Sonic the Hedgehog
There's a lot to love about the Sonic franchise. From the gameplay - momentum-based, fast-paced and endlessly fun - to the story - uplifting, cheerful and with some genuine heartfelt messages about environmental action and heroism - there are a million excellent reasons why the blue blur has become the pop culture phenomenon he is today. This page is going to be dedicated to me going game by game (or show or comic) through the franchise as I experience it, and talking about what I love most about each one.
IDW Sonic the Hedgehog Comic (2018)
First off, in this comic Sonic is just like me forreal. Literally every page with Sonic on it, something would happen, I would react, I'd look at the next panel and Sonic is doing the same thing. So yeah, IDW is winning with the relatable protagonist. I really love this depiction of Sonic. Literally! I love the art style. Probably my favourite modern depiction of Sonic. Better than the games, definitely. Also, Ian Flynn is a writing genius. I really like how the plotline goes back to Sonic's eco-warrior origins while also diving into more serious topics.
Flynn strikes a marvellous balance between his darker plotlines, and the fact that Sonic is a lighthearted series at its core. It's a current trend of superhero media to keep ramping up the stakes higher and higher, because someone decided at some point that cheerful stuff can't be taken seriously. And honestly, a darker plotline is kind of necessary these days to get the point across when it comes to a climate driven story. Kids these days aren't going to be frightened by Eggman dumping chemicals in the river because that already happened, probably to the river next to their house. Pollution isn't the big environmentalist story anymore - it's climate change. And how does one get across the looming finality of the end of the world in a child-friendly and engaging manner while also providing a way to win? How can you give hope in that kind of situation?
Yeah, I'm talking about the zombot arc.
It's genuinely haunting, and I think that's the magic of it. Everyone reading the comic knows that Sonic is going to come out on top. But seeing him infected, constantly having to be on the move and abandon his friends and his morals in order to stay alive, that's harrowing! It's only by confronting the problem head-on that Sonic is able to save himself and his friends. And I think that can definitely be taken as a climate change allegory. Mitigating actions can only go so far - it's only by dealing with the problem directly that we'll be able to save everyone, not just the powerful.
I also really appreciate the new characters. Tangle and Whisper are both breaths of fresh air in the historically male-dominated series, with both proving to be excellent characters whose genders aren't plot points, like most other female Sonic characters. Surge and Kit are also my new best friends, and I think Surge probably has my favourite design of any Sonic character beside the blue blur himself. I'm really excited to see where the story takes them!