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Sonic & Knuckles: Mecha Madness

From Sonic Retro

MechaMadnessArchieCover.jpg

Sonic Specials #1
"Sonic & Knuckles: Mecha Madness"

Writer: Mike Gallagher
/Kent Taylor
Pencils: Patrick Spaziante,
Harvey Mercadoocasio,
Jeff Powell, Vickie Williams,
Dave Manak, Rich Koslowski,
Kyle Hunter, Freddy Mendez,
and Barry Grossman
Cover Art by: Pat Spaziante
/Harvey Mercadoocasio
Release Date: July 1996
Country: North America

Sonic & Knuckles: Mecha Madness is the sixth Sonic Special published by Archie.

It includes three stories: "Mecha Madness", "Don't Let the Island Hit You on the Way Down" and "Eel of Fortune".

Mecha Madness

Continued from issue 39.
Recapping from the previous issue, Sonic's request to be roboticized to destroy Robotropolis was shot down by the Knothole council. After the rejection, he headed to the gym and was captured by Nack the Weasel. He was subsequently taken to Robotnik where he was roboticized and turned into Mecha Sonic. Let loose, it battled with Bunnie Rabbot and Knuckles en route to Knothole, defeating both foes easily. Now, with all means of offense gone, Sally Acorn has given the order to enact Operation Last Resort.

With Mecha Sonic about to trash Knothole Village, Sally reaffirms her order to begin Operation Last Resort. Rotor reluctantly follows her order, passing an unconscious Knuckles off to Antoine so he can begin the operation. He runs off to Knothole while Sally brings out NICOLE, ordering a full sweep of the village. NICOLE confirms that Knothole has been evacuated as per previous orders, but Mecha Sonic has already arrived and started to destroy the buildings of the village. Sally closes NICOLE, amazed that Sonic would go so far to disobey her orders. Antoine walks over with Knuckles in his arms, saying he'll begin an investigation once the issue with Mecha Sonic passes.

Rotor arrives from his lab, wheeling in a portable roboticizer, albeit slightly rusted and beaten up. He tells Sally that the roboticizer, the same one used to roboticize Bunnie, has been repaired per her orders, although he isn't 100% certain it will operate. Sally is still insistent on using it, but Rotor has a problem: by using the roboticizer, he feels that they are going as low as Robotnik is. Despite the ethical issue, Sally feels that they must use everything they have to defeat Mecha Sonic, even if they must use Robotnik's own machines.

Knuckles starts to wake up, although still dazed from his battle with Mecha Sonic. Still in that mindset, he thinks he is still battling Mecha Sonic and gets up, punching Antoine square in the face. In his delirious state, he mistakes Rotor for Robotnik, and gives him an uppercut. Sally intervenes, jumping in and kicking Knuckles to the ground. He comes out of his state, realizing that there is only one person who could kick him down like that. He looks up and sees Sally, who he instantly recognizes. The two start to reminisce about their past, when they used to hang out when they were younger. There is so much gossip between the two that Bunnie even wakes up. Once Sally recalls their past with no Robotnik, Knuckles snaps out of his thoughts, wanting to get back into the action. Sally tells Knuckles about the roboticizer and hands him a neuro-overrider. Before she can tell him the risks of roboticization, he jumps into the machine, while the rest watch in shock.

In Knothole, everybody has been evacuated by Tails, who has remained while Mecha Sonic obliterates the village. Despite hiding behind a bush, Mecha Sonic notices Tails. He flies away, but Mecha Sonic starts to give chase, intent on eliminating him. It prepares to fire on Tails with a laser blast, but starts to hesitate. Robotnik calls in on Mecha Sonic's arm communicator, inquiring why it has hesitated in attacking Tails. Robotnik doesn't wait for an explanation, instead asking Mecha Sonic for the coordinates to Knothole so he can send a nuclear device over to destroy it. Mecha Sonic hesitates again, reconfirming the orders. Robotnik gets even more angry at his bot's hesitation, but it eventually comes through, and prepares to send the coordinates.

Just as it prepares to send the coordinates, Knuckles, now Mecha Knuckles, jumps up and punches Mecha Sonic, ending the communication. Mecha Sonic responds back to the attack by punching Mecha Knuckles, while the rest of the Freedom Fighters watch. With both bots at equal strength, the group have no idea who could prevail. Mecha Sonic then brings out both its arms, firing a double laser blast at Mecha Knuckles. He, however, uses his knuckles to reflect the blast and uses the lasers to absorb energy from Mecha Sonic's batteries. The loss of battery power weakens Mecha Sonic, so Mecha Knuckles grabs him and sends him into a quick dizzying cycle, then throwing him into the ground...right at the feet of the Freedom Fighters watching.

Mecha Knuckles goes in for the final blow, but Mecha Sonic has already computed the trajectory and speed of him. Using this information, it punches Mecha Knuckles right as he reaches it, sending him careening right for Robotropolis...and a number of nuclear warheads. Mecha Knuckles realizes that, at his speed, he can't control his descent for the city, but he has another plan. He inverts the polarity in his claws, releasing a strong magnetic field. The field is so strong that it attracts Mecha Sonic, connecting it to Mecha Knuckles. Mecha Sonic tries to disconnect itself from Mecha Knuckles, but the magnetic force is too strong. The two bots fall into Robotropolis, hitting the nuclear warheads, letting off a massive nuclear explosion in the city.

Outside Robotropolis, the Freedom Fighters hide behind a wall, witnessing the large nuclear explosion. They fear for the worst, realizing that Sonic and Knuckles could not have survived such an explosion. In the city itself, the explosion has destroyed many buildings and SWATbots. In the middle of ground zero, a manhole cover opens up, as Robotnik reveals himself. Noticing Mecha Knuckles and Sonic incoming, he hid underground to avoid the blast. He looks around, witnessing all the damage, but also notices something moving in the rubble. He runs over and finds Mecha Sonic, badly damaged, but still repairable. Pleased at his craftsmanship, he is tapped on the shoulder by Mecha Knuckles, who has also survived the explosion, getting headbutted by him. Mecha Knuckles, damaged less than Mecha Sonic, grabs the disabled Mecha Sonic from the doctor, leaving him confused as to how Mecha Knuckles got out less scathed than Mecha Sonic. Before he flies away, he tells him that he was made with one of the doctor's older roboticizers, one that didn't rely on foreign parts, and that Mecha Sonic retained some of his consciousness, so he took the brunt of the fall. He flies out to return to the others.

Mecha Knuckles returns to outside Knothole, with Mecha Sonic in his arms. He gives Mecha Sonic to Rotor, while Sally runs over, crying. She hugs Knuckles for his work, but tells her to take it easy, as he is damaged as well. NICOLE confirms, noting that Knuckles tolerance levels have gone above maximum. With the job done, Tails escorts Knuckles to the roboticizer to reverse the process and return him to normal. Sonic, on the other hand, can't be returned to normal the same way, as it will only deroboticize those that originally went through it. Mecha Sonic, meanwhile, starts to talk, sounding quite like Sonic, renouncing the actions that it did. Sally realizes that Sonic is still in it, so she hands NICOLE to Rotor for him to figure out a way of bringing him back, while she attends to Knuckles.

He enters the machine, while Tails activates the reversing process. Tails notes that if the process is successful, it'll take the machine 3 minutes to reverse Knuckles back to normal. With Knuckles taken care of, Sally returns back to Rotor and Mecha Sonic to see their progress. NICOLE has made a discovery, which Rotor allows it to tell. It reminds Sally of the one-billionth ring that Sonic had recently collected. NICOLE has determined that the ring has also given Sonic a protective mystical aura. This aura created an internal shield that protected Sonic's life force during roboticization, retaining him inside Mecha Sonic. Sally is eager to get Sonic back with this information, but with Knothole destroyed, Rotor can't use his lab to reverse the roboticized body of Sonic. Although he could salvage some materials, Rotor notes that there isn't enough time to do so.

With all their options gone, NICOLE announces that it can use the data it has to regenerate Sonic. Sally is curious if it can actually be done, but Rotor feels that it would require too much power for NICOLE to do. NICOLE, however, still feels it can do it, jumping out of Rotor's hands and into Sally's. Despite the risk of losing NICOLE, Sally trusts it too much, so she agrees. She connects NICOLE to Mecha Sonic, accessing the internal life force of Sonic in the machine. The life force from the ring pierces through the machine, engulfing it in a bright line, converting it back to Sonic's normal body.

The group celebrate, as Sally helps a dizzy Sonic up. Knuckles, meanwhile, has also been reverted back, walking up to Sonic. Sonic, however, does not remember anything that has occurred, wondering why Knuckles is there, aggressively telling him to get back to his island. Knuckles does not take this lightly, reminding him that he had come to save everybody from his acts. From this conversation, Knuckles jumps up and flies back to his island, despite Sally's pleas for him to stay, telling her to call him once she dumps Sonic.

Sally turns to Sonic, sarcastically thanking him for getting angry at Knuckles after he saved them. Sonic is still confused about everything, as Antoine sneaks up behind him and puts handcuffs on his wrists, declaring him under arrest. NICOLE quotes Kingdom of Acorn rule section L, paragraph 73, stating that those who disobey an order be tried in court for treason. Sonic tries to tell the group that he didn't disobey an order, but nobody will hear it, telling him to save it for his trial. He's led back to the village by Antoine, believing that he has been framed, although nobody will listen to him.

Continued in issue 40.

Don't Let the Island Hit You on the Way Down

While a battle has been won on the surface of Mobius, another battle commences on the Floating Island. Two of the Chaotix, Charmy and Mighty, are under attack by two assailants: Predator Hawk, a blue hawk, and Sergeant Simian, a large military gorilla. Hawk is able to kick Charmy to the ground while Simian punches Mighty down. The attack sets off an alarm, so Simian lets out a call to the other members of his team, telling them to proceed with caution. On another part of the island, Vector hears the alarm, realizing it is not a false alarm. He looks up, trying to talk to a hidden Espio in a tree, but the chameleon won't respond while he's hidden. Despite his camouflage, another one of the assailants, Lightning Lynx comes out and attacks Espio. He kicks Espio before he can respond, while the fourth assailant, Flying Frog, kicks Vector down. The two attacks send Espio and Vector slamming into each other. With their attack complete, Flying Frog reports in to the first team.

After some time, the two teams get together, dragging the unconscious bodies of the Chaotix together into one pile. Simian notes that they failed due to the element of surprise. This element of surprise doesn't work for Simian again, as both Espio and Mighty wake up and punch Simian and Lightning Lynx down, having played possum, telling them to not underestimate an opponent's speed or strength. Vector and Charmy, having played possum as well, work together and take down Flying Frog. They also remind the group that size doesn't mean anything, as the small Charmy takes out the large Predator Hawk. Now facing off, Mighty demands that the group state who they are and what their plans are.

An unknown being arrives on the battlescene, telling the Chaotix they have another lesson to learn: always expect the unexpected, as the being slams them all down with his cane. Introducing his team as the Fearsome Foursome, he introduces himself as the former ruler of Mobius, and its future master, Mammoth Mogul, a white tuxedo-wearing mammoth. He recalls his past to the Chaotix, having once lived on Mobius many years prior, long after the birth of the Ancient Walkers, but before many modern races. He came upon a mysterious jewel that granted him many powers, becoming ruler of the planet. Eventually, the races the evolved over time revolted, dethroning him. Despite this event, the Chaos Emerald granted him immortality, allowing him survive for many centuries. Now intent on getting the Chaos Emerald from the Floating Island, he has plans to remove Robotnik from power and take control once again.

Despite his power, using teamwork, the Chaotix all launch at the Mammoth, giving him a group punch that sends him flying back, along with the other Fearsome Foursome members. Realizing his time to return to power has not come, Mammoth uses his cane to call his floating car. He and the group board it, firing a few warning lasers at the Chaotix, declaring that he will return to get their Chaos Emerald, flying off. The Chaotix yell out that they will be ready for his return.

The Forty Fathom Freedom Fighters in Eel of Fortune

P.B. Jellyfish is swimming around, as he witnesses his old enemy, Octobot, rapidly swimming along with suitcases in tow. Expecting the worse, he intercepts the robotic octopus, stopping him in his tracks and demanding to know his plans. Octobot, however, only wants to pass through and doesn't want any trouble. P.B. doesn't believe his story, while Octobot starts to freak out, wanting to just get out of the area. He dashes off past P.B., stating that he doesn't want to be around while 'he' is there. P.B. is curious who this 'he' is, as a hat wearing eel named Eel Capone arrives, stating that he controls the underwater underworld. He tells P.B. that he is floating in his territory. Despite Eel's threats, P.B. prepares to sting him, but Eel has his hired 'mussels' attack him.

Some time later, an injured P.B. returns to his pals, Bivalve and Ray. He prepares to tell them what happened, but they already know, having been alerted to Eel Capone by the Plankton Intelligence Agency. With a strong force of mussels, they don't know what to do, especially since Fluke the Whale is out on his migration. Bivalve is concerned about Eel enslaving them and ruining the sea, but an unknown masked creature arrives, declaring that he will stop Eel.

At the edge of the continental shelf, Eel surveys the end of his territory with his mussels. The unknown masked creature arrives, calling out to Eel and swimming past the group fast, creating a current that sends all the mussels off the edge of the continental shelf and unable to help out Eel. As he witnesses all his hired goons falling to their death, the masked creature pins him down with his tail fin. The creature, the dolphin Bottlenose in ninja gear, calls himself Finja, giving Eel a karate chop. He then throws a starfish at Eel, taking him down.

The other Forty Fathom Freedom Fighters arrive, congratulating Bottlenose on his work. P.B. ties up Eel to send him to prison, as Bivalve notes that Bottlenose's efforts should be immortalized in song. Surely enough, it is, as they pass by the choral reef while sings about Bottlenose's victory, to Eel's dismay.

Background

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