Let's Improve the comic! Part 2

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What do you think?

Yes!
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29%
Sorta
1
14%
Meh...
1
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Not really.
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43%
No way!
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Total votes : 7

Let's Improve the comic! Part 2

Postby laviarray » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:20 pm

Part 1 mainly went into the characters, because that’s what I look for in storytelling, following a character in the ups and down of their journey and getting to learn more about them. Now I’m not going into that again because, for the most part, people understood my points. However, without character writing, I don’t see the point of why this comic exist, as this is an adaptation for Sonic explicitly. Now I would be willing to overlook the lack character writing if the series gave me anything else to enjoy. However, at the end of the day, it doesn’t.

Originally, this part 2 was going to be going over the general story issues and contradictions. However, after looking at my notes for the series, all of the problems come from the fact that the series never gains a point for the story. While the comic does have events happen, they don’t seem to happen except for having something happen for the issue. I know a lot of people like this because it is a comic about Sonic, but this should be able to offer something besides having Sonic in an overlong cameo. So for this post, I want to talk about how I came to this conclusion and why I view this series as pointless.

Premise:

Story-wise, I don’t understand what the comic is trying to do. There are several levels of the narrative, with the premise, story arcs, and episodic stories, however, they don’t connect with each other or really work on their own. The main premise of Eggman running an Egg Empire with living soldiers has problems, but the main problem is how unused and restrictive the idea is. In the current arc, both the Freedom Fighters and the Egg Empire are trying to rush to collect the Chaos Emeralds, with both parties against each other. However, there isn’t anything to their competition. The characters don’t have any type of rivalry between each other, no major themes or ideas invoked (besides one, but I’ll get to that), and nothing to help establish the threat of the Eggman Empire besides random One on One robots, which also can be taken down with relative ease. And all of this is weird considering how the comic sets up Eggman as the only major threat.

Since this arc is about the emerald search and the world has been written to suggest it is Eggman versus the rest of the world, the comic locks Eggman as the only source of conflict to the story. Now having one long running villain comes with a load of problems, but the main one I want to focus on is how restrictive it is. Since Eggman is the main source of conflict, this means that only a certain amount of ideas or problems can be touched on. Granted there is much a writer can do with a mad scientist overlord, but the return on that can only go so far when he shows up over and over and over again. The comics try to water this down by having Egg Bosses, but they don’t stand out that well on the own and they are still agents of Eggman. What is worst is that the games don’t even support this as almost every game since Adventure has introduced another villain outside of Eggman. And to add to the problems Eggman hasn’t even interacted with Sonic since the Genesis wave outside of the crossover, so their dynamic that has been in almost every other property, including Boom, isn’t here.

So why have Eggman in this position? I want to say to make him a powerful threat, he never does anything to warrant him having a massive empire and that couldn’t be done as a smaller villain like in almost every other property. Maybe this is because Flynn has an idea for him that hasn’t happened yet, but I highly doubt it.

Arc Structure:

Flynn has stated that he likes to have long-term payoffs in fiction, which he seems to try to implement here, however his execution is a bit lacking. The comic tries to use the Shattered world plot as a story arc. However, it’s not really an arc. We have seen some people reacting to it afterward, like the underwater kingdom or Breezie, as well as the introduction of the Gaia monsters, but nothing with the Gaia monsters has been majorly developed, or any conflicts directly connected to this problem. And I would be fine with this if it did anything with substantial with this format. Take Steven Universe, which also is dealing with preventing their planet from being split apart. However, the point of that conflict was to be a framing device for a character’s redemption arc. In Archie, there isn’t a particular focus for anything. The argument could be made that this arc is about world building, but outside Waves of Change, there haven‘t been any locations explored past showing they exist.  So if the comic isn’t building on any ideas or conflicts, what is the point of this arc? To introduce stuff.

The comic seems to suffer what I like to call “Russel T Davies” Syndrome when it comes to constructing story arcs. Because the arc is made of several randomly dropped concepts to set up for other events later, like Dr. Ellidy, The underwater characters, Tundra, Lupe, etc. However, they don’t build off of or lead into anything when it comes to the main plot or conflict. Yes, Tundra does have a connection to a lead character, but why have him in now instead of developing the arc directly? Yes, Lupe is a fan favorite, but she could have been introduced anytime. I think the writers do this because they want to keep the audience in the dark about how they are going to participate in the finale or what they are going to do, but that works when there is a bit of mystery or wonder about them. Most of them had their whole role laid out with their stories and they didn’t connect to the main conflict in any major way. However, to add insult to injury, the comic will have issues made only to introduce these characters.

Episodic:
The individual stories mainly seem to exist to set up events for the overarching storyline, usually not having their own 3 act story. While the major stories like Waves of Change or the Werehog arc try to stand on their own. Many others seem to exist to only set up events for later without telling its own story. Tundra’s reveal is probably the biggest offender, as it should have some type of story or character arc around it, but no. The conflict is only around the captured Eskimos and Sonic and Rotor save them with ease without any development or story arc around Tundra’s reveal or Rotor’s reaction. The get captured, Rotor finds his Dad, he sulks, Sonic cheers him up, Werehogs out, breaks out, days over.

Now the literary problem with this is straightforward, a story regardless of length should be able to tell its own 3 act narrative. However, this problem is an issue with the production too. Not only do these comics cost $3-4 bucks each, they only come out on a monthly basis. Why should anyone spend that kind of money on comics that don’t put in the basic effort of telling a compelling story on a regular basis?

“Flynn has a plan!”:

Now maybe the comic has a huge payoff in mind for all of these events. Maybe all of them connect to this genius ending my mind can’t begin to comprehend. I have a hard time giving the comic that faith because of the Werehog arc. Now I’m one the few people that is ok with Sonic having those abilities and not having them tied to the chaos emerald is a plus in my book. However, the entire arc of the him dealing with it is a mess. The setup for it is repetitive and contradictory to the end result, the payoff 10 issues later is confusing, makes Sonic a bad guy for no other reason besides conflict, and then the resolution for it is so easy it happens off screen in one day. Then the finale ends on Sonic apologizing for not telling them sooner, even though they had no way to deal with him and if he wasn’t there, they all probably would have lost more emeralds. So, yeah the one arc without any executive meddling, fails at almost every level.

So if the story is this much of a mess, does it compensate in any other elements. Well, no. But why?

Continued in part 3.

Think I have a point or am I completely wrong?

Feel free to comment below.
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Re: Let's Improve the comic! Part 2

Postby Matt7325 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:05 am

I think you're overly optimistic about making it to part three.
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Re: Let's Improve the comic! Part 2

Postby laviarray » Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:11 am

Matt7325 wrote:I think you're overly optimistic about making it to part three.


Why? I'm almost done with it.
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Re: Let's Improve the comic! Part 2

Postby lalalei2001 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:38 am

The forum's closing in two weeks.
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Re: Let's Improve the comic! Part 2

Postby laviarray » Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:55 am

lalalei2001 wrote:The forum's closing in two weeks.


That's why I am rushing to get it done.

Part 3 is almost done. I might get it up tomorrow.

Part 4 is the one I need to rush.
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Re: Let's Improve the comic! Part 2

Postby FancyFool » Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:46 am

Honest question: why are you splitting what is essentially one topic into differing parts? Why must there be four separate topics for "Let's improve the comic" instead of having all the parts within a single topic?
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Re: Let's Improve the comic! Part 2

Postby laviarray » Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:10 am

FancyFool wrote:Honest question: why are you splitting what is essentially one topic into differing parts? Why must there be four separate topics for "Let's improve the comic" instead of having all the parts within a single topic?


Since it was so long ago, I thought it was better to have a new one. But that is a good point, I'll keep the rest on here. or I might just move it over to the new one.
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Re: Let's Improve the comic! Part 2

Postby akessel92 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:55 pm

laviarray wrote:Part 1 mainly went into the characters, because that’s what I look for in storytelling, following a character in the ups and down of their journey and getting to learn more about them. Now I’m not going into that again because, for the most part, people understood my points. However, without character writing, I don’t see the point of why this comic exist, as this is an adaptation for Sonic explicitly. Now I would be willing to overlook the lack character writing if the series gave me anything else to enjoy. However, at the end of the day, it doesn’t.

Originally, this part 2 was going to be going over the general story issues and contradictions. However, after looking at my notes for the series, all of the problems come from the fact that the series never gains a point for the story. While the comic does have events happen, they don’t seem to happen except for having something happen for the issue. I know a lot of people like this because it is a comic about Sonic, but this should be able to offer something besides having Sonic in an overlong cameo. So for this post, I want to talk about how I came to this conclusion and why I view this series as pointless.

Premise:

Story-wise, I don’t understand what the comic is trying to do. There are several levels of the narrative, with the premise, story arcs, and episodic stories, however, they don’t connect with each other or really work on their own. The main premise of Eggman running an Egg Empire with living soldiers has problems, but the main problem is how unused and restrictive the idea is. In the current arc, both the Freedom Fighters and the Egg Empire are trying to rush to collect the Chaos Emeralds, with both parties against each other. However, there isn’t anything to their competition. The characters don’t have any type of rivalry between each other, no major themes or ideas invoked (besides one, but I’ll get to that), and nothing to help establish the threat of the Eggman Empire besides random One on One robots, which also can be taken down with relative ease. And all of this is weird considering how the comic sets up Eggman as the only major threat.

Since this arc is about the emerald search and the world has been written to suggest it is Eggman versus the rest of the world, the comic locks Eggman as the only source of conflict to the story. Now having one long running villain comes with a load of problems, but the main one I want to focus on is how restrictive it is. Since Eggman is the main source of conflict, this means that only a certain amount of ideas or problems can be touched on. Granted there is much a writer can do with a mad scientist overlord, but the return on that can only go so far when he shows up over and over and over again. The comics try to water this down by having Egg Bosses, but they don’t stand out that well on the own and they are still agents of Eggman. What is worst is that the games don’t even support this as almost every game since Adventure has introduced another villain outside of Eggman. And to add to the problems Eggman hasn’t even interacted with Sonic since the Genesis wave outside of the crossover, so their dynamic that has been in almost every other property, including Boom, isn’t here.

So why have Eggman in this position? I want to say to make him a powerful threat, he never does anything to warrant him having a massive empire and that couldn’t be done as a smaller villain like in almost every other property. Maybe this is because Flynn has an idea for him that hasn’t happened yet, but I highly doubt it.

Arc Structure:

Flynn has stated that he likes to have long-term payoffs in fiction, which he seems to try to implement here, however his execution is a bit lacking. The comic tries to use the Shattered world plot as a story arc. However, it’s not really an arc. We have seen some people reacting to it afterward, like the underwater kingdom or Breezie, as well as the introduction of the Gaia monsters, but nothing with the Gaia monsters has been majorly developed, or any conflicts directly connected to this problem. And I would be fine with this if it did anything with substantial with this format. Take Steven Universe, which also is dealing with preventing their planet from being split apart. However, the point of that conflict was to be a framing device for a character’s redemption arc. In Archie, there isn’t a particular focus for anything. The argument could be made that this arc is about world building, but outside Waves of Change, there haven‘t been any locations explored past showing they exist.  So if the comic isn’t building on any ideas or conflicts, what is the point of this arc? To introduce stuff.

The comic seems to suffer what I like to call “Russel T Davies” Syndrome when it comes to constructing story arcs. Because the arc is made of several randomly dropped concepts to set up for other events later, like Dr. Ellidy, The underwater characters, Tundra, Lupe, etc. However, they don’t build off of or lead into anything when it comes to the main plot or conflict. Yes, Tundra does have a connection to a lead character, but why have him in now instead of developing the arc directly? Yes, Lupe is a fan favorite, but she could have been introduced anytime. I think the writers do this because they want to keep the audience in the dark about how they are going to participate in the finale or what they are going to do, but that works when there is a bit of mystery or wonder about them. Most of them had their whole role laid out with their stories and they didn’t connect to the main conflict in any major way. However, to add insult to injury, the comic will have issues made only to introduce these characters.

Episodic:
The individual stories mainly seem to exist to set up events for the overarching storyline, usually not having their own 3 act story. While the major stories like Waves of Change or the Werehog arc try to stand on their own. Many others seem to exist to only set up events for later without telling its own story. Tundra’s reveal is probably the biggest offender, as it should have some type of story or character arc around it, but no. The conflict is only around the captured Eskimos and Sonic and Rotor save them with ease without any development or story arc around Tundra’s reveal or Rotor’s reaction. The get captured, Rotor finds his Dad, he sulks, Sonic cheers him up, Werehogs out, breaks out, days over.

Now the literary problem with this is straightforward, a story regardless of length should be able to tell its own 3 act narrative. However, this problem is an issue with the production too. Not only do these comics cost $3-4 bucks each, they only come out on a monthly basis. Why should anyone spend that kind of money on comics that don’t put in the basic effort of telling a compelling story on a regular basis?

“Flynn has a plan!”:

Now maybe the comic has a huge payoff in mind for all of these events. Maybe all of them connect to this genius ending my mind can’t begin to comprehend. I have a hard time giving the comic that faith because of the Werehog arc. Now I’m one the few people that is ok with Sonic having those abilities and not having them tied to the chaos emerald is a plus in my book. However, the entire arc of the him dealing with it is a mess. The setup for it is repetitive and contradictory to the end result, the payoff 10 issues later is confusing, makes Sonic a bad guy for no other reason besides conflict, and then the resolution for it is so easy it happens off screen in one day. Then the finale ends on Sonic apologizing for not telling them sooner, even though they had no way to deal with him and if he wasn’t there, they all probably would have lost more emeralds. So, yeah the one arc without any executive meddling, fails at almost every level.

So if the story is this much of a mess, does it compensate in any other elements. Well, no. But why?

Continued in part 3.

Think I have a point or am I completely wrong?

Feel free to comment below.

Alright this took me some thinking, but I must you're wrong in some very important places. And I will tell you why.

Let's start with the premise. It's not the "race to nab the chaos emeralds" it's the race to restore the planet back from being a planet sized jigsaw puzzle. Eggman, and his egg bosses and the dark Gaia monsters are obstacles to the heroes goal to put the world back. If sonic and his friends fail either a.) Eggman will put the planet back together under his terms alone. Or more likely keep the planet broken to secure it himself with the egg army and his badniks. Also, harvest the dark Gaia energy and use it for himself. It seems we choose to brush Eggman as a villain when all these monsters and villains of the week but if it wasn't for Eggman, none of the monsters of the week wouldn't have been unleashed or metal sonic wouldn't having a fit. Eggman is at the root of most stories with sonic. Also, Eggman has used people and God monsters, no matter for how long he had control over them, he still used them for his own gains. I mean no one gives finetevus anything for using nuclear stockpiles, or a god monster for his own purposes and utimately don't work out and yet Eggman is treated like poorly as villain. Also, bear this in mind. We never blamed chaos for station square, shadow for the moon, metal sonic nor gemerl for tgeir programming and/or rampaging. Or even the animals and wisps getting themselves kidnapped. It's Eggman for 75% of the time and rarely is it some other villain. I really like how you discredit Eggman for using people and make them his minions or ways to his goals (see chaos, shadow, the Babylon rouges, oh and Nack the weasel too.)

Now for structure and episodic, i think it's unfair that you compare the current Steve U with this saga. Whereas Steven and the gems are saving their world from disaster, sonic's world is already in this disaster. The planet has been broken since 256 and the disaster has only just begun. It's apocalypse now, lavi. The characters you discredit as being unimportant to the plot have aided the heroes. Gave them the tools and drive to save the world. Or in the case of tundra, phage, breezie and the rest Eggman's minions, mercs and himself hinder the heroes to create conflict. Now onto rotor and tundra, their story unlike ellidy's can't be resolved in an arc alone. Tundra had rotor knocked down, locked up and sulking. It's not in rotor's character to deal with a personal vendetta, his mind is on the mission at hand be it getting the key guardians and the Gaia keys out. That's why sonic cheers him up to get him back to the task at hand.

Now onto the werehog arc, now I understand your gripes but like every story since this continuity began it still is under executive meddling. Also, this arc I thought it was ok. Now the stuff leading up to sonic's transformation to the werehog. I did not see any contradictions to the turn. Yes a normal mobian would have turned immediately but sonic isn't some normal mobian. His independent and free spirit are what makes him him. This spirit kept the energy at bay but because of how frustrated and bent on fixing the world because of the events of world's collide. But it's because he got frustrated the transformation affected him very badly at first. Though in the arc after he got the hang and control of it. At first I disliked the arc after but now I think it's not that bad. Now I understand your gripes about the story setup but I don't get why you think it's pointless.
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Re: Let's Improve the comic! Part 2

Postby Specs64z » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:36 pm

akessel92 wrote:...We never blamed chaos for station square...

... we didn't?
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Re: Let's Improve the comic! Part 2

Postby akessel92 » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:36 pm

Specs64z wrote:
akessel92 wrote:...We never blamed chaos for station square...

... we didn't?

Well the cast didn't they blamed Eggman cause he woke him. I should emphasis on the cast rather than the fans. But that's not the point. The point is that Eggman deserves the respect as main villain.
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Re: Let's Improve the comic! Part 2

Postby Mordum » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:05 pm

Most of this is inane, but honestly, Russel T. Davies and Ian Flynn is not the worst comparison. There're a lot of similarities, but I'm not sure it's for the reasons he says.
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Re: Let's Improve the comic! Part 2

Postby SonicBlueRanger » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:07 pm

Mordum wrote:Most of this is inane, but honestly, Russel T. Davies and Ian Flynn is not the worst comparison. There're a lot of similarities, but I'm not sure it's for the reasons he says.


I honestly don't think it's fair to compare anyone to Russel T. Davies. That's an insult I wouldn't even put on my worst enemy.
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Re: Let's Improve the comic! Part 2

Postby Mordum » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:23 pm

When you compare Davies's Who work to Flynn's Sonic work, they share some pretty broad but justifiably comparable similarities given the context they're presented in. Both of them take an incredibly convoluted, arguably offputting mythologies (though the likes of Robert Holmes are perhaps a bit more preferable to Ken Penders) and streamline them in a way that's maybe a bit more appealing to a wider audience. The two of them are also obviously in love with the mythology they grew up on and strive for a combination of personal finesse and a fidelity to that canon. The both are pretty iconic craftsmen with a particular style and methodology for what they do.

Though, on Davies, while some of his views on the human condition and much of his writing style may be arguably regressive (and has one of the weirder instances of LGBT solipsism coating his work, though he's not as bad as your Patrik Ian Polks...I'd say he's slightly below a Greg Berlanti), he has inspired bits of self awareness in and out of his political views. Someone who wrote a series with a premise like Bob and Rose, where a gay man falls in love with a woman but does not shed his gay identity, and writing an episode of TV like All Out War, which resolved Phil Ford's Wizards vs Aliens scripts with a surprising amount of emotional complexity for every character involved (ehm...mostly...there're some very weird things with Lexi and Benny Jr. right at the end), isn't exactly talentless. Davies got where he was for a reason: he has a knack, in this chunk of his career where he's written pulpy genre properties, for creating work that's viscerally and immediately appealing. Ian Flynn does very similarly, and does so fairly well, he just happens to trade gross social views for occasionally perplexing, if always entertaining and interesting, perspectives on how a source material is supposed to work.
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Re: Let's Improve the comic! Part 2

Postby akessel92 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:28 pm

Mordum wrote:When you compare Davies's Who work to Flynn's Sonic work, they share some pretty broad but justifiably comparable similarities given the context they're presented in. Both of them take an incredibly convoluted, arguably offputting mythologies (though the likes of Robert Holmes are perhaps a bit more preferable to Ken Penders) and streamline them in a way that's maybe a bit more appealing to a wider audience. The two of them are also obviously in love with the mythology they grew up on and strive for a combination of personal finesse and a fidelity to that canon. The both are pretty iconic craftsmen with a particular style and methodology for what they do.

Though, on Davies, while some of his views on the human condition and much of his writing style may be arguably regressive (and has one of the weirder instances of LGBT solipsism coating his work, though he's not as bad as your Patrik Ian Polks...I'd say he's slightly below a Greg Berlanti), he has inspired bits of self awareness in and out of his political views. Someone who wrote a series with a premise like Bob and Rose, where a gay man falls in love with a woman but does not shed his gay identity, and writing an episode of TV like All Out War, which resolved Phil Ford's Wizards vs Aliens scripts with a surprising amount of emotional complexity for every character involved (ehm...mostly...there're some very weird things with Lexi and Benny Jr. right at the end), isn't exactly talentless. Davies got where he was for a reason: he has a knack, in this chunk of his career where he's written pulpy genre properties, for creating work that's viscerally and immediately appealing. Ian Flynn does very similarly, and does so fairly well, he just happens to trade gross social views for occasionally perplexing, if always entertaining and interesting, perspectives on how a source material is supposed to work.

Not to mention both had to reintroduce material to either an age old audience or a brand new one. For Davies it was reintroducing a fan favorite series that had not aired since the eighties. And for Ian Flynn it's reintroducing 20 years of lore but only using only a fraction of that lore and having it reworked.
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