Issue 146

Editor-in-Chief: Richard Goldwater; Managing Editor: Victor Gorelick; Editor: Mike Pellerito

Cover

by Spaz

Shadow, in the shadows... Looks pretty cool, actually. And this is the first issue in quite a long time without Sonic on the cover... 8.5/10

"The Good, the Bad, & the Unknown" Part One: "Prototype"

Written and inked by Ken Penders, penciled by Steven Butler, lettered by John Workman, colored by Jason Jensen.

Summary: Sonic and Shadow fight, then Shadow runs off to meet with his new friend, Isaac. (A robot created by Clarke and Niven... Ha, ha, very funny...) Shadow reminisces about how he found Isaac, while Bunnie, Tommy, Tails, Rotor, and Fiona (who's latest fashion experiment is boots and a corset...) search for Sonic. Meanwhile, Eggman unleashes the latest model of Metal-Sonic...

Critique: The art is Butler's usual above-par work, but I don't know what to make of the story. Not only are Sonic and Shadow still replaying the old Sonic/Knuckles fights, but what are Rotor and Tommy doing on the mission?! And why does a 10,000 year old robot have the same design as Eggman's "E" series?! (Speaking of "ten millennia", I see Ken has begun the latest Chronology revamp...)

Score: 7/10

"Out of Your Shell"

Written by Romy Chacon, penciled by Ron Lim, inked by Rich Koslowski, lettered by Vickie Williams, colored by Jason Jensen.

Summary: We discover that Rotor and Tommy are roommates, and that Rotor's room is a mess. Tommy cleans it up. (This takes place before the previous issue's "Harbringer".)

Critique: Ron spent too much time on the art last issue, so he skimped this ish... The story is another good "not much happening" story.

Score: 6.5/10

"Circuit Me"

Written by Romy Chacon, penciled by Al Bigley, inked by Michael Higgins, lettered by Vickie williams, colored by Jason Jensen.

Summary: Sally and Nicole switch "bodies", but it wears off after a few moments.

Critique: This story had a lot of potential... but if the lack of an explanation for the switch weren't bad enough, it ends just when things were getting interesting. Oh, and Bigley's art is absolutely beautiful -- except for his pathetic attempt at Sally...

Score: 4.5/10

Sonic-Grams

Letters: Feedback on "Love & Loss" and the end of "M25YL: Part One"

Fan-Art: Pics from Evan and Zach Zimmerman, Brittany Wolfe, and Sarah Davies. The pic by Sarah is quite good.

Start: People loved M25YL & L&L, and M25YL will be back. In the mean time, there's plenty of Shadow goin' round...

Off-Panel, by Mike Gallagher (writer), Dave Manak (drawings), and Eugene Delecrow: Commentary on Mike P.'s letter answering habits...

Final Thoughts

The first story was about what I've come to expect from Archie. The second was pointless, and badly drawn, but an okay read. The third was a confusing mess of good and bad art, and good and bad storytelling. Oh, and the cover is cool.

Final Score: 6.625/10
  

COVER:
After last issues ungodly terrible, lazy, pseudo 3D mixed with 2D, we get something much simpler, but all the more dramatic and fitting. Shadow practically trying to leap outta the comic (geez, are you that desperate to leave Archie?) surrounded by glowing white light and an empty black BG. Itís simple, it works. Itís Shadow the hedgehog I donít like with a heated passion, but it works. Itís also noted this is probably the first Sonic comic cover with the blue Ďhog nowhere in sight (that logo on the top left donít count). But he would have distracted what I think is the top contender for cover of 2005, and thatís saying a LOT considering my views on Shadow.
10/10

The Good, The Bad, and the Unknown
Part 1: Prototype
WRITER/INKER:
Ken Penders
ARTIST: Steven Butler
COLORIST: Jason Jenson
LETTERIST: JOHN WORKMAM

The first three pages has Sonic and Shadow pummeling each other with Shadow literally a wet blanket. That leaves Sonic plenty of time to make haste and run while Shadow wonders around, saying in smart talk on how he hears more then one person. Geez, penders, wouldnít it be simpler to just make him say, ďI hear more then one voice/stepĒ? Shadow decides to make haste as well to deal with more pressing matter while Bunnie, Tails, and Tommy freakiní turtle enters the scene, wondering who they heard.
As the two freedom fighters, plus one freakiní turtle ponders on Sonic, Shadow thinks to himself and meets with Isaac, the E-102 look-alike. They speak, Shadow talks of his encounter in last issue, flashbacks to his trip to Angel Island where he sips a pina colada and ponders on what title to call his book of angst poetry. Then he commits suicide by leaping off the island and landing harshly on the ground. Sucks to be him because he survived and discovered Isaac. Releasing him, the two have a friendly chat with teacups and butterflies.
Isaac revealed he was made by Professor Clarke, well, his hardware at least while Professor Niven made his software, and not Gerald as Shadow previously theorized. Shadow wants them, but Isaac donít quite deliver. Shadow then uses a computer nearby where Isaac stood frozen (So, Shadowís somehow a computer genius all of a sudden?) where he discovered Isaac is an old man of 10 millenniaís. Thatíll be a lot of birthday cakes. Shadow then explained how Professor Gerald had no involvement whatsoever on Isaac. All together now: NO DUH, Captain Obvious! As Isaac so poetically explained that ďthat name does not compute
Meanwhile, Fiona and Rotor finds a hurt Sonic (the former donning a fugly form fitting swimsuit of some sort). Rotor contacts Bunnie explaining Sonic needs a medi-kit (medi-kit? First Aid would have been just fine). Bunnie gets to it while Tails tries to stop her. Tommy freakiní turtle stops Tails who explains that none of them (including Bunnie) knows where Sonic, Rotor, and Fiona are.
As Sonic is helped by Rotor and Fiona, Sonic explains how he met Shadow freakiní hedgehog. They met and argue in less then .5 seconds. Shadow, somehow forgetting that they worked together in #124/125 (sorta) immediately processes to deck Sonic for some reason. As Sonic finishes his tale, Rotor theorizes that Shadow is not related to Sonic or even a Mobian. So what else is new?
Eggman spies on Sonic and gangs (more specifically Bunnie) from his camera infused Bat Brain robot thingie where he theorizes that the FFs might very well think Eggman is involved in whatever the heck is going on in this comic. Eggman proceeds to talk to himself some more before revealing yet another Metal Sonic. I feel sorry for the Metal Sonic of #86/87 who had to end up having his sacrifice ruined...well, sorta.

REVIEW:
So we basically get some actiony scenes and Shadow talking about what he has been doing since #145. If not for Sonic recapping how he met Shadow, Iíd been left confuzzled on what the heck is going on, not that Iím already not confused. Perhaps because I havenít read the comics in a while, but I generally didnít 100% knew what was going on or whatís gonna happen, even though I have the future issues and have read them. Itís off to a confusing start with one party not knowing what to do with the other party. Shadow punching Sonic for no good reason doesnít help either. Isaac could play the role of useful character for the current story itís in before being cast aside as another useless character, and Penders seriously needs to work on his dialogue. Heís either overanalyzing the speeches the characters say or filling it with some corny dialogue. I mean, I was cringing on Shadowís speech throughout ranging from overcomplicated ďI can distinguish two vocal patterns, but the footsteps echoing off the floor indicate the presence of moreĒ to just plain laughable, ďI am not accountable to you!Ē Itís not a terribly bad story, but itís filled with flaws a plenty and truth be told, kinda boring, even with all the action going around.
6/10

ART:

I still have to explain how much Butler rules. Fantastic artwork, excellent proportions. The only thing I donít like is Fionaís fugly swimsuit body fit or whatever itís suppose to be.
9/10

Tommy The Turtle in ďOut of Your ShellĒ
WRITER:
Romy Chacon
ARTIST: Ron Lim
INKER: Rich Koslowski
COLORIST: Jason Jenson
LETTERER: Vickie Williams

Oh joy, a Romy Chacon story with Tommy freakiní Turtle. Everybody in Archie just loves me, donít they? Well, better get this over with.
A nekkid Rotor (or is that redundant?) wakes up and tries to get Tommy to do the same. It takes nearly 2 freakiní pages out of the six in order for Tommy to wake up (the first panel on page two where Rotor thinks Tommy has literally lost his head, which would have made about 98% of the readers happy). Tommy is pretty durn upset and shy over something, refusing to get up, but Rotor is a persistent walrus. Trust me, I know the pains of having someone wake me up early in the frigginí morning. Then again, Iím just not a morning person. Rotor finally gives up and goes to get dressed (or is that redundant?)
Rotor goes off to work, and then comes back later on the day wondering where he put whatever it is heís looking for. Tommy freakiní turtle (calling him Boomer which I havenít heard used in a LONG time), asks whatís the dealio? Then Tommy goes on his sob story on how lonely he is. Rotor then expresses Tommy has talents as well and that it time, itíll be revealed.
Rotor then continues to find his files, only to find it missing. Tommy freakiní turtle proceeds to explain to Rotor he organized everything in his room sans his clothes (clothes? He wears a yellow hat, a green belt, and a brown jacket, thatís ALL he wears). Rotor is relieved and Tommy lets him know heís been reading Rotorís files (geez, Tommy, what if they were private, eh?) and offers an explanation on what to do. Rotor takes it into account and dumps the turtle to organize more stuff.

REVIEW:
This is it; Archieís way of making us feel sorry for Tommy freakiní turtle. Iím afraid theyíre over 15 something issues too late as I simply started to not care for Tommy freakiní turtle when he was brought back from the supposed death some few issues ago. Seeing as I despise cheap deaths and that he had 15 something issues to try and make me won him over, they failed. Granted, I know the rule that as long as a body isnít found, thereís a high chance a character could be alive. Heck, Iíll even give the character a second chance if they do a bang up job expanding on their roles and NOT making them useless. Unfortunately, this story does little justice. Tommyís basically stuck organizing, something he can do off screen from the comic (and most likely does). His current role in the comic is just him either squeezed into the backgrounds and saying like a grand total of like 3 lines, all with no real meaning of importance. Even when they try to make him important, it doesnít work. Maybe it would to newbies, but since Tommy has had many chances to redeem himself, I say itís too little, too late. The story doesnít do a good job of making me feel sorry for him. It felt a bit rushed and unconvincing. He only had like one panel to be emotional while the rest was him standing there while Rotor panicked over where his files have gone.

ART:
Limís gotten better. His Rotor actually looks like Rotor, complete with the blubber and everything when Lim is usually notorious for making characters ridiculously skinny. That said, his Tommy freakiní Turtle looks more like an alien or at least if his head has been sucked out dry with a straw. Itís dangerously scary, man.
8/10

CIRCUIT ME, Starring Sally and Nicole
WRITER:
Romy Chacon
ARTIST: Al Bigley
INKER: Michael Higgins
COLORIST: Jason Jenson
LETTERER: Vickie Willams

Sally wonders why she was called over by Rotor who merely wants Nicole as he thought of a new way of using the Power Rings, even though he could be risking the entire Knothole City as a result. Geez, doncha just LOVE having this guy on your side? Sally gets Nicole to diagnose the situations on the power ring, but the hybrid princess gets clumsy and trips over wires and gets electrocuted while Rotor does nothing but shout her name.
Rotor tries to help Sally and Nicole and discovers the two have switched, so Sally (as Nicole) demands Rotor to fix them up, post haste! Rotor tells Sally to do some computer business in order to fix this. Sally tries, but ends up getting dizzy. Nicole (as Sally) meanwhile, ends up walking away where she understands the life of a flesh and blood. Nicole also understands the feeling of love, but before she could express it any further, Sally and Nicole are back once in their body. Sonic wonders what the dealio is and turns to Nicole who merely flirts with the confused hedgehog.

REVIEW:
This story, couldíve, wouldíve, shouldíve been a great story, but squeezed in four pages didnít do anything justice. Iíd have gladly taken a possibly nicer 12 pager of this then having it squeezed four pages for Tommy freakiní Turtleís side story. As a result, this great potential to see Sally as Nicole and vice versa was COMPLETELY wasted. I could think of SO many ways this couldíve worked. Romy was on the right path on making Nicole feel what Sally feels and vice versa, but because it was four freakiní pages, it was hasten up so drastically that it holds absolutely no meaning to me.
It doesnít help that they never really explained how the electric shock made Sally and Nicole switch bodies and how they were returned. Rotorís explanation on the effects being temporary is just a poor, hasten excuse to end this short story. Heck, Sonic and Knucklesí switch-a-roo was better then this. Such a shame. So much potential (this could have been a good cover story on itís own if done right), but left to waste.
3/10

ART:

Well, Alís improving, but heís still not a fave artist of mine. Particularly, heís Sally is beautiful in one scene (like the first panel on the last page), then horribly disfigured in others. Her reaction when getting electrocuted doesnít exactly do a great job convincing me. Good, but flawed. He makes a better first impression then Lim did.
7/10

EDITORS:

Nice fanart of Sally and Sonic from Sarah Davies, more letters and shameless plugs, the preview of next issue, Mika talking about #144ís ďLove and LossĒ, the Sonic X mini-series, and #150. Plus the usual off-panel with Sonic finally doing what the fans wanted to do every time he mentions ďShameless Plugs
~Neo