|Sonic the Hedgehog #16|
Sonic Under Glass!
- Dr. Robotnik has finally been defeated and it appears that Sonic and Sally are finally getting married!!!! In reality, however, Robotnik has lured the freedom fighters to a place called Sleepy Hollow. Once there, they were gassed, put into a sleep, and trapped inside a virtual reality glass dome. As all their fantasies have come true, nobody wants to escape...
Sonic Under Glass!
The story begins outside the city limits of a burning Robotropolis. The Knothole Freedom Fighters are having a group photo, because they have finally won the war against Dr. Robotnik. They wonder where to go from there. A few months pass and Sonic and Sally prepare for marriage, with Rotor presiding. Aflame with jealousy, Antoine looks on. Sonic says to Sally, "If only Robotnik could see us now", and it is revealed that Robotnik is indeed watching them as holographic images in a small glass dome.
Robotnik explains his plan to his Badniks. He plans to lure the Freedom Fighters into a trap, knock them out with sleeping gas, transport them to Robotropolis, keep them in suspended animation and transfer their minds into a virtual reality chamber. Crabmeat asks Robotnik if it would be more sufficient to eliminate them rather than give them their heart's desire, and he reveals that hoards of demolition drones will ravage the outside world while the Freedom Fighters sleep. Suddenly, events shift back to the glass dome, as Antoine is somehow able to switch places with Sonic. Sonic winds up with a broom in his hand, and reality shifts again, as they find themselves in a Picasso-esque scene with a wooden backdrop and melting clocks. Then, an unroboticized Sir Charles and Muttski arrive through a door bearing a wedding present for Sonic.
Sonic tries to comprehend how he was "a janitor at his own wedding", Antoine wound up with Sally and why were there all the melting clocks. After Uncle Chuck gives Sonic an easy answer, Sonic takes advantage of the fact that he can make anything happen in Virtual Reality and makes a monitor appear to see what is happening in the real world. He is shocked by the true nature of Robotnik's plan, and he debates whether or not it is right to shatter his friends happiness and to have Uncle Chuck and Muttski back. "Uncle Chuck" assures him that he knows what he must do.
Sonic manipulates the drones in the real world and sends them back towards Robotropolis and blackmails Robotnik into releasing himself and everyone else from the VR program. With Sonic and the Freedom Fighters awakened and outside the city, Robotnik vows that the war will be his and ordered a roboticized Sir Charles and Muttski to clean up the glass and liquid from the VR tubes. Sonic vows that he will get Uncle Chuck and Muttski back for good.
The Man from H.E.D.G.E.H.O.G.
Robotnik suspects that the Freedom Fighters have someone inside his operation who is feeding them information about his best-laid plans. He assigns Snively and Crabmeat to dig up this "mole". They find an actual mole and force him to talk by shining a blinding light in his face. Robotnik asks the mole "Who is the head of Secret Intelligence?" but the mole's only reply is "That's right!" Confounded by this, Robotnik decides to leave it to fate by setting up a "Wheel of Misfortune" and hatching evil schemes based on what comes up. Daring art theft, underwater bank vault robbery and wanton destruction are each brought up, but Sonic manages to show up and ruin his plans each time.
Robotnik sets a trap for Sonic and Sally in the Casino Night Zone. When Sally and Sonic are playing cards, the dealer gives Sonic a card that says "DUCK!!!" Heeding the warning, he manages to dodge a sharp-brimmed hat (reminiscent of James Bond's Oddjob) thrown by a SWATbot. Sonic then falls into a trap hole, and when he awakes, he finds himself strapped to Robotnik's wheel, staring at the business end of a laser. As Robotnik prepares to annihilate Sonic, the lights go out. When the lights come back on, the laser has burnt a hole in the wheel. Sonic has disappeared and Robotnik notices that a closed-circuit camera is mounted on the other side of the wheel, showing sabotage.
Later, Sonic and Sally are in the Secret Intelligence, closing up business with the head of the agency, Harvey Who. The story ends on a humorous note as Sonic asks him "How many licks does it take to get to the chewy center of a lollipop sir?" Harvey Who replies "that information, my dear boy, is classified", leaving Sonic dumbfounded.
- Dr Robotnik has captured the Freedom Fighters, and trapped them into a virtual reality.
- This issue was published in the same month as Sonic the Hedgehog #15.
- This is the first issue in which Sally's color scheme is correct.
- Grounder, however, is incorrectly colored purple.
- This would be Harvey Who's first appearance. He does not appear again until StH #233.
- When Sonic asks Harvey Who, "How many licks does it take to get to the chewy center of a lollipop?", he is referring an old commercial for Tootsie Pops, in which a boy asks an owl the same question.
- The title of the second story is a reference to the 1964 television series The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
- When Coconuts is underwater, drilling into the vault, Sonic and the Freedom Fighters are seen with Harvey Who. Most noticeably, Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore can be seen with them.
- The Man from H.E.D.G.E.H.O.G. contains many references to the James Bond series of novels and films:
- The plans that Sonic has foiled in Robotnik's list are all named after films in the James Bond franchise.
- The interrogation is the equivalent of the mole in the James Bond series.
- The secret intelligence agency is a reference to the MI6.
- Sonic visits a casino with Sally and plays poker.
- The hat thrown at Sonic as he is playing poker is a reference to Oddjob, whom Sonic also mentions.
- Horizont-Al and Verti-Cal make a brief appearance in Sonic's virtual world.
- The surreal environment created by Antoine's thoughts is based on Salvador Dalí's work of art, The Persistence of Memory.
- Uncle Chuck's "free easy answers" booth is based on Lucy van Pelt's psychiatric booth from the Peanuts comic series.
- Sonic's phrase "Go ahead... make my day!" in response to receiving a card while playing poker, is based on the same line spoken by Clint Eastwood in Sudden Impact.
- The first hint in regards to the Princess Sally (miniseries) is made in the Sonic-grams section of this issue.
- Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 16 at Mobius Encyclopedia, the Archie Sonic wiki