Scared? What are you talking about? We're -ROUGH & TUMBLE! Nothing scares us. Nothing!
— Rough, Sonic the Hedgehog: Annual 2019
Rough the Skunk is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing. He is an anthropomorphic skunk and the brother of his partner, Tumble. An evil mercenary, he and Tumble took over a town, but were stopped by Sonic the Hedgehog and Knuckles the Echidna. After escaping prison later on, they now seek revenge on Sonic. He has currently been turned into a Zombot after being infected by the Metal Virus.
Concept and creation
Early designs of Rough had more clothing and less defined eyes, likely referring to his colored sclera, compared to the final version.
Rough is a medium-sized anthropomorphic skunk with teal and cream white fur. He has a tall, cream white mohawk that extends down to his back. He has cheek tuffs on the sides of his cream fur-covered muzzle and has a scruffy hairstyle along with a long, cream white-striped tail that can extend over his own head. He bears a teal V-shaped patch on his cream white-furred chest. He also bears fangs. Rough has red eyes with yellow sclera along with black outlines.
For attire, Rough wears orange boots and gloves with red lining and light tan volar surfaces.
The Eggman War
During the war between the Eggman Empire and the Resistance, Rough and Tumble helped Barricade Town by ferociously driving back the invading Badniks. Afterwards, they set themselves up in Barricade Town and promised to help them improve their defenses. However, the brothers ultimately ended up taking over Barricade Town, its Wisps, and its Wispon distribution center, setting themselves up as tyrannical rulers.
Trapping the townsfolk between themselves and marauding Badniks outside the walls, Rough and Tumble controlled Barricade Town throughout the end of the war and into the ensuing reconstruction period.
While Rough and Tumble were lounging about in the Wispon distribution center, being waited on hand and foot by the locals, Sonic the Hedgehog and Knuckles the Echidna arrived to confront them. Shocked and angered at the interruption of their fun, Rough remarked about how the heroes do not know who they are and began a choreographed introduction before engaging in combat.
While Sonic engaged Tumble, Rough took on Knuckles. During the fight, Rough managed to use his Stink Bomber technique on Knuckles, leaving Knuckles semi-disabled. However, Knuckles fought through the pain and smashed Rough into the floor boards. Tumble then picked up his dazed brother, and Rough recovered before they both grabbed some Wispons in an attempt to turn the tide of the fight. Unfortunately for them, Sonic convinced the Wisps to turn on them, leaving Rough and Tumble's Wispons useless and helping the heroes surround them. Mocking their choreographed introduction, Sonic and Knuckles did their own number before knocking out both Rough and his brother. In the aftermath, Rough was apprehended by the local militia, along with his brother, and Tumble promised that they would escape and come after Sonic and Knuckles. Rough cursed them as well, saying that they have made life-long enemies of himself and Tumble before being taken away.
Battle For Angel Island
At some point during their incarceration, both Rough and Tumble were broken out of jail by Dr. Starline. He wished to enlist their help in kidnapping Dr. Eggman from the remote mountain village he currently resided in due to his amnesia. Starline promised that in exchange for Rough and Tumble's help, Eggman would build them weapons to use for revenge against Sonic.
Accepting Starline's offer, the brothers went to Windmill Village where Dr. Eggman was staying and kidnapped him against his will. Bringing Eggman to the Final Egg and strapping him up, Rough would watch Starline commence the first round of the evidently painful "procedure" on Eggman that he had arranged to restore Eggman to his former evil self. After Starline was done, Rough watched the supposed result.
Starline continued putting Eggman through his procedures, only for Eggman to show little progress after three sessions. This made Rough and Tumble grow impatient with Starline, but the latter reassure them that he would restore Eggman's memories so that he could build weapons for the duo. Soon, the group were met by a badly damaged Metal Sonic. Upon seeing Metal Sonic, Eggman managed to regain his memories. Starline thus introduced himself and the skunk brothers, prompting Rough and Tumble to do their introduction. Eggman did not think highly of Rough and Tumble at first but when he learned that they hated Sonic, he offered to build them weapons, an idea that excited them. Later on, Rough and Tumble received blueprints for their new weapons. However, they became very confused by their specifications. When Rough complained to Eggman on this, the doctor simply swapped the blueprints between the brothers as they had each received the incorrect one. Following this, they became very satisfied with the weapon designs.
Curse of the Pyramid
Rough and Tumble eventually went to the Lost Pyramid of Dr. Eggman in the Dusty Desert to find Eggman's forgotten treasure, among other things. While Tumble was superstitious of the curse that surrounded the area, Rough was determined to find the treasure no matter what. Inside the pyramid, Rough stepped on a trick switch which made walls with spikes close in on them. Rough managed to roll out of the way with Tumble riding on top of him however. Once they were clear, Rough cheered for their victory. Tumble was still superstitious of the pyramid which prompted Rough to remind him that they were not scared of anything. Rouge the Bat then appeared and slightly startled the skunk brothers. Once they learned that she was also after Eggman's treasure, Rough used his noxious stench on her and ran off with Tumble. However, the skunk brothers were soon interrupted by an active Egg-Golem. When Rouge arrived, she explained what it was and that the Egg-Golem was being controlled via a remote. Rough and Tumble continued to fight the Egg-Golem while Rouge disappeared. Eventually though, the brothers managed to defeating the Egg-Golem. As the duo felt victorious, Rouge reappeared, all mummy-like, and warned the brothers not to touch the bandages or they would be doomed for eternity. Rough immediately became frightened of Rouge and ran out of the pyramid carrying his brother, ignoring his earlier comments on not being scared of anything.
After receiving their new weapons, Rough and Tumble went to Windmill Village where they trapped the villagers in the community center and left the beaten village head hanging from a tree. When Sonic and Tails later came to Windmill Village, Rough and Tumble found them just as they were freeing the village head. After doing their introduction, the skunk brothers attacked Sonic. During the fight however, Sonic correctly deduced that they were working with someone and demanded to know where Eggman was. While Rough told him that (maybe) he would tattle if he beat them, Tumble told him not to barter with him and pressed on the attack. Eventually though, Tails joined Sonic's side in the fight. As the fight progressed, Rough would face Tails alone, who turned Rough's Vapor Condenser against him by hitting him with his own stink bomb. A weaponless and defeated Rough was then brought together with Tumble, who had been beaten by Sonic. Before Rough wound up tattling however, he and Tumble got pulled through a Warp Topaz portal. Back at the base, Rough asked Eggman for another chance to take on Sonic, only to be pushed aside by Metal Sonic. Rough tried speaking against this, but was quickly silenced by Metal Sonic. Eventually, Rough and Tumble grew impatient from waiting on Eggman to make good on his word and help them waste Sonic. Confronting Eggman, they demanded that the doctor provided them with a new edge against Sonic. In response, Eggman told them that his "latest weapon just got out of beta".
Cubot later notified Rough and Tumble to meet Eggman in hangar three. While waiting for Eggman, Rough would kick Cubot around. When he finally arrived, the doctor gave them two "back-up" backpacks that they could open in case Sonic got the upper hand. However, Rough and Tumble did not find out what the backpacks were supposed to do. They were also not happy with them, but then Eggman provided them with a large tank with a drill and cannons. Rough and Tumble subsequently used it to enter Echo Mine and destroy the computer that Sonic and Amy used to learn about Eggman's latest scheme. Rough and Tumble again tried to introduce themselves with rhymes, but Sonic criticized their rhymes for being poor. This made Rough and Tumble argue between them, but when Amy failed to hit their tank, they attacked. They chased Sonic and Amy through the mines until they reached a cave with a refuse pit in the middle, forcing Rough to turn sharply to the right and drive around the pit. It was then that Sonic and Amy attacked them from behind, destroying the cockpit and treads on the tank, which then fell into the pit. Rough and Tumble, however, managed to evacuate. They then activated their backpacks, causing the Metal Virus to be poured out on them, much to their horror, and turn them into Zombots. Rough attacked Amy, who tried to fight back, only to discover that she could not harm Zombot Rough. Ultimately though, Rough was knocked into the refuse pit by Sonic, who had caught the Metal Virus in the process.
Rough is a course and aggressive skunk. Ruthless, cruel and violent, he takes great pleasure in taking advantage of those weaker than himself, as demonstrated by how he and his brother oppressed the townsfolk at the Wispon distribution hub. Meanspirited, Rough showed no concern for the happiness or well-being of the townsfolk he and his brother oppressed, displaying a lack of empathy for others, and he was significantly offended by Sonic and Knuckles ruining their "fun".
Rough is a brawler who loves to fight. However, he also has a somewhat theatrical side as displayed by the choreographed introductions he has prepared with his brother Tumble. This also shows a measure of pride, confidence, or perhaps arrogance in their abilities. Rough is particularly proud and protective about their introduction, as he gets greatly offended when others imitate it (in a mocking manner no less). In comparison to his brother, Rough is less wild and more prone to engage in banter with his enemies. Rough is also rather assertive and not intimidated by rumors in the slightest, like when he remained unconcerned by the legends of the curse surrounding the Lost Pyramid of Dr. Eggman and told his brother to man up when he began worrying about said curse. That said, he is just as easily startled as Tumble.
While powerful and clever enough to seize and entire town alongside his brother, Rough is not very intelligent, having been described as more of a bully than a mastermind. Also, while he and his brother were able to take control of a key location and a stockpile of Wispons, they showed no foresight or ambition in doing anything beyond forcing the townsfolk into serving and entertaining them.
Rough is also very vengeful, as seen when he assured Sonic and Knuckles that they had made "lifelong enemies" of out of him and Tumble after they defeated them.
Powers and abilities
Rough is a ferocious combatant. As a testament to his power, he and Tumble were able to single-handedly save a town from Eggman's forces during the Eggman War. Although smaller and less physically intimidating than his brother, Rough makes up for his lack of brute strength with surprising speed and agility.
Rough is an experienced mercenary and is able to efficiently coordinate with his brother, Tumble, to form a formidable tag team in battle. He is also extremely acrobatic: he can easily jump over a person charging at him and spring off structures. Also, while not as strong as his brother, Rough possesses impressive strength, enough to crack an Egg-Golem's armor with a flying double kick. As a skunk, Rough is also able to produce a noxious musk that affects the eyes, respiratory system, and has a pungent odor. By combining this skill with a Spin Attack-based maneuver, Rough can use his Stink Bomber technique.
After helping Dr. Starline, Rough received a weaponized Vapor Condenser from Dr. Eggman. This launcher, which could be strapped to Rough's back, could fire capsules filled with concentrated portions of Rough's own musk which were so potent that those dowsed in them were rendered completely incapacitated. However, he lost this device when Tails destroyed it.
Tumble is Rough's brother and mercenary partner. They have a close relationship and are highly coordinated fighters.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog is Rough's arch-enemy. Ever since he ruined their occupation of Barricade Town, he and Tumble have made it their goal to get revenge on him. To achieve this, he and Tumble have made alliances with dangerous individuals, such as Dr. Eggman and Dr. Starline. So far however, Sonic and his allies have foiled every one of their revenge plots, which has only made Rough more infuriated with the hedgehog.
- "Yeah, we're heard of you, hero! But you clearly ain't heard of us!"
- —Rough after Sonic introduces himself to him, Sonic the Hedgehog #3
- "Say your prayers, chumps!"
- —Rough wielding a Burst Wispon against Sonic and Knuckles, Sonic the Hedgehog #3
- "That's our thing! You can't do our thing!"
- —Rough upon seeing Sonic and Knuckles imitate his and Tumble's introduction, Sonic the Hedgehog #3
- Rough and Tumble's names are a play on the saying "rough-and-tumble".
- Rough was officially revealed in a Kotaku exclusive interview with editor, David Mariotte on 16 February 2018.
- At the Sonic Town Hall at Wondercon 2018, Joe Hughes compared Rough and Tumble to Bebop and Rocksteady, saying they are approximately 12% smarter.
- Rough is the second character to use profanity in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, with Silver being the first. In Sonic the Hedgehog #15, he said "Oh, crap!" when he was about to drive the tank into the refuse pit.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Fahey, Mike (16 February 2018). Meet Rough And Tumble, Two Brand-New Sonic Comic Villains. Kotaku. Retrieved on 16 February 2018.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Sonic the Hedgehog: Annual 2019, "Curse of the Pyramid"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #13, Roll Call
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 Sonic the Hedgehog #3, "Fallout, Part 3"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Sonic the Hedgehog #12, "The Cost of the Battle for Angel Island"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #10, "The Battle for Angel Island, Part 2"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #11, "The Battle for Angel Island, Part 3"
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Sonic the Hedgehog #13, "Calling Card"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #14, "Misdirection"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #15, "Patient Zero"
- ↑ https://wordpress.com/post/sonicsourceblog.wordpress.com/577