Real Name: Jeremy Swimming Bear
Native American (nation unidentified);
presumably citizen of the United States of America, likely with a criminal record;
identity publicly known
Occupation: Marine salvage specialist, plunderer,
Group Membership: Deep
Affiliations: Cardinal (Donald Joshua Clendenon), Mr. Kashnyev, Sea Urchin support crew (Candace and unrevealed others)
Enemies: Defenders (Hellcat/Patsy
Walker, Hulk/Bruce Banner, Nighthawk/Kyle
Richmond, Silver Surfer/Norrin Radd, Dr. Stephen Strange, Valkyrie/Samantha
Parrington), New Warriors (Firestar/Angelica Jones, Namorita Prentiss,
Nova/Richard Ryder, Silhouette Chord, Speedball/Robbie Baldwin,
Turbo/Michiko Musashi), Project: Earth (Michael Shauneghann and
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "Pig", "that barracuda" (nicknames used by
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly the federal criminal courthouse, New York City;
formerly his mothership, mobile across the Eastern seaboard
First Appearance: New Warriors I#14 (August, 1991)
Powers/Abilities: Jeremy Swimming Bear possesses no known superhuman abilities. As Sea Urchin, he wears a large suit of armor that can withstand ocean floor pressures and grants him superhuman speed when submerged, superhuman strength (somewhere between Class 25 - Class 75) and enhanced durability; the uppermost levels of each are unrevealed. The armor is equipped with an extending heat-conduction coil; a foot-long arm-mounted blade; foot-long metal spikes of unrevealed composition that can be fired from wrist-mounted launchers; spotlights to see along the ocean floor; unspecified energy and electricity projectors; and communication devices to project his voice over loudspeakers and communicate with support ships on the surface. The armor can release ballasts for rapid ascent to the surface, but doing so causes a risk of contracting a case of extreme nitrogen narcosis ("the bends"). To minimize this potentially lethal effect, Urchin has a hyperbaric pressure chamber installed on his support vessels.
The Sea Urchin uses several sea worthy vessels equipped
with the necessary dredging and salvage equipment for his sub-aquatic
pillaging operations. The ships also have a supply of depth charges, and
the crew is armed with machine guns and other firearms. On occasion, he
has used a helicopter and a submarine. Swimming Bear has extensive
knowledge of deep-sea diving, nautical operations in general and Atlantean history and culture in specific. He is fluent in English and
(New Warriors I#14 (fb) - BTS) - Native American Jeremy Swimming Bear gained a reputation as an unscrupulous marine salvage specialist and mercenary. To keep a semblance of legitimacy, he regularly registered his shipping routes and salvage plans with the Maritime Commission. However, he would also regularly don a large armored suit during the actual plundering that would take place during his sojourns. When Swimming Bear bombed a dock in France that belonged to the environmental organization Project: Earth, the extremists began to take notice of him. Pretty soon the environmental media began to report on Swimming Bear's allegedly activities, nicknaming him "Sea Urchin," a nom de plume he hated because he felt it made him sound cheap.
(New Warriors I#14 (fb) - BTS) - Project: Earth also planted a spy in the Urchin's organization: Michael Shauneghann was ordered to uncover definite proof of illegal activities. Shauneghann was stationed on the Sea Urchin's mothership anchored ten miles off the shore of Staten Island. When he learned that the Urchin had started to plunder Atlantean artifacts, he covertly sent word to Namorita Prentiss who decided to check it out along with her New Warriors teammate Speedball.
(New Warriors I#14 - BTS) - Urchin had sent some of his men in a smaller boat on a smuggling run to Staten Island. There, they were confronted by Namorita and Speedball who, upon confirming they were indeed carrying stolen Atlantean goods, happily tore into the criminals. Despite the heroes' best efforts, some of the smugglers managed to escape on their boat. Namorita gave chase, but following them through the air for over ten miles back to the Urchin's mothership tired her out considerably. Still, suspecting she would encounter no serious opposition, decided to engage on her own.
(New Warriors I#14) - Moments after she'd made her presence known, Namorita was attacked by the Sea Urchin, who use his weapons array to take on the exhausted Atlantean teen. First he sapped her strength even further by dehydrating her with a heat-conduction coil. He then severely injured her by pinning her down with metal spikes piercing her limbs before savagely pounding on her broken body. Before throwing her into the ocean, Swimming Bear added insult to injury by "scalping" her, cutting off the hero's pony tail with his armor's giant blade.
(New Warriors I#14 - BTS) - While Swimming Bear continued his operations and prepared to excavate another Atlantean site, Namorita was found by the naval police. The injured heroine was rushed to shore and brought to Oracle Inc, where she told her cousin Namor about the Urchin. He promised to use Oracle's influence to take on Swimming Bear through legal channels, but that wasn't enough for the outraged and humiliated Namorita. Out for vengeance, she donned the Blood-Code Carapace,a traditional Atlantean battle armor only worn for one of two reasons: to kill or be killed. She then took off, looking for the Urchin.
(New Warriors I#14) - Sea Urchin and his crew had reached their destination, 300 miles off the coast of North Carolina. As soon as his control engineer Candace gave him the all clear, he dove down to the site and was thrilled to find it loaded with Atlantean artifacts. He was then suddenly attacked by Namorita, who explained she'd found him by simply checking the route he'd registered with the Maritime Commission. Overconfident because of their previous encounter and fascinated by her armor, Sea Urchin promised Namorita he'd soon be cracking her open like a lobster to sell her shell. Namorita countered his attacks, however, even absorbing his electric blasts and crushing part of his armor. Scared, the Urchin decided to flee by dropping his ballast pods which caused him to shoot up to the surface. On the way, he radioed his staff to get the hyperbaric chamber ready to treat his inevitable bout of the bends. Namorita caught up with him before he could get away and tore into his armor again. She couldn't bring herself to kill him, however, and tossed the defeated Urchin on to his ship. There, she was met by Project: Earth operative Michael Shauneghann who assured her he'd gathered enough evidence to put Swimming Bear behind bars for years. Somewhat satisfied, Namorita left.
(New Warriors Annual I#2/7) - The Sea Urchin's trial was attended by Namorita who was eager to see her attacker brought to justice. However, the federal judge presiding over the case deemed Shauneghann's evidence insufficient and Namorita's arrest methods questionable, leading him to drop all charges. Swimming Bear gleefully taunted Prentiss as he left the federal criminal courthouse a free man.
(New Warriors I#28 - BTS) - Swimming Bear resumed his smuggling operations, now focusing on weapons trade. He allied himself in these endeavors with the similarly armored mercenary Cardinal. Project: Earth continued to monitor his actions and supplied the still vengeful Namorita with tips and other necessary intelligence. Prentiss brought in the New Warriors to help her chase down leads. During one of those investigations, they briefly fought Sea Urchin's ally Cardinal who effortlessly managed to escape the young heroes.
(New Warriors I#28) - Swimming Bear
took a submarine out to the middle of the Atlantic to meet with
Kashnyev, a Russian arms dealer who was interested in using his
smuggling operation to do some merchandise. Right before he came
on board to start the negotiations, Kashnyev's ship was spotted
by Turbo (Michiko Musashi) who happened to fly over. Her
curiosity piqued by this lone vessel, she decided to land and
ask if she could help in any way, only to be chased off by
gunfire. Swimming Bear then made his entry, assuring the
startled Kashnyev there was nothing to worry about, claiming
superheroes are more bark than bite.
(New Warriors I#28 - BTS) - A day or so later, Turbo tracked the merchandise she'd spotted on the deck of Kashnyev's ship down to a cannery on Long Island (which acted as a front). Just as she was shaking down the smugglers, the New Warriors arrived (acting on yet another tip from Project: Earth). The heroes decided to team up and commandeered one of Sea Urchin's boats scheduled to return to the mothership with the latest supply of weapons.
(New Warriors I#28) - The New Warriors watched as both Cardinal and Sea Urchin arrived, by helicopter and via submarine respectively, to complete the trade. The heroes attacked, with Namorita immediately going after Swimming Bear. She defiantly announced they had the goods on him this time: smuggling arms in U.S. territorial waters. Cardinal then blew up the boat, figuring it would be the perfect distraction. Swimming Bear quickly made his way to Cardinal's helicopter and took off. However, Turbo caused the chopper to crash by using a well timed airblast. The New Warriors delivered Swimming Bear and his men to the coast guard who took him into custody.
(Defenders II#7 (fb) - BTS) - Somehow escaping prison and resuming his criminal career as Sea Urchin, Swimming Bear was eventually contacted by Attuma, who had recently conquered Atlantis. Expecting Namor the Sub-Mariner would undoubtedly try and reclaim his throne, Attuma was in need of allies and invited Sea Urchin to join the Deep Six, along with Nagala, Tiger Shark, Piranha and Orka.
(Defenders II#7) - Sea Urchin and the other members of Deep Six were ready when Namor and the Defenders approached Atlantis. They attacked the heroes, with Nighthawk dodging the Urchin's blasts. Mere minutes after the battle had started, Doctor Strange, Namor and the Hulk were teleported away by Gaea's curse leaving Nighthawk, Hellcat and the Valkyrie alone and surrounded. Before the Sea Urchin could attack, Nighthawk used his teleportation ring to take the remaining heroes to safety.
(Defenders II#11) - Joined by
the Silver Surfer, the Defenders resumed their attack on
Attuma's Atlantis. Once again, the barbarian was prepared,
since the mystic Nagala had foretold the event. Dr.
Strange, however, decided to keep the Atlanteans off balance
by having his teammates attack atypical enemies. Hellcat
was tasked to attack Nagala, while Strange focused his
magics on the Sea Urchin. Swimming Bear fired his
trademark steel spikes at the mage, promising him they'd
take the ruffles out his skirt. In response, Strange
teleported the Sea Urchin armor away, leaving Swimming
Bear to drown (Strange, along with the Hulk, Namor, and
Silver Surfer, was under the effects of a curse that made them
progressively more distant from humanity). In the end, he was saved when Valkyrie
insisted Strange helped out, which he did by erecting a
protective mystical bubble around the mercenary who floated
off wearing nothing but his shorts.
(Defenders: Strange Heroes I#1)
- After the Sub-Mariner regained control of Atlantis, Sea
Urchin and the other members of Deep Six were presumably
taken into custody.
Comments: Created by Fabian Nicieza (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Sam de la Rosa (inks)
I always dug the idea of the Sea Urchin. If
the Sub-Mariner can loot sunken Spanish galleons and other
trading ships, why not have a surface worlder return the
favor? And calling him Sea Urchin makes a lot of sense, if
you know an "urchin" is also a mischievous, pickpocketing
child... which fits with Swimming Bear's job of stealing
Sea Urchin received a profile in Defenders: Strange Heroes.
Profile by Norvo.
Sea Urchin should not be confused with
images: (without ads)
Defenders Strange Heroes I#1, p29, pan1 (main image)
New Warriors I#14, p19, pans 6&7 (ready to go to work)
New Warriors I#14, p10, pans 1,2,3,4 (scalping Namorita)
New Warriors I#28, p4, pan5 (ready to do business)
Defenders II#11, p6, pans 3,4,5,6 (defeated by Doctor Strange)
New Warriors I#14 (August, 1991) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Sam de la Rosa (inks), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
New Warriors Annual I#2 (June, 1992) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Steve Buccellato (pencils & inks), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
New Warriors I#28 (October, 1992) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Darick Robertson (pencils), Larry Mahlstedt (inks), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Defenders II#7 (September, 2001) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Erik Larsen (writer & pencils), Sal Buscema (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Defenders II#11 (January, 2002) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Erik Larsen (writer & pencils), Sal Buscema (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Last updated: 01/11/15
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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