Archie Comics Publications (January, 1996)
“Southern Crossover” part 2
WRITER/TAILS’ COMIC PENCILER: Mike Gallagher
MAIN PENCILER: Dave Manak
COLORIST: Barry Grossman
COVER ART: Pat Spaziante & Harvo
COVER COLORIST: Heroic Age
LETTERER: Mindy Eisman
EDITOR: Scott Fulop
Tails arrives in Downunda, where he’s attacked by robot winged dingoes under Crockbot’s control. With the underwater Freedom Fighters already gone and Tails over land anyway, he’s aided by the local Freedom Fighters, one of whom takes Tails to have his injuries treated and another member captured by the dingoes. As the others race to rescue their comrade, Tails meets an echidna named Athair, who claims to be related to Knuckles…and on behalf of the Ancient Walkers will test Tails to see if he is their “chosen one”.
What they got right: Using Tails’ comic as part of the recap (as well as Tails noting the liberties taken for his superhero story) is better than the usual dry recap. The part with Athair and the Walkers will be important in later stories following Tails’ journey throughout the Archie run, at least before the Penders-forced reboot. We also see that not only is the battle for Mobius larger than we knew but so are the groups opposing him.
What they got wrong: The introduction of the Downunda Freedom Fighters is a bit clunky.
What I think overall: Tails’ solo adventure makes me wish he had his own title. It’s also weird that the captions try to keep this story going the same time as the main comic and the Knuckles Chaotix special, which also includes Tails in the adventures. Still, I’m enjoying this.