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Sonic the Hedgehog
#171

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 171 is the one hundred seventy-first issue of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series published by Archie Comics.

Official solicitation

"I Am": The countdown to Issue 175 continues! As Shadow and Dr. Robotnik's personal war intensifies, could it bring an end to life as we know it? When Shadow steals classified information about himself from Dr. Robotnik, he enlists Sonic, Tails and Knuckles to help him crack the code. But is he really ready to learn who he truly is?! PLUS: "The Enforcers": Without his son's help, Knuckle's father Locke is losing control of Angel Island. Will the help offered by a mysterious new benefactor be accepted by Locke? And if so, will it mean the end of Angel Island?

Featured stories

I Am

It begins with Shadow holding Eggman over his head, calmly demanding to know where Professor Gerald's Diary is. When Robotnik refuses to tell him, he grabs hold of Snively's hairs and demands to know from him. Terrified, Snively informs him it is in Eggman's private study. Shadow tosses Eggman aside and rips out Snively's hair anyway, for hesitating. In the private study, Shadow finds the disk of Gerald's diary, but realizes it is not safe to investigate here. Instead there is only one place he can trust.

Back at HQ, Sonic asks Tails where Fiona is. He is scared and ran away but came back telling Sonic and Knuckles that Shadow is coming here. Eggman's machines are after Shadow and damage the disk, but both are destroyed by Sonic and Tails. Shadow is dismayed at the damage to the disc, but tells them that the disk is the diary of his creator and that he needs to know who is he.

Inside the HQ, Tails tells Shadow that the disk is very old and corrupted and if they try to dig it up, it might destroy the whole thing. Nicole suggests they can get inside the disk manually, Sonic insists on accompanying Shadow, and Knuckles tells Sonic, he will watch over HQ while they are gone.

Inside the diary, Shadow is welcomed by his lost best friend, Maria whom Sonic and Nicole do not recognize. Meanwhile at HQ, Snively attacks. Knuckles confronts him, and he demands his hair back. Knuckles refuses and takes him on. In the diary, Shadow tells Maria that he has been capacity in 50 years and forgotten his purpose. Maria takes him to talk to Professor Gerald, who greets him as his son.

The Professor told him that Shadow was originally meant to cure Maria but he needed help to complete the project. He sought aid of a monstrous alien known as Black Doom who wanted Shadow to be his greatest weapon. He helped Professor Gerald to create him and gave him the skills of Chaos Control. Black Doom will return to Mobius in 50 years. Then, Professor Gerald apologizes for putting so much responsibility on his shoulders, but tells him that he was made as a protector of Mobius.

The digital matrix starts collapsing around them, forcing Sonic and Nicole to leave, dragging the reluctant Shadow with them. Before they leave, Maria tells the tearful Shadow that he must protect everyone, which he promises her he will do. All three successfully return to HQ, but it is under attack. Tails tells Sonic that Snively is killing Knuckles because he wanted his hair back. Without hesitation, Shadow rushes outside and destroys the Egg Lobster. He then gives Snively his hairs and tells him, "I'm Shadow the Hedgehog. I am the union of ideals dark and benign but ultimately build in the name of love. I'm the ultimate lifeform. I'm the protector of Mobius. Run home to your master and tell him. This is WHO I AM."

With Shadow gone, Sonic states that now they must find some answers why Fiona is vanishing.

Enforcers

The Dingoes are attacking Echidnaopolis on Angel Island. Wynmacher attempts to protect his family from the onslaught and the Destructix soon intervene, fighting off the dingoes.

Looking on from afar, Guardian Locke recognizes them but doesn't understand why they rescued the Echidnas. Dr. Finitevus then arrives via Warp Ring and reveals they he told them to do so, and both he and the Destructix had reformed, but Locke does not believe him. Finitevus then brings forth Dimitri to vouch for him. Dimitri says Finitevus saved what was left of his life, but Locke still holds doubts about Finitevus' claim. Finitevus then offers to let the Destuctix, under his command, keep guard over Angel Island and the Master Emerald so Locke can search for the missing Brotherhood of Guardians, which gets Locke's attention. He still hesitates until Finitevus suggests they contact Knuckles instead, and, still angry with his son, Locke refuses and agrees to let Finitevus look after the emerald, saying he will return frequently to check on him. He leaves with the Warp Ring provided by Finitevus.

Upon Locke's departure, Dimitri shows shame at having lied about Finitevus' intentions to convince Locke to leave. Finitevus however believes it necessary to his plans: to use the Master Emerald to bring Dimitri back to his old form of Enerjak.

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