It’s the end of an era, but it feels like it went by in a blur.
Sega of America announced today that the company will dissolve its publishing partnership with Archie Comics regarding the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Archie Comics is the comic book publisher that has overseen production of the Sonic comic series for 24 years. With the dissolution of the publishing partnership, no new Sonic comics will be produced by Archie Comics going forward.
An important update from SEGA regarding Sonic comics: pic.twitter.com/qy9BKkmIvA— Sonic the Hedgehog (@sonic_hedgehog) July 19, 2017
The news was announced in a Twitter post by the official Sonic the Hedgehog account. While the post is no doubt grim for Sonic fans invested in the story of the Sonic comic series, the statement also makes clear that this is not the end of Sonic comics altogether.
“After 24 years of memorable storytelling, Sega of America will conclude their Sonic the Hedgehog publishing partnership program with Archie Comics,” the statement reads. “This does not mark the end of Sonic in comics, but signifies Sega of America’s decision to take a different direction for the series that will be announced at a later date. Sega would like to thank Sonic’s amazing fans for their loyalty and passion over all the years. Sega looks forward to providing more information soon.”
No additional information was provided to explain what new direction Sega will take the comic series, or when those plans might be announced. With Comic-Con International: San Diego right around the corner, it’s possible that new information could be mere days away. Sega might also be holding such information back to align with the release of its upcoming game Sonic Mania, which is scheduled to launch on August 15.
Archie Comics’ Sonic the Hedgehog series ran from November 22, 1992 to July 19, 2017. The comic book series was originally envisioned as not only an adaptation of Sega’s popular action-platformer franchise starring a speedy blue hedgehog, but also as an extension of DiC Entertainment’s cartoon adaptation by the same name. The series added a great deal of story to the otherwise lore-stoic game series, casting the main characters from the Sonic games as freedom fighters set on defeating the sinister Doctor Eggman who wants to turn Mobius’ wild animals into cyborgs who will do his bidding.
As the games series progressed and added new characters, the comic series acted in kind. Characters like Shadow the Hedgehog, Rouge the Bat and Big the Cat eventually made their way into the Archie Comics Sonic series. A 25th anniversary special titled Sonic Mega Drive: Overdrive was announced by Archie Comics in October of 2016. That project has been put on indefinite hold.