From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No.143
Welcome back readers to another edition of From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! I’m your friendly neighborhood columnist who loves writing in his pajamas, Drew McCabe! This week we take a look at two titles that have had really long 200-plus issue runs, and still going, since the 1990s! I’m talking about Archie’s Sonic The Hedgehog and DC’s Looney Tunes. Both titles are still alive and kicking thanks to dedicated fan bases behind them, but I think a lot of comic readers who’ve been around for a long time and overlooked them at one point have a great moment to jump on board and give them a shot, and for parents finding material for new younger readers, these are both awesome titles for them to dig into and catch comic book fever. Let’s get down to the reviews!
Something great happened a few issues ago to Sonic The Hedgehog: It became a really kick ass action title suddenly! That’s not to demote it or say anything bad about the book, I know there are fans out there who have been faithful over the past 20 years of its publication since day one, and die-hards just love it. No one can deny, though, that this comic has evolved over time, going from a more humor-vibe typical Archie title, to leaning more and more on the action oriented, but somehow always felt to come up a little short in spots no matter how fond some folks were of the characters, keeping a lot of readers away, while keeping a cult-core of readers around that never let the title die (unlike that Legend of Zelda comic published by Valiant in the 1990s; that one was easy for folks to let die). Perhaps it was Archie Comics’ recent splash hit with Megaman, which is packed full of action and received much acclaim from critics and readers alike, that was the best thing to happen for Sonic, as the title now fits the Megaman template to a tee, possibly bridging the gap for those long time potential readers who held off from adding it their piles for years, and just in time, too, for the Megaman-Sonic crossover starting up.
Issue #247 picks up right where we left off, with Sonic and the crew recovering from their battle against Mecha-Knuckles, and now have moved North for an attack on the Death Egg, where Mecha-Princess Sally is (for non-followers, the hope is to capture Mecha-Princess Sally, break her from Robotnik’s control, and turn her back into normal form if possible). Along with the Artic Freedom Fighters, they move in for an attack, but things don’t seem to be going as planned, and as the battle ensues inside, Robotnik seems to have one last trick up his sleeve!
Overall great stuff in these pages as Sonic shapes up into the strongest that the title has been in two years, and for some the strongest it has ever been. The heavier it gets into the action, the more enjoyable of a read it has become. Flynn helps push the action forward, while at the same time giving us enough fun with some old favorite characters (love those Artic Freedom Fighters), and setting us up for the crossover which will start next issue. On the art duties, Stanley does a great job here, everything flowing and nice and just being exciting to look at. Hopefully the title won’t lose any of its footing as it enters the Megaman-Sonic crossover for the next few months, but we will see how everything unravels and comes together soon.
Sonic The Hedgehog #247 is available now in print and digital from Archie.
A few columns ago we checked out DC’s Scooby-Doo! Where Are You? (click here for that), an all-age title that although sells more copies than other rival all-age titles, outselling the like from IDW’s beloved Popeye to both Archie’s flagship title Archie and their critically acclaimed Life With Archie, yet DC still doesn’t give it much push into the comic scene’s eye for some reason. The other title aside from Scooby-Doo that doesn’t seem to get too much love from the guys at DC is Looney Tunes. Now needless to say, Looney Tunes isn’t outselling other all-age books like our Mystery Machine gang is, and these days, like MAD Magazine, only has a steady enough following to give it a bi-monthly publication schedule. Still, upon reading this month’s issue, it proves to be a really delightful read that is filled full of great stories starring all your favorites, from Bugs Bunny down to Daffy Duck.
Issue #212 has three stories. The first, “Going Underground,” written by Fisch with art by Pope, features a hilarious misadventure when Bugs Bunny accidentally digs into Rocky and Mugsy’s jail cell, and then is forced to help them dig out of prison…of course how that turns out is part of the fun. The second tale, “If the Earth Moves You…”, written by Storm with art by Sternecky, places Daffy and Porky in Duck Dodger form on a planet to relax, when their vacation is cut short by Marvin the Martian doing some scientific testing. Finally, the issue rounds off with “Medical Cat-Tention,” also written by Storm with art by Aranda, where we find Sylvester disguising himself as a doctor at a hospital to try and finally eat Tweetie.
The overall grade of quality here is pretty good on the title. The artwork doesn’t blow one away per say, but it looks no worse than any other all-age title art out there, and more importantly it looks like the Looney Tunes. Never once did I say anything along the lines of “Porky doesn’t look like that” while reading; nope, everything looks and flows how it should across these gag driven pages. The writers have found the right voice for the characters in this grouping of stories, nothing seemingly out of place or not in the vein of our favorite WB characters and what they would do on the animated screen. Similar to the Scooby-Doo title, the folks who are going to love this are Looney Tunes fans, and if you’re not a fan, nothing is going to change your mind here. So, let the fans rejoice for getting a good product they are sure to enjoy!
Personally, I miss certain things, like a regular Mickey Mouse comic (stupid Marvel/Disney deal; although comiXology is helping feed the need), but I’m glad, even if it is bi-monthly, I can still pick up a regular Looney Tunes comic when the craving is there. Something about it feels right, and like Superman, I can’t imagine a world where these characters would exist in shape in comics.
Looney Tunes #212 is available now in print from DC Comics!
That’s it for this week! See you next!