Sonic Comic Review #226-229: “Sonic: Genesis”

In Sonic #225, Eggman created a new Death Egg that he took into space to reset the entire world. He not only succeeded, but shot Princess Sally to death with a gun turret. What precedes was supposed to be a celebration of Sonic’s 20th Anniversary, but turned into a boring, dragged out story that adds nothing to the main comic. The characters are for the most part, vanilla in their behavior and everything seems by the numbers. By the time it is over, everything is back to the way it was at the end of 225 making this entire detour pointless. This is Sonic The Hedgehog: Genesis.

It begins after the big reset with Sonic (who’s now looking more like his classic self, but still has the green eyes) running through Green Hill and bashing some Motobugs. He comes across Snivley who’s been capturing Flicky’s to encase into Badniks for his uncle, Dr. Eggman. Snivley attacks Sonic using the old ball and chain bit from the first boss encounter. Sonic smacks it good and Snivley flys away in his damaged Egg mobile. Sonic then opens up one of the cages from Sonic 2 (only now in a Sonic 1 level) to reveal some Flicky’s along with Antione Depardeu (his last name from the cartoons), Boomer (AKA Rotor. Now going by his old name. Wait, “Boomer” was the name of the traitor in Silver’s book. Could it be?) and…hoo-boy. Sally.

Now you’re likely saying “What? What problem do you have with Sally?” Well, you see folks, the last two major arcs in the comic have had half the attention taken away by Sonic and Sally’s relationship. One was supposed to focus on the villainous wizard, Iron Queen taking control of Mobotropolis, but half the story was focused on Sally dating a cyborg monkey and Sonic not liking it. The current arc is supposed to focus on the…villainous wizard, Ixis Naugus taking control of Mobotropolis (I’m starting to see a pattern here), but half the focus has been on Sally and Sonic dating again. Now, she’s back in this “not-a-reboot” and her and Sonic flirt with each other and make lovey-dovey faces at each other through the whole story. It’s not that I hate Sally, it’s just that I hate what’s being done with her and Sonic as of late. Well, let me rephrase that, I DO hate this version of Sally in particular. Those who accuse her of being a “Mary-Sue” may have some fuel to the fire here. She’s little miss perfect. Everyone’s in love with her. SHE gets her memories back whereas Antione and Boomer don’t. On top of all this, she can now communicate with birds by singing to them like she’s Snow flippin’ White. But the worst aspect of this Sally is her need to have a man constantly come save her. When she’s not constantly surrounded by Antione and Boomer, she’s wanting Sonic’s help. Late in the story, Sonic leaves them behind and Sally is constantly wishing she’d have tried harder to keep him around. So much for the tough, independent gal from the SATAM cartoons. This Sally is apparently nothing without a man in her life.

Now, Antione and Boomer are written fine if not by the book. Antione is silly, does his bad french accent and gets himself into a lot of trouble. Boomer is actually better than he’s been in years. Not only does he have his mechanical smarts, but brawn to match his brain. I’d like to see this version of Rotor stay around. Tails is done very well. He’s not only tech-smart, but back to being the over-eager boy who wants to go with Sonic on his adventures and stick by his side.  Sadly, as much as I liked Antione and Boomer, they added nothing to the story outside of comic relief.

Now back to the story. Part of what makes it boring is that it just goes through the paces of the classic games (Sonic 1 and 2 in this arc) without much plot development. This is especially true of the first two issues. Issue 226 has Sonic and the Freedom Fighters going through the stages of Sonic 1. Avoiding traps along the way and fighting Eggman in a classic boss fight at the end. Issue 227 has Sonic and the Freedom Fighters going through the stages of Sonic 1. Avoiding traps along the way and fighting Eggman in a classic boss fight at the end. Do you see where this could have been done in one issue instead of two?! Watching these characters go through the old videogames stages is not that entertaining. It’s like one of those old, throwaway promotional comics that would show the hero going through the first stage of the video game. It’s okay for a short read that tells you about the game, but very dull when stretched out over two or more issues.

Issue 228 does pick up a bit. Sonic has the Freedom fighters meet Tails for the first time. Boomer is wowed by Tails technical know-how (Watch it Boomer.  He WILL replace you). They then…go through the stages from Sonic 2. Avoiding traps. Yadda, yadda yadda. At least we finally get to know why Eggman reset the planet in the first place. It’s not explained in this particular story, but way back in the past, an alien race known as the BEM took away Eggman’s ability to Roboticize and freed those who already were. Doing the big reset apparently removed that little curse and now Eggman can roboticize (or as it’s called here, “Robotize”) the entire planet at his whim. Snivley mentions that the Death Egg is now powered by the seven Chaos emeralds which they managed to get off-panel. “SIGH!” Back on Mobius, Sally and Sonic come to a breaking point. Sally wants to shut down Eggman’s operations at the source while Sonic wants to tackle him head on. When Sonic gets a flashback of Sally’s death, he decides to head after Eggman without the Freedom fighters to keep Sally safe….WHERE’S THE LOGIC IN THAT?! He’s keeping her safe by leaving her on her own with the others when he’s been saving their necks from traps this whole time?!

Anyway, in issue 229 (which you should pick up just for the great fan funny I wrote in the back of the book “shameless self-plug”), Sally and the FF’s go through the Oil Ocean Zone while Tails flies Sonic straight to Eggmans base in the Metropolis Zone. Sally manages to shut down the oil plant which manages to…shutdown the power at Eggman’s base in Metrolpolis zone? Okay, wouldn’t shutting down an oil plant just kill fuel supply and not kill power directly, or am I just thinking too hard on this? Anyway, Eggman escapes on a ship to the Death Egg and Sonic follows. Both Sally and Sonic (but not the others) get most of their memory back and Sonic has a big duel with Eggman in his giant Egg Robo from the final boss battle in Sonic 2. He very stupidly mentions to Sonic that the Death Egg is powered by the seven Chaos emeralds to which Sonic takes a cut power line and feeds the Chaos energy current directly into himself. Now that he’s super, he disposes of Eggman’s mech easily and uses Chaos Control to reset the reset. Sonic then writes “Hi Sal” on a window of the Death Egg to Sally and as she waves goodbye to him (Note: she’s on the ground, He’s in space. How can she even see him?!), a white light bathes them both. The end.

Where do I begin? Well, I’ve already shown some of the negatives, so let me first shine some light on the good things in this mini series within a series. First off is the artwork. The first two issues were drawn by legendary Sonic artist, Patrick “Spaz” Spazinate with layouts by Tracy Yardley. The final two issues were done by Yardley himself, though you could barely tell because the transition was done so well. Actually, I preferred Yardley’s art on the last two issues. Spaz’s work was great of course, but it felt like a mish-mash of two artists instead of one because, well. It was! That doesn’t change the fact that it’s the best artwork I’ve seen in the book in years. If nothing else, Genesis is pretty on the eyes. Excellent work from both artists.

Also, it should be noted that while I don’t care for the way Sally was treated in the story (Remember girls, you need a man in your life at all times!) and Sonic to some extent, I felt the rest were handled well. Tails especially. I loved seeing him and Sonic racing through Chemical Plant Zone together. Now, back to the bad.

This comic was just plain dull. The second issue told the exact same story that the first issue did. It doesn’t pick up at all until the third issue and even then, it feels like it’s just going through the paces so you can see some of the levels from the old games. It’s slow and that’s not something I’m used to from Ian Flynn. Even in his worst stories (the Silver arc in Sonic Universe comes to mind), the pace is fast and full of action. Here, it feels like it’s plodding along to meet the four-issue mark so they can sell it as a graphic novel. It could have easily been told in two issues instead of four. It treads the same material over and over. “Another earthquake! Eggman must be behind it!” “Look out for XX trap at the XX zone!” “Let’s fight Eggman again!” “Look! I am Antione and I am doing something silly and getting into trouble! Not unlike C-3PO!” “I’m Sally and I want sonic so bad! Why did I not try harder to convince him to stay with us?!”

Now, I know what you’re gonna say. “But Jason! It’s not really over yet! 230 has a prologue!” It doesn’t matter. Sonic: Genesis was billed as a four-part mini-series within a series and that’s how I’m reviewing it. If 230 has some Genesis effects pouring into the main continuity (like Rotor staying Boomer I hope.), then maybe there was some value to come out of this book. But frankly, the way I see it now it was a pointless endeavor to try to add a 20th Anniversary celebration to the comic and a major letdown for an arc that was hyped since the San Diego Comic Con of last year. I think this would have been better off as a separate mini-series just to see how Ian would handle the comic if he were to start it all over again. In the end, “Genesis does”….nothing to move the plot of the main story. What a waste.

Overall Score: 5/10

By the way, since the main arc is so incredibly long, I’ll just be reviewing it issue by issue. Sonic Universe will still be review once every four issues unless you’d like me to review it issue by issue. In which case, comment below to tell me.

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  1. I enjoyed reading this review. Being in a remote part of the UK, my access to the comics is limited to a null. I’m always interested in hearing about the comics though, they’ve always seemed that genuinely interested side of the Sonic franchise.

    While it is a shame to hear of such a mediocre review, it was a well written one, so I enjoyed it non-the-less.

  2. I suppose you can’t expect it to have many fresh ideas after so many issues, but since this was hyped up I understand the criticism here

  3. ouch. some score. i do like the art style. maybe i should have been a spin off. but i thought it was good. it was a nice throwback.

  4. But it’s still better than most of the crap in archie.

    Also I was sick to death of Sally playing the whole “I’m a policeman not a princess!” stance. Oh yes, and did anyone else notice how often she flashes her arse at Sonic just to make him do stuff?

  5. I don’t get these comics here in Western Australia anymore. I can only get the comics digitally though my IPad (RIP Steve Jobs by the way). Still awaiting issues 228 and onwards.

    1. You are not alone. Archie Comics ceased distributing both regular titles down here in August last year. Only chance of picking up anything from STH#213 and SU#16 onwards will require a digital download (which you’ve gone for) or find copies at local comic book stores which carry the series.
      Bad enough the newsagents didn’t get a warning (thus fans didn’t have a clue), but I’m yet to see anyone associated with Archie give an explanation, even after 14 months.

  6. I would say that the comic does a nice job trying to honor the first two Sonic Games. As a person who played those games once or twice, it was kind of cool seeing it given a different take.
    What I am worried about is seeing how Archie comics is going to do a tie-in to Sonic Generations next issue, because given Sonic’s own comic history it going to be a bit interestng…

    1. Game adaptions in the book now are just 5-6 pages in the back that show the beginning story part of the game and that’s it. Just something to promote the game. Not something that’s added into comic book cannon.

  7. To be honest, I kind of felt like this review was trying too hard to pick holes in the arc. Sonic and friends going through all the original zones as if they were in a Saturday morning cartoon was a great way to celebrate the anniversary, in my opinion. The plot wasn’t overly-complex, and slightly formulaic, but it harkened back to the simplicity of the start of the comics, while also recreating the original zones with great accuracy (I loved the way they were drawn, aside from Chemical Plant). That’s a great thing to do for an anniversary arc.

    Sometimes I wonder if a lot of the readers of the Sonic comics miss the fact that these are aimed primarily at kids, and try very hard to find something deeper that isn’t meant to be there.

    1. I completely agree. I did like the story, but it felt like such an interruption from the main series. I’ll be honest, if it wasn’t for the Scourge: Lock-Down arc in SU, I would have been a bit more pissed. It was sill a fun issue to read and was very nostalgic, but I agree that it was over hyped. Ian Flynn can really do much better than that. I also disagree with the Silver arc being terrible. I thought it was very well done and had an excellent villain. My only complaints for it was that unlike Genesis, the Silver Saga felt a little too action packed. I would have liked it if in the second issue we had a bit more time to see what Jana-Ca, Demo-Duck, Payback-Fox and the others were about and not have Dark Enerjak show himself to them so soon. My other complaint is that while Silver could hardly even scratch the demigod, he was way too powerful, making characters like Sonic, Shadow and Scourge look like pansies. He was lifting gigantic chunks of skyscrapers with his psychokinesis… really? Isn’t that, like, more of a “Super Silver” power at least?

    2. That was the problem; the comic felt like a commercial stunt. It was indeed a comic that was agreed and discussed with Sega for the celebration of Sonic’s 20th but the attempt to weave it into the comic’s main story had the wrong effect. Pria to the Genesis arc the comic was at it’s peak of interest which culminated at Sally’s ‘death’. What we got as a result was a 4 part arc with very little going for it in terms of character’s or story.

  8. I like the idea of reviewing the comics issue by issue.
    I wouldn’t mind Sonic Universe being reviewed issue by issue too.

  9. Picked up the fourth yesterday, it was alright, a nice look back at the original games with the Archie comic twist.
    Yeah, there could’ve been more to the story, but hopefully it’ll build up to issue 230

  10. I agree with you, but for the rating I would have to say 6/10 mainly because of the really cheesy pickup line Sonic said to Sally in Marble Zone (“Is it hot in here or is it just you?” “Sally says something about this not being the right place” “I know I’m fast, but maybe sometimes I’m too fast”) and all the other flirty and Antoine moments. The action felt kinda rushed to me, I thought they should have had all the stages in the first part and then prolonged the action a bit more. Like the Death Egg fight was way too fast for me and whatnot.

  11. Yep. That pretty much sums it up. But then again, that’s just my opinion. I don’t like Archie too much, too many characters, everyone’s favourite re-colour and too much drama. Meh, I’m okay with Sally but she was so boring in this. And I’ll stick to the games thanks.

  12. Completely disagree with this review. I loved Genesis. Yes the plot was thin and went through the paces of the games, but thats exactly what I wanted! As a “I was there when the Archie series began” fan who found later issues to be too complicated and un-SEGA Sonicy, it was a real treat to FINALLY get the Sonic 1 and 2 adaptations that the series never covered. Spaz’s art is amazing. Seriously, I bought the individual issues and will buy the trade paperback JUST to pour over every page of Spaz’s awesome work. The non-game characters were just like their good ol’ simpler 90’s selves. The action scenes were great, the whole thing was a fun trip down memory lane. 9/10 from me.

  13. I pretty much agree with most of what you said, i felt the art was great, but story was bad, scripting was off, characters (apart from Boomer and tails) were meh, and it was overall Pointless , they only did this to celebrate the 20 years of sonic, this surely couldve also been a sonic universe arc instead main series or better they could have done something more epic to celebrate the 20 years.

    4/10 from me.

  14. I agree with this review whole-heartedly. I loved this series as a kid, but I’ve been so far out of the main arc since about #125, that this was the “mini-series” I had wished would get me back into the comics. I will admit a lot of this hope was from the murmurs of Sally getting killed off, as I find her character completely dull.

    After reading through it, however, I’m just more hung up on the series than I ever had been. Personally, I might have liked it if Archie would follow what other comic book publishers do and make this a whole separate universe away from the main arc; one where Sally doesn’t exist and Tails is a kid again and Boomer is a bad-ass. I can’t help but feel this series doesn’t try to take enough from the Sonic series, nor from any comic series ever. It’s just stuck between the two, and its existence is honestly just a downer anymore. But I can agree it’s not for me anymore either!

  15. This review seems just a little harsh, but I totally agree with a lot of it. It was extremely hyped up for what I saw is a less-than-average story arc for what seemed to be, as you said, promoting a game.

    And I can’t stand Sally lately either, and am really glad I’m not the only one who sees her as a Mary-Sue lately.

  16. I think by the time I read the first issue of the arc, I realized these 4 issues are mostly to give new readers a starting point (seeing as how many people thought Archie was using this to reboot the entire series). So, while I’m a little disappointed that the events of this arc weren’t as “world-shaking” as it was hyped to be (or is it? Maybe the guys at Archie are screwin’ with us. : p), it was still a fairly enjoyable story. I guess it could have stayed more in the “classic world” a bit longer to really explore things, but eh, I’m more interested in how Sally’s getting resurrected (again…).

  17. It’s not really a harsh review. It’s a truthful, non-misty eyed review that focuses on the story and characters which is the backbone of all good comics; and any other narrative based entertainment. It was an average Sonic comic arc but at least Sonic Universe’s Scorge arc was a fun time.

  18. quite personally, I think another reason the comic is horrible is the mere fact that Sally, Rotor, and the other SatAM cast is there. If the comic is about Sonic’s Genesis story arc, then why are they there? I grew up with SatAM, yet I don’t get whats so popular about those characters, I hate them.

  19. I actually loved the arc. Then again I started to read it again after a prolonged absence Sonic’s 15 birthday issue to be exact., just cuz it was the 20th anniversary. But I will agree that it felt alittle rushed to me. Maybe if they made it 5/5 arc they could have fleshed things out more like with the different eggman battles. But I loved seeing labyrinth zone, scrap brain zone, chemical plant, oil ocean, and metropolis zone again. (haven’t read the fourth yet)

  20. I was kind’ve annoyed at first by the bias article, but there are some points I agree with. It’s just what if others felt differently? Shouldn’t the article be neutral? Then I finally recalled that this was a REVIEW and then everything was fine. lol

    So anyways, they basically turned Sally into a mary-sue version of her original self and had her also take on Amy’s role.

    I get WHY they’re there tho. Their original concepts WERE as animals that needed to be rescued from the capsules.

    “he decides to head after Eggman without the Freedom fighters to keep Sally safe….WHERE’S THE LOGIC IN THAT?!”
    LMAO Reminds me of freakin Twilight with the whole Edward thing. It’s stupid.

  21. I didn’t read the whole article because i have not yet picked up the 4th issue adn I don’t want any spoilers. I however, have very much enjoyed these first three so far. I love the comical twist that ian flynn always includes when tying in video game elements. Stuff like Robotnik being able to run so fast for a fat guy just made me laugh and laugh. And how about Sonic riding the Newtron like a hover board, that certainly gave me a smile. Plus it is great to see Flickies and the other animal friends in the comics. So I have been very satisfied with these issues so far.

  22. I love how the comments are mostly just people being babies because the characters aren’t from the games, because I guess the characters from the games are so much better I guess.

  23. Sonic did not decide to leave Sally alone because of the flash-back. It seemed to me that it had just “tickled” his mind, and then, spontaneously, he ended the argument he and Sally were having before the flash-back, by going on his own, since Sally wasn’t agreeing at all.

  24. I liked the premise of Genesis, but the execution lacked a bit. I think a couple pages shaved here and there, in addition to focusing a bit more on the character’s getting their memories back. I mean, Eggman seemed to get his back without any trouble for the final battle.

    I also think the final battle was a let down. It was an excuse to show Super Sonic and nothing more. I think it would have been more interesting if reality simply bounced back on its own, but Sonic had to prevent Phase 2 from happening long enough. They could have done more subtle foreshadowing of earthquakes being the one reverting and then had it revealed near the end. Super Sonic and Chaos Control felt like an obvious Dues Ex Machina. I guess the story was an interesting callback, but the hype was a bit high. I liked the arc, but it wasn’t great. I’m more interested in what happens next.

  25. Good review. I’d like to see reviews for each issue of SU. The more, the better!

    I hope Archie’s obsession to release 4-chapter trade collections doesn’t start to burden the main book, the way it’s burdened “Genesis,” Sonic Universe, and the new Mega Man series. While there can be moments of success, not every story needs to be 4 issues long, and if they’re determined to stretch each story out, they’ll have the same decompression problems that Marvel and DC Comics suffer from o_0

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