Sonic Super Special #7
September 15, 2014
Gotta go fast! Gotta get this thing over with as fast as possible!
(Open on Linkara walking out into his living room, adjusting his tie, when suddenly, his phone rings, the ringtone playing "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap; he answers it)
(Cut to Evan Stanley, contributor of Sonic comics, who turns around to face Linkara)
Stanley: Hello, Linkara. It is I. I guess you were expecting this call?
Linkara: (?), is that you? Did you want a cameo?
Stanley: What? No! I-It's I, Evan Stanley?
Linkara: (looking into camera, confused) Who?
Stanley: I'm the artist who's done "Sonic the Hedgehog" issues.
Linkara: Okay, um... I don't read "Sonic"*.
- NOTE: Linkara did read a Sonic comic back in 2010 for his 100th Episode.
Stanley: Oh, well, that's why I called. You should really read "Sonic 257". You have a cameo in it.
Linkara: Well, how the heck am I supposed to check that out right now? It's not like I own a copy. (looks and suddenly holds up a Sonic comic) Oh, look, I conveniently have it in my hand.
(He skims through the pages and discovers a panel which, sure enough, has a caricature of him in it, amid the Sonic characters)
Stanley: And now, Linkara... (dons a Sonic headpiece) I demand that you review a "Sonic the Hedgehog" issue.
Linkara: Why should I do that?
Stanley: Because I drew a cameo of you in a professionally-published comic. The least you could do is review a Sonic comic.
Linkara: (exasperated) Okay, fine! (walks off) It's not like I haven't broken that top 15 list of comics I'll never review A THOUSAND TIMES ALREADY!!
(AT4W title sequence plays; title card has the title music for the Sonic the Hedgehog video game playing)
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. So, yeah, it's time to finally look at another Sonic comic. It's not an easy thing to do, since I'm so unfamiliar with–
Offscreen voice: Talk about Ken Penders!
Linkara: (briefly confused by what he heard) But fortunately, I have a Sonic comic that I can talk about–
Offscreen voice: Talk about Ken Penders!
Linkara: (getting slightly annoyed by the voice) It concerns a crossover–
Offscreen voice: Talk about Richard Attenborough!
Linkara: (angrily) I DON'T WANT TO– (stops abruptly, confused) Wait, what? (shakes head) Look, look, fine! Okay?! Let's talk about Ken Penders!
(Cut to a closeup of the comic's credits, which shows that this comic was written and inked by Ken Penders)
Linkara (v/o): I mean, I suppose it is relevant to talk about him, since today's comic was written by him. Every Sonic comic fan who also happens to watch my show – which happens to be a lot, surprisingly – has been emailing me about writer and artist Ken Penders.
(Cut to a montage of Sonic comics by Penders)
Linkara (v/o): Sega licensed Sonic the Hedgehog to Archie to exclusively produce Sonic comics in the United States to tie into the two TV series going on at the time, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic SatAM. See the Nostalgia Critic's old review for the details. Penders was a longtime writer and artist of the series for several years, creating many characters in it, as well as world-building a lot of Knuckles the Echidna's backstory in the series. There is a long story to this. A fan was kind enough to give me a link to a lengthy Tumblr post explaining the history in very detailed amounts, but there's a lot to go through, and this is already a 40-page comic. The gist of it is that Archie's original contract with their creators were lost and they apparently didn't have certain provisions in them that would mean that characters created for the comic would revert to Sega's ownership, since this kind of work on a licensed book is usually a work-for-hire contract, much like how people can write stories for Superman, but they don't own Superman just because they wrote the stories or introduced new characters in it. Ken Penders filed a copyright claim on several characters he'd created for the book, claiming ownership of them, and meaning that Archie had to pay him for their use and couldn't reprint them without his permission. Now, this situation was apparently being so badly handled by Archie's lawyers that they actually fired their entire legal team and got a new one. I can't say for certain if that's the case since I wasn't there, but apparently, during one attempt at settlement in 2013, the judge began the meeting by saying, "So this looks like a fine mess."
Linkara: No, a fine mess would've been sifted through already. This is a great big, galloping, ten-car pile-up of a mess.
Linkara (v/o): The bottom line after all of this is that Archie still needs to ask Penders' permission to use his characters, which he has spun off into his own book. And in fact, a crossover between Sonic and Mega Man in the comics pulled a reboot and essentially rewrote twenty years' worth of storylines in order to excise Ken Penders had created in the book.
Linkara: It doesn't matter if you're DC, Marvel or somebody else; in comics, (gives a thumbs-up) retcons are the name of the game!
Linkara (v/o): My sympathies go out to fans of the comics. I feel your pain when it comes to stuff like this, although I'm not making any value judgments one way or another. I don't know enough about the specifics and the people involved to make any moral judgments about what Ken Penders or Archie did, although I do strongly recommend to all of you to keep your hands on documentation and files that may be important to you down the line.
Linkara: This is why someday I'm going to appear on one of those shows about hoarders. But with all of that out of the way, let's dig into (holds up today's comic) "Sonic Super Special #7" and see what the hell the deal is here.
Linkara (v/o): The cover is... okay, I guess. Yeah, this comic features Image Comics characters in a crossover with Sonic comics characters. Oh, boy, this is gonna be fun. It's a little weird seeing the Image characters on the right being drawn in a much more cartoony style than what I'm used to. And look at their expressions. It's like they're really pissed off and confused about how they have huge chins, but not enough gritted teeth and pouches. And the Sonic characters are... Sonic characters... I don't know. I only know Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. Oh, and Sally, I guess, who has hair that might actually be larger than her head. I fully expect her and Starfire to have a hair fight, like in "Uzumaki".
Linkara:' We're just starting this comic, and already I have made a reference to a superheroine and a horror manga, neither of which have anything to do with characters in this book. (shakes head) It's gonna be one of those days, isn't it?
Linkara (v/o): We open with this lady being interviewed by the FBI.
Woman: (speaking in a weird font) PARTICLE. My name is Particle.
Linkara: (as Particle) And you have to pronounce it in that weird font or it doesn't work.
FBI agent: And you claim this device--
Particle: The Vibrational Tuner.
FBI agent: --this tuner transported you to an alien world?
Linkara: (looking up in thought) Wait a second. Technological device called a tuner that transports you to an alien world? This is the Dolph Lundgren Masters of the Universe movie!
Linkara (v/o): Apparently, Particle used the tuner to transport herself to a place that looked very futuristic, and we go into flashback mode as she explains the whole story.
Particle: (narrating) The tuner was designed to prove the theory of alternate realities...
Linkara (v/o): Gotta love this tunnel effect. I fully expect her to high-five the cast of Sliders going the other way. Also, circuitry-inspired clothing. It must be... THE FUTURE!
Linkara: And already, we're looking at a future much better than either "SCI Spy" or "Kamandi at Earth's End". Then again, the future from 2001: A Space Odyssey was a better future than either of those, and that took place thirteen years in the past.
Linkara (v/o): And thus, Particle ends up in another dimension; specifically, Sonic the Hedgehog's Earth.
Particle: (narrating) I have been prepared to encounter a world much like ours with some variations-- but nothing could have prepared me for what I actually encountered!
Linkara: (as Particle) In this world, Adam Sandler movies have won (makes "finger quotes") "Best Picture" at the Oscars fifteen years running!
Tails: SONIC THE HEDGEHOG over there!
(Cut to a clip of Half-Life: Full Life Consequences)
John Freeman: JOHN FREEMAN OVER HERE!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Also, Tails, just remember, you need a comma in that sentence, or else you're calling Particle "Sonic the Hedgehog". Although, that probably would be the most radical departure from the series design since that time Sonic turned into a werewolf.
Sonic: Looks like someone's off the beaten path, Tails-- and it's an Overlander, no less!
Linkara (v/o): "Overlanders", from what I could find from research, are basically a mutated offset of humanity in the comic, similar to ordinary-looking humans, but more aggressive and xenophobic.
Sonic: What do you think, guys? Should we rush her?
Linkara: (as Sonic) Let's loudly discuss our plans when we're only five feet away!
Antonie: She's an Overlander, mon ami! Not only zat, she's a female-- one part ooh-la-la and two parts treachery!
(Cut to a clip of The Conqueror, as the word "#feminist" pops up)
Offscreen voice: "#feminist".
(Back to the comic again)
Bunnie Rabbot: Antoine! Is that how you think of me?
Antoine: Au contraire, mon cherie! I was merely recalling a bad experience I once had!
Linkara: (as Antoine) Ze friend zone is a hellish place, milady. It's a good zing zat I am, how you say, a nice guy.
Linkara (v/o): Particle spots the group.
Particle: Oh my--! The animal life on this world has mutated in some bizarre ways!*
- NOTE: It's actually "way", not "ways".
Linkara: (as Particle) They're French!
Linkara (v/o): So apparently, Particle's dimensional tuner doubles as a wide-angle phaser, since she's able to knock out Sonic and pals to avoid hurting them. Aaaand why she fired on them while they were just standing there is anyone's guess. Oh, and it's also a tricorder since she uses it to lock onto a power source that's got her attention – on a floating island in the sky.
Particle: (narrating) Do you remember that campy "Batman" show from the Sixties? I felt like I was living in an episode when I discovered-- (normal) "THE ZOOT CHUTE?"
Linkara: Zoot Chute Suit? (as Batman announcer) Will our plucky Particle participate in Robotnik's playtime? Find out soon, same Sonic time, same Sonic channel!
Linkara (v/o): She slides down the chute and ends up in a green honeycomb environment. And in the middle of everything is a giant emerald.
Particle: (thinking) A day-glo elephant man encased in a humongous emerald!
Linkara: Man, Ring Pops have gotten weird.
Linkara (v/o): She sees that this is the source of the energy, but can't tell if it's the emerald or the elephant doing it. Before she can investigate further, she's confronted by Knuckles the Echidna.
Knuckles: Guardian of the floating island, defender of the Chaos Emerald...
Linkara (v/o): And wielder of the Lego brick shoes, it would seem. Particle offers her hand in friendship, but when Knuckles takes it, Particle reaches out and touches his skin. This causes Knuckles to fall unconscious.
Linkara: Ah, yes, the lesser-known technique known as the Vulcan Nerve Handshake.
Linkara (v/o): It seems Particle is here to steal the power source for some reason and uses the tuner to transport the emerald back to her universe. We cut back to the interview, where the FBI agents say that she didn't realize what she had set in motion. When she asks to use the bathroom, she touches one of the agents and knocks him unconscious. It is there that we learn that the agent's name is... Scolder. And he has a redheaded partner, Mully.
Linkara: (incredulously) Mully and Scolder... (rolls eyes, then becomes quite irritated) Congratulations, "Sonic Super Special"! You have the best out-of-nowhere reference to The X-Files since "Sinnamon #11"! You must be so proud!
Linkara (v/o): Particle knocks out Mully the same way, only this time doing a Midas touch, considering she turns bright gold. She leaves, not wanting the government to learn of her ability and somehow is able to knock out the power before making her escape. Unlike "Sinnamon #11", apparently Penders decided to keep them as characters in this story as opposed to a single page cameo, so they begin trying to track her down. Apparently, they found Particle at the ruins of an Air Force base, but they also found a business card in the wreckage for an electrician [named Collins, based on the card]. They go to the electrician's store and question both him and his son Eddie, who apparently shops at the same store as Shanna from "The Tandy Computer Whiz Kids", judging by that Archie shirt. They also reveal that they have some security video of, well, what appears to be ShadowHawk from Image Comics.
Collins: I suspect you may be familiar with this one!
Linkara: (confused) Did this kid invent ShadowHawk? Why the hell would they say that?
Linkara (v/o): Eddie explains his part of the story: the previous Thursday night, he had spotted some bright lights in an alleyway and decided to investigate. When he looked inside, he spotted Sonic's group there, along with... Spawn, of all people.
Linkara: You ever notice how, in science fiction, teleports like this always seem to happen in dark alleyways and not, like, in the middle of a busy street or a stadium full of people or, hell, inside of a solid wall? I'm not telling a joke, I just find that incredibly convenient.
Linkara (v/o): This was also apparently on Halloween. Welcome to Plot Convenience Playhouse, kids! For that matter, I fear we're in "the real world", because he recognizes Sonic and the rest from the games and show.
Linkara: (becoming terrified) Oh, God! This is quickly become "Sonic Live" all over again! I CAN'T GO BACK, GUYS!!
Linkara (v/o): Spawn just... walks off. Dick. Thinking that they're just kids in costumes, Eddie goes over to see if he can help and offers his kudos on their outfits.
Sonic: I hate to burst your bubble, bub, but we're the real deal!
Knuckles: Are all you Overlanders this slow on the uptake?
Linkara: Remind me again how the "Overlanders" are supposed to be the xenophobic ones...?
Linkara (v/o): Once they've convinced Eddie they're the real deal, they explain what's happening – in a flashback. We have now entered flashback-in-a-flashback territory. So, Particle, being such a smart character, apparently didn't realize that the Chaos Emerald was keeping the island afloat and thus, it crashed into the water after she took it and nearly drowned Knuckles. And then he... uh, got a two-page spread that I have to turn on its side? Oh, it's a poster. A really badly-drawn poster with very questionable anatomy on Savage Dragon, ShadowHawk, or this lady with green face paint covering her misshapen and ill-placed eye. Well, okay, the Maxx up at the top looks fine, but that's because the Maxx is supposed to look that weird. Um, anyway, Knuckles met up with the others and compared notes about Particle, figuring out that she must have come from another dimension. As such, they use a... recently-recovered transdimensional car...
Linkara: (covering his face in embarrassment) I ran out of alcohol around "Marville" and I haven't had a chance to replenish it yet!
Linkara (v/o): ...and go on the Cosmic Interstate, which is a literal highway between universes which lets them travel to and from different dimensions. And thus, they follow the trail to Earth, which, from this image, appears to have a bit of a rust problem in North America. Sally asks Eddie to help them and... (in the comic, they smile creepily at each other) and... uh...
Linkara: (utterly horrified) WHY ARE YOU TWO SMILING AT EACH OTHER LIKE THAT?!?!?!
Linkara (v/o): So, it turns out that Eddie is ShadowHawk. Don't ask me; the last time we talked about Shadowhawk on this show was a flip book for a "Youngblood" issue, so as far as I know, he could've been a sixteen-year-old kid this whole time, and I so do not care!
Linkara: (holding up index finger) Also, the flashback-within-a-flashback doesn't answer the most pertinent question in this crap: what the hell was Spawn just doing there, standing in an alley??
Linkara (v/o): I'm serious! We don't see Spawn again for the rest of the comic! What is even the hell?! You know, the horrible Spawn crossover with Batman that Frank Miller made is apparently in canon with Spawn comics. You think the same thing is true with Spawn comics? Anyway, ShadowHawk and the Sonic Squad drive off in pursuit of the Chaos Emerald, ending up at Grand Central Station. Unfortunately for them, this is the Image Universe, so Savage Dragon shows up.
(Cut to a shot of a cover for a Savage Dragon comic)
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, Savage Dragon is another character we've never talked about before; one of the more successful and long-lasting early Image characters that, as far as I've heard, does not suck like "Youngblood" or the like, but I've never read it, so I wouldn't know.
Linkara: You know, everyone was really clamoring for me to review this because it featured Image characters as my anchor, but so far, the closest we've gotten to any characters I've actually talked about in depth is Spawn, and he's only on one page!
Linkara (v/o): Yet another superhero joins the action: Union, who's actually a WildStorm character, but that's another topic for another day, and just– (he stops abruptly as he becomes horrified at the appearances of ShadowHawk, Savage Dragon and Union) GOOD LORD, THIS ARTWORK!! I don't know if, at this point, it's deliberately cartoony or if the Sonic art style just really, really does not work with the overmuscled, gargantuan Image characters. Anyway, ShadowHawk gets separated from Sonic, and the three superheroes go in pursuit of them and the Chaos Emerald, which is on a train going out. Speaking of, Sonic and company confront... this guy [Particle's boss, simply known as the Doctor]...
The Doctor: It took you a bit longer than I expected, but I knew you'd come after this little bauble regardless!
Linkara: (as the Doctor) You will never take my technologically-advanced belt!
Sonic: How would someone like you know anything about the Master Chaos Emerald?
Linkara: (confused) Someone like him? The hell are you talking about, Sonic? The dude looks like Dr. Chaotica! Of course he knows about the friggin' Emerald!
The Doctor: That would be telling! Suffice it to say that I know you all quite well!
Knuckles: Really? I don't ever recall ever stumbling over you either, bub!
The Doctor: You get to know me very well, echidna-- but that's in the future!
Linkara: (as the Doctor) Warning you about future events means you'll be better prepared to face me then! (holds up fist) I AM A VERY INTELLIGENT VILLAIN!
Linkara (v/o): Before this moron can continue to monologue more than Harvest, the three Image characters break through the roof and accidentally shoot the Chaos Emerald. This somehow opens a portal that the train speeds into, sending everyone into another dimension. Or another planet or something, I don't know; we're like three-fourths of the way through the comic and it feels like we're only now hitting the first plot point. The pacing on this thing is all over the place, but mostly it's "let's speed through this as fast as we can". Still Unnamed Villain Guy has an army of robots – I think they're the same that Robotnik uses – that he has retrieved the Chaos Emerald while all of our heroes remain unconscious.
The Doctor: Phase one is now complete! I have gathered together the unwitting components for the most insidious plot ever devised...
Linkara: (as the Doctor) I will give Perez Hilton his own talk show! I AM AN EVIL GENIUS!
The Doctor: ...and with the incalculable energy of this amazing gemstone harnessed under my control-- there'll soon be a crisis on infinite realities resulting in only one-- mine!
Linkara: Oh, dude, it applies to both movies and comics alike: never mention a much better story in the middle of your crappy one. It just makes us want to check that out instead.
Linkara (v/o): Particle was working for this guy, who may actually be Dr. Chaotica, since Particle calls him a doctor, because he's holding her sister hostage. However, Dr. What's-His-Beard says he still needs her ability to "control and manipulate electrical impulses", which is how she's able to knock people out with just a touch. However, he sends her off because he notices two of his robots pushing around a cardboard box.
Linkara: Maybe Solid Snake is in there and this comic is actually supposed to be promoting Super Smash Bros.
Linkara (v/o): Particle runs off and frees her sister, passing by cells that apparently contains Batman, Popeye and Spider-Man. And that's how you do a cute reference to other properties, not by just randomly having Mulder and Scully in your story. And apparently, the cardboard box contained... a very odd-looking Maxx. And yeah, the dude looked weird already, but even more so here. His giant teeth are... no longer teeth, but rather some kind of... beard or armoring from the looks of things.
The Doctor: What are you waiting for? Get him!
Maxx: Why is Maxx so unpopular all of a sudden?
Linkara: I wouldn't be so sure of that, Maxx. I got into an argument a while ago with someone who was pissed off at me for making fun of your appearance in "Darker Image #1".
Linkara (v/o): So, uh, why was Maxx in a cardboard box? Yeah, I'm not gonna get an answer there. Anyway, Particle and her sister [Anita], who also has superpowers, frees [sic] everyone else, including yet another new Image hero to the bunch, a speedster named Velocity, AKA Green Facepaint Lady. But apparently, nobody bothered to free Spider-Man, Popeye and Batman. Poor dopes. Sally comes up with a plan quickly, sending the speedsters off to create a diversion while she plays on her Game Boy– er, I mean, "assesses the situation and deploys the troops to their advantage". Sonic and Velocity meet up with the Maxx, who is in the process of bowling the Chaos Emerald at the robots. Also, Velocity, what the hell was going on with your head? Is the super speed leeching muscle and fat from everywhere but your head? Dr. Whoever... No, we never learn his name in the comic, and if you can't be bothered to name your main villain in a story like this, I'm not gonna bother looking it up. ...has some sort of remote control that allows him to alter reality, using the Chaos Emerald to his will, despite the fact that the remote appears to have only one button. Knuckles gets in close to the emerald as a huge brawl breaks out, and uses the power of concentration or... thinking really hard... to try to take control of the thing. No, I do not know what is happening or why or what is even the hell.
Knuckles: Whether or not you know me doesn't matter! What does-- is that I've a job to do!
(Cut to the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang watching Werewolf)
Mike: You know, it's economical not to have a storyline, 'cause then you can just film people saying things.
(Cut back to the comic)
Knuckles: Manohman... Not sure--I can do this!
Spirit of Knuckles' father: Look inside yourself, Knuckles!
Linkara: (as Knuckles' father) Knuckles, you must go to the Dagobah system.
Knuckles' father: This is what you were born for!
Linkara: (as Knuckles' father) You were born to stop some unnamed loser from taking control of a big emerald that happens to reshape reality and sometimes possesses an elephant inside of it, even though we haven't seen the elephant for quite a while.
The Doctor: Don't listen to him, Knuckles! Your destiny is to rule a universe!
Knuckles: Setting our sights a tad high, aren't we, Great Uncle Dimitri?
Linkara: (as Knuckles' father) Wait a second! Dimitri?! GET OFF THE PHONE, DIMITRI, I'M TRYING TO CALL MY SON HERE!
Knuckles' father: I gave you abilities far beyond any echidna, my son...
Linkara: (as Knuckles' father) Most echidnas can only eat ants and termites. You can eat beetles, too!
Knuckles' father: Only you can make the choice whether to properly use or squander the gift I provided!
Linkara: (as Knuckles' father) Beetle burgers for everyone!
Knuckles: Even if I don't understand-- what choice do I have but to listen to my father?
Linkara: (confused) Listen to your father about what? That was the vaguest encouragement he could possibly offer. It could only be more ambiguous if he had just said, (points) "Do the thing!"
Knuckles: So much power-- So much energy-- All I want-- is my world-- RESTORED TO ME!
Linkara: Unfortunately, due to a stray thought, Knuckles accidentally renewed (makes "finger quotes") "The Real World: Mobius Edition" for a new series.
Linkara (v/o): And somehow, that means that Sonic and company are transported back to their universe, while all the Image heroes remain in the rubble of the destroyed military base. The heroes all leave, not wanting to explain all this to anyone who comes around to ask. Also, Dr. Evil Von Beardo is either dead or unconscious. They don't check, and I don't care, so it all evens out. And thus, Eddie finishes his story, I guess confessing to the two random FBI agents that he's a superhero. And nobody directly involved in the events have any memory of what happened. Scolder and Mully... Okay, screw it, they're Mulder and Scully! ...walk off, trying to make sense of it all.
(Cut to a clip of an episode of The Simpsons, showing Mulder and Scully there)
Scully: This is the worst assignment we've ever had.
Mulder: Worse than the time we were attacked by the flesh-eating virus?
Scully: No, this is much more irritating.
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Scully thinks the whole thing is a mass hallucination, but Mulder thinks that everything Eddie says corroborates what Particle said. Oh, and in Sonic's universe, apparently, none of them remember the event and are just doing their own thing. And so, our comic ends with Scully writing up a report saying she's doubtful anything will turn up about this, but that Mulder thinks "the truth is out there!"
Linkara: Yeah, here's the truth: (holds up comic angrily) this comic sucks!
Linkara (v/o): For a supposed "crossover", these two groups barely spent any time together. The art is subpar in most places, which is especially odd because Mulder and Scully look just fine, but the Image heroes look cartoonish and weird. For that matter, why the hell are they even in this? It's not just there for a cute cameo. The last panel is dedicated to Chris ("I made this!") Carter, the guy who created The X-Files. The villain isn't named; the story is bizarre, lazy, and completely out of left field; and these characters have nothing interesting to do together.
Linkara: Well, fortunately, this story is over, so I don't have to worry about any more cameos in modern comics (holds up comic) making me review an issue of–
(He suddenly stops as he notices that the comic he's holding isn't "Sonic Super Special", but rather a comic of "Littlest Pet Shop")
Linkara: (looking at comic in confusion) The hell?
(Linkara skims through the pages; in one panel, much to his surprise and confusion, he spots himself there, caricatured in the style of this comic)
(Suddenly, Linkara's "Hide and Seek" ringtone plays and he looks at the camera in annoyance)
(End credits roll)
Sonic can really move... except when he's being stunned by some dimension-hopping woman with circulatory clothes.
So Spawn is good enough for TWO crossovers with Batman, but he's not good enough for ONE crossover with Sonic? That dude's got issues.
(Stinger: Linkara walks out into his apartment to find it covered in Halloween decorations, much to his confusion as the holiday period is still a few weeks off. Suddenly, he is seized from behind by the Ninja-Style Dancer, who pulls back a few feet, looking around)
Linkara: (whispering) Dude, what's going on?!
(The Dancer gives Linkara a note: "We have to get out of here.")
(The Dancer gives him a second message: "Cybermats. We can't trust them.")
Linkara: What are you talking about?
(Before the Dancer can answer, he gets zapped from behind by a Cybermat, which knocks him out. Linkara tries to kick the Cybermat in retaliation, but it zaps his foot, hurting him)
Linkara: (holding up remote control) Cybermat emergency protocol, DEACTIVATE!
(The Cybermat deactivates and Linkara takes it to Dr. Linksano, who examines it with a scanner)
Linkara: (impatiently) Well?!
Dr. Linksano: (turning off scanner) There's nothing wrong with it.
Linkara: (incredulously) What do you mean there's nothing wrong with it?! It attacked me and the Ninja-Style Dancer! How is he, by the way?
Dr. Linksano: (looking toward the Dancer, now lying on the couch) Still unconscious, but I don't want to try to wake him up until I know what the Cybermat did to him. But I mean what I said: I can't find anything wrong with it.
Linkara: (aggravated) The last time we couldn't (makes "finger quotes") "find anything wrong" with a machine, Vyce nearly took over Comicron 1! (points at Linksano) You keep the Cybermats offline and you take them apart until you figure out what's wrong with them!
(Linkara storms off. As he leaves, however, Linksano looks up to hear a strange whisper, telling him to obey something)
Dr. Linksano: I hear and obey...