Extreme Gears are objects that appear in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. They are hoverboards used for quick transportation that were supposedly first developed by the Battle Bird Armada. They are the primary method of transportation for the Babylon Rogues, who are all skilled Extreme Gear riders. Other Extreme Gear models were built by Tails, and have seen limited use in the Republic of Acorn.
The Extreme Gears are made of lightweight metal for the purpose of making them fast and aerodynamic. The durability of the boards varies as they have been seen to survive explosions despite taking considerable damage, but are not very strong against precision attacks in certain areas as one owned by Bark the Polar Bear was sliced in half with ease by a single sword swing from Antoine D'Coolette.
The Extreme Gear was first seen when Jet the Hawk was captured while attempting to steal a vapor accelerator from Dr. Eggman in New Megaopolis in order to increase his airboard's output. Impressed by the technology behind its design, Eggman was astounded to discover the Extreme Gear's speed could rival that of Sonic the Hedgehog and made a deal with Jet to let him live if he would beat Sonic down. Taking along Wave and Storm, the Babylon Rogues got the drop on the hedgehog with their airboards and easily outmatched him with their added strength and skill, promising to attack Knothole the next day. Sonic reluctantly had to admit the Rogues were unbelievably fast with their Extreme Gear and returned to Freedom HQ. Coincidentally, Miles "Tails" Prower had begun constructing his own version of Extreme Gear for himself and Knuckles the Echidna (prior to encountering the Babylon Rogues) in order to keep up with Sonic on missions and the three of them used his prototypes to fend off the Rogues in a race the following day. When Sonic and his friends first arrived on their Extreme Gear, Jet became offended at the sight of his group being copied with knock-off equipment and decided to wreck Knothole on principle then, while Wave was of the opinion that Tails' boards were junk despite the skill their riders displayed. Where or how Tails got the inspiration to design his own Extreme Gear is still unclear though. Knuckles later on arrived at Freedom HQ on Extreme Gear.
The next time Extreme Gear was seen in action was when Bark and Bean showed up riding a pair of airboards during a nighttime sting operation in Northamer's marshlands. Though Sonic was at a loss as to where they could have gotten the boards, Bean only replied that there were benefits to leaving the Armada in a rush. Sonic then went to settle a score with the eccentric duck and they rode about on his board doing various loops and spins in the night sky before he was finally subdued. Antoine in the meantime faced off against Bark and easily dispatched his adversary by neatly cutting his airboard into two pieces as he flew by, which called the quality of the Gear's construction into question.
Extreme Gear would not be seen again until the Babylon Rogues resurfaced and got involved in a chase over a Sol Emerald that ended up on Mobius Prime. While the Rogues fought Team Hooligan and then additionally Team Rose and Team Dark, their Extreme Gear began to accumulate damage from various impacts, laser blasts, at one point a fiery eruption from the Sol Emerald itself that briefly consumed them. It was not until they were hit with an explosion from one of Bean's bombs that the Gear was rendered useless, though it appeared to have remained intact but with considerable scorch marks. It was by then that Wave decided they were going to pull out and marched the rest of her team away, furious at how badly her airboards had been mistreated and how long it would take for her to repair and get them running again.
The Babylon Rogues employed their Extreme Gear again both in resisting and then in uneasy alliance with their former comrades, the Battle Bird Armada during the Armada's invasion of New Mobotropolis which ended in a failure. Following this incident, Extreme Gear was employed by certain citizens of the Republic of Acorn for various purposes. Notably, Antoine D'Coolette and Bunnie D'Coolette rode Extreme Gear while escorting Elias Acorn from the city, and Geoffrey St. John utilized one for an excursion to Soumercia at the behest of his master, Ixis Naugus. These Extreme Gear were developed in the kingdom, with the intent being that many of the Freedom Fighters would be able to keep up with Sonic as he traveled into battle at high speed. Sadly, their great speed made them difficult to handle, making their use in battle situations quite limited.
- Note: From this point, the Extreme Gears' history continues from their new existence in the altered timeline.
- Extreme Gear was a mode of transport and racing in Sonic Riders, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity and Sonic Free Riders. However, the comics have only portrayed the board type; in the aforementioned games, there were also Bike, Skate, Air Ride, and Wheel types.
- Bean claimed in issue Sonic the Hedgehog #173 that his and Bark's gear were "perks of deserting the Armada in a hurry", implying that in the comics the Battle Bird Armada is responsible for the original creation of Extreme Gear. This is supported by the Babylon Rogues, as Jet stole Dr. Eggman's technology to improve his air board after leaving the Armada. However, though it is heavily implied that the Battle Bird Armada first developed Extreme Gear, the only members seen using it so far have been deserters such as Bean the Dynamite and the Babylon Rouges. Extreme Gear has not been seen anywhere among the Armada's equipment, or used by the various troopers still with the organization in any of their appearances to date. As such, it is also unknown whether Extreme Gear used by the Republic of Acorn was appropriated from the Armada as a result of their invasion or was created by Tails.
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #163, "Sonic Riders Part 1 of 2"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #164, "Sonic Riders Part 2 of 2"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #171, "I Am"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #173, "Round Up!"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #23, "Treasure Team Tango Step Three: The Llevada"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #24, "Treasure Team Tango Step Four: The Parada"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #33, "Babylon Rising Part 1 Remembrance"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #34, "Babylon Rising - Part 2: Reunion"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #35, "Babylon Rising Part 3: Retribution"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #36, "Babylon Rising Part 4: Resurrection"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #234, "Unthinkable"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #41, "Unsung Heroes Part One: The Big Guns!"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia, "Freedom Fighter Vehicles"