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Project Brutus is a 4-part Sonic the Hedgehog story, beginning in Issue 63 of Sonic the Comic. The adventure follows the 'birth' and early days of Commander Brutus.

Staff

Story

In Citadel Robotnik, the dastardly Doctor Robotnik is in the middle of one of his "high-power think sessions", involving rotten tomatoes and a poster of Sonic. Chief scientist Grimer kindly interrupts and informs Robotnik that "Project Brutus" is almost complete. All it needs is one vital ingredient, supplied by the doctor himself. Down in Grimer's laboratory, Project Brutus is revealed to be a golden Trooper, ready to be given a copy of Robotnik's brain patterns. With a linked brain module on Robotnik and Brutus' head, an electric current is sent between them, giving the robot life. Robotnik finally has a true second-in-command, programmed with his brain patterns - including, but not limited to, his personality and his voice. Brutus is ready to undertake his primary objective - to kill Sonic the Hedgehog. Elsewhere, Sonic and the Freedom Fighters are resting in the Pleasant Zone. Sonic and Johnny Lightfoot have been here before, but it's all new for Amy Rose. Recognising the Zone as safe, Sonic ditches his Bob Beaky disguise and goes for a run, greeting the citizen. One resident isn't so happy to see him and calls Citadel Robotnik. Receptionik takes the call and means to inform Doctor Robotnik, but Brutus intercepts and wishes to confront Sonic himself. Soon, a Trooper ship arrives to capture Sonic. Brutus introduces himself as the "commander of the elite troop force of Mobius". Although Amy and Johnny are wary, Sonic leaps into battle unfazed and the trio soon lay waste to several Badniks before Sonic tries Brutus out for size. Unfortunately, Brutus seems to be a lot tougher than most Troopers (it is later revealed that Brutus is made of Megatal, the world's toughest metal) and he simply slaps Sonic away. Before Sonic can utter a response, Brutus orders the Troopers to kill the heroes.

Quick as ever, Sonic grabs the other two and sprints away from the scene in the nick of time. Hiding behind a local house, they ponder who Brutus is and why he sounds like Robotnik. Amy even thinks it might be Robotnik, but he wouldn't fit inside that armour. Back at the scene, Brutus activates his infrared scanner and begins to follow Sonic's heat trail. Soon enough, the Troopers catch up with the Freedom Fighters and another fight breaks out. At Citadel Robotnik, Robotnik finally has his first mission to give to Brutus, when Receptionik informs him that Brutus is already on a mission. In the Pleasant Zone, Sonic tries the less-direct approach this time, grabbing Brutus' cloak and trapping him in a vortex, eventually causing him to spin out of control and into a house. The home collapses and the commander is assumed to be defeated, but the angry robot emerges from the rubble, ready to fight again. His desire is interrupted by a call from Robotnik, but Brutus chooses to ignore it. A call on a higher frequency begins to shake his circuits and he has no choice but to answer it. Programmed with Robotnik's thought patterns, the robot knows just what to say and his excuses lead to the capture of Sonic, ready to be taken to Citadel Robotnik.

Before transporting them to see Robotnik, Brutus takes the heroes on a parade through the Pleasant Zone, planning on sapping the citizens' morale. At a complete loss, one even plans to volunteer to become a Badnik now that Sonic can no longer save them. Robotnik isn't too happy about the glory march, though and orders Brutus to return the prisoners. A Trooper urges Brutus to listen to Robotnik but Brutus is having none of it and smashes the Badnik to the ground, ordering the rest to only do what he says. Amy spots that the Trooper dropped his gun, leading her to fire a shot right at Brutus' chest. Temporarily stunned, the chance is there for Sonic, Amy and Johnny to make a break for it. The situation isn't eased, however, by the shackles binding their legs. The Troopers refuse to give chase, owing to the order that Brutus hasn't yet given them.

Some distance away, Amy decides to blast away some of the links in the chains with her new gun, but the Troopers don't give them a chance, shooting every step of the way. A bridge gives some sort of reprieve; as the gang run across the bridge, the Troopers' lousy shots demolish the walkway, just as Sonic pulls the others to the other side of the ravine. With the way across shot down, the bad guys have seemingly lost. Not so. Brutus reveals himself as a one-time member of the Special Badnik Service, a collection of Troopers who often have some sort of special abilities. Brutus' is anti-gravity, allowing him to fly over the gap and be ready to execute his tormentors. They try to flee some more but the situation is getting too stressful for Sonic. One trip over a stone and he loses his cool, ending in the release of Super Sonic!

Super breaks out of the chains and the fight takes to the skies. With Sonic's power far stronger now, he has the ability to really hurt Brutus, flinging him into a tree. The robot's next move is to kidnap Amy in an attempt to stop Sonic attacking him. It doesn't make a difference to Super, he'll attack anyone. So, as Super moves in again, Amy jumps away just in time to see Super remove Brutus' arm completely. Brutus then decides to lure Super into enemy territory. On the other side, the Troopers open fire, to Amy's dismay, but Super simpyl dodges the bullets and then rips into the Badniks, destroying them in seconds. As Super gets ready to finish things with Brutus, the sneaky villain has one more move - the Foam Cannon. Sonic gets too close and into the path of the weapon, which covers in "doom-foam", a substance that hardens in seconds. With Super trapped, Troopers carry him to the ship, ready to return to base, but Super is too strong and breaks out. Brutus finally retreats, just as Sonic turns back to normal. Stuck on the other side of the ravine to his friends, Sonic shows off by acrobatically leaping over the crevice.

Hours later, at Citadel Robotnik, Brutus finally shows up for a meeting, complete with a new arm (fitted with a laser blaster). Robotnik is livid at Brutus for disobeying orders and not bringing Sonic back immediately, but Brutus retorts that they share the same brain patterns - Robotnik would have done the same. In fact, Brutus also shares Robotnik's ambition and plans to take control of Mobius!

Trivia

  • This story marks the first appearance of Brutus. His previous 'life' in the S.B.S. is unknown.
  • This story starts a trend that will continue in the next two Brutus stories: the heroes utterly fail to beat him in a straight battle. (As in the final story, Revolution, Brutus is defeated by an even worse villain than himself)
  • Brain-scanners were used to give Brutus a copy of Robotnik's brain patterns. They would eventually be utilised again in the story Brute Force.
  • Brutus created himself a laser blaster as a new arm, a weapon not revealed in this strip but would prove useful in future missions.
  • This is the longest rampage Super Sonic would have until Running Wild.

Reprint

This adventure was reprinted from Issue 185 to Issue 188, making it the first story of the fully-reprint era.

Timeline

The previous Sonic the Hedgehog story was The Brotherhood of Metallix. The next is The Return of Chaotix. The next Brutus story is Brute Force.

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