The first appearance of Knuckles the Echidna is the big draw to this volume of the Archive. In terms of a comic book adaptation of Sonic the Hedgehog 3, or any video game for that matter, Archie did a good job capturing the world of the game and bringing it into the pen and paper world. While still on the lighter side, Volume 4 is the beginning of recurring plot devices, a grander story, and themes that will come back up again and again in future issues.
Sonic the Hedgehog Issue #13
This Island Hedgehog
The comic book adaptation of Sega’s video game Sonic the Hedgehog 3. When Sonic and Tails discover the mysterious Floating Island above Mobius, they naturally decide to investigate. But the island’s guardian, a red haired echidna with a temper problem has a different plan.
Space in yo’ Face
The Freedom Fighters learn of Robotnik’s newest invention, a gigantic space ship! Sally, Sonic, and the rest of the gang head into space on Robotnik’s own contraption, only to find the big bad guy setting them up for an ambush resulting in a crash landing on a distant moon. But the battle escalates from there, and things don’t look good for the good guys!
– This Island Hedgehog is a retelling of the events that took place in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 for the Sega Genesis: Sonic and Tails find the Floating Island, Kunckles is duped by Robotnik into fighting for him, and the Chaos Emeralds are at the core of everything
– Taken directly from Sonic 3 are the fire-spitting machine that destroys the forest in the beginning of the game, the underwater level features where Sonic hangs on to a bar and is blasted through the water, as well as Knuckles gliding on a few occasions.
– The first appearance of Chaos Emeralds, which go on to play a big part in just about every story featuring Knuckles
– The friendly rivalry between Sonic and Knuckles begins
– When leaving a cave, Sonic and Tails pass a sign pointing to the left that reads, “Gotham City 14 Miles”
– When in space, one of the Freedom Fighters states that there are 100 moons that orbit Mobius
– Bunnie notices that everything Robotnik builds resembles the evil doctor in some way; she is the first one to apparently notice this, and when Sonic recalls her saying it he says, “That’s right, it was on page three,” referencing earlier in the comic
Most Punny Moment
Sonic the Hedgehog Issue #14
Tails’ Taste of Power
Tails is asked by Sonic to look after the greenhouse and plants, which Tails reluctantly agrees to. After consuming the only apple ever grown on the Tree of Wisdom, Tails becomes a genius and handles a scuffle with Robotnik’s baddies quite easily. But Tails’ recent tactical genius is about to wear off at the worst possible time
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!
Robotnik deduces that separating the Freedom Fighters is the best way to dispose of them. So the evil doctor builds a shopping mall to allure Princess Sally and Bunnie Rabbot. But when they get there and get ambushed by a group of SWAT Bots, Robotnik is in over his head, big time.
– The Tree of Wisdom looks like a tree with a human shaped brain instead of leaves
– Tails’ expanded vocabulary is so abundant that his word bubbles often crowd out the action in the drawing, something Sonic address directly
– There is a “Do It Yourself Sonic” section of the issue, where all the word bubbles were left blank and readers were asked to come up with dialogue for each scene and send them into Archie. The winners actually appear in a later edition of Sonic Archives.
– The message “OFFER VOID. Seriously kids, don’t destroy your books,” is written at the end of the “Do It Yourself Sonic” contest advertisement
– The opening panels of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun! show Robotnik playing with puppets or dolls of Sonic, Sally, and Bunnie. Snively interrupts Robotnik’s play session, asking him if he was playing with his dolls again. This is a reference to a similar scene in the parody movie Space Balls
Most Punny Moment
Sonic the Hedgehog Issue #15
Rockin’ the Bot
Sonic is running through the rain drops (literally!) when he hears a trapped frog calling out for help. After rescuing the distressed reptile, Sonic is given three magical stones that each give Sonic a special power for a short time. Skeptical of the truthfulness of these stones, Sonic passes them off as phony. That is until he must rely on their powers to help him against Robotnik.
Robotnik builds a gigantic magnet to attract Bunnie’s metal body parts in order to complete her roboticization process.
– The magical stones Sonic is given are the first traditional magic items seen in the series.
– Each magic stone gives one power for a short time: green gives strength, red grants elasticity, and yellow allows the user to jump far
– In the side story What’s the Big Idea?, Sonic and crew are trying to find what Rotor is creating behind closed doors. After several failed guesses, Rotor emerges with his newest creation: a thermos that can hold hot or cold water. Sonic says he doesn’t think it will be a hot item while holding up a Sonic themed thermos and school lunch box. Both were very popular items during the mid-90s
Most Punny Moment
Sonic the Hedgehog Issue #16
Sonic Under Glass
Sonic and the Freedom Fighters have apparently defeated Robotnik, as there hasn’t been any sighting of him for six months. Now, at Sonic and Sally’s wedding, the Freedom Fighters begin to realize that everything isn’t as it seems. Before long the team discovers they’ve been duped by Robotnik and have been miniaturized and kept under a glass bowl all this time!
The Man From H.E.D.G.E.H.O.G.
Robotniks comes to the conclusion that there must be a mole in his group of robots because Sonic always seems to foil his plans. To get around this little issue, Robotnik uses the “Wheel of Misfortune” to randomly choose which dastardly act he will commit next, in hopes of himself not knowing what he’s going to do will in turn throw of Sonic and the Freedom Fighters.
– This issue marks the first time Princess Sally Acorn is colored the correct way: with black hair and two-toned brown fur
– Robotnik is uncharacteristically merciful in Sonic Under Glass: he opts to keep the Freedom Fighters alive after capturing them instead of disposing them quickly (which was Crabmeat’s suggestion). In most instances in future issues, Robotnik would jump on the idea to eliminate his enemies
– While the Virtual Reality zone starts to mess up, Sonic has visions of Uncle Chuck, Muttski, Horizont-Al, and Verti-Cal
– A roboticized version of Uncle Chuck and Muttski appear at the end of Sonic Under Glass, and Sonic swears he will rescue his dog and uncle. Uncle Chuck and Muttski will go on to be staple characters for the series
– A sign showing the past plans Sonic has foiled of Robotnik’s include Moonraker, Thunderball, Goldfinger, and Dr. No. There are all references to James Bond films
– Robotnik’s casino Renobotnik appears again
– Sonic asks the Owl Harvey Who, the Head of Secret Intelligence for Mobius how many licks it takes to get to the center of a lollipop, a reference to the old Tootsie-Pop commercials
– When Robotnik asks the newly created Mole-bot “Who is the head of the secret intelligence?” the mole-bot responds with, “That’s right.” Thinking his creation faulty, Robotnik scraps the robot. At the end of the comic, it is revealed that an owl named Harvey Who is indeed the Head of Secret Intelligence
Most Punny Moment
The biggest draw this volume has is the first appearance of Knuckles. Sonic’s rival will become a huge player later on in the series, and will actually get his own spin-off series in time. Another faithful adaptation of a video game story also does the volume good, as well as the other stories told throughout. While not as strong a presentation as Volume 3, Volume 4 is still a good collection of issues that give us a lot to look forward too, not the least of which being more Uncle Chuck, Muttski, and of course Knuckles!
Buy this comic from Amazon!