Lacking an over-arching story, it’s becoming clear with issue #42 of IDW Publishing’s Sonic the Hedgehog that the main focus is on the characters rather than a plot MacGuffin. This is with the Deadly Six’s attack on Restoration HQ and Dr Starline’s abduction of Belle for reasons unknown. The issue applies this story with a surprising pace alongside a few surprising moments of moral debate.
With the key characters in the restoration (Sonic, Chaotix and Tails) out of the picture, it leaves the HQ slightly open to attack from The Deadly Six. Which in hindsight feels like it’s a bit of a narrative mis-step from an organisation meant to fight a controlling overlord in Eggman. But the comic takes a few panels to address this in a strangely surprising way.
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The Deadly Six comment that there is not that much resistance from their attack, and they found the defences quite easy to break through. There are comments on the fact that there’s not much defence as the world of Sonic doesn’t really have much need for violence. There’s no real crime with the exception of Eggman so they’re not really equipped for violence.
It’s an interesting concept; not one that is completely plausible as there are other constant threats from badniks and other villains, but the comic commenting on this is showing some gradual awareness of what’s happening and potentially leaving it open to re-explore those concepts. The last half of the issue feels like it’s because of those values, which gives the reader a slightly tweaked perspective on what’s currently happening. Thus Sonic’s incredibly fast race back to HQ and Starline’s abduction of Belle all feel as if they’ve got an added element of tension throughout because of the nature of the world they’re in. It just clicks, and gives Sonic’s appearance at the end an added moment of cool.
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The other aspect of the issue that seems to want to try and dig a little deeper is the growing introspective nature of Dr Starline. As his existential crisis of his image of Eggman increases, his obsession with Belle becomes more fascinating. As Belle was created during Eggman’s “Mr Tinker” phase, he is more interested in why Belle is like she is. There’s not much more to this as of yet, but Starline’s internal monologue is suggesting that the Mr Tinker arc is more important than originally implied.
So building on some interesting concepts and implications, issue #42 manages to re-tweak current plots and lead them towards some interesting places.
Sonic the Hedgehog #42 is out now from IDW Publishing.