It’s time to head back to the good ole Sonic Universe series! I’ve sporadically read a few volumes already and I can safely say that more are on the way. By the end of this batch, I should have read almost all of the Sonic Universe comics! They have been fun although they can be a bit more of a mixed bag since Sonic isn’t always the main character and these comics like to have fun with the typical format. After all, these are universe stories so they don’t necessarily have to be about Sonic…right?
Well, it is 30 years from the current comics. Shadow took over the world and enslaved everyone, but then Sonic mysteriously appeared 25 years from the present and dethroned him. He now rules the kingdom alongside Sally and they have led Mobius to a new era of peace. Everything seems to be going well, but Shadow’s army of enforcers are not pleased. They aim to get Shadow back on the throne of Mobius and they will use any means necessary to achieve their overall objective. Does Sonic still have enough strength left in him to take these villains down!?
One plot point that is mentioned a lot, but never elaborated on is Sonic’s fate. It’s intentional of course since this is still a future story so the authors should leave themselves a little wiggle room for future stories. Although, with the Mega Man crossover that altered the timeline, that may not be a problem anymore. Either way, Sonic states that he had to write himself out of the timeline and then he chose to come back at this specific moment in time. He still aged the full 25 years, but he was apparently out of the time stream. I’m not sure how this affects past events, but it does make you wonder what threat was so big that Sonic had to leave time. For now, I’ll assume that it was some kind of time bomb that Eggman made or something of that sort.
It doesn’t have anything to do with the plot, but it’s something to think about. The concept of a future story has always been a fun one, but it can be tough to execute. That’s simply because it typically feels pointless to the reader. Whenever a comic tries to show us the future like Marvel, DC, or Archie, we know that the present will never reach that point. Anything that happens in the future comics would likely not happen once the comics eventually reach that point. 100 years from now, I’m sure that the comic world will look strangely similar to the current ones even though the in world time will still match our own. It’s simply how comics work, characters can’t age past a certain point or the readers would leave. We’d just get a reboot if things were getting too hairy.
So, the future comics shouldn’t try to feel to relevant, but they should still be exciting. Batman Beyond is a prime example of that. You can really treat it as more of a what if than anything else and it’s cool to see how everything turned out for the heroes and villains. I treat the Sonic comic in the same way, but it’s not quite as exciting. The comic puts a lot of emphasis on the new designs and status of Mobius. Potentially too much as there isn’t a lot of action or fun banter to make it quite as good as the typical Sonic comic.
Naturally, it still has its pros though. Sonic is still a good fighter and he really hasn’t changed in all of these years. He’s still the Hedgehog that we’ve always known and he’s always ready to fight for his friends. I’m not a fan of the redesigns for the characters of course, but they’re meant to look worse since everyone is old and robotic at this point. Julie Su is one of the main characters here and now she has some actual Chaos Control abilities. She manages to defeat Shadow off screen, which is certainly impressive. She does a good job of protecting the kingdom here.
Mobius doesn’t have many defenders anymore so they’re lucky to have her and Sonic around. The rest of the Freedom Fighters disbanded long ago, but they still live in the city. They just live as normal citizens now since there has been peace in the land for so long. It’s interesting to also see the villain’s side of things. Shadow’s minions are interesting although they should have known that they were in over their heads. Shadow is the guy whose development may surprise you because he’s always seemed so happy and chipper in the comics. What made him turn back into a total villain after all of these years?
He makes a brief speech about how he tried to lead by example and when that failed he turned to force. I guess he was just disappointed that villains were still popping up everywhere back when he was a hero. That’s sad and all, but certainly not a legitimate reason to turn into a villain. He actually decides to destroy the world at the end, which is certainly pretty far out. I have a tough time believing that Shadow would go this far off the deep end, but maybe Sonic’s disappearance had something to do with his losing hope.
The final boss of the comic is neat as Perfect Chaos has merged with Tikal into the ultimate fighting force. The odd part is that Tikal’s inclusion doesn’t really make Chaos any stronger. If Chaos is more powerful, the change isn’t very obvious on the outside. The new Freedom Fighters have to deal with him and in the end, Sonic’s not enough to win this time. Actually, that reminds me that Chaos does have one new skill involving his energy projection skills. That is a decent improvement I suppose.
Naturally, we also get to see a lot of the next generation here. Most of the characters had sons and daughters so they are the ones who will protect Mobius in the future. It’s interesting to see that some of the main characters of Sonic Underground have decided to join the fray. Manic and Sonia are Sonic and Sally’s kids so I guess that’s their origin in this world. Most of the other kids are around too of course, but those two had the biggest role. They were crucial in the final fight as they both have super speed and knew Chaos had a weakness thanks to the supporting characters.
I almost forgot one supporting character…Silver! It’s safe to say that his fans will not be pleased as he really doesn’t do so well here. For starters, he’s outsmarted by Sonic when it comes to time travel and then he refuses to even say what threat is approaching until it actually appears. He got one shotted by one of the evil minions and you have to wonder why he is here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that he was as his role is pretty humorous, but his fans will likely want to avert their eyes. Silver is hardly as experienced as he lets on and he still makes many rookie mistakes. I look forward to seeing how he handles himself in his own arc. (Sonic Universe Volume 7!)
The art is solid as can be expected of a Sonic comic. Everything is bright and vibrant so you can easily see what is going on. Typically, the panels are very large, which means that there are fewer of them per page, but we get some great art. I typically like big panels for these kinds of stories as they work very well for talking scenes, but many other series use smaller panels which works as well. Each style has its merits to be sure.
Overall, This was a decent volume of Sonic Universe. It likely will not come as a surprise that I did enjoy this one a little less than most of the other volumes. I think that the future could have been shown to have been more exciting. Most of the villains may be gone, but I would have liked some cool references to the past or something like that. The most interesting plot is certainly Sonic’s travels through time and I would have liked to have seen more of that. Nonetheless, this is a good Sonic comic that’s worth checking out and I would definitely recommend it. Everything else aside, you will be sure to have a good time as you read this adventure and Sonic has always been a great lead. He doesn’t disappoint here. You can also expect more Sonic Universe stories coming up soon!