Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 224 is the two hundred and twenty fourth issue in the main Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
- "Chaos and the Crown: Part Two"
Before the Council of Acorn, Sonic the Hedgehog confronts the wizard Ixis Naugus. Naugus claims that he's there to make a rightful bid for the crown and that it has nothing to do with Sonic, but the hedgehog refuses to stand aside, brandishing Elias Acorn's Sword of Acorns. Naugus claims the sword is a fake, saying that the Sword of Acorns had been destroyed; using his elemental powers, he casts flames towards the hedgehog, but Sonic uses the sword to cut through them easily. He agrees that the true Sword of Acorns is gone, but that it had officially been replaced by the Sword of Light -- a blade designed to counter dark magic. Despite this, Naugus refuses to back down.
Outside, in front of New Mobotropolis's Civic Center, the worn Freedom Fighters continue with their confrontation of Geoffrey St. John. The skunk is nonchalant and unconcerned, even in the face of Sally Acorn's accusations. She tells him that, despite earlier suspicious activity, she had been willing to give him the benefit of the doubt; now, however, she can't abide by him siding with Naugus and turning against Elias. Geoffrey merely replies that it's her own fault for having not paid enough attention; he then loudly announces to the crowd that Naugus has the right to the crown, and that with him as king, they'll be safe. He is forced to quickly dodge when Sally launches at him with a flying kick; she says that even if he sees himself as nothing more than a revolutionist, he's still a murderer. This accusation truly catches Geoffrey off-guard; now trying to avoid attacks from Bunnie and Antoine, he asks what she means. Sally says that Geoffrey had said so himself: his wife, Hershey St. John, is dead. Bunnie manages to hold Geoffrey with her robotic arm; the skunk, meanwhile, is incredulous. Insulted, he denies having anything to do with Hershey's death, saying that they had been on separate missions and that he had investigated when she failed to report in. Sally tells him that, with his recent actions, he's no longer trustworthy. Geoffrey heatedly replies that while they can think of him as they please, he will not allow them to belittle his wife's death; he claims she gave her life fighting the Eggman Empire.
Meanwhile, deep within the Eggdome in New Megaopolis, Eggman carefully places his recently-won blue Chaos Emerald into a machine. As it hums to life, Snively Robotnik reports that the readings are impressive and that the device is already charged by five percent. Pleased, Eggman announces that he's on his way to the command decks and orders Snively to prepare for launch.
Back within Castle Acorn, Sonic and Naugus lock blades, the wizard having modified his staff into a crystal weapon. Naugus insists that the kingdom is rightfully his, as the former king had sworn fealty to him, but Sonic brushes this off, saying that Naugus is a villain and that everyone knows it. Naugus tells him it's not his place to judge and uses his magic to make a spire of rock erupt from underground; Sonic is knocked away and loses his grip on the sword. However, Elias picks it up and, to Naugus' surprise, attacks the wizard; he shatters the wizard's crystal blade, saying he refuses to hand off his father's crown so easily. He fends off the wizard's defensive spells for a moment but is suddenly thrown to the floor by a blast of wind. Surprisingly, Naugus kneels and offers his hand to the young king; he says that there's been enough fighting between him and the Acorn family, and asks Elias to step down and "take back [his] simpler life."
Nearby, Rotor attempts to rally Hamlin, Dylan and Penelope Platypus, as they were all former Freedom Fighters; while the boys are about to charge into action, Penelope stays firmly in place and tells them to do so as well. Rotor and the others are shocked, but she pointedly insists that they're no longer Freedom Fighters but councilors, and that it's their duty now to govern, not fight. Hamlin protests, but Penelope subtly threatens him with dereliction of duty; Hamlin shows disbelief that she would bring charges against him, but she points out that he had set the precedent himself by once charging Princess Sally with something similar. Sonic watches with bewilderment as tempers flare among the council; Rosemary Prower flatly points out that the current constitution only requires a king without specifying who it must be, which angers both Rotor and Sir Charles Hedgehog. Annoyed and impatient, Sonic interrupts, saying that Naugus has already stirred up trouble and acted against NICOLE -- which causes Dylan to timidly point out that Naugus might be able to protect them from NICOLE should she again go rogue. The bickering and fighting in the room begins to intensify as Elias looks on in surprise and dismay; he doesn't notice that Naugus, behind him, is once again using his magic to amplify people's feelings of fear and anger.
In the Eggdome, Eggman asks Snively and Lien-Da for a report; they tell him that systems are online and fully powered, and that "Operation Clean Sweep" is fifteen percent charged. Eggman, pleased, commands that they begin a countdown; Snively thinks it best to wait until everything's prepared, but Eggman cuts him off. "It's time to remake this world in my image." The countdown begins.
Back in New Mobotropolis, Geoffrey continues to oppose the Freedom Fighters; Sally watches in dismay as Tails is struck down and then, injured, approaches Geoffrey. She asks him to confirm that he believes himself to be in the right and justified in his actions; when Geoffrey does so, she points out then that, instead of fighting them, he should be letting justice simply take its course. Amused, Geoffrey gives in, saying he'll "play along." Sally asks Bunnie and Antoine to keep an eye on the "surrendered" skunk. Holding her injured shoulder, Sally approaches NICOLE, who remains slumped among the shattered remains of crystallized nanites. NICOLE looks haunted; she explains that, normally, if any part of the city is damaged, she can still "feel" the nanites and use them to repair. However, the ones affected by Naugus' magic have been changed and destroyed, putting them beyond her power. Some scattered Mobians overhear this exchange and begin to speak among themselves, wondering if Naugus could truly "protect" them from NICOLE and if Sonic hasn't simply made a mistake. Furthermore, they begin to question if St. John really is in the right; after all, they say, he's been known as a hero and even worked for the former king. Noticing this, Sally helps a shell-shocked NICOLE up and gently suggests she get out of sight for a bit. As NICOLE disappears, Sally watches the crowd with concern.
Inside Castle Acorn, the council continues to bicker about its course of action. Penelope and Rosemary insist that it simply comes down to a legal matter and should be put to vote, but Sonic, incredulous, insists it's as simple as him beating Naugus up because the wizard is a known threat. Hamlin takes issue with this, accusing Sonic of "once again" thinking he can ignore the council's authority; Sonic snaps that he can and will if they insist on being "stupid" about it, causing concern from his uncle Chuck. As Elias looks dismayed off to the side, Naugus smoothly asks if anyone thinks the current king should have a say in matters; building his resolve, Elias asks Naugus if, were he to step down as king, Naugus would honour the Council of Acorn. Graciously, Naugus again says he seeks only the crown and would respect the wishes of the people... pointedly adding that certain Freedom Fighters should do the same, earning the ire of Sonic and Rotor.
Having had enough, Sonic snatches the sword from Elias, saying he's going to put an end to this nonsense before it gets any more ridiculous. Elias grabs him by the arm, saying they have a chance to end the situation peacefully; Sonic, surprised, says that Elias has fought hard to maintain the crown and was fighting Naugus moments ago as well. Elias demands Sonic listen to him, saying that Naugus is too powerful and that the people are too jumpy; they need to end things calmly now and can work out the details later. Sonic refuses, saying that he prefers to keep things simple; he turns on Naugus with the sword and says that Elias is staying king. Despite being at swordpoint, Naugus is amused, saying that Sonic is being rather bold for someone technically committing treason. Sonic is shocked to see the Council of Acorn looking on with anger and disapproval, with both Chuck and Rotor silently pleading him to not make the situation worse.
In New Megaopolis, the ground begins to shudder as the countdown hits three...
Sonic is nearing the end of his rope; he says no one would be stopping him if it were Eggman standing before them. Naugus points out that he considers "Julian" an enemy as well. Sonic angrily and slowly turns on the wizard, saying that firstly, no one calls Eggman by that name, secondly, he wasn't talking to him, and thirdly, "Your raspy, hissing voice makes my skin crawl, so shut it!" Elias puts his hand on the sword, saying that the council is right; this is a government matter and it should be handled peacefully. Sonic, not letting go of the sword, insists he can handle things. Elias snaps that they're trying to make the best out of a bad situation and that Sonic is not helping; Sonic insists that it's everyone else getting in his way.
Suddenly, the ground violently shakes, throwing everyone off their feet. Sonic angrily tells Naugus that things are bad enough without magical earthquakes, but the wizard, confused, says that it wasn't his doing. He adds that it wasn't an earthquake, but rather than something far away had shaken with great force. Elias, alarmed, wonder if Eggman has finally emerged from hiding, and Sonic agrees that it might be the case. Impatiently, he agrees that they'll put matters aside from now and demands that Naugus remove the crystal blocking the entrance. Naugus doesn't appreciate being ordered about, but all bickering ceases when they step outside and look up...
From the window, Elias and Rosemary look up in horror as Rotor, flustered, explains what they're seeing. Sally, Tails, Bunnie, Antoine, Amy and even Geoffrey look up in shock. In the marketplace, Big the Cat picks up Froggy, Cream the Rabbit runs to her mother, Bernadette Hedgehog clings to her husband, Rosie clutches her charges and Dr. Quack and his family look on as a massive shadow begins to spread...
The Death Egg Mark 2 has been launched.
Ixis Naugus and Sonic are looking at the Death Egg Mark 2 looking shocked by its appearance. Sonic explains to Naugus that it is Dr. Eggman's most terrible creation. He interrupts himself and quickly realises that it was only a model, to the relief of Naugus.
- Naugus: The last king swore fealty to me! He became my knight! The kingdom is mine!
- Sonic: Is not.
- Naugus: It is so!
- Sonic: Is not.
- Naugus: Is too!
- Sonic: Is not!
- Naugus: Is -- RARGH! Curse you!
- Eggman: Begin the countdown!
- Snively: Are you sure? Shouldn't we wait until stage one is at least--
- Eggman: Shut up, Snively. It's time to remake this world in my image.
- Using his magic, Naugus causes conflict among the Council of Acorn.
- Geoffrey agrees to surrender.
- The Death Egg launches.
- The sword Sonic is holding on the cover appears to be the Sword of Light, as shown in StH #223.
- The summary calls Sonic "knight of the wind", which was the title he was given in the video game Sonic and the Black Knight. Sonic using a sword may also be in reference to that game.
- The screens in the panel before the Eggdome was lauched revealed that the Oil Ocean Refinery and the power station in Northern Tundra was powering the Death Egg. This was shown again at the begining of StH #225.
- The joke in the Off Panel may be referring to one in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, where they realised the castle was "only a model'.
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