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 the Hedgehog (IDW) – #49

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 ACTUAL Sonic comic and not a tie-in to a movie that I still haven’t seen yet. Hey, I’ll get around to it soon enough, but having moved the week it came out and with so many other movies out there, it’s kind of fallen down the priority list. This comic on the other hand, I made sure to pick up as soon as it came out to get my thoughts to you as soon as humanly possible. Admittedly not as fast as hedgehog-ly possible, but either way we are speeding towards the fiftieth issue and IDW wants to make it a big event. Does this penultimate story provide the perfect lead in to whatever Issue 50 is going to be, or will we once again be turning to the spin-offs for great comics? We’ve still got one more Imposter Syndrome is all I’m saying! Anyway, let’s find out!!

We begin the issue with Tails and Belle working on a way to turn Badniks into Good-niks (which is one step above a Beatnik), and while I could focus on the morally questionable aspect of rewriting the code of a seemingly sentient race of machines (*cough* Mass Effect 2 *cough*), I think the more immediate concern is Sonic. He’s there to serve as bait for the Badniks once the brain-worm signal is emitted, and he seems to be taking his job perhaps a bit too seriously…

“Oh my, the very THOUGHT of a badnik getting the best of little ol’ me sends chills up my spine! It would just be SO NAUGHTY if one of you were to try and overpower me”     “Yeah, take it down a notch, buddy. Also, what’s wrong with your hands? Did you buy skintight gloves for this?”
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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – The Official Movie Pre-Quill

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 all remember that Sonic movie from a few years ago! You know, the one that came out right before the world ended? I mean, I thought it was just kind of okay, but it looks like we’re getting a sequel and that means more merchandise! I still have a drink topper from the first film that was based on the original design for Sonic (the nightmare never ends in this house), but perhaps a full-on prequel comic book would be a more fulfilling endeavor. Oh wait, they spelled it Pre-Quill, so perhaps not. Still, if you’re gonna get a team to make fluff like this, you might as well hire the experienced people behind the IDW comics and maybe they can bring a little something extra to this oversized advertisement! Let’s find out!!

Our first story titled Hedgehog Day Afternoon involves Sonic the Hedgehog feeling bored and wandering around town until he hears about a bank robbery only a few hundred miles away. I’m not sure what makes him think he’s qualified to be a superhero or why he would want to be one in the first place. Perhaps he’s seen Iron Man one too many times and fancies himself a little blue Tony Stark. In any case, he rushes over there to find the thieves underway and the hostages compliant, so naturally he wants to turn it into a big mess and is still workshopping his hero name.

“Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answers to.”    “So that’s a yes?”    “IT’S A FREE COUNTRY!!”
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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 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.”
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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 the Hedgehog (IDW) – #47

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.

Tangle would go missing three months later after a failed attempt to take a modified bottle rocket to the moon.
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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) – #46

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 more Sonic-less action as the girl’s trip story arc (for lack of a better term) is in full swing with tense social interactions, lots of unprocessed emotions, and a camping trip where no one remembered to bring a Nintendo Switch!  The last issue was somewhat of a disappointment for me as I’ve been waiting for something like this that focused on the characters and their relationships, but that IS technically what we’re doing here, it was mostly a miserable slog as no one was happy and Amy’s efforts went unappreciated.  Was it all necessary setup for an interesting story told over the next few issues, or is it going right back to Sonic Comic tropes after a brief dalliance with character growth?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins where the last one left off; A RAGING INFERNO CREATING CHAOS, THREATENING LIVES, AND CREATING AN ENVIRONMENTAL CATASTROPHE!  Boy is it fun to escape from the real world for a minute by enjoying a story about fantasy creatures and robots that in NO WAY reflects the struggles we currently face!  Alright, that’s a bit of a stretch as I don’t think Eggman has tried to create a hole in the Ozone layer (at least not yet) and the previous issue DID say that the area was dry because of the after effects of the Zombot virus.  Not that an out of control virus causing wide spread systemic issues is in ANY WAY RELATABLE EITHER, but regardless of all that, Belle is still out there and has only just woken up to see half the forest in flames.  She herself would have been the victim of its wrath if not for the Badnik that she ran into (head first) at the end of the last issue who had protected all but her hand from burning to a crisp.  It appears to be one of those GOOD bad-guys, not unlike Belle herself, and the pair is eventually found by Tangle who’s on the hunt for the kid who wandered into the woods at the end of the last issue.

“Turns out I’m a cybernetic organism and this wood puppet shtick is just for show.” “Yeah… Remind me not to ask you to arm wrestle.”
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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #45

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

With dangerous pocket dimensions, ferocious Zeti attacks, and a maniacal Dr. Starline running around, I think we could all use a little bit of time away from all this chaos and property damage!  Thankfully it looks like we’ll be getting a nice road trip story with some of the Sonic crew which should be a good chance to recharge all of our batteries before facing down the next big threat!  Will this be a road trip to remember like A Goofy Movie, or will we be begging for it to end like Addams Family 2?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with Amy driving up to Tails house which for some reason is shaped like his head which doesn’t look very roomy but I guess he used SCIENCE to make it bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.  The reason she’s there, aside from marveling at the goofiness of the architecture, is to get a bunch of camping supplies because she and the other prominent members of the female cast are going on a trip to unwind after the half a dozen or so apocalypses they’ve had to overcome in the last forty-four issues.  I really like the way these characters interact in this scene; very familiar and jovial with a hint of snark from Sonic (obviously) and I’m glad that we are taking time to wind between major storylines.  It’d be nice to see what they are fighting to protect rather than just seeing the constant fight.

“Sora’s FINALLY in Smash and we have to play it!” “You weren’t this excited when I got in.” “Are we really gonna do this now?”
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