Chunk Kapowski was a bruiser with a heart of gold. His toughness was only outmatched by his kindness, making him the perfect candidate for a radical experiment in outer space. Armadillo Aerospace wanted to see how the toughest people they could find dealt with a ship that had far less radiation shielding than required. Chunk was an easy choice, but of course was never told the true plan for his mission. The vessel was also filled with Tardigrades, whose ability to survive in even the most extreme environments made them the perfect companions for the ill-fated crew. Once in orbit, the affects of the radiation began to take hold, slowly crippling all in the crew save Chunk. In frustration, Chunk lashed out, smashing one of the tardigrade containers, covering himself in the irradiated microscopic animals. The water bears coated his skin, fusing with his very cells, and while Chunk writhed in pain his newly formed carapace hardened his hand enough to punch right through the hull of ship. Killing all inside except himself. After re-entering earth’s atmosphere unassisted, Chunk has lost much of his compassion and humanity, but he had gained an impressive power set and new name: Water Bear!
One important aspect of a villain is their ability to survive after apparent death. And no one is better at that than Water Bear. High altitude, deep depths, no oxygen, radiation, fire, ice are all as comfy as a soft bed to Chunk. If things get too tough he just shutdowns for a bit until conditions are more to his liking. It makes him unpredictable as an ally in a fight, but you know he’ll be there for round 2.