Operation: Clean Sweep is an event in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. It was a devastating plot of Dr. Eggman's following his recovery from insanity, to counter-act the "chaos factor" of Sonic the Hedgehog. This entailed the altering of space-time with the Genesis Wave, to create a reset reality that would leave the entire planet of Mobius prone to complete Roboticization by the Death Egg Mark 2 via a World Roboticizer. The new reality was unstable though, and threatened to destroy the entire Prime Zone until it was returned to normal, whereupon Robotnik attempted to roboticize the planet regardless. This however resulted in the Death Egg suffering heavy damage, along with the roboticization of Princess Sally Acorn, making for a mixed success at best.
An Insane Idea
While imprisoned in the detention facility of New Mobotropolis, Dr. Eggman overcame his madness and theorized that due to Sonic the Hedgehog's extensive exposure to Chaos energy, the hedgehog had become the embodiment of Chaos, a living unknown factor. No matter how ingenious Robotnik's plans were, or how far he calculated and planned, Sonic would stop him at the last minute in every single scenario. Essentially, as long as Robotnik was in Mobius Prime, Sonic would always win. Once Snively broke Eggman out of the detention facility as the Iron Dominion's occupation of the city fell apart, they retreated to the EggDome with the Dark Egg Legion, and he began to formulate Operation: Clean Sweep. (StH #210-StH #211)
Modifying the Eggdome
After escaping, Eggman had several chapters of his Dark Egg Legion across Mobius mobilize with projects of their own. In the Northern Tundra, the local Dark Egg Legion of whales supported and ran a "mind control totem" that Dr. Eggman used to hypnotize the walrus population to work for him. Though the totem was destroyed by the combined effort of Sonic, the Arctic Freedom Fighters, Rotor Walrus, and Silver the Hedgehog, it remained a mystery to the heroes for what the totem's purpose was for. In Sand Blast City, the local Dark Egg Legion of former Robians ran a refinery for oil to fuel something. When Sonic and Bunnie went to investigate, it was revealed that the refinery would serve as a refueling station for something "bigger than he (Eggman)'s ever flown before".
Dr. Eggman's dome-shaped base in New Megaopolis was modified to become part of Operation: Clean Sweep. He and Snively obtained a Chaos Emerald from the Special Zone to provide power for his new weapon, the Death Egg Mark 2, which was, essentially, an airborne EggDome. The Death Egg Mark 2 was manned by the doctor himself, Snively, and the New Megaopolis chapter of the Dark Egg Legion. It was launched the day of Ixis Naugus and Geoffrey St. John's arrival in New Mobotropolis. While Sonic and Ixis Naugus were engaged in combat at Castle Acorn, the Death Egg Mark II appeared over the city. (StH #215-StH #218)
The Death Egg Mark 2
The Freedom Fighters, Geoffrey St. John, and Ixis Naugus traveled into the sky to waylay Dr. Eggman and stop what he intended to do with the Death Egg. Sonic and Sally Acorn entered the Death Egg through the hole Sonic used to enter the EggDome during the Freedom Fighters' and Chaotix's invasion of New Megaopolis. In the Death Egg, Sonic and Sally tried to locate Dr. Eggman before he could utilize the Death Egg, but they were stopped by a new and improved Silver Sonic. Instead of ignoring Silver Sonic, Sonic tried to have fun by defeating it, completely disregarding the mission at hand. Sally decided to go ahead and find Eggman alone while Sonic fought Silver Sonic as Eggman announced on the PA system of the Death Egg that he would momentarily fire the Genesis Wave. However, Sally was abruptly stopped by a two-barreled gun, and shot at, supposedly killing her as Sonic watched in disbelief. As Eggman pressed the button at the Death Egg's bridge to fire the Genesis Wave, a flash of white light emanated from the Death Egg, washing the entire planet in white. As everything faded away, a horrified Sonic noticed that Sally had fallen. (StH #219-StH #225)
Using the Genesis Wave, Dr. Eggman managed to alter reality, erasing all of the Freedom Fighter's progress for more than the past decade, even before Sonic and Sally met. This resulted in a changed and defenseless Mobius that was easy to exploit. In this new reality, Eggman and Snively quickly took control of various untamed regions and territories by establishing bases and factories in them. They also started capturing large numbers of the different Mobian species everywhere they went, and placed them inside Eggman's Badnik robots as power sources.
However, Eggman and Snively had both been affected by the Genesis Wave as well and lost their memories, unsure of what their plan had been or even the purpose behind the Death Egg. All they could remember was that whatever they did before had severely drained the battle station of its power reserves, and it would take time for it to be recharged, even with the Chaos Emeralds they somehow gathered. Eventually they began to remember the old reality they changed, which was the cause for the numerous dimensional disturbances they were experiencing, but Eggman remained confident his "robotizing" weapon would secure both space-time and his victory once fired.
Besides these setbacks, there was one other problem that would prove fatal to Robotnik's plans—Sonic, who had been brought into this new world as well, along with a few of the other Freedom Fighters, though suffering the same amnesia effect like the doctor and Snively. As Sonic was running in the Green Hill Zone, he felt as though he had blanked out for a second, which was the sudden disruption in reality. He saved the captured animals of the zone from an enraged Snively, freeing Sally, Boomer (Rotor), and Antoine, whom he had not met before. The four heroes joined forces and began to find the source of the animal kidnappings, as well as the weird tremors that were occurring. After encountering Robotnik in the Marble Zone, and the Scrap Brain Zone, the Freedom Fighters supposedly defeated Robotnik. Robotnik survived however, and began to recall his past with Sonic as part of some great "logic puzzle", for which he attempted to work out an answer.
Afterwards, Sonic introduced the Freedom Fighters to his sidekick Miles Prower (who preferred the name "Tails"), who joined the group in taking down all of Robotnik's support, leaving him powerless. However, as the group slowly made progress in the Oil Ocean Zone, Sonic realized that their plan would take forever (And partially witnessed a memory of Sally being shot from issue #225). He and Tails decided to leave the group to take on Robotnik head on while Sally, Boomer, and Antoine stayed to take down Robotnik's support. After encountering Robotnik in the Metropolis Zone, Sonic began to remember memories from another past. Robotnik stated that Sonic was beginning to remember the "other reality". With that, Robotnik escaped to his shuttle, which would take him to the Death Egg Mark 2. Sonic escaped the Metropolis Zone as well, and Tails flew Sonic up to Robotnik's escape shuttle in his Tornado just in time for Sonic to travel to the Death Egg to defeat Robotnik.
Onboard the Death Egg, Sonic noted the condition of Mobius, as it appeard to be very stormy and disastrous, nearly on the brink of breaking apart. Robotnik appeared and explained that Mobius's true reality was fighting back to restore itself, and to get rid of the reality that Robotnik created, but by roboticizing Mobius, the doctor could solidify the altered reality forever.
Sonic, now regaining the memories of the true Mobius, attempted to fight back, but Eggman entered his Egg Destroyer Battlesuit and began fighting Sonic. During the fight, Dr. Eggman explained that on the true Mobius Prime, he realized that in that reality, Sonic would always stop him due to his Chaos factor. If he changed reality, then the Chaos factor would be eliminated, and Sonic would not be able to stop him. However, Sonic did manage to confront Robotnik, even after the dimensional change, proving Robotnik's plan worthless. Sonic tried his best to fight back, but was overpowered by the mech and about to be crushed. During Eggman's rant, he mentioned that the Death Egg was powered by the seven Chaos Emeralds. Sonic grabbed a power wire, absorbed its power, and turned into Super Sonic. Super Sonic then easily defeated Dr. Robotnik in his battle armor, absorbed as much chaos energy as possible from the wire, and performed a Chaos Control to restore reality. The Genesis Wave occurred once again as the alternate Mobius vanished away into nothingness. (StH #226-StH #229)
With reality restored, the temporal transition Sonic created allowed time on the true Mobius Prime to go back 10 seconds, allowing Sonic to rescue Sally before the turret could kill her. Silver Sonic was defeated by the turret in an attempt to follow and rushed to confront Dr. Eggman before he could fire the roboticizer. When Sonic and Sally found Eggman, he explained that the Death Egg Mark 2's weapon was a World Roboticizer that would roboticize all life. Sonic pointed out that because the alien race, the Bem, deroboticized everyone and made sure no one would get roboticized ever again, the roboticization of the world would not succeed. However, Eggman explained that because he reset reality, the spell the Bem placed on all Mobians was gone, and now Eggman would successfully roboticize everything. Also, even if that part of his plan would fail, Eggman still had a secondary purpose for using the world roboticizer. Due to how the machine operated, everything already mechanical would explode, allowing Eggman to destroy all of the United Federation, G.U.N., and New Mobotropolis, even if it meant killing his entire Dark Egg Legion.
As Sonic tried to strike down Robotnik, he was stopped by the arrival of a new Metal Sonic and the return of the damaged-but-still-deadly Silver Sonic, and a very lopsided battle ensued as Sonic bought Sally time for her to disable the roboticizer. When Sally reached the weapon's chamber beneath, Nicole revealed to Sally that due to the security programs, the only option available in the time left would be to invert the beam to Sally's exact spot, causing only Sally to be roboticized, in turn destroying the weapon. Sally agreed to this, allowing Nicole to reprogram the weapon after securing her core files in the city, and as Eggman commanded it to fire, the roboticizer blew up, destroying itself and severely damaging the Death Egg.
After emerging from the wreckage, Sonic began to laugh at Eggman at how he failed to roboticize the world, even after he changed reality. He planned to find Sally and go back to New Mobotropolis. However, a metal hand arose from the wreckage, which was revealed to be a roboticized Sally. Mecha Sally emerged and grabbed the distraught hedgehog by his throat. Wanting to enjoy this turn of events, Eggman then had Mecha Sally release Sonic through a garbage chute, and relayed orders to the bridge to destroy New Mobotropolis while his nemesis was still in free-fall.
Upon hearing from Snively that the Chaos Emerald had vanished, the doctor realized they had no choice and called a full retreat. Eggman sent to Mobotropolis a gigantic Titan Metal Sonic, along with an unknown weapon he codenamed "Deadly Cuddles". After releasing the two distractions, Eggman returned to the command deck. As they fell back, the doctor put their remaining power into the Egg Annihilator Beam, and with some coaxing through Mecha Sally, had Snively fire onto New Mobotropolis. While the parting shot did succeed in shooting down the Tornado and Freedom Fighter Special, the city was spared as Ixis Naugus took control of Titan with his Ixis Magicks and had his new crystal golem block the shot at the cost of its own destruction. Though he had not eliminated his foes, Eggman felt he had struck a critical blow to them with his plan, and the Death Egg Mark 2 retreated in a somewhat victorious defeat as it was in no condition to continue the fight. (StH #230-StH #231)
- Operation: Clean Sweep is one of several master plans crafted by Dr. Eggman or his predecessor, Dr. Ivo Robotnik, to be classified as an operation. Others include Operation: EndGame and Operation: Wasteland.
- Operation: Clean Sweep did not happen in the Post-Super Genesis Wave World. Originally, head writer Ian Flynn stated the "Genesis" saga still did occur, just under different circumstances. This was later rectonned so that "Genesis" in the Post-Super Genesis Wave timeline covered the events of Sonic Advance 3.
- ↑ Ian Flynn on Twitter. Twitter (4 March 2016). Retrieved on 7 March 2016. “Uzoma Iwuagwu: So let me get this straight, @IanFlynnBKC, while Operation: Clean Sweep didn't happen in the current timeline, Genesis did? / Ian Flynn: Yes. The event that caused "Genesis" was something else in the current timeline.”