Even the Russian’s real name is unknown, although he was one of the most wanted men in the world. Born in Russia, he first appeared during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan: later he served in many war zones such as Lebanon, Iraq, East Timor, Chechnya, Rwanda, the Balkans and Northern Ireland, always fighting under different flags and enjoying his life as a mercenary because it provided him with an excuse to participate in the bloodshed. He also worked for various criminal organizations, including the Mafia, the Yakuza and for a time the Las Vegas police , and his exploits were so serious that the CIA put him on the “wanted dead” list. The Russian was an indestructible killing machine who wreaked havoc everywhere, and those who hired him usually did so as a last resort, as he was completely unmanageable. In his spare time he followed American superheroes and founded fan clubs of his favorites such as Daredevil and especially Thor, whom he considered a good communist. The Russian was once attacked in his hut in Kazakhstan by a paramilitary army working for the Yakuza, who had been sent there to settle his debts, but he slaughtered all the aggressors with ease; immediately afterwards he received a call from Ma Gnucci, the head of the Gnucci family, who hired him for a delicate mission. Arriving in New York, the Russian was asked to kill the Punisher, a vigilante who was causing the family a lot of trouble. The task did not seem too difficult: the Russian went to the Punisher’s apartment and defeated him completely, even allowing himself to be beaten, stabbed and even shot to give the target the illusion of a fair….threw the vigilante out the door of Mr. Boompo’s apartment: the Punisher grabbed one of the hot pizzas and used it to burn the mercenary’s face, then laid him on the ground and strangled him with the help of his fat neighbor. Boompo sat on the Russian’s face for thirty minutes, and then the Punisher decapitated the killer just to be sure.
Such talent could not go unused, however, and when General Craigkopf sought a better assassin for his new paramilitary organization, he returned the Russian’s head and used stolen S.H.I.E.L.D. technology to animate it and attach it to a cybernetic body. Unfortunately, when the artificial body was dosed with hormones to make the organic and inorganic elements compatible, an unintended side effect gave the enormous Russian female breasts something the killer really liked: not only did he decide to keep them, but he started wearing women’s clothes. The Russian accepted Craigkopf’s offer to join his organization on one condition: He would be allowed to prosecute the Punisher first. He had permission to do so, so he tracked the vigilante through the streets of New York City, knocked him unconscious without too much trouble, and led him to the top of the Empire State Building for a dramatic confrontation. Here the Russians informed the Punisher that even the U.S. government wanted him dead, and that a higher authority had given him permission to do so: so he began throwing the enemy out of the building, but he was saved by Spider-Man, who was nearby. It was no problem for the new Russian who attacked Spider-Man either: his cybernetic body proved capable, as he now overpowered even the Wall-Man with his brute strength. The Russian stunned Spider-Man, and Karatel used his partner’s insane body as a human shield for a while, until he managed to activate one of his web-shooters: he then filled the Russian’s mouth with straps, causing him to vomit and stumble backwards, almost to the point of falling….General Krygkopf forbade him to go after the Punisher any longer and sent him on a mission to finally begin his real work. In the end, it was a no-brainer: the Russian was sure that sooner or later the Punisher would come back for him.
The Russian is a strange hitman. He’s a psychopath who likes to create carnage for himself, and sometimes doesn’t even pay for his work because he likes it. Even before he became a cyborg, he was incredibly strong and resilient, so strong that he accidentally killed people with a “friendly embrace,” that a knife could not pierce his muscles, and he even deflected a bullet in the head as if nothing had happened; His skeleton is made of an alloy of steel, adamantium, and hard plastic, and he is practically immune to any kind of damage. His body heals itself from any damage, and his senses are so sharp that he can detect his targets by smell. Impossible to stop, almost impossible to kill, relentless, the Russian considers bloodshed a game in which he is particularly adept: once he amuses himself, usually in a bloodbath, a monologue or both, nothing stops him.
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