Comic Scope: Sonic Universe Volume 7

Silver versus Enerjak! Is it worth a read?

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 10/09/2014 09:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Sonic Universe Volume 7: The Silver Saga

Writer: Ian Flynn
Artist: Tracy Yardley

Silver the Hedgehog didn’t make many friends when he first appeared in 2007’s Sonic the Hedgehog on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It remains one of the most lampooned and derided entries in Sonic’s long history, garnering nearly unanimous hatred from fans and critics alike. We won’t go into the intricacies of its failings here, but beneath all that muck laid Silver, who was actually a pretty cool character, but didn’t get much chance to shine. Thank goodness for Archie’s Sonic comics, though, as Silver was long ago redeemed by the talented Ian Flynn and Tracy Yardley. Sonic Universe Volume 7: The Silver Saga, is the latest comic to feature the pale hedgehog, and it’s yet another solid entry in the companion series to Sonic the Hedgehog.

The Silver Saga starts off with Silver and his mentor Mogul, who is training the young hedgehog to master his control over Chaos Energy. They’re interrupted when a mysterious, silent being (who looks suspiciously similar to a certain ally of Knuckles!) enters their world and starts attacking Silver. Following the attacker back to his home through an inter-dimensional portal, Silver discovers that the creature is one of many, who are attacking the remaining survivors of an alternate world. Further complicating matters is Enerjak, who is commanding the armada of voiceless, powerful aggressors. Compelled to help, Silver joins the resistance in hopes of ending Enerjak’s rule and saving his new friends.

Flynn likes to dabble in alternate dimensions and future timelines, and The Silver Saga is one of his most successful imaginings yet. Silver is a great lead, for starters; he’s a little more bright-eyed and naive than Sonic, but he’s also tenaciously persistent and dedicated. When he meets up with the leader of the resistance, Jani-Ca (who will look very familiar to longtime Sonic readers!), Silver is quick to devote himself to her cause. This might normally read as being a touch too convenient, but in this context it works and quickly sets the rest of the story into motion. Enerjak tends to be a bit one-note in his lust for power, but there’s a twist to his identity (which seems to be the norm for Enerjak these days; I’m willing to let it slide for now) and the mindless beings under his command that makes the proceedings a lot more personal, not to mention raises the stakes a great deal. I won’t spoil the ending, but it was nice to see Silver use some solid strategy and show he’s got some real potential.

Tracy Yardley delivers an especially strong set of visuals for The Silver Saga. Yardley is an incredibly busy artist for the Archie Sonic line of comics, so there are times when his line work can look rushed. That is definitely not the case in this volume. Yardley’s art in The Silver Saga is some of the best he’s ever done, with very clean storytelling and great body language. Yardley’s character “acting,” the way he conveys emotion through his drawings, is some of the best in the business. As good as Yardley’s art is, though, I would be totally foolish to not mention the coloring by Ray Dillon. Wow. It’s just stunning, people. Rich and varied, Dillon’s palette is perfect for this story. He doesn’t drown out Yardley, instead complementing and highlighting his art. The only letdown is in the fourth chapter when Steve Downer takes over on colors. Don’t take that as a slight against him; it’s some good coloring, but it doesn’t match the tone set by Dillon, so the shift is too pronounced and almost distracting when it finally hits. Overall, though, The Silver Saga features some of the strongest art yet seen in the Sonic Universe series.

Along with Sonic Saga Series Volume 5, The Silver Saga is another wonderful collection that fans of the video game and comic series owe themselves to read. Flynn and Yardley are an excellent duo, bringing the best out of one another, and it really shows on the page. The book is available to order either digitally or physically, or you can stomp on over to a comic shop and pick one up in person! No matter what, make sure to give The Silver Saga a purchase!

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