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 next issue is finally here, and not to sound ungrateful or anything but does anyone know why this took so long to come out? It was originally scheduled for the end of March but we’re just getting it now a month and a half later without any explanation from IDW; at least not as far as I can find! Oh who am I kidding, whether it’s one month, two months, or TWELVE months, I’ll be here all the same to tell you all about it, so let’s not waste any more time and jump right it!
Since it’s been an eternity since the last issue, a bit of a recap! Sonic, Tails, and Amy went to some sort of Eggman outpost in the middle of the ocean that seems to have been causing weather issues, but instead of finding some sort of doomsday device they tumble head first into a pocket dimension of sorts that looks to be a testing area for Eggman to work out the kinks on his new robot designs. Unbeknownst to everyone though, Belle managed to convince Tangle to follow them and they arrived shortly after to find the place crawling with badniks and no Team Sonic to be found. This issue picks things up with Tangle and Belle having stumbled upon the disturbing world of Pokémon Bootlegs as Eggman’s robo-bros are sending whatever horrific creatures they can after Sonic and his friends in their little pocket dimension. Truly the most sinister thing about the Egg Empire!
It doesn’t take much for Tangle to put a halt to their market diluting scheme, but it doesn’t seem to be helping matters much in the aforementioned pocket dimension where Sonic, Tails, and Amy are still having to fend off whatever Eggman keeps throwing at him which he can SEEMINGLY conjure up into thin air, so it’s a bit unclear if we’re actually dealing with another dimension or if they’re just in The Matrix. In any case, Eggman turns off the gravity for no particular reason and the three of them kinda fall into a new level? The mechanics of all this are kind of vague, as is the actual purpose of all this as Sonic and co aren’t exactly there to STOP anything from happening, but at least they get a bit of exercise in as Eggman throws a couple more ineffective robots at them to be summarily crushed under the might of spin dashes and giant novelty hammer swings.
If it wasn’t clear already, this is another issue that’s a straight up breeze to get through as next to nothing of significance happens until the end, nor is there any real character work or lore building to speak of. Eggman’s pocket dimension thing is no more explained here than it was in the previous issues and Eggman himself feels like he’s phoning it in on this adventure. It feels like this should be some sort of interruption for him, that Sonic and co being in his pocket dimension is getting in the way of some plan he’s working on, but there’s no indication of such as he’s simply there having a good time causing the three of them grief. He sends more and more robots to fight with while wearing his VR headset, but even then he barely seems engaged in finishing them off for good and is just messing around like he’s on his lunch break and wants to try out his new toy!
So is there anything to talk about here? Well this whole issue is kind of just here to set up Tangle heading to the battle and making the save, but the Tangle/Belle dynamic still has a bit of momentum to it. They keep teasing that Belle is in some way related to the Eggman Empire as she seems to be able to access their systems pretty easily, but we’re still just dancing around the issue instead of moving it forward, and frankly Belle takes a backseat in the story here with Tangle getting most of the focus. They’re both aware that Sonic and co are in the pocket dimension and are struggling against the amount of enemies that Eggman is sending over there, and Tangle wants to jump right in while Belle is hesitant about it. See, Belle wants to make sure that everything is safe before Tangle goes through the portal to make sure she doesn’t end up clipping halfway through a wall, and Tangle tying her extremely long tail around a pole like a lifeline is not gonna do much if her tail gets cut off in the process! For all they know, she’ll wind up in a world of giant scissors or something, and she’s not going to help anyone if that happens! Tangle on the other hand says that she needs to trust her gut and that there’s no time to overthink things and that going boldly while accepting the consequences is what heroes do. Not sure I agree with THAT one, unless we’re doing the Patton speech and are putting the word heroes in quotes, but Tangle’s mind is made up and the issue ends with going through a green Rick & Morty looking portal and will hopefully end up helping her friends instead of… well whatever you’d expect a Rick & Morty episode to do at this point; probably involving decapitation and eye-rolling cynicism.
I wish I had more to say about this issue, especially considering how long it’s been since the last time I was able to review this series, but there’s just not a lot of meat on these bones which makes me a bit baffled that it was delayed for so long. I mean I’m not about to tell IDW and their team to do something that would make them LESS money, but you could have easily smooshed the content of the last two issues into one and you’d have something that at least felt more weighty than a puff of air. Still, expecting an enriching twenty or so pages of comic book magic from every issue is the wrong mindset to have, even if they DO make you wait so long for it, and there’s nothing especially wrong here. The artwork is on point as always, they manage to convey the rather absurd concepts in a clear and digestible manner, and while I wish that characters like Amy got more to do here (she once again has next to no lines), the dialogue is perfectly serviceable for what they are trying to accomplish. I’m feeling generous today and am looking at the glass as half full, but it’s definitely no more than halfway there either way.