Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #37

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 one good thing about being as hopelessly behind as I was and having to play catchup throughout December and January was that I got to read A LOT of books in a short amount of time.  The wait between the last issue and this one has been EXCRUCIATING as I kept checking back every week in February to remind myself that yes, it’s still not coming out for another week or so.  No mini-series to keep me occupied in the mean-time either, and you’d think that by now IDW would take a gamble on a concurrent series, but nope!  A full month without Sonic comic goodness for me!  Was the wait ultimately worth it as we get started on a fresh new story arc, or will I be willing to wait TWO months after reading this?  Let’s find out!!

With the crisis as White Park Chateau narrowly averted and Tails successfully Frankenstein-ing Omega back together, we begin this issue rather low-key as everyone is heading to the newly crafted Restoration home base so that Belle (the living puppet with a mysterious backstory and a clown nose) can find a place among the normal folk and not spend her time in an underground bunker.  Okay, TECHNICALLY The Restoration HQ is in an underground bunker as well, but theirs is super nice so it’s still an upgrade!

“Yes, we even have a Starbucks!  Starbucks doesn’t even EXISTS in this reality and they somehow managed to get a franchise in here!”
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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #35

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

Despite some ups and downs in the story, I’m glad that the comic has moved away from WORLD ENDING CATASTROPHES to tell a much smaller and more character driven story with this whole Sonic take on Casino Royale!  What, am I the only one who sees it?  Come on, Rogue is acting super shady just like Vesper Lynd; it’s right there!!  In any case, will Sonic and friends uncover the many mysteries surrounding this story, not the least of which being the identity of the hooded figure?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with Sonic, Tails, and the living puppet Belle facing their greatest and oldest enemy to date; confusing action scenes that don’t adequately convey spatial relations!  Yeah, I know I’m a broken record on this, but these early pages are another example of the artist just not doing a great job conveying necessary details or relative threats.  The first thing we see low angle shot of them in a rather narrow but tall room (looking a bit like a silo) that is filling from bottom to top with badnicks.  Clearly they would have to find a way out by going UP, right?  No, it’s actually just a PYRAMID of badnicks and they decide to swarm on the side of the room that DOESN’T have the very obvious exit door.  Then as soon as they escape that room and are in the corroder, what I THINK happens is that a grabby badnick drops out of the ceiling to snatch Tails and Bell doing SOMETHING with her tail to save him. 

“Butt Boosters, don’t fail me now!!”
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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #34

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 last issue may or may not have been the start of a new arc (only time will tell on that front), but it did give us an interesting new set up that’s rife with potential!  No more zombots, no more world conquering jerks, just good ol’ fashion greed as Rouge and company are here to outwit the big wig running these Chao races!  Sonic IDW has finally acknowledged that Capitalism is the root of all evil (right after zombot viruses) and I’m very interested to see where it’s headed!  Do they continue to take this story into interesting and new directions as a refreshing break from the nonstop action, or was the last issue just there to set me up for disappointment?  Let’s find out!!

We begin our story of calculated lies and dangerous spy craft in the lovely dining area of the White Park Chateau where Rose is eating some sort of chocolate chip parfait and Cream has barely touched her very square waffles.  See, that’s the kind of quality you expect when you go to the White Park Chateau; waffles you could set a protractor to!  So why is she ignoring her delicious and structurally sound breakfast?  Well Rouge didn’t come back last night after meeting with Clutch, and if she’s not around to be a bad influence on her, then how else is she going to learn to be a jewel thief!?

“Don’t forget!  You promised to teach me how to use a lock pick today!”     “To unlock doors or to jab into a man’s eyeball?”     “Hopefully both!”
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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #33

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

Yes, I’m falling behind on these and not getting them out as soon as I should, but let’s see if I can successfully change the subject by pointing out that this is the first issue of the Sonic the Hedgehog series that does NOT have Ian Flynn listed with a writing credit!  Very few people have made as big an impact on the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise as this man has considering his tireless efforts on the comic book series (more or less picking up after the LAST guy who had such a big impact who we don’t particularly like to talk about anymore), and while he’s not done with Sonic by a LONG shot (he’s writing the Sonic Bad Guys series concurrent with this one), it’s a bit bittersweet to see an issue that doesn’t have his name on it.  Still, a change in voice can also be what this series needs as I’ve said on numerous occasions (probably to the chagrin of Mr. Flynn if he ever in a million years read one of these recaps) that the Zombot arc went on for way too long and that these globally devastating threats often left the characters floundering for development and focus.   Will things be different with the new writer Evan Stanley on board, or are the problems with this series not easily fixed by just giving the pen to someone else?  Let’s find out!!

Things have settled down a bit after Sonic gave an epic butt-kicking to Eggman’s giant robot in the last issue, so with this small bit of time before the NEXT world conquering threat makes itself know some of Sonic’s friends have decided to try and fix Omega who is just a robo-head at this point but is still in pretty good spirits all things considered.  Rouge managed to get the blueprints for Omega so that Tails can build him a brand new body, but there are two complications; Eggman’s blueprints are encoded so they’ll have to find a way to translate them, and even with the blueprints they don’t have the materials needed.  I’m not sure why they can’t just give him a DIFFERENT robot body as Eggman had no problem sticking his head on the giant robot, but in any case the team (which also consists of Sonic and Amy) has to spilt up to take on these two challenges.  Sonic knows of an abandoned Eggman facility that could have the answers they need so he’ll take Tails there, but before we go further I just have to ask, why are there SO many abandoned Eggman facilities!?  Starline just took one over as his base of operations in the first issue of Sonic Bad Guys, they were finding these things throughout the entire Zombot and Return of Eggman arcs, you’d think at some point that The Furry World Government would either claim them for themselves or blow them up to make sure they can’t be used against them again!  Well in any case, that’s just one part of the plan which means that it’s up to Amy and Rogue to find new parts for Omega.  Rogue has a lead on some guy name Clutch in a place called White Park Zone; the former of which is a new character but the latter is apparently a stage from Sonic 4 Episode 2 which I haven’t played yet.  They never did finish that trilogy, did they?  I guess that puts it right up there with Half-Life 2 Episode 3 as far as episodic games that never got finished, though I doubt as many people are broken up about the Sonic one not seeing the light of day.

“Sonic Xtreme?  He’s got a copy.”     “No way!  What about that Skateboard demo!?”     “Complete in box.”     “THEY DIDN’T EVEN RELEASE THAT!”     “No they didn’t.  And he still has it.”
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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – Annual 2020

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

Somehow this book came out like TWO MONTHS AGO and it just completely flew under my radar which probably says something unflattering about me as the release dates for these is something I actually TRY to keep an eye on. In any case, it’s better late than never and frankly it’s a good time to look at it as the first issue of the new story arc has just come out, and perhaps taking one last look back before moving forward will give us a bit of perspective… or more likely just reiterate how eager I was for the book to go in a new direction. In any case, let’s take a look!
First and foremost, this happy looking cover where everyone is celebrating and looking cheerful? LIES!! This is the annual celebrating the year of the Zombots, and like most of the issues we got during that time, this is filled with enough sorrow and hushed contemplation to make The Walking Dead dismissively roll its eyes. That said, at least it doesn’t mercilessly drag things out as each self-contained story in here is rather quick and there’s a decent amount of cleverness to go with the grim atmosphere. The first story is BIG’S BIG ADVENTURE which admittedly doesn’t SOUND like a harsh and dreadful romp, but take one look at that art style and tell me you’re not supposed to feel an icy chill in the pit of your stomach!

“It looks just like the winter of our Discontent!”
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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #28

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

Do you know how long it’s been since the last Sonic comic came out?  It was March twenty-fifth; back in the halcyon days where we thought we could “prepare” for the virus and that we were going to take steps that would ACTUALLY make a difference instead of just delaying the inevitable backlash from the MY FREEDOMS crowd.  Needless to say, it has been a rough three months and having Sonic back is certainly something I’m happy for to distract me from the horrors of the world even if we’re still stuck in the Zombot arc which frankly feels a bit TOO relevant considering the way the world has changed but I’m frankly too exhausted to get mad at it anymore.  At least I HOPE it’s not bad enough for me to get mad at it again!  Is this issue a fun and fulfilling distraction that gets us closer to the end of the arc, or will I be begging them to wrap this nonsense up now more than ever?  Let’s find out!!

Where we last left our heroes, they were in the midst of a massive guerrilla attack on the Deadly Six who have taken the Chaos Emeralds for themselves and are underway in taking over the Zombot blighted world.  Amy and Tails got the emerald held by Zomom which went well enough, but despite Cream and Gemerl getting Zeena’s emerald as well, they were essentially lost in the battle.  This issue covers the rest of the teams getting their emeralds so thankfully they aren’t mercilessly dragging these fights out like I had feared, and for the most part, they’re fun little action set pieces with a variety of tactics and character moments.  First up is Silver and Whisper taking on Zor; the resident Goth of the Deadly Six.  Zor is fast and it’s taking all of Silver’s power just to keep him occupied while Whisper and her Wisp buddies set the trap.  Apparently, Whisper’s gun fires a REFRACTABLE beam of energy, and so the wisps surround Zor holding crystals to essentially encase him a flurry of lasers; one of which hitting the Chaos Emerald and detaches it from him.  Without missing a beat, Silver grabs the emerald and takes them all back through the portal to Angel Island; leaving Zor to his fate that he seems a little TOO pleased about.

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“Gosh, why didn’t I just lose in the first place!?  This is WAY better than enslaving the world!”

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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #27

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

Welp!  They’ve finally done it!  After months of repetitive drama and convoluted storylines clogging up this series, we FINALLY have an issue that I didn’t hate!  Sure there’s a bit of bitter irony in the fact that this series finally decided to lighten up a bit at the same time the world decided to turn into a nightmare (I give it six months before Death Stranding’s science fiction becomes more than speculative), but how have they managed to put a smile on my face after spending this much time so firmly hitched to the Walking Dead bandwagon?  Did they finally realize their error and went off in an entirely new direction, or have they found an angle within this miserable story arc that actually had some appeal to me?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with Tails and Amy working their butts off to outsmart, or at least outrun, their chosen Zeti opponent Zomom who is proving to be more difficult than they were anticipating.  It’s a fine chase with a few good twists and turns but I’m not too keen on the constant big foolish fat guy jokes, though I guess IDW has to work with what Sonic Team gives them and it’s not like Zomom showed much depth of character when he was swinging that hoagie around in Sonic Lost World.

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This guy has even less dignity than The Greedy from that Raggedy Ann movie.  At least that dude could sing!

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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #26

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

Are we still in the Zombot story arc?  Yup!  Do we now have to fight the Zeti who are showing up at the last minute?  Yup!  Do I still not particularly care about this story; especially since we’ve been dealing with it for so long now?  YUP!!  Is it better than the Sonic movie?  Well… we’ll have to see about that.  Let’s get started!!

The issue begins with Eggman and Tails using their Smart Brain powers to cobble together a multi-teleportation device using the Warp Topaz that they… “borrowed” from Dr. Starline who is shall we say… temporally displaced at the moment.  The master plan here, which I can only assume (and hope) is the final confrontation of this arc, is to battle with the Zeti to get back the chaos emeralds so that Sonic can go SUPER SONIC which will wipe out the Zombot virus… somehow.  I don’t know, they’re the Chaos Emeralds!  You could tell me they can bake a perfect soufflé and it’d be far from the least believable or most outlandish power we’ve seen them have!  Speaking of which, why doesn’t Knuckles protect them as well as the Master Emerald?  What, keeping an eye on the BIG rock takes up so much time and energy that he can’t look after the little ones too!?

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“Oh will you relax?  Worst case scenario, we’d just us the Chaos Emeralds to wish for a new island!”     “THAT’S NOT HOW CHAOS EMERALDS WORK!”     “Jeez, Knuckles!  When did you become so cynical?”

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Super Comics: Tangle & Whisper – #4

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Tangle & Whisper 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

And so we come to the final issue of the Tangle & Whisper series; also known as THE ONLY THING KEEPING THE SONIC COMIC RELEVANT WHILE THEY LABORIOUSLY WORK THEIR WAY THROUGH A DULL AND DERIVATIVE ZOMBIE STORY.  It’s a much more descriptive title to be sure, but I don’t think they had enough room to put it on the cover so they went with the shorter one.  It’s definitely been a fantastic ride as each issue showed us more and more of Whisper’s backstory as well as the growing relationship between her and Tangle which I hope to see more of in the future, but for now we’re here to see how it all comes to an end with their final confrontation against that jerk Mimic!  Will it be a satisfying end to a fantastic mini-series, or will the culmination of Whisper’s story arc end in a disappointing fizzle rather than a satisfying bang? Let’s find out!!

The issue begins on a quiet yet intense moment with our heroes preparing for the coming confrontation on the remains of Whisper’s home from long ago.  Tangle is keeping a watchful eye out for Mimic’s arrival while Whisper steels her nerves for the battle ahead; adjusting her weapons and ensuring their effectiveness as a way to pass the time which seems to stand still in the middle of this quiet ocean base.  By the way, if the MGS references weren’t obvious enough with the one female sniper in this series being named after both female snipers from that series, the base in question looks suspiciously like a stripped down Mother Base.  Someone’s certainly a Kojima fan, and I’m bracing myself now for the scene where Whisper has one of those wisps inside a giant test tube strapped to her chest.

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“GAH!  IT’S METAL SPHERE!”     “Metal Sphere?”     “The deadliest and roundest weapon in Eggman’s Army!”     “Eggman’s Army?”     “Okay, are going to repeat EVERYTHING I say?”     “Everything you say?”

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Super Comics: Tangle & Whisper – #3

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Tangle & Whisper 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

We’re back with another issue of the GOOD Sonic series!  Okay, that’s a bit harsh as the main Sonic book has been fine if overly repetitive, but there’s zero doubt as to which one of these I look more forward to reading when they come out because in the scant few issues we’ve gotten so far, they’ve given these two a lot of characterization and pathos which I find WAY more interesting than yet another zombie drama.  With only two issues left to go (they REALLY need to make this a regular book once their done with the mini-series!), does this offshoot of the new era of Sonic Comics continue to impress?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with Whisper finally telling us about her TRAGIC BACKSTORY which involves her former mercenary group.  Those were the good ol’ days where committing war crimes was an activity best shared with friends!  Hey, they’re the one’s calling themselves mercenaries and remember that Mimic had that giant knife in the first issue!  These guys must have gotten up to some SERIOUS BUSINESS!

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“Have you heard of the Eggman Nuclear Weapon Program?”     “The what?”     “Exactly.  Billions of lives saved and only nine dead scientests.”     “Wait, WHAT!?”

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