Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 234 is the two hundred and thirty fourth issue in the main Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
Sonic and the Freedom Fighters have one mission: see Elias and his family leave the city safely. That'll be hard to do as Dr. Eggman attacks with his latest, most loathsome weapon to date! In such a high-stakes mission, even the unthinkable can happen. Then, in "Dark Hearts," learn the untold history between Ixis Naugus and Dr. Eggman!
Elias and his family are preparing to leave New Mobotropolis to avoid causing even more trouble than there already is, although Sonic would like them to stay. The Freedom Fighters are escorting them out of the city to the Feral Forest in the Mobo-Cruiser. Sonic is leading the ground defense with Antoine and Bunnie supporting, while Tails and Amy are providing air support. Soon after they leave they are confronted by the Death Egg and upgraded Egg Pawn designs. They easily fend them off, but Bunnie is having trouble adapting to being normal.
They let out Metal Sonic and an upgraded, weaponized Mecha Sally. Mecha Sally easily takes out the Tornado. Sonic goes to back up Tails and Amy when he is attacked by Metal Sonic. Bunnie tries to help him but isn't strong enough and is pushed away by Metal Sonic and is knocked down by Mecha Sally. Lien-Da tells Eggman the convoy is unprotected and they have a clear shot. But the convoy has a target scrambler and the all the lasers miss the Mobo-Cruiser. Eggman orders that Metal Sonic latch onto the Mobo-Cruiser and self destruct, much to Snively's disapproval. Metal Sonic leaves it's fight with Sonic and is replaced in battle by Mecha Sally. Sonic tries to talk to her, but it fails.
Antoine goes after Metal Sonic and holds on to it and prevents it from latching on to the convoy. Eggman, learning that Metal Sonic is latched to Freedom Fighter, demand Metal Sonic be detonated right then and there. Antoine is caught in the center of the explosion. The Freedom Fighter are stunned and Eggman is ecstatic at having finally taking out a Freedom Fighter. Much to Snively's shock, Eggman decides to leave at that moment. Despite having the Freedom Fighters on the ropes, Eggman decides that this is better than killing the former king of New Mobotropolis and that going any further would be pushing his luck. He then dismisses Snively from the deck for ruining his mood. Finally pushed over the edge, Snively decides to wait no longer and that it's time to take the doctor down.
As the Death Egg, the Egg Swats and Metal Sally leave, Elias calls to see what happened to Antoine, and Sonic tells him that Antoine made sure they could get away safely. Bunnie is hysterical, Sonic remarks that Antoine is still breathing and picks him up to run back to New Mobotropolis to take him to Dr. Quack.
- "Dark Hearts"
Ixis Naugus contacts Dr. Eggman via the purple Chaos Emerald, offering information on an ideal time to attack Sonic and the remnants of the Freedom Fighters. He also asks Dr. Eggman about the time when he and Naugus met for the first time to see if he remembers, and also to check and see if their stories line up. The latter motive comes from the fact that Dr. Eggman is not Robotnik Prime (Naugus alludes to this, saying he is told that Eggman is "not quite the man I remember); Naugus needs to see if his first meeting with Robotnik Prime is identical to the first meeting of Eggman and Naugus' own alternate self.
Dr. Eggman recalls that shortly after his coup d'etat of the old Mobotropolis, he decided he would check up on the Zone of Silence to see King Maxmillian and Warlord Kodos. Upon entering the Zone in his Egg Mobile, he was captured by Feist, who was, at the time, a minion of Ixis Naugus. Ixis Naugus revealed to Dr. Eggman that Maxmillian and Kodos served him, and that Mobotropolis actually belonged to him. Ixis Naugus forced Dr. Eggman to serve him for a short while, but Dr. Eggman managed to escape by contacting Snively Robotnik from the Zone of Silence, mentioning that he could trust Snively in the early days. After escaping, Dr. Eggman instructed Snively to never again let him into the Zone of Silence.
Ixis Naugus then discloses with Eggman that Elias planned to leave New Mobotropolis with his family, escorted by the Freedom Fighters, a prime opportunity to attack them.
The story ends with Naugus bidding Dr. Eggman farewell as Geoffrey St. John enters the room, reminding Naugus of Elias's departure, leading to the events of the main story "Unthinkable".
As to the earlier raised question of whether Eggman's first meeting with Alternate Naugus happened the same way as the first meeting of Robotnik Prime and Naugus Prime, it turns out that Eggman's version of the story lines up with Naugus Prime's--no surprise, given that Mobius Prime and Eggman's Mobius had identical events up to a certain point (one far beyond the events Naugus was concerned with).
Tails and his amazing magic hat returns and Tails ensures that he's got it this time. He says the magic words and pulls Ixis Naugus out of his hat, who scares him by shouting "boo". Tails gets mad and proceeds to stomp down on the hat in anger.
- Dr. Eggman assaults Elias's convoy to escape New Mobotropolis with the Death Egg MK II, Metal Sonic, and Mecha Sally
- Antoine is critically injured
- Elias and his family escape New Mobotropolis
- The Death Egg and Mecha Sally retreat
- It's revealed that Dr. Robotnik and Ixis Naugus had first met previously after the former took a trip into the Zone of Silence shortly after his taking over of Mobotropolis. Furthermore, the same events are also revealed to have occurred in Dr. Eggmans own timeline.
- Sally's line 'Where were you when they were handing the brains out?' is a refrence to the SatAM episode 'Sonic's Nightmare', which also showed Sally being roboticized.
- It is noticable that, after Metal Sonic has exploded, Antoine's face isn't seen.
- Mecha Sally's eyes were mistakenly colored red in one point.
- This issue marks the last on-panel appearance of Feist, who would be one of the many characters to be barred from the comic due to the Archie v. Penders case.
- "Dark Hearts" was reprinted in Best of Sonic the Hedgehog: Villains
- In France, this issue was printed in Delcourt Sonic 4: Le Jeu De Alliances
- In Germany, this issue was printed in Panini Sonic the Hedgehog #5