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"Retro Activity" is told in reverse order. The summary given on this page is presented in chronological order.

Sonic the Hedgehog
Publication Details


Date Published 

March 1999

Publishing Company 

Archie Comics

Production Staff
Cover Artist
  • J.F. Gabrie
Managing Editor
  • Victor Gorelick
Editor in Chief
  • Richard Goldwater
First Appearances
Only Appearance

Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 71 was the seventy-first issue of the main Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.


Story One[]

Tales Of The Great War - Prelude: "In The Beginning"

A worried Tails flies Amy Rose to the outskirts of Mobotropolis at her request. Amy assures Tails that it's safe, telling him that she had been in the area with Dulcy before. She leads him to the library where they bump into a dog. Tails asks him who he is and why he's in the library, and the dog happily obliges, introducing himself as Jeremiah. Jeremiah explains that he's been protecting the works of his grandfather, the great historian and artist Kirby, from Robotnik. Tails asks if he can read one of Kirby's books, and Jeremiah gladly lets him.

Tails reads the story aloud for Amy, beginning from the early origins of the Mobians. According to the story, the Echidna were the first advanced society, with others springing forth in similar fashion. For generations creatures lived in insular societies until Alexander Acorn realized that society as a whole could benefit from working as a single community. The Echidna, fearing that their knowledge would simply harm the lower beings, refused to join Alexander's society, while the Overlanders were simply to barbaric to cooperate. Despite the Echidna and Overlander tribes refusing to join, Alexander's dream-community came into being and flourished. This new community created Mobotropolis and crowned Alexander as their king.

Story Two[]

"Retro Activity"

High above Mobius, a mysterious satellite detects a temporal distortion on the planet below. Locking on to its target, the satellite fires an energy beam at the planet. An hour later, in Mobotropolis, King Max welcomes Nate Morgan back, glad to see him safe. Sonic congratulates Elias on their successful rescue mission, only to be interrupted by the king scolding both of them for disobeying his orders. The king then asks Sally to escort Sonic home.

While walking through the forest, Sonic and Sally chat about recent events. Sally tells Sonic that the king isn't angry with him, and is probably proud of him for rescuing Nate. Just as Sonic realizes he's been ignoring his parents ever since they were rescued, a blinding light emerges from the Great Oak Slide. They enter the slide only to find themselves falling through an endless abyss of light. They grab hold of each other and emerge in Knothole.

Sonic and Sally notice that the citizens of Knothole are ignoring them, everything is moving in reverse, and they are covered in a strange glowing light. They realize that the area around them is actually moving in reverse time while they are somehow unaffected. Sally muses that this could be a good thing, since Knothole was thrown three hours into the future by the Ultimate Annihilator, but they need to fix Knothole's time problem quickly. However, being unable to interact with the world around them, Sonic and Sally can't escape the village. Sonic attempts to vibrate himself and Sally at supersonic speeds to pass through the slide, but ends up on the other side without Sally.

Unable to head back into the Great Oak Slide due to the intensity of the light pouring from its entrance, Sonic seeks out King Max and Nate in Mobotropolis for help. Nate explains that a mysterious energy beam is being fired at Knothole from space, most likely drawn to the village due to its existence outside of normal time. He further explains that the beam is forcing Knothole to resume its normal place in time, but if the beam continues firing on the village it could break space-time and the planet itself. Nate tells Sonic and Max that the only way to stop the "time beam" is to redirect it to a more suitable target: a Super Emerald.

Nate equips Sonic with a special red suit and one of the world's last Super Emeralds. Amy, Bunnie, Rotor, Antoine and Tails cheer for Sonic as he prepares to run as fast as he can to draw the beam's fire. As he runs, the Super Emerald's energy transforms Sonic into Super Sonic. Passing through Deerwood Forest, Sonic continues to accelerate and transforms into Ultra Sonic. He speeds through Mount Stormtop Village, and as he passes through the Great Desert the combined heat of the sands, power of the Super Emerald, and continuous acceleration transform him into Solar Sonic. Sonic continues to transform as he circles Mobius, becoming Polar Sonic as he crosses the Southern Tundra and Eco Sonic while dashing through the Great Rainforest.

As Sonic circles the globe, time around him begins to accelerate, causing the time-beam to move from Knothole towards him. The beam strikes Sonic, and the field of energy that had engulfed Knothole vanishes. In Mobotropolis, the Freedom Fighters and Nate Morgan celebrate Sonic's victory. Nate surmises that Knothole is no longer three hours in the future and that the planet has been saved. Sally and the other citizens of Knothole are suddenly woozy, feeling off-balance as Knothole returns to its proper place in time. Realizing that Sonic must have fixed the village successfully, Sally wonders what happened to him. Sonic arrives, looking a bit different than when he left. Sally doesn't understand how Nate's plan ended up making Sonic's eyes green or giving his shoes buckles, and Sonic tells her he'll run through the story for her one more time.

Bonus Features[]

Pinup Pages/Activity Pages[]

Pro Art Pinup

Pinup page of Sonic romancing Sally while Dr. Robotnik stands menacingly in the background. Presented in black-and-white as a coloring page. Pencils by Dick Ayers, inks by Ken Penders.

Gag Strips[]

Off Panel

Sonic dashes through the Archie Comics office building, certain that he'll have to run faster than ever before to complete the task he's been given. He delivers Chinese food to the editor. The editor thinks the food is okay, but Sonic let the soup get a bit too cold for his liking on the way back. Sonic tells the readers that working for comics isn't all about glory. Written by Mike Gallagher, art by Dave Manak.


  • Sonic: "I read this in a comic book when I was little, so it should work!"
  • Sally: "You're kidding me -- right?"

Key Events[]

  • A sixth satellite above Mobius activates, targeting Knothole Village with a time beam.
  • Sonic and Sally enter Knothole to find everything strangely moving backward, they quickly try to escape for help but Sally is accidentally left behind and trapped with the Robians.
  • Sonic uses Nate Morgan's Super Emerald to race around the globe to draw the time beam away from Knothole.
  • Sonic's appearance changes due to the effects of the Super Emerald.
  • Knothole is returned to the normal time zone.

Background Information[]

  • Sonic's new look is based on his updated design for Sonic Adventure. This was written into the story after SEGA demanded that all Sonic media update Sonic with this design. Sonic has kept this design ever since.
  • The entire issue had most of its contents put in backwards order. The very first page started with Sonic Grams (usually at the back of the comic), followed by the letters, fan art, and a pin-up. Next came the back-up story, followed by the cover story, which was told out of order starting with the ending. The credits for the cover story were also given with reversed names (Karl Bollers = Srellob Lark, for example).

Cameos & References[]

  • A few cameos are featured in "Retro Activity", from Rob O' the Hedge in Deerwood Forest to Monkey Khan with Li Yuen and Li Moon at Mount Stormtop.
  • Sonic tells Sally that he read about using super-speed to vibrate through solid objects in comic books. This is a reference to DC's The Flash.
  • Kirby's name and occupation as a writer and artist are clear nod to comic book legend Jack Kirby.


  • Kirby's story about the formation of Mobotropolis contradicts Nate Morgan's explanation of the city's founding in StH #65.

Reprint History[]

This issue has been reprinted in the following places:

External links[]