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IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog

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I read it and liked it. Certainly better than Issue 3 IMO. However, I'm a bit disappointed about them using the same exact story structure. At least Blaze wasn't sidelined for Tangle, and Blaze is staying. Things will hopefully pick up after issue 4.

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I actually enjoyed this issue a lot more than #3. Sure #3 mixed things up with a different enemy and that for the most part these opening comics danced the same dance to the same tune, but to me what sold this issue was the character interactions. I'm a sucker for character interactions and maybe it's just because I found the lack of Sonic and Knuckles' rivalry on display that the interactions in issue 4 just stand out to me so much more. But I rather felt the same way about issue 1 and 2 where I found the Sonic/Amy team up was a lot more dynamic than the Sonic/Tails team up. Then of course there is Tangle.

 

Tangle for me came across as well meaning goofball and I simply enjoyed her energy and enthusiasm. Her constant confusion and inability to grasp things the fan base had treats as common knowledge was the type of meta humor I enjoy without it ever going over board instead allowing her expressions to sell the reactions. Seeing her fall behind Sonic and Blaze nearly instantly but put in the effort to not fall behind was also nice and I could easily see her becoming a recuring character especially since she has shown a concern about the threat behind the organized badniks. All in all, I was sold on Tangle as she appealed to my love for simple yet dynamic characters and if she persistently is portrayed this way I will find it a delight every time she appears in the future.

 

Comically, I've never had much investment in Blaze (I criminally prefer Marine more) but her presentation here seemed on point with how imagine her being handled. Her sense of responsibility to both the Sol Emeralds and those around her is a nice contrast to Knuckles who, even though he shows some level of care, still puts the Master Emerald above all else. It'll be nice to see how that plays up once the Master Emerald gets pulled into the plot and how Knuckles will persist in the story once it's truly out of harm's way.

 

So on a whole I'd say for me the comics in ascending order are #3, #1, #4, and #2 at the top. The combination of ABT's art, Amy's characterization, the use of the established history from the games up to and including Amy's role in Forces, and the fluidity in which it was all tied together just does it for me more than any of the other issues. Issue 2 alone and wanting to see both Amy's and ABT's artwork return is enough to keep me invested in the comics for a while longer but issue 4 has also done a good job at keeping me invested as I find myself wanting to see how Tangle will react to rest of the gang. I can already imagine Amy constantly having to assure Tangle that all of the zaniness they get involved with is par for the course and Tangle just smiling lopsided at her.

 

Lastly, going to play my hand at a final positive (bear with me here as I start negative to get to the point) take on the first four issues and their repetitive story structure. To start though, my primary negative; they had to follow Sonic's point of view. It's a weird stance to take especially since this is Sonic's story and we have to be introduced to his story, but I feel that actually hurt things more than anything. If we could have had a first five issues (#1 and #5 debuting on the regular monthly release schedule and then #2, 3, and 4 releasing in the interim weeks) I feel like the first issue could have been solely dedicated to Sonic to introduce to him and the world through his eyes as well as the contrast between his free spirited adventuring and perpetual battle with Dr. Eggman. From there going into the Character introductory issues could have shown us everyone else's point of view and would have been a good way to inform us of what to expect from them going forward. Instead, we simply have Sonic's take alone on all of them and what Sonic expects out of each of them. There is a strength in that though, especially for those new to the franchise and not scared off by the strong expectations of having kept up with nearly 27 years of the franchise, and that is that they get to be as pleasantly surprised or horrified as Sonic is when things happen that neither he nor the reader expects. With Sonic as the focal point of the story it's important that his viewpoint is what informs the reader more than anything else and I feel that these first issues established that very well as character prologue stories. Perhaps it still could have worked better if there were five, maybe even six, issues that released simultaneously to cover Sonic Tails, Amy, Knuckles, Tangle, and Blaze separately, but considering time constraints I can accept what we have been given as it did entertain me and give me hope for the future of the comic and I feel it serves as an adequate prologue. That said, with the character based prologue out of the way it's time to see if the comic will step it up or try to get by as a simple but still entertaining read.

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I guess I can see the beef with the Story Structure being the same but TBF this story is just to highlight everyone's skills and abilities. I'm sure starting next arc Things will start to pick up.

Personally I enjoyed this arc. All I really wanted was fun stories with Sonic and his buddies bashing bots, Cracking wise and giving a few tantalizing plotlines to set up for the future. I feel like these 4 issues accomplished that. I will admit it is kind of annoying the set up in all 4 issues is largely the same but I do feel like this is a good way to introduce these characters to new readers. The issues tell you everything you need to know about the characters.

Although I will admit despite saying "You don't need to know much" This first Arc is reliant on you having played Sonic Forces. I'll admit going all in on the Forces references and not really explaining what they're talking about was maybe not the best idea. I mean I suppose the thinking is "Get Readers interested enough to go back and check out Forces for themselves" but I guess time will tell how successful that was.

All-In-All I enjoyed this first outing. It may have been fairly Epissodic but honestly I'm hopeful. It was a fun ride and I'm very interested in learning more about the Mystery Villain, They're Plans for the Master Emerald, Where Eggman has been, What the Sol Emeralds called Blaze to Sonic's world for. It's going to be an interesting trip.

4 Out of 5

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7 minutes ago, SBR2 said:

I mean I suppose the thinking is "Get Readers interested enough to go back and check out Forces for themselves" but I guess time will tell how successful that was.

This is the worrisome part no matter how you break it down. At the end of the day that was what the Archie Comics were supposed to do, get readers to go check out the games, but instead it became its own thing in more ways than one. The question at this point is will there be a "Fallout" arc in the comics after every game forcing a time skip and disrupting the flow or will this be allowed to be it's own thing and wrap up any ongoing story before having to advertise the latest game. Since I've already found myself looking forward to seeing more of Tangle I'm hoping it'll be a lot more of the latter since she is currently IDW exclusive and her along with future IDW exclusives won't be in the games so adaptrions will need time to be worked into the story so that way the IDW characters can be addressed properly. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind time skipping past every game when it comes out and having a "Fallout" arc that encourages readers to go buy the game. Since new games don't release very often I would say it shouldn't be to obtrusive and it would give Flynn the ability to twist the status quo to fit his narrative without having to fully give in to the game.

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Still waiting for Eggman and Shadow to show up to make this comic cool instead of cringy sonic's team ups. Am I wrong to think that Sonic himself is what brings this comic down? Also it's funny Sonic's happy to see Blaze but feels no such thing when he saw Amy.

 

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Blaze was pretty rad and Tangle seems fun so I'd call this one of the better issues so far (2>4>3>1, maybe), but it's still just another issue where they introduce some characters, have a fight scene, and basically just spin their wheels otherwise. Hasn't exactly been a stellar start for a new series.

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6 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Ok, just finished #4. Hold to your chairs, cause I'm going to spoil you everything!!!! Ready?

....It's just like previous issues. Great artwork, cute interactions ( I liked "need rest" joke), smashing bots and nothing f%#&-ing else.

You might think "ooo but we're gonna meet Tangle". Frankly, if you followed social media and preview pages, you know everything about her.

At the end of a day, those 4 issues are good at their own, but grouped together I'm kinda insulted Flynn repeated same story four times with different bells and whistles and we're suppose to be cool with that. I'll go into more details, but it's gonna be a lot of rambling, so feel free to skip it if you're not in a mood.

  Hide contents

I think my biggest gripe with this "exiting new world" is how incredibly repetitive it was. I get it, Flynn wants to start small. Fiiiiiine, but give us variety.

Same-y looking cities, same badniks, same plot. I get that in video game your resources are limited, but in comics there is no reason to fill whole issue with Egg Pawns. Where are other classic badniks? Heck, where Egg Pawn variants? I want those silly clowns from Shadow the Game, they were awesome. Cities could been different as well. Why issue 3 can't take place in cool looking factory? Or issue 2nd be about mobians running towards a city, through a cool looking forest?

It's funny that 3rd issue got slack for boring villains, when comparing to other issues, Rough & Tumble are breath of fresh air (... bad phrasing on my part). I'm not saying this issue was better, but if all issues had different threat, I might've been more forgiving. Speaking of new characters, Rough & Tumble  are 2-dimentional punks, barely a threat... and that's fine, cause that was the idea. I don't mind them, I'm just wondering what's their role. Hooligans, Babylon Rouges or even Jackal Squad can easily to the same job, only better. Looking at other continuities we have Sleet & Dingo (underground) or Destructix (archie), Nasty Hyenas (satam). Rough & Tumble don't bring much new to the table all I'm saying.
As for Tangle she's certainly adorable...if lacking in  background. Sonic is a hero, Chaotix are detectives, Relic is archeologist, Honey is cloth designer. Tangle is.... can we distract you her tail a bit longer? And don't tell Sonic cast has more 'nobodies'. Not everyone has job, but everyone has 'function' or story. Amy is Sonic #1 fangirl, Cream a polite young girl, Marine is a unstoppable flood of words, Tangle is... a teen? A fighter? A dude with attitude? Tomboy? I know, let's look at her tail again!

Lastly, we all know that Flynn loves seeding plot points for future...so why it's missing here? Aside for "chairman/eggman" thing there is no Honey ads at the buildings, no Undina walking in the background or someone mentioning off-handily Razor's backstory. Again, Flynn  painted very dull universe so far. How hard it would be to slap logo on Wispons Factory, to foreshadow a evil corporation?  Or have Amy/Knux mention "Sonic, resistance could use your help with Operation BlaBla" to have us guess what Resistance is actually doing.

If all of my complains look petty to you, it's because they are. But what else can I suggest to improve such a simple scripts? If you check my previous posts you may notice I made prediction about plot of issue 2. Got 80% right. I also listed 3 things I hope will happen in #4. None of them did (1 bigger challenge than dozen badniks, 2 any movement on Chairman mystery 3 " There is a reason why Blaze is here. Not excuse. A reason. She didn't fall through Genesis Portal or came to visit, something is actually happening." to quote myself. "Stones told me to come" is vague as heck. As much as... well, a mysterious guy sitting on Eggman chair.)
In other words, my petty complains cumulate, failing to distract me from bigger picture.

To conclude this overlong rant of the fanboy, so far IDW just lack selling point. Is like a a bread, maybe with a som butter butter. Yes it's a fresh baked bread, served on a silver plate and waiter was just so nice to me, but Chaos damn it, it's just a bread! Archie had more stuff happening, Preboot Archie had WAY more things happening. Mega Drive had insanely cute artwork, crossovers with Megaman had... well, Megaman. What those issues have to offer than all of those comics didn't offer?

To not end on a downer note, I do believe things can only get better from here. After 10+ years of Flynn, I more-less know his way of thinking. It might take a bit longer, maybe even rest of a years, but Flynn will build on this humble foundation as he did many times before.

 

I agree with this statement completely, given Archie and Fleetway both took a while to come into their own, and the one comic that didn’t, the Boom comic, was cancelled before it had the chance to grow on people, due to unforseen circumstances. The only way I see this comic not growing on at least some people is unforseen circumstances terminating it. 

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1 minute ago, FFWF said:

My sense is that the editorial team is probably treating the first four issues as essentially a big Issue #1 that just happened to be released in four installments.  Time will tell whether or not that was a good idea, but that theory to me explains the repetition.

I agree. All issues released in one month sounds like a jumbo-sized introduction to me.

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45 minutes ago, FFWF said:

My sense is that the editorial team is probably treating the first four issues as essentially a big Issue #1 that just happened to be released in four installments.  Time will tell whether or not that was a good idea, but that theory to me explains the repetition.

Because when I go to watch Superman movie and he saves the plane I think to myself "Hell yeah, I hope he'll save 4 more planes before the movie ends".

I'm not saying you're wrong, but whoever ordered that.

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18 minutes ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Because when I go to watch Superman movie and he saves the plane I think to myself "Hell yeah, I hope he'll save 4 more planes before the movie ends".

I'm not saying you're wrong, but whoever ordered that.

I personally feel it's more that it was as advertised. We were told before we ever saw the first issue that each of the first four issues would be Sonic arrives in town, meets major friend, defeats enemies, and moves on as a way to introduce the characters. Seeing people complain about being delivered what was promised reminds me about how Dragon's Dogma was dogged for delivering a traditional medieval fantasy RPG with no unique flare when that was exactly what was advertised. I can get behind certain executions being criticized for not being up to snuff, but criticizing what you got when it was exactly what was promised boggles the mind. It was one thing when the fear of repetition was brought up before release but criticizing the idea now instead of the execution of delivering what was promised seems strange to me. I get that it was repetitive, but we were told it would be out of the gate. That's what to me makes issues 2 and 4 so good is because the characters make the story pop regardless of the repetition. It's part of to me why Tails and Knuckles need more time right now because they both came off as little more than Sonic's bot-bashing buddies. Technically even Blaze came off this way whereas Amy and Tangle had a more facets to work with (Amy's crush and responsibility to the Resistance, and Tangle defending her home town and reactions to what Sonic considers normal). As I said execution vs concept. Introduce the main characters in a simple game-like action of bashing bots and show us who they are and what they are about. The concept is admittedly flawed as these comics released once a week instead of once every two to four years so of course they will feel repetitive. Conversely, they did introduce to all of the characters in as short a time as possible which is what they aimed to do even if they did not necessarily show us what everyone is really about in a satisfactory manner.

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1 hour ago, FFWF said:

My sense is that the editorial team is probably treating the first four issues as essentially a big Issue #1 that just happened to be released in four installments.  Time will tell whether or not that was a good idea, but that theory to me explains the repetition.

The short term time-span is saying it's not a good idea judging by the complaints...

Things will get positive...

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1 hour ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Because when I go to watch Superman movie and he saves the plane I think to myself "Hell yeah, I hope he'll save 4 more planes before the movie ends".

I'm not saying you're wrong, but whoever ordered that.

Man you're so right. If there's one thing I hate it's heroes being heroic.

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Not sure if #4 is my favourite so far, but Evan certainly provides my favourite artwork in this comic so far.  As brief as it was, I liked Tangle and just seeing Blaze after all this time was good all on its own.  Action seemed a lot tighter and better presented than usual too.  It's not been stellar work, but the book's got me invested enough to keep going.  Can we just... get a better plot next time though?

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1 hour ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Because when I go to watch Superman movie and he saves the plane I think to myself "Hell yeah, I hope he'll save 4 more planes before the movie ends".

I'm not saying you're wrong, but whoever ordered that.

I think the year is gonna be saving planes

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15 minutes ago, SBR2 said:

Man you're so right. If there's one thing I hate it's heroes being heroic.

A Superhero film isn't just the hero saving people over and over again, there's usually a central conflict that constitutes a proper structure to the story. The attempt to overarc in this opening arc has been very weak, to the point where it's hardly even present. 

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I dunno, mixed art and mostly boring writing made this a very weak start to this series overall. I really hope things pick up now that it's going monthly, but to be honest, my interest is already waning.

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I enjoyed this issue and really liked Tangle. She reminded me of Amy or a less paranoid Sticks. I hope we get to see more of her in the future and it was so nice to see Blaze back in the comic verse.  Really enjoyed the first 4 issues and hopefully the story telling will start to dig a bit deeper. But I’m happy with the direction we are going in at the moment. 

I think the biggest surprise has been how well the comic has been selling. I don’t think in there wildest dreams they would have thought of a third printing of #1, so big props to all involved and may this success continue.

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Ok, now that i read the first four issues, i'll try to sum my thoughts on the "first arc" of the comic:

The first issue was pretty much what i'd expect from the first issue, the second issue was also pretty much what i'd expect from the first issue, both had great character interaction and nothing really happening besides that, the driving force of the first two issues are clearly the interaction between Sonic and Tails (for issue #1) and Sonic and Amy (for issue #2).

The third issue bugged me a little, i didn't really liked the wisps here, nor Sonic's reaction to Rough and Tumble, i really feel like he should've acted more sarcastic and sassy, not straight up laugh, Rough and Tumble however can become great recurring villains, but their first appearance really didn't do anything to me. The fourth issue was fun, Tangle and Blaze didn't really overshadowed each other which is awesome, Tangle's personality is great and i'm looking forward to her next appearance. However i can't help but feel like the structure in the first four issues are way too similar, i hope this stops to happen in the next issues.

But the biggest problem with the start of this new series for me is, literally zero world-building was done, nothing, we didn't get even the name of the cities (i can already see that i'll miss the yellow boxes). I really hope this changes in the (near) future.

The art is stellar as always, my favorite of the four in this department is issue #2, Adam Thomas became my favorite artist from the series, and his work here is incredible, and the background character designs are really good, especially Lanolin's and the dog guard from issue #3 (which Jen said she based on her own dog, which is very nice), and talking about issue #3, i don't know what happened, but in some panels the characters looked kinda off, i don't know if it's because of the coloring/inking, but something went wrong there, still great, but not as great as the other three issues.

One last thing, i can't help but compare these first four issues to Countdown to Chaos, and i really feel like the latter was a better first arc in the sense of introducing characters, the pacing between the main plot and Eggman's side plot (and i really feel this new start could've benefited from a side plot), the world building, and it felt less repetitive, i know it had common elements all over the arc, like meeting a character, and restoring their memories, but the situations in which they are in each issue are more varied than the ones we got now. I'm not saying i hated the new comic or anything, i liked it, not as much as i hoped i would, but liked nonetheless, and i really hope these problems i had with these first issues disappear in future issues.

 

Also, i know it's a nitpick, but could we stop having the same stock art in every credits page?

Spoiler

credits.png

Like, please?

 

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Finished reading issue three and four, extremely underwhelmed. Even more so than the first two Issues, everything just seems far too similar and dull. I'm worried Sega have given IDW strict guidelines behind the scenes on what they want from the comic and if this is what we will be getting in the future, I'm out. It's been extremely lacklustre.

Having said that, it's only issue 4...

 

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