Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America
Sonic The Hedgehog from Archie Comics was the longest running comic book series based on a video game, and while I’ve only looked at a small fraction of the issues they released, I do consider myself to be a fan of the work they did in that book; especially in bring some real depth and naunce to the Freedom Fighters as well as how fearless they were to expand the world and take us to new and interesting places. Sure it didn’t always WORK *cough* Nerbs *cough*), but the overwhelming scope of what they managed to accomplish cannot be ignored. It’s with a certain amount of reservation and glee that I waited for IDW to start their own Sonic the Hedgehog series once they got the rights from SEGA, and while I’m still VERY unhappy about how the Archie Comics have been treated since the licenese switch, Iam more than happy to give this new one a shot and see what directions they’ll go in now that we’re rebuilding it all from sctach. Do this first issue manage to succeed in continuing the legacy of such a momenumental work? Let’s find out!!
The first thing worth noting about this book is exactly who’s behind it. While the front may say IDW, half of the staff here migrated directly from the Archie Comic series, including Ian Flynn as the head writer, Tracy Yardley on pencils, and Jim Amash and Matt Herms on inks and colors respectively (I’m gonna prented I know exactly what those jobs mean). Hopefully this will be a good sign of things to come, though I doubt that much of the material they were working from back at Archie can even be MENTIONED in the new book. Then again, the issue begins in medias res (I PROBABLY know what that means) as we picking up this story after some sort of climactic battle between Dr. Eggman and Sonic the Hedgehog where the not so good doctor disappeared afterwards and left his robot army to wander aimlessly around the countryside. The bad news is that despite them acting without much sense of structure or coheision, a bunch of pissed off robots with heavy weapony are still nothing to sneeze at as the citizens of one unnamed village are about to find out. The good news is though that their unorganized assaults are PERFECT opportunities for Sonic to show off his skills and fuel his massive ego by racking up some easy victories!
This is basically the whole issue by the way. It’s a common problem with NUMBER ONES e where they’re basically just trying to sell you on the concept without getting into the ACTUAL plot of the series proper; leaving us with a lot of random action scenes and a cliffhanger AT BEST to keep us invested in reading the next issue. If the writers are expecting me to come into this with SOME affinity for Sonic the Hedgehog (otherwise why start the story sometime AFTER a big battle with a character you’d only know if you have some knowledge of the series?), then I really don’t need this book to try and sell me on how awesome he is. Instead of overindulging in splashy action pages, I’d rather they just get to the story itself. I counted, and seven out of the twenty two pages here (almost a third of the issue) have two or fewer word bubbles in them, and in few word bubbles in THOSE it’s mostly just Sonic self-congratulating himself for being WAY PAST COOL! Thankfully Tails shows up in the latter half of the issue (he just so happened to be in the neighborhood I guess) and his inclusion brings a bit more depth to the unending deluge of violence. Eventually they manage to brutally massacre every single robot in the town which means it’s time for them to take a break and discuss what the heck is going on. Tails tries to convince Sonic that SOMEONE must be controlling the robots now due to the fact that this attack seemed a lot more organized than the previous ones since Eggman’s departure, which means that SOMEONE is probably back in business… OR ARE THEY!?
There are a few tidbits of information that we get out of their conversation such as the fact that APPARENTLY Sonic got pretty badly injured in one of his adventures (maybe that final battle with Eggman?) and that Tails often worries about his safety. It’s not much, but for a first issue it’s a good idea to at least establish SOME sort of dynamic between our main characters, though Tails’ scientific genius is still up in the air as it’s not even mentioned at this point as he’s really only on hand here so that Sonic has someone to talk to. The plan for now at least is for Sonic to keep doing what he’s doing (smashing robots) in whatever town they show up in while Tails will stay behind to help the citizens clean up the mess left behind which they hope will eventually lead them to whoever it is that’s controlling them in the first place, and even if it’s a trap, Sonic is probably fast enough to outrun whatever this new threat can throw at him. Speaking of which, we DO get a brief glance of our bad guy in the final shot of the issue as they’re sitting in a rather large chair with a familiar logo on it, and we can see that he has MUCH bigger plans for Sonic in the near future!
It’s… fine I guess. Maybe for me as someone sitting her chomping at the bit to get a new Sonic comic (even if I’m still annoyed by what has happened to the previous series), it’s a bit underwhelming because it doesn’t essentially pick up where things left off and they’re presumably easing new fans into whatever world their establishing. It’s a solid enough way to start a series I guess, but it still feels like they could have done a lot more than just have Sonic punching robots and smirking at the audience; especially considering how much is still left to establish about these characters. I’m both interested and somewhat disappointed about what they’re teasing at the end there regarding Amy as it LOOKS like the implication is that she’ll be the new leader of THE RESISTANCE and will essentially be replacing Sally going forward. Again, it KIND of makes sense for them to do this since we’re starting completely fresh and Amy is the most logical character to collapse her role into, but I’m still gonna miss The Freedom Fighters and it’s gonna be an uphill battle to sell me on a new cast of characters to fill their place. I wouldn’t exactly RECOMMEND that you rush out to buy a copy of this if you’re hoping for things to start off with a bang, but it’s not that bad as an introduction (even if it is a bit slight) and certainly has enough nice artwork to keep you engaged. You’re probably better off just waiting for the next issue (or even the next few issues) to come out before picking up this one as there’s really no sense in pacing these out issue by issue if you’re not gonna give us THAT much to start with. A nice two to four issue binge might be the best way to enjoy this new book and hopefully we’ll get more of what we came here for in next week’s issue. Yes, I said next week’s issue because IDW decided to release the first four issues on a weekly basis before going to the standard monthly release. Not a bad idea, though I hope the strain of getting four out in such a short period of time isn’t why this one felt so light.