Hehehe – there’s a reference to “Mr. Needlemouse” in the first page because that was the original of Sonic during develop…okay. New long game arc forming as Sonic now has gone all Mr. Tinker with his memory whilst we check in with everyone else back in his home dimension.
With the fallout of the previous arc still being felt, issue #31 of Sonic the Hedgehog continues to transition its characters and situations into the next major arc plot. Whilst there’s no real macguffin to speak of just yet, it seems as if it’s a case of Eggman wanting to strike whilst the Hedgehog’s gone. But there’s also the case of the slow build of whatever Dr. Starline is planning.
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As always with this comic, there’s the task of juggling so many characters and having to check in with as many of them as possible. This is happening again, and at times it does feel that you’re having to sit through characters you don’t like as much as others. So for every introspective moment of Shadow dealing with the absence of Sonic, you get a scene explaining how Chaotix is getting help with their office admin.
As this is another issue where this broad spectrum of character exploration is happening, it can feel as if waiting for the new plots to begin is on hold to make sure the audience is reminded that the characters are there. There appears to be three levels of progression with the series – stories like this, one-shot focus issues that happened a few times in the Zombot arc (and the introduction arc) and issues where the narrative feels like it’s a chapter of an ongoing story and characters have their own goals to achieve. It’s at the point where the first kind of story is the weakest out of what the series can achieve.
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It’s a necessity, but at times it feels as if the comic could really go for a narrower focus to help move things along. The Babylon Rogues won’t be missed if they were to take a hiatus from showing up for an issue or ten. But an issue where Tails is the POV character at this point would be a great opportunity to allow us to see more of him as a character. There are a few characters that would benefit from this.
But, as always, the comic knows how to hook you with a cliffhanger – as Eggman and a rebuilt and suped-up Omega decide to take on all of Sonic’s friends. Capitalising on attacking when there’s no Sonic, Shadow, Blaze, Silver or Knuckles around….
Sonic the Hedgehog #31 is out now from IDW Publishing.