- "I Am": The countdown to Issue 175 continues! As Shadow and Dr. Robotnik's personal war intensifies, could it bring an end to life as we know it? When Shadow steals classified information about himself from Dr. Robotnik, he enlists Sonic, Tails and Knuckles to help him crack the code. But is he really ready to learn who he truly is?! PLUS: "The Enforcers": Without his son's help, Knuckle's father Locke is losing control of Angel Island. Will the help offered by a mysterious new benefactor be accepted by Locke? And if so, will it mean the end of Angel Island?
- Writer: Ian Flynn
- Artist: Tracy Yardley
- Inker: Jim Amash
- Letterer: John Workman
- Colorist: Jason Jensen
- Editor: Mike Pellerito
- Managing Editor: Victor Gorelick
- Editor-in-chief: Richard Goldwater
- Special Thanks To: Robert Leffler and Dyna Lopez at Sega Licensing
It begins with Shadow holding Eggman over his head, calmly demanding to know where Professor Gerald's Diary is. When Eggman refuses to tell him, he grabs hold of Snively's hairs and demands to know from him. Terrified, Snively informs him it is in Eggman's private study. Shadow tosses Eggman aside and rips out Snively's hair anyway, for hesitating. Snively does not take it well. In the private study, Shadow finds the disk of Gerald's diary, but realizes it is not safe to investigate here. Instead there is only one place he can trust.
Back at Freedom HQ, Sonic asks Tails where Fiona is. Tails runs off looking very distraught before Sonic can get an awnser. Knuckles walks into the lab with his Extreme Gear and asks if the two are fighting. Tails comes back to tell them Shadow is coming and is under attack. Eggman's machines are after Shadow and damage the disk, but both are destroyed by Sonic and Tails. Shadow is dismayed at the damage to the disc, but tells them that the disk is the diary of his creator and that he needs to know who is he.
Inside the HQ, Tails tells Shadow that the disk is very old and corrupted and if they try to dig it up, it might destroy the whole thing. Nicole suggests they can get inside the disk manually, Sonic insists on accompanying Shadow, and Knuckles tells Sonic he will watch over HQ while they are gone.
The two make it inside the diary and Nicole notes their presence is accelerating the disk's deterioration. Sonic is surprised to see Nicole in a Mobian form, to which Nicole says she is doing it as a side project. Shadow is then welcomed by his lost best friend, Maria, whom Sonic and the other Freedom Fighters do not recognize. Meanwhile at HQ, Tails is alerted of Snively attacking the base with the Egg Lobster. Tails then realizes Snively has his hairs individually traced. Knuckles confronts him, and he demands his hair back. Knuckles refuses and takes him on.
In the diary, Shadow tells Maria that he has been capacity in 50 years and forgotten his purpose. Maria takes him to talk to Professor Gerald, who greets him as his son. The Professor tells them that Shadow was originally meant to cure Maria of Neuro-Immuno Deficiency Syndrome but he needed help to complete the project. He sought aid of a monstrous alien known as Black Doom who wanted Shadow to be his greatest weapon. He helped Professor Gerald to create him and gave him the skills of Chaos Control. He then states Black Doom and the Black Arms will return to Mobius in 50 years. Sonic clarifies that the Black Arms are in a conflict with the Xorda and won't be on Mobius anytime soon. Then, Professor Gerald apologizes for putting so much responsibility on Shadow's shoulders, but tells him that he was made as a protector of Mobius. The digital matrix starts collapsing around them, forcing Sonic and Nicole to leave, dragging the reluctant Shadow with them. Before they leave, Maria tells the tearful Shadow that he must protect everyone, and she will always be with him if he holds her in his heart.
All three successfully return to HQ, but it is under attack. Tails tells Sonic that Snively is fighting Knuckles because he wanted his hair back. Without hesitation, Shadow rushes outside and destroys the Egg Lobster. He then gives Snively his hairs and tells him, "I'm Shadow the Hedgehog. I am the union of ideals dark and benign but ultimately build in the name of love. I'm the ultimate lifeform. I'm the protector of Mobius. Run home to your master and tell him. This is WHO I AM." With Shadow gone, Sonic states that now they must find some answers why Fiona is vanishing.
- Black Arms
- Black Doom (First appearance)
- Badnik Horde
- Egg Flapper (First appearance)
- Eggman Empire
- Gerald Robotnik
- Knothole Freedom Fighters
- Maria Robotnik
- Shadow the Hedgehog
- Xorda (Mentioned)
- Neuro-Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (First appearance)
- The Black Arms are not back to take Shadow because they are fighting the Xorda, as Sonic and Knuckles saw in Sonic the Hedgehog #170, "Comings & Goings".
- Nicole is still working on her Mobian-form holograph from Sonic the Hedgehog #151, "Stargazer".
- The title is a reference to the Shadow the Hedgehog song "I Am... All of Me".
- Shadow's last line, "This is who I am", is the line that Shadow says at the end of every ending of Shadow the Hedgehog other than the true ending.
- This is the only time Shadow has been seen crying, as he shed a tear when he had to leave Maria.
- Writer: Ian Flynn
- Penciler: Tracy Yardley
- Inker: Terry Austin
- Letterer: John Workman
- Colorist: Jason Jensen
Looking on from afar, Guardian Locke recognizes them but doesn't understand why they rescued the Echidnas. Dr. Finitevus then arrives via Warp Ring and reveals he told them to do so, and both he and the Destructix had reformed, but Locke does not believe him. Finitevus then brings forth Dimitri to vouch for him. Dimitri says Finitevus saved what was left of him after the Dark Legion split in two, but Locke still holds doubts about Finitevus' claim. Finitevus then offers to let the Destuctix, under his command, keep guard over Angel Island and the Master Emerald so Locke can search for the missing Brotherhood of Guardians, which gets Locke's attention. He still hesitates until Finitevus suggests they contact Knuckles instead, and, still angry with his son, Locke refuses and agrees to let Finitevus look after the emerald, saying he will return frequently to check on him. He leaves with the Warp Ring provided by Finitevus.
Upon Locke's departure, Dimitri shows shame at having lied about Finitevus' intentions to convince Locke to leave. Finitevus however believes it necessary to his plans: to use the Master Emerald to bring Dimitri back to his old form of Enerjak.
- Brotherhood of Guardians
- Dark Legion
- Dingo Regime
- Enerjak (Mentioned)
- Lost Tribe of Echidnas
- Mammoth Mogul (Mentioned)
- Knuckles: (when Snively is attacking) Another attack?
- Tails: It's Snively! I'm detecting some kind of data-transfer... We've got a beacon here in the base!" (after seeing Snively's hair on the table) Snively has his hairs individually tracked?
- Knuckles: He's Eggman's nephew. They're all insane!
- Maria: Shadow...you have to go and protect everyone now. And you'll always have me...
- Shadow: ..if I hold you in my heart...! Good-bye, Maria.