Back again with a review for IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog ongoing comic series, and this time it’s the big milestone #50! Written by Ian Flynn with art by Adam Bryce Thomas, we have quite the powerhouse creative team for Sonic this month. Not only are we celebrating a massive accomplishment in hitting such a great unbroken streak of issues, but we’re concluding the highly anticipated Imposter Syndrome story arc, which was started back in… well, the Imposter Syndrome mini-series. Grab a chili dog, because it’s time to see if this lived up to all that hype.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Sonic the Hedgehog #50!
The plot expects that you’ve already read Imposter Syndrome and have been following along, so if you haven’t, you’re probably going to be extremely lost on whats about to go down here. That is something I have to mark down as an unfortunate but necessary evil in this case, since it wouldn’t feel natural trying to cram a whole mini-series worth of exposition into one book and still tell a satisfying story.
That all aside, if you have been keeping in the know, this was a great payoff to all that buildup. We get the anticipated battle between Sonic and Tails and their darker counterparts Surge and Kit, and their interactions are masterfully fun and sound completely natural. Flynn’s doing great work here with each character, their individual strengths all shining very brightly. The book also goes out of its way to comment on the ongoing and long-running controversy that’s plagued this run from the start: Sonic’s refusal to kill his enemies. Now, Flynn’s unfortunately had to address this before, but he still does a good job laying it all out here. It goes to show just how well he knows this character in particular, as every bit of Sonic’s outlook and personality feels completely spot-on and organic.
Of course, the real focus of the issue is more about the fight between Starline and Dr. Eggman. That does make sense, since it has been Starline’s plan this whole time that got us to this point, and it is really cool to see the two mad doctors exchange blows (both in the physical sense and in the strategic). I do wish we got a bit more time to see the Sonic/Tails vs. Surge/Kit confrontation though, since most of the action action feels focused on Eggman, which while cool, might have been a slightly misdirected priority.
Surge and Kit themselves didn’t get as much as I would have hoped for, but we do get some further insight into their personalities and outlooks following the miniseries. Kit being agreeable with Tails at first was pretty heartwarming, and a good showcase of Tails’s kindness itself. Sonic and Surge obviously didn’t get along quite as well, with Sonic trying his best to appeal to Surge’s goodness, only to be met with anger, very similar to other past rivals. It was good to see how the doppelgängers bounced off the originals, and it gave a deeper understanding into who they might have been before being re-programmed by Starline. I also liked that they both fought on mostly even ground with the original duo. The fight with Metal Sonic last issue led me to initially believe that they’d fall short a bit, so I’m happy to say I was proven wrong.
The art was fantastic in this issue, with Adam Bryce Thomas doing fantastic work alongside Matt Herms, Heather Breckel, and Reggie Graham on colors. The detail of the line art is superb, and the layouts of the panels make every page flow beautifully. Almost every page has something really cool to look at, or just an interesting bit of composition to really sink your teeth into, especially during the mecha battle between giant Egg Robots. Thomas is great at being detailed and expressive; his stuff always has a good sense of weight to it that makes the characters feel alive even if they’re literal cartoons.
Sonic the Hedgehog #50 is a really solid milestone issue. There were a few missed opportunities here and there, like not giving as much time to the originals vs. doppelgängers showdown. As much as I like what was done with Eggman and Starline here, I wish we got a couple more pages dedicated to seeing counterparts duke it out (I mean c’mon, how often do we get Tails vs. Evil Tails, y’know?). Still, we got a lot of great character stuff here, and plenty of it I glossed over or outright didn’t mention, which means you’re just gonna have to pick up the book yourself to see! It was a great time though, and definitely felt like a worthy event to celebrate such a huge occasion. Hats off, Sonic Comic Creative Team – way past cool.
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