- Sonic the Hedgehog Annual 2020
- IDW Publishing
- Story: Various
- Art: Various
- Colours: Various
“Untold Tales of the Metal Virus!” As the Metal Virus plague-Dr. Eggman’s latest plan that turns all organic life into zombified robots-spreads across Sonic’s world, none can escape its path! Join Sonic and some of his greatest friends and worst foes in six incredible, previously untold stories about how the world reacts to this latest threat!
We’re back with another Sonic comic review, and this time, we’re looking at the 2020 annual. Now, much as I did with the 2019 annual, I’m going to talk briefly about each story in turn. The theme this time around though is the untold stories of the Metal Virus. So, basically, what the side characters got up to while the virus was spreading. Let’s begin.
Big’s Big Adventure: Ian Flynn handled the writing for this one, with Jonathan Gray on art duty and Reggie Graham doing the colours. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of Big. That being said, I don’t hate the character, I just don’t really get the appeal. This was a good story though. It took the usual Big trope of looking for Froggy, and we got to see Big walking through infested areas, narrowly avoiding getting turned. It all built up to a dark twist ending and left things on a satisfying note. The colours make this one really stand out as something different and they suited the tone of the tale well. I’m going to give this one 5 out of 5.
Nite the Owl in Darkest Hour: Evan Stanley did everything on this one and it’s visually very her in style. The story follows the titular disc jockey and the radio station’s night custodian, Don the Rooster as the virus begins to spread. It’s a short story, but one that does a good job of showing the regular citizens trying to band together during the crisis. It’s another decent entry that I’ll give a 5 out of 5 to.
Metal Sonic in Reflections: Caleb Goellner wrote this one, with Aaron Hammerstrom doing art and Reggie Graham on colour duty again. This was interesting because aside from being low on speech, Reggie’s colour tone was different from the one in the first story, but it still felt very fitting. It’s a decent enough visual tale, and Metal Sonic is clearly more complex than just being a Sonic smashing machine, but I would say this felt a little weaker than the others. Part of that is that the reactions Metal Sonic gave in this made me think he was having second thoughts about the virus, but it never really went anywhere in the main arc. I’ll give it 3.5 out of 5.
Dr. Starline in Eggman’s Day Off: Sarah Graley wrote this one with Lamar Wells on pencils, Bracardi Curry and Gigi Dutreix on inks, and Bracardi Curry on colours. It’s a simple, light-hearted story about Eggman’s Egg Cave. There isn’t a lot I can say about it really. The art is consistent with the main comics, the humour is fun, and it’s a quick, easy read. I’ll give it 4 out of 5.
The Chaotix in Flock Together: Sam King was on writing duty here, with Jamal Peppers doing the art and Priscilla Tramontano doing the colours. The art felt very simple here. Not bad at all, but far less detailed than the regular issues. The story is fine; it covers the Chaotix trying to retrieve Charmy, and almost falling prey to the virus as a result. I’ll give it 3 out of 5.
Jewel the Beetle in The Catalyst: This one was written by Gigi Dutreix, with Abigail Bulmer doing the art. I loved the story here. It showed how the Metal Virus came to Tangle’s hometown and took us right up when Tangle returned. The speech was great, it had kids being kids, and it did a good job of ending the annual on a strong story. My only issue was, again, that the art felt more simple than the regular issues. It still wasn’t bad, but it felt weaker than we normally see. I’ll give it 4 out of 5.
That means we get an average score of 4.08 out of 5, which places it a little below the 2019 annual in overall quality. That sounds about right. This was a nice little addition to the metal Virus arc though, and is well worth picking up.