Real Name: None
Class: Altered human
Occupation: Pilot, Adventurer
Group Affiliation: Forever People
Known Relatives: Maya (daughter), unnamed father
Base of Operations: New Genesis
First Appearance: Forever People I #1 (February-March, 1971)
Powers: Big Bear was an excellent brawler and possessed superhuman strength. His atomic structure was reinforced by a constant flow of high-density atoms, giving him a degree of invulnerability. He could store an excess of free-flowing atoms to boost his already impressive strength levels. Big Bear piloted a Super-Cycle; the Forever People's primary mode of transportation. It could soar through the sky or phase through solid objects. When Big Bear and the other members of Forever People touched their Mother Box and spoke the word "Taaru" in unison they temporarily exchanged places with the cosmic being Infinity Man.
History: (Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #19 (fb)) - Highfather received a message from the Source, Infinity Man, once Darkseid’s brother Drax, needed a way to enter New Genesis from his home on Adon, and asked Highfather to gather five exceptional children. Highfather approached the parents of Beautiful Dreamer, Big Bear, Serifan, Vykin and Mark Moonrider, and told them their children had a special mission, and would need training beyond that which was given to other youths of New Genesis. He presented the children with mother boxes, and asked the children to return in five years. After that time passed the children returned and lived together, being taught to synchronize their thoughts. After another five years of training Highfather knew they were ready. By assembling their mother boxes into one unit, and speaking the word “Taruu” they switched places with Infinity Man on Adon. Infinity Man promised they were safe, and could return to New Genesis. He dubbed his new charges the Forever People.
(Forever People I #6) - Darkseid broke the Pact with New Genesis, sending a raiding party to destroy Supertown. Big Bear and Serifan were present, and foiled the raiders, but they foresaw a war between Apokolips and New Genesis.
(Forever People I #1, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #20) - Darkseid kidnapped Beautiful Dreamer and brought her to Earth to force her to decipher the anti-life equation. Big Bear and the Forever People followed, making their presence known to earth. Superman, feeling like an outsider among humanity, was interested in Supertown and the New Gods, and aided them in locating Darkseid's Intergang hq where Dreamer was being kept. The Forever People and Superman fought off Darkseid's Gravi-Guards, and Darkseid found that Dreamer's unique mind would not submit to him, so he freed her. Superman asked to use the Forever People's boom tube to visit Supertown, but they told him that Darkseid was bringing his war against the New Gods to earth, and he was needed there.
(Forever People I #2) - Bear and the Forever People explored the city, and caused a traffic jam by parking the super-cycle in the middle of the street. A police officer asked the cosmic hippies to find somewhere else to loiter, and they came to an abandoned lot of buildings watched over by security guard Uncle Willie and his nephew Donnie. The pair offered the Forever People shelter in the building they lived in, but while watching television the Forever People saw Mantis running rampant in the city, claiming Earth as his conquest. The People switched with Infinity Man and did battle with Mantis, draining his power with the infini-beam and forcing him to return to his power-pod.
(Forever People I #3, 4) - Darkseid and Glorious Godfrey sent out the Justifiers, humans infused with anti-life and made into mindless soldiers acting out their deepest revenge fantasies, to hunt down Big Bear and the Forever People. One of them roughed up Donnie at Uncle Williue’s junkyard, and the Forever People defended him. The Justifier made himself into a suicide bomber, but the Forever People escaped unscathed. They headed off to find Glorious Godfrey’s headquarters, the source of the Justifiers, and Donnie pleaded with them not to go. They assured him that as long as he lived his life for others and not against them he would always be close to the Forever People. The Forever People approached one of Godfrey’s rallies to recruit more Justifiers and switched places with Infinity Man. Infinity Man disrupted the rally and destroyed the organ Godfrey used to hypnotize new candidates, but Darkseid appeared and used his omega beams to send Infinity Man back to his home space, returning the Forever People. Darkseid’s henchman Desaad subdued the Forever People, and the Justifiers took them to Desaad’s Camp of the Damned, where he was searching for a human mind that possessed the Anti-Life Equation. The Forever People woke up in the Camp of the Damned, hidden in the amusement park Happyland, where the suffering of the prisoners was disguised from oblivious patrons by a Master Scrambler. Desaad took the Forever People’s Mother Box, and attempted to destroy it. He only succeeded in making the Mother Box teleport away, but convinced himself that he had driven it to suicide. Desaad set his sights on breaking the will of the Forever People and arranged for various forms of torture for them to endure. Mark Moonrider was locked in a glass cage in a tunnel of horrors, with the Master Scrambler making him appear as an animated skeleton to park patrons. Big Bear was put in a shooting gallery where patrons saw him as a robotic bear to hit for prizes. Beautiful Dreamer was kept paralyzed and put on view as Sleeping Beauty for the park guests, but the Scrambler made her see them as nightmarish monsters. Vykin was strapped to a chair and trapped in the path of a roller coaster, and Serifan was forced to watch, and kick a lever to drop the chair every time a coaster approached in order to keep his teammate alive. The Mother Box sought aid, and found the noble warrior Sonny Sumo.
(Forever People I #5, 6) - The Forever People’s Mother Box contacted Sonny Sumo, and together they freed the heroes. Desaad realized that the Mother Box chose Sonny because he possessed the Anti-Life Equation. He summoned Darkseid, and they watched Sonny and the Forever People on a monitor. The Forever People feared Anti-Life, but decided that if Mother Box chose Sonny he was capable of wielding it and being their ally. They told Sonny of the war between New Genesis and Apokolips, and told him that their very nature demanded that they live free, the antithesis of Anti-Life. Darkseid appreciated their conversation stating that he, too, had to be true to his nature. He had to kill the Forever People for wanting to live free, and he ordered Desaad to destroy them and capture Sonny. Sonny used the Anti-Life Equation to sap the will of Happyland’s guards and destroy the prison, freeing the mltitude of prisoners within the amusement park. The Forever People knew they were doing good, but they were somewhat terrified at witnessing Anti-Life in action. Beautiful Dreamer in particular was completely horrified. Vykin brashly broke away from his group to find Desaad and punish him, but he was confronted by Darkseid, who used the Omega Effect on him. Darkseid then turned the Omega Effect on Sonny, fearing his control of the Anti-Life Equation. Sonny and the rest of the Forever People fell to the effect, with only Serifan spared, but Darkseid told Desaad he hadn’t obliterated them, only sent them to another time and space. Serifan made his way back to Glorious Godfrey’s encampment to retrieve the Super-Cycle just as the Justifiers prepared to destroy it.
(Forever People I #7) - Beautiful Dreamer and Mark Moonrider found themselves in 1800s’ era America at the Ford Theater right before Lincoln was to be executed. Vykin was stranded in early America and met explorers sent to Florida by Ponce De Leon. Big Bear ended up in ancient Britain and witnessed Rome end its occupation of Briton. A band of Celts wanted to attack the Romans as they left, but Big Bear took away their swords and jammed them into a tree. Bear was a history buff, and not about to be interrupted watching history in the making. After the Romans left Bear tried to make peace between the Celts and Atra the Sentry, a Celt that the Romans had left in charge in their absence. Bear helped Atra pull a sword from the tree, thus creating a legend. Serifan tried to defend the Super-Cycle, but the Justifiers buried it and him under a mountain using heavy artillery. Highfather was finally alerted that the Forever People had boldly left New Genesis to battle Darkseid, and the Council of the Young implored him to save their friends. Highfather used alpha bullets to retrieve the Forever People and reunited them in the present. His alpha bullets sent Serifan to a monastery in Japan, where a group of monks had watched over their Mother Box for centuries. Sonny Sumo founded their order hundreds of years ago and preached wisdom and care foir the poor. Serifan was sad that his new friend had lived and died in the past, but was proud that despite his power over Anti-Life he had chosen to dedicate his life to helping others, a fitting victory over Darkseid.
(Forever People I #8) - The Forever People arrived in the town of Billion-Dollar Bates, an insane businessman who’d removed the populace and installed a militia to secure his privacy. The militia attacked the Forever People, and despite Big Bear’s efforts to reason with them about how unproductive violence was, they fought to a standstill. Bates appeared and used “The Power” to command the Forever People to follow his soldiers into the catacombs beneath his town. The Forever People wielded the anti-life equation, and knew they had to do something about it before Darkseid located Bates for his own. Bates offered up the Forever People as human sacrifices to the Sect, a group of Satan worshippers that had helped him hone his power. Bates prepared to don the Stimulus Hat, which would broadcast his power worldwide. Bates, consumed by anti-life, had decided that free men and free will was an atrocity, and the world would only have direction once he commanded it. Unbeknownst to him, Darkseid and Desaad, who sought the secrets of the anti-life equation, had infiltrated the Sect, and used the Stimulus Hat to put his body into shock. The Forever People escaped their shackles, and in the ensuing fight with Bates’ militia, one of the soldiers accidentally fatally shot his employer. Darkseid mourned the loss of power that was within Bates mind, and that he was denied it while a yipping self-important man had it his entire life and didn’t know how to wield it. The Forever People told him it was better lost with Bates than won with him, because he’d have used it too well. Darkseid advised them to learn respect for the power of their enemy, and to learn discipline if they wanted to defeat him. He used the Omega Effect to teleport them away. Desaad asked why he’d twice spared their lives, and Darkseid told him he’d have more pleasure killing them once they were grown warriors.
(Forever People I #9, 10) - The Forever People valiantly foiled a robbery in which a group of toughs tried to take the life savings of eccentric landlady Trixie MacGruder, but they attracted a lot of unwanted attention from the local police. Trixie was grateful, and as a former carnie fortune teller she appreciated the Forever People’s outrageous looks, so she allowed them to rent rooms from her. Serifan demonstrated one of his tricks for Trixie, using the blue cosmic cartridge to animate her puppets. He explained that the blue cartridge had a connection to the Source, and could bring about life, although he didn’t fully understand it. This interested Trixie’s tenant “Doc” Gideon, who was trying to bring life to a patchwork corpse he’d assembled in the morgue where he worked. Gideon convinced Trixie to hold a séance, and during the show he absconded with Serifan’s capsule. During the séance Trixie contacted Deadman, who’d been partially returned to the land of the living by Gideon’s experiments, and was puzzled as to why his afterlife was being disturbed after having finally found Hook, the man who’d killed him. Trixie was there the day Boston Brand became Deadman, and told him his real killer had a hook on his right hand, not his left one. Gideon managed to resurrect his monster, which immediately went on a rampage. The Forever People tried to stop him, but it was Deadman who ended the battle, possessing the monster as it caused a gas explosion that ended its’ second life. Serifan used his powers to give Deadman a corporal form, and the Forever People promised to help him fulfill his destiny, to find his killer and for his soul to find peace. The Forever People built a “Follower” for Deadman in his own likeness. The “Follower” was bio-technology from New Genesis, a vessel that could mimic the movements of its creator, but could also serve as a vessel for Deadman’s spirit. Serifan went to gather Big Bear and Beautiful Dreamer, who’d decided to get jobs, to see his handiwork. Dreamer was busy as a swimsuit model and Big Bear found employment as a chauffer for a playboy who liked colorful characters. By the time they returned to the boarding house they found the “Follower” had been stolen. The Scavengers, a business group that considered themselves super-sellers of super-merchandise had absconded with the “Follower,” and their regional Director, who had a hook on his right hand and seemed disturbed by a likeness of Deadman, was particularly interested in the product. The Forever People and Deadman tracked down the Scavenger Depot and Deadman took possession of his new body. After a tremendous battle they defeated the Scavengers, and Deadman believed he found his killer in the Director. The Director scoffed at him, telling him there were many more Scavenger Depots, all run by Directors with hooks on their right hands. Deadman thanked the Forever People for his new body and left them to once again pursue his killer.
(Forever People I #11) - Darkseid sent Devilance the Pursuer to eradicate the Forever People, and they bravely fought him at their boarding house. When the fight went against them they used Mother Box o teleport across the globe, but they couldn’t shake the Pursuer. The Pursuer had an advantage because he knew they’d never take another’s life, and prepared to finish them off on a Pacific island. Infinity Man, who’d been banished by Darkseid to a remote corner of the universe, finally pierced the barrier of his prison and received the thoughts of the Forever People, who then switched places with him. Infinity Man and the Pursuer battled, and their cataclysmic fight blew up the island that served as their battleground, and they were both lost in the resulting destruction. The Forever People found themselves stranded on Adon, an idyllic planet of paradise in the corner of the universe where Infinity Man had been imprisoned, and decided to make the best of their new life.
After years on Adon the Forever People returned to Earth. Big Bear and Beautiful Dreamer recently had a baby named Maya.
(New Gods III #24, 25) - While the Forever People tried to convince Nortech Industries to stop preventing the environment, Darkseid and Desaad became aware of Maya’s existence and both had their own plans for her. Highfather contacted Orion and told him to protect Maya from Apokolips, and when he met up with the Forever People he attacked Nortech security, telling them their attempts at peaceful talks would get them nowhere. The Forever People convinced him to back off, telling him they abhorred violence, and they tried to go through the proper channels to meet Nortech C.E.O. E. Donald Rodman, but he refused an audience. Orion again attacked the Nortech plant, seeing violence as the only solution, and Rodman finally agreed to a meeting. Meeting the Forever People reminded him of his own youth as a rebellious hippy, but he refused to budge. Desaad took advantage of the fact that Orion’s attack weakened Northech’s control system, and dominated the mind of a nuclear tech, having him release the radiation of a reactor, resulting in hundreds of deaths. Rodman blamed the New Gods, and after they briefly contained the radiation they all volunteered to shut down the reactor, but Orion made it clear he was the one who had the best chance of success and the least to lose. Before Rodman could give him the security codes to shut it down Desaad’s pawn Tyrus assassinated him. Desaad appeared to them and promised to stop the reactor, for a price, possession of Maya. The Forever People turned him down flat, though Dreamer was tempted to sacrifice her daughter to save the world from the untold pain Desaad would cause if he didn’t have his way. The Forever People suspected that the Infinity Man might be alive so long as they lived, so they summoned him, and together with Orion, he made his way to the reactor, where they found the Black Racer waiting for them. As his spirit passed on Rodman gave Black Racer the safety codes and begged him to shut down the reactor, to honor the peace loving man he once was. Disaster was averted, but Desaad promised he wasn’t done.
(Superman: The Man of Steel #20) - Metropolis; Big Bear; along with scores of other superheroes, attended Superman's funeral.
(Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #2, 3) - The Forever People witnessed Highfather’s merger of Apokolips and new Genesis, and they rode to Supertown to get answers about the new situation. They learned that despite Highfather’s choice to try and make the disparate worlds get along Darkseid was continuing his plan to steal the power of the Norse Gods. Tigra of Apokolips brought Thor to New Genesis to foil Darkseid, and he revealed that the Norse were vulnerable because their father Odin had vanished. Mr. Miracle came up with a plan, and when he told Serifan he was the key to their success, the young hero was elated. He created a tether that would reach the Promethean Galaxy with the help of the Forever People, and together they found Odin trapped in the source wall. Serifan of the Forever People freed him with a cosmic pellet, and brought him to Highfather. They realized they might be too late when Darkseid assembled an armada of ships taken from the various worlds and pantheons he conquered, and aimed them at Earth.
(Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #4) - The New Gods waged war against Darkseid’s armada to keep them from Earth, while Odin brought Metron, Miracle, Takion, and Beautiful Dreamer to Asgard to discuss the situation. Vykin returned from the front to confirm that aboard one of the ships was a doomsday device that could obliterate the universe, and he’d discovered that only the astro-force could contain it. The alien races no longer had hope after Darkseid slew their gods, and they wanted revenge against him and the entire universe. Highfather dared the unimaginable in deciding to resurrect Orion, the only man capable of harnessing the astro-force. He approached the Source, and the Black Rider appeared, warning him that although he would not interfere, Orion’s soul was not at rest, and it was a fool’s errand to play with a tortured soul. Highfather gravely said that he did what he must, and he had Takion communicate with the Source, reach into it, and pull out Orion. Vykin came up with a backup plan involving Dreamer if anything went wrong. A massive explosion seemed to rock Earth.
(Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #5) - The explosion was an illusion, the most powerful Dreamer had ever cast, and it left the aliens off-balance. Highfather had Takion communicate with the Source to bestow some of its power on Orion, restoring him to full strength. Lightray, Barda, and some of the Forever People breached the ship where the oblivion bomb was kept, but Darkseid appeared aand told the aliens they were foolish to attempt to destroy his universe. He used the omega beam to erase them from existence, but as he faded the captain of the ship activated the oblivion bomb. Orion deactivated it with the astro-force, and Darkseid disappeared. Highfather and the New Gods made a peace with the aliens, allowing them to chose among their ranks for new deities to worship so their lives could have fulfillment. Darkseid met Orion on a nearby asteroid as the alien armada left in peace, and told him he recognized something different, yet familiar in him since he’d returned from the Source. He asked his son how he’d deal with the aliens, and Orion responded by destroying every last ship with the astro-force. Darkseid said he finally felt like he had a son.
(Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #6) - Highfather and company learned that the alien armadas returning to their worlds had been destroyed, and Takion suspected Orion because the wrecked ships contained traces of astro-force. Orion denied his wrongdoing, but Metron told the others he’d witnessed it. Before they could decide what to do next Lonar arrived, telling the New Gods that the Female Furies had tunneled beneath Genesis and killed Harmon, god of music. Barda felt personally responsible for her old charges, and led the strike force into the tunnel the Furies created.
(Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #7) - Takion lost his powers, and Highfather gravely counseled that the Source was in trouble, and it felt brittle and weak. On Apokolips Darkseid noted the same, and was agitated at the idea of the Source coming to an end, and a Fifth World beginning. Orion had been contemplative to the point of catatonic since being separated from Darkseid, and the Forever People tried to figure out a way to help him, because if the Source was in danger, new Genesis would need her fiercest warrior to protect them all. They contacted Vykin’s mother Valkyra, renowned trainer of warriors, and Orion’s first teacher. She challenged him to public combat, and he admitted that he was troubled by his past life as a warrior since being part of the Source, and hoped a life-or-death situation would reawaken the warrior in him. They clashed, and while Valkyra initially dominated, Orion’s bestial nature welled up, and he began crushing her in combat. The fight was interrupted by Highfather, who announced to the new Gods that the Source was threatened, and judgment day grew near.
(Genesis #2) -
(Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #8) - Highfather sent the Forever People to Earth to quell the riots that started when humanity lost its’ collective mind during the events of Genesis. The Forever People dared not use physical force, lest they harm the fragile humans, so they used their Mother Box to reveal their true god-selves. Highfather had long forbidden such actions, but desperate times called for such a solution. The raging mob briefly found a reason to have hope again, but young Serifan couldn’t stand the strain, and they returned to their normal visage. They were all weakened when they sensed the Source Wall crumbling.
(Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #10) - Orion, Big Barda, Beautiful Dreamer and Big Bear surveyed New Genesis, and Orion feared that Darkseid was laughing at them, having a new cosmic clout being part of the Source Wall. Barda boasted that she was a warrior, and not interested in philosophy. Lightray reported after a tour of new Genesis, and was sad to inform them that fire pits had spawned across the landscape, melting the polar regions and doing untold damage. They didn’t know what would make things right, and at that moment Scott Free appeared, dressed in ceremonial robes. He was sure he couldn’t set things straight, despite what everyone thought, and Orion assured him that as Highfather’s scion he had to assume the mantle of leadership. He spent most of his life not even knowing his father, but Barda was impressed with him, and told him not to focus on his limitations. Scott had a secret meeting with Shazam during his coronation. He wished to know if, in addition to granting god power to immortals, he could remove power from gods. Shazam said it was, in theory, possible, and Scott asked him to find a way to remove from him the power he felt unworthy of. Scott attended the coronation, and was crowned by Takion, who promised the New Gods a new age of miracles, while Scott hung his head and scowled.
(Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #14) - Takion and the Forever People, using their mother boxes, realized that Metron brought Darkseid and Ares / Mars back into the present and freed them from the Source Wall. Takion investigated, but the immense energies from the Source Wall buffeted him. Mars / Ares promised to make the New Gods pay for their separation.
(Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #16) - Takion and the Forever People demanded to know why Metron was trying to free Darkseid. Metron replied that he’d never seen fit to answer their questions, but eventually relented and told them that Darkseid was a necessary force in the universe. Without pain, no knowledge, and without evil, good had no meaning. Takion saw his point, and saw Darkseid as a test to see who was fittest in the universe. To him, life would stagnate without competition and evolution. The heroes prepared to fortify New Genesis before they were forced to confront Darkseid.
(Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #17) - Metron told Valkyra that Orion and Kalibak would enter final battle in a few days time, and she determined to save Orion’s life in any way necessary. She told Vykin what was about to happen, and said her goodbyes before sacrificing her life to the Black Racer. The Forever People sensed her death, and realized the stage was now set for Armageddon.
(Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #19) - Darkseid seemed weak willed since his return from the Source, and the Forever People got word of Darkseid’s condition from Lightray, and Serifan hoped that Darkseid was rehabilitated. The others told him he was naïve, and that Metron had specifically brought him back because his evil was a necessary balance in the universe. Takion returned to New Genesis with Highfather, who proclaimed an upcoming war with Apokolips. He knew the New Gods needed to rally around hope, but his time away from the Source was by necessity short, so he plucked Supertown from the cosmos, where it had been hurled after the breaking of the fusion between new Genesis and Apokolips, and returned it to its proper place. He vanished into the Source, and the New Gods celebrated the return of their old home.
Comments: Created by Jack Kirby
Big Bear received a profile in Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #2. He received profiles in Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #8 and Who's Who Update '88 #1 under the Forever People entry.
There were pin-ups of Big Bear and the Forever People in the Fourth World Gallery.
The students of Granny Goodness’ Orphanage fought robot simulacra of several New Gods, including Big Bear, during a training exercise in New Gods Secret Files #1.
Big Bear had a cameo in New Gods II #14
All characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © DC Comics, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Please visit The Official DC Comics Site at: http://www.batman.com