- Tangle to the rescue! The brave lemur has jumped into the battle to save Sonic, Amy, and Tails from falling victim to Dr. Eggman's latest experiment. Belle has a different kind of battle when she comes face-to-face with an old friend. Will the gang be able to escape unharmed? Find out in Evan Stanley's epic conclusion to "Test Run"!
Test Run, Part 4
- Story: Evan Stanley
- Art: Evan Stanley (p. 6-20), Adam Bryce Thomas (p. 1-5)
- Inks: Maria Keane (p. 6-9), John Wycough (p. 10-20)
- Colors: Heather Breckel (p. 6-15), Leonardo Ito (p. 1-5, 16-20)
- 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, Tails, and Amy continue to battle the Egg Vipers while Dr. Eggman taunts them by asking if they were having fun like he was. The blue Egg Viper targets Sonic and blasts him with a jet of water. Eggman prepares to wrap the battle up by having the red Egg Viper approach Tails and Amy. Sonic notices his friends get encircled by the fiery mech and runs to them. The blue hedgehog jumps over the red Egg Viper and tells Tails and Amy to keep their heads down. The blue Egg Viper that was still targeting Sonic shoots a jet of water again, only for it to hit the red Egg Viper, much to Eggman's dismay. As the red Egg Viper falls, the trio face the green Egg Viper. Sonic asks Amy for a boost. This confuses her as Tails could do it more easily, but as there was no time, Amy accepts. Sonic leaps up, allowing Amy to hit him up high. He taunts Eggman through the green Egg Viper for not providing him with a blow-dry. The mech blasts a gust of wind at him, propelling him straight down to the blue Egg Viper, allowing him to destroy it. Tails pulls a dazed Sonic up, asking if he was okay. The trio are knocked down by the green Egg Viper's whirlwinds, with Eggman declaring that there would be no more fun and games. Meanwhile from above, Tangle runs out from a gate in preparation to help her friends. She abruptly falls right onto the green Egg Viper.
The trio are surprised to see Tangle, who tells them that she was in the area to help them. On the opposite side of the gate, Orbot tries to ask Belle a question, only for her to snap at him and say that she is not a traditional Eggman robot. Seeing that it was complicated, she asks if the two robots know him. They respond saying that they are his right-hand robots and it is their job to cook, clean, make coffee, and other such tasks for him. Cubot notes how particular he is about his coffee. Belle reveals that she knows the order: no milk and lots and lots of sugar. She is startled by Orbot's tablet, with Eggman demanding to know what he and Cubot were doing and why they did not tell him Tangle had infiltrated. Before he continues his rant, he asks what voice he just heard and engages autopilot on the Egg Vipers. He looks to see Belle, and though she had unconventional material, he knew the joint design from anywhere; he knows that he is Belle's creator. It slowly comes back to the doctor on how he created Belle when he still had amnesia and thought of himself as "Mr. Tinker". Eggman asks what he called her back then, to which she replies "Belle the Tinkerer". Eggman finds this somewhat sweet and tells her not to go anywhere as he still needs to fight Sonic. Belle protests as she believes he would not do something like this without a reason and requests for him to tell her that it was not what it looked like.
Realizing that Belle had an attachment to Mr. Tinker, Eggman decides to give her his reasoning. He says that the restraints of reality can become stifling, especially for a inventor like him; the limits of the world no longer satisfied him. He built the tower to counter this, as it bends the laws of physics themselves to his will. The maze grows and folds back on itself ad infinitum. Due to this, the robots that were sent into the maze will burn out long before they escape. He claims that it will one day have the resilience to hold Sonic as he is not as durable. The next section was a model of sorts: a perfect simulation of an imperfect world that was not yet under his control. There, he tests how quickly his Badnik hordes can overtake a town, to "recruit" a large group of unsuspecting test subjects. He adds that he has a new way for his Badniks to evolve in order for them to best dominate whatever environment they find themselves in, with each generation set to reveal new and terrifying adaptations. There was more information, but Eggman believes that the finer points of his brilliance would be lost on Belle. He then asks her what makes Mr. Tinker worthy of such admiration in the face of his unrestrained genius. Belle drops the tablet and falls to her knees, with Orbot and Cubot watching. Suddenly, the gate begins to spew out energy. Belle questions this, with Orbot saying that it is due to the gate overloading; it is not safe to leave something in the energy field for long as it could cause a feedback loop. When Belle asks why they did not say something, Cubot replies saying that she did not ask. Following up, she asks what would happen if there was a feedback loop. Orbot tells her that there would be a rapid expansion of the energy field until it collapses under its own weight and explodes.
Back in the test chamber, Tangle kicks the side plate of the green Egg Viper to Amy, which she cuts in two with the red Egg Viper's tail. One of the halves of the green Egg Viper's plate smashes into the tied up blue Egg Viper that Sonic pulled along with its own hose. Sonic teasingly notes Amy's new look with the Egg Viper's tail, with her saying that it is nice to branch out a little from time to time. As Tails notes that Eggman seemed awfully quiet, he returns with autopilot disengaged. He becomes angry over what the four heroes had been doing to his machines and has the three Egg Vipers fly straight at them. Tangle gives Sonic her hand and pulls him and Amy upward via her tail while Tails follows. As a large explosion occurs below them, Tails helps carry Amy and all four manage to get through the gate. A panicked Belle tells them that it is too late to stop the the gate and they have to get out before it overloads completely. They notice that the gate is pulling stuff like the floor in. As they begin to leave, the suction of the gate becomes stronger and slows down the gang. Sonic asks Orbot and Cubot for the fastest way out, with Orbot saying that it was straight ahead, then a right into the loading bay. With this information, Sonic has everyone hold onto him as he dashes straight out of the tower. They quickly get on the Tornado and fly away. The tower turns in on itself and folds into the gate, completely disappearing. This short circuits Eggman's visor, giving him a shock.
As the plane flies, Tails says that he is not picking up any sign of the tower, indicating that it had disappeared. Tangle asks what they should do about Orbot and Cubot, with Amy saying that the Restoration is not about to start taking prisoners. Belle requests that they be let go as they were not the ones who did this. Sonic agrees, as whatever they did now was not their call. Tangle asks if they should just toss them off of the plane, with Orbot supporting this idea so that he and Cubot could take a vacation. As they are thrown off, Sonic tells them that they should get Metal Sonic to play hooky as well. Tails asks Belle if she is okay, with her undecidedly saying both yes and no. She tries to lie that nothing happened but quickly gives in. She explains that she was built by a man named Mr. Tinker, whom Sonic saved. When he disappeared, people told her that he had been a monster all along as Dr. Eggman. She did not and could not believe it. She thought that if she could talk to him, he would would understand and explain something to her. She does not manage to finish her sentence and bursts into tears. Feeling sorry for her, Tangle pets Belle with her tail and tells her that she helped do something good today and her dad would have been proud of her for that. She supposes that he would. Tangle then does not know what she is going to tell Jewel about all of this. Tails gives the others good news; with the tower gone, the storm was beginning to break up, which should allow for a smooth flight back.
- Amy Rose
- Dr. Eggman
- Metal Sonic (mentioned)
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Sonic the Hedgehog
Races and species:
- Sonic, Tails and Amy are still stuck in Dr. Eggman's test chambers fighting against his robots due to the events of Sonic the Hedgehog #37, "Test Run, Part 1".
- Tangle and Belle are still in Dr. Eggman's tower after arriving there in Sonic the Hedgehog #38, "Test Run, Part 2".
- Tangle has exited the gate she left through in the previous issue.
- Orbot and Cubot are still restrained by Tangle with her tail which she first did in the previous issue.
- Belle is revealed to have been built by Dr. Eggman when he was under his amnesiac "Mr. Tinker" persona. This persona was first discovered in Sonic the Hedgehog #5, "The Fate of Dr. Eggman, Part 1" and ended when he regained his memories in Sonic the Hedgehog #12, "The Cost of the Battle for Angel Island".
- Belle recalls Sonic saving Mr. Tinker in Sonic the Hedgehog #6, "The Fate of Dr. Eggman, Part 2".
- 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, Tangle, Belle and Dr. Eggman.
- 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 the variant covers for the issue.
- Tails: Are you okay?
- Sonic: Never better! Say, when did you get four tails...?
- Tangle: So what, we just toss 'em off the plane?
- Orbot: Yes. This is the perfect opportunity for Cubot and I to take a small sabbatical.
- Cubot: Yeah, and a vacation! We're pooped!
- This issue was originally scheduled for release on 28 April 2021, but was delayed to 2 June 2021 and then 9 June 2021.
- Cover RI contains several Easter eggs and references:
- The entire cover references streaming websites such as Twitch.
- The stat bars used for Sonic, Tails, and Amy resemble the stat bars seen in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.
- The background behind Dr. Eggman contains excerpts of his speech to the world of when he threatened to blow it up in Sonic Adventure 2.
- One of the users is called "inf1nixW0rlds" and has a highlighted message that says "weak". This a reference to Infinite, the secondary villain of Sonic Forces, and how he disliked to be thought of as weak.
- User "EggPawnEF-XB2006" is a reference to the Egg Pawns and EF-XB2006.
- User "TheRealTrueActualSonic" is a reference to Metal Sonic.
- User "SSSSSScratchMan" is a reference to Scratch and the Super Special Sonic Search and Smash Squad. They also sign their comment with Scratch's signature laugh from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
- User "jumpinSpirallemur04" is a reference to Tangle and Spiral Hill Village, with the "04" number most likely being a reference to Tangle's debut issue.
- User "GearsAndStarters" is a reference to Belle.
- User "StarsAndLines" is a reference to Dr. Starline.
- User "ModOrbot" is a reference to Orbot.
- User "Supergrounder93" is a reference to Grounder from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. The "93" references the year he debuted in, which was the first episode of the series.
- User "EggPawnMB-XB1991" is another reference to the Egg Pawns and the release date of the original Sonic the Hedgehog. It is also a nod to the Sonic Unleashed characters EF-MD1991 and EF-XB2006.
- SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #40 CVR A TRACY YARDLEY. Previews World (22 January 2021). Retrieved on 22 January 2021.
- SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #40 CVR B DAN SCHOENING. Previews World (22 January 2021). Retrieved on 22 January 2021.
- SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #40 10 COPY INCV FOURDRAINE. Previews World (22 January 2021). Retrieved on 22 January 2021.