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Issue 0 (also known as the Free Preview Special! or the STC Launch Advertisment) is the first ever edition of Sonic the Comic and was presented free with several affiliated comics and magazines. Released around May/June 1993, the issue contained several features and the first page of each story set to appear in Issue 1.

Contents

Features

The Control Zone in this issue is largely different from all other iterations of the feature, the main alteration being the lack of Megadroid. The Sega Charts would also not feature until Issue 1, perhaps because there was no set date for the preview's release. Instead, the Control Zone encourages people to check out the full edition for complete stories and features like the News Zone and Review Zone.

Later on, a two-page splash continued to entice future Boomers with promises of a free gift in each of the first three issues, more Sega Superstars and the catchphrase "Sharper Than A Cyber-Razor Cut". Additionally, the editors threatened to "send the Badniks round" if people didn't buy it.

The final page saw the birth of a competition to win either one of 3 Game Gears, one of 5 Master Systems or the top prize of a Mega Drive, Mega-CD and games. Readers were encouraged to collect tokens in this issue and future editions and send them in, despite only nine people being guaranteed a prize. This system would not reoccur in later issues.

Differences

Aside from the aforementioned Control Zone, there were a few differences from the final product of Issue 1:

  • The titles of stories that were initially coloured white were changed to yellow in Issue 1.
  • There seems to be some slight change in the colours of the Sonic story.
  • Issue 0 and Issue 1 share cover art, but the words over it are different.

Publications

In the Message Zone, artist/editor Hume Stiv posted information on some of the comics that had the Preview Special splashed across their front covers. 2000AD is the most well-known one, being the subject of the "scan" of Issue 0, but could also be seen fronting The Complete Judge Dredd and Thunderbirds the Comic. Others would provide information of it being on Stingray the Comic and SEGA Power.

Timeline

The next chronological issue was Issue 1, although Issue 0 was released after that on several publications. In that case, either Issue 2 or Issue 3 was next.

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