Doctor Ivo Robotnik (born day 253, 3189 – died day 164, 3235), formerly known as Julian Kintobor from the House of Ivo, is the former primary antagonist of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. He was a brilliant yet power-hungry mad scientist within the Overlander community until his twisted experiments landed him in prison. He managed to escape, forced to flee for his life and seek sanctuary among his people's sworn enemies: the Mobians. In exchange for his safety, Robotnik offered his services to Mobian King Maximillian, providing tactical information and decisive military leadership (with Robotnik being appointed the Royal Army's Warlord upon gaining the King's confidence) to bring an end to the Great War and drive the Overlanders off Mobius altogether, while also secretly planning his rise to power. Shortly afterward, Robotnik made his move and constructed mass robotic armies to lead a successful coup against the kingdom, overthrowing the monarchy and becoming the tyrannical and despotic dictator of Mobius for the next ten years during a conflict known as the First Robotnik War.
Eventually, Robotnik's efforts to pacify the Freedom Fighter groups on Mobius led him to become obsessed with defeating the greatest of their number: Sonic the Hedgehog. This obsession led to his death, as he was killed in combat with Sonic during the conclusion of his greatest and most terrible plan, Operation: EndGame, when his nephew and lackey, Snively, re-programmed his Ultimate Annihilator to erase him from existence. He was succeeded by his alternate-future counterpart, Robo-Robotnik v2.0, later known as Dr. Eggman.
Robotnik was a tall Overlander of imposing girth with a shaven head, dark orange mustache, and black eyes with crimson irises. His usual attire was a sleeveless, red jumpsuit with yellow lines spanning up, down, and around his body, wide shoulder pads, a yellow cape, and gray boots. On multiple occasions in his career he donned a militaristic uniform consisting of a red coat, smaller shoulder pads, and gray pants. It was in this outfit he confronted the Original Freedom Fighters and led his Combot Army. Robotnik was also partially Roboticized, resulting in his left arm from the shoulder and down to be completely robotic.
Dr. Robotnik began his existence as Julian Kintobor from the House of Ivo, born in the city of Megapolis. Growing up Julian considered his older brother Colin "annoying", due to his teasing attitude and having him received more attention from their parents. He studied under the genius scientist, Dr. Nate Morgan for an extended period of time. Once his mentor passed unto him everything he knew, Julian conspired against Morgan and had him banished, allowing Julian full control of his laboratory.
During the breakout of the Great War between the Mobians and Overlanders, Julian worked as a high-profile weapons engineer for the Overlander armies at the request of the Ministry of Conflict, brainstorming the most sophisticated military hardware in history, including his first robot programmed with artificial intelligence, King Gong, and the creation of the first prototype of the Ultimate Annihilator, which would result in his death many years later. However, Julian's methods were put into question when it was revealed that he utilized live Overlander test subjects to perfect his weaponry. He was tried in court by the Minister of Justice, his own brother, and sentenced to ten years of imprisonment. This experience also weakened Colin and Julian's already strained relationship.
Warlord of the Kingdom of Acorn
Sometime after his arrest, Julian somehow escaped confinement. After barely evading a death squad sent after him, Julian made it to the Badlands and found himself rescued by Jules and Sir Charles. The brothers brought him to the Kingdom of Acorn, where he was welcomed. In gratitude, Julian swore allegiance to King Maximillian Acorn and pledged to impart inside knowledge on the Overlanders to turn the tide of the war. In addition to the Royal Family, a titled "Warlord" was charged with overseeing military matters. The Warlord at the time of Julian's arrival was a scheming Kodos Lion, who, despite his hatred for Overlanders, taught Julian everything about battlefield tactics. During a look over Ixis Naugus' former residence, Kodos tried to take Julian under his wing in a plot to overthrow King Maximillian, the Overlander Overlord and rule Mobius. Kodos planned to stage a coup and send his enemies to the Zone of Silence. Julian was enamored by the idea of conquering the world, but decided he did not want to share power. Instead, he used the Atomic Mace, a weapon Naugus created, to knock out Kodos and banished him to the Zone of Silence. Following Kodos' "disappearance," Julian assumed the mantle of Warlord. He would later be aided by his wayward nephew, Colin Kintobor Jr. A.K.A. Snively Robotnik.
Betrayal and rise to power
Prior to the discovery of Sir Charles' Roboticizer, Warlord Julian's schemes to take over the kingdom involved using an army of cyborgs. In order to experiment with the idea, Julian required suitable test subjects. Rather than use any of the Mobians within the main Kingdom, which may be noticed and thus reveal his schemes similar to what had happened with the Overlanders, Julian went to the neutral village of Kar Leung where he proceeded to capture the local inhabitants, including Ken Khan. Although he captured numerous villagers for test subjects, all of their bodies rejected the cybernetic implants and died, with the exception of Ken Khan. Julian, disappointed that only one specimen survived, nevertheless tested his cyborg on an attacking group of Overlanders. After Monkey Khan attacked them and single-handedly destroyed their tank, the Overlander troops retreated. Julian was impressed by Monkey Khan's success, but was forced to permanently confine him after Khan attempted to turn on him.
Following this, Julian discovered Sir Charles brilliant device: the Roboticizer. Initially believing it to be a threat to his plans, he then realized it could be used to his advantage. With his plans for a cyborg army scrapped, Julian decided he could convert Mobians entirely to robotic slaves. After secretly sabotaging the device so that those roboticized would become mindless drones that obeyed only his commands, Jules Hedgehog became his first victim.
Some time later, Julian arranged for both the Overlord and King Max to decide the outcome of the Great War over a sword duel. In reality, the duel was designed to make Julian's plans of global domination easier, with at least one of his enemies supposed to die in the fight. If the Overlord won, Julian planned on simply taking command of the Mobians and leading them into a never-ending war. If King Max won, the Overlord would be killed and the Overlanders would surrender, removing a major power and enabling Julian to take over the Kingdom of Acorn from within. When King Max won the fight but decided not to slay the Overlord, Julian at first believed his plans to be foiled. However, Sir Charles, still blaming himself for what happened to his brother and sister-in-law, turned over the Roboticizer to Julian, which he realized he could use to enslave the Mobians. Not long afterwards, when Bernie discovered Jules being used as a pawn, Julian had the Robian throw her into the Roboticizer as well. Julian explained to the already grieving Sir Charles that Bernie was roboticized in a lab accident while she tampered with the Roboticizer. As a result of these losses, Sir Charles left the field of science to raise his nephew, while Julian's treachery went undetected.
Shortly after the Great War's end, King Max agreed to Julian's plans to "dismantle" the military, also ending his title as Warlord and promoting him to the Minister of Science, all of which would be presented at a victory ceremony. Before the ceremony took place, Julian's plans to overthrow the kingdom were discovered by Amadeus Prower on the day of his son's birth. However, he too was subjected to the Roboticizer before he could warn anyone. That evening, Julian gave Snively the order to begin the attack. Hordes of SWATbots struck various points simultaneously throughout Mobotropolis, virtually halting any resistance, while also rounding up the citizens for roboticization. Changing his name from Julian Kintobor to Dr. Ivo Robotnik (after his grandfather and ancestral house), he transformed the once beautiful capital city of Mobotropolis into an industrial wasteland he dubbed Robotropolis. Robotnik's most symbolic victory was exiling King Maximillian Acorn into the Zone of Silence, securing his position as ruler.
Shortly after his capture of Mobotropolis, Robotnik found himself facing a resistance group known as the Freedom Fighters. The group used guerilla warfare, sabotage and hit-and-run tactics to disrupt Robotnik's rule, raiding his factories for supplies and destroying them to prevent them from being used again. Over time, the Original Freedom Fighters proved quite successful in damaging the infrastructure of Robotnik's empire. However, after promising one of their members, Trey Scales, power and wealth in exchange for betraying his comrades, Robotnik managed to lure the whole group into a trap, roboticizing them and sending them into the Zone of Silence. This quelled local resistance until the rise of the Knothole Freedom Fighters.
Following this success, Robotnik became interested in exploring the Zone of Silence. Upon entering the zone using his Egg Mobile, the doctor was ambushed by Feist and brought before the zone's ruler: Ixis Naugus. Realizing that Naugus had absolute control over the zone, Robotnik quickly escaped from the zone with Snively's help with the intent to never return.
Following this mishap, the tyrant then focused his attention on consolidating control of the rest of the planet. Soon enough, he had nearly all of inhabited Mobius under his thumb; only a selected few managed to hide from his expanding reach. He would continue to rule Mobius with an iron fist, with his loyal robotic henchmen and his lackeys, Snively and Crabmeat. Robotnik then lead an army of SWATbots to the Overland to enslave his species, only to see Megaopolis deserted. As time went on, Robotnik disseminated various regional governors across the planet called "Sub-Bosses" to enforce his will and to lead campaigns against local rebels, such as the High Sheriff in the Kingdom of Mercia, who successfully crushed the Crazy Kritter Freedom Fighters, Regina Ferrum and Jun Kun in the Dragon Kingdom, Octobot in the Mobian Ocean, and perhaps the most dangerous one Crocbot in Downunda, who managed to enslave much of the local population. Robotnik would even try expanding his rule to a galactic scale.
A worthy adversary
Sonic the Hedgehog was a long-time enemy of Robotnik during his reign. As a child, Sonic had encountered Robotnik before, while he was still Warlord - a young Sonic used to play with Princess Sally in the palace, since his father and uncle were officers and advisors to the King. After Robotnik took power, a young Princess Sally and the rest of the future Freedom Fighters were taken (as children) out of Mobotropolis and hidden by their elders in the Great Forest.
Sonic took an immediate dislike to the belligerent Robotnik. Sonic's Uncle Chuck, who operated a chili dog stand and raised Sonic like a son, was eventually captured by Robotnik's SWATbots and roboticized. Sonic recklessly tried to break Chuck out of Robotropolis all by himself, but once he saw that Chuck was a mindless robot, Sonic realized he could not help him. Inspired by the Original Freedom Fighters, Sonic and Sally formed their own rebel group after the original's demise, known as the Knothole Freedom Fighters.
Robotnik would launch several plots to destroy the Freedom Fighters - especially Sonic - particularly in his last year of power. These plots included using the robotic-plant Krudzu to spread and destroy the Great Forest, creating the "Exceptionally Versatile Evolvanoid" E.V.E. to destroy Sonic, the use of the Weather Annihilator to flush out any resistance, using an amnesia-ridden Sonic to defeat the Freedom Fighters, the use of Combots to locate Knothole, and sending supplies to Crocbot in Downunda to quell the local Freedom Fighter cell. All of these attempts proved futile however.
At one point, Robotnik nearly managed to achieve victory over Sonic and the Knothole Freedom Fighters. With the help of escaped convict Nack the Weasel, Robotnik managed to capture and roboticize his nemesis, making him the powerful and subservient Robian. While Mecha Sonic managed to destroy a large portion of Knothole Village, he was prevented from providing its location when Mecha Knuckles attacked him. Ultimately, Robotnik's plan backfired when the two Robians collided into Robotropolis, turning it into nuclear slag. Sonic was restored to his organic self shortly afterwards by his One Billionth Power Ring, while Knuckles used the de-roboticizer.
Following the Mecha Sonic disaster, Robotnik set to work on his next big scheme - the Death Egg; a powerful, orbital battle station capable of roboticizing the entire planet. Robotnik boarded his vessel upon its completion, leaving the rebuilding of Robotropolis to his nephew Snively, who instead used the SWATbot labour force to pamper him. Although nearly successful in sinking the Floating Island, the Death Egg was ultimately destroyed by Sonic and Tails.
After suffering numerous setbacks and having all of his plans foiled, Robotnik was furious. After King Max was rescued from the Zone of Silence, Robotnik tracked a powerful neutron energy reading, finally locating Knothole in the process. He finally developed his ultimate scheme: Operation: EndGame.
Operation: EndGame entailed several phases. Firstly, Robotnik tried to have Sally killed and frame Sonic for her murder, with help from the traitor Drago Wolf. Robotnik would also infiltrate Knothole using an Auto Automaton of King Acorn. With Knothole's location now known, Robotnik arrived at the Freedom Fighters' doorstep and held them at gunpoint. Rather than kill all of them immediately, Robotnik decided to make his victory more symbolic by using Knothole as a testing ground for his new "Ultimate Annihilator," a satellite weapon capable of warping reality and erasing matter.
However, Robotnik's plan began to unravel when Drago was discovered to be a double-agent and Sonic was no longer charged with Sally's murder. Determined to avenge Sally's death, Sonic attacked Robotnik, and the two engaged in mortal combat, though Robotnik nonetheless managed to activate the Ultimate Annihilator. However, Snively had secretly altered the Annihilator's programming to only target Robotnik's DNA signature, which would allow Snively to take over unopposed. Instead of being "ultimately annihilated", Knothole was trapped in a strange time zone. At the same time Antoine D'Coolette and Bunnie Rabbot planted a explosive in the Annihilator, and the explosion consumed Robotnik's entire command center. While Sonic and Knothole remained untouched, Robotnik was completely vaporized by his own weapon, ending both the First Robotnik War and his iron-fisted rule over Mobius after ten long years.
Legacy and beyond the grave
Despite Robotnik's death seemingly bringing upon an era of peace for Mobius, less then a year later, his successor, Dr. Eggman, arrived. Despite his coming from an alternate reality, Eggman had a near identical back story to the former dictator and brought with him all of the history and hatred for Sonic that the original Robotnik had. Thus, anything Robotnik probably would have done if he had survived his final battle with Sonic was carried on by Eggman.
Months later, due to Chaos Knuckles' tampering with time, various versions of Dr. Ivo Robotnik appeared in different scenarios. In one, Robotnik had Sonic and Sally cornered on the edge of a building and demanded they return his "Flora Terminus" file. Sonic and Sally jumped off the building and landed in the Freedom Fighter Special and escaped. The timeline then changed again and was eventually restored by Chaos Knuckles.
At one point, Robotnik's displaced molecules recombined with the help of Chaos Knuckles' reality-warping abilities and a device invented by Dr. Eggman. The reborn Robotnik soon formulated a plot with Eggman to reverse the process as a way to destroy Sonic and his comrades. Robotnik tricked his old enemies in Knothole Village into thinking Eggman had resurrected him in order to steal his memories, and that he had escaped in hopes of forging an alliance with Sonic. King Acorn went along with the scheme, but it was revealed that the Freedom Fighters only granted him amnesty in an attempt to sabotage the device that had brought him back. Robotnik's return was cut short during a quarrel with Eggman his molecules dispersed. With the machine that brought him back destroyed, Robotnik's atoms remained dispersed forever.
Robotnik was cruel, sadistic, cantankerous, narcissistic, ruthless and very egotistical. He had been known to design machines that look like his face, examples including Robostorm, the Death Egg, and numerous ships. He hated to do harm to that which bears his image. Robotnik loathed the notion of additional megalomaniacs in his domain, constantly belittling his nephew Snively. Additionally, he preferred polluted environments over forests. When Car-Heem attempted to study Robotnik, Sonic and others in a replica of the Great Forest, Robotnik could not stand being in a non-toxic environment. He also has a pathological fear of the jungle and is afraid of heights.
Powers and abilities
Robotnik's intellect made him a formidable foe on all levels. Despite the fact his schemes were often foiled by the Freedom Fighters, Robotnik was able to successfully win the Great War, overthrow the Kingdom of Acorn, and rule for over a decade. In addition to his intelligence, Robotnik's roboticized left arm enabled him to fire rockets and lasers. He also displayed some combat skill in his climactic showdown with Sonic.
Robotnik has a relatively short temper, and is often brash and overconfident with his designs. A personal grudge he holds against Sonic frequently clouds his better judgment, which also implies that he is possibly insane.
- Robotnik is based on the version of Dr. Robotnik from the Sonic the Hedgehog television series.
- Developments in the comic revealed a villain tentatively titled "Anonymous" who manipulated events behind the scenes using older Robotnik technology. It was stated that he was around Robotnik's height and his silhouette looked markedly like Robotnik Prime. In a surprise twist, however, it was revealed that Anonymous was A.D.A.M., Robo-Robotnik's rogue sentient computer virus. The lead writer has since explained that the reason Robotnik Prime's image was used to depict Anonymous in past issues was due to the fact that he was in fact originally going to turn out to be the original Robotnik.
- Robotnik's eyes were red for most of the time that he was in the comic, even when the eyeballs were normal (not black with red or gray pupils). How the eyeballs blackened is unknown, as is why he had coal-grey eyes in issue Sonic the Hedgehog #108. His ancestor, Brutus Kintobor, did however have exactly the same eyes that he did, suggesting it might be hereditary and that Robotnik somehow concealed them. Other artist depictions seem to suggest they were cybernetic optics, implanted during the Great War.
- The color design on Robotnik's suit is slightly different from his cartoon counterpart. For example, the bottom half of his suit is black in the cartoon, but in the comics, it is completely red. Also, his right arm (the one that wasn't roboticized) has a black sleeve on it in the cartoon, but in the comics, it was always bare with a gray arm band.
- The reason for Robotnik's left arm being robotic was never revealed in the comics, in the cartoon series it was caused by a time traveling Sonic who knocked him into a nearby Roboticizer.
- According to the Gregorian Calendar, day 164 is June 13. This occurs on a Friday, making Robotnik's date of death Friday, June 13, 3235.
- This was also the same month when Sonic the Hedgehog #50 was released.
- Likewise, day 253 is Saturday, 10 September 3189, going by the Gregorian Calendar.
- It is possible that some of Robotnik's internal organs were robotic, as he was often seen with a drink of oil and was occasionally said to have a metallic heart.
- Dr. Ivo Robotnik was one of the few characters to have broken the fourth wall numerous times.
- Dr. Ivo Robotnik has some similarities to the DC Comics villain Darkseid, both are dictators of an entire planet, both have numerous slaves and powerful weapons and both have the same eye concept (black eyes with red irises).
- Robotnik is the only strictly pre-Super Genesis Wave character to be depicted in some form in the post-Super Genesis Wave timeline, appearing in one of Sonic's flashbacks.
- Sonic the Hedgehog #108, "Sega Data File: 9"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #65, "The Fellowship of the Rings"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #17, "Gorilla Warfare/The Apes of Wrath"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #72, "I, Robotnik!"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #50, "The Big Goodbye"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #74, "Tales of the Great War Part III Enter... Robotnik"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #86, "Against the Haunted Past"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #78, "Tales of the Great War Part 6 What Really Happened"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #79, "Tales of the Great War - The Conclusion: Life Under-Ground "
- Sonic Super Special #9, "Eve of Destruction"
- Sonic the Hedgehog Free Comic Book Day 2009, "Data-File: Origin of Evil"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #43, "The Dream Zone"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #142, "The Original Freedom Fighters Part 1"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #143, "The Original Freedom Fighters Part 2"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #234, "Dark Hearts"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #58, "Friendly Rouges & Foul Villians"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #207, "The Iron Queen"
- Tails #1, "Southern Crossover Part I"
- Tails #3, "Southern Crossover Part III"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #103, "Freedom Fighters of the Galaxy Part One"
- Sonic Super Special #5, "Stop... Sonic Time!"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #0, "Oh No--Robo! No Mo' Mobo!"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #1, "Meet Me at the Corner of Hedgehog & Vine!"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #21, "3 Phases of E.V.E."
- Sonic the Hedgehog #26, "Way Way Past Cool!"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #27, "A Scrambled Hedgehog Part 1"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #28, "Saturday Night's Alright for a Fight!"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #34, "To 'Bot or Not to 'Bot!"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #39, "Race Against the Machine"
- Sonic & Knuckles: Mecha Madness Special, "Mecha Madness"
- Sonic Quest #1, "Sonicquest: The Death Egg Saga Book One - Scrambled"
- Sonic Quest #2, "Sonicquest: The Death Egg Saga Book Two - Poached"
- Sonic Quest #3, "Sonicquest: The Death Egg Saga Book Three - Over Easy"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #47, "Taking the Fall!"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #48, "Sonic the Fugitive"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #49, "Escape from the Floating Island"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #75, "I Am the Eggman!"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #101, "Altered States"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #108, "Robotnik x2=Trouble!"