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Sonic the Hedgehog IDW Comic Megathread

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Dark Sonic, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    Archie Comics also had Mobius be a thing. It's all down to SEGA of America pulling The Matrix and deciding organic batteries sounds better than wetware CPU, despite everyone with a passing knowledge of Biology laughing at that immensely.

    Basically, think this going on inside the robots:


    Bio-Energy is also mentioned in the same thing as the animals being used as CPUs. Of course, brainwaves are also bio-energy, but no one seems to think about that.

    Anyway, this isn't the place for this discussion, so let's leave it there.
     
  2. Pengi

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    I provided a Japanese source from the late '90s, and a second source that's been on the official Japanese since 2007. You don't get to blame the inconsistency on Sega of America.

    Where?
     
  3. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    It's in Gamma's section, right next to Robotnik's. I recall asking you about it since I'd not checked Robotniks when it first came up that he was using them as AI and I was looking at the wrong profile.
    [​IMG]
    But I would say we should probably go to the Continuity Thread if we're going to continue the discussion, since I don't think the IDW Thread is the right place for the conversation.
     
  4. Trickster's Joke

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    I liked scrapnik for the most part.

    It does the thing Ian Flynn has been kinda messing up for the past several years well, by simply having sonic acknowledge what's happening and what lead to this before doing his redemption thing. That isn't to say I dislike surge, she's cool. But I feel like issue 50 was met with a strange mixed response for this reason, or his dealings with metal before. Those scenarios (and a few others )could have come the same and for the former did turn out the same in issue 55,( surge is a mean lady) but I feel a lot of ire was sonic being written like he didn't actually care to hear what anyone was saying before spouting off his mantra. So when sonic sticks to his guns inscrapnik, it isn't because of a condescending selfish stubbornness born out of a lack of characterization , its because he under review believes it to be the right course of action. Its strength of character not an unwillingness to understand outlooks.

    This mini series isn't my favorite, but I certainly enjoyed it.

    Sega's mandates particularly towards shadow are strange and unusual. It comes off to me like a company that know people like a character, but not why. Because the guy who wrote the best stuff is gone and the people who wrote the less than stellar stuff have a warped perception of what it is that makes him tick. Whether that be because ego, direction from higher ups , time, budget what have you.

    All that said, he isn't that way because sega is restricting him, he's that way because the writers both had bad ideas for him and the mandates are making it worse. And I think prime as it goes on will show that this is the case. Every issue that you have with ian flynn's shadow in IDW exists in archie pre-reboot shadow its just that we collectively decided to not remember it because you want to remember the good parts. Minds are weird like that, but multiple "issue 19's " in archie under ian. Ian even admitted that issue 19 was his fault and not sega's and people ignore that.

    Sega is a strange company who clearly does not know what it wants to do with elements of sonic but has some understanding that people enjoy those things and puts them in games. That much is clear, but I think we loose a lot in discussion if we blame all that on sega when there are immediate fixes that can take place under the writers own pens. Prime shadow a shadow that isn't all that different from IDW shadow is being enjoyed a lot more because basic things are being done. And that's on Ian and Evan, I think anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2023
  5. Ura

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    There has been a lot of talk relating to Sonic’s morals and the themes of the comic in general, most of what I have to say has already been said dozens of times by others, so I’ll avoid focusing too much on that for now, I might elaborate more on my own thoughts later if necessary. But, as someone who’s part of the “anti” side of the argument, I have to say, there's two great examples in these minisseries of how the basic concept of "mercy" can make a really fun and satisfying narrative, very different from the feeling I get reading the mainseries


    Tangle & Whisper

    I wanna talk about Whisper specifically because she’s more important. Whisper is a wounded character, someone that was hurt by her past and now has to learn that she still can be happy and enjoy the things she has now, instead of letting the fear of losing them take over her. Basically, it’s a story about moving forward and Mimic is a very important part of this, he’s deeply rooted in Whisper’s trauma, being the one responsible for the death of her friends. This alone creates a very personal connection between them in a narrative sense, Mimic is a threat to her and the catalyst to her personal journey, he’s a problem that she has to deal with and an obstacle she has to get past and he’s also what remained of her past.


    At the end, Tangle and Whisper are able to defeat Mimic, with him immobilized on the ground, Whisper finally can make him pay for everything he did to her, this is only fair, right? While there are multiple ways to see this, it can be argued that in situations like that, killing a person is the right thing to do, but at the same time, what can this do to the one that pulled the trigger? Killing someone is not easy, it can put a lot of weight on your back that you'll carry for the rest of your life. That’s when Tangle gets in the way and explains to Whisper that she doesn’t need to live with that weight, that she can be happier if she doesn’t pull the trigger. This is not her arguing it’s the RIGHT thing to do, that even someone like Mimic deserves to live, it’s not based on morals or principles, but just a very innocent “If you do this, you’ll live with it for the rest of you life”, and to be honest, it also helps she argues that Mimic being alive means he’ll have to live with the fact that he lost to Whisper, which is smaller, but it’s also nice. Of course, they can’t just let him go, so they put him in jail (Well, Tails sent him to jail, but you know what I mean).


    While I ASSUME that Mimic has [at least] seriously hurt a lot of other people, he’s not actually shown killing anybody else. I’m not saying this to make him look less evil in-universe, but I want to call attention how they make the scope here feel smaller, Mimic almost seem like he’s a threat to Whisper more than anybody else, and this is a big part of why this works, this is a small story about a person having to fight and overcome her past, not much more than that. And even then, the villain still gets punished and taken care of so he’s not going to be causing trouble… at least not until you-know-who gets involved, but that’s another story.


    Not killing Mimic is something that means a lot for Whisper’s arc, because it’s a way to show how she’s willing to live the good things in life now instead of letting the bad memories drag her down, yet, she recognizes that Mimic has become her responsibility, as you can see by how she immediately choses to go after him in the flashback from issue 45, we still don’t know where this story is going though, so I won’t elaborate any further.



    Scrapnik Island

    Now, this one is interesting, everything here is completely different from anything else this comic has done in terms of execution and it all begins with the setup, the residents of Scrapnik Island are already reformed and living peacefully on this small island of scrap, so this isn’t a about Mecha Sonic being evil and turning good, but rather another story about overcoming your past and becoming someone that can be happy with what’s currently there for you.


    Mecha Sonic doesn’t really want to beat Sonic necessarily, while a part of him is still Eggman’s original program and he is willing to insert his mind in Sonic’s body, what he actually wants is to get away from the Scrapnik Island and get his revenge on Eggman. The change Mecha gets is not primarily on his morality, but rather he learns to be happier, he learns to value his friends and to stop denying his feelings, that he is more than simply a failure and that he doesn’t need to let his past take the best of him. That’s the kind of change why want to see Sonic making in these characters, I don’t necessarily care about reforming villains, but I want to see people being inspired by Sonic and his actions. That’s why the scene where Sonic cries his tears is great!

    There's also the whole thing with Mecha and Sonic getting their minds linked, which is much more than a referente to the OVA or an attempt at making an improved version of it, it's effectively an "What if" scenario. What if the robot Sonic tried to save didn't have the "the world isn’t big enough for both of us so one of us has to go" mentality? While Metal accepts that, by his own beliefs, he’s just a copy, something that doesn’t need to exist because he lost, meaning that he’s the one that had to go and Sonic had to stay. Of course, the OVA isn't in continuity with IDW, but that parallel works in a meta way, I mean, the story itself makes a few comparisons between Mecha and Metal (The IDW one, obviously) so it's more than natural for the audience to compare a very similar scene shared between the two, but with different results, and the reason why the results are different is because Mecha chooses to improve, he choses to move on and be something new. Again, Sonic didn't turn him good, he didn't go out of his way to tell how he's going to wait for Mecha to start seeing "the truth", Sonic SHOWS him the truth, it's not something that is being done for Sonic, but for Mecha.

    ----

    I don't think that stories about morality are inherently a bad thing, but they definetly need some level of thought put into them. Most of what IDW does to me feels like it's there for no other reason than to say that their story is supposed to have themes about giving seconds chances and letting go of the past, Tangle & Whisper and Scrapnik Island are different however, those stories are truly amazing, and even as someone who've grown to dislike most of this comic series, I really enjoyed these two stories and I hope we get more stuff like that, small stories focused on personal growth and with nice messages that feel real and sincere like that
     
  6. Starduster

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    Your overall analysis is good but I'm going to hone in on this part because honestly it's the only thing that I disagree with to a strong extent. Sonic's morality is a core part of his character, particularly in IDW. It's not some kind of afterthought or hamfisted aseop - Sonic's perspective is clearly spelled out by the time of #50 and it can be applied to everything that comes before and after it to demonstrate how it informs every important decision he makes, particularly when it comes to the treatment of his enemies.

    Sonic tells Surge that in no uncertain terms that how she lives her life is up to her, but that if she starts harming others, he will stop her. This is entirely consistent with:
    • Mr. Tinker - Sonic sees the good Tinker is doing in Windmill Village no longer sees a reason to take him out. He specifically reasons with Shadow (who wants to kill Tinker in case Eggman resurfaces) that everyone deserves a second chance and that he won't be judge, jury and executioner of every jerk who decides to cause trouble, pointedly asking if he should take Shadow down along with Eggman for his own misdeeds in the past.
    • Metal Sonic - Sonic has Tails strip Metal of his lethal capacities and offers to bury the hatchet, but also points out that they don't need to be buddies and Metal can go live on the other side of the world for all he cares, but the important thing is that he gets the chance to be his own person (something invoked later with both Surge and Mecha Sonic).
    • The Scrapniks - While Sonic is initially distrusting towards the Scrapniks, he comes to appreciate that they really are just trying to build a better life outside of Eggman's shadow, and finds a lot of respect for Mecha Sonic in particular as a result of that. His attempt to save Mecha isn't out of a sense of obligation as a traditional hero, but because he cares passionately about the philosophy that everybody should have the option to live as freely as he does, hence why Mecha's self-deprecation and resignation to death angers Sonic before he snaps Mecha out of it.
    And this goes beyond IDW - it's been present since the beginnings of the franchise, pretty much. Here's a short quote that was printed on Sonic 2's Japanese boxart:
    Now does that not sound an awful lot like "You give yourself value and purpose! [...] You gotta live for you! That's what it really means to be free!"?
     
  7. Ura

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    Yeah, fair point. I was, admitedly, very wrong about Sonic's morals not being important to the story, they are. I ended up ignoring a few aspects of what the comic is trying to say just to convey the fact that I'm unhappy with the stories we usually get in IDW.

    The reason why I reached that conclusion is because I was seeing from the villains perspective. Issue 23 being a good example of what I mean, from Eggman's point of view, I don't know what I should think of that interaction. Sonic asks why can't Eggman be more like Tinker, but we already know why and we know Eggman is not even going to think about changing his ways. I also don't care about Eggman having some humanity just because he apparently enjoyed his time as Tinker, it's not like this is going to permanently affect his character. Eggman comes out of that conversation as the same person he was before it, and we already know that's going to happen. Of course, I don't expect (or even want) to see characters like Eggman turning good, I don't think that is the solution when looking from the villains side, but it is one less option for how Sonic's actions are going to influence the world.

    But seeing from Sonic's perspective, I get it. This is a story about a character with strong beliefs that is never going to give up and is willing to give a second chances to anyone that allow themselves to change, he is giving them the freedom to choose. I'm used to heroes from action series being like that, Sonic himself is also like that, although IDW and the games do very different things with him (more on that below).

    There are a few reasons why I'm not a fan of how IDW does it however. The biggest one being just how Sonic's actions actually cause more harm than good here. I'm not frustrated by things like Metal choosing to go after Eggman just like he initially planned, but I am frustrated at how this causes a lot of suffering from every character around Sonic, he could've prevented stuff like Cream's trauma in that arc but he doesn't seem to actually learn from anything and the series barely seems to adress this. I'm happy that Scrapnik Island at least adds one more positive change to Sonic's checklist, but it's not enough for me, because I still feel like he has caused a lot of damage... and for what? I can understand cases like Mr. Tinker, I'd be pretty damn dark to just kill him or even just leaving him in jail or something, but I can't help but feel like Sonic is an idiot for asking Tails to fix Metal Sonic, like, what's the best thing that's going to happen there? Metal himself admits in issue 7 that Eggman had removed his free will, it's not like he can truly live (Unless Tails reprogramed him, which is entirely possible, but if that's the case, they should've said it in the actual comic).

    Even if I assume that Metal could choose to live his own life, it still feels annoying to read that, because not only do I know that he won't, but he was also an important piece of the darkest story that the Sonic series had in the last 10 years. Even if I can excuse the character's actions, I can't excuse the writers. They made it so Sonic is at fault for the Metal Virus Saga. From the random civillians that had to see their families and friends being turned into robot zombies, to our heroes falling one after another and having to deal with the fact that they might not win this time. I know that Sonic being one of the first victims to the Metal Virus is supposed to make up for it, but quite frankly, it still doesn't work for me, Sonic seems mostly fine for most of the story since he can fight the infection, and is only in the latter parts of the Saga where it starts even being a problem to him, but again, he still had at least some level of control over his condition.

    The biggest difference between the Games and IDW is how the former takes a more passive approach compared to the latter. Sonic has basically nothing to do with the change characters like Knuckles, Shadow, Omega and Silver go trough, they made their own choices and Sonic just accepts them, a lot of his enemies are just misguided in some way or another. I assume they saw this as an opportunity to challenge Sonic, since his reformed adversaries were mostly people that already had showed the potential to be good in some way, why not test how Sonic reacts to people who are "pure evil"? I do respect the writers for that, but I don't think this works that well, for the reasons I already mentioned, and also because the games never really do that. Sonic doesn't go out of his way to talk to bad guys about how he's willing to give them chances, he doesn't try to change them by having conversations. It's not that he doesn't have this ideas in him at all, but IDW makes them too much of a focus and puts Sonic against characters that aren't going to hear him anyway. I guess Surge's reactions to him are the best ones because it feels like she takes everything he says personal and this makes a great connection between these two characers, but I didn't read any of the issues Surge is in past the day they were released because I find her annoying lol, maybe I'll like her more on a future re-read
     
  8. My issues in regards to Sonic's leniency towards the villains is more in execution than in the idea itself; there's nothing wrong with Sonic wanting to see the best in people and help them achieve that. That is an admirable trait for your protagonist to have and one of the most fundamental heroic traits there is. It also works in conjunction with Sonic's role as a static character who's presence affects those around him.

    Where it falls apart for me is that this attitude has been directed towards characters that have absolutely no intentions of changing whatsoever; if Sonic is the ultimate source of good in the world, than it stands to reason that Eggman is ultimate source of evil. Out of every character, Sonic should fundamentally understand that Eggman will never change, yet they still insist on having Sonic trying to appeal to the barely existent good in him despite Eggman doubling down and kicking off one of the worst events in the comic so far. It just makes Sonic look unnecessarily foolish when the people he is trying to appeal to are fundamentally incapable of changing on a meta level. It worked for Scrapnik Island because there is much more leeway in what could be done with the likes of Mecha, because he is a character that is allowed to change and evolve and thus, Sonic is allowed to affect him.

    I guess the idea is to test Sonic's willingness to forgive against an opponent that has no intentions of changing, but at that point I would rather he just say "screw it" and just fight them as normal. He doesn't have to nor should he kill, I wanna say that now. But Sonic should be willing to just put someone in their place and be done with it. I feel this whole thing they're doing is extremely misguided and just makes Sonic look like an idiot and its not really fun to watch whenever it happens.

    I'm glad this stance was finally validated with Mecha Sonic, so hopefully someone on the writing staff understands that directing that "live and let live" attitude doesn't work with a character like Eggman. Surge I'm at least willing to give the benefit of the doubt, since its clear they're going with the slow-burn approach with her.
     
  9. shilz

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    I'll be honest, no. "Be impulsive and live for the moment" =/= "make yourself a good life".
    One's directed at the present. The other is directed at the future - something Sonic *maybe* shouldn't be concerned about - and implies that it's something to be worked for, not taken.
    If Sonic wasn't outwardly preachy about this motivation, the two interpretations might be indistinct just due to vagueness from the writers' perspective, but since he is preachy, it's a trait to be against and explicitly the wrong interpretation, depending who you ask.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2023
  10. Chimpo

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    This is how I always interpreted the character. He's a force of nature. He doesn't talk about his ideals in length, dude just acts on them. His resolve strong enough that most other characters just naturally end up following his path, or get out of the way. Opposing forces eventually end up falling because he's just that dominating (it also helps that he's the title character).

    I don't have the history of all his comic interpretation. I've never read any of the previous ones. I just started IDW. I have no frame of reference to the character's comic personality like the rest of you. Outside looking in, Sonic is kind of annoying and it's kind of a wonder how anyone tolerates him with all yammering. The Metal Virus Arc has been a dreadful experience. Everyone is following the Hollywood Horror movie rules where they abandoned logic in order to fall for the dumbest thing possible (multiple times). And Sonic is the prime offender in this bafoonery. I'm having a bad time now through collected issues. I can't imagine how I would have enjoyed this in its original release run. I really hope he gets his act together.

    I've yet to pick up Scrapnik #4 but this has been my favorite story so far. Good art, good pacing, sick action flow with plenty of dedicated pages/panels to allow it to breathe. I do like Sonic calling out his stupidity in #3.
     
  11. Battons

    Battons

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    I heard somewhere that the metal virus is a concept that survived the Archie to IDW transition, are there any other concepts we know of that moved over to the new series as well?
     
  12. shilz

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    I think Metal Virus is the only known carry over so far, apparently planned for issues in the 300s. I think Flynn was the most invested in all of his stuff (you know, planning for 50 or more issues between the two Archie Sonic series) so his handing off of the series to pursue other things seems to have stopped other stuff from being retrofitted.
     
  13. Ura

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    In the september 7th 2020 episode of the Bumblekast, Flynn stated that Mimic (at least as a concept) was already considered during Archie's run. There's also the team name "Hooligan", which originated from Archie, being thrown around in issue 3 of IDW in reference to Bark, Bean and Fang, and while the idea of the group itself has expanded beyond the comics and became the standard for most fans, the fact that Bark, Bean and Fang are a trio in IDW is still a result of Flynn's decision of making them a team previously in Archie.

    I'm not sure if this counts, but there's also the fact that both Archie and IDW were adding new E-Series robots at the end and beginning of their respective runs (with the exception of Sigma being introduced more recently), the only shared name as far as I'm aware is E-106 tho (Well, there is also a E-107 in late pre-reboot Archie, but that is only mentioned to exist and never actually shown), however IDW's E-107 has very simillar color scheme to Archie's E-106, so while the designs of the actual robots were most likely "new" to IDW (or at least, as "new" as you can say that a clone of Zero with a different number can be), the staff probably put them there in the first place because they had late-archie in their brains
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2023
  14. _Sidle

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    I believe an idea for a shapeshifter octopus was floating around during Archie (like, not much thought beyond those two words), which ended up becoming IDW's Mimic.

    You could also point to the Sonic 30th Anniversary classic special as "IDW carrying over what Mania borrowed from Archie" for stuff like Ray's design or Bean and Bark's depictions.

    (EDIT: ninja'd down to the minute)
     
  15. Jucei

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    I don't like the idea of retrofitting ideas from a comic about an alternate continuity into the main series, there was characterization that was just thrown out for the sake of it. For instance I never understood why everyone kept talking about the "Holligans", because from what I've seen of the games, Fang, as shown in game canon, was just a sole bounty hunter looking for a way to make money, and Bark and Bean being characters added in to fill a quota in Sonic the Fighters.

    I'd like to see more use of these characters, but it rubs me the wrong way for them just to do this with absolutely no prior explanation game-wise. It's the same way in Frontiers where they say Sticks is on Angel Island, when they should have no clue who Sticks is, or how Sonic talks about Tangle even though they haven't met each other yet. It comes off to me like Ian forgot that the Comic and Main Series continuity is separate, and any events or characters introduced in either the Archie or IDW run aren't canon to the games.
     
  16. Ura

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    I completely agree, not only does it feel wrong because of the reasons you already mentioned, but it also doesn't really add anything to the characters involved. I've never been a fan of how Bark and Bean in Archie almost never interacted outside of their own small group and even then, it's not like they were that interesting together in the first place, they were reduced to just "Fang's minion" and nothing more, and Fang works better alone anyway.

    IDW improves their individuality a tiny bit by adding stuff like Bark's little interactions with Amy for example. Still not a fan of them being stuck with Fang, but it's something
     
  17. Starduster

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    "Reduced" to Fang's minions? Jucei's already said themselves that they were filler characters in Sonic the Fighters, and none of the three have really lost anything from the game to comic transition because there was barely anything there to begin with.

    Also, @Jucei , you're getting your wires crossed. Sticks being on Angel Island was one of the ways Ian wanted to introduce her into the IDW book but was ultimately shot down. The justification for Sticks existing alongside the current cast is that she was already shown to be a thing via Sonic Channel. Furthermore, she's put in appearances in the Olympic games sans any of the other Boom characters so this is hardly an Ian Flynn thing.
     
  18. Battons

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    I wouldn’t call it retrofitting. There are ideas for characters that can be applied to multiple instances. I’m more interested in knowing what was planned pre transition, much like how sonic 3 had been inspired by the leftovers of sonic 2 I wanted to know what inspired the current story from the previous.
    Characters like surge are pretty similar to scourge but they obviously can’t say that. Or how I mentioned metal virus initially was played around with during reboot Archie. That’s what I meant in my post earlier.
     
  19. Chimpo

    Chimpo

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    Got around to picking up Scrapnik 4

    This shit kicked ass. Great art, nice pacing and build up to a satisfying final issue. It didn't drag itself longer than it needed to (Metal Virus STINKS). Phenomenal art from Jack and Nathalie too.
    Really hope Barnes comes back for another mini or something. This dude rules.
     


  20. I really liked this reading of the Surge arc, honestly makes me recontextualize some things I missed the first time.