Welcome, one and all, to part three of the four-week blitz of Sonic comics.
- Sonic the Hedgehog #3
- IDW Publishing
- Story: Ian Flynn
- Art: Jennifer Hernandez
Much as with last week, this issue follows on from the previous one. Amy sent Sonic Knuckles’ way, and when he arrives, he finds the Red Dude finishing off a super badnik. One quick excursion into the walled city later, and the pair are battling the evil skunk duo, Rough and Tumble.
I’ve seen a few people mention that using wispon weapons in Sonic Forces kinda made it seem like the heroes were forcing living creatures to power weaponry, thusly making them no better than Dr Eggman. Well, that gets an explanation here, with Sonic and Knuckles speaking to a few captured Wisps and giving the reader the low-down on why it isn’t as bad as it first seems. That deserves some praise as it puts the good guys back on the straight and narrow again.
In terms of characterisation, Knuckles is pretty much the same lovable lunk that he’s always been Quick to anger, tough enough to back it up, but not the smartest of the team. Sonic meanwhile continues to focus on finding out who’s controlling the badniks, albeit without a set course of action to do so. The arrogance that he sometimes displays was toned down a little here though, and we got to see the Blue Blur’s compassionate side when dealing with the Wisps.
Meanwhile, the newcomers Rough and Tumble reminded me somewhat of Team Rocket from Pokémon. I mean, they had an introductory motto and pose, and they were capable but were in the end outdone by the good guys relatively easily once the playing field had been levelled. I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if they’d blasted off.
Story wise, the actual arc didn’t get much advancement, certainly when compared to issue two. We know no more about the overall situation, and Sonic still doesn’t seem to have more of a plan than run from town-to-town and hope for the best. The world building was good though with not only the aforementioned Wisp sections, but the brief backstory to Rough and Tumble occupying the city adding a layer to the post Forces world. My hope is that we’re getting an alternating pattern here, and that issue four will give more of a story build alongside the introduction of Tangle and reintroduction of Blaze.
IDW continues to showcase a fine team of artists here too, with Jennifer Hernandez doing a fine job. Sonic, Knuckles, and Rough and Tumble have some marvellous facial expressions on show, and their body language is very good, so that’s a thumbs up all round. It was also nice to see some characters that I’d seen on Jennifer’s Twitter account making it into the background scenes. Meanwhile, I got Cover A again, and it was just as good as the previous two.
In summary, while this was perhaps a slight step back in terms of storytelling compared to issue two, it’s still a great addition to the set. If the team can continue this level of quality throughout the first year, the existing fan base should not only be happy, but be welcoming new arrivals. 4 out of 5.