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Look, I get you brainy-types like to think of all the angles. But me and that faker boy are simple creatures. I hit him fast, I hit him hard, and I keep hitting until he doesn't move anymore.


— Surge the Tenrec, Sonic the Hedgehog: Imposter Syndrome #1

Surge the Tenrec[3] is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing. She is a villainous anthropomorphic tenrec created by Dr. Starline, and the companion of Kitsunami the Fennec. She was made for the intended purpose of destroying Sonic the Hedgehog and replacing him as the hero of the world.

Concept and creation

The "Ashura" glitch, from Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

According to writer Ian Flynn, Surge is inspired by the infamous Ashura glitch from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Her appearance was conceptualized by artists Evan Stanley and Mauro Fonseca, with Fonseca taking the lead in finishing the design.[2] Fonseca took inspiration for Surge's design from the glitch, Japanese delinquents, Android 18 from the Dragon Ball franchise, and possibly the prototype version of Blaze the Cat.[4][2][5] Her tall, upright ponytail was inspired by Sango Morimoto's depiction of Amy in the Sonic the Hedgehog manga published by Shogakukan.[5] Surge's electrokinesis was designed with Tails' dislike of thunder in mind.[6]

As attested by Evan Stanley, while Surge's design is not based on an exact type of tenrec, she looks more like a lowland streaked tenrec.[7]

Surge, along with Kit, was originally pitched for IDW Publishing's Sonic comics by Ian Flynn in 2017, before the first issue was even released.[1] They were meant to debut alongside Dr. Starline as part of a trio of characters based on glitches present in the early Sonic the Hedgehog video games.[8][9] Although the pitch was rejected at the time, due to the staff thinking it was too early, the characters would eventually be accepted in 2021. Notably, Surge was originally pitched as a hedgehog, but was changed to a tenrec at a later date.[1]

Appearance

Surge is an anthropomorphic tenrec of average height. She possesses mostly bright green fur with a patch of black fur on her face and eyelids, and angular blue-green eyes. She has a peach muzzle with a medium-long black nose, upturned sideburns on each side of her head, peach-skinned arms, and several spiky quills that she keeps in a ponytail by a black hairband with six metal studs on top of her head, leaving her quills turned forward. She also has a tuff for a tail, notably shark teeth, and tall, vertical and flat ears on top of her head.[10]

For attire, she wears two metal earrings on each of her ears, a black shirt with torn-off sleeves, white gloves that possess visible lining with black cuffs that possess six metal studs, a metal ring on each of her index and ring fingers, and yellow baggy pants with black stripes down the sides that are held up by a black belt with a metal circular buckle. Her shoes have yellow flares with double spikes to make them appear that give them a ripped appearance while the back of the shoes are white. Two white straps can be found on the yellow section of the shoes, which also has black toes, black soles with two metal plates embedded and metal studs on the edges.[10]

History

Past

Both Surge and Kit had been in development for a long time as part of Dr. Starline's Operation: Remaster. In order to finish the creation of the duo, Starline used a piece of fur from Tails, alongside the data he got from Belle the Tinkerer's emotional intelligence. Surge in particular was designed to destroy and replace Sonic the Hedgehog. Surge, however, was created without awareness of her origins, believing only that Starline gave her the powers she had so she could destroy Sonic, whom she was programmed to hate.[11]

Imposter Syndrome and Trial by Fire

Surge running through Starline's obstacle course, from Sonic the Hedgehog: Imposter Syndrome #1.

Surge and Kit were evenutally put to the test by Dr. Starline. After "clearing" an obstacle course however, Surge got into a heated argument with Starline over how they were wasting time with tests when she believed they were ready for action. In response, Starline reset her and Kit's memory with his hypnotic glove. After they regained consciousness, Surge and Kit were sent to the Forest Ridge Zone Campground by Starline.[11] There, they would start a forest fire that could kill Amy and her friends in order to demoralize Sonic. After Surge used her powers to ignite the dried-up flora, she and Kit would walk through the fire they had caused.[12][11] A few days later, the pair came to Central City for a test to assess their finesse by causing chaos without getting caught. There, Surge caused havok in the city with her abilities without being seen. Regrouping with Starline at Tails' Lab, Surge got ready to bust down the entrance to the lab when Starline could not open it, but Starline did not want to make a noteable scene and had them withdraw. Returning to Starline Base Sigma, Surge learned that the fire she and Kit started had been handled without casualties. Regardless, Starline wanted to put her and Kit through one final test that would let him try out his anti-Eggman algorithm. Surge, however, grew impatient and wanted to fight Sonic. However, she and Kit soon began questioning their motivations and why she hated Sonic so much, prompting Starline to hypnotize them again. Surge recovered rather quickly however and demanded an explanation, forcing Starline to administer a stronger hypnosis that subdued her. When Surge and Kit then woke up, Starline convinced them that they wanted to take part in his final test while he wanted them to move on with his plans. With Surge believing Starline's lie, she listened to Starline's plan for their final test.[11]

Traveling to Egg Base Alpha, Surge was instructed by Starline to escorted Kit to the comms tower and ensure that no alerts would broadcasted onto the Eggnet. Although displeased that she would be babysitting her support unit, she was (somewhat) persuaded by Starline that this was the plan she wanted. Afterward, the trio headed into the base, with Surge and Kit heading to the comms tower. Though Kit suggested a detour when Antons appeared, Surge went ahead and destroyed them, displeased with her role. Kit tried to remind her of Starline's plan, but Surge insisted on doing her own thing and that Kit followed her. Regardless, the two headed towards the comms tower as planned. Once there, Surge opted to just destroy the tower when she thought Kit's plan was too slow. As they argued however, am Egg Breaker showed up. Agreeing to Kit's plan in the end, Surge distracted the Badnik while Kit went to work. Letting her anger fuel her, Surge ferociously attacked the Egg Beater, only to get smashed into a wall by its mace when she let her guard down. As Kit came to her rescue though, Surge noticed to her and Kit's surprise that the attack had hardly fazed her. Afterward, she finished the Egg Breaker. Antons then surrounded the duo, only to begin applauding them. Starline subsequently announced that the base and its Badniks were his now, and told Surge and Kit to join him in the control room. There, Surge kept Kit silent and assured Starline that everything was fine when he noticed their bruises. After being dismissed however, Surge told Kid in private that she had realized that Starline had done something to them that they could not recall. With Surge set on sorting this out and getting revenge on Starline, Surge asked for Kit's help, who eagerly offered it.[13]

Personality

Surge possesses Sonic's indomitable and free spirit, except twisted around and malevolent.[11] A roguish speedster, she is very arrogant, cocky, and hot-tempered, taking great pride in her skills and abilities.[11] However, she is also fearless, never showing any form of worry or concern, even in stressful situations. When push comes to shove however, she tends to give in to anger, causing her to become a more volatile force.[13]

Believing force to be the easy solution to anything, Surge is convinced that she can defeat any opponent and overcome any obstacle getting in her way with pure strength and speed.[11][13] She is likewise brutal, somewhat bloodthirsty, and majorly aggressive, expressing great eagerness to fight and cause chaos and destruction, persistently demanding to go on missions, and even grabbing Dr. Starline by the collar and threatening him when she does not get her way.[11] In fact, she prefers open conflict over covert plans, no matter how effective the latter might be. Notably, she would willingly abandon a plan focusing on stealth in favor of an open assault, assured that she would be able to defeat any attention she would attract, even when within enemy lines.[13] She is likewise fiercely independent and irrelevant to authority, much like Sonic. As such, she is perfectly willing to abandon a well thought out plan in favor of following her own whims and doing her own thing. Unlike Sonic, however, she is unconcerned with how her rouge actions affect others, regardless of the damage or the risks they end end up posing to others.[13]

Like Sonic, Surge shows a great deal of attitude when facing off against foes, namely by taunting and mocking her opponents. However, this is out of mean-spirited arrogance instead of carefree playfulness like Sonic. She is likewise brash, careless, and impatient, qualities that term from her temper and sense of superiority, unlike Sonic, whose same qualities stem from his positive attitude and confidence. As such, she is prone to facing everything head-on, making her extremely reckless and dependent on support from Kit (despite what she may believe).[11][13] She also hates having lies told to her and will seek out terrible retribution against those who have wronged her, although this is more out of personal vengeance than a sense of justice.[13]

Despite her punkish attitude, Surge does have her moments of insight, being able to deduce that her own thoughts did not add up to her own understandings and that Starline had something to do with them by realizing that he was in the center of them all.[13]

Powers and abilities

Like Sonic, Surge has the ability to move at super speeds, being fast enough to create a sonic boom.[11] She is also extremely durable, having withstood an otherwise lethal impact from the Egg Breaker with nothing more than superficial bruses.[13] She is also able to perform the Spin Attack, a technique where she curls into a concussive ball or cutting disk and directs herself at her targets. With it, Surge can shred or burrow through just about any substance given enough speed, and perform moves like the Spin Dash.[11]

Surge has as well the ability to generate electricity of varying intensity and project it as lightning bolts. Notably, she can generate enough electricity to ignite flora and cause various electricity-powered devices to overload.[12][11]

Weakness

As a part of Dr. Starline's precautions to keep Surge's bravado on a leash, Surge has been made highly susceptible to hypnosis in case she goes out of control. As such, she is quick to respond to Starline's commands and lose some of her most recent memories when exposed to Starline's hypnotic devices. However, she has begun developing a resistance to it.[11]

Relationships

Dr. Starline

Dr. Starline is Surge's creator. However, she appears completely unaware of this fact due to her memories having been fabricated from scratch by Starline. Instead, Surge thinks that Starline merely gave her the powers she currently wields for the purpose of destroying Sonic.[11][13]

Being as brash and impatient as she is, Surge does not like Starline's overcautious approach towards realizing their goals and will not hesitate to threaten him violently when she gets fed up with his attitude.[11] She similarly does not respect his instructions due to her independence, having noted that he "ain't the boss of [her]". Rather, she sees him as the tech support and "idea-guy", which she considers a dime a dozen.[13]

Upon realizing that he had done more to her that she has realized, Surge has begun mistrusting Starline's intentions and now seeks to make him pay for what he had done to her.[13]

Kitsunami the Fennec

Kit is Surge's partner, the two of them having been created to make up for each other's shortcomings. However, their partnership is nothing but a farce, as both Surge and Kit have been programmed with false memories and motivations for helping each other by Starline in order to make their teamwork more effective. As such, when they think closely about it, both Surge and Kit are unsure and confused about why they even care about each other and why they are compelled to helping each other out.[11]

Kit is usually quite polite towards Surge, as he addresses her as "ma'am". Whatever Surge wishes, it is also what Kit wants, and he will do everything to make her pleased. Although Surge is not necessarily touched by his attention and kindness, she will occasionally show appreciation for Kit's devotion to her. Most of the time though, Surge tends to dominate Kit with her bravado and feisty spirit, and she expects him to cover her when needed, being nothing more than her support unit.[11][13]

Sonic the Hedgehog

Get it together, Surge! Sonic would be running rings around this thing! You're better than him!

Surge the Tenrec, Sonic the Hedgehog: Imposter Syndrome #2

Surge was based on Sonic the Hedgehog, and programmed by Dr. Starline to hold a fierce hatred towards him.[11] Utterly convinced that she is Sonic's superior,[13] Surge wants nothing more than to crush Sonic and prove she is better than him, and will give into anger at the prospect of appearing weaker than him.[11][13] However, she will get close to a mental breakdown when she starts to question why she wants to defeat Sonic, as they have never met.[11]

Friends/allies

Enemies

Trivia

  • Surge is the second character to be designed off of the "Ashura" glitch and act as an evil counterpart to Sonic, following Scourge the Hedgehog's redesign in the Archie Comics.
  • Surge and Kit's names together reference the word "circuit".

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 IDW Publishing on Twitter. Twitter (14 November 2021). Retrieved on 14 November 2021. "David Mariotte: Surge and Kit actually predate Sonic number 1, as seen on this year one springboard from Ian Flynn. They predate most of the things in IDW Sonic, in fact. When Ian Flynn pitched Surge and Kit in 2017 before the series started, we knew that it wasn't quite the right time for their story to get the justice it deserves. When it came to 2021 planning with Ian, writer Evan Stanley, and assistant editor Riley Farmer, we knew it was the right time."
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Mauro Fonseca on Twitter. Twitter (2 September 2021). Archived from the original on 13 November 2021. Retrieved on 2 September 2021.
  3. Dreadknux (26 August 2021). SURGE THE TENREC AND KIT THE FENNEC: IDW’S ‘IMPOSTER SYNDROME’ MINISERIES’ NEW CHARACTERS REVEALED. The Sonic Stadium. Archived from the original on 26 August 2021.
  4. STH Imposter Syndrome!. Reddit (September 2021). Retrieved on 11 November 2021. "Ian Flynn: Dr. Starline was inspired by the "Wechina" sprite error from Knuckles's Chaotix. Likewise, Surge is inspired by the famous "Ashura" glitch of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Kit by a personal glitch I remember getting for Tails in S3&K."
  5. 5.0 5.1 Mauro Fonseca on Twitter. Twitter (18 November 2021). Archived from the original on 18 November 2021. Retrieved on 18 November 2021.
  6. Sonic the Hedgehog: Imposter Syndrome #2, Sonic Letters Squad
  7. Ask on Evan Stanley's blog. Tumblr (12 December 2021). Retrieved on 12 December 2021. "evilhatsune: Is Surge a greater hedgehog tenrec or a lesser hedgehog tenrec? or is she a completely different sort of tenrec like the highland streaked tenrec? or just general non specified tenrec / Evan Stanley: She doesn’t have an exact type of tenrec called out in canon, but we were looking more at Lowland Streaked Tenrecs. They’ve got the black face-mask and the flippy-up spikes."
  8. BumbleKing Videos (7 January 2019). The Final (For Real) Smash Bros. Ultimate Episode - BumbleKast #82. YouTube. Retrieved on 18 November 2021. "Ian Flynn: See actually, Starline was meant to debut with two other characters and they were all built around a similar [...], and if they had all come out at the same time I think folks would've gone "Oh, I see where the inspiration is from", but things were revised because our season 2 plans were [...] we need to just push some stuff to the back burner now and focus on [...] so that's why we only have Starline now. Eh, maybe we'll get to it down the line."
  9. Ian Flynn on Twitter. Twitter (17 November 2021). Archived from the original on 18 November 2021. Retrieved on 18 November 2021.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Surge's model sheet.
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 11.11 11.12 11.13 11.14 11.15 11.16 11.17 11.18 11.19 Sonic the Hedgehog: Imposter Syndrome #1, story one
  12. 12.0 12.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #46, "Trial by Fire, Part 2"
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 13.12 13.13 13.14 Sonic the Hedgehog: Imposter Syndrome #2, "Stress Test"
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