We’re back again with another review of IDW’s ongoing Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, this time brought to us by writer Evan Stanley and artist Adam Bryce Thomas. We’re more or less out of the Imposter Syndrome arc now, and today’s issue gives us a new direction to follow, even if it’s directly following up to what we just had. Grab your chili dogs, because it’s time to see what the creatives over on Sonic have for us this time.
The issue’s central character is, of course, new fan favorite Surge the Tenrec, following up directly from her revealed survival last issue. We get a lot of meat on the bones with her this time, as she bounces off a lot of the core cast of the comic throughout. Stanley really builds her up as a menacing threat here, giving her power-up after power-up and menacing more of the characters on her warpath of revenge against Sonic himself. It works very effectively, and it’s cool seeing other characters pulling clever new tricks not possible in something like the games (such as stacking Wisp powers – really cool idea). We also get a follow up to Sonic and Surge’s big fight in issue #50, with Sonic picking right up where he left off in trying to snark her into a peaceful resolution. Lots of fun stuff happened in this one, and it feels like a natural continuation of the previous story.
Surge gets a lot of character stuff to chew on here, and Stanley does a fantastic job writing her. Her Starline hallucination has a lot to dissect and speculate on in particular, and makes you wonder if this is a side effect of his hypnosis, her trauma, her new power-up frying her brain, or a little bit of all of it mixed together. Seeing her go on a total warpath is awesome, too – somebody almost as equally fast and powerful as Sonic totally cutting loose and causing mayhem is a ton of fun to see in action, and it also serves as a great showcase of where she and the Blue Blur differ. Kit is also pretty interesting here too, now switching his dedication over to Sonic himself after thinking he lost Surge. It remains to be seen where this is going to go when he actually gets to the front line of the fight, but I’m tantalized by the possibilities.
The art is fantastic too, but that’s Adam Bryce Thomas for you. The guy’s a master of his craft, and always has some of the best panel layouts and fight choreography this book ever sees. The fight between Whisper and Surge in particular had some STUNNING manga-esque action, it really impressed me. This might actually be one of Thomas’ best issues in his whole history of drawing Sonic, and I do not say that lightly.
I had a lot of fun with Sonic the Hedgehog #53. I love Surge and how she’s written and portrayed here, as Stanley naturally picks her up and places her in the lead role for this story like she’d been the one writing her this whole time. The potential drama from Kit’s dependency taking a new nasty turn, and Surge’s increasingly unstable behavior leaves us with so much cool stuff to explore in the coming issues. I think this comic really does prove how worthy a villain Surge is – she has real star power as a primary threat. The art was great and super fluid and dynamic, just what you want to see in an action-heavy story, genuinely some of the best I’ve seen from this comic overall. You knocked it out of the park again, guys. Way past cool.
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