Rumor: Archie Comics cancelling Sonic the Hedgehog comic series

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Over the past week there has been rumors circulating that Archie Comics would be losing the license to Sonic the Hedgehog, effectively cancelling the long running series. The rumors began when fans noticed that the Archie store was deeply discounting back issues and trade paperbacks by 75% and both Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Universe were dropped from the subscriptions page. The deep discounts are no sign for alarm, Archie has discounted sales all the time, but the missing subscription pages are a big red flag.

Sonic Stadium forum member doctorbenMD decided to call Archie directly and reported the following:

I just spoke with Lisa at subscriptions at Archie (914-381-5155). I told her I was considering subscribing to Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Universe, but that I cannot seem to subscribe to them on their site. She said that right now, “until they have more information,” they are not taking anymore subscriptions. I then asked if this meant the possibility of those titles getting cancelled, and she said yes. I asked what would be the final issue to then hit stores would be, and she said “I believe…290.” (I forgot to ask about Sonic Universe and the final Megadrive issue, “Overdrive,” and forgot to ask about resolving storylines and whatnot). And of course, I mentioned that a lot of fans are showing concern and would like to know what’s going on, to which she said “Archie will be providing more information as it comes.” That was it.

Since then, several other fans have called and received a similar reply.

My take: Archie Comics has screwed up time and time again with the Sonic line, between poorly written contracts with creatives, lawsuits, cancelling successful lines like Sonic Boom and Mega Man due to Archie’s own financial struggles, postponing trade paperbacks due to ongoing lawsuits and financial struggles, and pushing the Sonic comics to the bottom of their list of priorities as they focus on their upcoming Riverdale TV series and their rebooted Archie line. The latest Sonic comics, for example, have banner ads for Riverdale on the covers.

Since last year, SEGA has really turned things around with the Sonic brand. The Sonic social media accounts are incredibly popular thanks to the efforts of Aaron Webber and his team. Licensing the Sonic brand has seen a huge uptick, with multiple branding books for the different branches of the franchise. We’re seeing some really quality merchandise from Cook & Becker and Kid Robot. Sure Archie Sonic comics are firing on all cylinders in terms of story and artwork, but I just think that the brand deserves better when it comes to a publisher.

SEGA likely sees this too, and as the contract for the license is likely up for renewal, SEGA has finally decided to not continue with Archie. Thus, the cancellation that we are seeing play out. Does this mean that Sonic comics are no more? Maybe, or it is more likely that SEGA will go with a publisher that treats licensed comics with much more care. I can easily see Sonic the Hedgehog comics happening with a publisher like Boom! Studios or IDW. Interestingly, Sonic comics writer Ian Flynn also does work for IDW with their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics. Should Sonic find a home at IDW, it would be relatively easy to reassemble the team.

As for numbering, it should be noted that IDW is not against continuing the numbering of a long running series. Disney Comics & Stories, which began in 1940, is still published today by IDW. Despite being the series seventh publisher, they still continue the numbering with the series in the 700s. Also worth noting, IDW handles trade paperbacks for several Archie Comics series including classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, which existed as an Archie Adventure Series alongside Sonic in the 1990s.

While this is sad news, if true, it could lead to great things in the long run should SEGA choose another comics publisher with more stable contracts, higher quality trade paperbacks and the option for some really wild crossovers.

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9 responses to “Rumor: Archie Comics cancelling Sonic the Hedgehog comic series

  1. Kell0x says:

    I really like the idea of just the current team switching to IDW instead, I just want to see the freedom fighters again and see Amy Rose do more then what the current games do with her, and have KNuckles not be stupid for the sake of comedy, do have to say its a very ironic for ARCHIE to lose the license consider all the past trash that has happened the Melodrama, Sally Slaps Sonic, SOnic dates Bunnie and Fiona at the same time, The bad FurryRomance, Ken Penders, The terrible art of Rom Lin and Many Hands, the ignoring of Sega character for the writers own creations like Mina Mongoose, The colors you think Sega would have dropped Archie years ago but now with the reboot a better world building better designed characters and stories NOW they want to drop it?

  2. Daniel Harris says:

    End of a era. A shame too, but hopefully the series will get picked up by another. I’d hate to see the SATAM and other Freedom Fighters go.

  3. Robbie says:

    Good riddance. That comic was never good. Just like the DiC Sonic cartoons (all of them), it was just subpar crap created only to capitalize on the series’ popularity that ended up doing more harm than good to the franchise.

  4. DCGX says:

    I only ever bought many of the one-shot special comics, mostly from the late 90s, and read a main series entry from time to time back then. I have picked up both Mega Drive entries so far, but haven’t read them yet.

    Archie is interesting. The one-shots were written better than the main series, but the Mega Drive issue I ordered was held at the post office for postage to be paid. They didn’t put enough postage on the package, and when I emailed them they just said they use the same amount of postage on all packages. What the hell?

    Also, I wonder where this would leave the third Mega Drive issue.

  5. Underped says:

    Shoulda ended at #247 anyways.

    RIP post-SGW-era, you will not be missed.

  6. dtlux2 says:

    This is really sad, this series is the one that got me to love Sonic and Sega in general. We’ve already had one continuity end abruptly due to lawsuits, and now we may have a much better continuity end even more abruptly, thanks to Archie being idiots with the Sonic series. It would be a real shame to see it go, and I hope that if IDW does pick it up (best option because of Flynn) that they can buy the Freedom Fighters from Archie and use them in the new comics.

    • Chimalpahin says:

      Aren’t the Freedom FIghters from the the show? So they wouldn’t be Archie’s. WHat they need is to negotiate with Mr. Penders and some of the other artists and writers who may still own the rights to their characters, like Karl Bollers who may have rights to Mina the Mongoose. It’s all very odd.

  7. Thanks a lot for this and this is what we need here.

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