Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 178 was the one hundred and seventy-eighth issue of the main Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
Sonic's hometown of New Mobotropolis has been devastated by unspeakable threats from beyond; but what about those within? There's talk of revolution, and Sonic will have to choose sides! Will the leaders of the rebellion drive a wedge between Sonic and Tails forever? It's the fight everyone's feared but never thought they'd see: mentor vs. protege, friend vs. friend, Sonic vs. Tails!
- "House of Cards" - Part One
NICOLE, interfacing with the television in the Prower household, showed a recording from not long ago; Amadeus Prower leading a large group of Mobian citizens to Castle Acorn. Tails and his mother Rosemary Prower watched with some aprehension as NICOLE apologized, saying she wanted to inform them of the situation herself. Tails was distressed, but his mother explained that she and her husband had thought that, with everyone now safe in New Mobotropolis, this would be a good time to attempt government reform. Sonic cut in, saying that an angry mob was not the way to do things and added, "Seriously, I thought this guy was a tactician." Tails glared at the hedgehog, who remained oblivious as to the effects of his comment, and Rosemary curtly suggested to her son that they step outside for some fresh air. Sonic was confused by their blunt exit, prompting Nicole to remind him that Amadeus is, after all, Tails' father. Saying he understood that, Sonic nevertheless maintained that Amadeus' move was a dumb one, especially after Tails had worked so hard to save his family. Nicole pointed out that she had noticed a lot of tension between Sonic and Tails lately; Sonic, thinking she was referring to their short spat after the destruction of Freedom HQ, brushed it off as the stress of the moment. Nicole however clarified that she meant since Sonic's return from space, and suggested that he talk with the young fox. Sonic dismissed this as well, saying that he and Tails were fine as they were "practically brothers." He then excused himself, wanting to see Knuckles before the echidna left for Angel Island, and sped from the house, blowing by Tails and Rosemary who watched him leave with some indignation.
Outside of Uncle Chuck's restaurant, Julie-Su was attempting to dissuade Knuckles from returning to Angel Island alone, but he insisted otherwise. Exasperated, Julie attempted to get Vector the Crocodile to back her up, but Knuckles continued to insist he'd go alone, explaining that now that things were more stable on the surface, he could take the time to check on the safety of the island. Julie-Su continued to plead, but Knuckles added that he would have his father Locke to assist him should there be trouble, and furthermore, that he had issues to discuss with his father that he wanted to do alone. Sonic arrived just before Knuckles was about to leave, planning to use the Guiding Star Gem to teleport to the island. Sonic offered the use of the grey Chaos Emerald instead, but Knuckles thought it would only put it at unnecessary risk as there were currently multiple warring factions on the island. Turning to Julie-Su, he promised to contact her once he arrived on the island, and while she continued to show her displeasure, she finally agreed. Bidding farewell, Knuckles activated the gem and departed. Vector put a hand on Julie's shoulder, telling her that Knuckles would be able to take care of himself, to which she replied, "He better."
King Elias entered the detention center, intending to speak with Amadeus Prower about his actions earlier in the day. Entering the cell block, he was taunted and threatened by Bean the Dynamite and Nack the Weasel before Mammoth Mogul impatiently commanded them to be silent. Slightly surprised by this, Elias thanked Mogul before addressing Amadeus; he asked the meaning of the riot earlier. Amadeus assured the king it was nothing personal and insisted it was not a riot, saying that he merely thought the king would listen to the voices of the people. Slightly annoyed, Elias pointed out that this consisted of half the city calling for him to step down. Amadeus said that if Elias truly loved his people he would step down, and went on to explain his reasoning; that, under the rule of the Kingdom of Acorn, they'd been dragged into the Great War, lead to the reign of Dr. Robotnik, and lost both Mobotropolis and Knothole. He went on to add that it was a group of children forming the Knothole Council and Freedom Fighters who proved the most effective and that, while meaning no disrespect, Elias had no experience in ruling a nation. He went on to add that during his time on Argentium, he saw the effectiveness of a government ruled by its people and only wanted the same for his own people. He asked the overwhelmed king if that answered his questions and bid him good day.
Outside, Sonic marveled at the new city, saying that while he missed Knothole, New Mobotropolis still felt like home despite being made of nanites. He then spotted Elias on a bench and greeted him, but it soon became apparent that the young king was unhappy. Elias explained that he felt out of place, saying that he'd grown up an adventurer on Angel Island and had cracked under the pressures of his royal duties previously, and yet had been crowned king. Sonic attempted to reassure him, saying that people were only tense because of the recent destruction of Knothole, but Elias believed the problem was further reaching and explained that he would readily give power to the people if not for one person... and King Max, with Queen Alicia pushing his wheelchair, appeared. The former king told his son they had much to discuss, only receiving a dry answer from his son, and continued on to say Elias needed to decide punishment for the traitors and their leader. Elias pointed out that General Prower had been imprisoned, but when he mentioned taking it to trial, the former king cut him off, saying that a trial would be a waste of time and that they needed to deal with those whom he felt were conspiring against the kingdom severely. Sonic meekly pointed out that this would mean arresting half the city, and the king reacted with what almost seemed like a moment of senility. Attempting to get back on track, Elias told his father that he felt that they'd reacted too strongly to Amadeus' rally, saying that it reflected the desires of the people. Angrily, Max pointed out that the people could say all they wanted, but it didn't change the fact that the Acorns had been ruling for hundreds of years and would continue to do so. Blaming the rise in tempers on the weather, the former king announced that his family should return to the castle, and Elias glumly followed, leaving Sonic somewhat confused at the escalation of events.
Later that evening, under cover of darkness, Tails airlifted his mother over the wall of the detention center. He began to tamper with the wiring controlling the door, but NICOLE appeared, warning against breaking into the facility before, with shock, she recognized the culprit. Tails tore out the wiring, effectively "unplugging" NICOLE from the center. Inside, Mogul idly praised Amadeus for having a "remarkable boy," citing all of Tails' potential and the fact that he had used Tails' power to sustain himself for a time. He added that Amadeus should be proud of all Tails had so far accomplished, and Amadeus replied that he was. Casually, Mogul said that Amadeus could add "aiding and abetting" to the list of Tails' achievements, prompting the general to look up; to his shock, he found Tails and Rosemary. Rosemary quickly explained that they were there to free Amadeus, adding that if they acted quickly they could stave off civil war. This surprised Amadeus, and Rosemary went on to explain that their protest earlier, combined with overreaction from the monarchy, had resulted in high tensions; she feared that if they did not act immediately, things would become further unstable. Amadeus, however, did not want his wife and son imprisoned as well, though Tails dismissed his concerns as he worked the wiring to Amadeus' cell, saying he'd protect his family.
At his home, Sonic was shocked out of sleep by the sudden appearance of NICOLE. Annoyed, he said that despite her ability to appear anywhere in the city, he would appreciate her knocking next time, and she apologized, saying she was still getting used to life as a physical being. Sonic asked what was happening, and NICOLE explained that there was a break-in at the detention center; however, Sonic raced away before NICOLE could add the identity of the perpetrator.
Free from his cell, Amadeus hugged his wife, who said that it was only fair she free him from prison as the speech she'd written had helped put him in jail. Bean began calling out from his cell, alerting the Prowers to Sonic's arrival. Tails quickly sneaked from sight as Rosemary stood before her husband, insisting he'd done nothing wrong. Sonic pointed out that starting a riot against the king technically counts as treason. Rosemary said that the people sided with Amadeus, and that that had to mean something. Sonic conceded it meant that people agreed with him but still insisted it was the wrong way to go about things, and that breaking out of jail wouldn't help matters. Desperate, Rosemary asked how Sonic would feel knowing he kept Tails' father in jail. Sonic replied that while the Prowers were his real family, Tails grew up with him. He added, "Heck, the kid worships me. He'll get over it."
Dropping from a panel in the ceiling, Tails punched Sonic, replying "Get over yourself." He then told his parents to escape while he kept the hedgehog busy. Rosemary refused, but Amadeus said it would be their only chance. Angrily Rosemary attempted to stop her husband, but Amadeus pointed out that Tails, having fought Dr. Robotnik and other villains for years, was more than capable. As Sonic recovered, he bitterly told Tails that he would let the punch slide given the situation, but insisted Tails get out of his way. The young fox refused. Outside, Rosemary continued to lament leaving her son behind, and Amadeus admitted that he didn't like it either, and added that they'd have to get out of the city. Rosemary refused, saying that they needed to end the situation as fast as possible. With Sonic busy, they felt that they wouldn't have much trouble getting into the castle, and decided to confront Elias directly and have him step down. Thinking about it, Amadeus added that they would need to stop by their house briefly...
Back in the detention center, Tails continued to attack Sonic, much to the amusement of the prisoners. Angry, Sonic demanded that Tails cut it out, but the fox refused to back down. Mogul taunted the hedgehog, further aggravating him. Sonic finally gave in as Tails raced towards him, saying that if the fox wanted a fight, he'd get one.
- Bean: Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! I got one! What's blue and fuzzy and runny?
- Amadeus: Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Bean: ...I was going to say "cheese" but that works, too.
- Sonic: (not knowing that Tails is behind him) I know you're his real family, but he grew up with me. Heck, the kid practically worships me. He'll get over it.
- Tails: (hits Sonic from behind) Get over yourself.
- Mogul: Which shall it be, wretch? The great hero defeated by a pup, or the great hero who beats up children?
- Sonic: You're not helping! Fine!
- Amadeus Prower leads a revolution against the Acorn family and is jailed following its aftermath.
- Knuckles takes off to help his father out on Angel Island.
- Amadeus Prower later breaks out of jail with help from Tails.
- Sonic and Tails begin their battle.
- This is the first time in the series that Sonic and Tails are seen fighting each other with no form of mind control.
- This issue features Data Files for New Mobotropolis and some of its buildings, as well as Freedom HQ.
- This issue marks the final use of Knuckles' Guiding Star Gem. Writer Ian Flynn revealed in his forum that Knuckles lost it when he was being attacked by the Destructix when he returned to the island. It would later be replaced by a Warp Ring passed down to him from his father.
This issue has been reprinted in the following places:
- Sonic Saga Series Vol. 4: House of Cards
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