“Home, New Home”
Writer: Ian Flynn
Artists: Tracy Yardley! (p), Jim Amash (i), Jason Jensen (colors)
Publisher: Archie Comics
In all honesty, I’m a bit disappointed with “Home, New Home.” That’s not to say it isn’t a solid story that sets up some interesting future plots. It is. It’s just I expected more.
Last issue left off with the cast transported to New Mobotropolis, newly created by the advanced A.I. Nicole. Before they could begin to settle in, Robotnik’s invasion fleet arrived and began a bombardment. At the same time, the villainous Mammoth Mogul and his gang ended up inside New Mobotropolis and demanded the Freedom Fighters surrender.
Great set-up, right? I was ready for an issue jam-packed with excitement, daring heroics, and unbounded villainy. An issue to stand beside #175. Instead I got – Good. Maybe even a Better Than Good or a Really Good, but I didn’t get the GREAT! I expected from this team.
The Mogul plot is handled in one page. One page! One fun, witty page that shows just how clever Nicole is. It’s true, but Mogul and his fans deserve more than one page.
After he’s dealt with, the characters all wander off into their own little vignettes – while Robotnik is bombarding them! Granted, Nicole is shielding them all, but the characters basically treat it as no big deal. A few more words of concern would not have been inappropriate.
Now there are some wonderful individual scenes: Bunny and ‘Twan share a sweet moment; on Angel Island Finitevus prepares for the return of Enerjak; Snively’s estranged half-sister Hope confronts him in aerial battle; and then there’s the ominous sounding conversation involving Merlin, Tails and his father. All these moments are beautifully done. They play off back-story and set up future storylines, but they’re individual pearls clumped together. They would have been far more effective spread out over the course of an issue or two, rather than thrown at the reader all at once. And because you have all these very individual scenes, when Robotnik shows up in person, the moment falls flat. There’s been no momentum built up before hand. He’s just suddenly there.
However, once Robotnik does show up, the story coalesces superbly with the perfect mesh of dialog and action. After another one of those Robotnik rants Flynn scripts so well – “I’ve terrorized the lot of you for all your pitiful lives! You cannot rob me of my final victory! I will not allow it! Now get out here so I can conquer you again!” – a cool and cocky Sonic strolls out to meet him. It’s a great set-up for a battle royale involving not only Sonic, but also the Freedom Fighters, the Chaotix, and Princess Sally. And I do give Flynn credit for giving Sally and Nicole some of the best lines they’ve ever had this issue. They come across as two tough, confident ladies who both deserve and get respect from the rest of the cast. Parents looking for superheroes for their daughters could do worse than the women of the Sonic universe.
If the pacing of the rest of the book had been on par with that of the last few pages, this issue would have received a solid four bullets from me, but it wasn’t. I also had some problems with the art. It seems rougher than usual. A little rushed even. Yardly! does a pair of beautiful splash pages, but again, they’re toward the end of the book.
“Home, New Home” is not one of the top Sonic issues. The good stuff comes too late to make it great, but it still has more going for it than most books. It definitely deserves a read, even if it’s not at the top of the pile.
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