The podcast Sonic The Comic The Podcast has reached Hallowe’en 1995 in the run of the Fleetway Publication Sonic the Comic. One of the key aspects of that run of comics is that throughout its lifespan it had the closest adaptation of the original Mega Drive games of any of the comic series of Sonic. But at the time of writing, the point has been made that the world had reached a dry patch of Sonic games, meaning that we were leading up to the weird period where we had to wait for Sonic Adventure.
But that meant that the series started to focus on its original arcs and characters a lot more. Which meant it focused on the Brotherhood of Metallix, Shortfuse, and its own variation on the history of the Floating Island. The Archie run had fully established its own continuity and was fully on course with Sonic and Princess Sally in its own right. Without a new adaptation to focus on, the writing staff could focus on their own unique creations.
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This is what it feels like with IDW’s run of Sonic the Hedgehog at times. With no real adaptation to think of, it’s instead focusing on its own mythology and its own original characters. This has been apparent recently with the strong focus on Dr Starline, but with Jewel the Beetle becoming Restoration leader and the introduction of Belle and Starline’s fascination with her it’s becoming more and more apparent.
Issue #45 relegates Sonic and Tails to a cameo, with the story focusing on Jewel, Belle, another IDW original character in Tangle and Amy Rose going camping. Not the most exciting of premises, but as with the feeling of previous issues – it is still feeling like the writing team are laying down further foundations to pay-off with convergence in the future.
As the characters interact and bond with each other, Amy’s attempt at a Tarot card reading suggests bad things for Belle which leads to Belle’s depression from learning her true origins accidentally making her cause a fire in the campsite. But this is caused after a confrontation with a Moto Bug linking back to the old school super badniks Eggman was creating. Different strands are converging together in an interesting way, meaning that the comic’s development of its next major arc is going quite differently from what has been done before.
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As this looks to begin what might be another inciting incident for the next major story beat, the issue does feel as if it is missing a key hook into it. Tangle isn’t the focal point, even if she is capable of leading a comic on her own. Amy only really stands out if you are familiar with her history in other adaptations and Jewel hasn’t had much in terms of development.
So it leads to another set-up issue for the comic, pulling at threads ready for other things to happen. Whilst the focus on the original characters sees enthusiasm for them, it does mean we are still having several issues where we’re not getting much exploration of other neglected characters in the Sonic mythos. Hopefully this can pull things together soon.
Sonic the Hedgehog #45 is out now from IDW Publishing.