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Back to Unreality! is
CaseyWildside

Casey returns to Wildside. Art by Brian Williamson and Steve White.

a 6-part Kid Chameleon story, beginning in Issue 54 of Sonic the Comic. It is particularly known for ending on a cliffhanger that was never resolved.

Staff

Story

While having a game on Sonic Chaos, regular kid Casey remembers events of a fortnight ago, where he found himself trapped in the world of Wildside. His thoughts are interrupted by Suzi, the girl he rescued from the same game. Her boyfriend, Brad, is still missing, lost in that game. As he and Suzi talks about, P.E. teacher Mister Simmons collars Casey for playing video games and drags him off to his lesson. As he is taken away, Suzi calls to him, stating he is the only one that can save Brad. Sure enough, Casey heads back to Wildside that evening and is welcomed by The Voice as he begins a new game. Right away, Casey is attacked by a giant rat in the Underground. As more rodents appear from the walls, Casey uses his Chameleon powers to transform into Skycutter, an air-boarder with an attitude. Destroying the rats with ease, his voice shakes somewhat when he sees the level's exit is blocked by several large nasties.

Skycutter's speed proves too much for some of the monsters, but the enemies are armed with spray gans which do more than fire paint. With great agility, Skycutter steals one can and blows it up in the exhaust from his flying powerboard, dodging several more laser blasts. He then kicks another can out of a monster's hands, but his luck runs out as a tentacle wraps round his leg and pulls him off his board. Bemoaning his attitude and forgetting Wildside wasn't just a game, things look up; his board had gone flying into a wall, causing a rockfall to rain down on his foes. With the way clear, Skycutter heads for the teleporter but spots a message, warning him about the dangers of Islecatraz. The Voice lets him know that Islecatraz is where he'll find the one thing he seeks most. Realising he means Brad, Skycutter arrives in the Midnight Graveyard. Spooked out by his surroundings, he transforms again, into the huge Juggernaut.

As a huge tank, Juggernaut rips through his skeleton enemies and blasts apart a wall next to a gate, leading him straight to the next exit without fighting all the enemies. Juggernaut's next stop is a jungle, where The Voice warns Casey to stay focused on what lies ahead. As Juggernaut tries to decipher The Voice's message, the answer seems clear when he ends up tumbling over a cliff edge. Casey loses his chameleon powers and wakes up on a log drifting out to sea. Swimming to shore, where he sees people, he is instantly chained up by robotic troops, led by none other than Brad!

Casey notices that he has been captured along with many others who had unwittingly played Wildside. The Voice yells at Casey, letting him know that once you are in Islecatraz, their destination, you cannot escape. Asking who is behind it all, The Voice only acknowledges Brad as the "chief warder" of the prison. Intent on saving his fellow prisoners, Casey transforms into Maniaxe and frees everyone with one swoop of his axe. As the doors of the cage burst open and the prisoners escape, Maniaxe lays into as many prison guards as he can, ripping their heads off with his sharp weapon. Terrified, Brad runs away with the guards in between him and Maniaxe. Casey's alter-ego gets carried away, throwing his axe at Brad. The warder only manages to avoid injury by teleporting out, the axe passing through him. Maniaxe leaps on the transporter, even though Casey knows that the guards changed the teleporter's co-ordinates. Sure enough, Maniaxe finds himself in midair, falling towards the sea. This time, Maniaxe transforms into Cyclone, the storm-bringer.

Cyclone returns to Islecatraz to free the rest of the prisoners and bring justice to Brad. Easily dodging the troops' laser blasts, Cyclone uses his lightning power to tear his enemies apart before searching for Brad. The chief warder is in his office, talking to The Voice. The computer system informs Brad that the prisoners are his responsibility, Brad ultimately answering to The Voice. Outraged that his guide has also been helping Brad, Cyclone smashes the computer before heading back to the prisoners. His plan is to lead them to the telepad in Brad's room, which he does by smashing every prison guard. Then, starting a vicious storm, he follows Brad out to sea, where he is trying to escape in a rowing boat. As the superhero catches up, Brad yells that he was afraid, only a schoolkid. Cyclone's response is to turn back into Casey, shocking the football star.

Casey and Brad begin to argue about Casey's identity, but are silenced as they are attacked by a giant shark. Casey reveals that his powers are down, needing to recharge. Casey's answer is to start rowing, but Brad knows better, knowing they'll only make the shark angry. Casey calls Brad a quitter, but as the shark returns to eat Casey, Brad smacks the fish with an oar, retorting that he's "no quitter". Neither was the shark, the ferocious beast returning to buck the kids off the boat. Casey tries to swim to safety, Brad having swam the other way, but is too tired. He narrowly avoids an early death as Brad reaches to him from the shore, saving the superhero. Back at Islecatraz, they discover that the telepad is damaged. The Voice speaks out, revealing there is only enough power to teleport one of them away. Brad plucks up the courage to push Casey on the telepad, condeming Brad to Wildside forever. Casey also remains in the game; The Voice is unwilling to let the ultimate challenge, wanting to take Casey to The Final Level. With all powers returned, Casey utters "Chameleon!", and the game is on once more...

Trivia

  • The ending of Back to Unreality was ambiguous, not really revealing whether Brad was sentenced to an eternity of Wildside. The answer would never be given, with the series getting cancelled without a third part.
  • Casey transforms back into his regular self, having shown no prior knowledge of being able to do so. He also states that his powers need to be recharged, something that never happened in the first story.
  • None of the alter-egos featured in the previous part were used here, although they made a cameo in the first panel.
  • In the penultimate panel, one of the speech panels hasn't been coloured, letting "And me?" fade into the background.
  • The story references real-world games Sonic Chaos and Space Invaders. It is also loosely based on the Kid Chameleon video game.

Timeline

The previous Kid Chameleon story was Kid Chameleon. This was the last story in the series.

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