From 1993 to 2016, Sonic the Hedgehog overtook Dr. Robotnik and ridiculed him in Archie Comics. In fact, Sonic and the Freedom Fighters’ “coolest comic” (emphasis on comics) reached number 290, which is quite a feat for a video game adaptation.
Meanwhile, Sonic found himself in adrenaline pumping and equally wacky situations. The latter has led to some weird covers, to say the least, and they’re all nostalgic and fun to watch.
ten Number 6 – Sonic announces a forgotten game
There was a time when a franchise getting a pinball machine licensed – both as a physical or video game – meant it was making it big, but those days are long gone. Sonic having Sonic Spinball on the Sega Genesis might have been monumental back then, but now it’s quaint.
The cover doesn’t even tease the story, only Sonic yells that the Problem is an adaptation of a game where he’s a pinball ball. The adaptation has no bearing on the overall plot, although it doesn’t go overboard too much. To help this, Sonic destroying Robotnik’s volcanic pinball base is indistinguishable from any other encounters he has had with Eggman.
9 Number 75 – Sonic wants to fight the reader
This number is actually one of the best in the entire race, where it not only legitimizes Robotnik’s threat, but connects the 1993 Robotnik to the classic Eggman of Sound adventure 2. That said, the cover only makes sense if you already know the story.
The cover shows Sonic and his company preparing to presumably fight the Reader. Here, Sonic shouts “You!” directly to whoever holds his comic book, which implies that he has a vendetta to settle. In the context of the comic, Sonic realizes that his current opponent is the alleged dead Robo-Robotnik. Fortunately, Sonic doesn’t want to hit the reader.
8 Number 16 – Robotnik’s very specific dream
Even those unfamiliar with Sonic’s lore know that his nemesis is Robotnik. While Robotnik might not want to murder the haughty hedgehog, he still wants to solidly defeat him and get him out of his way. With that in mind, this blanket reveals that his biggest plan is to stick Sonic under a glass dome and… that’s it.
The issue shows Robotnik trapping Sonic and the Freedom Fighters in a specialized dome that hypnotizes them with an alternate reality. The cover doesn’t just spoil the turn of the story, but it just doesn’t make sense. Does Robotnik want to keep Sonic in a museum? What is the point of sticking an overpowered hedgehog under a glass? Why is this the dream of his life?
7 Number 24 – Sonic vs Slightly Punk Sonic
For child’s play, Sonic has a surprisingly complex myth that even includes parallel worlds. One of the earliest versions of the comics took place here, where Sonic, Tails, and Sally are framed by evil, their evil twins from alternate universes. And by “evil” it means that Anti-Sonic and the Anti-Freedom Fighters are engaging in a farce.
This childishly playful, age-appropriate vision of evil is what makes this cover fun and weird, as its idea of “evil” is simply to make anti-versions look like generic biker thugs. They aren’t even intimidating; they just look like slightly angrier versions of the heroes. That, and they know how clothes work better than Sonic and the company.
6 Number 36 – Sonic faces a Dark Fantasy knight
This blanket looks like a strange cross between the blue gaming mascot and a fearsome knight out of Conan the Barbarian. The comic book knight is drawn in an appropriate cartoonish style that matches Sonic’s artistic style quite well, but his portrayal on the cover makes him feel like he’s stepping out of a different and more violent universe.
What’s crazy is that the knight is later revealed to be the father of Sally, King Acorn, a mustached squirrel who has been corrupted by the Sonic the universe’s version of the ghost zone. Depending on your mood, the image of a squirrel face on top of hellish armor will make you laugh or leave you scared for all the wrong reasons.
5 Number 107 – Sonic Hangs Out with Rob Liefeld’s Discards
Anyone unfamiliar with the Sonic comics would undoubtedly be confused by this cover, given how much of a sarcastic image of a hedgehog standing alongside hardened soldiers from any extreme comic book for years. 90 is strange. Believe it or not, these pirate soldiers from Rob Liefeld are recurring support characters.
The Sigma Alpha-2 team is a unit made up of soldiers from the human side of Mobius. Their only goal in the matter and all Sonic the comics have to be presented by Sonic, with their high-tech weapons that fail against literally any creature they come across. The soldiers only honored a blanket once, much to everyone’s protest.
4 Number 4 – Sonic hypocritically mocks black and grave
What makes this cover weird and hilarious in hindsight is that the Sonic comics did exactly what this cover didn’t care about. Concrete examples: the beginnings of Mecha Sonic and Shadow the Hedgehog, a scenario where Robotnik fights not to win but to humiliate Sonic, and Sonic being taken for dead more than once.
At that point, Sonic’s comics were an expansion of the ’90s cartoon where he went on wacky adventures and battled Robotnik’s wacky robots. Neither he nor his creative team knew where the comics would go a hundred issues later, making it a comedic case of sustainability failure and unintentional irony.
3 Problem # 8 – Sonic’s Terribly Aged Claim
Another case of hilarity in retrospect is this arrogant boast, where Sonic declares himself superior to the greatest heroes in DC and Marvel Comics. The fight in the background even shows Captain America’s foot literally kicking a bucket, which can be read as Sonic telling the starry hero to step down already. Cut about 20 years later, and the opposite couldn’t be truer.
Marvel has exploded into the media juggernaut that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), so it may only be a matter of time before DC reassembles its Cinematic Universe. Meanwhile, Sonic has a forgettable movie to his name, and his only claim to fame was that his trailer had such an atrocious Sonic CGI design that the film was delayed so it could be fixed.
2 Issue # 18 – Sonic’s Self-centered Marriage
A common joke in the Sonic fan base is that no one really cares about his sidekicks, since Sonic is the star. This problem (and a bunch of others) makes it a point of intrigue in the hilariously cheesy way of the Silver Age, where Sonic gets screwed in Tails for stealing his thunder. What sells this blanket is the storyline.
Tails is shown preventing Robotnik from crushing Sonic’s marriage, and yet all Sonic is crazy about is Tails hogging the action on his special day. Sally intervenes, agreeing that Tails needs to stop interrupting Sonic. The best part is that in the issue, Tails doesn’t even stop Robotnik; that was all Sonic did. What exactly is Sonic’s problem with, again?
1 Number 20 – Rest in peace, Sonic
In this issue, Sonic is made invisible by a freak accident, so of course his friends think he’s dead. What’s hilarious is that this isn’t even the first time Sonic has been taken for dead, nor the only time the people of Mobius have had a funeral in his honor. Sonic seemingly dying or disappearing is such a normal thing that it’s surprising his friends think any claims of his passing are permanent.
Better yet, this blanket lies. The cover shows a wacky blue statue that doesn’t help sell the depressing premise, but at least she looks like Sonic. In the real story, the freedom fighters erect a small, poorly made wooden sculpture of their deceased friend, which Sally points out. At least Sonic got a better tribute on the cover page.
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