Luke Owen reviews Sonic Boom #8…
It slices! It dices! It joins line-wide crossover events: it’s SONIC BOOM! “Sonic/Mega Man: Worlds Unite” Part Two: It was just another day at the races—y’know, the ones with the giant spider-mechs? Things start to get weird, even for the lovable, paranoid Sticks, when X and the Maverick Hunters arrived! Meanwhile, the epic bromance of the century is rekindled as the captured Drs. Eggman and Wily are forced to turn their life-long nemeses—Sonic and Mega Man—into minions for the terrifying Sigma! After the history-making “WORLDS COLLIDE” crossover event, Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man unite once more—and this time Sonic Boom and Mega Man X are joining the fray!
Poor old Sonic Boom. The thing that was supposed to breathe new life into the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise has simply become the epitome of why it was starting to be forgotten about in the first place. If SEGA thought the backlash to the new designs was bad, they couldn’t have predicted the shocking reviews the Sonic Boom game received when it was released for the Christmas season last year. The cartoon series hasn’t taken off as well as intended and the toyline has been all but forgotten. Sadder still, it was announced this week that the comic book tie-in from Archie Comics was coming to an end after just seven issues. Seven.
But at least it can go out with a bang as it’s connected to the Sonic/Mega Man crossover Worlds Unite. It’s time for the Sonic Boom series to meet its predecessors.
The first issue of Worlds Unite (seen in Sonic Universe #76) was pretty underwhelming, due to the fact Ian Flynn had to get through so much exposition in such a short amount of time. It’s break-neck pace was distracting and allowed for nothing to sink in. I theorised, however, that this was just the set-up issue and the rest of the series could be used to expand on the characters and allow some breathing room when telling the story. That is partially right in Sonic Boom #8, but also rather inaccurate.
Most striking in this issue is just how quickly Flynn moves away from the Sonic Boom world. This world’s version of Sonic is seen in just two panels of the whole comic, and the rest of the time is spent re-working the relationship between Eggman and Wily (more on that later). In just seven pages, we have Eggman thwarted by Sonic, the crew from the Mega Man X Universe enter into the Sonic Boom world, explain where they are, get stopped by Sticks, explain who they are, grab two random cameos, make a joke about who they are, head to Eggman’s base, get Orbot and Cubot to help them build a dimension portal, build the dimension portal and go into said portal. In just seven pages. It’s tiring! Once again, Flynn rushes through it all as set-up so that none of it matters. He clearly had a note that said, ‘get X into Sonic Boom and get them both into Sonic’s main world – and do it fast’. And once that’s out of the way, it’s goodbye to the Sonic Boom world!
But that’s where the gripes with the issue come to an end. Because once all that is out of the way, Sonic Boom #8 focuses on the relationship between Eggman and Wily. Easily the highlight of Worlds Collide, it’s awesome to see them back together again and on the same page. They even work to explain why Dr. Wily has no recollections of teaming with Eggman previously and this further plays into just how much of a dick Eggs is by lying to Wily’s face into order to get him on-side. This is where Flynn’s writing is exceptional. There are a couple of humerous moments during the Sonic Boom/Mega Man X stuff, but this is where the real comedy lays. Not only that, but it actually serves as a nice reminder to the closing events of Worlds Collide, just in case you forgot.
Sonic Boom #8 a tale of two halves. The first portion of this comic is just as bad as the whole first issue of Worlds Unite, but the second half reminds you that some awesome moments can come from this crazy set-up. It seems as though we’re really getting past this super-quick exposition and jumping right into the meat of the story. Let’s see where we go from here…
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.