Barbaric of Freak Force (Savage Dragon Comics)



Barbaric is one of the characters who appeared early during the launch of Erik Larsen’s part of Image Comics, in 1993. Mostly meaning the Savage Dragon universe.

I paid attention for a while, in part since there was online handbook-like information about the characters. These notes date back to that era. However, it then became evident that the material wasn’t my thing. And so these notes remain, forever alone in the gloomy night of rain-slick abandonment. Oh, the humanity.


  • Real Name: Barney Runningbear.
  • Marital Status: Married.
  • Known Relatives: Rikki “Ricochet” Shaefer (wife), daughter (name unrevealed), John Runningbear (father, deceased), Martha Runningbear (mother, deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: Special Operatives Strikeforce, former member of Freak Force and the Chicago Police Department.
  • Base Of Operations: Chicago.
  • Height: 8’ 1” Weight: 875 lbs.
  • Eyes: Orange Hair: Blond


Powers and Abilities

Barbaric has vast superhuman strength. He is noticeably stronger than Savage Dragon.

His legs are strong enough to leap 230 feet straight up, or 415 feet in a long jump.


Nuclear waste was illegally dumped near the Indian reservation where Barney Runningbear grew up. It polluted the water and his family died. Due to a dormant genetic anomaly, the eight-year-old Barney mutated.

He was briefly taken in by a family in Everett, Washington (Dusty, Tracy and Betty Root). But their home was destroyed by rioting neighbours over Barney’s altered appearance.


Barney ran away, and had to become a petty thief. He met a young mutant girl named Rikki Shaefer and they became friends. They were both arrested and eventually relocated to Arizona to the Mutate Manpower Management Service. Supposedly a super-villain detainment and rehabilitation unit that was, in fact, a freak work camp headed up by Dr. Verlag.

Barney was code named Barbaric and Rikki Ricochet. When The MMMS tested mind control devices to keep prisoners in line, Barbaric, Ricochet and Jerry (Inhabiter) Steele made a break for it. Jerry was seemingly shot dead, and Barbaric and Ricochet escaped on their own.

The two hid among the Chicago underground, living with other homeless freaks. Police officer Dragon befriended them, and eventually convinced Barney and the CPD that Barbaric should join the special program nicknamed “Freak Force”. Other members included Dart, Rapture, and Horridus. Ricochet was, at the time, too young to join the police department.

From there Barbaric became a member of Special Operations Strikeforce, a government-based squadron of superhuman adventurers. He and Ricochet married, and had a daughter.


Barbaric has unusually large eyes. He also has pointed ears, fangs and his body is covered with a short layer of bright red fur. He has longer blond fur on his forearms.


No data available.

DC Universe History

The parallel with the Chicago Underworld depicted in Hawkman should be obvious, and the Freak Force program would be logical.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 06 Str: 12 Bod: 09 Motivation: Unwanted/Responsibility
Int: 03 Wil: 05 Min: 04 Occupation: Cop
Inf: 03 Aur: 04 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 05
Init: 012 HP: 040

Density increase: 02, Growth: 02, Jumping: 07, Invulnerability: 06, Skin armour: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:
Density Increase and Growth are Always On and Already factored in.

Detective: 03, Vehicles (land): 04, Weaponry (firearms): 04

Free Access.

Freak Force (High), Chicago P.D. (High).

Public ID, Strange Appearance.

Barbaric has access to the full resources of the Chicago PD. At the very least, he’ll carry a sidearm [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo 15, R#3]. He also carries a lot of junk food in his belt and shoulder pockets.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Helper(s): The site , Revenant.

Source of Character: Image Comics.