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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 188 was the one hundred and eighty-eighth issue of the main Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
Sonic is ambushed and captured by the Destructix, and it's up to the Freedom Fighters to find and rescue him! The trail leads to a dingy dungeon beneath a flashy casino owned by Mammoth Mogul-but just how real a threat faces our heroes this time? The con is on in this tale of twists, turns, takes and double-takes!
- "Beating the House"
Sonic the Hedgehog is chained within a "dark and smelly place with guys that hate me." He reflects on his situation and tries to remember how he got there. He remembered hearing Nack's voice and recalls Sally. He puts two-and-two together and immediately tries to get out of his chains, but Sergeant Simian says he's not going anywhere.
Meanwhile, the action returns to where the last issue left off, with Sally fleeing to Freedom HQ and Nack continuing to countdown to one. To Nack's surprise, Sally doesn't go for the door but heads for the Oak Stump Slide. Sliding down, Sally met Amy who wondered "who's shooting holes in the front door?" Sally explains that Sonic had been taken, and Nack is after her. She wonders who's here but Amy says that she's the only one. Sally accepts that they'll have to do. Nack took the slide down and found Sally near the front door. However, Amy was waiting for Nack and attacked him from behind. NICOLE asked Sally what was going on and she states they're fine. Sally again explains that Sonic is captured. NICOLE states that if she can have a little time, she could rally the Freedom Fighters. Sally says that there is no time and she and Amy leave to rescue Sonic.
Sonic however is facing a bit a of verbal abuse from the former members of the 6S team in the Bottom of the Barrel Bar 'n' Grill. However, it's been so long that the members themselves have forgotten what the 6S' stand for. Sonic comes up with the team name easily and states that he beat them when he was eight. Sleuth Dog however was impatient and wondered what was taking Mammoth Mogul so long for him to pay up. Coconuts stated that Mogul has a casino to run and that he will pay them on his time. Drago Wolf started to say something but Sleuth cut him off. Sleuth then said that the Freedom Fighters have a bad habit of showing up when at the last minute. Coconuts said he would inform Mogul but said that their job was to bring him Sonic and keep him there.
At that moment, Sally and Amy arrive at the casino and Sally says this definitely wasn't how she remembered it being described as. Amy asks if there in the right place and Sally says that she heard Sleuth mention a casino and this looks like it. Geoffrey St. John appears and says the ladies are in the right place. Both girls are surprised to see Geoffrey there and ask what he was doing. He explains that Elias Acorn sent him in order to figure out what Mogul was up too. Sally asked if Hershey was there. Geoffrey said GUN heard of this and assigned him with Rouge the Bat, much to his dismay. He also mentioned he lost contact with her. To his surprise, Rouge appeared right behind him and asked Sally what she was doing here. She explained that Sonic was kidnapped and they think Mogul is behind it. Rouge told the group that she and Geoffrey know where to look and led them to the Bottom of the Barrel Bar and Grill. They immediately attacked, saving Sonic from having to put up with Bean's remarks. Geoffrey asks Rouge if she would join in but she denied, on the account of her dress. The group then proceeds to take out the Destructix and the rouges, with Scratch and Grounder hiding from Amy and her Piko Piko Hammer. Rouge stopped Sleuth from leaving and told him Mogul paid her already and told him of a new plan...
Sonic, pleased with a rescue well done, wishes to complain to the management. Sally agrees but Geoffrey reminds them that they are still on Mogul's turf but Sally says that they can't be bullied here when they could be attacked at home. So Sonic goes up to the Casino and shouts for Mogul to appear. A few SWATbots as security asked Sonic to leave but he and Amy quickly disposed of them. Mogul appears and asks why Sonic is attacking since his business is concluded with him. Sally asks about the bounty but Mogul waves this off and asks a fleeing Sleuth what he was doing. Sleuth said that they were using the bar for a front of mercenary actions. Mogul expels him from the casino but Sonic interjects that that's not how it was. Mogul asked how they could counter a full confession to which they weren't able too. He then says that if they came to them, he would have help. The heroes leave in humiliation. Drago then asked why Sleuth confessed but he said Mogul would pay for Sonic's humiliation.
Geoffrey then cheers up the group saying that they got out safely. Sonic also congratulates Sally for rescuing him and when Amy objects, he thanks her as well. Bunnie D'Coolette, then contacts the group and says that while the HQ is safe, Nack got away. Sonic said this was an eventful day and on the plus side, "Today can't get any worse."
Fiona Fox is talking to Anti Tails and Anti Rotor asking if they are done yet. They told her they would be on time. She said they better. She then moved to Anti Sally and Patch asking if they were ready, to which Anti Sally muttered "More than you'd ever be." The ladies clashed over this but Patch settled things down. Anti Sally said they'd be ready. Someone off panel asked Fiona if everyone was ready and she said yes to...King Scourge!
- Bean: Hey Sonic? Hey. Hey Sonic? Why are you so fast? Why are you blue? Are you and the princess going to marry and have mutant hedge-squirrel babies?
- Sonic: (looks shocked)
- Sonic is rescued by Sally, Amy, and Geoffrey.
- Mammoth Mogul successfully discredits Sonic when he is unable to provide evidence of Mogul's involvement in his kidnapping.
- Scourge and Fiona prepare for an upcoming invasion.
- Starting with this issue, six preview pages were shown a week prior to the issue's release instead of three.
- Scourge was miscolored in this issue from his usual lime-green to a forest green. This trend would continue until Sonic the Hedgehog #195.
- This is the first issue showing Scourge wearing his trademark crown for the "Bold New Moebius" arc.
- Sonic stated he beat the Super Special Sonic Search and Smash Squad when he was eight. This happened in Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 2. This a retcon of some of the earlier issues pointing out that some of them probably showed Sonic when he was a kid.
- This is the last issue Matt Herms appears as penciller, but he returns as a colorist for STH: 195 and so on as a regular for the rest of the series.
- Bean's strange question about "mutant hedge-squirrel babies" is a reference to the fan-fueled theory that Mobians of different species would have half and half children.
This issue has been reprinted in the following places:
- Sonic Saga Series Vol. 6: Mogul Rising
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