The Dark Freedom Fighters, or just the Freedom Fighters, is a group that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs. They were all that remained of a resistance army on Dark Mobius. Led by Jani-Ca, they strived to overthrow Dark Enerjak in hopes of restoring their world and returning the stolen Cores of his victims. These rebels became battle hardened and weary from their constant struggle against seemingly impossible odds. Though still determined to emerge victorious, their situation took a dire turn with the arrival of Silver the Hedgehog to their timeline as they were all but wiped out.
Formation and battles
All members of the Last Freedom Fighters originally were part of a much larger resistance movement as of 3262; a veritable Freedom Fighter army. Operating from a base with an undisclosed location on Angel Island, this group was formed under Julie-Su and her daughter Lara-Su when Knuckles lost control of his Chaos powers and conquered the Dark Legion's nation, proceeding to do the same with the rest of Mobius. The former Knuckles had taken on the persona of Enerjak at this point, but despite the great power at his disposal, the resistance army was quite successful at first and nearly managed to defeat him. At the same time while Sally Acorn was looking for the Sword of Acorns and making alliances, Sonic the Hedgehog had a different plan: to use the Chaos Emerald to go super, and stop Knuckles in a head-on confrontation. He succeeded in obtaining the seven gems, and was able to become Super Sonic, but the battle's outcome was a turn for the worst.
In the end, Knuckles bested and de-cored Super Sonic. He then took the Chaos Emeralds so that his power would remain unrivaled, and soundly struck down his remaining opponents. Having basically won, Enerjak created a new army from his fallen enemies by extracting the concentrated life-force from their bodies and turning them into his Prelate soldiers. Though the Freedom Fighters did fight back against the Prelates, it became increasingly frustrating for them to know they were striking at former friends and family, especially when Enerjak could just reuse their cores even after the bodies had been destroyed. In the time that passed since their movement was crushed, many more Freedom Fighters and their allies were reduced to empty husks until practically no form of resistance was left. All that remained from this blow were a few surviving rebels that hid in Nekronopolis' sewer system and employed geurilla tactics in order to last as long as they could. They also recruited the medical talents of Sir Charles Hedgehog and employed Nack the Weasel to aide them in finding the Dark Mobius. Though their numbers had dwindled to almost nothing, they were still able to develop a rough plan for victory under their de-facto leader "Jani-Ca" once they had the Sword- to wait for Enerjak to lower his guard and then use its magic to drain away his powers.
The Silver Saga
By the year 3267, the Last Freedom Fighters were the only free people left to continue the fight, unaware that Enerjak had allowed this so as to provide himself with some form of entertainment. This changed however, when a noticeable topside disturbance got their attention one day and they went to investigate. After arriving at the site of the commotion, they found Prelates were on the attack against something and took advantage of their distraction. In one move, Demo Duck was able to cut their numbers in half by bombing the three flying prelates as they converged on a single spot. Because of the sneak attack, the remaining three Prelates were caught off-guard and quickly destroyed by the others. Once the fight was over, Scarlette Rabbot discovered what the Prelates were after: a young hedgehog whom the others assumed to be a survivor and brought before Jani-Ca. Introducing himself as Silver, the rebels were then shocked to hear him address their leader by her real name, and Blockbuster had to restrain her from running him through. They initially thought Silver was crazy when he explained he had come from another timeline into theirs, but Jani-Ca believed him and brought him along as they retreated back underground.
Once back in their base, they explained their plan for defeating Enerjak to Silver and seemed quite hopeful, but that abruptly ended when Enerjak revealed himself, saying he always knew where they were as he brought their hideout down around them. They were able to escape by linking hands with Silver as he levitated them outside while Demo cleared a path, but were then caught in Enerjak's Chaos power. Once Silver broke free of the hold over himself, he landed the Freedom Fighters to safety as Enerjak watched, claiming Silver had made their entertainment value moot. Deciding to give them a "fair fight" for their bravado, Enerjak summoned a series of cores that reformed into Prelates, and the rebels began a desperate last stand against their new and fully charged enemies.
Taken by surprise like their opponents earlier, the Freedom Fighters were hard-pressed to counter the Prelates' attack and became separated from each other in one-on-one fights that they gradually started to lose. Only once Silver brought Jani-Ca around to aiding her team in their fights were they able to gain the advantage and destroy the Prelates one at a time, while Silver collected their cores to prevent Enerjak from reusing them. After they argued over what to do with the cores while attempting to retreat, Enerjak approached and applauded them for their entertaining battle. Recognizing that he was going on the offensive, the rebels attempted to flee, but it was for naught as Enerjak caught and removed the core of each one until only Jani-Ca was left. As Silver went alone into a massive final battle against the crazed demigod, Jani-Ca gathered up her friends’ lifeless bodies, promising to return their cores soon with Enerjak’s defeat.
- The Dark Freedom Fighters is referred to in-story only as "the Freedom Fighters" or "the rebels;" the name "Alternate Freedom Fighters" was used by editor Paul Kaminski in his column. They are introduced to readers by the narrator as "the Last Freedom Fighters" in the opening splash page of Sonic Universe #27. Later, starting in one of writer Ian Flynn's official blogs, they are referred to as "the Dark Freedom Fighters."
- While Jani-Ca had previously been introduced as the first version of Lara-Su, the other Dark Freedom Fighters were based on characters from Ian Flynn's fan comic Other-M. These in turn were altered versions of Sonic the Hedgehog characters from the Sega games, the Sonic the Hedgehog television series, and the Archie comics:
- Dagger Walrus/Rotor Walrus-new name reflects use of dagger weapons.
- Demo Duck/Bean the Dynamite-new name references demolition expert skills while addressing Demo by his species.
- Scarlette Rabbot-new name was taken from a cancelled storyline idea.
- Blockbuster Polar Bear/Bark the Polar Bear-new name refers to character's enhanced strength.
- Cutlass Depardieu/Antoine D'Coolette-an older version of Antoine using Antoine's surname in the Sonic the Hedgehog television series.
- Payback Fox-new name reflects her ability to reflect attacks thrown at her.
- The Dark Freedom Fighters―Payback. Archie Comics.
- Dark Mobus―Jani-Ca's ascent. Archie Comics.
- Sonic Universe #26, "Fractured Mirror Part Two: Warped Reflections"
- Dark Mobius - Knuckles' Descent
- Sonic Universe #28, "Fractured Mirror The Finale: Picking up the Pieces"
- Sonic Universe #27, "Fractured Mirror Part Three: Shattered"