- Champions, Part 3. The battle for the Chaos Emerald is reaching a fevered pitch! Hero versus hero! Villain versus villain! Will Dr. Eggman be content to play by the rules? Will Metal Sonic come in and shake things up? And what exactly is the secret history between Metal Sonic and casino mogul Breezie? All of the answers await you in this thrilling, penultimate chapter! Featuring all-new cover art from one of the newest Sonic superstars Jennifer Hernandez, plus a special 'Marvel at the Showdown' variant cover by the incomparable Brent McCarthy!
Champions Part Three: Raising the Stakes
- Writer: Ian Flynn
- Pencils: Diana Skelly
- Inks: Terry Austin
- Colors: Gabriel Cassata
- Letters: John Workman
- Assistant Editor: Vincent Lovallo
- Editor & Executive Director of Editorial: Paul Kaminski
- Editor-in-Chief: Victor Gorelick
- President: Mike Pellerito
- Publisher: Jon Goldwater
- Special thanks to: Tyler Ham and Anthony Gaccione at SEGA Licensing
In the recent past, at Casino Park (prior to the events of Sonic Heroes), Dr. Eggman is showing Breezie her city for her Casino Empire, and she thinks it is quite an elaborate death trap for Sonic. However, she calls the doctor's bluff, believing that he is an impostor as the real Eggman would not be so generous. The faux Eggman reveals himself as Neo Metal Sonic and warns Breezie not to tell anyone about him. Breezie finds no point in telling anyone as she has a new capital and lets Neo Metal Sonic know that she does not choose sides but only teams up with those who will make her a profit.
In the present, Bean and Nack are fighting in the Casino Park Arena. Sonic finds the match to be hilarious and entertaining but Tails is not so amused as he is still sore over losing so embarrassingly to Honey. Sonic tells him to forget about this as he has triumphed in many other feats. Tails feels a bit better from this encouragement and continues to watch the match.
Nack has difficulties trying to defeat Bean, even with the use of his blaster and after realizing that Breezie had set the matches up, he forces Bean to pretend as if he lost. Sonic then asks Espio if he felt satisfied with the duck's loss but Espio did not as his loss resulted in him getting yelled at by Vector. Tails confirms that Amy has to fight next and Sonic asks Espio why he could not reserve slots in the tournament for Vector and Charmy as well. Espio replies that he could sneak Knuckles in when he found out that he was already in the area. He also believes that Breezie was messing with the brackets and that Eggman was involved, warning Sonic to keep his guard up.
Amy and Knuckles arrive in the arena for their match. However, Amy overthinks how Sonic would react to her facing the latter in the final battle. While lost in a train of thought, Knuckles powerfully hits the ground, propelling Amy towards a the bleachers at high speed. Due to Amy's ring out, Knuckles wins the match, which earns him glares from Sonic and Tails. The echidna then feels downhearted as he believed that the match had already begun. Shortly after in Amy's medical room, Sonic promises to avenge her but after he deals with Honey.
At the beginning of the match, Honey tells Sonic that she has decided to throw the fight after learning how serious it has become. They both agree to this but Sonic tells her that they still should give the people a show. They begin to fight and Honey puts up quite the challenge for the hedgehog. However, Sonic manages to see through Honey's techniques and throws the cat out of the ring, winning the match. Meanwhile, Nack asks Bean and Bark how he should deal with Knuckles in his next match. Bark suggests getting into the echidna's head as everyone knew how gullible he was.
In their match, Nack tries to do exactly as Bark suggested he do by trying to feed Knuckles discouraging pieces of advice. Knuckles initially ignores Nack's constant irritation which annoys the weasel and prompts him to repeatedly hit Knuckles with his tail. This leaves a major opening for Knuckles and he proceeds to heavily smack Nack against the floor before throwing him out of the ring. Eggman is seen watching the match and scoffs at the Hooligans inability to handle any job when Sonic is involved. He then calls Metal Sonic and finds out that the robot will arrive at Casino Park in one hour. He also calls Bean and tells him and his team to begin their back-up plan.
Sonic and Knuckles arrive in the ring, gently taunting each other each. Unknown to them, Nack aims his sniper at the two rivals and bitterly locks onto his targets.
The off panel shows what happens if Champions was the manliest of anime. It then shows Knuckles and Sonic in a more human like style, taunting each other before beginning the fight.
- Casinopolis is mistakenly placed on Westside Island, when it is actually located in Station Square, Soumerca. Ian Flynn confirmed this to be a typo, as it was originally intended to be Casino Night Zone.
- The variant cover is actually a reference to the Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes art poster, However, this is not the first time where the comic references a fighting game franchise; the first one was the Super Smash Bros. variant which can be seen in Sonic the Hedgehog #266, Mega Man #42 and Sonic Universe #69.
- El Grand Gordo makes a cameo appearance in the off-panel.
- There is an appearance from Sonic Blast Man.
- Bean makes a reference to Mario when he thinks the fighting tournament is a Olympic Event.
- In the off panel, Sonic and Knuckles are drawn as Kenshiro from Fist of The North Star and Jotaro Kujo from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, respectively, with both saying phrases of the characters they are parodying. In the third panel, both are yelling "Muda Muda Muda" and "Ora Ora Ora", a reference to the fight between Jotaro and main villain Dio Brando at the end of JoJo's third part: Stardust Crusaders.
- Because of the lead up to the "Worlds Unite" crossover, the covers of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Boom and Sonic Universe, starting with this issue, Sonic Boom #5 and Sonic Universe #73 each have a countdown timer listing how many issues are left of each respective series before the start of the crossover (three issues from this issue).
- The same counter was used for the issues leading up to "Worlds Collide".
- A similar counter was used for Sonic Genesis as well.