After a record breaking run at Archie Comics – who held had the Sonic comic license from 1993 to 2017 – which saw Sonic the Hedgehog becoming the longest running licensed comic of all time, Archie lost the license to IDW Comics. IDW wasted little time in getting their own Sonic comic onto shelves, with the first issues being published in 2018.

This collection of their first Sonic story arc sees the war having been won – after escaping the clutches of Dr. Eggman, Sonic teams up with his friends to actually defeat the evil genius once and for all. Yet even with Eggman out of the picture, scattered, unorganised remnants of his Badnik forces still terrorise the anthropomorphic inhabitants of Sonic’s world.

Which leads Sonic to team up with a succession of friends both familiar and new to defeat the random bands of Badniks across the lands – yet it seems that they’re becoming more focused and organised. Is someone pulling their strings after all? Could someone be co-ordinating these attacks and if so, who?

This first volume is so much fun, with a wandering Sonic travelling to a new town and teaming up with a new ally in each issue. It does a great job of introducing the reader to lots of different characters and the world itself – so even those with just a passing interest in Sonic and his surprisingly deep, rich lore won’t feel lost.

Sonic’s video games may have been pretty inconsistent from a quality standpoint over the hearsy, but IDW do a great job here of keeping everything together and even bringing in elements from an array of different sources, making it all feel coherent. The artwork is a bug part of its appeal too – colourful, with a bold and cartoony aesthetic, it’s a genuine joy to read.

There’s a neat cliffhanger to draw the reader back for volume 2 as well; though not exactly a huge twist, it certainly sets up the next big conflict very nicely. It’s important to know that Sonic’s comic is also family friendly, so it’s perfectly fine to give to any Sonic fan, regardless of their age. Even old farts who – like me – were around for Sonic’s debut in 1991 should enjoy this volume of Sonic’s new, ongoing series.

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