The ever growing despair-berg keeps growing throughout both Mobius and the tone of IDW’s Sonic The Hedgehog with its 24th issue. Characters are at breaking point, trust in Sonic is beginning to crack, and we’re beginning to see massive signposts that everything will be reversed in the end.
It’s been something that’s easy to predict since Charmy Bee was turned and infected, but now the revelation that Tangle is infected and leads to another character sacrificing themselves is establishing that things will be reset at the end of it. Or at least there will be a high-profile cure. But here we see Tangle’s last stand anyway and the art allows her to become a wash in a silhouette as the virus takes its hold on her. It also gives us the reaction from Whisper that we know is coming after the cementing of their double-act in their spin-off comic.
Whereas the immediately previous issues felt like things were building to a finale, this issue slows things right down again and this might not be a benefit. There’s a double-edged sword throughout this stage of the Zombot arc, as writer Flynn constantly slows down to check in with the mental state of the characters and how it’s impacting on them to the sacrifice of pace. There’s a sense that the comic could really do with moving things on to more storylines and the next arc, but it has to be commended that the creative team are not wanting to rush through it. It’s impressive and annoying at the same time.
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Then again, perhaps the next twelve issues could be curing everyone and having to reassimilate back into society. You can’t tell anymore with this. The setup of The Deadly Six appear to line-up for the next storyline to begin but it appears to be setting up another part of the story as Starline ends the issue with his planned betrayal. Considering the comic has had some success with its cliffhangers there’s something slightly… off with this one. Doesn’t feel as exciting.
Sonic The Hedgehog is really beginning to start to stretch itself again. Old critiques of too many characters and spinning plates may start to come into play again. Whereas before it helped to world-build and show the scope of the virus, here the plates in question are starting to wobble and just feel as if they’re dragging for the sake of it.
A whole mark alone goes to the alternate cover in which Sonic and Tangle are drawn in a Game Boy Advanced 2D style mock-up. That looked ace.
Sonic the Hedgehog #24 is out now from IDW Publishing.