So issue 4 of IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog recently dropped and I gotta say compared to issue 3 it’s a step up in just about every way. The pencils and inks are back to a standard higher than just the passable quality of issue 3 and with Matt herms at the colouring helm, you just know it's gonna be an improvement from the last issue. While I consider this issue better than Sonic#1 and #3 I’m still kinda iffy on whether or not it's better than issue 2.
Evan Stanley has always been one of my top 3 Archie Sonic artists and while I was never that big on ABT style back in the Archie days, his art has most certainly improved since then, I’ll probably just call it a tie between the two.
Evan’s art style was extremely expressive in this book, including some emote and me worth expressions. The way she draws Tangle and Blaze, especially Blaze, goodness if I were a Mobian\Animal person I think I’d be in love....
Gosh, what a stallion...😍😂😂😂
There are some minor complaints I take issue with none of which are really to blame an Evan but rather Herms, I noticed a lot of the backgroundless…. backgrounds had flat colours and not very creative comic panel patterns or anything like that, but again it is just a minor complaint.
Now onto the story which while an improvement from number 3’s somewhat lacklustre and quick to end story was still not satisfying enough for me, it wasn’t terrible, no but it certainly wasn’t great.
Once again I find myself a little disappointed, it didn’t help that this issue followed the already tiresome and repetitive structures of the last 3 issues. Then there’s the fact that the issue was all action no story, a problem we rarely came across in Archie even during the dark ages, then again you might be able to argue a compelling case that Archie Sonic’s problem was sometimes it would do just the opposite, be all story and no action which is a legitimate problem in an action-oriented series but more on Archie Sonic some other time.
The were a few things I expected from this issue that just didn’t happen, for starters, Tangle the lemur. When Tangle was initially announced she grew an fanbase almost immediately, can’t say I blame them her design was pretty cool the only thing that didn’t jive well with me about her is just how many Sally acorn vibes she gives particularly with the shape of her head and her head fluff\hair.
This had almost everyone thinking it was Sally (and I know this was done on purpose) but it wasn’t and as someone who was introduced to Sonic via the Jaleel white cartoons all I can say is I was slightly disheartened but was still very open to this new character.
Tangle, for the most part, is a pretty entertaining character to read and some of the dialogue she shared with Sonic was pretty cool as well. Where things start to go wrong for me with her is the fact that despite how hyped she was by both the fans and IDW, we didn’t get to know a whole lot about her in this issue, it's not that I wanted her whole character to be summarised within this one issue of the comic but I would’ve appreciated a bit more than what we got.
I suppose we’ll just have to keep reading the book to know more about her, assuming there is more cos it’s possible this actually could be all there is to know about her.
Then there’s Blaze who at the moment is here literally just cos, she comes in to save Sonic and Tangle just when things begin to appear as to be too much to handle. Through my first read of this I never questioned it but I as I was writing the note for this review I began to question how Blaze even got here. In the two rush games, it was pretty much established that the powers of both sets of emeralds are needed for dimensional travel and not just that Tails had to build a craft for them travel back to the chaos dimension safely.
I considered the possibility that since Marine. Aka. Classic Sticks had gotten better at building boats at the end of SRA that maybe she could’ve built a craft similar to what Tails did, but then I factored in Marine’s character and there’s absolutely no way she did and besides, that’s not even how Blaze arrived to begin with. (this ended up making me wonder how Silver travelled back in time in forces since two people need to use chaos control for that and we also don’t see him with any chaos emeralds)
As I was writing this I began to theorise on the possibility that Blaze could’ve been added in at the very last minute when this story was being made I mean just look at Tyson’s cover doesn’t even look like Blaze was originally drawn on it rather drawn some other time and copy pasted on to the cover when he discovered the changes that were happening with the script.
SEGA probably noted that Sonic was the only game character that was in the issue and had Ian Flynn add in another character, now, whether or not they would’ve asked specifically for Blaze is up to you but it would explain why there isn’t much more clarification as to why Blaze is here, possibly because Ian is still conceptualising that. I could be wrong though.
Continuing on the subject of Blaze even though it’s not exactly an actual criticism on Ian flynn...though it kinda is. I wanted to go over a few things, being someone who for the longest time the only Sonic games I ever played where the handhelds I feel like there was a slight misrepresentation of Blaze’s abilities.
It was mentioned that Blaze probably couldn’t get up high enough to destroy the giant buzz bomber but really,considering Blaze’s up shoulder combo when doing air tricks she probably could and even then she has FIRE POWERS I’m sure Blaze can use her fire powers in a way to fly, in fact when you think about it she can sorta glide by shooting fire from her feet in the Rush games.
At this point it was pretty obvious that some of the teamwork going on between the characters was phoned in as I just proved by mentioning some of Blaze’s abilities, Tangle launching Sonic and Blaze up wasn’t very necessary and Sonic didn’t even need to hop on the buzz bomber because blaze completely destroyed it anyway with her fire-mehameha blast.
Of course you only really start to notice these problems if you over analyse the action sequences, if you ignore all that is pretty harmless and fun action, I guess these things just become more apparent when the issue is nothing but that.