100th Episode (Sonic the Hedgehog)
September 13, 2010
What Sonic comic has Linkara been forced to do for his 100th episode?
(Open, as always, on Linkara seated on his Futon, but the wall behind it looks different somehow)
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall's (throws his arms out with excitement) 100TH EPISODE!! (beat) What's that? (puts hand to his ear to listen) You don't care about that? You want to know what's up with the wall? (gestures toward wall behind him) Well, I got to thinking the other day...
(Flashback to past events on the show's run)
Linkara (v/o): Evil beings seem to keep finding out where I am, and frankly, I'm tired of fighting villains or having my comics come alive and try to kill me. It's become something of a problem at my old place, kind of like if I had roaches, except the roaches wanted to take over the universe or were attached to strings.
Linkara: Come to think of it, in a hundred episodes, we've been through a lot together, haven't we?
(A montage is shown of outlandish events from the show's past, including Linkara's breakdown at the end of "Amazons Attack", his battle with Neutro, his encounters with Spoony, and his struggles with the "Star Trek comic", just to name a few)
Linkara: Yeah, I can't think of anything specifically either. Still good times. Oh, and if anybody else tries to go into my old place, (smiling evilly) I left them a little surprise...
(Cut to Phelous running into Linkara's old place, laughing)
Phelous: Now that Linkara left his old place, I'm taking over!
Computer voice: Self-destruct sequence activated.
Phelous: (frustrated) Oh, crap!
Computer voice: Self-destruct in T-minus in ten...
Phelous: (rubbing his face) Not again!
Computer voice: ...nine... eight... seven...
(Cut back to Linkara)
Linkara: So, yeah, I'm still adjusting to the new location, and, oh, I'm also still moving in.
(Iron Liz walks up, holding a box full of toys)
Iron Liz: Okay, I got another box of toys, but... seriously, why do you have so many Power Ranger toys?
Linkara: I can quit whenever I want! (points offscreen) Get back to work!
Iron Liz: (startled) Fine! (leaves, taking box with her) Addict!
Linkara: So, I guess you're all wondering what the hundredth episode is gonna be.
(Cut to some shots of Sonic the Hedgehog comics)
Linkara (v/o): Well, the people demanded it, and so I've agreed to do a Sonic comic. Will I do more sometime in the next hundred episodes? Well, hopefully not, but then again, there's a Sonic and Image Comics crossover, so you know I'll be trying to hang myself from the ceiling soon enough.
Linkara: Until then, I scoured the donations people have sent me for something appropriately awful and idiotic for this occasion. So let's dig into my 100th review with (holds up comic of review) "Sonic Live #1".
(AT4W title sequence plays, set to a montage of the first one hundred comics Linkara had looked at up to this point, while the title song is played in a hard rock style to mark the occasion. After the titles, cut to a title card for this episode, set to the title music for the Sonic the Hedgehog video game; cut to a closeup of a cover of the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Oh, geez, this is frightening right off the bat! We've got a mixture of real-life photo and a giant cartoon Sonic. Be afraid, people, be very afraid! Sonic's got gigantic hands, and he's grabbing that kid like he's gonna do unspeakable things to him! It's like the kid is reaching for a DVD, and Sonic's just like "Nuh-uh! You're gonna play one of my games, or you will experience a nightmare that you shall never awaken from!" The little girl there has put her hands up to her mouth in sheer terror at this monstrosity emerging from their TV, and she's too horrified to scream. And... maybe it's just me, but has anyone ever noticed that Sonic doesn't actually have two eyes, but one hideous, malshapen eye with two pupils? Seriously, look at it! There's nothing dividing his eyes! It's like two egg whites that have fused together!
Text on cover: It's so real you'll think you're part of the adventure!!!
Linkara: It's so real that you'll be wetting yourself in fear!
Text on cover: The last game cartridge hero!
Linkara: Oh, I get it, it's like The Last Starfighter! Sonic the Hedgehog is supposed to train us how to collect rings and free animals transformed into robots!
Linkara (v/o): Let's start with the backstory, since as I admitted, I haven't watch Sonic SatAM, plus I'm a lazy bastard who didn't feel like looking on wikis to get this information.
Text: On the planet Mobius...
Linkara: (listlessly) Bored already.
Text: ...a war is being waged between the ultimate forces of good and evil.
Linkara: Oh, yeah, when I think of the ultimate personifications of good and evil, I think of a blue hedgehog and a really fat guy.
Text: Motivated by an intense desire to reshape the land and its people to his distinctive vision, Doctor Robotnik will stop at nothing to attain his dreams of global domination. While in many ways the tale is unique, in others it's as old as time.
Linkara: What, good fighting evil? Yeah, I think there may have been a story or two about that already.
Text: For, as Sonic has learned during his many adventures, there exist other realities in different dimensions and zones. Some are disturbingly similar, with events and combatants rearranged only because some action or decision varied from the reality Sonic knows.
(Cut to a clip of the opening of Sliders)
Quinn Mallory: (narrating) What if you could travel to parallel worlds? The same year, the same Earth, only different dimensions.
(Cut back to the text in the comic)
Text: Others are wildly different, with little similarities or connections.
(Cut to a clip of Angel)
Illyria: ...and one world with nothing but shrimp. I tired of that one quickly.
(Back to the comic text again)
Text: Until now, Sonic has only experienced other dimensions very similar to the one he currently exists on. Fate, however, has a way of stepping in and asserting itself, as Sonic's world is about to collide... ...with worlds beyond!
Linkara: Technically, aren't all parallel worlds, be they similar or not, (makes a "finger quote") "worlds beyond"?
Linkara (v/o): We open to Dr. Robotnik riding on... uh, an altar? I don't know. He challenges Sonic to fight him mano-a-mano, and Sonic proceeds to speed into the castle or temple or whatever the hell that is. Have I mentioned I haven't watched this series? Robotnik pulls out Princess Sally, who has some sort of mind-control helmet on.
Linkara: (monotone, with a colander on his head) All are one in Darkseid...
Sonic: Let her go, Robutt-nik! This is between you and me! Always has been, always will be!
Linkara: Isn't this series how Robotnik took over the world? By extension, doesn't that mean it's kind of, you know, everybody's fight?
Linkara (v/o): Robotnik unleashes a group of robots that come out and vaporize Sonic. Ooookaaaay...
Linkara: (closing comic) Well, that was surprisingly short. (shrugs) Well, happy hundredth episode, everybody! (gets up and leaves)
(Closing credits start to roll, but the screen gets cut off by static; cut back to the comic, showing a live-action kid playing a video game (whose controller does not seem like a Sega Genesis) and losing)
Linkara (v/o): What the hell was that static? I thought– Oh, crap, there's more comic! And now we're in live-action photos.
Kid: Not again! I can't believe I died...
Linkara (v/o): Okay, a couple of questions come to mind: one, what the hell kind of game system is he playing that has a controller like that? Looks like an Atari Jaguar, but with just the extra unnecessary buttons. Two, what game switches off the TV like that after you've died? Three, why the hell are we suddenly in live-action?! Meet Steve and Jessie, apparently the writer's real-life son and niece. Their mother calls them away their video game to get ready for school. On the TV is... well...
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Babylon 5, showing Elric addressing Ambassador Mollari)
Elric: I see a great hand reaching out of the stars.
(Cut back to the comic again, this time showing Sonic again)
Linkara (v/o): Meanwhile, our spiky hero is apparently not dead, but stuck in the Matrix or something and is floating around vague, green surroundings. What exactly is he pushing on in this panel? The air?
Sonic: This is getting me nowhere real fast!
Linkara: Tell me about it. Seven pages in, and nothing has happened other than Sonic dying. Which didn't really happen, since he's in the Matrix, so... yeah, nothing has happened!
Linkara (v/o): Back at Robotnik's palace, he's gloating over the smoldering floor where Sonic was and brings Sally back to her cell. In the cell next to her are Tails and a walrus named... uh, Rotor Walrus, according to Wikipedia. A little on the nose, isn't it? And wait, why is Sally the only one with a mind-control helmet on? Tails can fly, and the walrus guy is apparently a mechanic. Why aren't the other resistance fighters equally subdued? For that matter, why bother with the helmet or jail cells when you can just kill them? You might have been able to argue, "Well, it's for kids," except they just VAPORIZED Sonic! You can't just kill a character and then get away with NOT killing the others! There's no real reason why they're still alive, other than he wants to kill them later on in a James Bond-esque fashion. Back in the Matrix, Sonic hears the voices of the children as they come home from school. And now suddenly, he's [Steve's] playing a Sega Genesis controller, though the D-Pad looks a little messed up.
Steve: I think I have the last trap figured out! In just a second, I'll punch in the codes...
Linkara: (as Steve) I figured out how to beat this level: cheating!
Sonic: What on Mobius is that?
Linkara: (as Sonic) What level of Hell did that hideous abomination spring from?
Linkara (v/o): They apparently are now able to see Sonic, making them briefly wonder if they have the VCR turned on, but Sonic tells them otherwise.
Sonic: I need help getting out of here! And since I can't go all the way to you--
Linkara: Um, why not?
Sonic: --let's see if you guys can join me!
Linkara: Um, how?
Linkara (v/o): This has basically become "Captain N: The Comic Book", except with Sonic and two random kids.
Steve: Jessie! It's Sonic! It's really Sonic!
Linkara: So... Sonic isn't at all curious about how these kids know about him? That he could be a video game or TV character in their universe? He doesn't ask any existential questions about the nature of reality or anything like that?
Linkara (v/o): No, we're too busy with him trying to explain things.
Steve: Where are we?
Sonic: The closest I can figure is some sort of "in-between" zone!
Steve: In-between zone?
Sonic: Yeah--we're somewhere between where I come from and where you do!
(Cut to a shot of "Superman At Earth's End", showing the obligatory panel of the Hitler clone saying...)
Hitler Clone: Of course. Don't you know anything about science?
(Cut back to the Sonic comic)
Linkara (v/o): Oh, it gets better.
Sonic: The surrounding energy surged to the point where I was able to make contact with you!
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Lt. Commander Data: Using multimodal reflection sorting.
Linkara: Seriously, what the hell is this? Did Robotnik design his robots' death rays to send to the "in-between zone"? Why is the in-between zone bordering our universe? What energy allows you to pull someone through the TV? Why is the entrance to our universe through the TV? Is this like Poltergeist?
Linkara (v/o): How come Sonic never noticed the other universe until the kids spoke? Did he not notice the huge screen that looked out into a living room? What exactly can these kids do to help him? They're friggin' eight-year-olds!
Sonic: Now, the energy surges are coalescing at another point. And since you've arrived, the surges have grown stronger!
Linkara (v/o): How the hell can he tell? It's green on top of another shade of green! How does he know that's energy? How can he notice it getting "stronger" when the kids are sucked into it?
Sonic: Let's make like heroes and see where this takes us! With any luck-- the next stop is Mobius!
Linkara (v/o): Just a few pages ago, you said you could barely move! How the hell are you able to pull kids into this universe and travel along these energy currents that you claim are there? Anyway, Robotnik plans to dispose of his remaining captives by launching them into space with a rocket that will subsequently also release a series of "killer satellites" in orbit around the planet.
Linkara: (as Dr. Robotnik) Yes, I shall unleash Howard Stern, the Lifetime Network, and Sirius XM Radio to an unsuspecting public! I SHALL TRULY RULE THE WORLD!
Linkara (v/o): Conveniently, Sonic and the self-insertion fanfic characters appear right behind some of Dr. Robotnik's Swatbots, allowing Sonic to bicycle-kick them in submission.
(Sonic is seen kicking a robot as Linkara describes, then confronts Robotnik)
Sonic: Miss me, Robo-butt? Now I intend to get really mean!
Linkara: Yes, preempt your threat of (makes a "finger quote") "meanness" by saying you "intend" to do it. That's well-written dialogue.
Dr. Robotnik: Stop in your tracks, you insipid hedgehog-- or my Swatbots will prepare today's blue-plate special by fricasseeing your friends!
Linkara: Good job bringing the kids along, Sonic. They certainly have added a lot to the story.
Sonic: Not if I pull 'em out of the way before the 'bots' beams start blasting!
Dr. Robotnik: Think you could? By your definition, I'm the villain. That means I'm capable of any sick, twisted, evil deed. The sicker, the better!
Linkara: (as Robotnik) I'll make them play Sonic 2006! I'M THAT TWISTED!
Linkara (v/o): By the way, did we miss a couple of lines of dialogue here? How is that a response to him saying, "I'm fast enough to rescue them"?
Linkara: (as Sonic) I have super speed, you weird, mustachioed bastard! (as Robotnik) Oh, is that so? Well, it just so happens that I am evil and sick and twisted! (as Sonic, drinking from a sealed bottle of Gatorade) Hmm? Oh, sorry, while you were talking about how evil you were, I rescued everybody, got something to drink, and gave you a wedgie. (as Robotnik, looking behind him) So you have.
Linkara: And with that, Sonic surrenders! Um, what did I miss something? Sonic, you just said you could free everybody before they shot the kids. Why aren't you doing that?! Furthermore, isn't Robotnik even the slightest bit surprised that Sonic is alive? The last time he saw him, Sonic was a lot more... you know, vapor than hedgehog.
Sonic: If you harm one hair on their heads--
Dr. Robotnik: You'll what? You're in no position to demand anything!
(Cut to a clip of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
Khan: I, on the other hand, am in a position to grant nothing.
(Cut back to the comic)
Dr. Robotnik: However, to put you at ease-- It's really the hair on your head that I wish to harm! HAHAHAHAHAHA!
Linkara: That diabolical son of a bitch, pulling a strand of hair like that! Truly, he is the personification of all that is evil!
Linkara (v/o): And then Sonic headbutts Robotnik, pulling the two robots along for the ride. Um, Sonic is super strong now? When did that happen? He then deals with the robots, despite them having the tensile strength of Kleenex.
(Sonic is seen kicking one robot with a "THWOK!" sound)
Sonic: Here! I have some good vibrations-- to really make my day!
Linkara (v/o): You're not vibrating them, you're punching them! If you're gonna quip, then quips need to actually make sense, like (as Sonic) "These guys can't take a hit, can they?" or "Time to punch out!" Sonic proceeds to grab the kids and defy physics a little by running down the side of the missile silo. Decidedly nonsensical, but admittedly awesome. They come across the control room for the missile.
Sonic: Now that we're in the control room, we have to make like instant archeologists [sic]!
Jessie: I don't understand, Sonic!
Linkara: I don't think any of us do, frankly. What the hell?
Sonic: That's a countdown underway, Jessie!
Linkara: Which makes them archaeologists? Sonic, your jokes are worse than mine!
Sonic: We have to decipher the hieroglyphs and press the right switch!
Linkara: Dude, Linux isn't that hard to figure out.
Linkara (v/o): And what hieroglyphs? It's just buttons on a console; there's no writing on anything. The rocket starts to take off, and the group works feverishly to stop it. Or rather, Sonic runs around a whole bunch while the kids just stand there, completely ineffectual and worthless to the plot. It's here where the comic gets really stupid, and I know, that's saying something. Robotnik suddenly realizes, "Say, where did Sonic come from?", though he doesn't add, "Didn't I kill him?", even though that's what he should be saying.
Robotnik: That blasted hedgehog seemingly from nowhere! But what if he didn't? What if he came-- from there?
Linkara: (as Robotnik, pointing offscreen) Yes, there, that random, wavy, glittery thing that wasn't there a second ago.
Robotnik: From somewhere through a transdimensional portal-- which I believe that to be!
Linkara (v/o): Um, why do you believe that? And how did you realize it was a transdimensional portal? Hello? Did anybody look at the script before they started drawing everything? Sonic manages to stop the rocket, thanks to the writer having written himself into a corner, and the three head out looking for Robotnik. The portal suddenly starts sucking them in for no particular reason, and they emerge in yet another universe, where Robotnik now has a new army of robots under his command and the kids have a new art style to them, also for no particular reason, since I can't see any evidence in the credits that there's a different artist for this section.
Sonic: So what's the deal, Schlemiel? Even you couldn't have come up with this set-up yourself!
Linkara: Why the hell couldn't he? He seemed to be doing just fine building robots and castles and missiles and mind-control helmets back on Mobius.
Linkara (v/o): Robotnik leads them to a large chamber where several other versions of Robotnik are working on a giant statue of, well, Robotnik. The kids realize that somehow Robotnik has recruited versions of himself from other universes. The three are then led to a cell, where two other humans are waiting for them, explaining to Sonic that it's really all their fault, that on this world, Sonic was just a game cartridge and– Oh, dear God, this is stupid! I mean, for crying out loud, you couldn't even get the likenesses of the actual creators of Sonic, but two random guys named Jerry and Mori? Even ignoring that, we're to understand that this world, which is evidently not our world, which also created Sonic as a game character, somehow allowed Robotnik to gain access to other dimensions? How?!
Robotnik: Somehow those strange creatures built a multi-dimensional portal to our world-- in the act of creating so-called entertainment!
Linkara (v/o): What, just because they invented a video game, it allowed them access to our universe?! What?! How does that work?! Are video games the only conduit for other dimensional travel? Does reading "Pride and Prejudice" put you in some Jane Austen reality? Does pornography in this universe allow you to actually travel into it?! Can a child use crayons to invent an entire crayon universe?!
Linkara: I just can't believe how lazy this is! It'd be like if I suddenly had access to the technology of (holds up a Power Rangers button in his left hand) Power Rangers and (holds up a Star Trek-themed control in his right hand) Star Trek without any explanation for how I did! (suddenly, he notices he has the two items in his hand and becomes uncomfortable) Okay, moving on... (he puts both items away)
Linkara (v/o): During Robotnik's megalomaniacal speech, the other Robotniks suddenly turn on him, wondering why he should be the one in charge when they equally have ludicrous mustaches and a portly figure. The group is rescued by another Robotnik, who is actually a woman in a Robotnik costume, who is wearing it as a promotion for the game. That was random. Okay, we get a little bit more explanation. It turns out that there's a prototype device that allowed this universe to peek into other universes, and that's where they got the inspiration for Sonic. However, a lightning strike to the machine caused it to change the link to a physical one that beings could step through!
Linkara: Isn't it weird how in fiction these kinds of accidents don't just fry the machines, but cause them to radically change their entire function, or remaining completely undamaged?
Steve: Sonic! Look! The robot Robotniks are about to zap the real Robotnik!
Linkara (v/o): Wait, I thought they were just from other universes. They're all robots? Comic, do you want to make up your mind about what's going on? Sonic decides for some reason that he needs to rescue his mortal enemy, but the robots all turn their attentions to them. One of the adults says that if they shut down the prototype, it'll shut down all the robots.
Linkara: You mean the dimensional portal thing? How will shutting that down shut down the robots?
Adult: Punch in the access code on that control pad! It's an access code to one of the Sonic games!
Linkara: (listlessly) Yep, the stupid is just piling on now, people.
Linkara (v/o): Sonic brings Steve over to the control pad, a Sega Genisis controller of course, and tells Sonic to input the code.
Steve: Up-down-left-right-hold-"A"-and press start!
Linkara: (miming the code input process) That's the level select code, you idiot! How the hell is that supposed to help?!
Linkara (v/o): And much to the shock and amazement of myself, and I'm sure all of you, that in fact does it! All the robots switch off! Does anybody know what's going on? I sure as hell don't!
Steve: You did it, Sonic!
Jessie: Nobody does it better!
Linkara: Oh, I get it, Jessie's actually a young Carly Simon.
Linkara (v/o): The two older guys say they can get Sonic home, but it's a one-way ticket. Um, why? For some reason, the kids stay with them. Also why? If this is supposed to be their universe, then how come they look like that instead of the live-action kids? The kids say farewell to Sonic, who naturally must make the creepiest face possible as two young children hug him. Stop doing that with your eyes! Or... just the one eye... Oh, whatever! Anyway, Robotnik, Sonic and Robotnik's henchman [Snively] are returned to their universe and reunited with the others, Princess Sally now having lost her mind control helmet off-panel. And so, the story ends with the two kids, now suddenly live-action again, about to play a new Sonic cartridge. What a load! There are two other stories in the book, but I'm not gonna review them. One is about a group of other Resistance fighters who apparently one-off from previous issues of the Sonic comic, who are responsible freeing Sally and the others while Sonic was off playing in other dimensions. It's pretty harmless and not that bad. The other is part two of a story about Knuckles going off on some mission that isn't bad either.
Linkara: (holding up comic) But frankly, who could bother to read the other two stories when over half of the book is this bizarre, goofy and nonsensical story?!
Linkara (v/o): The plot is filled to the brim with holes; the two kids are completely worthless since even the adults at the end know the codes of the game that could have been entered! This just comes off like a cheap vanity project to include the kids, but the writer couldn't think of anything to do with them!
Linkara: It hurts the brain to think about this! This comic is bad, it's stupid, it's everything a comic, be it for a kid or not, should never be! The action is bland, the dialogue insipid, the story makes no sense, and it was a dumb idea from start to finish! (AT4W theme starts playing in the background) All in all, I have just one thing to say about this... (starts singing to theme) Welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall...
(A montage of various members of Channel Awesome is shown, each singing part of the theme song)
Nostalgia Critic: ...where bad comics burn!
The Nostalgia Chick: Linkara's gonna teach you all...
Coldguy: ...a lesson you won't learn.
Spoony: Brodsky, you're not the smartest.
C.R.: Liefeld, you're not an artist.
Iron Liz: Anyone who's had a bad comic published...
MikeJ: It could be your turn.
'90s Kid: Linkara!
JesuOtaku: He's a man. Punch! (makes a punching motion)
Phelous: (wearing a hat) Wears a purdy hat...
Harvey Finevoice: Linkara...
Cinema Snob: (irritably) He has a magic gun!
Ed Glaser: Where'd he purchase that?
Loren Lovhaug: Linkara...
Benzaie: Coins, robots, Amazons and trucks.
(The Ninja-Style Dancer is seen, holding up a sign, reading "Linkara")
ToddInTheShadows: This comic sucks.
Obscurus Lupa: Linkara sits down nonetheless.
Lanipator: Forces himself through it.
MarzGurl: A poorly written, ugly mess.
The Cat: Someone's gotta do it.
Takahata101: And it's right about time he did.
Y Ruler of Time: And he'll have you know that's pretty low.
AngryJoe: But not like the standards of the '90s Kid.
Sean: Settin' ablaze crossovers.
8-Bit Mickey: One shots and tie-ins.
LordKat: Linkara stands in reality defiance.
Lee: Atop the Fourth Wall.
JewWario: Looking down on us all.
Dr. Insano: Of course, don't you know anything about science?
Bennett the Sage: There would be better books on his show.
Guru Larry: But Quesada sold them to Mephisto.
MasakoX: And now there's nothing left to do.
Loren Lovhaug: But share the scrapings at the bottom of the barrel with you.
Ensign Monroe: Linkara!
Paw: He is a man. Punch! (punches the camera)
KaiserNeko: What's that on his arm?
(Cut to a sign reading "Linkara" sitting beside his bear)
Dr. Gonzo: Can't seem to fix the continuity alarm.
Sad Panda: Linkara.
Rollo T: Rock 'n roll.
The Cat: Insano.
Skitch: Fellow in a tux.
Pollo the Robot: Linkara.
Linkara: (holding up Sonic comic) This comic sucks!
(Iron Liz leans in)
Linkara and Iron Liz: (in unison) Linkara!
Try to count how many times the lighting changes as I try to make it work in the new location.
So basically the comic admits that Sonic can never die, that he'll just download to a new body every time he's killed- ZOMG! Sonic is a Cylon!