Sonic the Hedgehog #191 on newstands now!

Sonic the Hedgehog #191 on newstands now!

The newest issue of Sonic the Hedgehog has just hit newstands, and this time, every Sonic fan has a reason to take notice. The back up story is a prologue for the upcoming BioWare RPG, Sonic Chronicles.

Starting with this issue, Sonic Stadium will be regularly featuring news regarding comic book releases in the world of Sonic. This news usually comes complete with a seven page preview of the issue, as well as an (often misleading) synopsis of what lies within. Provided I’ve read the issue, I may also drop some opinion into the mix.

Check out these scans:

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #191
“Metal and Mettle, Part One”: The Council of Acorn is dragging its feet to take back Freedom HQ, and Sonic’s not the kind of guy to wait! Our hero is ready to rumble – but is he ready for King Scourge and the newest Metal Sonic? Meanwhile, Knuckles is still haunted by his time as Enerjak. Can his bond with Julie-Su take the strain? All this, plus a surprise newcomer joins the fray!
Script: Ian Flynn.
Art: Tracy Yardley! (pencils) and Jim Amash (inks).
Pulse-pounding cover by Tracy Yardley!
Shipping Date: August 6th, 2008
On Sale at Comic Specialty Shops: August 13th, 2008
On Sale on Newsstands: August 26th, 2008
32-page,
Full Color comic
$2.25 US.

When I first heard Ian was going to do arcs featuring the “anti” characters from “anti” Mobius as the primary villains, I was, to say the least, worried. Dopplegangers have been done to death in most forms of Sonic media, all with varying forms of success, from the awesome Metal Sonic in Sonic CD to Archie’s own “Evil Sonic”. The Anti characters in Archie have been difficult to take seriously in the past, as they are basically “mean” versions of the main characters. They weren’t terribly interesting in their initial introduction, and I’ve had a hard time taking them seriously in any story they’ve been featured in. That is, until Ian Flynn and his editor Mike Pellirito turned the leather clad “Evil Sonic” into his own character: Scourge.

Thankfully, with the re-introduction of the other Anti characters into Sonic’s world, Ian has continued to work his magic. While the initial arc (and indeed, the two Mammoth Mogul arcs before it) was on the boring side, featuring a lot of action and not much else, this issue has some genuine weight to it. From Sonic being forced to deal with politicians in the kingdom’s new “democracy”, to Knuckles trying to deal with his fathers death (which he indirectly caused), and the fun three way battle between Sonic, Scourge, and Metal Sonic, this has been a fun read. It moves the plot along without focusing so much on the action, something I wish Ian had done during the last arc.

The Sonic Chronicles prologue, meanwhile, was good for what it was: a five page add devoted to the upcoming RPG. But what made this stand out above Ian’s other game adaptions, is the fact that it doesn’t just introduce new elements into the Archie universe with a short, incomplete story: rather, it’s meant to take place in the actual game world, with no bearing on the Archie continuity. It’s a good idea, and one Ian will thankfully be utilizing for the Sonic Unleashed adaption as well.

Tracy Yardley continues to be the best artist Archie has featured in years. The characters in his panels are incredibly expressive, and could virtually tell a story without Ian’s script. There are many moments where Tracy will utilize the facial expressions of the characters to illustrate their feelings in areas where Ian doesn’t.

Overall, #191 is a nice turn around for Archie, after months of stories that didn’t really capture my interest outside of some nice fan service and funny lines. Heres hoping things continue to move in that direction as this arc concludes next month.