Did the Gaia Manuscripts say anything about a sickness coming out of the earth?
Hmm... Actually, I believe so! Something about a "Dark Gaia" that instigated corruption and the supposed destruction of the world. A rather nasty, malevolent deity.
— Sir Charles the Hedgehog and Professor Dillon Pickle, Sonic the Hedgehog #259
Dark Gaia is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. It is a malevolent primordial deity residing beneath the surface of Sonic's World which instigates corruption and the supposed destruction of the world. It has been in an eternal conflict with Light Gaia. Together, they maintain a cycle of destruction and rebirth of the planet.
According to Professor Pickle, Dark Gaia has throughout history caused Sonic's World to break up into fragments every ten thousand years. Every time it awakens though, Light Gaia engages Dark Gaia in a fight that lasts centuries, until he seals himself and Dark Gaia in the planet's core again where they will rest until their next battle.
Shattered World Crisis
When the Shattered World Crisis occurred, Dark Gaia was believed to be the cause of it. However, Tikal indicated that the breaking of Sonic's World following the Super Genesis Wave was an acceleration of Dark Gaia's natural cycle, which happened prior to its proper time. As a result, Light Gaia was left weakened and unprepared for the task that lay ahead of it. Additionally, portions of the creature's energy began seeping through the cracks in the planet, and some coalesced into Dark Gaia Creatures.
After Sonic beat Dr. Eggman's Egg Dragoon, Dark Gaia finally regained its consciousness thanks to Eggman gathering its fragments with the Summoning Spire. Now strong enough on its own, it began reabsorbing its energies from across the globe, allowing to mature from its incomplete state into its "perfect form". Before it could set out to destroy all life on the planet, though, Super Sonic and the Gaia Colossus defeated it.
Powers and abilities
Dark Gaia is capable of exerting its essence as a corruptive, yet potent energy gas referred to as Dark Gaia energy. This energy is capable of causing mutations at night, blocking spirits, and enhancing negative feelings. When coalescing, it can also create hostile monsters.
Perfect Dark Gaia
When reaching full physical maturity, Dark Gaia transforms into Perfect Dark Gaia, the beast's actual form. In this form, Dark Gaia can generate a gigantic energy shield by its serpent-like growths. Additionally, it can fight on equal grounds and even overpower the Gaia Colossus, and launch energy beams that can bypass even Super Sonic's nigh-invulnerability.
- Dark Gaia was first mentioned in the Archie Comics in Sonic the Hedgehog #197, though it did not make an appearance and was only referred to as "it"; this is likely because the story in which it was featured in was merely a promo for Sonic Unleashed. It was first in Sonic the Hedgehog #259 that Dark Gaia made an appearance in the Archie Comics as an illustration in the Gaia Manuscripts.
- When Amy Rose met Sonic the Hedgehog for the first time at Never Lake, an illustration that heavily resembled Dark Gaia (as well as Chip) could be seen on one of her tarrot cards (the same set that allegedly predicted her first meeting with Sonic), possibly foreshadowing the beast's eventual awakening.
- Unlike Sonic Unleashed, the game from which Dark Gaia originates, it is not fought in its immature form, but instead becomes Perfect Dark Gaia directly.
- Sonic the Hedgehog #259, "The Chase: Part Two"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #286, "Panic in the Sky Part Three: Colossal Crash"
- Sonic Universe #63, "The Great Chaos Caper Part One: On the Hunt"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #287, "Panic in the Sky Part Four: Finale - As Was Foretold"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #263, "Waves of Change - Part Four: Divine Waters"
- Sonic Universe #73, "Spark of Life Part Three"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #262, "Waves of Change Part Three: Terror in the Deep"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #290, "Genesis Of A Hero Part Three: Sonic's Cease & Desist"