Sonic The Hedgehog #41
Archie Comics Publications (December, 1996)
“…and one shall save him!”
WRITER: Ken Penders
PENCILER: Kyle Hunter
COLORIST: Barry Grossman
LETTERER: Vickie Williams
EDITOR: Justin Freddy Gabrie
With the Zone Of Silence further corrupting after all that’s happened, Sally takes Sonic and Geoffrey St. John on a mission to recover her father, still amnesiac and seeing himself as a ruthless ruler of the various creatures. With the Zone breaking down our heroes are seeing images of events past and upcoming but eventually Sonic manages to take down the king and bring him back to their universe, the other denizens still finding their own way out.
What they got right: With the show over (prematurely) the comic is free to rescue the King, which opens the doors to new story potential. This being a kids comic at the time (or at least kid-friendly), it makes sense not to kill off the beings living in the Zone because they aren’t all evil. It’s just that the King lost his memory and a part of his conscience with it.
What they got wrong: The story itself however is not as good. The flashbacks and flash forwards really don’t offer anything other than reminding us the Zone is breaking down. There’s nothing beneficial for any party outside of seeing a few more seconds of King Max’s history after Robotnik tossed him in the Zone Of Silence. Additionally they mess with the story flow, which could have been forgiven if the time visions meant something useful, which they don’t.
What I think overall: Sadly this is a rather important moment in the Archie version of Sonic and friends so it’s not all that ignorable. However, it’s not a very good presentation as it brings up an idea that has potential benefits but uses none of them while taking the energy out of the story. It makes hard to recommend and yet it’s a story that has great significance going forward.