Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 52 was the fifty-second issue of the main Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
- "The Discovery Zone" - Part One
Sonic the Hedgehog is teaching Tails how to go fast when they spot a flying, glowing, old-fashioned leisure suit and feathered hat. Sonic directs Tails to inform the other Knothole Freedom Fighters while he pursues the suit. The suit leads him through an unexplored area of the Great Forest and into a cave, where he is consumed by a flash of light. Sonic arrives in the Discovery Zone, wearing the suit while he waits at the Wharf Side Dance Hall for a client who contacted him on the phone. He quickly finds himself smitten when the client—Ms. Acorn—arrives. She cuts right to the chase: Sonic needs him to retrieve her "friend", NICOLE, who has the information necessary to topple Dr. Robotnik and his plans. In exchange, she promices a juicy reward and gives him a kiss on the cheek. Sonic bolts out in a flash, eager to please.
- "The Discovery Zone" - Part Two
Sonic heads for NICOLE's last known location, the Slippy Dippy Slide Factory, and contacts Uncle Chuck via his communicator watch. Chuck informs him that the slide factory is a clean, honest business with no ties to Robotnik. Sonic enters the place to find it in shambles, with spatters of robot oil everywhere. Quickly determining that Robotnik must be behind the mess, Sonic asks Chuck to see if he can track any robot signals leaving the area. As he wonders what NICOLE could know that's important enough to get Robotnik involved, Chuck informs him that he's detected four robots. Sonic takes off after them, quickly catching up and attacking before they can reach Robotnik. He uses a Power Ring to finish the job, and seizes a computer from them, which he discovers is none other than NICOLE. Noting that she's low on power, he sets out to meet Ms. Acorn in order to get to the bottom of the situation.
- "The Discovery Zone" - Part Three
Back at the dance hall, Ms. Acorn is waiting for Sonic's return, worrying about both NICOLE and the heroic hedgehog. Sonic arrives, and they give NICOLE a fresh battery. Suddenly, Dr. Robotnik appears behind them with an escort of Combots, informing Sonic that his employer is none other than the leader of the rebellion and NICOLE is carrying plans for his various facilities. Sonic is irked that Sally didn't tell him she was a princess, but she retorts that she was barely able to tell him where Nicole was before he left. Sonic Spin-Dashes through the Combots, but is forced to stop when they hold Sally hostage. Sally apologizes to Sonic and explains that she downloaded Robotnik's plans from inside the slide factory and accidentally dropped NICOLE while escaping Robotnik's robots. Unable to risk going back herself, she had hired Sonic, counting on his super speed to rescue NICOLE in time.
Robotnik gloats over his victory, but Sonic pulls out a Power Ring and grabs Sally, running out of the building in a flash. Robotnik and his machines follow, not realizing that Sonic and Sally were actually hiding under a nearby table. They contact Uncle Chuck to arrange a flight back to Sally's home in the forest. Sally wonders how they'll reach the airport undetected, but Sonic quickly solves the problem by uncovering a secret tunnel under the bar shown to him by a waiter named Sip. At the airport, Sonic initially refuses Sally's request that they team up, claiming that he's a solo act. She persists, and Sonic decides that maybe a team fighting Robotnik together isn't such a bad idea after all.
Back on Mobius, Sonic dizzily stumbles out of the cave to find Tails, Uncle Chuck, Sally, and Rotor worried about him. Still dazed, he replies that he's unsure of exactly what happened, but does recall that he was fighting Dr. Robotnik. Rotor reminds him that Dr. Robotnik is dead, but Sonic just winks at the readers, leading his friends to think he's lost his mind.
- "First Contact"
In Knothole, Bunnie, Tails, and Rotor greet Sally, but she walks right by them without even acknowledging that they exist. Rotor figures she must have a lot on her mind. Sally enters a computer room and remarks to herself that, if Uncle Chuck is right, she should now be able to make contact with the various Freedom Fighters around Mobius. She uses NICOLE as a means of accessing one of Robotnik's satellites, attempting to recreate the network Robotnik used to contact his Mid-Bosses. With the link established, Sally is able to communicate with Knuckles the Echidna and the Chaotix, Sealia of the Arctic Freedom Fighters, Lupe Wolf of the Wolf Pack, Walt Wallaby of the Downunda Freedom Fighters, and others from across the globe.
Sally briefs them on the events of Operation: EndGame. She then explains that she plans to enter Robotropolis and evaluate its state of disrepair. However, she warns her fellow Freedom Fighters that a number of zones have been opened all around Mobius. The satellite uplink cuts out, ending her transmission. Hoping that she's provided sufficient warning, Sally leaves, wondering if they'll be safe. NICOLE tells her that they'll have to wait and see.
- Ms. Acorn: "All someone would have to do is find my friend Nicole...bring her back to me...and collect a nice, big, juicy reward."
- Sonic: "You've got yourself a man!"
- Sonic unknowingly enters a 1930s-themed zone and goes on a brief adventure before stumbling out.
- Sally attempts to contact other Freedom Fighters around the world.
Cameos & References
- "The Discovery Zone" is an homage to the classic 1942 film, Casablanca.
- Three of the robots Sonic fought in the Discovery Zone were based off Crow, Tom Servo, and Cambot from Mystery Science Theater 3000. Robot B-9 from the television series Lost in Space is also seen, alerting the others of immediate danger.
- Various characters appear on Sally's monitors in "First Contact". Amongst which include:
This issue has been reprinted in the following places:
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