This comic book, being a licensed, video game, Funny Animal-based comic book, lasted 24 years, 290 issues, with two separate spinoff ongoings, and had numerous mini series, special issues, and other such events for a total of approx. 465 issues, not counting reprints, collections, Sonic X or Sonic Boom. Sad and abrupt as its cancellation is, that's a feat any comic book series, let alone a licensed, video game comic starring funny animals, should be proud of.
During the Endgame arc, a Knothole traitor shows just how cruel a double-agent to Robotnik can be by arranging a vicious assassination of Princess Sally Acorn, which also frames Sonic for the deed.
Also during that arc, Snively showing his true colors by reprogramming his uncle's ultimate weapon to backfire on him... and only him, leaving everyone else unharmed for him to torture.
That's to say nothing of Sonic and Robotnik's final battle before all is said and done, with both of them discarding any words or taunts, and just focusing on beating the crap out of one another. What follows is one of the series' most brutal battles, rendered by one of the series' most popular artists, Patrick Spaziante.
The entire Mecha Madness arc. Sonic is finally captured and roboticized by Robotnik and sent to destroy his friends, who clamor to find a way to stop him. Choosing an incredibly risky plan, Bunnie stalls Mecha-Sonic while Knuckles is roboticized with a neural implant to keep his mind free, climaxing in several pages of Mecha-Sonic vs Mecha-Knuckles that ends with both of them caught in (and surviving) a massive explosion.
Made even more awesome with the realization that it was written by Mike Gallagher, who is far more well known for the pun-laden early issues.
In his first encounter with the Iron Queen in issue 60, Sonic is on the ropes via a brainwashed Monkey Khan. Tails saves the day by charging the Queen, breaking her Power Ring amplified staff and freeing Khan from her control.
While the plot point didn't really go anywhere, from around issue 100 to 118 Robotnik could roboticize anyone with the slightest touch.
Mina sacrificing herself to save Sally when Nack tries to shoot her, taking a bullet to the back. Even though she was hurt over Sonic choosing Sally over her, she realized why he did so, and knew she had to save her for Sonic's sake.
Patch masquerading as Antoine for a year and ruining his life. Antoine also got one for staying in the evil Anti-Universe for a year without being found out, and once he made his way back he immediately set about fixing things.
Sally slugging her for it, which was agreed upon in-universe:
Sonic: Actually, I thought it was kind of hot!
Monkey Khan: Totally in agreement there!
Tails: Yeah! Next time you should hit her again!
Fiona gets another one afterward by engineering a prison break for Scourge... and kicking him in the groin for his prior douchiness toward her when he was "King".
When Sally dumped Sonic, he was devastated. The final panel of the story shows Sonic in the background crying his eyes out, and the look on his face when Sally drives the point home in #138 makes you feel sorry for the guy. In fact, in Sonic #157, he's playing his guitar and singing about lost love. And then, in Sonic #222, when Sally asks if he was waiting for her to take him back? He says "Nah." Through all of that, he accepted Sally had left him. Okay, so he was probably overjoyed when she did take her back, but the point stands.
Dr Eggman gets a true CmoA in #175 by facing Sonic single-handedly in his new Battle Armor, which was powerful enough to resist a full-speed charge from Sonic (which didn't do more then dent his shield). Dr Eggman didn't just beat Sonic, he also deals out a Breaking Speech as he does, before finally leaving him to wallow in his defeat. This, of course, proves to be a big mistake later.
Of course, the events of #175 just make the Sonic and Eggman rematch in #200 even better.
A rather understated one follows in subsequent issues, when Sonic and team manage to regroup in a new city, and subsequently work together to dismantle the very armor Eggman beat Sonic in, with Sally then telling him that they can take him on at any time or any place once he's fallen at their feet.
In #179, Elias and Tails' father get into a dramatic one-on-one battle over who should be in charge of the Kingdom of Acorn. Sally breaks it up with a Death Glare, tells them both off for their behavior, then asks pointedly if they're ready to discuss the issue like sensible people. By the time Sonic makes the scene, they're compromising over tea.
Mad Scientist (In every sense of the word) echidna Dr Finitevus effortlessly manipulating damn near everyone, turning Knuckles into a super weapon and then calmly letting himself plummet off the island into a warp ring with a smile and a wave.
Enerjak facing off against Eggman's entire fleet. Hundreds of ships, a city full of killer robots, missiles, death rays the whole thing. Enerjak proceeds to destroy EVERY SINGLE ONE. And for good measure he turns Eggman's city into a wasteland, with only one small part of it even being halfway habitable now. All Eggman can do is stammer in agreement to Dimitri's suggestion that it's time to get to his fall out bunker.
Jules gets one in issue #192, where he talks down Scourge, a guy who had previously conquered a whole planet, never flinching despite the repeated threats, and sending the thug away in tears.
Even more amazing is that after Sonic defeats Robotnik and drives him into his Villainous Breakdown, Snively comes along and explains Robotnik's deteriorating mental health. He subtly calls Sonic out for constantly winning over the years despite Robotnik's intellect and resources, the main reason Robotnik snapped. When he asks Sonic to just leave him alone so he can take care of his uncle, Sonic is left in a funk as he realizes what he had done in order to win, his joy turned into emptiness all because of Snively's words.
Which may be a covert CMoA for Snively, allowing him to set up the Iron Queen's ascent.
E-102 gets some in Sonic Universe #3, overall surviving as long as he did counting as one. Later, Gamma manages to knock Omega on his metallic backside with a few well placed shots, while delivering a speech in his cold monotone. He then lets Omega blow him up after copying his own data into the walking arsenal's mind and fusing with him, effectively giving Omega a true soul.
Omega: Surrender, brother. Do not embarrass yourself further. A single one of my shots would tear through that old armor of yours. I detect smoke. Is that your grav-linked jet disc? Pathetic. You would not get far with it, even if it were in perfect condition. You are outdated, brother. Slower, weaker. You cannot outrun me... ...and that pitiful gun of yours cannot harm me.
Gamma: E-123, codename Omega. The last of my line. I downloaded your file. Your armor is heavy— but so are you. Your speed is great— but you're unwieldy. Your jets are stronger— but you're louder. I do not have such limitations. I am nimble. I cover ground more easily. As for weaponry...
[takes three precise shots at Omega, downing him.] You are a walking arsenal. I am an assassin.
Silver manages to pull one off when he paralyzes a room full of combatants, including Sonic, Scourge, and Metal Sonic, with his telekinetic powers.
Issue #204: After spending over 150 issues taking several hundred levels in badass, Antoine vents his anger on Monkey Khan for not telling the Freedom Fighters about the Iron Queen and her powers, which he was powerless against, and which almost got Antoine's wife, Bunnie, killed.
Issue #205: Eggman (while still insane, mind you) manages to escape from his cell, get in one of his giant mechs, and escape from the Iron Dominion, scaring away all the mooks in his resulting rampage, all while dropping Mythology Gags and Continuity Porn.
I am Warlord-Doctor Julian Ivo Eggman Robo-Kintobor Mach Two! My rule is law, and the law is my will! 'AND I HATE THAT HEDGEHOG!!
Issue #210. Robotnik managed to reason himself out of insanity.'
Are you kidding? That's hardly all he did! Not only did Eggman retrieve himself from beyond the brink, but in the process he fully realized Sonic's place in the universe not just as "a" Sonic or his enemy, but as the protagonist. That's right. Dr. Eggman nearly saw beyond the fourth wall through nothing but deductive reasoning. He would then use this knowledge to completely turn the tides.
Sonic Universe #25 - Enerjak - and by extension Knuckles, given that he is Enerjak! - shows that he can be just as - if not more - menacing than the original Robotnik. When Silver arrives in his world, he at first views Silver, before returning to his prisoner, Constable Remington. As Remington gives a typical heroic speech about Enerjak being stopped, Enerjak holds out his hand and rips out Remington's soul, before the comic pans to a shot of Enerjak holding the latest soul, and revealing every hero and villain in the world is also on his wall, having likewise had their souls taken. This is emphasised by Enerjak saying that nothing can stop him.
References to Enerjak's power are made throughout the arc, including that he sank Mobius' version of Australia, hitting Silver with Angel Island, and his ability to summon all the souls he's taken at once to form a massive army. It is even implied that only Enerjak can defeat Enerjak, something Silver uses to his advantage.
Issue #224, when the Death Egg Mark 2 launches into the air and causes the entire planet to shake.
Sonic Universe #28 - Silver defeats Enerjak. During Enerjak's rant on how superior he is, Silver realizes that Enerjak is correct; he can't match Enerjak's power. As such, he begins to use his ESP powers to instead capture Enerjak's energy and send it back at him, bringing the demigod to his knees with each shot the arrogant overlord throws at him.
Issue #225, the whole thing, for Eggman. Silver Sonic V3 is one by itself.
Even Sonic admits that last bit is awesome.
Dr. Eggman has one when he seemingly actually kills Sally. Ladies and gentlemens, the ManchildDiminishing Villain Threat-suffering nutcase is now officially gone and the evil Dr. Ivo Robotnik we all once loved to hate has returned to stay.
Made even more awesome by the fact that he's savoring his victory by holding a glass of wine while firing his superweapon.
And even though the original plan was reversed and Sally revived, issue #230 gives Eggman an awesome Consolation Prize - the re-roboticized Princess Sally: Metal Sally!
The Batman Gambit Ixis Naugus carries out from Issues #221 - #224. He casts a spell on the citizens of New Mobotropolis that magnifies their mistrust and fear of NICOLE (following her temporary corruption by the Iron Dominion) into full-blown paranoia and hate. This is so that he can show up and claim to "save" them from the "threat" that the Freedom Fighters have left running around, if they just make him king. And he's only stopped at the last minute by the arrival of the Death Egg presenting a bigger threat.
And then Issue #230 rolled around...
In light of the criticisms in the recent DC reboot and Marvel's less than stellar approach to ending relationships in comics, the current writer deserves some praise for handling both ideas with much better results than the big two comic publishers.note The reboot has been criticized for some rather sexist depictions of women and Marvel's had a tendency to end marriages in stupid ways, such as One More Day. By comparison, the Genesis arc has caused some big changes in the status quo and Sally sacrificed herself to save the planet.
The hits keep coming for Dr. Eggman! In issue 234, Dr. Eggman detonates Metal Sonic, almost murdering Antoine D'Coolette. That's right - in the span of four issues, Eggman has crippled, if not destroyed, the Freedom Fighters.
Issue 235, Silver returns once more and tells Sonic he has determined that Antoine is the traitor he's looking for. Sonic, for reasons that's mentioned in the spoiler above, puts Silver through a wall, then drags him to Antoine's bed and shows him that he is not the traitor he's looking for.
SU 37, Eggman puts all the Grandmasters into their place, reminding them who's boss despite his previous Diminishing Villain Threat.
"I'm winning this war."
SU 40 knocks it up even more: Thanks to Snively's attempt at The Dog Bites Back, G.U.N. is weakened, Eggman knows where his niece Hope is, the hold of the Dark Egg Legion is even tighter than before and he now has the Iron Queen at his side. And he does this as he gloats to a defeated and broken Snively, trapped in his own prison.
Tails gets an awesome moment in issue 238. He's secretly placing a tracking device on the Death Egg, when he's attacked by Metal Sally, who lampshades that Tails' emotional attachments will prevent him from fighting back. Wrong. Tails immediately repels her with a spinning tail attack, uses his momentum to slam her into the ground, and successfully hold her off. He points out to her that he's sorry, but he will protect himself. Had Tails not had other concerns and had to break away, its hinted that he could actually have won.
If you take into account that Sally has essentially raised Tails along with the other Freedom Fighters, its made all the more poignant, because he's fighting off somebody like a mother to him. It's another indicator as to how far he's grown as a character.
Naugus gets one in Universe 43: When he reveals that he plans to use his magic to mentally enslave the council to his will, Geoffrey objects, saying that it goes too far. Naugus than counters that Geoffrey's not one to talk about morality given his past actions. He also reminds Geoffrey that he can't beat him on his own and no Freedom Fighter would trust him; Naugus' way is his only option. Geoffrey, horrified, hands over the item Naugus needs to cast his spell.
And another in 241: With his mutations getting further out of control, being rejected when he tries to form contracts with Max and Jules to possess them to hide said mutations, and the people's fear of Nicole have waned enough that the council will let her back in; basically, he's steadily losing control. Geoffrey still tries to appeal to Naugus better nature and work to atone for their crimes. Naugus however realizes that Geoffrey is still under contract with him, and possesses him. After Nicole's welcomed back, "Geoffrey" informs the council that Naugus is dying and asks to work with him to help the king...
In this same vein, we also see Crowning Moments from Max Acorn, Bernie and Jules AND Isabella, Mina's mother, all three of them essentially giving Naugus one "The Reason You Suck" Speech after another.
Shadow the Hedgehog gets one which proves his straight up badassery when facing Eggman of all people. When he comes on to Eggman's underwater base alongside Bunnie Rabbot and personally scares Eggman with threats of death, Eggman exclaims to Shadow that heroes don't kill while Shadow simply replies, "Sonic may hold such beliefs, but I do not." This is the first time Robotnik has been terrified of a character in the comic.
The Secret Freedom Fighters in general in issue #240, but Shard, the rebuilt original Metal Sonic, takes the cake by shredding through Eggman's new model. "Accept no imitations," indeed.
There's also the team attacking Naugus in his secret underground lair in Universe 44, disrupting the spell he was going to use to brainwash the council and most of the city. The entire fight is awesome.
One for Silver: By staying in the present, Silver has helped stop Naugus's plan to use mind control on the council, enabling Nicole's return to the city. Additionally, Shard saved Antoine from Metal Sonic. As of 247, he saved Team Fighters from being killed by Mecha Sally (who he's confirmed as his target thanks to Harvey explaining her roboticization) while Team Freedom fights to stop the Tails Doll from flooding New Mobotropolis with radioactive waste. Now remember that, in the first line of events, Silver wasn't around. Antoine would be dead. New Mobotropolis might've died by this point, because Naugus wouldn't allow Nicole back into the city, likely would've disbanded Team Freedom, and might not have healed his condition enough to stop the Tails Dolls. Nicole would've died, all alone in Freedom HQ, when the big disaster hit. Team Fighters would've been killed by Sally, a sister figure to Tails and Amy, and Sonic's girlfriend. And then, somehow, the world would've gone to ruin. But Silver's presence has changed things enough that they'll all survive. To think that he's had this much of an impact is just astounding.
Eggman arguably has one of the biggest Moments of Awesome for a villain ever at the end of the crossover: he messes with Sonic's Chaos Control, causes almost the entirety of the Multiverse to collapse and even Sonic's world is barely hanging on by a thread. To clarify: Eggman managed to SUCCEED at doing what hundreds of Omnicidal Maniacs have dreamed of doing, destroying almost all of reality, COMPLETELY BY ACCIDENT. Bonus points for doing so just to screw with Sonic. Eat your heart out, Anti-Monitor.
Even more-so when you consider that with only the Sega, SATAM, and Ian Flynn elements still confirmed in the book thanks to the lawsuitnote Mammoth Mogul and the original Fearsome Foursome, who were made by Scott Fulop; the Iron King, Iron Queen and Yagyu Ninja Bats, made by Frank Strom; Dr Finitevus and the Sandblast Freedom Fighters, created by Karl Bollers; Scourge, the Anti-Mobians, and Fiona Fox, this means Eggman wiped out nearly all of his villainous competition. By accident.
In Sonic Universe 55-58, the Metal Sonic sent after Blaze returns. After being fished out of the water and rebuilt by a robotics expert who was trying to help out piracy victims, he throws the doctor overboard as soon as he regains functionality and sails back to the nearest island, where he's confronted by a pirate captain. Right out of the gate, he challenges this captain to a duel despite his less-than-ideal condition and wins. From then on, he christens himself Captain Metal and puts together a more stable body using the remains of the recently-deceased captain.
One of the first things that we see Big do after the reboot is take on Silver Sonic and win. He proceeds to casually hurl Silver Sonic into the air so it can be blown to bits by an anti-air cannon.
Plus keeping all the world's oceans from draining away after the world broke apart is no small feat either.
Issue 265: The Werehog finally makes it's grand debut in the comic universe, and it does not disappoint. Firstly, Sonic overpowers the electric field he was caught in at the end of the previous issue, uses his signature stretchy arms to smash into the tower powering said field, and rips out it's power source effortlessly. Eggman's field commander for this operation, Thunderbolt orders her mooks to attack him and they are understandably frightened by Sonic but charge anyway, Sonic performs a Foe-Tossing Charge through every single one of them and one shots Thunderbolt's mecha suit when she decides to engage in the fight. After her standard evil rant, she's actively fleeing from Sonic who very much has the intent to kill. Mighty intervenes and tries to get Sonic under control, but due to the corruption of Dark Gaia his perception is warped and believes Mighty is picking a fight with him and the two duke it out for a few pages before Amy & Sally intervene. So yes, in one issue, the Werehog manages to single handily stop an Eggman operation, send their commander running with her tail between her legs, and fought one of the strongest living Mobians to a standstill.
Issue 267: When the rest of the Freedom Fighters get swamped by three E-series badniks while Sonic is absent, it's Cream who organizes and leads a rescue with only Cheese, Big, T-Pup, and Omochao at her side.
Issue 268 features Breezie from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. Not only was she completely unexpected since most people thought only SatAM cartoon characters would be allowed in the comic, she also received an amazing redesign that made people who didn't like Breezie eager to see her in the comic.
Throughout the "Spark of Life" arc Big proves his worth. He finds and fishes out both a Chaos Emerald and a red star ring (that would ultimately come in handy for the above CMOA), protects Sally from a badnik (yeah, she's hardly a Distressed Damsel but it's the thought that counts) and even gives some simple adorable insight to the complicated matter of NICOLE's stand as a living being. While most earlier issues depicted Big as borderline retarded, we see here the guy has a very profitable brain in there.
Sonic Universe 69 has Knuckles VS Shadow! In recent media Knuckles may have been somewhat toned down, but not in this comic! Not only does the Guardian hold his own against what may be Sonic's most powerful rival physically, but he also predicts Shadow's Chaos Control, blocks his spin attacks, and even taunts him to his face telling him that "Sonic puts up more of a fight than you"! The battle ended rather inconclusively but still, it's nice to see Knuckles get the spotlight again and show that he's able to keep up with an Ensemble Darkhorse who's overshadowed him in recent times as being Sonic's main rival. Inverted and Crowning Moment of Awesome for Shadow when you find out Shadow had been at half strength in that fight after fighting another opponent and still managed to hold Knuckles off to a stand still.
Issue 269: Honey shows she's no slouch in combat when she beats Tails rather handily, much to the latter's shock and frustration. Her special attack even involves a Doppelgänger Spin before sending the opponent flying.
Knuckles vs. Bark is one just for short but brutal it was. Knuckles is excited he gets to beat Bark up, the latter responds by silently sucker punching him and tossing him into the ring barrier. The two then get into a slugout, which Knuckles finishes with a flaming uppercut (A clear Shout-Out to Ken Masters` signature Shoryuken).
Tails also gets one at the end of the arc. When Metal Sonic shows up to grab the Chaos Emerald, Tails manages to get to the roof first and intercept him as he leaves through the ceiling, stealing the Emerald back just as Sonic arrives. Sonic even acknowledges that this was impressive.
In the Eggman's Dozen saga of Sonic Universe, the Egg Bosses get their chance to shine. But in issue 85, several standouts are shown.
Battle Kukku XV ends up impressing/scaring the hell out of Abyss the Squid by not just holding his own against a horde of Dark Gaia monsters on his own, but annihilating a Dark Gaia generator while sporting an epic Slasher Smile.
Maw the Thylacine debuts a possible reason for his namesake, triggering what appears to be a black hole inside his mouth, sucking up and devouring an army of crystal-controlled Badniks that were menacing him and Nephthys.
Axel the Water Buffalo ends up saving Eggman from falling to his death using nothing but his chain and his raw strength. Keep in mind Eggman was riding a heavy vehicle at the time, and Axel was on foot, having dispatched his vehicle to hold off a giant Dark Gaia monster.
Clove the Pronghorn displaying superspeed, safely getting herself and Thunderbolt the Chinchilla through a deathtrap-laden hallway.
A lesser moment, but still pretty awesome. Tundra the Walrus throws off Akhlut the Orca's attempt to Mind Rape him and counterattacks, disabling him with an ice breath attack.
Again, a lesser moment, but Conquering Storm holding her own against the three superpowered Witchcarters despite being outnumbered badly and Mordred Hood being useless in a fight.
Eggman rallying his Egg Bosses, using the same speech Axel gave him moments prior.
In Wings of Fire, Sally deduces that Conquering Storm has set up an ambush for her team, and coordinates an ambush on the ambush. Sonic and Chip go to restore the Gaia Phoenix and rescue Zonshen; Antoine, Big, Jian, and Bunker take out Conquering Storm's ground troops; and Sally leads Cream, Cheese, Dulcy, and Cinder in fighting Conquering Storm's personal squad.
On a more or less bigger note, Dulcy's redesigned appearance has her leading her own group of Freedom Fighters.
The fact that Cinder, a little girl roughly the same age as Cream, left her clan to join Dulcy's team even though they weren't too happy about it. What makes this awesome is that Dulcy let her join.
Issue 284. The Hooligan team has infiltrated Castle Acorn in order to steal the Chaos Emeralds and come face to face with King Acorn... who steps right into the warrior king role as he draws a laser sword and and shield and dares them on! He still lose, but this proves the reboot has definitely done wonders for him.