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Webcomic / Bearmageddon

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"There is no safety. There is no calm. Things will not go back to normal. Every damn bear on this earth has decided to kill every damn human. That's what's going on."
Dickinson Killdeer

Bearmageddon is a comic by Ethan Nicolle, the creator of Axe Cop.

It begins with workers hoisting a dead animal out of a sewer — it looks like a bear, but most bears do not have tentacles. The only explanation is the work of a Dr. Wilson Medved, but he's dead and it's been almost thirty years since he was shut down.

Then we meet Joel, average slacker working in an electronics store. After some disagreements with his uptight boss, then with his father over rent, he quits his job to go live in the woods at the suggestion of his stoner friends. But what they find in the woods is far from the natural peace and beauty they expected. Instead, they find packs of grizzly bears that seem to have one goal: kill every human they find. After several narrow escapes with the assistance of wild hunter and expert bear-killer Dickinson Killdeer, they find that this is not an isolated incident. Bears have waged war against mankind, and it looks like only one species will come out of this alive.


Bearmageddon is not for the faint of heart. Don't read this comic unless you can stomach seeing lots of people getting mauled to death by bears and, conversely, seeing lots of bears getting shot, stabbed, and axed to death by humans. If that's exactly what you're looking for in a webcomic, then look no further.

A companion website named Bearmageddon News Network exists, consisting of fictional satirical news articles wherein, naturally, bears kill the hell out of people.


This comic contains examples of:

     Volume One 
  • 0% Approval Rating: Nigel, but not at first. Throughout Volume One his selfishness and stupidity, which puts his friends in danger more than once and eventually gets Burton killed, alienates his friends to the point that they make no attempt to stop Dickinson from literally ejecting Nigel from the group after deciding that he's a threat to their survival.
  • Action Survivor: Joel and his friends become this over the course of Volume One. Dickinson takes the trope up to eleven, having lived in the mountains fighting bears for as long as he can remember.
  • Adult Fear: The day after Joel leaves his beloved younger brother to go on a trip to the mountains, an army of bears invade the city. When Joel receives a text from Louis stating that there're bears in the in the backyard, the look on Joel's face says it all. When Joel gets home the house is empty, suggesting that Louis and their father Mark managed to escape, but Joel has no idea where they are.
  • All There in the Manual: The cast page contains not just descriptions of the main characters, but also descriptions of characters who have absolutely no importance, appearing only as background characters. All of them have long, descriptive biographies.
  • Alt Text
  • Animals Lack Attributes: Zigzagged. The artist will draw Chuckles the dog's anus but he draws the line at a Flying Squirrel Bear's balls.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Gogs recently received a brown belt in Praying Mantis Kung Fu, and thinks that this makes him tough enough to take on a bear by himself. He loses the arrogant part after suffering a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Awesome Mc Cool Name: Dickinson Killdeer. Just saying that name out loud gives you an extra millimeter of chest hair.
  • Ax-Crazy: Dickinson Killdeer is very much this way towards bears.
  • Bad Boss: Joel's manager, Ken. Has a pencil moustache, exactly the requisite amount of flair on his jacket and a stick up his arse the size of a fencepost. When the bears start attacking and he teams up with his employees to survive, he realises just how much they mean to him and has a Heel–Face Turn by the time Joel and Gogs reunite with him.
  • Badass in Distress: When a Mole Bear ambushes the group in Joel's house, it manages to overwhelm Dickinson and pin him down with its massive size. Joel, Gogs, Andrea and Keller all Take a Level in Badass by utilising a lawnmower to render the beast's face to bloody mince, saving Dickinson from getting crushed to death.
  • Bears Are Bad News: The Comic!
  • Big Damn Heroes: Dickinson's first appearance has him saving Joel, Gogs and the other activists when bears attack while they're chained to trees.
  • Butt-Monkey: Gogs suffers a lot a punishment in the latter half of Volume One. First he gets an ear lobe ripped off when a bear catches his earring with a claw, then he gets his hand severely bitten to the point where he can't feel it. Finally he gets set on fire when a burning bear gets too close to his gasoline soaked clothes, inflicting first and second degree burns.
  • Cameo: Flute Cop is the supervisor of the loggers and argues with the protesters. This received an extensive lampshade in Alt Text and The Rant, and eventually ascended on his character page, where he is revealed to have Recurring Dreams of his Axe Cop counterpart.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Most background characters even have a brief description on the character page.
  • Cheerful Child: Joel's little brother Louie. He thinks his big brother's awesome, even if not one adult does.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The organic fuel is highly explosive. The van's filled with it. And they're carrying a trailer full of it. HMMM...
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The news report on the Octo-bear pulled from the sewer talks about a Dr. Medved whose experiments on bears were shut down thirty years ago when the government discovered that said experiments were highly unethical. It's safe to say that he may have some relation to the present crisis.
  • Cool Car: Nigel considers the van he bought to be this, unfortunately to the point that he cares about it more than he cares about other people. He's royally pissed when they're forced to abandon it on the bridge and after being left to fend for himself becomes dedicated to getting it back.
  • Crazy-Prepared: The "Adventure Van" Joel and his friends are going to live in was "all set up for Y2K"; it runs on 'organic' fuel, has an extra trailer of fuel barrels and a nuclear blast-proof trunk of survival gear.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Dickinson Killdeer is at least a little crazy, but he's forgotten more about survival than Nigel will ever know.
  • Curse Cut Short: After being forced to abandon his van Nigel flies into a delusional rant in which he makes it quite clear that he would rather let the human race get slaughtered than try to help it survive, which is not something you should do in front of a group of people whose friend you just got killed. Dickinson socks him right as he's about to say 'bitch.'
    Nigel: Animals go extinct all the time! Humans had it coming! Natural selection can be a- [POW!]
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Joel quits his job and goes on a trip into the wilderness so he can get away from things and figure out what he wants to do with his life.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Joel may be a slacker who hates the society he lives in, but he is disgusted when Nigel claims that their society deserved to be ripped apart by bears.
    • Early on Andrea supports Nigel on some of his decisions, specifically calling his swallowing the key to the chains 'extremely brave' and agreeing that they should report Dickinson for his violent slaughter of the bears that tried to kill them. She's as disgusted as Joel and the others when it becomes clear just how delusional and self righteous Nigel really is.
  • The Everyman: Joel.
  • The Fool: Burton is a drug addict, and as a result isn't very intelligent. This contributes to his death on the bridge.
  • Foreshadowing: At the start of the comic Gogs asks whether it would be possible to kill a bear with one punch, and Joel jokingly replies that the bear would likely chew his arm off before he can try. When Gogs tries to One-Hit Kill a live bear, it manages to sink its teeth into his hand and comes close to fulfilling Joel's prediction.
  • From Bad to Worse: What started as a series of bear attacks turns into a full out Bear Apocalypse.
  • Exact Words: Nigel says that he's taking Joel, Gogs and Burton on a camping trip into the mountains. It turns out that he'd signed them up for a protest against a logging operation in the forest that involved chaining themselves to trees. Nigel claims that he told them while they were passed out drunk, but Joel and Gogs are not pleased and accuse him of deceiving them.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Dickinson. He himself lampshades it after sending Nigel out to fend for himself.
    Joel: Are you really going to send him off by himself. What if he gets killed? Wouldn't you feel awful?
    Dickinson: Being nice is often a luxury. My first job is to do what's right.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Happens here. Mostly averted from then on, though.
  • Handicapped Badass: Dickinson suffers from severe migraines which are suggested to be related to his loss of memories.
    • Despite getting the crap beaten out of him by a bear, Gogs still manages to help his friends battle the bear menace. He even deals the finishing blow to a Mole Bear by staking it in the skull with a tent peg. Not bad for a guy with only one fully working hand.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When Gogs gets set on fire during a battle, Keller breaks away from the group to spray him with a garden hose. This saves Gogs from burning to death but gets her eaten by bears.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Joel is a lot taller than his love interest, Andrea.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: Gogs' motivation for taking a bear head to practise punching a bear's skull. After his first attempt to one-hit-kill a live bear goes horribly wrong, he's left severely injured and unable to be of much help to his friends, a predicament that affects him deeply. The experience teaches him to rely on more practical, realistic methods of fighting.
  • Internal Reveal: Any reader who is familiar with Into The Wild, the film that the in-universe film Into The Wilderness is derived from, will know that the main guy dies at the end, but most of the characters are unaware of this. Even Nigel, who is obsessed with the movie and following the main guy's example, never saw the ending. When Keller and Andrea reveal what happened, Gogs is pissed that Nigel had them following the example of a guy who ultimately got himself killed.
  • I Will Find You: Finding his little brother Louis becomes Joel's motivation for going back to a city full of homicidal bears.
    • Andrea is also desperate to get back to her family, even though she's been on bad terms with them since she renounced her Mormon faith.
  • Jerkass: Nigel turns out to be a particularly massive one.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Joel is a slacker with a strained relationship with his father. On the other hand he loves his younger brother more than anything, cares for his friends and is the only one who steps up to thank Dickinson when he saves everyone's lives.
  • Kick the Dog: Nigel abandons the group and steals the car with all their things inside...
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: ... After Dickinson casts him out so he won't get anyone else besides Burton killed.
  • Kill It with Fire: During the final battle in Volume One, Joel's group converts gas tanks into makeshift flamethrowers and turn them on the bears.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Just like that guy from Into the Wilderness, Nigel aspires to live in the wild and become one with nature but knows almost nothing about survival. He didn't even know how the film ended until Andrea and Keller told him.
  • The Load: Burton The Stoner. While he isn't a complete Millstone like Nigel, he doesn't really do anything to help the group, being more concerned with getting more weed. He dies on the bridge because he goes with Nigel's idea to climb over a pile of cars despite Dickinson's warnings that there are too many hiding places where a bear could ambush them; that's exactly what happens to Burton.
  • Love at First Sight: Joel is attracted to Andrea the moment he meets her, and it even makes him comply with Nigel's plan to chain everyone to trees.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Medved, who worked on the Ruxvin Project thirty years before the events of the comic. The project involved inventing a machine that could translate a bear's thoughts into spoken english, which he applied to a bear named Teddy. The government had also commissioned him to develop a chemical that would enhance bear reproduction to prevent the extinction of certain species, but when they discovered that he was creating hybrid mutants they shut him down.
  • Meaningful Name: Dr. Medved. "Medved" is Russian for "bear".
  • The Medic: Keller is a student nurse, and treated Gogs' injuries after a bear attacked him.
  • The Millstone: Nigel. It eventually gets him literally thrown out the group by Dickinson.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Bears mixed with just about anything that could be considered deadly (or at least bizarre). So far we've seen an Octobear, a Flying Squirrel Bear, a Mole Bear and an Elk Bear.
    • It's quite likely that they're related to a certain Dr. Medved, whose experiments with hybrid mutants were shut down by the government thirty years ago.
  • Mysterious Past: Dickinson has lived on the mountains for as long as he can remember. His life before then is a complete mystery to him.
  • Nature Lover: Nigel, Andrea and Keller play this trope straight. Unfortunately Nigel takes it too far.
  • Never Bareheaded: Gogs has yet to be seen without his goggles.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Nigel.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: A bear subjects Gogs to this after he makes the big mistake of trying to punch it in the skull.
  • No, You: Joel's reaction when Nigel claims that humanity deserved to be eaten by bears:
    Nigel: We all agreed society is sick. I hate to say it but they kind of have this coming.
    Joel: Seriously, Nigel? You're sick.
  • Oh, Crap!: Joel and the others do this a lot after the bears start attacking.
  • One-Hit Kill: Gogs tries to play this straight. He aspires to kill a bear with one punch, and spends much of Volume One practising on a severed bear's head. When he tries it on a live bear, Reality Ensues and subjects him to a vicious asskicking.
  • Police Are Useless: When the bears invade the city, the police are quickly overwhelmed. Justified because bears are walking tanks and there are literally thousands of them.
  • Pride: Gogs' fatal flaw, and it earns him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that nearly costs him his life.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Nigel, who couldn't care less about Joel's missing brother and never wanted to go back to the city he hated in the first place, reaches his after Burton dies and he's forced to abandon his coveted van. Once he starts ranting at his former friends, Dickinson shuts him up with a punch to the face and ejects him from the group.
  • Reality Ensues: Since before the start of the Bear Apocalyse Gogs has been obsessed with the thought of being able to kill a bear with one punch to the skull and eventually manages to pull this off on a severed bear's head. When he tries it on a live bear, he learns the hard way that there's a huge difference between a dead bear's head and a whole live bear that's more than capable of fighting back. It manages to clamp its jaws on Gogs' hand and would have bitten it clean off if Dickinson hadn't intervened.
  • Religion Is Wrong: Andrea hates religion. She renounced her faith to become an environmental activist, believing the Mormons' moral issues to be trivial and oppressive. This did not sit well with her strictly religious parents.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After Joel's uptight dad kicks him out the house for not paying rent and their jerkass boss punishes their tardiness by making them clean out the rear parking lot (which was completely trashed by bears the night before), Joel and Gogs decide they're done with society and quit their jobs to join Nigel on his 'camping trip'. When bears attack the city they decide to go back to find their loved ones.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation
  • Skewed Priorities: Nigel cares about his van more than he cares about the fact that people are dying.
  • Soft Water: Invoked when Joel's group gets trapped on a bridge with a horde of bears approaching and Dickinson advises that they jump into the river. Joel is understandably concerned about the possibility of surviving the fall, as people have committed suicide on that bridge, but fortunately everyone who jumps into the water escapes without injury.
  • Swallow the Key: Nigel performed this to make a point to Jack. This backfired horribly when the bears showed up.
  • The Stoner: Burton.
  • Start to Corpse: Fairly high number, and it's a bit of a shock to see that it's going to be that kind of story.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Andrea and Keller are outraged when Dickinson appears to invoke this trope when he tells them to make dinner while he, Joel and Gogs go out to secure the area around Joel's house. Dickinson then explains that the girls are more than welcome to come along if they want; he only told them to cook because someone has to do it, and securing the area would include urinating to mark boundaries. Not wanting to lower their pants and piss on the ground with the boys around (and because Joel and Gogs have no idea how to make a meal out of raw food), Andrea and Keller agree to stay and cook.
    Andrea: Fine, we'll make dinner, but it's not because we're women. It's because you guys are helpless.
  • Suplex Finisher: "Any game where you can suplex an elk is automatically the best game on Earth".
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Nigel was apparently a decent guy before the start of the story, being good friends with Joel and Gogs and having a girlfriend. Since quitting his job at Wow-Mart and discovering Into the Wilderness, Nigel has become a delusional, misanthropic, self-centered asshat.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Nigel would qualify as the poster boy for this trope. He makes so many bad decisions that Dickinson decides to kick him out of the group just so they would have a chance of survival.
    • Gogs tries to live his dream of killing a bear with one punch when a bear ambushes him while he's alone. It almost gets him killed.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Nigel, who wants to arrest Dickinson Killdeer for killing the bears that were trying to kill him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After saving Gogs's life when his attempt to kill a bear with one punch left him with serious injuries, including a mangled ear and a severely bitten hand, Dickinson chews him out for putting his ego before his common sense. He points out that they will have to take care of him for weeks when they need him to help with survival.
    Dickinson: [After killing the bear] Was it worth it?
    Gogs: You let Joel kill one... I had been practising. I was way more ready than him... I wanted to help... defend...
    Dickinson: Joel is not like you. All you care about defending is your pride. But at what cost? How can you help defend anybody now?
    Gogs: I'm sorry.
    Dickinson: I said I would train you. We need you. But now we'll be taking care of you for weeks!
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: When bears first attack Joel and his friends, they're chained to trees and Nigel has swallowed the key. Gogs forcibly sticks his fingers down Nigel's throat to induce vomiting in a desperate attempt to retrieve the key. Since the key has been in there all night, it doesn't work.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Nigel protests the killing of the bears, calling it murder. His argument falls flat because the bears are trying to wipe out humanity and Dickinson is trying to help the others survive.
  • Who Would Win: In-universe; Joel and his co-workers discover that you can't conclusively decide who would win in a fight between a gorilla and a bear.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Gogs' hair is dyed light green. Keller's black hair is tinted purple.
  • Zerg Rush: The bears number in the thousands, and attack in waves according to Dickinson.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: There aren't any zombies in this comic, yet the bear invasion is treated as such.

     Volume Two 

  • A Friend in Need: Joel, Ken, Gogs, Dickinson, Besser, Kess and several other volunteers set out to help Andrea rescue her family in spite of the danger.
  • An Arm and a Leg: The Octobears like to decapitate, dismember and bisect anyone unlucky enough to get caught in their tentacles.
  • Anyone Can Die: Besser and Ken both perish in this volume.
  • Apocalypse How: Both Ken and a marine give the bad news that the Bearmageddon may be occurring world wide.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Averted. Before setting out to rescue Andrea's family, Besser refuses to let anyone leave without a gun and a basic understanding on gun safety.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Ken and the staff of Wowmart.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After Besser is impaled by a Bearnocerous and the remaining survivors are trapped in a toppled semi with a horde of bears closing in, the Marines arrive in big fucking tank!
  • The Big Guy: A Bearnocerous, a hybrid of bear and rhino even bigger than the Mole Bear, rips open the semi the survivors are hiding in.
  • Body Horror: While treating an injured and unconscious Dickinson, an army medic removes his coonskin hat to reveal a line of black stitches crossing his forehead, indicating he'd had brain surgery at one point.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Besser worked in the sports department at Wowmart and is already handy with a variety of guns. This comes in VERY handy during the bear invasion.
  • Combat Tentacles: The Octobears use their tentacles to gruesome effect, ripping their victims limb from limb.
  • Cool Car: It's revealed that the cousin who sold Nigel the van had lied about it being eco-friendly. It actually holds a custom-built engine that would land Nigel in Federal Prison if he sent it in for a SMOG test.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Aside from his gradually worsening migraines, Dicksinon is shown to have excellent marksmanship despite living in an environment without guns for as long as he can remember, and grisly stitches on his forehead implying he'd once had brain surgery. Adding the fact that he can't remember when he'd started living in the woods, it's becoming obvious that Dickinson has a very interesting past.
  • Death from Above: The Flying Squirrel bears glide down from above when attacking, and the Octobears attack from overhead sewer pipes as well as from the water.
  • Demoted to Extra: After being banished from the group in the second act of Volume One, Nigel has resolved to getting back his Adventure Van. So far in the second volume he has only appeared in two pages, the second of which shows him returning to the bridge where he'd been forced to abandon the van. On the other hand, the appalling circumstances of his breakup with Dorian are revealed.
  • Dirty Communists: When the bears invaded Wowmart, Besser initially refused to give a gun to a 'commie' in the store at the time, but was forced to change his mind when he realised he couldn't hold them off by himself.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Even after getting impaled by a giant horn almost as wide as his torso, Besser keeps firing on the Bearnocerous until they'd both blasted by an army tank.
    • Dicksinson attempts to go down fighting when things look bleak; he's badly injured but alive when Joel finds him.
  • Easily Forgiven: Ken has no hard feelings over Joel and Gogs abandoning their jobs without so much as a letter of resignation, stating that it happens all the time.
  • Face Death with Dignity: After everyone but Dickinson and Kess escape through a small hole, Kess knows that his larger size won't get through and simply tells Dickinson to get out just before getting devoured.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Zigzagged. Gogs and Andrea mourn Keller after her Heroic Sacrifice at the end of Volume One, but no mention is made of Burton, who was killed on the bridge the day before.
  • Grocery Store Episode: The volume begins with Joel's group returning to Wowmart after escaping the Morely House in search of supplies, and discovering that Ken and Besser have converted the superstore into a post-apocalyptic fortress.
  • Hero of Another Story: It's shown in a flashback how, Ken, Besser, and the other employees of Wowmart fared against the bears on the day their city was invaded.
  • Hybrid Monster: More mutants show up in this volume, including Elk Bears, a Bearnocerous, and a pack of live Octobears.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Besser is skewered defending his friends from a Bearnocerous.
  • The Juggernaught: The Bearnocerous, the biggest mutant seen so far, takes several shotgun blasts to the face without so much as flinching. It takes a shell from an army tank to kill it.
  • Kill 'Em All: The bears are as dedicated to wiping out humanity as they were in the first volume.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The discovery of stitches on Dickinson's forehead implies someone performed surgery on his brain and caused his amnesia.
  • Never My Fault: As usual, it doesn't seem to occur to Nigel that most of his troubles was his own fault.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The mission at the Mormon Church would have ended in complete disaster were it not for the timely arrival of the United States Marine Corps.
  • Only One Name: Most of the characters such as Ken, Besser, and Kess are only addressed by one name.
  • Police Are Useless: While discussing the possibility of simply laying low in Walmart until help arrives, Joel brings up the fact that the police force was almost completely wiped out, and there has been been no sign of the military since the bears attacked. Averted when the marines arrive in the nick of time to save the survivors trapped in the overturned truck.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Ken quickly goes from Bad Boss to this after becoming leader of the Wowmart sanctuary.
  • Tentacled Terror: Several days after a dead Octobear was pulled from a drain in the prologue of Volume One, Joel's group are ambushed by a pack of lives ones while travelling through an old sewer.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Kess, who dies in the process of giving the others the time to escaped through a small hole while knowing he wouldn't be able to fit through himself.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Besser's death by impalement.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Ken, along with a few levels in badass. By his own admission, he once saw Wowmart as his own little empire with himself as Emperor. When the bears invaded the store and started killing his employees, Ken came to realise that they were the only real family he had. By the time Joel and Gogs return to Wowmart, Ken has become the Benevolent Boss of a small community of survivors.


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