- Sonic journeys to the frozen Northern Tundra to link up with the Arctic Freedom Fighters and attempt to rescue Rotor's family and herd from the latest Dark Egg Legion threat! Rotor wants to come out of retirement to save his family, but first he'll have to face... Silver?! PLUS: “Future Tense”: A glimpse into the “time” that Silver calls home!
Family Matters Part One
- Writer: Ian Flynn
- Penciler: Steven Butler
- Inks: Terry Austin
- Colors: Matt Herms
- Letters: John Workman
- Co-editor: Paul Kaminski
- Editor/Managing Editor: Mike Pellerito
- Editor-in-chief: Victor Gorelick
- Special thanks to: Cindy Chau and Jerry Chu at SEGA Licensing
In Castle Acorn, Sonic and the Council of Acorn are watching a transmission via NICOLE projecting it as a hologram; Guntiver the Wolf of the Arctic Freedom Fighters is requesting assistance. In the recording, he explains that the brainwashed Walrus Herd has been seen both constructing and protecting what appears to be a giant refueling station, though Guntiver adds that it seems too big for that. He finishes by saying that if anyone is available, they would appreciate them coming up to the Northern Tundra to help. NICOLE concludes the transmission, earning a stuttered thanks from Councilor Dylan. Sensing something is off, NICOLE asks if everything is okay, and he and Councilor Penelope Platypus hastily assure her that it is fine. NICOLE turns away understanding what they mean. Sonic, meanwhile, says that unless Sally Acorn and Amy Rose have turned up anything in their search of the Eggdome, he is free to go up north and help the Arctic Freedom Fighters. He turns to Councilor Rotor and tells him he just needs to pack some warm clothes, and they can head out soon, but Rotor looks distressed. Councilor Hamlin interjects that Rotor is not leaving; Sonic flatly replies that he was not asking the pig's permission. Hamlin explains that Rotor is a retired Freedom Fighter and that his duty is now to the Council of Acorn, and to the people of the republic; Sonic protests that it is Rotor's family that is in danger, but Rotor tells him it is okay. Sonic is about to protest, but Rotor says that Hamlin is right, unknown to Sonic of Hamlin’s cheeky grin - his place is with the Council. Sonic asks Rotor if he was sure, and Rotor insists he knows that he can count on Sonic to save his family. Sonic cannot argue with what Rotor said. and announced that he will get some Power Rings and be on his way; Elias Acorn concludes the meeting is over if there is no other business. As the Councilors leave, Rotor whispers to NICOLE, asking her to meet him at his home later on. NICOLE, although puzzled, agrees to this.
Later, Sonic arrives in the Northern Tundra, using the Power Rings to significantly boost his speed. He skids to a stop in front of Guntiver, apologizing for not being able to respond to the message immediately, because he had been busy with something further south. Sonic then asks where the rest of his team is. Guntiver tells Sonic that they are down below and invites him into the Arctic Freedom Fighter base via an igloo door downstairs. Guntiver is sure that Sonic must be freezing from his journey, but Sonic remarks that he was moving so fast with the power rings that he was carrying that the cold could not keep up with him. Sonic meets the rest of the team down below and remarks that it has been forever since he saw them. Sealia eagerly hugs him, saying that the last time they had all been together was when they stopped Dr. Ivo Robotnik's Weather Annihilator. Sonic agrees it has been a long time and admits he had thought the team had disbanded. Guntiver explains that originally, they were not really even Freedom Fighters but more of an activist group. Erma pointedly adds "some of us wanted to be more proactive", resulting in a glare from Guntiver and an uneasy look from Sonic. Guntiver continues on, saying that when the Eggman Empire started tightening its grip up there, they had decided to firmly unite against him and protect their home together.
Sonic asks what the plan is and Erma remarks that they were just about to go over that. Guntiver tells her to explain the plan to everyone. Erma then goes over what they know about the facility from Flip and Sealia's reconnaissance, which consists of a subaquatic base run by the Legionnaires themselves while mind-controlled Walruses operate the surface base. Combining their own cybernetically boosted sonar abilities with a Psionic Emitter on top of their Totem Base, the Legion is able to completely subjugate the Walrus Herd. Flip then explains that while he, Augustus, and Sealia will be going after the underwater base, Guntiver and Erma need help on the surface to bring both parts of the tower down at once, thus necessitating their distress call. Sonic cracks his knuckles and says that he is ready to go when the others are. Sealia remarks that they are technically ready and questions why Rotor did not come even though his family was endangered. Sonic informs them about the injuries to his back he suffered during the Destruction of Knothole, leading to his retirement from field work. He can still walk fine, but it has kept him from going on any more missions.
Back in New Mobotropolis, NICOLE meets Rotor at his house as requested, where he shows her a blueprint he has been working on and asks her if she could use her nanites to create it for him. NICOLE states that she is able, but worries about abusing her abilities after her enslavement to the Iron Dominion, and worries that there may be others in the city may be uncomfortable around her as well. Rotor assures her that everyone was spooked by the Iron Dominion's invasion and will eventually get over it. He then remarks that this particular project is to be a secret. As NICOLE begins constructing Rotor's design, she questions Rotor's earlier assurance that he would remain in the city, while Rotor asserts that he feels obligated to go to the aid of his family. In response to her worries that he might be discovered, he assures her that his design will enable him to join Sonic and return before anyone will miss him. Rotor also reveals that he feels he has been inactive for too long. While NICOLE finishes the suit and hands it to Rotor to put it on. Rotor remarks that she did perfectly, and NICOLE says that the pleasure is hers. She wishes him good luck, but Rotor remarks that it will be the Dark Egg Legion that needs help now before taking off for the Northern Tundra, waxing nostalgic as he remembers the old days of the Freedom Fighters when he used to construct powerful weapons to aid his friends. Unfortunately, after Sonic's disappearance, Rotor attempted to take his place with an even more dangerous arsenal, only to hurt other Freedom Fighters in the process. Deciding never to construct another weapon again, he became vehemently opposed to the idea of using any kind of weapons, but later acted somewhat hypocritically, such as in the creation of the Metal Sonic Troopers even with Sir Charles supervising him. Rotor then decides that once the Herd is safe again, he will return to his responsibilities on the Council and retire for good, but reminds himself that his self-appointed task is not done yet.
Elsewhere, Sonic and the Arctic Freedom Fighters advance on the tower where the Psionic Emitter is located. Guntiver warns that they are almost to the base and will want to brace themselves. Sonic hopes that the herd will stay rescued this time and remarks so. As he brings up the recurring instances of the Walrus Herd being threatened by Robotnik. Erma then reveals to him that the Walruses are the most prominent species in the region, and that their city is the most influential in the area. Sonic then attempts to joke with Flip about the name of the city being Iceborough and not iceberg, though Flip is quick to point out that his observation is an old one and is not that funny. Guntiver then shouts that they have arrived at their destination. Sonic notices that the weather appears to be growing worse before Erma reminds him to focus or get out. Looking down they see an armed party of brainwashed Walruses guarding the base. Sonic then jokes that this is just a mission that does not seem to hard. Elsewhere, Rotor is anticipating seeing his family again, only to be brought down unexpectedly by some force. Spotting a shadowy figure through the blizzard going on around him, he assumes that it must be some kind of Badnik or Legionnaire, and opens fire with weapons on his wrists as a warning shot. The figure stops his attack and throws it back at him, destroying his weapons. Rotor goes for a head on attack, only to be immobilized by his opponent, who is revealed to be Silver the Hedgehog. He then notices that the nanites in his suit are offline, while Silver remarks that his psychokinesis is superior to machinery. Silver then accuses Rotor of not being the real "Boomer Walrus", confusing Rotor before further accusing him of being the traitor to the Freedom Fighters.
Future Tense Part One
- Writer: Ian Flynn
- Pencils: Jamal Peppers
- Inks: Terry Austin
- Colors: Ray Dillon
- Letters: John Workman
In the year 3437 P.X.E., Silver the Hedgehog is studying a book on Onyx Island, in a chamber that has a painting of the Future Freedom Fighters on the wall. He remarks that he will have to thank Edmund for the opportunity to do his research here, as he comes across what he believes to be the identity of the traitor he has been seeking. The book records that the first team of Freedom Fighters consisted of Sonic, Sally, Antoine, and a Walrus named Boomer, rather than Rotor. Assuming that Rotor took Boomer's place and had somehow gone undetected at some point, Silver resolves to show "the Master" what he is found, but then decides that he need not bother since he can do it himself. Convinced that he is correct this time around, he summons up one of the Time Stones, confident enough in his use of its power to forego his old Super Warp Ring. However, before departing, he has second thoughts, wondering if it is really necessary to eliminate the supposed traitor for something they have not even done in their time. He briefly contemplates reasoning with him, but after looking around at the ruined civilization on Onyx Island itself, he reminds himself that the traitor will eventually be responsible for it and that he must save his past and Rotor's future. He then uses Chronos Control to depart from atop a statue resembling Lara-Su.
The strip opens with the hypothetical situation of Rotor having left Knothole a couple of hours later than he did in the main story. Rotor is then seen flying, going over the same thoughts he was having before Silver brought him down. He then remarks how the flight has been strangely easy and boring, not noticing the frozen solid form of Silver on the ground below.
- Sonic: (after arriving at the Arctic Freedom Fighter's base) Yo, Guntiver! Sorry to take so long.
- Guntiver: Ha! We only sent the word the other day!
- Sonic: Yeah, I had some business to take care of down south. Where's the rest of the team?
- Guntiver: Down below. C'mon, I'm sure your freezing.
- Sonic: Dude, with the power rings I was carrying, the cold couldn't keep up with me.
- Sonic: Don't get me wrong, I feel bad for their situation, but why is Eggman always after them?
- Erma: Maybe because they're the most prominent species in the northern tundra? Maybe because the city of Iceborough is the most influential settlement in the entire polar cap? Take your pick.
- Sonic: So... "Iceborough" eh, not "Ice-burg?" Ah? Get it? "Iceberg?"
- Flip: This is the northern tundra, dude. That joke's older than the permafrost.
- Sonic: Ha Ha! That's cold, man, cold!
- Sonic: (looks at herd) What? It's just an entire herd of zombie-like walruses who want to tear us apart for trying to save their lives. No biggie!
- Rotor: (fires at Silver) Consider this your warning shot, buddy!
- Silver: (deflects Rotor's shot) I'm not your buddy, pal.
- This is the first issue in which Silver fully appears on the cover, and the second issue in which he appears on the cover at all.
- Silver's powers are shown lime green instead of cyan on the cover.
- The name of the lead story is also the name of an American sitcom which starred Jaleel White, who incidentally was also known for providing Sonic's voice in the three American Sonic cartoon shows. Ironically, "Family Matters" ran for 215 episodes before being cancelled, which just so happens to be this issues number.
- The Arctic Freedom Fighters make their first reappearance since Sonic the Hedgehog #125 (this issue coincidentally has the same numbers, but in a different order).
- This issue marks the first time Erma Ermine was given lines of dialogue in a story (in her early appearances, she had no dialogue).
- The name of the new Dark Egg Legion chapter's Grandmaster appears on Erma's diagram of their base with a question mark next to it: Akhlut?
- Silver's assumption that Rotor is the traitor is based on the fact that Rotor's early membership in the Freedom Fighters was apparently recorded under his childhood nickname of Boomer.
- Fiona Fox appears briefly during Rotor's flashback about his distaste against weapons, as Fiona had found a firearm in Sonic the Hedgehog #149, but Rotor had reminded Fiona to never resort to weapons like such. This is also the first time Fiona is seen in her original jumpsuit design since Sonic the Hedgehog #172.
- In the extra mini comic at the end of this issue, Silver is seen humorously in a frozen state. His pose looks somewhat similar to the pose a character makes in Sonic Advance 3 when entering the ice machine in Twinkle Snow.
- Silver's remark to Rotor "I'm not your buddy, pal", is a subtle nod to the South Park episode "Canada on Strike", where a similar line was used by Terrence and Philip.
- In a flashback, Rotor appears to be holding Larry Lynx.
- This is Mike Pellerito's last issue as editor.
- This is the first issue in which Silver's speech bubbles are the same color as everyone else's. In earlier issues they were cyan.
- Paul Kaminski (6 August 2010). Sonic the Hedgehog #215 Preview Pages/Discussion/Spoilers. BumbleKing Comics. Archived from the original on 2 November 2015.