With issue 17, we’re getting a proper glimpse of how Eggman’s Metal Virus is affecting those in the midst of the infection. That means that we get the return of the Chaotix. Let’s dive right in.
- Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 17
- IDW Publishing
- Story: Ian Flynn
- Art: Tracy Yardley
- Colours: Leonardo Ito
As always, I’m starting with the cover. I got Cover A by Jack Lawrence and Matt Herms. I like it, but it’s unusual seeing Sonic as the focal point on it when the issue is about the Chaotix. Still, it has a cool zombie movie feel to it. Of the others available, Nathalie Fourdraine’s Cover RI is my favorite, as it depicts the Chaotix team in a noir style.
The story this month is an interesting one as, it does essentially feel like a zombie invasion tale. That in itself gives rise to a few nice little opportunities to show different sides to what’s going on. My favorite moment in that regard comes around the halfway mark. Here, Chaotix are trying to help survivors feel the city, and they come across a woman who has been infected. She’s starting to slowly turn, and is in a state of panic. Unsure what else to do, Vector starts hauling cars into the air and smashing them down around her, essentially trapping her.
These three pages actually achieve quite a lot. First of all, the background character that ends up trapped is clearly scared, and actually at the point of tears at the end of it all. This gives us another great look at the horror of the situation. Meanwhile, each of the Chaotix get a little shine too. Vector is the only one of the three to take decisive action here, clearly marking himself as leader, while also being unhappy about what eh ahs to do. Charmy is more upset by it all, showing both his kindhearted nature and his youthful naivety in the face of danger. Meanwhile, Espio shows his maturity, talking Charmy down and making it clear that Vector didn’t like what happened either.
Sonic does make an appearance, using his speed to burn off the virus as much as possible. We learn that he can hit the zombots, but that it causes the infection not spread faster when he does so. That’s good because it gives the heroes someone who can physically attack, but without it being a complete get out of jail free card. And of course, right at the end of the issue, we get an unexpected twist involving one of the main heroes.
These moments were accompanied by Tracy’s ever-excellent artwork. In particular, he does an excellent job with facial expressions in this issue. From the conflicting emotions of the members of the Chaotix, to the horror of the regular citizens, to Sonic’s sheer determination. It’s all wonderfully well drawn. On top of that, Leonardo’s colour work is superb. Everything feels crisp, and his use of different hues on different pages really helps add to the general feel of the issue. I was a particular fan of the darker tones that came into paly as the day neared its end.
This arc has led to some gloriously dark moments so far, and the team’s work has been getting better and better since it started. For the awesome tone – in both art and story – and the sheer level of execution, I give this one a 5 out of 5.