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!!”
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!?