Blood is Thicker
- Writer: Ken Penders and Kent Taylor
- Pencils: Manny Galan
- Inks: Andrew Pepoy
- Colors: Karl Bollers
- Letters: Vickie Williams
- Editor: J. Freddy Gabrie
- Managing editor: Victor Gorelick
- Editor-in-chief: Richard Goldwater
- For convenience, this story is summarized in chronological order.
In the distant past, the Dark Legion wages war on Echidnaopolis. The High Council meets to discuss the matter, but is interrupted by the Guardian Steppenwolf, who encourages the High Councilor to not give in to the Legion. Councilor Garek protests, claiming that Steppenwolf's family is responsible for their problems. Steppenwolf argues that his family is also responsible for their continued safety, which pushes Garek to pull out a laser gun and threaten to hand Steppenwolf over to the Legion for the people's safety. Steppenwolf invites him to shoot if he thinks it will help, but Garek is swayed by his selflessness, overcome with guilt for suggesting such a thing. Steppenwolf tells the council that their only hope is to seek peace and heads out to deal with the Legion himself, impressing them all.
Steppenwolf walks into a Dark Legion assembly and approaches the Grandmaster, who asks if he wishes to oppose them. The Guardian explains that he wants peace, but the Grandmaster doubts his words. A nearby Legionnaire covertly aims a gun, but Steppenwolf uses his masterful control of Chaos to make the gun burn, causing the Legionnaire to drop it. The Grandmaster pulls out his own gun, claiming that the Guardian is untrustworthy, but Steppenwolf tumbles out of the line of fire and knocks the gun out of his hand with a rock. He unmasks the Grandmaster, revealing him to be Menniker.
Menniker explains that he blames Steppenwolf's father, Edmund, for his own father's death. He spent many nights in front of the rubble at Mount Fate, until one night a burst of emerald light erupted from his father's grave. Taking this as a sign that his father wanted his work continued, he created the Dark Legion. Using his Chaos Emerald granted powers, Steppenwolf transports Menniker and the Legion to another dimension. As Steppenwolf mourns the loss of his cousin and the damage Dimitri's rampage caused his people, Christopheles appears and warns him that their conflict is likely far from over.
In the present, Knuckles and the Chaotix are faced with a stampede of Floating Island citizens heading towards them, trying to escape the forest fire. Knuckles instructs Mighty to knock a tree down as a roadblock and asks Vector to turn up the volume on his headphones. The sonic force of his absurdly loud music puts out the forest fire and causes several Legionnaires to crash their vehicles. The group comes across some of the crashed vessels and, stealing Legion cloaks to disguise themselves, hijack the hovercrafts for their own use. The group finds the Dark Legion's base, an ancient technological facility that had been hidden under the island's surface, and Knuckles wonders how it could have been built without anyone knowing about it.
Meanwhile, in Haven, Locke relates to Archimedes that he wished Knuckles wouldn't have to deal with the Legion and his people's history. Archimedes argues that Knuckles' lack of knowledge is hindering his ability to keep himself safe. Locke disagrees and sends Archimedes to help his son. Knuckles and the Chaotix find their way to a meeting hall where Kragok discusses his plans to steal the Chaos Emerald with his subordinates. Knuckles interrupts the speech, fighting Kragok one on one while the Chaotix deal with the Legionnaires. While Knuckles and his friends are easily winning the fight, they end up surrounded by a group of gun-toting Legionnaires. Using his connection to the Chaos Emerald and its power, Locke jams their guns, allowing the group to disarm them and counterattack.
Archimedes leads the Chaotix out of the base while Knuckles chases Kragok, hoping to get answers about his people and his past. He ends up losing him at an intersection and is unable to give chase as the facility collapses around him. Knuckles climbs his way up a ladder to the surface where he reunites with the Chaotix. With Kragok and the Legion nowhere to be found, Knuckles promises his friends that they'll be better prepared to face them next time.
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