Issue 13 of IDW’s Sonic series promised to let us see Doctor Starline in action in issue 14. As it happens, they made good on that promise. But how does the issue hold up overall? Let’s find out.
- Sonic the Hedgehog #14
- IDW Publishing
- Story: Ian Flynn
- Art: Tracy Yardley
- Colours: Leonardo Ito
As always, I’m starting with the cover, and this time around I got Cover A by Lamar Wells and Adam Bryce Thomas. It’s my favourite of three covers this month, largely because it feels very Sonic to me. The other covers look cool as well though, so you’ll be onto a winner no matter what you get.
We have a different artist doing the colour work this month, with Leonardo Ito taking over from Matt Herms. This is, to my knowledge, Leonardo’s first foray into the Sonic universe, and he will be doing a story in the upcoming annual as well. While Matt is set to return with next month’s main issue, I have to say that Leonardo does a great job here. The colours are on par with Matt’s work, and everything feels uniform so far this year, so that’s great. Tracy’s art is also as good as ever, so the consistency of the comic remains intact.
Now, form a storyline standpoint, we get a little bit more about how Dr. Eggman’s work with the metal virus is going. In fact, the little snippet we get shows that things will kick in quite soon. The brunt of the issue though focuses on Sonic and Silver facing Metal Sonic and Dr. Starline. Now, Metal Sonic is really just a bit player in this, with a couple of pages of action followed by the nefarious new villain taking over.
Starline mostly uses portals in combat, which opens up some cool possibilities. He uses them here to both inflict and avoid damage and to allow for transportation of items. Starline also uses some smarts in setting up a trap for the hedgehog duo, which almost works. The thing that I really liked here is that the whole scenario led to a question I’ve had in mind for ages being answered: why doesn’t Eggman just kill Sonic by using insurmountable numbers and power? The answer? He could do that, but the way to truly defeat your nemesis is to prove that you’re superior. That need to arrogantly prove your superiority is a nice addition to Eggman’s personality because it means that he has a major flaw that can lead to victory for the good guys. It also sets up a conflict in thoughts between him and Starline, which means that we could see the two clash later on. With Starline taking Eggman’s old tech, that opens up some good potential storylines for the future.
Now, the comic did a lot of good things here, and I honestly can’t see anything that’s bad in there. I would say though that it doesn’t have the same feel as issue 13. Part of that will be due to the last issue kicking off season two, but part of it is also that it feels like a transitional issue. It’s designed to primarily build up the new villain and then move us forward with the main arc by way of minor nudges. As such, it’s important, but perhaps not quite on par with the last issue. It’s still worth an easy 4 out of 5 though.