Tumble 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, Rough. An evil mercenary, he and Rough took over Barricade Town, but were stopped by Sonic the Hedgehog and Knuckles the Echidna. After escaping prison later on, they now seek revenge on Sonic and Knuckles.
Concept and creation
Tumble's design stemmed from Tyson Hesse's love of the albino skunks' looks. Also, Tumble's tail was originally going to be hairless like a rat's, but it was found to be too disturbing. Instead, Hesse cut it off and teased that one day, the fans may find out how it happened.
Early designs of Tumble had more clothing and less defined eyes compared to the final version.
Tumble is a muscular and tall anthropomorphic skunk with white and light gray fur. His mohawk runs down his back with his white stripes reaching the ends of the stub where his tail once was. He has quite scruffy fur, with his chest and muzzle looking connected. He has a pink nose with a triangular shape and short ears. He bears a "W"-shaped patch in the center of his chest and bears fangs. Around his black eyes with red sclera, Tumble has a purple streak.
For attire, Tumble wears two black, spiked bracelets with gold buckles on them and wears black and gray boots also with golden buckles.
At some point, Tumble lost his tail under unspecified circumstances. This event greatly traumatized Tumble.
The Eggman War
During the war between the Eggman Empire and the Resistance, Tumble and Rough helped save 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, Tumble and Rough controlled Barricade Town throughout the end of the war and into the ensuing reconstruction period.
While Tumble and Rough were lounging about in the Wispon distribution center, being waited on hand and foot by the locals, Sonic and Knuckles arrived to confront them. Shocked and angered at the interruption of their fun, Tumble remarked about how they knew who the heroes were, but Rough commented about how they do not know them and began a choreographed introduction before engaging in combat.
While Rough engaged Knuckles, Sonic attacked Tumble with a Spin Attack, who caught him in midair. He then proceeds to dribble and throw Sonic like a basketball. However, Sonic eventually fought back, and knocked Tumble backwards, causing him to trip over and land on the table behind him. Recovering, Tumble picked up his dazed brother (who had been sent through the floor boards by Knuckles) 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 Tumble and Rough's Wispons useless and helping the heroes surround them. Mocking their choreographed introduction, Sonic and Knuckles did their own number before knocking out both Tumble and his brother. In the aftermath, Tumble was apprehended by the local militia, along with his brother, and 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 Tumble and Rough 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 Tumble and Rough'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, Tumble 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, Tumble watched the supposed result.
Starline continued putting Eggman through his procedures, only for Eggman to show little progress after three sessions. This made Tumble and Rough 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 Tumble and Rough 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, Tumble and Rough 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
Tumble and Rough 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 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, 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, Tumble ran off with Rough, who used his noxious stench on Rouge. 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. Tumble and Rough 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 Tumble's attempt to reminds him that they were not scared of anything.
After receiving their new weapons, Tumble and Rough 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, Tumble and Rough 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. Tumble especially took Tails' presence personally, feeling it was unfair for the fox to have two tails when he had lost his. As the fight progressed, Tumble would face Sonic alone. When Sonic destroyed Tumble's prosthetic tail weapon however, Tumble lost his will to fight. Mourning his loss, Tumble let Sonic put him together with Rough, who had been defeated by Tails. Before Rough wound up tattling however, he and Tumble got pulled through a Warp Topaz portal. Back at the base, Tumble sulked for a new tail while Rough asked Eggman for another chance to take on Sonic. However, both skunks got pushed aside by Metal Sonic. Eventually, Tumble and Rough 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 Tumble and Rough to meet Eggman in hangar three. 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 (Tumble in particular wanted a new tail), 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 them 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. Tumble attacked Sonic, who tried to fight back, only to discover that he could not harm Zombot Tumble. Furthermore, Sonic wound up touching Zombot Tumble, causing the Metal Virus to infect him too. While Sonic was distracted, Tumble hit him and infected him with more of the virus. Eventually though, Tumble got knocked into the refuse pit by Sonic with a Spin Attack.
Tumble 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, Tumble 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".
Tumble 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 Rough. This also shows a measure of pride, confidence, or perhaps arrogance in their abilities. In compassion to his brother, Tumble is more wild and prone to aggressiveness, like when he told Rough when they fought Sonic to not banter with him and instead press on the attack. He is also shown to be rather superstitious, like when he got scared of the legends about a curse in the Lost Pyramid of Dr. Eggman.
While powerful and clever enough to seize and entire town alongside his brother, Tumble 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.
Having lost his tail greatly traumatized Tumble. As such, he gets extremely sensitive and emotional when it comes to his missing tail: he broke into a fit of rage by how unfair it was that Tails had two tails while he had none, and after his prosthetic tail got destroyed, Tumble lost his fighting spirit and got reduced to a sobbing, sad wreck who would keep clutching and mourning his broken tail.
Tumble is also very vengeful, as seen when he assured Sonic and Knuckles that they had made "lifelong enemies" of out of him and Rough after they defeated them.
Powers and abilities
Tumble is a ferocious combatant. As a testament to his power, he and Rough were able to single-handedly save a town from Eggman's forces during the Eggman War. While not the most agile fighter, Tumble makes up for it with brute strength.
Tumble is an experienced mercenary and is able to efficiently coordinate with his brother, Rough, to form a formidable tag team in battle. Tumble also has greater than average strength, being strong enough to stop Sonic's Spin Attack in its tracks with his bare hands and shatter an Egg-Golem's armor with a single punch. Tumble also possesses great durability: he can recover immediately from taking a Spin Attack to the chest.
After helping Dr. Starline, Tumble received a prosthetic club tail from Dr. Eggman. With it, Tumble could perform tail swipes powerful enough to crack the earth and a break stone walls. However, he lost this device when Sonic destroyed it.
Rough is Tumble's brother and mercenary partner. They have a close relationship and are highly coordinated fighters.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog is Tumble's arch-enemy. Ever since he ruined their occupation of Barricade Town, he and Rough have made it their goal to get revenge on him. To achieve this, he and Rough 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 Tumble more infuriated with the hedgehog.
- "Yeah! Now get us another round before we beat some sense into ya!"
- —Tumble mocking his clumsy servant, Sonic the Hedgehog #3
- "Heartless. You're just heartless. All I ever wanted was to cave your head in..."
- —A sulking Tumble calling out Sonic after he destroyed his prosthetic club tail, Sonic the Hedgehog #13
- Rough and Tumble's names are a play on the saying "rough-and-tumble".
- Tumble 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.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Sonic the Hedgehog Annual 2019, "Curse of the Pyramid"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog Annual 2020, "Big's Big Adventure"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #13, Roll Call
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 https://wordpress.com/post/sonicsourceblog.wordpress.com/577
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Sonic the Hedgehog #13, "Calling Card"
- ↑ 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 Sonic the Hedgehog #3, "Fallout, Part 3"
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 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"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #14, "Misdirection"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #15, "Patient Zero"