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Marxio Brothers

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This group exists primarily or exclusively within the Sonic the Comic continuity.
Information in this article may not be canonical to the storyline of the games or any other Sonic continuity.
STC39-Marxio

The Marxio Brothers from Sonic the Comic #39. Art by Richard Elson.

The Marxio Brothers (Grouchio, Chicio, and Harpio) are a group that appears in the Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions. They are a trio of electricians. They were some of the publication's earliest parody characters and were based partly on early 20th century comedians the Marx Brothers and partly on video game icons the Super Mario Bros.. Despite this, they tend towards villainy and are closely allied with Doctor Robotnik's dictatorship of planet Mobius, and in particular run his various casino and carnival zones.

They debuted in Sonic the Comic #18 in 1994, at a time when Sega and Nintendo were major rivals in the video game industry. They were created by Nigel Kitching and Richard Elson.

The Brothers

STC18-Marxio

From left to right: Chicio, Grouchio, and Harpio. Art by Richard Elson.

The three Marxio Brothers are Grouchio, Chicio, and Harpio, and they are based on the stage personas of Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, and Harpo Marx respectively.

Grouchio is recognizably the leader of the group, and frequently belittles his younger brothers. He is the self-proclaimed "smart one" and likes to take credit for all of the group's brilliant ideas (even those that come from Chicio). Despite his overblown ego, he seems to have some business savvy and skills as a confidence man. Like Groucho Marx, Grouchio is often seen smoking a cigar and smiling broadly. On at least one occasion he used the phrase "You realise, this means war!"[1] Groucho Marx was famous for a similar line ("You know, this means war!") from the film A Night at the Opera, and for the shorter "This means war!" in several other movies (such as Duck Soup).

Chicio is the portly electrician who builds a lot of the traps and inventions for his older brother Grouchio. Chicio often has the credit for his work stolen by Grouchio, unless the plans go awry, in which case the blame is placed firmly on Chicio's shoulders. He speaks with a thick, stereotypical Italian accent, frequently using phrases such as "Mamma mia!" and adding "-a" to the end of words (for example, "We don't-a know what it is" and "What-a you talking about, Spike-a-ball?"[1]).

The third Marxio brother is Harpio, who dresses in green and is unable or unwilling to talk, preferring to communicate with his horn by use of well-timed honks.

History

The Marxio Brothers were three electricians who came from 'Marxio World', a place they are terrified of (most likely poking fun at the 'horror' of being in a Mario or Nintendo game and not a Sonic universe). It is implied that they were brought out of this world to Mobius by Doctor Robotnik, after which they worked to run his 'commercial ventures'.

In their first appearance, they were in charge of the Casino Night Zone for Robotnik. Chicio rigged all of the games in the zone to be unwinnable and they used a massive statue of Robotnik to hypnotise Mobians into becoming compulsive gamblers. When Robotnik learned through his spy network that Sonic the Hedgehog planned to make a raid on the Zone, he ordered the Marxio Brothers to make sure Sonic failed. They did manage to capture Sonic and Porker Lewis, and tie them to the roller coaster.[2] However, Sonic was able to free them. Sonic managed to keep the Marxios occupied while Porker reprogrammed the zone's master computer so that all games always paid out, then destroyed the hypnotising Robotnik statue.[1]

After Robotnik discovered the legendary Floating Island was real (by crash-landing on it)[3], he assigned the Marxio Brothers to build and manage a new theme park on the island as a money-maker: the Carnival Night Zone.[4] When Knuckles discovered it, Grouchio managed to convince him that Robotnik wasn't involved (they had merely purchased the patrolling Trooper Badniks from him) and that they would cut Knuckles in on the profits, with which he could renovate some of the older Zones on the island.[5] They tried and failed to kill him by means of a booby-trapped roller coaster, in the process convincing him to let them stay ("I loved the ride!").[6] They attempted to keep him busy as the park's "marketing consultant", and away from Robotnik's plans. However, when he insisted on leaving to destroy Robotnik's Launch Base Zone, Chicio let slip that they did indeed work for Robotnik, and the Marxios were forced to fight him.[7] When the guests started to arrive, they tried to keep Knuckles busy with a Badnik attack until the civilians were inside, knowing that he couldn't destroy the zone if innocent people were in there.[8] Nevertheless, Knuckles destroyed the Badniks and then struck a fault-line in the ground before the guests entered the park, splitting the Carnival Night Zone away from the rest of the Floating Island and dropping it to the surface of Mobius far below.[9]

Following Robotnik's removal from power, the Marxio Brothers convinced the Mobian authorities that Robotnik had duped them and were able to buy the Chemical Plant Zone, with the intent of making it environmentally friendly. They called Sonic in because of a problem that they felt might cause the zone to detonate, which turned out to be Megatox;[10] whether or not this was a deliberate trap for Sonic is left unknown, though the Marxios denied it.[11]

The Marxio Brothers also star in a series of Mobian video games, although Sonic isn't a fan - "who cares about the adventures of three electricians?"[12]

Trivia

  • Writer Nigel Kitching claimed it was difficult coming up with dialogue for Grouchio. He had to listen to his tapes of old Marx Brothers radio shows.[13]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Sonic the Comic #19, "Casino Night, Part 2"
  2. Sonic the Comic #18, "Casino Night, Part 1"
  3. Sonic the Summer Special (1994), "Guardian of the Chaos Emeralds"
  4. Sonic the Comic #39, "Carnival Night Conspiracy, Part 1"
  5. Sonic the Comic #40, "Carnival Night Conspiracy, Part 2"
  6. Sonic the Comic #41, "Carnival Night Conspiracy, Part 3"
  7. Sonic the Comic #42, "Carnival Night Conspiracy, Part 4"
  8. Sonic the Comic #43, "Carnival Night Conspiracy, Part 5"
  9. Sonic the Comic #44, "Carnival Night Conspiracy, Part 6"
  10. Sonic the Comic #114, "Crisis in the Chemical Plant Zone, Part 1"
  11. Sonic the Comic #115, "Crisis in the Chemical Plant Zone, Part 2"
  12. Sonic the Comic #26, "The Sonic Terminator, Part 3"
  13. Re: Continuity stuff. Rambling really... at sonicthecomic Yahoo! Groups

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