Review – Sonic The Hedgehog #2 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Ian Flynn
Artist: Adam Bryce Thomas
Letterer: Corey Breen
Release Date: 11th April 2018

Sonic The Hedgehog #1 proved to be an unexpected delight. A fun, fast-paced all-ages comic with plenty of humor and drop-dead gorgeous art.  And, with the second issue dropping only a week after the first, it seems like writer Ian Flynn is settling into a nice rhythm of world-building and high-octane action that never lets up.

Issue two sees Sonic running headfirst into another set of Badniks terrorizing an almost defenseless town. However, an anything-but-defenseless Amy makes sure a powerful duo is formed to face whatever faces the town.  But the arrival of Amy brings questions of the Resistance and the face behind these Badniks to the forefront, and Sonic will decide his path in the face of a new evil rising.

It definitely seems as though these first 4 issues are a “getting the band together” event, setting up the new big bad being alongside our colorful cast of animals. With non-stop action running alongside it, of course.  It’s a smart way to introduce new readers to the world, while also putting the breadcrumbs out for long time fans to be pulled along to hopefully see their favorite characters included in future issues.

Unfortunately, the main downside of this method is that this latest issue delivers itself in a similar vein as the first, making it slightly less exciting than its predecessor.  Maybe it was the shock of enjoying the first issue so much, but after issue #1 I was possibly hoping for something creative here to keep things fresh, rather than more of the same.   That said, even when you stick to the method Flynn has chosen for this series, there’s still plenty of fun to be had.

Most of the humor this time round come from from Amy and Sonic’s trademark quips.  It’s hard to deny the sheer fun Flynn seems to be having with this dynamic, and it’s more endearingly cute than I’d like to admit.  Plus, Amy is updated to move past her lovestruck (i.e. basically useless) roots to become a strong fighter, strategist and resistance leader. Making her a strong female character for the series going forward is a definite win in my book.

Flynn also deserves a lot of credit for the world-building too. Fleshing out such a strange, cartoon-y world is no simple feat, but it’s managed here so naturally. Fitting history and character relations so easily into the flow of the story and the action without missing a beat, and never stopping the easy-to-read goodness of an all-ages comic. An impressive achievement indeed.

More than all of this however, where this series really cements itself, much like it’s predecessor, is in its dazzling action.   Adam Bryce Thomas brings something beyond his A game here, rendering every line of motion, every explosion and every minute detail in the flow of a character like Sonic, Amy or their robotic foes to life in stunning fashion. It’s a visual delight that shows the breathtaking action that can be drawn from the world of cartooning, and how a mastery of paneling and kinetic flow can bring even the actions of a Hedgehog that rolls into a ball to life in perfect fashion.

Just from the preview below you can see what I mean, it’s so brilliant it’s hard to describe.  The expression and personality of these characters also carries over straight from the first issue, with this cultivated group of artists actually working to keep a really consistent feel, despite how distinct their cartooning is.   Bryce Thomas also holds the fort as his own colorist, making sure to ensure coloring between these issues feel so consistent when jumping from one artist to another.  While also keeping the same, bright palette from the first issue, the specific style of action gives plenty of things to play with, with some striking pages of lazer fire and explosions being standouts within such a strong visual issue.

Sonic The Hedgehog #2 brings everything you loved in #1 again; humor, heart and excitement molded by cartooning perfection.  While not deviating from the formula much at all, the success of the first brings similar success here.  And while I’m very much here for the ride, I hope once we finally get the band back together, Sonic The Hedgehog opts to shake things up a little in future issues to keep things feeling fresh and exciting.

Rating: 4/5


The writer of this piece was: Connor Stephens
Connor Tweets from @diddlesMVP

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