Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #48

Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

We’re back with another Sonic Adventure from the folks over at IDW! Only, it’s NOT a Sonic adventure, is it? For the second time in a row, it looks like the Blue Bomber is getting sidelined to flesh out some of the side characters, and while the camping trip arc fell pretty flat for me, I’m still pretty excited to see what they can do with a Chaotix storyline! Will this be the start of an engaging gumshoe detective story set in a world of cartoon critters and very lax child labor laws, or will we be burning our deerstalker caps in sheer frustration by the end of this? Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with Vector and Espio going to pick up Charmy the Bee from daycare. No wait, I read that wrong. He was dropped off at a radio station and seems to have enacted a hostile takeover. Seems like there are plenty of other places to leave the kid where he can’t cause that kind of damage, but then I’m not a professional detective agency.

“The things that boy said. I’m amazing no one called the cops on us.”    “Yeah, sorry about that. He’s going through an edgelord phase.”

This is all just preamble to get us to the real story though which is the DJ informing them of a new mystery they need to solve! The mystery being… traffic jams. Okay, not exactly end of the world stuff or even all that juicy, unless of course you’re in Jersey (NINE YEAR OLD SCANDAL REFERENCES! WOO!!), but honestly I’ll take it over the Zombot stuff they were doing the last time they got an issue to themselves. It turns out the whole electrical grid is out of whack which is causing the street lights to go haywire and therefore causing accidents. I’m pretty sure this is the same scheme that The Clockmaker came up with back in the Batman Animated Series, but it doesn’t look like he’s the one behind this as the old guy (who I can only describe as a “coot”) starts yelling about people coming out from under the sewers.

“Did I ever tell you about how nickels used to have little bumblebees on them?” “Yes, gramps. I’m aware.”

So instead of investigating high rollers and Speakeasies, our intrepid detectives are bumbling around in a sewer. Not exactly the exciting noir action I was hoping for, but as the great Frank Reynolds once said, “there’s stuff down there” and sure enough, The Chaotix run into a vagabond carrying some sort of crate and disappearing with the help of a stink attack. You can probably guess who that was, but the Chaotix have to follow the trail of clues to a warehouse where the perpetrators are housed. Because of Espio’s rather underutilized invisibility powers (you’d think Sonic and co would call him up every once in a while) he manages to sneak in and find Rough & Tumble who are now working for Clutch the Opossum. You remember Clutch, right? The guy who had a Chao kidnapping ring or something? Well after his empire was uncovered by Amy I guess The Restoration took all of his money and goods so now he’s down to warehouses and incompetent lackeys. Speaking of Rough & Tumble, it seems that their job was to use the sewers to deliver weapons which to me certainly sounds like something you’d see in a proper detective story, but then most of those stories don’t stop a fight halfway through to have a rap battle. Not to say that Humphrey Bogart couldn’t lay down a few bars if he wanted to, but it wasn’t the kind of thing that made it into The Maltese Falcon!

What even rhyme scheme is that? Is he spitting out Haikus!?

The elephant in the room hanging over this entire story is that we already know why things are going haywire in the city, and it has nothing to do with these chumps. Now to be fair, this was revealed in the ongoing mini-series Imposter Syndrome and not the main series, but on the other hand, they pretty much tell you this in the Story So Far section at the start of the book so it still hardly comes as a surprise when The Chaotix subdue their foes only to find that it was all a big Red Herring. Clutch reveals as much before jumping into a speech that sounds a bit too smug for a guy who got his butt kicked twice now; like a guy who REALLY wants you to know that he’s not mad in the slightest! I don’t know if this guy has what it takes to be a serious villain going forward, but he’s got the ego for it.

“What they DIDN’T know is that ruining my life was the first step in my plan for revenge! MWA HA HA HA HA!!”

Despite The Chaotix wrecking up their operation and having them dead to rights, Clutch proves to be a crafty fella and nicks one of Espio’s smoke bombs to make his escape along with his two clueless henchmen. With none of their questions answered and nothing else to go on, the only thing left to do is wait and see what happens next.

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The fact that this issue was about the Chaotix running in one big circle doesn’t exactly bode well for the story arc, but there are things about this that I did enjoy. Just seeing these three again is a breath of fresh air for the series and the fact that we got a decent punch-up towards the end was a nice treat even if it was pretty rough trying to read Vector’s lyrics. I’m willing to give this a chance, but I’d rather this story arc get into the meat of things instead of meandering about. We already got enough of that with the camping arc!

3.5 out of 5

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