|Sonic the Hedgehog #226|
- "Genesis" Part One: You know the hero, you know the villain, but you haven't seen anything like this! Celebrate Sonic's 20th anniversary! It's a brand new adventure as Sonic the Hedgehog investigates the disappearance of many woodland creatures, and discovers the man behind it all! It's an all-new beginning!
Genesis Part One: In the Beginning...
Genesis opens the story by showing Sonic running through the old Green Hill Zone. The events are set after Robotnik's "Operation: Clean Sweep", during the return of the Death Egg Mark 2 (StH #225). The effects of the Death Egg completely reset all the progress the Freedom Fighters have made during the past 225 issues, reducing it to the beginning, before New Mobotropolis, the Xorda invasion and everything. Running through a loop, Sonic feels as if he had fallen asleep. He then remembers that there are animals that have been captured by Dr. Robotnik (Sonic later refers to him as Eggman) and held in capsules.
Sonic dashes off to investigate the animals (the hedgehog does not yet know Dr. Robotnik's acts), and runs into a Badnik, who attempts to slice at Sonic. He jumps over it, noting that the Badnik is "unfriendly". Sonic begins to take off, but is then surrounded by three other Badniks, who trap him in a circle. The hedgehog simply says: "What's up, guys?", then absent-mindedly wonders if robots even have genders before obliterating them. He smugly calls them "Motobugs, before the animals are set free, including the first Flicky shown since several issues (the last known sighting was from Sonic Universe #3), and thus Sonic has his answer to the animal capturings. Sonic jumps onto a Newtron, wondering who constructed them and why he or she decided to hold animals captive inside them. The chameleon then takes off, with Sonic hitching a ride on it.
Later on, Snively is shown capturing the last of the animals inside a capsule, praising himself for his work. As he writes notes, Sonic spins into the capsule, breaking the animals free. Snively is utterly shocked by the sighting of Sonic, stuttering for words before Sonic explains himself. Sonic questions Snively if he is the villain behind the animals' capturing, but Snively explains himself as "Snively, lowly servant to a grander design". He then explains that the designs of Dr. Eggman will bring order to the continent, and plans to destroy nature and replace it with machinery. After Snively's rant, Sonic simply says "Wow. What a jerk", which annoys him further. He then attacks Sonic, but the hedgehog simply jumps away from the assault before spin dashing into Snively. Sonic avoids every attack he throws, nearly beating him before Snively retreats in defeat. Sonic kicks the hatch on the capsule, praying that he would not set off a nuclear explosion. The capsule blows open and every animal inside is set free. However, inside are none other than the Freedom Fighters, a group of heroes attempting to stop Eggman.
Sally Acorn is the first to step out, and she is surprised to see Sonic. She nonetheless shakes Sonic's hand, introducing herself, Boomer and Antoine. Sonic begins to dash off, pleased with rescuing the captives, but Sally quickly grabs Sonic's arm, begging for him to stay. Sonic impatiently asks Sally to explain herself, and Sally says that her group is attempting to stop Dr. Eggman from taking over Green Hill Zone. Boomer continues to explain that they believe that he is the cause of recent earthquakes. Sally, noting Sonic's bravery, speed and strength, asks for his assistance, but the hedgehog replies that they could slow him down (a gag used throughout the series). Sally is able to win Sonic's trust by proudly showing him a direct route to finding Dr. Eggman. Sonic sweeps his hands for them to lead the way.
After traveling, the group arrives at Marble Zone. Sally thinks there is an underground tunnel that leads to Eggman's hideout. Sonic admits that he is weary about traversing Marble Zone, but nonetheless knows the group is on the right track. Sally questions Sonic about his doubts, but he grabs Sally at the last second before being attacked by another Badnik, simply answering, "The killer robots." Sally warns Sonic about the Badnik, and as she attempts to find its name, Sonic answers for her, referring to the Badnik as a Caterkiller. Sally asks Sonic about his knowledge of the name, and Sonic says that it somehow came to him, foreshadowing that the old Sonic is regaining memory of his future self. Boomer then snatches the robot, twists it bolts and slams them back into Caterkiller, causing it to explode. With a smirk, Sonic remarks that he knows why "they call him Boomer." Boomer just replies, "Happy to help."
Sally informs them of more Caterkillers arriving. Antoine is hiding inside a cavern when he is attacked by Bat Brains. Sonic hears Antoine's pleading for help against the Bat Brains, with Antoine screaming "Il y a des chauves-souris!" ("There are bats!"), and Sonic destroys every one. Sally then hugs Antoine for getting the bats out of the cavern, saying that, if it were not for him, they would been ambushed. Sonic looks over disapprovingly, but turns back to Boomer. He is reprogramming a Buzz Bomber, trying to get it to assist them, but they need an animal. Sally calls over a Flicky on their side, using various musical notes to communicate with it. Sonic then takes point and sprints, Boomer admiring his speed. An earthquake stops the group in their tracks, leaving them stranded on a piece of land sinking in lava. Sonic and Buzz Bomber then rescue the Freedom Fighters, with Sonic making the flirtatious comment: "Is it hot in here, or is it just you?" to Sally. Sally blushes, reminding the hedgehog that this is not the time or place to flirt.
Antoine wishes for the terror to stop as Dr. Eggman himself emerges, yelling "The terrorizing has just begun!". Sonic then looks at the doctor, realizing the true meaning of "Eggman" is because of his weight. Eggman retorts that he recognizes Sonic as the "mean animal that bullied his nephew". They then begin to fight across the lava. Boomer once again admires Sonic, saying there is "nothing else like him". Sally agrees with Boomer, realizing that the hedgehog does look familiar, and this foreshadows that Sally is regaining her memory of her future self. Sonic stands on top of a pillar, but the pillar crumbles and begins to sink. However, at the last second, Buzz Bomber shows up and attacks Eggman. Unaware of the presence of the Flicky, Eggman opens fire on Buzz Bomber, destroying the Badnik, but he puts himself in a position where Sonic is able to blast him out of his machine. Eggman threatens that a cataclysm will arrive after his "master plan" takes effect.
Sonic jumps back onto land, reminded Sally to "tell the Flicky he owes it one". Sally whistles back at the Flicky as it flies off. Antoine investigates the underground pathway, hesitantly stating that it seems perilous, though he is unsure of this. Sonic notes Antoine's words, and remarks that he is glad to be with the Freedom Fighters on his adventures. Sally is pleased that Sonic feels the same way. With that, the group descends into the underground passage.
- The cover is based on the box art of the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
- This issue features Badniks with the colors they had in the video games, not their comic colors.
- Ian Flynn stated in Nintendo Power that the Genesis Arc will affect the series for up to a year afterward.
- Many UFOs are visible in the sky of Marble Zone, akin to ones from an earlier version of Sonic the Hedgehog.