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Archie Sonic Universe Issue 55 is the fifty-fifth issue of the spin-off Sonic Universe series.
AAAAARRRR you ready?? “Pirate Plunder Panic” Part One: It’s mystery and mayhem on the high seas as Amy and Cream join first mates Blaze and Marine in their search for the final Sol Emerald! As ships clash on the stormy waters, familiar faces start to appear amongst the opposition and Blaze is targeted as enemy number 1! Who is the new, sinister force leading the robot pirates, and what is his past with Blaze? And what does a certain dynamite duck have to do with it all? Straight out of the smash-hit Sonic/Mega Man crossover event, you’re going to TREASURE this all-new storyline written and penciled by Sonic art guru TRACY YA’RRRRR-DLEY!"
- Pirate Plunder Panic-Part One of Four
In the storm-tossed seas of the Sol Zone, the Ocean Tornado and a pirate vessel exchange cannon fire, the latter shooting bombs with fuses. Aboard the Ocean Tornado, Blaze reminisces on her recent experiences, including the recovery of all but one of the Sol Emeralds. Her quest having been interrupted by her recent abduction and induction into the Roboticized Masters, she eventually returned to her world only to be surprisingly accompanied by Amy Rose, Cream the Rabbit, and Cheese. Their memories of Mobius left somewhat cloudy by their experiences, the trio joined up with Blaze, and after a week long search came to their present situation. Marine bellows orders to the Coconut Crew, while Amy and Blaze utilize their abilities to deflect and destroy bombs as best they can. Contemplating the matter, Blaze comes to the believe that the Sol Emeralds have brought her friends here, just as the last one seems to be summoning her. Knowing that her world is doomed unless it is recovered, Blaze makes the decision to board the pirate vessel alone. Her friends try to discourage her, but Blaze remains determined, and Amy decides to honor her wishes.
As bombs continue to pelt the vessel, Amy notes that they seem familiar, but turns her attention to swatting them away from the ship. Undaunted, Marine orders her crew to prepare to return fire, only to be surprised as the other ship's hull opens to admit a gattling cannon that begins bombarding them with a rapid barrage of bombs. The pirates cease firing briefly, and Blaze takes advantage of the lull to fly across using her flame powers. Marine then recruits Amy and Cream to help her with a new idea, which leaves the two Mobians feeling somewhat uneasy. Blaze reaches the pirate ship, which she decides to infiltrate so that she can secure the Emerald before sinking it, only to run into an unwelcome familiar face: Bean the Dynamite Duck. Guessing at a link between his presence and that of her friends, and guessing correctly that Bark the Polar Bear is present as well, she questions whether the Babylon Rogues will put in an appearance as well. Bean informs her that Nack the Weasel is thus far nowhere to be seen, and then accompanies her as she infiltrates the ship. Back on the Ocean Tornado, Marine loads a firework into one of the ship's cannons, hoping to provide a distraction for Blaze's efforts. Despite objections, she carries out her plan, which seems to fail-only for the rocket to explode inside the cannon.
On the deck of the pirate ship, a robot named Buckle informs his captain that a trail of flame and a stowaway have been spotted. The captain orders another pirate robot named Swash to put him on the ship's loudspeaker, while Bark is seen standing in a butler's pose nearby. Below deck, Blaze asks Bean how he and Bark came to be in her dimension, and Bean responds that they were unexpectedly transported there. The captain's voice then comes over the speakers, and he announces his knowledge that Blaze is on board, and offers her the chance to save her friends by giving herself up. Blaze asks Bean where the Sol Emerald is, and is informed that the captain currently has it just as two pirates near their position. Blaze grabs Bean and dives for cover, and orders him to escape while she deals with the pirates, saves Bark, and retrieves the Emerald. To her shock, Bean reveals that he is in fact in league with the robots, and she quickly decides to unleash her wrath on him as well as them. Back on the Ocean Tornado, Marine recovers from the explosion caused by the firework only to be informed that the ship is taking water on fast. Marine throws a fit, only for Cream to suggest that they use the Ocean Tornado to ram the pirate ship.
Agreeing, Marine orders the crew to abandon ship, and then proposes that they fire on the pirates before boarding them to join Blaze. Aboard the pirates' vessel, Blaze realizes that Bean was behind the bombs that were shot at her ship, and Bean confesses to it, revealing as well that the name of his new employer is Captain Metal. As he says this, the captain himself announces on the loudspeaker that unless Blaze surrenders, he'll destroy her friends. With Bean in hand, she launches herself up to the deck to confront the captain, who seems to recognize her, while Blaze is unable to recall meeting him previously. She then offers him an ultimatum: turn over the Sol Emerald and be spared, or be destroyed. Captain Metal responds by activating a large laser cannon that emerges from the front of the ship to aim at the Ocean Tornado. Recognizing the danger, Amy and Cream prepare to take cover, while an angry Blaze reminds Captain Metal of his promise to spare her crew, which he admits was a lie. The four crew members remaining aboard the Ocean Tornado prepare for the worst, Cream and Cheese taking cover in a fireworks box. Metal then gives the order to fire, and the Ocean Tornado is destroyed before their eyes.
Heartbroken, then enraged, Blaze superheats the deck and advances on her enemy, demanding that he return the Sol Emerald. Captain Metal informs her that he has plans for both it and her, if she'll obey his orders. Blaze refuses, and informs him that whether he surrenders the Emerald or forces her to take it from him "you...will...BURN!" Unfortunately, her rage makes her oblivious to Buckle sneaking up behind her, and too late she realizes her danger only to be knocked unconscious. Captain Metal mocks her lack of control, and remarks that he's not so eager to see his second life ended so quickly. He also proclaims that he is not interested in small schemes, but in a grand plan that involves not just the Emerald he currently holds, but the other six as well. As he does, his shadowy figure steps into the light, revealing himself to be none other than a rebuilt Metal Sonic v3.3.
An epic adventure story is opened, featuring the great Captain Marine in her epic efforts. Joining her are "Pirate Princess Blaze! Brawling Briar Rose the Red! And scallywags Mean Cream and Curdled Cheese!" The narrative is interrupted, however, as the members of Team Rose look over Marine's shoulder as she writes her epic, Blaze noting that "this is an interesting interpretation of events." Marine responds that "It's a work in progress" while Cream tears up over the matter.
- Blaze the Cat, who remembers what happened during Worlds Collide, arrives back home in the Sol Zone.
- Because of Dr. Eggman's inference during Sonic's attempted Chaos Control, the reversal of the second Genesis Wave's effects has landed a handful of individuals from the Prime Zone---including Amy, Cream, Bean and Bark---in the Sol Zone, rather than where they were before the wave.
- Having located the last Sol Emerald aboard a pirate ship, Blaze's crew aboard the Ocean Tornado engages it in battle, only for the Ocean Tornado to be destroyed and Blaze herself to be captured.
- Captain Metal is revealed to be Metal Sonic v3.3, who has been rebuilt following his destruction at the hands of Blaze, Marine, and Shadow all the way back in SU:#1
- Bean: Fierce,fiery, fuschia feline that you are, I'll not have you insult my shipmates!
- Blaze: What?
- Bean: (calls out to pirates) Oh, boys! Lookee what I got he-ah!
- Blaze: You're with the pirates?!
- Bean: Hellloooo! Last time we met, I was hanging out with a bounty hunting assassin! What made you think I wouldn't toss in my lot with this pack of lovable ne'er-do-wells?!
- Blaze: Very well... (shoots fire at the pirates, destroying them) you can share their fate.
- Bean: Oh, goody! I love fate! I hope there's enough to go around!
- Bean: But my favorite job is shining all the metal. The whole ship's made of metal. Heck, the captain's name is Captain Metal!
- Captain Metal: (over a loudspeaker) Yer time is up, princess. Surrender yerself or sacrifice yer friends. I'll have yer answer in 3...
- Bean: Oh, that Captain Metal! What a riot! Why not go up on deck and bask in his captainoisity?
- Blaze: (sarcastically) Yes. Why not?
- Captain Metal: 2...
- In some previews, a slightly different version of the variant cover was shown with a different background. The background in question would be the same one used for the next issue's variant cover.
- This is the second Sonic Universe arc to be written by Tracy Yardley!
- Sonic's pirate gear on the cover gives him an appearance similar to that of Captain Jack Sparrow, the main protagonist of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean film series. However, Sonic himself does not appear in the issue in any form.
- The quote on the cover, "ARRRR you ready?", is a clear reference to the SpongeBob SquarePants opening sequence. Tracy Yardley also referenced the show when introducing the arc at San Diego Comic Con, saying that line with the addition of "kids" at the end, which the audience responded "Aye aye, Captain!"
- Bean makes a reference to game shows when he suggest that Captain Metal "go for curtain number two" and then says "That's right, Blaze! It's a brand new laser cannon!"
- Considering the fact that the Sol Zone (and the entire multiverse in general) was collapsed and rebooted, this possibly makes Captain Metal's early zone-hopping battle with Shadow canon. However, this has yet to be confirmed.
- The name of Amy's counterpart from Marine's fanfic, "Briar Rose," is also the name of a Brothers Grimm story that served as the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty.
- This marked the first Sonic Universe comic to take place in the new timeline zone.