SW #117: “Voice Of The Voiceless” was finalised on July 23rd 2022.
This comic came out around the time that there had been, once again, a drought of news but before inevitable reveals of news started tearing the Sonic fanbase apart online. Again.
Honestly, we kinda predicted it dead on. I’m not sure whether to be proud or incredibly sad about that.
The main character, known as The Leader in the script,, is obviously based on Donnie/SSF1991 and was always intended as such.
However, there are a couple of other cameos in frame one. Directly above The Leader, in the glasses, is Dave Luty/Hogfather of Badnik Mechanic. Just off the back of the main pack is Nicole/SPD64 and DoubleXXCross snuck herself in as the person at the very back holding a sack.
Some thought the individual front-left is Dean Shanghanoo/Shanghaid (f.k.a Syaming-Li) and they aren’t… however DoubleXXCross did admit to “thinking about them at the time” so that character is, at least, somewhat influenced by Shanghaid.
The Leader’s staff is a pole, topped with a Dreamcast controller and with a Sonic 10th anniversary crystal cube jammed into the centre.
The throne of the SEGA Lord is a literal ‘Tower of Power‘. Originally this was going to be much bigger in the script.
‘Re-scored by Jun Senoue” references SEGA’s eventual biting of the bullet to change the music of Sonic The Hedgehog 3 to something less potentially troublesome.
All the protest signs relate to the various voice actors for Sonic. Signs in order of appearance refer to Roger Craig Smith ( WWRCSD? = ‘What Would Roger Craig Smith Do?’), Deven Mack (from Sonic Prime), Ben Schwartz (the movies), Meg Inglima (from Sonic Schoolhouse), no-one at all (for the Classic era) and Jason Griffith.
The very last protest sign references Masato Nishimura, a.k.a Majin/Mazin. Whilst most know them as the person behind the notorious Infinite Fun easter egg, they’re also the voice of Sonic’s “I’m outta here!” message in Sonic CD, making them technically Sonic’s first voice actor.
The SEGA Lord is, of course, revealed to be Takashi Iizuka.
The SEGA Lord’s dialogue changed a lot from the script to the actual comic, but it was shortened a bit. Originally they were supposed to be exasperated at first then the “Fools…” at the end was supposed to hint at a bit of menace, almost like the “monkeys paw” situation was felt to be deserved by the fans after all these years. But it was changed to being more weary and quietly sad. Knowing that it was inevitable and that there’s ultimately nothing that can be done to change the actions of the fans.
There’s very much a ‘Moses leads his people’ vibe to the comic, and the comic’s title is in itself a bible reference – being derived from Proverbs 31:1-9. Verses 8 and 9: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
It’s also a double reference to wrestler CM Punk, and the nickname given to himself during his later WWE run.
This rolls on into the disclaimer; “Mussolini or Kennedy” is a reference to Punk’s theme song Cult of Personality by Living Color. The band itself getting namedropped in DoubleXXCross’s description.
Appropriately given the desert location, “Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.” is from Dune (the novel).
“A bloody madman, or just half-witted” comes from the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia.
Writer of words and comics, streamer of games, presenter of radio shows and eternal 'just a guy'. LMC's boss-man has worked on projects for SEGA, Square Enix, Konami, Capcom and more. Once co-created and hosted an international fan-convention because he can do that sort of thing. Used to be known as AAUK/ArchangelUK.