Knuckles The Echidna #27 Review by Rolland Therrien
The First Date - Part Two: "Who Wrote The Book Of Love Anyway?"

Have you noticed the titles in this mini-series are all titles of famous songs about love?

Last time, on Dawson's creek... Ooops! Sorry, I meant, in last issue, Julie-Su, angry at Knux bailing on her, got picked up by this guy while shopping, and went on a date, Vector took on a bet with Espio as whether or not he can get a date (hasn't so far...), and Knux, finally admiting to himself he's in love with Julie, retreats to his father, then to Archy, and finally asks for advice about it, thereby showing how limited his advice pool actually is. When we last left him, Archy's advice consisted of teleporting him into the restaurant where Julie is in the middle of her date with Raynor. Not what I'd call a smart move on the part of the ant...

Okay, recap's done, now back to the feature... We meet with Knux, despretly trying to hide, before Julie notices him. He wants to talk to her, but not in that chic place. What follows is an amusing scene as Knux tries frantically to make his way out of the restaurant quietly, but bearly making it before Julie-Su finds him. Later, he and Archy talk a bit about Echindas, romance and the soultouch, before Knux notices the Chaotix going into an Arcade.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... Sorry, did it again... back at Haven, Locke enters the control room, looking for Knux. There he finds Sabre and two of the fireant council, and tells them Knux just vanished. The ants put two and two together, and tell him Archy's behind it, trying to keep Knux from ending up a lone divorcee like his dad. Locke tells them to relay this message: Next time Knux has romance problems, come to him for advice. As he leaves, someone says "Now, there goes a case of the blind leading the blind!" Too true...I guess Locke could still give Knux advice on what NOT to do, though.

We then meet up with the Chaotix inside the arcade, with Vector bragging he can pick up females as well as he can play videogames. When Espio retorts that Vector still hasn't gotten a date, Vec says he's taking his time (in other words, he's batting zero). Vector starts going a bit sexist, saying picking up a female is like playing a game. Espio then talks about how Knuckles acts around Julie-Su, just as he walks in, out of their view. Vector, mezmerised by the game he's playing, starts bad-mouthing Julie-Su (as usual), which is the straw that finally makes Knux snap. He lunges at the croc, the Chaotix barely holding him back, until Vector finally apoligises, after which our hero just storms off angry, leaving Archy tell the Chaotix: "--That boy is one love-sick puppy" Word up, Archy.

Meanwhile, Julie-Su's date, Raynor, is walking her home. They exchange pleasentaries, kiss a bit, then part as Julie enters her home. But although she enjoyed the date, she doesn't seem happy. Raynor's not the guy she wanted to go out with...

Knux, the guy she DOES want to go out with is walking along the streets of Echidnapolis, pondering his last actions and, as he walks near his mom's place, considers getting her advice. At the last moment, he changes his mind, and decides to go straight to Julie's. As he does so, we see his mom on the balcony of her apartment, looking down and thinking. Wyn, her fiancee, walks over to her and hugs to give her comfort. She's concerned that she and Knuckles haven't spoken much since she announced her engagement to him, and is worried she's going a bit too fast for him. Wyn says he's ready to wait as long as necessary for this matter to clear up. Okay... Now I see why Lara-Le fell for this guy.

Back at Julie-Su's place, she's watching what seems to be the Echidna version of "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer", when someone buzzes at her door. It's Knuckles...whom, after a few seconds of tripping on his own words, finally manages to ask Julie-Su out on a date over the Intercom. Both, unaware to the other, is extatic about this development. As Knuckles leaves chest out and all after setting the date and time, he still has no idea what they'll do on that date, nor where they'll go. But from the way Julie-So looks at him from above, I think he could take her to the city dump, she wouldn't care much!

Rating: Rings

Now, for my two cents. I must admit, the art's growing on me, even though I still think Julie-Su looks chubby and Espio's face looks weird. I've noticed almost all the echidnas wear those stupid mittens, which shows the artist took a few short cuts. One can wonder what other shortcuts he took. The story well is written, with all the characters believable. Locke clearly seems to want to make up for lost time with his son; Archy's "buttinsky" attitude is in character for that smart-aleky Ant; Vector's loudmouth finally gets him in trouble, and Lara-Le shows great concern for her son, showing readiness to put her own up-coming marriage on hold for him. And, of course, that last scene with Knux walking off, proud of himself, with Julie looking on, is priceless.

Mighty The Armadillo - Part Two: "Those Were The Days"

We pick up where last issue left off, with Mighty, who does a short recap in his mind: He helps newcomer "Nic" The Weasel locate some gems mined in one of Robotnik's old slave camps, and in return she helps him find his old friend Ray the Squirrel (**NOTE*** Note that Ray has never been seen in ANY Sonic continuity outside of Sonic Arcade. For those that don't know - this will be setting up his first real appearance outside Japan!). But when they get there, he meets someone from his past: Fiona Fox.

First off, I must say, I was WAAAYY off base with my assumptions about Fiona. I thought she might be the "bot version" from the Tails Miniseries story, but this one's the original organic model the 'bot was based on. My apologies. Let us continue...

Fiona is apparently pissed off at Mighty and his friends, 'cause they didn't save her life or something... Mighty replies he and Sonic tried to save everyone, but weren't able...Before this argument can continue, Nic tells Fiona to lay off, cause they need Mighty to complete the deal. Seems Nic and Fiona are partners or something. As they enter the camp, Mighty gets another flashback, about the first time he and Ray met Fiona, before she was cartered away from the other prisoners. He and Ray tried to help, but that got them locked in solitary.

As the trio enter the camp's central building, with all but Nic having second thoughts about it, Mighty suddenly sees replicas of the Freedom Fighters - Sonic, Sally, and Tails! Fiona tells him what they are - Auto-Automatons, and Mighty wonders if that was what that camp was used for. He then remembers that Sonic, who looked like he'd gone 10 rounds with a tank, showed up at his cell, with a card that released his strength-draining shackles, before they both took off to do something, which I think we'll learn more about next issue. As he ends the flashback, wondering if that was the real Sonic or not, Mighty gets called again by Nic, who's found the vault. When Mighty asks about Ray, he's basically told he ain't at this camp. But as soon as she gets what's behind door number one, she'll tell him where he is. As Mighty looks at the vault door, this chapter ends - To be continued...

Rating: Rings

Well, this was a good story as well, but it gets a bit complicated... we now have two Fiona Foxes (which might give Tails a headache, should he ever find out), a missing Ray The Squirrel, more robotic replicas of our favorite heroes, a mysterious vault, and an identity crisis regarding Sonic the Hedgehog...Not exactly a straight-forward story, is it? Let's hope they get this cleared up in the next few chapters. On a good note, the art was great; Manny Galan and Andrew Pepoy do great work! Mighty looks fine, Fiona looks better then ever, and even Nic looks nice. As long as they clear up all those mysteries in the next chapter, I'll be happy.

Overall Rating: Rings