Doctor Starline is a character 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.
Concept and creation
According to Evan Stanley, Starline was made as a spiritual successor to old white echidna villains, namely Dr. Zachary and Dr. Finitevus. 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. Evan also had the artist in mind when she was designing Starline.
Doctor 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 tuxedo with golden cuffs, orange pince-nez glasses, and webbed black gloves with the left one having the Warp Topaz attached on the top and golden-tipped fingertips. He also wears black boots with golden buckles, red soles, medium-high heels, and upward-turned pointy toes.
According to Starline, he has apparently made a career out of studying Dr. Eggman. He has also spent his career studying the Warp Topaz, a stone capable of warping space to open gateways to other places.
After learning that Dr. Eggman had disappeared after the 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. 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.
Battle For Angel Island
Dr. Starline subsequently used the Warp Topaz to bring Eggman, Rough and Tumble to his base in the Final Egg. 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.
After three sessions using neuro-stimilants 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 Eggman officially welcome Starline as his new lackey.
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.
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 succes 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 miniscule data samples on it. To him surprised 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.
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. After Starline then revealed upon Sonic's inquire that he had restored Eggman, 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 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, Sonic ran into the base to save Silver, and was seemingly caught in the explosion. While Starline was triumphant, he quickly got pulled though the Warp Topaz portal he had open to Eggman's lab by Eggman himself, who angrily 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 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.
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 Metal Virus with the rest of the world.
Starline is calm, collected, confident and rather formal, often addressing others as "gentlemen". 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. 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.
In addition to being highly intelligent, 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.
Starline appears to be a 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 is deeply devoted to Dr. Eggman and gets very excited about the idea of cooperating with him and following his instructions.
Unlike Dr. Eggman's more overt ways, Starline is much more subtle, preferring for example to simply launch an ambush instead of luring someone into a trap with bait that exposes his activities. Also, he likes to be very thorough with his experiments, preferring to conduct enough experimentations on his projects in order to have sufficient data samples to work out from, unlike Dr. Eggman, who hastily begins implementing his plans as soon as his experiments show the results he wants. Similarly, he takes great care when preparing for confrontations with his foes, like luring Sonic into a environment where he is at an disadvantage and scouting out a whole mountain before-handed in order to use his Warp Topaz to its fullest.
Powers and abilities
Being a scientist, Starline possesses a high intellect. He has great knowledge of the workings of the mind, having developed procedures for restoring memories lost to amnesia using radical methods, like neuro-stimilants and aggressive hypnotherapy. He has likewise conducted succesful research into the strange properties of the Warp Topaz and knows enough about machinery to assist Dr. Eggman with repairs on Metal Sonic.
Starline possesses the Warp Topaz, a gemstone that is embedded in his left glove. With this stone, Starline can bend space to create gateways 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. In battle, Starline uses his Warp Topaz's ability to create portals to pull allies out of his enemies' grip and sent opponents that come charging at him to other locations by opening a portal right in front of them, effectively allowing him to dodge attacks without moving. However, the Warp Topaz needs to be provided with a power source in order to work.
Dr. Starline is fanatically obsessed with Dr. Eggman, whom he often refers to as "Sir". Having been dubbed a "fanboy" by Sonic, Starline possesses a high opinion about Eggman and his genius. He calls himself the doctor's kindred spirit and deeply admires his work. After discovering that Eggman had lost his memoires and personality following the end of the 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 profund knowledge about Eggman's preferences and desires.
Starline is very enthusiastic about seeing the doctor at work and enjoys working both for him and besides him, often dropping his professional demeanor in favor of a more gleeful, fanboyish or even emotional attitude in such situations.
Starline is very dedicated to pleasing Eggman and actively tries not to second-guess his strategies and ideas when he finds them questionable. However, he does 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 a few data samples on it. Regardless, he respects Eggman enough to quiet down on his command when he voices such opinions. He is also shown to fear Eggman's wrath, and is quick to apologize when he has angered him. However, he has a hard time understanding why Eggman prioritizes beating Sonic over just killing him.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Starline seems to have a high opinion about Sonic the Hedgehog. 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" to be able to stand up to Dr. Eggman through sheer skill. 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.
Having apparently studied Sonic extensively, Starline knows Sonic's weaknesses and knows exactly where to strike him.
- Starline's 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.
- ↑ 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!”
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #10, "The Battle for Angel Island Part 2"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Sonic the Hedgehog #14, "Misdirection"
- ↑ 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.”
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Sonic the Hedgehog #11, "The Battle for Angel Island Part 3"
- ↑ 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.”
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #12, Sonic Letters Squad
- ↑ Evan Stanley on Twitter. Twitter (2 March 2019). Retrieved on 3 March 2019.
- ↑ 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 Sonic the Hedgehog #12, "The Cost of the Battle for Angel Island
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Sonic the Hedgehog #13, "Calling Card"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #15, "Patient Zero"