Kitsunami the Fennec, or Kit for short, is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing. He is a anthropomorphic fennec fox who was modified into a villainous cyborg by Dr. Starline with no memories of his past. He was designed for the intended purpose of supporting Surge the Tenrec and replacing Miles "Tails" Prower. After discovering his origins however, Kit would work with Surge to get revenge on those that took their pasts away from them.
Concept and creation
According to writer Ian Flynn, Kit is inspired by a glitched version of Tails from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. His appearance was conceptualized by artists Evan Stanley and Mauro Fonseca, with Stanley taking the lead in finishing the design. Fonseca has stated that Kit's design was inspired by the King of Sorrow from Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil. His boots originate from an unused design for Dr. Starline. Kit's hydrokinesis was designed with Sonic's dislike of water in mind.
Kit, along with Surge, was originally pitched for IDW Publishing's Sonic comics by Ian Flynn in 2017, before the first issue was even released. They were meant to debut alongside Dr. Starline as part of a trio of characters based on glitches present in the early Sonic the Hedgehog video games. Although the pitch was rejected at the time, due to the staff thinking it was too early, the characters would eventually be accepted in 2021. Notably, Kit was originally pitched as an android fox, but was changed to a cyborg fennec at a later date by request of Sega.
Kit is an anthropomorphic fennec fox about the height of a child. He possesses mostly Argentine blue fur with a patch of white fur on the front of his torso that is shaped like a waterdrop, and a medium-long white muzzle with pointy cheek tuffs and a small black nose. He also has fuchsia eyes that sometimes glow, teal eyelids, long bangs of fur on his head, and long triangular ears on his head with teal tips that hang down the sides of his head. Lastly, he has a long, thick tail with a teal tip.
For attire, Kit wears the Hydro Pack, white gloves that possess visible lining with black cuffs that are studded with gray studs, and yellow boots with black toes and soles, and six gray studs along the tongues of said boots.
Both Kit and Surge have been in development for a long time as part of Dr. Starline's Operation: Remaster. Originally a regular person, Starline somehow acquired Kit and modified him by implementing cybernetic enhancements using Power Cores and Tails' DNA, as well as giving him physical toughness using the Metal Virus and a new personality and memories using the codes he got from Belle and information from Neo Metal Sonic. Kit in particular was designed for the purpose of aiding Surge the Tenrec, with Starline modeling him after Sonic's sidekick, Tails. Kit was then subjected to hypnotic sessions where Starline imprinted him with false motivations to serve Surge no matter what. Afterwards, the two of them were subjected to hundreds of tests, and when they got fed up, Starline would blot out their memories with hypnosis, which left both Kit and Surge with lasting psychological trauma. In the end, Kit was left without awareness of his origins, believing only that Starline gave him the powers he had so he could help Surge destroy Sonic.
Imposter Syndrome and Trial by Fire
Kit and Surge eventually had to go through various tests arranged by Dr. Starline. At the end of one of these tests, however, Starline treated Surge with hypnosis when she began arguing with him, subduing her. Kit was at first shocked by what Starline had done to Surge, only to have his memory reset by Starline with hypnosis as well. After they regained consciousness, Kit and Surge were sent to the Forest Ridge Zone Campground by Starline. There, they would start a forest fire that could kill Amy and her friends in order to demoralize Sonic. After Surge ignited the dried-up flora Kit had gathered, the pair would walk through the fire they had caused. A few days later, the pair came to Central City for a test to assess their finesse by causing chaos without getting caught. Kit wanted to sabotage the city's sewage system, but Surge went ahead and caused some chaos herself. Regrouping with Starline at Tails' Lab, Kit tried opening the entrance to the lab when Starline could not open it. However, Kit's water coil tails were unable to squeezes through the cracks in the sealed entrance. Not wanting to make a notable scene, Starline had Kit and Surge withdraw with him. Returning to Starline Base Sigma, Kit learned that the fire he and Surge started had been handled without casualties. Regardless, Starline wanted to put him and Surge through one final test that would let him try out his anti-Eggman algorithm. While Surge argued with Starline however, she and Kit began questioning their motivations and relationships, prompting Starline to hypnotize them again. When Kit and Surge then woke up, Starline convinced them that they wanted to take part in his final test, while he wanted them to move on with his plans. With Kit believing Starline's lie, he listened to Starline's plan for their final test.
Traveling to Egg Base Alpha, Kit was instructed by Starline to be escorted by Surge to the communications tower and ensure that no alerts would broadcasted onto the Eggnet. Although Kit tried insisting that it was Surge's role to handle the important jobs, he was silenced by Surge. Afterward, the trio headed into the base, with Kit and Surge heading to the comms tower. Though Kit suggested a detour when Antons appeared, Surge went ahead and destroyed them. Kit tried then to remind Surge of Starline's plan, but Surge insisted on doing her own thing while he followed her. Regardless, the two headed towards the comms tower as planned. Once there, Kit wanted a few minutes to disable outgoing communications. As he began passively arguing with Surge in an attempt to keep her from destroying the tower however, an Egg Breaker appeared. As such, Surge distracted the Badnik while Kit went to work on the comms tower. After finishing, he returned to Surge, only to see her get smashed by the Egg Breaker's mace. Furious, Kit threw the mace back at the Egg Breaker with his water-coil tails, only to discovered that Surge had barely been injured. After Surge then took care of the Egg Breaker, Antons surrounded the duo. Though Kit and Surge got ready to fight, the Antons began applauding them. Starline then announced that the base and its Badniks were his now, and told Kit and Surge to join him in the control room. There, after being congratulated by Starline, Kit tried to tell Starline of what had happened when he noticed their bruises, but Surge silenced him and assured Starline that all was well. After being dismissed however, Kit asked Surge in private of why she did did want him to tell Starline about what happened so he could give her a checkup. In response, Surge revealed that she had realized that Starline had done something to them that they could not recall. With Surge focused on sorting this out by taking a look at Starline's video logs and getting revenge on Starline, Kit eagerly offered his help when Surge asked for it.
Kit eventually managed to break into Starline's video logs and show them to Surge. From them, they discovered how Starline had modified them and erased their memories of their past personas. Kit also could not find information about who they were before Starline modified them. When Starline showed up in person and was about to erase Surge's memory however, Kit tried to defend her, but was paralyzed by Starline's Multi-Tool Heel Spurs. While Surge fought the doctor however, Kit recovered and captured him with his water tentacles, restraining him. Surge then took Starline's glove from him and used its hypnotic powers to put him to sleep. As Surge then announced her intention to destroy everyone related to them, Kit suggested that they could use Starline for her plan by going along with Starline's original plan and then destroy him, Eggman, and Sonic when the time was right, which Surge agreed was a good idea. When Starline later woke up with no memories of what had happened, Kit confirmed that the doctor had explained their origins to them, and that they held no grudge against him. An overjoyed Starline then announced to them his plan to attack Eggman's newest capital.
Kit later arrived at Eggtropolis with Surge and Starline, where he continued to feign his allegiance to the latter. After fighting their way through the city's Badniks, Starline split off from Kit and Surge, who were to occupy Eggman and his forces while he uploaded his override program. When Kit had asked her if it was okay that they were using Starline's plan against him, Surge assured him that all they were doing was justified and the only person he should be loyal to is her. Kit and Surge continued to tear through the Badniks easily until Metal Sonic ambushed Surge. As Metal Sonic proved to be a formidable opponent for Surge, Kit came to help her get back up; however, Surge demanded that Kit supported her in the fight. After a tough fight between Kit, Surge, and Metal Sonic, the robot eventually had Surge at his mercy until Kit restrained him and trapped him in a water bubble that Surge proceeded to electrocute, shutting down Metal Sonic. After Surge then checked up on Kit, who said he was just happy to help, she noted that they would get along just fine. After Starline then managed to upload and broadcast his override program to the Badniks of the world, Kit and Surge witnessed the Coconuts surrounding them fall under Starline's control. The pair soon after saw Starline being carried by Egg Pawns to Eggman's main headquarters. Afterwards, Kit and Surge watched the Badniks of the world arrive at Eggtropolis. Surge told Kit that after they got rid of Starline and the others, he would have to reprogram most of the Badniks to self-destruct while leaving some for herself. She then explained, should it come down to it, she would fight Sonic alone while Kit kept Tails from distracting her. Once all of this had been taken care of, Kit and Surge agreed to hunt down all of Sonic's allies and topple the cities that celebrated them together.
Battle for the Empire
Kit and Surge soon got word from Orbot that Sonic and Tails had entered the city. Sticking to the plan, Surge fled to fight Sonic while Kit engaged Tails. The fox cub believed that there was some sort of misunderstanding at first, but Kit denied this, wanting to end him quickly. As Kit pursued Tails through the city, the latter would compliment Kit for his use of his Hydro Pack. The fennec did not understand why Tails was being nice to him and rejected the fox cub's advances of wanting to understand his pain and share support. Regardless, Kit began to break down as he did not know what he wanted without Surge, leading to Tails engaging in a more gentle conversation with him. Kit told Tails that Dr. Starline was the one who summoned all the Badniks to the city and revealed his hatred for the doctor due to his abusive nature. Though Tails wished to help defeat Starline, the fox cub's wish for Sonic to join them made Kit snap and turn on him again, as destroying Sonic was all Surge wanted and he would not let anyone stop her. Eventually, Kit managed to catch Tails off guard once the latter was distracted by a crumbling bridge. As the fennec gloated at his inevitable victory, Tails stated that he knew he would run out of water eventually. Sure enough, Kit's Hydro Pack would run out of water immediately after. This sends Kit into a panic, fearing for Surge's anger, and tried to use what little water he had left. However, he was defeated once Tails switched off his Hydro Pack. He proceeded to cry out before kneeling in shame. Tails subsequently brought the dejected Kit back with him to Sonic, who had survived his battle, and Belle the Tinkerer.
Programmed to emulate Sonic's sidekick, Kit shares Tails' kindness, politeness, and occasional shyness, but with their positive traits flipped around. He is defined by a soft-spoken, somber, withdrawn and timid attitude, with very little in the way of individuality. He speaks politely and formally, referring to Dr. Starline and Surge as "sir" and "ma'am". Kit is also quite nervous and often stutters when he talks. Despite his reserved demeanor though, he is capable of moments of extreme emotions: when he thought Surge had received lethal injuries, he snapped into a sorrowful rage and would scream loudly as he took brutal revenge on her attacker.
Unlike Surge, Kit possesses a keen and analytic mind that prompts him to look before he leaps. As such, he is full of ideas and creative solutions that do not rely solely on brute force and prefers sticking to the plans that has been laid out instead over a reckless assault, having noted that plans are his thing. However, he appears to lack self-confidence and hold a low opinion of himself due to his dependency on Surge, having refused to take part in operations that involves vital elements of support. Even when he comes up with a complex and clever plan himself, he always needs assurance from his superiors to go through with it. His sorrowful attitude also prompts him to look for validation from both Surge and Starline, but their constant mistreatment causes him to have emotional breakdowns.
Powers and abilities
Kit has the ability to manipulate water. He is highly skilled with this ability, being capable of shaping water into various forms with no effort. His most prominent demonstration of this skill is his ability to make "hydro-coil tails" in the form of watery tentacles that are both solid and strong enough to restrain a robot as strong as Hey Ho, lift and thrown a giant mace with considerable force, and pry open metal doors that have even the slightest crack in them. He can also use them to plug up openings and spaces, like the exhausts in jet packs, for both immobilization and offense. When able to produce his hydro-coil tails via his Hydro Pack, he can also use them to carry himself forward at great speeds. In battle, he can also use his hydro-coil tails as extra limbs or clubs to attack foes with. When extremely agitated, Kit can freeze his water to create ice spikes.
Kit has also demonstrated an amplitude for mechanics and technology. Notably, he was able to disable outgoing communications in an Egg Base in a matter of minutes by tampering with a signal tower's hardware, and operate different machines and computers, the latter of which he has enough skills with to hack Dr. Starline's personal database.
As a part of Dr. Starline's precautions to keep Kit on a short leash, Kit has been made highly susceptible to hypnosis in case he goes out of control. As such, he is quick to respond to Starline's commands and lose some of his most recent memories when exposed to Starline's hypnotic devices. However, his memories cannot be completely erased. In addition, over time, he has begun developing a resistance to this effect.
Kit's power relies on the Hydro Pack, meaning that if the latter runs out of water, he will be left powerless. Furthermore, he can be zapped, up to the point of paralysis, if his water tentacles come in contact with electrical energy.
Surge the Tenrec
Kit was programmed by Dr. Starline to be loyal to Surge the Tenrec and devote his life to serving her as her support unit to the best of his abilities and keeping her safe. However, their original partnership was nothing but a farce, as both Surge and Kit had been programmed with false memories and motivations for helping each other by Starline in order to make their teamwork more effective. Also, Kit's attempts to be the voice of reason for Surge and reign in her recklessness are often ignored or disregarded by Surge herself, prompting arguments between them. Even so, Kit is never directly hostile towards Surge, nor has Kit ever tried to stand up to her, opting instead to be somewhat passive when they disagree or talking and summitting to her whims. He likewise tends to cringe whenever he notices her temper is starting to flare up. Due to all their disagreements, Kit will be very happy when Surge actually asks for his help and support.
Despite Surge's callous treatment of him and emotional abuse, Kit still worries about her well-being, even if she does not return the concern. If Surge were to be hurt, the normally calm and apathetic Kit will react in shock or even uncharacteristic anger and rage and rush to her aid without thinking at all. However, Kit's feelings for Surge are not natural, as why he worries so much about her confuses him.
Kit and Surge eventually began forming a real partnership in their quest for answers about their past. After learning about how Starline had used and manipulated them and that his devotion to Surge was a lie, Kit close to stay by Surge's side on their shared search for answers. Kit in particular also took Surge's side without thinking and helped her defeat Starline. When Surge later decided to destroy everyone they deemed guilty for taking away their past, including Starline, Kit went along with her idea, although he came up with a plan that would let them take advantage of Starline to achieve their goal. This suggestion marked the first time Surge would approve of one of his plans. Ironically, this allowed them to form a real bond based on their shared hatred for their newfound enemies.
Miles "Tails" Prower
Similar as to how Surge's modifications were inspired by Sonic, Starline modified Kit's loyalty to Surge after Tails' helpful behavior towards Sonic. However, while Starline programmed Surge to despise Sonic, Kit has no programming to hate his counterpart and no real ill-will towards him, merely wanting to kill him due to Surge's own hatred to everyone associated with Sonic.
This lack of true hatred, combined with Kit's own desire for approval, led Tails to briefly succeed in calming him down. He did, for a moment, stop fighting when the fox said that he could help him and vented over his hatred towards Starline. Kit was almost willing to set aside their fight and ally himself with Tails, but he immediately started to attack Tails again when he suggested breaking up the fight between Sonic and Surge, as it would be going against the latter's wishes.
Kit was originally loyal to Dr. Starline as part of his programming, even respectfully calling him "sir". Kit in particular was better than Surge when it came to listening to Starline's orders, as he prefers following plans. However, under specific circumstances, Kit would question why he worked with him, prompting the doctor to manipulate him with his hypnotic gauntlet to keep him loyal. Starline would in particular gaslight the duo into pretending nothing happened, as he needed them for his plans.
After discovering how Starline had manipulated and used him and Surge though, Kit would betray Starline alongside Surge. While he is willing to kill Starline for what he has done to him, Kit, being more pragmatic than Surge, has opted to first use Starline to get closer to those he deems guilty for turning him and Surge into empty cyborgs, before eliminating them and Starline. He would later tell Tails that he hates Starline for all the harm he has done to him.
- Kit's full name is a portmanteau of "kitsune" and "tsunami". A kitsune is a fabled Japanese creature, known for its nine tails. This is reflected in Kit's powers, as he can create multiple "tails" out of water. This may have also been inspired by how Tails was originally supposed to be a kitsune, but was changed to a fox due to kitsune not being well known outside of Japan in the 1990s.
- Surge and Kit's names together reference the word "circuit".
- IDW Publishing on Twitter. Twitter (14 November 2021). Retrieved on 14 November 2021. "David Mariotte: Surge and Kit actually predate Sonic number 1, as seen on this year one springboard from Ian Flynn. They predate most of the things in IDW Sonic, in fact. When Ian Flynn pitched Surge and Kit in 2017 before the series started, we knew that it wasn't quite the right time for their story to get the justice it deserves. When it came to 2021 planning with Ian, writer Evan Stanley, and assistant editor Riley Farmer, we knew it was the right time."
- Mauro Fonseca on Twitter. Twitter (2 September 2021). Archived from the original on 13 November 2021. Retrieved on 2 September 2021.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Imposter Syndrome #1, story one
- IDW Publishing on Twitter. Twitter (14 November 2021). Retrieved on 14 November 2021. "David Mariotte: Today I'm here to give you a special behind-the-scenes look at the creation of our two new characters Surge the Tenrec and Kitsunami the Fennec"
- Dreadknux (26 August 2021). SURGE THE TENREC AND KIT THE FENNEC: IDW’S ‘IMPOSTER SYNDROME’ MINISERIES’ NEW CHARACTERS REVEALED. Sonic Stadium. Archived from the original on 26 August 2021.
- STH Imposter Syndrome!. Reddit (September 2021). Retrieved on 11 November 2021. "Ian Flynn: Dr. Starline was inspired by the "Wechina" sprite error from Knuckles's Chaotix. Likewise, Surge is inspired by the famous "Ashura" glitch of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Kit by a personal glitch I remember getting for Tails in S3&K."
- Evan Stanley (@spiritsonic) on Tumblr. Tumblr (17 November 2021). Archived from the original on 18 November 2021. Retrieved on 18 November 2021. "Evan Stanley: I changed his glove/boot design to better mesh with Surge's punk style (the boots were an unused Starline boot design), and the backpack got sleeker and higher-tech."
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Imposter Syndrome #2, Sonic Letters Squad
- BumbleKing Videos (7 January 2019). The Final (For Real) Smash Bros. Ultimate Episode - BumbleKast #82. YouTube. Retrieved on 18 November 2021. "Ian Flynn: See actually, Starline was meant to debut with two other characters and they were all built around a similar [...], and if they had all come out at the same time I think folks would've gone "Oh, I see where the inspiration is from", but things were revised because our season 2 plans were [...] we need to just push some stuff to the back burner now and focus on [...] so that's why we only have Starline now. Eh, maybe we'll get to it down the line."
- Ian Flynn on Twitter. Twitter (17 November 2021). Archived from the original on 18 November 2021. Retrieved on 18 November 2021.
- BumbleKast for May 20th, 2022 - Standard Q&A Podcast with Ian Flynn. YouTube (20 May 2022). Retrieved on 20 May 2022.
- Sonic the Hedgehog #46, "Trial by Fire, Part 2"
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Imposter Syndrome #3, story one
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Imposter Syndrome #2, story one
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Imposter Syndrome #4, story one
- Sonic the Hedgehog #50, "Battle for the Empire"