Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Sonic The Hedgehog Archives Volume 4 Review

SonicArchives4
It’s been about half a year so it’s time to look at the next volume of the Sonic archives! In this collection, good ole Knuckles joins the fray. I always liked his first appearance in the Sonic games and the comic is fairly faithful to the original events while adding that Archie humor that we all know and love. As always, this makes for a fun Sonic collection and you’ll certainly enjoy checking out the various stories.

The big story is naturally the one that involves Knuckles. Sonic and Tails land in a new island and Knuckles keeps trying to destroy them to keep his Chaos Emerald safe. Little does he know that Eggman is playing him for the sap! A short story has Bunny and Sally prove to Eggman that girls can fight just as well as boys and even better as they beat him up. Another short story has Sonic make the ultimate sacrifice of jumping into the mud to save an animal. As for the other big stories, one of them had Sonic get kidnapped by Eggman along with the other Freedom Fighters and locked into a Virtual Reality simulator. Sonic wouldn’t have any of that and admitted that the real world is tougher, but still the best. Another entertaining comic was when Tails became a super genius and it corrupted him. He wanted to be the leader of the Freedom Fighters and attacked Eggman, but it was a doomed plan. Eggman is simply too powerful when surrounded by his robots. Tails was really good in that issue and I liked his evil form. It would be cool to see it return. We also can’t forget about Sonic’s three gems of power. They gave him incredible abilities to use against Eggman, which was cool. Naturally, this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the comics go.

It’s a pretty short collection. The Knuckles comic is really the big one, but there are 1-2 other big two part adventures and then a lot of one shot stories. It may sound like there are a bunch of stories, but many of them are only a few pages long, which is why it still makes for a very quick read. It’s safe to say that Eggman underestimated Sonic and his friends. The Freedom Fighters are a threat to any villain as long as Sonic is around and even without him, Bunny and Sally proved to be more than a match for the evil genius. This was back during the days where Eggman had no tough allies to help him. It’s hard to believe that there were days when Metal Sonic wasn’t around to help very often right?

Naturally, the art is good and flows quite well with the stories. The designs have aged well although it’s safe to say that all of the modern looks are better than their old counterparts. Tails being brown just seems odd at this point and a chubby Sonic? We’re not exactly in the Mushroom Kingdom are we!? A part of me misses this Eggman look as well, but I’m still glad that we ended up getting the sleek re design from the modern games. That Eggman looks like a more formidable fighter while this guy was typically a pushover.

Sonic is still the main highlight of the comics as he always steals the show. As the comedy angle was played up more than in the modern issues, Sonic got a lot of crazy feats back in the day. This comic is no exception as Sonic moves so fast that he can dodge all of the raindrops on a rainy day to stay dry. That ends up being one of the mini comics and it’s an even more impressive feat than you may think. See, someone like the Flash can do this by simply going fast enough so that the air just nullifies the raindrops that get close to him or phasing through him, but that’s not what Sonic is doing. He’s simply dodging them all at super speed and if you’re ever been outside during a downpour, you’ll know that this is clearly impossible. Sonic is so fast that he’s essentially throwing away your reality and replacing it with his own. his speed defies logic and understanding, which is why he’s still one of the fastest characters of all time.

Knuckles got tricked into thinking that Sonic is a villain like usual, but at least he saw the light and helped Sonic take down Eggman. Knuckles isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but he means well and he was a likable supporting character here. It was fun to see the iconic character make his debut. This was back during the days where Tails wanted to prove himself fairly often so he doesn’t look quite as good. The comic where he turned into a genius was certainly enjoyable though and Tails definitely isn’t a bad character. I don’t think that I’d say that any of the characters were bad. It’s one of the reasons why the Sonic series has been so much fun. Even if some characters barely register for me, they typically won’t be downright unlikable although that will certainly happen at some point.

The other Freedom Fighters are around, but don’t get to do a whole lot. Bunny and Sally had their fight against Eggman, which was neat. Antoine is still the punchline for all of the jokes and you feel bad for him, but at least he never seems to notice or forgets the insults very quickly. He’s definitely one of the more entertaining characters in the series even if nobody ever takes him seriously. It’s similar to Eggman. I love this version of Eggman, but he didn’t get much to do this time. In previous comics, he literally broke his robots while having a tantrum and put one in the shredder. That was an awesome and iconic moment so it’s tough to top. He didn’t get too many burns or big moments here, but I suppose that he will have his time to shine soon.

This was before the modern days with Shadow and more of a plot based storyline, but the issues still hold up well. Sonic has always been able to succeed in whatever medium or style he has wanted too. The Sonic franchise has had successful video games in the 2-D Platformer, Racing, Fighting, 3-D Platformer, and Party game genres. He had successful TV shows in the comedy and action genres and the comics have ranged from light and happy to cheerfully dark. It’s no exaggeration to say that Sonic is one of the greatest franchises of all time and he’s not going anywhere. I’ll be checking out the next Sonic archives soon so be on the lookout for it.

Overall, I definitely recommend this collection. Whether you are already a fan of Sonic or not, the humor is very well written and the comics will go by in a flash. All of the characters are good and the smooth art really completes the package. There’s really nothing to dislike about the comic and you’ll just wish that it was a little longer. Sonic has been a consistently good comic series for decades at this point and I am confident that it will continue to be one of the best comic books out there. I’m still looking forward to checking out the two crossovers with Mega Man at some point although there should be a lot of plot hax around there.

Overall 7/10