Tangle & Whisper as well as Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America
Well now that we’ve got the rather meh Sonic book out of the way, let’s get back to the NEW series that is already quite promising! As I’m sure you don’t need me to say once again, Whisper is perhaps the best thing the new Sonic book has going for it and so making this mini-series about something in her DARK AND MYSTERIOUS PAST sounds like a total slam dunk to me! Do they keep up the momentum from the first issue and continue to outdo the ACTUAL Sonic book? Let’s find out!!
The issue begins with Tangle & Whisper sneaking up on an abandoned Eggman facility because OF COURSE they’re at an abandoned Eggman facility. I’m pretty sure there are more empty houses owned by Eggman than there are homeless furries in the streets which is yet another reason to eat the rich aside from how tasty someone named Eggman would inevitably be. ANYWAY! If you weren’t aware already (and for SOME REASON hadn’t read my recap of the first issue), these two are here to hunt down a mischievous knife wielding bad guy named Mimic who can count all the prime numbers from one to nine-thousand nine-hundred and seventy three. No, I’m kidding; they can shapeshift and impersonate other people which makes something like an abandoned facility with lots of doors, hallways, and storerooms filed with empty boxes not the most ideal of hunting grounds for our heroes. Despite the disadvantage however, Whisper has more than enough angst to say screw the danger and Tangle has more than enough pep in her step to assume she’s gonna come out of this the big dang hero!
Yeah, that doesn’t quite go as planned. Mimic’s more clever than she’s expecting and gets the upper hand with a ruse that is both REALLY sneaky and REALLY obvious. They mimic the voice of Jewel and convince Tangle she’s been kidnapped. Good start and it gets Tangled nervous which makes her less perceptive. Then they mimic Whisper and point her to where Jewel MUST be held which again makes a solid amount of sense as Tangle isn’t expecting her to be mimicked; especially this effectively. Where it kind of falls apart from me is where Fake Whisper tells Tangle to go… which is in a giant safe. I mean don’t get me wrong, it DOES end up working as Tangle just saunters in there, but it has all the subtlety of a piece of cheese over an anvil.
This is where things kick into overdrive however because even if this issue is somewhat light on plot (it’s like a second act action sequence in a decent blockbuster), it cranks the angst up to ELEVEN and I’m all here for it! First of all, Tangle SEEMS to have a thing about enclosed spaces because she starts off pounding the safe door in abject terror but then quickly goes into self-reassurance mode; while still in abject terror. Maybe I’m extrapolating a bit too much here, but this is a phobia of hers that she’s had to deal with in the past and it didn’t end pretty then. While she’s freaking out over there however, Whisper’s enclosed and oppressive space is in her own mind as she has her confrontation with Mimic which doesn’t go particular well for her, but let’s not jump ahead too far. First, what is Mimic’s plan to fool Whisper now that Tangle is no longer an issue? Well pretending to be Tangle of course which ACTUALLY ends up working, but the fool completely ruins the ruse the moment they pull it off! Full frontal assaults seem to be Mimic’s least effective skill set so I’m not sure why he keeps trying to outmatch Whisper with brawn and not wits. First they pull a knife in front of her while disguised as Sonic (couldn’t wait another minute to jab it in her back?) and now they ruined a perfectly good scheme by throwing a giant robot at her! Seriously, they round ONE corner together and already Mimic is all MWA HA HA, YOU FELL INTO MY TRAP, by which they mean there’s a robot waiting for them. And of course, it doesn’t work! She’s slaughtered more robots on a bad day than Rick Deckard can at the best of times, and she’s ticked off on top of it! She’s SO upset in fact that she’s opened BOTH of her eyes which, at least as far as I’m concerned, is about the surest sign of imminent death and despair as you’re liable to find in the Sonic-verse. Shadow WISHES he can inspire a cold chill down the spine of his enemies the way Whisper can just by staring at you!
I’ve got to give Mimic credit though, because despite starring death in the face they DO know how to push Whisper’s buttons just right to turn the tables; like what an internet troll sees themselves as. He starts morphing into the forms of characters we’ve never seen before, but it’s obvious they were part of whatever group Whisper and Mimic were part of that I’m guessing were tragically murdered during a mission that went horribly wrong, which… s it just me or is this backstory starting to sound a lot like Mary Watson’s from Sherlock? Eh, probably just a coincidence. In any case, Mimic starts to gas light her pretty badly as they start to blame Whisper for whatever happened when it seems pretty clear that Mimic was the one responsible, and not due to some simple mistake. To top it all off, Mimic informs Whisper that a bomb is about to go off inside the facility and she has less than three pages to find Tangle and get them both out of there; hoping of course that Whisper will die trying to save her. I mean… the knife would have STILL been the best idea if you planned it right, but I guess BLOW STUFF UP is a decent Plan B (the B stands for BOOM!). Sure enough though, Whisper finds Tangle in the safe and they manage to escape the blast by… getting in the safe? That’s right! They nuked the fridge in this! Like in that Indiana Jones movie we never talk about, our heroes get inside a small metal container in the hopes of it being blasted AWAY from the explosion rather than disintegrating them when the bomb goes off! They miraculous manage to live through that (you’d think the impact from the safe landing miles away would have been enough to shatter a few bones), and Tangle is raring to go to chase down Mimic for totally punking her out. Whisper on the other hand is less willing to take another risk and tries to shoo her off like White Fang. Oh, but Tangle is not to be deterred so easily, and the issue ends with her finally convincing Whisper to tell her what in the heck is going on here. I’d sure like to know too, but I guess I have to wait a month…
See, THIS is why I get so down on the Sonic comics repeating themselves! If they bothered to branch out a bit more they could be as compelling as this issue was which took some chances with the characters and told an interesting story! Okay the setup is a LITTLE bit on the simplistic side, but the little details we get about Tangle & Whisper’s past, phobias, and triggers is interesting, and the emotional highs really do sell when the characters are pushed there. The only thing I can really complain about is that Mimic feels a bit simplistic and one note in their villain, not to mention his poorly thought out schemes, but the fact that we’ll be getting the backstory next issue might do a lot to fill in the cracks. I’m genuinely excited to find out more about Whisper’s past as well as what happens next for these two which is a heck of a lot more than I can say about the main series which feels like it’s stuck in some sort of holding pattern. At least for me, characters are usually more interesting than world endangering conflict which is what Sonic has found himself in and is taking up way too much of that book, so I’m glad that this book has allowed the writer (Ian Flynn is on both books) to zero in on what I’m more interested in seeing. Seriously, weren’t we done with zombies by this point!? WHY DID YOU BRING THEM BACK, IAN FLYNN!? WHY!?