Big Bear
Big Bear
Big Bear
Big Bear

Big Bear is big. The art seems to indicate he's the team's radioman. He gets the ironic final line of "Let There Be Life" when he says "Too bad every day can't end as succesfully, as happily -- as this one!" as an Afghan village is razed in the background.

Big Bear

Communications

Filename: Eliseikin, Oleg

Birthplace: Topki, Russia


While the days of sons taking over the family business for the father are fading, the tradition is far from dead. Some families will always be farmers, or butchers, or, in Big Bear's case, soldiers. As far back as anyone can remember, the Eliseikin's have fought and died for their country. Big Bear is in no hurry to die, but he serves his country all the same. A well rounded, and well liked soldier, Big Bear was the Captain Yuri's first recommendation for the Pravda Patrol. He serves as the teams radioman and is an expert in the latest field electronics.

"Is Big Bear a great soldier? Absolutely. There's others who can shoot better, or are tougher, but when you see that giant of a man and his grandfather's cavalry saber clamber into the trench next to you, you know everything's going to be alright. Always joking, always doing little things to make the day a bit better . . . You can keep your sharpshooters and super soldiers, give me Big Bear." -Captain Marat Yuri


In the late 70s/early 80s there was a magazine sized black and white anthology comic published by Marvel called Bizarre Adventures. In issue #31, sandwiched between a Larry Hama story about a rabbit with Vietnam induced PTSD and tale of pre-teen murder (no, really) was a 5 page story called "Let There Be Life". In it we're introduced to the Pravda Patrol, a Soviet Special Forces unit. Created by Tom DeFalco and Herb Trimpe, and due to the nature of the mag, actually owned by them, the Pravda Patrol only appeared this one time. But they almost became more. The Soviet counterpart to the Joe team wasn't going to be the Oktober Guard, it was to be the Pravda Patrol. Art exists for issue 6 (originally intended to be issue 3) of the Patrol in place of the Guard, but their use was rejected by Hasbro. This is likely because the characters wouldn't have been owned by Hasbro, and it is probably for the best, as the Guard has more visual distinctiveness, but it's one of those weird quirks of comic/toy history that I love. The Pravda Patrol had been on my mental to-do list since I learned about them and while they don't jibe with the "no existing characters" guideline, they fit the Year One theme too well to pass up. Also, with Mr. Trimpe having recently passed away, I like to consider these my small tribute to all the amazing work he did and all the enjoyment he brought me.


Big Bear was the second toughest one of the bunch, and probably the one I'm most satisfied with. The others all could share colors, but Big Bear's look was so unique, so I wanted to give him a different palette. I doubt it's accurate to any actual Soviet uniform, but I think it works.

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