Sonic The Hedgehog #142 Review by Neo
Back to my original format on reviewing the comic. So, letís get started, shall we?

COVER:
Simple in terms of BG, but despite the massive white surrounding it, itís not as unimpressive as those magazine covers from a while back, so thatís saying something. As the editor spoke in the Sonic-Grams, the cover is not Spaz exclusive. In fact, he only draws Sonic and Hope, the rest by a different artist (Butler). Not hard to tell. I personally enjoy that the original FF are all different inked and colored then Spazís, it adds a lot in time difference between the two FF periods. It has a very old-timey look. The perspective on the original FF is done well and you see a sense of victory on them, no matter how uninspiring their designs strike me. All on all, a normal, solid effort that doesnít truly strike me as awesome, but definitely not ugly or messy.
7/10

FRONTIPIECE:

Before the frontispiece is a piece of Spyro advertisement. The latest game I played a demo of and disliked. Iíll stick with the very first one. It was VERY simple, but thatís why I loved it.
A nice pic of Sonic and friends, but how many times have I seen Axer draw that same grin and pose on Sonic? I mean, Iíve seen it somewhere, those poses before and Iím kinda bored of watching it. The most notable missing is Amy Rose, but seeing sheís just became one, I can honestly understand all this. Sallyís hair seems to indicate that sheís turned all vixen on us and Bunnie has a cute, Goldilocks ďyou-just-wanna-hugĒ type of hair. I donít know, Iíve always loved them both with short hair still. I honestly wouldnít stand a mission with long, flowing hair blowing through me. Itís still nicely made and the BG (especially the gray top with the Acorn sigma) is nicely done.
9/10

THE ORIGINAL FREEDOM FIGHTERS: PART 1
WRITER:
Romy Chacon
ARTIST: Art Mawhinney
COLORIST: Josh Ray

The entire first panel starts with a first person narrative by some teacher Hope has. Who that person is clearly unknown and weíre definitely not getting an answer in here. Iím gonna go with the teacher from #114, but hereís hoping itíll be solved by next issue. For some odd reason, Art drew the tall buildings in the library despite being located in Knothole Village. Even if it is now called Knothole City, the entire area is completely surrounded by forests and donít have the whole skyscraper deal, so whatís up with this?
Scene shows Hope inside, researching for her history report and despite the teacher saying sheís one of his/her best student, she likes to do things at the last moment. Yea, I do that, too, and most of the time, I still pass with flying colors, unless itís Math, in which Iíll fail like live turkey in Thanksgiving. The library have one of them flat screen computer, nice! I donít get it, people can make some nice computers, but it took them till #72 to invent TV? Barring the echidnas in which they have everything technology related to make the Asians drive in jealously.
Hope scans around the computer until she spots an interesting history to write: The Original Freedom Fighters, apparently something that was once forgotten despite only a decade apart. Kids these day have no sense of keeping history alive.
Hope prints the information and wastes ink at the same time. Sheís so self absorbed to not see a friend of hers or at least someone who knows her name pass by her and Sonic doesnít know where heís going that his windy speed (Not THAT windy speed) drops Hopeís note all the way through. Sonic becomes the good boy scout he is and picks them all up for her. Before Sonic could get away from here, Hope uses her own super speed to quickly tell Sonic about the Original Freedom Fighters.
They head off to the Lake of Rings to have some peace and quiet. There, Sonic names the five original group, which, unfortunately, doesnít have any girls. Kinda sad. But now, the introduction of the original Freedom Fighters:

*Col. Tig ďNo, I am not related to Bubsy the Bobcat or BonkersĒ Stripe
*Spot ďI once was the stunt double for the giraffe of Toys Rí UsĒ Long
*Sir ďMy mother was very vindictiveĒ Peckers
*Private Trey ďMy tongue always sticks out of my mouth in annoying manner" Scales
*MP Bull ďNo, the MP doesnít stand for "Magic PointsĒ Bones

I donít see why they had to be explained twice name wise. Sonic explains how Col. Stripe was ďda man with the Master PlanĒ ...Yea, I know, I know, but itís a lot better then most of the corny dialogues in M25YL. Any who, he was the man who formed the original FF after the Robotnik takeover. Despite his retirement, he becomes the good citizen he is and ignores the potential for a heart attack by getting the people from invading Swatbots to safety with his friends and companions as well as kick some butt with corny lines (ďLet me designate your bot-tocks.Ē) Ugh, terrible. Passing a Sly 2 ad (a game which I must play).
In the flashback, five year old Sonic (yay, they kept the gap on his teeth), is scared as he is lost. Col. Stripes ignore proper child treatment by telling Sonic to find Rosie, Julyala, and anyone he can find to go to Knothole via secret entrance in Old Man Gallagherís house. Old Man Gallagerís house? When did that occur in the comic? Then again, it IS an in joke...well, I assume. And how on Mobius did Sonic know what Col. Said before he showed up in the flashback? *sigh* Any who, he makes Sonicís job rather obsolete by making the others do the same thing he was sent to do.
Sonic continues on how Col. Stripe has created Knothole Village. I swear, wasnít the village made before even that time? I donít have the issue where Penders made a profile of Knothole Village (currently, theyíre all packed for moving day), but hasnít those huts been around since King Frederickís time? Then, I ask myself, does it matter anymore? By the second story, Romy has already proven she canít handle simple consistency.
The next scene shows little Sonic and Sally overhearing the original FF in a meeting. MP Bones is pissed and smashes the table in said clichť manner, almost knocking a lantern that could have caused the entire village to set fire and probably start a domino effect and have gotten the others and everyone will blame him and heíll end up in jail and...errr...any who, Sonic talks of how ďcoolĒ Col. Stripes was. They mainly talk of how to attack and stop Robotnik and so forth and so forth. Skipping pass a Sabrina the Teenage Witch ad (which I STILL think the manga style is mainly to increase sales, and the fact that her eyes and giant lips scare me), Col. Stripes then comes forth and speaks of his plan: get all strategic and become the Freedom Fighters. Everyone agrees, even Sonic and Sally who shows their sign of justice despite their evil eavesdropping little hearts.
So Sonic continues by saying how they did this and did that, even rescuing a 7 year old Sonic who doesnít use his head as he tried to be a big boy and save the world from Robotnik all on his own only to be rescued by them (the original FF), while lampooning how he still thinks Col. Stripes is the coolest thing since sliced bread.
And obviously they become great heroes. Sir Peckers is also used as a carrier pigeon to spread the word of what they are (oh, sure risk him getting roboticized) and to organize FFs everywhere.
Fast forward to the present where Sonic skips a stone, obviously angry about something. Hope asks and we understand why he is angry: Someone in the FF betrayed their own.

REVIEW:
Everyone whoís anyone whoís knowledgeable of the Archie Sonic comic know full well Romy Chacon was a gifted writer way back when she first made her debut. Sometime in #129, she made her first flunker and unfortunately, only gradually went down the tube to the point where she was responsible for the irritating and uninspiring Tommy Turtle Trilogy. In such a way is it surprising to see a story from Romy Chacon that handles in a solid effort. The concept of original Freedom Fighters is an exceptional interesting work and does add a lot to Sonic and Sally to continue their work. It is rather nice to see Sonicís role model is actually someone he knew and interacted from the past. It seems he is rather passionate about these guys and how their lives affected him in such a way that he continues to work as a Freedom Fighter today (or soldiers or whatever). The story tends to jump around in places, but generally itís straightforward, so itĎs nothing bad. And that the fact that she made SOME use for Hope, even thought itís little, is a good sign, although her bumping in between the story might have further emphasized her character. Despite the good, thereís still the bad in which continuity errors a plenty, namely on the history of Knothole Village. The story indicates that the original FF has made it and yet, there have been other scenes where that wasnít the case. The one that pops into my head is Sonic #57 where we see young Sonic with young Sally speeding off to an already built Knothole Village. In honestly, after reading the second story stuffed in here, continuity error with Romy is an all knowing point. The other problem is we get little personality from the original FF themselves, which is kind of sad, especially if they affected Sonic so greatly. Even if theyíre stuck for two parts, more then likely, Iíd have love to see more of their personality. It also doesnít help that the original FF had corny names. I mean, ďSir Peckers?Ē ďMP Bull Bones?Ē Theyíre obvious puns on their names, even worse off then Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. I mean, at least their names match well with their abilities, the originals just have names that match with what species that are. Shame.
And of course, even if itís a straightforward story in general, it jumps into different stories, making it less of a story and more of a documentary. *Yawn*
The main question now lies in what will await us in Part 2. Despite being a filler, itís a solid one, nonetheless, and it does makes us wonder, what will happen to the original FF? Who betrayed them to the point where they are seemingly forgotten by so many (which is kinda unknown at this point with their lack of personality)? I assume that their fates would have been an uneasy one because of their absence in the main time period. But most importantly (and this is the one that makes me want to know) is how will this affect the current Freedom Fighters. The editor in last issue stated that the original FFís history could be a foreshadowing of the current. If that is the case, will someone close to the FF betray them as well? A question that bothers me as all the characters we know in FF we grew up and loved for the past 10 years. Such a tempting answer that awaits and itís further prove of that at least Romy did something right, which is saying something nowadays.
7/10

ART:

With all the super details and hoo-has with WB, itís nice to see simple artworks from Art. Case in point, he delivers, even on Hope who looked awkward at first, but gradually gets better art wise. The shadowing is some nice work, which kind of makes up for the little flaws in the comic. I mean, in the last panel, Tails looks the same age as the current FF when heís suppose to be a baby.
Iíd also like to say, whoever designed the original FF (whether it be Art or someone else), itís insanely lacking something. It doesnít have that ďoomphĒ to it. I mean Col. Stripes looks like what he is suppose to look like but how many times have we seen that blue army outfit? Iíve seen it on Antoine, Iíve seen it on the commander in Knuckles #19-#21 (I forgot his name), and so forth. Spot Long has an uninspired vest and turtleneck, Sir Peckers has the typical pilot gear because heís a bird, obviously, and so forth. Itís so lacking and unoriginal, it yawns me. Iím sorry, but Iím not impressed by it. And apparently, Art draws Julayla in her squirrel form or something instead of cat form. Considering heís drawn her as a cat form until today, this seems to be Julaylaís official look.
At least the coloring is simple and NOT shiny like Jenson usually puts on. And I do like how Hope seems to have different outfit attires, ranging from spacesuit to sweats to ugly suspenders to her current wear now.
8/10

AMY ROSE in: I WANNA BE A FREEDOM FIGHTER
WRITER:
Romy Chacon
ARTIST: Steven Butler
COLORIST: Jason Jenson

Skipping past an Archie ad for a brand new show (is Archie that popular enough to guarantee a new cartoon?), we see 10 year old Amy screaming that she wants to be a Freedom Fighters. Sally emphasizes she canít and Tails can because he is experienced despite their same age. No offense, but thatís a load of bull (and Iíll explain in the review). Amy runs off with thunderclouds in her head, the same thing she did in the first issue of the SA adaptation.
Turns out this was all a flashback that Sally is talking to as she makes an announcement to the other FF with Amy watching and listening in embarrassment. Itís okay, Amy, weíre all embarrassed. Sally explains how that was her first inclination of wanting to be an FF, the second using the billionth ring to be older. Okay, hang on, time out, rewind, go back, stop, zero, zip, slow down.
WHAT.BILLIOTH.RING?
The last time that ring was mentioned was WAY long ago. I donít have the issue of said ring, but from what I heard, it was a now on a plaque now located in Sonicís house. If ANYONE has a copy of the first and second issue of the SA adaptation (#79 and #80), take a look. Last I heard, she used the RING OF ACORN and the shape was definitely a ROUND CRYSTAL BALL form then a magic donut shaped ring. No, just no. Itís truly not hard to tell the difference between the two, even by physical appearance. Oneís white, the otherís yellow. Simple, no? Sheesh.
Any who, Sally continues on how Amy was still immature and young mentally despite aging, but now sheís ďgrown to be a beautiful young lady, inside and out.Ē Oooh, Sally be flirting with Amy! Fanfic writers rejoice! Of course, Amy nervously gives her gratitude.
Basically, Sally talks of Amy on what she did, including her destroying thousands of Swatbots which even Amy herself couldnít do, no matter how magically she is, before she interrupts, gets a stern look from Sally, whom she apologizes to. With the wind seemingly blowing in her hair, she speaks of nothing of it and awards Amy with a medal to which Amy is getting choked about. Then Sally asks to join the FF and Amy is more then pleased. She makes it known in the last panel which is just screaming cuteness.

REVIEW:
The good can stem from the fact that this is an Amy Rose story showing how she came to be an FF, the bad can be all the little flaws I see.
Aside from the Ring of Acorns mistake, the story suffers from the lack of Amy Rose for half the story. It seems more like Sally is trying to scooch over and explain what Amy did then herself. I find it more affective if Amy herself told of what she did and some inspiring speech that makes her cry more then Oscar winning stars. Certainly would have emphasize that it IS an Amy Rose story. This is much about Sally pulling a Chris Thorndyke in this story with Amy just seen in the background for half the story. Not good considering this story centers around Amy.
The other flaw lies in Amyís age. She cries and cries to join when she was 10, but was constantly shot down because of her age, even though Tails, the same age as her, has joined. Now, an interesting note stems from Psx who explained that the current FF were FF training since they were five. They had no choice but to fight and by declining Amy, they were protecting her. What I donít get, however good that reason was, if they were declining her, why did they take Tails so easily? Remember he was just a baby when the start of Robotnikís tyranny began and five when he joined. Were they THAT desperate for people that they had him when Iím sure there were other survivors as well in the village that could be more potentially used then a little baby who joined when he was FIVE? Granted, I donít have SSS#5 which explains Tailsí role in the FF, but if they trained Tails at half the age Amy begged to join, why is Amy left out? Yes, she was completely helpless back then, but proper training and sheíd have been a great FF as she is now. Itís a load of bull that I sincerely donít see as a major excuse, especially since Tails trained MUCH younger then they did. Given the choice, wouldnít Sally and Sonic rather have Tails kept safe in the same manner they do Amy then just let him join? I donít blame Romy on this matter as this was already pointed out in the SA adaptation, but itís rant that needs to be said, and I do blame her for using this ďage restrictionĒ in this story. I donít like it. I wish this actually mattered more, but it doesnít anymore due to her aging and maturing (which, while not as well emphasized in the series as I liked, at least she did mature). The entire age thing is such a moot point now. What a major disappointment.
The third and final flaw is basically the concept of the FF. One of the workers in Archie (I forgot who) has mentioned the FF are no more. They are now soldiers to the Acorn royal, yet they feel compelled to still be called the Freedom Fighters. So, which is it? Either Romy is lacking yet another step in inconsistencies or even the people in Archie has yet to figure out WHAT theyíre suppose to be called as they fight. My theory lies in the fact that as soon as Sally took charge in #138, The FF name came back again or the FF are reserved for special fighters. Whatever it is, itís making me have a splitting headache now.
6/10

ART:

Steven Butler delivers the goods with detailed artwork. Iíve always admired his drawing of Amy Rose, keeping rather well close to her Sega counterpart. Iím truly impressed by it all, but it still irks me that the Piko Piko Hammer still isnít the same as it should be, last I check, anyways. It also seems Rob Oí the Hedge has now joined the FF army, or he came to see Amy Rose get her medal. I wish Dulcy would been shown, especially since she and Amy sprked some interesting friendship together. Other then the shininess of it all, nice artwork. Although I swear, there is something about that tutu on young Amy Rose that kinda scares me.
10/10

M25YL:
MOMENT OF TRUTH
WRITER: Ken Penders
ARTIST: Steven Butler
COLORIST: Jason Jenson

The events of previous M25YL is giving Knuckles the biggest headache of his life, which actually and ironically relates with most of the readers in here already impatient with this story as it is. As Knuckles heads down, he thinks of breakfast instead of the current disaster he has. Geez, nice to know how calm he can be during a time where the VERY rip of time and space is falling apart. Heís thoughts on whether heíd have bacon or eggs are cut short when Lara mentions how she wants to be a Guardian again, a plot point which wasnít mentioned since #131, thatís over 10 issues ago.
Scene changes to the scientists who discuss on how to solve this problem and what better way then further ruining space and time by going back in time? Cobar points it out best, ďHave you gone mad?Ē As if zone hopping and others that rip the space/time continuum was bad enough, we must ironically make it suffer more so by traveling through time. And why are you two scientists again? Even if it means saving the world, would it cause more harm then good? Only one way to find out, wait for the issue that explains all this.
Scene change to Sonic complaining yet again on how he sucks as a King and how he wants to quit his job, but canít due to him married to Sally. Honestly, you love the girl and you became King because of her. Either deal with it and hush up or just divorce her. Knuckles calls Sonic over and the two head over to the scientists where they explain on the concept of time traveling with the catch being that it is possible theyíll be stuck there. Sheesh, talk about breaking time travel, especially if their older counterpart meant their younger selves. In Back to the Future: Part 2, seeing oneís selves can trigger a paradox that could wipe out the entire universe. The main exception is if their reactions tends to be different, such is the case when Jennifer meat her older counterpart and they both fainted, possible making them both think this was all a dream so that the whole universe blowing up thing is left unhinged. Then again, I've seen many time traveling shows where past and present has met before. Oh, yea...and where's Lien-Da? She show sup unexpectively last issue and we get no sign of her in this one? Wassup with that?

REVIEW:
The story is actually getting to the point where itís actually going to DO something about the durn End of the World thing and I say, ABOUT TIME! Iím not gonna 100% praise this unless I actually DO see them travel through time, but this is actually a step up considering the full year this plot has been lacking in M25YL.
The other nice thing is the return of Laraís wish to be Guardian, but unfortunately, they had to wait over 10 issues for Lara to bring this up again. 10! Itís such a shame that she takes little spotlight as it is, considering how much of an anticipated character she was. Stuck with sleepovers and little cute chats with her mother, Lara was basically stuck in second base then being further emphasized on, especially considering this IS a future based story. I admit itís better late then never to host Laraís interest in the Guardian, but 10 issues?! We could have Lara arguing with her father on how she wants to be a Guardian all the while as he was in the middle of a meeting trying to save the world, but he canít concentrate with his daughter annoying him.
Whatever the case is, the story is somewhat turning for the best in that itís doing something and even reviving Laraís interest in Guardianship which is a good sign, so hereís hoping for SOME sort of miracle.
On the other, unrelated matter, does anyone see how Manic is chosen to be King instead of Sonia because he is a male? Itís kind of confusing considering Sally was more then willing to take over as ranging Queen and her father was more then willing for his daughter to do so. WHY would Sally choose Manic over Sonia? At the current moment, Manic shows no signs of wanting to be King, let alone prince, while Sonia does. Wassup with that, Sal?
7/10

ART:

Beautiful artwork from Butlers as always. Really hard to point out much flaws other then Jensonís shininess. His drawing of Sally here is particularly intriguing in this issue which saids a lot since I donít like her long hair (itís probably because it was stylish that I love it here).
10/10

SONIC-GRAMS:

Mike mentions Shadow (not interested), reprints of all the Super Specials from #1 to #10, answers letters such as Cream/Cheeseís appearance as well as Metal Sonic, and even a Rouge story which I certainly would like to see. Fanart wise, some nice group pics of the characters I like as well as broomstick Tails which is kinda not needed as Tails can fly without the use of a magic broom, but eh. Last, but not least, some Neopets ad (I never saw the hype behind those things), and Shrek 2 twinkles which I avoid (dislike sugary foods in general).
~Neo
  

Chronos Cat

Miles "Per" Hour