- For other uses of the term, see Spectre (disambiguation).
Spectre is a character in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. He is a member of the Brotherhood of Guardians, and one of the many ancestors of Knuckles the Echidna. The son of the lost Guardian Tobor, father of Sojourner, Spectre became the oldest living Guardian in Knuckles' tenure after his great-grandfather Mathias, grandfather Hawking, and father Tobor died, Mathias and Tobor in battle with the Dark Legion and Hawking of old age. Known as the most violent and unpredictable of the Guardians, he is disapproved of by his descendants. Spectre was last seen defending the Master Emerald from Dr. Eggman's forces and then disappeared, having been captured by Dr. Finitevus and then sent to the Twilight Zone.
Spectre is unusual among the Guardians for several things: his black coat of fur, a cloud of smoke that trails him everywhere, blood-red eyes, and a silver open-faced helmet and flowing black robes resembling those common among the Dark Legion (it should be noted that, for most of his life, he was raised by a Dark Legionnaire, Moritori Rex, who was impersonating his father).
Little is known of Spectre's early life before he appeared with the rest of the Brotherhood before Knuckles at Haven. He was still an infant when his father Tobor became Guardian of Angel Island, and was still very young when his father was replaced by Moritori Rex. His early years are a mystery that likely have some connection with his unusual, and fear inspiring, appearance.
Little is known about Spectre's tenure as Guardian. However, it is known that Spectre made speech to the people of Echidnaopolis and rallied them during one of the Dark Legion's many attempts to take over the city upon escaping from the Twilight Zone. In his speech, Spectre said: "It is my conviction that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert defeat into victory. In every dark hour of our society, a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with the understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential in achieving the desired goal. I am convinced that you will again give that support to the leadership in these critical days."
Member of the Brotherhood
Spectre and the rest of the Brotherhood were introduced to Knuckles shortly after all the Echidnas returned to Angel Island with the city of Echidnaopolis. Prior to that time, Spectre was the most vocal in any objection to Locke's performing experiments on his son to make him a more powerful Guardian, and would later repeat this view stating that where he had once spoken from intuition, he now spoke from experience. Of all the Brotherhood he appeared the most suspicious of Moritori Rex when the true Tobor briefly appeared with Knuckles before carrying Kragok with him into the Twilight Zone. He joined in the pursuit when Moritori was exposed, and later blinded the imposter's cybernetic eyes. Prior to this encounter, Spectre and Locke were the only Guardians to escape capture by the Dark Legion when Dimitri attempted to seize control of Echidnaopolis through political means.
Later, Spectre was the major spokesman for the Brotherhood when Sally Acorn approached them for aid against Dr. Eggman, which Spectre reluctantly denied based on the Kingdom of Acorn's refusal to use artillery. Then, during the Legion's Quantum Beam offensive, Spectre joined with the rest of the Brotherhood and Mathias in attacking the Grand Conservatory where the Legion had established their base. Caught in the effects of the Quantum Beam, Spectre and the others were sent to the Twilight Zone.
Thanks to the efforts of the amazingly powerful Chaos Knuckles, the Brotherhood and the rest of Angel Island's populace returned, the Brotherhood find Haven a ruin. Spectre, his senses more highly attuned than those of the others, was quick to report that he sensed the deaths of Mathias, Hawking, and a third being unbeknownst to Spectre, his father Tobor, as they passed into "the next evolution", or the afterlife. After the Xorda's failed attack on Mobius, Spectre joined his son Thunderhawk as well as Sojourner and Sabre in defending the Master Emerald from an invasion launched by Dr. Eggman Robotnik. Fighting bravely, the Guardians turned back Eggman's forces, but were left weakened and thus easy prey for Dr. Finitevus. After analyzing both the Guardians and Moritori Rex, he sent them all to the Twilight Zone.
Spectre has a deep-rooted hatred for the Dark Legion far more passionate than that of any other members of the Brotherhood, possibly stemming from being raised by Moritori Rex. He is violent and very aggressive, and seems to have a rather bizarre code of combat: he thinks it is vulgar to strike enemies physically when he can dispatch them with the Chaos Force. Spectre seems to enjoy violent acts, and has little regard for the opinions of his fellow Guardians. Still he does have an honorable side, as shown by his cordial interactions with Princess Sally. He also seems to be of the mindset that altering the natural order willfully is dangerous and foolish, as he vocalized in his objections to Knuckles being transformed into a mutant. It is possible that his own past experiences may be the reason for his conviction, or it could just be a natural element of his views.
Powers and abilities
Like all Guardians, Spectre draws Chaos power through his link with the Chaos Force. However, Spectre possesses either a greater command of it than most of his compatriots or otherwise simply uses it more extensively than they do. His uses of it include teleportation, enhanced senses, telekinesis, and beams of pure energy that he uses in combat.
- Spectre's grudging attitude towards the Dark Legion was explained in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia, which revealed that he was forced to receive Dark Legion cybernetics. Many fans have speculated as to whether Spectre knew Moritori Rex was impersonating his father. Evidence to support the notion he knew came when he confronted the exposed Moritori Rex, blinding his cybernetics and saying "I've waited a long time for this, treacherous one!". He was also seen watching Moritori out of the corner of his eye as the rest of the Brotherhood observed the true Tobor being drawn into the Twilight Zone. It also seems unlikely that Spectre would be unaware of who kidnapped him and turned him over to the Dark Legion. However, if Spectre in fact knew for some time Moritori Rex was impersonating his father, it begs the question why Spectre did not explain his suspicions to the rest of the Brotherhood, or act sooner. It is possible that without hard evidence he felt he could not act, or that since "Tobor" outranked him he was unable to do anything.
- Some have speculated that Spectre has black fur, as many depictions of him make it appear as such. However, in flashbacks of Spectre as a child he had red fur. However, in a Q&A session, writer Ian Flynn replied: I recall reading somewhere that it's red and the blackness stems from the shadows of his metal hood. It was either on Mr. Penders's board or in-book, I honestly don't remember which. Personally, I'd like to just say it's black. It would make better sense visually, and it would fit his spooky motif. It is worth mentioning that in the flashback both Spectre and his mother had considerably darker fur.
- Spectre's name may have been a joke, as "spectre" or "specter" usually refers to an apparition.
- Spectre, along with Hawking are the only two guardians to wear hats (Or a helmet in Spectre's case.) This excludes briefly Tobor and Knuckles in the Mobius: X Years Later timeline
- Spectre is one of a handful of Echidnas who still possess original Dark Legion cybernetics, the majority of Legionnaires having had theirs removed by Enerjak. Others in the list include Julie-Su, Moritori Rex, and Dimitri.
- Back in the letters page of Knuckles the Echidna #21 a fan asked a question about listing Knuckles' relatives in order up to Hawking. The response was: "The father of Knuckles is Locke. Locke's father is Sabre. Sabre's father is Athair. Followed by Athair is his mother Janelle-Li, the first and only female Guardian, and daughter of Thunderhawk. Thunderhawk's father was Sojourner, who was child of Spectre. Tobor the father of Spectre, and the son of Hawking." Evidence to support this appeared in the comics in Knuckles the Echidna #29 when Spectre gives a roll call introduction to Princess Sally stating that his son is Sojourner and Thunderhawk is his grandson. It was not until the Sonic Data Banks that this was changed around to Sojourner being the son of Thunderhawk. As to reasons why this change was made nobody is quite sure, although it was most likely due to poor editing. Confusion once again arose in the letters page of Sonic the Hedgehog #193. When asked the order of birth, the editor responded: For the record: The order goes Spectre, Sojourner, Thunderhawk, then Janelle-Li, Athair, Sabre, Locke and Knuckles, for those of you keeping track at home.". When asked about this, writer Ian Flynn responded: I'm going to have to go over it all again to see if there's a nuance somewhere that can nail it down. We will eventually be setting it in stone. Officially. In print. That's more official than what's come before. Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia included a complete Knuckles family tree, which listed the order as Spectre, Sojourner then Thunderhawk.
- ↑ Ian Flynn (7 February 2009). Ask Ian for FEB'09 - Novelty Answer Month - Finis~. BumbleKing Comics. Archived from the original on 2 November 2015.
- ↑ Ian Flynn (16 October 2008). Sonic the Hedgehog #193 Preview/Discussion/Spoilers. BumbleKing Comics. Archived from the original on 21 April 2015.