The Dark Legion is a group that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. It was a technocratic organization formed by Dimitri's son Menniker after the echidnas' society on Angel Island renounced technology. While originally the organization was continually hostile towards their other Echidna brethren, recently they had acted as the protectors of the surviving Echidnas on Angel Island from the Dr. Eggman-backed Dingoes.
The Legion temporarily splintered into two factions, the Flame Legion and the Frost Legion as a result of a power struggle between Lien-Da and Remington. However, upon the return of Enerjak, the factions unified against their common foe. Enerjak used his powers to completly rid them of their technological enhancements, and many of the former members were transported to Albion with the few surviving Angel Island Echidnas. Those who missed their technology remained loyal to Lien-Da and followed her to Dr. Eggman, where they swore their loyalty to him in exchange for technological implants and power and were renamed as the Dark Egg Legion. Following Eggman's descent into insanity, they became soldiers under the Iron Dominion, but returned to their previous allegiance after their joint occupation with the Dominion of New Mobotropolis was defeated by the Freedom Fighters.
Foundations and early attacks
Founded by Menniker, son of Dimitri, the Dark Legion was originally made up of a group of disgruntled Echidnas opposed to the High Council of Echidnaopolis's ban on excess technology. The Dark Legion began open warfare on Echidnaopolis, beginning a civil war which would not stop until one side emerged victorious. After killing Edmund, Steppenwolf- the son of Edmund and second Guardian- engaged Menniker in mortal combat. Before the other members of the Legion were able to act, Steppenwolf used his Chaos powers to banish Menniker and the Dark Legion to the Twilight Cage, a realm where time passed differently than on Mobius, resulting in four Mobian generations to every single Dark Legion one.
During their time in the Twilight Cage, the Dark Legion ran afoul of another clan of Echidnas from Mobius called the Nocturnus Clan, who controlled the Zone and the other races within, although the Nocturnus leader Pir'Oth Ix chose to shun them due to their inferior technology. Thanks to stolen Nocturnus technology, during Moonwatcher's tenure as Guardian, the Dark Legion managed to escape from the Twilight Zone and attack. However, they were repelled and forced back into their prison zone.
Some generations later, after the birth of the Guardians Harlan, Rembrandt, Aaron and Jordan, Menniker and a few members of the Dark Legion managed to escape the Twilight Zone. Teaming up with a group of Overlanders, Menniker procured a nuclear missile, hoping to strike down the Floating Island. Aaron, who was currently on the planet's surface, discovered Menniker and his plot. One of the Overlanders launched the missile, but Aaron leaped on and began to disable it. Menniker managed to grab a hold of Aaron before the missile took off; ordering him not to try to meddle with the bomb or it would explode. When Aaron discovered this, he deliberately set off the missile, ending its threat to the Floating Island and Menniker's life at the cost of his own.
Following the death of Menniker, the Dark Legion was lead by his son, Moritori Rex. The new Grandmaster devised a means to observe Mobius from the Twilight Zone, and used this knowledge to attack the vulnerable Echidnaopolis when the current Guardian Hawking was absent and his inexperienced son Tobor was acting Guardian. Although the Dark Legion's invasion was pushed back, Moritori's attack turned out to be a means to wound Tobor and himself so that Hawking would accidentally rescue him. His plan worked, and Moritori had now infiltrated the Brotherhood of Guardians and their base of operations: Haven. For many decades, Moritori provided strategic information to the Dark Legion about the Brotherhood, and managed to sabotage Haven so that his identity was not discovered. He also managed to abduct Spectre and turn him over to the rest of the Legion, hoping to sway the Guardian over to their side, but Spectre escaped captivity and returned home.
During Luger's tenure as Grandmaster, the Dark Legion again managed to escape from the Twilight Zone, this time on two separate occasions. The first was turned back by the Guardian Thunderhawk while Luger was in his youth. Luger later launched a brief second invasion. However, for some unknown reason, the Prime Zone environment proved inhospitable to Luger's wife Merin-Da, and Luger willingly sent the Dark Legion back to their former zone. This proved futile however, and Merin-Da died of her illnesses, emotionally ruining Luger and left his two children motherless.
Escape from the Twilight Cage
After Dr. Ivo Robotnik's Ultimate Annihilator was fired, the dimensional barriers between the Twilight Zone, Mobius and the Pocket Zone which Echidnaopolis had existed in for over 200 years ceased to exist. This enabled the Dark Legion's freedom and their current leader and Grandmaster, Kragok, began an all-out invasion of the Floating Island. The current Guardian, Knuckles, with the help of the Chaotix, managed to blunt their attack. They then proceeded to attack the Dark Legion's base of operations, the Grand Conservatory. With their main hideout discovered and their forces spread out, Kragok's plans were put on hold.
Change of command
Due to unknown assistance from Mammoth Mogul, the rocket carrying the super being Enerjak returned to Mobius. As Kragok was giving a speech to the Dark Legion Enerjak appeared and revealed himself to be none other than Dimitri. Kragok then turned control of the Legion over to him, and prepared his troops for the coming invasion of Echidnaopolis. In a short time Enerjak removed any resistance from his old enemies the Fire Ants. Capturing the Chaotix and Knuckles, Enerjak tormented the guardian for awhile before disposing of him in a seemingly fatal manner. Afterwards Enerjak conjured a bridge directly into the city, allowing the legion to invade en masse.
Due to Enerjak's vast powers, the Dark Legion was able to plow directly into Echidnaopolis. The combined might of the Echidna Security Team and the Dingoes nearly forced them out, but Enerjak used his powered to disable his enemies' weapons. While Enerjak announced the Dark Legion's victory, Mammoth Mogul teleported him mid-sentence to somewhere high above the city. Before Enerjak knew what had happened, Mogul drained his powers using the Sword of Acorns. Without the Chaos Emeralds' powers to sustain him, Enerjak was reduced to the 400-year old Echidna scientist. He was saved by Knuckles before he fell to his death, and while Knuckles was distracted, a group of Dark Legionnaires rescued the now-dieing Dimitri. While Dimitri and a large amount of the Dark Legion managed to escape, Kragok and other Legionnaires were not as fortunate, and were imprisoned by the E.S.T.
Later, Dimitri revealed that he was still alive, with the majority of his body replaced with cybernetic implants and mechanical parts. Rather than attempt to take over the city, Dimitri decided to try something new. He had a group of Legionnaires capture the High Councillor Pravda and implant a chip in his brain which would allow the Dark Legion to control him. They then had Pravda appoint their android agent Benedict as his replacement and the new candidate in the upcoming election so that the Dark Legion would have a solid place in Echidnaopolis' politics. In addition to this, Xenin, one of Dimitri's best agents, had captured Knuckles, Julie-Su and General Von Stryker so that they would be unable to reveal his plans to the public. Dimitri had also hoped to extract Knuckles' chaos powers to extend his life and possibly restore himself to his Enerjak persona. Dimitri's plans were set back when Knuckles generated an electromagnetic pulse, which destroyed Benedict. However, because Benedict won the election, Dimitri had a replacement candidate take his place.
The Quantum Beam
Tired of his numerous failed attempts to retake Echidnaopolis and the Floating Island, Dimitri came up with a new strategy. He used his forces at the Grand Conservatory to distract both the Brotherhood of Guardians and the Chaotix, while his Battle Cruiser fired the Quantum Beam, which teleported the entire Floating Island's population to another zone. With the island now completely void of life, the Dark Legion had free reign.
Dimitri spent the next few days having his troops search through the vacant city for any signs of life or resistance. Before he had the chance to reclaim the city, however, Dimitri made a deal with Knuckles, who at this point was currently a living Chaos Emerald known as Chaos Knuckles. Knuckles would join the Dark Legion, and in exchange, Dimitri would reverse the effects of the Quantum Beam. Knuckles agreed, but just as Dimitri was preparing to restore the Echidnas back to this zone, Tobor and Kragok emerged from the Twilight Cage. The first firing of the Quantum Beam had resulted in a tearing of the fabric of space and time, which allowed the two to finally escape. However, Tobor sacrificed his life by slamming Kragok and himself into the cruiser, resulting in the temporary malfunction of the Quantum Beam. Knuckles then used his own powers to reverse the effects of the Quantum Beam, restoring all the Floating Island's inhabitants.
Change in policy
Dimitri, having slowly regained his former mindset, which had been corrupted by the vast amount of Chaos energies he had absorbed 400 years ago to become Enerjak, finally had a change of heart. Rather than continue the centuries-old feud between the Dark Legion and the rest of the Angel Island Echidnas, Dimitri attempted to bridge the gap between his people after Knuckles restored them to the Floating Island. He went to the Echidna Council and spoke to the Mitre, the religious leader of the Council, and attempted to arrange the merging of the splintered society. During this meeting, Lien-Da hired one of the councilors to make an assassination attempt on Dimitri, as she was opposed to the reunification policy. However, the assassination failed when Chaos Knuckles took the hit. Lien-Da's plans to use Syntar to assassinate the hired gun to ensure he could not divulge any information, and Julie-Su, were also thwarted by Lara-Su.
Shortly afterwards, Dimitri's health took a turn for the worse as he was rendered immobilized and forced to remain attached to a life support system. Sensing that Knuckles would use his powers to save his life, Dimitri forced his great-great-granddaughter Lien-Da to promise not to act against Knuckles or interfere.
Before the High Council had the chance to make a decision regarding the reunification, Mammoth Mogul returned. He used Dimitri as a hostage, luring Knuckles into a trap so that he could use his own version of the Chaos Syphon to drain his powers and become omnipotent once again. Knuckles managed to save Dimitri, whose life support was terminated by Mogul, but was killed in the process. With his health still declining, Dimitri turned to the mysterious Dr. Finitevus in desperation for help. The mad scientist removed Dimitri's head from his body and preserved it in a glass ball, saving Dimitri. This was only a temporary solution, and Finitevus promised to use the Master Emerald to restore Dimitri to his Enerjak form.
With Dimitri's disappearance, Lien-Da took command of the Dark Legion. Shortly after this, the alien race known as the Xorda attacked Mobius, threatening to destroy all life on the planet. The Dark Legion teamed up with the Dingoes and the E.S.T. to combat the global threat, along with almost every other force on the planet, including the Freedom Fighters and Dr. Eggman. After the Xorda's final attack with the Quantum Dial was thwarted, the hero of Mobius, Sonic the Hedgehog, was presumed to have died. Dr. Eggman used this opportunity to re-establish a global empire.
Dr. Eggman made a deal with the Dingoes: in exchange for becoming his enforcers and servants, the Dingoes would receive supplies and backing from the newly formed Eggman Empire. Having loathed the Echidnas for hundreds of years, the Dingoes agreed, and managed to take over Angel Island. The Brotherhood of Guardians fought to hold off the Dingoes while the Master Emerald was hidden away by Locke. Realizing he alone could not protect the Master Emerald, Locke entrusted its protection to Lien-Da and the Dark Legion. After Locke was captured, the Dark Legion remained as the free Echidnas' defenders and the resistance against the Dingo Regime.
The schism and civil war
A few months after Locke's rescue, conflict arose within the Dark Legion. Having been secretly healed back to health by Dr. Finitevus and informed of his heritage, Remington contested Lien-Da's leadership for the Dark Legion, as he is former Grandmaster Kragok's son. As a result, the Dark Legion skirmished into two factions, the Flame Legion, which remained loyal to Lien-Da, and the Frost Legion, which supported Remington. The two factions became engaged in civil war, leaving the free Echidnas easy pray for the Dingoes and defended only by Locke. Locke was forced to accept the help of Dr. Finitevus and his new minions, the Destructix, to protect the Master Emerald and the Echidnas whilst he searched for the Brotherhood of Guardians, who had gone missing since Eggman's takeover of Angel Island.
Hostilities between the two factions ceased when Dr. Finitevus convinced the two Grandmasters they could use the power of the Master Emerald to crush the Dingo Regime. Once Finitevus had used the Dark Legion's forces to bring him Knuckles, he allowed the current Guardian to absorb all of the Master Emerald's energy for himself to become the new Enerjak. Realizing that Dr. Finitevus was using Knuckles to become the new Enerjak and excluding both of them from his plans, Remington and Lien-Da put aside their differences, united the Flame and Frost Legions and mounted an assult on Finitevus and the new Enerjak.
Reformation and aftermath
With Enerjak's return, the Dark Legion factions found themselves trying to combat the demigod. However, Enerjak's power proved far too much for the Legion's weaponry, and as part of his plan to restore Echidnas to their former glory, Enerjak used his Chaos powers to remove all cybernetic enhancements from all Legionnaires, as well as restoring Remmington's lost memory. Enerjak went on to teleport all of the Echidnas to Albion, with the exception of Lien-Da and her few loyal followers, who were enraged at the loss of their cybernetic enhancements.
After the devastating attack by Enerjak, Lien-Da sought out the help of Dr. Eggman to restore the Dark Legion's cybernetics as well as her level of authority and power. After allying with Eggman and submitting to his rule, Lien-Da found out that Dimitri had already been promised the role of Grandmaster over the rechristened "Dark Egg Legion". The Legion continued in Eggman's service for some time, until Thrash the Tasmanian Devil managed to banish them all through a super-charged Warp Ring after their attempt to take over Albion.
Almost every Dark Legionnaire is equipped with an energy blaster, either in the form of a pistol or rifle.
The Dark Legion's main method of long-range transportation are hovercrafts. These crafts are typically capable of carrying up to 5 passengers. They appear to have limited weapons themselves however, usually relying on their passengers to shoot. The Dark Legion also imploys heavy tanks, which use powerful energy blasts.
The Dark Legion's understanding of technology is on par with, if not superior to, Dr. Eggman's. Every Dark Legionnaire has some portion of their body exchanged for a robotic replacement. Some Legionnaires go so far as to have the vast majority of themself replaced with mechanical limbs and parts, such as Xenin. Additionally, all Legionnaires have a memory chip implanted in their brains at birth, which can be used to terminate one's memories. Most surviving Legionnaires had their cybernetics removed by Enerjak, but they were replaced by new ones developed by Eggman, who also implanted explosives in them as insurance against the Legion's rebellion.
Originally, Mechanauts were labour robots meant to serve the Echidna people. However, when Dimitri became Enerjak, he reprogrammed them into war machines with the intent of forcing his will upon the beings the Mechanauts had been intended to serve. The Mechanauts became more like SWATbots, enforcing order on those who resisted, though the majority of them were apparently placed in storage when changes in Echidna society outlawed nonessential technology. Resisting the changes to their way of life, the Dark Legion assembled their own warlike Mechanauts, and these robots came with them after the Ultimate Annihilator allowed them to make their final escape from the Twilight Zone. The Mechanauts have not been seen since Knuckles' initial encounter with the Dark Legion, although they were present during the time Dimitri temporarily reformed Nekronopolis and his citadel into a full city and not just a lone tower.
Fire and ice
The Flame Legion appeared to be equipped with flame-based swords while the Frost Legion was armed with liquid nitrogen freezing beams. Either weapon was held by a large number of the Legionnaires during the Dingo occupation and before their civil war and designated the bearer as an appropriately named "Furnace Trooper" or "Cryo Trooper."
- The Dark Legion banner has a recolored Sega Saturn logo on it.
- Regi-Na's name is an alternate form of Regina, a name that means "Queen," and which she shares with the Iron Queen. Her name is likely a play on her husband's, as "Rex" is Latin for king.
- Eli-Za has the most information about her history available of any spouse to a Grandmaster of the Dark Legion. It is unknown what became of Eli-Za after she and Remington became full citizens of Echidnaopolis. Her current status remains unknown.
- The Dark Legion and its background appear to have served as a source of inspiration for the Nocturnus Clan in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.
- As a result of Enerjak's actions, only a handful of Echidnas still carry original Dark Legion cybernetics. This group includes:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Knuckles the Echidna #1, "The Dark Legion Book One: Army of Darkness"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Knuckles the Echidna #3, "Blood is Thicker"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Knuckles the Echidna #2, "Sins of the Fathers"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Knuckles the Echidna #18, "Debt of Honor"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia, "Nocturnus Clan"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia, "Twilight Cage"
- ↑ Knuckles the Echidna #25, "Childhood's End"
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Knuckles the Echidna #16, "Reunions"
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Knuckles the Echidna #17, "The Guardian who Failed!!!"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia, "The Dark Legion"
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia, "The Brotherhood of Guardians"
- ↑ Sonic Super Special #11, "Shadows"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia, "Ultimate Annihilator"
- ↑ Knuckles the Echidna #7, "Dark Vengance Part One of Three: Deadly Homecoming"
- ↑ Knuckles the Echidna #8, "Dark Vengance Part Two of Three: The Gauntlet"
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Knuckles the Echidna #9, "Dark Vengeance Part Three of Three: Twilight of the Titans"
- ↑ Knuckles the Echidna #22, "Dark Alliance Part One of Three: Revolution..."
- ↑ Knuckles the Echidna #23, "Dark Alliance Part Two of Three: Election Night"
- ↑ Knuckles the Echidna #24, "Dark Alliance Part Two of Three: Primary Evil"
- ↑ Sonic Super Special #14, "Best of Times, Worst of Times"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #100, "Welcome to the Dark Side!"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #101, "Reboot"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #106, "Reunification Part 1"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #107, "Reunification Part II"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #108, "Reunification Part 3"
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #109, "Reunification: The Conclusion"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #114, "Ultimate Power Part One"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #117, "Ultimate Power Part Three"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #118, "Ultimate Power Part Four"
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #171, "Enforcers"
- ↑ 31.0 31.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #180, "Preparations For War"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #125, "Sonic Adventure 2.5: Omega"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #130, "Home Part 1 of 4: The Blue Blur Returns!"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #139, "Return to Angel Island Part 2: Avatar"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #140, "Return to Angel Island Part 3: How Many Echidnas Does It Take to Protect a Master Emerald?"
- ↑ 36.0 36.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #181, "Undone"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #183, "Desperate Times"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #183, "Ashes and Dust"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #165, "Call of Duty"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #181, "Enerjak: Reborn Chapter One: Rising Evil"
- ↑ 41.0 41.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #184, "Anything"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #244, "Endangered Species Part Two: Extinction Event"