From a young age, Fyodor's father groomed him to become a great athlete who could win Olympic gold for the glory of Russia. He trained him relentlessly and even had him injected with experimental steroids on a regular basis, causing him to become incredibly hairy even at his young age. One day a couple of mobsters came for Fyodor and gunned down his father. Afterwards, Fyodor was taken in by Stavrogin, a mob-boss who was able to convince the young Fyodor that he had saved him from a cruel fate at the hands of the mobsters that killed his parents, and so took him in as his step-son. Stavrogin continued Fyodor's drug regime however, now grooming the otherwise gentle boy into the perfect enforcer. With the drugs radically altering his body, Fyodor was convinced that he was a monster, and developed a fear of his stern and at times abusive step-father. If Fyodor was good, Stavrogin would reward him with Fabergé eggs; if he disobeyed in any way, Stavrogin would beat and whip him.
For years, Fyodor was "The Bear" of Moscow, Stavrogin's ace in the hole. With Fyodor eliminating anyone who opposed him, Stavrogin eventually took charge of nearly the entire criminal underworld of Moscow through fear, and ruled it as its Tsar. Much like the Batman of Gotham, some considered the Bear a myth, while others knew firsthand of his tangibility.
The Bear was created by writer Peter Milligan and artist Andy Clarke, first appearing in 2009's Batman Confidential #31. He has yet to make an appearance outside of the five-issue story arc he featured in.
Major Story Arcs
The Bat and the Beast
When Batman went To Moscow to thwart Tsar Stavrogin's plan to branch out into Gotham by holding it ransom with an ex-Soviet thermonuclear bomb, he found that his adversary had more than just hired guns. He also had The Bear.
When Batman fought Fyodor, he told him that he was not a monster, and that he was being manipulated by an evil man. While the words didn't take immediate impact, they did bring doubt into Fyodor's mind. These doubts unfortunately earned him a harsh whipping from the Tsar after he failed to kill Batman in their first confrontation. Determined to rid himself of this foe, the Tsar coerced Moscow's police chief into helping him take down Batman, by threatening the safety of his wife and daughter. He tasked Fyodor with making good on this threat, but Fyodor was hesitant to take the lives of innocents, having so far killed only various thugs and crime kingpins that threatened the Tsar's rule. Dutifully though, Fyodor did as he was ordered and abducted the mother and daughter as they were being transferred to a safe location by the police.
When the police chief went against the Tsar's orders to kill Batman, the Tsar ordered Fyodor to kill their hostages. Fyodor remained conflicted about this however, and ultimately came to the mother and daughter's rescue when the Tsar's men decided to kill the hostages themselves, going so far as taking a bullet for them. Batman and the Moscow police soon arrived to save the hostages, prompting Fyodor to flee. Fyodor returned to the Tsar, but defiantly for the first time. He had begun to realize that a man who ordered the deaths of a mother and daughter could only be crazy of evil. Fyodor refused to kill them for the Tsar, but when Batman arrived for the Tsar, Fyodor still rushed to his step-father's aid. Batman then revealed to Fyodor that his parents' murder was at the hand of his adoptive father, pushing Fyodor to stop his attack.
Without Fyodor to carry out his will, the Tsar was powerless, as no other mobsters would aid him because of the way he'd ruled them through fear all this time. Batman quickly tracked down the Tsar and handed him off to the authorities.
With Stavrogin behind bars, Fyodor was admitted to a hospital so that he could receive treatment to undo the effects of the drugs he'd been administered over the years. He escaped the hospital however, deciding he needed to remain the Bear and to turn his mythical status against the criminal element of Moscow. He sent out a warning to the remaining kingpins of Moscow:
"...Gotham City has the Bat... and Moscow has The BEAR."
Powers & Abilities
The drugs that altered Fyodor radically changed him. He's very large, perhaps over eight feet tall and incredibly muscular. He has shown to be strong enough to break concrete, warp steel, and has reportedly torn people limb from limb. Despite his massive bulk, Fyodor is considerably agile, moving with considerable speed to the point that he has managed to dodge gunfire at times. He is not invulnerable, but is tough enough for small caliber bullets to do only relatively minor damage to him, and he is at least hardy enough to shrug off most minor injuries. He's also remarkably stealthy, having an intimate knowledge of the sewer system beneath Moscow to get around the city.
As a side effect, the drugs that made Fyodor so strong have left him incredibly hairy. This does however make him apparently quite unfazed by the otherwise harsh Russian cold. His fingernails also seem to sharp and strong enough to tear flesh. It's unknown whether the drugs that Fyodor was subjected to had any other long-lasting or serious side effects to his health.