The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing but expecting different results, and it appears every review of the IDW run of Sonic the Hedgehog appears to make reference to the perpetual continuation of the Zombot arc. But the sanity of this reviewer is not…”in” as thus the arc itself has now reached its conclusion. Our titular hero has turned yellow and transforms into Super Sonic and manages to remove the virus from the planet and vanishes in the meantime.
As a way to wrap up the arc, it’s a decent pay off. It ties in with the series’ first appearance of “Super Sonic”, a concept that has been around since the first Sonic game on the Mega Drive/Genesis. The idea being that once the player collected all the Chaos Emeralds, Sonic could turn into a form that was invincible, faster and could fly.
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There’s not been much variation in what this means, as it is basically a form of Sonic that can manipulate Chaos energy and do a lot of powerful things. The appearances are usually used as a way to get Sonic to a point to resolve an arc or plot, appearing at the climax of the story. Sometimes this is a well that’s dipped in a little too much without much consequence. Other instances of the character have done much more interesting things with the concept; the Fleetway Sonic The Comic series had Super Sonic be a homicidal yet powerful maniac who only cared for ultimate destruction.
IDW and Ian Flynn have gone for the super-powered aspect, and whilst it’s easy to assume it’s the deus ex-machina way out of the zombot virus arc, since the comic has spent so long on it – it feels earnt. The complication stacked on complication amps up the threat (the panel showing Knuckles succumbing to the virus is drawn incredibly well). The climax of Sonic and Silver using the Warp Topaz to send the virus away is a lovely display of colour, showing the vast scope of what exactly is happening.
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With the end of this current arc, the finger is on the trigger for the next one; and whatever happens next – it appears that a world without Sonic is the consequence for ending it. Whilst it’s naive to think he’s gone forever, it offers an interesting glimpse, to see what happens in the immediate future with that ever expansive cast.
A worthy climax, and an exciting start for a new era of the comic.
Sonic the Hedgehog #29 is out now from IDW Publishing.