Sonic The Hedgehog #131 Review by True Red
Not a bad cover, though its strength lies in its symbolism. The cover focuses on the lengthy back-up story instead of the main story, which is a bit unusual. The frontpiece is rather cool collage of seemingly every character in the "Home" story-arc, though only Sonic is actually colored--everyone else is just the same solid color. Even though the frontpiece isn't taking up the entire page, I prefer the way it was done in this issue. It balances the usage of text without obstructing the cool image by Axer. Major thumbs up from me for that. I hope this continues in later issues.

"Home, Part 2: The Gathering"
Writer: Karl Bollers
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Jim Amash
Sonic (running) and Tails (flying Tornado) are off to attack Robotnik. To bring the reader up to speed, Sonic has a flashback to "a few minutes ago." Sonic was saying that there's no way he could get to Robotnik in Megaopolis before the missiles would be launched. Sally reminds us all about the fact that power rings can boost Sonic's speed as she suggests he uses one to get to Megaopolis in time. Queen Alicia tells Tails to go along with Sonic since Tails' "mechanical skills" will be needed. Sonic and Sally share a quick kiss, with Sal telling Sonic to "be careful" (this is Sonic we're talking about, that's not happening). Just before leaving, Sonic asks about the robot horde, but King Max says that they'll deal with it. Flashback is over as Sonic sees that "Megaopolis is dead ahead."

Bunnie, Antoine (doing the piloting), Fiona, Espio, Geoffrey, and Hershey (the latter two arriving in Knothole "just in time") are in the new Freedom Fighter Special-Mark 2 (FFS), which is on its "maiden voyage," and are Sonic & Tails' backup. Geoffrey mentions to Espio that they don't even know if Rotor's modifications work (heh--too bad Lim didn't fix Espio's expression to that comment). Following Rotor's instructions, Antoine flies the FFS into the "upper atmosphere" so that they can go globe-hopping quickly. They should arrive in Megaopolis within a half-hour.

At Robotropolis, we see General D'Coolette (throws out theory of father's death as cause for Ant's personality change) at the new Fort Acorn. He and his men are getting ready to defend Robotropolis from the robotic horde, which the General can see coming through his binocolars. A major note here as the comic says that they've been there for 10 years when it should say that they've been there for 10 months. Surprising Gen. D'Coolette is the arrival of Knuckles, Amy Rose, Julie-Su, Vector, and Mighty who've been charged to help stop the robot horde. The General asks Knuckles if the rumor about Sonic being alive is true and Knux tells him that it's true. Gen. D'Coolette is pleased saying that piece of info will give them a boost for the upcoming fight.

Back at the Castle, King Max tells those that remain (Sally, Queen Alicia, Bernie, Jules, and Uncle Chuck) to go to the Royal Bunker for safety. Sally refuses and when King Max tells Queen Alicia to talk sense into Sally, Alicia refuses since she agrees with Sally (power to the women ^_~). Jules mentions that he, Bernie, & Uncle Chuck want to stay so King Max just gives in and turns his attention to the Pres of Station Square. King Max asks the Pres if they've begun evacuation when the Pres says that he's chosen not to inform the people about the possible missile strike. After a comment from the Pres about how they both have different ways of going about things, King Max tells the Pres about the strike teams he's sent. The Pres says that they're doing all they can in Station Square as well.

In Station Square, Commander Brass is telling the Pres that instead of relying on Sonic that G.U.N. feels that they should strike against Robotnik. The Pres says that he won't give approval for the strike until the missiles are airborne and asks if the commandos are en route. Brass says that they are and then asks why is the question being asked. The Pres then informs Brass that he's sent a special agent to lead the mission. At the G.U.N. helicopter, the men inside hear someone knocking on their door, which as far as they're concerned is impossible since they're 10,000 feet up. They look out to see Rouge, who just says "Hey, boys!"

Meanwhile, the guy who's been talked about but not seen for the entire story so far, is just now getting ready to fire those missiles. Robotnik asks A.D.A.M. to start the countdown when suddenly he hears the sound of an airplane. Sonic and Tails have arrived just in time to crash the party.

Rating: 1/2 Rings

Actually, the story wasn't bad. Nothing special (as it just setup the eventual fighting of next issue), but it was steady. However, I can't say the same for Lim's art. While I can give him credit for giving more shape and body to the characters, there's no excuse for not drawing Knuckles' eyes correctly. Knuckles and Sonic do not have similar eyes. That is something very simple and basic to get right. The other main problem was the usual concerning the length of Sonic's spines (though Sonic's arm also looked a little long in the first page). Though I did notice that while Sal's hair was longer, Lim didn't make it out to be as long as Butler (and Spaz via the cover) did in #130. Jensen didn't color Rouge correctly (she's not all-white) again which also falls under the artistic errors of the story.

"Mobius 25 Years Later: Prologue"
Writer & Inker: Ken Penders
Penciler: Steven Butler
Merlin Prower starts the story off with a cameo to tell us that he's revealing the future of those closest to him. It's emphasized with images of Knuckles & Julie-Su together; Sonic & Sally having a convo with Sonic telling her that sitting around to make decisions isn't for him; and Lara-Su. What, no Tails? Tails is his own nephew and I'd think he'd consider Tails to be close to him. With that little info page out of the way, unto the actual story of the issue.

A social studies teacher (Perriwinkle) is informing the class about the existence of Angel Island. The only thing of importance mentioned is that there's now a "gateway city of Portal" that is the main link between the island and the mainland and that Echidnaopolis is home of echidna government all over Mobius. In the class, Lara-Su is extremely bored as Riki-Le (a student) asks a question that at heart is about a democracy versus a republic (yes the comic decides to be educational here). After Jaker (another student) makes a comment about other cultures being backwards for having a monarchy (ooh, a shot at the Kingdom of Acorn), Lara-Su ends up giving the correct answer. Rutan (remember this name) brings up the fact that there's a Guardian, who the teacher explains is considered special to their society. Rutan basically says that they'll have to "bow" to Lara-Su eventually in a teasing manner. Lara-Su gets angry and clocks Rutan with her textbook. Of course, this causes the rest of the class to start laughing though Lara-Su is scolded and given detention.

Elsewhere, a shuttle is arriving from Mobotropolis in Echidnaopolis. A random fox tries to have a conversation with Rotor, who quickly disappears. Rotor is acknowledged as an emissary by an EST officer (new gold-like uniforms) and is driven by Harry to his destination. At the destination, Rotor meets Espio, who now has a goatee and a trench coat, as the two basically say the quivalent of "long time no see." Rotor explains that he's there to set up a dinner date for King Sonic, Queen Sally, Princess Sonia, & Prince Manik with Guardian Knuckles, Julie-Su, and Lara-Su. Espio sets up the dinner for next Sunday.

Soon after, Espio is relaying the convo to Knuckles, who says that Julie-Su told him that someone has a crush on Lara-Su (I'm wondering if he means "Manik"). Since Knuckles has no intention of Lara-Su & Manik being a couple, Espio thinks he should tell Juanita since "she'd love to date a prince" (looks like Espy has a daughter). Getting beyond the love/dating issue, Espio also mentions that he thinks Rotor came to see someone named Cobar. Cobar & Rotor are called "mad scientists" and since Knuckles is wondering what they could be doing, he asks Espio to watch out for them though Knuckles figures to see Cobar later. Knuckles has to go home, particularly for Lara-Su's ceremony, so they end the convo on that note.

Elsewhere, Lien-Da (who seemingly hasn't aged, or most definitely has aged extremely well) is talking to Dimitri (who is a floating head--why is he still alive?). Dimitri is wondering if Lien-Da will go to Lara-Su's ceremony, which Lien-Da is hesitating to attend due to the fact that she and Julie-Su don't get along (grudges, gotta love them, particularly in this case). Rutan enters the room and Lien-Da's attention turns to the big bump on his head (Lara-Su smacked him really well with that book). Rutan tells his mother that it's "nothing" and that he didn't get into a fight as he goes off. Lien-Da says that neither she or Kragok behaved the way Rutan is acting. Dimitri says that while not "tempermental," that they were both "treacherous" (why did this totally remind me of the Knuckles stories from Sonic #99-#118 in a different setting--oh, wait, maybe because it is x_x).

Knuckles arrives at home and is calling out to see who is there. Julie-Su tells him that they're upstairs as Lara-Su refuses to come out of the bathroom. Lara-Su doesn't want to go through the "Unveiling." Knuckles knocks on the door and tells her to come out, which of course doesn't make Lara-Su budge one bit. Knuckles then yells for her to come out and gets an even louder "NO" in reply. Julie-Su tells Knuckles to calm down and use reason, though Knuckles says that it's not possible to reason with a 16 year old (yes, he should know from his ownself ^_~). Julie-Su says that yelling won't help. So, Knuckles just tells Lara-Su that she has to go to the Unveiling because every girl has to do it. Lara-Su then reveals the reason she doesn't want to go is that she wants to be a Guardian. Knuckles says that she can't, and she counters by reminding him that he became a Guardian when he was younger than she is right now. Knuckles says he has reasons for not letting her be a Guardian, the first one being that others are doing the same thing a Guardian would be doing as things are different now. Lara-Su just repeats that she wants to be a Guardian. Knuckles is obviously annoyed and says that Lara-Su needs a spanking, which Julie-Su comments is barbaric. Knuckles says that he gives up and tells Julie-Su to reason with her. Julie-Su says that she won't and tells him to do it himself. The two lock eyes and the winner of the locked eye contest is...Julie-Su (as if there was ever any doubt ^_~). Knuckles goes back to talking to Lara-Su and tells her that though he thinks Lara-Su can be a Guardian, that it's just not necessary (including himself). He says that not going to the Unveiling won't make him change his mind, but she'll just miss out on a special event in her life. Lara-Su doesn't say anything, but eventually comes out and says that she'll go, if Knux will be her first dancing partner.

Rating: Rings

Cool story overall. It reminds me of Sonic #130 with providing a lot of teasers and creating a bit of questions. I just felt that the argument between Knuckles & Lara-Su should've had more focus on Lara-Su. We know Knuckles, but she's the new one on the block. I felt she gave in too easily. :P I do like Dimitri, but why is he still alive? I can understand the whole he's mostly a robot bit, but it seems to me that he was near his death during the Ultimate Power arc (#114-118) and honestly was preparing to die as he pretty much wanted to do die. Eh, I just hope his existence is explained well. I'm also wondering how Lien-Da has an approximately 16 year old son (he was in Lara-Su's class) and looks like she's the same age as she is in current continuity (which should have her in her 30s)? At least she and Julie-Su never made up--though I don't think they should in this future glimpse either (and I hope they aren't). Butler's art positively rules here though I did find Julie-Su's top going from mid-riff to full in various panels to be a little inconsistent. However, just the way everything was expressed (Knux & Lara-Su in particular were treated to some nice shots) more than make up for that stuff. Jensen didn't give Lara-Su the Julie-Su colored hair in the story, but did on the cover, which I thought was an interesting error. I don't know who's fault it was with the steam effect over Lara-Su being miscolored, but that was the only other big error. Other than lack of variety with all the "extra" female echidnas being pink, all the male echidnas being red/brown, and all echidnas having purple eyes, the art was spot on.

Miles "Per" Hour

Miss Puar