Sonic The Hedgehog #77 Review by Rolland Therrien
Rebel Without a Pause
This issue starts where the last one left off, in Knothole, where the regular supporting cast greets the ex-Freedom Fighters, (previously MIA) plus Sonic's parents and Jeremiah. They get a warm greeting from the Knotholers, while Jules and Bernie explain to Dr Quack that their power ring wedding rings get their wills free. Quack doesn't think it's scientifically feesible (True), but nate retorts Science doesn't matter where the Super Emerald is involved, since that's what he use to make the bands (sounds evasive, but that's a plot device for you). While this is going on, King Max finally wrings an answer out of the FF as to Sonic and Sally's whereabouts. The King doesn't seem pleased...

Meanwhile, Sonic and Sally lead the remaining refugees through the previously unmentionned desert between Robotropolis and The Great Forest, while recapping their actions from last issue. Just then, Nicole senses three Eggpods with Shadowbots coming to attack. Sally orders a retreat, while Sonic wants to stay and fight. While Sonic and Sally argue, the Shadowbots surround them both. Fortunetly, Dulcy arrives just in time to save the day, before taking them all home.

Interlude One: a Pair of starships leap out of Hyperspace and enter Mobian space. What ships are they? Where do they come from? Are they relevent to the "Great War" storyline, or the upcoming Sonic Adventure adaptation? Who knows?

Back in Robotropolis, Dr Robotnik is just recovering from his computer virus sickness when he recieves news that Ducly stopped the robot patrol. He doesn't like it. Now that he's recovered, he tries to download the location of Knothole from the computer again... and catches that computerised flu all over again. He'll catch on, eventually...

Back in Knothole, right after a short scene where the FFs try to get the King to cool down about Sonic (and not doing a good job, it seems), we see Dulcy, carrying Sonic, Sally and the refugees back to the Great Forest, and, for once, makes a perfect landing right before the Great Oak Slide. As the Dragon leaves, everyone enters Knothole. The missing refugees get a warm welcome. Sonic and Sally get gasps and very shocked impressions. The FFs warn them about the King not being pleased, and Sonic and Sally prepare to pay the piper...

In the Hut that serves as a cryogenics clinic for the Queen, the King learns that his wife's condition hasn't changed. No news there. Sally walks in, and she and her father share a short emotional moment, where the King shows he's just a softy for his daughter at heart.

Afterwards, Sally leaves the hut, and it's Sonic's turn. When he goes in, the King starts to recap all the disobedience he's taken from Sonic, and then... Congratulates him for his guts! It seems he appreciates what Sonic's done, and wants to apologise for doubting him. Sonic agrees, but he wants to know why this isn't being done in public. The King says a ruler can't afford to seem lenient against disobedience, since it sets a bad exemple. Sonic understands, and the two end this story on a friendly note.

Comments: Well, this was a nice and self-contained story, with some nice action scenes and some good character development. Fry's art is getting better by the issue, and the scenes in this story really makes you feel like part of the story, from the comedy scenes where Dulcy intimidates a robot and Robotnik catches the same virus the same way, to the scene where you see King Max hugging his daughter for confort. And the Starship teaser was nice, if short. All in all, a good average for the series. Keep up the good work, guys!

Rating: Rings

Tales of the Great War, Part 5: For Better or Worse...

We meet up with the Freedom Fighters, chatting around the fire with Sonic's folks, Jeremiah and Prince Elias, who was curious about the group meeting. They're talking about the importance of books and history, in this speech we've been hearing again and again over the last few issues. Jules then goes back on this, saying not all events are recorded in history, and starts talking about something that happened to him and his family during the Great War.

It seems Kirby (The great historian and Jeremiah's grand-dad) had gone missing, rumor placed him in Overlander city, so the King sent Jules, Bernie and Charles to track down an Overlander to investigate the matter.

The investigation is cut short when Jules gets hit by a laser shot. Bernie takes out the Overland with a mirror, I think (we don't see the object very clearly...), then helps Charles evacuate Jules away from the Overlander area. They get help from Amadeus (Tails' dad) and Sherman (a walrus who might be Rotor's dad), who drive them back to Mobotropolis.

Once there, Jules' life in is Dr Quack's hands, who unfortunetly doesn't give the hedgehog much hope for survival. Charles asks if the doctor would consider an alternative... (which we won't know more about until next issue...)

While this is going on, King Max is watching his city get bombarded from afar, muses that he and his people must make a stand. Amadeus argues the Overlanders are unpredictable, so King Max asks Julian what they should do. Julian just mentions his people are merciless and that they should keep fighting (That's pretty much all he's been doing since he became Warlord, to tell the truth...)

Rating: Rings

These backups have been losing more and more in quality, of late. This one is no exception. Skipping the fight and focusing on Jules being wounded and what this means to the people around him would have been enough. Julian, for a guy who's behind the true atrocities of the Great War, sure hasn't done much to earn that reputation. He's essentially a "yes-man" who keeps telling the king that his people are merciless killers and that they should keep fighting 'till the end. Yawn. The art was nice, but it could be better. in the second panel on page 5 of the story, Amadeus is depicted with two eyes, when he wears an eye patch during the rest of the story. Not very consistant. It's a shame that, with the quality of the regular stories, the back ups are dragging down the books.

Overall Rating: Rings