Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 122 was the one hundred and twenty-second issue of the main Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
- "Heart Held Hostage" - Part One
The Hedgehog family and Tails are gathered outside their house, watching Sonic practice playing the guitar with his father. As Sonic practices, the citizens of Knothole begin to form a crowd. Mina Mongoose notices that Sonic has a natural talent and decides to approach him.
At Castle Acorn, Sally convinces her parents that she doesn't need the royal guardsmen to escort her while she spends time with her friends. As she strolls through Knothole, she is drawn to the sound of passionate music in the distance. She finds Sonic and Mina performing for a crowd and, feeling hurt, decides to head back to the castle. The Freedom Fighters spot Sally leaving, prompting Bunnie to ask the rest of the group to let her handle the situation. Bunnie and Sally chat about Sally's feelings for Sonic, with Bunnie encouraging her to tell Sonic how she really feels. Their conversation is cut as Nack and his crew charge in on their air bikes and knock them out.
Sonic and Mina are celebrating their successful impromptu concert when Nack's crew flies by with Sally in tow. One of the weasels tries to keep Sonic off their backs, but Sonic easily knocks him off his bike. Mina tries to corner Nack and is nearly shot in the process. Realizing he can't track down the whole gang at once, Sonic decides to capture the weasel he already disarmed.
At the castle, the Freedom Fighters try to interrogate the captured weasel. He reveals that his gang kidnapped the princess for ransom money, but nothing else. Bunnie tries to scare him into talking by hanging him out the window, but he isn't impressed. King Acorn rolls into the room in his wheelchair, glaring at their captive. The weasel is intimidated at first, but starts laughing at the king when he realizes that he's a crippled old man. The king orders the Freedom Fighters to leave and summons the Royal Guards.
A short time later, King Acorn exits the interrogation room and tells them the exact location where Nack's gang is hiding. Sonic asks how he got the information, and the king responds by cracking his knuckles and telling the group that he made the weasel an offer he couldn't refuse. King Acorn turns back to Sonic to ask him to rescue his daughter, but finds that Sonic has already left.
- "Afterlife" - Part Two
Knuckles finds himself being escorted to another reality by the Chaos Heralds. He tries to grab the Heralds, but they fade away in his hands. Knuckles demands answers as he recoils from the bright light before him and a mysterious voice chides him for his skeptical nature. The stranger reveals herself and tells Knuckles that she is Aurora. Knuckles is surprised that she is an Echidna, but she tells him that every species perceives her as their own because she is of the Force that encompasses all. She shows Knuckles how Locke received a vision from her in his dreams, where Knuckles was the world's only salvation at the brink of Armageddon.
Aurora explains that the vision drove Locke to take Lara-Le's newly laid egg to the Chaos Chamber. He begged his future son for forgiveness and exposed the egg to Chaos Emerald radiation. The next day, Knuckles was born with Lara-Le unaware of Locke's actions. Locke decided to name him Knuckles, after the tribe their family was descended from. For years, Locke and Lara battled over how Knuckles should be raised. Lara eventually gave in, settling with a divorce and letting Locke take Knuckles into the Floating Island wilderness to train as a Guardian.
- "When There Was Only One Guardian"
Julie-Su looks through Knuckles' belongings, realizing she didn't know him as well as she thought. Vector barges in, asking her what she's doing in Knuckles' room. Sick of his attitude, Julie leaps at Vector, ready to attack. Vector turns up his headphones and blasts her away with his music. He tries to apologize and help Julie-Su up, but she retaliates by kicking him. Vector wonders what Knuckles ever saw in her, and Julie-Su returns the question.
Vector explains that there wasn't much choice involved: Knuckles tripped over Vector while he was relaxing in the grass. They got into a scuffle, calling a truce after landing a solid blow on each other. Knuckles wondered how Vector had reached the Floating Island. Vector explained that he, and many other animals, were given an airlift to the island when Dr. Robotnik attacked. Vector pointed to another survivor, Catweazle, who demanded Vector's respect and pooped on his head before greeting Knuckles.
Julie-Su promises to keep the story their little secret. Vector apologizes again, explaining that seeing her with Knuckles' stuff made him mad, since he's still upset about Knuckles' funeral. They both tear up a bit, and Julie realizes that there's one thing they have in common: they cared about Knuckles.
The editor angrily demands that Sonic and Tails destroy something and never do anything like "that" again. Sonic and Tails exit his office, surprised by how grouchy he is. Sonic tells Tails he thought the editor would be happy to have his own personal bobblehead doll. Art by Nelson Ribeiro.
- Jules: "These roboticized fingers aren't nearly nimble enough to pluck those guitar strings, Tails... But I can still teach my boy how!"
- Sally: "... When I was younger, I always assumed that Sonic and I were soul mates... that someday we'd eventually be together, y'know? Well, lately, I'm not so sure."
- Crowd: "Awesome! Yeah! FREEBIRD!"
- Sonic: "How'd you get him to talk, your Highness?"
- King Acorn: "Let's just say I made him an offer he couldn't refuse."
- Nack the Weasel and his gang kidnap Sally for ransom.
- Sonic manages to capture one of the weasel gang members.
- King Max interrogates the captured weasel, revealing Nack's location.
- Knuckles meets Aurora.
- Vector tells Julie-Su how he met Knuckles and Catweazle.
Cameos & References
- After Sonic and Mina's performance in the first story, a spectator shouts "Freebird", a reference to the song by Lynyrd Skynyrd and a common joke at concerts when demanding an encore.
- Nack's weasel crew, Jeff, Karl, and Konor, were named by Jeff Axer after himself, Karl Bollers, and Conor Tomas.
- The first story is set in "springtime", but takes place not long after Sonic's birthday in June.
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