Ask Ian for MAR'09 - I Stop Talking to Myself

Forum devoted to Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Universe and the entire Sonic line by Archie Comics.

Postby Ian Flynn » Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:00 pm

Let's wrap up the month early and take a break, folks. Possible spoilers below. It's unfortunate, but I had to omit some folks entirely. Then again, that very problem is why we're taking the break, isn't it?

Question #1 wrote:Are you introducing any original characters of your creation into the comic soon?

Yup. This year will see a few new faces across both titles.

Question #2 wrote:Why didn't you include Cosmo in Sonic X?

Because Cosmo was exclusive to Season 3, and we never intended on crossing over into that territory.

Question #3 wrote:Are you a final fantasy fan, since the way the egg pheonix was taken down was basically from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children?

I wouldn't say "fan," but I am an "appreciative observer." The title and sky-tossing sequences were little nods in a fun, one-off story.

Question #4 wrote:Are Snively and Hope half-sibilings or step-sibilings?

Current canon says step-siblings.

Question #5 wrote:Is there some remnant of the Dark Legion in Silvers time?

Who knows? The nature of Silver's future - let alone what's going on in it - is something we haven't revealed yet.

Question #6 wrote:Are any other characters other than Shadow and Knuckles getting there own arc in Universe?

The second arc of the year could be argued as a few characters' arcs, but I don't want to give away too much. Afterwards is confidential at this point, obviously.

Question #7 wrote:We know that the M:25YL version of Shadow was not affected by King Sonic changing the past thanks to his Chaos Control powers. But seeing as how you're pretending the events of StH 2006 already happened, wouldn't Shadow's powers also let him remember the events of the game? Or is Sonic and Elise blowing out Solaris' flame somehow different from whatever King Sonic did?

You're working under a false assumption. Never has it been stated that King Shadow was unaffected by King Sonic's efforts. King Shadow hasn't aged, but that's because he's an immortal.

Question #8 wrote:Do you ever compare characters to historical figures or other fictional characters or is Sonic THAT original?

I suppose certain characters and events can have parallels drawn between them and other people / events / characters. Some are more intentional than others, I'd imagine.

Question #9 wrote:Just how far away is Silver's future? 30 years perhaps?

One hundred years, as has already been detailed here.

Question #10 wrote:Don't know if you can answer this because its about really old material, but here goes: why were Heavy and Bomb never made permanent members of the Chaotix after they were introduced?

I don't know of any reasoning before my time. Currently, we're not bringing them back because the Chaotix are over-loaded as is, their proper SegaSonic designs are virtually featureless, and we've got almost the same thing running around as Bark and Bean.

Question #11 wrote:Any chance of Amy showing a romantic interest someone other than Sonic?

I think that one ranks right up there with "Sonic cannot lose" and "Robotnik cannot (really) die." I don't think SEGA would let us even entertain the notion of Amy dating someone else under any circumstance. is a crazy enough idea to try, though. Maybe.

Question #12 wrote:Have you put much thought what kind of people might be in Zonic’s jail with Scourge? That seems like something fun to think about.

A random assortment of alter-folks who didn't have the good sense to stay in their home zone.

Question #13 wrote:I seem to recall reading online somewhere back when the Knuckles series was on-going that the three-issue story arcs were regarded as a turn-off for new readers, who might only pick up one or two books out of an arc and feel confused about what was going on- and not in the good 'gotta get the other issue and see what happens' way. Do you know if there was any truth to this notion?

It's very true, and it's why "The Darkest Storm" was more of a fluke rather than the norm. All the big arcs will be tackled in a smaller fashion. Like "Enerjak: Reborn" was about big, punctuated moments that added up to one arc, or "Bold, New Moebius" was made up of multiple two-parters.

Question #14 wrote:Will it ever be explained in-comic how the green Chaos Emerald made its way from the Special Zone to Seagull Island? If not, can you give a brief explanation?

As I've answered repeatedly since the story was published, in related threads, and in other "Ask Ian" sessions: I will make an effort to do so a some point in the future.

Question #15 wrote: Aside from the Sonic Riders adaptation in StH-163-164, do you have any ideas, SEGA willing, for using the Babylon Rogues?

The key words there is "SEGA willing." I've dropped a not-so-subtle hint about where I think the Rogues come from in the Archieverse and I'd love to follow up on it. We'll see what they let us do.

Question #16 wrote:About how much would you say Merlin knows about his namesake from the Legend of King Arthur?

Probably nothing. Given his connection with the Walkers and the Chaos Force, he's probably aware of the multiverse and would therefore not be surprised to learn of his Arthurian counterpart, but that'd be it.

Question #17 wrote:Was it artist choice or had it been decided by Archie to give Mach a more Sega/Sonic look? Ironically looking similar to Juice the Hare. As opposed to his earlier design or Bunnie/Jack.

Mach was based off his one piece of character art, which was about as SegaSonic as you can get. Whole cyclopian eye and everything. I don't know who Juice the Hare is, and Google doesn't immediately answer my question.

EDIT: Some folks let me know that Juice was the alias Sonic used during the original Tommy story. No, the SegaSonic character's SegaSonic design was not based off an obscure alias Sonic used once.

Question #18 wrote:Going through old issues and I gotta ask is that Mina among Sally and other FF leaders in #52's "First Contact" story?

Canonically, no, since that wouldn't make much sense. They did take that design and use it as a basis for Mina, though.

Question #19 wrote:do you know who the artist is when you write a story?

Sometimes. Sometimes it's a surprise.

Question #20 wrote:I'm getting reall confused about the SOnic Rush Adventure adaption. In the comic's version, do Sonic and Blaze still collect all the Chaos and Sol emeralds, like they did in the games?


Chaos Emeralds
1) Grey - currently in Mammoth Mogul's chest
2) Green - found by Marine initially, then given to Shadow. Currently held by G.U.N.
3-7) in the Special Zone

Sol Emeralds
As Blaze said in SU#1, she used the Green Chaos Emerald to find "some" of the Sol Emeralds. How many she's been able to track down so far hasn't been specified.

Question #21 wrote: I've been going through the issues and I'm a bit unsure, so I was wondering if you could clarify for me:

a.) Where does Sonic Super Special #12 fit in terms of continuty in the main Sonic the Hedgehog series? (The body-swap story)
b.) Where does Sonic Super Special #15 fit in terms of continuty in the main Sonic the Hedgehog series? (The Naugus story)

I'm still researching that myself. Going off of memory alone, I'm fairly certain SSS#12 can't happen, while SSS#15 can be just about anywhere post-Sonic's return to Old Mobotropolis.

Question #22 wrote:2.) Are there any stories in the comics you don't consider official canon (i.e. the main story from Sonic Live, the first story in Sonic Super Special #10, the backstory from Sonic Super Special #15, etc.) ?

Again, I'm still refreshing and reviewing for the encyclopedia, but going off of memory the lead story of Sonic Live has to be canon. Sally and the Freedom Fighters were being held captive which prompted Larry Lynx to rally would would become the Substitute Legion of Freedom Fighters.

Any stories that were scritly parody - like the brief adaptation of A Christmas Carol in the early days - aren't canon. But I consider just about everything from #0 of the original limited series to present canon. Yeah, it makes for some gapping plot holes, but it's easier to say "it didn't happen exactly that way" than to cherry pick which moment of which issue should be considered or disregarded.

Question #23 wrote:Are all the Emeralds basically recolored greens now, or are they unique in any ways to themselves?

Effectively, yes. The Chaos Emeralds now should be treated like the ones of old. I've toyed around with the idea of give them each some kind of trait, but I think that's beggging to be put in a tight spot by later developements within the games. We've already got hints of them having a "will" in Sonic Rush Adventure - I'd rather play it safe.

Question #24 wrote:Do you think your editor, Mike I believe, would be interested in a similar Q&A session with the readers? Obviously not something monthly like yours, since you've already stated we're running low on things for you and he's not the direct writer, but possibly one session, sans-deadline, possibly done via e-mail?

I can ask him, but the man is nightmarishly busy.

Question #25 wrote:However, do you get the feeling that some people at Sega do enjoy or at least care about the work you do, or that there might be some fans of certain characters?

While I don't know them personally, I know there's folks within SEGA that read and enjoy the book. Our old contact within the company (may he rest in peace) was especially supportive of the book.

Question #26 wrote:Since the badniks have been expelled, Crabmeat seems to have become the de facto leader of them. Is this accurate, or am I (and other fans) just projecting onto the character?

Back before Mogul re-established Casino Night, I think you could make a solid case for Crabmeat being the ring-leader. Now, though, I think Coconuts is the top of the pecking order, if only by technicality.

Question #27 wrote:How many future issues, or up to which number, are 'set in stone' at this point in time?

That's one thing I've been asked not to specify, mainly because nothing is ever set in stone until it hits the shelves. Even now my plans for 2009 look like they may shift a little, and those were "locked in" last year. You can generally assume we're six months ahead of the latest published issue.

Question #28 wrote:Have there been any story-lines that have changed drastically from your original idea by the time they came to print?

Yup. A lot of the material in "Truth of the Heart," "Comings and Goings," and "Leak" were all one story at one point. "Enerjak Reborn" was pitched is some substantially different ways. What isn't in the Script Bits is around on the forum.

Question #29 wrote:Are you planning on introducing more SEGA material or removing additional Archie material at this time?

There are some more SegaSonic elements I'd like to work in eventually, but the book is pretty much as game-like as I want it now. Short of what happens through the progression of the series, I'm not really planning on removing anything from the Archie set of things. To address specifics points brought up in the extended version of this question:
- the alternate zones still exist, they're just inaccessible at the moment. I feel like the book has grown up enough that we're past Gachaman and Ally McBeal parodies. The ones that really matter - including been-around-sinc-#11 Moebius - are still accessible.
- the majority of "characters" removed from Knuckles's plotline were nameless, faceless extras. Granted, the Brotherhood is MIA and Locke is dead, but all that means is the former is unresolved and the latter is in the Chaos Force with all the other won't-go-away-forefathers.
- the multiple chaos emeralds thing should've been fixed long before I got on the book.
- M25YL is still a viable series and were returning to its sequel in Sonic Universe
- I didn't "remove" anything done by either Mr. Bollars or Mr. Penders. Their tenures on the book ended with unresolved story elements and I resolved them.

Question #30 wrote:Do these questions that people ask you here ever effect how you're going to write a comic? Like, someone points out a plot-hole that you forgot to fill, and you write it down somewhere to add that in a future issue.

Most definitely! I've gotten a few ideas on what to address or something to work into the story from the Q&A over the years. I want to say one question even got the ball rolling on a full-on story concept, but I can't remember specifically what that would've been. Usually, though, the fandom seems to pick up on ideas right as I get them approved. It's maddenning to have to keep quiet for six months when somebody starts asking about Scourge's return, or ever revisiting Enerjak or the like.

Question #31 wrote:Why are you not allowed to use Eggman Nega,.. yet?

Because. No, seriously, that's all the explanation I've been given. SEGA doesn't want him used, so we don't use him. No biggie, though - we've got plenty of other stories to tell.

Question #32 wrote:I read somewhere that Chip's (Sonic Unleashed) use has been banned by SEGA. Do you have any info as to why?

Probably because he was so poorly received during market research. I don't know what the case for Chip is, though. On the one hand we were told not to use him the game adaptation story, which would make me think they're trying to sweep him under the rug. But then Sega Channel has a profile for him, which implies he's been adopted into the greater Sonic family. Yet back on the other hand, while we're free to use Werehog, I don't know if we can use Chip (not that I'd want to).

Long rambling made short: I have no idea what Chip's status is.

Question #33 wrote:In issue #150, we see that quite a few Mobians made their way to apparently work and live in Station Square.
Not that it would matter, and I really don't expect you to ever really get too far into it, if at all, but would it be safe to assume that humans have started spreading across the planet, and even settled in what were originally Mobian only communities?

Maybe a tiny bit, but for the most part the world is still largely mobians over here, overlanders/humans over there.

Question #34 wrote:Is it true that you made a cameo appearance in the comic once?

Me, personally? No, not yet.

Question #35 wrote:How are your usual meetings with Sega, to approve plots, and characters?

I don’t meet with SEGA directly. Editor Mike Pellerito meets with our SEGA of America representatives, who in turn act as our go-between for SoA, SoJ and SEGA as a whole. I just get the final descisions and work with them.

Question #36 wrote:If you had to replace Eggman as the main villian (Permanetly), who would replace him, and why? (Snively is excluded)

It’s a moot point since we will never be allowed to permanently retire Eggman. This isn’t one of those cases where we can pretend “well, maybe some day . . .” This I can say with 100% certainty - there will always be the threat of Dr. Robotnik.

Question #37 wrote:How/do you plan to address the retcon of the Power Rings being created by Nate Morgan (StH 65) vs the rings being mystical objects as old as the Chaos Emeralds (StH 35)?

Easy - magic rings can occur naturally as a byproduct of Chaos Emerald power. Nate Morgan was the first to perfect artificial ring smithing while his protoge, Sir Charles Hedgehog, perfected the process later.

Question #38 wrote:(regarding SU#2) I know that the roles of Shadow, Rouge, and Sonic didn't change that much in the SA2 adaption (besides the obvious changes that must be made to fit the comic), but what about Robotnik? I don't think much was changed for him either (again, besides needed changes), but I'm just wondering if there is anything different worth noting that wasn't shown.

Not really, no. Obviously he didn't kidnap Amy or duel with Tails. He just antagonized some folks and caused mayhem like usual.

Question #39 wrote:In Sonic Super Special #13, the Sonic Adventure issue, the emeralds were incredibly inconsistent. Several were green. Others were called "pieces of the Master Emerald", and there were even others that came in yellow, cyan, and pink.
My question is, is it safe to just ignore the coloring, and assume the colored emeralds were canonically green?

One of my early assignments when I first got one the book was to catalogue all the magical thingies in the series. The one that just about beat me was the Super Chaos Emeralds. They were the gems throughout SSS#13 and those powering Station Square and a group of special chao (the Seven Servers). No matter how you slice it, there's simply no reconciling them cleanly.

The best I've come up with is to say the Triple Threat went after the Super Chaos Emeralds, returned them to Station Square, and then the whole lot of them reverted to the Seven Server Chao and hopped into another zone with Tikal and Chaos. The rest we're just going to have to chalk up to "plot hole" and move on.

Question #40 wrote:Given how you've altered the SA2 storyline somewhat to make it fit canonically in the Archie Sonicverse, would you say Robotnik blowing up half the moon would still be included or would that part of the plot be removed?

I don't know, honestly. The moon's been shown both blasted and whole, and SEGA seems to have forgotten it entirely. It's something we're going to have to hash out before the encyclopedia hits.

Question #41 wrote:How would you say Snively's intelligence compares to Eggman, Hope and Gerald's? I know you said Hope's genius was potentially on par with Eggmans just wanted to see how others in the family stacked up.

Just under, par, and far below.

Question #42 wrote:How numerous would you say G.U.N. s' forces are such as troops and agents, do they number in the hundreds, thousands.

Sizable enough to keep watch over the United Federation and maintain a similar "cold war" scenario with the Eggman Empire.

Question #43 wrote:will characters from the unaltered future, such as julie-su, appear in mobius 30 years later?

I'm not sure what you mean by "unaltered." If you mean a time-line where the STH#166-167 alterations didn't happen . . . well, I guess such a time-line could exist. It's certainly within the realm of possibility for the multiverse. But we won't be looking at that one, if it exists. The "future time-line" we're interested in now is the one spinning out of #166-167. But, yes, Julie-Su will be showing up there.

Question #44 wrote:Is Archie allowed to change new SEGA characters ages? Such as making them slightly older or younger from official established ages.

We already have thanks to the year in space and especially Tails, given he's a pre-teen in the comic and still under ten in the SegaSonic. I think that as long as we stay within a certain visual range, as long as we don't use any hard numbers, we can fudge a little.

Question #45 wrote:Any chance of a Bean and Bark solo story whether in backup or whatever? / Any chance of a villian/Destructix solo story or backup?

I don't know. Write in. Demand it. See what happens.

Question #46 wrote:Is Finitevus generally against technology, based on Enerjak's "cleansing" of Mobius? If so, why did he admonish the blind echidna girl's parents for rejecting the Dark Legion's cybernetics during the Return to Angel Island arc?

Finitevus is all for technology - clean, eco-compliant and virtually organic. He's against the high-technology that borders on magic in terms of its power - like the Albion tech and Robotnik's arsenal. The hissy fit he had at the parents was more about them throwing themselves at Knuckles' feet. Finitevus didn't pick Knuckles to be Enerjak because he liked him, it was because he was the best canidate for his work.

Question #47 wrote:What is the fate of Team Sonic's airboards?

SEGA-mandated limbo. Don't ask - it's one of "those things."

Question #48 wrote: (quote from February's session with Gerald talking about Emerl) This seems to indicate Emerl is canon; will he be featured in the encyclopedia in some form?

No, sadly. It's looking like Emerl is being counted as SX-exclusive, so I doubt he'll ever show up in the comic. All the in-character answers from February's session shouldn't even remotely be considered canon.

Aaaaaaaaand we're done. See you in a few months.
Ian Flynn
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Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:11 pm


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