"I would have had no luck, if not for misfortune."
Teodor Vasiliyevich Balakov is someone you may refer to as a crazy Russian. As a young man, Teodor possessed a talent for being reckless and doing stupid things. He has had some brilliant business ideas, but has also known more than his fair share of foolishness. One great example of this is when he decided it would be entertaining to get drunk on vodka with his friends and wrestle a real bear. It was in this moment of recklessness and bravado - through a combination of adrenaline, strong liquor and circumstance - that Teodor triggered his latent mutation and became one with an Ussuri brown bear.
After discovering his mutation, which he was initially finding rather difficult to control and get a handle on, Teodor withdrew from society for a while. In part out of necessity, as Russian law does not typically approve of the use of superhuman abilities. His version of laying low (or arguably doing rather the opposite) was to join up with a traveling circus troupe, where Teodor performed both in the role of strongman and circus bear. Unbeknownst to the audience or anyone other than the circus' main staff and performers, of course. He stayed with the small circus for a couple of years, at which point he was pretty much running the show.
The reason Teodor left the life of a performer and mother Russia behind was classic; love. He fell head over heels for an American, an artist and ballerina who was studying Russian ballet. They met in an alleyway, after Teodor (in bear form) stopped a few lowlifes from harassing the lady. When a young man with a poorly buttoned shirt sped to her rescue so soon after the almost mugging followed by a sudden bear attack, she saw right through the performance. For reasons beyond Teodor's comprehension, she did not flee the scene. She instead berated him for such a reckless display of aggression in her name, insisting she had the situation well in hand. Teodor still swears he immediately knew she was the one in that 'passionate' moment.
Sure enough they officially ended up together after a couple months of romantic courtship. And when she returned to the states Teodor followed her there. Fast-forward some years later, they continue to be happily married and have several children together. Two beautiful, strong boys and a fiercely independent young lady, who obviously take after their mother.
"Everything changes, nothing disappears."
Today, Teodor Balakov stands at the head of a renowned auction house in downtown Millennium City. Of course none of it would have been possible without the unmissable support of his artistic and amazing wife - both in business and at home. Their three young children are healthy and growing up fast. Fortunately their grandmother (Teodor's mother, who came to live with them a few years back) is there to help raise the little troublemakers and keep them in line. Woe the day one of them (or Heaven's forbid, all of them!) manifest superpowers of their own.
As if his life was not hectic enough, Teodor on occasion dons a heroic costume at night and tracks down vile scum. He does this in part because it provides a 'healthy' outlet for the beast within; the bear has to be let out from time to time, it helps keep any predatory urges in check. Artos primarily hunts art thieves and smugglers, playing to his strengths and sticking predominantly to the territory he knows best; the art world. Any criminal that crosses paths with a bear would do well to head back in the direction they came from.
To protect his family, Teodor keeps his nocturnal activities a close-guarded secret. Even, or especially, from his children. Only his beloved wife, his dear old mother and a select few (superpowered) individuals know of the link that connects the man and the predator. Though it is a juggling act that is becoming increasingly more difficult as his children grow older.
As of late, Artos has been known to stray from his solitary behavior to, on occasion, team up with others much like him; those who hunt for justice evermore.