Sonic the Hedgehog and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Archie Comics and Sega of America
It’s time once again for everyone’s favorite hedgehog rear his spiky head once again and mildly amuse us with woodland critter shenanigans and an endless barrage of painful puns! The last two issues did show some marked improvement as the series seems to be slowly heading in the right direction, but issue six also had the inexcusable Christmas Carol retelling so there’s definitely lots of room to improve. Is there anything that terrible in these two issues? I doubt it considering how deep of nadir that one story carved out for the series, but let’s find out!!
Issue 8 (March 1994)
I guess after seven issues without getting cancelled, the writers of the Sonic comic felt they could start taking shots at the competition; hence why the first story in this issue is about cracking wise at the entire superhero comic book genre. The justification for this is that one of Robotniks robots is caught with a huge stack of comic books (a crime punishable by death in the glorious robo-empire) but the leather clad beefcakes on the covers start to give Robotnik ideas on how to stop that pesky hedgehog! TO THE ROBOT-A-TRON!!
So first up on the chopping block is an obvious Batman analog, though they don’t really have much to say about the character and just use the general design. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much for Sonic to disassemble him which means that robotnik needs to show off his next comic book inspired monstrosity; THE WOLVERINE! Well… actually there was a mix up at the robo factory and they got something much worse…
Oh how cheeky these writers are! If you aren’t deeply entranched in the Sonic the Hedgehog media empire (and why WOULDN’T you!?), Jaleel White (who played Steve Urkle on Family Matters) was the original voice for Sonic the Hedgehog in Sonic SatAM, The Adventures of Sonic the hedgehog, and even Sonic Underground. Like with Botman though, there’s not a whole lot to Urkelbot 9000 other than the visual reference which is probably why he disappears after two panels. Don’t worry though! Robotnik is far from done making references to the nineties! In fact, the next robot he has planned is probably the most nineties thing imaginable wrapped in a REALLY terrible pun. It is GLORIOUS!
Damn guys. This was back when people actually gave a shit about Todd McFarlane so I have to give the Sonic team some props here for attacking such a sacred cow; something that they probably couldn’t get away with today with any contemporary creator considering the current state of comic book fandom. As one note as the jokes about Batman and Urkel were, this ABSOLUTELY makes up for it! Speaking of Todd McFarlane…
Sonic manages to take the Spawnmower out pretty easily (he pushed him over a cliff while he was doing his poses) and gets ready for whatever else Robotnik throws at him. From there they run through a few more jokes before ending with Sonic on a pile of scraps from all the phony superheroes he’s disassembled. Robotnik is next up to incur the wrath of Sonic, but he slips and falls off the mountain of spare parts which gives the mad tyrant a chance to escape and plan his next attack! This is actually one of the better stories we’ve gotten in the comic book series so far as the shtick had more focus rather than doing lame puns (these were lame puns WITH A PURPOSE) and I hope that they can keep this level of quality up going forward. The next story starts with Sonic finding a guitar and serenading the Freedom Fighters with merry tunes; one of which makes it all the way to Robotropolis and hits Robotnik right in his metal ears; sending him into a furious frenzy because apparently he hates all music. Oh and look! Snively’s finally in one of these!
Fortunately for Robotnik (and Snively’s hide) his little suck up scientist has just finished a miniaturization device that will no doubt be the ONE THING that will finally take down Sonic and the Freedom Fighters! Where will Robotnik find them though? Why at the Mobius Music Hall of course! This is the place where Sonic found his guitar and hopes that the other Freedom Fighters can find an instrument they like as well. The building is dilapidated and left to disrepair as yet another casualty of Robotnik’s takeover of the planet. I always like it whenever the series touches upon the cataclysm that has affected all their lives and we’ll probably get into that in more detail once Robotnik goes from a bumbling fool to a character with some real menace.
Robotnik however seems to have been able to track them to this location (probably due to some bullshit device that they’ll forget he has in the next issue) and blasts them all with the shrink ray! Unfortunately, Sonic is just as hard to catch when he’s tiny as he is when he’s regular sized, so Robotnik’s attempts to suck him up with some sort of vacuum fail miserably. Not only that, but the rest of the Freedom Fighters start taking shots at him too; using the environment to their advantage.
Robotnik, knowing exactly where this is going, calls upon his entire robot army to steam roll the place which is something that even Sonic would have trouble stopping. Fortunately, the shrink ray’s effects wear off just then (apparently it only shrinks something for an hour though there’s no way that this scene at the music hall was even half that amount of time) and they decide to use the one thing that will surely send Robotnik packing. MUSIC!! They all grab an instrument, start playing (poorly I presume) and Robotnik runs out of there almost as fast as sonic would; dropping the shrink ray while doing so. Well isn’t THAT convenient!
While this issue is pretty much pointless (no major developments other than Snively’s introduction to the comic series proper, though we knew he was coming at some point), it was a rather fun one. Obviously I got way more laughs out of the first story which took the piss out of the Dark Ages of comic books, but even the second story managed to be amusing and continued to flesh out the world that’s been devastated by this mad robotic overlord. There’s still a ways to go for this series, but I think I really think that it’s starting to find its voice.
Issue 9 (April 1994)
The issue begins with Robotnik having finished his latest and most INGENIOUS invention; Metal Sonic! No wait… PSEUDO Sonic! Okay…
So by the time this issue came out, Sonic CD (which introduced Metal Sonic) was out for a mere five months. I have no idea exactly how long it takes between an issue’s script being finalized and when it hits the store shelves, but I’m gonna guess that five months is probably not a lot of time to integrate this kind of character into the comic books. Just for comparison, Super Sonic was introduced in Issue four which was released a full year after Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Hell, if I were to guess, this fake Sonic’s name was PROBABLY Metal Sonic or something very similar before it was changed to Pseudo Sonic to purposefully not invite those comparisons. I mean seriously, Pseudo Sonic? That’s such an awkward name that I can’t help but think it wasn’t their first choice. Anyway, Pseudo Sonic’s plan is to find the secret base of the Freedom Fighters and pretend to be the real Sonic so he can transmit whatever info he finds back to Robotnik. Sounds easy enough, but what about the real Sonic? Is Pseudo Sonic gonna take him out first? Nope! Conveniently for Pseudo Sonic, the real Sonic JUST SO HAPPENED to get a really bad allergic reaction when out exploring, so he’s out of commission for the moment.
Pseudo Sonic does end up finding the secret base, but funnily enough he doesn’t manage to convince anyone that he’s ACTUALLY Sonic, and Tails manages to take him out really easily with static electricity! I mean, I know that shit can fry a computer, but you usually have to be INSIDE the damn computer to do that. Tails just runs around Pseudo Sonic until he falls to pieces, which is either some bullshit magic-science or Robotnik really is that bad at creating robots. Well now that THAT threat has been decidedly defeated with little to no effort, they take the remains back to Boomer’s workshop to see what they can find out about it. Oh wait, did I say Boomer? I’m sorry… I meant ROTOR.
Yeah, I should probably explain that. So in the Sonic SatAM series, the walrus character is known as Rotor while in the comics he was known as Boomer. It’s odd that they had different names for the same characters, especially considering that both the comic and the show started at the same time, but it looks like they finally decided to keep things simple and renamed him in the last comic while also making cheeky references to that change in this one. So now that the primary threat has been taken care of, what else is there to do? What, you don’t remember!? SONIC HAS GONE INTO ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK!! Okay, it’s not THAT bad, but he is pretty much a sitting duck right now for Robotnik who’s pissed about not getting the coordinates for the Freedom Fighters’ secret base and is damn sure gonna take that frustration out on a helpless hedgehog! Fortunately, Bunnie comes in to kick Robotnik’s ass and send him packing! Seriously, why haven’t they won this war yet when they have the fasting thing alive AND the most bad ass rabbit in the world on their side!?
And so the day is saved once again, with Sonic being rescued and Pseudo Sonic sent to the trash heap! Other than Bunnie’s badass moment at the end there, I was kinda disappointed by this as Pseudo Sonic doesn’t get a chance to fight the real Sonic and he gets taken out before he has a chance to do anything. I’m pretty sure that Metal Sonic is gonna show up at some point later, so maybe they’ll make up for this lackluster outing once he’s brought into the mix. The next story is even less interesting if you can believe it. Sonic finds some sort of rare duck like creature (Sonic refers to it as a Mobian Needle Bird and it has quills along with feathers) that for SOME REASON isn’t anthropomorphic like the rest of the animals in this show, and he takes it back to the Freedom Fighters’ secret base. Let’s just say that it’s met with… mixed feelings.
Okay, so Sally is really not into taking in an animal because… other animals turned out out be robots? You know, there’s a pretty easy way to tell if this thing is a robot! Just give it Rotor and see if he can take it apart! If he can’t (or if it starts to bleed), then all is good! I mean, I GUESS Robotnik could have the technology to make robots that are indistinguishable from animals (Furry Terminators), but wouldn’t he have done that with Pseudo Sonic!? Maybe Sally is just a big jerk and she’s coming up with excuses. Seems like the most likely explanation. Anyway, Sonic takes the spiky duck back to the woods, but since Sally decided to go searching for berries at the same time, she gets captured by a tree robot and Sonic needs to immediately go off to save her. Again.
You can probably recite this story in your sleep. Sonic kicks some ass, things look bad for a moment and then spiky duck comes out of nowhere to save the day! Horary! Now that Spiky Duck has PROVEN HIS WORTH, he’s now free to stay at with the Freedom Fighters… and we’ll probably never see him again.
There was some positive growth for the series in issue eight, but then this issue totally dropped the ball, especially with Pseudo Sonic who didn’t do a damn thing and is clearly a knock off of a much more interesting character, or at least I HOPE they’re a more interesting character. Then again, it’s probably better that we’re made to wait on Metal Sonic as we’re not at a point where a random villain can have any real menace since their plans will be foiled inside of ten pages. That’s probably why issue eight managed to be so much fun as it embraced its goofy premise and told some decent jokes in the short time they had to tell it. Other than this issue one acknowledging that Boomer’s name has been changed to Rotor, you wouldn’t be missing a whole lot if you skipped this one.
That is until I got to the final page of the issue, and I’m pretty sure it speaks for itself.