Sonic The Hedgehog #30
Archie Comics (January, 1998)
COLORIST: Barry Grossman
LETTERER: Bill Yoshida
EDITOR: Scott Fulop
(I’m guessing because they have no credits for the second story.)
“The Return Of Uncle Chuck”
WRITER: Angelo Decesare
PENICLER: Art Mawhinney
INKER: Jon D’Agostino
“Who Keeps Stealing My Chaos Emeralds?!”
WRITER: Paul Castiglia
PENCILER: Pat Spaziante
INKER: Brian Thomas
Robotnik is working on a new teleporter to send the Freedom Fighters into a void like he did with the king. However, the test goes wrong thanks to Robotnik’s impatience with the test, sending him into the void instead. Snively takes the opportunity to seize control and turn the teleporter into a weapon. However the accident also freed Sonic’s Uncle Chuck from the mental reprogramming, but kept him a robot. He warns Sonic but Snively manages to snag him anyway. Chuck is forced to free Robotnik in the hopes that the villain can curtail his nephew’s dangerous plan. Now in his own mind, Chuck joins the Freedom Fighters…and makes more of Sonic’s favorite chili dogs.
What they got right: The Archie continuity is a mix of the two DiC Sonic cartoons at the time, forming its own continuity. So having Uncle Chuck restored in this one is a good idea and this was a fair story about how it could happen. Additionally, it shows as bad as Robotnik is that Snively would be a worse threat.
What they got wrong: Which is odd given that it was Snively who wanted to be cautious and Robotnik’s impatience that put him in the void, while Snively is the one who throws caution to the wind and Robotnik warning him that using the teleporter that way could destroy the planet. Also, in the SatAM show Uncle Chuck’s mind is restored but pretends to be still a loyal bot to spy on Robotnik. Here, instead of faking being a loyal automaton he let’s Robotnik know he’s got his free will back, limiting his later effectiveness as a spy. Narratively it’s not a good idea.
Remember when I wrote that this comic combined elements of both DiC cartoons? (The more serious Saturday Morning show and the comedic Adventures Of in syndication.) Well, that’s on display in this Looney Tunes tribute. (Coconuts even refers to his “coyote friend” who helped him plan the traps.) Someone is stealing chaos emeralds from an island mine. That’s not how chaos emeralds work in the Sonic multiverse, but it’s just an excuse for Coconuts to get caught in his own traps. The SatAM connection is that it’s Bunnie stealing the emeralds for a charity dance for herself and Sally to wear like jewelry. Why these had to be chaos emeralds I don’t know since, again, that’s not how they work in this franchise. The story feels like filler and maybe the Knuckles Chaotix preview should have been longer, like the Tails preview in the previous issue, instead.
What I think overall: Ignore the back-up story and the preview is just a two page spread listing the characters in the special and the location. The main story however is rather good and should be important to the series with Uncle Chuck’s free will restored.