IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog currently has a problem. Whether it’s losing itself under weight of trying to juggle different characters, or simply trying to bide it’s time up to its next major arc, there’s something gradually wrong happening.
There’s something with the structure of the ending, and the release of the Imposter Syndrome spin-off that doesn’t make much sense. Previous issues had suggested that the characters of Surge the Tenrec and Kit the Fennec were responsible for the wildfires that were happening by vague descriptions and shadowy outlines. But then their appearances debuted in the aforementioned spin-off. But they then don’t show up at all at the climax of this arc, instead the issue ends with what is a long drawn out mystery of who started the fire that the audience might already know anyway.
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To make matters more confusing, the final panel of the issue contains Chaotix, after a member of the firewatch suspects arson but the implication of this is extremely unclear. Are Chaotix involved? Was the fire marshall talking to them? It’s jarring and unclear and only seems to be there to loosely link the issue to the next arc that was hinted at in the “next issue” preview.
The constant issue of the series at the moment is the lack of direction. The lack of build-up. Or at least, the constant referencing has been dragging its feet for far too long. It just feels as if there isn’t a definite direction for the story to go in, and is using the ensemble to pad this out whilst the story finds something to latch on to.
Aside from that, the art is lovely. There’s never been much of an issue with the art and the character design. Always lovely and it’s easy to tell what is happening and what action is currently going on. Action set-pieces are well done, giving moments that allow the characters to have a role in resolving the issue at hand in a way that is unique to them.
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For example, Tangle’s tail is used to help save animals caught in a rush of water, Amy uses her hammer to help chop trees to make a dam, and Belle is even able to float and help save other animals. Even Jewel shows examples of leadership and is able to fly to get a bird’s eye view of the situation.
The issue looks to find a way to give Tangle motivation to leave the restoration to find Whisper. It suggests that a new Tangle & Whisper story will be on the horizon. Which ties back into the aforementioned issue, in that the series knows it’s trying to splinter off characters again whilst finding focus. It just needs to do it soon.
Sonic the Hedgehog #47 is out now from IDW Publishing.