Everything is coming down to the last minute in IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog issue 21! In the first part of a multi-issue story, we’re following Tail, Tangle and Whisper to Central City as he tries to synthesize a cure for Eggman’s Metal Virus. How did it go for the cute little fox and his chums? Not so well. Let’s dive right in.
- Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 21
- IDW Publishing
- Story: Ian Flynn
- Art: Lamar Wells & Reggie Graham (pg. 1-10), Jennifer Hernandez (pg. 11-15, 17-18, 20), Priscilla Tramontano (pg. 16, 19)
- Colours: Heather Breckel
As always, I’m starting with the cover. I got Cover A by Jamal Peppers, which shows Tails getting surprised Cheese. It’s a nicely done piece that feels like a classic kid’s comic cover. Cover B by Aaron Hammerstrom and Priscilla Tramontano looks really good too and uses darker tones to illustrate the dire situation with the heroes front and center. Cover RI by Nathalie Fourdraine meanwhile is a cool action shot, again focusing on Tails.
As you can see above, multiple artists worked on the internals of this one. What makes this interesting is that the art is uniform enough to look coherent, but at the same time, you can tell when another artist jumps in. Lamar and Reggie utilize thicker outlines than the other artists. Jennifer’s work features plenty of dynamic body language. Priscilla makes more use of dusty explosions. They all have strengths for this particular issue, and it works really well. Bonus points go to Jennifer for what appears to be a subtle nod to Adrien and Marinette from Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir.
Story-wise, this one does a great job of building up the possibility that the heroes may lose. The city is overrun with Zombots, and Tangle and Whisper can only do so much alone. With Silver’s hands full and no response from Restoration HQ, the trio are pretty much on their own. Just as Tails seems to find a cure, Zombots attack and he loses it. Then, right at the end, Amy turns up to make a save and confirms that the worst has happened: Restoration HQ has fallen, and almost everyone along with it. None of the other named heroes are present in the back of the ship including, most shockingly of all, little Cream!
At this point, the heroes’ best bet may be the strange bedfellows pairing of Dr. Starline and the Zeti. While their impending interference will no doubt prove useful, I did find it odd that Starline trusted them so easily. That was quite abrupt and made the newcomer seem more than a little naïve. Given that he’s turned to them due to his figuring out that Eggman is not as in control as he thought, you’d think he’d exercise some caution. But hey ho, I like Zavok and his crew, so it’s a welcome return at least.
Overall, I’m still really enjoying this arc. The sudden peril adds to the closing stretch, and I’m genuinely nervous about Cream’s safety right now. This one has me eager for the next issue and gets a 4.5 out of 5 from me.