|Sonic the Comic #75|
12 April 1996
Fleetway Editions Ltd
- Editor: Deborah Tate
- Assistant Editor: Audrey Wong
- Designer: Gary Knight
- Editorial Assistance: William Potter
- Consultant: Richard Burton
- Production: Sarah Colley
- Marketing Manager: Gary Bell
Sonic the Hedgehog - "Smokey and the Badnik"
In Metropolis City, a young Mobian named Smokey sneaks into the old condemned Metropolis East Leisure Centre. It used to be a fun place - he'd go swimming there every Saturday - before Doctor Robotnik took power. Now he's here to meet his friend, a Roller that he calls "Badnik".
Hearing a noise, he tells Badnik to stay put while he investigates. In the centre's old changing facilities, he finds the source of the noise: Sonic the Hedgehog! He's on the trail of a Badnik, but before he can ask Smokey too many questions, they are attacked by Troopers that are after Sonic. Smokey runs back to his friend, telling Badnik to hide in case Sonic finds him.
Unfortunately for them, Sonic soon reappears after having destroyed the Troopers. He sees Badnik! Again, Smokey has no chance to explain, as one last Trooper (that Sonic apparently missed) appears and starts shooting at them. Sonic attacks it and, to avoid the errant laser fire, Smokey climbs inside Badnik. When Sonic has destroyed the Trooper, he turns to attack Badnik, certain that the Roller has absorbed Smokey to be its organic battery! Just as he is about to smash Badnik, Smokey leaps out, yelling for him to stop! Smokey explains that Badnik is his friend, but Sonic doesn't buy it. Badniks are a menace! He tells Smokey to stand aside. Smokey refuses. "If you want to destroy my friend," he says, "you'll have to go through me!"
The next morning, Smokey is stopped by two Troopers, seeking information about a missing badnik. Smokey cries as he tells the whole story: Badnik was his best friend, but Sonic smashed him! "He said all badniks had to be destroyed... no exceptions!" With the information, the Troopers leave. Smokey walks into an alley... where Badnik is waiting for him, alive and well!
As the Sun rises over Metropolis City, Smokey asks his friend "what do you want to do today?"
- Badnik: "I don't mind."
- Smokey: "Hey, I never knew you could talk!"
- Badnik: "You never asked!"
- This is one of the more popular stand-alone Sonic stories written for Sonic the Comic. In his farewell letter written for Sonic the Comic #200 (but which was actually printed in Sonic the Comic #223), writer Nigel Kitching mentions it as one that he was very proud of.
- The title of this story comes from the film Smokey and the Bandit. The title was supplied by Richard Elson.
- Nigel Kitching originally pitched the idea to editor Richard Burton, and it was rejected due to similarities with a character being developed by Lew Stringer (presumably Shortfuse the Cybernik). When Deborah Tate replaced Burton as editor, he pitched it again, and it was accepted.
- Nigel Kitching drew the layouts for this story in rough pencil, which were then taken by Richard Elson and drawn "properly". However, Elson remained very faithful to the drafts.
- Inside the Leisure Centre, some graffiti on the walls says "Craggsy waz ere!" This was added by artist Richard Elson. "Craggs" is Nigel Kitching's middle name.
Knuckles - "The Ghost Ship, Part 2"
Captain Plunder and his crew have joined Knuckles in the Floating Island's control room. Knuckles pilots the Island high above the clouds, and Plunder soon finds what he's looking for: the Ghost Ship of Tantaragor! Now that Knuckles has done as requested, he wants the plans of the Floating Island that Plunder claimed to possess, the ones that could help him repair the Island's technical systems. Plunder assures Knuckles that he does own such documents, but they are safely hidden in his pirate hideaway.
The Sky Pirates use a zipwire to get over to the ship, and Knuckles follows in order to keep an eye on them. He is immediately suspicious when Plunder says that "they" could be back at any minute, despite earlier telling Knuckles that the ship was deserted.
Filch soon finds what they were looking for: a small golden statue that Plunder calls the Tantaragor Idol. Knuckles is not impressed, but Plunder has no time to explain the Idol's true significance because there is a scream from on-deck. It turns out the true masters of the ship have returned - huge, golden, vaguely ghostly animals - and they plan to make the pirates their slaves!
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Captain Plunder
- Simpson the Cat
- Sky Pirates
- The Tantaror: (First appearance)
- Knuckles needs the plans of the Floating Island to repair damage done to the Emerald Chamber in Sonic the Comic #73, "New Master Emerald". He was attempting to repair the damage without plans in Sonic the Comic #74, "The Ghost Ship, Part 1", but with no success.
- Simpson the Cat has painted a picture of his thumb at the beginning of this story. He was seen painting it in the final panel of "The Ghost Ship, Part 1".
- Captain Plunder does indeed have a chest full of ancient documents about the Floating Island. The chest appears in Sonic the Comic #77, "The Ghost Ship, Part 4", and Knuckles finally takes it away in Sonic the Comic #79, "The Ghost Ship, Part 6".
- Captain Plunder mentions that it was from this chest that he got the map to the Lost Pyramid of Sandopolis, which he used in "Mystery of the Sandopolis Zone" in Sonic the Comic #47 and #48. (An editorial comment mentions only STC #47.)
Shining Force - "The Curse of Zeon, Part 3"
- Script: Nigel Kitching
- Art: Martin Griffiths
- Colouring: Gina Hart
- Lettering: Tom Frame
Baron Kadavaar prepares to strike down Max, who once sealed the demon Zeon (Kadavaar's master) in the abyss. But first, Max teleports his grandson Bowie and their friends Taya (an elf) and Zynk (a robot) to Zynk's aeroplane. Taya wants to go back to help Max, but Zynk insists that they find out what Zeon is up to.
Elsewhere, followers of Zeon obtain a cache of guns and other weapons from an archaeological dig. They will soon learn the magic of such ancient objects...
After a six hour flight, Zynk, Bowie and Taya arrive at the village of Hassan. They are attacked by a centaur named Chester, who believes they are servants of Zeon and swiftly defeats them all. He stops when an image of Max appears out of Bowie's sword - Max knew Chester's grandfather. Max unites the four heroes into a new Shining Force.
Tails! - "Fox on the Run, Part 3"
Tails is helping the young mouse Tantrum get back to the Metropolis Zone. They are both in caverns underground, but Fleabyte the bounty hunter is tracking them on the surface with an infra-red heat scanner that detects their body heat. When it starts to go on the blink, Fleabyte guesses they must be somewhere very hot.
Indeed, at that moment, Tails and Tantrum are plummeting towards a pool of lava! And Tails is too tired to fly them to safety! Fortunately, they are "rescued" by a pair of Grabbers who want to eat them. They manage to escape while the Grabbers are arguing.
Tantrum briefly throws another tantrum, but they soon find a chute leading up to the surface. But when Tantrum accidentally puts his foot on a hidden button, the walls start closing in on them. Tails grabs Tantrum and flies straight up! It's close, but they make it onto the surface.
Tails is glad to be out of trouble, but just then Fleabyte catches up to them, and he's got a very big gun aimed right at them.