Welcome, one and all, to another Sonic Comic review! This time around we have the bonus comic Team Sonic Racing to look though. Let’s find out if it’s any good.
- Team Sonic Racing
- IDW Publishing
- Story: Caleb Goellner
- Art: Adam Bryce Thomas
- Colours: Elaine Unger
I’m going to say straight away that this is weakest release in IDW’s Sonic comic run so far. In a big way, that comes down to what the issue sets out to achieve. You see, this isn’t a continuation of the mainline story by Ian Flynn, but rather a promotional tool for the upcoming Team Sonic Racing game. When you’re not looking at telling a complete – or even a chunk of a – story, but rather create what is essentially a pre-launch advert for a racing game, you aren’t going to be looking at the same level of engagement for the actual tale.
Now, Caleb Goellner is taking over from Ian Flynn in terms of writing this time around. Caleb has worked for IDW Publishing for a little while now, primarily in their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line. While I’m a fan of said series, Caleb’s output mostly falls into the offshoot run based on the animated series, while my preference is for the main comic series, so I’m not overly familiar with his work. He does an admirable job given the restraints of the story here. The characters feel like themselves as much as they can in the setting, and Caleb’s script gives us plenty of little snippets about things you can do in the game. It also reveals that the person arranging the races is a Space Tanuki. That’s fine with me.
Art wise, series regular Adam Bryce Thomas is aided by Elaine Unger, and in that regard the comic is consistent with the main series. The images pop, the characters have a wonderful array of facial expressions, and everything is as dynamic as you’d want it to be given the game it’s based on. The art gets a lot of focus too, with a whole bunch of bonus material being included in the issue. By which I mean we get a short interview with one of the team behind the game, and some behind-the-scenes for the comic itself. This means you get to see some of the original script, and each stage of the creation of a few of the pages. We also have some concept art for the vehicles in the game, which is pretty cool.
The downside to this is that the bonus material, the letters, and the adverts take up a full third of the issue. While nice additions, it does make me wonder if more could have been done with the actual story arc if it had been removed.
So, if you want the same quality art that we’ve had so far, and you’d like a little preview of the upcoming game, this is a good purchase. If you were hoping for some solid storytelling, it may be a little less worth your cash. The thing is though, the comic does a really good job of being what it’s meant to be: a teaser for the game. It isn’t dull at all, so I can’t complain too much, but it does fall short of the mainline issues. 3 out of 5.