Super Comics: Sonic Bad Guys – #3

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

The last issue of the Bad Guys mini-series was a surprisingly great entry that did a lot to move the plot forward and develop these characters which needless to say means that there’s a lot to live up to in this one!  Starline remains one of the better characters in this series and it seems like IDW is heading in an interesting direction with him, but we’ve been down this road before with this character and he’s never quite lived up to his potential even at his best moments.  The same more or less holds true for the rest of the cast here as they all certainly proved themselves to be more interesting in here than in their earlier appearances, but can Ian Flynn carry this story to a satisfying conclusion or did he use his best ideas in the last issue?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with Dr. Starline in the dead of night; accessing his personal computer and recording a video diary to catalog his mischievous machinations.  I’m not sure why he would bother to keep a record of how he plans to screw over his villainous posse, especially within earshot of anyone still awake and grabbing a snack from the fridge, but then again I imagine Starline is the kind of guy who plans to sell his life story for a book deal and five part movie franchise.  Also, it all turns out to be moot because SURPRISE; it’s not actually Starline!  Mimic, with the help of Zavok, somehow managed to crack all of Starline’s security systems and know every last detail of Starline’s plan.  I can only assume that this bit of tricky with the video diary is to fabricate further evidence of his ACTUAL wrongdoing and send it to Eggman when all is said and done, but for now (and with a bit of coaxing from Zavok), they’re going to let his scheme play out until the moment they get what they want.

“You’re not going to need his body once we’re through with this, right Zavok?”     “…what?”     “Yeah, I figured if I gutted him and stuffed him, he’d make a great mantel piece back home!”     “You do you, buddy.”

With daggers sharpened and ready to be unsheathed, Starline moves forward with his plan without the slightest clue as to what’s happening around him; putting him the same company as Rough & Tumble who are not in on Zavok’s plan and spend most of their time coming up with new rhymes for their entrances.  Everything so far has been solid and Rough & Tumble are quite funny as comic relief, but it doesn’t quite have the same spark as the last issue.  Sure, we’re heading towards some sort of decisive confrontation where Starline is going to have to pay the piper, but the path to that is perhaps a bit TOO clearly laid out.  Because of this, the subsequent action scene where they attack the Eggnet Facility feels like we’re going through the motions where the last issue’s big action set piece had a bit of spontaneity to it that kept it fresh.  Heck, it goes so well that you almost wonder why the bothered getting the Power Cores from the last issue as nothing they do here seems to have required that extra boost in power.  Fortunately it doesn’t take THAT long for them to get the MAIN COMPUTER ROOM which kind of looks like the Apple version of Cerebro, and Starline gets to work on his masterstroke.  First, he needs to deal with Eggman who has surely been alerted to the goings on in the center of his Eggnet and he tries to throw them off his trail like he did in the last issue by making it look like Sonic attempt.  Just like last time however, Eggman doesn’t seem to be buying it and is in fact heading to our anti-heroes’ location with them being none the wiser.

“I love the smell of napalm in the morning!  It smells like motor oil and hedgehog guts!  MWA HA HAAA!”

With that threat on its way as well as the impending betrayals of Zavok and Mimic, the screw are definitely starting to tighten as Starline continues along his merry way with whatever he has planned here.  Speaking of which, we still don’t really know what he wants out of all of this, do we?  We saw the tubes of green liquid a few times at his base, but we still don’t know what’s inside of them or how they’re going to get him back in Eggman’s good graces, and the only hint we get are the words Egg Base Sigma which is the place that Starline is currently using as his base of operations, so he must be uploading SOMETHING from the Eggnet to the tubes there.  My three guesses are Scratch and Grounder, Bunnie Rabbot and Uncle Chuck, or TWO Shadow the Hedgehogs that he’ll have compete against each other to find out which is the most ambivalent against good and evil!  We won’t be finding the answer to that in this issue however as now is the moment that Mimic decides to make his move, and this dude doesn’t play around!

“Just for that, I’m CUTTING you out of our latest rhyme!”     “And after ALL that time we spent looking for a word that rhymes with Starline!”     “Who’s gonna ‘call us on our villainous hotline’ NOW!?”

It will never stop getting old seeing this dude pull out a freaking John Rambo knife and threatening to give his victims a Sicilian Necktie.  The same comic book series that is currently working on a Chao Race storyline has a dude holding a knife to someone’s throat with the intention of spilling their blood, and I’m guessing the only reason IDW gets away with it is that it’s being done to their own original characters instead of say Tails or Cream the Rabbit.  In any case, Starline stops whatever it is that he’s doing and immediately gets to work on Mimic’s demands.  First, he removes him from the Eggnet which STILL seems like a weird thing to request as it’s not like Eggman’s own memory is tied to it (I’m sure he’s got a Revenge Book around somewhere), but Starline manages to get it done with the kind of efficiency you can only get when you’ve got cold steel pressing against your jugular.  Mimic’s not the only one to get what he wants this day as Starline gives Zavok control of a chunk of Eggman’s army, and Rough & Tumble… well they get some Power Orbs.  Kinda getting the short end of the stick on this one, but then again they’re making out better than Starline who’s about to outlive his usefulness and has to come up with a plan quick if he hopes to live past the next issue!

“WAIT, YOU STILL NEED ME!  I know how to download music and movies for free!”     “Whoa, doc.  We may be criminals, but piracy is a SERIOUS crime!”

As I said before, there’s a bit of the spark of originality the last issue that’s missing here.  It doesn’t feel as DYNAMIC and nothing all that unexpected happens throughout the story.  It does make up for it though with intensity as the final scene definitely lives up to the buildup and gives us a great cliffhanger for the final issue of the mini-series.  Starline still has the Tri-Core that he made at the end of the last issue so he probably won’t have THAT much trouble getting out of this situation, but he’s made quite a few enemies along the way that will surely hamper his progress; especially Eggman who’s on his way with an army of robots and a matching number of bombs to destroy whatever he finds at his Eggnet facility.  Even if most of this issue was straightforward setup, it does have a decent payoff to lead us into the next one.  However, much like the current arc in the main Sonic series, I’m less excited for the next issue than I am wondering if it can reel me back in for the wrap up, and to be frank I  have more hope for an epic fight between super villains being fun than yet another Chao Race of no real consequence.

3.5 out of 5

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