The Black Arms are a violent race of aliens who traverse space in the Black Comet, traveling from world to world consuming entire populations. A hive-mind led by their cruel and sinister leader, Black Doom, they have been to Sonic's World itself at least once in the past, and were set to return there fifty years after that first recorded visit and the creation of their agent Shadow the Hedgehog. However, upon the Black Arms' return, most were defeated by Shadow and his allies. A small force led by Black Death returned in a New Black Comet to consume the planet, but they were intercepted by Team Dark and G.U.N.'s Spider Troupe. The team and their human allies were successful in destroying Black Death and neutralizing the comet with a warhead, but Eclipse the Darkling and the Dark Arms were able to escape to Angel Island in a shuttle, where they battled Shadow and Knuckles the Echidna for the Master Emerald. Their gambit failed when the Emerald was shattered, forcing Eclipse and his creations to flee.
Fifty years ago Gerald Robotnik made a pact with the alien warlord Black Doom to complete his experiments, the end product being Shadow the Hedgehog who would serve as the Black Arms' agent when they returned. With Shadow at their side, the Black Arms attacked numerous locations around the globe, among them being Prison Island. They were opposed by G.U.N., Dr. Eggman, and Sonic the Hedgehog, the latter two of which invaded the Black Comet along with several other allies only to be paralyzed with toxic gas. Eventually, Shadow turned on Black Doom, and despite the latter going into his Devil Doom super form, killed him before using the Eclipse Cannon to blow up the Black Comet, putting an end to the Black Arms' invasion and leaving the species on the brink of extinction. (SU: #59, #60)
A New Comet
Unbeknownst to the population of the world, a second force of Black Arms were stationed on an unknown planet in order to complete an earlier conquest. Their leader, Black Death, learned of Gerald Robotnik's betrayal and of Black Doom's death due to his connection with their hive-mind. Becoming the Arms' new leader, Black Death began making preparations for a second invasion of the planet with a new Black Arm soldier named Eclipse the Darkling, who was created to give the aliens an answer to Shadow. Their invasion was delayed for some time due to Eclipse's Dark Arms experiment, in which Wisps cultivated from Planet Wisp were converted into bioweapons to enhance the Black Arms. (SU: #60, #69; SSSM: #9)
Several months after the first invasion they returned and the oncoming New Black Comet was sighted by G.U.N. To nip the invasion in the bud, G.U.N.s Team Dark and Spider Troupe were sent up to the comet to plant a nuclear device that would wipe out the aliens before any more harm could come to the fractured planet. Shadow and his team boarded the comet, taking out a small defense force of aliens, before making their way to the core of the comet with the nuclear device. All the while they were watched by Black Death via Death's Eye, who remarked that while he anticipated meeting Shadow, he would've preferred it on his own terms. Shadow then separated from his group and used Black Arms conduit gel to enter a new room filled with Black Arms soldiers, whereupon he was confronted by Eclipse as Black Death used gas to paralyze Team Dark and Spider Troupe with the intention of consuming the humans. (SU: #59)
Spider Troupe and Team Dark managed to avoid the paralyzing gas using gas masks, prompting Black Death to send four Black Annelids to finish them off while he went to aid Eclipse, whom he worried was too fixed on "converting" Shadow. As the humans managed to evade the Annelids, Shadow confronted Eclipse, but found himself unable to use Chaos Control due to Eclipse's powers, which he mistakenly believed was due to his being on the Black Comet. Eclipse then telepathically explained his past to Shadow in an attempt to convince the hedgehog to rejoin the rest of his kind, but required assistance from Black Death when Shadow resisted. Despite the two Arms' combined might, Shadow managed to break free from their mental assault and attack Eclipse, but succumbed when Death placed a hand on his forehead and directly took control of him. Black Death then sent the two "brothers" to confront the human attack force along with the Black Arms army. While Shadow battled his former Team Dark teammates, Eclipse led the Black Arms to capture and consume Spider Troupe so they could use their bomb to rain devastation on the already-shattered planet. (SU: #60, #68)
Shadow continued battling Rouge and Omega, with Death's Eye remotely controlling him. Black Death noted Shadow's resistance to the mind control and mused on the various delays in implementing his plans. He then telepathically contacted Eclipse as the latter defeated Spider Troupe, ordering him to keep them alive as the Dark Arms larvae required live nourishment. Eclipse then brought the humans to the Dark Arms nursery where they were imprisoned in bio-clay and left them to be paralyzed by neurotoxin gas before leaving with the bomb. Meanwhile Shadow was able to briefly get through to his teammates, and Omega fired upon Death's Eye sending it flying for cover and disrupting the mind control. Unfortunately for the Black Arms, Shadow's connection to the hive-mind had been strengthened by the mind control and he used it to inform Rouge and Omega of Spider Troupe's location while he crushed all the aliens in his path on his way to Black Death. Sensing potential defeat, Black Death ordered his underlings to transport the Dark Arms incubators to a shuttle and told Eclipse to keep Rouge and Omega from retrieving the warhead. Death's Eye made a last-minute plea for Shadow's loyalty, condemning him for dooming his race to extinction, but the Ultimate Life form disregarded this and broke into Death's inner sanctum where the two began their battle. (SU: #61)
Shadow attacked Death with Chaos Spears while the Black Arms leader defended himself with arcs of fire and meteors. Black Death continued to plea for Shadow to rejoin his kind, to which Shadow replied that Death should make his peace before the end. Shadow then removed his Inhibitor Rings and transformed into Chaos Shadow, reiterating his loyalty to the people of the world. Elsewhere in the comet, Rouge and Omega discovered the nuke, and were immediately ambushed by Eclipse and a Black Oak, but Omega promptly dispatched the Oak with a barrage of fire. Eclipse cradled his fallen brother in his hands before being grabbed by Omega, who mocked Eclipse while he struggled against the robot's strength. Responding in turn, Eclipse metamorphosed into a larger form and continued his battle with Omega while Rouge armed the bomb. While Eclipse was able to do considerable damage to Omega, he was unable to support his enhanced form for long and reverted back into his normal self. Meanwhile Chaos Shadow collided with Black Death, knocking him to the ground, but both were interrupted by their respective allies. The weakened and demoralized Eclipse informed his master that the bomb had been activated, so Death sent his eye to attend to Eclipse while ordering his soldiers to delay Spider Troupe's escape. Death's Eye dragged the protesting Eclipse to the Dark Arms' shuttle and piloted it away from the doomed comet. Shadow and Black Death resumed their fight and the Black Arms leader was swiftly vaporized by Shadow's Chaos Blast. As Death's Eye fell limp, Eclipse realized that the hive-mind had fallen and vowed his revenge as his shuttle entered the atmosphere. Shortly afterward the bomb detonated and obliterated the New Black Comet and all the fallen aliens within. (SU: #62)
Angel Island and Beyond
Eclipse's ship subsequently crash-landed on Angel Island, where all but four of the Dark Arms eggs were destroyed. These four hatched into Blurk, Cregal, Cyzer, and Rhygenta, and Eclipse soon set out to grow fruit to feed them. Seeking a better means of nourishing them, he set out to claim the Master Emerald when Team Dark arrived in search of him. He engaged Shadow in battle and gained the upper hand with his monster form, until the Ultimate Lieform used the Master Emerald to perform Chaos Control. Defeated, Eclipse fled and returned to the ship, where he found the Dark Arms safely unharmed. To his surprise, they expressed their desire to help him, and the five of them attacked Shrine Isle while Shadow was occupied battling Knuckles the Echidna over custody of the Emerald. They managed to secure the stone by combining their powers, and made their way towards Team Dark's craft. Unfortunately, after fighting through various defenses, they ran into Shadow and Knuckles, who had put aside their feud. The ensuing battle resulted in the Master Emerald being shattered and scattered across the planet by Knuckles, but Eclipse and the Dark Arms managed to escape to the surface. (SU: #65, #67, #68, #69, #70)
Black Arms Soldier Types
- Black Warrior: Standard Black Arms soldiers who are roughly the height and size of an average Human. All possess a muscular build and feature the coloration unique to the species. They are sometimes equipped with Light Shot guns.
- Black Oak: A larger variant of the Black Warrior, over twice as tall and several times larger. They are physically powerful, able enough to deflect bullets with their forearms, and have rows of spikes lining their backs.
- Black Assassin: Elite soldiers that resemble the Black Warrior, but wear minimal orange armor on their bodies and have forehead spikes, tails, and red markings on their chests. The only one seen carried a Black Sword, a typical melee weapon of the Black Arms.
- Black Wing: A smaller variant of the Black Hawk. Eclipse the Darkling was seen carrying one in his introduction.
- Black Volt: Four-eyed, raptor-like flying creatures with segmented bodies and wings.
- Black Annelid: Giant burrowing worm-like creatures with six tentacles surrounding a circular mouth. They are able to launch missiles from their mouths. Their flesh is also impervious to bullets.
- Black Hawk:
- Death Leech: Black Arms larvae that eventually grow into larger forms. They resemble small blobs and feature a single eye surrounded by spikes.
- Dark Arms: Black Arms soldiers created by Eclipse in an experiment prior to the second invasion, of which all but four were killed. They greatly resemble Wisps and were derived from that species, albeit their powers are different and only transform a portion of the host's body instead of all of it. The four surviving Dark Arms are Blurk, Cregal, Cyzer, and Rhygenta.
Notable Black Arms
- Black Doom: The cruel leader of the Black Arms who was once the head of their hive-mind. He possessed Chaos Control abilities which were bestowed upon Shadow the Hedgehog after Doom and Professor Gerald struck a deal. Fifty years later he led the Black Arms to Sonic's world to consume the populace, but was killed when Shadow turned against him and defeated him in his Devil Doom super form.
- Shadow the Hedgehog: Part Black Arms due to having Black Doom's blood in his veins, Shadow has a limited connection to the Black Arms' hive-mind and well as access to the Chaos powers of his "father." After working for a time with Black Doom, he eventually turned against the aliens and destroyed most of them. When the last Black Arms arrived in the New Black Comet, he temporarily returned to their side before killing their leader and pursuing Eclipse on the surface.
- Black Death: A leader-class Black Arms who greatly resembles his creator Black Doom, minus the horns. He was off-planet with a smaller force of Black Arms during the initial invasion, and took over Doom's role as hive-mind after his death. He created Eclipse the Darkling in an attempt to counter Shadow the Hedgehog. While being killed by Shadow, he ensured that Eclipse was able to escape and tend to the next generation.
- Eclipse the Darkling: Created by Black Death to give the Black Arms an answer to Shadow the Hedgehog after he betrayed them. Unlike his template Eclipse is a full-blooded Black Arms; as such he resembles his hedgehog counterpart but with more Black Arms-derived features. Eclipse is unique in that he is the only Black Arm soldier who possesses true free will; he does not answer directly to Black Death and is thus able to question his commands as well as survive without Death's presence. In addition to Chaos Control powers, Eclipse is able to cloud Shadow's mind, prevent him from using Chaos Control, and morph into a powerful monster form. Eclipse and his Dark Arms creations are currently the sole surviving Black Arms along with Shadow.
- Doom's Eye & Death's Eye: Starfish-like floating eyes controlled remotely by Black Doom/Black Death to spy on their enemies from afar as well as carry out their will directly. Both perished upon their respective masters' defeat.
The shapes and sizes of Black Arms can vary widely, with multiple variants including humanoid, birdlike, and wormlike types, but in general they all possess grayish-green, brown, or black skin with crimson markings. Most have yellow or orange eyes without pupils. In general they don't wear any sort of clothing, with the sole exceptions being Black Doom and Black Death, who wear robes, and the Black Assassins who have armor.
- The Black Arms make their sole game appearance in the Shadow The Hedgehog video game. In the game, Shadow had to fight the Black Arms to prevent them from subjugating the earth. They have not appeared physically in any other game since, due to the circumstances at the end of the game.
- Due to issues with Sega before the reboot, Ian Flynn said that Black Doom and the Black Arms would not be making a proper appearance until they were given the green-light to have them defeat the Xorda and come to Mobius. (1) With the new "Shadow Fall" arc, it appears that the Black Arms are now fair game for the comics with the exception of Black Doom.
- In SU #59 the creature identified as a Black Volt is actually a Black Hawk. In the Shadow the Hedgehog game, Black Volts are a variant of Black Hawks with gold armor and a projectile launcher.