Saturday, June 2, 2018

Sonic The Hedgehog #5 Review

Eggman Must Be Punished

Written By: Ian Flynn
Art By: Tracy Yardley
Inks By: Jim Amash
Colors By: Matt Herms
Letters By: Corey Breen
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 30, 2018
Review by: Simon West

IDW relaunched the Sonic the Hedgehog comic in April with a flurry, coming out every week for the entire month we were treated to 4 rapid-fire issues of SEGA’s blue mascot. Ian Flynn and his rotating team of artists managed to deliver a weekly book with an impressive level of consistency and quality. Now the pace has died down and the long wait for issue 5 is over how does the book hold up?

The book opens with an obligatory action sequence, Sonic and Espio cleaning up some Badniks while on their way to meet the rest of the Chaotix Detective Agency so Sonic can see first hand the fate of Eggman. But it isn’t what Sonic is expecting to find.

You see Ian Flynn pitches an interesting ethical dilemma for an all ages book based on a video game about a wisecracking speed addict hedgehog. Eggman has no knowledge of his past life. Living a simple life in the village as the kind and helpful Mr. Tinker, Eggman has demonstrated to both the village elders and the Chaotix Detective Agency that he isn’t the man they think him to be. As the conversation between Espio and Sonic goes, justice must be served but can they punish the man presented in front of them?

A Badnik attack interrupts Sonic’s difficult decision but Mr. Tinker’s actions in the face of danger, cowering in fear, yet always putting the more vulnerable members of the village ahead of himself cements Sonic’s decision. Mr. Tinker will face no punishment for his past life as Eggman. But a last-minute name drop and the arrival of next months guest stars could make Sonic regret his choice.

I want to take a minute to talk about the art team on this Sonic book. To me, an all-ages title should be bright, vibrant and fun. A younger reader pouring over these pages multiple times should be exhilarated on subsequent re-reads and here the art team excels. Jim Amash’s inks and Matt Herm’s colors allow everything to pop right off the page, the use of shadows is excellent allowing the book to look cartoony without appearing flat.

Unsurprisingly though its Tracy Yardley that steals the show, he manages to pack so much character and attitude into everyone that appears, it really brings this story to life. Whether it’s the nameless kids that decorate the village or the titular star of the book, everyone here wears their heart on their sleeve and makes this an absolute joy to read and re-read.

As an all-ages title, this comic continues to contain everything I look for, a fun visual style combined with some light humor and never talking down to its audience.

This isn’t a perfect book though. The Badnik fights are beginning to feel rote and lack any sense of consequence. This issues guest stars, the Chaotix Detective Agency are largely uninteresting and the cliffhanger feels like it could be anti-climatic, resolved in much the same way this entire issue was.

Bits and Pieces
Another strong entry in this new run of Sonic the Hedgehog, while this months guest stars don’t really inspire and the long-term story is inching along slowly every issue continues to provide high-quality all-ages entertainment.


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