OMEGA RED: Page 2 of 4

Publication Date: 22nd Oct 2013
Written By: Monolith.

Eventually, however, keeping Omega Red active proved too costly in terms of lives and resources. He was placed into suspended animation until a treatment for his condition could be found. All but forgotten during the fall of the Soviet Union, Arkady slept until the Hand jonin Matsu’o Tsurayaba somehow learned of his existence. Matsu’o paid off the enterprising General Akhronayev to smuggle Omega out of the country during Magneto’s electromagnetic pulse assault on the world. The Hand killed the Russian troops after acquiring Omega Red’s stasis pod, ensuring their silence. [X-Men (2nd series) #2]

Under Matsuo’s care, Hand scientists and mystics oversaw the resurrection of Omega Red. Twenty ninja lay hands upon the sleeping soldier and employed the Hand’s ancient rituals to restore Arkady to life. Arkady agreed to serve Matsu’o, joining forces with him and the Fenris Twins to seek revenge on Logan, now the X-Man known as Wolverine, and hopefully wrest the secret of the Carbonadium Synthesizer from him. Omega Red and the Hand attacked the X-Men in Westchester, kidnapping Wolverine and bringing him back to the Super-Soldier facility in East Berlin. [X-Men (2nd series) #4]
In order to “tenderize” Logan for Matsu’o’s memory probes, Omega Red was allowed to beat his old foe to the point of exhaustion. Arkady gleefully carried out this task, fighting with Logan nonstop for seventeen hours until his blows and death factor finally overcame Wolverine’s vaunted healing factor. The villains’ efforts succeeded in learning the true location of the C-Synth, hidden away inside Janice Hollenbeck’s body by Logan during the escape from Berlin decades earlier. However, intervention on the part of Agent North, now called Maverick, and Logan’s X-Men teammates prevented Omega Red and Matsu’o from recovering their prize. Wolverine and Maverick beat them to Janice’s grave, and Logan turned the C-Synth over to Maverick for safe-keeping. [X-Men (2nd series) #5-7]

Omega Red remained in service to Matsu’o for a time, until Russian authorities requested his assistance dealing with a renegade mutant called the Skinner of Souls in Neftelensk. Arkady’s brute force proved useless against the mind-raper, and Soul Skinner forced Omega Red into his service. Omega Red was forced to battle the X-Men against his will this time, until Colonel Aleksi Vazhin executed the Soul Skinner and incidentally freed Arkady from his manipulation. [X-Men (2nd series) #17-19]
Arkady did not return to Matsu’o afterwards, and pursued his own goals from then on. Catching up on his past, he sought to learn the fate of Olinka Barankova, the KGB agent who betrayed him to the authorities decades earlier and set him on the path to becoming Omega Red. Arkady learned that Olinka Barankova had defected to the United States and eventually became a mutated agent of Advanced Idea Mechanics known as MODAM. Omega Red assaulted MODAM on the sovereign AIM island of Boca Caliente during negotiations between Iron Man and AIM for the recovery of some nuclear materials. With MODAM still vulnerable to Omega Red’s death factor despite her transformation, Barankova was seriously threatened by Arkady’s assault. Iron Man struck a bargain with AIM for the return of the nuclear materials in exchange for his assistance against Omega Red, and AIM reluctantly agreed. The Golden Avenger defeated Omega Red on their behalf, electrifying him through the conductive alloy of his coils. [Iron Man (1st series) #295-297]

Making his way to London, Omega Red was found by the Acolytes in the sewers, feeding off of random pedestrians to satisfy his death spores. They offered him the possibility of curing his affliction without the use of the C-Synth, allegedly with the intent of drawing him to their cause. Intrigued, Omega Red initially accepted their proposal, despite the accusations of his old victim Katu Kath, who now stood with the group. The Acolytes’ information led Arkady on a scavenger hunt for the necessary items, including a bio-cellular subcutaneous regeneration matrix from the Muir Island Research Center, technical specifications on his cosmonaut counterpart Epsilon Red from Tyuratam space center, and finally leading to Magneto’s former base in Antarctica.

During Arkady’s hunt, he crossed paths with Cable on Muir Island. The Acolytes enlisted Cable’s aid in an effort to “stop” Arkady when he made it to Antarctica. Omega Red came to Magneto’s base because the Acolytes originally told him the procedure with the bio-cellular matrix could only be performed safely in a vacuum, so he hoped to use the fortress’ transport to reach outer space. As part of their very complicated game of double-crossing, the Acolytes beat Omega Red senseless when he arrived in Antarctica, while simultaneously manipulating Cable into unlocking some of the base’s more advanced systems, which had been denied to them since Magneto was incapacitated months earlier.
The Acolytes underestimated Omega Red’s resilience, however, as well as his cunning. Arkady realized the procedure could be performed safely for HIM on Earth; rather, the danger was to other people as the process that cured him would unleash his death spores over the entire globe. Some of the less blood-thirsty Acolytes assisted Cable in stopping Omega Red from carrying out this threat. Katu tried to get revenge for his lost family in a suicidal play against Omega Red, where he hoped to transmit them both into deep space, saving the world from Arkady’s spore release. Although Cable stopped the transporter, Katu and Arkady were seemingly killed when the Inuit’s electromagnetic energies imploded around them, leaving nothing but a smoldering floor. [Cable (1st series) #9-11]