Another epilogue issue for another phase of an ongoing story for IDW Publishing’s Sonic the Hedgehog. This issue sees a considerable amount of time given to Sonic and Tails sending The Deadly Six back to the Lost Hex, whilst seeding further intrigue over whatever Dr Starline is planning on doing with Belle.
This issue, at least for now, signifies that The Deadly Six is going to be written out for a while. This is exciting, and will give the series a nice breath of fresh air, as it did have a tendency to dip into that well a little too much lately. That said, it did keep the idea that they were a threat that needed to be contained. But at least for now they can focus on either Starline or Eggman again, since Eggman has felt in the periphery for a while now.
But the plan by Sonic to send The Deadly Six back allows for a common thing that happens in this series: a small great character moment. This issue it’s a flashback of moments where other characters have been mad at Sonic for taking the moral high ground, referring to specific events and how they may have been avoided if Sonic’s “principles” hadn’t got in the way. He’s called foolish by Zavok, but states he’ll gladly stop them again and again. It’s a nice bit of characterisation that plays on the traditional idea of Sonic being a bit arrogant and full of himself, but taps into Ian Flynn’s version of the character in that there’s a lot more humility in him.
The other half of the issue is focused on Starline examining and talking to Belle, touching upon the fact that she is unique in that she was created during Eggman’s “Mr. Tinker” phase, and that she’s different. It’s not revealed what he’s after, but the main hints are that he’s deliberately evoked a strong emotional reaction in her that gets him intrigued. Belle’s emotional outbursts reveal her to be different, but it’s also a reflection of the Tinker personality. It genuinely feels as if Eggman was a different person and as Eggman-stan Starline wonders – what exactly would a kind, benevolent version of Eggman be capable of?
It also fleshes out more of Belle’s backstory, in that she was ostracised by her community after the Zombot virus because people thought she was a spy, so it amped up her feelings of loneliness and abandonment. It does continue to suggest the next major arc will involve whatever Starline has in store for Belle. This is quite exciting, as with the placing of The Deadly Six away for a while means that the comic has more space to explore this further. That said, the series does have a habit of putting things away only to bring them back suddenly. So maybe we’ll see The Deadly Six in issue #47 or something.
Sonic the Hedgehog #44 is out now from IDW Publishing.