The final issue of Sonic X is a Frankenstein creature in that it’s made up of pieces of this and that, shambles about, and yet, is oddly endearing. It continues a plotline from the main Sonic book, sets up one that will most likely be continued in the new Sonic Universe series and has a main story line that basically consists of Sonic and the alternate zone Shadow running around saying, “Yeah, Shadow died. But he’s better now.” It’s a strange way to end a series and suggests Archie Comic’s editors have been reading too many DC and Marvel event comics in their spare time.
That’s not to say Sonic X is completely without enjoyable moments. Writer Ian Flynn serves up more than you’d think possible under the story’s constraints. The scene between the boy Chris and the other zone Shadow is touching even if you don’t know the circumstances of their last meeting. Eggman and his three robotic sidekicks provide some fun moments as they meet Metal Sonic for the first time. The reaction of the Secret Cabal to Shadow’s presence is also enjoyable.
Part of the reason these scenes work as well as they do for a casual reader is the art. David Hutchison and Terry Austin do a beautiful job communicating mood through characters’ expressions. Sonic’s cocky, laidback insouciance is visible in every panel, whether he’s laying under the debris of the tea part Shadow and Metal Sonic have crashed or confronting Eggman. Rouge’s expression as she learns Shadow is gone captures both her hurt and her defiant intention not to reveal that hurt. She stands with her arms wrapped around herself, eyes closed and teeth clenched to hold back the tears. And the sequence showing a startled Shadow being embraced by the teary-eyed Chris is just beautiful. Shadow expresses surprise, pleading, awkward sympathy and staunch friendship in five panels and one short speech.
While I won’t say snap up this issue before it disappears, I will say it’s worth a look if you run across a copy at your local library.
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