Sonic the Hedgehog returns after a brief hiatus in Sonic the Hedgehog #1 from IDW. The story picks up right where the Archie series ended, with Eggman defeated and Sonic and company clearing up the stragglers. Sonic reunites with an old friend and together they realize that evil may have not truly left the land.
Sonic the Hedgehog #1 is flat out fun. I am a lifelong Sonic fan. One of my first video game experiences was Sonic 2. I watched the cartoon series (even the mediocre at best Sonic Underground) and while I never truly got into the Sonic comics, I respected them from afar. They were intimidating, with the high issue count and history. I have always heard that the quality was consistently good, just never attempted to jump into the deep-end. Then IDW picked up the Sonic License and created a jumping on point that still continues the story from the Archie comics. It is fantastic that the series can continue, but allows for a launching point for new readers like myself. I know, numbering is not something that should be an issue. Yet I find that large number series like Sonic can be difficult to approach.
Sonic the Hedgehog #1 is written by Ian Flynn. Flynn finds Sonic’s voice pretty early on in the issue. He introduces the character to new readers quickly and we get a feel for what Sonic stands for. Impressive considering this issue focuses on a Tails and the Badnik fight. There is a very efficient use of pages in this single issue, and tight pacing all around. The action sequences are appropriate length and the dramatic reveals, while typical of a comic, fit like a glove. It feels right.
Flynn also manages to nail the attitude of Sonic as cocky, but not arrogant. This is a key point that a creator needs to be familiar with. It is a fine line and easy to cross. It can take a character from being enduring, to just annoying, in a split second. Flynn aced the rapport between Sonic and Tails. It is top notch and akin to Batman and Nightwing. Tails is a hero in his own right, but they work together so well that it is fun. The banter between the duo during the fight was a highlight and makes the issue fun and a blast to read.
The art is delivered masterfully by Tracy Yardley (Pencils), Jim Amash and Bob Smith (inks), and Matt Herms (colors). Yardley captures the kinetic frenzy of the video games beautifully and brings forth emotion that complements the witty writing from Flynn. Yardley knows how to make his characters “act” and they act well. Sonic and Tails both display the attitude that the series is known for. There is a fight between Sonic and the Badniks that is perfect. The art zooms and whips around the page in a clean but dynamic style that feels like the homing attack of the video games.
The inks by Amash and Smith are solid and bold, a nice look for the animated features of the art style. The biggest strength in this comic is the cell-shaded coloring of the characters. It helps put over the art direction of the comic and is a strength.
Overall, Sonic the Hedgehog #1 zooms to life with a strong first outing and manages to do so for both long-time and new readers alike. The writing is witty and fun. The art is bombastic and kinetic. Sonic the Hedgehog is straight up fun.
Sonic the Hedgehog #1 is currently available from IDW.