The mastermind behind the Metal Virus isn't done yet. Ian Flynn returns to answer: What happened to Dr. Starline?
The Shadowy Scientist is back to his evil antics in Bad Guys! And what better place to concoct nefarious plans than one of Dr. Eggman's abandoned bases? But that is easier said than done when badniks are guarding the entrance! Dr. Starline knows he can't do it alone, so he decides to recruit some familiar and not so friendly faces.
- 1 A Few Bad Men
- 1.1 Synopsis
- 1.2 Appearances
- 1.3 Continuity
- 1.4 Trivia
A Few Bad Men
- Story: Ian Flynn
- Art: Jack Lawrence
- Colors: Leonardo Ito
- Letters: Shawn Lee
- Assistant Editor: Riley Farmer
- Editor: David Mariotte
- Special thanks to: Mai Kiyotaki, Michael Cisneros, Sandra Jo, Sonic Team, and everyone at Sega for their invaluable assistance
Dr. Starline arrives at Egg Base Sigma, a modest base for the Eggman Empire's standards but it contained exactly what he needed. Sneaking past the Egg Pawn patrol, Starline is able to get to the control panel where he tries to use his personal login and take over the base. He hated sneaking around but he was in no position to fight his way through the security. However, the password is rejected and the alarm is sounded. Moto Bugs rush to Starline's location as the doctor is surprised that Dr. Eggman chose to exceed his expectations now. Regardless, Starline attempts to warp back to his base to regroup, only to recall that he no longer had the Warp Topaz. He is forced to test out his Multi-Tool Heel Spurs; activating the electro-spur, Starline kicks the oncoming Moto Bugs with an electric attack, destroying all three. As he gets up, he sees Egg Pawns coming his way, but he did not wish to stress test his gadgets. Running away from the Badniks, Starline realizes his plan was sloppy and he should not have assumed that the codes would work. Ducking underneath pipes, Starline thought to himself that this type of unearned arrogance was precisely what undermines Eggman. He had to be better than his idol. However, he had to focus on the task at hand, which was to escape quickly and quietly, and avoid fighting as much as possible.
Much later at his base, Starline updates his progress log by saying he has hit a roadblock. Though he has amassed a substantial reserve of Eggman technology, his current base of operations lacks the facilities necessary to utilize them. His current long-term plans are on hold until he has the tools needed to complete his principal creations. He says that it would be a simple matter if he still had the Warp Topaz, but Eggman chose to squander that resource: additionally, he did not have the prowess to use brute force like Sonic would. Starline states that he needs a replacement that allows him to compete evenly with his enemies. His Heel Spurs were not enough but he had something else in mind. However, they required resources that he could not obtain, bringing him back to a roadblock. Nontheless, Starline states that he must preservere. To him, Eggman ambitions could never advance so long as he was caught in his fixation on Sonic; it was up to him to break the cycle and conquer the world for him. This was much more difficult considering he was no longer on good terms with him.
After drinking from his cup, Starline states that Badniks were limited in their effectiveness and his personal enforcers could not be completed until he has Eggman's base; he needed help but he was not going to make the mistake of a trusting partnership again. He begins to think about if there was someone who mutually hated Eggman and Sonic, so that he could potentially sway them and eventually dispose of them. The doctor gets a "eureka" moment with a new idea in mind. At Everhold Prison, Starline walks into the warden's office. He is alarmed and wonders who let him in. Starline uses his glove to hypnotize the warden while telling him that he was there for his job interview for the maximum security wing. He hands him a blank resume to sell the act, with the hypnotized warden being very impressed. Starline requests to go there right away and reminds the warden not to forget the keys; he brings the keys and as they walk past a hypnotized guard, he tells Starline that he likes his enthusiasm. The warden explains that the position has been hard to fill. The inmates they were holding were some of the worst in the world, with most of them even going as far to fight Sonic the Hedgehog.
Inside the wing, Starline is greeted by what appears to be the warden inside a cell, yelling to be let out. The warden explains that it is Mimic, a shapeshifting assassin that was in debt to Eggman, betrayed his own team, framed Sonic for several crimes and many more offenses. The shapeshifter asks not to be sold short as he did not care if he approved of his work or not. In another cell, the warden introduces Rough and Tumble. He describes them as not very bright or skilled but they still manage to be trouble. According to him, they held two towns hostage and worked for Eggman just in one year. While the skunk brothers played tic-tac-toe, Rough says that they should not have tried to take over Barricade Town again, with Tumble asking how they were supposed to know that they would still have all those Wispons. Finally, Starline is brought to Zavok's cell, the leader of the Deadly Six and a ferocious beast with incredible powers. Starline steps in and explains that Zavok can control electromagnetic fields, adding that putting him in an archaic cell was a clever move as he would easily be able to control the lock and release himself in a standard cell. The warden is taken aback at the fact that Starline did his homework for the job. Zavok is confused and asks what Starline is playing at. Not understanding, the warden asks if the two knew each other, which Zavok confirms, saying that Starline was Eggman's protégé. Realizing he had been tricked, the warden turns to Starline, only for the doctor to send him into a deep sleep with the power of his glove.
Zavok asks if he always had hypnotic tools and why he bothered with the Cacophonic Conch; Starline says that he has a variety of tools and he knows when best to use them. He also doubted that it would do much on Zavok's iron will, to which the Zeti scoffs at. Telling him to save his platitudes, he reminds Starline that they were enemies and he was Eggman's flunky. Correcting him, Starline reveals his status as no longer working with Eggman; he was not the marvel he thought he was and he used him just like the others. The doctor declares that he will not allow the indignity to stand for him or the others; he states that he has a plan, and together with their combined skills, they can get their revenge on Eggman. Mimic passes on the offer as he did not do teams anymore. Starline says to him that he should think of it as a business partnership. He needs his skills for his plan to work and in return, he could delete him from the Eggnet, leaving Eggman without a record of him and free of his surveillance. Rough objects to the doctor's proposal, saying that he dumped Metal Virus on them. Starline clarifies that it was Eggman's idea and did not know he would do that to them. As the skunks were not having it, Starline promises to build weapons for them to crush their enemies for free. Rough and Tumble happily accept this, much to Mimic's annoyance.
Zavok reminds Starline of him trying to enslave him and his pack, stating that he will never be convinced to follow him. Starline turns it back on him, saying that in his new plan, he wants to follow him as his new master. As Zavok is slightly stunned, the doctor explains that he is no leader and he never pretended to be; he is just a flunky, living to serve. He explains that he made the mistake of following the wrong leader. Eggman deployed the Metal Virus haphazardly, letting it spread randomly until it got out of his control, prompting him to abandon his ambitions. Conversely, Zavok took command of the situation instantly, taking control of the Zombots with ruthless efficiency and maximizing the power of the Chaos Emeralds instead of squandering their potential. To Starline, Zavok was everything he admired in Eggman and more. Secretly, Starline thought of Zavok as a vainglorious brute who thinks himself a conqueror. He had the perfect plan to salvage the Metal Virus but Zavok and the others ruined it, being the cause of his separation from Eggman. Starline has decided to feed Zavok's ego, give him everything he wants, then lead him by the nose to his destruction. He will have everything he needs and revenge. In Zavok's head, he thought of Starline to be a sad, weak little man; just like Eggman, he was not as cunning as he thought. Zavok knew that he was plotting something and knew that they were all expendable, which suited him just fine in comparison to the others. However, he will sacrifice them to strike down Eggman and find his way back to his pack and then make Starline pay for trying to use him twice.
Once Starline confirms that his plan was for the benefit of all of them but he pledged himself to Zavok, the Zeti and the platypus shake on a new partnership. Suddenly, the alarm is sounded and the door is locked. The warden, who had come to, had put the whole prison on high alert via his remote. Additionally, the group was not leaving as the door only answered to his voice. Starline kicks the warden, knocking him out again with via the mild neurotoxin in his Heel Spurs. While getting the keys, he asks Zavok to free Mimic from his cell. Starline frees Zavok and works on gettin Rough and Tumble out. Zavok uses his powers to open Mimic's cell, allowing him to shapeshift into the warden and use his voice to unlock the door. Rough and Tumble throw the warden into Mimic's cell and mock him. Guards run to the maximum security wing, asking the "warden" what happened. He explains that Zavok was breaking out of his cell and leads them back into the room. Starline manages to use his glove to send one to sleep while Zavok gets the other two and slams their heads together. Rough asks why they were rushing and tells Starline to use his glove on everyone. The doctor explains that it was a precision instrument and not crowd control.
Starline tries explaining that if they were to escape, they needed to shut down security. Before continuing, the group is surrounded by several guards with Hover Wispons pointed at them. Starline tells Mimic to shapeshift into the warden, only for the octopus to say that they will see him and tries to ask Zavok to deal with them instead. However, Rough and Tumble make their choreographed entrance and begin beating back the guards with their brute force. Mimic says that Zavok should have taken control of their Wispons, to which the Zeti says that the skunk brothers should prove their worth. Victorious, Rough and Tumble mock the defeated guards. More guards come into the hallway, prompting Starline to ask Zavok to help them. Zavok uses his electromagnetic powers to take spin the Wispons out of control, throwing the guards all around the hall. This causes the dizzy Green Wisps to leave the weapons while the others press on. Mimic shapeshifts into the warden again to scout for stragglers. At the door of security, he asks a guard for his Wispon and uses it to push him down the hall. The Green Wisp leaves the Wispon once it notices the change in use. Rough and Tumble enter the control room and beat up the individuals monitoring the cameras. Starline tries to shut off the alarms, only for Zavok to deny it and request that all the cells be opened and the communications be scrambled to send the entire facility into chaos. Starline calls Zavok a visionary and gets to work.
Rough asks his brother if they were really working with the others, to which Tumble says that he did not have any better ideas. Mimic says that if Starline could get Eggman off of his back, he would take it as fair compensation. The inmates are freed and begin wreaking havoc in the prison. As this occurrs, Zavok, Mimic, Rough, Tumble and Starline walk away from Everhold Prison, with the latter exclaiming to the others that now that they were warmed up, they should get ready to do some real damage.
- Egg Pawns (multiple)
- Moto Bugs (multiple)
- Deadly Six (mentioned)
- Dr. Eggman (mentioned)
- Dr. Starline
- Green Wisps (multiple)
- Rough the Skunk
- Sonic the Hedgehog (mentioned)
- Tumble the Skunk
- Sonic's world
- Barricade Town (mentioned)
- Dr. Starline's Repository
- Egg Base Sigma (first appearance)
- Everhold Prison
- Cacophonic Conch (mentioned)
- Chaos Emerald (mentioned)
- Egg Spear (multiple)
- Metal Virus (mentioned)
- Multi-Tool Heel Spurs
- Test Chamber
- Warp Topaz (mentioned)
- Hover Wispons (multiple)
- Eggman Empire
- Eggnet (mentioned)
- Spin Attack
- Dr. Starline recalls losing the Warp Topaz to Dr. Eggman, which was in Sonic the Hedgehog #25, "A Sudden Shift".
- Starline recalls collecting a large assortment of Eggman's paraphernalia, first shown in Sonic the Hedgehog #14, "Misdirection".
- Mimic is still imprisoned in the Test Chamber, which occurred in the events of Sonic the Hedgehog: Tangle & Whisper #4, "Showdown".
- Mimic's actions of being in debt to Eggman, betraying the Diamond Cutters, and framing Sonic for several crimes is brought up, which was first learned about in Sonic the Hedgehog: Tangle & Whisper #1, "Imposter" and Sonic the Hedgehog: Tangle & Whisper #3, "Betrayal".
- Rough and Tumble's actions of holding two towns hostage and working for Eggman is brought up, which was first shown in Sonic the Hedgehog #3, "Fallout Part 3" and Sonic the Hedgehog #12-#15.
- Zavok recalls Starline trying to use the Cacophonic Conch to try to enslave him and the Deadly Six, first shown in Sonic the Hedgehog #25, "A Sudden Shift".
- Rough and Tumble recall being tricked into using the Metal Virus on themselves, from Sonic the Hedgehog #15, "Patient Zero".
- Starline brings up how Eggman deployed the Metal Virus but soon lost control of it, first shown in Sonic the Hedgehog #16, "Infection" and Sonic the Hedgehog #18, "Victims".
- Starline brings up how Zavok took over Eggman's plans for the Metal Virus and utilized the Chaos Emeralds in doing so, first shown in Sonic the Hedgehog #25, "A Sudden Shift".
- Mimic is usually depicted emitting glowing auras when shapeshifting. In this issue, he is depicted having part of his previous form still visible on him while shapeshifting.
- The authorization code of the maximum security wing of Everhold Prison is "beta-gamma-zero-one" which can be acronymized to "BG01," a reference to the comic and issue number (Bad Guys #01).