I’m back to take a look at another issue of everybody’s favorite blue hypersonic speedster, Sonic the Hedgehog from IDW. This story is brought to us, of course, by Ian Flynn, longtime Sonic scribe who’s been with us again on the main title for the past couple months. He’s joined by a plethora of artists this time, with Jamal Peppers, Bracardi Curry, and Thomas Rothlisberger all doing pencils for this issue.
There’s not to much to go over for plot this time, as this issue is all about action, action, action. For what that’s worth, it’s pretty good action, with Flynn injecting plenty of his witty writing to keep things feeling fun and high energy. We do get a hint of what’s coming next by the end, though, with Whisper revealing to Sonic and the gang that Belle has been abducted by Dr. Starline (which happened last time) — which of course gives us our cliffhanger.
Character wise, there’s a lot more to chew on. The Deadly Six mostly act as goons this time, with Zavok getting all the real dialogue, but that’s far from a bad thing with how cool of a villain Flynn makes him out to be. He’s a cross of Bane from Batman: Knightfall and Bowser from the Mario series, properly imposing physically with good charisma, and that’s well on display here. As usual lately, Zavok has been an all around impressively done villain, and he’s slowly been climbing the latter of my favourite Sonic baddies, which I’m very happy to say about a character from a game that left a lot of fans wanting.
Things get really good when we start mixing in other characters, with Whisper the Wolf providing cover fire for Sonic from a small hole in the sealed off room they’re fighting in, and even Tails showing up near the end to secure them the win. The interactions between the heroes is always well done under Flynn, and even more so when it’s the classic duo of Sonic and Tails. He really gets what’s so great about their dynamic as a team, and they feel so naturally in tune with each other here.
The art is a big focal point obviously, with multiple people working on it. I’m not entirely sure who did what pages (the issue didn’t specify and I don’t want to randomly assign them on a hunch), but I can say that it’s a bit of a mixed bag. The whole issue is well drawn, mind you, but the first half feels noticeably less animated than the second half, with character movements and expressions feeling far less dynamic by comparison. The action choreography is pretty good at first, but definitely kicks it into high gear when Tails finally shows up and you get to see him pair off with Sonic in some combo moves.
Overall, this was actually a pretty fun one. I was a bit worried at first that the heavy action focus might detract a bit, but that wasn’t the case in the slightest. Even with the art being (in my opinion) a bit tighter in the second half, the fight scene was very well done no matter who was drawing it, and Flynn’s dialogue felt spot on as always. I really enjoyed the choreography quite a bit, and it was just fun to follow panel to panel, which is the hallmark of a very good action sequence. The coloring is bright and pops in all the right ways too, so don’t think that this one isn’t worth picking up for some minor inconsistency in style. I’d say this one is well worth the read.
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