You may have heard some things recently in the news that has Russia on your mind. No matter what side of the aisle you find yourself on, it certainly has a lot of people thinking about one important question: Is Russia dangerous? Well, according to the world of comic books, the people from Russia certainly are. For decades, comic book characters from Russia have been proving their power as heroes, spies and villains to the world, sometimes while attempting to destroy the world, and sometimes attempting to save it.
Even if they exist in an alternate continuity of the main universe, it seems that any time a new Russian character is introduced in the comics, they’re sure to stick in our memories for a very long time. Whether they’ve gained their reputation of danger thanks to god-like powers, cybernetic enhancements, incomparable hand-to-hand combat skills or simply their strategic genius, these Russian comic book characters are sure to be remembered for decades to come. Regardless of what’s going on in the real world right now, we’ll always have a spot in our hearts for these dangerous Ruskies, so let’s take a look at the 15 most dangerous Russians in comics!
15. BLACK WIDOW
It may not be immediately obvious watching Scarlett Johanssen’s portrayal, but Natasha Romanova was born in Stalingrad and raised in a Russian secret assassins organization known as the Black Widow program. Her flawless American accent is explained in the movie as being due to her spy training to imitate the American dialect.
Black Widow may not have any superpowers, but that doesn’t mean she’s not deadly. Her skills as an assassin are enough to put her on near equal footing with a super soldier, a giant monster, a genius in a billion-dollar mechanized war suit and the Norse god of thunder. In addition to being proficient in several forms of deadly martial arts, she’s also a weapons expert and a master tactician. Government treatments have also slowed her aging and increased her durability in combat.
14. LOVE SAUSAGE
Vasilii Vorishikin, or the Love Sausage, is a Russian ex-cop, ex-superhero communist in The Boys by writer Garth Ennis and artist Darick Robertson. He was once part of a superhero team known at the “Glorious Five Year Plan,” before they disbanded and mostly retired. Before his death, he was actually one of the few superheroes on good terms with The Boys, even helping them defeat the rogue “supe,” Stormfront, when they couldn’t beat him alone.
His superhero name is especially appropriate as he appears to be extremely well-endowed and describes large breasted women to be his Kryptonite. His actual powers include invulnerability, superhuman stamina and super strength, so he’s basically a well-endowed fat Russian Superman who likes to drink brake fluid and pass it off as Vodka.
13. THE RUSSIAN
The Russian was first introduced as in Welcome Back, Frank, a limited series of The Punisher written by Garth Ennis and illustrated by Steve Dillon. He was hired by Ma Gnucci to take the Punisher out for $10 million, and he almost succeeded. Anyone who can go toe to toe with Frank Castle and almost succeed in killing him qualifies as deadly. The Punisher did end up succeeding in beating the Russian, but it wasn’t long before he was resurrected as a cyborg to come after Frank again.
Even before the cybernetic enhancements he had incredible strength and was nearly invulnerable, easily shrugging off being stabbed in the stomach, bludgeoned with a chair and being repeatedly shot in the head. That’s bad news for a vigilante who depends primarily on shooting his enemies in the head. Even before the cybernetic enhancements he had incredible strength and was nearly invulnerable, easily shrugging off being stabbed in the stomach, bludgeoned with a chair and being repeatedly shot in the head. That’s bad news for a vigilante who depends primarily on shooting his enemies in the head.
In the original continuity, Mikhail Denisovitch Arkadin became the Russan firestorm when his metagene was activated in the Chernobyl power plant catastrophe. When he resurfaced, he had gained the ability to create an all-consuming fire, but unfortunately, the same disaster caused most of his body to be destroyed, so he was forced to wear a containment suit to keep from destroying anything he touched. The Russian government recruited him to be one of their premier heroes and even ordered him to do battle with the original Firestorm.
He can absorb massive amounts of radiation, energy from his surroundings or weapons directed at him, and redirect it in the form of fire or nuclear blasts. Over the years, he’s survived multiple nuclear weapons and radioactive meltdowns, only becoming more powerful from them.
Pyotr Nikolayevich Rasputin, or simply Colossus, is the physically strongest member of the X-Men, and possibly indestructible in his mutant form. His powers first manifested when he was a young man, and he had to save his sister from the path of a runaway tractor. His skin transformed into an organic steel-like metal shell and the tractor crashed into him, leaving he and his sister unscathed and unmoved.
In his metal form, his physical strength is comparable to that of an un-angered Hulk, and he is nearly invulnerable. His organic metal skin has weathered temperatures as low as -390 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 9,000 degrees. He also survived an explosion of over 4,500 pounds of TNT. The only thing that did manage to kill him (temporarily, of course) was an injection he administered to himself to cure the deadly Legacy Virus, sacrificing himself for the good of humanity.
10. ISABEL ROCHEV
When Isabel Rochev was a young girl, living in Siberia, she met the head of Queen Industries and father of future Green Arrow, Robert Queen. She became obsessed with him, and was so inspired by his success that many years later, after his death, she became the new CEO of Queen Industries, having bought the majority of shares through many smaller organizations that she owned.
Her single-minded goal became to raise Queen Industries back to the level of greatness that it once knew and to have the disgraced son, Oliver Queen, killed by any means necessary. While not a super-powered individual, her wealth and influence in the world make her an incredibly powerful and dangerous foe for anyone that crosses her, which is especially true for Oliver Queen.
9. URSA MAJOR
As anyone in Russia can tell you, there’s not much in the world that’s more dangerous than an angry brown bear. Add to that super strength capable of lifting over 15 tons, and the intelligence of a human being, and you get a creature that you’d have to be crazy to go toe to toe with.
Mikhail Uriokovitch Ursus discovered his mutant ability to transform into an eight-foot tall brown bear at a young age and was recruited by a secret Russian task force known as the Soviet Super Soldiers that went up against both the Avengers and the X-Men. While not completely invulnerable, he does appear to have higher durability than that of a normal brown bear, frequently surviving blows of superhuman strength that would kill a normal person (or indeed wild beast).
8. THE BARONESS
The Baroness is the intelligence officer and lieutenant commander of Cobra, the deadly enemies of G.I. Joe. Anastasia Cisarovna began her career as a terrorist early on, dabbling with radicals and extremist groups as far back as her late teens before eventually graduating to international terrorism with Cobra.
She was trained as a spy by a Russian intelligence agency where she became a world-class expert in cryptography, psychological warfare and biochemical weapons. She’s also been shown to be highly-trained with M-16s, AK-47s, RPGs and numerous other weapons used by Cobra to wreak havoc and terror on the world. She’s one of G.I. Joe’s longest-running and deadliest villains, originally appearing in the debut issue of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero by writer Larry Hama and artist Herb Trimpe.
7. OMEGA RED
To this day, very little is known about the Russian mutant, Arkady Gregorivich, known as Omega Red, but he started off his career as a serial killer. He was eventually captured by the KGB who put him into a secret program to transform him into a super-soldier. When the transformation was interrupted by a team led by Wolverine, Omega Red swore revenge on him.
The KGB program granted him superhuman strength and implanted his arms with long Carbonadium coils that he can extend and retract at will, but even before the program, he had the ability to secrete bodily pheromones that were deadly to anyone in his immediate vicinity. To regain his strength after using this ability, he can absorb the life force of anyone he touches, quickly weakening or even killing them.
Ishmael Gregor was a simple Russian immigrant turned New York City mob boss, but even at the height of criminal power, he lusted for more. He tracked down Timothy Karnes, the original Sabbac, and initiated a demonic ritual which ultimately resulted in taking the Sabbac power for himself.
Gregor transforms into a demonic fire-breathing monster and gains superhuman strength as well as the ability to fly at incredible speeds and raise demons from Hell to do his bidding. By saying the name “Sabbac,” he can transform into the demon, which causes him to grow several stories tall, or back into his human form. He has been responsible for hundreds of murders and even planned to kidnap children to sacrifice their souls to a demon in order to reign in a new age of blood.
Emily Blonsky was KGB spy who was bombarded with a blast of gamma radiation far greater than that which transformed Bruce Banner into the Hulk. He transformed into Abomination and nearly killed Hulk with his far superior strength in their first encounter. Banner only finally managed to defeat him when he lured Abomination into a trap and drained him of his excess Gamma energy, weakening him enough for the Hulk to beat him.
This was only temporary though, as he later came back even stronger than before, thanks to the Galaxy Master who was controlling him. After the Hulk defeated Galaxy Master and Abomination this time, he was again revived by Mephisto who uses him as a weapon against The Beyonder. He’s consistently recognized as the only being stronger than the Hulk, and no matter how many times he’s defeated, he just won’t stay dead.
Anatoli Knyazev was trained as an assassin by “The Hammer,” a top secret cell of the KGB in Russia. Not only is he a master hand-to-hand combatant trained in several forms of martial arts and an expert with every deadly weapon known to man, but “The Hammer” has also granted him cybernetic enhancements which endowed him with superhuman strength.
In his first appearance in Batman #417 by writer Jim Starlin and artists Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo, he was already rumored to have killed over 200 people and in his first hand to hand fight against Batman, he easily gained the upper hand on him, and only fled because he believed Batman had backup. When they faced off again, Batman caught KGBeast’s wrist with the Batrope, and to escape, he grabbed a nearby axe and lopped it off at the wrist, which he quickly had replaced with a cybernetic gun.
3. CRIMSON DYNAMO
MCU fans will probably know Crimson Dynamo better by his real name, Anton Vanko. Just like in Iron Man 2, he was one of Russia’s top inventors, and one of his inventions was an armor that could control electromagnetism, except instead of it just being a set of electric whips, he encased himself in red iron and called himself the Crimson Dynamo.
After being defeated by Iron Man and defecting to the United States, his armor was stolen by Russian spies and he was subsequently killed. Since then, at least 13 more versions of the Crimson Dynamo have risen, each wielding an exponentially more upgraded suit than the one before them, and almost always a dangerous Russian KGB agent. The battle suit gives the wearer superhuman strength and durability and is equipped with hand-blasters that fire electric bolts, small missiles, and in some versions, a chest-mounted fusion-caster weapon.
2. RED SKULL (ALEKSANDER LUKIN)
This one might technically be cheating since it was the original Red Skull’s consciousness inside Aleksander Lukin’s body that made him so dangerous, but he was still technically Russian at the time, so we’re going to say it counts, and who’s more dangerous than the Red Skull? However, Lukin himself was a high-ranking member of the Soviet KGB and enemy to Captain America, and when the Soviet Union fell, he inherited the Winter Soldier project.
In an attempt to seize the Red Skull’s cosmic cube, Lukin reactivated the Winter Soldier to assassinate the Skull, but when Skull was shot, he managed to use the cosmic cube’s powers to transfer his mind into Lukin’s body. Red Skull eventually gained complete control over Lukin’s body and used it to wage a war on Captain America with the aid of Crossbones and Sin.
1. SUPERMAN: RED SON
Superman: Red Son written by Mark Millar and penciled by Dave Johnson and Kilian Plunkett asks a simple question: How would the world be different if Superman had landed in Soviet Russia instead of the United States? The answer is, simply put, that the most powerful being in existence is in the hands of the Russians.
With the Russian Superman as a perceived threat, the United States sends “Superman 2” to battle Superman, which causes an accidental nuclear missile launch against Great Britain. This results in Lex Luthor dedicating his life to destroying Superman, then recruiting Batman in a plot to kill Superman. However, when the plan goes awry, Batman takes his own life. Lex Luthor is eventually elected President and becomes a hero, curing all known diseases and ushering in an era of world peace as Superman’s Soviet Union falls into chaos.
Who is your favorite (and most dangerous) comic book Russian? Let us know in the comrades… er, comments!
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