|Sonic the Hedgehog #48|
Sonic the Hedgehog: MURDERER?! When Sonic is put on trial for the murder of Sally Acorn, a suspiciously merciless King Acorn sentences True Blue to a life of horror in the DEVIL'S GULAG. Upon escape the hunt is on as Geoffrey St. John and the newly formed Royal Guard must track down the fugitive Sonic! All this and a betrayer revealed in part two of ENDGAME!
Sonic The Fugitive
Geoffrey and his men escort Sonic to a shuttle that will fly him to Devil's Gulag. Sonic remains adamant that he wasn't even aware of Sally's death, let alone having a role in it. However, Geoffrey refuses to believe his pleas, and strikes his old rival before Uncle Chuck intervenes. While Antoine D'Coolette complains of Geoffrey's men using his plane to transport Sonic, Uncle Chuck promises that Sonic will be back, though Geoffrey is quick to refute him. Later, the remaining Freedom Fighters, Rosie, Amy Rose and Chuck discuss the horrible turn of events, with most of the group believing Sonic guilty while Chuck remains adamant that he is not and Tails insists that Sonic would never do such an atrocity. Dulcy arrives to join in the mourning, also believing Sonic to be a murderer, though Rosie is quick to try and diffuse accusations of guilt. Meanwhile, on board the plane, Sonic is contemplating how the current chain of events was set off by King Acorn's orders to invade Robotropolis, with Sonic now finding himself going to the feared prison of Devil's Gulag. He is then surprised-and displeased-to discover that he has company in the form of traitor Sleuth Dawg, who apparently believes that Sonic is a genuine traitor.
The guards aboard the plane threaten the two prisoners to remain silent, only to find their craft under attack by SWATbots in hover units, who take the craft down. Landing and investigating, the machines then find themselves under attack by a still manacle-clad Sonic, who launches into them silently and ruthlessly. Finding himself feeling the reality of war, Sonic is consumed by thoughts of Sally, his friends, and his imprisonment, destroying the SWATbots with greater skill than he has ever displayed. He then departs both destroyed aircraft, while back in Knothole Drago reports to King Acorn of Sonic's escape and the survival of the other occupants of the plane. The King subsequently summons Geoffrey and orders him to make up for his failure by recapturing Sonic, which Geoffrey promises to do. Traveling through the rain, Sonic covers his tracks before making his way into a cave, where he stops to rest and contemplate recent events, particularly the fact that he wasn't permitted to see Sally. He recalls Uncle Chuck facing similar difficulties in his own investigation, meeting with refusal of cooperation from both Dr. Quack and King Acorn. Chuck then approached him in his cell, warning him that there might indeed be a traitor amongst the Freedom Fighters, though he remained convinced that it was not Sonic. Promising again to see justice served, Chuck took his leave, while back in the present Sonic succumbs to the feelings brought on by past events, falling unconscious.
Meanwhile, back in Knothole, Antoine and Bunnie Rabbot are investigating the strange behavior of King Acorn, given his recent audiences with Drago and Geoffrey rather than the Freedom Fighters. Bunnie is skeptical about the notion of treachery, but Antoine is quick to point out that Drago has been acting suspiciously, and promises to expose any treachery. Meanwhile, Drago approaches Hershey Cat, announcing himself as the future duke of Robotropolis and offering her a place at his side, though Hershey is quick to refuse any future involvement. Drago turns accusatory, grabbing her arm painfully and informing her of Sonic's escape and Geoffrey's orders pursue him while Antoine and Bunnie listen from beneath a window. He then leaves, and the two Freedom Fighters follow him into the Great Forest, where they are then ambushed and captured by SWATbots under Drago's command, who orders them sent to Downunda . Sonic, dreaming about his loyal dog Muttski, is rudely awakened by the sound of barking, and recognizes the noise as being that of Tasmanian Devils, feral Mobians often used for tracking. Outside, Geoffrey and his men ready the creatures, the skunk splitting off from his men and carrying a handheld device as he searches for his quarry, whose speed is limited in the cave.Sonic then attempts to put some distance between himself and his pursuers, struggling on the rocky ground and unaware that one of his manacles was equipped with a tracking device by Geoffrey. He closes in on its signal, while Sonic recognizes an odor that isn't one of the Royal Army officers or a Tasmanian Devil. The two then collide and begin clashing, holding nothing back as they fight throughout the cave. Back in Knothole, King Acorn meets with the assembled Wolf Pack, Knothole, and Substitute Freedom Fighters, whom he praises for their bravery but then derides for their lack of success against Robotnik. He then announces that he intends to reinstate the office of warlord, and opens the door to reveal his candidate: Robotnik himself. Overcoming his astonishment, a furious Rotor opens fire with his cannon, but Robotnik blocks it and then destroys it with an energy shield and laser beam generated from his mechanical arm. His SWATbots surround the assembled Freedom Fighters, while Robotnik is surprised by the presence of Uncle Chuck and Muttski, who he now realizes have been spies for the Freedom Fighters. As he gloats over his victory, Geoffrey and Sonic's struggle continues, Geoffrey accusing Sonic of murder while the Hedgehog vehemently denies it, both expressing their love for Sally. Sonic then knocks Geoffrey down and rushes to a nearby exit, only to discover that it leads to a ledge overlooking a waterfall with no apparent avenue of escape. Geoffrey corners him and lets fly a crossbow bolt, but Sonic leaps from the ledge.
- Sonic is put on a plane to Devil's Gulag, but it is shot down by SWATbots, allowing Sonic to escape.
- Antoine and Bunnie observe Drago, and learn that his schemes apparently include Hershey Cat, but are then captured by SWATbots under his command.
- Geoffrey is sent to capture Sonic, leading to a heated battle between the two of them that ends with Sonic leaping off a ledge.
- Robotnik arrives in Knothole at King Acorn's invitation, capturing the remaining Freedom Fighters in the process.
- This is the first issue to show Tasmanian Devils, which were one of the few Mobians species that didn't evolve from the Xorda's gene bombs.
- The story along with the title are references to the 1993 movie "The Fugitive".
- Interestingly enough, the last part of the comic issue strongly resembles an infamous scene from "The Fugitive".