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 the Hedgehog (IDW) – #40

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, and considering how busy the last month has been it feels like an ETERNITY since we last got an issue; especially since they aren’t running a miniseries parallel with the main book at the moment.  Seriously IDW, we need a second book in this universe; not just four issues here and there of a side story!  They certainly tend to be more entertaining than the main story line which has more room to drag things out (*cough* Metal Virus *cough*), but perhaps this issue will bring the latest story to a satisfying end instead of leaving us hanging for another month or two.  Do Sonic and pals manage to escape from Eggman’s evil machinations once again, and more importantly do the writers find a way to make it fun and interesting?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with Sonic, Tails, and Amy, being menaced in the virtual world by Eggman’s latest machines.  It probably seemed like a good idea at the time to send the Rock Paper Scissors of elemental robots to cover all your bases, but Sonic has SOMEHOW found the flaw in this and uses his super speed to trick the robots into attacking each other.  Come on Eggman, that’s Speedster 101 stuff!  Normally I find the action in these comics perfectly suitable if a bit dull, but sadly I have to be a bit harsher than usual because the artwork on the first few pages looks PRETTY bad here with a lot of flat color and off looking characters.  The art is done by people who have worked on this comic many times before and it’s DRASTICALLY improved by the tenth or so page, so the only thing I can conclude is that there must be some sort of schedule issue that left some of the pages somewhat unfinished and it’s a bit of an eye sore because of that.

“Oh no! We’re using up too much processing power that Eggman had to downgrade the graphics!” “That’s like… the OPPOSITE of way past cool!” “Sure Sonic, whatever you say.”
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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #39

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 next issue is finally here, and not to sound ungrateful or anything but does anyone know why this took so long to come out?  It was originally scheduled for the end of March but we’re just getting it now a month and a half later without any explanation from IDW; at least not as far as I can find!  Oh who am I kidding, whether it’s one month, two months, or TWELVE months, I’ll be here all the same to tell you all about it, so let’s not waste any more time and jump right it!

Since it’s been an eternity since the last issue, a bit of a recap!  Sonic, Tails, and Amy went to some sort of Eggman outpost in the middle of the ocean that seems to have been causing weather issues, but instead of finding some sort of doomsday device they tumble head first into a pocket dimension of sorts that looks to be a testing area for Eggman to work out the kinks on his new robot designs.  Unbeknownst to everyone though, Belle managed to convince Tangle to follow them and they arrived shortly after to find the place crawling with badniks and no Team Sonic to be found.  This issue picks things up with Tangle and Belle having stumbled upon the disturbing world of Pokémon Bootlegs as Eggman’s robo-bros are sending whatever horrific creatures they can after Sonic and his friends in their little pocket dimension.  Truly the most sinister thing about the Egg Empire!

Half Ekans, half Scyther, ALL terrifying!!
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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #38

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

Things certainly got a bit out of hand around here as I’m still reeling from moving places a week ago, and in these uncertain times it’s always good to look at the constants in our life to keep us grounded!  For me it’s wrestling shows and Sonic the Hedgehog comics, so it’s a perfect time for IDW’s latest issue to come out now that things are starting to settle, but will they follow up the last issue with an interesting story that dovetails with Belle the Puppet’s mysterious past, or would I rather be hauling even more boxes up staircases than seeing where this story goes?  Let’s find out!!

We begin the issue with Sonic, Tails, and Amy falling through an infinite void of bizarre geometry with no clear direction or any real way to control it.  No, they didn’t find their way into Sonic R, but the whole place definitely gives off an incomplete video game level vibe as it appears to be some sort of pocket dimension that Eggman uses to test whatever his latest Sonic Killing devices are, and probably a lot of other things that I don’t particularly care to think about…

“There’s a door over there labeled Punishment Room. I wonder what’s in there?” “You know Tails, I’d rather not find out…”
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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 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 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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