Anatoli Knyazev (KGBeast)

KGBeastOk, I’m definitely late. In the Arrow episode of the last week, Crucible, another character has been introduced in the show: Anatoli Knyazev, portrayed by David Nykl. In the episode, he’s introduced as a fellow captive of Oliver Queen aboard the Amazo, and he instructs him to be strong in order to survive. Actually, the character was mentioned in the first season already, through his organization, the Solntsevskaya Bratva (the largest faction of Russian Mafia): it’s been revealed that, at a certain point, Oliver saved Anatoli’s life (probably on the ship) and thus became a captain in his organization, forming a bond of honor between the two men. Well, despite he’s been recently introduced, we can say that he’s already quite different from his comicbook counterpart, especially considering that he’s never been a criminal. Not in Russia, at least. Let’s see together.

Practically nothing is known about Anatoly Knyazev’s past prior to his spy and killer activity. He was trained by The Hammer, a secret cell of KGB, and he soon became one of the mosto capable and notorious assassins in the Soviet Union. A master of many martial arts, with his strength cybernetically enhanced by his superiors, Knyazev became the protagonist of legends in the Union, and he was codenamed The Beast. When he was assigned to kill the Egyptian President Anwar Sedat, he was said to have murdered more than 200 people already. He entered the target of many counter-espionage organization, included CIA, and was nicknamed by his enemies KGBeast, a name he liked and he started to use. The Hammer, however, was considered far too dangerous by the Soviet Union itself, and when the relations with United States started to soften, one of the first measures of the KGB was to shut down the Hammer. The general commanding the Hammer, enraged, decided to order his best agent one last mission: to kill ten people whokgbeastcomics1 had a key role in the Star Wars Program, the American satellite strategic defense, including President Ronald Reagan. The General informed KGBeast, and then committed suicide. Knyazev left Russia and reached the United States, with the silent approval of the higher authorities. The ten people in his list were at the time in Gotham City for a conference: scientists, politicians, military officers, everybody was there already, and the President was set to visit the city in the week. In the city, KGBeast immediately met its protector, the masked superhero Batman, but he managed to avoid direct confrontation with the vigilante at first. Batman started to track the assassin allying himself with FBI and Gotham Police Department, but, despite their combined effort, they were unable to find the killer.

Meanwhile, the KGBeast had introduced himself in quite a ruthless and spectacular way: in order to kill just one of his targets, he poisoned all the 100 participants to a banquet, giving a demonstration of the cruelty urban legends ascribed to him. After the first one (and the 100 side casualties), Knyazev managed to kill other seven of his targets, despite Batman’s best efforts. The two also fought one against the other in a hand to hand combat, but the KGBeast defeated the Dark Knight, sparing his life by chance. Only two targets remained: a US Senator, and President Reagan. When he tried to kill the first one of the remaining targets, Knyazev was once again confronted by Batman, but this time the hero was prepared, and managed to defeat him and to restrain him with his Batrope, tying his left wrist. Rather than be captured, the Beast preferred to grab a nearby hatchet and to cut his hand off, taking refuge in the Russian embassy. In here, his left hand was replaced with a cybernetic gun, assembled using the entire catalogue of one of Gotham’s most famous weapons dealers. Now bigger and badder, the KGBeast went after his last target, President Reagan, who had arrived in Gotham. This time, Batman was waiting for him, and the two started fighting again. Agent Ralph Bundy, Batman’s ally in FBI, had warned the hero that, being Knyazev a foreigner agent, if he was to be captured he would have been sent back to Russia, thus escaping justice despite having killed more than 100 people in just ten days. The Dark Knight was thus fighting with an unusual brutality and determination, and the Beast proved to enjoy the battle, using both his unmantched skills and his new weapons. The two ended up in the sewers, where they were still at an even. kgbeastcomics2After reaching an underground compartment, the KGBeast invited Batman to fight him to death, so that they would have finally proved who was better between them. The Dark Knight refused, and walked away locking the door behind himself, leaving Knyazev to die (it was later revealed that he had actually called the police to collect him). Of course, Knyazev escaped, and, when the Soviet Union dissolved, he started a “career” in America as a supervillain, enhancing his already impressive cybernetic implants. He fought many heroes, among which Robin, the Huntress and King Snake, and he arrived to threaten the entire continent with an atomic bomb, but he ended up imprisoned in the Blackgate Penitentiary. He wouldn’t have stayed there for long, anyway…

Anatoli Knyazev is a cruel and ruthless man, with no regard at all for human life. His traning made him more a killing machine than a man, and he enjoys to prove his abilities overpowering his enemies. He’s totally loyal to his cause, and is ready to take extreme measures to complete an assignment. As the KGBeast, he’s easily one of the best martial artists in the world, able to take down also Batman; he’s also an extremely proficient marksman and a weapon expert, able to kill his victims with virtually everything. His prosthetic gun contains a variety of weapons, such as a rifle, a bayonet, gas dispensers and maybe something else. Unstoppable, infallible, the KGBeast is one of the world’s best assassins, a hero for a part of the planet, a nightmare for the other.

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3 Comments

  1. […] friends with the second Robin after the boy saved his life when he had been badly injured by KGBeast: they found out they shared the same passion for old movies, and started liking each other. Slowly, […]

  2. […] see Oliver Queen traveling to Russia to join the Bratva under the tutelage of his old friend Anatoly Kniazev in order to keep his promise to Taiana. In the previous season, in fact, Taiana made him promise […]

  3. […] to Bratva, the Russian Mafia. After completing the final test, Queen is introduced by his friend Anatoly Kniazev to the Pakhan, the local godfather, named Ishmael Gregor: portrayed by David Meunier, he is the […]


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