Eclipse the Darkling is a character in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. He is a super soldier in the Black Arms alien species and was created by the Black Arms to essentially be their answer to Shadow the Hedgehog. Similar to Shadow being referred to as the "Ultimate Lifeform", Eclipse is referred to as the "Ultimate Alien".
Concept and creation
Eclipse is a rather unique Black Arms soldier: he slightly resembles Shadow, is mostly dark gray/pale purple in coloration, with a white "muzzle", yellow teeth, has red accents along his head, arms and legs, black-colored sclerae that feature glowing amber-like gold irises and thin, serrated black pupils, a classic "devil tail" (long and slender, with a red accented arrowhead-like tip), a pair of spikes on his arms (with the bottom spike being significantly smaller than the upper spike), a single small spike on the back of his legs, three fingered hands, two-toed feet, a pair of small "quills" on the back of his shoulders and a spiked red "mantle" on top of his shoulders; he is somewhere around the size of Shadow the Hedgehog.
At an unspecified point in time after the Black Arms' first attack (and subsequent defeat) on Sonic's World, Black Death created Eclipse to be the antithesis to Shadow the Hedgehog, and headed to Sonic's World in via the New Black Comet, though Eclipse slowed them down due to a special experiment concerning entities referred to as the "Dark Arms".
Shattered World Crisis
When Team Dark - Shadow the Hedgehog, Rouge the Bat, E-123 Omega, and the Spider Troupe arrived at New Black Comet to destroy it with the Mjolnir-Class Tactical Nuclear Warhead, Black Death spied on them with his "seeing eye", and decided to use the Mobian team as "nourishment" for the small army, while Eclipse wanted Shadow eliminated from their plan. As Shadow began engaging the Black Arms, he ventured further into the New Black Comet, Eclipse stopping him as he wanted him alive if possible. Eclipse then walks by and introduces himself to Shadow.
Eclipse attempts to convince Shadow to join them, but to no avail, so instead he enters his mind and attempts to take control. Shadow's willpower proves too much until Black Death arrives, combining his powers with Eclipse and taking control of Shadow. Eclipse and Shadow then lead a Black Arms team against the Spider Troupe and Team Dark.
While Shadow fought against Team Dark, Eclipse and his soldiers took on the Spider Troupe; but the Spider Troupe prove to be capable of handling the Black Arms while Eclipse talks with Black Death, but when Eclipse joins the battle he decimates Spider Troupe with little effort and then has his remaining soldiers transport them to the Dark Arms' hatchery to be used as food for the soon-to-be-born entities. Eclipse and a Black Oak leave with G.U.N.'s Nuclear Weapon in order to launch it at their target and is contacted by Black Death who states that he is about to fight Shadow, and that Eclipse must keep the nuke away from Rouge and Omega.
When Rouge and Omega find the nuke, Eclipse and the Black Oak ambush them, but they were ready. Omega attacks the Black Oak and easily knocks him over, and while Eclipse mourns the loss, Omega toys with Eclipse, but Rouge says that they better leave and be done with it. But suddenly, Eclipse metamorphoses into a larger form, and subdues Omega. Luckily for Team Dark, Eclipse tires out and reverts to his normal form. Eventually, Black Death decides to send Eclipse to Sonic's world with the Dark Arms eggs in a small rocket, and though Eclipse screams that he wants to help, he is tossed in with Death's Eye steering them to Sonic's world. When Shadow kills Black Death, Death's Eye falls limp, and Eclipse screams that his revenge will be terrible. In Sky Rail Zone, Knuckles witnesses the rocket, and assumes it's a shooting star.
Days after the Comet blew up, Eclipse muses about Shadow foiling his plans, then his ship makes a crash landing at the Red Mountain Zone. After recovering, he realizes, to his horror that that Dark Arms did not survive the crash, but he finds four that successfully hatched. During the incidents of 'The Great Chaos Caper', he fed them hoping that they would get stronger, so that they could take revenge on the planet. He secretly found Relic and Fixit at the Mushroom Hill Zone investigating a colored plant.
While feeding his Dark Arms, he decides to find another source of nourishment in order to help them grow stronger. He leaves, telling the Dark Arms not to leave the shuttle. As he searches, he finds Knuckles, Rouge, and Omega, looking for his shuttle, and overhears about the Master Emerald. He sets off to the Shrine, where he ambushes Shadow, Relic, Fixit and Snively. As he fights Shadow, he tries to get him to join his side, but Shadow refuses. Eclipse was nearly beaten, but transformed into his Monster Form and gave Shadow a beating. Before he could finish him off, Shadow uses the power from the Master Emerald and beats Eclipse out of this form and away from the shrine. Exhausted, he teleports himself back to the shuttle.
There, he apologizes to the Dark Arms for not getting the power source, but learns that the Dark Arms want to help him. Eclipse accepts their help and they head back to Shrine Isle. There, with the help of Blurk, he takes out Omega's Chaos Drive, and with the help of Cregal, he manages to defeat Rouge. After threatening the group about finding a ride, he uses Cyzer to destroy the Telepod, disconnecting Snively from the rest of the group. He takes the Master Emerald and leaves.
However, Knuckles and Shadow hear that the Master Emerald was stolen, and after Relic's suggestion, they activate the traps in Angel Island to slow Eclipse down. As Eclipse was about to reach the shuttle, Shadow and Knuckles stop and fight him. With the Dark Arms, he puts up a tough fight, but soon they are exhausted. As a last resort, Knuckles shatters the Master Emerald, much to Eclipse's horror. Just when it looked like the end for Eclipse, Rhygenta arrives to help him, and he ends up using the Sonic Cannon to knock Shadow and Knuckles out. Picking up his Dark Arms, he pilots the shuttle and escapes. Crash landing in a swamp, Eclipse seeks revenge as the Dark Arms rest.
Eclipse is fiercely loyal to his race and is willing to do whatever he can to make sure that they will not go on the verge of extinction; at times, he is playful in cruel ways and even mocks his foes (at times) while fighting them. He is the only one in Black Death's army to have free will and independence. Even though he was created to destroy Shadow the Hedgehog, he decided that it would be better if he could convince him to return to the Black Arms. He often refers to Shadow as his 'brother' even though they were both created by two different masters.
While Eclipse is loyal to Black Death, he, at times, questions his orders or even tries to make the situations for the Dark Arms better. Sometimes it works, while other times it doesn't. Eclipse cares for no individual that isn't part of his species. He would rather use them for the good of the Black Arms or just to rid them of their existence. All he wanted is to do right for his endangered race, even if it means destroying another to save it.
He holds a sense of responsibility and greatly (even genuinely) cares for the hatchling Dark Arms to the point that he was horrified to see that most of the eggs didn't survive the crash on Angel Island (only to be quickly overjoyed when he discovered four had survived and hatched even).
Powers and abilities
Eclipse has similar powers to Shadow, such as Chaos Control - which he uses against Spider Troupe and later to get to the Dark Arms, and possess great intelligence. He can also communicate through the Black Arms' hive mind. He also has brainwashing abilities, which can be augmented when used in conjunction with Black Death's. Eclipse also displays an impressive feat: the ability to block Shadow's Chaos Powers and give him hallucinations.
It is shown that Eclipse can use metamorphosis in order to transform into an enhanced state referred to as his Monster Form with heightened durability and strength - enough to almost exhaust Omega and easily defeat Shadow - but during its first shown usage it severely drains his energy - especially when used in heated combat, during it's second usage it does not seem to have as fast a drain. Eclipse states that his Monster Form has ten times the strength of Shadow. A repeated barrage of punches followed by a concentrated Chaos Blast is enough to knock Eclipse out of his Monster Form.
Dark Arm Powers
By working in conjunction with the Dark Arms, Eclipse can use a variety of Dark Arm Powers. He does this through "bonding" with the Dark Arms.
The first Dark Arm Power demonstrated by Eclipse is Armor which he uses after joining with Blurk. When using this ability Eclipse becomes extremely hard and durable, easily shrugging off Omega's firepower and ripping through his armor.
The second Dark Arm Power demonstrated by Eclipse is Wing which he uses after joining with Cregal. When using this, Eclipse's arms are replaced with powerful wings allowing him to fly at higher speeds than Rouge.
The third Dark Arm Power demonstrated by Eclipse is Laser which he uses after joining with Cyzer. When using this, Eclipse's arms change and he is able to fire powerful energy beams out of his palms.
The fourth Dark Arm Power demonstrated by Eclipse is Sonic Cannon which he uses after joining Rhygenta. When using this, one of Eclipse's arms change and he is able to fire powerful sonic blasts.
- Before his true debut in the comics, Eclipse was mentioned in Sonic Super Special Magazine #9.
- Eclipse's dialogue is illustrated with black speech bubbles.
- Eclipse is similar to Metal Sonic in that both were created to match and surpass Shadow and Sonic, respectively.
- Ian Flynn (13 November 2013). Sonic Super Special Magazine #9 preview and discussion. BumbleKing Comics. Archived from the original on 6 October 2016.
- Sonic Universe #59, "Shadow Fall Part One: Into the Unknown"
- Sonic Universe #60, "Shadow Fall Part Two: A Shadow in the Dark"
- Sonic Universe #61, "Shadow Fall Part Three: A Matter of Trust"
- Sonic Universe #62, "Shadow Fall Part Four: A Matter of Survival"
- Sonic Universe #66, "The Great Chaos Caper Finale: Water Way to Go!"
- Sonic Universe #65, "The Great Chaos Caper Part Three: Chip off the Ol' Emerald!"
- Sonic Universe #67, "Total Eclipse Part One: Uninvited Guests"
- Sonic Universe #68, "Total Eclipse Part Two: Tipping Point"
- Sonic Universe #69, "Total Eclipse Part Three: Shadow Boxing"
- Sonic Universe #70, "Total Eclipse Finale: Last Resort"