Knuckles the Echidna (born day 251, 3220) is one of the main characters of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. He is the sole remaining Mobian Echidna and the last in a line of Guardians of Angel Island. From the age of three, Knuckles was trained by his father Locke to assume the mantle of Guardian by the age of ten. Within the last few years, Knuckles has discovered that he is not the last of his kind, and that threats from all over Mobius are threatening his home. While originally operating alone, Knuckles has developed friends and teammates-formed into a group known as the Chaotix, which he leads-over time to assist him with his role of protecting the Floating Island. He has also taken it upon himself to assist those on the surface of Mobius in fighting the forces of Dr. Eggman, most prominently the Knothole Freedom Fighters under Sonic. Knuckles is the last Guardian protecting Angel Island, all other members of the Brotherhood of Guardians having perished or otherwise left incapable of carrying out their duties. He also considers himself responsible for all the Echidna people on Mobius.
Knuckles is a red echidna with purple eyes. He bears a white crescent mark on his chest, a trait tied to his station as Guardian. Officially, he is slightly taller than Sonic. He wears white mitt-like gloves and has two spiked knuckle-claws on each hand. He wears green, yellow and red footwear with a metal "Lego" plate atop each shoe. Like many characters in the comic, he initially was given light-blue eyes before SEGA established his eye color as purple.
For a while, as a result of Chaos-related powers going awry, his fur and eyes were green. He possesses a brown hat with a star-design on the hatband, though he's rarely worn it. He's also occasionally worn sunglasses and an air necklace. As an incarnation of Enerjak he wore golden armor with blue fabric connecting the various pieces. He is been depicted in a black Dark Legion robe and, for Antoine and Bunnie's wedding, wore tribal echidna attire, tan with a green-and-grey trim and taller boots.
Prior to Knuckles' birth, his father Locke received a vision from the Ancient Walkers that warned him of a threat that would one day come upon Mobius and that his son would have to stand against. As a result, Locke performed experiments on himself and later on Knuckles' unhatched egg, all for the purpose of creating the ultimate Guardian. His work appeared rewarded when Knuckles began displaying intelligence beyond his years, as well as physical signs of mutation-such as his trademark fist spikes-and Locke was soon teaching Knuckles at a college level. Locke wanted to begin Knuckles' training as guardian at age three, but Lara-Le didn't want Knuckles to be raised this way. When she realized that she would have little or no say in Knuckles' life, the dispute ended their marriage. Locke won custody of Knuckles when he was five, taking him to Angel Island for training to become a Guardian. (KtE: #16, #25, CSE)
Locke instructed Knuckles in various fields he would need to survive, and as such he would be, to an extent, secluded as a child, learning history, mathematics, geography, sciences, and other issues a guardian would need to know in order to perform his job effectively. During this time, Knuckles met Princess Sally Acorn, who became his first friend, though their time together was brief. Eventually, when Knuckles was ten, Locke journeyed to the Forbidden Zone with the confidence that Knuckles could be the next guardian, he performed one of the Brotherhood of Guardians' most grueling rights of passage, walking through the wall of fire that marked the entrance to Haven, leaving Knuckles to train on his own. (StH: #123, KtE: #16, #29, SvK)
Distraught at first, years later, Knuckles became the Guardian his father hoped for. With Princess Sally no longer able to see Knuckles now that Robotnik took over her father's city, his only friend would be the Mobian Catweazle. Knuckles eventually overcame his loneliness with the help of friendships formed with Vector, Mighty, Espio, and Charmy, all of whom eventually became members of Knuckles' support group, the Chaotix. (StH: #120, #123, KCX)
Knuckles first met Sonic the Hedgehog when the Freedom Fighter and his sidekick Tails stumbled across Angel Island and flew up to investigate. Having met-and been fooled by-Dr. Ivo Robotnik, Knuckles thought that the pair were after the Chaos Emerald he and the other Guardians had protected for generations. He thus employed all his knowledge of the island and its booby-traps against the two, eventually taking them captive. Releasing them later, he followed them on the suspicion that they would go after the Emerald, only to have Robotnik take it instead. Acknowledging his mistake, Knuckles formed an alliance with Sonic to recapture the jewel before Angel Island fell into the ocean. They parted ways afterwards, not entirely sure what to think of each other. (StH: #13)
Knuckles would return and clash with Sonic many times after their initial meeting, the first leading also to an encounter with Nack the Weasel. Not long after that, Knuckles had to save all the Freedom Fighters from the Happyland theme park built by Robotnik, engaging Metal Sonic in battle and defeating him with the use of Power Gems. This was also when he and the Chaotix first began working together as a team against the various villains of Mobius. (STT, KCX)
Not long after this, Knuckles found himself involved with a piece of history. Recently, he had been plagued by an unknown entity known only as Archimedes, whose latest act had been to spirit away the Chaotix to the Grand Conservatory of Angel Island. Infiltrating the ancient facility, Knuckles found his friends and discovered the identity of Archimedes: that of a Fire Ant. At the same time, the ancient evil known as Enerjak-Knuckles' distant uncle Dimitri, who had absorbed eleven Chaos Emeralds worth of power and thus been driven mad-escaped from his ancient prison. Before recreating his city of Nekronopolis, he banished Knuckles and Archie to the island's desert and enslaved the Chaotix. Knuckles eventually made his way back and confronted Enerjak, but was forced to retreat from the battle as his foe was launched into space-unbeknownst to Knuckles, the work of his long missing father Locke. From that point, Archimedes became another of Knuckles' friends and advisors. (STT, KCX, StH: #35, #36, KMS: #1, #2, #3)
Later, Knuckles went in search of a new Chaos Emerald as a backup for the one that remained under his care, which he feared might give out. Finding one in the Kingdom of Acorn's Lake of Rings, he grabbed it only to be challenged by Sonic, who claimed the Emerald as Kingdom property. The two rivals ended up battling in another Zone, where they transformed into Super Sonic and Hyper Knuckles and battled. This battle ended in a draw, with Knuckles leaving with the Emerald he'd sought and his relationship with Sonic tenser than ever. (SVK)
Knuckles would meet Sonic in battle yet again, this time when the Hedgehog fell victim to "Mecha Madness", having been Roboticized by Robotnik and sicced on his fellow Freedom Fighters. After Bunnie Rabbot's failed effort to stop this Mecha Sonic, Sally called on Knuckles to help the beleaguered heroes. Knuckles fought bravely but was defeated by Mecha Sonic's superior abilities, leading to a desperate act: the Roboticization of Knuckles himself. The new and improved Mecha Knuckles engaged Mecha Sonic in a battle that leveled half of Robotropolis, ending with Mecha Sonic badly damaged and barely clinging to life. Mecha Knuckles brought his former enemy back to Knothole, where both were de-Roboticized. Knuckles, irritated by Sonic, soon left again to return to Angel Island. (StH: #39, SMM)
It was not long before Sonic and Knuckles crossed paths again, this time to deal with the menace of the Death Egg. Knuckles struggled to protect Angel Island from the giant battleship, and then helped Sonic to bring the fortress down. Despite this alliance, the pair were soon squabbling again as Sonic demanded that Knuckles return the Emerald he had taken from the Lake of Rings so it could be used to help the ailing King Maximillian Acorn. When Knuckles refused, the Freedom Fighters sought the Crown of Acorns instead, only to be betrayed by one of their intelligence agents. After helping them in the ensuing battle, Knuckles agreed to search for the one thing that could find the Crown: the Sword of Acorns. His quest led him first to a meeting with his great-grandfather Athair and the Ancient Walkers, who directed him to seek a number of magic users. This led him to an encounter with Tails' uncle Merlin Prower, though Knuckles did not know of the relationship at the time. (StH: #42, SQM: #1, #2, #3, SLV)
At this point, Knuckles was side-tracked when he had to help the Freedom Fighters in dealing with Evil Sonic, the Anti-Mobius version of Sonic. In the process, Knuckles met his own counterpart, the pacifistic Anti-Knuckles. Despite their differences, the two Echidnas were able to work together to save Anti Knuckles' Sunken Island, and in the process thwarted Evil Sonic's plans. Following this, Knuckles continued his search. (StH: #44)
Resuming his quest, he encounters with the sorcerer Black Death, the Enchantress, and the wizard Mathias Poe, as well as a meeting with Sir Connery. His quest ended with success, as he was able to locate the missing sword and obtain it from Mathias Poe. Before he had the chance to turn it over to Princess Sally however, Mammoth Mogul used his magic to pit the Knothole Freedom Fighters against the Chaotix. When this failed, Mogul used the Fearsome Foursome to distract both teams while he secretly swapped the real Sword of Acorns for a fake. Not recognizing the switch, Sally then dubbed Knuckles a Knight of the Kingdom of Acorn. (StH: #45, #46, SSS: #1)
Later, during Robotnik's Operation: Endgame, Sonic, having been framed by Robotnik for Sally's apparent death, escaped to the Floating Island with Dulcy the Dragon. Upon their arrival, Knuckles knocked Dulcy unconscious, resulting in a fight between the two until Geoffrey St. John, who had been tracking Sonic, arrived, stating that Sonic was his to take down. Geoffrey subsequently revealed to Knuckles that Sonic had killed Sally, causing a shocked Knuckles to attack him in a fit of rage; in the ensuing skirmish, Sonic was captured and restrained by Knuckles and Espio, who refused to hand Sonic over to St. John as he had no authority over them. At that moment, however, Dulcy regained consciousness and, with a dragon's ability to sense truth, revealed to everyone that Sonic was innocent and had been framed. Realizing Robotnik's scheme, Sonic and St. John joined forces to attack Robotnik, with Knuckles going along with them out of respect for Sally. Working together, the trio liberated Knothole, and everything turned out all right in the end: Robotnik was killed by his own weapon, Sally, having only been in a coma, recovered, and the real King Max was found. (StH: #49, #50)
Return of the echidnas
Knuckles' misconception that he was the last living Echidna was shattered when he clashed with the Dark Legion—an organization of cyborg Echidnas founded by Dimitri's son Menniker that split off from the rest of the Angel Island Echidnas and was later banished to the Twilight Zone by the Guardian Steppenwolf. In his time, Knuckles tangled with the Dark Legion Grandmaster Kragok. Aided by the Chaotix, he challenged Kragok and his followers and managed to drive them off, forcing them to abandon their then-headquarters. (KtE: #1, #2, #3)
Shortly thereafter, Knuckles would be attacked by a lone Legionnaire named Julie-Su, who blamed him for her separation from her people due to an unexplained attraction she felt for him, one that Archimedes quickly identified as the Soultouch, a sixth sense by which Echidnas recognize their mates. Possessed of similar personalities, the two young Echidnas clashed from the start, only to soon find themselves faced with the unexpected reappearance of Echidnaopolis, the capital city of the Angel Island Echidnas. Having been dispatched to another dimension by Guardian Hawking to protect it from nuclear fallout, it's return threatened Angel Island. Moreover, the city of the Echidnas' traditional enemies, the Dingoes, was returning as well—in the same location. As General Von Stryker and his men struggled to establish their power base, Knuckles dealt with a number of problems: Constable Remington of the Echidna Security Team, a reunion with his all but forgotten mother Lara-Le, and a meeting with his ancestor Hawking. Joining forces with Julie-Su, Knuckles defeated the offending Dingoes, and Echidnaopolis was permanently and safely restored to Angel Island by Hawking, who then disappeared, leaving Knuckles his trademark hat. (KtE: #4, #5, #6)
Now uneasy friends, Knuckles and Julie-Su visited Mobotropolis in the wake of Robotnik Prime's defeat. There Knuckles introduced the Freedom Fighters to Julie-Su, and in turn met with Sonic's father Jules for the first time. After returning to Angel Island, the two were soon confronted with new problems. Mammoth Mogul, his scheme continuing, summoned Enerjak back from the depths of space to Angel Island, where the omnipotent Echidna took control of the Dark Legion after revealing his identity to Kragok. Bent on revenge, Enerjak immobilized the Brotherhood of Guardians' Fire Ant allies, as well as having his men capture the Chaotix. Knuckles was attacked by his old nemesis, who tried to break Knuckles with displays of his immense power. When Knuckles refused to give in, Enerjak tore him apart at the molecular level, seemingly killing him. (KtE: #7, #8, SSS: #2)
Knuckles survived the encounter however, as the Ancient Walkers and Athair intervened, restoring the Guardian to his original state. He returned to Echidnaopolis on the tail end of Enerjak's final assault, just in time to save Dimitri after the ancient Echidna was depowered by Mammoth Mogul wielding the Sword of Acorns. Contacted by Locke, the Freedom Fighters then arrived, only to have the now super-powered Master Mogul transport Knuckles, Sonic, and Tails away from Angel Island. Aided once again by the Ancient Walkers, Knuckles and the others returned with Power Rings in tow, and with the energy of Mogul's accumulated 12 Chaos Emeralds worth of power were able to transform into Hyper Knuckles, Super Sonic, and Turbo Tails. With the aid of the Brotherhood of Guardians' link with the Chaos Emeralds of Angel Island and Dimitri's own Chaos Syphon, the trio was able to defeat Mogul and seal him in the newly created Master Emerald. (StH: #56, KtE: #9)
Going through changes
Worried by this new development, Knuckles decided to remain on Angel Island rather than accompany Sonic and Tails on their quest to bring down Robotnik's Sub-Bosses and Ixis Naugus. Despite this, he was pulled into their efforts when Athair recruited him to be the last Mitre of the Lost Tribe of Echidnas, who had for centuries been making their way back to the Echidna homeland of Albion. Athair had been their leader before, and passed the role on to Knuckles. Knuckles reluctantly accepted the role, doing his best to protect the people of the tribe even after Athair disappeared. Discovering new powers along the way, Knuckles eventually found a new ally in Rob O' the Hedge, a Hedgehog in the realm of Mercia who initially challenged him. When the Tribe was captured by the High Sheriff, a Roboticized version of Armand D'Coolette, Knuckles and Rob—aided by Sonic, Tails, and the Echidna Mari-An (who would go on to become Rob's wife)—defeated his forces and liberated them. Knuckles then brought the Tribe to Albion, but departed for home using the Guiding Star Gem given him by Athair's follower Yanar. As he left, Knuckles was unaware that Athair and the Walkers looked on proudly. (StH: #58, KtE: #10, #11, #12)
During his trek back to the Floating Island, Knuckles was attacked by a Bear Pack on motorcycles. Despite being heavily outnumbered, Knuckles managed to save himself by tapping into his latent Chaos powers and creating a massive whirlwind that dispersed the Bear Pack. Not long afterwards he displayed an even greater extent of Chaos powers by creating an energy tunnel which returned him to the Floating Island. (KtE: #14, #15)
Knuckles returned to Angel Island just in time to hear that his mother was engaged to Wynmacher, an Echidna whom Knuckles had worked with against the Dingoes. Thrown off balance by the news, and by Lara-Le's story of his confusing past, Knuckles went off alone to think things through. He was approached by Julie-Su, who surprised him with a kiss on the cheek, one that both of them strangely appreciated due to their budding attraction for one another. A new distraction came, however, in the form of Knuckles' long lost ancestor Tobor, who had been wandering the surface of Mobius for years after being badly injured in a battle with the Dark Legion Grandmaster Moritori Rex, who had then impersonated him and taken his place amongst the Brotherhood. Warmly welcoming his distant kin to the family, Knuckles sought answers by attempting to interrogate an imprisoned Kragok. The two old rivals soon engaged in a battle that carried them into the Twilight Zone, which both escaped—only for Tobor to force Kragok back into it by grabbing him, leaving Knuckles' questions unanswered. (KtE: #16, #17, #18)
A freak snowstorm soon gave Knuckles more problems to worry about, what with his mother disappearing and King Acorn's Secret Service, led by Geoffrey St. John, arriving in search of Sally's lost brother Elias Acorn and their mother Queen Alicia Acorn. Knuckles' search for answers inadvertently brought him to Haven prematurely, much to the chagrin of older members of the Brotherhood. Moritori, knowing that his cover would soon be blown, attacked Knuckles after catching him off guard with the sight of an ailing Hawking. Knuckles pursued the Legionnaire, but Moritori escaped yet again. (KtE: #19, #20, #21)
Dimitri, now rebuilt extensively as a cyborg, caused trouble for Knuckles and the people of Echidnaopolis once again when he aimed to take over the city politically, by having his android Benedict elected to the position of High Councilor. Knuckles was also Dimitri's target, as the Grandmaster had identified his emerging Chaos powers and decided that they might hold the key to his restoration. His efforts to unlock Knuckles' secrets backfired, causing an electromagnetic pulse that fried Benedict and forced Dimitri and his forces—including the elite Legionnaire Xenin—to retreat. Immediately afterwards, Knuckles found himself face-to-face with his long lost father, Locke, who took Knuckles back to Haven so they could catch up on things. Locke also made some chilling revelations, telling Knuckles of his dreams about Mobius' future and how he had performed experiments on Knuckles' egg to make him more powerful. As a result, Knuckles had become a source of the power that the Guardians before him had only been able to channel: a living Chaos Emerald. (KtE: #22, #23, #24, #25, CSE)
Locke soon had the tables turned on him as Knuckles approached him on another matter: his feelings for Julie-Su. Knuckles recognized his attraction for her, but his lack of experience dealing with women left him feeling unsure of himself, especially as Julie-Su was being wooed by others. Getting antagonized by Vector did not help matters, but Knuckles finally worked up the courage to ask Julie-Su on a date. She accepted readily, but then learned from Lara-Le that her and Knuckles' plans fell on Knuckles' birthday, which he had forgotten. Knuckles allowed himself to be led to a surprise party, where he and Julie-Su finally decided that they wished to enter a closer relationship—a commitment they demonstrated with a kiss. (KtE: #26, #27, #28)
Knuckles then departed Angel Island briefly to join forces once again with Sonic and company, traveling with them to another dimension after the Master Emerald was stolen. Teaming up with the heroes of another Zone, they did battle with an evil scientist who wished to use the Master Emerald's power for some twisted design of his own. Using his link with the gem, Knuckles teleported himself and the Freedom Fighters back home, despite being tempted by the voice of Dimitri to use the power to rule over the world. (SSS: #7)
It was not long before Knuckles found himself torn between his commitment to the Brotherhood of Guardians and his friendship with Sally, who had come seeking aid which the Brotherhood refused due to the Freedom Fighters' refusal to use certain weapons technology. (KtE: #29)
Another bad piece of his past returned when Monk, a gorilla who had picked on Knuckles as a child and been exiled from the island secretly by the Brotherhood, returned to renew his old form of recreation. The two old enemies found themselves targeted by Hunter, an Overlander who forced them to work together as he pursued them. When Monk was killed in the ensuing chase, an enraged Knuckles unleashed a blast of power that incapacitated Hunter, leaving him easy prey for the Brotherhood to capture. (KtE: #30, #31, #32)
To make matters worse, Dimitri and an alternate dimension's Robotnik, who had come to Mobius Prime to fill his other self's vacated position, joined forces to take on all their enemies. Capturing their greatest foes, they attempted to erase their memories, but Knuckles and Sonic ended up switching bodies instead. Somehow managing to overcome the difficulties of being each other, the two managed to adapt and regain their identities in time to destroy the mad geniuses' Chaos Cannon, a device designed to turn living tissue into organic metal. (SSS: #12)
Evolution into Chaos Knuckles
The Freedom Fighters and Knuckles met yet again when Dr. Eggman released the ancient and powerful creature Chaos, who shattered the Master Emerald in order to absorb power from it, inadvertently releasing Mammoth Mogul. With Angel Island floating on the ocean, Knuckles set out to find some answers, ending up in País Misterioso and encountering the wandering spirit of Tikal, the Echidna girl who had imprisoned Chaos centuries before. Gaining knowledge of this time through visions as he searched for Master Emerald fragments, the Guardian eventually joined up with Sonic and the others to battle Chaos. As Super Sonic battled the monster, Knuckles played his part to defeat the beast, tapping into yet more power to lift an entire power plant by himself. He then rejoined the Chaotix, learning more of Echidna history and helping end an old feud between his people and the inhabitants of the Mysterious Cat Country. He later shared an account of this adventure with Sally, leading her to make her own journey into the Mystic Ruins. (StH: #79, #80, #81, #82, #83, #84, #213)
Back on Angel Island, Knuckles found himself fighting the Dark Legion again, but was then driven from the island after his mother's wedding by the Legion's Quantum Beam, which teleported everyone but the Dark Legion to another Zone and left Knuckles adrift on the ocean below Angel Island. (SSS: #14)
With no other apparent avenue open to him, Knuckles traveled to Mercia and there ran into his old ally Rob, Amy, Antoine, and Bunnie Rabbot as the latter three searched for Antoine's father. Knuckles decided to help the group, as did Rob after he was convinced of Antoine's goodly nature despite his resemblance to the hated High Sheriff. Making their way to Albion, the group found Antoine's father imprisoned and being readied for disassembly, a precaution authorized by Councilor Gala-Na to neutralize a threat to the city. Forced into a confrontation with the Sheriff after attempting to rescue him, Knuckles displayed the greatest amount of power yet, becoming covered in Chaos energy that gave him a green hue. Gala-Na, fearing his immense powers, ordered his capture and that of the others, but Knuckles used his newfound strength to send his allies-and the High Sheriff-to safety, escaping himself in search of help. (StH: #88, #89, #90, #91)
He traveled to the Golden Hive Colony, home of his old friend Charmy following his departure from the Chaotix. The two spoke only briefly before Nack the Weasel and his sister Nic the Weasel arrived and forced Knuckles to come with them. Brought to a gathering of forces from Albion, Knuckles began undergoing the extraction of his Chaos powers through the use of the Chaos Siphon Suit, a device crafted by Dr. Finitevus. Charmy and his girlfriend, Saffron, quickly intervened to help the Guardian, upsetting the process and causing a chain reaction. As a result, Knuckles became even more powerful than he had been, mutating into Chaos Knuckles, and took off for Angel Island in maddened pain, unaware that the incident had also transformed Finitevus into a madman who would play a terrible role in his future. (StH: #93, #94, #182)
Virtual omnipotence and death
Maddened by pain and desperate to find his lost friends, Knuckles returned to Angel Island struggling to get a hold on his newly increased powers. Sensing his great-grandson's peril, Athair brought Tails to the island from Knothole in the hopes that he would be able to reason with Knuckles. Unfortunately, the now green Guardian was beyond reason, and soon knocked his young friend unconscious. Turning to Tails' uncle Merlin, Athair soon had Tails ready to rejoin the battle as Turbo Tails, but the young hero was replaced with a duplicate by Mammoth Mogul. This duplicate Tails, thought to be the true Tails by all involved, engaged Knuckles in a brief battle that ended with his defeat, as he lacked the power of the true Turbo Tails. Before Knuckles could end the confrontation, however, he heard the voice of the only member of the Chaotix remaining on Angel Island: Julie-Su. (StH: #95, #96, #97)
Discovering that she is a captive of the Dark Legion, Knuckles made a dramatic entrance in Dimitri's command center. His old enemy surprised him, however, by requesting his help. With the destruction of the Quantum Beam—an event brought about when its dimension shifting power released Tobor and Kragok from the Twilight Zone-Knuckles became the only power on Angel Island who could undo the effects by altering history itself. Despite his and Julie-Su's misgivings, Knuckles agreed to work together with Dimitri. He stepped back in time to three different events, that he might prevent history from taking its current unfortunate course. He traveled first to the time of the White Comet, and prevented it from striking Echidnaopolis—only for the city to be destroyed anyway. Next he tried aiding Edmund in lowering Angel Island back to the surface, but failed to control the descent. One of these two timelines, or possibly some other alteration made by Knuckles, would have resulted in his engagement to Princess Sally after he brought her mother Alicia back to the Kingdom of Acorn in a timeline where Robotnik's coup was thwarted. Finally, he prevented Edmund's death at the hands of a Dark Legionnaire, but the result of that timeline was that all the Echidnas ended up as Roboticized slaves of Dr. Robotnik. (StH: #99, #100, #101, #102)
By sheer luck, Knuckles' own instincts saved the timeline from any permanent changes wrought by his actions. Thwarted in his efforts to change the past, he decided to alter the present instead, using his own immense energies to undo the effects of the Quantum Beam. His friends in the Chaotix, his family, and the other citizens of Echidnaopolis returned, only to have Dimitri make a surprising offer of the Dark Legion rejoining the rest of society—with Knuckles' support. Facing opposition from the people—even his own mother, who revealed that she was once again pregnant-Knuckles remained firm in encouraging the reunification. Matters grew complicated as Lien-Da made her own plans, apparently determined to prevent the Echidnas from joining together peacefully. Her main plan involved an assassin who attacked during a meeting between Dimitri, the Mitre of Angel Island, and a group of representatives from both sides. Knuckles took the blast in this event, and used his powers to fake his own death. Unbeknownst to him, his illusion fooled not only Dimitri but Lara-Su, his daughter from a possible future who had come back in time to prevent the Knuckles she knew from being killed. Lara-Su did manage to save Julie-Su from Syntar, another assassin, and thwart Lien-Da's plan, and returned to her own time to learn that her father had not died, but gone insane after absorbing a large amount of Chaos energy and assumed control of the Dark Legion. (StH: #106, #107, #108, #109)
While continuing his efforts to reintegrate the Echidna people of Angel Island—an effort hampered by Dimitri's failing health—Knuckles found some time to enjoy with his friends. Sadly, that time ended all too quickly when Mammoth Mogul returned, having recently battled Sonic and his own Tails duplicate after holding the true Tails prisoner and absorbing power from him to sustain himself. Kidnapping Dimitri and constructing his own Chaos Syphon, Mogul demanded that Knuckles confront him if he wanted to save his ancestor's life. Left with no choice, Knuckles challenged Mogul to a battle, during which Mogul revealed that the very room they were fighting in was a gigantic Chaos Syphon. Realizing that he had no other chance for victory, Knuckles pushed his powers to their absolute maximum, causing an explosion that demolished the building where Mogul had been hiding out. When Remington and Lien-Da arrived on the scene, they found Dimitri unharmed, Mogul vanished, and Knuckles dead. (StH: #114, #115, #116, #117, #118)
However, despite this untimely fate, Knuckles remained aware of happenings on Mobius, bearing witness to his own funeral. At this time, he found himself accompanied by the other deceased members of the Brotherhood of Guardians, who explained to Knuckles that unlike the other peoples of Mobius, the Guardians do not simply "die", but evolve to a higher plane of existence due to their close relationship with the Chaos Force, eventually evolving once again once chosen by Aurora to become one with the Chaos Force itself. After this discussion, two Chao came and chose Knuckles to evolve to a higher plane of existence, leaving the other Brotherhood members to wait for their turn. (StH: #121)
Aurora treated Knuckles to visions of long forgotten parts of his past: his parent's bittersweet relationship, the mutation of his unborn self, his father's departure from his life, and the earliest meetings he had with his friends the Chaotix and Princess Sally. Regretting his lost life but deciding that there was nothing to be done about it, Knuckles agreed to Aurora's wishes and traveled to become one with the Chaos Force, returning to his original red coloring in the process. While in this higher state of being, however, Knuckles sensed the peril of his friends back on Mobius as they faced the villainous Xorda. Never one to stand by as his friends faced danger, Knuckles separated from the Chaos Force and asked Aurora and Athair—the latter having appeared shortly after Knuckles—to send him back. The two agreed, Aurora unwillingly, and Athair with the warning that Knuckles would have to give up his powers in order to return. Not understanding—nor caring—for Athair's words of caution, Knuckles launched himself across the planes of existence using his powers in order to rejoin his comrades in their hour of need. (StH: #121, #122, #123, #124, #125, CSE)
Return from the afterlife and fighting Eggman
Knuckles returned to Mobius just in time, arriving in time for the energy wave of his rebirth to save his old friends and enemies from the defenses of the Quantum Dial. Speaking briefly with Julie-Su, Knuckles got ready to charge into battle, only to learn that his powers were gone. Helpless, he watched as Sonic seemingly sacrificed himself in a suicidal attack on the Quantum Dial. Believing his old friend dead, Knuckles became dedicated to fighting for Sonic's cause. However, trouble soon arose when Kage Von Stryker, son of his old enemy General Von Stryker, formed an alliance with Dr. Eggman and took over Angel Island, enslaving the Echidnas. Depowered and unable to get King Maximillian Acorn's support for a liberation mission, Knuckles was forced to wait as his people suffered under Eggman's cruel yoke. Some relief eventually came in the form of Sonic, who had not been killed but instead teleported to the far side of the galaxy, where he had been gone for a year Mobius time. Knuckles was among the first to welcome him back, both joking about their apparent deaths. (StH: #125, #130)
Almost immediately, Knuckles and the Chaotix—with Amy Rose as backup—were dispatched to help Armand D'Coolette's troops defend the ruins of Robotropolis from Robotnik's attack. Destroyed by a nuclear attack, the fallout of which was contained within an energy shield built by Eggman to keep the Freedom Fighters from escaping if they entered the city, Robotropolis became an extremely dangerous potential hazard, especially as Eggman had other plans in place that Sonic and the other Freedom Fighters had to deal with. Despite Julie-Su's fears that he couldn't handle himself without his powers, Knuckles threw himself into battle, and with the aid of the Freedom Fighters elsewhere, they triumphed in stopping Eggman's schemes. Unfortunately, Knuckles then bore witness to the breakup between Sally and Sonic, Sally having made the request that Sonic abstain from fighting and rule by her side after seeing him wounded in battle with Eggman, only to have Sonic refuse. Shortly afterwards, Knuckles was assigned a patrol area by the King that placed him right under the flight path of Angel Island. Tempted as he was to return to his home and help his people, Knuckles recognized that he couldn't do it alone and depowered as he was, and so refrained for another day, much to Eggman's chagrin, who had an army of Shadowbots ready to ambush Knuckles. (StH: #131, #132, #133, #134, #136)
Finally, Knuckles' prayers were answered when Knothole received word that his father, Locke, had been captured by the Dingoes. With Sonic and the Chaotix at his back, Knuckles launched an attack on Angel Island, breaking up a Dingo prison camp. To his shock, the Echidna prisoners—including former Constable Remington—began worshiping him as the Avatar, a being prophesied to bring peace to Mobius after returning from the afterlife. Feeling the weight of his people's confidence—confidence that he felt he couldn't measure up to in his weakened state, especially since he doubted his prophetic role—Knuckles learned that the news of Locke had come from his mother, who had sent a message with help from the Angel Island resistance aka, the Dark Legion, now led by Lien-Da. After seeing her again and also encountering Dr. Finitevus—whose origins remained unknown to him—Knuckles came before the Master Emerald after hearing that the Brotherhood, except for his father, had disappeared while defending it. In a cruel twist, Knuckles found that the Emerald weakened him where it had once provided strength, news that outweighed even the unsettling introduction of his baby brother, Knecapeon "Kneecaps" Mace. (StH: #138, #139)
Determined as ever, he led the Chaotix and the Dark Legion in an offensive on the Dingo headquarters, defeating General Kage and freeing his father. However, Eggman responded by sending his newest henchman and Knuckles' old enemy, Hunter, to seize the Master Emerald. By the time Knuckles and the others arrived, Hunter had already sent Remington and many other Echidnas to the Egg Grape Chamber in New Megaopolis and had his sights set on the Master Emerald. Weakened by exposure to it, Knuckles was helpless; until it suddenly awoke his lost powers, allowing him to transform into Hyper Knuckles and defeat Hunter, hurling him off Angel Island. Afterwards, Knuckles came to the conclusion that Eggman was the most serious threat, and that defeating him was paramount to defending Angel Island. And so, despite his father's objections, Knuckles and the Chaotix returned to Knothole. (StH: #140, #141, #165)
Knuckles soon found himself involved in another unsettling event in Sally's romantic life, as she married Antoine D'Coolette, though this later ended when it was revealed that he was in fact Antoine's evil counterpart Patch. Knuckles and the Chaotix were then called to action to defend Knothole against the Metal Sonic Troopers, robots built on King Max's orders to replace Sonic after his apparent demise. Hijacked by Dr. Eggman's computer virus "son" A.D.A.M., the robots attacked first Eggman and then Knothole. With the aid of Shadow the Hedgehog, Knuckles and the others were able to defeat the assault, and Knuckles also learned of Shadow's inexplicable link with the Chaos Force. (StH: #155, #156, #158, #159)
Events soon unfolded that reunited Knuckles with old acquaintances Merlin Prower and Sir Connery, whom he helped save from the Destructix when they attempted to steal Mammoth Mogul's Chaos Emerald. Knuckles, his teammates, and the Freedom Fighters were then drawn into an epic battle after the death of the Ancient Walkers freed Mogul, who in turn freed the Destructix. The ancient villain then contended with the escaped wizard Ixis Naugus and his Arachne over the last relics of the Source of All. Both evils eventually joined forces, but were defeated by Sir Connery's sacrifice and the arrival of the Egg Fleet. Following Connery's funeral, Knuckles made a goal to learn more about Aurora from his mother, in case the goddess' aid was needed on future occasions. (StH: #162, #163, #164)
Knuckles joined Sonic and Tails in facing the Babylon Rogues, boarding Extreme Gear in order to challenge Storm the Albatross. His dealings with criminals continued when Rouge the Bat appeared after last being seen fleeing the Freedom Fighters with Scourge the Hedgehog, and was taken into custody by the Chaotix. The Bat made no secret of her attraction for Knuckles, but it seemed obvious that she cared only about what ends he could help her achieve, as well as stealing him away from Julie-Su. Ignorant of Rouge's ends, Knuckles brought her along as he and the Chaotix investigated the efforts of their old enemy Renfield T. Rodent, who had once again joined forces with Dr. Eggman, this time to run a casino used to copy data for use in building an army of robots. Easily thwarting the scheme, Knuckles returned to Freedom HQ, which he defended from Snively's Egg Lobster while Sonic, Shadow, and NICOLE interfaced with Professor Gerald's diary. (StH: #165, #166, #171)
The Chaotix, minus Rouge, ended up on bodyguard duty for Mina Mongoose on her concert tour, contacting the Freedom Fighters only to inform them that they had heard a rumor of Rouge stealing the Master Emerald and offering it up for auction. It turned out to be a farce on Rouge's part to impress Knuckles, and managed to lure in the weakened Mammoth Mogul and Ixis Naugus as well as Nack the Weasel, Bean the Dynamite, and Bark the Polar Bear, who were defeated and captured. Knuckles would then be called upon to battle a remote-controlled Sonic who attacked Knothole, and managed to defeat him with Tails' help, landing a blow to Sonic's head that destroyed the control device in Sonic's ear. Around the time of this event, he and the other members of the Triple Threat discovered a community of Chao at the Power Ring Grotto, and Knuckles was befriended by a Chao that Sonic named Chuckles. Despite his apparent dislike of the situation, Knuckles quickly joined in to protect the Chao as Dr. Eggman arrived and attack. (StH: #172, #173, FCS: #1)
Knuckles then attended the wedding of Antoine D'Coolette and Rabbot Raabbot, dressed in Echidna tribal finery. The happy occasion was soon followed by a tragic one, as Dr. Eggman launched an all out assault on Knothole that leveled the city and resulted in the capture of everyone inhabiting it but Knuckles, Sonic, Tails, Amy, and Sally's computer Nicole. The group of five boldly set out to rescue their friends and loved ones, breaking through New Megaopolis' defenses and freeing their friends from the Egg Grape Chamber. Thanks to Nicole's efforts, they were all then teleported to a new city, New Mobotropolis, which had been constructed by Robotnik's nanites and then taken over by Nicole. With the Kingdom of Acorn apparently safe, Knuckles decided that it was finally time to go back to Angel Island and square things out with Locke. Knuckles also planned to help his father with a few problems Locke had mentioned during their most recent communication, which had ended violently after Locke demanded that his son return. (StH: #174, #175, #176, #177)
Becoming the fourth Enerjak
While Dimitri was no longer Enerjak, he retained some of his goals for world domination. However, as time went on, his ancient body began to fail him, and he sought to rejuvenate himself with Chaos energy. Originally, he intended to use Knuckles (who was a living Chaos Emerald at the time) as a power source, but Knuckles' temporary death and subsequent powerlessness left Dimitri without a way to return to his Enerjak form. (StH: #114, #118)
Dr. Finitevus, a scientist from Albion, had his own plans for the Enerjak legacy. When the Dark Legion splintered in civil war, one side led by Lien-Da and the other by Remington, Finitevus became determined to bring Enerjak back to reunify the Legion and crush the Dingoes who had used the division to seize control of Angel Island with the aid of Dr. Eggman. Recruiting a group of criminals—the Destructix, Scourge the Hedgehog, briefly Rouge, and Fiona Fox—he managed to convince Knuckles' father Locke to give him custody of the Master Emerald so that Locke could search for the absent Brotherhood. Dimitri, reduced to little more than a head in a floating glass orb, resented Finitevus taking him apart to keep him alive, and soon left to warn the inhabitants of New Mobotropolis—which at the time included Knuckles—about Enerjak's return. Unfortunately, Finitevus did not care for the former Enerjak, and in fact seemed pleased that another Echidna would be needed to take on the identity. (StH: #165 #171, #179)
Dimitri's warning came too late, as Knuckles had departed for Angel Island before his arrival and subsequently vanished. Upon his arrival to Angel Island, Knuckles was captured by Scourge the Hedgehog and the Destructix, and brought to the Chaos Chamber. There, with Lien-Da and the mind-wiped Remington present, Knuckles was manipulated by Finitevus into coming into contact with the altered Master Emerald, reawakening his Chaos powers. Now under Finitevus' influence, the new Enerjak was brought forth by the power of the Master Emerald right in front of Scourge the Hedgehog and Fiona Fox. (StH: #179, #180, #181)
Enerjak immediately proceeded to reshape Angel Island as he saw fit—he first confronted the Dingoes, banishing them to the desert while disintegrating their former leader Kage Von Stryker along with Cavem Canus, the Dingo capital. He then moved on to confront the Dark Legion, restoring Remington's memory and removing all the cybernetic implants of the Dark Legion. Unhappy with their anger at him, he then left them to be, moving on to Echidnaopolis, whose residents he teleported to Albion. Now finished on Angel Island, Enerjak arrived at New Mobotropolis, quickly dispatching their force field and revealing his identity to the stunned Freedom Fighters and Chaotix. (StH: #181)
Knuckles explained that his plan was to reshape Mobius, ridding it of all technology and forcing peace upon the inhabitants. Despite the pleas of his friends, he remained set on his goal, and attempted to revert Julie-Su to fully organic form as he had the Dark Legion. Sonic arrived just in time to stop him, and shortly afterwards Shadow also got involved in the battle. Despite Shadow removing his power inhibitors and Sonic's onslaught of insults, Enerjak overcame the pair of Hedgehogs. Sonic was left stunned after one of his blows removed Enerjak's helmet to reveal Knuckles, but he quickly joined the people of New Mobotropolis in a charge. Enerjak trapped them all in a force field, only to be bombarded by fire from the arriving Egg Stage and transported to the Egg Vineyard. Despite knowing Enerjak's identity, Sally Acorn was hesitant to launch a rescue mission that would unleash his threat upon the world again. Locke the Echidna intervened, kidnapping Julie-Su and Sonic so that they could help him defeat the Destructix and reclaim a weapon made by the Brotherhood of Guardians to destroy Enerjak. (StH: #182)
After Enerjak had been sent to the Egg Grapes, Dimitri arrived at New Megaopolis and tried to convince Dr. Eggman to use this opportunity to take Enerjak's power away. But Dr. Eggman thought everything was under control, and this would cost him. Enerjak broke free and destroyed much of New Megaopolis, as well as the Egg Fleet. However, the Egg Grapes had still drained Enerjak much of his power, so he teleported back to the Master Emerald Chamber at Angel Island, where Dr. Finitevus was waiting. Finitevus then started using the Master Emerald to repower Enerjak. But suddenly, Sonic (who had just got back from fighting the Destructix with Julie-Su, Locke, and Archimedes, as well as destroying the very weapon that could stop Enerjak) arrived and used the repowering as his chance to use the Master Emerald's power to become Super Sonic once more. (StH: #183)
Enerjak and Super Sonic began their battle, a display of raw power so great that it could be seen not just on Angel Island and in New Mobotropolis, but in Albion as well. Super Sonic held up well against Enerjak's assault at first, taunting him with the usual banter and doing his best to bring out Knuckles' old self. These efforts proved futile, as Dr. Finitevus had "locked" the hex placed on Knuckles, making it so that only the sacrifice of someone's life could break the spell. Julie-Su and Archimedes were both willing to do so, but it was a guilt-stricken Locke who finally took on the responsibility while the other two fought off Finitevus. With the spell broken, Knuckles was returned to normal and Enerjak ceased to be once again. (StH: #184)
Quest for redemption
Upon regaining his awareness and learning of his father's death, Knuckles immediately targeted the one responsible: Dr. Finitevus. Despite landing a powerful blow, Knuckles failed to catch his nemesis before Finitevus escaped through a Warp Ring. Blaming himself for his actions as Enerjak despite being brainwashed and blaming the whole incident on his decision to leave Angel Island, Knuckles resolved to remain on the island permanently. (StH: #184)
The Chaotix respected his decision, but joined him to keep a close eye on him. Escaping them, Knuckles traveled to Albion, peeking in on his mother and her family as well as the Echidnas in general. Feeling that they were safer without him, he then traveled to the Dingo encampment in Angel Island's desert, and revealed his actions as Enerjak to General Von Stryker, who wept for his son as Knuckles left. Finally, Knuckles spied on his friends as they completed a bridge between Angel Island and the new shrine island, created as the Master Emerald shrine was blown free of the rest of the landmass by the battle between Enerjak and Super Sonic. Longing to rejoin his friends, Knuckles was unexpectedly approached by Rouge, who admonished him for his decisions. She pointed out the failure of the previous Guardians' methods, and that with his new Warp Ring—given to Locke by Dr. Finitevus as part of a ruse and then passed to Julie-Su—he would be able to travel quickly between Angel Island and New Mobotropolis to help his friends on the surface. His concerns lifted-or so it appeared-Knuckles rejoined his friends, unaware that Rouge had ulterior motives for getting him back into the fight. (StH: #186)
After returning to the surface with the Chaotix, Knuckles joined Mighty, Mina Mongoose, Tails, and Sonic in being magically cleansed by Merlin Prower. He and Sonic were subjected to the spell in order to ensure that no remnants of Finitevus' hex remained, while the other three were being freed from a hypnotic spell left in place by Mammoth Mogul. (StH: #187)
Feeling relieved by the experience, Knuckles went on a mission with Sonic and the Chaotix to fighting against the Dark Legion, now serving under Dr. Eggman as his "Dark Egg Legion". Feeling that it was his fault the Dark Legion turned to Eggman, Knuckles went to confront their second-in-command: Lien-Da. Knuckles tried to convince her to stop working for Eggman, but she wouldn't listen and ordered reinforcements from Snively. When Snively told her there were none, however, she ordered the Legion to retreat. Unfortunately, they were retreating to the same control tower that Charmy, Saffron, and Ray were setting up bombs inside of. Sonic also had to leave due to the Suppression Squad launching an attack on Freedom HQ. Knuckles thought that they didn't need Sonic's help there anymore, though he may have changed his mind, as Dimitri then showed up with a new giant, robotic insect-like body. Dimitri and Knuckles exchanged dialogue until the former finally had enough and ordered the Dark Egg Legion to open fire. Even with his help, the Legion was quickly defeated by the Chaotix and forced to retreat. Dimitri remained behind temporarily, in which Knuckles asked why he would try to command the Dark Egg Legion. Through sarcasm and insult, Dimitri explained that he was deliberately leading the Dark Egg Legion to defeat in order to weaken the Eggman Empire from within. Knuckles and the Chaotix then returned, only to find the Freedom Fighters in retreat, Freedom HQ having fallen to the Suppression Squad. (StH: #189, #190)
A few days following the loss of Freedom HQ to the Suppression Squad, Knuckles accompanied Sonic before the Acorn Council to discuss their plan of counter attack. Following the Acorn Council's decision to focus on Eggman, Sonic attempted to get Knuckles' insight on the matter. However, the Guardian was still in heavy mourning for the loss of his father, and thus left Sonic angrily. After a brief argument with Julie-Su and later hearing some heart-felt words from his friend Charmy, Knuckles apologized to Julie-Su and realized he could not allow his grief to paralyze him. (StH: #191)
Aiding the Freedom Fighters
Knuckles, along with the rest of the Chaotix, worked along side the Knothole Freedom Fighters in their final push against the crumbling Eggman Empire. While Sonic and the Freedom Fighters distracted the Dark Egg Legion, Knuckles led the Chaotix to flank them and catch them by surprise, forcing them to retreat. When the Egg Phoenix arrived, Knuckles explained to Sally all of his plans to take it down were ground based, and thus would not work. When Sally came up with a plan, Knuckles helped to carry it out. After Sonic was tossed into the air by Vector, Knuckles glided up and grabbed him. When Sonic said "I haven't had this much fun since the invasion", Knuckles replied "You're hopeless" before tossing him up to Tails. When the Egg Phoenix was destroyed, Knuckles helped to set up their camp for the night. The next day Knuckles joined in on the final push inside the Eggdome against the Dark Egg Legion. Later, both he and Julie-Su were confronted by Dimitri who asked if Knuckles if he would force Dimitri to move if he did not do so on his own. To which Knuckles bluntly replied "Yes", then Dimitri stated that his brother Edmund's convictions lived on in Knuckles and left after wishing him good luck. Unfortunately they could go no further because a barricade, which Espio stated was meant for Sonic to spin dash through, was in the way. Sonic decided to go through, with Knuckles telling him to save some fun for them. After Mighty and Bunnie finished beating down the barricade, Knuckles and the teams entered to see Eggman defeated. Knuckles jokingly called Sonic a jerk for not leaving them any action, and as they all headed back to New Mobotropolis to celebrate, Knuckles and Julie-Su happily kissed on the ride back. (StH: #198, #199, #200)
The celebrations would not last, as the Iron Dominion took control of New Megaopolis following the departure of the heroes. Following the return of Sonic and Monkey Khan from an exploratory attack, Knuckles was treated to the distressing news that Espio had apparently defected to the side of the enemy. Determined to find out the reason for his old friend's seeming betrayal, Knuckles confronted him when he approached Shrine Island in order to steal the Master Emerald. The confrontation, though fierce, ended as Espio was unable to carry out the mission he had been assigned to. Briefly explaining the clans and their relation to the Iron Queen, Espio departed, leaving Knuckles to wish him good luck. (StH: #201, #202, #203, #204)
Dealing with Dr. Finitevus
With the Iron Dominion's assault focused on New Mobotropolis, Knuckles took it upon himself to hunt down Dr. Finitevus so as to learn his secrets and bring him to justice. This occurred after General Stryker sent him a summons, leading to a meeting at the Dingo camp. After revealing that his forces had uncovered Finitevus' lab and details on Project Enerjak: Reborn, Stryker dismissed any claims Knuckles had of guilt in the matter. With the General's help, Knuckles set out on his hunt with Julie-Su and Mighty for backup. After being dropped off in Sandopolis by their old friend Harry, the trio discovered a collection of ruins, some of which had been built by Echidnas. However, they then fell victim to a booby trap hidden inside one of the structures. They escaped-though without thinking to use their Warp Ring, which later became quite a point of embarrassment for Knuckles-and traveled through an active Warp Ring to Downunda, where they found Dr. Finitevus at work. They attacked him, but Angel Island was then caught by chains rising from the Great Crater. Knuckles and the others were then offered a deal: attack Finitevus, or work with him in order to save Angel Island. (SU: #9, #10, #47)
Knuckles' initial response was to attack Finitevus and demand answers regarding his plans and base which remained a mystery to him. Dr. Finitevus claimed innocence in the attack, refuted any right of Knuckles to question where he chose to locate himself and attributed lack of knowledge about the ruins to a lack in Knuckles' education as a Guardian. Knuckles, still confused and angry, retorted that he had a team in place to protect the Master Emerald from Finitevus, only for said team—Vector and Ray the Flying Squirrel—to emerge from a Warp Ring. The group was then attacked by a group of Wing Dingoes, and despite Knuckles' objections Finitevus stood with them. They received assistance from the Downunda Freedom Fighters. After dealing with the dingoes, the group rested within a ruined hut to get acquainted. Knuckles told of his recent adventures and impressed the Freedom Fighter group. They explained they were facing the Downunda Dark Egg Legion led by a former member, Duck "Bill" Platypus. Knuckles then wished to stop the Legion and he and Walt Wallabee came up with a plan, taking into account that Finitevus was working with them. Knuckles then told Vector and Mighty that Guru was coming with them to take out the chains and sent Julie-Su and Ray to take care of the Master Emerald at Shrine Isle. Knuckles led his team to the Great Crater rim and when he approached a launcher, Legionnaires and Winged Dingoes appeared and captured the group. Knuckles awoke to find everyone captured and in the hands of Finitevus and Bill. Dr. Finitevus then revealed that despite having no love for the Eggman Empire, under either Eggman or the Iron Queen, he had sided with them in exchange for access to the Master Emerald. After Finitevus departed to secure the island, Bill surprised the group by releasing them, explaining that he had played along with his people's desire to side with Eggman in hopes of thwarting their efforts. (SU: #9, #10, #11)
Knuckles then led the two teams in a breakout, letting the Freedom Fighters take care of their home while Mighty launched him back up to Shrine Island. There he found Dr. Finitevus, who offered Knuckles a chance to join him in "saving the world" and the chance to learn things about his people that the Brotherhood would not or could not have told him. Despite the temptation, Knuckles refused and attacked, leading to a battle between the two that nearly resulted in Knuckles' defeat. Fortunately, Julie-Su arrived just in time to rescue him from his nemesis, whom he then threw off the island. After bidding farewell to the Freedom Fighters, the Chaotix returned to the freed Angel Island, Knuckles and Julie-Su sharing a tender moment as they discussed the likelihood of Finitevus' escape. (SU: #12)
Knuckles and the Chaotix provided shelter to several refugees from New Mobotropolis after the Iron Dominion took over the city. Knuckles and King Elias Acorn, who led the escapees, worked closely together, and called each other by their names instead of their titles as a mark of respect. At Knuckles' invitation, the refugees took shelter in the abandoned Echidna village, though he declined to tell Elias what had become of the previous occupants.(StH: #208, Sonic Blog
Allies old and new
After the Iron Dominion was defeated, Knuckles welcomed Espio back into the Chaotix, the Chameleon revealing that the Bride of Constant Vigil had sent him there long ago to observe Knuckles as other Chameleons had long observed the Brotherhood of Guardians. Knuckles was initially angered to learn that Espio apparently had knowledge of his forebears, but the Chameleon responded by saying that he had known only about the Brotherhood's existence and Knuckles, with no real details. Knuckles sat patiently as Espio revealed other secrets he had learned about the Chaotix—including Vector's Downunda origins and the continued existence of Mighty's sister—and was present when Mighty arrived to bid goodbye to his companions before setting out to find his missing sibling. (StH: #212)
Weeks later, Knuckles and most of the Choatix were in New Mobotropilis to attend a concert put on by Mina and the Forget Me Knots. Like the rest of the crowd, they became caught up in the music, unaware that Ixis Naugus was magically amplifying the public's fear against NICOLE, though it appeared to have little affect on themselves. A few nights after, Knuckles was at the city's Lake of Rings when Espio and NICOLE approached him and brought him to the Science Center in regards to a sensitive matter. Finding Dimitri there, Knuckles flew into a rage over why no one informed him of this and though clearly upset, he listened as he let Dimitri apologize for all of his past failures and mistakes. After they discussed the current state of the Legion in Lien-Da's control, Knuckles then told Dimitri that he was to be transferred to the remains of Haven and be connected to its systems in order to start helping him "fix" their race's situation that he had created. His distant relative was only too happy to comply and as he left to make arrangements with Julie-Su, Knuckles told Espio and NICOLE he understood what they did and why, thanking them. (StH: #221, #222)
Genesis and aftermath
Knuckles took one last look at the Master Emerald. Hidden away in the heart of the Hidden Palace, the gemstone kept the island aloft miles above the surface of Mobius. He knew it was his duty to watch over it, but he did not know why. He would always stop here on his patrols and look into its radiance, hoping that one day the answers would come to him. Knuckles made his way through a blue-tiled halls until he came across a teleportation pedestal. He jumped onto the glass orb and was surrounded by a column of light. There was a tugging sensation deep in his gut, a flash of light, and then he was suddenly hundreds of feet above the island in the Sky Sanctuary. He leapt from the receiving pedestal, fanned out his dreadlocks, and began to glide to the island below. From here he would get a good look of the island before ending his patrol for the day, but as he descended, the Death Egg caught his attention from the corner of his eye. He did not seem to know what it was, and, while it appeared as little more than a smudge in the sky, it filled him with a sense of dread. Knuckles blinked as a white haze came over his vision. He wondered if he had stared at the sky too long, and he veered towards the Red Mountains and landed among their crags. He shook his head, trying to clear the white-out that was taking over his vision. (FCBD #6)
Knuckles snapped awake. He scanned the area, eyes wide, body tense. He wondered to himself why he was around the mountains when he had just been there. He felt the warmth of the Master Emerald against his back. The stairs of its shrine led down Shrine Isle. Julie-Su had called for him, and he looked to see her coming around the far side of the Master Emerald, blinking as if she had just woken from a dream. He told her that he was there and asked if she was okay. She replied, telling him that she was okay but she had a strange feeling like she was just back in the Twilight Cage. He nodded and told her that he felt that too and that it was like when he returned from the Chaos Force. She winced tiredly and wagged a finger at him, reminding him that he promised he would not bring that up, again. He smiled a little, then caught sight of Charmy flying towards him erratically. Knuckles asked if he was okay, and Charmy sleepily called back that he was okay and that he had just had the weirdest dream that he was a detective along with Espio and Vector. After acknowledging Charmy's response, Charmy went on to explain that they had their own office and everything. Knuckles then looked over to Julie-Su, who seemed to be studying her hands with concern. He asked if she was sure she was okay, but she absent-mindedly responded that she was fine and that she had a weird dream, too. She then apologized, explaining that she did not feel like herself. Knuckles nodded, saying that it would pass. He stood, stretched, and looked across the wooden bridge back to Angel Island. It was time he did another patrol as the Guardian, but he felt he had already done the rounds. He knew that something had just happened to them, and he wondered what it could have been. (FCBD #6)
Failures and frustrations
Thanks to Dimitri, Knuckles finally learned the cause of the Brotherhood's disappearance: Dr. Finitevus had tossed them into the Twilight Zone. Having both been there previously, Knuckles and Julie-Su attempted to use a Warp Ring to access the zone, only for it to fail; Julie later realized that Finitevus must have a special method to allow Warp Rings to access other zones. While this angered Knuckles, Julie told him that if it had worked, they still would have had no idea what threats might await them on the other side. Knuckles eventually agreed that they would simply have to wait for a better opportunity. (StH: #232)
Some time later, Sonic arrived on Angel Island, hoping to borrow a Warp Ring. Knuckles explained that they currently only had the one, as Mighty and Ray had left with the other. When Sonic told him why he wanted to borrow the ring—and thus explained that Sally had been roboticized within the new Death Egg—Knuckles lost his temper, not only blaming Sonic for losing Sally, but being indignant at not being informed that Eggman had another aerial fortress on the move. Things quickly degraded as Knuckles refused to hand over the Warp Ring, saying that it would risk giving Eggman the technology as well as citing Julie-Su's earlier argument that there was no knowing what risks would be encountered by trying to teleport directly into the Death Egg. Knuckles reluctantly told Sonic that they'd both have to be patient for the time being, but Sonic, frustrated, blew him off and left. Julie attempted to comfort Knuckles, thinking that the loss of his childhood friend, Sally, would be hard on him, but he simply announced that the Chaotix needed to put the island on guard in case the Death Egg attacked. (StH: #232)
After Vector, Charmy, and Espio left to find Mighty and Ray, Knuckles determined that he needed additional resources to monitor the island, and called upon NICOLE to help him repair Haven's systems. After revealing his reasons for going against his usual low technology methods and apologizing to NICOLE for his actions against her as Enerjak, Knuckles was informed of an incoming signal. It turned out to be a distress call from Remington in Albion, informing him that the city was under attack by the Death Egg and Dark Egg Legion. Despite feeling that he had failed and betrayed his people, Knuckles realized that they needed his help, and left to collect Julie-Su and Saffron to go to their aid.(StH: #242)
Leaving Julie-Su and Saffron to guard the Master Emerald, Knuckles arrived in Albion via Warp Ring only to find the city virtually abandoned. Coming across T-Pup and Team Fighters, he learned that they had been engaging the Dark Egg Legion alongside the Albion Echidnas when they were all knocked out by a defense system. Fearing the worst, Knuckles had Tails set up T-Pup to contact Angel Island for backup. However, they received no response, and NICOLE was likewise unable to contact Knuckles' teammates. NICOLE suggested that they might have used a Warp Ring to travel to Albion already, only for Knuckles to remark that he and Vector had both the Warp Rings possessed by the Chaotix. Sonic then ventured the explanation that Dr. Finitevus was behind the trouble, but Knuckles replied that Finitevus would have killed Sonic for interfering in his plans previously. Remembering that Thrash the Tasmanian Devil has a Warp Ring, Knuckles began to suspect him of being involved, and had his suspicions confirmed as they found Thrash dispatching the last of Albion's inhabitants through his Warp Ring. Knuckles demanded an explanation, to which Thrash gave thanks for the Warp Ring Knuckles had allowed him to keep. He then revealed that he had exiled not only all the Echidnas in Albion through the Warp Ring, but also Julie-Su and Saffron after defeating them so that he could use the Master Emerald to super-charge his Ring. Knuckles attacked Thrash in a rage, only to be knocked back and told that he would be allowed to live. However, Sonic joined in, attacking Thrash while Knuckles, Amy, and Tails took on his Devil Dogs. (StH: #244)
Knuckles soon resumed his personal battle with Thrash, demanding that the Devil bring the Echidnas back. Thrash refused, having spent a great deal of effort trying to remove the Echidnas from Mobius. Knuckles' protested his people's innocence, to which Thrash responded that his own kind had been innocent, and claimed that now their two races were even. In response to Knuckles inquiry, Thrash clarified that they were both the last members of their respective races: the Echidnas and the Mobian Tasmanian Devils. He then revealed to Knuckles how his race had once prospered in their homeland, until Echidna scientists from Albion arrived and altered them into the Devil Dogs. Though their reasons were unknown, the damage they caused persisted, and each dwindling generation of Mobian Tasmanians told the next of the Echidnas' hand in their decline. Knuckles responded to Thrash's reasoning with derision, retorting that the modern Echidnas had no knowledge of the crimes against the Tasmanians, and that they might even have been able to help the Devil Dogs. Thrash's actions would have doomed both their races to extinction; Thrash responded by claiming that the Echidnas would have repeated the crimes of their ancestors if they had not been banished.
Knuckles then reminded his foe that he remained to fight, and declared his intent to force Thrash to bring his people back. One of Thrash's Devil Dog sisters tackled Knuckles off of her brother, but at Knuckles' request Team Fighters corralled the savage creatures. As Echidna and Tasmanian continued to battle, Thrash revealed his original intent to let Knuckles leave in peace, only for Knuckles to remind Thrash of how he had banished his family and Julie-Su. With Thrash's pack imprisoned, the Devil admitted that he couldn't beat Knuckles in a physical battle. As such, he unleashed his sonic scream to drive Knuckles back, only for the Guardian to dig his fist spikes into the ground. Dragging himself through the shock-waves through sheer determination, Knuckles again knocked his enemy down. Before the heroes could appropriate Thrash's Warp Ring and rescue the Echidnas, however, Metal Knuckles-now controlled by the Krudzu Hybrid Hydra-attacked. Taking advantage of the distraction, Thrash fled through his Warp Ring, and Knuckles took off after him, leaving Team Fighters to battle the robotic menace. (StH: #245)
Knuckles' pursuit of Thrash took them first to some Tasmanian Devil ruins in Downunda, where Knuckles threw Thrash through a wall. After seeing another group of Devil Dogs and an elderly female Tasmanian, Knuckles resumed his duel with Thrash, remaining speechless throughout it. The battle continued to White Acropolis Peaks, and then on Angel Island before Thrash escaped through his Warp Ring, though Knuckles managed to seize it. Unable to reactivate it, Knuckles was met by the returning Vector, Mighty, Espio, Ray, and Charmy, and upon being asked where Julie-Su and Saffron were broke down, driving a punch into the island in helpless rage. It was not long after that, that Knuckles and his world was enveloped in a second Genesis Wave... (StH: #246)
Trouble on Two Worlds
- Note: Due to the Genesis Wave, Knuckles' history and memories were changed to be nearly identical to that of his game counterpart's.
Not long after, the planet was hit with a second Genesis Wave, and Knuckles once again found himself in a whole new world. He was almost immediately captured by Doctor Eggman and his new partner Dr. Wily, and turned into Knuckles Man, before being sent with his fellow Roboticized Masters-Tails Man, Shadow Man and Rose Woman-to steal a Chaos Emerald from the Mega City Bank, in Dr. Wily's home dimension. The group where then confronted by Proto Man, whom Knuckles Man quickly proceeded to engage. Knuckles Man managed to knock away Proto Man's shield, leaving him to Rose Woman to finish off, only for Mega Man to arrive and rescue his brother. After a brief battle, in which Knuckles Man was the first Roboticized Master to be stunned briefly by Mega Man's Mega Buster, the villains escaped to Mobius through a Warp Ring with Metal Sonic's aid. After dispersing, they rejoined the evil doctors, and later joined in an attack on Sonic and Mega Man after the two heroes and their allies joined forces. He was subsequently pulled from that battle along with most of the other Masters to pursue Proto Man. (StH: #249, SU: #51, #52, MM: #24)
Eventually, Knuckles Man and Rose Woman were left the last Roboticized Masters standing, and engaged Mega Man and Sonic in a battle that led to their return to normal. Sonic teased Knuckles over his Roboticization, jokingly inquiring whether or not he was tricked into undergoing the process or kidnapped, either of which would have been embarrassing. Knuckles gained a measure of revenge, however, as Sonic was then set upon by a tearful Amy. After being introduced to Mega Man, Knuckles was eager to join the fight against the evil doctors, and joined Tails in going to reunite with Proto Man and the Chaotix. The team of heroes soon gathered together, and were joined by Shadow, E-123 Omega, Silver the Hedgehog, and Blaze the Cat. Unfortunately, the group found itself facing a massive army of Robot Masters led by Rouge Woman. Leaping right into the fight, Knuckles proved himself a formidable foe, overcoming Plug Man and reminding opponents Concrete Man and Stone Man. He was subsequently menaced by Ground Man, but escaped to pursue Gemini Man. (StH: #250, SU: #53, MM: #25)
Knuckles subsequently encountered more Robot Masters, but unfortunately, the group eventually found themselves on the ropes, outnumbered and outgunned. Determined to give it his all, Knuckles decked Burner Man but was then astonished by the arrival of the original Light Labs Robot Masters, who came to their rescue. After being apprised as to their friendly status by Dr. Light, the heroes realized that their blue allies were taking too long for everything to be going well. At Knuckles' suggestion he, Dr. Light, and Proto Man boarded Rush and several hover boards to fly up to the Wily Egg. Finding Sonic and Mega Man captured, Knuckles and Proto Man went after Eggman and Wily while Dr. Light freed them. The two red heroes continued their assault even as the doctors entered their Egg-Wily Machine X, and found their attacks extremely effective due to the doctors' mutual sabotage of each other. They had almost penetrated the battle machine when the doctors restored it using the Chaos Emeralds, making it more powerful than before. Knuckles briefly lamented that the doctors' hadn't stolen the Master Emerald, which he could have used to negate the Chaos Emeralds, just as the Super Genesis Wave began to spread across both realities. Before he and Proto Man could suffer harm at the doctors' hands, however, Super Sonic and Super Armor Mega Man intervened, allowing the pair to retreat with Dr. Light. Though the duo was still caught in the wave, Super Sonic was subsequently able to restore Mobius, though not without interference from Eggman. (MM: #27, SU: #54, StH: #251)
- Note: From this point, Knuckles's history continues from his new life in the altered timeline.
Knuckles is honest, independent, headstrong and devoted to his duty. He is very serious and usually likes to be by himself, but can be relied upon to help out whenever the planet needs saving. At times he seems jealous of the freedom that Sonic has, but is always ready to help his friends when needed. He also maintains close ties to his friends and family, though at times such relationships are tense. (StH: #39, #125, KtE: #16)
Knuckles also faces a number of problems. From day one, Knuckles has lived a life different from that of any normal Mobian, having been raised as the Guardian of Angel Island. Recently, he has been linked to an ancient prophecy that says he will help save the world, hailed by the surviving Echidnas as the "Avatar" despite his disbelief in the prophecy. The strain of this responsibility has taken its toll on him through the years, though he only shows it in moments of extreme duress. (StH: #138)
Despite these setbacks, Knuckles remains stalwart. For a time, he was incredibly depressed, having lost his enhanced abilities and his homeland upon returning from the afterlife. Upon regaining both, he realized that Mobius as a whole needed him more than Angel Island, and he dedicated himself to protecting the entire planet. This has led him to clash with his father on numerous occasions, but he remains vigilant with the support of his friends. For all of his conviction, however, Knuckles remains strongly attached to his people, and this proved to be his downfall when Finitevus told him of the destruction of 90% of the Echidna race, allowing him to fall victim to the mad doctor's influence as the new Enerjak. Knuckles is not that much unlike Sonic: he is cocky and big-mouthed, with a lot of a wise-cracks (as well as arrogance). He also is all too willing to use his fists and loathes Eggman with a passion. Over time he has learned to not trust everyone at first, and has discarded his gullibility. Unfortunately, he also has a strong temper that often leads him to rash action, and he usually reacts with anger when faced with difficult situations. (StH: #125, #165, #181, #182)
Powers and abilities
Knuckles is one of the strongest figures on Mobius due to his combat training at a young age and his chaos powers. His brute strength is his equivalent to Sonic's speed and enables him to perform feats such as shattering boulders with his fists and digging underground. Knuckles is also a well-trained fighter with a specialty in punching due to the claws on his knuckles, though other Mobians-notably Sally and Espio-have demonstrated martial skills rivaling if not superior to his own. He is also able to glide by using a mixture of his Chaos powers and catching wind currents under his dreadlocks. Due to having altered DNA from his father's genetic experiments, Knuckles has strength far beyond that of an average Mobian. Through unknown means, he is also capable of detecting Chameleons, namely Espio, while they are invisible.
In addition, exposure to a Chaos Emerald's radiation while still in his egg, combined with the DNA of his Guardian predecessors, has given Knuckles Chaos abilities far beyond that of almost any being on Mobius. Among the powers Knuckles has been granted by these energies are the ability to rapidly recover from any injury, the power to open portals to other places, the ability to generate matter from thin air, and various others. Following his return from the afterlife, these powers remained dormant briefly, but were eventually reawakened when he was exposed to the Master Emerald once again for a long enough time. Like all Guardians, he possesses the ability to channel the Master Emerald's energy in battle, as used in his battle against Dr. Finitevus. He can utilize these powers in a variety of ways, such as Thunder Arrow. (SU: #12)
With the power of the Chaos Emeralds or something equivalent to it, Knuckles can transform into Hyper Knuckles. In this state, Knuckles' innate talents are increased many times over, his strength having increased a thousand fold and his link to the Chaos Force becomes more open. In addition, he gains the power of flight and virtual invulnerability.
As a result of Locke tampering with Knuckles' DNA, Knuckles eventually underwent a natural evolution into Chaos Knuckles. Because this form is more of a mutation of himself rather that an enhanced state, Knuckles could stay like this indefinitely. As Chaos Knuckles, Knuckles was the most power being in existence and virtually omnipotent. However, he lost this form permanently when returning from the afterlife.
Knuckles developed a relationship with Julie-Su, a former Dark Legion member that defected to be with him. The two where linked by a sixth sense known as the Soultouch, which showed them that they were destined to be together. Because of their similar personalities, the two where very close. (KtE: #4, #25, #26 )
At the wedding of Bunnie and Antoine D'Coolette, Sonic teased Knuckles about the possibility of the two making their relationship "official" by getting married as well. However, Julie-Su pointed out the Dark Legion never had such ceremonies, and neither were interested in 'dressing up' again. Instead, the two agreed their spoken word of commitment was enough. (StH: #174)
The two's relationship came under strain after Knuckles was returned to normal following his time as Enerjak. Although the two argued, eventually they resolved their disputes, with Julie-Su helping Knuckles to deal with his guilt. After she was captured by Thrash the Tasmanian Devil while Knuckles was busy repairing Haven II and visiting Albion, Knuckles was visibly devastated and enraged. (StH: #191, #244, #245, #246)
Due to their shared childhood experiences and the pressure they both have felt in their roles, it briefly seemed possible that Knuckles might develop romantic feelings for Sally Acorn, whom he referred to as his "special friend." In one of the altered timelines briefly created by Knuckles' efforts to rewrite history, the pair ended up engaged after Knuckles returned Sally's mother to Mobotropolis. Their affection for each other was exhibited in several instances, though quickly sublimated by dangerous conditions. However, this relationship stopped at close friendship, and the two have not shown any such inclination towards each other since. (KtE: #29, SMM)
Rouge the Bat
Rouge the Bat has also made advances towards Knuckles, but due to his connection to Julie-Su and Knuckles displaying vehement dislike for her, it is unlikely that this will go anywhere. As if that weren't enough, Rouge has demonstrated that she has no true romantic feelings for Knuckles; she simply wants to use him to get to the Master Emerald and to beat Julie-Su by stealing Knuckles from her. (StH: #165)
She later attempted to prove she could do good deeds legitimately by working with the Chaotix on a mission to investigate Renfield T. Rodent's casino in Station Square, and later lured Mammoth Mogul and other villains into a trap pretending to be selling the Master Emerald, making them easy prey for a sting-operation. Following this, she helped to console Knuckles who was dealing with the guilt of his deeds as Enerjak, though this was but a continuation of her manipulations. (StH: #166, #173, #186)
Thrash the Tasmanian Devil
Originally, Thrash and Knuckles were respected allies, but all that changed when Thrash kidnapped most of the Echidnas and trapped them in another dimension.
- Echidna Security Team
- Freedom Fighters
- Robotnik's Empire
- Egg Empire
- Mammoth Mogul
- Dark Legion/Albion Dark Egg Legion
- Downunda Dark Egg Legion
- Thrash the Tasmanian Devil
- Dr. Wily
- Wily's Robot Masters
- In Knuckles the Echidna #25, Knuckles took off his glove revealing a red echidna hand with spikes on his knuckles, much like his glove and is the first echidna to have spikes on his hands.
- Knuckles is the only Guardian known to have undergone a super form or to be capable of doing so.
- A family tree for Knuckles and Julie-Su was provided in Sonic the Hedgehog #109. The family tree did not list either Byron or Angel-La, the parents of Dimitri and Edmund. Remington was also not mentioned, though the family tree did point out the son of Kragok was with someone already in the comics. A completed family tree was later provided in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia.
- A prototype storyline for the issues after Sonic the Hedgehog #134 would have featured Knuckles refusing to remain on Angel Island because his presence caused the Master Emerald to put off more energy, making it easily detectable to villains, rather than his decision that his Guardian duties included the entire planet of Mobius. However, instead of remaining in Knothole with the Freedom Fighters and other Chaotix, he set off on a world tour to learn martial arts, eventually apprenticing himself to Monkey Khan. Khan's dojo would have turned out to be built atop the hiding place of a powerful jewel known as the Master Geode, which would have been targeted by Robotnik, the Iron Queen, and Mammoth Mogul. Knuckles was intended to become a pawn of the Iron Queen's placed under an evil spell and pitted against the Robotnik-controlled Khan. Eventually, he would have become temporarily omnipotent due to a reaction to the Master Geode, which ended up being fragmented and scattered across Mobius. In continuing his journey, Knuckles would have absorbed energy from these fragments.
- The creators of the Sonic comic have previously stated that Knuckles and Julie-Su will never have an actual marriage, as a result of Knuckles being a top tier SegaSonic character and thus unable to be tied down to any one character. However, several possible futures have been shown where the two live or have lived together, but are bound by commitment rather than legality. These futures have also featured the pair having a daughter named Lara-Su, though one version later changed her name to Jani-Ca. The future of 3437 P.X.E. has featured a descendant of Knuckles' named Edmund, who is possibly Knuckles' grandson and the son of some version of Lara-Su; Lara-Su is also featured in artwork from this future. A comment by Edmund suggested that a version of Argyle the Crocodile may be his father, meaning that Vector and Knuckles would be his grandfathers.
- The possible futures mentioned above both featured Knuckles losing control of his Chaos powers and going on a rampage, much as he did when his power was overloaded by Dr. Finitevus. However, while one version of him was restored to normal by Sonic's efforts, the other went on to become a malevolent Dark Enerjak.
- The fact that Chaos Knuckles changes his fur color from red to green may be a reference to the fact that Knuckles, when still in the early design stages, was originally green.
- Knuckles was the first character—in his personae of Chaos Knuckles and Enerjak— to be shown capable of reverting characters with cybernetics back to their fully organic form. Ixis Naugus later joined this category after accidentally transforming Bunnie back into a fully organic form.
- As a result of the Endangered Species storyline, Knuckles was left one of only three Echidnas known to remain on Mobius Prime, the others being Dr. Finitevus and Dimitri. Mari-An and her son Jon were not captured by Thrash, but their fate remains unknown.