Sonic the Hedgehog and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Archie Comics and Sega of America
Boy it’s been a while, hasn’t it? What with the NEW Sonic the Hedgehog comics coming out, I haven’t had much time to look back at the series that started it all! That changes right now (at least for the time being) as we’ve got two more issues of the Archie series to look at! With the new books fresh in my mind, how do these classic issues compare with what we’ve been getting recently? Let’s find out!!
Issue 19 (February 1995)
Now this one’s a bit of a doozy as it’s the first issue in the series to have a SINGLE storyline instead of being broken up into vignettes which is an interesting change of pace and they certainly packed it with enough content to stretch the story out that long; not to mention continuity callbacks which I feel are only going to become more common as the series goes along. So then! Back in issue 11, Sonic used something called the COSMIC INTERSTATE in an attempt to shave time off of his commute but instead ended up going to a mirror universe with EVIL Sonic. At the beginning of THIS issue, one of those Cosmic Interstate portals opens up and spits out a Terminator knock-off who is here to warn us all of impending doom!
“You must stop Paramount Pictures before they release Terminator Gynesis!” “But that already came out like three years ago!” “WHAT!? NYAAARRRRGGHHH!!”
Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series and all its spin-offs) are owned by Archie Comics and Sega of America
All other copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
If you’ve followed this site for any period of time you’ll know that I sporadically review the Sonic the Hedgehog comics from Archie Comics Publications, and while I haven’t gotten NEARLY as many of covered as I’d like to, it’s been fun to go back and see a whole new side to this franchise and to watch it grow over time; exploring new ideas and taking more and more chances with each passing issue. Seriously, if you’re disappointed that the Sonic SAT AM series was cancelled after 2 seasons, then you couldn’t ask for a better continuation than what they did with the comics, and it is FASCINATING to watch the continuity established in the show slowly start to fold in elements from the game series that went in an entirely different direction while also expanding its own world and lore. It can get a bit messy at times to be sure, but they’re still really fun to read and a refreshing reminder of what CAN be done with this character from a storytelling perspective. Sadly the series came to an end back in December of 2016 with issue 290 (making it the longest running comic book series based on a video game character) and the license has been moved to IDW to start a whole new series. Sure, I’m a bit sad that such a long running series eventually came to an end, but I’ve always liked IDW as a publisher and am excited to see what they can do with the series. And it’s not like the original comics from Archie are just going to up and disappear on us! Right!?
Within the last few months, ComiXology (the largest marketplace for digital comic books) has removed every single Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series from their service. If you haven’t purchased them already, you can’t purchase them now and as far as I can tell they were the ONLY digital comic distributor who was selling them meaning that there is currently no way to purchase these books (over TWENTY years of issues) in a digital format, and if you look now all you will see is listings for the upcoming IDW Sonic the Hedgehog series. The exact details of these licensing deals with SEGA are not privy to the general public so it isn’t clear who has access to what now in terms of reprinting and selling digital copies of the original Archie comics. PRESUMABLY they’re still in Archie Comic’s hands considering they published the darn things, but with their SEGA deal having ended it’s unclear if these comics will ever see the light of day again; either digitally or physically. That’s a real shame considering that once again, Sonic the Hedgehog is the longest running comic book series based on a video game and ran for an astonishing twenty-four years, and all of it could be gone for all anyone knows at this point.
Riverdale and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros Television Distribution and The CW
Episode directed by Lee Rose
We’re back with another episode of THE MOST CONVOLUTED ADAPTATION OF A COMIC EVER! Seriously, this show is so unbelievably dense with plot (both in the hyperbolic and literal sense) that it makes Batman v Superman look damn near intelligible by comparison. What this show has over that movie however is decent acting from most of the actors, genuinely funny moments (as well as plenty of unintentional ones) and even though everything just kind of jumbles together into one impenetrable mass of manufactured intrigue, at least some of the stories here are interesting enough to hold your attention whenever the show bothers to bring them back up (*cough* Skeet Ulrich *cough*). So to catch everyone up, the big revelation at the end of the last episode is that Polly Cooper is now living with The Blossoms because… reasons I guess, and it’s basically throwing everyone relevant to this story for a loop. On top of that, we get a scene of Hermione and Veronica Lodge discussing THEIR overly convoluted plot and it makes we question why I’m bothering with this if it has to take five minutes out every episode just to catch everyone back up on all the convoluted bullshit that happened in the last episode before getting into THIS episode’s convoluted bullshit. OH RIGHT! I REMEMBER! There are a handful of characters that are always fun to watch on screen and we’re reminded of that as Cheryl spends the next few minutes trying to seduce Archie into going with her to some sort of Blossom family event! For some reason I keep forgetting that!
I guess with any comic book series, things can’t stay simple for long; not just in terms of plot and character depth which I am absolutely for, but in terms of spin-offs, specials, and the intermixing of continuity between them which I’m more or less totally against. I’ve never gotten into super hero comic books for this reason as the amount of effort to understand any ONE book in its entirety is predicated on an absurd amount of disposable income so that all the issues of every connected series can be purchased. Well I guess I have no choice with this series as we’re gonna be talking its very first Special today and it’s only going to get more unwieldy from here. Strap in folks! Things are gonna get bumpy!
The special starts off with a continuation of the story line from issue 18; namely that Sally’s lifelong mentor who we’ve never heard of has just died and it turns out that she has left everything to her, including this spiffy vest!
We’re back with even MORE Sonic the Hedgehog to talk about because… well I’m on a Sonic the Hedgehog kick again and it’s gonna take a bit more time to burn itself out! We’ll be looking at three issues today because this stretch of issues includes some TRULY fascinating changes for the series and is a turning point in a lot of ways. I’m always fascinated by stuff like this where you can pinpoint an EXACT moment where things are different from what they were before, and while I’m not equipped with the knowledge as to WHY these changes happened in the series, it’s going to be a lot of fun to point them out!
Issue 16 (November 1994)
So the first thing we need to acknowledge is the change in Sally’s design. Based on accounts from Michael Gallagher (the first writer for the comic book including the four initial test issues that I have yet to cover in this recap series) we know that the SatAM series was being developed at the same time as the comic which is why the basic outline of the story is the same, but it seems that some early concepts made it into the comic book before they were finalized for the series. We know this happened already when Boomer was renamed to his cartoon name Rotor in issue 9, and the very first episode of the SatAM series had a design for Sally that is SOMEWHAT close to her appearance in the comics up to this point. The big question I’m still left with is why her design wasn’t changed earlier as the comic was only on its second official issue (not including the four test issues) when the SatAM series premiered. It could have just been a scheduling conflict as I have no idea how far ahead the books were written and illustrated before release, or maybe no one was too concerned about it until much later when it became clear that Sonic was going to be A THING for the foreseeable future. Interesting fact! This is not the first know redesign of the character as one of the earliest known pieces of concept art for the SatAM show portrayed a blonde princess with a dress and crown, and the first issue of the test series had her blonde as well; though it was corrected by the second issue to the design we know now.
REALLY hoping that this isn’t all leading to a Crisis on Infinite Earths scenario.
That’s right! We’re doing another four issue recap! Mostly because there’s little substance to any of the issues we’ll be covering today, but also because I’m kinda anxious to get the real meat of this series and for it to take itself a bit more seriously. Not in the grim dark sort of way (we are SO far from running into Shadow and Tails Doll) but for them to cut back on the puns and for the stories to have the SEMBLANCE of an ongoing arc. Issue sixteen isn’t quite there yet, but that’s certainly a turning point in a lot of ways so I want to get there as soon as possible damn it! Anyway, let’s get started!!
Issue 12 (July 1994)
So right off the bat we have one of the least interesting stories from the books so far; ALMOST as bad as when they tried to do A Christmas Carol. You wouldn’t think it from the initial premise though! Seems like a GREAT idea for a story, but its squandered on, what else? Lame jokes and half-baked ideas! Sonic does his usual Sonic thing of making Doctor Robotnik’s life a living hell, but this latest ass kicking seems to have jogged something in the robo bastard as he comes up with an ingenious plan! He’ll send Sonic back in time! OF COURSE! IT’S SO OBVIOUS, RIGHT!?
Sonic the Hedgehog and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Archie Comics and Sega of America
We’re back with another look at the comic books that came out right around the time that Sonic Mania is so DESPERATELY trying to recreate! Now if the NEXT Sonic Mania introduced the Freedom Fighters, you might just hit MY nostalgic sweet spot as well, so get on that SEGA!! Anyway, let’s go ahead and make this recent resurgence of Classic Sonic complete with a look at two more issues of the comic!!
Issue 10 – (May 1994)
The issue begins with Sonic doing something that’s actually pretty awesome and is a very useful application of his speed; namely, detonating land mines placed by Robotnik’s robo-minions.
“Batman’s got nothing on ME!” “Sonic, I think that’s in pretty poor taste-” “Death of Innocents? More like Death of Good Comics, am I right!?”