Ken Penders, best known in the Sonic community for his comic book run and Sega lawsuit, is threatening further legal action after the release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The comic book artist and writer has taken to Twitter following the film's premiere, claiming that it uses two of his characters from the Archie Comics Sonic series. As a result, he says he wants his attorneys to "discuss" the matter with Paramount producers, and hasn't ruled out another lawsuit.
Penders, who admits he hasn't seen the film, takes issue with Knuckles having a father in the film's version of his backstory. He goes unnamed, and all we learn about him is that he was the leader of the echidna tribe, and died trying to reclaim the Master Emerald. Penders says that this character is actually his – referring to Knuckles' dad in the comics, Locke. He also says the producers used his character Enerjak as an inspiration for the Master Emerald's ability to grant the user powers, even though the film never mentions the emerald containing the spirit of a living being.
Penders says that he was told by fans that the film uses his characters, and is using that as the basis for his complaint to his attorneys. His first claim was that the film's producers used his comic book character Enerjak, a demigod who possesses echidna, acting as their evil alter ego. This does not actually appear in the film, but anyone who uses the master emerald can be granted the power to defeat armies, which Penders believes is close enough.
On top of this, he takes issue with the depiction of Knuckles' father. He doesn't appear to have elaborated on why he believes Locke and the unnamed father in the movie are similar enough to warrant legal action. He says he would have been fine with this content being in the film, as long as he "[saw] a paycheck".
While Paramount would be a much bigger opponent than his previous targets, Sega and Archie Comics, Penders remains confident. "If you think I’m worried about Paramount’s lawyers, you’re kidding yourself", he says in a reply. "They have to go before the same Judge I do and they have to submit to the Discovery process as do 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, numerous characters had to be retconned out of the story. He then went on to sue EA and Sega, although not over characters he actually created. He claimed that an echidna-like race created by BioWare for Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, resembled his own Knuckles look-alike characters. The case was dismissed.
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