Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America
We’re back with another issue of Tails and Sonic’s Excellent Adventure as the two of them are on the hunt for whoever is behind these recent robot attacks now that they’ve officially crossed Eggman off the list; him getting plot convenient amnesia and all that. Does this mean we’re FINALLY done with introductions and kicking off the story in earnest? Let’s find out!!
The issue begins with the duo JUST SO HAPPENING to run into the Egg Carrier while flying around in Tails’s biplane known as The Tornado. I guess that’s one way to hit the ground running, but how the heck did we even GET here!? Sonic makes sure to let us all know that they couldn’t track it on radar so I don’t know; maybe that’s what MAIN CHARACTER POWERS are for. Either way, the two of them are now closer than ever to finding out who’s REALLY leading the Eggman Army and Sonic isn’t about to waste this opportunity. Jumping from the wings of The Tornado to the carrier itself (from an absurd height naturally), he speeds his way to the bridge of the ship to see who’s there and finds none other than… DR. EGGMAN! SONIC SHOCK!! Okay, it’s not THAT surprising considering the last issue revealed that as the final page stinger, but Sonic certainly can’t believe what he is seeing! In fact, he doesn’t believe it. He calls Bull Pucky on this situation right off the bat since he already met the amnesiac Dr. Eggman in that one small town, so he demands this imposter to reveal himself! Sure enough, he’s right! The true villain turns out to be… Metal Sonic! Okay, THAT one deserves a SONIC SHOCK!!
So now that we know the WHO, it’s time to figure out the WHY which Metal Sonic (oh, I’m sorry; NEO Metal Sonic!) is quite eager to fill is in on. So if you didn’t know (I didn’t know anything about this either), Neo Metal Sonic was the SUPER SECRET FINAL BOSS in Sonic Heroes which is like one of three pretty decent 3D sonic games, and after getting his tin can ass handed to him, Dr. Eggman basically pulled a Dr. Gero and started working on him in secret; adding “bio-data” to him so that he can emulate not just his enemies but the bad doctor himself. Sadly, he woke up far too late and found nothing but the ruins of the Eggman Empire from whatever big battle happened just before the comic began. In his newly polished form, Neo Metal Sonic (whoa!) decided to assume Eggman’s form which is apparently one of his new powers, and continue his rule over whatever remains of the empire. This actually sounds a lot like that alternate ending to Terminator Salvation where Worthington-Bot kills John Connor and then wears his skin so he can stay a symbol for the rebellion, which… you know come to think of it; the ENTIRE Sonic franchise is like a furry version of Terminator which makes me hope we get a time travel plot soon. It would certainly make more sense than THIS convoluted continuity!
But you know what? I’m not even mad! Sure we have to someone squeeze ANOTHER piece of somewhat obscure Sonic Lore into this already messy backstory, but for the first time since this series began it feels like we’re making some ACTUAL forward progression! I’ll admit that they legitimately surprised me by not going for a CLONES OF EGGMAN story, and Neo Metal Sonic (whoa!) at least has a degree of menace to him! Case in point, his first move after his villain monologue is to waste no time and kick Sonic in his hedgehog balls! I GUESS HE WASN’T WAY PAST COOL ENOUGH TO DODGE THAT!
And so they fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, all over the Egg Carrier which certainly gets the job done of making Neo Metal Sonic (whoa!) a credible threat to spikey blue Jesus, but as I’m watching this scene play out I start to wonder if Sonic’s fighting style is able to translate all that well to still images because I am still having trouble following the panel to panel action. After the nut shot of ultimate destruction there’s a full page of action shots that took me three passes to comprehend, and even then there’s still a panel or two that has me confused. I’d actually like to see if other Speedster characters like The Flash have similar issues creating coherent action scenes as I wouldn’t want to dismiss Adam Bryce Thomas’s artwork out of hand, but this seems to be a regular problem I have whenever Sonic has to throw down; an problem I might add we didn’t have when Blaze got to show off in issue four! I’m, just saying, IDW rarely lets a good thing pass without at least one spinoff! Sonic finally realizes he’s at a disadvantage here, so he does the one thing that having extraordinary cardio is good for; running the heck away from things! Sonic manages to find a way back to the outside of the Egg Carrier, but Neo Metal Sonic (whoa!) is hot on his trail and manages to catch him in his robo-death grip and starts demanding to know the whereabouts of the reformed Eggman. Wait, now that I think about it, I remember back in issue five that he had already sent robots out to attack the village Sonic and The Chaotix were at which was also where Dr. Eggman was staying! You’re telling me he didn’t send one robot with a camera that caught the dude on tape!? Come on, Metal Sonic! This is your chance at the big leagues and you’re making villainy 101 mistakes; not the least of which is not breaking Sonic’s neck while you literally have him in your grasp! Sonic refuses to answer the question and manages to wriggle out of the robot’s choke hold which is good, but in doing so falls of the side of the Egg Carrier which is bad! Or is it!? It turns out that Tails JUST SO HAPPENED to have the Tornado on standby right below that specific spot of the Egg Carrier and manages to catch Sonic before the ground does! I guess Neo Metal Sonic (whoa!) really IS emulating his master because he’s terrible at taking care of the ONE HEDGEHOG who will surely ruin his plans. Having just escaped the clutches of death, Sonic heads back to Resistance Headquarters to debrief the rest of the main characters as to what the heck is going on which they all take more or less in stride because FRIENDSHIP!!
Despite this happy scene, I’m not entirely sure what they plan to do; especially since this issue VERY SPECIFICALLY POINTED OUT that the Egg Carrier can’t be tracked by radar! On top of that, they clearly don’t seem to know what Neo Metal Sonic (whoa!) is after, unlike us savvy readers who either remembered him mentioning this in issue three or failing that managed to turn the page in this one and catch a glimpse of where he’s going. Remember how Knuckles is supposed to be the guardian of the Master Emerald before deciding to abandon his post without finding someone else to hold down the fort until his military campaign is over? Well…
This was a rather slight issue overall, but they still managed to pack more intrigue and drama in it than in pretty much all the other issues up to this point combined; simply because we FINALLY know who the bad guy is and the extended introduction for him ACTUALLY pushes the plot forward instead of filling us in on character who have yet to meaningfully affect the story. Now that doesn’t really excuse how poor the schemes Neo Metal Sonic (whoa!) came up with in the issues leading up to this (was he TRYING to get rid of Rough and Tumble, or did he actually think they were gonna win that fight?) but it feels like something is HAPPENING and that we have a much clearer direction of where this arc is going. I still wish the action was more comprehensible and we’re clearly not done introducing characters what with Silver getting to show up next issue, but hopefully this is a step in the right direction that will lead to even better issues as we finally start focusing on the plot!