It’s finally time for another Sonic review! Sonic Universe has been pretty fun so far. I dare say that the Sonic Saga Series still has the edge, but this spinoff is a great way for the side characters to shine. As you can see from the title, Shadow is the main character! That’s pretty great since he’s easily one of the greatest Sonic characters out there! This collection contains 4 stories.
The first comic deals with Shadow’s battle against Metal Sonic. He has followed him to another dimension and Shadow’s mission is to get the Chaos Emerald and report back to base. Unfortunately, Metal Sonic doesn’t want to come in quietly so Shadow’s in for a fight! Luckily, Blaze and Marine happen to be passing by and they join the fray. Will their combined might be enough to stop Metal Sonic or will the flaming fighter turn against Shadow!?
Shadow’s next mission sees him team up with Sonic and Rouge to prevent a missile from being fired. There’s not much to say about this comic’s main plot since it’s pretty straight forward. What makes it more interesting is that we also get some flashbacks to the Adventure 2 Battle days where Sonic and Shadow fought to the bitter end. As expected, Shadow had the edge in the flashback. Still, stopping this missile is going to take every bit of their strength!
This next adventure is one that I’m a little more familiar with. Scans of the Shadow vs Omega fight could be found everywhere back in the day. It’s fun to finally get to see the comic in action. G.U.N. orders Shadow to find Gamma and recruit him to the cause. Unfortunately, Eggman has also sent out Omega to finish Gamma off for good. Shadow’s in a race against time and this new robot might prove to be more than he can handle! Shadow’s ultimate fight begins here!
Finally, the collection ends with another mission for Shadow. He is to go to the special zone to get another Chaos Emerald. Unfortunately for the Ultimate Life Form, Feist now rules the land. He has unlimited power at his disposal and he refuses to hand over the emerald unless the heroes play along with his games. Luckily, Shadow is not alone and his teammates, Rouge and Omega, arrive to help out. Can the three of them overcome this cosmic panda?
Shadow gets a lot of screentime, but that could also be dangerous for the writers. He is really cool as the dark rival to Sonic, but as a main character, they would need to make sure that he doesn’t become too cheerful and heroic. Luckily, this portrayal of him was a lot better than the ones that we’ve been seeing recently. He’s still in a pretty sad mood throughout the collection because he keeps failing his missions and letting allies be destroyed. It’s decently understandable though so it could definitely be worse.
Aside from that, this is the Shadow that we grew up with. He’s always ready for combat and he’s acknowledged as the Ultimate Life Form. We get to see him go up against Metal Sonic, Sonic, Omega, and more. He definitely looked a little weak in the first comic, which was a little dicey, but he looked better as the issues went on. He could and should have been a lot stronger, but I just have to assume that they’ll continue to work on this. After all…he actually couldn’t defeat Omega? I’ll admit that the scene did not make any sense, but they had to force the plot through somehow. Shadow doesn’t make as many wisecracks as Sonic and he’s definitely more serious, but Shadow is a very good main character. He can hold his own comic much more than any of the other Sonic characters. (Aside from Sonic)
Rouge is a part of Shadow’s team the entire time, but she only gets her screentime in the second and fourth comics. She’s a pretty solid fighter, but she doesn’t have a whole lot to do here since the enemies are either cosmic or unliving. She does give her assistance to the hedgehogs against the missile and it comes in handy. She’s a pretty good character in these issues and she likes to take a lot of shots at Shadow. It’s too easy to pass up I suppose. She also had a team up with Sonic in the flashback, which was an interesting interpretation of the Adventure 2 Battle storyline.
Sonic’s role in this collection is very small. He only appears for one of the issues, but he looks pretty cool. He ends up saving Shadow and he talks big right from the start. In the flashback to Adventure 2 Battle, Sonic was pretty reasonable and called off the fight until they could save Rouge. In the present, he saved Shadow from making another heroic sacrifice for the team. Any way you slice it, Sonic’s a pretty cool character. He’s great as a main character and he also does well as an assist.
Omega is a bit of a mixed bag. He definitely looks better than he did in Treasure Team Tango, but I’m still not a huge fan. He talks tough and he has a bunch of explosives, but he’s really just another robot. He does undergo a personality shift during the issues due to a big event that happened to him. He makes for a strong ally to have at your side, but I dare say that Gamma was a little cooler in this collection. Omega will need to prove himself and show the world that he has what it takes. He’s supposedly on Shadow’s level in terms of power…we shall see. At least he loves to fight! (Always a good sign)
Gamma is pretty cool in this volume. I can’t say that I was ever a huge fan of the guy, but you can’t doubt his power. He’s a good robot at heart and it was nice to see him defect from Eggman’s organization in Sonic DX. He made the hero call and it’s pretty rare for one of Eggman’s robots to do this. His storyline is actually pretty tragic in the collection and it definitely gets Shadow down for a while. Gamma’s portrayal in this collection was rock solid and I can safely say that I gained a little respect for him. I would have gained more, but I didn’t like how he basically gave up in the end. You should always keep on fighting to the last breath no matter what the obstacle is. I would have liked to have seen him join shadow’s crew.
Metal Sonic doesn’t get a huge role in this collection and I have to say that he wasn’t very likable. He’s basically just following Eggman’s orders and he doesn’t have any free will of his own. Shadow tries to reason with him, but Metal Sonic just won’t hear it. The collection has a nice index of all previous Metal Sonic versions in the back, which was fun to see. Technically, this one is typically my favorite Metal Sonic since he’s the one that I grew up with. I hope that he sees the error of following Eggman soon so that he can try to crush the world on his own. He made quick work out of Shadow so we know that he definitely has the power to do this. I hope we see him again soon.
Blaze’s abilities are definitely fun to watch. There aren’t many elemental fighters in the Sonic multiverse. That being said, she’s a little out of her league against Metal Sonic. She was nice enough to give Shadow the Chaos Emerald though and she’s definitely a reasonable person. I’d say that she’s another solid supporting character. Marine is also there, but she really gets no respect from the heroes. Shadow is pretty mean to her the whole time and Blaze can’t even defend her. Marine is all heart and she’s just enthusiastic, but she appears to be misunderstood at the moment. She definitely got their hopes up since she was talking so big. It never pays to boast…
Feist may be one of the stronger Sonic villains out there, but I can’t really take him all that seriously. It could be that he looks like a Panda, but he’s also just very generic as an opponent. He likes to mess with the heroes and I guess I can see why. That being said, he’s just not interesting. Cosmic abilities aren’t fun to look at unless they throw in some magic or energy. Feist will need to have an actual fight for me to recognize him as an intense villain.
Well, this was definitely another fun batch of Sonic comics. They were all very good issues and it’s why this collection managed to nab the elusive 8. Giving Shadow the lead role was a wise move on Archie’s part as he needed some more screentime. The collection also has a lot more action than normal with each issue providing us with some exciting moments. This is easily the best Sonic Universe yet and it’ll be tough to top. That being said, I know that a recent arc in the series saw Shadow become the main character again…so anything’s possible.
The Sonic Universe series is all about mini arcs so there aren’t any subplots that are left unexplored. The stories all tie up together through Shadow’s subplot and how he eventually learns to trust the others and remember that he’s a part of the team. The plot may not be very deep, but that’s never been a problem for Archie. Just seeing all of the fan favorite characters get together to brawl and have some friendly banter is great. The comics are very similar to the Mega Man ones and that makes sense since they share some staff. (A crossover also happened recently)
The art is pretty solid as expected. Everything is pretty streamlined and the fight scenes are easy on the eyes. This is probably the first time that we’ve gotten a fight scene as intense as the Metal Sonic vs Shadow battle. At least, power wise anyway. Gamma vs Omega is also pretty interesting and Shadow gets a nice piece of the action. The art holds up pretty well for all of these scenes. The cover art makes it look like Adventure 2 Battle, which is a great tough. The artist definitely remembers the greatest Sonic game out there!
Overall, this was a great Sonic Universe collection! The action was fun in each of the comics and the art was dynamite. Just about all of the characters were likable and I thoroughly enjoyed the homages to Adventure 2 Battle. That’s definitely how you get the fans interested in the plot. It’s cool to note that this is the first Sonic Universe collection so it is definitely a memorable pack. Starting off with Shadow adventures is the way to go. I highly recommend this comic to all Sonic fans and to anyone who wants a fun comic. It’s not very complex and anyone can get into it. You can expect another Sonic review in the neat future.