Sonic The Hedgehog #114 Review by True Red
When I first saw the preview cover months ago, I was blown away. The real thing was just as impressive. An obvious Star Wars rip, but done extremely well and is definitely one of better covers this year. Nice frontpiece by Axer, though it's the "electric" effect around the bubble surrounding Turbo Tails that I like best.

"Twice Told Tails"
Writer: Benny Lee
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inkers: Andrew Pepoy & Pam Eklund
The story starts off with Tails at the entrance of a cave when suddenly he sees red eyes staring at him. That's when we find out that Tails is having a nightmare as Sonic tells Tails that it's just a "bad dream." Thanks to Sonic's family walking in, we find out that Tails has been having this dream every night for the past week. Bernie suggests that Dr. Quack checks on Tails tomorrow, and with that they leave after Jules tells them to get some sleep. Sonic reminds Tails that he's got his back and then goes to sleep.

When Sonic wakes up "10 minutes later," he finds that Tails is gone, so he goes searching. He finds Tails flying the Tornado and follows him. Tails ends up finding the exact cave in his dream though he doesn't know how he did. Sonic and Tails walk inside and are at a lost for words when they see Turbo Tails (the second). For simplicity sake, I'll call him Turbo Tails, but the "original" Turbo Tails was a darker orange and had a blue cape. In Sonic #96-97, Turbo Tails (who is shown in this comic) is Tails' SA-style orange with a red cape. The "original" Turbo Tails also received his power from 50 power rings and Mogul's chaos power (though similar to Sonic and Knuckles, only needed 7 chaos emeralds). This Turbo Tails' power, similar to Knuckles since Sonic #90, comes from within Tails himself.

As Tails comments that "he's me," the villain of the hour, Mammoth Mogul appears to the surprise of the duo considering as far as they knew, Mogul was still trapped in the Master Emerald. Mogul explains that he was freed from the emerald and that by finding power rings as well as using his psychic/mental powers, he kept himself alive. During the time Athair took Tails away from Knothole to help Knuckles, he intercepted and created a fake for Athair and kept the real one captive. Now, while the footnotes point to Sonic #94, the pic showing when Mogul actually took Tails points to Sonic #96 right after Merlin "awoke" Turbo Tails within Tails. That also fits in with the fact that Mogul talks about maintaining Tails' ultimate form. The other possibility is when Merlin said the incantation to awaken Turbo Tails, that despite being captured by Mogul already, Tails was affected by the spell from afar. In any event, Mogul used power rings to keep Tails in his ultimate form and siphoned off some of Turbo Tails' power to restore his own power from before.

Sonic finally gets tired of listening to Mogul and goes in to take him down. Meanwhile, the fake Tails stares at Turbo Tails in the bubble and thinks about what it means if what Mogul was saying is actually true. Mogul blasts Sonic away with his chaos power and shows that he can actually manage to get a point across with one word. Sonic of course talks back, but it's the fake Tails surprising Mogul by hitting Mogul from behind that gives Sonic the chance to get his hits in finally. The bubble holding Turbo Tails disappears and Turbo Tails falls to the ground. Having lost his connection to Turbo Tails, Mogul leaves saying that there are other people he can steal energy from. Sonic doesn't really care since Mogul is finally gone.

Sonic turns to the fake Tails who's crying since he's "a phoney." Sonic tells him that he's his best friend. Fake Tails says that he won't forget Sonic as he disappears, much to Sonic's surprise. Before he can think too much about it, Turbo Tails has reverted back to Tails and has finally woken up. Tails wonders where he is and an emotional Sonic (you don't see Sonic in tears often) just says "You're right here, bud. You're right here."

Rating: Rings

This story was awesome and I'm not penalizing it because Ron Lim drew it. It was a great resolution to the fake/real Tails plot that Ken Penders created. I was also VERY happy that the Sonic writers ignored Ken's hint that the switch occurred in Sonic #56 and instead used Ken's own story for the switch. Characterization was great and though some things might be a little confusing, the story was on target. Some have wondered how Mogul could've created a duplicate that was so like Tails that no one ever suspected a thing--and the answer was in the last two pages. The entire time Turbo Tails is in the bubble, he's not only unconscious, he's practically zombie-like. My suspicion is that Mogul created a replica-body and transferred the "real" Tails' conscious into the fake. That's why the moment the fake disappeared, the "real" Tails finally woke up AND why Mogul was able to contain Turbo Tails. Honestly, there's no way in the world that Tails would've allowed himself to be a battery for Mogul and remained unconscious for so long unless his "mind" was elsewhere--in this case, in the fake Tails' body.

"Ultimate Power - Part One"
Writer & Inker: Ken Penders
Penciler: Dawn Best
In Echidnaopolis, Knuckles has used his connections as Guardian to give Julie-Su and her step-parents a very nice apartment to live in. While the group is admiring the view from the balcony, however, we find out that Dimitri is dying.

In the hospital, Kommissar is visiting Dimitri. He tells her that she doesn't have to be her "usual treacherous self" even though they both know that only Knuckles can save Dimitri. If Knuckles doesn't do what Dimitri needs him to do to save him and Dimitri dies, Dimitri asks Kommissar to continue the path that he set for them. After a moment of silence, she closes her eyes and promises.

Elsewhere, a certain dingo cabby named Harry is off-duty and says as much to Mogul when Mogul asks for a ride. However, Mogul who offers him a valuable piece of gold and that gets Harry's attention. Mogul wants to be taken to the Dark Legion and Harry asks Mogul to forget him once he's done.

Meanwhile, Knuckles and Julie-Su run into the Chaotix. Mighty and Espio update the echidna pair on Dimitri, while Vector doesn't even care. Knuckles basically says that they have to care, and when Vector objects Julie-Su insults him. Vector gets mad and threatens Julie, so she takes him down in response. Then, Julie-Su explains that having Kommissar in charge of the Dark Legion is worse than Dimitri. To be continued.

Rating: Rings

Nice set-up story for the upcoming parts. I noticed that Ken drew Julie-Su in the last panel on the first page. That's how Ken draws her, not Dawn. Mogul also got some shades during his trip from the Mobian mainland to the Floating Island. Note that this issue marks the first time Knuckles and the Chaotix have been together in the same comic since Super Special #14. It has been a VERY long time.

"Young at Heart"
Writer: Karl Bollers
Penciler: J. Axer
Inker: Conor Tomas
As the story begins, Sonic, Amy, Sally, Tails, Bunnie, Antoine, and Rotor are walking to Knothole High School (which seemingly is for all grades despite the name). Amy Rose is complaining that it's not fair that they have to go to school and wants to know whose idea it was. Sonic says that it was Geoffrey's idea and has sly smile as he adds that Geoffrey is a "close personal friend" of Sally. Amy wants to know why they have to go now and Sally explains that since Robotnik is gone, the focus is on building the future. Sally also makes sure to correct Sonic and says that Geoffrey is her "father's close and personal friend" when she comments. Amy wants to know why the Freedom Fighters are excused and Sally tells her that since they go on missions they can't attend school, but they get schooling during their spare time. Tails is about to ask why isn't he excused since he is also a Freedom Fighter, but he doesn't really get the chance as Sally quickly tells Tails that he has to go to class.

As Amy and Tails get ready to go to class, Amy wonders that maybe she should've stayed in her homeland of Mercia. Just as she's about to go follow some kids that are her "physical" age, Amy gets called by someone who tells her that her class is with the elementary aged kids. Amy ends up sitting next to Tails in her class and is lamenting to herself about being "stuck with the babies." I don't know why, but that reminded me of Angelica from Rugrats when I saw that comment. Anyway, Tails answers a question and when the teacher turns his back, raspberries Amy. Amy answers the next question and then makes a face at Tails. Tails responds with another face of his own. Amy gets caught making her next face and ends up with detention. When school ends, Amy is really upset now, but suddenly the teacher calls back Tails, who also has received detention. Since Tails has detention as well, school isn't as bad as it was before in Amy's mind.

Rating: Rings

This was nice little development story. I loved the insights on Amy in this one. The tiny bit of banter between Sonic and Sally was nice to see. The art was amazing as usual. I noticed that Dreamcast and Fang in particular were some of the noticeable words (Fang--or Nack if you're used to the US/Europe name--also has a tiny pic) in the "notes" between the panels on page four. The 6-issue comic series Karl wrote for Marvel also got a mention with one of the kids reading a "Muties" comic. Of course, can't forget the "detention" cameos by WB (Jon Gray) and Artie. Not only are the online fans getting "letters" in Sonic-Grams on a more or less regular basis now, but even slight mentions in the comic as well. Kudos!