Overlanders were slightly mutated, de-evolved descendants of humans on Mobius. They were a by-product of the Xorda's Gene Bombs, which led to the mutation of the planet's inhabitants. They tended to be aggressive in nature and have strong feelings of xenophobia towards their Mobian counterparts. However not all Overlanders were aggressive towards the Mobians. Some, including such individuals as Nate Morgan and Hope Kintobor, have even tried to live with Mobians and be friends with them.
Main Article: Xorda Attack on Earth
Prior to becoming Mobius, the planet Earth's dominant species was Homo sapiens (a.k.a. modern humans). During Earth's 21st century, the scientist Ivan Kintobor provoked the alien species known as the Xorda by capturing their emissary and dissecting it. As a result, the Xorda bombarded the planet with Gene Bombs, which were supposed to wipe out the human race and maintain the rest of the planet's environment as it was at the time. However, the Gene Bombs instead de-evolved some of the human population, creating Overlanders. (StH: #125, #148)
Early History and Development
Some time after the Xorda attack, the Overlanders were still a barbaric species. The Mobian Alexander attempted to integrate them into his all-species society of Mobotropolis, but they responded with general aggression. Instead, the Overlanders made their cities in the Overland, tearing away at its resources as their civilization developed. Eventually, they made contact with their distant cousins, the Humans, many of whose ancestors had survived the Xorda attack. The two groups, sensing a kinship with each other, initiated the Heritage Project as an effort to develop closer ties. (StH: #71, CSE)
Unlike their Mobian counterparts, who wished to preserve the environment and therefore remained locked in the medieval age for centuries, the Overlanders hit the industrial and atomic ages, developing their capital city of Megapolis in the North-Western hemisphere, and coming under the rule of a dictator-like Overlord. A few Overlanders at the time became aware of the dangerous consumption of raw materials and its effect on the environment and formed an underground research team to develop a clean alternative power source: the Power Ring. Though one of the group's most prominent members, Dr. Nate Morgan, hoped for it to become the new fifth element, his efforts were sabotaged by his apprentice and fellow teammate Julian Kintobor, resulting in a terrible explosion. Because of this, Nate was exiled; however, he ended up being taken in by the Kingdom of Acorn, where he applied his research and successfully thrust the Mobians' society into the modern age. (StH: #65)
For all their modern advancements, the Overlanders were also known to experiment in the occult science of techno-sorcery. Mega Central was home to a cult of technomages for some time prior to the Great War. This type of magic enabled the caster to manipulate electronic impulses that ran through the air and thereby control any kind of device that was electrically operated, including something as advanced as a mechanoid. However, the danger of a skill such as this in a society that depended so heavily on technology became quite obvious, and Magitek was made illegal roughly by the time of the Great War's beginning, resulting in the arrest or execution of its cult members. The High Chancellor of Mega Central showed cult member Regina Ferrum mercy due to her young age, and sentenced her alone to exile. This would prove to be a dire mistake as her exile would lead to her desire to conquer the planet and become a Sub-Boss to Dr. Ivo Robotnik and later Dr. Eggman in the First and Second Robotnik Wars; known as the Iron Queen in the Dragon Kingdom, she would eventually usurp the Eggman Empire. (StH: #200, #202, #207)
Wars with the Mobians
- See: Great War
Various projects left the Overlanders desperate for resources, including the costly Hundred Moons of Mobius and the Space Colony ARK. The Overlanders had long coveted the Kingdom of Acorn's land and wealth, and various incidents-including the war known as King George's Folly-had led to growing tensions between the two sides. The Overlanders' desire for power and resources had even prompted incursions against Angel Island, one led by Brutus Kintobor and the other in alliance with the Dark Legion under Grandmaster Menniker. Both of these invasions were thwarted by a Guardian: the first by Steppenwolf, and the latter by Aaron. Later, when the Overlanders attempted to eliminate Queen Alicia Acorn and her son Elias, the Brotherhood of Guardians saved the pair from the wreckage of their crashed plane on Angel Island and claimed to the Overlander investigators that they had perished. (CSE)
Between 3220 and 3225, the Overlanders and Mobians of the Kingdom of Acorn fought the Great War. While the Overlanders were initially overwhelming their medieval Mobian foes with relative ease, the tides turned when the Overlander scientist Julian Kintobor joined the Mobians and provided them with tactical information, battle strategies and more advanced technology. Determined to achieve victory, the Overlanders resorted yet again to an alliance with a Mobian group: this time, a number of citizens from the Southern Baronies who resented the rule of the House of Acorn. The Great War ultimately and abruptly ended after a sword duel between King Max and the Overlanders' leader, Overlord Charlemagne. An agreement was made by each side that the final outcome of the war would be decided by this duel. When King Max defeated the Overlord, he honored his word, surrendering and disappearing into obscurity. (StH: #72, #73, #74, #76, #78, CSE)
Trek Through the Stars
Filled with shame and guilt over their unexplainable loss to the Mobians, some of the Overlanders from Megapolis, led by Julian's brother Colin Kintobor, created two space ships and fled the planet in search of a new home (this ultimately saved them, as Dr. Robotnik sent legions of SWATbots to conquer the city after he seized power in Mobotropolis). After nearly eleven years of searching, however, they were unable to locate a hospitable world, and were forced to return to Mobius when their supplies ran low. Sometime during their sojourn, the Overlanders' ships encountered a Xorda battle cruiser, which attacked them as they fled for safe space. This resulted in the Xorda following the ships back to Mobius and discovering life still survived on the former human homeworld, causing them to stage a second offensive. (StH: #72, #94, #124, CSE)
Some Overlanders remained on Mobius however, residing in cities like Mega Central, and were unaware that Julian Kintobor was the evil Dr. Robotnik. Meanwhile, roughly a third of the Overlander population fled to the Republic of Station Square for protection, joining the United Federation. (SSS: #6, SSSM: #2)
Betrayal and Move
Upon returning to Mobius, the returned Overlanders found themselves welcomed to the city of Robotropolis by Dr. Eggman - an alternative dimension's version of the now-dead Julian Kintobor (aka Dr. Robotnik). Unbeknownst to them, Robotropolis was full of toxic radiation, to which Eggman was immune due to his robotic body. Eggman planned to keep the Overlanders ignorant of this until they were forced to undergo roboticization in order to be saved from radiation poisoning. However, the citizens of Knothole became aware of the deadly radiation, and warned the Overlanders, who, despite some misgivings about trusting Mobians, decided to leave the city before it was too late. (StH: #93, #100, #105)
Shortly after this, the Mobians relocated the surviving Overlanders to the human city of Station Square, as the physical and cultural differences made it difficult to share Knothole with them. The Overlanders subsequently recovered from their mild radiation poisoning. (StH: #106, #107, #110)
Overlanders are most commonly confused as humans due to their physical similarities, however, the two species have many differences, both physically and mentally. Unlike humans, who are generally friendly and accepting of Mobians, Overlanders generally hold grudges - and in many cases feelings of outright speciesism and prejudice - towards Mobians. This is partially due to the Great War, though the Overlanders' distrust and dislike of the Mobians far pre-dates the war. It seems their government was a dictatorship. (StH: #72, #92)
Overlanders, particularly those in government or military jobs (including the sciences) frequently fashion an all-gray body suit. Overlander troops were typically seen wearing this attire during the Great War. Julian Kintobor was wearing one during his escape through the Badlands, and Colin Kintobor, a former judge, continued to wear one throughout and long after the Great War. (StH: #50, #65, #92)
Overlanders do not generally share in Mobian's consideration for the environment. While the Kingdom of Acorn deliberately remained in a pre-industrial state to preserve nature, the Overlanders pursued the use of fossil fuels, resulting in massive pollution in their cities. (StH: #65)
Overlanders also have technology on par with Humans and Echidnas but have previously cared little about the danger of using raw materials.
While the some of Overlanders are aggressive in nature and show strong speciesism and hostility against Mobians, there have been a number of Overlanders who are genuinely nice and wish to live peacefully with Mobians. Examples of friendly Overlanders include Nate Morgan, an old friend of the Acorn Family and a scientist who invented the Power Rings. Hope Kintobor can also be considered a friendly Overlander, as she is the only Overlander who lived in the Kingdom of Knothole, wanting to stay there after coming to appreciate the way the people there lived their lives. Paladin also tried to befriend the Mobian prince Emerson Acorn, but their differences resulted in Emerson's accidental death. Lupe Wolf adopted two Overlander children and she raises them as her own children. However, due to the antagonistic relationships between Mobians and Overlanders, good Overlanders have been faced with prejudice and anti-Overlander speciesism from Mobians.
- Due to differences in artists, the numbers of fingers among characters often differed between four and five (as four are commonly used in cartooning). However, with the influence of the Sonic Adventure games came the distinction of humans being depicted with five fingers (as characters in the games always have five); this was acknowledged within the comic itself, where it was stated that Overlanders have four whereas humans have five in an attempt to explain the artistic difference. However, this distinction was not reinforced amongst the comic staff and was not consistently maintained, and seems to have been abandoned entirely.
- Nate Morgan and the original Dr. Ivo Robotnik are the only overlanders to be consistently drawn with four fingered hands. Every other overlander, including background characters, eaither always have five fingered hands (e.g. the Iron Queen) or gain them later in the series (e.g. Snivly).