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 forward march of time is an unrelenting constant in all of our lives, and this January has definitely proven that with just how far behind I’ve fallen with everything on this site; the least of which being these most recent issues of the IDW Sonic comics. The first issue of Imposter Syndrome turned out to be a breath of fresh air and ended up being one of the best issues the series had produced in a while, but we’re not here to talk about the follow up to that one as the mainline Sonic issue came out first and we’ve got to bring this rather tedious arc to an end before we can get to the good stuff. Does the Forest Fire arc manage to end on a high note, or does it intend to finish as it started; thoroughly mediocre? Let’s find out!!
The crisis as the end of the last issue where Belle, Tangle, the lost boy, and the friendly Bad-Nik were all falling to their death, gets resolved rather expediently as they manage to wrap themselves around the giant log with Tangle’s tail. I don’t really want to get hung up on this because it is an endearing quality of Tangle’s design, but I’m curious if the idea is that her tail is always that long or if it stretches out like she’s got Plastic Man powers on one specific part of her body. They’ve only gotten more and more exaggerated with it over time, but it’s an example of one of the series’ strengths which is its carefree attitude and prioritizing fun over practicality. Sadly the series will occasionally get in the mood to go overly serious and spend a year watching characters miserably trudge their way through a Zombie Apocalypse, but the adventure and carefree spirit are what really hold my interest in this comic.
The issue does bring a bit of that fun back, but for the most part, it’s about wrapping up the plot and setting us up for what’s going to happen next. Tangle and company quickly make their way back to Amy and Jewel who are helping with the fire suppression efforts, and the kid reunites with his dad. They also get to meet the good Bad-Nik (Good-Nik?) and confirm that we are not going to strip him down for pats or take a look at his robo-brain to see how it ticks. It probably has to do with how cute those little ladybug thingies are, and provides further evidence that Data probably could have avoided that whole trial thing if he was a bit more kawaii.
We also learn that these four are total workaholics because they couldn’t keep from sniping at each other when they were supposed to be relaxing and having fun, but throw a catastrophe their way and they form an unbreakable bond of friendship! Seems like a bit of a toll for a team-building exercise, but on the other hand, if they weren’t there to put it out the forest would have been burnt to a crisp. Tangle’s lifelong goal of being an adventure seems to be a prudent movie considering how often this world needs adventurers to constantly fix whatever problem they’re in. I think I’d actually like to see a story about the ground-level day-to-day life of an average anthropomorphized creature in this world which is something that Superhero comics have dabbled with many times; Maybe a day in the life of a Restoration office drone or something like that. I’m sorry, is this getting a bit tangential? Well, what do you want from me? The story wasn’t all that compelling in the first three issues and it’s not that much more interesting here. They flood the campsite area to keep it from burning and that’s about it as far as a resolution to the crisis.
With the threat of immolation firmly snuffed out, our heroes celebrate the completion of their character arc and declare this trip a success! Tangle in particular has been affected by this journey and is quitting The Restoration to become a full-time adventurer with Jewel’s blessing. More importantly, she plans on finding Whisper so they can go on even more adventures and hopefully get a few more mini-series which tends to be where the IDW Sonic series finds its most inspiration. Speaking of mini-series, the campground owner (the bear guy who CLEARLY isn’t Smokey!) went out after all the smoke had settled and found the origin of the fire; a burnt -out tree with a distinctive slice right through the middle of it. He doesn’t know exactly what caused it, but it’s clear this was more than just a brush fire that got out of control, and makes sure to let the “proper authorities” know about it!
I won’t go so far as to say it was a good issue, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well they wrapped everything up, and it’s hard not to get excited for what they have planned next. It looks like the main series and the Imposter Syndrome mini-series will be an intertwined storyline from two different perspectives, and getting The Chaotix involved has always been a boon to whatever arc they show up in. Perhaps I was a bit harsh on a rather inoffensive little tale of teamwork and proper fire suppression techniques, but I’m definitely happy to see it end given what’s just around the corner.