Super Comics: Tangle & Whisper – #4

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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

And so we come to the final issue of the Tangle & Whisper series; also known as THE ONLY THING KEEPING THE SONIC COMIC RELEVANT WHILE THEY LABORIOUSLY WORK THEIR WAY THROUGH A DULL AND DERIVATIVE ZOMBIE STORY.  It’s a much more descriptive title to be sure, but I don’t think they had enough room to put it on the cover so they went with the shorter one.  It’s definitely been a fantastic ride as each issue showed us more and more of Whisper’s backstory as well as the growing relationship between her and Tangle which I hope to see more of in the future, but for now we’re here to see how it all comes to an end with their final confrontation against that jerk Mimic!  Will it be a satisfying end to a fantastic mini-series, or will the culmination of Whisper’s story arc end in a disappointing fizzle rather than a satisfying bang? Let’s find out!!

The issue begins on a quiet yet intense moment with our heroes preparing for the coming confrontation on the remains of Whisper’s home from long ago.  Tangle is keeping a watchful eye out for Mimic’s arrival while Whisper steels her nerves for the battle ahead; adjusting her weapons and ensuring their effectiveness as a way to pass the time which seems to stand still in the middle of this quiet ocean base.  By the way, if the MGS references weren’t obvious enough with the one female sniper in this series being named after both female snipers from that series, the base in question looks suspiciously like a stripped down Mother Base.  Someone’s certainly a Kojima fan, and I’m bracing myself now for the scene where Whisper has one of those wisps inside a giant test tube strapped to her chest.

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“GAH!  IT’S METAL SPHERE!”     “Metal Sphere?”     “The deadliest and roundest weapon in Eggman’s Army!”     “Eggman’s Army?”     “Okay, are going to repeat EVERYTHING I say?”     “Everything you say?”

The moment has finally come and they are besieged by an insurmountable barrage of badniks which are clearly just a distraction and Tangle & Whisper know it, so while the fox with the death cannon starts blowing up adorable bug shaped aircraft with countless robots on board (perhaps this was their first assignment out of robo-boot camp), Tangle starts checking the back door to see if Mimic is sneaking his way in through there.  Sure enough, someone has infiltrated the base, but to her surprise, it’s SONIC THE HEDGEHOG!  Oh snap!  When did he find time to get here while dealing with the Zombot apocalypse!?  No, of course it’s not him and this disguise doesn’t fool tangle for a second which admittedly should have been expected since the mini-series started with Mimic pulling the Sonic card.  She doesn’t immediately snap his neck with her long and powerful tail however; instead she leads him to a room where I guess they set up holographic home movies of his former teammates to try and show Mimic the error of his ways.  It obviously doesn’t work because the dude is a megalomaniacal jerk wad, but my question is why the Diamond Cutters didn’t see this obvious flaw in the guy from the start.  If he was only ever in it for himself and didn’t care about anyone else, then it’s kind of on them for assuming he WOULDN’T betray them at the first sign of trouble; hence why The Suicide Squad isn’t held together by the hope of comradery being built between supervillains forced into dangerous life threatening missions, but by bombs in their necks to blow their heads up.  Tangle realizing that the power of friendship isn’t going to work here goes for the next best thing which is to start throwing punches; something that Mimic is prepared for in the weaseliest way possible.

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“Would you prefer I turned into your girlfriend Blaze?”     “WHO TOLD YOU ABOUT THAT!?”

After some minor trepidation from Tangle they do end up brawling and once again I’m reminded that Sonic IDW hasn’t done a great job with depicting fight scenes as there’s one particularly egregious looking knee to the stomach that looks like a first draft that somehow made it to the issue proper.  Mimic has the upper hand and is about to stab Tangle in the back of the head with a knife, but then Whisper comes in to make the save and the two of them overpower Mimic and wrap him in Tangle’s tail.  Whisper then has her super canon pointed directly at his head, and this is where the issue starts to lose me a bit as Tangle comes out and tells her he’s not worth executing.  Apparently because it’d be worse if he lived?

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GEEZ, Tangle!  Why are you so intolerant towards Badniks?  What the heck did they ever do to you besides try to destroy your village and kill your friends!?

I guess my problem is less that a book aimed at kids is taking the approach that you SHOULDN’T kill people for vengeance and more that the framing of the scene and the implications they’ve set up for these characters feels a bit incongruous with the message.  Yes, murder is bad and a kid’s book shouldn’t advocate for it.  HOWEVER, from everything we’ve seen up until now in the Sonic books and what has been expanded upon in this series, it’s kind of hard to buy that Whisper hasn’t already “crossed this line” in the past.  If the implication here is that her weapon is deadly which is why Tangle is stopping her from using it, well then that deadly weapon was used many times in the Robotnik War that preceded the first issue and where Whisper built up her reputation as the Guardian Angel of the Resistance.  Then again, perhaps I’m extrapolating too much.  I mean even if they never USE the word sniper she has indeed shot robots from a far distance with her gun like weapon, but maybe she only ever shot robots and the war was only against non-sentient life forms.  Maybe this would be a step further than Whisper has gone, but it definitely feels like the series is dancing around the issue of murder rather than definitively answering it one way or the other; especially since the person they’re contemplating killing has already tried to stab them with a knife.  In any case, they decide NOT to kill him because I guess the Diamond Cutters wouldn’t want that or whatever, so they do the MUCH more humane thing and just lock him in a box for the rest of his life!  OH, WHAT PARAGONS OF VIRTUE AND MERCY THEY ARE!!  Again, it’s a kid’s book so I probably shouldn’t be overthinking things, but the whole MORAL OF THE STORY is ringing a bit hollow for me now.

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“We’ll ship him off to a for profit prison where his rights will be violated on a daily basis to maximize revenue!”     “Isn’t it great being the good guys?”

And so the issue as well as the mini-series ends with Tnagle and Whisper going their separate ways at least for the time being with promises (or at least hopes) of further adventures down the road and hopefully ones that have slightly less wonky endings to them!

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It’s not a bad issue, but I felt that the ending with Mimic was a bit of misstep that that ending things on a somewhat sour note.  See, I kind of had the same problem with Superman vs. The Elite (at least that animated version I saw) where the implication is that the murder is easy but morally unjustifiable, and yet the solution might as well BE murder considering it has the same effect; i.e. eliminating the possibility of someone being a threat ever again.  Whether it’s their life, their rights (will Mimic ever even get his day in court?), or their bodily autonomy as was the case when Superman just stripped The Elite of their superpowers, you’re still taking away something against their will so maybe taking a high ground victory lap for doing one over the other isn’t the classiest of moves.  Again, kid’s book; I’m hardly justified in asking a spin-off of Sonic the freaking Hedgehog to have nuanced takes on justice and all that, but honestly I would have preferred they not even brought the issue up in the first place if they weren’t ready to give a nuanced answer.  Aside from that, I still really liked the characters as they were written in this and while the fighting itself could still use some work, the art itself is solid for the most part.  I definitely want to see more from these two and I hope they get a full spin-off from the main series before too long; one where they can be a bit more experimental and risky where the Sonic series would rather jog in place for the most part.  Just promise me they won’t fight zombies, and I’m down for anything they want to try with these two!

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