Guest Post -James M's IDW Sonic Double Review of FCBD 2021 and Issue 43

 

Salutations again, James M here and we're gonna be doing a double review for IDW Sonic's latest releases, the Free Comic Book Day 2021 special and issue 43. For me, this is to make up for not reviewing the FCBD 2021 issue before issue 43 dropped. Anyways, so what's up in IDW Sonic.

With the Free Comic Book Day issue, we're taking another trip back into the Classic Sonic timeline with a story about Tails discovering Amy Rose's secret hobby as a writer and artist. After he sees Amy's stories, Tails starts showing people her work and we see Mighty & Ray make another appearance and, among the others who see Amy's work is none other than Honey the Cat, who makes her triumphant return in IDW Sonic (in the Classic era anyway). After the story ends with Sonic seeing Amy's work, we get a recap of the main IDW Sonic story and a small preview of the next upcoming arc.

Jumping over to IDW Sonic issue 43, part three of Zeti Hunt was intense and decently written with action from the start all the way to when the Zeti go down and Sonic learns that Belle has been kidnapped. Part 4 is shaping up to be something big very soon when it drops, all thanks to the latest IDW Sonic issue. The future of Sonic looks promising with nothing that can stop Sonic as he spin-balls through his 30th anniversary year with no road bumps or cruel restrictions enforced on him.

Well, people. This is where we sign off, for now.

Bye.

-James M







Guest Post -James M's review of Archie Sonic Online Issue 251

 








Almost over a year and a half after Archie Sonic Online's last upload, Archie Sonic Online returns with the 251st issue of Archie Sonic and something massive: The long-awaited return of Hershey the Cat. Plus, the endgame of the King Naugus arc has descended and Naugus has gone crazy.

I just read the issue and this was insanely good, the fans put a lot of energy into this and there was so much passion. I'm very impressed with my fellow fans, Archie Sonic Online is a fan project worth reading and its doing a fine job showing us a glimpse of what could've been with the real Archie Sonic. It goes to show that the fans are just as good as the companies that produce games and comics.

While Archie Sonic may be gone, its legacy is never forgotten. The fans will do everything they can to honor long forgotten stories and projects, no matter what happens, as long as they don't come under fire from anybody like SEGA. I once again salute Archie Sonic Online and we wait patiently for the release of the long-awaited Sonic Underground epilogue with Sonic Underground Online Issue 50.

Peace out!

-James M

Guest Post -James M's review of IDW Sonic issue 42

 


Welcome back, fans. Its IDW Sonic time again and, after adventuring into the Classic Sonic timeline, we're journeying back into the main timeline with issue 42 that serves as part two of Zeti Hunt.
This one was intense and epic, the Zeti attacked Resistance HQ and Doctor Starline returned... to kidnap Belle. 

That's right, baby. Doctor Starline's back and he kidnapped Belle, mostly due to the fact he never forgot her after the events of the Chao Races and Badnik Bases arc written by Evan Stanley. Nice to see Ian start to build off what Evan established between his departure and return. Its so cool to build on something established in a comic that often builds off what the Sonic games have established despite its non-canon status.

Ian and his crew did an excellent job with this issue and there were a few cool Easter Eggs throughout, can't name them all, but there was a Star Fox Easter Egg in Tails' Central City workshop. The characterizations were beautiful and the writing team pulled no punches, it was intriguing to see Starline be shocked to learn that Zavok was still alive after the Bad Guys miniseries. 

C'mon, you can't kill off a licensed character unless you have necessary permission and I'd be shocked too if I found out that someone I thought was dead was still alive. Can't keep a good villain down, am I right? Also, seeing Tangle and Whisper is very sweet, they are great characters and so is Jewel the Beetle. This issue was full of great moments and story scenes that will never be forgotten.

My score for IDW Sonic issue 42 is a 9.5 out of 10.
See you in issue 43, folks!


Guest Post -Sonic's 30th Anniversary and IDW Sonic 30th Anniversary Special Review

 

Aloha, Sonic Fans. It is I, CVGWJames, and we're back.

Today's a special day, folks. Why? IT'S SONIC'S 30TH BIRTHDAY, TRA LA LAAAAAAAAAH! That's right, everybody. It's been thirty years since our favorite blue hedgehog was born into the media universe and made his way into our hearts. Since his first game, Sonic has become very popular and, after so much trial and error, he's still as popular as ever. Thanks to the success of the Sonic movie, the hedgehog's popularity has grown higher than it has since it started to decline in the late 1990s.

I will never forget when I learned about Sonic's existance, around that time, I was only into Mario and LEGO. But eventually, I got my hands on a Sonic game i.e. Sonic Colors and the rest is history. I've played several Sonic games, watched almost all of the cartoons, read the comics and wrote numerous Sonic fanfics as well as done a boatload of Sonic fan art. The gosh darn beloved blue hedgehog has made such an impact on so many lives and inspired so many people around the world.

To think that, back in 1991, the thought of Sonic possibly making it to 2021 was unthinkable. C'mon, he'd just started. And back in 1999, if someone from the future told you that Sonic would be getting a movie that would make him more popular than ever in 2020, you'd probably be shocked. But, history is history, this is almost as real as a businessman running for president. So, speaking of Sonic comics, lets see how the current Sonic comic publisher, IDW, handles Sonic's 30th anniversary...

By releasing a special comic that involves CLASSIC SONIC, that's right, we're getting a special comic set in the Classic era. As you probably know, the main comic is set in the Modern era and SEGA has some restrictions in place against IDW using classic characters in the comic. But, by popular demand, there is a way to see classic content in IDW, IN A COMIC SET IN THE CLASSIC SONIC TIMELINE with not one, BUT THREE STORIES!

The first story "Seasons of Chaos" is written by Ian Flynn himself and sees Sonic and crew journeying through various zones based on the four seasons as they try to prevent the bad guys from getting all the Chaos Emeralds. It features the likes of not just Sonic, Eggman, Tails, Amy, Knuckles and Metal Sonic, but the return of Mighty, Ray, Tails Doll, Bean, Bark, Nack, the Heavy King and Metal Knuckles. All of whom have not been seen since either Sonic the Fighters and Sonic R as well as Mania or Archie Sonic.

When Ian Flynn talked about pitching SEASONS OF CHAOS, he sounded very excited. C'mon, he misses writing most of the characters who show up in the story. I will say, I was impressed by the writing of this and it was a very entertaining read. Ian knows how to write Sonic, now if only SEGA was willing to make certain characters like Mighty and Ray more than classic-exclusive characters. Anyways, let's talk about the other stories...

"Sonic Learns To Drive" is a fun one, especially since it introduces a new character and sees Sonic learning how to drive. At the end of the story, he kinda gets the hang of driving right as he learns that Eggman is attacking. This one is written not by Ian Flynn, but by four new writers. Can't name them all, but they seemed to be very passionate about Sonic.

Finally, we have "Doctor Eggman's Birthday", a harmless little tale about Eggman on his birthday. This one, like the last two, is set in the Classic Sonic timeframe. This one was written by Gale Galligan, who seems to be pretty good. Now that I've talked about ALL three stories, what do I think of this comic?

It's pretty good, very well-made. SEGA was very generous again and Classic Sonic is quite good, as long as the higher-ups focus on the current incarnation of Sonic and not shoehorn Classic into the modern era, which has annoyed the heck out of the fans to an extent. Happy 30th birthday, Sonic. May your days always be as special as your fans' days, to 30 more years and beyond...

-CVGWJames





Guest Post -James M's review of IDW Sonic Issue 41

 








Salutations once again, IDW Sonic fans, its time for another story arc. But this is a special one, we're hunting Zeti and Ian Flynn is back to write this one. That's right, Ian Flynn has returned to the writer's chair to take care of a dangling Metal Virus saga plot thread: The Deadly Six and the fact they're still on Sonic's world. This one is pretty good so far, Ian's not held back by that much limitations from SEGA.

Right off the bat, we start out with a battle between Sonic and Eggman in a snowy village and Eggman gets angry when Sonic calls him "Baldy McNosehair". That's right, most of the fans aren't the only people who don't like that joke from Sonic Colors. The Meta Era haters have made themselves heard, a nice nod to the 2010s before Sonic moves into a fresh new era.

Moving away from Sonic vs Eggman, Zavok reunites with the other Zeti and they start causing mayhem and destruction that attracts the attention of The Restoration, leading to Tails contacting Sonic at the end of the issue. Just like that, "Zeti Hunt" has begun. I will say, Ian did a great job, I'm impressed with the writing and the characterizations are pretty colorful.

With this issue behind us, its time to look forward to the rest of the arc and enjoy some Sonic 30th Anniversary goodness that involves Sonic's past self aka Classic Sonic. Later, fans. This issue gets a 9/10, no big flaws, nothing worth hating. It's just pure Sonic goodness.

-James M



Guest Post -James M's review of IDW Sonic issue 40

 









Welcome back, folks. IDW Sonic the Hedgehog issue 40 is here and, along with it, the finale to Evan Stanley's Test Run story arc. The momentum did not stop as it accelerated all the way to the end, the action was great and the finale was perfect. Plus, at long last, we have answers regarding Belle. Prepare for spoilers people, Bell the Tinkerer was created by... DOCTOR EGGMAN, when he was Mr. Tinker.

That's right Eggman's Mr. Tinker legacy lives on through Belle as she will be helping Sonic and friends fight the evil version of her father from here on out. However, you gotta feel sorry for Belle after learning the terrible truth about her own creator, but at least Eggman didn't install some sort of evil software program inside Belle's mind that could make her join her father's empire any time.

With "Test Run" over, what did I think of it? It was creative, flawless storytelling, Evan and the writing team did an excellent job. It's nice that SEGA is permitting creative freedom in some form, especially since this is a Sonic comic based on the video games. Besides, having the comic be strictly in-line with the game universe would hamper/stifle creativity to no end.

IDW Sonic gets better and better with each new release and continues to make new fans and longtime fans very happy as long as the writing is not childish and the Sonic characters are the characters, however, we must keep in mind that IDW Sonic is 40 issues into its run and its been 3 years since it started. The comic is walking, it has to walk before it starts to run and goes all out with anything.

Get ready, fans. The next issue will see the return of Ian Flynn and the beginning of a new arc that involves the Deadly Six, Zeti Hunt should be fun and the preview for part one confirms that the story will be flat out fun from the beginning. Anyways, see you all later. 10/10 for this story.

-James M




Guest Post -James M's review of IDW Sonic issue 39

 








Fellow Sonic fans and good friends of mine, THE THIRTY-NINTH ISSUE OF IDW SONIC IS HERE and we are nearing the end of TEST RUN! TRA-LA-LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Everything has gotten more juicy, Tangle and Belle have busted Orbot and Cubot and they're now about to rescue Sonic, Amy and Tails, who've just broken out of that house they ended up in during the previous issue and are now face to face with an old enemy from the Dreamcast era: THE EGG VIPER!

*Cue Militant Missionary from SA1*

"Get a load of this! Get a load of this! *Mech gets hit* No way, I can't believe this!"

Link to original boss here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0uTys0qrww

However, there's more to the new Egg Viper battle than meets the eye. This time, Sonic's not fighting one Egg Viper, HE'S FIGHTING MULTIPLE EGG VIPERS! And this time, he's got backup from Amy and Tails, both of whom were elsewhere when Sonic fought the last Egg Viper. Tails had just saved Station Square and Amy was trying to help a blue bird find its family.

Oh, and Eggman's not actually in the pilot seat of any of the Egg Vipers, he's using VR tech that apparently looks like freaking scrapped SEGA VR tech. Dang, Eggman. That's new. 

I have to salute Evan Stanley, she does a great job with this issue and the characters are on point, seeing her recreate and update the Egg Viper battle is also a welcome surprise. I wonder what other surprises that she has in store, oh yeah, there's about two cute SonAmy moments in the issue.

We have one issue left in this arc and the IDW team's going all out with nothing to stop them, even if they're working within any SEGA guidelines put in place, but thats a different story for another time. IDW Sonic the Hedgehog #39 gets a big 9.5/10, IDW Sonic's momentum is building higher and higher with each passing issue, all thanks to great writing and good teamwork between IDW and SEGA.

See you later, fans. Peace!

"I'm outta here."

-CVGWJames





Guest Post -James M's review of IDW Sonic Issue 38


 







Salutations, Sonic fans. Sorry it took a while, but I'm here to give my thoughts on the latest issue of IDW Sonic and part two of Test Run. Thats right, we're halfway through Evan Stanley's second IDW Sonic story arc and things are really getting good when they really get good.

Where we last left Sonic, Tails and Amy, they got to Eggman's weird tower and got stuck in a maze before Sonic ran around the maze at high speed and smashed through the wall with help from Amy and her hammer, this lead to Sonic and crew falling through a space void. Meanwhile, Tangle and Belle decided to go investigate the situation involving the strange weather off the coast.

Sonic, Amy and Tails manage to get out of the space void only to end up in a creepy abandoned town, which has the same strange space-time properties as the maze they escaped from. The trio enter a house and encounter new Badnik hybrids. Meanwhile, Tangle and Belle break inside Eggman's new base and overhear Orbot and Cubot talking to Eggman. After that, Belle has an encounter with Egg Pawns and its made clear that she's basically a Badnik but Tangle is still cool with her.

Back in the strange Badnik-filled house, Sonic, Amy and Tails are contacted by Eggman, who taunts them and declares they're now his new test dummies for his new Badniks and the issue ends with Sonic and crew preparing to fight Eggman's Badnik hybrids.

I will say, Evan knows how to write a story as much as Ian Flynn does, especially since Evan did read Ian's stuff before becoming part of the Sonic comic staff years ago. The cliffhanger was quite amazing and I look forward to part three of the short story arc as much as I look forward to the future of IDW Sonic going forward during the blue blur's thirtieth anniversary year and beyond.

My score for Issue 38 is a 9.5/10, hope you read and loved this Sonic comic. See you later.


Guest Post -James M's review of IDW Sonic Issue 37

 


Welcome back to IDW Sonic world, folks. Year Three is behind us and now its time for YEAR FOUR, starting with issue 37 and a brand new arc written by Evan Stanley, fresh off from CHAO RACES AND BADNIK BASES! I'll say this, folks. Since we're in 2021 and with Sonic's 30th Anniversary looming, the future is bright for the franchise and the comics have a promising future too...

So, what's the new arc about? Well, Evan did give us a bit of info a couple months back that there would be a storyline where Sonic, Amy and Tails go explore a strange tower set up by Eggman while Tangle and newcomer Belle help out the heroes from behind the scenes. So far, the story has gotten off to a fairly good start and Evan is going all out with this one with no SEGA mandates to stop her.

How are there no SEGA mandates that serve as road-bumps for Evan here, you ask? Well, she's working with characters who are easy to write and Shadow isn't here right now. Huzzah, by not including Shadow in almost everything, the writers are free to write certain characters without being bogged down by tight restrictions as long as they don't do anything that SEGA doesn't approve of.

I'll say this, Evan is great with characterization and character interactions just as Ian is. Well, no big friggin' duh, every writer has done their best to be great with character interactions and characterization despite a few hiccups in the road depending on the situation. Sonic, Amy and Tails have a great dynamic just as Tangle and Belle are getting along well and their dynamic is sweet too.

After reading this issue the day I got it and after thinking about it for a while, I will say that IDW Sonic issue 37 is without a doubt the best issue in the comic series. And so, I strongly give this issue a 9/10 like almost every other issue. May IDW Sonic be strong next to Archie Sonic, also, I think its time for SEGA to ease up on its grip on the comic and lift certain mandates. They've been playing it safe long enough, let the comic cut loose and go all out. Have a good day, folks!

-James. M











Sunday wrap up: Mystics and mystery and murder, oh my!

 


Books, books, and more books.  Life always stops when Nora Roberts aka J.D. Robb releases the next book in her ongoing In Death series featuring Eve Dallas and Roarke.  The latest installment # 52 Faithless in Death is a  magnificently written story involving death, jealousy, an international cult, and revenge. It picked up where #51 Shadows in Death left off with Eve completing the dreaded paperwork.  


"Paperwork could kill.  Nothing, to Eve Dallas's mind, reached the same heights -- or depths -- as paperwork's terminal boredom."

Loved the twists and turns and how together with the FBI, homeland security, Interpol, plus Eve and her whole cast of characters managed to solve the crime." 

(Category: Be Still my Heart, Futurist romantic suspense, 390)


Read two new to authors featuring the magical and the mystical. My kind of story. 


"Dragons sleep in the earth here.  I feel them. Sometimes I see them - in my head, in my dreams, in the hunched shape of the mountains curled around the flattened bowls of the valleys"

Totally enjoyed Dragons in the Earth and read it twice, getting something different out of it each time. Claire is an interesting character, a psychic in tune with nature and can talk to animals, sense them everywhere to the extent she can sense the dragons asleep in the earth. Mix in horses, Gods and Goddesses, a mysterious invisible presence gliding and hunting over the land, and you have the makings for a intriguing story.  I just wish there was a sequel because I enjoyed all the characters and the personalities of the horses surrounding Claire. 

(Category: Dragons, Arizona, U.S.,e)




"Bookstores were supposed to smell of old leather and dry paper. This one smelled of onions, of musty dry air trapped for centuries, smells that hung in the frigid air like invisible curtains. Aside from my own breath, the store was perfectly still, without even the whoosh of passing traffic to remind me of the world outside."

The Book of Secrets, the first book in the Last Oracle series is a fascinating story. Helena wants a job, any job better than McDonalds and answers a ad for a clerical job at Abernathy's bookstore.  By the end of the day, the owner has been murdered and she's thrown into the deep end, placed in charge of the bookshop with a mind of its own.  While learning on the job, she is caught between the police, two magical factions,  all the while trying to balance her normal home life with the needs of the mysterious, mystical  bookshop. I'm looking forward to reading more in the 9 book series. 

(Category: Fines and misdemeanors, e) 

And last but not least, Christopher Paolini's To Sleep in a Sea of Stars which was absolutely awesome.