IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog series continues to impress as it maintains a desire to diffuse its expansive universe with an underlying thread of peril that is quite epic. A common thread of the early reviews were the balance the series has when juggling its wide ensemble, but the last few episodes began to demonstrate that its isolationist policy of keeping a few characters to an issue may work in its favour.
This issue, subtitled ‘Crisis City, Part One’ feels as if it’s beginning to wrap up the zombot virus arc by having Sonic circle back into the orbit of Shadow. Sonic actively fights the virus and is finding it more difficult to help people yet he keeps trying, whilst Shadow is more concerned with claiming that Sonic not putting an end to Tinker created this mess.
“Cowards run. I win.” Shadow states this as Sonic has to keep running off the virus, and the flipside of the morality spectrum that the hedgehogs lie on is again explored. They both have the same end goal: finish it, but with different viewpoints of how to actually do that.
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Also stated in earlier reviews is how Sonic as a character has developed alongside different reboots. There are some adaptations where Sonic’s cockiness makes him practically unlikeable, but it’s not here in this version. It does appear to have translated itself into Shadow – as he runs in with the belief that he can’t be infected due to the whole “ultimate lifeform” thing.
It backfires as it leads him to end up being infected and gearing up for the next issue that promises a Sonic/Shadow fight. There’s plenty of set-up here, reminding us as an audience of how Sonic and Shadow operate leading to another excuse for them to battle.
It may sound like a little moan, but it’s tied into this series’ annoyingly great habit of its cliffhangers being great. So far the streak of knowing when and how to hook the reader for the next issue continues to work well, and maintains the pace over the wait for the next instalment.
Sonic the Hedgehog #19 from IDW is available digitally and from comic stores.