IDW’s current run of Sonic the Hedgehog is a delightful, family-friendly story that I feel is being overlooked by most mainstream readers.
The comic itself takes place in the bright and colourful world of Sonic that we’ve come to know and love from the various video games. It harkens back to the original TV run from the 1990s era, rather than the dystopian cyberpunk future of Sonic X or Sonic Underground. We are treated to the age-old robots being controlled by Dr. Robotnik terrorizing the denizens of Moebius.
But the plot is surprisingly more complex than just Sonic beats up Dr. Robotnik nee Eggman. There is a deeper mystery at play here, and there are subtle relationship factors between the characters that many young children would likely miss, but long-term fans would be sure to catch.
This isn’t a fluffy fun read. Well, that’s incorrect. It is a fluffy, fun read, but because it takes place after the fall of the Eggman Empire, there are some darker bits in the story – Sonic and friends are all tired, are all hardened by battle. It gives a depth to the characters that is often overlooked in the lighter fare, especially with Sonic titles. This run especially gives a good balance of heavier story with easy-to-read scripts without ever coming off as condescending.
It’s very much not written for an adult audience, but it isn’t so childish that you’re going to hate reading it. Overall, the story is fantastic, full of action that tests the bonds of friendship. The art is great, with bright, bold colour choices that reflect the games franchise that came before it.
I really do recommend the comics for any fan of the franchise. These comics invoke a sense of nostalgia while being fresh and new, without being too overly repetitive. I really love that they went with the classic tropes and story elements, rather than going for the ‘06 or Underground styles of stories. And especially with the film coming out and giving every fan pause, this is a franchise you should be reading.
I still need a new Chao Garden game though.