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Sonic the Hedgehog 013 (Archie)

From Sonic Retro

SonictheHedgehog13Archie.jpg

Sonic the Hedgehog #013
"In This Issue...'Knuckles' From Sega's
Sonic the Hedgehog 3"

Writer: Mike Kanterovich (1), Ken Penders (1),
Michael Gallagher (2)
Pencils: Dave Manak (1), Art Mawhinney (2)
Inks: Jon D'Agostino
Letters: Bill Yoshida
Colors: Barry Grossman
Editor: Scott Fulop
Managing Editor: Victor Gorelick
Editor-In-Chief: Richard Goldwater
Cover Art by: Dave Manak/Jon D'Agostino
Special Thanks: Dedicated to our inspiration,
Jack "King" Kirby
Cover Date: August 1994
Release Date: May 1994
Country: North America

Sonic the Hedgehog No. 13 is the thirteenth issue of the ongoing Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series published by Archie Comics. The initial printing contained two stories: "This Island Hedgehog," adapting the game Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and "Space In Yo' Face." A single-page installment of the letter column Sonic-Grams is also included.

Official Solicitation

In an adaption of Sonic The Hedgehog 3 for Genesis, Sonic and Tails meet Knuckles The Echidna! Knuckles has been tricked by Robotnik into thinking Sonic and Tails are after the islands Chaos Emeralds. And while he's busy interoggating the heroes, Robotniks up to his old dirty tricks...

Summary

This Island Hedgehog (Part 1)

Sonic the Hedgehog, riding on top of the Freedom Fighter's plane the Tornado as its piloted by Miles "Tails" Prower, head out to sea to find Dr. Robotnik's hovercraft. Instead, the duo come across a mysterious floating island, Tails immediately wondering how the land mass can float over the water. Sonic theorizes it could be due to a Chaos Emerald, suggesting they fly over to investigate. The pair do not go unnoticed, a figure watching their approach acting quite unhappy about this turn of events. The unidentified person fires a missile (complete with unwelcome mat) at the heroes, destroying the Tornado in the process. Sonic and Tails bail out just in time, the two-tailed fox grabbing Sonic and flying them both safely to the island's surface, the broken pieces of the Tornado crashing nearby. With their way home out of commission, the duo decide to trek across the isle to see if they can find any natives to help them return to the mainland. It isn't long before Sonic and Tails are caught off guard by a huge flamethrower, narrowly avoiding getting burned while the mysterious stranger continues to look on. Tails identifies the source as the Assaulting Batter Blimp, the pair trying to avoid its continued attack. Just as the flame is about to hit Sonic, he unexpectedly is covered in an energy shield. Taking advantage of the situation, they both jump into a nearby pond, escaping the machine.

Dropping into the Hydrocity Zone, Sonic loses his shield, both parties being forced into a strong water current. Holding their breath, they blast through a brick wall, grabbing a nearby vertical pole in the hopes of not getting sucked away. The force proves too much, he and Tails getting sucked into a drain. With hope fading fast, Sonic passes out.

Waking up, Sonic and Tails find themselves tied up in a pitch black room, hearing the voice of someone still clouded in darkness as a single light turns on. Surprised to find the voice not belong to Robotnik, the mysterious figure from before steps out of the shadows, revealing his likeness to the heroes. Introducing himself as Knuckles the Echidna, the last of the Echidnas and protector of the Chaos Emerald, he explains how he heard about their arrival through his "pal" Robotnik, and how he doesn't take kindly to trespassers looking to steal his gems.

This Island Hedgehog (Part 2)

From his ship, Robotnik watches on a monitor as the scene unfolds. Having his hovercraft becoming stranded on the island previous to the story's beginning, he explains to Snively his plans to steal the Chaos Emerald that keeps the island afloat. With its power, they'd be able to fly off and return to Robotropolis with no problem. He continues to watch as Knuckles interrogates Sonic and Tails, asking how they could have known there was an Emerald on the island. Sonic tell Knuckles that the guardian mentioned the emerald the moment they woke up, Tails affirming this statement with a well-placed "duh." Threatening to give them each a "Knuckles Sandwich," the Echidna gives them a chance to get off his island without confrontation, giving them a ten minute head start to leave before he comes after them. The two race out, but instead of leaving the island, they decide to use the time to prove their innocence.

Robotnik, still watching intently, yells at Knuckles for releasing them, claiming that they are known jewel thieves unlike he, a Freedom Fighter. Knuckles tells him to carry on with his business and ends the communication. Robotnik, storms out of the room, thinking about how his plan's time table needs to be moved up. Asking a nearby SWATbot if his trusty robot sidekick Crabmeat had returned, the evil dictator is delighted to see he has come through, delivering to him a Chaos Emerald placed delicately on a pillow. He picks it up, overwhelmed by the power that it holds, thinking of what he can now do with its unlimited power.

Elsewhere, Sonic and Tails travel through a forest, the young sidekick asking how they intend to prove their innocence. Sonic replies that Robotnik will do it for them soon enough. Watching their every move, Knuckles becomes angry as he sees the pair traveling in the direction of the isle's Chaos Emerald. Taking a quick shortcut in an underground passage, he arrives at the emerald's secret hiding place, only to find it is missing. As Sonic and Tails come into the frame, the gullible Guardian realizes they couldn't have stolen it, leaving only one suspect: Dr. Robotnik. Having been played as a sap, Knuckles demands the two take him to Robotnik.

On Robotnik's hovercraft, the Chaos Emerald has been used to recharge the engine. Ready for take off, Robotnik continues to stare at the Emerald, believing it may still be of use in the future. Suddenly, in a blink of an eye the emerald disappears out of his hand, the evil doctor in shock. It doesn't take long for him to realize the cause: Sonic the Hedgehog, holding the emerald as he leans against a wall, side by side with a perturbed Knuckles. Ordering his SWATbots to attack, a quick fight ensues, with the united trio easily becoming victorious. High-fives are had in victory, though Tails asks the obvious question of what happened to Robotnik. With the craft's engines firing to life, the three quickly bail out of the vehicle as it hops off the island back to Robotropolis, the doctor safely escaping.

With Robotnik defeated, Tails asks about their plane, as its still the only way the duo can leave the island. Knuckles explains that while they were out cold earlier, he had collected all the parts of the plane, which Sonic puts back together at super speed. Flying off back towards Knothole, Knuckles waves them goodbye, knowing that, more then likely, this isn't the last he's seen of them.

Is Knuckles friend or foe??? Sonic and Tails would like to know!!! Check out upcoming issues for further details!

Space In Yo' Face (Part 1)

In a moment of downtime for the Freedom Fighters, Sonic uses his Sonic Spin to carve a wood statue of Antoine D'Coolette, with Tails and Bunnie Rabbot watching on. Just as he puts the finishing touches on the head, Princess Sally Acorn runs over and tells him to stop. He does so, but due to the surprise, accidentally cuts the head off the statue. Sally and Rotor Walrus tell Sonic and the others that Robotnik has created an orbital space weapon called the Robostorm, capable of firing a beam that can roboticize anything within a 100 mile radius. She has a plan to take out the weapon, but it requires them getting past a fleet of SWATbots that are guarding the still-earthbound craft.

Outside Robotropolis, the Freedom Fighters hide behind a rock cliff as they see the Robostorm: a large oval vessel with Robotnik's likeliness on it, surrounded by SWATbots. Sonic runs from his cover and gathers the attention of all the bots, leading them away from the vessel, giving the others a chance to infiltrate the craft. Destroying the SWATbot guards, Sonic boards the Robostorm with the others, who start sabotaging the circuits. Sonic, meanwhile, looks outside and sees Robotnik approaching the platform, with Snively in tow. Already gloating about his imminent victory, Snively is the first to point out that the guards they left are missing, and the ship's doors have been opened. Rushing as fast as his tiny legs can carry him, Robotnik gets covered in the ash from the rockets firing on the Robostorm, as the ship flies towards space with the Freedom Fighters on board.

In space, Sonic realizes they can't sabotage the spaceship while they are in orbit, Sally deciding to try and land it in Knothole and destroy it there. As the group fly over Mobius, Robotnik, in his own smaller craft, chases after them, the group unknowing of their pursuit. They move in close and fire the de-energizer, Robotnik shielding his face as to not look at something bearing his likeness getting ruined. With a direct hit, the vessel is drained of its power. Robotnik appears on the Robostorm's monitor, notifying the Freedom Fighters of their state and that they'll either be towed back to Mobius for roboticization or left in space to drift, laughing manically as he does so.

Space In Yo' Face (Part 2)

While Robotnik continues to gloat over his victory, Sonic notices a button blinking on the control panel, indicating some auxiliary power remaining in the ship. He uses the power to fly the vessel away from Robotnik and onto a nearby moon orbiting Mobius. As they descend toward the moon, Sonic realizes that they don't have enough power for a safe landing. They come in hard, only to hit the surface with a 'SPLAT'. Rotor realizes they have landed on the legendary moon known as Muckury, which has a surface covered in muck. Unfortunately, the atmosphere is too thin to be able to breathe for extended periods outside of the ship. Nearby, Robotnik and Snively land, only briefly being stuck in the muck. Their spacecraft, while smaller, is a transformer, and quickly becomes a humanoid robot without arms, able to traverse the sticky surface. Unable to directly attack anything with his visage, Snively uses the robot to kick the Robostorm. Snively notes to Robotnik that the Freedom Fighters weren't in the ship when it was kicked, as he witnesses them running away across the muck.

The Freedom Fighters try to navigate across the surface, but are slowed down by the muck's properties, the thin air not doing them any favors. As Sonic tries to come up with an idea to defeat the evil mastermind, he recalls Bunnie's earlier statement of Robotnik's obsession with himself. As the doctor and Snively approach in a specialized buggy that came out of the transformer, Sonic gets to work, spinning through the muck to create a giant mountain. Once complete, Robotnik demands Snively stop driving, and hops out of the buggy to approach Sonic's creation: a towering tribute to Robotnik, molded to look just like the dictator. As he stares transfixed, he neglects to take notice of Sonic rushing away, and only realizes something is up once the muck begins to fall under its own weight, burying Robotnik. The gang, having scored another victory, quickly rush off to the transforming ship so they can return home, leaving the evil duo stranded. Robotnik demands Snively free him, though his nephew asserts it will take some time, as the only tool he has to dig his uncle out is a spoon.

The next day, Rotor has made a special breakfast for his friends. They all lose their appetite once they see it: Mobian Mush.

Commentary

My partner Mike Kanterovich and I had just been given the go-ahead to develop a story introducing the new character featured on the SONIC 3 game cartridge, KNUCKLES THE ECHIDNA. Naturally, our first decision, regarding how we were going to write the new character, was a no-brainer. KNUCKLES may have been indigenous to the Australian wildback, and he may have the dreadlocks to do any Rastafarian proud, but he was most definitely a "dese"-"dem"-&-"dose" Brooklyn kind of guy. Which is exactly how we wrote him in our original script.

This decision was made all the more poignant when, while starting to construct the actual script, we learned of the passing of Jack Kirby, who was not only one of the greatest comic book creators ever, but also one of the seminal influences upon both Mike and myself. Without hesitation, we both agreed to dedicate this particular story in memory of Jack.

The main reason this particular story came into existence is that Sega wanted to promote its latest Sonic game cartridge, SONIC 3. That meant Mike and I had to incorporate elements from the game into the story, most of which are featured in Part One. (Part Two was devoted to tying up all the loose ends and resolving the story on a somewhat upbeat note.)

One interesting side note: As this issue was going to press, Sega decided they wanted the Knuckles story replaced with something else, as they hadn't decided what they were going to do with the echidna in the long-term. Fortunately, editor Scott Fulop put the situation in the correct perspective: if Sega wanted so drastic a change made at the witching hour, they would to bear the responsibility for the costs. Shortly afterwards, Mike and I offered up a sequel, as we were itching to do more with Knuckles, which was originally scheduled for SONIC #20. Unfortunately, Sega nixed any sequels for a few more months until they finally relented, giving us the go-ahead for the SONIC & KNUCKLES SPECIAL.

— Ken Penders [1]

Scans

Miscellaneous

  • Both the character Knuckles the Echidna and Sonic's trusty bi-plane the Tornado make their first appearance in this issue.
  • One plot point in "Space In Yo' Face" describes how there are 100 Moons orbiting the planet Mobius. As the series progressed, it was decided that Mobius was actually a future version of Earth as opposed to just a fantastical planet somewhere in space. As such, the 100 Moons were retconned as being an Overlander project to construct numerous space stations in orbit around the planet, as described in the Sonic Comic Encyclopedia.
  • Outside of Knuckles' cave, a sign reading 'Gotham City 14 Miles' is shown, referencing a common sight from the 1960's live action Batman television series.
  • A line in Sonic-Grams makes note of a Sonic air hockey game under development by Sega at the time of writing.
  • "This Island Hedgehog" would later be reprinted in the Sonic the Hedgehog Firsts trade paperback. The entire issue would also be reproduced in Sonic the Hedgehog Archives Volume 4 and Sonic Legacy Book 1.
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Sonic in Your Face! | Sonic & Knuckles | Sonic Triple Trouble | Knuckles' Chaotix | Super Sonic vs Hyper Knuckles | Sonic & Knuckles: Mecha Madness | Sonic Live! | Sonic Blast | Sonic Mega Drive

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Sonic the Hedgehog Firsts | Sonic the Hedgehog: The Beginning | Sonic: Genesis | Worlds Collide: 1 | 2 | 3 | Deluxe Edition

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Miscellaneous
The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia | Archie & Friends: A Halloween Tale | Archie's Weird Mysteries | Sonic and the Secret Rings | Sabrina the Teenage Witch 28 | Mega Man: 25 | 26 | 27 | 28