Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America
I had NO idea that this issue was coming out which I feel is rather understandable since IDW decided to release it on Christmas Day, and I only found out after Ian Flynn sent a tweet about it. The tweet ALSO promised that this is the last issue of utterly agonizing misery (my words, not his) before our heroes start to rally and bring this zombot saga to a close. You know what? Fine. I’ll muster through one more of these and hopefully I can start enjoying this series again in 2020. Can the end of the bad times be of any more interest than the last half a year’s worth of interminable issues, or does this arc plan to end as it started; by annoying me in a very repetitive way? Let’s find out!!
Once again we find Sonic in yet another town being overrun by Zombots while The Resistance (or Restoration? I don’t even know anymore) tries to evacuate survivors; saving comrades in need with his super speed, thinning out the Zombot hoards with his OP powers, and putting out fires wherever they crop up. He’s more or less the player character in the most depressing version of Dynasty Warriors… so basically Dynasty Warriors 9. HA! Take THAT, game from two years ago!!
Our never ending quest to go through the motions continues as someone yells at Sonic about letting Mr. Tinker live (this time it’s Espio due to losing Vector in issue 22), Amy is beleaguered and only holding herself together out of fear, determination, and presumably copious amounts of caffeine, and someone has to make a noble sacrifice that has about as much impact as the deaths in Infinity War. Same song, same dance, why am I buying this same issue for the sixth time? Since the town we’re worming our way through in this issue is Spiral Village, you can probably guess that it’s Tangle’s turn to be Thanos Snapped, and sure enough she got bit trying to save her friend Jewel. Well since she’s doomed anyway, she can at least clear a path for The Resistance to get out of town with minimal risk by… creating a fence with her tail I guess? Seems a bit odd, but I figure they had to use her tail for something since it’s one of her most defining characteristics! Actually, as much as I’ve been complaining about the repeated use of the most obvious zombie tropes in this arc including the numerous noble sacrifices, Tangle’s story in this issue was handled pretty well. It’s a bit end for such an important character, but it’s done with enough triumphant defiance that it feels genuine instead of just mining for more misery points.
Aside from Tangle’s well-handled demise there is one other thing worth discussing in this issue, but unfortunately it’s not a GOOD thing, at least in my opinion. I’ve had a few critiques of the art here and there but I’ve tried not to spotlight specific frames since my knowledge of art and style could fit inside a thimble. However, I think it’s worth making an exception in this case as we see how Whisper responds to the news about Tangle.
Now look, I get what they’re going for here. Whisper is at the absolute height of her emotional capacity upon hearing of Tangle’s fate and you want to express it in some way. This particular frame though, it just feels out of place and overdone for the emotion to shine through. NO ONE has ever looked like this in the book, and we’ve seen some characters go through some pretty traumatic stuff in this arc, so it comes off as distracting with the speed lines, the washed out colors, the giant screaming mouth coupled with gushing tears; it’s more like a still in an overwrought anime than anything I can take seriously. Heck, we’ve seen Tangle push the bounds of her emotional range in the Tangle & Whisper series and they managed to sell her pain, anger, and anxiety without making it look like this. Anyway, there’s not much more to cover after this. Everyone manages to hold Whisper back from running face first into the Zombot hoard and gets her as well as any remaining survivors back on the ship. I’m curious if she’ll try to attack Sonic now considering everyone else is pretty upset with him for letting this happen in the first place, and frankly Whisper’s handling of this has been worse than anyone else’s. The issue comes to an end as we cut back to Eggman and Dr. Starline where the latter seems to finally be initiating his plan to take charge of the Zombots with the help of the Zeti, and I am genuinely interested to see just how this power struggle will shake out.
Hm… that promise at the end doesn’t fill me with much hope, but I’m gonna trust Ian Flynn that we’re finally done with the Zombot’s taking over the planet and are heading towards the resolution for all this. I mean look, there are some good aspects of this arc scattered throughout the six or so issues we’ve been dealing with it, but I’ve made it abundantly clear by now that I was done with Zombie stories BEFORE Sonic IDW decided to do yet another and that I haven’t been happy with how long they’ve taken to get here. I mentioned it earlier, but this does feel a lot like Avengers Infinity War which as far as I’m concerned is not a comparison you want to have because they similarly overdid it with the misery setup that was clearly telegraphed to resolve itself by the end of the next movie. I don’t know what consequences I’m supposed to believe will be permeant in this arc as I doubt Cream will remain motherless or that IDW wants to kill off one of their original characters so soon, and because I can’t believe that any sort of radical change WILL occur by the end of the story, the repetitive beating of that drum just comes off as ludicrously self-serious. We’ll have to see how it all shakes out in the coming issues, and hopefully they’ll give us something more interesting on the horizon.