- It starts with a spark! 'Spark of Life,' Part 3. Shocking truths are exposed as Dr. Ellidy reveals the tragic origin of the beloved A.I., Nicole! Meanwhile, Phage erupts from the shadows of the Digital World to sew chaos on the island! Can our heroes rally to save Nicole and drive off this new threat? Night is falling, and terrible monsters are closing in! Don't miss this exciting next chapter in the latest Sonic Universe epic, featuring all-new cover art from Sonic artist supreme Tracy Yardley, and a special new 'EXTREME BFFs' variant cover from My Little Pony artist Agnes Garbowska!
Spark of Life Part Three
- 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
On isolated Island, Sally sees a memorial of a mobian Lynx. She asks Doctor Ellidy who she is, while comparing her to Nicole. Ellidy gets angry, and tells her not to compare her. Confused, Sally asks him what his problem with Nicole is. Ellidy then tells that the Lynx in the photo is his daughter, Nikki, who passed away several years ago. He notes that Nicole was supposed to save her life. Back in the Digital World, Nicole is finished partitioning the system when Phage appears, commenting about her physical form. Nicole is confused, and asks who she is, Phage introduces herself, and Nicole asks her why she is here. Phage responds that she is learning and growing, what she does all the time. Phage questions Nicole about her physical form, and Nicole says it was out of curiosity, and expects Phage to say that it was foolish. But Phage notes this as 'fascinating'. Nicole then asks whether Phage was responsible for infiltrating the system, attacking Doctor Ellidy in the Digital World, and reprogramming the badnik at the Lake of Rings to attack her friends. When Phage admits she did all this, Nicole immediately traps her in a Quarantine. But Phage destroys the Quarantine, and taunts Nicole that she can't stop her and she infiltrated the system for a reason. She then attacks Nicole.
In the past, Ellidy is working on a computer when someone knocks on the door. Chuck the Hedgehog comes in and asks him if he is alright. Ellidy is irritated, saying he is fine and shows him the program that helps in mapping out the neutral pathways in Mobotropolis. Chuck questions the data, transferred from the Digitzer, and Ellidy says that he already did the first scan. He then changes the topic and asks Chuck about the Roboticizer. Chuck says no. He notes that this is all he has left. In the present, Sally continues his conversation with Ellidy, and Ellidy notes that he was hoping that his daughter could live on in some form through the Digitizer, but the program that was mapping her scans caused Nicole to be created by accident. Sally apologizes for the loss, but tells Ellidy that it is unfair to blame Nicole for his daughter's death. Ellidy angrily yells that he didn't and notes that is the reason why he gave Nicole to her instead of deleting her. He then feels sad that Nikki never got the chance to live longer. Sally, now getting irritated, tells Ellidy that ignoring Nicole would hurt her feelings, but Ellidy interrupts her, saying that she doesn't know what 'hurt' is. Enraged, both Sally and Ellidy argue, until Sally slowly comes to her senses, wondering why they were arguing, then she realizes that Dark Gaia was controlling their minds and tells Ellidy to get inside. Ellidy says that his badniks will protect them, but Sally tells him they won't and they start running, just as the badniks and a Dark Gaia Monster start rising.
Sally tells Big and Tails to wake up, and she and Ellidy enter the lab, and are immediately locked in. Sally tries to contact Nicole, but Phage answers her instead, revealing that she is here to get Ellidy's information, the Red Star Rings, and the Chaos Emerald. Sally asks her who she works for, and she reveals that she is working for Doctor Eggman, by flashing the logo of his empire on the screens. Sally tries to compromise with Phage, by telling her to let Nicole go, but Phage refuses, telling that Nicole is hers. Ellidy suggests to shut down the system, but Sally refuses to do so, as Nicole would be deleted along with Phage. Meanwhile, Phage notes on how useful Nicole would be, realizing that they would not notice that Nicole would be gone, Phage tries to alter her appearance to Nicole's form, but the latter breaks free, and attacks Phage. She then sends a message to Sally, telling her that she is evading Phage, and tells her to get the Chaos Emerald. Meanwhile, Big tries to keep the badniks and the monsters at bay and Tails tells Sally that all are trying to get in. Sally tells Tails to get to the Chaos Emerald at the Lake of Rings before Phage. Big then drives the vehicle, knocking the badniks and the monsters back. Another flashback takes place in Castle Acorn. Young Sally wakes up from her sleep, and asks Nicole what time it was, only to find her hand held form missing and the door open. Coming out, she angrily calls out to the figure. The figure reveals herself to be Nicole, who was trying out her physical form for the first time. Sally is surprised, and Nicole explains that it was complicated, and that she may not hold this form for long, and explains that she wanted to see the stars the way Sally does. Sally happily accepts.
Back in the present, in the Digital World, Nicole is trying to escape, ignoring Phages taunts about her having nowhere to go. She destroys Phage's monsters as she reveals her plan, Phage will absorb Nicole's coding and everything else in the system. She reveals she has infected other systems and they are directly linked to her core. Nicole finds an opening, and sees several pictures of Ellidy's deceased daughter, Nikki. Nicole is confused, but is ambushed by Phage. Sally could not stand this, and decides to help. She removes her vest to cover the camera, and thinks of a plan. She decides to use the Digitizer, and gives Ellidy one of her Ring-Blades, in case the badniks came through. Ellidy refuses to allow the princess to risk herself by using the Digitizer, but Sally knows that Ellidy didn't mean to create Nicole, and yells at him about Nicole being worth saving. She then uses the Digitizer. Back in the Digital World, Nicole is surrounded by Phage, about to be destroyed. But Sally arrives in time, strikes Phage, and says that if she wants Nicole, she will have to fight her first. Phage accepts the challenge.
- Chao (flashback)
- Dark Gaia (mentioned)
- Dark Gaia Creature
- Nightmare (multiple)
- Dr. Ellidy
- Dr. Eggman
- Freedom Fighters
- Nigel Acorn (mentioned)
- Nikki (first appearance) (photograph)
- Sir Charles the Hedgehog (flashback)
- Digital World
- Prime Zone
- Chaos Emerald (mentioned)
- Miles Electric
- Red Star Ring (x2)
- Roboticizer (mentioned)
- 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 flashback in which Sally wakes up in the middle of the night to encounter Nicole's lynx form for the first time is reminiscent of "Stargazing" from Sonic the Hedgehog #151 (which marked the debut of said form). Nicole even states that she wanted to see the stars, just like in the aforementioned story.
- The small diamond-shaped symbol floating over Sally's avatar form in the Digital World is a reference to the Plumbob, an icon used to identify selected characters in The Sims series.
Ellidy warns Sally about using the Digitizer, saying that it will test her sanity. Sally tells him to just do it, and she gets zapped. She is shown to be pixelated a bit and notes that she was expecting a little more Dreamcast.
- Sally: We'd be destroying Nicole along with Phage.
- Dr. Ellidy: That thing now controls my badniks. It's only a matter of time--
- Sally: We are not giving in that easily.
- Because of the lead up to the "Worlds Unite" crossover, the covers of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Boom and Sonic Universe, starting with this issue, Sonic the Hedgehog #270 and Sonic Boom #5 each have a countdown timer listing how many issues are left of each respective series before the start of the crossover (three issues from this issue).
- The same counter was used for the issues leading up to Worlds Collide.
- The icon in the Extreme BFFs Variant cover bears a resemblance to Sonic & Knuckles.
- 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)."