Sonic Saga Series Volume 4 House of Cards Review

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Well, the legendary Sonic Saga Series continues with this electrifying volume! To be frank, this volume wasn’t quite as exciting as the last few, but it was still pretty fun for the most part. I definitely preferred the first half, but the cliffhanger definitely hints at cool things, which are to come. We will see if Sonic has what it takes or if he will be quicklu defeated by this threat.

The first half concludes the big Eggman event. Eggman has followed Sonic and his pals to their new home. After Sonic was casually crushed in their first encounter…does he really stand a chance!? He hasn’t gotten any stronger after all and he’s still pretty fatigued from their last bout. Luckily, Sonic has a plan, which may turn the tides against Eggman and his army. It’s going to have to be a doozy at this rate!

The second half is mostly an arc to help you pick which side you’re on. Team Sonic or Team Tails. It’s a clear choice right from the get go as far as I am concerned. Tails looks pretty bad for the entire volume, but more on that later. Tails’ (shady) parents have decided that the place needs a new ruler and they want the King to step down so they create a mob and attack the castle. The King arrests the parents, but Tails helps them to bust free. While the parents go to dispose of the King, Tails stays behind to take Sonic down. Sonic is going to have to choose between the country’s safety and his friendship with the kid in this big climax. How did it come to this!?

Sonic is the main character and that’s how it should be in a Sonic collection. He does pretty well throughout and it reminds me why I’ve always been a fan. One part that I didn’t care for was Sonic’s resolution against Eggman. In the end, Sonic basically admitted that he couldn’t win. He did get wrecked during their first battle, but I like to think that Sonic would find a way to use his speed to his advantage and secure a win. Let’s face it, if it is to be it’s up to me Sonic will always be able to crush Eggman’s robots when the going gets tough. The other part would be the ending to his battle with Tails. He’s being nice to Tails of course, but the stakes were decently high so I’m not sure how great that was. If something had happened…well, it would have been very dicey for Sonic. The whole issue wasn’t really his fault at that point. Nontheless, Sonic definitely did well in these issues and I look forward to seeing how he’s going to deal with the next threat. The Sonic comics definitely wouldn’t be the same without him since Sonic provides most of the laughs.

Well, Tails definitely goes through a lot of character regression in this volume. They’ve been hinting at it for a while now so it’s not like the issue came out of left field. Unfortunately, everything finally blows to the surface in the comic as Tails has his big fight with Sonic. Now, Tails is doing all of this to break his father out of prison, but the guy deserved to go there. He organized a mob and basically made everyone crazy. Tails has to realize that justice must come over his personal feelings at times. Sonic naturally arrives to stop Tails from making this mistake and the fight begins. It should be noted that Sonic is trying not to fight Tails, while Tails is getting in every cheap shot that he can muster.

It’s definitely not a very effective way of accomplishing things. We also find out that Tails is mostly mad at Sonic because of the whole Fiona incident. Tails should have spoken up about it sooner and it’s not quite as serious as he makes it out to be. Romance should never come before justice and teamwork. Tails talks tough to the end, but I can’t say that I liked him at all in this volume. Hopefully, he will put this behind him and become a better Freedom Fighter for the next collection.

Eggman returns after his big victory in the last volume. He continues to explain how he has been toying with all of the heroes up til now. Even as he leaves, he explains that the heroes are basically doomed when he comes back to get them. He doesn’t really get to have a rematch with Sonic in this volume since a few others decided to jump in. It was short, but Eggman’s big run is already over. The collection ends with him making a truce with the Freedom Fighters so that they can combat the next menace. Eggman still makes for a solid villain and he’s much better than how he looks in the video games. At least, the newer ones. He was pretty decent in Sonic DX and Adventure 2 Battle. I would argue that he went downhill from there with the exception of Shadow The Hedgehog.

Scourge and Fiona only get a small cameo. They’re mostly just here to show us how powerful the new villain is. Hopefully Scourge has another fight with Sonic coming up and Fiona will likely toy with the heroes’ emotions for a while. It’s what she does best after all. Again, the next volume sounds pretty intense!

I personally blame Snively the most for the fact that Eggman didn’t win this round. He had an army at the ready so blowing up the forcefield should have been extremely easy. Not accomplishing this feat was pretty embarrassing at best. I’ve never really cared for Snively no matter how emotional they try to make him. He’s still more of a two bit villain and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

The very ending of the collection was definitely pretty intense though. Knuckles is finally going back to his island, but we see that things have definitely changed since last time. Is he already too late? Moreover, one of Sonic’s deadliest foes is about to return and that’s not good for the unsuspecting heroes. It may be time to call in the mighty Shadow The Hedgehog! (He is seen on the cover of the next volume so this guess may be validated…..)

It should also be noted that there is a mini comic at the end about how Sonic met Tails’ parents. They were a lot nicer back then and they didn’t have so many hidden agendas. The times have changed them as they have changed many of Sonic’s friends. Luckily, Sonic’s held himself together all these years…that’s why he’s known as one of the greatest heroes of Mobius! This story was all right, but nothing really noteworthy happens in it.

The artwork in the collection is as solid as always. We don’t get any real dramatic moments like the last volume and things aren’t quite as serious. This means that we can’t test the artwork as much as we may have wanted too, but it still looks solid for the characters and action scenes. Archie definitely knows how to stay consistent.

One big criticism that I had with the first part was that Eggman’s army probably should have won. Sonic and Knuckles were the only two heavy hitters left and Eggman proved to be more than a match for Sonic. With the power of friendship, the heroes manages to prevail, but it was still a little hard to really believe. Snively not being able to penetrate the barrier with all of his warheads was also hard to swallow. No matter how you slice it….Eggman should have won this battle. He came in with the better plan and the better tech. Better luck next time I suppose.

The resolution to the other part was also a little suspect. Tails’ parents were completely unreasonable, but the comic tries to show that they were at least partially in the right. They agree to a reasonable compromise of having a committee for the residents to help in important decisions. They could have merely asked for something like that instead of demanding it. The current King is very reasonable and he would have had no suggestions. I don’t like the way that they went about it so I can safely say that I’m not a fan of those two characters.

Overall, This was a solid Sonic collection. The second half definitely has a lot of weak points, but it was still good overall. The first part was definitely a lot more exciting. The collection is a little lacking in the action department, but I’m confident that the next collection will change that. It’s time for the next big villain after all! I definitely recommend this collection to all Sonic fans. Their is a lot of dialogue, but it’s all pretty interesting since the writing is very good. I may not agree with the things that some of the characters say, but it’s not the fault of the writer’s. Some characters have to be the fall guy once in a while. At least we can be confident in the fact that Sonic will always be a solid character.

Overall 7/10

Sonic Saga Series Volume 3 Eggman Empire Review

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The Sonic Saga Series continues in this installment. After the big fight with Anonymous, the series had a lot of options as to what the next story should be about. There are many subplots still going, but this one decides to focus on Eggman. He unleashes his new scheme and it may be the most devastating one yet!

The collection begins with Sonic and friends saving the Chao Garden from Eggman or they at least manage to save the Chaos. They bring the Chaos home and have a blast with them. Everything is going well as Antoine and Bunny finally decide to become partners and the heroes have not enjoyed such a time of peace in a long while. Unfortunately, Espio goes missing and then Eggman appears. This time, he plans to finish off the heroes once and for all! The peace has abruptly ended and Sonic will have to fight Eggman with everything on the line!

There is also a short backup comic featuring Blaze as she searches for the legendary blue hedgehog. She has to fight through some minions in order to do this, but she proves to be no match for the Swatbots. Eventually, she wakes up and is face to face with Sonic. She’s going to fight her way out of this, but can she really defeat such a legend? It’s going to take everything that she has!

The backup is pretty light and the tone is what you would expect from your average Sonic comic. The main saga is surprisingly dark (for a Sonic comic) and the situation feels a lot more dire than the last few events. Espio may have been assassinated and then Eggman begins to vaporize Sonic’s friends. All of them are destroyed except for Sonic, Knuckles, Amy, and Tails. (Coincidence eh?) Now, everyone dying would be going a little too far so I’m sure that you sense a plot twist around the corner. Naturally I won’t say what it is, but there is a twist involved.

That being said, it still feels serious for the heroes. The comic plays out like The Death of Superman in that the first comics build tension as we get to briefly see Espio between comics as he finds out Eggman’s secret plan, but he is then caught. Then we see the shadow slowly creeping towards Mobius, but the heroes are completely unaware of the danger. It’s pretty nerve wrecking stuff and it doesn’t help that Sonic is still sad about not being able to save Tommy or Sir Connery. What if he simply isn’t fast enough to save his friends?

Sonic is the main star of course and he still has to do all of the heavy lifting for the heroes. He’s still having some mild romance drama and he’s not as chipper as usual because the tensions are finally getting to him. He couldn’t save his friends last time and he’s starting to be at odds with Tails. He still tries to act happy and without a care, but it’s an act that the other characters see through with ease. Sonic still takes command of the situation when danger strikes and he definitely gives the fight his all. You can’t help but feel bad for him after his big defeat against Eggman. It’s definitely a low moment for our hero, but he finally begins to look like himself after the heroes come up with a new plan. It’s good to see a serious side of Sonic, but I’ll always prefer his classic attitude. He’ll use his speed to solve all problems.

I don’t really get the drama between Tails and Sonic. It seems to mostly be on Tails’ end and he may be jealous of Sonic’s methods or the whole Fiona situation. Either way, it seems a little petty and he shouldn’t forget all of the times that Sonic saved him. He also calls Sonic out on not saving some of the friends who died, which is a very low move. I can’t say that I liked Tails in this volume and I have my doubts about the next one based on the cover. Still, maybe Sonic will start it that time and I’ll be on Tails’ side. I was definitely with Sonic in this one though. He’s the only one who ever really fights Eggman so why should that change?

Eggman has finally unveiled his master plan this time. He gives us a lot of plot twists about how he could take Sonic and the others out at any time and how the rest of the planet already knew this and that’s why nobody tried to warn the heroes. He does manage to take on all of the heroes with only two robots when he has a legion with hundreds of others. Technically, he probably could eradicate most of the heroes with ease, but Sonic and Shadow would likely survive. The thing is, most villains could beat their heroes if they truly went all out and Eggman is no exception. The main problem is that he always causes his own demise. It’s just something that villains have to do or else the series would be over.

That being said, Eggman still does a good job in this volume. His fight against Sonic is pretty big and it’s a very monumental win for him. He completely defeated Sonic and eradicated any hope for success. His biggest mistake was assuming that Sonic would become depressed and not go after him. I really don’t know why he ever thought that. Still, he’s not done yet and the next volume will be very action packed. I wonder how far Eggman will go to destroy the heroes. He’s definitely being portrayed as a serious threat right now and we’ll see if that sticks.

Espio’s subplot is what starts the whole thing off. He is a professional, but he really seems to have too much pride as he keeps on challenging dangerous missions on his own. It doesn’t pay off since Eggman’s plan is so diabolical that Espio can’t help but gasp and let the world know that he’s there. Eggman arrives and what follows is a really emotional moment where we realize that this could be the end of one of the cooler Sonic characters. (Playing as him in Sonic Heroes back in the day was cool) The fact that Espio gasped from shock was a little unbelievable though. I guess they had to give some excuse as to how the villains would find Espio, but they should have just had a robot that could see through invisibility.

Snively helps Eggman out during the big plan as he gets to pilot one of the big mechs. He makes short work out of Sonic’s friends while Eggman handles Sonic. He’s definitely come a long way as he started out as a villain, became a hero, then became a villain again. Eggman’s building skills are still good since Snively’s robot is very durable. He’s mostly just Eggman’s assistant who still doesn’t get any respect. Snively doesn’t get a whole lot of personality during this event.

Blaze appears in the backup comic and she’s all right, but losing against the Swatbots was definitely not very impressive. At least she put up a good fight against Sonic, but I couldn’t forget her first battle. Her test for Sonic was pretty extreme, but I suppose that it’s the shonen way of doing things. She’s a decent character and I look forward to seeing her actually team up with Sonic since we haven’t seen that yet.

As always, I enjoyed the art for these comics. It’s pretty colorful, but also dynamic enough to help the fight scenes get going. It still reminds me of DC’s comics and that’s always a good thing. The backup’s art is very different and it’s less detailed to give it a retro feeling. It’s a decently good piece of artwork considering the attempt, but I’d prefer if they just drew it as usual. (Now, if the comic is actually very old, then that mild complaint is moot)

Overall, this was a very good arc. It isn’t even over yet as the heroes are barely surviving and Eggman is now launching the rest of his armada. This may be Mobius’ darkest hour and I’m expecting Sonic to call for backup from Shadow or something. They definitely need some more support at this point since Eggman’s robot has proven to be too powerful for Sonic. That fight was pretty great though and one of the best ones in this series. I highly recommend this volume and it contains everything that you could want in a Sonic comic. It’s pretty deep, the fights are good, and the storyline is great. You could jump onto the series with this one since Eggman is the main villain and he finally makes a move. The art and writing is as good as always and this is really a complete comic. Better make your move fast because I plan on reviewing the next and final (for now) part soon. We shall see if Eggman’s Empire holds true or crumbles.

Overall 8/10

Sonic Saga Series Volume 2 Order From Chaos Review

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The Sonic Saga Series continues in this volume and we finally get to learn who this mysterious Anonymous character is. I wasn’t very trilled at his twist since it wasn’t really a twist in the end. (It was as simple as it appeared in the last volume and I thought that something else was going to happen) This volume isn’t quite as intense as the first one, but we still have a lot of interesting plot lines and Sonic gets some solid screen time.

The main plot features the big battle against Anonymous. Shadow and Tails are abducted by him so that their abilities will allow the evildoer to capture all of the Chaos Emeralds and use them for his nefarious purposes. It’s going to be up to Super Sonic to stop this guy once and for all!

Meanwhile, there are a few mini stories in the collection. Espio and his team head over to an enemy base to gather some intel and Amy gets trained by Julie Su in the art of hand to hand combat. The Amy one was decent since she’ll ideally be able to fight more in future issues and the Espio one gave that character some much needed screentime. They were decent interludes from the main plot. It can’t be forgotten that we get a minicomic where Sonic’s back in his big hair design and he lets Antoine know the bad news about his father. Will Antoine be able to get through this!?

After the big battle against Anonymous, Sonic decides to find out what’s up with Fiona. She keeps on disappearing and his friends seem to know something that he doesn’t. Tails and the others finally clue Sonic in on the truth after he witnesses Fiona doing battle with Amy. Scourge enters the fray and the bond between Fiona and Sonic may be shattered. Sonic’s going to have to take these guys down!

Finally, we also got a comic where Shadow finds out that Eggman has been hiding something from his past. Shadow doesn’t like this and he quickly steals the disc, but Snively goes after him. Knowing that not even the Ultimate Life Form can defeat such a bald fellow, Shadow goes to Sonic and the Freedom Fighters for help. Will they help him!? It’s time to find out!

Sonic is back to being the main star and that’s definitely a good thing! He makes the hard choices and he also wisely chooses to listen to his friends instead of Fiona. This leads to him connecting the dots and realizing that something’s up. I’m not really a fan of Sonic being so into romance all of the time as he certainly isn’t like that in the games. It’s really something that’s only present in the games and they didn’t need that extra bit of character development. At the very least, Sonic gets over it pretty quickly and he still has time to crush Scourge whenever they meet. I would have liked him to get a few more good shots in on Anonymous though.

Sonic basically has all of the traits that you need to be a solid character and that has been consistent throughout the franchise. He’s always immensely confident and he doesn’t mind helping out a rival or an enemy if he gets to tease them a little. I want to see Sonic get more speedfights in the future, but his battle against Scourge will do for now.

Tails doesn’t really get a great role this time. He gets kidnapped yet again and he’s forced to wait for Sonic to arrive before getting carried off. He does get to live out his prophecy yet again though and he uses his super powers to help bring harmony to the land. He continues to be a really smart fighter, but he’s also lost most of his combat readiness. Most of the villains have just surpassed him at this point and letting Fiona sucker slap him was going a little far. He needs another miniseries so that he can deal some damage again. I think I was just annoyed that he didn’t let Sonic know the truth about Fiona when it could have saved him some time.

Eggman is back as well and he gets a decent role. I am glad that he was the first to figure out who Anonymous was and that he took appropriate steps to stop him. After that, Eggman is the guy who quickly helped Shadow and Tails get back to fighting strength so that they could secure the win. He essentially vanishes after that, but it was a decent role. He’s definitely played a lot more serious in the comics than in the games or shows.

Anonymous is the big villain for the main plot of the graphic novel and he’s interesting. I liked him a lot more before he merged with Tommy and became a universal threat. As a computer, it was interesting to see him trick Eggman left and right while furthering his goals. Power seemed to make him into more of a generic fighter and he just wasn’t interesting anymore. Still, at least he was a threat even if Super Sonic should have had no problem with him. I wonder if he’ll ever appear again.

Knuckles doesn’t look too great as he’s pretty weak for a power hitter. Snively manages to defeat him and it’s rare that he defeats anyone. Knuckles still manages to talk tough until the end and I am always glad to see a familiar face in the comics. I haven’t seen him get a full fight yet so I’m still waiting for that. Hopefully he goes back to check on the Master Emerald soon since that island seems to be in a lot of danger.

Amy gets a small role in this comic. Unfortunately, her training with Julie Su comes too late after she is taken out by Fiona. She didn’t completely lose, but she was definitely losing that battle. Her hammer should have been enough to turn the tides. I am glad that she went to finish off Fiona herself though since it was basically the best hero move. After Fiona is in prison, then Amy can let Sonic in on how he was being played. It’s a win/win situation….if Amy had actually won the fight of course.

Fiona gets a bigger role in this volume and she actually gets to fight Amy. I was definitely rooting for Amy in that battle, but she was definitely on the losing side. It’s too bad since I would have figured that Amy could easily defeat Fiona. Fiona also lands a hit on Sonic, which was a little hard to believe and she was overhyped in terms of her power. Personality wise, Fiona isn’t really someone to root for either and she is constantly betraying everyone. That isn’t a bad thing for a villain, but her reasons seem pretty petty as these actions may be for emotional reasons. Hopefully the heroes stop her soon, but I guess she really isn’t much of a threat anymore.

Scourge is back in this volume, but he’s still not much of a threat. Sonic seriously stomps him back into the ground whenever they fight. His speed is pretty good, but he seems to lack Sonic’s fighting ability as he always relies on surprise hits. Personality wise, I can’t say that he’s the best as he also gets into the romance biz. He’s essentially forced to run away after Sonic knocks him around and I’m hoping that he gets a power up soon.

Shadow is still pretty emotional in this comic. He starts out all right except for the fact that he gets one shotted by Tommy/Anonymous. That was pretty humiliating and isn’t he supposed to be Sonic’s equal in power? He gets kidnapped and he only gets to help out a little in the climax while commenting on how hard it was. Next, he goes to find out the secrets of his past, but he has to ask Sonic for help against Snively. Unsuccessfully holding back his tears, Shadow uncovers the truth and comes to the realization that he is a hero. Luckily, this means no more being a pawn of Eggman’s for the hedgehog and maybe this is where he joined the government.

An emotional Shadow still isn’t a very good Shadow. I am still pretty skeptical on why he couldn’t just defeat Snively on his own. He shouldn’t need help to do such a thing. I’m waiting for Shadow to get back to his no nonsense personality. He’s awesome in the games and much less so in the comics. They should at least bring him back to Sonic’s level in power and then I would be satisfied. Anymore crying would just be sad.

The artwork seems to be slightly different from the first Saga volume as there are a lot more facial expressions similar to the Friendship is Magic comics. Besides that, I’m still a fan of the art and the battle scenes are very intense. The speed drawings help to show how fast they are going and Sonic especially looks sharp. I definitely don’t miss his huge hair days, but we get to see them in one of the mini comics.

There are definitely a lot of plots still playing out. Hopefully they will all come into play within the next two volumes since that will likely be where my fun marathon runs out. I have a feeling that Tails’ parents have been corrupted and the “ideas” that the father has won’t really be good ones. Maybe it will be time for Mobius to have a civil war and Sonic will need to pick a side. There is also some tension since Enerjak may be revived and I look forward to seeing where the plots lead. I do hope that Tails chooses Sonic if his parents decide to try and take him to the dark side.

Overall, This was another solid installment in the Sonic series. Once again, most of the portrayals were spot on except Shadow is still not acting like himself and I didn’t really like Tails’ role. Amy was particularly good as she went to fight Fiona on her own and I can’t wait to see Enerjak return to fight the heroes. I don’t think this volume was quite as good as the last one since the stakes seemed to go down rather than up. We still did get the decent action thanks to Scourge and the artwork is solid so this volume is still a good read. Watch closely for references since many comics are left out that take place between this one and the last volume. I highly recommend this graphic novel to Sonic fans and anyone who likes some action should enjoy it.

Overall 7/10