- “Treasure Team Tango” Part Four: The wild grand finale to our craziest story yet! Four teams vie for the precious Sol Emerald! Will Team Rose help Blaze save her world? Will Team Dark beat them into submission? Will Nack’s “Team Hooligan” cash it in, or will the Babylon Rogues beat them to it? You can’t miss this blockbuster conclusion!
Treasure Team Tango Step Four: The Parada
- Writer: Ian Flynn
- Pencils: Tracy Yardley
- Inks: Jim Amash
- Colors: Jason Jensen
- Letters: Phil Felix
- Editor: Paul Kaminski
- Editor-in-Chief: Victor Gorelick
- President: Mike Pellerito
- Special thanks to: Cindy Chau and Jerry Chu at SEGA Licensing
Tema Rose, Dark, Hooligan and Babylon Rogues all enter the fray, each hoping to find and claim the cyan Sol Emerald. Cream the Rabbit watches in dismay as everyone else fights below; she tells her companion, Cheese the Chao, that she knows her mother wouldn't approve of her getting involved. However, she observes that Amy Rose, despite being outnumbered, continues to fight bravely, and as she watches Blaze the Cat fend off Wave the Swallow, she points out that she had promised to help Blaze recover the emerald to save her home. With that, Cream resolves to help her friends, saying that even if it's improper or frightening, it's the right thing to do.
Just then, Nack the Weasel sneaks up behind Amy, saying he owes her for the pain she'd caused him in a previous encounter; just as he takes aim with his gun, however, Cream warns Amy and drops on the weasel's head, preventing him from firing. A grateful Amy grabs Cream by the hand and calls out to Blaze, who's now using her flames to force Bark the Polar Bear back. Amy announces that they need a plan of action.
Blaze surrounds them in a protective wall of flame, and then apologizes for involving the other girls; she tells them to leave as the Sol Emerald is her responsibility. However, Amy and Cream insist on staying to help, and Blaze thanks them for sticking with her. She pulls down the wall of flame as the three charge back into the melee. Amy makes her way through the mess to find Shadow the Hedgehog fighting Bean the Dynamite; she calls out to the hedgehog and tells him it's time to decide. Amy puts him on the spot: is he going to mindlessly follow G.U.N.'s orders, or will he help Blaze save her world?
Meanwhile, Storm the Albatross decides that all this fighting is no longer fun; Jet the Hawk agrees, saying "So much for that 'quick buck.'" Saying that they're better thieves than brawlers anyway, Jet snatches the Sol Emerald from Nack and orders his team to escape. Shadow decides it's time to take action.
Jet taunts the hedgehog from the sky, saying that he's "slower than that snail, Sonic!" He is caught by surprise when Shadow uses Chaos Control to teleport, suddenly appearing on Jet's Extreme Gear. Shadow flatly boots the bird, grabbing the Sol Emerald and jumping back to the ground with a smirk. He then notices Storm and Wave approaching, ready to retaliate for Jet's sake. Rouge the Bat swoops in to kick Wave, while an apologetic Cream lands on Storm's head. However, rather than stopping the two Rogues, this causes them to instead all crash into Shadow, and the Emerald is thrown into the air. E-123 Omega and Bark shove at each other, each trying to catch it, but Amy beats them both to it by jumping into their outstretched hands and snatching the Emerald out of the sky. Despite Omega's objections, she tosses it to Blaze. Bean has something of his own to throw to the princess: a lit bomb. With the Sol Emerald in hand, Blaze cooly turns towards the duck and reminds him that she's pyrokinetic; she can both control flames and end them. With a snap of her fingers, the bomb's fuse goes out and it rolls harmlessly on the ground.
As Rouge moves in and another fight for the Emerald begins, Bean approaches the dead bomb in utter dismay. He laments that it wasn't supposed to end like this, and then begins to blame himself, saying he threw the bomb out into the world before it was ready. He declares that he will always remember the bomb, naming it Cecil... then Abigail... and then deciding that it should be something neutral, suggesting Jamie or Kendall... behind him, Amy, Bark, Nack, Omega and Jet scramble uselessly for the Emerald.
Eventually, Amy approaches an exhausted Rouge off to the side, the bat admitting that no one will win at this rate. Amy says, "Think you can work with us a full five minutes without stabbing us in the back?" Rouge glares a bit and asks Amy why she keeps coming back to her. Amy replies that the others are just "punks" and that she knows Shadow will do the right thing in the end. Slightly amused, Rouge agrees again to team up and the two stiffly shake hands. Amy tells her that they need to herd everyone together; Blaze will handle the rest. The hedgehog goes to rally Cream and Blaze while Rouge flies off, telling her teammates it's time for a barbecue.
Rouge flies circles around an exasperated Wave, taunting her. Shadow cuts Jet off mid-air using Chaos Control. Omega confronts Storm, telling him his airboard is no match for the robot's rockets. The three Rogues end up colliding, Wave falling atop the other two. Meanwhile, Amy chases a desperate Nack with her hammer; Nack laments that it's always the "dames" who give him so much trouble, and Amy tells him to stop whining, adding that Sally didn't hit him that hard. Blaze once again uses her flames to drive Bark back. Cream, on the other hand, gently takes Bean by the hand, telling him they're going to see his friends; a miserable Bean, still holding the dead bomb (now dubbed "Jamie-Kendall Duckingworth III"). easily complies. Soon, Teams Hooligan and Babylon find themselves grouped in the clearing; a wary Nack wonders just what's going on...
Amy turns to Blaze. "Now, your highness, as we planned?" Smiling slightly, Blaze snaps her fingers. Suddenly, the fuse on Bean's bomb re-ignites, much to his delight. However, everyone else stares in horror (except for Bark, who only looks resigned). The bomb explodes, and Blaze catches the Sol Emerald as it sails past.
In the clearing, surrounded by smoke, Bean, his face blackened, only beams in utter happiness while a similarly-singed Bark glares. Jet peeks out from behind Storm, who took the brunt of the blast for his team, while Wave stares in dismay at her burned and blackened airboard. Nack is unconscious, one boot having blown off.
Jet coughs and begins to offer a new course of action before a furious Wave tells him no more; she announces they're getting out before their blimp gets blown up too. Jet insists that he's the boss, but Wave overrides him; she grabs him by the headfeathers and drags him off, ranting indignantly about how hard it is to keep their equipment running with "lunkheads" using them so roughly. Storm stacks up the damaged airboards and wordlessly follows. Meanwhile, Bark has picked up the unconscious Nack and gives Bean a disapproving look; Bean merely smiles up at him, holds out his singed gloves and says, "I can't feel my hands." As Bark starts to walk off, Bean follows, deciding that leaving "sounds good."
Teams Rose and Dark stand off to the side, admiring their victory. Cream happily sits on Omega's shoulder. Rouge tells the others "Not a bad job, ladies," and then, much to Blaze's anger, demands she hand over the Emerald again. An annoyed Amy pulls out her hammer, but Shadow puts a hand on Rouge's shoulder, stopping her; he tells her that G.U.N. owes Blaze for the green Chaos Emerald. Crossing his arms, he adds that the safety of an entire world outweighs their mission. Rouge is incensed; she gets in Shadow's face and insists that she will not just walk away from a gem. Shadow however stands his ground, saying that she will let this go or he will make her do so. "We will make you," Omega adds, saying that he does not wish to make the "tiny bunny" perched on his shoulder cry. Crossing her arms and smirking, Rouge bluntly agrees to stop. She tensely adds to Shadow, "But I'm not a 'good loser.'"
Amy tells Cream it's time to get off Omega, and Cream sadly bids good-bye to "Mr. Robot." Bidding farewell, Omega almost bashfully compliments Blaze on her ability "to burn things very well" before hastily following after Rouge and Shadow. The bat asks Shadow how they'll explain this to their Commander; Shadow bluntly assures her that she'll think of something.
Watching them leave, Blaze smiles, saying that Shadow may not be so bad after all. Amy says that while he's not Sonic the Hedgehog, he'll do in a pinch. The two shake hands, Blaze saying that Amy's proven that everything she heard about the Freedom Fighters' bravery true. Cream throws herself towards Blaze in a hug, saying she'll miss her; Blaze tells her that once her quest is done, they'll be the first to hear about it. Taking both the cyan and gray Sol Emeralds in hand, she hopes she can make it home without running into the Zone Cops; with that, she disappears into a towering swirl of flame.
That evening, at Freedom HQ, Amy, Cream and Cheese join Vanilla for a cup of tea and tell of their adventure, Cream concluding that they'd gone so far away that it'd taken them most of the day to get back. Vanilla is visibly shaken, though she tries to maintain her composure, saying that this turned out to be more than a "simple investigation." Smiling weakly, Amy admits that it turned out to be a lot more than she expected, but she adds that Cream handled herself well and could make a great Freedom Fighter one day... and then she suddenly smacks herself in the head. "I'm so stupid!" Cream wonders what the problem is. Amy exclaims that she forgot about NICOLE.
Back in the Great Forest, in the root-ball cave, NICOLE's hand-held form is resting in the leaves. The exasperated NICOLE sighs.
- Writer: Ian Flynn
- Pencils & Inks: Steven Butler
- Colors: Paul Kaminski
Eggman Nega is complaining to Sonic that he started the Treasure Team Tango Arc but did not even make an appearance in it. Sonic replies that the series is called "Sonic Universe" and all he made was a cameo appearance. Knuckles appears, telling Sonic that he now knows what it feels like to be a "minor character", and Sonic responds by slamming the door on Knuckles.
- Shadow: Whoops. You're too slow...
- Bean: ...Bomb? Bombikins? Little bombinski? What... what did she do to you? You were meant for such great things, and now... You were going to go "boom!" There was going to be smoke and fire and everything! But all you did was "thud." It shouldn't have ended like this. Not like this. It's all my fault! I threw you out into the world before you were ready! I had no way of knowing, since you can't speak, but now I'm just making excuses! I will always remember you, and name you Cecil. Or Abigail. No, it's got to be something gender-neutral. Jamie, maybe? Kendall?
- Cream: All's well that ends well!
- Amy: I was going to say "Good riddance to bad rubbish," but your way is nicer.
- Rouge: So, smart guy, what do we tell the Commander?
- Shadow: You're the cunning spy. You'll think of something.
- This the first time the Babylon Rogues and have appeared on a cover of an Archie Sonic cover.
- This is the first time Bark the Polar Bear appears on a cover of Sonic Universe.
- This is Dr. Eggman Nega's first unofficial and unobscured appearance in an Archie Sonic comic.
- With this cover, Cream and Cheese are the only main characters to show up on all four covers of the Treasure Team Tango arc.
- Parada is the name of a tango step in which the leader halts the motion of the other dancer with her legs apart and weight on both feet.
- This is the first issue of Sonic Universe to have a 2-page spread.