Bark the Polar Bear is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. He is a Mobian polar bear and 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.
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.
Bark's past is almost completely unknown. Described as a walking enigma, no one knows where he comes from or his motivations, and his silent nature has not 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.
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.
Stung and sprung
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 Gears thanks to Bean being a former member of the Battle Bird 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.
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 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.
Bark later escaped from prison alongside his partners, after Mogul had forced Sonic and Ash Mongoose to get him the Gray Chaos Emerald from Castle Acorn, thus restoring Mogul's chaos-based powers. After telling Sonic that we would strike back when the hedgehog was either dead or too old, Mogul teleporting himself and the other prisoners (including Bark and Bean) away.
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 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 later 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 freed Sonic, who then took down Bark and Bean.
Treasure Team Tango
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 who attempted to get the Sol Emerald to safety, and took possession of both. When Cream 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 and Blaze soon showed up, demanding Cream's release, and so Nack ordered a speedy retreat on his Marvelous Queen - 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...
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.
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 the Babylon Rouges, 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.
While Bark and his companions were not seen for a while after the Sol Emerald incident, he and his associates were caught twice in the reality-warping Genesis Wave unleashed by Dr. Eggman. While Sonic managed to reverse the effects of both waves, he was interrupted while undoing the second one, resulting in Bark and everyone else's timeline being heavily altered.
- Note: From this point, Bark's history continues from his new life in the altered timeline.
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.
Powers and abilities
Bark is incredibly strong, easily within the top three strongest beings in the world and possibly rivals even Mighty the Armadillo in raw power. He can 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's robotic arm.
Bean the Dynamite
Bark has a great deal of respect for Bean, though he is occasionally frustrated by his partner's craziness. It is possible that due to Bean keeping Bark from ever getting a word in, he has chosen to be a mute.
- Destructix (formerly)
- Fiona Fox (formerly)
- Team Rose (temporarily)
- Babylon Rogues (formerly)
- Battle Bird Armada (formerly)
- Mammoth Mogul
- Ixis Naugus
- Team Hooligan
- Babylon Rogues
- Battle Bird Armada
- Freedom Fighters
- Team Rose
- Team Dark
- Bark's strength is based on his game counterpart, as he was the strongest character in Sonic the Fighters, but also rather slow.
- Some people have compared Bark to Silent Bob from Jay and Silent Bob, as neither of them speak, and both are larger than their skinny partners.
- Bark has had quite a few cameos on numerous covers in Sonic the Hedgehog #51, and Sonic X #15, mostly non-canon, though someone resembling him appeared in a flashback shown in Sonic the Hedgehog #50, as a soldier during the Great War, along with someone resembling Bean. The canonicity of this is debatable and the fact that this scene was in Dr. Ivo Robotnik's dream.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia, "Bean and Bark"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #165, "Leak"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #160, "Birthday Bash! Part One: Giving and Receiving"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #161, " Birthday Bash! Part Two: Birthday Boys"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #173, "Round Up!"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #175, "Eggman Empire"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #176, "Cracking the Empire"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #177, "Home, New Home"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #178, "House of Cards Part 1 of 2"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #179, "House of Cards Part Two: Royal Flush"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #186, "Mogul Rising Part Two: Devil's Due"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #187, "Mister Popular"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #188, "Beating the House"
- Sonic Universe #22, "Treasure Team Tango Step Two: The Cruzada"
- Sonic Universe #23, "Treasure Team Tango Step Three: The Llevada"
- Sonic Universe #24, "Treasure Team Tango Step Four: The Parada"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #225, "One Step Forward..."
- Sonic the Hedgehog #229, "Genesis Part Four: Reset"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #247, "At All Costs Part One: Fate Interrupted"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #251, "When Worlds Collide Finale: Best of the Best"
- Ian Flynn (13 December 2013). Ask Ian XXVIII - Tis the Season to Give Answers. BumbleKing Comics. Archived from the original on 7 November 2015.