- This story takes place after Archie Princess Sally Miniseries Issue 3.
The Three Phases of E.V.E.
- Robotnik unleashes E.V.E. ["Exceptionally Versatile Evolvanoids"] to capture Sonic. As Sonic manages to outsmart E.V.E., it simply adapts to another form to compensate. Sonic lures it to Robotnik's headquarters where, assuming a self-conscious form, E.V.E. determines that it is being held back by its biological inheritance from Sonic and Robotnik [i.e., individual cells used in E.V.E.'s creation]. So E.V.E. toasts Robotnik, but thanks to some quick thinking by Sonic E.V.E. him and travels out into space on a journey of self-actualization. Is Robotnik really history?
The Three Phases of E.V.E
Dr. Robotnik's SWATbots are at it again, trying to attack Sonic the Hedgehog. Like always, Sonic takes the upperhand and easily disposes of the robots. Continuous waves of SWATbots continue on Sonic, but they are taken care of with no hassle. Meanwhile, Robotnik himself is watching the chaos ensue from his office, commenting well on the situation. Snively, however notes that his forces are being slaughtered. Robotnik states that this mission is purely for fact-finding, and that each SWATbot destroyed brings up more data on Sonic, as he shows a printer printing data continuously. As Sonic finishes dealing with the SWATbots, Robotnik takes a look at some of the data, noticing that everything he needs to learn about Sonic is there. He orders Snively to grab a load of the data papers and to join him on his next project.
With piles of paper in hand, they arrive in Robotnik's Cyber-Mechanoid Design Facility: a large room with a cylinder in the middle full of a liquid. They walk over as Robotnik introduces the fluid object in the cylinder as E.V.E., the newest in a race of Exceptionally Versatile Evolvanoids, which can adapt to any situation, with sub-microscopic components that are indestructible. He inputs the data sheets into E.V.E.'s cylinder's computer to learn. With a bright flash of light, E.V.E. learns the perfect manner to dispose of Sonic - permanently.
Back in the Great Forest, Tails walks with Sonic, commending him for disposing of the SWATbots. Sonic notes that Robotnik must be scraping the bottom of the barrel, and that disposing them was too easy and boring. He wishes Robotnik would come up with something new, just as a large mechanical hand pops out of the ground behind Sonic. E.V.E., in the form of a pink humanoid robot, appears and punches Sonic easily, throwing him a far distance. She then uses one of her hands as a machine gun and fires at Sonic, but cannot keep up with him. Realizing that she may be too quick to judge, Sonic stands infront of a tree and taunts E.V.E.. She fires as he jumps away, making the robot destroy the trunk of the tree, causing it to fall right on her. With the robot disposed of, Sonic and Tails decide to continue on to Knothole Village and ask Rotor about it to determine what exactly it was.
Snively and Robotnik watch the defeat of E.V.E. from his lair, but Robotnik does not declare defeat. He accesses the computer terminal and tells Snively that E.V.E. has brain cells from him, and cells from Sonic from a quill plucked earlier. With both components, E.V.E. has the intelligence, craftiness, and superiority complex of Robotnik, and the resourcefulness of Sonic. With these traits in place, the destroyed E.V.E. transforms into a silver goo and reforms.
Continuing on, Tails hopes that that robot was one of a kind, until he hears a loud buzz. Sonic looks back to see E.V.E., now in the form of a large wasp, swooping toward the two. It fires a laser from her stinger, just as the two jump from the blast. They continue to run along the path as the wasp follows, firing lasers from its stinger. Despite the different form, Sonic is suspicious that this robot may be the same as before. The two Freedom Fighters run as fast as they can, noting the wasp is faster than the other robot, but want to use this speed to their advantage. They approach a cliff and quickly run up it. The wasp cannot react in time and slams into the rock wall of the cliff. Sonic and Tails stop at the top of the cliff to assess the situation, only to watch as E.V.E. reforms again, realizing they are, indeed, the same robot. They decide to go directly to Robotropolis and get an explanation to this robot.
In Robotropolis itself, Snively notes the second loss to Robotnik, but he shrugs it off, saying that no matter how many times E.V.E. is destroyed, she will reform and learn. Suddenly, Sonic appears in a flash in Robotnik's lair. Robotnik makes an off mention of E.V.E, which makes Sonic curious. He informs Sonic that they have met E.V.E, many times just as the reformed E.V.E., in the form of a giant cobra, crashes into the building. Sonic tries to run, as Robotnik watches in glee, but cannot escape and gets caught in the tight grasp of the cobra. He laughs as he gloats that E.V.E. will not stop until she programming is fulfilled. Stuck in the grasp of the cobra, Sonic devises and idea and enters a Spin Attack, allowing him to pop out of the hold. He rapidly hops around the robot, causing her body to get entangled in a big knot. He gets down and gloats to Robotnik of his victory, but watches as E.V.E. reforms yet again. Robotnik decides to gloat for himself as E.V.E. cannot lose, but can only improve.
He introduces E.V.E. as she enters into its final phase: to surpass her own limitations. She develops into large speaking robot, composed of many tentacles attached to a head-like structure. She states her name and purpose, to surpass her single greatest limitation: Dr. Robotnik. Realizing his creation has turned on him, he tries to reason with her as he gave it life and a purpose. She telepathically grabs Robotnik as he tells him that with Robotnik's cells, she received evil, but the cells she received from Sonic allowed her surpassed those feelings. She throws Robotnik into the wall as she states that he not only received resourcefulness from Sonic, but the ability to think for herself and to use logic. With that logic, E.V.E. realized she did not have to be Robotnik's servant. Robotnik, meanwhile, takes out a laser gun and fires at E.V.E., but the shot is repelled from a shield formed by her. E.V.E. then fires a powerful laser blast from her eyes, encapsulating Robotnik in an energy field. He disappears, leaving a small smoky mark where he stood. Robotnik has been destroyed.
With E.V.E.'s task fulfilled, she now must complete her programming: by destroying Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic stops E.V.E. before she can do the same thing to him as Robotnik, but getting a few things off of his chest. He tries to remind E.V.E. of what Robotnik told her earlier, that she was designed to surpass her own limitations, but the limitation was not Robotnik, but her own programming. Until she can do so, she will never be able to accomplish what she can do. E.V.E. contemplates his statements, and believes Sonic. Without Robotnik, she has freedom of choice. She flies away into space, thanking Sonic for what he said. Now she is free, and she can be herself.
Tails and Sonic watch as E.V.E. flies away, leaving Tails astonished that Sonic's idea worked. He wonders if she will ever come back, but Sonic feels that they can take care of that when the time comes. However, with Robotnik gone, that leaves Tails with many questions as to the future of Mobius. While in the middle of their thought, Snively, aside, yells at them to leave. They decide to head out and tell the others of Robotnik's defeat, leaving Snively alone with his thoughts in the ruined lair.
As they leave Robotropolis, the two Freedom Fighters wonder if Robotnik is truly gone...
- E.V.E. is introduced, develops free will, and travels into space, leading to her eventual return in Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 128.
- Robotnik is apparently vaporized, but is in fact sent to another version of Mobius where he meets the alternate version of himself who will become Dr. Eggman, though this is not revealed until the next issue.
- This issue has the first cover drawn by Patrick "Spaz" Spaziante.
- A photo of Momma Robotnik is visible on Robotnik's desk.
- Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 21 at Mobius Encyclopedia, the Archie Sonic wiki