11/12/17 - 08:58 AM


Author Topic: IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog (2018)  (Read 24545 times)

Re: IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog (2018)
« Reply #180 on: August 10, 2017, 01:29:49 PM »
It's often what isn't said that I'm finding the most detectable.

Most fans seem to be wanting a return to a franchise that can be taken seriously. Not in an dark and edgy sense, but a series that they can get fully invested in unironically. Unfortunately, a lot of that potential investment is lost with the way SEGA treats its properties. Since they're seen as nothing more than mascots advertising for a game series, there's really not a whole lot to really grab an audience's interest aside from "Hey! This character looks cool! Isn't he cool?"

People complain about the post-reboot FF's being underdeveloped, but at least they were given backstories and reasons for us to care for them; same goes for Tails and Amy to a certain extent. Sonic, as of lately, never had one. I mean, would people still be invested in Marvel's Spider-Man if it weren't for the struggles and personal journies he endured? Something tells me that people would've grown bored with the character, despite how cool his abilities and comebacks are.
That's probably why no one talks much about Sonic himself: he has too little told a backstory for anyone to argue if it's good or not like the rest :P  It's both a blessing, in that he doesn't bring quite as much furious debate, while also being a curse, since he has such a thin background.  Fortunately for him though, I think his character is so closely associated to the games that spawned him that people let backstory slide a bit for him.  Because in spite of everything a lot of people love his games (well some of them anyway), ergo love him regardless of any origin tale.

Offline Mobotropolis

Re: IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog (2018)
« Reply #181 on: August 10, 2017, 02:00:07 PM »
There is a difference between being a " developed " character and a good one.

The post-reboot was sorely lacking in the latter, and that sentiment extends to both the returning characters and the newcomers. Having had interesting things happen to a character in their elaborate off-panel backstory does not make for an interesting character in the present. Nor does having a character that will be into conflict with something or another one day and several years down the line.

The post-reboot struggled with establishing its characters as significant within the context of the story currently being told.

Ian did a sufficient job of answering who are these characters for most of the key players including the Freedom Fighters. The answer often eluded was why is this character here? Many times, the answer seemed to be less because they were vital to the success of the mission or had a personal reason for coming and more " because this character didn't appear in a while " or " to meet a quota ".

Antoine sticks out as a character who is often included in stories for no particular reason. Since the reboot he has been a generic protagonist character who is sufficient at doing his job, whatever that is, and contributes to the success of the Freedom Fighters. Antoine, like Rotor and to a lesser extent Sally are all relics of another time when their character had a much more significant role to play in a book that has since outgrown them. I thought that Antoine had a place in the pre-reboot, especially when the book revolved around dealings in the Kingdom of Acorn. The post-reboot which is more of a globe trotting affair where his role as a solider serving his King is downplayed did not make a compelling case for keeping him around beyond " he's always been there ".

I don't think that's good enough.

Then, there was Cream. I'm not going to mince words. Cream had no business on the Freedom Fighters. Cream was put on the Freedom Fighters to meet a SegaSonic quota. Now there were an equal number of SegaSonic characters and Freedom Fighters. This is a problem for a multitude of reasons. What Cream was in the reboot was not good for the book, her character, or fans of her character which include me. If SEGA in some dark office mandated that there be an equal number of Freedom Fighters and SegaSonic characters on the roster I'd rather lose a Freedom Fighter than put a non-combatant six year old on the front lines in an action oriented comic book. I personally feel that more could have been done with her character than what was done in the post-reboot and having her there on technicality did nothing for fans of her character.

People just don't want to see their favorite characters. They want to see them getting good face-time and actually doing things.

Now, I don't think every story or arc should be a character piece or lead to significant development in the world or in a particular character. That's not realistic. I am asking whoever is in charge to think critically when it comes to characters. Which characters should be on the main roster? Is there even a reason to have a main roster when Sonic has 20+ friends SegaSonic and no in the year 2017? When approaching a story how do the characters involved play into it? Why did they decide to come? What do they bring to the table? Why this character and not another perhaps more likable/popular character?

Don't have characters show up for the sake of showing up. Give us a reason to care about them.

I do think that part of it is Ian's writing style. Ian tends to be a Big Picture type of guy who sees characters less as individuals and more as units that form a collective whole. He also loves to shove people on teams and have those teams meeting other teams. That allows characters to appear more often, but the quality of those appearances vary because they're competing for face-time. The weaker characters are often regulated to the background and various roles of support to more popular characters.

Maybe part of it was attempting to herd a growing cast of characters and make writing stories more manageable, but I felt that it was done to such a degree that the quality of the book was starting to suffer. I think it started before the reboot with Silver, Scourge, and even Rotor getting a team and all being in play with the newly spun off Team Fighters but it was really noticeable in the post-reboot once all of the sub-plots were stripped away.

I think at some point it might be better to consider culling than herding, you know?

Re: IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog (2018)
« Reply #182 on: August 10, 2017, 03:38:36 PM »
I still think that Sonic is a character that is desperate need of development. It's not enough that his image is easily recognizable, there still needs to be a reason for readers to be invested with his character. But when there really isn't any substance to his character anymore, the appeal of that image starts to wear thin.

This is one of the reasons why I suspect the franchise's reputation is suffering. It's not enough that the character has been reduced to an internet joke by the casual audience, but the fans themselves are starting to grow weary of the repetition and the lack of compelling material that made them invested in the franchise the first place. All that world building and interesting characters to explore is being thrown away in favor of keeping the casual players' short attention span and making the least interesting character the main focus and only playable character.

I'm not saying it requires a complex backstory or anything; just provide enough material for the audience to care about the characters and build off of that. There needs to be more to the setup than just "Eggman is a bad guy, Sonic better stop him" to keep the franchise going because, at the moment, the franchise could use a bit more augmentation.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 03:40:51 PM by LogiTeeka »

Offline GentlemanX

Re: IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog (2018)
« Reply #183 on: August 10, 2017, 06:58:10 PM »
Mario has much less personality than Sonic and is much more popular.

Sega Sonic has never been about personal development for Sonic himself and I don't want it to be. Sonic is best used as a catalyst for development of others. Knuckles in Sonic 3, Shadow and Tails in SA2, Chris in Sonic X, Blaze in Rush, Elise in 06, Shahra in Secret Rings, Chip in Unleashed, Merlina in Black Knight: it's the impact Sonic has on others that defines most Sega Sonic narratives. Ideally, if IDW bases their comic off the game continuity, they gave Sonic play a similar role - having his constant bounce off others.

That's not to say I don't like a Sonic with more facets to him, I  like SatAM Sonic and Archie Sonic a lot. But I think the Sega Sonic formula is fine and wouldn't mind it reinstated.

Offline Vampfox

Re: IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog (2018)
« Reply #184 on: August 10, 2017, 07:17:28 PM »
I can't think of anyone who was really better off after the the reboot than they were before.
I can name two Archie/Satam characters just off the head who were improved after the reboot. Sally and King Acorn.

Before the reboot Sally was one of the characters people were most divided on. Ian kept trying to fix her which got him a lot of grief. A lot of fans were saying that she was one of his pet characters.

King Acorn was a grouchy sick old man by the end of the old universe's run. I kept wondering why he was still around. I thought that he should have been killed off since there didn't seem like there was any more story left for him.

The reboot helped both characters. Sally lost all the emotional baggage, and King Acorn was made closer to his Satam counterpart.

Re: IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog (2018)
« Reply #185 on: August 10, 2017, 07:48:43 PM »
Mario has much less personality than Sonic and is much more popular.

Of course, that also brings up the issue that Sonic was meant to be the antithesis to Mario. And for a while, it proved to be quite successful because of it.

Unfortunately, I guess it was all just a fad. The character proved to be too popular for SEGA to handle properly and what made it a hit in the first place ended up destroying it later on. It was basically lighting in a bottle.

Re: IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog (2018)
« Reply #186 on: August 10, 2017, 08:49:38 PM »
Of course, that also brings up the issue that Sonic was meant to be the antithesis to Mario. And for a while, it proved to be quite successful because of it.

Unfortunately, I guess it was all just a fad. The character proved to be too popular for SEGA to handle properly and what made it a hit in the first place ended up destroying it later on. It was basically lighting in a bottle.

Sega can't seem to handle Sonic anymore because the original creators are no longer on board. Now we got some new devs who even got the chance to talk to the original creators, and from their success just of Mania's hype, opening animations, etc, it seems Sonic's now in better hands.

Re: IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog (2018)
« Reply #187 on: August 10, 2017, 08:56:37 PM »
Sega can't seem to handle Sonic anymore because the original creators are no longer on board. Now we got some new devs who even got the chance to talk to the original creators, and from their success just of Mania's hype, opening animations, etc, it seems Sonic's now in better hands.

I'm pretty certain that "Mania" will receive some kind of sequel due to its popularity. Let's just hope that the new team's involvement will lead to more creative talent to contribute to the franchise, like maybe a fan-created 3D Sonic title or something.

Heck, an HD remaster of the "Adventure" and "Heroes" would also be pretty welcoming about now.

Offline SBR

Re: IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog (2018)
« Reply #188 on: August 11, 2017, 07:10:34 AM »
I don't think Sonic needs a heavy backstory for him to be a decent character. He's a Hobo who has super speed a bit of an ego but genuinely can't stand seeing people in trouble. I've never really felt like I need to know where Sonic came from he's just there and whenever Eggman's up to something he's going to stop him.

Yeah it's simplistic but seriously what's wrong with simplicity? This is never going to be a mentally challenging franchise so why not just enjoy it for what it is?
"Ian Flynn is if Dan Slott used his powers for good instead of evil." ~CameronSamurai from Rangerboard.

Offline Vampfox

Re: IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog (2018)
« Reply #189 on: August 11, 2017, 10:48:34 AM »
I prefer Sonic to have a backstory to explain why he has a love for freedom.

My favorite version of Sonic is the Satam version. He has a reason to want to fight Dr. Robotnik.

I really dislike the video game version. Sega Sonic just seems like a cold person to me in a sense. He seems like he's more interested in going on adventures and having fun then helping people.

Offline Mobotropolis

Re: IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog (2018)
« Reply #190 on: August 11, 2017, 12:34:59 PM »
Yeah. I don't think Sonic himself is the problem.

For a while, I thought Archie Sonic was the strongest interpretation of his character. Archie Sonic seemed to split his time between being the driven Hero that he needed to be and being the laid back goof that he wanted to be. Though arrogant and aloof he clearly cared about his friends, family, and in some cases his enemies. Sonic was not perfect. Though he fights for freedom 24/7 the idea of actually achieving it and being made to live a " normal " life terrifies him. He also lacked empathy at times, perhaps because he's worn his own mask of bravo for so long and can't understand why others can't be like him in the face of mounting odds. He does crack under pressure sometimes and proves to be just as vulnerable emotionally as any of his other friends, but he is quick to recover.

I think the problem is less his character and more how his character is utilized in stories.

In the post-reboot Sonic seems to be treated like a silver bullet for most situations. The Freedom Fighter's job is to clear the way so Sonic can rush in and bash whoever needs to be bashed to save the day on that particular day. For the most part, Sonic has been quite successful when it comes to bashing. Sonic and friends pretty much plowed through their globe trotting adventure without much of a hitch. In fact, Eggman anticipated that the Freedom Fighters would have no problems dismantling his growing army which lead him to develop the plan executed in Panic in the Sky. It seems that only Dr. Eggman was even remotely a match for the Freedom Fighter's collective might -- and he still lost.

I think the Freedom Fighters were winning too much.

Now, in saying that I am aware of the mandate when it comes to Sonic's battles with Dr. Eggman. Sonic is the protagonist. He's supposed to win -- but does that mean that the battles have to be so one-sided? That there can't be any causalities? Collateral damage? Any hollow victories? Temporary victories for the enemy? This was a stipulation that was around since before the reboot, but Ian managed to dance around the line in various stories. The last arc prior to the reboot in particular seemed to be a demonstration of how Eggman could get to Sonic without actually getting to Sonic. The Freedom Fighters were dealt one blow after another and it was indeed taking a toll on our Hero.

I think for people to actually care about Sonic or the other Freedom Fighters we have to see them struggle a bit, even if they are predestined to win.

The post-reboot seemed to be on cruise control towards a pre-determined destination which made for a boring read. In many of the issue discussion threads I noticed a trend of people calling issues " serviceable " since Sonic and Friends went out and did exactly what they hoped to accomplish with little resistance. There were few surprises.

Oh, and tension does not have to come from behind enemy lines. I'd like to see Sonic challenged a bit more by the Freedom Fighters themselves. Not down and out warring with each other, mind you, but the occasional disagreement or ruffling of fur could do to actually strengthen bonds between characters. I think Sonic's friends have become too agreeable which has hurt the character dynamic a bit. Shattered World Crisis was actually a great opportunity to explore that kind of thing because of the Dark Gaia mist but Ian didn't really capitalize on that.

Re: IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog (2018)
« Reply #191 on: August 11, 2017, 12:50:36 PM »
I don't think Sonic needs a heavy backstory for him to be a decent character. He's a Hobo who has super speed a bit of an ego but genuinely can't stand seeing people in trouble. I've never really felt like I need to know where Sonic came from he's just there and whenever Eggman's up to something he's going to stop him.

Yeah, it's simplistic but seriously what's wrong with simplicity? This is never going to be a mentally challenging franchise so why not just enjoy it for what it is?

I'm not requesting a complex or overly dark backstory for the character, but there still needs to be a reason for the audience to relate to the character in order to really invest them.

Earlier incarnations of Sonic had some pretty serviceable backdrops. SatAM and Archie Sonic lost his Uncle to the tyrant Robotnik who made his world a living hell, and that added some emotional weight to his motivation. And in the "Adventure" games, Eggman was treated as a genuine threat to the world and Sonic was later framed for it; which also served to provide his motive.

Now with Eggman being treated as a pushover and Sonic not having any semblance of a motive outside the generic "better save the world 'cuz I'm the hero", the series has gotten really shallow as a result. Heck, I currently find Tails a more compelling protagonist than Sonic.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 12:19:22 PM by LogiTeeka »

Offline SBR

Re: IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog (2018)
« Reply #192 on: August 12, 2017, 06:33:55 AM »
I'm not requesting a complex or overly dark backstory for the character, but there still needs to be a reason for the audience to relate to the character in order to really invest them.

Earlier incarnations of Sonic had some pretty serviceable backdrops. SatAM and Archie Sonic lost his Uncle to the tyrant Robotnik and made his world a living hell, and that added some emotional weight to his motivation. And in the "Adventure" games, Eggman was treated as a genuine threat to the world and Sonic was later framed for it; which also served to provide his motive.

Now with Eggman being treated as a pushover and Sonic not having any semblance of a motive outside the generic "better save the world 'cuz I'm the hero", the series has gotten really shallow as a result. Heck, I currently find Tails a more compelling protagonist than Sonic.

People always say that Eggman's treated as a pushover but I seriously don't see it.  He's done way more in recent games than I remember him doing in the Adventure games-06.

Like when I think of Eggman's evil deeds I'm more likely to think about him blowing earth to pieces and conquering five planets to make an amusement park than I am thinking of him releasing Shadow who tells him to use the Eclipse canon.

Also I'm not sure how giving Sonic a "Reason" to fight Eggman is necessary when the basic set up is Sonic is stopping him turning Animals into robots and trying to take over the planet. Isn't making sure a mad scientist doesn't conquer your home reason enough?
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 06:39:48 AM by SBR »
"Ian Flynn is if Dan Slott used his powers for good instead of evil." ~CameronSamurai from Rangerboard.

Re: IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog (2018)
« Reply #193 on: August 12, 2017, 12:09:37 PM »
People always say that Eggman's treated as a pushover but I seriously don't see it.  He's done way more in recent games than I remember him doing in the Adventure games-06.

Like when I think of Eggman's evil deeds I'm more likely to think about him blowing earth to pieces and conquering five planets to make an amusement park than I am thinking of him releasing Shadow who tells him to use the Eclipse cannon.

Sure, Eggman shattering the planet and building an intergalactic theme-park can sound really threatening on paper. The problem I have with them is that they weren't treated as if they were a threat; the characters mostly brush it off like it's no big deal when, not too long ago, Eggman hijacking an abandoned space colony and blowing up half the moon was treated as an international crisis.

That's one thing I'll give the Archie adaptation over the "Unleashed" game, they at least treated the situation like an actual crisis and they addressed its effects on the planet.

Also, I'm not sure how giving Sonic a "Reason" to fight Eggman is necessary when the basic set up is Sonic is stopping him turning Animals into robots and trying to take over the planet. Isn't making sure a mad scientist doesn't conquer your home reason enough?

It's not that dissimilar to the reason why Mario regularly rescues Princess Peach. Sure, kidnapping the monarch of a kingdom is a terrible thing to do, but the villain's goal doesn't always make the protagonist any more interesting. If anything, it often does the opposite.

These sorts of plots can work for a basic videogame, but in a medium like comic books where storytelling is more integral, there needs to be more substance or conflict to keep the viewer invested.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 12:18:24 PM by LogiTeeka »

Re: IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog (2018)
« Reply #194 on: August 13, 2017, 07:23:40 AM »
Quote
Also I'm not sure how giving Sonic a "Reason" to fight Eggman is necessary when the basic set up is Sonic is stopping him turning Animals into robots and trying to take over the planet. Isn't making sure a mad scientist doesn't conquer your home reason enough?
Well, it makes him more interesting if he has another reason to be heroic than "just being heroic" and gives more a "Go get him! you know you want to! You know you will SMASH HIM" feeling. If he does saves the day "only" because "it's the right thing to do", well....sure, it gives him a heroic vibe, but nothing more. What's different from the other heroes? "Hey, he's a blue hedeghog, my favorite color is blue and animal is the chicken! Oh....oh well, at least he's blue. Go get 'em!".
In the prereboot series, Antoine was formerly a coward who still stood up against Robotnik, but was active mostly because he wanted to impress Sally. Meeting Bunnie and bonding with her slowly made him more heroic and determinated to not only fight Robotnik, but also to fight alongside his friends AND girlfriend.
Tails admired Sonic and wanted to be taken more seriously by him....and the whole team, leading him to be in the frontline as much as he could manage to be. He's not just a full fledged hero and mechanic, he's also one of the very few who could get Sonic up when things grew desperate even for the Blue.

And so on with many chars. Sonic can be less than that and simply run and save the world. Unfortunately for him, sympathy don't always go for the cool winner.