Joshua Strongbear Sweet was born in 1872. Since the first film takes place in 1914, he would have turned 42 years old that year.
Born in an Army Clinic in Fort Phil-Kearny to army medic father and Arapaho Native American Mother Jerika Sweet, Joshua Sweet was raised in turns at Pine Ridge Reservation in the Dakota Territory, and various Army outposts throughout Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. While living on Reservation Territory, Dr. Sweet was tutored by his uncle, an Arapaho Elder and Medicine Man, Iron Cloud. During this time, Dr. Sweet developed a talent and appreciation for unconventional forms of medicine.
During his time spent trying to earn his medical degree, Sweet was drafted during his second year of medical school to join in the Spanish-American War. When living and traveling with the 24th Infantry, he would assist the medical corps where his father was assigned as a medic, including providing aid to Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders in The Battle of San Juan Hill in 1898. Dr. Sweet is well-traveled and well versed in a wide variety of medical practices. His background in botanic research and pharmaceuticals is particularly useful when on the extended campaign. Dr. Sweet was first recruited by then-Lt. Rourke after the battle of Santiago. He is currently on retainer.
Joshua Sweet is a professional doctor. He is half-African, half-Native-American. He is tall and muscular. When he talks, his voice is loud and boisterous, showing good self-confidence. He has a habit of getting his priorities mixed up, such as when he was introducing himself to Milo and was trying to perform an examination on him at the same time. Although he was amiable and nice being the first person in the whole expedition to show Milo kindness, Sweet, like the rest of surviving expedition crew members who were in on Rourke's scheme, had a greedy side since he went along with Rourke's schemes, helped ransack Atlantis, and knew Rourke was attempting to steal the Crystal of Atlantis. But when it came down to it, his values as a doctor and friend proved to be his first priority as he was the first member of the crew to turn against Commander Rourke when he fatally injures King Kashekim Nedakh.
He also openly expresses his dislike for fish; he opens up to Milo about he hates the smell, taste, and the bones.
Doctor of Internal Medicine, Ph.D. Howard University, 1895; Botanist, Ph.D. University of Maryland, 1896; Doctor of Herbology, London, 1897; first colored professor to lecture at Harvard Medical School, 1897.
Joined Military in 1898, toured with 1st United States Volunteer Infantry (Rough Riders) until 1901, acting as battlefield surgeon and Colonel Roosevelt's personal physician for a period of 3 months during the Kettle and San Juan Hill Campaigns. Was instrumental in the treatment of soldiers from both sides of the conflict in disease-ridden Cuban jungles after hostilities had ceased. Received no formal commendation except for a personal letter from Colonel Roosevelt.
Has extensive knowledge of Arapaho and Cheyenne healing techniques; mentored by his maternal uncle, Iron Cloud. Traveled to India and studied Ayurvedic Medicine at Amrita Institute, 1905. Traveled to Ivory Coast and studied Tropical Medicine at Prins Leopold Academy, 1908. Traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and studied Large Animal Veterinary Medicine at Baxter University, 1913.
Joshua Sweet joins the Atlantean Expedition commandeered by Lyle Tiberius Rourke and funded by Preston B. Whitmore in 1914. He bumps into Milo Thatch for the first time in the cabin section of the Ulysses when the young linguist is asked to leave by Moliere for disturbing his 'dirt' collection. In defense of Milo, he threatens the geologist with soap, as Moliere hides back in the bed. Sweet and Milo then introduce themselves to each other before Mrs. Packard orders Milo to head to the bridge via the speakers. Later, Sweet, along with remaining crew members as well as the key team members of the expedition, manages to escape the Leviathan's deadly attack on the sub as they reached the underground highway system.
As the Atlantean expedition team makes camp in front of an ancient bridge, Sweet is the first team member to actually open up to Milo, who is searching for the missing page of the Shepard's Journal. He is the first to reveal his life story to Milo by relieving him of his backache, with the others (except Moliere) the following suit before lights out. After Milo accidentally wakes up the pyrefly hive, Sweet, along with the team is forced to escape to the cavern but not before falling to the dormant volcano below due to the bridge collapsing in the process.
Once the team arrives at the lost city of Atlantis after successfully searching for Milo in the process, Sweet is amused when Kida punches Moliere for giving her 'dirty' thoughts after Milo successfully negotiates with Kida's hunting party. Later, Sweet takes a liking to the Atlantean cuisine as the crew members explore the culture in the lost city.
During Milo and Kida's secret swim, Sweet is given the objective of finding the Heart of Atlantis as the true motive of the expedition by Commander Rourke like the rest of the expedition team. However, Sweet does not carry any firearms when Rourke and his team surprise Milo with the truth and hold Kida hostage for the Heart.
The situation is worsened when Commander Rourke fatally punches King Kashekim during the palace raid afterward. Sweet, having stood by his beliefs and values, disagrees with this act but only to be given a choice by the crooked captain to save his own skin, in which the doctor is further insulted. Sweet is ultimately the first to abandon Rourke by staying behind in the palace, using all he can to save the king's life. However, the king shows no signs of recovery as Rourke's violent blow caused permanent internal bleeding.
Knowing this, Sweet calls Milo, who with the expedition team members (excluding Helga and the soldiers) were denied exit by Rourke for leaving him, to inform the linguist of the king's critical condition. Sweet consoles the saddened linguist with the horrible truth: Rourke sought the Heart for three years since Iceland. Along with Milo, he is the only team member who learns the truth of Atlantis' destruction as a result of the king's attempt to weaponize the Heart for war. After the king gives his final breath, Sweet gives Milo a prep talk, giving him Thaddeus Thatch's knowledge of exiting Atlantis. This further encourages Milo to rally the Atlantean armada, comprising of his teammates and the Atlantean warriors with the long-forgotten knowledge of the Heart to pursue Rourke.
During a lengthy battle in the dormant volcanic shaft, Sweet, along with Audrey, is tasked by Milo (who is confused between ferum (iron) and femur (bone)) to 'cut Kida loose' from Rourke's blimp. They struggle in doing so by using Sweet's saw, much to Audrey's discomfort. Unfortunately, Rourke alerts Helga to their presence, allowing her to bomb their Aktirak. Sweet and Audrey are forced to retreat from Kida's containment by escaping on Moliere's Ketak, forcing Milo to deal with Rourke alone. After the Atlantean armada decimated Rourke and his troops (including Helga), Sweet, along with the remaining armada escaped back to Atlantis with Kida's containment chained to Vinny's Ketak when the dormant volcano is activated. Upon returning, he alerts Milo by simplifying Moliere's fear of the inevitable eruption as the linguist struggles to free Kida from the container.
After Kida with the Heart saves Atlantis from the active volcano, Sweet and the crew members return back to the surface with Milo staying behind with Kida to rebuild Atlantis. When Whitmore and the remaining crew made up a cover story to keep Atlantis a secret, Sweet mentions Rourke's death as a 'nervous breakdown' but nearly reveals the truth by adding that the crooked captain broke into pieces, which nearly allows Cookie to complicate it further. He later remarks Moliere's behavior in disgust. Soon afterward, he resumes his career as a doctor.
Several years after the Atlantean Expedition, Sweet, along with Team Atlantis this time with Whitmore, return to Atlantis to inform King Milo and Queen Kida of the strange occurrences in the surface world which may relate with Atlantis and the Heart. However, he is not present with the team in Krakenstaff during the Krakken incident.
In one of the medical posts in Arizona, Sweet treats the injured Mr. McKeane who was attacked by sand coyotes for possession of the forbidden pottery from the hidden Indian village. He alerts the team who returned to Whitmore's mansion by informing Mrs. Packard for investigation of the incident. Sweet, along with Team Atlantis, is tricked by Ashtin Carnaby into stealing the forbidden pottery from the village after they find it despite given warnings by the leader of the pack, Chakashi. Following this, he and the team were knocked unconscious by the greedy conman who rigged the cave with dynamites. Despite the cavern being blown up by the dynamites, Sweet and the team managed to escape from the buried cavern and he stopped Carnaby from giving the final blow to Milo during the conflict. After the sand coyotes turned Carnaby into one of their kind, Chakashi with the pack sends Sweet with the team away from the village when they refuse the keep the village's connection to the Atlantean Crystal Guardian a secret. Sweet is not present during the team's expedition in the Nordic Mountains to claim the Spear of Atlantis from Whitmore's insane former competitor Erik Hellstrom.
When Team Atlantis succeeds in doing so, Sweet is present once again with the team during the Spear's union with the Heart to raise Atlantis to the surface.