Archie Sonic Universe Issue 42 is the forty-second issue in the spin-off series Sonic Universe comic series.
When Sonic is away, the SECRET FREEDOM FIGHTERS make evil pay! Deep under the city, in the scar left by the Battle Bird Armada, the evil wizard Ixis Naugus is shaping the earth to his whim. Elias, the deposed king, must lead his squad of Secret Freedom Fighters to find out what's going on! But with Naugus able to control the stones and shadows, will Elias' team emerge alive?
- Unsung Heroes, Part Two
At dawn in New Mobotropolis, Ixis Naugus passes Rosie on his way to the crater left by Babylon Garden's rise from the center of the city. The area, formerly occupied by Castle Acorn, has only partially recovered, as the Nanites no longer have NICOLE to direct their repair efforts. As Naugus stands on the edge of the cavern, he is unknowingly observed by Elias, Leeta, and Lyco-Agents King, Queen of Diamonds, and Queen of Hearts of the Secret Freedom Fighters. Elias notes that Naugus has been coming to the site on the same schedule for days, and the trio have been sent to determine what he's doing. Elias finds himself contemplating both the irony that he is now attempting to retake the throne he once spurned, and the difficulty of being forced to lead an unlikely team of Freedom Fighters.
Naugus floats down into the crater, and the trio activate the wing suit features of their uniforms to glide down after him, despite Leeta's fear of heights. Naugus moves a rock to reveal a secret tunnel in the crater, which the trio follows him into. Naugus reacts and the three quickly hide, and the wizard dismisses the noise, reasoning that Sonic is no longer in the city and Rotor isn't exactly in the best shape for stealth. He blames the disturbance on the wind as he closes the tunnel, and then accuses an unseen group of individuals, must to the confusion of Leeta and Lyco. Their musing on his strange conversation is cut short by an irate Elias as he sets an explosive in order to provide for their future exit.
The Wolf sisters are quick to retort, accusing Elias of dismissing their abilities while being no expert himself in terms of espionage. Both then recall their arrival in New Mobotropolis in response to a summons from the king, only to have Naugus inform them that he had not sent them. After a terse reminder from Rosemary Prower that he was a member of the Acorn Council, Naugus dismissed the pair. They were then led by Sir Charles Hedgehog to Harvey Who, the true originator of he summons sent to them. He then revealed that they have been called upon to join a new team-one intended to keep the city safe in ways that Team Fighters and Team Freedom cannot, involving secrecy and subterfuge. Though hesitant, the two agreed, reminding Elias as their account ends that they had also gotten him out of Feral Forest to join the team. They then express doubt in his ability to lead, and take off after Naugus themselves.
Following Naugus' tunnel, the twins arrive at a vast underground chamber that Naugus has shaped, complete with fires and magical runes. At the center of the chamber, Naugus is once again tormented by the spirits of his three components: Agunus, Nusgau, and Suguna. The three amuse themselves with Naugus' efforts to dismiss them, while Leeta and Lyco look on in confusion as Naugus rants and strikes at empty air. Nusgau then suggests that Naugus cease maintaining his current form, as there is no one around to see him, and the beleaguered wizard relents. Suddenly his body becomes massive, glowing with light, startling the Wolf twins and alerting Naugus to their presence. Elias, meanwhile, after some fuming over the twins' "insubordinance", recalls his own words of counsel to a feuding Geoffrey St. John and Sonic when they had gone to rescue Nate Morgan.
Recognizing the need to work in unity with his new team, Elias resolves to apologize to the Wolf twins, but then hears one of them screaming in fear and rushes to their aid. His mad rush is halted as a blast of fire comes flying through the tunnel, which then starts to reshape itself. Recognizing that this is the work of Naugus' magic designed to trap them, Elias runs into his teammates, who also notice the change of scenery. They split up, trying to find the right path out, and Elias narrowly escapes being noticed by a fiery red, hideously ugly Naugus, who vows to destroy the intruders. Leeta finds that her route leads to a dead end, and is then grabbed by Naugus. Before he can cause her any harm, Lyco throws a rock at him, distracting him enough that he releases Leeta. Elias then throws a flash-bang explosive, blinding Naugus and allowing the trio to run for the escape route.
Naugus quickly recovers, conjuring crystal spikes from the tunnel walls to try and crush his enemies. He closes in on the team, only for Elias to blast open the tunnel entrance. The three then dive out and deploy their wing suits, but Naugus then blasts them with a cyclone, sending them plummeting towards the floor of the crater. Believing his enemies destroyed, Naugus leaves to continue his plotting.
Elias approaches Harvey Who and asks why he codenamed the Secret Freedom Fighers after playing cards. Harvey replies "Because when I send you into a mission, I want you playing with a stacked deck. Elias looks disgusted as Harvey jokingly elbows him in the stomach, whilst Shard plays a drum roll and Silver holds up an applause sign. Leeta remarks that she doesn't think Harvey is "playing with a full deck", to which Lyco replies that "Maybe we should shuffle the leadership?" Larry is then shown painting in the incomplete Off Panel, on which is hung an "Under Construction: Puns at Work" sign.
- Suguna: Give in already! Your fight is futile.
- Ixis Naugus: No...MY body...you're just ghosts...
- Agunus: Ghosts that will haunt you to your end. The sooner that comes, the sooner you'll be released!
- Ixis Naugus: Begone! I have work to do!
- Nusgau: Hahaha! Look at him struggle!
- Ixis Naugus: RARGH!! VILLAINS! PARASITES!
- Elias, Lyco and Leeta spy on King Ixis Naugus.
- The Order of Ixis spirits are nearing taking over Naugus's body, thus making him more dangerous
- Intense battle between the remaining Secret Freedom Fighters and Ixis Naugus
- The cover art is a spoof of the James Bond film series.
- Coincidentally, this issue was released just a few months before the James Bond series celebrated its 50th anniversary with the release of its 23rd film, Skyfall.
- Despite either the normal or alternate cover, Silver and Geoffrey don't appear in this issue.
- The alternate cover for this issue depicts Silver's Sonic Generations artwork despite the character's lacking appearance.
- Naugus' crown suddenly disappears with no trace or explanation whatsoever, possibly due to his new transformation.
- A flashback of Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 70 was shown in this issue of when Elias intervened Geoffrey and Sonic's argument on rescuing Nate Morgan from the escapees of the Devil's Gulag.