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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 268

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STH 268

STH 268 V2

Sonic the Hedgehog
Publication Details
Issue 

268

Date Published 

January 14, 2015

Publishing Company 

Archie Comics

Production Staff
Cover Artist
Cover Colorist
Writer
Pencils
Inks
Letters
Colors
Assistant Editor
  • Vincent Lovallo
Editor
  • Paul Kaminski
Editor in Chief
  • Victor Gorelick
President
  • Mike Pellerito
Publisher
  • Jon Goldwater
Special Thanks

to Tyler Ham and Anthony Gaccione at SEGA Licensing

First Appearances
Characters
Locations
  

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 268 is the two hundredth and sixty-eighth issue of the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog series.

Summary

Official Solicitation

TEST YOUR MIGHT with the first chapter in an all-new 4-part SAGA! "Champions" Part One: Sonic is in for the fight of his life! Casino Park is holding an epic fighting tournament, and the grand prize is a much sought-after Chaos Emerald! How many fighters will answer the call? Which champions will make the roster? The knock-down, drag-out battle for the world starts right here! Featuring new cover art from Sonic rising star Evan Stanley, plus all-new variant art introducing Breezie the Hedgehog by Sonic artist Jonathan H. Gray!

Story One

"Champions" Part One: The Gang's All Here

Sometime in the past, at South Island's Underground Zone, Sonic defeats Coconuts, Scratch, and Grounder, members of Dr. Eggman's old badnik group, the Super Special Sonic Search & Smash Squad (or "S6" for short). He then meets a female hedgehog named Breezie, who was a supposed hostage for S6. She asks if Sonic can take her with while he saves Tails from Eggman. He accepts and carries her on the way to his battle.

Present day in the Sky Patrol, Sonic finishes his flashback. Amy feels jealous, only just now hearing of this story, while Tails is upset that Breezie was a double-agent for Eggman. Sally explains that Breezie has come a long way since then, now becoming the head of the Casino Park Zone and the largest entertainment network in the world.

They move to the subject of the big tournament, with a Chaos Emerald as the prize, that is scheduled to begin the next day. She assigns Amy, Tails, and Sonic to be part of Team Fighters, already having spots on the tournament roster. Despite Bunnie's suggestion to have all of the Freedom Fighters take part to make up for their previous defeat, Sally explains that the registration period has already cut off, with the aforementioned three conceded by Breezie. While Rotor suggests simply taking the Emerald to save the world, Amy and Sally dismisses it, saying that they are not above the law. Sally soon reveals that she even tried to buy off the Emerald from Breezie beforehand (Using her father's treasury) and failed. As she wishes them Sonic and the others luck, Tails wonders what Eggman is planning to do to get the gem.

At Casino Park, Breezie speaks with her former boss Eggman who, from the Death Egg, threatens to destroy everything she owns if she does not surrender the Emerald. Breezie counters, saying that with his Empire spread thin containing the global crisis, he would not have the forces necessary to make good on his threat. She even refuses his bribe to buy off the gem, much like she did Sally. Breezie explains that the tournament will be a way to distract the global populace from said crisis.

Escorted by Coconuts, she heads to the casino's security room, where Scratch shows her an anomaly in the roster; one of the tournament's participants has been mysteriously switched out. Breezie suggests to undo the switch, but when she sees who is on the roster now, she decides to accept it, believing this new contender will make the show even better. Still hearing Eggman's ongoing threats, she (or rather Coconuts) hangs up on him.

Eggman then contacts Team Hooligans, who are on their way to Casino Park via Bingo Highway. He orders the group to shut down its defenses in the event they are unable to win the Chaos Emerald. Nack informs his boss that while they are forced to get the gem for free, Eggman will need to pay them for sabotage, saying that it will be "another job with another invoice". Eggman then calls Metal Sonic, who has captured an old man in Apotos that has a connection with the Gaia Temples. He gives his robot coordinates to fly to, making him abandon his current assignment. The old man says to himself that he must "break tradition and warn the others".

Back at Casino Park, Breezie greats Team Fighters on their arrival. She comments on how their involvement in the tournament has tripled paid programming, and has offered them special privileges during the event, including access to the facilities, unlimited buffet and even a stack of chips for the casino. She then explains a few of the rules for the tournament:

    -No fighting allowed outside the ring ("Save it for the cameras").

    -No help from their buddies.

    -All participants must show up in time for their match.

Sonic agrees to all this, but then requests an additional rule of his own: his matches will only take place during the day (clearly not wanting people to see him in his Werehog form). At first, Breezie refuses, saying that he is "prime time all the way". However, when Sonic contemplates dropping out, she quickly, if not begrudgingly, changes her mind.

While Sonic and Tails talk about how effective the former was able to convince Breezie, they see Amy shocked to see a face she recognizes: a female cat wearing a red winged costume. She is revealed to be Honey, a founder, CEO, and designer of Honey Brand Clothing and Accessories. Honey, likewise, recognizes Amy as a world traveler and Freedom Fighter, and even recognizes her outfit being part of the designer's old creations from the "Dream-caster" line. Seeing this inspires Honey to have the outfit relaunched as part of an upcoming "Rose Collection", and offers the ecstatic Amy to be its model and spokeswoman. Revealing that she is entering the tournament to promote her company, she offers to give Team Fighters the Chaos Emerald if she wins, provided if the Freedom Fighters promote her next fashion line.

Close by, Team Hooligans arrive to see Sonic and the others, causing a panicked Nack to move Bean, Bark, and himself out of sight. Seeing Nack worried about facing them, Bean decides to call Eggman to tell him that they will move to "Plan B". Nack stops them and instead suggests to keep a low profile before the tournament begins, hoping to catch one of the contenders by surprise.

Elsewhere, Espio calls Vector, relaying his first report on Sonic and Nack's teams (and going as far as to say that he only has enough money for a minute-long call due to "rigged slots"). He says he will do what he can to help Team Fighters, and even managed to sneak in a "friendly face" onto the roster.

Outside, Knuckles, in the middle of his quest to fix the Master Emerald after his encounter with Eclipse the Darkling, has arrived with Chip in Casino Park. Chip is excited from all of the sights, sounds, and smells Casino Park has to offer. He then calms down, remembering that he is helping Knuckles find the Master Emerald shards. Knuckles counsels the spirit to leave the treasure hunting to him as he senses a shard nearby...

Bonus Features

Gag Strips

Off Panel

Scratch and Grounder appear to be commentating over a match in the Chaos Emerald Championship. They get intensely invested in their commentary when it's revealed that they're actually playing a match of Sonic the Fighters featuring Bunnie and Blaze. Scratch wonders how Grounder is able to pull off his character's moves, given he has drills instead of hands. Script by Aleah Baker, pencils by Diana Skelly, inks by Rick Bryant, and colors by Steven Lisefski.

Key Events

  • It is revealed that Scratch and Grounder still exist in the Post-SGW World and, like Coconuts, are employed in Casino Park.
  • Sonic reminisces on his first encounter with Breezie the Hedgehog.
    • Sonic's first encounter with Breezie mixes in the events of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Game Gear ver.) with the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode "Lovesick Sonic".
  • Sonic, Tails and Amy head for Casino Park to participate in the Chaos Emerald Championship.
  • Dr. Eggman sends Team Hooligan and Metal Sonic to steal the Chaos Emerald. The Hooligans decide to try to win fairly before resorting to stealing the emerald.
  • Sonic convinces Breezie to schedule his matches at daytime (to avoid being seen as a Werehog).
  • Sonic, Tails, and Amy meet Honey the Cat, who offers to give them the Chaos Emerald if she wins in exchange for the Freedom Fighters' support in promoting her new clothing line.
  • Espio prepares for the tournament and sneaks Knuckles into the roster.

Quotes

  • Coconuts: "Ooh-ooh-ha-ha-ha! Once you're gone, Sonic, Dr. Robotnik's gonna give me a big prrrromotion!"
  • Breezie: "Oh-ho-ho, Darling! You don't make the rules -- I do. You're prime time all the way."
  • Breezie: "Don't forget -- if you try to beat the house, the house beats you."
  • Amy: "I gotta tell you, I love your stuff--"
  • Amy & Honey: "--Because if you don't look sweet, you're not wearing Honey!"
  • Sonic: "What's terrifying is, I know they didn't rehearse that."
  • Nack: "Are you crazy?!"
  • Bean: "Clinically or figuratively?"
  • Nack: "You can't tell Eggman!"
  • Bean: "Why? He's gonna find out anyway."
  • Nack: "Yeah, and by then, we'll be fighting and completing the job! Think about our professional pride!"
  • Bean: "We still have that?!"
  • Nack: "Shut up."

Background Information

  • This issue marks the first debut of an Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog character-namely Breezie the Hedgehog - outside of an Off Panel strip - since Pseudo Sonic's first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog #9.
  • This issue marks the beginning of the Sonic the Fighters adaptation.
  • Breezie's name icon on the variant cover is an obvious homage to Las Vegas casino signs.
    • The variant cover mistakenly claims that "Champions" will be a 2-parter, when it's actually a 4-parter.
  • According to Ian Flynn, Honey's design here was made to not only simplify her more complicated, armored design, but also keep her in line with the modern Sonic look.
  • While mentioned, Cream and Cheese do not physically appear in this issue.

Cameos & References

  • Wentos the Traveling Salesman from Sonic Unleashed makes a cameo appearance in the casino lobby, conversing with a character resembling Wes Weasely, a shady salesman from The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • The car that Team Fighters arrive in (and that Tails made) appears to be Sonic's car, Speed Star, from the Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing series.
    • In addition, one person amongst the crowd resembles the infamous DOS character (and title antagonist) I.M. Meen.
  • Honey's comment on Amy wearing an outfit from her "Dream-casters" line is a reference to Sonic Adventure, both for the game debuting on SEGA's Dreamcast system and Amy's appearance since Sonic CD, wearing that very outfit.

Continuity

"Champions: Part 1" takes place shortly after the end of "Total Eclipse" (SU: #67-#70).

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