- This issue's second story continues in Archie Knuckles Miniseries Issue 1
Heart Of Darkness
- A portal into the elusive Zone of Silence is finally opened, and the Freedom Fighters journey within to find Sally's father, King Max. Instead they are greeted by a terrifying masked horseman looking to "silence" our heroes forever!
Heart Of Darkness
- Writer: Ken Penders
- Pencils: Art Mawhinney
- Inks: Harvey Mercadoocasio
- Letters: Mindy Eisman
- Colors: Barry Grossman
- Editor: Freddy Mendez and Scott Fulop
- Managing editor: Victor Gorelick
- Editor-in-Chief: Richard Goldwater
The Knothole Freedom Fighters are gathered in Rotor's lab to see images picked up from the Zone of Silence of an imposing armored figure. Sonic says he had been there very recently and it looked nothing like the pictures they're seeing. Rotor tells him that he was in The Void, which is apparently different from the Zone of Silence where King Acorn had been imprisoned. Rotor's scanners pick up major power readings over Robotropolis and it's somehow affecting the Zone of Silence. With Sally's permission, Sonic departs to put a stop to whatever Dr. Robotnik is doing. Meanwhile, in Robotropolis, Robotnik orders Snively to increase the power of a machine he is operating, only for Sonic to burst in and destroy the device. Robotnik then informs Sonic that what he's just done may cause the end of the world itself.
Robotnik decides to explain the situation to Sonic and reveals that he learned of the Zone of Silence from the belongings of his mentor, Kodos. Kodos had planned his own takeover of the kingdom before suddenly disappearing. Using Kodos' possessions for his own takeover, Robotnik banished King Acorn to the Zone of Silence. However, the Zone of Silence proved to be a nearly unstoppable force that expanded and absorbed everything it came into contact with. Robotnik's Photon Cannon had kept the zone in check ever since, but he recently determined that the zone had to be destroyed in order to preserve Mobius.
With the Photon Cannon destroyed by Sonic's recklessness, Robotnik provides him with a device he claims will solve the problem and free the king: an Energy Inhibitor. Back in Knothole, the Freedom Fighters analyze Robotnik's machine and determine that it should only be used as a last resort. Determined to rescue King Acorn, Sally leads Sonic, Tails, and Antoine into a zone portal built by Rotor. The group arrives in the zone, only to be confronted by an armored figure and his minions.
Immediately demanding Sonic and his group surrender, the armored figure is stunned as Sonic handily defeats his minions. He prepares to blast Sonic with his lance when Sally knocks him from his steed, removing his helmet and revealing that he is King Acorn. Unfortunately, the King does not recognize his daughter or her friends. Desperate, Sonic activates the inhibitor, blasting the two groups in different directions, enabling Rotor to rescue his friends from the zone. Disheartened by their failure to rescue the king, the group remains determined to return someday.
A Sense Of History - Part Three
As his quest for the Chaotix and Archimedes continues, Knuckles recalls how his great-uncle Dimitri -- having absorbed the power of eleven Chaos Emeralds and erected a massive fortress -- held his brother Edmund and several other high ranking Echidnas prisoner. Driven mad by his new powers, Dimitri reveals to his captives that he has seized Echidnaopolis by controlling the Mechanaut robots created by the citizens. Far from satisfied, he announces his plans to conquer all of Mobius with the Floating Island as his mobile base of operations. Gloating, Dimitri boasts that only his own fortress can withstand his great power, only for the structure to begin collapsing as its supports are eaten through by Fire Ants. As Edmund and the others break free, a stunned Dimitri refuses to move, unable to believe that plan was thwarted so easily.
Believing his brother buried under the debris, Edmund flees for his life as Dimitri's tower collapses and becomes Mount Fate. The Echidnas then became determined never to allow such evil to be repeated, and renounced their technology while at the same time creating the office of Guardian, which Edmund was the first to fill. His children carried on the duties of protecting the last Chaos Emerald, the final Guardian being Knuckles himself. Frustrated by his lack of answers in his continued search, Knuckles then recalls that his ancestors did not destroy their technology, but instead hid examples of their work in an underground city known as the Grand Conservatory. Knuckles heads for the Conservatory, certain that Archimedes is waiting there, unaware of the laughter coming from Mount Fate.
- Art: Patrick Spaziante
Sonic leans back in the editor's chair, decreeing that Knuckles will appear in the comic less often. The editor yells at Sonic, causing him to flee the scene.
- The "Knight" of some sort reveals himself to be King Maximillian Acorn
- Kodos is mentioned for the first time as Robotnik's mentor.
- The emergence of Dimitri as Enerjak is foreshadowed by the laughter at the end of the story.
- This is the first issue edited by Justin Freddy Mendez-Gabrie.