Issue 19 of IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog comics sees the first part of the multi-issue arc, Crisis City. With the Metal Virus spreading, things are about to go from bad to worse for our heroes…
- Sonic the Hedgehog issue 19
- IDW Publishing
- Story: Ian Flynn
- Art: Jack Lawrence
- Colours: Bracardi Curry
This month, I got Cover B, which features art by Lamar Wells and colours by Reggie Graham. It’s a relatively simple cover, but it does a good job of conveying how the effects of the virus are closing in on our titular hero. It’s far darker than Ryan Jampole’s more cartoony Cover A. I really like the look of Cover RI too; Nathalie Fourdraine has a really cool style that fits remarkably well with this arc.
With the regular art team taking a step back, we’ve got some new blood pulling things together Jack Lawrence handles the line art for this issue. He’s already provided a few covers and handled the art duties on multiple issues, so is a veteran in the series. Meanwhile, colours are handled by newcomer Bracardi Curry. They work well as a team here. Jack has an excellent eye for detail when it comes to portraying facial expressions via eye shapes. Between that and the busier action panels, he’s a good fit for this arc. Bracardi’s colour work is really crisp too, and he makes some excellent use of lighting in the scenes featuring Shadow in action. I also enjoyed the nod toward Dawn of the Dead with the truck escape plan. That was drawn in such a way that made clear reference to said movie scene but without falling into the category of not being child-friendly.
On the story front, you can tell this is the first part of a longer arc. I don’t mean that in a bad way, more that you can see it building things rather than racing toward a conclusion. The set up is simple enough, with Sonic trying his best to keep on top of things, while Shadow stubbornly refuses to listen to his advice. It’s action-packed, but the key plot points move slowly. In a way, it feels like a reintroduction to the characters and how they fit within the crisis. Some interesting things to note here:
Sonic is beginning to tire a bit. That makes me wonder what’s going to happen when he needs to sleep. If they can’t get on top of everything soon, he’s either going to collapse or have to find a way to exercise while snoozing. Rouge fits the role of the mature perfectly-capable-of-leading-when-needed character well. She’s on fine form here, trying to guide her colleagues in battle. Omega is no different than he ever is, so if you enjoy his brand of humour, you’ll get a kick out of him trying to assemble a wall of bodies here.
The big news is Shadow though. His refusal to back down or listen to anyone else fits with his character. Here, he also has the excuse that he blames Sonic for the disaster. He’s not entirely wrong either, as it was Sonic that prevented him from killing Eggman when he was Mr. Tinker, which would have stopped the Metal Virus from ever being created. His role here is also important as – and this is absolutely a spoiler – up until now, the characters that have been turned into Zombots have been minor. Even the named characters like Charmy and Cheese are not part of the main assault teams. Now that Shadow ahs succumb, there’s a high powered Zombot on the loose, and he’s already getting ready tot angle with Sonic. That sets up some good excitement for part two.
So, overall, this was a decent issue. I’d say maybe not as enthralling as some have been, but certainly a worthy start to the arc. I’ll give this one 3.75 out of 5.