Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America
Welcome back to even more Sonic goodness as we continue to get further and further away from the Zombot arc! The last issue had some great character moments and gave us a fascinating new setup with Sonic out of the picture and I REALLY want this series to explore that idea a little bit more and maybe give Sonic a bit of dimension as he realizes his heroism is a lot more reluctant than he thought now that he has time away from it! However, if the cover is anything to go by, it doesn’t look like this team of talented professionals will be taking the advice of one annoying critic on the internet and Sonic will be returning a lot sooner than I was hoping. Still, do they manage to make his return to Mobius (I’m gonna keep calling it that AND YOU CAN’T STOP ME!) interesting and compelling in its own right or are we simply sprinting as fast as we can back to the status quo? Let’s find out!!
The issue begins with Eggman crashing the party; piloting a giant robot with Omega strapped to the front of it like Mad Max in Fury Road. I suppose it makes the robot stronger, but I thought the whole deal with Omega is that he WASN’T a particularly unique creation of the doctor and was just another drone who someone found a conscious. Okay, MAYBE not so much a conscious as a RAGING HATE ON for Eggman, but six of one half a dozen of the other, and the bigger point is that I figured he could just MAKE a better giant robot than trying to attach a smaller robot for the additional RAM. This is all needlessly nitpicky though and to the issue’s credit, it DOES do what I wanted this issue to do… sort of. We’ll get back to the SORT OF part of this, but a good chunk of this issue are about the heroes trying stop Eggman’s giant robot without the help of Sonic the Hedgehog. Oddly enough, the one who steps up to the plate is Vector, and I’ve got to ask again; ARE SEGA PLANNING ON DOING SOMETHING WITH THIS GUY!? Maybe it’s just me, but for the last year or so Vector has been getting a higher profile in the Sonic universe; and not just in the comics! That recent Team Sonic Racing game had him as the leader of one of the teams and he was certainly present in that Sonic Forces game, but then again it’s been going on for a while now and nothing BIG has happened yet. If we’re building up to something with this character like his own game or something, I think they need to just get it over with instead of keeping us guessing for the next three years.
Was that also needlessly nitpicky? Sorry; force of habit with this series. The action is perhaps the most comprehensible we’ve gotten from the series in a while as everyone’s actions are pretty clear and they do a good job of setting up the stakes and objectives at play. Tails and Rogue are trying to hack the machine thru some unprotected USB ports which is trickier than it looks because Eggman has a FREAKING HANDGUN AND IS FIRING SHOTS AT THEM which was a bit of a tonal lurch, but it’s still fun to see a fight that isn’t just punching things or going fast. It doesn’t last long however as this issue does the ONE THING I didn’t want them to do which is of course to find an excuse to get Sonic back and return us to the status quo. Back at Blaze’s kingdom in the Sol dimension, the amnesiac Sonic is having a good time just running around the countryside without a care in the world which would be fine except that he’s pretty much the only competent character in the multiverse, so Blaze devises a plan to help job his memory. Now knowing what we know about the Sonic Universe, do you think you can guess how she does this? Does she…
A) Knock him over the head with a frying pan until he remembers?
B) Make a video tape for Sonic to watch composed of home movies to give him a understanding of his life before as well as the relationships he had?
C) Use the mirror universe Chaos Emeralds to fix the plot?
If you guessed anything other than C, then you are just as big of an optimistic fool as I am as Blaze uses the SOL EMERALDS to… do something that makes him remember. Granted, I’ll give them credit for making Blaze seem INCREDIBLY competent here as SHE managed to fix a problem without dwelling on it for ten or so issues, but I was REALLY hoping that Sonic’s vacation would last a bit longer than an issue and a half!
So with that, Sonic remembers who he is, who his friends are, and decides to immediately head back to Mobius in case they need his help which frankly, they don’t. The story intentionally split Sonic up from his friends and yet the writers don’t seem to know exactly what to DO with that as you’d think the point would be to show that they are EITHER sufficient to take on the threats without him OR that he is necessary to keeping the balance of peace in this world as long as Eggman remains a threat. Instead, they try to have their cake and eat it too by having the sidekicks be competent in their attack on Eggman, but making sure to leave the final blow for Sonic once he arrives. Said final blow by the way is Sonic ripping Omega out of the Egg-bot and then letting the angry metallic dude unload a bunch of missiles at the guy until nothing is left but his little flying machine; a tactic that could have just as easily been carried out by someone else with a crowbar. Heck, Sonic can’t even do the decent thing of snatching Eggman out of his little hovercraft so that he can face justice for his crimes, but I guess the moral of that whole Zombot arc is to assume that everything is going to work out in the end no matter what you do, so might as well stay the course!!
And with that, as well as a group hug from his friends, the world can finally return to the status quo. Sonic reflects on his fight against the Zombot virus and wonders what the future might hold for him now that things have settled for a bit. Then again, things might have settled for a bit LONGER if someone would finally do something about Eggman, but I guess even he is going to need a bit of a vacation after getting his butt handed to him by Charmy the Bee and Cream the flying rabbit.
I’m not mad and I’m not even all that surprised; I’m just disappointed. Perhaps I’m the only one reading this series who didn’t love the Zombot arc, but how long did we trudge through that storyline before coming to the inevitable conclusion of THE CHAOS EMERALDS FIXED IT? Heck, didn’t they give three or four issues to events that ALL happened in the same day? The book comes up with a somewhat intriguing premise that I can see a lot of potential in (Sonic shying away from his responsibilities leaving his friends to fend for themselves), and we only get it for two issues before things are all back to normal? JUST TWO ISSUES!? Perhaps whatever they have next will be worth jumping into right away and I’ll be eating my criticism of this series almost as fast as Sonic takes to run errands, but for now I’m ambivalent that it’ll be half as interesting to me as the story they just swiftly wrapped up with even more Emerald Plot Fixer. Say what you will about the Archie comics; NOT EVERYTHING WAS SOLVED WITH THE CHAOS EMERALDS!!