David's Big Mistake And Fleetway Sonic

I suppose it’s not exactly normal practice to begin a blog post by outlining some of the many (many) errors and false starts I’ve made over the last couple of weeks as I attempt to hard reset my brain and begin anew and in earnest with a plan to breathe some life into this dusty old corner of the Sega Mania website but, alas, here we are. We will get to Fleetway Super Sonic eventually, but hoo-boy, I went on a journey with this one and it’s a story I thought worth telling.

If you live in the UK, you will know that over the last week or so we have experienced record-breaking temperatures for our tiny little island, with areas of the country reaching upwards of 40 degrees Celsius. It’s safe to say our country doesn't have the infrastructure for this. As our roads began to melt, our pets and children sweltered, and fans up and down the country fought a losing battle in a desperate, but forlorn, attempt to make us feel as if they were doing something other than wafting hot air around a hot room, we all melted into sad, sweaty Jabba The Hutt-adjacent amorphous blobs.

So why am I telling you this? Well, it’s an attempt to set the scene and create at least a modicum of understanding before you inevitably judge my heat-addled mind harshly for what you are about to see and read in this post. 

What started as an honest attempt to marry the heatwave in the UK with the topic of Sonic to create a timely blog entry for the website quickly, and without warning, turned into a deep, dark journey through the recesses of the internet when I had the bright idea to Google the words “Hot Sonic”. Big mistake, folks.

Good god.

It’s probably a surprise to nobody, but I do not recommend you do this yourself. What we have here is a “family friendly” selection of what I found, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to justify the medical bills incurred as I attempt to wipe the pain and suffering I endured from my memory.

But I'm a big, brave boy and after going away to lick my wounds, I decided to stick with my original idea and come back again for a fresh attempt at somehow linking Sonic to hot weather. This time trying searches such as  “Sonic Sun”, “Sonic Heat”, “Sonic Heatwave”, sadly all to no avail. As I began to run out of ideas, I decided to go off topic ever so slightly and make a final attempt with “Sonic Volcano”, leading me to this image that some of you more ardent Sonic fans may recognise. 

That’s right; ‘Fleetway Super Sonic’.

Admittedly, this has only tenuously allowed me to link this article to the recent heatwave. But there’s heat involved, it’s late, and he does look a little bit like a sun, so this is the best I can give you. And, who knows, maybe there are other lesser-known Sonic characters out there for us to explore at a later date.

Who Is Fleetway Super Sonic?

Fleetway Super Sonic is a lesser known reimagining of the more commonly recognised Super Sonic who appeared in the official UK Sonic comic book ‘Sonic The Comic’, which was released by publishing house ‘Fleetway Editions’ between 1993 and 2002. Contrary to the common incarnation of Super Sonic, Fleetway Super Sonic began life as an evil alter ego version of Sonic who first appeared in Sonic The Comic issue 7 after Sonic absorbed a large dose of “Evil Chaos Energy.” Essentially. this turned Sonic into a blue and spiky Dr Bruce Banner who has to fight to keep this evil, chaotic version of himself coming to the fore when he becomes angry or stressed.

The publisher of this comic could be an article in its own right if I'm honest. Starting life as simply Fleetway, the publisher was purchased by Egmont Publishing and rebranded Fleetway Editions before being merged with its sister company, London Editions. The company was then progressively integrated with its parent organisation over the years, changing to Egmont Fleetway, before becoming Egmont Magazines, under which it published the final editions of Sonic The Comic. Today, the publishing house is still in operation under Story House Egmont and is a leading publisher in children's magazines.

For the most part, Sonic The Comic is looked back upon extremely fondly and is attributed over the course of its 9-year run for having published some of the most interesting and innovative stories the series has ever had. It seems that quality Sonic content wasn't enough, however, as between issue 157 and its final publication issue 223, the Sonic content became one of the few pieces of new content in each edition, with the rest of the content padded out by reprints, hints, tips, and letters pages.

The several Super Sonic storylines are, to this day, looked back upon as some of the best periods in the comic's lifespan. Moving from alter ego, to main antagonist, then to hero, before the gradual return to antagonist, Super Sonic undergoes several transformations within the pages of Sonic The Comic and can be looked back upon as one of the standout villains in the publication's history until his apparent death.

It seems, as revealed by series writer Nigel Kitching, that had the comic book continued, it would have been revealed that Super Sonic had survived his final encounter with chaos energy, hiding inside Sonic's friend Ebony to be revealed at a later date.

The interesting thing about this incarnation of Super Sonic to me is just how dramatically different in nature he is from the other versions of this character we see around the Sonic universe. Fleetway showed time and again that they weren’t afraid to be brave in their storytelling and were very willing to take a risk and run with it. It's especially interesting that Super Sonic is attributed to the downfall of Robotnik, who is then driven out of dictatorial power on his planet Mobius until he is brought back in the final storyline before the comic's eventual discontinuation. Fleetway had big plans for this character and it would be interesting to see him fleshed out in the larger Sonic world.

Whether you like him, loathe him, or are completely indifferent to this version of Super Sonic, it’s hard to deny his impact on what seems to have been a fantastic set of Sonic stories that many in the community feel are criminally underappreciated, and it would be great to see him fleshed out in a game.

In the meantime, if you didn’t already know, you can read some of these comics for free. Our Editor-in-Chief Tim is in the process of documenting Sonic magazines from over the years and I was delighted to find that the first 36 issues live on over there for you to enjoy. 

The Website: https://segamagazines.com/

Sonic The Comic: https://segamagazines.com/sonic-the-comic-all-issues

Super Sonic’s first appearance:https://segamagazines.com/sonic-the-comic-issue-7

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a hard drive containing pictures of Sonic that I need to go burn.

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