Where ASDA and Sainsburys didn’t have Spider-Man or X-Men comics on offer, they had Sonic the Comic.
I still have all of the comics in a box somewhere in an attic. I came across it when I saw it in ASDA once, and begged for it to be bought for me. This particular issue was in-between a story of where there was an evil Super Sonic, then he had split from Sonic, forming his own character. The story was ‘Running Wild’.
It followed the stories of the first three Sonic games, then loosely with Sonic CD, then Sonic 3D Blast, followed by Sonic Adventure in the early 2000’s. But when it came to its own original stories, is where the comic really shined. The concept of an ‘evil’ Super Sonic, focused only on destruction, is only asking to be in a game now.
I remember having the comic for around two years, but losing interest at the start of 1998, when the art became at a point where even I could have drawn a better Sonic. The colours were dull, and every character was too big to cover a page, while it looks like they had been only drawn by a ruler; everyone was very straight and sharp.
Being able to find these again brought back a lot of memories. The stories that would cover the page of Knuckles, ‘Shortfuse the Cybernik’, ‘Techno the Canary’, ‘Brutus’, and many more characters. Even though I was eight at the time, they’re in fact a very fun read now, especially when they go back to the evil Super Sonic and Flickies Island.
Before the comic was shortened to save on their budget, they had ‘Megadroid’, a mascot of the comic who also brought the latest charts of the consoles of that time, alongside any news, reviews and features that was going on at the time. Going back to these, reading encouraging news about the early release of the Sega Saturn is an interesting one.
The 100th issue brought about the downfall of Robotnik, as he had taken over complete control of Morbius, leaving Sonic lead a ‘Freedom Fighter’ group. But how he comes back, then becomes ‘Super Robotnik’ towards the end of the comic, is very imaginative. The games of today could take some inspiration from these, and not the ridiculousness of what Sonic ’06 brought.
I noticed that the stories that I was coming back to for this feature, they always contained two names; Nigel Kitching & Richard Elson, respectively the artist and the storyteller of the major Sonic stories. They made the stories come alive, and kept you interested as you went from panel to panel. There’s one where Sonic looks at the destruction he’s made when being Super Sonic; it covers the page, you can see what he’s done in that issue, and he speaks of his regret, it’s actually a powerful image, not something you expect from a kids comic.
May 29th 1993 was when the first issue launched, while issue #184 was the last of original stories, with reprints being brought out until issue #223 was the last to be printed in 2002. Fleetway Comics, the publication that distributed the comic, ceased not long after Sonic the Comic did, now seemingly disappearing into fans’ memories.
But that doesn’t mean that the comic finished for good in 2002. Fans have infact been carrying on the series with Sonic the Comic Online, even bringing in Nigel and Richard for guest posts to mark their anniversaries.
There’s still a comic continuing in America, but there’ll always be Sonic the Comic for the UK fans, showing that it’s not just the games or the Saturday morning TV shows that brought more awareness to Sonic. It was a £1.25 issue every fortnight on Wednesday, read after school, seeing what was going to happen to the Omniviewer and Super Sonic in the Special Zone.