- It's all led to this... the thrilling two-part epilogue to the Metal Virus Saga. The world has changed. Heroes and villains plan for the future as reconstruction begins. But one hero remains missing...
Recovery, Part 1
- Story: Ian Flynn
- Art: Adam Bryce Thomas
- Colors: Matt Herms
- Letters: Shawn Lee
- Assistant Editor: Riley Farmer
- Editor: David Mariotte
- Special thanks to: Mai Kiyotaki, Aaron Webber, Michael Cisneros, Sandra Jo, and everyone at Sega for their invaluable assistance
In Blaze's world, the princess is having tea with a seemingly amnesiac Sonic in the Imperial Palace. She explains to him that the Sonic she knew was a hero, a paragon. He was as swift and free as the wind and had no master. According to Blaze, there was no challenge too great, no threat too dire that he could not face without a swagger and a smile. Sonic simply says that the individual sounded impressive and he would like to meet him one day. Slightly annoyed, Blaze asks Sonic who he thought he was. He replies that he did not have an idea, though he did meet a young girl who dubbed him "Mr. Needlemouse" and took a liking to that. Warming the teapot with her powers, Blaze asks if "Mr. Needlemouse" recalled anything. He answers, saying that there was nothing concrete and his memories seemed warped; he dreams of sea and sky, of golden fire and a sense of falling, and nothing more. Blaze continues to ponder who did this to Sonic and asks herself what was happening on his world right now.
Back on Sonic's world, Amy finds herself unable to deal with a large amount of paperwork in an even more worn down Restoration HQ. She says that she is no leader and she helped administrate the Resistance because everyone needed to pitch in. She only became leader of the Restoration because no one else was there and work had to be done. The young hedgehog thinks for herself, wishing that she could go back to the days of when it was just her and Sonic racing around from one adventure to the next. Solemnly recalling Sonic's disappearance, Amy says that he gave everything to save everyone from the Metal Virus and since he never gave up, she should not either. Just as the hedgehog wishes that she had some help, Jewel enters the room looking for her. The two introduce each other and Jewel tells Amy why she came by; she had heard from Tangle how Amy was not enjoying the rigors of her work, even before the plague. The beetle explains how she likes to catalogue and organize and notes how excited she feels by looking around the room and bringing it to order. With this, Jewel offers to take over administration of the Restoration and give Amy a break. Amy is taken aback with the kindness and simply says to Jewel "Thank you." Jewel is slightly startled by this ad notes that she did not think that Amy was so strained. Calling Jewel a life-saver, Amy decides to bring her up to speed on the current Restoration affairs before stepping down, with the primary goals being to organize supplies for rebuilding and find people displaced by their time as Zombots.
In Echo Mine, Rough and Tumble are still stuck down in a refuse pit in the Echo Mine, noting how hungry and desperate to leave they are. Rough is startled by a tail that drops down, thinking it is a spider. It is revealed that Tangle and Tails came by to help the skunk brothers. The lemur asks the two to grab onto her tail so that she can quickly pull them out. Relieved, Rough grabs onto Tangle's tail while Tumble sadly looks at the tail, stating that it was not fair. After Rough and Tumble are helped out of the hole, Rough asks why they were helping them. Tangle explains that Sonic cured the world of the Metal Virus, the liquid that Dr. Eggman tricked Rough and Tumble into using, and gave the world a second chance; she and Tails were making sure that everyone was getting one. The skunk brothers simply burst out laughing and run away to once again run wild. When Tangle asks if this meant that it was back to jail for them by the end of the day, Tails jokes that it would happen if they could find their way out of the mines. Moving on, Tangle asks how Tails was doing and he replies that he is fine. The lemur clarifies that she was being serious, with Tails understanding this but is still fine. He says that he is sure they will see Sonic again as he has beaten the odds before and he believes in him as he has never let him down. Until then, he would be counting on them to keep the peace. Tangle states that she sees why Sonic is always hanging out with Tails and calls him "aces". She then mentions that she is having a party in Spiral Hill Village and everyone is invited.
In the future, Silver has returned and is flying toward a city. He thinks that a lot can change in a couple hundred years and wonders if everything has been restored. Looking over the bright city with flourishing life, Silver smiles and thanks Sonic and the others for their help in making a good future. In Dr. Eggman's lab, Eggman outfits Omega with a new body. He asks the robot how it felt to be corporeal again, to which he replies that it felt good and destroying him would enhance it by 90%. Eggman laughs at this and says that he locked down his body so that there would be no mayhem for him, upsetting Omega. Eggman continues, saying that he will be used for a special project and welcomes the angry robot back into the Eggman Empire. In his office, Eggman meets Orbot and Cubot and asks them for a report. Orbot tells Eggman that the Zombots did a number on his bases, especially after the Deadly Six took over. When Eggman asks where the Zeti were anyway, Orbot explains that Zavok was defeated and imprisoned while the other Zeti were still at large and appeared to be laying low. Eggman disregards them and plots to move ahead with his next project. Orbot and Cubot wonder why the doctor planned to do so and not instead take a vacation. Eggman says that he has to act quickly before Sonic inevitably returns to give him headaches and he now had to factor in the Deadly Six. Since he lost the Cacophonic Conch when Rouge crashed the Faceship, he is quite defenseless against them. There was also Starline to consider. Orbot asks what happened to him, only for the doctor to reply that he did not know. After he was thrown through the Warp Portal, Eggman did not think to look where he was retreating to, meaning he could be anywhere.
Elsewhere, in Starline's repository, several Egg Pawns move boxes around. Starline himself is marking off the Eggman Empire insignias on them with asterisks. He monologues, saying that Eggman is truly the genius he thought he was but he is inept in his execution, and Sonic is the powerhouse he was expected to be, yet reckless. He finds so much wasted potential in the both of them but believes he has the clarity of vision and can improve upon them. He states that he is still loyal to Eggman despite his cruelty. He claims he will conquer the world and surpass Eggman so that he may learn by example. According to Starline, when he seats Eggman on the throne of victory, he will acknowledge that he was right; he would have to listen to Starline and they will work together as equals.
In Seaside City, at the Chaotix Detective Agency, the Chaotix have become extremely very busy and disorganized with several missing persons cases, almost making Vector wish they went back to the days when they were not so busy. Cream, Vanilla, Cheese, Chocola and Gemerl enter the building to visit the trio and gift them tasty treats to keep them going. Vanilla tells Vector that even at the height of the plague, they were all so selfless. Vector becomes slightly bashful hearing these compliments and tells Vanilla that it was all a part of being a good detective. Soon, Vector is brought back to reality when he hears more phone calls and tells Vanilla that they had no time to eat or sleep or even ironically do their jobs. Vanilla believes that this would not do and asks Gemerl to help. The robot quickly sifts through paperwork, scanning the data and creating a database of all missing persons. Vanilla then asks Cheese and Chocola to put away the files. She tells Vector that she and Cream will handle the calls and update them as Gemerl processes information. With this, the Chaotix realize that they can do their thing and head out to do their thing and find the missing people.
In Forest Hill, Rouge finds Shadow by himself and tells him that he can be a pain to track down. She tells him that things have seemed to settle down. All the bad guys are in hiding and were not causing trouble. However, there was no sign of Sonic and Omega. Shadow says nothing, prompting an annoyed Rouge to ask if he was even listening. When he says that he was, Rouge asks what was wrong with him as he was brooding more than usual. Thinking to himself, Shadow says that he believed that Sonic telling him to run was cowardice, not a warning. His mistake took him out of the fight and was in disbelief at himself, the Ultimate Lifeform, miscalculating like that. Rouge says that if he could not talk about it, she would leave it be. Shadow turns to her and says that he owes Sonic, but now he was gone and that was all to it. Rouge smirks and touches Shadow's shoulder. She begins flying away and tells Shadow of the party that was going to be hosted at Spiral Hill Village tonight that everyone was invited to. He passes on it, which Rouge figures that he would but thought she would try.
In Spiral Hill Village, everyone is partying away, having a good time. Jet complains about the sculpture of Sonic they made, asking where his sculpture was. He nearly got infected to save everyone and wondered where his recognition was. Wave and Storm pay little attention to Jet, only enjoying themselves to dinner and a show; Storm adds that they should save the world more often. Whisper stands on guard watching the trio since they had attacked the town before. Tangle explains that she they should give them this one as they helped save the world and she would rather not have another fight in her home town so soon. The wolf understands, prompting Tangle to tell her that they should get food for the Wisps. Suddenly, the group is alerted to a large crash in the town, revealed to be Eggman in a large mecha preparing to destroy them.
- Babylon Rogues
- Egg Pawns (multiple)
- Big the Cat
- Blaze the Cat
- Chaotix Detective Agency
- Cream the Rabbit
- Deadly Six (mentioned)
- Dr. Eggman
- Dr. Starline
- Knuckles the Echidna (mentioned)
- Marine the Raccoon (mentioned)
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Resistance (mentioned)
- Rough the Skunk
- Silver the Hedgehog
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Tangle the Lemur
- Team Dark
- Tumble the Skunk
- Vanilla the Rabbit
- Whisper the Wolf
- Wisps (mentioned)
- Blaze's dimension
- Silver's future
- Sonic's dimension
- Cacophonic Conch (mentioned)
- Fishing Rod
- Metal Virus (mentioned)
- Multi-Tool Heel Spurs
- Rocket skates
- Continued from the previous issue, Sonic is still on Blaze's world.
- Amy recalls Sonic getting rid of the Metal Virus and disappearing, which occurred in Sonic the Hedgehog #29, "All or Nothing", Part 4.
- Amy steps down from administration of the Restoration, which she was first heard to become a part of in Sonic the Hedgehog #13, "Calling Card".
- Rough and Tumble are still stuck in the refuse pit in the Echo Mine following the events of Sonic the Hedgehog #15, "Patient Zero".
- Silver's future is finally restored following the failed attempts mentioned in Sonic the Hedgehog #8, "Silent Support".
- Dr. Eggman has possession of Omega and mentions that he will be using him for a special project which was noted in the previous issue.
- Omega is outfitted with a new body after his old one was destroyed by Zombots in Sonic the Hedgehog #20, "Crisis City, Part 2".
- The Deadly Six have been mentioned to have gone into hiding, first indicated in the previous issue.
- Zavok is shown to be imprisoned following his penultimate defeat in the previous issue.
- Eggman recalls having Dr. Starline sent away through the Warp Portal he had opened, which occurred in Sonic the Hedgehog #25, "A Sudden Shift".
- Gemerl has been repaired following his attack from Metal Sonic in the previous issue.
- Vanilla recalls the Chaotix's acts of selflessness in Sonic the Hedgehog #22, "The Last Minute, Part 2".
- Shadow recalls Sonic's warning to him to run away should he get infected, first told in Sonic the Hedgehog #19, "Crisis City, Part 1".
- The Babylon Rogues recall helping save the world, depicted in Sonic the Hedgehog #25, "A Sudden Shift", Sonic the Hedgehog #26, "All or Nothing, Part 1", Sonic the Hedgehog #28, "All or Nothing, Part 3" and Sonic the Hedgehog #30, "Cured".
- Whisper and Tangle recall the Babylon Rogues invading the Spiral Hill Village in Sonic the Hedgehog Annual 2019, "Bonds of Friendship".
- The cloak that Blaze wears in this issue is based on an outfit she was drawn with for a piece of Sonic Channel artwork.
- On page one, Blaze mentions to Sonic that the Sonic she knew was "as swift and free as the wind" and "had no master". This a reference to Sonic and the Black Knight, in which Sonic introduces himself to Sir Percival by saying "I'm Sonic! Sonic the Hedgehog! I have no master, except the wind that blows free!"
- Coincidentally, Percival is Blaze's doppelgänger.
- On page two, Sonic mentions how he met a young girl who dubbed him "Mr. Needlemouse". This is a reference to what most fans believed Sonic was named during his development (his real development name being "Mr. Hedgehog").
- Ian Flynn later revealed that the young girl who called him this was Marine the Raccoon. As Marine was not permitted to physically appear in the issue, this was done in reference to her and to acknowledge her as a part of the universe from the comic.
- On page eight, Silver says "We made a good future." This is in reference to Sonic the Hedgehog CD. When Sonic destroys all the robot transporters in a Zone, it will showcase the text of "SONIC MADE A GOOD FUTURE IN Zone -" at the end of it.
- On page fourteen, Vector says "I-It's all part of being a good detective, ma'am." His game counterpart says this same quote at the end of Team Chaotix's storyline in Sonic Heroes.
- Vector's nervousness around Vanilla is a reference to his Sonic X counterpart's crush on her.
- The president of the Sonic Fan Club makes an appearance in this issue.
- Story so far: "Story so far" is a summary of the current plotline for the comic.
- Roll Call: Roll Call acts as a quick reference guide to new readers about the characters. This issue provides data files on Amy, Jewel, Tails, Tangle, Whisper, Dr. Eggman, Team Chaotix, Cream, Vanilla, Gemerl, Shadow, and Rouge.
- 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. The other pages showcase raw artwork of each of the variant covers for the issue.
- Canto & the Clockwork Fairies One-Shot - Free Digital Ashcan
- Blaze: The Sonic the Hedgehog I know was a hero. A paragon. He was as swift as the wind. He had no master, but fought for anyone and everyone. There was no challenge too great, no threat too dire that he wouldn't face without a swagger and a smile.
- Sonic: He sounds very impressive. I'd like to meet him one day.
- Rough: You dorks just gave us a free pass to run wild!
- Tumble: Look out world! The baddest boys are back!
- Tangle: So... back in jail by the end of the day?
- Tails: If they don't get lost in the mines.
- Silver: Sonic... Everyone... Thank you. We made a good future. May your time stay peaceful, too.
- Dr. Eggman: Welcome back to the Eggman Empire, E-123!
- Omega: Hatred processing at peak efficiency!
- Cubot: Gee, Boss, why not take a vacation?
- Orbot: Indeed. You worked very hard trying to doom us all.
- Vector: Sorry, Vanilla, but we don't have time to eat. Or sleep. Or do our job, ironically.
- Wave: Dinner and a show.
- Storm: We oughta save the world more often!
- This issue was initially going to be released on 19 August 2020, but was soon moved to 2 September 2020 instead. It was then moved to 9 September 2020 and then later to 16 September 2020.
- According to David Mariotte, this was because this issue and some subsequent issues have had their release dates staggered accordingly.
- Cover A is the first piece of the 2-part panoramic connecting cover art by Tracy Yardley and Leonardo Ito.
- In the early version of cover A, Shadow's eyelids are colored red instead of the regular black.
- Charmy's eyelids were also miscolored. In the early version of cover A, they were peach instead of black.
- Cover B contains a number of Easter eggs and references:
- Although the poster for the Restoration is torn up by Dr. Eggman, Orbot and Cubot, Sonic can be seen in a pose that resembles a piece of artwork from Sonic Heroes.
- The wanted poster that Eggman holds of himself showcases artwork of him taken from cover B of Sonic the Hedgehog #14, a cover that both Jonathan Gray and Reggie Graham (artists for this cover) had also worked on.
- Interestingly, cover B from Sonic the Hedgehog #14 was the first cover Jon and Reggie had worked on together.
- Eggman's pose is a reference to Gendo Ikari from the Neon Genesis Evangelion series.
- Storm's mugshot board reads as if he had been arrested by the "Knothole Village Police Precinct", a direct reference to Knothole Village from the Sonic the Hedgehog television series.
- Storm's mugshot board reads a date of 02-23-2006, which was the Japanese release date for Sonic Riders and the debut of the Babylon Rogues.
- On Rough and Tumble's poster, a speech balloon with the word "SOS" inside it can be seen. This is a reference to the SOS Missions in Sonic Forces, which used the same speech balloon.
- One of the wanted signs features Jonathan Gray and Reggie Graham.
- Cover RI features a factory that resembles the good future of Metallic Madness from Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
- This is the first time that Sonic is not included in the Roll Call section of the issue.
- David Mariotte on Twitter. Twitter (1 September 2020). Retrieved on 1 September 2020.
- SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #31 CVR A YARDLEY. Previews World (20 March 2020). Retrieved on 20 March 2020.
- SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #31 CVR B LAWRENCE. Previews World (20 March 2020). Retrieved on 20 March 2020.
- SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #31 10 COPY INCV FOURDRAINE. Previews World (20 March 2020). Retrieved on 20 March 2020.
- BumbleKast Q&A for November 9th, 2020. YouTube (9 November 2020). Retrieved on 9 November 2020.