It's still San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, and while the guy in the Sonic mascot suit couldn't make it to the IDW Sonic panel, our own Shigs could, and he brought back a few tidbits from upcoming issues and the series Q&A.
Representing IDW were Daniel Barnes (writer), Adam Bryce Thomas (artist), Michael Cisneros (licensing), Gigi Dutreix (artist/writer), and David Mariotte (editor/writer). The crew thanked fans for helping them make it to the landmark Issue 50, and teased that the next several issues will deal with the fallout from the events of 50, starting with the cast escaping Eggman's city. Introducing the upcoming Scrapnik Island series, the panel offered concept art for the battered bots Mecha Knuckles and Sigma.
The slightly diminutive Mecha Knuckles acts as "Guardian" of the island (like his fuzzy counterpart). He wields a mace, Adventure 1 and 2's shovel claw, and Knuckles' three-star hat from the anime OVA. Sigma was introduced as a green E-Series robot in the style of Gamma and his "brothers." Worse for wear with an Eggbot arm and flat caster for his right foot, he still towers at his full height over both Sonic and Dr. Eggman.
The panelists also gave a reminder that the Tails 30th Anniversary special is in the works, and includes some villains from Tails' classic game history (previously revealed to include Wendy Witchcart from Tails Sky Patrol). They showed off some of the previously shared cover art for this special, the upcoming 2022 annual, and issues 51 and 52:
The Q&A focused on a handful of topics, and unsurprisingly, the series' original characters were on everyone's mind. Whisper will be returning in the next series arc, and they're continuing to discuss story plans for her and Tangle next year. Surge and Kit, the fakers we found in Imposter Syndrome and Issue 50, were originally planned for early in the series, but SEGA preferred not to introduce that many new characters that quickly, which ultimately gave Dr. Starline more time to develop as a character.
Instead, the panel noted that the Metal Virus Arc gave them an opportunity to see exactly how far they could push the core Sonic cast emotionally, something that really endeared Cream with Barnes.
For those curious about the effort needed to put together an IDW issues (and why we get more "we have notes" situations than other previous Sonic comics), the panel explained that all issues have to go through Sonic Team, meaning that they also have to be translated into Japanese as well. It's roughly a three month process for each issue. Prior to Q&A, Cisneros also noted that the direction of the comic is intended to be welcoming to new fans "at any time without 30 years of canon to go through."
Finally, outside of the panel, the Comic art team worked on putting together a sweet Sonic mural featuring members of the game and comic cast:
While this panel didn't quite give us a vision of the comic's future after the big 50 milestone, it's exciting to see more unique ways for the games' extended cast to work back into stories. The 2022 annual is expected to launch next month, with Scrapnik Island to follow in October.
Once again, thanks to Shigs for his great coverage of the show!