Archie Sonic Universe Issue 52 is the fifty-second issue of the spin-off Sonic Universe comic series published by Archie Comics. It is the fifth part of the Sonic & Mega Man: Worlds Collide crossover event.
- The second act of the epic Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man crossover event BEGINS HERE! "When Worlds Collide" Part Five of Twelve: Sonic, Mega Man, Tails and Proto Man enter the strange world of the Skull Egg Zone. They don't receive a warm welcome, either, as the Genesis Unit and Copy Robot attack! Eggman and Dr. Wily wait in the wings with an even more sinister surprise waiting to be unleashed! You cannot miss this action-packed issue, featuring new cover art by Patrick "SPAZ" Spaziante, and choose YOUR favorite hero with the "Team Sonic" and "Team Mega Man" variant covers!
When Worlds Collide Part Five: The Advance Guard
- Writer: Ian Flynn
- Pencils: Tracy Yardley
- Inks: Terry Austin
- Colors: Thomas Mason
- Letters: A. Teuthis
- Assistant Editor: Vincent Lovallo
- Editor/Executive Director of Editorial: Paul Kaminski
- Editor-in-chief: Victor Gorelick
- President: Mike Pellerito
- Special Thanks to: Anthony Gaccione and Cindy Chau and to the Character Business and Licensing Department of SEGA Corporation
- Special Thanks to: Brian Oliveria at Capcom Licensing and Consumer Products and to 飛田 栄実
Sonic, Mega Man, Tails, Proto Man, and Rush look over the bizarre landscape of the Skull Egg Zone, which strikes all of them as being truly strange. Sonic remarks that it's not as bad as the Special Zone, confusing Mega Man, who then explains the concept of Zone and explains that their worlds are entirely separate, and that the Skull Egg Zone is in between the two. As Mega Man and Proto Man get their heads around it, Sonic tries to get the group back on track with their mission to save Dr. Light and defeat Dr. Eggman and Dr. Wily. However, he is interrupted as Rush tackles him out of the way of an energy blast, the source of which is none other than Copybot. Recognizing the enemy who previously stunned Silver-who also admits to having captured others of Sonic's friends-Sonic charges him, followed closely by Mega Man atop Rush. However, Copybot then orders the Genesis Unit forward, briefly striking a chord in Sonic's mind before the trio of villains-Buster Rod G, Hyper Storm H, and Mega Water S-attack.
Back in Mega Man's universe, the robot known as Duo is meditating in orbit around Saturn when he receives an emergency transmission from Dr. Light. The doctor informs Duo of Metal Sonic and Bass' attack, as well as the various problems resulting from the Genesis Wave. He pleads for Duo's return to Earth, and the grim-faced robot takes off to answer his summons. Back in the Skull Egg Zone, the battle lines have been drawn between the two forces, with Mega Man and Rush facing off with Copybot atop a rocket vehicle. Sonic faces Buster Rod G, a battle that seems strangely familiar, while Proto Man is attacked by Mega Water S. Tails is left to be menaced by Hyper Storm H, while a pair of Chao-one of whom having taken on Met characteristics-record the battle for the evil doctors. Back on the Wily Egg, Wily is gloating over the Genesis Unit's success so far in delaying the heroes, though Eggman is somewhat skeptical as to their ability to defeat Sonic's team. They are then approached by two more Roboticized Masters, Silver Man and Blaze Woman, who present them with the final Chaos Emeralds.
Claiming the gemstone, Eggman declares that the true power has arrived, irking Wily with his demeaning words regarding his creations. The two get into a brief argument, Eggman citing the importance of the Chaos Emeralds, Wily countering that they obtained them because of the Roboticized Masters based on his work, and Eggman retorting that the Masters were created with his Roboticizer. However, the two quickly put aside their argument, deciding that the hero who survives longest will prove his world to be superior. Meanwhile, Sonic continues his fight with Buster Rod G, and suggest that they should rename him "Kiki" after a monkey-based Badnik. Buster Rod G quickly demonstrates his superiority by multiplying into four separate versions of himself, who quickly surround the Hedgehog. Sonic calls on Tails for help, but Hyper Storm H has him at the mercy of his wind attack and superior strength. Mega Water S taunts Proto Man, admitting that he had previously been concerned about facing Proto Man, but claiming to no longer be worried-though he is briefly rattled when Proto Man fires several blasts that are only narrowly deflected by his water shield. Mega Man and Copybot continue their battle, which remains a veritable draw due to their matched abilities. Copybot taunts his enemy, claiming he has nothing to surprise him with, only for Mega Man to equip his latest weapon: Tails Man's Tails Wind attack.
He then unleashes the attack, utterly defeating the astounded Copybot, before setting his sights on Hyper Storm. The two briefly clash, but the distraction allows Tails to strike at his opponent and finish the fight. Mega Man then attacks Buster Rod, who deflects his attack only to have Sonic appear behind him. Buster Rod strikes at Sonic but misses, leaving himself vulnerable to Mega Man's attack. Seeing his teammates defeated, Mega Water realizes that his shield has failed, and runs away hoping to escape. However, Proto Man downs him with a single shot before rejoining his teammates. Mega Man thanks Tails for the weapon, while Tails thanks Mega Man for saving him from his Robian state, leaving Sonic somewhat irked given his contributions to the effort. Proto Man and Mega Man then speak concerning the appearance of their four old foes, whom they had defeated previously. They reveal to Sonic that Copybot and the Genesis Unit were completely destroyed in their last encounters, meaning that their return should have been impossible. Tails questions whether or not they could have been restored by Wily, but Proto Man responds that their Integrated Circuit chips were too complex to be recreated without considerable help.
Mega Man worries over the matter, but Sonic blows it off, although he does note a strange feeling that this isn't the first time that reality has been altered, and that he's fairly certain Eggman is to blame. The team sets off to continue their mission, with Rush leading the way through the Zone. Sonic and Mega Man enjoy some entertainment at each other's expense, as each encounters unfamiliar obstacles from the other's reality. They then ascend a small peak using spring platforms, and reach the top to spot the Wily Egg floating in the distance. Noting its resemblance to both Wily's Flying Castles and the Death Egg Mark 2, the heroes are still unsure whether it's their only base on one of several. Tails also comments on the absence of any of their allies, only for Proto Man to spot impending danger as Eggman suddenly addresses them, mocking Tails' concern for his friends. He and Wily then appear accompanied by the full compliment of Roboticized Masters: Silver Man, Blaze Woman, Espio Man, Vector Man, Shadow Man, Rose Woman, Charmy Man, and Knuckles Man.
Sonic and Mega Man spot a trio of shadowy figures, whom Mega Man identifies as the Genesis Unit. Sonic suddenly has a vision of a Genesis game console with wings and a halo, and promptly attacks Mega Man, declaring that "The console wars are never over!" As he strikes in the name of the Saturn and Dreamcast, Mega Man protests that he's "multi-platform."
- Just like Mega Man #24, this issue has two "Team" variant covers. Both covers feature the same artwork of Sonic and Mega Man, but the Team Mega Man variant has Mega Man appear in front of Sonic (who is faded out), along with Dr. Wilys Skull Castle in the background. Meanwhile, the Team Sonic variant has Sonic up front, with a faded out Mega Man in the back, and the background appears to be a shot of Green Hill Zone from the original Sonic game on the Genesis. The border of the Team Sonic variant appears similar to the one that was used on the covers for Sonic the Hedgehog #226 and Sonic the Hedgehog #227, while artwork of Green Hill Zone appears to be a mirrored version of the background from the Sonic FCBD 2011 cover.
- Mega Man's background on the other hand is taken from Mega Man #12 whilst the border is based of the border on the variant cover for Mega Man #20.
- The main cover art has a background similar to that of the boxart for the Nintendo GameCube Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. The subtitle "2x THE BLUE. 2x THE ADVENTURE" is also written in a font similar to the logo of that game.
- This issue marks the first time Sonic comic regular Tracy Yardley has drawn characters from the Mega Man series.
- The line of dialogue Copy Robot says to Mega Man about how he's a perfect copy, to the point that he knows everything he's going to do, is a slightly altered reference to a similar line spoken by Sonic to Metal Sonic in the Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie. The following line "Strange, isn't it?" is also a direct reference to that scene, the line in question being famous among Sonic fans.
- After the group spring up the mountain, before encountering the Roboticized Masters, Sonic remarks how he hopes they don't suddenly get jumped by a whale. This a reference to the famous whale chase segment of the Emerald Coast level from Sonic Adventure, and, to some extent, a similar segment of Wave Ocean in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
- It's interesting to note that the mountain of springs and the bridge at the top that the group where traversing when the line was said is in fact taken from a portion of the Emerald Coast Action Stage itself (it is possible that this was what prompted Sonic to mention the whale in the first place).
- Several of the areas in the Skull Egg Zone are based on environments from several Sonic and Mega Man game levels.
- The Off-Panel makes a reference to the "Console Wars" of the 90's. Sonic thinks of the Sega Genesis video game console when Mega Man mentions the Genesis Unit, and he says the names of the Sega Saturn and Sega Dreamcast when he attacks Mega Man. Mega Man ends the strip by reminding him that he's "multi-platform", in reference to how his games have, for the most part, always been released across different consoles from different companies.
- The Genesis Unit is named so, in reference to the fact that their three members first debuted in Mega Man: The Wily Wars, a game released exclusively for the Sega Genesis (also the only Mega Man game released for the system). Fittingly, they're depicted on the cover facing Sonic: the mascot of Sega who made his debut on the same console.