HistoryLike on Earth-616, Maxwell Markham was a professional heavyweight wrestler whose extremely effective techniques and the pure strength that led him to achieve thunderous knockouts in his fights made J. Jonah Jameson to write a scathing editorial that called for an investigation by the wrestling commission. Markham was innocent: all the knockouts he had obtained in wrestling matches were entirely due to his great strength, which earned him the wrestling moniker "Kodiak," and his own merit and skill as a wrestler; but Jameson's editorial ended up damaging his sports career because WWE started to consider that he was winning by illegitimate means. Markham was unable to convince the authorities that he was innocent, and he ended up being expelled in disgrace from his professional wrestler career (and he could have become a champion had it not been for the editorial).
Ten years later, he was approached by the Jackal with the proposal to give him the power to take revenge. In this reality, Markham's blood was injected with a mutagenic compound that transformed him into a massively muscular humanoid Kodiak bear with super strength and bestial super powers. He used this new power to attack the Daily Bugle in an attempt to exact revenge on Jameson for ruining his wrestling career, but Spider-Man stopped him. The Kodiak then tried to defeat Spider-Man alongside the Jackal, but Parker, realizing that Markham was not really evil, only confused and badly directed, managed to convince him to stop by appealing to his human side. Markham ended up helping Spider-Man defeat the Jackal, and then surrendered freely to the police, serving time and being released for good behavior.
After his release, Markham tried to enter the newly founded WWSHE, a wrestling modality that brought together fighters with superhuman powers, who were becoming popular with the public for their intense wrestling matches between super beings. Markham started a successful career as a superhuman wrestler, and he demanded a rematch with Spider-Man to prove his honor to the other wrestlers. He ended up accepting, and the two had a fight at an event commented on by the press. Markham showed immense power during the fight and could have won if he wanted to. However, when he saw that defeating Spider-Man would break the heart of the immense portion of the audience that had attended the event to support Spidey, he simulated being defeated. Ironically, this act earned him respect with his fellow wrestlers, as they recognized Markham's honor by fighting fairly and being defeated in a clean fight by Spider-Man.
Spider-Man and his Astonishing Friends
He became a member of Spider-Man's Astonishing Friends, along with Puma, Gigantopithecus, Firestar, Iceman, Cloak and Dagger. Markham and Gigantopithecus were shocked to see Carnage murdering bank hostages, and assisted the Astonishing Friends in defeating him. Markham was extremely impressed by Spider-Man, saying he was the most courageous guy he'd ever met. Kodiak and Gigantopithecus later became a crime-fighting duo, and helped Spider-Man again, this time to stop Sabretooth.
At one point, Markham tried to resume his life as a superhuman wrestler. His desire to continue wrestling ended up causing several accidents. He ended up having a conversation with Ben Grimm, and after Markham opened his heart, Grimm advised him to do what his conscience said.
Markham played an important role in the Secret Wars, by secretly assisting the heroes. He revealed that the Tinkerer had duplicated the mutagenic compound that had made him the Kodiak, and was selling it to create an army of super bear-men. He thwarted Tinkerer's plan alongside X-Factor.
The Wrecking Crew
Markham confronted Bulldozer, Piledriver, Thunderball, Wrecker, Excavator and Demolisher and was later charged with causing mass destruction in Madison Square Garden. He hired She-Hulk as a lawyer, as his defense was that he had been seen helping the Power Pack in New Jersey at the same time. Upon leaving Timely Plaza, Kodiak was attacked by Wonder Man, who did not understand that She-Hulk had taken Kodiak as a client. He avoided a fight that could have ended in immense destruction and surrendered, ultimately being deemed innocent by the jury.
Markham confronted the crime lord Hammerhead. He revealed that Maxwell had a son, whom was kidnapped and taken hostage by Hammerhead as leverage for Maxwell to work for him. With the help of the hero Daredevil, Markham managed to free him and return him to his family.
The Hood later tried to force Markham to kill the Punisher by kidnapping Markham's wife and threatening to kill her if he didn't cooperate and help him kill Frank Castle. However, Kodiak entered a trap with nothing but explosives waiting for him, which the Punisher's assistant then detonated. Kodiak survived and managed to convince the Punisher to help him save his wife and free her from captivity.
Alyosha Kravinoff started collecting an animal-themed superhuman zoo, including Kodiak and the likes of Tiger Shark, Beast, Swarm, and Anaconda. In the end, with Kodiak's help, Spider-Man managed to sabotage the zoo and free its captive members, and Kodiak personally exiled Kraven to the Savage Land.
Stephen Colbert was a Third Party candidate for President of the United States. After noticing how few people were in the crowd at his rally, he gave up, took off his jacket and tie and renounced his candidacy. He saw Kodiak fighting the Vulture and tried to help, but Kodiak told him that it was not his fight. Kodiak brought the battle to a nearby building, where Colbert pushed a statue out of the building and knocked the Vulture out. Kodiak thanked him for his help and gave him a ride home. In the end, he won one popular vote, but lost to Barack Obama in the electoral votes.
Markham was recruited by Luke Cage and introduced to the Thunderbolts: a team of supervillains who were also looking for redemption. He and the team went on a mission against the U-Foes. He was with the team when Arachne joined in their mission to retrieve Odin's spear Gungnir. Around this time, Kodiak was also named commander of a squadron of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
Markham was one of the heroes who served as a warden at the superhuman prison known as the Raft, which had been completely overhauled to accommodate the increased flow of supervillains. He was present at the Raft when Hank Pym brought his students from the Avengers Academy as part of his educational program. Aided by the members of the Academy, Kodiak thwarted Graviton's escape attempt.
The Hobgoblin created an enhanced version of the mutagenic compound that had given Kodiak his bestial super powers to create the new villainous man-bear Bruin, in order to have his own man-bear army. Kodiak faced Bruin and defeated him, handing him over to the authorities. Shortly afterwards, Kodiak, along with Scarlet Spider, Daredevil, Luke Cage and Black Cat, helped (the Superior) Spider-Man reclaim his body from the Venom symbiote. Ultimately, he and the heroes defeated the Superior Spider-Man's henchmen (Devil-Spider, the Lizard, Sandman and Electro) and helped Peter Parker regain control of his body.
Ant-Man Security Solutions
Markham went to Miami to seek respite from the struggles of costumed heroes and villains, and found Ant-Man (Scott Lang), whom he mistakenly mistook for the villainous Ant-Man Eric O'Grady, who had died. After the misunderstanding was cleared up, Lang offered Kodiak a place in his new company, Ant-Man Security Solutions.
Markham currently acts as one of the guardian heroes of the Young Avengers, looking to defend the new generation of superheroes and ensure that they have a good example as they grow as heroes.
Powers and Abilities
Terianthropy: Thanks to a mutagenic compound created from Kodiak bear cells injected into his bloodstream, Markham has the power to shapeshift, concentrating his human body into a giant muscular humanoid bear form, in this form he has the various attributes of a bear, including sharp claws and fangs.
- Superhuman Strength: In this form, his physical strength increases to superhuman proportions, and he is capable of lifting or pressing more than 90 tons.
- Superhuman Durability: Kodiak can also withstand powerful attacks based on energy, psychic powers and strength, but not magic. His durability also gives him high resistance to general injuries. Kodiak managed to survive several tons of explosives detonated right in front of him without suffering a scratch.
- Superhuman Stamina: Kodiak's genetically mutated tissues produce less fatigue toxins than the most refined Olympic athlete. He can exercise at the peak of his physical abilities for months before he is effectively harmed by fatigue.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Kodiak's natural reflexes are naturally much faster and superior to those of the most refined martial artist.
- Superhuman Agility: Kodiak's natural agility is superhuman; far above that of a human at the height of his natural physical abilities.
- Superhuman Speed: He can move at more than 561.8 km / h.
- Healing Factor: Kodiak has a healing factor that allows him to heal from wounds that can overcome his durability, and can stop bleeding, heal damage to vital organs and regenerate lost members of his body.
- Fangs and Claws: His claws can cut through steel and the densest and most resistant substances known. Likewise, his fangs are capable of inflicting damage on even extremely resilient superhumans such as Hulk, Thor, Blue Marvel and the Vision.
- Kodiak Roar: An incredible power that Kodiak rarely uses, the "Kodiak Roar" is a super powerful scream that can destroy the victim's mind. It is also capable of disintegrating organic and inorganic matter at the molecular level as well as acting as a psionic shockwave.