Sonic #29 (addendum to FAQ File)

From: Dan Drazen <>
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 1995 21:26:35 -0400 (EDT)

In response to statements that the FAQ File has become too much of a
good thing, I'm going to try a cut-and-paste posting approach. I guess
I'll let the custodians of Sonic home pages which carry the file worry
about keeping the whole thing available.

Frequently Asked Questions

10) Why was Rotor called "Boomer" in the early comics?
They finally got around to providing an answer to this one in Sonic #29
(Dec 1995). The explanation: "Rotor is Rotor's real name. Boomer was
something we used to call him when we were kids to make fun of his
voice." So basically we're supposed to believe "Boomer" is really
Rotor's nickname.


#29 [Dec 1995]
     [Better double-bag this one, gang; it's a keeper for a
number of reasons. DJD]
     Cover by Spaziante -- this stunning work alone deserves
recognition! Not as powerful as the roboticization of Sally
sequence in "Sonic's Nightmare" but close enough.
     "Steel-belted Sally" (three parts)
     Story: Angelo Decesare/Art: Art Mawhinney
     After a one-page introduction to Dulcy (which was more than
she got when she debuted in the second season), we move on to the
story. Sonic finds a "portable deroboticizer"(!!!) in a crashed
hover unit. So Rotor takes it apart, figures out how it works,
begins mass-producing them, the residents of Mobius are
deroboticized and they drive Robotnik off the planet. Wrong
answer! Instead, Sally allows herself to be captured by Robotnik
and roboticized, trusting in a small disc that looks like a
battery for a calculator that's supposed to prevent her mind from
coming under Robotnik's influence after being roboticized.
Unfortunately, the "neuro-overrider" falls off and Sally is
totally transformed. As the others are on the verge of being
roboticized by Robo-Sally, Dulcy shows up and uses the portable
deroboticizer (remember THAT plot device?) to restore Sally and
foil Robotnik.
     Good artwork by Mawhinney, but readers have been quick to
point out the flaws in the plot of the story. Why NOT use the
portable deroboticizer to restore Bunnie, or even Uncle Chuck
(scheduled to appear in issue #30)? After it's used on Sally
it's never heard of again; shabby treatment for a pivotal device.
And why wasn't the neuro-overrider more securely fastened to
Sally? They couldn't find a bobby pin? They never heard of
super glue? They couldn't take the time to surgically implant
the thing? And finally, whose idea was it at Archie Comics to
have Bunnie wearing metallic panties? Her legion of fanboys are
glad she's putting in more of an appearance, but how about
keeping her on-model?
     Sonic Art: Reid Price's drawing of the girls elicited some
comment because of the tattoos and pierced ears. Still a pale
imitation of the erotic "Bambioids" of Jerry Collins which are at[001 through
108].gif. Of this collection I am in awe.
     "Growing Pains, Part 2"
     Story: Mike Gallagher/Art: Dave Manak
     When we last left Tails, he had been betrayed by his new
girlfriend, Fiona, who turned out to be one of Robotnik's
automatons. Tails has just been consigned to the desert island's
roboticizer. Fasten your safety belts, return seats and tray
tables to their upright position and assume the crash landing
position: a promising story is about to go down in flames....
     The roboticizer explodes because of "fur from [Tails']
tails." Wonder why this problem never came up when Robotnik was
roboticizing other furries; next time, Ivo, don't put your
prisoners in the air intake. Fiona attacks Tails, who is then
almost crushed boa-style by one of Robotnik's palm trees. Fiona
attacks again and attemps to drown Tails in the shallows.
However, before she can finish the job she grinds to a halt.
Apparently she is able to rust solid in a matter of seconds.
Tails should have noticed this little problem when he and Fiona
were running along the beach during the romantic interlude on
page 5 of Part 1, but maybe Tails and Gallagher both learned
story structure and continuity from the same teacher. While
Tails mourns his lost (or at least immobilized) love in
unbelievably heavy-handed prose, Robotnik escapes. Tails may be
blue, but he's also green: he starts picking up the trash along
the beach. This is how he discovers "absolute proof" that O.J.
Simpson murdered Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman...oops, wrong
story. What he discovers is "absolute proof" of a "satellite
operation functioning on the other side of Mobius." Same level
of credibility, IMHO. Having been handed the premise of his
miniseries on a silver plate without any connection whatever to
the two-parter he just endured, Tails is off on his solo
     This isn't Shakespeare, Heaven only isn't even
Bacon, but Tails' acting in this story is 100% ham! In writing
for comics you have to take shortcuts, and sometimes you have to
put massive amounts of plot development into a couple of word
balloons. "Growing Pains", however, manages to wade through 15
pages before setting up the plot of the miniseries on the very
last page. Which wouldn't be so unforgivable if the dialogue
that preceeded it weren't so extravagent. "I'll put you here as
a monument to my lost youth...but I'll make him repair you and
we'll be together again, my love!" Typical 10-year-old, right?
     OK, when did you totally give up on this story? I managed
to hang in until page 7. When I got to the line "Robotnik
created the perfect woman, but forgot to waterproof her!", I knew
this was the cue for Sonic's line: "I think I shall hurl!"
     What galls me is the promise with which the story began.
It's easy to tell the Trekkers in the audience because after Part
1 they've been rooting for Fiona to switch allegiances and join
up with Tails (call it the Mr. Data Effect). The questions
raised by Part 1 were full of promise: Will Fiona cross over and
join the Freedom Fighters? Did Tails get to second base with
Fiona during their romantic interlude? The readers were ready to
grant Gallagher and Manak a lot of latitude in the beginning, but
the second part was a total bringdown. The traps were
unbelievable, Fiona was written out of the story too easily, and
Tails was stuck with some of the most melodramatic lines this
side of Yiddish theater. And by the last page you had the sense
of "Forget it, let's get on to the miniseries." With more
thought to the story, "Growing Pains" could have been a decent
miniseries in its own right, ending with a Tails whose character
has actually grown by the end of the story. It's a bad sign when
the readers take the story more seriously than the writer!
     Sonic Grams: For the last time, guys, LOSE THE OFFICE HUMOR!
We buy the product so we can read about Sonic and Tails, not
Scott and Paul. Buried in Scott's prose is the news that despite
the Spaziante covers, the team who perpetrated "Growing Pains",
Gallagher and Manak, will be doing the Tails miniseries! So much
for anticipation. Can you say "coherency?" More important, can
you DO coherency? November promises Sonic #30 and the return of
Uncle Chuck, Tails miniseries #2, and the Knuckles Chaotix
special, just in time for your holiday shopping.
     On to the letters themselves, and these stuck in my craw
even more than the flaws in "Growing Pains." First they punt a
question on whether Tails is 5 or 10 years old, then they run a
letter to Dylan, then they casually mention that Antoine is 18
(without offering any proof that he's older than the rest), and
even though they go some ways in explaining the Boomer/Rotor name
game they have to deal with a question about Sonic and Robotnik
being half-sibs. Two words: PUH-LEEEZE!

Received on Tue Oct 10 1995 - 21:38:00 PDT

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