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The Best MCU Joke in Sonic 2 Fails Its Own Future

Sonic the Hedgehog's funny MCU reference should have been reserved for the next Sonic 3 movie, based on what's been established for the future.

The Blue Blur and his new companion Tails are taken to Siberia in Sonic 2 after receiving a letter from Longclaw the Owl, who confirms that the Master Emerald is concealed on Earth. Finding a compass to take them to the temple containing the powerful artefact, Jim Carrey's Doctor Robotnik and Knuckles stopped them, prompting in an epic snowboard chase between the red echidna warrior and the blue hedgehog. Sonic, irritated that Knuckles is still following him, sarcastically sighs, "Oh great, it's the Winter Soldier," a reference to Bucky Barnes and his stint as a brainwashed and lethal HYDRA agent in the MCU.

 

While there are some parallels between Knuckles and the Winter Soldier, such as their unintentional time on the evil side (Robotnik duped Knuckles into becoming his buddy by concealing his actual goals), the MCU analogy is ultimately wasted on the echidna. This is owing to the post-credits sequence in Sonic 2 previewing Project Shadow and the evil hedgehog of the same name. Shadow the Hedgehog is a legendary Sonic foe developed by Robotnik's grandpa in his quest to build the Ultimate Life Form, similar to how the Winter Soldier was forged by HYDRA in their evil aspirations to produce their own Super Soldier like Captain America. While Shadow was created approximately 50 years before the events of Sonic 2, the film ended with him waking up, ready to be the main enemy in the following film. As a consequence, it appears that Paramount lacked forethought, thus discarding their Winter Soldier reference in Sonic 2 despite the fact that Bucky Barnes is a far better equivalent for Shadow than he is for Knuckles.

The Winter Soldier humor in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is one of the film's most amusing gags, as Knuckles runs down the hill to take out the titular hedgehog. Even yet, it would have been far better if it had been preserved for the future, with Bucky being compared to Shadow instead. In any case, it's reasonable to assume that when Sonic the Hedgehog 3 hits theaters in the coming years, he'll still have plenty of one-liners and gags at his disposal.

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