Sonic Bad Guys 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
So it looks like the Tangle & Whisper mini-series worked out for IDW because now we’re getting a story arc all about Dr. Starline and his cohorts, and you know what? Heck yeah! HECK YEAH I SAY! IDW has done a REALLY good job with its original characters in this series and Dr. Starline is no exception, so a mini-series where we learn more about him and see him act maniacal is something that I can definitely get behind! Is this the start of a great chapter in the Sonic IDW canon, or will starring in his own issue prove too great a task for the not so good doctor? Let’s find out!!
The issue begins with Dr. Starline; gone from Eggman’s good graces and without his Warp Topaz, but no less determined to prove himself in the eyes of his idol. Sure he admits that Eggman is an arrogant fool who betrayed him, but the guy is just so darn good at making robots and putting his face on things that it’s impossible to truly hate him! Speaking of which, Starline’s first step in his master comeback is take over one of Eggman’s abandoned facilities full of robots and things with his face on it, and while he may not be able to fast travel across the world map, he’s still got a few tools in his inventory!
With minimal resources, a group of woodland critters not happy with him, and his hero tossing him aside like trash, Starline doesn’t have many options available to him. At least he now has a place to rest and to work, but his SECRET MASTER PROJECT cannot be completed with the tools at his disposal. IF only there were more people out there that weren’t Sonic and his friends and are more idelogically aligned with Dr. Eggman without actually being him. If only there were a group of GUYS who for one reason ro another are considered BAD. If only there were… shall we say, BAD GUYS out there who could make an enemy of my enemy is my friend type of deal. Well there’s no use wishing for something that couldn’t possibly exist. OH WAIT! There are like four dudes who all have a grudge against Eggman, aren’t there? Yes, Starline’s latest scheme is to find Rough, Tumble, Zavok, and even Mimic from the Tangle & Whisper mini-series and give them an offer they can’t refuse. As it turns out, all four of them are held in a the maximum security wing of a prison only slightly more rediculous than Arkham Asylum. It may not have a plant lady or an obnoxious clown, but it’s shaped like a guitar for no fathomable reason. It’s not even like a the Rock N Roll jail that Elvis went to; everyone seems to be doing their job very seriously despite working inside a wacky shape!
With almost no effort, Dr. Starline is able to break into the prison which is yet another aspect of this that reminds me of Arkham Asylum, and when he gets to the EMPTY CORRIDOR holding all the bad guys, he makes his offer. For Mimic, he will wipe his information off of Eggman’s computers which I guess will free him from Eggman’s vendetta against him, for Rough & Tumble he’ll build brand new weapons, and for Zavok… well he offers his fealty to him which seems a bit cloying and obvious, but since both of them want to destroy the other as swiftly as possible this temporary alliance will prove beneficial.
With the alliances in place and the back stabbing knives in their sheaths, all that’s left to do is get back OUT of the prison which proves to be fairly difficult as the alarm has gone off and all the guards are zeroing in on their location. The escape scene is pretty well executed as it does the job of reintroducing everyone to these villains’ powers and it lends them a modicum of credibility despite having just gotten their butts kicked by Sonic and the gang. Rough & Tumble live up to their name by making short work of the armed guards while Mimic turns into the warden to confuse the situation. Everyone else gets cleaned up by Zavok with his TECHNOLOGY CONTROLLING POWERS and Starline’s job is to find them a way back out. They manage to make it to the security room and he plans to deactivate all the alarms, but instead Zavok insists that he release all the prisoners so they can slip through in all the chaos. Yes, apparently Mobius has just as dreadful a criminal justice system as we have in the US as there are MORE than enough furry ruffians to try and stab all the guards in sight. What I want to know is why all these dudes are wearing eyeshadow but sadly we don’t get an answer to this and instead we come to the end of the issue where our Villains are walking away from an explosion like a bunch of cool guys!
With any sort of supervillain team-up, it’s all about bouncing the individual characters’ personalities against each other to see what kind of reactions you get, and for the most part this did succeed in delivering that. Starline got a lot more to do here than he has in previous issues, though I still feel like we’re only scratching the surface with his character and I hope we’ll see more dimension to him as the series goes along. As for the rest, Rough & Tumble are fun and I can definitely see them being a highlight of this mini-series, but Zavok is just not that interesting as a big stoic dude and I wasn’t all that interested in Mimic back when they were the antagonist of the Tangle & Whisper series, so they’ll need to work extra hard for me to warm up to him. It’s a solid start but not much more than that, though I am hopeful that the writers can come up with something interesting for them to do now that they’re together; as long as it doesn’t involve a metal virus!