Sonic Gains Absurd Powers After Collecting One Billion Rings

The more energy rings Sonic the Hedgehog collects in the games improves his likelihood of surviving (and allows him to transform into Super Sonic if he's gathered all the Chaos Emeralds). But in the comics, once he grabs hold of his 1 billionth ring, he gains incredible and equally ridiculous powers.

Sonic reaches this incredible milestone in the "Rings of Truth" story from issue #35 of Archie's now-discontinued Sonic the Hedgehog comic, written by Mike Gallagher with art by Dave Manak. However, the Blue Blur doesn't learn what new abilities he has obtained until later on during the Mecha Madness special issue. What he receives in the meantime comes in the form of a strange adventure where powerful beings known as the Ancient Walkers transport him to a special zone to impart the secrets of the rings through riddles and odd experiences that, ironically, leave the hedgehog with more questions than answers.

Related: Sonic's Rings Had A Different Purpose In The Comics

But after Sonic is roboticized by Dr. Robotnik, the robot hedgehog fights against a mechanized version of Knuckles and only retains his "humanity" because the 1 billionth ring surrounds his body with a special aura that also shields him internally. Even though the mystical energy doesn't prevent Sonic from transforming into a robot, the inner shield retains his "life force." This allows Mecha Sonic to realize who he is and use his body as a barrier to protect Mecha Knuckles at a moment during their fight that could destroy the robot Knuckles. Sonic's friends are later able to track their speedy hedgehog buddy through the special aura his body now radiates as a result of collecting such a high number of rings.

This mystical power is explored later in issue #75 by Karl Bollers and Steven Butler. Robo-Robotnik roboticizes Sonic's entire family after Dr. Robotnik's demise during the EndGame series when Sonic is framed for murdering his girlfriend Princess Sally. Robo-Robotnik appears to successfully transform Sonic's mother and father into mindless drones until it's revealed that the wedding bands their son has made for them out of power rings allows them to retain their free will.

Interestingly, more than 100 issues later, long after the comic's original team left, readers learn that Sonic most likely naturally keeps residual ring energy with him. In issue #177 by Ian Flynn and Tracy Yardley, Dr. Eggman has just destroyed Sonic's home and captured his friends, forcing the Blue Blur to rescue them. Once he is successful, the Freedom Fighters' physician, Dr. Quack, checks to make sure Sonic is okay: "Given how hardy you are, not to mention all the residual magic ring energy you must have clinging to you, I'd say you're the safest among us here." At no time in the earlier issues does Sonic use power rings to fight Dr. Eggman or rescue his friends. So could this have been the comic's new team of writers nodding to the previous stories and the power imbued by collecting so many rings?

Regardless, it's clear that Sonic collecting 1 billion rings now shrouds him in a special protective shield that emits a certain trackable aura and that can retain his "life force" should Dr. Robotnik ever roboticize him. This prevents Sonic from ever losing his free will as a mechanized version of himself. It also appears that Sonic can pass this same power onto others if they are in physical contact with any of his rings. And although it's never proven or confirmed, the reason why Sonic the Hedgehog most likely has residual magic ring energy clinging to him could be because of that 1 billionth ring he collected so long ago.

Next: Ken Penders Interview: Sonic Comic Writer To Finish What He Started

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