With IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog reaching the forties, it takes the time to re-establish the status quo, reminding the reader that the Restoration is a thing, and so is Chaotix. With this all laid out, the series then returns to re-introduce the Deadly Six.
On the one hand, the issue serves as a great starting-on point for new readers who want to join the narrative without wanting to go back and read the previous 40 issues (and subsequent spin-offs). The Deadly Six can be seen as an obvious parody of Marvel’s Sinister Six, a group that consists of some of Spider-Man’s many enemies forming a team to battle him. But one of the big problems with that comparison is that the Sinister Six is formed of fully fleshed out enemies that at some point had separate stories and origins in their battles against Spider-Man. The Deadly Six don’t have that, instead being formed of quirky characters and being part of a team from the outset.
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This means that with quite a few of them, whilst the writing team have tried to show some individual characteristics, they often get lost under the shadow of Zavok. Zavok received the most development of the lot, even appearing in the spin-off series Bad Guys last year. It means that they lack the impact of before, as the comic series still needs to remind readers who is who.
Their presence feels as if they’re a threat dedicated to allow a greater ensemble of the Sonic cast to be involved to even out the odds. Which isn’t bad per se, but can often feel as if it’s a tool to help spread out and fill the story with layers to battle each member individually. Which is what happened at the end of the Zombot arc, but there it was to provide an ever growing threat beyond Eggman’s control. With Chaotix involved it feels as if they’re providing a number of adversaries to split along the ensemble. It’s perhaps too early to claim that, but it feels as if it’s being set-up to be that way.
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The issue opens with your classic Sonic-on-Robotnik one-on-one battle in a snowy mountain scenario. It’s fun to read, but it does feel as if it undercuts the impact of the previous issue. As those events did leave the story a nice gap to leave Eggman out of it, selling the consequence of the tower vanished. Sonic easily could’ve faced another villain in the lead up to setting up his role in future issues. But aside from that, it does work as an re-introduction for new readers to get themselves caught up in the story.
Sonic the Hedgehog #41 is out now from IDW Publishing.