Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 278 is the two-hundred seventy-eighth issue of Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic series .
SONIC's planet-wide chase CONTINUES! "Face of the Enemy" Part One: Sonic, Antoine and Big head to Shamar to rescue another Gaia Key Guardian! They're calling in the reinforcements and getting some help from the local Freedom Fighters-but will that really be enough to get past the fearsome Egg Army? Then, in "Hidden Costs" Part Two: Get ringside seats to Bunnie vs. Cassia. It's the can't-miss Cyborg fight of the century! Featuring cover art by jamming Jamal Peppers and a "Maniacal" variant By CG artist Rafa Knight!
- Face of the Enemy - Part One
Sonic, Antoine, Big and Chip are ambushed by an Egg Army in the Arid Sands Zone. Antoine calls out for Sonic's aid when he is attacked by a Badnik Horde Commander but Sonic had his hands full. Instead, three anthropomorphic animals help defeat the team, noting themselves as the Shamar Freedom Fighters. The Egg Army retreated and the trio introduced themselves as Spike the Porcupine, Sonar the Fennec and Trevor Burrow the Mole. Apparently, all three are huge fans of Sonic and made their own version of the Freedom Fighters in homage of his work. Sonic asks for their help in finding a man named Eshan.
They ask all around town for Eshan's whereabouts but come with no answers. Luckily, Sonar finds out that the local Egg Army kidnapped him and are forcing him to repair an old Gaia Temple. Big tells Sonar that he has the keys to open such temple and the gang follow Spike to the temple to stage a rescue mission for Eshan.
They find the temple but Spike and Sonar are spooked by Sonic's sudden Werehog transformation. Big explains to them that Sonic consumed Dark Gaia gas, forcing him to transform every night, which irritates Antoine thinking that Big is a spoiled-sport. Sonic's patience as a leader is tested and tells everyone to follow through with their plan; Sonic sneaks in from above the temple, Spike, Trevor and Antoine go inside the temple while Sonar, Big and Chip provide back-up support.
Sonar asks Big to see what is lurking around them. He does so and it turns out to be a Dark Gaia monster. Meanwhile, Trevor finds out that the Egg Army had already discovered the temple. They decide to split up leaving Antoine to travel in a dark hallway, in which he is later ambushed by badniks. Sonic is also confronted by the Egg Army and its Egg Boss, Nephthys the Vulture.
- Hidden Costs, Part Two
At the alter holding the blue Chaos Emerald, Bunnie begins her duel with Cassia by throwing her opponent to the floor, asking her if selling herself to Eggman is worthwhile. Cassia quickly gets back up and knocks Bunnie away with her tonfa, accusing her of hypocrisy (since they're both cyborgs) and being afraid of "self-improvement". Bunnie takes this taunt personally and angrily yells that she didn't ask to be cybernetic. Cassia asks if she hit a nerve and wonders if Bunnie still has those. Bunnie pins Cassia down, notices a grumble from the alter and asks her not to move. Despite this, they both fall through the alter.
Clove confronts Sally and Nicole informs her not to say anything about the Chaos Emerald. Clove asks Sally to back down to refrain from fighting and noting her smart and compassionate attitude, Sally submits to Clove's confidence, agreeing to leave the temple alone. Clove also deciphers that the temple Sally has located is not a Gaia temple. Sally informs that she could aid Clove if she is going to be ignorant around Eggman but Clove tells her by not fighting her people more, she is helping her.
Bunnie and Cassia land in a cave below the alter, resulting in Cassia receiving an injury. Bunnie tells her that she could just get a new one like all her other 'selfish upgrades'. Cassia is infuriated by this and angrily yells at Bunnie to let her know that she only got the upgrades in order to see, hear and stop being sick all the time. Bunnie questions if this was her only option with Cassia drawing a conclusion that Bunnie knew nothing about her. Bunnie apologises for her behaviour and just did not understand why people would want to have that horrible experience she went through before. Bunnie then asks for an exit and Cassia asks if she would have the emerald in return. Bunnie refuses but Cassia helps anyway so that her sister will not worry.
The pair busted through a sealed off wall and Cassia asked about Bunnie's conditions when she got her cybernetics, concerning medical treatment. Bunnie told Cassia she had no such thing and arrived in a storage room Cassia talked about earlier. Bunnie decided to leave Cassia on her own, feeling she would be fetched eventually. Bunnie was right about this because two Egg Army soldiers showed up to apprehend her and with this, Cassia took the Chaos Emerald back.
While in Spike's room, Spike exclaims how Sonic is his role-model which makes Sonic ask him to calm down. Spike tells him of his complete collection of Sonic merchandise, including his comics. Interested, Sonic looks at the comic (specifically the current issue) and calls it 'fine literature'.
- Big: Mercy buckets!
- Antoine: That's "merci beaucoup" but you are being welcome all the sa-ayyy?!
- Sonic: Haha--Okay, who the heck is that? Who the heck are you? Gah! And what the heck was that?!
- Sonar: We're the calvary! Or as the locals call us, The Freedom Fighters!
- Nephthys: You're a long way from home, Sonic the Werehog. A pity you'll die here.
- Cassia: Seriously, what is it? Scared of a little self-improvement?
- Bunnie: "Self-improvement?!" Ah didn't ask for this!!!
- Tails appears on the front cover despite not appearing in the issue itself.
References & Cameos
- Sonic's line of reassurance during the opening battle, "It's just a little ambush, guys! We're still good! We're still good!", is a homage to the 1995 episode of The Simpsons, "Lisa the Vegetarian".
- Bunnie's anguished shout at Cassia, "Ah didn't ask for this!", is most likely a nod to the memetic quote "I never asked for this" from Deus Ex: Human Revolution where this was what protagonist Adam Jenson can give as a response in regards to being given cybernetic enhancements after a fatal injury.
- Princess Undina (still unnamed by this point) makes her second cameo appearance, her first appearance was back in Issue #271.
Errors & Mistakes
- In one panel, Spike is drawn without his furry cheeks.
This issue has been reprinted in the following places:
- "Hidden Costs: Part Two", as it picks up directly from where part 1 (StH: #277) left off, takes place before the lead story.