Growing up in the 90s was an extremely interesting time. If you were a child, asking for action figures and toys for Christmas pretty much meant deciding what looked cool in the Argos catalogue and saying “I want that one!”, your parents just going “okay”, and then on December 25th there would be children all around the world opening presents of toys based on films that they would be far too young to watch.
Franchises like Terminator and Robocop were definitely not meant for the same target audience that the toys were aimed at – and yet the marketing department did it. There was often this underlying theme of aiming to market something with ideas a bit higher in age than the film audience allowed.
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Yet themes, tropes and narrative choices found in media meant for older audiences trickle down into a younger audience quite easily. Tangle and Whisper plays on a very worn trope of sticking the more optimistic light-hearted character with the dark tormented former mercenary. But played out with a fluffy Lemur, and tortured fox, and what looks like a squid. It’s all building up towards Tangle talking Whisper out of killing Mimic because she’s grown as a person. Beat for beat it recalls movies with similar plots.
That aside, it is still surrounded by the action and character work that writer Ian Flynn has carried across the main Sonic the Hedgehog series. Tangle grows as a character as she sees through Mimic morphing into Sonic. That said, the fact that the art makes him look nothing like how he’s been drawn as in the main series is a big give away. Which does take you out of the story for a little while, but to its credit the issue doesn’t really want to mislead you that much in that regard.
There are some really good examples of action set-pieces being brought to life in the first half of the issue, with a sequence where Whisper takes out plenty of bug bug ships with a single shot. It works a lot better than the close-contact combat fight sequence with Mimic at the end, which admittedly doesn’t look as exciting.
By the end of this four episode arc, we’ve now gained a better insight into Tangle and Whisper’s past. The question now is whether the two have another story in them to carry on a spin-off. They perhaps can, but with the growing cast of IDW’s Sonic universe, maybe it’s time to see some of the other characters shine.
Sonic the Hedgehog: Tangle & Whisper #4 is out now from IDW Publishing, available digitally and from comic shops.