Unicorn (comics)

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Unicorn is the codename of multiple supervillains in the Marvel Comics universe. The first Unicorn (Milos Masaryk) debuted in Tales of Suspense vol. 1 #56 (August 1964) and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Milos Masaryk[edit]

Unicorn
IronMan-154.jpg
The Unicorn as featured on the cover of Iron Man (vol. 1) #154 (January 1981). Art by Bob Layton].
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Tales of Suspense #56
(August 1964)
Created by Stan Lee
Don Heck
In-story information
Alter ego Milos Masaryk
Team affiliations Maggia
KGB
Partnerships Count Nefaria
Red Ghost
Titanium Man
Mandarin
Notable aliases Uncanny Unicorn
Abilities Energy projection, force field generation and magnetic levitation via emitter on brow of suit
Superhuman strength and endurance via radiation treatments
Flight via rocket belt
Formidable hand-to-hand combatant and marksman
High resistance to physical injury

Milos Masaryk was a Soviet intelligence agent assigned to track down the original Crimson Dynamo, who defects to America after being tricked by Iron Man. Wearing technology designed by the Dynamo, Masaryk gives himself the alias the "Unicorn" and battles Iron Man after Iron Man catches him spying on Stark Industries. Although Iron Man crashes the Unicorn's plane, the villain manages to escape.[1]

The Unicorn was among the villains affected by Doctor Doom's high-frequency emotion charger. As a result, the Unicorn went to the Baxter Building to attack the Fantastic Four at the wedding of Reed Richards and Susan Storm. He once fought Iron Man and was defeated with one punch. He teamed with Beetle, Electro, Mandarin, and the Melter against Cyclops and Iceman, but the resultant combination of their power blasts knocked them all out, and they were sent back to the immediate past by Reed Richards with no memory of attack.[2]

The Unicorn later allies himself with Count Nefaria for financial reasons, and participates in Nefaria's attack on Washington, D.C., during which he trapped it in a forcefield he could prevent the flow of air through, being sent to capture Cyclops, which he does with help from the Eel defeating Iceman, but he is stopped by the X-Men.[3] He then undergoes experimental conditioning to augment his powers. With increased strength, he battles Iron Man once more after attempting to extort money from the U.S. Congress, but he is again defeated.[4] The process leaves the Unicorn with "accelerated cellular deterioration", and he is taunted with a cure by the Red Ghost in exchange for help against Iron Man. However, once it becomes evident that the Red Ghost has lied, the Unicorn aids Iron Man and later escapes.[5] He gives up on the Red Ghost after he failed to find a cure.[6]

The master villain, the Mandarin, makes a similar promise to the Unicorn and deploys him against Iron Man. On two more separate occasions, Unicorn's battle with Iron Man ends in Unicorn's defeat. In the first instance, the Mandarin's consciousness becomes entrapped in the Unicorn's body,[7] but the Mandarin's mind is later freed from the Unicorn's body.[8] Using the alias "The Other", the Titanium Man uses the Unicorn against Iron Man who is finally able to capture Masaryk. In a dramatic turn, the very moment of his capture sees Masaryk slip into a life-threatening coma.[9] Iron Man takes Masaryk to the Avengers Mansion where teammate Yellowjacket wakes Masaryk and cures him of his debilitating disease. The process has the result of driving Masaryk insane, and a disorientated Unicorn inadvertently activates the hidden robot Arsenal. The Unicorn is stunned by the robot — which Iron Man drives off — and then placed in stasis pending a cure for his mental illness.[10]

Months later, Masaryk is freed when a fire breaks out at Stark Enterprises.[11] He resumes the identity of the Unicorn and finds and attacks Iron Man once again. Still insane, the Unicorn refuses to believe that "The Other" was a lie, and decides to walk back to the Soviet Union via the ocean to find him. A severely weakened Iron Man is powerless to stop him and can only watch as the Unicorn apparently drowns in the Atlantic Ocean.[12]

The Unicorn is later revived by the entity the Beyonder to fight with a new version of the Lethal Legion. The Unicorn is given a true third eye on a stalk with energy projection capabilities in lieu of a suit.[13]

During the Infinity storyline, Unicorn is among the villains recruited by Spymaster to help him attack the almost-defenseless Stark Tower.[14]

Yegor Balinov[edit]

A second unnamed (at the time of his debut) Unicorn with a developed tentacled eye within his power-horn appears as a member of Remont 4 and goes on a rampage in St. Petersburg until captured by the third Titanium Man. His third eye is then amputated and he is incarcerated.[15]

During the Civil War event, the second Unicorn is approached by Baron Zemo and forced to either join Zemo's team of Thunderbolts or go to jail. He chooses to join and fights on the team's behalf.[16]

He is next seen in Hulk: Winter Guard along with Iron Maiden, Titanium Man, Volga and Snow Leopards as Remont 6.[17]

This versions' real name is revealed to be Yegor Balinov in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Hardcover vol. 13.[18]

Aaidan Blomfield[edit]

A third Unicorn, whose real name is Aaidan Blomfield, wore the same Unicorn costume as his predecessors, only with an actual horn on the helmet is recruited into the supervillain group Stockpile by Morgan Stark to destroy Iron Man, but they are defeated by the combined efforts of Iron Man and War Machine. Blomfield claimed to be an old foe of Iron Man’s, but it is unknown if he really is, or was just riding on the reputation of the original Unicorn. His accent suggests he is either Australian or British.[19]

Unicorn IV[edit]

Roderick Kingsley later sold one of the Unicorn's outfits to an unnamed criminal. Unicorn is seen working for Roderick Kingsley's side at the time when Hobgoblin (who was actually Roderick Kingsley's butler Claude) was leading his forces into attacking the Goblin King's Goblin Underground.[20]

Following Spider-Man's victory over the Goblin King, Unicorn was among the former Hobgoblin minions at the Bar with No Name where they encounter Electro.[21]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Originally, the Unicorn had no superhuman powers; his helmet was the source of his abilities. However, the Unicorn has undergone mutagenic radiation treatments which gave him superhuman strength and endurance. The Unicorn's soft tissues are dozens of times harder than those of an ordinary human, making him highly resistant to physical injury. The process which endowed the Unicorn with superhuman powers caused accelerated cellular deterioration, which eventually severely affected his sanity and physical health.

He wears headgear equipped with an energy projector that tunes to various frequency and power levels. This allows him to project concussive energy blasts (electron or neutron beams), lasers, and microwave energy. It also allows him to project a force field and to levitate objects magnetically. He also wears a rocket belt equipped with twin, high-efficiency electric micro turbines that allow him to fly; the belt also contains the power supply for his helmet which consists of an array of nuclear-powered thermo-electric cells. The Unicorn also wears body armor of unknown composition. His equipment was designed by Professor Anton Vanko.

The Unicorn is a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, having received training in armed and unarmed combat by the KGB. He is highly proficient in the use of firearms. He is highly fluent in both English and Russian, and has received KGB training in intelligence techniques.

Other versions[edit]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

The Ultimate Marvel version of the Unicorn briefly appears as a participant in the abandoned Russian supersoldier program. This version is one of many convicts found by the Ultimates in the Tunguska base who were altered using biotechnology torn from the Vision, and driven mad by years of isolation. He appears to have the power to project electricity from his horn, to levitate, and enhanced durability. He is killed by Nick Fury.[22]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Unicorn appears in the Iron Man: Armored Adventures episode "Secrets and Lies" voiced by Michael Daingerfield. He and Killer Shrike are enforcers for the Maggia. They kidnap Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, and Gene Khan, in order to send a message to Khan's stepfather, Shin Zhang, and the rival Tong gang by boss Count Nefaria. However, Tony escapes their capture, and defeats the Maggia agents, Killer Shrike, and Unicorn as Iron Man. At the end, Unicorn and Killer Shrike are held captive and tortured by Khan as the Mandarin. The Mandarin later returned Unicorn and Killer Shrike to the Maggia in the episode "Pepper, Interrupted". They again appeared in the episode "Don't Worry, Be Happy" in an attempt to rob the Tongs with Quantum Bombs they had acquired from Mr. Fix. In the episode "Hostile Takeover," Unicorn and Killer Shrike are present as Mr. Fix 2.0 tries to "dissect Iron Man." Killer Shrike and Unicorn then get into a fight which recharges Iron Man until Justin Hammer breaks up the fight. With a super-speed enhancement to his armor, Unicorn fights Iron Man until he manages to predict where Unicorn is going to pop up and defeats him. In the episode "The Hammer Falls," Killer Shrike and Unicorn are attacked by Justin Hammer in his Titanium Man armor where Justin suspects them of blackmailing. Unicorn is badly injured by Titanium Man. Iron Man later radios the ambulance to come pick up Unicorn while a pleading Killer Shrike is taken to jail by Iron Man.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tales of Suspense vol. 1 #56, August 1964
  2. ^ Fantastic Four Annual #3, 1965; Marvel: Heroes and Legends, 1996
  3. ^ X-Men vol. 1 #22–23 (July – August 1966
  4. ^ Iron Man vol. 1 #4
  5. ^ Iron Man vol. 1 #15–16, July – August
  6. ^ Defenders #8, 1973
  7. ^ Iron Man vol. 1 #57–58
  8. ^ Iron Man vol. 1 #68–69
  9. ^ Iron Man vol. 1 #113, August 1978
  10. ^ Iron Man vol. 1 #114, September 1978
  11. ^ Iron Man vol. 1 #145–146, April – May 1981
  12. ^ Iron Man vol. 1 #154, January 1982
  13. ^ Marvel Age Annual #1, 1985
  14. ^ Infinity: Heist #1
  15. ^ Soviet Super-Soldiers Special Edition #1 (1992)
  16. ^ Thunderbolts #104, 2006; #107, 2007
  17. ^ Hulk: Winter Guard, 2010
  18. ^ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #13
  19. ^ Iron Man vol. 1 #330–331, July – August 1996
  20. ^ Superior Spider-Man #26
  21. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #1
  22. ^ Ultimate Nightmare #1–5, August 2004 – December 2004

External links[edit]