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.