- For the version of this character after the Super Genesis Wave, see Ray the Flying Squirrel (Archie).
Ray the Flying Squirrel is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. He is a member of the Chaotix and best friends with Mighty the Armadillo, having met him while both were held prisoner by Dr. Ivo Robotnik. The two teamed up with Sonic the Hedgehog during an escape attempt, but Ray ended up being trapped when he grabbed the prison's Power Stone energy source and was caught in a time warp. Years later, Mighty found and freed him, bringing him back to Angel Island. Joining the Chaotix, Ray became a loyal if timid member, helping them face various foes on the island and then later on the surface as they fought Dr. Eggman alongside the Freedom Fighters. Ray would later take up residence in Knothole up until its destruction, and briefly stayed in New Mobotropolis before the Chaotix resumed their place on Angel Island.
Ray is a yellow-furred flying squirrel with a tan muzzle and circular patch on his chest, similar to Sonic. He has a bushy yellow tail and patagium, or flight flaps, that he can extend from his chest to his arms. Initially his wardrobe consisted only of red shoes and white gloves; the shoes were later replaced with blue ones, and he began wearing a blue jacket. At the D'Coolette wedding, he wore a tuxedo, as was the case with most of the Chaotix and Freedom Fighters.
After joining the Sand-Blasters, Ray discarded his jacket in favor of a light blue scarf and goggles, while retaining his shoes and gloves.
Ray's early history is virtually unknown, though it is implied that he was orphaned or otherwise separated from his family early enough that he has no memory of them. In 3230, Ray was captured by the forces of Dr. Ivo Robotnik along with Mighty the Armadillo, Fiona Fox and many other Mobians, who were taken to a high security prison/research facility. During the trip to the facility, Ray demonstrated his kind and timid nature, giving up his seat to a girl. He soon made friends with Mighty and Sonic the Hedgehog, the latter having managed to infiltrate the group and pretend to be a prisoner. Upon arriving at the prison, Ray and Mighty came to the aid of Fiona Fox, who had been targeted by the Robian warden for Robotnik's experimentation. Despite his fear, Ray battled valiantly, stopping only when all three of them were targeted by laser weapons. After, Mighty and Ray were put in solitary confinement.
Liberated by Sonic and Mighty, Ray joined them in attacking Robotnik's lab, making his way towards a machine that was copying Fiona Fox in order to create an Auto Automaton. Ray grabbed the Power Stone fueling the machine and was then hit by an energy beam from a SWATbot, but instead of dying was trapped in some sort of fluctuations between zones. Sonic grabbed Mighty and dashed to save Ray, but upon touching him the three were teleported to an alternate zone in which time flowed faster. Shortly afterwards only Sonic and Mighty returned, while Ray remained trapped in the other zone.
When Mighty and Fiona returned to the long-abandoned facility in 3236 with Nic the Weasel, they were shocked to find Ray was still there, alive but attached to the power gem. Believing only hours had passed, Ray was happy to see Mighty once again. He was freed from the gem by a shot from Nic's blaster pistol, which destroyed the gem. Happily reunited with Mighty he accompanied him to Angel Island and became a member of the Chaotix.
In the Chaotix
Ray accompanied the Chaotix on numerous missions as time went on, helping them face numerous foes. Along with the other residents of Angel Island, he was sent to an alternate zone by the Dark Legion's Quantum Beam, only to be brought back later by Chaos Knuckles.
Following Knuckles' death, Ray was among those who joined in during the massive battle against the Xorda, during which Knuckles made his return and Sonic was seemingly killed. Ray attended Sonic's funeral before siding with the other Chaotix in remaining on Mobius' surface to do battle with Dr. Eggman and put an end to his threat once and for all.
After Sonic's returned from outer space, Ray was one of many in attendance at Mina Mongoose's concert welcoming him home. When word reached the Chaotix that Knuckles' father Locke was imprisoned on Angel Island by the Dingo Regime, Ray went with the Chaotix as they stormed the island to save the Guardian. While briefly combating the Dark Legion, Ray saw the battle as "fun," while Espio told him to stop fooling around.
Later, Ray bravely battled alongside his friends as they faced the sorcerers Mammoth Mogul and Ixis Naugus and their minions the Destructix and Arachne for possession of the Sword of Acorns and Crown of Acorns, the last remnants of the Source of All. He and Mighty also interviewed Fiona in order to gain intelligence on Rouge the Bat after she arrived in Knothole seeking protection from Dr. Finitevus, the mad Echidna she had briefly joined forces with and then left. The duo also worked together with Espio the Chameleon as he infiltrated the Golden Hive Colony, former home of Chaotix members Charmy Bee and Saffron, to determine what had become of its inhabitants.
When Sonic had a remote control device attached to him by Dr. Eggman that sent him on a destructive rampage through Knothole, Ray worked with the other Chaotix to stop him, but unfortunately was easily dispatched. Despite this failure, the freed Sonic expressed his gratitude for having the group around, although he found Knuckles' efforts to help him during the fight a bit too over-zealous.
Turning point in the war
A much more pleasant duty found him attending the wedding of Freedom Fighters Bunnie Rabbot and Antoine D'Coolette. Unfortunately, the happy atmosphere brought about by that event was cut short as Dr. Eggman launched a massive assault on Knothole using his Egg Fleet while dispatching his nephew Snively Robotnik to attack Freedom HQ, the base the Freedom Fighters and Chaotix shared. Ray was one of the citizens that were captured and transported to the Egg Grape Chamber, where he and the other inhabitants of Knothole were then saved by Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy Rose, and the computer Nicole, who also arranged for them all to be transported to the city of New Mobotropolis.
When word reached the city of the rise of a new Enerjak, an old foe of the Chaotix, Ray accompanied his friends as they stormed the King Frederick Airfield in a bid to reach Angel Island and aid a missing Knuckles. Convinced to remain in the city by Sally Acorn, they were then faced with a horrible revelation as the new Enerjak unmasked himself, revealing his identity as a brainwashed Knuckles. Ray was among the many who charged Enerjak in an effort to stop him, only to be thwarted by his immense powers. After the battle between Enerjak and Super Sonic, Ray returned to Angel Island with the other Chaotix to build a bridge between Angel Island and the new Shrine Isle, now the resting place of the Master Emerald.
When Sonic and the Chaotix attacked the ravaged New Megaopolis, Ray, Charmy and Saffron were responsible for setting explosives in one of Eggman's main satellite towers which was his primary means of communication with other sections of Mobius, while the others attacked the Dark Egg Legion. The three found themselves cornered when the Dark Egg Legion ended up retreating to their location. However, when the rest of the Chaotix continued to battle against them and force the Dark Egg Legion to retreat further, Ray, Charmy and Saffron detonated the bombs, destroying the communications relay.
Ray later played a key role in the final push against the crumbling Eggman Empire. After flanking the Dark Egg Legion with the rest of the Chaotix, he, Charmy and Saffron planted Tails' Neutralizing Mines on the Egg Phoenix. After Sonic jumped off the ship, Ray caught him and lowered him to the ground safely, both witnessing the Egg Phoenix crash when the mines were activated. Afterward, during the fight in the Eggdome, Ray, with the help of Charmy and Saffron, managed to save Mighty and Espio. After Mighty and Bunnie finished beating down the barricade, Ray and the others entered to see Eggman defeated and they all headed back to New Mobotropolis to celebrate.
Ray soon joined the other Chaotix in serving guard duty over the Master Emerald, and attempted to impress Vector by demonstrating information gathering skills the Crocodile had taught him. After recounting Angel Island's origin, Ray learned that Vector had apparently come from Downunda, and soon irritated the Crocodile with questions about it. His questions came to an abrupt end partly due to Vector talking about some of his early life and partly because Ray was then abducted by a Wing Dingo. After being rescued by Vector, the two noticed they were surrounded by a swarm of hostile robots intent on taking the Master Emerald and a desperately one-sided battle began. Just as it seemed the two Chaotix would lose, Ray tricked the Wing Dingoes by pretending to be drawing power from the Master Emerald with the intent of undergoing a super transformation, scaring the robots away. Afterwards, he and Vector fled to the surface after Angel Island was grabbed by chains from the Great Crater, and found Knuckles, Mighty, and Julie-Su there with the villain Dr. Finitevus. Ray asked Vector if their friends knew about his time in Downunda, which Vector quickly rebuffed as a new wave of robots descended on the group. After being saved by the Downunda Freedom Fighters and learning that the robots were sent by the Downunda chapter of the Dark Egg Legion, Ray returned to Angel Island with Julie-Su to guard the Master Emerald. They later saved Knuckles from Finitevus, and watched as Knuckles threw him off the island; the group then returned to its normal duties.
When Espio returned to the Chaotix, he revealed that in his role as a Shinobi Clan observer he had gathered much information about the Chaotix. This included the news that Mighty's parents had apparently perished, but that he had a younger sister who had apparently become part of a Dark Egg Legion chapter. The next morning, Ray visited Mighty's home to find him packing, his plan being to find his missing sister. Ray then pleaded to be included in the journey, which Mighty agreed to, and the pair set off after bidding goodbye to the other Chaotix. They continued to communicate with their friends by sending them letters through a Warp Ring, apprising them of their progress.
Ray and Mighty eventually made their way to Mercia, Mighty's birthplace, where they were set upon by the Mercia Dark Egg Legion. Overcoming their attackers, the two made the acquaintance of the Mercian Freedom Fighters, who provided them with what information they could about Mighty's sister. The pair and their new friends were all set to invade Snottingham Castle for further information, only for the Legion to attack Deerwood Forest in search of the Freedom Fighters' Hideaway. Despite their own quest, the pair bravely fought alongside the Freedom Fighters to turn back the invasion force before finally departing to sneak into the castle. However, they never contacted the Freedom Fighters, and their Warp Ring returned to Angel Island by itself, leading Vector, Charmy, and Espio to come looking for them.
Having managed to access the information on Mighty's sister, Matilda the Armadillo, the pair made their way to Sand Blast City, where they joined the Sand-Blasters. Operating under the name "Jitters", Ray went along with Mighty, alias "Flex", as they claimed loyalty to Jack Rabbit. Both were present in the city when their trio of friends, fresh from a victory in Mercia, arrived and recognized them. After getting the trio away from the Sand-Blasters, the pair explained that they had joined the Sand-Blasters under assumed names in order to safely learn the dynamics of the region. Ray was shocked when Mighty announced that he would be gong alone to meet Beauregard Rabbot, leader of the Great Desert Dark Egg Legion, in order to learn the location of his sister. Ray begged to be taken along, but Mighty insisted on him staying with their three friends. After the Armadillo left, Ray revealed that he had been struggling with their mission, and had fears that Mighty, his adopted older brother, might end their relationship once he was reunited with his blood sister. The trio encouraged their friend, and assured him that it would be more likely that Matilda would become an adopted sister to him. The group were then unpleasantly surprised when Jack came to their dwelling in the morning and demanded that Ray tell him what had happened to Mighty. When the terrified Squirrel had trouble answering, Espio came to his aid, claiming that Mighty had left in order to take on Beauregard solo. The four were then informed of Mighty's "captivity" and the Baron's desire for a prisoner exchange, and then learned that Jack apparently liked Mighty's idea of eliminating Beauregard, so much so that he intended to kill him at the exchange point.
As the Chaotix accompanied the Sand-Blasters to the exchange point, Ray expressed his worries about what would happen if Jack learned of Mighty's deception. Vector quickly resolved upon a strategy: to wait until hostilities broke out before using the Warp Ring to escape with the Armadillos in tow. In the midst of the ensuing battle, the group's cover was blown, but Ray bravely flew aboard the Legion carrier in order to demand Mighty's release. His aggressive stance angered a Legionnaire, who Ray learned was none other than Mighty's sister Matilda after Mighty and the Baron prevented her from attacking Ray. The Flying Squirrel directed that Matilda come with them, but Matilda revealed her lack of memories or feelings regarding her long lost brother, and wanted nothing to do with them. Ray surprised all present by rounding on her, revealing to her how Mighty's love for her had led him to great lengths in his efforts to be reunited with her.
Ray also cited his own sad history, and how Mighty had taken him in and given him a family. Recognizing Matilda's own sad life experience and its similarity to his own, Ray assured her that Mighty would never leave her feeling alone or afraid again, any more than he had Ray. Weeping at his own words, Ray was congratulated by Mighty on his simple eloquence, only to be knocked aside by Jolt the Roadrunner as he came aboard the carrier to take Mighty out. Fortunately, Ray's speech was success, and Matilda came to their aid not once but twice, losing one of her cybernetic arms to a missile on the second occasion. Mighty, enraged, went on a rampage that drove off the Sand-Blasters, and Ray brought him out of it by reminding him of Matilda's condition. Fortunately, Matilda survived, and Mighty introduced Ray to her as someone else she could call brother. Ray shyly greeted his new "sibling", and revealed that he had often wondered what having a sister would be like, while Matilda thanked him for helping her see the truth. Sadly, Matilda's injuries required that she remain in the care of the Legion, but Mighty assured Matilda that they would be together again soon just before leaving for Angel Island with Ray and the others.
Sadly, the group's return home was anything but happy: they found Knuckles alone, with the only trace of their female teammates being Julie-Su's discarded taser, which Ray found on the ground. In their absence, the pair-along with almost every other surviving Echidna besides Knuckles-had been banished through a Warp Ring by Thrash the Tasmanian Devil.
- Note: From this point, Ray's history continues from his new life in the altered timeline.
Though not overly brave, Ray is an extremely loyal friend and a very courteous individual. When he was captured by Robotnik, he was huddling in his cell in a traumatized, fetal position. Despite his fears, he is always willing to do what it takes to help his friends accomplish their goals, and as time goes on he becomes less timid and more eager to join the good fight.
Ray often stutters when he speaks, but doesn't let it stop him from asking questions or do what he has been taught to do.
Powers and abilities
Apart from the natural flight power granted to all members of his species, Ray possesses no special skills or enhanced attributes such as Mighty's strength or Sonic's speed. It should be noted that he is apparently capable of flight even without extending his patagium. However, he is still an impressive combatant, more than a match for any typical member of the Dark Legion or one of Eggman's weaker robots.
Mighty the Armadillo
Ray's friendship with Mighty the Armadillo has earned him a guardian angel of sorts in the Armadillo, and Ray never need fear that danger will befall him while Mighty is around-or that Mighty will fail to avenge him should he fall or be captured. This connection makes Ray feel comfortable, and the thought of Mighty going off without him or any other backup frightened Ray so much that he pleaded with Mighty to take him along.
The pair consider each other adoptive brothers, though Ray's fearful nature led him to worry that their relationship might end when Mighty was reunited with his sister.
Matilda the Armadillo
Early on, Ray feared to some degree that Matilda the Armadillo would cost him and Mighty's close relationship when they found her, although it did not stop him from helping Mighty. Ironically, it only Ray's heartfelt pleas to Matilda that Mighty would save her from a life of fear and loneliness-as Ray himself had experienced-that convinced Matilda to accept her older brother. Ray and Matilda also came to consider each other siblings due to their connection to Mighty.
- Knothole Freedom Fighters
- Downunda Freedom Fighters
- Mercian Freedom Fighters
- Great Desert Dark Egg Legion
- Dr. Robotnik
- Eggman Empire
- Mammoth Mogul
- Doctor Finitevus
- Iron Dominion
- Ray's first and only appearance as a playable character at the time of the Super Genesis Wave was in the 1993 arcade game SegaSonic the Hedgehog, making him one of the most obscure Sega characters to be featured in the comics at the time.
- Ray's exact age is debatable. Although he appears ten years old, both physically and mentally, his time in the alternate zone for six mobian years (equating to mere hours in the alternate zone) would bring his actual living age to roughly sixteen.
- Ray's redesign for Sonic Universe #48 and following issues was done by Archie Comics artist/writer Aleah Baker following common criticism that his previous design strayed too far from his original.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Sonic Universe #48, "All For One Part Three: Deep Cover"
- ↑ Knuckles the Echidna #26, "Friend in Need"
- ↑ Knuckles the Echidna #27, "These Were the Days..."
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Knuckles the Echidna #28, "Below the Belt"
- ↑ Sonic Super Special #14, "Best of Times, Worst of Times"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #107, "Reunification Part II"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #118, "Ultimate Showdown Part Four"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #125, "Sonic Adventure 2.5: Omega"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #134, "Home: Epilogue Say You Will"
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #138, "Return to Angel Island Part 1: The Message"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #139, "Return to Angel Island Part 2: Avatar"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #140, "Return to Angel Island Part 3: How Many Echidnas Does It Take to Protect a Master Emerald?"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #141, "Return to Angel Island Part 4: Ultimate Hero"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #163, "The Darkest Storm Part Two: Onset of the Squall"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #164, "The Darkest Storm Part Three: Downburst"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #165, "Leak"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #169, "...For a Friend"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog Free Comic Book Day 2007, "Unburying the Hatchet"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #174, "Union"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #175, "Eggman Empire"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #176, "Cracking the Empire"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #181, "Energjak: Reborn Chapter One: Rising Evil"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #182, "Fallen Angel"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #184, "Chaos Angel"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #186, "Honor-Bound"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #189, "A Bold New Moebius Part One: Unwelcome Guests!"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #190, "A Bold New Moebius Part Two: Duality!"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #198, "Phoenix-down!"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #199, "Knocking On Eggman's Door"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #200, "Turn About Is Fair Play"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #9, "Echoes of the Past Part One"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #11, "Echoes of the Past Part Three"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #10, "Echoes of the Past Part Two"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #12, "Echoes of the Past Part Four"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #212, "The Roads We Take"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #232, "Dark Tidings"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #46, "All For One Part One: Picking Up The Trail"
- ↑ Sonic Universe #47, "All For One Part Two: Ongoing Investigation"
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 Sonic Universe #49, "All For One Part Four: Friends, Foes, & Family"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #244, "Endangered Species Part Two: Extinction Event"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #246, "Endangered Species Finale: One of a Kind"
- ↑ Baker, Leah (24 January 2013). Ray the Flying Squirrel - Jitters concept. DeviantArt. “Most of the thinking that went into this was in response to common complaints regarding poor Ray's previous design. With that stuff in mind, I got rid of the jacket, brought back his wing-flaps (so he no longer just defies gravity through apparent sheer force of will), made his bangs closer to his original SegaSonic design (so he looks less like Tails) and make his muzzle/tummy/ears darker as they were in his original look (personally, I think the stronger contrast on the yellow just looks better on him).”