- For this comic's titular heroine, see Sally Acorn.
Princess Sally (also known as Sonic the Hedgehog Presents: Princess Sally) is a three-issue Sonic the Hedgehog spin-off comic series published by Archie Comics. It is the first mini-series in the comic's history and is centered around the leader of the Freedom Fighters: Sally Acorn.
The series introduced the re-occurring character Geoffrey St. John and his group, the Rebel Underground. It also introduced the group that would later become the Substitute Freedom Fighters. Additionally, the series introduced Robotnik's Auto Automatons, which would be used throughout the series. Original printings of this series are hard to find, and the entire series was reprinted in Sonic Select Book Seven.
- Writers: Mike Kanterovich, Ken Penders
- Cover artists: Art Mawhinney, Jon D'Agostino
- Pencils: Art Mawhinney
- Inks: Rich Koslowski
- Letters: Bill Yoshida (Issue #1), Mindy Eisman (Issue #2 and #3)
- Colors: Barry Grossman
- Editor: Scott Fulop
- Managing Editor: Victor Gorelick
- Editor-in-chief: Richard Goldwater
The Princess Sally comic was prompted by Sega to test the market for a new series of games (and possibly a new TV series) based around Sally as the main character. Due to this, the comic was well-delayed, as they continued to write and rewrite the story.
Ken Penders and Michael Gallagher had originally pitched two alternate storylines for the miniseries. The first pitch revolved around an alternate origin for Alicia Acorn. Sally would discover that her mother was roboticized and was currently leading an underground civilization. Had the plot come to fruition, the Robian Alicia would've gone on to become a reoccurring threat to both the Knothole Freedom Fighters and Dr. Robotnik. The second pitch involved Sally and Bunnie Rabbot doing a "Thelma and Louise" and heading off on a road trip to stop a threat that had come about on the other side of Mobius.
Sally swims to a dock to infiltrate a Robotropolis energy sub-station. She maneuvers through walls and SWATbots to get to the sub-station. After unlocking the building with NICOLE, she goes over to a computer panel, plugs Nicole in, and activates an auto-destruct system.
With 23 seconds to spare, she escapes the building while trying to keep her cover. At 15 seconds left, she hears someone coming. Turning the corner slowly, she sees a skunk pointing a crossbow at her. She asks who he is, but he refuses to answer the question and asks her the same thing. Before Sally can explain they need to get out of there, the auto-destruct goes off, propelling the two away from the area.
They both get up, as the skunk realizes she just did what he came here for. Realizing he is an enemy of Robotnik, Sally introduces herself. The skunk recognizes Sally's name and stands up quickly, saluting, introducing himself as Geoffrey St. John, a member of Maximilian Acron's Secret Service and a member of the Rebel Underground. Sally, however, has never heard of such a group. Before she can ask about this group, a group of SWATbots swarm around them. They get into a firefight with the 'bots, but Geoffrey quickly runs out of bolts for his crossbow. Sally throws a grenade into the crowd of SWATbots and they escape. Sally decides to take Geoffrey back to meet the rest of her crew.
In the forest, Hamlin, Arlo, Penelope, and Dylan are waiting for the princess. Penelope wonders how Sally intends to train them by making them wait around just as Geoffrey sneaks up on the group and starts a fight with Hamlin. Sally breaks them up, explaining that they're on the same side. She introduces Geoffrey to the group and they break for sleep. Hamlin tells Geoffrey that he doesn't trust him, but he doesn't seem to care.
The next morning, Sally outlines the group's plan to knock out the energy substations that supply power to Robotropolis' defense system. She tells them that she successfully destroyed the first one the previous night when she met St. John. Hamlin objects to St. John joining them, but Sally explains his experience in the Royal Secret Service is invaluable to them and they can learn from him. The group soon finds the substation at the edge of the Great Forest. They are force to attack the base head-on. After Sally unlocks the access panel, the team goes inside. Sally uses Nicole to set the building's security system to self-destruct.
As they are about to leave, Orb-Bots come through a door and fire lasers at them. Geoffrey asks if Sally has more grenades, but she says she used her last one. Sally manages to trip one of the robots with a wire from a panel. Hamlin is about to be squashed from an Orb-Bot, but Geoffrey grabs him to safety. The group runs from the building with an Orb-Bot on their tail. They run to a cliff-side, where Orb Bot falls to it's demise.
Despite the victory, Geoffrey and Hamlin start arguing again. Sally points out to Hamlin that Geoffrey just saved his life and if he can't trust him after that, "You might as well not trust me, either!" That night, Geoffrey leaves camp, making sure to check on Sally in her tent before he leaves. Far from the camp, he uses his wrist watch to create a mysterious portal. On the other side, he enters a building and makes his way down the stairs. There, he finds another Sally, unconscious inside a giant metal container. He taps on the glass and tells her "Soon, m'luv… soon!"
St. John and Hamlin are sparring with foam batons while Dylan, Penelope, and Arlo watch, concerned that they'll hurt each other. After Geoffrey knocks him over, Princess Sally rushes in and knocks Geoffrey over, telling him that as long as he is with them he has to play by her rules and that they cannot have in-fighting. Geoffrey sheepishly apologizes and the group plans its next attack. The final substation is located on an atoll that they can't reach directly, so Sally leads the team up a cliff-side to hang-glide onto the atoll.
As they sail, an anti-air cannon fires at them. Arlo's hang-glider is hit and he crashes into a tree. Sally tells the group to ditch their gliders and press forward, despite Hamlin's protests. Hamlin goes back and finds Arlo not very far behind them. Penelope decides to stick behind and care for Arlo's broken leg while the rest of the group continues toward the substation. The group breaks in and starts placing explosives around the room when Sally is suddenly snatched up by an Octo-Pod. While the robot is busy grabbing Hamlin and Dylan, Geoffrey sets his bomb on the robot's underside. Sally sprays paint into the robot's eyes, causing it to let go of her and the rest of the group. They escape the building just before the Octo-Pod, and the station, explodes.
The group heads back to pick up Arlo and Penelope to discover they are missing. Dylan notices that their tracks suddenly stop, prompting Sally to suggest they need to get out of the area as soon as possible. Hamlin asks the princess if she is lost her mind, but she asks him to be reasonable and suggests they made their way back camp. When they arrive, though, Arlo and Penelope are nowhere in sight. Later that night, Geoffrey kidnaps Princess Sally and takes her to the room where another Sally is being kept. He reports to Dr. Robotnik, revealing that he's a double agent. The other Sally wakes up, and by the next morning has taken Sally's place in the team.
The next day, the remaining members of the group attack the outskirts of Robotropolis. Before they head into the city, Hamlin asks her where Geoffrey has gone, and Sally simply replies that he's probably finishing up some last minute details. Back in Robotropolis, Geoffrey carts the sleeping Sally to Robotnik, who reveals the Sally outside is actually a robotic clone. Robotnik explains with Sally robotisized, the rebellion will fall.
Hamlin, Sally, and Dylan are engaged in a firefight with a mob of SWATbots inside a base in Robotropolis. As they duck for cover, Dylan wonders if it was a good idea to charge in with Arlo, Penelope, and Geoffrey St. John missing. Hamlin insists that Geoffrey's nothing but a coward, but Sally tells him they do need Geoffrey and he saved his life. As Hamlin scoffs, the catwalk he's standing down is shot down by the SWATbots. Sally helps him back up before he falls and gets shot. The three burst into the next room, finding themselves face to face with Dr. Robotnik and Geoffrey.
Hamlin rushes at Geoffrey, when Sally tells him to knock it off since Geoffrey is "on the same side". Robotnik reveals that Sally is actually a perfect robot copy. He goes on to explain the substations were not weak points in Robotropolis' defense systems; they were a rumor he spread to test his Auto Automatons: a perfect robot copy to a living being. Since his Sally copy was successful, Robotnik shows he's in the process of replacing the other Freedom Fighters with robot copies. Robotnik decides that the real Sally is no longer useful to him and attempts to roboticize her. However, the process ends up overloading the system and causes it to explode.
The "robot" Sally reveals that she was the real Sally all along and had simply been deceiving Robotnik. She demands Robotnik to surrender, but instead he activates his Stealth 'Bots. As the 'Bots grab the team, Robotnik declares victory. Suddenly, the ground shakes under Robotnik and the members of the Rebel Underground, along with Penelope and Arlo, arrive in a massive drilling machine to save them. As the heroes regroup, Robotnik sets the base to self-destruct and escapes via a secret elevator. The Stealth 'Bots crash the drilling machine, so the group runs to the base's hangar, hijacks a set of hovercrafts, and escape just as the place explodes.
Back in the forest, Sally offhandedly mentions that, since the facility was Robotnik's robo-duplicate plant, they won't have to worry about robotic doppelgangers for a long time. Before she explains things, Sally awards Hamlin, Dylan, Penelope, and Arlo with official Freedom Fighter status. That night, Sally and Geoffrey explain how the plan worked.
At some point, Robotnik approached Geoffrey to swap Sally with the robot duplicate. After he earned Sally's trust by explaining Robotnik's plan to her, they activated the Sally android prematurely to learn what its objectives were. The members of the Rebel Underground were there as backup and retrieved Penelope and Arlo when they were left behind. Then, they switched the android Sally for the real Sally, tricking Robotnik that he was getting the real thing. Dylan points out some differences with the robot, including it wearing a purple vest and calling Geoffrey "Mr. St. John", but besides that it acted and showed the same emotions as the real Sally. Sally says if Geoffrey did not tip her off, Robotnik's plan would of succeeded.
The next morning, Sally insists Geoffrey come back to Knothole to help the Freedom Fighters, but he insists that he has to lead the Rebel Underground. Geoffrey says she may see him again and gives her a kiss before he leaves. Sally tells herself her duty as a Freedom Fighter is more important than her personal life, but now she has two people in her heart.
Although the comic had critical success, the comic met with little commercial reception. The comic was intended to draw more girls into the Sonic franchise but marketed in the same channels as was the main Sonic series, a "boys" comic. It was due to this perceived unpopularity that Archie writer Ken Penders took Sally out the comics in Sonic the Hedgehog #47 by killing her off although she was ultimately revived in Sonic the Hedgehog #50.