Super Comics: Sonic Imposter Syndrome – #4

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.

“Somebody ring up Reverse-Flash, Zoom, and that guy with the freeze ray.”     “Sir, I keep telling you that the CW isn’t-”     “YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH AND DO AS YOU’RE TOLD!!”
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Super Comics: Sonic Imposter Syndrome – #3

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

This mini-series has been one of the best things we’ve gotten from the Sonic comics in quite some time as it has genuinely interesting characters with a sense of depth to them that leaves the rest of the cast looking like paper cutouts. I’m guessing at least some of that has to do with this series focusing entirely on original characters and not SEGA mascots, but whatever the reason is I’ve found myself looking forward to these issues more than anything in the main series; and that includes the Chaotix finally getting a story arc! Was that anticipation worth it for this third installment, or will I be rushing back to Sonic by the time we’re done? Let’s find out!!

Right off the bat, this issue gets dark as we watch a series of video diaries from Dr. Starline where we hear his unfiltered thoughts and see the depths of his cruelty. His rage at Eggman is uncomfortably apparent at the start only to be tamped down by his insistence on self-control which is probably good for his blood pressure but not so much for Kitsunami and Surge who are in fact watching these videos along with us. Whatever these two may have done or the toxicity of their relationship, you can’t help but feel for them as they watch the one person they know in this world calmly talk about them as pawns in a game they are forced to participate in.

See, this is why you don’t watch drama channels. You just get all worked up with nowhere to direct that negative energy!
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Super Comics: Sonic Imposter Syndrome – #2

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

We’re back with another issue of one of the many Sonic mini-series that IDW has put out since they started the main series! For the most part, they’ve proven to be fertile ground to test new ideas and get a tad bit daring with things that perhaps wouldn’t fly as well with the SEGA branded characters, and so far this series has proven to be no exception to that rule! After such a fantastic first issue, can they hope to follow it up with something just as good; or perhaps even better!? Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with the “final test” that Dr. Starline alluded to at the end of the last issue; the one that he had to use his Hypnotic Glove Powers to convince Surge and Kitsunami to go along with. Still, the not-so-good Doctor is perhaps overestimating his ability to control the situation as Surge has been difficult to control and this mission doesn’t exactly play to her strengths. The three are infiltrating an Eggman base to take it over with as little fuss as possible which means Starline is going to upload a bug in the mainframe that will somehow give him full control of the base while the other two take out the comms tower to prevent an alert from being sent to Eggman. Of course, having one of your facilities go offline seems about as suspicious as a blaring an alarm would be, but who even knows what Eggman pays attention to on a day-to-day basis? Heck, he’s probably still playing around with his VR headset from the last time we saw him! What this mini-series has done so well is to explore both Surge and Kitsunami as genuinely flawed characters that don’t feel limited by the brand. I can’t say exactly how stringent SEGA has been with the content of the IDW books, but it definitely feels like the original characters have much more room to emote and feel negative emotions which is far more compelling than Sonic’s usual TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL attitude. Surge is both sympathetic and despicable as her entire existence is just to be a tool for Starline but she lashes out at Kitsunami who is just as trapped as she is. It makes the journey more interesting if a character already has flaws that simply switching sides wouldn’t fix and at this point, it could easily go either way whether she and Kit will stay evil or eventually see the light.

“I’m the Vegeta in this situation and you’re, AT BEST, a Krillin. Do we understand each other!?”     “Actually I see myself as more of a Gohan-”     “WHAT WAS THAT!?”     “Nothing!”
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Super Comics: Sonic Imposter Syndrome – #1

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

Comic book continuity is a truly terrifying thing and probably why all those Marvel characters are much more popular in movies and TV shows than they are in the comics themselves.  I’m been following IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog series since it launched, and even I find myself having trouble keeping up with everything.  Granted, there’s a much smaller ecosystem for keeping in the loop of individual comic issues than for blockbuster movies, but I didn’t realize there was a new mini-series out until fairly recently; and don’t even get me started on that 30th Anniversary thing!  Clearly, there are some changes I need to make in how I keep up to date on these things, but regardless of all that we’ve got a new set of stories set in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe and to be honest, I’ll take any break from the lackluster Forest Fire storyline that IDW is willing to give me!  Is this the start of an exciting new chapter in the growing Sonic Universe, or are we drifting too far away from what makes the series work in the first place?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with Starline making another one of his video logs as he explains that his grand scheme is finally coming to fruition!  For months’ worth of issues, Starline has been taking steps and making moves that have slowly been moving him towards some sort of goal that we could only have speculated on before now.  That all changed after he bootlegged that code from Belle a few issues ago, and now we get to see that his ultimate plan was… knock-off Sonic and Tails clones!  Sure, we already have Metal Sonic, and I’m pretty sure that Tails Doll is around somewhere, but this is good ol’ Archie Comics cheesiness and for how short a time we have to get to know them, I think they did a GREAT job here introducing the characters and giving them well-defined personalities; particularly Surge the Tenrec who… actually, she kind of looks familiar doesn’t she?

“Original Character; Do Not Steal!”
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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #44

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’ve never been that big of a fan of the Zeti, so the prospect of another story arc focusing on them wasn’t exactly a welcome proposition.  Fortunately, after a pretty rough start, they did manage to give us something interesting in the last issue and now we’re moving on from them to the more interesting story of whatever it is Dr. Starline is up to!  Is this a great jumping off point for the new story following the solid ending to the Zeti arc, or will I be begging for them to come back by the end of this issue?  Let’s find out!!

Now I DID say we’re moving on from the Zeti but we do have a bit of cleaning up to do and some loose threads to tie up, so the issue begins with the Zeti being force marched by Tails and Sonic to return to their… actually, where are they from?  Space?  I mean they’ve got a rocket ship there, but I think it’s more like a cloud city than another planet; just a bunch of floating hexagonal islands in the sky that they somehow can’t escape from once they’re put there.  Heaven forbid they ever figure out technology like parachutes or REALLY long ladders, but in any case it seems clear that they’re not going to be a threat for a while if Serious Tails and Sassy Sonic have anything to say about it!

Not sure if this variation on Good Cop Bad Cop is gonna work. Then again, it’s not like the Zeti get due process or anything!
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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #43

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 Blue Bomber Monthly, and yes I know; this is coming out late once again.  It’s been a busy few weeks, especially with the recent AEW Pay Per View, but rest assured that I will ALWAYS find my way back to Sonic before too long!  The last issue left our heroes in quite a desperate situation with one of them kidnapped by Dr. Starline and the head of The Restoration locked in a safe room to stave off The Deadly Six! With the last episode doing a great job to build the stakes, can this issue give us a payoff that takes full advantage of that effort?  Let’s find out!!

Now I’ve accused some issues of barely moving the story forward, but this is one of the most blatant examples of that as it all takes place in one location for one fight scene; though as surprising as it may be to hear this, I think they ACTUALLY managed to make it work here!  I certainly haven’t been the kindest to the action as depicted in this series and even when it comes to this issue I will still say the artwork is a bit flat for the high octane spectacle we see, but what makes it different is that they do a darn good job of telling a compelling story throughout; not one that advances the overall narrative, but enough to keep the action interesting all the way through.  It starts where the last issue left off as Sonic had finally arrived to face off against the Deadly Six right as they’re about to break through The Restoration’s final defense; leaving him as the only one stopping them from getting to Jewel, Tangle, and Whisper inside.  Sonic needs to hold them off for as long as it takes Tails to get there with some Anti-Zeti science thingies he’s developed, and he’s gonna have to do it without backup because SOMEONE waited too long to call an Uber!

“We should have taken the train.”     “CAN IT, TRIANGLE HEAD!!”
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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #42

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

So after catching up on an issue that came out last month, I can look downright timely by reviewing an issue that’s just under a week old, right?  Sure, I like to get these things out within DAYS of their release, but with so much going on with the website (not the least of which being my WRESTLING PODCAST WHICH YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO RIGHT AFTER FINISHING THIS!), the latest issue just kinda flew under the radar for me.  I’ll make sure to do better next time (which is the same promise I made for half a dozen other projects I was working on) but for now let’s see where this whole Deadly Six storyline is going!  Do they find an interesting direction to take this storyline after the less than stellar opening chapter, or will this arc be one giant bore from start to finish?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with everyone in place for the upcoming Zeti attack as The Chaotix are in Sunset City, Tails is in Central City, and Sonic is in Winterberg; all of which are names you PROBABLY shouldn’t give to a city.  Sunset City sounds like where Michael Bay films his movies, Central City will always be a relative concept, and what the heck do you do with a town called Winterberg in the summer months?  Does it change its name to Heatville!?  Now the last issue was a lot of exposition to simply explain why characters are in certain locations without any really interesting dialogue or clear character motivations.  Right off the bat things are much better here as Tails is working on a plan to stop the Zeti when found and Sonic is in a somewhat dark mood despite doing his best to chillax before whatever big fight is upon them.  It helps with investing us in the struggle itself because of how it affects the characters who are stuck in the middle of it, and since we know things are gonna go wrong as this is all a ruse set up by the Zeti there will no doubt be some high emotional stakes once things hit the fan.

“The one thing I can’t outrun is my own hatred for the Deadly Six. It’s such a silly and awkward name too! DANG IT, they suck!”
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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #41

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

Now I reviewed the fortieth issue of this series back in June and was like, WELL THAT’S IT FOR SONIC THIS MONTH!  Little did I know that a mere ONE WEEK after that issue came out that the next issue was released, which is on me I suppose but why did IDW do that!?  We needed four months to tell the Matrix rip off story arc, but there was just no time to lose when in getting a new Zeti storyline started?  In any case, I’m here now ready to take a look at this issue and I sure as heck will be covering the next issue as well which came out only a few days ago, so look forward to that as well if you haven’t already moved on from it!  Is this the start of a fun new story arc, or are the Zeti as uninteresting here as they were when they got shoehorned into the Zombat saga?  Let’s find out!!

 The issue begins as almost all Sonic stories do with Sonic and Eggman in the latest of their battles to the death where neither side truly wins or loses for that would require altering the status quo and let’s face it; neither one of them would know what to do with themselves without the other to spur them on.  Well okay, that’s not EXACTLY what’s going on here but in my defense we’re entering this scene in-media-res and so what other conclusions are there to draw?  Eggman is ACTUALLY looking for the Zeti as Zavok attacked one of his web servers (Bad Guys Issue 3), but I’m not sure how razing a town to the ground in a giant mech is going to help him find the guy so Sonic seems well within his rights to try and stop him!

Yeah, well you didn’t stab Mr. Tinker in the head when you had the chance AND you let Metal Sonic go instead of turning him into scrap metal, so I think the chicken/egg argument here lands on YOUR tiny blue shoulders, buddy!
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Super Comics: Sonic Bad Guys – #4

Sonic Bad Guys 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

You know, I spent a good month catching up on the Sonic Comics which I felt very accomplished for doing, and then the holiday season hit which threw everything out of whack.  Now here I am a month later once again trying to polish off this backlog I’ve built for myself; not to mention trying to keep up with the new stuff and my VERY EXTENSIVE Halo Retrospective that I’d be VERY appreciative of if you gave that a look!  In any case, it’s time for me to finish what I started and bring this mini-series to a close!  Does Sonic Bad Guys finish things off with a brilliantly realized final issue or does it fail harder than Eggman fails to take over the world every other week?  Let’s find out!!

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When we last left our favorite rapscallions, they were about to swarm on Dr. Starline for his obvious betrayal.  Sadly for them, the not so good doctor has a bit of Walter White in him, and prepared a foolproof plan for this very likely scenario.  No, he doesn’t have a machine gun car ready to go.  Instead, he activates the Tri-core and bolts out of there with Sonic Super Speed, but not before giving them a taste of his awesome power!

“Lay off, bro!  He bopped me in the sok!!”
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Super Comics: Sonic Bad Guys – #3

Sonic Bad Guys 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

The last issue of the Bad Guys mini-series was a surprisingly great entry that did a lot to move the plot forward and develop these characters which needless to say means that there’s a lot to live up to in this one!  Starline remains one of the better characters in this series and it seems like IDW is heading in an interesting direction with him, but we’ve been down this road before with this character and he’s never quite lived up to his potential even at his best moments.  The same more or less holds true for the rest of the cast here as they all certainly proved themselves to be more interesting in here than in their earlier appearances, but can Ian Flynn carry this story to a satisfying conclusion or did he use his best ideas in the last issue?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with Dr. Starline in the dead of night; accessing his personal computer and recording a video diary to catalog his mischievous machinations.  I’m not sure why he would bother to keep a record of how he plans to screw over his villainous posse, especially within earshot of anyone still awake and grabbing a snack from the fridge, but then again I imagine Starline is the kind of guy who plans to sell his life story for a book deal and five part movie franchise.  Also, it all turns out to be moot because SURPRISE; it’s not actually Starline!  Mimic, with the help of Zavok, somehow managed to crack all of Starline’s security systems and know every last detail of Starline’s plan.  I can only assume that this bit of tricky with the video diary is to fabricate further evidence of his ACTUAL wrongdoing and send it to Eggman when all is said and done, but for now (and with a bit of coaxing from Zavok), they’re going to let his scheme play out until the moment they get what they want.

“You’re not going to need his body once we’re through with this, right Zavok?”     “…what?”     “Yeah, I figured if I gutted him and stuffed him, he’d make a great mantel piece back home!”     “You do you, buddy.”
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