Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 51 was the fifty-first issue of the main Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
- "Reality Bytes"
The night after Robotnik's defeat, Sally celebrates along with the rest of the Freedom Fighters and congradulates Sonic for defeating Dr. Robotnik (STH: 50). Sonic thanks her for the celebration, but asks why they aren't celebrating with the rest of the village. Sally presents Sonic with a gift, which Sonic opens to be a bravery medal. Sonic thanks everyone for the victory bash.
Later that night, Sonic is asleep in his room, when Sally attempts to wake Sonic up. Thinking Sonic is still weary from the festivities, NICOLE advices Sally that he might not be fit for the secret mission. Sonic wakes up asking about the mission, but Sally tells Sonic to be quiet and takes him on his secret mission. Sally takes Sonic up to the Great Forest and Sonic asks Sally why she's been so quiet. Sally's eyes change red and she reveals that his secret mission isn't so secret after all. Suddenly, Sonic is surrounded by Robotnik's Combots. Sonic avoids their attacks and runs away while Sally changes into a robotic form and yells that Knothole will belong to Dr. Robotnik. Sonic runs to warn the others, but is still confused because Robotnik is supposed to be dead.
Sonic heading back to Knothole is grabbed by Tails, who flies him away from the Combots. Sonic tells Tails what's been happening, when a hologram of Uncle Chuck appears and then disappears. Sonic wonders what it was, when a Buzzbomber begins chasing them. Sonic then notices a Crabmeat on the forest floor. Tails then drops Sonic down towards Crabmeat. Sonic tries to think of a plan before he goes splat; Sonic lands on the ground with a bang. Tails in a robotic form asks where Sonic has gone. Soon, the smoke clears that Sonic has gone underground towards Knothole.
Sonic spins through the ground, when the vision of Uncle Chuck appears again. Thinking that it's a trick, Sonic refuses to look at it and begins moving. Sonic emerges near the hot spring, where Bunnie lies injured. Bunnie tells Sonic that everyone has gone screwy. Sonic helps her up as Bunnie explains that a holographic image of Uncle Chuck attacked her. Sonic then realises that he saw the projection, and it couldn't have attacked Bunnie a minute ago. Sonic doesn't fall for Bunnie's tricks and her eyes turn red, she fixes her leg and attacks Sonic. Sonic runs out of the way of her attack and notices a Power Ring. Sonic tries to pull the ring from the water, but it doesn't move. Bunnie appears again and transforms into a robotic form and prepares to attack again. Sonic runs away from her and heads towards Knothole.
Minutes later, Sonic runs down the Great Oak Slide towards Knothole, when the hologram of Uncle Chuck appears again. The hologram begins to talk, but in gibberish. Sonic tries to read through Uncle Chuck's chatting and thinks he's trying to warn him about something. Sonic then thinks that he's saying not to go to Knothole, but arrives too late.
Sonic arrives in Knothole to find Dr. Robotnik with Cluck, the roboticized Freedom Fighters, and Combots. Robotnik brags that Knothole is finally his and Sonic is now his captive. He then asks Sonic how he feels to have "an egg in his face." Sonic says that his plan won't work, and his bad puns won't help either. Robotnik gives him a dose of reality that all his friends have been roboticized and all of the Power Rings are now his. Tails, Sally, Bunnie, and Robotnik then ask Sonic to join them. Sonic goes over what has happened and sees flashbacks of him with his friends and the realises that something just isn't real. Sonic sees the hologram of Uncle Chuck again, as Robotnik and his robots disappear.
Sonic wakes up in his bed with a a device around his head, and Antoine, Bunnie, Rotor, Tails, Muttski, Sally, and Uncle Chuck watching. Sally tells Uncle Chuck that Sonic has woken up. Sonic wakes up wondering what he's doing with the device on his head. Uncle Chuck explains that his bravery award was booby-trapped with an artificial virus and threw Sonic into a virtual reality nightmare. He then explains further that if he had given into Robotnik's wishes, he would've been traped in virtual reality forever. He then states that the holographic image as him trying to warn Sonic. Sonic gets up from his bed and finds it impressive of Robotnik trying to get him from beyond the grave. Uncle Chuck then says that it looks like Robotnik had nothing to do with this. All of the Freedom Fighters are in shock over his, and Sonic begins to wonder who was behind this.
- Sonic: Hey, slow down! No habla gibberish!
- Sonic is awarded a medal of bravery
- Sonic is nearly trapped in a virtual nightmare, as the medal was booby-trapped
- Uncle Chuck manages to reach through to Sonic and help him escape
- Who in fact planted the "artificial virus" on the medal was never directly addressed in the series. This is because, had the original Endgame story seen print, Sally would have died and secretly been replaced by a robot double, and this story had already been written with the robot (who gave Sonic the medal) as the intended culprit. As those aspects did not come to pass, such plot points were dropped. It was stated in the letters page of StH #82 that the virtual reality medal was provided by Robo-Robotnik. As there is no evidence contrary to this, it is considered canon by this site's canon policy.
- This cover is somewhat similar to StH #201.
- Bean and Bark are featured as cameos on the cover of this issue.
- Amy is featured on the cover of this issue, but doesn't appear in the story.
- In Sonic's room, he has a racing car bed and a picture of chili dogs on his wall.