Explaining The New Mutants’ Demon Bear Saga

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The New Mutants is finally hitting theatres. Focusing on a group of young mutants, it’s a horror film not directly connected to previous X-Men installments.

Directed by Josh Boone, the film features a stacked cast including Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Blu Hunt, Henry Zaga, and Alice Braga.

In the film, the team is brought together when their characters are held at a special facility that promises to help them control their powers. However, like any good horror movie, things aren’t what they seem.

One antagonist we know the New Mutants will face in the film is the Demon Bear, a villain taken straight from the comics. But who, or what, exactly is the Demon Bear?

Who is the Demon Bear?

The Demon Bear made its first full appearance in New Mutants #18 (1984), written by Chris Claremont with art by Bill Sienkiewicz. The Demon Bear is a demonic entity that feeds off negative human emotions and its powers include super strength and teleportation.

The Demon Bear murdered Dani Moonstar’s (Psyche) parents and later hunted her once she joined the New Mutants.

New Mutants #18 Cover

In “The Demon Bear Saga” storyline, Dani and the other New Mutants must fight off the Demon Bear which transports them to the Badlands, an extradimensional realm.

In New Mutants #20 (1984), Illyana Rasputin (Magik) ultimately defeats the Demon Bear with her Soulsword. This act also releases Dani’s parents who had been trapped.

The storyline is generally praised for its groundbreaking art, horror elements, and Native American representation though there are some questionable choices in the story.

What Does It Mean for the Film?

The Demon Bear will be a major antagonist in the film, though given the asylum setting it seems the adaptation may make some major changes.

What’s also unclear is what other enemies the team may be facing in the film. Villains rumored to have been considered for the film range from Mister Sinister to Warlock.

Image from The New Mutants featuring Dani Moonstar and the Demon Bear

It’s also been insinuated in interviews that Dr. Cecilia Reyes (Braga) is not the ally she appears to be. Could she be working with someone else to hold the New Mutants hostage?

We’ll find out when The New Mutants hits theaters on August 28, 2020.

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