Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Sonic Universe Volume 4 Journey To The East Review

It is time to finally review another Sonic Universe collection! The title already shows that this was not going to be your average Sonic adventure as we typically don’t have many journeys in the series. Sonic is always where he needs to be or he can zoom on over to the next fight so why would he need to travel. The key thing to consider is that he is not going alone this time! While not quite as good as the average Sonic comic, it’s still a decent adventure.

The Iron Dominion has taken over just about every part of the world, including the heroes’ home. Sonic and Tails have decided to tag along with Sally and Monkey Kahn as they try to convince various clans to break away from the evil empire. Will they be able to do this and weaken the main villains enough to finally overtake them or will this journey be too much for our heroes. Moreover, another faction decides to enter the fray and stir up some trouble for Sonic. He’s going to have to move quickly if the world is to be saved.

As I mentioned earlier, this comic wasn’t as good as the typical one and I believe that the plot is to blame. Why are Sonic and friends liberating all of the clans instead of going straight after the main villain? Saving their home should be top priority if you ask me and no villain can stop Sonic from saving the day. The Iron Dominion also doesn’t get to even appear so it is hard to say if they are good villains or not. They won’t be appearing in the other Sonic Universe collections so I will have to wait until I see them in the main title, which really could be a while. The journey is simply not very interesting and you can’t help, but feel that the stakes are very low.

Where’s Eggman? Where’s Knuckles or Shadow? Most of the main cast is gone and Monkey Kahn is not a great replacement. I’ve read comics with him in the past and while he is a decent fighter, Kahn simply isn’t very likable. He is fairly arrogant and believes himself to be a match for Sonic, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Kahn was easily taken down by the villains in the opening pages and Sonic had to save him. Kahn’s thunder abilities certainly do make him more powerful than most of Sonic’s allies, but the prince will never be a top level threat when it counts. His romance with Sally is also very short lived and never actually goes anywhere.

Sally looks all right, but leading on Kahn like that wasn’t a nice move at all. She needs to choose someone and then stick with the decision instead of constantly wondering. Beyond that, she will likely make for a good leader of the kingdom. Tails is still a little sensitive about how young he is and certainly doesn’t like it when villains comment on that. That being said, Tails really proves them right here as Fiona messes with him and he doesn’t look too good against the villains. He’s looked better in other Universe issues and the main series though so I’m sure that he’ll be ready next time.

Sonic is naturally the best character of the series and he always looks good. It’s just easy for writers to depict him accurately because Sonic’s formula is simple yet effective. His confidence knows no bounds and Sonic can always back up his tough talk. It’s why the hedgehog is such an incredible character. He gets taken by surprise when confronted with Fiona and her gang, but he quickly gains the upper hand and gets serious once they start to taunt Tails. Sonic’s a natural born leader and he always looks out for his comrades. Without him, the comic likely would not have been anywhere near as good.

As for the villains, most of them are one shots as the heroes go to a different clan each issue. That being said, Fiona does arrive with her posse. They help the heroes because they want to get one of their members back from another clan, but then they leave to scheme some more. I’m sure that we haven’t seen the last of them, but I don’t see how they will be much of a threat to the heroes. Sonic could easily take those guys out thanks to his speed. The villains have a speedster of their own, but he’s nowhere near as fast as Sonic.

Espio actually appears and it is interesting since we find out that he has been spying on the heroes the whole time. He knows all of their dark secrets, but still wants to be their friends. The heroes give him a bit of a hard time about this, but I’m sure that they will come around. It wasn’t personal after all and at least Espio didn’t flat out betray them, although this was close. I used to be a huge Espio fan back when I was a kid. I still think that he is a decent character, but he certainly fell down the ranks. He’s nowhere near the all stars like Sonic and Shadow nowadays.

This collection would have been a lot better if we had gotten some more action. Uniting the clans just seems like a waste if you ask me and it was practically filler. The plot will end in the main series, but that means that this one didn’t get to have much of a climax. It ends with the heroes about to head home, which is a good cliffhanger. It is just not as exciting as it could have been and this took away our chances of having a good fight.

The collection’s writing and art are good as expected. Sonic’s witty dialogue is one of the reasons why the series has done well for so many years. Naturally, the art is good as well and all of the scenes are clear and easy to follow. This is a winning formula and it’s why the graphic novel is still fun despite the rather dull plot. After all, the plot isn’t quite as important when all of the other areas are good. It is still something to take note of and a terrible plot can outweigh the other positives, but this one never went that far. I wasn’t in the mood for an adventure with Sonic, but it was unique and we got to see Kahn again. That should count for something I suppose.

Overall, Journey to the East was not my favorite Sonic comic, but the title helped to tip me off to that. Even the cover wasn’t very exciting. Sonic steals the show as expected and I’m glad that he never backs down to Kahn. Kahn’s thunder powers are good though and hopefully he will get some good fights someday. I don’t care for the various clans and their plots so I’m hoping that they don’t last for too long in the future. You really can’t have a Sonic comic without more members of the main cast and higher stakes would be good as well. I still recommend this if you’re a Sonic fan. Reading the collection will only take a small amount of time and it still makes for an enjoyable read. It won’t be a thrill a minute, but it gets the job done.

Overall 6/10

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