Sonic The Hedgehog #109 Review by True Red
"I Herd it Through the Pipeline!"
Written by Benny Lee
Pencils by Ron Lim
Inked by Andrew Pepoy & Pam Eklund
What detracts me from the cover is the pun, even though it's not totally terrible. It just didn't seem necessary. Other than that, I like it, as Sonic is actually acting cold in the icy climate, which is more than the Freedom Fighters do in the actual story itself. To start the issue off, we're treated to the return of the "blah, blah, blah...Archie & Sega present Sonic" (which I could do without as it's covering up the art), but its accompanied by another great splash page. It's a nice follow-up to the one in Sonic #108 and since the style is the same as in the middle story, kudos to J. Axer for both of them.

Onto the actual story. Though in truth, it really isn't much. Sonic finds Rotor looking "bummed out" and Rotor tells Sonic about the situation his mother, Skeeter (his brother), and the rest of the walrus herd have been in since Sonic #85. Conveniently, Sally overhears the discussion as she interrupts Sonic to say exactly what he was going to suggest--use the Sword of Acorns to restore the wills of the hypnotized herd. Keeping in continuity (as well as the fact that this will be addressed next issue), when Sally goes to pick up the Sword it speaks to her and just as I figured back in #102, only Sally can hear it. That much was proven when she asks Sonic if he heard anything and he responded with "Hear what?" Before the trio can leave though, Bunnie suddenly appears (sans Antoine surprisingly) and the trio becomes a quartet.

Rotor must've been doing some major tinkering because that's a pretty sophisticated submarine he's piloting. Anyway, while Sonic's getting sick, the gang notices that there's an oil pipeline at the bottom of the ocean and wonders who would've built it. Right, as if anyone really needed to wonder about that. At this point in Robotropolis, Robotnik and Snively notice the Freedom Fighters' sub on their monitors. For no reason other than possibly hatred, Robotnik throws the wrench he was holding and destroys the monitor while ordering Snively to send out their "sea"crete weapon. Luckily that's the only pun of the story. Suddenly the Freedom Fighters find themselves being victims of electrical shock, and the culprit is the mechanical eel that we saw in the splash page. Rotor comes up with the quick save as he jettisons each of them from the sub in their own escape pod.

After reaching the surface, the Freedom Fighters find Robotnik ordering the herd around an oil deck. Since ruining Robotnik's plans are what the Freedom Fighters do best, Sonic and Bunnie start taking out the Ice-Bots, and Sonic tells Sally and Rotor to take care of the herd. Attempting to add some humor to the story, Robotnik complains that the Freedom Fighters aren't being fair via a monitor screen which gets hit with a snowball. While Sally uses the Sword to restore the herd their free wills, Rotor plants a bomb, which blows up the oil deck to the cheers of the newly freed herd. Rotor reunites with his mother and brother who he introduces to Sonic, Sal, & Bunnie. While the gang walks off in the sunset, Robotnik in an acknowledgement to AoStH series ends the story with "I hate that hedgehog!"

Rating: Rings

Eh, it was an okay story. It definitely wasn't great by any stretch of the imagination, but it wasn't terrible either. I've been used to Ron Lim's style and he drew Rotor better than I ever remember him doing so in this issue and I liked the expressions he was giving the characters. They fit the scenes. My only problem was I felt he drew Bunnie's ears a little too thin in a couple of places, but overall, it was decent considering the past. Well, Benny Lee is trying to inject some humor into the comic and he's doing an alright job in that department, but I never was a fan of overly simplistic stories. I don't mind having to actually think at least a little. Of course, even though it was only one, the pun didn't help--it just made me think, oh please no more pathetic puns. Puns aren't normally funny and that one wasn't.

"...The Crush!"
Written by Karl Bollers
Pencils by J. Axer
Inked by Andrew Pepoy and Pam Eklund
Mina sees Sonic running around in the Great Forest and because she likes him (the heart is a dead giveaway for those who think she only likes him as a "friend" as she said in #99) she tries to catch up using her speed. However, she still lacks a lot of control and trips over a rock. Before she can fall to the ground though, she's grabbed by Sally (a convenient way for them to meet). Sally tells her that it's difficult to keep up with Sonic, which Mina agrees and sits down looking a little distressed. Mina then relates to Sally that she kissed Sonic who "seemed more surprised than pleased." That little tidbit surprised Sally as Mina tells Sally that she isn't dating Sonic. However, oblivious to the fact that Sally likes Sonic, Mina asks Sally to tell her about Sonic since Sal's known him for a long time. Sal basically tells her that Sonic is a caring, dependable guy who sticks to his beliefs and can be a bit of a goof, while attempting to keep a "certain level of cool." She admits that she doesn't know if she'll completely figure out what makes Sonic tick, but she won't stop trying. Mina thanks Sally, who tells Mina that she doesn't have to curtsy and to call her "Sally." Mina says bye and runs off happily, and once Mina's out of range, Sally's own smile returns now that she knows the truth about Sonic and Mina.

Rating: Rings

Short, sweet, and it really, really worked for me. Nothing more to say as the story speaks for itself. J. Axer's art is simply amazing. Oh, and kudos to whoever's idea it was to have Sonic read a "KNUX" comic to Tails.

"Reunification, the Conclusion"
Written and Inked by Ken Penders
Pencils by Dawn Best
Alright, considering we were left with a bit of a cliffhanger after #108, let's straighten some things out. In #108, one of the councilors said "You betrayed us for the last time!!!" and fired at Dimitri. Remington saw what was happening and was attempting to stop the councilor, however, Lara-Su thinking Remington is about to shoot Knuckles stops him. Fortunately for Dimitri, Knuckles takes the shot for him, but seemingly is killed by it. Lara-Su is shocked and realizes that Remington wasn't the one who killed her father. Remington leaves, but plans on chatting with "Jani-Ca" later.

Kommissar can't find Knuckles' pulse and in her thoughts reveals that she's the mastermind of the "councilor" that was supposed to shoot Dimitri. She sneaks out a bit to make sure Remington can't get her "hired gun to talk." Dimitri and the current Mitre leader actually begin to talk and agree that the "extremism" has to end. Another councilor, who does look like a Locke rip-off, recommends that they create a committee to work on figuring out how to go about combining the two sides peacefully.

Meanwhile, Lara-Su is crying because she failed in her mission when she notices Kommissar talking and wonders what she's doing. Kommissar is talking to a Legionnaire named Syntar who she wants to take out her hired gun. Syntar radios to her that Julie-Su is also there and Kommissar is overjoyed since she can get rid of two birds with one stone. However, before Syntar can even fire a shot, he gets clocked from behind by Lara-Su who's suddenly sent back to the future.

Julie-Su enters the chamber to find Knuckles is alive and Knuckles reveals that he was pretending because he wanted to gain Dimitri's trust. Knuckles figures that there's a traitor in the Dark Legion and that they'll have to find out who it is.

In the future, Lara-Su runs crying to her mother, Julie-Su, and explains that she didn't save Knuckles and that he died. Julie-Su then explains to Lara-Su that it had to be an alternate reality because Knuckles is alive in the future. Julie-Su didn't want to tell Lara-Su that her father had gone "beserk" and is leading the Dark Legion in conquering Mobius, so she let her think Knuckles was dead. However, Knuckles obviously hasn't conquered the Floating Island yet as Julie-Su tells Lara-Su that she can join in the fight against him. To be continued in Sonic #114.

Rating: 1/2 Rings

Great story. Plenty of action and mostly straight forward with the exception of the last page, which I'll get to. Dawn Best's art is still great.

Two things I'm speculating about this story. Since the answers for the family tree were given, in an update from Sonic #103, Kragok's kid is shown to be a boy. My suspicion is that Syntar, who Kommissar obviously trusts a lot, is Kragok's son. Could be wrong, but this is speculation. The second thing is the last page. Future Julie-Su actually opened up the possibility that Knuckles (who's currently green) could be a would-be world conqueror in the future. Lara-Su left the past before finding out that Knuckles was really alive. Now, while I never disregard anything in a Ken Penders story because he loves to throw curves, in his answer to Dan Drazen's Knuckles review for #106, Ken is trying to sell the point that it is supposed to be an alternate future. There's one thing that can be used to support that point. Despite the cool look Lara-Su has had in this storyline, it was a completely different style of clothing she wore in comparison to what she was given for Knuckles: 20 Years Later. Considering Ken has seemingly answered the letters pages honestly since he's taken over, I'll currently give him the benefit of the doubt for now and will sort of go along with the it's an alternate reality, though I know the story doesn't really support that claim other than as an explanation for Lara-Su's partially changed look.



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