Harvey Who was a Mobian Owl, a master of disguise and espionage, and former head of the Secret Service and the Freedom Fighters' Secret Intelligence Division. Because of his success as the leader of SID, Dr. Robotnik made frequent attempts to find out the identity of the SID's leader was, as Harvey had made sure that no one outside the Freedom Fighters knew anything about him except his last name, which was mistaken for a question. After retiring, he was later called upon by Elias Acorn to help him overthrow the villainous Ixis Naugus, leading Harvey to form the Secret Freedom Fighters.
In Service to the King
Harvey Who once served King Maximillian Acorn as the head of the Secret Service. While loyal to the kingdom, Harvey's views would often conflict with the King's. Harvey advised the king to not trust Warlord Kodos, to kick Ixis Naugus out of the kingdom, to not exile Nate Morgan, and not to take in Julian Kintobor. The king however went against every suggestion of Harvey's, leading to the downfall of the kingdom. Harvey eventually stepped down as leader of the Secret Service, and founded the the temporary organization of the Secret Intelligence Division. (StH: #233)
Head of the Secret Intelligence Division
Harvey Who and his agents had managed to infiltrate many of Robotnik's plans and schemes, allowing the Freedom Fighter groups they contacted to foil them easily. After Robotnik realized the Freedom Fighters must have had an inside man and had Snively and Crabmeat do some literal digging with a shovel, they found a Mole miner who Robotnik interrogated. He asked "Who is the head of the Secret Intelligence?" and the Mole replied "That's right!" Misunderstanding, Robotnik had his SWATbots take away the mole and went on to his next plan, the Wheel of Misfortune, which Harvey had secretly infiltrated disguised as a robot mover. He informed the Knothole Freedom Fighters of every move Robotnik made, and accompanied them when they made their attempts to stop Robotnik in his tracks and occasionally left behind notes to Robotnik's lackeys. Later when Sonic the Hedgehog and Sally Acorn went to Renobotnik after a hard day's work, Harvey had infiltrated Robotnik's casino as a card dealer and was watching the two and slipped Sonic a card with a warning note, saving him from having his head crushed. After Sonic used static electricity to short out a particularly large SWATbot, he collapsed and was captured by Robotnik who tied him to his Wheel of Misfortune so his robots could vaporize him, but Harvey managed to turn the lights off and saved Sonic and brought him back to Secret Intelligence Headquarters, where Sonic said he was impressed with Harvey's disguises, how he rescued him, and asked Harvey a single question: "How many licks does it take to get to the chewy center of a lollipop"? To which the owl replied "That information, my dear boy-- is classified!" (StH: #16)
The Return of Harvey
Harvey Who was never seen after the first war against Robotnik reached its' end. However he most likely remained hidden but close to the inhabitants of Knothole and New Mobotropolis, with his whereabouts only known to the royal family. Upon Ixis Naugus seizing the throne, Elias Acorn sought out Harvey Who for assistance. Despite giving Elias a hard time at first, Harvey saw that Elias was worthy to be the king, unlike Elias' father, and began to create plans with Elias to take down Naugus with a group of "Secret Freedom Fighters", a group that would operate in total secrecy to pull off missions that the regular Freedom Fighters couldn't perform. He was quick to recruit Silver the Hedgehog, promising the despondent time traveler help in locating the supposed traitor amongst the Freedom Fighters in exchange for his help. He also traveled to Freedom HQ in order to request the aid of the exiled NICOLE, walking in on her and Mina Mongoose's reconciliation. Setting up base in Secret HQ, Harvey worked with Sir Charles Hedgehog to assemble other members of the team, including the rebuilt Metal Sonic aka Shard, Larry Lynx of the disassembled Substitute Freedom Fighters, and Leeta and Lyco of the Wolf Pack. He would then send Leeta and Larry to retrieve Elias from Feral Forest, completing their team. Elias initially objected to his new team, but Harvey vouched for his recruits and sent them on a mission to secretly aid Team Freedom in protecting the city, in which they succeeded. (StH: #233, #235, #237, #238, #239, #240)
Harvey would soon send the new team on a dual mission, assigned code names to insure secrecy in their operations. Silver, Shard, and Larry-Agents Ace, Jack, and Joker-were dispatched to pursue Naugus' apprentice Geoffrey St. John, who after secretly observing the whole team deduced Harvey's hand in the organization. Elias, Leeta, and Lyco-Agents King, Queen of Diamonds, and Queen of Hearts-were sent to investigate suspicious activity on Naugus' part in the city. Between the information gathered by the pair, Harvey and his team were able to determine that Naugus had a plan to enslave the Council of Acorn. In the process, Harvey was surprised and impressed by both Elias and Silver, as the former demonstrated reasoning similar to Harvey's own, whilst Silver's proposal to approach St. John directly for help was an unexpected move. Following the team's successful defeat of Naugus' plan, Harvey met with Silver in Secret HQ. Having examined a copy of Antoine D'Coolette's diary brought from the future by Silver, the present day version, and his own files, Harvey revealed that he had deduced the identity of Silver's traitor, holding up a photo of the founding Knothole Freedom Fighters and crossing off those he had eliminated. He then showed the photo to the shocked Silver, and assured him that he could explain how he had identified the suspect. Silver would later reveal to Team Fighters and the Arctic Freedom Fighters that Sally Acorn was the alleged traitor, but that he had also been made to see that it was her unwilling actions as Mecha Sally that had been attributed to treason. (SU: #41, #42, #43, #44, StH: #247)
Harvey Who is an individual of many sides and much experience, having spent years working against various threats to the kingdom. Though he expressed bitterness over King Max's refusal to heed his counsel, he loyally served his king and country. Despite his sometimes gruff manner, as when he initially resisted the idea of helping Elias, Harvey can also be a warm, kindly individual. He has a rather high opinion of himself, and has little patience for the failures of those working under him. Something of an eccentric, his methods are surprising to both enemies and allies alike, such as his selection of the Secret Freedom Fighters. Despite their rather patched together status, Harvey praises the group as some of the finest young beings on Mobius, and is equally willing to defend them to others and chew them out for failing to work together properly.
An accomplished intelligence operative, Harvey appears to have been a master of disguise, as demonstrated by his ability to infiltrate Robotnik's operations.
- Following Robotnik's death at the hands of Sonic the Hedgehog, the re-formation of the Royal Secret Service and open war being declared with the Eggman Empire, the SID has likely been dismantled and Harvey retired as leader. (StH: #50, #61, #130)
- The question, "How many licks does it take to get to the chewy center of a lollipop", is based off of an old commercial for tootsie pops.
- His name seems to be based on the Get Smart character, Harry Hoo.
- A similar character, Burt Whoo appeared in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog TV series. While the two are both owls, high-ranking officials and share similar last names, they are otherwise completely unrelated.
- Harvey has possibly the longest non-appearance gap in the series to date with 217 issues between his initial introduction and his reappearance.
Harvey Who is a Mobian of average height with mostly dark brown plumage, though his feathers are lighter around his eyes and on his chest. He has a yellow beak and eyes that have been drawn both as yellow (in his original appearance) and later brown. Both his designs feature a large crest on his forehead matching his eyebrows, and the top of his head initially appeared brown. Upon his second appearance he had grown a Fu Manchu style moustache, and wore a reddish robe lined with blue and gold, also adopting a walking stick.