Archie Sonic Universe Issue 53 is the fifty-third issue of the spin-off Sonic Universe comic series published by Archie Comics. It is the eighth part of the Sonic & Mega Man: Worlds Collide crossover event.
- "When Worlds Collide": Part Eight of Twelve - The hunt for the Roboticized Masters comes to its explosive end! As the gripping second act of the Sonic/Mega Man crossover event comes to a close, Proto Man and the Chaotix make a crucial discovery in the battle to restore BOTH worlds! The tension is fraying the bromance of Drs. Eggman and Wily! Bass and Metal Sonic prepare to lead an army-but an army of what? Featuring new cover art from Sonic/Mega Man art legend Patrick Spaziante, and a special "E.F.F. (aka Evil Friends Forever) Variant" featuring Dr.'s Eggman and Wily gaming on their EGGSbox!
When Worlds Collide Part Eight: Liberation
- Writer: Ian Flynn
- Pencils: Tracy Yardley
- Inks: Terry Austin
- Colors: Thomas Mason and Dustin Evans
- Letters: F.R. Fiegel
- Editor/Executive Director of Editorial: Paul Kaminski
- Assistant Editor: Vincent Lovallo
- Editor-in-chief: Victor Gorelick
- President: Mike Pellerito
- Special Thanks to: Anthony Gaccione, Cindy Chau and to the Character Business and Licensing Department of SEGA Corporation
- Special Thanks to: Brian Oliveira at Capcom Media and Consumer Products and to 飛田 栄実
Dr. Eggman and Dr. Wily note with trepidation that only two of their nine Roboticized Masters remain, the others having been restored to normal. The two put on a show of blowing it off, citing the heroes' previous victories over their various robots, the fact that they were able to capture the Mobians in the first place, and the fact that they've accomplished their task in obtaining the Chaos Emeralds. Eggman then points out that their Genesis Reactor is currently powering up, and that they still have an army of Robot Masters to call upon as well. However, they both secretly have a contingency plan in mind should their Egg-Wily Machine X be defeated: each intends to steal the Wily Egg and return to their own world, leaving the other to face the heroes alone. They then return to their efforts while Orbot and Cubot continue work on their attack vehicle. Elsewhere in the Skull Egg Zone Mega Man, Sonic, and Tails are continuing their search for the remaining Roboticized Masters. They briefly discuss the efforts of the Chaotix and Proto Man to locate the Wily Egg, and an impatient Sonic then wishes that the last Masters would attack.
His wish is granted as Knuckles Man and Rose Woman appear and begin attacking, quickly putting the heroes on the defensive. To make matters worse, Rose Woman reveals that they have been given orders to self destruct in order to eliminate the heroes. Mega Man attempts to down Rose Woman with Silver Man's Psycho Burst, but his warning to Sonic allows the Robian to deflect it. Mega Man is then attacked by Knuckles Man, who manages to deflect Vector Man's Acoustic Blaster attack as Mega Man equips it. Mega Man questions whether the pair have been upgraded, but Tails theorizes that it's merely Knuckles and Amy's naturally formidable skills that are making the battle so difficult. As he attacks Knuckles Man, who has likewise activated his self-destruct countdown, Mega Man uses first his Rapid Stinger power (acquired from Charmy Man) and then his Fire Tornado, which he got from Blaze Woman. The latter is aimed at Rose Woman, while Sonic is carried away from the attack by Rush. Mega Man then instructs Sonic to join the fight against Knuckles Man while he restores Rose Woman to her organic form.
Equipped with the Piko Hammer weapon, Mega Man goes up against Knuckles Man, shattering the latter's left hand knuckle spikes. A tag team assault by Rush, Tails, and Sonic then allows Mega Man to fire the blast that restores Knuckles Man to normal. Sonic is quick to antagonize Knuckles, wondering whether Eggman duped him or had him captured, but the Guardian gains a measure of revenge as Sonic is embarrassingly tackle-hugged by Amy, who weeps over her role as a Roboticized Master. An amused Mega Man questions if Sonic and Amy's relationship is usually like this, to which Tails replies in the affirmative. With the Sharp Knuckle added to his arsenal, Mega Man is introduced to Knuckles and Amy, and Sonic explains what's going on. Mega Man then gets a message from Proto Man, who along with the Chaotix has located the Wily Egg floating above two large statues of the evil doctors. He also reports a teleporter pad located nearby that he believes will allow them to access the battle station, but he is skeptical of the ability of the Chaotix to crack the code lock on it. He then sends the coordinates to Mega Man, and Sonic then issues instructions to his teammates so that they can assemble their allies in the zone. While Tails and Knuckles go to join Proto Man's group, Mega Man and Rush are sent to locate Silver and Blaze, while Sonic and Amy go after Shadow.
Back aboard the Wily Egg, Eggman and Wily are arguing about their Egg-Wily Machine X's configuration, when Orbot and Cubot report the news of the fall of the last Roboticized Masters and the damage inflicted by Rouge the Bat. The pair swiftly head out to join Metal Sonic and Bass as they pursue the saboteur, which finds the pair of evil robots cornering Rouge in a laboratory. In an effort to stop her attackers, Rouge releases the Chaos Devil from containment, only for the creature to envelop both her and Metal Sonic after a brief struggle. Eggman then questions whether the captive Rouge is there on the President's orders, and Rouge replies that she came after him after he captured Shadow. Eggman orders Metal Sonic to take her to the Roboticizer, leading Bass to proclaim his superiority to the Roboticized Masters, which prompts Wily to order him to accompany the pair. Pleased to be getting a new minion to join their army of Robot Masters, the two doctors take pleasure in the success of the Chaos Devil and their multiple preparations against the arrival of the heroes. Back at Light Labs, meanwhile, Roll is lamenting her feelings of helplessness while Auto tries to reassure her. She then wonders whether Duo got Dr. Light's message, only for the robot to burst through the ceiling and inquire "Where shall justice be served?"
- Dr. Wily (in his mind): I've seen enough of my plans fall apart to know where this is going! If the Egg-Wily Machine X fails, I'm taking the Wily Egg back to my world. I'm sorry, Eggy, but you'll just have to stay trapped in this zone with your furry problem and Mega Man.
- Dr. Eggman (in his mind): It's been fun, Albert, but I'm probably going to have to cut you loose. If everything else fails, I can at least return to Sonic's world with this glorious flying fortress. I'll carve your face into a continent in rememberance.
- Sonic: I'd rather get a face full of that mega muck than go any slower.
- Mega Man: "Mega...muck"?
- Sonic: Surprise, Knuckle-Head! Time to lose to me again!
- Sonic: (Exhausted) Finally! So...which is it, Knuckle-Head? Did Eggman trick you into getting roboticized? Or did you get kidnapped? 'Cause they're both really embarrassing.
- Amy: OH, SONIC!! Are you alright?! Did I hurt you?! I'll never forgive Eggman for turning me against you like that!
- Sonic: Amy! Off! NOW!!
- Mega Man: Is this what they're always like?
- Tails: Yeah, pretty much.
- Knuckles: Eggman and Wily, huh? Where are they? I want the first crack at them!
- Sonic: Uh-huh. 'Cause you're tougher than the rest of 'em? Best of 'em? Tougher than leather?
- Sonic: I'm taking Amy to track down Shadow. She's got a knack for finding hedgehogs--when she thinks they're me.
- Amy: Aren't you ever going to let that go? I couldn't tell that wasn't you!
- Sonic: The black with red stripes didn't give it away?
- Amy: The sun was in my eyes!
- Duo: I have been alerted to trouble on Earth! And I sense evil is present. Where shall justice be served?
- This issues variant cover, the second in a series of "E.F.F. (aka Evil Friends Forever)" variants, depicts Doctors Eggman and Wily playing against each other on an EGGSbox console (a parody of Microsoft's Xbox). On this cover, there are shelves held up by cinderblocks that hold statues of Mega Man character Bass and the Wily Castle from Mega Man 3, developed by Dr. Wily, and the Death Egg Robot and Egg Emperor, two robots developed by Eggman , and two Badniks directly beneath them, the Motobug, and the Buzzbomber.
- The "Chaos Devil" is a combination of Chaos and the Yellow Devil from the Mega Man series.
- Big the Cat, Cream the Rabbit, and Cheese appear in this issue, though only in Eggman's vision of returning to Mobius with the Wily Egg.
- This issue is the first Worlds Collide crossover issue to feature Knuckles and Amy in their normal forms.
- When Knuckles expresses a desire to challenge Eggman and Wily, Sonic questions whether it's because he's "Tougher than the rest of 'em? Best of 'em? Tougher than leather?" This is a nod to Knuckles' theme song "Unknown from M.E."
- While tracking down Rouge within the base, Bass mentions that she is in Lab S-A2. This could be a reference to Sonic Adventure 2, the game that Rouge debuted in.
- In all four issues of this act of the crossover, Rush saves Sonic at some point: first from Copy Robot's sneak attack in Sonic Universe #52, then from falling to his death in Sonic the Hedgehog #249, then catching a Shadow Shuriken intended for Sonic in Mega Mman #27, and finally from the Roboticized Masters' attacks and Mega Man's Fire Tornado in this issue.
- The screen depicting all of the Roboticized Masters on the first page is based on the level select screen that appears at the start of most Mega Man video games.
- A robot resembling Grounder/Burrowbot is seen in the desert region where the heroes battle Knuckles Man and Rose Woman, being helped by a Met and a Chao with Met qualities.
- When the heroes split up, Sonic says that he will go with Amy because she can find hedgehogs when she thinks they are him. On the journey to find Shadow, they talk about how Amy confused the two males hedgehogs. These are references to Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), because in both, Amy confuses Shadow and Silver with Sonic, respectively.
- The Chaos Devil is a cross between Chaos and the Yellow Devil, a boss character that appears in numerous Mega Man video games.
- On the cover Sonic and Mega Man fight the Chaos Devil. However in the actual comic Rouge unleashes the monster and Bass and Metal Sonic end up trying to handle it. Sonic and Mega Man do not even encounter it in this issue, but they eventually do in Mega Man #27.
- The colored dot passcode system the Chaotix are trying to crack in order to gain access to the teleporter pad is a reference to the same passcode system used in Mega Man 3 and Mega Man 5 to save game progress.