Omega Red. Art by Dave DeVries.
|First appearance||X-Men #4 (vol. 2, January 1992)|
|Created by||Jim Lee
|Alter ego||Arkady Rossovich|
|Team affiliations||The Hand
|Notable aliases||Arkady Gregorivich, Vasyliev Arkady|
Omega Red is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in X-Men #4 (vol. 2, January 1992), and was created by Jim Lee and John Byrne. In 2009, Omega Red was ranked as IGN's 95th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.
|This section requires expansion. (January 2015)|
Fictional character biography
Little is known about the past of Arkady Rossovich except that he was a serial killer born in Russia. He was captured by the Interpol agent Sean Cassidy and turned over to the KGB, which wanted to experiment and attempt to create a super soldier similar to Captain America. Omega Red is the end result.
In another version of Omega Red's past, Arkady was a Soviet soldier stationed in a small Siberian town. He was a murderer; his crimes easily discoverable due to the town's small size and limited number of potential victims. He was caught by his fellow soldiers and summarily executed via a gunshot to the back of the head. His superiors are astonished when Arkady survives the execution, and recommend him for the aforementioned Soviet super soldier project, a brutal process; it is suggested that Arkady survives solely due to his evil and mean nature. He becomes an operative for Soviet intelligence and the KGB.
The Soviet government implanted a retractable carbonadium tentacle within each of Omega Red's arms. Carbonadium was the Soviets' attempt to recreate the artificial alloy known as adamantium, as Carbonadium is a more malleable form of adamantium. He uses them as weapons and as grappling appendages. He is able to a wrap a victim in his coils to literally drain them of their "life" energy. This vampiric tendency is essential to Omega Red's survival; the carbonadium implants, while great offensive weapons, slowly poisoned him and he was required to regularly drain the life energy of a person, or perhaps take small amounts from larger numbers of individuals, in order to temporarily sustain his immune system. In order to stabilize his condition, Omega Red requires the "Carbonadium Synthesizer," a device that was stolen by Wolverine, Maverick, and Sabretooth during their final mission together as "Team X" and attempted rescue of double agent Janice Hollenbeck in the 1960s. It is because of his need for the Carbonadium Synthesizer that Omega Red has continuously sought out these three individuals over the years, believing they may know of its whereabouts. While Sabretooth and Maverick might have been aware of its location, it was eventually revealed that Wolverine actually does know where it is.
At some time in the past the Soviet government decided that Omega Red was too unpredictable and treacherous to be relied upon, and so needed to be put in cryogenic suspended animation until a method could be found to control him. After the fall of Communism in Russia he was revived from suspended animation by Matsu'o Tsurayaba, who led his own renegade faction of the clan of ninja known as The Hand. Omega Red became a warrior serving Matsu'o Tsurayaba and was led to believe that Wolverine knew the whereabouts of the Carbonadium Synthesizer which could save his life, and sought him out in an effort to find this device. In doing so, he came into conflict with the X-Men many times. In their first encounter in modern times, Omega Red captured Wolverine. He fought and defeated Wolverine, and brought him to Tsurayaba, Fenris, and Cornelius in Berlin. He battled the X-Men, and was wounded by Psylocke and defeated by the X-Men and Maverick but escaped. Later, Omega Red battled and fell under the mental control of the Soul Skinner in Siberia. The Soul Skinner then used him to battle Wolverine and the X-Men. Omega Red was able to subdue the team and capture Wolverine and Jubilee and was then sent to capture Colossus, who had retreated. Omega Red eluded capture by Wolverine after the Soul Skinner's death. He later fought against Chamber of Generation X, but suffered a humiliating defeat. Ultimately, Omega Red failed to eliminate Wolverine and proved to be no more loyal to the Hand than he was to the Soviet government.[volume & issue needed]
While working for the drug lord known as the General, Omega Red was recruited by Sabretooth to attack Wolverine's friends and family alongside Lady Deathstrike. Sabretooth had promised both Omega Red and Deathstrike information on almost every mutant on Earth, but betrayed his new henchmen by teleporting away with Wolverine, his ward Amiko, and the information.[volume & issue needed]
Omega Red is currently a crime lord (head of the Red Mafia) who poses as a legitimate business man, much like Wilson Fisk does in the U.S.[volume & issue needed] At present, Omega Red has resumed his search for the Carbonadium Synthesizer.[volume & issue needed] In Wolverine: Origins #6 and #7, Omega Red locates former Team X member, and now one of the numerous depowered mutants, Agent Zero a.k.a. Maverick, who is the only person that knows the location of the Carbonadium Synthesizer. This brings him into direct confrontation with Wolverine, who has also sought out Maverick in hopes of locating the Carbonadium Synthesizer. The result of this encounter is that Wolverine outsmarts Omega Red, landing him in the custody of S.H.I.E.L.D.[volume & issue needed]
Months later it becomes known that the Red Room bought Omega Red's freedom with the hopes of using him to their own ends. Wolverine, Colossus, and Nightcrawler encounter him after he has freed himself from his master, however, and they engage in combat. Omega Red is largely impervious to Wolverine's claws; the Red Room had been experimenting on his body in an effort to enhance his healing factor. After Nightcrawler intervenes and knocks Omega Red unconscious, he is returned to S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.
Thanks to the enigmatic Romulus, Omega Red is transferred to a regular Russian prison to set a trap for Wolverine. Aided by Wild Child, their plan consisted of dropping Logan into molten steel. However, as Wild Child was preparing to finish the job, Omega Red interrupted him. While Wild Child and Omega Red battle each other, Logan managed to flee. A distracted Wild Child is consequently thrown into the molten steel by Omega Red after having his chest punctured.[volume & issue needed]
Omega Red was killed after being stabbed in the heart with the Muramasa blade by Wolverine.
A secret organization created three "clones" of Omega Red: Omega Black, Omega White and a new Omega Red. They were programmed to hate X-Force. The three of them fought Wolverine and were defeated. The Omega Clan was approached by Daken to join his incarnation of the Brotherhood of Mutants which also consisted of Sabretooth, Mystique, Shadow King, Skinless Man, and the Blob from Earth-295.
Powers and abilities
Omega Red is a mutant with superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility, and reflexes, and the ability to secrete pheromones from his body typically referred to as Death Spores. The death spores result in the weakness or death of humans in his immediate vicinity. The severity of the effect is based on the endurance, health, and relative proximity of the victims. The spores are fatal to ordinary humans within seconds, though some superhumanly powered beings can withstand exposure to them for extended periods of time.
Implanted within Omega Red's arms are long retractable tendril-like coils made of carbonadium, an artificial alloy that is the former Soviet Union's attempt at creating true adamantium. Carbonadium is more malleable than adamantium and, while being vastly stronger than steel, is considerably less durable than adamantium. Carbonadium, however, is for all practical purposes virtually indestructible. Omega Red can cause the coils to shoot forward from openings in the undersides of his wrists in order to ensnare his victims. Omega Red is able to use the tentacles as highly effective offensive weapons, often brandishing them like whips during combat. The natural durability of the tentacles, combined with his physical strength, are sufficient to cause damage to most conventional materials.
Omega Red also has superhuman levels of stamina sufficient to engage Wolverine in combat continuously for over eighteen hours with no signs of fatigue. His bodily tissues are harder and more resistant to certain types of injury than those of an ordinary human. While he is not invulnerable, his body can withstand great impact and blunt trauma forces that would result in severe injury or death in an ordinary human. However, his resistance to injury is considerably enhanced due to the red carbonadium armor that he wears, which has been sufficient to allow him to withstand powerful energy blasts from the likes of Chamber,[volume & issue needed] and Wolverine's claws,[volume & issue needed] without sustaining injury.
Omega Red has the ability, and need, to drain the life force of victims with his pheromones in order to sustain his own. Omega Red can likewise ensnare his victims within his tentacles, and use the coils as a conduit for his lethal pheromones. Due to the mutant "death factor" and the presence of the carbonadium within his body, Omega Red must drain the life force of others on a regular basis in order to sustain his own physical health and remain active. Omega Red can use these absorbed energies to, temporarily, increase his body's healing capabilities to the point where he can fully heal from a punctured lung within a few minutes. Only a device known as the Carbonadium Synthesizer can stabilize his condition, as carbonadium is the only metal that can neutralize the "death factor," thereby stabilizing it within his body.
Omega Red is an excellent hand-to-hand combatant and military tactician. He was trained in various forms of armed and unarmed combat by both the Soviet government and various organizations throughout the Japanese and Russian criminal underworlds. Highly intelligent, he has quickly become highly skilled in the management of criminal organizations.
Age of Apocalypse
In the "Age of Apocalypse" timeline, there is a different version of Omega Red known only as Rossovich. Instead of a homicidal maniac, Rossovich appeared more sane and business-like. He had ties to the mutant underground and the black market.
Days of Future Now
In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Omega Red is an enemy of Spider-Man. He is depicted as a mutant with a hatred of humans. At some point, he had been hired to attack a cargo ship belonging to Roxxon Industries as a conspiracy against its leader Donald Roxxon. After his fight with Spider-Man, he was arrested by S.H.I.E.L.D. However, he managed to escape when the Green Goblin escaped. His defeat by Spider-Man became public knowledge because of articles written by J. Jonah Jameson detailing his humiliation. Subsequently, his former clients blacklisted him. He blamed Jameson for the loss of his livelihood. When Jameson began writing articles critical of Roxxon, Omega Red went to the Daily Bugle office disguised as a janitor and ambushed Jameson in his office with the intent to do Roxxon a high-profile favor and restore his mercenary career. Unfortunately, Peter Parker happened to be in the Bugle office that day. Changing into his Spider-Man costume and bursting through Jameson's office window, he quickly subdued Omega Red, ultimately knocking him unconscious with a vending machine. His tentacles extend from the tops of his wrists instead of the bottom and appear to be organic, not artificial. He has demonstrated superhuman strength. He is later imprisoned in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Triskelion, and freed in a breakout by Electro hired by Norman Osborn along with Kraven, and Gwen Stacy, aka Carnage.
In other media
- Omega Red appears in the episodes "Red Dawn" and "A Deal with the Devil" of X-Men, voiced by Len Doncheff. In the original X-Men TV series produced by Saban, Omega Red claimed that the armor, like his tentacles, was made of carbonadium. In the episode "Red Dawn", Omega Red is depicted as a Soviet patriot fighting to restore the collapsed Soviet Union while in the episode "A Deal with the Devil", he is seen intending to use nuclear warheads found within a sunken Soviet submarine to destroy major world capitals as part of a plot to take over the world by first plunging it into chaos.
- Omega Red appears in the episode "Target X" of X-Men: Evolution, voiced by Richard Newman. He is depicted as working alongside HYDRA as part of a deal to get revenge on Wolverine for something the Weapon X program did. Wolverine has no memory of who Omega Red is or what they did to him, but he swears vengeance upon them all, including Sabertooth, Wraith and Maverick. He was paired up with a HYDRA operative named Gauntlet to capture Wolverine and also ran afoul of X-23. With help from some HYDRA agents, Gauntlet and Omega Red managed to capture Wolverine and X-23 and brought them to the HYDRA Base where Madame Hydra is. While in the HYDRA base, Wolverine ends up fighting Omega Red and manages to defeat him. After the aircraft that Madame Hydra and Gauntlet were in crashes, Omega Red is then arrested by the arriving S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
- Omega Red appears in Marvel Anime: Wolverine, voiced by Ryuzaburo Otomo in the Japanese version and by J. B. Blanc in the English dub.
- Omega Red has appeared in the Hulk Vs segment "Hulk Vs Wolverine" voiced by Colin Murdock. He works with Weapon X (opposite of the comics) to capture Hulk so they can use him as their ultimate weapon. Like all members of Weapon X, he hates Wolverine, although he always gets annoyed by Deadpool. He is defeated by Wolverine and Hulk.
- Omega Red is a playable character in the Capcom fighting games X-Men: Children of the Atom, voiced by George Buza. He would later return in Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, and Marvel vs. Capcom 2, where he is voiced by Len Doncheff.
- Omega Red appears as a boss in X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse voiced by Steven Blum. He is encountered in the Beyonder's Sanctum within the Savage Land. He is shown working for Mikhail Rasputin. Omega Red stated that Apocalypse had promised him his own domain in Apocalypse's "new world order" and also stated that Beast was used to translate the symbols on the temple walls.
- Omega Red appears in X2: Wolverine's Revenge. He is shown as a prisoner of the Void until he is freed by Sabretooth. In the final scene, Wolverine lies on his bed realizing that he never found or defeated Omega Red. In the Game Boy Advance version, Omega Red is a boss.
- Omega Red has also been made into an action figure. In 2007, Omega Red appeared as a rare figure in the Mutations & Monsters expansion set of the table top miniature game, HeroClix.
- Omega Red is also part of a Marvel "Bonka-Zonks" Toy collection.
- Omega Red is number 95 IGN. Retrieved 10-05-09.
- Generation X #11
- Maverick: In the Shadow of Death #1, 1997
- as revealed in X-Men Vol. 2 #6
- Wolverine: Origins #31
- Wolverine #61
- X-Men Vol. 2 #4
- X-Men Vol. 2 #5
- X-Men Vol. 2 #6
- X-Men Vol. 2 #7
- X-Men Vol. 2 #18-19
- Generation X #11
- Uncanny X-Men 497–499
- Wolverine Origins #39
- Wolverine vol. 4 #3
- Uncanny X-Force #25
- Uncanny X-Force #26
- Uncanny X-Force #27
- X-Man #2 (1995)
- Ultimate Spider-Man #86
- Ultimate Spider-Man #87
- Ultimate Spider-Man #113
- Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #7
- Len Doncheff Biography
- Mel Valentin (January 28, 2009). "Movie Review - Hulk Vs.". efilmcritic.com. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
- Monkey Boy, "Omega Red: Marvel Legends," OAFE.
- Omega Red at Marvel.com
- Marvel Directory's entry on Omega Red
- Omega Red - Tendrils of Terror at UncannyXmen.net