Rivals is a complete Sonic the Hedgehog story appearing in Issue 256 of Sonic the Comic Online. Unusually, this strip is not the first in the issue, that honour going to Spooks and Mirrors. Rivals leads directly on from the events of Master of All I Survey, the second strip in the issue.
A few days have passed since the clash of Sonics and Robotniks from past and future, and Sonic is returning to the Egg Bastion with a new mission: To remove the Chaos Tap without destroying Mobius and without Robotnik knowing. He knows of a few weak points to get him in and out but hasn't been able to get help from the Omni-Viewer, who could easily move the Chaos Tap or drain it of its power. Instead, he hopes Knuckles and Porker are monitoring his break-in so they can send Omni in, but he is surprised when Knuckles personally turns up, appearing without Omni's aid thanks to echidna portal technology. He quickly attaches an ancient battle collar, much like his own, to Sonic, before chasing the hedgehog through the base. Knuckles manages to stop Sonic by punching the ground and causing a small earthquake and reveals that he has come to turn off the Chaos Tap himself, Porker having caused a ten minute security blackout over the area. When the squabbling heroes reach the Tap, they find it is inside a new armoured casing, but Knuckles is prepared. He uses the Grey Emerald to drain the excess energy from the Chaos Tap, which enlarges it to the point where it's just as big as the Master Emerald. Suddenly, the blackout ends, and Badniks begin converging on the pair. Sonic only agrees to help move the Emerald when Knuckles removes the collar, and they escape with the Emerald through a new portal just before the Badniks can get to them. The portal hasn't taken them to the G.U.N. base as Knuckles planned, but the echidna reveals to Sonic that a number of groups want to interrogate the fallen hero about his supposed betrayal. Sonic sadly admits that no one will listen to him and sprints off, leaving Knuckles alone in the desert, and Robotnik having a fit of rage over the deactivated Chaos Tap.
- It is never explained why Sonic is now wearing a compass.
- The Pirate Omni-Viewer is now being referred to by the characters as the Femni-Viewer, or simply Femni.
- Knuckles explicitly refers to this being the third time he's used the grey emerald to save the world. He is, of course, referring to its usage in Power of the Chaos Emeralds and Showdown.
- A Gizoid head, as seen in Sonic Battle, Sonic Advance 3 and Sonic Chronicles, can be seen in the background as Knuckles drains the Chaos Tap.
- As part of Sonic the Easter Special's Engine Zone feature, Jin posted a video that detailed the creation of "Rivals"' final page.