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- This issue takes place at roughly the same time as Sonic the Hedgehog #213 and Sonic the Hedgehog #214.
Archie Sonic Universe Issue 17 is the seventeenth issue of the Sonic Universe spin-off series.
Tails takes the spotlight in this brand new adventure! The twin-tailed fox treats his friends Bunnie and Antoine to a long over-due honeymoon on the remote and idyllic Cocoa Island... but not remote enough to keep a brand new villainous force from spoiling the party! Who are these foul fowl? What do they want? And more importantly, will our heroes survive their first encounter with the fine-feathered fiends?
"Trouble in Paradise" - Part One: "No Rest for the Weary"
Tails, along with Bunnie and Antoine, are on board the Sea Fox, heading to Cocoa Island for the couple's honeymoon. Tails teasingly tells a frightened Antonie that he can put down the windshield if he wants, but he replies with a cowardly no. Tails then apologizes to Bunnie that there wasn't that much room on the Sea Fox since it was designed primarily to seat one. Bunnie says that she's just glad he's taking them to the island for their honeymoon. Tails replies that it's his pleasure since they had suffered much lately, referring to the many difficulties that had come upon them since their wedding (from the Destruction of Knothole to the Iron Dominion conflict). Bunnie replies that he could use some time for himself aside from his journey with Sonic, Sally, and Monkey Khan during their mission in the Dragon Kingdom. Coming up to Cocoa Island, Tails is surprised to find three sister islands, telling Bunnie that he remembers there only being two sister islands, and the third isn't on his map. Antoine asks where he got the map, and Tails says that he had made it himself as no one else should know about the place. Antonie suggests that Tails simply hadn't gotten around to it yet, but Tails is still dubious at the notion of having overlooked an entire island. He then figures he might have been too focused on Cocoa Island itself. He shrugs it off and says that he'll land them on the beach, to which the others agree. On the third island, a mysterious periscope pops out of the ground.
From within an underground control room, two blue Mobian birds watch the the trio as they remove luggage from the Sea Fox. One wonders why people are there in the first place, saying that no one else is suppose to know about the island. The other suggest they should report it to the Battle Lord, but the first immediately shoots that notion down, fearing the anger of their superior. The second then suggests they just "lob some missiles at them" but the first protests, saying they would get "plucked, executed, and demoted" for "unauthorized ordinance." Behind the two, a third bird coldly tells them that all they're going to do for the time being is to sit down and observe the "interlopers."
At the beach, Bunnie asks Tails if he won't be lonesome all by himself. Tails replies that he has plenty of "pet projects" in his workshop, and asks in return if they won't be bored. He then departs, leaving the rather amorous couple to themselves.
Tails travels up a path to his workshop, reflecting on how he came to have this "home away from home." He had come across the island while returning from his first trip to Downunda, and, after Sonic was thought to have perished during the Xorda Attack on Mobius, returned there to build the workshop, a project that helped him cope during the time. Taking to the air, he reflects on how he hadn't told anyone about it as he'd feared that, being seen as a kid, he wouldn't be allowed to return to the island; however, now he believes the others consider him a true Freedom Fighter.
Back in the control room, the birds observe Tails' flight with utter shock. The two birds at the control panel begin to panic and flail, wondering how this is possible ("How can its tails even do that--?!"). The third bird glares; he mutters "The only Mobians meant to enjoy the skies are the birds." He tells the others to continue monitoring while he reports to the Battle Lord.
For the vacationers, the day goes pleasantly. Antoine and Bunnie set up camp on the beach, assembling a tent, collecting firewood and enjoying the water (Antoine swims while Bunnie stands on her telescoped robotic legs). Tails, meanwhile, spruces up his workshop and pulls out some schematics, working on a computer and assembling a small robot. He uploads an operating system into the robot and activates it, creating a small, canine-like creature.
Later, as the sun sets, Antoine and Bunnie sit by their campfire, relaxing. Antoine breaks the silence and then hesitantly asks Bunnie if she ever worries that they married too early. Bunnie takes playful offense at being asked such a question while on a honeymoon, flustering her husband. Then she says that, considering their ages, people might've thought it a rushed marriage before the Great War. However, she points out that times have changed since then, and that they've been fighting in a rebellion since childhood, forcing them to grow up fast. Smiling, Antoine says that he had figured it that way, but just wanted to ensure she was content with the way things were; Bunnie replies that she couldn't be happier and that there's nothing to worry about. Not far down the beach, a boat hits the shore and deploys shadowed figures...
Tails, asleep in the workshop, is suddenly awoken by a large explosion. Jumping out of bed, he runs to a window and sees a raging fire. Worried, he realizes he needs to find Bunnie and Antoine fast.
On the beach, the honeymooners find themselves faced with a wall of flame as the jungle itself burns; Bunnie realizes that if this is a deliberate attack, they can't hide among the trees now. They quickly rule out their other escape options, as Bunnie's telescopic legs aren't long enough to let them escape out into the ocean and she can't fly with all the smoke. They decide to find Tails and then get to the Sea Fox; unfortunately, they soon find themselves surrounded by Battle Birds wielding laser pistols and piloting mechanical walkers. Undeterred, the two go on the offense. Antoine quickly dispatches two birds, grabbing a pistol in the process, while berating them for interrupting their already long-delayed honeymoon. Bunnie, meanwhile, deflects fire from one of the walkers with her arm-mounted shield before punching a large hole through the machine, forcing its pilot to jump out.
Tails hurries from the workshop with his new robot, T-Pup, by his side. T-Pup deploys a propeller and the two take to the air, only to be confronted by Battle Birds piloting flying pods. Tails deftly dodges blasts from their flamethrowers, reflecting on how once again he's gotten caught up in an unintentional adventure. He reflects on how, in the past, he often needed rescuing from others and desired to be thought of as more than just a child. However, he realizes, that was then, and this is now; dodging another attack, he shoots forward, destroying one of the pods. He swoops around and pulls two pilots from their vehicles. He zips between two others, causing them to shoot each other; laughing, he says that with such terrible aim, they must have set the jungle on fire purely by accident. Suddenly, something cuts him off; Tails notes that whoever it was must be fast, but they'll have to see who's better at flying. Unfortunately, the figure swoops in again, too fast for Tails to follow, and strikes him.
Back on the beach, Antoine attempts to tell the birds to stand down, not wanting to use the pistol. Bunnie saves him from an approaching walker. Antoine grumbles that he misses his sword, while Bunnie, activating her arm cannon, says that she won't be able to keep up such an intense pace forever. Suddenly, another mech emerges from the fires behind the two. Bunnie uses her energy shield to protect them both from its shots while Antoine attempts to retaliate with the laser pistol. Suddenly, the mech launches an electrically-tethered fist, striking through Bunnie's shield and knocking her into Antoine. The two collapse in a heap.
Battle Birds approach the fallen Freedom Fighters. One congratulates the mech pilot, while other two muse over Bunnie and Antoine's skill, thinking they must be some sort of special ops forces. One wonders why they've arrived on the island, since no one is supposed to know they're there; the other muses that one of the "rogues" may have gotten mouthy, and that they'll take Bunnie and Antoine prisoner to find out what they're up to. They wonder if they should call it in to another of their team, but then decide that he's having fun and to not interrupt.
Above the beach, Tails attempts to fight the green bird, demanding to know why he and his friends were attacked. He asks if the birds are part of a Dark Egg Legion chapter or a mercenary group; not getting any answers, he protests that they didn't do anything to them in the first place. Without a word, the bird arcs up before attacking Tails from above; the fox is knocked down, hitting the roof of the workshop before collapsing on the ground. As Tails attempts to get up, the bird lands before him, glaring coldly. He announces that all Tails needs to know is that his name is Speedy of the Battle Bird Armada, and that he will be his end.
An off-screen narrator comments on how several of the characters featured in the issue have descriptive names; Tails's name referring to his twin tails, Speedy's referring to his aerial agility, and Bunnie Rabbot's referring to her being a half-robotic rabbit. The last panel shows a somewhat miffed Antoine, the narrator only being able to offer that his name is due to him being French.
- Antoine: "Will we be bored," he asks.
- Bunnie: You hush. He's still a young'un.
- Antoine: (to the Battle Birds) Zis was ze first night of our honeymoon, you imbecile! We are already late having eet! Eet was starlit and romantic and everything!
- Speedy: (to Tails) Here is all you need to know! I am Speedy, the sixteenth Battlekukku of the Battle Bird Armada! And I am your end, freak!
- Tails, Antoine, and Bunnie arrive on Cocoa island and discover what appears to be a previously unnoticed third sister island.
- Tails constructs T-Pup.
- Bunnie and Antoine are captured by the Battle Bird Armada.
- Tails is intercepted by Speedy.
- This is an adaption of the classic Tails Adventure game.
- The Battle Bird Armada (known as the Battle Kukku Army in Japan) from Tails Adventure makes its first appearance in this arc.
- The Sea Fox makes its first reappearance since SSS #6.
- Antoine and Bunnie's honeymoon begins after the events of roughly fifty issues since their wedding: thirty-eight from StH #175-212 (not counting 213, which takes place at the same time as this issue) and twelve from SU 1-4 and 9-16 (not counting 5-8, which cover an alternate universe). The delay was caused by a number of events, including the Destruction of Knothole, the relocation to New Mobotropolis, Enerjak's rampage, the Suppression Squad invasion, the Invasion of the Eggdome, and finally the conflict with the Iron Dominion.
- The "rogues" referred to by the Battle Bird Armada soldiers are undoubtedly Predator Hawk, Bean the Dynamite, and the Babylon Rogues, all of whom foreshadowed the Armada's appearance with brief mentions of having deserted it.
- The mech that attacked Bunnie and Antoine was later revealed to be the Mole Mech in SU #19.
- It would be revealed in SU #20 that the mysterious third island was really the Battle Fortress in disguise.
- In the fifth Sonic Universe graphic novel, it was revealed that this arc was originally intended to follow "Echoes of the Past" (#9-12), but was moved to allow room for "Journey to the East" (#13-16).
This issue has been reprinted in the following places:
- Sonic Universe Vol 5: The Tails Adventure
- A selection was reprinted in Sonic Super Special Magazine #8
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