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He may be ugly, mean and bad. He may strike fear where hearts were glad. Although he brought us grim disaster, he'll always be our rightful master! Bring back the Doctor!
~ The D.R.A.T. cult group's oath.
All hail Doctor Robotnik!
~ The oath of the D.R.A.T. cult as they praise their idol Dr. Robotnik.
All hail Doctor Robotnik! Long live D.R.A.T.!
~ The D.R.A.T. cult's mantra.

D.R.A.T. (short for "Doctor Robotnik's Appreciation Tribe" or the "Doctor Robotnik Appreciation Tribe") is a secret fanatic cult of "supporters" who revered the mad genius Dr. Ivo Robotnik in a seemingly godly light, and an antagonistic faction in Sonic the Comic. They made their debut appearance in the complete Sonic's World story "Crawling From the Wreckage" of "Sonic the Comic Issue 103". These men and women believes that Doctor Robotnik should be restored as the "ruler" of Mobius. This evil "fan club" is led by a pompous rooster named the Grand Chief Whip, whose badge of office is the Golden Nose of Robotnik, a gold medallion in the shape of Robotnik's nose and moustache which is not only his badge of office, but also a revered symbol of the cult and an important part of their initiation ceremony as well. These mad people tend to wear purple robes over suit trousers and green waistcoats, with the exception of the Grand Chief Whip, whose robes are white. Their motto is "Bring back the Doctor!".

History

D.R.A.T. first emerged as a growing band of Doctor Robotnik's sympathizers in the days following Robotnik's defeat by Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends as his reign came to a crashing end and his technocratic empire was out of power, and they first began operating out of the ruins of the basement of Citadel Robotnik which they chose as their very own "temple", where they took many of the despicable despot's old weapons, including ex-Trooper laser blasters, from the armoury. When they were discovered by the 3 Freedom Fighters Amy, Johnny Lightfoot and Tekno the Canary, D.R.A.T. fled and sought out new headquarters while they scattered across Mobius, conducting numerous acts of terrorism and civil unrest upon the entire planet and it's inhabitants.

A short while later, 3 members of D.R.A.T. (Brother Barry, Brother Percy and an unnamed other member) disguised themselves as childrens' TV characters called the Channel Hoppers. They used their TV show to broadcast subliminal messages, making young minds believe that Robotnik was wonderful. Their plan was thwarted by Tails. By this time, the existence of D.R.A.T. was already known to the general public.

D.R.A.T. attempted to kidnap Norris Wimple following a TV broadcast in which Norris claimed to have a photograph of a UFO. The members of D.R.A.T. believed that the picture could be one of Robotnik's new secret weapons, and that it would give Sonic's gang an advantage over Robotnik. They grabbed Norris off the street in broad daylight and tried to take him away in a van, but Norris was saved by Amy and Tekno. It later transpired that the photograph was actually of Tails.

On the following New Year's Day, D.R.A.T. attempted to destroy the Control Centre in the Emerald Hill Zone. First, D.R.A.T. member Wally Dithers distracted Sonic by convincing the weak-willed, indecisive locals to attack the hedgehog, then tried to blow up the Freedom Fighters' Control Centre with a tank and attempted to annihilate the heroes with their technology and weaponry including their high-tech battlesuits. However, Tails had snuck away and into the D.R.A.T. bunker on the cult's secret island lair, reversing the polarity of their energy field and shutting down all systems on the island, including the battlesuits, Sonic saw through the distraction and managed to destroy the tank when Dithers was unable to decide what weapon to use against Sonic.

D.R.A.T. was given a several first-generation blueprints from their precious idol, Dr. Robotnik himself. With them, they built their own Badniks and sent them to Metropolis Zone. However, since Sonic beat those robots back in the past, they were easily defeated by him and Tails, and all the D.R.A.T. members were caught by the police. Grand Chief Whip was arrested and, for a time, it was believed the the Doctor Robotnik Appreciation Tribe had been dissolved. This later turned out to be false as Whip would later return leading the League of Super-Evil Villains and D.R.A.T. continued to operate without him.

Members

  • Grand Chief Whip: Esteemed leader of D.R.A.T., Whip is an overweight anthropomorphic rooster who wears regal-looking robes and the Golden Nose which is a neck chain adorned with a golden carving of Robotnik's nose and moustache. He is responsible for organizing the majority of the cult's activities.
  • Brother Norman: Norman is a skinny anthropomorphic orange cat with shaggy hair who was undergoing initiation when the Freedom Fighters first discovered D.R.A.T.'s temple beneath the ruins of Citadel Robotnik. He attacked the heroes in an Egg-o-Matic vehicle, but failed due to an apparent flaw in the weapons design. He stumbled away after his brothers had fled, it is unknown if he went back to them.
  • Brother Barry: An anthropomorphic grey dog who dressed as the blue Channel Hopper.
  • Brother Percy: An anthropomorphic canine of some sort who dressed as the red Channel Hopper.
  • Green Channel Hopper: Out of costume, he is an anthropomorphic chimp. His true name was never revealed nor mentioned.
  • Brother Brian: An anthropomorphic pig who is a member of Grand Chief Whip's chapter of D.R.A.T..
  • Wally Dithers: An anthropomorphic hyena who operated the Centre for the Undecided in the Emerald Hill Zone. He coerced a group of residents into attacking Sonic the Hedgehog so he could attack an undefended Control Centre and destroy the Kintobor Computer. When Sonic caught up to him, he could never decide which of his tank's weapons to use to kill the hedgehog. In that moment of indecision, Sonic destroyed the tank. A hyena who may or may not have been Dithers also appeared in Issue 149's "Forbidden Island" story, donning a battle-suit along with Whip and his other comrades.
  • Sleek the Panther: An anthropomorphic panther quipped with some kind of energy pack which delivered an electrical charge into his boxing gloves, Sleek challenged Tails to a duel in order to make the public lose faith in their heroes. He would have won as well if not for a local swarm of ants collapsing the ground beneath him.
  • Ms. Alpha: A female anthropomorphic lizard and a criminal mastermind who along with her crew poses as new D.R.A.T. members only to use the cult for her own greedy schemes.

Gallery

Trivia

  • The cult's acronym is a play on the word "drat" which is a mild expression of anger or annoyance.
  • The Doctor Robotnik Appreciation Tribe also shares a similarity with the New Ozai Society from the Avatar: The Last Airbender comic book series for both are fanatical "supporters" of the villain and sought to return him to power.
    • However, unlike the New Ozai Society, the D.R.A.T. group's ideology is more religious than political when D.R.A.T. themselves believed in Doctor Robotnik as more like a god then a political leader or a monarch as like other religious organizations.

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