Knuckles the Echidna is a 32-issue series of American comic books published by Archie Comics that ran from 1997 to 1999, featuring Knuckles the Echidna, one of Sega's mascot video game characters from the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
The series was a spin-off of Sonic the Hedgehog and shared continuity with that title. The series continued the ongoing story of Knuckles' search for answers about his heritage and true nature, which had previously been featured in the Sonic the Hedgehog series as well as several specials and miniseries. After the series' cancellation in 1999, Knuckles' stories were continued as a regular feature in issues of Sonic the Hedgehog until 2003. After this, Knuckles and several of his supporting cast members became a semi-regular feature of Sonic's stories, effectively merging the two storylines into one.
The first three issues were published as Knuckles: The Dark Legion, and were intended as a follow-up miniseries to the first Knuckles miniseries. However, the success of the title meant that it was turned into an ongoing series and rebranded Knuckles the Echidna beginning in issue #4.
The main focus of the comic is the title character, Knuckles the Echidna. His sacred duty is guarding the Master Emerald, why he is destined to do this job is even beyond him. He is 16 years old and loves to hang out with his friends, the Chaotix and his girlfriend, Julie-Su. At times he must defeat foes such as Dimitri, leader of the Dark Legion.
The Knuckles the Echidna comic series is filled with background information about Knuckles' family history. Knuckles' family had split into two factions: the Brotherhood of Guardians and the Dark Legion. Knuckles is a member of the former, and Julie-Su used to be a member of the latter. Much of the conflict of the comic surrounds the relations between these two warring factions.
Cast of characters
Knuckles' stories featured its own cast of characters, including the Chaotix and Knuckles' romantic interest, Julie-Su. This series also features Knuckles' own equivalent to Dr. Eggman, the Dark Legion red council member, Dimitri.
The Archie Knuckles comic typically runs original storylines based around characters from various Sonic media, mostly from Knuckles Chaotix.
- Knuckles the Echidna #1-32 (Published monthly from April 1997 to November 1999.)
In the early 2000s, wind was caught of lead writer Ken Penders' alleged attempt to get an animated feature film centered around Knuckles the Echidna into development, the key studio of choice being DreamWorks SKG. His proposals were rejected (according to Penders) not out of disinterest, but due to severe legal complications regarding the copyrights to any Sonic characters developed in connection to the license by any party, which are said to essentially render the story thus far created through the intertwining roles of Japanese and American-conceived characters and concepts entirely limited to the media in which they first appeared—in this case, the Archie comic book series. (It is believed that this same snag is the reason for Sonic's suspiciously unnamed home planet featured in Sonic X.) To this day, it is supposed that, due to these complications, Sonic and his friends will never grace the big screen in any form not sanctioned by Sega of Japan in whatever form they choose, and the odds that elements originating from the pages of Archie, including such central elements as the Dark Legion in this case, are extremely slim due to the same set of circumstances.
In a self-published article, Penders mentioned that the film proposed would have been an animated feature, though whether the animation would have been traditional or computer-generated is unknown.
- Although there are only 32 issues, Knuckles' and the Chaotix's story continues in Sonic's comic series and is focused with the events of Mammoth Mogul.