Merlin Prower is a character in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. He is the wizard of the Kingdom of Acorn, Tails' uncle and Amadeus' brother. An old friend of Maximillian Acorn's, he went into hiding prior to Dr. Ivo Robotnik's military coup, becoming a charlatan. He would encounter Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails once each before finally revealing himself to them, at which point he temporarily resided in Knothole and then in New Mobotropolis. Having been named one of the Neo Walkers by the Ancient Walkers, he left soon afterwards to explore his connection to the Chaos Force.
Merlin is, as his name would suggest, a wizard. He has orange fur, light blue eyes and graying hair and wears blue cloak and large beads. He was formerly the chief wizard in the Kingdom of Acorn - a title he apparently assumed after Ixis Naugus' banishment - but hid himself away after Dr. Robotnik's coup. Merlin's connection to Tails wasn't established for a long time, as those who met him didn't know his nephew's real name, as was the case when he met Knuckles.
Merlin is a charlatan, for the most part not involved with the rest of Mobius. Predictably, he is aware of Athair and the Ancient Walkers, and knows of Tails' destiny as the Chosen One. He first appeared when Knuckles was searching for the Sword of Acorns, and provided the Echidna with some assistance in his efforts. However, he had appeared in the past to Sonic, trading Tails' sneakers for a bag of "shiny stones" that Sonic found. Following his initial confrontation with Chaos Knuckles, an unconscious Tails was brought to Merlin by Athair, who helped him recover for a rematch with the Guardian.
It was only after many years that Tails even learned of his existence, through Athair before his final showdown with Mammoth Mogul took place. He later reunited with Tails when he came to Knothole bearing the Chaos Emerald containing Mammoth Mogul, knowing that the Artifacts of Acorn were the only hope to save the dying Ancient Walkers and keeping Mogul permanently trapped. Unfortunately, due to the interference of the Arachne as they freed Ixis Naugus, the Ancient Walkers were killed and Merlin was knocked unconscious when Mogul escaped and reclaimed his Emerald. To make up for his failure, he has joined forces with the Freedom Fighters, and was also selected by the Walkers to be one of their successors, the Neo Walkers, along with Athair and Aurora. He was accompanied by Sir Connery, but the Paladin of the Ancient Walkers sacrificed himself to destroy the Sword and Crown of Acorns.
Merlin later used his magic to bring Tails, Sonic, and Knuckles to Argentium, homeworld of the Bem, which was currently caught in the middle of a war between the Xorda and the Black Arms. Reuniting with his brother and sister-in-law, Merlin brought Amadeus and Rosemary home to Mobius and took up residence with them and Tails. Unlike his family members, however, Merlin did not apparently feel that the Kingdom of Acorn needed to undergo reform, and did not take part in the other Prowers' efforts to bring down Elias.
Merlin also refrained from participating in the struggle against the second Enerjak, though he would later use his magic to cleanse Tails, Mina Mongoose, and Mighty the Armadillo of a mind controlling spell placed on them in the past by Mammoth Mogul. He performed a similar cleansing on Sonic and Knuckles, just to ensure that the Hedgehog and Echidna suffered no ill effects from interacting with a similar spell cast on the Master Emerald by Dr. Finitevus, which at the time had not affected Sonic. Determined to find out why, Merlin departed from New Mobotropolis, despite Tails' sadness at seeing him go and Merlin's own at having to depart.
Just prior to their death, the Ancient Walkers named Merlin as one of their three successors, the Neo Walkers, together with Athair and Aurora. As a result, it can be inferred that Merlin's quest to find answers about Sonic's mysterious nature will also lead him to explore his own connection to the Chaos Force more fully, so that he may achieve the same level of unity with it as his two compatriots.
Merlin is a kind, friendly individual who is cordial to any goodly individual whom he meets. He forms strong bonds with whomever he meets, and in particular has a powerful sense of family loyalty and affection. The only thing that appears stronger is his dedication to his duties of protecting Mobius, which he pursues with the utmost dedication. Though young in comparison to the other Neo Walkers, he brings a fresh perspective to the trio.
Powers and abilities
A trained wizard, Merlin is well-versed in the arcane uses of the Chaos Force and other mystical powers. He is capable of creating realistic illusions, transporting himself and others to other locations instantaneously (though greater distances require the aid of mystical power sources), gazing into Mobius's alternate futures (such as the one containing the Freedom Fighters of the Galaxy), inducing super transformations using his magic, and performing spells of cleansing magic. Given his years spent in isolation, it is likely that many other abilities are also at his disposal, including many that Tails, Sonic, and Knuckles have never seen before. Despite his considerable knowledge, he is not that impressive of a combatant, certainly not on the level of Mammoth Mogul, Ixis Naugus, or even the Freedom Fighters. Part of this is due to the fact that he relies on magical skills, and thus is physically ordinary and unskilled unlike many of his allies in the battle against evil-or so it seems. Of course, given his propensity for deception, the amount of energy he does command, and the fact that, even without intervention, events still seem to work themselves out for the best, whether or not he has displayed the limits of his powers could be open to question.