“Curse your sudden but inevitable, betrayal!” Words that appeared in the pilot of the Science Fiction Western television show Firefly capture the whole ethos of villains working together. The third issue of the Sonic the Hedgehog spin-off Bad Guys builds up to this moment.
The whole mini-series so far has pretty much made no attempt to hide that these characters would betray each other, in fact it feels very much their nature. So the sudden, but inevitable, betrayal feels like it was always going to happen and was earned.
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It’s the fleshing out of the characters of Zavok and Mimic that takes more of a precedence this issue, with both finding out at the very start of the issue that Starline is only using them. It feels like it’s taking on and paying tribute to the old trope of villains trying to one up each other, yet also as though it’s not going down the “Aha I expected this…” route.
In fact, the story seems as if it’s gearing towards Starline underestimating his own powers of deception and having to improvise his way out of the situation he’s put himself in. Which, if that’s what happens, feels completely in character and sets him apart from Eggman’s usually overly complex webs of anticipating betrayal. Considering that Starline has a history of underestimating pretty much everyone, and overestimating himself, this feels perfectly in character.
One of the gradual improvements throughout the whole IDW run so far has been the art. A lot of facial expressions and nuances have been nice to see, and add layers to the different character interactions that take place. From odd looks to each other, to the beads of sweat that appear on Starline when Mimic places a knife to his throat – the amount of character work on display is very impressive.
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The artwork also manages to showcase the different abilities that the characters gain. As Rough develops Sonic-like abilities he begins to start showing the more iconic looks that are associated with Sonic, from the shape of the spin-attack to the figure-8 shape underneath him that is often one of the signature ways to show Sonic running at speed.
Setting things up for its final issue, Sonic The Hedgehog: Bad Guys has been a nice surprise in that it’s been better than expected. It’s fleshing out the auxiliary villains that are often sidelined for Eggman and giving them an added boost for when they eventually re-appear in the main issue. It definitely does its job in getting you excited for issue #4, that’s for sure.
Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys #3 is out now from IDW Publishing.