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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 286

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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 286 is the two hundred eighty sixth issue in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series published by Archie Comics.

Official solicitation

Panic in the Sky” Part Three: The finale to the “Shattered World Saga” is reaching a fevered pitch! Sonic battles Dr. Eggman in a desperate bid to rescue Chip! The Freedom Fighters invade Eggman’s refinery against impossible odds! Rotor flies the Sky Patrol into a no-win battle with the Death Egg! And it only gets more nuts from there! Featuring the third of four connecting covers by comics pro Dan Schoening plus an “Egg Dragoon” variant by Mr. Sonic comics, Tracy Yardley!


Panic In The Sky Part Three: Colossal Crash

In Eggman Land, Sonic battles Dr. Eggman, who is piloting his new mech, the Egg Dragoon. Eggman orders Sonic to give up as he has complete control of the Dark Gaia Energy, the Gaia Colossus and the fate of the world. He also mentions that his Egg Army will keep each chunk of the world weak and if anybody wanted him to be merciful and restore the world, they would have to meet all his demands.

Sonic takes no heed of Eggman's threats and attempts to run up to the Gaia Colossus' head, believing Chip was there as Eggman previously mentioned he did not want Sonic up there. However, Sonic is hit by a wave of electrical energy before he could reach the top. Eggman taunts Sonic, saying that G.U.N. and the rest of the Freedom Fighters were not present to aid the hedgehog, but Sonic states that they did not need to be as they were busy executing their plan, leaving him to handle the mad scientist. Enraged by Sonic's attitude, Eggman drives the Egg Dragoon down the side of the Gaia Colossus.

Meanwhile, Sally and Antoine are seen holding down E-106 Eta, allowing Bunnie to powerfully punch the robot, destroying it. The trio decide to press on to the central tower and Sally asks Tails of his status. The fox was in his Tornado 2 firing at E-108 Iota and after taking it down, tells Sally that three more super badniks were on their way with a Badnik Horde and that he has provided them with some cover. Sally, Antoine and Bunnie then move on.

Elsewhere, the Sky Patrol takes a large hit from the Death Egg but it does not destroy the former. Nicole informs Rotor that the ship and its weapons were barely holding while Orbot tells Cubot that their usage of weapons has been draining their reserves, meaning they had to quickly end the battle and get to Eggman Land before Eggman would get angry. Due to the Sky Patrol being in a holding pattern due to their damaged engine, Orbot plotted out where the ship's net move would be and focused all of the Death Egg's fire on that spot. The shot took out the Sky Patrol, leaving it to crash into the ocean. Rotor then asks if Nicole was okay leaving the ship on its reserves.

Chip is seen trying to escape his capsule while Sonic struggles against Eggman. Eventually, the doctor freezes Sonic with a concentrated blast of ice and goes in for the kill with his Egg Dragon's drill arm. Luckily, the sun had set, turning Sonic into his werehog form. He tosses the Egg Dragoon backwards and dodges his incoming drill, impaling the mech. Sonic then proceeds to lift and toss Eggman in his Egg Mobile out into the open. Sonic then destroys the Egg Dragoon and soon finds Chip. After freeing Chip, Sonic planned to make use of the Chaos Emeralds but is suddenly brought to his knees...

Eggman complains how everything aches and orders Orbot to move the Death Egg to the spire immediately. However, Orbot advises against this as Eggman Land was sending him worrisome readings. Eggman looks on in horror as Eggman Land slowly spirals out of control and curses Sonic for ruining his plans. Sally is seen having trouble trying to shut down spire and the Dark Gaia Energy leaves all of the badniks. Bunnie notes that animals did not seem to be inside any of them. Tails alerts Sally that Eggman Land was breaking apart and they needed to evacuate. Sally still attempted to shut down the spire but it was too late as her Miles Electric short circuits, forcing her to make a swift escape with Bunnie, Antoine and Tails on the Tornado 2.

The Dark Gaia energy that Sonic possessed also left him and Chip tells Sonic it was Dark Gaia's doing as he was calling his little fragments home, concluding that Dark Gaia had fully awoken, and that Sonic would no longer be transforming into the Werehog. Chip explains that the two of them normally sleep in the core of the world for thousands of years, recovering from previous duels. However, they were awoken early resulting in the memory loss of Chip and the scattering of Dark Gaia. With Eggman's summoning spire drawing out all of Dark Gaia's energy, he had indirectly aided the beast in rebuilding itself. Chip notes that once Dark Gaia achieves his true form it would destroy all life.

Chip pessimistically assumes he failed but Sonic cheers him up by asking him if he wanted to give up on all the people they have met met, and all the places they have been to on their adventure. Chip perks up and decides to continue the mission. Sonic then asks how Chip defeats Dark Gaia and Chip tells him that he battles it into submission with the Gaia Colossus and seals the both of them away, allowing the world to start over. However, Chip notes how these battles can take centuries but Sonic tells him that he has got him covered on that part. With the power of the Chaos Emeralds, Sonic transforms into Super Sonic and he and the Chip engage Dark Gaia, who has achieved its perfect form.

Off Panel "I found you, faker!" or "Prepare for trouble, it's Chip's evil double"

See also: Off Panel
StH 286 Off-Panel

Off Panel

Somewhere in Apotos, Sonic and Chip encounter Dark Gaia, who is seen in a "Chip-like" form, only in a darker color scheme, bat-like wings, and wearing a black jacket. He boasts how he is opposite to his "Light Gaia", his opposite in every way. However, wanting nothing to do with this, Sonic ushers Chip away, angering Dark Gaia.


Sonic: My friends don't need to be up here, I'm counting on them to handle the rest of the plan. Which means I'm free to handle you.
Eggman: HANDLE me!?
Sonic: Toy with? Mess with? Take your pick.
Rotor: Any landing you can walk away from...
Sonic the Werehog: HEY, BUDDY! MISS ME?
Chip: SONIC! I was so worried!
Chip: Yeah--well--you sure made it intense!


Sonic, I Scream

A reference to the Sonic the Hedgehog ice cream popsicle. Photo by Evan Stanley.

  • Sonic's facial expression while being frozen is based on the Sonic the Hedgehog ice cream popsicle.
  • This issues main cover is unusual in that the only part of Sonic that appears is his hand; normally, it is mandatory for Sonic to appear on the cover of a Sonic comic from Archie Comics.
  • This is the final time Sonic becomes the werehog.
  • Unlike the game, Sonic and Chip do not fight Dark Gaia in its premature form but instead its final form straight away.
  • The two Off Panel titles reference two things:
    • The first title is a reference to the line Sonic used in Sonic Adventure 2 when meeting Shadow for a second time.
      • Interestingly enough, the title is also stylized in the same font that was used for dialogue in the game.
    • The second title is a reference to the opening monologue that Team Rocket usually uses for their motto in the Pokémon anime.
  • The Off-Panel strip itself may be a parody of the "Moebius/Anti-Mobius" plot that existed in the pre-Super Genesis Wave continuity of the comic series, which contains morally opposite versions of the Prime Zone's characters. The concept for Dark Gaia's form in particular may be derived from Sonic's evil double from Moebius, Scourge the Hedgehog.
  • Not counting "Genesis", Worlds Collide, and Worlds Unite, this issue marks the first time in the comics Sonic has become Super Sonic using the seven Chaos Emeralds specifically. The closest one to such a feat was during the "Order From Chaos" arc where Sonic used the millions of Chaos Emeralds gathered during the Great Harmony.


Cover artwork

Concept artwork

Preview pages

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