Why I am so angry: Let me give you the list of all the things I find wrong, damaging, or just plain boring with Marvel and DC comics.
- Characters switching allegiances for the flimsiest of reasons
- Constant threats, constant attacks, constant fighting, fighting, fighting
- So-called heroes suddenly turning on each other, usually for an issue or two
- Death teases, death cheats, death retcons
- Variant covers (God, how I hate those)
- Alternate universes, alternate futures
I’d keep going, but I’m about to give myself an aneurysm. Point is, Sonic the Hedgehog has, in the past, let these gimmicks and narrative kludges slip into the pages on occasion. But with Ian, the parade of comic cliches are so omnipresent, it starting to overwrite the remaining few good memories I had. Power Rings hasn’t really updated because I can’t find anything to make fun of anymore; the Archie comic is already a parody of itself.
Take the last issue I read, #221 (and prepare for spoilers). Just on the first page, we’re reminded of Geoffrey’s defection and we still don’t know why. We’re just supposed to accept him being evil now. Or, in a few issues, that he was being blackmailed or something, and gets a free pass back to the good guy side. Just the fact that I’m using “good” and “evil” as terms shows how polarizing things have gotten. When Geoffrey was introduced, he was a spoiler character in that he liked to spoil Sonic’s fun. As the King’s top spy, he was a wonderful bastard, delighting in Sonic’s failures even if they were working towards the same goal. He put a face on the emerging corruption of the Mobian government. Now I have no idea why he’s involved at all.
The only real intriguing part of the issue is Mina’s calls for reform. At least her push for reform sounds genuine, not some manufactured call for an unnecessary revolution like with Tails’ parents. So I was both surprised and not surprised that it wasn’t even Ian’s idea but Paul, the editor’s.
But all of that is just facepalm worthy. What really sent me into rageguy screaming fits was seeing the variant cover for #225.
First, that there is a variant cover at all. I know of unscrupulous comic stores that, on the day of release, will demand 20 to 40 times the cover price for a variant cover. I remember seeing an issue of Batman being solicited, saying one copy of the variant would be sent only if the store ordered 50 copies of the plain cover. I get that they want to pretend that the art is valuable, but if I were spending 60 to 200 dollars for that art, I would want it printed on something larger and sturdier than a magazine cover.
Second, why is someone getting killed off again? Weren’t Tommy, the Brotherhood, a million echidnas, and three gods enough? Did he suddenly forget how pissed off everyone was getting by the end of his initial cast pruning? Even if the owner of that hand doesn’t end up dead dead, depicting it on the cover that way isn’t fucking helping. Nor were the near-instant comments on the Sonic Stadium from trolls hoping the hand belongs to Sally.
Oh, and I’m calling it here. Sonic: Genesis isn’t a series reboot, it’s Sonic’s Naugus-powered hallucination. Why do I think that? Because that’s the lamest weasel-out excuse I can think of.