Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 222 is the two hundred and twenty second issue in the main Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
With all the adventures, surprises and public distress, a hero needs a chance to chill out! Sonic and Sally take on a totally new kind of adventure as they venture back into the realm of being "more than friends" - or will they? Then, in "Second Impressions" Part Two: Knuckles and Dimitri - the final confrontation!
- "The World Can Wait"
Sonic races through the streets of New Mobotropolis, remarking that "the kid" has gotten faster. Ahead, Tails (followed by T-Pup), weaves through a crowd, thinking that Sonic has seen him and that he may not make it. Sonic thinks to himself that Tails weaving through the crowd to lose him is a smart move. Tails flies up towards the top of the building as Sonic catches up; the hedgehog tackles the young fox, who happily claims that he's hit base while Sonic insists he caught him in time; the two are playing Capture the Flag. Landing atop the building, Sonic offers best three out of five, and prepares to hide the flag. Tails suggests he hide it someplace "less obvious" this time, and the two banter a bit before Tails reminds Sonic that he has a date with Sally later. Sonic brushes it off, saying that it's not until the evening, and that he and Tails have lots of time to have fun.
In the Dragon Kingdom, Sally and Monkey Khan stroll through Stormtop Village, talking. Khan explains that there have been a few raids from the Yagyu, and that the politics between the Clans have been annoying, but that the people are otherwise living in peace. Sally asks about the Iron Queen, and Khan replies that she's "obnoxious, but not going anywhere" -- the Iron Queen sits miserable, deep inside an underground chamber, with Liu Fang standing guard above. Khan suspects that Sally isn't just there just to check on the Dragon Kingdom, and Sally, twirling a Warp Ring between her fingers, starts to talk about recent stressful events such as the citizens of New Mobotropolis protesting against NICOLE, Dr. Eggman's disappearance, and Geoffrey St. John's betrayal. Teasingly, Khan says that Sally isn't one to run from such challenges and asks her what her real concern is, and Sally pauses for a minute; the two share a smile. Sally tells him she has a date with Sonic that evening, and Khan, satisfied, says she can tell him about these things. He asks her if this isn't exactly what she wanted, and she says that she thinks that it is, but she's afraid of wrecking things again. She talks about how things were easier before she "messed things up" and that so much has happened since then, she's no longer sure they're the same people they once were. Ken reassures her that things will be fine, and Sally thanks him for listening, saying she just needed some time to relax. Monkey Khan then reminds her that they're on the other side of the world from New Mobotropolis -- it must be late afternoon there. Surprised, a flustered Sally activates her Warp Ring, hurriedly thanking Khan and apologizing for the sudden departure. The two exchange simple good-byes and Sally steps through the Warp Ring, exiting into New Mobotropolis -- and right into Sonic's path as he flees with a flag. The two collide and fall to the ground.
Sonic offers Sally a hand up as they both apologize, and she tells him she may be a little late for their date tonight. She waves to Tails as she runs off to Castle Acorn, and Sonic admits to the fox that he completely lost track of time. Tails merely replies with, "I told you so."
Inside her room, Sally has thrown outfits all over her bed. Her mother, Alicia Acorn, approaches, and Sally asks her for help, saying she has no plans. Alicia holds up a tiny black dress with a slight cringe, saying that dating was different back in her day (as her marriage was arranged). Sally holds up various dresses, comparing them to her usual blue dress, and when Alicia asks her if the date is formal or casual, an increasingly fretful Sally admits she has no idea. She wonders if she should do her hair up and if she has time to ask Bunnie for help. Finally, Alicia strokes her daughter's face and tells her to simply be herself, since that's the girl that Sonic likes. Sally admits that she's still not sure what that means, but thanks her mother, and the two hug.
Meanwhile, Sonic bursts into his home, and Uncle Chuck wonders what the rush is; Sonic explains he's about to be late for his date tonight. Chuck teasingly asks if he's nervous, but Sonic, shining his shoes, simply says that he wants things to go well for Sally so that they don't have to worry about all their recent troubles and it can be like old times. Chuck tells him to just relax and act the way he always does so it will be. Sonic reassures his uncle, and the two playfully bump fists.
Not long after, Sonic meets up with Sally outside of the castle, and Sally suggests they head to Chuck's Chili Dogs; while Sonic loves his uncle's restaurant, he says that for the special occasion, he got them reservations at a fancy restaurant, Creme de la Creme. Sally begins to fret over the fact that she didn't dress up at all, and the two soon arrive at the restaurant. While they're being seated, Sally notices that Mina Mongoose and her boyfriend Ash are seated at a nearby table. Sally tells Sonic she wishes that she had handled her talk with Mina after the concert better; she admits that she understands that Mina is only concerned for her fellow citizens. Sonic however cuts her off, saying that tonight they're not going to worry about any of that. A waiter soon approaches, and before the two can order, he asks if he can talk with them about something. He then proceeds to ask when the city is going to "pull the plug" on NICOLE, as he claims she's a threat. Sally, taken aback, replies that they're doing no such thing, and another patron butts in, saying that NICOLE is one of the heroes. The waiter protests that NICOLE was responsible for capturing and Legionizing people, and the patron retorts that she was being manipulated. Overhearing the bickering, Mina, exasperated, suggests to Ash that they leave. Ash agrees if that's what she wants, but is surprised; Mina tells him that she can't enjoy the evening listening to "that", and mutters that this isn't what her music was supposed to create. The two pay and leave.
Meanwhile, Sonic and Sally are also tiring of the atmosphere as the staff and patrons continue to bicker over the issue of NICOLE. They decide to leave as well, but one waiter and two customers follow after them, insisting that, as Freedom Fighters, they need to answer for the situation. They're suddenly cut off as Amy Rose silences them by slamming her hammer into the ground; she tells the bickering crowd to give it a rest, adding that as people who have done more for the city and its citizens than anyone else, Sally and Sonic deserve at least one night of peace. She tells Sonic and Sally to go off and enjoy their evening, saying that she'll cover for them; the two thank her and walk off. One of the patrons is confused; he had heard that Amy was "the chick" always "after Sonic." The others, hearing this, back away, leaving the suddenly nervous man to face Amy alone. However, she merely replies that she believes that Sonic will be hers one day, and that for the time being, she just wants him to be happy -- and right now, Sally makes him happy.
Sonic and Sally walk into the park, coming up to the Lake of Rings where several Chao are frolicking. The two discuss their past relationship, and tease each other about the things that went on since their breakup. When Sally accuses Sonic of turning the teasing back on her, he jokes that he's always one step ahead. Snuggling close, Sally tells him to not get too far ahead, because she wants to be at his side. Sonic asks if she thinks she can keep up, and she replies, "If you let me." Sonic says that he supposes he can slow down a bit... for her.
As the two sit by the lake, they're being watched by a figure in the trees. Geoffrey St. John scowls, watching the two, but then looks saddened; magically, he drifts away as smoke, coming across Ixis Naugus. The wizard tells his apprentice he should be practicing his other magical skills, but Geoffrey shortly replies that he's not in the mood. Naugus tells him to prepare; tomorrow, New Mobotropolis will be his.
- "Second Impressions" - Part Two
Espio the Chameleon and NICOLE approach Knuckles the Echidna, who's relaxing on a bridge over the Lake of Rings. He asks the two what's up, and Espio hesitantly begins to talk about how there were to be no more secrets... clarifying that he hasn't been keeping any others, but maybe delayed in telling anyone... NICOLE steps in, saying that they have sensitive information and that it requires a delicate touch. Knuckles tells the two to relax, saying that whatever they have to tell him can't be that bad.
The three head to the Science Center, and once inside, Knuckles is immediately greeted by Dimitri. Knuckles wheels on the other two, unable to believe that Dimitri is not only here, but that no one told him about it; Espio weakly offers that he only found out recently himself. Dimitri interjects, saying that due to their "troubled history" he had asked everyone to keep quiet so he could prepare himself to speak with Knuckles. Knuckles forces himself to contain his rage, and bluntly tells Dimitri to talk. He's thus caught by surprise when Dimitri plainly apologizes for everything he's done.
Dimitri admits that he's shamed not only that his pride crippled him, but that he was unable to acknowledge it for so long. He says that had he only listened to his brother, they both would have continued their lives with their families. Ashamed by what he's long since become, Dimitri admits that he could not lead the Dark Legion down the proper path or "save" them from Dr. Eggman. He says that he has been in the wrong and is at a total loss. He humbly asks Knuckles for both forgiveness and guidance.
Knuckles ponders over this. Espio begins to interject, saying that he thinks Dimitri is finally being truthful, but Knuckles stops him, turning to Dimitri instead; he asks how he ended up here. Dimitri explains that he had been betrayed by Lien-Da and left to die, only for Sonic and Tails to later find and rescue him. Knuckles asks of the Legion; Dimitri explains that Eggman has installed explosives in their cybernetics to ensure their loyalty, and that thanks to another chip, they're also prone to mind control now. Knuckles rubs his eyes, aggravated, saying that half of the remaining echidnas are therefore either slaves or as good as dead. He turns to Dimitri and tells him that he's going to be hooked up into the remains of Haven and spend the rest of his life trying to help him and other echindas fix all this mess; Dimitri, shocked but grateful for the opportunity, agrees, thanking his former enemy. Knuckles walks off to find Julie-Su, telling Dimitri, "Get ready to work, old man." He passes by Espio and NICOLE, saying "As for you two..." but to their relief, he flatly says he understands why they did things this way and thanks them. Espio admits that it all went better than expected.
In the off panel, Sonic and Sally are on another date. But this time, Amy, Tails, and Big are all wearing suits and sunglasses acting as bodyguards while the couple remarks that's ridiculous.
- Sonic: Reservation for two, under "Sonic."
- Waiter: I'm sorry, sir, I don't...
- Sonic: "Sonic." Hero of Mobius? Fought Robotnik? With the princess right here?
- Waiter: Ah! Of course! Right this way.
- Sally: Tell me something, Sonic.
- Sonic: Hmm?
- Sally: Were you waiting for me all this time?
- Sonic: Nah.
- Sally: Such charm. Be still, my heart.
- Mina: This isn't what my music was supposed to create.
- Dimitri: I could not lead the Dark Legion down the proper path. I could not save them from Dr. Robotnik. I freely admit that I have been in the wrong, and that I am lost. Please, I ask for your forgiveness and your guidance... Guardian.
- Knuckles: So half of our kind are either slaves or as good as dead.
- Dimitri: Please do not punch me in the face. It's all I have left.
- Knuckles: Listen up! You're going back to Angel Island, I'm plugging you into what's left of Haven, and you're gonna spend the rest of your life fixing this mess!
- Dimitri: (shocked but grateful) I... I will! Thank you!
- Knuckles: I'll talk to Julie-su and see what she can do. Now get to work old man.
- Dimitri: Yes! I will! Thank you guardian!
- Sonic and Sally go on a date
- The citizens continue to be divided over NICOLE
- Naugus readies his plans to take over the city
- Knuckles and Dimitri finally make peace
- The Iron Queen, not seen since Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 211, makes a brief appearance. Liu Fang makes a brief cameo as well, his first since his debut in Sonic Super Special Issue 8.
- This issue marks the third time Mina has worn her red dragon qipao dress. The other two appearences being in issue #120, and again briefly in #144.
- During Sonic and Sally's walk to the restaurant, Sonic mentions that Antoine recommended the place because they don't serve margarine. This could be a reference to Sonic SatAM episode "Spy Hog", in which Antoine is captured and "tortured" by Snively- who threatens to make escargot with margarine instead of butter.
- A waiter resembling Scratch can be seen in the restaurant. An engraving on a tree on page one says "LNA Wuz Here."
- When Knuckles says "What's left of Haven" the word "left" is missing the "F". In a couple of panels in the second story, Knuckles's eyes are mistakenly connected.
- In the preview cover of this issue, the leaves were originally meant to have a fall/autumn coloring.
- This was the first Sonic comic to not feature the Comics Code Authority stamp on the cover, as Archie has broken with the CCA as of Jan 21, 2011- just a day after DC Comics did the same.
- "The World Can Wait" was reprinted in Sonic: Love Stinks, and a selection from it was printed in Sonic Select Book 7
- ↑ Rogers Vaneta. http://www.newsarama.com/comics/archie-drops-CCA-in-february-110121.html, Archie Dropping Comics Code Authority Seal in February, Newsarama.com, January 21, 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/5w9rtZDZ0, January 31, 2011.
- ↑ Lee, Jim. "From the Co-Publishers", "The Source" (column), DC Comics, January 20, 2011. WebCitation archive.
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