I want to confess something: in its current state, I'm not really feeling this series. I mean no ill will towards ANYONE working on this comic, nor do I belittle anyone liking this comic, but I came here to state some constructive criticism that I have with the book.
Here are my issues:
The pacing in this book feels... sluggish. Not much goes on in one book, and it's kind of starting to feel formulaic. Just bash up some robots, and maybe a bit of plot at the end. This is a bit of a generalization, but I think you get the point. This leads into...
I feel this book is lacking in substance. It looks very pretty, for the most part, especially with ABT. However, I feel as if many things lack the soul of the Archie series. First off, the characterization and character interactions, while nice, can feel a bit same-y. The next thing is that most of the characters bounce off of Sonic, and Sonic only. You could argue that he's the main character, but it'd be nice if other characters are there to bounce of each other, like Tails and Knuckles, Whisper and Tangle, etc. Did I mention that Neo Metal kinda felt predictable? Like, he was predicted to be the guy in the chair since the first issue. Finally, there's none of that pizzazz that the Archie comics had, pre-boot nor post-boot. It feels too close to the games rather than being the "blank slate" that was promised last year.
The book is WAY too centered on Sonic. I know that he's the main character, but Archie could focus on multiple characters and still tell a really compelling story. Also, he's too highly worshiped, such as the first book, where one of them said would potentially DIE just for Sonic to wink at them.
Despite being hyped to death, with all the fanart and stuff, I feel that Tangle and Whisper add NOTHING to the story. As in, they could be taken out and nothing of value would of been lost. These character shouldn't be treated like this, and they should leave more of an impact on the reader.
I don't know if this is fatigue of Ian Flynn, mandates from Sega, or something... but for right now, I just don't feel that this comic has enough to actually CARE about. Of course this could change in the future, and I hope it does. Again, I don't have anything against them, but for some reason or another, this book feels... off.
I don't hate this comic, but I feel it could be SO much better. Here are some suggestions:
Have more character-driven stories. There's more to a comic book than just action. Give the characters some development, make them feel more real and relatable, and, y'know, make me care about them.
Have some some subplots/backup-stories. There is a vast majority of stories you can tell. They don't all have to be "defeat Eggman/villain of the week".
Give other characters more spotlight and more meaning to the story. You created new characters for a reason, and they should be used for more than just hype material.
Put in some worldbuilding. None of the towns in this book so far are named, nor are mayors of towns. It's minor, but I think it needs to be said. If this is going to be a long-running comic, it needs to have a world that is memorable.
I'm saying all of this for one reason: to make the comic something that is good for everybody. I'm not asking for another Archie, but I think it should break away from the games enough to get its own identity, and feel more satisfying to read.
I want this book to be beyond great, to surpass Archie Sonic, but to do that, we need to speak up.