Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 44 was the forty-fourth issue of the main Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
- "Black and Blue and Red All Over"
Rotor shows Sonic a weapon he created in his laboratory, emphasizing its immense firepower, though Sonic is skeptical due to its small size. Rotor then shakes it, and the gun expands into a much more massive form that Rotor introduces as his Party-Hearty Quadra Sonic Rock 'N' Roller, a weapon he claims can blast a hole through anything. He reports that it can even penetrate zones, though such a measure would only be under extreme circumstances, and is about to dig into some lunch when an alarm goes off. According the sensors in his lab, something is happening on Angel Island, meaning that Knuckles could be in trouble. The Freedom Fighters immediately set off to aid their ally, unaware that Knuckles is investigating an apparent earthquake in the Chaos Chamber. He then spots a figure who appears to be Sonic, though clad in a leather jacket and sunglasses, who accuses Knuckles of being a thief. Before Knuckles can react, he is attacked by another figure, whom he engages briefly before being defeated. The two then depart through a portal in the chamber, and Knuckles is surprised to see that his opponent appears to be a double for himself wearing a tam. Archimedes then arrives and accosts his pupil, reporting that he came upon learning about the trouble in the Chamber. The two then discuss their intruders, and exit the Chamber to see that the Freedom Fighters have arrived. Knuckles informs them of the situation, and Sonic recognizes one of the assailants by description, and proposes taking them by surprise before they can return.
The Freedom Fighters take their plane into the Cosmic Interstate with Sonic taking the lead, while Knuckles questions whether Sally has told Sonic anything about their history. Sally responds in the negative, and the two think back on how they met when Sally and her father visited the Floating Island, discovering a common connection in their ancestral obligations as Princess and Guardian. However, Sally concealed her friendship so that Knuckles would not get in trouble, and continued to do so up to the present time. Knuckles asks whether she plans to tell Sonic, and is then asked whether he is having any luck with his quest for the Crown of Acorns. He reports no success, and the plane lands before they can speak more, allowing the group to disembark on Moebius. Sonic then explains to the group that this world is the reverse of their own, with the Freedom Fighters terrorizing robots and Robotnik living as a kind doctor. Tails suggests contacting him, but Rotor deploys his Remote Scanner to survey the area from the air instead. Sonic remarks on the irony of their use of technology against Robotnik, though Rotor feels justified in his devices. The group are then attacked by Evil Sonic and Anti Knuckles, the two alternate Mobians taking on their counterparts. Sally questions whether they should intervene, but Rotor points out that the two heroes can handle themselves. Sonic and Evil Sonic quickly launch into a race and battle of wits, while Knuckles and Anti Knuckles trade punches. However, just as Tails is getting bored, Anti Knuckles suddenly stops fighting, while Sonic tackles Evil Sonic into the ground.
Knuckles questions his counterpart's sudden stop, and Anti Knuckles explains his pacifistic view, even in the face of his homeland being destroyed should its Chaos Emeralds lose all their energy. Anti Knuckles' attitude sickens Knuckles, who reminds him of his role as Guardian, only to learn that Anti Knuckles guards the Sunken Island rather than a Floating Island. The group then take an underwater car towards the city of Atlantinopolis, which is slowly leaking air into the surrounding ocean. Hearing loud machinery in operation, the group use NICOLE to pinpoint its location, and arrive to find none other than Robotnik, who reveals that he has been using this Mobius as a source of materials and for the development of new weapons. The doctor activates a new device, opening a portal that would have drawn Freedom Fighter attention back on Mobius Prime, but that provokes no response on the Anti Mobius. Evil Sonic compliments the doctor's malicious misuse of his world, while the tyrant has his SWATbots take the Freedom Fighters and their allies away. Tails is the first to be ejected into the open ocean, while Evil Sonic is outraged to be included in the expulsion of the Mobians. After the SWATbots are disabled, Rotor goes out to recover Tails while Evil Sonic is interrogated about his role in Robotnik's plan.
Knuckles and Sonic then confront Robotnik, revealing their newly gained knowledge of his alliance with Evil Sonic only to have him turn his dimension breaching machine on them. Archimedes then appears to Knuckles, the machine having created a portal to Mobius Prime and the Chaos Chamber, and suggests that the two versions of Knuckles do something to stop Robotnik. While Sally and Sonic distract the doctor, the two Guardians take hold of the Floating Island's Chaos Emerald, which Robotnik then decides to destroy since he has the Anti Mobius supply. His energy beam is reflected back at him and he disappears, allowing Anti Knuckles to recover the Chaos Emeralds from his destroyed weapon and replace them in the Sunken Island's containment field systems. With his home safe, Anti Knuckles pilots his allies back to the surface, explaining that Robotnik's attempt to destroy Knuckles' Chaos Emerald has most likely teleported him back to Mobius. Rotor and Tails rendezvous with them on the surface, with Evil Sonic complaining about being tied up by the irate heroes. The Walrus then remarks glumly that his Remote Scanner proved virtually useless, given that most of their adventure took place underwater.
- Knuckles: We? Who else is with you?
- Anti-Knuckles: Me, m'lad! An' I'm not one to trifle with once I get me Irish up!"
- Knuckles: Pal, you just bought yourself a one way ticket back to Bozotown!
- Knuckles: Why don't you be a good boy and say uncle?
- Anti-Knuckles: I don't have an uncle--but I do have this kindly ol' aunt!
- The Freedom Fighters travel to Angel Island after detecting a disturbance.
- Evil Sonic and Anti Knuckles invade Mobius Prime and fight with Knuckles.
- Knuckles and the Freedom Fighters travel to Moebius and engage Evil Sonic and Anti Knuckles.
- The Sunken Island is saved from destruction at Robotnik's hands by the Freedom Fighters.
- Some individual characters and panels were drawn by Patrick Spaziante.
- One of the machines in Rotor's lab is a TIE Fighter from Star Wars.
- Anti Knuckles' line of "No energy--no life" echoes one said by Starscream in the original Transformers series episode "Starscream's Brigade."