Silverwolf’s Den: Running on Empty

Contrary to themes of my past articles, DC Comics is not the only company whose fare I look at or enjoy. That’s why this week I decided to pick up something from Archie Comics, a story involving friendship, comedy, love…and Dr. Robotnik. That’s right, this week I’m reviewing Sonic: Genesis!

As some of you may know, the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series has been published for years, though this was the first ever issue I picked up personally. In my younger days I borrowed one or two from my friends, but found the story was so deep in, making it hard for me to get started; Sonic: Genesis, however, rectifies this potential problem. As the comic accompanying Sonic’s 20th anniversary, this issue possessed the potential to be either utterly amazing or a total bomb.

Sonic: Genesis is the story of the world’s most famous blue hedgehog and his escapades as he battles the dastardly Dr. Robotnik. Along the way he meets a bunch of new friends who also desire to overthrow this machine-loving malicious mastermind. As Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis was one of the first video games I ever played and filled much of my childhood, there was no way I would avoid checking out this comic.

I really enjoyed the plot of Genesis. Ian Flynn did his best to follow the plot of the early levels from the original game, while still adding in enough new features to save things from being a static tale about a hedgehog running back and forth. Though the characters in the Sonic comic series have been around for years, their personas were new to me and breathed life into the story of the original Sega Genesis game. I especially liked how the author handled the first two boss fights of the game, paying homage to the original while simultaneously giving them a new perspective that fit with the comic’s world. Genesis is also a reboot of the Sonic continuity, so it allows someone like me, a fan of the games but not the comics, to enter another of Sonic’s stories. I’m not sure how permanent this “reset” is, but at the very least it allows someone with no prior knowledge of the comic continuity to jump right in. Also, though the comic seems primarily designed for children, it did possess a few moments of more mature humor that gave me a chuckle.

Genesis’s art also left me feeling pleased and nostalgic. Patrick Spaziante and Tracy Yardley’s pencils stayed true to the design of Sonic and the worlds of the first game. The character, enemy, and scenery designs were especially solid and, once again, caused me to think of my younger days playing on Green Hill Zone and Marble Hill Zone. Matt Herms’s colors were eye-catching and fit perfectly with the story while tipping their hat to the palette of Sonic the Hedgehog; I especially liked the contrast of Sonic’s primary colors and the earth tones of his natural surroundings. Terry Austin’s inks were also superb, causing key objects and figures to pop out of the page. Last but definitely not least, Spaziante’s cover was flawless: it resembles the cover of Sonic the Hedgehog but with slight twists to show how far the franchise has come. I’d have to say my only complaint would be that in a few panels some of the secondary characters looked a bit shoddily drawn, but other than that the artwork was superb.

I must say that Sonic: Genesis is a great comic. Though it’s aimed at kids, I think anyone who has ever played one of the original Sonic games would really enjoy it. Though this series is only four issues, I fully intend to check out each and every one. It isn’t on par with something like Watchmen, but for what it is I can’t really finds many problems with it. Better pick one up before they run out!

Rating: ★★★★★

Brett Simon is a twenty-one year old recent reconvert to the world of comics. He hopes he didn’t illicit too many groans with his awful pun in this review’s last sentence.

Also a quick note: starting with this article I’ll post a new comic review each and every Thursday, so stay on the lookout!

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