Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America
Do you know how long it’s been since the last Sonic comic came out? It was March twenty-fifth; back in the halcyon days where we thought we could “prepare” for the virus and that we were going to take steps that would ACTUALLY make a difference instead of just delaying the inevitable backlash from the MY FREEDOMS crowd. Needless to say, it has been a rough three months and having Sonic back is certainly something I’m happy for to distract me from the horrors of the world even if we’re still stuck in the Zombot arc which frankly feels a bit TOO relevant considering the way the world has changed but I’m frankly too exhausted to get mad at it anymore. At least I HOPE it’s not bad enough for me to get mad at it again! Is this issue a fun and fulfilling distraction that gets us closer to the end of the arc, or will I be begging them to wrap this nonsense up now more than ever? Let’s find out!!
Where we last left our heroes, they were in the midst of a massive guerrilla attack on the Deadly Six who have taken the Chaos Emeralds for themselves and are underway in taking over the Zombot blighted world. Amy and Tails got the emerald held by Zomom which went well enough, but despite Cream and Gemerl getting Zeena’s emerald as well, they were essentially lost in the battle. This issue covers the rest of the teams getting their emeralds so thankfully they aren’t mercilessly dragging these fights out like I had feared, and for the most part, they’re fun little action set pieces with a variety of tactics and character moments. First up is Silver and Whisper taking on Zor; the resident Goth of the Deadly Six. Zor is fast and it’s taking all of Silver’s power just to keep him occupied while Whisper and her Wisp buddies set the trap. Apparently, Whisper’s gun fires a REFRACTABLE beam of energy, and so the wisps surround Zor holding crystals to essentially encase him a flurry of lasers; one of which hitting the Chaos Emerald and detaches it from him. Without missing a beat, Silver grabs the emerald and takes them all back through the portal to Angel Island; leaving Zor to his fate that he seems a little TOO pleased about.
Next up is Espio who’s taking on Zazz alone. His initial plan to take it while invisible went rather poorly at the end of the last issue, but he quickly recovers in a SLIGHTLY confusion action scene where he appears to grapple his way onto a roof, set off a smoke bomb, and punch Zazz a few times before taking the emerald. These comics have always had a bit of trouble with its action continuity, and while this is far from the WORST offender, it doesn’t have as much punch as the Whisper/Silver segment which had a much cleverer idea to work with and made it very clear what was going on. Still, there’s a nice moment at the end with Espio that makes up for whatever shortcomings there were in the action.
Thankfully the next segment DOES manage to pick things up with the action again with The Babylon Rogues fighting off Master Zik and a hoard of Zombots. It’s straightforward, but BOY does the big guy give off one satisfyingly brutal punch here!
Like Cream and Gemerl though, this story ends on a bittersweet note as there’s only one working hoverboard left and not enough room for all three of them. Instead of Jet (the green one) flying back with the emerald, however, they tie it to the hoverboard and aim it through the portal so that the three of them can fight off the hoard together. I mean… fine, I get that it’s an ALL FOR ONE AND ALL FOR ONE moment, but I’m guessing that everyone back there is gonna need some backup, right? Oh well, they’re barely even part of the good guys’ crew anyway, so I guess leave them to their own devices. The emeralds are where they need to be leaving only two to go; both on the Face Ship which Rouge is still hiding on. Fortunately, whatever plan she had in mind managed to work and she steals the emerald powering the Faceship; causing it to fall right out of the sky mere miles from the edge of Angel Island. Well dang! Things are going pretty good so far considering how poorly all their plans have been going up to this point in the arc! All they have to do is take the one from the crumpled gory remains of Zavok who’s no doubt been crushed beneath the rubble of the fallen airship and the world can go back to normal! No wait, Zavok turned super-sized so now our heroes have to basically take down a Kaiju to fix this nightmare once and for all. In fairness, Zavok DID grow in size in Sonic Lost World so it’s not completely out of left field, and it’s not like I DON’T want to see them fight a fire-spewing lizard despite how long in the tooth this arc has gotten!
If that wasn’t bad enough, the issue ends on one final dreadful note as Zavok throws a bunch of Zombots onto Angel Island; not only infecting the last piece of land on the planet that was free from the virus but causing our heroes to flinch as the zombots he chose to fling are in fact the friends they’ve lost throughout this arc. Shadow, Tangle, even Charmy the bee are all facing down our heroes with terrifyingly hostile intent as the final image to end the issue on.
Perhaps I just miss having this book to review every month, but I really did enjoy this issue a lot more than the others we’ve been getting in recent months. They ended up doing quite a good job of fixing the two major problems I’ve had with the story, it’s pacing and bleak tone, with a fast-paced story that wrapped up a lot of the dangling plot threads in mostly satisfying ways. PERHAPS they shouldn’t have shoved all four of the concurrent stories into this one issue and given each character’s triumphant moment a bit more space to breathe, but if this means we’re getting closer to the end then I’m not about to complain all that much about it. I hope that we can wrap things up soon because I’ve been done with this arc for quite some time, but now I have hope that I’ll actually LIKE the ending instead of just begrudging taking it just so that we can be done with the Zombots.