TSS Review: Genesis of a Hero (Archie)

More like Revelations than Genesis in hindsight.

Hey, I didn’t realise it’d be Easter when the bible joke would be up.

IDW are set to release their new comic in just a few days from now. But as most of you know, before IDW there were the Archie Sonic comics. Spanning 290 issues, it lasted an eventful 24 years before it met its end in December 2016. To celebrate the passing of the torch from one company to another, I will be reviewing the entirety of Genesis of a Hero (AStH#288 – AStH#291), the last arc of the book.

Before we start, some background on how Genesis of a Hero came to be; As part of the Archie Comics’ upcoming 25th anniversary blowout, several events were scheduled including the conclusion to the very popular Sonic Mega Drive, the milestone 300th issue of the main book, the milestone 100th issue of Sonic Universe, an arc dedicated to the Freedom Fighters and this nostalgic throwback to the start of the franchise.

But is this like a trip down memory lane, or a holiday you’d rather forget? Join me as I take a Mega Driven critical eye to these issues!

It’s All in the Manual

Unlike every other Archie Sonic arc I’ve reviewed, the issues of Genesis of a Hero are entirely disconnected by narrative, linked only thematically. As such, this review will take an issue-by-issue approach in this section, assessing each story individually.

StH#288 (part 1)

The story begins at the end of Sonic 1. Sonic is facing Eggman down in Scrap Brain Zone, with future treacherous lackey Snively there to add even more bother for him. After traversing a mechanical nightmare, diabolical speed traps and purple water, he finally manages to get to Eggman in his final area. Eggman and Snively enter the final ace up their sleeve and try to crush Sonic. Undeterred, Sonic is able to lay waste to the machine and stop the first of many evil schemes from Eggman.

Needs less water.

Upon victory, Sonic races back the way he came, through each Sonic 1 zone, to Knothole. It’s here we learn that Sonic was on a mission for the residents of Knothole to rescue Sally’s father and see what Eggman was up to. There’s a lot of exposition here, but we find out that Sonic has six of the Chaos Emeralds (which he only discover the existence of on this mission), Tails and the Freedom Fighters resolve to come along and help Sonic in the future,  and there’s even a hint of King Acorn not being who they think he is (he’s Naugus, by the by).

This issue feels disjointed compared to the rest of the arc, and even compared to itself. The first part in Scrap Brain Zone is fine and a smooth integration of SatAM and classic elements. It’s suitably well-paced and comedic when needs be, and the banter between Eggman, Snively and Sonic is good stuff. Not quite as sharp as something like Sonic Mega Drive, but that mini-series had a lot more time to explore those dynamics, and had Sonic Mania animator Tyson Hesse as a baseline for how the characters should interact and react. To be frank, it was probably never going to match that. Not that it doesn’t have its own highlights, like Sonic versus the purple water.

How many times do they have to teach you this lesson, old troll?

The second part in Knothole feels bolted on, as if they just had to get the formation out of the way because it’s what SatAM fans remember. It makes the pacing of the issue way more clunky as you go from a nice action segment that still gives you plenty of information to a huge exposition dump running through why Sonic was doing what he was doing, why they want the Chaos Emeralds, how each Freedom Fighter acts, and so on. Surely there was a better way of doing this.

In addition, I don’t know why it was felt that the Naugus as King Acorn thread needed to be here. Not only does it not play a role in the arc, but the present time of the Archie comics have made no reference to this point either as it’s been long resolved by then. It’s only referenced in a shadow, but it’s still a sub-thread that ended up going nowhere.

StH#289 (part 2)

Sonic the Hedgehog #289 starts in the skies of Sky Chase Zone. After dodging numerous Badniks, Sonic and Tails manage to reach the Wing Fortress, only for the Tornado to be shot down with Tails in it. With newly kindled rage in his heart, Sonic tears through the defences of the fortress before eventually finding Snively. Snively unleashes the familiar boss of the second act. Sonic manages to quite swiftly dispose of it, but isn’t quite able to catch up to Snively and his escaping shuttle. It’s a good thing Tails got the plane repaired then!

Thanks to the little boost, Sonic is able to grab the wing of the shuttle and follows Snively into space. This is much to Snively and Eggman’s chagrin mind. Snively flees when he lands, but Sonic opts to calmly stroll through the space station. Things are going fine until Eggman reveals his latest creation; Mecha Sonic, a robot duplicate of Sonic himself. With some near misses and some strategic planning, Sonic is able to exploit the duplicate’s weakness and bring him down. Eggman and Snively flee, Sonic giving pursuit. Eggman manages to reach the holding bay and reveals his would-be coup de grâce; the Death Egg Robot…

This is more in line with what I’d like; a story that manages to interweave the classic narrative with the SatAM elements seamlessly. Not only is Snively there to add some back-and-forth to scenes Sonic would usually be alone, you even get some world building as to how the game zones relate to cartoon areas. Aside from that, there’s some good banter here as well (although I feel it’s slightly weaker than in StH#288), and it’s got very even pacing.

Just your average sight on your average day.

The one thing that seems strange to me is that no reference is made to what the other Freedom Fighters would be doing at the time. I only say this was brought up in the comic in a prior issue, and not making mention of it here feels like a missed opportunity. Otherwise, probably the best story of the arc for me.

StH#290 (part 3)

Sonic is zipping around by his lonesome when he comes across the chained up Little Planet. He deduces that must be an Eggman plot and is about to set off and stop him when Amy Rose comes along to meet him for the first time. After some light discussion on fate and divination, Sonic runs off to get to the Little Planet and is surprised by the sheer number of forces in Palmtree Panic Zone. Sonic traverses the place and runs into Dr Eggman. They engage in battle with some particularly funny dialogue.

Careful Amy, that might not be your canon.

Sonic almost manages to catch Eggman before he can fly off, but Amy catches Sonic and he’s stopped before he can stop the good doctor. Sonic warns Amy that she should go home. Before she can do anything, Eggman’s newest weapon Metal Sonic comes along and abducts her. Sonic rushes off through various other zones, making good futures and observant quips along the way.

Eventually, he manages to come across Eggman and Metal Sonic again. They’re trapped Amy at the end of a road, and Eggman’s pitching Metal Sonic in a race against his organic foe. Sonic manages to succeed despite the various traps being pulled out. With Metal Sonic destroyed and Amy rescued, Eggman flies off again. This time, Sonic realises he can use the power of the Time Stones to help him. With this in mind and Amy along for the ride, he sets off to collect all of them to stop Eggman’s plan for good…

StH#290 has the strongest bits of dialogue for the characters out of all of them, I think. It helps that they’re allowed to be the focus as the moments from the game are just as focused on what the characters are doing as the comic is. Sonic and Amy’s interactions are great, as is Sonic bouncing off Eggman’s ego (both literally and figuratively). The moments they picked to focus on are pretty much a must for any Sonic CD adaptation, and they’re done with solid execution.

01010000 01101100 01100101 01100001 01110011 01100101 00100000 01110011 01110100 01101111 01110000 00101110

I’m not so keen on the pacing of the issue, but in this case it’s a necessity as opposed to something that feels thrown in. The events of the game are heavily weighted towards the beginning and the end of the story, so it essentially follows a bell curve where the middle has nothing happening except Sonic going through zones on his own. As such, I’m willing to let it slide on this occasion, although I still think StH#289 is a stronger narrative for it.

I suppose some also might take umbrage with the implied chronology of Sonic CD compared to the other classic games. The most popular theories about its placement is before Sonic 2 or after Sonic 3 & Knuckles. This arc just goes by game chronology, so Sonic CD happens between those two. I personally don’t care about this point as it has no bearing on the theory surrounding the games (it’s a different continuity), and ultimately I don’t think the order matters all that much anyway.

StH#291 (part 4)
The lineart alone can be beautiful.

Sonic and Tails have made it to Hidden Palace Zone, when Tails notices the massive mural in the room. Their sight-seeing is disrupted by the appearance of Knuckles the Echidna. Sonic and Knuckles exchange blows. Tails tries to help Sonic, but Knuckles manages to throw his efforts back in Sonic’s face (literally). Before they can keep fighting from there, a rumble cuts the skirmish short. Knuckles rushes off to find the source, and sees Eggman taking the Master Emerald! He tries to stop the theft, but Eggman responds by electrocuting him, then blasting the floor so all three heroes fall through.

After they gather their senses, Knuckles concedes that he was tricked, and starts to help Sonic and Tails by taking them to a secret transporter. This leads up to Sky Sanctuary Zone. Knuckles elects to stay there and let Sonic and Tails finish up Dr Eggman, which they oblige. After a bit more traversal of the ruinous paths, they eventually run into the Egg-O-Matic, wrecking ball and decoys at the ready. They work together to down the vehicle…but it turns out Eggman isn’t in there. Out of its remains rises the latest Mecha Sonic.

He proves a challenge for them at the start, but Sonic and Tails manage to work out how to combine their skills to outwit the one-robot defence, and they manage to take him out. They can’t contemplate for long as the rest of the ruins crumble away. They’re just about able to run up a spiralling path and leap onto the Death Egg before it falls away entirely. They congratulate themselves on their progress, Knuckles glides away in a forest while looking back at the Death Egg, and the remains of Mecha Sonic are shown on a beach surround by ruin blocks. Sonic and Tails begin their perilous journey through Death Egg Zone…

What Knuckles saw when he reflected on the situation.

With Sonic 3 & Knuckles’ narrative being as explicit as it is anyway, there wasn’t any doubt that the story itself would be solid, it’s practically laid out for them. It still manages to do its own thing by using the strengths in character writing to expand on the final confrontation between Sonic and Knuckles. The body language alone is enough to convey exactly how the characters are feeling in that fight, and it’s very effective throughout. The smaller moments of empathy really seals the deal there. Sonic and Tails’ moments are pretty well displayed too.

Unlike the Naugus = King Acorn allusion, the Mecha Sonic stinger makes a lot more sense in relation to the main comic. We’ve heard that Snively was involved in the aftermath of Sonic 3 and Knuckles in the comic version of events, and Snively actually had plans to revisit the idea of stealing the Master Emerald as hinted by “Total Eclipse”. As such, I don’t have a problem with this foreshadowing.

I’m not going to lie though, the story beats feel like a repeat of StH#289 again. Granted, given how the games went in the sections they chose, it’s not like they were going to get that much variety. That being said…ah, I’ll save it for the last section.

Graphic Design from a BigIsland

The art in Genesis of a Hero is a lot more consistent than most arcs, as the two-man team of Tracy Yardley and Gabriel Cassata take the helm for the entire duration.

Yardley’s lineart has been altered in style slightly for this arc, and it’s all the better for it. It retains Yardley’s personality while fitting the more cutesy style of new age classic Sonic. The expression work is suitably on point throughout, with highlights including the entire fight between Sonic and Knuckles, Sonic’s reaction to purple water and Amy’s attempt to flirt with Sonic.

Cassata’s colours, meanwhile, work well with this style, reflecting the vibrant use of colour in the classic era with vivid appeal, while not being so saturated as to be overly strong to the viewer. It also adapts to suit the mood of the scene, which is always a good thing when the tone can vary as much as it does here.

Uh, I suppose we can crack that egg for the omelette.

While generally the artwork is on point, I do have two or three negative points about it. The first is that there’s a surprisingly common lack of backgrounds throughout the arc. When they’re there they’re nicely done and they’re certainly provided for the key moments, but it is something you can pick up on. That being said, it’s not so common that it’s a major distraction, so this is more on the minor side of things.

The second is that Eggman in StH#290 is extremely strangely drawn compared to the rest of the arc. I don’t know if this is because he was done like this in Sonic CD or if there’s other circumstances that forced it, but it is off-putting after just reading the two issues before it.

No but seriously, what is this.

Finally, and this is really more a matter of preference, I preferred the way the Metal Sonic race was done in StH#25 to here. Not sure why, might be a combination of the lack of colour used or the fact StH#290 presents a more rigid, static structure to the scene, contrasting with the more surreal and abstract nature of the game’s presentation. Again, that’s more my preferences on show.

Overall though, this is a good showing for the artwork, even if it’s not the greatest masterpiece ever.

Choose Your Player

In most arcs I’ve reviewed, the recurring casts throughout have been huge and there’s been reams of writing on how they all come together and interact. This arc is entirely different, as there are only two characters present in all four issues. Nonetheless, this will still be a thorough look at what’s on offer.

Sonic the Hedgehog – Unlike his mute current classic self, Sonic has a lot to say in this arc. He’s generally got a good balance between his confident and cool persona and his more caring and empathetic side. This is mostly displayed to Tails, although he gets a moment to reach out to Knuckles and Amy as well. Sometimes the confident side can become a bit too overbearing, but I just blame that on it being partially influenced by his SatAM portrayal, and thankfully it’s rare. Getting to show off in some nice action scenes is not so rare.

Dr Eggman – What else would you expect from Dr Eggman in the classic era? He’s bombastic, he’s arrogant, he’s active, he’s controlling, he’s easily angered and takes it out on everyone, he sometimes gets a moment to be outright threatening, he’s a joy to watch because of his larger than life personality. Ian Flynn has never really had an issue writing Eggman after the reboot aside from pushing his sadism to questionable levels, but since that doesn’t come into effect here you’re looking at a very good interpretation of Eggman.

The best wingman a hedgehog can get.

Miles “Tails” Prower – Technically he only appeared in three issues, but that’s recurring enough to take a look at him. He’s fine here. StH#288 portrays him more as a little kid just wanting the hero to notice him as it’s set before Sonic 2 and influenced by SatAM. StH#289 and StH#291 have him more where you’d expect him, as a foil to Sonic who can be a capable hero in his own right despite his youth. His interactions with Sonic are top-notch. He gets to provide a lot of opportunity for Sonic to show his considerate side, while also helping Sonic on his journey and beating down threats just as readily. If anything, my one issue with Tails is that the disconnect between the first issue and the other issues is a bit jarring, and I think part of that is because there isn’t time to expand on why Tails looks up to Sonic so much (aka the canonical game backstory, which can easily fit in).

Julian Snively – He gets a shot at only two appearances, but he gets mentioned in StH#290 so he counts too. This version of Snively borrows very heavily from his original SatAM self (as opposed to his later self who is working at G.U.N. in order to carry out his own plans and get back at Eggman). Despite the wildly different circumstances he’s in compared to the show, he still acts as decent foil to Eggman. His cowardly and timid nature bounces off Eggman’s boisterous and unwavering drive to succeed, so there’s plenty of opportunity to mine that for comedy. Aside from that, he gets to have some funny reactions to Sonic, but he doesn’t get other facets explored.

The rest of the characters come and go as needed, so there’s not a whole lot to say about them. Amy Rose probably has the lion’s share of content, being present throughout StH#290. Fortunately, she has some great characterisation here. She’s plucky and energetic, willing to follow Sonic to the ends of the Little Planet, no matter what he’s doing. At the same time, she’s also an 8 year old kid, and is as naive and fallible as one would expect one to be. She still has her heart in the right place despite the problems she sometimes causes.

Look, I’m not completely heartless, okay?

Knuckles the Echidna is what you’d expect, given that Sonic 3 & Knuckles laid the narrative bare. His sparring with Sonic is good to see nonetheless, as is the handling of his eventual realisation and redemption. The Freedom Fighters are mostly there to praise Sonic’s effort and be inspired by him, they don’t get the opportunity to actually interact off him. There’s not even enough material to address them individually save for the character moment provided for Bunnie, which is pretty effective regardless of what I think of their overall contribution.

A Balancing Act

The main goals of this arc were threefold; to celebrate the classic era, to celebrate SatAM and the start of the Archie Sonic comic (which was in 1993), and to try and make them work together. As far as celebrating the classic side goes, it was mostly successful (save for one issue I’ll address at the end), recounting the games faithfully while having room to expand them. Theoretically not hard to do, but I still want to give kudos for that.

Wouldn’t it just suck if it was their last appearance ever.

As far as the SatAM stuff goes, I would debate how effective that ended up. As said before, the Freedom Fighter stuff feels bolted on. What I didn’t say was that this was the only time they appeared or even got mentioned, compounding the issue further as that scene had no bearing on the rest of the arc. On top of that, the main comic had already alluded to what the Freedom Fighters were doing during the events of Sonic 2, but there’s nothing to reference that at all.

That leads right into the integration of the two. At some point, it feels like the arc became less concerned with how the classic games and SatAM elements meshed as the latter got less and less panel time. I said the handling was clunky at the start, but by the third part only Snively was referenced, and he only got to speak to Eggman via communications for four speech bubbles, he didn’t actually appear or get to play off anyone. The last part doesn’t seem to present much opportunity for SatAM elements, if any. You certainly don’t see any.

Speaking of that, if I was writing StH#291 myself, I would have started it on the Death Egg instead of in Hidden Palace Zone, and had Knuckles interspersed reflecting on what happened while hinting at his story occurring after the main events. This serves two purposes; to differentiate it from StH#289 (which also featured the “some shenanigans then robot duplicate then cliffhanger with Death Egg” format), and to give it a truly celebratory ending as it would allow the cliffhanger to feature Super Sonic about to face off with Eggman’s Master Emerald-powered machine. As it stands, the arc doesn’t really have a moment that feels like it’s ramping up to a proper climax, which is weird when it’s supposed to be a pretty big deal.

Then again, there’s a more pressing issue with StH#291. Remember way back at the start when I said the Archie Sonic Comic ran for 290 issues? That wasn’t a mistake; technically speaking, this arc was never finished because StH#291’s release was cancelled. The reason I know so much about the issue’s content is because Yardley released the pencils for the issue on his Patreon. Out of respect, I’ve only used the page he released for free as an image source.

Don’t be glum, at least you’ve got the mobile remake of S3&K to look forward to!

That doesn’t alter the fact the average reader will never get a complete experience with this arc, and that honestly sort of hurts the impact of the arc despite the stories not being connected. If you want a series of stories combining SatAM and the four classic games everyone remembers to commemorate their milestones and returning influence, you can’t get it. End of.

Results Screen

I find Genesis of a Hero to be a weird arc to assess quality-wise. There’s plenty of stuff to like about it. This includes generally consistent good interactions, nice artwork, good action scenes, strong characterisation, and other elements here and there. Taken on that basis, you couldn’t really ask for more from it.

On the other hand, I’m not sure if it was entirely successful. The strongest elements were expanding on the game side, the SatAM side’s impact was minimal at best, and detrimental at worst. I think the arc had the same idea when the SatAM influence got lower and lower from one issue to the next. Might have been a better idea to concentrate on weaving the good guys of SatAM more naturally in there.

Ultimately, Genesis of a Hero is alright. As a person with little interest in the classic games or SatAM, it still does plenty to be able to stand on its own two feet and be enjoyable by itself. I suppose that is the key thing to take away from it, given that this would as much be a gateway for new fans to learn about the old as for old fans to relive it. I can’t say Genesis of a Hero particularly stuck with me though, not when Sonic: Mega Drive exists and does what this arc wants to do with way more to sell itself on.

If you want your favourite classic games in print form for a nostalgic throwback, or want to see how the old cartoons could possibly fit in, this arc fits the bill nicely for the most part, it’s more than just a regurgitation of what has been before. Just bear in mind it will never be complete as the last issue was never released. If you just want something to fill an itch for new classic content in general, you might want to look at Sonic: Mega Drive instead. Just…bear in mind it will never be complete as the last issue was never released.

Nor did the Freedom Fighters arc come to fruition, nor did either milestone get reached. What a celebration, eh?

Turns out the Time Stones took him to a new publisher.

 

The raw art of the variant for Sonic the Hedgehog #291 is from Matt Herms’ DeviantArt account.

The interior art for Sonic the Hedgehog #291, as well as the other pencilled pages for that issue, can be found at Tracy Yardley’s Patreon (the rest of the pages require you to be a $5 Patron).

Every other image in this review is sourced from Sonic the Hedgehog #288, Sonic the Hedgehog #289, Sonic the Hedgehog #290 and Sonic: Mega Drive #1.

IDW Confirms Ian Flynn As New Sonic Comic Lead Writer, with April 2018 Launch

It has been revealed at IDW’s Sonic Comic Town Hall panel (live-streamed by TSSZ), that Ian Flynn will be the lead writer. Fans of the later Archie Sonic comics will be pleased to see Flynn return to his role as creator of Sonic comic story lines.

While details on the comic from the panel has been sparse so far, it has been announced that the new Sonic comic will be in its own continuity and will start with a new number one with “brand new stories.” The comic will launch April 4th, 2018 with the first four issues released on a weekly basis, continuing on monthly.

While Flynn’s involvement as lead writer has been confirmed, no other names have been mentioned at the time of this writing.

UPDATE: IDW has released a high quality version of the Tysone Hesse teaser image alongside their press release.

My History with the Archie Sonic Comics

It’s been a month since the announcement that the Archie comics will no longer produce it’s long-running Sonic the Comic, and that a new partnership with IDW will continue to keep Sonic alive in print. Information on the new incarnation of the comic is set to be divulged at New York Comic Con in October. Before we look to the future of Sonic the Comic, why don’t we take a look at the past? In this feature I would like to talk about the many aspects of the American comics, starting with my own 24-year experience with the comic strip adventures.

Continue reading My History with the Archie Sonic Comics

Pages From Sonic Mega Drive: Overdrive #1 Leaked

A number of inked pages purporting to be from Archie’s ‘Sonic Mega Drive: Overdrive #1‘ comic have apparently been leaked onto the internet. The pages, which feature Tyson Hesse’s unique art style and appear to be genuine, were shared anonymously following fears that the classic comic series may never be fully published. Continue reading Pages From Sonic Mega Drive: Overdrive #1 Leaked

Archie Sonic Comic Officially Cancelled

After six months without any release and and vast amounts of speculation of it’s fate, SEGA of America have finally announced that it is ending their partnership with Archie Comics, effectively cancelling it. The tweet sent out by the official Sonic the Hedgehog account is below;

As the tweet also says, this doesn’t mean that SEGA won’t foray into comics in the future. But it is the end of an era, and what a legacy it left;

  • 290 regular issues of the main comic.
  • Four serial spin-off comics.
  • Over 500 issues combined.
  • Several crossovers with other franchises.
  • Dozens of beloved characters, stories and places that will always stick with the fans.

We are sure many fans, including ourselves are sad to see this chapter of Hedgehog history come to an end. We will keep on top of any future updates on what SEGA does in the comic industry next.

And with the final panel ever printed in Archie Sonic, that’s this case closed too.

Source: Sonic the Hedgehog (Twitter)

Sonic Comic News to be Announced at SDCC, and The Story So Far

Perhaps this mystery will finally be solved.

Today, it was announced that there would be news this week on the Sonic comics. During the usual fortnightly stream that Aaron Webber hosts, he finally addressed the question that had been asked session after session. While he had no news right then and there, he had this to say about the future;

Continue reading Sonic Comic News to be Announced at SDCC, and The Story So Far

More on the Cancelled Comic Issues, Archie to Provide Update to Subscribers

It’s rare a story twists so soon, but here we are with an important update.

Earlier today, I gave a general comic update on what had gone on in the last month regarding the Archie Sonic comics. As said there, Sonic #291 and Sonic #294 were listed as cancelled by the publisher on PreviewsWorld’s order form.

Continue reading More on the Cancelled Comic Issues, Archie to Provide Update to Subscribers

Archie Sonic Comic Update: Comics Still No-Show, More Concerning Updates

Another monthly update of the Archie comic situation, and things have cycled around once again, with similar updates to last month.

First up, Sonic is absent from the July 2017 solicits, marking three months in a row as a no show. With Sonic Universe #95 not released for its slated April 12th release, and Sonic #291 not listed for release next week despite its previous given date of April 26th, we won’t be seeing any Sonic comics in April, and makes any May releases unlikely.

Continue reading Archie Sonic Comic Update: Comics Still No-Show, More Concerning Updates

Archie Sonic Comic Update: SEGA and Archie “Talking”, Missing Solicits Again, Sonic Mega Drive: Overdrive Worry

Last month, we brought you an update on what was going on with the Archie Sonic Comic as of February, concerning delays on PreviewsWorld and Sonic being absent from the May solicitations for Archie. There’s been more interesting developments since then, so here’s a roundup of information as of March.

Continue reading Archie Sonic Comic Update: SEGA and Archie “Talking”, Missing Solicits Again, Sonic Mega Drive: Overdrive Worry

Opinion Zone 60: Is Archie Sonic Dead? Special Guest: Lisa Medin

In todays episode, Comic Artist Lisa Medin joins us to discuss the future of Archie Comic’s long running Sonic comic as we dissect a recent article by Jason Berry.

Is the future at risk? And what is to blame for the downfall of the long running licensed comic? Skip our news discussion (including someone going to court for using a hedgehog as a weapon) and listen to us chat all things Archie at 36:00! Let us know what you think in the comments.

We also get to learning with David The Lurker as we find out if one of our hosts use to visit Sonic Passion!

Archie delays upcoming Sonic comics again, doesn’t solicit Sonic for May

Fans of Archie’s Sonic comic series will be waiting awhile longer to get their next Sonic comic fix. According to the website Previewsworld, which posts solicitations for upcoming comic books, the next issues of both Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Universe have been delayed again to April and beyond.

Sonic the Hedgehog #291, originally scheduled for late January before being delayed to March 1, then March 22, is now arriving in stores April 26. Sonic Universe #95 will be shipping on April 12, three whole months after the last issue. Of course, these delays have also affected subsequent issues, with Sonic #292 shipping on May 24 and Sonic Universe #96 shipping on May 10.  The solicitations for the remaining issues have yet to be altered, but they will no doubt be changed eventually to reflect these delays.

Today, it seems even these dates may not be set in stone; while in the past Archie has re-solicited delayed comics, their recently released May solicits did not feature any Sonic comics, new or old.

Things have been rocky for Archie’s Sonic comics these last few months. In addition to these delays, subscriptions for the comics became (and remain) unavailable, which we first reported back in January. The exact cause of all this remains unclear, as Archie staff have remained mum throughout all of this.

Sources: Comic Vine, Previews World

Solicits for Sonic the Hedgehog #294, Sonic Universe #97 and More Revealed

Wait, what? Read on and prepare…to get even more confused.

Yes, after what happened last week, Archie have actually released new solicits for April. We’ll cover the solicits themselves first, then provide an update on the whole situation after.

Continue reading Solicits for Sonic the Hedgehog #294, Sonic Universe #97 and More Revealed

Updated: Archie Sonic Comics Very Likely Cancelled

After over 24 years in a near-continuous run, it appears there are some very strong signals that Archie’s Sonic the Comic is set to be cancelled in the near future. Following phone calls from multiple parties, including members of our own SSMB to Archie’s subscription office, we have learned that they are not taking any more subscriptions pending more information.

Continue reading Updated: Archie Sonic Comics Very Likely Cancelled

Summer 2017 Release for Archie Sonic: Mega Drive Trade Paperback

Archie’s fastest selling Sonic the Hedgehog comic is due to make its way to trade paperback format in the Summer following the release of the third and final installment in the arc, Mega Drive: Overdrive. Many fans who have had difficulty in obtaining the sold-out first issue will be pleased, and probably not surprised these comics will be making their way to this format. Continue reading Summer 2017 Release for Archie Sonic: Mega Drive Trade Paperback

Comic Preview: Sonic Universe 94

It’s almost time to weigh anchor in the arc finale this week!

The preview for Sonic Universe #94 has been released, and things just keep getting deeper for the Chaotix! They’ve managed to get themselves into the heart of an ancient temple with their pirate captors and the hostage. This temple warns of an fearsome power being inside…and Captain Shellbreaker is on the verge of finding it!

Continue reading Comic Preview: Sonic Universe 94

Comic Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #290

It’s time to look into the cosmic eternity in this week’s issue of Sonic the Hedgehog!

The preview for Sonic the Hedgehog #290 has been released, and it’s Sonic CD’s turn for some time in the spotlight! When Sonic attends the annual arrival of Little Planet, things don’t go as planned when it shows up robotic and chained to the planet.

Continue reading Comic Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #290

Comic Previews: Sonic the Hedgehog #293, Sonic Universe #96, Sonic Mega Drive: Overdrive #1 and More!

March is looking to bring a whole plethora of new Sonic content!

The solicitations for March have been revealed, and there’s a slew of stuff to get through! First up, in Sonic the Hedgehog #293, Sonic is with Honey on the set of a strange parody of Sonic’s antics, ‘Sonic Man Heroes’.

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Comic Preview: Sonic Universe #93

There’s suspicion and scheming on the seven seas in the last Universe issue of the year!

The preview for Sonic Universe #93 has been released, and the Chaotix are still trying to find a way out of the mess they’ve managed to get themselves into! As they’re still scoping the ship and crew for opportunities to escape, there’s more to explore of the captors’ pasts, and loyalties are brought to breaking point.

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Comic Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #289

Continue the trip down memory lane as the comic looks back at the best-selling Sonic game of all time!

The preview for Sonic the Hedgehog #289 has been released, and the 25th anniversary celebration has moved forward a game in its adaptation of the classic quartet! After fighting against Dr Eggman’s menacing contraptions on the ground, Sonic and Tails have now gone into the sky to take the fight to the mad doctor himself in his Wing Fortress!

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Comic Previews: Sonic the Hedgehog #292, Sonic Universe #95 and Sonic Super Special Magazine #14

It’s a Freedom Fighter extravaganza in time for the end of Winter! The solicitations for February 2017 have been revealed, and it’s very much a big month if you’re a Freedom Fighter fan! First up, Sonic the Hedgehog #292 has Sonic out for a run around the Westside Island, but he’s not just doing it for fun; he’s on a mission for an unknown person! Continue reading Comic Previews: Sonic the Hedgehog #292, Sonic Universe #95 and Sonic Super Special Magazine #14

Comic Preview: Sonic Universe #92

Do what you want ’cause a pirate is free, you are a…detective. The preview for Sonic Universe #92 has been released, and we’re on the high seas as the Chaotix try to solve their case! Apprehended by a band of pirates, the Chaotix are surprised to learn that the hostage they’re supposed to rescue is comfortably going along with them! Continue reading Comic Preview: Sonic Universe #92

Comic Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #288

We’re going back to the past for the newest comic arc!

The preview for Sonic the Hedgehog #288 has been released, and it continues the 25th anniversary throwback of Mega Drive and the Next Level with the start of a four-month classic-based arc! Relive the very origins of the franchise when this month’s issue takes a look back at the events of Sonic 1, with a little comic flavour sprinkled on.

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Sonic Mega Drive: Overdrive Announced

Two at the same time? Your eyes are not being deceived!

As it turns out, The Next Level was not the only comic Archie covered in their newest press release; the final installment of Sonic Mega Drive’s story has been announced as Sonic Mega Drive: Overdrive!

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Comic Preview: Sonic Mega Drive: The Next Level

The trip down memory lane continues with the follow-up to Archie’s hit seller set in the classic era!

An early preview of Sonic Mega Drive: The Next Level has been released, and it’s an extra-large continuation of what was started in Sonic Mega Drive! Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy are now one team and still looking for the Ancient Gears to stop Eggman’s weapon in its tracks, but things go awry when Sonic decides to splinter off to do things his own way.

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Comic Preview: Sonic Universe #91 – “The Case of the Pirate Princess” Part One

They’re detectives you want on your side, and they’ll show you why in the upcoming arc they have!

The preview for Sonic Universe #91 has been released, and the Chaotix have a new job to deal with! The Chaotix are approached by a Meropis guard as their princess has been held to ransom (from what it seems, anyway) and they need their expertise to find her again.

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Comic Previews: Sonic the Hedgehog #291, Sonic Universe #94 and Sonic Super Digest #19

We start off the year by ending our look to the past and wrapping up the sea-faring case!

The initial solicits have been released for January’s comics, and there’s thrills to be had as both of the running arcs reach their climax! First up, in Sonic the Hedgehog #291, Sonic and Tails have spent the entire adventure running around Angel Island and becoming victim to Knuckles’ nefarious traps.

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Step Back in Time with the Artwork from Sonic the Hedgehog #288

The “Shattered World Crisis” arc came to an end with Sonic the Hedgehog #287, three years after the “Worlds Collide” crossover between Archie’s Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man series. While the stage is set for new arcs with an earnest Sonic Lost World adaptation in the works and Team Chaotix taking to the seas with the upcoming Sonic Universe saga next week, the main series will now be taking a step back in time with “Genesis of a Hero,” setting the stage for the Blue Blur’s humble beginnings within the new continuity.

Issue #288—”Genesis of a Hero” Part One—arrives in comic book stores three weeks from now on November 9th, and a preview of the issue’s art has been provided courtesy of Comics Alliance! Check out the gallery and the official solicitation below.

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Comic Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #287

It all comes together as the finale of the Shattered World Crisis is upon us!

The preview for Sonic the Hedgehog #287 has been released, and it’s make or break time for our heroes! Sonic has managed to turn super and, with the help of Chip in the Gaia Colossus, is taking Dark Gaia on for the fate of the world!

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Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Awesome Artwork from Sonic: Mega Drive – The Next Level

There were a lot of ways to celebrate Sonic’s 25 years, and fans of the classics have certainly had their attention caught by Archie Comics when the Sonic: Mega Drive #1 special was released during the summer. The commemorative comic depicted Genesis-era Sonic and friends in a brand new adventure as Eggman seeks relics known as the Ancient Gears to power his MEGADRIVE doomsday device.

The sequel issue—The Next Level #1—is expected to release in November, but you can enjoy a taste of its awesome artwork early thanks to an exclusive preview from Comic Book Resources. Check out the gallery below for some Tyson Hesse and Matt Herms goodness!

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Comic Preview: Sonic Universe #90

Everything will become crystal clear in the finale for the fate of Angel Island!

The preview for Sonic Universe #90 is now available, and you’ll certainly feel this one! Walter Naugus has managed to restore the Master Emerald, get his powers back and leave the heroes in crystal. Worse than that, Angel Island is now beginning to fall, and Knuckles and Amy have mere hours to put it right before the restoration of the planet finishes it off for good!

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Comic Previews: Sonic the Hedgehog #290, Sonic Universe #93 and Sonic Boom Volume 2

Hoist the anchor, raise the sails and…get up the chain? December will have you do just that!

The solicitations and covers have been revealed for this December, and adventure awaits once again! Firstly, in Sonic the Hedgehog #290, we’re looking back at Sonic CD and its time travel shenanigans.

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Comic Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #286

Eggman’s really pulling out all the stops in the penultimate issue of the Shattered World Crisis arc!

Sonic the Hedgehog #286 has had its preview released, and it’s cranking up to a world-shattering finale! Eggman seems to have all the aces right now; he has hold of Chip and is using him to control the Gaia Colossus, the Egg Dragoon is out to play, Eggmanland is working as it should and the Death Egg is still in town.

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Comic Preview: Sonic Universe #89 and Sonic Super Digest #17

Double dose? Double dose.

We certainly have a rare occasion today; there are two different Sonic books coming out on the same day, and the previews for both have been released! First up, Knuckles, Amy and team Dark have finally reunited. But that may not be a good thing; Omega is under Walter Naugus’ control and aiming to wipe out the others!

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Comic Previews: Sonic the Hedgehog #289, Sonic Universe #92 and More!

Whether you’re into ships of the sky or ships of the sea, November has you covered!

The solicitations and covers for November have been revealed, and this is quite the world tour! First up, we join Sonic and Tails as they take to the skies after saving Westside Island, but Eggman’s got his most lethal attacks up there!

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Comic Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #285

It all comes tumbling down, tumbling down, tumbling down for our heroes this week!

The preview for Sonic the Hedgehog #285 has been released, and things are not looking good for Sonic and his friends. After a multi-pronged assault from Eggman and his allies, the Freedom Fighters are left reeling badly. They’re going to have to get back on their feet soon or the world could become Eggman’s to control!

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