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) – #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) – #36

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 for another ironically late recap for a comic about a character is super-fast!  Now that the Bad Guys mini-series is complete and we know how Dr. Starline survived to the end of that, we can focus on what he plans to do now that he has tails and Rouge in his grasp!  Will he succeed in his latest scheme, whatever that happens to be, and will this mini-story arc come to a satisfying conclusion?  Let’s find out!!

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The issue begins with Starline basking in his own genius at stealing The Green Goblin’s idea from the first Spider-Man movie; namely to make the hero choose between their duty to the innocent and the safety of their friends!  If Sonic and Shadow don’t go stop that avalanche he caused, the Chateau is going to be destroyed along with everyone inside!  Naturally Sonic decides to save the people, but Shadow being the paragon of ambivalence towards good and evil doesn’t take a second look backwards as he stomps his way towards Starline.  Gotta say, as much as I’ve found Shadow to be an unbearable and cringy bore in every other piece of Sonic media, I think the writing for him has bene top notch and gives a bit of depth to a character that only exists to be everything Sonic is not.  He’s not happy go lucky, he doesn’t make friends, he’s just dark and brooding.  However, this gives him a bit more personality to work with and his single minded pursuit of Starline for humiliating him earlier in this arc feels quite genuine nad in its own way kind of engaging.

“’Sealed my fate’?  Where’d you get that one from; the back of a Twilight book?”     “DO NOT MOCK WHAT YOU FAIL TO COMPREHEND!”     “Whatever, you wannabe Vegeta.”
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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) – Annual 2019 & Tangle and Whisper #0

STHIDWANNUAL19-0

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 even MORE Sonic the Hedgehog, because I guess it wasn’t enough to get that terrible trailer; they had to release not one but TWO issues of the comic two days later!  Not only that but the one we’ll be looking at today is an Annual which is a series of short stories that is twice as long as a standard issue, and if that wasn’t enough there’s ANOTHER issue coming out next week!  That’s about four issues worth of comics in only two weeks which is great for most people out there, but now I’ve quadrupled my workload all at once!  If you have any tiny violins in your immediate vicinity I would recommend playing a sad song for me and my misfortunes.  ANYWAY!  Does the first Annual of the IDW series manage to knock it out of the park, or does the short story format (reminiscent of the early Sonic Archie comics) end up hampering their ability to tell decent stories?  Let’s find out!!

Our first story begins with what I can only assume is a preview of the Tangle/Whisper miniseries as the latter visits the former in her home town.  I can only ASSUME this is the same village as the one from issue 4, but they don’t bother to clarify this in the story itself, and I guess I COULD take this time to once again say how nice it’d be if they would establish some key locations to make the world feel real and to give some degree of stakes to Eggman’s rampant destruction, but I’m pretty sure I’ve already beaten that dead horse a few times already.  That, and they do a good job fleshing out the interplay between Tangle and Whisper so I guess I can’t complain too much when they’re at least giving me that.

STHIDWANNUAL19-1
“If I open both of my eyes all of existence will cease to be, and you just inadvertently opened one of them.”     “Are you… are you serious?”     “No, I just don’t want you to hug me.”

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