The Mercian Freedom Fighters, as known as the Crazy Kritters, is a group that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. They are a band of Freedom Fighters located in the former Kingdom of Mercia and operating out of Hideaway. Led by the deposed King Rob o' the Hedge, the team was temporarily destroyed when all except Rob were roboticized and made to serve the High Sheriff. Eventually the team was de-roboticized by the Bem. The team resumed their freedom fighter operations when the Eggman Empire re-established control in the region, hoping to oust Lord Hood, reclaim the capital of Snottingham and return Rob to the throne.
The group was likely formed after Robotnik's Coup d'état and fought against the tyranny of Dr. Ivo Robotnik's Sub-Boss known as the High Sheriff. Tragedy befell the group, however as every member except Rob was captured and subsequently roboticized. Rob continued to spy on the High Sheriff and his operations, hoping to one day free his comrades.
The Crazy Kritters were later de-roboticized by the Bem and fought along side Rob during the fight against the Xorda. Some time later, Rob and his family went into hiding, leaving the Freedom Fighters under the leadership of Bow Sparrow. The group continued to operate against Dr. Eggman's forces, their particular challenge being the Mercia Dark Egg Legion under Lord Mordred Hood. Despite taking shelter in Hideaway, the group faced numerous challenges, including limited numbers and the vulnerability of many of Mercia's citizens, who fell prey to the Legion. Though the heroes made plans to rescue their friends from Snottingham Castle, they lacked the manpower to pull the operation off.
Unexpected aid eventually came in the form of Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel of the Chaotix, who arrived searching for Mighty's lost sister in their shared birthplace. The group provided Mighty with what information they could, and planned to invade the castle so that Mighty could gain access to the Eggnet and learn the location his previously thought dead sister. However, the Legion launched a surprise attack on Deerwood Forest, which Mighty and Ray helped fend off before leaving to infiltrate the castle themselves.
Not long after, the Freedom Fighters came to the aid of other Chaotix members-Vector the Crocodile, Espio the Chameleon, and Charmy Bee-who came under attack from G.O.O.N. units and the Legion just as their teammates had before them. After defeating their foes and exchanging information, the groups came to the grim realization that Mighty and Ray might be prisoners in the castle. Together, they decided to infiltrate the castle using the same secret passage Friar Buck had pointed out to the missing pair, and with the support of the Chaotix pull off the rescue they had long planned for Hood's prisoners. They infiltrated the castle, but unbeknownst to them Lord Hood had deliberately left the passage unblocked so as to trap his enemies.
Despite the detection of their infiltration, the Freedom Fighters and Chaotix were successful in freeing Hood's prisoners and learning where Mighty and Ray had set off for next. As an additional bonus, Espio discovered that Rob and his family had managed to evade the empire, disappearing in the vicinity of Never Lake. The two groups and the freed captives safely returned to Hideaway, and threw a massive celebration of their victory.
- Note: From this point, the Mercian Freedom Fighters' history continues from their new existence in the altered timeline.
- All of the members of the group, with the exception of Bow Sparrow and Thorn the Lop, have some sort of Robin Hood-esque name.
- Knuckles the Echidna #12, "The Forgotten Tribe Part Three of Three: Journey's End"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #58, "Friendly Rouges & Foul Villans"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #123, "The Last Robian"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #125, "Sonic Adventure 2.5: Omega"
- Sonic Universe #46, "All For One Part One: Picking Up The Trail"
- Sonic Universe #47, "All For One Part Two: Ongoing Investigation"