|Okay, time for my #122 review. I advise those who don't have it to back away as this will contain spoilers...of course. Anywho, let's get down to the nitty gritty.
Let's see, Nack/Fang, whatever you wanna call him (I'm more used to Fang), is riding on a brand new hoverbike then the one he rode in #40. He puts in that mischievious grin as usual. Sonic gives bunny ears while looking away pretending to not notice what he's doing. Knuckles and Julie-Su graces the bottom. Spaz put in a lot of detail to Nack's vechicle (including that little goblin-looking creature as a keychain). The little smoke thingy in the bottom of the airbike is a nice effect. Of course, for some reason, despite the whole Jenson-style coloring, this cover doesn't really do it for me as #121. It's still nice, but the bland BG still don't do anything for me.
4 weasels standing around like a bunch of immature superheros with Nack in the center. It's a very cute drawing. Nack never looked more adorable in my entire life. Something about the way Axer drew Nack in that frontipiece makes me like it so much. The BG is also a nice touch. Another Axer topper!
Heart Held Hostage Part 1:
It's springtime in Knothole and Sonic is playing his ascostic guitar with guide from his pops. Tails ask why Jules never bother playing guitar again. He's responds, "These roboticized fingers aren't nearly nimble enough to pluck those guitar strings, Tails.", so he ends up being Sonic's coach, not that Sonic needs help as he starts jamming like a pro. Soon, people come crowding around to see Sonic play (including Amy). Mina drops by as well and sees his mad guitar skills and gets all lovey dovey again. Mina starts heading towards Sonic.
Meanwhile, in the royal family's home, Daddy Acorn tells his daughter to be home in time for supper. Mommy dearest ask asks if Sally needs an escort.
As Sally passes one, she refuses one, the royal escort's thoughts, "What, is it my colognes?" Funny. Sally is soon in listening range as we see a worm's eye view of her hearing Sonic's music. She instantly knows that Sonic is playing, so she heads where the crowd is and aso hears a voice. Sounds like an angel, Sally saids...turns out, it's Mina singing while Sonic is playing.
Sally gets upset and leaves, Tails watching by. Bunie goes over to her old friend to see what's up. Bunnie gets Sally to talk about her love problem. Sally explains how she thought she and Sonic would be soulmates, but she ain't so sure anymore. She explains how they are similar to each other. Bunnie tries to cheer her up by saying Sonic does care for her, question is, does he knows Sally feels the same? Before anymore conversations go on involving Sonic's love life, Hoverbikes come. We quick switch to a scene with people applauding Sonic and Mina. Then we switch scenes again as Nack knocks Sally out and Bunnie is hit full frontal by a hoverbike. If she didn't have half a robot body, she'd be in a world of hurt. Another scene switch as Mina comments Sonic's guitar skills. Sonic also comments her singing. Switch scenes again to Bunnie getting knockled by Nack or something like that. Another quick switch (whew) of Mina, ready to ask Sonic something. She doesn't get the chance because Nack's posse arrive with the unconscious Sally in toll. Sonic gets pissed and races after them. He starts running full frontal on one of the hoverbikes and kicks the driver off. Mina gets aimed by a gun by another weasel, but Sonic saves her in time. SOnic sees that even if he is fast, it's still not enough to saver Sally, so he takes the one who he knocked out and takes him inside. Sonic asks why Sally was kidnapped. Easy, because her family are royalty, thus has wads of money. Bunnie grabs ahold of the weasel and treatens to drop him outta the window (he's not scared), though being the "southern belle" she is, she leaves him be. Soon, the royal family comes, all pissed. The weasel makes a grave mistake by laughing at the king. Geez, he's gonna be hanged for sure. King Max orders the FFs to leave and then,he sends in the guards.
The rest of the FFs wonders what Max might be doing. Max comes out and explains the location of Sally, saying she's in a mansion once owned by Nack's ancestors (and this guy's a bounty hunter?) Anywho, before King Max could finish, Sonic races towards the location.
To Be Continued...
This was a nice story and we see some interesting developments. It needed the two parter that #121's main story so needed. We see that Max actually trust Sonic to get Sally back, we see the return of Nack, we see Bunnie's friendship with Sally, it's quite a nice level of development. I cannot wait for the next issue to see what happens. I also liked the fact that they took out the whole chapter thing. Oh. and yes, King Acorn rules in this issue, hands down!
The art, of course, it's good. Always detailed, Axer delievers the good as he usually does. There were so many details I noticed that I like, such as someone lighting a lighter when Sonic was playin guitar like those people did in Woodstock, or the big bulging muscles from the guards, and especially that worm's eye view of Sally. Perfect. Top that with Jenson's awesome coloring and we got ourself a winner! The only minor mistake is Alicia's missing straps and Amy still fully covered in the back, but small mistakes I can easily forgive and forget. Brilliant.
Afterlife Part 2:
In a golden BG, Knuckles wonders where the two Chao creatues are taking him. They remain silent unlike last issue when they talked. Knuckles keeps asking questions to them, but they end up disappearing. Soon, it gets massively bright and he hears Aurora's voice. He sees a pink echidna with a white robe and thinks of her as another ancestor. She explains that she is Aurora and Knuckles is quite surprised she's an echidna. Aurora explains that she is what Knuckles thinks he sees as she is the force, she is all, whether fox, overlander, etc. Aurora explains how she placed that dream Locke had that was first shown in #25 of Knuckles. Aurora explains how Locke and Lara-Le were so in love and how Locke paided great attention to his wife during her pregnancy. Then we see the whole egg getting blasted by the emerald's power, also first seen in #25. Then we see Knuckles born and in his mother's hand and how Locke named him. We then see the marriage struggle as the two parents argue over Knuckles' life. Then lastly, we see Aurora explain how Locke and Knuckles left, leaving a sad Lara-Le. They went through a divorce. Knuckles is eager to know what happens. Sorry, Knux, ya gotta wait about 4 weeks.
Well, for newcomers to the comic, you'll know the a little bit of Knux's history, so it's a plus right there, Longtimers like me might find it unnecessary, but it was an interesting read. I like the whole idea behind Aurora, her being the force (so she could be the one responible behind the whole sword of Acorn thing, source of all thing...possibly), and how she looks depends on how that person view her as. I personally think this is a good read and it might be extrememly useful to newcomers.
Art still delievers the good, Ken helps out a litte, but barely. Anywho, it's still awesome art and very cute as usual. His drawings of little Knuckles is too die for(see his drawing of baby Knuckles and tell me that ain't cute), and I do like Locke's face in panel 3 of the last page. The only mistake is the echidna's eye lashes which are peach and not the color of their fur, but nothing I'm too worked over.
When there was only one Guardian:
Julie-Su is in Knux's home, looking through one of his books. She's amazed at the young echidna's love for literture. She also sees a picture of herself, showing how much he cared for her. Vector then comes, wondering why Julie is in Knux's home. They end up fighting...again. Julie does a leap Matrix-style, but Vector stops her before she gets close. Vector actually tries to give a hand, only to be kicked. Vector and Julie both wonder how Knux saw in them. Vector then goes on how they first met. Vector was lying down on tall grass (sleeping, maybe?), and Knuckles ended up tripping over him. Vector starts to prove he's all that, but Knux lets him know he's taking care of things around him. Vector beats Knux up. Knux ends up doing the same and Vector complains. Vector saids he only wanted to listen to his tunes, so Knux saids it's cool. He also explains how Vector is the first living person he met ever since his father. Vector explains there are more living creatures. He mentions a plane (Robotnik old school version) riding on it. He also mentions a red bird named Catweazle who end sup pooping on Vector's head. Funny. Catweazle and Knux gets along pretty well though. Present day as Vector finishes his story. Julie sees Vector as more a talker then fighter, but Vector says that shouldn't be spread out towards his teammated, Julie promises to keep the promise. They both explain that despite their differences, they both care and miss Knuckles.
These stories are generally weak to me. The Mighty story didn't turn out the way I wanted and this one doesn't really do much for me. It's a bit confusing to me and retains my least fave story of this issue. I also find it a bit unnecessary that Julie ended up kicking Vector's butt when he was trying to help her up, but Julie is still a stubborn gal. The dialogue didn't help much. I mean, it was fine, but Vector overdid his slangs and I swear, at one point, I was massively confused. They need to tone down the slangs a bit, that's all.
The art by Dawn has seriously been different since her first appearance. She's been adding a lot of muscles (unless that's Ken's doing). I personally enjoyed her artwork in the earlier issues when the characters didn't look all bulged up. Not to mention Catweazle is colored wrong, he's white, not red. Perhaps Jenson didn't know Catweazle's color yet. I do like that one pic of Knuckles in the first panel of page 5, especially the eyes. But I'm slowing to not like this style of art.
Whew...off-panel is pretty cute. J.Gabrie wants Sonic and Tails to find bobble heads of himself, heh, funny.
The fanart is chucked with Sonic art. There's an art based on Lim's style, a B & W of Sonic and Shadow all muscled up. My fave would be Shadow against what I'm assuming is Biolizard (I never knew what he really looked like, the screenshots were no help), but the coloring is really nicely done. Theletter page is a bit different as they put in letters from all around the world. One that interested me was the one letter for Seoul, Korea, the place of my nationality and my second hometown! Whoo-Hoo!
Well, I'm done. Till next issue.
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|I give long rambling reviews. But after the quality of this month's lead story, I had to break it in half or one of the moderators would kill me. Second part coming soon.
Sonic the Hedgehog #122
Cover: Too bad our villain looks so good and our hero looks kinda crummy. The fifth installment of “zine” style covers features Nack, in his first cover appearance since #40 (I believe) in a totally new, totally redesigned hoverbike that resembles one of the bumpers from the “Casino Night Zone” in STH 2. Spaz really put some detail into the bike, especially around the handle area. Looks a little cramped in terms of legroom though. Nack looks great overall but Sonic could use a little work. Maybe it’s just the angle he’s got his head tilted at but he looks sort of devoid of spines near the top and his eyes are a bit big. What gets me is the way his cheeks are puffed out to produce that whistle. Looks instead like he’s trying to keep from getting sick. Generic Knuckles (but he’s RED!) and Julie-Su decorate the bottom, corny catch phrases and bad puns abound.
Frontispiece: Awesome…just..awesome. As with the lead story, Axer really outdid himself this time. Nack is back, baby, and never has he looked so appealing, striking his little pose. And the weasel “posse” is just sooo much better and realistic a pack of accomplices than Mammoth Mogul’s cronies, Drago the wolf, and Kodos made way back in the 50s and 60s issues. Poor Nack looks almost too simple when compared with the detail Axer lended to his band of misfits—a pink, long-tail girl (?) weasel packing a mean set of dreads and halter top; the tough guy in the back with his cap and prison-style striped shirt; and my personal fave, the guy on the left with his stubble, open shirt and darn cool hairstyle. The only thing I dislike is I get the impression these are going to be one-time only characters who never even get proper names!
“Heart Held Hostage: Part One”, written by Karl Bollers, penciled by J. Axer. So..many..good..things..about..lead..story—can’t hardly..contain..self. I’ve been reading this book on and off since issue #5, faithfully since #34, and I’ve been waiting a loooong time to see a lead story like this again, folks. This harkens back to the good ole’ days of Mecha Madness and Endgame. It’s got it all—great plot, good script and, most important to me, PHENOMENAL ART! But first let’s review shall we?
We open on a beautiful spring day in Knothole where the Hedgehog family plus Muttski and Tails are gathered round as Jules gives Sonic some guitar lessons. Even from the get-go we start learning things about characters that adds depth to their personas. For instance, hedgehog senior was apparently quite the musician in his day and wants to pass on some of that legacy to his speedy son. Sonic turns out to be a natural and soon a crowd gathers round including the FF, Rosie, Amy Rose, Wombat Stu and Mrs. Quack.
TIME OUT #1: Look at the detail Axer’s putting into this. It’s just unbelievable! The sprinkling of old characters in the crowd. Even the unknowns each have a personality shining through. The vegetation in the background, the subtle changes in the expressions of Sonic, his family, and Tails—they’re in every scene yet they don’t look static! The sweat on the one guy’s brow, the lighter someone’s lit up and is waving, differences in clothing styles, leaves flying through the air. This much care and attention to detail has been lacking since Spaz’s glory days and it’s a welcome return!
Mina sees Sonic, falling ever more googly-eyed in love with him, and decides he needs a voice to match his music. Meanwhile, at Castle Acorn, Sally’s got permission from her parents to step out for the afternoon and refuses a muscle-bound royal escort on the way. C’mon, the girl has kicked so much tail in her day she doesn’t need an escort..well, until a few pages later that is. Ahem. Again it’s nice to see a change in angles—bird’s eye in the palace to worm’s eye outside. Sally making her way through the crowd to the source of the sound also looks good. Still, as enthralled as everyone is, you’d think they’d make more room for a princess. When Sal sees who’s singing “like an angel” at Sonic’s side though, her spirit plummets and she starts heading out with a concerned Bunnie tailing her. Say what you like about this love triangle, I think the way Archie has slowly added more and more to both Sonic and Mina’s characters to make them seem more and more alike worked for me. You totally feel Sally’s despair—it really does seem like Mina and Sonic have more in common than he does with Sal anymore. Speaking of which, Bunnie’s reassuring comments pretty much put the final nail in the coffin for this whole love triangle fiasco. As is evident from next issue’s cover, Sal wins.
TIME OUT #2: Who am I personally rooting for, Mina or Sally? Answer: neither of ‘em, tho if forced to pick I prefer Sally simply because she’s been around so long. But I’ll save my comments on Sonic’s “soulmate” for another time, another place, and another flame war
Again, nice variation on our angles of view. They need to lighten up just a tad on Bunnie’s southern accent although her “cat in a room full o’ rockin’ chairs” comment is just so darn appropriate! And we see Bunnie in a role we all knew she had but has not acted in for awhile—as Sal’s best friend.
Here he comes to wreck the day!!! OK..everything about Nack’s appearance is PERFECT! It’s so sudden and his lines (“Incoming!”, “Move it or lose it, chumps!”) are completely in character. No long, unrealistic monologue or fight scene either—they are kidnapping the king’s daughter after all! I love how Axer keeps switching back and forth between our two-tiered drama—Nack kidnapping Sally and his cronies taking Bunnie down for the count and Mina trying to tell Sonic how she feels about him. Lots is going on but unlike last issue the format doesn’t make it seem compressed. It only intensifies the situation, reaching a peak as Nack zooms in front of Sonic and the hedgehog catches a glimpse of an injured and unconscious Sally being spirited away. The dialogue and whole perspective during the whole “chicken” scene between Sonic and my favorite weasel is great too.
TIME OUT #3: Note to Archie: I want every action/fight scene EVER AGAIN to be like this! No corny dialogue (Sonic saying, “Let’s do it to it!” is childish and getting old), rapidly shifting perspective and a real sense of danger.
What I sorta like and yet is also sorta shocking is the fact Sonic doesn’t high tail it after the weasels. On the one hand it may seem realistic, like he’s got some limitations. On the other, this is the guy who managed to vibrate his molecules through a train a few issues ago. It’s Sonic, for cryin’ out loud! He can take a few weasels on flying Kawasakis. Instead, he settles for an unsuccessful interrogation of weasel boy (who looks SO DAMN CUTE—please excuse mild language—on the top of page nine) while Bunnie gives us some inkling she’s familiar with basic English grammar after all. Enter King Max and Alicia. Alicia has never looked better in this comic. You see the resemblance to Sally but they’re not carbon copies with different hairstyles. She’s regal but that expression in the third to the last panel is so knowing and witty also. And for once it seems like Max really cares for one of his offspring. At least I’m dying to know what went on behind closed doors! When he comes out with a location for Nack’s mansion (the single most unbelievable element of this story) Sonic realizes he acted a bit out of character a few pages ago and…high tails it after those weasels.
I won’t continue pouring on the honey, my comments above are sweet enough. The few miniscule flaws vanish in the overall perfection of this story. Just some closing thoughts:
1.Axer has nosed his way into my Favorite Sonic Artist spot, a position Spaz has held sway over since the late teens in this book. He is to be the lead artist from here and forward. Period. (Pause as people at Archie laugh hysterically at insignificant fan telling them what to do.)
2.Occasional sarcasm and humor in script: good. Corny catch phrases: bad. Read this script many times, commit it to memory, make future scripts like it.
3.See? You don’t need convoluted storylines, impossible situations, a new villain of the month and plot twists that come all too frequently to make an entertaining action story.
I rest my case, and my keyboard. Rest of issue to be reviewed later this weekend.
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|I finally got in my hands after weeks of hell I finally have it! Now this story was pretty good! I can't wait to see who sonic picks, not only that I can't wait to see the last story the last robian! I wonder what's up with that!
Heart held Hostage
The story began at Sonic's hut playing the guitar, while his dad gives him some music lessons or what ever. And as sonic keeps playing a croud soon forms to hear Sonic play. Including Mina and the gang. So Mina joins in and gets ready to sing.Meanwhile back at the castle..Sally is allowed to go spent some time with her friends,and Knowing how her parents are over protective they recomend an escourt but Sally refuses. Next we have her outside listening to Sonic and Mina sing and play or whatever.
And notices the two together and gets pretty sad. Tails, Ant.,Bunnie and Rotor notice this and Bunni goes after her. Sally starts thinking how Sonic and Mina sound great together and which only lowers hers pride or whatever. Bunni cacthes up with her and they both have a talk about Sonic and Mina's friendship and that sally should tell Sonic how she feels, but before she can Nack and his cromedomes come in and attack.back at Sonic's place Mina and sonic both comment on each other.Then they swicthed scenes showing Bunni getting takin out and slamed to the tree. Back with Sonic Mina wants to ask Sonic something( and we all know what she might of asked)But before she can say what Nack and his goon squad come and attack. Sonic notices Sally on the back of Nacks hover bike or whatever and chases after him. Kinda of a wierd pic, I don't see why Mina's hands were on her mouth. Anyways one of Nack's goons comes in and attacks Sonic. Next page we see a cool pic of Sonic kicking some major butt! In another scene we have Mina trying to stop another guy but nearly got killed. Sonic saves her but it was already too late the others goy away.
Sonic takes one of Nack's goons to the castle to be questioned but with no luck. Soon King Max comes in, and Knack's goon starts laughing. King Max got pissed and sends Sonic and the others away and brings in the guards and closed the door.
The others are going what the hell, and eventully King Max comes in and tells Sonic and the gang where Sally is. Now that was really funni when Max said 'Let's just say I made him an offer he couldn't refuse". Finally they showed a scene where King Max cares for his daughter. Anyways King Max tells Sonic to go look for her, but Sonic has already left in search of her leaving the gang behind. Heh, good story overall not what I expected but still great overall. I wonder how Mina cacthes up.
Afterlife part 2
Taking off where the story left off, Knuckles is being taking to somewhere. And Knuckles is starting to ask questions like what about the guardians and well u get the point. When knuckles tries touching them they disappear and Knuckles hears a voice and is confronted by an Aurora.And knuckles starts askning why she looks like him, and says that this is what knuckles conprehends and what he sees.She also states that she is the force and te force is all! In other words whoever sees her will see her as they imagine.She also says how his dad saw her a dream( which we all)We all the dream which she is talking about. Anyways we see a flashback and see what Knuckles dad does in order to prevent this, and how laralee and Locke arguing over Knuckles and we all the end result.Anyways in the last scene We have knuckles and his dad side by side and Lara-lee crying and Knuckles asking what's next. Basiclly another flashback i hope this final reward will happen pretty soon. I wonder what's the point of this flasback, and whatever did happen to Mamoth Mogul I thought he would of led to the plot in 125 but now who knows. I'll review the ret later... I'm too tired now.
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I am COMPLETELY taken with this issue.
Cover Art: Of the Magazine style blah background issues, this one gets a 4/5 Rings Spaz does his usual wonderful job and the expressions and poses between Nack and Sonic are wonderful. Coloring is also beautious.
Splash Page: Nack the weasel and his friens(?)/Family(?) It's Axer art, 5 Rings
Main Story: Heart Held Hostage.
Art: AXER *SQUEE* couple that with beautious coloring 5 RINGS! PLUSS FIVE RINGS! PLUSS FIVE RINGS!
Story: Sonic's dad musta been a musician since he's teaching Sonic a few chords on accoustic guitar. Meanwhile Sally is leaving home to join her friends after telling mum and dad where she's going. Mina Singing with Sonic playing seems to be a big hurtle to overcome as she is discouraged yet again by the biggie triangle. Looks like Bunnie's coaching will bring her home when Nack and Co storm through on hover-type bikes and kidnap Sally! There are some wonderful sight gags and quippy writing which give a feel of actual characterization to King Max, Sonic's Parents etc, so that you can see where the FFs came from, their influences. It does end with Sonic running off, and I love every aspect of this story :) 5/5
I like the Love triangle between Sally Sonic and Mina, it adds depth to the characters, and I feel the way things are developing are natural given the characters. I feel like Sally is the kind of character who would hide how she really feels deep down, and it's a great detriment to her relation with Sonic especially since they've classically been so close.
Midstory: After Life Pt. 2
Story: Knux meets his goddess Aurora and she tells him about how he was born and Why he is teh way he is... Still waiting to see him not green.
I think this is good since it recaps how Knuckles came into being, and retells how and why his parents split up. Good for the newer readers and it also lets Knuckles know that his parents have *always* Cared about him since even before his birth. Don't like the fact he's still dead and still green, must resist urge to kill Aurora.
Finale: When there was only One Guardian
Art: 5/5 Dawn Best makes slight alterations to her artwork giving men a little bit more eyecandy, but that's okay
Story: Julie Su and Vec have heart to heart talking about how Vec met Knuckles. More quips, wonderful visuals... MUST READ 5/5
Julie Su and vec are usually rivals and I've felt their attitudes are frighteningly simmilar. I've also felt that they could patch up their differences and actually be best friensds who's tough guy attitudes are just for show. Sure looks like that's what's going on here as they reminiss about the past :) When Knuckles does come back he may see a difference in his best buds for the better.
In Short: YOU MUST OWN THIS COMIC!
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|I just got this comic yesterday, i'll give my thoughts on it.
First of all, I'll get to my first and favorite point, J.Axer's art in HHH Part 1, man, how many times will this guy keep on impressing everyone with his art, all the characters look cute and nicely done with almost perfect expressions (note Sally or Mina when the both see sonic).
Anyways, the story just starts of wicked, with sonic and a guitar, what I find weird is that he's just learning how to play now, but in the one comic with that stupid chinese dragon, Sonic is thinking back about the king telling him to keep an eye out on the princess whilest playing his guitar, I know it's stupid to point out, but felt it might be cool to bring to attention. Either way, Sonic picks up the guitar rather quickly and throws a happy lil shin-dig, deffinitly cool in my books, Mina joins in the mix and Sally sees them and takes off having a discussion with Bunnie about her and Sonics feelings towards each other thats quickly interupted with some violent hit and runs lol.
Another cool thing I liked was the fact that the weasel that they had taken prisoner was infact missing half his tail, seemed like a weird little addition, or subtraction to the character....Anyways to sum it up, loved this chapter, nicely drawn, nice script, deffinitly worth it.
As for the others, I don't want to go into description cause I just really don't know much about knuckles to begin with, alls I know is that they are pretty good story lines, good to see Dawn best drawing again for the comic, and I can't wait for the next issue (the cover for the next one looks cute).
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