Sonic the Hedgehog: Hide & Seek & Destroy is the fourth Free Comic Book Day issue. It contains an all-new, standalone story.
Dr. Eggman has vanished--or has he? As Sonic searches for clues, he stumbles across an old weapon from the bygone days of his childhood. Will Dr. Eggman allow Sonic to be destroyed by this threat from yesteryear? Will Sonic discover the truth behind his old rival's disappearance? All the answers lie in this free issue!
- "Hide & Seek & DESTROY!"
Sonic the Hedgehog arrives in the ruins of New Megaopolis, where he gazes upon the only structure still standing: the Eggdome. Making his way across the ruins towards it, Sonic recalls the early battles between the Freedom Fighters and Dr. Eggman in Robotropolis. After that city's destruction, Eggman relocated to New Megaopolis, which was subsequently destroyed by Enerjak, leaving only the Eggdome, which Eggman was in the process of building up prior to his disappearance. Sonic is convinced that Eggman must be hiding within; his suspicion is confirmed as Eggman is seen watching him on monitors from a secret level of the fortress. Eggman gloats over Sonic's inability to find him, and his plans to confront Sonic again when he deems it appropriate. Snively then enters and asks if his uncle is "mocking Sonic from the shadows again." Initially embarrassed after Snively points out that they are in hiding, he then demands to know why Snively isn't working in the engine room. After learning that his nephew is ahead of schedule and on a lunch break, Eggman complains about having to employ living minions instead of machines before returning his attention to monitoring Sonic's progress.
Arriving at the entry point used by himself, the Freedom Fighters, and the Chaotix during their last assault on the dome, Sonic recalls the battle with mixed feelings. While it was satisfying to defeat the Egg Tarantula, seeing Eggman fall into gibbering insanity was unnerving. Brushing this off with his determination to find the madman, Sonic enters the dome, unaware that he is being followed by a menacing green figure who is thrilled to see Sonic again at last. Recalling the Iron Dominion invasion that took place after Eggman's defeat, and the doctor's subsequent disappearance, Sonic finds himself at a dead end, but is determined to continue searching. However, his stalker then reveals itself: the Krudzu Hybrid Hydra, who is thrilled to see Sonic again. The joy quickly turns to aggression as the creature attacks, while Eggman and Snively watch over the monitors in astonishment.
Snively then reveals that the machine was created by the original Dr. Robotnik, as a combination of several old robots. However, it was thought to have been destroyed in the nuclear attack on Robotropolis. Fascinated, Eggman listens-even taking notes-as the Hydra explains its survival to Sonic. Having escaped destruction as a root, it managed to absorb other Badniks in order to become the monster it now is. It is then surprised as Sonic is actually pleased encounter it, despite his failure to locate Eggman. When questioned as to why, Sonic responds that the Hydra has an "old-school flair" about it, which is refreshing given Eggman's later robots and the Dark Egg Legion, which Sonic doesn't really think suits his old enemy. After noting with fondness several familiar components in the Hydra's makeup, Sonic seemingly decimates it, ripping the construct apart with his super speed. Believing his task accomplished, he is unpleasantly surprised when the Hydra regenerates, reminding him that it survived a nuclear blast before counterattacking.
Watching from the secret level, Snively rejoices in the Hydra's imminent victory over Sonic, but then notices that Eggman is working on something. He questions why Eggman isn't watching the battle, and is shocked when Eggman reveals that he is building something to stop the Hydra. When Snively questions why he would destroy something that's about to eliminate Sonic, Eggman responds that he intends to eliminate Sonic himself, at his own chosen time, and he won't allow anything to take that from him. As Snively looks on in disgust, Eggman dispatches his creation-a robotic hummingbird-to the upper levels. The Hydra closes in on the defeated Sonic, asking if he has any last words, to which Sonic-insulting to the end-replies that he found Croctobot more intimidating. Before the Hydra can attack, the hummingbird stings it, causing it to short out explode. Escaping the blast and finding his enemy inert, Sonic is immediately suspicious that Eggman is involved, but is too weary from the battle to continue. Promising to return and uncover Eggman's plan, he departs, while Eggman promises that they will indeed meet again while Snively bangs his head on the wall over his uncle's stupidity.
- It is revealed that Dr. Eggman had been focusing on building up the Eggdome prior to the defeat of his Egg Tarantula, and continues the process in hiding, foreshadowing its eventual transformation into the Death Egg Mark 2.
- It is revealed that before he died, the original Robotnik Prime created an upgrade of the plant badnik Krudzu, who survived the bombing of Robotropolis and fused himself with the parts of other Badniks.
- Sonic battles the Krudzu Hybrid Hydra, and is nearly defeated, but is saved by the intervention of Dr. Eggman, who refuses to allow the Hydra to destroy Sonic.
- "Besides, it's my fifteen-minute lunch break."-Snively
- "Bah! This is precisely why I prefer working with machines. No pesky demands like 'food' or 'breathing.'"-Dr. Eggman
- This is the first Free Comic Book Day issue published in the second decade of the 21st century, the 2010s.
- This is the first Free Comic Book Day issue to show only one character on the cover.
- This is the final Sonic the Hedgehog related comic of any kind to be printed on the original newsprint-style paper that the series used since inception.
This issue has been reprinted in the following places: