Meet Sonic the Hedgehog's new pal, Sticks the Jungle Badger -- EXCLUSIVE

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Image Credit: Sega

Yep, that’s right: Sonic the Hedgehog, the smirky icon who served as Sega’s mascot and chief asset in the console wars of the 1990s, is back. And this time, he’s bringing a new friend along with him.

Specifically: The image above shows Sticks, a new character who will play a major role in every facet of Sega’s upcoming “Sonic Boom” universe — a multiplatform franchise extension that will include Wii U and Nintendo 3DS vide games, a Cartoon Network series, and, of course, merch. The “jungle badger” — yeah, that’s a thing now — is “a force of nature in every way,” according to Sega — one who’s slowly acclimating to the company of other animals after a long stint alone in the wilderness.

“Sticks is wilder than the other members of Sonic’s team with unparalleled animal instincts and extremely sharp survival skills,” the description continues. “She’s a fearsome combatant and a tenacious hunter who’s armed with handmade weapons at all times, most notably a handmade boomerang that she keeps in tow.” So think Crash Bandicoot, except crossed with Squirrel Baby Claire from season 6 of Lost.

Get a glimpse of Sticks in action — or, at least, being brought to life by prolific voice actress Nika Futterman, whom you may know from Star Wars: The Clone Wars – in the featurette below.

And for good measure, here’s a group photo of Sticks with her new Doctor Robotnik (er, Dr. Eggman)-fighting pals — Tails, Sonic, Knuckles, and Amy.

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Image Credit: Sega

Sonic Boom: The TV Show will debut on Cartoon Network during the 2014/2015 TV season. A release date for the Sonic Boom games, which will serve as a prequel to the series, has not yet been announced.

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