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Barby Koala is the second-in-command of the Downunda Freedom Fighters that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series published by Archie Comics. She has aided the Downunda Freedom Fighters in numerous battles against Crocbot and acknowledges the group ultimately serves the Kingdom of Acorn. She is sometimes more decisive than her leader, Walt Wallabee, but is always ready and willing to follow orders.
She has white fur, blue eyes and wears red boots and gloves and brown shoulder sash. She also has basic combat skills and razor sharp claws.
Barby is not only the object of Walt Wallabee's affections, but also that of a minor crush from Tails. Though she is much older than Tails and not romantically interested in him, she does think that he is cute and has flirted with him in the past. There is yet to see if she has any romantic interest in any character.
Battles with Crocbot
Originally a mercenary who joined the Downunda Freedom Fighters during their initial formation in order to destroy one of Crocbot's fortresses, Barby and her teammates fought against Crocbot and Robotnik for an unknown amount of time before Tails of the Knothole Freedom Fighters first arrived in Downunda. The group arrived just in time to save the battered Fox from a patrol of Crocbot's Wing Dingoes, only to lose teammate Wombat Stu to the Alpha Wing Dingo. Whilst team leader Walt Wallabee left to take Tails to see Athair in the Great Crater of Downunda, Barby led the rest of the team in a rescue mission to save Stu. They were then forced to deal with the impending threat of a blimp loaded with supplies for Crocbot, materials that would allow him to cement Robotnik's hold on Downunda once and for all. (TMS: #2)
Unfortunately, Crocbot's C.D. ROM Ram pushed them back, even knocking Barby into the Great Crater, where she was caught by a recovered Tails. After briefing Tails on the situation and asking for his help, Barby joined him in returning to the battle, though not before they discussed the unsettling disappearance of Athair, whom Barby had met before. The two then flew into Crocbot's fortress, landing a surprise blow on Crocbot before freeing Wombat Stu. Crocbot managed to elude them, however, furious over the destruction of the blimp upon which rested his plans to overthrow Robotnik. He then attacked using his Mega-Mecha Tank, a nuclear powered vehicle that blew through the Downunda Freedom Fighters but was luckily defeated and knocked into the Great Crater. Barby then joined the other Downunda Freedom Fighters in offering Tails a position with their team, to which he replied that he was flattered, but that he wished to return to Knothole instead. As Tails boarded his Sea Fox submarine, Barby and the others bid him a tearful farewell. (TMS: #3)
During the final conflict between the Freedom Fighters and Dr. Ivo Robotnik, Bunnie Rabbot and Antoine D'Coolette were captured and sent to Downunda, where the miraculously surviving Crocbot had established a prison in the Great Crater with an army of Combots. One of his acts had been capturing the Downunda Freedom Fighters, and a badly beaten and tortured Barby and Walt were in the same cell that Bunnie and Antoine were thrown into upon their arrival. After Crocbot gloated over his captives, Barby comforted Walt in his despair over the possible demise of their comrades. Luckily, Bunnie found a flaw in her restraints, which paid special attention specifically to her robotic limbs rather than her organic arm, allowing her to slip free. Barby then helped them remove Antoine's bomb-rigged collar, and they easily tricked a Combot into entering the cell. Not only escaping, but learning that their comrades were still alive, Barby and her friends broke Stu, Guru Emu, and Duck "Bill" Platypus out of Crocbot's other holding cells. The Downunda Freedom Fighters then engaged Crocbot and his minions, claiming that Antoine and Bunnie were dead in order to distract the robots from the escape of the other Freedom Fighters. The resulting uprising worked, allowing the Knothole duo to slip aboard the blimp Crocbot was sending to Robotnik with ore for the Ultimate Annihilator. Having told the story of their escape to their fellow Freedom Fighters, Bunnie and Antoine, uncertain of their allies' fate, received a postcard from the Downunda Freedom Fighters informing them that they were all right and had defeated Crocbot. (StH: #49, #50 SSS: #4)
Barby was soon reunited with Tails and met Sonic the Hedgehog for the first time when they worked together to rescue Wombat Stu and Guru Emu from a brainwashed Platypus army. After defeating the enemy forces, they brought Sonic and Tails up to speed on how they had begun cleanup of Downunda following Crocbot's defeat in the crater, only for Duck Bill Platypus to go renegade. He soon began leading the other Duckbills in raids on the cleanup sights, capturing components and driving off the Downunda Freedom Fighters' volunteers. Stu and Emu had been captured during a trap disguised as a negotiation, only for Sonic and Tails to arrive shortly afterwards. Barby greeted Tails with a kiss, and then accompanied him, Sonic, and Walt to free their captured teammates. As the group then set out to confront Duck Bill, Barby was forced to be the voice of reason as Walt clashed with Sonic over who was in charge. They reached Bill's hideout, only to discover him talking to himself-or so they thought until he collapsed and they discovered Crocbot's still active head and torso beneath his headquarters. Crocbot revealed that he had been controlling Bill all along, and warned them that their efforts to stop him were futile, for they would all be destroyed by the Bunyip. Sonic then deactivated Crocbot, much to Walt's anger, but Barby convinced him to back down. The Downunda Freedom Fighters bid their friends farewell, musing briefly over Crocbot's reference to the mythological Bunyip before dismissing it as rambling from the damaged robot. Sonic also mentioned to Tails his belief that Barby was attracted to him, an idea that Tails was rather intrigued by. (StH: #61)
Fighting the BunyipFollowing Wombat Stu's departure to join the Royal Secret Service under Geoffrey St. John, the other Downunda Freedom Fighers held tryouts in hopes of finding a new member. Lamenting their failure to do so, they turned their attention to dealing with a new nemesis who had been causing problems that they had not yet identified. After learning of an attack by this enemy from one of their would-be members, who also warned them that it had been the Bunyip Crocbot had spoken of, Barby and her teammates set out to challenge the menace. Making their way to a stagnant lake fed by a mysteriously dry river. After getting a rundown on the legend of the creature from Guru Emu, the group were then attacked by the Bunyip, who seized Barby and thus enraged Walt Wallabee. Walt used a Bomberang weapon to free Barby, only to be grabbed himself. Barby attacked the Bunyip herself, only to be grabbed again and then dragged underwater with Walt by the Bunyip. Fortunately, Barby could speak Bunyip's primitive tongue, and thus convinced him to take the Downunda Freedom Fighters to an observation chamber underwater where they could breath. Bunyip then told Barby the story of it's people, and how Crocbot had dammed the river it inhabited, trapping it in the stagnant lake. Left with no other avenue, the Bunyip had been striking at everything in hopes of finding Crocbot and achieving vengeance, but Barby soon convinced him that his quest was pointless, since Crocbot had already been defeated. Working together, the team then destroyed the dam, allowing Bunyip to return to his peaceful lifestyle. The group, pleased with their victory, decided against replacing Wombat Stu and kept the team as it was. (StH: #103, #104, #105)
Barby and the rest of the Downunda Freedom Fighters were eventually rejoined by Wombat Stu, and all were among the recipients of a telepathic message from the alien Xorda, who announced their plans to destroy Mobius for crimes committed by its inhabitants while it was still Earth. They were also among the several Freedom Fighter groups who gathered on Mobius' Southern Tundra in a full scale assault on the Quantum Dial weapon, a battle which ended in Sonic's apparent death. (StH: #124, #125)
Barby Koala is a fierce fighter, capable of savage action in combat. However, she is also a kind and caring individual, expressing concern for both teammates and allies from other Freedom Fighter groups. She is very intelligent and often serves as a peacemaker between the hotheaded males she works alongside.
Barby appeared to have a crush on the young Miles "Tails" Prower, kissing him goodbye once when he left with Sonic. It is unknown if Tails reciprocated these feelings, though when Sonic mentioned to Tails his belief that Barby was attracted to him, he said he "hoped so" and wanted to see her again. (StH: #61)
- With regards to the possibility of Barby and Tails being in a relationship, writer Ian Flynn stated: "There is no Barby/Tails. Barby's affections were entirely one-sided, not to mention extremely creepy. I'll find a way to write that one into the ground to bury and kill it later, but for now, there is no Barby/Tails. And there won't be so long as I'm on the book." (1)
Barby may have feelings for Bill, as she felt he owed her in particular an explanation for his joining the Eggman Empire. Whether or not she holds him in a romantic light or simply regards him as a sibling is unknown. Barby is also the object of Walt Wallabee's affections, though she hasn't been shown to return his feelings. (SU: #12, CSE)
- Barby, in addition to being a shortened form of the girl's name Barbara, is a common Australian shorthand form of the word barbecue, as in the phrase "Shrimp on the barbie".
- Barby Koala at Mobius Encyclopedia, the Archie Sonic wiki