Can you really believe it’s been six whole years since I started this Fleetway thing back in part 1? How time flies when you’re having fun… or are too lazy to keep writing really long pieces without year-long gaps!
Anyway… last time a lot of things happened. Amongst other things there was a new foe, a tragedy, a crisis of confidence, some time travel shenanigans, and on the tail end of that we’d just discovered a Drakon Prosecutor back in the distant past of the Floating Island. You can read all of that in part 9 though: let’s dive in and get back to where we were, shall we? Hit the jump for the second half of StC’s adaptation of Sonic Adventure – and remember, LARGE spoilers for the end of Sonic the Comic lie beyond, as this part covers the very end of the comic’s run of original material.
Our story resumes with the ancient echidnas, previously hiding carefully in their strategic hill-top emplacement, deciding to go full-on zerg-rush at the Prosecutor; with one loudly screaming “Attack!” as the echidnas charge forward, losing the element of surprise. Sonic yells to them that he’s met a Prosecutor before (more than one, I think, by this point), and that they’re dangerous, but Tikal just tells Sonic that Knuckles knows what he’s doing. I think this would be a first, actually. Sonic turns his attention away from the echidnas doing their best to replicate the strategy that lost the Battle of Hastings and back to Tikal, reminding her she still hasn’t told him why she brought Sonic to the past in the first place. Tikal just tells him to be patient and that she’ll explain everything later, “Or as much as I understand, anyway”. I’m sure that Sonic had a remark about this but we don’t get to see him chewing the girl out, the action focusing on the echidnas being bashed aside by the Prosecutor. Knuckles charges forward, telling the others to stand back and that he’ll deal with the alien himself as another says they’ll be right behind him (waiting for Knuckles to be defeated as easily as the previous ones, no doubt). Announcing that it’s time to see how tough the Drakon really is, Knuckles gives it a solid punch to the chest.
This doesn’t sit well with Sonic.
Darting forward and jumping over sprawled-out echidnas, Sonic tells them to not bother getting up as this’ll only take a minute. Completely ignoring the area Knuckles targetted, he deftly lands behind the Prosecutor’s head and announces that if you want to take a Prosecutor out, it’s no use going for the body. This lesson in GCSE Drakon Attacking has taken enough time though that the warrior manages to adjust his grip.
The sarcastic quip here is from Knuckles, by the way, as revealed in the next panel – it’s good to know that one of the few characters in StC who’s proven able to be a solid foil to Sonic was just as good at it even here in the past. Sonic spins rapidly around the Prosecutor as it expresses its disbelief that anything can move that fast. Sonic for his part just retorts back to Knuckles that he’s always had a smart mouth, but the echidna again has no idea what Sonic is on about, repeating that they’ve never met and he doesn’t know any talking hedgehogs. Sonic grabs the head of the Prosecutor a second time, saying that the two have met, but in the future. However this can wait, because GCSE Drakon Attacking has resumed again; with Sonic telling the crowd that if you want to take out a Prosecutor, you go for the head.
Sonic the Hedgehog, world-famous assassin and stone-cold killer. Only he hasn’t actually killed it, leaping back off the body as the now backwards-headed Drakon flails wildly. It screams that this is an outrage, and that they will all pay dearly for it. Sonic just coolly asks the echidnas that if they think the backwards-headed Drakon is disgusting…
Well, it’s not kicking the thing’s head off, but I’ll take it. The stupefied echidnas look on in disbelief, as Sonic picks up the disembodied head and removes the helmet, revealing the Drakon inside it – all the Prosecutor is, is a weird-looking fish contained entirely within the head. Sonic holds the fish by the tail in one hand, deadpanning that if someone brings him a bucket of water they can all get out of the area.
Back in the present, the scene unfolds of a fortress on a bleak-looking mountain top. Lightning cracks in the background. Where else could it be than a base for Robotnik? The fat scientist muses that Grimer’s never been to this retreat before, and Grimer confirms that he hasn’t – when Robotnik ruled Mobius, he said one of the reasons he’d come here was to get away from Grimer! The two are standing on a balcony overlooking the inhospitable land of grey rock, and the reason why quickly becomes apparent as a green sparkling dot appears in the sky, Grimer spotting it first. It is the Master Emerald, which has apparently been attracted here by a machine of Robotnik’s called a Chaos Resonator. Once Knuckles hit the eject switch back in part 9 and released them from the chamber, Robotnik was free to turn the thing on and pull the Emeralds directly to him.
I’m still not sure on Robotnik’s logic for assuming that Chaos has the other three – I mean, if the Master Emerald has only just arrived, surely it’s possible that other Chaos Emeralds could still be on route? It doesn’t really matter for Robotnik’s plan though – given Robotnik has 4 of the Emeralds, Chaos would still have to come to them eventually, so whatever.
Back in the past, Sonic and the echidnas have returned to Megaopolis City, the capital of the echidna empire, which has a suspiciously familiar looking pyramid to anyone who’s ever played Sonic Adventure. There’s not too much time to take in the majesty of the Mayan-esque surroundings though, as a voice demands that the “primitives” release it, as this is an “insult to the Drakon Empire”. I wonder who could be uttering these demands?
Our protagonist, ladies and gentlemen: part time torturer & chippy owner (really putting the “fast” in fast food)! Apparently undesiring of becoming half of a plate of fish and chips, the Drakon wisely shuts up and swims down into the pool, as Knuckles turns to Sonic. The echidna asks how it is that Sonic claims to know him thousands of years in the future. Given the cat’s out of the bag on that score, Sonic says that while he can’t tell him much, he does know that in the future Knuckles has no memory of this past life, and the hedgehog guesses Knuckles must have been in suspended animation for thousands of years. Sonic wishes he could tell him more (I’m guessing to try and protect the timeline, though it’s not explicitly stated), and before Knuckles gets a chance to demand otherwise Tikal wanders in and says her father wants to see Sonic now.
Ah, Pochacamac. Much less of an arsehole in StC than he was in the game, for what it’s worth – he’s actually helpful and listens to people! Sonic introduces himself to the old echidna, asking him how he’s doing. The answer it turns out is not very well, which is why they brought Sonic to the past in the first place – something Sonic was hoping that they’d get around to answering. Pochacamac promises Sonic that he’ll answer all his queries, but that first he has to show Sonic something, something that they’d stolen two days ago from the Drakon Empire.
So if the Chaos Emeralds are from space aliens, does that make Sonic, who can use them, a sort of Green Lantern? He uses rings, and his eyes are green now for theming…
Two weeks later, issue #181 hits the newsagents’ shelves. It seems that the captive fish from last issue wasn’t on his own, as a massed army of Drakon assembles on the hill overlooking the echidna city. Firing a barrage of missiles downwards at it, a senior-looking Drakon states that the missiles should convince the “echidna scum” that they mean business. He orders his men to take their Sentinels and not return without the Chaos Emeralds. Inside the city, Sonic is still staring stunned at them, thinking out loud about how oblivious the echidnas are (hey, given what we know of Knuckles, maybe it’s just a racial trait) to the trouble the things are going to cause in the future. Pointing at Pochacamac, he says his patience has now run out and he wants to know what’s going on, why he’s been brought to the past. Just as he says this though, a massive explosion rocks the room, sending the 3 animals flying.
Sonic’s acting-like-a-five-year-old tactic of throwing a tantrum seems to work, as a downcast Pochacamac reluctantly agrees, supposing that Sonic has the right to know what exactly he’s getting himself into (not that he had a lot of choice in the matter, but I digress…). Turns out that the Drakon arrived on Mobius several months ago (relative to local time, obviously) but that they must have been spying on the place for some time previously as they knew exactly what they’d come to get – control of the echidnas’ “sacred emerald mines”. The echidnas just mined them out as fancy rocks to worship (whatever floats your boat, I guess there are sillier things to deify) but the Drakon, who’d developed an unstable energy source, and discovered the emeralds from the mine were a way to control that energy by essentially dunking the things in vats of the energy. Evidently they’d only had the time to do this to seven of them (or only seven were available) before the echidnas nicked them. Pochacamac says it’s not just that the emeralds are sacred to the echidnas, but with a thousand of these converted jewels the Drakon would have all the power they’d need to conquer the entire galaxy. Cripes!
So I guess it was Pochacamac who drew the mural in Hidden Palace Zone then – that mystery finally solved! The echidna tells our Great Champion (and you can bet that Sonic will brag like hell about this title later) that he is filled with the power of the Chaos Emeralds, his eyes glowing green with their energy. Given what can happen when Sonic’s had a buzz of Chaos Emerald power (see part 6), this would be worrying had Super Sonic not been physically separated from him some time previously in the comic’s canon (in the story “Running Wild”, StC #80 to #82). Anyway, it turns out that the emerald power is how the echidnas were able to find him and bring him to the past, at more or less the earliest point that they could have potentially pulled him from. Sonic tells the echidna to hold on a second, but as he does so Tikal returns with two echidna helpers and a small fish tank containing the Drakon from earlier, who’s apparently no longer caring about the prospect of being Harry Ramsden’d and has started ranting again about how Sonic won’t be able to save the echidnas from the might of the Drakon Empire.
As the intruding Drakon fire their staffs at Sonic, he’s almost pleased. He tells them that all the talking was driving him crazy and he’s in the mood for a good fight, at which point he starts bouncing off Drakon necks as Pochacamac calls in backup. This includes Guardian Robots, piloted by more echidnas. One of the Drakon, clearly annoyed, yells at Sonic that no matter how fast he is, he can’t dodge the blasts forever. Sonic for his part has heard it all before (such is the life of a cartoon hero), but then something unexpected happens.
Look at the fish tank, that Prosecutor looks terrified. A stunned Drakon warrior exclaims that he didn’t mean to shoot the gems as Sonic cries out to everyone to get out of the room, as they’re in big trouble. Energies begin to wildly escalate, all over the place.
“Freedom! Horrible, horrible freedom!” The Drakon are apparently cowardly as hell, running off as they do without bothering to scoop up Bubbles here. Sonic, Tikal, and Pochacamac crouch behind a door and wince as there’s another explosion which catches Guardian Robots and Drakons alike, then in the peace immediately following it Sonic sticks his head around the door. Wide-eyed, the hedgehog states that he doesn’t believe it…
Chaos is born, from the captured Prosecutor! And unlike in the present, this one has all the Emeralds in it – substantially higher in power. Ulp.
Issue #182 starts with Sonic’s realisation that the creature he’s just seen created before his eyes is Chaos, the same being who killed Johnny Lightfoot back in part 9. Though he doesn’t say it, this means Sonic has helped to make his friend’s killer. Temporal mechanics, you are a harsh mistress… Tikal asks Sonic how he’s met Chaos before, given that for him this is the distant past. Sonic doesn’t know, but he does know that they’re all in big trouble. I think even Knuckles could have figured that one out, Sonic. Speaking of Knuckles, he rallies all the echidnas in the area, telling them that this is their chance to drive the Drakon out of the city: and they all start fighting the Drakon with renewed vigour. As she and Sonic stand for a moment observing the carnage, the echidna girl has a realisation.
As the echidnas and Drakon kick the crap out of each other in the background (with the Drakon now having a new ally in Chaos), Tikal says that while she has only glimpsed the future, Sonic lives there. She asks Sonic what will become of the echidna race, but Sonic doesn’t immediately say anything, given that the only two echidnas that still exist on his Mobius are Knuckles and one called Zachary, who we’ll say nothing more about here other than that he’s a total arse who’s caused Knuckles more than one problem. Deciding to just ignore the problem for now (because that makes all issues go away), Sonic tells Tikal that history was never his strong suit but he’ll tell her what he can later. At this, he charges forward.
Fighting off the fear factor, Sonic plunges towards Chaos, saying that while the thing kills one of his best friends in the future, if he destroys it now, maybe he can change all of that. Throwing causality to the wind, with a final screaming yell Sonic plunges inside Chaos (just like he did before the green eyes incident), only this time the water monster keeps him inside its body. With glee, Chaos tells the trapped hedgehog that he cannot be hurt.
With Chaos having momentarily been zapped of most of his power, this is presumably the moment the echidnas trap him up for Grimer to free back at the start of this story. We don’t see this though, instead zipping forward in time again to Robotnik’s Fortress of Solitude on the top of the mountain – though not inside right away, as we see the little 4-man flying craft the Freedom Fighters took to meet up with Chaos before make a re-appearance. Inside are Knuckles (the present one), Tails, and Amy. The trio have apparently finally managed to get Knuckles’ steampunk telescope working as they confirm that there’s no doubt about it, the fortress is definitely where the Chaos Emeralds are; and that no matter the risk, they’ve got to get them back.
Inside the fortress, Grimer’s spotted the three’s approach, and tells Robotnik this. The moustachioed one is quite pleased with this latest development, saying that they can now all be together for the grand finalé. Grimer’s a bit concerned – Chaos is still on the way after all, and once he has the other emeralds that are currently in their possession, the creature will be unstoppable. He says to Robotnik that he does have some kind of a plan… right…?
Grimer doesn’t have any time to respond to this statement: whether it’s a test, or a quiz, or anything else – as sloshing through the window comes Chaos, exclaiming that no plan can save them now, nothing can. A terrified Grimer stammers out that it’s Chaos, while Robotnik looks more bored than anything else, his arms calmly held behind his back as he says “You don’t say.” As a side note, it looks like more emeralds did indeed come to them before Chaos did – the creature itself has only the one in it while the column inside their hideout has the other 6.
While all this is going on, Amy & co arrive at the other window. Does no-one here know what doors are?
Nice to know the Doc still has the time to throw some choice insults at Knuckles. Grimer’s frantic pointing is at the newly arrived Chaos, who suddenly has Sonic inside his chest. Pochacamac’s transportation act with Sonic has seemingly used the emeralds & Chaos as some sort of temporal magnet, bringing the hedgehog forward in time again to be physically where he was in the past, but temporally in the present. Remembering now what happened back then, Chaos ejects Sonic onto the floor as he delights in saying that Pochacamac didn’t save Sonic from being killed by Chaos, only delayed it by 8000 years. I wonder if Chaos thinks it’ll be worth the wait?
We then cut back to the past again, going back those aforementioned 8000 years. For the record, I’m none the wiser as to why Sonic was in the past in the first place, given that every time the explanation was about to come up they were interrupted. My best guess is that Pochacamac’s visions made him think Sonic would be a useful help against the Drakon, but the echidna elder was forced to send him home again, rather than kill the hedgehog and power Chaos up even more in the process. Oh well. Nice try, echidnas… Amongst the smoking ruins of the immediate area of Megaopolis City, the Drakon are defeated, the echidnas victorious. Knuckles happily turns to Pochacamac, confirming they’ve driven the Drakon invaders out of the city; though Pochacamac is somewhat less enthusiastic about it, pointing out they’ve only done so for the time being. Tikal hopes that Sonic’s alright, as sending him back like that was somewhat risky – what, riskier than bringing him right into a dinosaur stampede? I think these guys need to work on their time travel mechanisms. Pochacamac points out it was Sonic’s only chance, as Chaos was about to destroy the hedgehog.
And with that, our time in the ancient past is over. So long echidnas, it was nice meeting you all. (Is this the point where Ken Penders storms out of the room, claiming that there’s no point listening to the rest? -Ed)
Issue #183, our penultimate comic, begins with us having made that 8000 year trek into the future one last time. As Robotnik’s fortress pulsates with green chaos energy, two hooded figures look on from a nearby rocky crag – and one of them has a very familiar pair of red shoes with a white stripe on. The taller one says that there’s no mistaking the feel of that energy, the one with the shoes simply says that it’s chaos energy.
It’s Super Sonic and Ebony! So you’ll remember from part 6 (I did link it earlier!) that Super Sonic was separated from Sonic proper, previously in the comic’s history. He’s also evil, a psychopath – or at least, he was. Well, some time after that, a dazed and confused Super Sonic met Ebony when he walked into her bar looking for a job, and she’s spent a lot of time with the now much calmer hedgehog. However, Super has been growing weak and is near death – being a creature composed almost entirely of Chaos Energy, they’ve naturally been looking for sources of it. Super says to Ebony that she should maybe let him take it on his own from here, as it looks dangerous (searching for something called Chaos Energy doesn’t sound it regardless?), but the cat is having none of it, she’s coming too: “after all, what are friends for?”
Meanwhile, back inside:
I do hope it was more than just that cloth tape that was holding Chaos inside that box. If it wasn’t, please do let me know where I can get some, Knuckles, assuming you remember: it’s held a strong creature of sheer terror captive against presumably constant attempts to escape for 8 millennia. That’s the kind of workmanship you can’t find very easily these days! While Robotnik’s eerie calmness about their imminent doom is being played out to Grimer, Amy asks a dripping-wet Sonic if he’s alright. The blue hedgehog tells the pink one that he’s fine, he just needs a moment to pull himself together – I can’t say I blame Sonic, he’s done 16 thousand years of time travel in the last few hours, via two separately traumatic trips. Now would be the perfect time to take five for a bit of R&R, but unfortunately the Freedom Fighters don’t have that luxury:
Having now absorbed all of the emeralds, Chaos is now Perfect Chaos. It loudly exclaims that nothing can now stop it and that it will rule the planet, recreating it in its own image, starting with the fortress. What, a planet of nothing but water? Was that Drakon Prosecutor from Hoenn or something?
Robotnik really is in full-on “I don’t give a crap” mode right now, isn’t he? While Perfect Chaos is terraforming the building into having green tentacles everywhere, Sonic makes another attack at it, managing to dive right into Chaos again where Knuckles isn’t able to, the fear effect forcing the echidna back. Having made his way through the entirety of Chaos’ body and out the other side, Sonic drips on the floor as Chaos turns to him, interested that the fear effect isn’t working on the hedgehog. Sonic replies that it’s working alright, but that he’s concentrating on an emotion of his own: sheer rage. At that, he dives in again, again making his way through to the other side: but this time, Sonic flies out holding onto one of the Chaos Emeralds, literally ripping the thing out of Chaos. The Freedom Fighters suddenly get a second wind – if they get all the Emeralds, Amy theorises, they might stand a chance. They have to fight the fear, Knuckles says – as Chaos knocks him, Tails, Amy, and a Chaos Emerald flying, calling them idiots and saying it doesn’t need their fear now it has the emeralds. Nice try though on the rousing speech, guys!
Grimer meanwhile is watching all this unfold and practically begs Robotnik to tell him the plan. After all, he lured Chaos to the fortress, there must be a plan.
Robotnik has finally fully snapped, what little remaining of his sanity evidently having left right about the time when Grimer announced to him he’d released Chaos – it’s just taken this long for Grimer to realise it. Chaos meanwhile simply sucks in the two Emeralds that had been removed from its body, restoring them to their previous place. It gloats that now they must realise how truly hopeless it is, and that they never had a chance to stop it: just as a voice chimes in that Chaos shouldn’t be too sure about that.
Yup, Ebony and Super Sonic have made it into the fortress, and Sonic is not pleased about it. Turning angrily to Ebony, the cat quickly holds out a calming hand, telling Sonic to take it easy and that it’s not what he thinks – she asks to let her explain. Sonic quickly agrees, asking her to explain “what you’re doing with this monster“. Self-loathing, Sonic? Ouch! Maybe Ebony heard, Sonic goes on, that Super tried to destroy all of planet Mobius just because he was in a bad mood? The cat tries to retort that Super isn’t like that nowadays and wouldn’t hurt a fly, but Super says to her that she’s wasting his time, Sonic will never believe he’s not still some kind of hell demon.
To be fair here Ebony, if you’re tracing something called Chaos Energy you’d expect it to be more of an issue to handle than plugging Super into a stack of Evereadys. Chaos, who up to this point has been quietly watching proceedings, finally announces that the “petty squabbles” don’t interest it and that it’s going to destroy all of them, but Sonic is still blinded by rage, practically ordering Ebony that there’s no way Super is getting anywhere near Chaos, as anything could happen with him being exposed to that kind of Chaos Energy.
Maybe someone should have been watching Super Sonic while we’re talking about denying him access to the one thing that could possibly save his life?
Super Sonic dives into Perfect Chaos, with the hedgehog screaming in pain as Chaos looks on menacingly. And his fate remains a mystery for 2 weeks, as the story suspends one more time.
And so we reach Sonic the Comic issue #184, the final issue with new content. Super is still trapped inside Chaos, now by the emeralds themselves, as Sonic calls Ebony mad, saying if Super manages to steal the energy from Chaos, he’ll become evil again. The cat says Sonic is wrong, and she knows that her friend won’t hurt anyone again (the power of friendship, as we know from Saturday morning cartoons, conquering all). As Chaos gets hidden by a rising cloud of dust, Sonic fires back that they’ll see soon enough.
Problem solved! Chaos is now just a Drakon fish again, and has been defeated. And we still have a whole issue of story left! Ebony proudly turns to Sonic, pointing happily at Super and saying she was right. Super remembers back to what Sonic said before, about how the blue hedgehog thought the yellow one would turn back into an evil demon the second Super absorbed the Chaos energy. How Ebony was the only one who’d had any sort of faith and trust in him at all.
“But you know what…?”
Ah, the real final boss of the comic shows up! Still dangling the ex-Chaos, Super turns to the fish and mocks it, saying that this “mighty” Drakon Empire member he’s grasping by the tail is just some ugly talking pond-life, once you strip away all the fancy powers. The fish for its part still blusters away about how they’re all going to pay dearly for this – you know, the standard villain speech. He’s either extremely dumb or extremely oblivious, and I can’t decide which.
Oh, hi there Big the Cat! Enjoy his one and only appearance in the entirety of the Sonic the Comic run – this panel being a little nod to the StC Yahoo Group, who petitioned successfully for the purple cat to show up in this story. The Drakon now having been eaten off-panel by some unnamed sea monster (savage, Super), we now turn our attention back to the current problem. Super rubs his hands together, saying with glee that now the fish is out of the way, it’s time to have some fun: he’s thinking specifically about a game of Hide and Shriek. Sonic meanwhile is quietly mumbling to Ebony, saying that “he means it this time”. What could this mean? The group begin their attack on Sonic’s demonic doppelgänger, with Tails getting in an early punch as Sonic urges him to be careful (Johnny’s death still on his mind, no doubt). Super rubs his head where Tails punched him, saying how everyone loves the “cutie” Tails.
Super isn’t screwing around, though his laser-eye death vision isn’t quite enough to take Tails out, the fox being stunned but unharmed. Sonic rushes over to Tails and is relieved that he’s fine, given what happened to Johnny. Tails just tells him again that Johnny’s death wasn’t Sonic’s fault and that the hedgehog has to stop blaming himself. Sonic sort-of agrees with a “Maybe…”, but that as Super is an evil version of himself, he has to be the one to stop him.
Poor Knuckles, why is it everyone seems to grab you by the throat? Espio did the same back in part 7, you may recall. Fortunately for the echidna’s windpipe, Super is sufficiently goaded by Sonic’s remark to throw Knuckles aside, telling Sonic the only thing the yellow hedgehog is afraid of is that he might kill them all too quickly… and where’s the fun in that? Sonic yells at everyone else to get back as he jumps forward, just in front of Amy Rose, saying to “Goldilocks” (nice) that it’s his move. Amy, slightly panicked, asks Sonic what he’s doing; as the yellow, blue, and pink hedgehogs all ready themselves. Meanwhile, off to the side…
He’s stuck by the fat man’s side for the entire comic, but Robotnik’s sanity-snapping death wish is the last straw for Grimer, despite Chaos having been defeated so there still being further hope left for more plots. It can’t be understated just how significant this is, Grimer’s loyalties are the polar opposite of Snively in the Archie comic. This is also the final exchange of words for both characters in the comic’s run, so a conclusion for the pair.
Oh, right, there’s a life-or-death battle going on, isn’t there? The hedgehogs grasp a hand of each other, energy crackling back and forth as Super toys with his prey: he’s unable to decide how to destroy Sonic from the multiple ways possible. This momentary pause in attack proves to be what Sonic was hoping for.
Ebony’s a magician, remember? The smoke effects of her spell fade away to reveal: Super Sonic, eyes still swirling as ever, standing alone where the two hedgehogs had once been. Amy looks on in horror, yelling at Ebony that her spell hasn’t worked: all she’s succeeded in doing is destroying Sonic, not Super. Awesome job, girl – you just vapourised the planet’s last hope! Super himself is over the moon about this, mocking the cat about how her magic has backfired.
We reach the last page.
Sonic, still green-eyed (to the dismay of a sizeable chunk of the Sonic fanbase, naturally), explains to Knuckles that everything’s gone exactly the way Ebony planned it (when the two had quickly exchanged words while Super was flinging the Drakon off the cliff). He recalls that in years past Super was just a version of himself that popped up in times of great stress. This of course prompts the natural question from Tails about what happens next time Sonic feels that way. Might I suggest putting Sonic on a permanent course of Prozac? Sonic just says that maybe nothing will happen, but that if it does, they’ll just deal with it…
And with that, Sonic the Comic’s original story run concludes.
I never read the Sonic Adventure arc in Sonic the Comic when it first came out – I’d stopped reading the magazine some time between the Chaotix and Sonic 3D Flickies’ Island stories. Doing parts 9 and 10 of this series has been the first time I’ve read this final story from StC, and I think that despite its extreme departure from the story of the game itself, what they’ve done is still a decent enough piece: I enjoyed it, anyway.
There’s still a few items from the game that remain, albeit in a modified form. Tikal and Pochacamac (a lot more mellow than in the game), a trip to the past, and Super Sonic fighting Chaos; all are present. Those elements aside though we have a take on the Chaos saga that’s unique to the franchise. It has to be said this is mostly down to trying to shove the human-dominated world of Sonic Adventure into the human-free-apart-from-Robotnik world of StC’s Mobius.
While I’d not read the story, I did know about Johnny’s death, so I didn’t get the shock that the readers back in 2000 would have had. Nevertheless it was sad to finally see the event. The death of a core cast member is something that I believe that Archie has never done – and I mean a proper perma-death, not something that’s undone a few issues later. This was a proper ballsy move, even considering the knowledge that it was the end of the comic. The guys over at Sonic the Comic: Online (who picked up more or less where the Sonic left off after this, years later) did a printed issue for Summer of Sonic in 2013, and you could make an argument that this was the final “printed issue” of StC considering the involvement in the issue’s story by Kitching as a writer: and the issue of Johnny’s death pops up once again, showing that even a decade and a half later the character’s impact still resonated amongst the fanbase.
On the other hand, a few game characters were sidelined entirely, specifically the playable ones introduced in the game. E-102 Gamma doesn’t show up at all, the combat droid’s story not really fitting in anywhere. Fan-favourite Big the Cat is restricted to a single-panel appearance (sans Froggy), and even then this was, as mentioned earlier, due to the Yahoo Group for StC bugging the writers to put him in somewhere – they apparently weren’t familiar with the cat at all, asking for a reference image to use. It’s a shame that he doesn’t have a larger role but again, given the need to tie so many plot threads up in the little space they had left, shoving Big’s quest for his frog friend in as well would have required something being sacrificed; and given Big’s story is, like Gamma’s, somewhat isolated from the other four, this was most likely for the best. Chaos also got the fear-inducing power: I’m not quite sure where this came from and nothing even close to this was ever mentioned in the games, it appears to just be something the StC team came up with.
I’ll leave the last word on the arc – Sonic the Comic’s final original story, before it went entirely to reprints for the remainder of the comic’s run – to the story’s writer, Nigel Kitching; who rejoined the StC team just before, having left it after issue #157 (18 issues before the Sonic Adventure arc started, about 9 months). He posted the following quote in a piece to the StC Yahoo Groups mailing list on the 9th of January 2002, the date of publication of StC’s final issue, #223.
“The break from Sonic probably did me good. I came back to the comic determined to do something really dramatic and memorable. Luckily the new Editor, Andy Diggle, was up for it and he asked me for ideas for ten issues. I’d never been given this much space before and, for the first time, I was able to really plan in advance. The most controversial idea I had was to kill Johnny Lightfoot. I had nothing against Johnny, you understand, I just wanted to do a story where one of the heroes doesn’t make it. As I was saying before, if you spend your time in a war, there are going to be casualties.
This was the darkest Sonic story so far. The Chaos monster was scary and Sonic was in real trouble. The plot was very loosely based on the latest Sonic game but most of what actually happened was from me and Rich. I got to do a lot of things that I’d always wanted to. I was particularly pleased to finally show where Knuckles came from and his ancient race of echidnas. I also finally tied up the loose ends regarding Super Sonic.
That ten part story was a great way to wind up my seven years with the hedgehog and I’m very grateful that I got the chance.”
And on the note of ten part stories, ours comes to an end with this piece. It’s taken six years to get here, starting out as we did with part 1 waaaay back on the 30th of April, 2011. It’s bitter-sweet reaching this final story. I’ve always thought it was a massive shame that a comic that was as games-focused as StC was managed to weather the drought of main-arc titles between 1994’s Sonic & Knuckles and 1999’s Sonic Adventure, occasionally doing little bits like the Sonic 3D story, only to end just as they got out of the far side of it. StC did continue for a little while longer of course on reprints, but content recycling like that hardly counts. StC effectively finished with Sonic Adventure, leaving characters like Shadow the Hedgehog, Rouge the Bat and everyone else introduced since Sonic Adventure 2 onwards to the domain of the StC:O guys. Doing this series has reminded me just how much I loved the comic as a kid, I’ve been quite pleased to have been able to revisit it all once again.
And with that, How Fleetway Played The Games is done, our saga complete. Thanks for reading!
Here are the other nine parts of the Fleetway games adaptation story:
How Fleetway Played The Games, Part One: Of Flying Battleships and Space Eggs
How Fleetway Played The Games, Part 2: Of Time Stones and Shrink Lasers
How Fleetway Played The Games, Part 3: Of Emeralds and Echidnas
How Fleetway Played The Games, Part 4: Of Evacuating and Electricians
How Fleetway Played The Games, Part 5: Of Ice and Repairing
How Fleetway Played The Games, Part 6: Of Master Emeralds and Death Eggs
How Fleetway Played The Games, Part 7: Of Chaotix and Metallixes
How Fleetway Played The Games, Part 8: Of Flickies and Space Marines
How Fleetway Played The Games, Part 9: Of Chaos and Chaos Emeralds
And there’s of course David the Lurker’s still ongoing series of how the Yanks did it in the Archie comic:
How Archie Played the Games, Part One: Of Pinball and Echidnas
How Archie Played the Games, Part Two: Of Floating Islands
How Archie Played The Games, Part Three: Of Pink And Metal Hedgehogs
How Archie Played The Games, Part Four: Of Walkers and Snipers
How Archie Played The Games, Part Five: Of Rodents and Giants
How Archie Played The Games, Part 6A: Of Death Eggs and Robot Birds
How Archie Played The Games, Part 6B: Of Silver Hedgehogs and Falling Islands
How Archie Played The Games, Part 7: Of FLiCKIES and Remote Atolls
How Archie Played The Games, Part 8: Of Abandoned Bases and Obscure Characters
Hopefully still-ongoing, at any rate.
Thanks for this trip! As someone who has only lightly dabbled in StC, this was an enjoyable ride, and I hate to see it end. All the same, it really makes me want to read the entire run, and maybe even on into StCO. =)