ADVANCE REVIEW: Sonic the Hedgehog #228

A comic review article by: Penny Kenny
ADVANCE REVIEW! Sonic the Hedgehog #228 goes on sale, August 31, 2011.

The title, "Divide and Conquer," pretty much says it all. After Sonic introduces his "new" friends Sally, Boomer, and Antoine to Tails...

...and they team-up to attack Eggman's chemical factory, the teams break up to go after Eggman on two different fronts.

Typical Sonic the Hedgehog right? Well, in some ways. But as always writer Ian Flynn adds some twists. I found the reason for the team splitting up one of the most interesting parts of the story. That and a little scene between Eggman and his confused nephew Snively.

Flynn carefully set the stage for this "reboot" and he's just as carefully set-up the return to, if not the status quo, something similar to what came before. The Eggman scene actually servies multiple purposes. It prepares readers for an upcoming change.

It explains what previously happened to casual readers who might not have seen an issue since Sonic #219. It shows us what kind of characters Eggman and Snively are and it's both ominous and funny. Pretty good for a three page, thirteen panel scene.

There's a lot of strong character interaction this issue. While I prefer the more dashing pre-reboot Antoine, he has some charming moments of cluelessness here. Boom and Tails bond and the Sonic-Sally flirtation heats up.

Tails is very much the little brother this issue. Though Sonic's respect for Tails comes through, he's not treating him as an equal.

The art is sharp, with several, I assume, nods to the Sonic video games. The expressions are particularly well done. In the panel where Sonic introduces his friends to one another

the characters' poses tell you everything you need to grasp their personalities.

There are several action scenes. One of them involves Sonic and Tails racing along a system of pipes. Though you only see Sonic as a jagged edge ball in the pipes, the constant changing of the viewpoint angles on the scene and John Workman's sound effects create a sense of speed and movement. In another scene, the heroes must escape from a chamber filling with purple mega muck via floating crates. The vertical layouts of the pages create a sense of distance, depth, and motion. In a stunning splashpage, Sonic dives from an airplane into the heart of Eggman's complex. The art team of Tracy Yardley!, Terry Austin, Workman and Matt Herms give readers a bright and involving visual experience.

Sonic the Hedgehog #228 sets the stage for upcoming revelations as well as telling an enjoyable story on its own.

For the past thirteen years, Penny Kenny has been an elementary library paraprofessional in a rural school district. For the seven years prior to that, she headed a reading-math program designed to help first grade students with learning difficulties. Her book reviews regularly appeared in Starlog from 1993 to the magazine's unfortunate demise in 2009 and she has published several e-novellas under a pen name. She has been a reviewer with Comics Bulletin since 2007.

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