While the planet reeled from the Shattered World Crisis, Team Dark was sent into space to deal with an imminent alien invasion. During the mission, Shadow was confronted by Eclipse – an alien specifically bred to destroy him. While Team Dark succeeded in destroying the alien invaders, Eclipse escaped.
Meanwhile, Knuckles left Angel Island to seek out a powerful spirit. He was joined by the Chaotix, and together they located both the spirit – Chip – and a Chaos Emerald. Knuckles returned them both to Angel Island for safety.
While Knuckles was away, Eclipse’s shuttle was on a crash course with Angel Island…
That’s the official solicit, and that’s all I’m working with going into Sonic Universe #67 because this is where I’m jumping into the series. Is it good?
Sonic Universe #67 (Archie Comics)
I was a massive Sonic fan growing up. I played all the Genesis games nonstop, dutifully watched the cartoon every Saturday morning, and read the comics, all while sporting my favorite Sonic the Hedgehog t-shirt. I even collected every Happy Meal toy from the Sonic 3/McDonalds crossover campaign. It’d be a fair assumption to say I know a thing or two about Sonic, but outside of playing a handful of the deluge of games that have come out since his 16-bit glory days and dabbling in the mediocre Sonic X anime, I haven’t had my finger on the pulse of anything Sonic for a while now.
I was happy to see Sonic Universe wrapped up an arc recently, as I could jump in and (hopefully) not be too lost. If you’re also just joining us, fear not: the comic does a great job explaining the backstory, and any time there’s something mentioned you probably don’t understand it’s accompanied by a handy asterisk and a note explaining what issue to look into (if you want; homework is certainly not required to enjoy this issue). Basically, the premise of this issue and ‘Total Eclipse’ arc: Knuckles has recently returned to Angel Island and has discovered strange fauna inhabiting his home. Shadow, after arriving back to the Island with the rest of Team Dark, explains that it’s a clipping from a red fruit tree, which are cultivated solely by the Black Arms. Ergo, Eclipse, the big baddie, must be here somewhere. An alliance is born out of necessity between Knuckles and Team Dark. Team Dark wants to take out Eclipse, as does Knuckles. Problem is, Knuckles is but one echidna and will need Team Dark’s help. And Team Dark wouldn’t know where to look without Knux, because ain’t nobody know Angel Island as well as he does.
People really retire in final boss levels?
Eclipse sees the group trying to find him as he leaves his ship on a scouting mission, and is clued into the presence of the Master Emerald, as well as his old nemesis Shadow. And with that, we’re off!
As with most opening issues in a new arc, this issue is a lot of setup, but that doesn’t make it uninteresting. It’s a simple premise, one you’d expect from a property like Sonic, but simple usually works in series like this. I’m interested to see what happens from here, and how Knuckles and Team Dark take out Eclipse, who I’m also looking forward to learning more from since he’s an enemy I know almost nothing about. Dialogue is also sharp and matches the tone you’d expect from each character. One character is conspicuous by his absence, though: Sonic! Where’s our blue hero?
While there wasn’t a whole lot to chew on story-wise, the art is really fun to look at. Lines are thick and deliberate, use of color is abundant and longtime fans of Sonic will definitely get a kick out of seeing some of the familiar sights on Angel Island. It’s actually pretty damn entertaining to see the team traverse Marble Gardens using those strange disc-powered pulleys or snowboarding down giant poles in a carnival; I guess these are just the standard modes of transportation on Angel Island, and have been ever since Sonic 3. These backgrounds are not only nostalgic, but very well rendered as well and a joy to take in.
Is It Good?
Sonic Universe #67 is an excellent jumping-on point for new readers, and the beginning of what could be a fun arc. Hopefully next issue picks up the pace, and while I’m not sure where he is, I’m hoping for an appearance by The Fastest Thing Alive himself in the coming issues.