After fighting for their lives in issue #50, both the heroes and bad guys need some time to heal and regroup… except Dr. Eggman, of course, who is always ready to destroy that darn hedgehog. Can Sonic, Tails, and Belle escape the city, or will Eggman finally bumble his way to victory?
Escaping the Empire
- Story: Ian Flynn
- Art: Adam Bryce Thomas (p. 1-12), Mauro Fonseca (p. 13-20)
- Additional Inks: Rik Mack (p. 13-20)
- Colors: Heather Breckel
- Letters: Shawn Lee
- Editors: Riley Farmer, David Mariotte
- Special thanks to: Mai Kiyotaki, Michael Cisneros, Sandra Jo, Sonic Team, and everyone at Sega for their invaluable assistance
Sonic, Belle, and Tails, who is carrying an unconscious Kit, attempt to flee from Eggperial City while being pursued by a massive Badnik Horde. Sonic spots an alleyway and sends the others through before creating a whirlwind to knock away the Badniks. After escaping and finding a place to hide, Sonic asks for details on what has been happening. Belle believes it to be Dr. Starline's fault; she explains that he attacked the city with a pair of enforcers named Surge and Kitsunami before summoning the Badniks to get the attention of the heroes and raise an army. She adds that Eggman fought back and that she witnessed Starline's demise herself, which Sonic shows little pity towards.
Tails explains that he was ambushed by Kit, who lost consciousness when his water pack was disabled, and has been deeply traumatized by Starline in some way. Sonic notes a similar series of events happening with Surge, with her seemingly being crushed under debris after their fight. Although Sonic is certain that she did not survive, Surge emerges from a pile of rubble on a conveyor belt beneath the city, exhausted but uninjured. She frees herself before being crushed and decides she needs to recover before finding more power to help her destroy Sonic.
When asked by Sonic how she knows so much, Belle explains that she downloaded some data when interfacing with Metal Sonic. Tails asks her if she can connect to the Eggnet and find a city map. Despite not being able to connect to it, Belle is able to locate a hangar in a nearby district, believing there could be a shuttle there that they could use. Tails is unsure if they will be able to reach it without alerting the Badniks, but Sonic assures him that he will keep them distracted while the other three get to the hangar. Tails, still reluctant, reminds him that there a lot of Badniks out there, far more than what they usually face. Sonic concurs, but states that Tails is the only one who can pilot the shuttle and that someone will need to carry Kit. He also decides to have Tails escort Belle since she is not a fighter, and the three begin to enact their plan.
Sonic scales a building and calls out to the tower where Eggman is, attempting to bait him into attacking. However, Eggman realizes Sonic is alone and catches onto his plan. He instructs Metal Sonic to track down and intercept Sonic's friends while possibly leaving Belle intact so she can be of use to him in the long term. Sonic begins to feel ignored when Eggman then appears behind a screen on a floating satellite, commenting on how Sonic is standing still for once. Sonic sarcastically remarks that he is able to relax since there is no threat, at which point the Badniks on the ground begin tearing down the building he is standing atop, causing him to lose his balance. Sonic proceeds to fight his way down, bouncing off debris and dodging attacks.
Outside the hangar, Tails takes out a Guard Badnik. Several more approach him but ignore Belle, who alerts the fox's attention to them. He deals with them as well and they enter the hangar where the shuttle is. Tails begins to hotwire it, unaware that Metal Sonic was watching, before setting off. Sonic continues battling the Badniks, recognizing certain models that he has not fought in a while. Despite Sonic's confidence, Eggman notes he has seen him slowing down and ponders joining the battle with one of his mechas. Sonic internally agrees, having become exhausted from running to the city as well as fighting Surge and the Badniks.
The shuttle is then seen flying overhead, much to Sonic's joy and Eggman's frustration at having it stolen. Sonic makes a run for the ship, unaware that Metal Sonic is flying nearby to intercept it, and is pulled aboard by Belle. He asks if Eggman called off the Badniks or gave up, to which the doctor responds that he did not want to rob Metal Sonic of his moment. Metal Sonic then bursts straight through the shuttle with the V. Maximum Overdrive Attack, severely damaging the aircraft and sending it crashing back into the city, which in turn destroys many of the Badniks on the ground. Sonic asks if Tails and Belle are alright, which they both confirm, although Belle notices that Sonic's leg has been injured. He asks Tails how much farther they are from being in the clear; the fox answers that they were not able to make it halfway to the city limits, which Sonic notes would be a problem as the three look up to see Kit regaining consciousness.
- Badnik Horde
- Asteron (first appearance)
- Banper (first appearance)
- Boa-Boa (first appearance)
- Buyoon (first appearance)
- Buzz Bomber
- Cameron (first appearance)
- Condor (first appearance)
- E-2000 (first appearance)
- Egg Chaser (first appearance)
- Egg Fighter (first appearance)
- Egg Gunner (first appearance)
- Egg Pawn
- Egg Typhoon (first appearance)
- Fighter Aircraft A (first appearance)
- Gaogao (first appearance)
- Gator (first appearance)
- Guards (first appearance)
- Klagen (first appearance)
- Manta (first appearance)
- Mole (first appearance)
- Newtron (first appearance)
- Orbinaut (first appearance)
- Gohla (first appearance)
- Unidasu (first appearance)
- Pierrot (first appearance)
- Sandworm (first appearance)
- Shellcracker (first appearance)
- Splats (first appearance)
- Unnamed Eggman Janitor Robot (first appearance)
- Yukimaru (first appearance)
- Belle the Tinkerer
- Dr. Eggman
- Dr. Starline (mentioned)
- Kitsunami the Fennec
- Metal Sonic
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Surge the Tenrec
- Sonic's dimension
- Sonic's world
- Eggperial City
- Sonic's world
- Egg Monitor (first appearance)
- Hydro Pack
- Spin Attack
- Spin Dash
- V. Maximum Overdrive Attack (first appearance)
- Sonic, Tails, and Belle are still dealing with Dr. Eggman's Badnik Horde that he sent to them following the previous issue.
- Kit is still unconscious following the previous issue.
- Belle recalls seeing Dr. Starline being crushed by falling debris following the previous issue.
- Both Sonic and Tails recall fighting Surge and Kit following the previous issue.
- Surge recovers from her fall near the end of the previous issue.
- The Badniks are still ignoring Belle's presence, something she discovered in Sonic the Hedgehog #38, "Test Run, Part 2".
- The aircraft that Belle and Tails pilot is modeled after the first phase of the Final Weapon from Sonic 3 & Knuckles.