Archie Comics held the publishing rights to Sonic the Hedgehog for more than 20 years, before Sega split in 2017. During that period, the comic introduced numerous original characters that have never appeared in the games or other media. It’s unlikely Archie’s original Sonic characters will ever return, but writer Dan Slott has publicly offered Sega the use of a character he created: Zonic the Zone Cop. In a thread on Twitter, the Spider Man writer revealed that he is regularly asked about the two Sonic stories he wrote, and Zonic in particular. Slott acknowledged the legal issues that have prevented the use of Archie’s Sonic characters, but promised a painless process for Zonic.
“Sega, I’m super serious. I would be a dream to work with. If you ever wanted to use Zonic The Zone Cop in a movie, cartoon, video game, breakfast cereal, you name it… the whole process would be headache free .It would run smoothly all the way,” Slott wrote on Twitter.
While Slott didn’t mention Sonic writer Ken Penders by name, he did hint at legal issues that prevented Sega from using original Archie characters. Penders sued Archie Comics over the rights to many of the comic’s original characters, resulting in a reboot that removed non-Sega-owned characters from the series. Ultimately, Archie would lose the rights to produce Sonic comics, with IDW getting the license in 2018. IDW has created some original characters since the acquisition, and some have even made their way into the Sonic video games!
Whether the same can ever be said for Zonic the Zone Cop remains to be seen. Slott introduced the character in 1999 Sonic Super Special #8, and Zonic made several more appearances after that. Slott’s offer could make it easier for Zonic to return, but it all depends on Sega. The publisher is very good at listening to fans, so if there’s a demand for the character’s return, it certainly seems possible!
Want to see Zonic’s return? Were you a fan of Arche’s Sonic comics? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter @Marcdachamp to talk about all things gaming!