- SONIC BATTLES at the CENTER of the PLANET in “Panic in the Sky” Part Four: This is it—the cataclysmic clash and ferocious finale to the Shattered World Saga! Super Sonic leads Chip into battle against the dreaded Dark Gaia with the Freedom Fighters at ground zero! With the fate of the world at stake, who will actually be able to make it home? Featuring the fourth of four EPIC connecting covers by mega-talent Dan Schoening and a “Super” variant by full-time editor, first-time cover artist Vincent Lovallo!
Panic In The Sky Part Four: Finale - As Was Foretold
- Writer: Ian Flynn
- Pencils: Tracy Yardley
- Inks: Terry Austin
- Colors: Gabriel Cassata
- Letters: John Workman
- Editor: Vincent Lovallo
- Editor-in-Chief: Victor Gorelick
- President: Mike Pellerito
- Publisher & Co-CEO: Jon Goldwater
- Special thanks to: Sandra Jo and Mai Kiyotaki at SEGA Licensing
Super Sonic and Chip, the latter who is using the Gaia Colossus, rush off to face Perfect Dark Gaia. Perfect Dark Gaia begins to activate a shield with its serpents but Super Sonic manages to destroy all of them while Chip holds open the shield and enters. Perfect Dark Gaia then fires an energy beam at Super Sonic which the latter survives, though he is surprised that he felt the effects of the attack.
Meanwhile, Tails, Sally, Antoine and Bunnie, onboard the Tornado 2, are in a safe distance away from the battle and the latter notes the Death Egg had stopped moving most likely due to having no fuel left. They find the Sky Patrol afloat on the ocean and land on the dome as the entrance to the hangar has been submerged. They meet up with Rotor who is relaxing and assures the team that Nicole is alright while the Sky Patrol is not. Tails tries to convince Rotor to go out and help, but Rotor tells him that it is now a battle of the gods and they should let Sonic and Chip finish the job without any interruptions. Sally agrees to this, noting that they have done enough and they all then cheer on their friends.
Super Sonic is seen hitting four of Perfect Dark Gaia's eyes (only effective on three) and Chip delivers a deadly uppercut to his foe with the Gaia Colossus, to which Sonic teases he stole as a move from Knuckles. Super Sonic then keeps Perfect Dark Gaia distracted from behind while Chip hits the monster a few more times. Perfect Dark Gaia then takes ahold of the Gaia Colossus and prepares to fire its energy beam once again, point-blank. At the same angle, Super Sonic discovers it would also kill his teammates on the Sky Patrol. The hedgehog hits each of Perfect Dark Gaia's hands to release its grip on Chip and knocks the direction of its blast off-course. Chip manages to deflect this.
Dr. Eggman bitterly overlooks the battle in his Egg Mobile, upset that both his plans and his amusement park were ruined. He realizes to himself that the raw power of the world was much more potent than he initially imagined, believing it could work as well as the Dark Gaia Energy. Eggman then tries to formulate a plan to siphon the energy of the world somewhere remote so that Sonic could not foil his plans again, but decides to leave the rest of the plotting for another day and quickly flies to his Death Egg to get out of range from both Dark Gaia and the Freedom Fighters.
Back in the battle, Chip tells Super Sonic that the energy beam Perfect Dark Gaia fired weakened the Gaia Colossus. This prompts the hedgehog to boost straight through the beast's central eye, ultimately defeating it. Super Sonic flies back to the Gaia Colossus, lands on its hand and reverts back to normal. Sonic lets Chip know that there is still Dark Gaia Energy present and Chip assures him that he has done enough and it was time for him to complete his duty as the Light Gaia and restore the world. With this, Chip assembles the pieces of the world while allies and enemies from around the world watch in either relief or fear; in Eggman's case, annoyance and defeat.
Sonic, tired but relieved that it is all over, tells Chip that they can finally celebrate. However, Chip tells Sonic that it is time for him to seal himself back into the world with Dark Gaia so that history would not repeat itself too soon. Chips also adds that he would take the Gaia Temples with him so that they could no longer be accessed by Dr. Eggman and seals the magma crater in the ocean that Dark Gaia previously created. Despite this, Sonic gets upset, knowing he would never see Chip again, but Chip assures him that his greatest reward was getting to travel with the former.
Chip telepathically thanks Tails and Rotor for their shared wisdom, Bunnie and Antoine for showing him what he was meant to protect in the world, and Sally for easily accepting Chip for who he was like Nicole, the latter of which he requested a goodbye to. Chip then telepathically contacts Cream and Big in Mobotropolis, wishing he could be closer to say farewell to them and contacts Knuckles and Amy on Angel Island, thanking them for inspiring him with their passion. Chip returns Sonic to the Sky Patrol and Sonic yells after him that he would miss him. Chip then tells Sonic that he would never forget him and he would always be with him, a part of the earth he tread. With this, Chip seals himself, the Gaia Colossus and Dark Gaia away underneath the crater.
Sonic expresses to Sally how unfair it was for them to keep going while Chip could not. Sally and Tails comfort Sonic, telling him that he indeed saved him and the world while also allowing Chip to live his life for the first time ever. This cheers Sonic up a bit and Chip's necklace magically appears in his hand. He wears it as a bracelet and the Freedom Fighters embrace while watching the sunrise.
Off Panel "BFF Buffet" or "Special Friends"
- This issue marks the conclusion to the Shattered World Crisis which began back in Sonic the Hedgehog #256.
- This is the first issue that Vincent Lovallo, the editor, has created a variant cover for the series whereas normally he sketches the concepts for them.
- This issue shares a few similarities to Sonic Unleashed:
- Super Sonic feeling pain from Perfect Dark Gaia's attack is a reference to how Perfect Dark Gaia, as one of the few bosses in the series, can actually damage Super Sonic during the final boss battle in Sonic Unleashed.
- Chip's final words as he seals himself away are the same final words he said to Sonic in the game.
- There are notable parallels with this issue and Sonic the Hedgehog #256:
- Both issues are penciled by Tracy Yardley.
- Both issues, along with its story arc ("Countdown to Chaos" and "Panic in the Sky"), are a part of a four-part connecting cover.
- Both Sonic the Hedgehog #256 and #287 mark the beginning and end of the Shattered World Crisis, respectively.
- On the final page, the moon can be seen half-destroyed in the background, as per the events of Sonic Adventure 2.