Sonic the Hedgehog Returns Metal Sonic to His Brutal Original Portrayal

Spoilers ahead for Sonic the Hedgehog #52!

IDW Publishing's Sonic the Hedgehog comic is bringing Metal Sonic back to his brutal origins when the Badnik first debuted in the video game Sonic CD. But rather than hurting non-anthropomorphic animals as he once did, Dr. Eggman's secret weapon is now attacking his own sibling.

Although the heroic hedgehog only "battles" the mechanized version of himself once in 1993's Sonic CD, Sega gave Metal Sonic a much more prominent role than any other boss in the gaming franchise except for Dr. Eggman himself. Early on in the Sega CD release, Metal Sonic captures the Blue Blur's self-proclaimed girlfriend Amy Rose to lure his living counterpart into many of Dr. Eggman's traps. But what players might remember most about Metal Sonic is how the game depicts him leading up to Amy's capture. Sonic first sees holograms of the mechanized hedgehog kicking and harassing animals through projectors that Dr. Eggman has set up in certain levels.


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Now IDW is returning the Badnik to his brutal original portrayal in Sonic the Hedgehog #52 by writer and artist Evan Stanley, inkers Maria Keane and Rik Mack, colorist Reggie Graham and letterer Shawn Lee. Two issues earlier, Metal Sonic seems to share an emotional connection with Belle the Tinkerer because Dr. Eggman created her even though he was under the influence of his good alter ego Mr. Tinker at the time. Metal Sonic not only refuses to hurt Belle but even protects her against some of Eggman's other creations. Later, Belle tries to take advantage of this when her "brother" attempts to attack Sonic by standing in the way. But rather than backing off, the mechanized hedgehog actually smacks her to the ground.

Metal Sonic slaps Belle the Tinkerer in Sonic the Hedgehog 52

Metal Sonic doesn't sink to such despicable lows at any other point in IDW's series, not even when he began taking over Sonic's planet to hand the world over to Eggman much earlier in the comics. Throughout those early issues, the ultimate Badnik's entire focus is on Sonic and his friends. At no time does he directly attack any civilians or hurt those who don't wish to fight. Metal Sonic slapping Belle by comparison in the present day undoubtedly reminds fans of when he once harassed animals in Sonic CD. Although there really isn't really anything more innocent than a defenseless animal, Metal Sonic's attack hits readers much more profoundly because of how he and Belle ostensibly connect just a few issues before. The fact that she clearly isn't going to hurt him and puts herself in a vulnerable position out of trust makes Metal Sonic's actions just that more dastardly. He could also easily avoid hurting her in any capacity by speeding around her to get to Sonic. Oddly, even pushing Belle to the side would feel less barbaric than a slap in comparison.

Regardless, IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog still hasn't gone as far as it can to fully portray Metal Sonic as dastardly as he was in Sonic CD. The slap in the latest issue of Sonic the Hedgehog is definitely shocking, but until Metal Sonic torments defenseless creatures by continually stepping on them, for example, it won't be the same. Hopefully for the sake of these animals, Belle, and readers this won't happen.