Welcome back, ladies and gents to my EPIC SONIC READTHROUGH. Last time, despite LOVING everything I read, I complained a WHOLE lot. This time... Well... Despite loving everything I read, I complained a whole lot, AND managed to write so much that I had to split this journal into two parts, because I didn't want you to read 20 pages of text all at once. I'm nothing if not a talkative geek-girl. ~_~;;;;
So... With that, let us delve into Sonic: Genesis through Sonic 235.
...BE WARNED: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MY LONGEST AND MOST ANGRY RANT TO DATE!!!!
Let's start off with Genesis, ironically enough. This... This was yet another highlight of the series. It was AWESOME. I've always heard rumors (and actually seen a game build) of a SatAM video game, and heard that Sega is planning to bring the Archie characters into the mainstream games. I HOPE TO GOD it's true... because Genesis proves it could work.
Imagine Sonic 1 and 2 if Princess Sally, Rotor, and Antoine were playable characters... and imagine it was actually GOOD. THAT is what this four issue mini-series within the main series is like. The plot is surprisingly simplistic, but to be honest, so was the plot of the original games, so it didn't exactly TRY to be anything overly complex.
Seeing all the strange differences between the original universe and the Genesis universe was interesting too. You had Princess Sally who was able to speak to animals for some reason and able to keep up with Sonic in the levels (if only due to her acrobatic skills). Antoine was a coward again... and possibly even MORE of a scaredy-cat than before. All the character designs were very simplified and streamlined. Even Robotnik looked like he did in Sonic 1-3.
The BEST part of Genesis, honestly... was that it wasn't a permanent reboot. A LOT of people were afraid that it would be a DCnU style reboot, but Archie's not dumb enough to pull that type of crap. They're dumb enough to do OTHER things (one of which I'll be ranting about shortly), but not that.
And so with the end of Genesis, Sonic went back in time 10 seconds to save Sally... and succeeded. Sadly, with Robotnik about to activate the World Roboticizer, she had no choice but to invert the beam... Sacrificing herself to become Roboticized in issue 230.
I'm gonna be honest... The sacrifice actually did almost make me cry. She knows she's going to either die or become the enemy of everyone she loves, and she does it anyway to save the world. When I ranted against Mecha Sally originally, I didn't know the heroic circumstances of her sacrifice. I had thought that she just got shoved in a Roboticizer and that was that. I'm glad I was wrong, because this was a MUCH better way to do it.
This... was pretty much one of the best issues of the comic, showing how much Sally loved Sonic before she sacrificed herself. I've been reading ahead, and I keep praying to see some sign that Sally's still inside Mecha Sally, fighting to save herself... but so far no dice. Considering how much I ADORE the character, and how deeply involved I am in this comic, it's been some rough reading to be honest. I am not prideful enough to be unable to admit that I was totally wrong about this storyline, and I take back every single rant I've made about this.
This issue also establishes that Mobians can be Roboticized once more, since Genesis caused a "reset" on whatever prevented them from being mechanized. Unfortunately, to date, Archie hasn't taken ADVANTAGE of that interesting fact, and Sally remains the only one who's still roboticized (outside of Jules Hedgehog).
Issue 231 continues where 230 left off, with Sonic unable to fight his loved one, even in her roboticized form. Sally tosses Sonic out of the Death Egg, and true to form, his ONLY concern is getting back and saving her. Unfortunately, he's been beaten to hell and all the FF's planes and jets are disabled. He has no choice but to let her go. This marked the point where I knew Mecha Sally was gonna be around for a while... And I don't know what to think about that yet.
Also in this issue, Bunnie gets crystallized by a GIGANTIC spell used to attack a giant Metal Sonic. This leads into issue 232. Now comes the stupid. The REALLY stupid. The SUPREMELY stupid. THE MONUMENTALLY, OUTRAGEOUSLY, MIND-NUMBINGLY STUPID.
Naugus decrystallizes Bunnie to try to win over the Acorn Kingdom and in the process, deroboticizes Bunnie Rabbot.
......Naugus deroboticizes Bunnie.
...Will you all pardon me for a minute? Thank you...
*You hear a little fennec walk off... Then proceed to destroy, rape, and pillage much of her hometown in sheer blind rage.*
*She comes back.*
...Okay... Sorry about that. I just needed a minute to take out some... frustration.
No. Just no. JUST. FUCKING. NO.
Somehow this might be one of the worst things Archie has ever done in a comic series... and I'm counting Titan... you know. But UNLIKE He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, which was non-canon thanks to the big reset button... THIS is REAL.
Let me give you a brief history of Bunnie Rabbot to give you a precise reason why this is so truly and unbelievably stupid and horrible.
First, Bunnie's REAL name is not Bunnie "Rah-Boh," it's Bunnie RABBIT. In the original Sonic mini-series (and in Sonic SatAM), she changed it to RabBOT (emphasis on the BOT, as in ROBOT) after her limbs were Roboticized. She did this as a way of trivializing the damage she had taken and kind of making it a good thing, making it a part of her.
With her limbs, she was the strongest member of the Freedom Fighters. She was their powerhouse, their super-strength rounding out the team. Despite the occasional traumatic nightmare, Bunnie LIKED her new limbs and the power they gave her. She never once complained, except if they were malfunctioning.
Then in one of the Sonic Super Special comics, things went bad. Bunnie's limbs were slowly poisoning her, since they weren't MEANT to coexist with a living, breathing Mobian. She was dying. She had a choice: A. She could submit to an experimental deroboticization which would turn her limbs back to flesh... but MORE likely kill her outright; or B: she could have her arm and legs replaced with new ones crafted by Nate Morgan which would be compatible with her biology and WOULDN'T poison her... but at the cost of never being able to be deroboticized... EVER.
Bunnie agonized over this decision, caught between the desire to be whole again and the blessings her robotic limbs had given her... and the desire to live. In the end, she made the only choice she could, and chose to have her arm and legs replaced with the new ones. She could never be deroboticized because there is NOTHING TO DEROBOTICIZE. Her current arm and legs are ARTIFICIAL!!!
However, Bunnie NEVER regretted this choice. She now was even MORE powerful, with vastly increased strength, the ability to fly, change her arm into a cannon or a shield or more. She was able to LIVE with her loved ones, and continue being the most powerful Freedom Fighter outside of Sonic himself.
......THEN CAME THIS.
And don't give me that STUPID excuse: "It's MAGIC! It can do ANYTHING!!!" NO IT CAN'T!!! Even in COMICS magic has limits, and they've established it quite clearly in Sonic!!! If Naugus was to decrystallize Bunnie and deroboticize her, she'd LOSE her arm and legs, not have them turned to flesh and blood!!!
And on TOP of that, Bunnie WOULDN'T BE HAPPY about being deroboticized!!! She'd be righteously PISSED OFF!!! She would wanna KILL Naugus for taking the ability to protect her loved ones away from her! Yes, she's a supremely skilled martial-artist, but without her limbs, her power-level is the lowest of all the Freedom Fighters. She's less powerful than TAILS. She's a downright liability... and she'd KNOW it!!!
Not ONLY is this comic SUPREMELY stupid for deroboticizing her when it's been clearly established that IT'S NOT POSSIBLE EVEN WITH MAGIC... But if Archie REALLY wanted to revamp and refresh Bunnie's character, they just lost a MAGNIFICENT opportunity.
Instead of deroboticizing her nonsensically and leaving her utterly useless for ANYTHING other than being written out of the comic... LEAVE HER CRYSTALLIZED!!!!
...Seriously! Leave her crystallized, and give her a brand-new magic-based power set. You can wring HUGE amounts of stories out of this. Bunnie having to learn her new powers and get used to them, Bunnie feeling violated at being transformed this way by her enemy, Bunnie losing control of her powers and feeling like she's a danger to her friends...
Or even BETTER, it's been established that anything that's Crystallized by Naugus is under his control. There ya go right there. Bunnie is Naugus's mind-controlled slave, and if played smart, she wouldn't even know it. She could act as a sleeper agent and undermine the Freedom Fighters from within. And I'm NOT just saying this as a mind control fetishist, I'm saying this could be an AWESOME plotline!
If I were writing Archie, I could wring upwards of 3 YEARS of story-arcs about Bunnie just from this. But NO. They decide to nonsensically deroboticize her and write her out of the comic altogether. *Sighs.*
...I'm already predicting what's going to happen. She's going to return from her "Self-discovery" trip having had her arm and legs replaced by cybernetics as she's become a member of the Dark Egg Legion, and escaped from them.
Still. STUPID. SO FUCKING STUPID!!! ><;
*Sighs REALLY... REALLY... REALLY... heavily.*
OUTSIDE of that bit of horribleness, we DO get some spectacular writing, as Sonic is obsessed (rightfully) with doing nothing but rescuing Sally no matter who or what gets in his way. We get to see that Nicole has suffered so much grief that she's lost the ability to function and has almost regressed back to being an emotionless datapad rather than a Mobian again. The issue ends with Robotnik prepared to commit the ultimate violation on Sally... and mutilate her to turn her into a weapon.
We also get a backup-story that has Bunnie acting MUCH more realistically to the sudden loss of her powers. It's well-written and has a wonderful and touching moment with Antoine... but it doesn't make up for the sheer fucking stupidity that came earlier.
So... Yeah... I GUESS it's a good issue... if you ignore the gigantic, all-consuming plot hole that not even the Nostalgia Critic could save us from.
Issue 233 was the Trial of Geoffrey St. John. It gives more backstory for exactly how St. John came to serve Naugus, and why he went traitor. It's... a good issue, but it's mostly inconsequential in the long run, honestly. It doesn't serve to make you like or dislike St. John any more, and just explains his actions. He's still a relentless d-bag who needs to be executed.
And then the final issue I'll review in this edition: Issue 234... Antoine's final battle. This issue... was REALLY good. It's told from the point of view of Antoine, discussing all the plans to evacuate the REAL Royal Family from Mobotropolis to Knothole, and keep them safe. However, Robotnik shows and sends Metal Sonic and the newly weaponized Mecha Sally to attack. Like the FFs, this issue broke my heart to see what Robotnik had done to Sally. It was a good emotional blow and well written. I also can see from her design how Neo Sally will appear.
But even more important than Mecha Sally is the fact that Antoine sacrifices himself to save Elias and Megan. He heroically fights Metal Sonic, and holds it back as it self-destructs at point blank range, leaving him on the edge of death. This of course devastates Bunnie, who has been completely useless through the fight despite having supreme martial-arts skills...
Honestly? It was a really good issue, but I can't comment much further on it, because it speaks for itself.
So! That's it for this edition of the Epic Sonic Readthrough. Next time, I read issues 235-242... (or 43 if available!). With that, the Readthrough will be over, and I'll post one final summary to explain my feelings and talk about the goods and the bads, the happys and the sads.
And HOPEFULLY the next few issues WON'T be five pages of RANTING...
Rock on, guys and gals.
PS: 36 DAYS LEFT IN MY SONIC HYPNOSIS CONTEST!!!! Turn in your submissions SOON!!! There's ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS at stake, AND a part to play in any story of your choosing! If I DO NOT receive AT LEAST FIVE submissions by different people by MIDNIGHT ON NEW YEARS EVE, I will cancel the contest. No point in putting up a big prize if no one's interested in winning it!