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 ZOMBIES! JUST ZOMBIES! NOTHING BUT ZOMBIES, ZOMBIES, AND MORE ZOMBIES!! When you can’t think of an action set piece, ZOMBIES! When your characters just aren’t sad and miserable enough, ZOMBIES! When you’ve got nothing better up your sleeve or need to kill about eight issues in a go nowhere story arc, FREAKING ZOMBIES!! Can this issue somehow find a way to make yet another story about zombies the least bit interesting? Probably not but let’s find out!!
I’m gonna keep this one pretty brief as frankly I’m pretty much done with anything zombot related in this story arc and they decided to go back and show us the stuff we REALLY didn’t need to see from the last issue. If you recall, that one ended with Tails, Tangle, and Whisper being picked up by Amy who informed them that there was an outbreak at Restoration HQ, and so they’re down to whoever is left on that ship. Seems simple enough and not something we’d need to see in pedantic detail, but I guess someone at IDW thought differently and this issue is… well, everything I just explained. We start with Amy who’s trying to keep things coordinated and under control at Restoration HQ with only Cream on hand to provide any sort of levity. I guess I don’t want to harp TOO hard on this since they’re actually taking time to let these characters talk instead of simply reacting to more zombots, but whatever characterization is still tied directly with the current situation instead of feeling like something that will carry over beyond this story arc, and frankly we just saw a better version of this in the last Tangle & Whisper issue.
From there we get basically the same ALL IS LOST MOMENT in every Zombie movie ever made where the supposedly safe fortress they’ve built for themselves is compromised due to the carelessness of someone there and it goes up in smoke almost immediately. In this case there’s actually TWO compromises as one of the random civilians turns out to be infected (sure seems like something you’d CHECK before letting them into the base!), and Vector and Espio arrive with Zombot-Charmy in the flimsiest glass cage you could imagine. Well at least that story is finally coming full circle, but only for like five minutes as the inevitable happens the moment the Chaotix show up; presumably living up to their namesake. The infected civilian runs wild, Vector loses Charmy, and the whole place turns into pandemonium.
In the midst of all this Cream’s mother gets infected which MIGHT have had a bit of impact if we saw her ONCE since her first appearance in issue 18, and Vector sacrifices himself to hold Charmy back so that everyone else has a chance to escape which admittedly is pretty awesome of him (again, what is with Vector’s sudden boost to main character status in the last few years?) but we’ve seen this self-sacrificial noble gesture before. We’ve seen ALL of this before in every other zombie movie ever made! Perhaps I’m not looking at this from the perspective of the target audience which is much younger than me who may not have seen everything that this arc is copying from, but it still feels short changed and under-cooked. Within the same issue, we’re asked to confront Vector’s selfishness and also punish him for it; leaving no time to ruminate on the ethical quandary of risking the public for someone you know. That COULD have been interested if it had the slightest bit of breathing room, but it doesn’t and so it just feels like raising the stakes to significantly diminishing returns. By the time the survivors escape, we’re left with Amy, Cream, Espio, and that robot dude with the weird name who only showed up in one game. GEMERL I think? Well they’re off to meet up with Tangle, Whisper, and Tails so we can get back to where we already were before! PROGRESS!! And so the issue ends at the exact same place the last one did, but a promise that seems more like a threat as we’re informed that there’s at least one more issue of this narrative back-fill before we can move the heck along.
I’m trying not to come off like a whiny jerk here considering I’ve never reviewed a single issue series like this before and it’s definitely a book aimed at a younger audience, but what turned into a slow burn has now actively been tracing its own steps as we can’t even progressive the story TEMPORALLY; much less narratively! I’m just tired of the zombot story line and dragging it out like this is just grating on my nerves with the only thing keeping me from REALLY tearing into it is knowing that the writers CAN do some amazing stuff what with the Tangle & Whisper series knocking it out of the park for the last three issues. They’ve only got one issue left though which is gonna leave us all alone with this book as it finishes its arc, so hopefully they take this plot train out of neutral and get it to wherever the heck it’s trying to go so we can move on to something better. Zombies, man. They SERIOUSLY have to ruin everything, don’t they?