Arkady Gregorivich Rossovich (Omega Red)

The Icebox prison in Deadpool 2 was definitely full of mutants, and it’s no surprise that many of them turned out to be cameos from the comics… but this one is definitely one we didn’t see coming: Omega Red, one of the most popular and notorious among Wolverine‘s enemies. The Russian super-soldier was supposed to appear in X-Men: The Last Stand portrayed by kick-boxer Vince Murdocco, but the character was later cut from the script. In Deadpool 2 he only appeared as a background character, portrayed by Dakoda Shapley, but since one of the scenes of the new uncut version is titled Chess with Omega Red, we can expect to see more of him. Waiting to see what the new version of the film will bring to us (and who are the other mutants revealed to be in the prison by makeup artist Bill Corso (I have a couple of ideas for at least three of them, but let’s wait for the official confirmation), let’s meet together one of the baddest and toughest mutants ever.

Arkady Gregorivich Rossovich was born in the Soviet Union, an albino who became an agent of Spetnaz somewhere in the 1960s. Arkady, however, was also a serial killer, with the disturbing hobby of raping and killing young girls whenever the occasion presented itself. He couldn’t go on forever without being caught, and he eventually got arrested by Sean Cassidy, an agent of Interpol, who turned him over to the KGB. Back in Russia, Arkady was trialed and sentenced to death… but at the moment of the execution, his X-Gene activated, and he escaped death by releasing lethal spores. KGB saw in this a sign of destiny, and forcefully recruited Rossovich in their own version of the Super Soldier Project, a program aimed to create the Soviet counterpart to Captain America. For years, Arkady Rossovich was kept in a secret lab, tortured and experimented on, provided with cybernetic implants and also with an experimental alloy created by Russian scientist, named Carbonadium, an attempt to recreate the Adamantium that the Canadian Department H had used on their Weapon X. Carbonadium was only slightly less durable than Adamantium, but it was also much more malleable, a characteristic that allowed the scientists to create a couple of retractable whips to be equipped to Rossovich’s armor… unfortunately, the alloy was also radioactive, and it poisoned its user. Arkady’s powers, however, could come in handy, as they allowed him to siphon other people’s life force to replenish his own, healing from potentially lethal wounds and even from the radiation poisoning he was continuously exposed to. There was a way to stabilize his condition, though: the Carbonadium Synthesizer, the same device that had forged his tentacles… and that had been stolen by Team X, during their attempt to save double agent Janice Hollenbeck. At the end of the process, the criminal Arkady Rossovich had been transformed into the Soviet super-soldier Omega Red, and his first mission was simple: to retrieve the Synthesizer from the three agents who had stolen it, Wolverine, Maverick and Sabretooth.

The mission didn’t exactly turned out as planned, as the three mutant super-agents were seasoned and experienced enough to match Omega Red, and eventually hid the Synthesizer where he would have never found it. The test in itself, however, was a success, so Omega was deployed by the KGB as an operative. In Berlin, Omega fought another Canadian super-spy, John Wraith, and nearly killed him. Then, the USSR sent him against some Interpol agents who were interfering with the intelligence’s work, and he killed one of them, Magrite Deveraux. Doing this, however, made Omega Red become the target of Deveraux’s partner, Sean Cassidy (the same one who had arrested him years before), and of Erik Lensherr. Being all three of them mutants, the battle that followed was unlike anything the KGB could have possibly foreseen, and Omega Red released such an amount of deadly spores that he killed dozens of civilian bystanders. He was eventually shot and subdued by Cassidy, and later returned to the USSR authorities, who played coy about their involvement with what they pretended to be a rogue agent. Deemed too dangerous and unpredictable, Omega Red was put in suspended animation for the time being, hibernated until the scientists found a way to effectively control him. This took longer than expected, and actually never came to fruition. The Soviet Union fell, and the secret lab Omega Red was kept in was abandoned and eventually forgotten. The super-soldier was found by The Hand, the ninja cult at the time led by Matsu’o Tsurayaba. The Hand reanimated Omega Red, and recruited him as a new assassin for their cult: their interest aligned as they both shared a grudge against Wolverine, who was now a member of the X-Men. Omega Red did join the Hand to get a chance at slicing the throat of his old enemy and learn the location of the lost Carbonadium Synthesizer, but his loyalty to the group wasn’t greater than his one to the fallen Soviet Union, something that the Hand would have soon learnt the hard way…

Arkady Rossovich is a brutal and sadistic man, a predator born with a taste for killing, who has no loyalty but to himself (certainly not to some scientists and spies who took a serial killer, empowered him and then pretended he was a soldier). As Omega Red, his mutant powers, renamed Death Factor, allow him to create and release lethal pheromones and spores capable of killing anyone in the immediate vicinity, spores that he’s forced to expel or otherwise they’ll consume his own body; he’s superhumanly strong, agile, durable and fast, and he’s a superb hand-to-hand combatant; his Death Factor summed to his nearly indestructible Carbonadium tentacles allow him to siphon the energy of other living beings, using it to heal himself even from lethal damage, with his constant self-poisoning forcing him to a vampiric existence. A super-assassin designed to kill in the most effective way possible, Omega Red is a masterpiece of the Cold War, the perfect death-bringer who’s extremely professional in his task… unfortunately, he enjoys it a little bit too much for being anywhere near controllable.

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