Momentum! Plot momentum! It’s not a huge amount, but by the end of the sixth issue of IDW’s Sonic The Hedgehog it feels as if things are finally phasing out of the introductory stage-setting we’re felt trapped in.
There’s still the “Sonic meets a familiar character and there’s a long conversation establishing his relationship to them” formula that’s been a recurring trope throughout the issues at play. But what writer Ian Flynn does here is place the emphasis on Sonic and Shadow’s relationship in the wider context of Mr. Tinker/Eggman problem that has suddenly cropped up. It helps showcase the two very different sides of the debate that is happening; but also hints to a much more complex relationship between Shadow and Sonic.
Flynn manages to provide more depth to Sonic in this issue in a similar vein to the earlier issues. Sonic is now leaning towards the idea that Mr. Tinker is now a reformed person who has no memory of the acts that he did as Eggman; opposing Shadow’s view of his past actions still need to be accounted for. It’s a viewpoint that you’d assumed that Sonic would hold, but this nicer version of Sonic is a lot more inviting to explore.
As with other characters, it’s easy to compare these interpretations with the stock versions we’ve been witnessed to in the past. But with the added element of many years of history; many years of development have given Shadow and Sonic a dynamic that feels weathered and tense. Last issue it was commented that it’s worrying that more familiar elements are being introduced, but here they feel like they’re finally clicking things into place.
The “twist”, if you can call it that, of Rouge the Bat being the one to have found Mr. Tinker and informed Chaotix about them connects what appears to be loose threads together; and shows us a brief insight into Rogue as a character. It isn’t loads, but it’s enough.
But after not dragging it out too much, we’re left with the final frame hook that perhaps Mr. Tinker is a doppelganger. Which is the hook that this story needs to venture the story into a direction that’s a little more… appealing and raises many questions to answer.
Sonic the Hedgehog #6 is now available from IDW Publishing.