Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

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

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

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

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

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

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

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

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

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 Universe Volume 5 The Tails Adventure Review

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Tails is definitely on a roll as this Sonic collection brings another arc where he is the main protagonist. It’s good to read this one after Sonic Select Volume 8 since you will get the references a lot quicker. It’s always a little sad to see that Sonic won’t be around, but the supporting characters do need their time to shine and this is easily one of Tails’ best appearances in the Sonic comics. His adventure is pretty solid and a fun read.

The comic starts off with Tails driving Antoine and Bunnie over to a deserted island so that they can hang out while he goes over to his workshop to have fun tinkering. Things are going smoothly until they are attacked by the Battle Armada with Bunnie and Antoine being kidnapped. Bunnie decides to pretend that she is with the villains while Tails gets his second wind and decides to take the villains down for the count. The heroes are certainly outnumbered, but Tails has learned a lot from watching Sonic fight and he’s finally ready to step into the main character role.

Tails is at least 100% better than he was in the Select comic and he was already cool there. This time, Tails plays the part of the seasoned veteran and he’s easily the best fighter from the three main characters. He gets to show off his super speed a lot more in this comic and he is able to keep up with Speedy. His plans are more well thought out and he takes control of the situation. Now he can even take on a big mech without any backup whatsoever. The heroes have given him a chance to prove himself and Tails did just that.

Antoine isn’t a bad supporting character and he’s a good actor, but he can still show glimpses of his former self. Reminding Tails of the good ole days may not be the best way to motivate him. Antoine has to rely on hand to hand combat for the majority of the collection since he didn’t bring his sword along for the ride. That being said, he still does pretty well and he manages to take out a lot of fighters. Once again, Archie has improved him a lot since the original Sonic days.

I’ve always thought that Bunnie was a solid supporting character and she’s always been a fighter. That doesn’t change in this collection and her barrier comes in handy against most of the fighters. It’s definitely not something that should be spammed and Bunnie finds this out the hard way, but it certainly helps to get them out of some sticky situations. I would have preferred for her to take a more direct role in defeating the enemies as opposed to playing along with their plan, but either way she got the job done.

Speedy is the best villain of the collection, but his design is definitely very similar to other characters like Jet and Bean. I dare say that he is stronger than Bean and possibly a match for Jet. His speed is pretty impressive and he’s around as fast as Tails. He seems like a nice guy even if his loyalty is in the wrong place. His no nonsense attitude helps the reader to take him seriously despite the colorful character design. It would definitely be good to see him appear more in the future and maybe he could be Tails’ big speed rival like Metal Sonic/Shadow is to Sonic.

The Battle Kukkku is the main villain of the comic, but I will admit that it’s hard not to mix him up with the Doctor. Both of them don’t have a whole lot of character development and they weren’t as interesting as Speedy. The Battle Kukku isn’t the most intelligent villain and he is definitely susceptible to enemy mind games and traps. The worst part is that he can’t really fight and we already have Eggman for noncombatant enemies.

One of the gimmicks for the Doctor is that nobody can pronounce his name the right way. The problem is that this results in the reader forgetting what his name is as well. I could look it up, but he’s relatively minor anyway so it’s not a really big deal. He can build robots and he’s fairly smart so he can be a threat, but definitely a mild one at best.

Archie never disappoints with the art in the Sonic comics. It fits perfectly for the fight scenes as you can really see the speed at which Tails and Speedy were fighting. Everyone looks good and the detail is nicely done. There aren’t too many details for the characters, but certainly enough so that everyone looks in character. There aren’t many comics that have consistently great art like the Sonic series.

Overall, This was another great Sonic comic to read. It’s the first volume that I’ve checked out of Sonic Universe, but I already like the concept. Getting to see the supporting characters in action is a nice twist and Tails can always use a few more comics. The villains were pretty unimaginative for the most part, but I did like Speedy. A few villains make a guest star cameo at the end of the collection, but they aren’t the coolest characters around so it’s only all right. It does set up more plot lines for the future which is always a good thing and it would be interesting to see this leader take on Speedy. We’ll see who really is the fastest! I highly recommend this comic to all Sonic fans and all comic readers. It has a nice blend of action and humor and I can’t really say that it has any negatives. It’s just a really fun comic to blast through. The only thing holding it back from an 8 is that it needed a few more fights or big characters like Sonic and Shadow. The collection is very short, but that’s not so much of a negative as it just could have been a positive with more issues. Enjoy the Adventure!

Overall 7/10