- SONIC IS BACK and facing the HUGE consequences of the mega-hit Sonic/Mega Man crossover story arc in "At All Costs" Part Two! As the crossover crashed to a close, Sonic and Tails have returned to a world which is reeling from the cataclysmic effects of the Eggman/Wily genesis wave! The damage was severe, the threats have changed, and the mysteries are piling up! What has happened to Naugus in this new landscape? What is the final fate of Sally Acorn? Sonic and Tails are ready to tackle all the drama ahead of them—but first they must survive the wrath of the terrifying Tails Doll! Featuring new cover art from Sonic artist superstar Ben Bates and a special "SEGA" Variant!
At All Costs Part Two: A New Lease on Life
- Writer: Ian Flynn
- Pencils: Evan Stanley
- Inks: Terry Austin
- Letters: Jack Morelli
- Colors: Matt Herms
- Assistant Editor: Vincent Lovallo
- Editor/Executive Director of Editorial: Paul Kaminski
- Editor-in-chief: Victor Gorelick
- President: Mike Pellerito
- Special Thanks to: Anthony Gaccione and Cindy Chau and to the Character Business and Licensing Department of SEGA Corporation
Sonic, who experiences a barrage of memories—such as the time he was beaten by Eggman during the destruction of Knothole, the time he was on the Death Egg as Super Sonic during Operation: Clean Sweep, and his battle with Shadow on the Space Colony ARK—return, as well as a memory of when he met the Wisps, an alien race, awakens in Mobotropolis, which is now located on Westside Island. Getting to his feet, he notices civilians running in panic and quickly spots the reason: the mutated Tails Doll, which is being engaged by the real Tails. Seeing Sonic up, Tails asks if he's all right, and is concerned when Sonic begins questioning how he got where he is. Asserting that he's fine, the Hedgehog asks his friend what has become of Amy and Silver, and how they got to their current location given their former status on the Death Egg Mark 2 in their efforts to rescue Mecha Sally. Tails, completely confused, "reminds" Sonic that they returned to Mobotropolis to contact Nicole and rescue King Acorn, and found the Tails Doll attacking the city. He then informs Sonic that Amy has disappeared, and that the last time they saw Silver was when they saved the Wisps. Sonic, confused, manages to formulate a question as to whether or not Naugus is involved in the king's current predicament.
From inside the castle, the villainous wizard is cursing the presence of both Tails Doll and the heroes, only for a smug Nicole, who is projecting from her restored computer body and sporting a wardrobe different from before, to claim that he deserves his fate. Irritated, Naugus demands that Nicole honor a previous agreement, which involves her creating a Super Power Ring so that he can regain his lost powers. Nicole reminds him that she has previously voiced doubts about her ability to craft one, and her defiance prompts him to grab her computer form. Unexpectedly, the act triggers a reaction that awakens Naugus' memories of the unaltered reality, and in horror he throws Nicole through the nearby window. Horrified by the visions he has witnessed, Naugus crashes through the same window, fleeing the city right past a startled Sonic and Tails. Sonic quickly decides to deal with Tails Doll rather than try to follow him, but quickly discovers that the monster's armor is too strong for his Spin-Dash to penetrate. He and Tails form a joint Spin-Dash and cause some damage, only for Tails Doll to begin repairing itself by absorbing a nearby bridge.
Realizing that the city is no longer composed of Nanites, which leaves Tails even more confused, Sonic deduces that merely damaging Tails Doll's outer form isn't enough. Tails then suggests that they locate it's Control Gem, which is what allows it to restore itself, which in this altered reality has occurred more than once. Spotting it, the pair prepare to attack, only to be thrown by Tails Doll's next attack, which lands Tails near the discarded Nicole. Nicole attempts to speak with Tails, but has been damaged by her treatment at Naugus' hands. Tails reaches to pick her up, despite her apparent attempts to warn him away. He then has an experience similar to Naugus' and Sonic's, leaving him horrified. After remembering other adventures with Sonic, their brief confrontation, and his battles with Speedy and Mecha Sally, Tails recognizes his conflicting memories, and is nearly crushed by Tails Doll in his distraction. Sonic saves him, and helps him overcome his shock before suggesting that they finish Tails Doll first and then worry about the damage to reality. Sonic then mentions sending a message to Dr. Eggman regarding his creations.
Elsewhere, in the Efrika Plains, Eggman himself emerges from the battered remnants of the Egg-Wily Machine X, cursing Sonic before calling out for Orbot and Cubot. Extricating his Egg Mobile from the ruined robot, he announces his intentions to return to the Death Egg, only to find that his transport is incapable of flight. Cursing his former partner Dr. Wily, Eggman begins rolling his damaged craft away from the crash site, hoping to find help nearby and set things right for himself before going back to making Sonic miserable.
Back in Mobotropolis, Sonic distracts Tails Doll while Tails reluctantly plugs Nicole into the mechanical monster at her insistence. Her efforts allow Sonic to land the final blow, ripping Tails Doll's original plush form from its giant shell. After determining Nicole's well-being, the heroes separate Tails Doll from his Control Gem, and then kick him football style into the distance. Crushing the gem, Sonic then leads the way into Castle Acorn, with Tails commenting again on the strange collision of memories from the two different realities. Sonic also comments that his own "memories" of the altered world are popping up, including two different versions of the initial meeting between Dr. Robotnik and King Acorn. Turning to Nicole for answers, the pair receive a surprise suggestion: to locate the missing Freedom Fighters.
Tails, connecting Nicole's part in restoring his original memories and Sonic's retention of his own, suggests that locating the others might help their current dilemma. He also correctly guesses that Naugus may have been similarly affected by Nicole, but Sonic then suggests that they save the king so that they can proceed to locate the other Freedom Fighters. They find the king's cell secured by high-tech security, which Nicole reveals was stolen from Dr. Eggman in this reality after Naugus lost his powers to the first Genesis Wave, leading the doctor to send Tails Doll to attack. Getting it open, the trio are greeted by an overjoyed, healthy, and altered King Acorn, who asks about Naugus and is informed of his departure. He then surprises both heroes further by treating them quite warmly, and apologizes to Nicole for any role he may have played in her capture. Sonic contemplates the strangeness of the situation, and wonders whether or not the altered reality may have its positives.
King Acorn asks if he can assist them in any way, and is asked for help in locating the missing Freedom Fighters. While he doesn't know exactly where they all are, he offers to give them a clue. Entering the royal study, he reveals that the Freedom Fighters were all working on a secretive project, and that Rotor was the only one to have any sort of contact with him. Recognizing the Walrus' message as a set of coordinates, Sonic and Tails set out to find their missing teammates. King Acorn then requests that they inform him immediately once they are able to find his missing daughter. Meanwhile, in the Arctic, aboard the Death Egg, a pair of Egg Swats close in on a silhouetted figure. The imperiled Mobian, sporting a new appearance of her own, is none other than a De-Roboticized, fully organic Sally Acorn.
Sonic is ready to get back to the adventures of his own book after the crossover, but after seeing what may lay in wait for him, he quickly decides to move in with Mega Man.
- Sonic, remembering the events of Worlds Collide and what happened before the second Genesis Wave, arrives in a heavily altered Prime Zone created by the interfered Chaos Control.
- In this altered Prime Zone's history, Team Fighters never formed, the events of the DS version of Sonic Colors took place, Nicole never lost her portable body, Ixis Naugus lost his wizard powers and never took possession of Geoffrey St. John, and Silver the Hedgehog hadn't been seen since the Wisp adventure.
- The Tails Doll begins to attack the city.
- Tails claims that they've returned to Mobotropolis to follow up on Nicole and to rescue King Acorn: Tails has no recollection of the events that occurred in StH #247.
- Both Amy Rose and Silver have disappeared.
- Nicole has apparently made a deal with Naugus which involves her creating a super ring to restore his magic.
- Naugus flees Castle Acorn in terror after getting flashbacks from the old timeline.
- Tails also remembers the events of Worlds Collide and memories of the old world and timeline.
- Dr. Eggman is shown to have crashed somewhere along with Orbot and Cubot.
- Sonic and Tails defeats Tails Doll, disables and destroys its Power Gem core and kicks it over the horizon.
- King Acorn is revealed to be once again restored to health due to the effects of the Genesis Wave with Sonic having second thoughts about restoring his world.
- Sally is revealed to have been De-Robotized due to the effects of the Genesis Wave.
- It should be noted that this issue marks the "reboot" of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, as many characters (mostly made by Ken Penders) were removed completely and many plot-points were either brought to an abrupt end or solved somewhat in later issues. That being said, this issue number is "252," which is fairly coincidental to DC Comics' The New 52 comic lineup, which was also a reboot to all of the comic series' in DC Comics' lineup. Whether Sonic the Hedgehog #252 was purposely meant to be the reboot issue because of this reason or likely an accident is unknown.
- This issue marks the first major reappearance of Sally Acorn outside of Robian form since Sonic the Hedgehog #230.
- This issue marks the debut issue of Sally's latest redesign first teased at New York Comic Con 2012.
- The beginning of Mega Man #28 is similar to the beginning of the issue, with Mega Man having a barrage of memories while his world is restored. In contrast with Sonic, however, neither he nor anyone in his world remembers Worlds Collide. To further contrast with Sonic the Hedgehog #252, Mega Man's world is restored completely to its original state aside from damage caused by Break Man being undone.
- Strangely, although Sonic seems to remember his defeat at the hands of the Egg Beater still happening in the altered universe, Knothole has not been destroyed. However, it is possible that the memory was from the old world, and he was still able to remember it in the new one.
- The painted artwork of Green Hill Zone in the background of the variant cover is taken from the cover of the Best of Sonic the Hedgehog Comics.
- Sonic returning from Worlds Collide to find the Tails Doll attacking Mobotropolis is in reference to how Sonic the Hedgehog #247 (and by extension, the comics original continuity) ended, in which the Tails Doll was last seen transforming into this monstrous form in New Mobotropolis to take on Team Freedom. In a sense, this was done as a way to bridge the two realities.