- SONIC TAKES THE LEAD in the race to fix the planet! "Thunder, Rain and Lightning": Sonic and the team link up with Lupe to destroy one of Dr. Eggman's super badniks! How does this tie into fixing the shattered world? And just what secrets does Lupe keep? Then, in “Hidden Costs” Part One, Sally and Bunnie hunt down the final Chaos Emerald—which is in the heart of Egg Boss Clove’s forbidden territory! Featuring cover art from jammin’ Jamal Peppers and a “BATTLE!” variant from Sonic comics all-star Tyson Hesse!
Thunder, Rain and Lightning
- Writer: Ian Flynn
- Pencils: Adam Bryce Thomas
- Inks: Terry Austin
- Colors: Gabriel Cassata
- Letters: John Workman
The issue begins with Sonic the Hedgehog dragging Lupe through a plain with Sling Rings, while being chased by E-118 Tau. Chip, riding on Sonic's head, complains about the speed at which they are going; Sonic says he could have stayed on the Sky Patrol, but Chip says he did not want to miss the "excitement". Lupe stops while Sonic proceeds ahead, still being chased by Tau, before Lupe pulls him back with the Sling Rings while Tau is struck by lightning and destroyed. Sally, fighting Badniks alongside Lupe's Wolf Pack, laments that Sonic is not following her plan. Bunnie saves her while she is distracted and reminds her that Sonic almost never follows her plans and that his is just as good. Sally says it was still more reckless and dangerous than her plan, only for Nicole to remind her that she herself acted recklessly by challenging Phage, against whom they used the same tactic Sonic and Lupe used to defeat Tau. An embarrassed Sally closes Nicole's handheld to shut her up, admitting she cannot argue with the results of Sonic's plan. Bunnie assures Nicole that Sally, who will risk only her own life for others, will one day realize she is not an acceptable casualty. Nicole is unconvinced, but concurs nonetheless.
Sonic returns and asks Lupe if the fight brought back memories. He then wants to thank Dr. Ellidy for the Sling Rings they were given and Chip thanks Lupe for her help. However, Lupe mentions how she would never need to be thanked by the Freedom Fighters as she owed them hugely for what happened to her years ago.
Lupe flashbacks to then time when her village was being burned down by Dr. Robotnik. While Sonic ran off to face him, Sally tried to help Lupe cope with the loss of her father. Antoine helps fend off the badniks. Lupe takes Sally's advice on moving on and staying strong for her wolf pack very personally and so takes Antoine's sword to take her anger out on a Motobug.
Meanwhile, Eggman chases Sonic through the same plain seen earlier, only this time Sonic did not know about the sudden jolts of lightning that could occur there. Sonic uses the lightning to his advantage and it strikes Eggman's machine, defeating him. Sonic taunted him as he ran back to Sally and Antoine and follows Lupe to the shelter where her pack would hide during tornados.
Back in the present day, Lupe explains that the difficulty of driving the invasion away was not intense and thanks to the Freedom Fighters, she was given hope and is still grateful for this. Sonic expresses the surprise he had when he learned Lupe's possession of a Gaia key and she explains to Sally that the temple the E-100 unit was trying to protect was a fake, only that Lupe and her wolf pack pretended it had some value. Bunnie also questions if Coral was also looking after a false temple too. They find out with Chip's discovery of a decoy Prison Egg that Tau was trying to protect the Chaos Emerald that the Freedom Fighters previously lost. Bunnie and Sally decide to go after the emerald while Sonic and Chip go after the next Gaia key.
- Badnik Horde
- Coral the Betta (Mentioned)
- Dr. Eggman (Flashback)
- E-118 Tau (First appearance)
- Freedom Fighters
- Gregorios (Mentioned)
- Phage (Mentioned)
- Ricky (Flashback)
- Wolf Pack (First appearance)
- Lupe the Wolf (First appearance)
- The story title, "Thunder, Rain and Lightning", originates from a verse from the song Open Your Heart that first appeared in Sonic Adventure.
- This story marks the first time Lupe has appeared since her brief mentioning in Sonic the Hedgehog #257 and her first official appearance in the Post-Super Genesis Wave timeline.
- This story marks the first appearance of the Wolf Pack in the Post-Super Genesis Wave timeline. With the exception of Lupe the Wolf, however, all previous members of the Wolf Pack were creations of Ken Penders, to which no creations of said writer are allowed to appear in the book.
- Sally's hairstyle seen during the flashbacks is identical to the one she had in the episode "Heads or Tails" from the Sonic the Hedgehog animated series and the earliest issues of Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
- The nickname "Ro-butt-nik" is the same one Robotnik was given by the heroes in the early issues of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and the Sonic the Hedgehog television series.
Hidden Costs Part One
- Writer: Aleah Baker
- Pencils: Evan Stanley
- Inks: Terry Austin
- Colors: Gabriel Cassata
- Letters: John Workman
Sally, Bunnie and Nicole are able to locate the missing Chaos Emerald in the nearby Egg Army base. They are careful not to alert any attention by having Nicole wirelessly disrupt the alarm system. After this, they split up in order to cover more ground and they do so in front of a live feed camera. Despite this, the Egg soldier that was supposed to be monitoring this was instead playing a video game in which he got infuriated with. In the same room, another Egg soldier tells Clove, the Egg Boss of the unit, that Tau was somehow destroyed in the Thunder Plains Zone but it was unknown how it went off course. The video-game Egg soldier lets it slip that the security field had a slight disturbance, regarding it as a glitch but Cassia, the co-Egg Boss and Clove's sister, mentions the last time he used a similar excuse for a lost person at the base. Clove decides to discover who was behind the disturbance instead of the soldier sounding the alarm.
Cassia wanted to go with Clove but she explained that it would be better if she went alone, though she ordered for soldiers on standby just in case. Clove leaves and tells Cassia to remember her treatment. Cassia, downhearted, asks the Egg soldier what the energy signal on the monitor was. Half-paying attention, he responds saying it may be another glitch. Cassia scolds him for slacking and tells him to challenge himself while he is at it, revealing to him that the game's highest rank was a triple-s. Cassia then heads out to investigate the energy signal by herself, despite Clove's orders. Meanwhile, Clove finds Sally sneaking around for the Chaos Emerald.
Bunnie is able to find the Chaos Emerald at an old alter, wondering if somebody brought it there, thinking it would save the world. Before she can claim the emerald, she bumps into Cassia. They race for the emerald and Cassia realises that Bunnie is a Freedom Fighter. Both declare that they would not lose another emerald and engage in a battle for it.
- Freedom Fighters
- Northamer Egg Army
- The game controller the Egg Soldier plays with is from a Sega Genesis.
- A can of "Chaos Cola" and a bag labeled "Snail Chips" seen on the Egg Soldier's desk are objects which have made cameo appearances in various Sonic games.
- The spy drone spying on Sally and Bunnie is the Surveillance Orb from the Sonic the Hedgehog animated series.
- According to Aleah Baker, the game the Egg Army solider was playing was Devil Chao May Cry 4, which is about a Dark Chao armed with two bubble wands on a quest for vengeance after losing to Chacron in the Chao races. This is a reference to the video game Devil May Cry 4.
As Sonic tussles with E-118 Tau, Sonic is struck by lightning, giving him a familiar lightning bolt-laden red costume. Sonic gripes that he hates it when this happens.
- Bunnie: Wasn't that just as good as yer plan?
- Sally: It was certainly more reckless and dangerous...
- Nicole: Any more than when you entered the Digital Realm to challenge Phage alone? And his tactic was the same as what you--
- Sally: (Closes Nicole's handheld and huffs) *Ahem!* Well, I can't argue with the results.
- Bunnie: Sally won't risk anyone's life but her own, Nicole. One of these days, she's gotta figure out she ain't an acceptable casualty, neither.
- Nicole: Double-negative, but I concur.
- Clove: Something wrong?
- Egg Soldier: I...uh...the security field blipped out. Like, it turned off for a second, but it's back on now... ...It's probably just a glitch...
- Cassia: Last time you said "It's probably just a flicky," and it was actually some lost idiot.
- Cassia: If you're gonna waste your time playing video games instead of doing your job, I at least expect you to beat my high score.
- Egg Soldier: I only missed the A-Rank by 500 points!
- Cassia': It goes up to Triple-S.
- Cassia: So you're one of those Freedom Fighter twerps, huh? I'm not losing another emerald to you guys.
- Bunnie: Girl, ah already missed mah chance at this emerald once... ...I ain't lettin' it go again!