His solo book ran for over 25 years and had a high-profile reboot recently, and yet… you’ve probably never even read it! Your Major Spoilers (Retro) Review of Sonic The Hedgehog #1 awaits!
Writer: Francis Mac
Artist: Francis Mac
Publisher: Sega Comics
Cover Price: $1.50
Current Near-Mint Pricing: $420.00
Previously in Sonic The Hedgehog: The colloquial name for several spiny mammals of sub-famiily Erinaceinae, hedgehogs are generally found in Europe, Asia and Africa, though at least one extinct genus used to be found in North America. They generally can’t move several hundred miles per hour, nor are they generally of cerulean hue. So, what’s the deal with this Sonic fellow?
This issue starts with a sequence that I almost expected end with “*record scratch* Yep, that’s me!” Sonic is in the middle of a pitched battle with the cyborg agents of Dr. Robotnik, but for some reason seems to be holding back in his attacks. A few well-placed strikes (with his head, natch) reveal that his attackers are also his friends, as the armor cracks open to reveal a chicken, a bunny and a squirrel. The focus on saving his friends nearly leads to disaster as Sonic plunges into a pit of spikes, but is saved at the last minute by hie allies. With his friends once again in their right minds, they insist that Sonic needs to find their good friend, Dr. Kintobor to bring Robotnik to justice. But Sonic has bad news: Robotnik and Kintoboer are ONE AND THE SAME! He then explains the origins of his super-natural speed.
Frankly, I love the art in this issue, with it’s watercolor/colored pencil coloring effects reminding me of the kind of stories created by young comic book fans. You know, the stories where Wolverine is your original character’s best pal and sidekick, while your self-insert character marries Phantom Girl? No? Just me?
Aaaanywaaaay, As Sonic reveals his origins (sort of, as he already has speed well in excess of a normal animal BEFORE the explosion imbues him with cobalt energy something something exposition), he also reveals that a similar explosion, this one of Chaos Emerald energy, changed kindly Kintobor into something new, as well.
That’s right, friends: The terrible Doctor Robotnik came about because he accidentally spilled soda in his Chaos Emerald generator, while holding a hard-boiled egg. Put that in your origin pipe and smoke it, completists! Having never read any Sonic comics regularly, I’m entertained by this origin, even though I know that the ongoing series from Archie Comics evolved far beyond any of the tongue-in-cheek stuff we see here, becoming a whole new beast (and rebooting at least once, if I recall my TV Tropes wanderings correctly.) Sonic has been working feverishly since that time to collect all the lost rings to reassemble the Chaos energy containment unit, refusing to give up hope. Much of the middle of the comic seems to be approximations of the various levels of the Sonic vidja game, including the most 90’s name reference I’ve ever encountered.
You see, dear friends, Porker Lewis… can’t… lose. Distracted by his friend, Sonic nearly falls prey to Robotnik’s sneak attack, but keeps his pointy blue head on straight, and makes the only call a true hero can: Save the innocent piggy, even if it means one more Chaos Emerald in the hands of your greatest foe.
The most fascinating part of this issue to me is seeing the prices that it goes for online, regularly fetching triple-digits in even middling grades, which should serve as an important reminder that our mainstream shared universe comics are only a part of a vast tapestry of comic book art. This issue is credited only to Francis Mac, and even my Google Fu skills aren’t finding anything more on what other books s/he might have done, but I have to say: I liked it! Sonic The Hedgehog #1 is throwback fun in more ways that one, explaining the back story of a game that, somehow, my daughter is obsessed with a quarter-century later, with enthusiasm and exclamation points overriding a number of things that might otherwise be flaws, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall.
The best part for me, though, is getting super-powers from a jolt of electricity and hard-boiled eggs.
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SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #1
Enthusiastic art and an origin story that I'd never heard made for a fun little book, reminding me of the kind of fan comics we made back in high school.