Sonic the Hedgehog is an ongoing series of American comic books published by Archie Comics, featuring Sega's mascot video game character of the same name. The comic book series debuted in the United States at the beginning of 1993, two years after the release of the first video game in 1991 for the Sega Genesis. Spin-off publications from the comic include a Knuckles the Echidna series starring the titular character, which ran for 32 issues; 15 48-page "Super Specials"; 8 single 48-page special issues; and 4 short three-issue miniseries, each starring a character from the series. On September 21, 2005, Archie Comics started a new series based on the TV show Sonic X.
Aside from the Sonic X series, all of Archie Comics' Sonic-related series take place in the same fictional universe. This universe features a mixture of characters, settings and storylines from the Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon, the Sonic video games by Sega, and various other incarnations of Sonic. It also includes many elements unique to the comic universe. While the ongoing game canon has influenced the comic canon, both exist as entirely different universes. Sonic the Hedgehog is not to be confused with Sonic the Comic, which ran in the UK and published more issues despite running for a shorter time (due to UK comics being published on more frequent schedule than in the US). As of October 2008, there have been 193 issues of the original Sonic the Hedgehog series. In 2008, the series was recognized by Guinness World Records as the longest running comic series based on a video game.
Although Sonic normally goes adventuring by himself in the video games (with the occasional company of other player characters), in the comic he is affiliated with the Freedom Fighters, a ragtag rebellion that was formed to counter the tyranny of Dr. Ivo Robotnik (currently known as "Eggman") and his legion of unquestioning, warlike robots. The basis of the original issues were designed to closely mirror the animated television series, as well as the names and likenesses of Sonic's allies in the Freedom Fighters. Since then, the series has integrated many elements from the video games, which has led to ongoing story arcs involving Shadow the Hedgehog and others.
At the onset of the series, Sonic's original home was Knothole Village, a secret woodland base hidden within the Great Forest. Other main areas of setting include Angel Island, Station Square, Downunda and New Megapolis.
The Xorda, thinking they had completely rid the planet of all humans, left. Then, unknown to anyone of where they came from or why, the Chaos Emeralds appeared. They gave further distress to the planet, causing natural disasters, until three creatures were able to control their energies and were thus given special powers themselves. They lived on for centuries and became known as the Ancient Walkers. All previous history before the Xorda attacked the planet was lost except what was kept alive by the humans that had escaped the Xorda attack in a secluded mountain area. They developed this area and it became known as the Hidden City of the Ancients or Station Square. Thus, the planet now became known as Mobius. However, the planet was not left alone. For years, another alien race, the Bem, studied and watched the planet.
As the Mobians became more civilized, they began to form cultures. Most banded together under a monarchy led by the Acorn Royal Family who derived power from a powerful magic substance called the Source of All and created the Kingdom of Acorn and its capitol, Mobotropolis. The most intellectual, the echidnas, sought knowledge and started their own civilization elsewhere, a land called Albion. humans that have survive recolonize the larger area of the planet and began the civilization of Overland and its capitol, Megaopolis. The Kingdom of Acorn and Overland were enemies from the start and were constantly trying to rid themselves of one another. The echidnas would have nothing to do with this violence and remained neutral. The two cultures remained at each others' throats for years. Three millennia passed.
Then, when Colin Kintobor became prime minister of Overland and Frederick Acorn became King of Mobius, things began to change. A brilliant scientist named Nate Morgan began to try to invent a new power source from the energies of the Chaos Emeralds. When his assistant, Julian Kintobor of the House of Ivo, encouraged him to advance his project, something went horribly wrong that ended in a disastrous explosion that nearly killed many Overlanders. Nate Morgan, taking full blame, was banished from Overland, never to return. Strangely, King Frederick welcomed Nate into the kingdom. There, he was able to complete his project and invented the Power Rings.
Years passed and Maximillian Acorn was crowned King. Things were not as joyous as they seemed, though. The royal wizard, Ixis Naugus, a very strange and powerful creature, was conceiving a plan to enable him to seize control of the kingdom. He started a fight between the Overlanders and Mobians, which ended in many deaths, that appeared to be Nate's fault. This increased the tensions between the two civilizations and Nate left the kingdom in shame for what he thought he had done. Ixis' plan was going perfectly; he then disappeared mysteriously from the kingdom. Warlord Kodos, who was in league with Naugus, was in control of King Acorn's military.
Meanwhile, in Megaopolis, Julian was banished for a weapon of incredible power which he wished to test on his own people. Like Nate, he came to the Kingdom of Acorn. After being pursued through the forest by his fellow Overlanders, he was found and rescued by hedgehog brothers, Sir Charles and Jules Hedgehog. They brought him before King Maximillion Acorn who, regretful of what happened to Nate Morgan, welcomed Julian in his place. He was assigned to work with Warlord Kodos on military strategy, but Julian saw a greater opportunity in front of him. He arranged Warlord Kodos' disappearance and was soon instated as the new warlord in hopes that he would know the weaknesses of the enemy better than anyone. He then led the defenders of Mobotropolis to victory. The Overlanders of there capital disappeared from the planet and with nothing threatening the kingdom any longer as they were lock in fighting amongst themselves which would not be solve until station square filled in the power vacuum , King Acorn decided to begin preparations to dismantle the military.
Shortly before all this, Sonic The Hedgehog was born to Jules and Bernadette Hedgehog. The king also was given a daughter, Princess Sally Alicia Acorn. Sir Charles, Sonic's uncle, was Minister of Science for the king. When Jules was severely injured during final stages of the war, Charles, as a last ditch effort to save his brother, executed an untested procedure of turning flesh and blood into metal and circuitry, roboticizing. This was meant to only repair Jules' injuries but instead transformed him into a mindless robot servant. Charles, ashamed of the atrocious thing he had done, resigned his position and became a restaurateur. The science lab was closed off to everyone for a long time.
When the war had ended, King Max appointed Julian as the new Minister of Science. It was at this time that Miles "Tails" Prower was born to Commander Amadeus Prower and his wife, Rosemary. That day, Amadeus uncovered the plans of Julian Kintobor and his nephew Snively for world domination. He would use Sir Charles' roboticizer to enslave all Mobians and rule the planet with an iron fist. When Amadeus confronted Julian he was captured by one of Julian's new creations, a SWATbot, and roboticized. That night, at the Military Dismantlement Ceremony, Julian unveiled his plan. He used his SWATbots to capture the populace and imprisoned the king in the Zone of Silence, an alternate dimension created by the wizard Ixis Naugus and used by Julian to exile Warlord Kodos as well. Julian then proclaimed himself as Doctor Ivo Robotnik and rechristened Mobotropolis as Robotropolis, the capitol of his empire. Most of the Kingdom's citizens were captured and roboticized except the children who were evacuated by Princess Sally's mentor Julayla to the secret location of Knothole Village. There, they would grow up to be the heroes of Mobius, the Freedom Fighters.
For an entire year, the Freedom Fighters and Robotnik would fight over rights to the planet until Robotnik unveiled his most devastating creation. The same weapon that caused him to be banished from Overland, the Ultimate Annihilator Cannon. During this battle, Robotnik's double agent, Drago of Lupe's Wolf Pack, tricked his friend, Hershey the Cat, into posing as Sonic and killing Princess Sally by dropping her to her death off a tall building in Robotropolis. This was done with a disguise fitted with cyber-optic technology to make Sally look like Robotnik's treacherous nephew, Snively in her eyes. The real Snively was planning on how to do in his power-demanding uncle during this event. Sally was soon pronounced dead and Sonic was arrested for charge of murder by Commander Geoffrey St. John of the His Majesty's Secret Service. Sonic escaped and sought out his friend, Dulcy the Dragon for help, one of the few surviving legendary creatures that can sense the purity of truth. With Dulcy, Sonic was able to clear his name and had a chance of arriving just in time to stop Robotnik from firing the Ultimate Annihilator and destroying Knothole Village and all that resided there. Once in Robotropolis, Antoine and Bunnie took care of stopping and destroying the cannon while Sonic dealt with Robotnik himself. However, despite their efforts the cannon fired, but due to Snively attuning it to only eliminate Robotnik, the village was only trapped in a rift in the time/space continuum while the cannon spelled doom for Robotnik. Sonic was victorious and learned that though Sally nearly died from her fall, she had only been pronounced dead to protect her from Robotnik while she remained in a stasis tube where she was in a coma. A coma she came out of when she saw Sonic again. Finally, the threat of Doctor Ivo Robotnik was over. The end leaves open the possibility that the threat is not totally eliminated.
He managed to do so and save their lives. However, Mogul then called a meeting of all Sonic's past arch rivals to give them a job: retrieving the shoes of Sonic The Hedgehog. Through some intense fighting, Sonic was finally shot with a stun gun by Nack the Weasel. Sonic was drug off by the Destructix, and was sent to the Casino.
Nack was defeated by Sally and Amy, and they alerted Nicole and other Freedom Fighters to re-arrest Nack, while Sally and Amy went to rescue Sonic. When arriving at the Casino, they were greeted by Geoffrey St. John and Rouge the Bat. When Sally told them that Sonic had been captured, Rouge led Sally, Amy, and Geoffrey to the old bar in the Casino, where Sonic was being held captive. Sonic was rescued, and the Destructix were defeated, and Mogul's threat ended. A new threat has risen, as Scourge the Hedgehog is shown sitting on a throne as king in his zone accompanied by Fiona Fox and the Anti-Freedom Fighters.
In Freedom HQ, a portal opens and the Anti-Freedom Fighters come out as well as Fiona. Now known as Boomer, Miles, Patch and Alicia, they attack the Freedom Fighters. Meanwhile, Sonic is helping the Chaotix in New Megaopolis to fight off the new Dark Egg Legion. Rotor tells Nicole to get Sonic back at Freedom HQ. The Chaotix are then confronted by Dimitri who has a powerful armed new body. Sonic arrives at Freedom HQ and so does Scourge. However, after a fight between the Anti-Freedom Fighters, now known as the Suppression Squad, and the Freedom Fighters, the Suppression Squad is the one who wins; they take over Freedom HQ. Meanwhile, back at the fight with the Dark Egg Legion, the Chaotix successfully completed their mission. As the Dark Egg Legion retreats, Dimitri alludes that he was weakening their forces from within.
Back at Freedom HQ, Metal Sonic arrives to kill Sonic but finds Scourge and his Supression Squad instead. Scourge tries to brush Metal Sonic off but the robot decides to kill Scourge instead. Meanwhile, Sonic confronts the Mobotropolis Council in order to try and get them to allow him to go back and kick Scourge out of Freedom HQ but due to Eggman's deals with the Dark Egg Legion, the council votes in favor of defeating Eggman first. Sonic tries to get Knuckles to help him but Sonic only brings back memories of Locke's sacrifice which angers Knuckles. Sonic goes alone and against authority to Freedom HQ to try and beat Scourge on his own but ends up fighting not just Scourge but Metal Sonic as well. As the battle rages on, Eggman sends a Metal Scourge to aid Metal Sonic which causes Sonic and Scourge to call a temporary truce.
As Scourge and Sonic battle their robotic duplicates, Eggman watches from his Eggdome with glee at the sight of the two hedgehogs being beaten to pulps. As Eggman enjoys himself, Dimitri arrives in his chamber and asks for a new Badnik army for the Dark Egg Legion. Eggman tries to push Dimitri away but Dimitri persists causing Eggman to reveal that he has implanted explosive devices in all of Dark Egg Legion cybernetics which will cause all of Dimitri's forces/people to explode by pressing a single button on Eggman's chair. Dimitri willingly leaves and agrees to focus on "the next threat". While the robot/hedgehog battle rages on, Dmitri goes back to the Dark Egg Legion barracks and warns Lien-Da of Eggman's treachery. Lien-Da considers asking Knuckles for help but Dimitri tells her "not yet". Back at Freedom HQ, Scourge and Sonic finally manage to disable Metal Sonic and Metal Scourge with aid from the Supression Squad. After the battle, Sonic runs off to recuperate for his next meeting with Scourge and his gang while Scourge takes credit for beating Sonic, Metal Sonic, and Metal Scourge which appears to make his Supression Squad angry. Later in Mobotropolis, King Elias tells Sonic that his disobeying the Council will force him to undergo punishment....of leading the next mission to invade Scourge's homeworld. Later, Scourge accidentally breaks into Sonic's father's house and confronts Sonic's dad in an effort to make himself sound superior. Jules retaliates and actually sends Scourge away crying.
The Sonic the Hedgehog comic typically runs original storylines based around characters from various Sonic media, but it has also made a number of adaptations. For instance, it has adapted a couple episodes of Sonic the Hedgehog, as well as complete or partial adaptations of the following video games:
Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series) Episodes:
In addition to the main Sonic series, Archie Comics published various special issues. Longer than typical issues of the comic, these specials feature stories involving Sonic and other related characters. Several miniseries have also been published, featuring characters such as Sally, Tails and Knuckles.
Because of the popularity of the specials and Miniseries featuring Knuckles, in 1997 Knuckles the Echidna became an ongoing series. Knuckles's stories featured its own cast of Characters, including the Chaotix and Knuckles's romantic interest, Julie-Su. Like the Sonic comic, Knuckles's comic is filled with background information about Knuckles's family history. Knuckles's family has split into two factions: the Brotherhood of Guardians and the Dark Legion. Knuckles is a member of the former, and Julie-Su used to be a member of the latter. Much of the conflict of the comic surrounds the relations between these two warring factions.
In 1999, the series was cancelled, but the stories were continued in the pages of Sonic the Hedgehog. After Knuckles's cancellation and until issue 125, a typical issue of Sonic included a Sonic story and a Knuckles story, sometimes even including a third story. This led to each story getting considerably less space than it previously had. Recently, Knuckles's appearances have been infrequent but his story continues within Sonic's stories.
The creators also have a comic strip similar to those found in a newspaper at the end of some issues called Off-Panel. Off-Panel was in every issue for a long time and continues infrequently in the comic series. The strips parody the lives of the editor and the writers as they walk around the office and interact with characters from the comic in various ways.
Sonic the Hedgehog occasionally features homages to other mainstream or third-party comic books. The most prominent among these include:
The Sonic the Hedgehog comic continuity is currently comprised of the following comics:
NOTE: Not counting Knuckles, Tails and Sally Acorn are the only SatAM characters to have their own mini-series.
The Sonic X comic will apparently end with issue #40 in December 2008, and will continue into a new comic series called Sonic Universe.
Sonic has appeared in issue #28 of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch as well in a two-part crossover which concluded in Sonic Super Special #10: Crossover Chaos.
Trade Paperbacks have also been released, typically collecting older, hard-to-find issues and compiling them in a single volume. These include: