Sonic The Hedgehog #129 Review by True Red
|It's the return of the the "'zine-style covers." Okay, it's not exactly the same, but that was the first thought when I saw the preview and the official cover wasn't much better. Like a few of the 'zine-style covers, it's just dull and feels totally uninspired. The frontpiece by Axer is very good as usual, even if it isn't as detailed as many of his other frontpieces. The viewing angle of the image of Ceneca-9009 is what sells it the most.
"Tossed in Space, Part 6: Space Gamble"
Writer: Romy Chacon
Penciler: Dawn Best
Inker: Jim Amash
On some squiggly-named planet, the race for the fastest being in the galaxy is about to start. It's also a winner-take-all as everyone had to give up something to enter (which will go to the winner along with the money prize). Sonic entered due to his ship being damaged last issue as a result of dealing with E.V.E. and needs the money to get it fixed. Summary: Sonic loses to Scarabb. Under further review, Scarabb is found to have cheated with a rocket booster. Therefore, the winner is Sonic.
Rating: 1/2 Rings
If it weren't for the art (though not awe-inspiring, it was still nice), this would've been rated lower. It wasn't needed at all since there wasn't anything done in the last issue to even show that Sonic's ship was damaged badly, though it's not a stretch to say it happened. However, the story didn't do anything and it took so long just to explain everything (going into the lack of hinting that Sonic's ship had any problems). The race, which is the only thing that could've saved the story, came across as extremely dull because it was so crammed. The only story "plus" was Sonic trying to console his ego after he "lost" and then trying to keep it in check after he was declared the real winner. The slightly out there designs for some of the aliens was by far the most interesting aspect of the story. I particularly liked the announcer alien with 2 elephant heads that had bug-like eyes--that was a bit unique.
"Tossed in Space, Part 7: Welcome To The Wheelworld"
Writer: Benny Lee
Penciler: Art Mawhinney
Inker: Michael Higgins
At the place E.V.E. said it would be found, Sonic spots Argentium, which looks like a rocky donut. As he gets to the planet, he's told by a guard that only those attending Ceneca-9009's trial may enter. Sonic lies to say that's why he's here so that he doesn't get sent away. Sonic is amazed by the place and knows Uncle Chuck would love to study this planet while commenting that Uncle Chuck would probably spend all his time analyzing Sonic's spaceship when he gets back anyway. Noticing all the aliens around, Sonic figures that Ceneca-9009 did something major to get so many people to come see this trial. As Sonic finally reaches the courthouse, the trial begins. 9009 pleads "not guilty" to "criminal disobedience" to Ceneca-10050 (one of the 3 magistrates presiding the case). That causes Sonic to wonder if everyone is named "Ceneca" on the planet. 10050 says that 9009 is lying and decides to reveal history (with video to back it up) to "show the truth."
8,000 cycles ago, the Bem first began to explore space. 9009's ship found Biotex, a world where the beings were "living metal." Feeling that their state of being was wrong, 9009 asked for permission to create a device to change the beings into flesh. Permission was granted, but there was an unexpected side-effect. The "deadly microbes" on Biotex had caused the inhabitants to become living metal as a defense, which was removed by becoming flesh--the entire species was killed as a result of becoming flesh. The usage of 9009's device was outlawed after the incident. Many cycles later, 9009 discovered Mobius on the day that Robotnik would start his conquest--and specifically, the day Robotnik roboticized Amadeus Prower. Sonic sees this part and thinks he finally has the answer to what happened to Tails' father and feels sorry for Tails. As the history lesson continues, when a Swatbot brought Rosemary Prower to be roboticized, 9009 intervened by transporting Amadeus and Rosemary onto her ship. After changing Amadeus back to normal, 9009 went back to Argentium with the Prowers and asked to be allowed to stop what was going on Mobius. Permission was denied and 9009 was sent to prison for using her device on Amadeus--which was against the law.
At this point, Sonic interrupts because he can't believe what he's hearing at all. Everyone is wondering what's going on, but by interrupting, Sonic ends up finding two people in the audience that he wasn't expecting: Amadeus and Rosemary. The three re-unite and Sonic asks them why didn't they come back to Mobius. One of the magistrates informs Sonic that travel to Mobius was forbidden after 9009 was sent to prison so the Prowers were allowed to live on Argentium. Sonic says that it's more like the Prowers have been prisoners instead of living in safety. For that comment in particular, Sonic is told that he must respect the court or be kicked out. Back to the history lesson.
9009 was released 6 cycles ago and she still wanted to help the Mobians. She was told that she needed to prove that flesh beings were superior to the metal so a special trip to Mobius was allowed. An experiment was conducted (re: Sonic #118), but the metal ones--Mecha Sonic II & Mecha Tails--beat the flesh ones--Eggman & Snively being turned back to flesh. Sonic interrupts again saying that wasn't fair since he could beat Robotnik even if he wasn't in metal form. 9009 agrees with Sonic and mentions that the "role reversal" was something she was ordered to do. A magistrate says that it's "irrelevant" (don't you LOVE horrible logic ^_^). As a result of the experiment, 9009 was ordered to change all the Mobians into Robians. Instead, 9009 turned all the Robians (save Jules) into Mobians. For disobeying, they decide that 9009 is to be executed at the next planet roll call. 9009 says that she doesn't regret anything that she's done (that's right, you go, girl!).
As everyone leaves the courthouse, Sonic and the Prowers agree that what's going on isn't fair, but don't know what to do yet. So, they spend some time catching up as Sonic of course tells them about Tails and how Tails is a big hero back on Mobius. The trio is heading toward Sonic's ship and they have a plan of action for getting 9009 out & getting back to Mobius. However, when they get to Sonic's ship, they see that it's being taken apart. Sonic complains (particularly since that ship was their ticket home), and one of the aliens tells him that since the higher ups figure Sonic will try to go to Mobius (which is forbidden to do) with the ship that they were ordered to take it apart. It seems the trio is stranded, but 10050 finds them and says "not necessarily." Sonic is immediately suspicious since 10050 is the head magistrate, but 10050 tells that despite the ruling he helped give to 9009, he doesn't really believe that 9009 should've been punished either. 10050 lets them know that there is an artificial wormhole near Argentium that can take them to Mobius. 10050 will get them a ship, while Sonic goes to get 9009. Without any other possible chance to get out and save 9009, Sonic agrees to it. Sonic tunnels underground to get 9009 out of her cell and then the two meet up with the Prowers and 10050. It turns out that 10050 could only get a ship that holds one person (helpful, isn't that?). Sonic says that 10050 needs to find a larger ship, but the alarms go off right then--9009's escape has been discovered. Sonic tells 9009 to take the ship since if they find her, they will kill her.
The ship takes off and despite the best efforts of security, the ship makes it to the wormhole. They know that the ship's destination is Mobius (the planet which the Xorda have declared war), so they refuse to follow. On Argentium, it turns out the four left are the Prowers, 10050, and 9009. 9009 figured it would be better if someone played "decoy" and made the Bem think she escaped (particularly since she probably rather stay at the planet that is her home instead of another place). Still, she knows that she has to stay hidden or else they'll kill her. As the two Bem leave, Rosemary's and Amadeus' conversation reveals that they both refused Sonic's offer to go back to Mobius instead of him since they want to be together. Amadeus believes that now they'll get to see Tails one day. In the meantime, the Prowers gave Sonic a "package" to give to Tails so that Tails can know that they love him.
Sonic finally gets through the wormhole and sees something that makes him extremely happy: "Mother Mobius herself! Home sweet home."
Rating: 1/2 Rings
This was a very satisfying story with great pacing, believable action and some solid artwork. This story answered a bunch of recent continuity questions of the past year and also hinted that Xorda could return (which after a good chunk of time, they should, IMO, if they're really serious about destroying Mobius). There's even a chance that the Bem are under the Xorda considering how Xorda supposedly sent ambassadors to Earth/Mobius thousands of years ago that eventually caused the whole problem in Sonic #124-25. Even though an official reasoning for the fact that Jules wasn't deroboticized isn't given and I would love to get one, it wouldn't have made sense to be mentioned in the context of this story. So, unless Amadeus & Rosemary knew and told Sonic during their talk, it'll be awhile until that comes. The Bem are an interesting bunch though their logic needs a bit of work despite their technological intelligence (which you wouldn't think should be the case since a lot of technology actually runs based on logic--but that's a whole other topic). While we're done with the aliens for now, I have a feeling that they'll be back sometime down the road. The only continuity issue is that Sonic was 5 when Amadeus and Rosemary last saw him--not 4. Sonic was already 5 when Robotnik took over (which was either the same day Tails was born or the day afterward). By continuity and even by their own Data Files (which I'll admit have had scattered errors), Sonic is 5+ years older than Tails. Archie can fudge its way around the 12 years comment by saying that time passes differently on Argentium than Mobius, but not the 4 years old comment.
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