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This character exists primarily or exclusively within the IDW Publishing continuity.
Information in this article may not be canonical to the storyline of the games or any other Sonic continuity.

I won't be conquering the world to prove myself to Dr. Eggman. I'll conquer it to prove it to myself. And I won't be proving I'm Eggman's equal. I'll prove I'm his superior replacement.


— Dr. Starline, Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys #4

Doctor Starline[8] is an antagonist that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing. He is an anthropomorphic platypus and a shadowy scientist who is highly interested in Dr. Eggman and his work. He served as an apprentice to Eggman for the Eggman Empire until the doctor eventually fired him. Initially, Starline remained loyal to Eggman despite this and wished to conquer the world on behalf of him with a clear vision.[9] However, he eventually realized that he could be better than Eggman and now seeks to rule the world as Eggman's superior replacement.[10]

Concept and creation

Ian Flynn has stated on his podcast that Starline took direct inspiration from the ********** glitch found in Knuckles' Chaotix. Similarities include the shared white and red color palette, the platypus being a monotreme like the echidna, and his name itself coming from the "line of stars" of the original glitch character.[11][12]

According to Evan Stanley, Starline was made as a spiritual successor to old white echidna villains, namely Dr. Zachary and Dr. Finitevus.[13] Stanley has also cited Jareth the Goblin King, a "steampunk Benjamin Franklin" and Michael Jackson's appearance in the "Thriller" music video as inspirations for the character.[14] Evan also had the artist Deebs in mind when she was designing Starline.[15] Evan later stated that Starline's tuxedo was based off of Mike Pollock's infamous purple shirt that he used to wear at conventions.[16]

Appearance

Dr. Starline is an anthropomorphic platypus with white fur that covers most of his body. His beak is black-colored and narrow with nostrils on the front, and he possesses red eyes, black eyelids, and a thick tail. He also has three thick hair turfs on his head that are combed over the right side of his head. His front hair turf also possesses a gray highlight.

For attire, he wears a purple and red-violet satin tuxedo with golden cufflinks, a red-violet t-shirt underneath,[6] orange pince-nez glasses, and two gray webbed gloves. Starline also wears a webbed brown glove on his left hand with a gold insertion clip and golden-tipped fingertips. A darker brown ring can be seen on the palm of the glove. Starline bears the Tricore in the glove. However, usage of the Warp Topaz had left his left-handed gray glove underneath the brown glove slightly charred, leaving behind a few patches of burned skin.[17] When Starline was not using the Warp Topaz, he kept it in a jar.[18] He also wears brown boots with golden buckles, red-violet soles, medium-high heels, the Multi-Tool Heel Spurs and upward-turned pointy toes and light red-violet socks underneath.[17][7]

For cold weathers, he wears a long dark purple hooded coat with fluffy pale purple trims.

Occasionally, he wears a red-violet bathing robe and slippers.[7]

History

Past

According to Starline, ever since Dr. Eggman started his conquest of the world, he had been fascinated by the doctor for his brilliance, his tenacity and his charisma. Because of him, Starline devoted himself to robotics and the search for arcane powers, and whenever he reached an impasse in his research, he would ask himself "what would Eggman do?"[19]

Starline eventually made a career out of studying Dr. Eggman.[8] He has also spent his career studying the Warp Topaz, a stone capable of warping space to open gateways to other places.[20]

At some point in time, Starline managed to retrieve the Warp Topaz for himself. Upon discovering it, he found out that the Warp Topaz responded strongly to even the most passive of energy waves. As he put more research into the stone, he discovered that the Warp Topaz needed a source of power to charge it but anything above a light, controlled charge would result in extreme reality alteration. Since Warp Portals were difficult to create and direct, the components of his custom left glove were made after countless hours of careful testing, but this was not enough to prevent the power of the Warp Topaz causing damage to his regular glove underneath.[17][21] He also managed to collect all seven Chaos Emeralds.[20]

Dr. Starline breaking Rough and Tumble out of jail, from Sonic the Hedgehog #12.

After learning that Dr. Eggman had disappeared after the Eggman War, Starline used his Warp Topaz to open "windows" to the world, allowing him to search the world in record time for Eggman. After becoming quite ill from sleep deprivation, Starline found Eggman, who was suffering from amnesia, in Windmill Village.[20][22] To help him retrieve Eggman, Starline decided to enlist the help of Rough the Skunk and Tumble the Skunk. He sprung the brothers from jail and told them that if they helped kidnap Eggman from Windmill Village, the latter would make weapons that would help them achieve revenge against Sonic the Hedgehog.[2][20]

Battle For Angel Island

Dr. Starline soon used the Warp Topaz to bring Eggman, Rough and Tumble to his base in the Final Egg.[20] After Rough and Tumble strapped Eggman up, Starline revealed himself to the doctor and told him of his intention to restore his former personality. Ignoring the amnesiac Eggman's pleas, Starline started to electrocute him with a specialized pair of goggles. Later, after completing the first round of Eggman's "procedure", Starline asked Eggman if he was feeling more like himself.[8]

Dr. Starline presents the Chaos Emeralds to Dr. Eggman, from Sonic the Hedgehog #12.

After three sessions using neuro-stimulants and aggressive hypnotherapy, Starline found frustration in Eggman as he was only gravitating towards his old inventions but not his old personality. When Rough and Tumble grew impatient at Starline for not keeping his end of their deal, he reassured them that he will be able to restore Eggman's memories, suggesting he might need a mental trigger. Soon after, the group met a badly damaged Metal Sonic when he arrived in the Final Egg. Upon seeing Metal Sonic, Eggman regained his memories, much to Starline's delight. Starline then introduced himself as an admirer of Eggman's work and also helped Eggman repair Metal Sonic. He also introduced Rough and Tumble, who Eggman did not initially like until Starline mentioned that they hated Sonic, which could prove a great asset, and offered to make them weapons to use against him. Meanwhile, Starline managed to bring Eggman up to speed on all that happened while the doctor had lost his memories; the fact that he ended up in a remote mountain village, Starline's methods to bring Eggman back to his senses and the power of his Warp Topaz. Though Eggman found no interest in the Warp Topaz, Starline had expected that and presented Eggman with the seven Chaos Emeralds he had secured as his "apprenticeship application". This made an impressed Eggman officially welcome Starline as his new lackey.[20]

Soon, Starline and Eggman discovered that the biodata that Neo Metal Sonic had copied from Sonic and Shadow had become corrupted. Starline suggested reconstruction, to which Eggman refused in favor of moving on with a new plan. As Eggman needed time to test and prepare, the doctor tasked Starline with keeping Sonic distracted. Starline excitedly accepted this task as he knew exactly how to lure Sonic into a trap.[20]

Infection

Following Eggman's instructions after advising him to mess with Sonic, Starline sent a letter to Tails with the aid of the Warp Topaz to lure Sonic into Rough and Tumble's hands. Upon reporting back to Eggman, Starline wondered why they had to be so overt, to which Eggman replied that the message was a subtle approach for him. Satisfied with that, Starline saw Eggman begin his test of his new Metal Virus. After seeing it transmute a flower into metal, Starline would help Eggman test it on animals. Eggman later concluded his Metal Virus a success after seeing it transmute flora and fauna into robotic slaves through touch while leaving processed and inorganic matter alone. Getting emotional over their work, Starline would explain to Eggman about how he found him with the Warp Topaz when Eggman asked him about it. Starline would then use his Warp Topaz to show Eggman Sonic and Tails' battle with Rough and Tumble. When the skunk brothers stood to loose though, Starline thought they would continue testing the Metal Virus since they had so minuscule data samples on it. To his surprise though, Eggman instead went on to implement it for the next phase of his plan. Although against it, Starline complied. Starline soon after sent Rough and Tumble back to base with the Warp Topaz before Rough tattled on Eggman. When Metal Sonic then offered to take a crack at Sonic after Rough and Tumble's failure, Starline offered to let him take a shot at Sonic, whom he knew where to strike.[22]

Eggman reprimanding Starline for trying to destroy Sonic, from Sonic the Hedgehog #14.

Coming to Silver, Starline told him about an Eggman base on Frozen Peak to lure Sonic into a trap, before vanishing. While at said base, Starline had its contents, which he viewed as collectibles of Eggman's legacy, moved through a Warp Topaz portal with the aid of some Badniks protected by Metal Sonic. When Sonic and Silver came and fought Metal Sonic, Starline saved Metal Sonic when the robot was in a jam. Starline then introduced himself to Sonic before proclaiming that this encounter had been set up so he could test himself against Sonic, his fanboy behavior creeping out Silver. After Starline then revealed upon Sonic's inquire that he had restored Eggman's memory and personality, Sonic and Silver tried fighting him and Metal Sonic. However, using his Warp Topaz, Starline was able to transport Sonic and Silver to the other side of the mountain. After Metal Sonic confirmed that everything had been set up, Starline let him though a Warp Topaz portal. Before he could join him however, Sonic caught up to and restrained Starline and demanded answers about Eggman. Faking defeat, Starline tricked Silver into going into the base with a code that would set off a bomb. When Starline then revealed his plan, a frantic Sonic ran into the base to stop Silver, and was seemingly caught in the explosion. While Starline was ecstatic of his triumph, he quickly got pulled though the Warp Topaz portal he had opened to Eggman's lab by Eggman himself, who angrily and physically reprimanded Starline for trying to kill Sonic, which Eggman saw as his privilege. Apologizing, Starline was let go by Eggman, who revealed that Sonic and Silver were miraculously still alive. After then telling a curious Eggman about his reasons for preserving his Frozen Peak base's contents, Starline revealed that the experience had "put a lot of things into a new perspective" when Eggman asked for his impression of Sonic.[3]

Starline later discovered that the base in Echo Mine was back online and that Sonic and Amy Rose had logged onto the Eggnet from there. Upon reporting back to Eggman, Starline was very worried that Eggman did not seem to care, but Eggman explained that he should get used to such situations as he prepared to send Rough and Tumble after the heroes with a tank and backpacks filled with the Metal Virus. Observing the skunks' confrontation with the hedgehogs over surveillance, Starline and Eggman saw Rough and Tumble unknowingly release the Metal Virus onto themselves, turning them into Zombots. Although Rough and Tumble got trapped in a refuse pit, Starline was pleased with the outcome, as they had managed to infect Sonic with the Metal Virus. When Starline asked what the next step would be, Eggman told him that it was time to share the Metal Virus with the rest of the world.[23]

Starline marvels over Eggman's work, from Sonic the Hedgehog #16.

Heading onboard the new Faceship meant to spread the Metal Virus, Starline showed amazement at how quickly Eggman put it together. After Eggman explained how he did it, the doctor had the Faceship take off with him, Starline, Orbot and Cubot onboard it. As they headed towards their first target, Starline was given a tour of the Faceship by Eggman, who showed him the ship's power generator (which were the seven Chaos Emeralds), the viewing area, and the Metal Virus factory. In the meantime, Eggman gloated about the army of Zombots he would command, which would allow him to carry out any project and conquer other worlds and dimensions. While Starline supported Eggman's vision, he noted that he could not cover the whole planet in his Metal Virus. In response, Eggman told Starline that by dropping the Metal Virus in a few populated habitats, the Zombots created would spread the virus quickly, amazing Starline. Eventually arriving over Windmill Village, Eggman infected the whole village with a single batch of Metal Virus deployed from the Faceship, a feat of which moved Starline to tears and made him apologize to Eggman for second-guessing him.[24]

Reflections

Starline saw Metal Sonic in his laboratory aboard the Faceship and asked him to leave. He complained that Eggman's greatest creation was prowling around his room like a Zombot.[25]

Eggman's Day Off

Dr. Starline discovering his own Zombot figure, from Sonic the Hedgehog Annual 2020.

Starline observed the progress in infecting the world with the Metal Virus through his Warp Portals. In one of them, however, he saw Dr. Eggman screaming in fury. Starline ran quickly to help his mentor, but ran into him and some cardboard boxes. Eggman explained that he could not find the light switch his robot had installed at the other end of the room. After turning on the lights, Eggman showed his "Eggcave" to Starline, his private sanctuary where he would relax on his days off, build figurines, work on personal projects and devise new strategies. Eggman then began to play with the figures of himself and his enemies, explaining in more detail what his days off were. Starline praised the detail with which the figures were made, but recalled that Eggman would inform him today of his future plans. Eggman explained that soon all of his enemies would turn into Zombots and serve him. As Starline was examining various figures, he came across one that represented himself as a Zombot. After a moment of awkward silence, Eggman took the statuette from him and asked him to knock next time, stating that whatever happened in the Eggcave stayed in the Eggcave. Starline then left the area, slightly disheartened.[26]

Crisis City

Starline shares his concerns with Orbot, who reveals how Eggman's plans go, from Sonic the Hedgehog #18.

Eggman soon decided to invade Floral Forest Village next. This confused Starline as the village was too remote to be of any strategic value to them. In response, Eggman revealed that he was doing so as the village was where some of Sonic's friends lived, meaning Sonic would head into a Zombot outbreak to attempt to rescue them while risking his own safety. While a pleased Starline observed the infection spread across the village in spite of its low population density, Eggman told his newly transformed Zombots to pile up on Sonic after he arrived. However, Cubot reported that the Zombots were ignoring his command. With Orbot also revealing a steady decline in Zombots responding to Eggman's commands, Eggman hypothesized that there had to be a random mutation in the Metal Virus coding due to it spreading from exposure. Starline thought that Eggman had accounted for this possibility, but the latter stated that he would work out any errors after the spread was finished. Starline protested that the virus could get out of control, but Eggman snapped back, saying that he would find a way to control it. After Eggman left to eat, Starline confided in Orbot his second thoughts over Eggman; he had believed that Sonic always beat him because of his unnatural strength, but now it seemed like Eggman's defeats were really due to Eggman's carelessness and inability to plan ahead. Orbot replied that it was always fifty-fifty for the doctor, with the usual routine beginning with Eggman's plotting and ending with Sonic defeating him. This made Starline feel somber.[19] Starline soon found himself lamenting over the fact that Eggman had no real plan to control the Metal Virus. Though they were going to test override signals the next day, the doctor decided to look into Eggman's previously used assets to find something that could aid them. He soon found "The Lost World Project" where Eggman had attempted to take over the Lost Hex and its inhabitants, the Deadly Six, who possess electromagnetic powers. Starline saw opportunity in this and formed a plan.[18]

The Last Minute

Dr. Starline meets Zavok, from Sonic the Hedgehog #21.

Starline used the Warp Topaz to go to the Lost Hex to meet with the Deadly Six. He visited Zeti Castle and there he met the team's leader, Zavok. He proposed to the Zeti that they help Eggman control his latest crisis, though the doctor did not officially know Starline was asking for help. From this, Starline told Zavok that if they aided the Eggman Empire once more, they would be able to make amends with Eggman, command incredible power and destroy Sonic. Zavok accepted Starline's offer, leaving the latter to say that he would be in touch and then leave.[27]

Soon, after Starline and Eggman agreed to use tight-band, localized attempts with a frequency to control the Zombots again, the duo left the Faceship and went to test frequencies on the Zombots in Barricade Town. After several failed attempts, Starline noted that it would have been wise to have a failsafe for the Metal Virus mutating beyond control. Eggman suggested that they use the Warp Topaz charged with the Chaos Emeralds and then hook it up to the Faceship, but Starline refused, knowing the stone's sensitive traits. Eggman insisted it was possible as long as they were cautious, but Starline pointed out that Eggman was not cautious about the Zombot situation as he had not yet inoculated them to the Metal Virus. To Starline's shock, Eggman then smugly revealed that there was no cure, and his plan to avoid infection was simply not touching the Zombots. Starline brought up several worst-case scenarios to counter Eggman's logic, only for the latter to dismiss his concerns as nitpicking, much to the platypus' aggravation.[21]

Suddenly, Sonic interrupted the duo's argument and humorlessly questioned why Eggman went back to his villainous ways, insulting Starline in the process for his role in restoring Eggman to power. After Eggman told Sonic that he believed what he was doing currently was better than what he did as "Mr. Tinker" and that he had no plans to stop the Metal Virus, his enraged nemesis attacked him. Observing from the sidelines, Starline noted that he had dreamed of seeing such a fight, but now he only felt apathy. He recalled Neo Metal Sonic's attempt to revive the Eggman Empire, which failed due to relying on overwhelming power without a proper plan. While Starline initially believed that he failed because he was designed as a "ballistic missile with a built-in grudge" against Sonic, the first biodata that Neo copied, however, was Eggman's, and Starline was once again seeing the exact same brute force strategy. At last, he recognized that he idolized Eggman's legend alone and was impressed by his pageantry; Eggman himself simply did not measure up to it.[21]

Starline comes to a realization about Eggman, from Sonic the Hedgehog #23.

Soon, Eggman and Sonic fell to the ground below. Before Eggman could get infected, Starline used the Egg Mobile to find a working frequency that commanded the Zombots to attack Sonic only. He mused that his own plans may not be necessary now, but wondered if Eggman would learn from them. Eggman then ordered Starline to upload the frequency to the Faceship. Before the platypus could do anything, Sonic, not wanting Eggman to have complete control of the Zombots, burst out from the Zombot horde and destroyed the Egg Mobile. Eggman quickly grabbed onto Starline's own transportation machine for a swift retreat. However, due to the added weight, the contraption crashed down onto the Barricade Town gate. As Eggman berated Sonic for his interference, Starline suggested that they retreat to the Faceship so that they could try something else. Starline used the Warp Topaz to create a portal to the Faceship for himself and Eggman to go through. Back aboard the Faceship, Starline said that he was unable to upload or memorize the working frequency; however, he was able to recall the range. To Starline's dismay, Eggman did not care to do anything about this; with close-range broadcasts being too risky and assuming the Metal Virus likely adapting to resist it, he did not want to repeat the tedious process just for another failure. When Starline asked what the next move would be, Eggman said that he will start by enjoying their next outbreak, asking for the Faceship's current location. Orbot reported that they were above Spiral Hill Village, and the Metal Virus had already been deployed. Satisfied by the news, Eggman announced that he will figure out his next move later, oblivious to Starline's fuming glare.[21]

Starline brings the Deadly Six onto the Faceship, from Sonic the Hedgehog #24.

Deciding to finally proceed with his own plans, Starline visited the Deadly Six on the Lost Hex once again to confirm that they could exert their will over machines. After Zavok demonstrated his power on a Moto Bug, he asked when they would be able to see Eggman again. Starline promised that after he made last minute preparations on his end, he would be in touch. After Starline returned to the Faceship via the Warp Topaz, he recalled the files he read stated that Eggman had used the Cacophonic Conch to control the Zeti and they were eager to turn on him the moment they were freed thanks to Sonic. From this, Starline was already aware that the Deadly Six would attempt to overthrow him and thus used the Warp Topaz to retrieve the Cacophonic Conch. Later, Starline informed Eggman he had found a solution to their problems with controlling the Zombots. When Eggman dismissed this and demanded to stop being pestered about it, Starline, having lost all patience with Eggman's ineffectiveness, used the Warp Topaz to bring the Deadly Six onboard the Faceship.[21][28]

All or Nothing

Upon seeing the Deadly Six, Eggman accused Starline of betraying him. Starline calmly denied this, explaining he brought the Zeti to help with what Eggman had been failing to achieve. Unmoved, Eggman immediately sent Metal Sonic to attack the Deadly Six. Zavok swiftly used his electromagnetism to control the robot and tauntingly reminded Eggman how they were able to control robots. Following this, Starline, expecting the Zeti to begin their treachery, presented the Cacophonic Conch and blew into it to try and control the Zeti. However, because he was out of breath, Zazz took the opening and headbutted Starline which allowed Zeena to take the conch and give it to Zavok. With Eggman and Starline defenseless, Zavok commanded Metal Sonic to attack them; however, Starline hurriedly opened a Warp Portal that transported him, Eggman and Metal Sonic away. The trio landed on Angel Island, met by Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy. Before Amy attacked them, Sonic stopped her and let Eggman explain how the Deadly Six had taken control of the Faceship due to Starline inviting them onboard. As Starline defended himself, insisting his plan was a good one but poorly executed, Espio came by to inform the group that they had gotten word from Rouge. On the Rescue Shuttle, while Knuckles and Espio kept an eye on Starline, Rouge reported that Eggman had been powering the Faceship with the Chaos Emeralds, which Zavok had now distributed to the rest of his team and then sent them out into the world; she went on to say that she was coordinating with Orbot to spy on their deployments and coordinate their counterattack. During an argument with Tails, Eggman insisted there was no cure for the Metal Virus and revealed why he had not bothered to make one: the doctor clarified that he did not need to have one as his research found that as the Metal Virus mutated, it became unsustainable. Soon, every Zombot would disintegrate approximately two hundred years into the future. An injured Silver came onboard and confirmed this claim as it described his current future well.[17]

Starline's attempt to leave with the Warp Topaz is stopped by Metal Sonic, from Sonic the Hedgehog #25.

Later outside, Starline and the others tried to come up with ideas on how to counteract the virus. Starline suggested using the Master Emerald to neutralize the Deadly Six but Tails told him that they could not move it risking the whole island and luring the Zeti to them as it would be too much of a gamble; Knuckles also adding that Starline would not be allowed to touch the Emerald. Eggman instead came up with the idea to use the Warp Topaz, as if they had Super Sonic charge it with his power, they would be able to warp the virus away with one swoop. Starline protested against it due to its instability and suggested putting in the work on their safe haven to find another way to solve their problem and win. Eggman reminded Starline that Sonic did not have long before he was overtaken by his infection and since he did not want the Deadly Six using his genius against him, he wanted to end things his way. Starline again refused and decided to leave and create a solution to what Eggman started on his own. Before he could do so, however, Metal Sonic seized him by the throat and restrained him, allowing Eggman to remove his glove that had the Warp Topaz attached to it. Eggman then fired Starline and Metal Sonic tossed him through the Warp Portal he tried leaving through.[17]

Out of the Blue

Starline plots to conquer the world himself and make an example to Eggman, from Sonic the Hedgehog #31.

Starline had actually opened the portal to his repository, where he kept many items of Eggman's paraphernalia. Shortly after landing there, he had a small squadron of Egg Pawns present there move some boxes around. He also marked off some of the boxes with asterisks over the Eggman Empire's decal. Starline said to himself that Eggman was truly the genius he thought he was but he was inept in his execution, and Sonic was the powerhouse he was expected to be, yet reckless. He found so much wasted potential in the both of them but believes he has the clarity of vision and can improve upon them. He stated that he is still loyal to Eggman despite his cruelty. He claimed that he will conquer the world and surpass Eggman so that he may learn by example. According to Starline, when he seated Eggman on the throne of victory, he will have to acknowledge that he was right; he would have to listen to Starline and they would work together as equals.[9]

Bad Guys

Starline soon after infiltrated Egg Base Sigma, sneaking past patrols of Badniks, in an attempt to take over the base. However, he revealed himself when he typed in a password that was out of date. Starline thus had to run away, destroying several Moto Bugs with his Multi-Tool Heel Spurs along the way. Upon returning to his repository, Starline began planning his next move, as he lacked the resources to implement his newest plan. However, he then remembered individuals who hated both Sonic and Eggman in equal measure, and could thus be willing to help him. Starline proceeded to travel to Everhold Prison, where he used his glove to hypnotize the warden into believing that he had come to apply for a job in the prison's maximum security wing. The warden thus led Starline to the cells where Mimic, Rough, Tumble, and Zavok were imprisoned. There, Zavok exposed Starline as Eggman's former protege, but Starline neutralized the warden by putting him to sleep with his glove. He then started talking to the four prisoners, persuading each of them to join him; he promised Mimic to erase him from the database on the Eggnet; he told Rough and Tumble that he would make them new weapons free of charge; and he pretended to submit himself to Zavok's service and make him the leader of their group so they could destroy Eggman together. In the last case, Starline, in truth, planned to use Zavok and destroy him once he had done his job. After Starline and Zavok made their alliance though, the warden awoke and sounded the alarm. Starline proceeded to stun him and take the keys from him, which he used to free Zavok from his cell, who then freed Mimic. In addition, Starline released Rough and Tumble. The villains subsequently defeated the prison guards together and made their way to the security center, where Starline, on Zavok's orders, opened all the cells and blocked out communications, thus plunging the prison into chaos. Starline and his new squad then left Everhold Prison amidst the chaos.[29]

Starline conversing with Zavok, from Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys #2.

Starline later gathered his new allies in his repository and explained that they needed the Power Cores, energy cores used by various machines in the Eggman Empire. With them, they could increase their powers for the next part of his plan. Starline lied though that they would need special adapters to harness the power of the Power Cores. During his explanation, he also got irritated by Mimic's demands to be removed from Eggman's database as soon as possible. Afterward, the villains launched an attack on the Eggman base holding the Power Cores. Standing on the sidelines, Starline realized that he should eliminate his new teammates once this was over; Mimic was too dangerous to let loose due to his treacherous ways; Rough and Tumble would cause problems at the worst times; and letting Zavok get a hold of any power was too risky. After his allies opened the gate to the base and disposed of the Badnik guards, Starline drove his truck inside it. He then had a conversation with Zavok, who questioned his beliefs. Zavok believed that Starline should not just rely on machines, as experienced warriors would be able to do the same and more. He also, in a moment of insight, told Starline to quit his attempts to please Eggman and act on his own as he had great potential. Outside the warehouse gate, Starline ordered Mimic to transform into Sonic and pose in front of a nearby security camera. When they opened the base's warehouse however, a mechanical tyrannosaurus rex rushed out. However, Rough and Tumble managed to destroy it, astonishing Starline. Starline then told the others to load as many crates as possible into his truck. Mimic, however, got suspicious about what Starline was going to do. However, Starline explained that he was going to delete the security recordings of them and leave only the parts he wanted to show Eggman. The villains then drove off in Starline's truck, leaving the base in a way that seemed like Sonic had attacked it. Upon his return, Starline considered Zavok's words, but decided that he would no longer have to rely on anyone. He also completed the latest gadget, the Tricore, a combination of different Power Cores that gave him the powers to compete with the world's heroes.[30]

Soon after, Starline and his group were on their way to the Eggnet Hub. Along the way, Zavok applauded Starline's plan, and Starline believed that he had managed to fully trick the others. After reaching their destination, Starline gave everyone Core Gear, which he explained how to use while lying that he had not made anything for himself. The villains soon after defeated the hub's Badnik guards, allowing Starline to enter it. When he sat down at the hub's central computer, he used an algorithm he had prepared to break through the Eggnet's firewall. Meanwhile, Mimic told him to hurry up, as he feared Eggman was on his way. In response, Starline explained that Eggman had already received information about their attack and was preparing to set out after them. However, he assured Mimic that he would send Eggman an update with fake coordinates on their present whereabouts. Starline then reprogrammed the Badniks in the area to protect his team, and brought Egg Base Sigma up from the database. However, he ignored Mimic, who was demanding his reward. Eventually, Mimic put a knife to Starline's throat, forcing him to obey. Starline called to Zavok for help, but it was then revealed that Zavok and Mimic were onto Starline's premediatated betrayal. Starline was thus forced to delete Mimic from Eggman's database and give Zavok control of all the Badniks in the region. Meanwhile, Zavok gave Rough and Tumble free access to the Power Cores in Starline's lab. The villains decided unanimously afterward that they no longer needed Starline.[6] Starline manged to equip his Tricore however, and with its power, he escaped the reach of his former allies. He then blocked Tumble's punch before escaping from Zavok. Escaping into a corridor, he managed to trip Rough and immobilize him with his Multi-Tool Heel Spurs. He then escaped when the skunk began calling for backup. Hiding then on the ceiling from Zavok, Starline heard Zavok denounce him as a failure and that he was no different from Eggman. As Zavok walked away, Starline mentally agreed with Zavok before hiding from an Egg Knights squad. He then began to realize that, in trying to emulate Eggman, he had become what he hated so much about his idol, and that he had needlessly gotten rid of his allies. Even so, he knew he should finish his plan. Starline subsequently ran into Tumble, whom he also poisoned and immobilized. He then went to the main computer. Finding no sign of Mimic, Starline concluded that Mimic had ditched his alliance with Zavok and sent Eggman a real report on their attack. Wasting no time, Starline quickly assigned Egg Base Sigma to himself and removed it from the database, before making his escape. Leaving the Eggnet hub, he watched from a distance as Eggman destroyed the hub. Sometime later, Starline moved his equipment to Egg Base Sigma with his personalized Badniks. Starline then decided to abandon his attempt to return to Eggman's side and conquer the world for himself, and not for his former idol.[10]

Chao Races and Badnik Bases

Starline having knocked Shadow off the White Park Grand Chateau, from Sonic the Hedgehog #33.

Dr. Starline eventually came to the White Park Grand Chateau in the disguise of a hooded figure, where he shadowed Rouge in secret.[31] When they finally met face-to-face, Starline hypnotized Rouge into forgetting their encounter while also planting a subliminal suggestion in her mind that would compel her to kidnap Tails for him later.[31][32] He soon after ran across the rooftop of the chateau, only to be discovered by Shadow. During the ensuing chase, Starline used the power of the Tricore to knock Shadow off the rooftop, thus making Shadow lose his trail.[31] The next day, Starline managed to kidnap Tails and Rouge (thanks to the aid of the latter) and put them into a moving roller coaster cart in White Park Zone. There, he told Rouge that he looked forward to more "sessions" with her and that he planned to put her in his "test chambers" once they had made their escape. When Sonic later arrived, Starline threw a cart at him and managed to knock him off balance, but Shadow arrived and saved Sonic. Shedding his disguise, Starline revealed himself to the heroes before detonating explosives on a nearby mountain, causing an avalanche. He then gave Sonic and Shadow a choice: save their friends or save the guests at the White Park Grand Chateau who were in the way of the avalanche.[32]

In the end, Starline forced Sonic to withdraw, while Shadow decided to stay in order to seek payback against Starline. Regardless, Starline promised Shadow that he would defeat him this time. However, he got startled when Rouge had Omega's disembodied head sound a loud alarm close to him. As such, Starline lost his balance and fell off the roller coaster. Using his Tricore's flight power however, Starline escaped Shadow. He later showed up at the White Park Grand Chateau, blocking the way out for Tails, Rouge, Amy, Cream, Belle and Gemerl. There, Starline demanded that they handed Tails over to him, and that he would let the others go in return. Instead, however, Amy and Rouge attacked him. Starline initially defended himself with his Tricore's strength power, before using its speed power to lunge at Tails. Before he could take Tails with him, however, he was kicked by Belle, who injured his beak. Starline then noticed the avalanche approaching the chateau. Failing to escape in time, he ended up buried under the snow. However, Starline survived and retreated to his base afterwards. There, he complained about the heroes' resistance and the condition of his beak and perm. However, he had managed to obtain a piece of Tails' fur that he intended to use for his long-term plans.[7]

Zeti Hunt

Starline later arrived in the Emeraldville Ruins, which held a secret entrance to Restoration HQ. Having discovered Belle's existence earlier and recognizing her as a machine of Dr. Eggman's design, Starline sought to kidnap her and study her to further his long-term plans. Though Starline managed to sneak into Restoration HQ, he soon found the Deadly Six, led by Zavok. Hiding from the Deadly Six's sight, Starline decided to take advantage of the confusion to get to Belle. Going to the machine shop, Starline managed to make Zomom leave using his hypnosis tools. He then incapacitated the workshop's owner with his Multi-Tool Heel Spur's toxin and forced Belle to come with him, leading her to the elevator. Finding the elevator destroyed by the Deadly Six, Starline activated his Tricore and used its power to scale the elevator shaft.[33]

Restraining Belle in a temporarily hideout, Starline examined Belle's specifications and hooked her up to his database. There, after a short conversation with Belle, where he explained that she was an extremely unique commodity and that he had no intention of disassembling her in spite of what she thought of him as he still had respect for Dr. Eggman's work despite their falling out, Belle retorted that she was not Eggman's creation. However, Starline replied that this was only half true, and proceeded to tell her of how he restored Eggman's memory. He also added that without his Mr. Tinker persona, Eggman would never build another robot like Belle, so he wants to study her thoroughly. The furious Belle then began blaming Starline for the loss of her "father". Starline, however, instead rejoiced at the amount of simulated emotions that his database picked up from Belle. Starline then got Belle to tell her story. However, Starline completely tuned her out, and glorified instead the data he got on Belle's simulations of emotions which he could readily apply to "them". However, he then noticed Belle scream over the presence of a "ghost", who turned out to be Espio. The Chaotix subsequently bursted into Starline's hideout. Not worried in the least, Starline condescendingly applauded the team for finding him and informed them that this hideout would be of no use to them, as he had already sent the data he had collected from Belle to his data cloud. To be safe however, Starline destroyed his server using his Tricore, which he subsequently used to evade and escape the Chaotix.[34]

Personality

Starline is calm, suave, and sophisticated most of the time, exuding an arrogant sense of pride in his intellect and abilities. Rather formal in behavior, he often addresses others as "gentlemen".[3][8] However, he is also ruthless, sinister, and cruel, as he was willing to force Eggman to be a part of an evidently painful procedure against his will to bring him back to normal.[8] Showing contempt for weakness, he possesses exceptional willpower and an incredible drive, as seen how he kept searching for Dr. Eggman despite becoming quite ill from sleep deprivation in the process.[22] Despite possessing a calm demeanor though, upon spending time with Eggman, Starline begins showing occasional bouts of anger and frustration (primarily directed at the doctor, himself); a primary example includes a conversation in which Eggman suggests using Starline's Warp Topaz, amplified by the Chaos Emeralds, in an attempt to control the rebellious Zombots, which Starline vehemently refuses due to the Topaz's extreme sensitivity to even the most passive energy waves.[21]

In addition to his intellect, Starline is quite manipulative. He can expertly use other people to his advantage in order to lure them into traps and knows exactly where to strike his foes where it hurts the most.[3] Though he considers himself brilliant, however, he would willingly submit himself to Dr. Eggman's command.

Starline appears to be an insane fanatic of the Eggman Empire as he wanted to bring its leader back to his former glory and then, with great pleasure, assist the doctor every step of the way to help him achieve global dominance. In fact, he was deeply devoted to Dr. Eggman and got very excited about the idea of cooperating with him and following his instructions.[8][20]

Unlike Dr. Eggman's more overt ways, Starline is much more subtle, for example by simply launching an ambush instead of luring someone into a trap with bait that exposes his activities. Also, he prefers to be very thorough with his experiments, choosing to conduct enough experimentation on his projects in order to have sufficient data samples to work out from, unlike Dr. Eggman, who hastily begins implementing his plans without finishing the necessary procedures that would prevent the fallibility of his creations.[8] Similarly, he takes great care when preparing for confrontations with his foes, like luring Sonic into an environment where he is at a disadvantage and scouting out a whole mountain before-handed in order to use his Warp Topaz to its fullest and nearly killed him on his first try.[3]

After seeing Eggman's Metal Virus plot grow out of control and being fired as Eggman's protegé, Starline has come to realize the downside to arrogance and egotism. As such, he is very careful not to go down the same path Eggman has walked for years. He likewise believes that robots make much more suitable allies than organic creatures, as they are unquestionably loyal, tireless, and efficient (when properly programmed). As such, he ultimately strives to be a lone genius that does not need to rely on anyone.[30]

Powers and abilities

Starline possesses a genius-leveled intellect. He has shown to be a capable psychologist, having developed procedures for restoring memories lost to amnesia using radical methods, like neuro-stimulants and aggressive hypnotherapy. He has likewise conducted successful research into arcane powers, like the strange properties of the Warp Topaz.[20] He also possesses knowledge on robotics and knows enough in this field to assist Dr. Eggman with repairs on Metal Sonic.[19][20] He has also invented impressive devices on his own, such as the Tricore.[30]

Physically, Starline is athletic enough to deliver kicks to his opponents but not as strong as someone like Sonic.[29]

Equipment

Dr. Starline using the Warp Topaz to dodge Sonic and Silver, from Sonic the Hedgehog #14.

Starline used to possess the Warp Topaz, a gemstone that was embedded in his left glove, until Eggman took it from him.[17] With this stone, Starline could bend time and space to create spatial wormholes to other places and open "windows" to the world in an instant, allowing him to look farther and further in hours that what the Badniks could do in a day.[20][22] In combat, Starline used his Warp Topaz's ability to create portals to pull allies out of his enemies' grip and protect himself by redirecting opponents that come charging at him to other locations by opening a portal right in front of them.[3] However, the Warp Topaz needs to be provided with a very passive charge in order to work.[20] He later had it replaced with the Tricore, a combination of different Power Cores that gives him enhanced speed, strength and agility.[30]

Without an object of power inserted into it, Starline's left glove is still useful. He can use the glove to hypnotize people in order to manipulate their subsequent behavior, memory and perception. As an extra detail, it can plant Starline's subliminal suggestions in his victims' minds that they will carry out, like falling asleep upon command or kidnapping others while not directly hypnotized.[29][32] However, the glove's hypnotic powers do not work well on strong-minded individuals like Zavok;[29] conversely, it works easily on simple-minded individuals.[33] In addition, it cannot hypnotize entire crowds as it is more of a precision tool.[29][32]

Starline also possesses Multi-Tool Heel Spurs that he wears on the heels of his boots. He can use them to deliver efficient kicks depending on the setting he uses them in. In "electro-spur mode", Starline can produce lashes of electricity from the devices that can tear through multiple Moto Bugs. The Heel Spurs are also loaded with a mild neurotoxin that can incapacitate anyone he kicks with them for a short time, although an additional dosis will be fatal.[29][33]

Relationships

Dr. Eggman

Dr. Starline was fanatically obsessed with Dr. Eggman, who was the driving force of his career. Ever since Eggman started his campaign for world conquest, Starline was fascinated by the doctor for his brilliance, tenacity and charisma. Because of him, Starline devoted himself to robotics and the search for arcane powers, and whenever he hit an impasse, he would ask himself what would Eggman do in order to find a solution.[19]

Having been dubbed a "fanboy" by Sonic and Orbot, Starline possessed a high opinion about Eggman and his genius.[3][9] He called himself the doctor's kindred spirit and deeply admired his work; after discovering that Eggman had lost his memories and personality following the end of the Eggman War, Starline took several measures to restore Eggman to his old self. He also gathered suitable minions for him in the form of Rough and Tumble and secured the Chaos Emeralds for him in order to ensure a position as his apprentice, showing not only deep loyalty and devotion towards the doctor, but also profound knowledge about Eggman's preferences and desires.[20]

Starline was very enthusiastic about seeing the doctor at work and enjoyed working both for him and besides him, often dropping his professional demeanor in favor of a more gleeful, fanboyish or even emotional attitude;[20][22] after seeing Eggman's successful deployment of his Metal Virus in Windmill Village, Starline was moved to tears and proclaimed that Eggman had exceeded his legend.[24] Starline was very dedicated to pleasing Eggman and actively tried not to second-guess his strategies and ideas when he fould them questionable. However, he did not agree with Eggman's hasty actions, like when he started implementing the Metal Virus for his next phase of his plan despite only having little data samples on it. Regardless, he respects Eggman enough to quiet down on his command when he voices such opinions.[22] He was also shown to fear Eggman's wrath, and was quick to apologize when he has angered him.[3]

In time though, Starline noticed his idol was not as great as he believed him to be. When the Zombots began to grow beyond control, a pressing matter which Eggman took very lightly and made little effort to rectify, Starline began to doubt him. His doubts were increased when he learned from Orbot that Eggman practically never learned from his defeats, along with seeing Eggman put his personal grudges ahead of his goal of world conquest. Starline then realized that Eggman was more short-sighted than he expected.[3] Later, he realized somberly that Eggman could never plan for, nor adapt to, the long-term of his plans, and his downfalls were not only due to Sonic's meddling, but also due to Eggman's carelessness.[19] This eventually came to a head at Barricade Town where Starline realized that he was only inspired by the doctor's legend, rather than by Eggman himself, and that "[he] simply couldn't measure up" to it.[21] Despite all of this, Starline is still very much a fan of Eggman and, despite being cruelly fired, he supports his desire to conquer the world but does not agree with his unclear focus to do so.[9] He thus seeks to conquer the world on behalf of Eggman and establish Eggman as the ruler, and break the cycle between Sonic and Eggman that the latter is caught up in.[9][29] However, after realizing that he himself had adopted the faults of his former idol in his attempts to be like him, Starline realized that he could indeed to better and had capacity for self-improvement, unlike Eggman. As such, while still a fan of Eggman's work, he has made it his new goal to become Eggman's superior replacement.[10]

Zavok

Dr. Starline does not like Zavok and partly blames him for his banishment from the Eggman Empire.[29] When it comes down to it, Starline lies about his true loyalties and intentions to Zavok as he is aware that he is no idiot. The doctor recognizes him as a dangerous threat that is much more powerful than himself and has tried to do what he can manage in order to quell him, such as feed his ego.[29][27] Though Zavok is no fan of Starline either, it is uncertain if Zavok respects Starline to the extent of his crew, but his encouraging words to surpass the platypus' idol, Eggman, had lingered in the doctor's head for the better.[30] Disregarding the false acts, they both recognize and applaud their talents, noting they are a threat to each other and need to be annihilated.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Starline seems to have had a high opinion about Sonic the Hedgehog in the beginning. Rather than acting condescending towards Sonic, Starline recognizes him as an incredible foe, having called him the "hero across time and space" and the "only being alive" able to stand up to Dr. Eggman through sheer skill.[3] However, this opinion seems to stem from Starline's initial belief that Sonic always ensured Eggman's defeats due to how "unnaturally powerful" he was.[19] Due to Sonic's reputation, Starline was very eager about pitting his willpower and abilities against Sonic's in the "ultimate test" of their skills on Frozen Peak.[3]

Having apparently studied Sonic extensively, Starline knows Sonic's weaknesses and knows exactly where to strike him.[3] He later came to the conclusion that Sonic was definitely the powerhouse he expected him to be, but also quite reckless.[9]

Neutral

Enemies

Trivia

  • Starline's initial role in the comics is similar to Grimer's role in the Sonic the Comic series, where he was a non-human lab assistant who had loyalty for Dr. Robotnik.
  • Starline's age remains unconfirmed because of how the Sega higher-ups could intervene and suggest different ages than what Flynn originally intended, as they did with Mimic.[35]

Gallery

Concept artwork

Gallery

Model sheets

References

  1. Comment on EvanStanley's profile. DeviantArt (29 November 2018). Retrieved on 29 November 2018. "SonAze9000: If I had to guess, I would say that you designed Dr. Starline. Is that correct? And if not, then who? / Evan Stanley: Yep, I did the character design for Dr. Starline!"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #10, "The Battle for Angel Island, Part 2"
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 Sonic the Hedgehog #14, "Misdirection"
  4. Starline's model sheet.
  5. Ian Flynn on Twitter. Twitter (28 November 2018). Retrieved on 28 November 2018. "Ian Flynn: #SonicTheHedgehog #11 is out today. Please be mindful of spoilers. Out-of-context answer to prevent spoilers: duckbill platypus."
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys #3, "Trust Issues"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Sonic the Hedgehog #36, "Chao Races and Badnik Bases, Part 4"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Sonic the Hedgehog #11, "The Battle for Angel Island, Part 3"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Sonic the Hedgehog #31, "Recovery, Part 1"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys #4, "No Honor Among Thieves"
  11. BumbleKing Videos (2 November 2020). BumbleKast Q&A for November 2nd, 2020. Youtube. Retrieved on 30 November 2020. "Ian Flynn: And there’s that other famous palette glitch, the Wechidna[sic], also known as a line of stars, with his white and red palette, being a monotreme... Wonder if there’s any correlation or plans to be had there..."
  12. BumbleKing Videos (11 January 2021). BumbleKast Q&A for January 11th, 2021. Youtube. Retrieved on 12 January 2021. "Andrew D: Was Dr. Starline and his name based on the glitch character Wechnia and his in-game name ********** since it is basically a line of stars? / Ian Flynn: Yep, that's exactly it."
  13. Comment on EvanStanley's post. Tumblr (8 December 2018). Retrieved on 8 December 2018. "shadowthewerehog: Dr. Starline is beautiful btw. Kudos to you / Evan Stanley: Thank you! I’m really happy with how he came out. I’m a huge fan of the “evil white-furred echidna guy club” in the Sonic rogues’ gallery, so creating a spiritual successor to that legacy was a dream come true."
  14. Sonic the Hedgehog #12, Sonic Letters Squad
  15. Evan Stanley on Twitter. Twitter (2 March 2019). Retrieved on 3 March 2019.
  16. Evan Stanley on Twitter. Twitter. Evan Stanley (29 June 2019). Retrieved on 30 June 2019.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 Sonic the Hedgehog #25, "A Sudden Shift"
  18. 18.0 18.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #20, "Crisis City, Part 2"
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 Sonic the Hedgehog #18, "Victims"
  20. 20.00 20.01 20.02 20.03 20.04 20.05 20.06 20.07 20.08 20.09 20.10 20.11 20.12 20.13 Sonic the Hedgehog #12, "The Cost of the Battle for Angel Island"
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.6 Sonic the Hedgehog #23, "The Last Minute, Part 3"
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 Sonic the Hedgehog #13, "Calling Card"
  23. Sonic the Hedgehog #15, "Patient Zero"
  24. 24.0 24.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #16, "Infection"
  25. Sonic the Hedgehog Annual 2020, "Reflections"
  26. Sonic the Hedgehog Annual 2020, "Eggman's Day Off"
  27. 27.0 27.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #21, "The Last Minute, Part 1"
  28. Sonic the Hedgehog #24, "The Last One Out"
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 29.4 29.5 29.6 29.7 29.8 Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys #1, "A Few Bad Men"
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys #2, "Smash & Grab"
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Sonic the Hedgehog #33, "Chao Races and Badnik Bases, Part 1"
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 Sonic the Hedgehog #35, "Chao Races and Badnik Bases, Part 3"
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Sonic the Hedgehog #42, "Zeti Hunt, Part 2"
  34. Sonic the Hedgehog #44, "Zeti Hunt, Part 4"
  35. BumbleKing Videos (30 November 2020). BumbleKast Q&A for November 30th, 2020. Youtube. Retrieved on 31 December 2020.

External links

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