|Sonic the Hedgehog #201|
“Change in Management“: Sonic and his friends are ready to relax after the series-shaking events of #200, but their plans soon change with the explosive arrival of an old villain! A villain who brings grim tidings of a new threat that’s claimed the world! Who are the new faces of evil? Will Sonic rise to the occasion, or will he be busy fighting a mystery guest star? “Devotion“: Espio the Chameleon gets a visitor of his own, and news that will change his standing in the Chaotix forever!
Change in Management
Sally is escorting Sonic to their seats at the coliseum for Forget Me Knots' concert. Sally notices that Sonic looks very displeased and questions him. He explains that he feels bothered after seeing Dr. Eggman lose his mind. Sally states that Mina's music will put Sonic in a better mood, but before the concert can start, the stage is struck by lightning and Mina Mongoose is thrown back.
Out of the skies appears Monkey Khan, who is furious with everyone for partying while trouble still lies at the Eggman Empire. Meanwhile, Espio is meditating at his house, but is awoken by the sound of lightning. He instantly rushes to the coliseum...
Back at the coliseum, Sonic attacks Monkey Khan for crashing the party, but before they can make any physical contact, Sally jumps in between them and stops them from harming each other. She coaxes Sonic and Khan to stop fighting, giving Khan a reason to be partying, due to Eggman's defeat. However, Khan contradicts her, saying they only changed leadership...
Meanwhile, at the Eggdome's new Iron Throne room, the Iron Queen, Snively and the Iron King are confronted by Conquering Storm and two ninjas. They explain that the Yagyu Clan has scoured New Megaopolis and that it is in "complete ruin". The Iron King is infuriated over the Eggman Empire being a "trash heap of a city" and furthermore voices his dislike of Snively, especially for being so "familiar" with the queen when he's to be nothing more than their steward. The Iron Queen tries to reassure him that their move here is only temporary, to which he only grunts. Snively adds that any weapons found in the ruins can be added to the king's collection, which only earns him an angry snort. The Iron King walks off with Conquering Storm, and Dimitri enters the throne room.
Dimitri asks that the Iron Queen remove the explosives contained within the cybernetics of his people. Instead, saying the explosives are too deeply integrated to remove, the queen offers Dimitri a case full of microchips that will disrupt the detonator signal in the cybernetics, instructing him to install them with her "blessings." Dimitri reluctantly accepts the case, gives his thanks, and leaves. With everyone gone, Snively hops in the Iron Queen's lap and they happily discuss how they will dispose of the Iron King and dominate the world.
At the coliseum, Khan explains that the Iron Dominion has taken over the seat of power vacated by Eggman. King Elias asks Antoine D'Coolette to help gather the Council of Acorn to decide how to deal with this new threat, but Monkey Khan is bitter as he does not believe they've been handling such situations properly. Sonic, however, is confident, and Sally suggests that they may be able to get support from resistance fighters from the Dragon Kingdom. Monkey Khan, however, hesitantly says that there aren't any more resistance groups. Sonic offers to help Monkey Khan, but Sally tries to stop Sonic from going after the Iron Dominion, saying they can't be pushovers if they've caused so much trouble. However, she eventually agrees to let them go on condition they treat it as a recon mission and nothing more, so the two quickly leave the coliseum. Monkey Khan and Sonic taunt each other over their past encounters, leading Khan to question what Sally sees in Sonic and causing the hedgehog to admit they're no longer together, much to Khan's interest.
Back at the Eggdome, Conquering Storm quickly returns to the throne room with a report from her agent, telling her queen that Sonic and Khan are on their way...
Espio calls for NICOLE, confused about the lightning from the coliseum as they both head towards it. Espio suddenly notices something and, to NICOLE's surprise, hurls a kunai, only for it to be caught by Lightning Lynx. Lightning taunts Espio before the chameleon catches him by surprise with a kick, but NICOLE notices that the rest of the Destructix aren't around. Lightning explains that he quit the Destructix, and now comes to see Espio for "clan business".
He tells Espio that the Clan Wars are over and that the Bride of Four Houses now rules over all of the clans. Espio dismisses this as lies, doubting that this claim could possibly extend to the Shinobi Clan but Lightning cuts him off, claiming that he was entrusted to send Espio a message by the Bride of Constant Vigil herself. Shocked, Espio falters over these claims as he accepts the note, and Lightning smugly adds that the Bride of the Conquering Storm saw value in him as an agent already established in the region. Confused by all this talk of "brides" and "clans," NICOLE asks for an explanation, but Espio slowly replies that he can't give one and refuses her offer to involve anyone else. Catching sight of Sonic and Monkey Khan leaving the city, he simply replies that he now has new duties to fulfill. He begins to tell NICOLE to relay a message to Knuckles before stopping himself, simply telling her goodbye as he leaves with Lightning despite her protests. The two vault the city wall and Lightning radios a message to his master, confirming that he's made contact with Espio, that Sonic and "the pretender to the throne" are on their way to New Megaopolis, and that they'll move to intercept them.
- Monkey Khan: What kind of lazy, self-congratulatory jerks revel when the rest of the world suffers? Where are these so-called "heroes" of Mobius? I want you to look me in the eye and tell me why you're so great!
- Monkey Khan: I will never understand how the princess could be with you.
- Sonic: Eh, not much to understand. We're not together anymore.
- Monkey Khan: (smiling) ...Really?
- Iron Queen: It won't be very long now. We'll crush the rebels in New Mobotropolis, dispose of my oaf of a king, and rule the world with an iron fist.
- Snively: You say the sweetest things, my dear.
- Espio: Tell Knuckles I... Never mind. Goodbye, Nicole.
- Monkey Khan attacks the coliseum during Mina's performance.
- Monkey Khan reveals to Sonic that the Iron Queen has taken over the Eggman Empire.
- Lightning Lynx appears in New Mobotropolis and reveals to Espio that he left the Destructix and joined the Iron Dominion.
- Espio leaves New Mobotropolis with Lightning Lynx after receiving an unknown summons from the Bride of Constant Vigil.
- Monkey Khan reappears in this issue, having been absent since his cameo appearance in StH: #125.
- With the exception of FCBD #3, this is the first issue to introduce Mina's band name, the Forget Me Knots.