Sonic Super Special #9 Review by Rolland Therrien
Sonic Kids 2

Here is my review of SSS#9, Sonic kids 2, the further adventures of the young freedom fighters. This issue blends some really cool adventure with some very touching scenes, and reveals more of the past of our favorite heroes, and clears up a few mysteries. All the stories were written by Michael Gallagher, who shows a remarkable gift for touching dramatic stories.

"Zoneward Bound"

The first story is Zoneward Bound, illustrated by Sam Maxwell; We meet up with the young FFs as they are playing snow battle, divided in teams (Sonic and Tails, Rotor and Sally, and Antoine's alone. Sorry dude, Bunnie's not there yet) and generally pummelling poor Antoine with snow balls. One ball goes stray, and hits Rosie. Antoine says she's Sally's Au Pair, which, according to Gabrie's caption, is french for nanny. I doubt it, since I'M french, and we don't use that expression. In fact, it's the first time I've heard of it! I guess Manny needs to get a better french-english dictionnary. Sally gets a scolding from Rosie, and gies into a pout and cry mode that gets everyone sad (either she's sincere, or she's a REALLY good actress!) Rosie apologises for losing her temper and proposes that they go skating on the frozen pond.

They go play a game of hockey, with Sonic ending up hogging the puck and playing solo at super speed while the others are skating around, watching him play. Unfortunetly, he tries so hard to impress his friends that he ends up melting the ice with friction heat! They decide to wiat besides the pond for the ice to freeze up again. Sonic, getting thirsty, goes to a nearby well to get a drink. (Apparantly, Sonic has been this well in an earlier issue. I dont know which, but then I don't consider myself a hardcore know-it-all...) He brings up a bucket of frozen water (that was to be expected) with a golden ring embedded in it! That pond must be the power ring lake. Asking themselves wheter or not it has worth, the young FFs demonstrate that they are obviously unaware of it's true nature as a power ring. They leave it by the side of the pond (which has now refrozen) and go back skating to do "the whip", unaware that the ring has started to glow. After a brief stint of that infamous song (very disturbing, coming from them), They go out of control and slip towards some weird floating concentric circles, Sally falling in one, Sonic in the other, and Rotor, Tails and Antoine in the third. End of Part one.

Part two: Sally falls out of the circle gateway and lands in a rollercoaster in some weird zone. After a brief wild ride, she quickly grasps control of the situation again, following the teachings of her mentor. At the end of the ride is a giant image of her father's face in cristallized form, confuses her, before the chariot falls off the end of the ride and she falls through the face, shattering it. She then monologuees that her whole world is shattered and the she and the FFs will try to be up to the challenge to carry on in the duties of taking over for him, and the scene ends, going straight to the three other FFs. Hmm. Not the best way to end a scene, in my opinion.

Tails, Rotor and Antoine are in this really weird zone where their respective body parts keep getting traded between one another. Rotor says in one oanel that he thinks they've been transported into a weird zone. Sharp one, ain't he? Antoine finds the exit and they float away, their bodies back as they should be. Rotor says there's a lesson to be learned here, and Antoine agrees: Don't go skating with Sonic! Tails corrects Antoine by saying that dispite what happened, they stuck together and made it out as a team, so this must be some kind of sign! next panel, We see the Ancient Walkers (or at least their masks) observing that the Chosen One (Tails, this proves it!) displays insight, and that they will meet him soon! End of part two.

We meet up with Sonic as he finds himself in a zone. He muses that his friends doesn't know that he's been in one before with Ray and Mighty (the Sonic Arcade game, which will be seriealized in Knux#26). This one is still under construction, so Sonic decides to go see who's building these things, and runs done the Zone pathway, gathering rings as he goes. He instead makes his first meeting with Robotnik instead in a Green hill Zone setting that looks to be under construction. We don't know what Robotnik is looking for but we do know Sonic kicks his tail but good before he ends up speeding out of the zone.

The FFs all exit the zones and land together right back where they started. Before Sally can finish saking to to so, Sonic grabs the bucket and the ring back in the well where they found it. And for a finish, Rosie arrives (oblivious to what has happened) with fresh Pecan Rings for everone. Like they needed new rings...

Rating: Rings

Well, this wasn't a bad story, considering how they just skimmed through the zones and experiences. The ending seemed a little to easy, considering how they just went through what would be harrowing experiences for any other children. Still, it was a fascinating story of wonder and marvel, like a fairy tale experience.

"My Secret Guardian"

Next story: My Secret Guardian; a pre-Robotnik story, this one tells the tlae of Sally and Knuckle's first meeting, mentionned in Sonic #39, the Mecha-Madness special and Sonic #44. It starts with Sally and her father preparing for a trip to a secret place: The Floating Island. How DO you keep a huge thing like an Island secret, anyway? You'd think SOMEONE would notice it every once in while... The King tells Sally that this is a vacation, but doesn't tell her that he's actually looking for his long-lost wife and son. She's been through enough, he reasons. Needless to say, she is extremely surprised when she first sees the island. As they land, a familliar silhouette hides in the bushes, observing...

Sally is just extatic about the Island, and wants to go out exploring as soon as possible. She also hears something in the bushes, meaning she already knows about the eavesdropper. Her father has to excuse himself for a moment, as he has to pay his respects to guardian (in other words, he has to grill him for all he's worth about the whereabouts of his family), leaving Sally to wonder around (most parents would tell their kids to stay put. Must be this reverse psychology we keep hearing about). Sally, a bit miffed, decides to take it out on the eavesdropper and, displaying her extraordinary level of combat training (for her age), does a back flip, grabs a stick and orders him to show himself. It turns out to be young Knuckles, and they introduce themselves, Sally showing off her titles, Knux explaining his matter-of-factly.

They soon become friends, as they have a lot in common (Like incredible duties to take over, and parents who keep a lot of secrets from them). But an argument starts as to who has to most duties to take on (silly, I know, but these are kids here!): Sally thinks being a guardian is small potatoes compared to the planetary throne, while Knux thinks he's got it much tougher, since HE doesn't get vacation time (he needs a better union), and the argument turns into a fight. The fight ends abruptly when Knux accidently brakes a tree. Knuckles is distraught at having destroyed a part of the island's eco-system (psst! It's just ONE tree, Knux! It's not as if you clear-cutted half the forest!), while Sally blames herself for not having been able to get along. Knuckle's dad starts to call out from Off-Screen, and Knux is concerned about his dad finding out he's violated Guardian training rules. Sally vows to keep the friendship a secret, no matter what. The pact is sealed. Sally hides from sight as Knux goes to meet her dad.

Afterwards, Sally is sad because she has to hide her friendship and hopes losing the people she cares about won't become a standard feature of her life (sorry girl, but it will...) Her father meets up with her sometimes has she thinks this and they hug, with Sally just happy her dad's alright. Her father says the guardian was a nice echidna and that he has a son about her age (no kidding!), but he was unavailable. Sally reassures him by saying she has a lot of friends back home: Sonic, Boomer, Antoine... But she's glad she spending time with her father. As thye go off exploring under the glow of the setting sun, Knuckles watches them from a nearby cliff, thinking that he feels that she and him will meet again someday.

Rating: Rings

Well, this was a very good story. Short and sweet, it reveals the details of Sally's first encounter with Knuckles, while explaining why this was kept secret (I think it's a lot of fuss over a tree, but I'm no tree-hugger)... All in all, a very good story.

"Eve of Destruction"

Third and final story: Eve if Destruction; the tale (pun intended) of the birth of Miles Prower, aka Tails. This is a bitter-sweet story if I've ever read one. you'll see.

When join Sally, Sonic, Boomer (aka Rotor) and Antoine playing ball in front of the Prower residence. Mr Amadeus Prower (who looks just like an adult Tails with an eye patch) asks them to go away gently, as his wife needs rest, and they comply, Sally saying that Mrs Rosemary Prower is about to have a child. As they leave, we see Amadeus and Rosemary talking. She wishes he didn't have to go, but he has duties as a member of the Royal Guard (second in command, after Antoine's father, no doubt), But today, the King will dissolve the Mobian Military, after appointing Warlord Julian to the ministry of Science, since the previous minister, Sir Charles, resigned after a classified experiment went horribly wrong (the roboticizer test that left Jules a mindless machine). Amadeus then leaves, intrusting the care of his wife to the young future Freedom Fighters.

We cut to the Royal Science Lab, where Julian is gloating about how, now that he has the lab, he has all he needs to succeed in his takeover plans. The roboticizer, especially, is vital to his plans, and he intends to test it right away, with a poor beaver as test subject. It is at this time that Amadeus arrives, witnessing the roboticization. He confronts Julian and arrests him. Julian, cool as winter, just states that he'd rather be known as Ivo Robotnik form now on, and that he been planning this takeover for a while. AS Amadeus starts to threaten him to surrender, Ivo (still calm) announces that he's already built himself some more mechanical minions. Just as Amadeus is about to finally shoot the guy, Ivo (Still Cool! This guy's got guts!) introduces him to one of them, who is now behind Amadeus: The Swatbot!

Meanwhile, Rosemary goes into labor. While she and Sonic go check on her, Sally, guessing at what's happening, gets Boomer and Antoine to get her wagon. They find Mrs Prower, and carrying her on the wagon at super-speed, Sonic and Sally get her to the hospital on time. A short while later, little Miles is delivered, and the kids get a big congratulations for saving the day. As the King takes the baby to look at him, they see he has two tails! As they all wonder where Miles's dad is, he,completly dressed in sterile clothing (you can't even see his face), arrives with Julian and Snively , apparantly all "buddy-buddy"! Rosemary hands him the baby to see, but he justs turns around and walks away, as if it meant nothing! Rosemary, distraught, starts to cry as Dr Quack and the King try to reassure her that her husband is probably only under a lot of mental pressure at the thought of being a new father. Julian says he'll keep an eye on amadeus, and he and Snively foolow him out of the clinic, but not before the King reminds him that he intends to see that after the dismantling ceremony is finished, there will be some changes around here, to which Julian simply states that yes, there will.

As we shift the scene to the outside of the clinic, we see that Amadeus has been indeed roboticized, which explains his cold attitude towards his family. Back in the clinic, mrs Prower has cried herself to sleep, and now poor Miles is crying himself. Sonic takes him, which calms him down. Sonic simply states, prophetically, that he and Miles are going to be fast friends.

Rating: Rings

Well, This is certainly a bitter-sweet story, just like I said. That one moment where Robo-Amadeus looks at his wife and son, then just turns away, has to be the most tear-wrenching moment I ever saw since Titanic's famous "Live on for me, Rose!" speech! It is also surprising to see how easily Robotnik took over the kingdom. The King practically gave him all he needed to do so! I've read and re-read this story, and I can honestly find nothing so wrong with it that it spoils my reading.

This was, without a doubt, the best Super Sonic Special in ages! If you try to forget the inadaquacies of SSS#8 (and if you can, tell me how) then this tops most of the other specials that have been, including the last Sonic Kids Special! The art was excellent, the stories believable, mind blowing and absolutly heart-wrenching. This is clichéd, I know, but I laughed, I cried, I couldn't stop reading! If they keep up this level of quality, I'll be an avid reader forever!

Overall Rating: Rings