuckles tries to go to the Emerald Chamber, but the same quirk in his revival that robbed him of his Chaos powers also make it physically painful for him to be in the Master Emerald’s presence. Meanwhile, the rescue operation goes south, thanks to a revived Hunter. However, the sheer desperation of the situation allows Knuckles to finally break through the limits and regain his powers, quickly killing Hunter and driving the Dingoes back with absolutely no effort.

Locke is freed, but unfortunately, a lot of Echidnas were captured by Robotnik. They are the first victims of his “Egg grapes,” large spheres that basically suck the life out of their captives to feed his machines. (Um…creepy.) Now that Knuckles is back to normal, Locke tries to persuade him to stay, but old red refuses, claiming that it is better to deal with Robotnik first. Once again, this argument makes sense. If Robotnik is supplying the Dingoes equipment, then it would be wiser to get rid of him first, thereby robbing the Dingoes of their supplies and bringing a swift end to their empire. However, as mentioned a dozen times before, logic has no place on Mobius, and Locke just accuses his son (WHO JUST SAVED HIS LIFE) of being lazy and not having his priorities straight. The two leave on very bitter terms, while Dr. Finitevus offers to help watch over the Master Emerald. Yes, that will certainly end well…

(How was the ending changed? Originally, Knuckles would have recovered his powers, but would also overload, practically equaling Enerjak in pure destructive potential. However, he would also have to remain in close proximity to the Master Emerald to keep any of his abilities. Realizing this is pointless, he would have decided to give up his strength and instead trained under Monkey Kahn, unlocking the power to use an alternative to the Chaos Emerlads, the Power Geos or something like that. Also, Wyn would have been killed off, while Locke and Lara-Le would have reconciled and raised Kneecaps together. Needless to say, the revised version is much, much better.)

Admittedly, my summary leaves a lot to be desired, but the fact is, Return to Angel Island was GREAT. It was action-packed, emotional, moving, and just plain wonderful all around. Unfortunately, it would remain the only bright spot for years to come.

ANONYMOUS

This is as good a time as any to introduce one of the most well-known aborted arcs in the comic: Anonymous. Around the time Home ended, Robotnik discovered that someone had found a way to Roboticize the Mobians, something he could not do after the Bem got rid of the Robians. ADAM discovers some video footage of the Destructix, the same villains now standing motionless in Robotnik’s command center, meeting up with a shadowy figure. As it turns out, the whole meeting was a set-up, and they are effortlessly reduced to lifeless robots yet again. Obviously, Robotnik does not like this at all; now he has yet another rival vying for his empire. He orders ADAM to continue to look into matters, and the story ends.

The Anonymous arc was intended to span several issues, before leading up to a grand reveal. The true mastermind was to be the original Robotnik, back from dematerialization and seeking to regain his throne. Unfortunately, there was little thought of what would happen after this fact, so I don’t know how the current Robotnik would have responded. Even more unfortunately, the entire proposal was basically “Anonymous shows up, stuff happens, turns out to be Robotnik.”

This was the problem with these issues. There was no real coherent thought running through everything. The story just…meandered about, occasionally presenting a plot point or two but just as quickly discarding everything in favor of pointless filler. The Anonymous situation was mentioned one more time, even showing a silhouetted figure of the original Robotnik. Unfortunately, by then, everyone had forgotten about the character, and the story got swept aside in favor of more interesting storylines. When Ian Flynn took over the comic, one of his first actions was to end the whole mess, but that’s a story for another time. Needless to say, he just gave up on reintroducing the original Robotnik (which was probably the right thing to do, considering the Gordian Knot that is this series’ continuity), and ended things in an equally unsatisfying way.

NICOLE GETS DEVELOPMENT

Not that way…

NICOLE, despite being in the comic for years, had been relegated to a side role for an extremely long time, never getting any development beyond her initial arrival and a few token peeks into the future. However, someone decided that it would be a good idea to build on her character, and thus we had a smattering of stories in the 140s that built upon her background.

The first was a parody of “Dear Abby,” meant to highlight the extremely tepid and ridiculously complex love triangles that were vigorously slamming into each other every other issue. In the story, Bunny gets counseling on dealing with Antoine (which she is too Chickified to act on), Mina is finally told to get over Sonic (which she agrees with), Amy is given some romantic tips (which she gags at, being ELEVEN and all), and Sally is told that she and Sonic can get together later. Of course, the real writers are Sally and NICOLE; the last letter is simply a cover to protect the princess’ true identity. Despite just how out of place it felt, this story did help to advance Mina’s relationship with Ash a little, and also started the process of reversing Boeller’s seemingly irreparable destruction of the Sonic-Sally pairing. Also, it reinforced that Amy was, in fact, a child, and that Boellers was a sick fuck for thinking anyone would agree with his ship.

The events are highlighted again a bit later, when a freak accident swaps Sally and NICOLE’s brains. No, I don’t know how that even works. But then again, this is the same medium that has giant yellow bugs that feed off fear, so I think rationality is long gone. While Sally acts like a bitch even in robot form, NICOLE is overwhelmed by a total sensory overload, running through every single “machine become a real boy/girl” cliché you can imagine within the short story. All this grinds to a halt, however, when Sonic shows up. NICOLE suddenly crashes from the sheer force of romance (or…something equally cheesy), and when she wakes up, Rotor has already switched the two back.

The trilogy of terror ends when NICOLE manages to find a way to virtually project an image of herself, in the form of a lynx. (Oh, how clever, Archie!) Sally finds out pretty quickly, but neither can really do anything, since the sheer force of maintaining the projection drains NICOLE dry pretty quickly. And by “pretty quickly,” I mean, “long enough for her to drill Sally about that little thing called love.” Because yes, all that this comic needed was yet another romantic subplot. Finally, some sort of divine mercy is granted upon us, she shuts down, and we can all go on with our lives in peace.

<b>OR CAN WE?!</b>

SHADOW RETURNS

At some point, Shadow returns to Knothole, continuing his brief fixation on Hope from Issue 124. Unfortunately, just as he starts to approach her, Locke teleports in, kidnaps them both, and drags them to what’s left of Haven. He plans to use Shadow’s Chaos Control to help and locate the missing Brotherhood; he only took Hope to eliminate any witnesses. Unfortunately, Shadow doesn’t take too kindly to this, and proceeds to wreck twenty shades of hell upon his captor. He stops only when he realizes he’s scared the piss out of Hope, and finally decides to just leave the Floating Island. By literally stepping off it.

He ends up landing in an abandoned instillation, once owned by the late Gerald Kintobor (or Gerald Robotnik, if you want to be anal). Inside, he also comes across ISAAC, one of the late doctor’s robots and a perfect gold replica of Gamma. Furthermore, he also learns that the Chaos Emeralds were beryl gems that got irradiated by the Xorda’s bombing of Earth. I’m just mentioning that now because it’s yet another retarded plot point, as it completely ignores the existence of OTHER Chaos Emeralds on other planets. Fortunately, it’s promptly ignored by every storyline to follow, thereby eliminating another useless piece of baggage.

Sonic and co. also show up for…some reason. (I can’t really remember, to be honest.) They are followed by a rebuilt Metal Sonic, sent in to retrieve Robotnik’s late uncle’s secrets. Of course, all three hedgehogs run into each other, and have a quick fight before Tails fucks up and hits the wrong button, sending the three combatants and ISAAC tumbling down a trap door. At the same time, the trap also electrocutes Bunnie, Rotor, and Fiona; they end up getting rescued by Tommy. The whole thing ends with a final battle against a launching missile; Metal Sonic is destroyed, the Freedom Fighters are rescued by Uncle Chuck, and Shadow teleports.

The story ends with ISAAC contacting a mysterious cylinder, implied to contain Gerald’s remains. Supposedly, he’s been commanding the entire ordeal mentally, with ISAAC merely being his instrument. However, this is never really followed up on, so let’s just forget this ever happened.

TAILS – THE CHOSEN ONE

Meanwhile, Mammoth Mogul is revealed to be alive. As it turns out, he simply absorbed the energy from Knuckles’ explosion to make himself a god yet again, and has since then been destroying one universe after another. To counter this, Merlin contacts Zonic, yet another alternate Sonic and the leader of the Zone Corps, and they snatch up Tails to finally finish his ultimate destiny. Oh, and Sonic comes along for the ride. No, he will not be doing anything useful this story.

They arrive just as Mogul finishes in destroying the entire Multiverse. Fortunately, Zonic had already snatched up every single version of Tails from every single universe. Mogul finally attacks the last bastion of existence (the Zone Corps HQ), and even the army of Tailses aren’t enough. That is, until they MERGE TO FORM…

TITAN TAILS!

…That’s it. This comic has officially driven me insane. I…I can’t handle it anymore. There’s just so much…SHIT running through every single page, every single picture, every single line of dialogue! Titan Tails…he’s a fifty-story-tall cross between Tails and Duke Nukem. He literally blows Mogul over with a tornado-strength tail spin. He…NO! I CAN’T DO IT! THIS IS RIDICULOUS! I CAN’T HANDLE THIS LEVEL OF FUCKING HORRIBLENESS ANY LONGER!

Give me a Rob Liefeld comic. Please. I’ll take that over TITAN TAILS!

So, the day is saved. Titan…Tails restores the Multiverse. Mogul is trapped in a Chaos Emerald yet again.

Brain…hurts.

That’s it. I’m gonna slip the rest of 150 into the next update. It’s a two-parter, anyway. No sense waiting for a conclusion. Ha ha ha?

CONCLUSION

My…My…I…Gah…Dah…

(We regret to inform you that our current retrospector has suffered a mental breakdown, and must be institutionalized for his own safety. Please stay tuned for more of the Sonic the Hedgehog Comic retrospective.)

Next time: Marriage, revivals, and Ian Flynn, oh my!

Will Galloway be able to finish this trip through comic book madness, or will he end up institutionalized in Arkham Assylum? Stay tuned! :wink:

PS: would it kill you to have a funny or nice sig pic once in a while? Sheesh.

Here we go. Hope you enjoy.


Sonic Retrospective Chapter 9: Things Get Better (Issues 151-175)

Last time, on As Mobius Turns…

Robotnik, now a regular Overlander again, has cemented his rule over Mobius during Sonic’s absence. When the hedgehog finally returns, however, he quickly revitalizes the Freedom Fighters, and together they wage an open war against Robotnik’s rule. In between all this, Sonic’s relationship with Sally has been destroyed due to mutual stupidity, while Knuckles has regained his powers at the cost of his family ties. Oh, and there’s something involving Tails, but let’s not speak of that again.

And now, our feature presentation…

SONIC’S DOPPLEGANGER

Ah, Anti-Sonic. How I hate thee.

In case I haven’t mentioned him yet, Anti-Sonic comes from Anti-Mobius, your stock evil comic book universe where the heroes and villains switch jerseys. The Anti-Freedom Fighters spread destruction and discord across the planet, while the kindly veterinarian Doctor Kintobor tries to heal their damage. Unfortunately, thanks to Sonic’s meddling with the universe, Anti-Robotnik has become more aggressive, to the point of actually FIGHTING BACK against the Anti-Freedom Fighters.

And thus we have our evil twin story.

Issue 150 has Sonic behaving like an even bigger dick than usual, casually running around and hitting on every female character introduced so far. I mean, the entire issue is him trying to get laid. Um…huh. What a strong use of dead trees, Archie. Fortunately, the whole thing is easily explained. At some point, Anti-Antoine tried to pull a coupe on Anti-Sonic uses a dimensional portal. The device DID open a portal to Mobius Prime, but Anti-Sonic was already on the other side of the room and kicked the evil Antoine through. As luck had it, the good Antoine was also walking by, and thus Sonic swapped the two. But even better, he then knocked out the good Sonic and trapped HIM in the Anti-Universe!

Oh, and this is why Antoine is suddenly a badass misogynist: he’s really Anti-Antoine. Well, it’s a better explanation for his character change than what Boellers had planned. (He would have slipped on a banana peel and cut his eye on a dishwasher rack.)

Anyway, Anti-Sonic eventually runs into Rouge, who was just kicked off Angel Island after a not-so-subtle attempt to suck up to Locke for the Master Emerald. The two decide to team up and steal the giant mystical gemstone. Meanwhile, Sonic is captured by the Anti-Freedom Fighters (and Antoine, who is trying not to attract attention to himself), who proceed to beat him five shades to Sunday before blasting him over a cliff. However, he’ll be having none of that, and runs right back up, beats down the entire gang effortlessly, and uses the same device to head back to Mobius. He also ends up running right into Anti-Sonic, who ONCE AGAIN BEATS OUR HERO DOWN. This time, however, Locke is also there, and blows the evil doppelganger out of the Emerald Chamber with a mere thought.
At first, Rouge is pissed that the whole scheme ended in failure. However, Anti-Sonic DID manage to get a small Chaos Emerald for her. So, relationship mended, the two depart to continue thieving and stealing. Sonic, meanwhile, has to deal with all the relationship fuck-ups his evil self has pulled off.

THE NANITE CITY

Remember ADAM? Well, since his last appearance, he’s been a very busy AI, even building AN ENTIRE CITY OUT OF NANOMACHINES. Yes, nanomachines. He’s able to assemble an entire futuristic city in seconds using only microscopic computers. I can’t make this shit up. Oh, and he also captures Lupe and the Wolf Pack. Remember them? No? Congratulations, you’re not the only one!

So, of course, our heroes decide to mount a rescue/investigation. Unfortunately, due to reasons of fan service/dramatic irony, Sonic ends up getting paired off with every girl his evil self had hit on over the last two issues. And for some reason, they brought Mina. I thought we had established that she was absolutely useless in combat, but I’m sure Sally has her reasons for choosing her. Oh wait, she ended a committed relationship out of pettiness and a clear lack of risk assessment. My mistake.

So Sonic, Bunnie, Mina, Amy and Fiona head on over to the dystopian city for what amounts to be a very painful issue. I mean, PAINFUL! The art is garishly ugly and beyond inconsistent, the story tries to cram way too many events into a small number of pages, and the whole Wolf Pack thing is merely a Macguffin to get the Freedom Fighters over there. During their raid/rescue/whatever the shit they’re doing, Bunnie gets captured by the nanites, who try to take her over. Why? Because she’s part machine, that’s why! Of course, Sonic ends up saving the day by pointing out the obvious “she’s half-machine” fact, meaning that the nanites can’t really do anything with her organic half, and thus decide to leave them alone. Meanwhile, the heroes also find Snively hiding out, and recruit him to stop…whatever the nanites are doing. It’s really hard to tell.

And so our heroes ride out, with Fiona mentioning how it will take generations to reverse the city’s ecological damage. By the way, during the Sonic/Shadow/Metal Sonic storyline, she practically had an orgasm over an assault rifle. I don’t think she’s cut out to be yet another Captain Planet mouthpiece.

And Snively is now a part of Knothole’s “Brain Trust,” if only because his uncle won’t be taking him back. This is my real problem with the character: nobody knows what to do with him anymore. He’s an artifact of a bygone era, when the comic was actually good, and ever since the first Robotnik bit the dust he’s been bounced around like a ping-pong ball, trying to find some niche to fill. Needless to say, he does nothing as part of the Brain Trust, and even though they mention his having a good relationship with his half-sister Hope, that is never really shown until his last appearance before turning evil yet again. So yeah, hurray for pointless plot twists!

SONGOOSE

The pun…it’s like Kryptonite…

Because having Mina shoehorned into one story a year wasn’t enough, Archie decided to hedge their bets and try again! This time around, Mina is targeted for assassination by Robotnik. (I’ll get to the retarded reasoning later.) He first sends in Nack, but of course our heroes manage to foil his schemes and throw his ass back in jail. However, as long as there’s a possible threat, Sonic is placed as Mina’s bodyguard. Ash, being a massive a-hole, decides to throw a hissy fit, dumps Mina, and runs off to apply more black eyeliner. Oh, and Mina feels completely at fault, because for some reason all her songs are suddenly about Sonic. Who actually saved the girl a few dozen times, saved ALL OF MOBIUS and nearly died in the process, and has been single-handedly winning the war against Robotnik. Yes, surely he is undeserving of some adoration.

Unfortunately, Robotnik’s backup plan is to send in a rebuilt Heavy and Bomb, now more closely resembling their Knuckles Chaotix counterparts. At the next concert, the bombs naturally go flying, Sonic goes running, and the robots are destroyed. Unfortunately, one bomb managed to make it backstage…just as Ash decided to stop being emo and apologize. He grabs the bomb and dives into the dressing room, where he is blown to thousands of bloody chunks, all the while still babbling about how Sonic is a massive dick.

No, I’m sorry, he actually survives. And somehow, his stupidly blowing himself up is enough for Mina to dump all feelings she has for Sonic and decide to stick with Ash. Okay, I’m all for closing up this fucking love triangle, but really, people! Sonic was IN THE SAME ROOM! He could have grabbed the bomb, ran out of Knothole, hurled it into the sky, and NOBODY would be sitting in a hospital right now! There’s not even an acceleration problem; the hedgehog can go from zero to two hundred MPH in a snap! And Ash is a hero because he’s an idiot?

Oh, and Mina says all this WHILE SONIC IS PRACTICALLY RIGHT NEXT TO HER. I can feel a whole tirade of tact and timing coming on…
And Robotnik’s reason for trying to kill a vapid pop star? Because he thought her second album wasn’t as good as her first. Really.

MAWWIAGE…

Well, that’s one love triangle down. Now we can all go and…

OH GOD DAMN IT!

Yes, Tails walks in on Sonic and Fiona…gulp…making out. Tails finally fesses up about that whole “robot Fiona” thing from a while back, only for the CURRENT vixen to point out the rather obvious age gap. And so Tails runs off, crying like a banshee and screaming how much he hates Sonic. But that’s not important right now, so let’s continue.

King Acorn and Antoine’s father have both fallen ill, under very similar and strangely unexplored circumstances. Oh, and they both fell sick after talking to Antoine. Alone. In private. No guards. Of course, the people of Mobius are incapable of putting two and two together, and Acorn decides to step down as king…after Sally agrees to marry Antoine. Yes, we’re back to this shit again. I know I say this too much, but…WHY DID WE RESCUE THIS JACKASS?! Bunnie brings the news to Sonic, while also crying like a baby. (Hey, remember when she used to flip tanks over her head and tear robots in half? My, how her character has developed!) Sonic rushes off to confront her, only to get his ass kicked by Antoine. (Remember, it’s still the evil one.) Sally, in the meantime, decides to go ahead with the marriage, figuring that she will get over Sonic in time.

So, Sonic goes for Plan B: he flags down Elias and tries to convince him to stop the wedding. Unfortunately, our beloved prince is still all emo about how much of a dick his dad is and won’t do anything. Finally, true blue runs in to stop the whole farce. By the time he arrives, however, not only has the wedding already been finished, but they are in the middle of the actual reception. Antoine and Sally both order Sonic to be arrested for trespassing…

But then ELIAS COMES IN TO SAVE THE DAY. Finally done with his moping about, the guy decides to grow some balls (er…figuratively) and take the throne himself. Once again, outdated misogynistic rules of succession win the day! Oh, and apparently Elias’ kids can’t take the throne since their mother’s a commoner. Stupid, but I’ll live with it.

Anti-Antoine finally decides to stop this stupidity and tries to kill Elias with a handshake-obscured needle. That is ROUGHLY THE SIZE OF HIS HAND. Needless to say, Sonic knocks the weapon away, exposes him as the evil doppelganger, and saves the day. And how did he know this? Because nobody ever saw Antoine get that scar. Um…I’m pretty sure Doctor Quack claimed to see what happened, so…you know what, fuck it. It’s done.

Anti-Antoine is kicked back to his own dimension, while the real Antoine is sent back and makes up with Bunnie. Elias’ first act as king is annulling Sally’s marriage, and she’s finally decided to give Sonic another chance. Except, now he’s decided to just stick with Fiona. For no real reason. Oh, and Tails is still crying about this. Lousy cake eaters…

METAL SONIC RAMPAGE

The next story is long, but also short on actual events. Let’s just make it quick.

An army of Metal Sonics suddenly attack Robotnik’s HQ, followed by someone hacking into ADAM. Out of desperation, Robotnik manages to convince Sonic and Tails to help him defeat the machines. Unfortunately, when they get back, they discover the Metal Sonics had been studying under the Alan Moore style of villainous plotting; the takeover was already executed, all they had to do was delay the announcement until it was too late for Robotnik to do anything. And then he pushes a button, shutting down all the robots. I don’t get it, either.

What follows is basically Sonic and Shadow beating the shit out of Metal Sonics. Shadow is now working for Robotnik, albeit purely out of loyalty to his creator. The Metal Sonics were actually created by Uncle Chuck, as an alternative in case Sonic never returned to Mobius. Knuckles temporarily powers up Shadow enough to perform a Chaos Control. And in the end, the day is saved.

THE ORDER OF NAUGUS

Mogul returned once again, this time making another grab for universal dominance. His first scheme: destroy the Walkers. Which he does in a single issue, with the assistance of the Arachnos and the Sword of Acorns. Granted, said gods did choose three replacements before they died (namely Athair, Aurora, and Merlin), but still…in one issue? He then recruits the Destructix (a grab-bag of minor villains) to stir up trouble and steal the Crown of Acorns. Which they do, with almost no resistance. Um…huh.

The Freedom Fighters join up with Sir Connery, a horse paladin formerly working for the Walkers, and head out to do battle. Meanwhile, Ixis Naugus also enters the fray, intent on stealing Mogul’s power. Unfortunately, he realizes that, in the ancient past, Mammoth Mogul created the original Order of Naugus, and is responsible for the wizard’s powers. Now clearly intimidated, he decides to join forces with his former master, now the undisputed ruler of existence. Jolly.

In a subplot, Anonymous helps the Arachnos enter Robotnik’s HQ. Enraged, he orders ADAM to find the cause of the leak. He immediately fingers out Mecha, and in a moment of extreme callousness, our villain has her destroyed AND deleted. He then heads out to hunt down Mogul.

The heroes manage to subdue Mogul long enough to rip off the artifacts and give them to Elias. Unfortunately, both the crown and sword blast the guy and fall off. Since they were both powered by the Source of All, and Elias never even touched the stuff, he can’t use them. Furthermore, Mogul has tainted their power, so that Sally can’t help either. Fortunately, Connery does what he should have done three issues ago and just DESTROYS THE DAMN THINGS, which somehow causes him to vaporize. Now decidedly un-god-like, Mogul still tries to kill off the heroes, only for Robotnik to come flying in (backed by his entire Egg Fleet armada) to seal ALL OF THE VILLAINS IN EGG GRAPES. He then flies off without bothering to, you know, destroy his mortal enemy, who’s just standing their dumbfounded?

There is, however, one thing that does trouble me a little about this story’s conclusion. Look at this panel.

I can see where they were going with this. After Robotnik practically raped his seventh dog in the series and killed off his doting “daughter,” the staff may have realized this was just a little TOO callous for such a character. The problem is, Mogul had nothing to do with Mecha’s death. Robotnik killed her because his son/AI said she was guilty. So, in short, nothing really worked, let’s move on.

THE SEVEN EMERALDS

Up to this point, the Chaos Emeralds in the comics did NOT follow the same rules as the games. There were literally hundreds spread across the planet, they could be replicated in mass quantities (although the manufactured ones obviously did not work as well as the originals), and besides the Master Emerald, none were absolutely vital to the plot. Also, every emerald on Mobius was green, while the games had seven emeralds, each with a different color. The “Sonic in Space” arc had Sonic discovering that other planets also had their own Chaos Emeralds, which were different colors and had different effects on Sonic.

Oh, and they were briefly geodes that that been infused with power from the Xorda’s bombing raid. Just…forget about that, the writers certainly did.
Anyway, one of Ian’s goals was to bring the comic a little closer to the continuity in the games. Furthermore, he also had to wrap up the mess left by the last few writers and editors, ESPECIALLY PENDERS. And thus we have our conclusion to the Anonymous arc, the solution to the Emerald problem, and Ian’s continuity porn, all in one package!

After being rescued, Tommy Turtle did nothing, as usual. That is, until he got covered in nanites, and his shell suddenly became a Gamera-esque jetpack. After that, he went back to doing nothing, until ADAM decided to take control of the nanite city. He also took over Tommy’s body, morphing the nanites into battle armor. He then captured Shadow and Tails, made them go into their super/turbo forms, trapped them in stasis, and then hooked them into a typical doomsday machine.

Sonic came charging in…as did Robotnik, who was pissed that his son was trying to usurp him. ADAM ends up admitting to framing Mecha, as she apparently figured out what was going on. While he’s doing this, however, he’s also using his super-powered hostages to pull out every single Chaos Emerald from every corner of the universe before smashing them all together, creating seven Super-Powered Chaos Emeralds. Using these, he will then launch a campaign of destruction that will bring all of existence to its knees. One problem: Locke had teamed up with Dr. Finitivus (an action that will certainly not bite him in the ass later), and together they have enough power to hold down the Master Emerald. Oh, and the captured heroes escape.
Sonic quickly transforms into Super Sonic, and the three manage to defeat the Tommy/ADAM combination. However, just as Tommy seems to be winning back control, Robotnik has him blown sky-high by his beloved Egg Armada. Sonic goes back to grieving for the lost friend/Gary Stu, while Robotnik swears to never trust anyone ever again.

But then comes the next problem. The Emeralds are subsequently sealed away in the Zone of Silence. As it turns out, the heroes NEED the emeralds to save King Acorn from Patch’s assassination attempt. Merlin sends them into the Zone of Silence to recover one of the emeralds…only to find that, in their absence, someone else has taken over. Faust, a giant panda that was briefly introduced ALL THE WAY BACK AROUND ISSUE 40, DID NOTHING, AND WAS NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN, has gathered all seven emeralds and refit the Zone of Silence into the Special Zone! He gives them the Grey Chaos Emerald for free (as thanks for giving him unlimited power), but warns them that any future emeralds would require them to complete a special task. So far, none of that has come to light, but from the looks of it, it would involve challenges similar to the Special Stages from the games.

Oh, and Antoine’s father dies. Turns out he was poisoned, too. Really, I’m beyond caring at this point.

SCOURGE THE HEDGEHOG

Now that all this bullshit is settled, time to move on to one of the better changes Ian made.

The Freedom Fighters decide to throw a birthday party for our favorite blue hedgehog, held inside the newly-created Freedom HQ or whatever. (Basically, it’s an underground bunker where the heroes can hang out and plan missions.) Unfortunately, the party is crashed by Bark the Polar Bear and Bean the…green bird thing, two characters from the rightfully-forgotten Sonic Fighters. Needless to say, they get their asses kicked.

There is one wrinkle, though. Since this is Sonic’s birthday, it also stands that it’s Anti-Sonic’s birthday as well. He decides to give HIMSELF a present in the form of stealing the Master Emerald’s powers. Locke manages to intercept him just as he’s starting and slashes him across the chest. However, not only has Anti-Sonic managed to steal enough Chaos Energy to survive the wound (although with a permanent scar), but he’s also turned green and become permanently supercharged!

Now calling himself Scourge the Hedgehog, he heads down to Mobius to fight Sonic yet again. This time, our hero is hopelessly outmatched, until Shadow shoes up. At which point, BOTH of our heroes are hopelessly outmatched. Seriously, Scourge is able to run circles around them, can take any amount of punishment, and is basically locked in Super Sonic mode. Oh, and Croc-Bot also shows up to capture all three, only for the three mammals to band together and destroy him for good. Then Scourge heads back to the Floating Island, where he joins forces with Dr. Finitivus. Because of Knuckles’ commitment to actually doing stuff that makes sense, Locke has entrusted the doctor with the position of Master Emerald Caretaker.

One problem: Finitivus is actually working for Dmitri. Or rather, was. The once-mighty leader of the Dark Legion refused to have anything to do with the doctor’s true plans (to be discussed in the next block), and as a result, Finitivus tore his cybernetic body apart until only the head was left, now floating in a glass bowl. Not that it really matters for now, anyway.

TRAITOR

There was another subplot during these issues, one that managed to sink two ships with one stone. And of course, it all involves Fiona Fox.
The problem with her character was that, well, she had no character. There was no real depth or perspective to her. She just started as a typical vengeance-filled action chick, then became some sort of special agent, and finally ended up becoming Sonic’s interment girlfriend. Oh, and Tails lusted after her because of a robot double made when she was eight. But really, that was about it.

The actual subplot started during Sonic’s birthday party. While dealing with Bark and Bean, both thugs demonstrate an almost intimate knowledge of her. She, in turn, knows that Bean has severe ADHD, and manages to defeat him by distracting him with some shiny keys. Unfortunately, rather than being, you know, thanked, Sally simply starts drilling her about her past connections. She doesn’t freak out, but still doesn’t take it too well.

Later, Rouge realizes Finitivus and Scourge are simply fucking insane and decides to rat them out to Knothole. However, as part of a cross-checking procedure, they also drill Fiona, her former rival in the thieving circuit. Once again, she doesn’t take too kindly to being prodded. Even worse, when Sonic takes her outside afterwards, they find Tails being held hostage by Sleuth, who wants the Warp Ring Rouge brought with her. Scourge also comes along, beating the shit out of Sonic while Fiona agrees to give Sleuth the ring. She tells the two heroes not to think too much about what just happened…which makes them even more suspicious.

Finally, Fiona just stops appearing, making Sonic even more concerned. The arc finally gets resolved when Sonic finally confronts Fiona…only to get sidelined by Scourge. Turns out she was bored with being a hero, and decided that an evil Sonic was a much cooler boyfriend. Tails, who was spying overhead, flies down in tears…only for Fiona to backhand him a good twenty feet. So, of course, Sonic starts fighting Scourge…AGAIN. And starts getting his ass kicked…AGAIN. Only difference is, this time Scourge tries the good old “If you had one bad day you will become evil” line. Sonic, for once in his life, manages to utilize an “If you had one good day you would become good” retort, shutting Scourge up in thought until Fiona jumps in.

(Note to Scourge: That trick didn’t work for the Joker. It sure as hell isn’t going to work in THIS comic.)

Fiona and Scourge are ready to kick hedgehog ass…until Amy comes in. Turns out Julie-Su was helping her grind up a few dozen levels in badass over the last few weeks, and she’s suddenly more than a match for the self-styled mercenary/thief/traitor. Finally tiring of the fight, Scourge and Fiona leave via Warp Ring.

MOBIUS: 25 YEARS LATER PART II

Well, now’s as good a time as any to cover this…monster.

As it turns out, the future has suddenly become very, very dystopian. Shadow has married Sally (for no adequately explained reason), and Lien-Da tricked Rotor into building her a device that protected her memories from the old timeline. Meanwhile, everyone else that was near the last device also has their memories (including Lara-Su, who had smuggled herself to the sight). Tails figured out something was going wrong, and built devices similar to Lien-Da’s to protect him and his family. Knuckles has joined Shadow’s forces, and is training various Guardian wannabes, including his daughter.

Tails tries to convince Knuckles to rebel, but is violently rejected. Lara-Su, however, is still angsting about how every friend she knew (especially Sonic’s kids) no longer exist, and decides to join Tails. The heroes then find Sonic, now a self-pitying bum. He spends all his time crying about how much he misses his family, and how he was such a shitty father before. Meanwhile, Knuckles arrives to capture all three, where they are imprisoned alongside Rotor. King Shadow gloats about some…plan he has, or something. Seriously, nothing gets explained here.

As it turns out, Knuckles remembers everything, and frees everyone. They rush the throne room, where Sally (who was not with the group during the paradox) has been told everything. Shadow and Sonic fight…and our hero is once again defeated. But wait! Lara-Su is suddenly more powerful than anyone, and because of the new timeline, she can now use Chaos Powers! So yes, the red-furred future daughter of our red-furred sidekick-turned-spotlight-stealing-protagonist is suddenly able to outfight a future villain that just kicked the comic’s main character’s ass!

Should I just turn the shotgun on myself at this point? I’m already ashamed enough as it is.

So anyway, Lara-Su freezes Shadow in some sort of time bubble or something. Everyone praises her endlessly, Knuckles makes her a full guardian, and all is well. Meanwhile, Sonic and Sally finally get back together, with NO clear indication of WHY she hooked up with Shadow in the first place, and decide to have kids again.

I’m sorry, but this story was just pointless. It sucks in the exact opposite way of the previous 25YL; this time, it moves way too quickly, it doesn’t explain a damn thing about why everything’s so fucked up, Lara-Su has gone from emo bitch to Mary Sue, Sonic is even whinier than usual, and it’s just…just…bad. Unfortunately, there’s still that future storyline in Sonic Universe, but I’m not covering it! At all!

(I’m still on the fence about the Sonic X comic, though. That series was actually good.)

KNOTHOLE’S LAST STAND

The next few issues wrap up a few plot points. Rouge steals the Master Emerald, which she plans to sell to Mogul. Since ADAM sucked up and merged every Chaos Emerald, he no longer has most of his powers. Furthermore, Naugus has been reduced to a drooling simpleton, but now has the ability to meld into the shadows. As it turns out, she never stole the emerald; she was working with Knothole to capture the villains. And Naugus’ new trick? He tries to sneak up from behind…only to find Sonic and Sally a little TOO genre-savvy for their own good.

Meanwhile, Merlin shows up out of fucking nowhere and decides to bring Tails’ family home. (And he didn’t do this at any other point because…) Turns out he picked the right time, because the evil Black Doom (from Shadow the Hedgehog) is destroying the Bem homeworld. Rather than, you know, rescue the OTHER people on the planet, everyone just snatches up Amadeus and Rosemary and whisks them back to Knothole. Tails is ecstatic about everything, and Elias happily reinstates him as general. Of course, Amadeus is quickly shown to be behind plotting and scheming of his own, plans that may lead to the planet’s doom.

Finally, our plot goes back on track with Antoine and Bunnie getting married. Once again, the staff’s angst and repressed rage suddenly boil over at the thought of FICTIONAL CHARACTERS having better love lives than theirs, and conspire to destroy them. This time, while everyone is partying down, Espio sneaks into Robotnik’s citadel. He discovers that Robotnik has made a new battlesuit…only to be seemingly killed off shortly thereafter. The next issue, Robuttnik flies into Knothole, along with his entire Egg Fleet or whatever.

What happens next is pure, unadulterated carnage. Robotnik’s already jammed their communications, so that the Mobians cannot contact Station Square for help. The Egg Fleet decimates the city’s defenses. Robotnik himself flies in, his suit capable of firing rays that teleport Mobians into Egg Grapes. When Sonic runs in to stop him, he finds the true genius behind Robotnik’s plan: he figured out exactly how Sonic fights, and made his armor INVULNERABLE TO ANYTHING SONIC CAN THROW AT IT. Our hero’s idiocy takes flight once again, and he starts ramming the suit endlessly. Hell, he even tries the “run around the world real fast and hit him at Mach 1” trick; THAT doesn’t even dent the thing! Finally, Robotnik simply beats his adversary down, detailing how every little thing he’s done, ever victory he’s obtained, has been for nothing. There’s not a damn thing Sonic can do to stop the doctor now.

Utterly crushed, Sonic is left lying defeated, possibly the last surviving Mobian. Around him, Knothole continues to burn, bringing to an end the team’s old hideout and the last hope for Mobian civilization. And this is when we end our little tale…for now.

CONCLUSION

So, what we have here is a collection of fairly poor stories, which gradually get better until the awesome Downfall. Storylines are finally wrapped up, and everything is back to “Sonic vs. Robotnik.” Even the characterization is getting better.

This trend continues in the next block, our final jaunt in the comic. We’ll go through the next twenty-five issues, all of which give us a much-needed change in scenery, some more plot development, and the utterly awesome Issue 200. See you then!

What would have happened if he said Dr. Eggman?

I <3 Sonic

My childhood would have been crushed, along with Dr. Robotnik’s dignity. Come to think of it, both these have already been accomplished, so… why am I answering rhetorical questions?

The more I read this, the more confusing it seems to get. Also, why the hell is everyone the comic so stupid? In fact, from the way you describe it, d, I wonder how it’s even lasted this long.

Also, I approve of Robotink. Eggman sounds so weird, yet it makes sense given some of his creations, like the Death Egg. Although it’s just another case of the whole Princess Toadstool/Peach thing.

The USSR was still recent when Sonic came out, so why not give the evil scientist a Soviet style name?

Well…this is it. This is as far as I go, I guess.

Sorry the last few sections are so rushed. I just needed to get this done.


Chapter Ten: Twilight of the Eggman Empire (Issues 176-200)

Last time, on As Mobius Turns…

Robotnik has won. Knothole is destroyed, Sonic is defeated, and the Mobians are now inside his Egg Grapes.

And now, our feature presentation…

THE RESCUE

When Sonic regains consciousness, Knothole has already been reduced to a pile of ashes. Almost immediately, he runs into the handful of survivors…which includes just about every Freedom Fighter (plus Amy). Um…wouldn’t those be the first people Robotnik would aim for? I mean, they ARE the ones that have been ruining your every scheme all these years. Anyway, Tails suddenly has a bad attitude, blaming Sonic for everything that happened. AND THINGS ONLY GET WORSE THE NEXT FEW ISSUES, let me tell you.

Fortunately, NICOLE also escaped capture (hey, remember her?), and quickly formulates an escape plan. The heroes rip a page out of the Dawn of the Dead remake, build an armored car, and drive it right into Megaopolis. Meanwhile, Robotnik is gloating over his captives, convinced that leaving his greatest enemy still alive and free is a foolproof strategy. Oh, and then he starts to suck the life out of Charmy…just as the heroes come charging into the Egg Grape chamber.

Seeing that the hedgehog is decidedly NOT dead and NOT spiritually crushed, Robotnik and Snively both beat it out of there. Meanwhile, Tails hooks NICOLE into Robotnik’s network, freeing all the captives and modifying Robotnik’s armor. Sure enough, the doctor comes charging after everyone, once again wearing his ridiculous powered suit. Before long, Sonic has led everyone into a dead end, and Robotnik finishes beaming everyone back into the Grapes…

And then Snively calls in, saying that NOBODY was sent back to the Grapes. NICOLE’S modifications changed the teleportation coordinates. All in all, it wasn’t a terrible plan…except, how the hell does that work? Is Robotnik’s entire suit controlled by a single console in the middle of his fucking capital? And furthermore, if Snively knew what was happening, couldn’t he have simply fixed the error from there? Seriously, this whole thing was incredibly contrived.

NEW MOBOTROPOLIS

So, our heroes have escaped capture yet again. But if Knothole is a big, burned-down scar now, where will they go? As luck would have it, they all get sent to the Nanite City. With ADAM destroyed, NICOLE was able to take over the city’s nanites and forced them to build a recreation of the long-destroyed Mobotropolis. She also took the time to construct an extra-secure prison, a city-wide forcefield, and enough generators that she can keep her lynx form indefinitely. Cool.

But of course, Robotnik’s not gonna take this lying down! He dispatches his entire Egg Fleet to destroy the city, recapture the Mobians, and kill Sonic once and for all. Meanwhile, Mogul and the other villainous Mobians try to stage a coup…only to be immediately teleported into the new prison. NICOLE is forced to transfer more power to the city’s shield, causing her form to temporarily break apart. At the same time, the Fleet is bombing the everloving hell out of the city…or at least trying to, since the shield turns out to be impenetrable. Snively (who’s commanding the fleet) only stops briefly when Hope flies in, verbally blasting him for betraying her trust and saying how she’ll make the Kintobor name mean something again. Instead of shooting her and killing off a potential problem, Snively simply breaks into tears.

And so the issue continues. Or, to be more correct, drags. There’s no conflict anymore; the city’s practically invulnerable. Even when Robotnik’s powered armor shows up, he can’t breach the walls. So, in the place of tension, we have a bunch of characters contemplating their navels. Bunnie and Antoine crack jokes about each other. Charmy is still alive, but has some brain damage. Sally finally decides to cut her hair. Sonic and Rotor talk about pointless things. The ONLY conversation that actually means anything involves Amadeus planning to bring down the Acorn dynasty and introduce democracy. (For my rant on why this is a stupid idea, just scroll down.)

As previously mentioned, Robotnik finally shows up, screaming and bellowing that Sonic stole HIS city, and demanding another fight. Sonic obliges his request, and waits for the doctor to once again state how perfect and invulnerable his armor is. And then Sonic reveals his secret weapon: EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER TO HAVE EVER FOUGHT IN OR WITH THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS BUM RUSHES ROBOTNIK. The suit’s crippling weakness was that it was designed to fend off Sonic; Robotnik didn’t consider anyone else to be enough of a threat. And of course, the scenes that follow are so epic, so unbelievably awesome, that they totally make up for just how stupidly contrived the whole twist was.

Finally, Robotnik is left with only the suit’s comfy hind quarters to sit on. Sally shows up to start her own round of gloating…only for Robotnik to launch the Egg Fleet’s remaining weaponry at the waiting heroes. Of course, our beloved forces are stupid enough to just stand there and let him do it. Fortunately, they’re saved when NICOLE stretches the shield out enough to cover them. She then resumes Lynx form to tell off Robotnik herself. Completely humiliated, our antagonist literally flies off in the seat of his pants, all the while swearing revenge.

THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED

Alright, it’s time for another one of those “What kind of an idiot is this fucking character?” quizzes.

You are General Amadeus Prower. You were roboticized, but aliens restored you. You were sent home to your now-eleven-year-old son, Tails, literally days before one of your people’s most important sites was utterly destroyed. The Mobians have a new home, one that you can hide in however long it takes to muster an army. What is your course of action?

A. Immediately start raising up the equipment and manpower to successfully retake your planet.
B. Attempt to reconnect with Station Square and plan a new course of action.
C. Consult with the other generals and rulers on what to do.
D. Immediately try to overthrow the government based on events you were not there to witness and therefore have no true understanding of.

Once again, our answer is D. I need to make these things tougher.

Unfortunately, the revolution attempt occurs off-panel; NICOLE simply pops in to tell Sonic, Tails and Rosemary of Amadeus’ arrest. Of course, Sonic then ruins the moment by flat-out insulting Tails’ father’s strategic prowess, sending the two foxes leaving in a huff. When NICOLE rightly calls him out on his bullshit, Sonic simply runs off to see Knuckles off.

Oh, Knuckles is leaving for Angel Island. This scene is kinda just sandwiched in there, with only a “I must see my homeland” excuse for the echidna leaving. I’m not kidding, it doesn’t pay off until the next storyline, so why is it appearing this early? So yeah, Knuckles leaves. Surely nothing horrible will come of this!

What follows is exactly why political discussions rarely work in kids comics. Elias heads to the dungeon to confront Amadeus, only to hear about the wonders of Democracy and how the monarchy is stupid and ugly and accomplished nothing. Elias then tells Sonic he would gladly step down (angst overload again), but the other King Acorn (now a senile loon) wants to see Amadeus executed. Later, Elias finally tells Amadeus that the Acorn family has actually been working for the people’s benefit, against increasingly overwhelming odds, and how everyone’s actions was to restore the monarchy.

Okay, let’s break this down bit by bit:

*Amadeus says that the Freedom Fighters and their council accomplished more in the last ten years than the Acorn family ever did. Because, you know, the monarchy has done nothing besides unite nearly every race in Mobius, proliferated a clean energy technology, fought for their lives in the Great War, fought against Robotnik, etc. And that council? They ordered Sonic dead twice on questionable evidence, tended to break into disagreement constantly, and were utterly ineffectual.

*King Acorn is a dick. A sexist dick, at that. But at the same time, he was usually at least somewhat rational. In order to cement the shaky “overthrow the government” argument, he’s derailed into a senile hanging judge, gleefully ordering the execution of anyone he thinks betrayed him.

*Again, WHY ARE YOU OVERTHROWING THE GOVERNMENT IN THE MIDDLE OF A WAR?!

But since this is aimed at American youth, the comic’s argument has to be “Democracy is the best thing ever.” Enough about that.

That night, Tails and Rosemary break into the dungeon and free Amadeus. NICOLE notifies Sonic, who runs off to stop the jailbreak. Unfortunately, he quickly becomes a massive dick yet again, justifying Tails slamming him from behind. The two friends start fighting, while Amadeus and Rosemary run off to finish the revolution. Well, Rosemary more or less forces Amadeus to do it, but you get the idea. Makes me wonder who was REALLY behind the idea. I mean, Rosemary wrote Amadeus’ speech, was very vocal about her support for her husband’s “revolution,” and now she’s more or less pressuring him into launching an open assault on the castle! What the hell?

Meanwhile, Sonic and Tails are still fighting, now out of the dungeon and wrestling in the forest. Tails calls out Sonic on every little thing he’s said and done to him since the series began, finally culminating in the real reason for everything: Sonic dating Fiona. Except, a few issues ago, Tails was completely over the traitorous skank. Yes, they destroyed actual character development so they could get the two fighting. Excuse me, I need to slam my head into a wall.

Okay, I’m back. Anyway, Sonic finally apologizes, taking the blame for everything. (Well, he WAS being a bit of a douche, but still.) Tails accepts, and the two run off to stop the one-fox rebellion. Meanwhile, Elias and Amadeus have already resorted to one of the most unexciting, pathetically paced duels in the history of comics. It beats the fuck out of the “democracy is awesome lol” moments earlier, but STILL, we’ve have far more interesting fights by this point. Why is this one so…pathetic?

The whole thing ends when Sally finally shows up, shuts down their dick waving competition (just…forget I ever said that), and mediates a compromise. Over TEA, no less. Anyway, they agree to set up a ruling council, with six elected members and Elias as the seventh. The rebellion stops…just as Sonic and Tails come running in.

And our story arc ends with free elections for the first time in Mobian history. King Acorn decides to start shunning Elias, but we don’t care, because he’s a fucking bastard. Rosemary, Uncle Chuck, Rotor, and the reserve Freedom Fighters (I’ll cover one of them a bit later) are chosen as the first council members. And thus, our story ends…with Dmitri’s head floating down, telling everyone that Enerjak is back.

GASP You mean the evil echidna that can control chaos energy and nearly destroyed the world many times over has returned? WOW! It’s a good thing none of our ECHIDNA characters that can CONTROL CHAOS ENERGY have travelled to a place WITH A LOT OF IT and turned into THEIR WORST ENEMY. That would be bad. And bland. And incredibly slowly-paced. And about as annoying as this joke.

THE ORIGIN OF DOCTOR FINITIVUS

First, though, we have a whole lot of flashbacks. We’re talking about, like, Ken Penders level here. They do a good job of explaining just who the hell Finitivus is, but here’s the thing. They ran as backup stories for every issue in the arc except for the finale. This means fewer pages for the more interesting main plot. At least they didn’t subtract pages from the AWESOME final battle, because I’d probably have to kill some people otherwise.

Finitivus was once an Echidna scientist in Albion. While working on an experiment, something went wrong, and he disappeared. When he came back, his fur was completely white, and he was very, very pissed at existence in general. He immediately wiped out Albion, killing every man, woman and child inside. He then attacked the Brotherhood of Guardians, sucking all of its members save Locke into a portal and sealing them inside. Finally, he hunted down and killed Moritori, seriously damaging the Dark Legion’s leadership in the process.

From there, he joined the Dark Legion, in hopes of getting the Master Emerald. For what end? Why, to destroy the world, of course! And of course, he needs someone to accomplish this…

KNUCKLES IS ENERJAK

Sure, you can knock me for spoilers, but…they didn’t even bother hiding this. It was fucking obvious from PAGE ONE that our favorite Echidna had turned evil. They didn’t even bother to hide that he was brainwashed by Dr. Finitivus, or that Scourge, Fiona and the Destructix are working for him. They don’t even hide that this is a tie-in to 25YL. It’s not a terrible arc; actually, it’s pretty damn good. But this isn’t exactly “Captain Atom is Monarch.”

As we learn later (in flashback, from Archimedes), after arriving on Angel Island, Knuckles was immediately captured by Dr. Finitivus. In his absence, the Dark Legion had descended into civil war, between Lien-Da and Constable Remington. Yes, Remington’s “dark secret” was that he is a descendant of Dmitri. Go fig. Anydangway, between the Dingo oppression and the civil war, 90% of the Echidna race is dead, and that number will only go up unless Knuckles does something. Of course, being the idiot he is, he rushes right to the Master Emerald to power up. Unfortunately, Finitivus had already corrupted the emerald, causing Knuckles to turn into Enerjak instead.

Enerjak’s first task is dealing with the Dingoes. He heads right into their capital, murders their leader, and teleports the remainder into Angel Island’s desert to die. He then attacks the Dark Legion, restoring Remington’s sanity in the process. Unfortunately for the Legion, the new Enerjak doesn’t like technology, and promptly RIPS IT OUT OF THEIR BODIES. Remington and his followers are teleported to Albion…which Finitivus has already destroyed. With this little bit of random desolation done, Enerjak sets his eyes on New Mobotropolis.

Our brand new council immediately proves just how valuable they’ll be…and decides to do nothing against Enerjak. Pissed off, Sonic runs to Robotnik, who agrees to help capture Enerjak. (This is, of course, an incredibly stupid move, as everyone in the story points out.) When Enerjak finally arrives, he tries to rip out Julie-Su’s implants, only to be interrupted by Sonic’s arrival.

You can probably guess how the fight turns out. Enerjak wastes the hedgehog’s ass, and is stopped from destroying Mobius altogether only when Robotnik arrives and sucks him into his new Egg Grape. Of course, this gives Robotnik a new, unlimited power source, meaning the whole planet is royally fucked. Before they can actually, you know, chase the bad guy, however, Sonic and Julie-Su are teleported to Angel Island by Locke. After realizing just how fucking retarded he has been for the last, what, fifty or so issues, he decided to help fix the mess he started. He helped the Echidnas at Albion start to rebuild, and then brought the two to Angel Island to recover a backup Anti-Enerjak device…which will permanently kill whoever is Enerjak at the moment.

Father of the Year material, I swear.

Meanwhile, Robotnik and Snively strap in Enerjak…only to have him immediately escape. What follows is, quite possibly, the most epic moment in the entire Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. I’m not kidding, it is that awesome. Robotnik sends out his entire army and Egg Fleet to subdue and recapture Enerjak. His response? BLOW. SHIT. UP.
Not only does he defeat Robotnik’s entire military, he also nearly burns New Megaoplis to the ground, making it nearly impossible for the Eggman Empire to rebuild itself. He stops only when a combination of fatigue and events on Angel Island force him to retreat.

Meanwhile, Sonic, Julie-Su and Locke head out for the device, with Julie-Su and Locke arguing about whether or not to use it. Once there, they fight for a good while, until Sonic manages to sneak around, grab the thing…and smash it. Totally dumbstruck as to what to do next, the Destructix simply leave. Scourge, meanwhile, is still bothered by what Sonic said to him during their last fight (about trying to be a hero for once), and decides to head home to think about things. Of course, Fiona decides to follow him.

With their trump card gone, the heroes head back to the Master Emerald, where Enerjak was already recharging. Sonic runs past Enerjak and Finitivus, jumps on the Master Emerald, and starts absorbing its power himself, transforming into Super Sonic. The two super-beings, of course, immediately start fighting it out across the entire planet, while Julie-Su, Locke and Archimedes try to reverse Knuckles’ transformation. Unfortunately, the evil doctor has cursed the Master Emerald, so that if anyone tries to actually reverse things, they will have to sacrifice themselves in the process. (Why he didn’t just make it so anyone that touches the emerald dies is anyone’s guess.)

Of course, everyone points out this is mostly Locke’s damn fault. And of course, they’re right. I’m not being sarcastic here; Locke is totally to blame for most of the shit that has been going on. And so, he ends up getting on the Emerald, while Julie-Su and Archimedes hold off Finitivus. Meanwhile, Super Sonic and Enerjak keep beating the shit out of each other, until they’re right next to the Master Emerald’s temple. Just as Super Sonic is about to lose, Locke finishes his spell, is vaporized (no bodies in this comic, I guess), and Knuckles returns to normal. Oh, and he remembers everything that happened.

Finitivus barely escapes through a warp ring (after getting sucker punched, of course). Knuckles, meanwhile, has relapsed into total emo mode, and decides to stay behind as the last Echidna on Angel Island. As for the Dark Legion? Lien-Da hooks up with Robotnik, agreeing to act as his intermittent army in exchange for some mechanical upgrades. Unfortunately, after the thing with Sonic fell through, Dmitri hooked up with Robotnik first, making him once again the leader of the Dark Legion.

MAMMOTH MONGUL’S RETURN

The next arc marks the return of…Mina. Oh no, this is going to hurt.

Mina and Ash fly back into New Mobotropolis, having finished her world tour/excuse to get out of the story. (Here’s a thought, though; if Robotnik is ruling the world, why the hell is she able to get around so easy? I mean, yeah, Robotnik’s entire army was destroyed, but that was AFTER Mina left. AFTER. Couldn’t he have just…blown her out the sky, just to be a dick? Then again, he IS a closet fur- I mean, fan, so that shouldn’t be a problem, I guess.) Anyway, Ash agrees to stop being a dick…again. Hurray.

Oh, and the Chaotix also come back. Hurray.

Meanwhile, Mogul decides he’s been spending too much time in prison, and wants to bust out. Furthermore, he needs a Chaos Emerald to restore his powers. He first tries to threaten Sonic, but of course, the hedgehog is not exactly concerned about the depowered prehistoric Mobian. So he goes to Plan B: activate a bunch of sleeper agents he had STASHED AWAY for just such an occasion, have them fight Sonic, and then use them to blackmail the hedgehog into giving up the Emerald. Um…okay?

And who are these agents? First is Tails. (Okay, that one was pretty obvious.) Next is Mina, who apparently got her Super Speed from Mogul during Robo-Robotnik’s return. Gee, Ian, did THAT plot point need revisiting? I mean, it’s not like she, you know, USES her powers or anything? And the last is Mighty, who Mogul granted Super Strength so he could save his dad, or something. Look, none of this is going to be important later, so let’s continue!

Using what little remains of his telepathy, Mogul takes control of all three and forces them to fight Sonic and Ash. They brawl for a while, and Mogul realizes this isn’t working. So then comes Plan C: he orders all three to run off and put themselves in extreme danger, and will allow them to die unless Sonic coughs up the Emerald. The hedgehog finally gives up, breaks into Castle Acorn, steals the Chaos Emerald, escapes from NICOLE, and gives it to Mogul.

Within seconds, he’s got his precious belly button plug back. The sheer influx of power destroys the prison and damn-near wipes out NICOLE. Sonic prepares for another fight…only for Mogul to refuse. Yes, the all-powerful villain has finally realized the bumpkin before him is unbeatable. So he now plans to simply…sit around and wait for Sonic to die from something else, and then move in and take over Mobius. (Actually a pretty damn good plan, if you ask me. Makes me wonder why other immortal, cosmically-powered beings constantly try to kill their own adversaries.) He teleports away, along with all the other imprisoned villains, and…starts a casino.

No, I am not making this up. There’s a few more stories with him, but they all add up to a great ball of NOTHING, so let’s continue.

THE SUPPRESSION SQUAD

While all that was going on, Scourge and Fiona were busy on Anti-Mobius (now called Moebius). The evil Sonic has taken his alternate’s words to heart…and decided to make his entire universe more than an “evil Mobius.” To that end, he reconquers the planet, nearly kills and exiles Anti-Bunnie, and proceeds to rename and adjust the gimmicks for everyone else:

*Anti-Sally becomes Alicia. She’s actually pretty much the same, albeit more subdued and less willing to challenge her ex. Which is natural, considering he’s beaten the tar out of everyone else up to this point. Damn Villain Sues…
*Anti-Rotor becomes Boomer (his name in the early issues, and a reference to the British comics). He also gains some cybernetic implants.
*Anti-Tails becomes Miles. He changes from an annoying little brat to a cold, calculating magnificent bastard.
*Anti-Antoine becomes Patch. He’s basically the same as he was during the previous issues.

New crew in tow, Scourge and Fiona decide to head back to Mobius, just so they can screw around with Sonic some more. They start the invasion by warping into Freedom HQ, while most of the Freedom Fighters were working on projects. During the ensuing battle, Scourge and Sonic duel yet again, Scourge calls Sonic a weakling, blah blah blah, they all get their asses kicked. Finally, Sally just orders Sonic to pull everyone back, giving the newly-minted Suppression Squad control over the base.

(And while that’s going on, Knuckles and the Chaotix are fighting off the Dark Legion, having been rearmed and rebuilt by Robotnik. Unfortunately, once things go south, the Legion learns that Robotnik’s entire army is still destroyed; they are the ONLY fighting force he has left. Finally, Lien-Da orders everyone to withdraw…just as Dmitri flat-out admits that he’s using Robotnik, and is actively working to undermine him.)

What follows are a series of filler issues, none of which are terribly important. Sonic tries to get Freedom HQ back, but the council keeps saying no. Meanwhile, Robotnik takes an interest in Scourge, and builds a Metal Scourge (plus another Metal Sonic) to go fight the two. The two hedgehogs team up, defeat the robots, and then run off again. Later that night, Scourge tries to sneak into Sonic’s house for another round (and just how did he get past NICOLE?), only to get verbally destroyed by Jules.

(Oh, and we also learn the history of Moebius. Scourge’s father ended up creating world peace…which caused the entire planet to stagnate and crumble. So, Anti-Sonic started the Anti-Freedom Fighters, overthrew the government, killed Anti-Jules, and created a state of worldwide anarchy. Of course, none of this is brought up again, which is actually too bad. It’s a nice little dash of gray in a comic that desperately needs something, ANYTHING to lift up the stagnating storyline.)

TOO MANY HEDGEHOGS!

Finally, the whole thing slams together in an epically confusing conclusion. As punishment for trying to retake Freedom HQ (which led to the whole Metal Scourge fiasco), Sally orders Sonic…to lead an invasion into Moebius. Sonic (and Amy, as his backup) enter Moebius…where they meet Dr. Kintobor, now thin as a rail. (Because fat people are always evil, you see.) He’s set up the Moebius equivalent of New Mobotropolis, as an ordered society for everyone sick of Scourge’s madness. He’s also taken in Anti-Bunnie (now Buns), who now has to ride in an Omega-style suit to survive. Unfortunately, they have no chance of winning, unless they get help from Rosie, Amy’s evil counterpart. Both Kintobor and Buns think it’s a bad idea, but Sonic decides to roll with it.

Meanwhile, Sally is approached by Miles. The rest of the Suppression Squad is sick of Scourge, and want their help to bring him down. Of course, they trust the villains immediately.

Once at the palace, the heroes find Rosie…who looks exactly like the old Amy Rose, before her Plot Relevant Age Up. She was always trying to smash Anti-Sonic with her hammer, but being a supersonic rodent made him impossible to hit. So, she tried to wish on the Anti-Ring of Acorns to age progress. Tragically, the Anti-Ring not only failed to grant her desire, but it also completely shattered her tenuous grasp on reality, reducing her to a foaming mad psychopath with designs on Anti-Sonic. And look, here’s a hedgehog that looks exactly like him…

The heroes manage to dodge most of Rosie’s attacks, at least long enough for Sonic to use a Star Post to warp back to Mobius. Sonic arrives in Freedom HQ, saves the invasion team, and takes on both Scourge and Fiona. He crushes Fiona in an old-fashioned “You Suck” speech, and then manages to push both Scourge and himself through the post… right before Boomer deactivates it, trapping both on Moebius. Rosie, meanwhile, has practically destroyed Buns’ armor, and is more than happy to turn her sights on her “love.”

Okay, so we have Scourge getting chased around by Rosie. Sonic is there to make sure he’s down for the count, and he can surely find a way back home. So far, so good. There’s absolutely no way they can ruin this story, right? Well, they find a way, the worst possible way imaginable.

They bring in Sonic 06.

Back in Mercia, Rob O’ The Hedge and Mari-An meet Silver the Hedgehog. He’s crossed into the past in search of Sonic, blaming him for causing a great disaster in the future. And thus, we’ve finally done it. We’ve brought the absolute worst Sonic game in existence into the comic’s continuity. I’m weeping now. But anyway, they decide to track down Sonic together. Meanwhile, Robotnik builds a new Metal Sonic, one with the ability to lock onto Sonic’s position and immediately teleport there. Turns out it works across the entire multiverse, as the robot easily warps to Moebius even without Robotnik ordering it to. Finally, Shadow gets sent into the mess by total accident, having been teleported there while trying to access the Special Zone.

Of course, this turns into a royal clusterfuck within seconds, stopped only when Silver uses his powers (telekinesis, in case you were smart enough to avoid that train wreck of a game) to freeze everyone in place. He singles out Sonic, bashes him around for a while, and stops only when he realizes Scourge is the biggest threat here. Metal Sonic also agrees, and temporarily teams up with the others.

The Hedgehog Formerly Known As Evil Sonic realizes how screwed he is, and decides to enact Plan B. He runs to the old throne room…where he stashed the Anarchy Beryls, the evil equivalents of the Chaos Emeralds. (The pun…it hurts.) He then transforms into Super Scourge, and since he’s already Chaos Energy-powered, it only makes him even more of a Villain Sue. He blows the others away, just as the Suppression Squad uses their own star posts to return. (Except Fiona. Seriously, nothing is ever mentioned of her again.) He then starts beating the shit out of his former lackeys, before Sonic finally figures something out. The beating causes Metal Sonic’s programming to fritz out, but before he can attack Sonic again, Shadow simply Chaos Controls both himself and the robot out of Moebius. (And into the last issue of the Sonic X spinoff.)

He runs out of the castle, luring Super Scourge into following. After several pages of taunting, beating and other assorted madness, Super Scourge moves in to finish Sonic…before suddenly powering down. Sonic’s reasoning? Since he actually retains some power when he powers down from HIS super form, Scourge’s version should simply drain him of all his strength. Gee, Ian, just how long did it take to pull THAT one out of your ass?

Anyway, Sonic takes Scourge to the Zone Troopers, an interstellar police force led by yet another Sonic, Zonic. Scourge breaks free for a while, wrecking some major havoc before being put down yet again. Meanwhile, another Robotnik, Eggman Nega, has been rampaging across universe after universe, leaving the Zone Troopers in a dire straight. Furthermore, when asked about removing the current Robotnik (since he doesn’t belong in Sonic’s world in the first place), Zonic simply states that Robotnik HAS to be there for the time being.

Meanwhile, Sally is arrested and taken before the council. During the round of questioning, she admits to ordering the attack on the Suppression Squad (against orders to the contrary). Before they can actually try her, however, she flat-out reminds them that, if the council has its way, the Freedom Fighters will be unable to actually make any field decisions, the Chaotix would be disallowed (since they are free agents, and outside the council’s control), and Robotnik could pretty much steamroll over them. She gets off…only for Hamlin, a former member of the Reserve Freedom Fighters and the only council member voting for her incarceration, to tell her off in a jealous huff.

As for Moebius, Buns is still giving heroism a shot, while Alicia is now the figurehead. Miles, meanwhile, is the true master of puppets these days, and is planning revenge on Mobius. (For…what, again?) But nothing’s ever been done with that plot, so we can ignore it for now.

ROBOTNIK’S DOWNFALL

Robotnik, meanwhile, has been…very unwell.

Following his city’s near-destruction at Enerjak’s hands, he has been on a long, slow ride into total madness. His governors refuse to answer either his or Snively’s calls. Besides the Dark Legion, he has no allies at all. His weapons are getting worse and worse. His robots are being destroyed with almost untold ease. He even starts calling Snively by his real name (Colin), something that REALLY creeps the little backstabber extraordinaire out.

Still, one day Snives gets lonely, and decides to log onto IM. While there, he meets up with another user, with whom he starts up a romantic relationship…all while plotting how they’ll bring down Robotnik.

Things finally come to a head when the council approves an actual invasion of the Eggman Empire. The Legion basically gives up without a fight (exactly as planned). Robotnik tries to destroy Sonic in his newly-minted Egg Phoenix…only to get his ass kicked without so much as a fight. That done, the heroes come roaring into New Megaopolis, while the Legion and Snively continue to retreat deeper inside. Once Sonic reaches Robotnik’s control room, however, he ends up fighting the dictator’s latest robot: a giant spider. One long, LONG fight later, Robotnik has not only been utterly defeated, but Sonic has also taken time to rub every single one of his defeats in his face, highlighting how his entire little kingdom has been continually undermined by a bunch of punk kids.

At long last, Robotnik has been vanquished! Time for celebrations, for joy, for…

Fuck.

So, Robotnik totally loses all semblance of mental health, rips out his own moustache, and starts swinging his arms around, snarling and foaming at the mouth all the while. He passes out shortly after Sally enters the room, reporting on how everything’s turning out so swell. (Awkward.) And just as Robotnik finally passes out in exhaustion, Snively enters the room to twist the proverbial knife.

Sally gets over the spectacle fairly swiftly; Sonic, however, continues to be haunted by it well into the next issue. Robotnik is tucked away in a nice, padded cell, while Snively and the Legion meet up with the short guy’s girlfriend: the Iron Queen from the Monkey Kahn stories.

Yes, Ian brought Monkey Kahn back. Which is why I stopped reading at this point. I’ve heard that the newer stories are okay, and Kahn’s been given some much-needed development, but quite frankly, I still want nothing to do with that character. That, and from what I’ve seen, the new villains really aren’t as interesting as Robotnik was in his prime. Still, if someone else has read those, please enlighten me.


And that’s really it. No need for a wrap-up or anything; the series is actually not too bad right now, Monkey Kahn aside.

As such, this retrospective is over. I have covered an entire comic book, from the beginning to just about its current form. We have seen a series evolve, devolve, mutate, and finally transmogrify into something that ranges from “decent” to “actually pretty damn good.” Now I just need another retrospective…

Legacy of Kain games?