Sonic The Hedgehog #89 Review by Rolland Therrien
"Thicker then Water"
Written by Karl Brollers
Pencilled by Fry
Inked by Andrew Pepoy
We start this issue on a very dramatic note, picking up where #88 left off, with the unconscious and wounded King Acorn being rolled into the emergency room and Sally crying her eyes out (well, almost.), then runs out after blaming Sonic, not waiting for Geoffery's explanations. Elias tells both Sonic and StJohn to stay put while he goes to console her.

In Robotropolis, Robotnik moves back in with his forces and slaves, before surveying the damage done and concluding Sonic's been there.

Back in Knothole, Geoffery asks a guard to return the Sword of Acorns back to the Royal Reliquary while Sonic leaves with Tails and Rosie, who tells him not to blame himself about Sally, who was under a lot of pressure before she lashed out at Sonic. Sonic still feels he let Sally down, though, and leaves for his hut with Tails, leaving Mina (Who'd just arrived with the orphans) to wonder why he's so glum.

Elsewhere in Knothole, Elias finds Sally and has a talk with her. Sally says she's tired of not having control over anything anymore, ever since she's been removed from the top of the chain of command. Elias reassures her that he agrees, and that Sally is the one who should be the successor. He then tells her that Sonic isn't to blame for King Acorn's condition, since he left the King's side to save him from the Roboticiser, which causes Sally to regret her harsh words.

Back at Sonic's home, our hero is greeted back by his parents, given a hug by his mother while his father tries to reassure him he understands Sonic tried his best. While his mom goes cook breakfast, Sonic's dad tries to console his still despondant son, but is unable to find the words to do so, leaving Sonic to say "I wish Uncle Chuck was still here. He had all the answers..."

(Ouch. Can we tell Sonic and Jules have a lot of work to do before building a stable father/son relationship?)

We get another Interlude as Robotnik, back at his base, checks out security camera footage of the recent invasion of his dwelling, and notices the Sword of Acorns somehow restored Chuck and Muttsky's free will, then orders his robotic troops to go find it.

Back in his room, Sonic comes to the same conclusion about the Sword, and shares his thoughts about that with Tails, before his mother calls him for breakfast: Chilidogs, what else? (lord knows I consider that a breakfast of champions... =-P) Unfortunetly, all this breakfast does is remind Sonic of Uncle Chuck's Chilidog stand. Meanwhile, a passing Mina smells the food and thinks about her own family, taken by Robotnik, and decides to do something about it...

Later on, Sonic runs out of his house, then sneaks into the Royal Reliquary and stops in front of the Sword of Acorns...

Meanwhile, Sally and Elias are called back at the Hospital and brought before their parents, who're recovering from the surgery. Elias and Sally are both ecstatic to find that not only is their father alive and well, but that their mother is finally coming out of her coma.

And while the Royal Family's subplot ends on a happy note, the image of Sonic running into the woods carrying the Sword of Acorns, while being watched by a mysterious figure, already launches us into a new storyline.

Rating: Rings

Well, Karl Brollers has followed up the last issue with a great conclusion for the Royal Family storyline: the Acorn family is once more reunited after years of heartache and seperation, in a heart-warming scene beautifully rendered by fry and Pepoy. In spite of a few lulls in the pace here and there (like in the Robotropolis Interludes), this story delivers with interest. It's interesting to see how Sonic and his parents haven't been really able to build a strong relationship without Chuck's help. I hope this gets resolved in future story. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to the next issue.

"Matter of Self-Interest"
Writen by Ken Penders
Pencilled by Steven Butler
Inked by Pam Eklund
We pick up where last issue left off here as well, with Knuckles, Rob o'The Hedge, Antoine, Bunnie and Amy boating across the sea to Albion, talking about Knuckles' past experience with the ancient Echidna homeland, and how he chose not to stay there with the others.

Meanwhile, on Albion itself, our heroes are being observed through videocameras by a leading council of Echidnas (Voyeurism must be an Echidna trait...), including Gala-Na (who wonders why Knux didn't stay last time) and Yanar (the Mitre of the formerly Lost Tribe, who's defending Knuckles' choice). Another one of them talks about some recent guest of theirs, and how Antoine seems to resemble him. Could it be...?

Meanwhile, Rob tells Antoine he doesn't know what happened to the High Sherrif after their last battle, as they land ashore. Knuckles muses that perhaps the Sherrif was someone else's enemy, and that someone else probably took care of him... And as if on cue, Gala-Na pops up and welcomes them to Albion, telling them they'll talk later.

Later, Knuckles is watching the sunset (Wait, didn't the earlier art show it was night?) and thinks about recent developments, while Bunnie and Amy call it a night. Yanar, warned of this, decides to go talk to Knux, and informs him the High Council of Albion knows why he's here.

Before Knuckles can fly off the handle about this, Yanar tells him there's something more pressing concerning his friends: The Former High Sherrif of Snottingham is currently off-line and strapped to a bed in a lab in Albion. Knuckles is brought to see the dormant robot, and is told the High Council has decided to deactivate the guy, for good...

Before the matter can be debated further, however, the High Sherrif suddenly wakes up and tears out of his bindings like the Frankenstein Monster, and attacks Knuckles. We then cut to Antoine and Rob's guest room, as Antoine gets waken in a shock by an explosion outside, and Rob warns him it's time for a battle.

Rating: Rings

This storyline follows last issue's story pretty well, revealing more information about Albion, and showing us how similar Echidna societies tend to be, wherever they're found. And it ends on a highly dramatic cliffhanger. Butler's art is well done, with some good paneling which enhances the storyline. Catch the second panel of the last page, where the High Sherrif and Knuckles' posing match the panel with Antoine and Rob o'the Hedge underneath it. Mind you, there are still a few art bloopers, like Gala-Na's change in hair color from her appearance in Knuckles #14, to Knucles' sunset scene after is was shown it was already nighttime. Other then that, great story, great art.

Overall Rating: Rings