Two years ago today, IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog #8 was released to the public. With that comic, we were introduced to Whisper the Wolf (conceptualised by Ian Flynn, designed by Evan Stanley). She’s based on the playable avatar in Sonic Forces (amongst other influences), fitting considering the comic started with the aftermath of that game. But there’s so much more to her than that.
When she debuted, she already had a reputation as a capable hero who helped others out when they needed it, hence her nickname being the “Guardian Angel”. However, she never joined any resistance team, so she also had a reputation as a lone wolf. Her personality befit this to a tee, but not in a typical manner. While she’s very focused and professional when on missions, she’s extremely shy, to the point that she usually talks in…well, a whisper. Thanks to an incident in the past which ended in her team’s death, she’s reluctant to get close to anyone lest they suffer the same fate. |Conversely, thanks to meeting Sonic and Silver on a base infiltration, she’s been steadily letting these walls down, showing that when you get to know her, she’s very kind, compassionate and cares deeply for her allies (unless you’re Shadow. There were androids in the incident). Even the wisps she uses for her multi-wispon weapon love her like a mother!
Naturally, she’s helped out the heroes since, grappling with her aversion to crowds to aid in fighting Neo Metal Sonic, helping in Tangle’s home town, fighting against Mimic with the personal baggage that came with him, and holding her own during the Metal Virus disaster (including yet more heartbreak. Don’t worry, this one got better). After this, the potential for where her story could take her is practically limitless. But even going off what we’ve got already, she’s a well-developed, sympathetic and just really cool character, so it’s no wonder she garnered so much attention so quickly.
Even though she’s only been around for a relatively short time in the Sonic universe, her impact has been massive for a comic character. She instantly became a fan favourite, both within the comic fandom and the general fandom at large. There was so much demand for more of her that a miniseries was given the greenlight, showing how Whisper came to become the hero she is today and working with Tangle to move on from her past trauma, making their recent friendship very close in the process.
But that’s not all. Whisper (and Tangle) managed to do something that very few non-game characters have managed; to actually be featured in video games! As of last month, she became playable in both Sonic Dash and Sonic Forces mobile. While these are spin-off mobile games, they give a very good foot in the door for more to be done with her. And even if nothing does become of it, it’s still an achievement for a comic character, and a testament to how beloved she is both in the fandom and within the company.