2018 has barely begun and yet the franchise that features Sega's mascot is already off and running with some news. For starters, the new comic book series of "Sonic the hedgehog," which will be published by IDW starting in April, has revealed the identity of its first new character. This character will seemingly play a prominent part in how the IDW version of Sonic's world will be shaped.

Taking a new direction for the comics

Archie Comics originally held the publishing license for "Sonic" as a comic series, but in early 2017 the long run which saw over 300 issues in the span of 24 years came to an end when IDW acquired the publishing rights later on in the year.

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In 2018 a reboot is on the horizon for Sonic comics as a fresh first issue will mark the beginning of a new direction for Sonic and his friends. This reboot gives IDW and series writer Ian Flynn the opportunity to provide more original and unique content to Sonic's world, and the first new character is one of them.

IDW Associate Editor David Mariotte stated in an interview that the creative minds in the company wanted Tangle the Lemur to be a lot like other great Sonic characters and have a special ability tied to one of her features. Mariotte referenced Tails and Knuckles when comparing Tangle. After periods of brainstorming, the group at IDW eventually came up with the idea of a lemur who could use her ability to whip her tail out at enemies or jab like a fist. Mariotte also states that Tangle is scrappy and she likes to tangle with the bad guys.

The first 4 issues of "Sonic the Hedgehog" under the IDW brand will be released every week all month long in April, and then beginning in May the series will switch to having regular monthly scheduled releases.

Sonic's future to be discussed in a panel

According to SXSW Schedule, the Sonic franchise will also be holding a panel called Gotta Go Fast. This panel will be held in Austin, Texas on March 16 from 3:30 to 4:30 PM at the South by Southwest Conference & Festivals event.

It is important to note that the description of this panel takes into account Sonic's future. The official team from Sega, building the future of the Sonic franchise, will give fans updates, ranging from the strong performances of the two games that came out in 2017, "Sonic Mania" and "Sonic Forces," to possible news on other Sonic projects including a new movie or an HD remake of a past Sonic game. However, the latter two topics are only speculation among fans and are not confirmed.

Speakers include Takashi Iizuka, the head of Sonic Team, PD Director of Sonic Austin Keys, Animation Director for Sonic Mania Tyson Hesse, and Aaron Webber, the Social Media Manager for Sonic. In the description of this panel, it is noted that a world-exclusive first look at what comes next for the fastest blue hedgehog is set to happen at this event. It is not known what will be shown at this first look.