As many of you likely know, Our blue blur found himself in a crossover the Blue Bomber. This was acheived by Eggman and Wily trying to rewrite the universe. Very long story short, they ultimately succeeded in Sonic's world- not so much in Mega's. The crossover ended w/ sonic and co falling through space and time to their world. and this is where our story begins.
Sonic wakes up to find a mechanical monster thing attacking New Mobotropolis-what? It seems Sonic is the only one new to this timeline as Tails remembers everything in this universe, as such, he thinks that sonic got knocked for a really serious loop (which he was, but that's besides the point). Amy is missing (anyone who reads Sonic Universe knows why). She and Silver disappeared some time after they saved the Wisps (Sonic Colors, anyone?). Sonic remembers being on the Death Egg, rescuing Sally, but it turns out in this timeline, they were heading for the castle to save King Acorn. This tells sonic that Naugus has something to do w/ this. and he does! =D
He's holed up in the Castle w/ Nicole and a giant power ring forming under a glass dome. He laments that first Eggman sends this... THING, and now Shows up. Nicole tells him that he deserves it- what with terrorizing, lying and cheating his way to the crown. Naugus refuses to hear any of it, and really takes offense to being called "Wally". He also tells her to finish on her promise- making a super ring to restore his magic. Wait, he's been de-powered? YAAAAAAY!!. Nicole reminds him that she wasn't even sure he could even make one, and that he doesn't have enough time to make one himself. Naugus looses his temper. He grabs her handheld body (which got restored- yay! =3), and gets zapped w/ some weird time energy that floods him with memories of different lives and worlds. He hastily throws Nicole out of the window and flips his s***, jumping out himself and running off. Bye, Naugus...
Sonic tried to spin dash the thing, but it was too tough. Sonic and Tails, being Sonic and Tails pull that dash combo attack ( Sonic 4, Episode II), which smashes right through the robot monster, revealing a red diamond thing. Sonic looks back to see the monster assimilating a nearby bridge, using it to rebuild itself, and wonders what happened to the Nanites that made up the city. Never happened (New?) Mobotropolis is 100% real stone, wood, metal, ect. It turns out that the thing is Tails Doll from Issue #236, the diamond thing is the source of his powers: controlling and assimilating machines- Just like last time. Don't you just hate that? Before Sonic and Tails can make a move for it Tails gets knocked aside and lands right near Nicole.
Nicole is seriously bugged, and her words are sh0rt1ng out. As such, she can't warn tails not to pick her up, which he does in an attempt to fix her. Then HE gets blasted with the residual time energy and starts remembering things from the previous timeline. Of course this freaks him out as well. (he's 8 or 11, what do you expect?), and needs sonic to pull him out of the action so he can pull himself together. He remembers everything that Sonic does now. With that out of the way, they rush in to kick some metallic abomination hynie. But before we see that, let's see how Eggman is doing. Apparently lost, stranded in the middle of a Desert, and having to roll his Egg-o-Matic around. Moving on!
Back to the action! With Sonic distracting Tails-doll, Tails flies overhead to jack Nicole in his systems. Tails is nervous, but Nicole, despite glitching, assures him she'll be fine. It provides just the opening they need as Sonic spin-dashes through the red crystal, nabbing the Doll, and disabling the beast that formed around it. Nicole is fine from the hack job aside from her already existing System Errors. To disable the Doll for good (maybe) Sonic rips off the little gem on Tails Doll's head, punts him into the distance, and crushes the gem.
With that taken care of, it's time to rescue the King!. On their way they're comparing notes. how they remember everything in this world, but they also remember everything in the other world as well, which seems to be about the same but with some details mixed around- I'll touch up on that later. When strapped for ideas on what to do about, They turn to Nicole for ideas. She tells them to find the other freedom fighters. What followed was a bunch of techno babble, but it boils down to Space-Time is still trying to heal itself after what Eggman and Wily did to it, and w/ Sonic at the epicenter of that last genesis wave, Tails and the other Freedom Fighters should be able to react the same way since they're so close to him, but it's likely to freak them out as well- that's another topic to touch on later. Tails deduces this is what sent Naugus off running.
Anyway It's time to rescue the King! He's trapped in a dungeon cell below the castle and locked in with, what Nicole reveals to be, stolen Eggman tech. The Door opens and... OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS... King Max!? Yep. King Max. Young, Lively, and... NOT a jerk!? He's personally thankfull for for Nicole, Sonic and Tails for bust him out. He even apologizes for getting himself captured, and delaying Nicole- which led to HER captured. He apologizes again when he discovers that he's glitched bad because of it. And if this weren't enough already, he even offers to help. And says he'll get them back in touch w/ the other freedom fighters.
He DID get something from Rotor, but it's highly encrypted (he has some comp skills, too!?). Tails looks at it and says that they're coordinate. And with that they're on their way, only for King Max to ask a favor. He says he doesn't want to put put stress on sonic in choosing which Freedom Fighter to go after first, but he asks him to let him know the moment he get in contact w/ Sally- even though he knows she can take care of herself, but actively worries bout her like any good father would. And we close out w/ Sally sneaking along the shadows of the Death Egg, in her new look. and word of the first new arc- Countdown to Chaos.
THIS COMIC--- doesn't suck at all. It's really refreshing to see Tails and Sonic toss banter to each other, and take comedic pauses in the middle of battle. Tails Doll seems to have hit the ground running as a candidate for a new Sonic Villain. The biggest things this issue introduces, as we have all feared are the re-designs. First thing's first- we see Sonic recalling two versions of the same event- a newly banished Warlord Julian Kintobor shaking hands w/ a young "old" King Max, and Dr. Robotnik (as he appeared in the original 1, 2, and 3 games) shaking hands w/ a young "New" King Max.
The first outfit redesign we caught a glimpse of was Nicole's. She still retain the purple, but gains purple bracelets, a purple top and white skirt combo w/ some black pants and shoes to go under it. It looks like Sega is trying to force EVERYONE into pants and shoes. Though, i think she may have gloves. One panel shows her w/ black hands but another definitely makes it seem like she has gloves, from what i can tell, they're black, but white-palmed; I don't get it either. I guess we'll see next issue. We don't get to see much of her outfit but what we do see does work. She definitely looks more- battle ready. and it's nice seeing her new holographic self projected out from her old handheld self- a very nice touch. An while Old Nicole was still trying to find her voice, and adjust to having a physical form, which she could project ANYWHERE in the kingdom, New Nicole seems to have significantly less capabilities in terms of control and projection, but the trade off is a much more confident Nicole. From what we see of her, before she gets glitched is that she's more confrontational w/ her snark and back talking. In other words, she feels more organic!
Now King Max's first (non flashback) Panel is where I gush. This is a excellent Character Establishing Moment. The first thing out of his mouth was, when freed- and I quote. "Nicole! Boys! Thank heavens you're safe!" Wow. And the way he apologized for getting in the way, and damage that caused. While the Old King max presented himself as a King first and a father as a very distant second, The New King Max shows himself as Father first and a King at a very CLOSE second. Not only that, but he also looks young and lively. Yes, I can easily call this a VAST improvement from the last.
Unfortunately, his redesign, while factually consistent, is a little to get used to. Simply put, He's a squirrel now. I know he's always been a squirrel but Old King Max looked like he had some Fox in him (about his face and tail); New King Max looks like he could attend Ray's family reunion. He's still a redhead, but his eyebrows and mustache don't have that weary gruff, Old Max had, and his hair is so neatly combed back, I'd actually say that he's gellin'! The first panel didn't do much for me and his tail makes me want to cuddle him before kneeling before him, but that was probably the point. The Crown is different too. It looks like a golden squared turned on it corner w/ the metal headband. Again, this was probably meant to make New King Max look more... approachable- for better or for worse, it succeeds.
We don't see much of the other Freedom Fighters, aside from some head shots Nicole projected to illustrate a headcount. The only ones worth mentioning are Bunnie, Rotor, and Ant. Bunny looks like she did before, except no hat, and a bit more... tomboy-ish hair style (think Rainbow Dash) and a headband. Rotor looks young and healthy again- no glasses, no face "stubble," and he picked up some aviator goggles somewhere. Ant, however a total cock-tease- we see his holographic head shot from the back- the head count Nicole projected was in a circle, w/ the "camera" just behind Ant's. See what they did there? >;3
Last But not least, Sally. Hoo-boy. We see only one panel of her and I'm not impressed. Oh her head and face look fine, and I can get behind the outfit, though i still liked the vest and shoes look (I'm a hopeless perv. :b). What kills it for me are the gloves- they seems a little oversized to the point that they looked almost comical. This was Penciled in by a Mr. Evan Stanley, and Penned by a Terry Austin. I think they're still getting used to the new model, so I'll give them a pass on this one, and say that her next appearance will be better. But for now... they kinda dropped the ball on that one- in my opinion.
Final verdict: The overall artwork is good (though we did get a fugly picture of Naugus during his flashback freakout, though that was most likely intentional), the pacing was fast and fluid, every comedy shot worked, and what better way to open a new universe than with a giant monster attacking a town not as easily rebuilt as in the old universe- and by a new-ish Sonic villain? All of this works. What doesn't work, is a few design choices. As i mentioned, King Max's redesign will take some getting used to, but this is offset w/ a new and very refreshing personality.Sally's design, i feel is ruined by her seemingly over sized gloves, and we don't get to see any of her new character to offset that.
I give this issue a 9/10. Not a bad start, Mr Flynn. Not a bad start.