Say your prayers, chumps!
— Rough, Sonic the Hedgehog #3
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. Now seeking revenge on the former, Rough became a minion of Dr. Eggman.
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, he wears orange boots and gloves with red lining and light tan volar surfaces.
During the war between the Eggman Empire and the Resistance, Rough and Tumble helped save a town by ferociously driving back the invading Badniks. Afterwards, they set themselves up in the town and promised to help them improve their defenses. However, the brothers ultimately ended up taking over the 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 the 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 the village where Dr. Eggman was staying in 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.
Rough is a course and aggressive skunk. Ruthless, cruel and violent, he takes great pleasure in talking 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 got greatly offended when Sonic and Knuckles imitated it (in a mocking manner no less).
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 war to take back the planet. 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. 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.
Tumble is Rough's brother and mercenary partner. They have a close relationship and are highly coordinated fighters.
- "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
- "That's our thing! You can't do our thing!"
- —Rough upon seeing Sonic and Knuckles imitate his and Tumble's intro, 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.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #13, "Roll Call"
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 Sonic the Hedgehog #3, "Fallout Part 3"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 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"
- ↑ https://wordpress.com/post/sonicsourceblog.wordpress.com/577