Before Sega and Archie Comics parted ways in 2017, Archie Comics had held the publishing rights to Sonic the Hedgehog for more than 20 years. Numerous unique characters that had never before featured in the games or other media were introduced in the comic during that time. Even while it seems unlikely that any of Archie’s original Sonic characters will ever make a comeback, author Dan Slott has openly offered Sega the use of Zonic the Zone Cop. The Spider-Man author admitted in a Twitter conversation that he routinely receives inquiries regarding the two Sonic comics he wrote, in particular Zonic. Slott acknowledged the legal issues that had precluded the usage of Archie’s Sonic characters, but he assured Zonic of a simple procedure.
Slott hinted at the legal obstacles that prevent Sega from employing the original Archie characters, though he did not specifically reference Sonic writer Ken Penders. Penders sued Archie Comics for the ownership of many of the comic’s original characters, which led to a reboot of the series that eliminated non-Sega owned characters. Eventually, IDW would acquire the license to publish Sonic comics, and Archie would no longer be able to do so. Since taking over, IDW has developed various unique characters, some of which have appeared in the video games!
It remains to be seen if Zonic the Zone Cop will ever be able to say the same. In 1999’s Sonic Super Special #8, Slott first introduced the character, and Zonic went on to make a number of subsequent appearances. Slott’s offer might make Zonic’s return simpler, but Sega ultimately has the final say. If there is demand for the character to return, the publisher is very good at listening to fan requests, so it certainly seems possible!
Would you welcome Zonic’s comeback? Were the Sonic comics by Archie to your taste? Comment below and let us know!