Heartbreak and tragedy aren’t the first thoughts that fans might associate with Sonic the Hedgehog, however the franchise’s long tenure in comics has resulted in some truly heartrending moments. In its current IDW Publishing and former Archie Comics series, Sonic has courted darkness to a degree that those who only know the games or movies will find surprising.

With deaths, betrayals, and body-horror transformations, these are the eleven most tragic moments in Sonic comic history – including some bizarre twists that no-one saw coming.



11 Charmy Gets Turned by Zombots (IDW)

sonic charmy transformed

Charmy Bee isn’t the most well-developed character in IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog, nor are the other members of the Chaotix, including Vector the Crocodile. But Ian Flynn and Tracy Yardley’s Sonic the Hedgehog #17 transforms an argument between the two into something heartbreaking when tragedy befalls Charmy. As the heroes help civilians escape from a horde of Zombots, Vector makes the choice to abandon an infected woman to protect the larger group. Charmy protests and eventually attempts to save her, only to result in him being grabbed by the robotic zombies and dragged down while screaming for help. As a happy-go-lucky character, it’s especially tragic to see Charmy fall afoul of his own heroism.

10 Hope Watches Her Grandmother Die (Archie)

sonic the hedgehog hope death

The Robotnik family tree is a complex mess in Archie continuity, with the original Dr. Robotnik eventually being replaced by his own time-lost doppelganger, Dr. Eggman. Hope Kintobor is the niece of the original Robotnik, but that didn’t earn her any mercy in Karl Bollers, Mike Gallagher, Ron Lim and Nelson Ribeiro’s Sonic the Hedgehog #105. Betrayed by her own family members – most notably Dr. Robotnik’s nephew Snively – Hope is forced to watch Lady Agnes transformed into a robotic statue. It’s a twisted death in all but name, and while these characters weren’t that well established at the time, Hope’s situation was something out of a horror movie, as Eggman gave Hope a chance to save her grandmother only to snatch it away.

9 Mina’s Heart Breaks (Archie)

sonic the hedgehog mina

Mina Mongoose was a hugely welcome addition to Archie’s Sonic canon, turning Sonic and Sally’s fan-favorite romance into a love triangle. Although readers mainly rooted for Sally during this time, Mina and Sonic connected on many levels, mainly because of their shared speed and the loss of their families to the roboticization process. Mina fought beside Sonic in the Freedom Fighters, but had her heart broken in Sonic the Hedgehog #123, by Karl Bollers, Ken Penders, Jeff Axer, Art Mawhinney and Nelson Ribeiro. Mina overheard Sonic confessing his love to Sally, and her reaction demonstrated the emotional realism that so often enhanced the series’ larger-than-life drama.

8 Tommy Turtle Dies (Archie)

sonic the hedgehog tommy turtle dies

Casual fans of Archie’s Sonic the Hedgehog won’t bat an eye at the prospect of a non-core character dying. But Tommy the Turtle’s death in Sonic the Hedgehog #169 was particularly heartbreaking when considering the circumstances. Not only is Tommy the reason Sonic became a hero after his time as a childhood bully, but he goes out in a moment of sacrifice. Dr. Eggman’s son A.D.A.M. had taken over Tommy’s body with nanites, and since Sonic and even Dr. Eggman couldn’t destroy A.D.A.M., Tommy sacrificed his life to destroy him. Tommy’s death is so effective because Sonic failed to save him, robbing him of definitive redemption for tormenting Tommy earlier in their lives. The issue came from Ian Flynn, Tracy Yardley and Steven Butler.

7 Whisper’s Trauma (IDW)

Whisper tells Tangle that she can't lose another friend in Tangle & Whisper 3

Everything about Whisper the Wolf is tragic. Her past is so heartbreaking that it stole her voice. One of her teammates betrayed and murdered the rest of her team, and Whisper feels she’s responsible. But what truly tugs on readers’ heartstrings isn’t the actual flashback in Ian Flynn and Evan Stanley’s Sonic the Hedgehog: Tangle & Whisper #4 – it’s how emphatically Whisper reacts to her new friend Tangle the Lemur when Tangle asks why she can’t continue on their mission together. Whisper’s taciturn demeanor cracks, and she admits she can’t lose anyone else. The look of desperation on her face is just brutal, and it’s clear that while the source of her trauma may be in the past, she has yet to escape its influence.

6 Sally’s Jealousy (Archie)

Princess Sally Acorn seeing Mina with Sonic in Sonic 99

Like how Mina the Mongoose’s heart breaks when Sally eventually gets together with Sonic, so does Sally’s when she thinks Sonic is falling in love with Mina. However, the fact that fans knew Sally so much better makes her heartbreak even more potent. Although Sally and Sonic get together in the end, there are quite a few issues where it seems like Sonic might choose Mina. Sally is also separated from Sonic due to extraneous circumstances, and every time she has a chance to see him, she catches Sonic in compromising misunderstandings. The biggest misunderstanding is undoubtedly when Sally sees Mina kiss Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog #99, from Karl Bollers, Ken Penders, and Ron Lim. Given most fans were rooting for Sally, seeing her suffer carried extra weight.

5 Sonic’s Father Breaks (Archie)

Sonic's dad father dies in Sonic 136

Sonic’s father Jules is one of the most tragic figures in Archie’s series. Out of all of Sonic’s roboticized family members, he’s the only one who never gets his normal body back. Yes, he regains his free will and personality like everyone else, but he always remains a robot. Also, the fact that Sonic fails to restore his father haunts Sonic for the entire series. Sonic’s suffering reaches its apex when his dad is ripped apart by an imposter and can’t be restored in Sonic the Hedgehog #136 – from Romy Chacon, Ken Penders, Art Mawhinney, Steven Butler, and Ron Lim. It’s even more tragic because Sonic’s last interaction with his father was not a good one. Although Sonic’s last ditch effort to restore Jules works in that same issue, the moments leading up to it are heartrending, and part of a tragedy that plays out across Archie’s continuity.

4 Tails Hates Sonic (Archie)

Tails hates sonics

One of the most contentious arcs in Archie’s Sonic features the moment when the eponymous hedgehog brags to Tails’ incarcerated father about how Tails doesn’t need his real dad because he already sees Sonic as a father figure. This whole arc understandably culminates in Sonic and Tails becoming enemies. But leading up to that, Sonic romances someone that Tails had been pining for ever since Sonic #28. The most heartbreaking moment during this controversial arc occurs when Tails yells at Sonic that he hates him in issue #155 (by Ken Penders, Mike Gallagher, James Fry and Art Mawhinney.) Of course, readers aren’t sad for Sonic – they’re heartbroken over how badly Tails was hurt by someone he has looked up to for years.

3 Belle Reads Her Father’s Letter (IDW)

Sonic Hedgehog Comic Robotnik Eggman Daughter Belle

Belle the Tinkerer is so fascinating because she was created by the good alter ego of Dr. Eggman known as Mr. Tinker. Belle initially stood out because she struggled with the idea that Dr. Eggman could actually be bad, having only known the sweet man who created her. But Evan Stanley’s Sonic #49 makes the whole situation unforgettable when Belle finds a farewell letter written to her by Mr. Tinker before he once again became Dr. Eggman. Mr. Tinker expresses fear and dismay at the prospect of becoming Dr. Eggman and relates how much he cares for Belle – something she’ll never get to hear him say in person.

2 The Fake Tails ‘Dies’ (Archie)

sonic the hedgehog tails stops existing

One of the darkest things to ever happen in any Sonic continuity is when the villain Mammoth Mogul traps Tails to siphon his power and creates a fake version of the twin-tailed fox so that no one will notice he’s gone. In Sonic #114, the eponymous blue hedgehog and the fake Tails learn the truth, and the resulting scene is brutal. While the cloned Tails grapples with the idea that he’s nothing but a fake, Sonic comforts the imposter before he disappears into nothingness. The worst part is that Sonic then has to put on a brave face for the real Tails when he’s finally released. The issue is a tragic highlight of the entire franchise, from Ron Lim, Dawn Best, Jay Axer, Benny Lee, Ken Penders and Karl Bollers.

1 Sonic’s Message for Sally (Archie)

sonic the hedgehog message to sally

Leading up to the Genesis Wave that changed Archie’s entire Sonic world forever, Dr. Eggman tried to reset reality so that he could destroy Sonic’s kingdom of New Mobotropolis. This reset thrust Sonic and his friends into a Sega Genesis-inspired alternate universe where their former memories were suppressed. With the entire continuity and every established relationship up in the air, it appeared even victory might not bring back the way things were. Gradually, Sally began to reclaim her memories, only truly recalling her love for Sonic when it was impossible for the two to reach each other.

However, just before Sonic fixes reality, he’s able to leave a message for Sally, showing that he too remembers their shared past (in Ian Flynn, Tracy Yardley and Jonathan Gray’s Sonic the Hedghog #229.) The two reach out to each other as the new reality fades away, and Sally expresses her faith that Sonic has saved the day. It’s a heartrending moment as Sonic and Sally’s entire history gets an uncertain grace note, but is made all the sadder by the fact that – while Sonic does manage to fix reality – Sally is roboticized soon after, making even this supreme victory the prelude to heartbreak. Bittersweet, encompassing all of Archie Comics’ beloved history, and followed by an unexpected loss, this is easily Sonic the Hedgehog‘s most heartbreaking moment.

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