Sonic Super Special #13 Review by Rolland Therrien
From the time of the apostles, 13 has been a number used in superstition to announce terror, bad luck and calamity. The thirteenth issue of the Super Sonic Special series only serves as proof that sometimes, superstitions hold true. SSS#13 isn't a very good special.

It starts out with a two-page recap of the last few issues, up to Sonic #82's fight between Sonic and Chaos. We then cut to the Station Square hotel, where Sonic brings everyone up to speed on his fight. Mayor Bullyani thanks Sonic, but makes a comment on how the creature Sonic fought sounds like an old local legend: Perfect Chaos, which is linked to the ancient ruins outside the city. Before he can say anymore, however, Nate asks where Amy went (You'd think he'd wait until after the plot information is completed before bringing her up).

No-one knows where she's been since yesterday afternoon. Gee... and to think, they brought her along so they could KEEP TABS ON HER... Anyways, Sonic comes to the speedy conclusion that Amy's disappearance and Chaos' first appearance are linked, and that Dr Robotnik is the connection. Sally decides to split up into 3 teams, so as to give the illusion that the teams Sonic isn't on will be doing something important.

While Antoine and Bunnie are set on the sidelines with the excuse of "looking for Amy" in the city (like that's gonna do any good), Sally and Nate go "hunting for background" at the Station Square library and learn of Chaos'origin. For those who didn't get Sonic #82 (and I nearly didn't), a wandering tribe of Echidnas who entered the territory of Perfect Chaos, a living God of Water, and pissed it off. Chaos' people, the Chao, trapped Perfect Chaos' energy into 7 Super-Emeralds, unique items that were spread across the globe. Now, for those who keep track of continuity, one of them was the Super-Emerald Nate Morgan found a long time ago in the Temple in Sonic #67, and which was later used to give Sonic his Sonic Adventure Make-over and then made into the power-source for Sonic and Tails' new plane. And Nate also made the wish-granting Ring of Acorn out of it's energy. Not good for Amy, who is now impermeated with it.

We cut to Sonic and Tails, (aka the "Important ones"), who are flying around in their plane, looking for Chaos. They go check out those ruins the Mayor mentionned earlier, and find Knuckles, along with Tikal (spelled Tical now) in "flying ball of light" mode. But before Knux can finish explaining why he's there, Chaos attacks. Chaos knocks back Knuckles and steals the Chaos emeralds he had, absorbing them into himself. Tails sees some more Master Emerald fragments and decides to save those before Chaos (who's gotten larger) can get past Sonic and Knuckles to get at them.

Unfortunately, Tails gets tripped by Dr Robotnik, who scoops up the Emeralds and feeds them to Chaos, who grows even bigger and changes shape a bit. Dr Robotnik then explains that whenever he feeds Chaos a shard of the Master Emerald, Chaos grows more powerful. And when Chaos aborbs all seven Emeralds, he'll become Invincible, and destroy the hidden city of the Ancients, so he can build Robotnikland!

Hold it right there. Which is it? seven Super-Emeralds, or seven pieces of the Master Emerald? This is my only beef with Archie continuity, really. The undefined and ever-changing concept of the Chaos Emeralds. In the games, it was simple: there were Seven Chaos Emeralds, which were like a set of unique magical items. Sonic would need all seven items to become Super-Sonic, and so on. Then Archie messed it up by turning Chaos Emeralds into rare, but still plentiful rocks that irradiate energy or some such. Which gives us complicated attempts to mesh with the game continuity. But that's a whole other rant.

Back to the fight: The Triple Threat do a triple move on Chaos, with Knuckles knocking it into the air, Tails blowing a sandstorm on in and Sonic using super-speed friction heat to incase it in glass. It almost works, until Chaos breaks free and escapes with Dr Robotnik.

We leave our heroes (who decide to go in pursuit) and cut to Big the Cat, aka "The Sideshow", who's tracked his frog buddy by smell into the middle of a river. While he decides what he do next, Robotnik's new Egg Carrier emerges from the depths right under him, stranding the poor Cat on top of it.

A short moment later, Sonic and Tails catch up to the Egg Carrier in the Tornado, and get shot at by it. Odd how Robotnik's security systems can notice the approach of Sonic's plane, but completly miss a large Cat right on top of it, huh? Figures Eggman would mess THAT up. Sonic and Tails transform the tornado into it's jet mode (in a panel clearly drawn by Spaz) to dodge the missle fire, but have to crash unto the Egg-carrier since there's no landing gear in that mode.

We cut to Knuckles, who apparantly has been spending the past hour or so standing on a cliff, pondering (brooding heroes like him tend to do that) and finally decides to go to the Hidden City of the Ancients to warn everyone of Chaos. Back on the Carrier, which is shifting into Drill Mode to go through the Hidden City's mountain walls, Sonic and Tails move to the bridge, where Robotnik and E-102 Gamma await. Eggman just sics Gamma on them and leaves.

Back to Knuckles, who's flying around when he gets a wierd vision of Tails' plane flying towards the Egg Carrier (never mind the fact they're actually miles away), inwittingly delivering a Super-Emerald to them. Knuckles decides to help them, and Suddenly finds himself on the carrier, wondering how we got there. Honestly, so do we. Must be Bollers and Penders being lazy writers. It would've been easier just to have Knux tag along with the Knotholers, mind you.

Meanwhile, Sonic beats Gamma rather easily, but gets interrupted by Amy just as he's about to tear it apart. Amy tells Sonic Gamma saved her, and begs him to spare it. We then cut to Big, who finds his froggy pal, who coughs up a Chaos Emerald, which matches one Big found on his way there (I guess that's something from the game, though we're never told) While Big wonders what to do, Robotnik snatches the stones and feeds them to Chaos, while telling it to absorb the frog too, which still contains Chaos' tail (so that's what it was the frog drank).

While Chaos transforms, Sonic tells Tails to get Amy out of there, while Gamma just leaves. Sonic then goes after Chaos, finds Big, and just sits on the sidelines while Big's pet frog leaps into Chaos, going after one of those Chaos emeralds again (geez... can you say STUPID?). While Knuckles arrives and sits by Sonic, Big uses his fishing rod to pull out the frog and walks away, leaving Sonic and Knuckles to wonder, most likely, where in their contract it states they have to step aside and let a bit-part character take the spotlight away from them.

Meanwhile, Dr Robotnik finally goes into action, summoning Ice-bots to attack Sonic and Knuckles, who have finally started moving against Chaos. The ice-bots freeze the heroes in place, while Chaos approaches (That's Robotnik's definition of a "fair fight", by the way.) Before Chaos can fully absorb Knuckles, however, Sonic knocks an Ice-bot into it, freezing it solid and giving them the time to break free from their ice-shackles before shattering Chaos into a lotta pieces.

This somehow provoques a chain reaction that blows up the Egg Carrier (villainous ships ALWAYS blow up at critical times. It's a rule), forcing Robotnik to fly away. Sonic wants to use the Tornado to do the same, but Big rudely steals the plane before he can (that's the second plane Sonic loses. You'd think he'd start using the Club), forcing him to bum a ride with Knuckles.

We end this special with a short multi-panel scene showing Sonic and Knuckles parting company ('till next issue), Amy being reunited with the Freedom Fighters, Big having crashed the Tornado back home and Dr Robotnik flying off with a piece of Chaos still stuck to his egg-pod. Looks like this storyline is on-going...

Rating: Rings

This story could've been better. MUCH better. Ron Lim doesn't seem to be good at drawing furries, as Sally and Bunnie look like shaggy dogs rather then a bunni or a squirrel. Bollers and Penders seem to be having quite a lot of difficulty joining the game and comic universes (not a new problem, but this is the first time it's been this messed up), especially with the Chaos Emerald situation, an issue someone at Archie comics needs to define seriously.

The plotline, at points, looks like it was hacked and poorly reassembled, such as when Knuckles is "teleported" unto the Egg Carrier by writer's fiat, or when the main heroes have to take a back seat while Big the Cat does "his stuff".

Also, the vaunted "complete adaptation" of the Sonic Adventure game is anything but "complete" We barely get a fraction of Sonic and Knuckles' games, none of Tails' game, only a few scenes from Amy and Gamma's games and Big the Cat taking up everything else... Makes me wonder how much Big paid Bollers and Penders for the extra lime-light.

Let's hope the following titles will be better then this. In the mean-time, I'll be patiently waiting for a "Sonic Adventure Director's Cut Mini-series" to wash up the mess made by this poorly designed storyline "event".


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