Sonic The Hedgehog #145 Review by True Red
I don't mind the idea behind the cover, but the execution is a bit off due to Shadow's "shadow." Still, it's okay while not being anyting special. The frontpiece for this issue, just like last issue, was not done by Axer. This time it's Ken Penders and Amber Greenlee (making her debut). This frontpiece is much nicer than in #144. It features Shadow in a containment tube and considering I'm not a fan of Ken Penders art, but liked the image, bonus points given for it.

"Shadows of Hope"
Writer: Ken Penders
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Al Milgrom
Hope, the Maria look-alike, is reading a book outside while Shadow is continuing his practice of stalking her. However, someone else is currently narrating the story and this stranger (also the narrator) confronts Shadow as the stranger wants his help. Seemingly the book wasn't too engrossing as Hope notices the commotion in the nearby bushes and goes to investigate. As Hope starts watching the two (her reaction to seeing Shadow probably means she's aware of him stalking her and doesn't mind it), Shadow has declined to assist the stranger, who supposedly respects Shadow's decision but tries to lasso Shadow anyway. If that is respect, I don't want to know what disrespect is. Anyway, Shadow is understandably upset, rips the "string," and charges the stranger. Suddenly Shadow and the stranger are covered in a blue light and disappear before Hope's eyes. She walks over to where they were and ends up being transported to where Shadow and the stranger are fighting. The stranger uses Shadow's charge against him to flip Shadow into the floor where a Shadow ends up in a containment tube. Being contained, makes Shadow think of all the other times he's been contained and he demands that the stranger tell him what's going on. The stranger takes off his hood and reveals himself to be Locke. Locke wants Shadow because Shadow seemingly isn't "biological, mineral, nor vegetable" and exists. Therefore, Shadow might "be the key" to finding the Brotherhood that everyone thinks is dead. Hope decides to make her presence known now and orders Locke to let Shadow go. When Locke starts talking to Hope, Shadow is reminded of when Maria was being confronted by government agents. That spurs on Shadow to shatter the containment tube in a fit of rage and beat up Locke. Hope tells Shadow to stop by mentioning that he shouldn't treat Locke the same horrible way he was treated and that she's scared of him. After stopping, Shadow finally realizes that Hope isn't Maria. Hope says that she is a friend, but Shadow just leaves since he doesn't "need any friends." Locke has to cut his losses and promises to take Hope back to Knothole.

Rating: 1/2 Rings

Despite the obviousness of the story, I liked it for the most part. I did not like the continuity error of having Uncle Chuck being in a hut with Rosie on the first page. Uncle Chuck left with the royal parents and Antoine back in #138 (which left Sally in charge). So, despite the whole "Rosie likes Uncle Chuck"-thing from last issue, let's at least keep things straight. Ron Lim's art is fine except for one thing. Echidnas do NOT have mono-eyes. Someone please, please, give Ron Lim some artwork of Knuckles and echidnas from the Sega games. Locke, just like Knuckles, does not have eyes like Sonic, Amy, or Shadow and his eyes should not be drawn like theirs.

"Training Day"
Writer: Karl Bollers
Penciler: Al Bigley
Inker: Michael Higgins
Robotnik is talking to his robots and telling them that Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy Rose are the four biggest threats to him and therefore are to be "terminated on sight."

Rating: 1/2 Rings

Actually, the only reason this story scored as high as it did is that this was the first time Archie brought up Amy's tarot card reading and the fact that it was mentioned impressed me. The rest of the story just detailed things everyone already knows about the four. Al Bigley's art was pretty good, but he has to give Sonic some legs next time. In some panels, they were much too short. Bigley also suffers from the same problem Lim does when it comes to Knuckles' eyes. However, Bigley also didn't do Amy's eyes correctly as he gave her eyes similar to Tails and not Sonic. However, other than the eyes and a couple of panels of Sonic's legs being too short, I like his art a lot. Fix some details, and I wouldn't mind him being a regular.

Writer: Ken Penders
Penciler: Dawn Best
Inker: Jim Amash
In Knothole, Tails is reading "The Mysteries of Pre-Mobian History" while somewhere else there's a huge explosion. Elsewhere in Knothole, Sonic is getting ready to throw a dart, while Ash bets that Sonic won't hit the board and Mina basically tells Ash to behave. Sonic throws the dart and it hits the Eggman bullseye and falls to the wayside. Sonic is shocked and then challenges "mouth" (we know him as Ash). Bunnie and Amy (both playing pool) comment on the trash talkers as Ash takes his turn. Ash's dart hits the wall and asks for a best of three.

Tails has read something he found really interesting concerning the reason for using less technology than Robotnik and goes looking for Rotor, who is in his lab with Tommy. Rotor tells Tails to wait a moment because he's looking at some seismic readings and notices that there was a "high spike and zero aftershocks" someplace. Rotor explains that a lot of energy was focused at one point and if that happened to Knothole it could so "serious damage" so they need to check it out. Tails is ready to go in Tornado, but Rotor says that it's too small to carry all the equipment needed and that they need to bring Sonic and Bunnie just in case. Tails doesn't think that's necessary because they're all Freedom Fighters. Rotor then defines everyone's roles on the team (they're tactical support), Sonic/Bunnie (combat), Sally (leadership) and that they're all needed.

Tails is looking for Sonic (but doesn't know where he is) but still thinking that they could've gone on their own. Suddenly he sees Ash storming off in a huff (upset with Sonic) with Mina following, and Tails figures out where Sonic is. Seeing Bunnie & Sally playing pool and "everyone" else, Tails wonders why he wasn't invited. Sonic asks Tails where he's been since he didn't answer when Sonic knocked on his door earlier (and Tails realizes that he was too into his book). Tails then explains the situation to everyone.

Everyone packs up and at the airport Sally and Sonic share a semi-awkward "good-bye" as Sonic thinks about asking her to join them while Sally worries if she'll ever see him again. As the group flies off to their destination, Shadow is currently there and has discovered "the prototype."

Rating: Rings

I liked this story and now it's obvious why Mina would like Ash. Ash is a lot like Sonic, only he is totally devoted to Mina. It was nice seeing everyone having downtime for a little bit. As for the art, overall Best was fine but she did give Sally a long bushy tail on pages 6 & 7 that she shouldn't have had. However, I loved that combined panel with Sally and the plane in the sky on page 8 so much that the I forgave it. Sticking what seems to be Arlo in the comic as one of the ones loading the plane was a nice touch too.

Chronos Cat