Back to the world of Marvel for the latest installment of The Neglected Nemeses. This time, we take a look at one of Wolverine’s most dangerous foes in Omega Red, the relentless Russian murderer who has no problem sucking the life out of anyone in his way in order to keep himself alive. His heightened skill and stamina have proven numerous times that Red is not just a secondary villain to be brushed aside to make room for others; he’s a threat that should be addressed and in doing so, could create some fantastic cinematic scenes.
Not much is known about the past of Arkady Gregorivich , other than he was a serial killer. After being captured by Interpol agent Sean Cassidy, he was turned over to the Russin KGB, who set out to turn him into a super-soldier modeled after Captain America, using the code-name Omega Red. The Soviet government implanted a retractable carbonadium tentacle within each of Omega Red’s arms. Carbonadium is the Russian attempt at recreating the alloy known as adamantium, which covers the bones of Wolverine. The alloy is more flexible than adamantium, which allows Omega Red to use the appendages to wrap his foes in them and drain the life energy from them. This is crucial to Arkaday’s survival in order to maintain his immune system. Having the alloy implanted into his body poisoned his system and this is his way of surviving. A Carbonadium Synthesizer was created to help control Arkady’s powers,which was later stolen by Team-X- which consisted of Wolverine, Sabretooth and Maverick- in what was their last mission as a team. It was because of this incident that Omega Red continuously sought these three in hopes of finding the C-Synthesizer. He also took on Wraith at this time.
In an alternate origin, Arkady Gregorivich was a Soviet Solder stationed in a small town in Siberia. As with the previous origin, Arkady was a murderer and his crime were hard to cover up due to the small population of the town, hence a limited number of victims. Arkady was captured by his fellow soldiers and executed without trial. The gunshot to the back of the head did not kill the man however and his commanding officers were shocked to see him survive and felt he was a perfect fit for the Russian super soldier program previously mentioned. It is thought that Gregorivich survived solely on the evil and mean nature he possesses.
At one point, the Soviet government felt that Omega Red was too unpredictable and unreliable to have around and felt it necessary to place the baddie in a cryogenic state until a way to control him could be created. After Communism fell in Russia, Red was revived by Matsu’o Tsurayaba, who was the leader of a ninja clan known as The Hand. While in the service of Tsurayaba, Red learned that Wolverine may have known the whereabouts of the C-Synthesizer and sought the mutant out to get more information. This was the first of many times that Omega Red would come in contact with the X-Men. During these battles, he was successful at times, but more often than not, he was defeated. One thing that was learned was that he was no more loyal to The Hand than he was to the Soviet government.
Omega Red’s mutant abilities consist of being able to secrete bodily pheromones that are deadly to anyone in the immediate vicinity By doing this, it drains his energy, forcing him to absorb the life-force of others. Also, due to the super-soldier enhancements by the KGB, Omega Red was given super-strength. He is a very talented hand-to-hand combatant with extensive KGB training and is fluent in both Russian and English. Red’s arms were implanted with Carbonadium coils that he can expand and contract via openings on his wrists. These coils serve as a conduit and stabilizer for his mutant pheromones. Arkady, like Sabretooth, is a formidable foe for Wolverine in that his stamina and and quasi-invulnerability are heightened. It’s been said that Omega Red can sustain a battle with Wolverine for upwards of 18 hours without tiring. While not quite to the level of Wolverine, Red can withstand higher levels of blunt force impacts than a normal human. His red armor also assists in this by holding up against attacks from Wolvie’s claws and energy blasts from the likes of Chamber.
What I like about Omega Red is the fact that not only is he a physical threat to Wolverine, or anyone he faces for that matter, but he adds a bit of other-worldliness to a story. His abilities and “weapons” provide for a much different villain than we have previously seen on the big screen and with the right actor, Omega Red could potentially be a very imposing and memorable villain. He is not a character that the general public would be greatly familiar with, maybe only through the popular 1990′s X-Men cartoon, so it would be something a bit different. Omega Red could not only serve as a baddie for a Wolverine movie, but also for an X-Men film, seeing him team up with the likes of Lady Deathstrike and Sabretooth could have quite the impact. However, I think that Omega Red is a villain that would work best on his own. Seeing a climactic battle between Wolverine and Omega Red could provide for some epic on-screen moments.
There is only one person that I can see playing this role. A lot of people think that Mickey Rourke would be a good choice, but with him taking on the role of Whiplash in Iron Man 2, that idea is out and I’m OK with that. Sean Bean (Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring) is an amazing actor and has the talent and the know-how to bring Omega Red to the big screen, and do so in a fashion that would do the character justice. He has proven that he has a villainous side to him and to see what he could do with the character would be incredible. In the upcoming The Wolverine, we’ll see Logan head to Japan to take on the Silver Samurai and the epic story that ties the two together. What better way to close out that film than with an after-credits scene involving Omega Red in Mother Russia vowing to bring an end to Wolverine?
Ecksmanfan (Josh Johnson/GeekBoy) is a contributor here at Comic Book Therapy, helping readers to control the geek within. Josh is the owner and editor of GeekBoyMovieNews, your go-to website for all things related to geek movies, plus a little bit more. If you have suggestions for the next installment of The Neglected Nemeses, be sure to mention it in the comments below! You can view past installments of The Neglected Nemeses by CLICKING HERE.
Josh "ecksmanfan" Johnson
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