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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 261

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 261 is the two hundred sixty-first issue of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series published by Archie Comics.

Official solicitation

'Waves of Change,' Part Two! Sonic, Amy, and Rotor - in the deep sea and in deeper trouble! When their new friend Coral has run afoul of her government, will Sonic and the Freedom Fighters stand by her side? Or will they risk becoming fugitives? Then, in 'The Light in the Dark,' Sally's simple raiding plans take a turn for the worse! Featuring new cover art from Sonic superstar Ben Bates and a hilarious new 'Is it Summer Yet??' Variant cover by Tracy Yardley! and Matt Herms!


Waves of Change Part Two: Current Events

Following the previous issue, Amy, Sonic, and Rotor are met by Meropis' city guard, led by the mantis shrimp, Captain Striker. Striker is upset that the priestess Coral has brought outsiders to their holy ground. Razor, Coral's friend and defender of the temple, argues that the matter is irrelevant and that she has better authority to decide who visits the temple, but Striker retorts, saying that he is just trying to cover up her failures. When Coral arrives from the temple, Striker asks her where the ancient chao, Aquaris, is, as her reincarnation is due. Upon hearing that she has yet to emerge, contrary to his claim that the evolution should have taken minutes to complete, he quickly orders his comrades to arrest her and the others and to take them to the city's king and queen. Sonic steps in and suggests it would be better that they would be "invited" to join Coral. Despite Razor preventing them from taking her away, Coral surrenders, on the condition that someone remains in the temple. Striker notices another of Coral's friends, Pearly, and, confirming that she is a trained apprentice, settles that she will stay in the priestess's place. Rotor volunteers to stay with Pearly to keep her company, giving him more time to study the temple. Striker calls one of his comrades, Echo, to keep an eye on them, before taking the rest to the city.

Entering Meropis, Sonic the others quickly learn that it's inhabitants are on edge, dimming the beauty of the underwater Metropolis. They are then brought before King Puff and Queen Angelica, who demand an explanation for their presence and for Coral's actions in bringing them there. The conversation eventually leads to Coral's difficulties in maintaining the shield-a particular danger given the presence of Dark Gaia's Minions and the constant threat of Akhlut and his Egg Army-which the royals blame on Coral's ineptitude. Sonic speaks up in her behalf, trying to convince them that Dr. Eggman is to blame, but his tale of a broken world is rejected. When Striker reveals Aquarius' failure to emerge from her cocoon and Coral mentions that she was contacted by a spirit, the king and queen are fed up, and strip Coral of her office. While they almost immediately begin contemplating a replacement-either a former candidate or their own traveling daughter-they agree to let Coral stay the night in the shrine with the Freedom Fighters, but order them to leave the following morning.

Upon learning the news, an argument breaks out between Sonic and Rotor, the former wanting to help their new friends while the latter has their global mission as top priority. However, Amy suggests a compromise: taking Coral, Razor, and Pearly aboard the Sky Patrol. Pearly overhears this news and relays it to Coral and Razor, but Coral is worried about leaving the shrine unattended. Razor then convinces her to perform the rites a final time, and reveals to the Freedom Fighters that he's willing to leave if Coral is. Unfortunately, the stress of her situation disrupts Coral's concentration during the rites, and her emotional breakdown coincides with Meropis' shield collapsing. No longer impeded, the minions swarm the city from the Anostos Rift, forcing Striker and his guardsmen to take action. The Freedom Fighters and Razor are then forced to contend with the monsters as they enter the shrine.

The Light in the Dark Part Two

Following the previous story, Sally, Tails, and Antoine opens a large door and are astonished by the sight of crystals covering the rest of the cave; with Tails comparing the inside of a geode. They soon discover many of Eggman's badnik destroyed trying to continue their excavation due to the lack of ground to traverse. Sally hands Tails Nicole's computer to help him search for the Chaos Emerald, as his ability of flight makes him the most able to traverse the dangerous path.

He finds the Emerald and the team prepares to leave while the security system is still inactive. However, Sally has second thoughts of leaving a natural wonder they just found to its destruction when Eggman continues digging for nothing, although it would allow them to continue finding the other Emeralds undetected, as was the original plan. Despite Nicole's objections due to the lack of the crystals' value, she soon agrees with Sally seeing the caves from outside her compute with her own eyes.

With the security system reactivating, Sally modifies her plan: they would make sure Eggman knows they escaped with the Chaos Emerald he was trying to find, leaving the caves alone.

Off Panel

See also: Off Panel

The Off Panel shows What-If scenario if the Freedom Fighters were in different positions during the Waves of Change story: Sally and Nicole stay on Sky Patrol, playing Chess while the other go on their missions, with Nicole declaring Checkmate before the game even starts; Sonic, Amy, and Rotor travel to the cave, but are stranded in the crystal area. Sonic joking ask if anyone want to "spontaneously learn how to fly"; and Cream, Bunnie, and Big are at the shores near Meropis, with Big fishing Razor out from the water.


  • If one were to look closely on the main cover of this issue, Big Mother and Titan minions from Sonic Unleashed make a cameo in the background.
  • In the second story, Antoine's word balloon is mistakenly directed at Sally. This is evidenced by the presence of his accent in his dialogue.


Cover artwork

Preview pages

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