Sonic The Hedgehog #85 Review by Rolland Therrien
And now, in the wake of the (IMHO) dreadful Sonic Adventure Adaptation, a new story

"The Big Payback"

The Story starts... somewhere; Ron Lim didn't draw a very well defined scenery. But we know Dr Robotnik is there, still fuming at Sonic for destroying Perfect Chaos (Seems he forgot Chaos was gunning for him too). So Robotnik decides to sic one of his more recent attempts at copying Sonic at the rodent: Silver Sonic 2 (The Sequel)!

Cut to the heavily damaged Station Square, where the citizens are celebrating our heroes for saving the city. All the FFs are there, and so is Big, dispite the fact he didn't do much to actually HELP...

Not that it matters much anyways, since the party is crashed by Silver Sonic 2, who goes after our hero, launching seeking missiles at him. Tails, Big and the girls futily try to stop SS2 themselves, to no avail. Then Sonic zooms back and punches SS2 into a empty building, which the bot then tries to topple on them both. Dr R, looking from a remote location, believes he's won when only SS2 emerges from the rubble and flies off.

...But when the FFs find no trace of Sonic, only a large hole underneath the rubble, they know Silver's in for a surprise. Indeed, Sonic emerges underneath the flying clone and grabs on while it tries to shake him off. Meanwhile, Sally is having Nicole analyse the bot's systems, determining it has an infinite energy supply.

Okay, allow me a short rant here: WHY IS IT KARL BOLLERS HAS TO GIVE NATE MORGAN ALL THE SMART IDEAS!? The only thing Sally did this issue was make a nice stand and say a few cute lines. Now, I have nothing against Nate, but why couldn't Karl have Sally come up with the brilliant idea!? Sally is supposed to be the brilliant strategist of the FFs! Not Nate! You know what Sally has become? That girl on Galaxy Quest who's only job is to repeat everything to the computer and to repeat everything the computer says...


But anyways, back to the story. After some more scuffling, which involves Tails getting knocked out, Sonic finally opens a can of whoop'ass and Sonic Spins SS2's head off. Nice move, Sonic... Couldn't you do that for starters? Anyways, after checking on everyone to make sure they're ok, congratulations are given. But what will be done to keep Robotnik from attacking Station Square again? (Personally, I'd go for a well armed military force, myself.)

Well, Dr Robotnik is mad, cause his pet robot is trashed. But he perks right up again at the thought of finding his robot with it's built-in homing device, rebuilding it and using it to conquer the now vulnerable city. Nice to see he looks on the bright side of things...

Cut to the FFs, who are getting ready to leave after assuring the Mayor his city is safe. Sally shows a minor lapse in judgement by offering Big a place amongst the FFs, but thankfully Big chooses to go back home to Cat Country instead. Smart move. Farewell Big. Don't forget to write! Don't forget to never come back! (Sorry Big fans...)

Well, the FFs get back to their plane and fly off... for a while, until the FF Special goes into a spin and crashes. Fortunetly, they can all walk off, but while Sally has Sonic and Tails scan for life, Nate tells them the plane was sabotaged, and the culprit is most likely still nearby. In fact, we can see a set of red glowing eyes following Sonic and Tails as they run off into the nearby forest.

We finish this story with Dr R going back to Station Square, trying to find his beloved robot... And he finds it, too! ...Nate rebuilt it already, and reprogrammed it as Station Square's protector, against Robotnik. And we leave with the amusing image of Robotnik getting chased out of town by his own creation. Funny, but not completely satisfying.

Rating: Rings

This story was a nice change from the last few issues, if only because it was actually a complete, self-contained story with only one sub-plot. I'm still disappointed by Karl focus in only on Nate as the secondary character. One would think the clever thinker Sally would come up with ideas of her own, but noooo... Nate's "Da Man!" O-K, let's move on.

Art's decent, but unremarkable. Ron Lim's sceneries aren't very precise, and we don't get any impression of recognisable geography from them. And the writing was action-packed, but poor in characterisation of anyone. All in all, if Karl intends to stay on this book, he needs to start treating ALL the characters in that title as people.

Rotor the Walrus in
"Home and Back"

Well, first off, the good news: Rotor's alive and well! YES! He wasn't roboticized in a cheap bid to retire a character!

*Ahem* Sorry. And now, the plot review:

We catch to Rotor inside his Bathysphere (which ISN'T Spherical, BTW), which is sinking like a rock, due to severe damage. While he sends an SOS with his radio, we go into a flash-back over the events which lead us to this situation...

After leaving Knothole a few months ago (to us, it was a few months; was it really that long for the Mobians?), he met up with the Arctic Freedom Fighters who gave him the good news: The whole Walrus heard (including his mother and Lil' brother, last seen as mind controlled zombie slaves of Robotnik) had regained their free will with Robotnik's passing. So they spent a few good months together, as a family again.

...Until he woke up one morning to find the whole Herd was once more acting like Zombie slaves, ordered to attack Rotor. He hid in his sub, which they then trashed until it sank... Which brings us back to the present, where Rotor finally decides to try and swim for the surface before the water leaks into the electric wiring, frying him.

He manages to break free and swim for the surface, but passes out before he does... Fortunately, the Artic FFs were within rescue distance by that time, so he's ok. As this story ends, they give him the bad news he's already deduced: Dr Robotnik's back.

Rating: Rings

This story was gripping, dramatic and well written. Quite a change from Karl Broller's usual work. I guess this is what he can do when he's not hampered with an Executive work schedule, I guess. We get a good recap of the last few months of Rotor's whereabouts, and we get a good set-up for his return to Knothole: He's gotta come back to fight Robotnik, since it's the only way he can save his family. Brilliant.

The art was also great; Diamond Rose Studios did a great job here with their use of coloring and inking. The art on that page was gripping with great detail.

Overall Rating: Rings

All in all, a decent issue. The end of the Sonic Adaptation saga marks the end of the convoluted storylines, and I believe Karl Brollers' writing might improve now that he can spend more time in an issue to develop the characters. Now, if he could only use the Freedom Fighters better...