Ask Ian #5 - The Return

Forum devoted to Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Universe and the entire Sonic line by Archie Comics.

Postby nuckles87 » Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:57 am

SPOILERS!!!11! wrote:Ian, how did you get away with your portrayol(sp?) of Sonic in 166? I thought Sonic wasn't allowed to be portrayed as weak or crying?
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Postby NackTheWeasel » Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:04 pm

Uh, SPOILERS!!!1!1?
Spoilers wrote:Wasn't that just a SatAM myth?
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Postby BlueFantasy » Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:12 pm

Oh my! This is not really a question, but it relates to something previously written in the "Ask Ian" threads.

Sonicxfactor asked about Rosie and Uncle Chuck, and Ian said it might be addressed in the future. But it's already been addressed!

In issue 146 Mike's editorial said, "And yes, a lot of the questions from LOVE AND LOSS will be answered over the next several issues. Actually, one of them was answered in last month's, if you can figure it out."

I didn't catch this the first time I read the issue. Going back through my books as I've been, I checked 145. Sonic and Sally and Bunnie and Antoine were still splitsville, and nothing was really fixed with Ash and Mina (they were even arguing). But lo and behold, when Locke was spying on Shadow who was spying on Hope... Chuck and Rosie were chatting in the hut! And in 147 or 148, Jules told Chuck "Sorry this couldn't be one of your social visits!" to which Chuck replied, "You know about that?" with a :P face. ^-^ So I guess maybe they ARE a couple, if in secret for the time being.

I do have a question though. I'm afraid I don't remember the issue number, but before the Royal Party left on their tour of Mobius, there was a story with "Antoine" going over his speech. He came across a letter from Bunnie, and had a flashback about his fist love coming to visit when he and Bunnie had just started out as a couple. My questions are: If this was Evil Antoine all along, how did he remember anything? Is this a mistakenly written story or what?
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Shadow Questions

Postby EthanEmerald » Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:20 pm

Time for Shadow-related questions, Ian!

-Will Shadow's new powers be played up on, as seen in System? If you recall, he was able to warp through time and space, aswell as create a defensive shield out of thin air, without a chaos emerald.

-In M25YL-2, Shadow apparently has no children. I agree with this (Shadow would never desire children, IMO) and I'm curious what your reasoning was. Did you consider that Shadow's not natural-born, and theoretically reproduces asexually like his prototype, the Biolizard?

-Why the sudden change of character? Well, I guess it's not actually sudden, as 25 years have passed. Anyway, he was being developed a hero, in a sense. See the end of GBU -- he saves Sonic. See the end of System -- He works together with Sonic and develops a sort of friendship with him. He's following Maria's wish by protecting the humans and essentially doing good for the populace. But now we see him as an evil, ruthless dictator.

-Other confusion: What the heck did Sonic do that made Shadow so evil and powerful, anyway? And why would Sally marry Shadow, anyway? How'd Sonic lose his own royalty? There are so many questions that have arisen. Perhaps some will be clarified in #167, but the biggest thing of all is exactly what Sonic DID to fix the past. We're left speculating with only a sentence in the beginning of M25YL-2 to explain Sonic's actions. Another dangling plot point. Anybody else agree?
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Re: Shadow Questions

Postby NackTheWeasel » Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:28 pm

EthanEmerald wrote:-In M25YL-2, Shadow apparently has no children. I agree with this (Shadow would never desire children, IMO) and I'm curious what your reasoning was. Did you consider that Shadow's not natural-born, and theoretically reproduces asexually like his prototype, the Biolizard?

From what I heard, Ken sent a script in originally that included Shadow with children, but the editor told him to write them out, in case fans grew attached to them. What I want to know is how it went from Ken writing the story to Ian.
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Postby Dirk Amoeba » Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:44 pm

I have to agree with Ethan's last paragraph-thing, for two reasons. Firstly, clarity. It was not (STILL is not) clear exactly what was the cause of the problem in M25yl act one, and now we don't even know what King Sonic did to make htings worse. All we know is: Things got bad and we're not sure why, then things got worse and we're not sure why.

Secondly, storytelling! It would have been more fun to see what King Sonic did, and wouldn't it have been compelling to see Knuckles (in the future) at the moment where the change occured (we're told that one moment he was in the Sonic-ruled Mobius, the next moment he was in the Shadow-ruled Mobius)? To see him in horror in confusion, taking time to grasp what had just occurred? The problem with the current 25yl arc is that it feels like a third act to a play whose second act is missing.

As a final comment, the time travel mechanics in the Sonic universe are quite simply screwed up. Whereas "Reunification" implied that there are multiple future timelines, this new M25yl arc implies that the King Shadow future has overwritten the King Sonic one, which contradicts that idea. Unless the King Shadow future is somehow the Reunification future.

In any case, I have a feeling that the Script Bits! for this issue will be quite interesting.
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Postby Kureejii Lea » Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:48 pm

While I'm not Ian, I just thought I'd say that I was under the impression that M25YL as a whole was to be taken as a brief look at what-could-be, and thus what's happening or will happen with the characters now (ie Shadow) isn't affected by it. After all, if it were showing exactly what becomes of everyone down the line, that doesn't leave much of interest (nevermind wiggle-room) in terms of the present continuity. I was disappointed when time-travel was brought up in the previous M25YL because it was starting to look like a case of, well, messing with time streams instead of a fun and interesting "what-if."

Firstly, clarity. It was not (STILL is not) clear exactly what was the cause of the problem in M25yl act one, and now we don't even know what King Sonic did to make htings worse. All we know is: Things got bad and we're not sure why, then things got worse and we're not sure why.


I don't think it's that King Sonic made things worse, in a way, because it seems that the problem he was to fix is no longer an issue. I was under the impression that he changed something in order to fix the instability (or whatever the vague problem Ken set up was) that threatened the world; the cost was that the future changed in a way that made things worse for himself (and a few others) on a personal level. In a way, it was a kind of sacrifice.

As a final comment, the time travel mechanics in the Sonic universe are quite simply screwed up. Whereas "Reunification" implied that there are multiple future timelines, this new M25yl arc implies that the King Shadow future has overwritten the King Sonic one, which contradicts that idea. Unless the King Shadow future is somehow the Reunification future.


Yeah, this is an iffy area. However, sending King Sonic back in time was an attempt to fix their timeline specifically; otherwise they could have just sat back and said "Well, we still exist in another possibility." Despite that Lara-Su's previous time-travel crossed alternate timelines (how DID she travel in the first place, anyway?), I would think that in this case Sonic was somehow "confined" to the one line in order to save it alone from destruction. Instead of dealing with the how (besides, ending up in the past would probably again step into the current continuity), we instead get the aftermath (Sonic fixed things at the cost of the life he had before)... which comes back to it being a display of what-if.

It might not be perfect, especially with a changeover in writers, but so far I'm liking the "look what happens if a twisted Shadow gets in power" possible future a lot better than that of "look what happens when Knuckles and Julie-Su have a daughter who has sleepovers while stuff doesn't happen to the sky."
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Postby nuckles87 » Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:14 am

NackTheWeasel wrote:Uh, SPOILERS!!!1!1?
Spoilers wrote:Wasn't that just a SatAM myth?


It wasn't just for SatAm and it wasn't a myth. Sega has mettled in Archie's storylines quite often, one of the most notable ones being "End Game". Sega doesn't want Sonic to cry. Ian said it himself months back that Sega will not allow them to portray Sonic as "weak".
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Postby Tracy Yardley! » Wed Sep 13, 2006 10:21 am

Here is a comparison of the panels featuring Sonic grieving the loss of his children. As you can see, I originally had Sonic bawling his eyes out. I mean, he lost his kids to save the world, for Pete's sake! However, Mike asked me to change it because he knew Sega would never let it fly. Indeed, it is their policy that Sonic should not be portrayed as too weak.

I beg you all not to give Mike any guff about this, he was just doing his job. I just thought I'd share this and give you all a little insight into the production of the book. After all, had I not gone so over the top to begin with, it might have been toned down even more, and I think it works pretty well as is.

Image

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Postby nuckles87 » Wed Sep 13, 2006 10:40 am

Oh, I won't be giving Mike any guff, thats for sure. It's Sega that I'm ashamed of. I'm still surprised that M25YL got away with as much as it did.

But yeesh, that IS a huge difference. I have to say though, Tracy, you did a good job keeping most of the emotion in those panels, even though you ended up having to take a lot of it out.
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Postby Guest » Wed Sep 13, 2006 11:41 am

Aw, there's no way I could talk guff about Mr. Pellerito even if I wanted to. He's gotta be one of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of talking to.

Those are awesome pencils going, Trace. Although you had to tone it down, at least you did'nt have to take out any emotion that was to be shown at all
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Postby sonicxfactor » Wed Sep 13, 2006 2:32 pm

Tracy that is superb I have to say your original sketches on the left are much better then the final ones on the right. I can’t believe Sega are being so controlling over something such as this. It shows people that even Sonic can be heart broken. I’m not having a go at Mike its Sega, how can they be so heartless. I know Sonic belongs to them but the point of a comic is to make you feel for the characters, I know Sega wont show Sonic weak in the games but the comic is a different world from the games where the writers do their best to make a world you can believe in and characters you can fell connected to.

But at the end of the day you cant go against Sega your just doing your jobs.


BlueFantasy wrote:Oh my! This is not really a question, but it relates to something previously written in the "Ask Ian" threads.

Sonicxfactor asked about Rosie and Uncle Chuck, and Ian said it might be addressed in the future. But it's already been addressed!

But lo and behold, when Locke was spying on Shadow who was spying on Hope... Chuck and Rosie were chatting in the hut! And in 147 or 148, Jules told Chuck "Sorry this couldn't be one of your social visits!" to which Chuck replied, "You know about that?" with a :P face. ^-^ So I guess maybe they ARE a couple, if in secret for the time being.



Really I dident notice that. I hope Ian you get these to together for real as I think its about time these to got some love in there life, that and I think they look cute together.
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Postby Ian Flynn » Wed Sep 13, 2006 5:05 pm

Let's tackle the easy stuff first . . .

BlueFantasy wrote:I do have a question though. I'm afraid I don't remember the issue number, but before the Royal Party left on their tour of Mobius, there was a story with "Antoine" going over his speech. He came across a letter from Bunnie, and had a flashback about his fist love coming to visit when he and Bunnie had just started out as a couple. My questions are: If this was Evil Antoine all along, how did he remember anything? Is this a mistakenly written story or what?


My take on the story was it was Patch reading more than just the letter but perhaps memoirs kept by Antoine and relived the moment. (I also think it was a case of two writers addressing the same plot-point with different intensions, but we're going with what's in the universe).

I wouldn't lose sleep over it since we won't be revisiting that one particular bit any time soon.

EthanEmerald wrote:-Will Shadow's new powers be played up on, as seen in System? If you recall, he was able to warp through time and space, aswell as create a defensive shield out of thin air, without a chaos emerald.


Yes, Shadow can pull juice out of the ambient Chaos Force to do "System"/SHtH-styled moves. Personally, I view Shadow as the type who would rather use his natural physical (superior) abilities before resorting to the "magic."

EthanEmerald wrote:-Why the sudden change of character? Well, I guess it's not actually sudden, as 25 years have passed. Anyway, he was being developed a hero, in a sense. See the end of GBU -- he saves Sonic. See the end of System -- He works together with Sonic and develops a sort of friendship with him. He's following Maria's wish by protecting the humans and essentially doing good for the populace. But now we see him as an evil, ruthless dictator.


Whatever do you mean? King Shadow has spent (at least part of) the past twenty-five years saving the world from itself. The world is unified under him, tightly policed, and shown the beauty and mercy of Maria's eternal spirit. Yes, he enjoys protecting the world from those who would undo it - like Rotor and the late Cobor. Can you fault him for enjoying his work?

He's not ruthless. He's the ultimate lifeform, and he's protecting the world in the best way he knows how - his own.

EthanEmerald wrote:-Other confusion: What the heck did Sonic do that made Shadow so evil and powerful, anyway? And why would Sally marry Shadow, anyway? How'd Sonic lose his own royalty? There are so many questions that have arisen. Perhaps some will be clarified in #167, but the biggest thing of all is exactly what Sonic DID to fix the past. We're left speculating with only a sentence in the beginning of M25YL-2 to explain Sonic's actions. Another dangling plot point. Anybody else agree?


Point-by-point:
- Something(s) changed within the past led to events that shaped Shadow and the rest of the world as it is today. Or then.

- Can't say yet.

- See first answer.

NackTheWeasel wrote:What I want to know is how it went from Ken writing the story to Ian.


Nothing more to really say since the last time I answered that. Mike asked me to do it, so I did it.

Dirk Amoeba wrote:I have to agree with Ethan's last paragraph-thing, for two reasons. Firstly, clarity. It was not (STILL is not) clear exactly what was the cause of the problem in M25yl act one, and now we don't even know what King Sonic did to make htings worse. All we know is: Things got bad and we're not sure why, then things got worse and we're not sure why.


Part of that stems from there not being a concrete definition for what was wrong other than things went screwy with the time-line/space-time and King Sonic went to fix it.

Dirk Amoeba wrote:Secondly, storytelling! It would have been more fun to see what King Sonic did,


Then it wouldn't be "Mobius: 25 Years Later." It would be "King Sonic plays Quantum Leap." Instead of spending my eleven pages per issue to define the problem, define the solution and show both I went ahead with the end result. If we'd had a Special, or a mini-series, or generally more space I would've enjoyed indulging in King Sonic monkeying with the time-line and seeing the various effects. But we already had a story like that during the Green Knuckles Saga. And I wanted to see more Lara-Su.

Dirk Amoeba wrote:As a final comment, the time travel mechanics in the Sonic universe are quite simply screwed up. Whereas "Reunification" implied that there are multiple future timelines, this new M25yl arc implies that the King Shadow future has overwritten the King Sonic one, which contradicts that idea. Unless the King Shadow future is somehow the Reunification future.


There are multiple time-lines/Zones that all stem from the Prime Zone. King Sonic just went back over his own line, tinkered, and the results happened down the line. Presumably, for every "fix" King Sonic made there was an off-shoot reality where it was his last. Likewise, there are Zones/time-lines where they did nothing. The fun of the multiverse is everything you ever want has/is/will happen somewhere out there.

Now then - Emotional Sonic

Tracy sorta beat me to the punch, but far better with the example art. While I wasn't too surprised the original pencils were tweaked, I was surprised at how much Tracy got to leave in. Sure it's toned down, but the feeling is still there.

From my personal experience on the book (which is nigh upon three years now! Good glory!) Sega has actually been very giving and receptive as we've pushed the envelope. They've turned stuff down and asked for revisions, but that's to be expected. It's their property, their pressence in the market, and if anything it should be heartening that they're so passionate about keeping an eye on him.

I've put out a ton of material and not once has it been neutered. Tweaked, revised - sure - but the meaning and the emotion has never been removed. I'm quite thankful for that.
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Postby Taco » Wed Sep 13, 2006 5:45 pm

IanPotto wrote:Can you fault him for enjoying his work?

But he's like totally torturing them (or having them tortured) and he has a smile on his face about it. If he were enjoying seeing them put in prison, or something, it would probably seem less evil. Or if he was frowning while commanded Lien-Da to do it, like it was something he felt was an ugly act, but necessary. Particularly since Rotor and Cobor were old, weak men, who probably never did anything else that he would view bad, at this point. He also apparently had one of them tortured to death. And if Lien-Da did it... what's with working with him an evil Lien-Da and the Dark Legion, anyway, or will that be explained next issue?
IanPotto wrote:If we'd had a Special, or a mini-series, or generally more space I would've enjoyed indulging in King Sonic monkeying with the time-line and seeing the various effects.

Heh. Yeah, the story feels like it would've benefited from more space to tell it in. If not just to show what happened to Sonic when he went back in time, than to follow him around once he gets back to the future, and see his reactions, so that we aren't suddenly greeted with an uber-emotional, run down Sonic. Not that it doesn't make sense that that's how he turned out, but the story does feel kinda rushed.

Sorry if I seem really critical. Heh. I still like your stuff a lot more than the last bit of stuff that Ken was giving us.

Wuv, Yer Mom

EDIT: Oh yeah, and thanks for the kudos in the other thread :)
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Postby Orion101 » Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:16 am

1. From what I heard about the Dark Legion they believe Echidna's are superior to other races on Mobious, if that is the case why would Rutan be in a relationship with a Chameleon and why would Lien-Da let him.

2. In Darkest Storm Nack said that now was as good a time as any to get out, given that and how easilly he seems to escape from his cell does that mean he could have escaped any time he wanted but was waiting for the right moment to make his move.

3. When we saw Antoine impersonating Patch he was using wrist lasers along with the rest of the Anti-gang. I'm pretty sure these would count as guns and therefore violate his cultural beliefs. Inhabitants of the Acorn Kingdom don't believe in guns. Does this mean when having to act like Patch Antoine had to do more "questionable things" that he may not like to talk about? Not looking for any detailed spoilers though.

4.In the original installment Rutan seemed to respect Dimitri and hold him in higher regard than he did his own mother. Why do you think this is?

5. You said in on the Mobious forum in another site that the Tails on Anti-Mobious had a destiny like Mobious Prime Tails does only opposite and evil. Is this something you plan on eluding to at any point or is it just an idea.
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