Sonic the Hedgehog, the star of over 70 video games since the early 1990s, will finally get to be the star in his own major motion picture. Sony Pictures and Producer Neal Moritz will work with Japan-based production company Marza Animation Planet, a division of Sega Sammy Group, to make a hybrid computer animation/live action feature. Writers have already been chosen for the project, which will follow the antics of Sonic and his friends against the Blue Blur’s nemesis, Dr. Eggman.
This isn’t Sonic’s first time crossing media. He had 3 cartoon series in the 1990s, and a new computer animated series is set to debut on Cartoon Network this fall, called Sonic Boom. But Sonic’s biggest achievement has come with his teaming up with Archie Comics. Starting out as a mini-series in 1992, he quickly gained his own ongoing series by May of 1993. That series, Sonic the Hedgehog, has been going continuously since then. It has over 260 issues in print and has been recognized as the longest running comic based on a video game character by the Guinness Book of World Records.
The main series, Sonic the Hedgehog, follows the adventures of Sonic and his friends Tails, Princess Sally, and the Freedom Fighters of Mobius against the tyrannical Doctor Robotnik, who is also know as Dr. Eggman. The comic started out following the second cartoon series but soon went off into its own continuity. As new Sonic games came out, the comic would often adapt the story of the new video game as well as adding the new stories and characters. This created a large cast of characters.
With so many characters, Archie went on to create a new ongoing series, Sonic Universe. In this series, many of the side characters from the main series were able to have their adventures and tell their own stories. Characters such as Shadow the Hedgehog, Knuckles the Echidna, the time-traveling Silver the Hedgehog, Blaze the Cat, and even Tails appear in different places but still stay current with the main series, expanding the fictional universe. Sonic may sometimes make appearances, but only in a supporting role. This is the place for the supporting characters to shine.
With so many comics now out, catching up on singles can be a pain. I know. My oldest daughter’s first comic was Sonic, and hunting down back issues was difficult and sometimes expensive. Archie has solved that with their Sonic Archives, trade paperbacks of the main series. There are currently 24 volumes available starting with #0, which collects the original mini-series all the way to issue #90. The Archives are still ongoing. Sonic Universe is also available in trades. There are 7 volumes currently out, collecting to #28. For collections of more current issues, check out the Sonic Saga, which starts by collecting issues starting at #161. There are currently 5 volumes available.
For Sonic’s 20th Anniversary, Archie also released two specials magazines. Sonic Super Special Magazine is a quarterly magazine that features news, comics and interviews related to the world of Sonic. Most of the comics in this magazine are reprints from both the main series and Universe. Sonic Super-Sized Comics Digest is a digest-sized collection that jams the comics into an easy to carry format. It is also published quarterly. Sonic also crossed over with another well-known and loved video game character Mega Man, another comic series that Archie Comics had started publishing recently. The twelve issue series crossed both Sonic series’ as well as Mega Man in an event call When Worlds Collide.
With so much history and so many characters, the writers of the movie will have plenty of material to draw on.