Sonic The Comic Retrospective

Discussion in 'Art, Literature, and Music' started by Canini, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. Canini

    Canini Veteran Veteran

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    Many of you probably know about the official Sonic comic that ran for 290 (not even counting spin-offs, mini-series and specials) and were published by Archie. They certainly had their ups and downs, and to this day there are numerous blogs and tumblr accounts dedicated to retrospectives and discussions about the comic (or just post strange off-model panels). But did you know the UK had an official magazine/comic of their own that ran for a shorter but still rather respectable 184 issues? It was published by Fleetway and there is much less information about that one so sensing a niche to be filled (and being a fan of the comic itself of course) I decided to create a blog and post my thoughts about each and every individual issue. I have taken some time to create a back-up log, so I will post about an issue a day for at least the first fifty or so issues. I have chosen tumblr for its auto-uploading function. Since I am fairly new to the platform I gladly except any advice on how to make the retrospectives easier to read, what to focus on and so forth.

    The main differences between Archie Sonic and Fleetway Sonic
    [​IMG]

    The main thing people tend to know about Fleetway Sonic is that Super Sonic is an evil split personality in this version. If not that, is that the comic follows that really weird super early internal Sonic bible where Dr Robotnik was originally a good scientist called Kintobor. Otherwise Fleetway Sonic is remarkably faithful to the games. There aren´t any characters or places taken from SATAM or adventures of Sonic the hedgehog, all original characters are based on the animal friends from the original games.

    [​IMG]

    There are also a few comics based on other Sega exclusives. The Golden Axe one is actually rather enjoyable in all its Conan-like pulpyness.
    [​IMG]

    So without any further ado, here is my Sonic the comic retrospective! The first five issues are already up and a new one is added every day!

    https://bob-beaky.tumblr.com/
     
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  2. EthanFox

    EthanFox Veteran Veteran

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    Heh, nice! I loved this back in the day; I used to collect it as a kid.

    I even had the comic that detailed "the Kintobor Origin" too.
     
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  3. HexMozart88

    HexMozart88 The Master of Random Garbage Veteran

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    These comics as well as the Archies served to remind me that basically any concept can be turned dark very quickly.
     
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  4. MechScapeZH

    MechScapeZH Veteran Veteran

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    OH MY GOSH!!!! I REMEMBER THESE!!!

    What a blast from the past! I used to read these when I was like, six- I found 'em on the internet- since they were out of print someone had gotten permission to post them, and they ended up on a "free kids comics" page.

    I loved them so much- they were unlike anything I've ever read. They made such an impression on me- the writer was... Kitching, right? He was a genius- I found his other work at some point. These comics were the origin of my love for psychedelic sci-fi. (Oh, Sonic just knows this omniscient living television... because of course he does. And there's a toxic being just... there- because of course there is.)

    Let's see what I remember...

    Metallix (he was awesome... Especially when he erased Robotnik from time & Sonic had to save him or Metallix would take over the planet- am I remembering that correctly? And there was more than one of him sometimes! And one of them was large and red- that I remember. And another looked like the red animal character that Sonic was always fighting with- don't remember his name, just his design.), Megatox (who appeared... only once, I think? But he was a creative design.), of course Robotnik (my cousins used to play Sonic games- I never had interest in the games myself- and the version in the games never lived up to this one.), Chaos (and the Drakons! I loved the idea of a creature comprised of water.), the Xorda (who always creeped me out... I remember I was kind of afraid of octopi for a while after I read that one- no joke. I visited an aquarium when I was seven & didn't want to see the octopus because of the Xorda.), the Bem (whose name I remember but nothing else), you mentioned Supersonic (great character), when Robotnik became a god somehow, the shape-shifter that went after Sonic that one time (and also didn't appear again? I think?) that was really creepy, the Omni Viewer (which impacted me a lot- I have an early draft of my own story that includes a character that is almost identical. The fact that, to my memory, he was never really explained made him really memorable.), the Chaotix (one was a traitor, I think?), the Gizoid (THAT I remember.).... Oh, and Sonic was a terrible person. I loved the characterization of "he's awful, but he's the hero anyway. Better get used to it."

    I think that's it. That's a whole lot more than I thought I'd remember- speaks volumes about the impact these comics had on me.

    I loved your retrospective, but it was a bit hard to read- the site you're using presents the panels in reverse order. If you didn't pay for the site, I'd recommend moving to a blog-based site or alternatively, at least posting each issue in a single post. Additionally, I'd love to see you write more- I've seen your game, I know you can write more than that!

    I'll be following this. :) Great work- I haven't thought about these comics in over a decade, and seeing your retrospective brought it all back to me.
     
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  5. Canini

    Canini Veteran Veteran

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    Really late reply, I know but I have been pretty busy the last few weeks. Good thing tumblr has that autopost feature!

    [​IMG]
    Yeah, it is pretty early one. Issue 8 I think (Also the issue that introduces the Omni-Viewer mentioned by @MechScapeZH )?
    Normally I really, really, REALLY hate the “good guy absorbs evil energy and now he is evil” trope. It is a very immature way of looking at evil and tends to make the heroes look bad for trying to defeat him instead of turning him back to normal.
    That say I really think the comic pulls it off, or at least makes it interesting. Robotnik is the character with the most varying interpretations so it is kinda interesting to see him as what basically amounts to a humanoid eldritch abomination, literally being made of evil. It also gives him an interesting relationship with his underlings. Most of them are evil but cartoonish nobodies that grow more ambitious and ruthless just by being near him.

    Sega: Sonic is a lighthearted game about saving your animals friends from a egg-shaped mad doctor
    Every Sonic adaption ever:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Although the omni-viewer (that is the name of the television) does not appear as often as I remember he is very important for setting up the status quo, Robotnik reprograms him to send Sonic into the future where he has already taken over the planet. This happens around issue ten where the Comic ceases being gag-driven and episodic and starts having actual story arcs.

    [​IMG]
    Mega-Tox reappears a couple of times too, but never quite reach main villain status.

    The retrospective will be getting into the Metallix character tomorrow! The issue I posted today ended with a teaser about the Metallix storyline so it should come up pretty soon.
    [​IMG]
    It such a trip to see this super-evil version of Robotnik with the silly aosth-design (which he changes into by incasing himself into an egg and then hatching because this version of Robotnik is basically a humanoid eldritch abomination) but it really works.
    He hasn´t been mentioned yet but Robotnik's goblin-like assistent Grimer is introduced here too. Initially I found him to be one of the lamer Robotnik assistants but he very soon grew on me. He is a pretty interesting character, mainly because we find out absolutely nothing about him. Grimer has more or less the same role as Snively from the US Sonic but whereas Snively is a traitorous coward Grimer is fiercely lojal and risks his life several times over for the good doctor.

    [​IMG]
    Even the children reading noticed!

    Yeah, that is the problem with tumblr. For people that are members and follow the retrospective it will appear in the right order, but for non-members for some reason it appears in reverse. I have no idea why it works like that. My reason for choosing tumblr is in part because it has a auto-post queue system and because I am already following a quite popular reread of the Archie Sonic series, so I know there is an audience. I did take your suggestion about writing more to heart. While tumblr, like twitter is more intended for bit-sized posts I am writing more about character characterizations, the writers and artists behind the comic and other stuff I find interesting.

    Thanks again for reading, and keep following the retrospective! We are up to issue 24 and I will keep posting an issue a day until we reach issue 50!
     
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  6. MechScapeZH

    MechScapeZH Veteran Veteran

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    Yup! This is what I remember most! That character is just nuts- they never explained him, right? Not even a tidbit? I don't remember a gag-driven series of comics- I guess I never read them.

    Really? In what issues did he reappear? So he wasn't a one-off character- that explains why I remember him so well.

    Great! Looking forward to it!

    ...Well, kids aren't dumb. :guffaw: They're smart enough to realize when a character is wrong, even if it's the protagonist.

    That's weird- is there a character limit? If not, would it be possible to group each issue in a single post and title them accordingly? Merge them somehow? That way, even if the posts are reversed, readers can tell at a glance which issue they're looking at.

    Keep up the good work! As I said before, you've reminded me of something that impacted me when I was young. :)
     
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  7. Canini

    Canini Veteran Veteran

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    Once again I really have to apologize for being late in my response (like, more than a month late...). This retrospective has actually worked swimmingly so far, with people now regularly commenting and upvoting. The first hiatus is now over and I am currently in the middle of the emperor Metallix saga (issue 60) and will once again post an issue a day until I reach issue 75.

    Nope! But he does reappear earlier than I remember.
    The Metallix army attacks him and downloads him in order to travel though time and control all matter in the special zone [​IMG]

    I don´t remember exactly since my re-read haven´t quite gotten that far yet but I do believe it is around issue 90-100 or something like that. He teams up with the Marxio brothers to control the Chemical Plant Zone if I do not misremember. Fun fact, he was only brought back because the son of the head writer liked him so much. It is funny how kids latch on to things, is it not?

    There is no character limit like on twitter. However, you have to know the audience behind the platform you are using. Tumblr is made for shorter messages and single pictures. There are a few examples with longer essays (one of my favorites being one that did a Animaniacs rewatch) but they usually do not get a particular large spread.
    But you can absolutely group them together as long as you know a little bit of HTML. In fact, the blog that inspired me to start this retrospective have one:
    https://thankskenpenders.tumblr.com/issues
    I am going to do my own version of this eventually.

    Once again, thanks for reading.
     
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  8. MechScapeZH

    MechScapeZH Veteran Veteran

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    That's why this comic stood out to me- unlike your Star Treks and your Fantastic Fours, it didn't feel the need to explain everything that happened or everyone that appears. If Mr. Spock or Reed Richards encounters an alien, they always start spouting some expository dialogue about what it is and what it wants, but in this comic, things just... exist. They exist, and to the characters they're normal. The readers are left to speculate on them. That's why I remember the comic so well even though I haven't read it in over a decade.

    The Emperor Metallix is another great character- he just nails that generic-yet-great "standard robotic being" voice. Something out of Lost in Space or Journey into Mystery.

    Well, I mean I somewhat latched onto the character as well- he was the one I remembered strongest. 4-5 years ago, I just remembered him on a whim- just the name & design, I had no memory of what he was from. Had to look it up on the internet. This is such a strange character- very emblematic of the comics landscape of the time. Thinking about it, I don't think he could've come from anywhere but the UK- strange designs were very "in" there at the time with comics like 2000 AD and The Transformers.

    I think this should be a priority- to be honest, I'm not really able to follow as it is.

    Thanks for writing!
     
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