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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 181 was the one hundred and eighty-first issue of the main Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
The demolition starts here, with super-powered villain Enerjak wrecking havoc on Angel Island ! Our heroes are readying their defenses while Sonic and Tails race against time to find the still missing Knuckles! Can they find him, or did Enerjak get to him first? PLUS: "Undone": You'll shudder at the shocking origin of this new Enerjak... if your nerves are strong enough to handle it!
- "Enerjak: Reborn" - Part One ("Rising Evil")
In the control center of New Mobotropolis, NICOLE was communicating with the duo on a secure line, while Sally Acorn was attempting to get through to outside sources, but to no avail, due to their outside communications being scrambled. Dimitri the Echidna then angrily stated that it had to be Enerjak, and that Angel Island was now floating towards them. NICOLE's camera probe arrived at a site, which Julie-Su revealed as Cavem Canus, the Dingo city. As they watched, Enerjak blasted a wave of Chaos energy at the Dingoes, destroying their weapons and other possessions, and then sent them to Sandopolis to join General Von Stryker. Kage Von Stryker then confronted Enerjak, telling he'd he'd rally his army again, and openly challenged him. Enerjak then tore Kage's body apart molecule by molecule, killing him and destroying his city.
Meanwhile, Sonic and Tails landed on the Launch Base, and headed to the Master Emerald Chamber to look for Knuckles.
On another part of the island, the Flame and Frost Legions were fighting Enerjak to keep him at bay, but then Enerjak held Remington with Chaos energy and restored his memory and body to what it was before. He then did the same to all the other Legionnaires (much to Lien-Da's anger) and stated to those who are thankful will be sent to Albion while those who oppose would stay on Angel Island.
Back in New Mobotropolis, Dimitri demanded the others to do something to stop Enerjak, and asked NICOLE if she can create a weapon using the nanites of the city, but NICOLE refused. Julie-Su then asked if they found Knuckles, to which NICOLE gives her an update on Sonic and Tails' progress, and she angrily stated that they need to go faster to save Knuckles. Dimitri then left the room, intending to "cast his lot with the more powerful side". Sally then manages to get through to G.U.N. headquarters to Rouge the Bat, requesting backup, to which Rouge responded that they would be sending their "newest and best agent", who was in the area, to them for assistance before being cut off.
On Angel Island, Sonic and Tails arrived in the Master Emerald Chamber, reporting that Knuckles wasn't there. As they leave, Finitevus came out from the shadows, where he was hiding from them.
In the village inhabited by the survivors Echidnaopolis's destruction, Enerjak arrived to the horror of the other Echidnas, stating his intentions to them, and teleporting them all to Albion. He then saw NICOLE's camera and destroyed it (inflicting pain on NICOLE in the process). Sonic arrived at the site in time to see Enerjak, but failed to get to him due to Enerjak teleporting away from the village. NICOLE then told Sonic that Enerjak was outside the city gates, and to hurry back. Sonic then immediately took Tails in his arms so he wouldn't slow him down and ran back to the Tornado, and took off for New Mobotropolis.
In the city, Sally was assembling the Knothole Freedom Fighters and Chaotix in front of the city, preparing for Enerjak's arrival. As they did so, Mighty asked Julie-Su if she was okay, to which she responded that she was not, due to the fact Knuckles had not been found, she concluded that he was gone. Enerjak then broke through the city's force field and entered the city, stating his intention to make things right. A vengeful Julie-Su then pointed her weapon at him, intent on making him pay for what he did to Knuckles no matter what happened to her, but Enerjak disarmed her, and stated he would never hurt her, as he takes off his helmet revealing Enerjak to be none other than Knuckles himself, much to the shock of the Freedom Fighters and Chaotix.
Archimedes was watching the events unfold from a hidden corner in New Mobotropolis, and recollected how it all happened:
When Knuckles arrived on Angel Island to help his father, he was ambushed and knocked out by the Destructix, who turned him over to the Flame and Frost Legions, who then brought him down to the Master Emerald Chamber, where Dr. Finitevus, Lien-Da, and Remington were waiting. Knuckles then demanded to know what was going on, but not before seeing Remington, who did not recognize him. Finitevus explained that he saved Remington from the Egg Grapes and restored him back to health. He then proceeded to inform the room at large that 90% of the Echidna population had been wiped out by the Dingo army and Dr. Eggman, and that he outlined his plan on how to defend the surviving population using the power of the Master Emerald. Lien-Da then assumed that she and Remington would be the wielders of that power. But suddenly, Knuckles ran up to the Master Emerald, intent on protecting his people, and began to absorb energy, while a powerful dark magic surrounded him. Lien-Da and Remington attempted to stop Knuckles, but both were held back by Finitevus, which showed that this was Finitevus's plan all along. Archimedes watched from a corner in horror, realizing what was happening to Knuckles. Remington and Lien-Da then left the chamber, but not before the latter told Finitevus that he would pay for his betrayal. Finitevus then walked up to Knuckles, who was surrounded by Chaos energy in a trance, and told him that he would help him harness his power, and asked him who had the ability to control the power of the gods, to which Knuckles responded "Enerjak", while the demigod's armor formed around his body.
Archimedes then tried to reach out to Knuckles using his telepathy, but failed due to the corruptible power of Finitevus' hex.
- Kage Von Stryker: (his last words) I've crushed more Echidnas under my boot than I can remember! You'll be no different! Come on then, FACE ME!
- Enerjak: No, General Kage Von Stryker. You are beneath me. Your fate...(takes Kage apart molecule after molecule)...is to vanish with your wretched city.
- Sonic: C'mon Nicole, this is me we're talking about here. When do I not "hurry?"
- Tails: Maybe we should joke less, hurry more.
- Sonic: Erm...yeah. Let's do that.
- Julie-Su: I'll never forgive you for what you did to Knuckles! I don't care what you do to me, but I'll make you pay for destroying him!
- Enerjak: Destroy? Do to you? I would never hurt you, my love...(takes off his helmet to reveal himself as Knuckles) ...and I can't very well destroy myself!
- Sonic and Tails fly to Angel Island to locate Knuckles.
- The Dingo population is banished to Sandopolis by Enerjak.
- Kage Von Stryker is killed by Enerjak.
- Cavem Canus is destroyed by Enerjak.
- Remington is restored to normal by Enerjak.
- The Dark Legion members are reverted to organic form by Enerjak.
- The Echidna population is sent to Albion.
- Enerjak reveals himself to be Knuckles.
- Archimedes reveals on how Knuckles became Enerjak.
- Remington was the original choice for the new Enerjak, but writer Ian Flynn felt that Remington was not familiar enough to newer readers and most of the arc would have been directed at explaining his past. Instead, Knuckles was selected to become the new Enerjak.
- Remington's cybernetics are similar to the ones Kragok once wore.
- The spy camera used by NICOLE is a nod to the spy cameras used by Dr. Robotnik in the Sonic the Hedgehog TV series.
- The Launch Base Zone is briefly shown in this issue, a nod to the level in the game Sonic 3.
- In the second story, Sonic and Tails are seen in the shocked crowd in front of an unmasked Knuckles, though they did not arrive in the city until the next issue.
- Knuckles as Enerjak does the exact same method to kill Kage as the original Enerjak did to Knuckles in Knuckles the Echidna #8.
This issue has been reprinted in the following places:
- Sonic Saga Series Vol. 5: Evil Reborn