British comic book company, Fleetway Publications, has had a long history of reinterpreting and changing a multitude of the themes and characters of the sonic the hedgehog franchise during its tenure creating the sonic the comic series. One of its most dramatic changes to the sonic the hedgehog mythos was its unique depiction of the titular character’s famous robotic dopplegänger; Metalsonic.
Metal Sonic is arguably one of Sonic the Hedgehog’s most iconic antagonists within his 31-year history, rivaling the likes of Shadow the Hedgehog and Dr. Eggman. However, the android villain was completely reimagined in Fleetway Publications sonic the comic series where he was renamed as ‘Metallix the Metal Sonic’. Although at first a complete replica of the Metal Sonic character, Metallix would transform into its own unique adversary to Sonic as the leader of a cabal of robotic Sonic’s bent on the destruction of Sonic and the Freedom Fighters.
Metallix the Metal Sonic first appeared in Fleetway’s Sonic the Comic #24-28 (by Nigel Kitching, Richard Elson and Steven Potter) as part of the ‘The Sonic Terminator’ storyline which was a retelling of the classic sonic cd videogame that debuted Metal Sonic. After being built by Dr. Eggman to destroy Sonic, Metallix kidnapped Sonic’s ally; Amy Rose to Miracle Planet which Dr. Eggman was Cyberforming into a base. Using one of the six Time Stones, Sonic was able to defeat his mechanical counterpart and remove Dr Eggman’s cyberforming of Miracle Planet.
This initial depiction of Metallix did not stray too far from Metal Sonic, with the only difference being their names and the fact that Metallix was given the ability to speak so that his rivalry with Sonic could appear more potent. However, after multiple reappearances that were completely indistinguishable from Metal Sonic, Metallix was redefined in the six-part story ‘Total Chaotix’ (by Nigel Kitching, Lew Stringer, Richard Elson and Elitta Fell). This comic book storyline saw Metallix redesigned, now sporting a red and gold body inspired by Metal Sonic Kai from the Knuckles Chaotix videogame and the red Dalek’s from Doctor Who.
‘Total Chaotix’ saw long-time Sonic ally; Knuckles the Echidna assisting Team Chaotix after two Metallix drones kidnapped the omniscient extraterrestrial entity known as Omni-Viewer and took him to Dr. Eggman’s abandoned base in an alternate dimension called the Special Zone. After infiltrating the base, Knuckles and Team Chaotix discovered that Metallix the Metal Sonic had betrayed Dr. Eggman and taken over his base from him. He was cultivating an army of all the past Metallix models bent on the conquest Sonic’s home planet of Mobius, renaming himself ‘Emperor’ Metallix.
Using a disrupter gun owned by the Chaotix member, Nack the Weasel, Knuckles was able to deactivate Emperor Metallix. However, this was revealed to be a pyrrhic victory, as Metallix and his Brotherhood of Metallix had not been destroyed. Although they lost the Omni-Viewer, they had created a copy of the entity, which Metallix called Main-Viewer. Within this story, Metallix showed similar characterizations to the android Ultron from Marvel Comics and the Borg from star trek, now being depicted as a rogue artificial-intelligence that had betrayed his creator.
Following this event, Emperor Metallix would return in a story heavily inspired by the 1985 film Back to the Future. He used the powers of Main-Viewer to try and go back in time and kill his creator Dr. Eggman and Sonic the Hedgehog before he got his powers. Metallix’s warped logic led him to believe that erasing Sonic and Eggman from existence was the only way that he could fulfill his primary directive of defeating Sonic.
After causing this change in the timeline during Sonic the Comic #68 (by Nigel Kitching, Richard Elson, Ellie de’Villie and Rob McMenemy), the Brotherhood of Metallix transformed the planet of Mobius into a robotic world which was dubbed as Planet Metallix. Fortunately, Sonic and Team Chaotix were able to travel back in time with the help of Omni-Viewer and caused the lab accident that gave Sonic his power from him and turned Dr. Eggman mad. Emperor Metallix staged a desperate last attack in Sonic the Comic #72 to take over Mobius, prompting an uneasy alliance between Sonic and his archenemy Dr. Eggman.
With Dr. Eggman’s technologies, Sonic the Hedgehog was able to activate a self-destruct failsafe embedded within the Brotherhood of Metallix, resulting in the destruction of Emperor Metallix and all his Metallix drones. Later issues of Sonic the Comic saw Dr. Eggman replacing the late Emperor Metallix with a new wave of Metallix’s based on Knuckles the Echidna. However, these ‘Knuckles Metallix’s’ were never properly used by Dr Eggman before the comic line officially concluded.
Despite much of Fleetway Publications’ time with the sonic the hedgehog franchise falling into obscurity after the company went bankrupt in 2002, Emperor Metallix has remained a fan-favorite among the more hardcore fans of Sonic. Metallix’s status as a cherished Sonic character even warranted a staring role within the immensely popular 2006 fan-series Super Mario Bros. Z. While this variant of Metal Sonic has never appeared in any official capacity, Metallix’s depiction has acted as the inspiration for Neo Metal Sonic from sonic heroes. Perhaps Metallix may continue to act as inspiration for Metal Sonic in the future?