Sonic The Hedgehog #116 Review by True Red
Lovely cover by Spaz and company. Well, Sonic seems a bit tacked on. However, this cover is really featuring Rouge and I liked it. Splash page by Axer looks even nicer, except the colorist deciding to make Rouge (and her outfit) grayish instead of white. I immediately fell in love with that jacket on Bunnie too. I hope she wears it from time to time.

"Operation: Off Switch!"
Writer: Benny Lee
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inkers: Andrew Pepoy & Pam Eklund
Story begins with Sonic and Bunnie meeting the President of Station Square who informs us that the Station Square satellites found Robotnik building a new body for himself so he sent Rouge to stop him. However, Rouge hasn't reported in for 12 hours so they're worried and called Knothole. Sonic asks why didn't they call them to begin with to which the President goes down on his knees asking for forgiveness. Sonic was surprised and said he was only joking, while Bunnie had the same reaction I did when I read it--laugh. I found that to be funny. The President is a bit desperate to be on Sonic's good side. It makes me wonder if they're actually building on that plot point introduced back in Sonic #106.

Anyway, Sonic and Bunnie head off for the ruins of Megopolis, which is the overlander city and has been given the look of the city from the Sonic anime. For those who haven't seen the anime, it means it's a bit of a rip on New York City. Bunnie who's been carrying Sonic while she flew drops him onto one of the skyscrappers and the duo decide their course of action. Bunnie will go find Rouge, while Sonic goes to take care of Robotnik. That's the end of Bunnie for this story as we'll see her again in the middle story.

Sonic uses the coordinates the President gave to reach the factory Robotnik is in after dealing with some obstacles (also known as hedgehog-seeking missiles) in his path. Sonic finds Robotnik, who doesn't have any arms connected to his body, but uses the robotic arm he can control to whack Sonic from behind. That's the only hit he got as Robotnik showed that he is not very good at playing "Whack-a-Sonic." Once the arm is out of commission, Sonic sticks some dynamite in Robotnik's mouth and leaves before it explodes. End of Sonic's mission.

Rating: 1/2 Rings

Another basic story. I liked this one slightly more than last issue as I found a couple of things worth laughing at. I thought that face Robotnik had with the dynamite in his mouth was funny. Lim surprised me by showing a bit more control with the length of Sonic's spines and actually not making Bunnie's ears extremely thin. The one thing that didn't make sense though was the end "minutes later" bubble. Sonic wouldn't need "minutes" to leave the factory. It should've been seconds later. As for the Rouge misspelling count--1 time right and 1 time wrong.

"Bat Fight!"
Writer: Karl Bollers
Penciler: J. Axer
Inker: Jim Amash
In a prison cell with electrified bars, we find Rouge who's basically knocking herself for getting "zapped" while flying. As she's about to figure out how to get out of her cell, the bars disappear. Figuring that was "too easy," Rouge gets suspicious. Then Rouge sees a "cyborg" (though we all know her as Bunnie) and figures it's supposed to rough her up so Rouge decides to take the initiative and teach the cyborg a lesson. Bunnie gets punched and sent flying, so she retaliates by fighting back. Since both took the attitude of "I'm in enemy territory so I'm going to kick butt and ask questions later," the two duke it out until Sonic finds them and basically blows the whistle. The two apologize and that's the end.

Rating: Rings

No real story here, but a very well executed fight. It's been a long time since there's been one in the comics. Memorable punches, kicks, and awesome attacks. Well drawn and no dialogue to really get in the way. I still would like to know why Josh & Aimee Ray felt the need to color Rouge off-white and her outfit gray instead of black, but that's really my only complaint with the story. Final Rouge misspelling count--2 times right and 1 time wrong.

Ultimate Power, Mid-logue: The Lesson
Writer: Ken Penders
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inkers: Aimee & Josh Ray
To start this story off, we see Locke and young Knuckles do their best echidna/hedgehog impersonation. Okay, the story is a flashback and Locke is Guardian and Knuckles is 8. However, Lim gave the two echidnas "Sonic-like" eyes. Also, Josh & Aimee for some reason decided that Locke should have a blue beard and purple eyes (though Locke's eyes should be blue).

Onto the story for real. The present day Knuckles, showing a complete lack of control of his chaos powers, has taken a trip to the past. The two are watching some "things" as young Knuckles called them enter the Chaos Chamber. Locke explains to Knuckles that the "green rock" is what keeps the Floating Island in the sky and then tells young Knux to stay put while he checks on the intruders. Young Knuckles wants to help though and follows anyway. The intruders turn out to be some of Robotnik's scout bots. As Locke attempts to persuade them to leave without resorting to fighting, young Knuckles comes in yelling trying to attack. Young Knuckles gets his clocked cleaned, which makes Locke a bit angry so he tunes into the chaos emerald and short circuits the bots. When young Knux starts to get up, Locke explains some of the powers the chaos emerald can grant. As the pair walk off, Knuckles realizes "with great power comes great responsibility." Yes, it's the famous Spider-Man quote and it was used. Anyway, Knuckles finds himself back with everyone else right at the same moment he "left" them as Remington is calling about having a lead on Dimitri's whereabouts. To be continued.

Rating: 1/2 Rings

To add to the coloring mistakes in the issue, Remington was red instead of brown. Not a bad story and another father/son moment between Locke and Knuckles. It was nice to see the focus on bond that Locke and Knuckles share. It's fine as the stand alone story it was meant to be though I rather the regular storyline had just continued. However, it should be interesting to see how "Ultimate Power" ends.


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