Comic Update: Hmm, The Train is Late

Like, really late in the case of some of these.

Im quooootiiiiing2
I’ve already given my Western cartoon quote for the article, sorry.

So as you may recall, Sonic Universe #82 got its official preview the start of January, and everyone figured that meant the end of the dry spell that usually happens around the time of December. As it turns out, that hasn’t been the case, and Sonic the Hedgehog #279 is now slated for release on February 24th. I guess we can’t really dance around the issue forever, so now would be a good a time as any to address the elephant in the room; there’s been delays to Sonic stuff for a good while now. Here’s just a quick summary of the situation so far;

Graphically Not Present

We start with the graphic novels, and these go a long way back in comparison to everything else. The first graphic novel series to face the music was the Knuckles Archive, albeit this one appears to have had different circumstances compared to the others. With KA#4 released in April 2013 and cover images existing for KA#5 and 6, people waited a long while to try and pre-order these books. In a very small window of opportunity, some individuals managed to do so, only for Amazon to cancel them as the publisher had cancelled the issues according to their statement. This one probably isn’t involved, as it’s clear what its fate was long beforehand.

The rest of the graphic novel books are in murkier waters. Remember when we had solicits for the Babylon Rising Sonic Universe volume, or Sonic Boom volume 1? They were lost in the server wipe, but we had them. These are just a couple of examples of the number of graphic novels that have been simply delayed constantly. The last GN releases of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Archives, Sonic Universe, Sonic Saga and Mega Man were all in January or February of last year, so we haven’t seen a regular graphic novel come out in over a year across the board! Even worse, Sonic Boom and Worlds Unite’s graphic novel series haven’t even had a foot out the door yet!

Knuckles Archives 5
See this? You will never get this.

Even amongst these, some special cases came up;

  • Sonic Select #10 came out in January 2015 too, but unlike the others there was no hint of a continuation. Given that the GN series was meant to cover the specials and one-off issues, and pretty much all of them had been done by the time SS#10 came out, It’s easy to see why the plug was pulled on that.
  • Best of Sonic was originally due to have issue 3 come out, it focusing on rivals following BoS#2 focusing on villains, but it ended up as Best of Sonic: Ultimate Edition (the difference was that basically all the rival stuff was interspersed with stories from the other two volumes, and any Scourge assets made for the book weren’t included), and was a surefire end to that series.
  • Sonic Legacy was the black and white omnibus series, with its last physical release being Sonic Legacy #3. Sonic Legacy #4 did come out in December 2014, but only as a digital title, with the back page explicitly telling the reader that it was the last issue.
  • Sonic Super Special Magazine didn’t even get that much; the last physical release was SSSM#13 in January 2015, but SSSM#14 got a brief digital release before it was pulled, and it hasn’t seen the light of day since. With SSSM#15’s planned exclusive content being shifted over to Sonic Super Digest #15, it’s safe to say that’s cancelled too.

There’s been precisely two exceptions to this. Worlds Collide: The Complete Epic was originally slated for a May 2015 release. but it too seemed to suffer the terrible delays. After Archie missed the promised revised release date of December 2015, it finally hit the shops in January 2016. The Sonic Super Digest series, while facing some schedule hiccups, has been releasing at a steady rate throughout all this, and is the only trade series unaffected…at least on the surface.

Boomed Out

To tie in with the release of the games and cartoon for the newly revealed Sonic Boom branch, Archie released a comic series that stuck true to the comedic and more episodic stylings of said branch, as opposed to the action/adventure style of the Archie-exclusive comic universe. While it didn’t set the charts on fire (it was below Sonic the Hedgehog for all of its run bar the first issue, and it was often a bit below Sonic Universe as well), it did decently in numbers, certainly enough to keep it going long after Sonic Boom had established itself. But when the eleventh issue rolled around, some solicitations indicated that this was to be the last issue all of a sudden, and this was confirmed by Archie themselves. Around this same time, Mega Man was announced to be going on an indefinite hiatus, so the fate of that comic is up in the air. And to be clear, the cancellation was not because of sales or SEGA. So, less being late and more never arriving.

The Issue With Issues

Finally, we get onto the most recent chapter in the story, and the one that’s visibly affecting coverage here. Everything was absolutely fine for release schedules, aside from Sonic the Hedgehog slipping a single week but running with it. Then, out of nowhere, both Sonic Universe #82 and Sonic the Hedgehog #279 became complete no-shows for their slated release dates (back in November/December). December delays are nothing new, but in those cases the delay happened for a month at most for the issue in December, and then January picked it right up. Here, Sonic Universe #82 was supposed to be released at the end of November, but didn’t come until mid-January (and even then, it seems a lot of people haven’t got it, still). Sonic the Hedgehog #279 was due out early to mid -December, and is now currently slated for the end of February, which for the record is over two months apart (and there’s whispers in the wind of subscribers being warned of another delay on top of that, although that’s not confirmed).

goldwater silberkleit
If we went into the staff conflict, we’d be going over the age rating.

Potential Causes

Now then, this brings us to the obvious question one can ask; Do we know of any potential causes for this? Well, we can only speculate at this point, but we do have a pretty solid idea of which possibilities are most likely. For the sake of thoroughness, I’ll go through every vein I can find.

  • The lawsuit; You know the drill, Archie went to court over the copyrights of a portion of the characters they were using, that reached a settlement point and Archie made sure they wouldn’t cross that bridge again by excising everyone not by their current staff from the comic. But given that these characters were also appearing in stories in the graphic novels, how much of an impact would they be hit with? Probably not as much as you think. Ironically, the most affected appears to have been the still-running Digests. They used to cover the entire span of the comic up to SSD#8 (released in August 2014). SSD#9 (October 2014) reduced this to comics only made since Ian took over writing duties, and we haven’t seen any stories that have been pre-reboot and featured characters removed in the reboot since SSD#10 (December 2014) (The pre-reboot stories we have seen since have been from Treasure Team Tango, the Sonic Generations tie-in and Babylon Rising part 1, all of which only feature game characters). Aside from this, the only time the lawsuit has come into play was when shipments of KA#3 were attempted to be halted.
  • Archie themselves; It’s no secret that Archie haven’t exactly had a smooth time in past few years. Behind the scenes, it’s been littered with conflicts between staff, but the biggest event has to have been the Archie reboot Kickstarter. In May 2015, Archie (the publisher) announced that they wanted to reboot Archie (the franchise and character), so they were trying to raise $350,000 on Kickstarter for it. Because of their still prevalent name, some wondered why they couldn’t just fund it themselves. Things became even worse when it was revealed that the Kickstarter came about because they had the chance to get rack space at big supermarkets like Target and Wal-Mart, since this was essentially a snub to smaller comic sellers. Just five days after the start, Archie cancelled the Kickstarter due to the controversy. The reboot still went ahead, but funded out of pocket. Naturally, this much financial strain would have a very wide-feeling effect. Sonic Boom’s cancellation and Mega-Man’s hiatus are suspected to be direct repercussions for the Kickstarter fiasco, but it would hardly be surprising if it was affecting their ability to manage their graphic novel releases. As for the actual running series? Possibly, although there have also been storms around the East Coast that would not help in the slightest bit.

No matter what the cause turns out to be, we’re not going to be done with waiting for a good while yet, as all of the currently slated release dates for the delayed volumes are at least July 2016.

Time Will Tell

Valentines issue
Happy May Day!

So, what’s going to happen regarding all this in the upcoming months? Well, for Sonic Boom, that’s going to stay gone, but Archie have said that they want to do new Boom stories in Digest, so we might be able to see that in future volumes. There’s no set date for Mega Man’s return, but with the announced cartoon series they might want to use that as an opportunity for a relaunch. The running Sonic series may be delayed longer than usual, but I doubt it’s stopping anytime soon, we’re just going to have to put up with missing a quarter (third potentially) of the year, which is going to make things like the Valentines variant funny when it comes out three months late. As for the graphic novels? We have the Sonic Comics Spectacular coming next week, but otherwise Arche haven’t said a word on the delays, so we’ll just have to be wary.

No matter what happens, it’s always our priority to make sure you guys are informed as quickly as possible about upcoming releases or sudden news bulletins, so keep an eye out and you’ll be the first to know about any progression made.

Sources;

TheFatPanda and Ryannumber1gamer – I may know what’s transpired, but their combined efforts have been invaluable on keeping up to date with updates on the graphic novels as they happen, and the timeline of events regarding them.

Comic Book Resources – Reaffirming various Sonic Super Digest release dates.

Destructoid – Original release date of Worlds Collide: The Complete Epic

Panels.net – Archie Kickstarter information

Image: Cleveland.com – Photo of Gorelick, Silberkleit and Goldwater 

38 Comments

  1. Geez, I’m really running behind on my comics, and now it appears that Archie is starting to fall just as behind. At this rate I don’t know who’s going to catch up first. T3T””

  2. Reminder that the Sonic Saga’s are also heavily implied to be canned. All upcoming volumes have been removed from Amazon.

  3. another thing is that they change their contract so countries like australia and new zealand cant order the comics in,

  4. Well a certain man whose name I won’t say,did say that there some internal struggle going on at archie last year,he may have been on to something despite most people just see him as a trouble maker and is tired of his ramblings

    1. Not like Penders would take advantage of it, and proclaiming himself the man who kills the Archie Sonic series, and end up publishing the Lara-Su Chronicles sooner!

  5. I emailed Archie about the missing #279 since I’m subscribed and they replied saying it was due to schedule changes.

  6. I would be surprised if the Mega Man comic becomes more Ben 10-ish or Archie ends the Sonic and Mega Man series for good, while Penders is still pissing people with his statements (what point is he trying to make and why!?) and not finishing his ill-gotten Lara-Su Chronicles.

    Kids, don’t buy/collect/read Sonic comics, or you’ll end up ensnared in the curse of Archie/SEGA.

      1. He means in relations to the writers of the upcoming cartoon, which is Man of Action, the creators of Ben 10.

        Unfortunately, while individually comprised of the some best comic writers and artists in the industry, collectively they have a reputation of making dumb, gimicky cartoons that only appeals to pre-teens. Their contributions include BEN 10, GENERATOR REX, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, and BIG HERO 6.

        Those are the only facts. Everything else in the first post is just shitposting.

          1. Should I? It’s obvious, whatever explanation I have in mind, you’re just gonna ignore in favor of your bias.

            I’ll just state that you are right on target in relation to whatever direction Capcom might take a new Mega Man comic and your concerns about Archie and SEGA are somewhat reasonable….somewhat.

            Everything else, I don’t need to point out.

  7. What with the quality of the comics, I’m sort of glad the comics have been delayed. Here’s to hoping they get cancelled outright and the Archie main office burns to the ground.

        1. I still don’t know why some people hate the comics so much. Archie’s the only really giving Sonic and crew the respect they deserve.

    1. “the Archie main office burns to the ground.”

      Hey do us a favor, when you do commit this irrational act of Arson against a comic publisher who barely knows you, you mind sticking around the place to make sure that you murdered everyone? Just ignore the flames, the collapsing building the deadly methane, you’ll be fine 😀

      1. Which one? The one who announced his plans for setting a comic company on fire due to maximum butthurt or the one who suggested he doesn’t survive the attempt due to being an obnoxious bastard?

        I personally believe I gave a completely reasonable suggestion based on sound and rational logic…ya know, for an obnoxious bastard.

  8. Dang man Sonic The Hedgehog Achie Comic # 281 love Struck is a perfect Sonic Achie Comic Book for Sonic fan girls a lot of Valentine Time Day to get this thank you VEDJ-F for adding this one for Valentine Time Day so yep so anyway! Happy Valentine Time Days to Sonic Stadium for Sonic fans, & biggest Sonic fans, to I hope you all enjoy your Valentine Time Days with your family cousins or friends to be safe out there okay have fun!

  9. I think it’s time for a new publisher, and I suggest IDW, since they did Archie variant covers for some of their works, like TransFormers, with Archie riding in Hot Rod, with Optimus Prime in the picture. Maybe they can continue the series with the same story, but with a new number. Or Sega can force Eggman to do the ULTIMATE GENESIS WAVE, involving the Master Emerald as well, and only Sonic and Eggman are left in a White World, bickering about the stuff that went on, and coming to terms that to use a new Chaos Control to create a new world WITHOUT the Archie characters, would be the only recourse. And maybe IDW can have Sonic crossover with My Little Pony, just to utilize the new Guardians of Harmony toys meant for boys AND girls, OR with TransFormers, so we can have Eggman construct new Egg Machines for the Decepticons to use for Vehicle Modes. Could you imagine what vehicle mode Megatron could use from Eggman, or Starscream?

    1. Or Metal Sonic can be converted to a TransFormer able to PowerLink with the Decepticons, and give them a boost in speed that will make Blurr jealous. And with Metal Sonic’s record intermingling with Starscream’s desires for leading the Decepticons, it would make Starscream and Metal Sonic the bigger threats than Eggman and Megatron.

    2. Whist I agree IDW would be a great publisher to start a new Sonic story, please no more Genesis Wave and no more attempts to “reboot” it but trying to keep the story going yet it has barely anything connecting to the original source. Just END-end the story after the Unleashed arc if you’re really gonna go that route. The Genesis Wave was okay used ONCE even if it just felt like a really quick way to add a filler 20th anniversary story and a way to pull Sally out from being dead, but after spamming it so much, it just became a way to put everything on hold for some random reasons, mainly crossovers.
      Just start from ABSOLUTE ZERO if you have to reboot everything. Besides, I don’t wanna see Honey wiped out of existence after she just got some recognition.

      1. Also please no Sonic/MLP crossover. No offence, but Sonic already did a “friendship” plot pretty well with Sonic Rush. I’d much rather see a proper Sega VS Capcom story (I refuse to count the mess that is the Worlds Unite/Collide stories as real crossovers) or a Sonic vs Ben 10 story. XLR8 vs Sonic, race of the fastest I’ve always wanted to see.

  10. I did start to wonder what was going on as I haven’t received any comics for a while now (and to be honest, i’ve been so bored with them I forgot they were coming!) My usual UK supplier has gone offline so assumed that was the reason, but now i’m starting to wonder. I wonder if the overuse of pointless variants (Sega stock art for one) and special issues is a problem too. I know i’ve been getting fed up with them.

    1. If your supplier was Disposable Heroes, they have gone AWOL. Raise a Paypal dispute for a refund. I got mine yesterday.

      1. Yep – you hit the nail on the head! I did a PayPal refund request last week, but haven’t heard anything yet. Fingers crossed i’ll get it soon. A shame really as for the most part they were pretty good.

  11. Honestly I put the blame entirely on Archie. They only have three ongoing comics and a crapload of Digests. Clearly they have some very real financial issues.

    Honestly I doubt Archie would lose the license but I do think that we’ll be hearing that Archie has merged or sold themselves to IDW or something in the near future with the Sonic License being technically transferred to IDW but keeping the same production staff and continuity.

    1. Not too surprising, since IDW did the Archie/IDW Crossover covers with such things as Betty and Veronica on the cover of Jem and the Holograms, The Archie crew as the Crew of the Enterprise from Star Trek, Archie and his team going up against the Super Angry Birds, Archie as Marty McFly, etc. If IDW does indeed buy or merge with Archie Comics, we could see a My Little Pony Crossover Variant Cover, depicting Sonic the Hedgehog racing with Rainbow Dash (COVER, NO STORY), or a Disney-Approved Variant Cover of Mickey Mouse comics, with Sonic dressed as Mickey, and Amy Rose dressed as Minnie, and enjoying it! Or even a TransFormers Variant Cover with Sticks the Badger freaking out about the Autobots AND Decepticons waging war, stating she was right: The Robot Apocalypse IS Nigh!

Comments are closed.