- For the version of this character from before the Super Genesis Wave, see Gerald Robotnik (Pre-Super Genesis Wave).
Professor Gerald Robotnik is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. He was a human scientist who lived on the Space Colony ARK, and was the grandfather of Maria Robotnik and the infamous Dr. Eggman. One of the greatest scientific minds of his time, Gerald was the scientist responsible for Project Shadow, which led to the creation of Shadow the Hedgehog, who served as his greatest achievement and legacy even long after his death. However, Gerald perished when the military decided to shut down Project Shadow and execute him. Before his death however, he secretly prepared Shadow to exact revenge on G.U.N. for murdering Maria.
The greatest scientific mind of his time, Gerald dedicated his life's work to the people of the world. During his carrier, Gerald accomplished many things, such as creating the Space Colony ARK where he would live, discovering and researching an interdimensional beast called the Ifrit, and studying the existence of the "The Fourth Great Civilization." He eventually had a granddaughter named Maria Robotnik, who he became extremely close to and cared for while aboard the ARK due to her needing constant attention because she suffered from an incurable and inevitably fatal disease.
Over fifty years ago, Gerald was asked by the President of the United Federation to lead a medical project named "Project Shadow" to research immortality, which Gerald accepted in hopes of developing a cure for Maria's illness. When trying to create an immortal creature dubbed the "ultimate life form," there were barriers Gerald's research could not go around: his first prototype, the Biolizard, was unstable and could not live without a built-in life support system.
Desperate, Gerald contacted Black Doom, the ruler of the Black Arms, from the Black Comet for assistance, and they made a deal: Gerald would have his creation deliver the seven Chaos Emeralds to Black Doom in fifty years and Black Doom gave him his blood, which Gerald used to create Shadow the Hedgehog. However, Gerald learned of Black Doom's plans to use the Chaos Emeralds to enslave the population, so he secretly developed the Eclipse Cannon to destroy the Black Comet and changed Shadow to being the savior of the world by protecting from the Black Arms when they returned. In the meantime, Gerald studied the ancient robot Emerl. Despite discovering that it was a terrible weapon, Gerald offered Emerl as a bribe to the government to keep Project Shadow going when they considered cutting funding, but with disastrous results, so Gerald reprogrammed it with a free will to keep it out of conflict.
Shortly after Shadow was born, the military deemed Shadow as a threat to humanity and raided the ARK, where they apprehended Gerald and brought him to the planet surface to complete the project under military control. Once Gerald learned Maria had been killed during the raid, Gerald went mad with grief and created a program that would cause the ARK to destroy the world and brainwashed Shadow to carry out the plan. The military, fearing how Gerald would retaliate, soon after shut down the project and Gerald was executed.
Following Shadow's release by Dr. Eggman, the ultimate lifeform operated without knowing his true purpose. Believing his role was to exact revenge against G.U.N. for killing Maria, Shadow acquired a Chaos Emerald from Station Square's bank to help Eggman achieve this objective. Shadow worked with Eggman, eventually acquiring seven Chaos Emeralds in order to use the Eclipse Cannon against Mobius. However, thanks to Amy reminding him of his true purpose, Shadow teamed up with Sonic the Hedgehog and destroyed the Biolizard, saving the world. When the Black Arms invaded the world and Shadow was at the mercy of Black Doom's mind control, Shadow finally learned of his true purpose from a final video message from Gerald. This gave Shadow the motivation he need to obliterate Black Doom and his minions.