|Sonic the Comic #88|
15 October 1996
- Editor: Deborah Tate
- Features Editor: Audrey Wong
- Designer: Gary Knight
- Production: Sarah Colley
- Consultant: Richard Burton
Sonic the Hedgehog - "The Ultimate Nightmare"
In the Chaotix Crew's satellite headquarters in the Special Zone, Sonic the Hedgehog explains that Super Sonic is not frozen in time within the Omni-Viewer as previously thought: his hands have changed position. Charmy says he's known this for a while, but didn't say anything because Vector would just yell at him. Vector responds: "Ridiculous! I never yell at you!" They realise that Omni has not stopped time within his force-field, merely slowed it down to a crawl. When Super Sonic eventually does get free, they'll all be in big trouble...
However, they don't get a chance to ponder this further, because Mighty finds a small chest in the middle of the floor. Sonic doesn't want them to get distracted from the big issue, but Chaotix gather around and open it... and are immediately caught in a cloud of green smoke and forced to live out their worst nightmares! The chest is Lightmare's Box of Nightmares. Lord Sidewinder and his gang (Lightmare, Bio-Hazard and Mr. Fry) climb out of the box - they had used a shrinking device supplied by Nack the Weasel in order to hide and lay an ambush for Chaotix.
Sidewinder approaches the trapped Super Sonic, whom he identifies as "probably the most powerful creature in the universe!" Sidewinder wants to make Super Sonic his slave but Sonic, who was not affected by the Box of Nightmares, says he's crazy. Super Sonic can't be controlled: he'll kill Sidewinder and then probably destroy the whole planet! The villains attack Sonic, who takes out Lightmare first, only to find that this does not snap Chaotix out of their nightmares. Bio-Hazard sneaks up behind him and vomits green toxic waste at Sonic, who dives out of the way. However, the toxic waste instead goes all over Sidewinder! The toxic waste is lethal in its potency, but Bio-Hazard has an antidote back at their hideout - Sonic lets them take Sidewinder and leave, which they do by shrinking themselves down and climbing back in the Box of Nightmares, which vanishes in a puff of green smoke...
Chaotix wake up from their nightmares and Sonic tells them what happened. In particular, he says that Sidewinder mentioned another character... name of Nack the Weasel!
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Lord Sidewinder
- Mister Fry
- Super Sonic
- Super Sonic was trapped in the Omni-Viewer in Sonic the Comic #86, "Heroes & Villains, Part 3". In that issue, Charmy noticed that Super Sonic had slightly changed position. Super Sonic will eventually escape from the Omni-Viewer in Sonic the Comic #97, "Doomsday, Part 1".
- Lord Sidewinder previously attempted to use Super Sonic to conquer Planet Meridian in Sonic the Comic #85, "Heroes & Villains, Part 2". He has since become obsessed with this aim, and will once again attempt to control Super Sonic in "Doomsday" (Sonic the Comic #97 to #99).
- Nack the Weasel, mentioned in this issue, returns in the following issue ("The Tomb, Part 1"). He last appeared in the Knuckles Knock-Out Special, "Traitor of the Lost Pyramid".
- This story is the only main Sonic the Hedgehog strip for which Nigel Kitching provided both the script and the artwork. He was ordinarily not allowed to do this for the main strip, for reasons he never understood, instead providing either the script to be drawn by other artists, or providing the art for a script drawn by Lew Stringer. However, Kitching did provide both art and script on the Tails story "The Revenge of Trogg" from Sonic the Comic #59 to #64, as well as on the vast majority of Decap Attack strips.
- This story was reprinted in Sonic the Comic #209.
Knuckles - "The Good, the Bad and the Echidna, Part 2"
Knuckles has been falsely accused of starting an Apterix stampede and trying to kill a rancher named Rooster. He has been brought to Backwater City and locked up by the Deputy Sheriff. Rooster is apprehensive, since they have no proof, but his herder Chito is certain that it was Knuckles. The Deputy agrees to hold Knuckles until the Sheriff gets back from out of town.
Boss Krouch, mayor of Backwater and father of the Deputy, turns up to "see the prisoner". He claims to be concerned for Rooster, since they are both Apterix herders, but Rooster is suspicious and Krouch leaves. Chito also leaves, to get some food from the saloon. After they've gone, Knuckles talks to Rooster. Krouch was formerly the only supplier of Apterix meat to Metropolis City until Rooster came along. Knuckles suggests Krouch would have good motive for trying to kill Rooster, but Rooster wants to wait for the Sheriff to figure it out.
That night, at the saloon, Chito and Boss Krouch meet. Krouch had hired Chito to start the stampede in an attempt to kill Rooster, to stop him muscling in on Krouch's business. Chito is worried about Knuckles, because when the Sheriff finds out that Knuckles is innocent, Chito will be the number one suspect. But Krouch says he's already taken care of the echidna...
A leering mob breaks into the jail and drags Knuckles outside. The Deputy sits back and doesn't try to stop it. The mob ties a rope around him and throws the other end over a tree. They want to kill him, supposedly for killing one of their people. Knuckles is placed on a box, as the mob prepare to hoist him up by the rope. Knuckles is confident that he can easily escape, but he doesn't get the chance, because a bullet snaps the rope over his head and he falls to the ground. The Sheriff is back in town, and he's not happy with what he sees! He orders everyone to go home, but Knuckles has a few things he wants to complain about!
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Boss Krouch (First appearance)
- Deputy Krouch (First appearance)
- Sheriff (First appearance)
- Boss Krouch's men:
- Coyote cattle driver
- Dog with bulbous nose
- Saloon patrons
- In this issue it is revealed that Chito started the stampede from the previous issue, "The Good, the Bad and the Echidna, Part 1".
- Knuckles mentions that, wherever he goes lately someone tries to kill him. This is a reference to the events of Sonic the Comic #86, "Village of the Damned, Part 3", in which a village (under the hypnotic spell of Mesmer) attempted to burn him alive.
- The hanging scene at the end of this story was originally much more explicit. Copies of the script were sent to Sega as usual, and no comments came back (although they did insist that no alcohol could be shown in the bar scene). However, after the artwork had been finished, editor Deborah Tate was horrified by the hanging scene. Writer Nigel Kitching pointed out that changes should have been made before the script was sent to the artist (later claiming that Tate obviously had not read the script as she was supposed to), and that a recent Disney film (in his comment, Kitching claimed the film was Aladdin, but in fact it was The Hunchback of Notre Dame) had also included a hanging scene but still been given a U certificate. Nevertheless, artist Nigel Dobbyn reworked the artwork, so that the noose was not visible around Knuckles' neck (instead going around his arms) and he had not yet been hoisted off the ground before the rope was snapped. He was apparently not paid for the extra work. The dialogue was also changed (by Tate), removing references to the noose as a "neck tie" and the word "execute", among others.
- "The Good, the Bad and the Echidna" is a homage to Western films. (The whole arc of stories in which Knuckles is returning to the Floating Island with the chest happened because artist Nigel Dobbyn mentioned he would like to do genre stories.) There are several specific references to specific Westerns, for example:
- The title of the story is based on the film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach in the title roles.
- Rooster is modelled on and named after the character Rooster Cogburn from the films True Grit and Rooster Cogburn. In the films, Cogburn was played by John Wayne, who won his only Oscar for the portrayal.
- This story was reprinted in Sonic the Comic #208.
Tails - "Small Change"
Doctor Robotnik's chief scientist is Grimer, but Grimer has a cousin named Slimy who is also an inventor and a baddie. Hoping to prove himself to Robotnik, Slimy sets out with a new weapon to test. He spots Tails walking through the woods and fires, shrinking Tails to the size of an ant! After fighting off a real ant and narrowly avoiding being drowned by a dewdrop, Tails flies up to find that Slimy has unleashed a robot called the Hulko-Droid on some local villagers.
Using his size to his advantage, Tails slips in between a gap in the Hulko-Droid's armour and rips out its wiring from the inside, disabling it. When he emerges, the effects of the reducing ray begin to wear off. Slimy sets the ray to full power and fires at Tails again, but Tails dives out of the way just in time. The beam reflects off the Hulko-Droid's shiny armour back onto Slimy, who shrinks even smaller than an atom! Robotnik will never notice him now! The villagers thank Tails for saving them.
Sonic's World - "Future Shock, Part 3"
An elderly hedgehog claiming to be Sonic from the future has led Tails, Amy and Johnny into a trap within the caverns below planet Mobius! Amy and Johnny protest that Sonic would never sell them out to Doctor Robotnik, but Old Sonic says that he's seen how they get wiped out in the future, and now believes that the only chance for peace is to obey Robotnik. Robotnik himself bursts into laughter! He's amazed that Old Sonic actually believes he's from the future... when in fact he is a clone created by Robotnik!
Robotnik explains that he took a cell sample from Sonic after capturing him, and grew a duplicate in his laboratory. He planned to use the clone to attack and give Sonic a bad name, but something went wrong with the experiment and the clone aged too rapidly. Instead, he brainwashed the clone with a false memory, so he'd think he was from a future that held no hope for outlaws. Old Sonic is devastated to learn that he is a mere copy...
...but seeing as he has a copy of Sonic's powers, he uses them to smash some of Robotnik's Troopers and zoom out through the door. He runs back to the Chemical Plant Zone to find the real Sonic, but the exertion starts to take its toll. After explaining the full story, the two Sonics rush off to save their friends. As they see Troopers leading the Freedom Fighters away, Robotnik attacks them in a battle-craft - Old Sonic stays behind to deal with Robotnik while the real Sonic goes to save his friends.
Old Sonic traps Robotnik in a cocoon of speed, ripping the battle craft apart in revenge for the lies implanted in the clone's brain. However, Old Sonic can't maintain the speed for long - he has aged too fast, and he is too worn out. As Robotnik flees for his life, Sonic and the other Freedom Fighters gather around the clone as he collapses, covered in wrinkles and too old to move. He apologises for tricking them, but Sonic forgives him. "You pulled through when we needed you, pal! That makes you O.K. in my book!"
Suddenly, Old Sonic breathes his last and then transforms into pure energy, which rises into the stars! He may have been a fake, but he has given them hope for their real future - hope that one day Robotnik will be nothing but a bad memory!
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Old Sonic
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Amy Rose
- Johnny Lightfoot
- Doctor Ivo Robotnik
- Cat Badniks
- This story takes place before Sonic the Comic #84, "Heroes & Villains, Part 1", as Sonic is not yet stranded in the Special Zone.
- Tails mentions the DNA tests that "proved" Old Sonic was Sonic, which were conducted in the Chemical Plant Zone in Sonic the Comic #86, "Future Shock, Part 1".
- This story was reprinted in Sonic the Comic #209.
- Control Zone
- Review Zone
- Pixel Zone (Graphics Zone)
- Q Zone
- STC Pin-Up! - Elliott from NiGHTS
- This was the last issue of Sonic the Comic to be published by Fleetway Editions before the company was integrated with its parent company Egmont to become Egmont Fleetway.