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Why are there so many complaints against the IDW Comics?


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So, I noticed lately that there's been a lot of complaints geared towards the IDW series, mostly notably surrounding Sonic's morals and Shadow's portrayal during the Metal Virus saga.  So, I wanted to know about how come there's been a lot of complaints geared towards the IDW Sonic series?

Now I don't think it's wrong for people to have different opinions about this series and not everyone is going to like this series and that's fine.  However, it just seems like lately there's been a lot of people on Twitter who are complaining about the tiniest things going on with this series, like the most recent example being Sonic saying "Big Oof" in the most recent issue, when I personally don't have a problem with that.  But, what do you guys think about all this?

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33 minutes ago, GX Echidna said:

I constantly get the impression that there's a lot of people out there who will continue to be unhappy that it's not Archie. I'm sure that's not the entire reason for all people, but I've encountered enough painfully vocal Archie fans who are just upset that this cannot and will not be that old comic in its tone, characters, story style, or writing.

My two complaints are that I would like to see more worldbuilding (but I know that's a hard ask because Sonic Team itself places so little emphasis on it), and the Metal Virus arc was way longer than it needed to be.

As an adult in his mid-30s who spent 20 years reading the Archie series, I'm pretty okay with where IDW is at. Let the kids have their own Sonic. I got to have mine for two decades, and that's more than what most comics get.

I feel the same way.  I think that there are going to be fans that will never be satisfied with any of the newer Sonic content because it's not the Sonic the Hedgehog that they grew up with and they will find ways to complain about something, even if there's absolutely nothing wrong with whatever content is there.  Sure, the IDW series isn't perfect, like I have some issues with the series myself like how some of the characters are being portrayed and the lack of world building.  But overall, I think that this series is pretty well written for the most part.

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I don’t know about the morals part, but the Shadow part can be explained by the Vegeta-like moments he has when folks are of the opinion that he isn’t exactly like that.

It’s also because IDW was rose from the ashes of Archie, so certain expectations of characterization and detail were expected even if things weren’t going to be the same as Archie, such as Worldbuilding. 

Then there’s peoples thoughts on the mandates, and Sega’s overall view on how to present the image.

To be frank, it’s not any different from people complaining about Archie being what it was, both before and after the reboot. Which is doubly ironic, because IDW is practically similar to Archie anyway, especially in it’s very premise.

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15 minutes ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

I don’t know about the morals part, but the Shadow part can be explained by the Vegeta-like moments he has when folks are of the opinion that he isn’t exactly like that.

It’s also because IDW was rose from the ashes of Archie, so certain expectations of characterization and detail were expected even if things weren’t going to be the same as Archie, such as Worldbuilding. 

Then there’s peoples thoughts on the mandates, and Sega’s overall view on how to present the image.

To be frank, it’s not any different from people complaining about Archie being what it was, both before and after the reboot. Which is doubly ironic, because IDW is practically similar to Archie anyway, especially in it’s very premise.

That is true.  There were just as many complaints about the Archie Comics, especially during the reboot.

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Cause its not what they grew up with. People and nerds specifically are against change. Sometimes its good. Such as the case with the say new ducktails show building off the old show and adding in a much better overall story. Same for this though IDW is just as if not better than Archie though many will say otherwise just cause it had over 25 years to build up its self. I was with it from the start. Not all of Archie is good. Seriously until the more overall story driven tales it was a eh comic overall. Though in some cases shows and comics are worse off with remakes and such as the biker mice from mars sequel.

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It's good, but there's room for improvement, and as long as it's there people are going to discuss it. IMO you can't control the fact that some people are going to overreact to these things. It's going to happen anyway, so there's no use discussing it. It's better to just stick to discussing the work and IDW Sonic does have problems, much as I like what it's bringing to the table.


 

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4 hours ago, Razule said:

It's the most frequently releasing Sonic content out right now. 

 

This.

Sonic fans gotta poke at something

 

 

That being said, even with the focus on morals or Shadow, or the constant delays in particular, IDW receives much more praise than hate from what I'm seeing. Sure there is always going to be something there to nitpick, but at the same time, the art has never been more consistent (which includes several drop dead gorgeous issues mixed in), the story-lines are inventive and impactful and even the major OCs have been well received. Tangle and Whisper gained some Sega spotlight, and Kit and Surge seem to be popular enough to try and carry that touch next.

The comics are the most available medium. People are going to talk about it more for better or worse.

 

For me, I think the IDW run knew what it wanted to be right from the start and has been a solid print from the jump. Unlike Archie, which seemed to change tone every 70 issues (for various reasons); IDW is just way more consistent. Its a great product. There are a few things I would like to see tweaked here and there, but its still got a good thing going that I only expect to get better.

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1 hour ago, Wraith said:

It's good, but there's room for improvement, and as long as it's there people are going to discuss it. IMO you can't control the fact that some people are going to overreact to these things. It's going to happen anyway, so there's no use discussing it. It's better to just stick to discussing the work and IDW Sonic does have problems, much as I like what it's bringing to the table.


 

I agree that some things could be improved here, like actually build up the world a bit better and SEGA needs to lift up some of its mandates regarding the characters.  But for the most part, it's a pretty solid series.

 

1 hour ago, Sega DogTagz said:

This.

Sonic fans gotta poke at something

That being said, even with the focus on morals or Shadow, or the constant delays in particular, IDW receives much more praise than hate from what I'm seeing. Sure there is always going to be something there to nitpick, but at the same time, the art has never been more consistent (which includes several drop dead gorgeous issues mixed in), the story-lines are inventive and impactful and even the major OCs have been well received. Tangle and Whisper gained some Sega spotlight, and Kit and Surge seem to be popular enough to try and carry that touch next.

The comics are the most available medium. People are going to talk about it more for better or worse.

For me, I think the IDW run knew what it wanted to be right from the start and has been a solid print from the jump. Unlike Archie, which seemed to change tone every 70 issues (for various reasons); IDW is just way more consistent. Its a great product. There are a few things I would like to see tweaked here and there, but its still got a good thing going that I only expect to get better.

I agree with this.  Sure, there are some things in this series that can be improved but I actually see more people defend this series than go against it (or at least most people defend this series).  I'm hoping that this series does eventually reach 100 issues, depending on the state of the comic book industry in the near future.

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Disclaimer: I don’t go everywhere on the internet nor do I go on every available social media outlet so I only see certain parts of the feedback. But I have noticed an uptick in complaints (whether legitimate and with a base, or just outright OTT bashing) since Flynn was confirmed to be the writer for Frontiers. I personally enjoy his work and am looking foward to an improvement after Pontaff, but it’s very possible that people who don’t care for Flynn are feeling suffocated by him in more parts of the series writing.

I’m pretty sure that Evan is now the main writer of IDW though, Flynn returned for the issue 50 stuff but hopefully the Flynn-specific critics can find something they like in Evan’s writing.

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15 hours ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

So, I noticed lately that there's been a lot of complaints geared towards the IDW series, mostly notably surrounding Sonic's morals and Shadow's portrayal during the Metal Virus saga.  So, I wanted to know about how come there's been a lot of complaints geared towards the IDW Sonic series?

Now I don't think it's wrong for people to have different opinions about this series and not everyone is going to like this series and that's fine.  However, it just seems like lately there's been a lot of people on Twitter who are complaining about the tiniest things going on with this series, like the most recent example being Sonic saying "Big Oof" in the most recent issue, when I personally don't have a problem with that.  But, what do you guys think about all this?

I hope you can re-read your own post and understand the issue with phrasing things in such a way as "lately there's people complaining about the tiniest things (...) when I personally don't have a problem with that".

 

Posts above overall already give the best answers. Why do people complain? Because they feel there's things to complain about, because it's the most recurring bit of media, and because the defenders tend to be equally or even more exaggerated in their defense.

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Ehh, how do you even measure number of complains?

- None of us can see whole internet.
- Complains often are more discussed than praise. That's why you keep hearing "Lord of the Rings" and "Eagles" together.
- Flynn lately became more... mainstream. Tails Tube, Encyclopedia, Origins, Frontiers. So obviously people talk a lot.

Shadow portrayal sucks in IDW, hard to argue when even Flynn agrees. Not his fault, but still people talk. It sucked generally for last decade, but mostly in small ways. And we all know that mentioning Shadow always cause most heated discussions. He has very loyal defenders and attackers.

 

As for Sonic's ethics, come on, this is totally a rational thing to discuss. And if you ask me, Flynn made a bid mistake by dwelling on the subject too long.
Issue 6, Sonic Vs Shadow? Perfect, a little food for though, underling differences between Sonic and Shadow. Great little moment for both hedgehogs. Then the topic is brought again in 19th and 24th and 40th and 50th and now that 4 different people told Sonic his logic sucks, you know what, I see it sucks.

Just like Batman can't kill Joker, so Sonic can't kill Eggman. There is no point rationalizing it, because only true-truth is "because they loved marketable characters and company says don't kill them". Flynn put way too much spotlight on his not-true-truth and that's why cracks are so visible.

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Globally, IDW is better than pre-reboot Archie because it doesn't have all of the pre-160 baggage.

For me, it's even better than post-reboot Archie because the whole Freedom Fighter stitch was holding back the cast potential.

Note that I'm saying this as someone read all of the run since the Archie miniseries. I think there are extremely good stories in Pre-Reboot ("Enerjak Reborn", "Bold New Moebius", ...) and in Post-Reboot ("Champions"), but as a whole, the IDW run is much more constantly good, coherent and interesting.

 

...the Shadow part is something else entirely:even Flynn said that he didn't want to use it anymore because of Sega mandates. If "Now Shadow is Vegeta without the interesting parts" can really be considered a mandate...

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A lot of the issues I have with IDW Sonic actually come from SEGA themselves. I'm not to keen on how restrictive they are on IDW.

Like for a comic that's supposed to be it's own entity despite being close to the Modern Sonic games I think that SEGA could at least allow the writers to use a couple of characters they have no plans to use like Tikal, Chaos, Mephiles or even Black Doom, Erazor Djinn, Hell even Infinite and Princess Elise Provided there's no romance with her.  Feels like the only characters that the comic used for us long time fans to squeal over were the Babylon Rogues and Gemerl.

We're told that Eggman isn't the only human in the comic, I'd love to see a couple of additional people even if nameless background characters in Station Square being terrorized by Rough and Tumble.

While the comic has lasted long enough for me to move passed Archie Sonic's demise, I still wish SEGA would at least lighten the leash a bit.
 

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14 hours ago, WanderingBleats said:

There are a myriad of reasons.

Fear of what IDW means for the franchise as a whole. I think this is probably the biggest reason. IDW is considered to be reflective of what Sega's vision of the series is. If you don't like how any of the characters or the world are portrayed here, that can be a bummer in and of itself, but feeling like Sega's saying "This is what the series is meant to be" can be even more unnerving. Especially with the stagnation of the series' storytelling for the past decade or so, some people might legitimately get the feeling that they are never going to see their favorites written the way they like ever again.

Fans treating Ian Flynn as above reproach. This is kind of the knock-on effect of Ian being treated as the savior of the series on the writing front for the last fifteen or so years. For every Sonic fan who hates everything he writes on principle, there are at least twice as many who will go to war to defend every single line he writes. The psychological effect of seeing your opinion as something that needs to be fought over causes people to double down. This leads to increased polarization. Compare to the reaction around people making fun of awkward lines and scenes in the games, and you'll find a lot less widespread drama. If they didn't feel like they have to defend their every criticism, it probably wouldn't lead to explosions like the "big oof" situation. (Side note: I'm not sure what anti-IDW fans generally think of Evan Stanley? I've yet to see anyone talk about this.)

(Also, regarding the above two points, the fact that Ian Flynn is responsible for writing Frontiers has also heightened the tension these people are feeling. I seem to recall I think the Thanks Ken Penders blog saying something along the lines of "It can be frustrating to these people because it might feel like his is the only voice being represented in the fandom." So if you disagree with him about anything, well...)

General dislike of the setting and tone. This is a series that started after Forces, and inherited a lot of its vibes. The writing's not as bad, sure. But if you don't like the war melodrama and don't like the choices of characters featured in Forces, then it may be hard to get past the fact that IDW has a lot of that in the early issues. And the fact that the book spent more than a year on the Metal Virus immediately afterward means it takes a long time to get to anything relatively lighthearted.

It's not Archie. It sounds dismissive to summarize a criticism this way, but I don't intend it to be. Archie fans had to deal with an unwanted reboot, and then a cancellation not long after. A lot of them went into IDW thinking it would at least meet some of their desires, and then it just... didn't. That can be heavily disappointing. And that disappointment can lead to bitterness.

And for all of these, there's the added idea of "If I raise a big enough fuss about this, someone important might eventually take notice, and take my criticisms into consideration." Social media itself, and the growing publicness of creators, has changed the tenor of the conversation.

Of course, this isn't an exhaustive list. This is just a handful of the things I do understand. I sympathize with a lot of them, although my feelings about IDW are generally more positive than the people who rally against it. I'm not in love with the series, but I like a lot of things it does. I guess my thoughts can be summed up as "It never gets as good as Archie got at its best, but it never gets anywhere near as bad as Archie got at its worst either." (Except the 30th Anniversary special. I loved that one. It can go toe to toe with anything from the older books.)

But then, when it comes down to it, if you really wanna know why they dislike the book... listen to them. They'll tell you. A lot of it will be twisted and exaggerated by frustration and anxiety though, so it's best to take that into account.

Agree with all this.  I keep forgetting that there's some hate for Ian Flynn ever since he came onto the Archie Comics, so him writing for IDW probably made his haters become much more vocal at their displeasure with the IDW series.  Also, I agree with the whole "It's not Archie" thing as it ties into the IDW series being something that some of those fans didn't grow up with and they are upset that the IDW series is not that similar to the Archie series.

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I honestly thought it was because with IDW being the new series, more and more fans have jumped on it, and there would naturally be more complaints in the vocal sphere? I might be missing a lot of things in the past, but this the most discussion I've seen on a Sonic comic in terms of just looking at other places on the internet. Did Archie garner this much on other social media sites?

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9 hours ago, jungle_penguins said:

I honestly thought it was because with IDW being the new series, more and more fans have jumped on it, and there would naturally be more complaints in the vocal sphere? I might be missing a lot of things in the past, but this the most discussion I've seen on a Sonic comic in terms of just looking at other places on the internet. Did Archie garner this much on other social media sites?

I'm honestly not sure how big social media was when Archie Sonic first came out, but I do agree that since we have social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Tumblr nowadays, more fans have come out to state their opinions about the Sonic series.

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31 minutes ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

I'm honestly not sure how big social media was when Archie Sonic first came out, but I do agree that since we have social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Tumblr nowadays, more fans have come out to state their opinions about the Sonic series.

It feels like the fanbase has grown in general on social media, but again that might be me not paying attention until recently.

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23 hours ago, Zonic 2099 said:

A lot of the issues I have with IDW Sonic actually come from SEGA themselves. I'm not to keen on how restrictive they are on IDW.

Like for a comic that's supposed to be it's own entity despite being close to the Modern Sonic games I think that SEGA could at least allow the writers to use a couple of characters they have no plans to use like Tikal, Chaos, Mephiles or even Black Doom, Erazor Djinn, Hell even Infinite and Princess Elise Provided there's no romance with her.  Feels like the only characters that the comic used for us long time fans to squeal over were the Babylon Rogues and Gemerl.

We're told that Eggman isn't the only human in the comic, I'd love to see a couple of additional people even if nameless background characters in Station Square being terrorized by Rough and Tumble.

While the comic has lasted long enough for me to move passed Archie Sonic's demise, I still wish SEGA would at least lighten the leash a bit.
 

I agree to this. The restrictions from the mandates are why fans are dismissive towards IDW.  It would be nice to see characters such as Tikal, Chaos, and even Infinite (he's actually needed in here to add more villains. Don't know why SEGA said no because of the fan reactions in Forces) in the comics for interesting stories and variety.  Also following the Mania/Forces situation by limiting Mighty, Ray, the Hooligans, and Honey to classic universe usage only. Also forgot this: the rest of the Chaotix who had classic designs suddenly "banned" in that universe is very stupid. How are you not typically acknowledged Knuckles Chaotix fully but still bringing in the content, such as what we saw for Sonic Origins where the music of the game is DLC? What's the point of that situation?

Then we have the other issue: fans of the Freedom Fighters, and includes the shipping (Sonic x Sally). Since they aren't in SEGA's demanding focus, they are now thrown into obscurity, which pissing off the Archie fans. Another thing is they need to be redesign again to fit into the universe's narrative in which they would never be the same as their SatAM and Archie Pre and Post universes. I would like to see them (and Sonia and Manic from Underground because they can have a purpose and redesigning) in IDW but that's on SEGA's call unfortunately. 

I'm a bit glad they stopped the two-worlds BS. Now we can have the human characters that can appear like Professor Pickle. Since we have comic books based on the Paramount films, they can squeeze in some characters and elements like Tom, Maddie and even Agent Stone as non-major characters here.

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47 minutes ago, StreetSonic2022 said:

I'm a bit glad they stopped the two-worlds BS. Now we can have the human characters that can appear like Professor Pickle. Since we have comic books based on the Paramount films, they can squeeze in some characters and elements like Tom, Maddie and even Agent Stone as non-major characters here.

But would SEGA actually allow elements from the movies into the comics or into the games themselves?  I'm not sure if it was Paramount who gave IDW permission to publish a story for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 or if that was SEGA's doing, but as far as we know, SEGA hasn't really incorporated any elements from the movies into the games (unless you count some moments where Sonic has electricity glowing around him).  Personally, I would rather SEGA not really incorporate anything from the movies into the games since the continuity of this franchise is already all over the place and I would like the movies to be their own thing, while the games are their own things.

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I have been enjoying reading the IDW Sonic comics from the start when It started back In 2018 and I have a lot of different variant covers and retailer incentive covers as well which I enjoyed collecting the cover art as well. This Is the very first Sonic comic book series I’ve ever read myself and to me It’s a fantastic series imo so far. You always going to get complaints whatever It’s going to be thought. 

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