Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America
With dangerous pocket dimensions, ferocious Zeti attacks, and a maniacal Dr. Starline running around, I think we could all use a little bit of time away from all this chaos and property damage! Thankfully it looks like we’ll be getting a nice road trip story with some of the Sonic crew which should be a good chance to recharge all of our batteries before facing down the next big threat! Will this be a road trip to remember like A Goofy Movie, or will we be begging for it to end like Addams Family 2? Let’s find out!!
The issue begins with Amy driving up to Tails house which for some reason is shaped like his head which doesn’t look very roomy but I guess he used SCIENCE to make it bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. The reason she’s there, aside from marveling at the goofiness of the architecture, is to get a bunch of camping supplies because she and the other prominent members of the female cast are going on a trip to unwind after the half a dozen or so apocalypses they’ve had to overcome in the last forty-four issues. I really like the way these characters interact in this scene; very familiar and jovial with a hint of snark from Sonic (obviously) and I’m glad that we are taking time to wind between major storylines. It’d be nice to see what they are fighting to protect rather than just seeing the constant fight.
With the supplies in tow and driving a car that is CERTAINLY not the one on the cover, Amy goes to pick up Belle, Jewel, and Tangle, but no Whisper. Apparently, there’s a whole sad backstory to that which Tangle helpfully flashes back to, and I don’t know; the ambiguous and taciturn character just disappearing after things are back to normal is a pretty common trope and they at least have an excuse here as Mimic is on the loose after the events of the Bad Guys story arc, but it still just kinda comes out of nowhere and is the first indication that this will not be the issue I was hoping for; one that focused on fun character moments instead, of more angst. Maybe it’s a bit unfair to just assume things are gonna be hunky-dory after everything that happened, but it’d be nice to get away from the drama for a bit!
Things only go downhill from there for the group as the campground they are going to is crowded, Tails’ camping supplies are overly complicated tech nonsense he must have gotten out of a Sharper Image catalog, and no one seems to be up to having a good time this weekend which makes me wonder why anyone even bothered to go. Amy’s putting in a lot of effort to make it a fun weekend, but no one is responding to it and even Jewel who has mostly been characterized as non-confrontational and a people pleaser (if nothing else, at least CONSIDERATE) pretty much mocks Amy for her interest in Tarot Cards which seems like a pretty lousy thing to do if you ask me!
The card reading ends up being a total bust as no one likes their fortunes, and so everyone heads to bed grumpy which in fairness is how I imagine MOST nights on camping trips end. Belle however, being a robot and PRESUMABLY not needing sleep, ends up leaving the tent and wandering the woods at night; presumably to have some alone time to think about everything that happened in the last issue. Instead she comes across one of Eggman’s ladybug badniks and eats a face full of tire before conking her head on a rock and blue screen-ing. Of course she was using her little finger lighter at the time to light her way and it starts a RAGING INFERNO that threatens to destroy the campsite and anyone who can’t get out of there! This not only includes Belle who’s knocked out AND made of deliciously flammable wood, but the camp owner’s son who wandered off into the woods earlier that evening! Seriously, this group attracts tragedy like Lakes attract Jason Voorhees; the two are never far apart and it usually ends with a lot of screaming. And so the issue ends with a trip that was supposed to be all rest and relaxation turning into a crisis of death and devastation!
I was hoping for something a bit cheerier to brighten things up after the last few story arcs, but despite my complaints throughout this I still think it was pretty good. I didn’t like the status quo change with Tangle and Whisper that felt shoehorned in, but the drama itself does come from authentic places with Belle still having to deal with her Eggman/Mr. Tinker issues and Jewel having to find a way to relax despite being the leader of the Restoration. I don’t think it made them all that LIKABLE, especially with Amy trying as hard as she is to get them to relax to no avail, but it at least feels motivated and not contrived that they aren’t having a lot of fun here. Still, the fact that we just HAD to have a giant forest fire at the end there that will no doubt encompass most if not all of the next issue felt rather forced and just more destruction for destruction’s sake, but I’m at least hopeful that the story itself with these characters will end up heading somewhere and that we’ll get a decent payoff. If not, well then maybe I’m the one who will end up needing a vacation!