Sonic the Hedgehog 49
Story: Evan Stanley
Art: Evan Stanley
Colours: Matt Herms & Heather Breckel
The road to issue #50 continues here! Enjoy a TEN-ISSUE-LONG adventure leading up to the EPIC SHOWDOWN in milestone issue #50
Things are looking up for Sonic and friends! Tails and Belle have been running tests on a friendly Motobug and hope to use their findings to reprogram other Badniks to be good. Without his robotic minions, Dr. Eggman’s forces are weakened, but when a signal causes the Badniks to go wild, Sonic, Tails, and Belle unknowingly set out to defeat a foe mightier than Eggman.
The penultimate issue of the mainline IDW Sonic The Hedgehog run towards issue 50 as an interesting release. As you can see from the excellent cover from Adam Bryce Thomas and Leonardo Itocover above, we’re looking at a slightly dark tone at times here. The brunt of this story continues one of the themes we’ve been seeing in Imposter Syndrome: machines can be tricky things. This all begins with Tails reverse engineering Motobud’s non-aggression routine and feeding it into a bunch of old-school badniks, demonstrating that the machines can indeed be made non-threatening. Similarly, though, they can also be twisted back again, as we see both Motobud and Belle are remotely compelled to make their way towards an Eggman city.
This is all aided by some wonderfully creepy imagery, such as Motobud scratching at the door, and Belle’s dead eyes. Towards the end, we finally get some resolution for the wooden robot’s biggest woe, too. As it transpires, Mr. Tinker left a note for Belle inside Motobud, and very much viewed her as a daughter. She’s now set moving forward too, having seemingly accepted that Eggman will always be Eggman, and will never again be his alter-ego.
This was another success for Evan Stanley in terms of storytelling. She has managed to work within the constraints of both the standard length of the issues and the need to make sure everything is all-ages appropriate in a similar way to Ian Flynn before her. By that, I mean she clearly understands the material well and balances what she wants to do with some slightly more mature moments that are pitched perfectly for a younger audience. While it is a transitional issue to move certain pieces into place for the much-touted issue 50, it was still a fun ride, and gets a solid 4 out of 5 for me.