Issue #7 Meet the New Boss Review

At last, the truth is revealed! Who has been masquerading as Dr. Eggman since he lost his memory?! It is none other than Neo Metal Sonic! But what is his plan? What is he after?

Issue: #7
Release Date: 7/25/2018
Title: Meet the New Boss
Story: Ian Flynn
Art: Adam Bryce Thomas
Letters: Corey Breen
Editors: Joe Hughes & David Mariotte
Publishser: Greg Goldstein
Covers:

  • A: Tracy Yardley
  • B: Adam Bryce Thomas
  • RI: Nathalie Fourdraine
  • RE: Jamal Peppers
  • RE: Adam Bryce Thomas
  • RE: Nathalie Fourdraine
    Featured Characters:
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Neo Metal Sonic (First Appearance)
  • Dr. Eggman (Neo Metal Sonic in Disguise)
  • Amy Rose
  • Miles “Tails” Prower
  • Knuckles the Echidna

Synopsis

While on patrol in the Tornado, Sonic and Tails spot a stealth Egg Carrier. Deciding to investigate, Tails gives Sonic a device able to download and analyze any data that might be useful. Sonic infiltrates the airship but is caught by Dr. Eggman. Sonic immediately calls his bluff and asks who he really is. The fake reveals himself to be none other than a rebuilt Neo Metal Sonic.

Neo Metal Sonic claims that he was rebuilt in secret as Eggman’s final secret weapon, but that he was defeated before Metal Sonic was complete. His rebelliousness removed, he copied Eggman’s bio data and assumed control of t he Eggman Empire. This time to ensure the unbroken rule of Eggman, rather than usurp it as he had done in the past.

Neo Metal Sonic demands Sonic tell him where Dr. Eggman is, but Sonic instead attempts to defeat Neo Metal Sonic. Neo Metal Sonic copies Sonic’s abilities, and calls down the full force of the Egg Carrier and Badniks on board. During the course of the ensuing battle, Sonic realizes he is badly outmatched. Thus, Sonic flees the carrier; letting himself fall off the edge to be saved by Tails in the Tornado.

Neo Metal Sonic continues on his way to rendezvous with the rest of the Egg Fleet in order to prepare for their attack on Angel Island, while Sonic and Tails retreat to a Resistance base where they meet with Knuckles and Amy. Sonic informs them that they are up against Neo Metal Sonic. Amy asks if Sonic was able to gather any data, but unfortunately, he was not able to due to his fight with Neo Metal Sonic. Tails expresses concern with battling someone with the intellect of Eggman and the powers of Metal Sonic, to which Knuckles chides him for his negativity. Sonic inserts some positivity by coming up with a plan to investigate Eggman’s other bases for any clues to Neo Metal Sonic’s plans.

The Egg Fleet is show approaching Angel Island, as Neo Metal Sonic ominously declares that he has already won.

Story

This issue marks a big milestone for the series. It contains big reveals, a new villain, an epic fight, surprising twists, and some top-tier fan service. But let us first deal with the main thrust of this issue, the reveal of Neo Metal Sonic!

Since issue #1 for 6 issues straight, the fan community has speculated about just who the figure in the command chair really is! Theories ranged from Lord Battle Kuku XV to Eggman Nega to the correct answer…Metal Sonic!  This theory was based on the fact that Metal Sonic once took over the Eggman Empire in Sonic Heroes. As things progressed, it seemed more and more likely that this was the case until the Egg Carriers were mentioned at which point it seemed certain. There were even the subtle hints via Heroes Egg Pawns rather than Forces, one I mistook for a merely aesthetic choice.

While circumstances and setting are somewhat similar to the events of Sonic Heroes, they are also quite distinct. While in Heroes, Metal Sonic usurps control of the Empire from Eggman, it turns out that he is just acting as a steward until he can locate Eggman and return him to power. While dedicated fans might have predicted Metal Sonic, they likely would not have predicted such a reversal in his motivations, another masterful twist by Flynn showcasing not only his writing prowess, but true knowledge of Sonic.

Thus, it seems Neo Metal Sonic, operating as Dr. Eggman, had 2 main objectives: 1) Maintain Eggman’s continued rule over the Eggman Empire uninterrupted, and 2) find and locate the true Dr. Eggman. Thus it seems the coordinated Badnik attacks we have seen thus far have served 2 ends, to reassert control over the territories lost to the Resistance while simultaneously secretly searching for Dr. Eggman.

The issue is filled with visual and story call-backs to Sonic Heroes, from the Egg Carrier to the Egg Pawns, and of course Neo Metal Sonic, but what was most satisfying to many fans was how Flynn snuck in the lyrics “I never fear the fall” from “His World”, a popular song featured in many Sonic games throughout the years.

Characters

While there was not any significant character development for our heroes in this issue, it was quite revealing as towards the motivations of our newest villain, Neo Metal Sonic. As many suspected, it was Metal Sonic lurking in the shadows and pulling the strings of the Eggman Empire. However, his motivations are very different from what they were last time around. Eggman has purged him of his rebelliousness and seemingly made him into a perfectly loyal henchman. Imbued with Eggman’s intellect with an upgraded robotic form, and the ability to copy the powers of anyone he meets, Metal Sonic proves to be a single-minded foe.

As stated, he seeks to advance the Eggman Empire without any lapse due to Eggman’s previous defeat, and to restore the Doctor to his rightful position as leader. From what we have seen, he has no ulterior motive, and is genuinely concerned with the state and location of Eggman. His goals are somewhat less clear. He is mounting a full scale attack on Angel Island in order to capture the Master Emerald, but to what end?

Neo Metal Sonic is a great choice, alway popular among fans, and with a twist in motivation that I doubt anyone saw coming.

Art

I have been greatly anticipating this issue since it was announced that Adam Bryce Thomas would be not only doing another cover, but doing the interior as well, and he did not disappoint. Artwise, this book is by far my favorite of the series yet. ABT’s style is so crisp and clean. The fight sequences between Sonic and Metal are intense and powerful, reminiscent of almost a manga style of drawing action scenes. Neo Metal Sonic looks amazing and intimidating. I truly felt Sonic had met his match in this issue after casually popping countless Badniks. Truly the crowning scene was when Metal lands that devastating knee to Sonic’s gut and makes him realize he is out of his league for once.

Covers

Issue #7 marked IDW Sonic’s first milestone celebration and fell on the weekend of San Diego Comic Con. This perfect storm produced 6 variants, 3 of which were exclusive to the convention! All the covers had gold stamped titles apart from the RI cover which can be forgiven since one of the exclusives was merely a version with the gold stamp!

Cover A by Tracy Yardley: Yardley’s A cover depicts a view from an egg carrier’s command deck of Sonic racing up the runway evading the battery of cannons. Upon the command deck’s control panel we see several buttons reminiscent of  Genesis and Dreamcast controllers and the word “ALERT” on the screen alluding to the setting being taken from Sonic Heroes. This cover has a gold stamped title.

Cover B by Adam Bryce Thomas: Also alluding to Sonic Heroes, Thomas’s B cover shows Sonic and Tails riding the Tornado with the egg carrier breaking through the clouds in the background. This cover has a gold stamped title.

RI by Nathalie Fourdraine: Nathalie once again hits it out of the part with her unique style, illustrating her 7th RI cover in a row! Depicting Sonic and Tails in the clutches of a shadowy Dr. Eggman.  Retailers receive 1 copy of this cover for every 10 issues ordered.

Con Exclusive by Jamal Peppers: Exclusively available at the IDW booth at SDCC18. Attendees could get their hands on a copy of 1 of only 500 copies for $10.00. This cover has a gold stamped title.

Con Exclusive by Adam Bryce Thomas: My new favorite cover, ABT’s 2nd #7 cover was available at Diamond booths at SDCC18. Only 2,000 copies were produced. This cover has a gold stamped title.

 Con Exclusive by Nathalie Fourdraine: Perhaps the rarest of the 3 convention variants available at SDCC18, A variant of Nathalie’s cover with the gold stamped title was given as a gift to those who attended the annual Diamond Retailer lunch.

Overall Thoughts

Between the awesome reveal and the top shelf art, this issue is by far the best the series has to offer yet. True to their word, IDW has given us action and adventure, characters with depth, fan service galore, and an exciting story line with twists and turns! As we head into the final arc this fall, I cannot wait to see what else they have in store for us!

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