I am really making a lot of progress with the Sonic Universe series! With this volume, I will have read all of them up to volume 8 with the exception of the Knuckles saga. No worries, the library ordered it so ideally I will have it at some point in the near future. Hopefully the library continues to add to their collection as the series goes on. Volume 7 was the greatest Sonic comic that I had ever read so it goes without saying that this one wouldn’t be quite as good. Still, volume 8 was fun and Scourge is certainly a threatening villain.
Scourge has finally been captured and he is taken to a prison that has never lost an inmate since its creation. The cops warn the warden that Scourge shouldn’t be underestimated before they depart. Scourge is actually wondering if he will ever escape when his old teammates appear. If he can convince them to let him become leader again, they could have a real chance at escaping. It shall be difficult though as the convicts are really having a blast taking Scourge down a few pegs. Not to mention that the Warden is giving him special attention as well.
One could argue that this is how Sonic Universe should be. Focusing on the side characters who don’t have a chance to lead their own stories in the main comics. I’ve heard around the grape vine that the Universe saga is getting bogged down by more and more special events that force it to tie in instead of having these mini sagas. I’ll evaluate those for myself once I get to that era, but it’ll be fun to have some Sonic adventures as well. Still, this graphic novel really gets at the core of why we have a Sonic Universe comic in the first place. It is side character time and while it is regrettable that Sonic is not around, Scourge isn’t (too) bad.
He is essentially Sonic without all of the witty dialogue and personality. Scourge makes for a decent dark version of Sonic and while he is no Shadow, we are meant to believe that Scourge may be more powerful. He has had some great fights in the past, but I have yet to fully read them. While in the prison, Scourge has power inhibitors on so that we can’t see his abilities and his full power is hardly necessary against the grunts at the end of the comic. The comic seems to be building him up to being an anti-hero eventually, but he’s still a villain for now and hopefully it stays that way for a while. Being evil is Scourge’s whole deal right now so why change that?
The prison was fairly impressive in the fact that they were able to get Scourge to give up. Essentially, it proves that an evil prison can defeat an evil prisoner sometimes. Luckily, Fiona and the gang arrived to save Scourge for Master Mogul. Of course, Scourge works for no one so they now have a change of plans. It will be interesting to see where Scourge and his allies go from here as they will certainly be hunted by the all powerful being. That’s not the kind of guy that you want to mess with.
As you would expect, the art is quite good for this collection. The Sonic series has always been good with that and I like the style that they used back in the old days and the one from the current comics as well. There are probably more facial expressions found here than usual, but it may just be Scourge as around 90% of them come from here. I think that it’s meant to make him look very psychotic and unstable. He is essentially crazy at all so that’s probably what the art is trying to do. It is as streamlined as ever and that’s always a good thing.
Essentially, the whole comic is a prison break so you may wonder why it takes so long so actually get out. This is mainly because the comic decides to give all of Scourge’s teammates an origin story so that we can learn about them. None of them were particularly interesting and I don’t like any of Scourge’s teammates so it did me no favors, but they weren’t bad enough to make me dock the score either. Fiona didn’t get an origin, but I assume that it is because we already know it from previous issues. (And she lightly touched on it anyway in this collection)
I would have liked to have seen cameos for some other big villains in the prison. This is supposed to be the greatest one of all time after all and no villains have ever managed to escape it. Mephiles and the green lady from the Pinball (?) game are present, but that’s about it. Still, it was nice to see them and I guess that they are simply buying time right now. After the big prison break, I have a feeling that the reputation of the prison will likely fade away very quickly.
It’s a short collection, but the style has worked for Sonic Universe. Each volume brings 4 issues, which makes for a quick read while still providing enough of a punch to have left you with a solid experience. As it is, I don’t think that dragging this arc out would have been good for the volume. With moderation, the prison side of things could be interesting, but it’s really only because of Sonic’s humorous style. If things were taken more seriously, this could have been a pretty dicey volume. As it stands, Sonic Universe was able to make a solid volume out of this and I’m ready to see Scourge have his rematch with Sonic!
Overall, This was a decent volume of Sonic Universe. It definitely feels like what I would expect from the Sonic franchise if Sonic was not present. It is not quite as fun as the average Sonic comic and the dialogue isn’t nearly as strong since Scourge isn’t too great at being a lead character. Still, the collection is interesting and I always like the references to the multiversal cops. It gives the comics a sense of cosmic scale. I lightly debated between giving this comic a 6 or a 7, but I’d say that it has earned the latter. We still have some nice action scenes and the art is good. Aside from the Knuckles comic that I should be reviewing within the next month or 2, I likely won’t be reading another Sonic Universe comic in a very long time (The next one’s not coming out until around June) so I shall certainly miss the series. Sonic Universe was a lot of fun and it shows why Sonic The Hedgehog is a franchise with so much potential. I even like the Sonic Boom TV show a lot and it’s a 15 minute, CGI short. Two traits that I don’t typically care for. Now, all I need is the next big Sonic video game!