Heart of the Hedgehog
- Part one of a two-part story. After the Freedom Fighter Special makes a crash landing, Sonic and Tails perform a little reconnaissance and find themselves up against the menace of Metal Sonic.
Against the Haunted Past
- The history of Monkey Khan.
Heart of the Hedgehog Part One: Evil's Return
- Writer: Danny Fingeroth
- Pencils: Sam Maxwell
- Inks: Saleem Crawford
- Colors: Frank Gagliardo
- Letters: Jeff Powell
- Editor & Art Director: J. F. Gabrie
- Managing Editor: Victor Gorelick
- Editor-in-Chief: Richard Goldwater
The story opens with Sonic and Tails on a recon mission, which Sonic turns into a training run for Tails. After a near-crash landing, Tails feels as though he's not able enough to be as skilled as Sonic. Sonic reassures him that he'll eventually succeed and the two break for lunch. Tails flies off to gather firewood for their campfire, but fails to return after an hour has passed. Fearing that he may have discouraged him, Sonic heads out to search for Tails, only to be ambushed by a familiar-looking robot... Metal Sonic.
Metal Sonic reveals that he has managed to rebuild himself from his past defeats and is ready to resume his task of destroying Sonic (though he's also got plans for Knuckles afterwards). Sonic is quickly overpowered and incapacitated by Metal Sonic's new-and-improved design, and the hedgehog realizes that Metal Sonic still has a shard of a Power Gem on him (which he had originally used during the Chaotix special), which also explains his newly-arrogant personality despite still operating on his programming. Metal Sonic gloatingly tells Sonic that he has captured Tails and has taken him to Mt. Mobius, which is set to erupt very soon, and challenges Sonic to rescue him before it erupts.
As expected, Sonic accepts the challenge and runs all the way through the forest. His pace, however, is eventually interrupted when Metal Sonic suddenly pops out and sucker-punches Sonic in the face. With Sonic unconscious, Metal Sonic dashes back to Tails and demoralizes him with the news, though the fox remains defiant.
Monkey Khan: Against the Haunted Past - Part One
- Writer & Pencils: Frank Strom
- Inks: Harvo
- Colors: Frank Gagliardo
- Letters: Vickie Williams
- Editor: J. F. Gabrie
During the Great War, King Acorn is consulting with Warlord Julian Kintobor about the progress of his experiments in cybernetics, which Julian claims will aid in healing the injuries that the King's soldiers have sustained. However, Julian's real motives for his cybernetics are far more sinister: to create an army of cybernetically-enhanced soldiers, obedient to his every whim.
Seeking test subject, but fearing suspicion should he use Mobians within the kingdom, Julian turns his attention towards Leung West, a neutral village outside of the Kingdom of Acorn. There, Ken Khan is being chastised by his father, Lau Khan, for his temper, which he had only recently demonstrated to a group of village youths. Sadly, Julian's arrival separates Ken from his family and friends, never to be seen again.
Some time later, Julian's test subjects are all dead, their bodies unable to adapt to the cybernetics that the warlord placed into them. Ken, however, is the only exception, and Julian scoffs at how his plans for a cybernetic army only resulted in a single "chimp with a stick". Regardless, he unleashes the newly-born "Monkey Khan" on a small group of invading Overlanders and takes glee in watching his creation demolish them. As the dust settles, however, Ken turns on Julian out of revenge, and Julian is forced to shut him down. Faced with the realization that he can't control this technology, Julian gives up on cybernetics and has Ken sealed away.
In the present day, Ken wakes up in Kar Leung, strapped to a lab table, surrounded by lethal lab equipment, and with a roboticized General Hunn standing over him. To his horror, a view-screen reveals his captor... the modern-day Dr. Eggman.
Sonic initially refuses Gabrie's request for him to sign digital production artist Rosario "Tito" Pena's comic book. However, he changes his mind after Tito changes the hedgehog's design...
- Despite the cover giving Metal Sonic a Sonic-based appearance, his eyes are black (unlike the cover).
- This is the first issue in the Archie series to refer to Metal Sonic by his original name, as opposed to "Mecha Sonic", a name since given to Sonic's Roboticized form seen in Sonic the Hedgehog #39.
- at Sonic Retro