Archie Sonic Universe Issue 73 is the seventy-third issue of the Archie Sonic Universe comic series.
It starts with a spark! 'Spark of Life,' Part 3. Shocking truths are exposed as Dr. Ellidy reveals the tragic origin of the beloved A.I., Nicole! Meanwhile, Phage erupts from the shadows of the Digital World to sew chaos on the island! Can our heroes rally to save Nicole and drive off this new threat? Night is falling, and terrible monsters are closing in! Don't miss this exciting next chapter in the latest Sonic Universe epic, featuring all-new cover art from Sonic artist supreme Tracy Yardley, and a special new 'EXTREME BFFs' variant cover from My Little Pony artist Agnes Garbowska!
Having been discovered by Ellidy, Sally questions him regarding the strange structure she discovered on the side of his house: a shrine to a young female Lynx. After Ellidy is angered by her observation that the girl resembles Nicole, Sally questions why Ellidy is so averse to his own creation. Ellidy then reveals that the girl honored by the shrine is his late daughter Nikki, whom Nicole was apparently intended to save the life of. Meanwhile, inside Ellidy's computer systems, Phage appears to Nicole, while at the same time observing Ellidy and Sally through one of Ellidy's Needlenose Badniks. She notes that living beings can carry secrets that would be lost with their death, whereas data is much harder to permanently erase. After introducing herself to Nicole, she questions the Lynx-based A.I., and reveals that Nicole fascinates her. However, Nicole is quick to learn that Phage is responsible for the attacks on Ellidy, Sally, and Big, and attempts to contain Phage within a firewall--only for it to fail miserably. Phage reveals that she had an objective in mind in invading Ellidy's system, and attacks Nicole in order to learn more about her more quickly.
A flashback features Ellidy in a room in the middle of the night with Professor Charles the Hedgehog worrying about his friend. Ellidy is working on a mysterious program, and Charles gets an idea about the Roboticizer. Back in the present, Sally understands that Ellidy's daughter, name Nikki, was not Nicole, and Ellidy puts in that she's dead and that he hoped she could live on in some form via the digitizer. However his attempt failed, and Nicole was the result. She apologizes about Nikki and explains it's not fair to blame Nicole for her death. Ellidy tells her that he didn't blame her and said he gave her to Sally instead of deleting it all. Now that he sees Nicole walking around like she is today and Nikki never got to see. Sally tries to reason with him and convince him that Nicole has the same regard for him as Nikki, but he refuses to listen. Sally then realizes that their sudden arguing is due to the monsters present. Despite Ellidy's insistance that his badniks will protect them, Sally tells him that is not the case. She runs inside Ellidy while the monsters are right behind them.
Sally wakes up Tails and Big and she and Ellidy get to the lab, where she tells the boys to get in as well. The door suddenly shuts and won't open, leaving Ellidy and Sally trapped inside and preventing Tails and Big from entering as well. Sally tries to get Nicole, but Phage appears and introduces herself. When Sally asks who she works for, Phage shows the Eggman Empire symbol, revealing her allegiance to Eggman. Sally asks if Phage will release Nicole if she surrenders the Emerald, but Phage refuses. Ellidy suggests deleting everything get rid of Phage, but that would also cost Nicole and her life and Sally refuses to let that happen. In the meantime, Tails tells Sally that the monsters are breaking in, while Big is trying to block the door to prevent them from entering. Sally tells them to hold them off for the while, but Tails is worried.
Another flashback features Sally in bed in her pajamas. She hears her program and asks Nicole what time it is. She notices her disappearance and the door is left opened. She then sees a shadowy figure and orders it to stop, asking who it is. It revels itself to be Nicole in her Lynx form. She wants to go outside and see the stars for the first time. Sally drags Nicole out to see the start together.
Back in the Digital Realm, Nicole manages to break free from Phage's trap and runs away from the pursuing virus army. She hides inside a structure resembling a house to escape the horde. The house's interior contains photos of Nikki, featuring her with her father on the beach, in a Chao Garden, and winning first prize at a science fair in Empire City. Before she can discover anything about Nikki, Phage breaks in. Unable to bear this, Sally takes off her vest and hands Ellidy one of her blades, telling him she's using the digitizer to save Nicole. Ellidy insists it's too dangerous, especially for her since she's the Acorn princess, but Sally is adamant, telling Ellidy that Nicole's someone worth saving. Just as Phage is about to destroy Nicole, she is confronted by Sally. Phage accepts the challenge.
- It is revealed that Dr. Ellidy had a daughter who passed away.
- Nicole and Phage finally meet, leading to a confrontation between the two.
- More flashbacks show how hard Dr. Ellidy had been working on Nicole, and, just like in the old world, Sally first saw Nicole's lynx form one night at Castle Acorn, and they saw the stars together.
- Sally recognizes Dark Gaia's influence after briefly falling under it, and she and Dr. Ellidy head indoors while Dark Gaia's Minions and Phage-controlled Badniks attack.
- Tails and Big engage in a fight against Dark Gaia's and Phage's forces.
- Phage introduces herself to Sally and Dr. Ellidy, and reveals that she is working for Dr. Eggman and is after the Red Star Rings and a Chaos Emerald on the island.
- Sally enters the Digital World to confront Phage and protect Nicole.
- The flashback in which Sally wakes up in the middle of the night to encounter Nicole's lynx form for the first time is reminiscent of "Stargazing" from Sonic the Hedgehog #151 (which marked the debut of said form). Nicole states that she wanted to see the stars, just like in the aforementioned story.
- This issue marks the first time the new continuity version of Sally is seen without her vest, revealing the rest of her black tank top.
- This is the first time Sally is shown with out her gloves on since issue 230 of the original timeline.
Cameos and References
- When Sally is inside the digital world, she has a green diamond-shaped cursor over her head reminiscent of the cursors above characters in the life simulator video game series The Sims.