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Bark the Polar Bear

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Original Continuity


You may be looking for Bark's counterpart from Dark Mobius, Blockbuster Polar Bear.
Blog Bark
Bark the Polar Bear
First Appearance

Sonic the Hedgehog #160

Biographical information
Species 

Mobian/Polar Bear

Physical description
Gender

Male

Description
  • Fur: White/Yellow
  • Eyes: Red
Attire
  • Red toque
  • Brown shoes
  • Brown gloves
  • Green scarf
Political Alignment and Abilities
Affiliation
Abilities
  

Bark the Polar Bear is Bean the Dynamite's partner, but while Bean is a crazy chatterbox, Bark is calm and completely silent. Thanks to his strength, he is a formidable foe for Sonic the Hedgehog and the other Freedom Fighters. He previously worked with Fiona Fox and Nic the Weasel before teaming up with Bean exclusively. The pair have since worked for Dr. Eggman, Mammoth Mogul, and even teamed up with Nic's brother Nack the Weasel as part of Team Hooligan.

History

Past

Rouge fight

Fiona, Bean and Bark after losing to Rouge the Bat.

Bark's past is almost completely unknown, and his silent nature hasn't provided any answers. The only thing known is that he was once a member of Nic the Weasel's gang, which also included Bean the Dynamite and Fiona Fox. The group used to compete in illegal fighting tournaments, and often found themselves defeated by Rouge the Bat. Despite parting ways with Fiona and Nic, Bark remained partnered with Bean. (StH: #165)

Sonic's Birthday Bash

Bark and Bean's first encounter with Sonic the Hedgehog was when Dr. Eggman hired them to attack Sonic on his birthday. Sonic assumed that the two had in the past run into Evil Sonic and had confused the two, but Bean denied that any personal feelings were involved; it was strictly a job. They attacked the rebuilt Freedom HQ and everyone inside. However, Bark was defeated when the Freedom Fighters completely surrounded him and Fiona advised him to surrender, which he did. When Croctobot attacked Freedom HQ, Bark and Bean used this as their chance to escape, and although Fiona tried to stop them, she eventually let them go. (StH: #160, #161)

Stung & Sprung

Extreme Gear

Bean and Bark riding Extreme Gear.

Bark and Bean were later hired by Dr. Eggman once more to find out if the rumors of Rouge having the Master Emerald were true (and in the end, they weren't). Nack the Weasel was also hired to investigate the rumors, although he didn't actually work with the duo. Bark and Bean, now sporting Extreme Gear thanks to Bean being a former member of the Battlebird Armada, ran into Sonic and Antoine. Bark was defeated when Ant sliced his Extreme Gear in half and caused him to crash. Bark was sent to Knothole Prison along with Bean, Nack, Mammoth Mogul, and Ixis Naugus. (StH: #173)

Not long after, Eggman's Egg Fleet attacked Knothole Village and captured nearly everyone, including Bark and his fellow prisoners. Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, and Amy Rose freed all of Eggman's prisoners, including Bark and the other criminals, who fled with everyone else. When everyone was sent to New Mobotropolis, Bark, Bean, and Nack took advantage of the opportunity and joined Mammoth Mogul, who was attempting to rally the city under his command. Fortunately, NICOLE teleported all of the criminals to the new city's prison. While a prisoner there, Bark watched Sonic's fight with Tails. (StH: #178, #179)

Awhile later, Bark watched as Mammoth Mogul forced Sonic and Ash Mongoose to steal the Gray Chaos Emerald from Castle Acorn, under duress that he would have had Mina Mongoose, Mighty the Armadillo, and Tails (who were all under his control) kill themselves otherwise. When the two gave Mogul the emerald, he regained his Chaos-based powers and unexpectedly told Sonic that he would stop trying to take over Mobius... at least until Sonic had died of old age. Mogul also warned Sonic that he would not live in peace before teleporting himself and the other prisoners (including Bark and Bean) away. (StH: #185, #186)

Barkbash

Bark fights the Destructix.

Bark and Bean would find themselves going back into conflict with Sonic and the Freedom Fighters not long after, however, as Mogul hired them along with Nack and the Destructix to steal Sonic's shoes (with or without Sonic's feet still in them, he added). Outside of Freedom HQ, Bark and Bean ambushed Sonic and Sally Acorn. When Sonic commented Sally's tactics against Bean, Bark took advantage of the distraction and punched Sonic, knocking him into an area where the Destructix were waiting. The six then started fighting him while Bark and Bean watched, Bean cheering on the Destructix. Sally told the two she would pay them double whatever Mogul's offer (as well as give them cupcakes, on the suggestion from Bean) to help Sonic, effectively hiring the mercenaries herself. The duo accepted and started helping Sonic fight against their former allies. However, Nack, who had been hiding in some nearby bushes, suddenly blasted Sonic with an energy rifle, knocking him out. The Destructix then chained him up and put him into a truck. Bark and Bean, having failed to protect Sonic, decided to go back to Mogul's side and went back to the Casino Night Zone with the Destructix while Nack stayed behind to finish off Sally. Bark, Bean, and the Destructix then waited to be paid by Mogul in the casino's new kitchen, the Bottom of the Barrel Bar 'n' Grill. However, Sally, Amy, and Geoffrey St. John all showed up and helped Sonic bust out, putting a fight on the villains while Sonic brock off the chains, then he took down Bark and Bean. Although the duo have yet to be seen again afterwards, it is assumed they came to, were paid by Mogul, and left the casino. (StH: #187, #188)

Sol Seeker

Barkisbaffled

Bark holding an angry Cream.

Bark later joined up with Nack the Weasel and Bean the Dynamite to form Team Hooligan; the three went into the Great Forest where Nack tailed Team Rose, who were searching for a missing Sol Emerald. After keeping their distance, Team Hooligan intercepted Cheese, a chao attempting to get the Sol Emerald to safety, and took possession of both. When Cream the Rabbit caught up, she surprised the hooligans with her vicious reaction to seeing Cheese mistreated; however, Bark caught her in one massive hand and held her while she screamed and ranted. Amy Rose and Blaze the Cat soon showed up, demanding Cream's release, and so Nack ordered a speedy retreat on his bike - with Bark still holding Cream. However, Blaze, using her flame powers, caught up and sent the bike and its passengers flying. While she rescued Cream, Bark recovered the fallen bike and when Team Dark arrived to confront Team Rose, Nack decided it was time for the three to make their getaway before anyone realized they still had the Emerald. They soon found that the Babylon Rogues had them in their sights, however... (SU: #22)

Bark Buried

Buried Bark

As Nack attempted to get away from their pursuers, Bark put up with Bean incessantly changing positions on their ride while the duck rambled on about Team Hooligan's success with getting the 'shiny,' which at one point started to choke him in the process. When Bean got in Nack's face for ignoring him, Bark found himself holding the Sol Emerald and continued to do so while Nack tried to outrun the zeppelin, and was blown clear off the Marvelous Queen when it was caught in an explosion from one of it's bombs. While the other two hooligans landed safely, Bark ended up creating a trench when he landed, buried up to his head in dirt. Nack took the Sol Emerald from Bark's hand, not bothering to help. Nevertheless, Bark got himself out of the ground, but was apparently put in a bad mood, seeing how he got Nack's bike when he asked him to and then embedding its nose into the ground. (SU: #23)

After Babylon Rogues scattered from seeing Nack with a sniper rifle, Bark swiped at Wave when she got close to him, but missed and she got away. With the Rouges flying back to their zeppelin, Nack told Bark to take command of the Marvelous Queen and drive after them, and Bark (seeing that Nack was furious and somewhat alarmed by it) complied. The polar bear drove the bike as steadily as he could, allowing Nack to shoot the Sol Emerald in Jet's hand, and was remotely surprised when a shock wave of fire burst from the jewel. Bark drove up to the fallen Rogues, allowing Nack to take back the gem. In retaliation, the Babylon Rogues ordered the auto-pilot of their zeppelin to bombard Team Hooligan with its bombs. Bark, seeing that the end was approaching and not seeing a way out of the situation, took off his hat and held it over his heart, ready to meet his fate. Bean had other plans, and somehow managed to make the bombs explode prematurely, much to Bark's shock. As Nack marched towards the Rouges, Bark followed his lead, ready to take them on. The polar bear was surprised when Teams Rose and Dark arrived, but nevertheless steeled himself for the incoming brawl and charged at Nack's command. (SU: #23)

For most of the battle, Bark went up against the other teams' heavy-hitters and while able to match them in brute strength, came up short in defending himself against Blaze's pyrokinesis. At one point he almost got a hold of the Sol Emerald, but lost his chance due to mutual interference from Amy Rose and E-123 Omega. At another point, he managed to slug Jet the Hawk in the face. When Teams Rose and Dark started working together, Bark was forced back by Blaze's flames yet again and was corralled alongside his teammates and Team Babylon, A spark from Blaze reignited one of Bean's bombs and then took out both groups as Bark had no time to do anything but put on a resigned expression. Having lost the fight, Emerald, and his hat due to the blast, the burnt and smoking polar bear gave his perpetually cheery partner a very disapproving look and silently walked off with an unconscious Nack tucked beneath his arm. (SU: #24)

Personality

Bark is a tough, down-to-business kind of guy. While ferocious and appearing to have a dark sense of humor, he is rather level-headed and seemingly even-tempered given his reactions to Bean, and will readily admit to being in over his head. For the most part, Bark is mute, although it is possible that he just cannot get a word in around Bean and so chooses to be silent.

Appearance

Bark is a yellow-furred Mobian Polar Bear, and thus is taller and bulkier than Sonic and most of the other characters. His muzzle is peach-as with many Mobian characters-and he has a triangular patch of white fur on his chest. While Bark's default eye-color is supposed to be blue, it has been also been colored red on occasion. He wears a red beanie that has holes that allow his ears to poke out, as well as a green scarf. Completing his outfit are a pair of brown gloves and a pair of brown-toed red boots.

Abilities

Bark is incredibly strong, able to smash through solid rock and can throw opponents such as Sonic long distances. At the very least, his strength is greater than Sergeant Simian as he was able to stop one of his punches with a single hand and then throw him a fair distance. He was also able to halt a punch thrown by Bunnie "Rabbot" D'Coolette's robotic arm. Rumor has it that he rivals Mighty the Armadillo, and is one of the three strongest beings on Mobius. (CSE)

Background Information

  • Ian Flynn describes Bark's personality as: "rather level-headed in his surrender to being out-numbered and to Sally's better deal during the Mogul arc. He's seemingly even-tempered given his reactions to Bean—mortified, but not ripping his feathers out. He even appears to have a somewhat dark sense of humor given his amusement at Sally's aforementioned offer. He's a tough, down-to-business kind of guy." (1)
  • Bark's strength comes from his game counterpart, as he was the strongest character in Sonic the Fighters, but also rather slow.
  • Some people have compared Bark to director/actor Kevin Smith's character Silent Bob from Clerks, Clerks 2, and several other films by Kevin Smith, as neither of them speak, and both are larger than their skinny partners.
  • Bark has had quite a few cameos on numerous covers, mostly non-canon, though someone resembling him appeared in a flashback shown in StH issue #50, as a soldier during the Great War, along with Bean (or someone looking like him), an unidentified panda, and a few lesser-known Sega characters, including Astal and Ristar. The canonicity is still debatable, given recent developments, and the fact that that scene was in Dr. Ivo Robotnik's dream. As an interesting coincidence, however, real polar bears' fur tends to turn yellower with age, giving some credibility to him having fought in the War. The matter has yet to be properly addressed.
  • Bark appeared on the cover of Sonic X #15 as a stuffed toy being held affectionately by Decoe.

Origin

Bark, alongside his partner Bean, both made their first appearances in the arcade game Sonic the Fighters.

Fighters was the only Sonic videogame to feature Bark (and Bean). However, he and Bark have made appearances in other SEGA games, as unlockable characters (most noteably the arcade and Sega Saturn title Fighters Megamix).

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