Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 276 is the two-hundred seventy-sixth issue of Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
The BLUE BLUR IS BACK from the events of "WORLDS UNITE" and ready to save the world! In "Cold Hearted," Sonic embarks on a quest through the arctic to find and recover the all-important Gaia Keys! Collecting them all is essential for fixing the shattered world. It's a pretty chill mission until Egg Boss Tundra steps in to put the freeze on Sonic's plans! Meanwhile, Dr. Eggman is "Back in Business" as he braves the unknown to find his most treasured killing machine Metal Sonic! Featuring cover art by newcomer Adam Bryce Thomas plus a "HERO" variant with art provided by SEGA!
- Cold Hearted
Meanwhile, in Artika's Cool Edge Zone, Chip cheers on Sonic and Rotor as they battle the Artika Egg Army and their Badnik Horde. After cracking a bad joke or two, Sonic notes that he and Rotor are outmatched and "surrenders," prompting Chip to fly off. The two Freedom Fighters are taken to the Egg Army's base, which they find unimpressive, only to be confronted by Egg Boss Tundra the Walrus.
After a brief introduction, Tundra tells the latter that they don't need to introduce themselves, especially to Rotor, who recognises him as his father. Rotor is shocked at the fact that his father would betray his village. Tundra explains that they were conquered by Eggman and that he recognised as the only one strong enough to enforce his will and that he allowed this because with Eggman proving he was stronger gives him the right to rule.
While ripping off Rotor's belt, Tundra also comments that he sees that Rotor was still weak for relying on his gadgets only. Sonic threatens to beat Tundra up but they are sent to cells by Tundra, saying they will receive no mercy and that he would eventually send them over to Eggman.
Sonic and Rotor are then thrown into a cell with Jari-Thure and Sarianna, who are Gaia Key protectors. They were apparently captured by the Egg Army when Sarianna went out at night. The couple argue whether this was the safest decision or not while Sonic goes to comfort Rotor saying that he is more of a man than his father by not bowing down to Eggman.
Sarianna notices Sonic's behaviour as if getting captured was his plan. Sonic agrees to this because they only wanted to find the couple before heading out. Chip comes in carrying treats from the Egg Army's fridge and lets everyone out. Jari-Thure notes it would be difficult to run on the ice. Sonic replies that Rotor can run on ice with ease while he could run on ice in his werehog form since he has cleats. Chip leads the way while unlocking the doors so they would not lose momentum.
The gang fight their way through to the hangar where they take off in a reindeer-themed convertible. They get back to Jari-Thure's village where Sonic is given the Gaia Keys they came for. Sonic asks Rotor if he is ready to head back to the Sky Patrol, to which Rotor notes it as his home away from home. The story ends with Tundra looking stern over the whole situation while the Egg soldiers try to clean up the mess made.
- Back in Business
Eggman gleefully announces the completion of Eggmanland, the refinery he has created to process Dark Gaia's power. Orbot and Cubot are also present, the latter serving as Eggman's table while the former criticizes the fact that his master spent time and energy making the facility into an amusement park as well as a refinery. He then points out that had the rocket carrying the last Chaos Emerald reached the Death Egg as intended they wouldn't require Dark Gaia's energies, and deflates his master's ego by reminding him that the trap involving that same Emerald had even failed to snare the Freedom Fighters. Eggman tries to gain ground by noting that several Egg Army chapters have managed to secure Gaia Temples, only to be reminded that they haven't discovered any way to take control of them without possibly wrecking the structures.
Eggman does admit that Sonic and his team have more emeralds than him, but also states that he managed to find the Gaia Manuscripts and decipher them, having his Egg Army secure some of the Gaia Temples, meaning he controls the state of the world. Orbot then questions Eggman whether he found a way to open the doors to the deeper parts of the temple, without destroying the temple. After saying no, Eggman asks Orbot whether he was programmed for giving this much sass. Cubot then asks if Eggman will attack the strange new planet he discovered but Eggman wanted to stay focused on conquering the current planet first. He also adds that he had such an item he was going to use on the planet but could not remember what it was due to the reset. Orbot asks if Eggman would still want to research on Genesis Portals but he tries to consider it since he lost Metal Sonic due to one. Orbot then mentions that they had found him.
Before Eggman sets out to find him, Orbot warns that the machine he uses to make such Genesis Portals is experimental at best and suggests to send a badnik instead. Eggman does not listen and lets Orbot know it has been a while since he got his hands dirty. Orbot face-palms silently after this statement.
Eggman dives into the Genesis Portal which leads him to the Distant Abyss Zone. He tries to communicate with Metal but fails and is attacked by a large monster. Metal Sonic is able to use the last 1% of his power to defend Eggman but soon automatically deactivates. Eggman carries him back to his base, yelling at Orbot and Cubot to close the Genesis Portal immediately. Thereafter, he orders them to put Metal Sonic in a recharge station. Unbeknownst to him, Walter and Wendy Naugus invade his land.
Sonic says goodbye to Rock, Roll, Blues, Dr. Light, Quake Woman, the Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 3 Robot Masters, Dr. Wily, Xander, Rush, X, Zero, Axl, Sigma, Sticks the Badger, Fastidious Beaver, Comedy Chimp, and all the other SEGA and Capcom characters that participated in Worlds Unite. He goes to the green room to have some time for himself, but Dr. Eggman is there and annoys him.
- Tundra the Walrus is revealed to be Rotor's father after Rotor and Sonic "surrender" to the Artika Egg Army.
- Sonic and Rotor obtain their first set of sun and moon keys.
- Construction on Eggmanland is completed, and it begins harvesting Dark Gaia's energies in preparation to supercharge the Death Egg.
- Sonic and Rotor escape with the prisoners Tundra captured.
- An argument between Eggman and Orbot reveals that several Gaia Temples have been secured by the Egg Army, but that they have no means of penetrating the innermost chambers, and that the final Chaos Emerald went off course on it's way to the Death Egg.
- Eggman retrieves Metal Sonic from the Distant Abyss Zone.
- Walter Naugus (who seems to have obtained a Master Emerald shard) and Wendy Naugus put Eggmanland out of commission.
- Sonic: READY TO GET BACK TO THE SKY PATROL?
- Rotor: Yeah...my home away from home...
- With the release of this issue, Archie Sonic the Hedgehog became the longest-running franchise-based comic series, surpassing Marvel Comics' Conan the Barbarian (which ran for 275 issues).
- This issue features the debut of Wendy Naugus, who is based on the character of Witchcart from Tails' Skypatrol. Her planned introduction was previously hinted at by Ian Flynn, who indicated that Walter Naugus' first name in the new reality was intended to be alliterative with new relatives that would be introduced.
- Dr. Eggman's pose for holding the hologram planet earth resembles the scene of "Sonic the hedgehog: The Movie."
Cameos and References
- Mega Man's Dr. Wily and Xander Payne make cameo appearances in Eggman's vague flashback to the finale of Worlds Unite.
- In the Off-Panel, Sonic name-drops all of the Mega Man characters who appeared in the crossover, as well as all the other SEGA and Capcom characters, and Sticks the Badger, Fastidious Beaver and Comedy Chimp.
- Also in the Off-Panel, Sonic ends his goodbye to all the Worlds Unite cameo appearances by saying "See you guys at the next crossover!" to which an unknown character responds with "No you won't." This could be a nod to the fact that there will no longer be any crossovers with the Mega Man comic series or the Sonic Boom comic series, as the former is confirmed to be going on a "hiatus", and the latter is confirmed to be ending.