|Sonic the Comic #73|
15 March 1996
Fleetway Editions Ltd
- Editor: Deborah Tate
- Assistant Editor: Audrey Wong
- Designer: Gary Knight
- Editorial Assistance: William Potter
- Managing Editor: Richard Burton
- Production: Sarah Colley
- Marketing Manager: Gary Bell
Sonic the Hedgehog - "Spinball Wizard"
The circus wagon is a complete mess. There are sacks of letters everywhere: Sonic's fan-mail has arrived! Tails is disappointed that he doesn't get any fan-mail, so decides to do something "brave and dangerous" to get people to like him. He decides to clean up the Casino Night Zone, but is immediately captured by Troopers and taken to Doctor Robotnik's Spinball Murder Machine.
A pink bird rushes to tell Sonic that Tails has been captured. Sonic dons a pair of Power Sneakers and rushes to the rescue. He crashes through the Trooper guards, only to fall into the Spinball Murder Machine himself! He is bashed around by the flippers and springs, until he is so dizzy he cannot stand. Just as Robotnik attempts to crush him with a giant metal spinball, Tails (who is tied up in the machine as well) manages to get free of his ropes. He leaps on top of the spinball, guiding it to the generator powering the Spinball Murder Machine. The spinball hits, and the generator (along with the rest of the Machine) are destroyed in an explosion. Tails and Sonic are blown clear, but escape unharmed.
Back at the circus wagon, a postman owl delivers a letter to Tails. He is over-joyed to finally get some fan-mail... until he opens the envelope, and discovers it is just a fine for his over-due library books!
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Doctor Ivo Robotnik
- Pink bird (Only appearance)
- Postman owl (Only appearance)
- Mobius is mentioned as being "still ruled by Robotnik". Robotnik conquered the planet and has ruled it as a dictator since Sonic the Comic #9, "Back to Reality".
- Sonic and Tails are shown living in the caravan for Bob Beaky's Travelling Circus. They have been using this caravan as their base since Sonic the Comic #38, "Robotnik's Revenge, Part 2".
- The Casino Night Zone looks just as it did in "Casino Night", in Sonic the Comic #18 and #19 (although it appears to have been rebuilt). This includes an image of Dr. Robotnik's head on a rollercoaster resembling his original appearance, prior to his transformation in Sonic the Comic #22, "Girl Trouble, Part 2".
- This story, along with all of the stories written by Mark Millar for Sonic the Comic, was written before the publication of Sonic the Comic #1. The story was obviously held back quite some time after it was originally produced, and wound up only being published when the comic was in need of a quick filler instalment; its irreverent tone is particularly dated, with a vain, egotistical Sonic receiving "fan-mail", Sonic's power sneakers being called out with unusual specificity, and Tails being reckless in trying to prove himself to his idol. Curiously, though the art is credited to Keith Page, the story's illustrations of Sonic and Robotnik are spot-on matches for the contemporary work of STC mainstay Richard Elson, while the other characters who appear are not rendered in Elson's style. This seems to suggest that the story was actually drawn in the early days of the comic and was subsequently edited for publication, replacing the dated depictions of the hero and villain, and adding the Freedom Fighters' caravan into the background.
- The word Spinball probably comes from the game Sonic Spinball.
- This story is reprinted in Sonic the Comic #198.
Knuckles - "New Master Emerald"
Knuckles has acquired a new Emerald for the Emerald Chamber, after the destruction of the original Master Emerald. Since then, the Emerald's energy has been kept in the head of a robot. Now that Knuckles has finished carving the new raw emerald into shape, he can transfer the energy out of the robot and into the new Master Emerald.
As he begins the transfer, the robot suddenly wakes up! It fires a power beam at Knuckles, who is forced to take cover. It soon realises that the Chaos Emeralds are draining its power, and it begins to tilt towards them. Knuckles knows he cannot get across the Chamber without being fired on (he wishes Sonic was around to help), so instead he burrows through the walls of the Emerald Chamber and bursts out through the ceiling, landing on the robot head and knocking its power beam away from the Emeralds.
Unfortunately, he is knocked to the ground, with the robot's eye beam aimed straight at him. He fears the end, but is surprised when the robot speaks: its energy level is now 6%, too low to generate a power beam. Realising that the robot is a conscious being, and that it will soon terminate, Knuckles rips out the connections that are drawing its power into the new Master Emerald. The robot's energy levels stabilise.
Knuckles asks the robot how it came to work for the evil Doctor Zachary, despite having been built by the lost race of Echidnas. The robot explains that he was reprogrammed to serve Zachary, but that the energy drain has removed Zachary's interference. The robot is the closest Knuckles has ever come to finding out about his people, so he decides to use the equipment in the Emerald Chamber to examine its memory banks, hoping to find some clue to where his people are! But first he'll need to make some repairs to the damaged Chamber...
- The Guardian Robot destroyed the last Master Emerald in Sonic the Comic #66, "The Homecoming, Part 2", and absorbed its energy in #67, "The Homecoming, Part 3". Knuckles decapitated the robot and hooked up the head as a temporary replacement in Sonic the Comic #68, "The Homecoming, Part 4".
- Knuckles managed to acquire a new Raw Emerald in Sonic the Comic #72, "The Graveyard, Part 4".
- Knuckles discovered that the Guardian Robot had been built by the echidnas in issue #66, "The Homecoming, Part 2", and that it was working for the evil Doctor Zachary in #67, "The Homecoming, Part 3".
- This is one of the few times Knuckles will admit (but only to himself) that Sonic is useful to have around, particularly for his speed.
- It is revealed in Sonic the Comic #74, "The Ghost Ship, Part 1", that the damage done to the Emerald Chamber in this issue has caused the island's force field to fail. The force field had been operational since Sonic the Comic #53, "Disaster! Part 3".
- This story was reprinted in Sonic the Comic #193.
Shining Force - "The Curse of Zeon, Part 1"
- Script: Nigel Kitching
- Art: Martin Griffiths
- Colouring: Gina Hart
- Lettering: Tom Frame
Granseal Island in the Kingdom of Rune has known peace for generations. The Dark Tower is the only reminder of the long ago dark days of Zeon. In the streets, a young human boy named Bowie and a young elf girl named Taya spar. Taya easily knocks the cocky Bowie on his face, then heals him with her elf magic.
They are interrupted the arrival of a strange demon bird (in fact an aeroplane) that lands in the street. Everyone flees but Bowie and Taya, who rush towards it. A strange man named Zynk (actually a robot) climbs out, wishing to speak to Bowie's grandfather Maximillian about the return of Zeon.
To the east, in Ribble, an archaeological dig unearths a strange door. The diggers cannot read the strange symbols (in fact they are English letters, spelling out "No admittance to unauthorised personnel. Level 2 clearance required."). They force open the door, and inside discover many wonderful things: guns, bombs, missiles, and tanks!
Tails! - "Fox on the Run, Part 1"
Tails is taking a stroll through the Spring Flower Zone on his afternoon off when he is attacked by three Buzzers. Though he likes help from Sonic and the gang, he quite easily destroys them all, freeing the animals trapped inside. Two of them thank Tails and leave, but the third, a young mouse, starts to cry because he is lost. Tails promises to help him get back home to the Metropolis Zone, and the mouse introduces himself as Tristram (although everyone calls him Tantrum).
Suddenly, Tails and Tantrum are accosted by a bounty hunter cat named Fleabyte, who plans to sell them to Doctor Robotnik for a reward. Tantrum angrily says that "my pal Tails is gonna sort you out, fangface!" while Tails tries to look nonchalant in the background. Fleabyte, annoyed by the resistance, attempts to shoot Tails with his revolver - but the mechanism jams. Luckily, though, he brought along his "old faithful laser blaster!"
Tails tries to keep Fleabyte distracted while Tantrum runs away, but Tantrum quickly falls into a deep pot-hole. Fleabyte corners Tails. The only way Tails can escape is to dive into the hole after Tantrum... which is exactly what he does. Looks like the start of another adventure!
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Tantrum (First appearance)
- Fleabyte (First appearance)
- Captive animals:
- Yellow duck
- Control Zone
- Howdy Doodles (Graphic Zone)
- Photo Zone
- Q Zone