As some of you may have heard by now, there's a rumour going around that the Archie's Sonic comic is potentially being cancelled. This is based on the fact that Archie has suspended online subscriptions to Sonic the Hedgehog, which may be a sign that the end is nigh. An Archie spokesperson attributes this to a technical glitch, but it's also worth pointing out that they are replacing this year's Free Comic Book Day issue of Sonic with a Riverdale book instead. Sonic hasn't missed Free Comic Book Day in a decade. It may just be that after twenty-four years, the Sonic comics have reached the end of their run....
How do I feel about this? Realistically, I suppose it was inevitable. It's not like the Sonic comics could continue forever, and its development has been desperately stifled these past few years. I needn't reiterate the infamous circumstances responsible, but it's no secret that the stories since the reboot have mostly rung hollow - something I've expressed in many of my reviews. With declining sales and readers cancelling subscriptions, it's clear that the Sonic comics were on their last legs. Heck, I haven't even read an issue in months. The last one I checked was Sonic Universe #83, which was so awful
that I refused to read any more.
So what I'm saying is that Archie Sonic isn't what it used to be, and probably never will be. When the series started out in 1993, the games were still in their infancy and the comics had the potential to carve their own path. By expanding Mobius with its own history, culture and society, Archie developed "a world unique and beyond what you know from the Sega games" - as quoted in their opening tagline. That's very true. I was fascinated by the scope of the echidna race and their extensive genealogy. I loved the lineage of the Acorn line and its war experiences. Even more outlandish stories like extra-terrestrials and alternate timelines broadened and enriched the comic's universe in ways Sega could never dream of. While it wasn't all Shakespeare, it was engrossing more often than not and it garnered a strong fan following as a result.
However, attitudes have changed since the reboot. Archie is no longer pioneering their own world, they're only trying to conform to the one established by Sega. Character development has been thrown to the four winds wherever it contradicts the tone of the games, creating consistently shallow stories with rampant capitalism on exposition over narrative integrity. Even if Archie had the most talented writers in the world, it wouldn't matter because of the restrictions Sega placed on their mascot's portrayal. No family ties, no romance, no depth of personality whatsoever. What can Archie do with this mess? Maybe it is time to bid adieu to the Blue Blur. With the state of things as they are, I'm not so much disappointed that the series is ending, I'm only disappointed that it couldn't be saved. At the end of the day, we'll always have the classic issues in our library, and I fully intend to re-read them as I continue to work on Sonic Retold. It's up to us now to keep the series alive, so I hope you'll continue to give Sonic and the Freedom Fighters your full support. They are our childhood heroes.