We’re back again with another issue of IDW’s ongoing Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, this time with another entry in the Surge story arc. This one is brought to us by the ever talented Evan Stanley, handling both the writing and half the art duties, which are shared with the also talented Natalie Haines. Lots of fun stuff in this one, so let’s get into it, shall we?
SPOILERS AHEAD for Sonic the Hedgehog #54!
The plot picks up from where we left off, with Surge having acquired the power of the Wisps via stealing them from Whisper, and she’s making quite effective use of them too. Her fight with Sonic here taking a much more center stage focus than their first round of duking things out back in the milestone issue #50, with the blue blur actually on the defensive this time. There’s a few fun twists and turns, like Sonic attempting to use his experience with Wisp powers as an advantage…only for things to backfire and drive our heroes further and further into a corner. It takes some smarts from Tails and Kit’s sudden intervention to put a pause on the fight, ultimately ending things in a semi-stalemate with Kit running back off to join Surge, tragically negating the slow healing process he began in the previous few issues. All pretty fast paced and fun stuff, snappily paced and leaving little time to catch your breath (in a good way).
The characterization is really great here, especially on Surge. Stanley really nails her character, in both writing and visuals. It’s honestly hard to believe she wasn’t the one writing her from the start – she gives Surge a lot of especially vicious and tortured traits that feel entirely at home with the characterization Ian Flynn previous established. The maniacal, wild expressions perfectly show off her arrogant personality here, only heightened since growing more and more powerful. Kit’s heel turn back to Surge after finding out she was still alive was predictable, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. It gives his character an even more tragic quality, rejecting genuine help for an attachment far more unhealthy and self-destructive. It’s a nice inversion of how Tails views Sonic as his personal hero, twisted around into something more obsessive and insecure. Of course Sonic and Tails (and the other cast members) themselves are also as consistent as they usually are in these books, so nothing to complain about there.
The art is really good as expected, with Stanley herself doing a lot of it. She’s always had a great sense of expression to her work, and the rounded edges look fantastic as always. Haines’ few pages are noticeable, but not in a bad way. They pull some good composition and poses to the characters, making the transition from Stanley’s art feel seamless. Reggie Graham’s coloring does a lot of legwork here though, with an honestly fantastic job being done in picking the right tones for the right scenes. The colors pop super nicely, and complement the art extremely well.
Overall, Sonic the Hedgehog #54 is really damn good. Sonic comics tend to be really damn good, but this one didn’t really even have anything nitpick worthy or many outright flaws that I can speak of. I’m really loving all the attention this duo is getting – they’re a very refreshing pair of characters that give the book something unique and interesting for villains. I hope that with how much more development they continue to get, they just might cross the media boundary into some games like other IDW characters have.
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