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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 280 is the two hundred eightieth issue in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series published by Archie Comics.

Official solicitation

Sonic, Tails and Chip head to the Efrikan settlement of Mazuri to find the next set of Gaia Keys—but they’ll have to go through the tough and menacing Axel, the Egg Boss of the Efrika Egg Army, to find them! While deep in the heart of the Gaia Temple, Chip finds something incredible—but you’ll just have to wait and see what it is! Then, in “A Special Occasion,” Sally and Rotor are one girl’s only hope in a family emergency! Featuring awesome cover art by jamming Jamal Peppers and an "Altered Beast" variant by the exquisite Erik Ly!

Featured stories

Keys to Victory

At the Holy Tree, in the Savannah Citadel Zone, the Efrika Egg Army, led by Egg Boss Axel, who is in control of the Egg Beetle, pursues Sonic the Hedgehog through a long, wooden road. Axel tries intimidating Sonic by stating that the hedgehog's speed is no match for his crew's vehicles. Sonic merely laughs, claiming that to be "villain banter," and elbows an Egg Soldier, causing him to lose his balance on his bike. Frustrated, Axel tries reasoning with him, only for Sonic to leap on top of the Egg Mobile, now just inches from the water buffalo, who realizes from the hedgehog's attitude why Dr. Eggman is constantly driven to insanity. Sonic questions if Eggman is aware of Axel utilizing the Egg Beetle, but Axel states that he has been permitted to use whatever is necessary to defend the temple. He attempts to harm Sonic via the chains on his wrist, but the hedgehog narrowly evades him, suffering multiple attacks from Egg Soldiers afterwards. Axel again tries intimidating Sonic, but again, the hedgehog merely shakes it off, continuing to keep Axel and his crew distracted while Chip looks on from above. He asks Tails if Sonic is in over his head despite having stated that he'd keep the Egg Army busy. Tails answers that Sonic has handled worse, before the two continue their search for the area's Gaia Keys.

Sometime prior, just outside Mazuri, Gwek informs Sonic, Tails, and Chip that his Gaia Keys have been stolen by the Efrika Egg Army, and that they likely have been stashed away in the temple alongside all else that was stolen. Sonic questions if they are harassed a lot by them; Gwek replies by stating that the whole continent has suffered from Axel and his crew's harassment, and that their involvement in the Eggman Empire only caused them to grow bolder. Chip worries that Eggman must have figured how to use all the keys if they are in his possession, but Kwami denies this, believing that their occupation of the Holy Tree is a coincidence. Tails recalls the decoy temples Lupe told them about, realizing that while they are everywhere, it would not be long before the Egg Army differentiated the real temples from the false ones. Sonic tries thinking of a way to enter and exit the temple with the keys without alerting the Egg Army to their importance, and soon comes up with a plan.

Back in the present, Tails and Chip are inside the Gaia Temple, and take cover as a pair of Egg Soldiers pass by. Chip comments on the bond the fox shares with Sonic, and Tails explains how the hedgehog inspired and changed Tails into who he is currently. Chip admits to being jealous, wishing he had a similar friend and recalling all the Freedom Fighters have done to make him feel at home and like a friend. Eventually, they find the Gaia Keys, and, after Chip's memories are restored, depart the temple to pick up Sonic.

A Special Occasion

  • Writer: Ian Flynn
  • Pencils: Jennifer Hernandez
  • Inks: Terry Austin
  • Colors: Gabriel Cassata
  • Letters: John Workman

Off Panel

See also: Off Panel
StH 280 Off Panel

Off Panel

Rotor is ready to take off from the party but Sally informs him that it is personal. He realizes that Sally only really wanted to stay for cake. Though when the cake was finally brought out, Sally gobbles it up, still stating that it was personal.


  • The variant cover is a homage to Altered Beast, a Sega game whose protagonist transforms into different humanoid beasts, including a werewolf.
  • Professor Pickle telling Otto that the Gaia Key belongs in a museum is a reference to the Indiana Jones franchise.
  • The Off Panel's first title "The Cake is a Filthy Lie" is a reference to the quote "The Cake is a Lie" from the video game Portal.


Cover artwork

Interior page artwork

A Special Occasion


Preview pages


External links

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