Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Sonic Universe Volume 1 The Shadow Saga Review

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It’s finally time for another Sonic review! Sonic Universe has been pretty fun so far. I dare say that the Sonic Saga Series still has the edge, but this spinoff is a great way for the side characters to shine. As you can see from the title, Shadow is the main character! That’s pretty great since he’s easily one of the greatest Sonic characters out there! This collection contains 4 stories.

The first comic deals with Shadow’s battle against Metal Sonic. He has followed him to another dimension and Shadow’s mission is to get the Chaos Emerald and report back to base. Unfortunately, Metal Sonic doesn’t want to come in quietly so Shadow’s in for a fight! Luckily, Blaze and Marine happen to be passing by and they join the fray. Will their combined might be enough to stop Metal Sonic or will the flaming fighter turn against Shadow!?

Shadow’s next mission sees him team up with Sonic and Rouge to prevent a missile from being fired. There’s not much to say about this comic’s main plot since it’s pretty straight forward. What makes it more interesting is that we also get some flashbacks to the Adventure 2 Battle days where Sonic and Shadow fought to the bitter end. As expected, Shadow had the edge in the flashback. Still, stopping this missile is going to take every bit of their strength!

This next adventure is one that I’m a little more familiar with. Scans of the Shadow vs Omega fight could be found everywhere back in the day. It’s fun to finally get to see the comic in action. G.U.N. orders Shadow to find Gamma and recruit him to the cause. Unfortunately, Eggman has also sent out Omega to finish Gamma off for good. Shadow’s in a race against time and this new robot might prove to be more than he can handle! Shadow’s ultimate fight begins here!

Finally, the collection ends with another mission for Shadow. He is to go to the special zone to get another Chaos Emerald. Unfortunately for the Ultimate Life Form, Feist now rules the land. He has unlimited power at his disposal and he refuses to hand over the emerald unless the heroes play along with his games. Luckily, Shadow is not alone and his teammates, Rouge and Omega, arrive to help out. Can the three of them overcome this cosmic panda?

Shadow gets a lot of screentime, but that could also be dangerous for the writers. He is really cool as the dark rival to Sonic, but as a main character, they would need to make sure that he doesn’t become too cheerful and heroic. Luckily, this portrayal of him was a lot better than the ones that we’ve been seeing recently. He’s still in a pretty sad mood throughout the collection because he keeps failing his missions and letting allies be destroyed. It’s decently understandable though so it could definitely be worse.

Aside from that, this is the Shadow that we grew up with. He’s always ready for combat and he’s acknowledged as the Ultimate Life Form. We get to see him go up against Metal Sonic, Sonic, Omega, and more. He definitely looked a little weak in the first comic, which was a little dicey, but he looked better as the issues went on. He could and should have been a lot stronger, but I just have to assume that they’ll continue to work on this. After all…he actually couldn’t defeat Omega? I’ll admit that the scene did not make any sense, but they had to force the plot through somehow. Shadow doesn’t make as many wisecracks as Sonic and he’s definitely more serious, but Shadow is a very good main character. He can hold his own comic much more than any of the other Sonic characters. (Aside from Sonic)

Rouge is a part of Shadow’s team the entire time, but she only gets her screentime in the second and fourth comics. She’s a pretty solid fighter, but she doesn’t have a whole lot to do here since the enemies are either cosmic or unliving. She does give her assistance to the hedgehogs against the missile and it comes in handy. She’s a pretty good character in these issues and she likes to take a lot of shots at Shadow. It’s too easy to pass up I suppose. She also had a team up with Sonic in the flashback, which was an interesting interpretation of the Adventure 2 Battle storyline.

Sonic’s role in this collection is very small. He only appears for one of the issues, but he looks pretty cool. He ends up saving Shadow and he talks big right from the start. In the flashback to Adventure 2 Battle, Sonic was pretty reasonable and called off the fight until they could save Rouge. In the present, he saved Shadow from making another heroic sacrifice for the team. Any way you slice it, Sonic’s a pretty cool character. He’s great as a main character and he also does well as an assist.

Omega is a bit of a mixed bag. He definitely looks better than he did in Treasure Team Tango, but I’m still not a huge fan. He talks tough and he has a bunch of explosives, but he’s really just another robot. He does undergo a personality shift during the issues due to a big event that happened to him. He makes for a strong ally to have at your side, but I dare say that Gamma was a little cooler in this collection. Omega will need to prove himself and show the world that he has what it takes. He’s supposedly on Shadow’s level in terms of power…we shall see. At least he loves to fight! (Always a good sign)

Gamma is pretty cool in this volume. I can’t say that I was ever a huge fan of the guy, but you can’t doubt his power. He’s a good robot at heart and it was nice to see him defect from Eggman’s organization in Sonic DX. He made the hero call and it’s pretty rare for one of Eggman’s robots to do this. His storyline is actually pretty tragic in the collection and it definitely gets Shadow down for a while. Gamma’s portrayal in this collection was rock solid and I can safely say that I gained a little respect for him. I would have gained more, but I didn’t like how he basically gave up in the end. You should always keep on fighting to the last breath no matter what the obstacle is. I would have liked to have seen him join shadow’s crew.

Metal Sonic doesn’t get a huge role in this collection and I have to say that he wasn’t very likable. He’s basically just following Eggman’s orders and he doesn’t have any free will of his own. Shadow tries to reason with him, but Metal Sonic just won’t hear it. The collection has a nice index of all previous Metal Sonic versions in the back, which was fun to see. Technically, this one is typically my favorite Metal Sonic since he’s the one that I grew up with. I hope that he sees the error of following Eggman soon so that he can try to crush the world on his own. He made quick work out of Shadow so we know that he definitely has the power to do this. I hope we see him again soon.

Blaze’s abilities are definitely fun to watch. There aren’t many elemental fighters in the Sonic multiverse. That being said, she’s a little out of her league against Metal Sonic. She was nice enough to give Shadow the Chaos Emerald though and she’s definitely a reasonable person. I’d say that she’s another solid supporting character. Marine is also there, but she really gets no respect from the heroes. Shadow is pretty mean to her the whole time and Blaze can’t even defend her. Marine is all heart and she’s just enthusiastic, but she appears to be misunderstood at the moment. She definitely got their hopes up since she was talking so big. It never pays to boast…

Feist may be one of the stronger Sonic villains out there, but I can’t really take him all that seriously. It could be that he looks like a Panda, but he’s also just very generic as an opponent. He likes to mess with the heroes and I guess I can see why. That being said, he’s just not interesting. Cosmic abilities aren’t fun to look at unless they throw in some magic or energy. Feist will need to have an actual fight for me to recognize him as an intense villain.

Well, this was definitely another fun batch of Sonic comics. They were all very good issues and it’s why this collection managed to nab the elusive 8. Giving Shadow the lead role was a wise move on Archie’s part as he needed some more screentime. The collection also has a lot more action than normal with each issue providing us with some exciting moments. This is easily the best Sonic Universe yet and it’ll be tough to top. That being said, I know that a recent arc in the series saw Shadow become the main character again…so anything’s possible.

The Sonic Universe series is all about mini arcs so there aren’t any subplots that are left unexplored. The stories all tie up together through Shadow’s subplot and how he eventually learns to trust the others and remember that he’s a part of the team. The plot may not be very deep, but that’s never been a problem for Archie. Just seeing all of the fan favorite characters get together to brawl and have some friendly banter is great. The comics are very similar to the Mega Man ones and that makes sense since they share some staff. (A crossover also happened recently)

The art is pretty solid as expected. Everything is pretty streamlined and the fight scenes are easy on the eyes. This is probably the first time that we’ve gotten a fight scene as intense as the Metal Sonic vs Shadow battle. At least, power wise anyway. Gamma vs Omega is also pretty interesting and Shadow gets a nice piece of the action. The art holds up pretty well for all of these scenes. The cover art makes it look like Adventure 2 Battle, which is a great tough. The artist definitely remembers the greatest Sonic game out there!

Overall, this was a great Sonic Universe collection! The action was fun in each of the comics and the art was dynamite. Just about all of the characters were likable and I thoroughly enjoyed the homages to Adventure 2 Battle. That’s definitely how you get the fans interested in the plot. It’s cool to note that this is the first Sonic Universe collection so it is definitely a memorable pack. Starting off with Shadow adventures is the way to go. I highly recommend this comic to all Sonic fans and to anyone who wants a fun comic. It’s not very complex and anyone can get into it. You can expect another Sonic review in the neat future.

Overall 8/10

Battles, Marino Battles, Rouge Battles

Marino vs Rouge


Marino
Rouge_with_three_Emeralds
Marino’s personality is pretty similar to Rouge’s as they are both thiefs. That being said, Marino is a reploid and her abilities are all naturally enhanced. Rouge has various bombs at her disposal and she’s a master at hand to hand combat, but it won’t be enough. Marino’s laser blade will be able to deal lethal blows that will end the round. Marino wins.

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Sonic Universe Volume 6 Treasure Team Tango Review

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It’s time for another exciting storyline in Sonic Universe! The last one that I read involved Tails and it was a pretty fun read. The Sonic Universe series is a good way to give the supporting characters some screen time and this volume made sure to bring in quite a few of them. The series continues to go up as this volume increase the stakes and we get a lot more action.

The plot involves Princess Blaze as she continues to search for the Sol Emeralds so that she can save her planet. She tracks one of them down to Mobius where Amy and Cream had been scouting. The three of them eventually agree to team up when Team Shadow arrives to confiscate it. Along the way, six more fighter show up and it becomes a battle royale with everything on the line. If Blaze’s team loses, then her planet is doomed. Team Dark could have to endure a lot of insults if they fail and two of them would lose honor if they backed down. So…let the battles begin!

Amy is essentially the hero of the story although one could make the case that the main character is Blaze. Amy does pretty well in this collection and while she is unable to defeat Rouge or Shadow in head to head fights, she does a lot of damage. She has a very confident demeanor and her time around Sonic has helped her to become an excellent fighter. She ends up striking fear into the Treasure group and she helps Shadow to become a better person. She helped to make up for Sonic not appearing in this collection and this could be her best portrayal. Amy finally got to act as the confident leader instead of another Sonic ally.

Cream gets stuck in the big fight when she just wanted to have a good time with Amy. She still attempts to help out, but her ears weren’t built for combat and she hasn’t trained in the art of hand to hand combat. She has a Chao by the name of Cheese, but his bark is stronger than his fists. She can be a little too innocent at times and I would have liked a little more action from her. I’m sure that she’ll become more of a fighter someday, but until then…she’ll need to stay back. Having her around can be very dangerous for the heroes.

Blaze gets a pretty solid role in this comic as she learns how trusting other heroes can ultimately be beneficial. (She also mentions how she isn’t nearly as fast as Sonic, which was cool because we finally have a character who doesn’t brag and it’s a fact that I always wanted the comics to verify) Her flame abilities are useful and she makes short work of Omega. She seems to be one of the stronger fighters in the battle royale and she would likely be second to Shadow. I don’t blame her for distrusting the heroes since so many of them end up as traitors. It’ll be nice to see where her plot goes since she’ll still need the other emeralds.

Rouge is back to her usual tricks and she tricks the heroes into letting her tag along until she can get her hands on the emerald. Her hand to hand skills are as good as ever and she holds her own against Blaze, Amy, and Cream when they were teaming up. They hadn’t been fully expecting the attacks…although they should have been. Rouge is still a pawn of the government in this arc, but I like to think that she’s just playing them as well until she reaches her goal. I didn’t have any problems with her portrayal in this comic and she makes for a solid villain.

Shadow is definitely changed from how he is portrayed in the games. Shadow is a pawn of the government and he doesn’t have the courage to disobey them. This causes him to come into odds with his allies and he has to choose the mission over his friends. He eventually goes on to make the right decision, but he certainly takes his time. He’s not as intense as you may have expected and he spends a lot of time trying to be the hero. I would actually describe him as a more comic relief version of Sonic. He’s not quite as confident or powerful. Shadow does end up taking out Amy and Jet, which is pretty impressive, but I just didn’t like this portryal of him all that much. He’s still a great character and the best one in the volume, but it helps that I’m already a huge Shadow fan. I don’t know why he’s changed in the comics, but hopefully he goes back to normal at some point. He has his share of “tough” moments where he tries to get his intense demeanor back, but it’s one of those “too little too late” situations. Shadow is not supposed to be emotional and he’s supposed to be an ultimate fighter! At least he used his Chaos Control properly to instantly win battles.

Shadow’s change may have been drastic, but not as much as Omega. Omega’s personality is intriguing and I have to say that it’s just not good. He can’t control himself and he usually says mean things although he’s a nice guy at heart. This just doesn’t suit him and Omega just becomes annoying whenever he’s on screen. I can’t take him seriously and his dialogue is not humorous although it tries to be. They wrecked one of the cooler robots in the Sonic games and that’s no good. Omega actually seemed like he was a kid in the comics and that could explain why his portrayal was so sad. Hopefully they fix him in future issues because this Omega definitely isn’t a true fighter like the old one.

Jet is back once again and he’s still bragging about his speed. It was cool to see Shadow put him in his place, but Jet did pretty well against the other fighters. He is probably the third strongest member in the battle royale, but he ends up relying on his airboard a lot. It does give him a lot of speed to it may be worth it. He’s a decent character and I always liked him ever since I watched the Sonic Riders intro. Now that is how you introduce a new character!

Bean is pretty crazy in this comic and he acts like one of the looney tunes. Despite this, the collection shows that his power is considerable and he saves the team from a large array of explosions. He is a lot like Deadpool as he’s a threat when serious, but he typically pretends to be a joker so that the others will treat him like one. He was a decent villain in the collection, but it would have been cool if he was serious for more of it.

Fang is another one of the key players and he has his gun at the ready. He claims that he’s actually hit Sonic in the past, but that must have definitely involved heavy circumstances or plot demands since he should have no shot at tagging Sonic. Sonic’s just too fast and the speed difference is pretty drastic when you think about it. That being said, Fang’s a pretty cool fighter and I could definitely root for him. His motives for getting the emerald are pretty petty, but he’s just a thief. Money is really all that he needs.

As always, the artwork in the comic is very impressive. The character designs match the true Sonic games and the fight scenes all flow very nicely. We have many characters firing off attacks at once during the pages, but the art is clear so you can easily understand what is happening. Archie can definitely hold its own against DC and it’s one of the few companies that consistently achieves this with Sonic.

Overall, this was a pretty fun comic. Shadow and Omega may have had their personalities changed for the worst, but the other characters were solid. The collection was a lot of fun because it was essentially one large battle that kept on going and going. I always like to have a solid amount of action at the ready and I just wish that Team Sonic could have joined in on the fun. Hopefully future Sonic Universe graphic novels will bring this same level of intensity to the table, but it could be a while before I read another installment in this series. Luckily, I will be back with a Sonic Saga review shortly. I recommend this to all comic readers since the art is easy to follow and most of the characters are likable. It’s just a fun story with a lot of action and you get to watch our favorite Sega characters mix it up. Who knows, maybe you’ll like Shadow’s new personality more than I did.

Overall 8/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Sonic Saga Series Volume 1 Darkest Storm Review

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It’s time for another Sonic review and this time he’s finally back to being the main character! This is the first volume of the Sonic Saga Series and I can definitely say that it’s off to a solid start. A lot of plot lines are being introduced the cast is very large. This definitely gets me hyped for a new Sonic video game or TV show, but the comics will have to fill that void for now.

The plot is all over the place here as many plot points are quickly formed. The main plot deals with the fact that Ixis Naugus and Mammoth Mogul have both escaped from their confinements and Eggman has hatched a brand new scheme. A new villain who is currently sticking to the shadows as Anonymous has started to talk about how he will be the greatest threat that our heroes have ever faced. The Destructix is back to face off with the heroes as well as Scourge. Sonic will have to deal with all of these threats and protect his friends at the same time.

There is also an issue about Knuckles and the Chaotix group as they have to Renfield. They don’t know what his current plan is so they will have to tread very carefully if they want to achieve success. There is also a small comic about Sonic as he keeps reliving the same day over and over again for some reason. He’ll have to find a way out of the cycle before it drives him mad!

Sonic is back and he’s definitely as fast as ever! It was nice to see him speed right through the battles and his big challenge to Ixis Naugus and Master Mogul was pretty intense. Sonic definitely doesn’t beat around the bush and if he wants to do something, then he does it! Sonic looks more impressive than the other heroes and while he didn’t get to see a whole lot of action just yet; Sonic will definitely be making some waves. In all of the fight scenes that Sonic does partake in, he tends to come out as the victor. Whether it’s Scourge or Ixis Naugus, Sonic never backs down from a fight.

After his big roles in the last two Sonic collections, Tails doesn’t really accomplish all that much in this one. He is taken hostage by one of the villains and Sonic is forced to relinquish one of the travel rings as a result. It’s not a huge tragedy, but you can bet that Sonic would have taken them down otherwise. I will assume that Tails was too shocked when the villains took out the gun to retaliate because his speed should be sufficient to get away. I will expect Tails to look more like his current self in future issues.

Eggman is finally back as one of the big villains in this collection. He may seem rather weak compared to some of the other villains in the collection, but one should definitely not underestimate his cunning genius. Eggman has some pretty big plans at his disposal and they’re pretty good so far. We don” know the full scope of them at the moment, but these “grapes” seem to pack a lot of power and are very potent. Sonic will need to bring his A game with him to stop his plans once and for all.

I have seen Mammoth Mogul a whole lot in the last few collections. He is supposed to be one of the strongest Sonic characters of all time, but I can’t say that he is terribly impressive. His spells and elemental attacks are definitely impressive, but I’d say Sonic’s speed over that any day. Mogul definitely has a high opinion of himself and I do respect the fact that he never backs down from a fight. He makes for a decent villain.

Ixis Naugus is one of the most popular enemies from the Archieverse and he is definitely supposed to be tough. Unfortunately, he is a little out of his depth in this collection because he went up against Mammoth Mogul. Naugus has powerful spells of his own, but none of them are potent enough to overcome Mogul. He can still last a while and make it a close fight at the very least. I didn’t care for Ixis Naugus here, but he definitely has time to improve.

Snively was having a good ole time helping out the heroes when Eggman pays him a visit and he has to choose between working for Eggman and staying with the heroes. Let’s just say that he made the choice that I was expecting him to make. I can’t say that he’s ever been a really likable villain, but he was pretty intense in the original Sonic TV show at times. He just isn’t that much of a threat at the moment since Sonic and his friends have grown to be so powerful.

Knuckles is one of the major players in the Sonic universe so it’s always good to see him around. There is some drama between him and his father, which is very similar to Thor and Odin’s debate throughout the Marvel comics. Knuckles wants to stay and protect the Earth alongside his friends instead of leaving. Both options had their pros and cons so it definitely wasn’t a win-win situation. Knuckles looks decent in his comic at the end, but definitely not great as he was defeated rather easily. It’s all right because he took out a lot of enemies during the other comics, but I’m expecting him to pull his weight when the going gets tough.

Rouge joins the cast as she gets interrogated by the Chaotic before helping them out on a mission to gain their trust. It’s debatable as to how much this plan actually works since all of them seem very skeptical about trusting her. They do have good reasons since you can never be too sure with a government agent. Rouge definitely hasn’t lost her hand to hand training as she makes short work of Julie Su and proves why she is the better character/fighter at the moment.

Renfield Rodent is a villain who gets involved towards the end of the comic in what feels like a filler arc/issue. He can’t fight and he has to rely on technology and gimmicks to win his battles. Luckily Sonic isn’t around so Renfield only has to deal with Knuckles and the Chaotic. However, even this may prove to be too much for the rodent and he’ll have to gracefully accept defeat. He wasn’t a bad villain, but he was definitely as generic as they come.

Fiona is one of Sonic’s new pals and it’s definitely hard to trust her since there can be a lot of drama in the Sonic universe. I’m not a fan of her at the moment and she seems to be included for drama purposes. I’m afraid that real character development will defeat drama every time. As far as I can tell, she isn’t even much of a fighter. That’s no good….

Julie Su is one of the supporting characters as she’s on Knuckles’ group of fighters. Unfortunately, she’s not a great character at the moment and she’s busy picking fights with Rouge. At least Julie Su can fight and that’s always a plus in this universe or really any franchise. Hopefully she gets a solid fight in the next volume.

Scourge gets a small appearance in this volume, but it’s pretty epic for the most part. His banter with Sonic is always fun and he’s definitely a skilled fighter. His mild flirting is a little sad and drops him down the character ranks. Hopefully he will remember to put more focus on fighting next time instead of getting distracted. Sonic had the upper hand in their fight so Scourge is going to need his power up.

Sir Connery is one of the heroes and I have to say that I couldn’t really take him seriously. He’s powerful to be sure, but he just seems out of place here. He has a lot of power, but no real speed to back it up. Leaving the fighting to Sonic sounds like a good idea at this point. Maybe he will be around for the next volume.

Mecha Robotnik is a character that I’m not familiar with, but he was a good villain. He’s not the strongest robot that we’ve seen in the Sonic comics, but he can definitely hold his own when the going gets tough. He didn’t last too long, but I’d be open to seeing him appear in the video games and getting some action. Robots always have the potential for epicness.

Anonymous is a pretty big villain, but we haven’t seen what he can do just yet. So far he seems to be watching from the shadows as he manipulates the other heroes and villains to fight for him. He sounds like a really powerful villain, but I’m not going to get my hopes up too high just in case. Either way, he’s a pretty good villain so far and it’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here.

The Destructix are a group of small time villains who trouble the heroes from time to time. None of them are really that interesting and I was surprised to see them giving the heroes a tough time. (Until Sonic and Knuckles showed up) Tails was getting defeated by the speed member and then Sonic arrived with a timely spin dash. Having the blue blur back is certainly great for the heroes. I don’t mind if the Destructix appear again, but I hope that they’ll get more character or a nice power up.

Once again, the art is very good for these Sonic issues. The action scenes are well done and every scene is very colorful. There aren’t any big inconsistencies for the characters and the backgrounds were drawn nicely as well. Archie has definitely found a format that works for their Sonic comics and I definitely hope that they don’t decide to change it anytime soon.

Overall, This collection was a very good way to start off the Sonic Saga Series. The backup issues with Knuckles teaming up with the Chaotix and Sonic having to escape the cycle were pretty fun. That being said, the real action was at the beginning when the all out war between the Freedom Fighters, Ixis Naugus, and Mammoth Mogul occurred. That was pretty epic and I hope for more big battle scenes like that one. Sonic continues to have a pretty happy atmosphere while allowing for some serious battle plots to make the whole thing very exciting. I highly recommend checking out this volume as it’s Sonic The Hedgehog at his best. The cover for the next comic has Super Shadow on it so you can consider my interest to be piqued.

Overall 8/10

Battles, Rouge Battles, Xana Battles

Rouge vs Xana


XANA
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Rouge is a pretty skilled opponent. While she is not as fast as Sonic or as strong as Knuckles, Rouge is pretty capable in both of those areas and she’s a great all around fighter. Xana is tough as well, but he simply won’t be able to keep up with Rouge and he also wouldn’t be able to endure some of her stronger abilities. Rouge wins.

Battles, Knuckles Battles, Rouge Battles

Knuckles vs Rouge



Knuckles has guarded the Master Emerald for a long time, but when it breaks (Which is often) Rouge tries to steal part of the Master Emerald. Because of this they have clashed in the past. Knuckles beat her then and he could beat her now. Knuckles is the stronger fighter and could beat her mildly easily. Rouge has hand to hand skills, but Knuckles super strength wins out on this day. Knuckles wins.

Battles, King Boo Battles, Rouge Battles

King Boo vs Rouge




King Boo has fireballs and a suit. He also has a….laser blast! Rouge has bombs and temporarily a chaos emerald. She also has a car, not to mention that she’s a pretty good treasure hunter. King Boo is doomed to lose this round, but maybe he’ll get some new feats someday. Rouge wins.