Hey! Here's a little something for under the tree, courtesy of Amazing Spider-Man #139!:
Yup! It was the first appearance of the Grizzly!
Of course, the problem with having a character modeled after a bear is... well, just look at him. He's just so durn cuddly, you know? Of course, that's the problem with real bears as well - they look so cuddly you just want to pet them, then you pull back a bloody stump.
So the Grizzly didn't become one of the Spidey villians you can expect to see in the movies (or anywhere else) any time soon. A big part of the problem is that he "took a hit that would have befallen the Rhino" and was unfazed. Why? Because he was wearing an exoskeleton device that augmented his strength.
I'm no mechanical engineer, but a series of braces hidden by the fuzzy-wuzziness of his costume wouldn't have made the person wearing the outfit more capable of taking a punch. You could argue that (as with the Rhino), the bear suit itself afforded some protection, but Spidey tore that right off him when he was bored playing around, so the protection shouldn't have been much. We're all comic nerds here, and we know strong doesn't equal invulnerable. Just ask Ultra Boy. (For non-comic nerds, that was a brilliant observation on my part. You'll just have to trust me on that one)
But the real reason we don't see much of the Grizzly? Because he looks like you could just plop him down at an 8 year-old girl's tea party. Alas.
Now, if you want to model a character after a scary animal, you should go with a howler monkey. Because howler monkeys creep me out.
See you tomorrow!