EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry for not having reviews for the last few issues. My work schedule keeps changing and makes it a bit hard to have enough free time for a large article. That, and I’m fairly lazy at times XP. I will have a full review of the Eggman arc from Sonic Universe in two weeks. Anyway, onto the review.
Things are finally starting to turn around for Sonic. After losing both Sally to robotization and having Antoine in a coma due to Metal Sonic exploding on him, Sonic finally has managed to get back on his feet and create a new team. In the meantime, two other new teams are forming for different reasons. With 3 teams of Freedom Fighters instead of one, things are really getting interesting. But is it enough to turn the tide against Eggman?
As the issue begins, we see Dr. Eggman gleefully attacking the town of furville (take a wild guess at what it’s populated with). “Resistance will be met with mocking laughter and violence. Not necessarily in that order!” Ah Eggman, never change. While poor Cubot is being used as a coaster tray, Eggman lets the audience catch up on current events by explaining to Orbot what’s going on. Basically, since Mobotropolis has survived many attacks by him, he’s attacking Furville to make sure people realize what a huge threat he still is. Also, he plans to eventually roboticize the citizens (as soon as his roboticizer is fixed) and legionize those immune because of the BEM aliens (too long an explanation to go into here).
Meanwhile, back at Freedom HQ, Sonic is in a depressed funk. He remembers back to what Scourge told him not to long ago. “All it takes is one bad day and you’d be just like me!” Tails and Amy burst in bringing him the news that Bunnie has left not telling anyone where she was going. Tails asks what they are going to do since the team is falling apart. “Falling apart?” Sonic re-quotes. “Dude, the doc beat us. Naugus is king. The freedom fighters are done. So..” But before he can say any futher Amy and Tails try to slap some sense into him. Telling him they became Freedom Fighters because they learned from him never to give up and quit and that he’d better not think of giving up now. Sonic says he wasn’t planning to, it’s just that they need to do something different. It’s just then that Rotor enters the room.
Rotor gives them the bad news that Nicole has officially been banished from the city and will now remain at Freedom HQ. This shocks the others that the council would vote on that. Especially Tails whose mother was one of the voting members. Sonic’s at least a bit happy that Rotor can be back on the active roster since he quit the council. But Rotor tell him that with Eggman terrorizing the countryside, they still need a team to defend the city. “We have to come up with something new.”
After a scene of Eggman still terrorizing Furville and trapping its citizens using Metal Sally, we go back to Sonic and Rotor who are now in front of the council. They tell them of their plan to have a home and away team. Rotor explains that his back will no longer be a problem due to his Iron-Man like battle suit. Nuagus is not pleased with the idea and states that only he needs to protect his city. Rosemary reminds Naugus that it’s the council that gets the final say through a vote. All of the council (except Naugus) votes for the two teams. When asked who will be on Rotor’s team, Rotor says he has two retired (“Retired?” Heck, I thought they were dead!) members of the Chaotix and will sign up volunteers. Sonic tells Uncle chuck he’ll be leading his team around Mobius to fight Eggman and will be calling his team “Team Fighters” On the next page, we see Sonic, Amy, Tails and T-Pup rescuing citizens of Furville and WAIT A MINUTE!!
Okay, as Ian himself brought up on Sonic Talk, he sometimes feels he rushes trough stories too fast and loses some important details like Naugus’ crowning in #232. Here, it feels like one or two pages are completely missing. Where is the page where Sonic and crew find out about the attack on Furville? Where’s the page where they start to plan? You can’t just make a jump like that. You need to show how they found out about the attack in the first place. Otherwise, you lose a bit of coherency in the story. Okay, that’s enough ranting for now. Let’s get back to the story.
Sonic and Team Fighters kick butt on the bots and start freeing citizens. Sonic doesn’t even pull punches on Metal Sally anymore stating that she never held back when he was roboticized. Eggman is furious at losing ground troops. “How many of your friends do I need to destroy before you give up, rodent?!” bellows the mad doctor. Sonic fires back “I won’t stop until I’ve saved everyone you’ve captured! I’ll never stop until I’ve honored the sacrifices of everyone who’s fallen along the way! And I won’t be through until I’ve kicked your flabby behind once and for all!”
Being inspired by the heroes, the citizens start fighting back and attacking the robots. Frustrated, Eggman slams on his water tray (freeing poor Cubot in the process) and orders a retreat. Sonic tries to grab Sally before she flies off, but is too late. She does however, mention their next objective is Shazamazon (home of the Wolf Pack). Whether this is just an accidental mention or an act of her fighting back to warn Sonic is unknown. The story ends with Sonic and Amy making a bet on who will destroy most of the remaining robots left behind.
In an extra story, we find out who is officially on team Freedom. Rotor introduces the full team consisting of Heavy and the little machine that goes “Ping!”, Bomb (looking more like their game counterparts than in previous versions)along with our volunteers, Big and Cream. For some reason, Vanilla is okay with Cream being on the team. Stating that Amy said she’d make a great hero someday and this way she can help out around the city in relative safety. Yea, I can think of many reasons why this reasoning is poor. I mean, you just let your 6 year-old daughter volunteer for what is for all intents and purposes a sort of militia! Did the husband leave all the money to Cream in the will and this is her way of trying to off her?! Anyway, another member Rotor forgot to mention is Cheese who, of course, follows Cream everywhere. Froggy is probably on the team as well, but is not seen.
Naugus is none too happy with the team and thinks they are pathetic. He once again states that he is all that’s needed to protect the city. Rotor disagrees and Naugus tells him his words border on treason. (I’d like to remind folks that I’ve been saying Rotor is the so-called “traitor” since the Sand Diego comic-con last July and it seems to be coming to fuition.) Just then, the Tails-Doll that Vanilla has been holding for Cream activates and takes out a chunk of the building nearby. The doll seems to just take out anything made out of nanites. Instead of saving everyone, Naugus freaks out as the voices in his head start to go off. This leads to Team Freedom taking action.
Rotor orders (and is) Big and Heavy (I kid) to hold onto the side of the building while he and Cream evacuate any civilians inside. He then orders Cheese to fly bomb to the collapsing roof to reduce the rubble. With the people safe, the citizens praise Team Freedom. Naugus, trying to avert the fact that he did nothing but argue with his other personas during the chaos, turns the blame onto Nicole’s nanites. Rotor reminds him that had Nicole been here, this glitch may not have occurred. Naugus says he will look down in the earth where the Battle Bird Armada previously attacked to see what the problem is. He also thinks to himself that he hopes to find a way out of his problem with the council down there so he can have a stronger grip on the people.
After all the drama that’s been happening since issue #230, it’s nice to finally have an upbeat story. The Eggman and Naugus situation has inadvertently made three teams out of one. Besides Team Fighters and Team Freedom introduced in this issue, we know of the secret Freedom Fighters coming soon. The cover is awesome and striking. It has a great political poster look to it that makes it really shine out when looking at it on a comic rack. Eggman is both hilarious and evil as ever, but it’s the inclusion of Cubot and Orbot I really like. I loved them in sonic Colors so it brings me great joy to see them as regulars in the book. It makes you wonder just what happened to Snivley in SU #40. I guess we’ll find out next week. And thank God the title was the only thing remotely related to a cry. Last issue was such a weep-fest that my comic arrived soggy.
I also enjoy the fact that we finally see the council in a positive light instead of either self-serving or going against the Freedom Fighters. Granted, this is still the same council that voted out Nicole and allowed Naugus to be king, but I’m still glad to see them on the good side for once. I like the grouping of Team Freedom. Having Big on any team makes me want to root for them already. Although I still don’t understand where Rotor got Heavy and Bomb. They were last seen as either missing or believed to be dead. Oh well. Their treatment in previous issues was so hap-hazard that I don’t really care how they got back. I know Vanilla gave a half-decent excuse of why she allowed Cream on the team, but I don’t buy it. She’s six. She should not be in any kind of team that may be fighting against Eggman’s bots someday. Also, while Sonic’s Team Fighter’s is effective enough, I can’t shake the fact that they really could use at least one more member. Three members seems just a bit too short, but I’m just nit-picking.
My main criticism I already bought up in the overview. The story is once again rushed and we have no page showing just how Sonic found out about the attack on Furville. Instead, they are just shown in front of the council and then BAM! Furville. Also, while Tracy Yardley’s art is a great as ever, I do have a minor quibble over the fact that Vanilla and some citizens are suddenly partially inside the building when the evil Tails Doll activates. It’s probably just bad perspective.
Those are my only issues with what is otherwise a great and fun read. Also, it should be known that a lot of what has transpired is brought up, so this issue may be a pretty good one to jump into if you’re not a regular Archie Sonic reader yet. Go Team Fighters!