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After 24 years of publishing the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series, it’s finally confirmed that Archie no longer has the license for the series and Sega has decided to go with a new publisher.

Since April, Archie Comics has been silent on information on the series leaving fans in limbo. At San Diego Comic-Con, it was revealed that Sega will now be working with publisher IDW as the company has decided to take the series in a “new direction.”

While the comic does seem to be in good hands, especially with IDW not being strangers to licensed characters with titles like Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Gears of War and Duck Tails. It’s really a shame that Archie won’t get the chance to give any closure to the long running Sonic the Hedgehog (which ended at issue #293), Sonic Universe (ending at issue #93), and Sonic Boom! (ending at issue #11). Sonic Boom will more than likely live on thanks to the popularity of the Cartoon Network series but will more than likely get a reboot of sorts.

The biggest shame is that we may never get third one-shot comic Sonic: Mega Drive- Overdrive, which was officially canceled back in April.

IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series won’t be released until 2018. At San Diego Comic-Con, I had a chance to chat Steven Scott who is the Public Relations Manager at IDW. Scott previously worked at Archie Comics from 2011-2014, he mentioned he knows just how passionate the Sonic the Hedgehog fans are. He says IDW is working closely with Sega on the new series and they are treating the series with respect and love.

The most important question is what will Sega choose to do with the new Sonic comic series? We know we can expect to see plenty of the current cast of Sonic characters from the video game series but as I’ve had many people ask in various Sonic fan groups, what will become of the freedom fighters. Sally Acorn, Antoine and Bunnie D’Coolette, Rotor Walrus and other characters that originated from the Sonic the Hedgehog Saturday morning cartoons and became integrated into the Sonic comics which made them still relevant rather than forgotten?

Time will tell, the first thing we need to see is how IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog comic series will be introduced. Rather than some new introduction story, it wouldn’t be bad to see some kind of homage to the original Archie comics since it will always be part of history. It’s almost also a sure thing we will see a few writers and/or artists return for the new comic book series.

Finally, on the last day of San Diego Comic-Con it was revealed that Joe Hughes will be the editor of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series. Joe previously worked at DC Comics until 2012, where he became the Editor-in-Chief at ComicsAlliance.