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Trivia / Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics)

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  • Alan Smithee: Former writer Karl Bollers would sometimes write under the name "Benny Lee", usually with stories that were lighter in tone that his usual fare. Two stories were also credited to an artist (or artists) known only as "Many Hands"; these stories are often considered to have the worst art in the series, with the first having four pages of complete darkness except for Sonic's eyes and Sonic's six-page fight with Naugus being completely covered by snow.
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  • Cash Cow Franchise: For almost two decades, the Sonic comics were Archie's highest selling series.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: The ScreenRant article "Why Sonic's Official Canon Is Better Than The Gaming Continuity" makes a couple of mistakes regarding the comics:
    • It refers to the comics throughout the article, including in the title, as "the official canon". Given that the comics are an adaptation, with the video games being the source material, it's the video games that are the official canon not the comics.
    • It repeatedly refers to Sally Acorn as a Faun, she's actually a Ground Squirrel (specifically half-Squirrel on her father's side and half-chipmunk on her mother's side).
  • Creative Differences: Ken Penders and Karl Bollers, came to butt heads very badly at the end of their run, leading to both of them to quit, though it's said that Karl was the only one who quit and Ken was "let go". Their fighting got so vicious and resulted in so much Kudzu Plot and Aborted Arc that the next head writer, Ian Flynn, had to spend the entire first year of his run untangling the insane mass of plot threads the two left in their wake.
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  • Creator's Apathy: Ken Penders claimed that in stark contrast to how mandate-riddled the later comics got, Sega were very hands-off with the early comics and gave him very little direction on what to do with them during his run (not that they didn't lay down rules, such as how to handle Sonic and Sally's relationship, or reject many of his Sonic-centered story ideas, they just didn't give him much instruction on what to do besides that save for pushing for things to be more focused on the games later on) and were reluctant to share any reference material that would have helped him out story-wise (for example, the Archie staff had to import their own untranslated Japanese copy of Sonic Adventure for story reference and wing it based on whatever they could make sense of from the games footage)—he was effectively given carte-blanche on the Knuckles solo comics specifically because of this lack of communication on their part. He said the closest he got to it was receiving a copy of the Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) series bible by the time he was writing the Endgame story arc. One of the major factors in him quitting the comic (besides just wanting more creative control) was with Issues 157-159, which were supposed to be an adaptation of Shadow the Hedgehog, but Sega barely gave Archie any info to work off of as usual, and Penders had to make up something else on the spot. According to him, this was when he decided it was time to move on, and he left after #159. He's also gone as far as saying Sega didn't give a crap about the stories in Sonic at all.
    "--all the different versions of SONIC exist because SEGA NEVER CARED ABOUT STORY PERIOD. FULL STOP. I know this having personally dealt with Sega. Keep in mind that when my team approached SEGA to do a Sonic The Hedgehog movie we had the show runner of FOX-TV’s animated X-MEN series involved who was attracted to the project because of my work on the comics, and he was there to hear SEGA express concern over look, not story."
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Ian Flynn later admitted his attempt to revert Charmy to his game counterpart personanote  via an injury from the Egg Grapes was a case of Didn't Think This Through, and was left unable to do anything with the character without inflicting an unsettling undertone due to the implication of brain damage until the Cosmic Retcon allowed him to completely remake Charmy's history.
    • Ian started the book wanting to undo the damage caused to Sonic and Sally's relationship and get them back together, which he did. By the time of the soft reboot, he was sick of the shipping wars and made them just friends.
    • Ken Penders' only official remark on Ian Flynn's tenure as writer was in an interview where he basically called Flynn a hack who was just using story ideas he came up with before he left Archie, even though he admitted that he refused to actually read any of his stories, and swore to dismiss all of Flynn's issues as Canon Discontinuity if he was ever head writer again. In response, Flynn's only official remark on Penders was to rebuff his predecessor's claims and establish that all his stories were his original ideas.
    • Even he seems disappointed with the Sonic 30 Years Later arc, and he's Jeph Loeb Polarizing.
    • Ken Penders is very critical of the Sonic franchise (albeit mostly with the comics), often insulting and criticizing SEGA, the pre-reboot comics he didn't write, Ian Flynn, the post-reboot comics, the IDW series and Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) on his Twitter account.
    • Per word of Aaron Webber, Archie in general seems to pretend that their Sonic comics never existed once they lost the license, due in part to them and Sega apparently departing on sour terms and Archie wanting to move on from the series anyway.
  • Creator Killer:
    • Karl Bollers' run on the comic wasn't well received, and is pretty much the reason why he hasn't done much else.
    • Because of Ken Penders trying to make his Mobius 25 Years Later the official future of the comic, the problems he had with Bollers and Ian Flynn and the whole legal mess with Archie and SEGA over the characters he created for the comic his reputation has taken a bit of a dive.
  • Creator's Favorite:
    • Several writers have admitted that Princess Sally Acorn is their favorite character.
    • In one Q&A, Ian Flynn described Guru Emu as his favorite Downunda Freedom Fighter to write, given that his peace-loving, mystic ways are such a departure from the other members of the group.
  • Creator's Pest:
    • Princess Sally actually became this to the writers (particularly Ken Penders) in the early stories, mainly because Sega's restrictions on what could be done with Sonic and Sally's relationship made her a very hard character to write for, and the return of King Acorn diminishing her story roles considerably didn't help with this at all. And beyond that, Penders simply thought the character "cramped Sonic's style" and kept him from reaching his full potential as a character. He actually tried to have her permanently killed off and replaced with a robot doppleganger with the Endgame arc, but fan outcry and an Executive Veto from Sega forced him to keep Sally alive (though Penders admitted in hindsight that this was a good call).
    • Ken Penders didn't like Mina Mongoose, only including her in the Mobius: 25 Years Later storyline because the head writer at the time, Karl Bollers, happened to be her creator. As a result, she's only briefly seen during a flashback partially obscured by her family.
    • The reason Sleuth "Doggy" Dawg left the Destructix in Sonic Universe #15 was because Ian Flynn found him uninteresting.
    • Flynn also wasn't very found of Drago Wolf, and had him beat up as much as possible. He got tired of this however, and eventually made him one of the Grandmasters of the Soumerca Dark Egg Legion.
    • Flynn had a problem with a number of extraneous characters that contributed very little to the story and would debate killing them off. Though he took fan criticism to heart for some, he singled the Arachne out as being particularly useless and having no personality to them. They were killed off fairly early into his run.
    • Karl Bollers admitted that disliked the character of Nate Morgan.
      "I freely admit that Nate Morgan has turned into a walking plot device. About a year ago, I confided in Ron that Nate was one of my least favorite characters in the book, and perhaps because of that, I haven’t used him to the best of my ability."
  • Executive Meddling: The series had a lot of issues of Archie suffering this under Sega in the later part of it existence, with numerous mandates imposed over the comics. According to most reports, Sega had been somewhat laissez faire towards the comic's creative direction for much of its first decade of existence, being mostly content to let Archie run the show more or less as they saw fit, to the point of their attitude towards the comic bordering on Creator's Apathy at times. However, as Sonic as a brand started to flounder after it started suffering humiliation after humiliation in the tail-end of 90's and well into the 00's, Sega all of a sudden became extremely concerned with how their mascot was perceived by the public, and put new, stricter rules as to how Sonic and friends could be depicted in media, and set out to enforce them. As part of the process, Archie was wrangled in by Sega, who from then took a much more hands-on approach to the comic. However, as with the later IDW comics, writer Ian Flynn has frequently stressed that there was never a set-in-stone list of rules for the comics to work under, as everything was done on a case by case basis and that rules could and did change over time.
    • 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 SEGA and Bioware in the first place. Note that according to Ian Flynn, SEGA themselves were fine with them being used, and it was Archie that forbade them.
    • 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) due to being dead. 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 (though they did get starring roles later on, suggesting these mandates relaxed after a while).
    • Game characters can not have parents or relatives (Cream the Rabbit being the lone exception, as she's the only game-related character to have a physically present parent). 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. In later pre-reboot comics, Sonic and Tails weren't even allowed to address their parents properly, only by their names.
    • Sonic had to be on every cover of the comic (with the exception of the Sonic Universe sub-series),
    • Sonic cannot get overly emotional (which is often paraphrased or misinterpreted as "Sonic can't cry."), since Sega considers it completely out-of-character for Sonic to act like that. A couple panels in #166, where Future Sonic is grieving over the loss of his children, were toned down because of this.
    • From at least 2013 and on if not earlier, the name "Mobius" 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".note 
    • 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.note . It bears noting that this mandate actually goes as far back as the earliest comics, as Sega heavily restricted what could be done with Sonic and Sally's relationship, much to the writers chagrin.
    • 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. note 
    • 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. (However, there are some instances near the end of the comic's run that avert this.)
    • 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).
    • Characters originating from Sonic Underground, the OVA, and Sonic X cannot make an appearance. According to a Q&A by Ian Flynn, this is due to Sega not being keen on giving attention to any past incarnations of the franchise. As such, they forbid the use of any character from the aforementioned pieces of media. Curiously, Underground was barred from being included as early as 1998.
      Ken Penders: I know enough that Archie wants no part of incorporating anything from that cartoon into our series. In fact, if we did, I might as well have really killed off Sally, because she doesn't exist in this new version.
    • 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.
    • With the reboot, every non-Sega, SatAM, AoStH, and Ian Flynn character has been removed. While he hints that he can use Sonic Underground, he didn't use characters like Manic and Sonia without their in-series background of being Sonic's siblings in the end, mostly because he knows the Underground 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 and the reboot, these plans were aborted and Sally was returned to normal by Cosmic Retcon.
  • Executive Veto: Despite the excess mandates mentioned above, the writing team were sometimes good at finding loopholes:
    • While Sonic wasn't allowed an unnegated defeat by a bad guy, he was allowed extremely bittersweet victories. The Mecha Sally arc just before the reboot seemed devoted to showing Sonic could still suffer an onslaught of terrible blows, beatdowns and losses even without a mission being a straight up failure, to the point that Sonic suffers a borderline Heroic BSoD after the long string of Downer Endings that make up the first half.
    • As mentioned above, the term "Mobius" was nixed as early as 2013, it being asked the name of Sonic's home planet be kept ambiguous (in fact, Sega themselves only ever refers to it as "Sonic's World"), but its civilians were seemingly still allowed to be called "Mobians".
  • 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. This also included characters created by other writers pre-issue 160 like Karl Bollers as SEGA didn't want to risk anything similar to the Ken Penders legal case happening again in the future. In some cases, even unrelated characters of writers still at Archie (like Angelo Decesare's characters) got removed.
    • 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 the canceled video game Sonic Xtreme.
    • Black Doom and Mephiles are off-limits for similarly unexplained reasons (though it could be because they are both dead in canon). The former caused Ian Flynn to create Black Death.
  • 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.
  • Gay Panic: Rotor and Cobar's relationship was approved of by Sega, but with the condition that it be kept low-key to prevent public backlash. Sadly, it was made too subtle for readers, forcing the reveal to be made as Word of Gay, and a later change in head writer has pretty much assured the relationship will never crop up again.
  • God Never Said That: Ken Penders claimed that Ben Hurst, the head writer for Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) passed the torch to him to carry on with Sonic after the cartoon ended. This turned out to be not the case:
    Just for the record: Ken has often said (paraphrasing here) that "Ben Hurst says the torch has been passed to me for Sonic the Hedgehog" - usually expressed in a way to make it appear that I passed the torch to him. Not true. I was just trying to be nice. What I said was that since the comic was ongoing and the animated series was over, the torch had been passed [by default] to him. I was just trying to prevent a flurry of inquiries from fans pitting his opinion against mine on how the Sonic Universe should be sculpted after SatAM ended. The way he has expressed it in the past seems to convey the impression that he has my approval of his work. He doesn't. I've not read a single comic.
  • He Also Did: The original head artist and writer, Dave Manak and Michael Gallagher, also contributed to MAD on many occasions. The two even did a few Spy vs. Spy strips together!
  • I Knew It!:
    • Tundra's true identity was guessed by quite a few people.
    • Once the the comics hit a delay at the start of 2017, many called that the comics were likely cancelled. On July 2017, that was indeed confirmed.
    • When Sega announced that the comic was seeking a new publisher, many guessed that IDW Publishing was be a likely candidate due to having hosted many a property (Hasbro, many Cartoon Network series, etc). Sure enough, Sega announced that they had signed a deal with them. 2 days after their announcement of the canceled Archie comic.
  • Image Source:
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Double subverted. Despite fears of the result of Screwed by the Lawyers down below, Archie was still releasing reprints of the old issues... then stopped due to Scott Fulop suing for reprinting rights.
    • The Sonic/Image crossover was at best unlikely to be reprinted, and so was the first story in Sonic Live.
    • With Archie losing the Sonic license outright, the entire series became this, as Archie lost the rights to reprint or sell issues or volume collections of the comic. The only way the series will ever will be if IDW, the new license holder of the comic, decides to reprint the comic. While IDW is known for reprinting or even reviving old licensed comic book series from previous and concurrent licensees (Marvel's The Transformers, Doctor Who Magazine comic strips, etc.), it's doubtful that they or SEGA would want to risk possibly reopening Archie's legal problems.
    • Ken Penders apparently gained some reprinting rights in his settlement with SEGA and Archie, as he intends to digitally release the "Mobius: 25 Years Later" stories alongside The Lara-Su Chronicles. However, the comics are likely to be heavily edited in order to avoid further legal issues with SEGA.
  • Missing Episode:
    • While the comic was abruptly ended at Issue 290, the comic had solicits promoting Issues 291 to 294. Likewise, Sonic Universe ended at Issue 94 but was solicited through Issue 97. The pencil art for a few issues have been released and it's likely that at least one or two of them were fully completed before SEGA took the Sonic license from Archie.
    • Tyson Hesse confirmed that Sonic Mega Drive's third and final issue was completed before it was canceled and he hopes that one day it will get released.
    • Archie had advertised a Sonic comic for Free Comic Book Day. It would have depicted the first fight between Sonic and Dr. Eggman in the post-reboot universe. Due the comic's cancellation, it was quickly swapped out with a Riverdale comic.
    • Throughout the late 2000s and early 2010s, Ian Flynn ran a blog on Archie's website where he answered fan mail as both himself and as characters from the comic. It also hosted a prose style prequel and epilogue to the "Dark Mobius" story line. Due to the website getting redesigned, the blog and all its entries were deleted.
  • Name's the Same:
  • 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.
    • For a long time, it was impossible to find the series in the United Kingdom as well, because the license didn't cover the territory. Instead, Fleetway used to produce Sonic the Comic.
  • Old Shame: Though not the writer on the story, Jonathan "WB" Gray, one of many a Promoted Fanboy, absolutely regrets being the guy who drew "The Slap." He has expressed similar resentment towards the "Sonic's Angels" story, a story which infamously depicts what can only be described as borderline Torture Porn being performed on poor Bunnie.
  • The Pete Best: For the first few issues, Michael Gallagher and David Manak were the main writer and artist respectively, giving a zany, No Fourth Wall, Hurricane of Puns flavor very much in the style of the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog show. Over time, they were phased out in favor of several different artists and head writer Ken Penders, who gave the comic its somewhat darker tone that it's been known for ever since.
  • Print Long-Runners: The longest-running comic book based on a licensed property, video game or otherwise, ran from November 1992 to July 2017; 24 years.
  • Post-Script Season: The comic effectively was in this state after the "Endgame" arc in issues 47-50, with Sonic emerging victoriously after a climatic battle with Dr. Robotnik, resulting in the death of the latter. This was supposed to be the Grand Finale of the comic, as the writers at the time expected that it would soon be cancelled, but due to great sales numbers, the cancellation order never came down upon on the comic, and it continued onwards. How long exactly the comic was in this state is the subject of some debate; some would say that the return of Dr. Robotnik (or rather Robo-Robotnik) in issue 72 in preparation for the comic adaptation of the Sonic Adventure was were this stopped being the case, while others are of the opinion that this first truly happened when Ian Flynn took over as headwriter with issue 160 and effectively ended the Dork Age many readers felt the comic had been languishing in for years at that point.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • Several examples, most prominently 2006-2017 head writer Ian Flynn who was known as the author of a popular fan comic Other-M. He originally became known to Archie Comics by sending unsolicited story proposals, and one of his scripts was eventually accepted as a backup story in the Sonic X comic, but when Ken Penders abruptly quit Flynn was offered a promotion to head writer of the main comic, meaning he went from being a fanboy to having creative control over his favorite comic overnight. Since then, he has gone on to become one of the better known names in gaming comics, regularly being hired by both SEGA and Nintendo to make comic adaptations of their games.
    • Other examples include Jay Axer, Patrick "Spaz" Spaziante, Dawn Best, Evan Stanley of Ghosts of the Future Fandom VIP famenote , Jennifer Hernandez, and Jonathan "WB" Gray.
  • 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.
    • "Ghost Busted" from SSS#8 is a rewrite of the SatAM episode of the same name, told from Tails' point of view.
  • Schedule Slip:
    • 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.
    • Early 2017 likewise saw a slip in the schedule of both series as well as the "Mega Drive" mini series.
    • With Archie losing the comic license and being given to IDW, it's unlikely any stories that were caught in this will ever get out of it.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: The lawsuit between Archie Comics and Ken Penders led to the vast majority of the cast up and disappearing. As of #252, the entire universe rebooted, with 256 establishing that the whole multiverse imploded on itself and was rebuilt. The new universe gradually but completely overwrote the old, including memories, so the old world was completely gone.
    • While SEGA had always been prone to put restrictions on what the comic could and couldn't do, the chaos surrounding Archie Comics' lawsuit caused them to take a much more active role in managing the comic and they issued many story mandates after the comic rebooted.
    • These legal problems came to a head in July 2017, when they led to the outright cancellation of the comic.
    • Despite Archie's contract apparently specifying that everything they create for the comics transfers to Sega of America's ownership, and the reason for the post issue-160 staff's ideas still being used stemming to their contracts in Archie's possession, the later IDW comic series is still unable to use post-Super Genesis Wave characters for unexplained reasons.
  • Sequel in Another Medium: A rather odd and complicated example. The comic book came first before the TV series but was more light-hearted against the darker themes of the TV show. After the TV series ended, the comic ended up taking on the more mature theme of the TV series as well as using some of the plotlines that were intended for the show's proposed third season. Thus some fans consider the comic a continuation of the TV series in a fashion.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: A lot of storylines and characters came about due to various mandates, for better or worse.
  • 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. Flynn also took this attitude with the Word of Gay the previous writer gave for Rotor Walrus, neither confirming nor denying it and eventually calling the whole thing "irrelevant".
  • Torch the Franchise and Run: In his final "Mobius: 25 Years Later" story line, Ken Penders had the entire time space continuum collapse in on itself, with only Sonic and Lara-Su surviving so he could potentially continue the story later on. However, when Ian Flynn began work on the comic, he decided to give the story a soft reboot as "Mobius: 30 Years Later" and he also created an alternate version of the story in his "Dark Mobius" story line. However, due to Archies' lawsuit, they lost the rights to his stories and characters and Penders is now planning to create his own continuation of the story.
  • Troubled Production: The comic always had a problem when it came to converting video game storylines into its largely different setting. However, two of the biggest screw ups came about via Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2. For Sonic Adventure, the story goes that the only material the Archie team had to go off of was an untranslated Japanese copy of the game. Which Sega didn't even give them. Apparently Patrick "Spaz" Spaziante, one of the comic's regular artists, had to import the copy of the game himself and played through it, passing along the info he could garner from it to the writers along the way, meaning that they had to fudge a lot of the story. The original plan was to have the storyline run through then-all three titles — Sonic the Hedgehog, Knuckles the Echidna and Sonic Super Special. However, just before the storyline started, the Knuckles comic got cancelled due to low sales, forcing Archie to cram all of the Knuckles stories into the Sonic issues as back stories.
    • For Sonic Adventure 2's story, the big problem was that Sega was insistent on Archie creating a tie-in into the game. Archie's solution? Just do enough to whet people's appetite and go get the game. Still was enough to ruin a side-by-side storyline that had a cosmically-powered Knuckles altering Mobius drastically.
      • From Sonic Adventure 2 onwards, most adaptation storylines ended up just usually being backup short teasers following the issue's main story. The teaser game stories have boxes that clarify whether the game in question is to be taken as canon in the comic's universe or not.
    • And then, there was the problem with Ken Penders and Karl Bollers. Around 1997-98, Karl Bollers took over the Sonic comic as Penders focused on the Knuckles comic. However, Ken would end up shuffling back over to Sonic due to the Knuckles comic getting cancelled. At first, things weren't too bad, as Penders could focus on the Knuckles back up stories. However, come #125, those were done away with and the two were working together. Suddenly, the two men were trying to pull rank over one another over story elements and which way they wanted the story to go. Ultimately, Bollers quit while Penders stayed on for a few issues longer before also ending up quitting, with newcomer Ian Flynn being asked to go from simple one-story back up writer to Head Writer. A few years down the line, Penders decided to reclaim his characters and storylines, copyrighting them all with Archie and Sega being notified of this. Archie sued Penders, claiming that the characters he created were owned by them via a contract, Penders counter-sued and we're off to the races.
      • In the end, both sides kept shooting themselves in the foot and, ultimately, they settled, going so far as to have Archie utterly reboot the series from the ground up.
    • On the subject of Sonic-related works connected to Ken Penders, there's the exhausting story concerning what became The Lara-Su Chronicles. The original story was initially called "Knuckles: 20 Years Later" and was meant to be an issue of Sonic Super Special. However, SSS got cancelled with issue 15. The story was refined and rebranded as "Mobius: 25 Years Later", serving as back-up stories in the main title. However, Penders left the story on a cliffhanger and soon quit Archie due to Executive Meddling (they wanted him to add more Sonic characters to it). He regained usage of the characters thanks to the lawsuit and promised to tell the tale he wanted to with a release date of July 2015. As of this writing, it hasn't been released with the excuse of "wanting to translate it to other languages" being the reason.
    • The problems for Archie wouldn't end with the reboot. Mega Man's title was flagging sales again and Archie decided it was time for a second crossover. Enter Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Unite and Archie decided to make it bigger - not only did they involve both main titles along with Sonic Boom (though relegated to just Sticks the Badger, Fastidious Beaver and Comedy Chimp) and the main heroes of the Mega Man X series, but a dozen other franchises from SEGA and Capcom, which cost Archie millions in licensing costs. Unlike Worlds Collide, Worlds Unite was a mixed bag and given a lukewarm reception with Archie barely recouping the costs. This lead to Sonic Boom and Mega Man to be shuttered afterwards as a cost-cutting measure (Though Boom was more due to the backlash from Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric's failure.) and the Sonic titles were hit hard as the crossover smashed into the ongoing Shattered World arc. The title would go into a brief hiatus soon after, a result of Archie rebooting their entire main line and go on a second, much longer hiatus that would lead to the title's cancellation and the license being sent to IDW Publishing. The exact reasoning for Archie losing the license isn't known, but hints from various sources seem to hint that the Archie reboot drained them financially and their focus on Riverdale lead to Archie to be very lax on the idea of keeping the series despite it being one of their best-sellers.
  • What Could Have Been: Here.
  • 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 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, Evan Stanley hadn't decided yet). Professor Von Schlemmer is asexual.
    • According to Ian Flynn, the Homoerotic Subtext between Sally and Nicole was entirely intentional on the writers' part, with a Bumblekast interview clarifying that post-reboot Sally was bi, had dated Sonic in the past but it didn't work out, and would eventually enter a committed relationship with Nicole... and then strongly backpedaled on the idea during an episode of the BumbleKast podcast. It's worth noting that Sally is trademarked and copyrighted by Sega, meaning that she falls under Sega's mandate to not have any of their characters in a romantic relationship.
  • 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.
  • Writer Revolt: Very narrowly subverted. After "Endgame", Penders, furious at how Sega had forced him to change Sally's ultimate fate, made it clear that he would walk out if he was ever made to change his stories again. And since he was still considered a popular, valuable writer at this time, Sega agreed not to interfere from then on until his departure from the series. In fact, Penders' eventual departure was, according to most sources, caused by Sega beginning to exert increased influence over the comic's creative direction, due to their concerns over the damage the Sonic brand had suffered by the early 2000s, and Penders, once again, threatening to quit over this. The difference this time was, with the comic being deep in its Dork Age and sales having declined, any leverage Penders might once have had was greatly diminished by that point, and this time he ended up being the one who blinked first.

Alternative Title(s): Archie Comics Sonic The Hedgehog


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