A group of mercenaries informs Sonic that a one-time enemy has caused widespread destruction after following the path Sonic set her on.
The art in this installment is pretty slick. I like Sonic's spacecraft and the alien mercenaries. Sonic himself has some problems with his spines, but that's about par for the course in comics from this era.
The eponymous Starmada (i.e. the group of mercenaries) is an interesting enough concept, but the most we get by way of characterization for them is learning that their leader likes to hear himself talk. So I guess we don't know if their turning on Sonic is uncharacteristic or not, but it still doesn't make much sense.
There's not really much narrative here. It really feels like a first act rather than a self-contained story. That's fine, since the next part is in the same book, but I'm not sure why they billed the two parts as separate stories.
After escaping the "Starmada," Sonic faces E.V.E., who has been eating planets ever since she departed Mobius.
The first thing you'll notice about this story is the shift in art style. (Maybe that's the reason for splitting it into two parts?) For the most part, it's just as good as the previous style. It's less detailed, but still plenty appealing. The exception is Sonic himself: Besides the usual spine problems, he has anatomy issues in nearly every panel.
The second half feels rushed. Honestly, I think the first half should have been trimmed down and the second half expanded. While "Starmada" only really had a couple of things happen, this story is crammed full of events that are either rushed through (like E.V.E.'s sentries that bother Sonic for less than half a page) or lack enough context to make sense.
One of the biggest examples of this is Sonic's entrance into E.V.E.'s interior: "The anguished Sonic" rams his ship straight into her hull. It looks like a suicide attack, totally out of character for Sonic. Then E.V.E. lets him in for some unexplained reason, even though she destroyed the armada and soon starts attacking Sonic. I think if the story had more breathing room, this could have been handled in a way that makes more sense.
The other big example is the ending. I won't spoil it, but I will say it only takes two panels of action on Sonic's part. I think there needed to be a little more time for reflection.
Overall, it's not that bad a story. I would have liked to see it structured better so the last half wasn't so rushed, but I liked it anyway.
I like the spacesuit on the cover. Certainly better than the one we got in the book. (Though it wouldn't have worked in-book; too busy.) The giant blurb and goofy wireframe disembodied eyes sort of kill it, though.
There are a lot of little things to criticize in this issue, and it doesn't all come together like it should. Not splitting the story into two parts might have helped.
Even so, I enjoyed the issue when I first read it and it's still a decent piece of entertainment. It's far from the gold standard, but I can think of far worse ways to kill fifteen minutes.