The 5 bear-y dangerous Marvel characters who could totally take on Cocaine Bear
It would seem that the Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania haters have all but disbanded as the hype shifts to an absolute underdog of an action/thriller in Elizabeth Banks’ Cocaine Bear, based on the true story of a 500-pound black bear that ingested a duffel bag full of cocaine in 1985.
It’s a downright bonkers concept, conceived by screenwriter Jimmy Warden (whom many might know as Ready or Not star Samara Weaving’s boyfriend) and helmed by Banks, who previously worked on the Charlie’s Angels reboot as well as Pitch Perfect 2. For the sake of dramatization, Banks deviated somewhat from the source material, wherein the bear dies of an overdose shortly after experiencing a multi-million dollar high. Instead, the black bear goes on a drug-fueled rampage, killing hitchhikers, tourists, cops, and anyone else that dares disrupt its psychedelic trip. Oh, did we mention that the real CB was stuffed and displayed in a local Kentucky mall upon discovery? And it remains there to this day.
In the events of Cocaine Bear, many tried and failed to put an end to CB’s massacre, but all that effort was in vain. After consuming that much cocaine, the apex predator became virtually indestructible, viciously slaughtering countless individuals. In situations like these, the smartest tactic is to fight fire with fire — bear with bear — to have any hope of taking down CB for good. And in Marvel Comics, across numerous universes and timelines, there exists a handful of bear-themed superheroes. Are you thinking what we’re thinking? Bear fight!
The Grizzly, otherwise known as Maxwell Markham, once lived a rewarding life as a professional wrestler whose brutal tactics came under fire by J. Jonah Jameson, who wrote a scathing editorial disciplinary that prompted law enforcement to investigate his wrestling commission. Markham had his license revoked due to Jameson’s public shaming and the distaste towards excessive aggression in wrestling.
Some 10 years later, Markham received an exoskeleton from Jackal that would augment his strength, which he used to attack The Daily Bugle head office to take revenge on Jameson for slandering him and ending his career. Naturally, Spider-Man defeated him, leading Grizzly to join Jackal in a last-ditch attempt to defeat Spider-Man, but the former was sent to prison. Once he’d escaped, Grizzly took his exoskeleton to a tinkerer for an upgrade, then challenged Spider-Man to a rematch before joining the Spider-Man Revenge Squad. Considering his recurrent failure in besting Spider-Man, perhaps Grizzly isn’t the man (or bear) for the job, but he’d certainly give CB an entertaining brawl.
Mikhail Ursus, who adopted the moniker Ursa Major, is a mutant capable of transforming into a giant brown bear within a matter of seconds. Although the change adds an additional 14 inches in height and 700 lbs in weight, he retains his full level of intelligence, personality, and ability to speak. Major also develops the durability of an adult Siberian bear, granting him superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and reflexes.
However, a major flaw in his mutation maintains that Ursa Major begins to slowly lose his intelligence if he remains in bear form for longer than six hours. Originally, in Russia, all mutants were deemed a threat and executed on sight, but a certain Professor Phobos convinced the Soviet government to allow him to train them as loyal recruits. Although Major was a part of Soviet Super-Soldiers for while, he eventually joined the Winter Guard to investigate the death of Abomination. Major sits above Grizzly as the odds-on favorite against CB, merely because it’s literally a bear-on-bear fight, whereas Grizzly relies solely on the limitations of his exoskeleton.
The only furry entity on this list to have made an MCU debut, the Demon Bear originated as a figment of Danielle Moonstar’s imagination, haunting her nightmares and threatening to kill her. In fact, the Demon Bear was supposedly responsible for the death of Moonstar’s parents. As it turned out, Demon Bear was real, but Dani refrained from informing her team — the New Mutants — of its presence in her dreams. Eventually, the Demon Bear corners Dani and savagely mauls her, severing her spine. The New Mutants discover her on campus grounds and rush her to the hospital, where the Demon Bear returns to finish the job and possess her soul.
After being transported to the Badlands, the Demon Bear’s dimension, the New Mutants manage to defeat it with Magik’s Soulsword, her greatest asset in wielding black magic. Once Magik cleaved the bear in half with her Soulsword, Dani’s parents emerged from its body, not dead, but merely enslaved all this time. Similar events transpired in 2020’s The New Mutants, wherein Blu Hunt’s Dani Moonstar is pursued by the Demon Bear and Anya Taylor-Joy’s Magik ultimately defeats it. We’d say the Demon Bear could demolish CB without much trouble, considering CB is but an average black bear, albeit high on cocaine with enhanced senses. Still, the Demon Bear would make quick work of squashing CB like an ant.
Hailing from Earth-21376, specifically the Battleworld All-Bear domain, Beardevil is a counterpart of Daredevil, the Man Without Fear. After he and his companion, Foggy Bearson, were terrorized by an alternate form of human Foggy Nelson from another universe, Beardevil decided to help a trio of Scott Summers (all from different dimensions) earn the favor of Jean Grey.
Beardevil appears only briefly in the comics, attacking and killing that universe’s Wolverine — who was dating Jean Grey at the time — but getting knocked out by Foggy Nelson’s tranquilizer dart. If he’s anything like the OG Daredevil, then Beardevil would wipe the floor with CB, aided by years of relentless martial arts training. And what does CB have? Cocaine. Just cocaine. Although that fleeting high might grant CB a glorious high and a short burst of homicidal energy, it wouldn’t be enough to take down Beardevil, who not only weights 200 pounds more than CB, but also has years of combat experience against foes more formidable than a mere bear.
Essentially, Ben Grizzly is a variant of Ben Grimm — Fantastic Four’s The Thing — that hails from the same universe as Peter Porker aka Spider-Ham. This version of Ben is nicknamed “The Thang” and partners with other members of the Fantastic Fur; The Asinine Torch, a donkey and parody of the golden-age Human Torch; Mooster Fantastic, a moose and parody of Mister Fantastic; and Invisible Gorrilla, a gorilla and parody of Invisible Woman. The Fantastic Fur are the second-most recurring superheroes in the Spider-Ham universe, the first being Captain Americat.
Not much has been disclosed about Ben Grizzly besides his handful of appearances alongside Spider-Ham, but from what we know, he shares the same powers as Earth-616’s Ben Grimm, except he’s… a bear. That’s a rather considerable advantage over CB, since we’ve seen first-hand just how powerful Grimm is in the comics and live-action adaptations, so CB is no match for the formidable strength of Ben Grizzly.