Monday, November 7, 2016

Review - Sonic: Mega Drive – The Next Level One-Shot (@ArchieComics)


"Do you wanna fight a snowman?!"

Sonic the Hedgehog has maintained an enduring popularity despite the waning presence of Sega as a game developer. The character continues to be a great one for fans of all ages to enjoy and Archie Comics continues that popular appeal in Sonic: Mega Drive – The Next Level One-Shot. The issue is written by Ian Flynn, line art by Tyson Hesse, colors by Matt Hesse and lettered by Jack Morelli.

Welcome to “The Next Level”: The sequel to the hit Sonic: Mega Drive is here! Picking up right where things left off Sonic, Tails, Amy Rose and Knuckles are on the hunt for the Ancient Gears and on the move to stop Dr. Eggman’s latest scheme! But not everything runs like clockwork when Sonic breaks away to do his own thing. And Dr. Eggman has a certain high-speed robot up his sleeve.

Sonic the Hedgehog has generally gotten better when he's surrounded by a team and that's what Flynn leans on in Sonic: Mega Drive – The Next Level One-Shot. Sonic and crew are island-hopping in search of the Ancient Gears and Flynn plays up the strengths of each character well, offering pretty amusing exchanges unique to each character's relationship with Sonic. Those exchanges also leverage the tone and personalities as Flynn imbues the book with Sonic's sense of coolness. The issue is a one-shot sort of anthology, but Flynn offers some continuity throughout to get his message across that Sonic is better with friends. The issue is paced pretty evenly as every few pages is a different island and a different scenario for the team to rally which underscores Flynn's message of teamwork.

Hesse illustrates the characters with a focus on their liveliness. All of the characters maintain their trademark appearances and Hesse uses that to his advantage to showcase the action. There's a good mix of different robots for Dr. Eggman to control as he seeks to get all the Ancient Gears as Hesse gets to get a little creative with their appearances. Each of the panels are chock full of action and Hesse even manages to capture Sonic's pure speed pretty well. Matt Hesse's colors also liven things up a bit and give the book a very family-friendly appeal.

Sonic: Mega Drive – The Next Level One-Shot is a lot of fun. Sonic and crew are doing more of the same, but that doesn't mean it can't be entertaining as they do it. Flynn's script is straightforward and light, keeping the focus on the relationships between the characters and their objectives. Hesse's artwork is airy and effective in allowing the reader to easily recognize the characters. Sonic: Mega Drive – The Next Level One-Shot is pretty entertaining and knows exactly what it wants to be about.

Sonic: Mega Drive – The Next Level One-Shot is in stores now.

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