Dream Flashbacks Are the Worst Kinds of Dreams and Flashbacks

This is the last issue of the original miniseries. Once the main series starts, it gets tougher to selectively remove certain things from continuity (Freedom Emeralds say what’s up), no matter how ridiculous they are. But we shouldn’t shy away from erasing the original miniseries from canon either. I mean, do you really want to remember this issue?

Please don't try this at home. Archie doesn't need ANOTHER lawsuit.

Sonic Flashback!
Writer: Michael Gallagher
Penciler: Dave Manak
Inker: Bill White
Letterer: Bill Yoshida
Colorist: Lyrad Namlede

Sonic’s on the run from Robotnik’s Krusty Krabs. I have no idea why he doesn’t just go into a Sonic Spin and destroy them – he’s already shown he’s capable of doing it. At any rate, he gets cornered on a cliff, only for Robotnik to use his CHECKER-WRECKER BALL to knock Sonic off his block. “Watch that last step!” Sonic groggily mutters. “It’s a lulu!” This is apparently some early twentieth century slang that roughly translates to “It’s a doozie!” Thanks, Mike.

So Sonic proceeds to pass out from the fall and encounters a crudely drawn pastiche of imagery from his life: Robotnik’s head, Muttski’s dog dish, the CHECKER-WRECKER BALL, an acorn, and the planet Saturn (??). Brace yourselves: it only gets less coherent from here.

JARRING CUT to Sonic bashing a bunch of Badniks (see, I knew you could do it!) with Robotnik just kinda standing there watching. Suddenly Robotnik and Sonic share a thought bubble about Uncle Chuck and how he was responsible for both Mobius’s current situation and Robotnik’s origin. Yes, folks: it’s a non-canon flashback/dream sequence story about what would happen if Sonic and Robotnik were both kinda raised by Uncle Chuck.

Let that sink in for a bit.

The big plot twist is that Sonic and Robotnik are actually split personalities of the same person.

We go to Uncle Chuck, who has a barn now for some reason and is the inventor of “magic rings,” which he just finished making at his pseudo-blacksmith’s forge (?????). Sonic runs in to tell him, and I quote, “Little Robotnik’s being mean to me.” Uncle Chuck seems to have given Sonic the predisposition to tap his foot, by the way, since Chuck does it all the time in this story, which is weird given how patient and methodical he is. Also Uncle Chuck grabs Sonic out of a Sonic Spin, which is the second time so far that’s happened. Sonic’s weakness has been revealed !

So here’s this situation: according to Uncle Chuck, Robotnik is an orphan who comes from a broken home, and the hedgehogs bring him out to their farm every few weeks to help take care of him. But all young Robotnik – who looks identical to modern Robotnik except without his mustache – does is build random toy soldiers and talk about taking over the world. Born rotten, I guess you’d say. Sonic recognizes this as dangerous sociopathy, but Uncle Chuck keeps making excuses for him. Maybe Chuck sees a bit of himself in young Robotnik – a promising young lad skilled with machines with aspirations to take over the world. (The comic as a whole becomes a lot funnier if you think of Uncle Chuck as the true “secret villain” behind everything.)

Robotnik doesn’t do himself any favors, as he removes key parts to Uncle Chuck’s tractor and doesn’t tell the hedgehog, which bites both of them in the butt as the tractor crashes into Robotnik, badly injuring both of them. Sonic uses Chekhov’s Ring to get them both to the hospital in record time.

We get more hideously drawn panels (which this story seems to be completely composed of, and that’s probably a combination of new penciler Dave Manak and Lyrad Namlede’s unattractive coloring) and Robotnik totally blames Uncle Chuck for crashing into him. The tin soldier spills the beans that it was Robotnik himself who took out the parts, after which Uncle Chuck confines him to his room… and then wonders aloud if he was too hard on him. The kid literally tampered with something dangerous and then denied it after the fact, not to mention all the blatant sociopathic tendencies. Maybe you should be a little harder on him, Chuck. This is obviously some sort of social commentary on lax parenting. Robotnik just needed a good tiger mom to whip him into shape.

After Sonic and Uncle Chuck make a hundred magic rings for no other reason than to show that time has passed, Robotnik makes a death robot out of household appliances. Its head is a washing machine.

Its head is a washing machine.

Sonic saves the day through some boring means, Robotnik runs off, and I guess Chuck gives up on saving him because the story ends. Sonic (the real one) wakes up and runs away from Robotnik (the real one) in the Egg Mobile.

“Would you like to see more imaginary Sonic stories?” the editorial staff asks. Sure, if they’re not stupid. There’s actually a lot of fun in “What if?” stories, where you change one variable and see how it affects everything else – what if the Great War had been won by Overlanders, what if the Xorda never came back to Mobius, what if Ken Penders’s kids were recurring characters. The possibilities are endless, and the idea is cool because it allows you to, in theory, keep some elements the same (like characters) and mess with others (like situations).

But this was just a tragedy in virtually every capacity. I know it was only the fourth issue and they were treating the end product like it was a disposable good, but they could have at least pretended to put some effort into it. It’s a dream sequence that has no bearing on anything and isn’t even interesting – Sonic’s still the hero, Robotnik’s still a jerk, Uncle Chuck is a crazy hippie, robots have washing machines for heads. What’s next – Sonic walking around wearing googly eyes and a bear trap and pretending to be a robot?


Why Ask Spy?
Writer: Michael Gallagher
Penciler: Dave Manak
Inker: Bill White
Letterer: Bill Yoshida
Colorist: Lyrad Namlede

Sonic arrives at what I guess is Boomer’s laboratory, despite it not being in Knothole – he clearly arrives from outside a field, and there’s no forest around, and the lab doesn’t look like it’s made of wood or anything. Boomer is probably aware of this, since he’s so snarky and all. He also has a creepy look on his face as Sonic arrives with a hilariously placed sound effect.

I can't tell if Boomer is ogling Sonic or the chili dog. CRANK

Sally informs Sonic that the situation is dire: Boomer has been turned into a robot! Which means – as you may have guessed – he now has googly eyes and a bear trap. Sally and Boomer act like dicks and fool Sonic into thinking Boomer’s actually a robot, despite there not being random robotic jaws on the “robot slaves” Robotnik has. Their master plan involves more dickery, this time at Tails’s expense: Sally pretends to be running from the faux-robot Sonic, and Tails “saves” her by doing nothing, which they intended so Tails would sell newspapers about how he saved the day, which means naturally that Robotnik would get wind of it. Makes perfect sense to me!

BUT WAIT! Robotnik has already captured Sonic himself! “I fell into one of the master’s robot-makers, cleverly disguised as a robot-maker!” Robotnik probably doesn’t even realize he’s being mocked here; he’s probably thinking to himself that his clever plan of leaving random crap around everywhere finally paid off.

Robotnik isn’t just anybody’s fool, though – he’s considered that it might be a trick, so he asks Sonic to give him the location of Knothole Village! Which… shouldn’t he already have from the last issue? Continuity is hard, guys. =(

Sonic apparently hadn’t considered the possibility that Robotnik would actually test him! Either way, he’s bailed out by Sally and Antoine tripping the alarm at one of the factories, specifically the hilariously named CRAB COMPOUND. We’re also given the great line “You stopped so fast, your fake jaw flew off!” So the big plan here is to blow up this factory. Seems like an awful lot of convoluted nonsense when they could just go all SatAM-commando style and plant a bomb or something, but that plan wouldn’t allow them to dicks to everybody, so hey.

When Sonic enters the CRAB COMPOUND he prepares for a CRAB BATTLE. Instead he finds… Uncle Chuck, who’s appeared more in this issue than any of the Freedom Fighters! Still slaving away (literally) at the Crabmeat conveyor belt, Chuck calls for Muttski, who’s been turned into an actual robot dog. Where’s the Freedom Emeralds when you need them?! Somebody crown this mechanical dog immediately.

Knowing full well that he can’t blow up the factory where his uncle and robot dog work (and that it would be pretty difficult to just move them I guess), Sonic opts for the next best option: redirecting Robotnik’s planned Knothole bomb to the Buzzbomber factory. So… I guess this plan worked out? Maybe?

This is similar to Robotnik's revelation that pizza is, in fact, not for breakfast. KLAMP

Thus concludes the original miniseries. The quality of this effort was all over the place – Issue 3 took a nosedive in both writing and art, but the other issues had some funny bits mixed in there amidst the weirdness. If I were an eight-year-old kid, I’d probably be sold on Sonic’s constant foot-tapping and be enamored at him running around all over the place. But I also don’t think we need to necessarily dumb stuff down for kids – it’s possible to produce something kid-oriented and still be smart about it (hey there Pixar). We’ll see more examples of the comic going down that road as we progress. We’ll also see examples of the comic going too far in the opposite direction too – super-serious, not fun, and barely enjoyable for anybody. But hey, hop along for the ride. Let’s – as a great philosopher once said – do it to it.