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    Review: Sonic Universe #53

    By | June 21st, 2013
    Posted in Reviews | % Comments

    You may be asking yourself why Archie Comics did a crossover between Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog. Unfortunately, the real question to ask yourself is “Where can I get this right now?” Major spoilers ahead!

    Written by Ian Flynn
    Illustrated by Tracy Yardley!

    “When Worlds Collide”: Part Eight of TwelveóThe hunt for the Roboticized Masters comes to its explosive end! As the gripping second act of the Sonic/Mega Man crossover event comes to a close, Proto Man and the Chaotix make a crucial discovery in the battle to restore BOTH worlds! The tension is fraying the bromance of Drs. Eggman and Wily! Bass and Metal Sonic prepare to lead an armyóbut an army of what? Featuring new cover art from Sonic/Mega Man art legend Patrick Spaziante, and a special “E.F.F. (aka Evil Friends Forever) Variant” featuring Dr.’s Eggman and Wily gaming on their EGGSbox!

    This is the most energetic book being published right now. Every single thing about “Sonic Universe” #53, as well as the entire Sonic and Mega Man crossover Archie Comics has been doing for the last few months, is just full of sugar-coated excitement for what it’s doing. Look at the artist’s name. It’s Tracy Yardley!! That second exclamation point wasn’t for dramatic effect, the artist’s name is literally “Tracy Yardley!” with an exclamation point. That’s the type of comic “Sonic Universe” #53 and it is just beautiful.

    This is part eight of a twelve part series, which means that Archie Comics wants to dedicate 12 comics, about 240 pages, towards a team-up of Sonic and Mega Man and that’s something everyone can get behind. Oftentimes, crossovers happen for the sake of happening and feel like two alien properties mashed together into one for the sake of an event (Archie/Punisher, Batman/Predator, Multiversity Comics/Drudge Report), but this crossover actually merges elements from both franchises in both predictable and ingenious ways. For the obvious approach, Dr. Eggman and Wily have teamed up and are described by the solicitation as being in a “bromance” and playing the EGGSbox. Obviously, countless, sleepless nights went into writing this. On the other hand, there’s some fantastic integration like the utterly hardcore premise of Sonic’s friends being kidnapped and turned into Robot Masters that Megaman must defeat so he can get their powers. If that’s not enough, three of these Robot Masters are straight up Team Chaotix. Shut down your doors, every other comic book company, the apex of your industry has been reached.

    You may come for the face-melting  radness, but it’s the eye-rolling dialogue of “Sonic Universe” #53 that really sells the book. Normally, we reserve from putting major spoilers in our review, but the following needs to be discussed. After being freed from Wily and Eggman’s robotic grip, Knuckles demands to know where they are so he can get his revenge. Sonic responds by saying “Uh-huh. ‘Cause you’re tougher than the rest of ’em? Best of ’em? Tougher than leather?”

    Sonic is directly quoting Knuckles’ theme song from Sonic Adventures.

    Why isn’t this series nominated for an Eisner?

    There’s plenty of more awful lines and puns to be found within the comic as well as, in all honesty, a pretty good story too. The plot itself is pretty gripping and, for long-time fans of either Sonic or Mega Man, a really great celebration of both heroes. There’s actually a huge well of continuity used for either side. Not enough to drive off casual fans, but long-time fans of either series will be incredibly pleased with who shows up. None of the continuity is too showy either, it’s all essential for the plot.

    The art in “Sonic Universe” is pretty decent. There’s nothing too groundbreaking here, but Tracey Yardley!’s does a good job of blending the Mega Man and Sonic art styles to make it more the crossover seem more real. Looking at the art, it’s almost hard to believe that neither character had anything to do with the other until this point. Actually, Tracey Yardley! definitely has talent in terms of artistic skills, but it’s somewhat hampered by the requirement for them to draw Sonic and mega Man. As good as the art may be, it’s steeped in the traditional look for both franchises and doesn’t really get the chance to break out on its own, a problem for many comics of licensed properties.

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    Overall, “Sonic Universe” #53 is a delightful surprise. Yes it may not be as deep or philosophical as other comics and Sonic may make horrific jokes, but it’s a ridiculous and harmless comic, and one that’s fun to read too! This issue marked the end of Act 2 for the Worlds Collide crossover, so if you can get it out of your mind how insane it is for a Sonic/Mega Man crossover to necessitate a three act structure, it’s not too late to catch the third act. And if the final few pages are any indication, the upcoming issues are going to be completely insane.

    Final Verdict: 8.6 – “You can call me Knuckles, unlike Sonic I don’t chuckle. I’d rather flex my muscles”

    James Johnston

    James Johnston is a grizzled post-millenial. Follow him on Twitter to challenge him to a fight.