One has to wonder if IDW or Ian Flynn has been reading reviews of earlier issues of Sonic The Hedgehog. The amount of times that we see certain characters, and that you can go through several issues without some showing up at all is an issue that has been raised previously.
The past few issues (and sporadic ones before those) seem to have developed situations to get as many characters as possible interacting with each other at once, and with characters overriding the plot. The result is great to see, as we’re privy to character interactions we haven’t seen often – or at all – before.
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This issue opens with Tails and Eggman briefly working together, and they get some brief banter that ends as soon as it begins. The characters also override the plot, which means that writer Flynn is allowing for the motivations of the characters to dictate who is doing what.
Splitting up characters into teams is the main thing you find in modern day Sonic games, so Sonic suggesting Espio and Knuckles join forces is natural, but there’s something great in seeing Knuckles staying put. It may rob people of wanting to see Knuckles battle someone one-on-one, but the story remembers that his main motivation is to protect the Floating Islands and the Master Emerald. It robs him of the confrontation with the Deadly Six, but is completely in character. It also allows for Espio to get a chance to shine on his own.
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The rest of the issue cuts through the different teams taking on the Deadly Six, and gives the impression of pace as things all happen at once. This feels as if there’s an actual finale being built up to this part of the virus arc and an endgame plan involving the use of Super Sonic to destroy the virus. It’s all ever so exciting again.
The art is clear, and the gradual degradation of Sonic’s physical appearance has been consistent. It does look as if he’s about to collapse with exhaustion and let the virus take over. It’s been great to see Sonic just look worse and worse, and really sells the peril he’s in. Great stuff again.
Sonic the Hedgehog #26 is out now from IDW Publishing.