|Sonic the Hedgehog #208|
- “Iron Dominion Part One”: The unthinkable happens as the Iron Queen finds a way around New Mobotropolis's defences! It's a full-scale invasion by the forces of evil, and it's up to Sonic and Tails to save the day! But what hope do they have when yet another of their friends falls prey to the Iron Queen's powers?
Iron Dominion - Part One
Snively Robotnik approaches Regina Ferrum, who is still enraged about her losses against the Freedom Fighters and her inability to bypass their city's shield. She tells Snively he better have a solution to this problem or he'll be put in a cell like his crazed uncle. Snively quickly explains how A.D.A.M. once used Nanites to create a city. He then tells of how NICOLE used the Nanites to create New Mobotropolis, which is the source of their current problem. The solution, however, lies in that that those Nanites are microscopic machines and that NICOLE herself an advanced AI program. Regina rejoices (and reconciles) with her lover, since the information he gave her means the entire city can be controlled by her Magitek. She tells Snively to rally the troops.
At the King Frederick Airbase within New Mobotropolis, Sonic is talking to Tails about his newly created Tornado. Sonic remarks that NICOLE could have built a plane if Tails wanted, and Tails responds that she had offered to, but figured that, as its mechanic, the Tornado was his responsibility. Sonic asks about the Nanite-created plane they had been using prior and Tails says NICOLE simply recycled the Nanites. Sensing Sonic had his mind elsewhere, Tails says as much; Sonic initially brushes it off before starting to talk about Sally, but the conversation is cut short by an alarm. Sonic rushes off and finds NICOLE, who reports to the hedgehog and the approaching Sally and Monkey Khan that the Iron Dominion is staging a full invasion and that they are making no effort to hide; she adds that she's raising the shield. Sally muses about the forwardness of such an attack and walks off with Monkey Khan; Sonic mutters that he doesn't like the look of things, in part referencing Monkey Khan walking with his arm around Sally.
Outside the city, Snively helps the Iron Queen down from her Egg Mobile; the Iron King cautions Regina on making their lackeys feel too familiar with them. The Iron Queen brushes this off, responding that Snively knows his place. NICOLE projects herself outside New Mobotropolis and remarks to the Iron Queen that she evidently didn't know her own place, instructing her to leave. The Iron Queen, laughing, quickly uses her techo-magic to exert her will over NICOLE's, taking control of the AI. Reforming into an Asian-inspired avatar, the AI coldly announces that "Iron Nicole" is now online. Stroking her cheek, the Iron Queen instructs her to open the city and Iron Nicole immediately complies. The Iron King, plus the combined forces of the Dark Egg Legion and Yagyu, quickly enter the city.
Seeing the incoming danger, Sally tells Bunnie to leave (as she is vulnerable to the Iron Queen), despite over the protests of the latter. At Sally's heated insistence, Bunnie attempts to fly out of the city while trying to reassure herself that her fleeing isn't cowardice but rather the right thing to do. However, before she can clear the city, an iron dome closes atop it. Within the darkened dome, Sonic and Tails are suddenly caught in blinding spotlights that light throughout the city. Iron Nicole announces to the citizens that they are all under arrest for defying the Iron Dominion, adding that resistance will be met with punishment. Many within the city begin to scream and panic, despite Sonic telling them to calm down. In the confusion, Sally attempts to direct the citizens to their homes and direct the Royal Guards. She tells Monkey Khan to get her brother, King Elias, and the Council of Acorn out of Castle Acorn and to their homes. After he leaves, she continues trying to keep the populace calm and get them to their homes while rallying any present members of the Freedom Fighters and Chaotix. Monkey Khan suddenly reappears, attacking a Yagyu Ninja who'd been sneaking up on the princess; he apologizes, saying that he was unable to get to anyone in the castle as all its entrances had been sealed shut.
Through the confusion, Sonic and Tails finally find Sally and Monkey Khan; Sonic comments that they need a course of action, as it's too hard to fight in the darkness with the harsh spotlights. Just then, Tails and Monkey Khan strike down an attacking ninja and Legionnaire; Sonic briefly teases that even Tails is stealing his thunder. Sally reasons that the root of their problem is the complete lack of control and concludes that they need to free NICOLE and regain control of the nanites. Tails suggests that they can access the city's mainframe from the lab at Freedom HQ. Deciding on this course of action, Sonic announces that they'd better go before anything worse happens—at which point the Iron King attacks the four, causing Sonic to remark that he must have taken classes on dramatic timing. The King demands that Princess Sally bow to him, but Sally refuses, saying that she never bowed to Robotnik, who was even more of a tyrant. Monkey Khan then attacks the King, telling Sonic that he'll hold him off; he adds that he's trusting Sonic to get Sally to safety, to which Sonic reluctantly agrees. However, the hedgehog does wish him good luck, and he, Tails and Sally run from the king.
Meanwhile, Snively approaches Dr. Eggman within his cell in the detention center. While Snively coldly greets his uncle, Eggman excitedly addresses him as Colin and asks if he'd like to see his latest figures. Disgusted, Snively responds that he's come to see what's left of the man who once held a global empire, condescendingly adding that he can't even keep track of what period of his life he's experiencing. Gloating, Snively explains that he always saw his uncle as a stepping stone to his own greatness, that he endured all the cruelty under his uncle because, now, he's come out on top. He rants of his successes against their enemies and that soon, he will be the ruler of a stronger Empire with Regina at his side, concluding that the world will cower at the mere mention of his name. Robotnik suddenly takes notice of his nephew, commenting "Goodness. When did you lose all your hair?"—causing Snively's speech to fall flat.
Outside, Vector the Crocodile, Antoine D'Coolette and Bunnie find themselves with few options, Vector commenting that they're split up and outnumbered. Antoine asks if the crocodile still has a Warp Ring; they decide to have the Chaotix attempt to evacuate the citizens through the ring to Angel Island. Antoine and Bunnie continue to fight off Legionnaires and Yagyu while Vector begins the evacuation; Antoine tells Bunnie to leave with the crocodile. Bunnie immediately protests, not wanting to leave Antoine alone, but he reassures her that he will regroup with the others. While Vector and Mighty the Armadillo carry people through the Warp Ring, Bunnie continues to protest, and Antoine says that he can't protect her from the influence of the Iron Queen and that with her outside of the city, he will "be having the pieces of mind." While Bunnie gently corrects him, she comments that not too long ago, he'd have been the first to attempt to flee; he responds that she has given him the strength he needed and tells her to hurry before the Warp Ring closes. The ring disappears, and with some fear, Antoine attempts to stand up to the approaching Legionnaires and ninja; however, Bunnie's mechanical arm strikes them all down. Shocked that she didn't leave when she had the chance, Bunnie responds that when they married, she swore "for better or for worse." With renewed confidence, the two rush the oncoming forces, scaring them off.
Unfortunately, the two are quickly stopped when the very ground forms hands and snatches them up. Iron Nicole appears, saying that the people of the city were warned; now she must take matters into her own hands. The remaining scattered citizens are captured as everything formed from nanites—ground, buildings, trees, etc.—reforms to grab them. Sonic tells Tails to hurry as the Tornado, with Sonic and Sally clinging to the wings, attempts to take off, but it's grabbed by the runway itself. Sonic launches himself to free the plane, telling Tails to hit the thrusters; he springs off another grabbing hand to get himself back on the plane. Sally compliments him on the maneuver but Sonic says it's pointless if they can't find an exit from the city. Down below, Monkey Khan has reached the same conclusion; the Iron King takes this moment of distraction to strike. However, to Khan's surprise, Amy Rose intervenes with her Piko Piko Hammer. She chastises the King on attacking someone while their back is turned; irritated, the King replies that "No tiny pink girl will tell the Iron King how to crush his enemies!" This in turn annoys Amy, who smacks the King aside with her hammer. The shocked Khan attempts to comment; Amy asks if he thinks of her as small and weak too, and he quickly insists that he was going to say that she was amazing. Giggling, Amy accepts this, and tells him to go help Sonic an the others escape while she handles things. Unsure, Khan flies off, and as the King prepares to retaliate, Amy fearlessly confronts him.
Khan catches up to the plane, explaining that the King is being held off. Sonic asks if Khan has a way out; the monkey uses his Atom-Bat to blast a hole through the iron dome. Sally tells Tails to fly them to Freedom HQ as quickly as possible, adding that if they're unable to get through to NICOLE, the Iron Dominion will have won.
- This issue was accidentally posted on a Sonic Universe blog website instead of the Sonic the Hedgehog website. A similar mistake was made on SU: #11, as it was posted on the Sonic the Hedgehog website instead of the Sonic Universe. They were apparently mixed up.
- This issue will be the first overall release of any kind of Archie Sonic The Hedgehog-related comic book in the decade of the 2010's(2010-).
- It was revealed in the spoiler for Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 211 and the prototype cover for Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 210 that NICOLE would be taken over by the Iron Dominion and referred to as "Iron Nicole".
- The hands Iron NICOLE summons to capture the citizens of New Mobotropolis bear some similarity to the Wallmaster/Floormaster enemy "Zant's Hand" from the video game The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
- Although SU: #12 wasn't released until after, this issue seems to take place after the "Echoes of the Past" story arc, as Vector and Mighty are present in the issue, after having just appeared in SU:#9-12.