Barney Running bear was once a normal human until nuclear waste was illegally dumped on the reservation land he lived on. Barney's tribe suffered from the contamination of the water supply. While his family and friends died, Barney was mutated into a large form. He was adopted by the Root family; unfortunately tension about "freaks" forced him to leave. As a runaway, he befriended Ricochet. The two were captured for theft and sent to the Mutate Manpower Management Service, where they eventually escaped. In Chicago, Barney joined the Freak Force. He later was invited to join SOS. During his tour of duty, he married Ricochet and the two had a child.