Sonic The Hedgehog #72 Review by Rolland Thierren
"I, Robotnik"
"Tales Of The Great War - Part One: The Shot Heard 'Round The World"

Karl Bollers And Ken Penders(W)
Steven Butler And Art Mawhinney(A)
Well, After last issue's backwards, we return to a more standard form of editing for #72. And this issue is something. Here we go!

We join Sonic and The entire FF crew at the Hedgehog family home in Knothole, boserving one of the newly arrived innovations of the decade: the Telecrate! It's essentially a form of television made out of left-over Robotnik tech and freshly made Power Rings. Seems everyone in Knothole and Mobotropolis gets a telecrate by Royal Decree, and that a royal announcement will be made shortly. But another is made before then to the FFs: Rotor, who's works with Nate is over, decides to take a leave of absence to go look for his folks. This starts up a sad breaking-up period amongst the FFs. Sad, But it had to be expected. The mind controlled members of Rotor's family have been a long hanging loose thread, and with nate to fufill the role of Scientific expert, this liberates Rotor to go find his folks. This has been long predicted by many fans when nate Morgan first became a regular character, after seeing the results of adding a new scientist in the FFs in the Brown and Tolbert fanfics. Though there is little doubt that Rotor will return to the FFs (remember what Lil'Tails said in SSS#9?), we will still miss him in the mean time, as the FFs remark. Let's just hope they don't turn him into a dragon...

We then join up with Princess Sally and Nate, who have returned to Castle Acorn to watch the royal broadcast live. The broadcast will mostly be an announcement that Queen Alicia is alive, though in cryo-stasis, and suffering from illness, and that Sonic and Tails were successful in defeating Ixis Naugus. Be sure to check out the director who oddly resembles Chester Cheetah from the Cheetoes commercials. To broadcast starts, with the King on his throne, announcing thatr Mobotropolis is well on the way to recovery from the damages made by Robotnik, that he and the whole royal family thanks them for their efforts, but that Mobius itself will take time to recover form the intense enviromental damages. While the broadcast goes on, we see the public reaction by skipping from household to household: Sonic and his family at their home; Antoine, Bunnie and Amy Rose are at some one's fancy house (either Antoine or Bunnie's family home); Kodos at his hideout (he had Uma steal a telecrate); the couple of deers who owns Deer John's...

Meanwhile, yet another satellite activates up above in Mobian orbit, this one called N-Sat. Oay, let's make a Satellite role call: R-Sat, O-Sat, B-Sat, O-Sat, T-Sat, N-Sat, ..., K-Sat. Seems we only have one more satellite to go, huh? Talk about your foreshadowing... And, as usual, whenever one of those satellites activates, you know something on the Mobian surface will go wrong.

Just as King Max starts to talk about building a new golden age, the transmission is cut off as a pirate broadcast called K-Bot takes over the airwaves, and a smart mouth announcer (it helps if your try to picture Howard Stern as the narrator. No, really!) who starts to tell the biography of the "World-renowned Super-Scientist known to any nit-wit with half a brain cell as... Doctor Robotnik-- The greatest overlander who ever lived!" (what did I tell you? Really helps, huh?) Cut to the Hedgehog household, we see a look of surprised all over Sonic's face (the rest of his family must also be, but they all have poker faces, so...). We begin by finding Julian Kintobor was born into the prestigious House of Ivo (must be Overlander nobility), that he has an older brother called Colin, that he probabably didn't get along with (it says his ''annoying'' brother) and that he was a child genius. As he grew older, "his body grew to match his vast IQ" (read: He became a big fat-ass as well as a smart-ass) and in his youth was assigned as an assistant to Geo-Physicist Nate Morgan (referred to as Nathaniel-somebody-or-the-other. Real professionalism there, buddy. This sure ain't A&E's biography), but apparantly , he was SO talented the he was eventually put in charge of the lab. (Of course, he tricked nate into performing an illegal experiment, but I think this biography is trying to show Robotnik's side of things, through HIS view-point) Cut to Nate, who is shocked by a flash-back of his greatest failure.

The Nasty Narrator continues, saying that suddenly, the Furry Mobians suddenly started the Greatest war this planet ever saw (Note the joke: He doesn't remember then name of it... :P). Of course, in an Overlander's view, the Mobians started it. I guess the Mobians might blame the Overlanders, But I guess we'll have to wait for the next instalment of "Tales from the Great War" to find out who really started it. Apparantly, The Ministry of Conflict (read: of war) Rallies all the geniuses in Megapolis to build weapons of mass destruction. Julian topped them all with his brainchild: The Universal Annihilator. But before he could get the mineral ore he needed to make weapon work, he got arrested and tried by his own brother, now Minister of Justice (It seems he wanted to use his own people as test subjects for the UA...) Instead of letting himself imprisonned for ten years, he makes a break for it and runs away into Mobian territory, where he is rescued by two hedgehogs. Cut to the Hedgehog household, were Jules and Charles look at each other, probably realising that act of kindness was the worst mistake they ever made.

They bring Julian to the King, Who welcomes him amongst his councillors. In the words of the narrator: "Now here was a sucker [...] It wasn't long before Ol' Maxie practically handed over control of his realm to Julian!" We see the King's response to those words, as he seems to slowly go from shock to annoyance. Then, Kodos is assigned to train Julian in the ways of war, as Julian should partiipate in the war efforts, since he knows all the weaknesses of the Overlanders. Of course, after his training is completed, Julian gets rid of Kodos, using the Zone of Silence. We cut to see Kodos fuming at that obviously frustrating memory. After becoming Warlord, Julian builds sophisticated weapons of war for Mobotropolis and helps turn the tide in favor of Mobotropolis. Sometime later, Julian's nephew, Snively (Colin's son, no doubt), arrives at the War ministry to pledge allegiance to his uncle.

Julian decides not to rest on his laurels and, after beating back the overlanders and basking in the glory of being a war hero, now wants to remake Mobius in his image (some people are never happy with what they get...). For that, he needs a robotic army (the swatbots) and Sir Charles hegedhog's roboticizer, which he sabotages in order to disgrace Uncle Chuck and get both the Ministry of Science and the roboticzer. We see Charles despondent at his life's greatest failure, caused by Robotnik (he and Nate could build a support group).

Some time later, a huge metal flagship flies over the Mobotropolis skyline, forever altering it (this is part of the title sequence of Sonic SatAM), and Doctor Robotnik, not Julian Kintobor, claims power over this new industrial age. He kicks out of the way the few opponants and dissenters (The king, who's reaction of depression over his greatest defeat makes him a candidate to join Nate and Chuck's "Robotnik created my greatest failure" support group), while the rest of the populace get, in the narrator's words: "[The mobians] took advantage of all the new jobs that the good doctor had created and willingly volunteered themselves to undergo the changes needed to work in the posh factories" (read: The mobians were tossed, kicking and screaming, into the roboticzers and made into mindless mechanical slaves made to work 'till the dropped in Robotnik's crummy factories.).

Of course, nothing is ever perfect, so while Robotnik rules over all of Mobius, groups of rebels start making rouble all over the world. Notably Sonic the Hedgehog and his Rabble Rousers. (right, like Mr Robo-friendly narrator was going to call them Freedom Fighters?) We cut to The house were Bunnie, Antoine, Amy and Tails are watching (I guess Tails was in the can before), as Antoines seems happy the FFs have been mentionned, even though he was bearly seen behind Rotor in the image. Robotnik decides to make a hometown trip back to Megapolis, but finds the place empty. And he'd brought them a surprise, too...

Some time later, in one of his many attempts to get rid of Sonic, Doctor Robotnik wsa seemingly destroyed by his own creation, E.V.E. (As seen in S#21) But Ivo doesn't die; instead, he gets zapped into the future, where he meets his own Mechanized future self: Robo-Robotnik. Robo-Robotnik sends Ivo back in time, where he resumes buisness as usual (as seen in S#22), with moer then enough time to engineer the events in S#47-48, including having Sonic punished for the alledged murder of Princess Sally. We cut to Sally and Geoffery, the latter seems to be trying to catch flies with his mouth. The biography finishes off by saying how Robotnik sacrificed his own life in an attempt to destroy the evil of Sonic the Hedghog, showing one odd way of looking at what happened in the conclusion of SSS#6. K-bot shuts off, and all we see next is static.

Sonic, still recovering from the shock, realises this Can't be what the king had in mind (Gee, Sonic, Ya Think?) and gets a ring on his comm-watch. It's Sally, who tells him they are still trying to figure otu what happened, but believe a giltch in the Robo-Tech used in the Telecrates is to blame for the pirate broadcast. I'm no expert, but I don't think glitches are to blame for pirate broadcasts... Still, Sonic seems to buy the story. You'd think he, of all people. would be suspicious. When his parents ask him what the princess told him, he says, all cheerful-like, that it was all a false alarm, due to using ol' Ivo's old tech. When his Uncle Chuck asks him what's on his mind, he says he's been thinking that he's been missing beeing a Freedom Fighter, and how Sally told him he and the other young mobians would have to start up school again. But he's happy that peace has returned to the land, and that he got so used to beeing Robotnik's main pain it the Keister that he forgot how to be Jules and Bernie's son, and that this is something this is going to change. After a breif hug from his parents, he leaves to be alone.

Meanwhile, somewhere far away from Knothole, we see Snively cowering before a massive, yet familiar figure, accusing him of betraying his own Uncle. Snivley, obivously scared Shitless, simply squirms in terror, screaming: "No-Not you?!" End of this Episode.

Rating: Rings

Backup Story: Essentially a continuation of last issue's story, as Tails reads aloud the tale of the most influential meeting between the Mobians and the Overlanders. This young prince, called Emerson, a decendent of Alexander, founder of Mobotropolis, meets an Overlander kid called Paladin in the forest. Paladin is out on target practice with his gun, which is something Emerson has never seen before. Paladin lets Emerson try out his gun, shooting a branch. Emerson is surprised by the power of the weapon. Paladin then tries shooting a bird, but Emerson tris to stop him, saying you shouldn't kill living things... and accidently gets shot.

Paladin, terrified at what happened, runs away when a voice calling Emerson is heard. It's his father, King Theodore. The only thing he sees is his dead son and an Overlander running away. I guess matters get cleared up in the future, or we wouldn't be reading this. Theodore shows great mercy by not wanting vengance on the overlander. Instead, he simply orders further contact with his race forbiddne, unaware that this very decree will lead to future misunderstandings. This incident is also the reason why most mobians don't use gun-like weapons.

Well, yet another mystery of the ancient times is solved. Not a very interesting story in my opinion, but a good set-up for what will follow, and it makes a valid point on the lethality of handguns. Children, take note! This could have been you!

Rating: Rings

Overall Rating: Rings