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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 197 is the one hundred and ninety-seventh issue of the main Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
Sonic is traversing the Cosmic Highway to the Multiverse with Scourge the Hedgehog in custody, but he doesn't get far before he learns that all the zones are in lockdown. What threat has caused such drastic measures, and can Sonic defeat it? Meanwhile, a hearing is underway to determine whether Princess Sally is guilty of treason. All this, plus a development of cataclysmic proportions that could well mark the beginning of the end as the countdown to issue #200 continues!
Sonic is taking an unconscious Scourge to the No Zone prison via the Cosmic Interstate. During this, Sonic thinks back to the last times he went on the interstate and the first time he met Zonic the Zone Cop and is eager to see why he hasn't been doing his job. Scourge then comes to and breaks loose from Sonic. Scourge tricks his counterpart into breaking his handcuffs by using Sonic's spin dash attack. Just as the real battle begins, the two are then put under arrest by Zone Cops Zector and Zespio.
Meanwhile, Sally Acorn is put on trial by the Council of Acorn for treason for subverting the council's authority and going rogue by counter-invading Moebius and fighting Scourge when they were supposed to focus on pressing the assault on Dr. Eggman. Sally admitted that she had done this to her former student and current prosecutor, Hamlin. Rosemary Prower then pointed out that the council also voted for Sonic to be punished for going against their wishes to leave Freedom HQ for the time being, and instead counter-invaded Moebius after meeting with Sally and King Elias, leading her to believe it could be part of a royal conspiracy, which Sally found ridiculous as she created the specifics of Sonic's punishment under her authority as field leader. Hamlin then asks if it wasn't her authority as princess, to which she replied no. He then asked are you "saying you have no power outside of being the field leader?" To which she replies "yes." Hamlin then says "So let me put this straight-- You made your decision as field leader of the Freedom Fighters... A group that answers directly to the Council of Acorn. So you have just admitted to us that you went against direct orders of your superiors!", causing Sally to become increasingly worried.
Back at the Cosmic Interstate, Sonic and Scourge are led to Zonic in the No Zone by their arresting offices through a Warp Ring. Upon their arrival, Sonic can't believe to see that the No Zone is in complete ruins. Scourge takes the opportunity to escape and attempts to destroy the No Zone before going back to Mobius Prime. Zonic catches sight of him and alerts the other officers about Scourge and orders them to converge on the central precint. Sonic then tells him to get him a device that will allow him to be upright and fight Scourge.
Back at Castle Acorn, Sally says that Sonic's punishment was ordered by the council but the specifics were left up to her, therefore, any choice she made would have been approved by the council. Hamlin counters that the council wouldn't approve actions that undermine their own authority. Sally then retaliates by saying that two of the councilors helped build the new Star Posts which seemed like blatant support to her, but Hamlin says the Star Posts are meant to go the Special Zone, which is an ongoing mission, and that the councilors that helped her were under her authority as field leader of the Freedom Fighters. Sally then says there was no larger invasion plan and that an opportunity presented itself and they acted which prevented the invasion from Moebius and the recapture of Freedom HQ. Hamlin that says the ends don't justify the means and if they proceeded to let the Freedom Fighters do whatever they want for the "greater good", the council would become redundant. Sally, knowing she is beaten, then admits that she is guilty, but tells the council she will not go through this again. That she will not act, will not give any order, until she has the direct approval of he council, even in the middle of a battle. That the council can discount any help from the Chaotix as they are free agents beyond her control and will refuse to give them any orders. Or, the council could trust her with the duty she's had all her life. Elias then holds a vote if they should drop the charges against Sally, and everyone but Hamlin votes for them to be dropped. Rotor congratulates Sally for the turnaround but Sally said it was only convincing the council that the terms were unreasonable, earning quite a look from Rosemary. Sally then asks why Hamlin proceeded to do this, to which he responds that he was trained by the best, but forgotten and left behind every time, and that he ran for office to finally make a difference in everyone's lives and that if he cannot fight for his people, he'll see to it that the Freedom Fighters do so correctly.
Back at the No Zone, Zonic has given Sonic a Spatial Stabilizer to keep him up right that he puts inside his glove. Sonic then asks why the zones are under lockdown and Zonic reveals that the Zone Cops have been warring with a mad man traveling the Cosmic Highway known as Dr. Nega that Sonic ran into when in Blaze the Cat's world. They were forced to lock down the multiverse to keep him out of the Primeverse and that only a few zones had remained open to it for stability's sake. Satisfied with this information, Sonic then says it's time to kick Scourge's butt. Zonic fires a laser at Scourge from behind the debris that is covering him and tells Scourge he is ragged and can't keep this up. Angered by this, Scourge tried to perform a spin dash on Zonic, but Sonic hit him with his own spin-dash and Zonic places a Control Collar on Scourge. With Scourge under control, Sonic asks when Zonic's going to take away Eggman and Zonic replies he isn't. Zonic then says that since Robotnik Prime died and that Eggman and he have a nearly identical past, he is the best candidate to fill in for him and is needed for the Prime Zone's stability, saying that Sonic Prime has to fight a Robotnik. Sonic then asks why he had to bring Scourge to him, Zonic then explains that Scourge's mutation has made him a wild card in the cosmic scheme of things. After a snide remark from Scourge, Zonic then takes him to jail and officers Zector and Zespio return Sonic to the Prime Zone where he goes home, warmly recieved by Jules and Bernadette. He tells them he has some time to rest before his next battle.
Meanwhile, at the Eggdome, Snively Robotnik is talking to his secret love Regina F via a computer, when Dr. Eggman mistakenly calls for Snively by his birth name of Colin. Taking note of this, Snively believes Eggman could be losing his grip on reality faster than he expected and that Regina's plan could be put into action sooner than he first thought. Snively then enters the lab where Eggman is the doctor to get behind the blast shield and watch the monitors for the readouts of his next weapon. After mocking what his "uncle"'s next weapon could be, Eggman launches a flame attack on the blast shield that quickly has Snively cowering and Eggman asks for the readouts. Snively says that they are well above his expectations. Pleased with the results, Eggman declares the Egg Phoenix ready for launch.
- "Sonic and the Black Knight - Knight Time"
A young girl wizard named Merlina is running away from the evil King Arthur, who summons monstrous knights from the shadows to capture her. In a desperate attempt to save herself, Merlina uses a spell to call forth a knight that is as "swift as the wind". Sonic then falls from the sky along with two chili dogs he manages to catch just before they hit the ground. Looking around him, Sonic realizes what's going on and promptly defeats all of the evil knights. But before he can defeat the king, Merlina stops him and they disappear in a tornado. The king then rides on his flying horse to three knights overlooking the events on a nearby cliff called Sir Gawain, Sir Lancelot, and Sir Percival. The king orders the trio of knights to spread out after Sonic and the wizard and to slay them on sight while he gives chase. Sir Gawain protests this to the other knights saying that the Merlina is the royal wizard. The other knights protest that they must obey the king's orders for without them they are nothing. After Sir Lancelot leaves, however, Sir Percival admits that their king and kingdom have changed. The two then walk off to fulfill their orders.
- Scourge: You can try to write me off, mutation, evil twin-- whatever. But the truth is I'm Sonic the Hedgehog at his full potential.
- Merlina: Iph a'saris y ees sarak. Iph a'saris y ees sarak. O brave knight, swift as the wind, heed my call!
- King Arthur/Black Knight: I shall give chase. Spread out and go after them. Slay them on sight. (leaves)
- Sir Percival: Let's go.
- Sir Gawain: Must we? She is the royal wizard, after all.
- Sir Lancelot: The King's orders are absolute.
- Sir Percival: Without loyalty to the king we are nothing.
- Sir Gawain: Yes, but...!
- Sir Lancelot: (leaves)
- Sir Percival: Still... the King has changed. And this kingdom...
- Sonic and Scourge are arrested by the Zone Cops.
- Sally is brought before the Council of Acorn on charges of treason.
- Scourge breaks free and tries to destroy the No Zone, but is recaptured by the Zone Cops and taken to jail.
- Zonic reveals the reason why he won't take Eggman away.
- Sally is cleared of all charges on a 5-1 vote from the Council.
- Dr. Eggman completes his new Egg Phoenix.
- This issue finally explains the absence of the Zone Cops and the reason for Zonic not taking away Dr. Eggman. Also of note is this is the first comic in a long while to make clear that Doctor Eggman is not the original Robotnik but explains that Eggman is the closest candidate to replace the original.
- Snively is called by his real first name "Colin" for the first time in the entire comic series. His name was stated only once before in his Data File from Sonic the Hedgehog #105.
- This issue's backstory features the comic tie-in to the videogame Sonic and the Black Knight.
- Zonic's explanation for not dealing with Eggman is expanded in a character role-playing Q&A done by Ian Flynn on his forum. In it he says as Zonic that "If Sonic had managed to kill Robotnik on his own, it'd be different." and that the Zone Cops could deal with Eggman. "As it is Sonic almost had no hand in the affair and Robotnik didn't just die - he was erased. He left a hole in the grand scheme of things." causing the need for Eggman to fill that hole. 
This issue has been reprinted in the following places:
"Knight Time"'s chronological placement is unknown.