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Eternal Champions

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Eternal Champions is a series of stories that appeared in Sonic the Comic. It is very loosely based on the video game of the same name.

Background

Nine warriors throughout history were killed in varied ways. These nine possessed exemplary fighting skills and were required to save the world. To do this, they were resurrected by The Eternal Champion, who required them to do his bidding.

Champions

  • Larcen Tyler, a 1920s Chicago criminal killed by former crime boss Mr Tagliani. His martial art is Preying Mantis Kung-Fu.
  • Shadow Yamoto, a 20th century corporate assassin who was pushed off the top of a tower block. She uses Taijutsu-Ninjitsu.
  • Trident, a former gladiator killed in the fall of Atlantis. He fights with Capa Geria.
  • Rax Coswell, killed in a 24th century fight in the Cyber-Dome. His style of kick-boxing was Muay Thai.
  • Xavier Pendragon, a 17th century warlock burned at the stake for his magick use, combined with Hapkido Cane fighting.
  • Jetta Maxx, an "acrobat" and revolutionary killed in an "accident", she used Savata and Pencak Silat fighting in the late 19th century.
  • Slash, a prehistoric caveman who discovered fire, and was stoned to death for it.
  • Mitchell Middleton Knight, aka Midknight, a biochemist who became a vampire-like creature and was stabbed in the heart. He fights using Aikido.
  • Jonathan Blade, a 21st century bounty hunter betrayed by his government and infected by a deadly virus. He fights with Kenpo.
  • The Eternal Champion, the one responsible for gathering them all together, giving them a second chance at life.

Stories

The Eternal Champions - Issue 19 to Issue 24

Sent on their first mission, the warriors appear in Tokyo, 1994, to deal with Nakano and stop his Bio-Key research. They beat Nakano's troops and learn that the Bio-Key does indeed lead to the creation of The Overlord. The champions continue their fight at Nakano Industries, but Slash, Shadow and Blade are captured. Rax takes them all to the Cyber-Dome to get some big guns, but Rax is spotted and the six of them are all forced to fight in the Dome. Meanwhile, Nakano tries to use a mind-scan to find out the heroes' plans, but the three are good at shielding their intentions.

As Larcen and Jetta fight while Rax tries to find a way out, the three captured champions escape and storm into the 'computer operations' and start to access the databanks. Xavier manages to defeat Midknight and as Rax and Trident head out for their bout, Rax punches his opponent, causing a distraction, allowing him to free his friends. Before they can escape with any guns, real cyber-fighters come forward, furious they've lost their chance in the 'Dome. Another big battle breaks out, but Trident ends it swiftly by ripping the cybernetic weapons from their attackers' bodies. Elsewhere, Slash, Shadow and Blade escape Nakano's HQ and right into the teleporting champions from the Cyber-Dome. Blade reveals he has destroyed most of the files before Nakano arrives in a Bio-Key weapon. Nakano easily beats most of the champions but is dragged into the ocean by Trident, who tears apart the criminal for his warlike boasting.

As the champions teleport out, job done, it seems that Nakano is still alive and his project is going even better; a cyber ray gun has been found at the bottom of the ocean, fitted with bio-key technology, enabling Nakano to replace his destroyed databases.

Death Isn't Forever - Eternal Champions Special

An origins story for all of the characters and the first appearance of The Eternal Champion. The Champions resurrects the fallen nine warriors and explains that they must fight in a tournament. Eight of them will be returned to the timestream where they will remain dead. The winner will fight The Overlord. Next day, Larcen visits Shadow in the Battle Room to assess her chances and the two, plus Midknight, discuss already being dead. Trident bursts in and trains fiercely, berating the weak humans. Days later, Slash gets in trouble for altering the controls mid-battle, endangering fellow fighters. It doesn't matter, as the tournament is ready to begin.

Larcen beats Blade, while Midknight overcomes Jetta's phase speed. Slash's spirit is strong but he is defeated by Shadow. Rax and Xavier gravely injure each other, the Eternal Champion considering neither of them fit to be champion. The five fallen warriors are returned to their own times, where they are dead. After making a pact to defeat Trident together, the other three winners fight their final battles. The last fight is down to Midknight and Shadow, but the vampire refuses to kill Shadow. The Eternal Champion commends them for their wisdom and tasks them with convincing the other warriors to work as a team.

Reality Check - Eternal Champions Special

After another hectic training session, Rax takes Shadow out on a "date" to investigate the world they need to save. They visit a bar called The Dream Bank where the customers are deep in a virtual experience. Yamoto is shocked to discover that some of the people are dead, not realising the virtual reality has overtaken their life. Troops arrive to force Rax and Shadow into the experience, proving successful with Yamoto. Rax saves her and the pair shut down the Dream Bank for good, rescuing the mindless zombies from their fate.

Brains & Brawls - Eternal Champions Special

Slash finds himself trapped in the Battle Room, watched by Xavier. The Eternal Champion reveals their emnity is down to their respective deaths, but Xavier simply doesn't like Slash's lack of brain power. The rest of the champions are forced to simplify the room's mechanics so that Slash can understand them, but he still fails to grasp things. Xavier reluctantly offers a truce but Slash sees through his gesture, throwing him in the Battle Room and sealing him in until sunset.

Larson's Revenge - Issue 37 to Issue 40

Back in his own time, Larcen is lying low from old crime boss. His hiding is interrupted when he receives a job offer, telling him to stop a White Orchid, stealing paperwork from his office. He gets to the crime boss' room but is interrupted by the man itself - who is actually Shadow Yamoto. She reveals she was sent to this era to bring down Tagliani and several other crime bosses, and Tyler is not to get involved. When she gets ambushed by police, Tyler rescues her from prison but she is not grateful. The pair are ambushed again, this time by Tagliani, who ties them up in a car set to explode. At the last second, they manage to escape, fortunately with the documents ready to bring down organised crime in Chicago.

Review

The Eternal Champions was given a review in Issue 17. Played by Vincent Low, it received a rating of 85%. Positives were gleamed from its great characters and huge variety of moves, but the sound was criticised.

Reception

To date, Eternal Champions is the only non-Sonic strip to receive an entire special to themselves, although Shinobi and Streets of Rage did get their own edition of Sonic the Poster Mag.

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