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. Evan later stated that Starline's tuxedo was based off of Mike Pollock's infamous purple shirt that he used to wear at conventions.
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 satin tuxedo with golden cuffs, orange pince-nez glasses, and one webbed brown glove on his left hand that has 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. When Starline is not using the Warp Topaz, he keeps it in a jar.
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?"
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. He also managed to collect all seven Chaos Emeralds.
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. 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 soon 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-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 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.
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.
Eggman soon decided to invaded 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 always thought that Sonic always beat Eggman because of his unnatural strength, but now it seemed like Eggman's defeats were due to Eggman's carelessness and inability to plan for the long-term. 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. Starline soon found himself lamenting over the fact that Eggman had no 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 to 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 posess electromagnetic powers. Starline saw opportunity in this and formed a plan.
The Last Minute
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.
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. Starline refused as he already knew of the stone's sensitive traits. After Starline pointed out that Eggman was not cautious about the Zombot situation as he had not yet inoculated them to the Metal Virus, causing Eggman to smugly reveal that there was no cure. This shocked Starline and Eggman further revealed that he proposed not getting infected by the virus by simply not touching the Zombots. Starline brought up several worst-case scenarios to counter Eggman's logic, only for the latter to dismiss his nitpicks.
Soon, Sonic interrupted the duo's argument and questioned why Eggman went back to his villainous ways. 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, he engaged in combat with Sonic. 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. Starline initially believed that he failed because he was designed as a "ballistic missile with a built-in grudge" against Sonic. However, the first biodata that Neo copied 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; the man himself simply did not measure up to it.
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 what will [Eggman] learn from this?" Eggman then ordered Starline to upload the frequency to the Faceship. Before the platypus could do anything, Sonic 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 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 is, 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.
Later, 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 that he read that stated that Eggman had used the Cacophonous Conch to control the Zeti and they were eager to turn on him. From this, Starline was already aware that the Deadly Six would attempt to overthrow him and thus used the Warp Topaz to retrieve the Cacophonous Conch.
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". 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. Despite possessing a calm demeanor, 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.
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. Though he considers himself brilliant, however, he willingly submits 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.
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 an 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
Starline possesses a superior 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. He also possesses knowledge on robotics and knows enough in this field 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 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.
In combat, Starline uses 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. However, the Warp Topaz needs to be provided with a power source in order to work.
Dr. Starline is fanatically obsessed with Dr. Eggman, who has been the driving force of his career. Ever since Eggman started his conquest of the world, Starline has 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 hit an impasse, he would ask himself what would Eggman do in order to find a solution.
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 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.
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; after seeing Eggman's succesful deployment of his Metal Virus in Windmill Village, Starline was moved to tears and proclaimed that Eggman had exceeded his legend. 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.
In time though, Starline noticed that Eggman was not as great as he believed him to be, and began to see him from a new perspective; seeing Eggman put his personal grudges ahead of his goal of world conquest made him realize that Eggman was more short-sighted than he expected. Later, he realized somberly that Eggman could never plan for, nor adapt to, the long-term, meaning that Eggman's downfalls were not only due to Sonic, but also due to Eggman himself. 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.
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" able to stand up to Dr. Eggman through sheer skill. 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. 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 Sonic the Hedgehog #23, "The Last Minute, Part 3"
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Sonic the Hedgehog #14, "Misdirection"
- ↑ Evan Stanley on Twitter. Twitter. Evan Stanley (29 June 2019). Retrieved on 30 June 2019.
- ↑ 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.”
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 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.
- ↑ Evan Stanley on Twitter. Twitter. Evan Stanley (29 June 2019). Retrieved on 30 June 2019.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #20, "Crisis City, Part 2"
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 Sonic the Hedgehog #18, "Victims"
- ↑ 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 14.11 14.12 14.13 Sonic the Hedgehog #12, "The Cost of the Battle for Angel Island
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 Sonic the Hedgehog #13, "Calling Card"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #15, "Patient Zero"
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #16, "Infection"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #21, "The Last Minute, Part 1"