Russia's Future in the DC Universe from Doomsday Clock: The People's Heroes

The new issue of Doomsday Clock by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, the unauthorised sequel to Watchmen and published by DC Comics, is showing the future of the DC Universe Earth and the superheroes who live on it, around the world. The Supermen Theory, currently causing global uproar, points out that 97% of the superheroes live in the USA. But other countries are catching up…

But who is who? Let's look at the People's Heroes of Russia, to which we got an introduction in Doomsday Clock #5.

Black Eagle – New character? Previous DC character was a Lt. Cassius Bannister, a fighter pilot fighting over Italy during World War II as part of the Tuskegee Airmen, first appearance All-Out War #2, 1979, created by Robert Kanigher, Dick Ayers, and Romeo Tanghal.

Pozhar – Pozhar (Пожар or "Fire") is a Russian superhero created by John Ostrander and Joe Brozowski in Fury of Firestorm #62 in 1987. Mikhail Arkadin is a nuclear technician who worked at the Chernobyl nuclear power generating plant. As a result of the accident at the plant's #4 reactor, he is imbued with the ability to convert matter into energy. He is recruited by Major Zastrow of the Red Shadow as one of the Soviet Union's official superheroes. And now, in Doomsday Clock, claiming much more…

Firebird – created by John Ostrander and Joe Brozowski in Fury of Firestorm #69 in 1988, Serafina Arkadin has various psychic powers, she is the team leader of Soyuz and the niece of Pozhar.

Lady Flash – created by Mike Baron and Jackson Guice, she first appeared in Flash #7 in 1987 and died in Flash: Rebirth #2 in 2009. Created by scientists Doctors Pytor Orloff and Krulik for health benefits and military use, they created a serum to use on children, but Krulik died when he used it on himself. The children were part of a team, Blue Trinity. One of the children, Christina Alexandriva, took the name Lady Savage then Lady Flash, switching sides temporarily. She died when touched by Barry Allen.

Morozko – a Russian superhero created by John Ostrander and Joe Brozowski in Fury of Firestorm #70 in 1988. Medviedenko can create bitter cold by drawing its heat into himself. He must eventually release this heat, which he can direct.

Negative Woman – first appearance in Showcase #94 in 1977 created by Paul Kupperberg and Joe Staton. Valentina formerly possessed a radioactive "soul-self", and was capable of flight and intangibility, and could generate minor explosions upon contact with positive energy. Lt. Col. Valentina Vostok of the Soviet Air Force stole an experimental Russian fighter plane in order to defect to the United States. Crash-landing at the spot where the original Doom Patrol had apparently perished, she was fused with the negative energy being which formerly inhabited the body of the Patrol's Negative Man. Years later, it was revealed that Niles Caulder, founder of the Doom Patrol, manipulated Valentina's transformation to create a replacement for presumed dead Negative Man. Assuming the name Negative Woman, Valentina defected to the United States and became a member of the second incarnation of Doom Patrol for several years. When Negative Man was found alive and rescued by the new Doom Patrol, the negative energy abandoned Valentina and was returned to Larry Trainor. She continued to work for the American secret services, including Checkmate. A Negative Woman was among those in the Blüdhaven Strike Force in Final Crisis #4 sent by Checkmate. Valentina was revived from the dead in Blackest Night. In the New 52 reboot, Negative Woman first appears in Justice League Vol. 2 #24 in a camera being watched by Grid, and is seen again in Justice League Vol. 2 #27 where she was seemingly killed off by Johnny Quick and Atomica. So many deaths… and now?

Perun – is a Russian superhero created by John Ostrander and Joe Brozowski in Fury of Firestorm #70. Has energy projection and super strength.

Red Star – A former member of the Teen Titans, Red Star first appeared under the name Starfire in Teen Titans #18 in 1968 and was created by Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, and Bill Draut. Leonid Kovar and his father investigate a crashed spaceship that explodes. It imbues Leonid with energy and gives him super-strength, speed, and pyrokinesis. Being a Russian patriot, he offers his services to his country and becomes the first official Russian superhero in the DC Universe; taking the name Starfire. He changed his name to Red Star when another Starfire came along. Red Star is empowered by unknown alien energies that have caused chain reactions within his molecular structure, altering his physical abilities and reflexes. Over time, these abilities have changed and he has developed from merely having augmented strength and speed to being equipped with an array of different powers including strength, speed, invulnerability, and endurance. Red Star can also morph into a form that is composed of fire-like energy that allows him to form and redirect energies as well. It seems his powers have the same effect on Kryptonians as his namesake.

Rusalka –  is a Russian superhero created by John Ostrander and Joe Brozowski in Fury of Firestorm #70. Mashenka can control water or vapor in quantities up to her own body weight.

Snow Owl – created by William Messner-Loebs and Ed Benes in Artemis: Requiem #3 in 1996. Snow Owl has the ability to generate extreme temperatures of cold from his body. Primarily this is used to freeze others in place or to create a sheen of ice over an intended target. Snow Owl can also use his powers to summon gusts of super-cold air, with which he uses to hurl frozen objects at specified targets. By absorbing heat from the atmosphere, he can freeze molecules of moisture that hang in the air, creating a variety of effects.

Steel Wolf – is a Russian superhero created by John Ostrander and Joe Brozowski in Fury of Firestorm #67 in 1988. Ivan Illyich Gort was born in Russia in the early 1900s. As a young man, he participated in a series of secret experiments that gave him superhuman physical characteristics. He was created to serve as a symbol of Soviet resistance during World War II and given the code name Stalnoivolk (translated as Steel Wolf). It was the Russians' intent to create an army of such men, but General Secretary Joseph Stalin destroyed the formula that created him and had all of the scientists involved with the project killed. Stalin feared that an army of Stalnoivolks might pose a threat to his rule, so he made sure that there could only be one — one that he could control. Ivan proved to be fiercely loyal to Stalin and was intricately involved in Stalin's purges in the Ukraine. After the war, Stalnoivolk was discredited and sent to Siberia where he lived as a peasant for decades. Shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Kremlin assigned Major Zastrow to locate Stalnoivolk. They wanted to reactivate him for use against super-powered threats outside the U.S.S.R. — specifically, the American super-hero Firestorm.

Tundra – created by Paul Kupperberg and Dan Rodriguez in Justice League Quarterly #17 in 1994. A Global Guardian, she has enhanced strength and cold projection abilities.

Vikhor – is a Russian superhero created by John Ostrander and Joe Brozowski in Fury of Firestorm #70. Feodor Piotrovich Sorin, member of Soyuz, he can spin about while reducing his specific gravity. Thus he can create a whirlwind and float in the centre of it.

Vostok  – created by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis, first appeared in Aquaman #7 in 2012 and died in #13. Vostok was raised in a solitary chamber outside of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, taught to thrive on isolation so that he would become the ideal cosmonaut for the Russians. He wears an Atlantean Helmet.

We will continue journeying around the world today at this link. Let me know if I got anything wrong in the comments.

Thanks to DC Wiki and Wikipedia…

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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