Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 271 is the two hundred and seventy-first issue of the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog series.
Grab a front row seat for the finale to the brawl-iest, punch-iest, contest-iest Sonic comic saga yet! “Champions” Part Four: It’s the battle you’ve all been waiting for (again!): Sonic versus Knuckles—for the title and the Chaos Emerald! The old rivalry blazes to life as the True Blue and Rad Red throw down for glory—and for the fate of the entire world! But with the vengeful Hooligans waiting in the shadows, and Metal Sonic en route, will they even get to finish their fight, or will their foes beat them to the punch? Featuring new cover art from Sonic art legend Tracy Yardley and a super-special new ARCADE VARIANT by the latest Sonic art superstar RAFA KNIGHT!
- Champions - Finale: "The One Left Standing"
Breezie watches from high above the Casino Park Arena as the final match of the Chaos Emerald Championship begins. Sonic and Knuckles spring into action, trading blows and reminiscing on their past brawls. Sonic takes a moment to wonder how Breezie event got a Chaos Emerald, but Knuckles is just frustrated that he isn't concentrating on their fight.
Just a few weeks earlier, the Super Special Sonic Search and Smash Squad scrambled their way into Breezie's office. They show their boss the Chaos Emerald they found while repairing damage caused by the world-shattering earthquake; Scratch, Grounder, and Coconuts each try to claim responsibility for finding it. Breezie is pleased and decides a tournament is the perfect way to profit from its power.
As their battle continues, Sonic asks Knuckles why he left Angel Island. Knuckles tells him that he's searching for pieces of the now-shattered Master Emerald. Realizing that Angel Island will fall from the sky if Knuckles does not collect the shards before the planet is restored, Sonic offers to throw their fight so he can continue his search. Knuckles refuses and the fight continues. They trade blows while their friends and foes watch attentively.
Meanwhile, Bark keeps watch while Bean places bombs on the casino's power generator, using chewing gum as a substitute for plastic explosives. Nack steadies his aim on Sonic and Knuckles, switching to an infrared scope and signalling Bean to detonate the bombs. The generator is destroyed and the power goes out, surprising the fighters as well as the audience. Getting overconfident, Nack tries to set up a shot where he can take out Sonic and Knuckles at the same time. As he realigns his sights, Metal Sonic bursts in through a nearby wall and flies past the heroes.
Metal enters the casino vault, noting that the defenses are down and the door is curiously open. He nabs the Chaos Emerald within, but Sonic is in pursuit. Metal flies through the building, dodging attacks by Knuckles, Amy, Espio and Honey before bursting through the roof to escape Sonic. As he tries to flee, Metal is swatted out of the air by Tails, who takes back the emerald and informs him that the casino's backup generator has activated. Sonic arrives on the roof and asks Metal if he's willing to fight all of them and Breezie's defenses for the emerald. Realizing it's useless, Dr. Eggman orders Metal to return to the Death Egg for repairs so he can search for the next emerald. Hesitating for a moment, Metal retreats. Sonic declares Tails the "winner" of the Championship for making a fool of Metal Sonic.
Later that day, Honey signs a deal with Breezie to outfit her staff exclusively with custom-designed clothes. Breezie admits that Honey's initiative and risk-taking nature impressed her. With that said, Honey decides to ask Breezie about the day's events. She points out that the Hooligans were added to the tournament at the last minute and Metal Sonic appeared once they were eliminated. She notes that Breezie's security robots didn't try to stop Metal Sonic, but Breezie credits the villains for being too skilled. She shares with Honey that the battle between Metal and Sonic's friends made the tournament a profitable experience for her company. Honey finds her way of thinking a bit shrewd, but Breezie points out that Honey resorted to unkind tactics to defeat Tails in the tournament and assures her that she'll understand one day. Honey sheepishly leaves, troubled about what she's done.
Meanwhile, Sonic asks Knuckles to come with them to the Sky Patrol so they can try and help him on his quest for the emerald shards. Knuckles agrees, introducing the group to Chip the Light Gaia. The group heads back to the Sky Patrol as the sun sets, talking about how they've gathered four Chaos Emeralds and can use Amy's mastery of the Mystic Melody to track down the rest, as well as the Gaia Temples. The sun sets and Sonic transforms into the Werehog, startling Knuckles and Chip. Aboard the Sky Patrol, Sally and Nicole have a video call with Gregorios, who reveals that he knows how to stop Dark Gaia's Minions and fix the shattered world.
- Off Panel - Masterbot Theatre Presents: "An Evening with Metal Sonic."
Masterbot Theatre interviews Metal Sonic, who claims that he will eviscerate all who oppose him. The narrator mentions that Rocket Metal Sonic appeared in the 2012 release of the game "Champions" was based on, but he doesn't appear in the comics. The narrator asks Metal why this is the case. Metal explains that using the Rocket Metal form was difficult. He then flashes back to the past, where he is unable to stand up because his head in Rocket Metal form is too heavy. Written by Jonathan Gray, Pencils by Lamar Wells, Inks by Terry Austin, Colors by Steven Lisefski.
- Breezie: "This is a lovely surprise. These things are usually so hard to come by..."
- Scratch: "Whatcha gonna do with it, boss? Sell it to the highest bidder?"
- Coconuts: "No! Use its power to turn your media empire into a literal empire!"
- Grounder: "Ooh! Ooh! Make it into a snowglobe!"
- Breezie: "Why not do all of the above? Pull in a fortune, increase my followers and...heh...shake things up to make a spectacle of it all. Oh, I know exactly what to do with this."
- Bean: "I'm almost done. We still clear?"
- Bark: *Thumbs Up*
- Bean: "Groovy! Heh heh -- Nack puts the silent guy on watch duty, and I'm the crazy one?"
- Nack: "Haha! Rumor was you were transforming at night, Sonic. I didn't know it was into an unmoving target!"
- The final match of the Chaos Emerald Championship begins.
- A flashback reveals how Breezie got her hands on the green Chaos Emerald.
- The Hooligans stage a diversion while Metal Sonic steals the Chaos Emerald.
- Tails retrieves the Chaos Emerald from Metal Sonic.
- Honey strikes a business deal with Breezie.
- Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Chip return to the Sky Patrol.
- Knuckles and Chip learn about Sonic's Werehog form.
- Gregorios contacts Sally, claiming to know how to fix the shattered world.
- This is Paul Kaminski's final issue as editor of the Sonic the Hedgehog series. The Sonic-Grams column features a farewell letter, celebrating Vincent Lovallo's appointment as the book's new editor.
Cameos & References
- Antoine, Rouge, and Vector make cameo appearances in this issue, watching Sonic and Knuckles' match on television. Antoine smugly roots for Knuckles while Vector anxiously clutches his bet on the match.
- Nack announces his "mark" and Bean replies with "Twain", referencing the pen name of Samuel Clemens.
- The vehicle that Sonic and his friends use to return to the Sky Patrol, briefly seen in StH #268, is based on his vehicle in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.
- A purple fish girl is seen in the audience during Sonic and Knuckles' match, and has been speculated to be the traveling daughter of King Puff and Queen Angelica.
- Scratch and Grounder are drawn with their original designs on the cover.
- Sonic and Knuckles' battleground is listed as "Casino Park Area" instead of "Casino Park Arena".
- Gregorios' name is spelled "Gregarios".
- In this issue's Off Panel, the narrator says that Rocket Metal "attacked [the] heroes" in Sonic the Fighters' 2012 release. This is incorrect, as Rocket Metal is only playable by hacking earlier versions of the game.