Ian Flynn Pushing To Bring The Freedom Fighters To IDW Sonic

Ever since the cancellation of Archie’s Sonic book and the franchise’s move to IDW, one aspect of the old comics has remained in limbo: the status and future of Archie Sonic’s supporting characters, the Freedom Fighters…until now!

This cast, which included Princess Sally, Rotor, Antoine, Bunny, and Nicole, started out in DiC’s old Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon, but would subsequently live on for decades within the pages of Archie Sonic. That all came to an end when that comic was canceled, and Archie Sonic fans have been demanding their return ever since.

Well, Freedom Fighter fans got some good (and unsurprising) news today: IDW Sonic’s head writer, Ian Flynn, feels the same way. After an old and out of context quote of his popped up on Twitter yesterday, which implied he dismissed the characters as outdated and niche, Flynn decided to address the future of the Freedom Fighters.

The answer is: IDW is aware of the demand, and Flynn is considering where and when to possibly bring them back, but whether they can ever return is out of his hands. Flynn went on to say that if the characters ever do return, they will be “updated” to be more relevant within the comic, what he calls a “middle ground” between the character’s SatAm roots and modern Sonic. He confirmed that these new designs would need to be different from the character’s redesigns from the Archie Sonic “Genesis wave” reboot, as those designs are 100% off limits.

For Flynn’s full twitter statement, please check out the embedded tweets below:

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Nuckles87 has been an editor at Sonic Stadium since 2007, and has been covering events like E3, PAX, and SDCC since 2010. An avid retro gamer, he runs a monthly stream on Twitch where he explores obscure Sonic oddities, and how aspects of the franchise have evolved over the decades.


  1. Yuck. I don’t want to see IDW “””update””” the characters to modern standards, that only spells trouble to me. There’s nothing outdated about any of the Freedom Fighters (Except d’coolette, maybe.) and I seriously doubt THEY of all people could “improve” them, especially with how poorly they’ve handled the characterization of characters like Shadow already. L

    1. It’s not their fault; Sega is the reason they have to write Shadow like that.
      Ian always has to work with shitty mandates, but he is a great writer who is on a short leash. Give him some slack, man.

    2. I’m all for them being back. I really enjoyed them in the Archie comics 🙂 They may (and surely won’t be) part of every season/story arc, but one with them would be so cool 🙂

      And you are forgetting, Sega basically “dictates” now how each character can and can’t behave – so if they say- they are more jerks – they have to be no matter how bad it can be in the long run. And for Shadow – how do you know these “bad writings” won’t turn into something better like character growth? Yeah, neither I – but I keep myself positive 🙂

    3. Nothing outdated? Their original designs never matched the Sonic style, they didn’t even wear gloves for pity’s sake. Their characterizations were extremely flat and archetypal, despite Ian trying his best to “fix” them during his Archie run. And what do they bring to the table, exactly? Rotor is superfluous when there’s Tails, who fulfills the same role and has far more personality. Bunnie is also superfluous when there’s Knuckles. Sally has little personality – except for the early comics, in which she was an annoying spoiled princess. Antoine was a stereotypical racist caricature of Frenchmen. And once he moved away from that characterization, he had little personality.

      The only reason some fans want the FF back is nostalgia.

      1. What do you mean by “Their original designs never matched the Sonic style, they didn’t even wear gloves for pity’s sake. ” If you mean SaTam originals, then yeah – I suppose not many of them had gloves. And where is the problem with that? You make it sound like gloves were at that time something unique just to Sonic franchise.

        But this no-gloves and /or no-naked-arms is ruining design is getting absurd! Do you wear them all day in real life too? Is that a fetish? Some kink? How do no-gloves ruin Sonic’s personality or gameplay, or anything else except for “they are part of his original design”? Isn’t this that “nostalgia” many people call absurd in the case of FFs?

        And take fans – are they weird for drawing Sonic without shoes or gloves? I see many likes below their creations. And I bet if Sega would show Sonic without gloves people would riot even if that design would be similar to those fan’s ones! Meaning paw pads fans adore so much…

        So many cartoon characters have changed through time – take Donald Duck – his initial design is very different from the form he has today. And he is still loved. Because his personality evolved and retained something from the original – I think Sonic is still a lot like his Adventure-self. Meaning cocky, overconfident, puns using hedgehog who likes his friends a lot 🙂

        And if every character has to wear gloves to be part of the universe, you have tons of characters who don’t have them and are part of the lore – Chao, Chaos, Omega, Metal Sonic and I’m sure some others too. Yeah, none is “Mobian” you may say.

        Gloves are and were just a way to simplified hands in drawings/cartoons making. Stop making them sound like no-gloves = trash design, it’s really absurd.

        PS. Sorry if I sound aggressive, not my intention, and I’m just putting down the honest questions I can’t wrap my head around.

    4. I’m hopping, if this is the case, they give the job of re-designing to Evan Stanley. She’s done and incredible job so far.

    5. The poor characterisations of Shadow and Omega are because of Sega’s demands that they adhere to their equally poor in-game characterisations.

  2. Is it just me, or is TSSZ (or at least Tristan) getting more toxic lately? Like there was almost no need to resurface that quote, take it out of context, and then turn around and claim to be the victim when, if anything, he’s the one who’s targeting Flynn and not the other way around. He’s injecting a personal beef where there doesn’t seem to be one and it’s kind of killing whatever integrity the site is supposed to have. I only have two real sources of Sonic news I follow, this site and TSSZ, but if this continues to get any uglier, I might just stick to the Stadium as my sole source. I mean if nothing else, this place seems to break stories a bit faster than TSSZ does anyway, so it’s not like I’d be seriously blinding myself or anything. At least this site tends to be more professional and objective, even in it’s opinion pieces.

  3. Mr. Flynn strongly have to BRING THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS TO IDW SONIC SOONER! With the designs based on Archie Sonic “Genesis wave” reboot, or inheriting some of its characteristics.

  4. The IDW line does feel incredibly empty without the old cast and lore. The Archie series was always my favorite piece of sonic media. I like the new IDW, but it just feels hollow and lacking character/identity. Id LOVE so much to see the fighters come back, especially sally.

  5. How would they even work in the IDW universe? You know, where Sally ISN’T Sonic’s commanding officer.

    1. My guess is she is going to command the Freedom Fighters like they are a separate team in the Resistance.

      But I am with them returning. Even if they had to be redesigned to act differently, it’s better than leaving them to rot in Sega’s vault alongside other characters like Vectorman and Alex Kidd.

  6. The moment the FF show up I’m dropping the comic. They’re pointless characters that have no value beyond nostalgia as far as I’m concerned.

  7. If you have an issue with characterization, take it up with SEGA, not IDW. SEGA is the one dictating what can and cannot be used or shown in the comics.

  8. If they do make it, I’d like them to keep their Post-SGW designs. Those designs made them fit in with the game designs a little more.

  9. Kind of strange the Archie designs, as well as anything Archie, are off limits. I thought part of the reason for the Archie reboot was to ensure absolutely everything created for that comic transferred over to Sega of America for the future. Did something accidentally get left out of the Archie contracts again?

  10. I don’t know what to trust with Flynn. I’ve read people saying that alledgely Sega has them on a tight leash, but then I see people reposting tweets from him saying that isn’t the case, but now this is appears to be all on Sega and I’ve read online that people are saying Shadow’s oit of character recent writing is supposedly mandated as well. It doesn’t add up. How much power is in Sega’s hands here? It’s obviously their license to protect as they please, but how much are they really meddling in our comics? I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a lot, but why say you aren’t on a tight leash if you are? If anything just ignore the question. If you don’t think you’re on a tight leash even with all this you need to reevaluate the situation.

    Also, sure his earlier quotes were definitely taken out of context, but his reply here basically boils down to a lot of nothing. It is so wishy washy. It’s like if they do come back and I’m trying as hard as I can (when I can?), and I’m pushing for their return (I’m not saying they will), they’ll have to be redesigned (but don’t know when and where we will put them), and we definitely hear the demand (but it isn’t our decision), etc. It’s what Freedom Fighters fans want to hear with a bunch of caveats and excuses tied on for when it doesn’t happen (while simultaneously adding the prospect for fan praise for the huge effort piy into trying to bring them back if it does).

    I don’t think Flynn hates the Freedom Fighters. I mean after all he was an Archie Sonic fan himself before he worked with them, but I’m not all convinced he wants them back as badly as the fans. Fewer characters gives you a tighter cast and basically easier ways to tell these now, not so epic stories. Trying to mix the FF in, in like year 3 on top of it, would probably be a big pain for him. You have an insane amount of expectations from people, you’ll have to reintroduce all the characters, you’ll have more people whining about who’s getting enough screentime, etc. They already poured a lot of Sally into Amy already as well so it’d almost be a character duplicate at this point. I’m assuming that was Sega’s call too? Don’t take that as me preferring Sonally over Sonamy as I’m not a shipper and I love both characters. I do agree with keeping Sonic out of any romantic escapades in the comics.

    On the other side I hear IDW could use some more money so adding an arc where the FF return would probably boost sales numbers quite a bit. Throw out the crapton of variants, foil covers, etc. I’m sure people would eat it up. Anyway enough rambling from me. I hope someone convinces whomever needs convincing to make this happen.

    Also as an aside to IDW if it is Sega’s decision to keep out the Freedom Fighters. Just reminding you the 32X and the utterly craptastic US Saturn launch was Sega’s decision too. You say NO. Bad Sega.

  11. Ugh god please no. The FF literally bring nothing to table and they’re what turned me off of the Archie comics to begin with. IDW not bringing them on board was what got me interested, reading and enjoying the comics. The FF come back, I’m just dropping the comics like hot coal…again.

  12. Bullshit.
    He’s pulled this stunt before, it’s a carrot and he’s hoping old fans will bite and buy the comic. Until it is in print, I don’t believe a word that man types, tweets, or even says on his Podcast because this contradicts his previous comments about the franchise being “out of date”, and that he was “told by SEGA to move away from that” that the Knothole Freedom Fighters “do not represent Sonic today”. So no. I am not buying what he is selling.

    1. Well, that may be true at that time. As management changes so these views. New management may stop project A, but the next one may give it a Go. It also can mean people in Sega are re-thinking this “FFs aren’t part of Sonic-verse”. Take very old games getting a new release or a completely new game. That means a change from “it won’t sell or nobody is interested in this three decades old piece” to “fans are interested and talking about the old games and hoping/asking for a new game or at least re-release for a new console”.

      Times change – for good or worse 😉 Let’s see where this will go.

    2. You do know Ian Flynn has little to no say on what characters can and cannot be used, right? All that is decided by Sega, IDW, and the lawyers they hire to make sure they don’t get sued.

  13. I mean, there’s really no need for these characters anymore. They were created when it was only Sonic and Tails existed and now that the cast has been filled up over the years with characters that can fill their purpose (or lack of purpose), they don’t really need to come back.

    Rotor’s entire purpose is defunct by Tails (it has been for a long time honestly though), Bunnie, although cool concept can be filled by Knuckles, Gemerl, Omega or any other powerhouse. I don’t know what possible role Antoine could fill and Sally is pretty boring unless she’s with Sonic, who wouldn’t care for her orders anyhow since he’s actually in line with his game personality, or anyone else really.

    Without Sonic and Tails in the FF team, they’re pretty bland honestly. NICOLE’s whole “holographic AI” concept can be revamped for a new character that could be Tail’s/Eggman’s assistant and Bunnie’s cyborg concept could be revamped for a villain/antagonist or another hero/neutral type.

    If they do come back, they’d probably be better off as side characters instead of main characters since they no longer have that connection to Sonic and Tails. And hopefully with enough equal characterization instead of making Sally hog the spotlight (seems like they were doing it in the reboot though).

    Still, if Sega stated that they didn’t want Flynn or anyone else to use past properties like Breezie from AoStH (not even the rebooted version) or “Classic characters” like Mighty and Ray, I doubt they’d allow it. It seems like Sega doesn’t care for the FF at all.

    1. Agreed; that’s really the only way they’ll work in the comic, since Sega was kinda going for a fresh slate comic setting-wise.

      I have to wonder how many fans of the Archie comics would actually be fine with them being changed like that. Redesigning the characters would be simple enough, and I do think they could potentially be reworked as some small band of resistance fighters. However, they would basically be losing all of the history they had with any main series characters, and I don’t know if the majority would be cool with that.

      Taking that and what you said about reusing character concepts into consideration, I imagine some people over at Sega have probably thought: “If we can just reuse certain concepts of the FF for new characters, what is the point of bringing the whole group back since they would basically be starting as new characters anyway?”

      I mean, the obvious answer to that is “to make money off of fans of the characters”, but I’m personally more interested in them focusing on newer concepts and characters rather than trying to salvage things from the old comic for nostalgia’s sake.

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