- "The Last Minute, Part One"! To contain the Metal Virus, the Restoration must split up! In this issue, as Tails researches a cure for the Metal Virus, his lab comes under attack by Zombots. With Whisper and Tangle out saving as many civilians as they can, will Tails withstand the siege and find the cure-or will the whole world fall? The first of three simultaneous stories! Spotlighting beloved characters Tails, Tangle, and Whisper!
The Last Minute, Part 1
- Written by: Ian Flynn
- Art by: Lamar Wells & Reggie Graham (1-10), Jennifer Hernandez (11-15, 17-18, 20), Priscilla Tramontano (16, 19)
- Colors by: Heather Breckel
- Letters by: Shawn Lee
- Assistant Editor: Megan Brown
- Editor: David Mariotte
- Special thanks to: Anoulay Tsai, Mai Kiyotaki, Aaron Webber, Michael Cisneros, Sandra Jo, and everyone at Sega for their invaluable assistance
Outside Tails' Lab in Central City, Tails, Whisper and Tangle watch in shock as Dr. Eggman uses the Faceship to distribute a batch of Metal Virus into the city. Tails quickly wishes to change plans but Whisper tells him to stay; Tangle agrees and tells Tails to continue researching a cure while they handle the city's evacuation. An hour later, Zombots roam the streets of the city; Tails continues to hide from them in his lab, believing that Silver's optimism has jinxed his plan. He soon receives a call on his computer from Sonic, who mentions that he is passing the outskirts of Barricade Town. Tails then tells Sonic that the data from his bio-scanner is coming in perfectly; on the other hand, Eggman had hit Central City with Metal Virus just as they had arrived. Sonic offers to turn around and come help with the situation, but Tails tells him to keep running; his speed data may be their only chance to find a cure, and it may serve as a backup should something happen on his end. Sonic complies and tells Tails to stay safe. Tails is then made jump by a crash outside, which one of his cameras reveal that it was just a Zombot that had fallen over some trash cans nearby. Following this, Sonic and Tails end their call and the latter contacts Amy at Restoration HQ. Tails reports that he is slowly making progress with the cure for the virus but is remaining cautious of the Zombots nearby. Amy asks if she needs to send Rescue Shuttles to Central City to which Tails replies that he has been busy with his research but will ask Tangle and Whisper for a better answer. Regardless, Amy tells Tails that she will tell the pilots to prepare to depart and wishes him luck.
Tails then contacts Tangle for an update who is busy fending off Zombots. She states that the mission would be cooler if it was not such a horrible situation. She goes on to say that she and Whisper managed to save a few civilians and are guiding them down to a dock. As she is talking with Tails, one Zombot startles Tangle from behind, causing her to climb on a lamp post and she also requests for Tails to hurry up with the cure. Tails acknowledges this and says that he will let Amy know where to send the shuttle. The fox cub then turns his attention to the task at hand; while reviewing the Metal Virus at miscroscopic level, he states that is now aware of how most of the structure works, saying that it looks and acts like a real "live" virus. He is aware that Sonic's speed manages to deteriorate the virus' structure but wonders how that is and how he would be able to apply that to others, not wanting to risk the vaccine being too weak or only partially effective. Tails considers retrieving a sample of the virus itself to help out. He flies to the top of his lab with a contraption to reach a small puddle of the Metal Virus on the road with a test tube attached to it. As Tails does this, he notices a flock of Zombot Flickies fly overhead. Nonetheless, he manages to get a sample of the virus and celebrates an early victory. Unknown to him, he is watched by a Zombot Cheese and Chocola.
Meanwhile, in Zeti Castle, Lava Mountain Zone on the Lost Hex, Zor reports to Zavok of how the Eggnet is in chaos due to whatever Eggman was up to on the world below. They are soon met by Dr. Starline, who introduces himself as an assistant to Eggman and wishes to ask for the aid of the Deadly Six. He goes on to state that Zavok and his team had unique skills that Eggman needs to contain a certain issue. Zavok asks if Starline was sent by Eggman, to which the doctor replies that he was was not and instead present unofficially, feeling as it would be better to ask forgiveness than permission at this point in time. When Zavok asks what the Deadly Six will get out of helping the Eggman Empire again, Starline tells him that they will be able to make amends with Eggman, command incredible power and finally destroy Sonic the Hedgehog. Zavok considers the deal and agrees to help Starline, wishing some time to gather his team. A gleeful Starline states that he will reach out to the Zeti soon and takes his leave. Following this, Zor confides in Zavok, knowing that Starline made a mistake, one that Zavok wishes to capitalize on. The latter then requests for the others to be gathered.
Back in Central City, Tangle distracts several Zombots from atop the lamp post. One Zombot goes ahead and begins to damage said lamp post. Luckily for Tangle, Whisper saves her by using her Variable Wispon to shoot the Zombots below the lemur. Tangle quickly moves out of the way so that Whisper can use her Wispon in its Rocket Mode to create an explosion among the Zombots. While she does this, Tangle attempts to contact Amy for an update on back-up. When she gets no response from Amy, she tries getting through to Cream and Vector but to no avail. Tangle begins to worry and contacts Silver to ask for back-up. Unfortunately, Silver himself has his hands tied with a Zombot outbreak in Ice Paradise. Tangle and Whisper press onwards, with the lemur asking if it was okay to be shooting out her Wisps at the Zombots. Whisper explains to Tangle that the Wisps are pure energy when they are fired. The duo are soon stopped by a horde of Zombots but Whisper manages to use the Hover Mode on her Variable Wispon to float away from the street. Tangle uses her tail to bring them down to a rooftop, where they see that they are now further away from the rendezvous. Whisper suggests calling Tails, which Tangle promptly does. Tangle tells Tails how she and Whisper have been cut off from the dock by a horde of Zombots with no one to help out. She asks after the cure, to which Tails replies that his computer was almost done processing Sonic's speed data; by applying the hedgehog's biometrics to the fresh sample of the Metal Virus he retrieved from outside, he can apply the data in real time to test models for immunization, as well as the reversal of the contagion. Tangle asks for a more direct answer and Tails states that he believes he has a cure. He begins to upload the information to Restoration HQ's server and prepares to head out to help Tangle and Whisper. Suddenly, the power of Tails' computer goes down. As he frantically tries to switch the computer back on, unbeknownst to him, Cheese and Chocola are busy destroying the mains supply of the lab outside. Tails tries not to panic and removes the server blades to use them at the HQ instead. The fox cub is interrupted by a Zombot who rips into the entrance of the lab and swipes the server blades to the ground, breaking them.
Tails quickly runs to his garage while several Zombots follow in pursuit. The garage door explodes open, revealing a resentful Tails in his Cyclone. He rams straight out of his lab and is chased by Cheese and Chocola. He performs evasive maneuvers to avoid the Chao brothers and leaves them behind in the dust. Tangle contacts Tails to tell him that she and Whisper were heading back down to the dock and asks where he is. Tails quickly drives in and knocks aside several Zombots in Tangle and Whisper's way. A starstruck Tangle compliments Tails' moves while the latter tells the duo to go protect the survivors. At the dock, Tangle sees a Rescue Shuttle arriving but wonders why only one was present. As it lands at the dock, Tangle and Whisper make sure no Zombot followed them and thus begin guiding the survivors onto the ship. Tails continues to fend off Zombots until Tangle calls out to him before the shuttle takes off. The fox cub turns to see that his Cyclone was being destroyed piece by piece and quickly abandons the mech before it explodes. Tails flies up to the shuttle to find Amy and asks about the other shuttles. Amy tells him that they were on the only shuttle that made it out of the HQ as it had fallen, along with almost everyone that was in it.
- Cream the Rabbit
- Deadly Six
- Dr. Eggman (Voice)
- Dr. Starline
- Flicky (multiple)
- Orange Wisp
- Silver the Hedgehog
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Vector the Crocodile (Mentioned)
- Barricade Town (Mentioned)
- Central City (First appearance)
- Tails' Lab (First appearance)
- Ice Paradise (First appearance)
- Lost Hex (First appearance)
- Restoration HQ (Mentioned)
- The following points reference the previous issue, Sonic the Hedgehog #20, "Crisis City, Part 2":
- Tails arrives in Central City to begin researching a cure for the Metal Virus.
- Tails recalls Silver's optimistic belief that they can stop the Zombot outbreak from completely overrunning the world.
- Sonic is wearing a bio-scanner made by Tails to study the Metal Virus' reaction to his speed.
- Dr. Starline travels to Lost Hex to ask the Deadly Six for aid in controlling the Zombots.
- Dr. Eggman is still distributing the Metal Virus in the Faceship, having done so since back in Sonic the Hedgehog #16, "Infection".
- Tangle recalls her team-up with Whisper in the events of Sonic the Hedgehog: Tangle & Whisper #1-#4.
- Cheese and Chocola are still Zombots and managed to break out of the jars they were trapped in following the events that occurred in Sonic the Hedgehog #18, "Victims".
- Tails' Lab is based on Tails' House in Emerald Town from Sonic Battle.
- The gadget that Tails uses to collect a sample of the Metal Virus appears to be based on the Magic Hand from Sonic Battle.
- Two background characters seen on page twenty appear to be designed after Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste from Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir.
- Story so far...: "Story so far..." is a summary of the current plotline for the comic. It features a landscape drawing by Cream of various locations that have been established in the series and some that have yet to be introduced. The people and locations on the map that have been marked with a red X indicate that they have been affected by the Metal Virus.
- Roll Call: Roll Call acts as a quick reference guide to new readers about the characters. This issue provides data files on Sonic, Tails, Tangle, Whisper and Amy.
- Sonic Letters Squad: Sonic Letters Squad is a section where the comic staff can post fan artwork and fan letters that have been sent in to them.
- Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Sound Off! #1 - Free Digital Ashcan
- Tails: Darn it, Silver. Why'd you have to jinx it?
- Tails: Tails to Tangle and Whisper? How goes the evacuation?
- Tangle: Oh, you know. Running. Screaming. Panic. Skin-of-our-teeth rescues. It would be so cool if it wasn't so—y'know—horrible and awful.
- Dr. Starline: I-I'm here in an... unofficial capacity. I believe it better to ask forgiveness than permission at this juncture.
- Zavok: Ahh. What do we get out of this?
- Dr. Starline: An opportunity to make amends with Eggman, command incredible power, and destroy Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Zavok: Hmm... how can I refuse such an offer?
- This issue was initially going to be released on 11 September 2019, but was soon moved to 18 September 2019 instead. It was later moved to 25 September 2019 and then to 2 October 2019.
- On Previews World, Aaron Hammerstrom and Jamal Peppers were incorrectly solicited to do the artwork for the A and B covers respectively.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #21 CVR A HAMMERSTROM. Previews World (21 June 2019). Retrieved on 21 June 2019.
- ↑ SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #21 CVR B PEPPERS. Previews World (21 June 2019). Retrieved on 21 June 2019.
- ↑ SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #21 10 COPY INCV FOURDRAINE. Previews World (21 June 2019). Retrieved on 21 June 2019.