Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 233 is the two hundred and thirty third issue in the main Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
Fresh from the epic "Babylon Rising" arc in Sonic Universe, Sonic and Tails investigate the fate of their enemies before hurrying home for the trial of their former ally, Geoffrey St. John. How did this international man of mystery become an Ixis wizard? Where do his true loyalties lie? The answers fans have been demanding finally arrive!
- ""The Trial of Geoffrey St. John"
Sonic and Tails investigate the fate of the Battle Bird Armada and get into a quick fight before hurrying home for the trial of traitor Geoffrey St. John. Hip and Hop act as the judges, Antoine is the prosecutor, and Geoffrey is defending himself. King Naugus sits by, bored. Answering Antoine's questions, Geoffrey reveals that he had become Ixis Naugus' man during the Great War, before Robotnik (then Kintobor) had taken over.
After his father was killed by an Overlander and Kintobor was made warlord, Geoffrey found an artifact in Warlord Kodos' belongings. The Ixis remains let him talk to Ixis Naugus, trapped in the Zone of Silence. To prepare for his return, Naugus had Geoffrey train by his father Ian's manuals left behind after his death and taught Geoffrey how to become a wind Ixis. Geoffrey eventually raised the Rebel Underground and met up with the Knothole Freedom Fighters.
Geoffrey continued to help Naugus over the years, not daring to be too obvious until the time was right, or risk being defeated. Even the members of his Secret Service were suspect: Bomb and Heavy were Badniks, Hershey had almost killed Sally once, and Wombat Stu was a foreigner. Any of them, besides Valdez, could have been blamed if anything had happened against the kingdom. When questioned if Hershey was also a pawn, Geoffrey went into a rage.
Geoffrey explained that he loved Hershey and she had gone missing in a mission in Soumerica. He had spent days searching for her, but could not find a trace. After that, he returned to the kingdom to help Naugus by betraying Sonic. Hip and Hop declare Geoffrey guilty, and there is brief cheering among the crowd. Naugus steps in and uses his annual pardon--granted to him for being king--to have Geoffrey released.
Meanwhile, Eggman has modified a power ring and implants it in Mecha Sally's body in order to give her the power needed to defeat Sonic, but not restoring her free will.
- "From the Shadows"
Elias is arguing with his parents about fleeing the city in order to find a safer haven in the forest. Alicia declines, wanting to stay with Max, who seems to have gone into shock trying to comprehend the situation. Elias decides that he and his family would be in danger even if they moved. He goes to Harvey Who, his father's old adviser and convinces the owl to let him in. Harvey tells Elias how the Acorn family didn't deserve the crown, how Max went against him in accepting first Kodos and then Kintobor, and kicking out Nate Morgan.
Harvey says that Elias and his wife will move out as planned, but he will sneak back in later, and that the time between will be enough to create a new team of Secret Freedom Fighters.
In the first panel, Antoine is yelling at Sonic, Hip and Hop that this is a serious trial and that they shouldn't make jokes. He tells them no food, no "order in the court" and no "kangaroo court" jokes. Sonic reluctantly agrees and Hip and Hop comment that he's a spoilsport. In the next panel, Geoffrey is standing on top of a podium looking smug at Antoine. Antoine asks what he is doing up there. In the last panel, Geoffrey smirks and says that "I'm on the stand am I?". Antonie literally bursts into flames in anger at the joke.
- Elias: I want to protect you, to protect this family. But even moving back to Feral Forest, I know that with Naugus as king, we'll never truly be safe...I have to do something.
- It is revealed that Geoffery believes Hershey may have died on a mission.
- Geoffrey is found guilty at his trial, but is pardoned thanks to King Naugus.
- Eggman finishes his modifications on Mecha Sally.
- Harvey Who advise Elias to form the secret freedom fighters.
- This issue features the first appearance of Harvey Who since StH #16 and the first appearance of Hip and Hop appeared since StH #40. Long time dead character Nate Morgan has received mention and cameos for the first time since his last appearance in StH #105.
- The original solicits stated "From the Shadows" would feature as the back story in the previous issue. Editor Paul Kaminski corrected this mistake, saying the story would appear in this issue. (1)
- This issue reveals that Geoffrey St. John had actually been an apprentice of Ixis Naugus before Julian Kintobor became Robotnik, and that all of Geoffrey's actions in the series up until this point had been part of a master plan to assist Naugus.
- In Harvey's house an old picture can be seen atop the fireplace. He is in it, along with King Maximillian Acorn, Sir Charles Hedgehog, Nate Morgan, General Amadeus Prower, Merlin Prower, Commander Ian St. John, and Colonel Tig Stripe.
- In France, "The Trial of Geoffrey St. John" was printed in Delcourt Sonic 4: Le Jeu De Alliances
- In Germany, this issue was printed in Panini Sonic the Hedgehog #4