The constant juggling of an ever-growing supporting cast of characters often means that serious character growth or exploration gets lost. This sometimes feels like it litters IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog and is often resolved when the series allows itself time to focus on other characters.
This conflict between focus and giving characters time feels as if it’s a conflict on the same level that writer Ian Flynn’s villain Dr. Starline is experiencing in this issue. As his plan to use his fellow villains to get himself into Eggman’s good graces continues, there is a moment where Zavok tells him why he should not model himself on Eggman. This provides the start of an interesting thread of development for Starline, and one that the series should really delve into as it’s giving him the potential to break-out into some depth.
This is framed through a heist to collect macguffins known as cores to power Starline’s ultimate endgame, but framing it as Sonic causing the heist. But as Zavok’s words almost break through his facade, this kickstarts an existential crisis within Starline.
As a character who had unwavering loyalty to his idol, he experienced the reality of “don’t meet your heroes” first hand. His discussion about the merit of robots over people highlights that Starline himself doesn’t value the idea of individuality and that things need to be controlled and operated like robots and machines.
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But clearly the element that threw him for a loop was that it was an individual that praised him for his own ideas and ingenuity rather than emulating Eggman. This idea is gnawing at the back of his mind, especially after seeing Rough and Tumble in action.
Suffice to say, this issue has given Starline an added level of complexity that it is hoped will be explored for the rest of this mini-series. As for the rest of the characters, Rough and Tumble get some quite funny moments themselves, especially when Mimic is likened to them. Mimic goes through the paces and questions Starline in what is clearly set-up for a betrayal later on.
Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys is revelling in the opportunity to explore these characters, give them room to breathe, and add the layer of complexity they need to make them stand out.
Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys is out now from IDW Publishing.