Issue 15 of IDW’s Sonic series sees us get a chance to see Eggman’s metal virus in action in a combat setting. But is it all flash with no substance? Let’s find out.
- Sonic the Hedgehog #15
- IDW Publishing
- Story: Ian Flynn
- Art: Jack Lawrence
- Colours: Matt Herms
As always, I’m starting with the cover, and this time around I got Cover A by issue artists Jack Lawrence. All three are really good, but I’m happy I got this one, simply because this marks Jack’s debut in the series, so it’s nice to have that link. If you aren’t familiar with his work, he’s worked for IDW before on Transformers: Lost Light and Star Trek vs. Transformers. I have to say, he does a great job overall here too. While I’d say that there’s something slightly off on his work on Dr. Starline, everyone else comes across really well, especially Sonic and Amy. As always, Matt Herms compliments this well with his colours.
But what of the story? I said that last months’ issue felt a little like a transitional issue to nudge the main arc along, and the hope was that things would pick up here. This time around, Ian Flynn is firing on all cylinders creatively. There are some really nice touches in there to address too. For one, we get a moment early on where Amy mentions losing a lot of good people, complete with a shot of a broken helmet on the floor. This is, I believe, the first time the comics have subtly mentioned people dying during the conflict with Eggman. On the next panel, it’s also mentioned that it was Sonic that won the war for the resistance. These two panels are important because the implications of Sonic being the big hero and death being a real thing in the universe will come into play later on.
This all ties into the metal virus. Before sending them into battle Sonic and Amy with a drill tank, he gives Rough and Tumble backpacks filled with the metal virus, with instructions to use them if Sonic gets the upper hand. Of course, the heroes do pull ahead, and Rough and Tumble activate their weapons, only to find them spilling the virus over them rather than the hedgehogs. What happens here is the villains become zombie robots – or zombots – that go full-on T-1000. You read that right. Rough and Tumble can now have holes blown in them and heal them with liquid metal. Now, this is where the early mention of death and Sonic’s hero status comes in. In defeating the now indestructible pair, Sonic is infected. The issue ends with him and Amy in shock, trying to figure out what to do. All of a sudden, the great hero is in mortal danger, and now we know that it really could be fatal. So, well done Ian Flynn, that was excellent work.
So, I absolutely loved this issue. This was exactly the sort of danger that I wanted to see built up with the metal virus arc. When you throw in the darker tone of the virus’ introduction before this issue, we’re clearly heading into a story that will have heavier themes but in a child-friendly presentation. Easily a 5 out of 5 for me.