Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #30

Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

We’re back with another issue of everyone’s favorite video game AND furry comic!  Sonic certainly covers a lot of bases, and yes I am aware I’m WAY behind here on these issues which hopefully won’t happen again, but considering my track record with these I’m guessing there’s ALREADY some special issue based on a mobile game or whatever that I’ve overlooked and need to catch up on.  ANYWAY!  With the Zombot arc over, does this get things off to a right start, or were the Zombots merely a symptom of some greater problem with the series that won’t be fixed just yet?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with everyone reeling over the climatic explosion in the sky that sucked away the Zombot virus as well as Sonic the Hedgehog.  This is all part and parcel with being an unflappable hero however, and the only way this could stick is if Sonic had a much more powerful son to take his place.  Knuckles knows what’s up at least, though everyone else is gonna need a bit of time to get on the same page.

“Will you two be quiet!? I’m concentrating here!” … “Any minute now…”
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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – Annual 2020

Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

Somehow this book came out like TWO MONTHS AGO and it just completely flew under my radar which probably says something unflattering about me as the release dates for these is something I actually TRY to keep an eye on. In any case, it’s better late than never and frankly it’s a good time to look at it as the first issue of the new story arc has just come out, and perhaps taking one last look back before moving forward will give us a bit of perspective… or more likely just reiterate how eager I was for the book to go in a new direction. In any case, let’s take a look!
First and foremost, this happy looking cover where everyone is celebrating and looking cheerful? LIES!! This is the annual celebrating the year of the Zombots, and like most of the issues we got during that time, this is filled with enough sorrow and hushed contemplation to make The Walking Dead dismissively roll its eyes. That said, at least it doesn’t mercilessly drag things out as each self-contained story in here is rather quick and there’s a decent amount of cleverness to go with the grim atmosphere. The first story is BIG’S BIG ADVENTURE which admittedly doesn’t SOUND like a harsh and dreadful romp, but take one look at that art style and tell me you’re not supposed to feel an icy chill in the pit of your stomach!

“It looks just like the winter of our Discontent!”
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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #29

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Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

I don’t know about you, but this is a day to celebrate because IT’S FINALLY OVER!!  The Zombot arc certainly had its high points early on, but the longer it continued the more repetitive it all felt which was not helped by an ACTUAL pandemic happening that not only delayed the book for a few months but made the overwrought narrative a bit TOO real.  This is it though; no more Zombots for the foreseeable future because the war is coming to an end as our heroes make our last stand!  Will this story end with a bang that makes up for a lot of its missteps, or is this the final hurdle we just need to get over to move on to new and hopefully better things?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with our heroes in dire straits.  They may have collected MOST of the Chaos Emeralds, but they’re one short and are facing own an endless hoard of Zombots as well as Zavok who’s gone full Kaiju and is spitting atomic breathe at Angel Island.  For a story arc that had no problem taking its sweet time getting anywhere, these last few issues have certainly picked up the pace with this one in particular trying to do about five issues worth of content all in one go to finally bring this arc to a close.  Hey, I’m not complaining considering how much I grew to loath the Zombot arc (would have been MUCH better if they cut the number of issues in half), but that means there’s WAY too much going on for me to give proper context to here so I’ll try to explain.  We’ve essentially got one story going on with Metal Sonic, Regular Sonic, and Silver trying to attack Zavok and get that final crystal while everyone else on the Island gets to have their last-minute hero moment or tragic ending.  Knuckles starts having a fistfight with Zombot Shadow, Whisper confronts Zombot Tangle (though at least this time they don’t give her an over the top reaction), and Eggman acts like the total jerk-bag you see in every zombie movie; down to the humiliating death scene to punish him for his utter hubris!

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“NOT THE FROGS!!  MY GRANDMOTHER SAID IT WOULD END LIKE THIS!!”

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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #28

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Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

Do you know how long it’s been since the last Sonic comic came out?  It was March twenty-fifth; back in the halcyon days where we thought we could “prepare” for the virus and that we were going to take steps that would ACTUALLY make a difference instead of just delaying the inevitable backlash from the MY FREEDOMS crowd.  Needless to say, it has been a rough three months and having Sonic back is certainly something I’m happy for to distract me from the horrors of the world even if we’re still stuck in the Zombot arc which frankly feels a bit TOO relevant considering the way the world has changed but I’m frankly too exhausted to get mad at it anymore.  At least I HOPE it’s not bad enough for me to get mad at it again!  Is this issue a fun and fulfilling distraction that gets us closer to the end of the arc, or will I be begging them to wrap this nonsense up now more than ever?  Let’s find out!!

Where we last left our heroes, they were in the midst of a massive guerrilla attack on the Deadly Six who have taken the Chaos Emeralds for themselves and are underway in taking over the Zombot blighted world.  Amy and Tails got the emerald held by Zomom which went well enough, but despite Cream and Gemerl getting Zeena’s emerald as well, they were essentially lost in the battle.  This issue covers the rest of the teams getting their emeralds so thankfully they aren’t mercilessly dragging these fights out like I had feared, and for the most part, they’re fun little action set pieces with a variety of tactics and character moments.  First up is Silver and Whisper taking on Zor; the resident Goth of the Deadly Six.  Zor is fast and it’s taking all of Silver’s power just to keep him occupied while Whisper and her Wisp buddies set the trap.  Apparently, Whisper’s gun fires a REFRACTABLE beam of energy, and so the wisps surround Zor holding crystals to essentially encase him a flurry of lasers; one of which hitting the Chaos Emerald and detaches it from him.  Without missing a beat, Silver grabs the emerald and takes them all back through the portal to Angel Island; leaving Zor to his fate that he seems a little TOO pleased about.

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“Gosh, why didn’t I just lose in the first place!?  This is WAY better than enslaving the world!”

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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #27

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Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

Welp!  They’ve finally done it!  After months of repetitive drama and convoluted storylines clogging up this series, we FINALLY have an issue that I didn’t hate!  Sure there’s a bit of bitter irony in the fact that this series finally decided to lighten up a bit at the same time the world decided to turn into a nightmare (I give it six months before Death Stranding’s science fiction becomes more than speculative), but how have they managed to put a smile on my face after spending this much time so firmly hitched to the Walking Dead bandwagon?  Did they finally realize their error and went off in an entirely new direction, or have they found an angle within this miserable story arc that actually had some appeal to me?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with Tails and Amy working their butts off to outsmart, or at least outrun, their chosen Zeti opponent Zomom who is proving to be more difficult than they were anticipating.  It’s a fine chase with a few good twists and turns but I’m not too keen on the constant big foolish fat guy jokes, though I guess IDW has to work with what Sonic Team gives them and it’s not like Zomom showed much depth of character when he was swinging that hoagie around in Sonic Lost World.

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This guy has even less dignity than The Greedy from that Raggedy Ann movie.  At least that dude could sing!

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Cinema Dispatch: Bloodshot

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Bloodshot and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by David SF Wilson

Is it just me, or did anyone else think this movie was about a vampire?  I mean it’s not like BLOODSHOT is some sort of household name to rival that of Iron Man and Thor, and with a name like that I’d have pegged them as a Blade knock off more than anything else!  Well whatever this movie is about (a ROBOT vampire maybe?), it’s yet another vehicle for Vin Diesel who’s really had a bad luck streak in recent years as he’s been trying so hard to escape the Fast franchise to do his own thing but to no avail, and now he has to pretend that John Cena is his brother or whatever the heck is going on in that move that we won’t be seeing for another year.  Just when he thought he was out, THEY PULL HIM RIGHT BACK IN!!  Is this the one that will be the new franchise starter that he needs to escape the shadow of the Fast and Furious franchise?  I mean… probably not, but let’s find out!!

Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is your typical action movie hero.  He works for a SUPER SECRET SEAL TEAM SIX type outfit for the US military, and he’s covered in all sorts of scars that his beautiful wife (Talulah Riley) lovingly caresses whenever he returns from another world saving mission.  Sounds about right for a typical action flick, but where’s the motivation for vengeance?  WHERE’S THE INCITING INCIDENT THAT CALLS OUR HERO TO VIOLENCE!?  Oh wait, there it is!  Some dude (Toby Kebbell) kidnaps him and his wife looking for information, but when Ray doesn’t have the answers he’s looking for he kills the wife and puts a bullet in Ray’s head; an act that would kill a lesser man, but Vin Diesel isn’t about to be put down by a small amount of lead to the cranium!  Instead, he manages to survive the shooting and his body Is recovered… somehow by SUPER SCIENTISTS working for Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce) where it’s brought to his SUPER SCIENCE company and is fixed up good as new by basically turning him into Million Ants Man; only instead of ants it’s NANOBOTS!!  With this new power he can recover from ANY damage, can punch things REALLY hard, is able to connect to basically any computer… BUT WILL THAT HEAL THE HOLE THAT IS LEFT IN HIS HEART!?  Of course not, so almost immediately he starts to search for the man who killed his wife and plots his revenge despite the consternation of Dr. Harting and his rag tag group of cyborg buddies including Katie (Eiza González) who has a robo-lung and seems to be hiding more than just her giant chest mounted ventilation system.  Will Ray find the man responsible and bring him to justice in a very violent fashion?  Why did he kidnap Ray and his wife in the first place considering he didn’t have any information to give him, and is there more to this horrific act of violence than Ray initially suspects?  Why the heck is even called Bloodshot!?  Is it REALLY just because he has red eyes sometimes?

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“Hey buddy, do you need help or something?”     “All I need is to bath in the blood of my enemies and hear their screams as they take their last painful breath…”     “Okay… well how about some eye drops?”     “I mean… I won’t say no if you have some.”

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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #26

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Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

Are we still in the Zombot story arc?  Yup!  Do we now have to fight the Zeti who are showing up at the last minute?  Yup!  Do I still not particularly care about this story; especially since we’ve been dealing with it for so long now?  YUP!!  Is it better than the Sonic movie?  Well… we’ll have to see about that.  Let’s get started!!

The issue begins with Eggman and Tails using their Smart Brain powers to cobble together a multi-teleportation device using the Warp Topaz that they… “borrowed” from Dr. Starline who is shall we say… temporally displaced at the moment.  The master plan here, which I can only assume (and hope) is the final confrontation of this arc, is to battle with the Zeti to get back the chaos emeralds so that Sonic can go SUPER SONIC which will wipe out the Zombot virus… somehow.  I don’t know, they’re the Chaos Emeralds!  You could tell me they can bake a perfect soufflé and it’d be far from the least believable or most outlandish power we’ve seen them have!  Speaking of which, why doesn’t Knuckles protect them as well as the Master Emerald?  What, keeping an eye on the BIG rock takes up so much time and energy that he can’t look after the little ones too!?

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“Oh will you relax?  Worst case scenario, we’d just us the Chaos Emeralds to wish for a new island!”     “THAT’S NOT HOW CHAOS EMERALDS WORK!”     “Jeez, Knuckles!  When did you become so cynical?”

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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #25

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Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

Honestly, I’d much rather be talking about that Sonic movie right now than force myself through another issue of Sonic of the Living Dead.  Heck, I’d rather watch that movie with the ORIGINAL DESIGN than have to read any more pages of these characters being miserable rather than doing anything fun, but this is the storyline we’re stuck with and we’re getting ever so close to the end of the arc; so screw it!  Let’s put on our game face and make get through this together!!

The issue begins with what PROBABLY should have happened eight issues ago which is the remnants of The Restoration (and the survivors) going to Angel Island to crash at Knuckles’s place until the main characters sort this all out.  Sure it’s more dramatic for them to go through all those tragedies instead of going to the safest place possible, but there needs to be a REASON why they didn’t try that right off the bat and one is never given.  It wouldn’t even be that hard as Knuckles could have said that they couldn’t risk exposing the Master Emerald to the virus, but that’s simply not the case since Sonic is right making himself at home!

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“Some would say overly long and pedantic, but let’s worry about one thing at a time.”

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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #24

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Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

I had NO idea that this issue was coming out which I feel is rather understandable since IDW decided to release it on Christmas Day, and I only found out after Ian Flynn sent a tweet about it.  The tweet ALSO promised that this is the last issue of utterly agonizing misery (my words, not his) before our heroes start to rally and bring this zombot saga to a close.  You know what?  Fine.  I’ll muster through one more of these and hopefully I can start enjoying this series again in 2020.  Can the end of the bad times be of any more interest than the last half a year’s worth of interminable issues, or does this arc plan to end as it started; by annoying me in a very repetitive way?  Let’s find out!!

Once again we find Sonic in yet another town being overrun by Zombots while The Resistance (or Restoration?  I don’t even know anymore) tries to evacuate survivors; saving comrades in need with his super speed, thinning out the Zombot hoards with his OP powers, and putting out fires wherever they crop up.  He’s more or less the player character in the most depressing version of Dynasty Warriors… so basically Dynasty Warriors 9.  HA!  Take THAT, game from two years ago!!

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“It appears that our fellow officer has been defeated.”     “Yikes!  I can feel my morale dropping already.”     “Too soon, Sonic.”

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Super Comics: Tangle & Whisper – #4

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Tangle & Whisper as well as Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

And so we come to the final issue of the Tangle & Whisper series; also known as THE ONLY THING KEEPING THE SONIC COMIC RELEVANT WHILE THEY LABORIOUSLY WORK THEIR WAY THROUGH A DULL AND DERIVATIVE ZOMBIE STORY.  It’s a much more descriptive title to be sure, but I don’t think they had enough room to put it on the cover so they went with the shorter one.  It’s definitely been a fantastic ride as each issue showed us more and more of Whisper’s backstory as well as the growing relationship between her and Tangle which I hope to see more of in the future, but for now we’re here to see how it all comes to an end with their final confrontation against that jerk Mimic!  Will it be a satisfying end to a fantastic mini-series, or will the culmination of Whisper’s story arc end in a disappointing fizzle rather than a satisfying bang? Let’s find out!!

The issue begins on a quiet yet intense moment with our heroes preparing for the coming confrontation on the remains of Whisper’s home from long ago.  Tangle is keeping a watchful eye out for Mimic’s arrival while Whisper steels her nerves for the battle ahead; adjusting her weapons and ensuring their effectiveness as a way to pass the time which seems to stand still in the middle of this quiet ocean base.  By the way, if the MGS references weren’t obvious enough with the one female sniper in this series being named after both female snipers from that series, the base in question looks suspiciously like a stripped down Mother Base.  Someone’s certainly a Kojima fan, and I’m bracing myself now for the scene where Whisper has one of those wisps inside a giant test tube strapped to her chest.

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“GAH!  IT’S METAL SPHERE!”     “Metal Sphere?”     “The deadliest and roundest weapon in Eggman’s Army!”     “Eggman’s Army?”     “Okay, are going to repeat EVERYTHING I say?”     “Everything you say?”

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