Issue 96 is the ninety-sixth edition of Sonic the Comic. Released on the 22nd of January 1997 at the price of £1.25, the issue contains four original stories (three of them new), several features, an Aquis Badnik pin-up and a free gift of a Sonic Badge. All current stories ended in this issue, making way for the three-part stories that would lead up to The Final Victory.
- Control Zone
- Next Issue
- Sonic the Hedgehog - Hero Hour
- Review Zone
- Knuckles the Echidna - Roots: Part 3
- Tails - Furtual Reality
- Pixel Zone
- Sonic's World - Mock the Doc
Sonic the Hedgehog
Hero Hour is a complete story written by Lew Stringer, with art from Andy Pritchett and lettering by Tom Frame. Sonic is still stuck in the Special Zone and things don't get better when local heroes The Zed Monkeys get in the way of him foiling The Yob. Sonic's suspicious of the Monkeys' daily routine and eventually discovers arch-enemy Madmeano to be behind the recent spate of crime.
Knuckles the Echidna
Roots is a 3-part Knuckles story that takes place during his World Tour of Mobius. Written by Nigel Kitching, drawn by Nigel Dobbyn and lettered by Elitta Fell, this third part sees the trees get revenge for the death of the Elder Tree. Doctor Robotnik's flunkies haven't finished with Knuckles and Ebony but the trees become the centre of attention when they plan to erase all flesh creatures from Mobius.
Furtual Reality is a complete story written by Stringer, drawn by Roberto Corona, coloured by Steve White and lettered by Gordon Robson. Tails is tricked into visiting the Casino Night Zone, believing that his fans want to meet him. In reality, Max Gamble has set up a deadly game that convinces thrill-seekers that Tails is a Badnik. The lizard's plan backfires when their VR kits believe him to be an even bigger Badnik.
Mock the Doc is a complete story (and a TV show) that aims to humiliate Mobius' leader. With writing from Stringer, art by Dobbyn and lettering from Annie Parkhouse, the story follows the pirate TV programme that interrupts Robotnik's daily speech. Furious, Robotnik sends a Trooper patrol to interfere with the show, but the dense robots can't tell their master from the fakes. Things get worse for the fat fool when he turns up personally to find everybody gone and the cameras still rolling.
This issue's Control Zone, hosted by Megadroid, welcomes Boomers to the stories and features inside. Megadroid also looks forward to the Valentine's Day issue and the mountain of cards he'll receive, before mentioning next issue's Decap Attack return (and pin-up). The Sega Charts are mostly different from last forenight, with new entry Virtua Cop 2 heading the Saturn chart, Ecco the Dolphin returning to top the Mega-CD chart and Dynamite Headdy moving to the top of the Game Gear list. FIFA '97 remains leader for the Mega Drive.
A brief Review Zone saw Chris Jones award Worldwide Soccer '97 for the Saturn 92%, citing no real players as the main problem despite the title being "The Brazil of football games". The Pixel Zone also made a rare return. Like the Graphic Zone, published compositions won readers a pack of Crayola Mini Stampers 2.
Finally, Speedlines had a joke about Tails ("How did Tails do in his exams? He passed with flying colours!"), while the other two readers accompanied their letters with a computer-drawn picture of Sonic and another of the Chaotix Crew attempting to leave the Sega 32X and get into the Mega Drive. Winners received a Sega Mega Hog Tag for getting their submission published.
- Deborah Tate - editor
- Audrey Wong - features editor
- Gary Knight - designer
- Sarah Colley - production
- Richard Burton - consultant