A.K.A. How Scourge got his groove back.

Scourge is the kind of Sonic character I’d normally hate. He looks like a fan character re-color and he’s evil only because he’s a Sonic from another world where everyone’s morals are in reverse. The good guys are bad and the bad guys are good. The McDLT’s are always ruined because the hot side stays cool and the cool side stays hot. But I’ll be danged if Ian Flynn doesn’t know how to write the guy in a way that always makes for a fun story. He’s basically a parody of Sonic with all of Sonic’s cockiness and arrogance turned up to 11. It makes you end up liking him BECAUSE he’s a jerk rather than in spite of.

The story begins with Scourge at the lowest point of his life. After turning into Super Scourge and coming very close to defeating Sonic for good in “Hedgehog Havoc”, he was ultimately defeated and put into the No-Zone inter-dimensional prison where he is picked on and beaten every day thanks to an inhibitor collar that kills his speed powers and dampens his normal abilities. His only “friends” are Al and Cal (AKA Horizont-Al and Verti-Cal). An odd duo from much earlier Sonic tales. They are are sort of mystical Elmer-Fudd-looking beings who are gods in their own dimension. They take pity on Scourge and try to befriend him. They’ll find out later that no good deed goes unpunished.

Scourge has given up so badly that he doesn’t even bother to fight back at all. It’s a good start in the first issue as it makes you have sympathy for the devil. Luckily for him, his girlfriend Fiona comes in and gets herself along with the Destructix. She needs Scourge for a big job and has a plan to bust him and the Destructix back out of prison. At first Scourge refuses and yells at Fiona for possibly getting him killed since anyone building up a gang in prison is targeted for extermination by the evil King Max. But soon he realizes he needs them to escape and has to regain their trust over the next four issues as they plan their big breakout.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “What’s the No-Zone?” Well, much like DC’s infinite earths, there are multiple Mobius worlds across many dimensions. The No-Zone contains a police force that tries to stop any criminals who would misuse cross-dimensional traveling. Yes, there are alternate versions of our favorite Sonic characters in this dimension, but they all begin with the letter Z. Zonic, Zector, Zouge and Warden Zobotnik.

This is where some of the real fun of the book lies. Because it takes place in an inter-dimensional prison, there are opportunities for some fun cameos. You’ll be scouring the artwork to see some of them including the Werehog (twice in the off-panel strips), a muscle-bound Amy, an Angry Bird, Void, Bebop and Rocksteady, even Mephilis shows up to deliver the funniest line in the story.

This story arc has everything.  Good humor from the many cameos and other jokes. Great character development for Scourge as he goes from punching bag to king of the hill. But mostly, we finally get to see the back stories of the Destructix and more on Fiona. Before this arc, the Destructix were just a group of villains with little known about them. Since Scourge has to regain their trust if he wants to get out, he gets to know each one and in turn we get to know a lot more about them. Fiona’s back story is a bit tragic as she recalls her tough past and has learned to rely on no one but herself. Yet, here she goes and risks long term imprisonment to rescue the man she loves who only seems to love himself.

While, the first three issues is mostly all about character exploration and development, the fourth issue is all-out action as the prison escape takes up almost the entire issue. Scourge gets to show the great leader he can be even when he’s going back into the prison to get petty revenge on the inmates who mistreated him. He also “rewards” Al and Cal which helps cause a great distraction. Does he escape? Does anyone get left behind? I’ll leave it to you to read and find out.

While I did enjoy this story arc immensely, I do have some minor nitpicks to discuss. First off is the inhibitor collars the inmates wear. While they do seem to cut off any powers, they also seem to barely dampen anyone’s natural abilities. Flying Frog can still shimmy his skinny body through prison bars and use his long tongue as a weapon. Sgt. Simian can still bench press a few hundred pounds and Lightning Lynx still seems to have his ninja abilities. In short, it almost makes these collars seem kind of pointless outside of tracking everyone.

Also (Spoilers folks!) I have a problem with the Deus Ex Machina that helps them in their escape attempt. It’s in a box with their normal belongings when they were first brought in. I won’t say what it is but I doubt a Zone guard would not recognize it and what it does. I would have liked a better explanation of how they sneaked it in.

That said, Scourge: Lockdown is the best Sonic story arc this year. It’s highly entertaining, full of humor and gives great insight to the characters. As usual Tracy Yardley does a great job with the artwork and gives us tons of cameos to scour the book to find. I recommend picking up these issues at your local comic store, or you could wait a year or two for the graphic novel version. Either way, if your a Scourge fan, it’s a must read.

Overall Score:

8.5

By the way folks, i’m going to try to make these Sonic comic reviews to be a regular thing from now on. I’ll be reviewing Genesis in about two weeks when the final part of that story arrives. I’m going to try to do it story arc by story arc, but with the main book having a long, branching story you can expect some single issue reviews as well.

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27 Responses to Sonic Comic Review: Sonic Universe #29-32 Scourge: Lock-Down

  1. Paradox the Hedgehog says:

    Anyone got any info on how we can get it here in the uk? or any info on the SU compilation book that’s supposed to be released soon (Story arc 1: the Shadow Saga)?

    • well you could try any international comic store here in amsterdam you got somthing called vandal comi-x and thanks to him i have been getting these puppys since 169

    • If you live near a ‘Forbidden Planet’ or ‘Travelling Man’ store they’re usually pretty reliable for importing the comics. Ask if they can order them in if they’re not already there.

    • You can get paperbacks from amazon.co.uk fairly easily. As for individual issues, ask your nearest comic book shop if they can get them in for you if they don’t already stock them. Otherwise, there’s ebay, though the prices are fairly reasonable for recent issues, even with postage. Or some comic book retailers (Red Hot Comics springs to mind) offer subscriptions at pretty reasonable rates.

      That should be enough to help you get ahold of them somehow :)

  2. lol The first paragraph pretty much sums my thoughts on Scourge.

  3. i thought that arc was dull and boring, very predictable
    and @paradox there wasnt any information in the shadow arc book i got it and its basically just the comics thats it

  4. MOTHER OF GOD!

  5. I’m not the biggest fan of the Archie comics, but Sonic Universe is proving to be much more character-driven and enjoyable, imo. I can enjoy the incredible art and writing (well, dialogue, anyway) without the things I don’t like about the main series getting in my way.
    Also, I have to say that the little cameos in this arc were amazing.

  6. Without-wings-I-can-still-fly says:

    Woah, I saw this comic at my local bookstore and thought nothing of it.

  7. Jix Hedgehog says:

    Picked up the final part yesterday and have yet to read it. It’s been a pretty good arc, got to learn about the Destructix, bad ass crew despite them always going down so easily to the good guys

  8. NauseousPenguin says:

    I WANT TO SEE THE CAMEOS NAO!

  9. Looks like Scourge and crew got all A ranks in Sonic Adventure 2. :DDD

  10. Scorge’s little arc is very enjoyable which is funny because the Sonic Genesis arc in the main comic is average at best.

    • hannahthehedgehog says:

      at best…at worst its crap. and its at worst rite now. i hate the genisis arc so this was a nice relief.

  11. Th3AntiGaurdian says:

    Very nice review! I was a bit disappointed when I realized Dr.Nega would not be the main villian in this arc, and once I realized the Destructix were a main part of this arc. But once I read the first issue, all that disappointment disappeared. The Destructix used to be characters that I hated, having no back-story and just being a bunch of thugs that Sonic could use as punching bags. But i was extremely impressed how Ian Flynn crafted the history for each character. And if u noticed, Sgt. Simian actually belongs to the same Gorilla village that was in an early issue, I think the story was called “Guerilla Warfare” or something, featured in Sonic Archives 11 I think. Flying Frog’s had to be the most enjoyable tho lol
    Nice review tho, u summed up the arc perfectly! Im dying to read part 4!

  12. I’m glad I’m not the only one who enjoyed this arc!

    All of your thoughts sum it up perfectly and while I’ve not read the final issue yet I’m very much looking forward to it. This was a really positive step for the Archie cast to show that they can stand up on their own. I really hope to see more of Scourge, Fiona and the Destructix once this is over.

  13. *SPOILERS AHEAD*

    Thought the next arc would be Mighty and Ray.. we haven’t seen them for over a year I think.. dying to know what they’re up to. . instead we’re getting a Babylon Rogues arc

    • Real dissapointment; I’ve always hated the Babylon Rogues.

    • Th3AntiGaurdian says:

      Yea I would really like to see an arc on them, especially if it’ll include the Mercian Freedom Fighters (since Mightys originally from Mercia). I also heard something about an Eggman story arc?

    • I’m not sure why they’re getting their own arc myself. They’re not exactly fan-favourites. But I’m hoping that the writers will turn them into something more interesting than what we’ve seen of them in the games and comics so far. Otherwise we’re in for a dull arc.

  14. hannahthehedgehog says:

    See, I LOVE SCOURGE. I know it sounds weird but i do. hes awsome, MUCH better than sonic and i loved this arc. it was a great departure from the crap that is genesis. what are they trying to do w/ genisis anyways? makes no sense. but this arc was great, i loved seeing the destructix although i wanted to see more about scourges relationship with his dad ever since he let THAT bomb drop back in 192.

  15. espioofchaotix says:

    It’s a good idea to make the comic reviews regular. I’ll be looking forward to it Jason.

  16. I agree on the point that they could have come up with something more clever with the escape device.

    In fact, I figured since the escape device is usually worn like a bracelet that one of the D6 could have been wearing it in a way that made it look like an inhibitor collar. All they needed was some slight of hand to pull that off during the fight where they were captured.

    Otherwise it was a fun arc. I hope they bring the D6 back to their original competence. The first time they appeared they kicked the Chaotix to the floor. The second time required both the Chaotix and the Freedom Fighters to take them down and the still succeeded in their mission. After that they got new members and leaders, got turned into a minor annoyance, and they were never used in an interesting way again. I liked hearing their back stories even though I think they should have given one less page of Lightning’s story (as we already knew some of it from a previous arc) and added a half of a page to both Flying and Lightning’s stories to show how Mogul picked them up.

    I thought everything was done nicely, but I’m not sure how the Rogues are going to do. I always thought they were pretty unoriginal, but who knows the comic tends to give characters slightly different characterization to add to the character depth.

    • hannahthehedgehog says:

      hmm…you’re right, you know. they could’ve pulled that off. the fight seemed rough, it wouldn’t have taken much.

  17. Trogdorbad says:

    I love that evil Big in http://www.sonicstadium.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/SU_31-1.jpg I very well might have to get this arc. I always enjoyed the stories that involved the Zone Cops. Good to know I was right about Zonic being Sonic, though it’s pretty damn obvious anyways. “Sorry guys, I don’t have time to chop it up! My mission is of the up most!”

  18. Trogdorbad says:

    Also, fuck yeah Void. We need more Sonic Shuffle references.