Hello once again my fellow speedster enthusiasts! You guys enjoy Sonic Prime? I sure did, having just finished the current crop of episodes at time of writing. But I digress. It’s been a great year for our favorite blue boy, huh? And the good times keep on coming with the newest issue of IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog: Scrapnik Island. Written by Daniel Barnes with art team Jack Laurence and Nathalie Fourdraine, this book is easily one of the most exciting things coming out comics-side for Sonic right now. I’ve certainly been loving it anyway (and you know I’m picky – I’m a Sonic fan), so I’m excited to dive into this issue and talk about how this mini-series is doing this time.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Sonic the Hedgehog: Scrapnik Island #3!
Right away there’s a lot going on here, with the tone swinging fully from unsettling undertones to (family-friendly) horror. Mecha Sonic’s old programming awakened, and he’s gone full mad scientist in his own right. Meanwhile, Tails and the scrapniks creep around the Death Egg like it’s a Resident Evil game, certainly giving off that horror vibe more overtly now. Mecha really pushes that home with his creepy mad doctor act (chip off the ol’ block I guess), and now he’s got Sonic hooked up to some device doing…. something. Not really sure what the implication is there. Maybe he wants to copy Sonic’s memories (ala the Sonic OVA) or fight him in a mindscape? Not entirely sure to be honest, but I guess we’ll find out next time. Evil Mecha suddenly surfacing from deep within is a good plot twist, but I do hope this isn’t a permanent reversion. I was actually really starting to like this reformed version of him (as were other fans as far as I can tell), so it would be a shame for his story to end here. Maybe there’s still something deeper going down on with him, who knows? I’m excited to find out, though.
Characterization all around is still solid, but again, Mecha Sonic is really the one stealing the whole show this issue. It feels like such an inversion of what we’ve come to see from him in the last two issues, a characterization more subdued and stoic that really struck a chord with his rustic redesign that gave him a good sense of presence. Mad Scientist Mecha is certainly an interesting spin on the idea of Eggman programming resurfacing, and I believe the stark contrast in personality is meant to emphasize Sigma’s point about this not being the real him. I want to say this is all leading somewhere interesting, and I hope I’m right about that. If I could offer a minor criticism though, this issue made me think Sonic might be a little too subdued in characterization throughout this book. I understand he’s a bit spooked and anxious to get out of here (and has been here and there so far in this series), but I think a bit more snark could go a long way. Granted, he’s still written well; just some food for thought.
The art continues its streak of being high quality and some of the best in Sonic comics right now. The atmosphere is immaculate, from the bright, innocent looking surface of the island to the creepy, run down Death Egg. Everything just clicks to give any scene the right tone. And of course the posing and layouts are just as good as they’ve been this whole series, so I won’t prattle on.
Sonic the Hedgehog: Scrapnik Island #3 is another really good issue, though I do worry if this will stick the landing. The Mecha Sonic twist was a pretty unexpected turn. I did always think his glitching was going to lead to some lashing out, but I never would have guessed this is where it would lead. I want to reserve judgment until the final issue is out, but regardless, everything here was done well to its intention. I think Barnes is a very capable writer for Sonic, and even after this mini is over, I’d love to see him write more. He’s got some really cool, out there ideas, and I’m super all for that going forward. That’s all I have to say for now – pick it up and enjoy the ride. Gotta speed, keeds.
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