Valentina Vostok (Negative Woman)

The promo for Legends of Tomorrow‘s next episode gave us a first look at a future, possibly recurring female character. In White Knights, the team will follow Vandal Savage to the Soviet Union, where they will try to gain the cooperation of a beautiful Russian scientist, Valentina Vostok, portrayed by Stephanie Corneliussen. Apparently, Valentina will reject without a second thought Ray Palmer, but she will be more than disposed to give Leonard Snart a chance… Waiting to know who will win this competition of charme, let’s see who the original Valentina is: in the comics she’s not a scientist, but rather a high-ranking military officer. And she has some superpower of her own…

Valentina Vostok was born in an unspecified city in the Soviet Union. Still a young woman, she joined the army, and impressed her superiors and comrades with her skills as a pilot; she had quite a fast career in the Soviet Air Force, and she rose in ranks until she became Lieutenant Colonel. From inside the army, however, Vostok was able to see both the good sides and the bad ones of her government, and the latter ones eventually became far too overwhelming for her to be ignored: she decided to defect to the United States of America, abandoning her country and her career, looking for something better. She couldn’t just present herself to the US Government empty-handed, so she decided she would have stolen the experimental fighter plane she was planned to test. Lt. Colonel Vostok planned her escape in detail, and the day of the test she ignored the coordinates given to her by the control room and left Russian airspace: despite being chased, she managed to leave her pursuers behind thanks to the experimental jet’s speed, and she reached American airspace…but she eventually crash-landed in Maine, near the negativewomancomics1small town of Codsville, due to unexpected malfunctions in her aircraft (it was revealed years later that the malfunctions had been caused by scientist Niles Caulder, who was planning to use Valentina from the moment he spotted her leaving the Russian airspace). Vostok didn’t know it, but she had crashed in the same spot in which the superhero team known as Doom Patrol had sacrificed their lives in the effort of stopping Nazi Captain Zahl and the schizophrenic Madame Rouge. The electrical being of negative energy once bonded to Larry Trainor, aka the Negative Man, was still lingering in the area, and it found in Valentina Vostok a perfect new host. The woman found herself able to transform into the energy creature, gaining new and frighting powers. A woman who claimed to be Niles Caulder’s widow, Arani Desai, stepped in, and offered her help to control this new body of hers.

Desai, also known as Celsius, not only helped Valentina Vostok in succesfully defecting to the United States, but she also offered her a place in her new version of Doom Patrol, aimed to replace the original, apparently deceased one. Valentina accepted the offer, and she assumed the name Negative Woman. Along with Joshua “Tempest” Clay and the sole survivor of the first Doom Patrol, Robotman, rebuilt by Doc Magnus, Valentina Vostok was now a part of the second incarnation of the team, led on field by Celsius herself. Her first mission with Doom Patrol saw the entire team fight against General Immortus, on the trails of Caulder’s immortality serum formula, now in possession of Celsius. Despite an initial, utter defeat, Doom Patrol eventually managed to repel Immortus. The use of her new powers, however, had put Valentina’s body into a great stress, and Negative Woman progressively lost control of her energy form. Every time she transformed into the negative being, she lost her mind, and the black negativewomancomics2shape acted independently from her will. While in her incorporeal form, Negative Woman attacked a power plant in New Jersey, overloading it and causing a massive breakout. Investigating on the blackout, Superman arrived on the scene, but he was unable to catch the “black ghost”. He managed to follow it back to Metropolis, where Negative Woman made quite some damage; again, Superman was unable to stop her, even less to catch her. The rest of Doom Patrol finally intervened, and Robotman explained to Superman that the black shape was actually Valentina Vostok, one of their allies, who had gone berserk. With Doom Patrol’s help, Superman was finally able to contain Negative Woman, and managed to bring her back to the team’s headquarters, where her conditions finally stabilized. Unfortunately, in order to make Valentina regain control of herself, her powers were made more similar to her predecessor’s ones: she was now unable to fully transform into Negative Spirit, barely summoning it for a brief time, and she was now forced to wear bandages all the time to contain the overflowing radiations coming from her body. She had finally become a misfit worthy of the first Doom Patrol.

Valentina Vostok is a brilliant and strong woman, a warrior born whose conscience makes her fight for the causes she deems right ones only. An expert spy, a proficient pilot and a skilled armed and unarmed combatant, she’d be a force to be reckoned with as she is, but the Negative Spirit gave even superhuman abilities: as the Negative Woman, she has the ability to project herself out of her body in a negative-energy form; while in this form, she can fly, she possesses superhuman strength and speed, she can phase through solid objects and she can make things burn or explode with her touch…but she’s also forced to come back to her physical body every 60 seconds, otherwise she’d fall into a coma and die. A heroine whose story and powers represent a curse more than a blessing, Negative Woman nevertheless fights for a country which is not even her own, but that she swore to protect.

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  1. […] Valentina Vostok (Negative Woman) […]


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