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Sonic the Hedgehog 038 (Archie)

From Sonic Retro

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Sonic the Hedgehog #038
"Sonic the Hedgehog"

Writer: Kent Taylor
Pencils: Manny Galan, Phil Sheeny,
Vickie Williams, Barry Grossman,
Freddy Mendez and Victor Gorelick
Cover Art by: Patrick Spaziante/Harvo
Release Date: September 1996
Country: North America

Sonic the Hedgehog 38 is the thirty-eighth issue of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic.

This comic features two stories: "The Rise of Robotropolis...the Fall of Sonic" and "Bedtime Tails!".

The Rise of Robotropolis...the Fall of Sonic

After the earthquake that destroyed Robotropolis, Robotnik has been conducting repairs. It is a stormy night, and Antoine and Tails are on a scouting mission to check Robotropolis' condition first-hand. Sonic is supposed to be with the two, but he had already gone way ahead of them, brandishing a power ring. They eventually catch up at the side of a factory, where, nearby, many SWATbots are repairing a building. With the storm worsening, the cowardly Antoine suggest they return to Knothole Village. Sonic agrees, thinking they have all the information they need. Just as they prepare to leave, Antoine looks up and notices a large shadow looming over him...just an explosion occurs nearby. The three duck for cover, with Tails carrying Antoine.

They get up and notice Robotnik's combots have returned. They start to attack Sonic, who jumps on their heads, while Tails flies Antoine into the sky. Sonic orders Tails to perform maneuver S-461...or, in plain terms, to drop Antoine onto the combots. He falls down on two of the combots, taking them out despite his protests. Sonic, meanwhile, fights another two of the combots, drop-kicking one into the other and causing them to explode.

The storm continues to worsen as one of the combots grabs and restrains Antoine with a metal rope from its arm. Sonic enters into a spindash and cuts through the metal, freeing Antoine from its grasp. As he lands on the ground, a bolt of lightning hits the combot, destroying it in a huge explosion that knocks Sonic back. With the combots destroyed, Tails runs over to Sonic, who is out cold and not moving. Antoine orders Tails to fly back to Knothole to get help, fearing for Sonic's life, while he remains behind to keep an eye on him.

That morning, the rest of the Freedom Fighters are able to get to Sonic, who has come to, but is very dizzy. Despite his condition, he stands up and tells Sally about the return of the combots, although she was told about them through her spy network and Tails. Nonetheless, he has every intent to get back into the battle and stop Robotnik from getting the combots out. He jumps up and off a rock to get his speed, but instead, falls face-first into the ground. Tails flies over to help him, but Sonic thinks he's fine. He starts to run off again, Bunnie Rabbot calls out to Sonic. He doesn't listen so she starts to follow him...having no problem catching up to him. Sonic is confused as to how she could catch up to him, until she tells him she shouldn't be able to. He stops, realizing that he has lost his super speed.

He tests his theory, trying to swat a mosquito with his power ring, but can't get to it. Rotor tries to understand the situation from the information he has, thinking that the combined power source of the combot with the explosion caused by the lightning covered Sonic in a field of anti-inertia, resulting in a loss of speed. Sonic gets frustrated over his loss, mouthing off to Rotor, forcing Sally to try to cool him down. He does apologize, saying that it is his speed that has been a part of him since he was a child, and one of their best weapons against Robotnik. Sally takes out NICOLE, who notes that having multiple power rings could temporarily restore his speed.

The group return to the Great Forest to return to Knothole. Although they hope that nobody followed them, a group of combots have gone ahead of the group using a cloaking ability. As the Freedom Fighters pass a couple of trees, the combots break their disguise and ambush the group. One of them launches a stream of glue at Rotor and Tails, stopping them, while Bunnie uses her abilities to take out another one of the combots. Despite her efforts, one of the combots takes her out with a sleeping powder, while another traps Tails in a net. With a power ring in hand, Sonic throws it at a combot. The reaction causes it to explode, while another combot captures Sally. He jumps out of the way from the explosion, falling into a pond and sinks. With Sonic out of the way, the remaining combots fly out of the area, with the Freedom Fighters with them.

Despite sinking in the pond, Sonic is brought to the surface by Penelope, who was swimming in it. Ironically, the pond that Sonic landed in was the Lake of Rings, as another ring ascends to the surface. He grabs it, as they get out of the pond. The rest of Sally's Freedom Fighters, Arlo, Hamlin and Dylan, arrive on the scene. Having witnessed the battle on their spycam, they have decided to help save the others. Despite his loss of speed, with a ring in hand, and with Sally's Freedom Fighters, Sonic feels confident they can get their friends back.

In an abandoned shack outside Robotropolis, Sonic, Sally's Freedom Fighters, and the Freedom Fighters' spy network (consisting of Fly Freddy and Sleuth Dogg) get together to discuss a plan of action to retrieve the others. The spy network has determined that Robotnik is keeping the Freedom Fighters in his secondary lab. As the city is still under repairs, the group can access the lab through an air shaft leading to it. Sonic thanks Fly and Sleuth, as they note that it was Uncle Chuck that helped them figure out where the others are. The two leave the shack, donning their SWATbot disguises to continue their work. For once, Sonic is actually worried about what could happen.

Sonic and the Freedom Fighters infiltrate Robotropolis, taking to a narrow catwalk on one of Robotnik's skyscrapers. Without his super speed, Sonic can do nothing but worry, as he could've done this job easily if he did have his speed. Suddenly, the catwalk below Sonic breaks, causing him to fall. Dylan acts in time, grabbing Sonic and saving his life. He brings him back up and they enter the air duct of the building. Arriving at the room, Sonic removes the vent cover, and they venture in slowly. As they creep into the room, they're drowned in a bright light. They look up to see Robotnik, gloating in a chair in front of them, beside a combot assembly unit and the Freedom Fighters in roboticization tubes. He claims he has detected the group this whole time, laughing at his victory.

He orders his combots to attack, forcing Sonic and the others to defend for themselves. Although they are able to hold off the combat units at first, they slowly start to succumb to their attacks. Sonic realizes that Sally's crew can't stand up to these bots, leaving Sonic on his own. However, with only one power ring in hand, he's still left without his speed. He then realizes that he has another power ring from earlier in his backpack. With two rings in hand, he jumps over a combot, but notices no change in his speed, needing a third ring to do the job. He looks up, and notices the remains of the combot he threw a ring at earlier. The ring is still in the wreckage, as it passes over him on a claw. He jumps at the wreckage and reaches it, but is pulled down by a whole group of the combots.

With three rings in hand, Sonic pushes the whole group of bots off of him. NICOLE's earlier presumptions were correct, as Sonic realizes that his speed has returned. Now back to normal, he uses his speed to create a tornado that takes out every combot in the room, and frees the Freedom Fighters from the roboticization tubes. Sonic orders Robotnik to surrender, but he has no intentions of doing so, pressing a button on his chair that sends him below decks. Just before he leaves their view, he tells the group that he has set a bomb timer that will cause the building to explode in 60 seconds.

Everybody is able to escape the building in time, as it explodes in a timely manner. With another stalemate in their war, Sonic declares that they will meet again, under his terms.

Bedtime Tails!

Sonic is bedridden with a cold. Tails walks in to check-up on him, but Sonic only notes that his cold is getting worse, as he does a big sneeze. He enters the room, revealing an answer to his cold: comic books, which he slams a huge pile of beside the bed. He reveals that he has written and drew them all by himself; a story of four Freedom Fighters who lived in Knothole Village many years ago. Grabbing a stool, Tails prepares to read his comic to Sonic, despite his groans.

He starts the story in song, revealing that the four Freedom Fighters took a trip to space, only to get lost on their journey. They encountered mysterious galactic rays that brought them back to their planet, but also gave them super powers. With these new super powers, they vowed to use them to fight for freedom.

Sonic interrupts the story, asking how the group survived the crash of the rocket. Tails shrugs it off, saying that they are super heroes, telling him to just accept it. He clears his throat and continues the story.

Not long after their return, a mysterious flare appears in the sky, revealing the words 'Freedom Fighters'. The three Freedom Fighters, Sonic, Rotor, and Tails return to their lair, having been summoned by Sally. She shows a video of a mysterious orb-like space ship entering their section of space, but she doesn't know where it's going to land. Suddenly, the whole lair shakes...the ship has landed on their own building. They team up and head for the top of the building.

As they arrive on the roof, they bare witness to a large likeliness of Robotnik named Robotnicus, who has come to their planet to eat it. Sally and the others prepare to hold off Robotnicus, allowing Sonic to do his own thing to stop him. In a split second, Sonic returns with a couple of packages of Twinkles. Robotnicus contemplates having one, but ends up eating several thousand, spoiling his appetite for their planet. He boards his ship to return to his planet, vowing to return for dinner. Sonic expects his return...with more Twinkles on hand.

Tails closing his comic, asking Sonic about it. However, the sick hedgehog has fallen asleep.

The next day, Sonic is feeling well, but Tails is now sick with a cold. In return for what Tails did, Sonic also has an answer for Tails' cold: his own comic book, starring Bat-Sonic. He sits down beside Tails' bed and starts to read it, as Tails groans.

Background Information

  • This issue features a number of new artists, including the pencil work of Manny Galan, inking from Phil Sheeny and lettering by Vickie Williams. The stylings of Manny Galan compared to others is noticeable through more cartoonish status indicators, such as x'd out eyes and storm clouds over people's heads.
  • Fly Freddy is introduced.
  • The Combots shown in issue 34 return, as well as Sally's Freedom Fighters.
  • On the first page, Sonic hums the tune of the SatAM introduction song.
  • In the beginning of Bedtime Tails!, Sonic is watching an episode of 'All My Hedeghogs', a reference to the soap opera All My Children.
  • Tails' comic book, Freedom Fighters, is a parody of the Fantastic Four.
  • This issue features a two page special, showing the covers of the Freedom Fighters and Bat-Sonic comics.
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