New Adventures of the Infinity Legion
An unstoppable Siberian juggernaut - is he friend or foe?
POWERS ENHANCED STRENGTH 8 ENHANCED CONSTITUTION 8 IMPERVIOUS TOUGHNESS 10 IMMUNITY 14 (life support, cold damage) LEAPING 7 SUPER-STRENGTH 7 (groundstrike, shockwave)
SKILLS Intimidate 14 ranks Profession (geneticist) 10 ranks Language: Russian (free), English
Vulnerability to fire damage (+50% extra damage, +4 power points)
Real name: Arkady Alexsandrovich Rozhenko
Identity: known to the government and the superhero community; unknown to the public at large
Legal status: Wanted in the Russian Confederation for several hundred felonies
Former aliases: the Behemoth, Polyphemus, Ural, the Living Glacier
Place of birth: Moscow, USSR
Marital status: divorced
Known relatives: wife Irina Rozhenko
Group affiliation: Infinity Legion of Earth
Base of operations: Siberian mountains
First appearance: Astonishing Adventures #97
History: Arkady Rozhenko was a world-renowned geneticist in the employ of the Soviet Union in the early 1980s. Ostensibly working on improving crop yields for winter wheat, he was actually tasked with the production of a Soviet super-soldier to counter the West’s most powerful champions.
Despite years of work, when his breakthrough came, it was the result of pure serendipity. When the Nova Foundation ship Triumphant made its fateful voyage to the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, an agent of State Security was aboard, tight-beaming all the results – and the terrifying perils of the voyage – back to analysts behind the Iron Curtain. And when the ship made its limping return home after the Jupiter disaster, the KGB and their sleeper agents were there to scour it for any clues as to what happened and how the survivors, the Triumphant Trio, had gained their superhuman powers.
But what they discovered was much more than they bargained for. Samples retrieved from the journey were not only a scientific marvel but a Pandora’s Box of strange xenoorganisms adapted to life in the crushing, radioactive depths of Jupiter. And Arkady Rozhenko made it his life’s work to extract the genetic secrets of these hardy organisms as the basis for an unstoppable Soviet soldier. His work progressed by leaps and bounds but the end of the Cold War brought the end of his project’s funding and the tarnishing of his scientific reputation as he had published no usable results.
And then he did something rash that would change the world forever. Arkady injected himself with a concentrated retroviral DNA-editing agent to incorporate the lifeforms’ resistance to cold, to vacuum, to radiation, and most forms of harm into himself. He imagined that the process would change his body but leave his mind intact; this proved to be his greatest error, and after an excruciating metamorphosis, the hulking beast that would soon be called the Almas was born, filled with rage, confusion, and anger towards the men who had disgraced Arkady.
It took the combined forces of several militaries and the power of the Infinity Legion to bring the beast to bay that first time; since then, the world has remained vigilant, but for the most part its rampages are a thing of the past. Discovering that it became weaker in higher temperatures, the creature prefers to stay in its lonely Arctic lairs, away from the pesky ants who harass it. But with time the personality and intellect of Arkady Rozhenko have begun to reassert themselves and as the creature’s intelligence and moral sense return some believe its power can be turned to the side of good as a reserve member of the Infinity Legion.
Height: 9’ Weight: 1200 lbs.
Eyes: White Hair: N/A
Strength level: In his normal form, Arkady Rozhenko is possessed of the normal human strength of a man of his age and build who engages in infrequent exercise. As the Almas, he possesses at least Class 100 strength and the upper limits of his power have not yet been probed. The Trickster once remarked that the Almas could easily throw a Siberian glacier.
Known superhuman powers: The Almas is superhumanly strong, vigorous and resistant to harm. It possesses all of the immunities required to survive and even thrive in deep vacuum or in the unfathomable pressures of a gas giant.
Abilities: Arkady Rozhenko is a skilled geneticist and technician with many years of post-doctoral experience and a knack for finding unconventional solutions to problems. As the Almas, many of these qualities are subsumed, but various incarnations have possessed Rozhenko’s intelligence to varying degrees.
Limitations: The Almas functions best in extremely cold environments and its power level drops drastically when removed from them.