- ALL-NEW STORY ARC! "Spark of Life” Part One: Nicole detects a distress signal from the Digital World—but how can that be if nobody is supposed to know about the Digital World?! Sally, Tails and Big must travel to Isolated Island to answer the call for help! Who is Dr. Ellidy? And in what way does he link the lives of Sally and Nicole? Featuring a stunning new cover by Tracy Yardley and “Web Lynx” Variant cover art by rising Sonic star Rafa Knight!
Spark of Life Part One
- Plot: Ian Flynn
- Script: Aleah Baker
- Pencils: Tracy Yardley
- Inks: Jim Amash
- Colors: Matt Herms
- Letters: Jack Morelli
- Assistant Editor: Vincent Lovallo
- Editor/Executive Director of Editorial: Paul Kaminski
- Editor-in-Chief: Victor Gorelick
- President: Mike Pellerito
- Publisher: Jon Goldwater
- Special Thanks To: Tyler Ham, Anthony Gaccione and the CHARACTER BUSINESS and LICENSING DEPARTMENT of SEGA CORPORATION
The issue starts with the Sky Patrol under attack by several Dark Gaia creatures. Rotor tells Sally, Big, and Tails to get them off the ship, with Sally already working on it. Sally asks Nicole how much longer till sunrise, and Nicole gives the approximate calculation, but is interrupted by Tails being attacked. Sally attacks the creatures, and she is saved by Tails from falling. The sun rises, and Tails declares that it was a long two minutes.
Inside, Cream is concerned of her friend's conditions, but Sally tells her they are fine, just tired. Cream goes to make coffee. Sally is surprised that she can make coffee with the coffee machine that Rotor had built. Rotor says it is not complicated. But soon Cream screams, and Rotor rushes off. Sally comments that 'cream and coffee don't mix'. Nicole is not amused with the joke. Sally tells her she is tired, but Nicole reminds her that what she did was reckless, and says that the Dark Gaia creatures disappear as soon as the sun rises. Sally says she knows, but she could not just sit there and do nothing either. Nicole says she understands.
But then she screams, startling Sally, and Nicole says something about Dr. Ellidy before disappearing. Rotor asks what's wrong, and Sally says she was gone, saying something about Dr. Ellidy before going. Rotor had not heard of that name for a long time, and Tails says that Nicole is not in the Sky Patrol's systems, but there are signals coming from the Digital World. Sally plans to go to Dr. Ellidy's residence in Isolated Island. She takes Tails and Big along with the Tornado. Cream asks Rotor about the Digital World, and where Nicole went. Rotor explains what the Digital World is, describing it as an 'artificial reality', and no one knows where it came from. He shows concern for Dr. Ellidy and says that Nicole is the only one that can help him.
Meanwhile, Nicole makes her way in the Digital World, creating bridges along the way. Just then she spots several monsters attacking Dr. Ellidy. Nicole tells them to go away, but they are insistent. So Nicole creates a weapon and destroys them. Dr. Ellidy looks in surprise as Nicole says that they can't hurt him now. He sheds a tear. Meanwhile, Sally, Big and Tails are heading to Isolated Island with the Tornado. Sally says that she hasn't seen the Doctor since she was little, and Big asks her if Ellidy is Nicole's father. Sally says 'you could say that'. Tails comments that he created the Mobotropolis Grand Archive. Sally says that Ellidy worked for her father as a lead researcher and developer for computer technology. She added that he also made the Ring Blades for her later on. Tails commented that going from computer technology to ring research was a jump, and Sally says that the ring research started after he retired.
A flashback of the past is shown. Dr. Ellidy is seen shaking hands with King Acorn, who is sad to see him go. Ellidy comments that his retirement is what he needs. Little Sally takes a look at what's happening, She then asks Ellidy if he's really leaving, and Ellidy gives a present to her. He says he wasn't sure of what to do with it, and introduces one of his powerful computers. He says that it has an advanced A.I, and connects to the Mobotropolis Grand Archive. Sally is excited when the computer knows her name, and asks Ellidy what her name was. Dr.Ellidy is hesitant on giving the name, but King Acorn suggests the name 'Nicole' after a long past queen. Sally tells the computer that, and Nicole accepts her new name. Sally hugs Ellidy, thanking him, and Dr. Ellidy tells her and her father to take care of each other as he leaves.
Back in the Digital World, Nicole learned that the Doctor had digitized his consciousness and was trapped here. Ellidy adds that he was investigating a problem, so he came to the Digital World to fix it. There was a blockade so he couldn't get out. He was then attacked, and he sent out a call for help. He was surprised that Nicole answered it. Nicole says she felt it. Dr. Ellidy asks Nicole about her physical form, and Nicole tells him that she chose this form herself. She then tells him to keep moving, as being here for long is not that healthy. Dr. Ellidy then points out the spot where he entered, which is now blocked. Nicole says she will get him home. She uses her powers and forces the blockade to open. Ellidy and Nicole escape, unaware that more black creatures are beginning to show up.
Meanwhile, Sally, Big, and Tails have reached Isolated Island. Tails could not land any closer and detects that Dr. Ellidy's house is near by. Sally tells the others to keep an eye out for anything unusual. Big comments that the island reminds him of his home, and Tails wonders if there is a Lake of Rings nearby. Sally says yes, then adds on that when Ellidy moved here he started ring research,and when he sent the Ring Blades, it was the first time Sally heard from him. She hopes that Nicole is okay. Just then a Motobug arrives. Sally summons one of her Ring Blades, but the Motobug started speaking, asking the heroes if they wanted assistance much to their surprise. Sally asks for the location of Ellidy's house, and the Motobug tells them to follow. Upon reaching there, they find more Badniks in Ellidy's house, not spotting the heroes. Sally is creeped out, and Tails thinks that they were modified. The group searches for Dr. Ellidy, and they find him in a chamber. He suddenly wakes up, startling the heroes. Sally rushes to his help, and Nicole shows up, apologizing for abruptly leaving the Sky Patrol's systems. While Tails gets the portable computer out, Nicole reports that the doctor transported is consciousness into the Digital World and got trapped there. Sally asks Big for water. Ellidy thanks the group for coming, but Sally tells that it's Nicole he has to thank in person. Ellidy is confused, and Nicole shows up in her avatar form, commenting that she had learned a few tricks since she was created.
Soon the group takes a break, Sally makes some broth to give to Ellidy for strength. She tells that she added some herbs from some of the potted plants in the house, much to Ellidy's shock. Not wanting to upset the princess, he says it was bracing. Sally asks Dr. Ellidy what was happening. He replies that the Badniks outside were his 'buddies'. He found them here after Doctor Eggman commenced a failed operation. They also help fend off the Dark Gaia Creatures, to which Sally tells they were attacked by some this morning. He then explains that Uncle Chuck had called him for Ellidy to research what was happening. So he sent some of his robots, only to find out that the water in the ocean just stops and it's nothing more of a clouded abyss. Sally comments that it's magic, to which Nicole shows up and comments that she hates that theory, especially when it's accurate. She then tells the Doctor that she has something to discuss with him. But Dr. Ellidy claims he's tired, and goes to take a nap, and tells Nicole that they can discuss later.
Nicole wonders if she is causing Dr. Ellidy distress, but Sally comments that she has changed the last time he saw her, and that Ellidy had a rough day. Later on, Nicole comments that someone or something was deliberately trying to prevent him to leave the Digital World. Then added that he was trying to troubleshoot a problem when he was stranded. Sally remarks that he did not answer her question about what was happening. Nicole then adds on that whoever placed the barricade was led right here and could be watching them right now. As she continues to talk, both are unaware that they are being spied on.
The spy comments about Nicole's ability to turn from an organic being to a digital body, and to a physical form. The spy comments that this was very fascinating, and it reveals to be Phage.
- Badnik Horde
- Dark Bat (multiple)
- Dark Fright (multiple)
- Dr. Eggman (mentioned)
- Dr. Ellidy (first appearance)
- Freedom Fighters
- Nikki (mentioned)
- Nigel Acorn (flashback)
- Phage (first appearance)
- Sir Charles the Hedgehog (mentioned)
Races and species:
- Digital World (first appearance)
- Prime Zone
- Dark Gaia energy
- Digitizer (first appearance)
- Rotor's Expresso Express (first appearance)
- When developing the "Spark of Life" story arc, the driving factor was not only to provide an origin story for Nicole, but also to explore the relationship between Sally and Nicole and use it to cover some past events.
- The small diamond-shaped symbol floating over Dr. Ellidy's avatar form in the Digital World is a reference to the Plumbob, an icon used to identify selected characters in The Sims series.
- Dr. Ellidy's home is located on Isolated Island, the tutorial level of Knuckles' Chaotix. Sally mentions that he started studying Ring after moving to the island, a reference to the game's Ring Power system, and his staff of reprogrammed Badniks were said to have been found abandoned after a failed operation by Dr. Eggman.
Races and species:
- Sally: Actually, about that..."it's magic" sums it up pretty well.
- Nicole: I hate that excuse.
- Sally: Even when it's accurate?
- Nicole: Especially when it's accurate.
- ronc (24 December 2014). ARCHIE COMICS ON SALE TODAY – 12/24/14. Archie Comics. Archived from the original on 11 September 2015.
- Sonic the Hedgehog Free Comic Book Day 2015, "Sonic Comic Origins: Into the Unknown"
- Aleah Baker (19 January 2016). Lea's Unimportant Farewell to BK Q&A!. BumbleKing Comics. Retrieved on 21 January 2016. "Serious question though how did you and Ian come up with the idea for Spark of Life? / Aleah Baker: Y'know, it's been so long... aside from "Nicole could use a new origin story" I don't remember a lot of specifics at this point. I know Dr. Ellidy didn't have a name nailed down for a long time during development. Something else that was a driving factor (and went through a lot of talk with Paul Kaminski) was exploring Nicole's relationship with Sally and using that to cover some past events, and I'm glad that those angles were able to be incorporated (even though stuff still got cut in the end... I'm getting better about avoiding those kinds of problems)."