Sonic The Hedgehog Archives Volume 5 Review

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I told you that it would only be a short while until I reviewed the next Sonic comic right? Well, volume 5 is here and it’s time to see if this volume could top the last one. There aren’t any real big milestones compared to the last one, but Scourge returns. I’m almost 99% confident that this is the same Scourge thanks to the design and the fact that it is the Dark Sonic who raced with Sonic a while back. Needless to say, the comic doesn’t disappoint and it’s a fun adventure.

I already mentioned it, but one of the big comics here involves Scourge. Mecha Eggman has taken over a universe so that world’s Sonic goes to the main planet to get some backup. Sonic is happy to help and kindly offers his services, but little did he know that the threat would be so real. Sonic enlists the help of hundreds of other Sonics including Wolverine Sonic and Batman Sonic. The classic Eggman also arrives to help since he can’t have anyone else conquering the universe before him. It’s a fun adventure and the stakes were certainly much higher than the average Sonic comic during this time frame.

Another big comic was the Death of Sonic. Sonic was caught in a big explosion and the other Freedom Fighters mourn his loss. Tails knows better of course, but the others decide to attack Eggman. Tails tags along and now Sonic must save his friends from utter destruction. Does Sonic have what it takes? Also, this collection brings a never before seen story where Eggman uses a Universal level Salamander to attack the team. He easily takes on the whole Freedom Fighters gang and the heroes realize that they will not be able to defeat the menace. They must use their brains instead of their brawn this time.

Speaking of giant opponents, there’s also a big robot. I forgot the exact name, but it’s a parody of King Kong and this guy means business. He punches Sonic clear out of view and kidnaps Sally. It’s a tough monster to be sure, but still no match for the teamwork that the Freedom Fighters bring to the table. It’s never a good idea to mess with the heroes eh? There are a pair of mini stories with Sally, which end with cliffhangers that don’t go anywhere. One of them has a Crystal Ball, which Sally considers using to make her life perfect. Another one has Sally infiltrate an Eggman base and blow it up, only to come face to face with the leader of British Intelligence.

There was also a comic where Sonic and Sally decide to hold a play where they get married and the world lives in peace. You get the jist of the stories from these and I mentioned most of them. There’s nothing quite as dramatic as the debut of Knuckles, but the return of Scourge is fairly important I suppose. The collection brings 4 main comics, which is the norm, but the bonus issue at the end helps to make the collection a tiny bit bigger than the last one. It’s still a quick read though and you will be through it in no time.

The art is essentially identical to that of the last volume’s so it is still quite good. I’ll never tire of this retro style as it is simple and straight to the point. All of the illustrations hold up quite well and a casual glance at the page is all that you will need in order to figure out what is happening. It simply doesn’t get better than that folks and while the new Sonic art style may still win, both old and new Sonic comics look good.

The cast of characters is just as solid as they were in the last volume. It’s fun to see all of the cameos from various other forms of media like having the Bat Signal appear or making a Wolverine Sonic. Sonic The Hedgehog is still the best character in the series as he always knows when to put out the stops and start the puns. His unwavering confidence in all circumstances is why he is still known as one of the strongest characters around. The rest of the Freedom Fighters are fun to watch as well and Eggman still makes for an interesting antagonist.

Unlike the last graphic novel, the enemies here were actually able to make Sonic take the battles a little seriously this time. Sonic was actually being defeated by the King Kong rip off as well as the giant lizard. Is Eggman slowly starting to figure out how to overpower Sonic? In later comics, Eggman admitted that he could have destroyed Sonic and the Freedom Fighters at any time. It’s fun to look at these comics and wonder if that was the case. Likely not as Eggman appears to be out of his depth, but with an army of over 4 million robots on his side, Eggman really shouldn’t have any difficulty dealing with the heroes. This is just one of the reasons why Sonic needs some more powerful allies. Bunny is a decent start, but we need more super powered allies if the Freedom Fighters ever want to truly take down Eggman.

Overall, If you’ve stuck with the series until volume 5, chances are that you are here to stay at this point. You’ve made a good decision as the series is quite good and it is quality reading. You won’t find a better or more humorous story out there without really trying. It’s going to be a lot of fun to keep up with the Archives and to gradually notice the comics getting more and more modern. Once Shadow or any of the other Post Sonic DX characters show up, we’ll know that the comics have made it. All of the comics are fun and this is a good read from start to finish. It’s a title that I’d recommend to anyone and you won’t regret giving the series a spin.

Overall 7/10

Sonic The Hedgehog Archives Volume 4 Review

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It’s been about half a year so it’s time to look at the next volume of the Sonic archives! In this collection, good ole Knuckles joins the fray. I always liked his first appearance in the Sonic games and the comic is fairly faithful to the original events while adding that Archie humor that we all know and love. As always, this makes for a fun Sonic collection and you’ll certainly enjoy checking out the various stories.

The big story is naturally the one that involves Knuckles. Sonic and Tails land in a new island and Knuckles keeps trying to destroy them to keep his Chaos Emerald safe. Little does he know that Eggman is playing him for the sap! A short story has Bunny and Sally prove to Eggman that girls can fight just as well as boys and even better as they beat him up. Another short story has Sonic make the ultimate sacrifice of jumping into the mud to save an animal. As for the other big stories, one of them had Sonic get kidnapped by Eggman along with the other Freedom Fighters and locked into a Virtual Reality simulator. Sonic wouldn’t have any of that and admitted that the real world is tougher, but still the best. Another entertaining comic was when Tails became a super genius and it corrupted him. He wanted to be the leader of the Freedom Fighters and attacked Eggman, but it was a doomed plan. Eggman is simply too powerful when surrounded by his robots. Tails was really good in that issue and I liked his evil form. It would be cool to see it return. We also can’t forget about Sonic’s three gems of power. They gave him incredible abilities to use against Eggman, which was cool. Naturally, this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the comics go.

It’s a pretty short collection. The Knuckles comic is really the big one, but there are 1-2 other big two part adventures and then a lot of one shot stories. It may sound like there are a bunch of stories, but many of them are only a few pages long, which is why it still makes for a very quick read. It’s safe to say that Eggman underestimated Sonic and his friends. The Freedom Fighters are a threat to any villain as long as Sonic is around and even without him, Bunny and Sally proved to be more than a match for the evil genius. This was back during the days where Eggman had no tough allies to help him. It’s hard to believe that there were days when Metal Sonic wasn’t around to help very often right?

Naturally, the art is good and flows quite well with the stories. The designs have aged well although it’s safe to say that all of the modern looks are better than their old counterparts. Tails being brown just seems odd at this point and a chubby Sonic? We’re not exactly in the Mushroom Kingdom are we!? A part of me misses this Eggman look as well, but I’m still glad that we ended up getting the sleek re design from the modern games. That Eggman looks like a more formidable fighter while this guy was typically a pushover.

Sonic is still the main highlight of the comics as he always steals the show. As the comedy angle was played up more than in the modern issues, Sonic got a lot of crazy feats back in the day. This comic is no exception as Sonic moves so fast that he can dodge all of the raindrops on a rainy day to stay dry. That ends up being one of the mini comics and it’s an even more impressive feat than you may think. See, someone like the Flash can do this by simply going fast enough so that the air just nullifies the raindrops that get close to him or phasing through him, but that’s not what Sonic is doing. He’s simply dodging them all at super speed and if you’re ever been outside during a downpour, you’ll know that this is clearly impossible. Sonic is so fast that he’s essentially throwing away your reality and replacing it with his own. his speed defies logic and understanding, which is why he’s still one of the fastest characters of all time.

Knuckles got tricked into thinking that Sonic is a villain like usual, but at least he saw the light and helped Sonic take down Eggman. Knuckles isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but he means well and he was a likable supporting character here. It was fun to see the iconic character make his debut. This was back during the days where Tails wanted to prove himself fairly often so he doesn’t look quite as good. The comic where he turned into a genius was certainly enjoyable though and Tails definitely isn’t a bad character. I don’t think that I’d say that any of the characters were bad. It’s one of the reasons why the Sonic series has been so much fun. Even if some characters barely register for me, they typically won’t be downright unlikable although that will certainly happen at some point.

The other Freedom Fighters are around, but don’t get to do a whole lot. Bunny and Sally had their fight against Eggman, which was neat. Antoine is still the punchline for all of the jokes and you feel bad for him, but at least he never seems to notice or forgets the insults very quickly. He’s definitely one of the more entertaining characters in the series even if nobody ever takes him seriously. It’s similar to Eggman. I love this version of Eggman, but he didn’t get much to do this time. In previous comics, he literally broke his robots while having a tantrum and put one in the shredder. That was an awesome and iconic moment so it’s tough to top. He didn’t get too many burns or big moments here, but I suppose that he will have his time to shine soon.

This was before the modern days with Shadow and more of a plot based storyline, but the issues still hold up well. Sonic has always been able to succeed in whatever medium or style he has wanted too. The Sonic franchise has had successful video games in the 2-D Platformer, Racing, Fighting, 3-D Platformer, and Party game genres. He had successful TV shows in the comedy and action genres and the comics have ranged from light and happy to cheerfully dark. It’s no exaggeration to say that Sonic is one of the greatest franchises of all time and he’s not going anywhere. I’ll be checking out the next Sonic archives soon so be on the lookout for it.

Overall, I definitely recommend this collection. Whether you are already a fan of Sonic or not, the humor is very well written and the comics will go by in a flash. All of the characters are good and the smooth art really completes the package. There’s really nothing to dislike about the comic and you’ll just wish that it was a little longer. Sonic has been a consistently good comic series for decades at this point and I am confident that it will continue to be one of the best comic books out there. I’m still looking forward to checking out the two crossovers with Mega Man at some point although there should be a lot of plot hax around there.

Overall 7/10

Sonic Universe Volume 8 Scourge: Lockdown Review

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I am really making a lot of progress with the Sonic Universe series! With this volume, I will have read all of them up to volume 8 with the exception of the Knuckles saga. No worries, the library ordered it so ideally I will have it at some point in the near future. Hopefully the library continues to add to their collection as the series goes on. Volume 7 was the greatest Sonic comic that I had ever read so it goes without saying that this one wouldn’t be quite as good. Still, volume 8 was fun and Scourge is certainly a threatening villain.

Scourge has finally been captured and he is taken to a prison that has never lost an inmate since its creation. The cops warn the warden that Scourge shouldn’t be underestimated before they depart. Scourge is actually wondering if he will ever escape when his old teammates appear. If he can convince them to let him become leader again, they could have a real chance at escaping. It shall be difficult though as the convicts are really having a blast taking Scourge down a few pegs. Not to mention that the Warden is giving him special attention as well.

One could argue that this is how Sonic Universe should be. Focusing on the side characters who don’t have a chance to lead their own stories in the main comics. I’ve heard around the grape vine that the Universe saga is getting bogged down by more and more special events that force it to tie in instead of having these mini sagas. I’ll evaluate those for myself once I get to that era, but it’ll be fun to have some Sonic adventures as well. Still, this graphic novel really gets at the core of why we have a Sonic Universe comic in the first place. It is side character time and while it is regrettable that Sonic is not around, Scourge isn’t (too) bad.

He is essentially Sonic without all of the witty dialogue and personality. Scourge makes for a decent dark version of Sonic and while he is no Shadow, we are meant to believe that Scourge may be more powerful. He has had some great fights in the past, but I have yet to fully read them. While in the prison, Scourge has power inhibitors on so that we can’t see his abilities and his full power is hardly necessary against the grunts at the end of the comic. The comic seems to be building him up to being an anti-hero eventually, but he’s still a villain for now and hopefully it stays that way for a while. Being evil is Scourge’s whole deal right now so why change that?

The prison was fairly impressive in the fact that they were able to get Scourge to give up. Essentially, it proves that an evil prison can defeat an evil prisoner sometimes. Luckily, Fiona and the gang arrived to save Scourge for Master Mogul. Of course, Scourge works for no one so they now have a change of plans. It will be interesting to see where Scourge and his allies go from here as they will certainly be hunted by the all powerful being. That’s not the kind of guy that you want to mess with.

As you would expect, the art is quite good for this collection. The Sonic series has always been good with that and I like the style that they used back in the old days and the one from the current comics as well. There are probably more facial expressions found here than usual, but it may just be Scourge as around 90% of them come from here. I think that it’s meant to make him look very psychotic and unstable. He is essentially crazy at all so that’s probably what the art is trying to do. It is as streamlined as ever and that’s always a good thing.

Essentially, the whole comic is a prison break so you may wonder why it takes so long so actually get out. This is mainly because the comic decides to give all of Scourge’s teammates an origin story so that we can learn about them. None of them were particularly interesting and I don’t like any of Scourge’s teammates so it did me no favors, but they weren’t bad enough to make me dock the score either. Fiona didn’t get an origin, but I assume that it is because we already know it from previous issues. (And she lightly touched on it anyway in this collection)

I would have liked to have seen cameos for some other big villains in the prison. This is supposed to be the greatest one of all time after all and no villains have ever managed to escape it. Mephiles and the green lady from the Pinball (?) game are present, but that’s about it. Still, it was nice to see them and I guess that they are simply buying time right now. After the big prison break, I have a feeling that the reputation of the prison will likely fade away very quickly.

It’s a short collection, but the style has worked for Sonic Universe. Each volume brings 4 issues, which makes for a quick read while still providing enough of a punch to have left you with a solid experience. As it is, I don’t think that dragging this arc out would have been good for the volume. With moderation, the prison side of things could be interesting, but it’s really only because of Sonic’s humorous style. If things were taken more seriously, this could have been a pretty dicey volume. As it stands, Sonic Universe was able to make a solid volume out of this and I’m ready to see Scourge have his rematch with Sonic!

Overall, This was a decent volume of Sonic Universe. It definitely feels like what I would expect from the Sonic franchise if Sonic was not present. It is not quite as fun as the average Sonic comic and the dialogue isn’t nearly as strong since Scourge isn’t too great at being a lead character. Still, the collection is interesting and I always like the references to the multiversal cops. It gives the comics a sense of cosmic scale. I lightly debated between giving this comic a 6 or a 7, but I’d say that it has earned the latter. We still have some nice action scenes and the art is good. Aside from the Knuckles comic that I should be reviewing within the next month or 2, I likely won’t be reading another Sonic Universe comic in a very long time (The next one’s not coming out until around June) so I shall certainly miss the series. Sonic Universe was a lot of fun and it shows why Sonic The Hedgehog is a franchise with so much potential. I even like the Sonic Boom TV show a lot and it’s a 15 minute, CGI short. Two traits that I don’t typically care for. Now, all I need is the next big Sonic video game!

Overall 7/10

Sonic Universe Volume 7 The Silver Saga

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It is time to look at another Sonic Universe arc. Unlike the Journey one, this proves to be an epic of immense proportions. It is no exaggeration to say that this very well could be the greatest Sonic comic that I’ve read. That’s quite the feat considering that Sonic and Shadow don’t really get a role here. You will be on the edge of your seat for this story!

200 years from the current Sonic comics, Silver is still trying to find a way to save his future. All he knows is that a traitor from the Freedom Fighters will do something in the past that destroys his world. While he tries to unravel this mystery, Silver learns how to harness his abilities. Suddenly, an intruder breaks into his universe and attacks. Silver manages to defend himself and follows the opponent back to an alternate past where a demi god known as Enerjak rules. Enerjak has destroyed most of the inhabitants on the planet and now plans on ruling every planet in the multiverse. Can Silver defeat a being of unlimited power?

Right from the get go, you can tell that this is not going to be your average Sonic adventure. For one thing, it’s a lot darker and more serious toned than the rest. The setting is a ruined city and only a few heroes are still alive. We really haven’t seen a Sonic comic that was this intense. Even my other favorite Sonic comics never had this much of a sense of danger. Now, the Silver Saga is fairly dark and intense, but it never goes overboard. Silver is still throwing around jokes through these turbulent times and the other characters contribute when necessary. It helps to prevent things from getting too intense and it is still in the usual Archie style so we get to have some incredible fights.

I don’t think that I’ve seen any better fights in all of the Sonic comics either. Silver and Enerjak’s battle could pass off as a DBZ battle as they hurl islands at each other and land some tremendous blows during their fight. It is incredible and I remember a big Silver fan commenting on the blog years ago about how much cooler Silver was in the comics than in the games. I can’t deny that he is very awesome here. I liked him a lot in Sonic 06 as well, but this is certainly the definitive Silver.

It almost goes without saying that the art is very good. The author does a good job of showing how different the alternate world is from the current one. All it takes is one small change and things can really go bad. Absolute power corrupts after all and it is one of the main themes in this graphic novel as the being who calls himself Enerjak was once a hero, but he was tainted by the powers of the Chaos Emeralds.

Silver is the main character of course and this comic should help fans draw a lot of similarities to Trunks from DBZ. These two characters have always been compared as their back stories are very similar. I even found myself reading his lines with Trunk’s voice as a result and their personalities are more similar than I could have guessed. Future Trunks was a great character in DBZ so this certainly helps Silver’s case and it is safe to say that he has moved up the character ranks for me. He’s still behind Sonic and Shadow of course, but after that, he may just be a few spots away from them.

I am certainly convinced that he is one of the strongest Sonic characters. Enerjak had the power of all 7 Chaos Emeralds and he was able to beat Super Sonic and the rest of the heroes. Silver wasn’t even using his Super Silver form and he actually had the upper hand against Enerjak. He remembers that he shouldn’t solve every issue by fighting and quickly changes tactics, but it is heavily implied that Silver could have kept on going if he wanted too. It seems like he has Chaos Energy within him and can access Chaos Emerald levels of power without actually possessing them. There’s a chance that Silver has unlimited power within him, which is being hinted and that would be really cool. He’s a lot like Superman as well since Silver always tries to find a peaceful solution and can take quite the beating. It’s just hard not to go on and on about how impressive Silver was.

Enerjak made for a great villain as well. His design is really good and he did defeat the heroes. Upon destroying them, Enerjak stole their souls and uses them to power robotic copies. He never uses Sonic’s, which is too bad, but we see almost everyone else. The robots don’t have the original’s experience and ingenuity so they aren’t quite as lethal, but they are still powerful. Although, Enerjak doesn’t need them to fight. He can sink continents with ease and throw islands around. Enerjak’s power is unlimited as long as he possesses the Chaos Emeralds and he’s another top tier Sonic character. I would have loved to have seen his fight with Super Sonic as that would have definitely have been a lot of fun. I want to see Super Sonic take on foes like this as it has been quite a while since I have seen him.

I am convinced that I may never see a Sonic comic that is this good ever again. The Silver Saga was simply exceptional. There is a cliff hanger which leads into the next Universe volume and that one should be fun, (The character gets a lot of hype as everyone could be in danger according to the cops!) but topping the Silver Saga is going to take a lot more than that. We’re going to need a Sonic and Shadow team up or something like that. Every series has an ultimate arc eventually though so I guess Archie finally got one. The scene where we see all of the fighters who Enerjak has defeated may be iconic at this point and it is when we knew that things would never be the same for Sonic and his friends.

I’m also interested in seeing Silver continue with his plot to find the traitor. I’m wondering who it is and if the plot is still relevent with the recent universal shakedowns that have been happening. Hopefully Silver got to find him/her in time or his adventure will have had an abrupt end. Meanwhile, I can’t say that the new Freedom Fighters were terribly interesting, but they didn’t need to be since they just acted as distractions for Silver in this fight. They weren’t bad either, which is great since I can safely say that this comic had no negatives. It was just incredible and the ultimate Sonic experience.

Overall, The Silver Saga is one adventure that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. It really had just about everything that I could have wanted in a Sonic comic and I was not expecting it to be this good. It was amazing and felt like an epic arc that could have been in any show. I saw glimpses of the Justice League Unlimited Two Part episode, the Trunks special, and more. The idea of alternate timelines can still work. I don’t like when they get a whole movie or show about them that doesn’t seem to ultimately serve a purpose, but when it is similar to the original like with the Justice Lords, then there is more potential. This opens the door for good what if fights like Enerjak and Silver. This comic really had it all and succeeded in all areas. I highly recommend checking this out if you’re a big Sonic fan and especially if you want to see a dark Sonic adventure. Even if you’re just a comic reader, this is one of the best comics of all time so you should really check it out! Get ready for fights that will rock your world!

Overall 9/10

Sonic Universe Volume 4 Journey To The East Review

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It is time to finally review another Sonic Universe collection! The title already shows that this was not going to be your average Sonic adventure as we typically don’t have many journeys in the series. Sonic is always where he needs to be or he can zoom on over to the next fight so why would he need to travel. The key thing to consider is that he is not going alone this time! While not quite as good as the average Sonic comic, it’s still a decent adventure.

The Iron Dominion has taken over just about every part of the world, including the heroes’ home. Sonic and Tails have decided to tag along with Sally and Monkey Kahn as they try to convince various clans to break away from the evil empire. Will they be able to do this and weaken the main villains enough to finally overtake them or will this journey be too much for our heroes. Moreover, another faction decides to enter the fray and stir up some trouble for Sonic. He’s going to have to move quickly if the world is to be saved.

As I mentioned earlier, this comic wasn’t as good as the typical one and I believe that the plot is to blame. Why are Sonic and friends liberating all of the clans instead of going straight after the main villain? Saving their home should be top priority if you ask me and no villain can stop Sonic from saving the day. The Iron Dominion also doesn’t get to even appear so it is hard to say if they are good villains or not. They won’t be appearing in the other Sonic Universe collections so I will have to wait until I see them in the main title, which really could be a while. The journey is simply not very interesting and you can’t help, but feel that the stakes are very low.

Where’s Eggman? Where’s Knuckles or Shadow? Most of the main cast is gone and Monkey Kahn is not a great replacement. I’ve read comics with him in the past and while he is a decent fighter, Kahn simply isn’t very likable. He is fairly arrogant and believes himself to be a match for Sonic, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Kahn was easily taken down by the villains in the opening pages and Sonic had to save him. Kahn’s thunder abilities certainly do make him more powerful than most of Sonic’s allies, but the prince will never be a top level threat when it counts. His romance with Sally is also very short lived and never actually goes anywhere.

Sally looks all right, but leading on Kahn like that wasn’t a nice move at all. She needs to choose someone and then stick with the decision instead of constantly wondering. Beyond that, she will likely make for a good leader of the kingdom. Tails is still a little sensitive about how young he is and certainly doesn’t like it when villains comment on that. That being said, Tails really proves them right here as Fiona messes with him and he doesn’t look too good against the villains. He’s looked better in other Universe issues and the main series though so I’m sure that he’ll be ready next time.

Sonic is naturally the best character of the series and he always looks good. It’s just easy for writers to depict him accurately because Sonic’s formula is simple yet effective. His confidence knows no bounds and Sonic can always back up his tough talk. It’s why the hedgehog is such an incredible character. He gets taken by surprise when confronted with Fiona and her gang, but he quickly gains the upper hand and gets serious once they start to taunt Tails. Sonic’s a natural born leader and he always looks out for his comrades. Without him, the comic likely would not have been anywhere near as good.

As for the villains, most of them are one shots as the heroes go to a different clan each issue. That being said, Fiona does arrive with her posse. They help the heroes because they want to get one of their members back from another clan, but then they leave to scheme some more. I’m sure that we haven’t seen the last of them, but I don’t see how they will be much of a threat to the heroes. Sonic could easily take those guys out thanks to his speed. The villains have a speedster of their own, but he’s nowhere near as fast as Sonic.

Espio actually appears and it is interesting since we find out that he has been spying on the heroes the whole time. He knows all of their dark secrets, but still wants to be their friends. The heroes give him a bit of a hard time about this, but I’m sure that they will come around. It wasn’t personal after all and at least Espio didn’t flat out betray them, although this was close. I used to be a huge Espio fan back when I was a kid. I still think that he is a decent character, but he certainly fell down the ranks. He’s nowhere near the all stars like Sonic and Shadow nowadays.

This collection would have been a lot better if we had gotten some more action. Uniting the clans just seems like a waste if you ask me and it was practically filler. The plot will end in the main series, but that means that this one didn’t get to have much of a climax. It ends with the heroes about to head home, which is a good cliffhanger. It is just not as exciting as it could have been and this took away our chances of having a good fight.

The collection’s writing and art are good as expected. Sonic’s witty dialogue is one of the reasons why the series has done well for so many years. Naturally, the art is good as well and all of the scenes are clear and easy to follow. This is a winning formula and it’s why the graphic novel is still fun despite the rather dull plot. After all, the plot isn’t quite as important when all of the other areas are good. It is still something to take note of and a terrible plot can outweigh the other positives, but this one never went that far. I wasn’t in the mood for an adventure with Sonic, but it was unique and we got to see Kahn again. That should count for something I suppose.

Overall, Journey to the East was not my favorite Sonic comic, but the title helped to tip me off to that. Even the cover wasn’t very exciting. Sonic steals the show as expected and I’m glad that he never backs down to Kahn. Kahn’s thunder powers are good though and hopefully he will get some good fights someday. I don’t care for the various clans and their plots so I’m hoping that they don’t last for too long in the future. You really can’t have a Sonic comic without more members of the main cast and higher stakes would be good as well. I still recommend this if you’re a Sonic fan. Reading the collection will only take a small amount of time and it still makes for an enjoyable read. It won’t be a thrill a minute, but it gets the job done.

Overall 6/10

Sonic and Hedgehog and Mega Man Worlds Unite Prelude Review

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It’s time for a double comic! Sonic and Mega Man seem like perfect choices for a double comic since it feels like they are always crossovering into each other’s universe. Technically, it’s only happened once, but the event was so big that it felt like more than one adventure. The thought of seeing them team up again is already epic and the fact that more guest stars will also be present is epic. Just think of it…soon, they could make this a Super Smash Bros comic! Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The Sonic comic is where all of the action is and it’s a great issue. Sonic and Silver team up to defeat the Ifrit. It hasn’t been around since Sonic Rivals 2, but portals have been opening up across the planet, which is leading all sorts of monsters to Sonic’s home world. Silver has been tasked with closing them all, but this is far from a simple mission. The heroes dispatch Ifrit rather easily and I would expect no less from the blue blur.

Sonic’s portrayal here is dynamite and there’s also something that I was thrilled about. His design is finally back to his Sonic Adventure 2 Battle one! Now, I don’t mind the “Big Hair” Sonic depiction that you see in a lot of the Sonic Universe titles among others, but this is the best design for Sonic. It’s not even close if you ask me and Sonic really seems like a seasoned pro here. Yeah, you really can’t top this comic and Mega Man wasn’t able to keep up. After all, who can keep up with Sonic right? He may have gotten the raw end of the deal in the last crossover, but I’m sure that he’s coming back with a vengeance this time!

In Mega Man’s comic, the anti robot guy is going crazy in prison. He recently got a glimpse of the future and witnessed Mavericks destroying the city. Now he believes that he was right all along about the robots and he won’t stop until all of them are destroyed. There’s not much that he can do about it though so he must wait for an opportunity. Most of the comic is simply recapping what has happened to him over the course of the series and he has definitely had a lot of unfortunate events.

I would have liked some more Mega Man action here to be sure. It’s decent set up for the crossover of course, but considering how many interesting concepts there are in Mega Man, we could have gotten something a little more breath taking. Still, I’m looking forward to seeing Bass and Proto Man help out in the crossover and seeing Mega Man X is always a treat. I’m not crazy about the mad bomber being the big villain from the Mega Man side of things though and I would actually prefer to see the return of Dr Wily!

The art for the Sonic comic is dynamite and it really can’t be beat. Everything looks flawless and Sonic continues to prove why it is easily one of the best comics out there. The Mega Man comic’s art is solid as well and I definitely know it well from previous volumes of his series. It’s certainly no Sonic, but it gets the job done and you’ll always know what’s happening on the screen. It’s a simplistic style that allows you to focus on the action.

Overall, This was a fun double comic. Mega Man’s comic was good, but it certainly wasn’t as exciting as Sonic’s. Sonic’s had the action and scope that we’ve come to expect from the Hedgehog and Silver gets his props as a powerful telekinetic. Sonic’s inventive use of the time puns is also to be commended and he certainly never backs down even when Silver tells him to stop. Sonic’s a free spirit and this is what makes him so cool. I’m definitely hyped for the big crossover event when the Worlds Unite once more. You can bet that I’ll check it out as soon as the library snags it.

Overall 8/10

Sonic Universe Volume 2 30 Years Later Review

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It’s time to head back to the good ole Sonic Universe series! I’ve sporadically read a few volumes already and I can safely say that more are on the way. By the end of this batch, I should have read almost all of the Sonic Universe comics! They have been fun although they can be a bit more of a mixed bag since Sonic isn’t always the main character and these comics like to have fun with the typical format. After all, these are universe stories so they don’t necessarily have to be about Sonic…right?

Well, it is 30 years from the current comics. Shadow took over the world and enslaved everyone, but then Sonic mysteriously appeared 25 years from the present and dethroned him. He now rules the kingdom alongside Sally and they have led Mobius to a new era of peace. Everything seems to be going well, but Shadow’s army of enforcers are not pleased. They aim to get Shadow back on the throne of Mobius and they will use any means necessary to achieve their overall objective. Does Sonic still have enough strength left in him to take these villains down!?

One plot point that is mentioned a lot, but never elaborated on is Sonic’s fate. It’s intentional of course since this is still a future story so the authors should leave themselves a little wiggle room for future stories. Although, with the Mega Man crossover that altered the timeline, that may not be a problem anymore. Either way, Sonic states that he had to write himself out of the timeline and then he chose to come back at this specific moment in time. He still aged the full 25 years, but he was apparently out of the time stream. I’m not sure how this affects past events, but it does make you wonder what threat was so big that Sonic had to leave time. For now, I’ll assume that it was some kind of time bomb that Eggman made or something of that sort.

It doesn’t have anything to do with the plot, but it’s something to think about. The concept of a future story has always been a fun one, but it can be tough to execute. That’s simply because it typically feels pointless to the reader. Whenever a comic tries to show us the future like Marvel, DC, or Archie, we know that the present will never reach that point. Anything that happens in the future comics would likely not happen once the comics eventually reach that point. 100 years from now, I’m sure that the comic world will look strangely similar to the current ones even though the in world time will still match our own. It’s simply how comics work, characters can’t age past a certain point or the readers would leave. We’d just get a reboot if things were getting too hairy.

So, the future comics shouldn’t try to feel to relevant, but they should still be exciting. Batman Beyond is a prime example of that. You can really treat it as more of a what if than anything else and it’s cool to see how everything turned out for the heroes and villains. I treat the Sonic comic in the same way, but it’s not quite as exciting. The comic puts a lot of emphasis on the new designs and status of Mobius. Potentially too much as there isn’t a lot of action or fun banter to make it quite as good as the typical Sonic comic.

Naturally, it still has its pros though. Sonic is still a good fighter and he really hasn’t changed in all of these years. He’s still the Hedgehog that we’ve always known and he’s always ready to fight for his friends. I’m not a fan of the redesigns for the characters of course, but they’re meant to look worse since everyone is old and robotic at this point. Julie Su is one of the main characters here and now she has some actual Chaos Control abilities. She manages to defeat Shadow off screen, which is certainly impressive. She does a good job of protecting the kingdom here.

Mobius doesn’t have many defenders anymore so they’re lucky to have her and Sonic around. The rest of the Freedom Fighters disbanded long ago, but they still live in the city. They just live as normal citizens now since there has been peace in the land for so long. It’s interesting to also see the villain’s side of things. Shadow’s minions are interesting although they should have known that they were in over their heads. Shadow is the guy whose development may surprise you because he’s always seemed so happy and chipper in the comics. What made him turn back into a total villain after all of these years?

He makes a brief speech about how he tried to lead by example and when that failed he turned to force. I guess he was just disappointed that villains were still popping up everywhere back when he was a hero. That’s sad and all, but certainly not a legitimate reason to turn into a villain. He actually decides to destroy the world at the end, which is certainly pretty far out. I have a tough time believing that Shadow would go this far off the deep end, but maybe Sonic’s disappearance had something to do with his losing hope.

The final boss of the comic is neat as Perfect Chaos has merged with Tikal into the ultimate fighting force. The odd part is that Tikal’s inclusion doesn’t really make Chaos any stronger. If Chaos is more powerful, the change isn’t very obvious on the outside. The new Freedom Fighters have to deal with him and in the end, Sonic’s not enough to win this time. Actually, that reminds me that Chaos does have one new skill involving his energy projection skills. That is a decent improvement I suppose.

Naturally, we also get to see a lot of the next generation here. Most of the characters had sons and daughters so they are the ones who will protect Mobius in the future. It’s interesting to see that some of the main characters of Sonic Underground have decided to join the fray. Manic and Sonia are Sonic and Sally’s kids so I guess that’s their origin in this world. Most of the other kids are around too of course, but those two had the biggest role. They were crucial in the final fight as they both have super speed and knew Chaos had a weakness thanks to the supporting characters.

I almost forgot one supporting character…Silver! It’s safe to say that his fans will not be pleased as he really doesn’t do so well here. For starters, he’s outsmarted by Sonic when it comes to time travel and then he refuses to even say what threat is approaching until it actually appears. He got one shotted by one of the evil minions and you have to wonder why he is here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that he was as his role is pretty humorous, but his fans will likely want to avert their eyes. Silver is hardly as experienced as he lets on and he still makes many rookie mistakes. I look forward to seeing how he handles himself in his own arc. (Sonic Universe Volume 7!)

The art is solid as can be expected of a Sonic comic. Everything is bright and vibrant so you can easily see what is going on. Typically, the panels are very large, which means that there are fewer of them per page, but we get some great art. I typically like big panels for these kinds of stories as they work very well for talking scenes, but many other series use smaller panels which works as well. Each style has its merits to be sure.

Overall, This was a decent volume of Sonic Universe. It likely will not come as a surprise that I did enjoy this one a little less than most of the other volumes. I think that the future could have been shown to have been more exciting. Most of the villains may be gone, but I would have liked some cool references to the past or something like that. The most interesting plot is certainly Sonic’s travels through time and I would have liked to have seen more of that. Nonetheless, this is a good Sonic comic that’s worth checking out and I would definitely recommend it. Everything else aside, you will be sure to have a good time as you read this adventure and Sonic has always been a great lead. He doesn’t disappoint here. You can also expect more Sonic Universe stories coming up soon!

Overall 6/10

Sonic The Hedgehog Archives Volume 3 Review

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It has been a while, but it is time to review the third volume of the Sonic Archives. The first two were pretty fun and nothing beats the classics right? This collection brings us closer to the current days, but not by a noticeable amount. We are still in the classic era of Sonic foiling Eggman’s plans with ease.

There are 4 issues in this collection and each one has a main plot as well as a short story. One of the notable stories involves the first Mecha/Metal Sonic. He looks just like the real deal except he is chubbier and doesn’t possess any real super speed. It is a rough first draft for Eggman, but it is cool to see that plotline. Another fun story has Sonic go to a parallel universe where he meets up with an evil version of himself. It’s interesting to see an evil Sonic and it’s another classic storyline that will be fun to see again as the stories go into the modern days.

The art is pretty good as you would expect from Sonic. A lot of effort is put into Sonic’s facial expressions since he makes so many of them. It is easy to follow what is happening. We get a few action scenes and it is fun to see Sonic engage in a speed fight at last. The art isn’t amazing, but it is certainly pretty good. This was back during the days where the robot Sonics had to look fake for the viewers so you can instantly tell that the Mecha Sonic is not the real deal. He’s a little fatter and his facial expressions are pretty fierce.

Sonic looks pretty great as you would expect since this took place during a great period for his character development. This is the confident hedgehog that we have come to respect and admire. Tails is still in his early days where he wasn’t much of a fighter, but he still shows some potential once in a while. His static electricity attack was pretty effective. The other characters are mostly forgettable or just there for comic relief, but one character in particular did not look very good.

Sally looked really bad in this comic. Sonic ends up saving a poor animal who is having a pretty rough time, but Sally doesn’t want to risk the animal being a robot sent by Eggman. That’s a pretty cruel decision since the creature wouldn’t stand a chance on its own. It was hard not to lose respect for Sally after she pulled a stunt like that. It went way too far and I’m glad that Sonic still went ahead and made the right decision. He’s a true hero through and through and I would expect nothing less from him.

Overall, This was another solid installment in the Archives series. This volume is not quite as entertaining as the first two, but that is a risk in having so many stand alone issues. The adventures are still fun, but they just couldn’t top the previous ones. We also got less crazy speed feats from Sonic, which definitely did not help. The characters go a long way in helping the series stay afloat and they continue to do a good job of that here. I don’t think that the comic series would be half as good without Sonic. It may not be quite as good as the last two volumes, but you’ll still get everything that you could hope for from the series. Some nice humor and a decent amount of action. It’s very well written as well and there are no cringe worthy moments. (Aside from Sally acting like a villain) I definitely recommend this volume to all Sonic fans, but you may want to go back and check out the first volume….first!

Overall 7/10

Mega Man Volume 6 Breaking Point Review

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It’s time for the latest volume of Mega Man! The title could really have several meanings, but I’m aiming for either the very ending or the Break Man appearance This collection brings four stories and aside from one of them, they were all pretty solid. The story that I didn’t really care for had a pretty fun side plot though so it all evens out into a win!

In the first comic, the year has almost ended. Everyone had been hoping for a peaceful New Year’s Eve, but it turns out that a group of terrorists want to spoil the festivities. These guys mean business and Mega Man is put on the case along with Agent Stern. Will Stern be able to prove that robots can never be better than cops because of his instincts or will Mega Man’s robotic enhancements prove superior? That’s the question that must be asked as the race against time begins.

It was a pretty fun start although the stakes were low. It’s really a holiday comic with a little action to keep you ready for the future issues. It should be noted that the villains have a connection to the Agent’s partner and they may end up becoming a real threat in the future. Maybe….it’s hard to see them ever getting a huge role, but it’s always possible.

The second comic is the weak link of the bunch as Roll decides to play matchmaker for Splash Woman and Mega Man while they are at the Arctic. (Or Antarctica….one of those places!) Mega Man is a little too cool for that though, but it does result in some unnecessary tensions. The moral at the end basically proves that they are too young for that and they should just stay as friends anyway. The side plot is a lot more interesting as Agent Stern debates against Dr Light about whether or not robots are actually good for society. I found myself agreeing with Agent Stern a whole lot and basically shaking my head at everything Dr Light said. I really don’t like Dr Light and this reminded me why. He must be one of the worst characters in the Mega Man series! The story also showed us that Agent Stern may be strict, but he’s also a good guy deep down.

Things really start to heat up in the third comic as Break Man launches his big offensive against Mega Man. It was the Blue Bomber’s Birthday, but he won’t get to celebrate because of the chaos. Break Man easily manhandles Mega Man’s allies so the hero is forced to get serious. He still doesn’t like to fight, but he always puts his friends first. Break Man better be ready for the toughest brawl yet!

The 4th comic takes place immediately after the third….and yet it doesn’t. The big crossover with Sonic and Mega Man took place during this break, but they don’t remember what happened to it was more like a brief pause with the fight. Mega Man is about to continue when Roll makes the mistake of jumping onto the field. Break Man defeats her and the injury appears to be severe. Mega Man may have to do the breaking this time.

As stated earlier, I really don’t like Dr Light. He’s way too optimistic to the point where it seems like he’s just denying reality. He knows that robots have been corrupted in the past and they have even hurt civilians and damaged property. Knowing this, Dr Light still acts as if the robots are completely safe and he just wants them to basically run the world. There will be a robot for just about everything and if they ever went rogue, they would basically put number the humans. I think Dr Light really needs to step back and think about what he’s doing. Robots can help make the world more convenient, but the danger really outweighs the reward.

Mega Man is a pretty great hero. I’m glad that he easily avoided the romance trap and he handled the terrorist threat pretty efficiently. I would have liked him to take out Break Man with ease once he entered into his rage mode, but at least he didn’t joke about it as you would expect from other heroes. Mega Man is basically the perfect main character as he’s a good fighter and he doesn’t shy away from the arena, but he still tries his best to diplomatically end all hostilities. I’m sure that Roll’s situation is going to affect his mindset going into future battles, but he will likely do a good job of handling it.

This definitely wasn’t Roll’s best appearance though. First we had the matchmaking comic and then she interfered with Mega Man’s battle. It’s good to tell him the truth about Break Man, but she definitely should not have jumped in without being prepared for a fight. She should have disclosed the information to Mega Man after the fight was over. Let’s face it, Mega Man rarely does permanent damage to his opponents and I’m sure that Break Man would have been just fine. A few more minutes of deliberation would have saver her a lot of trouble here.

Some of the other Robot Masters like Cut Man and Ice Man appear, but their roles are minimal. I highly doubt that any of them will be integral to the plot ever again either. Their times have gone and passed at this point. Splash Woman got a bit of a role in the second comic, but she doesn’t get to fight. I’m not really a fan of any of the current Robot Masters that appeared in this volume aside from cameos. They also look very weak power wise as Break Man didn’t even have to try to defeat them.

Break Man is a decent villain, but I don’t think that his reason for vengeance on Mega Man was handled that well. The misunderstanding in his origin was already pretty drastic since he knew Dr Light pretty well and a quick visit would have cleared things up. Unfortunately, Break Man hasn’t forgotten that and now he just wants to wreck Mega Man’s day so that the hero will be sad. It’s not the greatest reason to join the fray and no matter how many hardcore lines he gets, it’s just petty in the end. I’m sure that he is going to become a full fledged hero soon and we already got a glimpse of that a few comics ago. By that point, I’ll likely become a fan once again, but he’s definitely fallen for now. At least his power was very accurately represented since he is close to Mega Man in overall ability, but he should ultimately be inferior. I’ll be very skeptical if he manages to beat Mega Man at some point….verrrrry skeptical.

As cool as the robot plots are, I mainly just enjoy them for Mega Man and the action. The humans may actually be more interesting on average since I really don’t like Dr Light, but I enjoy Agent Stern’s speeches. Whenever he debates Dr Light, it’s something to remember and I hope that he sticks around as a main character. Dr Wily only gets two brief appearances and nothing really happens with him except for his hasty retreat. I can’t say that he looked very good at all here, but I’m sure that things will look up for him at some point. Maybe he’ll have a fight with Agent Stern at some point.

The cliffhanger for the volume is pretty epic for several reasons though. We know that Mega Man is going to want to smash something once he is able to move so Break Man has to be careful about his next moves here. Of course, he’ll want to think fast since Ra Moon is making his move and the entire planet may be forfeit. With Mega Man out of the fight and Break Man decently fatigued…this could be the end for the heroes!

The art is pretty good as expected. The color scheme really works for the character designs and the energy blasts. That really pertains to the robots though since the humans don’t always look very sharp. I think they can maybe look a little stretched at some points, but overall it looks pretty good. The art definitely doesn’t hold the series back.

Overall, This Mega Man volume brings the series back to its core. The plot has returned and the stakes in the final comic have risen to the highest yet. I thought that the last volume or two was pretty slow, but that’s certainly not the case here. This is a must read for any Mega Man fan and it’s also a title that’s easy to just pick up and read at any time. Everything about the comic just makes it easy to get into and you’re sure to have a quality experience. Now, all we need is for Bass to appear and the series will have really reached its peak!

Overall 8/10

Sonic Genesis Review

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It’s time for a Sonic arc that is a little more recent than the last pair of archives that I reviewed. Sonic Genesis takes us back to the good ole days where all we needed to see was Sonic defeat Eggman. No side plots, No Sonic clones, just good ole fashioned speed. It’s ironic since this is basically a tribute to the original Sonic comics that I am currently reading. As always, Sonic Genesis makes for a pretty fun read and Sonic is as intense as you would expect from the hero.

The arc starts off with a big battle between Sonic and the latest Silver Sonic robot while Sally tries to deactivate Eggman’s ultimate weapon. The battle is going well, but they are unprepared for Eggman’s plan. Let’s just say that Eggman basically takes the decisive victory and Sonic is thrown into a whole new world and his memories have been taken along with everyone else’s. Can Sonic defeat Eggman in this new timeline and what has changed with the time shift? The only way to find out is to take Eggman down once and for all.

The art is pretty solid as you would expect from the Sonic comics. The opening and ending are particularly good since it really has a modern feeling to it and the fight scenes are intense. The majority of the comic still looks great, but it’s a homage to the classic comics so it’s not quite as intense. It’s a lot brighter and more colorful though and witnessing the old designs is cool. I definitely have no complaints on this end.

The comics continue to show me why Eggman is a much better villain in this continuity than in the games. He had his moments in the video games, but they are all over and it could be a long time until he looks cool there. In the comics, he’s pretty serious when he wants to be and his victory in the beginning is easily one of his biggest ones. He actually murders one of the Freedom Fighters and let’s just say that the planet has seen better days after he’s done. This is basically the second time in a short period that he has brought Sonic onto the losing side and I’m sure that it won’t be the last occurrence. Eggman goes back to being a comic relief character in the new world so we may have to wait a bit until his next serious moment. (Or will we……)

Sonic is true to form in this arc. There’s not much more to say here than what I’ve said in past Sonic collections. He’s a great leader and he knows when it’s time to go in solo. He made the heroic choices when necessary and he was also careful to learn from his mistakes in the first issue. He did get a little distracted by romance at one part, but I’ll let it slide for now since nothing came of it. Sonic starts out the collection epicly and ends on a solid note as well since he managed to take Metal Sonic and Silver Sonic on at the same time. That’s a pretty impressive display if you ask me!

Sally gets a decently big role from the Freedom Fighters since she is the leader in the new world. (Although, she’s always the leader right?) I don’t know how the Freedom Fighters ever managed without Sonic, but she comes up with the plans and the others follow her. They figure that they will destroy Eggman’s facilities, which will take away his power and halt his plans. A good strategy to be sure, but it is time consuming so it’s good that Sonic split away from the group. Sally was all right here, but she really needs to keep her guard up. There were a few times where she would have been doomed if not for Sonic.

Antoine isn’t a good character in this collection. His accent is still hard to read, but the real problem is that he never actually helps out when the going gets tough. He’s just there to remind the heroes that he’s still around and he typically gets in the way. He has his big moment, but he’s still comic relief during it. Unlike Eggman, he never turns serious, which certainly doesn’t help his case.

He still does have more of a role than Boomer/Rotor and Tails though. Boomer is really just there to remind the Freedom Fighters that they would do better if Sonic was around and Tails provides air support for Sonic. Keeping them as assist characters isn’t bad though since every team typically has a member or two who doesn’t appear all that much. We know that Tails gets some comics to himself and maybe Boomer will someday as well.

Silver Sonic looks pretty impressive and he’s definitely not someone to be trifled with. He gives Sonic a very good fight in the first round and the second one barely counts since Sonic knows what he will do ahead of time. Metal Sonic is given more of an expendable role this time since Sonic is able to deal with him as an afterthought. That’s the main problem with appearing so much. Eventually, the villain will just start to get weaker and weaker until he isn’t even a threat anymore.

It’s always fun to see teams forming so it was nice to see how Sonic and Tails met the Freedom Fighters. Sonic definitely showed them up right away and we even got to see his first meeting with Eggman and Snively. Sonic’s origin stories actually aren’t told very often so I didn’t mind seeing these new experiences. If only Sonic had a rival back in those days to spar with. Shadow is referenced, but it wouldn’t be fitting to have him in a homage to the old comics.

This Sonic comic goes back to its roots since there is a lot more humor while maintaining the tense feel of the new comics. It’s a tough blend to achieve, but the collection does it well. The bright levels and backgrounds really contrast with the present setting of the beginning and ending. The ending is pretty great as it ends with a pretty big cliffhanger that shows a brand new villain to the franchise. This villain is pretty tough and I’ve read an issue with her in the past. Let’s just say that she may be able to give some of the Metal Sonics a run for their money! The next volume will likely not be quite as cheerful since things are getting pretty personal for Sonic. Of course, it could be a while before I read that graphic novel.

I can’t really say that there are any weaknesses in this volume. It’s a blast to read and you’ll be stuck to it until you are done. The comic has no negatives and that’s pretty rare although not really for this series. The ultimate factor in a comic is how much fun it is and Sonic is never lacking in that area. The collection never drags on either. Even if you don’t understand the references and homages to the olden days, you will still enjoy this collection for its solid story and witty dialogue.

Overall, Sonic Genesis is yet another solid installment to the Sonic franchise. I haven’t met a bad Sonic comic yet and I don’t really see that happening at this rate. His comics are just too interesting and the artwork is too good. The writing is always well done and the characters all have the potential to be likable. (With a few exceptions) Eggman finally gets the respect that he deserves in these issues and the stakes continue to get higher and higher. I highly recommend this title to all Sonic fans and to all people that like a nice blend of comedy and action.

Overall 7/10