Sonic: Imposter Syndrome, 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
I’m probably sounding like a broken record, but IDW’s Sonic series is always better the further away it is from Sonic himself. The mainline series has had its ups and downs, but the mini-series have always been some of the best writing we’ve seen from IDW’s run with the characters, and that is still the case with Imposter Syndrome; especially after Issue 49 which just felt like a bridge to whatever Issue 50 is gonna be. Does the final issue put the cherry on top of an already great mini-series, or will this be an even direr warning that Issue 50 might be an overhyped disappointment? Let’s find out!!
We begin the issue with Starline, Surge, and Kitsunami standing on the literal precipice of their greatest victory. For Starline that is to invade the Egg-base below and take over his mentor’s empire and for the other two, it’s to stab Starline in the back as soon as he thinks he’s won. Things go quite well right out of the gate, though that’s not much of a surprise given Eggman’s penchant for aesthetics over functionality, and the trio dispatches a number of goofy-looking and overly complicated robot minions. A few gun turrets or some land mines might have been a better use of resources, but Eggman will be Eggman and it’s not like he has anything better to do with his time. Speaking of whom, Eggman is swiftly made aware of the attack on his home and is baffled that it’s not being perpetrated by someone on his already extensive enemies list.
Eggman’s master plan here is actually quite straightforward and sensible which is to sic Metal Sonic on the unsuspecting intruders; giving Surge and Kitsunami their first legitimate challenge since their training began. The IDW series really seems to like Metal Sonic as he shows up pretty frequently and usually gets a little extra polish from the artists. Where some of the action earlier in the issue was a bit confusing (par for the course as far as this series), this stays pretty clean and easy to follow as Surge tries to speed her way through the fight but keeps getting tripped up by Metal Sonic’s more precise offense. It’s looking a bit grim for her until Kitsunami finally jumps in and uses his water powers to keep Metal Sonic at bay and extremely wet; allowing Kistunami to finish him off with an electrical charge and proving that together they really are a formidable foe that Sonic may have some difficulty overcoming. To me, this is easily the highlight of the issue; seeing these two working together in a clearly drawn-out fight that ultimately means something to the story and isn’t just rote property damage.
With all threats neutralized, Starline manages to upload his program into the Eggnet and bids his mentor a fond farewell before activating his masterstroke. It’s a bit of a shame that they don’t get a bit more time here given how much of Starline’s deal is wrapped up in his admiration for Eggman, but I guess you can only fit so much into a single issue. We also find out that the signal from Issue 49 that put all the Badniks on a one way trip to Eggman’s base was from Starline who now has all of Eggman’s wi-fi enabled devices under his control; forcing the mustache-twirling dictator to make his exit via a hole in the floor. Seems a bit simplistic, but I guess it turned out to be handy given how anything more complex might have been captured by Starline as well. Starline by the way is chock full of emotions as one of his plans has finally worked and he gets everything he’s dreamed of; including a big throne at the top of a tall tower!
His reign is on shaky ground however as Sonic, Tails, and Belle are on their way, and Eggman’s escape leaves a pretty big unknown factor on the playing field as the doctor may be an egomaniacal fool but he always has a few more tricks up his sleeves. Worst of all though is that his very own creations are conspiring against him and will soon be putting their own plan into effect which would no doubt be destructive but seems overly ambitious. It’s one thing to get revenge on your creator and those who are in his orbit; you could argue that the heroes and villains both feed off of each other and that their endless war is more destructive to the world than if both sides would just disappear. Razing the entire planet of anyone caught in the crossfire, however? Yeah, that seems a bit much, but they’re also on emotionally shaky ground given the recent revelations about their past so I guess they’re just a bit overexcited that they’re finally gonna break free of all this nonsense. I’m actually curious to see where the writers will take these two after all is said and done. It’s unlikely that they’re gonna succeed in killing Sonic and his friends (as amazing a twist as that would be), but will they be brought to the good side? Will they escape and stay evil? Oh, you know what? Have them hang out with Shadow and be all angsty in a canyon somewhere. A few days with his mopey butt and they’ll be ready to do something productive with their lives!
This is definitely a better lead-up to Issue 50 than what we got in the main Sonic series, but it also feels like a stepping stone instead of the conclusion to the mini-series. I guess the distinction between the two is academic at this point (we might as well call the fiftieth issue the finale for Imposter Syndrome), but the strength of this issue was less in giving us closure than it was in the relationship between Kitsunami and Surge. They are really coming into their own and are becoming more and more dangerous with each issue which will no doubt lead to a fantastic battle between them and Sonic. They’ve spent a lot of time and effort leading us to this moment and if this issue is any indication, it will be well worth the wait!