What Was Supposed to Happen in Endangered Species?
For many Archie Sonic fans, Sonic #243 was the beginning of a tumultuous period for the series. It abruptly erased much of the echidna mythology and genealogy away from the pages due to a turning point in the company’s legal battle with former writer Ken Penders., likely never to be seen again.
But it wasn’t always like that. We reported when it happened that current writer Ian Flynn and company were rushed to change elements of the arc. Though Flynn is working on an overview of his original tales under the Lost Hedgehog Tales project, few knew what was originally planned for the arc, until now.
Leda Clark, with $45 and a keen eye on eBay, purchased an original draft page from Sonic #243, page 3. On her blog, Clark references screencaps taken from lightbox techniques to find some of the hidden lines and their meaning:
As we can see in the first image, the Death Egg is clearly hidden behind the white-out, indicating that it was originally meant to be directly over Albion instead of disappearing into the horizon. Sorting through the text was trickier; some of the font lines blur together, but upon careful inspection, one can barely make out the phrase, “Albion is under attack.” I even did the text a second time from the other side to be sure this is what it said.
These revelations suggest that Sonic, Tails, and Amy were never intended to investigate the aftermath of Eggman’s assault; they may have been meant to fight back and defend the echidnas in real time. This scenario brings more clarity to StH #243′s cover, which depicts an aerial fight scene set against a downward view of the Death Egg, with Albion directly below.
Of course, establishing that the first panel’s original draft depicts Eggman as just ahead of them suddenly makes panels 2 and 3 a little odd, as Sonic and Amy abruptly switch to speaking about Eggman in past-tense. My only guess is that this page may have been interrupted partway through its completion, which may have left enough leeway to adjust the subsequent word balloons before they’d been inked. If this is the case, that probably also contributed to why this page was salvaged instead of entirely scrapped.
In total, four draft pages were sold on eBay, with Clark only able to afford one. Clark is looking for the buyer of page 20 in hopes of obtaining it and, hopefully, further information as to the origins of the Endangered Species arc. Can you help? Visit her blog, cited above, to contact her.