- TEST YOUR MIGHT with the first chapter in an all-new 4-part SAGA! "Champions" Part One: Sonic is in for the fight of his life! Casino Park is holding an epic fighting tournament, and the grand prize is a much sought-after Chaos Emerald! How many fighters will answer the call? Which champions will make the roster? The knock-down, drag-out battle for the world starts right here! Featuring new cover art from Sonic rising star Evan Stanley, plus all-new variant art introducing Breezie the Hedgehog by Sonic artist Jonathan H. Gray!
Champions Part One: The Gang's All Here
- Writer: Ian Flynn
- Pencils: Diana Skelly
- Inks: Terry Austin
- Colors: Gabriel Cassata
- Letters: John Workman
- Assistant Editor: Vincent Lovallo
- Editor/Executive Director of Editorial: Paul Kaminski
- Editor-in-Chief: Victor Gorelick
- President: Mike Pellerito
- Publisher: Jon Goldwater
- Special Thanks to: Tyler Ham and Anthony Gaccione at SEGA Licensing
Sometime ago, in South Island's Underground Zone, a younger Sonic faces both Coconuts of the Super Special Sonic Search and Smash Squad and the Egg Antlion, one of Dr. Eggman's old super-badniks. Coconuts is confident that he will earn a promotion once Sonic is gone, but the hedgehog jeers at Coconuts' aim, claiming that Eggman's super-badnik is more likely to get hit. Determined to wind up never having to scrub another Egg Toilet again, Coconuts, in a fit of rage, fires several more bombs at Sonic, only for the hero to send one directly back at Coconuts with a kick, ending the confrontation, before proceeding to confront the other two S-6 Squad members, Grounder and Scratch, who, along with a younger Breezie the Hedgehog, are preparing themselves for a faux performance that ends with Sonic letting Breezie tag along on his quest to save his friend, Tails, from the clutches of Dr. Eggman.
Back in the present, onboard the Sky Patrol, Sonic finishes explaining how he met Breezie. While Tails is more than displeased to find out that she was working with Eggman all along, Amy, jealous as ever, questions why Sonic is just now deciding to mention her. After jokes and snarky comments are thrown about, Sally begins discussing Breezie's latest publicity stunt: a tournament with a Chaos Emerald as the prize. She states that Sonic, Amy, and Tails, as Team Fighters, will be contending in the tournament, as she had got them spots on the roster. Bunnie comments that she and the rest of the Freedom Fighters would like spots on the roster, too, despite their previous defeat. Sally reveals that she was unable too, and that Breezie would only allow Sonic, Tails, and Amy specifically to contend. Rotor suggests that they simply take the Emerald, given that most of what Breezie is involved in is fairly shady, but Amy quickly objects, stating that she isn't like Eggman. Sally intervenes, siding with Amy and revealing that she had already offered to buy the Emerald off Breezie, which the latter declined. Shortly, after Team Fighters depart, with Tails wondering what would be stopping Eggman from invading Casino Park.
Dr. Eggman himself, onboard the Death Egg is in a call with Breezie and is furiously shouting at her with threats to attack her and her property unless she hands the Chaos Emerald over. Breezie calmly states that his forces would have no effect against her defenses, and also points out similarities between the two: their love for their own creations, and their hate for robot-on-robot violence. Eggman continues to verbally attempt to have Breezie hand over the Emerald, but she negates each attempt. Eventually, she reaches Scratch and Grounder, and the two show her a contender that had been added in place of somebody else. After Breezie realizes who the new contender is, Coconuts hangs up on Eggman, who, in a fit of frustration, calls Nack. He orders the weasel and his team to disable Casino Park's defenses in the event that they all get disqualified. Nack confidently assures them that it can be done, but requests for further pay, pointing out that sabotaging is another job. Annoyed, Eggman then calls Metal Sonic, whose mercy Gregorios is at. Metal Sonic reports that its status, but Eggman orders the Badnik to head elsewhere. After the doppelganger departs, Gregorios worriedly rises to his feet, realizing the danger of the situation.
Team Fighters arrive at Casino Park, where they are enthusiastically met by Breezie. Sonic chivalrously takes her hand as greetings are made before they walk on together, much to Amy's jealousy. Once inside, Breezie brings up a few rules, and Sonic one of his own: not to be scheduled at night. Breezie tries negating this, but Sonic starts to leave the area, forcing her to oblige. Shortly, Amy notices Honey the Cat, and is awed by her presence. Introductions are made, and Honey's slogan is collectively recited, much to Tails and Sonic's surprise. Honey recognizes Amy's attire from her Dream-Casters Line, and further excites the hedgehog by announcing that she plans to relaunch it under the title of the "Rose Collection." Sonic intervenes, questioning what brings her to the tournament, and Honey surprises them all by revealing that she is competing for the sake of self-promotion. Tails explains his, Sonic, and Amy's reason for competing, and Honey happily offers to hand the Chaos Emerald over to them if she wins.
On cue, the Hooligans arrive and take cover, observing Honey and Team Fighters. Nack is easily able to deduce their reason for being here. Bean nearly contacts Eggman to inform him that they are switching tactics, but is stopped short by Nack. Eventually, the three depart, with Espio the Chameleon looking on from a distance. He contacts Vector and reports that the Freedom Fighters and Hooligans are participating, and that he managed to sneak another ally onto the roster, that ally being Knuckles the Echidna, who is accompanied by the spirit Chip in his search for the Master Emerald shards.
- Badnik Horde
- Egg Pawn
- Egg Pawn (Casino version) (multiple) (first appearance)
- Egg Flapper (first appearance)
- Klagen (multiple) (first appearance)
- Super Badniks
- Super Special Sonic Search and Smash Squad (first appearance)
- SWATbot (multiple) (first appearance)
- Breezie the Hedgehog
- Dr. Eggman
- Freedom Fighters
- Gregorios (first appearance)
- Honey the Cat (first appearance)
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Nigel Acorn (flashback)
- Prime Zone
- Egg Albatross (first appearance)
- Egg Hawk (first appearance)
- Egg Mobile (flashback)
- Marvelous Queen
- Sky Patrol
- Speed Star (first appearance)
- Breeze Media (first appearance)
- Chaos Emerald Championship (mentioned)
- Chaos energy (mentioned)
- Dream-Casters Line (mentioned)
- Eggman Empire (mentioned)
- Honey Clothing (mentioned)
- Shattered World Crisis
- Spin Attack
- It should be noted that prior to this issue's release, Honey the Cat was a character requested by many readers of the comic.
- This story marks the beginning of the Sonic the Fighters adaptation.
- According to the main cover, "Champions" is a four-part arc, however the variant claims it is a two-parter. The variant cover was confirmed to have a misprint, thus only four issues would feature the "Champions" story arc.
- Coconuts saying "Doctor Robotnik's gonna give me a big prrrromotion!" is a reference to how Coconuts would always want a promotion in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog television series.
- On the fourth page, Tails is shown making an "Excalibur Face", a unique facial expression gag used in the Soul Eater anime.
- Sonic, Tails and Amy being on Team Fighters is reminiscent of their time as Team Fighters in the pre-Super Genesis Wave timeline.
- A character who resembles I.M. Meen, from the titular character's video game, makes a cameo appearance on page twelve. As stated by Diana Skelly, she did not intend to make his cameo happen.
- Wentos makes a cameo appearance in this story.
- When Sally shows information about Breezie, The "Timed" magazine is a reference to the magazine TIME.
- Amy's dress is from Honey's "Dream-Casters" line of clothes. This is a reference to Sonic Adventure and the Dreamcast, Not only because of the name but Amy's outfit was introduced in Sonic Adventure, the first Sonic game on the Dreamcast.
Scratch and Grounder appear to be commentating over a match in the Chaos Emerald Championship. They get intensely invested in their commentary when it's revealed that they're actually playing a match of Sonic the Fighters featuring Bunnie and Blaze. Scratch wonders how Grounder is able to pull off his character's moves, given he has drills instead of hands.
- The regular cover shows all but one (that being Knuckles) of the playable characters from Sonic the Fighters, the video game Honey was originally scheduled to debut on.
- Breezie's name icon on the variant cover is a homage to Las Vegas casino signs.