Sonic The Hedgehog #66 Review by Rolland Theirren
"The Naugus Trilogy - Part Three: A Friend In Deed"
"The Origin Of Ixis Naugus"

Karl Bollers(W)
Steven Butler(A)
Welcome to the latest issue of Sonic, the penultimate chapter in the Naugus Series (Woo Hoo!) and a great action story. okay, short recap: In the last two issues, Sonic and tails finally catch up with Ixis Naugus in the frozen tundra (kinda like Antarctica, but colder), and meet Nate Morgan, an Overlander scientist who's had a bum life handed to him, even though he invented the power rings and was a mentor to both Uncle Chuck and Dr Robotnik.

We meet up with our heroes as they discover what Nate has been keeping a secret: Power Rings! Thousands of Power Rings! Looks like the guy's been hoarding them! Unfortunetly, it doesn't seem as if Nate wants anyone to use them, including Sonic. Our hero invites him back to Mobotropolis, but Nate refuses, saying it never works out for him.

Before Sonic can argue the point any further, a huge tremor hits, and Naugus materialises from a rocky wall, does the classic "This is how I did it, and now I'm going to kill you and take the prize routine", and creates a stone wall cutting off Nate and Eddy from Naugus, Sonic and Tails. Before Eddy and Nate can do anything, an explosion smashes the wall apart.

We then see that all the power rings have vanished, leaving only the two heroes and their foe, all enhanced by Power Ring energy. Sonic is surrouded by a field of stars and an "electrons around an atom" effect; Tails is flanked by a quartet of flickies, and Naugus... Just looks uglier... (and here I thought that was impossible) Then, the fight starts. Here's the play-by-play...

Nagus begins his move by starting to open a portal to the Zone of Silence. Sonic, now known as Ultra-Sonic, moves to intercept. Naugus tries to take down the hedgehog with a firey beam from his eyes, but Ultra-Sonic blocks it by mentally creating a wall of icy water in front of him. (woah. New powers. Kewl.) As Naugus begins to bring the Zone of Silence into Mobius's dimension, Tails, now called Hyper-Tails, sends his Flickies to attack the sorceror. But Naugus's powers are now amplified even further, since he possess nearly god-like power in the zone of silence; hence, Naugus gets rid of the Flickies by freezing thme in ice. Meanwhile, Nate looks on, wanting to help the mobians.

Ultra-Sonic blocks another attack, boiling water this time, by creating a wall of stone. Naugus brags on how he enslaved the giant known as Feist upon his arrival in the Zone of Silence, then swats Nate away with some Telekinesis after the Overlander yells at him. Fortunetly, Hyper-Tails saves Nate before he crashes against the wall. Unfortunetly, this is shortly before he and Ultra-Sonic lose their powers and collapse. Naugus continues his bragging, saying how he became absolute ruler of the Zone of Silence, turning all who fell into it into his crystallized servants, else they get destroyed by the zone's hostile environement. He reveals his plans to merge Mobius with the Zone of Silence, thereby making him a virtual god, and moves to kill Nate.

Nate, calmly, moves his eye piece over his eye, and shoots Naugus with the Built-In Power ring in the eye-piece, banishing him back to the Zone of Silence, and shutting down the portal to it in the process. But before our newly awaken heroes can thank Nate, another tremor hits, collapsing the whole cave. Eddy holds the roof while Sonic Spin-cuts a way through the walls, allowing him, Tails and Nate a way out. Tragically, Eddy doesn't make it out...

The story ends by telling us that through out his life, Nate never knew victory, and was therefore unaware that it sometimes had it's price. This quote from the story sums it best: "Today, Nate has finally won a battle...And at last paid dearly"

Rating: Rings

Okay, time for the comments: Well, this was a good story. Nicely done art, coherent storyline... Sonic and tail's new forms and powers were left unexplained, which is both a good and bad thing. On one hand, I enjoy a nice cosmic mysteryt, but I'm puzzled as to why they skipped straight through their super forms... Nate's defeat of Naugus was a bit too much of a deus ex machina for my tastes, but it's nice to see that bad guy get what he deserves by the most unassuming guy in the room.

Still... I'm left thinking the story could've been much better...

Now, for the back-up story: "The Origin Of Ixis Naugus."

This one's a doozy, folks. Ever wondered (like Sonic in SSS#4) just what Naugus is supposed to be? You're about to find out...

Okay, background info... it seems long ago, there was this event called "The Days of Fury", a huge apocalyptic event that somehow erased historical events the world over, essentially starting things up from square one. We find a group of three mages, calling themselves the order of Ixis (Now you know where he got the name from) casting spells to try and observe this mythical event, with dismal failure. The group consists of Agunus the Rhino, Mage of the Earth, Suguna the Lobster, Mage of the Water and Nusgau the Bat, mage of the Air (did you catch the joke? Their names are anagrams for Naugus) It seems they traded knowledge, so they could each control the three elements of earth, water and air equally. Since they can't tap into the powers that devestated Mobius in the Days of Fury, they'll tap into another power source, that of the sun.

They will perform a ritual race, going over land, through sea and into the air, to ascend into the sun, where they will gain power over fire. Now, I know this seems a bnit over-the-top, but this sounds like it's actually based on some authentic occult beliefs: In Hermetic (classic magic) thought, the four elements run in progressive levels of spiritual purity, according to thier etherialness: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire, which symbolises pure Spirit. Sorry, no power rings. Those things aren't part of nature, no matter what the king proclaims. Therefore, there just might be something to this race... Just don't try this at home, kids.

The race begins, and they're off! Agunus takes the lead, since he didn't share all his Earth power with the others. But as soon as the hit the water, Suguna passes Agunus, since he didn't share all of his water power with the others. (begginning to see a theme here?) Finally, Nugau passes them both when they hit the air, but they both latch on to him, hitching a ride into the sun, where they fade away...

Elsewhere on Mobius, Young prince Maximillian, undere the watchful eyes of his parents, makes a wish upon a falling star. Next morning, someone shows up at the castle: A strange being who calls him self Ixis Naugus, claiming to be a great and powerfl wizard, offering his power and skill to king Frederic, and saying he'll help the King bring a golden age to the kingdom. And so, an evil carreer begins...

Rating: Rings

Well... This was certainly an interesting story. Who would've suspected Naugus had such strange origins? This certainly opens up new questions: "Are the various personnalities that made up the order of Ixis still alive inside Naugus?" "Are there any more mystical orders around Mobius? And if so, what are there goals?" "Just what were those Days of Fury?" Let's hope the writers decide to explore this storyline further on... The art was good, and the writing was beliveable. Like I said, that occult race sounded genuine enough for me, though I'm no expert in this stuff.

Overall Rating: Rings