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Friday, July 21, 2017 

Archie loses the license for Sonic the Hedgehog

After a quarter century's worth of Sonic comics based on the video game anthropomorph, Sega is apparently cancelling Archie's license:
After 24 years, Sonic the Hedgehog will be leaving his home at Archie Comics and moving elsewhere. That news broke last night as Sega of America revealed (via the official Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account) that they're terminating their partnership with the publisher.
They do appear intent on continuing Sonic comic adventures with a different publisher. But, why the departure from Archie? That hasn't been clearly stated so far:
Sega doesn’t say exactly what led them to separating from Archie Comics, despite the fact that Archie has seen a resurgence lately with the new TV show and the horror line, apparently Sega isn’t too happy with the comics that Archie have been producing for Sonic.
Or, what if it's because the SJW politics that found their way into the flagship Archie stories rubbed off on their licensed storytelling too? One commenter says:
Given everything that has happened at Archie over the last few years -- introducing a gay character that is there just to virtue signal, having Archie die trying to save him, the adult/teen 'relationship' in the TV show, and etc -- the convoluted nature of the Sonic comic timeline is probably the distant third reason why SEGA might sever ties with Archie.

Sales would be second.
Yes, that might all have a connection, and Sega might've realized how embarrassing it could be to associate with a company that's putting politics above entertainment.

This isn't the only eyebrow-raising development involving Archie publishers. It's been revealed they won't be attending the SDCC this year:
Salacious comics tabloid The Beat reports that Archie marketing executive Alex Segura also pulled out of their Comics “Journalism” panel and is absent from the convention. The news would be all the more shocking if Archie had planned to attend the show in the first place, but in retrospect, a lack of any promotion or advertisement of Archie’s presence at the con beyond a single Saturday panel, Archie Comics Forever: Riverdale and Beyond, or any listing on the SDCC Exhibitors page, could probably have been considered a major clue that the company would not have a big presence at the show. But hindsight, as they say, is always 20/20.
When I clicked on The Beat's link, however, the page was gone, so I have no idea whether it's entirely accurate, or whether Archie's staff got them to erase the news out of embarrassment. Still, Sega's made the right decision to distance themselves from such awful people, because they've lost their minds over SJW pandering. I checked the recent sale charts, and again, they're selling dismally low. Reportedly, licensed merchandise like Sonic was the only stuff keeping them going, so who knows? This may bring them closer to closure, and after what they've forced into their flagship products lately, they're probably asking for it.

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It is hard to judge Archie circulation figures by the Diamond charts; much of their sales are to people who do not buy superhero comics, so much of their circulation is from sales of digest size comics in the supermarkets or sales in other markets outside the comics shops. They also sell well outside the U.S.

Kevin Keller debuted in 2010, so it is unlikely that he is the source of the break-up. The two lawsuits that have been brought against Archie and Sega over ownership of the characters probably played a larger role.

Whatever the reason, couldn't happen to a nicer SJW converged company.

The Sonic timeline got seriously messed with after Archie had a falling out with Ken Penders after Penders sued for the rights to the characters he created for the series, leading to a reboot just as they were in the middle of a major storyline. This is where I dropped off because it didn't look like the "Mecha Sally" storyline was getting resolved and I don't know if they ever addressed it or not.

@ShadowWing: Post the Genesis Wave, I'm pretty sure Mecha Sally was acknowledged or referenced when Sally got back her memories in the immediate aftermath, but that's as far as it could go. (So, no real resolution, alas.) The series then did its Unleashed adaptation, and was retelling the early Genesis games when it all stopped dead. As you said, it's because of the Penders lawsuit. I know Scott Fulop tried to sue, too, as the first commenter said, but I don't think that lawsuit went anywhere. I could be wrong, of course.

On the plus side, IDW has confirmed about picking up the license. Whether they'll resume from Archie or go a new direction, we'll see.

Whether Archie's choice to go all in with their own characters only is a good one or not -- I'd imagine if the Riverdale TV series failed, they might have re-considered about letting Sonic go, as Sonic had kept the company afloat during rockier years -- we'll also see.

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