Sonic The Hedgehog #138 Review by True Red
|The second ever all-Spaz cover automatically gets higher marks than the first due to the lack of Tommy Turtle (I am a "hater" and proud of it). Actually, the colors are really nice and while I still think the characters look a little too cute for my tastes, I have to admit that it fits Safron. As a composition of the standard Sonic Heroes poses, it's not the most creative but it still works. As far as the frontpiece goes, it features Charmy, Safron, Mighty, Vector, Ray, Espio, and Knuckles. Technically, Julie-Su is there, but she's almost completely cut-off so she might as well not be considered there. I like it, especially with Knuckles in his Sonic Adventure 2 gear that's actually colored correctly here (but not within the story--come on Jason Jensen, consistency!).
"Return To Angel Island, Part 1 - The Message"
Writer: Karl Bollers
Penciler: Jon Gray
Inker: Michael Higgins
In the morning, King Max is yelling at Sally (with Sonic & Queen Alicia present) for going on a mission against his orders while Queen Alicia is telling him to watch his blood pressure (hmmm... maybe this means we could have King Max die by Sonic #200 and have Sally take the throne for real **gets weird looks** hey, you never know). Anyway, Sonic tries to cover by saying he kidnapped her which if you think was believed by King Max, I have a nice bridge to sell you. ;D King Max basically says that Sally is making it difficult for them to trust her if she's going to keep putting herself at risk so she apologizes. Leaving the royal parents, Sonic states the obvious in saying that King Max is "a grouch" though Sally tells Sonic that she doesn't want his help in her battles. She wants him to stop caring about her because he wants to be a hero while she is a royal princess with a totally different set of responsibilities and needs. Sally says that it's officially "over" (**sniff**).
It's now noontime and the royal parents, Uncle Chuck, Antoine, and the Elite Guard leave for the Mobian tour that was mentioned in #134 to a complete media spectacle. Sally hugs her mom while Sonic, Tails, Jules, & Bernie surround Uncle Chuck and the D'Coolette's salute each other. The group boards the plane and heads off. "Later" we find that Uncle Chuck's Diner (run by Jules & Bernie) seems to be a Knothole City hotspot as Hope and Amy are cheering on Vector & Espio acting silly. Bunnie, Fiona, Mighty, and Ray are eating/ordering food at one table. However, at another table, Sonic is complaining about Sally being "impossible" to Tails, Knuckles, and Julie-Su. Julie-Su mentions that basically she can understand how Sally feels because she felt the same way about Knuckles when he came back from the dead a year ago. Sonic feels the comparison isn't the same due to Knuckles being "pretty much good for nothing" (fighting words that were ticking Knuckles off--priceless) but the conversation dies (as well as Knuckles' anger) since an obviously hurt Charmy & Safron decide to enter the diner and promptly faint, which makes everyone forget about whatever they were doing.
At Castle Acorn, Sally asks Charmy want happened to them and Charmy tells us that Robotnik has basically committed genocide as the Golden Hive Colony was destroyed and Charmy & Safron couldn't find any other survivors other than themselves. Before much of anything can be said, the meeting is interrupted since a message is coming through the Technolo-Tree. The message basically says that Locke is a prisoner on Angel Island and for Knuckles that has ended his patience over not going to Angel Island. Since Sally knows she can't talk him out of not going, she tells him that he and the Chaotix can go to rescue Locke but not free the entire island (chances of Knuckles & company not trying to free the entire island within this arc: .000000001% :P). Priceless scene of the post-breakup: Sally is about to tell Sonic that she wants him to go and give her a report. Before she can say that, Sonic interrupts her since he expects her to tell him that he can't go so he ends up being yelled at to the point that he's so shocked that Knuckles has to move Sonic himself to get Sonic going. Priceless.
As the crew flies over to Angel Island, surprisingly Bunnie is the one piloting the group. Knuckles is worried about Charmy who along with Safron is making the trip to the island. Charmy is out for vengeance right now. The group gets out over Marble Garden Zone via parachutes (Sonic & Knuckles), Chaotix Fly Formation (Charmy carrying Espio & Vector for those without Sonic Heroes), Safron carrying Julie-Su, Ray flying, and Mighty just leaping out the plane. After the group lands, Knuckles asks Sonic to check things out though before Knuckles can finishing asking him, Sonic has run off and come back because he "found something." The "something" turns out to be an echidna prison (think concentratrion camp) run by dingoes. Funny moment with Sonic saying that they should "do it to it" with everyone not getting it at all (heehee, the Chaotix wouldn't know the Freedom Fighters rallying call, Sonic). Anyway, despite the minor delay, the group does attack with Sonic taking away the weaponry and the Chaotix kicking butt in their own unique ways. However, Knuckles is getting his own butt kicked which Sonic is the first to notice and takes care of the offending dingoes. Typical Knuckles says that he could've taken care of them to which Sonic responds "you're welcome" (I love Knuckles, but that cracked me up).
Once the dingoes have all been defeated, the echidnas come to Knuckles chanting "Hail to the Avatar." Knuckles and company do recognize one of the echidnas as their friend, Remington, who is also calling Knuckles "Avatar." Considering no one understands what's going on, Remington explains that when Knuckles came back in #125 that he thought he was a fake. However, upon inspecting Knuckles' grave (which was empty), he began to believe that maybe he wasn't a fraud. Anyway, he didn't have much time to think about it as the dingoes sold out the echidnas to Robotnik in exchange for their own freedom/dominance. Remington was in a dungeon for months before being sent to the camp. However, he managed to keep the faith as well as the other echidnas due to the prophecy that stated "A champion will bypass the afterlife and return hence to deliver the world from its suffering." Knuckles believes that they all are picking the wrong echidna.
Dingo City is the new name for Echidnaopolis and that is where we find Locke being chained upside down. Robotnik is talking to General Kage (current leader of the dingoes apparantly) about needing to know the location of the Master Emerald. Considering Locke is part of the Brotherhood/Guardian and should know where it is, it seems Kage is ready to play the torture game to find out where.
Knuckles and company have the echidnas from that camp with them as they arrive at the Lava Reef Zone--the source of the transmission to Knothole City. Vector is the first to notice that the smoke has gotten a lot thicker and the group finds out that the Dark Legion has arrived. Interesting as the story ends there.
Rating: 1/2 Rings
Ah, yes, all Knuckles fans (such as myself) get to rejoice as the Knuckles' crew is taking center stage for the first time. Great story, I especially loved the Sonic/Knuckles stuff even if Sonic basically "won" all of them outside of the fact that Knuckles still has his girlfriend. ;) Now the art is nice not only due to the emotional display stuff, but due to the Easter Eggs and mini-stories throughout. I didn't make note of any of them in the review, but they were funny and you notice more of them as you re-read the panels. Nice way of making things re-readable--not that this story needed the excuse.
"Mobius: 25 Years Later - My Dinner With Sonic"
Writer: Ken Penders
Penciler: Steven Butler
Inker: Jim Amash
At the pool, Julie-Su and Sally are talking while Sonic/Manik versus Lara-Su/Sonia in pool volleyball. Julie-Su mentioning that she was surprised about how Knuckles had been asking about when Sonic & company were arriving (playing stupid I see since Knuckles told Julie-Su why last issue). Sally mentions that Sonic isn't much of a talker either (that's a change). Sonic hasn't spoken to Tails in about 3 years now and didn't show up to say good-bye when Tails (with Mina and two kids that look exactly like mini-Tails & mini-Mina--I'm not touching the Tails/Mina pairing) moved to Downunda. Julie-Su doesn't believe that Sonic would act that way particularly watching him play volleyball at the moment. Anyway, Manik jumps in front of Sonic to get the ball and then tries to do that again after Lara-Su hits the ball over, but Sonic dunks Manik into the water and hits the ball himself. Manik gets upset while Sonia laughs when Knuckles comes up commenting about Sonic "dunking helpless children." Manik gets angrier at the "helpless children" comment than at being dunked, though Sonic dunks Manik again (such a kind father) as Sonic and Knuckles get ready to start their sillyness.
The pool fun has ended and the parents are at the dinner table with Knuckles summarizing the get togethers as Sonic/Knuckles fights while the kids and Sally/Julie-Su have "fun." Julie-Su scolds Knux for being rude, but Sonic excuses it because it's the truth. Abby comes asking for dessert, which interrupts the flow of Knuckles' point and starts Sonic & Knuckles are their bickering (some people never grow up). Outside the dining room, Lara-Su, Sonia, & Manik decide that this is a good time to split. Sonia asks Lara-Su to promise that they won't fight like their fathers. That would've meant more to me IF Julie-Su and Sally also had issues with each other but the two don't. So this felt like a waste, but seeing Manik trying to act on his crush with Lara-Su telling him to keep his hands to himself was slightly amusing.
Back to the bickering Knuckles and Sonic, Julie-Su & Sally have had enough and since even Knuckles & Sonic know when to stop the two apologize. More Abby slowing things down by arriving with the dessert ordered earlier and Sally welcoming Abby to cook for the Kingdom. Anyway, Knuckles finally gets to his point earlier and informs them all that something is causing the planet to get ready to blow up. So either they find a way to stop the planet from blowing up, find a way to get everyone off, or they die. To be continued.
The best way to comment on this is Butler's art is eye candy and I'm still waiting for something to happen to make me truly care about this storyline. This feels more like a waste of space with every passing issue with Butler's art being the only thing that saves it at all. When Lara-Su smacking Rutan with a book in school and Sonic dunking Manik in a pool are seemingly the closest things to "action" within 8 months, there is something wrong with the pacing/writing of a storyline. This would be different if we were talking about back-ups that complemented the main (re: present day) storyline and featured different characters, then the lack of action could possibly be understandable. However, as a storyline itself, this just isn't working.
| || |