Professor Gerald Robotnik was an Overlander scientist that left the Overlanders as a young man to pursue his research, eventually ending up in the human colony of Station Square. One of the greatest scientific minds of his time, Gerald was the scientist responsible for the creation of Shadow the Hedgehog, who served as his greatest achievement and legacy even long after his death. Professor Gerald is the maternal grandfather of the infamous Julian Kintobor. Gerald was killed when Station Square's military decided to shut down Project: Shadow and execute him. Before his death however, he secretly prepared Shadow to exact revenge on G.U.N. for murdering his granddaughter, Maria Robotnik.
A scientist for the Republic of Station Square, Gerald Robotnik married Jennifer Vasquez and had two children, Geraldo Robotnik and Bertha Robotnik. The former produced a daughter, Maria Robotnik, of which Gerald was extremely fond. Later in his life, Professor Gerald relocated to the Overlander space colony known as ARK to advance his research on creating the Ultimate Life form. His sponsor was G.U.N., who became increasingly wary of Gerald's intentions as time went on. (CSE)
Working on Project Shadow
Professor Gerald was designing Project: Shadow with hopes to find a cure for his grand-daughter Maria's Neuro-Immuno Deficiency Syndrome through the life form Shadow. Gerald found that there were barriers to his research that he could not go around—his first prototype, the Biolizard, was unstable and couldn't live without a built-in life support system. Gerald thus contacted Black Doom for assistance. Black Doom hoped to make Shadow his ultimate weapon, and thus provided him with the Chaos Control abilities. However, Gerald secretly changed Shadow to be the protector of all life on Mobius due to his love of its inhabitants, as well as to protect it from the Black Arms should they return to Mobius in the future. (StH: #171, CSE)
Shortly after Shadow showed signs that he was alive, the military had decided to use Shadow as a weapon themselves, and while Gerald was working on the project on board Space Colony ARK, a group of military officials went to the ARK to retrieve Shadow and Professor Gerald. Maria had informed her grandfather of the arriving military ship, and thus Gerald ordered Maria to get to an escape pod with Shadow. Although Shadow managed to get aboard the escape pod, Maria was shot in the back and killed. Gerald was apprehended by the military and brought down to the planet surface to complete the project for the military. (StH: #98)
Quest for Vengeance and Death
Upon arriving back on Mobius's surface and brought to Prison Island, Gerald was informed of Maria's death by G.U.N.'s colonel. Consumed by feelings of hatred now and feeling his life had no meaning, Gerald planned to exact revenge against those that had murdered his granddaughter by firing the Eclipse Cannon from the ARK. In case the military shut down the project before he could go through with his plans, Gerald left a micro chip hidden on a machine containing a history of everything should someone wish to follow in his footsteps. The military, unable to keep up with Gerald's designs and therefore unable to be sure he was not trying to "pull a fast one" on them, decided to discontinue Project: Shadow. Gerald was subsequently executed following the project's shut down, but not before he managed to alter Shadow's memories, driving him to avenge Maria. (StH: #98, #157; CSE)
Following Shadow's release by Dr. Eggman, the ultimate lifeform operated without knowing his true purpose. Believing his role was to exact revenge against G.U.N. for killing Maria, Shadow acquired a Chaos Emerald from Station Square's bank to help Eggman achieve this objective. Shadow worked with Eggman, eventually acquiring seven Chaos Emeralds in order to use the Eclipse Cannon against Mobius. However, thanks to Sonic the Hedgehog and Rouge the Bat reminding him of his true purpose, Shadow teamed up with Sonic and destroyed the Biolizard, saving the world. It wasn't until over a year later that Shadow discovered a holographic diary of Professor Gerald's which would tell him of his true purpose in life; to be the protector of all life on Mobius and defend them from the Black Arms when they returned in fifty years, leading him to join G.U.N. as one of their agents to better protect Mobius along with other reasons. (StH: #98, #171, #182, SU: #2, #3)
- Even though Professor Gerald is an Overlander, he has five fingers.
- Gerald's glasses and mustache are lighter in StH: #171 than when he first appeared in StH: #98. His head also appears rounder, similar to Eggman's.
Last Name Controversy
Professor Gerald was named Gerald Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog #171 to coincide with the SEGA Game canon. This went against the previously established canon that the name "Robotnik" was created by Julian Kintobor upon launching his military coup. Writer Ian Flynn argued that Julian took on the last name "Robotnik" from his grandfather Gerald and thus the last name already existed, as Gerald was his maternal grandfather and thus would not have had the last name Kintobor. The Sonic Free Comic Book Day 2009 issue confirmed Gerald's full name is Gerald Robotnik.
Also, it is quite apparent that the name "Kintobor" is "Robotnik" in reverse. This could suggest that Julian Kintobor had created this alias to remain under cover and/or to protect his identity from his grandfather's namesake.