So... Last time, despite trying NOT to... I wound up having a gigantic nerdsplosion over Bunnie Rabbot getting deroboticized. Make no mistake, I STILL think it's just about the most boneheaded move Archie's made in a LONG time. In fact, I will be discussing this EVEN MORE in this edition of the journal...
Y'know, I think that's become a hallmark of my Epic Sonic Readthrough. I talk about how much I love the comic, then complain and rant constantly about the issues I just said were written REALLY well. ^^;;;
So, issue 235 is all about everyone mourning Antoine getting blown up by Metal Sonic. I have to be honest, this story is written wonderfully. You get to see Amy Rose trying to help so many other people so she doesn't have to deal with her own grief. You get Tails burying himself in his work. You get Nicole's exile and more hints of a Rotor/Nicole romance (although it might be me just reading too much into things). And you get Silver acting like a moron, and Sonic actually COMPLETELY LOSING HIS SH** for one of the first times I've ever seen. TRULY good writing... for most of the issue.
THEN, there's dear Bunnie Rabbot. Now, last time I complained ad nauseum about her being deroboticized... NOW I'm gonna complain just for a little about how this is handled. It would have been one thing if Bunnie had decided to leave, and then we got back-up stories that starred her on her journey... but instead, she's essentially been written out of the comic altogether. THIS IS BAD WRITING!!!
We all KNOW she's gonna return, but you're WASTING an opportunity for story-telling. Even IF she's not in the comic on a regular basis, checking in on her occasionally gives us an opportunity to see the struggle she's going through. It allows us to see what she's thinking, and to understand the decision she's going to make eventually.
...As I said before... I'm about 90% sure that she's gone to her uncle Beauregard to be Legionized.
Still, even better, you can just give glimpses of her travels. Don't let us know the final destination, but just have her travelling and struggling! Foreshadow, people!!!
Anyway, it's pretty much inexcusable for how BADLY this whole story-arc has been handled, and I'm less than happy about it. This is a BIG black spot on what has been (on the whole) a REALLY, REALLY good comic.
Issue 236 is the debut of Team Freedom and Team Fighters. On one team, you have Rotor, Big the Cat, Cream and (ugh) Cheese, and Heavy and Bomb. On the other, you have Sonic, Tails, and Amy... and T-Pup if you count him, which I don't. Frankly... I'm not crazy about the idea. I don't HATE it, but I guess my biggest problem is that all the powerhouse characters are on one team, leaving the other kinda defenseless... And by powerhouse characters, I'm of course referring to Sonic, Amy, and Tails, not the other guys.
I'm trying not to make this a rant here, because I honestly don't dislike this idea (I don't LIKE it either), but I guess my biggest problem is how unnecessary and unbalanced it is. You've got the strongest remaining heroes out travelling about, and you leave your home in the hands of an injured genius, a super-strong cat who can't tie his own shoes, a little girl and her annoying pet, and two robots that have turned traitor multiple times (admittedly not due to their own free will). This is ALSO done while you have one of the most powerful supervillains in the world RULING your nation, and attempting to turn everyone into mindless zombies. ....Why bother doing this weird shift in dynamic and renaming the teams? Why not just call in the Chaotix... or one of the other FF teams to help? I guess if Amy had stayed behind and Big or one of the others went with Sonic's team, they'd be a little more balanced, and I'd care less, but it just doesn't feel right.
I'm barely going to talk about 237 and 238. They were intensely boring issues because... again... the Wolf Pack is featured. I just... I don't get the appeal of the Wolf Pack. They're wolves (not that I have a problem with them, just these SPECIFIC wolves), and they're vaguely Latino/Native American. ...And that's about all that defines them. Yet every fan seems to go nuts every time they appear. *Shrugs.* I dunno. Maybe it's because I have no sort of emotional connection to them, but I just get bored to tears every time the focus shifts to them. Anyway, not much happened to advance the ongoing plot, and the issues were filler.
In the backup feature to 237, Mina apologizes to Nicole... And I guess because Nicole doesn't have the emotional concept of holding a grudge figured out, she forgives the idiot pop star. I dunno. The only reason Naugus is King is because of Mina. It's too... tidy... And Mina doesn't face a single consequence for practically dooming the kingdom. I'm obviously NOT happy with that plot development. In another note, the Archie Sonic Wiki describes this plot development in its summary of issue 237 as "Mina and Nicole renew their friendship." ...I was unaware that Nicole and Mina had ever said a word to each other or even LIKED each other. In my final Epic Sonic Readthrough Journal, I will discuss Mina a LOT more, but I'm leaving at this for now...
Issue 239 gets things back on track. This was a GOOD issue. Maybe not the best I've read, but after failure after failure, just a well-written issue where I FINALLY have nothing to complain about. No Wolf Pack. No Mina Mongoose. No badly written or badly handled plot developments. No characters acting wildly out of character to make a plot work. NO TITAN TAILS!!! *Goes on a shooting rampage having mentioned the taboo name.* @_@;;;
Seriously, guys, I hated that I was becoming one of those clichéd comic fans who says that they love a series, but then picks and nitpicks at every little thing. I'm not that person. I tend to be more forgiving of a comic's flaws, and I just enjoy it for what it is. But with so many anger inducing moments over the course of this Readthrough, (particularly in these more recent issues), I finally have an issue I can point at and legitimately say, "I have no complaints. This was GOOD."
Anyway, this issue continues the set-up for the Secret Freedom Fighters story-arc... which I won't read because it's in Sonic Universe. If they didn't care enough to put it in the main series, it must not be that important to the overall story. However, it presents a taut, tense, and emotional battle with Mecha Sally being sent to kill her brother Elias. Sonic, Tails, and Amy have to fight her off along with Silver Sonic Mk III. ...I do have ONE questionable moment, but NOT a complaint... Mecha Sally... has a Hair Cannon. That's... weird. o.o;;;;
Issue 240 focuses on Team Freedom at home in New Mobotropolis... and I still don't find them credible even AFTER seeing them kick butt in this issue. In fact, it's only due to the help of the Secret FFs that they even survive to fight another day. Frankly, they seem only half-competent, and DEFINITELY not up to handling a fight like they face in this issue on their own. That's not a complaint, mind you, that's just MY opinion on the matter. This is actually another issue where I have no complaints at all. It's good! Also, Shard is f***ing awesome.
Issue 241 was a mixed bag. A LOT happens in it... Nicole's exile is overturned, Mina's mother (who seems to have more brains than her daughter) joins the Acorn council, Team Fighter fights a Titan Sonic, we get to see more of King Max's deterioration (why haven't they killed him off yet? Probably waiting for Mecha Sally to be deroboticized first...), and most important of all, Ixis Naugus's mutations take their toll and he takes over Geoffrey St. John. Can't say I'm unhappy to see St. John get what's coming to him... Now I can only hope it leads to his eventual death. Tails Doll is as creepy as ever... and no, I don't forgive Mina, even after the concert. Like I said, I'll be discussing this in my next journal. It was overall a good issue, but I didn't buy St. John's change of heart. He's never had "the good of the people" in mind. If he did, he never would have tried to turn Elias into a puppet ruler earlier on.
Issue 242 barely deserves a mention. Don't read it, don't waste your time. It's a stupid Sonic Olympics tie-in and is a MASSIVE bore and badly written to boot. There was no way it COULD be good.
....And that's it. With that... I'm done! 142 issues read. And YES, I KNOW Sonic 243 just came out, but I'm waiting on that one for a bit.
Whew. It's been a LONG readthrough, but a good one. I have ONE more edition of this comic, and it's going to be a VERY long one, as I talk about Archie's Sonic comic as a whole... from the first issue I've ever read up to now. I'm going to discuss EVERYTHING. My favorite stories, my favorite characters, my most hated plots and characters... My predictions for future plotlines. Everything. Hope you'll stay tuned and stick with me for one last journal! Thanks a bunch, guys!
Rock on guys and gals!
PS: Thank you to everyone who responded to my emergency call for help last night... Nothing was helpful, but it was great to know that I have a buncha friends and fans who'll try to help me out if I desperately need it. ^_^
PPS: Yes, I KNOW that issue 243 is out. I declined to talk about it since it's only part one of a four-part story. I'll probably talk about it when issue 250 comes out in March or later... ~_~;;;