“Turnabout is Fair Play”
Sonic and Eggman face down for what could be the final time and Snively’s secret ally is finally revealed.
Writer Ian Flynn’s dialogue does a superb job of filling in readers on the fifteen years of history between Sonic and Eggman as the two duke it out. A non-Sonic, or even a non-comic, reader attracted by Patrick “Spaz” Spaziante’s 200th issue cover could easily pick up what’s going on. Eggman’s obsession and hatred of Sonic come through clearly, as does Sonic’s dashing insouciance. Flynn also takes the time to explore Sonic’s more thoughtful side in a brief conversation between Princess Sally and the hedgehog.
The story moves along briskly with no dead spots and the Snively subplot is handled well.
Tracy Yardley!’s strong, simple designs and expressive characters, ably inked by Terry Austin, make the story easy to follow. Sonic’s signature moves are all on display, his circular saw form used not only as part of the plot but also as a way to guide the reader’s eye from panel to panel. By constantly switching viewpoint angles, Yardley! creates a sense of frantic, yet smooth, movement. Matt Herms’ colors are bright, but not distracting, and never too dark or muddy.
So why didn’t I give this admittedly enjoyable book a higher rating? There should have been more to it. This is the two-hundredth issue! A landmark – especially in this economic climate. The stops should have been full out for this one. Flynn, Yardley!, and company are more than capable of producing action-packed, emotion-filled stories. Check out Sonic issues #198 and #199 for proof. And that’s the problem. After the marvelous build-up in those two issues, I expected a battle with everyone – including Snively’s ally – involved. Instead the Freedom Fighters are on the sidelines and Snively’s friend doesn’t show up until the end, leaving the issue feeling a bit…light. As Sonic himself says, “I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this.”
What this all adds up to is “Turnabout is Fair Play” is an enjoyable, but ultimately somewhat disappointing, issue.
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