|Cover is awesome. Collage pics are always interesing--and almost everyone on the cover made it into the comic, too. The coolest surprise is seeing Elias & Meg's kid on the cover. The only two semi-major groups seemingly dissed by not making the cover are the Substitute Freedom Fighters and the Albion echidnas. For some reason, I just loved the electric effect on Robotnik's goggles. Cute cover and totally reminds me of how horrible the 'zine-style covers were. No frontpiece because it's ALL one story.
"Sonic Adventure 2.5: Omega"
Writer: Karl Bollers
Artists: Dave Manak & Andrew Pepoy (pgs 1-3), Art Mawhinney & Nelson Ribeiro (pgs 4, 9-10), Art Mawhinney & Pam Eklund (pgs 5, 7-8) Dawn Best and J.D. Ray & Aimee Ray (pgs 6, 15, 21-22), Ron Lim & Jim Amash (pgs 11-14), Steven Butler & Jim Amash (pgs 16-20), and J. Axer & Conor Tomas (pgs 23-28)
Sally explains that the time of Xorda's attack is the same as the Days of Fury, which created most of the current inhabitants of Mobius. Locke, calling from Angel Island, confirms that the Brotherhood picked up that fact as well. Rotor has finished his device (it looks a lot like Cerebro if you're an X-Men fan) and is giving it to King Max to talk to Xorda. Sally convinces her dad to let her do it instead. Sally tells Xorda that the humans are no longer the dominant species of the planet, but Xorda already knew. They say that the Mobians have a lot of human DNA so they're going to destory the planet anyway. They cut off Sally about to protest and back at the castle, Robotnik cuts in (knocking the Brotherhood's line off). Robotnik has a robot called "Giga-bot Prime" that he thinks can beat Xorda. The "problem" is that it's too big and only Sonic can power it with his speed. Heh, well, I guess Robotnik forgot about Shadow--or does he even know Shadow is alive. Anyway, Sonic is ready to go, but King Max says to wait. King Max says that unless Robotnik gives control of half his territory (Robotnik controls 99% of the planet supposedly) to the Kingdom of Acorn that Sonic isn't going. After a little hesitation (with King Max basically saying either accept it or die--heh), Robotnik agrees and cuts off.
Meanwhile, in the cosmos, Knuckles senses the destruction of Mobius and confronts Aurora. He asks her if they can win without him, but she won't answer. Then he asks her if what she said about only having one life is true. Before she can (or cannot) answer, we turn back to Knothole...
Sally is addressing everyone in Knothole about all the Freedom Fighter groups around Mobius being on standby while Sonic has a mission to take care of Xorda. In the castle, King Max is talking with Locke, who's surprised Robotnik agreed with Max's terms. Max said desperation does wonders. Locke agrees with that since on the island the echidnas ("straight" or Legionnaire) and the dingoes are banding together for once. King Max promises to keep Locke updated on what Sonic's doing. In Knothole, just as Sonic is about to leave, Sally says that she wants to go with him and he takes her along.
In Megaopolis, Robotnik takes them to the robot. Sonic starts powering the robot as they (he & Sal are both inside) head out into the city. Xorda notice the robot coming to attack them so they fire a laser at it, but the Giga-bot's shields hold. Giga-bot punches Xorda's ship, knocking it off balance so Xorda retreats higher into the air.
Figuring Xorda had enough, Sal & Sonic celebrate as the annoying trend starts. Sonic calls Sally "darlin'." Granted, I know the two love each other, but that felt just so wrong and a bit forced throughout the story at every moment it was said. Anyway, back to the story. Their happiness is cut short as suddenly metal clamps appear and bind Sonic to Giga-bot. Robotnik claims that since Xorda is gone, he doesn't have to keep his promise and now he has Sonic to power his greatest weapon. Just then, Xorda sends out another telepathic message to everyone as they fire something out of their ship into a snowy part of Mobius. It's called the Quantum Dial and once its arm makes a complete circle, it will create a black hole that will take in the entire galaxy. With that, Xorda takes its leave since they don't plan on being sucked into the black hole. Robotnik isn't scared as he figures he'll just use Giga-bot to destroy the Dial. Elsewhere on the planet, everyone is beginning to leave their stations to head for the Dial as well.
Back to Knuckles & Aurora. Knuckles calls Aurora out on her lie about no one being able to live again. Athair pops in now and tells Knuckles that Knux is considered worthy for a second life. Knuckles says that he's going back then and asks how does he get there. Aurora tells Knux that he has a greater purpose and if he leaves that he'll have lost it. She continues to say that they'll die anyway as "that is the pain of existence" and tells Knux not to be foolish or selfish. Knuckles doesn't see how helping everyone on Mobius is selfish and turns to Athair, who tells Knux that the power is inside him but there's no way to know what'll happen to it once he returns to Mobius. Knuckles says that he's willing to risk it and starts glowing green. Aurora wonders how Knux can give up being part of eternity and unlocking secrets of the universe. Athair (in the coolest line of the comic, IMO) says, "Weren't you ever sixteen?"
Back to Mobius, Station Square's missiles (among others as is slightly hinted by the wording) can't reach the Dial. All tech weapons fall apart around 50 feet from the Dial. Commander Brass and Tails are conversing and Brass says that they've got to attack head-on. Seeing all who've gathered (the Freedom Fighters--minus Rotor, Big, Froggy, Shadow, Mina, Monkey Khan, Rouge, the Downunda Freedom Fighters, the Wolfpack, Rob & his Krazy Kritters, the Arctic Freedom Fighters, King Max' Royal Guard & Secret Service, the Chaotix--with Charmy, the Echidna Security Team, the Dark Legion, the dingoes, Drago, Snoop, the Fearsome Foursome all get cameos), at Tails' command they all go for the Dail with the goal of stopping it as it has already started moving. Of course, once they charge, the defense system goes live and starts firing, which scatters the group and basically brings the charge to a halt. As Tails saves Fiona, he sees the Giga-bot approaching. Flying over the defense that has kept everyone else far from the Dial, at about 50 feet away, the Giga-bot falls to pieces. Sally & Sonic land on their butts in the snow and while Sally wonders about what happened, she takes some solace in the fact that they're inside the defense perimeter. Sonic calls it a "blessing" and a "curse" due to stopping Robotnik's dreams, but leaving them with no way to stop the Dial. Nicole scans the Dial & sends the info to Rotor in Knothole. Rotor says that if they can create a counter-force to reverse the Dial's arm, the Dial will be destroyed. Sonic figures he could use his speed to do that. Nicole says that would not be a good idea since the Dial would implode and anything in its immediate vicinity would implode--meaning Sonic. Sonic asks if everyone else would be safe and Nicole says "perhaps" but decides to end the discussion on that as she senses something--a quantum wave (Archie LOVES the word "quantum"--heh) that'll incinerate anything within a 100 mile radius that'll arrive in 3.5 seconds (nice warning, Nicole, try a little earlier next time). Knowing they can't avoid this, they start to say "I love you" but just before it was going to hit--it stops. They wonder how they're alive and the story shifts to the battlefield...
On the battlefield, the laser cannons have just been destroyed. By the Chaotix, Tails & Rouge, a blinding green light appears and finally takes the form of Knuckles (the one responsible for everything of course) as he finally returns. Julie-Su is the first to grab him and Knux is happy to be back himself. But, he cuts the reunion short as he was reading Sonic's mind as he was coming back and knows Sonic will need some help if they're all going to survive. Knux tries to take off, but lands in the snow to Julie & Rouge's (shown) surprise (and Rouge even gets to call him "handsome"). Knuckles realizes then that the price he's paid to come back is losing his extra special powers (we'll find out much later if it's permanent or not). To himself he wishes Sonic luck and says "Goodbye."
Back near the Dial, Sonic tells Sally that since the Dial is still active, he has to try his plan. Sally doesn't want him to because he'll die, but Sonic says that they'll all die if he doesn't. With that, they share a hug and kiss goodbye declaring their love. Sonic runs off (and actually the page describes it better than I can) to save the world "one last time." As everyone sees the Dial implode, he succeeds in doing just that. Tails says, "Sonic..?" and you see a hole where the Dial once stood.
Just to make a point, if you own the comic, stop and don't look at the next page. Turn it to the next one.
Sally reaches everyone saying that Sonic is "gone" and the news isn't taken very well. Later on, there's a funeral and flags are at half staff in Knothole. At the funeral are Jules, Bernie, Uncle Chuck, the Freedom Fighters, Knuckles, the Chaotix--including Ray, Mina, Shadow, Fiona, Hope, Geoffrey, Hershey, Rosie, Gen. D'Coolette, Dr. Quack & his family, King Max, Queen Alicia, the President of Station Square & his secretary, and Elias & Meg. They're all sad, but someone else is very happy. Robotnik is laughing his head off in Megaopolis as if he's just received the best present in the world.
Continuing on the point, if you own the comic, turn the page back now to the skipped page.
A statue of Sonic is erected in his honor. It says:
Sonic The Hedgehog
Saved The World
Somebody is a Buffy fan--cute. Anyway, we see Sally looking up at the partially destroyed moon in the sky, oblivious to someone peeking into her room and watching her. I'm not totally positive who it is so I'm not going to venture a guess--but I do think that there's some significance to it. The end right? Nope.
Now skip the "next" page that we've already seen, the ad & checklist for the epilogue: "849,000 light years away..." on a moonish-like place, a blue column of light suddenly appears. After it dies out, an unconscious Sonic appears lying on the ground. And the issue ends with "To Be Continued!" That's for those thinking this is/was going to be the last issue--it isn't. ^_~
Rating: 1/2 Rings
Before I talk about the story, somebody smack the publishing. Seriously, how do you mess up the biggest issue by printing pages out of order?! That irked me to no end.
Now the story itself was pretty good. I wish Archie could've made this a 48-pager and upped the price for this one issue, because Xorda was short-changed a little, particularly with the "battle" against Giga-bot. That came off rather weak.
I want to give major kudos to the artists as they all did an amazing job in terms of making the story look pretty. My complaint though--fingers. It does annoy me that seemingly no one truly makes an effort to remember that overlanders have 4 fingers to the humans having 5 fingers, however, there's no exucse for forgetting the Mobians have 4 fingers (save the Sega characters). Only Best, Butler, and Axer remembered that fact. Mawhinney's Stryker was a bit off, Manak drew Sally's hair much too long at times. I'm not sure who's "fault" this is, but Butler shouldn't have drawn Athair with Remington and the Chaotix in that panel since Athair is dead (and with Knux & Aurora in the story). Other than those details, beautiful. While most probably worried about Lim, I was more concerned with Manak going into the round-robin. When I opened the comic, I was floored by his art. That was a good sign--especially since the quality at worst stuck to that quality (and at times got much better, particularly Butler & Axer--who're both my faves).
On the coloring, Jensen is wonderful EXCEPT for his constant mistakes, which still plagued this issue. The one that truly bugged me the most was the "all white" Rouge. She has "skin" and he did it right in #124, so to get it wrong in this issue was just crazy to me. Shadow's fur I kind of expected because of last issue. The same for Julie-Su's eyes since I can't remember when he's ever made them violet (like they should be) off the top of my head.
Storywise, I knew it was happening, but I still didn't like the return of the Fearsome Foursome, Drago, & Snoop. It kind of takes away from previous stories. As a result, it's also officially only a matter of when someone wants to bring back Nate, Colin, Agnes, & Cheddermund for it to happen as the same logic that brings those 6 villains back would also apply to Nate, Hope's family, and Cheddermund. The forgotten one of the story though is Snively. Robotnik makes it known that Snively is missing in #124, but not one word about Snively in this issue. Still, a strong story otherwise, on both the Sonic & Knuckles storyline fronts. It's nice that the Triple Threat got their due with Sonic being the number one guy (as usual), Knuckles having everyone's backs, and Tails getting a leadership role. Though, what TRULY made this issue was the art. A few things happened throughout that you just have to see to really get as there isn't a proper way to summarize it.
Extra of the issue was the Yuji Naka letter thanking everyone for supporting Sonic over the years--and advertising The Mega Collection, SA:DX, Sonic Advance 2, Sonic N, the McDonald's toys, and Sonic X. Oh yeah, all of that got squeezed in the letter.
Justin thanked the publishers, editors, staff, the licensing reps, Yuji Naka, and also...the fans for supporting the comic. I've been buying every month since #37 and yes it's been a wild ride. Congrats for making it to 10 years Archie and despite doing things that drives fans like me crazy (such as printing pages in the wrong order to mess up the story's flow), here's hoping for another 10 years as well.