For those of you that came in late, Robotnik and Snively ruled over Mobius, Sonic and Princess Sally lead a group of Freedom Fighters to stop Robotnik and free their planet. After 50 issues (51 if you count issue 0), Sonic was successful in defeating Robotnik, with some unexpected outside help from Snivley. And now…
When we last left off, Sonic had just defeated Robotnik once and for all. So where do the Freedom Fighters go from here. Well, after spending an issue celebrating there greatest victory. The next two years of Sonic Comics were spent showing the Freedom Fighters reclaiming Mobius. During that time Knuckles go his own solo comic series, after the success of his own miniseries. One thing I like about the comics, is that some the cover of some issues would form amazing poster showing of Knuckles, his family, their allies, and whoever they were fighting. There’s really not much to say about the comics, it mostly follows Knuckles’ duty to guard the sacred island, finding out about his parents. The comic also features the Chaotix, and a pink Echidna named Julie Su.
Around that time the comic just did its own stories with the characters for a while, but things, started to change once Issue 71 was released (The comic is told in reverse order). A laser hits Knothole causing time to run backwards, Sonic (while using a special emerald) Sonic runs around and goes through several transformations, until he undergoes a permanent transformation, taking on his Sonic Adventure appearance. Around this time Knuckles’ comic was cancelled, after 32 issues, all of his adventures and subplots being reincorporated into the main comic.
By Issue 74, the Freedom Fighters decide to go to space, and investigate the laser from Issue 71, fearing Robotnik might be alive. And in issue 75, the mastermind turned out to be Robo-Robotnik. After a short fight scene the Freedom Fighters escape RR’s space station, as it explodes. RR downloads his consciousness into a new robot body, the body he ends up choosing, Dr. Eggman (He also starts referring to himself as Dr. Eggman). Game storylines like Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 were adapted, introducing Shadow the Hedgehog as a recurring character. After issue 100, The series kinda got boring after awhile. They also started formatting the covers to look like tabloid magazine covers, which was weird to me. After a while, the higher-ups at Archie seemed to think the comics were getting boring too, so they fired the head writer, Ken Penders (more on him shortly), and replaced him with Ian Flynn. Ian Flynn really turned things around for the Sonic comics. There were also other comics, like Sonic Universe, which expands on the other characters in the comics aside from the main ones, a Sonic X adaptation, and Sonic Live, a comic Linkara reviewed for his 100th Episode.
In the 200th issue Sonic and Eggman have yet another final battle, but after destroying his latest mech, Eggman has a mental breakdown due to his failed attempts to control the planet, allowing Snively and the Iron Queen Regina Ferrum to take over his empire, leading to a lengthy war against the Freedom Fighters. Naugus comes to rule New Mobotropolis as king due to a deal Sally’s father made with him. Eggman returns to power, unleashing a weapon called the Genesis Wave, altering the world, but Sonic reverses it. Like all good things people love, there’s always something good, then there’s always something bad.
Let’s talk about Ken Penders. A writer and artist for Sonic, he was hired back when the comic was catching steam, and as the years marched on, he started getting more control, which lead to the comics having an ongoing storyline, and he created the Knuckles spin-off using ideas and concepts from from his own comics that never got published. After both issue 50, and the cancelation of the Knuckles comic, things just went downhill from then on, eventually the higher-ups at Archie fired Penders,and replaced by Ian Flynn. This lead to Penders suing Archie and Sega for the rights over the Sonic characters he created like Geoffrey St John, Sonic and Knuckles’ families, etc, and surprisingly won the case, leading to the ugliest thing anyone has ever seen.
Because of this, Archie had no choice but to create the Super Genesis Wave plotline. Dr. Eggman formed a plan called Operation Clean Sweep, a plan that would alter the fabric of space-time and counter Sonic’s “chaos factor”. This plan would create a brand new Mobius that would leave it ripe for roboticization. He succeeded, but his new reality was unstable, luckily Sonic reverses it. Eggman busts out a new superweapon, the World Roboticizer, Sally sacrifices herself to stop the superweapon, and ends up becoming a robot. The Freedom Fighters reform as Team Freedom, Team Fighters, and the Secret Freedom Fighters to combat Eggman and Naugus. Eggman activates a second Genesis Wave, transporting himself, Sonic, and other characters into the world of Mega Man, leading to the crossover Worlds Collide. A second crossover Worlds Unite happened in 2015, featuring characters from other Sega and Capcom titles.
The original multiverse ceased to exist when Dr. Eggman launched the Super Genesis Wave in conjunction with Dr. Wily, causing the Prime Zone (Sonic’s Universe) to be irreversibly rewritten and the multiverse surrounding it to collapse in on itself, destroying every prior known reality (with the exception of the Special Zone and the Sol Zone, Blaze’s World Dimension, the latter due to the Jeweled Scepter) and creating new ones in their place.
Sonic and Dr. Eggman maintain their memories of the original continuity, which are then shared with Tails, Sally, Rotor, Antoine, Bunnie, Amy Rose, and Naugus when they make contact with Nicole. However, this world is altered by the second Genesis Wave and Earth is split apart, awakening Dark Gaia, leading to the events of Sonic Unleashed. The comic also introduces Naugus’ sister Wendy, a witch who pledges allegiance to Eggman and plots to gain the Cacophonic Conch.
In the summer of 2017, after a lengthy hiatus, it was officially announced that Archie lost the license to Sonic, and the series was effectively cancelled. The reasons for the abrupt cancellation varry between the lawsuit mentioned above, or that Archie most likely couldn’t afford to keep the license after investing a lot of money on the TV show Riverdale.
A few weeks later it twas announced that IDW Comics has acquired the rights to Sonic The Hedgehog, and that head writer Ian Flynn serve as head writer for the new series. The series will start with the first four issues being relesed on April 4th, and the following issues being released sometime in May.
These comics were amazing, I just wish I could’ve seen how they would’ve ended everything, if they didn’t lose the license. The artwork, and storytelling was great, the storylines had some of the best writing (especially once Ian Flynn took over) I’ve ever read. Though I’ll admit the comics do have its flaws, mostly they came from the trades I bought over the years (post-lawsuit), where most of Penders’ characters were either removed or replaced which messes up the impact of some stories. The cover art (or lack thereof) of the post-“Rise of Eggman” arc almost ruined it for me, but thankfully the art and writing saved it for me. Overall, Archie Sonic was one of the best comics I’ve read during and after High School. I wish I could thank Ian Flynn, Evan Stanley, Tracy Yardley, Ben Bates, and yes even Ken Penders, for their hands making such an enjoyable comic book. I can’t wait to see what they (minus Penders) bring to the table at IDW.
RANK: 5 out of 5
Next we jump into a different comic universe, and talk about other characters that could possibly show up in it.
Happy Late Birthday, everyone.