SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #2 comes hot on the heels of the first issue (released just last week!). With a script by Ian Flynn and art by Adam Bryce Thomas, this is another solid installment of the series introducing the new Sonic title by IDW. There were a few surprises, even for this veteran Sonic fan, and I am very, very happy with where the series continues to go.
Smash Some Robots and Meet Some Friends! (…again)
The plot of SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #2 follows the same formula as the first issue. Sonic finds robots attacking a settlement and goes in to stop them. This time, instead of Tails, it’s Amy Rose who helps Sonic save the day.
In this role, Amy has some news to share with Sonic. We learn about how the Resistance sees itself post-Eggman and how they hope to help the people. Ian Flynn does a nice job of balancing action with exposition — plus a dash of humor every now and then. Amy’s exposition never feels overbearing and comes off as natural to the situation.
So all in all, this issue is a strong story. There’s a good beginning, middle, and end with appropriate escalation of tension. The characters continue to be fun, and although there is a good deal of peril, the tone never slips into melodrama. I am pleased with this issue.
Yet it’s impossible to look at SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #2 without considering its role in the series. In any given comic series, when we start with the first issue, we get the exposition. We learn about the major enemies and the hero’s goal. Then, each subsequent issue is one step closer to the ultimate showdown between hero and villain. Just like a single comic has a beginning, middle, and end, so too does a series.
In this regard, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #2 still felt like a beginning without any advancement of the series plot. Rather than walking forward on Sonic’s journey, I felt like I was stepping sideways. We learn nothing more about Eggman’s disappearance or what Sonic (and the Resistance) will do about that mystery.
Amy Rose Hedgehog is Cast Less as a Fangirl and More as a Character of Substance
Yet this is just SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #2. Before we get too far in the series, we have to learn about the cast. And this in regards, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #2 has an important person to introduce: Amy Rose Hedgehog.
I’ve known Amy since 1999 when she appeared in the Dreamcast’s SONIC ADVENTURE. Since then, I’ll admit I’ve always had the same impression of her — that of some annoyance. It’s not only her high-pitched voice but her constant and somewhat one-track-mind pursuit of Sonic. The word “fangirl” got introduced into my parlance a number of years later, and that’s what I’d call her.
That’s why, when I learned this issue would be focusing on her, I groaned (hearing “SONNNNIC!!!” in my mind). Yet, unsurprisingly, Ian Flynn surprised me. There are traces of the fangirl present in this issue, but that’s not what she’s about.
The thing is, Amy Rose is present for most of SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #2 and not as a helpless bystander. Amy is in the fight — in a major way. Without divulging any spoilers, she and Sonic have to team up to defeat badniks neither could handle on their own. And it’s her actions alone that pull Sonic’s fat out of the fryer on at least two occasions. It’s a great moment for Amy Rose.
Amy’s character is normally based 100% on Sonic, and that’s just not the case here. For a veteran Sonic fan, that’s a better treat than a full plate of fresh chili-dogs.
Adam Bryce Thomas’ Art was Too a Fun Surprise
Although Adam Bryce Thomas has drawn Sonic before, this was my first time seeing his art in action. After the high from Tracey Yardley, I wasn’t sure what to expect — and I was blown away.
Thomas shares Yardley’s abilities to capture motion, but he does it in a unique way. Whereas Yardley’s lines are clean and crisp, Thomas prefers a choppy style. We catch glimpses of Sonic and others that aren’t quite fully finished. As such, the eye struggles to complete the lines — and a blurry sense of movement results. Rather than complete images that show where Sonic is going, we get a sense of speed instead.
Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle says we can’t know the momentum and position of an object at the same time — you have to choose. Tracey chooses the location; Thomas chooses the momentum.
And that’s pretty cool. I’m not a student of art, so forgive the physics reference.
But other than that, there’s his work with color as well. You’ll have to buy the comic to see some of the best panels, but what I can show you proves the point. His command of lighting is fantastic, and he even uses color to give a sense of motion-blur. All in all, I’m now a fan.
Final Thoughts on SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #2
The team behind SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #2 gives a solid second step in the new series. Although that step is more sideways than forward, it’s able to surprise even a veteran Sonic fan. Amy Rose feels more mature, and the art is better than ever. Run — don’t walk — to get this second installment before Issue #3 comes out next week!
And One More Note… Being a Fan for Life
If you do buy the comic, there was something to give me a chuckle. The fan letters — a staple of Sonic comics — are back. These were always a thrill to read as a kid. Growing up, I felt alone with my Sonic fandom — too many Sony and Nintendo systems about — but seeing the letters from happy readers (and always the next “#1 Sonic Fan”) made me realize I wasn’t alone in my Blue Blur fandom.
Now at what feels like a ripe old age, it was comforting to see a fellow reader — someone who confesses to being 31 years old — write in. He had been trying to publish a letter since he was 8, something that at 7 or 8, I also dreamed of doing. About 20 years later — last year — I thought I had lost my chance. IDW and the Archie creative team thought otherwise.
Sometimes I feel a little too old to enjoy stories of anthropomorphic animals — and maybe I am — but that solidarity I felt in elementary school with other Sonic fans across the country is back. I’m not the only +25-year-old still reading and getting excited about these issues, and I think that’s what being a fan is about. Finding common ground with others despite geographic location, time, or age — that’s the magic of comics. That is why we read.
So as before, these reviews are still a celebration for me. Maybe by the end of SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #4, I’ll get around to writing my own fan letter. In the meantime, if you’re able and willing, please support ComicsVerse by going over to ComiXology and purchasing this issue by clicking here!