Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 24
Story: Ian Flynn
Art: Adam Bryce Thomas
Colours: Bracardi Curry
“The Last One Out” As the Metal Virus spreads, Tangle’s hometown of Spiral Hill Village stands as one of the last strongholds of the uninfected. Sonic, Tangle, and the remaining heroes of the Restoration make a stand, but will it be enough?”
I’m going to say that this is the single best month for covers in the IDW Sonic the Hedgehog series since it began. I got Cover A by Jonathan Gray and Reggie Graham, and it is superb. It’s basically a split page of the characters – both those that have appeared this arc and a few surprises like Marine the Raccoon – in both regular and Zombot mode. It’s really good.
At the same time, Cover B by Aaron Hammerstrom is also really good. It’s a shot of Sonic and Tangle in pixel art form and captures the feel of the old games really nicely. Meanwhile, Nathalie Fourdraine takes Cover RI again, this time offering up a beautiful shot of Dr. Starline. Seriously, you can’t go wrong this month.
Adam does a phenomenal job with the internal too and really brings the emotional moments alive through the characters’ facial expressions. But not just that. His work with posing the characters serves the action scenes well, of course, but it’s the subtle touches that really stand out, like Amy’s slight tail wag when Sonic turns up. Bracardi doesn’t let the team down either, with him making god use of tone to play into the mood of important individual moments.
Now, onto the story. Be warned, there are spoilers ahead, largely because it would be hard to talk about what happened without them this month. I came into this issue expecting things to get tied up, for the most part. I figured that Sonic and his pals would prevail, but barely, thanks to an assist from the Zeti, which would then set up the continued story for season 3. This was largely based on the last three issues being titled in such a way that made it seem like we’d get a high-speed finale that tied things up at the last minute. That isn’t what happened.
After the events of the last three issues, it was clear that the heroes were coming into this on the backfoot. And that’s where they remain. Cream is doing her best, but her delightfully positive demeanour is gone, and that in itself is as stark a sign of things falling apart as you could want. The story brings the feels in other ways too though.
Tangle the Lemur, the lovable, hyperactive newbie…falls. She sacrifices herself in a well-framed heroic moment that left me thoroughly shocked. Worst of all, when Sonic broke the news to the survivors, Whisper the Wolf let out a massive burst of emotion that we just don’t see from her normally. It was borderline scary seeing her so aggressive, especially those teeth bared. I was actually fighting back tears reading that.
By the end of the issue, things aren’t improving either. The survivors are low in number, Sonic’s ability to hold back the Metal Virus is failing, and then the Zeti turn up. We’re left at a point when the heroes don’t appear to have much of a way back.
This was not only an excellent end to the second year of the run, but easily the most emotional issue so far. Ian Flynn and the team are working wonders with the franchise and I have no hesitation in declaring this (especially when combined with the last three issues) the best of the year. This is an easy 5 out of 5.