Sonic Super Special #12 Review by Rolland Therrien
"Turnabout Heroes"

Well, here's yet another Sonic Special focusing on. Firstly, it retells the "Turnabout Heroes" storyline that was featured in Comic Shop News as a multi-part story.

Well, to make a long story short, after some undetermined previous story, which appears set up before Sonic #75, Sonic and Knuckles end up getting their minds switched, and waking up in their respective home bases, expect they wake up in each other's bodies.

First plot hole right there: If their allies knew who was who, despite their body switch, why did they bring them to different bases, instead of keep both at the same base, where they could research how to switch them back?

After a brief Interlude where Dr Robonik (the Roboticized one, in his disguised form) and Lord Dimitri are gloating together about how they managed to do the mind switch (except Dimitri wanted to kill'em both)

Okay, let's skim a bit: The FFs and Sonic/Knuckles go to the Floating Island and everyone gets ambushed by a combined Swatbot/Dark Legion attack force.

Then, holo-images of Robo and Dimitri show up, and make a deal: Do something for us, and we'll switch you back. Sonic and Knuckles seeemingly accept, and are warped to the villain's base.

Turns out they want the Master Emerald (what else?), which keeps the Master Emerald aloft, so they can power a Chaos Cannon with it, Beta-testing it on the Great Forest. Oddly enough, Sonic and Knuckles accept.

They get warped to the Chaos chamber, talk a bit, then touch the Master Emerald, which emits a blinding flash, which knocks out the spy cam the bad guys were using on them. They then get warped back, and hand over the Master Emerald, which the baddies put in the cannon and fire...

Of course, as you've probably guessed, that Emerald was bogus and scrapped the Chaos Cannon. Sonic and Knuckles (who had their minds switched back by the real Master Emerald, aka the Plot Device) mop the floor with the goon squads, then face the villains, who make their respective escapes (Robotnik's being the "Blow-up the robot body" approach).

Story ends with Sonic and Knuckles exchanging "friendly nemesis" banter, which is now obviously friendly ribbing, rather then the all out character attacks they used to be.

Rating: 0 Rings

Poorly written story, with little believable characterisation, major plot holes, and all-out gross errors all around. In one scene, we see Antoine carrying a rifle, when it's established in K#21 that Mobians never use guns...

The problem here is that this story was first written as a way to introduce new readers to the Sonic and Knuckles universe in the CSN comic strip mini-series. So it takes some "liberties" with the comic's world. That and the 14 parter format of the mini-series kept the writers from writing a full storyline with the story concept.

Which is a shame, since the "mind and body switch" concept had quite some potential as a stand-alone storyline, featuring both heroes not only adapting to new bodies, but getting a look at the world through the eyes of the other, which would've built a better bond between them...

Instead, the concept was wasted on a cheap publicity gambit to draw in more readers, which was reused because they obviously needed a filler of some sort...

Now, the second storyline is another Zone War story.

Zone Wars: "Giant Robotno"

Sonic is having a bad day, it seems... First off, his day off fishing is suddenly interrupted by a ship flying through a dimensional warp, with it's pilot, a counterpart of Princess Sally, showing up and asking Sonic for help with a problem.

Before Sonic can give a definite answer, Zonic the zone cop shows up, reveals that Sally to be an evil counterpart, Sallactor, and calls up her own enemies from the Sentai Zone, the "Science Ninja Team Sonicman", consisting of Sonic, Amy, Knuckles, Tails and, surprisingly, Rotor. (if you don't know what Sentai or that team name mean, go to your search engine and look up "Sentai" and "Science Ninja Team Gatchaman"; you might get the jokes then)

While the transdimensional heroes fight their foe using their Sentai techniques, Sonic is just walking around, feeling really turned off by all this "Zone Zapping" business (We all know how you feel, Sonic), and asks why Zonic bothers to keep track of it all; Zonic tells Sonic it's his job, that's all. He has to go from Zone to Zone, fixing problems, and that often means getting people to where they can help the most. And Sonic gets called the most because he's Sonic Prime, the original version (Some SegaSonic fans might argue that point, though...)

Before the conversation can go further (and after the Sentai guys are warped back home), ZOnic gets an urgent mission call: Some dimension needs urgent help, or millions will die. After some original waffling, Sonic agrees to help, and gets Zoned to a world of Overlanders.

After a few seconds, he sees the major threat: A giant, mutated version of Bunnie Rabbot, Rabbotzilla!! To quote Zonic: "Good and Evil are relative concepts in other zones".

After a moment of hesitation, Sonic finally revs up and runs towards the giant Bunnie, melting the tar under her and trapping her in a makeshift flytrap.

After his victory, Sonic meets the welcome wagon, which includes a good Dr Robotnik, Doctor J. Kintobor, and gets some answers as to what the deak with this Zone is: Turns out this Doc Kintobor split the Chaos Emerald to try and harness the Chaotomic energy, doing it on Knothole Island, and accidentally mutating the animals into their present giant forms, and inexplicably, started to attack Kintopolis (well, if you'd gotten mutated, wouldn't you be ticked at the guys who did it?)

Kintobor has tried everything against those giant mutants: armies (that got vaped), robo-viruses (got Uncle Chuck's counterpart, but Bunnie is only part-robotic now, like her real self), and a trio of giant robots that lack a power source, as of yet. They need the split halves of the Chaos Emerald to work. And Sonic's gonna help get those.

Sonic agrees to become both the pilot and the power source (treadmill style) for "Giant Robotno", a Super Robot in Kintobor's image (it must be a common malady in all versions, good or bad).

Sonic flies the giant Mecha to Knothole Island, where, to his horror, he finds himself pitted against monstrous versions of his friends: Tails, Amy, Rotor, Knuckles and Sally...

Following a harrowing fight against his own friends, which wears down on both his body and his will, Sonic now finds himself against a truly nightmarish scenario: his own mutated father, who has half the Chaos Emerald inbedded in his chest.

After a brief struggle, Sonic accidentally rips the Emerald off of giant-Jules' chest, and the large mutant keels over, apparantly dying... Sonic, in horror, flies off, still clutching the Emerald. Moments later, his giant, mutated counterpart appears, approaches it's dead father, and howls in a mornful wail, seemingly swearing revenge...

Back in Kintopolis, the people are rejoicing, now that their first mechanized guardian is fully operational. Sonic just wants to leave, and does so as soon as Zonic shows up, leaving Kinotbor to wonder who was that young hero, who's shape he gave the first robot, and which he wanted to name after... (May we suggest Metal-Sonic?)

Back in his home-dimension, Zonic congratulates Sonic for a job well done, since now the people in that dimension will be able to defend themselves. Unfortunately, Sonic's in no mood to celebrate... he did kill a version of his own dad, after all.

Zonic, to reassure Sonic, takes off his own helmet and reveals himself as being another version of Sonic, before warping away, leaving Sonic with more questions...

Rating: Rings

This story was actually pretty good; good, dramatic storyline, clever characterisation, a few nice, poignant moments, and even an ambiguous ending. Would've been better if they'd skipped that silly "Sentai Zone" scene, though. All in all, this was a better story.

Overall Rating: Rings