#273 | Nov 2017

Hey Boomers! 

Welcome to a very special STC! What’s so cool about the number 273 you ask? Well, apart from being a truncated triangular pyramid number and the triple point of water in kelvins (as if you didn’t know!), #273 also marks 50 amazing issues since Sonic the Comic – Online began, and I think that deserves some celebration!

For starters, how about four fantastic stories to delve right into – Sonic continues his fight against the mighty Cyber Shifter, Captain Plunder is grappling with the monstrous Dagon, Tekno and Shortfuse continue their rocky road to reconciliation and Shadow returns this issue to…. well – you’ll see!

Then, the festivities continue with another fabulous Flashback Zone, plus our Pin-ups section is showcasing iconic moments from our 50 online issues! There’s even a few to mark the release of a little known videogame called… Sonic Forces!

Yes, in a handy piece of corporate synergy, Sega have kindly released their newest title just in time for our 50th release, and you can get a few of the humes thoughts on the Sonic game everyone’s been talking about over in our Review Zone!

Next up, over summer we asked you all what your favourite stories from STC’s past 50 issues have been and we have the results for you in our STC50 zone! We even asked the humes to take a trip down the memory lane zone and remember their favourite tales from over the years too!

After all that, my circuits are frankly frazzled and I haven’t even told you about next issue! If you thought this one was interesting, just wait till you hear about 274’s importance – and I’m not even talking about the bus I take when popping to the shops!

Megadroid

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The Story So Far…

With Robotnik decisively defeated at the battle of Emerald Hill, It’s a big victory for the heroes of Mobius! However, the threat of the Drakon Empire still looms large on the horizon…

Sonic

Sonic

Blue blur Sonic is the numero-uno hedgehog with attitude, boasting both lightning fast speed and wise cracks for every situation – but the war of Mobius isn’t quite over yet!

The Drakon Empire

The Drakon Empire

Evil aliens ruled by Emperor Brokken from the House of War, Master Scholar from the House of Knowledge and sister Haggra from the House of Magic. All are determined to conquer Mobius and expand the Drakon Empire – by any means necessary!

Shadow

Shadow

Digital defender Shadow is a living computer program invented by Dr Kintobor and given a familiar hedgehog shaped avatar by Iggy the mouse! Shadow has protected cyberspace from Robotnik’s threats, but now this stream of code has electric dreams of his own!

See the rest of the Data Zone! (click here)

Iggy the Mouse

Iggy the Mouse

Code cruncher Iggy gave this version of Shadow his appearance and personality, inspired by seeing the original ‘ultimate lifeform’ in action, and she’s pretty protective of her handiwork!

The Kintobor Computer

The Kintobor Computer

A digital backup of kindly scientist Kintobor, from before the accident that transformed him into the diabolical Dr Robotnik! The original Kintobor created the code that would one day become the protector of the digital realm, Shadow!

Vector the Crocodile

Vector the Crocodile

Super Scientist and part of the Chaotix Crew – Along with Espio, Mighty, Charmy and the Omni Viewer, Vector has begun to trust this new version of Shadow and put the hedgehog’s past predecessor behind them!

Shortfuse

Shortfuse

Short-tempered Shorty the Squirrel defends Mobius as his heroic alter-ego “Shortfuse” in a suit of armour made from broken badniks! After feuding with his former friend Tekno, the pair were starting to fix their friendship – until fate pulled them apart once again!

Tekno

Tekno

Gadget guru Tekno has an invention for every occasion, but currently she’s trapped inside some Cybernik armour, just like Shortfuse used to be! Now, a hidden program has dragged the clever canary on autopilot away from her best bud – But where did it send her?

Captain Plunder

Captain Plunder

Sky pirate Plunder, menace of the Mobius seas, thought his luck had changed for the better until he found himself attacked by the monstrous Dagon! Will the crooked captain defeat this challenger from the deep?

Cream the Rabbit

Cream the Rabbit

Innocent adventurer Cream accidently joined Plunder’s crew, and ever since that day she seems to somehow bring the captain good luck! Cream may be a little naïve, but she’s still one brave bunny!

Filch

Filch

Ghostly first-mate Filch is loyal to Plunder and has stuck by him through thick and thin! With the captain captured, Filch has retrieved a strange bottle that his boss has apparently been saving for just such an emergency!

Simpson the Cat

Simpson the Cat

Cartoonish kitty Simpson is nothing like the usual ship’s cat! Plunder’s kooky crewmate might be a bit of a strange character, but he’s surprisingly handy to have around!

Dagon

Dagon

This fishy fiend has taken over Plunder’s ship and his followers then tried to lock the crew below decks – But has this mysterious monster and his loyal lackeys bitten off more than they can chew?

Over summer we gave you boomers the chance to vote for your favourite STC stories from our last 50 online issues and loads of you took star posts and zoom tubes and Mobius rings and headed to the online polls to do just that!

We’ve got five awards to give out so let’s see who the winners are, shall we?

Best Shock

Johnny Knew

In Memory – STC #261

Best SEGA Superstar

Decap Attack

Special 7 and STC #257

Best Ongoing Story

Super Sonic Unleashed!

STC #266, #267, #268

Best Character

Sonic the Hedgehog

Best of the Best

All worthy winners there! Good job Sonic won ‘Best Character’ or we might have had a riot on our hands!

So, now we know what you thought, let’s ask some of the humes what their favourite stories are!

You might be surprised by some of the choices!

L.T. Fletcher

L. T.’s Top Five Ten!

Editor Hume Michael asked us to put together our top five STC stories of the online era. But, maybe it’s because I’m a writer and not a mathematician, maybe it’s because I’m a hack, I couldn’t narrow it down below ten. And I still cheated with one of them. That’s just my problem, you see, I love all of STC! Anyway, here’s my top ten:

10. Drowned

This is obviously special to the entire team because it’s the very first STC story since the comic became an online publication.

The move couldn’t have started in better fashion: the action gets underway right from the off, the plot progresses smoothly, naturally and keeps you guessing and there’s a great gag right at the very end that reassured readers that while the team was all-new, STC was still going to have the same blend of action and comedy that has made it so good over the years.

This one is more than a strip- it’s a moment.

9. Unleashed

I’ll admit the first two parts of this one caused a little scepticism in me, hitting as it did so many familiar story beats that we’d seen before, most notably in Nigel Kitching’s excellent Running Wild. But part three is where the real genius of the story lies: you were supposed to think it’s familiar territory because so does Super Sonic, leading to him falling for the heroes’ brilliant trap that sees him defeated.

It certainly doesn’t hurt that so many talented artists came together to create this awesome story.

8. The Tale of Cream the Rabbit

Oddly enough, Sonic doesn’t appear in this story despite it being under his banner. But that’s the point: Cream joins the Sky Pirates, thinking she’ll meet her hero, but he’s nowhere to be found.

This story gives us a neat little twist on an established Sega character, with plenty of brilliant background gags and gorgeous art by the wonderful Adamis.

7. Rage inside the Machine

This story is one I fondly remember for two reasons. Firstly, the use of colour is nothing short of genius, with the beautiful watercolours of the real world clashing with the garish, bright digital palette of the cyberworld, reflected in Espio’s inability to control his camouflage.

Secondly, the end of part one represents one of very few times STC has left my jaw agape in surprise- the return of Shadow was completely unexpected and left me on tenterhooks for the next issue!

6. Amy vs. Tekno

This story is partly about showing us exactly how Tekno came to be arrested for “crimes” against Robotnik way back when, as an unwilling underling, but it’s also much more than that. It shows the readers in no uncertain terms what kind of a hero Tekno is. The story’s climax comes as Tekno decides to make a very difficult decision, throwing herself on Robotnik’s (lack of) mercy to spare Amy’s life in the hopes that one day the Freedom Fighters will defeat the dictator.

Of course, we all know how things turned out!

5. How Big the Cat Saved Christmas

Everyone on the team absolutely loves the spiritual predecessor to this one Big the Cat Hits the Road! (and rightly so, it’s great!) but this one gave me probably the biggest laughs of STC’s online run thusfar. Big managing to inadvertently defeat Doctor Robotnik by lobbing a lump of coal at him is a great moment, but it’s the much more subtle interaction between Big and Sonic that really makes this one for me- Big’s unquestioning assertion that Sonic is “a good guy” says a lot about both characters.

That the story takes place while Sonic is considered an enemy of the public makes the ending all the more sweet, with it all being helped by some truly adorable art courtesy of our very own art Panda.

4. The Strange Case of Silver the Hedgehog

There are times working on STC you just know a story is going to be a success. When I saw the first pages of art from Reggie Graham on this one, I knew we had one of those stories on our hands. We are incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful art team- I genuinely believe it’s never been stronger since the move online- and Reggie is one of the very best we have.

The story is excellent too, with some great laughs but mostly a sincere, heartfelt focus on Silver trying to find his place in the world and trying to come to terms with his impending removal from existence. It’s a story where the good guys triumph not because they hit the hardest but because they simply deserved to win.

Also, it’s got a Back to the Future reference in it and I love that film so this gets a bonus point.

3. The Complete Vichama

I told you I cheated with one of these. This is an entire issue that actually contains three stories that make up a whole epic. For months we’d been wondering who exactly the enigmatic Vichama was. This storyline delivered in droves with art that’s nothing short of gorgeous on every single page, a solid answer to one of the biggest questions left since the print days and a quiet, contemplative conclusion in which Knuckles came to terms with some pretty heavy-duty stuff.

Another plus point, as far as I’m concerned, is the prominent role Tikal plays in the story- as one of STC’s more underdeveloped characters, it’s lovely to see her in the spotlight for a change.

2. Genesis

The entire Syndicate storyline is one of STC’s very best, and I include the print run of the comic in that too. Ed Reynolds’ tightly-crafted story arc is one many of us on the team aspire to reach the heady heights of. But it’s not the explosions or Super Sonic transformation that stuck with me the most, it’s the quiet conversation between Shadow and Sonic, two hedgehogs totally at odds but not, it transpires, very different. You’re left feeling Shadow isn’t necessarily bad at heart and is, in a skewed sort of way, acting out of love.

Perhaps, if things were different, Shadow and Sonic could have been friends. He may come across as cold and ruthless, but Shadow’s motives for helping Doctor Zachary seem ultimately logical, which makes his sacrifice all the more sad when it happens.

1. Skeletons in the Closet

There are a small handful of stories created by the STC Online team that I truly believe could stand side-by-side with those in the print run. A number of them appear in this list! Skeletons, however, is not just one of my favourite STC stories of the online era, it’s one of my favourite STC stories ever. The art is great, the story is cleverly told with an immediate mystery for the readers to unravel and the cliff-hangers are easily some of the best STC has ever seen, leaving you clamouring for their conclusions. It’s exactly the kind of story I aspire to when I write anything for STC.

If it seems like I’m laying it on a bit thick then don’t worry, I get a bizarre kick out of doing this because writer/artist Seumidh MacDonald gets embarrassed at how much I adore this story. But, adore it I do and I’m very happy and proud to say I’m the owner of the original pencils for this one. If ever I find myself writing a cliff-hanger, I always have to ask: is it as good as Skeletons’ and does it make you want to read the next issue as badly?

Honourable Mention Personal Moment of Pride

An Unconventional Convention!

This story first appeared in a printed issue given to those who backed Sonic the Comic Con on Kickstarter. It went through a format change and page number change until we arrived at the finished script, with wonderful art supplied by four excellent artists, people and friends, Adamis, Pete Murphy, Seumidh MacDonald and Matt Dittmer.

I was honoured to be chosen to write this one and humbled at the positive reaction it received on the day.

Perhaps the most mind-blowing moment of all, though, was Richard Elson himself grabbing a copy of the comic to read it. I know the rest of the team feel the same way about their hard work on that issue- and, make no mistake, it was really hard work! It was all worth it in the end, to see a building full of people enjoying something you’ve worked on is an experience like no other.

That’s the joy of STC for me- reading feedback and finding what people liked (and what they didn’t like so you can improve!). Knowing I’ve put a smile on someone’s face really makes me feel like I’ve done something right.

Anyway, Megadroid keeps tutting and mentioning something about a “word limit”, whatever one of those is, so I’ll cut it short now (That’d be a first! -Megadroid).

50 issues of STC online, what an accomplishment! I hope you lot are ready for the next 50- we definitely are!

Chris G

Chris G’s personal STCO Top 10

These are my personal picks from my experiences on the comic as a hume!

Evil Team Up (The Syndicate #228-229)

This was actually the story that first drew me into the wonderful world of STCO, so it holds a particularly fond place for me! Seeing the pages for this being coloured first hand was a real pleasure for me and I knew right there and then that I had to get involved with this amazing project!

Shortfuse Flies Again (Return of the Cybernik #232)

This makes my list as it was my first opportunity to draw one of my absolute favourite characters from the original comic – having the opportunity to define Shortfuse’s new comic look for all the adventures that followed was a huge honour and a great challenge to update a design classic!

Shadow Attacks! (Vendettas – #237)

This marks my first time colouring someone else’s comic panels for STC and I couldn’t have asked for more spectacular lineart than the amazing work of Zak Simmonds-Hurn in an already epic story!

The Fans Strike Back! (The Fandom Menace – #244)

This is the first published script I did for the comic, inspired in part by the riots over the depictions of the prophet that were causing a stir at the time – the story touches on just how far the most loyal followers are prepared to go for their idol – Who knew you could go so deep in a comic about a talking hedgehog and still have space left for a Harry Hill cameo?

What Happens on Solstice… (Sunrise – #245)

I think I’d choose this as probably my favorite artwork that I’ve done on the comic – the page with Shorty and Tekno arguing about being stuck on the technology free world of Solstice was a particular highlight for me! Seeing those two have a tender moment together before everything goes wrong was something I really worked hard to get right!

Farewell Sonic? (Goodbye Mobius – 248)

I’m highlighting this one both for its gorgeous art and also the EPIC twist lurking in it’s closing pages – It’s a stepping stone to a bigger storyline sure, but it does an amazing job in its own right and is not to be missed!

The War of Mobius Begins! (The Battle for Mobius – #250)

I mean, how could this NOT be included in a list like this? The most audacious story we as a team have attempted (so far!), AND an excuse for me to draw Fabian Vane’s first appearance in the online comic? What’s not to like! Plus of course It was a spectacular way to celebrate the 250 issue milestone with a talented team who worked so hard to bring it to fruition!

A Tall Tale or Two! (Stories – #266)

This was a really cute idea, taken to even greater heights by the wonderful art team! It also features sneaky first glimpses of Tekno the Cybernik and the gun totting Bob the Plax, months before their full debuts!

Never Forgotten (The Elephant in the Room – 15th Anniversary Special)

We’ve been lucky to have celebrated quite a few Sonic related milestones over the years, and this one is my favorite I think – a clever conceit to take a trip down memory lane, and beautifully executed too!

Rampage of the “Iblis” (Unleashed #266-268)

I think this story is one of the online team’s most popular stories, and with STC’s Super Sonic front and centre it’s easy to see why! I personally feel very proud to have been able to contribute lettering duties for it, and was really pleased to see fans reactions to it!

Pete Murphy

Pete’s top 5 STC-O stories!

1: Super Sonic Unleashed (Parts 1-3)

This, without a doubt, is what I would call a fitting follow up to Running Wild, the seminal Super Sonic piece from the original comics. Spydaman provided a story that had me gripped, even in script format, and I knew it would provide the thrills and spills that readers would want.

I’m very fortunate to have provided colours for all five wonderful artists who worked on this (as well as a number of other stories for STC-O), and I can’t wait to see what else is in store!

Featuring nearly very single major character teaming up to stop a raging Super Sonic, with plot twists aplenty… ooh, I might just have to go and read it again!

2. Sonic’s World: Big the Cat Hits The Road

Ordinarily, I would have said a story of Big the Cat being a delivery person (cat?) for the mob would never have worked, yet Seumidh provided a script that was so funny, and Adamis throwing in so many little visual gags made me crease with laughter!

Seriously, how hard is it to deliver a pizza?! It’s a short, ultimately silly script, but that what makes Sonic the Comic so perfect- something for everyone!

3. Sonic: Dicing with Death

This story is one that even the staff never seem to talk about, but it’s definitely worth the re-read. Featuring a cockroach called “The Dice”, Tails has to deliberately lose a game of cards, whilst Sonic finds a bomb. Trouble is, Tails’ luck is just too good! The really interesting thing about this story is the way it’s presented, in that a rather biased narrator tells it.

The art, once again by Adamis, is wonderful, with the pithy script from Jamie J!

4. Knuckles: Skeletons in the Closet (Parts 1-3)

Featuring a story in all aspects from Seumidh MacDonald, this three parter brings action, intrigue and some brilliantly executed world building to the Floating Island.
Featuring an ancient robot that can mimic certain abilities (including a certain water monster!), Knuckles and Porker have to uncover the mysteries of the “Gizoid”.

5. Hog Hunt (Parts 1-2)

Pure action! This story is nothing if not pure action! With Sonic’s Bob Beaky disguise blown, Sonic is forced on the run, as both the Babylon Rogues and the Chaotix Crew chase after him.

This has some of the best art from editor Stiv and long-time artist Adamis I’ve seen in the comic, and features some excellent one-liners from our blue hedgehog.

Charles Ellis

The Least Likely

The reveal of the fake Shorty with his terribly cheap armour, in The Least Likely – After a two-issue buildup to just who is framing Shortfuse for thefts and abductions, after keeping the villain shadowy and mysterious, we turn the page and… it’s just some loser with torches stuck to his arms.

Vane Hopes

Amy’s table descending and taking Chrysalis’ lunch with it, in Vane Hopes – cheating here because I wrote the script but the visual gag was all Adamis, turning “table descends into a base like in Thunderbirds” and making slapstick hay out of it. The food flying out of its bowl makes me giggle every time.

The Strange Case of Silver the Hedgehog

Silver fading away, in The Strange Case of Silver The Hedgehog 1 – up until this story, nobody had brought up (or thought) that under the previously established time travel rules from The Sonic Terminator, Silver should cease to exist after his mission. But Seumidh thought of it, and knew how to hit us in the feels with it.

The Fate of the Special Zone

The destruction of the Special Zone, in The Fate Of The Special Zone – while the consequences never got properly handled, the event itself is a stunner. Sonic loses, and harder than before, and characters we know are erased or left appalled. The stakes never were this high before and there are no rules about what could happen next.

In Cold Blood

How can Tails stop a foe that can take out any warm-blooded Mobian at a distance? Tails has to out-think a foe he can’t out-fight and one that’s quite a creepy one, someone the other Freedom Fighters are also helpless against; you can see why, a few issues later, he’s the Hero of Mobius.

In Memory

Seeing a dead friend once again, Sonic’s anger at his own youthful callowness, the knowledge Johnny knew for years he was going to die in battle: this is heavy stuff without being overly grim, turning the inevitable death of Johnny Lightfoot into something optimistic and hopeful.

Robotnik Forever

One of the sadder STC-O strips, as we see exactly what Grimer’s been doing since he walked out on Robotnik: pretending he never did. Quiet and tragic.

The Inside Story

How to make Sonic look like a sinister, seedy so-and-so in seven satirical pages that jab at media power, our willingness to believe bad things, and Sonic himself (KBC isn’t wrong about the lack of oversight!).

There’s also some great laughs: “We asked Porker if he’s weak and easily manipulated”, in Sonic: The Inside Story – the whole scene, starting with the very question (and Porker’s reaction) up to the spin of questions about Sonic making him cry. There’s a lot of good gags in Ed’s story but this one sticks out (with “Charmy Bee: Idiot” as the runner-up

Adamis

5. The Sky is Falling – issue 238

The climax to the Syndicate arc, the epicness of a battle between Super Sonic and Shadow, Zak’s amazing artwork, and that bittersweet ending.

4. Goodbye, Mobius – Issue 248

The story may sound simple, but the repercussions are huge. Sonic’s reputation is destroyed and Grimer has his revenge on the blue hedgehog. What an ending! And the battle between Sonic and Metallix is fantastic. Did I already say that I love Zak’s art?

3. The World’s Worst Villain – Issue 262

We need light-hearted stories once in a while and this one does a great job in making the readers laugh. It’s a slice-of-life story about a kid meeting Sonic and getting a bad note because of it. Great script, and charming art!

2. The Battle for Mobius – Issue 250

What’s not to like about this story? It has action, it changes the status-quo, it’s epic, and it was the occasion to see most of our artists shine in the same story.

1. Unleashed – Issues 266-268

Another story that feels fantastic and epic. We have everyone against Super Sonic, who’s more powerful than ever, and the art (once again shared with multiple artists) is just the best!

A special one for me is “Journey to the Crossroads“, as it was the first story I illustrated for Sonic the Comic Online back in 2003. I’ll always be thankful to Ed and Michael for accepting me in the staff and giving me this wonderful story to test my skills.

Bzzt! Howdy, Boomers! Sorry, looks like I have a bug in my matrix! Hey, speaking of bugs, how about Tails and his scrape with The Family? Those creepy crawlers are nothing but trouble… But not every bug is out to bug Tails! Today’s flashback shows that help can come from the most surprising of places!

STC #139: Bite Back

Script: Lew Stringer
Art: Carl Flint & Kev Hopgood
Lettering: Elitta Fell
Flashback Zone Report Filed by: L. T. Fletcher
Added to Omni Viewer’s Data Banks by: Michael Corker

The Doctor Robotnik Appreciation Tribe! Now there’s a name to strike apathy into the hearts of Mobians everywhere. True, most D.R.A.T. members were wusses who only followed the group out of fear- if Robotnik should ever return to power and they were seen as disloyal during his “off-season”, they would hate to think they stood a greater chance of being turned into a Badnik! However, the group did attract the occasional genuine nutter. One such nutter was the imposing Sleek the Panther! Sleek showed up in a forest Zone largely inhabited by purple snakes (behave yourself!) wearing an unusual backpack connected to his boxing gloves. Sleek blasted out a challenge to Tails via megaphone!

More irritated by the noise than anything else, Tails showed himself. He asked what Sleek wanted and the brash panther told the twin-tailed hero that if he could defeat Tails in a fight, the inhabitants of Mobius would lose faith in their heroes and Robotnik could regain control of the planet more easily! Tails wasn’t about to let that happen, however, but found himself distracted by a strange itching in his namesakes! The moment’s distraction was all Sleek required to deliver a punch so enormous it knocked Tails out of the panel!

As Sleek gloated, prompting some of the Zone’s inhabitants to wonder if he was right, Tails commented that Sleek wouldn’t have got the upper-hand if he hadn’t been distracted. Turning to look at his Tails, he was shocked to find he’d managed to get bugged- literally! Tails had fleas!

While bugs from the Special Zone are as big as Sonic and his friends, Mobian insects aren’t much larger than ones from Earth. These insects were sick and tired of being ignored and were making a stance in the name of getting equal rights for insects! Tails admired their cause (if not their timing) but asked if they had thought of making a positive contribution to the community to help reach their goal.

Sleek took the moment to come back for Round Two. Tails wasn’t especially ready, but showed the panther he was no pushover. As a matter of fact, Tails timed his hit perfectly to give Sleek a huge blow! Sleek decided the gloves were off- except they weren’t as he activated his backpack-powered Power Gloves, ready for the knockout blow! Unfortunately for Sleek, the ground beneath his feet gave way and incapacitated him! Landing hard down the pit, Sleek’s backpack shorted out and he was defeated.

Tails found the source of the hole- the Zone’s ant population had weakened the ground beneath Sleek’s feet! The ants had taken Tails’ suggestion- by helping defeat the bad guy, they’d made a real positive contribution to the community that would give their cause a lot of attention! Tails told the insects they should get their equal rights… as long as they stayed out of people’s hair- or fur!

So, you see, Boomers, it doesn’t matter how small you may be, anyone has the power for good within them! Sometimes big is beautiful, but on occasion small is super too!

We are hurtling towards the Segasational issue #275 at a breakneck pace, Boomers! I mean, I’ve already read it because I’m a time-traveller and I simply can’t wait! But next issue I’ll show you what happens when you go a little too fast!

Hey, hold on a sec! This is the 50th main issue of Sonic The Comic since we went online! That’s got to be a cause for celebration, right?! You guys have been sharing your favourite issues and stories from STC’s online years as part of the festivities, so I thought I’d chip in not with a favourite story but a favourite moment…

STC #224

Editors: Ed Reynolds, Michael Corker, Matt McBangle
Writers: Ed Reynolds, Michael Corker
Art: Abigail Ryder, Thalia Evans, Zak Simonds-Hurn
Lettering: Michael Corker
Special Thanks: Nigel Kitching, Richard Elson, Dave Bulmer
Flashback Zone Report Filed by: L. T. Fletcher
Added to Omni Viewer’s Data Banks by: Michael Corker

Now, I could be silly and flashback a story from this but you really ought to read it yourself. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you to get back! It’s hosted right here in our Back Issues section!

Recent events I’m not allowed to mention (or so say the Humes-Who-Think-They’re-Legal-Experts-Because-They-Watch-SVU) have left our friends at Archie Comics wondering about the future of their beloved Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Universe comics. It’s a sadly all-too-familiar scene for me, Boomers, I was right there when STC went out of print. That period of uncertainty on the comic’s future was long and sad.

But, joy of joys! The fans refused to let the comic fade away! And in May of 2003 – exactly ten years from the launch of the first issue- STC reappeared in a blaze of glory online! This wonderful comic that brought ceaseless joy to thousands upon thousands of readers across Britain and worldwide now had a stronger foothold and greater online presence than ever before!

That first online issue sent a message- if you believe in something want to achieve a goal, you can do it if you put your heart and soul into it! And, for what it’s worth, Boomers, some of the talent who worked on that issue inspired some of the current crop of Humes to pick up a pen or pencil and get involved – to some of us, Ed and Zak are held in just as high a regard as the Nigels, Lew, Rich, Roberto, John, Carl, Kev and — well, you know who worked on the originals, I’d be here all day name-dropping them (we do have a wiki, you know)! And, credit where it’s due – it’s all been overseen from day one by a plethora of editorial Humes-in-charge, including Ed, Charles, Stiv and even Michael Corker who’s still on our team to this day (he’s practically part of the furniture at STC Towers, which explains why Megadroid attempted to dust him last week)!

Since then we’ve had some amazing storylines crafted by some incredibly talented Humes, brought to life by some of the most astonishingly gifted artists I’ve ever seen. We’ve had highlights and, it’s true, even a few controversial moments! We’ve had some of the most amazing twists and turns you could never have seen coming. We’ve had storylines you wouldn’t have expected. We’ve had classic STC takes on Sega characters. And, most of all, we’ve had the support of a wonderful fan base. It’s the passion of the fans that keeps STC going and from all of us to every single Boomer reading this comic, whether it’s your first issue or your fiftieth – from the bottom of my matrices, THANK YOU!

What I’m trying to say in a round-about sort of fashion is that Sonic’s followers might get a lot of stick online, but I don’t think you’ll ever find a more passionate group of fans.

Incidentally, on that note, you ought to check out ArchieSonicOnline.com. They’re working on a revival of their own, you know. In fact, you may even spot a few familiar STC Humes among the credits!

Just remember, ASO – we had the idea first! All the best to you and here’s hoping we’ll be celebrating your 50th issue in future too!

Well… I already have, of course. Like I said, I’m a time-traveller!

See you next Space-Time!

Sonic Forces Logo


Available on: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
Game Type: Platformer
Players: 1
Publisher: SEGA
Price: £29.99

Reviewer: Michael Corker

It’s only been two months since Sonic Mania was released and Sonic is back again with Sonic Forces!

We asked some of the STC team who have played it so far to give us their quick Raves and Graves for the latest Sonic adventure!


Jean-François “Adamis” Thébé

Raves

Beautiful graphics
Enjoyable music
Creating a character is fun!
Nice story (that made me think of STC)

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Graves

Levels are too short

Controls are sometimes off

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Ernest Panda

Raves

Beautiful graphics
An interesting story
The avatar is fun to customise.

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Graves

Less-than-perfect controls
Levels are too short.

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Michael Corker

Sonic Forces features a return to Sonic Generations style of game and it’s about time! Both Lost World and Sonic Boom had some great ideas but more often than not failed in execution, especially in the main gameplay style. Sonic Forces thankfully goes back to the visual style of Unleashed, Colours, and Generations and is instantly the most visually stunning Sonic 3D game so far.

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Storywise, it reminds me a lot of STC in the overall tone – with a plot that is both quite dark and thrilling, yet also with light and funny parts to keep things getting too grimDark and overwrought. It features a number of callbacks to Sonic lore, and is the closest thing we’re probably going to get to a Sonic Adventure 3 at this point. There’s also some very prescient commentary on the state of our society right now, and while it’s cheesily done, the sentiment was appreciated.

Shoutout to the Sonic Boom cast who once again do the voice work for the game, it’s great for consistency and the actors involved are also just really great at what they do!

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The levels are all quite short, but that also means they don’t outstay their welcome and even though there are multiple acts to each zone (there must be about 4 or 5 levels set in the Chemical Plant Zone, for example) – each one has a unique style to it. Level designs all look gorgeous, but with a diminished design team present they tend to be quite linear and lack a lot of depth. There’s a lot to like in what we get – but I would love to see longer and more intricately designed levels in the future.

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The game does suffer in the controls department too, even after finishing the game I still feel uncertain and nervous about how far Sonic will jump or if that homing attack will actually hit the badnik or send me flying off into oblivion.

Modern Sonic seems to be on rails a lot of the time and even if you don’t hit a boost pad you still speed up regardless of how you’re controlling him. Classic Sonic fares better, but with Sonic Mania in recent memory – we have a stellar comparison into how he should control (and how good 2D Sonic level design can be).

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Boss battles are a highlight, and easily my favourite 3D bosses in a long time. They’re surprisingly well done and while none of them are particularly difficult, they don’t feel too easy either. A good mix of different styles of battle also keep things interesting – there’s a very visually distinct battle with Infinite based around a vine that I particularly enjoyed!

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The main new gameplay gimmick is the Avatar, or the “rookie” as they’re called in the story. This is a great addition to the franchise and I hope it’s expanded upon in future installments – right now it’s quite basic (I’d like to see more animal types, more varied body sizes, and a lot more customisation options) but is enough to whet our appetite for the idea. I made my character look as close to Tekno as I could and oddly I found myself so much more invested in the story due to my love of that character – seeing “Tekno” interact with all the characters and race through levels (along with some cool gadgets – the Wispon really suit Tekno!) was genuinely exciting, thrilling even.

I’ve been eagerly going back to completed levels to get S ranks and complete new tasks in order to get more costumes and accessories so I can build more STC characters in the Sonic Forces styles – look for the ones I’ve created so far below – and while I’ve never been that fussed at creating my own OC – for fans that have been doing this for years, a system like this must be even more exciting than it is to me.

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Overall, I really enjoyed Sonic Forces, perhaps even more than I enjoyed Sonic Mania (Sacrilige, I know!) – the levels were short and snappy, the story kept me interested, the bosses were great, the music is catchy, seeing my own character take part in it all was just wonderful, and overall it was just a lot of fun!

Not to say it doesn’t have a lot of flaws – everything in the game could be better: The levels could have more depth and be longer, the controls need fixing, the story could have been tightened up, the avatar customisation could be expanded. And yet, I loved every minute of it!

I hope the negativity from the fanbase doesn’t deter SEGA from taking the DNA of this game and improving upon it for next time – Sonic Forces feels close to how a modern Sonic 3D game should work, and with some more TLC, a future Sonic game based on this could be something truly special.

Final Countdown!

Raves

Raves

Lively storyline with some real-world relevance
Gorgeous graphics
Memorable music
Bombastic boss battles
Addictive avatar system

Graves

Graves

Wonky controls
Levels are very short and too linear
Avatar system needs more options

Graphics 94
Sound 90
Playability 79
Overall 87

Download your favourite images direct to your PC, phone, tablet, or Facebook!

STC #274

Coming Soon!

What did you think?

Editor-in-Chief: Michael Corker
Cover by: Jean-François “Adamis” Thébé with Clare “MamboCat” Ryan

Special thanks this issue to:
A.W. Pitt, Michael Corker, Marcus Stockley, Reggie “Ziggyfin” Graham, Chris Gould, Tom Campbell, Charles Ellis, Dane Eichinger, Jean-François “Adamis” Thébé, Ernest Panda, Clare “MamboCat” Ryan, L.T. Fletcher, and the rest of the STC team!

Sonic the Comic is copyright © Egmont Magazines Ltd. Sonic the Hedgehog and all related characters © SEGA.

Other characters belong to their creators. Used without permission. Published by the Sonic the Comic online team. This comic is only available on the internet.

Website by Pretty/Confused ©2017.

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