- Hold onto your chili dogs, Sonic fans! Long-time artist Evan Stanley takes over as writer with an action-packed, friendship-fueled new arc: "Chao Races and Badnik Bases!" The perfect jumping-on point for new readers!
- The Metal Virus is gone, but things aren't quite back to normal. Omega is damaged and his allies turn to Tails and Sonic for help. The only way to rebuild him is to trade parts with a mysterious champion Chao racer... but things aren't what they seem.
Chao Races and Badnik Bases, Part 1
- Story & Art: Evan Stanley
- Colors: Reggie Graham
- Letters: Shawn Lee
- Assistant Editor: Riley Farmer
- Editor: David Mariotte
- Special thanks to: Mai Kiyotaki, Michael Cisneros, Sandra Jo, Sonic Team, and everyone at Sega for their invaluable assistance
Sonic is resting in a tree outside Tails' workshop. Inside the workshop, Rouge has brought Tails material from Dr. Eggman's personal files, which she got took while she was on the Faceship. Amy finishes helping unload the rest of Omega's body parts, saying that she may skip her boxercise workout today. When asked if he could fix Omega, Tails says that he is not sure as Eggman wrote the material in code and without a cipher, it is gibberish. The fox adds that even if he could read it, Omega was way beyond a simple tune-up and would need a full rebuild. Omega says that he was fortunate to be a machine as an organic life form would likely experience elevated stress levels in his situation. Tails says that if he could get into Eggman's network then he could find the cipher for blueprints; he would need to go to a place with Eggnet access, like an abandoned base. While Amy is ready to spring into action, Rouge counts this as her good deed, wishes them luck and prepares to leave.
Amy tells Rouge that she would be missing all the fun, but the bat insists that if she was too helpful all at once, she would break out in hives. She instead states that she cannot wait to see Omega fixed and asks to let her know how it goes. Sonic swings into the window, telling Tails that there was an abandoned Eggman base up by Windmill Village; Eggman had not been there in ages but it may have what he needs. After saying this, he asks Amy if she wants to come with him. Blushing in surprise, Amy asks Sonic about the two of them together on a mission. Sonic confirms this, saying that it would be dark, cold, deep underground with rusty killer Badniks and the works. Annoyed at this, Amy sarcastically says that it sounds great. Tails mentions that though this took care of the blueprints, they still needed materials. He did not have the equipment to fabricate parts like Eggman's but if he had a E-100 Series part set, he could probably use that. However, they were rare to find. Hearing this, Rouge says that she can take care of it. Bringing out her phone, Rouge shows the trio a picture of White Park Zone. According to her, it was the place to find rare goods, including salvaged Eggman tech if they knew who to talk to. Continuing, Rouge says that the person to talk to in this case was "Clutch", the reigning champion of the White Park Chao Racing Circuit. He is famously known for his collection of technology and riches, and has been known to make the odd trade under the table. Due to Rouge's reputation, their bid to earn Clutch's trust would prove difficult. As a cover story, she suggested using the Chao Races. Amy notes that Rouge put a lot of thought into her plan, with the bat replying that with so much treasure sitting there for the taking, why would she not. To make her plan work, they would need one more person.
In Floral Forest Village, Vanilla receives a call from Amy. When the hedgehog whispers if Rouge was sure about this, the bat states that she was free to join the boys in the abandoned lair. Amy tells Vanilla about wanting Cream to join them in White Park for some Chao Racing to help win parts to repair Omega. While Vanilla is initially unsure of the idea, Amy tries to persuade her by saying that they would be there to help fix up Gemerl if he was damaged and asks if Omega deserves the same kindness. Vanilla agrees with her logic and tells Amy that she believes Gemerl could use a tune-up; he had actually sustained some damage from his battle but has not complained about it. Amy says that she is sure Tails can figure something out, with Cream excited about the idea. Gemerl protests, saying that his primary systems were fully operational after his system reboot and any damage he sustained was merely superficial. Nonetheless, Cream asks to help and Vanilla accepts, since Amy and Gemerl would be with her. She tells her daughter to get her winter clothes to endure Winter Park's cold while she packed cookies for the trip; she adds that Amy will be at their house soon. Cream turns to Gemerl, excited to be going on another adventure, and Vanilla tells her to be careful. At the forest near Windmill Village, Sonic and Tails have entered Eggman's abandoned base. Tails asks Sonic how he found out about it, to which the hedgehog says that he spotted it on one of his runs; he usually kept tabs on stuff like it when he sees it. When Tails wonders why Eggman abandoned it, Sonic jokes that it must have been taken over by ghost Badniks who only come out under the full moon and want to suck people's blood. Finding it funny, Tails tells Sonic that he must have his wires crossed, with the hedgehog jokingly denying it. The boys manage to find a room with a computer terminal; Tails says that once they get some backup power, he should be able to access the Eggnet. Looking at the dolls in the room, Sonic calls the place creepy but Tails jokes that they will have some company. The two are unbeknownst to an eye monitoring them from a broken Badnik.
Meanwhile, Amy is driving Rouge, Cream, Cheese and Gemerl past a great view of White Park in her Pink Cabriolet. Rouge positively comments on the breathtaking views, luxury accommodations and a secret treasure hoard waiting to be found. Amy says that though it was not technically a vacation, it was a nice change after all her time pushing papers in Restoration HQ. She is suddenly forced to veer off of the main road and come to a halt after seeing Shadow standing in the middle of their way. When asked, Shadow states that his presence has nothing to do with the others. Amy tells him that they are trying to get Omega repaired and could use his help, only for the male hedgehog to pass on the request. With Amy believing him to be a grump, Rouge says that she should not take it personally and it was somewhat polite for him. A short drive later, the group arrives at White Park Chateau, where Rouge states that she will go by the alias "Facet". She asks Omega to stay quiet and asks the others to follow her lead and act natural. An Omochao greets the guests of the chateau as the emcee for today's event. He announces that the grand prix would be beginning soon and if anyone wished to compete, they have to register their Chao immediately. While Rouge takes Cream to get signed up, Amy goes to find seats for them. At the table, Rouge manages to get her way to the front of the line using Cream's cuteness. She then tries to get Cream signed up for the event, only to be told that children could not participate. Rouge instead resgisters herself with Cheese. As Cheese is lined up with the other Chao, an Omochao states that the first 50 Chao to cross the finish line will be entered into their grand prix starting tomorrow.
Cream asks why Rouge lied and tells her that it was not nice not to tell the truth. Rouge corrects her to say "Ms. Facet" and that a little white lie would not hurt them. Gemerl notes Rouge's predisposition towards deception, which Rouge tells him that he is no fun for doing so. When they meet back up with Amy, Rouge alerts her to the presence of Clutch at the balcony across from them. An Omochao begins the race, which initially startles Cheese and has them lagging behind. However, with some encouragement from Cream, Cheese determinedly runs back into the race quickly. When they try jumping off of a cliff, they are knocked into the water by a Dark Chao. They still do not give up and continues to swim. Cream and Amy offer more encouragement from the sidelines. With the goal set in his sites, Cheese makes one final push and flies overhead, crossing the finish line. With this, they manage to qualify for the grand prix. As they are hugged and congratulated by Cream, Cheese looks to his Dark Chao rival (owned by Clutch) and it simply looks back to them with a devilish grin. Amy admits that the plan was a fun one so far, with Rouge adding that they were always fun. Emerging from the shadows, Clutch greets Rouge and Amy. Gemerl initially attempts to shield Cream and tell Clutch to stay back, only for Rouge to move in front of him and state the opossum's reputation precedes him and that her friends were not used to such a refined environment. Clutch is charmed to meet "Facet" and tells her that he makes the point of meeting with all the new trainers in the chateau, especially when they have an exceptional Chao with them. Handing Rouge his card, Clutch says that his apartment is the penthouse suite and she should stop by later so that they could talk shop. The bat accepts his invitation.
Amy notes that the situation seemed too easy, to which Rouge was sure that Clutch had something up his sleeve but believes she can handle herself regardless. With this, Amy goes to book a room for the night. Later that night, Rouge visits Clutch's penthouse room. She notes how big it is and how messy the material were kept. As Rouge meets Clutch at his "throne", he states that he knows her name is not truly "Facet"; as he was sitting on a not-insignificant fortune and she was a world-famous thief, they were bound to meet eventually. He proposes a deal to Rouge; he states that if Cheese manages to win the grand prix tomorrow, he will give her anything she wants from his collection, so long as she trades the Chao for it so that he can train it himself. He says that he treats his Chao well, as long as they were winning for him. Rouge says that she will think it over, to which Clutch accepts and tells her to peruse his assortment of gemstones on the way out. Omega notices Rouge's dilemma as Cheese was not her property and asks how she will obtain him. Rouge passes on such a thought, saying that she will not give Cheese away. Gaining a new idea, she realizes that Clutch does not need to know that. She then tells Omega her thoughts. The bat soon exits the room, stating that the events should be interesting. Down the hallway, Rouge spots a hooded figure who has been following her and the others since they arrived. As she wonders who the person was, they reveal themselves to Rouge and shock her.
Outside, Shadow watches over White Park and thinks to himself. He has run into another dead end, finding no sign of Eggman's work here. He guesses that the rumor he heard about a bot-trader present in the location was false. Shadow does wonder what Amy and Rouge were doing in White Park with Cream. He considers checking but decides against it. He hears a noise behind him, seeing a hooded figure fly onto a roof with a yellow aura. As he wonders who it is, Shadow flies down to stop the figure. He tells them not to bother trying to run away as they could not escape him. However, the figure manages to use a blue aura around themselves to run right past the hedgehog onto another roof. Initially stunned, Shadow manages to catch up anyway and asks if they were working for Dr. Eggman. The figure encapsulates themself in a red aura and rips off a log from the holding of a window. They use the log to hit Shadow off of the roof. The hedgehog falls with nothing but a piece of cloth from the jacket that the figure was wearing.
- Amy Rose
- Badniks (Mentioned)
- Belle (First appearance)
- Clutch (First appearance)
- Cream the Rabbit
- Dr. Eggman (Mentioned)
- E-100 Series (Mentioned)
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Omochao (multiple) (First appearance)
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Team Dark
- Vanilla the Rabbit
- Sonic's world
- Rouge mentions her time touring the Faceship, which she was first revealed to be doing in Sonic the Hedgehog #25, "A Sudden Shift".
- Omega is still badly damaged following the events of the previous issue.
- Gemerl still sustains damage from his previous battle and recalls how he had to do a system reboot in the previous issue.
- Amy, Cream and Rouge's winter outfits in this issue are all based on the clothing they wear on the Sonic Channel winter illustrations that were released as wallpapers:
- On page one, Amy mentions boxercise, which is an exercise that she first took up in Sonic Battle.
- Amy's phone is shown to have a keychain in the shape of Sonic's head. Evan Stanley had previously drawn a convention exclusive cover for Sonic the Hedgehog #27 which also featured Amy having a similarly designed phone with a Sonic keychain.
- In the fourth panel on page four, a picture frame is shown to say "Long time no see", which is a common phrase in the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
- In the final panel of page nine, Chaclon, a Chao that first appeared in Chao Race in Sonic Adventure, makes a cameo appearance.
- A character based on the anthropomorphic avatar of Bobby Schroeder (known online as "ponettplus") appears as a cameo in this issue. She is seen with a few Chao that resemble Ferox, as a reference to her acquiring a large number of them in her playthrough of Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, which Evan Stanley had watched.
- 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 Sonic, Amy, Tails, Rouge, Omega, Cream, Cheese and Gemerl.
- 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. For this issue, the fan artwork and letters have been substituted for an interview with Evan Stanley by Riley Farmer instead. The other pages showcase raw artwork of three of the variant covers for the issue.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys #1 - Free Digital Ashcan
- Omega: It is fortunate that I am a machine. A weak organic life form would likely experience elevated stress levels in this situation.
- Amy: Aw, you're gonna miss out on all the fun!
- Rouge: If I'm too helpful all at once, I'll break out in hives.
- Tails: I wonder why Eggman abandoned this one...
- Sonic: Maybe it was taken over by ghost Badniks!
- Tails: Ah, stop it!
- Sonic: They only come out under the full moon... Watch out, they vant to suck your blooood!
- Tails: I think you've got some wires crossed there.
- Sonic: What? No! Never!
- Rouge: Sit tight, Omega.
- Omega: I have no legs. This does not compute.
- Rouge: I--Just keep quiet.
- This issue was initially going to be released on 30 September 2020, but was soon moved to 14 October 2020 instead.
- Cover RE acts in parallel to cover RE of Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys #1.
- As of this issue, Evan Stanley will take over as the lead writer for the series.
- SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #33 CVR A STANLEY. Previews World (19 June 2020). Retrieved on 19 June 2020.
- New Writer/Artist Takes Over IDW's SONIC THE HEDGEHOG - But Without Saying When. newsarama (14 April 2020). Retrieved on 14 April 2020.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: IDW Announces New Comic Writer and Bad Guys Miniseries. comicbook (14 April 2020). Retrieved on 14 April 2020.