Sonic X #1 Review by Dirk Amoeba
A very good, on-model cover of Sonic-X style Sonic running down a highway looking very much like the one where he raced Sam Speed in episode one of the Anime. A decent cover, all in all. Eye-catching and simple but pretty.
"Savings and Groan"
Writer: Joe Edkin
Penciler: Tim Smith III
Inker: Rich Koslowski
Colors: Ben Hunzeker
Letters: Jeff Powell
Editor: Mike Pellerito
Managing Editor: Victor Gorelick
Editor-In-Chief: Richard Goldwater
Sega Reps: Robert Leffler and Dyna Lopez.
The story begins with a "VROOOM" as Sonic races (on foot) against Sam Speed (in a car), who seems close to victory due to some kind of spiffy new engine. Cheering on Sonic, we see Tails, Amy, Cream, Cheese, and (can you feel the family love?) Chris and Chuck. Cheering Sam is "Paul," a random member of Sam's team. Amy suggests that Tails should throw Sonic a ring, to give him a boost, but Cream gently reminds her that Sonic would never cheat. (Ironically, Sonic wishes at the same moment that Tails would throw him a ring, but believes that Amy would be angry if he cheated).
Anyway, with a little extra effort, Sonic wins by a bit and is rewarded by the praise of his friends, not to mention a kiss from Amy. Sam is quite angry about losing, although Paul and... some girl... console him. Sam vows to redouble his efforts to defeat Sonic.
Then, we look in on Eggman's base (see "Continuity errors," below). Eggman is ranting about how he simply can't get components to build his robots, because he lacks money, which he doesn't quite understand. He orders Decoe and Bocoe to go get some money from an ATM outside a bank in Station Square. That afternoon, they ask the machine for money but don't get much luck. After they're arrested by good old Officer Albright, we cut to a brief scene in which we learn that Mr. and Mrs. Thorndyke have returned home. We quickly return to Decoe and Bocoe returning to Eggman empty-handed. Eggman resolves to rob a bank instead, enlisting a "Packratbot" called BEN-728.
At dinner, the Thorndykes plan to spend some time with their son. They decide to go to their villa on the beach, but they will first need to go to the bank. Everyone's invited, but Sonic doesn't like water... or.. finances... I guess... so he sits this one out. Tanaka (the butler, if you didn't know) waits outside the bank while the Thorndykes plus Tails, Amy, Cream and Cheese wait in line. Tanaka spots Eggman and BEN-728, who invade the bank with a crash. Suddenly... an eight page "The Batman"/Campbell's soup advertising section!
"Unaware of Dr. Eggman's attack," not to mention the Wayne Industries / Campbell merger, Sonic pays Knuckles a visit. Sonic asks Knux if he'd like to go for a run, but Knuckles points out that, unlike Sonic, he has a day job--guarding the Master Emerald. Knuckles then jumps very high for no reason and continues talking.
So, instead, we get to watch BEN-728 laying waste to a bank. After Tanaka vainly tries to judo-chop the cheese out of the ratbot, BEN trains his missiles on the bank vault. A well-placed mallet form Amy redirects the missiles toward Eggman, who is then divided between whether to go for the vault or get revenge on Amy. Amy it is. However, Sonic hears that something's going down and comes to the rescue.
However, Sonic's having a little trouble so Tails tries to throw him a ring. But alas, Tails is hit by BEN, causing his rings to scatter (SEGA games, anyone?). Sonic catches a dropped ring and trashes BEN, who is powered by a small mouse. In all the excitement, Sonic completely fails to notice that Eggman has gathered the scattered rings, and he escapes with them. Then, Sam shows up, late for the action, and resenting the heroics on Sonic's part.
A few days later, the President himself shows up to thank Sonic and to ask him about a very important mission. At the same time, we see Eggman admiring his rings and gloating that they will be Sonic's downfall. To be continued, duh.
Tim Smith's art is fairly on-model, colorful, and usually pretty cool to look at; however, the quality proves inconsistent. While some panels look almost like screenshots of the Sonic X anime, others look simply ridiculous, notably the pictures of Chuck on pages two and three. With more practice on Sonic and friends, Tim Smith could be an excellent penciller, and he manages to portray the action of the story quite well.
Silly Knuckles. I fell in a vat. That's why I was colored strangely.
The major continuity error has been addressed constantly by fans. Eggman's base seen in this issue was actually destroyed in episode 13, but this issue is supposed to take place between episodes 32 and 33, or between the events of Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 (This in itself is kind of a continuity error because episodes 32 and 33 seem to take place one after the other, so I don't know how this could be worked out. But I'm willing to let it slide, I guess). Joe Edkin has admitted that the base appearing in this issue was entirely his bad, which is really cool. Even cooler, he's apparently worked it into a gag which will appear in a later issue. This is hopefully going to be better than Archie's terrible explanation in Knuckles #29 of Sally's odd coloring during the early days of Archie-StH.
I know it's silly of me, but I expected a bit more Cream and Cheese in this issue. Mostly, this is because the dynamic duo have been left out of the Archie-StH comic on the basis that we'd be seeing them in this book. I know it's only the first issue, but Cream seemed like she was present for no reason, to an even greater extent than the show.
Cream is usually a passive character inthe show, but many of the best episodes and scenes seem to feature her prominently and she's a character with a lot of potential. Hopefully, Edkin plans to give her a bigger role. I'd like to see more of Cream and Cheese!
A Knuckles Sandwich
I call it a Knuckles Sandwich because Knuckles appears for only one page, in the very center of the book (Not counting the insert). And, like the meat in the sandwich, he is quite seperated from the rest of the story, ie the roll. Which is to say he does NOTHING. The story could easily function without that entiere page. In fact, it functions better! His inclusion in this story only proves to the fans that Edkin hasn't forgotten about him. All right, that's fairly important, but Knuckles isn't in every episode of Sonic X and I don't see why he must necessarily be in every issue of the comic, especially when he's not needed.
The Lord of the Rings
I think the inclusion of rings as a major part of this story was quite interesting, especially since rings are unexplained in the Sonic X cartoon and are almost entirely abesnt from the Archie-StH book. In fact, in Archie-StH, Robotnik once coveted the rings, a plot point which has been completely ignored since (I believe) issue 52's "Reality Bytes." With that fact in mind, I thought it's pretty cool that this story is going in such a direction. And speaking of rings...
All the Small Things
Edkin has given us a couple little SEGA-related gifts, such as the rings flying from Tails when he was hit and the inclusion of a small mouse that was powering the ratbot. This type of little SEGA touch is something that Archie-StH is starting to get a lot of, and that's cool because it's pretty far from the SEGA continuity, but it's pretty nice when it's used here as well.
Since when is he "The" Batman, anyway?
Am I the only one who's getting really annoyed by the huge amount of ads, particulary the large Batman insert? Apparently, this ad section is killing Sonic-Grams, Off Panel, Fan Art, and Find Your Name in Print in the Archie-StH book. This is pretty obnoxious.
Overall Score: 8.5
It was a very good start, full of fun and some nice touches which laregly make up for its flaws.
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