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Which is better: Sonic Archie Comics, Fleetway or Sonic IDW Comics?


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Rabbitearsblog

So, between the three comic book companies that had done the Sonic the Hedgehog comics, which of these three comic book companies did you enjoy the best: the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Comics, the Fleetway Comics or the IDW Sonic the Hedgehog comics?

The Archie Comics had much more bizarre moments that happened during its run, like the whole Sonic multiverse thing and it tended to go off the walls at times.  The IDW comics however is much closer to SEGA's vision of the characters and its story  lines tend to be a bit more straightforward compared to the Archie Comics.  The Fleetway comics, while it had a meaner version of Sonic, had some creative story lines during its run. 

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I prefer the Archie version, warts and all, personally. Simplest reason is: I grew up with a good chunk of it. I have some retroactive insight on some of the earlier creators and how those things influenced their contributions that make me perhaps less of a fan of them, sure, but at the end of the day they all added a piece to the world of Sonic and one that I personally think made it far more interesting even if the execution was lacking at times. Even if it went counter to what game Sonic was (or became), even if it bordered "batshit insane" in its worst moments, it was all still Sonic to me. I never really cared that it was "different," I really only cared what they did with it.

I did admittedly drop out of it for a few years so I missed some of the more infamous parts of the book between about #125 and #177, but when I picked it back up out curiosity I was really amazed that all the stuff I remembered was still there and being used. Seeing them get rearranged under a writer I never heard of at the time--Ian Flynn--to fit in with the games and make use of all that untapped potential really hooked me. I loved seeing the various classic material molded in with modern Sonic stuff in this time period, and the reboot pushed it all to its best potential. The reboot was practically what I imagined as a kid when I played the games, read the comics and watched the cartoons: the "ultimate" Sonic universe. It was nice seeing that stuff still survived in some form and was getting a huge upgrade in the process.

Even under Ian, Archie has its share of bumps and bruises though. Some of it due to editorial mandates, legal issues, and some of them feeling like they're just from his own love/knowledge of the franchise working against him (while I love Ian's worldbuilding, he can get lost in it at the expense of the ongoing narrative if the storylines aren't more limited and controlled), but what's there across both continuities is some of the most fun and creative work I've seen with this franchise.

It's always gonna bum me out a little it got cut short when it was gearing up for some great things because the publisher was so incompetent but I guess it is what it is.

I can give props to IDW too. I mean at times it reads like a neutered version of Archie to me, since it's basically the same creative team under new restrictions who have to make due with what they get. It has some of the same issues parts of Ian's Archie run had (mostly the pacing), and even if I'm not a huge fan of it on an issue-to-issue basis, I still enjoy checking in on it and it's the only place to get any kind of meaningful expansion out of this franchise when the games aren't delivering. I'm really happy the Archie team get to continue doing their thing.

I can't speak of Fleetway much at all honestly. I mostly only know some out of context stuff and a bit of a short story I read in college about Knuckles investigating Carnival Night Zone as it's run by Marx Bros. knock-offs in Mario clothes (which I remember being pretty funny and well illustrated, if nothing else). It sounds interesting and what I have heard it has some creative ideas I'd get behind with how they referenced the game materials. Maybe one day I'll actually get around to reading it if I can find the time.

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I'm all about Archie Sonic, grew up watching SatAM and AoStH, coming off of those Archie was always a natural fit for me. In the beginning it was basically SatAM but more in tune with the game elements. Here the Freedom Fighters handled Chaos Emeralds, and bumped up against Knuckles, or Nack. As a kid I was always trying to tie the shows, and games, together as if it was all one continuity, and as it went on Archie felt like it was in on that same game. It would bring all these disparate parts together and try to keep them in harmony, and it's a comic as storied as some of the big boys in Marvel and DC. That is to say the difference from it's earliest issues to it's latest is as night and day as asking someone to read silver age "Adam West" Batman, and then handing them Alan Moore. There's something to be said for being the longest running continuity, second only to the games themselves. There's a lot of history and character depth there.

I look forward to seeing what IDW grows into, but for now it's got a long shadow looming over it. 

I like a lot of things out of Fleetway, but I'm also not as familiar with it as I'd like to be, having only read the stories featuring Tekno, the Adventure adaption, and a healthy dose of StC Online. I like it's take one Amy, who's very much an action hero in her own right,  and even the gruffer Sonic. 

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MetalSkulkBane

Sorta hard to compare when IDW is less around 40 issues, and Archie was over 400 hundred (counting spin-offs). I guess we can compare only Flynn era or even only Reboot. I wanna say "Archie" but I'm pretty sure I just want a ongoing spin-off book again.

But it's a hard choice. IDW has bigger focus on Sega cast (who are way more fun than Freedom Fighters), but Archie had richer world... and better Shadow.

...Fleetway was not very good though.Sure it had moments and cool idea, but in long run I only read all of it, because I love Sonic.

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Rabbitearsblog
9 hours ago, Zaysho said:

I prefer the Archie version, warts and all, personally. Simplest reason is: I grew up with a good chunk of it. I have some retroactive insight on some of the earlier creators and how those things influenced their contributions that make me perhaps less of a fan of them, sure, but at the end of the day they all added a piece to the world of Sonic and one that I personally think made it far more interesting even if the execution was lacking at times. Even if it went counter to what game Sonic was (or became), even if it bordered "batshit insane" in its worst moments, it was all still Sonic to me. I never really cared that it was "different," I really only cared what they did with it.

I did admittedly drop out of it for a few years so I missed some of the more infamous parts of the book between about #125 and #177, but when I picked it back up out curiosity I was really amazed that all the stuff I remembered was still there and being used. Seeing them get rearranged under a writer I never heard of at the time--Ian Flynn--to fit in with the games and make use of all that untapped potential really hooked me. I loved seeing the various classic material molded in with modern Sonic stuff in this time period, and the reboot pushed it all to its best potential. The reboot was practically what I imagined as a kid when I played the games, read the comics and watched the cartoons: the "ultimate" Sonic universe. It was nice seeing that stuff still survived in some form and was getting a huge upgrade in the process.

Even under Ian, Archie has its share of bumps and bruises though. Some of it due to editorial mandates, legal issues, and some of them feeling like they're just from his own love/knowledge of the franchise working against him (while I love Ian's worldbuilding, he can get lost in it at the expense of the ongoing narrative if the storylines aren't more limited and controlled), but what's there across both continuities is some of the most fun and creative work I've seen with this franchise.

It's always gonna bum me out a little it got cut short when it was gearing up for some great things because the publisher was so incompetent but I guess it is what it is.

 

That's what I missed about the Archie Comics was that they were able to take risks with the narrative and actually put the characters in situations that you normally wouldn't see them in.  Sure, there were times where they took these situations a little too far, but at least we got to see what these characters could do in these types of situations.  I just wished that SEGA would lift up their mandates a bit in regards to the IDW comics so that way, we can see more risky story plots in the series.

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CrownSlayer’s Shadow

There isn’t a best comic. It’s really a matter of preference and which ones you grow up with that have the bigger impact. Each one has its flaws and differences too, but rather than make it a competition, it’s better to just highlight which series you prefer more. In my case that would be Archie, with IDW as a close second.

I haven’t read much of Fleetway to even give it a fair shot, and what little I do know has Sonic with an attitude that makes me see him less as cool and more of a asshole who I want to kick in the balls with a steel toe boot, and the tone is more intense than even I would’ve expected there. It also wasn’t shy in creating its own world and style, with well known stories like the Metallix and Drakon Empire which gives Chaos a whole different backstory and personality, but beyond that, I can’t say much about it—I still haven’t read it yet to this day, mostly a lack of interest in looking into it than a dislike of it. At the end of the day, there’s a lot of things of Fleetway I have little knowledge about unless I go look on a wiki or actually play catch-up and find an archive with the issues.

Even within Archie, there’s some preferences there too. I actually grew up at the very beginning of Archie Sonic’s start, and yet I favor the newer rebooted setting that came at the issues last few years. Overall, I favor Archie because it’s the most inclusive work of the franchise—whether from the games, the older cartoons like SatAM and AoSTH that was part of the early rage of Sonic’s golden years, or even unused or obscure characters like Mighty, Ray, or Honey for the longest time, there was always a place for them somewhere and could always be made for them to be apart and have some lease of life in Sonic. It’s a prime example of them all working in a unified setting instead of being split from each other that we have as of now, and was basically everything I wanted—decent writing, ongoing arcs with other characters that don’t get much attention in the games,  a detailed setting, consistency among the setting and the characters living in it, and come Ian’s term on the comic, I actually changed my perception on characters I thought had little or limited use like Big the Cat. Granted, much of this came over time, but as it came it gave more structure and utility with all that it had within its work.
 

I’m not going to give it a full pass tho. It wasn’t always as energetic and fun as it would become more so under Ian’s take. Despite the best aspect I had listed, it faltered in these categories during it middle era with Ken Penders, who I don’t think I need to go into details with given how well known he is (and because old habits seem to really die hard among this fandom, no, that is not a compliment in case anyone couldn’t tell). Granted, that’s mostly hindsight talking—this was during the 90s before the Internet became the utility it commonly is now. A kid growing up reading the comics is more interested in just reading Sonic than any behind the scenes politics that went on with the writers, publishers, and the franchise. Sonic was Sonic, and that was all that matter, and come Ian’s start it was essentially a love letter to Sonic as a whole when it had the chance to be. Come it’s reboot, it lost a lot of what it was originally known for, but it reformed into something more current while still preserving some of the old it could and even revitalized characters like Breezie and Prof Von Schlemmer from the old cartoons into new characters with a modernized look.

And it’s that loss of such in IDW that puts it second in my preference by comparison. It’s basically similar to Archie, but stripped down on a cast level and without a setting that’s as established as it takes place in a setting that’s essentially similar to how Archie was before the reboot—the world is conquered/devastated by Eggman and the heroes fight to rebuild it. It still carries Archie Sonic’s torch tho, primarily because the same team that was with the rebooted Archie Sonic at the end are the same team that started IDW Sonic. So it still carries most of the same style and feel barring some grievances (*coughShadowcough*). And many concepts that we never got a chance to see in Archie manage to find a place here, like the “new roboticizer” that is the Metal Virus. So much like it was easy to get into the reboot Archie despite its loss of characters (again) it wasn’t difficult to get into IDW—Eggman is still a silly yet dangerous threat to the world with the charms that make his character shine as a villain, SilverAsh is still better written and utilized here than he ever has been in the games, and even better it writers continue to show that even some of the least liked characters, like the Deadly Six, can actually work as villains when you put decent effort into writing them.

...now if only Sega can get off the Writing Team’s back on how to characterize Shadow. Sucks that they have a better clue on the character, but are prevented from realizing it and showing us—but then again, I guess it goes to show that neither comic series is perfect, as there will always be some aspect that seems off.

But yeah, mine is Archie and IDW in that order. At least for the time being—at some point in the future, I wouldn’t be surprised if IDW follows Archie’s footsteps and revives old characters and becomes just as inclusive to all thing’s Sonic regardless of era. It’s just a matter of when and if they get that chance.

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prettyinplague

I think it's personal tastes, but also who's writing. That being said, I prefer Ian Flynn's writing. I like a lot of Post Super Genesis Wave Archie and IDW. There's a LOT that the Archie comics did with the characters that I dislike and I feel like that nice wash over was like a step back and clean up. I appreciated it. As for IDW, it really improves on the lackluster storyline of Forces like... infinitely (Ha). 

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On 2/6/2021 at 7:59 PM, Rabbitearsblog said:

The Archie Comics had much more bizarre moments that happened during its run, like the whole Sonic multiverse thing and it tended to go off the walls at times.

cjbc5zf3ftx51.jpg

As someone who's only gotten a small taste of Fleetway Sonic, I'd say it's about even when it comes to WTF moments in both series...unless someone with more Fleetway knowledge can counter this.

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Rabbitearsblog
3 hours ago, Sonictrainer said:

cjbc5zf3ftx51.jpg

As someone who's only gotten a small taste of Fleetway Sonic, I'd say it's about even when it comes to WTF moments in both series...unless someone with more Fleetway knowledge can confirm this.

Although, this was probably the weirdest moment in the Archie Comics.

 

TitanTails.png

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I'll grant you Titan Tails.

And counter with Supreme High Robotnik:

124483641_StCSupremeHighRobotniksm.thumb.jpg.c7a3d085a5fae9611af07c3eadb74a9e.jpg

(I don't actually think they called him that in StC, but that's what AoStH called his Superform and that's what I'm sticking with!)

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2 hours ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

Although, this was probably the weirdest moment in the Archie Comics.

 

TitanTails.png

Not even close.

feb556acd859256f03730cb899468b24-800.jpg

 

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IDW is better, but that's mostly because it's the same team continuing to iterate and refine their craft. Archie after Ian took over has enough unique aspects to make it worth any Sonic fan's time, but IDW is a lot more streamlined and focused. 

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IDW by a mile and then some. I grew up with Archie.  From its start way way back with issue 0 to the last issue in its run. And it had its moments here and there. Including the short lived knuckles comic. But IDW has so far been a much more fun ride overall than most anything it did late in its life. I love the stories a lot more. The stories have just been way more fun without all the drama or world resetting of the archie verse and I have to admit I am glad it ended just so we got the idw version. Archie had got so stale at the end. IDW has me sitting my car ever release at my comic store reading it. Plus with how Sega has more oversight its probably the closest media written at having a chance at seeing some of the characters being in a future game.

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Rabbitearsblog
16 hours ago, Cuz said:

I'll grant you Titan Tails.

And counter with Supreme High Robotnik:

124483641_StCSupremeHighRobotniksm.thumb.jpg.c7a3d085a5fae9611af07c3eadb74a9e.jpg

(I don't actually think they called him that in StC, but that's what AoStH called his Superform and that's what I'm sticking with!)

Oh yeah! I forgot about this moment in Fleetway!

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Shadow Chaos Control

Archie, but I am biased. I grew up with the Archie comics, and haven’t read IDW yet. 

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Rabbitearsblog
3 hours ago, Shadow Chaos Control said:

Archie, but I am biased. I grew up with the Archie comics, and haven’t read IDW yet. 

I haven't read the IDW series yet either, which is why I'm withholding my opinion until I read the series.

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Shadow Chaos Control
38 minutes ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

I haven't read the IDW series yet either, which is why I'm withholding my opinion until I read the series.

I think its unlikely that any series will surpass Archie for me, mainly due to it being a major part of my childhood memories. 

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On 2/8/2021 at 2:51 AM, Sonictrainer said:

cjbc5zf3ftx51.jpg

As someone who's only gotten a small taste of Fleetway Sonic, I'd say it's about even when it comes to WTF moments in both series...unless someone with more Fleetway knowledge can counter this.

Taking pages out of context to claim a comic is weird. Typical.

In the end, Tails didn't shoot and the unicorn reveal it wasn't even real, more like a test for Tails.

BTW STC for the win. It had some weird stuff but stayed closer to Sonic than whatever Archie did at the time. STC didn't have romance, forced love triangles, echidna politics, millions of echidnas out of nowhere, Ken Penders, Ron Lim...

To me : STC>IDW>Archie. Archie got really interesting when Ian took over.

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Rabbitearsblog
16 hours ago, Shadow Chaos Control said:

I think its unlikely that any series will surpass Archie for me, mainly due to it being a major part of my childhood memories. 

I had read the Archie Comics when I was little and it was a huge part of my childhood.  However, I'm also interested in checking out the IDW series and seeing if it's as good as people are saying it is.

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Honestly I get a little burnt out with from constant ramping action in IDW. Like there's just been a tad too many final boss fight scenarios in short succession. I'm thankful Secret Labs and Chao Races was smaller stakes. It could use more of those. I mean of course Sonic's gonna have those, but episodic tales are handy too.

 

On 2/8/2021 at 11:25 AM, Rabbitearsblog said:

Is Sonic inside someone's body and whose body is it?

Yes, Rotor's it's one of sillier stories.

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CrownSlayer’s Shadow
23 minutes ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

I had read the Archie Comics when I was little and it was a huge part of my childhood.  However, I'm also interested in checking out the IDW series and seeing if it's as good as people are saying it is.

Let’s just say it carries much of the same torch of what people liked Archie for when Ian was in charge.

It’s not perfect, but it’s similar enough to get into.

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Shadow Chaos Control
45 minutes ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

I had read the Archie Comics when I was little and it was a huge part of my childhood.  However, I'm also interested in checking out the IDW series and seeing if it's as good as people are saying it is.

Indeed, but I shall have to rely in IDW being available on a eReader. 

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