Sonic the Hedgehog is an American comic book series based on Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchise and the successor of Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog. It is distributed by IDW Publishing and began on 4 April 2018.
The comic series began with the first four issues being released each week in April, followed by a monthly release of subsequent issues starting in May 2018.
- Writer: Ian Flynn
- Cover artists: Tyson Hesse, Tracy Yardley, Nathalie Fourdraine, Kieran Gates, Devin Kraft, Jonathan Gray, Matt Herms, Edwin Huang, Adam Bryce Thomas, Jennifer Hernandez, Jamal Peppers, Heather Breckel, Evan Stanley, Lamar Wells, Reggie Graham, Jack Lawrence, Elaina Unger, Ryan Jampole
- 3D artists: Rafa Knight
- Pencilers: Tracy Yardley, Adam Bryce Thomas, Jennifer Hernandez, Evan Stanley, Jack Lawrence, Diana Skelly,
- Inkers: Bob Smith, Jim Amash, Adam Bryce Thomas, Jennifer Hernandez, Evan Stanley, Tracy Yardley, Jack Lawrence, Priscilla Tramontano
- Letterers: Corey Breen, Shawn Lee
- Colorists: Matt Herms, Adam Bryce Thomas, Heather Breckel, Reggie Graham, Leonardo Ito
- Editors: Joe Hughes, David Mariotte Megan Brown, John Barber
- Publishers: Greg Goldstein, Chris Ryall
- Licensors: Anoulay Tsai, Mai Kiyotaki, Aaron Webber, Michael Cisneros, Sandra Jo
The Sonic the Hedgehog IDW series was first announced on 21 July 2017 when the Sega and IDW Publishing would be collaborating together to create a new Sonic comic following the cancellation of the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic two days prior. The first official creative summit was conducted on 3 August 2017.revealed that
During the New York Comic Con 2017 event, more information regarding IDW's Sonic comic was revealed on promotional flyers (drawn by Tyson Hesse, known for his work on the Archie Sonic comics and Sonic Mania), where it was revealed that the comic will contain characters old and new, and feature brand new stories. Following this, Ian Flynn, former writer of the Archie Sonic comics, was confirmed to be the lead writer for the IDW Sonic comics. On December 28, 2017 though, Flynn revealed that none of the characters he created for Archie Comics will appear in the IDW Sonic comics.
On 11 January 2018, IDW opened an official family-friendly IDW Sonic Facebook group, called “IDW Sonic Comics Squad“. This page will feature updates, art reveals, link to the IDW editorials and more related to the IDW Sonic series. A few days later, on 16 January 2018, it was revealed that Tracy Yardley, a long-time Sonic artist at Archie Comics, would be joining the IDW Sonic team as well. As more information about the first four issues went public, it was revealed that each of the four first issues will feature a different artist, and then rotating art teams would be taking over once the book went monthly.
After its introduction, IDW Sonic Comics Squad revealed that a new character was set be announced on January 24. After five days, this character was revealed to be Tangle the Lemur. On that very same day, the solicitations for the first four issues were revealed.
In an interview with Game Informer, Flynn established that IDW Sonic was a brand new continuity with no connection to the Archie Comics. He further stated that the comics will, at the moment, only draw inspiration from the Sonic game continuity and will go in a fresh new direction not dictated by an already-established canon. Flynn also stated that older elements and fringes of the franchise might be incorporated into the comics at some point, but for the beginning of the series, he wanted to focus on the core style of storytelling for the Sonic series. Flynn also revealed bits of the storyline for the first few issues, which will follow up on Sonic Forces and will deal with the fallout of the War to Take Back the Planet. As for the Sega relationship, it was revealed that they this time around are more directly involved with the stories themselves, namely by offering suggestions here and there on where to tweak things. In return, Flynn makes sure that the comic elements fit into the Sonic universe.
On 21 February 2018, IDW opened its pre-orders for the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series. On the same day, the IDW Sonic Comics Squad surmised the returning Archie Comic artists for the IDW Sonic series, with Matt Herms being among them. It was also revealed that Sega had placed restrictions on the comics (term like “Mobian” or any similar term has been banned, and the only “Mobile” that is allowed is the Eggmobile), that no crossover had been planned, and that the series will be a mix of various genres.
During a Q&A on Facebook, it was revealed that the Sonic the Hedgehog series would be an ongoing title with no end date determined.
On 16 March 2018, at "Gotta Go Fast: The Official Sonic the Hedgehog Panel", the official Sonic the Hedgehog panel at the 2018 SXSW Gaming convention, Sega announced the "Sonic the Hedgehog IDW Comic Series Exclusive Bundle", which was a limited edition bundle up for pre-order on their online store, . This bundled included IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog #1-#4, an additional exclusive variant cover of IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog #4, an exclusive mystery t-shirt (both of which were only available on the SEGA Shop), and digital downloads of Sonic the Hedgehog #1-#4 as they were released. The bundle was released on 1 May 2018 and cost $40. It was also possible to select a shirt size from the following options: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, and 2X-Large.
On 23 August 2018, it was announced at Gamescom 2018 that the upcoming Nintendo Switch app will feature the IDW comics from launch.
In October 2018, Mana Books began releasing European French translations of IDW Publishing's Sonic the Hedgehog graphic novel compilations. The releases follow the same format as their American counterparts. In April 2019, ECC Ediciones stated that they would begin releasing Spanish translations of the comic series beginning 14 May 2019, under their Kodomo line.
The comic is set in its own continuity, which is heavily inspired by the Sonic the Hedgehog video games' universe. Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends live on a planet inhabited entirely by anthropomorphic animals like themselves, which is constantly under threat from the evil human scientist Dr. Eggman, who wants to take over with his army of Badniks and establish the Eggman Empire.
Prior to the start of the comic, the battle between Sonic and the Eggman Empire has been going on for quite some time, with the heroes having fought Eggman multiple times before. Many of these encounters in the past of the comic's universe bear a strong resemblance to those that took place in past Sonic video games. When the comic's storyline begins, Sonic and his friends are dealing with the fallout caused by Eggman’s recent conquest of the planet, as depicted in Sonic Forces, which was the most recent Sonic game at the time.
After Sonic the Hedgehog and his allies defeated Dr. Eggman and liberated the world from his Eggman Empire, the evil Doctor went missing. However, his Badniks remained. Initially directionless, these robots eventually began launching coordinated attacks on villages, suggesting that someone had taken control of them. Sonic thus begins traveling from town to town to stop the Badniks, receiving help from both old friends and new allies (like Tangle the Lemur) along the way.
With the aid of the Chaotix Detective Agency, Sonic finds the missing Dr. Eggman, only to discover that he is suffering from amnesia and has become a model citizen. Just as Sonic and the Chaotix settle on leaving Eggman to his new life however, Shadow shows up with Rouge to destroy the Doctor after hearing him mention Eggman Land. Sonic, however, manages to convince Shadow to give the amnesiac Eggman a chance to prove his benevolence. In the aftermath, Eggman shows that the Eggman Land he mentioned was but an amusement park for children, thus clearing out any doubts about his amnesia being legit. In the meantime, the ringleader behind the Badnik attacks is making his next move. Sonic and Tails reach the Egg Fleet with the Tornado in order to get some information but as soon as the hedgehog enters the battleship, he discovers that the ringleader is Neo Metal Sonic, who assumed Eggman's appearance to lead the Eggman Empire and finish Eggman's incomplete plans. Amy and Knuckles were eventually informed and they decided to reunite the Resistance to stop Neo's scheme. Sonic soon after infiltrates one of Eggman's bases with the aid of Silver and a new ally named Whisper, where they find out that Neo Metal Sonic has conquered Angel Island in order to seize the Master Emerald.
Assembling their various allies, Sonic and the Resistance launch an attack on Angel Island in an attempt to liberate the island and stop Neo Metal Sonic. Shortly after arriving, Sonic and Knuckles confront Neo, who used the Master Emerald to become Super Neo Metal Sonic. In the meantime, the Resistance manage to free Angel Island. However, when Shadow intervened with Sonic and Knuckles' battle with Neo Metal Sonic, the robot managed to transform into a even more dangerous form: Master Overlord. Though Master Overlord puts up a bigger challenge for the heroes, he is eventually brought down by the combined strength of everyone and Angel Island is restored once more. Afterward, Knuckles, as the Resistance's commander, disbands the organization, having concluded that it has served its purpose, so he can remain on Angel Island and guard the Master Emerald. Sonic accepts Knuckles' choice and everyone eventually sets off from Angel Island.
In the meantime, unbeknownst to Sonic and the others, Eggman has been kidnapped by Rough the Skunk and Tumble the Skunk and brought before Dr. Starline, a Eggman fanatic who wishes to return Eggman to his former glory, and is eventually succesful. After providing Eggman with the seven Chaos Emeralds, Starline is taken in by Eggman as his newest lackey. Eggman afterwards goes to work creating the Metal Virus, a virus that can convert organics into robotic slaves. To keep Sonic distracted, Eggman and Starline lure Sonic and Tails into the clutches of Rough and Tumble after they learn of Eggman's abduction. While the heroes are able to beat the skunk brothers, they disappear before they can ask them some questions. Suspecting that Eggman was back to his old ways, Sonic goes in search of answers. Along the way, Sonic met and clashed with Dr. Starline, who almost succeeded in destroying Sonic. As he returned to Eggman though, Starline was reprimanded for trying to kill Sonic (and in the wrong way no less), which Eggman saw as his privilege. Meanwhile Sonic resumes his search for Eggman. While hacking into the Eggnet with Amy in an abandoned Eggman base where they discover Eggman's plans for a Faceship, the duo come under attack by Rough and Tumble. During the subsequent fight, due to Eggman's manipulations, Rough and Tumble unwillingly let themselves get infected with a batch of the Metal Virus, which turns them into Zombots. While Sonic is able to contain Rough and Tumble by knocking them into a pit, Sonic gets infected with the Metal Virus in the process.
Returning to Tails for aid, Sonic and his friends discover that Sonic can burn off his infection and keep it in check with his speed. Not wanting to risk his friends' safety and let them get infected by the Metal Virus as well, Sonic leaves to find Eggman's Faceship, which they have concluded will be used to distribute the Metal Virus. However, Sonic is too late, as Eggman has already taken off in his Chaos Emerald-powered Faceship with his lackeys and begun spreading the Metal Virus with his ship by administering it in key locations. As the doctor carries out his plan, the Chaotix's home city receives a batch of the Metal Virus, creating a Zombot outbreak. While Sonic and the Chaotix are able to evacuate a handful of survivors with the aid of the Restoration, Charmy falls victim to the Zombot hordes.
Stories and arcs
"Fallout" revolves around Sonic the Hedgehog and his recent adventures in the aftermath of Sonic Forces. He discovers that after Dr. Eggman's disappearance his Badnik forces had become more organized, attacking several towns on command. Sonic decides to find the source of these attacks and stops several of them with the help of his friends such as Tails, Amy, Knuckles, Blaze, and a new ally named Tangle the Lemur.
- Sonic the Hedgehog #1, "Fallout Part 1" (April 2018)
- Sonic the Hedgehog #2, "Fallout Part 2" (April 2018)
- Sonic the Hedgehog #3, "Fallout Part 3" (April 2018)
- Sonic the Hedgehog #4, "Fallout Part 4" (April 2018)
The Fate of Dr. Eggman
The Chaotix Detective Agency receives an anonymus tip which leads them to a mountanious village, where they find Dr. Eggman, only to discover that he's suffering an amnesia and has become a model citizen. The tip was given by Rouge the Bat, who followed Shadow the Hedgehog in the research. Sonic convinces Shadow to leave "Mr. Tinker" to his new life. Sonic then discovers that the mysterious ringleader behind the Badnik attacks is Neo Metal Sonic, who took the leadership of the Eggman Empire once again, but only to conquer the world for Eggman in his absence. Sonic and Silver soon discover Neo's plans and alert Knuckles and Amy to gather their allies.
- Sonic the Hedgehog #5, "The Fate of Dr. Eggman Part 1" (May 2018)
- Sonic the Hedgehog #6, "The Fate of Dr. Eggman Part 2" (June 2018)
- Sonic the Hedgehog #7, "Meet the New Boss" (July 2018)
- Sonic the Hedgehog #8, "Silent Support" (August 2018)
Battle For Angel Island
Having discovered that Neo Metal Sonic has taken over Angel Island, Sonic, the Resistance, and their allies began an assault to take back the island. However, with the Master Emerald under the control of Neo Metal Sonic (who has more than a few tricks up his sleeves) and the entire Egg Fleet guarding Angel Island, liberating the island will not be easy. Eventually however, Metal Sonic is defeated and the island is freed, though Knuckles decides to disband the Resistance in the aftermath. Meanwhile, Eggman is kidnapped by Rough the Skunk and Tumble the Skunk and has his memory restored by the shadowy Dr. Starline, who becomes Eggman's new lackey while Eggman goes to work on a new plan.
- Sonic the Hedgehog #9, "The Battle for Angel Island Part 1" (September 2018)
- Sonic the Hedgehog #10, "The Battle for Angel Island Part 2" (October 2018)
- Sonic the Hedgehog #11, "The Battle for Angel Island Part 3" (November 2018)
- Sonic the Hedgehog #12, "The Cost of the Battle for Angel Island" (January 2019)
When trying to relax from his latest adventure, Sonic is called back into action after learning that Eggman has gone back to his old ways. While Dr. Eggman works on the Metal Virus, Sonic is kept occupied by threats in the form of Rough and Tumble, and Dr. Starline as he looks into Eggman's latest operations. Along the way however, Sonic gets infected with the Metal Virus, which is slowly turning him into a Zombot. Eventually, Eggman completes his Faceship and begins distributing the Metal Virus across the planet.
- Sonic the Hedgehog #13, "Calling Card" (February 2019)
- Sonic the Hedgehog #14, "Misdirection" (February 2019)
- Sonic the Hedgehog #15, "Patient Zero" (March 2019)
- Sonic the Hedgehog #16, "Infection" (May 2019)
With Dr. Eggman creating Zombot hordes across the world by downing entire cities in his Metal Virus using his new Faceship, Sonic races to catch up to the doctor while at the same time struggling to keep his own infection in check. With the help of his allies, Sonic fights to save as many civilians as he can from a crisis that is steadily spinning out of control. Along the way though, some of Sonic's closest allies fall victim to the virus, such as Charmy.
- Sonic the Hedgehog #17, "Plague" (May 2019)
- Sonic the Hedgehog #18, "Victims" (June 2019)
- Sonic the Hedgehog #19, "Crisis City Part 1" (July 2019)
- Sonic the Hedgehog #20, "Crisis City Part 2" (August 2019)
Bleeding Cool gave the first issue a score of 6.5/10, praising the art and creativity of the story but criticizing Sonic's characterization: "Sonic is an insufferable character... He’s smug, annoying, and radical in that 1990's sense."
- An unused image that was made by Tyson Hesse was used for the cover of a from , which is a catalogue of upcoming comics for comic shops.
- The comic launched in what would have been the 25th anniversary year of its predecessor.
- On 9 October 2017, Flynn stated on Bumbleking that there could be a chance that the Pre-Super Genesis Wave continuity from the Archie comics could be concluded in the IDW comics along with the Post-Super Genesis Wave continuity, as he also said that IDW is famous for bringing back and completing older runs of fan-favorite franchise comics when they can.
- While the comic's logo is the same of the official video game franchise, the one shown on the promo art from the New York Comic-Con is similar to the latest one from the Archie Comics.
- Characters like Ray, Mighty and Team Hooligan will not appear in the comics due to the fact that SEGA has currently requested a distinct division between "Classic Sonic" and "Modern Sonic". Since the comic is set within the "Modern Sonic" universe, the "Classic Sonic" material is currently off limits.
- On 26 August 2018, Flynn stated several things in an interview at SAGE 2018 about the IDW series:
- Flynn stated that the "Modern Sonic" universe is set neither on Earth nor Mobius; just like the games' canon and Sonic X, Sonic and friends live on one world, while the humans live on another.
- Flynn has stated that he wishes to do a prequel of Sonic Forces so he can explore the six months of stories the readers did not get to see during Eggman's conquest.
- On 17 September 2018, during the BumbleKast, Flynn confirmed several things about the IDW comic series:
- He does not have any plans for the Knothole Freedom Fighters at the moment and stated that SEGA will declare if they can use them.
- Only some places will have a name if they are important for world building.
- He has plans for making an entire new rogues gallery for the comic, but that it will take time.
- On 7 December 2018, David Mariotte announced that the schedule was being adjusted so more comics can be released in 2019.
- The reason why the "Classic Sonic" universe is not included in the series is because the creative team cannot state if it takes place in the past or is another dimension.
- Flynn has stated that there are characters in the series inspired by some characters from the comic series published by Archie Comics.
- Infinite will not appear in the comics in the immediate future as SEGA has established that he is off-limits.
- One of the first pitches Flynn presented to the creative crew before officially writing Sonic the Hedgehog was to begin with a villain that was not Eggman as there have been many Eggman-focused stories beforehand. Flynn believed he should use someone familiar to Sonic fans but not someone readers would necessarily expect. For that reason, he chose Neo Metal Sonic as the main villain for the first eleven issues of the comic as he was able to impersonate Eggman.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 T-Bird (5 October 2017). IDW Sonic Comic Teaser Features Tyson Hesse Artwork. Sonic Stadium. Retrieved on 6 October 2017. “Thank you for joining us for the first ever IDW/Sonic Town Hall! IDW and SEGA are proud to bring you an all-new chapter of Sonic the Hedgehog comics! After more than 25 years, Sonic’s adventures have captured the imaginations of countless fans, and have inspired one of the most passionate fan bases in the world. We look forward to bringing you brand-new stories, featuring characters old and new, that continue this proud legacy of the fastest comics around! SPEEDING YOUR WAY APRIL 2018!”
- ↑ Frank, Allegra (9 October 2017). Sonic the Hedgehog’s next comics get a fantastic facelift (correction). Polygon. Retrieved on 25 October 2017.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 IDW Publishing and SEGA® Welcome Veteran Sonic Writer Ian Flynn. IDW Publishing (8 October 2017). Retrieved on 8 October 2017. “A new era of Sonic comics will begin next April with a four-week event. IDW will be moving at Sonic-like speeds to publish the first four issues of the new series in the span of four weeks. Those issues will be written by Flynn with a team of artists joining him to be announced at a later date.”
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog on Twitter. Twitter (21 July 2017). Retrieved on 21 July 2017. “Sonic the Hedgehog: SEGA and IDW are thrilled to announce a partnership to bring Sonic Comics to fans new and old. The new series arrives 2018!”
- ↑ Chris Ryall on Tumblr. Tumblr (3 August 2017). Retrieved on 3 August 2017.
- ↑ SSF1991 (28 December 2017). Ian Flynn Confirms That IDW Sonic Comics Will Not Have Archie Sonic Characters He Created. TSSZ News. Retrieved on 28 December 2017.
- ↑ SSF1991 (11 January 2018). Official IDW Sonic Facebook Group Opens. TSSZ News. Retrieved on 11 January 2018.
- ↑ SSF1991 (16 January 2018). Tracy Yardley! Confirmed For IDW Sonic Team, One Of Multiple Covers For Issue #1 Released. TSSZ News. Retrieved on 17 January 2018.
- ↑ Holub, Christian (22 January 2018). New Sonic the Hedgehog comics coming in April. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 23 January 2018.
- ↑ Yehl, Joshua (24 January 2018). Sonic the Hedgehog's Newest Ally Is Tangle the Ring-tailed Lemur. IGN. Retrieved on 24 January 2018.
- ↑ Thurmond, Joey (15 February 2018). Writer Ian Flynn Discusses Giving The Sonic Comic Series A Fresh Start. Gameinformer. Retrieved on 16 February 2018.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 SSF1991 (2 March 2018). Sonic IDW Facebook Q&A Highlights. TSSZ News. Retrieved on 3 March 2018.
- ↑ SSF1991 (16 March 2018). SEGA Shop Begins Selling Special IDW Comics Bundle. TSSZ News. Retrieved on 21 March 2018.
- ↑ Plagge, Kallie (23 August 2018). Nintendo Switch Getting App To Read Comics, Including Dark Souls And Sonic. Gamespot. Retrieved on 12 September 2018.
- ↑ Sonic rejoint le catalogue Mana Books !! (French). Mana Books. Retrieved on 1 November 2018.
- ↑ Sonic Reikai on Twitter. Twitter (5 April 2019). Retrieved on 5 April 2019.
- ↑ Sonic Paradise on Twitter. Twitter (6 April 2019). Retrieved on 6 April 2019.
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #1 Review: Creative Action Scenes Make Up for an Annoying Lead (5 April 2018). Retrieved on 16 July 2018.
- ↑ IDW Sonic Smashes Sales Expectations, Becomes Best-Selling Sonic Comics on Record - Sonic Stadium (7 May 2018).
- ↑ http://bumbleking.com/lost-hedgehog-tales-update/
- ↑ Flynn, Ian. Sonic the Hedgehog FAQ. BumbleKing.
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Schneckloth, Ryan. SAGE 2018: Interview with Ian Flynn Summary. TSSZ News.
- ↑ BumbleKast #75: Q&A Bonanza!. Sonic Source (17 September 2018). Retrieved on 19 September 2018.
- ↑ IDW Sonic Comics Squad. Facebook (7 December 2018). Retrieved on 9 December 2018.
- ↑ BumbleKast #81 - MST3K. YouTube (10 October 2018). Retrieved on 10 October 2018.
- ↑ BumbleKast #82 - The Final (For Real) Smash Bros. Ultimate Episode. YouTube (7 January 2019). Retrieved on 7 January 2019.
- ↑ BumbleKast #83 - Into the Cinematic Spider-Verse. YouTube (21 January 2019). Retrieved on 21 January 2019.
- ↑ Ian Flynn on Facebook. Facebook (19 April 2019). Retrieved on 19 April 2019.