Sonic Archives is an ongoing series of graphic novels published by Archie Comics, featuring SEGA's mascot video game character Sonic the Hedgehog. Beginning in Archives #2, the books feature a brief section of biographies for characters and locations featured in the included issues. The Archives are 112 pages long and printed on 5 x 7 & ½ inch high-grade paper.
Archives Exclusive Stories
Archives #5: Everything Old is Newt Again
While on a motivational speaking tour of his forces, Dr. Robotnik becomes frustrated with his lack of success in defeating Sonic. Asking for ideas from his minions, he is surprised when Universalamander volunteers to attack the Freedom Fighters again. Robotnik agrees, promising to throw in an added twist that will spell doom for his foes. Meanwhile, in the Great Forest, the Knothole Freedom Fighters are enjoying a game of flag football-which Sonic dominates-when Universalamander arrives. Kicking Sonic out of sight, he attacks the other Freedom Fighters first, and briefly engages Bunnie Rabbot before handily defeating her.
Having landed in the middle of a desert, Sonic begins finding his way home by running in an ever-widening spiral in hopes of spotting a familiar landmark. Rotor attempts to defeat Universalmander by shrinking him as Sonic did in their last battle, only for him to grow larger due to Robotnik's FX Flip Device, which reverses any energy directed against it. Just as the larger Universalamander is about to crush the Freedom Fighters, Sonic returns. After hearing the deal with Universalamander's new powers, he directs Sally and Rotor to come up with a countermeasure while he, Bunnie, and Tails hold off the giant robot. Sally whips out her new NICOLE 7000, and the two are able to create a new and improved "reducer". When fired at Universalamander, however, the device is revealed to be an enlarger, which takes advantage of the FX Flip's effects to reduce Universalamander to molecular size. NICOLE predicts that similar strange events will continue to happen, which Sonic brushes off. Meanwhile, Robotnik fumes at the impromptu victory party being held by his henchmen.
- Sonic Archives #0: The Beginning (February 2009) - issues #0-#3 of the Original Sonic Miniseries (smaller reprint of Sonic: the Beginning (July 2003))
- Sonic Archives #1 (November 2006) - issues #1-#4 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #2 (December 2006) - issues #5-#8 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #3 (May 2007) - issues #9-#12 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #4 (June 2007) - issues #13-#16 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #5 (September 2007) - issues #17-#20 of Sonic the Hedgehog and "Everything Old is Newt Again" (New Story)
- Sonic Archives #6 (October 2007) - issues # 21-#24 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #7 (June 2008) - issues #25-#28 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #8 (July 2008) - issues #29-#32 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #9 (October 2008) - issues #33-#36 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #10 (March 2009) - issues #37-#40 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #11 (August 2009) - issues #41-#44 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #12 (January 2010) - issues #45-#48 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #13 (July 2010) - issue #49 of Sonic the Hedgehog, "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (SSS #6), "Down and Out in Downunda" (SSS #4), and "Total Re-Genesis" (SSS #5)
- Sonic Archives #14 (December 2010) - issues #51-#54 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #15 (June 2011) - issues #55-#58 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #16 (October 2011) - issues #59-#62 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #17 (January 2012) - issues #63-#66 of Sonic the Hedgehog and "Sonic Spin City" (SSS #15)
- Sonic Archives #18 (July 2012) - issues #67-#70 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #19 (December 2012) - issues #71-#74 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #20 (March 2013) - issues #75-#78 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #21 (August 2013) - issues #79-#82 of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Archives #22 (February 2014) - issues #83-#84 of Sonic the Hedgehog and "Sonic Adventure" (SSS #13)
- Sonic Archives #23 (August 2014) - issues #85-#88 of Sonic the Hedgehog and "Best of Times, Worst of Times" (SSS#14)
- Sonic Archives #24 (February 2015) - TBA
- The series was launched to coincide with Sonic's 15th Anniversary in 2006.
- The covers for the series are drawn in the style of the classic Japanese Sega Sonic illustrations. Archiverse exclusive characters, such as the Freedom Fighters, while keeping their distinctive look, are slightly altered to resemble the small animals that are freed from destoying badniks in the classic games, of which they are based (For example, Sally is made to resemble Ricky the Squirrel). Many other cameos and Easter-eggs relating to the classic games are also present on these covers, such as backdrop designs being based heavily on levels from the games, and the inclusion of the original Japanese design of Robotnik appearing in some form (though Robotnik himself retains his comic and SatAM design).
- Despite the transition to the modern "Sonic Adventure" era from Volume 19 onwards, the cover art still retains the classic Japanese SegaSonic style from previous covers. However elements of characters modern day looks are still added: Sonic has been given his current green eyes, updated shoes, and made taller, while overall he still resembles his classic look in terms of art style. Interestingly, this also allows game characters who who didn't exist in the classic era to appear in this style, for example, Big the Cat appears on the cover of Volume 21, drawn in the same style, the first time this has ever been seen in any official media.
- A number of canon discrepancies are included on the Sonic the Hedgehog Archives covers as the result of artistic license. For example, Buns Rabbot appears on the cover of #6 despite not appearing in the comics until issue #151. Several of the situations included on the cover art also never occurred in the comic itself, but this can all be attributed to the creative license of the cover artist.
- When one compares the remastered art to the original source, many changes can be seen at a second glance. For example, Sonic's eyelids are now colored blue/indigo instead of the color of his muzzle, similar to his recent design. Shading is more prominent and noticeable especially on characters like Sally Acorn. Dr. Robotnik's body suit circle design is shaded black instead of red probably to match his SatAM counterpart. Various small or nearly unnoticeable changes also coexist to uplift the quality.
- There are at least two editions of Sonic the Hedgehog Archives Vol. 1 and 2. The originals were printed with glossy covers and the newer versions had updated the back page with an extended list of the entries in the series.
- Volumes 13, 17 and 22 are currently the only volumes to include stories from other Archie Sonic titles outside the main series. Being dedicated entirely to the finale of Endgame, Volume 13 contains the "Directors Cut" edition of Sonic #50 as printed in SSS#6, "Down and Out in Downunda" from SSS#4, and "Total Re:Genesis" from SSS#5. Volume 17 contains "Spin City" from SSS#15 as an extra feature. Volume 22 includes all of SSS#13 as part of the Sonic Adventure storyline.
- Volume 0
- There are a number of printing differences between Sonic the Hedgehog: The Beginning and its reprint. For example, on page 56 in the newer version, some of the top of the page has been cut off including the logo.
- This is the only Volume that does not use the Sega Sonic illustration style, instead using Spaz's trademark anime-esque design.
- Volume 4
- On the cover, a balloon resembling Dr. Robotnik as he appeared in the classic Sonic video games can be seen.
- Knuckles pose on the cover appears very similar to a pose he had in one of the artworks for the PC title Sonic the Screensaver.
- Volume 6
- On the cover, Buns Rabbot appears among the Evil Freedom Fighters, despite not officially making her debut in the series until StH#151, much later.
- Volume 13
- The cover is based on the final battle panel in STH: #50/SSS: #6.
- The version of #50 printed in the book is actually the extended directors cut edition originally from Sonic Super Special #6. This version not only adds some extra story content, but also has some existing panels redrawn, particularly in the final battle sequence. The original edition of this issue has yet to be reprinted in any form.
- Volume 15
- The cover is based loosely on the cover of STH: #57.
- The cover includes two easter eggs: the logo for the game Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing can be seen on a blimp in the background, alongside a balloon resembling Dr. Robotnik as he appears in the early Sonic video games.
- Volume 16
- On the cover, Ixis Naugus's face slightly resembles Dr. Robotnik as he appears in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog TV series.
- Volume 20
- The image of Sonic that appears on the monitor behind Eggman on the cover is a near identical replication of a piece of stock art originally made for the game Sonic CD. The only difference is the addition of his modern green eyes.
- Volume 21
- The volume contains a few notable alterations to the artwork:
- The opening 2-page spread of #81, where Amy was shown with her knee bulging through her skirt, was edited to remove the knee, due to the knees uninentionally suggestive placement.
- The Knuckles story in #82, the incorrect illustration of Tikal when she first appears to Knuckles has been altered so that she appears in her normal design. Additionally, all instances of her name being misspelled have been corrected.
- Amy's design in the Gamma back-up story in #82 was tweaked slightly to omit any inconsistencies.
- The first story of #79 oddly removed two speech bubbles of a Shadowbot talking when Sonic and Nate Morgan discover Eggman's plans with a telecrate as seen in the original print. The reason for this is unknown but the story would have flowed the same way even without the Shadowbot's speech.
- The volume contains a few notable alterations to the artwork:
- Volume 22
- The cover bares some similarities to the cover art for #84. Perfect Chaos' appearance is based on how the beast appeared in the game Sonic Generations, where parts of its body where green, as well as blue. According to the game developers, this was how Chaos was originally intended to appear in Sonic Adventure, but the lack of graphical resources at the time didn't allow for it.
- Despite appearing in the Archives since Volume 1, this is the first volume to feature Super Sonic on the cover.
- Earlier solicits for this volume stated that issues 85 and 86 would be included, with no mention being made of SSS#13. This was changed in later solicits.
- This is the first volume to have the names of some of the writers and artists written on the front.
- Volume 23
- The solicit for this volume stated that only issues #85-#88 would appear. Later, the preview for this volume at the back of volume 22 stated a story from Sonic Super Special #14 would also appear. Based on previous reprints, it's been speculated that the story in question will be "Best of Times, Worst of Times". This would make sense as the story leads directly into the Knuckles story arc that would begin in #88.