Sonic the Hedgehog: Imposter Syndrome Issue 1
Story: Ian Flynn
Art: Thomas Rothlisberger & Aaron Hammerstrom
Colours: Valentina Pinto
The ROAD TO #50 continues here! Enjoy a TEN-ISSUE long adventure leading up to the EPIC SHOWDOWN in milestone issue #50.
A surge of imposters spells trouble for Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails, and even Eggman! Dr. Starline is pulling every tool from his kit as he creates his fastest and smartest inventions. An all new mini-series from Sonic writer Ian Flynn, Imposter Syndrome #1 will have readers seeing double!
Thus far, IDW has done a great job with their spin-off arcs in the Sonic the Hedgehog comics, and this was no exception o that rule. The four available covers are excellent, with my favourite being Cover B by issue artist and colour team, Thomas Rothlisberger and Valentina Pinto. Interestingly, the final cover by Ben Bates and Mari Takeyama doesn’t appear in the textless cover gallery at the end of the issue. This is the first time this has happened, I believe, and is likely because it’s an online exclusive cover.
As far as the internals go, Thomas does a great job, especially with the more aggressive and negative facial expressions. From Dr. Starline’s exasperation to Surge’s outright anger, everything looks wonderful. The action scenes are kept simple, mostly being used as a way to show off the differences between Surge and Kitsunami through some posing that is designed to be derivative of Sonic and Tails.
It’s also worth noting that Aaron Hammerstrom takes over the art for pages eight to twelve, and honestly, I wouldn’t have noticed if it wasn’t credited. Aaron’s art sits nicely alongside Thomas’s without creating a stylistic break, which was nice to see. Finally, Valentina Pinto’s work on the colours is excellent. The shading in this issue is really good. I’m also a big fan of special effect styled colour work, and Valentina‘s water and electricity really stand out in that regard.
I have to give credit to Ian Flynn here too. While this being the first issue of a spin-off arc means we’re only given a teaser of what’s in store, this didn’t feel like it left too much open. We get a pretty good idea about how Starline has messed with Surge and Kitsunami, and we can see them begin to doubt what he’s telling them too. Surge’s general attitude here may actually be her best friend when it comes to potentially breaking free of his control.
The whole dynamic here was a lot of fun. Starline fits in with the Sonic universe so well, largely because of his adoration for – and desire to exceed – Dr. Eggman guides his actions in a realistic way. The newcomers, meanwhile, slot into their roles equally well, and their moments of almost-clarity add a nice wrinkle to the tale.
Overall, this was about as good an intro as you could get for the arc. It’s a fun step towards issue 50 and it has made me look forward to seeing what comes next. This gets the full 5 out of 5 from me.