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The Best and the Worst

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Posted

It's fun to gush about issues you love. It's even more fun to trash issues you wish would burn in an eternal fire. So why not do both? Tell me both your favorite issue across all of the Archie Sonic line (Main, Universe, Mini-series, Knuckles, etc.) and your most hated issue! Why do you love the issue the way you do? Why do you wish the issue you hate would be chucked into a fire? I'll start!

Favorite Issue: Sonic #257

While one could argue the Endgame arc had some of the highest stakes and was the most gripping storyline-wise or how Treasure Team Tango was the funniest romp in the book, 257 will always hold a special place in my heart as the book that got me to fall back in love with the series. It re-sparked the passion I had for the comics and Sonic as a whole, and it did a perfect job of telling a brand new reader everything they need to know while still giving an amazing romp for old readers to follow along. For people who want to jump into Post-Super Genesis Wave stories without the baggage of the old world, this is the issue I more than encourage people to start with.

Most hated issue: Sonic #156

Character assassination at its finest. I could write an essay on how the awful working conditions of Penders' and Bollers' feud made for a terrible conclusion to what could have been an interesting story arc with Antoine, but let's ignore that and talk about how Princess Sally was completely useless. An argument could be made for her step-down from action girl to boring do-nothing after the One-Year Later timeskip, but nowhere is she as powerless and UNWILLING to do anything about it than in this issue. She has zero agency on anything going on, instead relying on her brother and Sonic to fix everything. And that's not even getting into the pointless backup issue where Gallagher brings up Dulcy's previous abusive relationship without tact or purpose. An absolute failure on every level and, if I didn't know things would get better by #160, this would be the book that would convince me to drop the series.

Phew, that was cathartic! What do you guys think? I'd love to know your favorites and your most hated, and why they hold those statuses to you!

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Posted

Only one issue to pick? Jeez, that's hard...

Besides, I'm not quite sure which one might be "the worst" for me.

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Posted

Really? You don't have an issue that made you the angriest out of all you've read?

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Posted

Favorite issue?  No contest.  StH: 175.  Eggman virtually triumphant, the image of him striding through the rubble of Castle Acorn, showing just how potent a villain he can be.  Not only does it address the issue of 'why doesn't Eggman just wipe them all out' it gives the status quo a good shakeup, and allows Eggman to give Sonic a major putdown.  And of course setting up the new status quo where Nicole will have a prominent role.

Honorable mention to Spark of Life part 4.  Not only do we have the new Nicole backstory, a second AI with a kitsune mask (squee) but we also see a 'super' mode for Nicole.  Yeah, you might be able to guess she's one of my fav characters.

As for worst issue... wow, so many contenders...  I absolutely detest the whole Space arc.  There's the horrible crossover with Image Comics, the uncomfortable and out of place 'abusive boyfriend' Dulcy arc, Titan Tails (or anytime someone yells 'Chosen One' at Tails, *shudders*), the comic book robots, the Nerbs, the fact the first Future arc originally ended with Sonic dying in a teleporter accident like a freaking Star Trek red-shirt, the weird underground bunker story from 145 to 149, the corrupted Sonic and Mega Man being so OP'd like a horrible fanfic character that any drama in the story just evaporated....

But the very worst for me... well, actually, it's two issues, cheating a little I know, but...

StH 103 and 104.

If I wanted Guardians of the Galaxy, I'd WATCH Guardians of the Galaxy, not this horrifically designed knock off that I'm seriously amazed that lawyers didn't get involved.  What makes it worse is the fact it takes place in the main series, as opposed to one of the side books.  I'm not sure who's idea this was, but it was an utterly horrible one.

Also not a fan of the Downunda Freedom Fighters, so that doesn't help!

 

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Posted

Gallagher. It was Gallagher's idea, he was the one who took up writing those two particular issues. It actually makes sense that he's the one who did so, as before he was a writer for the Sonic series he wrote the Guardians of the Galaxy book for Marvel. No, not the one you're thinking of, the one the Freedom Fighters were styled after.

Those are nice choices! I'll agree seeing Robotnik triumphant was a nice gut-punch to the reader, even if I think they could have improved the whole "shield withstanding Sonic running at Mach 10" part. And while I'm not a big fan of Gallagher stories myself, I gotta say I'm a little surprised you picked that as your most detested. For me, even the cheesiest of Gallagher's stories (COUGH Sonic Super Special #10 COUGH) pale in comparison to the potential awkwardness of Bollers' worst stories or the offensively awful nature of some of Penders' worst stories.

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Posted

That does make sense.... and in some ways makes it worse!  I normally don't pay attention to who the actual writers are though tbh.

Even the best will often have some tweaks that could be improved!  

Well dislike is often not rational.  I agree that objectively speaking there are worse issues/stories out there.  Just that one really pushed a lot of my dislike buttons and it felt so..... irrelevant!  It wasn't the Zone-Cop picking up Sonic like they've done for the other horrible homages, but something separate, clogging up the main issue, with nothing to do with the story or the world whatsoever.

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Posted

My favorite issue has to be #219. Geoffrey literally shoots Sonic in the back!

My least favorite is issue  #252 since that was the issue where he has to officially say goodbye to the old continuity .

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Posted

I'll admit, Geoffrey's betrayal in the Flynn Era DID catch me by surprise and I think they did an excellent job at being nuanced about it. Geoffrey's reasons for turning on the Freedom Fighters are complex and in a way perfectly understandable, and later issues where he tries to act as the an influence of good on Naugus while still remaining loyal to him was very satisfying to read.

Yeah, I can see where you're coming from with 252, but in the book's defense it was very well-balanced and surprisingly nuanced in the reboot. Heck, one could make the argument that the entirety of the Countdown to Chaos arc was as gentle of a transition as the writers could afford to bridge the two continuities, gradually dropping the old one off as it introduced elements of the new continuity. That's just me, though; I can TOTALLY understand why one would still not like it.

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Posted

My favorite would have to be issue 200. Sonic finally beats Eggman.  Of course a new villain would take over before Eggman would return. What I like about it is:

 

1. Eggman finally loses it. It shows us what all of his defeats have reduce him too.

 

2. Sonic regrets beating Eggman.

 

And the worst is the ones with the Forty Fathom Freedom Fighters.  I just don't find them interseting.

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Posted

See, I feel like Sonic #200 had a good IDEA for an epic "conclusion" between Sonic and Robotnik, but it fell kind of... flat towards the end, especially how it IMMEDIATELY jumped into a new threat in the very next issue. Compare that with the entire "Brave New World" era between Sonic #50 and Sonic #75 where the whole theme was "What now?" in the wake of Robotnik's defeat and the rebuilding of the Acorn Empire. New antagonists EVENTUALLY rose up to face them, but the story took its time in exploring the stories available to them and built up the return of Eggman to make Sonic #75 EPIC in scale. True, all the right things lined up to make the Brave New World era what it was, but it still makes Sonic #200 and the followup issues lesser in comparison. I'll agree though the elements of Sonic regretting defeating Eggman and not knowing what to do with himself and Eggman COMPLETELY snapping were beautiful story elements to explore, and Robotnik's insane reasoning to bring himself out of his insanity is some of the best, most chilling writing in the series.

As for the Forty Fathom Freedom Fighters... yeeeeah, while I don't think they're the WORST, I'll defend you in that there's nothing interesting about them. I feel like when they were created Gallagher saw the world building Penders was doing with all these different factions and people and said "Hey guys, look! I can be cool too! Here's my backup team with their own mythos! Guys! ...guys?"

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Posted

Well... I suppose I'll have my say

I'm going to move a few issues ahead of what most people said and go issues 185 and 186. I gotta say I enjoy a bit of heroes going bad. Even if it includes a bit of mind manipulation. Before I had even read the comics I had looked forward to reading up to these issues. And on the most part I was happy. I do think they cut it off a bit too suddenly though with Mogul going for a "I will wait you out" approach. But I understand it. I would say the period for these comics and a lot of the one's around it (Including Eggman almost winning) was the best time for the comics to me. They've yet to beat it

The worst is a little more tricky. I'd say in general I'm not fond of the stories completely focused on the other freedom fighter groups. Didn't really enjoy the original freedom fighters story. But I'd say it's a toss up between the future freedom fighters (the guardians of the galaxy-esk ones) and the forty fathom freedom fighters for the worst of those groups. I'd probably give the edge to the Forty Fathom ones because they showed up way more often. More than they should've. Not the worst overall though. Another honourable mention is the space arc where Sonic is in space for a year. 'Cause why the **** not. We also had a few of the other zones stories. That Sally Moon one though... Tuxedo Knuckles scarred me *shudders*.  But my least favourite story... and the worst for me is... *Drumroll please* The Sabrina crossover story. I don't mind a bit of mind manipulation... but this...was...just... stupid. I would read that special just for the Sonic Underground story but would blank out completely for the Sabrina one because I just hated it so much. No other words to describe it besides being stupid

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Posted

Funnily enough, I've never read that crossover.  I just saw what it was, went 'skip!' and straight onto the Underground story.  But good choices I'd say.

And I would agree that period is probibly the high point for the comics.

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Posted

Funnily enough, I've never read that crossover.

You really didn't miss much at all

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Posted

Yeah, post "cleanup" period and pre Sonic #200 had some GREAT stories and ideas from Flynn at display. Personally, my favorite arc from that period was the "House of Cards" storyline, but Mongul rising was a really good one.

I'm noticing a lot of people are calling for the STUPID issues as their least favorites, more specifically Gallagher stories in a Post-Endgame Era. While I agree Gallagher shouldn't have continued writing after Sonic #50 as his style just didn't work with the universe Penders was setting up, I'm a little shocked people gravitate towards the stupid rather than the anger-inducing. Lest we forget the dreadful #152 where Sonic apparently NEVER TOLD ANYONE HIS EVIL DOUBLE WAS AT FAULT BACK IN 150 and started a really cringe-y attempt at going after every main girl in the comic. Even at their most emotionally vulnerable, Sonic and Bunnie kissing is SO out of character that it's insulting.

I'm not exactly a fan of Sonic #150-159, can ya tell?

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Posted

It all comes down to personal opinion.  And what one person might find stupid, another might find annoying.  Or stupiding is more irritating in anger.

The other thing is often there are 'moments' that make you angry, but rarely the whole issue, while there are plenty of whole issues that are stupid.

Agree with you on the 150-159 btw!  Though there are a few good moments in there.  Second half of 151 ;-p 

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Posted

Gonna have to go with the Guardians knock off for least favorite via most cringe inducing. Favorite major story probably a toss up between Eggman Empire, Journey to the East, and SU #3. And secret Freedom Fighters. The forced wedding between Sally and "Patches" didn't bother me so much, partially because it focused on a weak point in the Kingdom acorn, how the monarchy works. Remember no one knew about the Patches-Antionne swap until Sonic pieced the little fact about the scar with everything else. It might not be Sally's most flattering story, but it does work within the comic cannon and stands up to logic.

Side note: favorite side stories come from #144 and... can't remember where it is, but the first time we see holo-Nicole.

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Side note: favorite side stories come from #144 and... can't remember where it is, but the first time we see holo-Nicole.

That was 151.  The 'good point of 150-159' I mentioned in my last post! ;) 

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Posted

Thanks, I can never remember. I don't have a hard copy of it. But I still  stand by my other comments as well. I really did enjoy love and loss.

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Posted

Remember no one knew about the Patches-Antionne swap until Sonic pieced the little fact about the scar with everything else. It might not be Sally's most flattering story, but it does work within the comic cannon and stands up to logic.

...I apologize for this rant ahead of time.

HEY KIDS! IT'S TIME FOR TRIVIA TIME WITH THE SONIC NERD! YAAAAY!

In the wake of Sonic the Hedgehog #50, the company was scrambling to keep together a consistent crew of writers and artists for the book considering, you know, it was SUPPOSED to end at 50 but kept going due to the absurdly high sales. One of the changes brought on from this was the inclusion of one of the writers for Sonic #50, Karl Bollers, as a head-writer for the series to help back up Penders, considering just how much material was going on (remember, this was the same time not only Knuckles the Echidna was getting monthly publications but also the Sonic Super Specials were being regularly churned out. Sonic was POPULAR for awhile). At first, things were alright. But as Penders and Bollers had to work together more and more often in the wake of the Knuckles side-series and the Super Specials coming to an end, it was soon clear the two HATED each other. Like, "I respect this person so little I am going to actively ignore what they're writing and instead focus on my own stories instead" hate. You wonder why "Mobius, 25 Years Later" was a thing for what felt like forever in the comics? This was why - Penders refused to consult with Bollers on anything on the main series, so they essentially drew their line in the room and focused on their own things.

Throughout the Home storyline in the wake of Sonic returning from space and the "One Year Later" timeskip, it's revealed that Antoine broke up with Bunnie and adopted a harsh, "the war comes first" attitude to the fight against Eggman. It's important to point out this storyline was written by Bollers - remember, Penders was ONLY focusing on "Mobius, 25 Years Later" while Bollers pretty much took over the main story. According to interviews at the time that I can't find for the life of me, the reason of this was because Bollers wanted to show how war can change people. It wasn't happy, and believe me I was bummed my OTP was broken up, but Bollers was trying to tell a serious story of loss and how the hell of constantly fighting against a megalomaniac dictator can take its toll on someone, transforming Antoine into the hardened, emotionally shut person he became in the One Year Later era.

And then when Penders got a hold of the book again he said in Sonic #150-151 that none of THAT was the reason, but instead Antoine was just REPLACED by his evil twin from the alternate Mobius!

...

Can you understand why I respectfully disagree with you in how it stands up to logic? Or at the very least why this whole period of time INFURIATES me?

(Except the backup story of #151, I'll give you that one. Holo-Nichole was one of the best things they did with the character and opened up so many avenues of stories to tell)

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Posted

And once again comics are ruined by behind the scenes jerks letting their ego's get in the way.  *sighs*  

This kinda stuff if why I refuse to go near the background politics in my reviews.  It would just dominate everything to the expense of the review.

I actually think there's an element of history repeating itself, as there were hints of a 'war changes people' character arc with Tails near the end, and then the reboot hit, so we'll never see that.

(Pretty much turned a non-character into my third fav in one short script.  Well... second fav at first time reading through.)

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Posted

Interesting. Didn't know all the background info on it. Sorry to offend. I didn't know, and it didn't bother me. Ignorance is bliss (or will get you killed). As the recent election just proved, politics screw with everything. One of the big reasons I like Flynn is he can work with the system while pissing a minimum of people off. And he's an awesome writer.

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Posted

I can only think of good issues, because I tend to forget about the bad ones.

Gotta say I HATE some weird artwork, but storylines...I just remember some elements. For example, I didn't get the Titan-Tails thing. I just find it ridiculous and nonsensical (also, if I had to design a overpowered Tails, he wouldn'l look like Crunch Bandicoot...).

  • About "ma greatest hits", I would include the Treasure Team Tango arc (An all-girl Team Rose facing Team Dark, the Babylon Rogues and the Hooligans from Sonic the Fighters! What else could I get?), which could be my favourite story in the whole series.
  • Also, the Spark of Life is in a high place for me. A deeper story involving the creator of Nicole (Nicole is probably my favourite comic-exclusive character, in toe-to-toe with Bunnie)
  • "Hedgehog Havoc" was the first arc I read entirely, so it also has a special place in my "corazon latino"
  • And the most recent could be the Champions arc: Just goofyness and fighting. And also the first (official) appearance of the forgotten and almost non-existant Honey the Cat! (maybe I'm a little obsesed with girls in the Sonic world...)

I have also some honorable mentions, like the whole Shattered World saga, which gives a nice spin to the Unleashed storyline.

But I think I'm talking too much...so I'll shut up. Like now.

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Posted

No, it's cool to gush about what you enjoy! Honestly, those are all some really nice picks! The Champions arc is one of my personal favorite arcs from the Post-Reboot era, and Treasure Team Tango is one of the few pre-reboot trades I sought out and bought because of how HILARIOUS it was. Honestly, I don't think any issue or series of issues of the series has ever made me laugh as hard as Treasure Team Tango did. TOTALLY agree with the Sonic girls, BTW - they tend to be the most charismatic among the team, Bunnie and Nichole especially. Though to be fair, under Flynn's pen, EVERYONE has a unique and drawing personality to them (I mean, just look at Omega. He's so kill-crazy I just wanna hug him).

As for Titan Tails... yeeeeah, I think the only time I've laughed harder at something that wasn't supposed to be funny in the series was the Kawaii-Desu spectacular Sonic Super Special #8. They... tried. They really, REALLY tried, bless their hearts.

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Posted

Talk as much as you like ChaosKaiser!  Heck, the more people talking the better.

Gotta say I agree with pretty much all you said their!  I have to wonder if there is anyone who DIDN'T like Treasure Team Tango?

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Posted

Even I thought of buying the Treasure Team Tango volume... and yes, that would mean IMPORTING IT INTO EUROPE. But it might worth it...

@tiny260 Gotta say that I LOVE Nice Cute Butt-Kickin' Girls that have the story focus or are the main characters, so when you add Amy, Cream and Blaze as the new team Rose, you get ma bucks (nothing against Big, tho. I like him too). All the three-member team having different objetives with the Sol Emerald reminded me of Sonic Heroes. But funnier.

 And Omega... reading him made me laugh out loud. Ian Flynn truly deserves my respect for all what he's written in the Sonic series.

And that Sailor-Moon-ish Super Special... ugh... the cover looked nice, but... you know... *sigh*

@Skye Prower I just don't want to bore you to death. Besides, there's a lot I haven't read yet. 

And I didn't know Treasure Team Tango was THAT popular.

 

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