“Oh wait, TAILS is the one that flies.”

Sonic The Hedgehog #37

Archie Comics Publications (August, 1996)

EDITOR: Freddy Mendez-Gabrie

MANAGING EDITOR: Victor Gorelick

“The Day Robotropolis Fell”

WRITER: Angelo Decesare

ARTIST: Brian Thomas

COLORIST: Barry Grossman

LETTERER: Luke Merlin

Bunnie Rabbot: “Bunnie’s Worst Nightmare”

WRITER/ARTIST: Rich Koslowski

LETTERER: Mindy Eisman

In the main story Robotropolis is about to experience an earthquake. While Robotnik and Snively escape with a group of his robots some of the roboticized Mobians are left behind, Uncle Chuck, Sonic, and Sally see this as an opportunity to deroboticize some of their countrymen and sneak in to cause a deroboticizer to explode, bathing the left behind robo-Mobians and restoring them, Chuck keeping himself robotic to continue to serve as their spy. Rotor takes the survivors in his plane, but due to a lack of space Sonic and Sally have to race out of their on their own. Sally is hurt but Nicole manages to calculate a path to safety. On their return Robotnik sets up a shield to protect the city from the Freedom Fighters as he rebuilds…which Snively put up a bit too early.

What they got right: While a minor victory considering only a handful of roboticized Mobians were left it’s still a victory and it’s always nice to have those. At the time this was still a kids comic and the tension works for the age group being targeted at that point. (I think Penders aged things up somewhat when he became the sole writer instead of the revolving writers they had at this time.)

What they got wrong: If Uncle Chuck’s metal body will supposedly protect him from the earthquake why was the earthquake potentially damaging the other roboticized folks one of the reasons given for hurrying up? You’d think “our best chance to free at least some of our people” would be enough.

In the back-up story Bunnie’s roboticized parts start to take over, with Robotnik sending a holographic message that there is no way to undo this, even if she’s restored. (It’ll all grow back.) As she becomes more robotic Bunnie decides to leave…but it was all a nightmare, tied to her fears that she’ll never be normal again. I think that’s what the story is trying to work with, giving us a peek into Bunnie’s mind. The problem is that there’s not a lot of time for tension and the “it’s all a dream” ending just feels foregone because there isn’t time to really let the story breathe. There’s potential but for such a short tale it doesn’t have time to reach it.

What I think overall: I’m not usually the one to say something like this but I think the comic is held back by the target audience. It’s nice that Archie was thinking about kids and this was taking cues from both DIC cartoons at the time (the video games went a bit older, part of how Sega was challenging Nintendo by claiming to be the more mature library to Nintendo’s family-friendly preferences) but these stories were good ideas that both go too fast–ironic, I know–to really gain traction.


About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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