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Spectre is a member of the Brotherhood of Guardians, one of many ancestors of Knuckles the Echidna. The son of the lost Guardian Tobor and the father of Sojourner. Spectre became the oldest living Brotherhood member during Knuckles' tenure as Guardian following the deaths of his great-grandfather Mathias, grandfather Hawking, and father. Known as the most violent and unpredictable of the Guardians, he is generally feared more by the Dark Legion leadership. He also tends to be more open minded and willing to criticize previous Brotherhood decisions. Spectre was last seen defending the Master Emerald from Dr. Eggman's forces along with the rest of the Brotherhood (except Locke), having been captured by Dr. Finitevus and then sent to the Twilight Zone after being experimented on.
When Spectre was still an infant, his father Tobor took on the mantle of Guardian at the age of 20 when his grandfather Hawking went to return to Mobius Prime to inspect the level of radiation poisoning remaining on the Floating Island from the Dingoes attempted nuclear strike. Not long after this, Spectre's father was replaced by Moritori Rex, a Dark Legion Grandmaster and operative. Despite his father being replaced by an imposter, Spectre found some joy in his life, such as marrying Kali-Ka. (KtE: #17, #18, CSE)
At some point during his time as Guardian Spectre was kidnapped by Moritori Rex and turned over to the Dark Legion as part of a plot to convert one of the Guardians to the Legion's cause. Spectre refused to join the Dark Legion however, and managed to expel them back into the Twilight Zone. However, he was left permanently altered by Dark Legion cybernetics, and presumably remained unaware of Moritori's role in his kidnapping. (CSE)
During his tenure as Guardian, Spectre made a speech to the people of Echidnaopolis and rallied them during one of the Dark Legion's many attempts to take over the city upon escaping from the Twilight Zone, saying "It is my conviction that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert defeat into victory. In every dark hour of our society, a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential in achieving the desired goal. I am convinced that you will again give that support to the leadership in these critical days." (KtE: #24)
Member of the Brotherhood
During the Great War when Queen Alicia's transport shuttle was shot down by Overlander forces and crashed on the Floating Island, Spectre, Sojourner, Thunderhawk and Sabre arrived on the scene. After Sabre managed to convince the Overlander scout parties that everyone had died in the crash, Spectre located the severely wounded Queen Alicia amongst the rubble. Spectre then brought Queen Alicia back to Haven while Sojourner brought the infant Elias Acorn. (KtE: #21)
When Locke suggested using Chaos radiation experiments on Knuckles unhatched egg, Spectre voiced his concerns and suggested Locke not go through with it. However, he was not extremely vocal as his feelings were based on intuition at the time, and Locke proceeded with the experiments. (KtE: #16, #25)
Years later while the Brotherhood was in a meeting, Spectre voiced serious concern about the issue of Knuckles powers after Sabre brought it up. When Sojourner and Thunderhawk scoffed and suggested Knuckles was merely going through adolescence, he stated the situation was "far graver", reminding Locke that he'd voice concerns over tampering with Knuckles' egg. Not long afterwards when the power in Haven mysteriously cut out, Spectre pointed out that the Dark Legion were a major threat and despite Haven having never been penetrated before, they must still be careful. When Knuckles returned from his brief time in the Twilight Zone with Kragok, the Brotherhood noticed Julie-Su and Knuckles being very close. Noticing this, Spectre stated "A pairing between a Guardian and a Dark Legionnaire? Now that could present some intriguing possibilities!" (KtE: #16, #18)
Of all the Brotherhood members, Spectre was the most suspicious of Moritori Rex. When Moritori showed signs of frustration upon Knuckles' return from the Twilight Zone and the real Tobor having disappeared, Spectre carefully eyed him. Later when Knuckles fought against Moritori Rex in Haven and Sabre assumed Tobor had turned traitor, Spectre stated "I suggest there's more to this than meets the eye, Sabre." When they found out Moritori had escaped, Spectre read the message left behind by the Legionnaire, which was written in ancient Echidna dialect. (KtE: #18, #21)
A short time later when the Dark Legion managed to invade and capture Haven, Spectre was the only member of the Brotherhood present who managed to evade capture. He later discovered Locke inside the Chaos Chamber and convinced him to help re-take Haven instead of directly going to help the captured Knuckles. When he and Locke attacked a pair of Legionnaires, he was baffled by Locke resorting to using his bare fists instead of his chaos powers. Soon after when they sabotaged the power, Spectre blinded Moritori Rex, saying "I've waited for this a long time, treacherous one! There's much you're going to answer for!" The Dark Legion members within Haven were then rendered unconscious as Spectre and Locke had rigged the ventilation system with sleeping gas canisters. The two then apprehended the unconscious legionnaires, freed the rest of the Brotherhood and repaired Haven. (KtE: #23, #24)
- It is unknown how Lien-Da and Moritori escaped captivity, as in their next appearance they were back with the rest of the Dark Legion with no explanation given.
Later, Spectre was the major spokesman for the Brotherhood when Sally Acorn approached them for aid against Robo-Robotnik, which Spectre reluctantly denied based on the Kingdom of Acorn's refusal to use artillery. (KtE: #29)
During the Legion's Quantum Beam offensive, Spectre joined with the rest of the Brotherhood and Mathias in attacking the Grand Conservatory where the Legion had established a base. Caught in the effects of the Quantum Beam, Spectre and the others were sent to a pocket zone. (SSS: #14)
Thanks to the efforts of the amazingly powerful Chaos Knuckles, the Brotherhood and the rest of Angel Island's populace returned, the Brotherhood to find Haven a ruin. Spectre was quick to report that he sensed the deaths of Mathias, Hawking, and a third being—unbeknownst to Spectre, his father Tobor—as they passed into "the Next Evolution". (StH: #107)
Last Stand and Capture
After the Xorda's failed attack on Mobius, the Eggman Empire began a large-scale invasion of Angel Island, combined with the forces of the Dingo Regime under the new leadership of Kage Von Stryker. Fighting bravely, the Guardians turned back Eggman's forces, but were left in a weakened state and thus easy prey for Dr. Finitevus. After analyzing both the Guardians and Moritori Rex, Finitevus dumped Spectre and the others into the Twilight Zone. (StH: #125, #139, #183)
Spectre has a deep-rooted hatred for the Dark Legion far more passionate than any of the other members of the Brotherhood, stemming from a failed abduction attempt by Moritori Rex that resulted in him receiving cybernetic implants. He is violent and highly aggressive when fighting, and seems to have a rather bizarre code of combat: he thinks it vulgar to strike enemies physically when he can dispatch them with the Chaos Force. He does have an honorable side to his personality, as shown by his cordial interactions with Princess Sally. He also seems to be of the mindset that altering the natural order willfully is dangerous, as he vocalized in his objections to Knuckles being transformed into a mutant. (KtE: #24, #25, #29, SSS: #14; CSE)
Like all Guardians, Spectre draws Chaos power through his link with the Master Emerald. However, Spectre possesses either a greater command of it than most of his compatriots or otherwise simply uses it more extensively than they do. His uses of it include teleportation, enhanced senses, telekinesis, and beams of pure energy that he uses in combat. He also seems to have superior perception, as he was the only Guardian to detect that both Hawking and Tobor had moved on to the afterlife upon returning to Mobius Prime. (StH: #107, KtE: #24, SSS: #14)
- Spectre's grudging attitude towards the Dark Legion was explained in The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia, which revealed that he was forced to receive Dark Legion cybernetics. Many fans have speculated as to whether Spectre knew Moritori Rex was impersonating his father. Evidence to support the notion he knew came when he confronted the exposed Moritori Rex, blinding his cybernetics and saying "I've waited a long time for this, treacherous one!". He was also seen watching Moritori out of the corner of his eye as the rest of the Brotherhood observed the true Tobor being drawn into the Twilight Zone. It also seems unlikely that Spectre would be unaware of who kidnapped him and turned him over to the Dark Legion. However, if Spectre in fact knew for some time Moritori Rex was impersonating his father, it begs the question why Spectre did not explain his suspicions to the rest of the Brotherhood, or act sooner. It is possible that without hard evidence he felt he could not act, or that since "Tobor" outranked him he was unable to do anything.
- Some have speculated that Spectre has black fur, as many depictions of him have his helmet casting a shadow over him making it appear this way. However, in flashbacks of Spectre as a child he had red fur, debunking this theory. However, in a recent Q&A session, writer Ian Flynn answered this question about Spectre's fur: I recall reading somewhere that it's red and the blackness stems from the shadows of his metal hood. It was either on Mr. Penders's board or in-book, I honestly don't remember which. Personally, I'd like to just say it's black. It would make better sense visually, and it would fit his spooky motif. (1) It is worth mentioning that in the flashback both Spectre and his mother had considerably darker fur.
- Spectre's name may have been a joke, as "spectre" or "specter" usually refers to an apparition.
- Spectre, along with Hawking are the only two guardians to wear hats (Or a helmet in Spectre's case.) This excludes briefly Tobor and Knuckles in the Mobius: X Years Later timeline
- Spectre is one of a handful of Echidnas who still possess original Dark Legion cybernetics, the majority of Legionnaires having had theirs removed by Enerjak. Others in the list include Julie-Su, Moritori, and Dimitri.
Back in the letters page of KtE #21 a fan asked a question about listing Knuckles' relatives in order up to Hawking. The response was: "The father of Knuckles is Locke. Locke's father is Sabre. Sabre's father is Athair. Followed by Athair is his mother Janelle-Li, the first and only female Guardian, and daughter of Thunderhawk. Thunderhawk's father was Sojourner, who was child of Spectre. Tobor the father of Spectre, and the son of Hawking." Evidence to support this appeared in the comics in KtE #29 when Spectre gives a roll call introduction to Princess Sally stating that his son is Sojourner and Thunderhawk is his grandson.
It wasn't until the Sonic Data Banks that this was changed around to Sojourner being the son of Thunderhawk. As to reasons why this change was made nobody is quite sure. All that is known of this situation was that it was handled under poor editing. Hardcore fans got upset with this, but many have adapted to the changes. This order was also shown on Knuckles family tree.
Confusion once again arose in the letters page of StH #193. When asked the order of birth, the editor responded: For the record: The order goes Spectre, Sojourner, Thunderhawk, then Janelle-Li, Athair, Sabre, Locke and Knuckles, for those of you keeping track at home.". When asked about this, writer Ian Flynn responded: I'm going to have to go over it all again to see if there's a nuance somewhere that can nail it down. We will eventually be setting it in stone. Officially. In print. That's more official than what's come before. (2)
Given the recent note by the editor, confirmation by the lead writer this is more canon than what has come before, as well as evidence from dialogue in the comics, Mobius Encyclopaedia recognizes the order as: Spectre, Sojourner, Thunderhawk.
Spectre is a tall Echidna with red fur (though it often appears black due to shadowing from his helmet) and was unusual from his fellow brotherhood members in terms of wardrobe; clad in dark robes and a metal helmet. Like all members he sported spiked gloves (though rarely if ever resorted to fists) his feet were cloaked in smoke/fog, but he presumably he wore boots like the rest of the Brotherhood. He also possesses cybernetic implants.