Sonic The Hedgehog #65 Review by Jonathan Gray
"The Naugus Trilogy - Part Two: The Fellowship Of The Rings"
"The Library"

Karl Bollers And Ken Penders(W)
Steven Butler And Art Mawhinney(A)
Looks like the Archie Continuity Cops have finally gotten back on the ball - Last time I said how much I liked Karl Bollers for his ability to finally take a nowhere script and go somewhere with it - Well now he's managed to wrap up several continuity errors that have been plaguing the Sonic book since day one. He's definetely come a long way from the drek that was Sonic 57..... We begin our story with - drum roll please - IXIS NAUGUS !!!!!!! It seems everyones lovin' big eared gremlin thing wants some ultimate revenge - He's sick and tired of being pestered by Sonic and Tails, especially seeing as how his real objective lay with Nate Morgan! Turns out that Naugus snuck into Eddy's flame-thrower and thats how he managed to get past the mystical defenses surrounding Nate's castle. And as nate and Naugus argue incessantly, Sonic and Tails decide to do what they came for - Butt whippin, Sonic style !! Eddy joins in the fray but its all for naught as Naugus literally snatches all the oxygen from the air, thus near suffocating our heroes - and he says Nate's next. Nate has no plans on being airless at the moment and brings out his trump card - a power ring - which he promptly throws it into a stained glass window, and Naugus promptly goes after it. Sonic comes to all light-headed an woozy and thanks Nate for saving thier lives, as Naugus finds out that the ring Nate threw was a hologram - and he's none too happy about it...Anyhow, Nate introduces himself as Nathaniel Beauregard Morgan. Beauregard...No comment. Sonic introduces himself as his father's, Jules, son, and introduces his buddy Tails. But thats not the big issue - the big issue is - how does Nate know his pops? Let alone, how does he know of Ixis Naugus? And as nate begins his flashbackwe getthe answers to questions that had remained unanswered for many a long time....

Nate began his woes as an underground "geo-physician in the Overland City of Megapolis." - namely one of the home bases of the Overlanders! He was looking for an alternative to fossil fuel and he discovered an awesome force - the power ring. He wanted to test it but he felt it wasn't ready but it was his young eager assistant that kept nagging him to go for the gusto - His name: Julian Kintobor, from the House of Ivo. Ladies and gentlemen - meet the man that taught Dr. Robotnik !!!!! Nate was later seized by the law for "sedition, negligence, endangering public lives, noise pollution,..." etc., etc....especially seeing as how he blew up a wee bit of the city...Since no one got killed, Nate was banished out of Megapolis. Nate was afraid he would get either die in the badlands or get jumped since the overlanders and furries didn't quite get along back then, but when he did run into them, their King at the time, Frederic Acorn (Sally's Grandfather), extended his hand in friendship. Nate said, back then, the Acorn Kingdom was pre-technology and was totally pro-nature. He mentions that he was soon appointed a royal court member and put the previous accidents of the past behind him. After being accepted in Mobotropolis he would then go back to work on his experiments with the power ring - especially now that he had found the final component needed to safely test it...a chaos emerald - courtesy king Frederic. Nate said that a chaos emerald's "innate energies allowed the new, clean air power source he had been trying to perfect for years before to come to fruition." With this new found power, the Acorn Kingdom had started to adopt technology, and in effect Mobotropolis was born. Whereas there was Earth, Wind, Water, And Fire - Now the planet had a fifth organic element - the Power Ring!!! Because of this, Nate had been declared a national hero and was there when King Fred gave the soon-to-be King Max his title. Nate then had spent most of his time as a professor and his best students were two hedgehogs named Jules and Charles - Sonics father and uncle! Nate was finally happy - but his happiness wasn't for long. There were still those who found an overlanders presence amongst furries threatening - namely the two advisors to the King - Ixis Naugus, the royal wizard and the Commander In Chief of the royal army - General Kodos - two of Sonic's worst enemies.

One day much later, Naugus set his plan into motion by controlling the already heated emotions of the overlander troops. Nate says that when he and others were surveying the Great Forest, the overlanders showed up. Nate had found it strange that Kodos would go with them at that time, so obviously this was the plan. Since talking didn't seem to be an option at the moment, outright war started. Next thing Nate knew, the medical team and King Max came by to help Kodos and himself out. At Kodos' bedside, Naugus duped King Max into thinking Nate was the one who purposely caused Mobotropolis to be found by the Overlanders. The odds against Nate were way too high as he had no way to convince the king otherwise, so to keep a repeat of Megapolis City, Nate left Mobotropolis.

During his travels, he stumbled into an underground grotto with a hidden valley where an oak tree had been - Namely the entrance to the secret valley of Knothole Village!!! He was originally going to stay there for the rest of his life, but he was afraid that Naugus and Kodos would find him and steal the power ring technology Naugus was so long jealous of for fear it would replace his wizardry. So, he made his way up the "subtle knothole" and dumped the original ring forge into a dumpy little lake nearby where nobody would find it - today this is the source of Sonic's power rings in Knothole - The Lake Of Rings!!! Well, during his travels, he happened upon Eddy The Yeti trapped in an avalanche. Injured from the accidentnate helped the poor beast and fixed him up. Soon, they built the castle they're in now with defenses against Naugus' magic.

Sonic and Tails are needless to say stunned - Sonic tells Nate that he answered a whole heck of a lot of questions that have boggled him and the FF's since childhood, but that still doesn't answer why Naugus is after him now. Nate says he has something that Naugus wants all to himself. And as Nate opens a door and we find a monstrous cluster of power rings floating in mid air as our story is To be concluded...

"The Library" was OK - It wasn't boring as heck like those darn Geoffrey St. John backups as of late and it did feature the return of someone not seen since issue 25 - Amy Rose!! but the biggest thrill of the story was KP's tribute to Jack Kirby - the man who defined comics in general! KP the tribute is WELL appreciated!

Rating: 1/2 Rings

There was a LOT to like in this issue in all honesty - and the only reason this review doesn't get a 5 ring rating is because of the fact of two things. One: How does this relate to Uncle Chuck being called the creator of the Power Rings according to the SatAM cartoon. My thing is this - while it is common sense to know that if Nate taught Chuck, then Chuck got it from him, needless to say - while this was _left to common sense_ IT WAS NOT STATED AS SUCH and because of that its gonna leave people confused, ESPECIALLY the devout SatAM Sonic fans. This is the reason it did ot get the other half of the ring. I positively LOVE Nate Morgan as a character and not just because he's black - which is something in itself - but because he's the first person thats come off as real. Real being you can feel his pain and emotion somewhat. He's had a hard life and at every turn its gone PPPPBBBBTTTTTT in his face. One of the best Bollers creations to date, Many thanks for finally making a human charcter in the Sonic book that ISN'T EVIL. The sheer irony that someone as nice as Nate taught Doctor Robotnik is something in itself. I'm looking a LOT MORE forward to this character in the future...Next issue: The conclusion to "The Naugus Trilogy"!