Sonic The Comic
Much like SATAM, Fleetways' Sonic The Comic never seems to fall from sight...its' just that people need to look harder to find it...
In 1993, Sonic The Hedgehog had made a large impact on video game culture, to the extent he could be found everywhere, cartoons, comics, lunch boxes, consoles, everywhere, and around the world, different ways of showcasing some aspects of this popularity reared their heads. Sonic SATAM took the partially plotless games and gave their characters substance, Archie took those characters and ellaborated further on that, when Fleetway, a british comics publisher, took full advantage on its' side of the boarder in Britain to provide young, new Sonic fans with thier own exclusive Sonic publication, they would do the same thing.
Entitled "Sonic The Comic", the tounge-in-cheek title carried with it typical features that broadened to not just Sonic fans, but also video game fanatics, offering either back up comic strips featuring notible Sega game characters from classic games such as "Shinobi", "Shining Force", and "Streets Of Rage", the latter strip even contained a story written by future "Ulitmate X-Men" writer, Mark Millar.
But it would be the Sonic The Hedgehog strip that would be remembered the most, initally starting off as a basic, cartoon style comedy/action format of good vs evil, Sonics' strip soon evolved under the writing of Nigel Kitching,characters were developed, and eventually, new, entirly original characters were brought into the fold, such as Zero The Cybernik (a badnik who had overrided his programming but could not escape his inpenetrable Badnik body), Brutas (a Badnik general that sought to overthrow Robotnik), and Grimmer (basiclly just a replacment for Snivly). The Carnival Night Zone even received landowners in the form of parnters patterned on The Marx Brothers, italians called The Marixo Brothers, a stab at the competition at the time, hes' a plumber, you may know him...
Mobius, at the beggining a free world under attack by the evil Dr. Robotnik, soon fell to the evil tyrant thanks to a trap that kept Sonic and his freinds imprisoned in a time/space gateway for several years, allowing him to take control of the planet, for the next ninety-eight issues, Robtonik was in total control. As Sonic attempted to regain control with the aid of his allies, a distinctly different force of Freedom Fighters emerged from the effort, instead of Sally, Antoine, or Bunnie Rabbot, Sonic had freinds based on game spirties freed from the Badniks in the video games, with names such as Porker Lewis and Johnny Litefoot.
Sonic had no fiance warrior Princess here as he did with Sally in the Archie comics, although Amy Rose did eventually join his band. Amy, long before the later Sonic games provided her with a mallet and some measure of independence, was given a crossbow, causal tomboyish clothing, and a less persistent affection for Sonic.
Since the comic was targeted primarily towards boys, romance was hardly an issue, though to be fair, during one of the final arcs, Sonic and Amy shared a small moment. Iif you are a Sonic/Amy 'shipper, I recommend looking up that instalment, as well as the classic Sonic CD adaptation, "Sonic Terminator".
Following the roots of the video games, but adding their own original twists,The strips would, when the need arose, adapt the video games as they became available, "Sonic Terminator" also introduced us to another long time Sonic adversary: Metal Sonic, only through the course of the strip, the Metal Sonic, under the codename "Mettalix", was rebuilt an eventually was mass produced as a large army, which eventually turrned against Robotnik, who had created him, the "Brotherhood of Mettalix" soon became frequent adversaries against Sonic, forcing him to ally with Robotnik to defeat them once and for all. The Metallix would later reemerge with a new form patterned on Knuckles.
Kncukles had the same origin as the games provided, but Kitching took liberties with his history, adding a second Echidna, a corrupt scientest criminal called Dr. Zachery, Zachery suceeded in even destroying the Master Emerald,and was eventually transformed into a half Echidna/Cyborg hybrid by Robotnik following a grizzly fall.
Super Sonic, Sonics' super form, was transformed into the embodiment of Sonic's most primal, evil instincts, and a ndager to all around him, Sonic and Super Sonic were eventually seperated, and Super Sonic became a dangerous nemesis until his memory was temporarily taken from him, after which he breifly, and rather oddly, joined the side of good.
Finally, the comic folded as Sonics' popularity declined, but not before adapting Sonic Adventure, the irony being that, the game would revitalise Sonics;' popularity with the worldwide commerce, but it was too late, and going out with a bang, Fleetways' writers killed off Johnny Litefoot, resolved Sonics' war with Super Sonic, amnesia dissapated, and wrapped up the strip with the greatest form of closure: An open ending.
The open ending has since allowed many fan groups to continue Fleetways' legacy, you can find not only virtual fancomic continuations, but also scans of the strips from assorted Sonic sites, just look 'em up on Google.
Much like SATAM, Sonic The Comics' legacy paved the way for a darker, more developed Sonic in the video games, and most fans will still argue that both the cartoon, the Archie series, and this in particular still tend to be far superior to anything Sonics' original distributors in Japan can ever hope to produce.