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This character exists primarily or exclusively within the IDW Publishing continuity.
Information in this article may not be canonical to the storyline of the games or any other Sonic continuity.


If there's something that could use a little tinkering, I'm your girl.


— Belle the Tinkerer, Sonic the Hedgehog #35

Belle the Tinkerer[7] is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing. She is a free-willed and kind-hearted Badnik created by Dr. Eggman when he had amnesia and was known as "Mr. Tinker".[8][2] Belle is based on a female anthropomorphic animal from Sonic's world. Unlike normal Badniks, Belle's casing is made entirely of wood.[1]

Concept and creation

Belle was conceptualized and designed by Evan Stanley, who pitched her along with her rough character arc and design.[9][1] The crew at IDW Publishing wanted to introduce a character with a recognizable design and concept that would let them stand out and yet fit into Sonic's world and cast. Eventually it was decided that Belle would be a robot (a common concept) designed like a marionette doll (a new concept).[1][9]

Belle's design is somewhat inspired by the huldra, a creature in Scandinavian mythology.[10] For her pitch, she possessed an apron with tools in her pocket, dark cheeks, no jawlines, and barren shoulders.[9] Stanley also initially proposed a version of Belle that was a clear animal species, namely a mouse, as Stanley was not sure how her non-specified puppety-ness would fly.[9][10] In the end though, it was decided that she would not be based on any particular animal. This was because Stanley realized while designing her that she did not need to be any specific species, which also added to her general strangeness.[10] Late in her design phase, it was requested by Sega that Stanley add jawlines under Belle's mouth in order to make it clear that she was a robot and to make her look more puppet-like.[1][9]

Appearance

Belle is a robot made entirely out of oak hardwood,[11] giving her a marionette doll-like appearance. Modeled like an anthropomorphic animal, she has orange fur and a tan muzzle, along with medium-long braids that are held together with green ties at the ends and a large fuzzy hair tuff on her forehead. She also has blue eyes, three freckles on each cheek, buck teeth, and a round pink nose (akin to a clown nose). Her eyelashes also have thick ends. Her arms and legs on the other hand are tan and rectangular in shape. Lastly, she has an orange thread with a tuft at the end for a tail. For attire, she wears a pink shirt with a white collar and puffy shoulders, a pointy green cap, green overalls with yellow buttons and short legs, white cuffs on her wrists, white socks, and pink Mary Jane shoes with yellow buttons. Though her hands also appear to wear gloves, they are actually just white.

History

Past

Mr. Tinker and Belle, from Sonic the Hedgehog #44.

Made by "Mr. Tinker" with Badnik parts,[12][8] Belle was created to be his little helper and aid with work in places like machine shops.[2][13] Referring to Mr. Tinker as her "dad",[12] Belle loved her creator very much.[14]

Belle would happily spent her time fixing the toys and rides Mr. Tinker created for Windmill Village's children. When he then began introducing Belle to the villagers, they were nervous about her but willing to give Belle a chance. One day, however, Belle discovered that Mr. Tinker had vanished. Not long after, Mr. Tinker (now having regained his Eggman persona) attacked Windmill Village in the Faceship by dumping the Metal Virus into it. With the Metal Virus unable to affect her, Belle hid from the villagers-turned-Zombots. After the Zombots had then left, Belle remained in the abandoned Windmill Village, feeling very lonely. When the Zombot apocalypse was later averted and the cured villagers returned to the village however, Belle found the villagers blaming her and accusing her of being an Eggman spy.[14] People told her that Mr. Tinker had been a monster all along as Dr. Eggman, but Belle could not believe it.[2] It was later with a heavy heart that Belle saw the villagers break down and recycle everything Mr. Tinker had built, and when she tried to fix things, the villagers only got angry at her.[14] Eventually, Belle ran away to look for Eggman.[12][14] She hoped that that if she could talk to him, perhaps she could convince him to come back as Mr. Tinker.[14]

As a part of her plan, Belle decided to find Eggman to confirm that what other people said was a lie, and if they were not, she at least hoped to convince her creator to abandon his evil ways.[2] During her search, she came across an abandoned Eggman base near Windmill Village.[12][11]

Chao Races and Badnik Bases

Sonic fighting Belle, from Sonic the Hedgehog #34.

When Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles "Tails" Prower entered the abandoned Eggman base, Belle would sneak through the shadows of the base, avoiding the boys' attention, and later hide in a pile of scrapped robots.[12] Eventually though, Belle fell out of her hideout when Sonic accidentally kicked a screw into it. Sonic immediately mistook her for a Badnik and attacked while trying to guess her name. However, Belle kept avoiding Sonic's attacks until he pulled her tail. This caused her to kick Sonic with both legs by reflex, which she apologized for. Eventually though, Tails stopped Sonic and explained to Belle that they usually meet robots that belong to Eggman's army. Belle explained that she was not created by Eggman, but by another creator she had been trying to find for a while. Tails was likewise impressed that she was made entirely of wood. However, they were interrupted by an alarm in the base that was triggered after Tails forgot to turn off the local computer's firewall. Beats then arrived and surrounded the heroes. While Sonic and Tails were discussing how to get out of their current situation, Belle noticed that an Egg Keeper was trying to catch Tails. She thus pushed Tails away, leaving her to get immobilized by the Badnik herself. Fortunately, Tails destroyed the Egg Keeper and freed Belle. Sonic then told Belle that they would have to take advantage of her unusual abilities as the situation around them got worse.[11]

After Tails made an escape route for them, Belle rescued Tails when he was caught by an Egg Keeper by making a leap that pulled Tails out of the Egg Keeper's grasp after pulling her tail. Sonic then dragged both of them outside the base. Afterward, Belle asked them to take her with them to White Park Zone as her current hideout had been taken over by Badniks. After Tails convinced Sonic to let her come along, the latter had Belle chosen a wing on the Tornado to ride on all the way to White Park Zone but did not enjoy the ride. After being sat off at the White Park Grand Chateau, Belle was still shaky from the flight. Amy then led Belle and Sonic to the suite of Clutch the Opossum, who was lying unconscious on the floor. At the same time, Cream wanted to release the Chao Clutch had locked in a cage with numerous locks. Upon hearing this, Belle decided to help Cream open the cage since tinkering was her specialty. Cream then introduced herself to Belle. Soon after, Clutch got up and activated the Badniks in his suite, before escaping himself. Belle was then surrounded by hostile Badniks again.[3] While protected by the others, Belle worked on opening the cage that the Chao were imprisoned in, but encountered some tricky padlocks. Eventually, however, she got the padlock open and the Chao helped destroy the Badniks. Tails and Rouge appeared shortly afterward, warning them of an avalanche that is closing in on the chateau. The heroes tried to evacuate the chateau, but Dr. Starline soon appeared and stood in their way. While Starline was being held off, Tails told Belle that Starline was merely an Eggman wannabe. When Starline grabbed Tails and tried to kidnap him however, Tails pulled Belle by the tail, making her kick Starline right in his beak and allowing the heroes to escape the incoming avalanche as it hit the chateau and buried Starline. Sonic later apologized to Belle for how he initially treated her when he found out about how she had helped his friends out. Tails, in turn, asked her to help him in his workshop, something which Belle enthusiastically accepted. Later in said workshop, Belle helped Tails fix Omega. Afterward, Tails noticed that she could read Eggman's ciphers without any problems, something which only the doctor himself, or one of his creations, would be capable of. Belle, however, still insisted that Eggman did not create her and refused to give Tails a straight answer.[4]

Test Run!

Belle having her blunder fixed by Tangle, from Sonic the Hedgehog #37.

Belle was later led to the Restoration's new HQ by Sonic and Tails in hopes of instating Belle into the organization and give her a new home. There, they were welcomed by Amy and Jewel. After Belle said that she was good at carpentry work, Jewel sent her to the machine shop. There, Belle tried to help the chief there, but her clumsiness only got her into trouble. When a forklift later ran over her tail, Belle automatically kicked the crate she was carrying into a boat hanging from a frame and broke its restraints. This caused a panic in the shop, but Tangle quickly came and stooped the boat's fall. Belle, however, lost her job in the workshop because of her screw-up. As Tangle took Belle with her, Belle confessed to Tangle that she had a difficult time in the Restoration. Tangle, on the other hand, quickly became excited over the function Belle's tail had, which she could relate to. Moments later, they both heard rumors that a new Eggman tower, which was causing unnatural storms, had appeared outside the coast. Tangle and Belle thus went to Jewel, where they met Sonic, Tails and Amy. While the others talked, Belle wondered if Eggman might be in the tower. However, she refused to say anything because she would then have to explain herself. Regardless, she gave Tangle the idea of the two of them getting to the tower and helping Sonic investigate it themselves. Belle subsequently took Tangle to an unused Big Bang Extreme Gear that she had hotwired. Immediately after, Belle and Tangle rode it out of the HQ.[13] Arriving at Eggman's tower, Belle and Tangle crashed the Big Bang upon landing, depriving them of one of their means of escape. Passing the broken Badniks in front the entrance, Belle followed Tangle into the tower while taking notice of the Eggman Empire decal on the wall. The duo soon after ended up in a room full of Badniks. Not yet detected by the robots, Belle and Tangle climbed the interior of the tower while avoiding detection until they came upon Orbot and Cubot discussing Sonic, Tails and Amy, who had broken into the tower and ended up inside the test chambers for Eggman's robots. After watching the robotic duo relay these news to Eggman, who decided to make use of this opportunity, Belle asked Tangle if that was Eggman's voice she heard. After Tangle confirmed that and began heading out to help Sonic, Belle accidentally slipped and fell down right in front of some Egg Pawns. However, the Egg Pawns did not detect Belle. Belle was then pulled back up by Tangle, who demanded an explanation. Belle thus told her that she was a Badnik herself and that she came to the tower to seek answers about her origin from Eggman. She assured her that she did not want to hurt anyone, but understood if Tangle did not trust her. To her surprise however, Tangle chose to trust her anyhow, and the two resumed their search for Sonic and co.[8]

Belle and Tangle soon after found and restrained Orbot and Cubot. They then tried to get the robot duo to tell them which one of the portals in the facility would take them to Sonic, Tails and Amy. Meanwhile, Belle redirected the Egg Pawn patrols so that they could not intervene with their interrogation. When Tangle later got the information she needed from Orbot and Cubot, she tried to head into a portal to rescue Sonic and co., but Belle stopped her, as she feared for her safety. However, she was persuaded by Tangle to let her do it and allowed the lemur passage into the portal.[15] While waiting for Tangle, Belle would snap at Orbot when he tried asking her a question, and insisted that she was not a conventional Badnik. She then hesitantly asked him and Cubot about their relation to Eggman. As they explained their duties as his aide robots, Belle fondly remembered Mr. Tinker's habits until she received a sudden call from Eggman on Orbot and Cubot's tablet. Upon seeing Belle, Eggman would recall how he made Belle, who became terrifed upon facing her creator. Before Eggman could hang up however, a desperate Belle asked him for as reasonable cause for his cruel actions and the tower she was in. Upon hearing that Eggman only made it to commit evil though, a heartbroken Belle dropped her call. However, Belle then noticed that the portal into the test chamber was spewing energy, which Orbot revealed was a sign that the tower was about to implode. When Tangle later returned with Sonic's gang, Belle warned everbody of the danger. After Sonic took everyone out of the tower, the group fled in the Tornado before the tower imploded. After then parting ways Orbot and Cubot, Belle admitted her past to her friends and how her hopes of getting Eggman to return to his old ways as "Mr. Tinker" had been shattered. Regardless, she was cheered up a little by Tangle when she told him that she had done a lot of good today that would have made "Mr. Tinker" proud.[2]

Zeti Hunt

While Belle was in Restoration HQ's machine shop, the HQ came under attack by the Deadly Six. While Belle and her supervisor were hiding from Zomom however, they were eventually saved by Dr. Starline, who hypnotized Zomom into leaving them. Although her supervisor was thankful for the rescue, Belle explained who Starline actually was. As her supervisor then tried to defend Belle from Starline, he was struck down by Starline with his Multi-Tool Heel Spurs. In order to make Starline let her supervisor live, Belle came with Starline, who, despite some difficulties, managed to abduct her from Restoration HQ.[16]

Belle blames Dr. Starline for Eggman's return, from Sonic the Hedgehog #44.

Belle later woke up in Starline's temporary hideout, having been retrained and hooked up to Starline's computer. There, after a short conversation with Starline, who told her that she was an extremely unique commodity and that he had no intention of disassembling her in spite of what she thought of him as he still had respect for Dr. Eggman's work despite their falling out, Belle retorted that she was not Eggman's creation. However, Starline replied that this was only half true, and proceeded to tell her of how he restored Eggman's memory. He also added that without his Mr. Tinker persona, Eggman would never build another robot like Belle, so he wants to study her thoroughly. The furious Belle then began blaming Starline for the loss of her "father", but all Starline took interest in was the data he got on Belle's simulated emotions. Belle was then convinced by Starline to tell him her story. However, she soon noticed that all Starline was interested in was the data he got from her. Belle then noticed that a "ghost" was trying to free her, causing her to freak out. However, the "ghost" turned out to be Espio. The Chaotix subsequently bursted into Starline's hideout. Having gotten and secured the data he needed from Belle however, Starline smashed his computer and escaped the Chaotix using his Tricore. Vector tried afterward to comfort a heartbroken Belle by reassuring her that she was not alone and that her friends were waiting for her.[14]

Trial by Fire

Soon after, Belle came with Amy, Tangle and Jewel on a camping trip for some rest and relaxation, although Belle would be plagued by thoughts of recent events. Eventually arriving at the Forest Ridge Zone Campground, the group learned from the camp's ranger to careful with fire as the forest was dry this season. As Belle then helped set up camp, Amy would complain about how Tails forgot to pack basic essentials for them, like matches. To compensate for this, Belle reluctantly showed her that she had a build-in lighter. Later that night, Belle and the others had their futures predicted by Amy's fortune cards. However, when Amy hesitated to reveal Belle's future, Belle's clumsiness caused Amy to drop her card in the campfire. As compensation, Amy told Belle her future with a replacement card, but Belle did not believe what she told her. Later at night, Belle went for a walk, only discover a Sonic-shaped shrub and some noises. As she used her lighter to illuminate the surroundings, she got hit by a Moto Bug and knocked out cold with her lighter on.[6]

Personality

Belle has a good heart and loves helping out people by fixing things and solving problems.[4] However, while enthusiastic, she is rather clumsy and naive, which leads her into all kinds of trouble and mishaps. Apparently insecure, she tends to worry about what other people think of her.[13]

While Belle is quite shy and a bit timid, in the face of real danger, she is capable of leaping into action. Apparently a pacifist, she cannot fight, nor does she like it, so she tries her best to avoid conflict.[11] Also, being made of wood, Belle shows an aversion to fire. This also makes her reluctant to use her build-in lighter.[6]

Despite being outwardly helpful, Belle used to be rather uncomfortable speaking honestly about herself and unwilling to talk about her past, especially about her creator, Dr. Eggman.[4] After losing hope about reforming Eggman though, she lost all her reasons to keep her past hidden, leaving her willing to talk openly about it.[2]

Powers and abilities

Belle explains how her kicks work, from Sonic the Hedgehog #37.

Belle is quite flexible and has great reflexes, as she was able to successfully dodge all of Sonic's hand-to-hand combat attacks when they first met.[11]

Belle's fingers conceal various handyman tools inside them that she can reveal by opening her fingers.[3] Her tail also possesses a unique function that makes Belle kick outwards automatically when it is pulled.[11] This functionality can be used by Belle to make herself perform enhanced jumps or surprise kicks.[3][4]

Besides physical talents, Belle is a capable mechanic, being able to hotwire something as advanced as an Extreme Gear.[13] She is also able to read Dr. Eggman's blueprint ciphers perfectly.[4]

Relationships

Dr. Eggman

Eggman remembers Belle, from Sonic the Hedgehog #40.

When Dr. Eggman lost his memories and took on the persona of "Mr. Tinker" while at Windmill Village, he created Belle as an aide robot to help with his workshop endeavors. Mr. Tinker was very kind-hearted and affectionate to Belle which led to her to begin referring to him as her father. Soon, when Mr. Tinker went missing, Belle eventually learned that he was a monster in the form of Eggman all along. Belle did not believe this due to her love for her father and set out to find him or at least convince him to return to his kind personality.[14]

Despite Mr. Tinker and Eggman technically being the same person, Belle refuses to acknowledge Dr. Eggman himself as her creator.[4][14] Rather, she sees Eggman's Mr. Tinker's persona as her true father.

When she did end up finding him, Eggman showed no intention to return to his old ways and even showed a lack of care for his former feelings for Belle. This left Belle to be heartbroken and left with a longing for her old father's ways.[3][2][14]

Miles "Tails" Prower

Miles "Tails" Prower is an associate of Belle, whom she saw with Sonic when they were searching for data to fix Omega with. Tails was the only one who showed sympathy and affection towards her from the beginning. In fact, he presented himself to her without the slightest sign of spite from her, but with admiration from her for being a robot made of wood. Belle pushed Tails away from an Egg Keeper and got carried away in his place. In return, Tails freed Belle, before picking her up and asking her if she was okay. Cream's account of the release of Clutch's former Chao later convinced Tails that Belle would be useful to him in his workshop, so Belle accepted the request. Although he understood that she did not come by accident, but rather intentionally and that she could be a creation of Dr. Eggman's, Tails continues to believe in Belle's kindness and sincerity, in wanting to be of service and help Sonic and the others.[11][4]

Sonic the Hedgehog

Despite that she knows about Sonic the Hedgehog's "thing" with robots, Belle decided to follow him and Tails in the hope of finding her creator.[3] When they first met, Sonic treated her as most other Badniks he had faced and tried to destroy her until Tails interrupted them.[11] Sonic initially remained suspicious about Belle and her creator, but after seeing her and Tails help each other, he decided to trust Belle.[3] When Sonic later learned from Tails and Cream about how Belle had helped them, Sonic was convinced to apologize to Belle for having acted badly towards her and finally accepted her as an ally.[4]

Tangle the Lemur

Tangle comparing tails with Belle, from Sonic the Hedgehog #37.

Tangle the Lemur is Belle's colleague at the Restoration. She came to Belle's rescue on her first day at work and then helped integrate her into the crew. Tangle quickly became friends with Belle after learning of Belle's tail's function, which Tangle qualified as "weird". After that, Tangle named them "weird tail buddies."[13] Belle is comforted by Tangle's optimism and over-confidence despite her own awkwardness.[13] Belle was surprised when Tangle chose to trust her even after she was outed as a Badnik,[8] and she in turn chose to trust Tangle on her risky plan to rescue Sonic and co. from Eggman's test chambers in spite of initially protesting out of fear for her new friend's safety.[15]

Friends/allies

Neutral

Enemies

Quotes

"I-I¨m Belle. Nice to meet you...?"
—Belle's start-up routine quote, Sonic the Hedgehog #44
"...Oh, sawdust."
—One of Belle's catchphrases, Sonic the Hedgehog #34
"Gears and starters..."
—One of Belle's catchphrases, Sonic the Hedgehog #46

Trivia

Gallery

Concept artwork

Model sheet

Artwork

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Green, B.A.. IDW Sonic Panel Shows Off New Characters and Stories. Archived from the original on 17 October 2020. Retrieved on 17 October 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Sonic the Hedgehog #40, "Test Run, Part 4"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Sonic the Hedgehog #35, "Chao Races and Badnik Bases, Part 3"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Sonic the Hedgehog #36, "Chao Races and Badnik Bases, Part 4"
  5. Belle's model sheet.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Sonic the Hedgehog #45, “Trial by Fire, Part 1”
  7. Sonic the Hedgehog #35, "Roll Call"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Sonic the Hedgehog #38, "Test Run, Part 2"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Stanley, Evan (12 May 2021). Post on Draw many Cartoon. Tumblr. Archived from the original on 12 May 2021. Retrieved on 12 May 2021.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Stanley, Evan (8 October 2020). Post on Draw many Cartoon. Tumblr. Archived from the original on 12 May 2021. Retrieved on 19 March 2021.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 Sonic the Hedgehog #34, "Chao Races and Badnik Bases, Part 2"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Sonic the Hedgehog #33, "Chao Races and Badnik Bases, Part 1"
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 Sonic the Hedgehog #37, "Test Run, Part 1"
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 Sonic the Hedgehog #44, "Zeti Hunt, Part 4"
  15. 15.0 15.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #39, "Test Run, Part 3"
  16. Sonic the Hedgehog #42, "Zeti Hunt, Part 2"

External links

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