Yeah it’s time I just own up to the fact that my Sonic, like most everything else I cared about growing up, is irreversibly damaged. Sonic is dead, or at least cancelled. The Archie series ended awhile after stopped following it. That said it’s still my Sonic no matter how bad it got. They had time travel stuff with Sonic’s evil kid from the future. A few in-universe reboots akin to DC’s Flashpoint Paradox.
Not gonna blame him though, I’d run so fast I escaped causality just to punch myself in the junk stopping that baby from making if Scourge was my kid. Also yes, I would. That’s why I am concerned my kid would be a mutant green hedgehog. Also because of one too many resets Mega Man gets mixed in there and for awhile sides with the robots.
Now if that can’t get me back into Sonic comics nothing could. Before the big and now final reboot of the series I read what was up. All the realities were falling apart and Sonic couldn’t save everyone from his dimension. So he just grabs a bunch of random versions of everyone and things start back up as I how out. I thought I wanted that, a fresh start and all. It was to much man.
Then just like that, it ended. I heard about it on Google. Just a throw away front page suggestion I almost overlooked. I honestly don’t think I even checked how it ended. I never wanted to come to terms with it being gone. Every few years I’d snag a hardback omnibus and some new issues and just sink back into my comfort hobby. Obviously I frantically searched for what comes next, a show, a spin-off, I’d even take webisodes just give me something. I should have been more specific because what they did give me was a brand new series by an all new staff or atleast none of the names stood out to me. Yes Sonic The Hedgehog IDW, or Sonic 2018 as we know how good a Sonic is with a year title, I was cautiously optimistic. I never bought it. Had more productive ways to spend my cash.
Now here I am 2 years later and I am feeling that itch, that disturbing prickly hedgehog itch. So why not jump down that IDW hole and see what has been going on?
I think that’s Sonic Forces and Mania stuff? I dunno, it’s page one and I’m already lost. I guess Robotnik is gone and Sonic is just cleaning up? Could be interesting. Let’s see how far this goes, or atleast how far I’ll go before I get bored and probably just play every Mega Man game back to back like I said I would.
This comic feels like it’s taking forever and I’m just a few pages in. Sonic is indeed just checking on random towns and being all after school TV cool while saving random characters. Most of which look like the Sonic Forces create-a-character defaults so I am definitely putting it post Forces. So pretty much all the games are canon now? I mean in the comics. Also how? No time for that though. Badniks are coming and they need Tails to do exactly one thing. Just one, and he still barely does it correctly. Couldn’t hurt to lose that attitude bud. You are supposed to be my favorite.
Oh yeah, oh no, this is just the video games. Disposable jokes and skits that suddenly cut to a way too serious tone dripping with anime drama while looking away from the screen. This is what never leaving my house has done to me. I’m reading a Sonic video game. This is lacking anything noticably different in tone and execution besides the format. I do have to admit, if you enjoy the story of the modern Sonics well then these are for you.
Issue one pretty much ends with Tails admitting that he is holding Sonic back and would be better suited to just helping rebuild. Ya know, because he does machines. Tails is the smart one after all. Except only not it seems. Amy comes in during the next fight one town over and asks Sonic (who last I checked ran the Freedom Fighters) to join the Freedom Fighters to which he says no and bails. Just not before dropping some knowledge down on her.
So issue one was all about Sonic going to help people, and issue two was all about him not wanting to join the resistance. They pad the issue so heavily with splash attack panels and repeating the same conversations just with different words to the point that when they finally move on it feels sudden and forced. After Sonic turned Amy down 3 times he offered her a chance to roll with him but this time she declined. That was nice and all but the comic then has to point out how much she has grown as a character by directly stating that fact.
So I took a nap and grabbed something to eat before diving back into issue number three. This one is the Knuckles issue. So far it has been better at not repeating itself atleast. Though they are dropping lots of Sonic terms like “Wisps” which got introduced in Sonic Colors so I have no clue what their deal is. I want to say aliens that take the place of the shield powers from classic Sonic games. I am not 100% on it just that seems about right. Anyways we are finally moving into comic territory with some non robotic bad guys. Now this whole series has been quotation marks “dark” so think like GI Joe with animals. It’s just war war war. I was getting rather perturbed with it, but seeing as the are using it to expand the narrative with ex mercenaries turned town usurping criminals. I can get behind that. Even if it’s a bit Team Rocket-esque.
So in a not so graceful beat Sonic gives plot exposition on the Wisps as well as confirming that Lost World (ew) and Sonic Forces both just happened. Town saved and Sonic heads out after asking for some chilidogs. Only to get to a new town also on fire. With two sassy brassy ladies there. One of which I already knew, Blaze the Cat, to which she gets all prophetic saying the Sol Emeralds (knock of store brand Chaos Emeralds) called out to her to help. Sonic shuts her down for not being in the last two games, I mean being too late and how shit thing were. The other girl has a stretchy tail that’s all the set up for her. Apparently everyone in this universe makes Jim Halpert faces as the others mouth off.
It has happened enough now to become noticable. Almost like with Jim just more and more faces each issue. I guess it’s not that bad, just these comics give me nothing else to talk about. It’s still a fair amount of awkward exposition that ultimately doesn’t help anyone get “caught up” with the backstory. While busting up robots in a kinda creepily dark tone that makes war just seem normal. In Archie Sonic they atleast hated it, everyone was sick and scared and war was awful. In IDW Sonic it’s fun? They seem to flip between enjoying themselves and PTSD style manic episodes. Yet as soon as I notice that trend they bring in Team Chaotix, with no real backstory or introduction, finally moving the plot forward is nice. Not explaining anything about 4 characters typically considered fringe cast at best in a comic desperately trying to not be the Archie comics is just odd. They seem to know that Robotnik (Eggman) is not behind the attacks. They know someone who can prove it.
I pretty much hate all of them. Team Chaotix yes, but every character in the Sonic Universe is basically just unpleasant. The old series had fairly one dimensional characters, but atleast they all were different. I know these are technically introduction issues for the cast, but these are monthly releases. I am now in issue 5, that’s almost half a year of releases and nothing has happened. Oh well Robotnik lost his memories, probably, and Sonic forgave him even after saying that Robotnik pulls this stuff all the time.
But oh no~ it’s evil Sonic and his girlfriend. They will surely beat Sonic and his friends. I mean Shadow never did before, or even Robotnik for that matter, but no they got this right?
They did not and Sonic threatened to kill Shadow. So that’s a plus just Shadow the Hedgehog the game is also canon. I don’t know about that. That game was bad on every level as well as just hard to justify as a part of the current Sonic series. I would get into that now but the comic actually seems to poke at people like me who still call Eggman Robotnik.
Okay this is getting old. I am starting to just skim from word bubble to word bubble. Seems Neo Metal Sonic is looking for Robotnik and trying to retake over the world, they brought in Silver the Hedgehog (Think Trunks from DBZ, exactly that), and some new extra moody girl named Whisper. Metal Sonic took over the Master Emerald like in Sonic and Knuckles. Did I say Sonic and Knuckles I meant Sonic Mania. Did I say Sonic Mania I meant… okay enough of that. They have some throwbacks to the games. Those hoverboards from Sonic Riders, the command base from Sonic Forces, and little bits and bobs as they travel by the slowest troop transport jet ever. Shadow bails on the plan, but who cares honestly. Sonic and Knuckles go to fight Metal Sonic and the others split up to keep smashing robots around the old capital. So I assume that is just for padding out pages with more exploding robots and snarky dialogue while Sonic and Knuckles fight Hyper Neo Metal Sonic. No I didn’t make that name up, and yes I’m sad I know what that is. Know what makes me not sad? It’s issue 10 now! I can finally walk away comfortably. So let’s settle in and see how this all works out. Hopefully it won’t take another three issues but I kinda expected to be here until issue 12 anyway.
And as soon as it starts, page one not counting the recap we have it!
No Knux, it’s not cheating, it’s stupid. Keep in mind at no point was the comic like “Check out these games” or even a yellow “Previously in Sonic Heroes” box. It never says what games any of this shit comes from and that is confusing as hell because well, you would assume they would be secretly referencing the Archie comics in low-key copyright infringement free dialogue. Nope just low-key video game references that they should have complete rights to mention. If this comic is for kids they would never have played half these things I promise you. If it’s for Sonic fans, well they are all scattered on what aspects they like about the series so some people, myself included, skipped half these games. The outlook is not good for Sonic 2018. Chris Thorndike summed up how I feel right now way back in Sonic X.
Reading these comics really is like noticing your grade school best friend hasn’t logged into Steam or posted on Facebook in years. At that point you just know something terrible happened. They have like hundreds of dollars in games on Steam but nothing since 2006. If they aren’t dead, they have changed. Nothing of merit has happened so far. Apparently the others were fighting outside on Angel Island, not the capital, and Metal Sonic is now an extra big ass dragon because he touched Shadow. Oh and Robotnik got captured by the bad guys Sonic let go in issue 1. They are working for whomever this is.
Some dumb bird, who cares moving on. Two more issues down. A full year’s worth of comics and how did it end? Sonic breaks Metal, Tails fixes Metal and he is offered a fresh start, Metal leaves in a huff, Sonic goes to see all his friends to say goodbye again, Blaze and Silver just leave this reality, and Robotnik gets his memories back before leaving bird guy in charge. I think he wants to make a virus? It looks like he is planning so robotizing virus. Which sounds cool, it atleast would be something like the old comics. They tried to introduce a new set of magic gems, but Robotnik shut that down.
Much like my second favorite mad scientist I too have to shut this down. I finished the first full year and all that happened was the set up of a comic series loosely based on the games that removed two legacy characters in exchange for three new ones. All the while it just kept piling up lore exposition on par with a one tweet review of any Sonic game. “Shadow remember, Dr Eggman helped us beat the alien invasion” that’s it, that’s all we get for Shadow. Whom I still don’t know if he is a clone of Sonic, a clone of the ultimate lifeform, a demon, an alien, or whatever. He got nothing. Rouge got her “backstory” after they beat Neo Metal Sonic. She is a spy. That’s all you get there. Yet early on the spent a whole issue more or less on Blaze and then her off brand Sol Gem things. So obviously she is gone for awhile. Does it have promise?
The wrap up after the fight basically just played lip service to the string of introductions that spanned the first 10 issues. Sonic is still heading out on his own. His friends all asked him not to go. It was in effect nothing. A hollow story built on the grave of a good comic from the bones of decent enough games. I didn’t completely have a bad time. It was beautifully drawn by almost any standard for comics. I will admit to smiling a few times. It wasn’t bad. I mean it’s hard for me to be specific on what bugs me about modern Sonic. Because I, pretty much, hate everything. I don’t read Mega Man comics or even know if Mario ones exist. Yet I always go back to Sonic. I don’t tend to enjoy mixed media. Comics based on other things especially. Yet I always peak back in on Sonic. It pretty much always ends the same. I hate all the characters, I know I will hate all the characters I haven’t seen yet, and I nitpick apart the plot to an insane degree.
So the day is saved, the sandwich is eaten, and I also will walk off into that sunset. Sonic has the right idea in not hanging around. Perhaps that’s what Sonic is now? A series I will just check in on every now and then to see if it’s okay. Most likely around game releases to either amp up or wind down my hype respectively. Until next time I’m up over and gone.