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  • Accidental Aesop:
    • Going through the book's history, it seems that many of the problems could've been avoided had certain people learned to live and work better with others, understood that their value systems need to change over time, or just let go of their grudges with certain characters. Sally follows this when she talks to the Prowers and forms the council, but many of the councilors didn't let go of their grudges with the royal family or Freedom Fighters, and thus even their more pragmatic criticisms don't get treated seriously enough by them. Similarly many arcs involve the heroes making Fire-Forged Friends with previous adversaries or being forced to let go of previous grudges, a lot of which were formed by hubris and poor communication (eg. Sonic with Knuckles, Monkey Khan and Silver).
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    • Similarly a lot of the more tense situations in the comic lead to key Freedom Fighters suffering from a Moment of Weakness and betraying their usual ethics, leading to fallouts or other bad consequences (eg. Sonic holding vindictive grudges, Sally having reckless or aggressive episodes, Rotor's fluctuating approach to fire arms), emitting the message that it's a lot harder to practice than it is to preach, especially in very pressuring and stressful situations, and it benefits to try and empathize with the fallible qualities of others instead of badgering or spurning them in ways that can make you look hypocritical or Holier Than Thou.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Tommy Turtle was liked in his debut appearance, where he apparently died, but after being brought back and used again nobody liked him. Despite this, his second, permanent death won some fans over.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Some of the dramatic character turns, reveals, and retcons caused by the change in writers can lend a couple of interpretations of earlier dialogues and character actions, even though they weren't written with these later twists in mind.
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    • Geoffrey St. John's reveal as Naugus's minion throws all of his appearances into question, some acknowledged by the narrative (the Secret Service being made of potential people to shift blame onto), and some up to interpretation by the reader.
    • In the Knuckles miniseries, the Chaotix discuss Charmy's departure from the group following his ascension to his kingdom's throne. Espio, in particular, accepts Charmy's decision as a sign of his maturity but he notably disagrees with Mighty's belief that Charmy didn't have a choice in the matter saying that Charmy ultimately did have a choice and he could have renounced his heritage. With the reveal of Espio's own issues with familial obligation and heritage perhaps he was lamenting on similar circumstances and thinking of what he'd have to end up doing when placed in a similar situation.
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    • Issue 134 has a rather conflicting one. While one can argue that Sally was indeed out of character after smacking Sonic across the face and accusing him of being selfish after choosing to save the world over settling down with her (as well as going on about their future), she isn't entirely wrong when she calls Sonic selfish. For one thing, Sonic had nearly lost his life TWICE, and Sally had to spend an entire year without his presence around the first time he nearly lost his life, thinking he was dead. Not to mention that Sonic's arm was now in a cast due to nearly losing his life a second time, meaning he was in no way any condition to even be fighting in a war handicap. Considering that he was willing to die by throwing himself in the war against Eggman anyway by putting his own desire to be the hero of the world over his own health (never mind the fact that there were many fighters of different teams that were just as capable of taking down Eggman as well), it actually does make sense that Sally would call him selfish at this point. On top of that, Sally also needed Sonic's help to rule the kingdom since her parents were taking an impromptu vacation with no cognizance of their daughter's stress. When you look deeper into this, it does make sense that Sally would react like this in a way, turning this into a case of Both Sides Have a Point.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • It's generally agreed that "Iron Dominion" overstayed its welcome due to its length and Idiot Ball moments from heroes and villains alike that only seemed to prolong the arc even further.
    • The "Shattered World" went on for nearly three years. The "Worlds Unite" crossover popping up in the the middle of the story and delaying things only compounded this. Ironically, after "Worlds Unite", the general consensus in the later issues was that the arc was rushed due the Strictly Formula format in Key Guardians part of the story, the Master Emerald subplot taking up around half of each issue and the lack of development of the Sonic Unleashed characters, especially Chip.
  • Archive Panic: It can be hard to get into the comic at first because of its vast, complex backstory developed over 200 issues, any one of which can be referenced at random in a newer issue. Though thanks to the Cosmic Retcon, it provides a good jumping on point without having to worry too much about history.
  • Ass Pull: Across all eras of the series, writers would often make stuff up on the spot, change story direction, or retroactively change some aspect of character or plot. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. The reveal that Patch had replaced Antoine during the time-skip was a major one as the story line was conceived by Karl Bollers as Antoine having become more cynical and angry during his time before Ken Penders changed it to be Patch all along. At one point Antoine reflected on a past crush that he ultimately moved away from when he met Bunnie; the reveal that it was Patch having that flashback makes no sense.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Ian Flynn's fans believe he has managed to pull off a lot of these, especially regarding plots left dangling or satisfied unsatisfactorily by the previous authors.
    • Sonic Universe 50 and Sonic the Hedgehog 256 are deliberate saving throws in regards to Metal Sonic since they both address the character's Adaptational Wimp status in the comic, with SU 50 giving Metal a rematch against Shard and effectively winning, albeit by self-destructing. 256 had Metal Sonic fighting against Amy, Cream, and Sally at once without damage and was only defeated after Tails dropped a missile on him, which even then only destroyed his legs—the rest of Metal was perfectly intact.
    • 267 and 283 are saving throws for Cream the Rabbit, who had been underutilized throughout the comic and rarely shown taking action or contributing. 267 having Cream leading the rescue for the rest of the Freedom Fighters from a death trap and 283 having Cream as the central hero for the story.
  • Badass Decay:
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Princess Sally Acorn. Depending on who you ask, she’s either the absolute best female Sonic character, if not the best overall character in the franchise, who is the perfect foil and love interest for Sonic, a proactive Action Girl, has a loving personality, and a positive influence on all the characters. Or a very boring and unlovable character whose influence has a very negative impact on the other characters (especially Sonic and Cream), reeks of Positive Discrimination, and a Faux Action Girl. Not helping matters at all is Sally’s prominent usage, which has increased even further ever since Ian Flynn took over as head writer of the comics, causing detractors to label her as a blatant Creator's Pet, while supporters in turn defend said prominence as a necessary move to undo the damage the late Penders/Bollers era had done to the character. And that's without getting into the shipping side of things.
    • Geoffrey St. John. Some people see him as a sympathetic guy who was fed a bunch of lies as a child which led him to making the biggest mistake of his life which he regrets wholeheartedly. Others see him as a boy who was fed a lot of lies as a child but should have known better than to trust Naugus a known villain and a jerkass who crosses several moral lines by betraying and/or manipulating his friends who are citizens in the country he is trying to protect. Added points for the latter seeing how he knew his wife would be against any of this from the start. The on-off romance he had with Sally in the early issues certainly didn't help matters for several reasons. Firstly, Geoffrey came across as more than a bit aggressive and touchy-feely in his advances towards Sally who was comparatively much more reserved about her feelings for him. Secondly, the age difference between Sally and Geoffrey (her still being a teenager and him being somewhere in his mid-to-late twenties) added quite a few uncomfortable undertones to the whole thing. Thirdly, Geoffrey becoming incredibly jealous towards Sonic to a point where he was acting constantly petty around him and starting conflicts for no real reason. Having this romance jettisoned was seen as a huge step forward for his character by many readers.
  • Bizarro Episode:
    • "Sonic Live", in which Sonic and pals travel to the real world and interact with real kids, and Super Special #17, a crossover with characters from Image Comics. Neither is considered canon by fans or the creators.
    • The Sonic/Sabrina crossover is also this.
  • Broken Base:
  • Catharsis Factor: Admit it, you enjoyed seeing Sally slug Fiona Fox in the stomach for trying to manipulate Tails' feelings (and for her sadistic and cruel rejection of Tails some time before that).
  • Character Rerailment: Many fans feel that the early Flynn era managed to do this to quite a few characters. Most prominently, Sally was re-established as the tactician and Frontline General of the Freedom Fighters, after the Penders/Bollers era, especially the latter end of it, had seen her undergoing a serious bit of Chickification and becoming a more passive character who was often relegated to the sidelines.
  • The Chris Carter Effect: The latter half of the Penders/Bollers run got this bad due to the two constantly fighting over the story direction. Ian Flynn had to spend the first year of his run cutting through the Kudzu Plot the two left behind.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Continuity Lock-Out: Archie Sonic has always had a daunting amount of continuity made worse by creative clashes and retcons. Though fortunately whenever a plot point was referenced, editorial usually added a blurb to tell readers which issue it occurred.
    • Early Sonic had a lot of tie-ins (character mini-series and the like) and if one was reading the series on its own, they might miss certain plot points (i.e. the appearance of Crocbot, a major supporting antagonist in Endgame, one would need to have read the Tails miniseries to know who he was). It didn't help that the trades often didn't include them and some were only reprinted in harder to find collections.
    • The first couple of issues of Sonic Universe have this problem. #1 gave such a quick summary of Sonic Rush Adventure that only people who played the game knew what was going on. Also, #1 continued from Sonic X #40 (a whole different series), which continued from Sonic the Hedgehog #196, which was part of a large story arc from the main series. #2 was an adaptation of Sonic Adventure 2 (probably an attempt to explain how it did fit into the continuity, as the original adaptation didn't really tell the reader much of anything about the game's story or how it fit into continuity), but would probably be pretty confusing to anyone who didn't play the original game. It should be noted that they can't get too into the Sonic Rush side of things, as they're apparently forbidden from using Eggman Nega beyond a few ominous references. ...And one "Off Panel" strip.
    • This is the fate of the pre-Nu252 comics because it relies so much on characters and concepts created by Michael Gallagher, Ken Penders, Karl Bollers, and others.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Omega. The enthusiasm with which he enjoys destruction mixes perfectly with his impossible ordinance load.
      But I still have five more salvos!
      Yippie-ki-yay, pastel-colored resistance!
      What? She left trees standing.
    • Bean The Duck, an insane Cloud Cuckoolander duck who throws bombs at everything and loves shiny things, and Captain Metal, a crazed version of Metal Sonic who has become a stereotypical pirate that makes hilariously bad jokes and puns and plans to take over the world using the dimensionally displaced Wily Egg (renamed the Egg'O'War).
    • Dr. Robotnik developed into this under Ian Flynn's pen, similar to his game counterpart.
  • Creator's Pet: Tommy Turtle, a childhood friend of Sonic that had never been mentioned before, but had once taught him a valuable life lesson. He died in his first appearance while performing a Heroic Sacrifice to save Sonic, but about a year later was revealed to not have actually been killed and was brought back. Unfortunately, after bringing him back, the writers didn't seem to have any real idea what to do with him, and attempts to make him more relevant (such as having him become infested with nanobots, causing him to develop Transformers-esque abilities) ended up just appearing ridiculous and making fans hate him. In Sonic Grams while Archie staff admitted that they knew a lot of their fans hadn't liked the character, they'd hoped they could change their tune, showing the clear divide between the staff at Archie at the time and the people actually reading the book. In the end writer Ian Flynn said when compiling a list of the comic's most unpopular characters, Tommy still ranked very high among the fanbase despite efforts to make him popular by previous writers. Tommy was therefore killed off (performing another Heroic Sacrifice) and hasn't been seen since.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Omega, being a Comically Serious murder machine, does this often with his violent reactions and casual disregard for life.
  • Die for Our Ship: Relic the Pika got hit with this the moment she was introduced, both by Knuckles/Rouge shippers and fans of Julie-Su, who felt that introducing another potential love interest for Knuckles so soon after Julie-Su was purged from the comic was hitting a nerve. Notably, she and Knuckles aren't actually romantically involved, and despite some noticeable Ship Tease, Ian Flynn stated he had no plans to make them a couple.
  • Dork Age: Many readers felt the comic entered into this at some point after the "Endgame" arc and the comic went into Post-Script Season, though opinions on exactly when it happened tends to vary. Quite a few do, however, point to the return of Dr. Robotnik (well, Robo-Robotnik) and the adaptation of Sonic Adventure, as it came across as a major case of Status Quo Is God after the comic had gone through the effort of very definitively killing Dr. Robotnik off, and it marks the point where the comic began getting seriously caught up between both Bollers and Penders' respective (and often conflicting) ideas and Sega's mandated storylines, and the comic would struggle for years in trying to follow these plans all at once.

    Fans can't quite agree about the overall quality of the era either, but the Freedom Fighters being rerolled in high school, Sonic getting involved in several Love Triangles due to a mix of "wacky" misunderstandings and several instances of interference from Evil Sonic, Sally suffering serious long-term Chickification, Knuckles transforming into "Chaos Knuckles" (a form which was considered visually unimpressive, as he looked pretty much like regular Knuckles, except he was colored green) and staying that way for about two-and-half years, a subplot focusing on Tails as The Chosen One that stretched out for years on end, the anticipated and hyped "Mobius: 25 Year Later" storyline turning out to be a borderline Dom Com, rather that an exicting sci-fi adventure, and the much reviled Tommy Turtle character have frequently been held up as the worst and most overt symptoms of bad writing in this period.

    What is definitely more agreed upon, however, is that the end of the Dork Age happened with issue 160, at which point both Bollers and Penders had left do to Creative Differences and Ian Flynn took over as headwriter and started a much needed clean-up of the comic's by then very tangled plot threads, a streamlining of the comic's rather bloated mythology, bringing it more in line with the games, and began to re-rail several characters. Flynn also more or less managed to solve the problem with the games' tie-ins interrupting the plot by relegating most of them to side-stories set in "another place, another time".
    • Not that Flynn's own run is entirely spot free though. The "Iron Dominion" arc is seen as at least a minor example of this trope, especially in how it got bogged down with quite a bit of Arc Fatigue due to both the villains and the heros frequently passing the Idiot Ball between them; a criticism shared even by people willing to overlook some of the story's flaws.
    • The Reboot is also seen by some as this; after a somewhat promising (if also quite melancholic due to the circumstances) prologue arc to establish the Reboot universe, the comic got into the "Shattered World Crisis" arc, a very loose adaptation of Sonic Unleashed, that suffered from even worse Arc Fatigue, as it ended up lasting for nearly three years (although mostly because "Worlds Unite", the second crossover storyline with Mega Man happened in the middle of it and effectively put it on hold), and then the comic ended shortly afterwards without much fanfare due to Sega unceremoniously ending their decades-long partnership with Archie and pulling the license.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Among the comic-only characters, Scourge has a large following (his girlfriend Fiona Fox and the rest of the Suppression Squad are a semi-case too through association), as do Mina Mongoose and Dr. Finitevus. The fandom rejoiced when Scratch, Grounder and Coconuts were revealed to be returning after more than 100 issues of absence.
    • One of the few major Brotherhood member to get any big artwork was Spectre, who has one of the most imposing appearances of anyone in the comic.
    • Nicole, Sally's handheld A.I., had been an ancillary character since almost the beginning of the comic. Then along came Tania Del Rio's "Stargazing", which gave her a Mobian form and sent her popularity right through the roof — and Nicole subsequently catapulted to Major Character status, overtaking even longstanding characters in the fanart department since her debut and never halting since.
    • Shard the Metal Sonic became pretty popular as well, from his design to his personality.
    • From the new reality, Eclipse the Darkling has become rather popular as well. Also, when Breezie the Hedgehog made a triumphant return after near 20 years of absence, the fandom's reception has been overwhelmingly positive.
    • The Metal Sonic introduced in issue 50 of Sonic Universe was massively popular for having a personality, bringing Metal closer to his canon portrayal, and being a One-Man Army that made the character scary and badass again.
    • Honey the Cat already had plenty of dedicated fans stemming from the game she was planned for, but thanks to her fun personality, cute design, and unique role in the series' universe, her comic debut made her an immediate fan favorite despite her only real appearance being in a single arc. Even Flynn's wife, Aleah Baker, seems to be quite the fan of hers.
    • The Downunda Freedom Fighters, particularly Barby Koala.
    • All of the Egg Bosses since the reboot. It helps they're written as being far from one-dimensional villains, being morally complex and having their own reasons for joining the Eggman Empire.
  • Epileptic Trees: There are many fans who believe that Lien-Da and Finitevus were involved at some point during the X Years Later timeline, and that he's the father of her son Rutan (this being mostly due to the fact that the tips of Rutan's dreadlocks are white, like Finitevus' fur.)
  • Evil Is Cool: Notable stand-outs are Dr. Robotnik, Scourge, Mammoth Mogul, the Dark Legion, and Dr. Finitevus.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Lien-Da. A sexy as hell Echidna girl in skintight leather and a habit of whip wielding? What's not to like here?
    • The Iron Queen has more than a few fans too. As does Finitevus, Scourge, Fiona, and Snively and Eggman.
    • Nicole's lynx avatar doesn't look half bad. Iron Nicole looks even better.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • With Fleetway's Sonic the Comic.
    • Clashes also tend to erupt with dedicated fans of the games continuity, with many arguments over which incarnation of the franchise is better and more definitive.
    • For rivalries with series outside the franchise, fans of the comics hold resentment over Riverdale, since Archie's focus on it played a big part in Archie Sonic's hiatus and eventual cancellation.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: There are a good number of people that refused to read the comic after the reboot for three main reasons:
    • The first reason is for removing every character not owned by Flynn or created by Sega or the cartoons from the comic.
    • The second reason is for how it was executed. The final storyline before the comics' reboot was not given a proper ending and so many questions and problems were left unanswered. Things would have worked better if the final storyline had a proper ending instead of giving it a combination of No Ending and Cliffhanger, but since it didn't receive one, many people wish that they would have finished the old storyline instead of ending it the way it ended.
    • Finally, for all of the Executive Meddling SEGA has done with the comic ever since its reboot. To name a few examples, the characters cannot have any Character Development unless it's approved, Sonic always has to win no matter what and the characters can have no parents or relatives. Before the reboot was forced, the comic was able to have all of that and even more creative liberty, but post-reboot, it was much more restrictive.
  • Franchise Original Sin: A lot of the problems with Ken Penders and Karl Bollers's run (too many plot points, too much focus on people other than Sonic, inconsistent art, etc.) later down the line can be traced back to their critically acclaimed earlier days (storylines like "Endgame" and "Metal Madness" are considered excellent to this day). The difference is that back then, the two weren't engaged in constant petty fights with each other over the comic's story direction and the Echidnas weren't Ken's pets. That coupled with the lack of a solid threat or plot now that Robotnik was dealt with, caused the comic to slip into its infamous Dork Age.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • It's generally agreed that the comic became genuinely good around the issue 25 mark, which introduced Metal Sonic into the comic and was where the comic developed an actual plot. It lost its beard during the comic's Dork Age and there's debate as to where or if it regrew; some feel that Ian Flynn taking over restored the comic's respectability, others see the reboot as the comic finally doing away with the massive Continuity Snarl and unmanageably large cast (not to mention Sega personally intervening to end Metal Sonic's Badass Decay and get rid of the Romantic Plot Tumor), and of course there are those who feel that it never regrew.
    • The 4-issue "Champions" Arc. The reception has generally been positive as most readers note that it's probably the best the comic has been in a while. Highlights include a revamped Ensemble Dark Horse in Breezie, amazingly expressive and vibrant art, and a more character-driven plot than what the series usually tries.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • From his first introduction Silver mistakenly thought the Freedom Fighter Traitor was Sonic to counter his first Sega in game appearance. His second guess was really made in Sonic Universe 6 where upon realizing the Freedom Fighters disbanded because Queen Sally thought they were no longer needed. Silver guess this but for the first and only time he thought he was wrong. Fast forward a couple hundred comics later and it turns out he was somewhat right.
    • Issue 3 had everyone think Robotnik got hold of atomic bombs and went over the destruction the weapons could cause. While it turned out he had only gotten a bomb to be used against bugs, later on Robotnik did get atomic bombs. Robo-Robotnik wiped out Future Mobius with them, and Robotropolis got nuked by missiles.
    • Just looking at how many changes happened after the second Genesis Wave, with brighter colours and more focus on the main cast... then the series ending rapidly afterwards because that's almost all the cast they had left.
    • Sonic Forces, the first Modern Sonic game released after the comic's cancellation, featured Eggman taking over the world and Sonic's friends formed a resistance group to stop him, essentially making the concept of the Freedom Fighters canon within the games.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The images of Knuckles turning into Super Knuckles in issue 141 are similar to the final boss transformation montage in Mega Man Zero 2. While they never got to that point, Archie Comics would go on to publish Mega Man comics.
    • In Sonic Colors, Sonic lets out a Badass Boast that no copyright law in the universe could stop him. The comic managed to survive for almost a decade after Ken Penders first lawsuit, in spite of all the subsequent lawsuits and story mandates from SEGA. And when the comic did get cancelled, the license was almost immediately picked up again by IDW.
    • In issue 161, Scourge has a shot much like the one that years later Moriarty would use in the promotional pictures. Inspiration from one Manipulative Bastard to another, perhaps?
    • In October 2013 we saw the release of The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia, which pretty much tells us everything that has happened in the comics since it's release and information on the characters. Unfortunately, it was released five months before the comic's reboot due to the lawsuit. So the encyclopedia covers almost everything that happened in the comic before its reboot, making it a good way to remember the old comics' story.
    • In issue 19, Sonic teams up with several of his alternate counterparts from other worlds to stop Robo-Robotnik; one of the counterparts is a Batman version. Nearly 20 years later, Sonic's current voice actor becomes Batman.
    • Megabeatman, a Youtube reviewer who reviews the Sonic and Mega Man comics, jokingly called King Acorn of the new universe "Nigel" based off his speech in Sonic Universe #87. Come Sonic #284, we find out that really is his name in this universe.
      Megabeatman: (during his Sonic 284 review) I WAS JOKING!
    • One early issue featured Tails temporarily becoming a genius. Most later depictions of him, as well as the original, show him as a Child Prodigy, capable of building planes and even a translator for a language he doesn't understand.
    • In Issue 10, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles make a cameo during a panel with Sonic in a sewer. With Michelangelo commenting that they're "in the wrong comic". Over 20 years later, IDW Publishing, the company that does the current Ninja Turtles comics, announced that they will be the future publisher for Sonic comics.
    • In Scourge's Sonic Universe arc, he has his spines shaved short by prison guards. In Sonic Forces, the hedgehog custom hero is designed to have short spines, making Scourge one of the easiest comic character to recreate in the game's character creator.
    • Mighty and Ray were used in the comics long after the games forgot about them, with people wondering if they would ever be remembered. Cue them appearing in the DLC to Sonic Mania. Mania also gave Ray a Super transformation, something he bluffed about being able to do in the comics nine years prior.
    • Issue 92 saw Sonic tell Monkey Khan that he "had enough of Pokémon" during their fight. As seen in the World of Light trailer for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, he didn't let it stop him from trying to save a Pikachu.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: High during the wham episodes and milestone issues, but the "Endgame" and "Countdown to Chaos" story arcs stand out in terms of sheer HOLY SHIT inducing moments.
  • Idiot Plot: Done at times, most frequently (but more intentionally) in the earlier comical issues.
    • The Iron Dominion arc in particular dangles a long time for the same of climax build up, relying too much on the entire Freedom Fighter squad being blindly overconfident enough to give the villains blatant advantages (eg. letting Snively go free and ignoring his activity after Eggman's defeat (despite his usual track record), oblivious to the harm a super powered techno mage may have on a city completely composed of artificial life). Sally at least has the decency to Lampshade these were exceptionally stupid moves afterwards, but all the same, surely someone else had enough brain cells to see it coming. The villains also weren't immune to this, with the Iron Queen not noticing her powers were resonating with the city until Snively told her about the nanites, also ignoring Eggman, and the Iron King taking a decoy energy shield at face value.
    • in the Endgame arc. Dulcy explains that dragons are able to sense truth, something treated as common enough that Geoffrey St. John, Knuckles, and Espio believe that Sonic's been framed for killing Sally. No one questioned why she wasn't called in before, especially since this story was about the third time Sonic's been framed for treason. Also, it was revealed earlier in Sally's mini-series that Robotnik could make robots that flawlessly imitate real people, so there was no real reason for everyone to take this at face value.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Knuckles and Sonic's bro-y interactions have always been read like this, from games to comics. Their pet names for each other "true blue, rad red" only add to it.
    • As far back as "Stargazing" Sally and NICOLE had a strong amount of intimacy in their interactions. By the time the reboot came along, Flynn turned it into deliberate Homoerotic Subtext.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Sonic himself. He never lets any of the crap that he gets put through keep him down for long. Even the absolutely brutal Darkest Hour in issue 175 doesn't stop him and he manages to flip it back onto Robotnik 25 issues later.
    • Sally is also this. Her position as a princess and leader of the Freedom Fighter is very stressful since she has many responsibilities to take care of, and at age five, she dealt with loss and death as the world collapsed. Her father was trapped in a void while her mother was presumed dead. Also, she actually witnessed many of her loved ones getting robotocized and/or killed.
  • It Was His Sled: At this point, if you don't know that Sally was roboticized in issue 230 then you have been living under a rock. Not that it matters, since in the Retcon she isn't roboticized anymore.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Of the many complaints the reboot received, one of the notable ones was the due to the new rules being enforced by SEGA, (Sonic can't get over-emotional, he always wins no matter what, no character development, etc...) fans felt that the comic had become too similar to the games. Before the reboot, there weren't any restrictive rules, so as long as an original Sonic character had something to do with the plot, the comic could go into any story direction it wanted to and readers liked things that way. With the reboot restricting the comic to not having anywhere near as much creative liberty as before, it was seen as too similar to the games, which resulted in many who have read the comic for many years to just stop reading it altogether.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Strange as it sounds, you could actually make the case for Fiona. She really does have serious abandonment issues and her self-esteem is such that she'd sooner stick by a womanizing creep like Scourge over Sonic when the latter started to question her loyalty to him. Even Word of God has hinted that she's still not all bad.
    • Scourge himself gets this treatment toward the end of the "King Scourge" arc, even to the point of shedding tears.
    • Snively is also a classic example. Nothing goes right for the poor guy in his life, so you pity him...but he brings so much of these problems upon himself due to his treacherous nature, so you also think he's an asshole.
    • Dr. Robotnik during the "Darkest Storm" arc where he's tricked into murdering his own surrogate daughter Mecha Robotnik, the only person he ever truly cared about. At the end of the story he actually lets Sonic walk away sadly commenting that "I've lost a lot today".
    • Geoffrey St. John felt that working with Naugus would help the Acorn Kingdom in the long run. When he first met him, he had no idea that Naugus was evil because he was a kid and his father had just died so he wasn't emotionally stable. When he does learn that Naugus was Evil All Along and that he wanted to control the council, he hated the idea and he wanted to back out, but Naugus reminded him that there was no way he could stop him. When Silver sits to talk with him later on about how working with Naugus is bad, Geoffrey agrees with him but he says that it's too late for him to change. Geoffrey had good intentions and he believed working with Naugus would have good outcomes. It's too bad things didn't work in his favor. Even worse, because of the comics' reboot in 2013, which removed all characters not written by Ian Flynn or SEGA characters, he will never get a chance to redeem himself.
  • Les Yay: Between Sally and Nicole in the Spark of Life storyline. Sally seems to be closer to Nicole than to anybody else, and gets extremely pissed off at Nicole's creator for considering her a failure. Nicole, meanwhile, constantly makes glances at Sally, teases her, and specifically wanted to see the stars the way Sally did in a flashback. Ian Flynn confirmed that this was intentional.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Mammoth Mogul is a cultured, ancient wizard with a persistent desire to Take Over the World. It is he who founded the Order of Ixis as one of many attempts in gathering an army to serve him in his conquests. A mammoth with powerful rhetoric, Mogul is not above convincing people to his side through words alone while simultaneously planning on how to use them for his own ends. This is best displayed when Mogul led Mighty, Tails, and Mina to suicidal situations to make Sonic submit and become part of his new Fearsome Foursome. Even so, Mogul is all too willing to make the universe bow to his will, shown when he becomes the all-powerful Master Mogul and tried to take over alternate universes. After one too many defeats despite his variety of schemes, Mammoth Mogul contents himself with living the life of a businessman, patiently waiting until Sonic and his allies grow too old to oppose an immortal wizard like himself.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moe:
    • Cream, Aerial, and Athena are cute and adorable.
    • Hope Kintobor to a lesser extent, along with the young Regina Ferrum.
  • Misblamed:
    • Most fans of the comic will usually say that Ken Penders is the cause of the Cosmic Retcon and the comic being rebooted as well as removing many of the characters if not more things. While he did have some involvement, in actuality it was pretty minimal. After Penders filed for copyright protection on his characters in 2009, receiving it in 2010, he said that he would do whatever it took to protect and preserve his characters. After Archie Comics was informed of this, they sent him a cease-and-desist, as they felt that they owned his characters and that they were in the right, which started the fire that is the legal case. Had Archie not sent him the cease-and-desist, the comic likely never would've been rebooted, Penders would've probably never sued EA/Bioware over Sonic Chronicles and all of his characters would remain in the comic.
    • Like noted above, Archie Comics never had anyone who worked on the comic, before Ian Flynn, sign a contract saying that they owned the characters of anyone who worked on the comic, which is likely why Ken Penders was able to file for copyright protection on his characters. For the record, Archie claimed that they made Penders sign a contract back in the day, but the company was unable to a produce a valid copy of said contract, claiming that the original was "lost in a fire", while Penders claims that there was never any contract to begin with. Even if we might not ever know which side is right about the contract, the bottomline is that it's Archie's own fault for not checking over the policies concerning ownership of previous owners. Karl Bollers has stated that he technically owns the characters he created while working on the comic and that he could file for copyright protection on them just like Penders.
    • Former writer Scott Fulop also sued Archie Comics in over reprinting rights for the same reasons, but Archie won the case against him.
    • Some likewise blame Bioware for apparently sparking this for making characters based on some of Penders characters for their Sonic Chronicles which likewise got him riled as they greatly resembled some of the characters he created, though most will argue that they weren't outright copying his characters and could be seen as a tribute to the characters from the comics.
    • Sega doesn't get off scot-free either as they were the ones to enforce the new rules once they settled with Penders, forcing the retcon and in turn losing a good chunk of the cast, neutering most of the character development, and limited what could be done with characters created by them.
    • Ian Flynn is blamed for the failure of Sonic/Sally, when SEGA have constantly portrayed Sonic as being borderline Allergic to Love, and were discovered to have been ordering storylines which arbitrarily broke relationships up purely due to Status Quo Is God, and eventually put a clause into the post-lawsuit settlement which forbade putting any characters originating from the games in relationships outright.
    • When the title was officially announced as cancelled, a few fans blamed SEGA due to them trying to enforce special rules on what Sonic can and cannot do. But in actuality, most of the blame lands at Archie's feet. This is primarily due to Archie dealing with one lawsuit, only to turn around and deal with another one involving the title, their mismanagement, frivolous spending, the "Riverdale Reborn" initiative (which lead to an aborted Kickstarter attempt) and focusing all of their attention on Riverdale, as well as an initiative to get away from the action-adventure series in general.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Warlord Kodos crossed it when he murdered a pair of teenagers, a young Mobian and Overlander who planned to bring false reports to their sides in the hope of stopping the war. He sent their bodies back to their people in hopes that the act of pointless cruelty would be blamed on either side and finally ignite the tensions into a full blown war.
    • EVE crossed it when she reappears with the revelation that in her desire to "liberate" artificial intelligence she'd embarked on a path of genocide, exterminating countless sentient species under the flawed idea that they were enslaving computers.
    • Eggman has a number of potential crossings ranging from nuking his planet to trapping the Overlanders in a city that was slowly poisoning them. The Egg Grapes, however, are probably his most clear cut especially because the comic put a lot of emphasis on just how cruel, unnecessary, and deadly they were. Eggman wiped out hundreds of people in what was shown to be a very agonizing process.
    • ADAM tricking Robotnik into killing Mecha Robotnik. Even with how evil Eggman is that was just pointlessly cruel.
    • Thrash has definitely crossed this when he literally made Knuckles the last of the echidnas.
    • Metal Sonic finally crosses it for good when he seemingly murders Shard.
  • My Real Daddy:
    • Ian Flynn is considered this for Scourge for giving him a cool and distinctive new look and making him into a more intimidating and complex villain instead of the stereotypical Evil Twin he was before.
    • Flynn's portrayal of Amy Rose is also very well-liked, as many fans felt he managed to strike a good balance between the Girly Girl, Action Girl, and Sonic Fangirl aspects of her character.
    • Some fans go further with this and consider Flynn the real daddy for the comic in general, though this view is very far from universal.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Many fans aren't willing to let Sally live down the time she slapped Sonic in anger. Even after repeated displays of remorse from the character, and even a Cosmic Retcon rendering it Canon Discontinuity, there are still fans who will hold it against her. Her vest and boots and nothing else design from the cartoon and pre-reboot is also what a lot of people remember about her, despite the reboot changing this.
    • While Ken Penders wasn't the main reason why the comic was rebooted (See "Misblamed"), most fans nonetheless still won't let him forget his role in losing the old continuity. The fact he had tried to force SEGA and Archie to make his "Morbius 25 Years Later" storyline the comic's only canonical future and likewise wasn't very respectful to his successor, Ian Flynn, and has by extension shown a similar belittling attitude towards the IDW reboot, didn't help this notion.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Silver of the much maligned Sonic the Hedgehog 2006. His comic version is liked a lot more because his personality has been changed to a well-meaning bumbler who can be The Comically Serious at times.
    • Antoine through Character Development for many who considered him The Scrappy in the cartoon.
    • Fiona Fox wasn't popular as a love interest for Sonic. Once she pulled a Face–Heel Turn, sexy Evil Costume Switch, and hooked up with Scourge, though, she became much more liked.
    • Shadow and Rouge. For the longest time, the comic had no idea what to do with either of them after the Sonic Adventure 2 adaptation. As Sonic Heroes was rendered moot due to comic events, using them for that was out of the question and the two would make sporadic appearances afterwards, Shadow working on his own and Rouge with Evil Sonic. It wouldn't be until Ian Flynn took over that both performed a Heel–Face Turn and led into the creation of the much beloved Team Dark.
    • Ian Flynn rescued Princess Sally, mostly concerning her past Sue accusations and trying to present her as a more flawed character. While it's not a universal case by a long shot, most fans have let go of her infamous outburst in the Home arc following displays of remorse from her and getting in on action scenes again.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Plagued the comic for quite a long time, particularly around the time where Sonic went from dating Sally to Mina to Fiona. Luckily the comic has since moved on.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Sally gets portrayed as a selfish brat at times by the fandom, especially for Die for Our Ship reasons as well as the infamous slap in #134. The same fans even portray her as an irredeemable villain who commits certain acts of Moral Event Horizon that causes her to cross full-on Hate Sink territory that would make even Eggman look more sympathetic in comparison.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • The Great Desert Dark Egg Legion were turned into mindless Robian mooks thanks to Unwilling Roboticisation and forced to fight the Sand Blasters, an extremist group of Freedom Fighters. After being turned back into Mobians, they tried to make peace with the Sand Blasters, but were instead hit with Fantastic Racism for being former Robians. In order to survive, they went to Eggman for help, who legionized them. When The Baron, leader of the Great Desert DEL, was confronted about this by his niece, Bunnie, he responded that being in the DEL isn't so bad. Being legionized means cybernetic upgrades, which in turn make for an awesome health plan.
    • The DEL's post-reboot counterpart, the Egg Army, also falls into this. While many Egg Bosses, such as Thunderbolt and Maw, are evil, others, like Clove and Nepthys, are treated sympathetically. Both only joined the Eggman Empire out of desperation rather than loyalty to Eggman. Clove joined so that Eggman could save her sister from a debilitating disease, while Nepthys joined to keep the Eggman Empire from completely taking control of Shamar by locking her division of the Egg Army into a stalemate with her longtime friends, the Shamar Freedom Fighters. Even Conquering Storm, who falls very much into evil on the alignment scale, is shown to be somewhat reasonable compared to the people she's fighting; whereas the different clans of Yurashia are highly antagonistic of one another and refuse to work together, she welcomes anyone and everyone into the Egg Clan, provided they pull their weight.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Tommy Turtle probably got it the worst, as he started out as a pretty milquetoast and largely uninteresting one-off character, but for some inexplicable reason he became a recurring character and a Creator's Pet to boot, and as a result was imbued with what was seen as a really disproportionally large amount of importance and attention, especially for a side-character original to the comics, all while his personality continued to be very bland.
    • Drago Wolf, a traitor to the Freedom Fighters who was also an abusive dick to his girlfriend and soared over the Moral Event Horizon in "Endgame". He's a massive douchebag and later on joined the comic's resident Psycho Rangers which he promptly contributed absolutely nothing to. No one likes him in-universe or out, and Ian Flynn had gleefully admitted that he only brought the guy around when he wanted someone to be beaten up.
    • Amadeus and Rosemary Prower have been getting a lot of heat due to being the in-universe cause of House of Cards, instigating their revolution against the Acorn Family right after the war against Eggman escalated to a major degree, and being largely responsible for the Council of Acorn, which did far more harm than good for everyone. Rosemary gets more hatred than Amadeus because, while he was largely inactive, she was a part of the Council of Acorn and one of the more problematic members, always voting against the Freedom Fighters out of distrust for the monarchy. Tails couldn’t even bring himself to call her his mother after she helped to banish Nicole, although that was more because SEGA mandated that the game characters who don’t have parents shouldn’t acknowledge their parents in the comics as such.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • The post-Endgame stories were this due to the fact that they had intended issue 50 to be the end and when it turned out to still be popular, they were forced into a Post-Script Season, but without their main villain.
    • The reboot has also been seen as this. Without the original characters that existed for many years, plus the rules SEGA has enforced on the comic, it is seen as a shadow of its former self.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The early comics were this, being funny due to how lame the jokes were at best. Once it started developing an actual plot, the comic became straight up good.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The "Endgame" story arc, though this has waned over time. It's also famous for cementing the transition to plot-driven stories and killing off the original Robotnik.
    • "The Slap" from issue #134, where Sally angrily slaps Sonic and calls off their engagement, after he rejects her imposition to retire from active fighting as he considers fighting Robotnik a more urgent matter, is a more infamous version of the trope, and is generally considered the absolute nadir of the comic's Dork Age amongst fans. The artist who pencilled the page, Jon Gray, admitted in his commentary for the page that the scene pretty much encapsulated "what was wrong with the Sonic comic both verbally, artistically and editorially" at the time.
  • Strangled by the Red String:
    • After some small Ship Tease moments in issue 3 and 23, Antoine and Bunnie Rabbot were thrown together in Endgame with almost no build-up beyond the same issue they got together revealing that Antoine had once saved Bunnie's life. Thankfully, the relationship was well handled after that point, and it was easier to accept than most examples because neither of them had any romantic chemistry with other characters.
    • Echidnas have what is called "the Soultouch" - a Sixth Sense that also acts as a literal Red String for them and that once they've found their soul mate, they pretty much stay together, although there are some exceptions. This is why Knuckles and Julie-Su hooked up only after 24 issues and why he hasn't dated anyone else.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Thrash admits he doesn't know exactly why the echidnas experimented on his people note , thus making his "justice" more like revenge. But between the Brotherhood of Guardians never fighting Robotnik at all, Albion not getting involved either, the Dark Legion, Enerjak incarnations, and a chapter of the Dark Legion willfully joining Eggman for power, he's not exactly wrong in his views.
    • Mina is depicted as being overzealous and callous for making a public statement about how dangerous NICOLE is and indirectly starting a mass paranoia concerning her. However, as sympathetic as she is, NICOLE was shown to be extremely dangerous as a result of the Iron Queen corrupting her programming, leading to a takeover that led to the Mobians being enslaved and many legionized. The Freedom Fighters are outraged by Mina's actions and labelled the public as being vindictive, but as she angrily pointed out, people had suffered because of NICOLE, and largely because they were cocky enough to make a huge oversight. Naugus amplifying the crowd's bloodthirst doesn't help.
    • While a lot of Hamlin's bad blood with the Freedom Fighters was down to a petty personal grudge, he did have the rest of the council begrudgingly take his side whenever the Freedom Fighters dismissed or ignored their course of action, particularly Sally who had formed the council in the first place, making her act look more like a shallow publicity stunt whenever she ended up overruling them for not taking the course of action she wanted. The lack of professionalism was two way as well, as the Freedom Fighters were often extremely standoffish about the Council defying or criticizing their errors, always assuming it to be down to said grudge.
    • While Sonic had enough reason to hold a grudge against Silver for pointing fingers at his allies, his refusal to help Silver over a grudge (essentially sentencing him to stay stranded in the past) was placing the future (both distant and near) in potential threat. In their final argument prior to the reboot, Silver, despite being apologetic about his lack of tact, does angrily snap back at Sonic for not treating any of this with weight when he childishly refuses to listen to him. He has a very long history of not taking things seriously and other people paying for it after all.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: The only reason Drago Wolf was kept around as long as he he had been was to be the Butt-Monkey of the cast, in stark contrast to the reaction Tommy Turtle got.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Bunnie and Antoine have an obnoxiously perfect relationship at times. Having silly accents perfect for nicknames and cutesy talk only exacerbates it. Though for some, that's what makes it charming, but this isn't a universal view.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • A major problem with the comic, especially during the Penders/Bollers era. Because of how these two men operate, established Sega-based characters and characters created by other writers tend to get knocked to the wayside or not even introduced. For instance, Ensemble Dark Horse Bean the Dynamite Duck and Bark the Polar Bear were first introduced game-wise in Sonic the Fighters in 1996. It would be 10 years later, in issue #160, that they'd appear in the comics. There's also the Bird Armada for 'Tails Adventure, which didn't show up into the comics for 15 years. Comic wise, for example, the Iron Queen. She first appeared in issue #60. She is not heard from again for 140 issues. With issue #268, it seems that Flynn's reaching back further with the first appearance of Breezie the Hedgehog from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
    • Many fans agree that Chip was seriously wasted in the Sonic Unleashed adaptation. Chip's friendship with Sonic, which was a core element of Unleashed, is completely glossed over until the very end of the saga. Things wouldn’t have been so bad had Chip got to meaningfully interact with the rest of the cast to compensate but he doesn’t get to do much with Knuckles before he’s inevitably given to the Freedom Fighters and Chip’s bonding with them is only shown in a single page flashback. Chip's whole Identity Amnesia sub-plot is also removed as Tikal informs Chip of his true nature as Light Gaia the instant she sees him, subsequently taking away the impact of the scene where Chip regains his memories, which is instead used for more World Building.
    • Patch, the anti-Antoine, was much more of a presence in the Prime universe than Scourge ever was and his actions had far reaching consequences for the heroes. After being exiled from his own universe by Scourge, he spent almost two years masquerading as Antoine and his attempts to take over the Kingdom of Acorn led him to fatally poison Antoine's father and attempt to do the same to King Max, resulting in him being becoming crippled and accelerated his senility. However, when Patch returned to the Prime Universe as part of the Suppression Squad, his past actions are only given a few throwaway mentions and he's pushed into the background in favor of Miles.
    • Cream the Rabbit was heavily underutilized after being officially introduced, though this was changed late in the comic's run.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Issue #108 had both the original and the new Dr. Robotnik together in the same reality... only to have them dink around for a third of the issue before the old one disintegrated.
    • This is a big complaint about Flynn's post-cleaning up works, up to and including the Iron Dominion saga; many plot points he brought up during this time had lots of potential for interesting stories of their own, but were pushed aside for a Snap Back rather than being delved into.
    • The time Antoine spent trapped on Anti-Mobius was never explored.
    • The Mecha Sally arc, due to the fact that she never won a fight and some outside circumstance got in the way of her rescue every time. Also not helping is that it only seemed to happen to explain her redesign which could've been easily explained as a result of the first Genesis Wave having residual effects on some people like it did on Naugus.
    • The introduction of opposing heroic fractions such as members of the Acorn Council. Having characters who call out or cause alternate conflicts for the main Freedom Fighters could have made for an interesting grey dynamic within the team. However they are mostly limited to Strawman Political types with Hate Sink personalities, only appearing as a minor frustration in a handful of issues.
    • Some considered the whole Sonic Unleashed adaptation to be this. Other then introducing new Egg Commanders and giving some new backstories nothing remotely interesting was done on the heroes' side. It's very by-the-numbers, doesn't expand or focuses on Chip's role at all, and even the whole drama of Werehog Sonic is quickly glossed over (Eggman doesn't even comment on it in the final battle) and is just used as an extended power-up at best.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Issue 268 features Breezie from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
    • The following issue introduces Segata Sanshiro and Wes Weasley.
    • Madonna, Sonic's cut human girlfriend from before the first game came out, was featured in Super Digest #12 as an agent of GUN and as an apparent expy of Agent Topaz from Sonic X due to her appearance and last name, Garnet.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • According to Ken Penders, readers are supposed to sympathize with Locke as someone who did what he had to do, and a great father at that. However, many a fan instead saw him as an abusive dad who was willing to put his unborn son's egg through experiments because of a dream, and even fake a suicide right in front of him. Needless to say, both the fans and even other writers on the book didn't see Locke the way Penders did.
    • A lot of Sally's moments of weakness are empathised with as forgivable or uncontrollable, with her regularly portrayed as the team's Straight Man and overall Nice Girl. However in many cases Sally bases detrimental actions on high emotion and at times can be outright reckless, complacent and standoffish, often the very traits she relentlessly pontificates Sonic or other members for having. Ironically the first time another member called out Sally on being reckless in the "Spark of Life", they were made to face a Hypocrisy Nod, something Sally herself never underwent throughout the 20+ year run. That Sally's whole personality can sometimes fluctuate from writer to writer does not help her contradicting ethics one bit.
  • Too Cool to Live: Uma Arachnis, Sir Connery, and Locke.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Princess Sally's role in the main books being largely to play The Straight Man to Sonic, leaving her supporting cast to provide most of the conflict and foibles while Sally simply progressed through the mission. It should be noted that this transition occurred around the same time as the comic's Cerebus Syndrome, beforehand Sally had more of a comically pernickety personality, which became harder not to justify as the threats and vulnerability of the Freedom Fighters became more and more serious.
  • Vindicated by History: Karl Bollers' stories, with some exceptions. Back in the day, many disliked or outright hated Bollers' stories, especially the infamous issue 134 where Sonic and Sally broke up. While that story is still hated and his reputation still isn't perfect, he's held in much higher regard than he was, with many of his stories like Return to Angel Island getting more respect.
  • The Woobie: Post-Shattered World, it's really hard not to feel for the nobler members of the Egg Bosses, namely Nephthys and Clove, who are just doing their damnedest trying to stake out an existence of some dignity under Eggman. Clove is effectively a case study of a Broken Bird as she breaks.

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