The Variable Wispon is an object that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing. It is a unique Wispon capable of changing its powers and it is the main weapon of Whisper the Wolf.
Concept and creation
When learning of the Variable Wispon, Evan Stanley knew that it primarily served as a rifle, so she made that the Variable Wispon's core shape. Next, she built parts of the in-game Wispons into it, using their shapes to complete the "sniper rifle" silhouette. Lastly, Stanley used the motif of a Wisp Capsule to provide a visual focus and a easy place for Whisper's team of Wisps to swap out in plain view.
Noticeably, the Variable Wispon does not transform so much as Whisper just holds it differently; Stanley just visualized how she would hold a hammer or umbrella, and so made sure Whisper would have places mimicing those tools' grips to put her hands.
The Variable Wispon is a uniquely-designed Wispon. Instead of being designed after the anatomy of a Wisp, it is instead umbrella-shaped. The bottom of it is hooked to allow users to grip it properly. Along the light gray neck of the weapon are two rounded white, black, and light blue studs. Very noticeably near the end of the Wispon is a large rounded light blue, black, and white piece which has an open segment. The mouth piece is quite long and gray in color, with a light blue end.
Features and traits
The Variable Wispon is a very unique type of Wispon in more ways than one. Unlike standard Wispons, which are designed for clearing out crowds of robots, the Variable Wispon is designed for precision shots which cause less widespread damage, but more intense impacts. In addition, instead of being restricted to using just one specific breed of Wisp to power it, it can use the power of multiple Wisp breed. However, it can only house one Wisp breed at a time. When a Wisp is used they become pure energy. Depending on the Wisp powering it, the Variable Wispon can assume a specific weapon mode with its own unique power:
- Laser Mode: This mode requires a Cyan Wisp. In this mode, the Variable Wispon glows cyan. This mode lets it fire laser beams that can shoot straight through lesser Badnik armor, although it cannot penetrate reinforced metals. This mode's laser is as well capable of zig-zagging through midair. It is worth mentioning that Laser Mode is also the Variable Wispon's natural/default mode when not in use.
- Cube Mode: This mode requires a Blue Wisp. In this mode, the Variable Wispon glows blue, its gun barrel retracts, and it forms energy constructs in the shape of a hammer's head. This mode turns the Variable Wispon into a makeshift hammer and a powerful melee weapon.
- Hover Mode: This mode requires a Green Wisp. In this mode, the Variable Wispon glows green and forms a energy-based hemisphere that sprouts from its gun barrel. In this mode, the Variable Wispon resembles an umbrella and is capable of carrying its wielder through midair.
- Rocket Mode: This mode requires an Orange Wisp. In this mode, the Variable Wispon glows orange and its gun barrel splits apart. This mode makes the Variable Wispon resemble a bazooka, which is capable of firing explosive energy rockets.
- Spikes Mode: This mode requires a Pink Wisp. In this mode, the Variable Wispon glows pink. This mode lets the Variable Wispon shoot solid pink energy balls with spikes covering them. These spiked balls can also be held in midair, thus turning them into spinning sawblades.
Besides its weapon functions, the Variable Wispon also comes with its own safety lock. The eye of Whisper's mask scope also changes color depending on the Wisp power the Variable Wispon uses.
The Variable Wispon is a prototype Wispon designed by Diamond Cutter Smithy the Lion for his team, in hopes that they could share the power of each other's Wisps between them. However, the Diamond Cutters were betrayed by one of their own, Mimic, and were all killed except for Whisper the Wolf. Whisper took up a Variable Wispon thereafter, using her fallen teammates' Wisps to power it.
During the Eggman Empire-Resistance war, Whisper used her Variable Wispon to attack enemies from great distances. This allowed her to remain unseen in battle. After the war was over, Whisper would continue to wield the Variable Wispon as her weapon of choice under various circumstances.
When Whisper, Sonic and Silver fought some Badniks, Whisper dropped her Variable Wispon when she got pinned down. Fortunately, her allies kept her safe until she could get her Wispon back. When later joining the Resistance and their allies on a mission to liberate Angel Island from Neo Metal Sonic, Whisper would tinker with her Variable Wispon on the way there. Afterwards, she put it to good use when her team began their mission to break the Egg Fleet's control over Angel Island. Whisper later used her Variable Wispon's Rocket Mode to help launch herself and Tangle up to the Babylon Rogues' blimp after the thieves kidnapped Jewel and stole her minerals. Then, after getting Jewel and the stolen goods back, Whisper used her Variable Wispon's Hover Mode to get herself, Jewel and Tangle safely down from the blimp.
Later, Mimic reemerged in Spiral Hill Village, Tangle and Jewel's hometown, impersonating Sonic. Whisper tracked her treacherous former teammate down and attacked him, but Mimic managed to dodge Whisper's shots in the Wispon's Laser Mode. Whisper soon used the Hover Mode to reach some rooftops and aim at Mimic with the Wispon's Spikes Mode. Unfortunately for her, Mimic talked to a villager so that she would stand in the way of Whisper's clear shot. Whisper tried moving to a different rooftop to take aim but was stopped by Tangle, who had been manipulated by Mimic. When Whisper and Tangle later tracked down Mimic to an abandoned Eggman Empire bunker, she used the Variable Wispon to fight an Egg Hammer controlled by Mimic, who trapped Tangle in a safe but was soon cornered by Whisper. Whisper then used her Wispon's Hammer Mode (powered, ironically, by Mimic's own former Blue Wisp partner) to interrogate Mimic about Tangle's whereabouts, and subsequently Spikes Mode to cut the safe open and free her.
Whisper soon employed the use of the Variable Wispon at the Diamond Cutters' former base to fight a horde of Badniks. She then used it to battle Mimic. He managed to convince his former Blue Wisp partner not to aid in fighting him. Whisper still persisted, long enough for Mimic to turn the tables by taking the Variable Wispon and aiming it at her. However, he was stopped by Tangle after she coiled him with her tail.
When Whisper went to Central City to with Tangle and Tails so that the latter could research a cure for the Metal Virus, she employed the use of her Variable Wispon to fend off against Zombots after Dr. Eggman had created a Zombot outbreak. She used it again in Spiral Hill Village after it had been hit with the Metal Virus as well, cutting down a lamp post with the Variable Wispon's Spikes Mode to help Sonic contain a group of Zombots. Later, she attempt to use it against Dr. Eggman himself when he appeared on Angel Island with Dr. Starline and Metal Sonic. Outside the Restoration's shuttle, Whisper lined up the Variable Wispon for a headshot, but before she could shoot, Cream intercepted her and pushed the Variable Wispon's barrel down, begging her to relent, which the wolf reluctantly did.
- ↑ Evan Stanley on Twitter. Twitter (20 July 2018). Retrieved on 20 July 2018. “Tim Paraxade: That a Wispon she's holding? / Evan Stanley: Yeah it's her unique weapon, the Variable Wispon.”
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #12, "Sonic Letter Squad"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #21, "The Last Minute, Part 1"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Sonic the Hedgehog #8, "Silent Support"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Concept artwork for the Variable Wispon.
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog: Tangle & Whisper #3, "Betrayal"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #9, "The Battle for Angel Island, Part 1"
- ↑ 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: Annual 2019, "Bonds of Friendship"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog: Tangle & Whisper #1, "Imposter"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog: Tangle & Whisper #2, "Ambush"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog: Tangle & Whisper #4, "Showdown"
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog #24, "The Last One Out"