Bow Sparrow is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. He is a Mobian sparrow and a member of the Mercian Freedom Fighters, who rose to temporarily leadership of the group following Rob o' the Hedge and his family's departure.
Concept and creation
Bow was created as a last-minute replacement for Rob o' the Hedge as a result of Ken Penders's lawsuit which cost Archie Comics their usage of all his characters, including Rob. As such, these two characters bear many similarities, as Bow fills many of the roles Rob would otherwise have.
Bow Sparrow, as his name suggests, is an anthropomorphic sparrow with light brown and tan feathers, three tail feathers and light brown irises with black pupils. He has two shoulder-wings on each arm, colored tan. He has two hair-like whips with the tip colored tan. Bow has chest-feathers, which are colored white. Having a red vest with black edge-stripes, Bow's vest covers the lower half of his torso. He also wears brown boots with red plating on the front and back, belts around his waist and boots, and brown gloves. Bow also has a set of arrows and a bow strapped on his back.
Early in his life, Bow was captured by the Mercia Dark Egg Legion and sent to Snottingham Castle until he was rescued by Rob o' the Hedge. Grateful and obedient to Rob, Bow considered Rob his mentor and became a member of the Mercian Freedom Fighters, defending the Kingdom of Mercia from various threats. Bow later carried on Rob's position as leader of the Mercian Freedom Fighters when the hedgehog went to hide and protect his family from danger. Since then, Bow "carried on the King's speech in his memory" while continuing the fight against the Eggman Empire, particularly the Mercia Dark Egg Legion.
Sometime after Rob's departure, Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel had traveled to Mercia after Mighty's sister, Matilda the Armadillo, was confirmed to be alive. As Mighty and Ray were ambushed by G.O.O.N. robots, they quickly disposed of them. Bow had found the two Chaotix members and pledge to serve the two since Bow knew about Mighty's parents and the armadillo's rough past, but Mighty shook that aside and told Bow that what happened is what happened. Mighty, Ray, Bow, and the sparrow's Freedom Fighters–Thorn the Lop, Munch Rat, Alan Quail, and Friar Buck–had planned to raid the Snottingham Castle, but when the Mercia Dark Egg Legion forces ambushed the Deerwood Forest Hideaway, the heroes had halted their raiding of the castle and decided to deal with the enemies. Bow had told Mighty and Ray in the duration of the fight to go find the armadillo's sister, in which, reluctantly, Mighty and Ray left the fight to find Matilda.
Days later, Chaotix members Vector the Crocodile, Espio the Chameleon, and Charmy Bee had went to Mercia to find Mighty and Ray after letters from the two stopped coming and the Warp Ring used by Mighty and Ray was sent back to the rest of the Chaotix. However, the three Chaotix members were ambushed by G.O.O.N. robots and Mercia Dark Egg Legion forces, but, fortunately, Bow and his team arrived to help the Chaotix. Asking where Mighty and Ray where at, the Chaotix were taken to Hideaway where Bow explained that Mighty and Ray did come here earlier, but left to the Snottingham Castle. Thus, the next night, the Chaotix and the Mercia Freedom Fighters infiltrated the castle, but unbeknownst to the heroes, Lord Mordred Hood, Grandmaster of the Mercia Dark Egg Legion, was spying on them.
Thus, Bow, the Chaotix, and the rest of the Mercia Freedom Fighters traveled inside the castle. Whereas the Chaotix decided to find the computer room to look up information about Mighty's sister and Mighty's whereabouts, Bow and his team will rescue the prisoners inside the castle. The Mercia Freedom Fighters were able to sneak inside and free the prisoners, but they were caught by Lord Hood and his minions. Bow had shot an arrow at Hood, but the snake was able to dodge it. However, the arrow, being explosive, caused an explosion to occur behind Hood. As Hood used his hypnosis to attempt to defeat Bow and his team, Vector and Charmy came in to stop Hood and to bring Bow, his team, and the rest of the prisoners to the gates of the castle, where Espio would meet them with the information about Matilda thanks to the Eggnet. The Chaotix, the Mercia Freedom Fighters, and the rest of the prisoners escaped from the castle via Warp Ring right before G.O.O.N. robots and Dark Egg Legion soldiers arrived to captured them.
Later that night, as the rescued people celebrated with the Freedom Fighters and Chaotix, Bow told Espio that their debt of honor is to the Chaotix. But, Bow asked if Rob and his family where at and their status, in which Espio replied that they are free from Eggman's forces, since the evil forces have no clue where Rob is at. Bow then tells the Chaotix a bittersweet good bye and good luck on their journey to find Mighty and Ray the day after the heroes rescued the people from Snottingham Castle.
- Note: From this point, Bow's history continues from his new life in the altered timeline.
Bow is friendly and easy-going, as he let the Chaotix stay at their hideout with hardly any questions asked. He also has a spirit of joyous good-fellowship as he immediately joined Alan Quail when the latter begins a song.
Having been saved by Rob o' the Hedge early in life, Bow is strongly loyal and respective towards Rob, so much that Bow changed his dialect out of respect into one much similar to Rob's, dubbed "the king's speech". However, Bow seems to have trouble sometimes speaking in this dialect. This respect has also made him very dutiful, making him carry a heavy burden of responsibility, including knowledge of unpleasant events preceding Rob's rule in Mercia.
Powers and abilities
Like Rob, Bow is an expert archer with amazing accuracy, and his skills let him handle a variety of different arrows with ease.
Bow possesses a fairly standard medium-sized bow and carries with him a number of arrows with different features, such as regular arrows, arrows with TNT heads and arrows with boxing glove attachments.
- Bow's name is a reference to both his archery ability and his species.
- In Sonic Universe #46, it was stated in the Sonic Spin editor commentary that "Bow looks like a dashing ROGUE of sorts," hinting that Bow might have a relation to Jet the Hawk of the Babylon Rogues due to their similar appearance. Editorial commenter Paul Kaminski also stated that clue hunters needed to be on the lookout for Bow in the future.
- Bow knows the information of the past of the Kingdom of Mercia, namely the execution of Mighty's parents and Mighty's exile from the kingdom after his demonstration of power.
- He would be the replacement for Rob o' the Hedge, due to Ken Penders' legal cases, in "The Chaotix Quest Arc" since both being leaders of the Mercian Freedom Fighters (though Bow is only in temporal leadership when Rob is not around) have spiky hair, archery skills, and almost the same clothing.
- Tracy Yardley (11 April 2013). 47 Cover Pencil 1. Deviantart. Retrieved on 7 February 2014.
- Sonic Universe #47 - "All For One - Part Two: Ongoing Investigation"
- Sonic Universe #46 - "All For One- Part One: Picking Up The Trail"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #212 - "The Roads We Take"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #185, "Mogul Rising - Part One: Needful Things"