Power Rings, also called magic rings, are objects that appear in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. They are powerful golden bands which contain a vast amount of energy. Power Rings are natural by-products of Chaos Emeralds, though they do not contain the sheer power the Chaos Emeralds do. Power Rings were artificially created by the brilliant Overlander scientist Nate Morgan as a clean alternative to fossil fuels to protect Mobius' environment.
After his banishment from his home city when his original tests failed, the Mobian Sir Charles Hedgehog aided Nate in mass producing Power Rings to be used by the Kingdom of Acorn. Following this, the city of Mobotropolis entered a new Golden Age as the Power Rings had brought their kingdom out of the medival ages. Since then, Power Rings have been used not only as power supplies for technology, but also as a means to empowering certain individuals, bestowing knowledge and even granting wishes.
Powers and traits
Power Rings are energy given physical form and can wink out of existence as soon as they appear. When used by living creatures, they can grant a short boost in physical prowess or even grant insight to gain knowledge, though the latter is noted to be mentally taxing. While certain individuals have more affinity for using the Power Rings, when used by someone pure of heart, a Power Ring can temporarily enhance any individual's natural abilities for a short period of time as well. They even have limited reality-warping capabilities which let them grant wishes, such as when Sonic used a Power Ring to wish his father back to life. Additionally, they can be used as clean power sources for machinery and technology.
When consumed in excessive amounts, Power Rings allow one to attain a rare type of Super Form. The number of Power Rings needed for this is unknown - it could be hundreds, it could be thousands - but it grants the users vast elemental magical talent, much like those used by the Order of Ixis. Nate has also referred to the Rings as "each a near-limitless power source".
Years before the Great War, Nate Morgan was the head of a team of underground scientists in the city of Megapolis which were studying to create a clean alternative for the fossil fuels that had been polluting the Overlander cities for years. One of the science team members, Julian Kintobor, sabotaged the calibrations of one of the early prototypes and encouraged the unsuspecting Nate to go ahead with the test. Due to Julian's tampering, the test resulted in a massive explosion, which would later cause Nate to be banished from Overlander territory forever.
While wandering in exile, Nate Morgan was located by the current monarch of the Kingdom of Acorn—Frederick Acorn. The king offered his hand of friendship and brought Nate back to the kingdom where he became very close with the royal family. Finally, using the energies within a Chaos Emerald, Nate was able to properly test and perfect the Power Ring and create it as a new energy source. Following this, the Kingdom of Acorn, which had remained as a pre-industrial state for centuries due to the Mobians wishing to preserve nature, rebuilt Mobotropolis as a post-industrial city booming with technology run on the energy of the Power Rings.
After a plot by Kodos and Ixis Naugus to have Nate banished from the kingdom, Nate imposed self-exile, feeling he had brought too much trouble to both the Overlanders and Mobians. Realizing the technology of the Power Rings could be used for evil if Kodos or Naugus got their hands on it, Nate brought the sole Ring Forge with him when he left. While wandering through the Great Forest, Nate stumbled upon a hollow stump and decided to bury the Ring Forge beneath a nearby lake. This was what produced the Power Rings used by Sonic and the Knothole Freedom Fighters in Knothole years later during their war against Dr. Ivo Robotnik.
Use by Mobians
During their war against the despot Dr. Ivo Robotnik, the Power Rings aided the Knothole Freedom Fighters by providing their main fighter Sonic to increase his speed and other capabilities. After finding himself in an alternate Zone, Sonic discovered that by collecting fifty power rings and seven Chaos Emeralds he could achieve a super transformation of himself called Super Sonic. In his Super Form, Sonic made short work of Universalamander.
When Sonic gathered his One Billionth Power Ring he was transported to a unique zone where he found himself face to face with the Ancient Walkers. The ancient gods felt that Sonic gathering one billion rings was a milestone worth rewarding. Thus, after putting Sonic through a series of tests, the Ancient Walkers empowered Sonic's One Billionth Power Ring with more energy than any other. When trying to find the location of the Crown of Acorns, Sonic used a Ring in an attempt to gain more knowledge.
At one point, Robotnik made a set of Power Rings held together by a special energy line, but was stolen by Heavy and Bomb. This "tether" was used to great effect by Knuckles and Vector in their fight against Metal Sonic v2.0, slinging around the machine when it attacked the two.
Since then, Power Rings have been used for numerous purposes. Dr. Ivo Robotnik gathered and used a large number of them from the Power Ring Grotto to power his massive aerial weapon known as the Death Egg. The Freedom Fighters also used the immense magical powers of the power rings to stop the process of King Max's crystallization, though the Power Rings merely slowed down the process.
Power Rings have also been successfully employed by beings other than Sonic or Robotnik's machines. Both Jules and Bernadette Hedgehog had wedding bands fashioned out of Power Rings and housed on their arms when both were still Robians. This allowed them both to retain their free will after Robo-Robotnik regained control of all the other Robians. Nate Morgan kept a Power Ring hidden in his glasses as a last resort should he find himself in danger. Nate also created the powerful Ring of Acorns using a Super Emerald. During a mission, Antoine D'Coolette also utilized a Power Ring to cut through a pursuing Eggbot with his sword in a single swing.
Monkey Khan made use of a Power Ring he found in a trench shortly after release from the crypt he was sealed in by Princess Sally Acorn and made a crown out of it which greatly increased his own powers and enabled him to summon lightning. A sorceress known as the Iron Queen, also used Power Rings to amplify her spell-casting enough to bewitch Monkey Khan and make him fight Sonic and Tails during their pursuit of Naugus. A year later, Monkey Khan would need another Power Ring to restore his mind when the Iron Queen once again took control of him via Magitek. Sonic retrieved one for him through the Lake of Rings within New Mobotropolis. Naugus himself also attempted to amplify his abilities to new heights as Ugly Naugus using Nate's massive storage of Power Rings, but Sonic and Tails took a share of the power to stop him, becoming Ultra Sonic and Hyper Tails, using up all the Power Rings present.
After being mortally wounded by an Auto Automaton posing as Tommy Turtle, Jules was saved when Sonic used a ring he acquired from the Lake of Rings nearby and wished for it to heal his father. Following the creation of New Mobotropolis, Nicole began using excess power from the city to generate Power Rings from the new Lake of Rings she had created. Dr. Eggman would also use Power Rings in the construction of the Death Egg Mark 2, similar to how his predecessor had employed them in the original flying fortress. This rendered it immune to magical attacks and held it together despite it taking massive amounts of damage.
One Billionth Power Ring
The One Billionth Power Ring is, as the name suggests, the one billionth Power Ring that Sonic the Hedgehog grabbed. In recognition of this feat, the Ancient Walkers empowered Sonic's One Billionth Power Ring with more energy than any other. The energy of this Power Rings came in handy when Sonic was turned into Mecha Sonic, as its energy preserved his free will and enabled his deroboticization.
Ring of Acorn
The Ring of Acorns was a Power Ring forged by Nate Morgan with the power of a Super Emerald. It subsequently became a royal artifact when Sonic the Hedgehog retrieved it from the Temple of Shazamazon in the Great Rainforest. Its powers were eventually used up by Amy Rose to make herself older.
- Power Rings are an element originally taken from the Sonic the Hedgehog video games, though their role in the comics is closer to that of their depiction in the Sonic the Hedgehog television series.
- Sonic the Hedgehog #42, "In Every Kingdom there Must Exist a Little Chaos!"
- Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia, "Chaos Emeralds & Power Rings"
- Sonic Super Special #1, "The Map"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #136, "The Infiltrator"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #66, "A Friend in Deed"
- Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia, "Super Forms"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #65, "The Fellowship of the Rings"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #4, "The Lizard of odd!"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #35, "Ring of Truth!"
- Knuckles' Chaotix, "The Chaos Effect"
- Sonic Quest #1, "Sonicquest: The Death Egg Saga Book One - Scrambled"
- Sonic Quest #2, "Sonicquest: The Death Egg Saga Book Two - Poached"
- Sonic Quest #3, "Sonicquest: The Death Egg Saga Book Three - Over Easy"
- Super Sonic vs. Hyper Knuckles, "Clash of the Titans"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #73, "The Truth is Out There"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #75, "I Am the Eggman!"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #67, "Tomb Raider"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #55, "Monkey Madness"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #60, "Arsenal of the Iron King"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #204, "Heavy is the Head Part Two: Iron Khan"
- Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia, "Death Egg"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #225, "One Step Forward..."
- Sonic the Hedgehog #231, "Lost In the Moment"