Archie Knuckles the Echidna Issue 29 was the twenty-ninth issue of the spin-off Knuckles the Echidna comic series.
- "My Special Friend"
Sally yells at Antoine, frustrated that he went on a mission to find her missing brother and didn't tell her. She storms off to confront her father, frustrated that he has been treating the citizens harshly and has been trying to dictate things like who she should marry. Having now learned that he kept her brother's existence a secret from her, she wonders what happened to his kind nature. The king explains that he wanted to protect their kingdom and admits that he's been ineffective, but suggests that the key to improving their situation lies on the Floating Island.
Catweazle meets with Knuckles on the edge of the Floating Island, noting that he's been spending a lot of time in Echidnaopolis. Knuckles asks if there's been any need for the Guardian lately, and Catweazle sarcastically tells him that between rowdy dingoes, echidna businessmen developing over wildlife and Overlanders hunting them, everything's great. Knuckles tells him he'd rather deal with that than his family problems, and Catweazle makes light chitchat about Lara-Le remarrying and the possibility that Knuckles could soon have a new sibling.
As they talk, Catweazle mentions that he's seen a lot of Overlander ships around and points to an approaching vessel. Unbeknownst to them, the vehicle is transporting Sally to the island. As the ship arrives, Sally and NICOLE try to justify the king's rash actions to themselves. They activate a beacon on the ship, which alerts the Brotherhood. In Haven, Sabre and Thunderhawk notice the royal signal and assume the visitor is the king or his emissary. They send a response back to the craft.
Sally lands and approaches Knuckles, frustrated at him. Knuckles asks if she's having a bad hair day, prompting Sally to dismiss the idea by recounting a mission where she fell into a chemical bath that dyed her fur for a long time. She continues her original train of thought, accusing Knuckles of concealing her mother's existence. Knuckles he didn't know anything about the queen and would have told her if he had. Sally tells him that her mission is to meet the Brotherhood of Guardians and gain help fighting Robo-Robotnik. Shortly after, Spectre and Deo Volente appear and escort them to Haven.
Sally is introduced to the members of the Brotherhood at Haven and and the group gathers in the conference room. Knuckles tells Locke that he's upset that the Brotherhood's secrets are affecting his friendships. Locke explains that Sally wasn't meant to be Knuckles' friend because her kingdom's interests may conflict with theirs. Sally explains to the Brotherhood that her mother needs medical assistance and pleads for help to fight Robo-Robotnik. Spectre tells her that they had tended to the queen with echidna technology and are unable to help her further. He then asks Sally if her kingdom is willing to fight with the latest munitions technology. Sally is unable to agree to using advanced weaponry and the Brotherhood denies her request for support.
Later, Knuckles stops by the Royal Compound and asks Colonel Sommersby if Sally is around. He soon finds her looking at the sunset on the island's edge, but Sally is upset about the Brotherhood's refusal to make a deal with her. Knuckles reminds her that they're still friends and tells her that he also thinks the Brotherhood should fight Robo-Robotnik, but he doesn't know how to convince his relatives to give up their traditions to do what's right. Sally heads back to her craft in a huff while Mr. and Mrs. Sommersby watch, troubled by the burden the children bear. Knuckles follows, trying to convince her that he's the same as he's always been. Sally suggests that this might be the problem: he refused to join forces with the Freedom Fighters the last time she asked and still won't now. She asks how they could possibly still be friends and leaves Knuckles to wonder how he's supposed to choose between his friends and family if he agrees with both sides.
Pinup Pages/Activity Pages
- Pro Art
Knuckles complains to the editor that he's not satisfied with the coloring recently. The editor takes him to their colorist, Frank Gagliardo, whose intimidating presence petrifies Knuckles. The editor walks Knuckles out of the art department and asks him if he needs anything else. Beaten, bruised and holding his stomach, Knuckles asks for a glass of water to help wash down the colors Gagliardo shoved down his throat. Written by Michael Gallagher, Pencils by Dave Manak, Inks by Jim Amash.
- Knuckles: "It doesn't have to be this way, Sal! I'm still the same echidna you've always known!"
- Sally: "Maybe that's the problem, and maybe I should have seen it before! You didn't join us back when we asked you to -- and it's obvious you still wouldn't, even now! How could we still be friends after that?"
- Sally confronts King Acorn and is given a mission to the Floating Island.
- Sally fails to sway the Brotherhood into joining the war against Robo-Robotnik.
- Sally and Knuckles discuss their past and their strained friendship.
- This is the series' third and final single issue story.
- This issue introduces the series' final tagline, "Sonic the Hedgehog Presents".
- Sally's original color schemes (orange with yellow hair & pink with black hair) are explained as being caused by a fall into a chemical vat. This is included with an editor's note that they have "set the record straight" that they didn't color her the wrong shades.
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