Chen Wu

Let’s jump to episode 3 of Iron Fist and meet one of the secondary villains of this season: Chen Wu, portrayed by Funan Chien. An expert martial artist and a criminal, he’s portrayed as a high-ranking officer in the Golden Tigers, skilled enough to corner Colleen Wing in a one-on-one fight… only to be stabbed in the eye by Sherry Yang, whom he had totally underestimated. He survives, but he changes loyalties as the series progresses. In the comics, his role is pretty much the same, and for the same gang, but he’s even less important than this. Let’s see together.

Chen Wu lived in New York City, an American of Chinese origins, mostly hanging around Chinatown. He grew up with his little sister, Cynthia, and since he was a boy he didn’t exactly had the best companions in the world. He had always nurtured hard feelings towards the “Anglos“, claiming the Chinese exclusive ownership of his block, and he had participated even to violent actions against the “invaders” of his neighborhood. He trained himself in martial arts just to bring strength to his ideas, and made a name for himself on the streets. With these premises, it was almost inevitable that he got fascinated by the mysterious Chaka Khan, the masked leader of the Golden Tiger Gang, a new, powerful and organized group moved by the same racial pride that was moving Chen Wu, and with the same intents. Chen Wu, with his skills, rapidly climbed the ranks in the Gang, and became one of Chaka’s best warriors, being entrusted with the leadership of a small group. For the Golden Tiger Gang, he had to do exactly what he had always been doing: attack the Anglos and drive them out of their turf, with fear and violence alike. In a small time, the Golden Tigers had already conquered Canal Street.

Things were going smoothly for the Golden Tiger Gang, and for Chen Wu in particular, until he had the bad idea of attacking the wrong Anglo. Accompanied by four other members, Chen started “patrolling” the Canal Street subway, robbing the Anglos to finance the group. When a policeman tried to intervene, Chen Wu made short work of him using a shuriken, but then the agent received unexpected backup in the form of Iron Fist. The hero confronted all five Tigers, who were considered among the best warriors of the gang, and effortlessly defeated them; Chen Wu nearly had his arm broken during the fight. Luckily enough, one of Chen’s subordinates managed to push Iron Fist on the trails as a train was arriving, buying to the group time enough to disappear in the crowd… but one of the people they had tried to rob was a famous comicbook artist, John Byrne, who was able to draw a portrait of them all for the authorities (and for Iron Fist). This incident prompted Chaka Khan to move faster with his original plan, and he sent Chen Wu and his other two best warriors, Kwai Chang and Teng, to the Meachum Building, to kidnap Joy Meachum. Things became terribly complicated, as not only Iron Fist intervened once again, but Joy’s bodyguard was a man just as formidable as the hero, Steel Serpent. The two, together, made short work of the Golden Tigers… until Chaka Khan in person arrived, besting Iron Fist, while Steel Serpent took Joy Meachum away. Apparently, this was the perfect occasion to remove the last obstacle to the Golden Tiger Gang’s dominion over the neighborhood…

Chen Wu is a small time criminal with ambitions of social warrior, fighting for cash and glory and telling himself the story of reclaiming the turf for his people. He’s a skilled martial artist, specialized in the use of a short scimitar, but he’s no match for true masters. Despite his motivations are at least questionable, his loyalty to Chaka Khan is not (especially considering that he doesn’t move a muscle even when the boss slaps his little sister Cynthia for speaking in favor of females among the Golden Tigers), and it’s this blind and unshakable loyalty that makes him a dangerous man.

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Bron Char

Another actor who certainly doesn’t go unnoticed in the Captain Marvel official pics is the Norwegian Rune Temte, appearing as the huge Kree with a white beard. Temte will portray Bron-Char, a nearly unknown Kree villain from the comics, who’ll appear in the movie as a member of Starforce. We don’t know anything else about him, but it’s likely there’ll be little in common between the film version of the character and the comics one, starting from the team he’s part of. Let’s see together.

Bron Char was born on an unspecified planet of the Kree Empire, and was raised as a loyal soldier and a proud warrior, reflecting the belligerent ideology of his people. He joined the military, and proved himself a soldier loyal to the Supreme Intelligence, ruler of the Kree. Extremely strong to begin with, Bron Char was also enhanced with cybernetic implants, becoming a walking tank to be used in the newest war, that put the Kree against the Shi’ar Empire. Bron Char was sure of the victory as any Kree soldier, but things didn’t go as planned, and the explosion of a Nega-Bomb destroyed the capital planet Hala, while the Black Knight, an Avenger from Earth, apparently slaughtered the Supreme Intelligence. Bron was now a soldier without an army and a warrior without an empire, and he ended up being one of the many Kree combatants who joined Admiral Galen-Kor‘s group, the Lunatic Legion. Kor had obtained a record sphere containing information on the end of the Kree/Shi’ar war, and had learnt the role the Avengers had played in it. Because of that, the Lunatic Legion had but one goal: to obtain revenge against the humans who had caused the end of the glorious Kree Empire. At first, the Lunatic Legion tried to assassinate Black Knight with the help of the Starjammers Hepzibah and Raza, then to destroy the Avengers’ planet, Earth, just as they had done with Hala, using a Nega-Bomb obtained from the Collector. Finally, they tried to use the Mephitisoids‘ pheromones to conquer the planet. All three times, they failed because of the Avengers. At last, Galen-Kor came up with another plan, much more subtle and, in its way, ironic.

The Lunatic Legion had established a base on the Blue Area of the Moon, and from there they sneaked into Attilan and stole Terrigen Mist from the Inhumans. The plan was to experiment on the humans to turn them into genetic replicas of the Kree using the Mist, and for that aim they abducted hundreds of people, bringing them to their new base, an abandoned missile silo in Cape Canaveral. Bron Char was the one entrusted with the security of the place, quite a good choice considering his incredible battle power. The one who found the place was Warbird, who at the time had much to be forgiven for, and she only called Captain America to back her up since she wanted to impress him. Bron Char and his security detail had no problems in dealing with Warbird and captured her, preparing to experiment on her as well, but when Captain America arrived things became more difficult… and funnier. Bron Char personally took care of the Avenger, and challenged him in a duel where he put his overwhelming strength at good use, even shattering Cap’s legendary shield (the original, triangular one: it was a copy donated to Captain America by the Smithsonian Museum). Captain America was practically defeated… until he found new strength in seeing just how many people had been abducted by the Kree and subjected to their horrific experiments. Captain America’s rage proved to be too much even for Bron Char to withstand, and he was defeated. One prize trophy, however, had been obtained, as Warbird was still a prisoner of Bron’s subordinates, and they had brought her back to the base: the heroine was the key to understand how the Kree and the human genomes could be mixed…

Bron Char is a proud and loyal Kree warrior, a soldier who never questions his superiors’ motivations nor their orders, and who’s ready to commit any war crime and atrocity for the glory of his Empire. As a Kree, he’s stronger and more durable than any human, but he’s also been enhanced to increase his strength even further; he’s also an expert fighter, formidable in hand-to-hand combat. A powerhouse with no doubts nor hesitations, Bron Char is the perfect embodiment of a militarized and warmongering society, a warrior who craves for battle and will joyfully confront any worthy opponent.

Samuel Chung (Blindspot)

As far as I’m concerned, the biggest surprise in Iron Fist came when we knew who Colleen Wing was working for at the Bayard Community Center, a character who most certainly nobody was expecting to see in the series, or at least not in this version. In The City’s Not for Burning, we meet Sam Chung, portrayed by James Chen, as he’s preparing the center for the casino-themed charity event sponsored by Sherry Yang. Albeit important for developments in the season, Sam Chung is nowhere as relevant as in the comics, where he eventually suits up to be his own vigilante… and where he has very close connections to another hero from the Netflix group. Let’s see together.

Samuel Chung was born somewhere in China, son of a woman named Lu Wei. Lu Wei was a farmer, living in the countryside, but she always wanted a better life for her son. They moved to the city, and Sam started attending to a gymnast school, becoming a formidable athlete. Even here, though, Lu Wei wasn’t satisfied with their life, so she contacted a people-smuggler to travel to the United States illegally. Sam and his mother arrived in America, where Lu Wei had another child (father unknown), Hannah, who, being born on American soil, was the first American citizen of the family. The three of them settled in New York City, and in order to pay rent and to maintain his younger sister, Sam started working fourteen hours a day as a janitor in Columbia University. Here, his intellect blossomed, as he secretly listened to some of the lessons. He turned out to be a natural in scientific disciplines, enough to impress some of the professors, who took an interest in the boy and allowed him not only to attend to their classes despite he wasn’t a student, but also to use the labs during nighttime. It was during his night researches that he “borrowed” some equipment and invented a working invisibility suit. The first thought that came to Sam’s mind was, obviously, to sell the patent of the invention, but then he realized that, being an illegal immigrant, things could be terribly complicated. The alternative came just as naturally: Sam lived in Chinatown, a place that wasn’t exactly a safe neighborhood for his growing sister Hannah. With his athletic skills and his suit, he could help bringing some order to the streets as a vigilante. He modified the suit, added a mask, and became Blindspot, the invisible protector of Chinatown. Then, somebody “saw” him.

While patrolling his neighborhood, Blindspot stumbled upon another vigilante, Daredevil. The veteran hero, thanks to his radar sense, was perfectly able to “see” him, and confronted him. This was the beginning of an unforeseen but more than welcome friendship, as Daredevil became Blindspot’s mentor, training him in both combat and strategy, helping him to survive his own will to do something good. Together they became quite a formidable crime-fighting duo, and they started to investigate on a new group, called the Church of the Sheltering Hands, that was apparently involved in a number of shady activities. Things became both easier and harder for Sam the moment he realized that his own mother was part of the Church, lured in by her new spiritual guidance, the criminal Tenfingers. Exploiting the situation, Sam convinced Lu Wei to vouch for him, and he became a member of the Church, thus being able to investigate it from the inside. What he found out wasn’t exactly pleasant: Tenfingers was actually an agent of The Hand, an ancient and deadly cult of assassins. In the effort of dragging his mother away before he and Daredevil took the Church down, Sam revealed to Lu Wei that he was Blindspot, and that he had been spying on her new friends and discovered that they were criminals and murderers. Things didn’t turn out as expected, as Lu Wei sided with Tenfingers, and unleashed on the two vigilantes the undead warrior Fist. Eventually, however, the woman had a change of heart, and to save her son she turned on her teammates and slaughtered them. From that moment, though, she told Sam that she would have been dead to him. The absence of his mother was a heavy burden for Sam’s family, and when he broke his arm during a messed-up reunion between Daredevil and Elektra, he found himself in the position of being unable to work too. Wanting to help him, Daredevil offered him an assistant work for lawyer Matt Murdock, a job that paid better than the previous one, and that Sam kept even after healing. Things were finally going the right way, apparently… at least until the deranged Muse gauged Blindspot’s eyes out.

Sam Chung is a good-willed and altruistic young man, working hard to help his family and to protect his adoptive neighborhood. As Blindspot, he’s a formidable acrobat and a great hand-to-hand fighter, trained by both Daredevil and The Hand; his suit allows him to become invisible to the naked eye, although he only activates the camouflage for short periods of time, as it consumes an awful amount of batteries; he’s now forced to include in his costume special lenses, as the mystic eyes The Hand granted him makes everything look dark to him. A genius born, with an uncommon intelligence and a naturally good heart, Blindspot is a formidable protector and a great warrior, a young man striving to be a true hero, but with still a lot to learn about the “right path” he’s committed to take…

Att-Lass (Captain Atlas)

The photos from Captain Marvel give us a good look at all the members of Starforce, and we can recognize Dominican actor Algenis Perez Soto. In the film, he’s portraying Att-Lass, another well-known Kree from the comics. As far as we know, he’ll be an ally to Carol, at least for part of the movie, but it’s not unlikely that things will get complicated between Captain Marvel and the rest of the Kree by the end of the story. In the comics, he’s definitely more on the villain side, even if, seen from his perspective, he’s a hero and a patriot, and human superheroes are the bad guys. Let’s take a look.

Att-Lass was born on Kree-Lar, the capital planet of the glorious Kree Empire. Raised as a patriot, as soon as he came of age he enlisted in the Kree Military Academy, distinguishing himself among his peers for his extraordinary leadership skills, his discipline and his natural attitude to the military world. He rose through the ranks almost effortlessly, obtaining, still very young, the rank of Captain and the command of one of the best ships in the Kree Space Fleet, the Ramatam. Noticed by the Supreme Intelligence, ruler of the Empire, Att-Lass was chosen as a special operative, working directly for the Intelligence, in missions that not even the highest ranks in the military were aware of. One of such missions brought him to a distant, small planet: Earth, inhabited by an unusual number of enhanced creatures. Att-Lass’ mission was to retrieve a spy long-stranded on the planet, scientist Minn-Erva, whom he found almost immediately… and whom he fell in love with. Minn-Erva, though abandoned on Earth, had been continuing her researches to increase the genetic power of the Kree race, something also Att-Lass was very interested into, wanting to contribute to the military might of the Empire. To demonstrate the results of her studies, Minn-Erva subjected her new lover to the Psyche-Magnitron, a machine that, because of an unforeseen malfunction, was able now to modify the DNA of the ones exposed to it. Att-Lass gained incredible powers, and agreed with Minn-Erva that this was but a small taste of the advancements they could ensure to their people. Tempted by the perspective of more power and glory for the Empire, Att-Lass postponed the return to Kree-Lar, and stayed with Minn-Erva on Earth a little longer, to pursue yet another source of power: the Nega-Bands, weapons of the terribly powerful Captain Marvel.

With Captain Marvel dead, his Nega-Bands were now in possession of a human hero, Quasar. Minn-Erva’s research confirmed that those worn by Quasar were actually a prototype of the real ones, but they were powerful nevertheless. Using the alias Captain Atlas, he participated to a Weapons Expo, where he hired AIM to recreate Quasar’s weapons. Choosing the easy way, AIM sent their agent M.O.D.A.M. to Quasar, in an attempt to steal the Quantum Bands from him, but she only got soundly defeated. Disappointed, Captain Atlas and Doctor Minerva decided to intervene personally, but Quasar once again proved to be superior, defeated both the enhanced Kree and bound them to their word of honor never to return to Earth again. Atlas took the oath seriously, and left the planet along with Minerva… but didn’t head to Kree-Lar yet: now that they knew for sure that Quasar wasn’t wearing the Nega-Bands, they went to Saturn, as on one of its moons, Titan, laid the tomb of Captain Marvel. Quasar once again intervened, and stopped Atlas and Minerva… but the trio was attacked by the Shi’ar Imperial Guard. During the struggle, Captain Atlas managed to don the Nega-Bands, immediately switching place with Rick Jones, a human who, on Earth, was with Wonder Man, an extremely powerful superhero. Going from Titan to Earth and back several times, Atlas battled Quasar and Wonder Man at the same time, and was eventually defeated by the latter, and put under the custody of the Avengers. Doctor Minerva reached him and freed him from his cell… but she wasn’t Minerva, but rather Shapeshifter, a member of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, who lured Atlas to a trap so that his teammates could capture him, take the Nega-Bands and use them for assuring the superiority of the Shi’ar Empire. With his knowledge of Kree’s tactical information stolen from him by the telepath Oracle, Captain Atlas was finally freed by Shatterax, from the Kree black-ops team Starforce. While trying to bring glory to his Empire, Captain Atlas had unwillingly provoked a war with the Shi’ar: the least he could do now, was win that war…

Att-Lass is a proud warrior from the Kree Empire, a loyal soldier whose every act is aimed to the growth of the might of his people. As Captain Atlas, he’s an enhanced Kree with superhuman strength and durability and the power of flight; he’s also an extremely skilled hand-to-hand combatant, a capable pilot and a master strategist. A warrior born, with a strong sense of honor that surpasses even his nationalism, Captain Atlas is a true patriot and the best the Kree Empire’s army can produce, a soldier with a blind faith in his government, who never doubts, even for a moment, the motivations of his superiors… a strength that can become his greatest weakness, if that trust is betrayed.

Nu-An (Yu-Ti the August Personage in Jade)

As you’re all well aware, last September 7th the second season of Iron Fist was released, and as we could expect several new characters were introduced (not as many as we may have thought, though). The first of them we meet in episode 2, The City’s Not for Burning: during a flashback, we see Danny Rand and Davos dueling for the privilege of challenging Shou-Lao, doing it under the eyes of Yu-Ti, the August Personage in Jade, portrayed by James Saito. Mentioned even during Season 1, Yu-Ti is (was?) the ruler of K’un-Lun, a wise man who taught Danny most of his philosophy. He didn’t do much in the show apart from standing there on his chair, but it’s likely we’ll know more of him in the future. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the original one.

Nu-An was born in the mystical city of K’un-Lun, in a separate dimension that was accessible on Earth, from the Himalayas, only once every 88 years (10, as K’un-Lun was the champion city). Nu-An was the son of Tuan, who ruled over the city as Yu-Ti, the master of the Dragon Kings, the rulers of K’un-Lun. Nu-An’s life was perfect, all clear in front of him: he would have taken his father’s place in ruling K’un-Lun, and he would have hopefully married Shakirah, a girl he was in love with… then everything changed. One day, as he was walking with his father in the mountains, they were both attacked by Shou-Lao, who had come out of his cave. The two would have surely died if it wasn’t for Wendell Rand, a human boy who had literally stumbled upon K’un-Lun, and who managed to drive the dragon away with a rifle. Full of gratitude, Tuan decided to adopt the boy, who was an orphan… and Nu-An knew grudge and rivalry for the first time in his life. Not only Tuan clearly preferred Wendell to him, but even Shakirah fell in love with Wendell, married him, later having his daughter, Miranda. This was far too much for Nu-An to suffer, but he didn’t do anything about it… not yet. He watched silently as Wendell defeated Davos and left to fight Shou-Lao, he accepted his father’s decision to ban Davos as he fought the dragon without permission, and didn’t shed a single tear when Wendell left to Earth. This way, when Tuan died, it was Nu-An the one who took his place as the new August Personage in Jade, the title that would have gone to Wendell if hadn’t left. As the new Yu-Ti, Nu-An successfully protected K’un-Lun from deadly threats, even repelling Davos’ attacks twice in twenty years, but he also exiled both Shakirah and her daughter, as he couldn’t stand to see the woman he once loved with the child of another man. One he hated, above all.

Yu-Ti had a chance for redemption years later, when Wendell tried to come back to K’un-Lun with his family. Yu-Ti observed in silence as his former rival was killed by his business partner, Harold Meachum, and even let his wife Heaher be mauled by wolves, but he intervened to save his son, Danny. Yu-Ti brought the boy to K’un-Lun, and offered him to train him in kung-fu, secretly hoping to make him a better man than his father was, one who understood and respected K’un-Lun’s traditions and didn’t shy away from Shou-Lao. Danny, wanting vengeance, accepted, and from that day he started to train under both Yu-Ti and Lei Kung the Thunderer, the best masters in the lost city. While Lei Kung taught Danny to fight, Yu-Ti taught him strategy, patience, philosophy, care, responsibility, molding a wise man along with a deadly warrior. Finally, when the time came, Danny faced and defeated Shou-Lao, becoming the new Iron Fist. Nu-An tested him with both the Challenge of Many and the Challenge of One, and Iron Fist succeeded in them both. Finally, Yu-Ti prepared one last challenge to his protege and nephew: he brought him to the Tree of Immortality, in the gardens of K’un-Lun, and offered him a choice: he could eat the fruit of the tree, becoming immortal and living in K’un-Lun, or he could walk away through the portal that would have opened the following day, reaching Earth as a mortal and never being able to come back again. Much to Yu-Ti’s displeasure, Danny hadn’t forgotten his dream of vengeance against Meachum, and he chose the latter, abandoning the Immortal City. From that day, Yu-Ti closely observed his nephew, rejoicing for his progresses, but also fearing that, one day, he would have come back to K’un-Lun to dethrone him…

Nu-An is a wise man who finally found peace after years of rebellion, immaturity, selfishness and a troubled heart, becoming the severe but just ruler of the Immortal City. Albeit he seldom fights, as Yu-Ti the August Personage in Jade he’s a master martial artist, accomplished in the use of many traditional weapons and of hundreds of unarmed combat styles, being also able to manipulate his chi to instantly adapt his body to adverse environments and even to exclude pain; he’s also immortal, having eaten from the Tree of Immortality. A man full of contradictions, Yu-Ti is indeed a wise monarch, and is also a caring uncle for his nephew Iron Fist… but his past mistakes sometimes still haunt him, instilling in him fears of revenge that shouldn’t find place in an enlightened mind…

Minn-Erva (Doctor Minerva)

Among the stills from the upcoming Captain Marvel, there’s one that sees the titular heroine in a group of Kree warriors she’ll be part of, Starforce. There’s only one woman apart from Captain Marvel, and that’s Minn-Erva, portrayed by Gemma Chan. In the movie, she’ll be the team’s sniper, the former star of the Starforce who’ll feel somewhat threatened by the presence of Captain Marvel, as she’ll see her as a rival… possibly building up the enmity that in the comics is a constant between her and (almost) everyone who ever donned the Captain Marvel mantle. Albeit the movie will portray her in a heroic fashion, there’s a dark side ready to come out, one that the comics readers know quite well. Let’s see together.

Minn-Erva was a Kree, born on planet Kree-Lar, in Edelix. Gifted with a remarkable intellect since her birth, she put her talents at the service of the Kree Empire, and became one of the best geneticists of her generation. With her fame and capabilities, she was soon tasked by the Supreme Intelligence with investigating on Mar-Vell, a Kree captain who had shown incredible cosmic powers, and who possibly represented a future evolution for the entire Kree race. From her science cruiser, the Ananim, Minn-Erva observed Mar-Vell as on Earth he became the superhero Captain Marvel, and took notes of all his powers and abilities. The best way she found to use the potential genetic advancement Mar-Vell brought within his genes was the most classic one: she would have mated with him in order to sire a superior Kree race, possibly the first of a new batch of super-Kree. Captain Marvel, however, had long forfeited his Empire, and was deaf to Minn-Erva’s pleas in name of the race and the dominion of the Kree. Obviously, a rougher and more primitive tactic was required, and instead of seducing Captain Marvel, Minn-Erva preferred to kidnap the hero’s partner, Rick Jones. She wanted to use Jones as a hostage to force Captain Marvel to mate with her, but Phae-Dor, the head of the Science Council, called her, ordering her to abort the mission, as the Supreme Intelligence had now other priorities and needed Captain Marvel for the War of Three Galaxies. So close to overcome the evolutionary dead end her species had been struck in for millennia, Minn-Erva proudly refused… and she was severely punished, attacked by Phae-Dor and left to die on her wrecked cruiser. Quite ironically, it was Mar-Vell the one who saved her, bringing her to safety on Earth… where she was left, as Captain Marvel left and later died in space, following a deadly cancer.

Stranded on a primitive planet, Minn-Erva felt all the humiliation of being left behind as some sort of unwanted leftover of another era. Known on Earth as Doctor Minerva, she joined two other abandoned Kree: the scientist Mac-Ronn, and the former hero Ronan the Accuser, reduced to a shell of his former self without his memories. The trio went to live in a remote farm in Sullivan County, Texas, where they humiliated themselves with a humble and primitive life. Then, Ronan finally regained his memories, and escaped his loathed prison… leaving his companions behind, once again. Minerva spent years on Earth, but she didn’t sit on her hands: she made researches on Marvel’s time on the planet, and she discovered the Psycho-Magnetron, a machine that was able to imbue Ms. Marvel with the same Kree-enhanced abilities that once belonged to Captain Marvel. She used the machine on herself, gaining powers equal to the ones of Ms. Marvel… just in time, as the Kree Empire had finally sent another officer, Captain Att-Lass, to retrieve her and bring her back to Kree-Lar. After being alone for so much time, Minn-Erva instantly fell in love with Att-Lass, and offered him to be enhanced by the Psyche-Magnetron as well. The duo of super-Kree came aboard the cruiser Ramatam, but just as they were about to leave Earth, they saw a broadcast about human hero Quasar… who was apparently wearing Captain Marvel’s Nega Bands (as they found out, a weaker version, the Quantum Bands). Doctor Minerva wanted to come back home in full glory, so she convinced Att-Lass to support her in stealing the Bands. She hired AIM and their super-cyborg M.O.D.A.M. to steal Quasar’s Quantum Bands, to use them to recreate the Nega Bands, aiming to use their power to become even stronger and acquire a prominent position in the Kree Empire. She had been abandoned and forgotten for so long, she wanted to make sure that nobody committed that same mistake ever again.

Minn-Erva is an ambitious and ruthless woman, a scientific genius who’s ready to walk any path to reach her goal, and a patriot who idolizes her Empire and fully commits herself to serve it at her best… even when her judgement clashes with her superiors’ orders. As Doctor Minerva, she’s a gifted scientist with enhanced abilities, that include flight, superhuman strength, speed and durability, and a limited, mostly subconscious precognition that allows her to foresee the immediate future through “fortunate guesses”. Cold-hearted and focused, Doctor Minerva lives to serve her Empire only in her oath, as her ego brings her to serve herself and her own ambitions instead, hiding her true motives behind a proud nationalism, giving nobility to her cruel, egomaniac goals…

Viktor

Finally, we reached the last character appearing on the Deadly Class poster, maybe the last but surely not the least: the big blonde boy who looks like Ivan Drago on the bottom, Viktor, who’ll be portrayed by Sean Depner. Once again, we don’t know much of the guy’s role in the upcoming show, especially considering that Viktor became an important presence only after a while. Even if he starts as a background bully in the school, though, he ends up becoming Marcus‘ greatest rival, with potential developments for a weird frenemy-like relationship. Let’s take a look at this mountain of a man.

Viktor (sometimes misspelled Victor), surname unknown, was born in an unspecified town in Soviet Russia. His father was a respected and feared KGB agent, a killing machine, but Viktor was nothing like him: as a kid, he was scrawny and weak, something that his father never failed to remark upon. One day, while the man was abroad for a mission, some British assassins sent by the MI6 managed to locate the agent’s house and broke in, finding only Viktor, his mother and his sister. The agents, in retaliation, raped and murdered both Viktor’s mother and sister, leaving the boy to send a message to his father. Viktor stayed home with the mauled corpses of his relatives, and when his father came back home, he told him everything that had happened… and he beat him nearly to death, punishing him for being too weak to do anything about the Brits. Viktor never blamed his father for this, quite the opposite, he agreed with him: from that moment, he trained himself to become as strong as humanly possible, spending every minute of every day training himself to the limit. When he became old enough, he enrolled to King’s Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts, a secret school for assassins built in America, as a legacy student, hoping to learn enough skills to be just the man his father wanted him to be. His training definitely paid, and Viktor was far bigger and stronger than anyone else in the school. Wanting other people to underestimate him, though, he usually played dumb, pretending to be the muscle head so many people usually mistook him for. This way, he could take potential enemies by surprise, despite his unbelievable bulk.

Imposing himself as the alpha male of the freshman year, Viktor had a reputation to defend, a reputation that someone was fool enough to challenge. During a Martial Arts lesson, a discipline Viktor usually excelled in, he entered an argument with the newcomer, Marcus, only to be shamed and humiliated by a useless fat boy, Shabnam, right in front of the class and of Master Zane. This offense called for a retribution, and Viktor tried to punish Shabnam under the showers, minutes later… only to be humiliated once again, first by Marcus, who came to Shabnam’s defense even putting Viktor’s heterosexuality in doubt, then by Shabnam himself, who shat himself and everyone around him in a moment of panic. This offense was clearly something that someone had to pay for, and the perfect occasion came much time later, when he overheard a conversation between Marcus and Saya about a hit they had performed on a crazy serial killer and his gang the day before. Killing without the school’s precise order was a severe infraction of the rules, and Viktor offered Marcus an ultimatum: either Marcus confessed to Master Lin what he had done, being expelled from school, or he exposed his friends, having them kicked out in his stead. If he refused to do either in the following two days, Viktor himself would have exposed them all. The choice was an impossible one, especially for someone so close to his friends like Marcus, and Viktor was sure he had played a checkmate on his rival… but he hadn’t foreseen the most obvious answer on Marcus’ side. The following morning, as he was having a shower after his usual morning run, Viktor was attacked by Marcus, who missed his head-shot just because Viktor bent to pick soap up in the best possible moment, losing just a piece of his ear. Viktor ran for his life and, barely dressed, arrived to the auditorium, where all the other students and teachers were… just as Master Lin was making an announcement that turned the whole morning upside down: it was hunting season in KD, and the targets were Rats… Rats like Marcus.

Viktor is the typical, stereotypical tough guy… but there’s nothing made up about his character: he’s truly tough, truly hard, truly lethal, a no-nonsense, single-minded young man who seeks strength to live up to his father’s expectations. He’s a real killing machine, who trained his body to perfection and gained a remarkable strength and impossible durability, he’s an infallible sharpshooter and, unexpectedly, a capable tactical mind. Viktor comes from a different world, he mocks the Americans’ fixation with emotions and feelings and only lives according to his iron will, a walking mountain who’s possibly the most committed student present at King’s Dominion. Definitely, not someone that anyone, in his right mind, would want as an enemy.