Sonic The Hedgehog #146 Review by True Red
Simple cover, but extremely effective. It's much better than #145's cover, and Shadow actually meets Sonic in this issue to give the cover more relevance to the story at hand.

"The Good, The Bad, & The Unknown, Part 1: Prototype"
Writer & Inker: Ken Penders
Penciler: Steven Butler
Shadow is punching Sonic for some reason, which Sonic eventually returns with a kick and then turns on the water pipe to send a powerful blast of water at Shadow (which occupies Shadow until it dies down), while Sonic runs off. Suddenly, two people (according to Shadow) are calling out for Sonic, but Shadow hears footsteps for more than two so he decides to leave as he has a "higher priority." It turns out the group that is looking for Sonic is Bunnie, Tails, and Tommy and they're wondering if Sonic is in trouble.

Meanwhile, Shadow is thinking about all the information he has recently learned concerning his creation as he returns to a room where we meet Isaac (think of a gold-colored Gamma). Isaac "tracked" Shadow's fight with Sonic and wants to know why Shadow didn't pursue Sonic. Shadow mentions that there wasn't a "logical reason" to not follow Sonic, but thinks the memories he has might have stopped him. Shadows gives us a mini-recap of Shadow/Hope/Locke story last issue and then tells us he ended up on Angel Island and jumped off when he noticed a signal that led him to the facility he's in now (and he was the source of the big "seismic activity" Rotor monitored last issue). Shadow saw Isaac was sealed and released him and then spoke with Isaac, who was created 10,000+ years ago by "overlanders."

Back in the present, Fiona and Rotor find Sonic. Rotor calls Bunnie to get their "medi-kit," and she flies off leaving Tails and Tommy despite Tails trying to get her to wait. Tommy says that whatever Tails wanted to talk to Bunnie about can wait while they meet up with Rotor, Fiona, and Sonic. Tails explains that they can't meet up with the others since Bunnie just took off with their only communicator.

Rotor and Fiona show some concern for Sonic, who's says he's resting until Fiona points out that he looks more hurt than tired. That's when Sonic explains that he ran into Shadow and both were wondering why the other was in this facility. Since neither would answer the other, Shadow attacked Sonic and the two fought for awhile. Rotor mentions that he doesn't believe that Shadow is really a hedgehog or even "a Mobian like us," which prompts Sonic to ask what is Shadow then (he'll have to wait for that answer).

Outside, Robotnik is in the area flying around in his airship designed like Bat Brain as he notices Bunnie (with the medi-kit) going someplace. Robotnik was attracted to the area due to an explosion he picked up and his interest skyrockets at seeing a Freedom Fighter. As he can no longer roboticize anyone, Robotnik decides to investigate by creating a new Metal Sonic.

Rating: Rings

The story was decent, though as I'm not big on watching Sonic and Shadow fighting each other (particularly for no real discernable reason like many of the Sonic/Knuckles fights prior to Sonic #50), this story was nothing special. However, Butler's art was really good in this issue and I did like the way he rendered most of the fight between Sonic/Shadow (as well as the fact that Penders knocked out dialogue between the two just like Bollers did with the Bunnie/Rouge fight back in Sonic #116). That is definitely a trend they should keep. The only thing I REALLY didn't like has nothing to do with the story at all. I don't like Fiona's new outfit due to the colors as there's too much reddish/orange on her.

"Out of Your Shell"
Writer: Romy Chacon
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Rich Koslowski
Rotor wakes up and is trying to get Tommy to wake up as well, and is initially shocked that when he pulls Tommy's sheets that Tommy's head is missing (as Tommy had it in his shell). Rotor leaves to do some maintenance as he tells Tommy that he should go out and have fun. Later, Rotor returns to his home and Tommy (calling Rotor "Boomer" to Rotor's surprise) wants to know if they can hang out, but Rotor is in a hurry. Tommy is sad because he is lonely with no one to do anything with and everyone is always doing something. Rotor mentions that everyone is good at something and that Tommy will find his own calling. Rotor continues looking for a file on the Technolo-Tree, but Tommy tells Rotor that he organized Rotor's files for him since he was bored and then explains how Rotor can fix the problem with the Technolo-Tree. As a result, Rotor asks Tommy if he can be his lab assistant and mainly keep everything clean and orderly. Finally happy, Tommy gets to work.

Rating: Rings

I may not like Tommy, but I enjoyed this story a lot. It has a nice little message, too. Lim's art was pretty decent.

"Circuit Me"
Writer: Romy Chacon
Penciler: Al Bigley
Inker: Michael Higgins
Sally is wondering why Rotor wanted her and Rotor explains that he thinks there is a way to harness more power from power rings, but the downside is that he's not sure if doing so would result in Knothole being destroyed or just the power rings burning out or something else. As Nicole is the only one who can figure out those kind of calculations, Sally is about to ask Nicole to do a scan but ends up tripping on a cord and spilling chemicals on her and Nicole. As Rotor asks if Sally and Nicole are alright, Nicole speaks from Sally's body, while Sally displays messages from Nicole. Rotor realizes that the two have switched bodies and ends up asking Sally to scan the liquid. At first Sally isn't sure how to do it, but then figures it out (with a bit of luck). While Rotor is concentrating on Sally inside Nicole in terms of trying to figure out a way to change them back to normal, Nicole has walked off in Sally's body. Nicole is enjoying herself when she sees Sonic and experiences what happens when people like someone. As she starts to faint, Sonic catches her and as he sees Rotor approaching, Sonic wants Rotor's help in taking Sally to the doctor. Rotor says they don't need to worry as the effects of the liquid are temporary. Sonic is confused as Rotor gives Nicole to Sonic and asks Sally if she's in her body, to which Sal says "yes." Sonic wants to know what's going on, but Nicole just mentions it's a long story and tells Sonic that he's good-looking.

Rating: Rings

In many ways, this story could've been much more, but it was still okay. I only wonder if this story means that Nicole may start semi-flirting with Sonic now. With the exception of Bigley's Sally on the second page, I didn't mind his art too much this time around.

Chronos Cat