Reaching the milestone of its 25th issue, IDW’s Sonic The Hedgehog celebrates with another taking-stock story as characters regroup and explain what’s happening and what will happen next. Yes, the Zombot arc continues and writer Ian Flynn continues to throw plot twists to keep things moving.
It’s impressive how varied the layers of plotting are paced. The Zombot arc itself has slowed right down, but the shorter developments continue to rotate and shift the goalposts around. Starline’s mutiny ends as soon as it begins, as The Deadly Six immediately seize control and Starline and Eggman are forced to work with Sonic and friends to stop the Six who have control over the emeralds. Whilst it may be impressive, it can be frustrating as the comic throws in more characters to try and juggle.
The next run of issues are set-up, with each of The Deadly Six split up with an Emerald and the Resistance planning on going after them all at once. Which suggests several episodes covering multiple characters doing this in the similar vein of the trilogy of episodes only a few months ago.
Whilst it’s understandable that they’ve introduced the Babylon Rogues into the story, as they are thieves and also characters from the video game universe, it again takes the limelight away from pre-established characters that have suffered through the story so far. All of the surviving heroes show up in some capacity and several look to have key roles in the future, including Rouge and (surprisingly) Orbot. The Orbot development showing the robot to have loyalty to Eggman and an awareness of what’s happening is surprisingly nice to see after his role in the Sonic Boom series as a put-upon henchman.
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There’s also Espio as the only remaining member of Chaotix, Cream and Whisper have a moment where Cream talks Whisper out of assassinating Eggman, Silver reappears to offer his only function of mentioning that his future is a bit naff, and Metal Sonic even has a moment or two to shine.
The character work has always been top-notch here, but often feels side-lined by just how many there are. So The Babylon Rogues’ appearance robs us of the opportunity for some more interesting character combinations that could’ve arose from this.
Sonic The Hedgehog #25 is out now from IDW Publishing.