- The biggest, most shocking event in Sonic comic history is underway, and YOU can grab a front-row seat in "Countdown to Chaos Part One"! Sonic and Tails are on a journey to the Mystic Ruins jungle in search of their missing pals. What they encounter is sure to surprise you! Meanwhile, Dr. Eggman begins the long trek back to his deadly Death Egg II battle fortress. Will our heroes find him and stop him before he launches again? And just who, or what, is the "Sky Patrol" and what does it have to do with the missing Freedom Fighters? Don't miss a moment of the chaos, featuring the first in a series of ALL-NEW inter-connecting covers by Sonic art superstar Ben Bates, and bone-chilling variant cover by T.REX!
Countdown to Chaos Part One: The Builder
- Writer: Ian Flynn
- Pencils Layouts: Tracy Yardley
- Pencil Finishes: Lamar Wells
- 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
In the Mystic Ruins, Sonic the Hedgehog and his best friend Miles "Tails" Prower search inside the jungle to look for their friend Rotor. While using Nicole's portable device to search for the walrus, Tails has a weak signal nearby. With this, Sonic states that Rotor is the only Freedom Fighter that can prove the theory that Nicole is the answer to returning the Freedom Fighters back to normal. Speaking of Nicole, Sonic asks Nicole if she is alright, who states that she is still buggy. Nicole then says that Rotor was working on something with Tails in the jungle, with Tails strikingly remembering. Sonic then wishes that there was a guide to help them find Rotor, when they suddenly see someone that can help them.
Elsewhere, Dr. Eggman, Orbot and Cubot are stranded in the middle of the Efrika Plains, pushing a destroyed Egg Mobile. As Orbot wishes for a repairer to fix the Egg Mobile, Eggman, agitated, yells at Orbot and states that he has no idea where he is, has no hope to getting to the Death Egg, and that he has no tools to help repair the Egg Mobile. As all hope seems lost for Eggman, a large armada surrounds Eggman, but this turns out to be Eggman's own army. As its leader, Axel the Water Buffalo, gets out from his vehicle and questions Eggman being here for another "surprise inspection", Eggman, confused at first, takes the opportunity of this surprise inspection. As Axel tells his name and rank in the Egg Army (Axel being an Egg Boss), Eggman, giddy with joy on this new term used for his army, quickly takes the vehicle that Axel was driving and drives it towards the Efrika Egg Army Base. Orbot then reminds Eggman that he is pretty sure that Eggman's army was not "Egg Army" prior nor was Axel one of Eggman's leaders. But Eggman is aware of this and understands that he might of made a mistake in his his disruption Super Sonic's Chaos Control before the current mess and that he quickly needs to refresh himself before heading to the Death Egg.
Back at the Mystic Ruins, Sonic and Tails find Big the Cat with his pet Froggy fishing in a nearby pond. Sonic, confused on Big's whereabouts, asks Big if he was at the city with Team Freedom fighting the Tails Doll. Big, however, states that he has been fishing this whole time. Tails, seeing Sonic's desperation on trying to get answers where Rotor is at, asks Big if he knows where Rotor is at, and Big then tells the two Freedom Fighters to follow him inside deeper in the jungle. As they head into a giant plain with a ruined-tower and a giant airship, Sonic remembers the Final Egg. Tails, confused, asks Sonic if that really happened, and Sonic then tries to prove that it happened, bringing up the time Eggman used Chaos for one of his schemes, but he realizes that it is his two memories (his old self prior to the Super Genesis Wave and his new history) mixing with each other. However, Big warns them of enemies below the airship, and see multiple Spinners shooting lasers at Rotor Walrus. Sonic, Tails, and Big head down there to help out in the battle.
Glad that Sonic and Tails made it to the battle, Rotor gets on a shooting chair and begins destroying the Badniks, while Sonic performs Homing Attack combos on the Badniks. Big, on the other hand, is Spin Dashing his way towards the other part of the jungle due to him falling off of the cliff just as Sonic and Tails headed off to help Rotor. With Rotor being self-confident on defeating the Badniks, a nearby Silver Sonic enters the scene and spin dashes his way to Rotor. With Sonic bragging about his thirty-six combo on the Badniks, he notices the danger still continuing downward. Just as Silver Sonic is about to head towards the airship, Big stops the robot in its tracks and throws it skyward. Rotor then shoots at the robot, ending the fight. Rotor thinks that the battle was amazing, and thanks Sonic and Tails for their help. Sonic is shocked at Rotor's new performance, but he shakes it off as he questions the airship. Rotor then gives a tour to Sonic, Tails, and Big.
Inside the airship that contains T-Pup (in which Tails is glad to see), now known as the Sky Patrol, Rotor and Tails built this to solve their answers of Eggman's battleships and fleets constantly firing at the Freedom Fighters. As Sonic and Tails realize that this never happened according to their old memories, they decide to give Rotor Nicole's handheld computer. Rotor grabs the device and begins to remember the previous world. Shocked and traumatized, Rotor begins to question this world and nearly has a mental breakdown due to his two sets of memories. Rotor rests for a moment, and Tails asks Rotor for the status quo on the remaining Freedom Fighters. Rotor pulls up a screen with the Freedom Fighters location, and states that Antoine is helping Uncle Chuck at Knothole; Bunnie and Sally are currently undercover somewhere; and Amy's whereabouts are unknown, as she mysterious vanished. Sonic, glad that Uncle Chuck is okay, Antoine is on his feet, and knowing Bunnie is with them and that Sally is no longer roboticized, then heads out with Tails back to Knothole.
Meanwhile, at the Efrikan Egg Army Base, Dr. Eggman has finished repairing his Egg Mobile into a bi-plane cruiser. With a bemused Axel wondering why Eggman would fly in something like that, Eggman says that the bi-plane will take him to the nearest Egg Base. However, with the doctor having no memory on where the nearest Egg base is, Eggman questions Axel on the nearest Egg Army Base. Axel then believes that the nearest base is in Avalon with Lord Mordred Hood controlling the Eurish Egg Army Base. With this knowledge, Eggman, Orbot, and Cubot leave the base. A solider asks Axel why they still serve Eggman, but Axel replies that they have to, or else he himself would be the first one inside the new Roboticizer if Eggman has apparently revived the machinery source again. While flying, Orbot questions Eggman's motives on flying to the base while looking below to the shores of the planet. Eggman then tells Orbot that while he got some readings off of the Eggnet, he states that he "...might have been hasty on stopping Sonic's Chaos Control," as purple cracks are shown on the world's surface...
After seeing Sonic grind on a plant, Tails questions how he can accomplish such a feat, as his shoes would undoubtedly require extra grip to accommodate his super-fast running. Sonic's response: "I guess I'm just that smooth."
- The title of this issue, which is "Countdown to Chaos" shares the same name with the English title for the 26th episode of Sonic X.
- This issue marks the first time of Rotor the Walrus's redesign appearing in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
- The variant cover was originally meant for Sonic the Hedgehog #238 according to the variant cover design process.
- Uncle Chuck appears on the cover, despite not appearing in the issue itself.
- As of this issue, Eggman's Army has officially been renamed from the "Dark Egg Legion" to the "Egg Army", a change which is even noticed by Orbot, who does not recall Eggman's Army having that name. Additionally, new characters like Axel are referred to as an "Egg Boss" instead of a "Grandmaster". Though it has yet to be seen, this further supports the idea that several characters and elements created by former writer Ken Penders have been removed from the new reality.
- It is revealed in this issue that events based on Sonic Adventure occurred in this timeline, as it did in the original. However it is interesting to note that Sonic is reminded of these events through seeing the bridge that leads to the "Final Egg" stage in the Mystic Ruins jungle: an element from the game that was never used in the aforementioned adaption. This indicates that this timeline's version of Sonic Adventure played out much more closer to the events in the game.
- The layout on the Sky Patrol computer screen showing the locations of each Freedom Fighter is based on the save-file selection screen from Sonic the Hedgehog 3.