Friday, October 31, 2014

Review - Sonic BOOM #1

"We can debate grammar later--WHO TOOK MY HOUSE?!!"

There's a certain level of disbelief one must suspend when you consider a hedgehog who can run alarmingly fast. It's the same disbelief that can be applied to a fox with two tails or an echidna with fists of fury. Once you've accepted all of the above though, reading stories about their adventures is always a good time. Archie Comics offers up another entry in the Sonic universe in Sonic BOOM #1, written by Ian Flynn, illustrated by Evan Stanley, inked by Rick Bryant, colored by Matt Herms and lettered by Jack Morelli.

Dr. Eggman (or Robotnik if you're on other speaking terms) is up to no good, which is par for the course for Sonic and friends. Still, that won't stop them from doing their civic duty and stopping him. When he encounters them in his latest robotic monstrosity, Sonic enlists the help of Tails, Knuckles, Amy Rose and Sticks the Badger to save the day. On top of all that, they've also got to contend with another strange being making an appearance and making life slightly more difficult than it needs to be.

As a character, Sonic has always maintained a certain carefree spirit that goes along perfectly with his ability to run exceedingly fast. It was part of what made the game so endearing to players worldwide and that carefree charm is on full display in Sonic BOOM #1. Flynn's grasp of Sonic and the other characters is very appropriate, tapping into each of them in a way that makes the whole issue feel as if we've known the characters for much longer. The slight breaking of the fourth wall in introducing the characters also fits with the flow of Sonic, providing a very lighthearted take on what would otherwise be a pretty serious battle. The twist at the end is also intriguing, as it shows the book is willing to play around with the Sonic universe a bit.

Like his personality, Sonic's look is very well-established. Stanley ensures the familiar red sneakers and recent addition of a brown scarf are on full display. The appearances of all the characters tap into what we know them to look like, while also maintaining a very cartoony feel. The book is being used as a tie-in the upcoming Cartoon Network show, so the cartoon similarities are reasonable and expected. Action is detailed very crisply and does its best to keep up with the speed of the main character. The inks by Bryant and colors by Herms further embellish a look that harkens back to the mid-90s, when Sonic was fighting tooth and nail against the likes of Mario for popularity.

Sonic BOOM #1 is the definition of all-ages comic, as it's a very frenetic book rife with bright colors and familiar characters. You could argue that the plot itself is a little thin, with one seemingly random battle followed by another even more random battle, but it all seems to set up the twist at the end. Flynn knows these characters well and does a great job including all facets of their personalities that make them tick, ensuring that their main qualities are on display. Stanley's illustrations are very appropriate and make the book very accessible to young readers while maintaining some of the more recognizable features of all the characters. Sonic BOOM #1 is a very fun entry into the Sonic universe that hits all the major points of the character and his friends.

Sonic BOOM #1 is in stores now.


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