Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #11

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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 the final installment of the BATTLE OF ANGEL ISLAND, where our heroes must stop Neo Metal Sonic once and for all; a task not made easy since he turned into a giant chicken!  Will our woodland critter revolutionaries stop this mechanized onslaught!?  Let’s find out!!  The issue begins with… let’s go with MEGA ULTRA METAL SONIC wreaking havoc on Angel Island.  Things are looking good for the Freedom Fighters who were tapped out BEFORE Metal Sonic went Super Duper Saiyan, and since the Master Emerald is now embedded in his robo-stomach and Angel Island itself is starting to fall out of the sky!  Sadly they don’t have Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and The Vision to help keep this rock from wiping out all life on Earth on impact, but Sonic has a plan to stop their version of Ultron before it’s too late!  What is that plan!?  Well we’ll have to wait to find out because there’s still that pesky Eggman subplot we have to deal with!  Darn you, writers!  All this suspense is gonna sharply increase my insurance premiums!  Maybe I should get a better doctor while I’m at it.  Say, what about this guy?

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“This glove is going places you couldn’t possibly imagine!”

WOW!  Okay, that’s certainly an interesting design right there.  He looks like a really smug anime villain, and while I’m sure there are better examples to pick from out there, I’m mostly reminded of Luke Valentine from Hellsing Ultimate; the cocky blonde bastard who thought he stood a chance against Alucard.  This dude seems to have his sights aimed slightly lower than that as he simply wants to brainwash the brainwashed Dr. Eggman (who Rough and Tumble captured at the end of the last issue) into being the un-brainwashed Dr. Eggman which I guess is setting us up for the next story arc since this one is about to come to a close.  Hey, I’m certainly glad that they’re still committed to giving us new characters instead of just relying on the game continuity (it’s a good indication that this is a legitimate successor to the Archie books) and hopefully they’ll make this guy even half as engaging as Whisper’s been in her all too brief appearances.  Speaking of which, we should probably get back to that whole “Battle to stop the destruction of the planet” thing that was going on.  So to get back to that burning question that I know all of you are asking, what is Sonic’s plan to deal with MEGA ULTRA METAL SONIC?  He’s going to annoy him.  Yeah, we PROBABLY should have seen that one coming, but it’s always fun to see the writers try to make him sound cool and flippant instead of a try hard punk..

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Not really bringing you’re a game here, are ya buddy?

Somehow this manages to work, presumably because MEGA ULTRA METAL SONIC has just as big an ego as his flesh and blood counterpart and is one not to take insults lightly, and this momentary distraction gives the rest of the Freedom Fighters enough time to start taking strategic pot shots at the metallic beast; giving Knuckles time to try and remove the Master Emerald while Tails sets up for their coup de grâce which frankly feels like what plan A should have to start with.  In the last issue Tails and company managed to commander one of the Egg Carriers to help in their invasion of the island, and so with nothing else to do but take out one big target, Tails has put the carrier on a collision course with MEGA ULTRA METAL SONIC.  Pretty gutsy move all things considered, and it even gave Knuckles the last push he needed to free the Emerald!

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“WHERE IS HE GOING!?  COME BACK KNUCKLES!!  WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP!”

One of the things I’ve pretty consistently taken issue with in these books is the action which still hasn’t quite managed to make Sonic’s speed based fighting style look too convincing or flow consistently between panels.  Here they seem to have found the right scenario to slow things down enough to make everything have much more impact and flow which is appreciated, but I doubt Tails is gonna have airplanes to crash each issue (pretty sure Launchpad McQuack has that shtick on lockdown) so we’ll have to see how they improve things going forward.  Even more concerning is that the OTHER thing that made the action more consistent, i.e. the large cast of characters who don’t exclusively have speed based move sets, is unlikely to be in every issue as well, so soon enough they’ll either have to face that issue head on or just ignore it and leave me to grumble in my little corner of the universe.  Anyway, I mostly bring this up because… well there’s not much else to talk about here in the book.  MEGA ULTRA METAL SONIC has been downgraded back to regular Metal Sonic, the Master Emerald is back in place, and everything worked out just fine.  It’s a very straightforward conclusion to this arc with no real changes to the status quo or really all that much character growth either.  Action is fine and all, but the things I remember aren’t how many robots Sonic blew up; it’s the really great character moments that unfortunately took a back seat here.  Still, at least we got this celebratory moment!

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“Well now that that’s all over with, who wants to face Mario in a bobsledding race?”     “Wait, are we STILL not in Smash Bros?”

So now that the world has been saved, where exactly has all this left us?  Whisper certainly still has some unspecified beef with Shadow that will hopefully get resolved soon enough, and I THINK there was something about Silver’s future and Blaze’s dimension having some sort of issue that may or may not have been fixed by defeating Metal Sonic (I’m guessing that, like in Terminator 3, they’ll find an excuse to continue with the MUST FIX OUR BROKEN HOME BY SOLVING PROBLEMS HERE setup), but other than that everything seems to be nice and clear to set up the return of Eggman and bring us back to the status quo we’re all used to for this franchise.  Speaking of which, and so the issue ends with our first indication that Dr. Duck Face (or whatever his name is) may have succeeded in turning the kindly old Mr. Tinker back into the malevolent and oddly shaped dictator to wreak havoc upon the world once again.

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“They said I was a FOOL when I tried to put Humpty Dumpty together again.  WELL WHO’S LAUGHING NOW!?”     “Dude, can you please put on some pants?”

Yeah, this one was fine.  It finished the story on a solid enough note and I’m glad they didn’t waste any time setting us up for what happens next with this new villain who will HOPEFULLY be as interesting as his rather mysterious backstory and unique look are leading us to believe he is.  I don’t know, there’s still something MISSING from all this that’s keeping me from truly getting invested in everything outside of a few key characters (BLAZE AND TANGLE OTP!!), but the series is getting better with each issue even if this isn’t really the highlight of the series to date. If they were looking to take my advice (and why WOULDN’T they want to take my advice!?), I’d try to make it feel less and less like the games themselves and carve out something that’s more unique to the medium and to the creative team.  That’s probably why characters like Whisper and the revamped Silver feel so fresh compared to everything else because they are so radically different from what we’ve seen before.  Yes, to once again harp on about the Archie books, while they weren’t always great and had some SERIOUS low points, there was never a lack of imagination and they always took risks even if it didn’t make sense.  Heck, if you want a more contemporary example, the My Little Pony books feel very distinct from the show itself which is one of the reasons they work as well as they do and have somehow been going stead for over six years now!  They might be heading in the right direction in this regard with Dr. Starline (Dr. Duck Face is SUCH a better name) being such a uniquely designed character with a lot of possibilities, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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