Ken Penders, best known in the Sonic community for his comic book series and Sega lawsuit, is threatening further legal action following the release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The comic book artist and writer took to Twitter after the premiere of the film, claiming that it uses two of its characters from the Archie Comics Sonic series. As a result, he says he wants his lawyers to “discuss” the matter with Paramount producers, and has not ruled out another lawsuit.
Penders, who admits he hasn’t seen the film, takes issue with Knuckles having a father in the film version of his backstory. He remains anonymous and all we learn about him is that he was the leader of the Echidna tribe and died trying to retrieve the Master Emerald. Penders says this character is actually his – referencing Knuckles’ father in the comics, Locke. He also says that the producers used his character Enerjak as inspiration for the Master Emerald’s ability to grant powers to the user, even though the film never mentions the emerald containing the spirit of a living being. .
Penders says fans have told him the movie uses his characters and he’s using them as the basis of his complaint to his attorneys. His first claim was that the film’s producers used his comic character Enerjak, a demigod who possesses an echidna, to act as their evil alter ego. It doesn’t actually appear in the movie, but anyone who uses the emerald mistress can be granted the power to defeat armies, which Penders thinks is pretty close.
On top of that, he takes issue with the portrayal of Knuckles’ father. He doesn’t appear to have explained why he thinks Locke and the unnamed father in the film are similar enough to warrant legal action. He said he would have been okay with that content in the movie, as long as he “[saw] salary”.
While Paramount would be a much bigger opponent than its previous targets Sega and Archie Comics, Penders remains confident. “If you think I’m worried about Paramount’s lawyers, you’re kidding yourself,” he said in a Answer. “They have to go before the same judge as me and they have to go through the discovery process like me. I bet I know where a lot more bodies are buried.”
Penders worked on the Archie Sonic comic book series until 2006. Famously, in 2010 he was sued by Archie for copyrighting characters he created for the series, in a case that was eventually settled and dismissed by the judge. As a result, many characters had to be removed from the story. He then sued EA and Sega, but not for the characters he actually created. He claimed that an echidna-like race created by BioWare for Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, resembled his own Knuckles lookalike characters. The case was dismissed.
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