Real Name: Igor Grozick
Identity/Class: Human mutate (Russian, Pre-Modern era)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: His masters in the Soviet Union
Enemies: Decadent, capitalistic American fools
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "The Beast-Man" (in story title)
Base of Operations: Mobile throughout the United States; originally from the U.S.S.R.
First Appearance: Journey into Mystery I#59/4 (July, 1960)
Powers/Abilities: As a normal human, Igor Grozick wore an extremely life-like bear costume to disguise himself as an intelligent bear.
Following exposure to radioactive fallout (because "with atomic radiation, ALL things are possible!"), Grozick's body was mutated into a bear-like form.
History: (Journey into Mystery I#59/4) - In 1960, the Soviet Union wanted to show the rest of the world how stupid and gullible Americans were, so they hatched a master-plan employing their top spy, Igor Grozick. From a sub off the sea coast, Grozick paddled in a raft to the site of an American atomic bomb test, then put on a bear costume as part of the scheme. After the test was conducted, a survey team was sent to inspect the site, where they discovered a TALKING bear ("Holy smoke! An animal that can talk!") -- actually, it was Grozick in costume. The team guessed that the bear's intelligence was due to the effects of the radiation mutating it.
The team took the "bear"(Grozick) to a hospital, where his secret was almost discovered, if not for the "bear" refusing to let doctors examine him -- "I have rights like man! No poking and looking...no examination!" Seeing that they had no legal rights to subject the bear to anything he didn't want now that he had intelligence, the doctors relented. However, they did test his mentality, and were quite impressed that he knew his multiplication tables.
The "mutant bear" became a media darling across the country, making television appearances and even delivering lectures (No, I am not making this up).
Back in the U.S.S.R., Grozick's masters behind the Iron Curtain gloated over how Grozick had fooled the Americans -- soon the United States would become the laughing stock of the world! (Lousy Commies!)
As the evil plan came to fruition, Grozick thought, "I'm building you up for the big fall! The more you believe, the bigger will be your shame when the truth becomes known!"
Finally, the day came for Grozick to reveal himself, so the "bear" called a news conference. Laughing over his triumph, the "bear" excused himself to the reporters and went into an adjoining room, where Grozick would remove the suit and emerge as a man -- "This hoax will do more damage to the United States than a hundred atomic bombs could have done!"
Removing his costume for the first time since the atomic explosion, Grozick pulled the mask off, looked into the mirror, and was horrified when he saw (yep, you guessed it) a BEAR'S face looking back at him! The radiation had affected Grozick after all, and had changed him into a REAL bear!
Comments: Created by an unknown writer and Don Heck.
At one point in the story, after hearing the news of the intelligent "bear," a man on the street came up with the idea of creating an army of intelligent bears so humans would never have to die in battle again -- he must have been thinking about the Second Amendment of the Constitution -- you know, "The right to keep and arm bears..."
I just hope those scientists didn't eventually subject poor Igor to vivisection -- I'd hate to think of him suffering such a GRIZZLY fate.
Could the precursor of Ursa Major that was part of the alpha gen Soviet-Super Soldiers awoken in The Order II#1 actually be Igor Grozick.
And a big THANK YOU to Dennis Giansante for scanning this story for me!
Profile by John Kaminski
Igor Grozick/"The Beast-Man" has no known connections to:
His masters in the Soviet Union
Two unnamed Russian government officials, these sinister Soviets plotted the destruction of democracy and the downfall of the free world by using...a guy in a bear suit -- for this "ingenious" scheme, they were probably "rewarded" with an all-expenses-paid trip to Siberia.
--Journey into Mystery I#59/4
Journey into Mystery I#59, p19, pan3 (main image)
Journey into Mystery I#59 (July, 1960) - Don Heck (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Last updated: 11/17/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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