Sonic the Hedgehog and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Archie Comics and Sega of America
So it certainly has been a while since I last touched upon the Sonic the Hedgehog comics, and I decided that, especially in these early issues, things will need to be sped up a bit; especially considering the kind of comics the early issues are. There’s no real continuity or story progression here as each issue has several self-contained episodic adventures, some of which can be only a single page, so trying to recap these issues is akin to trying to recap like two weeks’ worth of Garfield comic strips. To that end, I’ll mostly focus on the larger stories (there’s at least one per issue) and will focus on anything that either expands the mythos and lore, or just simply grabs my attention. With that, lets’ get started!!
Issue 2 (September 1993)
The only thing of significance in this comic is the introduction of Coconuts, Scratch, and Grounder; the primary antagonists of The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (as opposed to the Sat AM series). Sonic naturally kicks the crap out of all three of them (I’m assuming they’ll show up again in future issues) and then the rest of the comic is one offs with requests for reader mail at the end of each one. There’s a cute bit here with readers submitted their own origin stories for Tails and his two tails and the rest of the filler is mildly amusing, but it’s just that; filler to pad out the comic and excuses to come up with WAY too many puns.
Issue 3 (October 1993)
This one manages to be at least more interesting to talk about, starting with its first story which is about the fear of nuclear annihilation during the tail end of the Cold War. Okay, it’s not as interesting as that sounds, but Sonic does overhear Robotnik talking about how he’s finally got a bomb ready which is definitely an escalation of aggression that the Freedom Fighters can’t ignore.
So now that they know of the threat looming over them, what is their plan now? Invade the facility and take the bomb? Set it off inside Robotonik’s base? Invest in hazmat suits and potassium iodide pills? NOPE! These violent terrorists against the Robotnik regime are gonna stand outside his office and protest. That’ll show him!!
Okay, it actually turns out to be a ruse set up by Sonic and his pals to get Robotnik to go outside, and while he’s out there they sneak inside to steal the bomb away. After a convoluted plot involving Boomer wearing a Robotnik suit (where the hell did they even get that!?), the Freedom Fighters retrieve the bomb and take it back to their base to see if they can dismantle it form there. The PERFECT place to do that by the way! So what kind of bomb is it!? A BUG BOMB!! Oh ho ho ho! Will they ever learn!? It’s yet another pun riddled kid friendly cheesy story which is fine, but it does manage to be a bit better if for no other reason than the odd choice in subject matter, though that novelty kind of wears off in the second half of the story. After that we get some filler (nothing of particular note) and then we get to the second big story in here which is the introduction of Bunnie, the half robot rabbit who has the one name you’d expect all rabbits to have; same way every human should be called Guy Person. The story begins with Sonic and Boomer going to investigate some recent activity by Robotnik scouting parties that seem to be getting closer to the Freedom Fighters’ base of operations, during which they stumble upon a small rabbit with a southern accent to rival that of Applejack being kidnapped by a bunch of mechanical goons!
I’m sure glad that this comic isn’t equating a southern accent with redneck stereotypes! Seriously, Yankee Contraption? The hell even IS a Yankee in the world of Mobius!? Sonic manages to decapitate the two robots, but not before they’ve put her in the ROBOT-O-TRON which is turning her into a rob as we speak. Fortunately Sonic is able to turn off the machine, but not before it replaces her legs and one her arms with machinery. I think it also might have given her boobs too. I’m not sure, but she IS wearing a shirt now.
The poor little rabbit seems to have passed out from the sheer trauma of what just happened and the two of them take her back to the Freedom Fighters’ headquarters to see what they can do to help. Fortunately everything is fine! GREAT even! She wakes up, introduces herself as Bunnie the bunny, knows what powers she has, and is more than willing to join the freedom fighting cause!
Look, I know we’re dealing with a comic aimed squarely at young impressionable children, but couldn’t there be at least SOMEWHAT of a learning curve or maybe a moment of distress as to what happened to her? I don’t recall much of anything from the Sat AM series, but that one did manage to have SOME dramatic weight, so why not the comic book as well? Maybe the drama will come in once they realize a GIANT ROBOT IS LAYING WASTE TO THE FOREST ABOVE THEM! This looks like a job for an oddly colored hedgehog and The Bunny-nator! Or maybe just the bunny. She has some SERIOUS upper body strength!
And so the day is saved once again with the added bonus of the Freedom Fighters getting some new muscle on their team! This story was alright I guess and at least it gets us that much closer to the Sat AM world (and therefore better stories) but it has very little impact when read on its own as we learn very little about Bunnie other than she’s got a southern accent and she wants to be a hair dresser. Come to think of it, we STILL don’t know anything about anyone here other than Sally by virtue of her being a princess. Hopefully those backstories will be filled in eventually, but I’m guessing we’ll be dealing with A LOT more filler before that.
Issue 4 (November 1993)
This one doesn’t have nearly as much going for it as the third one, but the one thing of somewhat significance here is the introduction of SUPER SONIC which became a prominent fixture of the series after its appearance in Sonic 2. The comic even namechecks the game and sort of explains how to get it, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Why exactly does Sonic even NEED to go SUPER SONIC? Well Robotnik is doing his usual shtick of turning innocent animals into abominations of science, except this time it’s extra abominable because one of his robots fucked up the formula.
The creature known as Universalamander (hee hee hee) is so powerful that even Robotnik can’t control it and it starts going on a rampage; first at his robot facilities and then to the forest. Sonic tries his best to best the beast, but all he gets for his trouble is a lot of teeth marks as the Universalamander nearly eats him whole. Now he must use the ancient ritual to turn hedgehogs into Super Saiyan knock offs if he has any hope of winning the battle!
A couple of things to point out here. First of all, that’s not really how it works in the game. The checkpoints are vital to getting the Chaos Emeralds, and then once you have all seven AND fifty rings, you turn into SUPER SONIC which is pretty awesome until the later levels in which he becomes an unwieldy liability during precision platforming sections. DAMN YOU WING FORTRESS ZONE!! Now I like the idea of old school comics like this giving you hints about the game back before the internet made every piece of information available instantaneously, but in the context of the book itself, it makes no god damn sense. This is the first time the Chaos Emeralds are even mentioned, yet we don’t get much info on them despite the emeralds being the one major MacGuffin of every sonic game post Sonic 2. Second, what the hell are checkpoints supposed to be outside of a video game!? Are they set up by the Freedom Fighters? Robotnik’s robots? Again, we’re still way too early into the comics for things like “plot” or “world building” to be of importance, so I won’t harp on it any longer; I’m just ready for this comic book series to head in that direction. With the help of his SUPER SONIC form as well as a part from the Robo-Maker truck he destroyed in Issue 3 (CONTINUITY!), he manages to overcome the Mechagodzilla wannabe and save Mobius once again!
That’s really the only story of note here as the other big story (i.e. more than one or two pages) is all about Tails doing his own hero thing while Sonic is taking his Post-Super-Sonic nap. There’s really nothing much going on here, though it is kinda funny to see just how full of himself Tails gets when he has just a small taste of power.
Not a bad issue overall, but the SUPER SONIC stuff will probably get explained in more detail in future issues, so the introduction here probably isn’t gonna be all that vital in the grand scheme of things.
Issue 5 (December 1993)
While the last two issues at least had SOMETHING that would be of relevance in later issues (hell, even the second issue had Coconuts, Scratch, and Grounder), this issue has nothing of the sort and so has to rely on the power of its own self-contained stories. Unfortunately, neither of the big stories in here are that great. The first one involves Robotnik staging some sort of phony Olympics game in the hopes of tricking Sonic and his friends into becoming robots. The wager is that if the Freedom Fighters can win in any event against his machines that he will… I guess give up being a dictator and destroy all his machines. If they can’t though, they become robots. Sonic, the cocky bastard that he is, ignores that this is an OBVIOUS trap (and that Robotnik will never keep his word) and agrees on behalf of the VERY hesitant Freedom Fighters to compete in his tournament. So what’s the catch? Well it turns out that one of the robots managed to switch out Sonic’s Super Shoes for ones that will drain his energy, so the star player is unable to compete.
The Freedom Fighters naturally lose the other events and doom seems to be upon them until Tails finds the shoes and gives them back to Sonic who proceeds to kick the robots’ asses and destroy the Robot Making machine (of which I’m sure Robotnik has dozens). Well that was… not particularly interesting. Is the next one any better? Nope. Boomer buys a mail order ant farm that’s ACTUALLY a Robotnik trap (who the hell else would even producing magazines in this world!?) and instead he sends them a robo-termite. Come to think of it, shouldn’t he now know where the Freedom Fighters’ secret hideout is? How else would he know the address to send the termite too!? Oh well, the termite naturally starts eating everything (while also growing in size) which can only mean doom for the happy residence of this underground cave of traumatized resistance warriors.
They come up with a plan to stop the creature which is to hide some of Sally’s AWFUL cooking (those jokes were lame even back then) inside of a hollowed out log to feed to the termite. It distracts him long enough for Boomer to ACTUALLY do something useful which is to switch their programming to eat metal instead of wood, and I’m sure we all know what happens next!!
If it wasn’t clear already, this issue is just lame. Sure, I may not be the target audience for these stories, but the repetitive nature of the humor (puns! ALWAYS WITH THE PUNS!) and the lack of advancement in any meaningful way means this issue just sits there stagnating and is only made worse by the REALLY dopey premises here that only make the world that much more confusing. Fortunately, I get the feeling that the giant termite or the gigantic stadium that Robotnik made won’t be around for the next issue which means it’ll be that much easier to forget this one even existed.
Well that should just about do it for now! Five issues down… over two hundred more to go. I’m sure I’ll get to them all… eventually.