Monday, November 05, 2007

Well, desperate times call for desperate measures, and like a paranoid Cold War tactic we throw yet another back issue special into the field to gather intelligence. Having just discussed CapcomUSA and the implied villification of the Soviet character Zangief, it seemed as good a time as any to take a quick look at some of the Russians who've graced the Infinite Wars!

It was just recently I mentioned elsewhere a secret desire to see renewed tensions between the US and Russia lead to a reneissance for the forgotten villains borne out of anti-Communist eras. What kinds of villains am I talking about? Well, sure, Winter Soldier has retroactively been connected to the Soviets, but he's milque toast next to these quys! Take a look:

Iron Man #316 (May 1995)
"Triangle" Kaminski/Morgan

The Soviet Union has long since fallen, but hey, somebody forgot to tell Boris Bullski that! Better known to the world as the Soviet super-patriot, Titanium Man, Bullski has waged war on his American arch-nemesis Iron Man, and his benefactor Stark Enterprises, who have recently launched a new location within Russian borders.

Moving with the times, Valentin Shatalov steps into the field to join Iron Man and Black Widow in their struggle, hoping to calm the furies of his dedicated comrade.

Ramont 4 partners clash in this epic war of armors!
When the dust settles only one suit will be left standing, and you won't believe the outcome, tovarisch!

Fantastic Four #3 (March 1998)
"Happy New Year, Reed Richards... Now DIE!" Lobdell/Davis

It was a race to beat the Soviets into space that exposed Reed Richards and his crew of Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm to the cosmic rays that turned them into the Fantastic Four: and Russia has never gotten over it!

The FF may have won the space race, but not to be outdone, fate would see the Russians spawn their own quartet of fantastically powered mutates! The Super Apes return to Earth with powers comparable to the FF's own, and intelligence sufficient enough to carry out the evil schemes of their master: The Red Ghost!

It's Soviet smackdown as Reed Richards fights alone!

Street Fighter Alpha (1999)
"The Tournament Begins" Yamauchi/Yoshida

The Russian Czar of wrestling enters the tournament to face off against a Brazilian orphan claiming to be Ryu's long lost younger brother!

The secrets of Shun's past are many, and as Zangief soon discovers, they include an inate connection to the mysterious power of the dark hadou! The Red Cyclone is up against unlikely odds as he faces not only Shun, but also Ryu, who finds himself sucked in by the lure of the dark hadou.

Uncharacteristcally brutal, Zangief gives it all to take down his pint-sized opponent. PLUS -- more on Zangief's history and characterization as a Soviet character.

Ultimates 2 #10 (March 2006)
"The Axis of Evil" Millar/Hitch

Ask and ye shall receive, as Mark Millar brings our dreams to life in the hard-edged smash hit that is; The Ultimates!

America isn't the only nation with rampant developments in the field of superpowers, and rogue European elements are about to demonstrate just how much they have!

Some of the greatest Marvel villains from the communist era are reborn, united with brand new creations as a solid invasion force: a twisted mirror image of the Ultimates themselves! It's the Crimson Dynamo, Abomination, Black Widow and more as you've never seen them -- but as you would expect of Millar and Hitch's critically acclaimed, politically charged Ultimates!

Detective Comics #817 (May 2006)
"Face the Face: Part 1 of 8" Robinson/Kirk/Clarke

Once upon a time Anatoli Knyazev was a proud assassin of the Soviet Union, but like the USSR herself, he eventually faded from relevance in a Gotham populated by garrish super-personalities, and dense organized crime.

The KGBeast meets an impromptu end as he finds himself going from hunter, to the hunted! A mysterious new element is stalking the streets of Gotham, and all signs point toward Harvey Dent; formerly Two-Face!

KGBeast is the first of many to fall, much like the empire that he so proudly bares the name of. KGBeast no more!

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