HistoryRussian mutants were considered a threat, and were usually killed so that their mutation could be researched. However, Professor Piotr Phobos was able to convince the Soviet government to allow him to train them as potential government agents. His real reason, however, was to use them to gain power for himself. Ursa Minor, Alexei Uriokovitch Ursus, younger brother of Mikhail Uriokovitch Ursus, himself also known as Ursa Major, were two of the first graduates, alongside Darkstar and Vanguard. Alexei had a mutant power similar to his brother; he could become a huge and immensely muscular anthropomorphic kodiak bear, and he received the code name "Ursa Minor" in comparison to his older brother. Phobos preferred to keep Alexei hidden as a secret weapon designed to accomplish missions for the Russian army as as a one-man army. As such, he was not an official member of the Soviet Super-Soldiers, but was always indirectly connected to them.
While the other members were investigating a radioactive area in Russia along with the Hulk, Ursa Minor, acting alone, discovered a secret base of the Dire Wraiths in the same radioactive area, and found that the Wraiths planned to usurp control of the process that would lead the radioactive area to expand throughout Russia and create an intersection between Earth and Limbo to release all the Dire Wraiths that had been trapped there. With the help of Rom the Spaceknight, Ursa Minor frustrated the plan of Dire Wraiths and destroyed the dimensional fusion generator that would have united the two dimensions. Meanwhile, the other Super-Soldiers discovered Phobos' plans to try to irradiate the USSR to provide more mutants to feed him power. Phobos was defeated, and the three mutants promised that they would not serve the government anymore. However, though Alexei agreed with his brother's decision, he decided to become a "double agent," pretending to continue to serve the Russian government to provide useful information to the Soviet Super-Soldiers.
Ursa Major and Ursa Minor simulated a struggle to make it appear that they had cut ties with each other, however, the fight was just a decoy to fool the Kremlin military. Later, Mikhail said that it was never so difficult for him to raise his voice and say what he did to the younger brother as in that discussion, even if it was only a performance planned by Alexei. Because of this scam, Alexei was not present with the team when the Russian government was hunting Magneto and faced both the Avengers and X-Men in Southeast Asia. After discovering that the Crimson Dynamo was spying on them, the three left the Soviet Super-Soldiers and were joined by Siberforce, a group of exiled mutants.
Ursus and Vanguard were deceived by General Tsakarov into attacking American companies during the search for Darkstar, who had gone missing. Black Widow, Daredevil and Ursa Minor exposed Tsakarov's plan, revealing that he had kidnapped Darkstar to manipulate Mikhail and Vanguard.
Mikhail and Alexei were two of the mutants who retained their powers after M-Day. Later, they returned to Russia, joining the new Winter Guard group; investigating the death of Abomination; repelling the Lady Liberators' efforts when they tried to interfere in international business; joining with War Machine, Ursa Minor helped repel a Skrull invasion of Russia, and then, he and his brother faced Remont 6 in order to protect the new Darkstar, Sasha Roerich. When he and the Winter Guard tried to capture the Intelligencia, the group used the Zero Cannon to send the team into space, yet they survived and defeated the Intelligencia.
Powers and Abilities
Ursa Minor is a mutant with powers similar to those of his older brother Ursa Major: to turn through intense concentration into a gigantic humanoid Kodiak bear; the difference is that his body is more human than his older brother's, only adding three feet in height and 200 kg of pure, solid muscle. Although he is called "Ursa Minor," he is no less powerful than his brother, and he also uses a uniform made with a fabric of unstable molecules that transforms and grows in size to fit the shape of a human giant Kodiak Bear.
Transformation: Alexei Ursus is able to transform into a giant humanoid Kodiak bear. This process gives him an additional three feet in height and 200 kg. His bear-man form is more human in appearance than his brother: he has a solidly muscled body like a heavyweight athlete, and retains the use of hands and the ability to handle objects even with giant claws 10 cm. In the form of a Kodiak man-bear, he keeps his full level of intelligence, personality and ability to speak.
- Superhuman strength: While transformed, Ursa Minor has superhuman strength far greater than a real Kodiac bear of similar size. In his heyday, its strength is sufficient to raise about 150 tons.
- Speed on Human Apogee: As a real brown bear, Ursa Minor is capable of running at speeds up to 35 miles per hour.
- Superhuman Vigor: The musculature of Ursa Minor produces much less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of an ordinary human being. He can exercise at full capacity for several hours before fatigue begin to affect him.
- Hyper-Sharp Claws and Fangs: Ursa Minor has claws and fangs much sharper than those of a standard Kodiak bear the same size, capable of cutting steel and the densest substances and can tear opponents in combat.
- Healing Factor: Ursa Minor has a healing factor that allows him to heal from serious injuries in a few hours and restore his full physical force, healing the most serious diseases known and slowing aging in order to make it appear that he aged less than a few months past years.
- Apogee of human agility: Despite his large size and volume in his transformed state, Ursa Minor's agility and body coordination are superior to an Olympic level athlete.
- Apogee of Human Reflexes: Ursa Minor's reaction time is much like a real Kodiak bear's, and is superior to an Olympic level athlete.
- Superhuman Durability: Ursa Minor's bodily tissues are more difficult to injure and damage, and more resistant to certain injuries than those of a normal human being. Ursa Minor is particularly high impact resistant and extreme trauma force. Although not invulnerable, he can withstand impacts, such as a fall of hundreds of feet tall or be hit several times with superhuman strength, which would seriously injure or kill a normal human being, with little or no injury.
- Superhuman sense of smell: As a real Kodiak bear, Ursa Minor has a highly developed sense of smell. He is able to track a target by scent with an impressive degree of success, even if the smell has been diluted over time by natural factors such as weather conditions.