Archie Sonic The Hedgehog Review (5th Anniversary Part 3)

All-New, Not Very Different Sonic

For those of you that came in late, Robotnik and Snively ruled over Mobius, Sonic and Princess Sally lead a group of Freedom Fighters to stop Robotnik and free their planet. After 50 issues (51 if you count issue 0), Sonic was successful in defeating Robotnik, with some unexpected outside help from Snivley. And now…

When we last left off, Sonic had just defeated Robotnik once and for all. So where do the Freedom Fighters go from here. Well, after spending an issue celebrating there greatest victory. The next two years of Sonic Comics were spent showing the Freedom Fighters reclaiming Mobius. During that time Knuckles go his own solo comic series, after the success of his own miniseries. One thing I like about the comics, is that some the cover of some issues would form amazing poster showing of Knuckles, his family, their allies, and whoever they were fighting. There’s really not much to say about the comics, it mostly follows Knuckles’ duty to guard the sacred island, finding out about his parents. The comic also features the Chaotix, and a pink Echidna named Julie Su.

Around that time the comic just did its own stories with the characters for a while, but things, started to change once Issue 71 was released (The comic is told in reverse order). A laser hits Knothole causing time to run backwards, Sonic (while using a special emerald) Sonic runs around and goes through several transformations, until he undergoes a permanent transformation, taking on his Sonic Adventure appearance. Around this time Knuckles’ comic was cancelled, after 32 issues, all of his adventures and subplots being reincorporated into the main comic.

By Issue 74, the Freedom Fighters decide to go to space, and investigate the laser from Issue 71, fearing Robotnik might be alive. And in issue 75, the mastermind turned out to be Robo-Robotnik. After a short fight scene the Freedom Fighters escape RR’s space station, as it explodes. RR downloads his consciousness into a new robot body, the body he ends up choosing, Dr. Eggman (He also starts referring to himself as Dr. Eggman). Game storylines like Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 were adapted, introducing Shadow the Hedgehog as a recurring character. After issue 100, The series kinda got boring after awhile. They also started formatting the covers to look like tabloid magazine covers, which was weird to me. After a while, the higher-ups at Archie seemed to think the comics were getting boring too, so they fired the head writer, Ken Penders (more on him shortly), and replaced him with Ian Flynn. Ian Flynn really turned things around for the Sonic comics. There were also other comics, like Sonic Universe, which expands on the other characters in the comics aside from the main ones, a Sonic X adaptation, and Sonic Live, a comic Linkara reviewed for his 100th Episode.

In the 200th issue Sonic and Eggman have yet another final battle, but after destroying his latest mech, Eggman has a mental breakdown due to his failed attempts to control the planet, allowing Snively and the Iron Queen Regina Ferrum to take over his empire, leading to a lengthy war against the Freedom Fighters. Naugus comes to rule New Mobotropolis as king due to a deal Sally’s father made with him. Eggman returns to power, unleashing a weapon called the Genesis Wave, altering the world, but Sonic reverses it. Like all good things people love, there’s always something good, then there’s always something bad.

Let’s talk about Ken Penders. A writer and artist for Sonic, he was hired back when the comic was catching steam, and as the years marched on, he started getting more control, which lead to the comics having an ongoing storyline, and he created the Knuckles spin-off using ideas and concepts from from his own comics that never got published. After both issue 50, and the cancelation of the Knuckles comic, things just went downhill from then on, eventually the higher-ups at Archie fired Penders,and replaced by Ian Flynn. This lead to Penders suing Archie and Sega for the rights over the Sonic characters he created like Geoffrey St John, Sonic and Knuckles’ families, etc, and surprisingly won the case, leading to the ugliest thing anyone has ever seen.

Because of this, Archie had no choice but to create the Super Genesis Wave plotline. Dr. Eggman formed a plan called Operation Clean Sweep, a plan that would alter the fabric of space-time and counter Sonic’s “chaos factor”. This plan would create a brand new Mobius that would leave it ripe for roboticization. He succeeded, but his new reality was unstable, luckily Sonic reverses it. Eggman busts out a new superweapon, the World Roboticizer, Sally sacrifices herself to stop the superweapon, and ends up becoming a robot. The Freedom Fighters reform as Team Freedom, Team Fighters, and the Secret Freedom Fighters to combat Eggman and Naugus. Eggman activates a second Genesis Wave, transporting himself, Sonic, and other characters into the world of Mega Man, leading to the crossover Worlds Collide. A second crossover Worlds Unite happened in 2015, featuring characters from other Sega and Capcom titles.

The original multiverse ceased to exist when Dr. Eggman launched the Super Genesis Wave in conjunction with Dr. Wily, causing the Prime Zone (Sonic’s Universe) to be irreversibly rewritten and the multiverse surrounding it to collapse in on itself, destroying every prior known reality (with the exception of the Special Zone and the Sol Zone, Blaze’s World Dimension, the latter due to the Jeweled Scepter) and creating new ones in their place.

Sonic and Dr. Eggman maintain their memories of the original continuity, which are then shared with Tails, Sally, Rotor, Antoine, Bunnie, Amy Rose, and Naugus when they make contact with Nicole. However, this world is altered by the second Genesis Wave and Earth is split apart, awakening Dark Gaia, leading to the events of Sonic Unleashed. The comic also introduces Naugus’ sister Wendy, a witch who pledges allegiance to Eggman and plots to gain the Cacophonic Conch.

In the summer of 2017, after a lengthy hiatus, it was officially announced that Archie lost the license to Sonic, and the series was effectively cancelled. The reasons for the abrupt cancellation varry between the lawsuit mentioned above, or that Archie most likely couldn’t afford to keep the license after investing a lot of money on the TV show Riverdale.

A few weeks later it twas announced that IDW Comics has acquired the rights to Sonic The Hedgehog, and that head writer Ian Flynn serve as head writer for the new series. The series will start with the first four issues being relesed on April 4th, and the following issues being released sometime in May.

REVIEW

These comics were amazing, I just wish I could’ve seen how they would’ve ended everything, if they didn’t lose the license. The artwork, and storytelling was great, the storylines had some of the best writing (especially once Ian Flynn took over) I’ve ever read. Though I’ll admit the comics do have its flaws, mostly they came from the trades I bought over the years (post-lawsuit), where most of Penders’ characters were either removed or replaced which messes up the impact of some stories. The cover art (or lack thereof) of the post-“Rise of Eggman” arc almost ruined it for me, but thankfully the art and writing saved it for me. Overall, Archie Sonic was one of the best comics I’ve read during and after High School. I wish I could thank Ian Flynn, Evan Stanley, Tracy Yardley, Ben Bates, and yes even Ken Penders, for their hands making such an enjoyable comic book. I can’t wait to see what they (minus Penders) bring to the table at IDW.

RANK: 5 out of 5

Next we jump into a different comic universe, and talk about other characters that could possibly show up in it.

Happy Late Birthday, everyone.

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Archie Sonic The Hedgehog (5th Anniversary Review Part 2)

The only comic book I’m aware of to have a court-mandated reboot.

As pointed out in the previous post, we weren’t done exploring Sonic’s life outside of the games just yet, this time around we’re going to look at the Sonic Comics published by Archie Comics (under their Archie Action imprint) from 1992,  to it’s official cancellation last year (with a huge hiatus after it’s last issue in 2016).

Initially it started off with Issue 0, but ten Archie decided to take a page out of Marvel, Just as Marvel did with its Transformers comic books, Sonic started off as a four issue miniseries. The sales for the comic were so outstanding, that Archie Comics decided to make the miniseries into a full series.

The main series started off, taking some cues from Adventures, but later the comics started to stick to the SatAM formula of Robotnik ruling Mobius alongside his nephew Snively, with Sonic. Tails, Princess Sally and the other Freedom Fighters trying to stop them. One of the more interesting events that occurred in the comics happened early on, where Sonic crosses-over to a parallel universe where he meets an evil version of himself, appropriately named Evil Sonic. Then in a later issue, he meets a Cyborg Sonic, who comes from a universe where Robotnik turned all of the Freedom Fighters into Cyborgs, and ended up making them even stronger. Robotnik does the same thing to himself, and attempts to destroy the entire multiverse. Sonic puts together a Council of Sonics, who work together to stop Robo-Robotnik, with help from Prime Robotnik. While the comics were  made, SatAM was still running, so when new episodes aired and introduced new characters and concepts, they would be added into the comic, of course once the show was canceled, the comics started doing there own stories and plotlines while still (albiet loosely) following the storyline of SatAM.

As the story progressed, things started to get more serious, from Sonic going on a trippy adventure through space-time after collecting his billionth ring, and actually had a philosophical moment, during his travels. He also came up with and idea to be willingly Robotisized and stop Robotnik from the inside, and he would still maintain his free will, though an inhibitor. Sally and the others, didn’t think that was a good idea, but it ended up happening anyway, minus the free will part. Sonic (now called Mecha Sonic), gets into a fight with Bunnie, she gets in a few hits, but it’s not enough to stop him. It takes a robotisized Knuckles to stop him. They managed to save him, and turn him back through the roboticizer, that turned Knuckles into a robot.

This culminated in Issue 47: The Endgame Storyline, The Freedom Fighters and their allies The Wolf pack are doing a sabotage mission, but King Accorn, who came back sometime after the Mecha Sonic arc, reveals that there’s a traitor in their ranks, and it’s Sonic. During an infiltration mission, Sally’s trying to scale on building, but Robotnik shoots her, Sonic seems to be coming to her aid, but he cuts her rope and leaves her. Just as Sonic confronts Robotnik, he flees, leaving him stuck in a trap. After the mission, it’s revealed that Sally died.

Geoffrey St. John arrests him, and he’s sentenced to life imprisonment. After he escapes, we see Sonic at his most serious, he soon passes out after a lengthy chase. Antoine and Bunnie are concern over King Acorn having secret meetings with Drago, and eavesdrop during a conversation between him and Hershey, revealing that he is to be made Duke of Robotropolis, he also revealing Sonic’s escape, and that he expects Geoffrey and Sonic to kill each other. Drago finds out about Bunnie and Antoine and has some SWATbot capture them.

Geofrey finds Sonic and the two of them engage in a heated battle. While that’s going on, King Acorn holds a meeting and announces that the Freedom Fighters be disbanded, and replaced with a warlord, his only candidate for the job: Dr. Robotnik. The fight between Sonic and Geofrey ends with Sonic jumping down a sewer line, while Geofrey has him at arrow point. During his fall, Sonic creates a makeshift track for him to run across. The chase still continues but Sonic is exhausted (physically and mentally). As everyone in Knothole suspected, King Acorn was in fact an imposter, a robot double built by Robotnik, who reveals he’s building a new super weapon, an Ultimate Annihilator satellite that will destroy all life on Mobius. Sonic calls on his friend Dulcey the Dragon to help him escape, much to Geoffrey’s chagrin.

We ten learn that Sonic wasn’t the one responsible for killing Sally, Drago convinced Hershey to wear a Sonic mask that has built-in image refactors that makes anyone she sees look like Snivley. That plot made no sense, but whatever. As Dulcey gets ready to land, Knuckles attacks them for entering his island without an invitation, they fight for awhile, but Geoffrey shows up to stop the fight, because he’s the only one that can fight him.

Finally, we reach issue 50, where we get an origin for Robotnik, he was a fugitive, from other humans, until he was found by Chuck and Sonic’s father, Jules. We also learn that there are humans on Mobius, they’re commonly referred to as Overlanders, and are at war with the animals. The Hedgehogs take him to King Acorn, who convinces him to help them win the war against the Overlanders, Robotnik accepts and takes the rank of Warlord. Despite Chuck having reservations about working with an Overlander, Robotnik lead the animals to victory. After that, Geoffrey’s about to take Sonic down, but Dulcy explains that Dragons can’t lie, and can tell if others are lying, she can tell Sonic is telling the truth about being framed. As nonsensical as that is, it clears up everything, and everyone heads to Knothole. They take out the SWATbots, Hershey beats the crap out of Drago, and confesses to Sonic about what happened and he forgives her. Sonic arrives to stop Robotnik, but was too late, as he activates the Ultimate Annihilator, and destroys Knothole. Sonic and Robotnik have their final battle. No jokes, no insults, just fighting. While this is happening the Ultimate Annihilator is malfunctioning and is destroying the War Room that they happen to be fighting in. The Machine goes off and the page goes from color, to sketchy drawing, to a blank white page. Sonic returns to the ruined War Room, but passes out.

Sonic wakes up in a hospital in Knothole, he wonders how Knothole can even still exist after Robotnik destroyed it. Rotor explains that Knothole still exists, but in a separate temporal plane, three hours in the future. It turns out Snivley reprogrammed the cannon to destroy only one organic pattern, Robotnik’s, and as for Sally, she’s alive, but in a coma, recuperating in a stasis tube. Sonic races to her and kisses her on the cheek and she immediately wakes up.

When we return, we’ll look at the adventures of the Freedom Fighters, post Endgame Saga.

Update on The 5th Anniversary

Hey everyone, sorry for the long wait, but a few weeks after posting part 1, and working on part 2 my computer was running slow. Since then, I’ve had it fixed, and resumed working on the review of the Archie Sonic comics.

Speaking of, since there was a lot to go over, the Archie Sonic review, will be split into 2 parts, thus making the 5th anniversary post three parts now. The first part of the review (Part 2), which looks at the first 50 issues will be up shortly. The other half (Part 3), will be up, eventually.

Stay tuned for more.

Sonic The Hedgehog SatAM (5th Anniversary Review Part 1)

No other Sonic Cartoon will live up to its legacy.

January 15, 2013 – I wrote my first review, on the live-action Sonic fan film. Five years later I’m still talking about everyone’s favorite blue hedgehog, but this time I’ll be tackling the show that aired concurrently with Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog… Sonic The Hedgehog, more commonly referred to as Sonic SatAM, as it aired on Saturday mornings, rather than weekday afternoons (or mornings, depending on where you live).

PLOT

Just like in Adventures, the show takes place on the planet Mobius, where Sonic has to fight Dr. Robotnik, but there’s one major difference, Dr. Robotnik rules over the planet with an iron fist, alongside his nephew, Snivley, and Sonic has a team of Freedom Fighters, led by Princess Sally Acorn, and their friends Bunnie Rabbot, Rotor Walrus, Tails, and Antoine D’Coolette to help save the planet. Another major difference between SatAM and Adventures is the tone, while Adventures was light and silly, SatAm was far more serious, and at times pretty dark, with Robotnik turning the citizens of Mobius into robots through Roboticization, grief, etc. But once Season 2 came around, ABC ased the shows head writer, the late Ben Hurst to add more humor to the show, that season also saw some changes like Sally wearing a vest, and Rotor’s design.

Unfortunately, like most TV shows with a developed plan, it gets canceled before any of its plot points were solved, sort of. Without giving too much away, Sonic and the Freedom Fighters do defeat Robotnik, but a much bigger threat arises. Had there been a third season, we would’ve seen them fight the new big bad.

SatAM has a massive amount of talent attached here, you have Jaleel White playing Sonic, and Jim Cummings playing Dr. Robotnik, a role he would’ve played in Adventures, as mentioned last year. You also have voice acting vets like Charlie Adler, Kath Soucie, Rob Paulson, Cree Summer, even Tim Curry made an appearace.

While the show never had a proper ending, the fans of the show created a web comic, introducing new concepts and ideas that the show never had a chance to tackle, like the cancelled arc mentioned above, the Chaos Emeralds, Knuckles, more details Robotnik came to take over Mobius, etc. There are also plans to make a fan made animated season, with casting, and test footage. While there’s no news on fan series, the comic is still going, I recommend recommend checking it out.

REVIEW

Sonic SatAM was an great show and I hate that I never saw it when it first aired. The plot was amazing, Jaleel White is still amazing as Sonic, Jim Cummings made for an excellent villain, speaking of, Robotnik was a great villain, and actually has character, aside from being a bumbling villain. I also liked the show had a subtle environmental message, which I’m not sure if it was Ben Hurst’s intention, but he pulled it off masterfully. Overall, I enjoyed the show, and I’m sure you will too, fan or otherwise.

RANK: 4 out of 5

The fifth anniversary celebration isn’t over just yet, come back for a look at Sonic’s second greatest outing, you know what I’m talking about.

A New Begining

I know I once again missed another date, but this time this was something I did on purpose. If you just entered the site, you may have noticed, I changed the layout of the blog. I’m not sure how long you’ve been here, but I have had this blog going on for five amazing years. While there have been some problems here and there, both online, and outside the blog I like to think I’ve had some pretty good moments. From reviewing the Sonic Fan Film to the epic review of the lost Robotech Movie. And as Seinfeld once said, once you count them all up, that’s when you know.

On a personal note, I’m feeling a lot better than I did, when last you heard from me, while I’m employment still elude me, I’m not feel as depressed as I was before. What I’m trying to get at is, I’m working to get better, and trying not to let down the people I care about, friends, family, and most of all you.

Now back to the blog, of course I’ve got big plans for my 5th anniversary, first of all, the annual Sonic Review, and I’m sure you figured out we’re tackling Sonic SatAM. Next, I’m figuring out how I’m going to celebrate Power Rangers’ 25th anniversary, I’m not going to do a Year of Power Rangers, like I did with Star Trek, as while I enjoyed doing it, I was feeling burnt out very easily. While it’s still a long way down the road, this year’s Marvel Month is going to be very epic, and that’s all I’ll say about it. I also want to talk about the Arrowverse, Gravity Falls, and Gundam at some point, and a special surprise early this year, I’m not going to say all I’ll say is it’s going to be something of a retrospective series, so stay tuned for that, and finally since it was the whole reason I even started this blog to begin with, I’m finally going to talk about the Cutting Room Floor web series, that sadly never got off the ground.

So, to conclude, once again, I must thank each of you for following me, kind words, and sticking with me for both the good and the bad. This isn’t just my anniversary, it’s yours. In fact, in addition to all that I mentioned above, why not join me in the celebration, if you have something, you’d like for me to talk about, leave a comment, and I’ll try and find the time to review it.

Happy 5th Anniversary everyone!

 

Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog (4th Anniversary Review)

"That's no good!"
“That’s no good!”

Happy (late) Anniversary, and once again we’re looking at something from the world of everybody’s favorite blue hedgehog, Sonic! Unfortunately, we’re looking at one of his downside of our spiky blue hero, at least until 2006, Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog. The show ran for a season (that lasted four years) in Syndication from Sept. 6th 1993 to Nov. 24 1996

PLOT (or lack thereof)

The series follows the adventures of the titular character Sonic the Hedgehog and his sidekick Tails as they attempt to stop Dr. Robotnik and his array of robots from taking over the planet Mobius.

The plots often used elements loosely borrowed from the storyline of the Sonic video games series. Three of Robotnik’s henchbots, Scratch, Grounder and Coconuts, are directly based on badniks that appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The series also incorporated several recurring original characters not seen in the games, such as Robotnik’s mother, Stinky the Badger, and Wes Weasley, a salesman and con-man, not dissimilar to Phil Silvers. The show’s other characters largely consist of non-human creatures, such as anthropomorphic animals and robots.

Episodes of the show normally revolved around Sonic and Tails foiling Robotnik’s latest villainous scheme to dominate the zany, colorful world of Planet Mobius. At the end of each episode, Dr. Robotnik’s plan would ultimately fail due to Sonic’s efforts, his own incompetence and the stupidity of his henchbots, after which he says, “I HATE THAT HEDGEHOG!”.

The end of the show is bookended by an additional segment called “Sonic Says” (or “Sonic Sez”, as Tails misspelled it on screen). This segment teaches viewers life lessons about subjects such as alcohol abuse and general safety. If you lived in the UK, you had the luxury of not seeing this as they were edited out of the UK airings.

There was also a Christmas special called “Sonic’s Christmas Blast” which was made to coincide with the release of Sonic 3D Blast. Depite having the same tone and art design as “Adventures”, the special seems to borrow a couple of elements from “Sonic SatAM”, like SWATbots, Robotropolis, and an appearance by Sally Acorn. Also, to go with the promotion of 3D Blast, a Flicky (birds that Sonic has to save in the game) shows up for a moment. For the longest time I didn’t even know this existed until 2004, when my local CW (then The WB) randomly aired it alongside another Christmas special I wasn’t aware of until that day, “Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas”.

Despite the silliness, the show touted a pretty good cast, most of whom you’ve heard of, like Gary Chalk, Ian James Corlett, Venus Terazo, Scott McNeil and of course the first person to give Sonic a voice, Jaleel White. The unaired pilot also had some good voice artists, like narration legend Gary Owens, and Jim Cummings, who played Robotnik in the pilot, would go on to play a more menacing Robotnik in SatAM.

REVIEW

Yeah, the show hasn’t really aged well. The characters (with the exception of Sonic and Tails) look awful, the background looks amateurish at best. It just looked and felt ridiculous. But, at the same time, there’s an appeal and fascination to it that makes you want to keep watching. And other people seemed to think so, since this show was seen the most times out of the five shows, this was the one that’s was shown the most in reruns. Overall, it’s a ridiculous series, but ridiculous in an insane way, and it’s really difficult to ignore. So, as the DIC entertainment commercials would tell you, “check to see when it’s on at your house!” And by that I mean, check it out on Netflix or something, but only if your curious.

RANK: 3 out of 5

Next, Girl Meets World returns, though not as you’re hoping it would come back.