Narratively, it’s unclear the reasons for revealing the look of two new characters in a spin-off series, when their initial “appearance” in Sonic The Hedgehog was just in silhouette. Chronologically, the audience has not met Surge the Tenrec or Kit the Fennec yet, so the buzz around them is immediately killed off by a dramatic reveal being an origin story.
Sonic the Hedgehog: Imposter Syndrome looks to be the first feel stages to setting up the next major arc. A recurring issue with the main series run, one that feels as if it gets mentioned each month, is that it’s gradually getting too big. With the small hints of building towards something, it does beggar belief that what looks to be a key aspect in the next major arc is being laid down via a spin-off with even more original creations.
The timing of the issue feels like it also occurs after events in the latest issue of Sonic The Hedgehog, and thus it begins to confuse the sense of continuity. If the current main series arc is meant to lead to the reveal of Surge and Tenrec, then having this spin-off series reveal Starline’s motivations and what he’s been doing just doesn’t feel right. They should be happening in the main series, because there shouldn’t be a need to read supplementary material to understand what’s happening in the main run.
Which is a shame, because the actual content and story being told here is full of potential and does pay off a lot of the posturing that the character of Dr. Starline has been doing. The idea of a clone of Sonic is not original, but the circumstances of it with Starline’s fixation of “fixing” Dr. Eggman by creating his own “heroes” at least has an original spin on it. Added on to the fact that Surge and Kit are constantly hypnotised to forget any questioning of their existence, it gives an underlying level of complexity of the dynamic.
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All the character designs are vibrant and well drawn as usual, with Surge and Kit just being left of centre from Sonic and Tails, convincing that they would be created in the hope of making new versions of them. Expressions and emotion are always clear and easy to spot, meaning the aforementioned questioning of their existence is easy to follow.
An interesting premise which is affected by the fact that this should be unfolding in the main series. Further highlighting the growing issues the IDW-verse of Sonic that are developing.
Sonic the Hedgehog: Imposter Syndrome #1 is out now from IDW Publishing.