Sonichu #1 cover



CWC Comics / Premiere #1 / Drawn March 31, 05

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG: Is that supposed to be your clone?

SONICHU: Unfortunately, Sonic… yes!


SONICHU: No, cherry cola!

LEGAL: All Sonichu material are Copyrighted March, 2000-2005 by. Christian W. Chandler.

Interestingly, Mr. Chandler chooses to label this issue as “premiere #1” despite the fact that it follows Sonichu #0, the “hand-drawn premiere issue.”  This is a typical tactic in the modern comic book industry, attempting to get the buzz of a first issue from two different issues, and I’m surprised Chris picked up on it given that he has shown little awareness of the mainstream comic book market beyond comics based on Sonic the Hedgehog .

The cover succinctly encapsulates what Sonichu #1 has to offer.  Sonic the Hedgehog returns for a long-awaited crossover with Sonichu, following up on their first fateful encounter way back…um, zero issues ago.  Additionally, we are already getting into the origin story for Black Sonichu, first teased in #0.  There is a sense here that Chandler is hot-shotting story ideas that would mean more if saved until later.  However, it is clear that he has already done all the character development he will ever do for Sonichu and Rosechu, and there is simply nowhere else to take the characters except to have them interact with all the other characters he wants to introduce.  Thus, Sonichu #1-3 rapdily debut all of the figures teased in Sonichu #0, with the title character doing little more than standing back and watching.

Black Sonichu is of course a genetically-engineered clone of the original, yellow Sonichu utilized as his darker half.  The concept is extremely similar to that of Shadow the Hedgehog, the bête noire of Sonic who was also grown in a laboratory, although Shadow was cloned from a different character than Sonic and not intended for evil purposes.  Sonic’s question “Is that supposed to be your clone?” suggests a casual attitude about such strange developments–although he is surprised that someone has cloned Sonichu, he has been through enough in his adventures to know that far stranger things have happened.

Chemical “X” is presumably a reference to The Powerpuff Girls .  The cartoon is about a scientist who attempts to literally create “perfect little girls” from sugar, spice, and everything nice ; however, his mixture is accidentally contaminated by Chemical X, causing the resulting girls to develop super-powers much as mysterious chemicals are used in the origins of classic comic book superheroes.  Again, Sonic has seen it all, and innately understands that Black Sonichu must have been exposed to some x-factor; he has only to speculate which one.  (His next guesses might well have been “ super soldier serum ” or “ devil fruit .”)  Of course, the actual cause of Black Sonichu’s appearance is beyond even his experience.

Physiologically, Black Sonichu is virtually identical to Sonichu except for his coloration and slight differences in his powers, all of which is explained by the inclusion of cherry cola in his genetic makeup.  Chandler is curiously proud of this concept as though it were humorous; he goes out of his way to make the Black Sonichu/cherry cola connection no less than five times in the series (this is the second).  Clearly the inspiration for this idea stemmed from Black Sonichu’s color scheme–black like cola with cherry-red highlights–and the absurdity of a mundance chemical compound causing such drastic side effects in a clone.

Sonichu #1, inside cover


All Sonichu Material is Copyrighted March, 2000-2005 by. Christian Weston Chandler.

*Any names, or persons, illustrated in any of the Sonichu Comics, except that of Christian Weston Chandler , that may seem similar to anyone in real life, are purely coincidental, or otherwise parodic.*

Henceforth, each issue of Sonichu bears this page presenting copyright information and a variation on the all persons fictitious disclaimer that commonly appears in movies.  The wording of this disclaimer illustrates Mr. Chandler’s flair for making a sentence clunkier than it needs to be, even when he’s simply parroting existing phrases that he could have just quoted verbatim.

The “parodic” nature of Sonichu is central to Chandler’s argument that the entire Sonichu franchise does not illegally infringe upon the intellectual property of Sega Corporation (which owns Sonic the Hedgehog) or Nintendo Co., Ltd. (which owns Pokemon).  Chris understands that Sonichu is a derivative work; however he believes that it is fair use on the grounds that the comic is a parody.  The idea that Sonichu is simply parodying Sonic, rather than copying him outright, is dubious at best.  In any event, the question is academic since Chandler has never made a serious attempt to profit from Sonichu, and thus has never attracted attention from the legal departments of Nintendo, Sega, or anyone else whose IP has been repurposed in the comics.

The illustration of Sonichu on this page appears to have been drawn in MS Paint or some other software, and serves as a sort of emblem.  Sonichu’s tail is presumably sticking out of the bottom of his head to help identify the character.

Sonichu #1, page 1


TITLE: Episode 4: Black Sonichu in Darkness, Speed, & Lightning! (with an Accidental Dose of Cherry Cola)

GIOVANNI: (narration) Naitsirhc, even though you have lost your battle with that hedgehog, Sonichu, I am proud that you were able to obtain a sample of his DNA!  I then located the base of Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik; needless to say, after I showed him the photo of that Pokemon, he was astounded!  And we shook in agreement of Dr. Robotnik reconstructing the DNA machine that was found on New Island!  Soon, we eill have a “Sonichu” of our own, to send out and defeat the original!  Naitsirhc, our victory is assured, or I am not Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket!


The title of this episode again makes the “joke” about cherry cola.

If the exposition is any indication, panel 1 is meant to depict the Zapdos that fought Sonichu in issue #0–I think that we’re seeing its beak holding a tuft of Sonichu’s fur, with its wing in the background.  That Sonichu’s genetic code was obtained in the previous issue is an fortunate coincidence for Team Rocket, as the intended plan was apparently to just capture the creature altogether.

Giovanni is the leader of Team Rocket, the main antagonists in the Pokemon franchise; that he has a son named Naitsirhc is purely Chandler’s invention.  His goal to either capture Sonichu or genetically engineer a new Sonichu reflects his motivations in the Pokemon anime to obtain powerful species of Pokemon to expand his power base.

Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik is the primary villain of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise: a mad scientist whose schemes for world domination are repeatedly frustrated by Sonic.  It is unsurprising that Robotnik is intrigued by Sonichu since he is so keenly aware of Sonic’s powers; the prospect of exploiting such powers against his enemy is compelling.  His alliance with Giovanni raises the stakes for this story’s Sonic/Sonichu crossover, pitting the two heroes against the greatest threats in both the Sonic and Pokemon franchises.

During the 1990s, Sonic the Hedgehog continuity in English-speaking markets varied greatly from that of the Japanese storylines.  One of these discrepancies is the name of the villain, who is Eggman in Japan but was commonly known as Ivo Robotnik.  Chandler clearly favors the rationalization that Eggman is simply an alias, and goes out of his way to style him “Dr. Ivo ‘Eggman’ Robotnik”.  I find it peculiar that Chris has not expressed any strong opinions about the thorny topic of Sonic continuity, given his devotion to Sonic and his passionate feelings about which Power Rangers were best and who should play Roberta on The Cleveland Show .  In general his allegiance seems to quietly follow whatever fits the Sonic video games.  Note that Robotnik is depicted as he appeared in Sonic Adventure, rather than the version made famous in the 1990s US cartoons and various YouTube memes .

New Island is the site of much of the action in Pokemon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back .  In the film Giovanni funds a laboratory on New Island which houses a machine developed for cloning organic tissue.  Giovanni’s goal in the movie–to create a clone of a powerful Pokemon he cannot otherwise acquire–resembles the plot of this story, except that this time he intends for the clone to help him capture the original.  "The DNA machine that was found on New Island" either refers to the device he himself paid for which was later destroyed, or the replica Mewtwo constructed that mysteriously vanished at the end of the movie.

Sonichu #1, page 2


CAPTION: *DNA strands, and a can of cherry cola*

UNKNOWN PERSON: (off-panel) Hey, Bill, bring the DNA sample to the machine!


BILL: Uh-oh!

BILL: Oh, well!

This is the payoff of the big cherry cola gag that Chandler has been pushing since the previous issue–a man simply knocks his soda can into a petri dish and shrugs it off.

This scene is notable for its absurd minimalism–Chandler must get the cherry cola into the DNA, but does so in as few moves as possible.  We never see whoever asks that the sample be brought to the cloning machine, we never find out whether “Bill” is a highly-qualified geneticist or a mere clerk, and we never even see Bill’s face.  All we can possibly discern from this page is that cherry cola got into the DNA sample–the can may as well have poured itself.

Bill has become a fan favorite among Sonichu fans, insofar as anyone can really be called a “fan” of Sonichu.  Chandler’s emergence as a popular “lolcow” in 2007-2008 led to a dramatically increased interest in his comics, as well as efforts to troll him by pretending to be genuinely interested in asking him questions about the storyline.  As Bill is one of the most obscure and unimportant characters in the series, supposed “fans” would perplex Chris by asking about “Bill the Scientist” as though he were a major figure in the storyline; on two occasions he responded as though he did not even remember using a character by that name.  "Fanon" surrounding Bill the Scientist eventually caused Chris to reintroduce the character (as “Dr. Bill Schwartz”) in Sonichu #9, to assert his creative control over all of his characters.

Sonichu #1, page 3


DNA MACHINE: -Analyzing DNA… -Adding inputed data…

DNA MACHINE: -Pokemon identified… -Beging cloning sequence


NAITSIRHC: Maybe it’s the liquid, but this Sonichu looks black to me!

SPEAKER: -You are a Sonichu! -You obey only Giovanni and his son, Naitsirhc!  - You are dark, evil, and very powerful!  -When awakened, you will seek, and fight, your original counterpart!

BLACK SONICHU: Hmmm…Sonichu…Naitsirhc… powerful…counterpart?!  What information are these fools trying to brainwash into me?  I’ll do whatever I please!  But I’ll play along!

Since the DNA machine is based upon the one from the Pokemon movie, it is designed to clone Pokemon in particular.  I assume this is why it needs to identify the Pokemon species before creating the clone, although this seems redundant; if Giovanni put Mudkip balls in there, he’s going to get Mudkips whether the machine knows the DNA is from a Mudkip or not.  It is not clear how the machine can identify Sonichu DNA since no one involved in building this machine has any real data on Sonichu other than this sample; that’s why they’re cloning him to begin with.

Naitsirch correctly observes that it’s difficult to be sure of the color of objects suspended in thick green liquid, the kind used in this and many other cloning chambers to artificially grow new creatures.  However, Chandler’s coloring does not back up his point–Black Sonichu can be seen in panel 4 as clear as day, his gloves and red stripes vividly showing their true color despite the mysterious liquid.  There’s simply no way to mistake this for a yellow hedgehog.  Chandler spends all of four pages hammering home the fact that Black Sonichu is indeed black.

A scene in Sonichu #8, set in March 2008, celebrates Black Sonichu’s 20th birthday with the peculiar logic that upon his creation he was “starting straight with a 2-year old body.”  This would suggest that this story is occurring in 1990 well before the 1998 events of Sonichu #0.  Chris later corrected the dialogue to read “11-year old,” placing this story in March 1999 , about eight months after Sonichu’s creation.

Team Rocket clearly intends to educate Black Sonichu by indoctrinating him while he is still growing in his tube.  Aside from brainwashing him to be loyal to Giovanni the broadcast is informing him of basic facts such as his species and his power.  This allows the character to emerge from his artificial womb as a fully intelligent and self-aware character who can already speak English and fight.

As for the brainwashing, Black Sonichu has already seen through that and resisted its effects, echoing both Shadow the Hedgehog and Mewtwo, who ultimately go into business for themselves and are never reliably on one side or the other.  Black Sonichu’s strong free will may be a result of the mutations caused by the cherry cola, but Chandler never comments upon this possibility, so it may simply be a trait found in the entire Sonichu species.

Sonichu #1, page 4


GIOVANNI: Well, Robotnik, here’s the result of your skills and our genius!  What’s your opinion?

ROBOTNIK: He reminds me of another creature I released years ago!  But I’m sure this “Sonichu” is much stronger!

BILL: Boss, I’m reading the brain waves of the Pokemon; they’re racing!

ROBOTNIK: Let’s release him!

GIOVANNI: Yes!  Drain the fluid, and raise the tube!

BILL: Yes, sir!

NAITSIRHC: I’m not sure, but he looks black to me!  Oh, well!  He’ll still shock that hedgehog Pokemon!

The composition of this page is a complete nightmare, as Chandler must draw lines all over the page in an attempt to indicate the correct order of the speech bubbles.  I’ve tried my best to recreate the conversation as he intended.  This whole scene would have made more sense as a series of panels, but I can only imagine that Chris decided to draw Black Sonichu on a splash page and then crammed the other characters and all the dialogue in around him.

Robotnik released Shadow the Hedgehog from a military base in Sonic Adventure 2 ; his statement here is presumably an allusion to that incident.  Given that Shadow is ageless and immortal, it’s quite a boast to believe that Black Sonichu could be even more powerful.

I can’t confirm that the man in the lower right corner is Bill from page 2, but I would like to believe he is.  Besides, no other characters have been introduced in the story, and he looks just like Bill from this angle.

Yes, Naitsirhc, we know he’s black, shut up.

Sonichu #1, page 5