Trivia / Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog

  • Creative Differences: Penders vs. Bollers got so bad, it ended with them both leaving the comic simultaneously. Which is why we have Flynn... whose works Penders steadfastly neglects to read, but swears to chuck in the Canon Discontinuity bin if he's ever re-hired. As of recent events, though, Penders returning is quite unlikely. According to Penders, the editor of the comic forced him to bail because he kept on changing his stories, the final straw being the Mobius: 25 Years Later story. More specifically, he stated that there would be no more work done on said story until Penders included other characters from the games, such as Shadow. Penders quit in response.
  • Creator Backlash: The shipping wars got so bad that Ian has essentially sunk Sonic/Sally as a pairing with the soft reboot. Also doubles as Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things.
  • Creator's Favorite: Writers of both Sonic SatAM and Sonic the Hedgehog have admitted that Princess Sally Acorn is their favorite character. Though she has more than a few detractors that could lean her into Creator's Pet territory, she has almost as devout a number of fans, making her a Base-Breaking Character at worst.
  • Executive Meddling: The series has a lot of issues of Archie suffering this under Sega. To date, here is a known list of all the official mandates Sega has imposed on the comics, along with other baggage they've brought into the comics;
    • Due to the lawsuit with Ken Penders, his characters, locations or events cannot be used, mentioned or named beyond vague references. Elements from the game Sonic Chronicles are off-limits because of this legal mess, since the game took many elements from Ken Penders stories and was part of what provoked his lawsuit against Archie and Sega in the first place.
    • Certain characters, including certain ones from the games, are off limits for use, such as Eggman Nega (who is not only barred from unobstructed appearances, but can't even be fully named on-panel) Mephiles the Dark and Black Doom (although the latter is still allowed to cameo in flashbacks and the Black Arms race is free for use). It also took years for characters like Cream the Rabbit and her mother to be allowed to appear in the comic, same with Emerl and Omega. Certain characters like Blaze the Cat and Marine the Raccoon had so many restrictions with what could or couldn't be done with them that the most they could do was just make cameo appearances.
    • Game characters can not have parents or relatives. This also caused the Continuity Reboot to change things up, such as the fact that Uncle Chuck isn't blood related to Sonic anymore, and that the title is honorary.
    • Sonic cannot get overly emotional (which is often paraphrased or misinterpreted as "Sonic can't cry.").
    • The name "Möbius" cannot be spoken or mentioned as the name of the planet, and it is not allowed to be called "Earth" either—Sega says it is now just "Sonic's World".
    • None of the game characters can have a steady relationship, and Amy cannot like anyone but Sonic. Sonic and Amy cannot date at all as they would lose their dynamic.
    • None of the game characters can have character development unless approved. SEGA Characters cannot be changed in any way unless approved.
    • No SEGA character can die.
    • Sonic always has to win. Even if Eggman does get the upper hand for a short period, Sonic has to immediately overcome him in a subsequent comic.
    • None of the cast are allowed to change their wardrobe or wear any different wardrobe at all, no matter what the story context would demand.
    • Originally, the SEGA cast couldn't be implied to have aged to the point where they are now or age further. The Classic forms of characters couldn't be implied to be younger forms of the characters either. This mandate has been officially lifted as of the comics reboot, as the Sonic: Mega Drive comic uses the Classic designs as the characters younger counterparts (and not long before that, a post-reboot issue featured a flashback to the proto-Silver Sonic that used Sonic's classic design).
    • And there's Sega's legally obligated mandate that keeps characters and elements from all of the non-western non-game Sonic continuities (I.e. Sonic X, Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie) from ever being used in the comic, owing to tangled copyright issues between Sega of Japan and Sega of America, as well as the companies that co-produced those other series, including the animation studios TMS Entertainment and Studio Pierrot respectively, Sonic X's current American distributor Saban Brands, and Sonic the Movie's defunct licensor ADV Filmsnote .
    • Likewise, elements created specifically for the Archie Sonic comics (and by proxy, it's precursor SatAM) are not allowed to be used in other Sonic continuities due to the aforementioned legal embargoes. The closest exception was cameos of SatAM and Adventures of Sonic characters in Sonic Spinball, which was a western produced Sonic spinoff to begin with.
    • Part of why Knuckles and the echidna race had so much build-up back in the day is that Sega vetoed ideas that were originally meant for Sonic, yet went through with no problem when applied to Knuckles.
    • The idea of Metal Sonic being a series of robots devoid of personality, rather than one individual recurring robot, and being much easier to defeat than the canon Metal, was eventually nixed by Sega, who got tired of it and told Ian Flynn to cut it out. Surprisingly, this is one of the few changes that was met with positive reception from fans, due to Metal actually gaining a personality and becoming a much bigger opponent than before.
    • As of the reboot, every non-Sega, SatAM, AoStH, and Ian Flynn character has been removed until further notice. While he hints that he can use Sonic Underground, using those like Manic and Sonia without their in-series background of being Sonic's siblings, mostly because he knows the fandom would get up in arms.
    • Ian originally wanted the arc leading up to Issue 250 to be about the Freedom Fighters rescuing Sally with her being de-roboticized in the milestone issue. However, due to the Worlds Collide crossover, these plans were aborted and Sally was returned to normal thanks to the reboot.
  • Exiled from Continuity:
    • All of the 170+ characters created by writer Ken Penders have been permanently removed from the series due to a major lawsuit with him, including several major characters and series mainstays.
    • While Eggman Nega technically does exist in the Archie series, he is not allowed to make an unobstructed appearance or even be fully named (only being referred to as "Doctor Nega") because of unexplained hangups with Sega.
      • Also affected by unusual hangups are Tiara Boobowski and her father Gazebo, from Sonic Xtreme.
    • Black Doom and Mephiles are off-limits for similarly unexplained reasons. The former caused Ian Flynn to create Black Death.
    • Due to messy legal issues involving Sega of Japan and Sega of America's separate copyrights on the numerous Sonic properties, as well as copyright hang ups between other studios that co-produced certain Sonic series (I.e. animation studios Studio Pierrot and TMS Entertainment, and American distributors such as the now-defunct A.D. Vision and the barely-even-active 4Kids Entertainment and the currently active Saban Brands), Sega gave an editorial mandate that unique material or characters from any Sonic continuities outside of the video games, the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and SatAM Sonic cartoons (which the Archie comics were directly based on and always borrowed elements from) and Sonic Underground are not allowed to be used in the comic. This ended up biting Archie in the rear hard when they had unauthorized cameos of characters from Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie in issue 101, which earned them a hell of a dressing down by Sega. Sonic X, which is another continuity that the comics are not allowed to borrow from, once had a 40 issue comic tie-in produced by Archie, and a one issue cross-over with the main comic universe, to the point that Sega has forbidden reprints of the Sonic X comic at all.
    • Likewise, elements created specifically for the Archie Sonic comics are not allowed to be used in other Sonic continuities due to the aforementioned legal embargoes.
  • Fan Nickname: The "Nu252" for what happened to Sonic's world after Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide, the fact that it starts in the 252nd issue, and the New 52 reference. The Mobius Encyclopaedia wiki also gives it the name "post-Super Genesis Wave", akin to the Post-Crisis timeframe.
  • I Knew It: Tundra's true identity was guessed by quite a few people.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Averted. Despite fears of the result of Screwed by the Lawyers down below, Archie is still releasing reprints of the old issues. note 
    • That's not to say there aren't straight examples, though. The Sonic/Image crossover is unlikely to be reprinted, and so is the first story in Sonic Live. Of course, these two stories were poorly received anyways.note 
  • Name's the Same: Black Death, the Black Arms alien from the new continuity, shares the same name as a one-off Mobian villain from the previous continuity.
  • No Export for You: Due to the legal mumbo-jumbo the whole comic has suffered along the years, not to mention the lack of popularity of the video games outside animated adaptations in that region, the comics aren't translated in Latin America.
  • Old Shame: Jonathan "WB" Gray, one of many a Promoted Fanboy, absolutely regrets being the guy who drew "The Slap."
  • Promoted Fanboy: Several examples, most prominently current head writer Ian Flynn who was known as the author of a popular fan comic Other-M before getting hired as head writer.
  • Recursive Adaptation: The comic had already started to incorporate some plot elements from Sonic Chronicles, which itself had seemingly borrowed and modified some of its echidna lore material from the comic.
  • Schedule Slip: Recently, the trade paperbacks. Most recent ones have been pushed back at least once, and some have been outright cancelled. The last one came out in April. Read more in this (very long) thread.
    • Between late 2015 and early 2016, issues of the main series and Sonic Universe were taken off of their original release dates and postponed for undisclosed reasons.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: The ongoing lawsuit by Ken Penders has possibly led to the vast majority of the cast up and disappearing (too early to confirm, though). This is also telling in issue #243-244 where one comic ends with Sonic fighting Lien-Da and the rest of the Dark Egg Legion, then the next panel as Sonic coming to after being knocked out and asking where everyone went
    • As of #252, it seems that the entire universe has soft rebooted, with 256 establishing that the whole multiverse has been rebuilt: select characters like Sonic, Blaze and Eggman remember the original universe; others, like Naugus, remember them as vague memories; and there's those like Nu!King Acorn, who has absolutely no memory of the old world. The new universe has completely overwritten the old now, though, including memories, so the old world is now completely gone.
    • The aforementioned embargo on using characters or elements from series like Sonic X due to copyright issues.
  • Shrug of God: When asked about the fate of Robotnik's parents, Flynn posted two ideas. One was that Robotnik "did away" with them. The other was that they migrated to the United Federation. In either case, the writer leaves it up to the reader.
    • With the recent reveal of Sonic Boom, there have been questions asked as to if this would be incorporated into the comic in anyway. So far, the only answer has been "No comment." Eventually it was revealed that Archie was doing a separate Sonic Boom comic to tie in with the TV series and video game. Similar to what they did with Sonic X.
    • While Ken Penders' characters can't be used, there has been no comment on whether or not characters from other writers (besides the current team) can make an appearance now, though it seems it may not be the case. Also, while Scourge was technically introduced by Penders as Evil Sonic, whether or not being an evil version of Sonic means he can still appear is unknown even by the current writers. However, due to Ken claiming that he created the concepts of evil Sonics and a multiverse for the comics, Archie's not going to have either to avoid any more legal issues. This is most likely why Sticks the Badger is the only Sonic Boom representative in the upcoming Sonic The Hedgehog Mega Man Worlds Unite storyline.
  • What Could Have Been: The original plot for "Endgame" really did involve Sally's demise — her apparent restoration later on was to have been a robot double, the truth only slowly coming out later as "Sally" began to act increasingly suspicious and out-of-character.
    • Ken's stated that some of the original ideas for the Princess Sally miniseries included a roboticized Queen Alicia ruling over her own subjects as a threat to both the Freedom Fighters and Robotnik. Another was a Thelma and Louise type story with Sally and Bunnie. Sega vetoed both of these ideas, wanting to use only Sally and Robotnik. This is what led to the Substitute Freedom Fighters and Geoffrey St. John. Regarding the Source of All, one of the ideas that Ken was brainstorming with a friend of his was that the Source was actually an AI made out of a pool of nanotechnology, from either the past or the future, that was so advanced as to be indistinguishable from magic. However, they never figured out what it's motives were before it was nuked.
    • Both Karl Bollers and Ken Penders have made public their plans for the comic had their employment at Archie continued.
    • Ian Flynn originally intended to have E-123 Omega off Tommy Turtle, but Executive Meddling had that changed to the Egg Fleet. In fact, Executive Meddling kept Omega from appearing in the comic for some time since Karl Bollers tried to put him in. It wasn't until issue 3 of Sonic Universe that he made an appearance.
    • One of the biggest cases of this was the Endangered Species arc. Part one had font that was obviously put in at the last minute to keep from referring to certain characters by name, while the rest was completely rewritten to remove them altogether. The arc was controversial at best as a result.
    • Everything outlined here.
    • Flynn has also gone on record to say that the early implied romance between Tails and Barby Koala (of the Downunda Freedom Fighters) is "completely one-sided and kind of creepy", (most likely due to the age difference, with Tails being around 11-12 and Barby appearing to be in her late teens) and that as long as he's on the comic it's not going to happen.
    • Currently, Ian Flynn is writing an essay known as the "Lost Hedgehog Tales," which will explain his original plan for the series, before the Ken Penders lawsuit, leading up to issue 300.
    • Chapter 1: Antoine was originally going to eventually die to Metal Sonic's explosion, but was saved by the fan reaction to his injuries. Also, Hershey the Cat wasn't dead after all.
    • Ian Flynn really wanted write a conclusion to Sonic Underground, but Executive Meddling always got in his way. He came close to being able to release the story in the fiftieth issue of Sonic Universe, with official promo art even being released, but those plans were nixed in favor of writing a lead up story to Worlds Collide. And thanks to the Cosmic Retcon destroying the series' multiverse, the chances of the story ever being released are unlikely. However, Ian Flynn intends to include the story among other scrapped story plans in the Lost Hedgehog Tales.
  • Word of Gay:
    • Ken Penders got around the CCA somehow by hinting at one of the characters in the "Mobius: X Years Later" storyline being gay... and somehow doing this while showing the life partner, threading the relationship into the text. Once fans started searching, it became obvious (and confirmed by Ken), that the hinted couple was Rotor and Cobar, the latter an echidna scientist from the Dark Legion.
    • In the new continuity, Gold the Tenrec was confirmed to be either bisexual or lesbian (her creator hadn't decided yet).
  • Word of God:
    • Current writer Ian Flynn has organized his own message board, where he and other creators interact with fans and answer their questions. His predecessor, Ken Penders, also kept up a message board while he was writing for the comic, which is still active and occasionally talks about the stories that he had planned for the series.
    • The events of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) occurred in the comic as they did in the game, including the Cosmic Retcon. Soleanna has been mentioned a few times and issue #246 has a brief appearance of White Acropolis. The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia describes it in more detail, including entries on Iblis, Mephiles, and Solaris.

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