Genuine surprise is what’s happening at the moment with IDW’s Sonic The Hedgehog in that the Zombot arc is still going on and any hint that we’re reaching the endgame throws in other complications to extend the story. With this issue, we’re beginning another mini-arc where we’ll be seeing what individual characters have been doing over the same time period.
There’s two ways that you can view this development. The first way is that it’s a handy little narrative trick that can extend and stretch out a story for even longer, with the risk of the pacing slowing down. On the other, it’s a way of providing a great scope of exploration of a multi-faceted story and allowing for secondary characters to be highlighted in the momentum of the story. In regards to Sonic the Hedgehog, previous reviews of supplementary comics have commented on the wider universe and the potential of the characters.
This issue the focus is heavily on Tails – arguably the franchise’s most important character aside from Sonic or Eggman. There’s not been too much exploration of him as of yet, as apart from the traits he’s known for – intelligence and aptitude – we don’t really see much from him.
Here we see him take centre stage, show initiative and predictably find something that could stop the virus. But as the laws of drama state, there needs to be growing complications. In this case, Tails being attacked and having to escape with the data via the aid of Tangle and Whisper. It does lead to some very well executed set-pieces involving a ship and zombots.
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In other news, the momentum continues with the development of what will possibly be future stories once the virus storyline has been resolved. Starline’s independence is quite refreshing as a character instead of just being another lackey for Eggman to boss around. It further enhances the world that this franchise is playing in.
Tradition dictates that there’s a decent cliff-hanger, and with the narrative decision to show another character at the same time, it appears that we’ll be seeing how Restoration’s HQ will begin to fall.
Being the first part of a multi-part story, it does feel as some parts are missing; as a stand-alone issue it seems to lack something to make it feel whole, but as the rest of the arc plays out maybe it will start to make more sense.
Sonic the Hedgehog #21 is available digitally and from comic shops.