Luka Volk

lukavolkfilmTime for Gotham, as in The Executioner some new character from the comics was introduced. When Ivy robs the wrong man, she finds out she’s been followed by a bunch of guys with an iron mask wanting back the emerald she stole…only, they don’t want the emerald, but the key hidden inside it. The masked men are led by a charismatic and fascinating foreigner gentleman, Luka Volk, portrayed by Costa Ronin, and he’s our guy. In the show, Volk is a former associate of the Court of Owls, the leader of the renowned smuggling racket known as the Whisper Gang. Since the Gang was becoming too powerful, however, the Court betrayed them and brought them to disband, and Volk now looks for payback, with the key being the best way to obtain it. In the comics, Volk has a much less important role, and not the slightest connection to the Court of Owls; he only appears once, but there’s something to say about him nevertheless. Let’s see together.

Luka Volk was born somewhere in Ukraine, from an unknown family. He joined the local criminality, and in a few years he became a pakhan, a godfather of the Ukrainian mafia. Ambitious and forward-looking, Volk wasn’t satisfied with “regular criminality”, and he soon left his mafia family to start a brand new one, one he had total control of. Along with some of his men who followed him in his secession, Volk founded the Whisper Gang, a highly specialised and lethal criminal group. He had all his men train into martial arts and in the use of exotic weapons, and he put them through a harsh loyalty test: each new member was forced to wear an iron mask resembling a wild beast (usually a wolf) that prevented them from saying a single word, so that they would have not been able to tell anybody anything about the Gang. After a year, they were allowed to take the mask off. The group became quite a force, and when Volk moved to the United States of America to expand his business, the Whisper Gang followed him, ready lukavolkcomics1to take over American criminality. Things got a little bit more complicated, though, since Luka Volk had chosen as a new headquarters Gotham City, the capital of American criminality (and lunacy): as powerful and numerous as they could be, the Whisper Gang couldn’t possibly take over other existing powers on the territory, least of all control the many freaks and madmen inhabiting Gotham, so they adapted their ambition to the situation they found, taking a small corner of influence and hoping to grow up starting from there.

In Gotham City, Volk found a minor yet remunerative “job” for the Whisper Gang: they occupied the subway line that started from the Old Wayne Tower (one of the most attended by Gothamites), exacting a “fee” from whoever wanted to enter or leave the metro stations. This way, the criminals managed to collect quite a fortune, and Volk started financing other branches of the Whisper Gang even outside Gotham, hoping to create a national or even international cartel. Business was doing pretty fine, until the Whisper Gang ended up attracting the attention of the one man Luka Volk didn’t want to meet in the city: Batman, the local superhero. Batman came to the tunnels wanting to question Volk, since he was following a man he belived to be an assassin for hire, actually Talon from the Court of Owls: he believed that Talon was using the Gang’s tunnels to move, and he deduced that he had some kind of deal with them. Believing he could solve things with brute strength, Volk sent all his men to attack Batman, hoping that their number would have compensated for his battle prowess: things didn’t go exactly as planned, however, as lukavolkcomics2the Dark Knight took advantage of the warriors’ gear, and used one of his devices to magnetise a traing passing by on the metro railway. As a result, the iron masks of the Whisper Gang became attracted to the train, and in a matter of seconds they all disappeared, attached magnetically to the metro. Alone with Batman, a terrified Volk told him he knew nothing of the “Owl Man“, and he frantically tried to escape. With his lie detector, the vigilante realised he was telling the truth and let him go, but he warned him to leave the tunnels and never come back. With such persuasive arguments on Batman’s side, Luka Volk would have most certainly needed to look for other income sources, if he didn’t want to meet him ever again.

Luka Volk is a man of ambition, a criminal bent on expanding his influence and power over as many cities and countries he can. Charismatic and cunning, he’s feared and respected by his men, and he’s just a skilled combatant as anyone else in the Whisper Gang is…but his self-confidence and arrogance fade in presence of men like Batman, shattering the facade of the implacable criminal emperor and leaving just another self-important coward.

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