…some more nonsense about Sonic the Comic.
I probably don’t need to remind anyone about part one of this article, as it’s still on the front page and you can just glance at it. But heck, here’s a link anyway if you stumble across this sometime next September. Now, let’s continue on! For when we last left our heroes, Sonic the Hedgehog was stranded in The Special Zone, the Chaotix were being ineffectual, and Dr. Robotnik…oh right, we didn’t get to that.
The fourth story in the comic, “Season of Goodwill” is part of the “Sonic’s World” header, a series meant to focus on members of Sonic’s supporting cast that often got lost in the shuffle. Once again penned by Lew Stringer, the story starts off with…oh, look at that. I was wrong last time. Amy does show up in this comic! I just forgot because she appears in one panel and does absolutely nothing except wish that Sonic was there. Surely so she could do terribly sneaky things that aren’t allowed to be shown in most other comic books. We’re also treated to an appearance by Tekno the Canary, who…well, could only have been made in the 90’s. I mean, look at her. You don’t get hair like that anymore. Even if that hair is probably feathers. Rounding out our holiday extravaganza, our favorite sidekick Miles “Tails” Prower and everyone’s not-so-favorite sidekick, Shortfuse the Cybernik are living it up like there’s no tomorrow. Man, that party…probably isn’t as fun as the ones Sega have nowadays.
But who cares about them? Dr. Robotnik, of course. Who even on this most sacred of holidays is plotting away at the destruction of a village full of random people who have nothing better to do than be random cannon fodder. Why aren’t these guys in robots? Doesn’t Robotnik rule the world at this point? Eh, it’s not the Saturday morning series, so I’ll let it slide. But just as he’s about to fire a laser that will melt all the snow in the village and drown everyone (that is really harsh!) the ultimate Deus Ex Machina appears – Father Christmas.
I do get a kick out of the fact Santa consistently refers to Robotnik as “Ovi,” knowing that somewhere deep down in those layers of Egg remain the good ol’ scientist of yesteryear. Unable to harm him, Robotnik relents to listen to the mysterious visitor, who offers the evil mastermind the chance to do a good deed, by disarming his killer satellite. But (surprise!) he doesn’t do it. Not that it matters, as Shortfuse destroys it anyway, able to pick up its very existence as he’s one of Robotnik’s badniks (see there’s an animal inside, and he was able to take over the robot part. Wonder how he eats, though). Because all Robotnik thinks about is himself, he asks for a present, as Father Christmas still got what he asked for. But (here’s the moral for those keeping score) Father Christmas refuses, instead giving Robotnik the foreshadowing that, unless he changes his way, his entire empire will crumble within a few months. Now that’s some intense foreshadowing!
I do have to give the comic credit, though. More often than not, it’s hard to sympathize with the “evil mastermind” version of Dr. Robotnik as opposed to the more lovable interpretation of the character in the video games and modern media. Maybe it’s because Sonic the Comic uses the Milton Knight design of Robotnik, maybe it’s because the art is just so good in the story, but that last panel…oh man, how can you not want to run up and give ol’ Robby a big hug? Sure, he’ll instantly send you to get robotocized, but hey, it’s Christmas!
Another year passes by, and we once again join Mobius at Christmastime in issue 119. The scene starts in the same locale as the previous Christmas tale, a snow-covered Emerald Hill. But while issue 93 stated the Emerald Hill Folk were hiding out on the Floating Island, the residents have returned to their old abodes. Over the last twenty-some issues, Robotnik has been overthrown, order restored, and the status quo completely shook up. Which is why instead of facing Robotnik, we the readers get to see Sonic fight…this guy:
Vile Peter. Nice name. Except not really. “Black Christmas” is the first story I get to review here which was done by the legendary Nigel Kitching–Richard Elson team. This is the duo that was responsible for most of the really great stories I mentioned last time, including the main, non-Christmas tale of issue 68. So what do K and El have in store for us? A guy who likes to kidnap children. And put them in a jar.
As you can probably guess, there’s a bit of magic involved here, and even though he doesn’t look as menacing as Ivo, he still manages to give Sonic the slip. But instead of slipping into another twenty-issue epic, Nigel remembers this is a Christmas story. So our favorite yearly Deus Ex Machina, Santa Claus, returns. Seems Vile Peter is just an elf who went bad…maybe because he had a pointy nose instead of ears. I don’t claim to understand elf politics. Perhaps remembering the events of the Christmas rave of 1993, Sonic refuses to blindly accept that this rotund savior is the real deal and not just Robotnik in a disguise. So he proceeds to grab Santa’s beard and spin him around. And throw him into a bunch of barrels filled with snow. It is at this point when Sonic realizes that maybe he might have just acted like a huge ass to Father Christmas himself. Whoops!
Santa is the real deal, and finds the mixup on Sonic’s part only humorous. He frees the kids, apologizes for his rogue elf, and still gives Sonic presents. I mean, I guess he did save the world and all a few issues back, maybe freaking out on Santa can be forgiven. But only this time. One thing, though. Tails sure is happy about getting those gifts early, but they’re only marked for Sonic…
Now, standard practice in a Sonic the Comic issue is that each comes with four stories. And while up to this point only some have been dedicated to Christmas, this time around every story has something to do with the holiday. I’m not going to talk about the Decap Attack one as it has nothing to do with Sonic and I’m already going on and on, so I’ll try to be quick with the next two.
The second story, “Going Crackers” is a solo Tails story in which he has to help out the citizens of Tower Hill Zone to make sure this Christmas is the merriest! Their Zone-Leader Basil Poultry (yes that is his name) completely loses his mind when setting up for Christmas becomes too much for him. Settling into full-on scrooge mode, he dons a mechanical suit (it’s Mobius. They’re just sitting out for anyone) and starts his anti-Christmas rampage. Which consists of him throwing a bag of mail twenty feet and knocking the head off of a snowman. Of course, Tails helps him calm down and learn the error of his ways, and he is surprised that everyone is able to forgive him. Heck, he didn’t do much more than a sour eight year old would have.
The final Sonic story in the issue is…oh look, Sonic World. Featuring Amy and Tekno the Canary. And no Sonic to be seen! It’s pretty simple, bringing Shortfuse back from wherever he was and having an alien from the planet KaamDaarn hitch along for the ride. With badniks learning the true meaning of Christmas because of the aliens super magical powers that would probably be useful when they fight Robotnik in the future, but won’t come into play because she has to go back home. Like I said, pretty simple.
…and I still have two Christmas-themed issues to go. Guess I really should have started this 12-days shtick at the proper time. You know what? Since I did miss three, I’m going to wait until later to round off this journey into Christmas with Nigel Kitching and friends. That, along with the article about Sega’s toilets can be the “bonus” Christmas content you’ve all wanted!
…no, wait. I’m still missing a day. Um…er…on the first day of Christmas, Retro gave to me…Slingerland. Yeah. He plays Hockey that’s got ice and ice is in winter and oh you know the rest.