The Good, the Bad and the Unknown (Part 2 of 4): Ignition
- The cover says it all: Sonic vs. Shadow vs. Metal Sonic! One of the biggest, baddest battles ever just got even bigger and badder! Can Sonic and the rest of the freedom fighters stand up to this ultimate onslaught? With the evil Dr. Robotnik and E-102 in the mix, can anyone stand up to this villainy? Don't miss the fight of Sonic's life as things go from bad to worse for the blue blur!
The Good, The Bad & The Unknown Part One: Ignition
- Writer: Ken Penders
- Artist: Steven Butler
- Inker: Jim Amash
- Letterer: John Workman
- Colorist: Jason Jensen
- Editor: Mike Pellerito
- Managing editor: Victor Gorelick
- Editor-in-chief: Richard Goldwater
Metal Sonic arrives in the mountains near the underground entrance to the ancient facility, where the Freedom Fighters have been splintered into groups: Sonic the Hedgehog, Rotor and Bunnie in one area; Tommy Turtle and Tails in another. Tails and Tommy discover a control room as well a security system displaying a live video feed of the rest of their team. Startled to see Sonic injured, they check the other security monitors and find Shadow and Isaac. Tails wonders if Isaac is a rebuilt version of Gamma when Tommy realizes that they don't know where Fiona Fox is.
Rotor informs Sonic and Bunnie that Fiona accidentally triggered a dangerous reaction from a computer. Sonic grabs a nearby cart and places Rotor on top so the group can quickly rendezvous with Fiona. As they head off, Tails and Tommy contact the group over the speaker system and direct them on how to reach Fiona. While Sonic's team races off, Tails and Tommy tell them that they see Metal Sonic engaging Shadow and the Gamma lookalike elsewhere in the facility.
Metal Sonic (erroneously) detects that Shadow is both a Mobian and a machine and demands that he explain himself. Shadow instead questions Metal Sonic. The robot responds by attacking Shadow, demanding that he obey his superior. Sonic, Rotor, and Bunnie regroup with Fiona while Tails and Tommy explain that a fight is breaking out between Shadow and Metal. Sonic, itching to get in on the action, ditches his group and antagonizes Metal and Shadow. Isaac is fascinated to find a non-human that can speak and proposes dissecting Sonic and his friends. Sonic wisecracks back at Isaac, who takes his wit as a potential threat and attacks. Shadow, Metal, and Isaac all chase after Sonic, who quickly realizes that taking on all three of them at once was a bad idea.
Dr. Eggman commands Metal to go for the kill. Tails and Tommy panic, seeing Sonic in distress while the other Freedom Fighters are being electrocuted by a computers' defense systems. Tommy urges Tails to do something and, recalling that Rotor told him to only do it as a last resort, Tails hits the big red button on the security system's control panel. As soon as he does so, a trapdoor opens up underneath Sonic, sending him and his attackers into the pit below.
Off-Panel: This Side of Parodies
- Writing: Mike Gallagher
- Pencilling: Dave Manak
- Inking: Rich Koslowski
- Lettering: John Workman
- Coloring: Jason Jensen
In the Off Panel universe, Editor Mike Pellerito angrily tells Sonic to stay out of his office. As he leaves, Sonic comes across Mike Gallagher and Dave Manak on the sidewalk making a cameo appearance. Realizing they're in Off Panel and creating their own reality, they transform into the superheroes "Dynamo Dave" and "Mighty Mike". Mike and Dave tell Sonic to take a break while they handle the baddies. Amused by the idea, Sonic heads to the Retirement Home for Castoff Robo-Badniks, where he recruits Caterkiller, Bat Brain, and Motobug to attack the new meta-heroes.
Back outside of Archie Comics headquarters, Dave and Mike argue over who has the better superpowers. While they argue, Motobug lands a suckerpunch on both of them. Dave blames Mike, since a good writer would see his own plot twists coming. Mike retorts that he'd be able to if the artwork wasn't so rushed. Motobug lands another sneak attack on them, leading to a full blown argument over who is at fault for the derailed storyline. Eventually, Pellerito appears to break up the fight, berating them for wasting their Off Panel story. Mike and Dave decide to try and bribe him over to their side, offering to write and design a special superhero identity for Pellerito. The editor relents, becoming a fez wearing, winged monkeyman known as "Editorius Rex". Before they can fly off to have more adventures, Managing Editor Victor Gorelick plants a "The End" sign into the ground.
Fox and the Hound
On a pleasant day in Knothole, Muttski begs Sonic to play with him. Busy saving the world, Sonic brushes him off. Tails notices that Muttski seems down and decides to play fetch with him. They continue the day playing hopscotch, swimming, and having a game of tag. While playing hide and seek, Muttski pounces on Tails but refuses to let him up. He growls and snarls until Sonic appears. Tails, visibly shaken, explains to Sonic that Muttski nearly attacked him. Sonic tells him that Muttski was just playing "Foxhunt", a game he developed with Muttski to train in defending themselves.
Tails drops by the editor's office to thank him for all the responsibilities he's been given and how grown up it makes him feel. He goes over the bills he's paid, from the phone bill to the credit card to the cleaning service. The editor asks about the electric bill when the lights suddenly go out.
- "Fox and the Hound" contains the final reference made to the Universal Translator that Sonic has imbedded in his head during the Tossed in Space arc.
- The title "This Side of Parodies" is a pun on the title of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, This Side of Paradise.
- The title of "Fox and the Hound" is a reference to the animated Disney movie, The Fox and the Hound.
- "Fox and the Hound" makes several Scooby Doo references, including Muttski beginning number names with the letter "r" while he is counting and Tails asking him if he wants a "Mooby Snack", a spoof on "Scooby Snacks".
- "Never tell me the odds!" is a line said by Han Solo in Star Wars, and was also used by Sonic in the first story.
- In The Good, The Bad, & The Unknown Part Two, Isaac is surprised to find a non-human that can speak. This shouldn't occur, as neither Shadow nor Metal Sonic are humans. This error may be attributed to Isaac's memory being corrupt, as revealed in Sonic the Hedgehog #165.
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