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Archie Sonic Questions Thread


Monkey Destruction Switch
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Basically, this is a topic for asking mostly fact-based questions about Archie Sonic. I thought this topic should exist so such questions can be asked without detracting from discussions happening in the Megathread, and without them getting lost in the status updates. Questions can be in-universe, out-of-universe, or whatever.

I'll start things off with this: How did Ken Penders know about Ray the Flying Squirrel? He's a pretty obscure game character exclusive to Japan, and Penders isn't exactly known for his knowledge of the games. So it seems a bit funny that Penders actually introduced him to the comic.

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9 hours ago, Monkey Destruction Switch said:

Basically, this is a topic for asking mostly fact-based questions about Archie Sonic. I thought this topic should exist so such questions can be asked without detracting from discussions happening in the Megathread, and without them getting lost in the status updates. Questions can be in-universe, out-of-universe, or whatever.

I'll start things off with this: How did Ken Penders know about Ray the Flying Squirrel? He's a pretty obscure game character exclusive to Japan, and Penders isn't exactly known for his knowledge of the games. So it seems a bit funny that Penders actually introduced him to the comic.

I don't know, yet he managed to:

1. Put him in one of the most badly written story

2. Introduce another useless copycat character (Nic)

3. Managing to make complicated something thats should be simple like Ray's age

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On 9/7/2021 at 10:17 PM, Monkey Destruction Switch said:

I'll start things off with this: How did Ken Penders know about Ray the Flying Squirrel? He's a pretty obscure game character exclusive to Japan, and Penders isn't exactly known for his knowledge of the games. So it seems a bit funny that Penders actually introduced him to the comic.

I want to preface this with what I'm writing is totally conjecture, and I had actually flipped through scans of the old comic reading fan letters and checking art submissions that would pre-date Ray's inclusion (as well as try to find that elusive OVA fan art I know I saw in the book before it released here). I couldn't really find any letters mentioning Ray in either the main book or the Knuckles book so my next best guess is that Spaz probably knew about him. The only reason I would assume he might have suggested the character to the team (and somehow got the miracle approval to use him--I doubt Sega was that clueless about what the book was doing especially since we were at the turning point Adventure was coming out then) is because he was no stranger to adding obscure Sega stuff to his art, and notably included Bean and Bark as cameos in #50 for his pages.

But again, it's a guess at best that probably needs further digging, and if there's any info on Penders's old forum... well it got murked a few years ago and he only argues with people on Twitter now. The only immediate mention I can find of Ray, and it's just namedropping him, is this interview with Sonic HQ from back in 1998 which just precedes his debut. I don't know if there's ever been further comment about him, really.

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  • 2 months later...

Depends of who you ask, many of them divide a lot.

- Endgame is mocked by a lot of people, so I don't think it's really one of the most popular.

- The Iron Dominion seems to divide. I've seen people saying that it's bad and "too long", some other saying that it's one of the best.

- Mecha Sally arc divide a lot too, especially as it's unfinished and with some sinister implication.

- Worlds Collide seems to be pretty liked ? IDK how much.

 

The one I've seen getting the most praise is Silver Saga (Silver vs Enerjak), but IDK how much it's popular and I might be biaised because it's one of my favorite too xD

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3 hours ago, Kazhnuz said:

Mecha Sally arc divide a lot too, especially as it's unfinished and with some sinister implication.

Nowadays I feel like I started not liking the Mecha Sally arc despite it being really good was that it felt a bit melodramatic at times and it was all left unfinished. 

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11 hours ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

What was considered the most popular story arc in the Archie Sonic Comics (Endgame, the Iron Dominion Arc, the Sonic Adventure arc, etc)?

I guess that if you count mini-arcs, "Order from Chaos" was one of the most appreciated arcs.

...definitively not Sonic Adventure, that was absolute trash (the adaptation, not the game ;)!

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The Mike Gallagher's Mecha Madness story is generally looked back on fondly and Karl Bollers's Return to Angel Island is also fairly well liked, as are several stories from early in Ian's run such as Order from Chaos and Enerjak Reborn. However, there doesn't really seem to be a consensus on lots of Archie Sonic as opinions tended to change as the series progressed. When Ian took over the book it was seen as a return to form for the comic, as Penders and Bollers early work was still considered pretty good and the consensus was that things had simply lost their way sometime during or after the Sonic Adventure storyline. After Ian had been in charge for a while, public perception on the book began to change in part due to Penders's online comments, so that stories before Ian were considered bad and new fans were being directed at simply starting at issue 160 when he started. Then the lawsuit with Penders happened and we got the reboot. After an initial split, a number of fans opted to prefer the reboot and suggest even Ian's run on pre-reboot was stained by the presence of the characters he didn't create, like he was making the best of a bad situation. The same thing has happened a bit following Archie's cancellation and the start of IDW, as IDW is now considered by a lot of fans as finally breaking free of the problems that infested the Archie book from beginning to end.

That is to say, patterns for the fans generally tend to prefer what's current rather than what's old. I can understand that to some extent. Personally, I love all of pre-reboot Archie, though I think there's a genuine drop in quality from issue 101-125 where they're really struggling to keep the narrative compelling. Bollers really tried to reinvigorate the book with the stories from 126-141 - Tossed in Space, Home, and Return to Angel Island (the Tommy trilogy is in there too, but that's not really of the same quality). Problem was he stepped away completely shortly after that and by that point Penders was really spinning wheels. While Shadow's rising popularity was keeping the book somewhat alive with stories like The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown and System Shutdown/Reconfiguration/Reboot, it was clear he didn't know where he was going and when he revealed the stories he had planned for if he had stayed on it only cemented that fact. Ian's run on pre-reboot is a blast for me, even if the executive meddling toward the end resulted in dashed plans. Post-reboot Archie is perfectly fine, even if I don't think it ever gets to the highs pre-reboot had. It just didn't resonate with me personally the same way.

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16 hours ago, GentlemanX said:

The Mike Gallagher's Mecha Madness story is generally looked back on fondly and Karl Bollers's Return to Angel Island is also fairly well liked, as are several stories from early in Ian's run such as Order from Chaos and Enerjak Reborn. However, there doesn't really seem to be a consensus on lots of Archie Sonic as opinions tended to change as the series progressed. When Ian took over the book it was seen as a return to form for the comic, as Penders and Bollers early work was still considered pretty good and the consensus was that things had simply lost their way sometime during or after the Sonic Adventure storyline. After Ian had been in charge for a while, public perception on the book began to change in part due to Penders's online comments, so that stories before Ian were considered bad and new fans were being directed at simply starting at issue 160 when he started. Then the lawsuit with Penders happened and we got the reboot. After an initial split, a number of fans opted to prefer the reboot and suggest even Ian's run on pre-reboot was stained by the presence of the characters he didn't create, like he was making the best of a bad situation. The same thing has happened a bit following Archie's cancellation and the start of IDW, as IDW is now considered by a lot of fans as finally breaking free of the problems that infested the Archie book from beginning to end.

That is to say, patterns for the fans generally tend to prefer what's current rather than what's old. I can understand that to some extent. Personally, I love all of pre-reboot Archie, though I think there's a genuine drop in quality from issue 101-125 where they're really struggling to keep the narrative compelling. Bollers really tried to reinvigorate the book with the stories from 126-141 - Tossed in Space, Home, and Return to Angel Island (the Tommy trilogy is in there too, but that's not really of the same quality). Problem was he stepped away completely shortly after that and by that point Penders was really spinning wheels. While Shadow's rising popularity was keeping the book somewhat alive with stories like The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown and System Shutdown/Reconfiguration/Reboot, it was clear he didn't know where he was going and when he revealed the stories he had planned for if he had stayed on it only cemented that fact. Ian's run on pre-reboot is a blast for me, even if the executive meddling toward the end resulted in dashed plans. Post-reboot Archie is perfectly fine, even if I don't think it ever gets to the highs pre-reboot had. It just didn't resonate with me personally the same way.

I agree with most of what you said. Pre-reboot was (pretty much) all good, with some peaks in quality that you mentioned like "Enerjak Reborn". That said, the Team Fighters arc towards the end wasn't that good in my opinion. Stories were too similar (Death Egg run away, Sonic, Tails and Amy arrive, Death Egg runs away), despite being undoubtably good (even better than the pre-100, in my opinion).

The reboot suffered a similar fate: amazing beginning, pretty much until Worlds Unite. The search for the Gaia keys felt rushed and kind of sloppy (I know that World Unite is partly to blame, but still...). The ending was great, though, especially the first part of Panic in the Sky. A masterpiece.

IDW is really good, even though some numbers tend to suffer the same problems in pre-reboot and post-reboot Archie: too similar to each other (Sonic arrives, meets character of the day, fights robot, run away). Mind you, I still think that even the "worst" numbers of Ian's run are absolutely superior to everything that came pre-160 (with a few noticeable exceptions like Return to Angel Island). Like, I'd give them a 7/10 instead of a 10/10 :).

In the end, I think the main "problem" is that a lot of stories tend to suffer from the fact that "Sonic kind of have to be in the story". Sonic Universe didn't have this kind of restraint, and so it was, in my opinion, a lot more interesting than the main Comic. Different characters means different dynamics, new interactions and, generally, more fun. Just look at how great were the IDW Mini-Series. What's the main difference? Sonic didn't have to be in there at all costs.

Just my opinion, of course :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey there. Pretty sure other people have already given this answer before me, but...

1. If you're REALLY motivated, start from the Sonic Miniseries (3 numbers) and then from Number 01. Remember that in parallel you'll have to check for the time when the Tails Miniseries (3), Sally Miniseries (3), Knuckles Series (30), Canon Game Adaptations (KC, SB, S&K, STT and Sonic Quest), Specials (FCBD, SuperSonic vs HyperKnuckles, Mecha Madness, Sonic in Your Face and (ugh) Sonic Live), the Sonic Super Specials (15) and Sonic Universe (94).

2. If you just want to see a bit of everything but don't want to suffer too much, I'd say read 1-75 (more or less), then skip to 160 and keep going from there. In-between, I'd still suggest to read a few good stories like Return to Angel Island and, maybe, the Adventure "Adaptations" just to be aware that they exist (but be warner, they're reaaaally bad). Skip the miniseries and the Specials (except maybe the first Knuckles just for the lore, otherwise you'll get reeeeally confused going on). Read the Universe in parallel when you'll reach 196.

3. If you want to make it easy: start reading from 160 and ignore everything that came before. Eventually you can go back and check the stories when they are referenced in a particular moment.

...and that's all I guess, let me know if you want more details ;)

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  • 6 months later...
On 12/20/2021 at 1:50 PM, TailsGotTrolled said:

Where should I start reading if I've never touched archie and I'm all caught up with IDW?

You could make it easy by just starting with the reboot (which starts in Sonic the Hedgehog #252) and maybe read the pre-reboot continuity later when you're braver.

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On 9/7/2021 at 7:17 PM, Monkey Destruction Switch said:

Basically, this is a topic for asking mostly fact-based questions about Archie Sonic. I thought this topic should exist so such questions can be asked without detracting from discussions happening in the Megathread, and without them getting lost in the status updates. Questions can be in-universe, out-of-universe, or whatever.

I'll start things off with this: How did Ken Penders know about Ray the Flying Squirrel? He's a pretty obscure game character exclusive to Japan, and Penders isn't exactly known for his knowledge of the games. So it seems a bit funny that Penders actually introduced him to the comic.

Maybe editorial or one of his "friends/connections" gave him the notes for him?  

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