|Sonic the Hedgehog #213|
"Reigning Cats and Dogs Part One": Sonic and Princess Sally head south to become honorary members of the new Wolf Pack Nation, but stumble into a major mystery along the way: a talisman is missing, and the accusations are flying! Can Sonic stave off an all-out war? What shocking discovery does Sally make? The answers are as astounding as special guest-star Big the Cat!
Reigning Cats and Dogs - Part One
Sonic the Hedgehog and Big the Cat find them surrounded at spearpoint by Felidae warriors; Sonic insists that they come in peace. Queen Hathor, their leader, steps in and tells the hedgehog that trespassers in the Mysterious Cat Country, or Pais Mysterioso, are not welcome, but Sonic insists he's not trespassing but rather was invited by Big. Hathor is not impressed, considering Big a "heathen" and a "traitor" for associating with outsiders. Sonic cuts to the chase by saying he's simply on a mission, and Big adds that he's there to get the Ancient Onyx; at these words, Hathor flies into a rage, accusing Sonic for its recent disappearance and saying that the Ancient Onyx is the birthright of her people. Sonic attempts to explain, but the Queen refuses to listen to his words; however, she says that she will consider listening to Big, commanding that she be brought a "recounter." As several cats approach Big with clothing, Sonic expresses confusion, and the Queen flatly explains that within their culture, one's station is reflected by their dress. Thus, as Big steps out in an elaborate outfit featuring a poncho and headgear, he is no longer considered a simple fisherman but a "stately recounter of the truth." Before Big can process this, Sonic, catching on, says that it's lucky he's come dressed as the "recounter's interpretor," indicating his gloves. Irritated, Hathor relents and lets him speak. Sonic begins to explain how, "according to Big," he and Sally Acorn had arrived in the region hours ago as they'd been invited to become honourary members of the Wolf Pack...
Earlier, Sonic and Sally find themselves greeted by the wolves. Sally and Canus embrace, while Sonic confuses Leeta for her twin sister Lyco, saying it's been a long time since they'd seen the pack. Canus escorts them to meet the chief; they are surprised to see not Lupe but her husband Lobo. Sensing their surprise, Lobo explains that he was the pack's chief prior to his Roboticization; he explains that he took the title back once Lupe had stepped down. Sally and Sonic are confused, thinking Lupe isn't the type to step down from anything.
Lobo leads them into a building where they find Lupe - who, in full regalia, reveals that she stepped down as the leader of her pack in order to step up as the Grand Chief of the new Wolf Pack Nation. Sally hugs and congratulates Lupe while Sonic gives her a high-five, asking when the wolves became a nation unto themselves. Looking out a window, Lupe explains that, during the First Robotnik War, the wolves had become scattered into individual packs, and they later discovered that their old city had been destroyed, and so Lupe gathered and united the packs in their ancestral homeland. Lobo says that she makes it sound easy, and Sally seems unsurprised that Lupe would be successful at such a grand task, but adds that forming and running the new nation must be exhausting. Suddenly a loud cry rings out; Sonic and Sally are shocked, but Lupe simply rolls her eyes.
Marcos, the son of Lupe and Lobo, comes tearing into the room, followed by his sister Maria and adopted siblings Aerial and Athena - the three girls are enraged as Marcos runs off with a ball. Maria demands that he gives it back, and he refuses; the two end up in a scuffle on the floor, Maria insisting that the girls wanted to play with the ball, but Marcos replies that Athena told him he could have it. Aerial angrily points out that Athena, as he well knows, is mute, but Marcos just replies that that's only because Aerial talks more than enough for both of them. The girls lunge at Marcos, throwing them all through another door while Lupe sighs, saying that her children are harder to govern than the country.
Lupe, Sally and Sonic sit on cushions as Lobo brings in a basket of fruit; while eating, Lupe asks where the other Freedom Fighters are, saying they had all been invited. Sally replies that it was a matter of bad timing; she and Sonic explain that Tails, Bunnie "Rabbot" D'Coolette and Antoine D'Coolette had already left New Mobotropolis by the time the invitation arrived, Rotor Walrus is busy with his duties as part of the Council of Acorn and Amy Rose elected to stay behind to keep an eye on the city. Taking an orange, Lupe muses that it might be for the best, as the induction ceremony will have to be informal as the Ancient Onyx has gone missing. Scowling, Lobo adds that it was likely stolen by the "greedy, savage Felidae." Curious, Sally asks about this, and Lupe explains that the Felidae are a tribe of cats living to the south of the Wolf Pack Nation who claim ownership of the entire continent. She adds that through oral tradition, her people know them to be violent, but adds that they haven't been bothered by them too much recently.
However, Marcos and Aerial suddenly burst into the room, alarmed; they tell their mother that a "Felidae warrior" is marching into the city. Sonic and Lupe rush to a window, Lupe outraged at such an open act; seeing the cat, Sonic remarks that it's simply Big, to which a shocked Lupe replies that it's enormous.
Big finds himself surrounded by spear-toting wolves, but simply agrees to their orders to stop moving. Sonic rushes in, pushing down a spearpoint and offering to vouch for Big; as the cat recognizes Sonic, the hedgehog explains how Big assisted him in the past. Feeling confident, Sonic asks Big to explain why he's visiting; Big, without hesitation, replies that he's there to retrieve "that special black jewel thing." This revelation results in both of them being menaced by spears, and Sonic grumbles that Big might want to clarify his intentions a little. Big explains that the Felidae are "mad" because the jewel is missing, and so he thought that he would see if the wolves had it. He apologizes as the wolves back down and Sally, Lupe and Lobo show up. Lupe muses that the Felidae claim to not have the Ancient Onyx either, which gets Sally thinking. Sonic doesn't understand why this "rock" is so important; Lupe replies that the Ancient Onyx is said to have preserved the wolves during the Days of Fury and is thus an important symbol of their perseverance, and thus is rightfully theirs. Sally tells Lupe that, with her permission, she'd like to investigate something. Lupe immediately agrees, but asks why they want to get involved in the first place. Sonic points out that they need the Ancient Onyx to do their induction ceremony ("in addition to all that other stuff you just said") and Sally points out that as members of neither nation, they can act as a neutral party. Lupe smiles, saying they're ever the heroes, and agrees to let them look into the situation. Sally then tells Sonic to go with Big back to the Felidae to speak with them, thinking that if Big can't vouch for him, she knows Sonic is capable of taking care of himself. Sonic asks about her, and Sally replies that she wants to look into something else first...
Back in the present, Sonic concludes his story (as the Recounter's "interpreter"), ending it with he and Big getting attacked by the Felidae "welcoming committee." Queen Hathor muses over the situation, asking if the story is true, then where has Princess Sally gone? Sonic replies that he honestly doesn't know.
Meanwhile, Sally has come across what she was looking for; the ancient ruins of the Knuckles Clan settlement. She thinks about the history of the place as explained to her by Knuckles the Echidna; that members of what would later become the Echidnaopolis colony had decided to stay in this land and fought with the Felidae before angering and being wiped out by Chaos. Looking over a statue depicting an Echidna warrior standing atop a fallen Felidae soldier, she muses over the sad history of the place. As she makes her way through the ruins, she thinks to herself that, with the Felidae and the wolves coming into contact again for the first time in centuries, an artifact sacred to both groups suddenly disappearing and bringing the two to conflict just sounds too coincidental. Peering through an old window, she's shocked to find what appears to be a local chapter of the Dark Egg Legion operating out of the ruins. Crouching back under the window, she concludes that the Eggman Empire must be trying to instigate a war between the Felidae and the Wolf Pack Nation. She figures that, as the Felidae likely consider the ruins of their ancient enemy taboo, and the area being blocked from the wolves by the borders of the Mysterious Cat Country, neither side would be willing to come there. Sally hopes that if she can relay this information to both sides, she can stave off the conflict, but suddenly a large cloaked figure approaches her from behind. Asking the princess if she's "sight-seeing," Drago Wolf suddenly attempts to grab her. The shocked princess uses her superior agility to avoid the wolf, wishing now that she'd brought Sonic with her despite having thought that he would have lacked the patience to carefully investigate the ruins. Running from Drago, she nearly crashes into another large, cloaked figure.
Drago yells at the other cloaked figure, addressing him as Razorklaw and telling him to catch the princess. Sally ducks so that Razorklaw's swipe catches Drago instead; the wolf, irritated, makes another grab but again Sally dodges and he hits the cat instead. Avoiding the increasingly-aggravated attackers, Sally is shocked to see that, with their robes torn away, they've been revealed to have cybernetic bodies, including robotic, clawed arms. Enjoying her horror, Drago proudly announces he and Razorklaw as the new, improved Grandmasters of the Dark Egg Legion. Sally looks for a way out, but suddenly tons of Legionnaires march into the room. Drago asks her what her choice will be, and while defiant at first, Sally realizes she is far outnumbered and surrenders.
Back in the Mysterious Cat Country, Sonic attempts to make a proposal; Hathor, annoyed, asks if he's now a barterer, and Sonic replies that he's wearing his "negotiator shoes." Sonic offers that if the Felidae let him go, he'll help with the search for the Ancient Onyx, saying that Sally can negotiate its ownership later. Hathor agrees to make a deal only if Sonic will "dispose of" Big, calling him a traitor to the people. Big, removing his "recounter" clothing, looks up in surprise. Nervously, Sonic offers instead to just take Big with him when he leaves, calling it exile instead. Big is saddened at the prospect of being exiled, but cheers up immediately when Sonic says that the fishing up north is great. Hathor, addressing Sonic as "Barterer-Interpreter," says they now have an accord. Sonic is pleased and ready to get to work before anything else can happen, at which point the Felidae warriors announce that they're being ambushed. Lupe, carrying a spear and a shield, and followed by several armed wolves, marches out of the grasses.
Big the Cat encounters Bean the Dynamite, who asks the cat his name, to which he answers "Big". Bean misunderstands him and asks again, getting the same response. Growing frustrated, Bean yells in Big's face, asking him what Big would put on an official document as his name. This only confuses Big, and causes Bean to give up, telling Big to "forget it" as he walks away.
Sonic is sitting at a table with Rouge the Bat, Sonic mentioning a prank he pulled on Knuckles the Echidna while Knuckles was asleep. Rouge is skeptical about how funny the prank is, but does a spit-take and joins Sonic in riotous laughter when Knuckles arrives; his dreadlocks being done up in ponytails. Knuckles is let in on the joke, and chases after a still-laughing Sonic, vowing revenge as Rouge videotapes the scene, stating that it will be posted on YouTube.
- Sonic: I was invited by my buddy Big here!
- Hathor: The heathen who lives on the outskirts and associates with filthy outsiders?
- Big: Yup.
- Maria: We were playing with that!
- Marcos: You mean you were, Maria! Then Athena said I could have it!
- Aerial: Athena's mute and you know it, you jerk!
- Marcos: That's 'cause you do more than enough talking for her, Aerial!
- Sonic: (after seeing Big walk into the city) Hey! It's Big!
- Lupe: Big? It's enormous!
- Sonic and Sally are invited to become honourary members of the Wolf Pack.
- Lupe is revealed to be the leader of the new Wolf Pack Nation.
- The wolves and Felidae are both looking for a missing artifact, the Ancient Onyx.
- Sally discovers a local Dark Egg Legion chapter but is captured.
- Drago and Razorklaw are revealed to have become Grandmasters.
- Big is exiled from the Felidae.
- The Wolf Pack marches into the Mysterious Cat Country.
- This marks Lupe and the Wolf Pack's first appearance since StH #152, Big's since StH #174, and the Felidae's since StH #84. It is also the first appearance of Drago since StH #188, and the first confirmation of his joining the Eggman Empire after it was mentioned in SU: #15.
- This issue was released a full decade after the Sonic Adventure tie-in.
- Drago briefly states the famous word from The Simpsons, "D'oh", which is the catchphrase of Homer Simpson (and sometimes Bart).
- For some reason, the phrase used in the current Sonic issues, "The World's most Way Past Cool Comic", is not present on the cover above the logo. It returns with the cover of StH #214.